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Three holes were drilled to the bed of Rutford Ice Stream, through ice up to 2154 m thick, to investigate the basal processes and conditions associated with fast ice flow and the glacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A narrative of the drilling, measuring and sampling activities, as well as some preliminary results and initial interpretations of subglacial conditions, is given. These were the deepest subglacial access holes ever drilled using the hot-water drilling method. Samples of bed and englacial sediments were recovered, and a number of instruments were installed in the ice column and the bed. The ice–bed interface was found to be unfrozen, with an existing, well-developed subglacial hydrological system at high pressure, within ~1% of the ice overburden. The bed itself comprises soft, water-saturated sediments, consistent with previous geophysical interpretations. Englacial sediment quantity varies significantly between two locations ~2 km apart, and possibly over even shorter (~20 m) distances. Difficulties and unusual observations encountered while connecting to the subglacial hydrological system in one hole possibly resulted from the presence of a large clast embedded in the bottom of the ice.
To develop a pediatric research agenda focused on pediatric healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial stewardship topics that will yield the highest impact on child health.
The study included 26 geographically diverse adult and pediatric infectious diseases clinicians with expertise in healthcare-associated infection prevention and/or antimicrobial stewardship (topic identification and ranking of priorities), as well as members of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (topic identification).
Using a modified Delphi approach, expert recommendations were generated through an iterative process for identifying pediatric research priorities in healthcare associated infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship. The multistep, 7-month process included a literature review, interactive teleconferences, web-based surveys, and 2 in-person meetings.
A final list of 12 high-priority research topics were generated in the 2 domains. High-priority healthcare-associated infection topics included judicious testing for Clostridioides difficile infection, chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing, measuring and preventing hospital-onset bloodstream infection rates, surgical site infection prevention, surveillance and prevention of multidrug resistant gram-negative rod infections. Antimicrobial stewardship topics included β-lactam allergy de-labeling, judicious use of perioperative antibiotics, intravenous to oral conversion of antimicrobial therapy, developing a patient-level “harm index” for antibiotic exposure, and benchmarking and or peer comparison of antibiotic use for common inpatient conditions.
We identified 6 healthcare-associated infection topics and 6 antimicrobial stewardship topics as potentially high-impact targets for pediatric research.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Maintaining nutritional adequacy contributes to successful ageing. B vitamins involved in one-carbon metabolism regulation (folate, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12) are critical nutrients contributing to homocysteine and epigenetic regulation. Although cross-sectional B vitamin intake in ageing populations is characterised, longitudinal changes are infrequently reported. This systematic review explores age-related changes in dietary adequacy of folate, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12 in community-dwelling older adults (≥65 years at follow-up). Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, databases (MEDLINE, Embase, BIOSIS, CINAHL) were systematically screened, yielding 1579 records; eight studies were included (n 3119 participants, 2–25 years of follow-up). Quality assessment (modified Newcastle–Ottawa quality scale) rated all of moderate–high quality. The estimated average requirement cut-point method estimated the baseline and follow-up population prevalence of dietary inadequacy. Riboflavin (seven studies, n 1953) inadequacy progressively increased with age; the prevalence of inadequacy increased from baseline by up to 22·6 and 9·3 % in males and females, respectively. Dietary folate adequacy (three studies, n 2321) improved in two studies (by up to 22·4 %), but the third showed increasing (8·1 %) inadequacy. Evidence was similarly limited (two studies, respectively) and inconsistent for vitamins B6 (n 559; −9·9 to 47·9 %) and B12 (n 1410; −4·6 to 7·2 %). This review emphasises the scarcity of evidence regarding micronutrient intake changes with age, highlighting the demand for improved reporting of longitudinal changes in nutrient intake that can better direct micronutrient recommendations for older adults. This review was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018104364).
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a well-established cause of traveller's diarrhoea and occasional domestic foodborne illness outbreaks in the USA. Although ETEC are not detected by conventional stool culture methods used in clinical laboratories, syndromic culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) capable of detecting ETEC have become increasingly prevalent in the last decade. This study describes the epidemiology of ETEC infections reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) during 2016–2017. ETEC-positive stool specimens were submitted to MDH to confirm the presence of ETEC DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Cases were interviewed to ascertain illness and exposures. Contemporaneous Salmonella cases were used as a comparison group in a case-case comparison analysis of risk factors. Of 222 ETEC-positive specimens received by MDH, 108 (49%) were concordant by PCR. ETEC was the sixth most frequently reported bacterial enteric pathogen among a subset of CIDT-positive specimens. Sixty-nine (64%) laboratory-confirmed cases had an additional pathogen codetected with ETEC, including enteroaggregative E. coli (n = 40) and enteropathogenic E. coli (n = 39). Although travel is a risk factor for ETEC infection, only 43% of cases travelled internationally, providing evidence for ETEC as an underestimated source of domestically acquired enteric illness in the USA.
A new high time resolution observing mode for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is described, enabling full polarimetric observations with up to
MHz of bandwidth and a time resolution of
s. This mode makes use of a polyphase synthesis filter to ‘undo’ the polyphase analysis filter stage of the standard MWA’s Voltage Capture System observing mode. Sources of potential error in the reconstruction of the high time resolution data are identified and quantified, with the
loss induced by the back-to-back system not exceeding
dB for typical noise-dominated samples. The system is further verified by observing three pulsars with known structure on microsecond timescales.
Differential susceptibility theory (DST) posits that individuals differ in their developmental plasticity: some children are highly responsive to both environmental adversity and support, while others are less affected. According to this theory, “plasticity” genes that confer risk for psychopathology in adverse environments may promote superior functioning in supportive environments. We tested DST using a broad measure of child genetic liability (based on birth parent psychopathology), adoptive home environmental variables (e.g., marital warmth, parenting stress, and internalizing symptoms), and measures of child externalizing problems (n = 337) and social competence (n = 330) in 54-month-old adopted children from the Early Growth and Development Study. This adoption design is useful for examining DST because children are placed at birth or shortly thereafter with nongenetically related adoptive parents, naturally disentangling heritable and postnatal environmental effects. We conducted a series of multivariable regression analyses that included Gene × Environment interaction terms and found little evidence of DST; rather, interactions varied depending on the environmental factor of interest, in both significance and shape. Our mixed findings suggest further investigation of DST is warranted before tailoring screening and intervention recommendations to children based on their genetic liability or “sensitivity.”
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Clusters of Salmonella Enteritidis cases were identified by the Minnesota Department of Health using both pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) single nucleotide polymorphism analysis from 1 January 2015 through 31 December 2017. The median turnaround time for obtaining WGS results was 11 days longer than for PFGE (12 vs. 1 day). WGS analysis more than doubled the number of clusters compared to PFGE analysis, but reduced the total number of cases included in clusters by 34%. The median cluster size was two cases for WGS compared to four for PFGE, and the median duration of WGS clusters was 27 days shorter than PFGE clusters. While the percentage of PFGE clusters with a confirmed source (46%) was higher than WGS clusters (32%), a higher percentage of cases in clusters that were confirmed as outbreaks reported the vehicle or exposure of interest for WGS (78%) than PFGE (46%). WGS cluster size was a significant predictor of an outbreak source being confirmed. WGS data have enhanced S. Enteritidis cluster investigations in Minnesota by improving the specificity of cluster case definitions and has become an integral part of the S. Enteritidis surveillance process.
Raw milk cheeses are commonly consumed in France and are also a common source of foodborne outbreaks (FBOs). Both an FBO surveillance system and a laboratory-based surveillance system aim to detect Salmonella outbreaks. In early August 2018, five familial FBOs due to Salmonella spp. were reported to a regional health authority. Investigation identified common exposure to a raw goats' milk cheese, from which Salmonella spp. were also isolated, leading to an international product recall. Three weeks later, on 22 August, a national increase in Salmonella Newport ST118 was detected through laboratory surveillance. Concomitantly isolates from the earlier familial clusters were confirmed as S. Newport ST118. Interviews with a selection of the laboratory-identified cases revealed exposure to the same cheese, including exposure to batches not included in the previous recall, leading to an expansion of the recall. The outbreak affected 153 cases, including six cases in Scotland. S. Newport was detected in the cheese and in the milk of one of the producer's goats. The difference in the two alerts generated by this outbreak highlight the timeliness of the FBO system and the precision of the laboratory-based surveillance system. It is also a reminder of the risks associated with raw milk cheeses.
Innovation Concept: Research training programs for students, especially in emergency medicine (EM), may be difficult to initiate due to lack of protected time, resources, and mentors (Chang Y, Ramnanan CJ. Academic Medicine 2015). We developed a ten-week summer program for medical students aimed at cultivating research skills through mentorship, clinical enrichment, and immersion in EM research culture through shadowing and project support. Methods: Five second year Ontario medical students were recruited to participate in the Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine (STAR-EM) program at University Health Network, Toronto, from June - Aug, 2019. Program design followed review of existing summer research programs and literature regarding challenges to EM research (McRae, Perry, Brehaut et al. CJEM 2018). The program had broad emergency physician (EP) engagement, with five EP research project mentors, and over ten EPs delivering academic sessions. Curriculum development was collaborative and iterative. All projects were approved by the hospital Research Ethics Board (REB). Curriculum, Tool or Material: Each weekly academic morning comprised small group teaching (topics including research methodology, manuscript preparation, health equity, quality improvement, and wellness), followed by EP-led group progress review of each student's project. Each student spent one half day per week in the emergency department (ED), shadowing an EP and identifying patients for recruitment for ongoing mentor-initiated ED research projects. Remaining time was spent on independent student project work. Presentation to faculty and program evaluation occurred in week 10. Scholarly output included one abstract submitted for publication per student. Program evaluation by students reflected a uniform impression that course material and mentorship were each excellent (100%, n = 5). Interest in pursuing academic EM as a career was identified by all students. Faculty researchers rated the program as very effective (80%, n = 4) or somewhat effective (20%, n = 1) in terms of enhancing productivity and scholarly output. Conclusion: The STAR-EM program provides a transferable model for other academic departments seeking to foster the development of future clinician investigators and enhance ED research culture. Program challenges included delays in REB approval for student projects and engaging recalcitrant staff to participate in research.
Background: In patients with acute hip fracture, a fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB) has been shown to provide effective non-opioid analgesia, reduce the incidence of pneumonia, and potentially decrease the rate of delirium . However, this procedure was infrequently used in the St. Michael's Hospital (SMH) emergency department (ED). Aim Statement: Our aim was to increase the proportion of patients with hip fracture receiving FICB in the ED to 50% in six months. Measures & Design: We completed two Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles, measuring rates of FICB before and after each cycle. The first was a departmental rounds presentation with information about the process and benefits of FICB, addressing barriers identified by surveying the group. The second cycle included a bundle of interventions comprising of an “instruction card” with the steps required to do the procedure, access to a video tutorial, and a list of experienced physicians willing to help less experienced providers perform FICB. Evaluation/Results: In the three months prior to the project, the rate of FICB in the ED was 12.5% (3/24). For the three months after the first PDSA cycle, the rate increased to 22.2% (8/36). Then, the second cycle was performed. In the following two months the rate further increased to 36.8% (7/19). Discussion/Impact: Despite the clear increase in FICB rate, these changes were not statistically significant (p = 0.063). Our methodology was shown to be safe and effective, and our model can be applied to other ED groups looking to increase their rates of FICB.
With concerns for presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 and increasing burden of contact tracing and employee furloughs, several hospitals have supplemented pre-existing infection prevention measures with universal masking of all personnel in hospitals. Other hospitals are currently faced with the dilemma of whether or not to proceed with universal masking in a time of critical mask shortages. We summarize the rationale behind a universal masking policy in healthcare settings, important considerations before implementing such a policy and the challenges with universal masking. We also discusses proposed solutions such as universal face shields.
Why patients with psychosis use cannabis remains debated. The self-medication hypothesis has received some support but other evidence points towards an alleviation of dysphoria model. This study investigated the reasons for cannabis use in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and whether strength in their endorsement changed over time.
FEP inpatients and outpatients at the South London and Maudsley, Oxleas and Sussex NHS Trusts UK, who used cannabis, rated their motives at baseline (n = 69), 3 months (n = 29) and 12 months (n = 36). A random intercept model was used to test the change in strength of endorsement over the 12 months. Paired-sample t-tests assessed the differences in mean scores between the five subscales on the Reasons for Use Scale (enhancement, social motive, coping with unpleasant affect, conformity and acceptance and relief of positive symptoms and side effects), at each time-point.
Time had a significant effect on scores when controlling for reason; average scores on each subscale were higher at baseline than at 3 months and 12 months. At each time-point, patients endorsed ‘enhancement’ followed by ‘coping with unpleasant affect’ and ‘social motive’ more highly for their cannabis use than any other reason. ‘Conformity and acceptance’ followed closely. ‘Relief of positive symptoms and side effects’ was the least endorsed motive.
Patients endorsed their reasons for use at 3 months and 12 months less strongly than at baseline. Little support for the self-medication or alleviation of dysphoria models was found. Rather, patients rated ‘enhancement’ most highly for their cannabis use.
Psychological stress is associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for aging-related diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
We examined the effect of stress on a DNA methylation age predictor that was shown to correlate strongly with chronological age across human tissues (Horvath 2013). Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured in peripheral blood using the 450K Illumina array in three independent cohorts: the Grady Trauma Project/GTP (N=366); a panic disorder case/control sample recruited at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry/MPI-P (N=318); and the Conte Center for the Psychobiology of Early-Life Trauma/Conte (N=42). Age acceleration was calculated by subtracting chronological age from age predicted by DNA methylation. Psychiatric symptomatology and stressors were assessed using standard questionnaires.
DNA methylation age strongly correlated with chronological age in all samples (r=0.9, p=2.5x10<sup>-133</sup>). Cumulative lifetime stress but not childhood or current stress predicted age acceleration in GTP (p=0.012) and MPI-P (p=0.021). Moreover, epigenetic age acceleration predicted depression (GTP: p=0.002; Conte: p=0.014) and panic disorder (p=0.007). In secondary analyses, we examined the effect of lifetime stress on individual CpGs of the DNA methylation age predictor. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we identified in both GTP and MPI-P a stress-regulated CpG near MCAM, a gene implicated in aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Cumulative lifetime stress, but not childhood or current stress, and psychiatric phenotypes are associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Our findings may explain the accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk associated with chronic stress and psychiatric disorders.
The increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people with severe mental illness (SMI) is well documented. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for metabolic syndrome are three or more of the following: waist circumference ( 80 cm (females), (94 cm (males) OR BMI (30, triglycerides >1.7 mmol/l or on treatment, raised blood pressure (systolic >130 mg Hg or diastolic >85 mm Hg, OR on treatment for hypertension), raised fasting blood glucose (.5.6 mmol/l) OR diagnosed type II diabetes) and reduced HDL cholesterol (< 1.03 mmol/l) OR on treatment.
The IMPACT RCT is a Department of Health funded trial of a health promotion intervention (HPI) delivered by care co-ordinators to people with SMI across South London, Kent and Sussex. The intervention is focussed on improving health by addressing modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance use.
We investigated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a sample of 212 patients for whom we had relevant baseline measures.
Data (weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels) were analysed on 212 patients.
45% of the sample met IDF criteria for metabolic syndrome. Mean BMI was 30.6, glucose 6.4 mmol/L, triglycerides 2.0 mmol/L, HDL 1.2 (mmol/L), waist circumference 105.8 cm, and BP 122/82 mm Hg.
Metabolic syndrome was highly prevalent in this sample, significantly increasing the risk of physical morbidity and potentially lowering life expectancy. There is an unmet need for health promotion interventions in order to lower morbidity and mortality risk in these populations.
There are no evidence-based treatments for severe and enduring anorexia nervosa.
To evaluate the relative efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) for adults with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa.
Randomised controlled trial.
Sixty-three participants aged 18 and over (range 20-62) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of anorexia nervosa with at least a seven year illness history.
Thirty outpatient visits over 8 months. Participants were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (EOT), and 6-month and 12-month post-treatment follow-up. At EOP and follow-up, both groups improved significantly on the majority of outcome measures. However, there were no differences between treatment groups at EOT. At 6- and 12-month follow-up, analyses indicate greater improvement for those in CBT compared to SSCM. At 6-month follow-up, CBT participants had higher scores on the social adjustment scale (p = .038), and at 12-month they reported lower eating disorder examination global score (p = .004), and higher readiness for recovery (p = .013) compared to SSCM.
Patients with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa can make significant and meaningful improvements with therapy. CBT shows significant advantage over SSCM in terms of social adjustment, core eating pathology, and readiness for change over time.
Social interactions dysfunctions make up core symptoms of many mental disorders and have been extensively studied through cognitive paradigms gathered under the concept of social cognition. Nevertheless, a growing body of literature have demonstrated that motor coordination is an important feature of these human social interactions but has been little studied in the context of mental diseases.
In this study, we propose to compare the processes of inter-agent coordination in healthy and socially impaired clinical populations (e.g. schizophrenia and social phobia patients).
20 schizophrenia and 20 social phobia patients were compared to 20 healthy subjects using an hand-held pendulum paradigm in intentional and unintentional interpersonal motor coordination, with different leadership conditions. All participants had psychopathological and neuropsychological evaluations.
Our results demonstrated that each group of subject was characterised by specific signature concerning interpersonal motor coordination. More specifically, instability of the coordination and temporal delay between patient and controls revealed that schizophrenia impaired intentional coordination but not spontaneous non-intentional coordination whereas social phobia only affected leader conditions.
Taken altogether, these preliminary results give evidence that motor control through motor coordination behaviours is a fundamental part of social interactions deficits in schizophrenia and social phobia. These results lead us to examine if the evaluation of motor coordination during a social interactions could help to discriminate the deficits in social interactions and to propose specific therapy for their rehabilitation.
This research was supported by an Agence Nationale de la Recherche grant (Project SCAD # ANR-09- BLAN-0405-03).
The Department of Health in the UK wants the National Health Service to make £20 Billion worth of efficiency savings by 2015 to reinvest.
In the UK the General Hospitals use paper records which are then scanned to create electronic records while Psychiatric Hospitals require that information to be typed on to their electronic records and these electronic records are not available to each other.
Therefore liaison psychiatry assessments require a written entry to be made in the Medical notes and a second entry typed on to the psychiatric electronic patient record which requires a full psychiatric history.
This duplication in typing information was consuming a considerable amount of this Teams time and resources which could have instead been spent with patients.
To identify how much time is spent by Staff typing information on to the psychiatric electronic patient records.
We electronically checked for the preceding three months the amount of time spent typing information on to the electronic records after every liaison psychiatry assessment.
We were then able to obtain the average for every week.
On average about 36 to 40 hours were spent every week typing information on to the electronic records.
Liaison Psychiatry should dispense with the requirement for information to be duplicated on to the electronic patient records and should instead scan the written entry made in the Medical notes.
This should lead to a saving of about £50,000, enough to employ an additional member of Staff every week.