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The living species Ginkgo biloba is phylogenetically isolated, has a relictual distribution, and is morphologically very similar to Mesozoic and Cenozoic congenerics. To investigate what adaptations may have allowed this lineage to persist with little or no morphological change for over 100 Myr, we analyzed both sedimentological and floral data from 51 latest Cretaceous to middle Miocene Ginkgo-bearing fossil plant sites in North America and northern Europe. The resulting data indicate that throughout the late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Ginkgo was largely confined to disturbed streamside and levee environments, where it occurred with a consistent set of other plants. These inferred habitats are surprising because the life-history traits of Ginkgo (e.g., slow growth rate, late reproductive maturity, extended reproductive cycle, large and complex seeds, large and slowly developing embryos) are counter to those considered advantageous in modern disturbed habitats. Many flowering plant lineages first appeared or became common in disturbed riparian habitats, and are inferred to have had reproductive and growth traits (e.g., rapid reproduction, small easily dispersed seeds, rapid growth) suited to such habitats. Paleoecological inferences based on both morphology and sedimentary environments thus support the idea that Ginkgo was displaced in riparian habitats by angiosperms with better adaptations to frequent disturbance.
To determine the source and identify control measures of an outbreak of Tsukamurella species bloodstream infections at an outpatient oncology facility.
Epidemiologic investigation of the outbreak with a case-control study.
A case was an infection in which Tsukamurella species was isolated from a blood or catheter tip culture during the period January 2011 through June 2012 from a patient of the oncology clinic. Laboratory records of area hospitals and patient charts were reviewed. A case-control study was conducted among clinic patients to identify risk factors for Tsukamurella species bloodstream infection. Clinic staff were interviewed, and infection control practices were assessed.
Fifteen cases of Tsukamurella (Tsukamurella pulmonis or Tsukamurella tyrosinosolvens) bloodstream infection were identified, all in patients with underlying malignancy and indwelling central lines. The median age of case patients was 68 years; 47% were male. The only significant risk factor for infection was receipt of saline flush from the clinic during the period September–October 2011 (P = .03), when the clinic had been preparing saline flush from a common-source bag of saline. Other infection control deficiencies that were identified at the clinic included suboptimal procedures for central line access and preparation of chemotherapy.
Although multiple infection control lapses were identified, the outbreak was likely caused by improper preparation of saline flush syringes by the clinic. The outbreak demonstrates that bloodstream infections among oncology patients can result from improper infection control practices and highlights the critical need for increased attention to and oversight of infection control in outpatient oncology settings.
The role of explosions and patient transport vehicles as sources and vectors of Gram-negative, multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) that predominate infections following lengthy evacuations after disasters due to natural hazards and in current war-trauma patients is unknown.
Damaged or heavily-used vehicles could be sources of the MDROs subsequently linked to nosocomial infections.
From January through May 2008 in Iraq, inside surfaces of heavily-used, tactical vehicles (Experimental Group) were sampled with sterile, pre-moistened swabs. Swabs, along with positive and negative controls, were shipped to the reference laboratory in Washington, DC, where they underwent culture, identification and susceptibility testing, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Multidrug-resistant organisms were defined according to the standard Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions. High risk organisms (HROs) were defined as susceptible E. coli, A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp, or Klebsiella spp. Concurrently, new counterparts (Control Group) were similarly surveyed in a storage lot in Georgia, USA. Groups were compared using the Chi-squared test.
One hundred thirty-nine consecutive vehicles including all available ambulances were sampled, yielding 153 swabs. Nineteen were lost or damaged during shipping. Seventy-nine swabs yielded growth of one or more Gram-negative bacteria. The amount and genotype of MDROs in heavily-used vehicles, including those involved in roadside bombings, were compared to control vehicles and to strains isolated from wounds and environmental surfaces at the base hospital. Predominant organisms included P. agglomerans (34%), S. flexneri (8%), E. vulneris (6%), Pseudomonas sp. (6%), and K. pneumonia (6%). No MDROs were isolated. Thirteen vehicles (eight of 94 experimental and five of 45 control) yielded HRO. There was no difference in contamination rates (P = .63). No HROs were isolated from ambulances. No clonal association existed between vehicle and hospital strains.
Given the implications that this knowledge gap has on military and civilian prehospital reservoirs of infection, further study is warranted to confirm these findings and identify targets for preventive intervention throughout civilian disaster and military casualty evacuation chains.
LeshoE, AkeJ, HuangX, CashDM, NikolichM, BarberM, RobensK, GarnettE, LindlerL, ScottP. Amount of Usage and Involvement in Explosions Not Associated with Increased Contamination of Prehospital Vehicles with Multi-drug-resistant Organisms. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-3..
Understanding the ecological characteristics of areas invaded and not invaded by exotic plants is a priority for invasive plant science and management. Buffelgrass is an invasive perennial species that managers view as a major threat to indigenous ecosystems of conservation lands in Australia, Mexico, the United States, and other locations where the species is not native. At 14 sites in Saguaro National Park in the Arizona Uplands of the Sonoran Desert, we compared the soil, vegetation, and soil seed bank of patches invaded and not invaded by buffelgrass. Abiotic variables, such as slope aspect and soil texture, did not differ between buffelgrass patches and patches without buffelgrass. In contrast, variables under primarily biotic control differed between patch types. Soil nutrients, such as organic C and NO3–N, were approximately twofold greater in buffelgrass compared with nonbuffelgrass patches. Average native species richness was identical (14 species 100 m−2) between patch types, but native plant cover was 43% lower in buffelgrass patches. Unexpectedly, native seed-bank densities did not differ significantly between patch types and were 40% greater than buffelgrass seed density below buffelgrass canopies. Results suggest that (1) soil nutrient status should not be unfavorable for native plant colonization at buffelgrass sites if buffelgrass is treated; (2) at least in the early stages of buffelgrass patch formation (studied patches were about 10 yr old), native vegetation species were not excluded, but rather, their cover was reduced; and (3) native soil seed banks were not reduced in buffelgrass patches.
Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics: Horizons of Truth is the culmination of a creative research initiative coorganized by the Kurt Gödel Society, Vienna; the Institute for Experimental Physics; the Kurt Gödel Research Center; the Institute Vienna Circle; the Vienna University of Technology; the Austrian Academy of Sciences; and the Anton Zeilinger Group at the University of Vienna, where the Gödel centenary celebratory symposium “Horizons of Truth: Logics, Foundations of Mathematics, and the Quest for Understanding the Nature of Knowledge” was held from April 27 to April 29, 2006.
More than twenty invited world-renowned researchers in the fields of mathematics, logic, computer science, physics, philosophy, theology, and the history of science attended the symposium, giving the participants the remarkable opportunity to present their ideas about Gödel's work and its influence on various areas of intellectual endeavor. These fascinating interdisciplinary lectures provided new insights into Gödel's life and work and their implications for future generations of researchers.
The interaction among international scholars who only rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to hold discussions in the same room – and some of whom almost never write articles – has produced a book that contains chapters expanded and developed to take advantage of the rich intellectual exchange that took place in Vienna. Written by some of the most renowned figures of the scientific and academic world, the resulting volume is an opus of current research and thinking that is built on the work and inspiration of Gödel.
This volume commemorates the life, work and foundational views of Kurt Gödel (1906–78), most famous for his hallmark works on the completeness of first-order logic, the incompleteness of number theory, and the consistency - with the other widely accepted axioms of set theory - of the axiom of choice and of the generalized continuum hypothesis. It explores current research, advances and ideas for future directions not only in the foundations of mathematics and logic, but also in the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, physics, cosmology, philosophy, theology and the history of science. The discussion is supplemented by personal reflections from several scholars who knew Gödel personally, providing some interesting insights into his life. By putting his ideas and life's work into the context of current thinking and perceptions, this book will extend the impact of Gödel's fundamental work in mathematics, logic, philosophy and other disciplines for future generations of researchers.