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This paper reviews the efficacy of a community psychosocial arts program focused on building mental health capacity within post-Ebola Liberia. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the outcome effects of two groups using pre- and post-treatment data. We hypothesized that there would be a difference in symptoms pre- and post-treatment, and the longer program would yield more significant results.
There was a total of 870 child participants. Of 40 sites, 24 were selected for a 5-month treatment (TG1) while the remaining 16 sites received 3 months of treatment (TG2). Paired t tests and a mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse pre- and post-psychological stress symptoms (PSS) for samples from both groups.
Separately, treatment group 1 (TG1) and treatment group 2's (TG2) paired t test yielded significant results (p < 0.001) for the decrease of PSS. The mixed-model ANOVA found that there were significant differences in total pre- and post-test PSS and a significant difference in PSS means over time.
Results indicated that there was a statistically significant decrease in reported symptoms in both treatment groups pre- to post-intervention and a significant difference in total symptoms over time. However, the findings do not indicate that the longer programming was statistically different compared to the shorter programming. The study presented had gaps in data, largely due to limits in research during the crisis. However, this paper provides a unique case study for challenges that can be faced for project evaluation in emergency settings.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Gut symbionts can augment resistance to pathogens by stimulating host-immune responses, competing for space and nutrients, or producing antimicrobial metabolites. Gut microbiota of social bees, which pollinate many crops and wildflowers, protect hosts against diverse infections and might counteract pathogen-related bee declines. Bumble bee gut microbiota, and specifically abundance of Lactobacillus ‘Firm-5’ bacteria, can enhance resistance to the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia bombi. However, the mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We hypothesized that the Firm-5 bacterium Lactobacillus bombicola, which produces lactic acid, inhibits C. bombi via pH-mediated effects. Consistent with our hypothesis, L. bombicola spent medium inhibited C. bombi growth via reduction in pH that was both necessary and sufficient for inhibition. Inhibition of all parasite strains occurred within the pH range documented in honey bees, though sensitivity to acidity varied among strains. Spent medium was slightly more potent than HCl, d- and l-lactic acids for a given pH, suggesting that other metabolites also contribute to inhibition. Results implicate symbiont-mediated reduction in gut pH as a key determinant of trypanosomatid infection in bees. Future investigation into in vivo effects of gut microbiota on pH and infection intensity would test the relevance of these findings for bees threatened by trypanosomatids.
Purpose: Older adults have an increased likelihood of requiring rehabilitative care due to cognitive and physical risk factors. Research has found a link between executive functioning performance and functional outcomes; however, there is a dearth of research on the assessment of judgement ability. In the current pilot study, we investigated the clinical utility of the Test of Practical Judgment (TOP-J) in an older adult rehabilitation sample.
Methods: Inpatients of mixed diagnoses (n = 25, mean age = 72.60) completed the TOP-J and Functional Independence Measure (FIM). We assessed TOP-J performance in the entire sample and in those with intact vs. impaired global cognition (on the Mini-Mental State Examination; MMSE). Correlational analyses were conducted between the TOP-J, MMSE and relevant FIM items.
Results: TOP-J performance fell between the means typically observed in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Participants with intact global cognition obtained significantly higher TOP-J scores than those with impaired global cognition. Moderate to strong positive correlations emerged between TOP-J, MMSE and FIM items of problem solving, comprehension and memory.
Conclusions: Results provide support for the clinical utility and validity of the TOP-J among older adults in the rehabilitation setting. Administering the TOP-J may help identify patients at risk for future injury and facilitate role transitions.
Innovative evidence-based interventions are needed to equip research mentors with skills to address cultural diversity within research mentoring relationships. A pilot study assessed initial outcomes of a culturally tailored effort to create and disseminate a novel intervention titled Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM) for research mentors.
Intervention development resulted in 4 products: a 6 hour CAM training curriculum, a facilitator guide, an online pretraining module, and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of CAM training.
Participants were 64 research mentors from 3 US research-intensive universities. Quantitative pretraining and posttraining evaluation survey data were collected.
Participants found high value and satisfaction with the CAM training, reported gains in personal cultural awareness and cultural skills, and increased intentions and confidence to address cultural diversity in their mentoring.
Study findings indicate that the CAM training holds promise to build research mentors’ capacity and confidence to engage directly with racial/ethnic topics in research mentoring relationships.
Efforts to address health disparities and achieve health equity are critically dependent on the development of a diverse research workforce. However, many researchers from underrepresented backgrounds face challenges in advancing their careers, securing independent funding, and finding the mentorship needed to expand their research.
Faculty from the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Wisconsin-Madison developed and evaluated an intensive week-long research and career-development institute—the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI)—with the goal of increasing the number of underrepresented scholars who can sustain their ongoing commitment to health equity research.
In 2010-2016, HELI brought 145 diverse scholars (78% from an underrepresented background; 81% female) together to engage with each other and learn from supportive faculty. Overall, scholar feedback was highly positive on all survey items, with average agreement ratings of 4.45-4.84 based on a 5-point Likert scale. Eighty-five percent of scholars remain in academic positions. In the first three cohorts, 73% of HELI participants have been promoted and 23% have secured independent federal funding.
HELI includes an evidence-based curriculum to develop a diverse workforce for health equity research. For those institutions interested in implementing such an institute to develop and support underrepresented early stage investigators, a resource toolbox is provided.
During May 2015, an increase in Salmonella Agona cases was reported from western Sydney, Australia. We examine the public health actions used to investigate and control this increase. A descriptive case-series investigation was conducted. Six outbreak cases were identified; all had consumed cooked tuna sushi rolls purchased within a western Sydney shopping complex. Onset of illness for outbreak cases occurred between 7 April and 24 May 2015. Salmonella was isolated from food samples collected from the implicated premise and a prohibition order issued. No further cases were identified following this action. Whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis was performed on isolates recovered during this investigation, with additional S. Agona isolates from sporadic-clinical cases and routine food sampling in New South Wales, January to July 2015. Clinical isolates of outbreak cases were indistinguishable from food isolates collected from the implicated sushi outlet. Five additional clinical isolates not originally considered to be linked to the outbreak were genomically similar to outbreak isolates, indicating the point-source contamination may have started before routine surveillance identified an increase. This investigation demonstrated the value of genomics-guided public health action, where near real-time WGS enhanced the resolution of the epidemiological investigation.
We describe the search for δ Scuti stars in the MACHO database of bulge fields. Concentrating on a sample of high amplitude δ Scutis, we examine the light curves and pulsation modes. We also discuss their spatial distribution and evolutionary status using mean colors and absolute magnitudes.
Real-time detection of microlensing has moved from proof of concept in 1994 (Udalski et al. 1994a, Alcock et al. 1994) to a steady stream of events this year. Global dissemination of these events by the MACHO and OGLE collaborations has made possible intensive photometric and spectroscopic follow up from widely dispersed sites confirming the microlensing hypothesis (Benetti 1995). Improved photometry and increased temporal resolution from follow up observations greatly increases the possibility of detecting deviations from the standard point-source, point-lens, inertial motion microlensing model. These deviations are crucial in understanding individual lensing systems by breaking the degeneracy between lens mass, position and velocity. We report here on GMAN (Global Microlensing Alert Network), the coordinated follow up of MACHO alerts.
The MACHO data base has been used to examine light curves of all red giant stars brighter than Mbol ∼ −2 in a 0.5° × 0.5° area of the LMC bar. Periods, often multiple, have been searched for in all stars found to be variable. Five distinct period-luminosity sequences have been found on the low mass (M ≲ 2.25M⊙) giant branch. Comparison of observed periods, luminosities and period ratios with theoretical models identifies Miras unambiguously as radial fundamental mode pulsators, while semi-regular variables can be pulsating in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd overtone, or even the fundamental. All these variables lie on just 3 of the 5 distinct sequences, and they all appear to be on the AGB.
The fourth sequence contains red giants on the first giant branch (FGB) or at the red end of the core-helium burning loops of intermediate mass stars (M ≳ 2.25M⊙). The light curves of these stars strongly suggest that they are contact binaries, and they make up ∼0.5% of stars within 1 mag. of the FGB tip. Stars on the fifth sequence show semi-regular, eclipse-like light curves. The light curves and periods of these stars suggest that they are in semi-detached binaries, transfering mass to an invisible companion via a stellar wind or Roche lobe overflow. They make up ∼25% of AGB stars. If the existence of these red giant contact and semi-detached binaries is confirmed, then extant theories of binary star evolution will require substantial modification.
We have analyzed a sample of 1150 type ab, and 550 type c RR Lyrae stars found in 24 of 94 bulge fields of the MACHO database. These fields cover a range in Galactocentric distances from 0.3 to 1.6 kpc. In combination with the data on the outer bulge fields of Alard (1997) and Wesselink (1987), here we present the surface density distribution of bulge RR Lyrae between 0.3 and 3 kpc.
Gravitational microlensing is the most straightforward interpretation of the stellar brightenings that have been observed by our team and other experiments. These data have provided some of the most stringent limits to date on the nature of the Galaxy's dark matter halo. The number of events seen towards the LMC indicate that our Galaxy is not surrounded by a “standard” halo of MACHOs in the mass range of 10–6 to 0.3 solar masses. The observed optical depth towards the Galactic Center is an important constraint on the distribution of mass in the plane of the Galaxy.
The MACHO microlensing experiment's time-sampled photometry database contains blue and red lightcurves for nearly 9 million stars in the central bar region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have identified known LMC Planetary Nebulae (PN) in the database and find one, Jacoby 5, to be variable. We additionally present data on the “parent populations” of LMC PN, and discuss the star formation history of the LMC bar.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
In the past few years, the Magellanic Clouds have been the targets for several major variable star surveys. The results of these surveys are now becoming available and it is clear that a Renaissance in LMC and SMC variable star research will result. In this review, I will describe the results of such surveys and review the questions that are likely to be answered by further work.
With respect to results, I will concentrate on LMC MACHO Project data, including beat Cepheids, discovery statistics, mode identification, Fourier decomposition of lightcurves, and the differences between the LMC and galactic sample.
We present optical photometry of the eclipsing supersoft source, CAL 87. We find the eclipse structure to be stable over ~ 4 y, derive an improved ephemeris of To = HJD 2450111.5144(3)+0.442674(7)E, and see new structure in the light curve morphology.
We present the first results of the analysis of 22 Blazhko stars. We find: 1) Blazhko RRab stars that are nearly pure amplitude modulators; 2) Blazhko RRab stars that have both amplitude and phase modulation; 3) A Blazhko RRab star that has an abrupt period change; 4) Proof of the Blazhko effect in RRc stars. Our data show the character of the amplitude and phase modulations of the light curves over the Blazhko cycles far better than has been previously possible.