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Reductions in insulin sensitivity in periparturient dairy cows develop as a means to support lactation; however, excessive mobilization of fatty acids (FA) increases the risk for peripartal metabolic disorders. Our objectives were to investigate the effect of prepartum body condition score (BCS) on systemic glucose and insulin tolerance, and to compare direct and indirect measurements of insulin sensitivity in peripartal lean and overweight dairy cows. Fourteen multiparous Holstein cows were allocated into two groups according to their BCS at day −28 prepartum: lean (n = 7; BCS ≤ 3.0) or overweight; (n = 7; BCS ≥ 4.0). Liver biopsies were performed on day −27, −14 and 4, relative to expected parturition. Intravenous insulin or glucose tolerances tests were performed following each liver biopsy. Relative to lean cows, overweight cows exhibited lower dry matter intake, lost more BCS and displayed increased plasma FA and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations and elevated liver lipid content during peripartum. Glucose clearance rate was lower for all cows postpartum. Prepartum BCS had minimal effects on insulin and glucose tolerance; however, the ability of the cow to restore blood glucose levels following an insulin challenge was suppressed by increased BCS. Glucose-dependent parameters of insulin and glucose tolerance were not correlated with surrogate indices of insulin sensitivity. We conclude that prepartum BCS had minimal effect on systemic insulin sensitivity following parturition. The observed inconsistency between surrogate indices of insulin sensitivity and direct measurements of insulin and glucose tolerance adds support to growing concerns regarding their usefulness as tools to estimate systemic insulin action in periparturient cows.
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
We sought to define the prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and determine the utility of screening in asymptomatic patients. We analysed echocardiograms performed on survivors who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 1982 to 2006. A total of 389 patients were alive in 2017, with 114 having an echocardiogram obtained ⩾5 years post-infusion. A total of 95 patients had echocardiogram performed for routine surveillance. The mean time post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 13 years. Of 95 patients, 77 (82.1%) had ejection fraction measured, and 10/77 (13.0%) had ejection fraction z-scores ⩽−2.0, which is abnormally low. Those patients with abnormal ejection fraction were significantly more likely to have been exposed to anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Among individuals who received neither anthracyclines nor total body irradiation, only 1/31 (3.2%) was found to have an abnormal ejection fraction of 51.4%, z-score −2.73. In the cohort of 77 patients, the negative predictive value of having a normal ejection fraction given no exposure to total body irradiation or anthracyclines was 96.7% at 95% confidence interval (83.3–99.8%). Systolic dysfunction is relatively common in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who have received anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Survivors who are asymptomatic and did not receive radiation or anthracyclines likely do not require surveillance echocardiograms, unless otherwise indicated.
The second year of life is a period of nutritional vulnerability. We aimed to investigate the dietary patterns and nutrient intakes from 1 to 2 years of age during the 12-month follow-up period of the Growing Up Milk – Lite (GUMLi) trial. The GUMLi trial was a multi-centre, double-blinded, randomised controlled trial of 160 healthy 1-year-old children in Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia. Dietary intakes were collected at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-randomisation, using a validated FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis of the frequency of food item consumption per d. The effect of the intervention on dietary patterns and intake of eleven nutrients over the duration of the trial were investigated using random effects mixed models. A total of three dietary patterns were identified at baseline: ‘junk/snack foods’, ‘healthy/guideline foods’ and ‘breast milk/formula’. A significant group difference was observed in ‘breast milk/formula’ dietary pattern z scores at 12 months post-randomisation, where those in the GUMLi group loaded more positively on this pattern, suggesting more frequent consumption of breast milk. No difference was seen in the other two dietary patterns. Significant intervention effects were seen on nutrient intake between the GUMLi (intervention) and cows’ milk (control) groups, with lower protein and vitamin B12, and higher Fe, vitamin D, vitamin C and Zn intake in the GUMLi (intervention) group. The consumption of GUMLi did not affect dietary patterns, however, GUMLi participants had lower protein intake and higher Fe, vitamins D and C and Zn intake at 2 years of age.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
The present communication demonstrates that even if individuals are answering a pre/post survey at random, the percentage of individuals showing improvement from the pre- to the post-survey can be surprisingly high. Some simple formulas and tables are presented that will allow analysts to quickly determine the expected percentage of individuals showing improvement if participants just answered the survey at random. This benchmark percentage, in turn, defines the appropriate null hypothesis for testing if the actual percentage observed is greater than the expected random answering percentage.
The analysis is demonstrated by testing if actual improvement in a component of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is significantly different from random answering improvement.
From 2011 to 2014, 364320 adults completed a standardized pre- and post-survey administered by the USDA.
For each year, the statement that the actual number of improvements is less than the expected number if the questions were just answered at random cannot be rejected. This does not mean that the pre-/post-test survey instrument is flawed, only that the data are being inappropriately evaluated.
Knowing the percentage of individuals showing improvement on a pre/post survey instrument when questions are randomly answered is an important benchmark number to determine in order to draw valid inferences about nutrition interventions. The results presented here should help analysts in determining this benchmark number for some common survey structures and avoid drawing faulty inferences about the effectiveness of an intervention.
Grazing experiments have shown that using a ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) variety bred by conventional techniques for high water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations can improve liveweight gain in pre-weaned lambs (Lee et al., 2001) and increase milk yields and reduce N excretion in dairy cows (Miller et al., 2001) compared to conventional ryegrass. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of using reseeded upland pastures, sown with either a ryegrass variety bred for elevated levels of WSC or a control ryegrass on the production performance of grazing steers when compared to steers grazing permanent ryegrass/white clover pastures.
Perennial ryegrass varieties bred to express high water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations have been shown to improve liveweight gain in pre-weaned lambs of grazing ewes (Lee et al., 2001) compared to conventional ryegrass. Studies have shown that the largest differential in WSC between ryegrass varieties bred for high WSC concentrations and control ryegrasses occurs 5-6 weeks after the plant is allowed to re-grow following cutting or grazing (Miller et al., 2001). Therefore, the benefits, in terms of lamb performance, of using these grasses with high WSC concentrations may be best achieved when they are rotationally rather than continuously grazed. The aim of this experiment was to compare lambs rotationally or continuously grazing either a ryegrass variety bred for high WSC concentrations or a control ryegrass.
Genetic potential for milk production has increased rapidly in the Holstein-Friesian breed and there is concern that this might be causing an increased incidence of health problems. We have recently (Ingvartsen et al., 2002) reviewed the inter-relationships between lactation performance and health, demonstrating the importance of considering effects on/of body reserves as well as effects on/of milk production. Whilst we identified mechanisms whereby body reserves can have a direct effect on susceptibility to disease, disease also affects body reserves making it difficult to study their inter-relationships. The dry period is a particularly interesting period in this regard, because additional nutrients are directed towards reserves, whilst it is followed by a period (early lactation) of high disease incidence. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of body condition score (BCS) at calving, as well as the effects of dry period diets designed to alter BCS, on disease incidences in the first 100 days of lactation.
Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) and Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) have complementary missions. We replicated a 2008 survey of CTSA-PBRN leaders to understand how organizational relationships have evolved.
We surveyed 60 CTSA community engagement (CE) Directors and 135 PBRN Directors and analyzed data using between and within-group comparisons.
In total, 43% of CTSA CE Directors (26/60) and 42% of PBRN Directors (57/135) responded. Quantitative responses revealed growing alignment between CTSA/PBRN perceptions, with a few areas of discordance. CE Directors noted declining financial support for PBRNs. PBRN Directors identified greater CTSA effectiveness in PBRN engagement, consultation, and collaborative grant submissions. Qualitative data revealed divergent experiences across CTSA/PBRN programs.
Relationships between CTSAs and PBRNs are maturing; for some that means strengthening and for others a growing vulnerability. Findings suggest a mutual opportunity for PBRNs and CTSAs around applied research. Studies to characterize exemplar CTSA-PBRN collaborations are needed.
Ortles mountain (3905 m a.s.l.), South Tyrol, Italy, is the highest mountain of the Eastern European Alps, and its upper glacier, Alto dell’Ortles, presents a unique opportunity to obtain the first paleoenvironmental record from an ice core in this area. To study the suitability of this glacier as a drilling site, in 2009 we performed the first preliminary study of its glaciological characteristics at ˜3830 m a.s.l. The maximum thickness is ˜75 m, and lamination of the exposed ice layers is excellent down to bedrock. Firn and ice lenses were observed in a 10 m shallow core, and the firn/ice transition was below ˜24m. The seasonal chemical signal is clearly preserved only within the uppermost 2008 and 2009 snow/firn. A simple mass-balance model, the incipient ‘smoothing’ of the chemical record, and the observed ice lenses provide evidence that melting, infiltration and refreezing cycles occurred within the firn layers formed before 2008. Nevertheless, the mass balance of the upper part of Alto dell’Ortles was positive (˜800mma_1) during the last few years. We suggest that an environmental history is likely to be well preserved only within the ice layers formed before ˜1980, when summer air temperature was ˜2°C colder than today in this area. Clearly the continued warming trend predicted to occur over the next few decades, and the consequent increase in frequency and/or intensity of infiltration processes, will endanger the preservation of the glacial archive conserved in the deep ice layers of Ortles mountain.
Research has shown both production and health benefits for the use of chicory (Cichorium intybus) within ruminant diets. Despite this, little was known about the effects of this forage, containing differing fatty acid profiles and secondary plant compounds compared with ryegrass, on beef stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties. An experiment was conducted to investigate whether the inclusion of chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers would alter these three properties in the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Triplicate 2 ha plots were established with a chicory (cv. Puna II)/perennial ryegrass mix or a perennial ryegrass control. A core group of 36 Belgian Blue – cross steers were used within a 2-year beef finishing experiment (n=6/replicate plot). In the 2nd grazing year, steers were slaughtered as they reached a target fat class of 3. Muscle pH was checked 2 and 48 h post-slaughter. A section of the hindloin joint containing the M. Longissimus lumborum muscle was removed and a 20 mm-thick steak was cut and muscle samples were taken for analysis of vitamin E and fatty acid analysis. The remaining section of the loin was vacuum packed in modified atmosphere packs and subjected to simulated retail display. A section of the conditioned loin was used for sensory analysis. Data on pH, vitamin E concentration and colour stability in a simulated retail display showed there were no effects of including chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers on meat stability. There were also no differences found in the fatty acid composition or the overall eating quality of the steaks from the two treatments. In conclusion, there were no substantive effects of including chicory in the swards of grazing beef cattle on meat stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties of the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing ryegrass-only swards.
AO 0235+164 is a very compact, flat-spectrum radio source. It is identified with a BL Lac object, and has optical absorption-line systems at z = 0.524 and z = 0.852. A complex set of HI absorption lines is seen at z = 0.524 (932 MHz), and several of these lines change significantly in depth over periods of less than a year. This is the only known case of variable extragalactic absorption lines. A faint nebulosity 2 arcsec south of AO 0235 + 164 has an emission-line redshift of z = 0.52 and may be an intervening galaxy. The radio spectrum of this source (between major outbursts) is remarkably flat, with the total flux density staying between about 1 and 3 Jy over a range of at least 1000 in frequency. Such a flat spectrum would lead one to expect a complex, wavelength-dependent structure consisting of several components with different self-absorption frequencies. However, the observed radio structure of 0235+164 is about as simple as one could imagine – it is a nearly unresolved point source in VLBI experiments from 900 MHz to 22 GHz. Recent VLBI experiments at 6 and 13 cm have shown evidence for some elongation of the source in a generally NE-SW direction, but only at low contour levels (< 15% of the peak). The major portion of the flux density appears to come from a core which is unresolved in VLBI experiments over a range of ~ 25 in frequency.
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that outdoor-kept pigs show an improvement to health and productivity after being moved to a new site. This study explores whether Salmonella occurrence reduced and was sustained after moving to a new site. Nine farms were followed for a year in which four sampling visits were completed. The highest detection of Salmonella was from pooled faecal dropping from pigs, run-off/ pooled water, rodents and wild birds. Descriptive summaries showed that the prevalence of both all Salmonella and serovars of public health importance were lower at all visits after the move. Some variability was shown in results from individual farms, but a year after the move, six farms still maintained a lower prevalence. A risk factor model showed that the prevalence at visits 2 and 3 after the move was significantly lower than baseline, after accounting for a number of significant factors that were included in the model. These were sample type and seasonality (included as a priori), presence of coughing in the sampled group and Glasser's disease on the farm, and the use of tent or kennel accommodation. This finding provides important evidence that more frequent site moves may help reduce Salmonella prevalence in outdoor herds.
As a discipline, design science has traditionally focused on designing products and associated technical processes to improve usability and performance. Although significant progress has been made in these areas, little research has yet examined the role of human behaviour in the design of socio-technical systems (e.g., organizations). Here, we argue that applying organizational psychology as a design science can address this omission and enhance the capability of both disciplines. Specifically, we propose a method to predict malfunctions in socio-technical systems (PreMiSTS), thereby enabling them to be designed out or mitigated. We introduce this method, describe its nine stages, and illustrate its application with reference to two high-profile case studies of such malfunctions: (1) the severe breakdowns in patient care at the UK’s Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust hospital in the period 2005–2009, and (2) the fatal Grayrigg rail accident in Cumbria, UK, in 2007. Having first identified the socio-technical and behavioural antecedents of these malfunctions, we then consider how the PreMiSTS method could be used to predict and prevent future malfunctions of this nature. Finally, we evaluate the method, consider its advantages and disadvantages, and suggest where it can be most usefully applied.
Introduction: Analyzing the charts of patients who have a return visit to an emergency department (ED) requiring hospital admission (termed ‘RV’) is an efficient way to identify adverse events (AEs). Investigating these AEs can inform efforts to improve the quality of care provided. The ED RV Quality Program (RVQP) is a new initiative supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and managed by Health Quality Ontario. It aims to promote a culture of continuous quality improvement through routine audit/investigation of RVs. Methods: The provincial program is mandatory for high-volume EDs and requires auditing of some 72-hour RVs and all 7-day RVs involving ‘sentinel diagnoses’ (subarachnoid hemorrhage [SAH], acute myocardial infarction [AMI], or pediatric sepsis [PS]). A standardized audit template is followed that includes assessment of the type/severity and underlying causes of AEs, and potential actions for improvement. Results: 73 high-volume EDs and 16 smaller EDs (collectively receiving 90% of all ED visits in Ontario) are participating in the program. Nine months’ data have been released to date, comprising 33,956 RVs (1.05% of 3,235,751 ED visits). Of these, 233 RVs (0.69%) were for a sentinel diagnosis (SAH=11, AMI=191, PS=31). The most common presenting complaint on the index visit was abdominal pain (18%). The most common discharge diagnosis following RV admission was acute appendicitis (3.8%). Conclusion: The ED RVQP aims to improve the quality of care provided in Ontario’s EDs by requiring hospitals to conduct audits of RVs and plan actions for improvement when quality gaps are identified. Participating hospitals have completed hundreds of audits to date.
Data obtained by the AS&E X-ray Telescope Experiment during the first Skylab mission have revealed a variety of temporal changes in both the form and brightness of coronal structures. Dynamical changes have been noted in active regions, in large scale coronal structures, and in coronal bright points. The coronal activity accompanying a series of Hα flares and prominence activity between 0800 and 1600 UT on 10 June 1973 in active region 137 (NOAA) at the east limb is shown in Figure 1. It is characterized by increases in the brightness and temperature of active region loops and a dramatic change in the shape and brightness of a loop structure. Figure 2 shows the reconfiguration of an apparent polar crown filament cavity between 1923 UT on 12 June 1973 and 1537 UT on 13 June 1973. A ridge of emitting material which attains a peak brightness at least four times that of the surrounding coronal structures appears within the cavity during the course of the event. Typical X-ray photographs with filters passing relatively soft X-ray wavelengths (3–32, 44–54 Å) show 90 to 100 X-ray bright points (Vaiana et al., 1973). On twelve occasions in the data from the first mission, such bright points were seen to increase in intensity by two orders of magnitude in less than 4 min. Such an event is shown in Figure 3.