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We studied the association between chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) concentration on skin and resistant bacterial bioburden. CHG was almost always detected on the skin, and detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on skin sites was infrequent. However, we found no correlation between CHG concentration and bacterial bioburden.
The ‘deep sea’ encompasses a broad range of habitats that differ greatly in their assemblages and ecosystem functioning. Habitats may be described by a combination of environmental factors (e.g., depth, slope) and biotic factors (e.g., source of primary productivity). We review recent attempts to define deep-sea biogeographic provinces based on spatial and temporal variations in oceanographic conditions, and consider potential boundaries to distributional ranges, in particular habitats based on recent phylogeographic studies. We briefly discuss abiotic interactions in various habitats, noting the particular influence of local hydrodynamics. We consider competition and predation at whale falls and hydrothermal vents, discuss symbiotic interactions particularly with respect to deep-sea corals, which are particularly prevalent in submarine canyons and seamounts, and consider the difficulties of inferring processes from patterns.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The widespread use of herbicides in cropping systems has led to the evolution of resistance in major weeds. The resultant loss of herbicide efficacy is compounded by a lack of new herbicide sites of action, driving demand for alternative weed control technologies. While there are many alternative methods for control, identifying the most appropriate method to pursue for commercial development has been hampered by the inability to compare techniques in a fair and equitable manner. Given that all currently available and alternative weed control methods share an intrinsic energy consumption, the aim of this review was to compare methods based on energy consumption. Energy consumption was compared for chemical, mechanical, and thermal weed control technologies when applied as broadcast (whole-field) and site-specific treatments. Tillage systems, such as flex-tine harrow (4.2 to 5.5 MJ ha−1), sweep cultivator (13 to 14 MJ ha−1), and rotary hoe (12 to 17 MJ ha−1) consumed the least energy of broadcast weed control treatments. Thermal-based approaches, including flaming (1,008 to 4,334 MJ ha−1) and infrared (2,000 to 3,887 MJ ha−1), are more appropriate for use in conservation cropping systems; however, their energy requirements are 100- to 1,000-fold greater than those of tillage treatments. The site-specific application of weed control treatments to control 2-leaf-stage broadleaf weeds at a density of 5 plants m−2 reduced energy consumption of herbicidal, thermal, and mechanical treatments by 97%, 99%, and 97%, respectively. Significantly, this site-specific approach resulted in similar energy requirements for current and alternative technologies (e.g., electrocution [15 to 19 MJ ha−1], laser pyrolysis [15 to 249 MJ ha−1], hoeing [17 MJ ha−1], and herbicides [15 MJ ha−1]). Using similar energy sources, a standardized energy comparison provides an opportunity for estimation of weed control costs, suggesting site-specific weed management is critical in the economically realistic implementation of alternative technologies.
Unlike most bird species, individual kingfisher species (Aves: Alcedinidae) are typically parasitized by only a single genus of louse (Alcedoffula, Alcedoecus, or Emersoniella). These louse genera are typically specific to a particular kingfisher subfamily. Specifically, Alcedoecus and Emersoniella parasitize Halcyoninae, whereas Alcedoffula parasitizes Alcedininae and Cerylinae. Although Emersoniella is geographically restricted to the Indo-Pacific region, Alcedoecus and Alcedoffula are geographically widespread. We used DNA sequences from two genes, the mitochondrial COI and nuclear EF-1α genes, to infer phylogenies for the two geographically widespread genera of kingfisher lice, Alcedoffula and Alcedoecus. These phylogenies included 47 kingfisher lice sampled from 11 of the 19 currently recognized genera of kingfishers. We compared louse phylogenies to host phylogenies to reconstruct their cophylogenetic history. Two distinct clades occur within Alcedoffula, one that infests Alcedininae and a second that infests Cerylinae. All species of Alcedoecus were found only on host species of the subfamily Halcyoninae. Cophylogenetic analysis indicated that Alcedoecus, as well as the clade of Alcedoffula occurring on Alcedininae, do not show evidence of cospeciation. In contrast, the clade of Alcedoffula occurring on Cerylinae showed strong evidence of cospeciation.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
Medical issues facing the aging population are of growing concern with consequences for patients and their caregivers. This study determined the indirect and out-of-pocket costs incurred by the caregivers of elderly patients in Canadian Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Primary family caregivers were surveyed capturing out-of-pocket costs, hours of work, and hours of leisure forgone in providing patient care while the patient was in the ICU. Total costs of care per month were reported across caregiver sex, age, and geographic region. Average out-of-pocket costs were $791 (2016 Canadian dollars) in the first month of ICU care. The mean total cost to family caregivers per patient was $162 per day. Male primary caregivers had higher mean out-of-pocket costs than female caregivers. Subsidization programs covering expenses such as travel, meals, accommodation, and parking are needed to support family caregivers of elderly ICU patients who are incurring considerable out-of-pocket costs.
Two environmental re-engineering projects clashed in south-eastern Puerto Rico in the early twentieth century. Between 1910 and 1914 the Puerto Rican Irrigation Service built three large dams to water canefields owned by US sugar companies. The new canals and holding ponds created ideal breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and demand for fieldworkers encouraged greater numbers of Puerto Ricans to work and live near these mosquito swarms. Malaria rates soared as a result. Meanwhile, public health officials tried to control malaria, but their efforts faltered, especially when efficient irrigation was prioritised above all else. It was not until the 1940s and 1950s that health officials controlled and then eliminated malaria. In Puerto Rico, malaria rose with the commitment to irrigated canefields and remained tenacious until wartime exigencies inspired greater control efforts, DDT became available and, most importantly, manufacturing eclipsed sugar production as the island's dominant economic activity.
Conodont fossils are highly valuable for Paleozoic biostratigraphy and for interpreting evolutionary change, but identifying and describing conodont morphologies, and characterizing gradual shape variation remain challenging. We used geometric morphometric (GM) analysis to conduct the first landmark-based morphometric analysis of the biostratigraphically useful conodont genus Neognathodus. Our objective is to assess whether previously defined morphotype groups are reliably distinct from one another. As such, we reevaluate patterns of morphologic change in Neognathodus P1elements, perform maximum-likelihood tests of evolutionary modes, and construct novel, GM-based biozonations through a Desmoinesian (Middle Pennsylvanian) section in the Illinois Basin. Our GM results record the entire spectrum of shape variability among Neognathodus morphotypes, thus alleviating the problem of documenting and classifying gradual morphologic transitions between morphotypes. Statistically distinct GM groups support previously established classifications of N. bassleri, N. bothrops, and N. roundyi. Statistically indistinct pairs of GM groups do not support literature designations of N. medadultimus and N. medexultimus, and N. dilatus and N. metanodosus, and we synonymize each pair. Maximum-likelihood tests of evolutionary modes provide the first statistical assessment of Neognathodus evolutionary models in the Desmoinesian. The most likely evolutionary models are an unbiased random walk or a general random walk. We name four distinct biozones through the Desmoinesian using GM results, and these align with previous biozonation structure based on the Neognathodus Index (NI), illustrating that Neognathodus-based biostratigraphic correlations would not change between GM or NI methods. The structural similarity between both biozonations showcases that determining GM-based biozones is not redundant, as this comparison validates using landmark-based GM work to construct viable biozonations for subsequent stratigraphic correlations. Although this study is limited to the Illinois Basin, our quantitative methodology can be applied broadly to test taxonomic designations of additional genera, interpret statistically robust evolutionary patterns, and construct valid biozones for this significant chordate group.
To determine which healthcare worker (HCW) roles and patient care activities are associated with acquisition of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on HCW gloves or gowns after patient care, as a surrogate for transmission to other patients.
Prospective cohort study.
Medical and surgical intensive care units at a tertiary-care academic institution.
VRE-colonized patients on Contact Precautions and their HCWs.
Overall, 94 VRE-colonized patients and 469 HCW–patient interactions were observed. Research staff recorded patient care activities and cultured HCW gloves and gowns for VRE before doffing and exiting patient room.
VRE were isolated from 71 of 469 HCWs’ gloves or gowns (15%) following patient care. Occupational/physical therapists, patient care technicians, nurses, and physicians were more likely than environmental services workers and other HCWs to have contaminated gloves or gowns. Compared to touching the environment alone, the odds ratio (OR) for VRE contamination associated with touching both the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity of the patient) and environment was 2.78 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99–0.77) and the OR associated with touching only the patient (or objects in the immediate vicinity) was 3.65 (95% CI, 1.17–11.41). Independent risk factors for transmission of VRE to HCWs were touching the patient’s skin (OR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.15–4.13) and transferring the patient into or out of bed (OR, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.15–6.43).
Patient contact is a major risk factor for HCW contamination and subsequent transmission. Interventions should prioritize contact precautions and hand hygiene for HCWs whose activities involve touching the patient.
Chondrules are the millimeter-scale previously molten droplets found in chondritic meteorites. These pervasive yet enigmatic particles hint at energetic processes at work in the nascent solar system. Chondrules and chondrites are well studied and many of the details about their compositions, ages, and thermal histories are well known. Without the proper context of a formation mechanism, however, we can only imagine what chondrules may reveal about the processes at work in the early solar system. In this chapter, we explore the hypothesis that chondrules were formed by impacts between growing planetary embryos. Specifically, we focus on shock heating associated with accretionary impacts as a means for melting chondrule precursor material. Although we discuss previous work on impact origin for chondrules, much of this chapter focuses on a new incarnation of this old idea, the impact jetting model. We explore the predictions of this model and its implications for our understanding of early solar system history and meteoritics. Throughout the chapter, we discuss potential issues and uncertainties with the model while identifying avenues for further development and testing of the impact origin hypothesis.
Chondrules contain ferromagnetic minerals that may retain a record of the magnetic field environments in which they cooled. Paleomagnetic experiments on separated chondrules can potentially reveal the presence of remanent magnetization from the time of chondrule formation. The existence of such a magnetization places quantitative bounds on the frequency of interchondrule collisions, while the intensity of magnetization may be used to infer the strength of nebular magnetic fields and thereby constrain the mechanism of chondrule formation. Recent advances in laboratory instrumentation and techniques have permitted the isolation of nebular remanent magnetization in chondrules, providing the potential basis to probe the formation environments of chondrules from a range of chondrite classes.
Knowledge of the effects of burial depth and burial duration on seed viability and, consequently, seedbank persistence of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] ecotypes can be used for the development of efficient weed management programs. This is of particular interest, given the great fecundity of both species and, consequently, their high seedbank replenishment potential. Seeds of both species collected from five different locations across the United States were investigated in seven states (sites) with different soil and climatic conditions. Seeds were placed at two depths (0 and 15 cm) for 3 yr. Each year, seeds were retrieved, and seed damage (shrunken, malformed, or broken) plus losses (deteriorated and futile germination) and viability were evaluated. Greater seed damage plus loss averaged across seed origin, burial depth, and year was recorded for lots tested at Illinois (51.3% and 51.8%) followed by Tennessee (40.5% and 45.1%) and Missouri (39.2% and 42%) for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. The site differences for seed persistence were probably due to higher volumetric water content at these sites. Rates of seed demise were directly proportional to burial depth (α=0.001), whereas the percentage of viable seeds recovered after 36 mo on the soil surface ranged from 4.1% to 4.3% compared with 5% to 5.3% at the 15-cm depth for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. Seed viability loss was greater in the seeds placed on the soil surface compared with the buried seeds. The greatest influences on seed viability were burial conditions and time and site-specific soil conditions, more so than geographical location. Thus, management of these weed species should focus on reducing seed shattering, enhancing seed removal from the soil surface, or adjusting tillage systems.