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Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was one of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from 1 August to 8 December 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1,435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1,670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3,500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11 per day). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of one per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
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 EAT–Lancet Commission promulgated a universal reference diet. Subsequently, researchers constructed an EAT–Lancet diet score (0–14 points), with minimum intake values for various dietary components set at 0 g/d, and reported inverse associations with risks of major health outcomes in a high-income population. We assessed associations between EAT–Lancet diet scores, without or with lower bound values, and the mean probability of micronutrient adequacy (MPA) among nutrition-insecure women of reproductive age (WRA) from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We analysed single 24-h diet recall data (n 1950) from studies in rural DRC, Ecuador, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Associations between EAT–Lancet diet scores and MPA were assessed by fitting linear mixed-effects models. Mean EAT–Lancet diet scores were 8·8 (SD 1·3) and 1·9 (SD 1·1) without or with minimum intake values, respectively. Pooled MPA was 0·58 (SD 0·22) and energy intake was 10·5 (SD 4·6) MJ/d. A one-point increase in the EAT–Lancet diet score, without minimum intake values, was associated with a 2·6 (SD 0·7) percentage points decrease in MPA (P < 0·001). In contrast, the EAT–Lancet diet score, with minimum intake values, was associated with a 2·4 (SD 1·3) percentage points increase in MPA (P = 0·07). Further analysis indicated positive associations between EAT–Lancet diet scores and MPA adjusted for energy intake (P < 0·05). Our findings indicate that the EAT–Lancet diet score requires minimum intake values for nutrient-dense dietary components to avoid positively scoring non-consumption of food groups and subsequently predicting lower MPA of diets, when applied to rural WRA in LMIC.
This chapter discusses the current role of natural language processing in lexicography, and considers how this might change in the future. It first considers the shared history of natural language processing and lexicography with respect to statistical methods. It then discusses how natural language processing is applied to pre-process corpora to support lexicographic analysis, identify collocations in corpora, automatically construct thesauri, and select good dictionary examples. It also discusses the natural language processing tasks of word sense disambiguation and induction and their relationship to lexicography, and very recent neural network-based methods for automatically generating definitions. It concludes by discussing specialised types of dictionaries that can currently be automatically constructed, and considers whether dictionary construction could ever be fully automated.
Religious concerns, manifested in thought and behaviour, have a complex, bidirectional and sometimes conceptually overlapping relationship with mental health and mental disorder. Psychiatry, concerning itself with what is measurable in research, and with the relief of distress in clinical practice, has a different perspective on these complex interrelationships than does theology or religion. That which is transcendent, and therefore not measurable, is often important to patients, and sometimes distress may (theologically) be a sign of human well-being. The giving of careful attention to transcendence and distress may variously be conceived of as prayer, religious coping or clinical care. Applications of research to clinical practice, addressing as they do a sensitive and controversial boundary between psychiatry and religion, must therefore be patient centred and culturally sensitive.
The concentration of radiocarbon (14C) differs between ocean and atmosphere. Radiocarbon determinations from samples which obtained their 14C in the marine environment therefore need a marine-specific calibration curve and cannot be calibrated directly against the atmospheric-based IntCal20 curve. This paper presents Marine20, an update to the internationally agreed marine radiocarbon age calibration curve that provides a non-polar global-average marine record of radiocarbon from 0–55 cal kBP and serves as a baseline for regional oceanic variation. Marine20 is intended for calibration of marine radiocarbon samples from non-polar regions; it is not suitable for calibration in polar regions where variability in sea ice extent, ocean upwelling and air-sea gas exchange may have caused larger changes to concentrations of marine radiocarbon. The Marine20 curve is based upon 500 simulations with an ocean/atmosphere/biosphere box-model of the global carbon cycle that has been forced by posterior realizations of our Northern Hemispheric atmospheric IntCal20 14C curve and reconstructed changes in CO2 obtained from ice core data. These forcings enable us to incorporate carbon cycle dynamics and temporal changes in the atmospheric 14C level. The box-model simulations of the global-average marine radiocarbon reservoir age are similar to those of a more complex three-dimensional ocean general circulation model. However, simplicity and speed of the box model allow us to use a Monte Carlo approach to rigorously propagate the uncertainty in both the historic concentration of atmospheric 14C and other key parameters of the carbon cycle through to our final Marine20 calibration curve. This robust propagation of uncertainty is fundamental to providing reliable precision for the radiocarbon age calibration of marine based samples. We make a first step towards deconvolving the contributions of different processes to the total uncertainty; discuss the main differences of Marine20 from the previous age calibration curve Marine13; and identify the limitations of our approach together with key areas for further work. The updated values for ΔR, the regional marine radiocarbon reservoir age corrections required to calibrate against Marine20, can be found at the data base http://calib.org/marine/.
Innovation Concept: The Calgary Audit and Feedback Framework (CAFF) is an innovative tool developed by the Physician Learning Program (PLP). By addressing four key factors –relationships, question choice, data visualization, and facilitation – CAFF addresses common barriers to physicians receiving their practice data. The goal of this study is to assess whether CAFF-facilitated physician performance improvement (PPI) sessions: 1) improve physicians’ receptiveness to their practice data, and 2) encourage physicians to both identify opportunities for practice change and create action plans. Methods: Peer facilitators were trained to facilitate PPI sessions using the CAFF model. In Calgary, 51/180 emergency physicians have attended at least one of the six PPI sessions. The sessions were evaluated using surveys, commitment to change forms, and the Feedback Orientation Scale (FOS). The FOS is a scale developed to measure a participant's orientation to performance feedback across the four domains of utility, accountability, social awareness, and feedback self-efficacy. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The PLP has developed and implemented CAFF as a framework to help foster socially constructed learning in audit and group feedback sessions. The CAFF model ensures that the aforementioned four key factors are considered for design and implementation of audit and group feedback. The PLP found that establishing the meaning and credibility of the data is a necessary precursor to reflection and action planning. Conclusion: The FOS was completed for 25/32 physicians. The mean FOS score improved by 0.339 (p < 0.001; z=−3.863). While the mean scores all four domains increased, ‘Feedback Self-Efficacy’ increased the most by .0620 (p < 0.001; z=−3.999). Participants reported that examples of changes made by the peer facilitators were particularly helpful. Evaluations from the sessions suggested physicians overwhelmingly agreed or strongly agreed that the peer comparison was valuable, that the reports helped them reflect on their practice, and that the session helped them identify learning opportunities and strategies to change their practice.
The volume of evidence from scientific research and wider observation is greater than ever before, but much is inconsistent and scattered in fragments over increasingly diverse sources, making it hard for decision-makers to find, access and interpret all the relevant information on a particular topic, resolve seemingly contradictory results or simply identify where there is a lack of evidence. Evidence synthesis is the process of searching for and summarising a body of research on a specific topic in order to inform decisions, but is often poorly conducted and susceptible to bias. In response to these problems, more rigorous methodologies have been developed and subsequently made available to the conservation and environmental management community by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. We explain when and why these methods are appropriate, and how evidence can be synthesised, shared, used as a public good and benefit wider society. We discuss new developments with potential to address barriers to evidence synthesis and communication and how these practices might be mainstreamed in the process of decision-making in conservation.
Guernsey is a British Protectorate island (population 65000) in the English Channel. Illicit drugs are difficult to import and expensive people look to alternative substances.
To establish patterns of drug misuse among patients referred for treatment.
Case note audit of all referred patients in 2011, cross referenced with sudden unexpected death case review results.
198 patients were referred, 80 (40%) for mainly drug dependency. Reported patterns of use tended to follow local availability and polydrug misuse was common. Of the drugs clients, 96% reported misusing prescription only medicines (POMs) and over the counter (OTC) drugs, particularly opiates and benzodiazepines. Buprenorphine products were most commonly misused (26%), followed by benzodiazepines (25%), dihydrocodeine (22%), heroin (11%) and codeine (6%) (more than 1 drug may be reported so totals <100%). A high risk sub-group (9%) injecting fentanyl (derived from fentanyl patches) was identified. On the island in 2011 there were several fentanyl-related deaths at post mortem case review.
High rates of pharmaceutical drug misuse on Guernsey may reflect the low availability of illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine. This increases demand for addictive POMs and OTCs. Prescribers in isolated communities need to be more cautious when prescribing addictive POMs, particularly fentanyl. Pharmacists may also need to monitor for OTC drug misuse, particularly of codeine-containing medications.
Preliminary evidence has suggested that high-fat diets (HFD) enriched with SFA, but not MUFA, promote hyperinsulinaemia and pancreatic hypertrophy with insulin resistance. The objective of this study was to determine whether the substitution of dietary MUFA within a HFD could attenuate the progression of pancreatic islet dysfunction seen with prolonged SFA-HFD. For 32 weeks, C57BL/6J mice were fed either: (1) low-fat diet, (2) SFA-HFD or (3) SFA-HFD for 16 weeks, then switched to MUFA-HFD for 16 weeks (SFA-to-MUFA-HFD). Fasting insulin was assessed throughout the study; islets were isolated following the intervention. Substituting SFA with MUFA-HFD prevented the progression of hyperinsulinaemia observed in SFA-HFD mice (P < 0·001). Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets was reduced by SFA-HFD, yet not fully affected by SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Markers of β-cell identity (Ins2, Nkx6.1, Ngn3, Rfx6, Pdx1 and Pax6) were reduced, and islet inflammation was increased (IL-1β, 3·0-fold, P = 0·007; CD68, 2·9-fold, P = 0·001; Il-6, 1·1-fold, P = 0·437) in SFA-HFD – effects not seen with SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Switching to MUFA-HFD can partly attenuate the progression of SFA-HFD-induced hyperinsulinaemia, pancreatic inflammation and impairments in β-cell function. While further work is required from a mechanistic perspective, dietary fat may mediate its effect in an IL-1β–AMP-activated protein kinase α1-dependent fashion. Future work should assess the potential translation of the modulation of metabolic inflammation in man.
The consensus within psychiatry is that patients' religion/spirituality are legitimate topics in assessment and treatment. Religion/spirituality can help people cope with mental illness, but their use as therapeutic tools is controversial. Despite the publication of position statements by national and international psychiatric organisations, there is no clarity over therapeutic boundaries.
Declaration of interest
R.P. and R.H. are atheists. C.C.H.C. is an ordained Anglican and a past Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group. He writes here in a personal capacity.
Varroa destructor mites (Acari: Varroidae) are harmful ectoparasites of Apis mellifera honey bees. Female foundresses of wax-capped pupal host cells and their daughters feed on host fluids from open wounds on the host's integument. Details of V. destructor mite nutrition are forthcoming, and little is known about the potential physical effects on hosts from mite feeding. Chemical analysis of waste excretions can infer details of animals’ nutrition. Here, chemical analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) of mite excretions showed that the purine content of V. destructor waste consists of guanine with traces of hypoxanthine. Traces of uric acid and caffeine were also detected. Concentrations of guanine attenuated over time and excretions collected from senescing mites did not contain detectable guanine. Non-reproducing individual female mites maintained in vitro, housed in gelatin capsules and provided a honey bee pupa, deposited an average of nearly 18 excretions daily, mostly on the host's integument rather than on the capsule wall. The weight and volume of excretions suggest mites can consume nearly a microlitre of host fluids each day. Compounded over 10 days, this together with open wounds, could lead to substantial water loss and stress to developing pupae.
A variety of paediatric tracheostomy tubes are available. This article reviews the tubes in current use at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Evelina London Children's Hospital.
This paper outlines our current preferences, and the particular indications for different tracheostomy tubes, speaking valves and other attachments.
Our preferred types of tubes have undergone significant design changes. This paper also reports further experience with certain tubes that may be useful in particular circumstances. An updated sizing chart is included for reference purposes.
The choice of a paediatric tracheostomy tube remains largely determined by individual clinical requirements. Although we still favour a small range of tubes for use in the majority of our patients, there are circumstances in which other varieties are indicated.
Most agree that models of binary time-series-cross-sectional data in political science often possess unobserved unit-level heterogeneity. Despite this, there is no clear consensus on how best to account for these potential unit effects, with many of the issues confronted seemingly misunderstood. For example, one oft-discussed concern with rare events data is the elimination of no-event units from the sample when estimating fixed effects models. Many argue that this is a reason to eschew fixed effects in favor of pooled or random effects models. We revisit this issue and clarify that the main concern with fixed effects models of rare events data is not inaccurate or inefficient coefficient estimation, but instead biased marginal effects. In short, only evaluating event-experiencing units gives an inaccurate estimate of the baseline risk, yielding inaccurate (often inflated) estimates of predictor effects. As a solution, we propose a penalized maximum likelihood fixed effects (PML-FE) estimator, which retains the complete sample by providing finite estimates of the fixed effects for each unit. We explore the small sample performance of PML-FE versus common alternatives via Monte Carlo simulations, evaluating the accuracy of both parameter and effects estimates. Finally, we illustrate our method with a model of civil war onset.
Unusual mafic rock fragments deposited in Plio-Pleistocene-aged marine sediments were recorded at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1359, in Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. These fragments were identified from sediment layers deposited between c. 3 and 1.2 Ma, indicating a sustained supply during this time interval. Clinopyroxenes in these basalts are Al–Ti diopside–hedenbergite, uncommon in terrestrial magmatic rocks. A single strong peak in the Raman spectra of a phosphate-bearing mineral at 963 cm-1 supports the presence of merrillite. Although not conclusive, petrological traits and oxygen isotopic compositions also suggest that the fragments may be extra-terrestrial fragments affected by shock metamorphism. Nevertheless, it is concluded that the basaltic fragments incorporated in marine sediments at Site U1359 represent ice-rafted material supplied to the continental rise of East Antarctica, probably from the bedrocks near the proximal Ninnis Glacier. Further studies on Plio-Pleistocene sediments near Site U1359 are required to characterize the unusual mafic rocks described.
Febrile seizure (FS) in children is a common complication of infections with respiratory viruses and hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). We conducted a retrospective ecological time-series analysis to determine the temporal relationship between hospital attendances for FS and HFMD or respiratory virus infections. Epilepsy attendance was used as a control. Data from 2004 to 2012 FS and epilepsy hospital attendance, HFMD notifications to the Ministry of Health and from laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections among KK Women's and Children's Hospital inpatients were used. A multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted to evaluate the relationship between FS and the virus time series. Relative risks of FS by age were calculated using Bayesian statistical methods. Paediatric accident and emergency (A&E) attendances for FS were found to be associated with influenza A (extra 0.47 FS per influenza A case), B (extra 0.32 per influenza B case) and parainfluenza 3 (extra 0.35 per parainfluenza type 3 case). However, other viruses were not significantly associated with FS. None of the viruses were associated with epileptic seizure attendance. Influenza A, B and parainfluenza 3 viruses contributed to the burden of FS resulting in A&E attendance. Children at risk of FS should be advised to receive seasonal influenza vaccination.
Artificial rearing of young animals represents a challenge in modern ruminant production systems. This work aims to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of the type of rearing on the animal’s health, growth, feed utilization and carcass performance. A total of 24 pregnant ewes carrying triplets were used. Within each triplet set, lambs were randomly allocated to one experimental treatment: natural rearing on the ewe (NN); ewe colostrum for 24 h followed by artificial rearing with milk replacer (NA) and 50 g of colostrum alternative supplementation followed by artificial rearing (AA). Milk replacer, ryegrass hay and creep feed were offered ad libitum, and each experimental group was kept in independent pens until weaning at 45 days of age. After weaning all lambs were placed together on the same pasture for fattening for 4 months. Blood samples were taken at 24 h after birth, at weaning and at the end of the fattening period (23 weeks). Results showed that no failure in the passive immune transfer was detected across treatments. Although artificially reared lambs at weaning had lower plasma levels of β-hydroxy-butyrate (−62%), high-density lipoproteins (−13%) and amylase (−25%), and higher levels of low-density lipoproteins (+38%) and alkaline phosphatase (+30%), these differences disappeared during the fattening period. Only the greater levels of calcium and the lower levels of haemoglobin and white blood cells detected at weaning in artificially reared lambs (+7.2%, −2.8% and −17.8%) persisted by the end of the fattening period (+4.3%, −3.3% and −9.5%, respectively). Minor diarrheal events from weeks 2 to 5 were recorded with artificial rearing, leading to lower growth rates during the 1st month. However, these artificially reared lambs caught up towards the end of the milk feeding period and reached similar weaning weights to NN lambs. During the fattening period NN lambs had a greater growth rate (+16%) possibly as a result of their greater early rumen development, which allowed a higher feed digestibility during the fattening period in comparison to NA lambs (+5.9%). As a result, NN lambs had heavier final BWs (+7.0%), but tended to have lower dressing percentage (−5.7%) than artificially reared lambs, thus no differences were noted in either carcass weight or in carcass conformation across treatments. In conclusion, the use of a colostrum alternative and milk replacer facilitated the successful rearing of lambs, reaching similar productive parameters; however, special care must be taken to maximize the rumen development before weaning.
To evaluate the effects of a polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) supplement on reproductive parameters of suckled beef cows, two experiments were conducted. In Experiment (Exp.) 1, 60 primiparous cows were randomly assigned to one of two treatments: CTRL – 1.36 kg/day of corn gluten feed (CGF) and MEGR – 1.36 kg/day of CGF and 0.23 kg/day of calcium salts of soybean oil. Supplementation occurred from 30 days before fixed-time artificial insemination (TAI) until 7 days post-TAI. The expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) was measured on days 18 and 21. Pregnancy rates were diagnosed on days 30 and 100. Treatment altered plasma fatty acid profile (P<0.05), however, did not change cow BW (P=0.52) or body condition score (BCS) (P=0.52). Treatment did not alter (P=0.12) pregnancy rates to TAI or final pregnancy rates (P=0.56). Treatments did not impact messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the ISG OAS1 or MX2 on days 18 (P=0.67; P=0.96, respectively) or 21 (P=0.72; P=0.17, respectively). Length of gestation was greater (P=0.02) for MEGR, however, treatments did not alter calf birth weight (P=0.20). In Exp. two, 66 multiparous cows were assigned to one of two treatments: MEG – 0.65 kg/day of CGF+0.23 kg/day of calcium salts of palm oil and MEGR – 0.65 kg/day of CGF+0.23 kg/day of Ca salts of soybean oil. Cows were supplemented from 30 days prepartum to 30 days postpartum. On day 35 after TAI, pregnancy status, embryo crown-to-rump length (CRL), and plasma concentrations of pregnancy-specific protein-B (PSPB) were evaluated. Treatment altered plasma fatty acid profile (P<0.05). In addition, cows from the MEG treatment had greater BW (P<0.01) and BCS (P<0.01) than those in the MEGR treatment, as well as heavier calves at weaning (P=0.03). Treatment did not affect resumption of estrous cycle (P=0.29). There were no differences in pregnancy rates to TAI (P=0.87) or final pregnancy rates (P=0.29). No differences between treatments were detected on CRL (P=0.24) and plasma concentrations of PSPB (P=0.46). Birth weight (P=0.12) and calving distribution (P=0.52) were not altered. We concluded that PUFA supplementation altered plasma fatty acid profile, however, did not impact the remaining reproductive parameters evaluated.
Vaccination is increasingly being recognised as a potential tool to supplement ‘stamping out’ for controlling foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in non-endemic countries. Infectious disease simulation models provide the opportunity to determine how vaccination might be used in the face of an FMD outbreak. Previously, consistent relative benefits of specific vaccination strategies across different FMD simulation modelling platforms have been demonstrated, using a UK FMD outbreak scenario. We extended this work to assess the relative effectiveness of selected vaccination strategies in five countries: Australia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK and Canada. A comparable, but not identical, FMD outbreak scenario was developed for each country with initial seeding of Pan Asia type O FMD virus into an area with a relatively high density of livestock farms. A series of vaccination strategies (in addition to stamping out (SO)) were selected to evaluate key areas of interest from a disease response perspective, including timing of vaccination, species considerations (e.g. vaccination of only those farms with cattle), risk area vaccination and resources available for vaccination. The study found that vaccination used with SO was effective in reducing epidemic size and duration in a severe outbreak situation. Early vaccination and unconstrained resources for vaccination consistently outperformed other strategies. Vaccination of only those farms with cattle produced comparable results, with some countries demonstrating that this could be as effective as all species vaccination. Restriction of vaccination to higher risk areas was less effective than other strategies. This study demonstrates consistency in the relative effectiveness of selected vaccination strategies under different outbreak start up conditions conditional on the assumption that each of the simulation models provide a realistic estimation of FMD virus spread. Preferred outbreak management approaches must however balance the principles identified in this study, working to clearly defined outbreak management objectives, while having a good understanding of logistic requirements and the socio-economic implications of different control measures.