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Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the most frequently reported hospital-acquired infection in the United States. Bioaerosols generated during toilet flushing are a possible mechanism for the spread of this pathogen in clinical settings.
To measure the bioaerosol concentration from toilets of patients with CDI before and after flushing.
In this pilot study, bioaerosols were collected 0.15 m, 0.5 m, and 1.0 m from the rims of the toilets in the bathrooms of hospitalized patients with CDI. Inhibitory, selective media were used to detect C. difficile and other facultative anaerobes. Room air was collected continuously for 20 minutes with a bioaerosol sampler before and after toilet flushing. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to assess the difference in bioaerosol production before and after flushing.
Rooms of patients with CDI at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Bacteria were positively cultured from 8 of 24 rooms (33%). In total, 72 preflush and 72 postflush samples were collected; 9 of the preflush samples (13%) and 19 of the postflush samples (26%) were culture positive for healthcare-associated bacteria. The predominant species cultured were Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, and C. difficile. Compared to the preflush samples, the postflush samples showed significant increases in the concentrations of the 2 large particle-size categories: 5.0 µm (P = .0095) and 10.0 µm (P = .0082).
Bioaerosols produced by toilet flushing potentially contribute to hospital environmental contamination. Prevention measures (eg, toilet lids) should be evaluated as interventions to prevent toilet-associated environmental contamination in clinical settings.
We present a workflow to track icebergs in proglacial fjords using oblique time-lapse photos and the Lucas-Kanade optical flow algorithm. We employ the workflow at LeConte Bay, Alaska, where we ran five time-lapse cameras between April 2016 and September 2017, capturing more than 400 000 photos at frame rates of 0.5–4.0 min−1. Hourly to daily average velocity fields in map coordinates illustrate dynamic currents in the bay, with dominant downfjord velocities (exceeding 0.5 m s−1 intermittently) and several eddies. Comparisons with simultaneous Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements yield best agreement for the uppermost ADCP levels (~ 12 m and above), in line with prevalent small icebergs that trace near-surface currents. Tracking results from multiple cameras compare favorably, although cameras with lower frame rates (0.5 min−1) tend to underestimate high flow speeds. Tests to determine requisite temporal and spatial image resolution confirm the importance of high image frame rates, while spatial resolution is of secondary importance. Application of our procedure to other fjords will be successful if iceberg concentrations are high enough and if the camera frame rates are sufficiently rapid (at least 1 min−1 for conditions similar to LeConte Bay).
The consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables can acutely lower blood pressure and improve mediators shown to optimise vascular health. However, we do not yet understand the impact of long-term habitual dietary nitrate intake and its association with CVD. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to examine the relationship between habitual dietary nitrate intakes and risk of CHD in women from the Nurses’ Health Study. We prospectively followed 62 535 women who were free from diabetes, CVD and cancer at baseline in 1986. Information on diet was updated every 4 years with validated FFQ. The main outcome was CHD defined by the occurrence of non-fatal myocardial infarction or fatal CHD. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate the relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI. During 26 years of follow-up, 2257 cases of CHD were identified. When comparing the highest quintile of nitrate intake with the lowest quintile, in aged-adjusted analysis there was a protective association for CHD (RR=0·77, 95 % CI 0·68, 0·97; P=0·0002) which dissipated after further adjustment for smoking, physical activity, BMI and race (RR=0·91; 95 % CI 0·80, 1·04; P=0·27). This magnitude of association was further attenuated once we adjusted for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index excluding vegetable and fruit consumption (RR=1·04, 95 % CI 0·91, 1·20; P=0·34). Dietary nitrate intake was not related to the risk of CHD after adjustment for other lifestyle and non-vegetable dietary factors in a large group of US women.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Nutraceuticals have generated interest as a way to mitigate the cognitive decline in older adults. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the evidence for these claims from the scientific literature in randomised, double-blinded, controlled trials (duration: ≥1 year; participants: n≥100; age(mean): ≥65 years). Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched four electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL and Web of Science) and identified twenty-five studies published between the 15·June·2006 and 14·June·2016. Interventions included B-vitamins, n-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins and herbs. Of the B-vitamin studies, four found benefits to cognition with supplementation. The first of these B-vitamin studies, in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (n 266; duration=2 years), included benefit to executive function (P=0·015) and improvements in the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) among participants with baseline homocysteine above 11·3 µmol/l (P<0·001). In the same sample, the second study found cognitive benefits of B-vitamins dependent on the higher baseline plasma n-3 fatty acid status. The third B-vitamin study (n 900; duration=2 years) reported improved performance in immediate (P=0·046) and delayed recall (P=0·013), whereas the fourth study (n 856; duration=2 years) reported slower rate of cognitive decline in the MMSE (P=0·05). One study investigating DHA treatment (n 402; duration=1·5 years) revealed the slower rate of cognitive change in apoE e4 non-carriers (P=0·03). As only five included studies revealed notable benefits, presently based on the specific compounds explored here, there is not compelling evidence to support the use nutraceuticals to improve cognition in the elderly. Future long-term trials of nutraceuticals should investigate interactions with lifestyle, blood biomarkers and genetic risk factors.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
Whole apples have not been previously implicated in outbreaks of foodborne bacterial illness. We investigated a nationwide listeriosis outbreak associated with caramel apples. We defined an outbreak-associated case as an infection with one or both of two outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes highly related by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) from 1 October 2014 to 1 February 2015. Single-interviewer open-ended interviews identified the source. Outbreak-associated cases were compared with non-outbreak-associated cases and traceback and environmental investigations were performed. We identified 35 outbreak-associated cases in 12 states; 34 (97%) were hospitalized and seven (20%) died. Outbreak-associated ill persons were more likely to have eaten commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples (odds ratio 326·7, 95% confidence interval 32·2–3314). Environmental samples from the grower's packing facility and distribution-chain whole apples yielded isolates highly related to outbreak isolates by wgMLST. This outbreak highlights the importance of minimizing produce contamination with L. monocytogenes. Investigators should perform single-interviewer open-ended interviews when a food is not readily identified.
In this project we have involved four high-achieving pre-university summer placement students in the development of undergraduate teaching materials, namely tutorial videos for first year undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering lab, and computer simulations of didactic semiconductor structures for an Electrical Science first year compulsory taught module. Here we describe our approach and preliminary results.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass clumps. Recently completed, it mapped 90 GHz line emission towards 3 246 high-mass clumps identified from the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. By utilising the broad frequency coverage of the Mopra telescope’s spectrometer, maps in 16 different emission lines were simultaneously obtained. Here, we describe the first catalogue of the detected line emission, generated by Gaussian profile fitting to spectra extracted towards each clumps’ 870 μm dust continuum peak. Synthetic spectra show that the catalogue has a completeness of > 95%, a probability of a false-positive detection of < 0.3%, and a relative uncertainty in the measured quantities of < 20% over the range of detection criteria. The detection rates are highest for the (1–0) transitions of HCO+, HNC, N2H+, and HCN (~77–89%). Almost all clumps (~95%) are detected in at least one of the molecular transitions, just over half of the clumps (~53%) are detected in four or more of the transitions, while only one clump is detected in 13 transitions. We find several striking trends in the ensemble of properties for the different molecular transitions when plotted as a function of the clumps’ evolutionary state as estimated from Spitzer mid-IR images, including (1) HNC is relatively brighter in colder, less evolved clumps than those that show active star formation, (2) N2H+ is relatively brighter in the earlier stages, (3) that the observed optical depth decreases as the clumps evolve, and (4) the optically thickest HCO+ emission shows a ‘blue-red asymmetry’ indicating overall collapse that monotonically decreases as the clumps evolve. This catalogue represents the largest compiled database of line emission towards high-mass clumps and is a valuable data set for detailed studies of these objects.
The rare potassium zirconium silicate dalyite has been identified for the first time on Terceira, Azores, within syenitic ejecta of the Caldeira-Castelinho Ignimbrite Formation. New quantitative analyses of this dalyite were combined with the small number of published analyses from various locations worldwide to evaluate the mineral's compositional variability. Additionally, solid-state modelling has been applied to assess the site allocations of substituting elements. The new analyses yield the average formula (K1.84Na0.15)∑=1.99(Zr0.94Ti0.012Hf0.011Fe0.004)∑=0.967Si6.03O15. Model results predict the placement of substituting Hf and Ti in the octahedral site, and highlight the overall complexity in the incorporation of Fe, Mg and Ba. The combined dataset reveals that dalyite found within peralkaline granites and syenites is generally defined by higher Na↔K substitution and lower Ti↔Zr substitution relative to dalyite from highly potassic rocks. The Terceira dalyite exhibits a bimodal variation in the degree of Na↔K substitution which is attributed to a K-enrichment trend induced by late-stage pore wall crystallization and albitization, coupled with the control of pore size upon the degree of supersaturation required to initiate nucleation of dalyite in pores of varying size.
During the Skylab period from June 1973 to January 1974 approximately 1500 type III metre-wave radio bursts or burst groups were reported (Solar Geophysical Data Prompt Reports). The longitudinal distribution of these type III bursts closely resembles that of sunspots and of the coronal transients observed above 2 R⊙ by the white-light coronagraph on Skylab. White light ejection transients appear as large loop or blob-like structures which carry material outward from the Sun and rearrange the corona. In front of the main, bright structures there are weak enhancements of brightness, termed forerunners (Jackson and Hildner 1978; Jackson 1978). In this paper we enquire into whether or not type III bursts are in any way related to the onset of solar mass ejections indicated by coronal transients.
Studies of coronal transients observed in white-light (Gosling et al., 1976) have shown that fast-moving events (≤ 400 km s-1) are closely associated with flares and with type II and IV radio bursts while slow-moving events are not. We now report the first detection of the radio counterpart of a slow-moving transient. The event of 1974 January 21 is shown to be visible on maps of the quiet Sun made at a frequency of 80 MHz.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, the direction of this association is not yet established, as most prior studies employed cross-sectional designs. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate bidirectional associations between PTSD and MetS using a longitudinal design.
A total of 1355 male and female veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan underwent PTSD diagnostic assessments and their biometric profiles pertaining to MetS were extracted from the electronic medical record at two time points (spanning ~2.5 years, n = 971 at time 2).
The prevalence of MetS among veterans with PTSD was just under 40% at both time points and was significantly greater than that for veterans without PTSD; the prevalence of MetS among those with PTSD was also elevated relative to age-matched population estimates. Cross-lagged panel models revealed that PTSD severity predicted subsequent increases in MetS severity (β = 0.08, p = 0.002), after controlling for initial MetS severity, but MetS did not predict later PTSD symptoms. Logistic regression results suggested that for every 10 PTSD symptoms endorsed at time 1, the odds of a subsequent MetS diagnosis increased by 56%.
Results highlight the substantial cardiometabolic concerns of young veterans with PTSD and raise the possibility that PTSD may predispose individuals to accelerated aging, in part, manifested clinically as MetS. This demonstrates the need to identify those with PTSD at greatest risk for MetS and to develop interventions that improve both conditions.
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables (FV), which contain (poly)phenols, protect against age-related inflammation and chronic diseases. T-lymphocytes contribute to systemic cytokine production and are modulated by FV intake. Little is known about the relative potency of different (poly)phenols in modulating cytokine release by lymphocytes. We compared thirty-one (poly)phenols and six (poly)phenol mixtures for effects on pro-inflammatory cytokine release by Jurkat T-lymphocytes. Test compounds were incubated with Jurkat cells for 48 h at 1 and 30 µm, with or without phorbol ester treatment at 24 h to induce cytokine release. Three test compounds that reduced cytokine release were further incubated with primary lymphocytes at 0·2 and 1 µm for 24 h, with lipopolysaccharide added at 5 h. Cytokine release was measured, and generation of H2O2 by test compounds was determined to assess any potential correlations with cytokine release. A number of (poly)phenols significantly altered cytokine release from Jurkat cells (P<0·05), but H2O2 generation did not correlate with cytokine release. Resveratrol, isorhamnetin, curcumin, vanillic acid and specific (poly)phenol mixtures reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine release from T-lymphocytes, and there was evidence for interaction between (poly)phenols to further modulate cytokine release. The release of interferon-γ induced protein 10 by primary lymphocytes was significantly reduced following treatment with 1 µm isorhamnetin (P<0·05). These results suggest that (poly)phenols derived from onions, turmeric, red grapes, green tea and açai berries may help reduce the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in people at risk of chronic inflammation.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause bacteraemia, meningitis, and complications during pregnancy. In July 2012, molecular subtyping identified indistinguishable L. monocytogenes isolates from six patients and two samples of different cut and repackaged cheeses. A multistate outbreak investigation was initiated. Initial analyses identified an association between eating soft cheese and outbreak-related illness (odds ratio 17·3, 95% confidence interval 2·0–825·7) but no common brand. Cheese inventory data from locations where patients bought cheese and an additional location where repackaged cheese yielded the outbreak strain were compared to identify cheeses for microbiological sampling. Intact packages of imported ricotta salata yielded the outbreak strain. Fourteen jurisdictions reported 22 cases from March–October 2012, including four deaths and a fetal loss. Six patients ultimately reported eating ricotta salata; another reported eating cheese likely cut with equipment also used for contaminated ricotta salata, and nine more reported eating other cheeses that might also have been cross-contaminated. An FDA import alert and US and international recalls followed. Epidemiology-directed microbiological testing of suspect cheeses helped identify the outbreak source. Cross-contamination of cheese highlights the importance of using validated disinfectant protocols and routine cleaning and sanitizing after cutting each block or wheel.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.