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Motivated by the occurrence of a moderately nearby supernova near the beginning of the Pleistocene, possibly as part of a long-term series beginning in the Miocene, we investigated whether nitrate rainout resulting from the atmospheric ionization of enhanced cosmic ray flux could have, through its fertilizer effect, initiated carbon dioxide drawdown. Such a drawdown could possibly reduce the greenhouse effect and induce the climate change that led to the Pleistocene glaciations. We estimate that the nitrogen flux enhancement onto the surface from an event at 50 pc would be of order 10%, probably too small for dramatic changes. We estimate deposition of iron (another potential fertilizer) and find it is also too small to be significant. There are also competing effects of opposite sign, including muon irradiation and reduction in photosynthetic yield caused by UV increase from stratospheric ozone layer depletion, leading to an ambiguous result. However, if the atmospheric ionization induces a large increase in the frequency of lightning, as argued elsewhere, the amount of nitrate synthesis should be much larger, dominate over the other effects and induce the climate change. More work needs to be done to clarify the effects on lightning frequency.
Background: Since January 1, 2016 2358 people have died from opioid poisoning in Alberta. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is the recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and this treatment can be initiated in emergency departments and urgent care centres (EDs). Aim Statement: This project aims to spread a quality improvement intervention to all 107 adult EDs in Alberta by March 31, 2020. The intervention supports clinicians to initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals and provide rapid referrals to OUD treatment clinics. Measures & Design: Local ED teams were identified (administrators, clinical nurse educators, physicians and, where available, pharmacists and social workers). Local teams were supported by a provincial project team (project manager, consultant, and five physician leads) through a multi-faceted implementation process using provincial order sets, clinician education products, and patient-facing information. We used administrative ED and pharmacy data to track the number of visits where bup/nal was given in ED, and whether discharged patients continued to fill any opioid agonist treatment (OAT) prescription 30 days after their index ED visit. OUD clinics reported the number of referrals received from EDs and the number attending their first appointment. Patient safety event reports were tracked to identify any unintended negative impacts. Evaluation/Results: We report data from May 15, 2018 (program start) to September 31, 2019. Forty-nine EDs (46% of 107) implemented the program and 22 (45% of 49) reported evaluation data. There were 5385 opioid-related visits to reporting ED sites after program adoption. Bup/nal was given during 832 ED visits (663 unique patients): 7 visits in the 1st quarter the program operated, 55 in the 2nd, 74 in the 3rd, 143 in the 4th, 294 in the 5th, and 255 in the 6th. Among 505 unique discharged patients with 30 day follow up data available 319 (63%) continued to fill any OAT prescription after receiving bup/nal in ED. 16 (70%) of 23 community clinics provided data. EDs referred patients to these clinics 440 times, and 236 referrals (54%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Available data may under-report program impact. 5 patient safety events have been reported, with no harm or minimal harm to the patient. Discussion/Impact: Results demonstrate effective spread and uptake of a standardized provincial ED based early medical intervention program for patients who live with OUD.
This essay argues that Barth's christological ecclesiology is worthy of consideration as a resource to fund a more robust and distinctly theological evangelical free church ecclesiology. Specifically, Barth's articulation of the church as witness, combined with his emphases on the gathering, upbuilding and sending of the church, all resonate with a distinctly free church vantage point. Additionally, I argue that Barth's theological interpretation of Matthew 18:20 (a verse of great significance for the free church tradition) further reveals his compatibility with free church ecclesiology. I conclude that while the traditional problems associated with evangelical reception of Barth need to be addressed and his doctrine of the church as grounded in Christ (and thus election) critically assessed, Barth does end up offering a resource that can inform the development of a theologically robust evangelical free church ecclesiology.
Drawing on archives from the US labour movement, personal papers of transnational labour organisers, Bolivian oral histories and press reports, and government records from four countries, this article explores a web of Cold War relationships forged between Bolivian workers and US government and labour officials. Uncovering a panoply of parallel and sometimes conflicting state-supported trade union development programmes, the article reveals governments’ inability to fully control the exuberance of ideologically-motivated labour activists. Rather than succeed in shoring up a civilian government as intended, US President John F. Kennedy's union-busting programme aggravated fissures in Bolivia's non-Communist Left, ultimately frustrating its attempt to steer a non-aligned posture in Latin America's Cold War. Employing transnational methods to bridge gaps between labour, development and diplomatic history, this article points toward a new imperial studies approach to the multi-sited conflicts that shaped the post-war trajectory of labour movements in Bolivia and throughout the Third World.
Hendra virus (HeV) continues to cause fatal infection in horses and threaten infection in close-contact humans in eastern Australia. Species of Pteropus bats (flying-foxes) are the natural reservoir of the virus. We caught and sampled flying-foxes from a multispecies roost in southeast Queensland, Australia on eight occasions between June 2013 and June 2014. The effects of sample date, species, sex, age class, body condition score (BCS), pregnancy and lactation on HeV antibody prevalence, log-transformed median fluorescent intensity (lnMFI) values and HeV RNA status were assessed using unbalanced generalised linear models. A total of 1968 flying-foxes were sampled, comprising 1012 Pteropus alecto, 742 P. poliocephalus and 214 P. scapulatus. Sample date, species and age class were each statistically associated with HeV RNA status, antibody status and lnMFI values; BCS was statistically associated with HeV RNA status and antibody status. The findings support immunologically naïve sub-adult P. alecto playing an important role in maintaining HeV infection at a population level. The biological significance of the association between BCS and HeV RNA status, and BCS and HeV antibody status, is less clear and warrants further investigation. Contrary to previous studies, we found no direct association between HeV infection and pregnancy or lactation. The findings in P. poliocephalus suggest that HeV exposure in this species may not result in systemic infection and virus excretion, or alternatively, may reflect assay cross-reactivity with another (unidentified) henipavirus.
Overweight and obesity may increase risk of disease progression in men with prostate cancer, but there have been few studies of weight loss interventions in this patient group. In this study overweight or obese men treated for prostate cancer were randomised to a self-help diet and activity intervention with telephone-based dietitian support or a wait-list mini-intervention group. The intervention group had an initial group meeting, a supporting letter from their urological consultant, three telephone dietitian consultations at 4-week intervals, a pedometer and access to web-based diet and physical activity resources. At 12 weeks, men in both groups were given digital scales for providing follow-up weight measurements, and the wait-list group received a mini-intervention of the supporting letter, a pedometer and access to the web-based resources. Sixty-two men were randomised; fifty-four completed baseline and 12-week measurements, and fifty-one and twenty-seven provided measurements at 6 and 12 months, respectively. In a repeated-measures model, mean difference in weight change between groups (wait-list mini-intervention minus intervention) at 12 weeks was −2·13 (95 % CI −3·44, −0·82) kg (P = 0·002). At 12 months the corresponding value was −2·43 (95 % CI −4·50, −0·37) kg (P = 0·022). Mean difference in global quality of life score change between groups at 12 weeks was 12·3 (95 % CI 4·93, 19·7) (P = 0·002); at 12 months there were no significant differences between groups. Results suggest the potential of self-help diet and physical activity intervention with trained support for modest but sustained weight loss in this patient group.
Although researchers have described numerous risk factors for salmonellosis and for infection with specific common serotypes, the drivers of Salmonella serotype diversity among human populations remain poorly understood. In this retrospective observational study, we partition records of serotyped non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from human clinical specimens reported to CDC national surveillance by demographic, geographic and seasonal characteristics and adapt sample-based rarefaction methods from the field of community ecology to study how Salmonella serotype diversity varied within and among these populations in the USA during 1996–2016. We observed substantially higher serotype richness in children <2 years old than in older children and adults and steadily increasing richness with age among older adults. Whereas seasonal and regional variation in serotype diversity was highest among infants and young children, variation by specimen source was highest in adults. Our findings suggest that the risk for infection from uncommon serotypes is associated with host and environmental factors, particularly among infants, young children and older adults. These populations may have a higher proportion of illness acquired through environmental transmission pathways than published source attribution models estimate.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Introduction: Canadian undergraduate medical Emergency Medicine (EM) rotations are often completed at either tertiary care centres or regional community hospitals. While the latter offer students exposure to different practice settings and population needs, many students perceive that teaching at tertiary care EM departments is superior to that in community hospitals. At our institution, third year undergraduate medical students complete three-week EM rotation at either a tertiary centre or a community hospital. We compared academic and clinical performance between students trained in tertiary care centres and students trained in community hospitals. Methods: Academic and clinical performance in EM was evaluated based on the results of an EM-specific multiple choice examination (MCQE) and an annual Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) assessing competency in a broad range of clinical scenarios commonly addressed in EM. The 40-question MCQE is administered quarterly and a mix of old and new questions are used to ensure consistency. The OSCE is administered annually and relies on the same principal to remain consistent. OSCE scores are binary: pass or fail. We reviewed MCQE and OSCE scores from three consecutive cohorts of students. Students were pooled into two groups, tertiary and community, based on the site of their EM rotation. Mean MCQE and OSCE performance were compared between the two groups of students using two-tailed unpaired T tests. Chi squared tests were used to identify significant differences in scores between cohorts. Results: MCQE and OSCE scores from 312 students over three consecutive cohorts were analyzed. Cohorts included 104, 100, and 108 students with 61% trained in tertiary centres (N = 191). Students trained in tertiary centres had a mean MCQE score of 77%. Students from community centres had a mean score of 78%. There was no significant difference in MCQE scores between tertiary- and community-trained students (p = 0.6099). The OSCE pass rate was 97% for students trained in tertiary centres and 98% for students trained in community centres. OSCE pass rates were not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.8145). Conclusion: Despite student perceptions that training in tertiary care EM centres was superior, objective analysis showed that academic and clinical performance were similar regardless of training site.
Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
Radiocarbon dates on artifacts from a Puebloan shrine in New Mexico reveal a persistence in ritual practice for some 3,800 years. The dates indicate that the shrine had become an important location for ceremonial observances related to warfare by almost 2000 cal. B.C., coinciding with the time when food production was first practiced in the Southwest. The shrine exhibits continuity of ritual behavior, something that Puebloans may find unsurprising, but also changes in the artifacts deposited that indicate new technology, transformations of belief, and perhaps shifting cultural boundaries. After briefly describing this shrine, we discuss some of the artifacts that were deposited there, in particular atlatl darts and flat curved sticks with longitudinal facial grooves. We argue that both were used in ritual fights and then deposited in the shrine as offerings, establishing a behavioral tradition that set the precedent for ethnographic recognition of the site as an important war shrine. Atlatl darts are analogous with prayer sticks, the latter representing a derived form of this offering with arrows as an intermediary form. Flat curved sticks were used for defense against atlatl darts in duels that enhanced warrior status.
Research suggests Emergency Medical Services (EMS) over-use in urban cities is partly due to substance users with limited access to medical/social services. Recent efforts to deliver brief, motivational messages to encourage these individuals to enter treatment have not considered EMS providers.
Little research has been done with EMS providers who serve substance-using patients. The EMS providers were interviewed about participating in a pilot program where they would be trained to screen their patients for substance abuse and encourage them to enter drug treatment.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD; Baltimore, Maryland USA) EMS providers (N=22). Topics included EMS misuse, work demands, and views on participating in the pilot program. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory and constant-comparison.
Participants were mostly white (68.1%); male (68.2%); with Advanced Life Skills training (90.9%). Mean age was 37.5 years. Providers described the “frequent flyer problem” (eg, EMS over-use by a few repeat non-emergent cases). Providers expressed disappointment with local health delivery due to resource limitations and being excluded from decision making within their administration, leading to reduced team morale and burnout. Nonetheless, providers acknowledged they are well-positioned to intervene with substance-using patients because they are in direct contact and have built rapport with them. They noted patients might be most receptive to motivational messages immediately after overdose revival, which several called “hitting their bottom.” Several stated that involvement with the proposed study would be facilitated by direct incorporation into EMS providers’ current workflow. Many recommended that research team members accompany EMS providers while on-call to observe their day-to-day work. Barriers identified by the providers included time constraints to intervene, limited knowledge of substance abuse treatment modalities, and fearing negative repercussions from supervisors and/or patients. Despite reservations, several EMS providers expressed inclination to deliver brief motivational messages to encourage substance-using patients to consider treatment, given adequate training and skill-building.
Emergency Medical Service providers may have many demands, including difficult case time/resource limitations. Even so, participants recognized their unique position as first responders to deliver motivational, harm-reduction messages to substance-using patients during transport. With incentivized training, implementing this program could be life- and cost-saving, improving emergency and behavioral health services. Findings will inform future efforts to connect substance users with drug treatment, potentially reducing EMS over-use in Baltimore.
Maragh-BassAC, FieldsJC, McWilliamsJ, KnowltonAR. Challenges and Opportunities to Engaging Emergency Medical Service Providers in Substance Use Research: A Qualitative Study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):148–155.
This study details the characterization of a glass sample exposed to hyperalkaline water and calcium-rich sediment for an extended time period (estimated as 2 - 70 years) at a lime (CaO) waste site in the UK. We introduce this site, known as Peak Dale, in reference to its use as a natural analogue for nuclear waste glass dissolution in the high pH environment of a cementitious engineered barrier of a geological disposal facility. In particular, a preliminary assessment of alteration layer chemistry and morphology is described and the initiation of a long-term durability assessment is outlined.
Tokamak turbulence, driven by the ion-temperature gradient and occurring in the presence of flow shear, is investigated by means of local, ion-scale, electrostatic gyrokinetic simulations (with both kinetic ions and electrons) of the conditions in the outer core of the Mega-Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST). A parameter scan in the local values of the ion-temperature gradient and flow shear is performed. It is demonstrated that the experimentally observed state is near the stability threshold and that this stability threshold is nonlinear: sheared turbulence is subcritical, i.e. the system is formally stable to small perturbations, but, given a large enough initial perturbation, it transitions to a turbulent state. A scenario for such a transition is proposed and supported by numerical results: close to threshold, the nonlinear saturated state and the associated anomalous heat transport are dominated by long-lived coherent structures, which drift across the domain, have finite amplitudes, but are not volume filling; as the system is taken away from the threshold into the more unstable regime, the number of these structures increases until they overlap and a more conventional chaotic state emerges. Whereas this appears to represent a new scenario for transition to turbulence in tokamak plasmas, it is reminiscent of the behaviour of other subcritically turbulent systems, e.g. pipe flows and Keplerian magnetorotational accretion flows.
The nutrient choline is necessary for membrane synthesis and methyl donation, with increased requirements during lactation. The majority of immune development occurs postnatally, but the importance of choline supply for immune development during this critical period is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of maternal supply of choline during suckling on immune function in their offspring among rodents. At parturition, Sprague–Dawley dams were randomised to either a choline-devoid (ChD; n 7) or choline-sufficient (ChS, 1 g/kg choline; n 10) diet with their offspring euthanised at 3 weeks of age. In a second experiment, offspring were weaned to a ChS diet until 10 weeks of age (ChD-ChS, n 5 and ChS-ChS, n 9). Splenocytes were isolated, and parameters of immune function were measured. The ChD offspring received less choline in breast milk and had lower final body and organ weight compared with ChS offspring (P<0·05), but this effect disappeared by week 10 with choline supplementation from weaning. ChD offspring had a higher proportion of T cells expressing activation markers (CD71 or CD28) and a lower proportion of total B cells (CD45RA+) and responded less to T cell stimulation (lower stimulation index and less IFN-γ production) ex vivo (P<0·05). ChD-ChS offspring had a lower proportion of total and activated CD4+ T cells, and produced less IL-6 after mitogen stimulation compared with cells from ChS-ChS (P<0·05). Our study suggests that choline is required in the suckling diet to facilitate immune development, and choline deprivation during this critical period has lasting effects on T cell function later in life.
Hendra virus (HeV) was first described in 1994 in an outbreak of acute and highly lethal disease in horses and humans in Australia. Equine cases continue to be diagnosed periodically, yet the predisposing factors for infection remain unclear. We undertook an analysis of equine submissions tested for HeV by the Queensland government veterinary reference laboratory over a 20-year period to identify and investigate any patterns. We found a marked increase in testing from July 2008, primarily reflecting a broadening of the HeV clinical case definition. Peaks in submissions for testing, and visitations to the Government HeV website, were associated with reported equine incidents. Significantly differing between-year HeV detection rates in north and south Queensland suggest a fundamental difference in risk exposure between the two regions. The statistical association between HeV detection and stockhorse type may suggest that husbandry is a more important risk determinant than breed per se. The detection of HeV in horses with neither neurological nor respiratory signs poses a risk management challenge for attending veterinarians and laboratory staff, reinforcing animal health authority recommendations that appropriate risk management strategies be employed for all sick horses, and by anyone handling sick horses or associated biological samples.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) plays a critical role in gut mucosal immune defense. Initially provided by breastmilk, IgA production by the infant gut is gradually stimulated by developing gut microbiota. This study reports associations between infant fecal IgA concentrations 4 months after birth, breastfeeding status and other pre/postnatal exposures in 47 infants in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development cohort. Breastfed infants and first-born infants had higher median fecal IgA concentrations (23.11 v. 9.34 µg/g protein, P<0.01 and 22.19 v. 8.23 µg/g protein, P=0.04). IgA levels increased successively with exclusivity of breastfeeding (β-coefficient, 0.37, P<0.05). This statistical association was independent of maternal parity and household pets. In the absence of breastfeeding, female sex and pet exposure elevated fecal IgA to levels found in breastfed infants. In addition to breastfeeding, infant fecal IgA associations with pre/postnatal exposures may affect gut immunity and risk of allergic disease.