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The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) emerged in the late 1960s at a time when societies throughout the world were beginning to recognize that our environment and natural resources were being threatened by their activities. Management practices in rangelands, forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and waterways were inadequate to meet the challenges of deteriorating environments, many of which were caused by the practices themselves. Scientists recognized an immediate need was developing a knowledge base about how ecosystems function. That effort took nearly two decades (1980s) and concluded with the acceptance that humans were components of ecosystems, not just controllers and manipulators of lands and waters. While ecosystem science was being developed, management options based on ecosystem science were shifting dramatically toward practices supporting sustainability, resilience, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and local to global interconnections of ecosystems. Emerging from the new knowledge about how ecosystems function and the application of the systems ecology approach was the collaboration of scientists, managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders locally and globally. Today’s concepts of ecosystem management and related ideas, such as sustainable agriculture, ecosystem health and restoration, consequences of and adaptation to climate change, and many other important local to global challenges are a direct result of the SEP.
As the pathophysiology of Covid-19 emerges, this paper describes dysphagia as a sequela of the disease, including its diagnosis and management, hypothesised causes, symptomatology in relation to viral progression, and concurrent variables such as intubation, tracheostomy and delirium, at a tertiary UK hospital.
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, 208 out of 736 patients (28.9 per cent) admitted to our institution with SARS-CoV-2 were referred for swallow assessment. Of the 208 patients, 102 were admitted to the intensive treatment unit for mechanical ventilation support, of which 82 were tracheostomised. The majority of patients regained near normal swallow function prior to discharge, regardless of intubation duration or tracheostomy status.
Dysphagia is prevalent in patients admitted either to the intensive treatment unit or the ward with Covid-19 related respiratory issues. This paper describes the crucial role of intensive swallow rehabilitation to manage dysphagia associated with this disease, including therapeutic respiratory weaning for those with a tracheostomy.
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a common, highly co-morbid disorder. Subjected to comparatively little research, OCPD shares aspects of phenomenology and neuropsychology with obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A greater understanding of this interrelationship would provide new insights into its diagnostic classification and generate new research and treatment heuristics.
To investigate the distribution of OCPD traits within a cohort of OCD patients. To evaluate the clinical overlap between traits of OCPD, OCD and ASD, as well as level of insight and treatment resistance.
We interviewed 73 consenting patients from a treatment seeking OCD Specialist Service. We evaluated the severity of OCPD traits (Compulsive Personality Assessment Scale; CPAS), OCD symptoms (Yale–Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale; Y-BOCS), ASD traits (Adult Autism Spectrum Quotient; AQ) and insight (Brown Assessment of Beliefs Scale; BABS).
Out of 67 patients, 24 (36%) met DSM-IV criteria for OCPD, defined using the CPAS. Using Pearson's test, CPAS scores significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with total AQ and selected AQ domains but not with BABS. Borderline significant correlation was observed with Y-BOCS (P = 0.07). OCPD was not over-represented in a highly resistant OCD subgroup.
Disabling OCPD traits are common in the OCD clinic. They strongly associate with ASD traits, less strongly with OCD severity and do not appear related to poor insight or highly treatment-resistant OCD. The impact of OCPD on OCD treatment outcomes requires further research.
Disclosure of interest
This work did not receive funding from external sources. Over the past few years, Dr. Fineberg has received financial support in various forms from the following: Shire, Otsuka, Lundbeck, Glaxo-SmithKline, Servier, Cephalon, Astra Zeneca, Jazz pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, Medical Research Council (UK), National Institute for Health Research (UK), Wellcome Foundation, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, UK College of Mental Health Pharmacists, British Association for Psychopharmacology, International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, International Society for Behavioural Addiction, World Health Organization, Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Introduction: Identification of latent safety threats (LSTs) in the emergency department is an important aspect of quality improvement that can lead to improved patient care. In situ simulation (ISS) takes place in the real clinical environment and multidisciplinary teams can participate in diverse high acuity scenarios to identify LSTs. The purpose of this study is to examine the influence that the profession of the participant (i.e. physician, registered nurse, or respiratory therapist) has on the identification of LSTs during ISS. Methods: Six resuscitation- based adult and pediatric simulated scenarios were developed and delivered to multidisciplinary teams in the Kingston General Hospital ED. Each ISS session consisted of a 10- minute scenario, followed by 3-minutes of individual survey completion and a 7- minute group debrief led by ISS facilitators. An objective assessor recorded LSTs identified during each debrief. Surveys were completed prior to debrief to reduce response bias. Data was collected on participant demographics and perceived LSTs classified in the following categories: medication; equipment; resources and staffing; teamwork and communication; or other. Two reviewers evaluated survey responses and debrief notes to formulate a list of unique LSTs across scenarios and professions. The overall number and type of LSTs from surveys was identified and stratified by health care provider. Results: Thirteen ISS sessions were conducted with a total of 59 participants. Thirty- four unique LSTs (8 medication, 15 equipment, 5 resource, 4 communication, and 2 miscellaneous issues) were identified from surveys and debrief notes. Overall, MDs (n = 12) reported 19 LSTss (n = 41) reported 77 LSTs, and RTs (n = 6) reported 4 LSTs based on individual survey data. The most commonly identified category of LSTs reported by MDs (36.8%) and RTs (75%) was equipment issues while RNs most commonly identified medication issues (36.4%). Participants with □5 years of experience in their profession, on average identified more LSTs in surveys than participants with >5 years experience (1.9 LSTs vs 1.5 LSTs respectively). Conclusion: Nursing staff identified the highest number of LSTs across all categories. There was fairly unanimous identification of major LSTs across professions, however each profession did identify unique perspectives on LSTs in survey responses. ISS programs with the purpose of LST identification would benefit from multidisciplinary participation.
This Research Communication describes an investigation of the nutritional depletion of total mixed rations (TMR) by pest birds. We hypothesized that species-specific bird depredation of TMR can alter the nutritional composition of the ration and that these changes can negatively impact the performance of dairy cows. Blackbirds selected the high energy fraction of the TMR (i.e., flaked corn) and reduced starch, crude fat and total digestible nutrients during controlled feeding experiments. For Holsteins producing 37·1 kg of milk/d, dairy production modeling illustrated that total required net energy intake (NEI) was 35·8 Mcal/d. For the reference TMR unexposed to blackbirds and the blackbird-consumed TMR, NEI supplied was 41·2 and 37·8 Mcal/d, and the resulting energy balance was 5·4 and 2·0 Mcal/d, respectively. Thus, Holsteins fed the reference and blackbird-consumed TMR were estimated to gain one body condition score in 96 and 254 d, and experience daily weight change due to reserves of 1·1 and 0·4 kg/d, respectively. We discuss these results in context of an integrated pest management program for mitigating the depredation caused by pest birds at commercial dairies.
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease, cryptosporidiosis. Although many species have been identified, the majority of human disease worldwide is caused by two species; Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis. In Australia, data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) show that cryptosporidiosis outbreaks occur every few years. To better understand the transmission, trends and nature of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in Western Australia, epidemiological and genomic data from three cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in 2003, 2007 and 2011 were reviewed. The 2007 outbreak was the largest (n = 607) compared with the outbreaks in 2003 (n = 404) and 2011 (n = 355). All three outbreaks appeared to have occurred predominantly in the urban metropolitan area (Perth), which reported the highest number of case notifications; increases in case notifications were also observed in rural and remote areas. Children aged 0–4 years and non-Aboriginal people comprised the majority of notifications in all outbreaks. However, in the 2003 and 2007 outbreaks, a higher proportion of cases from Aboriginal people was observed in the remote areas. Molecular data were only available for the 2007 (n = 126) and 2011 (n = 42) outbreaks, with C. hominis the main species identified in both outbreaks. Subtyping at the glycoprotein 60 (gp60) locus identified subtype IbA10G2 in 46.3% and 89.5% of C. hominis isolates typed, respectively, in the 2007 and 2011 outbreaks, with the IdA15G1 subtype was identified in 33.3% of C. hominis isolates typed in the 2007 outbreak. The clustering of cases with the IdA15G1 subtype in the remote areas suggests the occurrence of a concurrent outbreak in remote areas during the 2007 outbreak, which primarily affected Aboriginal people. Both the C. hominis IbA10G2 and IdA15G1 subtypes have been implicated in cryptosporidiosis outbreaks worldwide; its occurrence indicates that the mode of transmission in both the 2007 and 2011 outbreaks was anthroponotic. To better understand the epidemiology, sources and transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Australia, genotyping data should routinely be incorporated into national surveillance programmes.
Family-based strategies to reduce the risk of overweight in childhood are needed in the Caribbean.
To investigate the associations between parental characteristics and risk of overweight and explore possible mechanisms.
Data from a parenting intervention were analysed. Parental characteristics were obtained by questionnaire at enrolment. At 18 months, 501 infants (82.9% of cohort) had weight and length measured using standardized methods. The association of parents’ characteristics with risk of infant overweight was assessed using random-effects logistic regression. Four focus groups among mothers in Jamaica were conducted to explore mechanisms.
Overall, 20.6% of infants were ‘at risk of overweight’. Fathers were present in 52% of households. Fathers’ presence [OR (95% CI) 0.60 (0.37–0.96)] was associated with reduced risk of overweight independent of socioeconomic status. Mothers reported that fathers encouraged healthier practices.
Fathers may be important agents of change in intervention strategies to prevent childhood overweight.
In sub-Saharan Africa, there are limited data on burden of non-alcohol substance abuse (NAS) and depressive symptoms (DS), yet potential risk factors such as alcohol and intimate partner violence (IPV) are common and NAS abuse may be the rise. The aim of this study was to measure the burden of DS and NAS abuse, and determine whether alcohol use and IPV are associated with DS and/or NAS abuse. We conducted a cross-sectional study at five sites in four countries: Nigeria (nurses), South Africa (teachers), Tanzania (teachers) and two sites in Uganda (rural and peri-urban residents). Participants were selected by simple random sampling from a sampling frame at each of the study sites. We used a standardized tool to collect data on demographics, alcohol use and NAS use, IPV and DS and calculated prevalence ratios (PR). We enrolled 1415 respondents and of these 34.6% were male. DS occurred among 383 (32.3%) and NAS use among 52 (4.3%). In the multivariable analysis, being female (PR = 1.49, p = 0.008), NAS abuse (PR = 2.06, p = 0.02) and IPV (PR = 2.93, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with DS. Older age [odds ratio (OR) = 0.31, p < 0.001)], female (OR = 0.48, p = 0.036) were protective of NAS but current smokers (OR = 2.98, p < 0.001) and those reporting IPV (OR = 2.16, p = 0.024) were more likely to use NAS. Longitudinal studies should be done to establish temporal relationships with these risk factors to provide basis for interventions.
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.
The dwarf galaxies in the Local Group (LG) reveal a surprising amount of spatial structuring. In particular, almost all non-satellite dwarfs belong to one of two planes that show a very pronounced symmetry. In order to determine if these structures in the LG are dynamically stable or, alternatively, if they only represent transient alignments, proper motion measurements of these galaxies are required. A viable method to derive proper motions is offered by VLBI studies of 22-GHz water (and 6.7-GHz methanol) maser lines in star-forming regions.
In 2016, in the framework of the Early Science Program of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT), we have conducted an extensive observational campaign to map the entire optical body of all the LG dwarf galaxies that belong to the two planes, at C and K band, in a search for methanol and water maser emission.
Here, we outline the project and present its first results on 3 targets, NGC 6822, IC 1613, and WLM. While no luminous maser emission has been detected in these galaxies, a number of interesting weaker detections has been obtained, associated with particularly active star forming regions. In addition, we have produced deep radio continuum maps for these galaxies, aimed at investigating their star forming activity and providing an improved assessment of star formation rates in these galaxies.
The first periodic Class II methanol maser was reported on in 2003. Since that time, a number of different monitoring programmes have found periodic masers, as well as other modes of variability. In a few cases, periodicity has been found in other maser species such as formaldehyde and water. Several distinct characteristics of light curves have been noted, possibly pointing to different underlying mechanisms for periodicity if one assumes a linear response to incoming radiation. I will give a brief overview of the known periodic sources, discuss current theories, and present new results obtained from monitoring mainline hydroxyl masers using the seven-element Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7) during its science verification phase.
The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), the inner 450 pc of our Galaxy, is an exceptional region where the volume and column densities, gas temperatures, velocity dispersions, etc. are much higher than in the Galactic plane. It has been suggested that the formation of stars and clusters in this area is related to the orbital dynamics of the gas. The complex kinematic structure of the molecular gas was revealed by spectral line observations. However, these results are limited to the line-of-sight-velocities. To fully understand the motions of the gas within the CMZ, we have to know its location in 6D space (3D location + 3D motion). Recent orbital models have tried to explain the inflow of gas towards and its kinematics within this region. With parallax and proper motion measurements of masers in the CMZ we can discriminate among these models and constrain how our Galactic Center is fed with gas.
The statistical rate equations are used to model the OH masers to see if they will always have a one-to-one correspondence with the variation of dust temperature. It is concluded that one has to be careful to argue that the masers will always follow the dust temperature variation profile, and it is possible that different maser transitions from the same molecule respond differently to the same dust temperature variations.
Analyzing archival data from different telescopes, H2O megamaser Seyfert 2s appeared to exhibit higher nuclear radio luminosities than non-masing Seyfert 2s (Zhang et al. 2012). This has been confirmed by our follow-up study on multi-band (11, 6, 3.6, 2, 1.3 cm) radio properties of maser host Seyfert 2s, through systematic Effelsberg observations (Liu et al. 2017). The nuclear radio luminosity was supposed to be a suitable indicator to guide future AGN maser searches. Thus we performed a pilot survey with the Effelsberg telescope on H2O maser emission toward a small sample of radio-bright Seyfert 2 galaxies with relatively higher redshift (>0.04). Our pilot survey led to one new megamaser source and one additional possible detection, which reflects our success in selecting H2O megamaser candidates compared to previous observations (higher detection rate, larger distance). Our successful selection technique choosing Seyfert 2s with radio-bright nuclei may provide good guiding for future H2O megamaser surveys. Therefore we are conducting a large systematic survey toward a big Seyfert 2 sample with such radio-bright nuclei. Detections of luminous H2O masers at large distance (z>0.04) may hold the great potential to increase our knowledge on the central highly obscured but still very enigmatic regions of active Seyfert galaxies (Zhang et al. 2017).
We report on the astrometric registration of VLBI images of the SiO and H2O masers in OH 231.8+4.2, the iconic Proto-Planetary Nebula also known as the Calabash nebula, using the KVN and Source/Frequency Phase Referencing. This, for the first time, robustly confirms the alignment of the SiO masers, close to the AGB star, which drives the bi-lobe structure with the water masers in the out-flow.
The final stages of low-mass stellar evolution are characterized by significant mass loss due to stellar pulsations during the AGB phase, which lead to the development of planetary nebulae. Molecular masers of H2O, SiO, and ground state OH transitions are commonly detected in oxygen-rich late-type stars (OH/IR objects). In contrast, excited OH maser transitions are rare. We discuss our study of the carbon-rich pre-planetary nebula CRL618 (a prototypical post-AGB star). Observations conducted in May 2008 with the 305m Arecibo Telescope resulted in the first detection of a 4765MHz OH maser line in a late-type stellar object; the detection was confirmed a few months later also with Arecibo. Subsequent observations in 2015 and 2017 resulted in non-detection of the 4765MHz OH line. Our observations indicate that the 4765MHz OH maser in CRL 618 is highly variable, possibly tracing a short-lived phenomenon during the development of a pre-planetary nebula.
Halophilic Archaea are known to tolerate multiple extreme conditions on Earth and have been proposed as models for astrobiology. In order to assess the importance of cold-adaptation of these microorganisms in surviving stratospheric conditions, we launched live, liquid cultures of two species, the mesophilic model Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and the cold-adapted Antarctic isolate Halorubrum lacusprofundi ATCC 49239, on helium balloons. After return to Earth, the cold-adapted species showed nearly complete survival while the mesophilic species exhibited slightly reduced viability. Parallel studies found that the cold-adapted species was also better able to survive freezing and thawing in the laboratory. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis was used to compare the two haloarchaea at optimum growth temperatures versus low temperatures supporting growth. The cold-adapted species displayed perturbation of a majority of genes upon cold temperature exposure, divided evenly between up-regulated and down-regulated genes, while the mesophile exhibited perturbation of only a fifth of its genes, with nearly two-thirds being down-regulated. These results underscore the importance of genetic responses of H. lacusprofundi to cold temperature for enhanced survival in the stratosphere.
This study investigated comparatively the pathogenicity of experimental infection of mice and guinea pigs, with Angiostrongylus mackerrasae and the closely related species A. cantonensis. Time course analyses showed that A. mackerrasae causes eosinophilic meningitis in these hosts, which suggests that the species has the potential to cause meningitis in humans and domestic animals. Both A. mackerrasae and the genetically similar A. cantonensis caused eosinophilic meningitis in mice at two time points of 14 and 21 days post infection (dpi). The brain lesions in mice infected with A. mackerrasae were more granulomatous in nature and the parasites were more likely to appear degenerate compared with lesions caused by A. cantonensis. This may indicate that the mouse immune system eliminates A. mackerrasae infection more effectively. The immunologic responses of mice infected with the two Angiostrongylus species was compared by assessing ex vivo stimulated spleen derived T cells and cytokines including interferon-gamma, interleukin 4 and interleukin 17 on 14 and 21 dpi. The results were similar for mice infected with A. cantonensis and A. mackerrasae. Serum from the infected animals with either A. cantonensis or A. mackerrasae recognized total soluble antigen of A. cantonensis female worms on Western blot.
Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.
ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.
This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.
ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.