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Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
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.
The Canadian Entomologist and its associated publications (Supplements of The Canadian Entomologist and Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada) have served as important outlets for taxonomic contributions on arthropods since 1868. A survey of beetle (Coleoptera) publications therein has revealed that 2276 species-group, 136 genus-group, and seven family-group taxa were first described in 492 scientific articles. New beetles were described in 67 families by 165 authors. We document trends of beetle descriptions over time, by taxonomic group and by the origin of the new taxa. We also provide biographical notices of the entomologists who described the new taxa. We believe that The Canadian Entomologist will continue to be coveted as a suitable outlet for taxonomic works in the future.
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 paper presents 5 kHz stereo particle image velocimetry and OH planar laser induced fluorescence measurements of transversely forced swirl flames. The presence of transverse forcing on this naturally unstable flow both influences the natural instabilities, as well as amplifies disturbances that may not necessarily manifest themselves during natural oscillations. By manipulating the structure of the acoustic forcing field, both axisymmetric and helical modes are preferentially excited away from the frequency of natural instability. The paper presents a method for spatially interpolating the phase locked
planar velocity and flame position data, extracting the full three-dimensional structure of the helical disturbances. These helical disturbances are also decomposed into symmetric and anti-symmetric disturbances about the jet core, showing the subsequent axial evolution (in magnitude and phase) of each of these underlying disturbances. It is shown that out-of-phase acoustic forcing excites
modes, but the flow field preferentially amplifies the counter-winding, co-rotating helical disturbance over the co-winding, counter-rotating helical disturbance. This causes the flow and flame to transition from a transverse flapping near the jet exit to a precessing motion further downstream. In contrast, in-phase forcing promotes axisymmetric
disturbances which dominate the flow field over the entire axial domain. In both cases, the amplitudes of the anti-symmetric disturbances about the jet core grow with downstream distance before saturating and decaying, while the symmetric disturbances appear nearly negligible. It is suggested that this saturation and decay is due to linear effects (e.g. a negative spatial growth rate), rather than nonlinear interactions.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was initially developed for adult members of the community to help prepare for disasters and minimize damage when disasters occur. CERTs also served as a tool for building community capacity and self-sufficiency by supporting a diverse group of people working together in dealing with challenges affecting their communities. The novel approach to CERTs described here sought to involve high-risk youth from low-socioeconomic status communities in CERTs and first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to help them build ties with communities, stay off the streets, and become leaders in the community. It also helped to provide different perspectives on life, while building more resilient communities better prepared to minimize damage when a disaster strikes. After the successful launch of the first high-risk teen CERT cohort in Watts (27 CERT-trained and 14 first aid/CPR-trained), the project was expanded to other community groups and organizations. Seven additional cohorts underwent CERT and first aid/CPR training in 2013 through 2014. This initiative increased CERT visibility within South Los Angeles. New partnerships were developed between governmental, nongovernmental, and community-based organizations and groups. This model can be used to expand CERT programs to other communities and organizations by involving high-risk teens or other high-risk groups in CERT training. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:605–609)
The amount of Arctic sea ice predicted by the Hadley Centre Global Cilimate
Model (GCM) is evaluated using 15 years of passive-microwave data. While the
Hadley model reproduces the seasonal cycle reasonably well, it
underestimates the total area of sea ice by more than 3 × 106
km2 for most of the year. In the winter months, most of the
underestimate in ice area results from the prediction of far too little ice
in Hudson Bay and the Sea of Okhotsk, leading to an excess of up to 0.2 PW
heat input to the atmosphere from Hudson Bay alone. The surface-energy
budget of Hudson Bay is investigated using a mixture of surface observations
(POLES), satellite data (ATSR, SSM/I and ISCCP) and output from the Goddard
Data Assimilation Office analysis. Flux adjustments of the order of 200
Wm−2, resulting from anomalously high sea-surface temperatures
in the Levitus (1982) climatology,
are found to be the cause of the model’s underestimation of sea ice in both
Hudson Bay and the Sea of Okhotsk. The fact that flux adjustments based on
an inaccurate climatology will produce errors, even if the model physics is
correct, underlines the need both for improved climatologies and for models
accurate enough not to require flux adjustment.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.