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In 2019, a 42-year-old African man who works as an Ebola virus disease (EVD) researcher traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near an ongoing EVD epidemic, to Philadelphia and presented to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Emergency Department with altered mental status, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. He was classified as a “wet” person under investigation for EVD, and his arrival activated our hospital emergency management command center and bioresponse teams. He was found to be in septic shock with multisystem organ dysfunction, including circulatory dysfunction, encephalopathy, metabolic lactic acidosis, acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, and diffuse intravascular coagulation. Critical care was delivered within high-risk pathogen isolation in the ED and in our Special Treatment Unit until a diagnosis of severe cerebral malaria was confirmed and EVD was definitively excluded.
This report discusses our experience activating a longitudinal preparedness program designed for rare, resource-intensive events at hospitals physically remote from any active epidemic but serving a high-volume international air travel port-of-entry.
Reconstructions of prehistoric vegetation composition help establish natural baselines, variability, and trajectories of forest dynamics before and during the emergence of intensive anthropogenic land use. Pollen–vegetation models (PVMs) enable such reconstructions from fossil pollen assemblages using process-based representations of taxon-specific pollen production and dispersal. However, several PVMs and variants now exist, and the sensitivity of vegetation inferences to PVM selection, variant, and calibration domain is poorly understood. Here, we compare the reconstructions, parameter estimates, and structure of a Bayesian hierarchical PVM, STEPPS, both to observations and to REVEALS, a widely used PVM, for the pre–Euro-American settlement-era vegetation in the northeastern United States (NEUS). We also compare NEUS-based STEPPS parameter estimates to those for the upper midwestern United States (UMW). Both PVMs predict the observed macroscale patterns of vegetation composition in the NEUS; however, reconstructions of minor taxa are less accurate and predictions for some taxa differ between PVMs. These differences can be attributed to intermodel differences in structure and parameter estimates. Estimates of pollen productivity from STEPPS broadly agree with estimates produced for use in REVEALS, while comparison between pollen dispersal parameter estimates shows no significant relationship. STEPPS parameter estimates are similar between the UMW and NEUS, suggesting that STEPPS parameter estimates are transferable between floristically similar regions and scales.
Surgery for CHD has been slow to develop in parts of the former Soviet Union. The impact of an 8-year surgical assistance programme between an emerging centre and a multi-disciplinary international team that comprised healthcare professionals from developed cardiac programmes is analysed and presented.
Material and methods
The international paediatric assistance programme included five main components – intermittent clinical visits to the site annually, medical education, biomedical engineering support, nurse empowerment, and team-based practice development. Data were analysed from visiting teams and local databases before and since commencement of assistance in 2007 (era A: 2000–2007; era B: 2008–2015). The following variables were compared between periods: annual case volume, operative mortality, case complexity based on Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS-1), and RACHS-adjusted standardised mortality ratio.
A total of 154 RACHS-classifiable operations were performed during era A, with a mean annual case volume by local surgeons of 19.3 at 95% confidence interval 14.3–24.2, with an operative mortality of 4.6% and a standardised mortality ratio of 2.1. In era B, surgical volume increased to a mean of 103.1 annual cases (95% confidence interval 69.1–137.2, p<0.0001). There was a non-significant (p=0.84) increase in operative mortality (5.7%), but a decrease in standardised mortality ratio (1.2) owing to an increase in case complexity. In era B, the proportion of local surgeon-led surgeries during visits from the international team increased from 0% (0/27) in 2008 to 98% (58/59) in the final year of analysis.
The model of assistance described in this report led to improved adjusted mortality, increased case volume, complexity, and independent operating skills.
Background: The degree of overlap between schizophrenia (SCZ) and affective psychosis (AFF) has been a recurring question since Kraepelin’s subdivision of the major psychoses. Studying nonpsychotic relatives allows a comparison of disorder-associated phenotypes, without potential confounds that can obscure distinctive features of the disorder. Because attention and working memory have been proposed as potential endophenotypes for SCZ and AFF, we compared these cognitive features in individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for the disorders. Methods: Young, unmedicated, first-degree relatives (ages, 13–25 years) at FHR-SCZ (n=41) and FHR-AFF (n=24) and community controls (CCs, n=54) were tested using attention and working memory versions of the Auditory Continuous Performance Test. To determine if schizotypal traits or current psychopathology accounted for cognitive deficits, we evaluated psychosis proneness using three Chapman Scales, Revised Physical Anhedonia, Perceptual Aberration, and Magical Ideation, and assessed psychopathology using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist -90 Revised. Results: Compared to controls, the FHR-AFF sample was significantly impaired in auditory vigilance, while the FHR-SCZ sample was significantly worse in working memory. Both FHR groups showed significantly higher levels of physical anhedonia and some psychopathological dimensions than controls. Adjusting for physical anhedonia, phobic anxiety, depression, psychoticism, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms eliminated the FHR-AFF vigilance effects but not the working memory deficits in FHR-SCZ. Conclusions: The working memory deficit in FHR-SZ was the more robust of the cognitive impairments after accounting for psychopathological confounds and is supported as an endophenotype. Examination of larger samples of people at familial risk for different psychoses remains necessary to confirm these findings and to clarify the role of vigilance in FHR-AFF. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1026–1037)
Commission 4 was among the first set of commissions formed within the IAU at its founding in 1919. (Commissions were originally called “Standing Committees.”) During its 96 years of service to the IAU and astronomical community in general, the commission has been fortunate to have been led by many distinguished scientists — see the list of presidents below.
The triennial meeting of Commission 4 was attended by 16 people. All of the presentations from the meeting are provided on the commission website at http://www.iaucom4.org/c4docs.html, so this report provides only summaries.
Healthcare-associated transmission of respiratory viruses is a concerning patient safety issue.
Surveillance for influenza virus among a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs) was conducted in a tertiary care children's hospital from November 2009 through April 2010 using biweekly nasal swab specimen collection. If a subject reported respiratory symptoms, an additional specimen was collected. Specimens from ill HCWs and a randomly selected sample from asymptomatic subjects were tested for additional respiratory viruses by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
A total of 1,404 nasal swab specimens were collected from 170 enrolled subjects. Influenza circulated at very low levels during the surveillance period, and 74.2% of subjects received influenza vaccination. Influenza virus was not detected in any specimen. Multiplex respiratory virus PCR analysis of all 119 specimens from symptomatic subjects and 200 specimens from asymptomatic subjects yielded a total of 42 positive specimens, including 7 (16.7%) in asymptomatic subjects. Viral shedding was associated with report of any symptom (odds ratio [OR], 13.06 [95% confidence interval, 5.45–31.28]; P< .0001) and younger age (OR, 0.96 [95% confidence interval, 0.92–0.99]; P = .023) when controlled for sex and occupation of physician or nurse. After the surveillance period, 46% of subjects reported working while ill with an influenza-like illness during the previous influenza season.
In this cohort, HCWs working while ill was common, as was viral shedding among those with symptoms. Asymptomatic viral shedding was infrequent but did occur. HCWs should refrain from patient care duties while ill, and staffing contingencies should accommodate them.
A functionalization method for the specific and selective immobilization of the streptavidin (SA) protein on semiconductor nanowires (NWs) was developed. Silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) NWs were functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and subsequently biotinylated for the conjugation of SA. Existence of a thin native oxide shell on both Si and SiC NWs enabled efficient binding of APTES with the successive attachment of biotin and SA as was confirmed with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated nonspecific, electrostatic binding of the SA and the bovine serum albumin (BSA) proteins to APTES-coated NWs. Inhibition of nonspecific BSA binding and enhancement of selective SA binding were achieved on biotinylated NWs. The biofunctionalized NWs have the potential to be used as biosensing platforms for the specific and selective detection of proteins.