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Natural living conductive biofilms transport electrons between electrodes and cells, as well as among cells fixed within the film, catalyzing an array of reactions from acetate oxidation to CO2 reduction. Synthetic biology offers tools to modify or improve electron transport through biofilms, creating a new class of engineered living conductive materials. Engineered living conductive materials could be used in a range of applications for which traditional conducting polymers are not appropriate, including improved catalytic coatings for microbial fuel-cell electrodes, self-powered sensors for austere environments, and next-generation living components of bioelectronic devices that interact with the human microbiome.
The characterization of defect configurations in various perovskite-like substrate materials for high Tc superconductor epitaxial films has been conducted using white beam synchrotron X-ray topography. The substrates were found to contain crystal lattice defects such as twins, dislocations and grain boundaries. It is shown that characterization of substrates can potentially afford insight into factors controlling the properties of the high Tc superconductor tilms supported on them. This can help in the selection of optimum substrate material. Defect formation mechanisms in individual materials as well as their respective influences on the films are discussed. Comparisons between the physical and chemical properties of several potential substrate materials are presented.
Y.Ba2Cu3O7, a high TC superconductor powder, was shock compacted and explosively welded inside a copper matrix using the explosive fabrication methods described by Murr, Hare and Eror. The shock compression fabrication technique provides the ability to process the superconductor powders into useable structures that will minimize environmental degradation and will not negatively affect the physical or mechanical properties. Additionally, the introduction of shock induced defects are known to increase solid-state reactivity in ceramic materials. For this reason, shock compression fabrication of the superconductor/copper system offers the possibility of enhancing the superconducting properties of the YBa2Cu3O7 powders.
During the past two decades, it has been amply documented that neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) disproportionately account for burden of illness attributable to chronic non-communicable medical disorders globally. It is also likely that human capital costs attributable to NPDs will disproportionately increase as a consequence of population aging and beneficial risk factor modification of other common and chronic medical disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Notwithstanding the availability of multiple modalities of antidepressant treatment, relatively few studies in psychiatry have primarily sought to determine whether improving cognitive function in MDD improves patient reported outcomes (PROs) and/or is cost effective. The mediational relevance of cognition in MDD potentially extrapolates to all NPDs, indicating that screening for, measuring, preventing, and treating cognitive deficits in psychiatry is not only a primary therapeutic target, but also should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic domain to be considered regardless of patient age and/or differential diagnosis.
The preconception, pregnancy and immediate postpartum and newborn periods are times for mothers and their offspring when they are especially vulnerable to major stressors – those that are sudden and unexpected and those that are chronic. Their adverse effects can transcend generations. Stressors can include natural disasters or political stressors such as conflict and/or migration. Considerable evidence has accumulated demonstrating the adverse effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes and developmental trajectories. However, beyond tracking outcomes, the time has arrived for gathering more information related to identifying mechanisms, predicting risk and developing stress-reducing and resilience-building interventions to improve outcomes. Further, we need to learn how to encapsulate both the quantitative and qualitative information available and share it with communities and authorities to mitigate the adverse developmental effects of future disasters, conflicts and migrations. This article briefly reviews prenatal maternal stress and identifies three contemporary situations (wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA and transgenerational and migrant stress in Pforzheim, Germany) where current studies are being established by Canadian investigators to test an intervention. The experiences from these efforts are related along with attempts to involve communities in the studies and share the new knowledge to plan for future disasters or tragedies.
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.
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.
Introduction: With the current opioid crisis in Canada, presentations of acute opioid withdrawal (AOW) to emergency departments (ED) are increasing. Undertreated symptoms may result in relapse, overdose and death. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist used to mitigate symptoms of AOW, approved by Health Canad in 2007 for opioid use disorder. It is superior to clonidine, and increases follow up with addiction treatment programs when initiated in the ED. Nevertheless, in our inner-city ED in 2014, bup/nal was rarely prescribed. We aimed to increase ED physician prescribing of bup/nal for AOW by 50% over a 26-month period. Methods: Commencing in 2014, an interprofessional team of ED physicians, nurses (RN), pharmacists and QI specialists collaborated to improve the care of patients with AOW. PDSA cycles included: (1) needs assessment of emergency physicians knowledge and practices in 2014; (2) Grand Rounds and a web based information sheet in 2015; (3) ED stocking of bup/nal; (4) convenience order set to standardize AOW management; (5) Grand Rounds in 2016 and (6) peer-coaching for RNs, including case-based discussions and pocket card cognitive aids. The outcome was the number of times bup/nal was prescribed per month by ED physicians between Sept, 2015 and Oct, 2017. Data included the prescriber and use of order set as the process measure. The balancing measure was the number of patients referred to the Addiction Medicine Team who subsequently received bup/nal. Results: Bup/nal was prescribed by ED physicians 70 times, and 14 times by the Addiction Medicine Team. With each PDSA cycle, there was an increase in prescribing, with no significant shifts or trends. By all physicians, the median number of prescriptions per month was 3, and increased from 2 to 4 prescriptions/month after nursing education. There was a smaller increase in the median from 2 to 3 prescriptions/month by ED physicians alone. The order set was used 97% of the time. Conclusion: Bup/nal is safe, effective, and increases follow up with addiction programs for comprehensive assessment and treatment planning. We met our goal of increasing bup/nal prescribing in the ED for AOW by 50%. Moreover, prescribing increased by 100% with the addition of patients who received bup/nal after a referral to the Addiction Medicine Team. The intervention with the greatest impact was RN education, demonstrating that peer-coaching and teaching by an interprofessional team is key to changing practice. Unfortunately, overall prescribing remains low, and ED physicians may still be hesitant to prescribe bup/nal and defer to the specialists. It is unclear if this is due to a low number of patients presenting with AOW, patients with contraindications to bup/nal, or ED physician factors. The next step is an audit of all patients with AOW to see what percentage of those eligible are treated with bup/nal. A follow up survey to determine ongoing barriers will inform further PDSA cycles.
Six streams of dust were unexpectedly detected by the Ulysses dust detector while this spacecraft was approximately within one AU distance from Jupiter (Grün et al., 1993). Stream durations ranged from hours to days for individual streams. It was clear that the dust in these streams (or bursts), from their directionality of approach to the spacecraft and from the nearness of stream occurrences to Jupiter, emanated from the Jovian system.
Following the original report, Baguhl et al. (1994) later relaxed the criteria for differentiating true dust impacts from “noise pulses” and found almost triple the number of dust impacts in the six streams already found. They also found 5 more streams that, except for one stream, clearly emanated from the Jovian system. The criteria were relaxed in such a way as to not introduce “noise events” into the data.
Livestock production under Northern European conditions can affect water, air and soil. Examples of the possible environmental effects on water are fish kills or microbial contamination, if solid manure, slurry, “dirty water” or silage effluent are collected, stored, handled or spread inappropriately. Examples of the possible environmental effects on air are emissions of ammonia (which can lead to acidification and, after subsequent deposition, to eutrophication), the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide, odours and particulates.
In the case of water pollution, good management practices using existing technology are usually adequate for preventing most environmental impacts. This often requires storage during periods when conditions are unsuitable for spreading, followed by carefully controlled application. However, for relatively dilute effluents (such as dairy farm “dirty water”), it may be more cost-effective to use different approaches, such as waste minimisation and/or continuous treatment and land spreading. Recent research results are reviewed and compared in this paper, to identify ways in which farmers can prevent water pollution at least cost. The potential implications of such measures on further reductions in the annual numbers of pollution incidents are discussed in conjunction with the impacts of different regulatory and punitive approaches.
In the case of preventing air pollution, although good management can achieve much, there is a need for new technology to back it up. Existing ammonia abatement techniques are mostly expensive and farmer-unfriendly. In the longer term, changes to the animals' diet should hold the greater potential for abatement, not only of ammonia emissions but also of methane emissions. Reducing one form of pollution can often increase another, so an integrated approach to solving pollution problems is necessary.
There is no consensus as to whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be used as part of the initial clinical evaluation of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
(a) To assess the logistical feasibility of routine MRI; (b) to define the clinical significance of radiological abnormalities in patients with FEP.
Radiological reports from MRI scans of two FEP samples were reviewed; one comprised 108 patients and 98 healthy controls recruited to a research study and the other comprised 241 patients scanned at initial clinical presentation plus 66 healthy controls.
In the great majority of patients, MRI was logistically feasible. Radiological abnormalities were reported in 6% of the research sample and in 15% of the clinical sample (odds ratio (OR) = 3.1, 95% CI 1.26–7.57, χ2(1) = 6.63, P = 0.01). None of the findings necessitated a change in clinical management.
Rates of neuroradiological abnormalities in FEP are likely to be underestimated in research samples that often exclude patients with organic abnormalities. However, the majority of findings do not require intervention.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
Aims: This study aimed to evaluate pharmacists’ and physicians’ perception and knowledge of e-cigarettes, including comfort level in counselling patients on these products. The study also assessed if, and to what extent, patient e-cigarette usage is collected as a marker of tobacco use status.
Methods: Surveys were distributed to community pharmacists and family practice physicians for 3 months, and responses were analysed utilising descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The majority of respondents reported not feeling fully confident on counselling patients about e-cigarettes, and responses revealed gaps in knowledge in both groups. Mixed results were obtained on the inclusion of e-cigarettes in assessment of patient smoking status.
Conclusions: Pharmacists and physicians would benefit from further information on e-cigarettes. Due to the increasing popularity, healthcare professionals will be called upon to serve as, care providers and informational resources to patients who use these products. This survey provided a consensus that further steps should be taken to increase product training and information dissemination.
Functional neurological disorders (FNDs), also known as conversion disorder, are unexplained neurological symptoms unrelated to a neurological cause. The disorder is common, yet poorly understood. The symptoms are experienced as involuntary but have similarities to voluntary processes. Here we studied intention awareness in FND.
A total of 26 FND patients and 25 healthy volunteers participated in this functional magnetic resonance study using Libet's clock.
FND is characterized by delayed awareness of the intention to move relative to the movement itself. The reporting of intention was more precise, suggesting that these findings are reliable and unrelated to non-specific attentional deficits. That these findings were more prominent with aberrant positive functional movement symptoms rather than negative symptoms may be relevant to impairments in timing for an inhibitory veto process. Attention towards intention relative to movement was associated with lower right inferior parietal cortex activity in FND, a region early in the processing of intention. During rest, aberrant functional connectivity was observed with the right inferior parietal cortex and other motor intention regions.
The results converge with observations of low inferior parietal activity comparing involuntary with voluntary movement in FND, emphasizing core deficiencies in intention. Heightened precision of this impaired intention is consistent with Bayesian theories of impaired top-down priors that might influence the sense of involuntariness. A primary impairment in voluntary motor intention at an early processing stage might explain clinical observations of slowed effortful voluntary movement, heightened self-directed attention and underlie functional movements. These findings further suggest novel therapeutic targets.
Identifying youth who may engage in future substance use could facilitate early identification of substance use disorder vulnerability. We aimed to identify biomarkers that predicted future substance use in psychiatrically un-well youth.
LASSO regression for variable selection was used to predict substance use 24.3 months after neuroimaging assessment in 73 behaviorally and emotionally dysregulated youth aged 13.9 (s.d. = 2.0) years, 30 female, from three clinical sites in the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms (LAMS) study. Predictor variables included neural activity during a reward task, cortical thickness, and clinical and demographic variables.
Future substance use was associated with higher left middle prefrontal cortex activity, lower left ventral anterior insula activity, thicker caudal anterior cingulate cortex, higher depression and lower mania scores, not using antipsychotic medication, more parental stress, older age. This combination of variables explained 60.4% of the variance in future substance use, and accurately classified 83.6%.
These variables explained a large proportion of the variance, were useful classifiers of future substance use, and showed the value of combining multiple domains to provide a comprehensive understanding of substance use development. This may be a step toward identifying neural measures that can identify future substance use disorder risk, and act as targets for therapeutic interventions.
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.
The anticipated release of EnlistTM cotton, corn, and soybean cultivars likely will increase the use of 2,4-D, raising concerns over potential injury to susceptible cotton. An experiment was conducted at 12 locations over 2013 and 2014 to determine the impact of 2,4-D at rates simulating drift (2 g ae ha−1) and tank contamination (40 g ae ha−1) on cotton during six different growth stages. Growth stages at application included four leaf (4-lf), nine leaf (9-lf), first bloom (FB), FB + 2 wk, FB + 4 wk, and FB + 6 wk. Locations were grouped according to percent yield loss compared to the nontreated check (NTC), with group I having the least yield loss and group III having the most. Epinasty from 2,4-D was more pronounced with applications during vegetative growth stages. Importantly, yield loss did not correlate with visual symptomology, but more closely followed effects on boll number. The contamination rate at 9-lf, FB, or FB + 2 wk had the greatest effect across locations, reducing the number of bolls per plant when compared to the NTC, with no effect when applied at FB + 4 wk or later. A reduction of boll number was not detectable with the drift rate except in group III when applied at the FB stage. Yield was influenced by 2,4-D rate and stage of cotton growth. Over all locations, loss in yield of greater than 20% occurred at 5 of 12 locations when the drift rate was applied between 4-lf and FB + 2 wk (highest impact at FB). For the contamination rate, yield loss was observed at all 12 locations; averaged over these locations yield loss ranged from 7 to 66% across all growth stages. Results suggest the greatest yield impact from 2,4-D occurs between 9-lf and FB + 2 wk, and the level of impact is influenced by 2,4-D rate, crop growth stage, and environmental conditions.