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Concept: Scores


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between occupational contamination and exposure levels to antineoplastic drugs and the application of control measures in a hospital work environment. Methods : Wipe samples of equipments were collected at a hospital in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, from 2007 to 2011. These samples were subjected to measurements of cyclophosphamide (CP), gemcitabine (GEM), platinum-containing drugs (Pt), and fluorouracil (5FU). Additionally, 24-h urine samples were collected from pharmacists who handled antineoplastic drugs, which were analyzed for CP and alpha-fluoro-beta-alanine (AFBA). The application of control measures was scored according to a checklist, which consisted of the following five items: safety equipment and maintenance, training and documentation, devices for safe handling, personal protective equipment, and emergency care. The aim was to obtain a score of 80%. Results : The median CP, GEM, and 5FU concentrations of all wipe samples were significantly lower during the period when the mean score was >80% (attainment period) versus when the mean score was ≤80% (nonattainment period; all P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney's U-test). Additionally, the median urinary CP and AFBA concentrations of pharmacists during the attainment period tended to be lower than that of those during the nonattainment period (P = 0.061 and 0.061, respectively, using Mann-Whitney's U-test). Conclusions : Contamination and levels of exposure to antineoplastic drugs decreased with a score higher than 80%. The scores of the items on the checklist appeared to adequately reflect the condition of the control measures, as increases in all five items were associated with reductions in the contamination by and levels of exposure to all drugs.

Concepts: Arithmetic mean, Scores, Personal protective equipment, Protection, Pharmacy, Occupational safety and health, Prefectures of Japan, Osaka Prefecture


Increased concern for potential health and environmental impacts of chemicals, including nanomaterials, in consumer products is driving demand for greater transparency regarding potential risks. Chemical hazard assessment is a powerful tool to inform product design, development and procurement and has been integrated into alternative assessment frameworks. The extent to which assessment methods originally designed for conventionally-sized materials can be used for nanomaterials, which have size-dependent physical and chemical properties, have not been well established. We contracted with a certified GreenScreen profiler to conduct three GreenScreen hazard assessments, for conventional silver and two forms of nanosilver. The contractor summarized publicly available literature, and used defined GreenScreen hazard criteria and expert judgment to assign and report hazard classification levels, along with indications of confidence in those assignments. Where data were not available, a data gap (DG) was assigned. Using the individual endpoint scores, an aggregated benchmark score (BM) was applied.

Concepts: Risk, Chemistry, Chemical substance, Chemical element, Assessment, Scores, Physical property, The Contractor


Volatile compounds in ‘Sweetheart’ lychee were examined using gas chromatography-olfactometry/mass spectrometry (GC-O/MS). Solvent assisted flavor evaporation (SAFE) technique was used to identify the aroma-active compounds in lychee. Further characterization of the most important odorants in ‘Sweetheart’ lychee was achieved using aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA). Thirty-one key aroma-active odorants were identified in the flavor dilution (FD) factor range of 2-1024. Methional (cooked potato) and geraniol (sweet, floral) exhibited the highest FD factors of 1024 and 512, respectively, these were followed by furaneol (sweet, caramel), nerol (floral, sweet), dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS) (preserved vegetable, sulfury), linalool (floral), (E,Z)-2,6 nonadienal (cucumber) and nerolidol (metalic, sesame oil). Furthermore, the flavor profile of ‘Sweetheart’ lychee was described by sensory analysis. Floral, tropical fruit, peach/apricot and honey were scored with relatively high scores for each aroma attribute. The sweetness rating was the highest score among all the attributes.

Concepts: Scores, Vitamin C, Fruit, Sugar, Seed, Flavors, Lychee, Tropical fruit


Background Spastic limb paralysis due to injury to a cerebral hemisphere can cause long-term disability. We investigated the effect of grafting the contralateral C7 nerve from the nonparalyzed side to the paralyzed side in patients with spastic arm paralysis due to chronic cerebral injury. Methods We randomly assigned 36 patients who had had unilateral arm paralysis for more than 5 years to undergo C7 nerve transfer plus rehabilitation (18 patients) or to undergo rehabilitation alone (18 patients). The primary outcome was the change from baseline to month 12 in the total score on the Fugl-Meyer upper-extremity scale (scores range from 0 to 66, with higher scores indicating better function). Results The mean increase in Fugl-Meyer score in the paralyzed arm was 17.7 in the surgery group and 2.6 in the control group (difference, 15.1; 95% confidence interval, 12.2 to 17.9; P<0.001). With regard to improvements in spasticity as measured on the Modified Ashworth Scale (an assessment of five joints, each scored from 0 to 5, with higher scores indicating more spasticity), the smallest between-group difference was in the thumb, with 6, 9, and 3 patients in the surgery group having a 2-unit improvement, a 1-unit improvement, or no change, respectively, as compared with 1, 6, and 7 patients in the control group (P=0.02). Transcranial magnetic stimulation and functional imaging showed connectivity between the ipsilateral hemisphere and the paralyzed arm. There were no significant differences from baseline to month 12 in power, tactile threshold, or two-point discrimination in the hand on the side of the donor graft. Conclusions In this single-center trial involving patients who had had unilateral arm paralysis due to chronic cerebral injury for more than 5 years, transfer of the C7 nerve from the nonparalyzed side to the side of the arm that was paralyzed was associated with a greater improvement in function and reduction of spasticity than rehabilitation alone over a period of 12 months. Physiological connectivity developed between the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere and the paralyzed hand. (Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and others; Chinese Clinical Trial Registry number, 13004466 .).

Concepts: Nervous system, Better, Muscle, Cerebral cortex, Scores, Transcranial magnetic stimulation


This study assesses Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) scores in a ‘big data’ sample collected through the UK Channel 4 television website, following the broadcasting of a medical education program. We examine correlations between the AQ and age, sex, occupation, and UK geographic region in 450,394 individuals. We predicted that age and geography would not be correlated with AQ, whilst sex and occupation would have a correlation. Mean AQ for the total sample score was m = 19.83 (SD = 8.71), slightly higher than a previous systematic review of 6,900 individuals in a non-clinical sample (mean of means = 16.94) This likely reflects that this big-data sample includes individuals with autism who in the systematic review score much higher (mean of means = 35.19). As predicted, sex and occupation differences were observed: on average, males (m = 21.55, SD = 8.82) scored higher than females (m = 18.95; SD = 8.52), and individuals working in a STEM career (m = 21.92, SD = 8.92) scored higher than individuals non-STEM careers (m = 18.92, SD = 8.48). Also as predicted, age and geographic region were not meaningfully correlated with AQ. These results support previous findings relating to sex and STEM careers in the largest set of individuals for which AQ scores have been reported and suggest the AQ is a useful self-report measure of autistic traits.

Concepts: Geography, Autism, Correlation and dependence, Scores


Background:While cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly related to survival, there are limited data regarding musculoskeletal fitness indicators. Our aim was to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and all-cause mortality.Design:Retrospective cohort.Methods:2002 adults aged 51-80 years (68% men) performed a sitting-rising test (SRT) to and from the floor, which was scored from 0 to 5, with one point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand/knee). Final SRT score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding sitting and rising scores and stratified in four categories for analysis: 0-3; 3.5-5.5, 6-7.5, and 8-10.Results:Median follow up was 6.3 years and there were 159 deaths (7.9%). Lower SRT scores were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.001). A continuous trend for longer survival was reflected by multivariate-adjusted (age, sex, body mass index) hazard ratios of 5.44 (95% CI 3.1-9.5), 3.44 (95% CI 2.0-5.9), and 1.84 (95% CI 1.1-3.0) (p < 0.001) from lower to higher SRT scores. Each unit increase in SRT score conferred a 21% improvement in survival.Conclusions:Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51-80-year-old subjects. Application of a simple and safe assessment tool such as SRT, which is influenced by muscular strength and flexibility, in general health examinations could add relevant information regarding functional capabilities and outcomes in non-hospitalized adults.

Concepts: Body mass index, Scores


In a Perspective, Joshua Knowles and Euan Ashley discuss the potential for use of genetic risk scores in clinical practice.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical ethics, Cardiovascular disease, Scores


Reliable recognition of pain is difficult in ferrets as many currently available parameters are non-specific, inconsistent and/or impractical. Grimace scales have successfully been applied to assess pain in different animal species and might also be applicable to ferrets. To compose a Ferret Grimace Scale (FGS), we studied the facial musculature of ferrets and compared lateral photographs of 19 ferret faces at six time points before and after intraperitoneal telemetry probe implantation. We identified the Action Units (AUs) orbital tightening, nose bulging, cheek bulging, ear changes and whisker retraction as potential indicators of pain in ferrets. To evaluate whether these AUs could reliably be used to identify photographs taken before and after surgery, the photographs were scored 0, 1 or 2 (not, moderately or obviously present) by 11 observers that were blinded to the treatment and timing of the photographs. All AU-scores assigned to the photographs taken five hours after surgery were significantly higher compared to their time-matched baseline scores. Further analysis using the weights that were obtained using a Linear Discriminant Analysis revealed that scoring orbital tightening alone was sufficient to make this distinction with high sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. Including weighted scores for nose bulging, cheek bulging and ear change did not change this. As these AUs had more missing values than orbital tightening, their descriptions should be re-evaluated. Including whisker retraction, which had a negative weight, resulted in lower accuracy and should therefore in its current form be left out of the FGS. Overall, the results of this study suggest that the FGS and the AU orbital tightening in particular could be useful in a multifactorial pain assessment protocol for ferrets. However, before applying the FGS in practice, it should be further validated by incorporating more time points before and after applying (different) painful stimuli, and different levels of analgesia.

Concepts: Species, Evaluation, Psychometrics, Pain, Scores, Weight


Understanding the factors associated with successful funding outcomes of research project grant (R01) applications is critical for the biomedical research community. R01 applications are evaluated through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system, where peer reviewers are asked to evaluate and assign scores to five research criteria when assessing an application’s scientific and technical merit. This study examined the relationship of the five research criterion scores to the Overall Impact score and the likelihood of being funded for over 123,700 competing R01 applications for fiscal years 2010 through 2013. The relationships of other application and applicant characteristics, including demographics, to scoring and funding outcomes were studied as well. The analyses showed that the Approach and, to a lesser extent, the Significance criterion scores were the main predictors of an R01 application’s Overall Impact score and its likelihood of being funded. Applicants might consider these findings when submitting future R01 applications to NIH.

Concepts: Scientific method, Academic publishing, Scores, Computer program, Peer review


We aimed to investigate whether health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is associated with retinal vascular caliber, an indicator of subclinical cardiovascular disease risk. 1600 students aged between 11-19 years (821 girls and 779 boys) were examined during 2009-2011. Retinal vessel caliber was measured from digital retinal images. HRQoL was assessed by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). In the overall cohort, each 1-unit increase in PedsQL total score and the psychosocial summary score was associated with ~0.05 μm narrowing in retinal arteriolar caliber (multivariable-adjusted p-value = 0.01). Participants in the lowest versus highest tertile of PedsQL total score, psychosocial summary, social and school item scores had significantly wider retinal arteriolar caliber: 161.7 μm versus 160.2 μm (p = 0.02); 161.6 μm versus 160.0 μm (p = 0.02); 161.6 μm versus 159.9 μm (p = 0.002); and 161.6 μm versus 159.9 μm (p = 0.01), respectively. Significant interactions (p < 0.05) were observed between gender and PedsQL total score with retinal arteriolar calibre. In boys, inverse associations were observed between PedsQL total score (p = 0.01), psychosocial summary (p = 0.01), and social scores (p = 0.01) and retinal arteriolar caliber. No significant associations were observed between PedsQL scores and retinal vessel caliber in girls. Diminished HRQoL in adolescents was independently associated with structural retinal microvascular changes.

Concepts: Life, Cardiovascular disease, Quality, Quality of life, Scores, Caliber