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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
We reviewed stroke care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic at our stroke center and provincial telestroke system. We counted referrals to our prevention clinic, code strokes, thrombolysis, endovascular thrombectomies, and activations of a provincial telestroke system from February to April of 2017–2020. In April 2020, there was 28% reduction in prevention clinic referrals, 32% reduction in code strokes, and 26% reduction in telestroke activations compared to prior years. Thrombolysis and endovascular thrombectomy rates remained constant. Fewer patients received stroke services across the spectrum from prevention, acute care to telestroke care in Ontario, Canada, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prevention and control of respiratory disease is a major contributor to antibiotic use in swine. A systematic review was conducted to address the question, ‘What is the comparative efficacy of antimicrobials for the prevention of swine respiratory disease?’ Eligible studies were controlled trials published in English evaluating prophylactic antibiotics in swine, where clinical morbidity, mortality, or total antibiotic use was assessed. Four databases and the gray literature were searched for relevant articles. Two reviewers working independently screened titles and abstracts for eligibility followed by full-text articles, and then extracted data and evaluated risk of bias for eligible trials. There were 44 eligible trials from 36 publications. Clinical morbidity was evaluated in eight trials where antibiotics were used in nursery pigs and 10 trials where antibiotics were used in grower pigs. Mortality was measured in 22 trials in nursery pigs and 12 trials in grower pigs. There was heterogeneity in the antibiotic interventions and comparisons published in the literature; thus, there was insufficient evidence to allow quantification of the efficacy, or relative efficacy, of antibiotic interventions. Concerns related to statistical non-independence and quality of reporting were noted in the included trials.
A systematic review and network meta-analysis (MA) was conducted to address the question, ‘What is the efficacy of bacterial vaccines to prevent respiratory disease in swine?’ Four electronic databases and the grey literature were searched to identify clinical trials in healthy swine where at least one intervention arm was a commercially available vaccine for one or more bacterial pathogens associated with respiratory disease in swine, including Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia, Actinobacillus suis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Pasteurella multocida, Stretococcus suis, Haemophils parasuis, and Mycoplasma hyorhinis. To be eligible, trials had to measure at least one of the following outcomes: incidence of clinical morbidity, mortality, lung lesions, or total antibiotic use. There were 179 eligible trials identified in 146 publications. Network MA was undertaken for morbidity, mortality, and the presence or absence of non-specific lung lesions. However, there was not a sufficient body of research evaluating the same interventions and outcomes to allow a meaningful synthesis of the comparative efficacy of the vaccines. To build this body of research, additional rigor in trial design and analysis, and detailed reporting of trial methods and results are warranted.
The smr and qacA/B genes in Staphylococcus aureus confer tolerance to antiseptics and are associated with nosocomial acquisition of infection and underlying medical conditions. Such antiseptic tolerance (AT) genes have also been reported in coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) and enterococci, however, few data are available regarding their prevalence. We sought to describe the frequency of AT genes among bloodstream isolates of S. aureus, CoNS and enterococci at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH).
Banked CoNS, S. aureus and enterococci isolated from blood cultures collected bewteen October 1, 2016, and October 1, 2017, were obtained from the TCH clinical microbiology laboratory. All isolates underwent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the qacA/B and smr genes. Medical records were reviewed for all cases.
In total, 103 CoNS, 19 Enterococcus spp, and 119 S. aureus isolates were included in the study, and 80.6% of the CoNS possessed at least 1 AT gene compared to 37% of S. aureus and 43.8% of E. faecalis isolates (P < .001). Among CoNS bloodstream isolates, the presence of either AT gene was strongly associated with nosocomial infection (P < .001). The AT genes in S. aureus were associated with nosocomial infection (P = .025) as well as the diagnosis of central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI; P = .04) and recent hospitalizations (P < .001). We found no correlation with genotypic AT in E. faecalis and any clinical variable we examined.
Antiseptic tolerance is common among bloodstream staphylococci and E. faecalis isolates at TCH. Among CoNS, the presence of AT genes is strongly correlated with nosocomial acquisition of infection, consistent with previous studies in S. aureus. These data suggest that the healthcare environment contributes to AT among staphylococci.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Engaging patients and consumers in research is a complex process where innovative strategies are needed to effectively translate scientific discoveries into improvements in the public’s health (Wilkins et. al., 2013; Terry et. al., 2013). The Clinical Translational Science Awards (CTSA)—supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) under the auspices of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)—aim to provide resources and support needed to strengthen our nation’s clinical and translational research (CTR) enterprise. In 2008, Stanford University was awarded a CTSA from the NIH, establishing Spectrum (Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education) and its Community Engagement (CE) Program aimed at building long-standing community-academic research partnerships for translational research in the local area surrounding Stanford University. To date, the CE Pilot Program has funded 38 pilot projects from the 2009-2017 calendar year. The purpose of this study was to understand, through a unique pilot program, the barriers, challenges, and facilitators to community-engaged research targeting health disparities as well as community-academic partnerships. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Investigators conducted a qualitative study of the community engagement pilot program. Previous pilot awardees were recruited via email and phone to participate in a one-hour focus group to discuss their pilot project experience—describing any barriers, challenges, and facilitators to implementing their pilot project. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The focus group revealed that community engage research through the pilot program was not only appreciated by faculty, but projects were successful, and partnerships developed were sustained after funding. Specifically, the pilot program has seen success in both traditional and capacity building metrics: the initial investment of $652,250.00 to fund 38 projects has led to over $11 million dollars in additional grant funding. In addition, pilot funding has led to peer-reviewed publications, data resources for theses and dissertations, local and national presentations/news articles, programmatic innovation, and community-level impact. Challenges and barriers were mainly related to timing, grant constraints, and university administrative processes. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The Community Engagement Pilot Program demonstrates an innovative collaborative approach to support community-academic partnerships. This assessment highlights the value and importance of pilot program to increase community engaged research targeting health disparities. Challenges are mainly administrative in nature: pilot awardees mentioned difficulties working on university quarterly timelines, challenges of subcontracting or sharing money with community partners, onerous NIH prior approval process, and limitations to carryover funding. However, pilot grants administered through the program strengthen the capacity to develop larger scale community-based research initiatives.
Introduction: Existing resources to support adolescents with acquired brain injury (ABI) in transition from school to the ‘adult world’ are variable. This study evaluated an intervention using a coaching approach to support adolescents during this transition phase.
Method: The study design was a parallel-group randomised controlled trial (RCT). Participants (n = 43) aged 14–19 years were randomised to intervention (n = 21) or no-intervention control (n = 21) conditions. The intervention group received six coaching sessions over an average of 22 weeks. Outcome measures evaluated changes reported by the adolescent (satisfaction, emotional functioning and hope) and their parent (participation, behaviour and support needs).
Results: Relative to baseline, there was no significant improvement for those in the intervention group in comparison to the control group on any of the outcome measures.
Conclusion: The results of this RCT do not support coaching as an intervention for adolescents with ABI.
To understand increasing rates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Tennessee, we conducted testing, risk factor analysis and a nested case–control study among persons who use drugs. During June–October 2016, HCV testing with risk factor assessment was conducted in sexually transmitted disease clinics, family planning clinics and an addiction treatment facility in eastern Tennessee; data were analysed by using multivariable logistic regression. A nested case–control study was conducted to assess drug-using risks and behaviours among persons who reported intranasal or injection drug use (IDU). Of 4753 persons tested, 397 (8.4%) were HCV-antibody positive. HCV infection was significantly associated with a history of both intranasal and IDU (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 35.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 24.1–51.9), IDU alone (aOR 52.7, CI 25.3–109.9), intranasal drug use alone (aOR 2.6, CI 1.8–3.9) and incarceration (aOR 2.7, CI 2.0–3.8). By 4 October 2016, 574 persons with a reported history of drug use; 63 (11%) were interviewed further. Of 31 persons who used both intranasal and injection drugs, 26 (84%) reported previous intranasal drug use, occurring 1–18 years (median 5.5 years) before their first IDU. Our findings provide evidence that reported IDU, intranasal drug use and incarceration are independent indicators of risk for past or present HCV infection in the study population.
To investigate the association of policy, systems and environmental factors with improvement in household food security among low-income Indiana households with children after a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) direct nutrition education intervention.
Household food security scores measured by the eighteen-item US Household Food Security Survey Module in a longitudinal randomized and controlled SNAP-Ed intervention study conducted from August 2013 to April 2015 were the response variable. Metrics to quantify environmental factors including classification of urban or rural county status; the number of SNAP-authorized stores, food pantries and recreational facilities; average fair market housing rental price; and natural amenity rank were collected from government websites and data sets covering the years 2012–2016 and used as covariates in mixed multiple linear regression modelling.
Thirty-seven Indiana counties, USA, 2012–2016.
SNAP-Ed eligible adults from households with children (n 328).
None of the environmental factors investigated were significantly associated with changes in household food security in this exploratory study.
SNAP-Ed improves food security regardless of urban or rural location or the environmental factors investigated. Expansion of SNAP-Ed in rural areas may support food access among the low-income population and reduce the prevalence of food insecurity in rural compared with urban areas. Further investigation into policy, systems and environmental factors of the Social Ecological Model are warranted to better understand their relationship with direct SNAP-Ed and their impact on diet-related behaviours and food security.
The effects of shape and thickness of a tin surface layer and of the energy of a 170 ps neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser pulse on the conversion efficiency (CE) into extreme ultraviolet emission in the 13.5 nm region is investigated. Whereas a CE of up to 1.16% into the 2% reflection band of multilayer Mo/Si optics was measured for a bulk Sn target at a laser energy of 25 mJ, significant CE enhancement up to 1.49% is demonstrated for a 200-nm-thick Sn layer on a microstructured porous alumina substrate.
To search for studies on tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning used as isolated treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea in children with Pierre Robin sequence.
A systematic literature search of PubMed/Medline and three additional databases, from inception through to 8 July 2016, was performed by two authors.
Seven studies with 90 patients (59 tongue–lip adhesion and 31 tongue repositioning patients) met the inclusion criteria. Tongue–lip adhesion reduced the mean (± standard deviation) apnoea/hypopnoea index from 30.8 ± 22.3 to 15.4 ± 18.9 events per hour (50 per cent reduction). The apnoea/hypopnoea index mean difference for tongue–lip adhesion was −15.28 events per hour (95 per cent confidence interval = −30.70 to 0.15; p = 0.05). Tongue–lip adhesion improved the lowest oxygen saturation from 75.8 ± 6.8 to 84.4 ± 7.3 per cent. Tongue repositioning reduced the apnoea/hypopnoea index from 46.5 to 17.4 events per hour (62.6 per cent reduction). Tongue repositioning improved the mean oxygen saturation from 90.8 ± 1.2 to 95.0 ± 0.5 per cent.
Tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning can improve apnoea/hypopnoea index and oxygenation parameters in children with Pierre Robin sequence and obstructive sleep apnoea.
To investigate an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex and describe the measures that revealed the source.
A 629-bed, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital in Houston, Texas.
Pediatric patients without cystic fibrosis (CF) hospitalized in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units.
We investigated an outbreak of B. cepacia complex from February through July 2016. Isolates were evaluated for molecular relatedness with repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR); specific species identification and genotyping were performed at an independent laboratory. The investigation included a detailed review of all cases, direct observation of clinical practices, and respiratory surveillance cultures. Environmental and product cultures were performed at an accredited reference environmental microbiology laboratory.
Overall, 18 respiratory tract cultures, 5 blood cultures, 4 urine cultures, and 3 stool cultures were positive in 24 patients. Among the 24 patients, 17 had symptomatic infections and 7 were colonized. The median age of the patients was 22.5 months (range, 2–148 months). Rep-PCR typing showed that 21 of 24 cases represented the same strain, which was identified as a novel species within the B. cepacia complex. Product cultures of liquid docusate were positive with an identical strain of B. cepacia complex. Local and state health departments, as well as the CDC and FDA, were notified, prompting a multistate investigation.
Our investigation revealed an outbreak of a unique strain of B. cepacia complex isolated in clinical specimens from non-CF pediatric patients and from liquid docusate. This resulted in a national alert and voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
Studies of blood parasite infection in nestling birds rarely find a high prevalence of infection. This is likely due to a combination of short nestling periods (limiting the age at which nestlings can be sampled) and long parasite prepatent periods before gametocytes can be detected in peripheral blood. Here we examine rates of blood parasite infection in nestlings from three Columbid species in the UK. We use this system to address two key hypotheses in the epidemiology of avian haemoparasites: first, that nestlings in open nests have a higher prevalence of infection; and second, that nestlings sampled at 14 days old have a higher apparent infection rate than those sampled at 7 days old. Open-nesting individuals had a 54% infection rate compared with 25% for box-nesters, probably due to an increased exposure of open-nesting species to dipteran vectors. Nestlings sampled at 14 days had a 68% infection rate compared with 32% in nestlings sampled at 7 days, suggesting that rates of infection in the nest are high. Further work should examine nestlings post-fledging to identify rates of successful parasite infection (as opposed to abortive development within a dead-end host) as well as impacts on host post-fledging survival and behaviour.
With the UK population ageing, deciding upon a satisfactory and sustainable system for the funding of people’s long-term care (LTC) needs has long been a topic of political debate. Phase 1 of the Care Act 2014 (“the Act”) brought in some of the reforms recommended by the Dilnot Commission in 2011. However, the Government announced during 2015 that Phase 2 of “the Act” such as the introduction of a £72,000 cap on Local Authority care costs and a change in the means testing thresholds1 would be deferred until 2020. In addition to this delay, the “freedom and choice” agenda for pensions has come into force. It is therefore timely that the potential market responses to help people pay for their care within the new pensions environment should be considered. In this paper, we analyse whether the proposed reforms meet the policy intention of protecting people from catastrophic care costs, whilst facilitating individual understanding of their potential care funding requirements. In particular, we review a number of financial products and ascertain the extent to which such products might help individuals to fund the LTC costs for which they would be responsible for meeting. We also produce case studies to demonstrate the complexities of the care funding system. Finally, we review the potential impact on incentives for individuals to save for care costs under the proposed new means testing thresholds and compare these with the current thresholds. We conclude that:
∙ Although it is still too early to understand exactly how individuals will respond to the pensions freedom and choice agenda, there are a number of financial products that might complement the new flexibilities and help people make provision for care costs.
∙ The new care funding system is complex making it difficult for people to understand their potential care costs.
∙ The current means testing system causes a disincentive to save. The new means testing thresholds provide a greater level of reward for savers than the existing thresholds and therefore may increase the level of saving for care; however, the new thresholds could still act as a barrier since disincentives still exist.
Epidemiological studies have established an association between obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancer types. Research has focused predominantly on altered endocrine factors, growth factors and signalling pathways, with little known in man about the immune involvement in the relevant pathophysiological processes. Moreover, in an era of exciting new breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy, there is also a need to study the safety and efficacy of immunotherapeutics in the complex setting of inflammatory-driven obesity-associated cancer. This review addresses key immune cell subsets underpinning obesity-associated inflammation and describes how such immune compartments might be targeted to prevent and treat obesity-associated cancer. We propose that the modulation, metabolism, migration and abundance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cells and tumour-specific T cells might be therapeutically altered to both restore immune balance, alleviating pathological inflammation, and to improve anti-tumour immune responses in obesity-associated cancer.