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Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
Existing reviews suggest that milk and other dairy products do not play a role in the development of obesity in childhood, but they do make an important contribution to children’s nutrient intake. It is thus curious that public health advice on the consumption of dairy products for children is often perceived as unclear. The present review aimed to provide an overview of the totality of the evidence on the association between milk and other dairy products, and obesity and indicators of adiposity, in children. Our search identified forty-three cross-sectional studies, thirty-one longitudinal cohort studies and twenty randomised controlled trials. We found that milk and other dairy products are consistently found to be not associated, or inversely associated, with obesity and indicators of adiposity in children. Adjustment for energy intake tended to change inverse associations to neutral. Also, we found little evidence to suggest that the relationship varied by type of milk or dairy product, or age of the children, although there was a dearth of evidence for young children. Only nine of the ninety-four studies found a positive association between milk and other dairy products and body fatness. There may be some plausible mechanisms underlying the effect of milk and other dairy products on adiposity that influence energy and fat balance, possibly through fat absorption, appetite or metabolic activity of gut microbiota. In conclusion, there is little evidence to support a concern to limit the consumption of milk and other dairy products for children on the grounds that they may promote obesity.
Disordered eating (DE) is a widespread, serious problem. Efficacious prevention programs that can be delivered at-scale are needed.
A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of two online programs was conducted. Participants were young-adult women from Australia and New Zealand seeking to improve their body image. Media Smart-Targeted (MS-T) and Student Bodies (SB) were both 9-module interventions released weekly, whilst control participants received positive body image information. Primary [Eating Disorder Examination–Questionnaire (EDE-Q) Global], secondary (DE risk factors) and tertiary (DE) outcome measures were completed at baseline, post-program, 6- and 12-month follow-up.
Baseline was completed by 608 women (M age = 20.71 years); 33 were excluded leaving 575 randomized to: MS-T (N = 191); SB (N = 190) or control (N = 194). Only 66% of those randomized to MS-T or SB accessed the intervention and were included in analyses with controls; 78% of this sample completed measures subsequent to baseline. Primary intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses revealed no differences between groups, while measure completer analyses found MS-T had significantly lower EDE-Q Global than controls at 12-month follow-up. Secondary ITT analyses found MS-T participants reported significantly higher quality of life–mental relative to both SB and controls (6-month follow-up), while MS-T and controls had lower clinical impairment relative to SB (post-program). Amongst measure completers, MS-T scored significantly lower than controls and SB on 5 variables. Of those with baseline DE, MS-T participants were significantly less likely than controls to have DE at 12-month follow-up.
Given both programs were not therapist-moderated, MS-T has potential to achieve reductions in DE risk at low implementation costs.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
Maternal vitamin B12 (B12) status has been inversely associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and positively with fetal growth and infant development. South Asians, Canada’s largest ethnic minority, are prone to B12 deficiency. Yet, data are lacking on B12 status in South Asian pregnant women in North America. We sought to determine B12 status, using multiple biomarkers, in 1st and 2nd trimester pregnant women of South Asian and, for comparison, European ethnicity living in Vancouver, Canada. In this retrospective cohort study, total B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine concentrations were quantified in two routinely collected (mean gestational week: 11·5 (range 8·3–13·9) and 16·5 (range 14·9–20·9)), banked serum samples of 748 healthy pregnant South Asian (n 371) and European (n 377) women. South Asian pregnant women had significantly lower B12 status than European pregnant women at both time points, as indicated by lower serum total B12 and holoTC concentrations, and higher MMA concentrations (all P≤0·001). The largest difference, which was substantial (Cohen’s d≥0·5), was observed in mean serum total B12 concentrations (1st trimester: 189 (95 % CI 180, 199) v. 246 (95 % CI 236, 257) pmol/l; 2nd trimester: 176 (95 % CI 168, 185) v. 226 (95 % CI 216, 236) pmol/l). Further, South Asian ethnicity was a significant negative predictor of B12 status during pregnancy. South Asian women living in Vancouver have substantially lower B12 status during early pregnancy. Future research identifying predictors and health consequences of this observed difference is needed to allow for targeted interventions.
Photogrammetric processing of archival stereo imagery offers the opportunity to reconstruct glacier volume changes for regions where no such data exist, and to better constrain the contribution to sea-level rise from small glaciers and ice caps. The ability to derive digital elevation model (DEM) measurements of glacier volume from photogrammetry relies on good-quality, well-distributed ground reference data, which may be difficult to acquire. This study shows that ground-control points (GCPs) can be identified and extracted from point-cloud airborne lidar data and used to control photogrammetric glacier models. The technique is applied to midtre Lovénbreen, a small valley glacier in northwest Svalbard. We show that the amount of ground control measured and the elevation accuracy of GCP coordinates (based on known and theoretical error considerations) has a significant effect on photogrammetric model statistics, DEM accuracy and the subsequent geodetic measurement of glacier volume change. Models controlled with fewer than 20 lidar control points or GCPs from sub-optimal areas within the swath footprint overestimated volume change by 14–53% over a 2 year period. DEMs derived from models utilizing 20–25 or more GCPs, however, gave volume change estimates within ∼4% of those from repeat lidar data (−0.51 m a−1 between 2003 and 2005). Our results have important implications for the measurement of glacier volume change from archival stereo-imagery sources.
The MPIfR is working together with SKA-SA and the Universities of Manchester and Oxford to deploy three instruments on MeerKAT: An S-band receiver system, a dedicated beamforming cluster and a flexible pulsar search cluster. Together these instruments will provide MeerKAT with powerful tools for supporting a wide range of scientific applications and in particular will enable large-scale pulsar and fast transient surveys to be performed. In these proceedings we describe the design, implementation and deployment timeline for these instruments.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
A wide variety of X-ray spectral forms has been reported in BL Lac objects. Concave spectra, i.e. a steep soft X-ray spectrum with a flat high energy tail, have been reported in a few of the brightest BL Lacs (e.g Urry 1986). Conversely, convex spectra (steep hard X-rays, flat soft X-ray spectrum) have also been reported, sometimes in the same objects (Madejski 1985, Barr et al 1988, George et al 1988). The high energy tails have usually been invoked as a signature of synchrotron-self-Compton emission. Two conflicting interpretations of the convex spectra have been made. Urry et al (1986) suggest absorption by a partially ionised medium, probably intrinsic to the BL Lac object, following the identification of an Oxygen absorption trough in the Einstein OGS spectrum of PKS 2155-304 by Canizares and Kruper (1984). Conversely, Barr et al (1988) attribute the hard X-ray steepening to energy loss mechanisms operating on a synchrotron source.
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)
Here, we present a catalogue of known Fast Radio Burst sources in the form of an online catalogue, FRBCAT. The catalogue includes information about the instrumentation used for the observations for each detected burst, the measured quantities from each observation, and model-dependent quantities derived from observed quantities. To aid in consistent comparisons of burst properties such as width and signal-to-noise ratios, we have re-processed all the bursts for which we have access to the raw data, with software which we make available. The originally derived properties are also listed for comparison. The catalogue is hosted online as a Mysql database which can also be downloaded in tabular or plain text format for off-line use. This database will be maintained for use by the community for studies of the Fast Radio Burst population as it grows.
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)
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses worldwide and a leading cause of disability, especially in the setting of treatment resistance. In recent years, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has emerged as a promising alternative strategy for treatment-resistant depression and its clinical efficacy has been investigated intensively across the world. However, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of the antidepressant effect of rTMS are still not fully understood. This review aims to systematically synthesize the literature on the neurobiological mechanisms of treatment response to rTMS in patients with depression. Medline (1996–2014), Embase (1980–2014) and PsycINFO (1806–2014) were searched under set terms. Three authors reviewed each article and came to consensus on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All eligible studies were reviewed, duplicates were removed, and data were extracted individually. Of 1647 articles identified, 66 studies met both inclusion and exclusion criteria. rTMS affects various biological factors that can be measured by current biological techniques. Although a number of studies have explored the neurobiological mechanisms of rTMS, a large variety of rTMS protocols and parameters limits the ability to synthesize these findings into a coherent understanding. However, a convergence of findings suggest that rTMS exerts its therapeutic effects by altering levels of various neurochemicals, electrophysiology as well as blood flow and activity in the brain in a frequency-dependent manner. More research is needed to delineate the neurobiological mechanisms of the antidepressant effect of rTMS. The incorporation of biological assessments into future rTMS clinical trials will help in this regard.
Beyond academic vocabulary, the constellation of skills that comprise academic language proficiency has remained imprecisely defined. This study proposes an expanded operationalization of this construct referred to as core academic language skills (CALS). CALS refers to the knowledge and deployment of a repertoire of language forms and functions that co-occur with school learning tasks across disciplines. Using an innovative instrument, we explored CALS in a cross-sectional sample of 235 students in Grades 4–8. The results revealed between- and within-grade variability in CALS. Psychometric analyses yielded strong reliability and supported the presence of a single CALS factor, which was found to be predictive of reading comprehension. Our findings suggest that the CALS construct and instrument appear promising for exploring students’ school-relevant language skills.
Reproductive effects from phthalate exposure have been documented mostly in animal studies. This study explored the association between prenatal exposure to phthalate metabolites, anogenital distance and penile measurements in male newborns in Toluca, State of Mexico. A total of 174 pregnant women provided urine samples for phthalate analysis during their last prenatal visit, and the 73 who gave birth to male infants were included in the study. The 73 male newborns were weighed and measured using standardized methods after delivery. After adjusting for creatinine and supine length at birth, significant inverse associations were observed between an index of prenatal exposure to total phthalate exposure and the distance from the anus to anterior base of the penis (β = −0.191 mm per 1 μg/l, P = 0.037), penile width (β = −0.0414, P = 0.050) and stretched length (β = −0.2137, P = 0.034); prenatal exposure to mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate exposure was associated with a reduction in the stretched length of the penis (β = −0.2604, P = 0.050). Human exposure to phthalates is a public health concern, and the system most vulnerable to its potential effects seems to be the immature male reproductive tract.