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A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding
. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.
The use of targets with surface structures for laser-driven particle acceleration has potential to significantly boost the particle and radiation energies because of enhanced laser absorption. We investigate, via experiment and particle-in-cell simulations, the impact of micron-scale surface-structured targets on the spectrum of electrons and protons accelerated by a picosecond laser pulse at relativistic intensity. Our results show that, compared with flat-surfaced targets, structures on this scale give rise to a significant enhancement in particle and radiation emission over a wide range of laser–target interaction parameters. This is due to the longer plasma scale length when using micro-structures on the target front surface. We do not observe an increase in the proton cutoff energy with our microstructured targets, and this is due to the large volume of the relief.
The family physician is key to facilitating access to psychiatric treatment for young people with first-episode psychosis, and this involvement can reduce aversive events in pathways to care. Those who seek help from primary care tend to have longer intervals to psychiatric care, and some people receive ongoing psychiatric treatment from the family physician.
Our objective is to understand the role of the family physician in help-seeking, recognition and ongoing management of first-episode psychosis.
We will use a mixed-methods approach, incorporating health administrative data, electronic medical records (EMRs) and qualitative methodologies to study the role of the family physician at three points on the pathway to care. First, help-seeking: we will use health administrative data to examine access to a family physician and patterns of primary care use preceding the first diagnosis of psychosis; second, recognition: we will identify first-onset cases of psychosis in health administrative data, and look back at linked EMRs from primary care to define a risk profile for undetected cases; and third, management: we will examine service provision to identified patients through EMR data, including patterns of contacts, prescriptions and referrals to specialised care. We will then conduct qualitative interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders to better understand the trends observed in the quantitative data.
These findings will provide an in-depth description of first-episode psychosis in primary care, informing strategies to build linkages between family physicians and psychiatric services to improve transitions of care during the crucial early stages of psychosis.
A cluster of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns was detected in October 2015. Interviews initially identified nut butters, kale, kombucha, chia seeds and nutrition bars as common exposures. Epidemiologic, environmental and traceback investigations were conducted. Thirteen ill people infected with the outbreak strain were identified in 10 states with illness onset during 18 July–22 November 2015. Eight of 10 (80%) ill people reported eating Brand A raw sprouted nut butters. Brand A conducted a voluntary recall. Raw sprouted nut butters are a novel outbreak vehicle, though contaminated raw nuts, nut butters and sprouted seeds have all caused outbreaks previously. Firms producing raw sprouted products, including nut butters, should consider a kill step to reduce the risk of contamination. People at greater risk for foodborne illness may wish to consider avoiding raw products containing raw sprouted ingredients.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Observationally locating the position of the H2O snowline in protoplanetary disks is crucial for understanding planetesimal and planet formation processes, and the origin of water on the Earth. In our studies, we conducted calculations of chemical reactions and water line profiles in protoplanetary disks, and identified that ortho/para-H216O, H218O lines with small Einstein A coefficients and relatively high upper state energies are dominated by emission from the hot midplane region inside the H2O snowline. Therefore, through analyzing their line profiles the position of the H2O snowline can be located. Moreover, because the number density of the H218O is much smaller than that of H216O, the H218O lines can trace deeper into the disk and thus they are potentially better probes of the exact position of the H2O snowline in disk midplane.
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.
We conduct a laboratory experiment to test for the existence of the endowment effect—a gap between willingness to accept and willingness to pay—for improved drinking water quality using a within-subject design. We find a statistically significant and positive gap. Willingness to accept is 62 to 125 cents higher than willingness to pay on average, indicating the presence of endowment effects. This gap is robust to information about the quality of water being consumed. We also identify some heterogeneity in the size of the gaps that is associated with differences in subjects' knowledge of drinking water quality and disparities in their incomes.
Introduction: Diabetes mellitus affects over 2.7 million Canadians, with 90% being Type-2 diabetes (CDA 2010). Complications of diabetes are major causes for emergency department (ED) visits, adversely affecting patients’ health and costing the health system. Improving diabetes self-management can lead to avoidance of ED visits and revisits after discharge. Recent developments in mobile Health (mHealth), such as home health monitoring with sensors, social media, and text messaging, have shown promise in supporting patients in chronic disease self-management. This project tested the feasibility of these tools to support self-management for people with type-2 diabetes. Methods: Forty-three people with type-2 diabetes took part in a three month program that provided: health information via text messages, online access to curated resources and a facilitated discussion board, and access to wireless monitoring devices. Participants were outfitted with a wireless blood pressure monitor and weight scale, standard blood glucose monitor, and online access to their physiological data. Data collected included pre and post-self-reported health measures, tracking of physiological changes, website and discussion board use, cost survey, and interviews. Results: Participants reported significantly less health distress and an increase in diabetes empowerment. HbA1c levels decreased from an average of 7.41 to 6.77. Average weight and blood glucose also decreased over the study period. Interview and cost survey findings revealed most participants felt mDAWN provided good value; 78% expressed interest in continuing all or parts of the program. Interview findings revealed that participants developed self-management routines, and experienced increased self-awareness of, and ownership over, their health achievements. Conclusion: mHealth tools provided participants with their own physiologic information, connection with peers, and evidence informed advice. Participants highly valued this combination and improved their self-management and health outcomes. Equipping patients with similar tools for self-management post ED discharge holds great promise for decreasing revisits and improving health outcomes. This study has stimulated a clinical trial now underway to evaluate the effectiveness of home monitoring to facilitate the transition of patients between acute care and community settings.
Among dialysis facilities participating in a bloodstream infection (BSI) prevention collaborative, access-related BSI incidence rate improvements observed immediately following implementation of a bundle of BSI prevention interventions were sustained for up to 4 years. Overall, BSI incidence remained unchanged from baseline in the current analysis.
Social relationships are multifaceted, and different social network components can operate via different processes to influence well-being. This study examined associations of social network structure and relationship quality (positive and negative social exchanges) with mental health in midlife and older adults. The focus was on both direct associations of network structure and relationship quality with mental health, and whether these social network attributes moderated the association of self-rated health (SRH) with mental health.
Analyses were based on survey data provided by 2001 (Mean age = 65, SD = 8.07) midlife and older adults. We used Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to classify participants into network types based on network structure (partner status, network size, contact frequency, and activity engagement), and used continuous measures of positive and negative social exchanges to operationalize relationship quality. Regression analysis was used to test moderation.
LCA revealed network types generally consistent with those reported in previous studies. Participants in more diverse networks reported better mental health than those categorized into a restricted network type after adjustment for age, sex, education, and employment status. Analysis of moderation indicated that those with poorer SRH were less likely to report poorer mental health if they were classified into more diverse networks. A similar moderation effect was also evident for positive exchanges.
The findings suggest that both quantity and quality of social relationships can play a role in buffering against the negative implications of physical health decline for mental health.
Investigation of an outbreak of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) at a hemodialysis facility revealed evidence that limited intrafacility transmission occurred despite adherence to published infection control standards for dialysis clinics. Outpatient dialysis facilities should consider CDI prevention, including environmental disinfection for C. difficile, when formulating their infection control plans.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(8):972–974
Acute doses of Ca rapidly increase serum Ca and reduce bone resorption concomitant with a reduction in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. The physiological response to a dose of Ca in milk and to a Ca salt may be different. The present study investigated Ca absorption patterns with increasing levels of fortification in milk, and the response to one dose of a Ca salt. A group of twenty-eight Asian women aged 20–45 years volunteered to attend the laboratory over several weeks. The fasted volunteers were randomised to one of three experimental drinks: 200 ml skimmed milk containing 250, 500 or 1000 mg Ca. A subgroup of seven volunteers also received a calcium gluconate/carbonate salt containing 1000 mg Ca in 200 ml water. Serial blood samples and urine were collected for 5 h from baseline. Different doses of Ca in milk resulted in a graded response in serum corrected Ca, PTH and C-telopeptide of type I collagen (CTx) but not ionised Ca. Serum Ca increased in response to all milk drinks and from 2 to 5 h the blood Ca levels were significantly different for the 250 and 1000 mg doses, as was the integrated response between the loads. The PTH response to the two higher doses was significantly more than following the 250 mg dose. The integrated response for CTx and urinary Ca between all three doses of Ca in milk was significantly different. A dose of Ca salt elicited a more immediate response reaching a plateau faster, and declining faster to baseline. Fortified milk is a safe matrix for delivering larger doses of Ca.
Using photometry at just two wavelengths it is possible to fit a blackbody to the spectrum of infrared excess that is the signature of a debris disc. From this the location of the dust can be inferred. However, it is well known that dust in debris discs is not a perfect blackbody. By resolving debris discs we can find the actual location of the dust and compare this to that inferred from the blackbody fit. Using the Herschel Space Observatory we resolved many systems as part of the DEBRIS survey. Here we discuss a sample of 9 discs surrounding A stars and find that the discs are actually located between 1 and 2.5 times further from their star than predicted by blackbody fits to the spectral energy distribution (SED). The variation in this ratio is due to differences in stellar luminosities, location of the dust, size distribution and composition of the dust.
Exclusion of children with presumptive Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) from childcare facilities until negative stool specimens are obtained is routine practice that disrupts families. We estimated the shedding and exclusion duration and transmission risk in such facilities. The study population comprised 225 children aged <6 years attending 201 childcare facilities in England with microbiologically confirmed VTEC in 2010–2011. We estimated the interval from onset to first negative specimen, and identified transmission events with secondary cases linked to facilities. The median duration of shedding was 31 days, and median period of exclusion was 39·5 days. Cases attending facilities while shedding VTEC did so for a median of 2 days before exclusion. Secondary cases occurred in 6/83 facilities (7%) attended by infectious cases. Despite evidence of VTEC shedding at facilities, transmission is relatively low. Revised control guidelines could consider supervised return for prolonged asymptomatic shedders.
Recent reports have attributed the potential health benefits of vitamin K beyond its function to activate hepatic coagulation factors. Moreover, several studies have suggested that menaquinones, also known as vitamin K2, may be more effective in activating extra-hepatic vitamin K-dependent proteins than phylloquinone, also known as vitamin K1. Nevertheless, present dietary reference values (DRV) for vitamin K are exclusively based on phylloquinone, and its function in coagulation. The present review describes the current knowledge on menaquinones based on the following criteria for setting DRV: optimal dietary intake; nutrient amount required to prevent deficiency, maintain optimal body stores and/or prevent chronic disease; factors influencing requirements such as absorption, metabolism, age and sex. Dietary intake of menaquinones accounts for up to 25 % of total vitamin K intake and contributes to the biological functions of vitamin K. However, menaquinones are different from phylloquinone with respect to their chemical structure and pharmacokinetics, which affects bioavailability, metabolism and perhaps impact on health outcomes. There are significant gaps in the current knowledge on menaquinones based on the criteria for setting DRV. Therefore, we conclude that further investigations are needed to establish how differences among the vitamin K forms may influence tissue specificities and their role in human health. However, there is merit for considering both menaquinones and phylloquinone when developing future recommendations for vitamin K intake.
Atomistic modeling is used to study the role of different alloying additions to metallic U-Zr nuclear fuels in terms of their ability to reduce lanthanide migration to the outer surface of the fuel and thus reduce their interaction with cladding. The Bozzolo-Ferrante-Smith (BFS) method for alloys is used to examine the behavior of each addition, the resulting phase structure, and the evolution of the fuel surface. Different behaviors are observed for each of the additives (In, Tl, Ga, Sb, Pd), all a result of the competition between the formation of bulk precipitates and the tendency of each additive to segregate to the surface. For each case, characteristic temperatures are determined indicating the range of temperatures in which each additive performs a different role. Sb and Pd additives are determined to be the most effective additions, properly balancing their ability to bind lanthanides in the fuel with their own segregating tendencies.
In the elderly, immunosenescence and malnourishment can contribute to increased risk and severity of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). Gold kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis ‘Hort16A’) contains nutrients important for immune function and mitigation of symptoms of infection, including vitamins C and E, folate, polyphenols and carotenoids. The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether regular consumption of gold kiwifruit reduces symptoms of URTI in older people, and determine the effect it has on plasma antioxidants, and markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and immune function. A total of thirty-two community-dwelling people ( ≥ 65 years) participated in a randomised crossover study, consuming the equivalent of four kiwifruit or two bananas daily for 4 weeks, with treatments separated by a 4-week washout period. Participants completed the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 daily, and blood samples were collected at baseline and at the end of each treatment and washout period. Gold kiwifruit did not significantly reduce the overall incidence of URTI compared with banana, but significantly reduced the severity and duration of head congestion, and the duration of sore throat. Gold kiwifruit significantly increased plasma vitamin C, α-tocopherol and lutein/zeaxanthin concentrations, and erythrocyte folate concentrations, and significantly reduced plasma lipid peroxidation. No changes to innate immune function (natural killer cell activity, phagocytosis) or inflammation markers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, homocysteine) were detected. Consumption of gold kiwifruit enhanced the concentrations of several dietary plasma analytes, which may contribute to reduced duration and severity of selected URTI symptoms, offering a novel tool for reducing the burden of URTI in older individuals.
Seventy-five individuals with Salmonella infection were identified in the Portsmouth area during August and September 2009, predominantly Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 8. Five patients were admitted to hospital. A case-case comparison study showed that a local restaurant was the most likely source of the infection with a risk of illness among its customers 25-fold higher than that of those who did not attend the restaurant. A case-control study conducted to investigate specific risk factors for infection at the restaurant showed that eating salad was associated with a threefold increase in probability of illness. Changing from using ready washed lettuces to lettuces requiring washing and not adhering strictly to the 48 hours exclusion policy for food handlers with diarrhoea were likely to have contributed to the initiation and propagation of this outbreak. Possibilities for cross-contamination and environmental contamination were identified in the restaurant.