# Bielefeld University

• Bielefeld, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany
Recent publications
Background Dispatching first responders (FR) to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in addition to the emergency medical service has shown to increase survival. The promising development of FR systems over the past years has been challenged by the outbreak of COVID-19. Whilst increased numbers and worse outcomes of cardiac arrests during the pandemic suggest a need for expansion of FR schemes, appropriate risk management is required to protect first responders and patients from contracting COVID-19. This study investigated how European FR schemes were affected by the pandemic and what measures were taken to protect patients and responders from COVID-19. Methods To identify FR schemes in Europe we conducted a literature search and a web search. The schemes were contacted and invited to answer an online questionnaire during the second wave of the pandemic (December 2020/ January 2021) in Europe. Results We have identified 135 FR schemes in 28 countries and included responses from 47 FR schemes in 16 countries. 25 schemes reported deactivation due to COVID-19 at some point, whilst 22 schemes continued to operate throughout the pandemic. 39 schemes communicated a pandemic-specific algorithm to their first responders. Before the COVID-19 outbreak 20 FR systems did not provide any personal protective equipment (PPE). After the outbreak 19 schemes still did not provide any PPE. The majority of schemes experienced falling numbers of accepted call outs and decreasing registrations of new volunteers. Six schemes reported of FR having contracted COVID-19 on a mission. Conclusions European FR schemes were considerably affected by the pandemic and exhibited a range of responses to protect patients and responders. Overall, FR schemes saw a decrease in activity, which was in stark contrast to the high demand caused by the increased incidence and mortality of OHCA during the pandemic. Given the important role FR play in the chain of survival, a balanced approach upholding the safety of patients and responders should be sought to keep FR schemes operational.
Background Timely antimicrobial treatment and source control are strongly recommended by sepsis guidelines, however, their impact on clinical outcomes is uncertain. Methods We performed a planned secondary analysis of a cluster-randomized trial conducted from July 2011 to May 2015 including forty German hospitals. All adult patients with sepsis treated in the participating ICUs were included. Primary exposures were timing of antimicrobial therapy and delay of surgical source control during the first 48 h after sepsis onset. Primary endpoint was 28-day mortality. Mixed models were used to investigate the effects of timing while adjusting for confounders. The linearity of the effect was investigated by fractional polynomials and by categorizing of timing. Results Analyses were based on 4792 patients receiving antimicrobial treatment and 1595 patients undergoing surgical source control. Fractional polynomial analysis identified a linear effect of timing of antimicrobials on 28-day mortality, which increased by 0.42% per hour delay (OR with 95% CI 1.019 [1.01, 1.028], p ≤ 0.001). This effect was significant in patients with and without shock (OR = 1.018 [1.008, 1.029] and 1.026 [1.01, 1.043], respectively). Using a categorized timing variable, there were no significant differences comparing treatment within 1 h versus 1–3 h, or 1 h versus 3–6 h. Delays of more than 6 h significantly increased mortality (OR = 1.41 [1.17, 1.69]). Delay in antimicrobials also increased risk of progression from severe sepsis to septic shock (OR per hour: 1.051 [1.022, 1.081], p ≤ 0.001). Time to surgical source control was significantly associated with decreased odds of successful source control (OR = 0.982 [0.971, 0.994], p = 0.003) and increased odds of death (OR = 1.011 [1.001, 1.021]; p = 0.03) in unadjusted analysis, but not when adjusted for confounders (OR = 0.991 [0.978, 1.005] and OR = 1.008 [0.997, 1.02], respectively). Only, among patients with septic shock delay of source control was significantly related to risk-of death (adjusted OR = 1.013 [1.001, 1.026], p = 0.04). Conclusions Our findings suggest that management of sepsis is time critical both for antimicrobial therapy and source control. Also patients, who are not yet in septic shock, profit from early anti-infective treatment since it can prevent further deterioration. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT01187134 ). Registered 23 August 2010, NCT01187134
PUNCH4NFDI (Particles, Universe, NuClei and Hadrons for the NFDI) aims at developing concepts and tools for the efficient management of digital research products in fundamental physics research. At the heart of the research products are scientific data sets that should be made interoperable and available to a broad scientific community and the public for a sustainable usage (“open data”). The first PUNCH4NFDI “Open Data Workshop” gave the opportunity for an initial survey of existing and planned open data initiatives within the PUNCH science field. The paper addresses the conceptual differences and commonalities of the participating communities presented in the workshop. Existing open data collections were presented and discussed. This is an inquiry into the community’s requirements for a better use of open data and in this context also of “Open Science”.
Background In severe cases, SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), often treated by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). During ECMO therapy, anticoagulation is crucial to prevent device-associated thrombosis and device failure, however, it is associated with bleeding complications. In COVID-19, additional pathologies, such as endotheliitis, may further increase the risk of bleeding complications. To assess the frequency of bleeding events, we analyzed data from the German COVID-19 autopsy registry (DeRegCOVID). Methods The electronic registry uses a web-based electronic case report form. In November 2021, the registry included N = 1129 confirmed COVID-19 autopsy cases, with data on 63 ECMO autopsy cases and 1066 non-ECMO autopsy cases, contributed from 29 German sites. Findings The registry data showed that ECMO was used in younger male patients and bleeding events occurred much more frequently in ECMO cases compared to non-ECMO cases (56% and 9%, respectively). Similarly, intracranial bleeding (ICB) was documented in 21% of ECMO cases and 3% of non-ECMO cases and was classified as the immediate or underlying cause of death in 78% of ECMO cases and 37% of non-ECMO cases. In ECMO cases, the three most common immediate causes of death were multi-organ failure, ARDS and ICB, and in non-ECMO cases ARDS, multi-organ failure and pulmonary bacterial ± fungal superinfection, ordered by descending frequency. Interpretation Our study suggests the potential value of autopsies and a joint interdisciplinary multicenter (national) approach in addressing fatal complications in COVID-19.
Comparative health economic evaluation is based on premise of being able to compare the worth of a year of life lived in full quality across different patients, population groups, settings and interventions. Given the rising numbers of forcibly displaced people, the nexus of economics, migration and health has emerged as a central theme in recent conceptual and empirical approaches. However, some of the assumptions made in conventional economic approaches do not hold true in the decision-making context of migration and the health of forcibly displaced populations. Using the experience of conducting and disseminating economic analyses to support decision-making on health screening policies for refugees in Germany, we show that in particular the assumptions of individual utility with no positive externalities, equity-blind utilitarian ethical stances and stable budgets are challenged. The further development of methods to address these challenges are required to support decision-makers in this contentious and politically fraught context and continue to make choices and decisions transparent.
Objective Patterns of cryopreservation of explanted skull bone flaps have long been a matter of debate, in particular the appropriate temperature of storage. To the best of our knowledge no study to date has compared the microbiological profile and the infection potential of skull bone flaps cryostored at the same institution at disparate degrees for neurosurgical purposes. In the context of our clinical trial DRKS00023283, we performed a bacterial culture of explanted skull bone flaps, which were cryopreserved lege artis at a temperature of either − 23 °C or − 80 °C after a decompressive hemicraniectomy. In a further step, we contaminated the bone fragments in a s uspension with specific pathogens ( S. aureus, S. epidermidis and C. acnes , Colony forming unit CFU 10 ³ /ml) over 24 h and conducted a second culture. Results A total of 17 cryopreserved skull flaps (8: − 23 °C; 9: − 80 °C) explanted during decompressive hemicraniectomies performed between 2019 and 2020 as well as 2 computer-aided-designed skulls (1 vancomycin-soaked) were analyzed. Median duration of cryopreservation was 10.5 months (2–17 months). No microorganisms were detected at the normal bacterial culture. After active contamination of our skull flaps, all samples showed similar bacterial growth of above-mentioned pathogens; thus, our study did not reveal an influence of the storage temperature upon infectious dynamic of the skulls.
Among the magnetic materials in technological usage, amorphous rare-earth transition metal (RE–TM) alloys are of great interest due to their adjustable magnetic properties and favorable perpendicular magnetic anisotropic (PMA) advantages. In this study, the properties of Tb25Fe61Co14 system with 2, 5, and 10 nm Pt underlayers have been systematically explored by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), temperature and magnetic field dependence of Hall resistivity, magnetoresistivity, and magneto-optic Kerr Effect (MOKE) measurements. According to the results, whole thin films are amorphous in nature and display an out-of-plane magnetic anisotropy without annealing. Increasing the Pt underlayer thickness helps the TbFeCo layer to reach significantly enhanced perpendicular magnetic anisotropic values and visualize the appearance of anomalous magnetoresistance in the Hall effect measurements. The thin films with 5 and 10 nm Pt underlayer has a ratio of remanence magnetization/saturation magnetization (MR/MS) of around 1, which is the out of plane direction of MOKE signal. Besides, the present study also includes some pieces of evidence that might be related to the Berry phase trend.
By studying parabolic equations in mixed-norm spaces, we prove the existence and uniqueness of strong solutions to stochastic differential equations driven by Brownian motion with coefficients in spaces with mixed-norm, which extends Krylov and Röckner’s result in Krylov (Probab. Theory Rel. Fields. 131(2)154–196, 2005) and Zhang’s result in Zhang (Electron. J. Probab. 16,1096–1116, 2011).
Feature embedding methods have been proposed in the literature to represent sequences as numeric vectors to be used in some bioinformatics investigations, such as family classification and protein structure prediction. Recent theoretical results showed that the well-known Lyndon factorization preserves common factors in overlapping strings [1]. Surprisingly, the fingerprint of a sequencing read, which is the sequence of lengths of consecutive factors in variants of the Lyndon factorization of the read, is effective in capturing sequence similarities, suggesting it as basis for the definition of novel representations of sequencing reads. We propose a novel feature embedding method for Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data using the notion of fingerprint. We provide a theoretical and experimental framework to estimate the behaviour of fingerprints and of the k-mers extracted from it, called k-fingers, as possible feature embeddings for sequencing reads. As a case study to assess the effectiveness of such embeddings, we use fingerprints to represent RNA-Seq reads in order to assign them to the most likely gene from which they originated as fragments of transcripts of the gene. We provide an implementation of the proposed method in the tool lyn2vec, which produces Lyndon-based feature embeddings of sequencing reads.
The important role of parenting is widely acknowledged, but as most studies have understood and examined it as a stable attribute (e.g., parenting style), the stability of and changes in parenting are less well understood. Using longitudinal person-oriented approaches (i.e., latent profile analyses and latent transition analyses), this study aimed to examine the stability of and changes in autonomy-related parenting profiles and their effects on adolescents’ academic and psychological development. Four autonomy-related dimensions (i.e., autonomy support, warmth, psychological control, conditional regard) were chosen to identify parenting profiles on the basis of Self-Determination Theory. Using five-year longitudinal data from 789 German secondary school students (50.06% female, Mage at T1 = 10.82 years, age span = 10–17), four autonomy-related parenting profiles were found: Supportive (~ 17%), Controlling (~ 31%), Unsupportive-Uncontrolling (~ 17%), and Limited Supportive (~ 35%). The results suggest that the Supportive profile contributes to adolescents’ positive academic and psychological development, whereas the Controlling profile, which thwarts autonomy development, exacerbates the development of psychopathology, and impairs academic achievement. More importantly, the Limited Supportive profile is as maladaptive as the Unsupportive-Uncontrolling profile. Regarding parenting profiles’ stability and changes, the results showed that about half of each profile stayed in the same group. Overall, it could be observed that parents became more supportive and less controlling over time. However, the findings also indicate that parenting profiles are less stable than expected and can still change during early-to-mid adolescence.
Given a subset D of the Euclidean space, we study nonlocal quadratic forms that take into account tuples (x,y)∈D×D\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$(x,y) \in D \times D$$\end{document} if and only if the line segment between x and y is contained in D. We discuss regularity of the corresponding Dirichlet form leading to the existence of a jump process with visibility constraint. Our main aim is to investigate corresponding Poincaré inequalities and their scaling properties. For dumbbell shaped domains we show that the forms satisfy a Poincaré inequality with diffusive scaling. This relates to the rate of convergence of eigenvalues in singularly perturbed domains.
Purpose of Review This study assesses the current state of knowledge of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), which are malignancies arising from the orifices and adjacent mucosae of the aerodigestive tracts. These contiguous anatomical areas are unique in that 2 important human oncoviruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), are causally associated with nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal cancers, respectively. Mortality rates have remained high over the last 4 decades, and insufficient attention paid to the unique viral and clinical oncology of the different subgroups of HNSCC. Recent Findings We have compared and contrasted the 2 double-stranded DNA viruses and the relevant molecular oncogenesis of their respective cancers against other head and neck cancers. Tobacco and alcohol ingestion are also reviewed, as regard the genetic progression/mutation accumulation model of carcinogenesis. The importance of stringent stratification when searching for cancer mutations and biomarkers is discussed. Evidence is presented for a dysplastic/pre-invasive cancerous phase for HPV+ oropharyngeal cancers, and analogous with other HPV+ cancers. This raises the possibility of strategies for cancer screening as early diagnosis will undoubtedly save lives. Summary Staging and prognostication have changed to take into account the distinct biological and prognostic pathways for viral+ and viral− cancers. Diagnosis of pre-cancers and early stage cancers will reduce mortality rates. Multi-modal treatment options for HNSCC are reviewed, especially recent developments with immunotherapies and precision medicine strategies. Knowledge integration of the viral and molecular oncogenic pathways with sound planning, hypothesis generation, and clinical trials will continue to provide therapeutic options in the future.
We consider stochastic wave map equation on real line with solutions taking values in a d-dimensional compact Riemannian manifold. We show first that this equation has unique, global, strong in PDE sense, solution in local Sobolev spaces. The main result of the paper is a proof of the Large Deviations Principle for solutions in the case of vanishing noise.
Cyanobacteria periodically dominate phytoplankton composition in lakes, and produce a wide array of toxic secondary metabolites. Blooms of cyanobacteria often coincide with infections of zooplankton by microparasites (such as Metschnikowia bicuspidata , a parasitic yeast of Daphnia ), and prior research has shown that cyanobacteria-based diets could mitigate fungal infections of the host. Here, we tested whether cyanotoxins could exert detrimental effects against free-living parasite stages: we inoculated two genotypes of the host Daphnia galeata × longispina with fungal spores, which were previously exposed to cyanobacterial extracts or to a placebo solution. Additionally, to test for interactive effects of cyanotoxins through environmental exposure and host consumption, Daphnia from each treatment were fed using either green algae or the same cyanobacterium. Exposing spores to cyanobacterial extracts did not reduce their infectivity; instead, parasite infectivity was increased, but only on one host genotype. The effect of host diet on parasite growth was also host-genotype dependent, with only one Daphnia genotype showing impaired spore production under a toxic diet. Our results suggest that dissolved cyanobacterial compounds released during blooms may not exert any detrimental effect on fungal spore banks, but likely influence transmission of the parasite when incorporated as part of the host’s diet.
Ripe figs, barks, and wood of Ficus vallis-choudae are used in traditional medicine against several conditions including nausea and malaria. However, its use is still to be scientifically documented and validated. Hence, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the antiplasmodial activity of the dichloromethane-methanol (DCM-MeOH (1:1)) crude extract, their hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, and methanoli fractions, as well as the isolated chemical constituents. The chemical study of the DCM-MeOH (1:1) crude extract of F. vallis-choudae figs led to the isolation of fifteen (15) known compounds identified based on their spectroscopic data [one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry] and by comparison of these data with those reported in the literature. Some of the isolated compounds were assessed in vitro for their antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine-sensitive 3D7 (Pf3D7) and multidrug-resistant Dd2 strains. The dichloromethane fraction exhibited very good antiplasmodial activity against both strains with IC50 values of 13.86 μg/mL and 8.18 μg/mL, respectively. Among the tested compounds, wighteone (2) was the most active against P. falciparum 3D7 (IC50 = 24.6 ± 1.5 μM) and Dd2 (IC50 = 11.9 ± 2.4 μM) strains. The obtained results could justify the traditional uses of F. vallis-choudae against malaria. Wighteone appears to be the most active ingredient. However, further consideration of this compound as starting point for antimalarial drug discovery will depend upon its selectivity of action towards Plasmodium parasites. Highlights • 15 (fifteen) compounds were isolated from the dichloromethane-methanol extract of Ficus vallis-choudae. • Their structures were determined on the basis of their spectroscopic data. • The dichloromethane fraction showed promising activities on the Pf3D7 and PfDd2 strains with IC50 values of 13.86 and 8.18 µg/mL, respectively. • Wighteone was the most active compound against PfDd2 (IC50 = 11.9 ± 2.4 μM). Graphical abstract
Parametric interpolation has been widely used in robot control because of its advantages over traditional linear or circular interpolation. The NURBS interpolation based on S-shaped feedrate scheduling can realize the smooth continuous motion of robots, but it also faces two challenges. One challenge is that when the NURBS curve is split into multiple blocks, if one or more blocks are too short, the final feedrate profile is often discontinuous. The other challenge is that the NURBS curve cannot be obtained entirely due to calculation errors. In this paper, a high-precision NURBS interpolator based on S-shaped feedrate scheduling is proposed. In this interpolator, a bidirectional velocity scanning scheme is developed to effectively handle the too short split blocks of the NURBS curve. Meanwhile, an optimization algorithm is proposed to ensure the precision of NURBS curves. The feasibility and advantages of the proposed method are verified through case studies.
A growing body of literature suggests that over the past 30 years, policies aimed at tackling harassment in academia have had little discernable effect. How can this impasse be overcome to make the higher education sector a safe space for everyone? We combine the areas of harassment and inequality, intersectionality, policy-practice gaps, gender sensitive medicine, as well as corruption and whistleblower processes to identify lacunae and offer recommendations for how to apply our recommendations in practice. We have been searching the most influential, relevant, and recent literature on harassment and inequality in our respective fields of expertise. By studying conceptual overlaps between the different fields, we were able to create insights that go beyond the insights of the most recent reviews. Our synthesis results in three concrete recommendations. First, harassment and inequality are mutually reinforcing. Failure to adequately tackle harassment contributes to perpetuating and reproducing inequality. Further, the intersectional nature of inequality has to be acknowledged and acted upon. Second, enforcing anti-harassment policies should be a top priority for universities, funders, and policymakers. Third, sexual harassment should be treated as institutional-level integrity failure. The higher education sector should now focus on enforcing existing anti-harassment policies by holding universities accountable for their effective implementation - or risk being complicit in maintaining and reproducing inequality. Funding We have received no funding for this research.
Background and objectives: In health promotion and prevention, digital applications, especially for behavioral changes, are being increasingly researched and applied. The aim of this study was to investigate possible uses of digital applications in the context of structurally oriented interventions in these settings. Methods: This is a supplementary analysis of the results of a scoping review. Eight scientific databases were searched for digital structural primary prevention and health promotion in settings from 2010-2020. Results: A total of 34 articles were included. Digital applications were found to be used only marginally for structural change in health promoting settings. They served as tools for project management, networking, problem identification, consensus building or participation. Participatory methods and projects were used, as well as tools such as labeling, placement, prompting, incentives, nudges, and political strategies. Conclusions: More evidence is needed on how digital applications can be used to change structures in health promoting settings. Public health or sociological methods and theories can play a supporting role. The interdisciplinary and participatory development and implementation of health promoting technologies is of high relevance.
Objectives: To collate the experiences of involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in academic public health teaching to inform future public health education models involving people affected by long-term effects of other pandemics. Our goal is to describe interventions in a way that makes them accessible to potential public health teachers hoping to adapt patient involvement paradigms in their teaching of chronic illness brought on by infectious diseases. Methods: Narrative review based on a literature search in PubMed and Google Scholar up to September 2021. Fifteen articles that contained a description of a health educational intervention on HIV/AIDS that actively involved PLWHA were included. Results: Interventions either involved PLWHA as teachers and program/curriculum developers or incorporated experiential elements in which students have genuine contact with PLWHA. Creating safe spaces, recognizing PLWHA as experts, relating to each other differently were common transformative elements. Conclusion: Involving PLWHA in public health teaching have transformative and empowering outcomes, both for PLWHA and for learners. This finding should inform new teaching programs that will address the long-term effects of other pandemics such as COVID-19.
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