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Introduction: Delirium is a common complication among older people who need care in the emergency department (ED). Mobility is an evidence-based non-pharmacologic strategy shown to reduce delirium and functional decline among older patients in the acute care setting. However, previous research has shown that compliance with mobility is important to achieve this decreased incidence of delirium. Gait tracking devices have been used in previous studies to accurately measure steps, engagement and intensity of physical activity in older hospitalized patients.The objectives of this study are to compare the feasibility and validate the accuracy of three accelerometer-based gait tracking devices. This is the first step in a program of research to objectively measure mobility among older ED patients as a potential marker of delirium risk. Methods: This is a prospective, observational study of patients 65 years of age and older during their ED visit. We excluded those with critical illness, unable to communicate or provide consent (language barrier, aphasia); and those with any ambulatory impediments. Consenting participants wear the gait trackers for the duration of their stay or for a minimum of 8 hour, and ambulate as normally as they would in their home. Devices were retrieved when the patient was admitted, discharged or, after 8 hours and the steps count was then recorded from an online interface. Our primary feasibility measure is the proportion of eligible patient for which we are be able to recover the tracker and record their steps. The primary validation endpoint will be the concordance between steps recorded by the gait tracking device compared to a gold standard manual step count over a fixed distance. We will report proportions with exact binomial 95% confidence intervals (CI) for feasibility and validity endpoints. Results: Preliminary data from an initial pilot phase includes 7 participants who wore a gait tracking device during their ED visit. Mean age was 79.7 years (+/−5.76) and 57% were females. Devices were worn by participants and recovered by research staff in all 7 cases (100%, 95% CI: 59 – 100). Data from online interface has been collected from 6 participants (85%, 95%CI: 42 – 99). Mean step count by observer was 86.17 +/− 4 (95% CI 82.2 – 90.2) and 70.3 +/− 4 (95%CI 66-74.3) by gait tracker. Conclusion: Our preliminary data suggests that use of gait-tracking devices in the ED is feasible.
The objective of this work was to determine the rumen degradation characteristics over the growing season of maize stover in two contrasting zones in the central highlands of Mexico. Twenty four maize plots were selected, three harvest periods P1, P2, and P3 were established in order to evaluate degradation characteristics at different development stages, for ‘criollo’ maize varieties of three grain colours (white, yellow and black) representing different cultivation practices given their different growing cycles. In vitro gas production (GP) incubations were carried out, and cumulative gas volumes were fitted to the Krishnamoorthy, Soller, Steingass and Menke (1991) model. The results indicate that more research is needed to evaluate why maize degradability and fermentation characteristics as exemplified by this work are not greatly affected by time.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
This work shows a cost effective process to prepare carbon-carbon nanostructured composites using mechanical milling (MM) and a new manufacturing method based on rapid induction sintering. Here we use commercially and cost effective amorphous sources of carbon. The nature of the raw carbon is characterized by means of XRD and Raman, and after MM and sintering we observe a clear evolution of the phases of carbon in situ into more complex structures, including but not limited to graphene, graphitic carbon, and nanodiamond. The raw soot transforms in situ into graphitic particles after 1 hour of MM. Further milling (10 hours) induces the formation of nano-diamond particles. Milling times between 1 and 10 h are ideal to prepare intermediate phases between graphene and nanodiamond. In other words MM is capable of inducing the formation of nearly amorphous carbon soot into complex structures that are ideal for structural composite materials. The sintering process is a novel method involving a “pressureless” process and rapid induction heating. Furthermore, the carbon nanostructures that are produced during milling serve as seeds to grow larger particles that can easily reach micrometric sizes. This process achieved high densification as that proposed in commercial methods such as Spark Plasma Sintering.
A number of recent reports emphasize the risk of zoonotic diseases and the high degree of prevalence of asymptomatic animals infected with Leptospira interrogans. This report sought to assess the prevalence of antibodies to certain serovars of L. interrogans, and to describe the association between seropositivity and risk factors associated with within-flock transmission in a mountainous region of Mexico. Overall seroprevalence to L. interrogans was 54·5% (95% confidence interval 48·3–60·7); the most frequent serovar was Icterohaemorrhagiae. The accumulation of placentas and fetuses at a site close to lambing paddocks can play a significant role as a risk factor for within-flock transmission of L. interrogans in transhumant farming systems in the municipality of Xalatlaco. The high prevalence of L. interrogans antibodies supports the hypothesis that natural foci of this zoonosis are present in sheep flocks in this area. These findings emphasize the need for planning and implementation of control programmes for ovine leptospirosis in Mexico and elsewhere.
The antimicrobial properties of polymer materials are used in a verity of applications. Silver nanoparticles are commonly applied to polyurethane foams to obtain antifungal properties. For this study a series of nanocomposites (PU–Ag) from a urethane-type polymer (PU) were reinforced with various amounts of silver nanoparticles having an average size of 20 nm. The surface morphology and antifungal capacity of the nanocomposites were evaluated. As a result, a different surface morphology from PU was found in PU–Ag nanocomposites. The latter nanocomposite showed enhanced thermal and mechanical properties, when compared with the PU without silver nanoaprticles. The nanocomposite also exhibited good antifungal properties that can be used in a variety of applications.
Understanding the response of biodiversity to land-use changes is an important challenge for ecologists. We assessed the effects of five landscape metrics (forest cover, number of patches, edge density, mean inter-patch isolation distance and matrix quality) and three patch metrics (patch size, shape and isolation) on the number of species and patch occupancy of medium- and large-sized terrestrial mammals in the fragmented Lacandona rain forest, Mexico. We sampled mammal assemblages in 24 forest patches and four control areas within a continuous forest. The landscape metrics were measured within a 100-ha buffer, and within a 500-ha buffer from the centre of each sampling site. A total of 21 species from 13 families was recorded. The number of species increased with shape complexity and patch size at the patch scale, and with matrix quality within 100-ha landscapes. When considering 500-ha landscapes, only the number of patches (i.e. forest fragmentation level) tended to have a negative influence at the community level. Different landscape and patch metrics predicted the occurrence of each species within the sites. Our results indicate that there is a gradient of tolerance to forest cover change, from highly sensitive species to those tolerant of, or even benefited by, forest-cover change.