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Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
In premodern economic systems where the social embedding of exchange provided actors with the ability to control or monopolize trade, including the goods that enter and leave a marketplace, “restricted markets” formed. These markets produced external revenues that could be used to achieve political goals. Conversely, commercialized systems required investment in public goods that incentivize the development of market cooperation and “open markets,” where buyers and sellers from across social sectors and diverse communities could engage in exchange as economic equals within marketplaces. In this article, we compare market development at the Late Postclassic sites of Chetumal, Belize, and Tlaxcallan, Mexico. We identified a restricted market at Chetumal, using the distribution of exotic goods, particularly militarily and ritually charged obsidian projectile points; in contrast, an open market was built at Tlaxcallan. Collective action theory provides a useful framework to understand these differences in market development. We argue that Tlaxcaltecan political architects adopted more collective strategies, in which open markets figured, to encourage cooperation among an ethnically diverse population.
Acanthocephalans are parasites with complex lifecycles that are important components of aquatic systems and are often model species for parasite-mediated host manipulation. Genetic characterization has recently resurrected Pomphorhynchus tereticollis as a distinct species from Pomphorhynchus laevis, with potential implications for fisheries management and host manipulation research. Morphological and molecular examinations of parasites from 7 English rivers across 9 fish species revealed that P. tereticollis was the only Pomphorhynchus parasite present in Britain, rather than P. laevis as previously recorded. Molecular analyses included two non-overlapping regions of the mitochondrial gene – cytochrome oxidase and generated 62 sequences for the shorter fragment (295 bp) and 74 for the larger fragment (583 bp). These were combined with 61 and 13 sequences respectively, from Genbank. A phylogenetic analysis using the two genetic regions and all the DNA sequences available for P. tereticollis identified two distinct genetic lineages in Britain. One lineage, possibly associated with cold water tolerant fish, potentially spread to the northern parts of Britain from the Baltic region via a northern route across the estuarine area of what is now the North Sea during the last Glaciation. The other lineage, associated with temperate freshwater fish, may have arrived later via the Rhine/Thames fluvial connection during the last glaciation or early Holocene when sea levels were low. These results raise important questions on this generalist parasite and its variously environmentally adapted hosts, and especially in relation to the consequences for parasite vicariance.
Southeastern Appalachian Ohio has more than double the national average of diabetes and a critical shortage of healthcare providers. Paradoxically, there is limited research focused on primary care providers’ experiences treating people with diabetes in this region. This study explored providers’ perceived barriers to and facilitators for treating patients with diabetes in southeastern Appalachian Ohio.
We conducted in-depth interviews with healthcare providers who treat people with diabetes in rural southeastern Ohio. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed via content and thematic analyses using NVivo 12 software (QSR International, Chadstone, VIC, Australia).
Qualitative analysis revealed four themes: (1) patients’ diabetes fatalism and helplessness: providers recounted story after story of patients believing that their diabetes was inevitable and that they were helpless to prevent or delay diabetes complications. (2) Comorbid psychosocial issues: providers described high rates of depression, anxiety, incest, abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder among people with diabetes in this region. (3) Inter-connected social determinants interfering with diabetes care: providers identified major barriers including lack of access to providers, lack of access to transportation, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and financial insecurity. (4) Providers’ cultural understanding and recommendations: providers emphasized the importance of understanding of the values central to Appalachian culture and gave culturally attuned clinical suggestions for how to use these values when working with this population.
Evidence-based interventions tailored to Appalachian culture and training designed to increase the cultural competency and cultural humility of primary care providers may be effective approaches to reduce barriers to diabetes care in Appalachian Ohio.
Glyphosate-resistant (GR) canola is a widely grown crop across western Canada and has quickly become a prolific volunteer weed. Glyphosate-resistant soybean is rapidly gaining acreage in western Canada. Thus, there is a need to evaluate herbicide options to manage volunteer GR canola in GR soybean crops. We conducted an experiment to evaluate the efficacy of various PRE and POST herbicides applied sequentially to volunteer GR canola and to evaluate soybean injury caused by these herbicides. Trials were conducted across Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 2014 and 2015. All treatments provided a range of suppression (>70%) to control (>80%) of volunteer canola. All treatments with the exception of the glyphosate-treated control reduced aboveground canola biomass by an average of 96%. As well, canola seed contamination was reduced from 36% to less than 5% when a PRE and POST herbicide were both used. Moreover, all combinations of herbicides used had excellent crop safety (<10%). All PRE and POST herbicide combinations provided better control of volunteer canola compared with the glyphosate-only control, but tribenuron followed by bentazon and tribenuron followed by imazamox plus bentazon provided solutions that were low cost, currently available (registered in western Canada), and had the potential to minimize development of herbicide resistance in other weeds.
High-resolution digital elevation models of Finland and Sweden based on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) reveal subglacial landforms in great detail. We describe the ice-sheet scale distribution and morphometric characteristics of a glacial landform that is distinctive in morphology and occurs commonly in the central parts of the former Scandinavian Ice Sheet, especially up-ice of the Younger Dryas end moraine zone. We refer to these triangular or V-shaped landforms as murtoos (singular, ‘murtoo’). Murtoos are typically 30–200 m in length and 30–200 m in width with a relief of commonly <5 m. Murtoos have straight and steep edges, a triangular tip oriented parallel to ice-flow direction, and an asymmetric longitudinal profile with a shorter, but steeper down-ice slope. The spatial distribution of murtoos and their geomorphic relation to other landforms indicate that they formed subglacially during times of climate warming and rapid retreat of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet when large amounts of meltwater were delivered to the bed. Murtoos are formed under warm-based ice and may be associated with a non-channelized subglacial hydraulic system that evacuated large discharges of subglacial water.
In recent years, soybean acreage has increased significantly in western Canada. One of the challenges associated with growing soybean in western Canada is the control of volunteer glyphosate-resistant (GR) canola, because most soybean cultivars are also glyphosate resistant. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of soybean seeding rate and planting date on competition with volunteer canola. We also attempted to determine how high seeding rate could be raised while still being economically feasible for producers. Soybean was seeded at five different seeding rates (targeted 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160 plants m−2) and three planting dates (targeted mid-May, late May, and early June) at four sites across western Canada in 2014 and 2015. Soybean yield consistently increased with higher seeding rates, whereas volunteer canola biomass decreased. Planting date generally produced variable results across site-years. An economic analysis determined that the optimal rate was 40 to 60 plants m−2, depending on market price, and the optimal planting date range was from May 20 to June 1.
The spread of the Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas led to large outbreaks across the region and most of the Southern hemisphere. Of greatest concern were complications following acute infection during pregnancy. At the beginning of the outbreak, the risk to unborn babies and their clinical presentation was unclear. This report describes the methods and results of the UK surveillance response to assess the risk of ZIKV to children born to returning travellers. Established surveillance systems operating within the UK – the paediatric and obstetric surveillance units for rare diseases, and national laboratory monitoring – enabled rapid assessment of this emerging public health threat. A combined total of 11 women experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes after possible ZIKV exposure were reported by the three surveillance systems; five miscarriages, two intrauterine deaths and four children with clinical presentations potentially associated with ZIKV infection. Sixteen women were diagnosed with ZIKV during pregnancy in the UK. Amongst the offspring of these women, there was unequivocal laboratory evidence of infection in only one child. In the UK, the number and risk of congenital ZIKV infection for travellers returning from ZIKV-affected countries is very small.
This paper documents autonomous multi-floor stairwell ascent by a legged robot. This is made possible through empirically deployed sequential composition of several reactive controllers, with perceptually triggered transitions. This composition relies on simplified assumptions regarding the robot’s sensory capabilities, its level of mobility, and the environment it operates in. The discrepancies between these assumptions and the physical reality are capably handled by the intrinsic motor competence of the robot. This behavior is implemented on the legged RHex platform and experiments spanning 10 different stairwells with various challenges are conducted.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) are mammalian carnivores that occur throughout sub-Saharan Africa in a diverse array of habitats. Spotted hyenas primarily obtain food by hunting ungulates but also scavenge from carcasses using powerful jaws. They have extended juvenile periods and live in complex societies characterized by fission-fusion dynamics. Experimental assessments have been done using a variety of olfactory, visual, physical, and auditory stimuli. Studies suggest that spotted hyenas exhibit high levels of social intelligence, including recognition of third-party relationships. Innovation has been assessed in hyenas using a novel extractive foraging task, and numerosity using vocalization playback experiments. Major challenges during experimentation incude controlling olfactory, visual and auditory cues, building robust apparatuses and controlling motivation and neophobia. In the wild, cognitive assessment of individuals is influenced by complex group interactions as well as by specific testing conditions. However, testing in both captive and wild environments offers exciting opportunities to understand the evolution, mechanisms, and adaptive functions of cognition in this species.
To determine the efficacy in eradicating Staphylococcus aureus (SA) carriage of a 5-day preoperative decolonization bundle compared to 2 disinfectant soap showers, with both regimens self-administered at home.
Open label, single-center, randomized clinical trial.
Ambulatory orthopedic, urologic, neurologic, colorectal, cardiovascular, and general surgery clinics at a tertiary-care referral center in the United States.
Patients at the University of Minnesota Medical Center planning to have elective surgery and not on antibiotics.
Consenting participants were screened for SA colonization using nasal, throat, axillary, and perianal swab cultures. Carriers of SA were randomized, stratified by methicillin resistance status, to a decolonization bundle group (5 days of nasal mupirocin, chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG] bathing, and CHG mouthwash) or control group (2 preoperative showers with antiseptic soap). Colonization status was reassessed preoperatively. The primary endpoint was absence of SA at all 4 screened body sites.
Of 427 participants screened between August 31, 2011, and August 9, 2016, 127 participants (29.7%) were SA carriers. Of these, 121 were randomized and 110 were eligible for efficacy analysis (57 decolonization bundle group, 53 control group). Overall, 90% of evaluable participants had methicillin-susceptible SA strains. Eradication of SA at all body sites was achieved for 41 of 57 participants (71.9%) in the decolonization bundle group and for 13 of 53 participants (24.5%) in the control group, a difference of 47.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 29.1%–65.7%; P<.0001).
An outpatient preoperative antiseptic decolonization bundle aimed at 4 body sites was significantly more effective in eradicating SA than the usual disinfectant showers (ie, the control).
Molecular characterization of pediatric low-grade glioma (pLGG) over the last decade has identified recurrent alterations, most commonly involving BRAF, and less frequently other pathways including MYB and MYBL1. Many of these molecular markers have been exploited clinically to aid in diagnosis and treatment decisions. However, their frequency and prognostic significance remain unknown. Further, a significant portion of cases do not have any of these alterations and what underlies these cases remains unknown. To address this we compiled a cohort of 562 patients diagnosed at SickKids from 1990-2017. We identified molecular alterations in 454 cases (81% of the cohort). The most frequent events were those involving BRAF; either as fusions (most commonly with KIAA1549 (30%)) or V600E mutations (17%) and NF-1 (22%). Less frequently, we identified recurrent FGFR1 fusions and mutations (3%), MYB/MYBL alterations (2%), H3F3AK27M (2%) or IDH1R132H (0.5%) mutations, as well as other novel rare events. Survival analysis revealed significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of KIAA1549-BRAF fused patients compared to BRAFV600E with 10-year OS 97.7% (95%, CI 95.5-100) and 83.9% (95%, CI 72.5-95.6), respectively. In addition to survival, molecular alterations predicted differences in response to conventional therapeutics; BRAF fused patients showed a 46% response-rate, versus only 14% in V600E patients. pLGGs harboring H3F3AK27M progressed early with median PFS of 11 months. In patients with MYB/MYBL1, FGFR1/FGFR2 alterations, we observed only one death (FGFR1N546K case). The work here represents the largest cohort of pLGGs with molecular profiling and their impact on the clinical behaviour of the disease.
Collaborations between community colleges, non-research centered universities and research universities can enrich the flow of students into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors and careers. The nation is beginning to understand the importance of such interaction especially with under-represented minorities and those with disabilities. For over fifteen years our group has developed new ways to integrate these students and their faculty to the research culture. This will lead to increased diversity and inform research university faculty of the great talent that is latent in these underserved pools.
As part of further investigations into three linked haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) cases in Wales and England, 21 rats from a breeding colony in Cherwell, and three rats from a household in Cheltenham were screened for hantavirus. Hantavirus RNA was detected in either the lungs and/or kidney of 17/21 (81%) of the Cherwell rats tested, higher than previously detected by blood testing alone (7/21, 33%), and in the kidneys of all three Cheltenham rats. The partial L gene sequences obtained from 10 of the Cherwell rats and the three Cheltenham rats were identical to each other and the previously reported UK Cherwell strain. Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) RNA was detected in the heart, kidney, lung, salivary gland and spleen (but not in the liver) of an individual rat from the Cherwell colony suspected of being the source of SEOV. Serum from 20/20 of the Cherwell rats and two associated HFRS cases had high levels of SEOV-specific antibodies (by virus neutralisation). The high prevalence of SEOV in both sites and the moderately severe disease in the pet rat owners suggest that SEOV in pet rats poses a greater public health risk than previously considered.
Passive surveillance for lyssaviruses in UK bats has been ongoing since 1987 and has identified 13 cases of EBLV-2 from a single species; Myotis daubentonii. No other lyssavirus species has been detected. Between 2005 and 2015, 10 656 bats were submitted, representing 18 species, creating a spatially and temporally uneven sample of British bat fauna. Uniquely, three UK cases originate from a roost at Stokesay Castle in Shropshire, England, where daily checks for grounded and dead bats are undertaken and bat carcasses have been submitted for testing since 2007. Twenty per cent of Daubenton's bats submitted from Stokesay Castle since surveillance began, have tested positive for EBLV-2. Phylogenetic analysis reveals geographical clustering of UK viruses. Isolates from Stokesay Castle are more closely related to one another than to viruses from other regions. Daubenton's bats from Stokesay Castle represent a unique opportunity to study a natural population that appears to maintain EBLV-2 infection and may represent endemic infection at this site. Although the risk to public health from EBLV-2 is low, consequences of infection are severe and effective communication on the need for prompt post-exposure prophylaxis for anyone that has been bitten by a bat is essential.
As the interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) has increased, so has the interest in the application of these systems for use in agriculture. A variety of sensors, including Multi-Spectral, Near-Infrared, Thermal, and True-Color have the potential to benefit farmers when mounted to a UAS. But as this is an emerging field, there is little data available to demonstrate their use for early detection of plant diseases in crop production. In 2016, a preliminary study was launched to examine the potential of using aerial imagery from UAS to detect diseases in soybean crops. Two irrigated fields in Alabama were selected: Experiment 1, a 50-hectare field, and Experiment 2, a 5-hectare field. Each trial consisted of replicated plots using two foliar fungicide treatments and an untreated control. Aerial imagery (multi-spectral and true-color) was collected on a biweekly basis during this study. Using multi-spectral imagery, both the Normalized Difference Vegetative Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Red Edge Index (NDRE) were generated and compared to direct observations in the field. Disease severity of soybean rust, charcoal rot and Cercospora leaf blight were monitored on a biweekly basis and correlated to the UAS imagery. Preliminary results indicated plant stress can be detected using UAS imagery. In Experiment 1, stress associated with charcoal rot was visible in the NDRE imagery. This was of interest because at the time of flight, while it was noted that plants were yellowing, the root and stem disease itself had not been identified by direct observation. In Experiment 2, soybean rust was observed by direct observation and in both the NDRE and NDVI imagery. Soybean rust did have a negative impact on yield in Experiment 2, however severe drought conditions may have negated the yield loss likely caused by the development of charcoal rot in Experiment 1.
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)