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Silphium spp. have garnered interest in Europe as a bioenergy crop and in North America as a perennial oilseed crop. However, very little has been done at this early stage of domestication to characterize wild collections for many key characteristics, including important oilseed traits. The objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of how biogeography and associated population genetic forces have shaped seed phenotypes in plant collections across the native range of Silphium integrifolium Michx. (Asteraceae: Heliantheae), the primary domestication candidate for oilseed use. A collection of 53 accessions was grown in a common environment in Salina, KS, which is a location well within the native range of the species in central North America. Plants from each collection site were randomly mated by hand to produce seed representative of each accession, and the seeds subjected to seed dimensional trait, oil content and oil composition analyses. Kernel width varied along a latitudinal cline of collection site, while kernel length varied across a longitudinal cline. Palmitic and linoleic acids were inversely correlated with each other and varied along a longitudinal cline of the collection site. The results indicate that accessions collected from more southwesterly sites tended to have larger seed and those from more westerly sites had higher linoleic acid content and lower palmitic and myristic acids, which are all desirable phenotypes for an oilseed Silphium.
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body condition, to examine whether changes in food type and availability have influenced the Bewick’s Swan’s use of their main wintering site in the UK, the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens. Maximum number of Bewick’s Swans rose from 620 in winter 1958/59 to a high of 7,491 in winter 2004/05, before falling to 1,073 birds in winter 2013/14. Between winters 1958/59 and 2014/15 the Ouse Washes supported between 0.5 and 37.9 % of the total population wintering in north-west Europe (mean ± 95 % CI = 18.1 ± 2.4 %). Swans fed on agricultural crops, shifting from post-harvest remains of root crops (e.g. sugar beet and potatoes) in November and December to winter-sown cereals (e.g. wheat) in January and February. Inter-annual variation in the area cultivated for these crops did not result in changes in the peak numbers of swans occurring on the Ouse Washes. Behavioural and body condition data indicated that food supplies on the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens remain adequate to allow the birds to gain and maintain good body condition throughout winter with no increase in foraging effort. Our findings suggest that the recent decline in numbers of Bewick’s Swans at this internationally important site was not linked to inadequate food resources.
What constitutes a ‘good place to grow old’? This study aimed to characterise salient features of built and social environments that are essential to support low-income ageing residents. Seated and mobile interviews were conducted with community-dwelling older participants (aged 55–92, mean = 71 years) in three distinct socio-economic and geographic samples of the Minneapolis (Minnesota, United States of America) metropolitan area. The interviews prompted participants to evaluate their homes and neighbourhoods, and probed for particular socio-spatial characteristics that impact residential wellbeing. Qualitative thematic analyses focused on 38 individuals living in subsidised housing and homeless shelters. Four interrelated themes encompassed essential residential qualities: (a) safety and comfort, (b) service access, (c) social connection, and (d) stimulation. These broad ideals, when achieved, enabled participants to cultivate residential wellbeing and fulfilling place attachment. Analyses of the empirical data complicate theoretical assumptions by recognising unequal access to, irregular opportunities for and potential dangers of place attachment. Rich descriptions of participant homelessness, health hazards, crime, lack of supportive infrastructure and social isolation illustrate how place attachment is not inherently positive or necessarily attainable; rather, it is problematic and can involve risk. This article extends geographical gerontology's address of socio-spatial inequalities by focusing on disadvantaged ageing individuals.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is an urgent global health problem. Root causes for VAWG include the individual- and family-level factors of alcohol abuse, mental health problems, violence exposure, and related adverse experiences. Few studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) have assessed the effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing VAWG. This randomized controlled trial, part of the What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls consortium, examines the effectiveness of a common elements treatment approach (CETA) for reducing VAWG and comorbid alcohol abuse among families in Zambia.
Study participants are families consisting of three persons: an adult woman, her male husband or partner, and one of her children aged 8–17 (if available). Eligibility criteria include experience of moderate-to-severe intimate partner violence by the woman and hazardous alcohol use by her male partner. Family units are randomized to receive CETA or treatment as usual. The primary outcome is VAWG as measured by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale, assessed along with secondary outcomes at 24 months post-baseline. Interim assessments are also conducted at 4–5 months (following CETA completion) and 12 months post-baseline.
This ongoing trial is one of the first in sub-Saharan Africa to evaluate the use of an evidence-based common elements approach for reducing VAWG by targeting a range of individual- and family-level factors, including alcohol abuse. Results of this trial will inform policy on what interventions work to prevent VAWG in LMIC with local perspectives on scale up and wider implementation.
A pilot study by 6 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) explored how bibliometrics can be used to assess research influence.
Evaluators from 6 institutions shared data on publications (4202 total) they supported, and conducted a combined analysis with state-of-the-art tools. This paper presents selected results based on the tools from 2 widely used vendors for bibliometrics: Thomson Reuters and Elsevier.
Both vendors located a high percentage of publications within their proprietary databases (>90%) and provided similar but not equivalent bibliometrics for estimating productivity (number of publications) and influence (citation rates, percentage of papers in the top 10% of citations, observed citations relative to expected citations). A recently available bibliometric from the National Institutes of Health Office of Portfolio Analysis, examined after the initial analysis, showed tremendous potential for use in the CTSA context.
Despite challenges in making cross-CTSA comparisons, bibliometrics can enhance our understanding of the value of CTSA-supported clinical and translational research.
With improvements in early survival following congenital heart surgery, it has become increasingly important to understand longer-term outcomes; however, routine collection of these data is challenging and remains very limited. We describe the development and initial results of a collaborative programme incorporating standardised longitudinal follow-up into usual care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and University of Michigan (UM).
We included children undergoing benchmark operations of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Considerations regarding personnel, patient/parent engagement, funding, regulatory issues, and annual data collection are described, and initial follow-up rates are reported.
The present analysis included 1737 eligible patients undergoing surgery at CHOP from January 2007 to December 2014 and 887 UM patients from January 2010 to December 2014. Overall, follow-up data, of any type, were obtained from 90.8% of patients at CHOP (median follow-up 4.3 years, 92.2% survival) and 98.3% at UM (median follow-up 2.8 years, 92.7% survival), with similar rates across operations and institutions. Most patients lost to follow-up at CHOP had undergone surgery before 2010. Standardised questionnaires assessing burden of disease/quality of life were completed by 80.2% (CHOP) and 78.4% (UM) via phone follow-up. In subsequent pilot testing of an automated e-mail system, 53.4% of eligible patients completed the follow-up questionnaire through this system.
Standardised follow-up data can be obtained on the majority of children undergoing benchmark operations. Ongoing efforts to support automated electronic systems and integration with registry data may reduce resource needs, facilitate expansion across centres, and support multi-centre efforts to understand and improve long-term outcomes in this population.
Studies from low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) indicate that the use of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) is associated with more accurate reporting of sensitive behaviors (e.g. substance use and sexual risk behaviors) compared with interviewer-administered questionnaires. There is a lack of published information on the process of designing, developing, and implementing ACASI in LMIC. In this paper we describe our experience implementing an ACASI system for use with a population of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.
A questionnaire of mental health, substance use, and HIV risk behaviors was converted into an ACASI system, tested in pilot and validity studies, and implemented for use in a randomized controlled trial. Successes, barriers, and challenges associated with each stage in the development and implementation of ACASI are described.
We were able to convert a lengthy and complex survey into an ACASI system that was feasible for use in Zambia. Lessons learned include the importance of: (1) piloting the written and electronic versions; (2) proper and extensive training for study assessors to use ACASI and for those doing voice recordings; and (3) attention to logistics such as appropriate space, internet, and power.
We found that ACASI was feasible and acceptable in Zambia with proper planning, training, and supervision. Given mounting evidence indicating that ACASI provides more accurate self-report data and immediate data download compared with interview-administered measures, it may be an effective and economical alternative for behavioral health research studies in LMIC.
We review the current status and future prospects of the PLANET collaboration, an international team of astronomers performing high-precision photometric monitoring of microlensing events. Our photometric precision and sampling is characterised and the suitability of the database for variable star studies is discussed. Preliminary results on K-giant stability are presented.
Family caregivers of persons with dementia often require support services to help ease the challenges of providing care. Although the efficacy of some dementia caregiver interventions seems apparent, evidence indicating which types of protocols can best meet the diverse needs of individual families is not yet available. Because of this gap, families must often turn to professionals for such guidance, but it remains unknown whether professionals from different disciplines are more inclined to recommend particular types of services than others. This study assessed whether recommendations of supportive interventions to hypothetical dementia family caregivers differed by professional discipline.
In a cross-sectional survey design, a convenience sample of 422 dementia care professionals across the USA viewed up to 24 randomly selected, hypothetical scenarios that systematically varied characteristics of persons with dementia and their caregivers. For each scenario, 7 possible intervention recommendations were rated. A total of 6,890 scenarios were rated and served as the unit of analysis.
General linear models revealed that discipline was often a stronger predictor of how likely professionals were to recommend dementia caregiver interventions than caregiver, care recipient, or other professional characteristics. Psychotherapists tended to recommend psychoeducation more than other professionals, while those in medicine were more likely to recommend training of the person with dementia and psychotherapy.
The heterogeneity in recommendations suggests that the professional source of information influences the types of support families are directed toward. Empirical evidence should inform these professional judgments to better achieve person-centered care for families.
More than 70 cases have been observed of energetic solar flare X-ray bursts by large ionization chambers on the OGO satellites in space. The ionization chambers have an energy range between 10 and 50 KeV for X-rays and are also sensitive to solar protons and electrons. A study has been made of the X-ray microwave relationship, and it is found that the total energy released in the form of X-rays between 10 and 50 KeV is approximately proportional to the peak or total energy simultaneously released in the form of microwave emission. For a given burst the rise time, decay time and total duration are similar for the 10–50 KeV X-rays and the 3 to 10 cm radio emission. Roughly exponential decay phases are observed for both emissions with time constants between 1 and 10 min. All 3 or 10 cm radio bursts with peak intensity greater than 80 solar flux units are accompanied by an X-ray burst greater than 3 × 10−7 ergs cm−2 sec−1 peak intensity. The probability of detecting such X-ray events is low unless the radio spectrum extends into the centimetric range of wavelengths. The best correlation between cm-λ and energetic X-rays is observed for the first event in a flare. Subsequent structure and second bursts may not correspond even when the radio emission is rich in the microwave component. The mechanism for the energetic X-rays is shown to be bremsstrahlung probably of fast electrons on a cooler plasma. If the radio emission is assumed to be synchrotron radiation then a relationship is developed between density and magnetic field which meets the observed quantitative results. One finds, on the average, that 5 × 10−54 joules m−2 (CPS)−1 of microwave energy at the Earth are required per electron at the Sun to provide the radio emission for the various events.
A strong correlation between interplanetary solar flare electrons observed by satellite and X-ray bursts is shown to exist. This correlation is weak for solar proton events. One may infer a strong propagation asymmetry for solar flare electrons along the spiral interplanetary magnetic field.
Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has long been associated with a wide variety of clinical syndromes and immune dysregulation, many which result in secondary bacterial infections. Current understanding of immune cell interactions that result in activation and tolerance are explored in light of BVDV infection including: depletion of lymphocytes, effects on neutrophils, natural killer cells, and the role of receptors and cytokines. In addition, we review some new information on the effect of BVDV on immune development in the fetal liver, the role of resident macrophages, and greater implications for persistent infection.
This review addresses Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in the context of ENT, and aims to summarise the relevant history, pathophysiology and implications for contemporary practice.
Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease is a rare, fatal, neurodegenerative disorder. It is a prion disease with four different subtypes that can only be definitively diagnosed post-mortem. The main implications for the ENT surgeon lie in the risk of iatrogenic transmission. The three facets of assessing individual patient risk are: patient history; tissue infectivity; and procedure infectivity.
This is a controversial area in medicine, and ENT in particular. This review highlights a clinically applicable approach for everyday use.
The World Heritage Site of Wanar in Senegal features 21 stone circles, remarkable not least because they were erected in the twelfth and thirteenth century AD, when Islam ruled the Indian Ocean and Europe was in its Middle Ages. The state of preservation has benefited the exemplary investigation currently carried out by a French-Senegalese team, which we are pleased to report here. The site began as a burial ground to which monumental stones were added, perhaps echoing the form of original funerary houses. Found in a neighbouring field were scoops left from the cutting out of the cylindrical monoliths from surface rock. While the origins of Wanar lie in a period of state formation, the monuments are shown to have had a long ritual use. The investigation not only provides a new context for one of the most important sites in West Africa but the precise determination of the sequence and techniques used at Wanar offers key pointers for the understanding of megalithic structures everywhere.
Thin lithium layers on oxygenated C(100) boron-doped diamond have been observed using x-ray photoemission spectroscopy. Conductive boron-doped diamond was oxygen-terminated using an ozone cleaner. Lithium was evaporated onto the oxygen-terminated C(100) surface and an as-grown hydrogen terminated surface to a thickness of approximately 50 nm. After washing with deionised water, significant lithium signal is still detected on oxygenated diamond, but not on hydrogenated diamond, indicating a strongly bound lithium-oxygen surface layer is formed, as predicted by recent theoretical modeling.
This paper presents density functional theory results for the Li-adsorbed C(100)-(1x1):O system. Previously it has been shown that at a single monolayer coverage, the binding energy for Li on oxygenated C(100) diamond is substantially higher than that of heavier alkali metals, while at the same time, the presence of the lithium generates a large shift in the diamond workfunction. The system is therefore promising for electronics applications involving diamond. Here, further calculations are presented showing that additional Li atoms above 1ML coverage are far less strongly bound, suggesting the 1ML surface is the most useful for vacuum microelectronic applications.
The spectroscopic evidence that the main visible photoluminescence (PL) band of porous silicon (the 'S' band) originates from quantum confined crystalline silicon is presented, and arguments that claim to invalidate this evidence are analysed in detail. We find that a careful study of all the spectroscopic data provides strong support for the quantum confinement model. Additionally we consider the interesting issue of the luminescence spectrum of a single silicon quantum dot.
We report resonantly excited photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy of highly porous silicon. In the PL spectra we observe satellite structure due to the participation of momentum-conserving phonons in the optical transitions. The momentum-conserving role of these phonons, together with their energies and relative coupling strengths, demonstrate beyond doubt that crystalline silicon, which has already been shown to be the dominant constituent of unoxidised porous silicon, also forms the luminescent material. We show that the theory of quantum confinement in crystalline silicon wires can explain our results and those of other experiments, if the electron-hole interaction, andthe localisation of carriers by fluctuations in wire width, are taken into account.
The cuprate superconductor problem is approached from the conventional metallic standpoint, valid at dopings near the Tc maximum and beyond. There is strong evidence that the Tc maximum corresponds to EF lying at a van Hove singularity, a special situation leading to Marginal Fermi Liquid behavior, and also to a minimum in the isotope shift, as observed. The superconducting properties are discussed in the light of phononic and electronic pairing models.
While numerous studies have addressed the morphological characteristics of diblock copolymer blends either with a second copolymer or a parent homopolymer, relatively few have examined comparable blends containing a triblock copolymer. In this study, we investigate the role of mid-block bridging on the morphological and physical characteristics of blends composed of a poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) (SIS) triblock copolymer with either an unconstrained homo-polyisoprene (hI) or an end-grafted SI diblock copolymer. Blend compositions and molecular weights of the hi, as well as the I-block of the copolymer, have all been systematically varied to elucidate the effect of additive constraint on the extent of nonideal intramicrodomain mixing. Blend morphologies are characterized using transmission electron microscopy, while blend properties have been measured by dynamic mechanical analysis.