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Through hormonal secretion, the adrenal gland regulates cellular homeostasis, stress, inflammation, metabolism, salt and water balance, and reproductive function amongst other systems. During pregnancy, significant changes occur in adrenal hormonal homeostasis, impacting the usual methods for evaluating adrenal disease. We summarize the changes to adrenal physiology occurring throughout pregnancy. Additionally, we discuss a range of adrenal diseases, their clinical assessment and management in pregnancy: adrenal insufficiency, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing’s syndrome, primary aldosteronism, pheochromocytoma, and adrenocortical carcinoma.
Background: SARS-CoV-2 N95 mask contamination in healthcare providers (HCPs) treating patients with COVID-19 is poorly understood. Method: We performed a prospective observational study of HCP N95 respirator SARS-CoV-2 contamination during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) on SARS-CoV-2–positive patients housed in a COVID-19–specific unit at an academic medical center. Medical masks were used as surrogates for N95 respirators to avoid waste and were worn on top of HCP N95 respirators during study AGPs. Study masks were provided to HCPs while donning PPE and were retrieved during doffing. Additionally, during doffing, face shields were swabbed with Floq swabs premoistened with viral transport media (VTM) prior to disinfection. Medical masks were cut into 9 position-based pieces, placed in VTM, vortexed, and centrifuged (Fig. 1). RNA extraction and RT-PCR were completed on all samples. RT-PCR–positive samples underwent cell culture infection to detect cytopathic effects (CPE). Contamination was characterized by mask location and front and back of face shields. Patient COVID-19 symptoms were collected from routine clinical documentation. Study HCPs completed HCP-role–specific routine care (eg, assessing, administering medications, and maintaining oxygen supplementation) while in patient rooms and were observed by study team members. Results: We enrolled 31 HCPs between September and December 2021. HCP and patient characteristics are presented in Table 1. In total, 330 individual samples were obtained from 31 masks and 26 face shields among 12 patient rooms. Of the 330 samples, 0 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 via RT-PCR. Positive controls were successfully performed in the laboratory setting to confirm that the virus was recoverable using these methods. Notably, all samples were collected from HCPs caring for COVID-19 patients on high-flow, high-humidity Optiflow (AGP), with an average of 960 seconds (IQR, 525–1,680) spent in each room. In addition to Optiflow and routine care, study speech pathologists completed an additional AGP of fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing. Notably, 29 (94%) of 31 study HCP had physical contact with their patient. Conclusions: Overall, mask contamination in HCPs treating patients with COVID-19 undergoing AGPs was not detectable while wearing face shields, despite patient contact and performing AGP.
Studies of introduced subject matter in rock-art assemblages typically focus on themes of cross-cultural interaction, change and continuity, power and resistance. However, the economic frameworks guiding or shaping the production of an assemblage have often been overlooked. In this paper we use a case study involving a recently recorded assemblage of introduced subject matter from Marra Country in northern Australia's southwest Gulf of Carpentaria region to explore their production using a hybrid economy framework. This framework attempts to understand the nature of the forces that shape people's engagement with country and subsequently how it is being symbolically marked as adjustments to country occur through colonization. We argue that embedding these motifs into a hybrid economy context anchored in the pastoral industry allows for a more nuanced approach to cross-cultural interaction studies and adds another layer to the story of Aboriginal place-marking in colonial contexts. This paper aims to go beyond simply identifying motifs thought to represent introduced subject matter, and the cross-cultural framework(s) guiding their interpretation, and instead to direct attention to the complex network of relations that potentially underpin the production of such motifs.
The Late Triassic fauna of the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (LSF) from the Elgin area, Scotland, has been pivotal in expanding our understanding of Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. Frustratingly, due to their odd preservation, interpretations of the Elgin Triassic specimens have relied on destructive moulding techniques, which only provide incomplete, and potentially distorted, information. Here, we show that micro-computed tomography (μCT) could revitalise the study of this important assemblage. We describe a long-neglected specimen that was originally identified as a pseudosuchian archosaur, Ornithosuchus woodwardi. μCT scans revealed dozens of bones belonging to at least two taxa: a small-bodied pseudosuchian and a specimen of the procolophonid Leptopleuron lacertinum. The pseudosuchian skeleton possesses a combination of characters that are unique to the clade Erpetosuchidae. As a basis for investigating the phylogenetic relationships of this new specimen, we reviewed the anatomy, taxonomy and systematics of other erpetosuchid specimens from the LSF (all previously referred to Erpetosuchus). Unfortunately, due to the differing representation of the skeleton in the available Erpetosuchus specimens, we cannot determine whether the erpetosuchid specimen we describe here belongs to Erpetosuchus granti (to which we show it is closely related) or if it represents a distinct new taxon. Nevertheless, our results shed light on rarely preserved details of erpetosuchid anatomy. Finally, the unanticipated new information extracted from both previously studied and neglected specimens suggests that fossil remains may be much more widely distributed in the Elgin quarries than previously recognised, and that the richness of the LSF might have been underestimated.
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses suggest that behaviour change interventions have modest effect sizes, struggle to demonstrate effect in the long term and that there is high heterogeneity between studies. Such interventions take huge effort to design and run for relatively small returns in terms of changes to behaviour.
So why do behaviour change interventions not work and how can we make them more effective? This article offers some ideas about what may underpin the failure of behaviour change interventions. We propose three main reasons that may explain why our current methods of conducting behaviour change interventions struggle to achieve the changes we expect: 1) our current model for testing the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions tends to a mean effect size. This ignores individual differences in response to interventions; 2) our interventions tend to assume that everyone values health in the way we do as health professionals; and 3) the great majority of our interventions focus on addressing cognitions as mechanisms of change. We appeal to people’s logic and rationality rather than recognising that much of what we do and how we behave, including our health behaviours, is governed as much by how we feel and how engaged we are emotionally as it is with what we plan and intend to do.
Drawing on our team’s experience of developing multiple interventions to promote and support health behaviour change with a variety of populations in different global contexts, this article explores strategies with potential to address these issues.
The fetal membranes (FM) are comprised of the amniotic membrane (AM), chorionic membrane (CM), and underlying maternal decidua. Together they provide a barrier towards ascending infection and enable amniotic fluid (AF) homeostasis. Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) can occur spontaneously and complicates around 2% of all pregnancies, leading to preterm birth, chorioamnionitis, neonatal sepsis, limb position defects, respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypoplasia, and chronic lung disease. Membrane separation is a common finding after open fetal surgery that leads to iatrogenic PPROM (iPPROM) and intrauterine infection, complicating over 30% of fetal surgeries. The subsequent associated preterm birth compromises the outcome of treatment, reducing the clinical effectiveness of fetal surgery . Spontaneous healing of the membranes does not occur after fetoscopic surgery, leaving a visible defect in the FM (Figure 50.1) that is prone to AF leakage and subsequent iPPROM . To date, there are no clinical solutions to improve healing of the FM after they rupture.
Emergency department (ED) patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter (AFF) with underlying occult condition such as sepsis or heart failure, and who are managed with rate or rhythm control, have poor prognoses. Such conditions may not be easy to identify early in the ED evaluation when critical treatment decisions are made. We sought to develop a simple decision aid to quickly identify undifferentiated ED AFF patients who are at high risk of acute underlying illness.
We collected consecutive ED patients with electrocardiogram-proven AFF over a 1-year period and performed a chart review to ascertain demographics, comorbidities, and investigations. The primary outcome was having an acute underlying illness according to prespecified criteria. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with the primary outcome, and developed criteria to identify those with an underlying illness at presentation.
Of 1,083 consecutive undifferentiated ED AFF patients, 400 (36.9%) had an acute underlying illness; they were older with more comorbidities. Modeling demonstrated that three predictors (ambulance arrival; chief complaint of chest pain, dyspnea, or weakness; CHA2DS2-VASc score greater than 2) identified 93% of patients with acute underlying illness (95% confidence interval [CI], 91–96%) with 54% (95% CI, 50–58%) specificity. The decision aid missed 28 patients; (7.0%) simple blood tests and chest radiography identified all within an hour of presentation.
In ED patients with undifferentiated AFF, this simple predictive model rapidly differentiates patients at risk of acute underlying illness, who will likely merit investigations before AFF-specific therapy.
Brette contends that the neural coding metaphor is an invalid basis for theories of what the brain does. Here, we argue that it is an insufficient guide for building an artificial intelligence that learns to accomplish short- and long-term goals in a complex, changing environment.
Several grass and broadleaf weed species around the world have evolved multiple-herbicide resistance at alarmingly increasing rates. Research on the biochemical and molecular resistance mechanisms of multiple-resistant weed populations indicate a prevalence of herbicide metabolism catalyzed by enzyme systems such as cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases and, to a lesser extent, by glucosyl transferases. A symposium was conducted to gain an understanding of the current state of research on metabolic resistance mechanisms in weed species that pose major management problems around the world. These topics, as well as future directions of investigations that were identified in the symposium, are summarized herein. In addition, the latest information on selected topics such as the role of safeners in inducing crop tolerance to herbicides, selectivity to clomazone, glyphosate metabolism in crops and weeds, and bioactivation of natural molecules is reviewed.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission was created in 2006 with wide-ranging powers to protect human rights, promote equal opportunities and encourage mutual respect between different groups. Alongside the Commission, individuals through the courts, and sector-specific enforcers (such as ombudsmen and regulators) have also been given equality and human rights enforcement powers. Within this enforcement landscape, the Commission has struggled to craft an enforcement role for itself. For the first time, this paper, through the mapping of these different actors in their shared regulatory space, outlines a role for the Commission in equality and human rights enforcement. This role consists of three primary tasks: (i) taking action that courts and sector-specific enforcers are unable to perform; (ii) overcoming some of the limitations of private enforcement in the courts; and (iii) coordinating and supporting sector-specific enforcers. The paper concludes by exploring how the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) can effectively fulfil this role.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of psychotic disorders, but the profile of impairment across adulthood, particularly in African-American populations, remains unclear.
Using cross-sectional data from a case–control study of African-American adults with affective (n = 59) and nonaffective (n = 68) psychotic disorders, we examined cognitive functioning between early and middle adulthood (ages 20–60) on measures of general cognitive ability, language, abstract reasoning, processing speed, executive function, verbal memory, and working memory.
Both affective and nonaffective psychosis patients showed substantial and widespread cognitive impairments. However, comparison of cognitive functioning between controls and psychosis groups throughout early (ages 20–40) and middle (ages 40–60) adulthood also revealed age-associated group differences. During early adulthood, the nonaffective psychosis group showed increasing impairments with age on measures of general cognitive ability and executive function, while the affective psychosis group showed increasing impairment on a measure of language ability. Impairments on other cognitive measures remained mostly stable, although decreasing impairments on measures of processing speed, memory and working memory were also observed.
These findings suggest similarities, but also differences in the profile of cognitive dysfunction in adults with affective and nonaffective psychotic disorders. Both affective and nonaffective patients showed substantial and relatively stable impairments across adulthood. The nonaffective group also showed increasing impairments with age in general and executive functions, and the affective group showed an increasing impairment in verbal functions, possibly suggesting different underlying etiopathogenic mechanisms.
Recently, smartphone applications (apps) have been used as smoking cessation aids. Interactive apps appear to more effective than non-interactive apps. SmokeBeat, a smartphone app used in conjunction with a smartwatch, aims to detect smoking events, interact with the user as they occur and potentially stop smoking events before they occur in the future.
The purpose of this feasibility study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of SmokeBeat in detecting smoking events.
The feasibility of using the app as a smoking cessation aid was tested over a 2-week period by daily, dependent smokers. SmokeBeat's cigarette detection rate was measured in laboratory sessions both before and after the 2-week period. Fisher's exact test was used to compare detection rates from each session.
The detection rate was 22.5% during session 1 and 41.7% during session 2. Once technological issues were controlled for (i.e., signal loss between smartphone and smartwatch), SmokeBeat's detection rate improved over the 2-week period, resulting in a 100% detection rate.
Apps which can detect smoking events in real time present an opportunity for a proactive and interactive smoking cessation aid – a potentially useful tool for individuals attempting to quit smoking.
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.
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.
Microwave dielectric heating methods for the preparation of a number of arsenate, phosphate, vanadate, molybdate and carbonate minerals and their deuterated analogues are reported; rapid and efficient syntheses of these have been achieved. The application of this to the study of vibrational spectroscopy of minerals is discussed, with particular reference to scorodite.
Fe is an essential nutrient for many bacteria, and Fe supplementation has been reported to affect the composition of the gut microbiota in both Fe-deficient and Fe-replete individuals outside pregnancy. This study examined whether the dose of Fe in pregnancy multivitamin supplements affects the overall composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women in early pregnancy. Women participating in the SPRING study with a faecal sample obtained at 16 weeks’ gestation were included in this substudy. For each subject, the brand of multivitamin used was recorded. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and analysed with the QIIME software suite. Dietary intake of Fe was assessed using a FFQ at 16 weeks’ gestation. Women were grouped as receiving low (<60 mg/d, n 94) or high (≥60 mg/d; n 65) Fe supplementation. The median supplementary Fe intake in the low group was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 5–10) v. 60 (IQR 60–60) mg/d in the high group (P<0·001). Dietary Fe intake did not differ between the groups (10·0 (IQR 7·4–13·3) v. 9·8 (IQR 8·2–13·2) mg/d). Fe supplementation did not significantly affect the composition of the faecal microbiome at any taxonomic level. Network analysis showed that the gut microbiota in the low Fe supplementation group had a higher predominance of SCFA producers. Pregnancy multivitamin Fe content has a minor effect on the overall composition of the gut microbiota of overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks’ gestation.
A comprehensive analysis of early dinosaur relationships raised the possibility that the group may have originated in Laurasia (Northern Hemisphere), rather than Gondwana (Southern Hemisphere) as often thought. However, that study focused solely on morphology and phylogenetic relationships and did not quantitatively evaluate this issue. Here, we investigate dinosaur origins using a novel Bayesian framework uniting tip-dated phylogenetics with dynamic, time-sliced biogeographic methods, which explicitly account for the age and locality of fossils and the changing interconnections of areas through time due to tectonic and eustatic change. Our analysis finds strong support for a Gondwanan origin of Dinosauria, with 99 % probability for South America (83 % for southern South America). Parsimony analysis gives concordant results. Inclusion of time-sliced biogeographic information affects ancestral state reconstructions (e.g., high connectivity between two regions increases uncertainty over which is the ancestral area) and influences tree topology (disfavouring uniting fossil taxa from localities that were widely separated during the relevant time slice). Our approach directly integrates plate tectonics with phylogenetics and divergence dating, and in doing so reaffirms southern South America as the most likely area for the geographic origin of Dinosauria.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.