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A piezoelectric biomedical microelectromechanical system (bioMEMS) cantilever device was designed and fabricated to act as either a sensing element for muscle tissue contraction or as an actuator to apply mechanical force to cells. The sensing ability of the piezoelectric cantilevers was shown by monitoring the electrical signal generated from the piezoelectric aluminum nitride in response to the contraction of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes cultured on the piezoelectric cantilevers. Actuation was demonstrated by applying electrical pulses to the piezoelectric cantilever and observing bending via an optical detection method. This piezoelectric cantilever device was designed to be incorporated into body-on-a-chip systems.
Research participants want to receive results from studies in which they participate. However, health researchers rarely share the results of their studies beyond scientific publication. Little is known about the barriers researchers face in returning study results to participants.
Using a mixed-methods design, health researchers (N = 414) from more than 40 US universities were asked about barriers to providing results to participants. Respondents were recruited from universities with Clinical and Translational Science Award programs and Prevention Research Centers.
Respondents reported the percent of their research where they experienced each of the four barriers to disseminating results to participants: logistical/methodological, financial, systems, and regulatory. A fifth barrier, investigator capacity, emerged from data analysis. Training for research faculty and staff, promotion and tenure incentives, and funding agencies supporting dissemination of results to participants were solutions offered to overcoming barriers.
Study findings add to literature on research dissemination by documenting health researchers’ perceived barriers to sharing study results with participants. Implications for policy and practice suggest that additional resources and training could help reduce dissemination barriers and increase the return of results to participants.
The Hooks et al. review of microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) literature provides a constructive criticism of the general approaches encompassing MGB research. This commentary extends their review by: (a) highlighting capabilities of advanced systems-biology “-omics” techniques for microbiome research and (b) recommending that combining these high-resolution techniques with intervention-based experimental design may be the path forward for future MGB research.
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of radiotherapy students on clinical placement, specifically focussing on the provision of well-being support from clinical supervisors.
Materials and methods:
Twenty-five students from the University of the West of England and City University of London completed an online evaluation survey relating to their experiences of placement, involving Likert scales and open-ended questions.
The quantitative results were generally positive; however, the qualitative findings were mixed. Three themes emerged: (1) provision of information and advice; (2) an open, inclusive and supportive working environment; and (3) a lack of communication, understanding, and consistency.
Students’ experiences on placement differed greatly and appeared to relate to their specific interactions with different members of staff. It is suggested that additional training around providing well-being support to students may be of benefit to clinical supervisors.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Environmental rights, also known as the human rights or constitutional rights that are used for the protection of the environment, have proliferated over the last forty-five years. However, the precise levels of protection that they represent has since been a major question associated with this phenomenon. Environmental Rights: The Development of Standards systematically investigates this question by analyzing the emerging standards of environmental protection that are associated with such rights and the way that those associations are becoming formalized. It covers all of the relevant human rights treaties to illustrate how environmental rights standards are emerging in this dynamic area. Bringing together an elite group of scholars, this book discusses significant new insights into the way that environmental rights are developing, the standards of protection that they confer, and the way that standards in the field of environmental rights can potentially be further developed in the future.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) – a nationwide, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey - was initiated in 2016 with the intent of tracking the state of mental health of the general population in Singapore. The study employed the same methodology as the first survey initiated in 2010. The SMHS 2016 aimed to (i) establish the 12-month and lifetime prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (which included alcohol abuse and dependence) and (ii) compare the prevalence of these disorders with reference to data from the SMHS 2010.
Door-to-door household surveys were conducted with adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above from 2016 to 2018 (n = 6126) which yielded a response rate of 69.0%. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method and assessed using World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI 3.0). The diagnoses of lifetime and 12-month selected mental disorders including MDD, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD, and AUD (alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), were based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.
The lifetime prevalence of at least one mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder was 13.9% in the adult population. MDD had the highest lifetime prevalence (6.3%) followed by alcohol abuse (4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorders was 6.5%. OCD had the highest 12-month prevalence (2.9%) followed by MDD (2.3%). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders assessed in SMHS 2016 (13.8% and 6.4%) was significantly higher than that in SMHS 2010 (12.0% and 4.4%). A significant increase was observed in the prevalence of lifetime GAD (0.9% to 1.6%) and alcohol abuse (3.1% to 4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of GAD (0.8% vs. 0.4%) and OCD (2.9% vs. 1.1%) was significantly higher in SMHS 2016 as compared to SMHS 2010.
The high prevalence of OCD and the increase across the two surveys needs to be tackled at a population level both in terms of creating awareness of the disorder and the need for early treatment. Youth emerge as a vulnerable group who are more likely to be associated with mental disorders and thus targeted interventions in this group with a focus on youth friendly and accessible care centres may lead to earlier detection and treatment of mental disorders.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for panic disorder encourages patients to learn about and make changes to thoughts and behaviour patterns that maintain symptoms of the disorder. Instruments to assess whether or not patients understand therapy content do not currently exist.
The aim of this study was to examine if increases within specific knowledge domains of panic disorder were related to improvement in panic symptoms following an intensive 2-day panic treatment.
Thirty-nine Veterans enrolled in an intensive weekend panic disorder treatment completed knowledge measures immediately before the first session of therapy and at the end of the last day of therapy. Four panic disorder experts evaluated items and reached consensus on subscales. Subscales were reduced further to create psychometrically sound subscales of catastrophic misinterpretation (CM), behaviours (BE), and self-efficacy (SE). A simple regression analysis was conducted to determine whether increased knowledge predicted symptom change at a 3-month follow-up assessment.
The overall knowledge scale was reduced to three subscales BE (n = 7), CM (n = 13) and SE (n = 8) with good internal consistency. Veterans’ knowledge of panic disorder improved from pre- to post-treatment. Greater increase in scores on the knowledge assessment predicted lower panic severity scores at a 3-month follow-up. A follow-up analysis using the three subscales as predictors showed that only changes in CM significantly contributed to the prediction.
In an intensive therapy format, reduction in panic severity was related to improved knowledge overall, but particularly as a result of fewer catastrophic misinterpretations.
Decreases in Fe status have been reported in military women during initial training periods of 8–10 weeks. The present study aimed to characterise Fe status and associations with physical performance in female New Zealand Army recruits during a 16-week basic combat training (BCT) course. Fe status indicators – Hb, serum ferritin (sFer), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), transferrin saturation (TS) and erythrocyte distribution width (RDW) – were assessed at the beginning (baseline) and end of BCT in seventy-six volunteers without Fe-deficiency non-anaemia (sFer <12 µg/l; Hb ≥120 g/l) or Fe-deficiency anaemia (sFer <12 µg/l; Hb <120 g/l) at baseline or a C-reactive protein >10 mg/l at baseline or end. A timed 2·4 km run followed by maximum press-ups were performed at baseline and midpoint (week 8) to assess physical performance. Changes in Fe status were investigated using paired t tests and associations between Fe status and physical performance evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficients. sFer (56·6 (sd 33·7) v. 38·4 (sd 23·8) µg/l) and TS (38·8 (sd 13·9) v. 34·4 (sd 11·5) %) decreased (P<0·001 and P=0·014, respectively), while sTfR (1·21 (sd 0·27) v. 1·39 (sd 0·35) mg/l) and RDW (12·8 (sd 0·6) v. 13·2 (sd 0·7) %) increased (P<0·001) from baseline to end. Hb (140·6 (sd 7·5) v. 142·9 (sd 7·9) g/l) increased (P=0·009) during BCT. At end, sTfR was positively (r 0·29, P=0·012) and TS inversely associated (r –0·32, P=0·005) with midpoint run time. There were no significant correlations between Fe status and press-ups. Storage and functional Fe parameters indicated a decline in Fe status in female recruits during BCT. Correlations between tissue-Fe indicators and run times suggest impaired aerobic fitness. Optimal Fe status appears paramount for enabling success in female recruits during military training.