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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Pregnancy In Zoo-Managed African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana): Investigating Possible Hormonal And Metabolic Indicators Of Successful And Unsuccessful Pregnancies., Chelsi Marolf Mar 2019

Pregnancy In Zoo-Managed African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana): Investigating Possible Hormonal And Metabolic Indicators Of Successful And Unsuccessful Pregnancies., Chelsi Marolf

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Female African elephants (Loxodanta africana) in zoos in the United States currently have high rates of ovarian acyclicity and if they do become pregnant, the calf is often lost before or during birth. This issue likely stems from various metabolic and reproductive factors, including obesity, advanced age, and stress. While this is a complicated problem, analyzing certain hormones related to reproduction and nutrition in elephants might reveal biological indicators for successful and unsuccessful pregnancies in African elephants. The goal of this study is to create a range of hormone levels throughout a typical successful pregnancy, and to compare these data ...


Walking Adaptations To An Ankle Foot Orthosis In Individuals With Peripheral Artery Disease, Todd Leutzinger, Iraklis Pipinos, Jason Johanning, Mahdi Hassan, Holly Despiegelaere, Mukul Mukherjee, Sara Myers Mar 2019

Walking Adaptations To An Ankle Foot Orthosis In Individuals With Peripheral Artery Disease, Todd Leutzinger, Iraklis Pipinos, Jason Johanning, Mahdi Hassan, Holly Despiegelaere, Mukul Mukherjee, Sara Myers

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Single Session Walking Adaptations to an Ankle Foot Orthosis in Patients with Claudication and Peripheral Artery Disease

Todd Leutzinger1, 2, Iraklis Pipinos2, 3, Jason Johanning2, 3, Mukul Mukherjee1, Sara Myers1, 2

1Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE USA

2Nebraska and Western Iowa Veterans Affairs’ Medical Center, Omaha, NE USA

3Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE USA

Email: tleutzinger@unomaha.edu

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is an atherosclerotic disease affecting the arteries of the lower extremities [1]. The primary symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication ...


The Effects Of Stiffness Of A Prosthetic Shock-Absorbing Pylon On Mechanical Work During Walking, Jenny Anne Maun Mar 2019

The Effects Of Stiffness Of A Prosthetic Shock-Absorbing Pylon On Mechanical Work During Walking, Jenny Anne Maun

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Name: Jenny Anne Maun

Title: The effects of stiffness of a prosthetic shock-absorbing pylon on mechanical work during walking

Degree: Masters

Faculty Advisor: Kota Z. Takahashi, PhD

Co-authors: Steven A. Gard, PhD; Matthew J. Major, PhD

A prosthetic shock-absorbing pylon (SAP) is intended to attenuate impact forces, provide comfort, and reduce residual limb pain for prosthesis users. However, the effect of an SAP and its spring stiffness on the mechanical work done by the prosthetic limb during walking remains unclear. The purpose of this study: to investigate the effects of SAP spring stiffness and walking speed on the mechanical work ...


How Prosthetic Ankle Stiffness & Load Carriage Affect Metabolic Energy Expenditure During Walking, Erica A. Hedrick, Philippe Malcolm, Jason M. Wilken, Kota Z. Takahashi Mar 2019

How Prosthetic Ankle Stiffness & Load Carriage Affect Metabolic Energy Expenditure During Walking, Erica A. Hedrick, Philippe Malcolm, Jason M. Wilken, Kota Z. Takahashi

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

The ankle structures play a key role in body support, forward propulsion and leg swing. One important property of the human ankle is its ‘quasi-stiffness’, or resistance to angular motion. The ankle joint stiffness can play a role in aiding the lower leg as its rocks over the foot. Human biological ankle stiffness changes in response to changes in the mechanical demands of walking (e.g. added load or changes in speed), using active muscle contractions. However, the role of ankle stiffness in regulating metabolic energy across walking conditions is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine ...


Isolating And Characterizing Novel Bacteriophages From Freshwater Samples, Mackenzie Conrin, Avery Misfeldt Mar 2019

Isolating And Characterizing Novel Bacteriophages From Freshwater Samples, Mackenzie Conrin, Avery Misfeldt

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Bacteria are responsible for many Healthcare-Associated infections each year and are evolving to become multidrug resistant (MDR). Bacteriophages, also called phages, are naturally occurring bacterial viruses. These phages infect and kill their bacterial hosts. It is estimated that there are 10 different phages, per bacterium. This makes phages the most abundant entity in the biosphere. Isolating and characterizing these naturally occurring bacterial killers offers the potential for strain specific treatment of MDR infections. Such treatments, coined Phage Therapy, can be used in the fight against evolving bacterial infections. Pseudomonads are a classification of bacteria that infect a variety of plants ...


Effect Of Dual-Task Walking On Long-Range Correlations In People With Parkinson's Disease, Shane Meltz Mar 2019

Effect Of Dual-Task Walking On Long-Range Correlations In People With Parkinson's Disease, Shane Meltz

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) causes gait to be more variable and more random. Gait variability is related to disease severity, and may be a marker of fall risks. Gait in PD is attention-dependent, meaning a distraction while walking could be detrimental. The effects of dual-task walking on gait variability in PD are unclear (in particular fractal fluctuations). This study will determine if dual-task walking impacts stride-to-stride variability compared to normal walking in people with Parkinson’s Disease. We predict that dual-tasking will lead to more random stride-to-stride variability in people with PD, compared to controls. Also, within the PD group ...


How The Foot Modulates Its Mechanics During Uphill And Downhill Walking, Jeffrey M. Patterson, Kota Z. Takahashi Mar 2019

How The Foot Modulates Its Mechanics During Uphill And Downhill Walking, Jeffrey M. Patterson, Kota Z. Takahashi

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

The foot's biomechanical role in walking on sloped surfaces is currently unclear. While previous biomechanics studies have examined the hip, knee, and ankle, the foot is oversimplified as a rigid-body segment. This oversimplification overshadows its complex structure and function. In this project, we use an innovative multi-segment foot model to explore how the foot adapts its mechanics to incline and decline walking. Preliminary results have revealed that the foot is capable of adapting its mechanical work profile to both incline and decline walking. Specifically, the foot can increase its positive work output (i.e., increased energy generation) during inclined ...


Taxonomic Classification Of Diplazium Molokaiense, A Fern Endemic To Hawaii, Using Molecular And Morphological Characters, Sarah Jaksich Mar 2019

Taxonomic Classification Of Diplazium Molokaiense, A Fern Endemic To Hawaii, Using Molecular And Morphological Characters, Sarah Jaksich

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Diplazium molokaiense is an endangered fern species endemic to Hawaii. There are only an estimated 61 individuals left in the wild. Taxonomic classification of this species is an important element to its conservation. Using the following morphological characters: sori size and shape, scale size and shape, and frond shape, D. molokaiense was preliminarily placed into the Diplazium genus. Six regions (rbcL, matK, atpA, atpB, trnLF, and rps4-trnS) of the chloroplast genome were amplified and sequenced using Sanger-sequencing. Sequences for outgroup taxa and 20 Diplazium species were downloaded from GenBank and used to infer a phylogeny. Our data provide evidence for ...


Neural Mechanisms Underlying Sensorimotor Synchronization With Different Forms Of Rhythms, Ryan Meidinger, Vivien Marmelat Mar 2019

Neural Mechanisms Underlying Sensorimotor Synchronization With Different Forms Of Rhythms, Ryan Meidinger, Vivien Marmelat

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Introduction: Neural activity exhibits non-periodic rhythm [2] but it is unknown if neural activity synchronizes with non-periodic, as it does with periodic rhythms [1]. The purpose of this research is to determine the neural mechanisms present leading to synchronized finger tapping to varying rhythms. Methods: Twenty young healthy adults will be recruited to participate in the present study (see Figure 1 for the protocol). Electroencephalography (EEG) will be used to measure the amplitude (AE) and beats for interbeat intervals (IBIs), and a pressure sensor will be used to measure intertap intervals (ITIs). The AE will be assessed for activity spike ...


Effects Of Environmental Temperature On Aerobic Training Adaptations, Katherine Marshall Mar 2019

Effects Of Environmental Temperature On Aerobic Training Adaptations, Katherine Marshall

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

BACKGROUND: Previously we have demonstrated acute effects of endurance exercise in different environmental temperatures. However, training within these temperatures has not been examined. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of exercise training in different environmental temperatures on aerobic capacity, body composition, heart rate, sweat rate, core, and skin temperature. METHODS: Thirty-six recreationally trained males made 18 visits to the lab and performed a 3-week cycling training protocol in either a 7°C, 20°C, or 33°C environment. Aerobic capacity, body composition, heart rate, sweat rate, core, and skin temperature were measured before and after the ...


Meta-Analysis Of Characteristics In Upper Missouri River Fishes: Prediction Of Invasiveness, Steph Purcell Mar 2019

Meta-Analysis Of Characteristics In Upper Missouri River Fishes: Prediction Of Invasiveness, Steph Purcell

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Invasive species are often considered a global threat due to their association with biodiversity loss and novel diseases. The Missouri-Mississippi River Watershed, including the Missouri River Basin, is particularly vulnerable to invasive species because of low species diversity following historic glaciation events. Management of invasive species is imperative in this watershed but continues to be challenging in that there are over 100 invasive species currently present in this region. The goal of this project is to identify characteristics associated with successful invasions that may assist in developing management strategies to reduce the negative outcomes caused by the establishment of invasive ...


The Intersection Of Neuroscience And Art, Matilde Mendes Pinto Mar 2019

The Intersection Of Neuroscience And Art, Matilde Mendes Pinto

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

The Interaction of Neuroscience and Art will give you an insight into how they interact with each other by analyzing visual art, musical art and theatrical art.


A Compartmental Network Model For The Spread Of Whooping Cough, Kimia Ameri Mar 2019

A Compartmental Network Model For The Spread Of Whooping Cough, Kimia Ameri

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Outbreaks of pertussis have increased over the past few years, drawing the attention of health care providers. Understanding the transmission mechanisms of contagious disease is critically important, but depends on many intricate factors including pathogen and host environment, exposed population, and their activities. In this work, we try to improve upon the prediction model for the exposed population. The number of whooping cough reported cases in Nebraska between 2000-2017 was gathered. The standard SEIR model is used to predict the infected numbers. The results show that the Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model prediction for the number of infected individuals is much higher ...


Effects Of Chronic Ethanol Exposure On Stress Coping Style And Genetic States Of Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Alexander Goodman Mar 2019

Effects Of Chronic Ethanol Exposure On Stress Coping Style And Genetic States Of Zebrafish (Danio Rerio), Alexander Goodman

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Neurotransmitter systems are important in regulating the stress response. If a behavioral response is disproportional to a stressor it is characterized as anxiety-like behavior. Many anxiolytic compounds, such as ethanol, increase stressor engagement, but how these compounds interact with an organism on a neurogenetic level is less understood. In this study, I assessed the impact of chronic ethanol treatment on behavior and gene expression of GABAAreceptors subunits on two strains of zebrafish. Each strain was selectively bred to display the proactive or reactive stress coping style where proactive individuals will actively engage a stressor more than reactive individuals ...


Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis In Response To Exercise And Cold Exposure, Camille Larson Mar 2019

Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Biogenesis In Response To Exercise And Cold Exposure, Camille Larson

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

BACKGROUND: Aerobic exercise triggers mitochondrial biogenesis, the generation of new mitochondria, by ATP depletion and subsequent activation of the AMPK signaling pathway. This leads to enhanced expression of PGC-1α, a positive regulator of respiration, mitochondrial biogenesis, and adaptive thermogenesis. Previous research from our lab has shown that exercise followed by cold recovery enhances the transcription of genes associated with mitochondrial growth and division, however the recovery period was necessary for this response. Perhaps exercising in a colder external environment would induce a greater thermoregulatory response and gradient between ambient skin and core temperature that may lead to altered mitochondrial turnover ...


Visual Contributions To Balance Control During Gait, Kyle Brozek Mar 2019

Visual Contributions To Balance Control During Gait, Kyle Brozek

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

We propose to isolate the contributions of continuous OF to the orthogonal relationship between balance and gait control during treadmill walking using a series of conditions. Manipulating the direction of OF using a CAREN (Motek Medical, Amsterdam, Netherlands) virtual reality treadmill environment will isolate these visual contributions in human subjects as they walk. We plan to tease out the effect of OF direction on the relationship between gait and balance control by having healthy young adults perform a series of treadmill walking trials while immersed in a VR environment. This will be done by manipulating the direction of walking and ...


Effect Of Handrail Use During Stair Climbing In Oa Patients: A Pilot Study, Jenna Ackerman Mar 2019

Effect Of Handrail Use During Stair Climbing In Oa Patients: A Pilot Study, Jenna Ackerman

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Introduction: For the patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, stairs are commonly a difficult task and may be the first thing affect by osteoarthritis.1 This population often employs altered strategies when they approach, ascend, and descend the stairs compared to a healthy population. Within 12 years, 80% of patients develop knee osteoarthritis in the contralateral limb.2 Handrails play an important role by assisting with balance, control, and confidence, but their use needs to be assessed even further to fully understand how handrails impact the contralateral limb in osteoarthritic patients and how they may be integrated optimally into gait ...


Impacts Of Exercise And Environmental Temperature On Mitochondrial Quantity And Quality, Halee Keller Mar 2019

Impacts Of Exercise And Environmental Temperature On Mitochondrial Quantity And Quality, Halee Keller

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Halee Keller, Robert Shute, Dustin Slivka

University of Nebraska at Omaha, School of Health and Kinesiology, Omaha, NE

BACKGROUND: Mitochondria are highly concentrated in skeletal muscle tissue, and undergo damage from ROS during metabolic processes. This damage is often left unrepaired and leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which has been linked to many common diseases. Exercise training increases mitochondrial development within skeletal muscle tissue and thus may be protective. Environmental temperature, when paired with exercise may provide an even greater effect than exercise alone. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of three weeks of exercise training ...


Analysis Of Clustering Algorithms, Ethan Summers Mar 2019

Analysis Of Clustering Algorithms, Ethan Summers

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

In Bioinformatics, choosing the right algorithm for a problem is very important. Choosing the wrong algorithm or one that is less efficient can make or break a project. Analyzing algorithms beforehand is key. The goal of this project is to analyze three clustering algorithms for protein protein interaction networks and compare their function and results. A clustering algorithm takes a dataset, in this case a simulated PPI (protein-protein interaction) network and groups together similar data points based on some similarity criteria. It is important to know the difference between these algorithms to get the desired results.


Effect Of Local Cold Application During Exercise On Mitochondrial Gene Expression, Ben Meister Mar 2019

Effect Of Local Cold Application During Exercise On Mitochondrial Gene Expression, Ben Meister

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

BACKGROUND: Different modes of exercise and temperatures can elicit different responses in mitochondrial gene expression. Stresses including exercise and cold exposure act to trigger the transcription of genes associated with mitochondrial growth (biogenesis). Traditional endurance exercise is known to have a potent effect on mitochondrial growth biogenesis. However, limited knowledge exists on the effect of local cold application during endurance exercise. Additionally, it is currently unknown how cold exposure impacts mitochondrial breakdown (mitophagy). PURPOSE: Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the impact of local muscle cooling during endurance exercise on human skeletal muscle gene expression related to ...


The Effects Of Swimming Training On Arterial Stiffness, Muscular Strength And Cardiorespiratory Endurance In Postmenopausal Women With Stage 2 Hypertension, Steven Scott Mar 2019

The Effects Of Swimming Training On Arterial Stiffness, Muscular Strength And Cardiorespiratory Endurance In Postmenopausal Women With Stage 2 Hypertension, Steven Scott

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Objective:

Aging is associated with progressive decreases in arterial health and function as well as overall fitness. It is crucial to prevent or reduce the negative effects of aging on vasculature and fitness components by implementing appropriate lifestyle interventions, such as exercise training. We examined the effects of a swimming (SWM) regimen on arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity, PWV), blood pressure (BP), wave reflection (AIx), muscle strength and aerobic capacity in postmenopausal women with stage 2 hypertension.

Methods:

Using a parallel experimental design, participants were randomly assigned to either a SWM (n=52) or non-exercising control group (n=48) for ...


Targeted Therapy For The Future: The Use Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides Against P. Aeurginosa, Matthew Froid Mar 2019

Targeted Therapy For The Future: The Use Of Novel Antimicrobial Peptides Against P. Aeurginosa, Matthew Froid

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Pathogenic bacteria, such as the gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are becoming resistant to our current arsenal of antibiotics at an alarming rate. P. aeruginosa is a leading cause of nosocomial acquired infections and is a primary co-morbidity in patients with compromised immune systems. One potential source of new antibiotic agents is antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small proteins, and some have shown a high degree of efficacy and broad-spectrum activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. An experimental AMP that has been developed by Dr. Wang at UNMC, DASamp2, has shown to be effective against virulent bacteria, including P ...


Physiological Response To Exercise With Naturally-Occurring Carbon Dioxide Exposure, Megan Johnson Mar 2019

Physiological Response To Exercise With Naturally-Occurring Carbon Dioxide Exposure, Megan Johnson

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

BACKGROUND: Carbon dioxide (CO2) plays a normal part in gas exchange and acid-base equilibrium in the human body. With added stress or exposure, CO2 levels can accumulate in the blood and tissues, causing hypercapnia. Research has shown that exposure to CO2 at 4% or 40,000 ppm will cause cardio-respiratory changes, both at rest and during exercise. Lower levels may still cause changes under conditions of added stress, but this has not been elucidated. Preliminary data from our laboratory chamber suggests physiological changes at levels of CO2 reaching 0.08% or 8,000 ppm during experiments ...


Investigating Comt Influence On The Proactive-Reactive Stress Coping Axis In Zebrafish, Sean T. Bresnahan, Ryan Y. Wong Mar 2019

Investigating Comt Influence On The Proactive-Reactive Stress Coping Axis In Zebrafish, Sean T. Bresnahan, Ryan Y. Wong

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Individuals of the same species often display differences in correlated suites of behaviors which are made conspicuous when challenges – stressful, fear-inducing, etc. – are presented. In many species, a specific suite of behaviors (risk-aversion, aggression, exploration, learning, and memory) characterize an alternative set of stress coping styles (proactive and reactive). Such behaviors are regulated in the brain by specific neurotransmitters along with proteins that regulate them. One neurotransmitter regulator protein, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) shows higher baseline whole-brain expression in proactive relative to reactive animals. However, it is not known whether its expression is a cause or a consequence of the stress coping ...


Day To Day And Leg To Leg Variation In Gene Expression, Zohal Alizai Mar 2019

Day To Day And Leg To Leg Variation In Gene Expression, Zohal Alizai

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

BACKGROUND: Skeletal muscle biopsies are extensively used in research to determine the effects of exercise. Usually, sequential biopsies are taken before and after exercise in order to determine the influence of exercise on gene expression. Often it is not clear if the results are due to exercise or as a result of damage cause by the biopsy to the muscle. Previous studies have proven that multiple biopsies in the same leg cause stress to the muscle and such stress leads to inflammation and other response pathways that alter the gene expression. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine ...


Precision Medicine: Bioinformatics Assists In Finding Accurate Treatment For Her2+ Breast Cancer In Humans, Elizabeth Russman Mar 2019

Precision Medicine: Bioinformatics Assists In Finding Accurate Treatment For Her2+ Breast Cancer In Humans, Elizabeth Russman

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a gene located on chromosome 17q12 (Ferrari et al., 2016). A HER2 mutation is known to cause breast cancer, and is responsible for approximately 20% of all breast cancers.

In this project, HER2 positive breast cancer will be examined. The goal of this project is to understand the complicated gene, HER2, and how treatment needs to be more individualized and precise using bioinformatics.


Effects Of Rangeland Management On Milkweed Grazing And Monarch Conservation, Brittany Poynor Mar 2019

Effects Of Rangeland Management On Milkweed Grazing And Monarch Conservation, Brittany Poynor

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Cattle typically avoid consuming milkweed plants that contain high levels of toxic defense compounds, and therefore many people assume cattle avoid all milkweeds. However, common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) contains only moderate levels of toxic compounds, and observations suggest that cattle regularly consume common milkweed and may even preferentially graze flowers and leaves of this species. These observations directly relate to efforts to add over one billion stems of milkweed to the central USA for monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) conservation. If cattle intentionally consume common milkweed and other milkweed species, and if certain management practices can reduce milkweed grazing and increase ...


Effects Of 7°C Environmental Temperature During A 3-Week Training Period, Robert J. Shute Mar 2019

Effects Of 7°C Environmental Temperature During A 3-Week Training Period, Robert J. Shute

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Approximately three weeks is required for cold temperature acclimation to occur. However, the effects of cold temperature acclimation on fitness and performance remain unknown. Purpose: To determine the impact of cold environmental temperature on training adaptations, fitness measurements, and aerobic performance. Methods: Two groups of twelve inactive male subjects completed 1-hour of cycling in fourteen temperature acclimation trials of either a cold (7°C) or room temperature (20°C) environmental temperature. A performance trial and tolerance trial occurred pre- and post-acclimation. The performance trials assessed VO2peak and body composition. Skin and core temperature were recorded during the 1-hour tolerance ...


3d Prosthetics Effects On Standing Posture In Unilateral Upper Limb Deficient Children, Keaton Young Mar 2019

3d Prosthetics Effects On Standing Posture In Unilateral Upper Limb Deficient Children, Keaton Young

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

3D Prosthetics Effects on Standing Posture in Unilateral Upper Limb Deficient Children

Keaton Young

Department of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Introduction

Upper Limb Reduction Deficiency (ULD) is a congenital disability that affects the upper limb, which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 1,500 babies are born with ULD in the United States yearly 1,2. Prior research has focused on functional treatment of the upper limbs but has lacked observance of the effects that prosthetics and limb loss incur to the trunk. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the acute ...


Data Analytics Pipeline For Rna Structure Analysis Via Shape, Quinn Nelson Mar 2019

Data Analytics Pipeline For Rna Structure Analysis Via Shape, Quinn Nelson

Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is a cardiovirulent enterovirus from the family Picornaviridae. The RNA genome houses an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the 5’ untranslated region (5’UTR) that enables cap-independent translation. Ample evidence suggests that the structure of the 5’UTR is a critical element for virulence. We probe RNA structure in solution using base-specific modifying agents such as dimethyl sulfate as well as backbone targeting agents such as N-methylisatoic anhydride used in Selective 2’-Hydroxyl Acylation Analyzed by Primer Extension (SHAPE). We have developed a pipeline that merges and evaluates base-specific and SHAPE data together with statistical analyses ...