Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    Why companies prefer applicants from non-immigrant families: investigating access to vocational training among low-qualified adolescents with an interlinked firm-applicant survey 

    Söhn, Janina
    Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training. 2020 May 30;12(1):4
    Abstract In the German system of dual vocational training, in which companies recruit apprentices, graduates from low-level secondary schools (Hauptschule), and particularly those from immigrant families, are at a significant disadvantage regarding access to such apprenticeships. Previous qualitative studies have already pointed to the role of companies’ recruiting criteria for mechanisms of indirect discrimination, e.g., their desire for smooth social interaction within the firm. This article builds on a standardized survey among companies to which low-skilled adolescents successfully or unsuccessfully applied for dual vocational training. The company data are matched with secondary longitudinal survey data on the same girls and boys. Which recruiting criteria put ethnic minorities at a disadvantage and hence indirectly facilitate ethnic discrimination? The theoretical approach considers (knowledge of) the immigration country’s official language as both a functional requirement and a tool of hierarchical ethnic boundary making. In addition, concepts of social interaction within firms and respective norms as well as of homophily are subjected to an empirical test. Statistical results show that the below-average recruitment chances of applicants with a migration background are somewhat lower if companies stress a social fit criterion in their selection procedures. Furthermore, contrary to the initial hypothesis, ethnic minority youths are only substantially disadvantaged when applying to firms which consider the ability of verbal expression less crucial. Firms which consider this criterion very important may give applicants from immigrant families the chance to present themselves in a job interview and thus dispel ethnic stereotypes like the one that second-generation immigrant youths display serious language deficiencies.
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  • Journal Article

    Intravenous fluid therapy in the perioperative and critical care setting: Executive summary of the International Fluid Academy (IFA) 

    Malbrain, Manu L N G; Langer, Thomas; Annane, Djillali; Gattinoni, Luciano; Elbers, Paul; Hahn, Robert G; De laet, Inneke; Minini, Andrea; Wong, Adrian; Ince, Can; et al.
    Muckart, DavidMythen, MontyCaironi, PietroVan Regenmortel, Niels
    Annals of Intensive Care. 2020 May 24;10(1):64
    Abstract Intravenous fluid administration should be considered as any other pharmacological prescription. There are three main indications: resuscitation, replacement, and maintenance. Moreover, the impact of fluid administration as drug diluent or to preserve catheter patency, i.e., fluid creep, should also be considered. As for antibiotics, intravenous fluid administration should follow the four Ds: drug, dosing, duration, de-escalation. Among crystalloids, balanced solutions limit acid–base alterations and chloride load and should be preferred, as this likely prevents renal dysfunction. Among colloids, albumin, the only available natural colloid, may have beneficial effects. The last decade has seen growing interest in the potential harms related to fluid overloading. In the perioperative setting, appropriate fluid management that maintains adequate organ perfusion while limiting fluid administration should represent the standard of care. Protocols including a restrictive continuous fluid administration alongside bolus administration to achieve hemodynamic targets have been proposed. A similar approach should be considered also for critically ill patients, in whom increased endothelial permeability makes this strategy more relevant. Active de-escalation protocols may be necessary in a later phase. The R.O.S.E. conceptual model (Resuscitation, Optimization, Stabilization, Evacuation) summarizes accurately a dynamic approach to fluid therapy, maximizing benefits and minimizing harms. Even in specific categories of critically ill patients, i.e., with trauma or burns, fluid therapy should be carefully applied, considering the importance of their specific aims; maintaining peripheral oxygen delivery, while avoiding the consequences of fluid overload.
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  • Journal Article

    Correction to: Towards the restoration of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for large mammals in Panama: comparing multi-species occupancy to movement models 

    Meyer, Ninon F V; Moreno, Ricardo; Reyna-Hurtado, Rafael; Signer, Johannes; Balkenhol, Niko
    Movement Ecology. 2020 May 26;8(1):20
    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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  • Journal Article

    Tax4Fun2: prediction of habitat-specific functional profiles and functional redundancy based on 16S rRNA gene sequences 

    Wemheuer, Franziska; Taylor, Jessica A; Daniel, Rolf; Johnston, Emma; Meinicke, Peter; Thomas, Torsten; Wemheuer, Bernd
    Environmental Microbiome. 2020 May 18;15(1):11
    Abstract Background Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes has become a powerful technique to study microbial communities and their responses towards changing environmental conditions in various ecosystems. Several tools have been developed for the prediction of functional profiles from 16S rRNA gene sequencing data, because numerous questions in ecosystem ecology require knowledge of community functions in addition to taxonomic composition. However, the accuracy of these tools relies on functional information derived from genomes available in public databases, which are often not representative of the microorganisms present in the studied ecosystem. In addition, there is also a lack of tools to predict functional gene redundancy in microbial communities. Results To address these challenges, we developed Tax4Fun2, an R package for the prediction of functional profiles and functional gene redundancies of prokaryotic communities from 16S rRNA gene sequences. We demonstrate that functional profiles predicted by Tax4Fun2 are highly correlated to functional profiles derived from metagenomes of the same samples. We further show that Tax4Fun2 has higher accuracies than PICRUSt and Tax4Fun. By incorporating user-defined, habitat-specific genomic information, the accuracy and robustness of predicted functional profiles is substantially enhanced. In addition, functional gene redundancies predicted with Tax4Fun2 are highly correlated to functional gene redundancies determined for simulated microbial communities. Conclusions Tax4Fun2 provides researchers with a unique tool to predict and investigate functional profiles of prokaryotic communities based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. It is easy-to-use, platform-independent and highly memory-efficient, thus enabling researchers without extensive bioinformatics knowledge or access to high-performance clusters to predict functional profiles. Another unique feature of Tax4Fun2 is that it allows researchers to calculate the redundancy of specific functions, which is a potentially important measure of how resilient a community will be to environmental perturbation. Tax4Fun2 is implemented in R and freely available at https://github.com/bwemheu/Tax4Fun2.
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  • Journal Article

    Gastrointestinal dysfunction in the critically ill: a systematic scoping review and research agenda proposed by the Section of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine 

    Reintam Blaser, Annika; Preiser, Jean-Charles; Fruhwald, Sonja; Wilmer, Alexander; Wernerman, Jan; Benstoem, Carina; Casaer, Michael P; Starkopf, Joel; van Zanten, Arthur; Rooyackers, Olav; et al.
    Jakob, Stephan MLoudet, Cecilia IBear, Danielle EElke, GunnarKott, MatthiasLautenschläger, IngmarSchäper, JörnGunst, JanStoppe, ChristianNobile, LedaFuhrmann, ValentinBerger, Mette MOudemans-van Straaten, Heleen MArabi, Yaseen MDeane, Adam M
    Critical Care. 2020 May 15;24(1):224
    Abstract Background Gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction is frequent in the critically ill but can be overlooked as a result of the lack of standardization of the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. We aimed to develop a research agenda for GI dysfunction for future research. We systematically reviewed the current knowledge on a broad range of subtopics from a specific viewpoint of GI dysfunction, highlighting the remaining areas of uncertainty and suggesting future studies. Methods This systematic scoping review and research agenda was conducted following successive steps: (1) identify clinically important subtopics within the field of GI function which warrant further research; (2) systematically review the literature for each subtopic using PubMed, CENTRAL and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; (3) summarize evidence for each subtopic; (4) identify areas of uncertainty; (5) formulate and refine study proposals that address these subtopics; and (6) prioritize study proposals via sequential voting rounds. Results Five major themes were identified: (1) monitoring, (2) associations between GI function and outcome, (3) GI function and nutrition, (4) management of GI dysfunction and (5) pathophysiological mechanisms. Searches on 17 subtopics were performed and evidence summarized. Several areas of uncertainty were identified, six of them needing consensus process. Study proposals ranked among the first ten included: prevention and management of diarrhoea; management of upper and lower feeding intolerance, including indications for post-pyloric feeding and opioid antagonists; acute gastrointestinal injury grading as a bedside tool; the role of intra-abdominal hypertension in the development and monitoring of GI dysfunction and in the development of non-occlusive mesenteric ischaemia; and the effect of proton pump inhibitors on the microbiome in critical illness. Conclusions Current evidence on GI dysfunction is scarce, partially due to the lack of precise definitions. The use of core sets of monitoring and outcomes are required to improve the consistency of future studies. We propose several areas for consensus process and outline future study projects.
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  • Journal Article

    Evaluation of a communication skills training to facilitate addressing palliative care related topics in advanced cancer patients: study protocol of a multicenter randomized controlled trial (PALLI-KOM) 

    Harnischfeger, Nele; Rath, Hilke M; Ullrich, Anneke; Alt-Epping, Bernd; Letsch, Anne; Thuss-Patience, Peter; Bokemeyer, Carsten; Oechsle, Karin; Bergelt, Corinna
    BMC Palliative Care. 2020 May 12;19(1):67
    Abstract Background Early integration of palliative care concurrently to standard cancer care is associated with several benefits for patients and their caregivers. However, communication barriers on part of the caring physicians often impede a timely referral to palliative care. This study describes the protocol of the evaluation of a communication skills training aiming to strengthen the ability of physicians to address palliative care related topics adequately and early during disease trajectory. Methods We will implement a communication skills training and evaluate it within a prospective, multi-centered, two-armed randomized controlled trial (RCT), which will be conducted at four sites in Germany. Eligible subjects are all physicians treating patients with advanced cancer in their daily routine. An intervention group (IG) receiving a group training will be compared to a wait-list control group (CG) receiving the training after completion of data collection. At pre- and post-measurement points, participants will conduct videotaped conversations with standardized simulated patients (SP). Primary outcome will be the external rating of communication skills and consulting competencies addressing palliative care related topics. Secondary outcomes on core concepts of palliative care, basic knowledge, attitudes, confidence and self-efficacy will be assessed by standardized questionnaires and self-developed items. A further external assessment of the quality of physician-patient-interaction will be conducted by the SP. Longitudinal quantitative data will be analyzed using covariate-adjusted linear mixed-models. Discussion If the communication skills training proves to be effective, it will provide a feasible intervention to promote an earlier communication of palliative care related topics in the care of advanced cancer patients. This would help to further establish early integration of palliative care as it is recommended by national and international guidelines. Trial registration German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00017025 (date of registration: 4 June 2019).
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  • Journal Article

    Genetic variants in FBLIM1 gene do not contribute to SAPHO syndrome and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis in typical patient groups 

    Assmann, Gunter; Köhm, Michaela; Schuster, Volker; Behrens, Frank; Mössner, Rotraut; Magnolo, Nina; Oji, Vinzenz; Burkhardt, Harald; Hüffmeier, Ulrike
    BMC Medical Genetics. 2020 May 12;21(1):102
    Abstract Background Syndrome of synovitis acne pustulosis hyperostosis osteitis (SAPHO) and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) present two diseases of a dermatologic and rheumatologic spectrum that are variable in manifestation und therapeutic response. Genetic risk factors have long been assumed in both diseases, but no single reliable factor has been identified yet. Therefore, we aimed to clinically characterize a patient group with syndrome of synovitis acne pustulosis hyperostosis osteitis (SAPHO) (n = 47) and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO)/ chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis (CNO) (n = 9) and analyze a CRMO candidate gene. Methods Clinical data of all patients were collected and assessed for different combinations of clinical symptoms. SAPHO patients were grouped into categories according to the acronym; disease-contribution by pathogens was evaluated. We sequenced coding exons of FBLIM1. Results Palmoplantar pustular psoriasis (PPP) was the most common skin manifestation in CRMO/CNO and SAPHO patients; most SAPHO patients had sterno-costo-clavicular hyperostosis. The most common clinical category of the acronym was S_PHO (n = 26). Lack of pathogen detection from bone biopsies was more common than microbial isolation. We did not identify autosomal-recessive FBLIM1 variants. Conclusions S_PHO is the most common combination of symptoms of its acronym. Genetic analyses of FBLIM1 did not provide evidence that this gene is relevant in our patient group. Our study indicates the need to elucidate SAPHO’s and CRMO/CNO’s pathogenesis.
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  • Journal Article

    Correction to: SMART coils for intracranial aneurysm repair - a single center experience 

    Behme, Daniel; Sack, Henrik; Tsogkas, Ioannis; Rohde, Veit; Psychogios, Marios-Nikos
    BMC Neurology. 2020 May 14;20(1):188
    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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  • Journal Article

    Addressing ethical challenges of disclosure in dementia prediction: limitations of current guidelines and suggestions to proceed 

    Alpinar-Sencan, Zümrüt; Schicktanz, Silke
    BMC Medical Ethics. 2020 May 11;21(1):33
    Abstract Background Biomarker research is gaining increasing attention focusing on the preclinical stages of the disease. Such interest requires special attention for communication and disclosure in clinical contexts. Many countries give dementia a high health policy priority by developing national strategies and by improving guidelines addressing disclosure of a diagnosis; however, risk communication is often neglected. Main text This paper aims to identify the challenges of disclosure in the context of dementia prediction and to find out whether existing clinical guidelines sufficiently address the issues of disclosing a dementia diagnosis and of disclosing the risk of developing dementia in asymptomatic and MCI stage. We will examine clinical guidelines and recommendations of three countries (USA, Canada and Germany) regarding predictive testing and diagnostic disclosure in dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to show their potentials and limits. This will provide a background to address ethical implications of predictive information and to identify ways how to proceed further. We will start by examining the guidelines and recommendations by focusing on what there is already and what is missing regarding the challenges of disclosing dementia prediction and MCI. Then, we will highlight the novel ethical issues generated by the shift to identify preclinical stages of the disease by biomarkers. We will argue for the need to develop guidelines for disclosing a risk status, which requires different considerations then disclosing a diagnosis of dementia. Finally, we will make some suggestions on how to address the gap and challenges raised by referring to German Stakeholder Conference, which presents us a good starting point to the applicability of involving stakeholders. Conclusions This paper underlines the need to develop empirically based guidelines that address the ethical and social strategies for risk communication of dementia prediction by genetic as well as non-genetic biomarkers. According to our analysis, the guidelines do not address the new developments sufficiently. International efforts should aim for specific guidelines on counseling, communicating risk and disclosing results. We argue that guidelines on (risk) disclosure should be developed by involving various stakeholders and should be informed by socio-empirical studies involving laypersons’ needs and wishes regarding risk communication.
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  • Journal Article

    Genomic variation among closely related Vibrio alginolyticus strains is located on mobile genetic elements 

    Chibani, Cynthia M; Roth, Olivia; Liesegang, Heiko; Wendling, Carolin C
    BMC Genomics. 2020 May 11;21(1):354
    Abstract Background Species of the genus Vibrio, one of the most diverse bacteria genera, have undergone niche adaptation followed by clonal expansion. Niche adaptation and ultimately the formation of ecotypes and speciation in this genus has been suggested to be mainly driven by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) through mobile genetic elements (MGEs). Our knowledge about the diversity and distribution of Vibrio MGEs is heavily biased towards human pathogens and our understanding of the distribution of core genomic signatures and accessory genes encoded on MGEs within specific Vibrio clades is still incomplete. We used nine different strains of the marine bacterium Vibrio alginolyticus isolated from pipefish in the Kiel-Fjord to perform a multiscale-comparative genomic approach that allowed us to investigate [1] those genomic signatures that characterize a habitat-specific ecotype and [2] the source of genomic variation within this ecotype. Results We found that the nine isolates from the Kiel-Fjord have a closed-pangenome and did not differ based on core-genomic signatures. Unique genomic regions and a unique repertoire of MGEs within the Kiel-Fjord isolates suggest that the acquisition of gene-blocks by HGT played an important role in the evolution of this ecotype. Additionally, we found that ~ 90% of the genomic variation among the nine isolates is encoded on MGEs, which supports ongoing theory that accessory genes are predominately located on MGEs and shared by HGT. Lastly, we could show that these nine isolates share a unique virulence and resistance profile which clearly separates them from all other investigated V. alginolyticus strains and suggests that these are habitat-specific genes, required for a successful colonization of the pipefish, the niche of this ecotype. Conclusion We conclude that all nine V. alginolyticus strains from the Kiel-Fjord belong to a unique ecotype, which we named the Kiel-alginolyticus ecotype. The low sequence variation of the core-genome in combination with the presence of MGE encoded relevant traits, as well as the presence of a suitable niche (here the pipefish), suggest, that this ecotype might have evolved from a clonal expansion following HGT driven niche-adaptation.
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  • Journal Article

    Soil-plant co-stimulation during forest vegetation restoration in a subtropical area of southern China 

    Chen, Chan; Fang, Xi; Xiang, Wenhua; Lei, Pifeng; Ouyang, Shuai; Kuzyakov, Yakov
    Forest Ecosystems. 2020 May 08;7(1):32
    Abstract Background Soil and vegetation have a direct impact on the process and direction of plant community succession, and determine the structure, function, and productivity of ecosystems. However, little is known about the synergistic influence of soil physicochemical properties and vegetation features on vegetation restoration. The aim of this study was to investigate the co-evolution of soil physicochemical properties and vegetation features in the process of vegetation restoration, and to distinguish the primary and secondary relationships between soil and vegetation in their collaborative effects on promoting vegetation restoration in a subtropical area of China. Methods Soil samples were collected to 40 cm in four distinct plant communities along a restoration gradient from herb (4–5 years), to shrub (11–12 years), to Pinus massoniana coniferous and broadleaved mixed forest (45–46 years), and to evergreen broadleaved forest (old growth forest). Measurements were taken of the soil physicochemical properties and Shannon–Wiener index (SD), diameter at breast height (DBH), height (H), and biomass. Principal component analysis, linear function analysis, and variation partitioning analysis were then performed to prioritize the relative importance of the leading factors affecting vegetation restoration. Results Soil physicochemical properties and vegetation features showed a significant trend of improvement across the vegetation restoration gradient, reflected mainly in the high response rates of soil organic carbon (SOC) (140.76%), total nitrogen (TN) (222.48%), total phosphorus (TP) (59.54%), alkaline hydrolysis nitrogen (AN) (544.65%), available phosphorus (AP) (53.28%), species diversity (86.3%), biomass (2906.52%), DBH (128.11%), and H (596.97%). The soil properties (pH, SOC, TN, AN, and TP) and vegetation features (biomass, DBH, and H) had a clear co-evolutionary relationship over the course of restoration. The synergistic interaction between soil properties and vegetation features had the greatest effect on biomass (55.55%–72.37%), and the soil properties contributed secondarily (3.30%–31.44%). The main impact factors of biomass varied with the restoration periods. Conclusions In the process of vegetation restoration, soil and vegetation promoted each other. Vegetation restoration was the cumulative result of changes in soil fertility and vegetation features.
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  • Anthology Article

    Wissenschaftliche Forschung und Publikation im Netz 

    Mittler, Elmar
    de Gruyter: Berlin, 2012
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  • Journal Article

    The development of standards for library personnel requirements 

    Mittler, Elmar
    LIBER Bulletin 1997; 7/8 p.153-155
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  • Journal Article

    Erwerbungskooperation an Universitätsbibliotheken 

    Mittler, Elmar
    1977
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  • Journal Article

    Konrad Marwinski zum 65. Geburtstag 

    Mittler, Elmar
    Bibliothek: Forschung und Praxis 1999; 23
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  • Journal Article

    Der Kampf um die ideale Bibliothek 

    Mittler, Elmar
    Freiburger Universitätsblätter 2016; 55(2) p.143-147
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  • Journal Article

    Mit der Weisheit am Ende? 

    Götz, Martin; Mittler, Elmar
    de Gruyter: Berlin, 2012
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  • Anthology Article

    Von der Bibliotheksgeschichte zur Bibliothek der Geschichte 

    Mittler, Elmar
    Kossuth Kiadó: Budapest, 2016
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  • Journal Article

    Die Bibliothek von St. Peter im Schwarzwald 

    Mittler, Elmar
    Freiburger Universitätsblätter 2015; 55(2) p.77-85
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