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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has laid down certain guidelines for prescribing Anti-cholinesterases in patients with dementia. Keeping in mind the NICE guidance, an audit was conducted to see whether these were followed.
Aims and objectives
To ascertain the level of compliance to the NICE guidance and ensure they are adhered to.
The data was collected from patients attending the memory clinic at Park Royal Centre for Mental Health in Central London over a six month period. Sixteen patients were randomly selected for this audit. The baseline MMSE score was recorded and also the medication prescribed.
The baseline MMSE score in all the 16 (100%) patients was above the recommended score of 12.
The MMSE score was done in 12(75%) patients during follow up at 4–6 months.
Of the 12 available MMSE scores at follow up, none were below 12 and hence continued treatment.
In 2 (12.5%) patients there was an improvement, in 6 (37.5%) patients there was a fall and in 4 (25%) patients there was no change in the MMSE score at follow up.
It was found that the NICE guidance was followed in most (75%) patients.
Epidemiological studies have reported that the increased risk of developing psychosis in cannabis users is dose related. In addition, experimental research has shown that the active constituent of cannabis responsible for its psychotogenic effect is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (Murray et al, 2007). Recent evidence has suggested an increased in potency (% TCH) in the cannabis seized in the UK (Potter et al, 2007).
We predicted that first episode psychosis patients are more likely to use higher potency cannabis and more frequently than controls.
We collected information concerning socio-demographic, clinical characteristics and cannabis use (age at first use, frequency, length of use, type of cannabis used) from a sample of 191 first-episode psychosis patients and 120 matched healthy volunteers. All were recruited as part of the Genetic and Psychosis (GAP) study which studied all patients who presented to the South London and Maudsley Trust.
There was no significant difference in the life-time prevalence of cannabis use or age at first use between cases and controls. However, cases were more likely to be regular users (p=0.05), to be current users (p=0.04) and to have smoked cannabis for longer (p=0.01). Among cannabis users, 86.8% of 1st Episode Psychosis Patients preferentially used Skunk/Sinsemilla compared to 27.7% of Controls. Only 13.2 % of 1st Episode psychosis Patients chose to use Resin/Hash compared to 76.3% of controls. The concentration of TCH in these in South East London, ranges between 8.5 and 14 % (Potter et al, 2007). Controls (47%) were more likely to use Hash (Resin) whose average TCH concentration is 3.4% (Potter et al, 2007).
Patients with first episode psychosis have smoked higher potency cannabis, for longer and with greater frequency, than healthy controls.
Although apps are increasingly being used to support the diagnosis, treatment and management of mental illness, there is no single means through which costs associated with mental apps are being reimbursed. Furthermore, different apps are amenable to different means of reimbursement as not all apps generate value in the same way.
To provide insights into how apps are currently generating value and being reimbursed across the world, with a particular focus on the situation in the USA.
An international team performed secondary research on how apps are being used and on common pathways to remuneration.
The uses of apps today and in the future are reviewed, the nature of the value delivered by apps is summarised and an overview of app reimbursement in the USA and other countries is provided. Recommendations regarding how payments might be made for apps in the future are discussed.
Currently, apps are being reimbursed through channels with other original purposes. There may be a need to develop an app-specific channel for reimbursement which is analogous to the channels used for devices, drugs and laboratory tests.
To describe pathogen distribution and rates for central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) from different acute-care locations during 2011–2017 to inform prevention efforts.
CLABSI data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) were analyzed. Percentages and pooled mean incidence density rates were calculated for a variety of pathogens and stratified by acute-care location groups (adult intensive care units [ICUs], pediatric ICUs [PICUs], adult wards, pediatric wards, and oncology wards).
From 2011 to 2017, 136,264 CLABSIs were reported to the NHSN by adult and pediatric acute-care locations; adult ICUs and wards reported the most CLABSIs: 59,461 (44%) and 40,763 (30%), respectively. In 2017, the most common pathogens were Candida spp/yeast in adult ICUs (27%) and Enterobacteriaceae in adult wards, pediatric wards, oncology wards, and PICUs (23%–31%). Most pathogen-specific CLABSI rates decreased over time, excepting Candida spp/yeast in adult ICUs and Enterobacteriaceae in oncology wards, which increased, and Staphylococcus aureus rates in pediatric locations, which did not change.
The pathogens associated with CLABSIs differ across acute-care location groups. Learning how pathogen-targeted prevention efforts could augment current prevention strategies, such as strategies aimed at preventing Candida spp/yeast and Enterobacteriaceae CLABSIs, might further reduce national rates.
Heterotrophic soil protists encompass lineages that are both evolutionarily ancient and highly diverse, providing an untapped wealth of scientific insight. Yet the diversity of free-living heterotrophic terrestrial protists is still largely unknown. To contribute to our understanding of this diversity, we present a checklist of heterotrophic protists currently reported from terrestrial Antarctica, for which no comprehensive evaluation currently exists. As a polar continent, Antarctica is especially susceptible to rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing a baseline for future conservation efforts of Antarctic protists is therefore important. We performed a literature search and found 236 taxa identified to species and an additional 303 taxa identified to higher taxonomic levels in 54 studies spanning over 100 years of research. Isolated by distance, climate and the circumpolar vortex, Antarctica is the most extreme continent on Earth: it is not unreasonable to think that it may host physiologically and evolutionarily unique species of protists, yet currently most species discovered in Antarctica are considered cosmopolitan. Additional sampling of the more extreme intra-continental zones will probably result in the discovery of more novel and unique taxa.
Introduction: Although oral rehydration therapy is recommended for children with acute gastroenteritis (AGE) with none to some dehydration, intravenous (IV) rehydration is still commonly administered to these children in high-income countries. IV rehydration is associated with pain, anxiety, and emergency department (ED) revisits in children with AGE. A better understanding of the factors associated with IV rehydration is needed to inform knowledge translation strategies. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) and Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) randomized, controlled trials of oral probiotics in children with AGE-associated diarrhea. Eligible children were aged 3-48 months and reported > 3 watery stools in a 24-hour period. The primary outcome was administration of IV rehydration at the index ED visit. We used mixed-effects logistic regression model to explore univariable and multivariable relationships between IV rehydration and a priori risk factors. Results: From the parent study sample of 1848 participants, 1846 had data available for analysis: mean (SD) age of 19.1 ± 11.4 months, 45.4% females. 70.2% (1292/1840) vomited within 24 hours of the index ED visit and 34.1% (629/1846) received ondansetron in the ED. 13.0% (240/1846) were administered IV rehydration at the index ED visit, and 3.6% (67/1842) were hospitalized. Multivariable predictors of IV rehydration were Clinical Dehydration Scale (CDS) score [compared to none: mild to moderate (OR: 8.1, CI: 5.5-11.8); severe (OR: 45.9, 95% CI: 20.1-104.7), P < 0.001], ondansetron in the ED (OR: 1.8, CI: 1.2-2.6, P = 0.003), previous healthcare visit for the same illness [compared to no prior visit: prior visit with no IV (OR: 1.9, 95% CI: 1.3-2.9); prior visit with IV (OR: 10.5, 95% CI: 3.2-34.8), P < 0.001], and country [compared to Canada: US (OR: 4.1, CI: 2.3-7.4, P < 0.001]. Significantly more participants returned to the ED with symptoms of AGE within 3 days if IV fluids were administered at the index visit [30/224 (13.4%) versus 88/1453 (6.1%), P < 0.001]. Conclusion: Higher CDS scores, antiemetic use, previous healthcare visits and country were independent predictors of IV rehydration which was also associated with increased ED revisits. Knowledge translation focused on optimizing the use of antiemetics (i.e. for those with dehydration) and reducing the geographic variation in IV rehydration use may improve the ED experience and reduce ED-revisits.
Childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest predictors of adulthood depression and alterations to circulating levels of inflammatory markers is one putative mechanism mediating risk or resilience.
To determine the effects of childhood maltreatment on circulating levels of 41 inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with a major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis.
We investigated the association of childhood maltreatment with levels of 41 inflammatory markers in two groups, 164 patients with MDD and 301 controls, using multiplex electrochemiluminescence methods applied to blood serum.
Childhood maltreatment was not associated with altered inflammatory markers in either group after multiple testing correction. Body mass index (BMI) exerted strong effects on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in those with MDD.
Childhood maltreatment did not exert effects on inflammatory marker levels in either the participants with MDD or the control group in our study. Our results instead highlight the more pertinent influence of BMI.
Declaration of interest
D.A.C. and H.W. work for Eli Lilly Inc. R.N. has received speaker fees from Sunovion, Jansen and Lundbeck. G.B. has received consultancy fees and funding from Eli Lilly. R.H.M.-W. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, MyTomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Pulse, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO and Sunovian. I.M.A. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with Alkermes, Lundbeck, Lundbeck/Otsuka, and Servier. S.W. has sat on an advisory board for Sunovion, Allergan and has received speaker fees from Astra Zeneca. A.H.Y. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly, Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion, Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. A.J.C. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck and research grant support from Lundbeck.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Li[Lix/3Mn2x/3M1−x]O2 (M = Ni, Mn, Co) (HE-NMC) materials, which can be expressed as a combination of trigonal LiTMO2 (TM = transition metal) and monoclinic Li2MnO3 phases, are of great interest as high capacity cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. However, structural stability prevents their commercial adoption. To address this, Si doping was applied, resulting in improved stability. Raman and differential capacity analyses suggest that silicon doping improves the structural stability during electrochemical cycling. Furthermore, the doped material exhibits a 10% higher capacity relative to the control. The superior capacity likely results from the increased lattice parameters as determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the lower resistance during the first cycle found by impedance and direct current resistance (DCR) measurements. Density functional theory (DFT) predictions suggest that the observed lattice expansion is an indication of increased oxygen vacancy concentration and may be due to the Si doping.
Introduction: Emergency Department Overcrowding (EDOC) is a multifactorial issue that leads to Access Block for patients needing emergency care. Identified as a national problem, patients presenting to a Canadian Emergency Department (ED) at a time of overcrowding have higher rates of admission to hospital and increased seven-day mortality. Using the well accepted input-throughput-output model to study EDOC, current research has focused on throughput as a measure of patient flow, reported as ED length of stay (LOS). In fact, ED LOS and ED beds occupied by inpatients are two “extremely important indicators of EDOC identified by a 2005 survey of Canadian ED directors. One proposed solution to improve ED throughput is to utilize a physician at triage (PAT) to rapidly assess newly arriving patients. In 2017, a pilot PAT program was trialed at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), a tertiary care hospital, as part of a PDSA cycle. The aim was to mitigate EDOC by improving ED throughput by the end of 2018, to meet the national targets for ED LOS suggested in the 2013 CAEP position statement. Methods: During the fiscal periods 1-6 (April 1 to September 7, 2017) a PAT shift occurred daily from 1000-2200, over four long weekends. ED LOS, time to inpatient bed, time to physician initial assessment (PIA), number of British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) offload delays, and number of patients who left without being seen (LWBS) were extracted from an administrative database. Results were retrospectively analyzed and compared to data from 1000-2200 of non-PAT trial days during the trial periods. Results: Median ED LOS decreased from 3.8 to 3.4 hours for high-acuity patients (CTAS 1-3), from 2.1 to 1.8 hours for low-acuity patients (CTAS 4-5), and from 9.3 to 8.0 hours for all admitted patients. During PAT trial weekends, there was a decrease in the average time to PIA by 65% (from 73 to 26 minutes for CTAS 2-5), average number of daily BCAS offload delays by 39% (from 2.3 to 1.4 delays per day), and number of patients who LWBS from 2.4% to 1.7%. Conclusion: The implementation of PAT was associated with improvements in all five measures of ED throughput, providing a potential solution for EDOC at KGH. ED LOS was reduced compared to non-PAT control days, successfully meeting the suggested national targets. PAT could improve efficiency, resulting in the ability to see more patients in the ED, and increase the quality and safety of ED practice. Next, we hope to prospectively evaluate PAT, continuing to analyze these process measures, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and formally assess ED staff and patient perceptions of the program.
To report a novel management strategy for mixed hearing loss in advanced otosclerosis.
A 50-year-old male was referred to St Thomas’ Hearing Implant Centre with otosclerosis; he was no longer able to wear conventional hearing aids because of recurrent otitis externa. The patient underwent short process incus vibroplasty (using the Med-El Vibrant Soundbridge device), followed at a suitable interval (six weeks) by stapes surgery. The main outcome measures were: pure tone audiometry, functional gain and monosyllabic word recognition scores.
Post-operative pure tone audiometry showed a reduction of the mean air–bone gap from 55 dB HL to 20 dB HL. The residual mixed hearing loss was rehabilitated with the Vibrant Soundbridge, with an average device gain of 32 dB. The monosyllabic word recognition scores in quiet at 65 dB improved from 37 to 100 per cent when using the Vibrant Soundbridge at six months after switch-on of the device.
Stapedotomy in conjunction with incus short process vibroplasty (i.e. inner-ear vibroplasty) is a safe and promising procedure for managing advanced otosclerosis with mixed hearing loss in selected patients.
Analysing temporal patterns in foodborne illness is important to designing and implementing effective food safety measures. The reported incidence of illness due to Salmonella in the USA. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites has exhibited no declining trend since 1996; however, there have been significant annual trends among principal Salmonella serotypes, which may exhibit complex seasonal patterns. Data from the original FoodNet sites and penalised cubic B-spline regression are used to estimate temporal patterns in the reported incidence of illness for the top three Salmonella serotypes during 1996–2014. Our results include 95% confidence bands around the estimated annual and monthly curves for each serotype. The results show that Salmonella serotype Typhimurium exhibits a statistically significant declining annual trend and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by peaks in late summer and early winter. Serotype Enteritidis exhibits a significant annual trend with a higher incidence in later years and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer. Serotype Newport exhibits no significant annual trend with significant seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Academic health systems and their investigators are challenged to systematically assure clinical research regulatory compliance. This challenge is heightened in the emerging era of centralized single Institutional Review Boards for multicenter studies, which rely on monitoring programs at each participating site.
To describe the development, implementation, and outcome measurement of an institution-wide paired training curriculum and internal monitoring program for clinical research regulatory compliance.
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed to facilitate investigator and research professional adherence to institutional policies, federal guidelines, and international standards. An SOP training curriculum was developed and implemented institution-wide. An internal monitoring program was launched, utilizing risk-based monitoring plans of pre-specified frequency and intensity, assessed upon Institutional Review Boards approval of each prospective study. Monitoring plans were executed according to an additional SOP on internal monitoring, with monitoring findings captured in a REDCap database.
We observed few major violations across 3 key domains of clinical research conduct and demonstrated a meaningful decrease in the rates of nonmajor violations in each, over the course of 2 years.
The paired training curriculum and monitoring program is a successful institution-wide clinical research regulatory compliance model that will continue to be refined.
On 2 March 2016, several small en échelon tabular icebergs calved from the seaward front of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, and a previously inactive rift widened and propagated by ~3 km, ~25% of its previous length, setting the stage for the future calving of a ~14 km2 iceberg. Within 24 h of these events, all remaining land-fast sea ice that had been stabilizing the ice shelf broke-up. The events were witnessed by time-lapse cameras at nearby Scott Base, and put into context using nearby seismic and automatic weather station data, satellite imagery and subsequent ground observation. Although the exact trigger of calving and rifting cannot be identified definitively, seismic records reveal superimposed sets of both long-period (>10 s) sea swell propagating into McMurdo Sound from storm sources beyond Antarctica, and high-energy, locally-sourced, short-period (<10 s) sea swell, in the 4 days before the fast ice break-up and associated ice-shelf calving and rifting. This suggests that sea swell should be studied further as a proximal cause of ice-shelf calving and rifting; if proven, it suggests that ice-shelf stability is tele-connected with far-field storm conditions at lower latitudes, adding a global dimension to the physics of ice-shelf break-up.