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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
This paper summarizes a multi-state, multi-year study assessing the potential for local agriculture in northern New England. While largely rural, this region's agricultural sector differs greatly from the rest of the United States, and demand for locally produced food has been increasing. To assess this unique economic landscape, researchers and Cooperative Extension at the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont investigated four key areas: (1) local food capacities, (2) constraints to agricultural expansion, (3) consumer preferences for local and organic produce, and (4) the role of intermediaries as alternative local food outlets. The project included input from local farmers, Extension members, restaurants, and the general public. We present the four research areas in a sequential, overlapping fashion. The timing of our research was such that each step in the process informed the next and can be used as a template for assessing a region's potential for local agricultural production.
Multispectral imaging – the acquisition of spatially contiguous imaging data in a modest number (~3–16) of spectral bandpasses – has proven to be a powerful technique for augmenting panchromatic imaging observations on Mars focused on geologic and/or atmospheric context. Specifically, multispectral imaging using modern digital CCD photodetectors and narrowband filters in the 400–1100 nm wavelength region on the Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rover, Phoenix, and Mars Science Laboratory missions has provided new information on the composition and mineralogy of fine-grained regolith components (dust, soils, sand, spherules, coatings), rocky surface regions (cobbles, pebbles, boulders, outcrops, and fracture-filling veins), meteorites, and airborne dust and other aerosols. Here we review recent scientific results from Mars surface-based multispectral imaging investigations, including the ways that these observations have been used in concert with other kinds of measurements to enhance the overall scientific return from Mars surface missions.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of radiotherapy students on clinical placement, specifically focussing on the provision of well-being support from clinical supervisors.
Materials and methods:
Twenty-five students from the University of the West of England and City University of London completed an online evaluation survey relating to their experiences of placement, involving Likert scales and open-ended questions.
The quantitative results were generally positive; however, the qualitative findings were mixed. Three themes emerged: (1) provision of information and advice; (2) an open, inclusive and supportive working environment; and (3) a lack of communication, understanding, and consistency.
Students’ experiences on placement differed greatly and appeared to relate to their specific interactions with different members of staff. It is suggested that additional training around providing well-being support to students may be of benefit to clinical supervisors.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) – a nationwide, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey - was initiated in 2016 with the intent of tracking the state of mental health of the general population in Singapore. The study employed the same methodology as the first survey initiated in 2010. The SMHS 2016 aimed to (i) establish the 12-month and lifetime prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (which included alcohol abuse and dependence) and (ii) compare the prevalence of these disorders with reference to data from the SMHS 2010.
Door-to-door household surveys were conducted with adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above from 2016 to 2018 (n = 6126) which yielded a response rate of 69.0%. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method and assessed using World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI 3.0). The diagnoses of lifetime and 12-month selected mental disorders including MDD, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD, and AUD (alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), were based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.
The lifetime prevalence of at least one mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder was 13.9% in the adult population. MDD had the highest lifetime prevalence (6.3%) followed by alcohol abuse (4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorders was 6.5%. OCD had the highest 12-month prevalence (2.9%) followed by MDD (2.3%). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders assessed in SMHS 2016 (13.8% and 6.4%) was significantly higher than that in SMHS 2010 (12.0% and 4.4%). A significant increase was observed in the prevalence of lifetime GAD (0.9% to 1.6%) and alcohol abuse (3.1% to 4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of GAD (0.8% vs. 0.4%) and OCD (2.9% vs. 1.1%) was significantly higher in SMHS 2016 as compared to SMHS 2010.
The high prevalence of OCD and the increase across the two surveys needs to be tackled at a population level both in terms of creating awareness of the disorder and the need for early treatment. Youth emerge as a vulnerable group who are more likely to be associated with mental disorders and thus targeted interventions in this group with a focus on youth friendly and accessible care centres may lead to earlier detection and treatment of mental disorders.
Our pilot study evaluated the feasibility, effectiveness, and implementation of a group-based lifestyle-integrated functional exercise (Mi-LiFE) program for older adults in an interprofessional primary care practice. A physical therapist taught participants how to integrate strength and balance activities into daily routines during one individual and four group sessions, and two follow-up phone calls. Feasibility outcomes were recruitment, adherence, and retention over 6 months. Physical activity (PA) (accelerometer, International Physical Activity Questionnaire [IPAQ]), Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and health-related quality of life (EuroQol Five-Dimensional Questionnaire with 3 Levels [EQ5D-3L]) were evaluated at baseline and 6 months. Of the 123 eligible individuals, 39 per cent participated and 61 per cent were not interested or unreachable. Forty-eight participants (mean ± standard deviation [SD] age = 81 ± 5 years; body mass index [BMI] = 28 ± 5 kg/m2; 60% women; moderate-to-vigorous PA = 49 ± 87 minutes/week) enrolled. Four participants withdrew prior to intervention. Thirty-two participants (67%) were retained at follow-up. Daily diary-documented adherence was 50 per cent at 6 months, and 77 per cent attended more than four sessions. No statistically significant changes in moderate-to-vigorous PA and SPPB outcomes were observed; yet self-reported strength and balance PA and quality of life significantly improved at follow-up. The Mi-LiFE program is feasible with acceptable recruitment and attendance rates alongside modifications to address retention and adherence challenges. These findings inform the feasibility of future pragmatic exercise programs in primary care for older adults.
We read with interest the recent editorial, “The Hennepin Ketamine Study,” by Dr. Samuel Stratton commenting on the research ethics, methodology, and the current public controversy surrounding this study.1 As researchers and investigators of this study, we strongly agree that prospective clinical research in the prehospital environment is necessary to advance the science of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medicine. We also agree that accomplishing this is challenging as the prehospital environment often encounters patient populations who cannot provide meaningful informed consent due to their emergent conditions. To ensure that fellow emergency medicine researchers understand the facts of our work so they may plan future studies, and to address some of the questions and concerns in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, the lay press, and in social media,2 we would like to call attention to some inaccuracies in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, and to the lay media stories on which it appears to be based.
Ho JD, Cole JB, Klein LR, Olives TD, Driver BE, Moore JC, Nystrom PC, Arens AM, Simpson NS, Hick JL, Chavez RA, Lynch WL, Miner JR. The Hennepin Ketamine Study investigators’ reply. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):111–113
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is perhaps the most important grain legume in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) smallholder systems for food security and household income. Although a wide choice of varieties is available, smallholder farmers in western Kenya realize yields that are low and variable since they operate in risky production environments. Significant seasonal variations exist in rainfall and severity of pests and diseases. This situation is worsened by the low and declining soil fertility, coupled with low capacity of farmers to purchase production inputs such as fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides, and land scarcity. The objective of this study was to investigate whether growing multiple-bean varieties instead of a single variety can enable farmers enhance yield stability over seasons and ensure food security. Five common bean varieties were evaluated in multiple farms for 11 seasons at Kapkerer in Nandi County, western Kenya. Data were collected on grain yield, days to 50% flowering and major diseases. In addition, daily rainfall was recorded throughout the growing seasons. The five varieties were combined in all possible ways to create 31 single- and multiple-bean production strategies. The strategies were evaluated for grain yield performance and yield stability over seasons to determine the risk of not attaining a particular yield target. Results indicated that cropping multiple-bean varieties can be an effective way for reducing production risks in heterogeneous smallholder systems. Yield stability can be greatly enhanced across diverse environments, leading to improved food security, especially for the resource-poor smallholder farmers operating in risk-prone environments. Although the results show that some of the single-bean variety strategies were high yielding, their yield stability was generally lower than those of multiple strategies. Resource-poor risk averse farmers can greatly increase the probability of exceeding their yield targets by cropping multiple-bean varieties with relatively low yields but high grain yield stability. Trading-off high grain yield for yield stability might be an important strategy for minimizing bean production risks.
Approximately 70% of the 30 000 known bee (Hymenoptera) species and most flower-visiting, solitary wasps (Hymenoptera) nest in the ground. However, nesting behaviours of most ground-nesting bees and wasps are poorly understood. Habitat loss, including nesting habitat, threatens populations of ground-nesting bees and wasps. Most ground-nesting bee and wasp studies implement trapping methods that capture foraging individuals, but provide little insight into the nesting preferences of these taxa. Some researchers have suggested that emergence traps may provide a suitable means by which to determine ground-nesting bee and wasp abundance. We sought to evaluate nest-site selection of ground-nesting bees and wasps using emergence traps in two study systems: (1) planted wildflower enhancement plots and fallow control plots in agricultural land; and (2) upland pine and hammock habitat in forests. Over the course of three years (2015–2017), we collected 306 ground-nesting bees and wasps across all study sites from emergence traps. In one study, we compared captures per trap between coloured pan traps and emergence traps and found that coloured pan traps captured far more ground-nesting bees and wasps than did emergence traps. Based on our emergence trap data, our results also suggest ground-nesting bees and wasps are more apt to nest within wildflower enhancement plots than in fallow control plots, and in upland pine habitats than in hammock forests. In conclusion, emergence traps have potential to be a unique tool to gain understanding of ground-nesting bee and wasp habitat requirements.
The crystal structure of bumetanide has been solved and refined using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data, and optimized using density functional techniques. Bumetanide crystallizes in space group P-1 (#2) with a = 5.00168(4), b = 9.22649(3), c = 19.59924(14) Å, α = 80.7941(5), β = 82.8401(7), γ = 86.8148(7)°, V = 885.268(9) Å3, and Z = 2. The crystal structure is layered with the double layers parallel to the ab plane. The exterior of the layer is composed of hydrocarbon portions of the molecule, both phenyl rings and butyl side chains. The central portion of the bilayer contains the hydrogen-bonding regions, both the carboxylic acid dimers and the hydrogen bonds involving the sulfonamide groups. The molecular conformations of bumetanide in this current triclinic structure and the previously-determined monoclinic polymorph FEDGON are very similar, as are the energies of the two polymorphs. The powder pattern is included in the Powder Diffraction File™ as entry 00-066-1609.
The Commensal Real-time Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Fast Transients survey is the first extensive astronomical survey using phased array feeds. Since January 2017, it has been searching for fast radio bursts in fly’s eye mode. Here, we present a calculation of the sensitivity and total exposure of the survey that detected the first 20 of these bursts, using the pulsars B1641-45 and B0833-45 as calibrators. The beamshape, antenna-dependent system noise, and the effects of radio-frequency interference and fluctuations during commissioning are quantified. Effective survey exposures and sensitivities are calculated as a function of the source counts distribution. Statistical ‘stat’ and systematics ‘sys’ effects are treated separately. The implied fast radio burst rate is significantly lower than the 37 sky−1 day−1 calculated using nominal exposures and sensitivities for this same sample by Shannon et al. (2018). At the Euclidean (best-fit) power-law index of −1.5 (−2.2), the rate is
(sys) ± 3.6 (stat) sky−1 day−1 (
(sys) ± 2.8 (stat) sky−1 day−1) above a threshold of 56.6 ± 6.6(sys) Jy ms (40.4 ± 1.2(sys) Jy ms). This strongly suggests that these calculations be performed for other FRB-hunting experiments, allowing meaningful comparisons to be made between them.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with risk of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by varying degrees of cognitive impairment, including schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. However, the effects of many individual CNVs in carriers without neurodevelopmental disorders are not yet fully understood, and little is known about the effects of reciprocal copy number changes of known pathogenic loci.
We aimed to analyse the effect of CNV carrier status on cognitive performance and measures of occupational and social outcomes in unaffected individuals from the UK Biobank.
We called CNVs in the full UK Biobank sample and analysed data from 420 247 individuals who passed CNV quality control, reported White British or Irish ancestry and were not diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders. We analysed 33 pathogenic CNVs, including their reciprocal deletions/duplications, for association with seven cognitive tests and four general measures of functioning: academic qualifications, occupation, household income and Townsend Deprivation Index.
Most CNVs (24 out of 33) were associated with reduced performance on at least one cognitive test or measure of functioning. The changes on the cognitive tests were modest (average reduction of 0.13 s.d.) but varied markedly between CNVs. All 12 schizophrenia-associated CNVs were associated with significant impairments on measures of functioning.
CNVs implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, are associated with cognitive deficits, even among unaffected individuals. These deficits may be subtle but CNV carriers have significant disadvantages in educational attainment and ability to earn income in adult life.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
The crystal structure of oxybutynin hydrochloride hemihydrate has been solved and refined using synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction data, and optimized using density functional techniques. Oxybutynin hydrochloride hemihydrate crystallizes in space group I2/a (#15) with a = 14.57266(8), b = 8.18550(6), c = 37.16842(26) Å, β = 91.8708(4)°, V = 4421.25(7) Å3, and Z = 8. The compound exhibits X-ray-induced photoreduction of the triple bond. Prominent in the layered crystal structure is the N–H⋅⋅⋅Cl hydrogen bond between the cation and anion, as well as O–H⋅⋅⋅Cl hydrogen bonds from the water molecule and hydroxyl group of the oxybutynin cation. C–H⋅⋅⋅Cl hydrogen bonds also contribute to the crystal energy, and help determine the conformation of the cation. The powder pattern is included in the Powder Diffraction File™ as entry 00-068-1305.