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A survey of big data research

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 10:15am

Big data create values for business and research, but pose significant challenges in terms of networking, storage, management, analytics, and ethics. Multidisciplinary collaborations from engineers, computer scientists, statisticians, and social scientists are needed to tackle, discover, and understand big data. This survey presents an overview of big data initiatives, technologies, and research in industries and academia, and discusses challenges and potential solutions.

Targeting and Customizing Research Data Management Services (RDM)

Tue, 10/20/2015 - 1:29pm

Designing library services is not new to our field. Service design done right is both challenging and rewarding. In this issue of the Journal of eScience Librarianship, librarians across the country write about the importance of providing a solid Research Data Management (RDM) Service, coupled with targeting institutional partners and solid education practices.

Not just full of hot air: hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases survival in cases of necrotizing soft tissue infections.

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 10:44am

BACKGROUND: The utility of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the treatment of necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTIs) has not been proved. Previous studies have been subject to substantial selection bias because HBOT is not available universally at all medical centers, and there is often considerable delay associated with its initiation. We examined the utility of HBOT for the treatment of NSTI in the modern era by isolating centers that have their own HBOT facilities.

METHODS: We queried all centers in the University Health Consortium (UHC) database from 2008 to 2010 that have their own HBOT facilities (n=14). Cases of NSTI were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) diagnosis codes, which included Fournier gangrene (608.83), necrotizing fasciitis (728.86), and gas gangrene (040.0). Status of HBOT was identified by the presence (HBOT) or absence (control) of ICD-9 procedure code 93.95. Our cohort was risk-stratified and matched by UHC's validated severity of illness (SOI) score. Comparisons were then made using univariate tests of association and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: There were 1,583 NSTI cases at the 14 HBOT-capable centers. 117 (7%) cases were treated with HBOT. Univariate analysis showed that there was no difference between HBOT and control groups in hospital length of stay, direct cost, complications, and mortality across the three less severe SOI classes (minor, moderate, and major). However, for extreme SOI the HBOT group had fewer complications (45% vs. 66%; p

CONCLUSION: At HBOT-capable centers, receiving HBOT was associated with a significant survival benefit. Use of HBOT in conjunction with current practices for the treatment of NSTI can be both a cost-effective and life-saving therapy, in particular for the sickest patients.

Plasma microRNAs are associated with atrial fibrillation and change after catheter ablation (the miRhythm study)

Mon, 10/19/2015 - 10:19am

BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are associated with cardiovascular disease and control gene expression and are detectable in the circulation.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that circulating miRNAs may be associated with atrial fibrillation (AF).

METHODS: Using a prospective study design powered to detect subtle differences in miRNAs, we quantified plasma expression of 86 miRNAs by high-throughput quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in 112 participants with AF and 99 without AF. To examine parallels between cardiac and plasma miRNA profiles, we quantified atrial tissue and plasma miRNA expression using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in 31 participants undergoing surgery. We also explored the hypothesis that lower AF burden after ablation would be reflected in the circulating blood pool by examining change in plasma miRNAs after AF ablation (n = 47).

RESULTS: Mean age of the cohort was 59 years; 58% of participants were men. Plasma miRs-21 and 150 were 2-fold lower in participants with AF than in those without AF after adjustment (P ≤.0006). Plasma levels of miRs-21 and 150 also were lower in participants with paroxysmal AF than in those with persistent AF (P

CONCLUSION: Cardiac miRs-21 and 150 are known to regulate genes implicated in atrial remodeling. Our findings show associations between plasma miRs-21 and 150 and AF, suggesting that circulating miRNAs can provide insights into cardiac gene regulation.