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The short allele of the serotonin transporter gene 5’ promoter region polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) is reported by A. Caspi and others to be associated with susceptibility to depression and suicidality in response to stressful life events. We examined the relationship of a triallelic 5-HTTLPR polymorphism to stressful life events (SLE) and severity of major depression and suicidality.
Mood disorder subjects (N=191) and healthy volunteers (N=125), all Caucasians of European origin, were genotyped for the triallelic 5-HTTLPR polymorphism, two low expressing alleles (LG, S) and a higher expressing LA allele. All subjects underwent structured clinical interviews for DSM IV diagnoses, ratings of psychopathology, stressful life events, developmental history and suicidal behavior. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-HIAA was assayed in a sub-sample.
Lower expressing alleles independently predicted greater depression severity and predicted greater severity of major depression with moderate-severe life events compared with the LA allele. No associations with suicidal behavior and CSF 5-HIAA were found.
Low expression transporter alleles explain 31% of the variance in major depression severity and increase the impact of stressful life events on severity. The biological phenotype responsible for these effects remains to be elucidated
Introduction and regular application of multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis of bronchoalveolar specimens for community-acquired respiratory viruses in January 2017 led to the identification of adenovirus in multiple patients in a surgical intensive unit in July 2017, which was attributed to a pseudo-outbreak.
The maintenance of biodiversity in tropical forests is thought to be dependent on fine-scale mechanisms of niche partitioning that allow species to coexist. This study examined whether three species of short-tailed fruit bat that co-occur at a lowland tropical forest site in Costa Rica (Carollia castanea, C. perspicillata, C. sowelli) avoid inter- and intraspecific competition through dietary specialization on species in the genus Piper. First, dietary composition was examined using faecal samples (N = 210), which yielded three main findings: (1) bat species and sexes vary in overall reliance on fruits of Piper, with a higher percentage of seeds of Piper detected in the diets of C. castanea (98.2%) and females (91.5%); (2) adults and juveniles partition species of Piper by habitat, with a lower percentage of mid- to late-successional species of Piper detected in adults (20.8%); and (3) overall, there is a strong dietary overlap among and within the three species of Carollia. Second, controlled choice experiments were conducted with individual bats (N = 123) to examine preferences for different species of Piper. These results indicated few differences in Piper preference based on bat species, sex, age class or reproductive status, suggesting preference is not the primary mechanism shaping the observed differences in dietary composition. Overall, the dietary composition and preference similarities suggest there is strong competition both among and within the three species of Carollia for food resources.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
The Nepal earthquake of 2015 was a major disaster that exacted an enormous toll on human lives and caused extensive damage to the infrastructure of the region. Similar to other developing countries, Nepal has a network of community health workers (CHWs; known as female community health volunteers [FCHVs]) that was in place prior to the earthquake and continues to function to improve maternal and child health. These FCHVs and other community members were responsible, by default, for providing the first wave of assistance after the earthquake.
Community health workers such as FCHVs could be used to provide formal relief services in the event of an emergency, but there is a paucity of evidence-based literature on how to best utilize them in disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and response. Data are needed to further characterize the roles that this cadre has played in past disasters and what strategies can be implemented to better incorporate them into future emergency management.
In March 2016, key-informant interviews, FCHV interviews, and focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in Nepali health facilities using semi-structured guides. The audio-recorded data were obtained with the assistance of a translator (Nepali-English), transcribed verbatim in English, and coded by two independent researchers (manually and with NVivo 11 Pro software [QSR International; Melbourne, Australia]).
Across seven different regions, 14 interviews with FCHVs, two FGDs with community women, and three key-informant interviews were conducted. Four major themes emerged around the topic of FCHVs and the 2015 earthquake: (1) community care and rapport between FCHVs and local residents; (2) emergency response of FCHVs in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake; (3) training requested to improve the FCHVs’ ability to manage disasters; and (4) interaction with relief organizations and how to create collaborations that provide aid relief more effectively.
The FCHVs in Nepal provided multiple services to their communities in the aftermath of the earthquake, largely without any specific training or instruction. Proper preparation, in addition to improved collaboration with aid agencies, could increase the capacity of FCHVs to respond in the event of a future disaster. The information gained from this study of the FCHV experience in the Nepal earthquake could be used to inform risk reduction and emergency management policies for CHWs in various settings worldwide.
FredricksK, DinhH, KusiM, YogalC, KarmacharyaBM, BurkeTF, NelsonBD. Community Health Workers and Disasters: Lessons Learned from the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):604–609.
We adopt Tinbergen's (1963) “four questions” approach to strengthen the criticism by Maestripieri et al. of the non-evolutionary accounts of favouritism toward attractive individuals, by showing which levels of explanation are lacking in these accounts. We also use this approach to propose ways in which the evolutionary account may be extended and strengthened.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
During natural disasters, hospital evacuation may be necessary to ensure patient safety and care. We aimed to examine perceptions of stakeholders involved in these decisions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
Semistructured interviews were conducted from March 2014 to February 2015 to characterize stakeholders’ perceptions about authority and responsibility for acute care hospital evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York during Hurricane Sandy. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed using a framework approach.
We interviewed 42 individuals from 32 organizations. Hospital executives from all states reported having authority and responsibility for evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making. In New York and Maryland, government officials stated that they could order hospital evacuation, whereas officials in Delaware and New Jersey said the government lacked enforcement capacity and therefore could not mandate evacuation.
Among government officials, perceived authority for hospital evacuation/shelter-in-place decision-making was viewed as a prerequisite to ordering evacuation. When both hospital executives and government officials perceive themselves to possess decision-making authority, there is the potential for inaction. Future work should examine whether a single entity bearing ultimate responsibility or regional emergency response coalitions would improve decision-making. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:320–324)
To examine the association of both perceived and geographic neighbourhood food access with food security status among households with children.
This was a cross-sectional study in which participants’ perceptions of neighbourhood food access were assessed by a standard survey instrument, and geographic food access was evaluated by distance to the nearest supermarket. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the associations.
The Midlands Family Study included 544 households with children in eight counties in South Carolina, USA. Food security status among participants was classified into three categories: food secure (FS), food insecure (FI) and very low food security among children (VLFS-C).
Compared with FS households, VLFS-C households had lower odds of reporting easy access to adequate food shopping. VLFS-C households also had lower odds of reporting neighbourhood access to affordable fruits and vegetables compared with FS households and reported worse selection of fruits and vegetables, quality of fruits and vegetables, and selection of low-fat products. FI households had lower odds of reporting fewer opportunities to purchase fast food. None of the geographic access measures was significantly associated with food security status.
Caregivers with children who experienced hunger perceived that they had less access to healthy affordable food in their community, even though grocery stores were present. Approaches to improve perceived access to healthy affordable food should be considered as part of the overall approach to improving food security and eliminating child hunger.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
To assess and compare the nutrition environment and practices (as they relate to pre-schoolers) of centre- and home-based child-care facilities.
Using a cross-sectional study design, nineteen child-care facilities (ten centre-based, nine home-based) were assessed for one full day using the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool (consisting of a day-long observation/review of the nutrition environment, practices and related documents). Specifically, eight nutrition-related subscales were considered.
Child-care facilities in London, Ontario, Canada.
Child-care facilities were recruited through directors at centre-based programmes and the providers of home-based programmes.
The mean total nutrition environment EPAO scores for centre- and home-based facilities were 12·3 (sd 1·94) and 10·8 (sd 0·78) out of 20 (where a higher score indicates a more supportive environment with regard to nutrition), respectively. The difference between the total nutrition environment EPAO score for centre- and home-based facilities was approaching significance (P=0·055). For both types of facilities, the highest nutrition subscale score (out of 20) was achieved in the staff behaviours domain (centre mean=17·4; home mean=17·0) and the lowest was in the nutrition training and education domain (centre mean=3·6; home mean=2·0).
Additional research is needed to confirm these findings. In order to better support child-care staff and enhance the overall nutrition environment in child care, modifications to food practices could be adopted. Specifically, the nutritional quality of foods/beverages provided to pre-schoolers could be improved, nutrition-related training for child-care staff could be provided, and a nutrition curriculum could be created to educate pre-schoolers about healthy food choices.
Given a relatively prime pair of integers,
, there is associated a topological dynamical system which we refer to as an
-solenoid. It is also a Smale space, as defined by David Ruelle, meaning that it has local coordinates of contracting and expanding directions. In this case, these are locally products of the real and various
-adic numbers. In the special case,
, we construct Markov partitions for such systems. The second author has developed a homology theory for Smale spaces and we compute this in these examples, using the given Markov partitions, for all values of
and relatively prime.
We report the case of a 52-year-old male with pre-motor Huntington’s disease (HD) who has undergone detailed clinical and neuropsychological examination. This patient’s negative symptomatology and behavioural change are having a detrimental impact on his social, occupational and interpersonal life, in the absence of motor symptoms.
The patient has undergone repeat neuropsychological testing (T1 aged 50; T2 aged 52) with particular focus on executive function and social cognition on repeat testing.
This case details a specific manifestation of HD relating to behavioural, psychiatric and social affective deficits.
This case illustrates how social cognitive changes can occur in HD, months and even years prior to the onset of motor features and how such unrecognized deficits can have a deleterious impact on an individual’s functional ability and lifestyle, before the disease is traditionally considered to have become manifest.