Concept: Application software
We describe a set of best practices for scientific software development, based on research and experience, that will improve scientists' productivity and the reliability of their software.
Increasing an individual’s awareness and understanding of their dietary habits and reasons for eating may help facilitate positive dietary changes. Mobile technologies allow individuals to record diet-related behavior in real time from any location; however, the most popular software applications lack empirical evidence supporting their efficacy as health promotion tools.
The Ensembl Project provides release-specific Perl APIs for efficient high-level programmatic access to data stored in various Ensembl database schema. Although Perl scripts are perfectly suited for processing large volumes of text-based data, Perl is not ideal for developing large-scale software applications nor embedding in graphical interfaces. The provision of a novel Java API would facilitate type-safe, modular, object-orientated development of new Bioinformatics tools with which to access, analyse and visualize Ensembl data.
Artificial neural network (ANN)-based bone scan index (BSI), a marker of the amount of bone metastasis, has been shown to enhance diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility but is potentially affected by training databases. The aims of this study were to revise the software using a large number of Japanese databases and to validate its diagnostic accuracy compared with the original Swedish training database.
DNA re-identification is used for a broad suite of applications, ranging from cell line authentication to forensics. However, current re-identification schemes suffer from high latency and limited access. Here, we describe a rapid, inexpensive, and portable strategy to robustly re-identify human DNA called ‘MinION sketching’. MinION sketching requires as few as 3 min of sequencing and 60-300 random SNPs to re-identify a sample enabling near real-time applications of DNA re-identification. Our method capitalizes on the rapidly growing availability of genomic reference data for cell lines, tissues in biobanks, and individuals. This empowers the application of MinION sketching in research and clinical settings for periodic cell line and tissue authentication. Importantly, our method enables considerably faster and more robust cell line authentication relative to current practices and could help to minimize the amount of irreproducible research caused by mix-ups and contamination in human cell and tissue cultures.
Scientific communication relies on evidence that cannot be entirely included in publications, but the rise of computational science has added a new layer of inaccessibility. Although it is now accepted that data should be made available on request, the current regulations regarding the availability of software are inconsistent. We argue that, with some exceptions, anything less than the release of source programs is intolerable for results that depend on computation. The vagaries of hardware, software and natural language will always ensure that exact reproducibility remains uncertain, but withholding code increases the chances that efforts to reproduce results will fail.
As evidence accumulates on the use of genomic tests and other health-related applications of genomic technologies, decision makers may increasingly seek support in identifying which applications have sufficiently robust evidence to suggest they might be considered for action. As an interim working process to provide such support, we developed a horizon-scanning method that assigns genomic applications to tiers defined by availability of synthesized evidence. We illustrate an application of the method to pharmacogenomics tests.Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2014); advance online publication 19 February 2014. doi:10.1038/clpt.2013.226.
Acellular biomaterials can stimulate the local environment to repair tissues without the regulatory and scientific challenges of cell-based therapies. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of such endogenous tissue repair is furthering the design and application of these biomaterials. We discuss recent progress in acellular materials for tissue repair, using cartilage and cardiac tissues as examples of applications with substantial intrinsic hurdles, but where human translation is now occurring.
This review article is undertaken with a view to survey important scientific research and developmental works pertaining to antibacterial modification of textiles using nanotechnology as a new means to achieve such textiles. Inevitably, conventional antimicrobial agents and their applications to textiles are reported. This is followed by a focus on inorganic nanostructured materials that acquire good antibacterial activity and application of these materials to the textiles. Evaluation of the antibacterial efficacy is described. An outlook which envisions the importance of using nanotechnology in the antibacterial finishing of textiles is also outlined.
This paper outlines preliminary research of an innovative software program that enables the use of an electronic health record in a nursing education curriculum. The software application program is called EHRNE, which stands for Electronic Heath Record for Nursing Education. The aim of EHRNE is to enhance student’s learning of health informatics when they are working in the simulation laboratory. Integrating EHRNE into the nursing curriculum exposes students to electronic health records before they go into the workplace. A qualitative study was conducted using focus group interviews of nine nursing students. Nursing students' perceptions of using the EHRNE application were explored. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. The data was analyzed following the Colaizzi (1978) guideline. Four main categories that related to the EHRNE application were identified from the interviews: functionality, data management, timing and complexity, and accessibility. The analysis of the data revealed advantages and limitations of using EHRNE in the classroom setting. Integrating the EHRNE program into the curriculum will promote students' awareness of electronic documentation and enhance students' learning in the simulation laboratory. Preliminary findings suggested that before integrating the EHRNE program into the nursing curriculum, educational sessions for both students and faculty outlining the software’s purpose, advantages, and limitations were needed. Following the educational sessions, further investigation of students' perceptions and learning using the EHRNE program is recommended.