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Navigating the research domain at an academic medical center can be challenging, even for seasoned investigators. To address this, Duke University launched two initiatives: (1) a research navigation “hotline” to provide brief assistance with a variety of research questions; and (2) researcher onboarding and consultation, a one-to-one tailored offering to ensure that researchers are equipped to navigate research resources and processes effectively. The services are provided by the myRESEARCHnavigators (MRN) team, funded by Duke’s CTSA. The diverse scientific backgrounds of the six team members align well with those of the research community, allowing for a good match between the researcher and MRN team member. The MRN team answers approximately 30 questions per month, and has provided consultations to almost 400 researchers. Both services receive high satisfaction ratings (4 or 5 stars [out of 5 stars] given to 90% of hotline answers, and 99% of researcher onboarding/consultation sessions). As of July 2019, the School of Medicine has determined that the consultations are critical to their mission and have made them a requirement for new research faculty. The team will continue marketing both services to encourage adoption.
The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) is a longitudinal twin study that recruited over 16,000 twin-pairs born between 1994 and 1996 in England and Wales through national birth records. More than 10,000 of these families are still engaged in the study. TEDS was and still is a representative sample of the population in England and Wales. Rich cognitive and emotional/behavioral data have been collected from the twins from infancy to emerging adulthood, with data collection at first contact and at ages 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 21, enabling longitudinal genetically sensitive analyses. Data have been collected from the twins themselves, from their parents and teachers, and from the UK National Pupil Database. Genotyped DNA data are available for 10,346 individuals (who are unrelated except for 3320 dizygotic co-twins). TEDS data have contributed to over 400 scientific papers involving more than 140 researchers in 50 research institutions. TEDS offers an outstanding resource for investigating cognitive and behavioral development across childhood and early adulthood and actively fosters scientific collaborations.
The Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS) is a new prospective children-of-twins study in the UK, designed to investigate intergenerational associations across child developmental stages. CoTEDS will enable research on genetic and environmental factors that underpin parent–child associations, with a focus on mental health and cognitive-related traits. Through CoTEDS, we will have a new lens to examine the roles that parents play in influencing child development, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that shape parenting behavior and experiences. Recruitment is ongoing from the sample of approximately 20,000 contactable adult twins who have been enrolled in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) since infancy. TEDS twins are invited to register all offspring to CoTEDS at birth, with 554 children registered as of May 2019. By recruiting the second generation of TEDS participants, CoTEDS will include information on adult twins and their offspring from infancy. Parent questionnaire-based data collection is now underway for 1- and 2-year-old CoTEDS infants, with further waves of data collection planned. Current data collection includes the following primary constructs: child mental health, temperament, language and cognitive development; parent mental health and social relationships; parenting behaviors and feelings; and other socioecological factors. Measurement tools have been selected with reference to existing genetically informative cohort studies to ensure overlap in phenotypes measured at corresponding stages of development. This built-in study overlap is intended to enable replication and triangulation of future analyses across samples and research designs. Here, we summarize study protocols and measurement procedures and describe future plans.
A 4-year-old boy presented with asymmetric acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) of his right arm and both legs. He was alert with no oculobulbar weakness or incontinence. He had fever and diarrhea 5 days earlier. He was fully immunized with no travel history.
In 2013, a task force was developed to discuss the future of the Canadian pediatric neurology workforce. The consensus was that there was no indication to reduce the number of training positions, but that the issue required continued surveillance. The current study provides a 5-year update on Canadian pediatric neurology workforce data.
Names, practice types, number of weekly outpatient clinics, and dates of certification of all physicians currently practicing pediatric neurology in Canada were obtained. International data were used to compute comparisons between countries. National data sets were used to provide information about the number of residency positions available and the number of Canadian graduates per year. Models for future projections were developed based on published projected population data and trends from the past decade.
The number of pediatric neurologists practicing in Canada has increased 165% since 1994. During this period, wait times have not significantly shortened. There are regional discrepancies in access to child neurologists. The Canadian pediatric neurology workforce available to see outpatient consultations is proportionally less than that of USA. After accounting for retirements and emigrations, the number of child neurologists being added to the workforce each year is 4.9. This will result in an expected 10-year increase in Canadian pediatric neurologists from 151 to 200.
Despite an increase in the number of Canadian child neurologists over the last two decades, we do not predict that there will be problems with underemployment over the next decade.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
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.
Background: SMA is a neurodegenerative disease caused by biallelic deletion/mutation of SMN1. Copies of a similar gene (SMN2) modify disease severity. In a phase 1 study, SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of symptomatic SMA patients with two SMN2 copies (2xSMN2) dosed ≤6 months. Because motor neuron loss can be insidious and disease progression is rapid, early intervention is critical. This study evaluates AVXS-101 in presymptomatic SMA newborns. Methods: SPR1NT is a multicenter, open-label, phase 3 study enrolling ≥27 SMA patients with 2–3xSMN2. Asymptomatic infants ≤6 weeks receive a one-time intravenous AVXS-101 infusion (1.1x1014 vg/kg). Safety and efficacy are assessed through study end (18 [2xSMN2] or 24 months [3xSMN2]). Primary outcomes: independent sitting for ≥30 seconds (18 months [2xSMN2]) or assisted standing (24 months [3xSMN2]). Results: From April–September 2018, 7 infants received AVXS-101 (4 female; 6 with 2xSMN2) at ages 8–37 days. Mean baseline CHOP-INTEND score was 41.7 (n=6), which increased by 6.8, 11.0, 18.0, and 22.5 points at day 14 (n=4), month 1 (n=3), 2 (n=3), and 3 (n=2). Updated data available at the time of the congress will be presented. Conclusions: Preliminary data from SPR1NT show rapid motor function improvements in presymptomatic SMA patients.
The strong, sharp flow structures that are seen frequently in tokamak cores, and large amplitude spontaneous global toroidal rotation are both surprising in light of current theories where toroidal flow evolution is dominantly diffusive. Mechanisms for spontaneously generating strong poloidal shear flows have been extensively investigated, but these processes were thought not to apply to toroidal flows. We confirm, however, that there is a regime with near-zero toroidal momentum diffusivity, where toroidal flow structures are spontaneously generated, as shown in earlier global gyrokinetic simulations. This allows strong rotation with negligible applied external torque, and the regime where this occurs is also favourable for strong turbulence stabilisation by rotation. The transition to low momentum diffusivity occurs for tight aspect ratio, low safety factor and at low levels of heat flux, in agreement with a simple zero-dimensional model for the flow–turbulence interaction.
On November 21 and 22 of 2016, Victoria witnessed an unprecedented epidemic thunderstorm asthma emergency event in size acuity and impact. This scenario was never exercised nor contemplated. The event resulted in a 73% increase in calls to the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority and 814 ambulance cases in the six hours from 6 pm on November 21, 2016. A 58% increase in people presented to public hospital emergency departments in Melbourne and Geelong on November 21 and 22, 2016 (based on the three-year average). 313 calls were made to the nurse on call from people with breathing, respiratory, and allergy problems (compared to an average of 63 calls for the previous month). Tragically, ten deaths are linked to this event.
A substantial amount of work has been completed, much of which goes towards addressing the Inspector-General for Emergency Management recommendations following a review of the event, including:
Release of an epidemic thunderstorm asthma campaign and education programs which were rolled out across Victoria for the community and health professionals from September through November 2017;
Development of a new epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system on 1 October 2017 and updated warning protocols during the 2017 grass pollen season;
Implementation of a Real-time Health Emergency Monitoring System to alert the department of demands on public hospital emergency departments on the system; and
Introduction of a new State Health Emergency Response Plan in October 2017 to improve coordination and communications before and during a health emergency.
The presentation will concentrate on the lessons learned more than two years down the track from the event in November 2016.
Whaling was a central aspect of Nuu-chah-nulth, Ditidaht and Makah culture on the northwest coast of North America. Not only was it economically important, it was vital to chiefly prestige. Art and ceremonial life were dominated by themes related to whaling. Thunderbird, the great supernatural whaler, was the source of hereditary prerogatives held by chiefs, including names, dances, regalia and rights to display images of thunderbird and whale. This paper argues that human observations of predatory behaviour by orcas (or killer whales) led to these animals also being perceived as non-human whalers from which chiefly prerogatives could be obtained. Wolves, the main figures in Nuu-chah-nulth ceremonial life, had the power to transform into orcas, explaining their frequent presence in the art with thunderbirds and whales. This paper presents archaeological evidence for orca in the context of whaling and offers interpretations based on the extensive ethnographic and oral historical records. It also places perceptions of animals, the role of the hunter's wife and beliefs about orca in a broader context involving hunting societies in northwestern North America.
In tokamak plasmas, sheared flows perpendicular to the driving temperature gradients can strongly stabilise linear modes. While the system is linearly stable, regimes with persistent nonlinear turbulence may develop, i.e. the system is subcritical. A perturbation with small but finite amplitude may be sufficient to push the plasma into a regime where nonlinear effects are dominant and thus allow sustained turbulence. The minimum threshold for nonlinear instability to be triggered provides a criterion for assessing whether a tokamak is likely to stay in the quiescent (laminar) regime. At the critical amplitude, instead of transitioning to the turbulent regime or decaying to a laminar state, the trajectory will map out the edge of chaos. Surprisingly, a quasi-travelling-wave solution is found as an attractor on this edge manifold. This simple advecting solution is qualitatively similar to, but simpler than, the avalanche-like bursts seen in earlier turbulent simulations and provides an insight into how turbulence is sustained in subcritical plasma systems. For large flow shearing rate, the system is only convectively unstable, and given a localised initial perturbation, will eventually return to a laminar state at a fixed spatial location.
Micronutrients such as trace elements and vitamins are important as enzyme cofactors in the metabolism of all cells in the body and therefore key to determining nutritional status. The present systematic review examined the evidence of the impact of the systemic inflammatory response on plasma micronutrient status in acute (surgical) and chronic tissue injury. A literature review using targeted subject headings was carried out. Plasma C-reactive protein was used to classify minor (<10 mg/l), moderate (11–80 mg/l) and major (>80 mg/l) inflammation. The literature search produced 2344 publications and plasma vitamin D, zinc and carotenoids were most commonly studied and plasma vitamins K, B2 and B6 were least studied. In acute injury thirteen studies (all prospective) and in chronic injury twenty-four studies (largely retrospective) were included in the review. There was consistent evidence that most common measured micronutrients in the plasma (zinc, selenium, vitamins A, D, E, K, B2, B6, B12, C, lutein, lycopene, α- and β-carotene) were significantly lowered from minor to moderate to major inflammation. The results of the present systematic review indicate that most plasma micronutrients fall as part of the systemic inflammatory response irrespective of acute or chronic injury. Therefore, in the presence of a systemic inflammation, plasma micronutrient concentrations should be interpreted with caution. There are a number of methods applied to adjust plasma micronutrient concentrations to avoid misdiagnosis of deficiency. Alternatively, intracellular measurements appear to obviate the need for such plasma adjustment to assess micronutrient status.
Gardner, Ryan, and Snoeyink (2018) provide illuminating analyses regarding the role of gender in career advancement within industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. One of their suggestions for further advancing this area of research is to examine homophily, defined as the tendency for individuals to have social ties with those who are similar to themselves, in the social networks of men and women in the field. Such research is warranted because social networks—in particular, the networks of research collaboration relationships (e.g., publications, grants) scientists develop throughout their careers—are critical to success in academia (e.g., Bozeman & Corley, 2004).
Commentary on the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (AC) has reflected a tension for educators of students with disabilities (SWD) between in-principle support for a curriculum that is inclusive of all students and the challenge of translating a general framework into relevant, individualised learning experiences appropriate for all SWD. In this paper, we report on findings from the second part of a national online survey in which we explored the perceptions and practices of 151 educators of SWD in specialist settings (special schools, disability units co-located at mainstream schools, special classes within mainstream schools) in relation to the AC. Specifically, these findings relate to the professional learning (PL) experiences and perceived needs of educators of SWD related to the AC and their advice to policymakers about the AC for SWD. Consistent with previous research, participants expressed a preference for PL experiences delivered on site, facilitated by content experts over extended periods, with opportunities for demonstration and targeted feedback, and in the context of collegial learning communities. In addition, participants raised concerns about the extent to which the AC is fully inclusive of all SWD. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.
Despite aspirations to be a world-class national curriculum, the Australian Curriculum (AC) has been criticised as ‘manifestly deficient’ (Australian Government Department of Education and Training, 2014 p. 5) as an inclusive curriculum, failing to meet the needs of all students with disabilities (SWD) and their teachers. There is a need for research into the daily attempts of educators to navigate the tension between a ‘top-down’ system-wide curriculum and a ‘bottom-up’ regard for individual student needs, with a view to informing both policy and practice. This article is the first of two research papers in which we report the findings from a national online Research in Special Education (RISE) Australian Curriculum Survey of special educators in special schools, classes, and units regarding their experience using the AC to plan for and teach SWD. Survey results indicated (a) inconsistent use of the AC as the primary basis for developing learning objectives and designing learning experiences, (b) infrequent use of the achievement standards to support assessment and reporting, and (c) considerable supplementation of the AC from other resources when educating SWD. Overall, participants expressed a lack of confidence in translating the AC framework into a meaningful curriculum for SWD. Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed.