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In 2011 the Incidence Assay Critical Path Working Group reviewed the current state of HIV incidence assays and helped to determine a critical path to the introduction of an HIV incidence assay. At that time the Consortium for Evaluation and Performance of HIV Incidence Assays (CEPHIA) was formed to spur progress and raise standards among assay developers, scientists and laboratories involved in HIV incidence measurement and to structure and conduct a direct independent comparative evaluation of the performance of 10 existing HIV incidence assays, to be considered singly and in combinations as recent infection test algorithms. In this paper we report on a new framework for HIV incidence assay evaluation that has emerged from this effort over the past 5 years, which includes a preliminary target product profile for an incidence assay, a consensus around key performance metrics along with analytical tools and deployment of a standardized approach for incidence assay evaluation. The specimen panels for this evaluation have been collected in large volumes, characterized using a novel approach for infection dating rules and assembled into panels designed to assess the impact of important sources of measurement error with incidence assays such as viral subtype, elite host control of viraemia and antiretroviral treatment. We present the specific rationale for several of these innovations, and discuss important resources for assay developers and researchers that have recently become available. Finally, we summarize the key remaining steps on the path to development and implementation of reliable assays for monitoring HIV incidence at a population level.
We report on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observation of the polar, QS Tel, made during 1994 June. Orbital modulation is present in both the continuum and lines. A narrow dip is observed in the continuum folded light curve. The spectrum of the occulted source during this dip is broadly consistent in shape with the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the EUV source.
In traditional transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of multi-planetary systems, the individual TTVs are first derived from transit fitting and later modelled using n-body dynamic simulations to constrain planetary masses. We show that fitting simultaneously the transit light curves with the system dynamics (photo-dynamical model) increases the precision of the TTV measurements and helps constrain the system architecture. We exemplify the advantages of applying this photo-dynamical model to a multi-planetary system found in K2 data very close to 3:2 mean motion resonance, K2-19. In this case the period of the larger TTV variations (libration period) is much longer (>1.5 years) than the duration of the K2 observations (80 days). However, our method allows to detect the short period TTVs produced by the orbital conjunctions between the planets that in turn permits to uniquely characterise the system. Therefore, our method can be used to constrain the masses of near-resonant systems even when the full libration curve is not observed.
Little is known about the relative extent of crime against people with
severe mental illness (SMI).
To assess the prevalence and impact of crime among people with SMI
compared with the general population.
A total of 361 psychiatric patients were interviewed using the national
crime survey questionnaire, and findings compared with those from 3138
general population controls participating in the contemporaneous national
Past-year crime was experienced by 40% of patients v.
14% of controls (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.8, 95% CI 2.0–3.8); and
violent assaults by 19% of patients v. 3% of controls
(adjusted OR = 5.3, 95% CI 3.1–8.8). Women with SMI had four-, ten- and
four-fold increases in the odds of experiencing domestic, community and
sexual violence, respectively. Victims with SMI were more likely to
report psychosocial morbidity following violence than victims from the
People with SMI are at greatly increased risk of crime and associated
morbidity. Violence prevention policies should be particularly focused on
people with SMI.
Domestic and sexual violence are significant public health problems but little is known about the extent to which men and women with severe mental illness (SMI) are at risk compared with the general population. We aimed to compare the prevalence and impact of violence against SMI patients and the general population.
Three hundred and three randomly recruited psychiatric patients, in contact with community services for ⩾1 year, were interviewed using the British Crime Survey domestic/sexual violence questionnaire. Prevalence and correlates of violence in this sample were compared with those from 22 606 general population controls participating in the contemporaneous 2011/12 national crime survey.
Past-year domestic violence was reported by 27% v. 9% of SMI and control women, respectively [odds ratio (OR) adjusted for socio-demographics, aOR 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7–4.0], and by 13% v. 5% of SMI and control men, respectively (aOR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0–2.8). Past-year sexual violence was reported by 10% v. 2.0% of SMI and control women respectively (aOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.4–5.8). Family (non-partner) violence comprised a greater proportion of overall domestic violence among SMI than control victims (63% v. 35%, p < 0.01). Adulthood serious sexual assault led to attempted suicide more often among SMI than control female victims (53% v. 3.4%, p < 0.001).
Compared to the general population, patients with SMI are at substantially increased risk of domestic and sexual violence, with a relative excess of family violence and adverse health impact following victimization. Psychiatric services, and public health and criminal justice policies, need to address domestic and sexual violence in this at-risk group.
Stars are tidally disrupted and accreted when they approach massive black holes (MBHs) closely, producing a flare of electromagnetic radiation. The majority of the (approximately two dozen) tidal disruption events (TDEs) identified so far have been discovered by their luminous, transient X-ray emission. Once TDEs are detected in much larger numbers, in future dedicated transient surveys, a wealth of new applications will become possible. Here, we present the proposed Einstein Probe mission, which is a dedicated time-domain soft X-ray all-sky monitor aiming at detecting X-ray transients including TDEs in large numbers. The mission consists of a wide-field micro-pore Lobster-eye imager (60° × 60°), and is designed to carry out an all-sky transient survey at energies of 0.5-4 keV. It will also carry a more sensitive telescope for X-ray follow-ups, and will be capable of issuing public transient alerts rapidly. Einstein Probe is expected to revolutionise the field of TDE research by detecting several tens to hundreds of events per year from the early phase of flares, many with long-term, well sampled lightcurves.
A wave basin experiment has been performed in the MARINTEK laboratories, in one of the largest existing three-dimensional wave tanks in the world. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the effects of directional energy distribution on the statistical properties of surface gravity waves. Different degrees of directionality have been considered, starting from long-crested waves up to directional distributions with a spread of ±30° at the spectral peak. Particular attention is given to the tails of the distribution function of the surface elevation, wave heights and wave crests. Comparison with a simplified model based on second-order theory is reported. The results show that for long-crested, steep and narrow-banded waves, the second-order theory underestimates the probability of occurrence of large waves. As directional effects are included, the departure from second-order theory becomes less accentuated and the surface elevation is characterized by weak deviations from Gaussian statistics.
The ESEN (European Sero-Epidemiology Network) project was established to harmonize the
seroepidemiology of five vaccine preventable infections including measles, mumps and rubella
in eight European countries. This involved achieving comparability both in the assay results
from testing in different centres and also sampling methodology. Standardization of enzyme
immunoassay results was achieved through the development of common panels of sera by
designated reference centres. The panels were tested at the reference laboratory and then
distributed to each participating laboratory for testing using their routine methods.
Standardization equations were calculated by regressing the quantitative results against those of
the reference laboratory. Our study found large differences in unitage between participants,
despite all using an EIA method standardized against an international or local standard.
Moreover, our methodology adjusted for this difference. These standardization equations will
be used to convert the results of main serosurvey testing into the reference country unitage to
ensure inter-country comparability.
The results of a therapeutic trial of the use of melatonin in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex who also have severe sleep problems are reported. We used a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. Seven patients with confirmed diagnoses of tuberous sclerosis and significant sleep disorder were recruited. We employed three outcome measures: total sleep time, time to sleep onset, and number of awakenings. Patients treated with melatonin had a small but clinically significant improvement in total sleep time (mean improvement 0.55 hours, P<0.05). They also tended to have an improvement in sleep-onset time but this did not reach statistical significance. Melatonin, in this trial, had no discernible effect on sleep fragmentation. We conclude that melatonin does have a beneficial effect in prolonging the total sleep time of patients with tuberous sclerosis and sleep disorder and that further trials are necessary to investigate the issues of optimal dosage, tolerance, and possible interactions with other medications.
Cost effectiveness analyses of alternative hepatitis B vaccination
programmes in England and
Wales require a robust estimate of the lifetime risk of carriage. To this
end, we report the
prevalence of infection in 3781 anonymized individuals aged 15–44
years whose sera were
submitted in 1996 to 16 microbiology laboratories in England and Wales.
One hundred and
forty-six individuals (3·9%) were confirmed as anti HBc positive,
including 14 chronic carriers
(0·37%). The prevalence of infection and carriage was higher in
samples collected in London
and increased with age. No increased risk of infection was seen in sera
(GUM) clinics. Only 15 sera positive for hepatitis B were also positive
for hepatitis C. Our
results confirm the low prevalence of hepatitis B in England and Wales,
are consistent with
previous estimates of carriage and suggest that many infections were acquired
outside the UK. Future prevalence studies should determine the country
of birth and other risk
factors for each individual in order to confirm these findings.
In an attempt to induce passive protection in lambs against Taenia ovis larvae that would last for the 15–20 weeks from birth to slaughter as fat lambs, one group of ewes was immunized by a series of injections of 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 and 32000 activated oncospheres of Taenia ovis prior to parturition. Another group of ewes was not immunized. All ewes had previously grazed pasture lightly infected with T. ovis eggs. Most lambs from non-immunized ewes developed cysts after oral infection with T. ovis eggs. However, no lambs from immunized ewes developed cysts up to and including 6 weeks after birth. Between 8 and 16 weeks after birth a proportion of lambs were found to be susceptible to infection. By 18 weeks after birth all lambs were apparently susceptible. The 99% confidence band for the mean duration of demonstrable complement-fixing antibody titres was 6·2–7·8 weeks for lambs from immunized ewes. The persistence of maternal protective antibody in some lambs could possibly preclude successful active immunization of all lambs against T. ovis larvae before 18 weeks of age.
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