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Psychosocial interventions that mitigate psychosocial distress in cancer patients are important. The primary aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program among adult cancer patients. A secondary aim was to examine pre–post-program changes in psychosocial wellbeing.
The research design was a feasibility and acceptability study, with an examination of pre- to post-intervention changes in psychosocial measures. A study information pack was posted to 173 adult cancer patients 6 months–5 years post-diagnosis, with an invitation to attend an eight-week group-based adaptation of the MSC program.
Thirty-two (19%) consented to the program, with 30 commencing. Twenty-seven completed the program (mean age: 62.93 years, SD 14.04; 17 [63%] female), attending a mean 6.93 (SD 1.11) group sessions. There were no significant differences in medico-demographic factors between program-completers and those who did not consent. However, there was a trend toward shorter time since diagnosis in the program-completers group. Program-completers rated the program highly regarding content, relevance to the concerns of cancer patients, and the likelihood of recommending the program to other cancer patients. Sixty-three percent perceived that their mental wellbeing had improved from pre- to post-program; none perceived a deterioration in mental wellbeing. Small-to-medium effects were observed for depressive symptoms, fear of cancer recurrence, stress, loneliness, body image satisfaction, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Significance of results
The MSC program appears feasible and acceptable to adults diagnosed with non-advanced cancer. The preliminary estimates of effect sizes in this sample suggest that participation in the program was associated with improvements in psychosocial wellbeing. Collectively, these findings suggest that there may be value in conducting an adequately powered randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the MSC program in enhancing the psychosocial wellbeing of cancer patients.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a growing concern globally; in response, new herbicide resistance traits are being inserted into crops. Isoxaflutole-resistant soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] will provide a new mode of action for use in this crop. Ten experiments were conducted over a 2-yr period (2017, 2018) to determine herbicide interactions between isoxaflutole and metribuzin on soybean injury, weed control efficacy, and soybean yield on a range of soil types. Soybean leaf-bleaching injury caused by isoxaflutole was most severe at sites with higher levels of rainfall after application. Control of weed species with isoxaflutole (52.5, 79, and 105 g ai ha−1) and metribuzin (210, 315, and 420 g ai ha−1) differed by site based on amount of rainfall after application. At sites where there was sufficient rainfall for herbicide activation, isoxaflutole at all rates controlled common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.), Amaranthus spp., common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.) >90%; metribuzin at all rates controlled Amaranthus spp. and witchgrass (Panicum capillare L.) >80%. Control of every weed species evaluated was reduced when there was limited rainfall after herbicide application. The co-application of isoxaflutole + metribuzin resulted in additive or synergistic interactions for the control of C. album, Amaranthus spp., A. artemisiifolia, A. theophrasti, Setaria spp., barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv], and P. capillare. Isoxaflutole and metribuzin can be an effective management strategy for common annual broadleaf and grass weeds in Ontario if timely rainfall events occur after herbicide application.
Transgenic crops are being developed with herbicide resistance traits to expand innovative weed management solutions for crop producers. Soybean with traits that confer resistance to the hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase herbicide isoxaflutole is under development and will provide a novel herbicide mode of action for weed management in soybean. Ten field experiments were conducted over 2 years (2017 and 2018) on five soil textures with isoxaflutole-resistant soybean to evaluate annual weed control using one- and two-pass herbicide programs. The one-pass weed control programs included isoxaflutole plus metribuzin, applied PRE, at a low rate (52.5 + 210 g ai ha−1), medium rate (79 + 316 g ai ha−1), and high rate (105 + 420 g ai ha−1); and glyphosate applied early postemergence (EPOST) or late postemergence (LPOST). The two-pass weed control programs included isoxaflutole plus metribuzin, applied PRE, followed by glyphosate applied LPOST, and glyphosate applied EPOST followed by LPOST. At 4 weeks after the LPOST application, control of common lambsquarters, pigweed species, common ragweed, and velvetleaf was variable at 25% to 69%, 49% to 86%, and 71% to 95% at the low, medium, and high rates of isoxaflutole plus metribuzin, respectively. Isoxaflutole plus metribuzin at the low, medium, and high rates controlled grass species evaluated (i.e., barnyardgrass, foxtail, crabgrass, and witchgrass) 85% to 97%, 75% to 99%, and 86% to 100%, respectively. All two-pass weed management programs provided 98% to 100% control of all species. Weed control improved as the rate of isoxaflutole plus metribuzin increased. Two-pass programs provided excellent, full-season annual grass and broadleaf weed control in isoxaflutole-resistant soybean.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
There is growing concern about the declining physician-scientist workforce. NIH recently provided a national dashboard describing the biomedical research workforce, but local strategies are needed.
We used curated local and national data to develop a workforce dashboard.
Many trends at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) were similar to those nationally, such as the increasing percentage of Research Project Grant (RPG)-holding PhDs and the aging RPG population, but differences were also apparent. At OHSU, nearly ¾ of physician-scientist RPGs hold MD-only, compared with nationally, where nearly half are MD/PhD. OHSU also lags in the percentage of RPGs held by women physician-scientists.
Our analysis also permitted us to gain a more complete picture of research funding that has been done nationally. We used these data to develop a dashboard that allows our institution to develop policies to increase the numbers of physician-scientists. The data generation approaches and dashboard are likely to be useful at other institutions, as well.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
This article reports on a case study of a decade-long organizing forms response to the need for groundbreaking innovation while maintaining existing operational performance – the explore–exploit conundrum. Employing ‘grounded research,’ data were collected on the experiences of the Asia-Pacific arm of a multinational professional service firm’s key decision-makers, innovators and entrepreneurs. The findings reveal a three-tiered organizing forms response to the explore–exploit paradox, characterized by a novel combination of heavy exploitation-driven actions alongside deep exploration projects. This case suggests that one successful approach to delivering on both explore and exploit focuses on a productive tension that emerges by enacting innovative organizing forms with contextual awareness. This productive tension was sufficiently powerful to impel individuals to innovate, but also sufficiently contained to avoid interfering with commercial outcomes. An explore–exploit framework conceptualizes organizational changes incorporating complexity and contradiction, without the implicit emphasis on removing or denying the existing tension.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.