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This study investigated whether higher maternal choline levels mitigate effects of marijuana on fetal brain development. Choline transported into the amniotic fluid from the mother activates α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on fetal cerebro-cortical inhibitory neurons, whose development is impeded by cannabis blockade of their cannabinoid-1(CB1) receptors.
Marijuana use was assessed during pregnancy from women who later brought their newborns for study. Mothers were informed about choline and other nutrients, but not specifically for marijuana use. Maternal serum choline was measured at 16 weeks gestation.
Marijuana use for the first 10 weeks gestation or more by 15% of mothers decreased newborns' inhibition of evoked potentials to repeated sounds (d’ = 0.55, p < 0.05). This effect was ameliorated if women had higher gestational choline (rs = −0.50, p = 0.011). At 3 months of age, children whose mothers continued marijuana use through their 10th gestational week or more had poorer self-regulation (d’ = −0.79, p < 0.05). This effect was also ameliorated if mothers had higher gestational choline (rs = 0.54, p = 0.013). Maternal choline levels correlated with the children's improved duration of attention, cuddliness, and bonding with parents.
Prenatal marijuana use adversely affects fetal brain development and subsequent behavioral self-regulation, a precursor to later, more serious problems in childhood. Stopping marijuana use before 10 weeks gestational age prevented these effects. Many mothers refuse to cease use because of familiarity with marijuana and belief in its safety. Higher maternal choline mitigates some of marijuana's adverse effects on the fetus.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
The aim of this report was to evaluate the methods used to test the efficacy of complementary and alternative veterinary medicine. A general review of available literature in this area was carried out and experimental design of 26 reported trials was analysed in detail. Quantitative evidence must form the basis of medicinal treatments, whether they fall under the traditional western medicine genre or whether they are seen as complementary or alternative therapies. Results from the quantitative characterisation of publications showed that within the ‘animal’ sector, the majority of work published is nonexperimental. Medline PubMed, for the years 1975 to 2005 returned a total of 400 review papers incorporating work from the human sector in alternative animal therapy in comparison to only 75 papers on experimental work. Of the 26 alternative veterinary medicine papers reviewed in detail 19 trials used a control group to assess the efficacy of the therapy tested. The experimental designs applied in clinical trials within this area are acceptable, using high levels of control and quantitative measurements. Improvements could be made through increased use of blind and double blind designs. Although there is lack of scientific evidence for alternative therapies, the application of these is continuously growing. This imbalance should be acknowledged and rectified.
Blood is a good source of DNA, although other tissues such as skin biopsies or hair follicles can be used (Heal et al, 2002). Milk, which is widely available and obtained non-invasively, would be the source of choice in lactating animals. However, it is difficult to extract DNA from small samples of milk in quantities sufficient for simultaneous genotyping at multiple loci. The objective of this study was to determine whether genomic DNA isolated from small amounts of milk could be amplified to provide sufficient material for running multiple genotyping reactions.
Observations of the water level in Beaver Lake, an epishelf lake in East Antarctica, show a regular tidal signal that is lagged and attenuated from the tides beneath the adjacent Amery Ice Shelf. The phase lag and amplitude attenuation can be created by a narrow inlet connection between Beaver Lake and the cavity beneath the Amery Ice Shelf. A forced linear damped oscillator is used to determine the inlet dimensions that are required to produce the observed phase lag and amplitude attenuation. The model shows that the observations are consistent with a tidal flow that is restricted by the drag created by flow in the narrow inlet. Analysis shows that the phase lag and amplitude attenuation of the tides in Beaver Lake has increased over the years 1991-2002, probably due to a thickening of the overlying ice shelf. The response is sensitive to subtle variations in the dimensions of the inlet.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasonography (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of hypotensive patients in the emergency department (ED). It has been shown rule out certain shock etiologies, and improve diagnostic certainty, however evidence on benefit in the management of hypotensive patients is limited. We report the findings from our international multicenter RCT assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on diagnostic accuracy, as well as other key outcomes including mortality, which are reported elsewhere. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 4 North American and 3 Southern African sites. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 mmHg or shock index >1) who were randomized to either PoCUS or control groups. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Demographics, clinical details and findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers two-tailed test. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. The perceived shock category changed more frequently in the PoCUS group 20/127 (15.7%) vs. control 7/125 (5.6%); RR 2.81 (95% CI 1.23 to 6.42; p=0.0134). There was no significant difference in change of diagnostic impression between groups PoCUS 39/123 (31.7%) vs control 34/124 (27.4%); RR 1.16 (95% CI 0.786 to 1.70; p=0.4879). There was no significant difference in the rate of correct category of shock between PoCUS (118/127; 93%) and control (113/122; 93%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.936 to 1.08; p=1.00), or for correct diagnosis; PoCUS 90/127 (70%) vs control 86/122 (70%); RR 0.987 (95% CI 0.671 to 1.45; p=1.00). Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We found that the use of PoCUS did change physicians’ perceived shock category. PoCUS did not improve diagnostic accuracy for category of shock or diagnosis.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) is an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). While PoCUS protocols have been shown to improve early diagnostic accuracy, there is little published evidence for any mortality benefit. We report the findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, assessing the impact of a PoCUS protocol on survival and key clinical outcomes. Methods: Recruitment occurred at 7 centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1), randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care and no PoCUS) groups. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. Initial and secondary diagnoses were recorded at 0 and 60 minutes, with ultrasound performed in the PoCUS group prior to secondary assessment. The primary outcome measure was 30-day/discharge mortality. Secondary outcome measures included diagnostic accuracy, changes in vital signs, acid-base status, and length of stay. Categorical data was analyzed using Fishers test, and continuous data by Student T test and multi-level log-regression testing. (GraphPad/SPSS) Final chart review was blinded to initial impressions and PoCUS findings. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no difference between groups for the primary outcome of mortality; PoCUS 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%) vs. Control 32/129 (24.8%; 95% CI 14.3-35.3%); RR 1.00 (95% CI 0.869 to 1.15; p=1.00). There were no differences in the secondary outcomes; ICU and total length of stay. Our sample size has a power of 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Other secondary outcomes are reported separately. Conclusion: This is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients. We did not find any mortality or length of stay benefits with the use of a PoCUS protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings. While PoCUS may have diagnostic benefits, these may not translate into a survival benefit effect.
Introduction: Point of Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) protocols are commonly used to guide resuscitation for emergency department (ED) patients with undifferentiated non-traumatic hypotension. While PoCUS has been shown to improve early diagnosis, there is a minimal evidence for any outcome benefit. We completed an international multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the impact of a PoCUS protocol on key resuscitation markers in this group. We report diagnostic impact and mortality elsewhere. Methods: The SHoC-ED1 study compared the addition of PoCUS to standard care within the first hour in the treatment of adult patients presenting with undifferentiated hypotension (SBP<100 mmHg or a Shock Index >1.0) with a control group that did not receive PoCUS. Scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians. 4 North American, and 3 South African sites participated in the study. Resuscitation outcomes analyzed included volume of fluid administered in the ED, changes in shock index (SI), modified early warning score (MEWS), venous acid-base balance, and lactate, at one and four hours. Comparisons utilized a T-test as well as stratified binomial log-regression to assess for any significant improvement in resuscitation amount the outcomes. Our sample size was powered at 0.80 (α:0.05) for a moderate effect size. Results: 258 patients were enrolled with follow-up fully completed. Baseline comparisons confirmed effective randomization. There was no significant difference in mean total volume of fluid received between the control (1658 ml; 95%CI 1365-1950) and PoCUS groups (1609 ml; 1385-1832; p=0.79). Significant improvements were seen in SI, MEWS, lactate and bicarbonate with resuscitation in both the PoCUS and control groups, however there was no difference between groups. Conclusion: SHOC-ED1 is the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard of care in hypotensive ED patients. No significant difference in fluid used, or markers of resuscitation was found when comparing the use of a PoCUS protocol to that of standard of care in the resuscitation of patients with undifferentiated hypotension.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension in the emergency department (ED). Current established protocols (e.g. RUSH and ACES) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. Recently the SHoC Protocol was published, recommending 3 core scans; cardiac, lung, and IVC; plus other scans when indicated clinically. We report the abnormal ultrasound findings from our international multicenter randomized controlled trial, to assess if the recommended 3 core SHoC protocol scans were chosen appropriately for this population. Methods: Recruitment occurred at seven centres in North America (4) and South Africa (3). Screening at triage identified patients (SBP<100 or shock index>1) who were randomized to PoCUS or control (standard care with no PoCUS) groups. All scans were performed by PoCUS-trained physicians within one hour of arrival in the ED. Demographics, clinical details and study findings were collected prospectively. A threshold incidence for positive findings of 10% was established as significant for the purposes of assessing the appropriateness of the core recommendations. Results: 138 patients had a PoCUS screen completed. All patients had cardiac, lung, IVC, aorta, abdominal, and pelvic scans. Reported abnormal findings included hyperdynamic LV function (59; 43%); small collapsing IVC (46; 33%); pericardial effusion (24; 17%); pleural fluid (19; 14%); hypodynamic LV function (15; 11%); large poorly collapsing IVC (13; 9%); peritoneal fluid (13; 9%); and aortic aneurysm (5; 4%). Conclusion: The 3 core SHoC Protocol recommendations included appropriate scans to detect all pathologies recorded at a rate of greater than 10 percent. The 3 most frequent findings were cardiac and IVC abnormalities, followed by lung. It is noted that peritoneal fluid was seen at a rate of 9%. Aortic aneurysms were rare. This data from the first RCT to compare PoCUS to standard care for undifferentiated hypotensive ED patients, supports the use of the prioritized SHoC protocol, though a larger study is required to confirm these findings.
Consumption of weed seeds and waste grains by seed predators is an important ecosystem service that helps to regulate weed and volunteer crop populations in many agricultural systems. The prairie deer mouse is found in a variety of sparsely vegetated habitats throughout the central United States and is the dominant vertebrate seed predator in row-crop fields (corn and soybean) in this region. Evaluating the preferences of prairie deer mice for common agricultural weed seeds and waste grain is important to understand the potential ability of native mice to regulate volunteer crops and weed populations. We evaluated winter seed preference of deer mice using cafeteria-style feeding trials presented within row-crop fields in central Indiana and used compositional analysis to compare proportional consumption of seeds from five common agricultural weeds (common ragweed, common cocklebur, common lambsquarters, velvetleaf, and giant foxtail) and two grains (corn and soybean) during overnight feeding trials. Prairie deer mice significantly preferred corn to all other available seed types. Ragweed and soybean were also readily consumed and were preferred over seeds other than corn. Giant foxtail was intermediately preferred. Our results show that prairie deer mice have clear preferences for certain seeds commonly available in row-crop fields; mice likely contribute to reduction of waste grain and some weed seed populations.
We present simulation results from a version of the Regional Ocean Modeling System modified for ice shelf/ocean interaction, including the parameterisation of basal melting by molecular diffusion alone. Simulations investigate the differences in melting for an idealised ice shelf experiencing a range of cold to hot ocean cavity conditions. Both the pattern of melt and the location of maximum melt shift due to changes in the buoyancy-driven circulation, in a different way to previous studies. Tidal forcing increases both the circulation strength and melting, with the strongest impact on the cold cavity case. Our results highlight the importance of including a complete melt parameterisation and tidal forcing. In response to the 2.4°C ocean warming initially applied to a cold cavity ice shelf, we find that melting will increase by about an order of magnitude (24 × with tides and 41 × without tides).
Background: The effect of the single seizure clinic (SSC) model on patient diagnosis, work-up, wait-times, and clinical care is poorly characterized. This study assesses patient characteristics and evaluates the impact of a SSC model on wait-times and access to care. Methods: A prospective study of all patients (n=200) referred to our SSC for first-seizure evaluation. Demographic, clinical, and paraclinicial variables were analyzed against a historical cohort. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to predict impact of dichotomized variables on diagnosis of epilepsy. Diagnostic concordance between SSC nurses and epileptologists was also assessed. Results: Predominant referral sources were emergency department physicians and general practitioners. Mean wait-time for first assessment was significantly reduced by 70.5% employing the SSC model versus historical usual care. A diagnosis was established at first-contact in 80.5% of cases while 16.0% of patients required a second visit. Eighty-two patients (41.0%) were diagnosed with epilepsy. The most common non-seizure diagnosis was syncope (24.0%). An abnormal EEG was found in 93.9% of patients diagnosed with epilepsy. Sixty-three patients were started on anti-epileptic drugs. In 18% of cases driving restrictions were initiated by the SSC. There was moderate correlation between SSC nurses and physicians (kappa=0.54; p<0.001) diagnoses. Conclusions: The SSC model reduces wait-times, streamlines assessments, and impacts clinical care decisions.
In this study the putative protective seroprevalence (PPS) of IgG antibodies to the 27-kDa and 15/17-kDa Cryptosporidium antigens in sera of healthy participants who were and were not exposed to Cryptosporidium oocysts via surface water-derived drinking water was compared. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding risk factors that have been shown to be associated with infection. The PPS was significantly greater (49−61%) in settlements where the drinking water originated from surface water, than in the control city where riverbank filtration was used (21% and 23%). Logistic regression analysis on the risk factors showed an association between bathing/swimming in outdoor pools and antibody responses to the 15/17-kDa antigen complex. Hence the elevated responses were most likely due to the use of contaminated water. Results indicate that waterborne Cryptosporidium infections occur more frequently than reported but may derive from multiple sources.