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Subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) play a significant role in obesity-associated systemic low-grade inflammation. High-fat diet (HFD) is known to induce inflammatory changes in both scAT and PBMCs. However, the time course of the effect of HFD on these systems is still unknown. The aim of the current study was to determine the time course of the effect of high fat diet (HFD) on PBMCs and scAT. New Zealand white rabbits were fed HFD for 5 or 10 weeks (i.e., HFD-5 and HFD-10), or regular chow (i.e., CNT-5 and CNT-10). Thereafter, metabolic and inflammatory parameters of PBMCs and scAT were quantitated. HFD induced hyperfattyacidemia in HFD-5 and HFD-10 groups, with the development of insulin resistance (IR) in HFD-10, while no changes were observed in scAT lipid metabolism and inflammatory status. HFD activated the inflammatory pathways in PBMCs of HFD-5 group, and induced modified autophagy in that of HFD-10. The rate of fat oxidation in PBMCs was directly associated with the expression of inflammatory markers; and tended to inversely associate with autophagosome formation markers in PBMCs. HFD affected systemic substrate metabolism, and the metabolic, inflammatory, and autophagy pathways in PBMCs in the absence of metabolic and inflammatory changes in scAT. Dietary approaches or interventions to avert HFD-induced changes in PBMCs could be essential in prevention of metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity, and promote healthier living.
Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.
Some neurotropic enteroviruses hijack Trojan horse/raft commensal gut bacteria to render devastating biomimicking cryptic attacks on human/animal hosts. Such virus-microbe interactions manipulate hosts’ gut-brain axes with accompanying infection-cycle-optimizing central nervous system (CNS) disturbances, including severe neurodevelopmental, neuromotor, and neuropsychiatric conditions. Co-opted bacteria thus indirectly influence host health, development, behavior, and mind as possible “fair-weather-friend” symbionts, switching from commensal to context-dependent pathogen-like strategies benefiting gut-bacteria fitness.
Endoscopic ear surgery is a technique that is growing in popularity. It has potential advantages in the low-resource setting for teaching and training, for the relative ease of transporting and storing the surgical equipment and for telemedicine roles. There may also be advantages to the patient, with reduced post-operative pain, facilitating the ability to complete procedures as out-patients.
Our Ear Trainer has previously been validated for headlight and microscope otology skills, including foreign body removal and ventilation tube insertion, in both the high- and low-resource setting. This study aimed to assess the Ear Trainer for similar training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills in the low-resource setting. The study was conducted in Uganda on ENT trainees.
Despite a lack of prior experience with endoscopes, with limited practice time most participants showed improvements in: efficiency of instrument movement, steadiness of the camera view obtained, overall global rating of the task and performance time (faster task performance).
These results indicate that the Ear Trainer is a useful tool in the training and assessment of endoscopic ear surgery skills.
Foraging for nutritional sustenance represents common significant learned/heritable survival strategies evolved for phylum-diverse cellular life on Earth. Unicellular aneural to multicellular neural foragers display conserved rational or irrational decision making depending on outcome predictions for noise-susceptible real/illusory homeodynamic and ambient dietary cues. Such context-dependent heuristic-guided foraging enables optimal, suboptimal, or fallacious decisions that drive organismal adaptation, health, longevity, and life history.
High resolution Bragg-case X-ray double and triple axis diffractometry and Laue-case white beam synchrotron X-ray topography experiments have been performed on undoped  oriented float-zone GaAs crystals have been grown under microgravity conditions in space on the D2 mission. Near the seed, excellent anomalous transmission was achieved and a clear cellular structure of dislocations observed. The double and triple axis rocking curves were comparable with those from semi-insulating terrestrial material. Following a heater failure, the molten zone height dropped and reciprocal space maps revealed a long ridge of scatter transverse to the diffraction vector direction. This corresponds to the presence of a distribution of sub-grains containing little internal strain. Continued growth resulted in twin formation.
The orthorhombic mineral moolooite, CuC2O4. nH2O, described by Clarke and Williams (1986) using Debye-Scherrer photographic data, has a fully-disordered stacking fault (FDSF) structure. Related monoclinic models have been reported for various synthesised samples based on Schmittler (1968). In the present study, synchrotron radiation diffraction data for moolooite and synthesised specimens have been examined with particular reference to crystallographic disorder. The moolooite data correspond to space group Pnnm, with a = 5.3064(2), b = 5.6804(2), c = 2.5630(1) Å; Vc = 77.26(1) Å3; and Z = 1; and the FDSF structure along the b-direction has been confirmed. The synthetic specimen data from the study indicate partial ordering, with space group P21/n; and the cell parameters for one specimen being a = 5.957(7), b = 5.611(5), c = 5.133(7) Å; β = 115.16(2)°; Vc = 155.27 Å3 and Z = 2. The level of zeolitic water in the materials has been considered using the approach of Schmittler based on thermogravimetry and pycnometry. The new data for natural topotype material correspond to CuC2O4.1.0H2O. It is postulated that the level of water for natural and synthetic specimens may be attributed to the conditions under which the material forms.
To examine the feasibility of using social media to assess the consumer nutrition environment by comparing sentiment expressed in Yelp reviews with information obtained from a direct observation audit instrument for grocery stores.
Trained raters used the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S) in 100 grocery stores from July 2015 to March 2016. Yelp reviews were available for sixty-nine of these stores and were retrieved in February 2017 using the Yelp Application Program Interface. A sentiment analysis was conducted to quantify the perceptions of the consumer nutrition environment in the review text. Pearson correlation coefficients (ρ) were used to compare NEMS-S scores with Yelp review text on food availability, quality, price and shopping experience.
Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Yelp reviews contained more comments about food availability and the overall shopping experience than food price and food quality. Negative sentiment about food prices in Yelp review text and the number of dollar signs on Yelp were positively correlated with observed food prices in stores (ρ=0·413 and 0·462, respectively). Stores with greater food availability were rated as more expensive on Yelp. Other aspects of the food store environment (e.g. overall quality and shopping experience) were captured only in Yelp.
While Yelp cannot replace in-person audits for collecting detailed information on the availability, quality and cost of specific food items, Yelp holds promise as a cost-effective means to gather information on the overall cost, quality and experience of food stores, which may be relevant for nutrition outcomes.
Although school-based programmes for the identification of children and young people (CYP) with mental health difficulties (MHD) have the potential to improve short- and long-term outcomes across a range of mental disorders, the evidence-base on the effectiveness of these programmes is underdeveloped. In this systematic review, we sought to identify and synthesise evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of school-based methods to identify students experiencing MHD, as measured by accurate identification, referral rates, and service uptake.
Electronic bibliographic databases: MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, ERIC, British Education Index and ASSIA were searched. Comparative studies were included if they assessed the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of strategies to identify students in formal education aged 3–18 years with MHD, presenting symptoms of mental ill health, or exposed to psychosocial risks that increase the likelihood of developing a MHD.
We identified 27 studies describing 44 unique identification programmes. Only one study was a randomised controlled trial. Most studies evaluated the utility of universal screening programmes; where comparison of identification rates was made, the comparator test varied across studies. The heterogeneity of studies, the absence of randomised studies and poor outcome reporting make for a weak evidence-base that only generate tentative conclusions about the effectiveness of school-based identification programmes.
Well-designed pragmatic trials that include the evaluation of cost-effectiveness and detailed process evaluations are necessary to establish the accuracy of different identification models, as well as their effectiveness in connecting students to appropriate support in real-world settings.
The successful provision of middle-ear surgery requires appropriate anaesthesia. This may take the form of local or general anaesthesia; both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Local anaesthesia is simple to administer and does not require the additional personnel required for general anaesthesia. In the low-resource setting, it can provide a very safe and effective means of allowing middle-ear surgery to be successfully completed. However, some middle-ear surgery is too complex to consider performing under local anaesthesia and here general anaesthesia will be required.
This article highlights considerations for performing middle-ear surgery in a safe manner when the available resources may be more limited than those expected in high-income settings. There are situations where local anaesthesia with sedation may prove a useful compromise of the two techniques.
At the heart of surgical care needs to be the education and training of staff, particularly in the low-income and/or resource-poor setting. This is the primary means by which self-sufficiency and sustainability will ultimately be achieved. As such, training and education should be integrated into any surgical programme that is undertaken. Numerous resources are available to help provide such a goal, and an open approach to novel, inexpensive training methods is likely to be helpful in this type of setting.
The need for appropriately trained audiologists in low-income countries is well recognised and clearly goes beyond providing support for ear surgery. However, where ear surgery is being undertaken, it is vital to have audiology services established in order to correctly assess patients requiring surgery, and to be able to assess and manage outcomes of surgery. The training requirements of the two specialties are therefore intimately linked.
This article highlights various methods, resources and considerations, for both otolaryngology and audiology training, which should prove a useful resource to those undertaking and organising such education, and to those staff members receiving it.
Introduction: There have been an increasing number of studies published since 2011 investigating the benefits of in situ simulation as a quality improvement (QI) modality. We instituted an emergency department (ED) in situ simulation program at Kelowna General Hospital in 2015 with the aims of improving inter-professional collaboration, improving team communication, developing resident resuscitation leadership skills, educating ED professionals on resuscitation medical expertise, and identifying QI action items from each simulation session. Methods: We applied the SMART framework. Our specific, measureable, and attainable goal was to select two QI action items discovered from each simulation session. Realistic and timely follow-up on each action item was conducted by the nurse educator group who reported back to the local ED network, pharmacy, or manager depending on the action item. This ensured sustainability of our model. Results: A total of 65 individuals participated in 2015 at program inception. This increased to 213 individuals in 2017 with an average of 24 participants/session. Attendants included nurses (31%), ED physicians (20%), ED residents (18%), paramedics (10%), and medical students, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and others (21%). Our QI action items were grouped as (1) team/communication, (2) equipment/resources, and (3) knowledge/tasks. Examples of each category were: (1) Inability to hear paramedic bedside reports resulting in reinforcement of one paramedic speaking while the team remains quiet, (2) Difficulty in looking up medication information in the resuscitation bay resulting in installation of an additional computer in the resuscitation bay, and (3) Uncertainty of local process for initiating extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the ED resulting in review of team placement, patient transfer, and initiation of ECMO lines in the ED. Inter-professional team members have reported through electronic feedback on the value of these sessions, including improved inter agency cooperation and understanding. Conclusion: This quality improvement initiative used in situ simulation as a QI tool. We were able to identify latent safety threats, test new patient care protocols, find equipment issues, and foster teamwork in a sustainable way to improve the quality of care in our ED. We hope that this serves as encouragement to others who are initiating a similar program. Our main suggestions after reflection include: (1) Engage a multidisciplinary team in the development of an in situ simulation program, (2) Start with aims and objectives, (3) Foster attendance and buy in by making it convenient for people to attend, (4) Celebrate your successes through interdepartmental communication, and (5) Recruit individuals with expertise in simulation based education.
STARDUST, a Discovery-class mission, will return intact samples of cometary dust and volatiles from comet P/Wild 2, as well as samples of the interstellar dust moving through the solar system. Dust capture utilizes aerogel, a microporous silica that is capable of intact capture of hypervelocity particles. A navigation camera, an in situ dust analyzer, and a dust flux monitor complete the payload. The Wild 2 flyby takes place in January 2004, with Earth return in January 2006.
The present authors (Clark et al, 1971) previously attempted to detect the 1.35 cm microwave line of water in Comet Bennett (1969i) using the 26 m Maryland Point radio telescope of the Naval Research Laboratory. An upper limit for the H2O column density of 1017 molec/cm2 was obtained assuming the rotational levels were in thermal equilibrium, A more recent search in Comet Kohoutek using the 37 m radio telescope of the Haystack Observatory with a low noise traveling wave maser preamplifier was also unsuccessful. In this comet the identification of H2O+ in the visible spectrum gave strong support to the idea of water as a major parent molecule. The radio detection of HCN (Heubner et al, 1974) and CH3CH (Uhlich and Conklin, 1974) in Comet Kohoutek suggested that the attempt to detect H2O should be repeated in a suitable comet.
Livestock farming is a traditional and important contributor to the rural economy in the hills and uplands of the UK. However, significant areas of the uplands have seen a decline in the condition of heath and mire habitats and the loss of dwarf shrubs as a result of over-grazing. Attempts to halt the decline and improve the condition of upland heath and mire habitats have been undertaken by the introduction of agri-environment schemes. In the main, such schemes rely on the reduction of sheep numbers. However, recent Defra funded research (LS1508) has indicated that this can result in dominance by competitive and/or unpalatable species such as purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea ) or mat-grass (Nardus stricta ), leading in time to a reduction in the physical and financial performance of the flock. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of cattle grazing on Nardus stricta dominated pasture on sheep and cattle performance. It is being carried out as part of a wider project to determine environmentally sustainable and economically viable grazing systems for heather moorland.
Technoscientific ambitions for perfecting human-like machines, by advancing state-of-the-art neuromorphic architectures and cognitive computing, may end in ironic regret without pondering the humanness of fallible artificial non-normative personalities. Self-organizing artificial personalities individualize machine performance and identity through fuzzy conscientiousness, emotionality, extraversion/introversion, and other traits, rendering insights into technology-assisted human evolution, robot ethology/pedagogy, and best practices against unwanted autonomous machine behavior.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
The provision of healthcare education in developing countries is a complex problem that simulation has the potential to help. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a low-cost ear surgery simulator, the Ear Trainer.
The Ear Trainer was assessed in two low-resource environments in Cambodia and Uganda. Participants were video-recorded performing four specific middle-ear procedures, and blindly scored using a validated measurement tool. Face validity, construct validity and objective learning were assessed.
The Ear Trainer provides a realistic representation of the ear. Construct validity assessment confirmed that experts performed better than novices. Participants displayed improvement in all tasks except foreign body removal, likely because of a ceiling effect.
This study validates the Ear Trainer as a useful training tool for otological microsurgical skills in developing world settings.