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Concept: Weight


Background Obesity is a chronic disease with serious health consequences, but weight loss is difficult to maintain through lifestyle intervention alone. Liraglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue, has been shown to have potential benefit for weight management at a once-daily dose of 3.0 mg, injected subcutaneously. Methods We conducted a 56-week, double-blind trial involving 3731 patients who did not have type 2 diabetes and who had a body-mass index (BMI; the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) of at least 30 or a BMI of at least 27 if they had treated or untreated dyslipidemia or hypertension. We randomly assigned patients in a 2:1 ratio to receive once-daily subcutaneous injections of liraglutide at a dose of 3.0 mg (2487 patients) or placebo (1244 patients); both groups received counseling on lifestyle modification. The coprimary end points were the change in body weight and the proportions of patients losing at least 5% and more than 10% of their initial body weight. Results At baseline, the mean (±SD) age of the patients was 45.1±12.0 years, the mean weight was 106.2±21.4 kg, and the mean BMI was 38.3±6.4; a total of 78.5% of the patients were women and 61.2% had prediabetes. At week 56, patients in the liraglutide group had lost a mean of 8.4±7.3 kg of body weight, and those in the placebo group had lost a mean of 2.8±6.5 kg (a difference of -5.6 kg; 95% confidence interval, -6.0 to -5.1; P<0.001, with last-observation-carried-forward imputation). A total of 63.2% of the patients in the liraglutide group as compared with 27.1% in the placebo group lost at least 5% of their body weight (P<0.001), and 33.1% and 10.6%, respectively, lost more than 10% of their body weight (P<0.001). The most frequently reported adverse events with liraglutide were mild or moderate nausea and diarrhea. Serious events occurred in 6.2% of the patients in the liraglutide group and in 5.0% of the patients in the placebo group. Conclusions In this study, 3.0 mg of liraglutide, as an adjunct to diet and exercise, was associated with reduced body weight and improved metabolic control. (Funded by Novo Nordisk; SCALE Obesity and Prediabetes NN8022-1839 number, NCT01272219 .).

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Novo Nordisk, Kilogram, Weight, Body mass index, Clinical trial, Mass, Obesity


An object in outer space is weightless due to the absence of gravity, but astronauts can still judge whether one object is heavier than another one by accelerating the object. How heavy an object feels depends on the exploration mode: an object is perceived as heavier when holding it against the pull of gravity than when accelerating it. At the same time, perceiving an object’s size influences the percept: small objects feel heavier than large objects with the same mass (size-weight illusion). Does this effect depend on perception of the pull of gravity? To answer this question, objects were suspended from a long wire and participants were asked to push an object and rate its heaviness. This way the contribution of gravitational forces on the percept was minimised. Our results show that weight is not at all necessary for the illusion because the size-weight illusion occurred without perception of weight. The magnitude of the illusion was independent of whether inertial or gravitational forces were perceived. We conclude that the size-weight illusion does not depend on prior knowledge about weights of object, but instead on a more general knowledge about the mass of objects, independent of the contribution of gravity. Consequently, the size-weight illusion will have the same magnitude on Earth as it should have on the Moon or even under conditions of weightlessness.

Concepts: Gravitation, Weightlessness, Space, Weight, Cognition, Classical mechanics, General relativity, Force


Despite calls to incorporate population science into neuroimaging research, most studies recruit small, non-representative samples. Here, we examine whether sample composition influences age-related variation in global measurements of gray matter volume, thickness, and surface area. We apply sample weights to structural brain imaging data from a community-based sample of children aged 3-18 (N = 1162) to create a “weighted sample” that approximates the distribution of socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and sex in the U.S. Census. We compare associations between age and brain structure in this weighted sample to estimates from the original sample with no sample weights applied (i.e., unweighted). Compared to the unweighted sample, we observe earlier maturation of cortical and sub-cortical structures, and patterns of brain maturation that better reflect known developmental trajectories in the weighted sample. Our empirical demonstration of bias introduced by non-representative sampling in this neuroimaging cohort suggests that sample composition may influence understanding of fundamental neural processes.The influence of sample composition on human neuroimaging results is unknown. Here, the authors weight a large, community-based sample to better reflect the US population and describe how applying these sample weights changes conclusions about age-related variation in brain structure.

Concepts: Sociology, Science, Sampling, Neuroimaging, Structure, Weight, Scientific method, Brain


Obesity is a significant cause of functional limitations in older adults; yet, concerns that weight reduction could diminish muscle along with fat mass have impeded progress toward an intervention. Meal-based enhancement of protein intake could protect function and/or lean mass but has not been studied during geriatric obesity reduction.

Concepts: Kilogram, Weight, Glucose, Physical exercise, Mass, Metabolism, Nutrition, Adipose tissue


A 34-year-old obese male (96.8 kg; BMI, 30.2 kg m(-1)) volitionally undertook a 50-day fast with the stated goal of losing body mass. During this time, only tea, coffee, water, and a daily multivitamin were consumed. Severe and linear loss of body mass is recorded during these 50 days (final 75.4 kg; BMI, 23.5 kg m(-1)). A surprising resilience to effects of fasting on activity levels and physical function is noted. Plasma samples are suggestive of early impairment of liver function, and perturbations to cardiovascular dynamics are also noted. One month following resumption of feeding behavior, body weight was maintained (75.0 kg; BMI, 23.4 kg m(-1)). Evidence-based decision-making with the fasting or hunger striking patient is limited by a lack of evidence. This case report suggests that total body mass, not mass lost, may be a key observation in clinical decision-making during fasting and starvation.

Concepts: Body shape, Malnutrition, Weight, Obesity, Anorexia nervosa, Fasting, Body mass index, Mass


Integrated chemical and biological sensors give advantages in cost, size and weight reduction and open new prospects for parallel monitoring and analysis. Biosensors based on nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are the most attractive candidates for the integrated platform. However, actuation and transduction techniques (e.g. electrostatic, magnetomotive, thermal or piezoelectric) limit their operation to laboratory conditions. All-optical approach gives the possibility to overcome this problem, nevertheless, the existing schemes are either fundamentally macroscopic or excessively complicated and expensive in mass production. Here we propose a novel scheme of extremely compact NEMS biosensor monolithically integrated on a chip with all-nanophotonic transduction and actuation. It consists of the nanophotonic waveguide and the nanobeam cantilever placed above the waveguide, both fabricated in the same CMOS-compatible process. Being in the near field of the strongly confined photonic or plasmonic mode, cantilever is efficiently actuated and its response is directly read out using the same waveguide, which results in a very high sensitivity and capability of single-molecule detection even in atmosphere.

Concepts: Sensors, Nanotechnology, Microelectromechanical systems, Atomic force microscopy, Weight, Nanoelectronics, Surface plasmon resonance, Mass


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, Pain, Psychometrics, Weight, Evaluation, Scores


Achieving a body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) of less than 30 is an important goal of bariatric surgery, given the increased risk for weight-related morbidity and mortality with a BMI above this threshold.

Concepts: Division, Elementary arithmetic, International System of Units, Weight, Obesity, Kilogram, Body mass index, Mass


The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of a landmark technique for cannulation of the greater saphenous vein (GSV) near the medial malleolus. We performed bedside ultrasound in a convenience sample of 100 children, ages 3 to 16 years, to evaluate the anatomy of the GSV at the ankle. Despite the proposed constancy of the landmark technique regardless of patient age, the GSV location varied significantly with increasing patient age and weight. In children less than 10 years old or weighing less than 40 kg, the traditional landmark rarely predicted the precise location of the GSV.

Concepts: Medicine, Physician, Medical school, Mass, Kilogram, Weight, Great saphenous vein, Ankle


River water quality sampling frequency is an important aspect of the river water quality monitoring network. A suitable sampling frequency for each station as well as for the whole network will provide a measure of the real water quality status for the water quality managers as well as the decision makers. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is an effective method for decision analysis and calculation of weighting factors based on multiple criteria to solve complicated problems. This study introduces a new procedure to design river water quality sampling frequency by applying the AHP. We introduce and combine weighting factors of variables with the relative weights of stations to select the sampling frequency for each station, monthly and yearly. The new procedure was applied for Jingmei and Xindian rivers, Taipei, Taiwan. The results showed that sampling frequency should be increased at high weighted stations while decreased at low weighted stations. In addition, a detailed monitoring plan for each station and each month could be scheduled from the output results. Finally, the study showed that the AHP is a suitable method to design a system for sampling frequency as it could combine multiple weights and multiple levels for stations and variables to calculate a final weight for stations, variables, and months.

Concepts: Analytical hierarchy, Operations research, Algorithm, Arithmetical hierarchy, Decision theory, Decision making software, Weight, Analytic Hierarchy Process