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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
Background: In preparation for July 2019 rollout of competency-based design (CBD) in Canadian neurosurgery residency training, the University of Calgary launched a pilot-program of five representative EPAs using the One45 program. Our study objectives were to examine the uptake of CBD with residents and faculty and to quantify CBD implementation barriers. Methods: Phase one of the One45-based CBD pilot-program launched on November 1st, 2018 and ended on January 8th, 2019, after which a questionnaire was sent to each participating resident. The questionnaire examined number of EPAs initiated, measures of favourability, importance, ease of use, and barriers encountered. Results: Results obtained from the survey show 93.8% response rate (15/16 residents). 66.7% of residents feel that CBD is moderately important or higher to their education. Over the 10 study weeks, there were only 8 completed EPAs (expected was 50), five of which were completed by a single resident. Major expressed barriers of implementation of CBD were time involved (50.0%) and technical unfamiliarity with the platform itself (50.0%). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the critical importance of piloting a CBD program prior to official implementation as immediate buy-in was significantly slower than anticipated. Technical and time barriers exist which need to be rectified in advance of July 2019.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Formation of a low barrier back contact plays a critical role in improving the photoconversion efficiency of the CdTe solar cells. Incorporating a buffer layer to minimize the band bending at the back of the CdTe device can significantly lower the barrier for the hole current, improving open circuit voltage (VOC) and the fill factor. Over the past years, researchers have incorporated the both ZnTe and Te as buffer layers to improve CdTe device performance. Here we compare device performance using these two materials as buffer layers at the back of CdTe devices. We show that using Te in contact to CdTe results in higher performance than using ZnTe in contact to the CdTe. Low temperature current density-voltage measurements show that Te results is a lower barrier with CdTe than ZnTe, indicating that Te has better band alignment, resulting in less downward bending in the CdTe at the back interface, than ZnTe does.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Sepsis is defined as the dysregulated host response to an infection resulting in life-threatening organ dysfunction. The metabolic demand from inefficiencies in anaerobic metabolism, mitochondrial and cellular dysfunction, increased cellular turnover, and free-radical damage result in the increased focus of micronutrients in sepsis as they play a pivotal role in these processes. In the present review, we will evaluate the potential role of micronutrients in sepsis, specifically, thiamine, l-carnitine, vitamin C, Se and vitamin D. Each micronutrient will be reviewed in a similar fashion, discussing its major role in normal physiology, suspected role in sepsis, use as a biomarker, discussion of the major basic science and human studies, and conclusion statement. Based on the current available data, we conclude that thiamine may be considered in all septic patients at risk for thiamine deficiency and l-carnitine and vitamin C to those in septic shock. Clinical trials are currently underway which may provide greater insight into the role of micronutrients in sepsis and validate standard utilisation.
Dietary indices have been related to risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D) predominantly in white populations. The present study evaluated this association in the ethnically diverse Multiethnic Cohort and examined four diet quality indices in relation to T2D risk, homoeostatic model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and biomarkers of dyslipidaemia, inflammation and adipokines. The T2D analysis included 166 550 white, African American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese American and Latino participants (9200 incident T2D cases). Dietary intake was assessed at baseline using a quantitative FFQ and T2D status was based on three self-reports and confirmed by administrative data. Biomarkers were assessed about 10 years later in a biomarker subcohort (n 10 060). Sex- and ethnicity-specific hazard ratios were calculated for the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI-2010), the alternative HEI-2010 (AHEI-2010), the alternate Mediterranean diet score (aMED) and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). Multivariable-adjusted means of biomarkers were compared across dietary index tertiles in the biomarker subcohort. The AHEI-2010, aMED (in men only) and DASH scores were related to a 10–20 % lower T2D risk, with the strongest associations in whites and the direction of the relationships mostly consistent across ethnic groups. Higher scores on the four indices were related to lower HOMA-IR, TAG and C-reactive protein concentrations, not related to leptin, and the DASH score was directly associated with adiponectin. The AHEI-2010 and DASH were directly related to HDL-cholesterol in women. Potential underlying biological mechanisms linking diet quality and T2D risk are an improved lipid profile and reduced systemic inflammation and, with regards to DASH alone, an improved adiponectin profile.
The healthy Nordic diet has been previously shown to have health beneficial effects among subjects at risk of CVD. However, the extent of food changes needed to achieve these effects is less explored. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of exchanging a few commercially available, regularly consumed key food items (e.g. spread on bread, fat for cooking, cheese, bread and cereals) with improved fat quality on total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers in a double-blind randomised, controlled trial. In total, 115 moderately hypercholesterolaemic, non-statin-treated adults (25–70 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental diet group (Ex-diet group) or control diet group (C-diet group) for 8 weeks with commercially available food items with different fatty acid composition (replacing SFA with mostly n-6 PUFA). In the Ex-diet group, serum total cholesterol (P<0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (P<0·001) were reduced after 8 weeks, compared with the C-diet group. The difference in change between the two groups at the end of the study was −9 and −11 % in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, respectively. No difference in change in plasma levels of inflammatory markers (high-sensitive C-reactive protein, IL-6, soluble TNF receptor 1 and interferon-γ) was observed between the groups. In conclusion, exchanging a few regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol, with no negative effect on levels of inflammatory markers. This shows that an exchange of a few commercially available food items was easy and manageable and led to clinically relevant cholesterol reduction, potentially affecting future CVD risk.
Optimal implementation of audit-and-feedback is an important part of advancing antimicrobial stewardship programs. Our survey demonstrated variability in how 61 programs approach audit-and-feedback. The median (interquartile range) number of recommendations per week was 9 (5–19) per 100 hospital-beds. A major perceived barrier to more comprehensive stewardship was lack of resources.
Recent meta-analyses of resting-state networks in major depressive disorder (MDD) implicate network disruptions underlying cognitive and affective features of illness. Heterogeneity of findings to date may stem from the relative lack of data parsing clinical features of MDD such as phase of illness and the burden of multiple episodes.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 17 active MDD and 34 remitted MDD patients, and 26 healthy controls (HCs) across two sites. Participants were medication-free and further subdivided into those with single v. multiple episodes to examine disease burden. Seed-based connectivity using the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed to probe the default mode network as well as the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) seeds to probe the salience network (SN) were conducted.
Young adults with remitted MDD demonstrated hyperconnectivity of the left PCC to the left inferior frontal gyrus and of the left sgACC to the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and left hippocampus compared with HCs. Episode-independent effects were observed between the left PCC and the right dorsolateral PFC, as well as between the left amygdala and right insula and caudate, whereas the burden of multiple episodes was associated with hypoconnectivity of the left PCC to multiple cognitive control regions as well as hypoconnectivity of the amygdala to large portions of the SN.
This is the first study of a homogeneous sample of unmedicated young adults with a history of adolescent-onset MDD illustrating brain-based episodic features of illness.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
Background: Dysembryoblastic neuroepithelial tumors (DNETs) are benign tumors of the cerebral cortex that most commonly occur in children or young adults. Seizures are a frequent presenting feature, with an incidence of 80-100%, and are often an indication for surgical resection. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of children with DNETs who underwent epilepsy surgery between 1998 and 2014. Results: A total of 12 subjects were identified (6 males, 6 females), all of whom had seizures prior to surgical resection. Of these patients, 1 had infantile spasms, 2 had simple partial seizures and 10 had complex partial seizures. Tumors were located in the temporal (n=7), frontal (n=3) or parietal (n=2) cortex. These patients went on to have surgery on average 15 months after seizure onset, 3 had incomplete resections. At an average follow up of 6 years 4 months, all patients were class 1 on Engel’s Classification. All but one subject with rare non-disabling seizures were seizure free, with only 6 on medication. Follow up MR imaging revealed tumor recurrence in 1 subject. Conclusions: Despite differing seizure seminology and tumor location, surgical resection of these low-grade tumors resulted in excellent seizure outcome even in the setting of incomplete tumor resection.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio–astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day−1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.