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To describe the pattern of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during 2 nosocomial outbreaks of COVID-19 with regard to the possibility of airborne transmission.
Contact investigations with active case finding were used to assess the pattern of spread from 2 COVID-19 index patients.
A community hospital and university medical center in the United States, in February and March, 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two index patients and 421 exposed health care workers.
Exposed staff were identified by analyzing the EMR and conducting active case finding in combination with structured interviews. Staff were tested for COVID-19 by obtaining oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal specimens, with RT-PCR testing to detect SARS-CoV-2.
Two separate index patients were admitted in February and March 2020, without initial suspicion for COVID-19 and without contact or droplet precautions in place; both patients underwent several aerosol generating procedures in this context. A total of 421 health care workers were exposed in total, and the results of the case contact investigations identified 8 secondary infections in health care workers. In all 8 cases, the staff had close contact with the index patients without sufficient personal protective equipment. Importantly, despite multiple aerosol generating procedures, there was no evidence of airborne transmission.
These observations suggest that, at least in a healthcare setting, a majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is likely to take place during close contact with infected patients through respiratory droplets, rather than by long-distance airborne transmission.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
Potential yield losses in grain sorghum due to weed interference based on quantitative data from the major grain sorghum-growing areas of the United States are reported by the WSSA Weed Loss Committee. Weed scientists and extension specialists who researched weed control in grain sorghum provided data on grain sorghum yield loss due to weed interference in their region. Data were requested from up to 10 individual experiments per calendar year over 10 yr between 2007 and 2016. Based on the summarized information, farmers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas would potentially lose an average of 37%, 38%, 30%, 56%, 61%, and 60% of their grain sorghum yield with no weed control, and have a corresponding annual monetary loss of US $19 million, 302 million, 7 million, 32 million, 25 million, and 314 million, respectively. The overall average yield loss due to weed interference was estimated to be 47% for this grain sorghum-growing region. Thus, US farmers would lose approximately 5,700 million kg of grain sorghum valued at approximately US $953 million annually if weeds are not controlled. With each dollar invested in weed management (based on estimated weed control cost of US $100 ha−1), there would be a return of US $3.80, highlighting the return on investment in weed management and the importance of continued weed science research for sustaining high grain sorghum yield and profitability in the United States.
Preoperative mechanical ventilation is associated with morbidity and mortality following CHD surgery, but prior studies lack a comprehensive analysis of how preoperative respiratory support mode and timing affects outcomes.
We retrospectively collected data on children <18 years of age undergoing cardiac surgery at an academic tertiary care medical centre. Using multivariable regression, we examined the association between modes of preoperative respiratory support (nasal cannula, high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation, or invasive mechanical ventilation), escalation of preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery for three outcomes: operative mortality, postoperative length of stay, and postoperative complications. We repeated our analysis in a subcohort of neonates.
A total of 701 children underwent 800 surgical procedures, and 40% received preoperative respiratory support. Among neonates, 243 patients underwent 253 surgical procedures, and 79% received preoperative respiratory support. In multivariable analysis, all modes of preoperative respiratory support, escalation in preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery were associated with increased odds of prolonged length of stay in children and neonates. Children (odds ratio = 3.69, 95% CI 1.2–11.4) and neonates (odds ratio = 8.97, 95% CI 1.31–61.14) on high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation had increased odds of operative mortality compared to those on room air.
Preoperative respiratory support is associated with prolonged length of stay and mortality following CHD surgery. Knowing how preoperative respiratory support affects outcomes may help guide surgical timing, inform prognostic conversations, and improve risk stratification models.
Heterotrophic soil protists encompass lineages that are both evolutionarily ancient and highly diverse, providing an untapped wealth of scientific insight. Yet the diversity of free-living heterotrophic terrestrial protists is still largely unknown. To contribute to our understanding of this diversity, we present a checklist of heterotrophic protists currently reported from terrestrial Antarctica, for which no comprehensive evaluation currently exists. As a polar continent, Antarctica is especially susceptible to rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing a baseline for future conservation efforts of Antarctic protists is therefore important. We performed a literature search and found 236 taxa identified to species and an additional 303 taxa identified to higher taxonomic levels in 54 studies spanning over 100 years of research. Isolated by distance, climate and the circumpolar vortex, Antarctica is the most extreme continent on Earth: it is not unreasonable to think that it may host physiologically and evolutionarily unique species of protists, yet currently most species discovered in Antarctica are considered cosmopolitan. Additional sampling of the more extreme intra-continental zones will probably result in the discovery of more novel and unique taxa.
Herbicides have been a primary means of managing undesirable brush on grazing lands across the southwestern United States for decades. Continued encroachment of honey mesquite and huisache on grazing lands warrants evaluation of treatment life and economics of current and experimental treatments. Treatment life is defined as the time between treatment application and when canopy cover of undesirable brush returns to a competitive level with native forage grasses (i.e., 25% canopy cover for mesquite and 30% canopy cover for huisache). Treatment life of industry-standard herbicides was compared with that of aminocyclopyrachlor plus triclopyr amine (ACP+T) from 10 broadcast-applied honey mesquite and five broadcast-applied huisache trials established from 2007 through 2013 across Texas. On average, the treatment life of industry standard treatments (IST) for huisache was 3 yr. In comparison, huisache canopy cover was only 2.5% in plots treated with ACP+T 3 yr after treatment. The average treatment life of IST for honey mesquite was 8.6 yr, whereas plots treated with ACP+T had just 2% mesquite canopy cover at that time. Improved treatment life of ACP+T compared with IST life was due to higher mortality resulting in more consistent brush canopy reduction. The net present values (NPVs) of ACP+T and IST for both huisache and mesquite were similar until the treatment life of the IST application was reached (3 yr for huisache and 8.6 yr for honey mesquite). At that point, NPVs of the programs diverged as a result of brush competition with desirable forage grasses and additional input costs associated with theoretical follow-up IST necessary to maintain optimum livestock forage production. The ACP+T treatments did not warrant a sequential application over the 12-yr analysis for huisache or 20-yr analysis for honey mesquite that this research covered. These results indicate ACP+T provides cost-effective, long-term control of honey mesquite and huisache.
The correspondence between Michael Ventris and John Chadwick, housed in the Mycenaean Epigraphy Room in the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, provides valuable insights into the decipherment of Linear B and the collaboration between the two men which produced first ‘Evidence for Greek dialect in the Mycenaean archives’ (Ventris and Chadwick (1953)) and then Documents in Mycenaean Greek (Ventris and Chadwick (1956)). The letters also reveal interesting information about the relationship between Ventris and Chadwick and other scholars of the day. This article examines their relationship with Arthur Beattie, who never accepted the decipherment, and Leonard R. Palmer, who disagreed fundamentally with many of their interpretations of the texts. A file of correspondence containing letters from 1956, discovered only after the publication of Andrew Robinson's biography of Ventris (Robinson (2002)), casts doubt on the conclusion that, perhaps in part owing to difficulties with Palmer, Ventris had lost interest in Linear B immediately before his death.
Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Classrooms are key social settings that impact children's mental health, though individual differences in physiological reactivity may render children more or less susceptible to classroom environments. In a diverse sample of children from 19 kindergarten classrooms (N = 338, 48% female, M age = 5.32 years), we examined whether children's parasympathetic reactivity moderated the association between classroom climate and externalizing symptoms. Independent observers coded teachers’ use of child-centered and teacher-directed instructional practices across classroom social and management domains. Children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity to challenge tasks was assessed in fall and a multi-informant measure of externalizing was collected in fall and spring. Both the social and the management domains of classroom climate significantly interacted with children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity to predict spring externalizing symptoms, controlling for fall symptoms. For more reactive children, as classrooms shifted toward greater proportional use of child-centered methods, externalizing symptoms declined, whereas greater use of teacher-dominated practices was associated with increased symptoms. Conversely, among less reactive children, exposure to more teacher-dominated classroom management practices was associated with lower externalizing. Consistent with the theory of biological sensitivity to context, considering variability in children's physiological reactivity aids understanding of the salience of the classroom environment for children's mental health.
Additive and bidirectional effects of executive control and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis regulation on children's adjustment were examined, along with the effects of low income and cumulative risk on executive control and the HPA axis. The study utilized longitudinal data from a community sample of preschool age children (N = 306, 36–39 months at Time 1) whose families were recruited to overrepresent low-income contexts. We tested the effects of low income and cumulative risk on levels and growth of executive control and HPA axis regulation (diurnal cortisol level), the bidirectional effects of executive control and the HPA axis on each other, and their additive effects on children's adjustment problems, social competence and academic readiness. Low income predicted lower Time 4 executive control, and cumulative risk predicted lower Time 4 diurnal cortisol level. There was little evidence of bidirectional effects of executive control and diurnal cortisol. However, both executive control and diurnal cortisol predicted Time 4 adjustment, suggesting additive effects. There were indirect effects of income on all three adjustment outcomes through executive control, and of cumulative risk on adjustment problems and social competence through diurnal cortisol. The results provide evidence that executive control and diurnal cortisol additively predict children's adjustment and partially account for the effects of income and cumulative risk on adjustment.
While beneficial for sow reproductive efficiency and biosecurity, segregated early weaning (SEW) leads to a systemic immune response that adversely affects the digestive physiology and post-weaning growth of pigs. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist (GA) on growth performance, measures of immune function and intestinal integrity of SEW pigs. In both experiments, pigs were fed corn-soybean meal-based starter diets. In the first experiment, 48 pigs (initial BW 4.8 ± 0.7 kg) were weaned at 21 ± 1 days and randomly assigned to three GA treatment groups: 0, 0.2 and 0.6 mg GA/kg of BW injected intramuscularly. Treatments were administered one day before weaning. Pigs in the 0 mg GA group received sterile saline in place of GA. Body weight was measured daily from one day before to 7 days post-weaning, and then weekly until 28 days post-weaning. Piglets treated with 0.2 mg GA had a higher BW than piglets in other treatment groups during the 28-day course of the study (P <0.02). To further explore the mechanisms behind this result, a second experiment was performed in which a total of 18 gilts (BW 5.6 ± 0.85 kg) were randomly assigned into three treatment groups: suckling plus saline (UWS), weaned treated with GA (WGA; 0.2 mg GA/kg BW) and weaned plus saline (CON). Treatments were administered one day before and 3 days post-weaning. The WGA and CON groups were weaned at 23 ± 2 days, while the UWS group remained with sow for the duration of the study. Body weight was measured daily and blood plasma was collected at 0, 1, 4 and 5 days post-weaning. All gilts were euthanized 5 days after weaning and jejunum samples were collected for mucosal scrapings, histomorphological analysis and gene expression analysis. Plasma levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and haptoglobin were lower in WGA pigs compared with CON (P <0.02), while plasma total antioxidant capacity was higher in WGA pigs compared with both CON and UWS groups (P <0.01). Relative to CON, GA downregulated IL-18 gene expression in the jejunum, as assessed by both tissue homogenate and mucosal scrapings, but it upregulated claudin-IV gene expression only in the tissue homogenate (P <0.01). These results suggest that GA treatment improves the growth performance of SEW pigs in part by mitigating the negative effects of systemic inflammation. However, the effect of GA on barrier integrity requires further investigation.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Introduction: Patients with uncomplicated biliary disease frequently present to the emergency department for assessment. To improve bedside clinical decision making many emergency medicine physicians have pursued specialized training to perform point of care biliary ultrasound in the emergency department (BUSED). The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of BUSED in predicting the need for surgical consultation and intervention for biliary disease. Methods: A retrospective study of 283 consecutive patients visiting the emergency department who received a BUSED scan from December 1, 2016 to July 16, 2017. Physician interpretations of the BUSED scans were collected from the electronic image storage and interpretation system. Additional data was collected from the electronic health record including lab values, the subsequent use of diagnostic imaging, and outcomes data including disposition, surgical consultation or intervention, and 28 day follow up for representation or complication. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were performed. Results: Of the patients who received a biliary POCUS scan, 29% were referred to general surgery, and 43% of those referred proceeded to eventual cholecystectomy. Factors found to be independently predictive of surgical intervention on point of care BUSED scans included presence of gall stones (OR 13.01, 95%CI 5.02 to 27.1) and increased gallbladder wall thickness (OR 6.01, 95%CI 1.7 to 11.1). A total of 30% of patients receiving BUSED required at least one additional, radiology based imaging test (CT or diagnostic US). Average emergency department length of stay was substantially longer for those who required additional imaging as compared to those who were able to be diagnosed by BUSED alone (16.1 versus 5.2 hours, 10.9 hours 95%CI 10.6 11.2, p<0.05) . Conclusion: Point of care biliary ultrasound performed by emergency physicians provides timely access to diagnostic information. Positive findings of gall stones and increased gall bladder wall thickness are highly predictive of the need for surgical intervention. Future, prospective studies are warranted to determine if point of care sonography is sufficient to proceed to surgery in select cases of uncomplicated biliary disease.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.