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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.
Medical equipment can transmit pathogenic bacteria to patients. This single-institution point prevalence study aimed to characterise the types and relative amount of bacteria found on surgical loupes, headlights and their battery packs.
Surgical loupes, headlights and battery packs of 16 otolaryngology staff and residents were sampled, cultured and quantified. Plate scores were summed for each equipment type, and the total was divided by the number of users to generate mean bacterial burden scores. Residents completed a questionnaire regarding their equipment cleaning practices.
The contamination rates of loupes, headlights and battery packs were 68.75 per cent, 100 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively. Battery packs cultured more bacteria (1.58 per swab ± 1.00) than loupes (0.75 per swab ± 0.66; p = 0.024). Headlights had non-significantly greater growth (1.50 per swab ± 0.71) than loupes (p = 0.052). Bacterial growth was significantly higher from inner surfaces of loupes (p = 0.035) and headlights (p = 0.037). Potentially pathogenic bacteria were cultured from the equipment of five participants, including: Pantoea agglomerans, Acinetobacter radioresistens, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus baumannii complex and Moraxella osloensis.
This study demonstrates that surgical loupes and headlights used in otolaryngology harbour non-pathogenic skin flora and potentially pathogenic bacteria.
GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
There are no existing longitudinal studies of inflammatory markers and atopic disorders in childhood and risk of hypomanic symptoms in adulthood. This study examined if childhood: (1) serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (2) asthma and/or eczema are associated with features of hypomania in young adulthood.
Participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective general population UK birth cohort, had non-fasting blood samples for IL-6 and CRP measurement at the age of 9 years (n = 4645), and parents answered a question about doctor-diagnosed atopic illness before the age of 10 years (n = 7809). These participants completed the Hypomania Checklist at age 22 years (n = 3361).
After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status, past psychological and behavioural problems, body mass index and maternal postnatal depression, participants in the top third of IL-6 values at 9 years, compared with the bottom third, had an increased risk of hypomanic symptoms by age 22 years [adjusted odds ratio 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–2.85, p < 0.001]. Higher IL-6 levels in childhood were associated with adult hypomania features in a dose–response fashion. After further adjustment for depression at the age of 18 years this association remained (adjusted odds ratio 1.70, 95% CI 1.03–2.81, p = 0.038). There was no evidence of an association of hypomanic symptoms with CRP levels, asthma or eczema in childhood.
Higher levels of systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 in childhood were associated with hypomanic symptoms in young adulthood, suggesting that inflammation may play a role in the pathophysiology of mania. Inflammatory pathways may be suitable targets for the prevention and intervention for bipolar disorder.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a major wheat disease that can inflict yield losses of up to 70% on susceptible varieties under favourable environmental conditions. The timely identification of plant genetic resources likely to possess novel resistance to this disease would facilitate the rapid development of resistant wheat varieties. The focused identification of germplasm strategy (FIGS) approach was used to predict stripe rust resistance in a collection of wheat landraces conserved at ICARDA genebank. Long-term climate data for the collection sites, from which these accessions originated and stripe rust evaluation scores for one group of accessions were presented to three different non-linear models to explore the trait×collection site environment interactions. Patterns in the data detected by the models were used to predict stripe rust resistance in a second and different set of accessions. The results of the prediction were then tested against actual evaluation scores of the disease in the field. The study mimics the real scenario where requests are made to plant genetic resources curators to provide accessions that are likely to possess variation for specific traits such as disease resistance.
The models used were able to identify stripe rust-resistant accessions with a high degree of accuracy. Values as high as 0·75 for area under the curve and 0·45 for Kappa statistics, which quantify the agreement between the models’ predictions and the curator's disease scores, were achieved. This demonstrates a strong environmental component in the geographic distribution of resistance genes and therefore supports the theoretical basis for FIGS. It is argued that FIGS will improve the rate of gene discovery and efficiency of mining genetic resource collections for adaptive traits by reducing the number of accessions that are normally required for evaluation to identify such variation.
The evidence is conflicting as to whether body mass index (BMI) is associated with mental health and, if so, to what extent it varies by sex and age. We studied mental health across the full spectrum of BMI among the general population, and conducted subgroup analyses by sex and age.
We undertook a cross-sectional study of a representative sample of the Scottish adult population. The Scottish Health Survey provided data on mental health, measured by the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ), BMI, demographic and life-style information. Good mental health was defined as a GHQ score <4, and poor mental health as a GHQ score ⩾4. Logistic regression models were applied.
Of the 37 272 participants, 5739 (15.4%) had poor mental health. Overall, overweight participants had better mental health than the normal-weight group [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87–0.99, p = 0.049], and individuals who were underweight, class II or class III obese had poorer mental health (class III obese group: adjusted OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05–1.51, p = 0.013). There were significant interactions of BMI with sex (p = 0.013) and with age (p < 0.001). Being overweight was associated with significantly better mental health in middle-aged men only. In contrast, being underweight at all ages or obese at a young age was associated with significantly poorer mental health in women only.
The adverse associations between adiposity and mental health are specific to women. Underweight women and young women who are obese have poorer mental health. In contrast, middle-aged overweight men have better mental health.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
Epistasis is an important feature of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, but the dynamics of epistatic interactions in natural populations and the relationship between epistasis and pleiotropy remain poorly understood. Here, we studied the effects of epistatic modifiers that segregate in a wild-derived Drosophila melanogaster population on the mutational effects of P-element insertions in Semaphorin-5C (Sema-5c) and Calreticulin (Crc), pleiotropic genes that affect olfactory behaviour and startle behaviour and, in the case of Crc, sleep phenotypes. We introduced Canton-S B (CSB) third chromosomes with or without a P-element insertion at the Crc or Sema-5c locus in multiple wild-derived inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) and assessed the effects of epistasis on the olfactory response to benzaldehyde and, for Crc, also on sleep. In each case, we found substantial epistasis and significant variation in the magnitude of epistasis. The predominant direction of epistatic effects was to suppress the mutant phenotype. These observations support a previous study on startle behaviour using the same D. melanogaster chromosome substitution lines, which concluded that suppressing epistasis may buffer the effects of new mutations. However, epistatic effects are not correlated among the different phenotypes. Thus, suppressing epistasis appears to be a pervasive general feature of natural populations to protect against the effects of new mutations, but different epistatic interactions modulate different phenotypes affected by mutations at the same pleiotropic gene.
Predicting functional gene annotations remains a significant challenge, even in well-annotated genomes such as yeast and Drosophila. One promising, high-throughput method for gene annotation is to use correlated gene expression patterns to annotate target genes based on the known function of focal genes. The Drosophila melanogaster transcriptome varies genetically among wild-derived inbred lines, with strong genetic correlations among the transcripts. Here, we leveraged the genetic correlations in gene expression among known seminal fluid protein (SFP) genes and the rest of the genetically varying transcriptome to identify 176 novel candidate SFPs (cSFPs). We independently validated the correlation in gene expression between seven of the cSFPs and a known SFP gene, as well as expression in male reproductive tissues. We argue that this method can be extended to other systems for which information on genetic variation in gene expression is available.
We previously demonstrated that intra-uterine growth-restricted (IUGR) Yucatan miniature pigs develop modestly elevated blood pressure (BP) as young adults. The present study evaluated the effects of a post-weaning Western-style, high-salt-fat-sugar (HSFS) diet on early programming of BP. IUGR piglets (3 d old, 0·77 (sem 0·04) kg, n 6) were paired with normal weight (NW) same-sex littermates (1·14 (sem 0·03) kg, n 6) and fed milk replacer for 4 weeks. A third littermate was left with the sow (SF; 1·01 (sem 0·05) kg, n 6). When 4 weeks old, all pigs were placed on a HSFS diet ad libitum for 5 h/d. When 11 months old, telemeters were implanted to measure BP in pigs before (4·5 % NaCl) and after (0·5 % NaCl) a 7 d reduced salt challenge. At necropsy, nephron numbers were determined. Before sexual maturity, IUGR pigs had greater relative feed intake (P < 0·05), and experienced catch-up growth with greater adiposity, with correlations between adiposity and BP (P < 0·05). Adult IUGR pigs had 26–34 % fewer nephrons and higher diastolic BP (107·7 (sem 4·9) mmHg, P = 0·044) than NW (97·2 (sem 1·8) mmHg) and SF (98·9 (sem 5·3) mmHg) pigs. Systolic BP was similar among the three groups, but was significantly elevated compared with levels previously reported for a control diet. Salt restriction reduced BP in all groups (P < 0·05), but with no differences (P>0·05) in the degree of salt sensitivity among groups. In conclusion, a post-weaning Western-style diet exacerbates early programming of diastolic BP in Yucatan miniature swine, whereas systolic BP is more sensitive to postnatal diet.
Drosophila melanogaster, like other organisms, move and orient themselves in response to the earth's gravitational force. The ability to sense and respond to gravity is essential for an organism to navigate and thrive in its environment. The genes underlying this behaviour in Drosophila remain elusive. Using 88 recombinant inbred lines, we have identified four quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that contribute to adult gravitaxis (geotaxis) behaviour in Drosophila. Candidate genes of interest were selected from the QTLs of highest significance based on their function in chordotonal organ formation. Quantitative complementation tests with these candidate genes revealed a role for skittles in adult gravitaxis behaviour in D. melanogaster.