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While recent research points to the potential benefits of clinical intervention before the first episode of psychosis, the logistical feasibility of this is unclear.
To assess the feasibility of providing a clinical service for people with prodromal symptoms in an inner city area where engagement with mental health services is generally poor.
Following a period of liaison with local agencies to promote the service, referrals were assessed and managed in a primary care setting. Activity of the service was audited over 30 months.
People with prodromal symptoms were referred by a range of community agencies and seen at their local primary care physician practice. Over 30 months, 180 clients were referred; 58 (32.2%) met criteria for an at risk mental state, most of whom (67.2%) had attenuated psychotic symptoms. Almost 30% were excluded due to current or previous psychotic illness, of which two-thirds were in the first episode of psychosis. The socio-demographic composition of the 'at risk' group reflected that of the local population, with an over-representation of clients from an ethnic minority. Over 90% of suitable clients remained engaged with the service after 1 year.
It is feasible to provide a clinical service for people with prodromal symptoms in a deprived inner city area with a large ethnic minority population.
The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) is a consortium of 18 twin studies from 5 different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, United States, and Australia) established to explore the nature of gene–environment (GE) interplay in functioning across the adult lifespan. Fifteen of the studies are longitudinal, with follow-up as long as 59 years after baseline. The combined data from over 76,000 participants aged 14–103 at intake (including over 10,000 monozygotic and over 17,000 dizygotic twin pairs) support two primary research emphases: (1) investigation of models of GE interplay of early life adversity, and social factors at micro and macro environmental levels and with diverse outcomes, including mortality, physical functioning and psychological functioning; and (2) improved understanding of risk and protective factors for dementia by incorporating unmeasured and measured genetic factors with a wide range of exposures measured in young adulthood, midlife and later life.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
Using existing data from clinical registries to support clinical trials and other prospective studies has the potential to improve research efficiency. However, little has been reported about staff experiences and lessons learned from implementation of this method in pediatric cardiology.
We describe the process of using existing registry data in the Pediatric Heart Network Residual Lesion Score Study, report stakeholders’ perspectives, and provide recommendations to guide future studies using this methodology.
The Residual Lesion Score Study, a 17-site prospective, observational study, piloted the use of existing local surgical registry data (collected for submission to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-Congenital Heart Surgery Database) to supplement manual data collection. A survey regarding processes and perceptions was administered to study site and data coordinating center staff.
Survey response rate was 98% (54/55). Overall, 57% perceived that using registry data saved research staff time in the current study, and 74% perceived that it would save time in future studies; 55% noted significant upfront time in developing a methodology for extracting registry data. Survey recommendations included simplifying data extraction processes and tailoring to the needs of the study, understanding registry characteristics to maximise data quality and security, and involving all stakeholders in design and implementation processes.
Use of existing registry data was perceived to save time and promote efficiency. Consideration must be given to the upfront investment of time and resources needed. Ongoing efforts focussed on automating and centralising data management may aid in further optimising this methodology for future studies.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
There is limited knowledge on vitamin D status of children residing in the Andes and its association with undernutrition. We evaluated the vitamin D status of children residing in a low socio-economic status (SES) setting in the Ecuadorian Andes and assessed the association between vitamin D status, stunting and underweight. We hypothesized that children who were underweight would have lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and lower 25(OH)D levels would be associated with a higher risk of stunting.
We conducted a cross-sectional secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, the Vitamin A, Zinc and Pneumonia study. Children had serum 25(OH)D concentrations measured. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to determine a vitamin D cut-off specific for our endpoints. Associations between serum 25(OH)D and underweight (defined as weight-for-age Z-score≤−1) and stunting (defined as height-for-age Z-score≤−2) were assessed using multivariate logistic regression.
Children residing in five low-SES peri-urban neighbourhoods near Quito, Ecuador.
Children (n 516) aged 6–36 months.
Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 58·0 (sd 17·7) nmol/l. Sensitivity analysis revealed an undernutrition-specific 25(OH)D cut-off of <42·5 nmol/l; 18·6 % of children had serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l. Children who were underweight were more likely to have serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l (adjusted OR (aOR)=2·0; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·3). Children with low serum 25(OH)D levels were more likely to be stunted (aOR=2·8; 95 % CI 1·6, 4·7).
Low serum 25(OH)D levels were more common in underweight and stunted Ecuadorian children.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Intercropping with functionally diverse crops can reduce the availability of resources that could otherwise be used by weeds. An experiment was conducted across 6 site-years in New York and Maryland in 2013 and 2014 to examine the effects of functional diversity and crop species richness on weed suppression. We compared four annual crop species that differed in stature and nitrogen acquisition traits: (1) pearl millet, (2) sorghum sudangrass, (3) cowpea, and (4) sunn hemp. Crops were seeded in monoculture and in three- and four-species mixtures using a replacement design in which monoculture seeding rates were divided by the number of species in the intercrop. Crop and weed biomass were sampled at ~45 and 90 d after planting. At the first sampling date, intercrops produced more crop biomass than monocultures in all but 1 site-year; however, weed biomass in intercrops was lower than monocultures in only 1 site-year. By the second sampling date, crop biomass was consistently greater in the intercrops than in the monocultures, and weed biomass was lower in the intercrops than in monocultures in 2 site-years. Although we observed several negative relationships between crop species richness and weed biomass, crop biomass was a more important factor than species richness for suppressing weeds. Despite the weak weed suppression from the two legumes compared with the two grasses, legume crops can provide other benefits, including increased forage quality, soil nitrogen for subsequent crops, and resources for pollinators if allowed to flower. On the other hand, if weed suppression is the top priority, our results suggest that monocultures of high biomass–producing grasses will provide more effective suppression at a lower seed cost than functionally diverse intercrops that include low biomass–producing legumes in warm-season intercrops.
We analyzed antifungal and antiviral prescribing among high-risk children across freestanding children’s hospitals. Antifungal and antiviral days of therapy varied across hospitals. Benchmarking antifungal and antiviral use and developing antimicrobial stewardship strategies to optimize use of these high cost agents is needed.
Vertebrate microfossil bonebeds (VMBs)—localized concentrations of small resilient vertebrate hard parts—are commonly studied to recover otherwise rarely found small-bodied taxa, and to document relative taxonomic abundance and species richness in ancient vertebrate communities. Analyses of taphonomic comparability among VMBs have often found significant differences in size and shape distributions, and thus considered them to be non-isotaphonomic. Such outcomes of “strict” statistical tests of isotaphonomy suggest discouraging limits on the potential for broad, comparative paleoecological reconstruction using VMBs. Yet it is not surprising that sensitive statistical tests highlight variations among VMB sites, especially given the general lack of clarity with regard to the definition of “strict” isotaphonomic comparability. We rigorously sampled and compared six VMB localities representing two distinct paleoenvironments (channel and pond/lake) of the Upper Cretaceous Judith River Formation to evaluate biases related to sampling strategies and depositional context. Few defining distinctions in bioclast size and shape are evident in surface collections, and most site-to-site comparisons of sieved collections are indistinguishable (p≤0.003). These results provide a strong case for taphonomic equivalence among the majority of Judith River VMBs, and bode well for future studies of paleoecology, particularly in relation to investigations of faunal membership and community structure in Late Cretaceous wetland ecosystems. The taphonomic comparability of pond/lake and channel-hosted VMBs in the Judith River Formation is also consistent with a formative model that contends that channel-hosted VMBs were reworked from pre-existing pond/lake assemblages, and thus share taphonomic history.
The population growth of endangered whooping cranes (Grus americana) is not consistent with species recovery goals, and the impact of parasite infection on whooping crane populations is largely unknown. Disease ecology and epidemiology research of endangered species is often hindered by limited ability to conduct invasive sampling on the target taxa. Accordingly, we hypothesized that sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) would be a useful surrogate species to investigate the health impacts of Haemosporida infection in whooping cranes. Our goal was to compare the prevalence and diversity of Haemosporida infection between whooping cranes and sandhill cranes. We detected an overall infection prevalence of 83·6% (n = 61) in whooping cranes and 59·6% (n = 47) and 63·6 (n = 22) in two sympatric sandhill crane populations captured in Texas. Prevalence was significantly lower in allopatric sandhill cranes captured in New Mexico (12·1%, n = 33). Haemoproteus antigonis was the most abundant haemoparasite in cranes, present in 57·4% of whooping cranes and 39·2% of sandhill cranes; Plasmodium and Leucocytozoon were present at significantly lower levels. The high prevalence of Haemosporida in whooping cranes and sympatric sandhill cranes, with shared parasite lineages between the two species, supports sandhill cranes as a surrogate species for understanding health threats to endangered whooping cranes.
The herbicide pinoxaden is a phenylpyrazoline inhibitor of acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase. Research was conducted to determine the effects of pinoxaden (90 g ai ha−1) alone and in combination with herbicide safeners on creeping bentgrass injury as well as perennial ryegrass and roughstalk bluegrass control. Greenhouse experiments determined that herbicide safeners cloquintocet-mexyl, fenchlorazole-ethyl, and mefenpyr-diethyl were more effective in reducing creeping bentgrass injury from pinoxaden than benoxacor, isoxadifen-ethyl, and naphthalic-anhydride. Other experiments determined that creeping bentgrass injury from pinoxaden decreased as rates (0, 23, 45, 68, 90, 225, or 450 g ha−1) of cloquintocet-mexyl, fenchlorazole-ethyl, and mefenpyr-diethyl increased. On the basis of creeping bentgrass responses to various safener rates, safeners were applied at 68 and 450 g ha−1 in additional experiments to evaluate their effects on pinoxaden (90 g ha−1) injury to creeping bentgrass and efficacy against perennial ryegrass and roughstalk bluegrass. In these experiments, safeners mefenpyr-diethyl and cloquintocet-mexyl reduced pinoxaden-induced creeping bentgrass injury (from 25 to ≤ 5%) more than fenchlorazole-ethyl at 2 wk after treatment. Safeners reduced pinoxaden efficacy against roughstalk bluegrass. Perennial ryegrass was controlled > 80% by pinoxaden and herbicide safeners did not reduce control. Field experiments should evaluate pinoxaden in combination with cloquintocet-mexyl and mefenpyr-diethyl to optimize safener : herbicide ratios and rates for creeping bentgrass safety as well as perennial ryegrass and roughtstalk bluegrass control in different climates and seasons.
Perovskite-based solar cells, typically CH3NH3PbI3, have reached power conversion efficiencies on par with single crystal silicon solar cells. Perovskite cells prepared with the most common perovskite solvent N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by different research groups exhibit disparate efficiencies and stability for nominally identical perovskite films. Although the differences can be related to processing conditions, a consistent physical cause for the differences has been lacking. Highly-sensitive time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) reveals significant dimethylamine (DMA) included in perovskite films. TOF-SIMS and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results suggest DMA levels ranging from roughly 10–50%. Only the highest levels register as perovskite peak shifts in x-ray diffraction; lower levels are invisible. We propose that methylamine (MA) can react with DMF solvent by transamidation to produce dimethylamine (DMA), which then displaces some MA in perovskite crystals, see Fig. 1. Transamidation of DMF can be catalyzed by TiO2, Al2O3, water, or acid, but in perovskite films transamidation is inhibited by water.
Leaders are assumed to face fiscal constraints on their ability to remain in office by competitively distributing public and/or private goods. However, many leaders can relax this constraint by borrowing on sovereign credit markets. This article argues that states with the fiscal flexibility offered by favorable credit terms have the resources necessary to (1) respond to citizen demands with policies other than widespread repression and (2) avoid agency loss that may result in unauthorized repression by state agents. Empirical analyses indicate that creditworthy states have greater respect for physical integrity rights and are less likely to suffer diminished respect for those rights when facing violent dissent or negative shocks to government revenues.
The rate at which the poaching of rhinoceroses has escalated since 2010 poses a threat to the long-term persistence of extant rhinoceros populations. The policy response has primarily called for increased investment in military-style enforcement strategies largely based upon simple economic models of rational crime. However, effective solutions will probably require a context-specific, stakeholder-driven mix of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms grounded in theory that represents human behaviour more realistically. Using a problem-oriented approach we illustrate in theory and practice how community-based strategies that explicitly incorporate local values and institutions are a foundation for combating rhinoceros poaching effectively in specific contexts. A case study from Namibia demonstrates how coupling a locally devised rhinoceros monitoring regime with joint-venture tourism partnerships as a legitimate land use can reconcile individual values represented within a diverse stakeholder group and manifests as both formal and informal community enforcement. We suggest a social learning approach as a means by which international, national and regional governance can recognize and promote solutions that may help empower local communities to implement rhinoceros management strategies that align individual values with the long-term health of rhinoceros populations.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Glasshouse research was conducted to investigate the efficacy of herbicide safeners for improving creeping bentgrass (CBG) tolerance to various herbicides. CBG injury from amicarbazone (150 g ha−1), bispyribac-sodium (110 g ha−1), fenoxaprop-p-ethyl (35 g ha−1), imazapic (45 g ha−1), quinclorac (1,050 g ha−1), or topramezone (37 g ha−1) applied in combination with the herbicide safeners naphthalic anhydride or isoxadifen-ethyl was evaluated. These safeners reduced CBG injury from topramezone only. Topramezone was then applied in combination with naphthalic anhydride, isoxadifen-ethyl, cloquintocet-mexyl (cloquintocet), fenchlorazole-ethyl, mefenpyr-diethyl, and benoxacor. These experiments determined that CBG injury was lowest from topramezone in combination with cloquintocet. Additional experiments evaluated topramezone (37 g ha−1) with several rates of cloquintocet and determined that applications at ≥ 28 g ha−1 reduced CBG injury similarly. Cloquintocet (28 g ha−1) increased topramezone I50 values against CBG, but not large crabgrass or goosegrass. The cytochrome P450 (cP450) inhibitor malathion (1000 g ha−1) reduced topramezone I50 values against CBG in one experimental run. Topramezone–cloquintocet combinations warrant further research in field settings.