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To evaluate the association between novel pre- and post-operative biomarker levels and 30-day unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery.
Children aged 18 years or younger undergoing congenital heart surgery (n = 162) at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2010 to 2014 were enrolled in the prospective cohort. Collected novel pre- and post-operative biomarkers include soluble suppression of tumorgenicity 2, galectin-3, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide, and glial fibrillary acidic protein. A model based on clinical variables from the Society of Thoracic Surgery database was developed and evaluated against two augmented models.
Unplanned readmission or mortality within 30 days of cardiac surgery occurred among 21 (13%) children. The clinical model augmented with pre-operative biomarkers demonstrated a statistically significant improvement over the clinical model alone with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.754 (95% confidence interval: 0.65–0.86) compared to 0.617 (95% confidence interval: 0.47–0.76; p-value: 0.012). The clinical model augmented with pre- and post-operative biomarkers demonstrated a significant improvement over the clinical model alone, with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.802 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–0.89; p-value: 0.003).
Novel biomarkers add significant predictive value when assessing the likelihood of unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery. Further exploration of the utility of these novel biomarkers during the pre- or post-operative period to identify early risk of mortality or readmission will aid in determining the clinical utility and application of these biomarkers into routine risk assessment.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading scheme has the ability to predict beef eating quality for each ‘cut×cooking method combination’ from animal and carcass traits such as sex, age, breed, marbling, hot carcass weight and fatness, ageing time, etc. Following MSA testing protocols, a total of 22 different muscles, cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, were tasted by over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia. Consumers scored the sensory characteristics (tenderness, flavor liking, juiciness and overall liking) and then allocated samples to one of four quality grades: unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. We observed that 26% of the beef was unsatisfactory. As previously reported, 68% of samples were allocated to the correct quality grades using the MSA grading scheme. Furthermore, only 7% of the beef unsatisfactory to consumers was misclassified as acceptable. Overall, we concluded that an MSA-like grading scheme could be used to predict beef eating quality and hence underpin commercial brands or labels in a number of European countries, and possibly the whole of Europe. In addition, such an eating quality guarantee system may allow the implementation of an MSA genetic index to improve eating quality through genetics as well as through management. Finally, such an eating quality guarantee system is likely to generate economic benefits to be shared along the beef supply chain from farmers to retailors, as consumers are willing to pay more for a better quality product.
Struggles managing conflict and hostility in adolescent social relationships were examined as long-term predictors of immune-mediated inflammation in adulthood that has been linked to long-term health outcomes. Circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a marker of immune system dysfunction when chronically elevated, were assessed at age 28 in a community sample of 127 individuals followed via multiple methods and reporters from ages 13 to 28. Adult serum IL-6 levels were predicted across periods as long as 15 years by adolescents’ inability to defuse peer aggression and poor peer-rated conflict resolution skills, and by independently observed romantic partner hostility in late adolescence. Adult relationship difficulties also predicted higher IL-6 levels but did not mediate predictions from adolescent-era conflict struggles. Predictions were also not mediated by adult trait hostility or aggressive behavior, suggesting the unique role of struggles with conflict and hostility from others during adolescence. The implications for understanding the import of adolescent peer relationships for life span physical health outcomes are considered.
With the proposed ban on antibiotic growth promoters it is becoming increasingly important to provide diets to young pigs which enhance the long term health. Alternative strategies to promote health include organic acids, herbal products and natural antioxidants. These products have various proposed modes of action including improved liver function, removal of reactive oxygen species and the enhancement of the immune function. The objective of this experiment was to measure the effect of a commercial herbal mixture and Lycopene on the performance and immune function of weaned pigs.
Paediatric hospital-associated venous thromboembolism is a leading quality and safety concern at children’s hospitals.
The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in critically ill children following cardiothoracic surgery or therapeutic cardiac catheterisation.
We conducted a retrospective, case–control study of children admitted to the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (St. Petersburg, Florida, United States of America) from 2006 to 2013. Hospital-associated venous thromboembolism cases were identified based on ICD-9 discharge codes and validated using radiological record review. We randomly selected two contemporaneous cardiovascular intensive care unit controls without hospital-associated venous thromboembolism for each hospital-associated venous thromboembolism case, and limited the study population to patients who had undergone cardiothoracic surgery or therapeutic cardiac catheterisation. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations between putative risk factors and hospital-associated venous thromboembolism were determined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
Among 2718 admissions to the cardiovascular intensive care unit during the study period, 65 met the criteria for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism (occurrence rate, 2%). Restriction to cases and controls having undergone the procedures of interest yielded a final study population of 57 hospital-associated venous thromboembolism cases and 76 controls. In a multiple logistic regression model, major infection (odds ratio=5.77, 95% confidence interval=1.06–31.4), age ⩽1 year (odds ratio=6.75, 95% confidence interval=1.13–160), and central venous catheterisation (odds ratio=7.36, 95% confidence interval=1.13–47.8) were found to be statistically significant independent risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in these children. Patients with all three factors had a markedly increased post-test probability of having hospital-associated venous thromboembolism.
Major infection, infancy, and central venous catheterisation are independent risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in critically ill children following cardiothoracic surgery or cardiac catheter-based intervention, which, in combination, define a high-risk group for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify whether the three main primary progressive aphasia (PPA) variants would show differential profiles on measures of visuospatial cognition. We hypothesized that the logopenic variant would have the most difficulty across tasks requiring visuospatial and visual memory abilities. Methods: PPA patients (n=156), diagnosed using current criteria, and controls were tested on a battery of tests tapping different aspects of visuospatial cognition. We compared the groups on an overall visuospatial factor; construction, immediate recall, delayed recall, and executive functioning composites; and on individual tests. Cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons were made, adjusted for disease severity, age, and education. Results: The logopenic variant had significantly lower scores on the visuospatial factor and the most impaired scores on all composites. The nonfluent variant had significant difficulty on all visuospatial composites except the delayed recall, which differentiated them from the logopenic variant. In contrast, the semantic variants performed poorly only on delayed recall of visual information. The logopenic and nonfluent variants showed decline in figure copying performance over time, whereas in the semantic variant, this skill was remarkably preserved. Conclusions: This extensive examination of performance on visuospatial tasks in the PPA variants solidifies some previous findings, for example, delayed recall of visual stimuli adds value in differential diagnosis between logopenic variant PPA and nonfluent variant PPA variants, and illuminates the possibility of common mechanisms that underlie both linguistic and non-linguistic deficits in the variants. Furthermore, this is the first study that has investigated visuospatial functioning over time in the PPA variants. (JINS, 2018, 24, 259–268)
Accurately quantifying a consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) for beef of different eating qualities is intrinsically linked to the development of eating-quality-based meat grading systems, and therefore the delivery of consistent, quality beef to the consumer. Following Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia were asked to detail their willingness to pay for beef from one of four categories that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium quality. These figures were subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP) to allow comparison between different currencies and time periods. Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. Consumer P-WTP was found to be remarkably consistent between different demographic groups. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. This difference was unable to be explained by the other demographic factors examined in this study, such as occupation, gender, frequency of consumption and the importance of beef in the diet. Therefore, we can conclude that the P-WTP for beef is highly transferrable between different consumer groups, but not countries.
We have examined the global properties of 250 galaxies and galaxy pairs observed as part of the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (FCRAO) Extragalactic CO Survey with respect to bar type and arm type, and we have compared the results with the global properties of the same galaxies as a function of morphological type. The bar types of the galaxies were taken from RC2, and the arm types for 48% of the sample were taken from Elmegreen and Elmegreen (1987). We find the following:
1) There is little dependence of the star formation efficiency, as measured by the global FIR luminosity to molecular gas mass ratio, on bar type. Similarly, we find no obvious correlation between the global ratio of molecular to atomic gas mass and the bar type.
2) Variations of up to a factor of 6 are seen in the mean star formation efficiency with arm type, where flocculent galaxies appear to have slightly higher global star formation efficiencies than spirals with clearly delineated arms. Variations in the mean molecular to atomic gas mass ratio of a factor of 5 are seen as a function of arm type, but there is no apparent trend from flocculent to grand design spirals.
3) The decrease of a factor of 20 in the molecular to atomic gas mass ratio observed as a function of morphological type (Young and Knezek 1989) is more pronounced than the same ratio as a function of bar or arm type.
A legionellosis outbreak at an industrial site was investigated to identify and control the source. Cases were identified from disease notifications, workplace illness records, and from clinicians. Cases were interviewed for symptoms and risk factors and tested for legionellosis. Implicated environmental sources were sampled and tested for legionella. We identified six cases with Legionnaires’ disease and seven with Pontiac fever; all had been exposed to aerosols from the cooling towers on the site. Nine cases had evidence of infection with either Legionella pneumophila serogroup (sg) 1 or Legionella longbeachae sg1; these organisms were also isolated from the cooling towers. There was 100% DNA sequence homology between cooling tower and clinical isolates of L. pneumophila sg1 using sequence-based typing analysis; no clinical L. longbeachae isolates were available to compare with environmental isolates. Routine monitoring of the towers prior to the outbreak failed to detect any legionella. Data from this outbreak indicate that L. pneumophila sg1 transmission occurred from the cooling towers; in addition, L. longbeachae transmission was suggested but remains unproven. L. longbeachae detection in cooling towers has not been previously reported in association with legionellosis outbreaks. Waterborne transmission should not be discounted in investigations for the source of L. longbeachae infection.
The beef industry must become more responsive to the changing market place and consumer demands. An essential part of this is quantifying a consumer’s perception of the eating quality of beef and their willingness to pay for that quality, across a broad range of demographics. Over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland and France each tasted seven beef samples and scored them for tenderness, juiciness, flavour liking and overall liking. These scores were weighted and combined to create a fifth score, termed the Meat Quality 4 score (MQ4) (0.3×tenderness, 0.1×juiciness, 0.3×flavour liking and 0.3×overall liking). They also allocated the beef samples into one of four quality grades that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium. After the completion of the tasting panel, consumers were then asked to detail, in their own currency, their willingness to pay for these four categories which was subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP). Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. The four sensory scores, the MQ4 score and the P-WTP were analysed separately, as dependant variables in linear mixed effects models. The answers from the demographic questionnaire were included in the model as fixed effects. Overall, there were only small differences in consumer scores and P-WTP between demographic groups. Consumers who preferred their beef cooked medium or well-done scored beef higher, except in Poland, where the opposite trend was found. This may be because Polish consumers were more likely to prefer their beef cooked well-done, but samples were cooked medium for this group. There was a small positive relationship with the importance of beef in the diet, increasing sensory scores by about 4% in Poland and Northern Ireland. Men also scored beef about 2% higher than women for most sensory scores in most countries. In most countries, consumers were willing to pay between 150 and 200% more for premium beef, and there was a 50% penalty in value for unsatisfactory beef. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. Consumer age also had a small negative relationship with P-WTP. The results indicate that a single quality score could reliably describe the eating quality experienced by all consumers. In addition, if reliable quality information is delivered to consumers they will pay more for better quality beef, which would add value to the beef industry and encourage improvements in quality.
Quantifying consumer responses to beef across a broad range of demographics, nationalities and cooking methods is vitally important for any system evaluating beef eating quality. On the basis of previous work, it was expected that consumer scores would be highly accurate in determining quality grades for beef, thereby providing evidence that such a technique could be used to form the basis of and eating quality grading system for beef. Following the Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia tasted cooked beef samples, then allocated them to a quality grade; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. The consumers also scored beef samples for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking. The beef was sourced from all countries involved in the study and cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, with each experimental group in the study consisting of a single cooking doneness within a cooking method for each country. For each experimental group, and for the data set as a whole, a linear discriminant function was calculated, using the four sensory scores which were used to predict the quality grade. This process was repeated using two conglomerate scores which are derived from weighting and combining the consumer sensory scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking, the original meat quality 4 score (oMQ4) (0.4, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) and current meat quality 4 score (cMQ4) (0.3, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3). From the results of these analyses, the optimal weightings of the sensory scores to generate an ‘ideal meat quality 4 score (MQ4)’ for each country were calculated, and the MQ4 values that reflected the boundaries between the four quality grades were determined. The oMQ4 weightings were far more accurate in categorising European meat samples than the cMQ4 weightings, highlighting that tenderness is more important than flavour to the consumer when determining quality. The accuracy of the discriminant analysis to predict the consumer scored quality grades was similar across all consumer groups, 68%, and similar to previously reported values. These results demonstrate that this technique, as used in the MSA system, could be used to predict consumer assessment of beef eating quality and therefore to underpin a commercial eating quality guarantee for all European consumers.
Effects of plant maturity on apparent ruminal synthesis and post-ruminal supply of B vitamins were evaluated in two feeding trials. Diets containing alfalfa (Trial 1) or orchardgrass (Trial 2) silages harvested either (1) early cut, less mature (EC) or (2) late cut, more mature (LC) as the sole forage were offered to ruminally and duodenally cannulated lactating Holstein cows in crossover design experiments. In Trial 1, conducted with 16 cows (569±43 kg of empty BW (ruminal content removed) and 43.7±8.6 kg/day of 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield; mean±SD) in two 17-day treatment periods, both diets provided ~22% forage NDF and 27% total NDF, and the forage-to-concentrate ratios were 53 : 47 and 42 : 58 for EC and LC, respectively. In Trial 2, conducted with 13 cows (588±55 kg of empty BW and 43.7±7.7 kg/day of 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield; mean±SD) in two 18-day treatment periods, both diets provided ~25% forage NDF and 31% total NDF; the forage-to-concentrate ratios were 58 : 42 and 46 : 54 for EC and LC, respectively. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folates and vitamin B12 were measured in feed and duodenal content. Apparent ruminal synthesis was calculated as the duodenal flow minus the intake. Diets based on EC alfalfa decreased the amounts of thiamin, niacin and folates reaching the duodenum, whereas diets based on EC orchardgrass increased riboflavin duodenal flow. Daily apparent ruminal synthesis of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6 were correlated negatively with their intake, suggesting a microbial regulation of their concentration in the rumen. Vitamin B12 apparent ruminal synthesis was correlated negatively with total volatile fatty acids concentration, but positively with ruminal pH and microbial N duodenal flow.
Recent commentary has suggested that performance management (PM) is fundamentally “broken,” with negative feelings from managers and employees toward the process at an all-time high (Pulakos, Hanson, Arad, & Moye, 2015; Pulakos & O'Leary, 2011). In response, some high-profile organizations have decided to eliminate performance ratings altogether as a solution to the growing disenchantment. Adler et al. (2016) offer arguments both in support of and against eliminating performance ratings in organizations. Although both sides of the debate in the focal article make some strong arguments both for and against utilizing performance ratings in organizations, we believe there continue to be misunderstandings, mischaracterizations, and misinformation with respect to some of the measurement issues in PM. We offer the following commentary not to persuade readers to adopt one particular side over another but as a call to critically reconsider and reevaluate some of the assumptions underlying measurement issues in PM and to dispel some of the pervasive beliefs throughout the performance rating literature.
Background: Epileptic encephalopathy (EE) is a severe condition in which epileptic activity itself may contribute to severe cognitive and behavioural impairments above and beyond what might be expected from the underlying pathology alone. Next generation sequencing technologies such as whole exome sequencing (WES) can detect underlying genetic causes of in EE. Methods: This report describes genotype-phenotype correlation of 29 subjects with unexplained epileptic encephalopathy, in whom WES, targeting a list of 557 epilepsy-associated genes was performed. Epilepsy phenotyping was done according to current ILAE recommendations. Results: Median age at seizure onset was 14 months (range 1-48). Electroclinical syndromes were applicable for 16/29, 8/16 had a definite/likely diagnosis. 6/8 subjects with West syndrome had variants in ALG13, STXBP1, PAFAH1B1, SLC35A2, CDKL5 and ADSL. 2 patients with Dravet syndrome had variants in SCN1A and PCDH19 respectively. 4/29 had unspecified EE and definite/likely diagnosis due to STXBP1, POLG, and KCNQ2 (2) variants. 4/29 had a possible diagnosis involving GABRB3, ARHGEF9, PCDH19 and SCN3A variants. Conclusions: The high diagnostic yield (definite/likely diagnosis in 11/29 = 38%), involving a broad variety of epilepsy-associated genes in different electroclinical syndromes justifies the diagnostic approach of early onset EE by next generation sequencing.
Five giants and 11 subgiants of the metal-poor globular cluster NGC 6397 are analysed. In this Poster we present the lithium abundances derived. The present Li abundances and those of turnoff stars by Pasquini & Molaro (1996) are complementary in terms of stellar evolution stage, and show the Li abundances decreasing off the main sequence along the red giant branch.
The observations in this paper were carried out as part of a program co-ordinated by the Occultation Section of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand.
On 6 August 1989 minor planet (9) Metis occulted the magnitude 8.7 star SAO 190531. The occultation was observed by two visual observers in Tasmania, and at one photoelectric and two visual sites in New Zealand. From the five chords obtained we have deduced an average cross-sectional diameter for this minor planet of 173.5 km at the time of the occultation. This is in good agreement with previous radiometric and polarimetric results.
The Cosmology Distinction Course is a new one-year course to be introduced for Year 12 candidates in the 1994 Higher School Certificate examinations in NSW. It is one of three challenging courses of study that will enrich the HSC for talented students who accelerate and complete part of the HSC one year early. The courses will be taught through distance learning and will include residential seminars. They will be implemented on behalf of the Board of Studies by Charles Sturt University and the University of New England.
The Cosmology Course is organised into nine modules of course work covering historical and social aspects of cosmology, observational techniques, key observations and the various models developed—Newtonian, de Sitter, Friedmann, Lemaitre, steady-state, quasi-steady-state and big bang. Assessment will be through assignments, exams and a major project.
As the first Distinction Course in a scientific area, the Cosmology Course represents an exciting and important educational initiative that needs the cooperation of NSW astronomers and, in return, promises to benefit the astronomical and general scientific community in Australia.
Our knowledge of the universe comes from recording the photon and particle fluxes incident on the Earth from space. We thus require sensitive measurement across the entire energy spectrum, using large telescopes with efficient instrumentation located on superb sites. Technological advances and engineering constraints are nearing the point where we are recording as many photons arriving at a site as is possible. Major advances in the future will come from improving the quality of the site. The ultimate site is, of course, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, such as on the Moon, but economic limitations prevent our exploiting this avenue to the degree that the scientific community desires. Here we describe an alternative, which offers many of the advantages of space for a fraction of the cost: the Antarctic Plateau.
European conformation and fat grades are a major factor determining carcass value throughout Europe. The relationships between these scores and sensory scores were investigated. A total of 3786 French, Polish and Irish consumers evaluated steaks, grilled to a medium doneness, according to protocols of the ‘Meat Standards Australia’ system, from 18 muscles representing 455 local, commercial cattle from commercial abattoirs. A mixed linear effects model was used for the analysis. There was a negative relationship between juiciness and European conformation score. For the other sensory scores, a maximum of three muscles out of a possible 18 demonstrated negative effects of conformation score on sensory scores. There was a positive effect of European fat score on three individual muscles. However, this was accounted for by marbling score. Thus, while the European carcass classification system may indicate yield, it has no consistent relationship with sensory scores at a carcass level that is suitable for use in a commercial system. The industry should consider using an additional system related to eating quality to aid in the determination of the monetary value of carcasses, rewarding eating quality in addition to yield.