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Functional fitness

Cliff C Kerr, Salvador Dura-Bernal, Tomasz G Smolinski, George L Chadderdon, David P Wilson
When standard optimization methods fail to find a satisfactory solution for a parameter fitting problem, a tempting recourse is to adjust parameters manually. While tedious, this approach can be surprisingly powerful in terms of achieving optimal or near-optimal solutions. This paper outlines an optimization algorithm, Adaptive Stochastic Descent (ASD), that has been designed to replicate the essential aspects of manual parameter fitting in an automated way. Specifically, ASD uses simple principles to form probabilistic assumptions about (a) which parameters have the greatest effect on the objective function, and (b) optimal step sizes for each parameter...
2018: PloS One
Jeffrey Zielich, Elena Tzima, Eva Ayla Schröder, Faten Jemel, Barbara Conradt, Eric J Lambie
P5B ATPases are present in the genomes of diverse unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes, indicating that they have an ancient origin, and that they are important for cellular fitness. Inactivation of ATP13A2, one of the four human P5B ATPases, leads to early-onset Parkinson's disease (Kufor-Rakeb Syndrome). The presence of an invariant PPALP motif within the putative substrate interaction pocket of transmembrane segment M4 suggests that all P5B ATPases might have similar transport specificity; however, the identity of the transport substrate(s) remains unknown...
2018: PloS One
Yuval B Simons, Kevin Bullaughey, Richard R Hudson, Guy Sella
Human genome-wide association studies (GWASs) are revealing the genetic architecture of anthropomorphic and biomedical traits, i.e., the frequencies and effect sizes of variants that contribute to heritable variation in a trait. To interpret these findings, we need to understand how genetic architecture is shaped by basic population genetics processes-notably, by mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. Because many quantitative traits are subject to stabilizing selection and because genetic variation that affects one trait often affects many others, we model the genetic architecture of a focal trait that arises under stabilizing selection in a multidimensional trait space...
March 16, 2018: PLoS Biology
Michael Schriver, Vincent Kalumire Cubaka, Peter Vedsted, Innocent Besigye, Per Kallestrup
BACKGROUND: External supervision of primary health care facilities to monitor and improve services is common in low-income countries. Currently there are no tools to measure the quality of support in external supervision in these countries. AIM: To develop a provider-reported instrument to assess the support delivered through external supervision in Rwanda and other countries. METHODS: "External supervision: Provider Evaluation of Supervisor Support" (ExPRESS) was developed in 18 steps, primarily in Rwanda...
2018: Global Health Action
Christian U Krägeloh, Oleg N Medvedev, Erin M Hill, Craig S Webster, Roger J Booth, Marcus A Henning
Measuring competitiveness is necessary to fully understand variables affecting student learning. The 14-item Revised Competitiveness Index has become a widely used measure to assess trait competitiveness. The current study reports on a Rasch analysis to investigate the psychometric properties of the Revised Competitiveness Index and to improve its precision for international comparisons. Students were recruited from medical studies at a university in New Zealand, undergraduate health sciences courses at another New Zealand university, and a psychology undergraduate class at a university in the United States...
January 1, 2018: Psychological Reports
Jason M Stephens
There is often a divide between moral judgment and moral action; between what we believe we ought to do (or not do) and what we do. Knowledge of this divide is not new, and numerous theories have attempted to offer more robust accounts of ethical decision-making and moral functioning. Knowledge of widespread academic dishonesty among students is also not new, and several studies have revealed that many students report cheating despite believing it is wrong. The present study, involving cross-sectional survey data from a sample of secondary students ( N = 380) in the United States, contributes to the literature on this important area of theory and research by fulfilling three broad purposes...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Jenny Q Ouyang, Scott Davies, Davide Dominoni
Alternation between day and night is a predictable environmental fluctuation that organisms use to time their activities. Since the invention of artificial lighting, this predictability has been disrupted and continues to change in a unidirectional fashion with increasing urbanization. As hormones mediate individual responses to changing environments, endocrine systems might be one of the first systems affected, as well as being the first line of defense to ameliorate any negative health impacts. In this Review, we first highlight how light can influence endocrine function in vertebrates...
March 15, 2018: Journal of Experimental Biology
Urho M Kujala
There are discrepant findings between (A) observational follow-ups and (B) interventional studies that investigate possible causal association between high physical activity and low mortality. Participation in vigorous physical activity at a specific time-point is an indicator of good fitness and health, and is associated with a reduced risk of death. However, neither randomised controlled trials nor experimental animal studies have provided conclusive evidence to show that physical activity started during adulthood extends lifespan...
March 15, 2018: British Journal of Sports Medicine
S C Ibeneme, C Ekanem, A Ezuma, N Iloanusi, N N Lasebikan, O A Lasebikan, O E Oboh
BACKGROUND: Depletion of ovarian hormone in postmenopausal women has been associated with changes in the locomotor apparatus that may compromise walking function including muscle atrophy/weakness, weight gain, and bone demineralization. Therefore, handgrip strength (HGS), bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition [percentage body fat mass (%BFM), fat mass (FM), Fat-free mass (FFM) and body mass index (BMI)], may significantly vary and predict WB in postmenopausal women. Consequently, the study sought to 1...
March 15, 2018: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Kaili Jiang, Jonathan Nafziger, Adam Wasserman
Approximations of the non-additive non-interacting kinetic energy (NAKE) as an explicit functional of the density are the basis of several electronic structure methods that provide improved computational efficiency over standard Kohn-Sham calculations. However, within most fragment-based formalisms, there is no unique exact NAKE, making it difficult to develop general, robust approximations for it. When adjustments are made to the embedding formalisms to guarantee uniqueness, approximate functionals may be more meaningfully compared to the exact unique NAKE...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Chemical Physics
Ali Mirzaeinia, Farzaneh Feyzi, Seyed Majid Hashemianzadeh
Based on Wertheim's second order thermodynamic perturbation theory (TPT2), equations of state (EOSs) are presented for the fluid and solid phases of tangent, freely jointed spheres. It is considered that the spheres interact with each other through the Weeks-Chandler-Anderson (WCA) potential. The developed TPT2 EOS is the sum of a monomeric reference term and a perturbation contribution due to bonding. MC NVT simulations are performed to determine the structural properties of the reference system in the reduced temperature range of 0...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Chemical Physics
Christoph Niemietz, Christoph Röcken, Matthias Schilling, Jörg Stypman, Constantin E Uhlig, Hartmut H-J Schmidt
Transthyretin-related Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (ATTR Amyloidosis, former FAP, here called TTR-FAP) is a rare, progressive autosomal dominant inherited amyloid disease ending fatal within 5 - 15 years after final diagnosis. TTR-FAP is caused by mutations of transthyretin (TTR), which forms amyloid fibrils affecting peripheral and autonomic nerves, the heart and other organs. Due to the phenotypic heterogeneity and partly not specific enough clinical symptoms, diagnosis of TTR-FAP can be complicated...
March 2018: Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift
Christine W St Laurent, Brittany Masteller, John Sirard
PURPOSE: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the efficacy of a suspension-training movement program to improve muscular- and skill-related fitness and functional movement in children, compared with controls. METHODS: In total, 28 children [male: 46%; age: 9.3 (1.5) y; body mass index percentile: 68.6 (27.5)] were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 17) or control (n = 11) groups. The intervention group participated in a 6-week suspension-training movement program for two 1-hour sessions per week...
March 15, 2018: Pediatric Exercise Science
Biao Lian, Shou-Cheng Zhang
We propose a trial wave function for the quantum Hall bilayer system of total filling factor ν_{T}=1 at a layer distance d to magnetic length ℓ ratio d/ℓ=κ_{c1}≈1.1, where the lowest charged excitation is known to have a level crossing. The wave function has two-particle correlations, which fit well with those in previous numerical studies, and can be viewed as a Bose-Einstein condensate of free excitons formed by composite bosons and anticomposite bosons in different layers. We show the free nature of these excitons indicating an emergent SU(2) symmetry for the composite bosons at d/ℓ=κ_{c1}, which leads to the level crossing in low-lying charged excitations...
February 16, 2018: Physical Review Letters
Paulina A Santander Pérez, Álvaro P Ceschin, Daniela M P de Moraes, Lucileine K S N de Oliveira, Nathan I Ceschin, Nathan Ichikawa
OBJECTIVE: To analyze progesterone and prolactin plasma levels nine days after oocyte retrieval and evaluate their correlation with pregnancy rates in in vitro fertilization cycles. To achieve pregnancy, several factors are analyzed before and during the in vitro fertilization cycle. Progesterone supplementation for adequate luteal phase support is indicated despite the presence of multiple corpus luteum in IVF stimulation cycles because of blockage caused by hypothalamic agonists and antagonists...
March 15, 2018: JBRA Assisted Reproduction
John W Garrett, Yinsheng Li, Ke Li, Guang-Hong Chen
PURPOSE: Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has been shown to somewhat alleviate the breast tissue overlapping issues of two dimensional (2D) mammography.However, the improvement in current DBT systems over mammography is still limited.Statistical image reconstruction (SIR) methods have the potential to reduce through-plane artifacts in DBT, and thus may be used to further reduce anatomical clutter. The purpose of this work was to study the impact of SIR on anatomical clutter in the reconstructed DBT image volumes...
March 15, 2018: Medical Physics
Philip T Reiss
Motivated by studies of the development of the human cerebral cortex, we consider the estimation of a mean growth trajectory and the relative merits of cross-sectional and longitudinal data for that task. We define a class of relative efficiencies that compare function estimates in terms of aggregate variance of a parametric function estimate. These generalize the classical design effect for estimating a scalar with cross-sectional versus longitudinal data, and are shown to be bounded above by it in certain cases...
March 15, 2018: Statistics in Medicine
Ayesha Afridi, Arshad Nawaz Malik, Shaukat Ali, Imran Amjad
The Nintendo Wii-fit plus is a type of Virtual Reality exer-gaming with graphical and auditory response system. A case series was conducted at Shifa Tamer-e-Millat University Islamabad from January-July 2016. Sixteen adults more than 60 years age (07 males and 09 females) were recruited through convenient sampling. The specified Wii fit plus training was provided to all patients and the games included the Soccer heading, Ski slalom, table tilt and yoga. Berg balance test, time up and go and functional reach test were used before and after 06 weeks of treatment (4 days / week)...
March 2018: JPMA. the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
François Vasseur, Moises Exposito-Alonso, Oscar J Ayala-Garay, George Wang, Brian J Enquist, Denis Vile, Cyrille Violle, Detlef Weigel
Seed plants vary tremendously in size and morphology; however, variation and covariation in plant traits may be governed, at least in part, by universal biophysical laws and biological constants. Metabolic scaling theory (MST) posits that whole-organismal metabolism and growth rate are under stabilizing selection that minimizes the scaling of hydrodynamic resistance and maximizes the scaling of resource uptake. This constrains variation in physiological traits and in the rate of biomass accumulation, so that they can be expressed as mathematical functions of plant size with near-constant allometric scaling exponents across species...
March 14, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vadim I Agol, Anatoly P Gmyl
Reproduction of RNA viruses is typically error-prone due to the infidelity of their replicative machinery and the usual lack of proofreading mechanisms. The error rates may be close to those that kill the virus. Consequently, populations of RNA viruses are represented by heterogeneous sets of genomes with various levels of fitness. This is especially consequential when viruses encounter various bottlenecks and new infections are initiated by a single or few deviating genomes. Nevertheless, RNA viruses are able to maintain their identity by conservation of major functional elements...
June 2018: Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews: MMBR
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