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Previous studies using resting-state functional neuroimaging have revealed alterations in whole-brain images, connectome-wide functional connectivity and graph-based metrics in groups of patients with schizophrenia relative to groups of healthy controls. However, it is unclear which of these measures best captures the neural correlates of this disorder at the level of the individual patient.
Here we investigated the relative diagnostic value of these measures. A total of 295 patients with schizophrenia and 452 healthy controls were investigated using resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at five research centres. Connectome-wide functional networks were constructed by thresholding correlation matrices of 90 brain regions, and their topological properties were analyzed using graph theory-based methods. Single-subject classification was performed using three machine learning (ML) approaches associated with varying degrees of complexity and abstraction, namely logistic regression, support vector machine and deep learning technology.
Connectome-wide functional connectivity allowed single-subject classification of patients and controls with higher accuracy (average: 81%) than both whole-brain images (average: 53%) and graph-based metrics (average: 69%). Classification based on connectome-wide functional connectivity was driven by a distributed bilateral network including the thalamus and temporal regions.
These results were replicated across the three employed ML approaches. Connectome-wide functional connectivity permits differentiation of patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls at single-subject level with greater accuracy; this pattern of results is consistent with the ‘dysconnectivity hypothesis’ of schizophrenia, which states that the neural basis of the disorder is best understood in terms of system-level functional connectivity alterations.
One major challenge facing policy-makers is to design education and workplace training programs that are appropriately challenging. We review previous research that suggests that difficult training is better than easy training. However, surveys we conducted of students and of expert sport coaches showed that many prescribed easy rather than difficult training for those they coached. We analyzed the performance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball teams in postseason tournaments to see whether the existing research, largely on individuals in short-term situations, would generalize to teams in the long run. Indeed, playing difficult nonconference (training) games modestly improved performance for NCAA teams in the postseason. Difficult training particularly benefitted teams that lost many nonconference games, and the effect of difficulty was positive within the range of difficulty NCAA teams actually encounter, making it clear that difficult training is superior. We suggest that our results can be generalized beyond sports, although with careful consideration of differences between NCAA basketball teams and other teams that may limit generalizability. These results suggest that policy-makers might consider amplifying the difficulty of team training exercises under certain conditions.
In March 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health received reports of 3 patients who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections for osteoarthritis knee pain at the same private outpatient facility in New Jersey. The risk of septic arthritis resulting from intra-articular injection is low. However, outbreaks of septic arthritis associated with unsafe injection practices in outpatient settings have been reported.
An infection prevention assessment of the implicated facility’s practices was conducted because of the ongoing risk to public health. The assessment included an environmental inspection of the facility, staff interviews, infection prevention practice observations, and a medical record and office document review. A call for cases was disseminated to healthcare providers in New Jersey to identify patients treated at the facility who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections.
We identified 41 patients with septic arthritis associated with intra-articular injections. Cultures of synovial fluid or tissue from 15 of these 41 case patients (37%) recovered bacteria consistent with oral flora. The infection prevention assessment of facility practices identified multiple breaches of recommended infection prevention practices, including inadequate hand hygiene, unsafe injection practices, and poor cleaning and disinfection practices. No additional cases were identified after infection prevention recommendations were implemented by the facility.
Aseptic technique is imperative when handling, preparing, and administering injectable medications to prevent microbial contamination.
This investigation highlights the importance of adhering to infection prevention recommendations. All healthcare personnel who prepare, handle, and administer injectable medications should be trained in infection prevention and safe injection practices.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
There are increasing efforts aiming to utilise endophytes as biological control agents (BCAs) to improve crop production. However, reliability remains a major practical constraint for the development of novel BCAs. Many organisms are adapted to their specific habitat; it is optimistic to expect that a new organism added can find a niche or even out-compete those adapted and already present. Our approach for isolating novel BCAs for specific plant diseases is therefore to look in healthy plants in a habitat where disease is a problem, since we predict that it is more likely to find competitive strains among those present and adapted. In vitro inhibitory activities often do not correlate with in planta efficacy, especially since endophytes rely on intimate plant contact. They can, however, be useful to indicate modes of action. We therefore screen for in planta biological activity as early as possible in the process in order to minimise the risk of discarding valuable strains. Finally, some fungi are endophytic in one situation and pathogenic in another (the mutualism–parasitism continuum). This depends on their biology, environmental conditions, the formulation of inoculum, the health, developmental stage and cultivar of the host plant, and the structure of the plant microbiome.
The mental health and social functioning of millions of forcibly displaced individuals worldwide represents a key public health priority for host governments. This is the first longitudinal study with a representative sample to examine the impact of interpersonal trust and psychological symptoms on community engagement in refugees.
Participants were 1894 resettled refugees, assessed within 6 months of receiving a permanent visa in Australia, and again 2–3 years later. Variables measured included post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression/anxiety symptoms, interpersonal trust and engagement with refugees’ own and other communities.
A multilevel path analysis was conducted, with the final model evidencing good fit (Comparative Fit Index = 0.97, Tucker–Lewis Index = 0.89, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.05, Standardized Root-Mean-Square-Residual = 0.05). Findings revealed that high levels of depression symptoms were associated with lower subsequent engagement with refugees’ own communities. In contrast, low levels of interpersonal trust were associated with lower engagement with the host community over the same timeframe.
Findings point to differential pathways to social engagement in the medium-term post-resettlement. Results indicate that depression symptoms are linked to reduced engagement with one's own community, while interpersonal trust is implicated in engagement with the broader community in the host country. These findings have potentially important implications for policy and clinical practice, suggesting that clinical and support services should target psychological symptoms and interpersonal processes when fostering positive adaptation in resettled refugees.
A major hindrance to establishment of successful complementary forage systems that include warm-season perennial grasses and clovers is tolerance of the latter to herbicides available for weed control. Field experiments were conducted in 2013 at two locations in northeast Louisiana to evaluate simulated residual rate effects of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and 2,4-D plus picloram applied at 0, 0.25, 0.38, and 0.5× use rates immediately after fall planting of ball, white, crimson, and red clover. For all clovers, when averaged across herbicide rates, plant population 161/171 d after planting (DAP), ground cover, and height 184/196 DAP were equivalent for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and the nontreated control and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Averaged across clovers, plant height after all rates of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr was equivalent to the nontreated control (14.2 to 14.3 vs. 15.3 cm) and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at 25, 38, and 50% of the normal use rates reduced height 58, 76, and 85%, respectively. When averaged across clover species, yield for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr at all rates was equivalent to the nontreated control (2,624 to 2,840 vs. 2,812 kg ha−1). Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at the 0.25, 0.38, and 0.50× use rates reduced yield 65, 89, and 99%, respectively.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
Our review highlights research during the past century focussed on the population ecology of outbreak-prone insect defoliators in Canadian forests. Based on reports from national and provincial surveys that began in the 1930s, there have been at least 106 insect defoliators reported to outbreak, most of which are native Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera (sawflies), or Coleoptera (in order of frequency from most to least). Studies comparing life-history traits of outbreak versus non-outbreak species to better understand why certain species are more outbreak-prone indicate several traits especially common among outbreak species, including egg clustering and aggregative larval feeding. There have been at least 50 time-series studies examining the spatiotemporal population behaviour of 12 major defoliator species. These studies provide evidence for both regular periodicity and spatial synchrony of outbreaks for most major species. Life-table studies seeking to understand the agents causing populations to fluctuate have been carried out for at least seven outbreak species, with the majority identifying natural enemies (usually parasitoids) as the major driver of outbreak collapse. Our review concludes with several case studies highlighting the impact and historical underpinnings of population studies for major defoliator species and a discussion of potential avenues for future research.
An effective conservation strategy for a species requires knowledge of its biology and life history. This applies to the endangered Ma’oma’o Gymnomyza samoensis, a honeyeater endemic to the Samoan archipelago. Now locally extinct in American Samoa, this species is currently found only in declining numbers on the islands of Upolu and Savai’i in Samoa. Despite being endangered, the life history and breeding behaviour of the Ma’oma’o has not been documented previously. Here we examine Ma’oma’o nesting and breeding biology, which are unique among studied honeyeaters and unusual for passerines in general. Ma’oma’o lay only a single egg per clutch and have an extended breeding season that occurs outside the rainy season and peaks during budburst. Allometric analysis of the length of the nesting period of different honeyeaters versus adult body weight showed that Ma’oma’o remain in the nest for a longer period than expected for their body size. The post-fledging dependency period of 2.5–3 months was also extended compared to other honeyeater species. No Ma’oma’o were observed re-nesting after successfully raising a chick, though pairs attempted to re-nest following breeding failure. Despite the extended breeding season, the maximum annual reproductive capacity of Ma’oma’o is limited by their one-egg clutch and failure to nest again after fledging one chick. We discuss how these slow life history traits can influence conservation strategies, affect monitoring and limit recovery.
Intracranial volume (ICV) has been proposed as a measure of maximum lifetime brain size. Accurate ICV measures require neuroimaging which is not always feasible for epidemiologic investigations. We examined head circumference as a useful surrogate for ICV in older adults.
99 older adults underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). ICV was measured by Statistical Parametric Mapping 8 (SPM8) software or Functional MRI of the Brain Software Library (FSL) extraction with manual editing, typically considered the gold standard. Head circumferences were determined using standardized tape measurement. We examined estimated correlation coefficients between head circumference and the two MRI-based ICV measurements.
Head circumference and ICV by SPM8 were moderately correlated (overall r = 0.73, men r = 0.67, women r = 0.63). Head circumference and ICV by FSL were also moderately correlated (overall r = 0.69, men r = 0.63, women r = 0.49).
Head circumference measurement was strongly correlated with MRI-derived ICV. Our study presents a simple method to approximate ICV among older patients, which may prove useful as a surrogate for cognitive reserve in large scale epidemiologic studies of cognitive outcomes. This study also suggests the stability of head circumference correlation with ICV throughout the lifespan.