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To understand hospital policies and practices as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) conducted a survey through the SHEA Research Network (SRN). The survey assessed policies and practices around the optimization of personal protection equipment (PPE), testing, healthcare personnel policies, visitors of COVID-19 patients in relation to procedures, and types of patients. Overall, 69 individual healthcare facilities responded in the United States and internationally, for a 73% response rate.
Application timing and environmental factors reportedly influence the efficacy of auxinic herbicides. In resistance-prone weed species such as Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson), efficacy of auxinic herbicides recently adopted for use in resistant crops is of utmost importance to reduce selection pressure for herbicide-resistance traits. Growth chamber experiments were conducted comparing the interaction of different environmental effects with application time to determine the influence of these factors on visible phytotoxicity and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation in A. palmeri. Temperature displayed a high degree of influence on 2,4-D and dicamba efficacy in general, with applications at the low-temperature treatment (31/20 C day/night) resulting in an increase in phytotoxicity compared with high-temperature treatments (41/30 C day/night). Application time across temperature treatments significantly affected 2,4-D–induced phytotoxicity, resulting in a ≥30% increase across rates with treatments at 4:00 PM compared with 8:00 AM. Temperature differential had a significant influence on dicamba efficacy based on visible phytotoxicity data, with a ≥46% increase with a high (37/20 C day/night) compared with a low differential (41/30 C day/night). Concentration of H2O2 in herbicide-treated plants was 34% higher under a high temperature differential compared with the low differential. Humidity treatments and application time interactions displayed undetected or inconsistent effects on visible phytotoxicity and H2O2 production. Overall, temperature-related influences seem to have the largest environmental effect on auxinic herbicides within conditions evaluated in this study. Leaf concentration of H2O2 appears to be generally correlated with phytotoxicity, providing a potentially useful tool in determining efficacy of auxinic herbicides in field settings.
In January of 2010, North Carolina (NC) USA implemented state-wide Trauma Triage Destination Plans (TTDPs) to provide standardized guidelines for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) decision making. No study exists to evaluate whether triage behavior has changed for geriatric trauma patients.
The impact of the NC TTDPs was investigated on EMS triage of geriatric trauma patients meeting physiologic criteria of serious injury, primarily based on whether these patients were transported to a trauma center.
This is a retrospective cohort study of geriatric trauma patients transported by EMS from March 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009 (pre-TTDP) and March 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010 (post-TTDP) meeting the following inclusion criteria: (1) age 50 years or older; (2) transported to a hospital by NC EMS; (3) experienced an injury; and (4) meeting one or more of the NC TTDP’s physiologic criteria for trauma (n = 5,345). Data were obtained from the Prehospital Medical Information System (PreMIS). Data collected included proportions of patients transported to a trauma center categorized by specific physiologic criteria, age category, and distance from a trauma center.
The proportion of patients transported to a trauma center pre-TTDP (24.4% [95% CI 22.7%-26.1%]; n = 604) was similar to the proportion post-TTDP (24.4% [95% CI 22.9%-26.0%]; n = 700). For patients meeting specific physiologic triage criteria, the proportions of patients transported to a trauma center were also similar pre- and post-TTDP: systolic blood pressure <90 mmHg (22.5% versus 23.5%); respiratory rate <10 or >29 (23.2% versus 22.6%); and Glascow Coma Scale (GCS) score <13 (26.0% versus 26.4%). Patients aged 80 years or older were less likely to be transported to a trauma center than younger patients in both the pre- and post-TTDP periods.
State-wide implementation of a TTDP had no discernible effect on the proportion of patients 50 years and older transported to a trauma center. Under-triage remained common and became increasingly prevalent among the oldest adults. Research to understand the uptake of guidelines and protocols into EMS practice is critical to improving care for older adults in the prehospital environment.
To sustainably improve cleaning of high-touch surfaces (HTSs) in acute-care hospitals using a multimodal approach to education, reduction of barriers to cleaning, and culture change for environmental services workers.
The study was conducted in 2 academic acute-care hospitals, 2 community hospitals, and an academic pediatric and women’s hospital.
Frontline environmental services workers.
A 5-module educational program, using principles of adult learning theory, was developed and presented to environmental services workers. Audience response system (ARS), videos, demonstrations, role playing, and graphics were used to illustrate concepts of and the rationale for infection prevention strategies. Topics included hand hygiene, isolation precautions, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning protocols, and strategies to overcome barriers. Program evaluation included ARS questions, written evaluations, and objective assessments of occupied patient room cleaning. Changes in hospital-onset C. difficile infection (CDI) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bacteremia were evaluated.
On average, 357 environmental service workers participated in each module. Most (93%) rated the presentations as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ and agreed that they were useful (95%), reported that they were more comfortable donning/doffing PPE (91%) and performing hand hygiene (96%) and better understood the importance of disinfecting HTSs (96%) after the program. The frequency of cleaning individual HTSs in occupied rooms increased from 26% to 62% (P < .001) following the intervention. Improvement was sustained 1-year post intervention (P < .001). A significant decrease in CDI was associated with the program.
A novel program that addressed environmental services workers’ knowledge gaps, challenges, and barriers was well received and appeared to result in learning, behavior change, and sustained improvements in cleaning.
Speleothem organic matter can be a powerful tracer for past environmental conditions and karst processes. Carbon isotope measurements (δ13C and 14C) in particular can provide crucial information on the provenance and age of speleothem organic matter, but are challenging due to low concentrations of organic matter in stalagmites. Here, we present a method development study on extraction and isotopic characterization of speleothem organic matter using a rapid procedure with low laboratory contamination risk. An extensive blank assessment allowed us to quantify possible sources of contamination through the entire method. Although blank contamination is consistently low (1.7 ± 0.34 – 4.3 ± 0.86 μg C for the entire procedure), incomplete sample decarbonation poses a still unresolved problem of the method, but can be detected when considering both δ13C and 14C values. We test the method on five stalagmites, showing reproducible results on samples as small as 7 μg C for δ13C and 20 μg C for 14C. Furthermore, we find consistently lower non-purgeable organic carbon (NPOC) 14C values compared to the carbonate 14C over the bomb spike interval in two stalagmites from Yok Balum Cave, Belize, suggesting overprint of a pre-aged or even fossil source of carbon on the organic fraction incorporated by these stalagmites.
The purpose of the current study was to use a mixed-methods approach to assess the perspective of cancer survivors on the bidirectional impact between cancer and their social contexts.
A fixed concurrent triangulation mixed-methods survey design was used with open- and closed-ended questions that were predetermined and administered to participants. Quantitative items included demographic questions and the Life Impact Checklist. Qualitative questions were designed to explore the bidirectional impact between the patient and specific contexts including spirituality/faith, the spousal/partner relationship, and the family. A cross-sectional descriptive approach was used to evaluate the quantitative items and the constant comparative method guided the analysis of open-ended questions.
Among 116 participants (mean age 58.4 years), the majority were female (66.7%) with breast cancer (27.9%). Nearly one-half the respondents endorsed a positive impact of cancer on their spirituality/faith, but qualitative results suggested less of a bidirectional impact. The importance of the spouse/partner during the cancer experience was emphasized, including the subthemes of instrumental and emotional support; however, there was often a negative impact of cancer on the spouse/partner relationship, including sexual functioning. Survivors indicated family members provided instrumental and emotional support, but not as regularly or directly as a spouse/partner.
Significance of results
Social contexts are important among cancer survivors, with many cancer survivors relying more on their spouse/partner than other family members for support. The cancer experience is stressful not only for survivors, but also for individuals in their social contexts and relationships.
Childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest predictors of adulthood depression and alterations to circulating levels of inflammatory markers is one putative mechanism mediating risk or resilience.
To determine the effects of childhood maltreatment on circulating levels of 41 inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with a major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis.
We investigated the association of childhood maltreatment with levels of 41 inflammatory markers in two groups, 164 patients with MDD and 301 controls, using multiplex electrochemiluminescence methods applied to blood serum.
Childhood maltreatment was not associated with altered inflammatory markers in either group after multiple testing correction. Body mass index (BMI) exerted strong effects on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in those with MDD.
Childhood maltreatment did not exert effects on inflammatory marker levels in either the participants with MDD or the control group in our study. Our results instead highlight the more pertinent influence of BMI.
Declaration of interest
D.A.C. and H.W. work for Eli Lilly Inc. R.N. has received speaker fees from Sunovion, Jansen and Lundbeck. G.B. has received consultancy fees and funding from Eli Lilly. R.H.M.-W. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, MyTomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Pulse, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO and Sunovian. I.M.A. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with Alkermes, Lundbeck, Lundbeck/Otsuka, and Servier. S.W. has sat on an advisory board for Sunovion, Allergan and has received speaker fees from Astra Zeneca. A.H.Y. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly, Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion, Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. A.J.C. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck and research grant support from Lundbeck.
Chemical bonding in native oxides of GaAs, before and after etching, is detected by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). It is correlated with surface energy engineering (SEE), measured via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA), and oxygen coverage, measured by High Resolution Ion Beam Analysis (HR-IBA).
Before etching, GaAs native oxides are found to be hydrophobic with an average surface energy, γT, of 33 ± 1 mJ/m2, as measured by 3LCAA. After dilute NH4OH etching, GaAs becomes highly hydrophilic and its surface energy, γT, increases by a factor 2 to a reproducible value of 66 ± 1 mJ/m2. Using HR-IBA, oxygen coverage on GaAs is found to decrease from 7.2 ± 0.5 monolayers (ML) to 3.6 ± 0.5 ML. The 1.17 ratio of Ga to As, measured by HR-IBA, remains constant after etching.
XPS is used to measure oxidation of Ga and As, as well as surface stoichiometry on two locations of several GaAs(100) wafers before and after etching. The relative proportions of Ga and As are unaffected by adventitious carbon contamination. The 1.16 Ga:As ratio, measured by XPS, matches HR-IBA analysis. The proportions of oxidized Ga and As do not change significantly after etching. However, the initial ratio of As2O5 to As2O3, within the oxidized As, significantly decreases after etching from approximately 3:1 to 3:2.
Absolute oxygen coverage, as a function of surface processing, is determined within 0.5 ML by HR-IBA. XPS offers insight into these modifications by detecting electronic states and phase composition changes of GaAs oxides. The changes in surface chemistry are correlated to changes in hydro-affinity and surface energies measured by 3LCAA.
This work focuses on the development of a system to control the formation of bone to complement developments that have enabled potent regeneration of bony tissue. Scaffolds were fabricated with chemically modified RNA encoding for bone morphogenetic protein-9 (cmBMP9) and capped with salicylic acid (SA)-containing polymer (SAPAE). The goal was to determine if SAPAE could inhibit the formation of bone in a pilot animal study since cmBMP9 has been demonstrated to be highly effective in regenerating bone in a rat calvarial defect model. The results indicated that cmBMP9 increased bone formation (30% increase in area covered compared to control) and that SAPAE trended toward reducing the bone formation. These results suggest SAPAE could be useful as a chemical agent in reducing unwanted bone formation in implants loaded with cmBMP9.
Sugarbeet, grown for biofuel, is being considered as an alternate cool-season crop in the southeastern United States. Previous research identified ethofumesate PRE and phenmedipham + desmedipham POST as herbicides that controlled troublesome cool-season weeds in the region, specifically cutleaf evening-primrose. Research trials were conducted from 2014 through 2016 to evaluate an integrated system of sweep cultivation and reduced rates of ethofumesate PRE and/or phenmedipham+desmedipham POST for weed control in sugarbeet grown for biofuel. There were no interactions between the main effects of cultivation and herbicides for control of cutleaf evening-primrose and other cool-season species in two out of three years. Cultivation improved control of cool-season weeds, but the effect was largely independent of control provided by herbicides. Of the herbicide combinations evaluated, the best overall cool-season weed control was from systems that included either a 1/2X or 1X rate of phenmedipham+desmedipham POST. Either rate of ethofumesate PRE was less effective than phenmedipham+desmedipham POST. Despite improved cool-season weed control, sugarbeet yield was not affected by cultivation each year of the study. Sugarbeet yields were greater when treated with any herbicide combination that included either a 1/2X or 1X rate of phenmedipham+desmedipham POST compared with either rate of ethofumesate PRE alone or the nontreated control. These results indicate that cultivation has a very limited role in sugarbeet grown for biofuel. The premise of effective weed control based on an integration of cultivation and reduced herbicide rates does not appear to be viable for sugarbeet grown for biofuel.
Adult schistosomes live in the blood vessels and cannot easily be sampled from humans, so archived miracidia larvae hatched from eggs expelled in feces or urine are commonly used for population genetic studies. Large collections of archived miracidia on FTA cards are now available through the Schistosomiasis Collection at the Natural History Museum (SCAN). Here we describe protocols for whole genome amplification of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosome haematobium miracidia from these cards, as well as real time PCR quantification of amplified schistosome DNA. We used microgram quantities of DNA obtained for exome capture and sequencing of single miracidia, generating dense polymorphism data across the exome. These methods will facilitate the transition from population genetics, using limited numbers of markers to population genomics using genome-wide marker information, maximising the value of collections such as SCAN.
Sugarbeet, grown for biofuel, is being considered as an alternate cool-season crop in the southeastern U.S. coastal plain. Typically, the crop would be seeded in the autumn, then grow through the winter and be harvested the following spring. Labels for herbicides registered for use on sugarbeet grown in the traditional sugarbeet production regions do not list any of the cool-season weeds common in the southeastern United States. Field trials were initiated near Ty Ty, GA, to evaluate all possible combinations of ethofumesate applied PRE, phenmedipham+desmedipham applied POST, clopyralid POST, and triflusulfuron POST for cool-season weed control in sugarbeet. Phenmedipham+desmedipham alone and in combination with clopyralid and/or triflusulfuron effectively controlled cutleaf eveningprimrose, lesser swinecress, henbit, and corn spurry when applied to seedling weeds. Ethofumesate PRE alone was not as effective in controlling cool-season weeds compared to treatments containing phenmedipham+desmedipham POST. However, ethofumesate PRE applied sequentially with phenmedipham+desmedipham POST improved weed control consistency. Clopyralid and/or triflusulfuron alone did not adequately control cutleaf eveningprimrose. Triflusulfuron alone effectively controlled wild radish. In the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 seasons, December-applied POST herbicides did not injure sugarbeet. However, in the 2015–2016 season POST herbicides were applied in late October. On the day of treatment, the maximum temperature was 25.4 C, which exceeded the established upper temperature limit of 22 C for safe application of phenmedipham+desmedipham, and sugarbeet plants were severely injured. In the southeastern United States, temperatures frequently exceed 22 C in early autumn, which may limit phenmedipham+desmedipham use for controlling troublesome cool-season weeds of sugarbeet in the region. Weed control options need to be expanded to compensate for this limitation.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
This paper presents 5 kHz stereo particle image velocimetry and OH planar laser induced fluorescence measurements of transversely forced swirl flames. The presence of transverse forcing on this naturally unstable flow both influences the natural instabilities, as well as amplifies disturbances that may not necessarily manifest themselves during natural oscillations. By manipulating the structure of the acoustic forcing field, both axisymmetric and helical modes are preferentially excited away from the frequency of natural instability. The paper presents a method for spatially interpolating the phase locked
planar velocity and flame position data, extracting the full three-dimensional structure of the helical disturbances. These helical disturbances are also decomposed into symmetric and anti-symmetric disturbances about the jet core, showing the subsequent axial evolution (in magnitude and phase) of each of these underlying disturbances. It is shown that out-of-phase acoustic forcing excites
modes, but the flow field preferentially amplifies the counter-winding, co-rotating helical disturbance over the co-winding, counter-rotating helical disturbance. This causes the flow and flame to transition from a transverse flapping near the jet exit to a precessing motion further downstream. In contrast, in-phase forcing promotes axisymmetric
disturbances which dominate the flow field over the entire axial domain. In both cases, the amplitudes of the anti-symmetric disturbances about the jet core grow with downstream distance before saturating and decaying, while the symmetric disturbances appear nearly negligible. It is suggested that this saturation and decay is due to linear effects (e.g. a negative spatial growth rate), rather than nonlinear interactions.
We study changes in farming in the Marcellus region associated with unconventional natural gas drilling activity. Due to concerns raised by the popular press, we consider 18 different county-level agricultural variables. While we find no significant changes in the number of farms or land in farms in drilling counties relative to non-drilling counties, there is an increase in median farm sizes, indicating potential consolidation in drilling counties. Despite anecdotal evidence suggesting a transition away from dairy farming to either beef or hay production, we find no support for this at the county level.
Research on the cities of the Classical Greek world has traditionally focused on mapping the organisation of urban space and studying major civic or religious buildings. More recently, newer techniques such as field survey and geophysical survey have facilitated exploration of the extent and character of larger areas within urban settlements, raising questions about economic processes. At the same time, detailed analysis of residential buildings has also supported a change of emphasis towards understanding some of the functional and social aspects of the built environment as well as purely formal ones. This article argues for the advantages of analysing Greek cities using a multidisciplinary, multi-scalar framework which encompasses all of these various approaches and adds to them other analytical techniques (particularly micro-archaeology). We suggest that this strategy can lead towards a more holistic view of a city, not only as a physical place, but also as a dynamic community, revealing its origins, development and patterns of social and economic activity. Our argument is made with reference to the research design, methodology and results of the first three seasons of fieldwork at the city of Olynthos, carried out by the Olynthos Project.