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A growing body of research shows that women legislators outperform their male counterparts in the legislative arena, but scholars have yet to examine whether this pattern emerges in non-policy aspects of representation. We conducted an audit study of 6,000 U.S. state legislators to analyze whether women outperform or underperform men on constituency service in light of the extra effort they spend on policy. We find that women are more likely to respond to constituent requests than men, even after accounting for their heightened level of policy activity. Female legislators are the most responsive in conservative districts, where women may see the barriers to their election as especially high. We then demonstrate that our findings are not a function of staff responsiveness, legislator ideology, or responsiveness to female constituents or gender issues. The results provide additional evidence that women perform better than their male counterparts across a range of representational activities.
In the present study, we aimed to compare anthropometric indicators as predictors of mortality in a community-based setting.
We conducted a population-based longitudinal study nested in a cluster-randomized trial. We assessed weight, height and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) on children 12 months after the trial began and used the trial’s annual census and monitoring visits to assess mortality over 2 years.
Children aged 6–60 months during the study.
Of 1023 children included in the study at baseline, height-for-age Z-score, weight-for-age Z-score, weight-for-height Z-score and MUAC classified 777 (76·0 %), 630 (61·6 %), 131 (12·9 %) and eighty (7·8 %) children as moderately to severely malnourished, respectively. Over the 2-year study period, fifty-eight children (5·7 %) died. MUAC had the greatest AUC (0·68, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·75) and had the strongest association with mortality in this sample (hazard ratio = 2·21, 95 % CI 1·26, 3·89, P = 0·006).
MUAC appears to be a better predictor of mortality than other anthropometric indicators in this community-based, high-malnutrition setting in Niger.
Human alteration of the planet’s terrestrial landscapes for agriculture, habitation and commerce is reshaping wildlife communities. The threat of land cover change to wildlife is pronounced in regions with rapidly growing human populations. We investigated how species richness and species-specific occurrence of bats changed as a function of land cover and canopy (tree) cover across a rapidly changing region of Florida, USA. Contrary to our predictions, we found negligible effects of agriculture and urban development on the occurrence of all species. In contrast, we found that a remotely sensed metric of canopy cover on a broad scale (25 km2) was a good predictor of the occurrence of eight out of ten species. The occurrence of all smaller bats (vespertilionids) in our study increased with 0–50% increases in canopy cover, while larger bats showed different patterns. Occurrence of Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) decreased with increasing canopy cover, and Florida bonneted bats (Eumops floridanus) were not influenced by canopy cover. We conclude that remotely sensed measures of canopy cover can provide a more reliable predictor of bat species richness than land-cover types, and efforts to prevent the loss of bat diversity should consider maintaining canopy cover across mosaic landscapes with diverse land-cover types.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Atom probe tomography (APT) is a powerful technique to characterize buried three-dimensional nanostructures in a variety of materials. Accurate characterization of those nanometer-scale clusters and precipitates is of great scientific significance to understand the structure–property relationships and the microstructural evolution. The current widely used cluster analysis method, a variant of the density-based spatial clustering of applications with noise algorithm, can only accurately extract clusters of the same atomic density, neglecting several experimental realities, such as density variations within and between clusters and the nonuniformity of the atomic density in the APT reconstruction itself (e.g., crystallographic poles and other field evaporation artifacts). This clustering method relies heavily on multiple input parameters, but ideal selection of those parameters is challenging and oftentimes ambiguous. In this study, we utilize a well-known cluster analysis algorithm, called ordering points to identify the clustering structures, and an automatic cluster extraction algorithm to analyze clusters of varying atomic density in APT data. This approach requires only one free parameter, and other inputs can be estimated or bounded based on physical parameters, such as the lattice parameter and solute concentration. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated by application to several small-scale model datasets and a real APT dataset obtained from an oxide-dispersion strengthened ferritic alloy specimen.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide; in the United States alone, over 2.7 million individuals are affected. Various risk factors for glaucoma are known and include age, race/ethnicity, genetics, and ocular measures. Despite numerous studies, molecular and environmental factors that contribute to glaucoma remain elusive. Our objective was to conduct a genome-wide association for glaucoma among black and white HRS respondents, and to determine the feasibility for future analyses examining shared genetic markers between glaucoma and other comorbidities, behaviors, and environmental risk factors. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: The University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of Americans over the age of 50. Supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration, the HRS is designed to provide reliable data on the decisions, choices, and behaviors of people as they age and respond to changes in public policy, the economy, and health. The study obtains information every two years about income and wealth, health and use of health services, work and retirement, and family connections. Through its unique and in-depth interviews, the HRS provides an invaluable and growing body of multidisciplinary data that researchers can use to address important questions about the challenges and opportunities of aging. Because of its innovation and importance, the HRS has become the model and hub for a growing network of harmonized longitudinal aging studies around the world. Saliva was collected on half of the HRS sample each wave starting in 2006 and respondents were genotyped on the Illumina Human Omni2.5-Quad (Omni2.5) BeadChip at the NIH Center for Inherited Disease Research. We accessed survey results to evaluate prevalence of glaucoma in this dataset and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) adjusting for age, sex, and significant Principal Components and stratifying by self-reported race (White / Black). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Of 8179 respondents passing quality filters, 6409 (78.40%) were white and 985 (12.05%) were black. Self-reported glaucoma prevalence was 7.85% and 16.34% in white and black respondents, respectively. White respondents had a mean age of 76.97 (SD 7.53) and were 57.25% female. Black respondents had a similar mean age of 74.96 (SD 7.27) and were 62.54% female. More than 87% of both groups were assessed in 2012. Preliminary GWAS analyses did not replicate known glaucoma loci and no variants attained genome-wide significance. A suggestive variant (p<1e-05) in the black population was within 10kb of a known locus, rs1196998. Future analyses will evaluate genetic association with combinations of glaucoma and comorbidities. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Glaucoma risk is higher in minority groups than in whites, and the majority of reported genetic studies of glaucoma have been performed in individuals of European descent. It is imperative to better understand the role of genetics, environment, and health behavior in glaucoma risk. Further, understanding common mechanisms underlying diseases that co-occur with glaucoma could illuminate novel disease mechanisms that can be targeted for early intervention and/or treatment.
Despite a recent increase in research on its sociopolitical implications, many questions regarding rap music’s influence on mass-level participation remain unanswered. We consider the possibility that “imagining a better world” (measured here as the degree to which young African Americans are critical of the music’s negative messages) can correlate with a desire to “build a better world” (operationalized as an individual’s level of political participation). Evidence from the Black Youth Project (BYP)’s Youth Culture Survey (Cohen 2005) demonstrates that rap critique exerts a conditional impact on non-voting forms of activism. Rap critique enhances heavy consumers’ civic engagement, but this relationship does not occur among Blacks who consume the music infrequently. By demonstrating rap’s politicizing power and contradicting certain criticisms of Hip Hop culture, our research celebrates the possibilities of Black youth and Black music.
Introduction: Despite revolutionary changes in the medical education landscape, journal club (JC) continues to be a ubiquitous pedagogical tool and is a primary way that residency programs review new evidence and teach evidence-based medicine. JC is a community of practice among physicians, which may help translate research findings into practice. Program representatives state that JC should have a goal of translating novel research into changes in clinical care, but there has been minimal evaluation of the success of JC in achieving this goal. Specifically, emergency medicine resident perspectives on the utility of JC remain unknown. Methods: We designed a multi-centre qualitative study for three distinct academic environments at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna). Pilot testing was performed to generate preliminary themes and to finalize the interview script. An exploratory, semi-structured focus group was performed, followed by multiple one-on-one interviews using snowball sampling. Iterative thematic analysis directed data collection until thematic sufficiency was achieved. Analysis was conducted using a constructivist Grounded Theory method with communities of practice as a theoretical lens. Themes were compared to the existing literature to corroborate or challenge existing educational theory. Results: Pilot testing has revealed the following primary themes: (1) Only select residents are able to increase their participation in JC over the course of residency and navigate the transition from peripheral participant to core member; (2) These residents use their increased clinical experience to perceive relevance in JC topics, and; (3) Residents who remain peripheral participants identify a lack time to prepare for journal club and a lack of staff physician attendance as barriers to resident engagement. We will further develop these themes during the focus group and interview phases of our study. Conclusion: JC is a potentially valuable educational resource for residents. JC works as a community of practice only for a select group of residents, and many remain peripheral participants for the duration of their residency. Incorporation of Free Open-Access Medical Education resources may also decrease preparation time for residents and staff physicians and increase buy-in. To augment clinical impact, the JC community of practice may need to expand beyond emergency medicine and include other specialties.
Background: Current lumbar intervertebral disc prostheses provide suboptimal symptom relief with little natural load-cushioning. PVA-C is a promising biocompatible material, however previous studies from our lab show that it does not have adequate elastic modulus to mimic the annulus fibrosus. Here we present a prototype of an artificial lumbar intervertebral disc. Methods: The tensile properties of pure (5-35% PVA-C) and particle-reinforced (15% PVA-C with 5% of either Sephadex or hydroxyapatite) composite PVA-C formulations were evaluated. Simple tension and tensile stress relaxation tests were performed. Woven Teflon mesh was embedded in PVA-C and tested under compression. Endplate pull-out tests were performed. Results: Tensile testing showed that all PVA-C formulations behaved linearly for physiologic levels of strain (<20%). Tensile elastic modulus is an order of magnitude lower than the annulus fibrosus. Teflon has similar elastic modulus as collagen and compression of the hybrid Teflon-PVA-C construct revealed good biomechanical mimicry with elastic modulus of 20-25MPa at 20% deformation, similar to human data. Bonding between PVA-C and porous titanium endplate is excellent. Conclusions: A fiber-reinforced PVA-C impregnated composite adequately mimics the annulus fibrosus. Our prototype of a tissue mimicking artificial intervertebral disc utilizes a woven Teflon fiber with 20% PVA-C (+Hydroxyapatite) annulus and 5% pure PVA-C nucleus bonded to porous titanium foam endplates.
Background: Current lumbar intervertebral disc prostheses provide suboptimal symptom relief with little natural load-cushioning. PVA-C is a promising biocompatible material, and our previous study finds that it can closely mimic the properties of nucleus pulposus. However, pure PVA-C does not possess adequate stiffness to mimic the annulus fibrosus. Methods: Composite particle-reinforced PVA-C formulations were tested to identify methods that could increase the elastic modulus. This included: sephadex, hydroxyapatite (stock) and hydroxyapatite (in-solution synthesis). All formulations were tested using 15% PVA-C and 5% reinforcing agent. Indentation and durometer tests were performed as well as simple compression, compressive stress relaxation and creep. Results: Indentation and durometer results did not clearly reveal any specific formulations that significantly improved stiffness. The addition of in-solution synthesized hydroxyapatite resulted in 1.15 to 2 time increase in elastic modulus (0.3-0.9 MPa) and associated decrease in stress relaxation and creep. The addition of stock hydroxyapatite and spehadex (G100f and G50sf) lowered the elastic modulus and increased stress relaxation and creep. Conclusions: In-solution synthesized hydroxyapatite is the only particle-reinforced composite PVA-C formulation that exhibited greater stiffness than pure PVA-C. The elastic modulus will need to be increased by 5-10x to adequately mimic the annulus fibrosus. A fiber-reinforced composite will likely be needed to accomplish this.
Rural communities face barriers to disaster preparedness and considerable risk of disasters. Emergency preparedness among rural communities has improved with funding from federal programs and implementation of a National Incident Management System. The objective of this project was to design and implement disaster exercises to test decision making by rural response partners to improve regional planning, collaboration, and readiness. Six functional exercises were developed and conducted among three rural Nebraska (USA) regions by the Center for Preparedness Education (CPE) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, Nebraska USA). A total of 83 command centers participated. Six functional exercises were designed to test regional response and command-level decision making, and each 3-hour exercise was followed by a 3-hour regional after action conference. Participant feedback, single agency debriefing feedback, and regional After Action Reports were analyzed. Functional exercises were able to test command-level decision making and operations at multiple agencies simultaneously with limited funding. Observations included emergency management jurisdiction barriers to utilization of unified command and establishment of joint information centers, limited utilization of documentation necessary for reimbursement, and the need to develop coordinated public messaging. Functional exercises are a key tool for testing command-level decision making and response at a higher level than what is typically achieved in tabletop or short, full-scale exercises. Functional exercises enable evaluation of command staff, identification of areas for improvement, and advancing regional collaboration among diverse response partners.
ObaidJM, BaileyG, WheelerH, MeyersL, MedcalfSJ, HansenKF, SangerKK, LoweJJ. Utilization of Functional Exercises to Build Regional Emergency Preparedness among Rural Health Organizations in the US. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):224–230.
Background: Advances in surgical leads have been thought to potentially enable improved low-back pain relief using SCS. A recently introduced 32-contact surgical lead, which couples multiple independent current control and anatomically-based neural targeting stimulation algorithms, allows for patient-specific programming optimization. We present a real world study of this surgical lead. Methods: A multi-center, consecutive, observational study of a new 32-contact surgical lead was carried out, using the Precision Spectra SCS System (Boston Scientific) in 100 subjects out to 12 months post-implant. We examined procedural information, programming parameters, and clinical outcomes including pain reduction (NRS), activities of daily living, and change in pain medications. Results: Surgical lead placement distribution was between T7 and L2, with most at top of T9 (26%). A mean reduction of 5.1 points (SD 2.15, p<0.001) from 7.8 (baseline) to 2.6 in overall pain was observed. A subset of subjects reporting low-back pain only exhibited a mean decrease of 6.0 points (SD 2.12, p<0.001) from 8.3 (baseline) to 2.2. Of these, 83.1% of subjects showed ≥50% back pain reduction. Increases in activities of daily living and reduction in pain medication usage were also observed in majority of subjects. Conclusions: Subjects implanted with a 32-contact surgical lead using a neural targeting algorithm demonstrated significant low-back pain reduction.
To aid in preparation of military medic trainers for a possible new curriculum in teaching junctional tourniquet use, the investigators studied the time to control hemorrhage and blood volume lost in order to provide evidence for ease of use.
Models of junctional tourniquet could perform differentially by blood loss, time to hemostasis, and user preference.
In a laboratory experiment, 30 users controlled simulated hemorrhage from a manikin (Combat Ready Clamp [CRoC] Trainer) with three iterations each of three junctional tourniquets. There were 270 tests which included hemorrhage control (yes/no), time to hemostasis, and blood volume lost. Users also subjectively ranked tourniquet performance. Models included CRoC, Junctional Emergency Treatment Tool (JETT), and SAM Junctional Tourniquet (SJT). Time to hemostasis and total blood loss were log-transformed and analyzed using a mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) with the users represented as random effects and the tourniquet model used as the treatment effect. Preference scores were analyzed with ANOVA, and Tukey’s honest significant difference test was used for all post-hoc pairwise comparisons.
All tourniquet uses were 100% effective for hemorrhage control. For blood loss, CRoC and SJT performed best with least blood loss and were significantly better than JETT; in pairwise comparison, CRoC-JETT (P < .0001) and SJT-JETT (P = .0085) were statistically significant in their mean difference, while CRoC-SJT (P = .35) was not. For time to hemostasis in pairwise comparison, the CRoC had a significantly shorter time compared to JETT and SJT (P < .0001, both comparisons); SJT-JETT was also significant (P = .0087). In responding to the directive, “Rank the performance of the models from best to worst,” users did not prefer junctional tourniquet models differently (P > .5, all models).
The CRoC and SJT performed best in having least blood loss, CRoC performed best in having least time to hemostasis, and users did not differ in preference of model. Models of junctional tourniquet performed differentially by blood loss and time to hemostasis.
KraghJFJr, LunatiMP, KharodCU, CunninghamCW, BaileyJA, StockingerZT, CapAP, ChenJ, AdenJK3d, CancioLC. Assessment of Groin Application of Junctional Tourniquets in a Manikin Model. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(4):358–363.
Gynandromorphophilia (GAMP) is sexual interest in gynandromorphs (GAMs; colloquially, shemales). GAMs possess a combination of male and female physical characteristics. Thus, GAMP presents a challenge to conventional understandings of sexual orientation as sexual attraction to the male v. female form. Speculation about GAMP men has included the ideas that they are homosexual, heterosexual, or especially, bisexual.
We compared genital and subjective sexual arousal patterns of GAMP men with those of heterosexual and homosexual men. We also compared these groups on their self-ratings of sexual orientation and sexual interests.
GAMP men had arousal patterns similar to those of heterosexual men and different from those of homosexual men. However, compared to heterosexual men, GAMP men were relatively more aroused by GAM erotic stimuli than by female erotic stimuli. GAMP men also scored higher than both heterosexual and homosexual men on a measure of autogynephilia.
Results provide clear evidence that GAMP men are not homosexual. They also indicate that GAMP men are especially likely to eroticize the idea of being a woman.
Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.
We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.
We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.