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Algorithms are probably the most sophisticated tools that people have had at their disposal since the beginnings of human history. They have transformed science, industry, society. They upset the concepts of work, property, government, private life, even humanity. Going easily from one extreme to the other, we rejoice that they make life easier for us, but fear that they will enslave us. To get beyond this vision of good vs evil, this book takes a new look at our time, the age of algorithms. Creations of the human spirit, algorithms are what we made them. And they will be what we want them to be: it's up to us to choose the world we want to live in.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
There are a variety of causes of acute heart failure in children including myocarditis, genetic/metabolic conditions, and congenital heart defects. In cases with a structurally normal heart and a negative personal and family history, myocarditis is often presumed to be the cause, but we hypothesise that genetic disorders contribute to a significant portion of these cases. We reviewed our cases of children who presented with acute heart failure and underwent genetic testing from 2008 to 2017. Eighty-seven percent of these individuals were found to have either a genetic syndrome or pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant in a cardiac-related gene. None of these individuals had a personal or family history of cardiomyopathy that was suggestive of a genetic aetiology prior to presentation. All of these individuals either passed away or were listed for cardiac transplantation indicating genetic testing may provide important information regarding prognosis in addition to providing information critical to assessment of family members.
Introduction: Cardioactive steroid poisoning occurs worldwide with the use of pharmaceutical digoxin and botanical cardiac glycosides. The wholesale price of the antidote, digoxin immune fab, has increased over 300% from 2010 to 2015. Our objective was to identify gaps in the existing literature with respect to the use of digoxin immune fab in cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute care settings. Methods: We used scoping study methodology, as described by Arksey and O'Malley, to assess the range and scope of empiric research and will report: 1) sources of cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute settings; 2) doses of digoxin immune fab used in treatment; and, 3) intervention outcomes of acute cardioactive steroid toxicity following the administration of digoxin immune fab as first or second-line therapy. We collaborated with a library scientist to devise search strategies for PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, CENTRAL and Toxnet. We sought unpublished literature through the Canadian Electronic Library, Proquest, and Scopus and searched reference lists of included studies. We hand searched relevant conference proceedings and applicable guidelines. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles and abstracts using predetermined criteria. Using a structured data abstraction form, two reviewers independently extracted data. All discrepancies were resolved through consensus. Results: Our search strategy yielded 3458 results. After screening titles and abstracts 384 underwent full text screening. We included 147 studies and are currently extracting data from 12 French studies and 135 English studies. To date we have extracted data from 90 case reports and case series. Conclusion: Given concerns over rising costs, our findings will shed light on the extent of the evidence for use of digoxin immune fab in acute care settings.
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
The St. Louis aerosol was sampled during the period 16-22 August 1973 simultaneously at two locations using cascade impactors for sequential 12-hour samples. The six particle size fractions of each sampling were individually analyzed using PIXE for elements from S to Br and beyond and for heavy elements including Pb which permitted time variations of concentrations and particle size distributions to be followed and related to meteorological changes during the sampling period. In addition, the data were compared with average levels of the elements in coastal north Florida and maritime Bermuda as well as at a third St. Louis site. From this it appeared that some of the concentrations in St. Louis were at natural levels whereas others appeared to be higher and linked to air pollution sources. These relationships and others in this study may lead to criteria for distinguishing between pollutants and natural background in urban aerosols.
Atmospheric aerosol particles have been sampled near a Los Angeles freeway and analyzed by proton-induced X-ray emission, PIXE, as a sulfur baseline study in September 1974 before 1975-model auto mobiles, equipped with catalytic emission control devices, appeared in large numbers. The sampling plan was optimized a c cording to the requirements of X-ray analysis techniques, fluctuations in air flow across the freeway, and the time and particlesise resolution of the aerosol sampling equipment. During five selected two-hour intervals with cross wind conditions, particles were collected as a function of size by six cascade impactorsope rating simultaneously on three towers at 2 and 7 meters above road level 35 meters upwind and 35 meters downwind of the traffic lanes. Particles as a function of time were sampled continuously, for the 100-hour duration of the experiment, from the three 7-meter heights using time series streaker filter samplers with two-hour time resolution. Precise analyses of S, Cl, K, Ca, Fe, Br, and. Pb established relationships which permit estimates to be made of future increases in particulate sulfur as a consequence of increased sulfate emissions from catalytic automobiles.
Increased use of dicamba and/or glyphosate in dicamba/glyphosate-tolerant soybean might affect many sensitive crops, including potato. The objective of this study was to determine the growth and yield of ‘Russet Burbank’ potato grown from seed tubers (generation 2) from mother plants (generation 1) treated with dicamba (4, 20, and 99 g ae ha−1), glyphosate (8, 40, and 197 g ae ha−1), or a combination of dicamba and glyphosate during tuber initiation. Generation 2 tubers were planted near Oakes and Inkster, ND, in 2016 and 2017, at the same research farm where the generation 1 tubers were grown the previous year. Treatment with 99 g ha−1 dicamba, 197 g ha−1 glyphosate, or 99 g ha−1 dicamba + 197 g ha−1 glyphosate caused emergence of generation 2 plants to be reduced by up to 84%, 86%, and 87%, respectively, at 5 wk after planting. Total tuber yield of generation 2 was reduced up to 67%, 55%, and 68% when 99 g ha−1 dicamba, 197 g ha−1 glyphosate, or 99 g ha−1 dicamba + 197 g ha−1 glyphosate was applied to generation 1 plants, respectively. At each site year, 197 g ha−1 glyphosate reduced total yield and marketable yield, while 99 g ha−1 dicamba reduced total yield and marketable yield in some site-years. This study confirms that exposure to glyphosate and dicamba of potato grown for potato seed tubers can negatively affect the growth and yield potential of the subsequently grown daughter generation.
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.