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TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
The History, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Age, Risk Factors, and Troponin (HEART) score is a decision aid designed to risk stratify emergency department (ED) patients with acute chest pain. It has been validated for ED use, but it has yet to be evaluated in a prehospital setting.
A prehospital modified HEART score can predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) among undifferentiated chest pain patients transported to the ED.
A retrospective cohort study of patients with chest pain transported by two county-based Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies to a tertiary care center was conducted. Adults without ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were included. Inter-facility transfers and those without a prehospital 12-lead ECG or an ED troponin measurement were excluded. Modified HEART scores were calculated by study investigators using a standardized data collection tool for each patient. All MACE (death, myocardial infarction [MI], or coronary revascularization) were determined by record review at 30 days. The sensitivity and negative predictive values (NPVs) for MACE at 30 days were calculated.
Over the study period, 794 patients met inclusion criteria. A MACE at 30 days was present in 10.7% (85/794) of patients with 12 deaths (1.5%), 66 MIs (8.3%), and 12 coronary revascularizations without MI (1.5%). The modified HEART score identified 33.2% (264/794) of patients as low risk. Among low-risk patients, 1.9% (5/264) had MACE (two MIs and three revascularizations without MI). The sensitivity and NPV for 30-day MACE was 94.1% (95% CI, 86.8-98.1) and 98.1% (95% CI, 95.6-99.4), respectively.
Prehospital modified HEART scores have a high NPV for MACE at 30 days. A study in which prehospital providers prospectively apply this decision aid is warranted.
Strategies that reduce the time to antimicrobial administration, such as the availability of premix antimicrobials (PMAs) in the emergency department (ED), may better align with the goals of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and improve outcomes in septic patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of antimicrobial preparation on time to administration in septic patients located in the emergency department (ED).
This was a retrospective, single-center, cohort study and adult patients with a diagnosis of sepsis who received at least one initial intravenous (IV) antimicrobial in the ED were included. Time to complete an empiric antimicrobial therapy was defined as the time between prescriber order entry and the infusion initiation time of the final antimicrobial agent of a patient’s antimicrobial regimen. Appropriate, empiric antimicrobial therapy was based on treatment recommendations by nationally accepted guidelines for the specific indication.
The first antimicrobial was initiated earlier when available as a PMA preparation (median (IQR): premix 25 minutes (16.5-42.3) vs. non-premix 46 minutes (20-102), p=0.027). When comparing complete, empiric antimicrobial regimen administration, there was no difference in time to administration between regimens containing one or more non-premix antimicrobials and regimens containing all PMAs (median (IQR): premix 69 minutes (21-115) vs. non-premix 65 minutes (38.5-133.8); p=0.455).
PMA preparations significantly reduced time to administration of the first antimicrobial agent for septic patients treated in the ED, but time to administration of subsequent antimicrobials were not improved.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and validity of three computerized neurocognitive assessment tools (CNTs; i.e., ANAM, DANA, and ImPACT) for assessing mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in patients recruited through a level I trauma center emergency department (ED). Methods: mTBI (n=94) and matched trauma control (n=80) subjects recruited from a level I trauma center emergency department completed symptom and neurocognitive assessments within 72 hr of injury and at 15 and 45 days post-injury. Concussion symptoms were also assessed via phone at 8 days post-injury. Results: CNTs did not differentiate between groups at any time point (e.g., M 72-hr Cohen’s d=−.16, .02, and .00 for ANAM, DANA, and ImPACT, respectively; negative values reflect greater impairment in the mTBI group). Roughly a quarter of stability coefficients were over .70 across measures and test–retest intervals in controls. In contrast, concussion symptom score differentiated mTBI vs. control groups acutely), with this effect size diminished over time (72-hr and day 8, 15, and 45 Cohen’s d=−.78, −.60, −.49, and −.35, respectively). Conclusions: The CNTs evaluated, developed and widely used to assess sport-related concussion, did not yield significant differences between patients with mTBI versus other injuries. Symptom scores better differentiated groups than CNTs, with effect sizes weaker than those reported in sport-related concussion studies. Nonspecific injury factors, and other characteristics common in ED settings, likely affect CNT performance across trauma patients as a whole and thereby diminish the validity of CNTs for assessing mTBI in this patient population. (JINS, 2017, 23, 293–303)
The response of the Antarctic ice sheet to climate change over the next 500
years is calculated using the output of a transient-coupled ocean-atmosphere
simulation assuming the atmospheric CO2 value increases up to
three times present levels. The main effects on the ice sheet on this
time-scale include increasing rates of accumulation, minimal surface
melting, and basal melting of ice shelves. A semi-Lagrangian transport
scheme for moisture was used to improve the model’s ability to represent
realistic rates of accumulation under present-day conditions, and thereby
increase confidence in the anomalies calculated under a warmer climate. The
response of the Antarctic ice sheet to the warming is increased accumulation
inland, offset by loss from basal melting from the floating ice, and
increased ice flow near the grounding line. The preliminary results of this
study show that the change to the ice-sheet balance for the
transient-coupled model forcing amounted to a minimal sea-level contribution
in the next century, but a net positive sea-level rise of 0.21 m by 500
years. This new result supercedes earlier results that showed the Antarctic
ice sheet made a net negative contribution to sea-level rise over the next
century. However, the amplitude of the sea-level rise is still dominated In
the much larger contributions expected from thermal expansion of the ocean
of 0.25 m for 100 years and 1.00 m for 500 years.
We investigated the physiology of two closely related albatross species relative to their breeding strategy: black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) breed annually, while grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) breed biennially. From observations of breeding fate and blood samples collected at the end of breeding in one season and feather corticosterone levels (fCort) sampled at the beginning of the next breeding season, we found that in both species some post-breeding physiological parameters differed according to breeding outcome (successful, failed, deferred). Correlations between post-breeding physiology and fCort, and links to future breeding decisions, were examined. In black-browed albatrosses, post-breeding physiology and fCort were not significantly correlated, but fCort independently predicted breeding decision the next year, which we interpret as a possible migratory carry-over effect. In grey-headed albatrosses, post-breeding triglyceride levels were negatively correlated with fCort, but only in females, which we interpret as a potential cost of reproduction. However, this potential cost did not carry-over to future breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses. None of the variables predicted future breeding decisions. We suggest that biennial breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses may have evolved as a strategy to buffer against the apparent susceptibility of females to negative physiological costs of reproduction. Future studies are needed to confirm this.
Public agencies at all levels of government and other organizations that manage archaeological resources often face the problem of many undertakings that collectively impact large numbers of individually significant archaeological resources. Such situations arise when an agency is managing a large area, such as a national forest, land management district, park unit, wildlife refuge, or military installation. These situations also may arise in regard to large-scale development projects, such as energy developments, highways, reservoirs, transmission lines, and other major infrastructure projects that cover substantial areas. Over time, the accumulation of impacts from small-scale projects to individual archaeological resources may degrade landscape or regional-scale cultural phenomena. Typically, these impacts are mitigated at the site level without regard to how the impacts to individual resources affect the broader population of resources. Actions to mitigate impacts rarely are designed to do more than avoid resources or ensure some level of data recovery at single sites. Such mitigation activities are incapable of addressing research question at a landscape or regional scale.
Accurate reconstruction of the biomass, structure, and productivity of ancient forests from their fossilized remnants remains an interesting challenge in paleoecology. In well-preserved Tertiary fossil Metasequoia forests of Canada's Arctic, in situ stumps and fragments of stems, treetops, and branches contain substantial information about tree dimensions that can be used to determine tree height, stand biomass, and other characteristics such as canopy depth and structure, and the history of stand development. To validate a method for reconstructing the biomass of the Eocene floodplain Metasequoia forests of Axel Heiberg Island, we measured stump diameters and spacing, and stem, branch, and treetop characteristics in living Metasequoia glyptostroboides and Chamaecyparis thyoides stands in ways that simulate the limited measurements that can be made in well-preserved fossil forests in Canada and probably elsewhere. We used those limited measurements to estimate tree height and volume, branch and foliar dry weights, and tree biomass. The estimates derived from the limited data set are usually within 15% of the estimates derived from the methods currently used in forest ecology for determining those metrics in modern forests. Under appropriate conditions, the biomass of ancient forests can be estimated with reasonable confidence.
Limited data exist comparing the performance of computerized neurocognitive tests (CNTs) for assessing sport-related concussion. We evaluated the reliability and validity of three CNTs—ANAM, Axon Sports/Cogstate Sport, and ImPACT—in a common sample. High school and collegiate athletes completed two CNTs each at baseline. Concussed (n=165) and matched non-injured control (n=166) subjects repeated testing within 24 hr and at 8, 15, and 45 days post-injury. Roughly a quarter of each CNT’s indices had stability coefficients (M=198 day interval) over .70. Group differences in performance were mostly moderate to large at 24 hr and small by day 8. The sensitivity of reliable change indices (RCIs) was best at 24 hr (67.8%, 60.3%, and 47.6% with one or more significant RCIs for ImPACT, Axon, and ANAM, respectively) but diminished to near the false positive rates thereafter. Across time, the CNTs’ sensitivities were highest in those athletes who became asymptomatic within 1 day before neurocognitive testing but was similar to the tests’ false positive rates when including athletes who became asymptomatic several days earlier. Test–retest reliability was similar among these three CNTs and below optimal standards for clinical use on many subtests. Analyses of group effect sizes, discrimination, and sensitivity and specificity suggested that the CNTs may add incrementally (beyond symptom scores) to the identification of clinical impairment within 24 hr of injury or within a short time period after symptom resolution but do not add significant value over symptom assessment later. The rapid clinical recovery course from concussion and modest stability probably jointly contribute to limited signal detection capabilities of neurocognitive tests outside a brief post-injury window. (JINS, 2016, 22, 24–37)
Vegetation affects feedbacks in Earth's hydrologic system, but is constrained by physiological adaptations. In extant ecosystems, the mechanisms controlling plant water used can be measured experimentally; for extinct plants in the recent geological past, water use can be inferred from nearest living relatives, assuming minimal evolutionary change. In deep time, where no close living relatives exist, fossil material provides the only information for inferring plant water use. However, mechanistic models for extinct plant water use must be built on first principles and tested on extant plants. Plants serve as a conduit for water movement from the soil to the atmosphere, constrained by tissue-level construction and gross architecture. No single feature, such as stomata or veins, encompasses enough of the complexity underpinning water-use physiology to serve as the basis of a model of functional water use in all (or perhaps any) extinct plants. Rather, a “functional whole plant” model must be used. To understand the interplay between plant and atmosphere, water use in relation to environmental conditions is investigated in an extinct plant, the seed fern Medullosa ((Division Pteridospermatophyta), by reviewing methods for reconstructing physiological variables such as leaf and stem hydraulic capacity, photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and albedo. Medullosans had the potential for extremely high photosynthetic and assimilation rates, water transport, stomatal conductance, and transpiration—rates comparable to later angiosperms. When these high growth and gas exchange rates of medullosans are combined with the unique atmospheric gas composition of the late Paleozoic atmosphere, complex vegetation-environmental feedbacks are expected despite their basal phylogenetic position relative to post-Paleozoic seed plants.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.
Calculations based on Poisson-Boltzmann theory are used to investigate the equilibrium properties of an electrolyte containing TcO4− and SO42− ions near the surface of amorphous silica. The calculations show that the concentration of TcO4− is greater than SO42− at distances less than 1 nm from the surface due to the negative charge density caused by deprotonation of the amorphous silica silanol groups. At lower pH, the surface becomes protonated and the magnitude of this effect is reduced. These results have implications for the potential use of oxyanion-SAMMS for the environmental remediation of water contaminated with 99Tc.