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To assess potential transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) using surrogate markers and bacterial cultures.
A 1,260-bed tertiary-care academic medical center.
The study included 25 patients (17 of whom were on contact precautions for AROs) and 77 healthcare personnel (HCP).
Fluorescent powder (FP) and MS2 bacteriophage were applied in patient rooms. HCP visits to each room were observed for 2–4 hours; hand hygiene (HH) compliance was recorded. Surfaces inside and outside the room and HCP skin and clothing were assessed for fluorescence, and swabs were collected for MS2 detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and selective bacterial cultures.
Transfer of FP was observed for 20 rooms (80%) and 26 HCP (34%). Transfer of MS2 was detected for 10 rooms (40%) and 15 HCP (19%). Bacterial cultures were positive for 1 room and 8 HCP (10%). Interactions with patients on contact precautions resulted in fewer FP detections than interactions with patients not on precautions (P < .001); MS2 detections did not differ by patient isolation status. Fluorescent powder detections did not differ by HCP type, but MS2 was recovered more frequently from physicians than from nurses (P = .03). Overall, HH compliance was better among HCP caring for patients on contact precautions than among HCP caring for patients not on precautions (P = .003), among nurses than among other nonphysician HCP at room entry (P = .002), and among nurses than among physicians at room exit (P = .03). Moreover, HCP who performed HH prior to assessment had fewer fluorescence detections (P = .008).
Contact precautions were associated with greater HCP HH compliance and reduced detection of FP and MS2.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
The extensive heterogeneity both between and within the medulloblastoma (MB) subgroups underscores a critical need for variant-specific biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. We previously identified a role for the CD271/p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) in regulating stem/progenitor cells in the SHH MB subgroup. Here, we demonstrate the utility of CD271 as a novel diagnostic and prognostic marker for SHH MB using immunohistochemical analysis as well as transcriptome data across 763 primary tumors. Characterization of CD271+ and CD271- cells by RNA sequencing revealed that these two subpopulations are molecularly distinct, co-existing cellular subsets both in vitro and in vivo. MAPK/ERK signaling is upregulated in the CD271+ population and inhibiting this pathway reduced CD271 levels, stem/progenitor cell proliferation and cell survival as well as cell migration in vitro. Importantly, the MEK inhibitor selumetinib extends survival and reduces CD271 levels in vivo. Our study demonstrates the clinical utility of CD271 as both a diagnostic and prognostic tool for SHH MB tumors and reveals a novel role for MEK inhibitors in targeting CD271+ SHH MB cells.
Fermented soybean meal (FSM), which has lower anti-nutritional factors and higher active enzyme, probiotic and oligosaccharide contents than its unfermented form, has been reported to improve the feeding value of soybean meal, and hence, the growth performance of piglets. However, whether FSM can affect the bacterial and metabolites in the large intestine of piglets remains unknown. This study supplemented wet-FSM (WFSM) or dry-FSM (DFSM) (5% dry matter basis) in the diet of piglets and investigated its effects on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the piglets’ large intestines. A total of 75 41-day-old Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets with an initial BW of 13.14±0.22 kg were used in a 4-week feeding trial. Our results showed that the average daily gain of piglets in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 27.08% and 14.58% and that the feed conversion ratio improved by 18.18% and 7.27%, respectively, compared with the control group. Data from the prediction gene function of Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing showed that carbohydrate metabolism function families in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 3.46% and 2.68% and that the amino acid metabolism function families decreased by 1.74% and 0.82%, respectively, compared with the control group. These results were consistent with those of other metabolism studies, which showed that dietary supplementation with WFSM and DFSM increased the level of carbohydrate-related metabolites (e.g. 4-aminobutanoate, 5-aminopentanoate, lactic acid, mannitol, threitol and β-alanine) and decreased the levels of those related to protein catabolism (e.g. 1,3-diaminopropane, creatine, glycine and inosine). In conclusion, supplementation with the two forms of FSM improved growth performance, increased metabolites of carbohydrate and reduced metabolites of protein in the large intestine of piglets, and WFSM exhibited a stronger effect than DFSM.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Difficulties in regulating emotions are linked to the core symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). We therefore investigated the neural substrates of emotion-regulation problems in women with PMDD.
On the basis of self-evaluations over 2 months on the Daily Record of Severity of Problems, eligible participants were assigned to two groups: PMDD and control (18 per group). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a well-validated task were used to assess brain function during emotion regulation. Participants were tested twice, once during the follicular (asymptomatic) and once in the late luteal (symptomatic) phase of the menstrual cycle.
Women with PMDD gave higher ratings of negative affect in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase, and compared with healthy control participants during the luteal phase. A region-of-interest fMRI analysis indicated that during the late luteal phase, women with PMDD had hypoactivation in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) during all conditions of the emotion-regulation task, not only in the contrast that isolated emotion regulation. An exploratory whole-brain, voxel-wise analysis showed that women with PMDD had less activation in the precentral gyrus during the luteal phase than the follicular phase, and less activation in the postcentral gyrus compared with control participants.
During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, women with PMDD experience difficulty regulating emotions. Hypoactivation in the right dlPFC may contribute to this problem, but may be related more generally to other affective symptoms of PMDD. Hypofunction in the right pre- and postcentral gyri warrants additional study.
The Rockefeller Clinical Scholars (KL2) program began in 1976 and transitioned into a 3-year Master’s degree program in 2006 when Rockefeller joined the National Institute of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award program. The program consists of ∼15 trainees supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award KL2 award and University funds. It is designed to provide an optimal environment for junior translational investigators to develop team science and leadership skills by designing and performing a human subjects protocol under the supervision of a distinguished senior investigator mentor and a team of content expert educators. This is complemented by a tutorial focused on important translational skills.
Since 2006, 40 Clinical Scholars have graduated from the programs and gone on to careers in academia (72%), government service (5%), industry (15%), and private medical practice (3%); 2 (5%) remain in training programs; 39/40 remain in translational research careers with 23 National Institute of Health awards totaling $23 million, foundation and philanthropic support of $20.3 million, and foreign government and foundation support of $6 million. They have made wide ranging scientific discoveries and have endeavored to translate those discoveries into improved human health.
The Rockefeller Clinical Scholars (KL2) program provides one model for translational science training.
The objectives of this study were to determine the effect and mode of action of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (YST2) on enteric methane (CH4) mitigation in pigs. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire male finisher pigs (60±1 kg), housed individually in open-circuit respiration chambers, were randomly assigned to two dietary groups: a basal diet (control); and a basal diet supplemented with 3 g/YST2 (1.8×1010 live cells/g) per kg diet. At the end of 32-day experiment, pigs were sacrificed and redox potential (Eh), pH, volatile fatty acid concentration, densities of methanogens and acetogens, and expression of methyl coenzyme-M reductase subunit A gene were determined in digesta contents from the cecum, colon and rectum. Results showed that S. cerevisiae YST2 decreased (P<0.05) the average daily enteric CH4 production by 25.3%, lowered the pH value from 6.99 to 6.69 in the rectum, and increased the Eh value in cecum and colon by up to −55 mV (P<0.05). Fermentation patterns were also altered by supplementation of YST2 as reflected by the lower acetate, and higher propionate molar proportion in the cecum and colon (P<0.05), resulting in lower acetate : propionate ratio (P<0.05). Moreover, there was a 61% decrease in Methanobrevibacter species in the upper colon (P<0.05) and a 19% increase in the acetogen community in the cecum (P<0.05) of treated pigs. Results of our study concluded that supplementation of S. cerevisiae YST2 at 3 g/kg substantially decreased enteric CH4 production in pigs.
To evaluate healthcare worker (HCW) risk of self-contamination when donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) using fluorescence and MS2 bacteriophage.
Prospective pilot study.
A total of 36 HCWs were included in this study: 18 donned/doffed contact precaution (CP) PPE and 18 donned/doffed Ebola virus disease (EVD) PPE.
HCWs donned PPE according to standard protocols. Fluorescent liquid and MS2 bacteriophage were applied to HCWs. HCWs then doffed their PPE. After doffing, HCWs were scanned for fluorescence and swabbed for MS2. MS2 detection was performed using reverse transcriptase PCR. The donning and doffing processes were videotaped, and protocol deviations were recorded.
Overall, 27% of EVD PPE HCWs and 50% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while donning, and 100% of EVD PPE HCWs and 67% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while doffing (P=.02). The median number of doffing protocol deviations among EVD PPE HCWs was 4, versus 1 among CP PPE HCWs. Also, 15 EVD PPE protocol deviations were committed by doffing assistants and/or trained observers. Fluorescence was detected on 8 EVD PPE HCWs (44%) and 5 CP PPE HCWs (28%), most commonly on hands. MS2 was recovered from 2 EVD PPE HCWs (11%) and 3 CP PPE HCWs (17%).
Protocol deviations were common during both EVD and CP PPE doffing, and some deviations during EVD PPE doffing were committed by the HCW doffing assistant and/or the trained observer. Self-contamination was common. PPE donning/doffing are complex and deserve additional study.
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dietary fiber on methanogenic diversity and community composition in the hindgut of indigenous Chinese Lantang gilts to explain the unexpected findings reported earlier that Lantang gilts fed low-fiber diet (LFD) produced more methane than those fed high-fiber diet (HFD). In total, 12 Lantang gilts (58.7±0.37 kg) were randomly divided into two dietary groups (six replicates (pigs) per group) and fed either LFD (NDF=201.46 g/kg) or HFD (NDF=329.70 g/kg). Wheat bran was the main source of fiber for the LFD, whereas ground rice hull (mixture of rice hull and rice bran) was used for the HFD. Results showed that the methanogens in the hindgut of Lantang gilts belonged to four known species (Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, Methanobrevibacter wolinii, Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter smithii), with about 89% of the methanogens belonging to the genus Methanobrevibacter. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies of Methanobrevibacter were more than three times higher (P<0.05) for gilts fed LFD (3.31×109 copies/g dry matter (DM)) than gilts fed HFD (1.02×109 copies/g DM). No difference (P>0.05) was observed in 16S rRNA gene copies of Fibrobacter succinogenes between the two dietary groups, and 18S rRNA gene copies of anaerobic fungi in gilts fed LFD were lower than (P<0.05) those fed HFD. To better explain the effect of different fiber source on the methanogen community, a follow-up in vitro fermentation using a factorial design comprised of two inocula (prepared from hindgut content of gilts fed two diets differing in their dietary fiber)×four substrates (LFD, HFD, wheat bran, ground rice hull) was conducted. Results of the in vitro fermentation confirmed that the predominant methanogens belonged to the genus of Methanobrevibacter, and about 23% methanogens was found to be distantly related (90%) to Thermogymnomonas acidicola. In vitro fermentation also seems to suggest that fiber source did change the methanogens community. Although the density of Methanobrevibacter species was positively correlated with CH4 production in both in vivo (P<0.01, r=0.737) and in vitro trials (P<0.05, r=0.854), which could partly explain the higher methane production from gilts fed LFD compared with those in the HFD group. Further investigation is needed to explain how the rice hull affected the methanogens and inhibited CH4 emission from gilts fed HFD.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
Experimental evidence supporting the theory of hot tail runaway electron (RE) generation has been identified in TEXTOR disruptions. With higher temperature, more REs are generated during the thermal quench. Increasing the RE generation by increasing the temperature, an obvious RE plateau is observed even with low toroidal magnetic field (1.7 T). These results explain the previously found electron density threshold for RE generation.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
Exact analysis of displacements and stresses in 2-D orthotopic laminates under extension is conducted. On the basis of the Hamiltonian state space approach and the transfer matrix method, a complete solution, in the context of generalized strain, which exactly satisfies the state space equation, the traction-free BC on the top and bottom surfaces of the rectangular section, the interfacial continuity conditions in multi-layered laminates, and the end conditions on free edges, is obtained by combing the eigensolutions and the particular solution. Evaluating of the stresses in the boundary layer for verification shows that the stress decay in laminates under uniform extension may be slow and the edge effects may be pronounced.
Obesity and anxiety are often linked but the direction of effects is not clear.
Using genetic instrumental variable (IV) analyses in 5911 female participants from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS, initiated 1976) and 3697 male participants from the Health Professional Follow-up Study (HPFS, initiated 1986), we aimed to determine whether obesity increases symptoms of phobic anxiety. As instrumental variables we used the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene, the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) gene and a genetic risk score (GRS) based on 32 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that significantly predict body mass index (BMI). ‘Functional’ GRSs corresponding with specific biological pathways that shape BMI (adipogenesis, appetite and cardiopulmonary) were considered. The main outcome was phobic anxiety measured by the Crown Crisp Index (CCI) in 2004 in the NHS and in 2000 in the HPFS.
In observational analysis, a 1-unit higher BMI was associated with higher phobic anxiety symptoms [women: β = 0.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.030–0.068; men: β = 0.04, 95% CI 0.016–0.071). IV analyses showed that BMI was associated with higher phobic anxiety symptoms in the FTO-instrumented analysis (p = 0.005) but not in the GRS-instrumented analysis (p = 0.256). Functional GRSs showed heterogeneous, non-significant effects of BMI on phobic anxiety symptoms.
Our findings do not provide conclusive evidence in favor of the hypothesis that higher BMI leads to higher levels of phobic anxiety, but rather suggest that genes that influence obesity, in particular FTO, may have direct effects on phobic anxiety, and hence that obesity and phobic anxiety may share common genetic determinants.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.
To investigate the missing compact star of Supernova 1987A, we analyzed the cooling and heating processes of a possible compact star based on the upper limit of observational X-ray luminosity. From the cooling process, we found that a solid quark-cluster star (SQS), having a stiffer equation of state than that of a conventional liquid quark star, has a heat capacity much smaller than a neutron star. The SQS can cool down quickly, naturally explaining the non-detection of a point source in X-ray wavelengths. On the other hand, we considered the heating processes due to magnetospheric activity and possible accretion and obtained some constraints on the parameters of a possible pulsar. Therefore, we concluded that a SQS can explain the observational limit in a confident parameter space. As a possible central compact object, the pulsar parameter constraints can be tested for SN1987A with advanced, future facilities.