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The Fontan Outcomes Network was created to improve outcomes for children and adults with single ventricle CHD living with Fontan circulation. The network mission is to optimise longevity and quality of life by improving physical health, neurodevelopmental outcomes, resilience, and emotional health for these individuals and their families. This manuscript describes the systematic design of this new learning health network, including the initial steps in development of a national, lifespan registry, and pilot testing of data collection forms at 10 congenital heart centres.
The reported incidence of Clostridoides difficile infection (CDI) has increased in recent years, partly due to broadening adoption of nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) replacing enzyme immunoassay (EIA) methods. Our aim was to quantify the impact of this switch on reported CDI rates using a large, multihospital, empirical dataset.
We analyzed 9 years of retrospective CDI data (2009–2017) from 47 hospitals in the southeastern United States; 37 hospitals switched to NAAT during this period, including 24 with sufficient pre- and post-switch data for statistical analyses. Poisson regression was used to quantify the NAAT-over-EIA incidence rate ratio (IRR) at hospital and network levels while controlling for longitudinal trends, the proportion of intensive care unit patient days, changes in surveillance methodology, and previously detected infection cluster periods. We additionally used change-point detection methods to identify shifts in the mean and/or slope of hospital-level CDI rates, and we compared results to recorded switch dates.
For hospitals that transitioned to NAAT, average unadjusted CDI rates increased substantially after the test switch from 10.9 to 23.9 per 10,000 patient days. Individual hospital IRRs ranged from 0.75 to 5.47, with a network-wide IRR of 1.75 (95% confidence interval, 1.62–1.89). Reported CDI rates significantly changed 1.6 months on average after switching to NAAT testing (standard deviation, 1.9 months).
Hospitals that switched from EIA to NAAT testing experienced an average postswitch increase of 75% in reported CDI rates after adjusting for other factors, and this increase was often gradual or delayed.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
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.
A revision of the North American members of the Leptogium saturninum group (i.e. species with long lower-surface hairs, isidia, and usually smooth upper surface) is presented based on molecular phylogenetic analyses of mtSSU and nrITS sequence data, together with an extensive morphological study. Three species supported by both molecular and morphological characteristics are recognized: L. acadiense sp. nov. (distinguished by granular saturninum-type isidia, medulla composed of irregularly arranged or perpendicular hyphae), L. cookii sp. nov. (distinguished by cylindrical saturninum-type isidia) and L. hirsutum (distinguished by hirsutum-type isidia and medulla composed of loosely intertwined hyphae). One species supported by morphological characteristics, but for which no molecular data could be generated, is also recognized: L. compactum sp. nov. (distinguished by hirsutum-type isidia and medulla composed of tightly packed hyphae). Finally, L. saturninum (distinguished by granular saturninum-type isidia and medulla composed of perpendicular and parallel hyphae) is supported by morphological characteristics but molecular data from geographically diverse populations, including those near the type locality, indicate that the morphologically defined species is paraphyletic. Leptogium burnetiae is excluded from North American based on morphological study of the type. The species are described and illustrated in detail, and are distinguished morphologically by their isidium development, morphology of mature isidia, and pattern of hyphae in the medulla in transverse sections near lobe margins. A key to the members of the L. saturninum group and related species is also presented.
The objective of this report was to show how the Center for Humanitarian Emergencies (the Center) at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia USA) has trained graduate students to respond to complex humanitarian emergencies (CHEs) through innovative educational programs, with the goal of increasing the number of trained humanitarian workers. Natural disasters are on the rise with more than twice as many occurring from 2000-2009 as there were from 1980-1989. In 2012 alone, 144 million people were affected by a natural disaster or displaced by conflict worldwide. This has created an immense need for trained humanitarian workers to respond effectively to such disasters. The Center has developed a model for educational programming that targets learners along an educational continuum ranging from the undergraduate level through continuing professional education. These programs, based in the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) of Emory University, include: a competency-based graduate certificate program (the Certificate) in humanitarian emergencies; a fellowship program for mid-career professionals; and funded field practica. The competency-based Certificate program began in 2010 with a cohort of 14 students. Since then, 101 students have received the Certificate with 50 more due for completion in 2016 and 2017 combined. The fellowship program for mid-career professionals has hosted four fellows from conflict-affected or resource-poor countries, who have then gone on to assume leadership positions with humanitarian organizations. From 2009-2015, the field practicum program supported 34 students in international summer practicum experiences related to emergency response or preparedness. Students have participated in summer field experiences on every continent but Australia. Together the Certificate, funded field practicum opportunities, and the fellowship comprise current efforts in providing innovative education and training for graduate and post-graduate students of public health in humanitarian response. These modest efforts are just the beginning in terms of addressing the global shortage of skilled public health professionals that can coordinate humanitarian response. Evaluating existing programs will allow for refinement of current programs. Ultimately, these programs may influence the development of new programs and inform others interested in this area.
EvansDP, AndersonM, ShahparC, del RioC, CurranJW. Innovation in Graduate Education for Health Professionals in Humanitarian Emergencies. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(5):532–538.
We develop a condition on a closed curve on a surface or in a 3-manifold that implies that the length function associated to the curve on the space of all hyperbolic structures on the surface or in the 3-manifold (respectively) completely determines the curve. Specifically, for an orientable surface S of negative Euler characteristic, we extend the known result that simple curves have this property to curves with self-intersection number one (with one exceptional case arising from hyperellipticity that we describe completely). For a large class of hyperbolizable 3-manifolds, we show that curves freely homotopic to simple curves on ∂M have this property.
The entity of crossed pulmonary arteries was first described by Jue, Lockman, and Edwards in 1966, in a patient with trisomy 18. Since then, several series have been described, both in terms of the isolated anatomic variant, or its association with other intracardiac or extracardiac anomalies. We describe a rare association that has previously not been reported.
Methods and results
Institutional Review Board approval for a retrospective chart review was obtained. Over the period 2011 through 2013, we have encountered six patients in whom the crossed origins of the pulmonary arteries from the pulmonary trunk were associated with hypoplasia of the transverse aortic arch, an association that, to the best of our knowledge, has previously not been reported. In all of the patients, the isthmic component of the aortic arch was inserted in an end-to-side manner into the ductal arch, with additional discrete coarctation in half of the patients.
To the best of our knowledge, no cases of crossed pulmonary arteries have been described in association with hypoplasia of the transverse aortic arch. We draw comparisons between the cases with exclusively tubular hypoplasia, and those with the added problem of the more typical isthmic variant of aortic coarctation. In all cases, the ability to reconstruct cross-sectional images added significantly to the diagnosis and understanding of these complex lesions. These findings have specific surgical implications, which are discussed.
SCAR, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, is, like the IAU, a committee of ICSU, the International Council for Science. For over 30 years, SCAR has provided scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System and made numerous recommendations on a variety of matters. In 2010, Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica was recognized as one of SCAR's five Scientific Research Programs. Broadly stated, the objectives of Astronomy & Astrophysics from Antarctica are to coordinate astronomical activities in Antarctica in a way that ensures the best possible outcomes from international investment in Antarctic astronomy, and maximizes the opportunities for productive interaction with other disciplines. There are four Working Groups, dealing with site testing, Arctic astronomy, science goals, and major new facilities. Membership of the Working Groups is open to any professional working in astronomy or a related field.
A food can be regarded as ‘functional’ if it can demonstrate a beneficial efficacy on one or more target functions in the body in a convincing way. Beyond adequate nutritional qualities, functional foods should either improve the state of health and wellbeing and/or reduce the risk of disease. Functional foods that are marketed with claims of heart disease reduction focus primarily on the major risk factors, i.e. cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension. Some of the most innovative products are designed to be enriched with ‘protective’ ingredients, believed to reduce risk. They may contain, for example, soluble fibre (from oat and psyllium), useful both for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, or fructans, effective in diabetes. Phytosterols and stanols lower LDL-cholesterol in a dose-dependent manner. Soya protein is more hypocholesterolaemic in subjects with very high initial cholesterol and recent data indicate also favourable activities in the metabolic syndrome. n-3 Fatty acids appear to exert significant hypotriacylglycerolaemic effects, possibly partly responsible for their preventive activity. Dark chocolate is gaining much attention for its multifunctional activities, useful both for the prevention of dyslipidaemia as well as hypertension. Finally, consensus opinions about tea and coffee have not emerged yet, and the benefits of vitamin E, garlic, fenugreek and policosanols in the management of dyslipidaemia and prevention of arterial disease are still controversial.