Semiautomated preparation of 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol in human urine using a Zymate XP laboratory robot with quantitative determination by gas chromatography-negative-ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry. (1/1601)

A rapid and sensitive semiautomated method was developed for quantitation of the chlorpyrifos metabolite 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCP) in human urine. A Zymark Zymate XP laboratory robotics system was used to mix urine samples, transfer aliquots, add the stable-isotope-labeled TCP internal standard (13C2- or 13C2,15N-), and liberate conjugates of TCP from urine via acid hydrolysis. Samples were manually extracted into toluene, derivatized, and analyzed by gas chromatography-negative-ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Determination of the metabolic TCP was performed by selected ion monitoring of the dichloropyridinol fragment ions: m/z 161 for TCP and m/z 165 for 13C2-TCP or m/z 168 for 13C2,15N-TCP. Interday precision and accuracy were demonstrated over 3 years of analyses using the 13C2-TCP internal standard, with an average recovery from fortified urine samples of 93+/-12% (N = 54, concentration range 1-140 ng/mL). The method was found to be linear over the range of 0.5 to 200 ng/mL, and the limit of detection for TCP in urine was estimated to be 0.2 ng/mL with a limit of quantitation of 1 ng/mL. The effect of solids distribution on the concentration of TCP in the thawed urine samples was examined, and the results indicated that homogeneous distribution is critical for quantitation. The precision and accuracy of the automated method with respect to the transfer of homgeneous urine aliquots and delivery of internal standard yielded equivalent or improved results over the manual techniques. Overall, this method is more simple than existing methodologies, and it yields results with improved precision, accuracy, and sensitivity over previously developed methods.  (+info)

Quantization of continuous arm movements in humans with brain injury. (2/1601)

Segmentation of apparently continuous movement has been reported for over a century by human movement researchers, but the existence of primitive submovements has never been proved. In 20 patients recovering from a single cerebral vascular accident (stroke), we identified the apparent submovements that composed a continuous arm motion in an unloaded task. Kinematic analysis demonstrated a submovement speed profile that was invariant across patients with different brain lesions and provided experimental verification of the detailed shape of primitive submovements. The submovement shape was unaffected by its peak speed, and to test further the invariance of shape with speed, we analyzed movement behavior in a patient with myoclonus. This patient occasionally made involuntary shock-like arm movements, which occurred near the maximum capacity of the neuromuscular system, exhibited speed profiles that were comparable to those identified in stroke patients, and were also independent of speed.  (+info)

Gardenification of tropical conserved wildlands: multitasking, multicropping, and multiusers. (3/1601)

Tropical wildlands and their biodiversity will survive in perpetuity only through their integration into human society. One protocol for integration is to explicitly recognize conserved tropical wildlands as wildland gardens. A major way to facilitate the generation of goods and services by a wildland garden is to generate a public-domain Yellow Pages for its organisms. Such a Yellow Pages is part and parcel of high-quality search-and-delivery from wildland gardens. And, as they and their organisms become better understood, they become higher quality biodiversity storage devices than are large freezers. One obstacle to wildland garden survival is that specific goods and services, such as biodiversity prospecting, lack development protocols that automatically shunt the profits back to the source. Other obstacles are that environmental services contracts have the unappealing trait of asking for the payment of environmental credit card bills and implying delegation of centralized governmental authority to decentralized social structures. Many of the potential conflicts associated with wildland gardens may be reduced by recognizing two sets of social rules for perpetuating biodiversity and ecosystems, one set for the wildland garden and one set for the agroscape. In the former, maintaining wildland biodiversity and ecosystem survival in perpetuity through minimally damaging use is paramount, while in the agroscape, wild biodiversity and ecosystems are tools for a healthy and productive agroecosystem, and the loss of much of the original is acceptable.  (+info)

Migration from hierarchal storage management to ASM storage server: a case study. (4/1601)

The Department of Radiology at the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics had to make a change from its current hierarchical storage management (HSM) system. The HSM software is the heart of any near-line data storage system and any change in this software affects all near-line and on-line data storage. In this case, over a terabyte of data had been migrated in more than 2 million files. The traditional method of reading in the old data and then writing it out to the new system was calculated to take more than 60 years. Here, we will examine the reasons for making such a radical change in the HSM used. We will also discuss why ASM (the new HSM software) was selected, and the performance improvements seen. A second, less difficult transition was made a few months later, of upgrading to a newer faster tape technology. The two types of tapes were incompatible, but the storage software and robotics used allowed for a peaceful coexistence during the transition. The transition from HSM to ASM was not a trivial task. It required a reasonable implementation/migration plan, which involved finding the correct resources and thinking outside the norm for solutions. All sites that have any amount of data stored in near-line devices will face similar conversions. This presentation should help in the event that a data conversion plan is not already in place.  (+info)

Injury and reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and knee osteoarthritis. (5/1601)

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to study injury and reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and their effects on knee osteoarthritis. DESIGN: This manuscript discusses the function of knee ligaments, including the basic mechanical properties, the structural properties of their respective bone-ligament-bone complexes, as well as their time- and history-dependent viscoelastic characteristics. The in-situ forces in the ACL and its replacement grafts and knee kinematics before and after ACL reconstruction are also examined. RESULTS: A robotic/universal force-moment sensor (UFS) testing system has been developed which offers a unique method in determining the multiple-degree of freedom knee kinematics and in-situ forces in human cadaveric knees. Under a 110 N anterior tibial load we found at flexion angles of 15 degrees or lower, there was a significantly larger in-situ force in the PL bundle (approximately 75 N) of the ACL as compared to the AM bundle (approximately 35 N)(P < 0.05). We also found that a quadruple semitendinosus and gracilis tendon ACL graft may be better at fully restoring in-situ forces for the whole range of knee flexion when compared to a bone-patellar tendon-bone ACL graft. CONCLUSIONS: The robotic/UFS testing system allows us to determine knee kinematics and the in-situ forces in cadaveric knees in a non-invasive, non-contact manner. Additionally, the ability to reproduce kinematics during testing allows us to evaluate ACL and ACL graft function under external and simulated muscle loading conditions. Finally, we can also examine many of the variables of ACL reconstructions that affect knee kinematics and graft forces including graft tensioning, graft type, graft placement and tibial positioning during graft fixation.  (+info)

Wing rotation and the aerodynamic basis of insect flight. (6/1601)

The enhanced aerodynamic performance of insects results from an interaction of three distinct yet interactive mechanisms: delayed stall, rotational circulation, and wake capture. Delayed stall functions during the translational portions of the stroke, when the wings sweep through the air with a large angle of attack. In contrast, rotational circulation and wake capture generate aerodynamic forces during stroke reversals, when the wings rapidly rotate and change direction. In addition to contributing to the lift required to keep an insect aloft, these two rotational mechanisms provide a potent means by which the animal can modulate the direction and magnitude of flight forces during steering maneuvers. A comprehensive theory incorporating both translational and rotational mechanisms may explain the diverse patterns of wing motion displayed by different species of insects.  (+info)

Voice-controlled robotic arm in laparoscopic surgery. (7/1601)

AIM: To report on our experience with a voice-directed robotic arm for scope management in different procedures for "solo-surgery" and in complex laparoscopic operations. METHODS: A chip card with orders for the robotic arm is individually manufactured for every user. A surgeon gives order through a microphone and the optic field is thus under direct command of the surgeon. RESULTS: We analyzed 200 cases of laparoscopic procedures (gallbladder, stomach, colon, and hernia repair) done with the robotic arm. In each procedure the robotic arm worked precisely; voice understanding was exact and functioned flawlessly. A hundred "solo-surgery" operations were performed by a single surgeon. Another 96 complex videoscopic procedures were performed by a surgeon and one assistant. In comparison to other surgical procedures, operative time was not prolonged, and the number of used ports remained unchanged. CONCLUSION: Using the robotic arm in some procedures abolishes the need for assist ance. Further benefit accrued by the use of robotic assistance includes greater stability of view, less inadvertent smearing of the lens, and the absence of fatigue. The robotic arm can be used successfully in every operating theater by all surgeons using laparoscopy.  (+info)

Predictive motor learning of temporal delays. (8/1601)

Anticipatory responses can minimize the disturbances that result from the action of one part of the body on another. Such a predictive response is evident in the anticipatory increase in grip force seen when one hand pulls on an object held in the other hand, thereby preventing the object from slipping. It is postulated that such a response depends on predicting the consequences of the descending motor command, as signaled by efference copy, using an internal model of both one's own body and the object. Here we investigate how the internal model learns the temporal consequences of the motor command. We employed two robots to simulate a virtual object held in one hand and acted on by the other. Delays were introduced between the action of one hand on the object and the effects of this action on the other hand. An initial reactive grip force response to the delayed load decayed with the development of appropriate anticipatory grip force modulation. However, no predictive modulation was seen when the object's movement was not generated by the subject, even when the motion was cued by a tone. These results suggest that, when an internal model learns new temporal relationships between actions and their consequences, this learning involves generating a novel response rather than adapting the original predictive response.  (+info)