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In this study, we propose a hypothesis that domain-general auditory processing, a perceptual anchor of L1 acquisition, can serve as the foundation of successful post-pubertal L2 learning. This hypothesis was tested with 139 post-pubertal L2 immersion learners by linking individual differences in auditory discrimination across multiple acoustic dimensions to the segmental, prosodic, lexical, and morphosyntactic dimensions of L2 proficiency. Overall, auditory processing was a primary determinant of a range of participants’ proficiency scores, even after biographical factors (experience, age) were controlled for. The link between audition and proficiency was especially clear for L2 learners who had passed beyond the initial phase of immersion (length of residence > 1 year). The findings suggest that greater auditory processing skill benefits post-pubertal L2 learners immersed in naturalistic settings for a sufficient period of time by allowing them to better utilize received input, which results in greater language gains and leads to more advanced L2 proficiency in the long run (similar to L1 acquisition).
Background: In April 2019, Nebraska Public Health Laboratory identified an NDM-producing Enterobacter cloacae from a urine sample from a rehabilitation inpatient who had recently received care in a specialized unit (unit A) of an acute-care hospital (ACH-A). After additional infections occurred at ACH-A, we conducted a public health investigation to contain spread. Methods: A case was defined as isolation of NDM-producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) from a patient with history of admission to ACH-A in 2019. We conducted clinical culture surveillance, and we offered colonization screening for carbapenemase-producing organisms to all patients admitted to unit A since February 2019. We assessed healthcare facility infection control practices in ACH-A and epidemiologically linked facilities by visits from the ICAP (Infection Control Assessment and Promotion) Program. The recent medical histories of case patients were reviewed. Isolates were evaluated by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Results: Through June 2019, 7 cases were identified from 6 case patients: 4 from clinical cultures and 3 from 258 colonization screens including 1 prior unit A patient detected as an outpatient (Fig. 1). Organisms isolated were Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 5), E. cloacae (n = 1), and Citrobacter freundii (n = 1); 1 patient had both NDM-producing K. pneumoniae and C. freundii. Also, 5 case patients had overlapping stays in unit A during February–May 2019 (Fig. 2); common exposures in unit A included rooms in close proximity, inhabiting the same room at different times and shared caregivers. One case-patient was not admitted to unit A but shared caregivers, equipment, and devices (including a colonoscope) with other case patients while admitted to other ACH-A units. No case patients reported travel outside the United States. Screening at epidemiologically linked facilities and clinical culture surveillance showed no evidence of transmission beyond ACH-A. Infection control assessments at ACH-A revealed deficiencies in hand hygiene, contact precautions adherence, and incomplete cleaning of shared equipment within and used to transport to/from a treatment room in unit A. Following implementation of recommended infection control interventions, no further cases were identified. Finally, 5 K. pneumoniae of ST-273 were related by WGS including carriage of NDM-5 and IncX3 plasmid supporting transmission of this strain. Further analysis is required to relate IncX3 plasmid carriage and potential transmission to other organisms and sequence types identified in this study. Conclusions: We identified a multiorganism outbreak of NDM-5–producing CRE in an ACH specialty care unit. Transmission was controlled through improved infection control practices and extensive colonization screening to identify asymptomatic case-patients. Multiple species with NDM-5 were identified, highlighting the potential role of genotype-based surveillance.
Disclosures: Muhammad Salman Ashraf reports that he is the principal investigator for a study funded by an investigator-initiated research grant.
Outbreaks of infections in healthcare negatively impact patient outcomes and experience. Transparency is critical to engendering trust and optimizing health. Consistent guidance is not available regarding when to report a possible outbreak of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) to public health and when to notify a limited population or to publicly disclose the occurrence of HAI. Recent analyses of state public health policies revealed that most states address reporting of outbreaks using terms such as clusters, unusual occurrences, or incidences over baseline. Specific wording about healthcare outbreaks or guidance for notifying patients or public is often absent. Thus, HAI outbreak notification and disclosure guidance and practices vary significantly around the country. A best-practice guidance document will provide clarity for when such reporting should occur. Methods: The Council for Outbreak Response: HAI and Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens (CORHA) has undertaken the task of developing this guidance by forming a multidiscipline policy work group with representation from its partner organizations. This work group has been tasked with creating a general framework that will guide notification and disclosure in the context of a possible HAI outbreak. The draft guidance document has been developed over several months of telephone and in-person conferences among work group members. Results: The standardized actions stemming from the guiding principles and recommended practices for conducting step 1 (immediate notification, initial and critical communications that occur when an outbreak is first suspected), were arranged in a table format with rows representing stakeholders and constituents to be notified and columns demonstrating the actions to be taken (Fig. 1). As an investigation progresses, notification should be revisited, especially if an investigation’s scope expands. The principles and practices for step 2 (expanded notification) have also been drafted in a table format. Next, the draft guidance addresses step 3 (public disclosure), outlining indications, practical guidance, and considerations in an outline and/or summary format. Real-world examples demonstrating application of the framework are being developed as supplementary resources to the framework. Current work group activities include engaging bioethicists, media reporters and patient advocates to review and comment on the guidance to ensure that it is clear, consistent and practical. Discussion: The draft guidance provides a framework for standardized actions for HAI outbreak notification and disclosure in a stepwise fashion, modeling public health practices and grounded in bioethical principles. The final product will provide valuable, practical advice for effectively sharing information with affected or potentially affected individuals and their caregivers in a timely manner.
Dawn Terashita reports that her spouse has received honoraria rom the speaker’s bureaus of Novo Nordisk and Abbott.
The TEX86 paleothermometer is based upon the distribution of archaeal membrane lipids ('GDGTs') in marine sediments. GDGTs are ubiquitous, abundant and relatively resistant to degradation; as such, the TEX86 paleothermometer has been used to reconstruct sea surface temperature (SST) during the Cenozoic and early Mesozoic. We review the principles of the TEX86 proxy and developments made over the last two decades. We also discuss its application as a paleotemperature proxy and explore existing challenges and limitations.
In this study, we propose a hypothesis that domain-general auditory processing, a perceptual–cognitive anchor of first language (L1) acquisition, can serve as an important deciding factor for successful postpubertal second language (L2) pronunciation learning. To examine this hypothesis, samples of spontaneous speech were elicited from a total of 30 L1 Chinese L2 English learners at two points (outset and endpoint) during an 8-month study-abroad period in the United Kingdom. The participants were tested on three different components of auditory processing ability (formant, pitch, and duration discrimination) using behavioral instruments. The auditory processing scores were then linked to the segmental, prosodic, and fluency dimensions of their L2 pronunciation proficiency development throughout the project. Overall, most learners’ speech became smoother, faster, and more fluent (fewer pauses, faster articulation rate, and more optimal perceived tempo). Certain learners with high-level auditory processing ability (more precise formant discrimination) appeared to further attain more correct pronunciation of individual sounds and words (greater segmental and word stress accuracy), leading to more advanced L2 phonological skills (fluent and accurate). The findings suggest that auditory processing abilities can be a root of language learning throughout the life span and may apply to the initial- to midphase of naturalistic L2 pronunciation learning in adulthood.
(i) Describe the development of a multipurpose Cardio-Med survey tool (CMST) comprising a semi-quantitative FFQ designed to measure dietary intake in multicultural patients with or at high risk of CVD and (ii) report pilot evaluation of test–retest reliability and validity of the FFQ in measuring energy and nutrient intakes.
The CMST was developed to identify CVD risk factors and assess diet quality over 1 year using an FFQ. Design of the ninety-three-item FFQ involved developing food portion photographs, and a list of foods appropriate for the Australian multicultural population allowing the capture of adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern. The FFQ was administered twice, 2 weeks apart to assess test–retest reliability, whilst validity was assessed by comparison of the FFQ with a 3-d food record (3DFR).
The Northern Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
Thirty-eight participants aged 34–81 years with CVD or at high risk.
Test–retest reliability of the FFQ was good: intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) ranged from 0·52 (Na) to 0·88 (alcohol) (mean 0·79), with energy and 70 % of measured nutrients being above 0·75. Validity was moderate: ICC ranged from 0·08 (Na) to 0·94 (alcohol) (mean 0·59), with energy and 85 % of measured nutrients being above 0·5. Bland–Altman plots demonstrated good levels of agreement between the FFQ and 3DFR for carbohydrates, protein, alcohol, vitamin D and Na.
The CMST FFQ demonstrated good test–retest reliability and moderate validity for measuring dietary energy and nutrients in a multicultural Australian cardiology population.
For nearly 30 years, the business and scientific press has featured a constant stream of stories about the changing nature of work. While some organizations and occupations have changed substantially in recent years, the belief that such changes are relatively recent or relatively widespread is not well founded. First, the nature and organization of work has evolved continuously over time and the current changes are especially large. Second, there are very large sectors of the economy in which the changes in technology and the organization of work have been minimal. The belief that the nature of work is changing is in large part rooted in the tendency to mistake the brief period of economic stability and highly valued employment in the United Stats that followed the Second World War as the normal state rather than an anomaly. The nature of work is changing and will continue to change, but these changes are part of a long-term set of evolutionary changes, not a sudden or recent innovation.
Invasive species lose parasites in the process of invasion and tend to be less parasitized than conspecifics in the native range and sympatric native species in the invasive range (enemy release). We evaluated enemy release in an invasive freshwater fish in Ireland, common dace Leuciscus leuciscus, using helminth parasite community surveys at the core and front of the invasive range of common dace. Furthermore, we undertook a systematic literature review of helminth infection in common dace across its native range in Great Britain and Europe and invasive range in Ireland. The helminth parasite community survey revealed that invasive common dace were infected with fewer helminth species at the invasion front than at the core. Four helminth taxa – Acanthocephala, Monogenea, Digenea and Nematoda – were present in dace at the invasion core compared to only a single helminth species (Pomphorhynchus tereticollis) at the front. The systematic review revealed that invasive common dace in Ireland hosted fewer species of helminths than common dace in the native range. We report a total of three helminth species in common dace in Ireland compared to 24 in Great Britain and 84 in Continental Europe. Our results support the hypotheses that invasive populations are less parasitized than native populations and that more recently established populations host fewer parasites. However, we demonstrate that invasive species may continue to experience release from parasites long after initial invasion.
Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus has significantly increased in the last three decades and currently affects about 1 in 10 globally. A common therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes is α- glucosidase, an essential enzyme located at the brush border of the small intestinal epithelium. The inhibition of α-glucosidase results in a reduced digestion of carbohydrates and a decrease of postprandial blood glucose. Although, synthetic inhibitors are available in the market, these are usually associated with significant gastrointestinal side effects. In this study, natural inhibitors derived from edible brown algae are being investigated as an alternative.
Polysaccharide- and polyphenolic-enriched extracts from Ascophyllum nodosum and Fucus vesiculosus were characterized and screened for their inhibitory effects against α-glucosidase obtained from rat intestine using maltose, sucrose, and p-nitrophenyl (pNPG) as substrates. Acarbose was used as a synthetic inhibitor. Furthermore, enzyme kinetics and mechanism of inhibition of α- glucosidase were determined using linear and non-linear regression methods (GraphPad Prism ver. 6, GraphPad Software, La Jolla California USA).
All tested extracts showed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect against α-glucosidase. However, the type of inhibition varied between the extracts. Most importantly, the composition analysis showed that the seaweed extracts had different polysaccharide and phenolic contents, suggesting different mode of actions against α-glucosidase. The relation between chemical composition and inhibitory activity of the compounds are discussed.
In summary, the current study demonstrates the mechanisms in which different brown seaweed extracts with various composition effectively inhibit α-glucosidase. Therefore, this natural inhibitor can be considered as a potential candidate for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Critical aspects of the “rationality of rationalizations” thesis are open empirical questions. These include the frequency with which past behavior determines attitudes (as opposed to attitudes causing future behaviors), the extent to which post hoc justifications take on a life of their own and shape future actions, and whether rationalizers experience benefits in well-being, social influence, performance, or other desirable outcomes.
Experimental measurements of the force and torque on freely settling fibres are compared with predictions of the slender-body theory of Khayat & Cox (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 209, 1989, pp. 435–462). Although the flow is viscous dominated at the scale of the fibre diameter, fluid inertia is important on the scale of the fibre length, leading to inertial torques which tend to rotate symmetric fibres toward horizontal orientations. Experimentally, the torque on symmetric fibres is inferred from the measured rate of rotation of the fibres using a quasi-steady torque balance. It is shown theoretically that fibres with an asymmetric radius or mass density distribution undergo a supercritical pitch-fork bifurcation from vertical to oblique settling with increasing Archimedes number, increasing Reynolds number or decreasing asymmetry. This transition is observed in experiments with asymmetric mass density and we find good agreement with the predicted symmetry breaking transition. In these experiments, the steady orientation of the oblique settling fibres provides a means to measure the inertial torque in the absence of transient effects since it is balanced by the known gravitational torque.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
Introduction: BACKGROUND: Recognition rates of delirium in older ED patients were reported between 13 to 25% in studies conducted in the U.S in the 1990's. Recently, there has been increased attention to delirium in Emergency Medicine, with the development of Geriatric curriculums in Canada specifically focused on delirium. However rates of delirium recognition have not been reassessed in Canadian ED's. OBJECTIVES: To assess the rate of delirium recognition by ED staff in a cohort of older ED patients assessed at a tertiary care Canadian ED. Methods: STUDY DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study at a Canadian teaching ED. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible patients were aged ≥70 years and older who had stayed in the ED for a minimum of 4 hours. We excluded patients who were critically ill, visually impaired or otherwise unable to communicate. DATA COLLECTION: Trained research assistants approached clinical staff prior to approaching patients to confirm that patients were delirium free. They then assessed demographics, ED length of stay (LOS) and cognition using the validated Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale (MOCA), mini-mental status exam (MMSE), delirium index and Richardson Agitation Scale (RASS) at baseline. Delirium was assessed using the validated Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). We report descriptive statistics and 95% confidence intervals (CI) where appropriate. Results: We enrolled 203 patients of which 102 (50.3%) were female. Their mean age was 81.0 years, mean LOS was 16.3 hours, mean MOCA was 23.4 and mean MMSE was 26.7. RA's detected delirium using the CAM in 16/203 patients (7.9%, 95% CI 4.6 to 12.5%). Mean MOCA and MMSE for delirious patients was 13.4 and 18.3 and their mean DI was 6.4. All CAM positive patients were deemed to be delirium free by clinical staff. RA alerted clinical staff in all cases where patients had delirium, but 3/16 were discharged home (18.8%, 95% CI 4.1 to 45.7%). Conclusion: Our findings confirm previous low delirium recognition rates in a Canadian Tertiary ED. Future research should explore barriers and facilitators to recognizing delirium in the ED.
Many observers of the international relations (IR) discipline express concern about the decline in policy-relevant research within the academy. Some blame an academic culture and academic institutions that incentivize abstract, quantitative, or theoretical work that speaks to scholarly debates rather than real-world problems. This article asks how IR scholars value both scholarly and policy publications. Using data from the TRIP survey, we found that publications generally considered policy relevant are undervalued in academic tenure decisions. These findings hold regardless of whether faculty have attained tenure or whether they consider their own research to be policy relevant. However, scholars who consult, teach at colleges rather than research universities, or teach in Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs schools rather than political science departments are likely to believe: (1) that policy-relevant research products are currently valued more highly than their colleagues estimate; and (2) on the normative question, that these policy publications should be valued even more highly than they are. Overall, these results suggest an openness to increasing the value of policy-relevant research in tenure decisions as part of an effort to increase the amount of policy-focused work in the discipline.
In Ireland, the major causes of death are CVD. The current Irish healthy eating guidelines and food pyramid primarily advocate a low-fat diet. However, there is overwhelming scientific evidence for the benefits of a Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) in the prevention and management of metabolic disease as well as improving overall health and well-being. In the current commentary, the rationale to incorporate the principles of the Med Diet into the Irish dietary guidelines is presented.
Perspectives of authors.
Local and international.
Populations in Europe, North America and Australia.
Adopting components of the Med Diet presents a more evidence-based approach to updating the current Irish dietary guidelines. Experience and lessons from other non-Mediterranean countries show that it could be a feasible and effective solution to improving the dietary habits of the Irish population to prevent and mange chronic diseases.
Policies and programmes to address perceived barriers to the Med Diet’s implementation and uptake in non-Mediterranean countries should be promoted.
The current study examines the role of cognitive and perceptual individual differences (i.e., aptitude) in second language (L2) pronunciation learning, when L2 learners’ varied experience background is controlled for. A total of 48 Chinese learners of English in the UK were assessed for their sensitivity to segmental and suprasegmental aspects of speech on explicit and implicit modes via behavioural (language/music aptitude tests) and neurophysiological (electroencephalography) measures. Subsequently, the participants’ aptitude profiles were compared to the segmental and suprasegmental dimensions of their L2 pronunciation proficiency analyzed through rater judgements and acoustic measurements. According to the results, the participants’ segmental attainment was associated not only with explicit aptitude (phonemic coding), but also with implicit aptitude (enhanced neural encoding of spectral peaks). Whereas the participants’ suprasegmental attainment was linked to explicit aptitude (rhythmic imagery) to some degree, it was primarily influenced by the quality and quantity of their most recent L2 learning experience.