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Sonographic measurement of optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) is becoming increasingly accepted as a diagnostic modality to detect elevations in intracranial pressure. As this technique becomes more widespread, methods to address the inherent operator-dependent nature of this modality will need to be developed. We propose a novel low-cost model to accurately simulate sonographic ONSD measurement for purposes of training and assessment.
We designed models composed of medical tubing of various diameters readily available from typical hospital supplies and suspended them in gelatin. The models were evaluated by ultrasound by three expert point-of-care sonographers using a standard linear array probe and technique proposed in the literature.
This model generates faithful simulation of the ONS that closely approximates in vivo images and can be used to produce accurate, reproducible measurements. Materials are low cost and easy to acquire and assemble.
Our model provides realistic simulated images of the ONS. Through comparison of sonographic measurements to the known tube diameters, this model serves as a promising inexpensive tool to teach the method of ultrasound assessment of ONSD or as a way to determine accuracy of this novel ultrasound technology.
The need to provide a professionalization process for the humanitarian workforce is well established. Current competency-based curricula provided by existing academically affiliated training centers in North America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union provide a route toward certification. Simulation exercises followed by timely evaluation is one way to mimic the field deployment process, test knowledge of core competences, and ensure that a competent workforce can manage the inevitable emergencies and crises they will face. Through a 2011 field-based exercise that simulated a humanitarian crisis, delivered under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO), a competency-based framework and evaluation tool is demonstrated as a model for future training and evaluation of humanitarian providers.
CranmerH, ChanJ, KaydenS, MusaniA, GasquetP, WalkerP, BurkleF, JohnsonK. Development of an Evaluation Framework Suitable for Assessing Humanitarian Workforce Competencies During Crisis Simulation Exercises. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(1):1-6.
The number of people employed in international humanitarian care is growing at a yearly rate of 6%. The demand for better coordination, accountability, and training has led to a need for standardized humanitarian training programs for providers. Training should be based on comprehensive core competencies that providers must demonstrate in addition to their skill-specific competencies. This report explores the competencies specific to humanitarian training that are practice- and application-oriented, teachable, and measurable. Competency-based, standardized programs will be used to select humanitarian workers deployed in future crises and to guide the professionalization of this discipline.
The collaborative London based non-governmental organization network ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) supports partnerships between higher education institutions and humanitarian organizations worldwide with the objective to enhance the professionalization of the humanitarian sector. While coordination and control of the humanitarian sector has plagued the response to every major crisis, concerns highlighted by the 2010 Haitian earthquake response further catalyzed and accelerated the need to ensure competency-based professionalization of the humanitarian health care work force. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative sponsored an independent survey of established academically affiliated training centers in North America that train humanitarian health care workers to determine their individual training center characteristics and preferences in the potential professionalization process. The survey revealed that a common thread of profession-specific skills and core humanitarian competencies were being offered in both residential and online programs with additional programs offering opportunities for field simulation experiences and more advanced degree programs. This study supports the potential for the development of like-minded academic affiliated and competency-based humanitarian health programs to organize themselves under ELRHA's regional “consultation hubs” worldwide that can assist and advocate for improved education and training opportunities in less served developing countries.
Burkle Jr FM, WallsAE, HeckJP, SorensenBS, CranmerHH, JohnsonK, LevineAC, KaydenS, CahillB, VanRooyenMJ. Academic Affiliated Training Centers in Humanitarian Health, Part I: Program Characteristics and Professionalization Preferences of Centers in North America. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013:28(2):1-8.
Single phase erbium borides ErB2, ErB4, and ErB12 show Seebeck coefficients and power factors with absolute values that are significantly lower than those of a stable Er-B multi phase composite obtained through high temperature solid-solid reaction from the elements (molar ratio Er:B = 1:6). According to quantitative Rietveld analysis the composite consists of erbium diboride (1 %), tetraboride (83 %), and dodecaboride (16 %), and the measurement of the electrical conductivities, Seebeck coefficients, and thermal conductivities leads to ZT values as high as 0.53 at 830 K. Such refractory materials can be used for energy conversion in a range of high temperatures that are otherwise difficult to address.
Using an oriental mustard root length bioassay, thiencarbazone bioavailability and dissipation in five Saskatchewan soils was investigated under laboratory conditions. Thiencarbazone bioavailability was assessed at 0 to 3.9 µg ai kg−1. Thiencarbazone concentrations corresponding to 50% inhibition (I50 values) obtained from dose-response curves varied from 0.56 to 1.71 µg kg−1. Multiple regression analysis indicated that organic carbon content (P = 0.018) and soil pH (P = 0.017) predicted thiencarbazone bioavailability. Thiencarbazone dissipation was examined in soils incubated at 23 C and moisture content of 85% field capacity. Thiencarbazone half-lives estimated from dissipation curves were 9 to 50 d, and organic carbon content (P = 0.002) and soil pH (P = 0.008) were significant factors affecting thiencarbazone dissipation. Thiencarbazone bioavailability decreases and dissipation rate is slower in Canadian prairie soils of high organic matter content and low soil pH. Because root length of oriental mustard plants also was reduced by ammonium, therefore ammonium-containing or -producing fertilizers can cause false positive results for thiencarbazone soil residues. Canaryseed roots had the same sensitivity to ammonium as oriental mustard roots but were not inhibited by thiencarbazone. Therefore canaryseed root length bioassay was effective in identifying inhibition caused by ammonium toxicity. Use of oriental mustard root and canaryseed root bioassays together can aid in interpreting bioassay results for detection of thiencarbazone residues.
Growing crops that exhibit a high level of competition with weeds increases opportunities to practice integrated weed management and reduce herbicide inputs. The recent development and market dominance of hybrid canola cultivars provides an opportunity to reassess the relative competitive ability of canola cultivars with small-grain cereals. Direct-seeded (no-till) experiments were conducted at five western Canada locations from 2006 to 2008 to compare the competitive ability of canola cultivars vs. small-grain cereals. The relative competitive ability of the species and cultivars was determined by assessing monocot and dicot weed biomass at different times throughout the growing season as well as oat (simulated weed) seed production. Under most conditions, but especially under warm and relatively dry environments, barley cultivars had the greatest relative competitive ability. Rye and triticale were also highly competitive species under most environmental conditions. Canada Prairie Spring Red wheat and Canada Western Red Spring wheat cultivars usually were the least competitive cereal crops, but there were exceptions in some environments. Canola hybrids were more competitive than open-pollinated canola cultivars. More importantly, under cool, low growing degree day conditions, canola hybrids were as competitive as barley, especially with dicot weeds. Under most conditions, hybrid canola growers on the Canadian Prairies are well advised to avoid the additional selection pressure inherent with a second in-crop herbicide application. Combining competitive cultivars of any species with optimal agronomic practices that facilitate crop health will enhance cropping system sustainability and allow growers to extend the life of their valuable herbicide tools.
Sulfentrazone is a phenyl triazolinone herbicide used for control of certain broadleaf and grass weed species. Sulfentrazone persists in soil and has residual activity beyond the season of application. A laboratory bioassay was developed for the detection of sulfentrazone in soil using root and shoot response of several crops. Shoot length inhibition of sugar beet was found to be the most sensitive and reproducible parameter for measurement of soil-incorporated sulfentrazone. The sugar beet bioassay was then used to examine the effect of soil properties on sulfentrazone phytotoxicity using 10 different Canadian prairie soils. Concentrations corresponding to 50% inhibition (I50 values) were obtained from the dose–response curves constructed for the soils. Sulfentrazone phytotoxicity was strongly correlated to the percentage organic carbon (P = 0.01) and also to percentage clay content (P = 0.05), whereas correlation with soil pH was nonsignificant (P = 0.21). Because sulfentrazone phytotoxicity was found to be soil dependent, the efficacy of sulfentrazone for weed control and sulfentrazone potential carryover injury will vary with soil type in the Canadian prairies.
The objective of this study was to determine if the presence of two acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide residues in different Saskatchewan soils would result in additive, synergistic, or antagonistic interactions. This was determined through field trials where herbicides were applied sequentially over the course of 2 yr. The herbicides examined in these experiments were imazamethabenz, flucarbazone, sulfosulfuron, and florasulam, each in combination with imazamox and imazethapyr. The phytotoxicity and persistence of the herbicides in soil was assessed using an oriental mustard root inhibition bioassay. The determination of herbicide interaction was made through the comparison of the experimentally observed values to theoretically expected values derived from a mathematical equation. On the basis of the bioassay analysis, it was found that the herbicide residue combinations resulting from sequentially applied ALS-inhibiting herbicides in the three soils produced additive injury effects rather than synergistic or antagonistic interactions.
SiC films were deposited on Si substrate by low pressure hot-wall CVD using C3H8 (5% in H2)-SiH4 (2.5% in H2)-H2 gas system at 1270°C and 1370°C. In this paper, we compare the electrical characteristics of MOS capacitors fabricated on the 3C-SiC films grown at high and low temperatures, 1370°C and 1270°C, respectively. Although the cross-sectional TEM images indicate similar micro-structural quality of the SiC/Si interface for both temperatures, a quicker elimination rate of stacking faults with increasing thickness was observed in the films grown at 1370°C. Rocking curves from XRD measurements also indicate better crystallinity of the films grown at 1370°C. On the other hand, atomic force microscopy shows that the average surface roughness reduces with the reduction in growth temperature. MOS capacitors were made on films grown at both temperatures and characterized by high-frequency capacitance-voltage (HFCV), conductance-voltage (G-V), and current-voltage (I-V) measurements at room temperature. The MOS capacitors fabricated on both films exhibit good and almost identical C-V characteristics. Measurements of current-voltage characteristics in accumulation region showed smaller leakage for the film deposited at 1270°C. It is concluded that the decrease of the deposition temperature from 1370°C to 1270°C does not bring any remarkable negative impact on the interface properties of fabricated MOS capacitors.
Cognitive training improves mental abilities in older adults, but the trainability of persons with memory impairment is unclear. We conducted a subgroup analysis of subjects in the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial to examine this issue. ACTIVE enrolled 2802 non-demented, community-dwelling adults aged 65 years and older and randomly assigned them to one of four groups: Memory training, reasoning training, speed-of-processing training, or no-contact control. For this study, participants were defined as memory-impaired if baseline Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) sum recall score was 1.5 SD or more below predicted AVLT sum recall score from a regression-derived formula using age, education, ethnicity, and vocabulary from all subjects at baseline. Assessments were taken at baseline (BL), post-test, first annual (A1), and second annual (A2) follow-up. One hundred and ninety-three subjects were defined as memory-impaired and 2580 were memory-normal. Training gain as a function memory status (impaired vs. normal) was compared in a mixed effects model. Results indicated that memory-impaired participants failed to benefit from Memory training but did show normal training gains after reasoning and speed training. Memory function appears to mediate response to structured cognitive interventions in older adults. (JINS, 2007, 13, 953–960.)
As a weed, wheat has recently gained greater profile. Determining wheat persistence in cropping systems will facilitate the development of effective volunteer wheat management strategies. In October of 2000, glyphosate-resistant (GR) spring wheat seeds were scattered on plots at eight western Canada sites. From 2001 to 2003, the plots were seeded to a canola–barley–field-pea rotation or a fallow–barley–fallow rotation, with five seeding systems involving seeding dates and soil disturbance levels, and monitored for wheat plant density. Herbicides and tillage (in fallow systems) were used to ensure that no wheat plants produced seed. Seeding systems with greater levels of soil disturbance usually had greater wheat densities. Volunteer wheat densities at 2 (2002) and 3 (2003) yr after seed dispersal were close to zero but still detectable at most locations. At the end of 2003, viable wheat seeds were not detected in the soil seed bank at any location. The majority of wheat seedlings were recruited in the year following seed dispersal (2001) at the in-crop, prespray (PRES) interval. At the PRES interval in 2001, across all locations and treatments, wheat density averaged 2.6 plants m−2. At the preplanting interval (PREP), overall wheat density averaged only 0.2 plants m−2. By restricting density data to include only continuous cropping, low-disturbance direct-seeding (LDS) systems, the latter mean dropped below 0.1 plants m−2. Only at one site were preplanting GR wheat densities sufficient (4.2 plants m−2) to justify a preseeding herbicide treatment in addition to glyphosate in LDS systems. Overall volunteer wheat recruitment at all spring and summer intervals in the continuous cropping rotation in 2001 was 1.7% (3.3 plants m−2). Despite the fact that volunteer wheat has become more common in the central and northern Great Plains, there is little evidence from this study to suggest that its persistence will be a major agronomic problem.
A series of three lead borosilicate glasses were synthesized and analyzed for structural information with both 11B and 207Pb solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic methods. Results showed that increasing lead content caused lead to take a more active role in the network as a former and that the populations in these sites can be approximately quantified. 207Pb phase-adjusted-spinning sidebands (PASS), 11B magic-angle spinning (MAS), and 11B multiple-quantum MAS (MQMAS) experiments were used to determine structural parameters for the two nuclei. The 207Pb PASS experiment showed that at higher lead content, more covalent bonding was present. This principle was demonstrated in both an overall shift of the spectral resonances and a quantitative change in site ratios. The 11B MAS experiment showed that the ratio of BO3 to BO4 units was dependent on the amount of lead and boron, consistent with previous studies. Preliminary 11B MQMAS experiments failed to detect any BO3– units, previously hypothesized to exist in this system.
Afro-Caribbean immigrants are reported to have a high rate of schizophrenia compared with other population groups.
In a prospective first contact study of schizophrenia in Jamaica in 1992, 335 patients were examined using the Present State Examination.
285 patients were evaluated as having a PSE ‘restrictive’ S + diagnosis of schizophrenia, and 32 as having a ‘broad’ S?, P, or O diagnosis of schizophrenia. With a population of 2.46 million, this represents a first-contact incidence rate for ‘restrictive’ schizophrenia of 1.16 per 10 000 population, and an age-corrected (15–54) incidence rate of 2.09 per 10 000.
Incidence rates for schizophrenia in Jamaica are lower than those reported in Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the UK and Holland, and within the reported range for other population groups worldwide.
Multicrystalline silicon ingots of 55 cm × 55 cm cross section, 100 kg have been grown by the Heat Exchanger Method (HEM). Controlled growth features have been used to produce large grain size, vertically oriented grain boundaries, large areas of twins with low defect density and rejection of impurities to the top of the ingot. Ambient control has reduced C, N, and O concentration and minimized precipitates with no detectable metallic impurities. High performance solar cells have ben fabricated, and further improvements can be achieved by minimizing dislocation tangles and impurities in localized regions.
The design of molecular and preceramic polymer precursors to boron carbide based ceramics is described. The goal was to design nonvolatile, tractable precursors to boron carbide with high ceramic yields. Molecular precursors containing carburane cages and acetylenie groups were synthesized and converted to nonvolatile, soluble preceramic polymers. Pyrolysis of these polymers gave boron carbide based ceramics in 60–70% ceramic yield. A B4C/SiC film has been fabricated from one of the polymers and the film is uniform and crack-free.