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In April 2019, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released its recovery plan for the jaguar Panthera onca after several decades of discussion, litigation and controversy about the status of the species in the USA. The USFWS estimated that potential habitat, south of the Interstate-10 highway in Arizona and New Mexico, had a carrying capacity of c. six jaguars, and so focused its recovery programme on areas south of the USA–Mexico border. Here we present a systematic review of the modelling and assessment efforts over the last 25 years, with a focus on areas north of Interstate-10 in Arizona and New Mexico, outside the recovery unit considered by the USFWS. Despite differences in data inputs, methods, and analytical extent, the nine previous studies found support for potential suitable jaguar habitat in the central mountain ranges of Arizona and New Mexico. Applying slightly modified versions of the USFWS model and recalculating an Arizona-focused model over both states provided additional confirmation. Extending the area of consideration also substantially raised the carrying capacity of habitats in Arizona and New Mexico, from six to 90 or 151 adult jaguars, using the modified USFWS models. This review demonstrates the crucial ways in which choosing the extent of analysis influences the conclusions of a conservation plan. More importantly, it opens a new opportunity for jaguar conservation in North America that could help address threats from habitat losses, climate change and border infrastructure.
Sports medicine clinicians face conflicts of interest in providing medical care to athletes. Using a survey of college football players, this study evaluates whether athletes are aware of these conflicts of interest, whether these conflicts affect athlete trust in their health care providers, or whether conflicts or athletes' trust in stakeholders are associated with athletes' injury reporting behaviors.
In a survey on research misconduct, roughly 20% of the respondents admitted that they have submitted federal grant proposals that include scholars as research participants even though those scholars were not expected to contribute to the research effort. This manuscript argues that adding such false investigators is illegal, violating multiple federal statutes including the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. §1001), the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. §3729), and False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Claims (18 U.S.C. §287). Moreover, it is not only the offending academics and the false investigators that face civil and criminal penalties because administrators may also be liable if they sign off on proposals and are in a position to know that false investigators might be included. Policy recommendations that should reduce the use of false investigators include changing institutional cultures, better training and oversight of the responsible conduct of research, and, most importantly, making all grant reviews double blind.
Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk of various chronic diseases. One hypothesized pathway is via changes in diet quality. This study evaluated whether PTSD was associated with deterioration in diet quality over time.
Data were from 51 965 women in the Nurses' Health Study II PTSD sub-study followed over 20 years. Diet, assessed at 4-year intervals, was characterized via the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI). Based on information from the Brief Trauma Questionnaire and Short Screening Scale for DSM-IV PTSD, trauma/PTSD status was classified as no trauma exposure, prevalent exposure (trauma/PTSD onset before study entry), or new-onset (trauma/PTSD onset during follow-up). We further categorized women with prevalent exposure as having trauma with no PTSD symptoms, trauma with low PTSD symptoms, and trauma with high PTSD symptoms, and created similar categories for women with new-onset exposure, resulting in seven comparison groups. Multivariable linear mixed-effects spline models tested differences in diet quality changes by trauma/PTSD status over follow-up.
Overall, diet quality improved over time regardless of PTSD status. In age-adjusted models, compared to those with no trauma, women with prevalent high PTSD and women with new-onset high PTSD symptoms had 3.3% and 3.6% lower improvement in diet quality, respectively, during follow-up. Associations remained consistent after adjusting for health conditions, sociodemographics, and behavioral characteristics.
PTSD is associated with less healthy changes in overall diet quality over time. Poor diet quality may be one pathway linking PTSD with a higher risk of chronic disease development.
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons (MIC). We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
Liquid phase analysis dominates the field of blood diagnostics and requires drawing blood volumes of several ml for each test. To achieve acceptable accuracy, each single liquid blood test requires ∼7 mL per blood sample, and repeated blood tests are often needed. Frequent testing ca result in Hospital Acquired Anemia for infants, chronically ill, and critically ill patients. Blood testing methods that can be utilized with small amounts of blood are a critical need to save lives. Theranos claimed to have developed novel methods requiring only a few nL of blood. However, Theranos’ techniques led to errors that exceeded beyond the medically acceptable threshold of 10%. This work investigates solid state blood analysis using low volumes of several µL. The most common blood tests used as first line for diagnostics and monitoring patients’ status, always include blood electrolytes, iron, and in some cases, heavy metals.
The present work investigates the formation of rapidly solidified Homogeneous Thin Solid Films (HTSFs) formed from blood drops, in order to make them suitable for solid state analysis in vacuo and in air. The solidification of ∼5 micro-liter (µL)-sized blood droplets into HTSFs is studied with two goals: achieve reproducible HTSFs optimized for producing accurate analysis, and successfully measure the potential accuracy of measurements made on HTSFs for blood electrolytes Na, K, Mg, Ca, and Cl and heavy metals such as Fe.
The blood volumes selected for this work are in the µL range, one thousandth volumes drawn for current liquid phase analysis. Balanced Saline Solution (BSS) is used as an initial liquid for testing solidification uniformity and a potential calibration material. Next, canine and human blood are studied on two types of HemaDropTM coatings for solidification: super-hydrophilic and hyper-hydrophilic. HTSF formation from BSS and blood drops are compared on both coated and uncoated surfaces.
Three solid state analytical methods are investigated in parallel to probe composition at different depths and test each for reproducibility and accuracy: Ion Beam Analysis (IBA), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). The results show that using solid films of blood yields composition, which can be reproducibly measured by IBA, XPS and XRF to varying degrees. XPS’s depth of analysis, limited to ∼5 nm, probes a small fraction of the HTSF, but provides insights into the range of thickness for homogeneous compositions in HTSFs. Statistical and error analysis help establish whether measurements taken in sets of three typically used in lab fall below the medically accepted error threshold (<10%) for each technique and element detected. Measurements are repeated and taken at various locations and on different HTSFs to establish reproducibility. XRF is of particular interest, because it is fast, accurate, portable and can be conducted in air, making it ideal for areas with limited resources.
The Turkana Basin of northwestern Kenya is well known for its rich Neogene–Quaternary vertebrate fossil record; however, it also represents one of the few locations in sub-Saharan Africa where Cretaceous vertebrate fossils, including dinosaurs and other archosaurs, are preserved. These Cretaceous deposits are colloquially referred to as the ‘Turkana Grits’, and assumed to be Cretaceous in age based on their limited biostratigraphy. The ‘Turkana Grits’ are overlain by Palaeogene volcanic rocks (<35 Ma), which are widely considered to record the earliest evidence of plume-related volcanism in the East African Rift System. In this study, we present the results of an integrated sedimentary provenance investigation of two units within the ‘Turkana Grits’ called the Lapur and Muruanachok sandstones. Analysis of U–Pb ages and Lu–Hf initial ɛHf(t) values from 1106 detrital zircons demonstrate that sediments are primarily derived from Neoarchaean and Neoproterozoic basement sources, except for six Palaeogene grains from the upper Lapur Sandstone, which are of unknown provenance. Considered together, these data point to the Mozambique Belt, which makes up the nearby rift flanks, as the primary provenance source. This is consistent with palaeocurrent data, and suggests localized sediment input by alluvial fans, which fed into NNW-directed fluvial systems. Perhaps the most surprising finding is the identification of the late Paleocene detrital zircons, which not only demonstrate that the depositional age for the top of the formation is Paleocene rather than Cretaceous, but also provides possible evidence for the oldest Palaeogene volcanic activity within the East African Rift System.
Individuals with schizophrenia have deficits in social cognition that are associated with poor functional outcome. Unfortunately, current treatments result in only modest improvement in social cognition. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide with pro-social effects, has significant benefits for social cognition in the general population. However, studies examining the efficacy of oxytocin in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. One reason for inconsistency may be that oxytocin has typically not been combined with psychosocial interventions. It may be necessary for individuals with schizophrenia to receive concurrent psychosocial treatment while taking oxytocin to have the context needed to make gains in social cognitive skills.
The current study tested this hypothesis in a 24-week (48 session) double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that combined oxytocin and Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST), which included elements from Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT). Participants included 62 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia (placebo n = 31; oxytocin n = 31) who received 36 IU BID, with supervised administration 45 min prior to sessions on CBSST group therapy days. Participants completed a battery of measures administered at 0, 12, and 24 weeks that assessed social cognition.
CBSST generally failed to enhance social cognition from baseline to end of study, and there was no additive benefit of oxytocin beyond the effects of CBSST alone.
Findings suggest that combined CBSST and oxytocin had minimal benefit for social cognition, adding to the growing literature indicating null effects of oxytocin in multi-dose trials. Methodological and biological factors may contribute to inconsistent results across studies.
Direct ink writing of silicone elastomers enables printing with precise control of porosity and mechanical properties of ordered cellular solids, suitable for shock absorption and stress mitigation applications. With the ability to manipulate structure and feedstock stiffness, the design space becomes challenging to parse to obtain a solution producing a desired mechanical response. Here, we derive an analytical design approach for a specific architecture. Results from finite element simulations and quasi-static mechanical tests of two different parallel strand architectures were analyzed to understand the structure-property relationships under uniaxial compression. Combining effective stiffness-density scaling with least squares optimization of the stress responses yielded general response curves parameterized by resin modulus and strand spacing. An analytical expression of these curves serves as a reduced order model, which, when optimized, provides a rapid design capability for filament-based 3D printed structures. As a demonstration, the optimal design of a face-centered tetragonal architecture is computed that satisfies prescribed minimum and maximum load constraints.
Glyphosate-resistant populations of Conyza canadensis have been spreading at a rapid rate in Ontario, Canada, since first being documented in 2010. Determining the genetic relationship among existing Ontario populations is necessary to understand the spread and selection of the resistant biotypes. The objectives of this study were to: (1) characterize the genetic variation of C. canadensis accessions from the province of Ontario using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and (2) investigate the molecular mechanism (s) conferring resistance in these accessions. Ninety-eight C. canadensis accessions were genotyped using 8 SSR markers. Germinable accessions were challenged with glyphosate to determine their dose response, and the sequences of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase genes 1 and 2 were obtained. Results indicate that a majority of glyphosate-resistant accessions from Ontario possessed a proline to serine substitution at position 106, which has previously been reported to confer glyphosate resistance in other crop and weed species. Accessions possessing this substitution demonstrated notably higher levels of resistance than non–target site resistant (NTSR) accessions from within or outside the growing region and were observed to form a subpopulation genetically distinct from geographically proximate glyphosate-susceptible and NTSR accessions. Although it is unclear whether other non–target site resistance mechanisms are contributing to the levels of resistance observed in target-site resistant accessions, these results indicate that, at a minimum, selection for Pro-106-Ser has occurred in addition to selection for non–target site resistance and has significantly enhanced the levels of resistance to glyphosate in C. canadensis accessions from Ontario.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Policy-makers and practitioners have a need to assess community resilience in disasters. Prior efforts conflated resilience with community functioning, combined resistance and recovery (the components of resilience), and relied on a static model for what is inherently a dynamic process. We sought to develop linked conceptual and computational models of community functioning and resilience after a disaster.
We developed a system dynamics computational model that predicts community functioning after a disaster. The computational model outputted the time course of community functioning before, during, and after a disaster, which was used to calculate resistance, recovery, and resilience for all US counties.
The conceptual model explicitly separated resilience from community functioning and identified all key components for each, which were translated into a system dynamics computational model with connections and feedbacks. The components were represented by publicly available measures at the county level. Baseline community functioning, resistance, recovery, and resilience evidenced a range of values and geographic clustering, consistent with hypotheses based on the disaster literature.
The work is transparent, motivates ongoing refinements, and identifies areas for improved measurements. After validation, such a model can be used to identify effective investments to enhance community resilience. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:127–137)
Efficient natural dispersal of herbicide-resistance alleles via seed and pollen can markedly accelerate the incidence of herbicide-resistant weed populations across an agroecoregion. Studies were conducted in western Canada in 2014 and 2015 to investigate pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow in kochia. Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) from glyphosate-resistant (GR) to non-GR kochia was quantified in a field trial (hub and spoke design) at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Seed-mediated gene flow of acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitor-resistant kochia as a function of tumbleweed speed and distance was estimated in cereal stubble fields at Lethbridge, Alberta and Scott, Saskatchewan. Regression analysis indicated that outcrossing from GR to adjacent non-GR kochia ranged from 5.3 to 7.5%, declining exponentially to 0.1 to 0.4% at 96 m distance. However, PMGF was significantly influenced by prevailing wind direction during pollination (maximum of 11 to 17% outcrossing down-wind). Seed dropped by tumbleweeds varied with distance and plant speed, approaching 90% or more (ca. 100,000 seeds or more) at distances of up to 1,000 m and plant speeds of up to 300 cm s–1. This study highlights the efficient proximal (pollen) and distal (seed) gene movement of this important GR weed.
Aggressive medical and surgical interventions have not been clearly demonstrated to improve survival in neonates with trisomy 18; there are no data that demonstrates improved quality of life for these children after these interventions; and these interventions are clearly associated with significant morbidity, resource allocation, and cost.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the burden of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify population-based publications from 1985 to 2012, addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of FTD. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.
Twenty-six studies were included. Methodological limitations led to wide ranges in the estimates for prevalence (point prevalence 0.01-4.6 per 1000 persons; period prevalence 0.16-31.04 per 1000 persons) and incidence (0.0-0.3 per 1000 person-years). FTD accounted for an average of 2.7% (range 0-9.1%) of all dementia cases among prevalence studies that included subjects 65 and older compared to 10.2% (range 2.8-15.7%) in studies restricted to those aged less than 65. The cumulative numbers of male (373 [52.5%]) and female (338 [47.5%]) cases from studies reporting this information were nearly equal (p=0.18). The behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD) was almost four times as common as the primary progressive aphasias.
Population-based estimates for the epidemiology of FTD varied widely in the included studies. Refinements in the diagnostic process, possibly by the use of validated biomarkers or limiting case ascertainment to specialty services, are needed to obtain more precise estimates of the prevalence and incidence of FTD.
Population-based prevalence and incidence studies are essential for understanding the societal burden of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched to identify publications addressing the incidence and/or prevalence of DLB. References of included articles and prior systematic reviews were searched for additional studies. Two reviewers screened all abstracts and full-text reviews, abstracted data and performed quality assessments.
Twenty-two studies were included. Incidence rates ranged from 0.5 to 1.6 per 1000 person-years. DLB accounted for 3.2-7.1% of all dementia cases in the incidence studies. Point and period prevalence estimates ranged from 0.02 to 63.5 per 1000 persons. Increasing prevalence estimates were reported with increasing age. DLB accounted for from 0.3 to 24.4% of all cases of dementia in the prevalence studies.
DLB becomes more common with increasing age and accounts for about 5% of all dementia cases in older populations.
Updated information on the epidemiology of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is needed to ensure that adequate resources are available to meet current and future healthcare needs. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence and prevalence of AD.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched from 1985 to 2012, as well as the reference lists of selected articles. Included articles had to provide an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of AD. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text reviews, data extraction and quality assessments. Random-effects models were employed to generate pooled estimates stratified by age, sex, diagnostic criteria, location (i.e., continent) and time (i.e., when the study was done).
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 119 studies met the inclusion criteria. In community settings, the overall point prevalence of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 40.2 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 29.1-55.6), and pooled annual period prevalence was 30.4 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 15.6-59.1). In community settings, the overall pooled annual incidence proportion of dementia due to AD among individuals 60+ was 34.1 per 1000 persons (CI95%: 16.4-70.9), and the incidence rate was 15.8 per 1000 person-years (CI95%: 12.9-19.4). Estimates varied significantly with age, diagnostic criteria used and location (i.e., continent).
The burden of AD dementia is substantial. Significant gaps in our understanding of its epidemiology were identified, even in a high-income country such as Canada. Future studies should assess the impact of using such newer clinical diagnostic criteria for AD dementia such as those of the National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association and/or incorporate validated biomarkers to confirm the presence of Alzheimer pathology to produce more precise estimates of the global burden of AD.
Dementia is a common neurological condition affecting many older individuals that leads to a loss of independence, diminished quality of life, premature mortality, caregiver burden and high levels of healthcare utilization and cost. This is an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of the worldwide prevalence and incidence of dementia.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for relevant studies published between 2000 (1985 for Canadian papers) and July of 2012. Papers selected for full-text review were included in the systematic review if they provided an original population-based estimate for the incidence and/or prevalence of dementia. The reference lists of included articles were also searched for additional studies. Two individuals independently performed abstract and full-text review, data extraction, and quality assessment of the papers. Random-effects models and/or meta-regression were used to generate pooled estimates by age, sex, setting (i.e., community, institution, both), diagnostic criteria utilized, location (i.e., continent) and year of data collection.
Of 16,066 abstracts screened, 707 articles were selected for full-text review. A total of 160 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among individuals 60 and over residing in the community, the pooled point and annual period prevalence estimates of dementia were 48.62 (CI95%: 41.98-56.32) and 69.07 (CI95%: 52.36-91.11) per 1000 persons, respectively. The respective pooled incidence rate (same age and setting) was 17.18 (CI95%: 13.90-21.23) per 1000 person-years, while the annual incidence proportion was 52.85 (CI95%: 33.08-84.42) per 1,000 persons. Increasing participant age was associated with a higher dementia prevalence and incidence. Annual period prevalence was higher in North America than in South America, Europe and Asia (in order of decreasing period prevalence) and higher in institutional compared to community and combined settings. Sex, diagnostic criteria (except for incidence proportion) and year of data collection were not associated with statistically significant different estimates of prevalence or incidence, though estimates were consistently higher for females than males.
Dementia is a common neurological condition in older individuals. Significant gaps in knowledge about its epidemiology were identified, particularly with regard to the incidence of dementia in low- and middle-income countries. Accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of dementia are needed to plan for the health and social services that will be required to deal with an aging population.