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For many us who have studied, researched, written, and taught about the influenza pandemic of 1918–19, the current period of the global viral pandemic is eerily and unpleasantly familiar. Today, the rapid global spread of a virus has prompted policies calling for widespread closures, social distancing, constant handwashing, and public mask wearing in additional to other non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). We have also seen pushback and resistance to these directives as well as substantial mismanagement of resources and a flood of misinformation. Much health policy has been inconsistently set at the local rather than federal level. These responses to our current pandemic closely mirror those to the pandemic 102 years ago.
Kefir consumption has been demonstrated to improve lipid and cholesterol metabolism, however our previous study identified that benefits vary between different commercial and traditional kefir. Here, we investigate the ability of pitched culture kefir, i.e., kefir produced by a small number of specific strains, to recapitulate health benefits of a traditional kefir, in a diet induced obesity mouse model, and examine how microbial composition of kefir impacts these benefits. Eight week old female C57BL/6 mice were fed a high fat diet (40% kcal from fat) supplemented with one of 5 kefir varieties (traditional, pitched, pitched with no Lactobacillus, pitched with no yeast, and commercial control) at 2mL in 20 grams of food for 8 weeks prior to analysis of plasma and liver lipid profiles, and liver gene expression profiles related to lipid metabolism. Both traditional and pitched kefir lowered plasma cholesterol by ~35% (P=0.0005) and liver triglycerides by ~55% (P=0.0001) when compared to commercial kefir despite no difference in body weight. Furthermore, pitched kefir produced without either yeast or Lactobacillus did not lower cholesterol. The traditional and pitched kefir with the full complement of microbes were able to impart corresponding decreases in the expression of the cholesterol and lipid metabolism genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), and CD36 in the liver. These results demonstrate that traditional kefir organisms can successfully be utilized in a commercial process, while highlighting the importance of microbial interactions during fermentation in the ability of fermented foods to benefit host health.
Myxozoans are parasitic, microscopic cnidarians that have retained the phylum-characteristic stinging capsules called nematocysts. Free-living cnidarians, like jellyfish and corals, utilize nematocysts for feeding and defence, with discharge powered by osmotic energy. Myxozoans use nematocysts to anchor to their fish hosts in the first step of infection, however, the discharge mechanism is poorly understood. We used Myxobolus cerebralis, a pathogenic myxozoan parasite of salmonid fishes, and developed two assays to explore the nature of its nematocyst discharge. Using parasite actinospores, the infectious stage to fish, we stimulated discharge of the nematocysts with rainbow trout mucus in vitro, in solutions enriched with chloride salts of Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Gd3+, and quantified discharge using microscopy. We then used quantitative polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the in vivo effects of these treatments, plus Mg2+ and the common aquaculture disinfectant KMnO₄, on the ability of M. cerebralis actinospores to infect fish. We found that Mg2+ and Gd3+ reduced infection in vivo, whereas Na+ and K+ over-stimulated nematocyst discharge in vitro and reduced infection in vivo. These findings align with nematocyst discharge behaviour in free-living Cnidaria, and suggest phylum-wide commonalties, which could be exploited to develop novel approaches for controlling myxozoan diseases in aquaculture.
Individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to smoke and less likely to quit smoking than those without schizophrenia. Because task persistence is lower in smokers with than without schizophrenia, it is possible that lower levels of task persistence may contribute to greater difficulties in quitting smoking observed among smokers with schizophrenia.
To develop a feasible and acceptable intervention for smokers with schizophrenia.
Participants (N = 24) attended eight weekly individual cognitive behavioral therapy sessions for tobacco use disorder with a focus on increasing task persistence and received 10 weeks of nicotine patch.
In total, 93.8% of participants rated the intervention as at least a 6 out of 7 regarding how ‘easy to understand’ it was and 81.3% rated the treatment as at least a 6 out of 7 regarding how helpful it was to them. A total of 62.5% attended at least six of the eight sessions and session attendance was positively related to nicotine dependence and age and negatively related to self-efficacy for quitting.
This intervention was feasible and acceptable to smokers with schizophrenia. Future research will examine questions appropriate for later stages of therapy development such as initial efficacy of the intervention and task persistence as a mediator of treatment outcome.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Severe malarial anemia due to Plasmodium falciparum is often accompanied by thrombocytopenia. Treatment includes transfusion of whole blood, which contains erythrocytes, platelets, and other blood components. The objective of the study was to assess the effect of whole blood transfusion on survival in children with severe falciparum malaria and to examine the potential interaction of thrombocytopenia with malaria mortality and transfusion response. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We analyzed a retrospective cohort of 842 hospitalized children in Zambia with severe malarial anemia (703 transfused, 139 not transfused due to stock-out or other reason). Severe malarial anemia was defined as a positive rapid diagnostic test or blood smear in combination with an admission hemoglobin concentration ≤5 g/dL. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Mortality was 13% (94/703) in the transfused group and 24% (34/139) in the non-transfused group. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates stratified by transfusion status and thrombocytopenia (150,000/μL threshold) showed increased mortality in children with thrombocytopenia who did not undergo transfusion, with no differences in mortality among the other transfused and non-transfused groups (log-rank test P = 0.0001). Effect modification analysis by Cox proportional hazards regression adjusted for age, sex, hemoglobin concentration, blood group type, and eosinophilia showed a significant interaction between platelet count and transfusion status (P = 0.028). Children with thrombocytopenia who were transfused and died had little or no post-transfusion increase in platelets, in contrast to those who survived. Freshness of transfused whole blood, construed from expiration dates, correlated with greater platelet recovery and improved survival. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The role of platelets in malaria pathophysiology is complex and incompletely understood; prior studies describe preferential binding of platelets to parasitized erythrocytes and direct parasitocidal activity, whereas others detailed deleterious effects in malaria involving the central nervous system vasculature. These findings point to a potential clinical role for platelet-directed transfusion strategies to improve survival in children with severe falciparum malaria, which should be further assessed in randomized interventional studies.
Recent evidence suggests that quitline text messaging is an effective treatment for smoking cessation, but little is known about the relative effectiveness of the message content.
A pilot study of the effects of gain-framed (GF; focused on the benefits of quitting) versus loss-framed (LF; focused on the costs of continued smoking) text messages among smokers contacting a quitline.
Participants were randomized to receive LF (N = 300) or GF (N = 300) text messages for 30 weeks. Self-reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence and number of 24 h quit attempts were assessed at week 30. Intent-to-treat (ITT) and responder analyses for smoking cessation were conducted using logistic regression.
The ITT analysis showed 17% of the GF group quit smoking compared to 15% in the LF group (P = 0.508). The responder analysis showed 44% of the GF group quit smoking compared to 35% in the LF group (P = 0.154). More participants in the GF group reported making a 24 h quit attempt compared to the LF group (98% vs. 93%, P = 0.046).
Although there were no differences in abstinence rates between groups at the week 30 follow-up, participants in the GF group made more quit attempts than those in the LF group.
Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi) is an invasive shrub that is problematic in both freshwater wetlands and brackish mangrove communities. The complex structure, geographic remoteness, and general herbicide sensitivity of mangrove systems have resulted in great technical challenges for managers attempting selective S. terebinthifolia control. Recent advances in auxin herbicide technologies warrant herbicide screening to address this growing problem. Therefore, greenhouse experiments were conducted in 2018 and 2019 to evaluate four non-target mangrove species and S. terebinthifolia response to the three herbicides: aminocyclopyrachlor, aminopyralid, and florpyrauxifen-benyzl. Aminocyclopyrachlor controlled S. terebinthifolia, but was highly injurious to black mangrove [Avicennia germinans (L.) L.], red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle L.), white mangrove [Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F. Gaertn.], and buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus L.). Aminopyralid also controlled S. terebinthifolia but its impact varied across mangrove species. Laguncularia racemosa and C. erectus were highly sensitive to aminopyralid, R. mangle exhibited dose-dependent tolerance, and A. germinans was highly tolerant. Florpyrauxifen-benzyl failed to control
S. terebinthifolia and resulted in severe injury to all four mangrove species. These results indicate differential responses to newer auxins in both the target response and non-target plant community of interest. The efficacy of aminopyralid on S. terebinthifolia, coupled with its selectivity on A. germinans warrants further testing.
This study examined the relationship between patient performance on multiple memory measures and regional brain volumes using an FDA-cleared quantitative volumetric analysis program – Neuroreader™.
Ninety-two patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by a clinical neuropsychologist completed cognitive evaluations and underwent MR Neuroreader™ within 1 year of testing. Select brain regions were correlated with three widely used memory tests. Regression analyses were conducted to determine if using more than one memory measures would better predict hippocampal z-scores and to explore the added value of recognition memory to prediction models.
Memory performances were most strongly correlated with hippocampal volumes than other brain regions. After controlling for encoding/Immediate Recall standard scores, statistically significant correlations emerged between Delayed Recall and hippocampal volumes (rs ranging from .348 to .490). Regression analysis revealed that evaluating memory performance across multiple memory measures is a better predictor of hippocampal volume than individual memory performances. Recognition memory did not add further predictive utility to regression analyses.
This study provides support for use of MR Neuroreader™ hippocampal volumes as a clinically informative biomarker associated with memory performance, which is a critical diagnostic feature of MCI phenotype.
Dr Nick Martin has made enormous contributions to the field of behavior genetics over the past 50 years. Of his many seminal papers that have had a profound impact, we focus on his early work on the power of twin studies. He was among the first to recognize the importance of sample size calculation before conducting a study to ensure sufficient power to detect the effects of interest. The elegant approach he developed, based on the noncentral chi-squared distribution, has been adopted by subsequent researchers for other genetic study designs, and today remains a standard tool for power calculations in structural equation modeling and other areas of statistical analysis. The present brief article discusses the main aspects of his seminal paper, and how it led to subsequent developments, by him and others, as the field of behavior genetics evolved into the present era.
Historically, patients with multiple acts of aggression, or chronic aggressors, have been studied as one large group. It was our objective to subdivide this group into those patients who engage in physical aggression consistently over multiple years and see if common characteristics of chronic aggressors could classify patients into an aggressive or nonaggressive group.
Within a forensic hospital system, patients who had committed 5 acts of physical aggression, per year, for 3 years (2010 and 2015) were reviewed. Data was collected on clinical and demographic characteristics that have shown to be associated with chronically aggressive patients and compared to nonaggressive matched controls. Data collection and analysis were completed to determine if the variables could classify patients into an aggressive or nonaggressive group.
Analysis showed that 2 variables, the presence of a cognitive disorder and a history of suicidal behaviors were significant in the univariate and multivariate analyses. The 2 variables were able to correctly classify 76.7% of the cases.
A cognitive disorder, a history of suicidal behavior, and increased age were factors associated with this subgroup of aggressive patients. Clinicians may want to explore treatment programs aimed at these clinical factors including cognitive rehabilitation and social cognition treatments, which have been shown to reduce aggression in cognitively impaired populations.
Interfaces play critical roles in materials and are usually both structurally and compositionally complex microstructural features. The precise characterization of their nature in three-dimensions at the atomic scale is one of the grand challenges for microscopy and microanalysis, as this information is crucial to establish structure–property relationships. Atom probe tomography is well suited to analyzing the chemistry of interfaces at the nanoscale. However, optimizing such microanalysis of interfaces requires great care in the implementation across all aspects of the technique from specimen preparation to data analysis and ultimately the interpretation of this information. This article provides critical perspectives on key aspects pertaining to spatial resolution limits and the issues with the compositional analysis that can limit the quantification of interface measurements. Here, we use the example of grain boundaries in steels; however, the results are applicable for the characterization of grain boundaries and transformation interfaces in a very wide range of industrially relevant engineering materials.
The breakdown of the columnar grains and lamellar α + β colony microstructure in two-phase Ti alloys during conversion of ingot to billet is critical to the development of desired combination of mechanical properties. Colony breakdown occurs during a series of thermomechanical processing steps in the α + β phase field. However, fundamental knowledge of the microstructural dependence of this transformation is limited, particularly its dependence on the initial orientation of the α + β colony relative to the imposed strain-path. In this study, the viscoplastic self-consistent polycrystal plasticity model is used to examine deformation behavior as a function of crystal loading direction. Criteria were developed to predict relative globularization rates; it was found that both slip system activities in the α phase and relative crystal rotations of each phase must be considered. Predictions are demonstrated to be consistent with literature and suggest that further experimental investigation of relative globularization rates is necessary.
Complex material systems in which microstructure and microchemistry are nonuniformly dispersed require three-dimensional (3D) rendering(s) to provide an accurate determination of the physio-chemical nature of the system. Current scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM)-based tomography techniques enable 3D visualization but can be time-consuming, so only select systems or regions are analyzed in this manner. Here, it is presented that through high-efficiency multidimensional STEM acquisition and reconstruction, complex point cloud-like microstructural features can quickly and effectively be reconstructed in 3D. The proposed set of techniques is demonstrated, analyzed, and verified for a high-chromium steel with heterogeneously situated features induced using high-energy neutron bombardment.
As part of the ongoing effort to improve the Northern Hemisphere radiocarbon (14C) calibration curve, this study investigates the period of 856 BC to 626 BC (2805–2575 yr BP) with a total of 403 single-year 14C measurements. In this age range, IntCal13 was constructed largely from German and Irish oak as well as Californian bristlecone pine 14C dates, with most samples measured with a 10-yr resolution. The new data presented here is the first atmospheric 14C single-year record of the older end of the Hallstatt plateau based on an absolutely dated tree-ring chronology. The data helped reveal a major solar proton event (SPE) which caused a spike in the production rate of cosmogenic radionuclides around 2610/2609 BP. This production event is thought to have reached a magnitude similar to the 774/775 AD production event but has remained undetected due to averaging effects in the decadal calibration data. The record leading up to the 2610/2609 BP event reveals a 11-yr solar cycle with varying cyclicity. Features of the new data and the benefits of higher resolution calibration are discussed.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections in low- and middle-income countries. To encourage establishment of actionable and standardized SSI surveillance in these countries, we propose simplified surveillance case definitions. Here, we use NHSN reports to explore concordance of these simplified definitions to NHSN as ‘reference standard.’
Compliance with college emergency notifications can minimize injury; however, time is often wasted in alert verification. Building on prior research, this study assesses using health-behavior theory to predict rapid compliance to emergency notifications across a range of scenarios and within a diverse college population.
Cross-sectional, student data were collected in 2017-2018 (n = 1529). The Theory of Planned Behavior and Protection Motivation Theory were used to explain intention to comply with emergency notifications in scenarios: robbery, shooter, fire, chemical spill, protest, health emergency, and air quality. Regression models assessed associations between constructs and intention to rapidly comply with each notification.
The most consistent predictors of rapid compliance were attitudes and subjective norms (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 1.057-1.118; 95% CI: 1.009-1.168). Scenarios prone to rapid developments such as robbery, shooter, and fire were associated with increased perceived threat and response efficacy (AOR: 1.024-1.082; 95% CI: 1.003-1.132) Slower developing situations such as air quality and health hazards were associated with increased perceived control (AOR: 1.027-1.073; 95% CI: 1.031-1.117).
This study identified attitude and subjective norms as consistent predictors of rapid compliance and improves understanding of additional constructs across scenarios. Campuses may benefit from leveraging concepts from health-behavior theory to provide targeted intervention focusing on factors associated with rapid compliance.
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) occur in 8 of 1000 live-born children, making them common birth defects in the adolescent population. CHDs may have single gene, chromosomal, or multifactorial causes. Despite evidence that patients with CHD want information on heritability and genetics, no studies have investigated the interest or knowledge base in the adolescent population. This information is necessary as patients in adolescence take greater ownership of their health care and discuss reproductive risks with their physicians. The objectives of this survey-based study were to determine adolescents’ recall of their own heart condition, to assess patient and parent perception of the genetic contribution to the adolescent’s CHD, and to obtain information about the preferred method(s) for education. The results show that adolescent patients had good recall of their type of CHD. Less than half of adolescents and parents believed their CHD had a genetic basis or was heritable; however, adolescents with a positive family history of CHD were more likely to believe that their condition was genetic (p = 0.0005). The majority of patients were interested in receiving additional genetics education and preferred education in-person and in consultation with both parents and a physician. The adolescents who felt most competent to have discussions with their doctors regarding potential causes of their heart defect previously had a school science course which covered topics in genetics. These results provide insight into adolescents’ perceptions and understanding about their CHD and genetic risk and may inform the creation and provision of additional genetic education.
This chapter examines the role of selection in driving certain aspects of pelvic morphology, particularly the differences between mediolateral breadths and anteroposterior breadths. The chapter is divided into three sections, representing the three key selection pressures researchers have spent the most time on – namely, obstetrics, locomotion and thermoregulation. Data for the role of each of these on pelvic morphology are considered, as is discussion of the myriad ways human populations have mixed and matched morphological traits to manage these selection pressures. Clearly, there is not a single strategy for handling the interactive nature of these pressures.