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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.
The majority of market lamb produced in UK results from crossing terminal sire rams with crossbred ewes. The selection of terminal sire breeds over the past 15 years for improved carcass composition has shown positive benefits on carcass quality of their crossbred progeny (Simm et al. 2001). However, faster rates of genetic improvement would be achieved if information from these terminal sire crossbred lambs could be used in the genetic evaluation of terminal sire breeds. Incorporating crossbred information into purebred selection programmes has been modelled and the results show that it is an effective way of improving carcass quality (Jones et al. 1999). However, this is currently compromised by limitations on how individual carcass data can be collected for incorporation into breeding programmes. An innovative technology based on Video Image Analysis (VIA) of lamb carcasses is being evaluated for introduction into UK lamb abattoirs. VIA systems can provide an objective, automatic, consistent and accurate way of measuring carcass composition. However, little is known of genetic parameters for VIA measurements of lamb carcasses. Therefore the aim of the present research project was to estimate the genetic parameters of VIA carcass measurements in crossbred lamb population.
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.
Zoonoses are those diseases of animals that can be transmitted to man or vice versa. These may be caused by bacteria, parasites, or more rarely by viruses. This paper will concentrate mainly on the zoonotic bacteria Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., E. coli O157 and Yersinia spp. Foodborne disease, often described as food poisoning, is defined as disease due to the consumption of food contaminated with microorganisms or their toxins. In 2000, the most common causes of food poisoning in humans in Great Britain were Campylobacter spp. (60340 cases) and Salmonella spp. (16567 cases). Less than 100 cases of Yersinia spp. infections were reported in humans in England and Wales. Results from surveillance of zoonotic organisms in farm livestock were presented at two conferences organised by MAFF in 2000. The main results are outlined in table 1. It is not possible to guarantee the complete absence from meat of bacteria that can cause infections in people. Thorough cooking of foods should kill all vegetative bacteria. Nevertheless, it is also important that steps are taken throughout the supply chain to minimise the transfer of the bacteria that could cause foodborne disease.
The MLC-coordinated Finishing Pigs Systems Research (FPSR) programme addresses industry and Government policy requirements through a multidisciplinary approach that investigates several priorities including the potential for improving production efficiency of pigs through liquid feeding. Research activity is centred at the Meat and Livestock Commission’s Stotfold Pig Development Unit and uses the purpose built Finishing Systems Research Unit. Two housing systems, fully slatted versus straw-based, will be evaluated over four production trials designed to investigate different aspects of liquid feeding technology. This paper is based on the results of the first production trial, which compared dry and liquid feeding in a fully slatted or straw-based housing system. The objective of the current study was to determine the effect of offering the same diet in the form of either dry pellets or liquid feed, on the growth performance, carcase quality and meat eating quality of pigs growing/finishing pigs.
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.
We have imaged more than thirty early-type galaxies in the K-band to investigate their stellar populations. Our surface brightness fluctuations (SBF) measurements for the nearest 14 galaxies produce a mean fluctuations magnitude in the K-band of The scatter in the Virgo cluster is small at 0.18 mag, which implies that infrared SBF is potentially a good distance indicator (Pahre & Mould 1994). Inspection of the simple stellar population tracks of Worthey (1994) suggests that a plot of the fluctuation color against broadband color (V – I) might be useful in discriminating between age and metallicity effects in elliptical galaxies. We have measured (r – K) color gradients for the entire sample utilizing three methods, two of them independent of sky-subtraction errors, as found in Sparks & Jørgensen (1993). Our color gradients are consistent with a mean metallicity gradient of 0.14 mag dex−1, which is somewhat smaller than that implied by optical color and line gradients alone, suggesting that age gradients may also be important. Finally, we have constructed an infrared Fundamental Plane (FP) which is consistent with its optical counterpart; continued work will determine if there is a significant change in the tilt of the FP between the optical and infrared.
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.
The WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide deep ice core was recently completed to a total depth of 3405 m, ending 50 m above the bed. Investigation of the visual stratigraphy and grain characteristics indicates that the ice column at the drilling location is undisturbed by any large-scale overturning or discontinuity. The climate record developed from this core is therefore likely to be continuous and robust. Measured grain-growth rates, recrystallization characteristics, and grain-size response at climate transitions fit within current understanding. Significant impurity control on grain size is indicated from correlation analysis between impurity loading and grain size. Bubble-number densities and bubble sizes and shapes are presented through the full extent of the bubbly ice. Where bubble elongation is observed, the direction of elongation is preferentially parallel to the trace of the basal (0001) plane. Preferred crystallographic orientation of grains is present in the shallowest samples measured, and increases with depth, progressing to a vertical-girdle pattern that tightens to a vertical single-maximum fabric. This single-maximum fabric switches into multiple maxima as the grain size increases rapidly in the deepest, warmest ice. A strong dependence of the fabric on the impurity-mediated grain size is apparent in the deepest samples.
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.
MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars / Microvariabilite et Oscillations STellaire) is a Canadian microsatellite mission intended to detect rapid photometric oscillations at the μmag level in stars brighter than V ∼ 6. This limit is set primarily by the 15-cm aperture of the MOST telescope. The small size and mass of the MOST bus (similar to a suitcase) sets a limit on the pointing accuracy of about ±10 arcsec. To achieve the required photometric precision under these conditions, the MOST focal plane features a set of Fabry microlenses which can spread the target starlight into a pupil image of the telescope onto a CCD. The large size (∼1600 pixels) and positional stability (±0.1 pixel) of these images makes MOST insensitive to CCD flat-fielding errors. MOST is currently on schedule to be launched in early 2002.
Phanerozoic trends in shell and life habit traits linked to postmortem durability were evaluated for the most common fossil brachiopod, gastropod, and bivalve genera in order to test for changes in taphonomic bias. Using the Paleobiology Database, we tabulated occurrence frequencies of genera for 48 intervals of ∼11 Myr duration. The most frequently occurring genera, cumulatively representing 40% of occurrences in each time bin, were scored for intrinsic durability on the basis of shell size, reinforcement (ribs, folds, and spines), life habit, and mineralogy.
Shell durability is positively correlated with the number of genera in a time bin, but durability traits exhibit different temporal patterns across higher taxa, with notable offsets in the timing of changes in these traits. We find no evidence for temporal decreases in durability that would indicate taphonomic bias at the Phanerozoic scale among commonly occurring genera. Also, all three groups show a remarkable stability in mean shell size through the Phanerozoic, an unlikely pattern if strong size-filtering taphonomic megabiases were affecting the fossil record of shelly faunas. Moreover, small shell sizes are attained in the early Paleozoic in brachiopods and in the latest Paleozoic in gastropods but are steady in bivalves; unreinforced shells are common to all groups across the entire Phanerozoic; organophosphatic and aragonitic shells dominate only the oldest and youngest time bins; and microstructures having high organic content are most common in the oldest time bins.
In most cases, the timing of changes in durability-related traits is inconsistent with a late Mesozoic Marine Revolution. The post-Paleozoic increase in mean gastropod reinforcement occurs in the early Triassic, suggesting either an earlier appearance and expansion of durophagous predators or other drivers. Increases in shell durability hypothesized to be the result of increased predation in the late Mesozoic are not evident in the common genera examined here. Infaunal life habit does increase in the late Mesozoic, but it does not become more common than levels already attained during the Paleozoic, and only among bivalves does the elevated late Mesozoic level persist through the Holocene.
These temporal patterns suggest control on the occurrence of durability-related traits by individual evolutionary histories rather than taphonomic megabiases. Our findings do not mean taphonomic biases are absent from the fossil record, but rather that their effects apparently have had little net effect on the relative occurrence of shell traits generally thought to confer higher preservation potential over long time scales.