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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
The green mantle of the earth! This metaphor is a poetic image that borrows from the vocabulary of weaving and epitomizes the Renaissance interest in "fashioning green worlds" in art and poetry. Here it serves as a motto for a cultural poetics that made representing living nature increasingly popular across Italy in the Early Modern period. The explosion of landscape art in this era is often associated with the rise of interest in the literary pastoral, narrowly defined, but this volume expands that understanding to show Green’s broad appeal as it intrigued audiences ranging from the ecclesiastic to the medical and scientific to the humanistic and courtly. The essays gathered here explore the expanding technologies and varied cultural dimensions of verzure and verdancy in the Italian Renaissance, and thus the role of visual art in shaping the poetics and expression of greenery in the arts of the 16th-century and beyond.
Bringing green nature indoors had been an Italian domestic habit since the Middle Ages, but, as the real gardens outside of villas and palaces became more complex, erudite and splendid, so did the painted green architecture gracing palace interiors. This essay offers a careful reading of Lives of the Artists to show how Vasari understood such refined decorative programs. Tracing Vasari's very particular use of the word verzure, a term Vasari uses only in the second edition of his book and only in reference to trained plant structures, either painted or real, the essay examines Vasari's thoughts on the best way to deploy fictive green architecture in interiors and also which artists he believed had the appropriate skills for this task.
Keywords: green architecture, garlands, Giorgio Vasari, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), verdure, renaissance gardens, Raphael, Giovanni da Udine, pergola, ornament
Ephemeral Courtly Verzure
In a letter to Pietro Aretino, 25 year old Giorgio Vasari records a charming anecdote about verdure. Vasari claims that he worked many days preparing ornaments for Florence's welcome of Emperor Charles in 1536, proceeding almost unaided because local artists were leery of helping an interloper from Arezzo. Ultimately, on the morning of the entry, Vasari collapsed ‘for very weariness on a bundle of verdure intended for the decorations’. The story has a happy – and self-aggrandizing – ending. Duke Alessandro, taking a last minute tour of the festal ephemera, has Vasari roused from his green pillow and tells him, ‘Giorgio mine, this work of yours is larger, more beautiful, better executed, and more speedily finished than that of anybody else’.
Although Vasari writes this story to demonstrate his early promise as an impresario, an organizer of court events, for our purposes it brings to the fore an essential use of verzure in Renaissance arts: festal greenery. Throughout his career, such verdure continued to occupy Vasari. We have a 1565 notation of expenditures for some decorations overseen by Vasari for the Palazzo Vecchio courtyard recorded as ‘terra cotta putti heads interspersed with ram and lion heads made of paper-mache, all hung with festonj di verzura’. As with many such ephemeral decorations, this grouping was partly made of actual plant matter, but included non-organic materials as well, and featured delights like exotic beasts and mythic creatures.
The diagnosis of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in a medical officer working in a metropolitan Australian neonatal intensive care unit led to a contact investigation involving 125 neonates, 165 relatives, and 122 healthcare workers with varying degrees of exposure. There was no evidence of nosocomial tuberculosis transmission from the index case.
Despite the significant advancements being made in the neurogenetics for mental health, the identification and validation of potential endophenotype markers of risk and resilience remain to be confirmed. The TWIN-E study (The Twin study in Wellbeing using Integrative Neuroscience of Emotion) aims to validate endophenotype markers of mental health across cognitive, brain, and autonomic measures by testing the heritability, clinical plausibility, and reliability of each of these measures in a large adult twin cohort. The specific gene and environmental mechanisms that moderate prospective links between endophenotype-phenotype markers and the final outcome of wellbeing will also be identified. TWIN-E is a national prospective study with three phases: I) baseline testing on a battery of online questionnaires and cognitive tasks, and EEG, MRI, and autonomic testing; II) 12-month follow-up testing on the online assessments; and III) randomized controlled trial of brain training. Minimum target numbers include 1,500 male/female twins (18–65 years) for the online assessments (Phase I and II), 300 twins for the EEG testing component, and 244 twins for the MRI testing component. For Phase III, each twin out of the pair will be randomized to either the treatment or waitlist control group to test the effects of brain training on mental health over a 30-day period, and to confirm the gene–environment and endophenotype contributions to treatment response. Preliminary heritability results are provided for the first 50% of the MRI subgroup (n = 142) for the grey matter volume, thickness, and surface area measures, and white matter diffuse tensor imaging fractional anisotropy.
The “doctrine of double effect” has a pleasing ring to it. It is regarded by some as the cornerstone of any sound approach to end-of-life issues and by others as religious mumbo jumbo. Discussions about “the doctrine” often generate more heat than light. They are often conducted at cross-purposes and laced with footnotes from Leviticus.