Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system : implications for rehabilitation
Michael Florian Spallek
Jan David Alexander Groneberg
- Background: Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
Methods: In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
Results: There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
Soluble triggering receptor on myeloid cells-1 is expressed in the course of non-infectious inflammation after traumatic lung contusion : a prospective cohort study
Tobias Michael Bingold
Emanuel Valentin Geiger
- Introduction: The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1) is known to be expressed during bacterial infections. We investigated whether TREM-1 is also expressed in non-infectious inflammation following traumatic lung contusion.
Methods: In a study population of 45 adult patients with multiple trauma and lung contusion, we obtained bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) (blind suctioning of 20 ml NaCl (0.9%) via jet catheter) and collected blood samples at two time points (16 hours and 40 hours) after trauma. Post hoc patients were assigned to one of four groups radiologically classified according to the severity of lung contusion based on the initial chest tomography. Concentration of soluble TREM-1 (sTREM-1) and bacterial growth were determined in the BAL. sTREM-1, IL-6, IL-10, lipopolysaccharide binding protein, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein and leukocyte count were assessed in blood samples. Pulmonary function was evaluated by the paO2/FiO2 ratio.
Results: Three patients were excluded due to positive bacterial growth in the initial BAL. In 42 patients the severity of lung contusion correlated with the levels of sTREM-1 16 hours and 40 hours after trauma. sTREM-1 levels were significantly (P < 0.01) elevated in patients with severe contusion (2,184 pg/ml (620 to 4,000 pg/ml)) in comparison with patients with mild (339 pg/ml (135 to 731 pg/ml)) or no (217 pg/ml (97 to 701 pg/ml)) contusion 40 hours following trauma. At both time points the paO2/FiO2 ratio correlated negatively with sTREM-1 levels (Spearman correlation coefficient = -0.446, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: sTREM-1 levels are elevated in the BAL of patients following pulmonary contusion. Furthermore, the levels of sTREM-1 in the BAL correlate well with both the severity of radiological pulmonary tissue damage and functional impairment of gas exchange (paO2/FiO2 ratio).
Spike train auto-structure impacts post-synaptic firing and timing-based plasticity
- Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification.
TRENTOOL : a Matlab open source toolbox to analyse information flow in time series data with transfer entropy
- Background: Transfer entropy (TE) is a measure for the detection of directed interactions. Transfer entropy is an information theoretic implementation of Wiener's principle of observational causality. It offers an approach to the detection of neuronal interactions that is free of an explicit model of the interactions. Hence, it offers the power to analyze linear and nonlinear interactions alike. This allows for example the comprehensive analysis of directed interactions in neural networks at various levels of description. Here we present the open-source MATLAB toolbox TRENTOOL that allows the user to handle the considerable complexity of this measure and to validate the obtained results using non-parametrical statistical testing. We demonstrate the use of the toolbox and the performance of the algorithm on simulated data with nonlinear (quadratic) coupling and on local field potentials (LFP) recorded from the retina and the optic tectum of the turtle (Pseudemys scripta elegans) where a neuronal one-way connection is likely present.
Results: In simulated data TE detected information flow in the simulated direction reliably with false positives not exceeding the rates expected under the null hypothesis. In the LFP data we found directed interactions from the retina to the tectum, despite the complicated signal transformations between these stages. No false positive interactions in the reverse directions were detected.
Conclusions: TRENTOOL is an implementation of transfer entropy and mutual information analysis that aims to support the user in the application of this information theoretic measure. TRENTOOL is implemented as a MATLAB toolbox and available under an open source license (GPL v3). For the use with neural data TRENTOOL seamlessly integrates with the popular FieldTrip toolbox.
Short-lived brominated species : observations in the source regions and the tropical tropopause layer
Elliot L. Atlas
- We conducted measurements of up to the five important short-lived brominated species in the marine boundary layer (MBL) of the mid-latitudes (List/Sylt, North Sea) in June 2009 and of the tropical Western Pacific during the TransBrom ship campaign in October 2009. For the one-week time series in List mean mixing ratios of 2.0, 1.1, 0.2, 0.1 ppt were analysed for CHBr3, CH2Br2, CHBr2Cl and CH2BrCl, with maxima of 5.8 and 1.6 ppt for the two main components CHBr3 and CH2Br2. Along the cruise track in the Western Pacific (between 41° N and 13° S) mean mixing ratios of 1.0, 0.9, 0.2, 0.1 and 0.1 ppt for CHBr3, CH2Br2, CHBrCl2, CHBr2Cl and CH2BrCl were determined. Air samples with coastal influence showed considerably higher mixing ratios than the samples with open ocean origin. Correlation analyses of the two datasets yielded strong linear relationships between the mixing ratios of four of the five species (except for CH2BrCl). Using a combined dataset from the two campaigns, rough estimates of the molar emission ratios between the correlated substances were derived as follows: 9/1/0.3/0.3 for CHBr3/CH2Br2/CHBrCl2/CHBr2Cl. Additional measurements were made in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) above Teresina (Brazil, 5.07° S, 42.87° W) in June 2008, using balloon-borne cryogenic whole air sampling technique. Near the level of zero clear-sky net radiative heating (LZRH) at 14.8 km about 2.25 ppt organic bromine was bound to the five short-lived species, making up 13 % of total organic bromine (17.82 ppt). CH2Br2 (1.45 ppt) and CHBr3 (0.56 ppt) accounted for 90 % of the budget of short-lived compounds in that region. Near the tropopause (at 17.5 km) organic bromine from short-lived substances was reduced to 1.35 ppt, with 1.07 ppt and 0.12 ppt attributed to CH2Br2 and CHBr3 respectively.
The isotopic composition of methane in the stratosphere : high-altitude balloon sample measurements
- The isotopic composition of stratospheric methane has been determined on a large suite of air samples from stratospheric balloon flights covering subtropical to polar latitudes and a time period of 16 yr. 154 samples were analyzed for δ13C and 119 samples for δD, increasing the previously published dataset for balloon borne samples by an order of magnitude, and more than doubling the total available stratospheric data (including aircraft samples) published to date. The samples also cover a large range in mixing ratio from tropospheric values near 1800 ppb down to only 250 ppb, and the strong isotope fractionation processes accordingly increase the isotopic composition up to δ13C = −14‰ and δD = +190‰, the largest enrichments observed for atmospheric CH4 so far. When analyzing and comparing kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) derived from single balloon profiles, it is necessary to take into account the residence time in the stratosphere in combination with the observed mixing ratio and isotope trends in the troposphere, and the range of isotope values covered by the individual profile. The isotopic composition of CH4 in the stratosphere is affected by both chemical and dynamical processes. This severely hampers interpretation of the data in terms of the relative fractions of the three important sink mechanisms (reaction with OH, O(1D) and Cl). It is shown that a formal sink partitioning using the measured data severely underestimates the fraction removed by OH, which is likely due to the insensitivity of the measurements to the kinetic fractionation in the lower stratosphere. Full quantitative interpretation of the CH4 isotope data in terms of the three sink reactions requires a global model.
The isotopic composition of methane in the stratosphere : high-altitude balloon sample measurements
- The isotopic composition of stratospheric methane has been determined on a large suite of air samples from stratospheric balloon flights covering subtropical to polar latitudes and a time period of 16 yr. 154 samples were analyzed for δC and 119 samples for δD, increasing the previously published dataset for balloon borne samples by an order of magnitude, and more than doubling the total available stratospheric data (including aircraft samples) published to date. The samples also cover a large range in mixing ratio from tropospheric values near 1800 ppb down to only 250 ppb, and the strong isotope fractionation processes accordingly increase the isotopic composition up to δ13C=−14‰ and δD= +190‰, the largest enrichments observed for atmospheric CH4 so far. When analyzing and comparing kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) derived from single balloon profiles, it is necessary to take into account the residence time in the stratosphere in combination with the observed mixing ratio and isotope trends in the troposphere, and the range of isotope values covered by the individual profile. Temporal isotope trends can also be determined in the stratosphere and compare reasonably well with the tropospheric trends. The effects of chemical and dynamical processes on the isotopic composition of CH4 in the stratosphere are discussed in detail. Different ways to interpret the data in terms of the relative fractions of the three important sink mechanisms (reaction with OH, O(1D)) and Cl, respectively), and their limitations, are investigated. The classical approach of using global mean KIE values can be strongly biased when profiles with different minimum mixing ratios are compared. Approaches for more local KIE investigations are suggested. It is shown that any approach for a formal sink partitioning from the measured data severely underestimates the fraction removed by OH, which is likely due to the insensitivity of the measurements to the kinetic fractionation in the lower stratosphere. Attempts can be made to correct for the lower stratospheric sink bias, but full quantitative interpretation of the CH4 isotope data in terms of the three sink reactions requires a global model.
A new estimation of the recent tropospheric molecular hydrogen budget using atmospheric observations and variational inversion
Isabelle C. Pison
Ole Amund Søvde
Rebecca E. Fisher
Euan G. Nisbet
Martin K. Vollmer
William T. Sturges
Grant L. Forster
Chris Rene Lunder
Viacheslav I. Privalov
Nina N. Paramonova
- This paper presents an analysis of the recent tropospheric molecular hydrogen (H2) budget with a particular focus on soil uptake and European surface emissions. A variational inversion scheme is combined with observations from the RAMCES and EUROHYDROS atmospheric networks, which include continuous measurements performed between mid-2006 and mid-2009. Net H2 surface flux, then deposition velocity and surface emissions and finally, deposition velocity, biomass burning, anthropogenic and N2 fixation-related emissions were simultaneously inverted in several scenarios. These scenarios have focused on the sensibility of the soil uptake value to different spatio-temporal distributions. The range of variations of these diverse inversion sets generate an estimate of the uncertainty for each term of the H2 budget. The net H2 flux per region (High Northern Hemisphere, Tropics and High Southern Hemisphere) varies between −8 and +8 Tg yr−1. The best inversion in terms of fit to the observations combines updated prior surface emissions and a soil deposition velocity map that is based on bottom-up and top-down estimations. Our estimate of global H2 soil uptake is −59±9 Tg yr−1. Forty per cent of this uptake is located in the High Northern Hemisphere and 55% is located in the Tropics. In terms of surface emissions, seasonality is mainly driven by biomass burning emissions. The inferred European anthropogenic emissions are consistent with independent H2 emissions estimated using a H2/CO mass ratio of 0.034 and CO emissions within the range of their respective uncertainties. Additional constraints, such as isotopic measurements would be needed to infer a more robust partition of H2 sources and sinks.
Numerical simulation of flow, H2SO4 cycle and new particle formation in the CERN CLOUD chamber
- To study the effect of galactic cosmic rays on aerosols and clouds, the Cosmic Leaving OUtdoor Droplets (CLOUD) project was established. Experiments are carried out at a 26 m3 tank at CERN (Switzerland). In the experiments, the effect of ionising particle radiation on H2SO4 particle formation and growth is investigated. To evaluate the experimental configuration, the experiment was simulated using a coupled multidimensional CFD – particle model (CLOUD-FPM). In the model the coupled fields of gas/vapour species, temperature, flow velocity and particle properties were computed to investigate the tank's mixing state and mixing times. Simulation results show that the mixing state of the tank's contents largely depends on the characteristics of the mixing fans and a 1-fan configuration, as used in first experiments, may not be sufficient to ensure a homogeneously mixed chamber. To mix the tank properly, 2 fans are necessary. The 1/e response times for instantaneous changes of wall temperature and saturation ratio inside the chamber were found to be in the order of few minutes. Particle nucleation and growth was also simulated and particle number size distribution properties of the freshly nucleated particles (particle number, mean size, standard deviation of the assumed log-normal distribution) were found to be mixed over the tank's volume similar to the gas species.
On the structural changes in the Brewer-Dobson circulation after 2000
David W. Tarasick
Eric A. Ray
- In this paper we present evidence that the observed increase in tropical upwelling after the year 2000 may be attributed to a change in the Brewer-Dobson circulation pattern. For this purpose, we use the concept of transit times derived from residual circulation trajectories and different in-situ measurements of ozone and nitrous dioxide. Observations from the Canadian midlatitude ozone profile record, probability density functions of in-situ N2O observations and a shift of the N2O-O3 correlation slopes, taken together, indicate that the increased upwelling in the tropics after the year 2000 appears to have triggered an intensification of tracer transport from the tropics into the extratropics in the lower stratosphere below about 500 K. This finding is corroborated by the fact that transit times along the shallow branch of the residual circulation into the LMS have decreased for the same time period (1993–2003). On a longer time scale (1979–2009), the transit time of the shallow residual circulation branch show a steady decrease of about −1 month/decade over the last 30 yr, while the transit times of the deep branch remain unchanged. This highlights that changes in the upwelling across the tropical tropopause are not sufficient as an indicator for changes in the entire Brewer-Dobson circulation.