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Commercialization of 2,4-D–tolerant crops is a major concern for sweetpotato producers because of potential 2,4-D drift that can cause severe crop injury and yield reduction. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess impacts of reduced rates of 2,4-D, glyphosate, or a combination of 2,4-D with glyphosate on sweetpotato. In one study, 2,4-D and glyphosate were applied alone and in combination at 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of anticipated field use rates (1.05 kg ha−1 for 2,4-D and 1.12 kg ha−1 for glyphosate) to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 days after transplanting [DAP]). In a separate study, all these treatments were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root development (30 DAP). Injury with 2,4-D alone or in combination with glyphosate was generally equal or greater than with glyphosate applied alone at equivalent herbicide rates, indicating that injury is attributable mostly to 2,4-D in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) with increased rate of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, neither the results of this relationship nor of the significance of herbicide rate were observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at storage root formation, with a few exceptions. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates was also a concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases, yield reduction of U.S. no.1 and marketable grades was also observed after application of 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× rates of 2,4-D alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
A major concern of sweetpotato producers is the potential negative effects from herbicide drift or sprayer contamination events when dicamba is applied to nearby dicamba-resistant crops. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess the effects of reduced rates of N,N-Bis-(3-aminopropyl)methylamine (BAPMA) or diglycloamine (DGA) salt of dicamba, glyphosate, or a combination of these individually in separate trials with glyphosate on sweetpotato. Reduced rates of 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of the 1× use rate of each dicamba formulation at 0.56 kg ha−1, glyphosate at 1.12 kg ha−1, and a combination of the two at aforementioned rates were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 d after transplanting) in one trial and storage root development (30 d after transplanting) in a separate trial. Injury with each salt of dicamba (BAPMA or DGA) applied alone or with glyphosate was generally equal to or greater than glyphosate applied alone at equivalent rates, indicating that injury is most attributable to the dicamba in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and a quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) observed with an increased herbicide rate of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, with a few exceptions, neither this relationship nor the significance of herbicide rate was observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at the storage root formation stage. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of either salt of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates would be cause for concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases yield reduction of No.1 and marketable grades was observed following 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× application rates of dicamba alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
Innovation Concept: Research training programs for students, especially in emergency medicine (EM), may be difficult to initiate due to lack of protected time, resources, and mentors (Chang Y, Ramnanan CJ. Academic Medicine 2015). We developed a ten-week summer program for medical students aimed at cultivating research skills through mentorship, clinical enrichment, and immersion in EM research culture through shadowing and project support. Methods: Five second year Ontario medical students were recruited to participate in the Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine (STAR-EM) program at University Health Network, Toronto, from June - Aug, 2019. Program design followed review of existing summer research programs and literature regarding challenges to EM research (McRae, Perry, Brehaut et al. CJEM 2018). The program had broad emergency physician (EP) engagement, with five EP research project mentors, and over ten EPs delivering academic sessions. Curriculum development was collaborative and iterative. All projects were approved by the hospital Research Ethics Board (REB). Curriculum, Tool or Material: Each weekly academic morning comprised small group teaching (topics including research methodology, manuscript preparation, health equity, quality improvement, and wellness), followed by EP-led group progress review of each student's project. Each student spent one half day per week in the emergency department (ED), shadowing an EP and identifying patients for recruitment for ongoing mentor-initiated ED research projects. Remaining time was spent on independent student project work. Presentation to faculty and program evaluation occurred in week 10. Scholarly output included one abstract submitted for publication per student. Program evaluation by students reflected a uniform impression that course material and mentorship were each excellent (100%, n = 5). Interest in pursuing academic EM as a career was identified by all students. Faculty researchers rated the program as very effective (80%, n = 4) or somewhat effective (20%, n = 1) in terms of enhancing productivity and scholarly output. Conclusion: The STAR-EM program provides a transferable model for other academic departments seeking to foster the development of future clinician investigators and enhance ED research culture. Program challenges included delays in REB approval for student projects and engaging recalcitrant staff to participate in research.
Psychological stress is associated with accelerated cellular aging and increased risk for aging-related diseases, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear.
We examined the effect of stress on a DNA methylation age predictor that was shown to correlate strongly with chronological age across human tissues (Horvath 2013). Genome-wide DNA methylation was measured in peripheral blood using the 450K Illumina array in three independent cohorts: the Grady Trauma Project/GTP (N=366); a panic disorder case/control sample recruited at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry/MPI-P (N=318); and the Conte Center for the Psychobiology of Early-Life Trauma/Conte (N=42). Age acceleration was calculated by subtracting chronological age from age predicted by DNA methylation. Psychiatric symptomatology and stressors were assessed using standard questionnaires.
DNA methylation age strongly correlated with chronological age in all samples (r=0.9, p=2.5x10<sup>-133</sup>). Cumulative lifetime stress but not childhood or current stress predicted age acceleration in GTP (p=0.012) and MPI-P (p=0.021). Moreover, epigenetic age acceleration predicted depression (GTP: p=0.002; Conte: p=0.014) and panic disorder (p=0.007). In secondary analyses, we examined the effect of lifetime stress on individual CpGs of the DNA methylation age predictor. After correcting for multiple comparisons, we identified in both GTP and MPI-P a stress-regulated CpG near MCAM, a gene implicated in aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Cumulative lifetime stress, but not childhood or current stress, and psychiatric phenotypes are associated with accelerated epigenetic aging. Our findings may explain the accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk associated with chronic stress and psychiatric disorders.
An outbreak of 18 cases of hepatitis A virus infection across five Canadian provinces was investigated. Case onsets occurred between October 2017 and May 2018. A retrospective matched case-control study was conducted to identify the likely source of the outbreak. Three matched controls were recruited for each case using a previously established control bank, supplemented by landline and cell phone call lists. Univariate and multivariate matched analyses were conducted to identify a potential outbreak source. Seventy-two per cent of controls were recruited through the control bank, and required on average 25.5 calls per recruited control; 20% of controls were recruited through a landline sample and 8% of controls were recruited through a cell phone sample, requiring an average of 847.3 and 331.7 calls per recruited control, respectively. Results of the analysis pointed to shrimp/prawns (odds ratio (OR) 15.75, p = 0.01) and blackberries (OR 7.21, p = 0.02) as foods of interest, however, an outbreak source could not be confirmed. The control bank proved to be a more efficient method for control recruitment than random call lists. Expanding the control bank size and using alternative methods, such as online surveys, may prove beneficial for increasing the timeliness of a case-control study during an outbreak investigation.
Meal timing may influence food choices, neurobiology and psychological states. Our exploratory study examined if time-of-day eating patterns were associated with mood disorders among adults.
During 2004–2006 (age 26–36 years) and 2009–2011 (follow-up, age 31–41 years), N = 1304 participants reported 24-h food and beverage intake. Time-of-day eating patterns were derived by principal components analysis. At follow-up, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview measured lifetime mood disorder. Log binomial and adjacent categories log-link regression were used to examine bidirectional associations between eating patterns and mood disorder. Covariates included sex, age, marital status, social support, education, work schedule, body mass index and smoking.
Three patterns were derived at each time-point: Grazing (intake spread across the day), Traditional (highest intakes reflected breakfast, lunch and dinner), and Late (skipped/delayed breakfast with higher evening intakes). Compared to those in the lowest third of the respective pattern at baseline and follow-up, during the 5-year follow-up, those in the highest third of the Late pattern at both time-points had a higher prevalence of mood disorder [prevalence ratio (PR) = 2.04; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20–3.48], and those in the highest third of the Traditional pattern at both time-points had a lower prevalence of first onset mood disorder (PR = 0.31; 95% CI 0.11–0.87). Participants who experienced a mood disorder during follow-up had a 1.07 higher relative risk of being in a higher Late pattern score category at follow-up than those without mood disorder (95% CI 1.00–1.14).
Non-traditional eating patterns, particularly skipped or delayed breakfast, may be associated with mood disorders.
We sought to retrospectively report our outcomes using post-operative stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)/stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) in place of whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) following resection of brain metastases from our hospital-based community practice.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective review of 23 patients who underwent post-operative SRS at our single institution from 2013 to 2017 was undertaken. Patient records, treatment plans and diagnostic images were reviewed. Local failure, distant intracranial failure and overall survival were studied. Categorical variables were analyzed using Fisher’s exact tests. Continuous variables were analyzed using Mann–Whitney tests. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate survival times.
16 (70%) were single-fraction SRS, whereas the remaining 7 patients received a five-fraction treatment course. The median single-fraction dose was 16 Gy (range, 16–18). The median total dose for fractionated treatments was 25 Gy (range, 25–35). Overall survival at 6 and 12 months was 95 and 67%, respectively. Comparison of SRS versus SRT local control rates at 6 and 12 months revealed control rates of 92 and 78% versus 29 and 14%, respectively. Every patient with dural/pial involvement at the time of surgery had distant intracranial failure at the 12-month follow-up.
Single-fraction frameless SRS proved to be an effective modality with excellent local control rates. However, the five-fraction SRT course was associated with an increased rate of local recurrence. Dural/pial involvement may portend a high risk for distant intracranial disease; therefore, it may be prudent to consider alternative approaches in these cases.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) have been associated with life-long chronic disease risk for the infant. Stress during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many studies have reported the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous populations and a smaller number of studies have measured rates of stress and depression in these populations. This study sought to examine the potential association between stress during pregnancy and the rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Australian Indigenous women residing in rural and remote communities in New South Wales. This study found a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy than the general population. There was also a higher incidence of prematurity and LBW deliveries. Unfortunately, missing post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptomatology data impeded the examination of associations of interest. This was largely due to the highly sensitive nature of the issues under investigation, and the need to ensure adequate levels of trust between Indigenous women and research staff before disclosure and recording of sensitive research data. We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between the level of stress and the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes at this stage. We recommend this longitudinal study continue until complete data sets are available. Future research in this area should ensure prioritization of building trust in participants and overestimating sample size to ensure no undue pressure is placed upon an already stressed participant.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
To determine the relationship between falls and deficits in specific cognitive domains in older adults.
An analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort.
United Kingdom community-based.
5197 community-dwelling older adults recruited to a prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Data on the occurrence of falls and number of falls, which occurred during a 12-month follow-up period, were assessed against the specific cognitive domains of memory, numeracy skills, and executive function. Binomial logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between each cognitive domain and the dichotomous outcome of falls in the preceding 12 months using unadjusted and adjusted models.
Of the 5197 participants included in the analysis, 1308 (25%) reported a fall in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between the occurrence of a fall and specific forms of cognitive dysfunction after adjusting for self-reported hearing, self-reported eyesight, and functional performance. After adjustment, only orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 0.80; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.65–0.98, p = 0.03) and verbal fluency (adjusted OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–1.00; p = 0.05) remained significant for predicting recurrent falls.
The cognitive phenotype rather than cognitive impairment per se may predict future falls in those presenting with more than one fall.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Mixing matrices quantify how people with similar or different characteristics make contact with each other, creating potential for disease transmission. Little empirical data on mixing patterns among persons who inject drugs (PWID) are available to inform models of blood-borne disease such as HIV and hepatitis C virus. Egocentric drug network data provided by PWID in Baltimore, Maryland between 2005 and 2007 were used to characterise drug equipment-sharing patterns according to age, race and gender. Black PWID and PWID who were single (i.e. no stable sexual partner) self-reported larger equipment-sharing networks than their white and non-single counterparts. We also found evidence of assortative mixing according to age, gender and race, though to a slightly lesser degree in the case of gender. Highly assortative mixing according to race and gender highlights the existence of demographically isolated clusters, for whom generalised treatment interventions may have limited benefits unless targeted directly. These findings provide novel insights into mixing patterns of PWID for which little empirical data are available. The age-specific assortativity we observed is also significant in light of its role as a key driver of transmission for other pathogens such as influenza and tuberculosis.
Chronic suppurative otitis media is a massive public health problem in numerous low- and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, few low- and middle-income countries can offer surgical therapy.
A six-month long programme in Cambodia focused on training local surgeons in type I tympanoplasty was instigated. Qualitative educational and quantitative surgical outcomes were evaluated in the 12 months following programme completion. A four-month long training programme in mastoidectomy and homograft ossiculoplasty was subsequently implemented, and the preliminary surgical and educational outcomes were reported.
A total of 124 patients underwent tympanoplasty by the locally trained surgeons. Tympanic membrane closure at six weeks post-operation was 88.5 per cent. Pure tone audiometry at three months showed that 80.9 per cent of patients had improved hearing, with a mean gain of 17.1 dB. The trained surgeons reported high confidence in performing tympanoplasty. Early outcomes suggest the local surgeons can perform mastoidectomy and ossiculoplasty as safely as overseas-trained surgeons, with reported surgeon confidence reflecting these positive outcomes.
The training programme has demonstrated success, as measured by surgeon confidence and operative outcomes. This approach can be emulated in other settings to help combat the global burden of chronic suppurative otitis media.
The study objective was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonisation in the nares and oropharynx of healthy persons and identify any risk factors associated with such S. aureus colonisation. In total 263 participants (177 adults and 86 minors) comprising 95 families were enrolled in a year-long prospective cohort study from one urban and one rural county in eastern Iowa, USA, through local newspaper advertisements and email lists and through the Keokuk Rural Health Study. Potential risk factors including demographic factors, medical history, farming and healthcare exposure were assessed. Among the participants, 25.4% of adults and 36.1% minors carried S. aureus in their nares and 37.9% of adults carried it in their oropharynx. The overall prevalence was 44.1% among adults and 36.1% for minors. Having at least one positive environmental site for S. aureus in the family home was associated with colonisation (prevalence ratio: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.07–1.66). The sensitivity of the oropharyngeal cultures was greater than that of the nares cultures (86.1% compared with 58.2%, respectively). In conclusion, the nares and oropharynx are both important colonisation sites for healthy community members and the presence of S. aureus in the home environment is associated with an increased probability of colonisation.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
Introduction: Patients with Heart failure (HF) experience frequent decompensation necessitating multiple emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. If patients are able to receive timely interventions and optimize self-management, recurrent ED visits may be reduced. In this feasibility study, we piloted the application of home telemonitoring to support the discharge of HF patients from hospital to home. We hypothesized that TEC4Home would decrease ED revisits and hospital admissions and improve patient health outcomes. Methods: Upon discharge from the ED or hospital, patients with HF received a blood pressure cuff, weight scale, pulse oximeter, and a touchscreen tablet. Participants submitted measurements and answered questions on the tablet about their HF symptoms daily for 60 days. Data were reviewed by a monitoring nurse. From November 2016 to July 2017, 69 participants were recruited from Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), St. Pauls Hospital (SPH) and Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). Participants completed pre-surveys at enrollement and post-surveys 30 days after monitoring finished. Administrative data related to ED visits and hospital admissions were reviewed. Interviews were conducted with the monitoring nurses to assess the impact of monitoring on patient health outcomes. Results: A preliminary analysis was conducted on a subsample of participants (n=22) enrolled across all 3 sites by March 31, 2017. At VGH and SPH (n=14), 25% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to pre-survey. During the monitoring period, the monitoring nurse observed seven likely avoided ED admissions due to early intervention. In total, admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 69%. At KGH (n=8), 43% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to the pre-survey. Hospital admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 50%. Overall, TEC4Home participants from all sites showed a significant improvement in health-related quality of life and in self-care behaviour pre- to 90 days post-monitoring. A full analysis of the 69 patients will be complete in February 2018. Conclusion: Preliminary findings indicate that home telemonitoring for HF patients can decrease ED revisits and improve patient experience. The length of stay data may also suggest the potential for early discharge of ED patients with home telemonitoring to avoid or reduce hospitalization. A stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial of TEC4Home in 22 BC communities will be conducted in 2018 to generate evidence and scale up the service in urban, regional and rural communities. This work is submitted on behalf of the TEC4Home Healthcare Innovation Community.
Introduction: Correctly identifying pathology in pre-pubertal females is a high-stakes physical examination skill. Currently, learning this skill relies heavily on case-by-case exposure, which is variable, limited and often results in suboptimal skill. Thus, there is a need to develop and evaluate learning platforms that simulate the presentation and diagnosis of this important clinical task. We developed an on-line learning and assessment platform that allowed the deliberate practice of 158 pre-pubertal female genital image interpretations . We examined the quantity of skill acquisition by deriving performance metrics and learning curves. Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study administered via an on-line learning and assessment platform. Colposcopic images were acquired from a child abuse clinic. Two child abuse experts interpreted images to determine case solutions and 40% of cases had medical or traumatic pathology. Further, to validate image interpretations, a unique set of five child abuse and pediatric gynaecology experts reviewed the cases. Study participants were recruited from the USA and Canada and were required to complete all 158 cases. For each image, learners designated cases as normal or abnormal and if abnormal indicated the abnormal area on the image. The primary outcome was the change in accuracy, sensitivity and specificity. Results: We enrolled 107 participants, 26 medical students, 31 pediatric residents, 24 pediatric emergency fellows, and 26 pediatric emergency attendings. For all participants, the change in accuracy was +9.6% for accuracy (<0.001), +1.4% for sensitivity (p=0.6) and +15.7% (p<0.001) for specificity. The final score for accuracy, sensitivity and specificity was 79.5%, 66.1%, and 87.8%, respectively. There was no difference between learner types with respect to summary performance metrics (accuracy, p=0.15; sensitivity, p=0.44; specificity, p=0.54). Learning curves show maximal learning gains (inflection point) up until 100 cases. Conclusion: Deliberate practice of pre-pubertal female image interpretation was effective for ensuring predictable skill improvement for normal cases but was less effective for abnormal cases. Future research could examine how to refine the education tool to better serve diagnostic skill of abnormal cases.
Introduction: Situational awareness (SA) is essential for maintenance of scene safety and effective resource allocation in mass casualty incidents (MCI). Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can potentially enhance SA with real-time visual feedback during chaotic and evolving or inaccessible events. The purpose of this study was to test the ability of paramedics to use UAV video from a simulated MCI to identify scene hazards, initiate patient triage, and designate key operational locations. Methods: A simulated MCI, including fifteen patients of varying acuity (blast type injuries), plus four hazards, was created on a college campus. The scene was surveyed by UAV capturing video of all patients, hazards, surrounding buildings and streets. Attendees of a provincial paramedic meeting were invited to participate. Participants received a lecture on SALT Triage and the principles of MCI scene management. Next, they watched the UAV video footage. Participants were directed to sort patients according to SALT Triage step one, identify injuries, and localize the patients within the campus. Additionally, they were asked to select a start point for SALT Triage step two, identify and locate hazards, and designate locations for an Incident Command Post, Treatment Area, Transport Area and Access/Egress routes. Summary statistics were performed and a linear regression model was used to assess relationships between demographic variables and both patient triage and localization. Results: Ninety-six individuals participated. Mean age was 35 years (SD 11), 46% (44) were female, and 49% (47) were Primary Care Paramedics. Most participants (80 (84%)) correctly sorted at least 12 of 15 patients. Increased age was associated with decreased triage accuracy [-0.04(-0.07,-0.01);p=0.031]. Fifty-two (54%) were able to localize 12 or more of the 15 patients to a 27x 20m grid area. Advanced paramedic certification, and local residency were associated with improved patient localization [2.47(0.23,4.72);p=0.031], [-3.36(-5.61,-1.1);p=0.004]. The majority of participants (78 (81%)) chose an acceptable location to start SALT triage step two and 84% (80) identified at least three of four hazards. Approximately half (53 (55%)) of participants designated four or more of five key operational areas in appropriate locations. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the potential of UAV technology to remotely provide emergency responders with SA in a MCI. Additional research is required to further investigate optimal strategies to deploy UAVs in this context.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.