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Research on producer willingness to adopt individual best pasture management practices (BMPs) is extensive, but less attention has been paid to producers simultaneously adopting multiple, complementary BMPs. Applications linking primary survey data on BMP adoption to water quality biophysical models are also limited. A choice-experiment survey of livestock producers is analyzed to determine willingness to adopt pasture BMPs. Sediment abatement curves are derived by linking estimates of producer responsiveness to incentives to adopt rotational grazing with a biophysical simulation model. Current cost share rates of $24/acre should yield a 12% decrease in sediment loading from pastures.
The extensive heterogeneity both between and within the medulloblastoma (MB) subgroups underscores a critical need for variant-specific biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. We previously identified a role for the CD271/p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in regulating stem/progenitor cells in the SHH MB subgroup. Here, we demonstrate the utility of CD271 as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker for SHH MB using immunohistochemical analysis as well as transcriptome data across 763 primary tumors. Characterization of CD271+ and CD271- cells by RNA sequencing revealed that these two subpopulations are molecularly distinct, co-existing cellular subsets both in vitro and in vivo. MAPK/ERK signaling is upregulated in the CD271+ population and inhibiting this pathway reduced CD271 levels, stem/progenitor cell proliferation and cell survival as well as cell migration in vitro. Importantly, the MEK inhibitor selumetinib extends survival and reduces CD271 levels in vivo. Our study demonstrates the clinical utility of CD271 as both a diagnostic and prognostic tool for SHH MB tumors and reveals a novel role for MEK inhibitors in targeting CD271+ SHH MB cells.
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.
Introduction: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), including preeclampsia, can develop or worsen in the early postpartum period, often following discharge from hospital, resulting in severe preventable maternal morbidity and mortality. Due to a lack of routine early out-patient follow-up, many women with postpartum HDP present to the emergency department (ED) with severe hypertension or symptoms of preeclampsia (e.g., headache). In the ED, postpartum HDP can be difficult for clinicians to recognize (due to vague presenting symptom) and manage (due to lower blood pressure targets and concern of medication safety). ED clinicians recognized a need for timely recognition and effective treatments for postpartum HDP in the ED to improve maternal outcomes. As such, as part of a multi-step quality improvement initiative, an interdisciplinary team developed and implemented a postpartum HDP management protocol (consisting of nursing and physician protocols and an electronic order set embedded in the electronic medical record). The aims of this specific project were to assess: 1) the use of this clinical management protocol in the ED; and 2) its impacts on clinical care. Methods: This quality improvement project used electronic medical records to identify: 1) ED visits for postpartum HDP for postpartum women ages 20-50; 2) utilization of the postpartum HDP order set; and 3) clinical care outcomes (consultation and admission). Patient population characteristics and clinical care measures were summarized with descriptive statistics and compared using a before and after design. Changes in the utilization of the protocol were assessed using run charts. Results: 540 women with postpartum HDP were seen in the four Calgary EDs in the 16-month period following protocol implementation compared with 335 women in the preceding 12 months. The protocol was used in 46% of these 540 women, and increased over the 16 month follow-up period. We found an increase in the frequency of consultation of specialists (47% to 52%) and admissions (26% to 29%) amongst these women after protocol implementation. Conclusion: This initial assessment demonstrated good uptake of a postpartum HDP management protocol including referral for consultation and admission to hospital for blood pressure management. Future steps include evaluation of the impacts of this management protocol on important patient outcomes.
Lithification, the transition of unconsolidated sediments to fully indurated rocks, can potentially bias estimates of species richness, evenness, and body size distribution derived from fossil assemblages. Fossil collections made from well-indurated rocks consistently exhibit lower species richness, lower evenness, and larger average specimen size relative to collections made from unconsolidated sediments, even when collections are drawn from the same assemblage. This phenomenon is known as “lithification bias.” While the bias itself has been demonstrated empirically, much less attention has been paid to its causes. Proposed causes include taphonomic processes (e.g., destruction of small specimens during early diagenesis) and methodological differences (e.g., sieving vs. counting specimens on outcrops, bedding surfaces, or mechanically split surfaces). Here we investigate the potential effects of preferential intersection that could also result in a methodologically related bias: the preferential sampling of larger specimens relative to smaller ones when fossils are counted on rock surfaces. We used an analogue model to simulate preferential intersection (fossil collection via splitting fossiliferous rocks) and compare the results with a random-draw model that approximates the effects of sieving. The model was parameterized using nine different combinations of species abundance and species size distributions. The results show that, with rare exceptions, species richness is 5–23% lower, evenness 5–25% lower, and average specimen size 24–150% larger in preferential-intersection than in random-draw simulations. We conclude that preferential intersection can impose a significant bias independent of other mechanisms (e.g., preferential destruction of smaller specimens during diagenetic or sampling processes), that the magnitude of this bias is partially dependent on the species abundance and size distributions, and that this bias alone does not fully account for empirically observed lithification bias on species richness (i.e., other sources of bias are also at work).
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
Canopy-forming fucoid algae have an important role as ecosystem engineers on rocky intertidal shores, where they increase the abundance of species otherwise limited by exposure during low tide. The facilitative relationship between Ascophyllum nodosum and associated organisms was explored using a frond breakage experiment (100%, 50%, 25%, 0% intact-frond treatments) in southern England, to assess the consequences of disturbance. Understorey substratum temperature was on average 3°C higher in 0% and 25% intact-frond treatments than in plots with 50% and 100% intact fronds. Light (as PAR during low tide) doubled in 0% intact-frond treatments in comparison to other treatments (which had similar light levels). Mobile invertebrate species richness declined by on average 1 species per m2 in the treatments with only 25% and 0% intact fronds, and the abundance of Littorina obtusata declined by 2.4–4.2 individuals per m2 in the treatments with 25 and 0% intact fronds. Sessile taxa, including Osmundea pinnatifida and encrusting coralline algae, declined by half on average in the 0% intact-frond treatment. These results suggest that the ability of Ascophyllum to mediate environmental conditions to the understorey is the mechanism responsible for species distributed in the understorey (autogenic ecosystem engineering). The results of this study imply that a pulse disturbance resulting in a 50% breakage of Ascophyllum fronds significantly increases temperature and decreases the abundance of mobile invertebrates usually associated with Ascophyllum. Sessile taxa associated with Ascophyllum can, however, withstand disturbances down to 25% intact Ascophyllum fronds.
Gender equity is imperative to the attainment of healthy lives and wellbeing of all, and promoting gender equity in leadership in the health sector is an important part of this endeavour. This empirical research examines gender and leadership in the health sector, pooling learning from three complementary data sources: literature review, quantitative analysis of gender and leadership positions in global health organisations and qualitative life histories with health workers in Cambodia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The findings highlight gender biases in leadership in global health, with women underrepresented. Gender roles, relations, norms and expectations shape progression and leadership at multiple levels. Increasing women's leadership within global health is an opportunity to further health system resilience and system responsiveness. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equity.
A point mutation resulting in a specific amino acid change(K27M) in either one of the genes encoding histone H3, H3F3A (H3.3) or HIST1H3B/C/I (H3.1)is present in most pediatric intrinsic pontine gliomas, and has been described in other midline locations. The objective of the present study was to determine the frequency and location of this mutation in diffuse infiltrating gliomas in young adults. The study group consisted of 22 consecutive diffuse gliomas in patients under the age of 40 treated at St. Michael’s Hospital, an adult hospital in the University of Toronto system. Ultra-sensitive digital droplet PCR, a method capable of highly sensitive and specific mutation detection affecting either H3.3 or H3.1, was performed on sample DNA to determine H3K27M status. The H3K27M mutation was detected in the gliomas of five patients, aged 17 to 34 years. The male: female ratio was 3:2. The allele frequency ranged from 26% to 44%, reflecting the infiltrating character of the tumors. Three of the tumors where located in the thalamus, one in the medulla, and one was intraventricular. In terms of grading, one tumor was considered WHO grade II, two III, and two IV. In contrast, most tumors in patients with gliomas lacking the K27M mutation (17 subjects, age 19 to 39 years) were located in the lobes of the cerebral hemispheres, with the following exceptions: 1 in the thalamus, 1 in the hypothalamus, 1 in the cerebellum, and 1 periventricular. WHO grades were 1 II, 9 III, 7 IV. Correlation with patient outcome is ongoing. We conclude that the H3K27M is common in thalamic gliomas in young adult patients, and rare or absent in lobar hemispheric gliomas.
This study examines the interplay between individual and social–developmental factors in the development of positive functioning, substance use problems, and mental health problems. This interplay is nested within positive and negative developmental cascades that span childhood, adolescence, the transition to adulthood, and adulthood. Data are drawn from the Seattle Social Development Project, a gender-balanced, ethnically diverse community sample of 808 participants interviewed 12 times from ages 10 to 33. Path modeling showed short- and long-term cascading effects of positive social environments, family history of depression, and substance-using social environments throughout development. Positive family social environments set a template for future partner social environment interaction and had positive influences on proximal individual functioning, both in the next developmental period and long term. Family history of depression adversely affected mental health functioning throughout adulthood. Family substance use began a cascade of substance-specific social environments across development, which was the pathway through which increasing severity of substance use problems flowed. The model also indicated that adolescent, but not adult, individual functioning influenced selection into positive social environments, and significant cross-domain effects were found in which substance-using social environments affected subsequent mental health.
We present UBVRI photometry of the faint and highly erratic cataclysmic variable discovered by Hawkins (1983) from a sequence of U.K. Schmidt plates. Observations using the ANU 2.3 m telescope over two nights in September 1986 show pronounced and repeatable modulation at a binary period of 108.6 min. Dramatic colour differences are evident in the folded UBVRI light curves: in the U band, a single sinusoidal peak is present, while at longer wavelengths, a second red peak dominates at a phase separation of Δϕ = 0.5. This behaviour is strongly suggestive of cyclotron emission from two magnetic accretion funnels in an AM Herculis binary system. Furthermore, the binary period lies in the narrow range of 100-115 minutes that characterizes most of the AM Herculis variables lying on the short side of the 2-3 hour period gap. We conclude therefore that the object is almost certainly a new AM Herculis system, and develop a model in which the blue and red components originate from two non-diametrically opposed cyclotron regions that are characterized by differing electron temperatures and opacities. Predictions are made regarding the linear and circular polarization properties of this important new magnetic variable.
We have undertaken a study of the 3-D spatial distribution of the older (τ ≥ 1–2 Gyr) stellar population lying beyond ~ 2 kpc in projected radial distance from the centre of the SMC. The study will eventually cover 120 square degrees including six overlapping Schmidt fields. Here we present the results from an area of 80 square degrees including the western, northern and north-eastern outer parts of the SMC.
The Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica conducts various educational outreach programs as part of its mission as a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. The method behind the outreach programs is one of forging partnerships between Center researchers and other educational organisations. The main program serves primary and secondary students in Chicago. The core of the program is called Space Explorers and is targeted at high school students. These students attend a summer residential institute at the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory. The high school Space Explorers then extend the reach of the program during the academic year by teaching in primary schools using a portable planetarium. The Center also pursues many other outreach activities and is in the process of forming an Antarctic Education Alliance.
Cognitive and functional impairment increase risk for post-coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery delirium (PCD), but how much impairment is necessary to increase PCD risk remains unclear.
The Neuropsychiatric Outcomes After Heart Surgery (NOAHS) study is a prospective, observational cohort study of participants undergoing elective CABG surgery. Pre-operative cognitive and functional status based on Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale and neuropsychological battery are assessed. We defined mild cognitive impairment (MCI) based on either (1) CDR global score 0.5 (CDR-MCI) or (2) performance 1.5 SD below population means on any cognitive domain on neurocognitive battery (MCI-NC). Delirium was assessed daily post-operative day 2 through discharge using the confusion assessment method (CAM) and delirium index (DI). We investigate whether MCI – either definition – predicts delirium or delirium severity.
So far we have assessed 102 participants (mean age 65.1 ± 9; male: 75%) for PCD. Twenty six participants (25%) have MCI-CDR; 38 (62% of those completing neurocognitive testing) met MCI-NC criteria. Fourteen participants (14%) developed PCD. After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidity, and education, MCI-CDR, MMSE, and Lawton IADL score predicted PCD on logistic regression (OR: 5.6, 0.6, and 1.5, respectively); MCI-NC did not (OR [95% CI]: 11.8 [0.9, 151.4]). Using similarly adjusted linear regression, MCI-CDR, MCI-NC, CDR sum of boxes, MMSE, and Lawton IADL score predicted delirium severity (adjusted R2: 0.26, 0.13, 0.21, 0.18, and 0.32, respectively).
MCI predicts post-operative delirium and delirium severity, but MCI definition alters these relationships. Cognitive and functional impairment independently predict post-operative delirium and delirium severity.
We review an optofluidic waveguiding lab-on-a-chip used to sense bioparticles. The sensor uses a liquid filled Anti-Resonant Reflecting Optical Waveguide (ARROW) that is interfaced with standard ridge waveguides. The ridge waveguides are coupled to off-chip lasers and detectors via optical fiber. A perpendicular intersection between the ARROW and a ridge waveguide is especially useful for detecting fluorescently tagged particles. Light coupled into the ridge waveguide can fluorescently excite these particles within a very small volume. Fluorescent signal can then be guided within the ARROW and subsequently off chip to a detector.
We also discuss how such devices are fabricated. Both the ARROW and ridge waveguides are made using alternating thin films of tantalum oxide and silicon dioxide on silicon substrates. These thin films are deposited by either sputtering or plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The waveguides are patterned using a combination of standard photolithographic processes, reactive ion etching, and sacrificial etching. Low-loss optical guiding is very dependent on both the waveguide structure and the materials used. The latest processes for maximizing detection sensitivity are reviewed.
We also present results using the optofluidic waveguiding sensor for detecting a variety of different types of particles such as fluorescently labeled nanobeads, viruses, ribosomes, and RNA.
We examined and described colonization of MRSA in the anterior nares and throat from 184 community-recruited injection drug users. Thirty-seven (20%) were positive for MRSA: most (34, 92%) were carriers in the nares; while only three (8%) were carriers detected by throat swabs alone. The majority (29, 78%) of MRSA isolates were PVL positive.