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There is a rich history of work on paramasticatory and masticatory adaptations underlying phenotypic diversity in the feeding apparatus of lorisiform primates (Dumont, 1997; Nash, 1986a; Ravosa et al., 2010; Vinyard, 2007; Vinyard et al., 2003, 2007; Williams et al., 2002). Related studies have addressed the ontogenetic underpinnings of size-related patterns of craniomandibular covariation in lorisids and galagids, which constitute the two extant families of lorisiforms (Ravosa, 1998, 2007; Ravosa et al., 2010). Despite longstanding interest in the unique circumorbital region of taxa such as the slender loris (Cartmill, 1972), less well known is the role of allometry on variation in the circumorbital form of lorisiform and lemuriform strepsirrhines (Ravosa et al., 2006).
The spread of invasive, non-native species is a key threat to biodiversity. Parasites can play a significant role by influencing their invasive host's survival or behaviour, which can subsequently alter invasion dynamics. The North American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is a known carrier of Aphanomyces astaci, an oomycete pathogen that is the causative agent of crayfish plague and fatal to European crayfish species, whereas North American species are considered to be largely resistant. There is some evidence, however, that North American species, can also succumb to crayfish plague, though how A. astaci affects such ‘reservoir hosts’ is rarely considered. Here, we tested the impact of A. astaci infection on signal crayfish, by assessing juvenile survival and adult behaviour following exposure to A. astaci zoospores. Juvenile signal crayfish suffered high mortality 4-weeks post-hatching, but not as older juveniles. Furthermore, adult signal crayfish with high-infection levels displayed altered behaviours, being less likely to leave the water, explore terrestrial areas and exhibit escape responses. Overall, we reveal that A. astaci infection affects signal crayfish to a much greater extent than previously considered, which may not only have direct consequences for invasions, but could substantially affect commercially harvested signal crayfish stocks worldwide.
Enterococcus causes clinically significant bloodstream infections (BSIs). In centers with a higher prevalence of vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) colonization, a common clinical question is whether empiric treatment directed against VRE should be initiated in the setting of a suspected enterococcal BSI. Unfortunately, VRE treatment options are limited, and relatively expensive, and subject patients to the risk of adverse reactions. We hypothesized that the results of VRE colonization screening could predict vancomycin resistance in enterococcal BSI.
We reviewed 370 consecutive cases of enterococcal BSI over a 7-year period at 2 tertiary-care hospitals to determine whether vancomycin-resistant BSIs could be predicted based on known colonization status (ie, patients with swabs performed within 30 days, more remotely, or never tested). We calculated sensitivity and specificity, and we plotted negative predictives values (NPVs) and positive predictive values (PPVs) as a function of prevalence.
A negative screening swab within 30 days of infection yielded NPVs of 90% and 95% in settings where <27.0% and 15.0% of enterococcal BSI are resistant to vancomycin, respectively. In patients with known VRE colonization, the PPV for VRE in enterococcal BSI was >50% at any prevalence exceeding 25%.
The results of a negative VRE screening test result performed within 30 days can help eliminate unnecessary empiric therapy in patients with suspected enterococcal BSI. Conversely, patients with positive VRE screening swabs require careful consideration of empiric VRE-directed therapy when enterococcal BSI appears likely.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has called for more comprehensive research with priority populations to reduce disparities and for the development of additional resources to assist researchers in implementing these recommendations. Here we report the development and initial evaluation of five Priority Populations Toolkits, which are resources developed by the University of Illinois Center for Clinical and Translational Science to meet these goals. Three aims guide the content: increasing knowledge, facilitating communication, and improving research design. Materials were curated from scientific literature reviews and Internet searches and revised iteratively. Analytics and user surveys provide information about usage. In 22 months, 387 unique users accessed the toolkits. The top reason for usage was to improve research recruitment. Comprehensive toolkits for working with priority populations show promising potential for increasing knowledge and readiness to work with underrepresented populations. Further toolkit development and evaluation of effectiveness are warranted.
Nonnative annual brome invasion is a major problem in many ecosystems throughout the semiarid Intermountain West, decreasing production and biodiversity. Herbicides are the most widely used control technique but can have negative effects on co-occurring species. Graminicides, or grass-specific herbicides, may be able to control annual bromes without harming forbs and shrubs in restoration settings, but limited studies have addressed this potential. This study focused on evaluating the efficacy of glyphosate and four graminicides to control annual bromes, specifically downy brome and Japanese brome. In a greenhouse, glyphosate and four graminicides (clethodim, sethoxydim, fluazifop-P-butyl, and quizalofop-P-ethyl) were applied at two rates to downy brome plants of different heights (Experiment 1) and to three accessions of downy brome and Japanese brome of one height (Experiment 2). All herbicides reduced downy brome biomass, with most effective control on plants of less than 11 cm and with less than 12 leaves. Overall, quizalofop-P-ethyl and fluazifop-P-butyl treatments were most effective, and glyphosate and sethoxydim treatments least effective. Accessions demonstrated variable response to herbicides: the downy brome accession from the undisturbed site was more susceptible to herbicides than downy brome from the disturbed accession and Japanese brome accessions. These results demonstrate the potential for graminicides to target these annual bromes in ecosystems where they are growing intermixed with desired forbs and shrubs.
This study used a single case experimental design to investigate the use of the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders (UP) among a sample of individuals with depression and anxiety who also presented with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Eight women received individual treatment with the UP over the course of 14–16 treatment sessions, and were assessed for anxiety and depression severity on a weekly basis over a 2–6 week baseline period and throughout treatment. Three of the eight participants demonstrated reliable pre- to post-treatment clinical improvements on depression and stress scales, and one participant demonstrated a reliable reduction on an anxiety scale. Two participants demonstrated a reliable improvement in overall anxiety. The results indicate that the UP applied to individuals diagnosed with primary BPD may lead to clinical improvement in depression, stress and anxiety for some individuals. However, the majority of individuals with BPD in our sample did not show strong improvement, and this suggests the need for additional sessions of UP or an intervention that focuses on the symptoms of BPD specifically for some women.
Key learning aims
(1)To describe the applicability of the Unified Protocol in the treatment of individuals with borderline personality and co-occurring anxiety or depression.
(2)To understand the value of utilizing a transdiagnostic approach as an alternative to diagnosis-specific approaches to treatment.
(3)To identify the four core modules of the Unified Protocol and describe the general format for individual treatment.
Despite the significant health disparities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations, few investigators affiliated with the National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award Programs are conducting research related to this underserved population. We provide recommendations shared during a half-day workshop aimed at increasing researcher readiness to conduct LGBT research. This workshop was presented as part of a series on conducting research with underserved populations offered by the Recruitment, Retention, and Community Engagement Program of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Six LGBT health research experts provided focused presentations. The workshop presentations included a summary of significant health inequality issues, theoretical models relevant to research on LGBT health, best practices in measuring sexual orientation and gender identity, recommendations for recruitment and retention, a discussion of community engagement, and ethical considerations in conducting LGBT research. We provide a summary of recommendations to guide future research, training, and public policy related to LGBT health. The information can increase capacity among Clinical and Translational Science Award affiliated researchers in conducting research in this special population.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Preparing investigators to competently conduct community-engaged research is critical to achieving Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program goals. The purpose of this study is to describe the perspectives of members of a long-standing community engagement advisory board (CEAB) on investigators’ readiness to engage communities and indicators of investigator competence in community-engaged research, in order to suggest core competencies to guide the development of CTSA-sponsored educational programs. Two 90-minute focus groups were conducted with a subset of members of a CEAB (n=19) affiliated with the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. CEAB members identified a range of investigator skills and practices that demonstrate readiness to engage in community-engaged research. Eight competencies were identified that should be incorporated in providing education to enhance the readiness and competency of CTSA-affiliated researchers planning to engage communities in research. CEAB observations demonstrate the necessity of developing competency-based educational programs that prepare clinical and translational scientists at all levels for the important work of community-engaged research.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Background: Failure to involve hard-to-reach
populations in clinical research denies the potential benefits of research to
the excluded groups, perpetuating health disparities. Employing community health
workers (CHWs) may be an effective strategy to increase outreach and engagement
of marginalized groups. CHWs are members of the target communities with a
personal commitment to help their neighbors, and who serve as informants and
communicators among their peers. CHWs may be particularly effective in
addressing individual and cultural barriers to research participation. Because
of their unique background and community-based roles, tailored training programs
for CHWs are needed. The Recruitment, Retention, and Community Engagement
Program at the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences seeks to train
CHWs to be involved in the recruitment and enrollment of participants in
clinical trials. We developed an 8-hour training that covers basic research
methods (e.g., randomized clinical trials, longitudinal studies); research
activities (e.g., surveys, interviews); and research ethics. The training
focuses on the development of communication skills necessary for ethical
recruitment and informed consent, providing strategies for addressing mistrust,
fear and misunderstanding around the research process. Aim 1: To evaluate the
feasibility of the CHW training by assessing. Aim 1.1: Recruitment of
participants; Aim 1.2: Completion of training session (8 hr). Aim 2: To evaluate
acceptability of training by assessing. Aim 2.1: Satisfaction with training; Aim
2.2: Cultural competence of training content; Aim 2.3: Participant self-efficacy
in reproducing information. Aim 3: To collect performance measures by assessing.
Aim 3.1: Knowledge gain and retention; Aim 3.2: Self-efficacy in identifying and
addressing negative beliefs about research; Aim 3.3: Participants’
readiness to refer and/or recommend participation in clinical trials.
METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Methods: This is a pilot study with a
single-group repeated-measures design with assessments at baseline, 1 week
post-test, and 3- and 6-month follow-ups. We aim to recruit 25 CHWs working with
organizations serving the needs of ethnic minorities in Chicago. We will
evaluate feasibility (recruitment, completion of training and assessments) and
acceptability of the training (satisfaction with training, cultural
appropriateness of content and delivery, participant self-efficacy in
reproducing information). Performance measures assessed through
self-administered surveys at baseline, 1 week post-training, 3 months, and 6
months will include knowledge, attitudes toward research, and self-efficacy in
identifying and addressing barriers to participation. Readiness to recruit and
obtain informed consent will be assessed during an observed simulation activity
with a standardized participant. Data analysis: Demographic data will be
collected, and descriptive and inferential analyses will be conducted. Pretest
and post-test questionnaire data will be compared using
t-tests. In the informed consent simulation, individuals will
be scored on whether they adequately addressed required elements of the informed
consent process. Data gathered from the informed consent simulation will also be
used for program evaluation and formative purposes; feedback on strengths and
areas for improvement will be provided to participants.
RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Expected results: It will be feasible to
implement the training of CHWs, reaching the expected goal of 25 participants,
with at least 70% of them completing the 8-hour training. We expect
to collect data demonstrating acceptability of the training with a score of
“good” or “excellent” by
70% of participants. At least 70% will rate the training
as “culturally acceptable” or better, and will show
improved self-efficacy in the delivery of information from pretest to post-test
by at least 30%. Performance measures will demonstrate improvements
in research knowledge by 30% from pretest to post-test; increased
self-efficacy in identifying and addressing negative beliefs about research
process, by at least 30%. A minimum of 70% of participants
will demonstrate readiness to refer and/or recommend participation in
clinical trials by scoring at or above 70% in evaluation of
performance with standardized participants. Evaluation of knowledge retention at
3 and 6 months post-training will not take place before the Translational
Science Conference in March 2018. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT:
Discussion/Impact. The outcomes of this evaluation may advance our
knowledge of community obstacles to participation in research, and shed light on
successful strategies to address them. Information obtained will be used to
address limitations of the training. Even though the sample is small we expect
to identify trends in quantitative measures that will support an application for
funding for a larger randomized study. Once we have developed an effective
training model, we expect to disseminate it to other CTSAs for broad
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Community engagement is deemed as critical to the success of the CTSA program. In 2009, to improve research engagement and build capacity for community-engaged research across the translational spectrum, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago created a Community Engagement Advisory Board (CEAB). Here, we report results of our ongoing evaluation efforts.
CEAB activities are evaluated using mixed methods. Annual CEAB evaluation surveys were completed from 2010 to 2016 (n=106 respondents). In 2014, two 90-minute focus groups were conducted with a subset of recent CEAB members (n=19).
Survey data suggest respondents perceive their consultations to be helpful in improving the capacity of researchers (90%) and the quality of research projects (80%). Further, CEAB members perceive themselves to have personally benefitted from their involvement including obtaining new knowledge (84%), expansion of their networks (76%), and forming new community linkages (51%). Results of the qualitative data were consistent with survey data.
Our CEAB has improved research engagement and developed institutional capacity to conduct community-engaged research in several ways. Our findings can inform the establishment or enhancement of community engagement services for CTSA-affiliated researchers and community partners.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the formation, operation, and evaluation of a Community Engagement Advisory Board (CEAB) that serves as a resource of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS).
Current CEAB roles and functions, operating procedures for research consultations and program evaluation strategies were described. Investigators receiving a consultation from 2009 to 2017 (n=91, response rate 78%) were surveyed via an online survey immediately after the consultation and at 12-month follow-up.
Overall, CEAB members were viewed as having sufficient information (92%) and expertise (79%) to provide consultation. Satisfaction levels with the specific consultation received and the overall consultation service were high. The majority of investigators indicated that they would come back to the CEAB for a future consultation, if needed, and would recommend a consultation to others (93% and 96%, respectively). At 12-months, 87% of respondents indicated they had implemented at least some of the recommendations received and 93% said that the consultation influenced their subsequent research.
Data from recent annual evaluations highlight the benefits of CEAB for consulting investigators. Our model can be used to inform the development of future CEAB boards.
The purpose of this study was to obtain feedback from a diverse group of community advisory board members about different clinic or hospital-based approaches to increasing research participation.
Members of an established community engagement advisory board (n=16) provided qualitative and survey data regarding attitudes and preferences for 3 hospital and clinic system strategies to recruit patients into clinical research including universal consent for research, patient registries, and patient portals.
Overall, there was moderate support for each of the 3 approaches discussed. Board members described advantages and disadvantages of each method. Based on the qualitative data, universal consent was viewed as the best strategy for consenting high volumes of patients for research. However, patient registries and portals were seen as more acceptable, less-intrusive and more likely to result in higher participation rates. Survey data were consistent with qualitative findings.
Input from community stakeholders is needed to identify strategies to enhance participation and increase diversity in clinical research. Members of our CEAB identified patient registries and portals as feasible and nonintrusive approaches to increasing research participation. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings and to establish best practices for supporting patients in using registry approaches.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Recent modelling estimates up to two-thirds of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men occur within partnerships, indicating the importance of dyadic HIV prevention efforts. Although new interventions are available to promote dyadic health-enhancing behaviours, minimal research has examined what factors influence partners’ mutual engagement in these behaviours, a critical component of intervention success. Actor-partner interdependence modelling was used to examine associations between relationship characteristics and several dyadic outcomes theorised as antecedents to health-enhancing behaviours: planning and decision making, communication, and joint effort. Among 270 male-male partnerships, relationship satisfaction was significantly associated with all three outcomes for actors (p = .02, .02, .06 respectively). Latino men reported poorer planning and decision making (actor p = .032) and communication (partner p = .044). Alcohol use was significantly and negatively associated with all outcomes except actors’ planning and decision making (actors: p = .11, .038, .004 respectively; partners: p = .03, .056, .02 respectively). Having a sexual agreement was significantly associated with actors’ planning and decision making (p = .007) and communication (p = .008). Focusing on interactions between partners produces a more comprehensive understanding of male couples’ ability to engage in health-enhancing behaviours. This knowledge further identifies new and important foci for the tailoring of dyadic HIV prevention and care interventions.
Healthcare provider hands are an important source of intraoperative bacterial transmission events associated with postoperative infection development.
To explore the efficacy of a novel hand hygiene improvement system leveraging provider proximity and individual and group performance feedback in reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections via increased provider hourly hand decontamination events.
Randomized, prospective study.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and UMass Memorial Medical Center in Massachusetts.
Patients undergoing surgery.
Operating room environments were randomly assigned to usual intraoperative hand hygiene or to a personalized, body-worn hand hygiene system. Anesthesia and circulating nurse provider hourly hand decontamination events were continuously monitored and reported. All patients were followed prospectively for the development of 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections.
A total of 3,256 operating room environments and patients (1,620 control and 1,636 treatment) were enrolled. The mean (SD) provider hand decontamination event rate achieved was 4.3 (2.9) events per hour, an approximate 8-fold increase in hand decontamination events above that of conventional wall-mounted devices (0.57 events/hour); P<.001. Use of the hand hygiene system was not associated with a reduction in healthcare-associated infections (odds ratio, 1.07 [95% CI, 0.82–1.40], P=.626).
The hand hygiene system evaluated in this study increased the frequency of hand decontamination events without reducing 30-day postoperative healthcare-associated infections. Future work is indicated to optimize the efficacy of this hand hygiene improvement strategy.
The main objective of our target article was to sketch the empirical case for the importance of selection at the level of groups on cultural variation. Such variation is massive in humans, but modest or absent in other species. Group selection processes acting on this variation is a framework for developing explanations of the unusual level of cooperation between non-relatives found in our species. Our case for cultural group selection (CGS) followed Darwin's classic syllogism regarding natural selection: If variation exists at the level of groups, if this variation is heritable, and if it plays a role in the success or failure of competing groups, then selection will operate at the level of groups. We outlined the relevant domains where such evidence can be sought and characterized the main conclusions of work in those domains. Most commentators agree that CGS plays some role in human evolution, although some were considerably more skeptical. Some contributed additional empirical cases. Some raised issues of the scope of CGS explanations versus competing ones.
Silver Lake is the modern terminal playa of the Mojave River in southern California (USA). As a result, it is well located to record both influences from the winter precipitation dominated San Bernardino Mountains – the source of the Mojave River – and from the late summer to early fall North American monsoon at Silver Lake. Here, we present various physical, chemical and biological data from a new radiocarbon-dated, 8.2 m sediment core taken from Silver Lake that spans modern through 14.8 cal ka BP. Texturally, the core varies between sandy clay, clayey sand, and sand-silt-clay, often with abrupt sedimentological transitions. These grain-size changes are used to divide the core into six lake status intervals over the past 14.8 cal ka BP. Notable intervals include a dry Younger Dryas chronozone, a wet early Holocene terminating 7.8 – 7.4 cal ka BP, a distinct mid-Holocene arid interval, and a late Holocene return to ephemeral lake conditions. A comparison to potential climatic forcings implicates a combination of changing summer – winter insolation and tropical and N Pacific sea-surface temperature dynamics as the primary drivers of Holocene climate in the central Mojave Desert.