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The preconception, pregnancy and immediate postpartum and newborn periods are times for mothers and their offspring when they are especially vulnerable to major stressors – those that are sudden and unexpected and those that are chronic. Their adverse effects can transcend generations. Stressors can include natural disasters or political stressors such as conflict and/or migration. Considerable evidence has accumulated demonstrating the adverse effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes and developmental trajectories. However, beyond tracking outcomes, the time has arrived for gathering more information related to identifying mechanisms, predicting risk and developing stress-reducing and resilience-building interventions to improve outcomes. Further, we need to learn how to encapsulate both the quantitative and qualitative information available and share it with communities and authorities to mitigate the adverse developmental effects of future disasters, conflicts and migrations. This article briefly reviews prenatal maternal stress and identifies three contemporary situations (wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA and transgenerational and migrant stress in Pforzheim, Germany) where current studies are being established by Canadian investigators to test an intervention. The experiences from these efforts are related along with attempts to involve communities in the studies and share the new knowledge to plan for future disasters or tragedies.
Maternal insufficiency during fetal development can have long-lasting effects on the offspring, most notably on nephron endowment. In polycystic kidney disease (PKD), variability in severity of disease is observed and maternal environment may be a modifying factor. In this study, we first established that in a rodent model of PKD, the Lewis polycystic kidney (LPK) rat’s nephron numbers are 25% lower compared with wildtype animals. We then investigated the effects of prenatal and postnatal maternal environment on phenotype and nephron number. LPK pups born from and raised by homozygous LPK dams (control) were compared with LPK pups cross-fostered onto heterozygous LPK dams to improve postnatal environment; with LPK pups born from and raised by heterozygous LPK dams to improve both prenatal and postnatal environment and with LPK pups born from and raised by Wistar Kyoto-LPK heterozygous dams to improve both prenatal and postnatal environment on a different genetic background. Improvement in both prenatal and postnatal environment improved postnatal growth, renal function and reduced blood pressure, most notably in animals with different genetic background. Animals with improved postnatal environment only showed improved growth and blood pressure, but to a lesser extent. All intervention groups showed increased nephron number compared with control LPK. In summary, prenatal and postnatal environment had significant effect in delaying progression and reducing severity of PKD, including nephron endowment.
Indigenous women and children experience some of the most profound health disparities globally. These disparities are grounded in historical and contemporary trauma secondary to colonial atrocities perpetuated by settler society. The health disparities that exist for chronic diseases may have their origins in early-life exposures that Indigenous women and children face. Mechanistically, there is evidence that these adverse exposures epigenetically modify genes associated with cardiometabolic disease risk. Interventions designed to support a resilient pregnancy and first 1000 days of life should abrogate disparities in early-life socioeconomic status. Breastfeeding, prenatal care and early child education are key targets for governments and health care providers to start addressing current health disparities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous youth. Programmes grounded in cultural safety and co-developed with communities have successfully reduced health disparities. More works of this kind are needed to reduce inequities in cardiometabolic diseases among Indigenous women and children worldwide.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Background: EVT is now recommended as standard of care for stroke in Canada, but its implementation still poses challenges. We studied the delivery of EVT in our hospital, a participanting site in the ESCAPE trial, which serves the province of Nova Scotia. Methods: Patients who underwent EVT December 2011 – December 2016 were identified prospectively. Demographics, process measures, imaging characteristics (Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score [ASPECTS], collateral score, Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction [TICI] score), and outcomes, including modified Rankin score [mRS] ~ 90 days post-EVT, were collected retrospectively. Effectiveness was assessed by comparison with outcomes in the ESCAPE trial. Results: 91 patients (M:F= 48:43; mean age 64 years) presented to hospital after 194 min ± 230 min from last seen normal. In 58%, the ASPECTS was >7. 80% had good/intermediate collaterals. Alteplase was administered to 72% (75% in ESCAPE, p=0.97). EVT mean duration was 70 min ± 62 min. Successful recanalization (≥TICI 2b) was achieved in 76% (vs 72.4% in ESCAPE, p= 0.97). Among the 54 patients recanalized, mRS scores of 0-2, 3-5 and 6 were seen in 57.4, 24.1 and 14.8% respectively; ESCAPE comparators 53, 37 and 10%, p=0.96, 0.86 and 0.91. Conclusions: EVT at our hospital yielded results similar to the ESCAPE trial.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd2+, Zn2+, and Fe2+salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd2+ or Zn2+in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.
To determine the effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation using the Wii Fit balance platform, in adults with dizziness.
A single-site prospective clinical trial was conducted in a university hospital in the UK. Forty patients with dizziness, who would normally be candidates for vestibular rehabilitation, were identified and considered as potential participants. Participants were randomised into either the treatment group (the Wii Fit group) or the control group (standard customised vestibular rehabilitation protocol). Participants were assessed over a 16-week period using several balance and quality of life questionnaires.
Both exercise regimes resulted in a reduction of dizziness and an improvement in quality of life scores over time, but no statistically significant difference between the two interventions was identified.
This pilot study demonstrated that use of the Wii Fit balance platform resulted in a statistically significant improvement in balance function and quality of life. Furthermore, outcomes were comparable to a similar group of individuals following a standard customised vestibular rehabilitation protocol. The study provides useful information to inform the design and execution of a larger clinical trial.
Cadmium (Cd) accumulates in the human food chain and poses a risk of kidney dysfunction (Fanconi Syndrome) and bone disorders in humans. The margin of safety between typical Cd intakes by humans and levels associated with toxicity is smaller than for other metals. Consumption of just one sheep kidney could cause an average adult person to exceed their Provisional Maximum Tolerable Daily Intake. However, the rate of accumulation in sheep’s liver and kidney, the primary target organs for Cd accumulation, is unclear. This makes prediction of the effects of varying Cd intake by sheep on the Cd concentration in these organs difficult. We undertook a meta-analysis of independent feeding trials, which sought to integrate previous findings in order to review existing legislation on permitted levels of Cd in animal feeds and organs. Resulting predictions on Cd accumulation in sheep liver and kidneys are applicable to the broad set of exposure situations investigated in the individual studies.
Lead from car exhausts persists on roadside verges, and ruminants grazing close to a busy road are likely to consume contaminated herbage. However, cattle can detect lead on herbage when it is at concentrations of 170 mg Pb/kg DM or above and have been observed to avoid grazing pasture with 304 and 462 mg Pb/kg DM (Strojan and Phillips, 1997). Herbage 7.5 m from a busy dual carriageway has been recorded with 454 mg Pb/kg DM (Motto et al., 1970).
The avoidance of lead-contaminated herbage may be the result of low digestibility of the leadcontaminated herbage, so the digestion rate of samples of herbage from the experiments of Strojan and Phillips (1997), referred to in the Introduction, was determined by the gas production technique (Menke and Steingass, 1988). Using 15 and 10 replicates/treatment from two experiments where lead acetate was sprayed onto cut (Experiment 1) and grazed (Experiment 2) herbage, 200 mg DM of each herbage sample was incubated in sheep rumen liquor in syringe pipettes.
A series of ice cores from sites with different snow-accumulation rates across Law Dome, East Antarctica, was investigated for methanesulphonic acid (MSA) movement. the precipitation at these sites (up to 35 km apart) is influenced by the same air masses, the principal difference being the accumulation rate. At the low-accumulation-rate W20k site (0.17m ice equivalent), MSAwas completely relocated from the summer to winter layer. Moderate movement was observed at the intermediate-accumulation-rate site (0.7m ice equivalent), Dome Summit South (DSS), while there was no evidence of movement at the high-accumulation-rate DE08 site (1.4m ice equivalent). the main DSS record of MSA covered the epoch AD 1727–2000 and was used to investigate temporal post-depositional changes. Co-deposition of MSA and sea-salt ions was observed in the surface layers, outside of the main summer MSA peak,which complicates interpretation of these peaks as evidence of movement in deeper layers. A seasonal study of the 273 year DSS record revealed MSA migration predominantly from summer into autumn (in the up-core direction), but this migration was suppressed during the Tambora (1815) and unknown (1809) volcanic eruption period, and enhanced during an epoch (1770–1800) with high summer nitrate levels. A complex interaction between the gradients in nss-sulphate, nitrate and sea salts (which are influenced by accumulation rate) is believed to control the rate and extent of movement of MSA.
We present multi–epoch VLBI observations of the methanol and water masers in the high–mass star formation region G 339.884−1.259, made using the Australian Long Baseline Array (LBA). Our sub–milliarcsecond precision measurements trace the proper motions of individual maser features in the plane of the sky. When combined with the direct line–of–sight radial velocity (vlsr), these measure the 3 D gas kinematics of the associated high–mass star formation region, allowing us to probe the dynamical processes to within 1000 AU of the core.
We present results of 6.7 GHz methanol maser observations using the European VLBI Network (EVN) toward the G34.3+0.2 complex, which contains a prototypical cometary HII region and a dust enshrouded, probably emerging massive star, G34.24+0.13. We have investigated the methanol maser distribution in both objects and compared it with the OH and water masers in the main HII region. The masers in G34.24+0.13 lie on top of the 1.3 mm continuum emission showing that methanol masers are present, even at this early evolutionary stage.
Simultaneous VLBI observations of the SiO masers of the J = 1 → 0 rotational line in the v = 1 and v = 2 vibrational levels toward Mira variables are presented. Because SiO maser lines are formed deep in circumstellar envelopes they serve as a unique tool to study the innermost envelopes of evolved stars. Although the first interpretation of SiO maser emission was made in 1974, observational features are only partially explained by models which have been suggested since then. Positional coincidence of the J = 1 → 0 masers of v = 1 and v = 2 has been argued as a way to distinguish among the maser pumping models, but it requires simultaneous observations of the two lines using high resolution. We have developed the technique for such observations during the last few years and here we report successful results of our simultaneous observations of the SiO v = 1 and v = 2 J = 1 → 0 masers using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). We discuss the pumping mechanism in terms of our observational results.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
In this prospective study of upper middle class youth, we document frequency of alcohol and drug use, as well as diagnoses of abuse and dependence, during early adulthood. Two cohorts were assessed as high school seniors and then annually across 4 college years (New England Study of Suburban Youth younger cohort [NESSY-Y]), and across ages 23–27 (NESSY older cohort [NESSY-O]; ns = 152 and 183 at final assessments, respectively). Across gender and annual assessments, results showed substantial elevations, relative to norms, for frequency of drunkenness and using marijuana, stimulants, and cocaine. Of more concern were psychiatric diagnoses of alcohol/drug dependence: among women and men, respectively, lifetime rates ranged between 19%–24% and 23%–40% among NESSY-Os at age 26; and 11%–16% and 19%–27% among NESSY-Ys at 22. Relative to norms, these rates among NESSY-O women and men were three and two times as high, respectively, and among NESSY-Y, close to one among women but twice as high among men. Findings also showed the protective power of parents’ containment (anticipated stringency of repercussions for substance use) at age 18; this was inversely associated with frequency of drunkenness and marijuana and stimulant use in adulthood. Results emphasize the need to take seriously the elevated rates of substance documented among adolescents in affluent American school communities.