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We have designed and manufactured a multi-purpose electronic, computer-operated blink-comparator and measuring engine. It has been specifically designed to facilitate the examination of stellar images on Uppsala Schmidt photographic plates, identify and establish coordinates of new suspect variable stars appearing on the plates being examined, and also to derive photometric values for those stars manifesting variability.
We report herein the investigation of a leptospirosis outbreak occurring in triathlon competitors on Réunion Island, Indian Ocean. All participants were contacted by phone or email and answered a questionnaire. Detection and molecular characterization of pathogenic Leptospira was conducted in inpatients and in rodents trapped at the vicinity of the event. Of the 160 athletes competing, 101 (63·1%) agreed to participate in the study. Leptospirosis was biologically confirmed for 9/10 suspected cases either by real-time PCR or serological tests (MAT or ELISA). The total attack rate, children's attack rate, swimmers’ attack rate, and the attack rate in adult swimmers were respectively estimated at 8·1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 4·3–14·7], 0%, 12·7% (95% CI 6·8–22·4) and 23·1% (95% CI 12·6–33·8). Leptospirosis cases reported significantly more wounds [risk ratio (RR) 4·5, 95% CI 1·6–13], wore complete neoprene suits less often (RR 4·3, 95% CI 1·3–14·5) and were most frequently unlicensed (RR 6·6, 95% CI 2·9–14·8). The epidemiological investigation supported that some measures such as the use of neoprene suits proved efficient in protecting swimmers against infection. PCR detection in rats revealed high Leptospira infection rates. Partial sequencing of the 16S gene and serology on both human and animal samples strongly suggests that rats were the main contaminators and were likely at the origin of the infection in humans.
To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of infection control among staff in a residential care facility for children and young adults with neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions.
Residential care facility (facility A).
Facility A staff (N = 200).
We distributed a survey to staff at facility A. We classified staff with direct care responsibilities as clinical (ie, physicians, nurses, and therapists) or nonclinical (ie, habilitation assistants, volunteers, and teachers) and used X2 tests to measure differences between staff agreement to questions.
Of 248 surveys distributed, 200 (81%) were completed; median respondent age was 36 years; 85% were female; and 151 were direct care staff (50 clinical, 101 nonclinical). Among direct care staff respondents, 86% agreed they could identify residents with respiratory symptoms, 70% stayed home from work when ill with respiratory infection, 64% agreed that facility administration encouraged them to stay home when ill with respiratory infection, and 72% reported that ill residents with respiratory infections were separated from well residents. Clinical and nonclinical staff differed in agreement about using waterless hand gel as a substitute for handwashing (96% vs 78%; P = .005) and whether handwashing was done after touching residents (92% vs 75%; P = .04).
Respondents' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding infection control could be improved, especially among nonclinical staff. Facilities caring for children and young adults with neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions should encourage adherence to infection control best practices among all staff having direct contact with residents.
Anandamide is a ligand of the endocannabinoid system. Animals show a
depletion following repeated Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
administration but the effect of cannabis use on central nervous system
levels of endocannabinoids has not been previously examined in humans.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide,
2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and related lipids were tested in 33
volunteers (20 cannabis users). Lower levels of CSF anandamide and higher
levels of 2-AG in serum were observed in frequent compared with infrequent
cannabis users. Levels of CSF anandamide were negatively correlated with
persisting psychotic symptoms when drug-free. Higher levels of anandamide
are associated with a lower risk of psychotic symptoms following cannabis
Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by stereotyped/obsessional behaviours and social and communicative deficits. However, there is significant variability in the clinical phenotype; for example, people with autism exhibit language delay whereas those with Asperger syndrome do not. It remains unclear whether localized differences in brain anatomy are associated with variation in the clinical phenotype.
We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to investigate brain anatomy in adults with ASD. We included 65 adults diagnosed with ASD (39 with Asperger syndrome and 26 with autism) and 33 controls who did not differ significantly in age or gender.
VBM revealed that subjects with ASD had a significant reduction in grey-matter volume of medial temporal, fusiform and cerebellar regions, and in white matter of the brainstem and cerebellar regions. Furthermore, within the subjects with ASD, brain anatomy varied with clinical phenotype. Those with autism demonstrated an increase in grey matter in frontal and temporal lobe regions that was not present in those with Asperger syndrome.
Adults with ASD have significant differences from controls in the anatomy of brain regions implicated in behaviours characterizing the disorder, and this differs according to clinical subtype.
In June 1935, certain problems arose concerning the fumigation of houses with hydrogen cyanide for the destruction of bedbugs. Workmen reconditioning houses in Rochester, which had been given the customary 24 hr. aeration after fumigation with hydrogen cyanide “disks”, had complained of sickness during their work. The walls, cavities and floor spaces of some of these houses had been tested by Mr Topping, the Chief Sanitary Inspector of Rochester, who, using benzidine acetate-copper acetate paper, had obtained a strong positive reaction indicative of the presence of hydrogen cyanide after 24 hr. aeration.
Culicoides imicola is the main vector for bluetongue (BT) and African horse sickness (AHS) viruses in the Mediterranean basin and in southern Europe. In this study, we analysed partial mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene to characterize and confirm population expansion of Culicoides imicola across Spain. The data were analysed at two hierarchical levels to test the relationship between C. imicola haplotypes in Spain (n=215 from 58 different locations) and worldwide (n=277). We found nineteen different haplotypes within the Spanish population, including 11 new haplotypes. No matrilineal subdivision was found within the Spanish population, while western and eastern Mediterranean C. imicola populations were very structured. These findings were further supported by median networks and mismatch haplotype distributions. Median networks demonstrated that the haplotypes we observed in the western Mediterranean region were closely related with one another, creating a clear star-like phylogeny separated only by a single mutation from eastern haplotypes. The two, genetically distinct, sources of C. imicola in the Mediterranean basin, thus, were confirmed. This type of star-like population structure centred around the most frequent haplotype is best explained by rapid expansion. Furthermore, the proposed northern expansion was also supported by the statistically negative Tajima's D and Fu's Fs values, as well as predicted mismatch distributions of sudden and spatially expanding populations. Our results thus indicated that C. imicola population expansion was a rapid and recent phenomenon.
Les distributions de la dose de rayonnement diffusé autour du patient et la dose efficace au personnel lors d’examens radiologiques complexes sont calculées. La propagation du rayonnement et le dépôt d’énergie sont simulés au moyen du code Monte Carlo MCNP4B. Le champ de rayonnement, l’appareil à rayons X, le patient et le radiologue (portant un tablier de plomb) sont modélisés mathématiquement. Un grand nombre de géométries d’irradiation sont simulées et les courbes d’isodoses sont déterminées dans les plans horizontal et vertical. L’influence des divers paramètres (tels que l’énergie et la dimension du faisceau, la taille du patient, la région irradiée, la position et l’orientation du travailleur) sur les doses du personnel est analysée. Des algorithmes publiés combinant les valeurs d’un dosimètre blindé et d’un dosimètre non blindé sont utilisés pour estimer la dose efficace ; un nouvel algorithme fournissant des estimations plus précises de dose est proposé pour plusieurs situations.
The National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (NAS-NRC) Twin Registry is one of the oldest, national population-based twin registries in the United States. It consists of 15,924 white male twin pairs born in the years 1917 to 1927 (inclusive), both of whom served in the armed forces, mostly during World War II. This article updates activity in this registry since the earlier 2002 article in Twin Research. The results of clinically based studies on dementia, Parkinson's disease, age-related macular degeneration, and primary osteoarthritis were published, as well as articles based on previously collected questionnaire data on chronic fatigue syndrome, functional limitations, and healthy aging. In addition, risk factor studies are being planned to merge clinical data with earlier collected risk factor data from questionnaires. Examination data from the subset of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) twins resulted in a number of articles, including the relationship of endogenous sex hormones to coronary heart disease and morphological changes in aging brain structures. The NEO Five-Factor Personality Inventory (a paper-and-pencil self-administered questionnaire) has been fielded for the first time. A push to consolidate the various data holdings of the registry is being made.
We present the preliminary results of the X-ray spectral analysis of one of the largest samples of X-ray selected BLAGN assembled so far from the XMM-2dF Wide Angle Survey. The sample, with 641 spectroscopically identified BLAGN, provides a unique resource to carry out a statistical analysis of the emission properties of these objects over a broad range of X-ray luminosities and redshifts. The X-ray spectra of the majority of the objects were best fitted with a power law with a near constant mean spectral photon index. No obvious trend of this spectral parameter with X-ray luminosity or redshift was found.
We measured the mean photon index of our objects to be ∼1.96 ± 0.05 with an intrinsic dispersion σ=0.22±0.03. X-ray absorption was detected in ∼8% of the sources, with no preferred luminosity or redshift and having typical values of the absorbing column density ≤1022 cm−2.
Marvin and Stewart and Byng–Hall proposed that effective family
collaboration requires family members to construct “shared family
working models,” and that the renegotiation of these working
models during family transitions is facilitated by family members'
“interactional awareness” (ability to be perceptive
observers of family relationships). We apply these constructs to data
collected from 71 mothers and their 4.5- to 5.0-year-old preschool
children, 2 years after parental divorce. Maternal representations of
the father as coparent and ex-spouse, and of father– and
mother–child relationships were assessed via two interviews. A
family story completion task captured child representations of
mother–child and father–child, coparental and ex-spousal
interactions. Maternal accounts of mother–child conversations
illustrated the negotiation of shared working models. Primarily
qualitative analyses contrasting maternal and child perspectives are
presented in the first section. Then we use regression analyses to
predict children's story themes from maternal representations of
flexible, sensitive, and effective discipline-related interactions;
maternal depressive symptoms; and perception of the child's
father. Finally, we identify gender differences in children's
enactments of divorce-related and child-empathy themes. We conclude by
considering how our findings could be used to assist postdivorce
families in constructing shared rather than conflicting working models
of family relations.This research was
funded by Grant R01 HD267766 awarded to the first author by the NICHD.
Additional support was received from the University of Wisconsin
Graduate School Research Committee, the Waisman Center, and the Vilas
Trust. We express our deep appreciation to the mothers and children who
participated in this study. We also thank Barbara Golby, Angel
Gullon–Rivera, Patti Herman, Chris Halvorsen, Vicky Lenzlinger,
Kristine Munholland, Reghan Walsh, and Laura Winn for assisting with
data collection and analysis and acknowledge helpful advice from John
Byng–Hall, Robert Emery, Paul Amato, and Daniel
Population and total hip replacement surveys show that primary osteoarthritis of the hip is uncommon in African Americans and rare in Asians, suggesting a genetic basis for this disease. We studied genetic influences on primary osteoarthritis of the hip by estimating monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin correlations using a two-stage data collection. A total of 6419 male veteran twins of the NAS-NRC Twin Registry, born between 1917 and 1927, were contacted by telephone (first stage). Telephone interview determined that 2% reported a total hip replacement for arthritis rather than fracture. X-rays of twin pairs in which one twin had undergone total hip replacement were sought and reviewed (second stage), and concordance for primary arthritis was determined based on x-ray diagnosis. Heritability of primary osteoarthritis, Kellgren & Lawrence Grade II and higher, was estimated using a covariance structure analysis for 2-stage data. The best-fitting model included only components for additive genetics and for unique environment. Additive genetics accounted for 53% (95% confidence interval 30–72%) in the liability for self reported hip replacement surgery and unique environment for the remaining 47% (95% confidence interval 28–70%). Additive genetics accounted for 61% (95% confidence interval 18-86%) of the variance in liability for x-ray determined primary osteoarthritis with unique environment accounting for the remaining 39%. These data establish a genetic influence on primary osteoarthritis of the hip in male twins and suggest that further work is indicated to isolate the genes responsible for this disease.
The NAS-NRC Twin Registry is one of the oldest, national population based-twin registries in the United States. It consists of 15,924 white male twin pairs born in the years 1917–1927 (inclusive) both of whom served in the armed forces. The registry, which has been in operation more than 30 years, has collected data from a variety of sources. Records-based, computerized data have come largely from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and there have been three major epidemiologic questionnaires, undertaken roughly every 15 years. Classic twin studies on a variety of medical conditions were the early focus of the registry, which now has a strong focus on chronic disease epidemiology. Work on a DNA specimen bank has been proceeding slowly, but is now a top priority, due to the increasing force of mortality in this twin cohort.