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Nitrous oxide (N2O) misuse is widespread in the UK. Although it is well-known that it can cause devastating myeloneuropathy, psychiatric presentations are poorly described. There is little understanding of who it affects, how it presents, its mechanism of action and principles of treatment. We begin this article with a case study. We then review the literature to help psychiatrists understand this area and deal with this increasing problem, and make diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We describe a diagnostic pentad of weakness, numbness, paraesthesia, psychosis and cognitive impairment to alert clinicians to the need to urgently treat these patients. Nitrous oxide misuse is a pending neuropsychiatric emergency requiring urgent treatment with vitamin B12 to prevent potentially irreversible neurological and psychiatric symptoms.
After reading this article you will be able to:
•understand the epidemiological and clinical features of nitrous oxide misuse
•understand the mechanisms of action of nitrous oxide
•describe potential treatment options in nitrous oxide misuse.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
Knowledge of the effects of burial depth and burial duration on seed viability and, consequently, seedbank persistence of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] ecotypes can be used for the development of efficient weed management programs. This is of particular interest, given the great fecundity of both species and, consequently, their high seedbank replenishment potential. Seeds of both species collected from five different locations across the United States were investigated in seven states (sites) with different soil and climatic conditions. Seeds were placed at two depths (0 and 15 cm) for 3 yr. Each year, seeds were retrieved, and seed damage (shrunken, malformed, or broken) plus losses (deteriorated and futile germination) and viability were evaluated. Greater seed damage plus loss averaged across seed origin, burial depth, and year was recorded for lots tested at Illinois (51.3% and 51.8%) followed by Tennessee (40.5% and 45.1%) and Missouri (39.2% and 42%) for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. The site differences for seed persistence were probably due to higher volumetric water content at these sites. Rates of seed demise were directly proportional to burial depth (α=0.001), whereas the percentage of viable seeds recovered after 36 mo on the soil surface ranged from 4.1% to 4.3% compared with 5% to 5.3% at the 15-cm depth for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. Seed viability loss was greater in the seeds placed on the soil surface compared with the buried seeds. The greatest influences on seed viability were burial conditions and time and site-specific soil conditions, more so than geographical location. Thus, management of these weed species should focus on reducing seed shattering, enhancing seed removal from the soil surface, or adjusting tillage systems.
A major challenge in addressing the loss of benefits and services provided by the natural environment is that it can be difficult to find ways for those who benefit from them to pay for their preservation. We examine one such context in Malawi, where erosion from soils disturbed by agriculture affects not only farmers’ incomes, but also damages aquatic habitat and inhibits the storage and hydropower potential of dams downstream. We demonstrate that payments from hydropower producers to farmers to maintain land cover and prevent erosion can have benefits for all parties involved.
Despite 70 years of study, Dickinsonia remains one of the Ediacara biota’s most enigmatic taxa with both morphological characters and phylogenetic affinities still debated. A large population of relatively small Dickinsonia costata present on a semi-contiguous surface from the Crisp Gorge fossil locality in the Flinders Ranges (South Australia) provides an opportunity to investigate this taxon in its juvenile form. This population supports earlier findings that suggest D. costata’s early growth was isometric, based on the relationship between measured variables of length and width. The number of body units increases with length, but at a decreasing rate. A correlation between a previously described physical feature, present as a shrinkage rim partially surrounding some specimens and a novel, raised lip in some specimens, suggests that both features may have been the result of a physical contraction in response to the burial process, rather than due to a gradual loss of mass during early diagenesis. A marked protuberance in 15% of the population is also noted in limited specimens within the South Australian Museum collections and appears to be present only in juvenile D. costata. Both the abundance and narrow size range of this population support the notion that Dickinsonia was a hardy opportunist, capable of rapid establishment and growth on relatively immature textured organic-mat substrates.
Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) is a problematic weed encountered in U.S. cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] production, with infestations spreading northward. This research investigated the influence of planting date (early, mid-, and late season) and population (AR, IN, MO, MS, NE, and TN) on A. palmeri growth and reproduction at two locations. All populations planted early or midseason at Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center (TPAC) and Arkansas Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AAREC) measured 196 and 141 cm or more, respectively. Amaranthus palmeri height did not exceed 168 and 134 cm when planted late season at TPAC and AAREC, respectively. Early season planted A. palmeri from NE grew to 50% of maximum height 8 to 13 d earlier than all other populations under TPAC conditions. In addition, the NE population planted early, mid-, and late season achieved 50% inflorescence emergence 5, 4, and 6 d earlier than all other populations, respectively. All populations established at TPAC produced fewer than 100,000 seeds plant−1. No population planted at TPAC and AAREC produced more than 740 and 1,520 g plant−1 of biomass at 17 and 19 wk after planting, respectively. Planting date influenced the distribution of male and female plants at TPAC, but not at AAREC. Amaranthus palmeri from IN and MS planted late season had male-to-female plant ratios of 1.3:1 and 1.7:1, respectively. Amaranthus palmeri introduced to TPAC from NE can produce up to 7,500 seeds plant−1 if emergence occurs in mid-July. An NE A. palmeri population exhibited biological characteristics allowing it to be highly competitive if introduced to TPAC due to a similar latitudinal range, but was least competitive when introduced to AAREC. Although A. palmeri originating from different locations can vary biologically, plants exhibited environmental plasticity and could complete their life cycle and contribute to spreading populations.
To identify predominant dietary patterns in four African populations and examine their association with obesity.
We used data from the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) pilot study established to investigate the feasibility of a multi-country longitudinal study of non-communicable chronic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. We applied principal component analysis to dietary intake data collected from an FFQ developed for PaCT to ascertain dietary patterns in Tanzania, South Africa, and peri-urban and rural Uganda. The sample consisted of 444 women and 294 men.
We identified two dietary patterns: the Mixed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, but also cold cuts and refined grains; and the Processed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of salad dressing, cold cuts and sweets. Women in the highest tertile of the Processed Diet pattern score were 3·00 times more likely to be overweight (95 % CI 1·66, 5·45; prevalence=74 %) and 4·24 times more likely to be obese (95 % CI 2·23, 8·05; prevalence=44 %) than women in this pattern’s lowest tertile (both P<0·0001; prevalence=47 and 14 %, respectively). We found similarly strong associations in men. There was no association between the Mixed Diet pattern and overweight or obesity.
We identified two major dietary patterns in several African populations, a Mixed Diet pattern and a Processed Diet pattern. The Processed Diet pattern was associated with obesity.
We present Kitty, an unprecedented and near simultaneous flaring event in ten transitions (6 hydroxyl, 1 water and 3 methanol), that began on 1 January 2015 in the massive star-forming region NGC6334F located in the Cat’s Paw Nebula. The brightest components in each transition increased by factors of 20 to 70 in line with a factor of ~70 increase in dust emission luminosity for the source MM1. We also report the detection of only the fifth known 4.660 GHz hydroxyl maser and that it varied in a correlated fashion with 1.720, 6.031, and 6.035 GHz hydroxyl counterparts. We postulate that if Kitty, and two historical flares in 1965 & 1999, are accretion events and are caused by the successive passages of a secondary star disrupting the accretion disk, where the frequency of occurrence is cycling down at a rate of ~2.2, it is possible another event will occur in 2022.
The interferometric and single-dish observations of the Extended Green Objects sample have been carried out in order to check the possible common pumping mechanism of class I methanol maser (cIMM) and OH(1720 MHz) maser and their identification with a front of bipolar outflow as a source of interstellar shock stimulating collisional pumping of the molecules. High spatial and spectral resolution observations of OH masers allow us to investigate structure, kinematics, and magnetic field configuration of the inner region of the source, i.e., the outflow ejection region. Analysis of magnetic field strength in a disk area is crucial to understanding of the outflow origin.
The final stages of low-mass stellar evolution are characterized by significant mass loss due to stellar pulsations during the AGB phase, which lead to the development of planetary nebulae. Molecular masers of H2O, SiO, and ground state OH transitions are commonly detected in oxygen-rich late-type stars (OH/IR objects). In contrast, excited OH maser transitions are rare. We discuss our study of the carbon-rich pre-planetary nebula CRL618 (a prototypical post-AGB star). Observations conducted in May 2008 with the 305m Arecibo Telescope resulted in the first detection of a 4765MHz OH maser line in a late-type stellar object; the detection was confirmed a few months later also with Arecibo. Subsequent observations in 2015 and 2017 resulted in non-detection of the 4765MHz OH line. Our observations indicate that the 4765MHz OH maser in CRL 618 is highly variable, possibly tracing a short-lived phenomenon during the development of a pre-planetary nebula.
The dwarf galaxies in the Local Group (LG) reveal a surprising amount of spatial structuring. In particular, almost all non-satellite dwarfs belong to one of two planes that show a very pronounced symmetry. In order to determine if these structures in the LG are dynamically stable or, alternatively, if they only represent transient alignments, proper motion measurements of these galaxies are required. A viable method to derive proper motions is offered by VLBI studies of 22-GHz water (and 6.7-GHz methanol) maser lines in star-forming regions.
In 2016, in the framework of the Early Science Program of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT), we have conducted an extensive observational campaign to map the entire optical body of all the LG dwarf galaxies that belong to the two planes, at C and K band, in a search for methanol and water maser emission.
Here, we outline the project and present its first results on 3 targets, NGC 6822, IC 1613, and WLM. While no luminous maser emission has been detected in these galaxies, a number of interesting weaker detections has been obtained, associated with particularly active star forming regions. In addition, we have produced deep radio continuum maps for these galaxies, aimed at investigating their star forming activity and providing an improved assessment of star formation rates in these galaxies.
Radio astrometric campaigns using VLBI have provided distances and proper motions for masers associated with young massive stars (BeSSeL survey). The ongoing BAaDE project plans to obtain astrometric information of SiO maser stars located in the inner Galaxy. These stars are associated with evolved, mass-losing stars. By overlapping optical (Gaia), infrared (2MASS, MSX and WISE) and radio (BAaDE) sources, we expect to obtain important clues on the intrinsic properties and population distribution of late-type stars. Moreover, a comparison of the Galactic parameters obtained with Gaia and VLBI can be done using radio observations on different targets: young massive stars (BeSSeL) and evolved stars (BAaDE).
The first periodic Class II methanol maser was reported on in 2003. Since that time, a number of different monitoring programmes have found periodic masers, as well as other modes of variability. In a few cases, periodicity has been found in other maser species such as formaldehyde and water. Several distinct characteristics of light curves have been noted, possibly pointing to different underlying mechanisms for periodicity if one assumes a linear response to incoming radiation. I will give a brief overview of the known periodic sources, discuss current theories, and present new results obtained from monitoring mainline hydroxyl masers using the seven-element Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) during its science verification phase.
Since the discovery of periodic variability of Class II methanol masers associated with high-mass star formation, several possible driving mechanisms have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. Here the colliding wind binary (CWB) hypothesis is proposed to describe the periodic variability. It is shown that the recombination of a partially ionized gas describes the flare profiles remarkably well. In addition, the quiescent state flux density is also described remarkably well by the time-dependent change of the electron density. This suggests that the periodicity is caused by the time-dependent change in the radio free-free emission from the background HII regions against which the maser is projected.
We present polarimetric observations of the 4 ground-state transitions of OH, toward a sample of maser-emitting planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This sample includes confirmed OH-emitting PNe, confirmed and candidate H2O-maser-emitting PNe. Polarimetric observations provide information related to the magnetic field of these sources. Maser-emitting PNe are very young PNe and magnetic fields are a key ingredient in the early evolution and shaping process of PNe. Our preliminary results suggest that magnetic field strengths may change very rapidly in young PNe.
Theoretical simulations have shown that magnetic fields play an important role in massive star formation: they can suppress fragmentation in the star forming cloud, enhance accretion via disc and regulate outflows and jets. However, models require specific magnetic configurations and need more observational constraints to properly test the impact of magnetic fields. We investigate the magnetic field structure of the massive protostar IRAS18089-1732, analysing 6.7 GHz CH3OH maser MERLIN observations. IRAS18089-1732 is a well studied high mass protostar, showing a hot core chemistry, an accretion disc and a bipolar outflow. An ordered magnetic field oriented around its disc has been detected from previous observations of polarised dust. This gives us the chance to investigate how the magnetic field at the small scale probed by masers relates to the large scale field probed by the dust.
Observations at low frequencies (<8GHz) are dominated by distinct direction dependent ionospheric propagation errors, which place a very tight limit on the angular separation of a suitable phase referencing calibrator and astrometry. To increase the capability for high precision astrometric measurements an effective calibration strategy of the systematic ionospheric propagation effects that is widely applicable is required. The MultiView technique holds the key to the compensation of atmospheric spatial-structure errors, by using observations of multiple calibrators and two dimensional interpolation. In this paper we present the first demonstration of the power of MultiView using three calibrators, several degrees from the target, along with a comparative study of the astrometric accuracy between MultiView and phase-referencing techniques. MultiView calibration provides an order of magnitude improvement in astrometry with respect to conventional phase referencing, achieving ~100micro-arcseconds astrometry errors in a single epoch of observations, effectively reaching the thermal noise limit.
Identifying the transmission sources and reservoirs of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) is a long-standing question for pneumococcal epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and vaccine policy. Here we use serotype to identify SP transmission and examine acquisitions (in the same household, local community, and county, or of unidentified origin) in a longitudinal cohort of children and adults from the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache American Indian Tribes. We found that adults acquire SP relatively more in the household than other age groups, and children 2–8 years old typically acquire in their own or surrounding communities. Age-specific transmission probability matrices show that transmissions within household were mostly seen from older to younger siblings. Outside the household, children most often transmit to other children in the same age group, showing age-assortative mixing behavior. We find toddlers and older children to be most involved in SP transmission and acquisition, indicating their role as key drivers of SP epidemiology. Although infants have high carriage prevalence, they do not play a central role in transmission of SP compared with toddlers and older children. Our results are relevant to inform alternative pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dosing strategies and analytic efforts to inform optimization of vaccine programs, as well as assessing the transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by close contact in general.