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The past few decades have seen the burgeoning of wide-field, high-cadence surveys, the most formidable of which will be the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) to be conducted by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. So new is the field of systematic time-domain survey astronomy; however, that major scientific insights will continue to be obtained using smaller, more flexible systems than the LSST. One such example is the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) whose primary science objective is the optical follow-up of gravitational wave events. The amount and rate of data production by GOTO and other wide-area, high-cadence surveys presents a significant challenge to data processing pipelines which need to operate in near-real time to fully exploit the time domain. In this study, we adapt the Rubin Observatory LSST Science Pipelines to process GOTO data, thereby exploring the feasibility of using this ‘off-the-shelf’ pipeline to process data from other wide-area, high-cadence surveys. In this paper, we describe how we use the LSST Science Pipelines to process raw GOTO frames to ultimately produce calibrated coadded images and photometric source catalogues. After comparing the measured astrometry and photometry to those of matched sources from PanSTARRS DR1, we find that measured source positions are typically accurate to subpixel levels, and that measured L-band photometries are accurate to $\sim50$ mmag at $m_L\sim16$ and $\sim200$ mmag at $m_L\sim18$. These values compare favourably to those obtained using GOTO’s primary, in-house pipeline, gotophoto, in spite of both pipelines having undergone further development and improvement beyond the implementations used in this study. Finally, we release a generic ‘obs package’ that others can build upon, should they wish to use the LSST Science Pipelines to process data from other facilities.
Women of childbearing age often experience mental health problems, receive psychotropic medication and are admitted to mental health units. Approximately 40% of pregnancies are unplanned and many women experience perinatal mental health problems. It is therefore vital that consideration is given to reproductive health in mental health policy. We aimed to evaluate the consideration of pregnancy and breastfeeding in the policies of an inpatient mental health service.
The policies of a regional inpatient psychiatric unit were independently reviewed by two researchers. Policies that had implications for pregnancy and breastfeeding for patients were identified. Whether or not these policies considered pregnancy and breastfeeding and the detail of this consideration was evaluated.
One hundred and thirteen policies were evaluated. Forty had implications for pregnancy but only 10 of these mentioned pregnancy and only 3 in detail. Only 3 of the 28 policies that had relevance to breastfeeding mothers mentioned it and none discussed it in detail. Key areas of omission included prescribing, seclusion and restraint and cultural and religious considerations.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding were almost entirely absent in the ward policies of our inpatient unit. Their consideration in the acute setting is vital. An individual or group of individuals should be responsible for ensuring that reproductive health is considered in all policies as well as in a larger specific policy suitable for referencing. The rights of the reproductive woman should be comprehensively considered in inpatient mental health care policy.
Although there is growing interest in mental health problems in university students there is limited understanding of the scope of need and determinants to inform intervention efforts.
To longitudinally examine the extent and persistence of mental health symptoms and the importance of psychosocial and lifestyle factors for student mental health and academic outcomes.
Undergraduates at a Canadian university were invited to complete electronic surveys at entry and completion of their first year. The baseline survey measured important distal and proximal risk factors and the follow-up assessed mental health and well-being. Surveys were linked to academic grades. Multivariable models of risk factors and mental health and academic outcomes were fit and adjusted for confounders.
In 1530 students surveyed at entry to university 28% and 33% screened positive for clinically significant depressive and anxiety symptoms respectively, which increased to 36% and 39% at the completion of first year. Over the academic year, 14% of students reported suicidal thoughts and 1.6% suicide attempts. Moreover, there was persistence and overlap in these mental health outcomes. Modifiable psychosocial and lifestyle factors at entry were associated with positive screens for mental health outcomes at completion of first year, while anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with lower grades and university well-being.
Clinically significant mental health symptoms are common and persistent among first-year university students and have a negative impact on academic performance and well-being. A comprehensive mental health strategy that includes a whole university approach to prevention and targeted early-intervention measures and associated research is justified.
Research is needed to identify the factors that explain the link between prior and future suicidality. This study evaluated possible mediators of the relationship between: (1) the severity of prior suicidality and (2) suicidal ideation severity at 3-month follow-up among a sample of high-risk military personnel.
US military service members referred to or seeking care for suicide risk (N = 624) completed self-report psychiatric domain measures and a clinician interview assessing prior suicidality severity at baseline. Three months later, participants completed a self-report measure of suicidal ideation severity. Three separate percentile bootstrap mediation models were used to examine psychiatric factors (i.e. alcohol abuse, anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, insomnia, posttraumatic stress symptoms, suicidal ideation, and thwarted belongingness) as parallel mediators of the relationship between prior suicidality severity (specifically, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and overall suicidality – i.e. ideation/attempt severity combined) at baseline and suicidal ideation severity at follow-up.
Hopelessness, specifically, and the total effect of all mediators, each significantly accounted for the relationship between prior suicidality severity and subsequent ideation severity across models. In the models with attempt severity and overall suicidality severity as predictors, thwarted belongingness was also a significant mediator.
Hopelessness, thwarted belongingness, and overall severity of psychiatric indices may explain the relationship between prior suicidality severity and future suicidal ideation severity among service members at elevated suicide risk. Research is needed to replicate these findings and examine other possible mediators.
As a pilot study to investigate whether personalized medicine approaches could have value for the reduction of malaria-related mortality in young children, we evaluated questionnaire and biomarker data collected from the Mother Offspring Malaria Study Project birth cohort (Muheza, Tanzania, 2002–2006) at the time of delivery as potential prognostic markers for pediatric severe malarial anemia. Severe malarial anemia, defined here as a Plasmodium falciparum infection accompanied by hemoglobin levels below 50 g/L, is a key manifestation of life-threatening malaria in high transmission regions. For this study sample, a prediction model incorporating cord blood levels of interleukin-1β provided the strongest discrimination of severe malarial anemia risk with a C-index of 0.77 (95% CI 0.70–0.84), whereas a pragmatic model based on sex, gravidity, transmission season at delivery, and bed net possession yielded a more modest C-index of 0.63 (95% CI 0.54–0.71). Although additional studies, ideally incorporating larger sample sizes and higher event per predictor ratios, are needed to externally validate these prediction models, the findings provide proof of concept that risk score-based screening programs could be developed to avert severe malaria cases in early childhood.
Hosts strongly influence parasite fitness. However, it is challenging to disentangle host effects on genetic vs plasticity-driven traits of parasites, since parasites can evolve quickly. It remains especially difficult to determine the causes and magnitude of parasite plasticity. In successive generations, parasites may respond plastically to better infect their current type of host, or hosts may produce generally ‘good’ or ‘bad’ quality parasites. Here, we characterized parasite plasticity by taking advantage of a system in which the parasite (the yeast Metschnikowia bicuspidata, which infects Daphnia) has no detectable heritable variation, preventing rapid evolution. In experimental infection assays, we found an effect of rearing host genotype on parasite infectivity, where host genotypes produced overall high or low quality parasite spores. Additionally, these plastically induced differences were gained or lost in just a single host generation. Together, these results demonstrate phenotypic plasticity in infectivity driven by the within-host rearing environment. Such plasticity is rarely investigated in parasites, but could shape epidemiologically important traits.
Genetic diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi may play a role in pathogenesis of Chagas disease forms. Natural populations are classified into 6 Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) Tc I-VI with taxonomical status. This study aimed to identify T. cruzi DTUs in bloodstream and tissue samples of Argentinean patients with Chagas disease. PCR-based strategies allowed DTU identification in 256 clinical samples from 239 Argentinean patients. Tc V prevailed in blood from both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases and Tc I was more frequent in bloodstream, cardiac tissues and chagoma samples from immunosuppressed patients. Tc II and VI were identified in a minority of cases, while Tc III and Tc IV were not detected in the studied population. Interestingly, Tc I and Tc II/VI sequences were amplified from the same skin biopsy slice from a kidney transplant patient suffering Chagas disease reactivation. Further data also revealed the occurrence of mixed DTU populations in the human chronic infection. In conclusion, our findings provide evidence of the complexity of the dynamics of T. cruzi diversity in the natural history of human Chagas disease and allege the pathogenic role of DTUs I, II, V and VI in the studied population.
Choline is an essential nutrient and can also be obtained by de novo synthesis via an oestrogen responsive pathway. Choline can be oxidised to the methyl donor betaine, with short-term supplementation reported to lower plasma total homocysteine (tHcy); however, the effects of longer-term choline supplementation are less clear. We investigated the effect of choline supplementation on plasma concentrations of free choline, betaine and tHcy and B-vitamin status in postmenopausal women, a group more susceptible to low choline status. We also assessed whether supplementation altered plasma lipid profiles. In this randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, forty-two healthy postmenopausal women received 1 g choline per d (as choline bitartrate), or an identical placebo supplement with their habitual diet. Fasting blood samples were collected at baseline, week 6 and week 12. Administration of choline increased median choline and betaine concentrations in plasma, with significant effects evident after 6 weeks of supplementation (P < 0·001) and remaining significant at 12 weeks (P < 0·001); no effect was observed on folate status or on plasma lipids. Choline supplementation induced a median (25th, 75th percentile) change in plasma tHcy concentration at week 6 of − 0·9 ( − 1·6, 0·2) μmol, a change which, when compared to that observed in the placebo group 0·6 ( − 0·4, 1·9) μmol, approached statistical significance (P = 0·058). Choline supplementation at a dose of 1 g/d significantly increases the circulating concentration of free choline, and can also significantly increase the concentration of the methyl donor, betaine, thereby potentially enhancing the betaine–homocysteine methyltransferase-mediated remethylation of tHcy. This trial was registered at http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN82708510.
To characterise the diets of pregnant women in the Republic of Seychelles and to determine the contribution of fish to intakes of nutrients important for fetal and neonatal development.
Observational, prospective study.
Seychelles Child Development Centre, Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.
Subjects and methods
Pregnant women (n 300) were recruited at their first visit to an antenatal clinic. At 28 weeks’ gestation subjects completed a 4 d diet diary (n 273) and intakes were analysed using dietary analysis software.
Mean (sd) energy intake was 9·0 (2·5) MJ/d and fat intakes were higher than UK recommendations for almost two-thirds of the cohort. Fish consumption was lower than in previous surveys, suggesting a move towards a more Westernised diet. Low intakes of a number of nutrients important during pregnancy for fetal development (Fe, Zn, Se and iodine) were observed. However, women who met the current recommendations for these nutrients consumed significantly more fish than those who did not (97 v. 73 g/d).
The present study highlights the importance of fish in the diet of pregnant Seychellois women for ensuring adequate intakes of micronutrients important in fetal development. Dietary patterns in Seychelles, however, are in a state of transition, with a move towards a Western-style diet as evidenced by higher fat and lower fish intakes. If these dietary trends continue and fish consumption declines further, micronutrient status may be compromised. These findings suggest caution in establishing public health policies that promote limitation of fish intake during pregnancy.
Ruminant feeding regimes that include grass finishing are known to increase the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) content of beef and lamb. By contrast, concentrate finishing produces meat with increased n-6 PUFA concentrations. There is strong evidence that increasing the ratio of n-3: n-6 PUFA in the diet has beneficial effects for human health. In Northern Ireland, it is likely that feeding regimes are predominantly grass-based; therefore beef and lamb could contain appreciable amounts of n-3 PUFA. However, an analysis of types of finishing diets used by farms in Northern Ireland has not been done. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of grass and concentrate finishing in farms in Northern Ireland.