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In recent years, there has been an increased use of dicamba due to the introduction of dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean in the United States. Therefore, there is a potential increase in off-target movement of dicamba and injury to sensitive crops. Flue-cured tobacco is extremely sensitive to auxin herbicides; particularly dicamba. In addition to yield loss, residue from drift or equipment contamination can have severe repercussions for the marketability of the crop. Studies were conducted in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in North Carolina to evaluate spray tank cleanout efficiency of dicamba using various cleaning procedures. No difference in dicamba recovery was observed regardless of dicamba formulation and cleaning agent. Dicamba residue decreased with the number of rinses. There was no difference in dicamba residue recovered from the third rinse compared to residue from the tank after being refilled for subsequent tank use. Recovery ranged from 2% to 19% of the original concentration rate among the three rinses. Field studies were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate flue-cured tobacco response to reduced rates of dicamba ranging from 1/5th to 1/10,000th of a labeled rate. Injury and yield reductions varied by environment and application timing. When exposed to 1/500th of a labeled rate at 7 and 11 wks after transplanting (WAT), tobacco injury ranged from 39% to 53% and 10% to 16% 24 days after application from, respectively. The maximum yield reduction was 62% with a 55% reduction in value when exposed to 112 g ha-1 of dicamba. Correlations show significant relationships between crop injury assessment and yield and value reductions with Pearson values ranging from 0.24 to 0.63. These data can provide guidance to growers and stakeholders emphasizing the need for diligent stewardship when utilizing dicamba technology.
Currently, there are seven herbicides labeled for U.S. tobacco production; however, additional modes of action are greatly needed in order to reduce the risk of herbicide resistance. Field experiments were conducted at five locations during the 2017 and 2018 growing seasons to evaluate flue-cured tobacco tolerance to S-metolachlor applied Pre-Transplanting Incorporated (PTI) and Pre-Transplanting (PRETR) at 1.07 (1X) and 2.14 (2X) kg ai ha-1. Severe injury was observed 6 wk after transplanting at the Whiteville environment in 2017 when S-metolachlor was applied PTI. End of season plant heights from PTI treatments at Whiteville were likewise reduced by 9 to 29% when compared to the nontreated control, although cured leaf yield and value were only reduced when S-metolachlor was applied PTI at the 2X rate. Severe growth reduction was also observed at the Kinston environment in 2018 where S-metolachlor was applied at the 2X rate. End of season plant heights were reduced 11% (PTI-2X) and 20% (PRETR -2X) compared to the nontreated control. Cured leaf yield was reduced in Kinston when S-metolachlor was applied PRETR at the 2X rate, however treatments did not impact cured leaf quality or value. Visual injury and reductions in stalk height, yield, quality, and value were not observed at the other three environments. Ultimately, it appears that injury potential from S-metolachlor is promoted by coarse soil texture and high early-season precipitation close to transplanting, both of which were documented in the Whiteville and Kinston environments. To reduce plant injury and the negative impacts to leaf yield and value, application rates lower than 1.07 kg ha-1 may be required in these scenarios.
This study examined the impact of a school readiness intervention on external response monitoring in children in foster care. Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data were collected during a flanker task from children who received the Kids In Transition to School (KITS) Program (n = 26) and children who received services as usual (n = 19) before and after the intervention. While there were no significant group differences on the behavioral data, the ERP data for the two groups of children significantly differed. Specifically, in contrast to the children who received services as usual, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback over time for the N1, which reflects early attention processes, and feedback-related negativity, which reflects evaluation processes. In addition, although the two groups did not differ on amplitude differences between positive and negative performance feedback for these ERP components before the intervention, the children who received the KITS Program displayed greater amplitude differences than the children who received services as usual after the intervention. These results suggest that the KITS Program had an effect on responsivity to external performance feedback, which may be beneficial during the transition into kindergarten.
Waterfall Bluff is a rock shelter in eastern Pondoland, South Africa, adjacent to a narrow continental shelf that limited coastline movements across glacial/interglacial cycles. The archaeological deposits are characterized by well-preserved stratigraphy, faunal, and botanical remains alongside abundant stone artifacts and other materials. A comprehensive dating protocol consisting of 5 optically stimulated luminescence ages and 51 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C ages shows that the record of hunter-gatherer occupations at Waterfall Bluff persisted from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene, spanning the last glacial maximum and the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene. Here, we provide detailed descriptions about the sedimentary sequence, chronology, and characteristics of the archaeological deposits at Waterfall Bluff. Remains of marine mollusks and marine fish also show, for the first time, that coastal foraging was a component of some hunter-gatherer groups’ subsistence practices during glacial phases in the late Pleistocene. The presence of marine fish and shellfish further demonstrates that hunter-gatherers selectively targeted coastal resources from intertidal and estuarine habitats. Our results therefore underscore the idea that Pondoland's coastline remained a stable and predictable point on the landscape over the last glacial/interglacial transition being well positioned for hunter-gatherers to access resources from the nearby coastline, narrow continental shelf, and inland areas.
Masturbation is a common, but often neglected, male sexual behavior. Objectives and aims: To investigate the psychobiological correlates of self-reported masturbation in the last 3 months.
A consecutive series of 2,786 heterosexual male patients consulting an outpatient clinic for erectile dysfunction (ED) was studied. Several hormonal, biochemical and instrumental parameters were investigated. Patients were interviewed, prior to the beginning of any treatment, with Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY) and ANDROTEST structured interviews. They also completed the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire.
Among the patients studied, 1,781 (61.9%) reported they had masturbated at least once per month in the preceding 3 months. The frequency of masturbation was inversely related to age (r = -0.329; P < 0.0001) and directly associated with education level (adj r = 0.052, P < 0.05 after adjustment for age). A feeling of guilt during masturbation was reported by 274 (15.4%) patients. After adjusting for age, masturbation was positively associated with testosterone levels, stressful conditions, and both unstable and long-lasting couple relationship. Urogenital problems also increased the chance of masturbation. Reported guiltiness during autoeroticism was associated with psychological disturbances, low prolactin, low testosterone, and increased relational problems.
This study indicates that masturbation is a relatively frequent behavior in male subjects with ED. Inquiring about this sexual behavior is an important issue for understanding overall patients’ sexual attitudes and behavior.
This study investigated the relationship between severe childhood abuse and cognitive functions in first-episode psychosis patients and geographically-matched controls. Reports of any abuse were associated with lower scores in the executive function domain in the control group. However, in contrast with our hypothesis, no relationships were found amongst cases.
UK healthcare policy has highlighted a shift in mental health services from hospital to community, stressing the importance of training for professions not traditionally associated with healthcare. Recommendations have been made to introduce training for the police force designed with experts. Similarly, the value of further training for ambulance clinicians in assessing mental health, capacity, and understanding legislation has been highlighted.
To investigate the effect of simulation training on the confidence, knowledge, and human factors skills of police and ambulance service personnel in working with people experiencing mental health conditions.
On completion of data collection from 14 training courses, approximately 90 police and 90 ambulance personnel (n = 180) will have completed the human factors skills for healthcare instrument, confidence and knowledge self-report measures, and post-course qualitative evaluation forms. A version of the hfshi for non-clinical professions will hopefully be validated following data collection. Results will also be compared by profession.
Analyses have not been fully completed, although preliminary statistical analyses demonstrate promising findings, with increases post-course for human factors skills, confidence and knowledge. Furthermore, qualitative feedback initially illustrates valuable learning outcomes and interesting findings from comparisons by professions.
Mental health simulation training appears to have a promising impact on the confidence, knowledge, and human factors skills of police and ambulance personnel for working with people experiencing mental health conditions.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Reading and language abilities are critical for educational achievement and success in adulthood. Variation in these traits is highly heritable, but the underlying genetic architecture is largely undiscovered. Genetic studies of reading and language skills traditionally focus on children with developmental disorders; however, much larger unselected adult samples are available, increasing power to identify associations with specific genetic variants of small effect size. We introduce an Australian adult population cohort (41.7–73.2 years of age, N = 1505) in which we obtained data using validated measures of several aspects of reading and language abilities. We performed genetic association analysis for a reading and spelling composite score, nonword reading (assessing phonological processing: a core component in learning to read), phonetic spelling, self-reported reading impairment and nonword repetition (a marker of language ability). Given the limited power in a sample of this size (~80% power to find a minimum effect size of 0.005), we focused on analyzing candidate genes that have been associated with dyslexia and developmental speech and language disorders in prior studies. In gene-based tests, FOXP2, a gene implicated in speech/language disorders, was associated with nonword repetition (p < .001), phonetic spelling (p = .002) and the reading and spelling composite score (p < .001). Gene-set analyses of candidate dyslexia and speech/language disorder genes were not significant. These findings contribute to the assessment of genetic associations in reading and language disorders, crucial for understanding their etiology and informing intervention strategies, and validate the approach of using unselected adult samples for gene discovery in language and reading.
The dissolution of the United Kingdom’s vitrified high-level-waste simulant, CaZn MW28, was investigated following the Product Consistency Test-B protocol for 112 d at 90 °C and in ultra-high-quality water. Residual rate dissolution (stage II) and rate resumption (stage III), after 28 d, was observed. Thermodynamic modelling suggested that solutions were saturated with respect to Mg- and Zn-bearing phases, and the presence of Mg- and Zn-smectite clays was tentatively observed. The formation of these phases was concurrent with a significant increase in the dissolution rate, similar to Stage III behavior seen in other nuclear waste simulant glass materials, indicating that the addition of Mg and Zn to high-level-waste glass (7.3 wt. % combined) significantly influences the dissolution rate.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Background: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the leading cause of spinal cord impairment. In a public healthcare system, wait times to see spine specialists and eventually access surgical treatment for CSM can be substantial. The goals of this study were to determine consultation wait times (CWT) and surgical wait times (SWT), and identify predictors of wait time length. Methods: Consecutive patients enrolled in the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network (CSORN) prospective and observational CSM study from March 2015 to July 2017 were included. A data-splitting technique was used to develop and internally validate multivariable models of potential predictors. Results: A CSORN query returned 264 CSM patients for CWT. The median was 46 days. There were 31% mild, 35% moderate, and 33% severe CSM. There was a statistically significant difference in median CWT between moderate and severe groups; 207 patients underwent surgical treatment. Median SWT was 42 days. There was a statistically significant difference in SWT between mild/moderate and severe groups. Short symptom duration, less pain, lower BMI, and lower physical component score of SF-12 were predictive of shorter CWT. Only baseline pain and medication duration were predictive of SWT. Both CWT and SWT were shorter compared to a concurrent cohort of lumbar stenosis patients (p <0.001). Conclusions: Patients with shorter duration (either symptoms or medication) and less neck pain waited less to see a spine specialist in Canada and to undergo surgical treatment. This study highlights some of the obstacles to overcome in expedited care for this patient population.
Probabilistic approaches to phylogenetic inference have recently gained traction in paleontological studies. Because they directly model processes of evolutionary change, probabilistic methods facilitate a deeper assessment of variability in evolutionary patterns by weighing evidence for competing models. Although phylogenetic methods used in paleontological studies have generally assumed that evolution proceeds by splitting cladogenesis, extensions to previous models help explore the potential for morphological and temporal data to provide differential support for contrasting modes of evolutionary divergence. Recent methodological developments have integrated ancestral relationships into probabilistic phylogenetic methods. These new approaches rely on parameter-rich models and sophisticated inferential methods, potentially obscuring the respective contributions of data and models. In this study, we describe a simple likelihoodist approach that combines probabilistic models of morphological evolution and fossil preservation to reconstruct both cladogenetic and anagenetic relationships. By applying this approach to a data set of fossil hominins, we demonstrate the capability of existing models to unveil evidence for anagenesis presented by morphological and temporal data. This evidence was previously recognized by qualitative assessments, but largely ignored by quantitative phylogenetic analyses. For example, we find support for directly ancestral relationships in multiple lineages: Sahelanthropus is ancestral to later hominins; Australopithecus anamensis is ancestral to Australopithecus afarensis; Australopithecus garhi is ancestral to Homo; Homo antecessor is ancestral to Homo heidelbergensis, which in turn is ancestral to both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. By accommodating direct ancestry in phylogenetics, quantitative results align more closely with previous qualitative expectations.
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.
The last 12 years have seen the evolution of a new funding regime under the supervision of the Pensions Regulator. Over this period, there has been significant turbulence in financial markets, including record low interest rates. This paper takes a critical look at the development of funding approaches and methodologies over this period. It analyses the Pensions Regulator guidance and how scheme specific actuarial methods have emerged since the move away from the Minimum Funding Requirement in 2001 and the introduction of the Scheme Specific Funding Requirements in 2005. It asks whether these new methodologies have been successful from the perspective of members, trustees, employers and shareholders. At a time when actuarial valuation methodologies have faced considerable criticism, this paper aims to propose a pension funding methodology which is fit for purpose and also reflects the latest guidance from the Pensions Regulator on integrated risk management.
The forward rate of dissolution of the International Simple Glass (ISG) was determined under alkaline conditions at 40 °C using the Single Pass Flow Through (SPFT) method. Forward rates were consistent with those obtained in the literature for this glass composition. The formation of altered gel layers and surface pits was observed on the surface of glass particles, especially at the very highest pH values, despite the application of high flow rates to prevent the build-up of solubility limiting phases. These features could be attributed to preferential localized dissolution at sites with a higher alkali concentration or from a separate, less durable, vitreous phase. These results may indicate that surface pit and altered gel formation occurs under the forward rate of dissolution as imposed by the SPFT method, particularly for simplified borosilicate glass materials.
We analyzed intestinal contents of two late-glacial mastodons preserved in lake sediments in Ohio (Burning Tree mastodon) and Michigan (Heisler mastodon). A multi-proxy suite of macrofossils and microfossils provided unique insights into what these individuals had eaten just before they died and added significantly to knowledge of mastodon diets. We reconstructed the mastodons’ habitats with similar multi-proxy analyses of the embedding lake sediments. Non-pollen palynomorphs, especially spores of coprophilous fungi differentiated intestinal and environmental samples. The Burning Tree mastodon gut sample originates from the small intestine. The Heisler mastodon sample is part of the large intestine to which humans had added clastic material to anchor parts of the carcass under water to cache the meat. Both carcasses had been dismembered, suggesting that the mastodons had been hunted or scavenged, in line with other contemporaneous mastodon finds and the timing of early human incursion into the Midwest. Both mastodons lived in mixed coniferous-deciduous late-glacial forests. They browsed tree leaves and twigs, especially Picea. They also ate sedge-swamp plants and drank the lake water. Our multi-proxy estimates for a spring/summer season of death contrast with autumn estimates derived from prior tusk analyses. We document the recovered fossil remains with photographs.