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We have found a class of circular radio objects in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The objects appear in radio images as circular edge-brightened discs, about one arcmin diameter, that are unlike other objects previously reported in the literature. We explore several possible mechanisms that might cause these objects, but none seems to be a compelling explanation.
We performed a prospective study of 501 patients, regardless of symptoms, admitted to the hospital, to estimate the predictive value of a negative nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At a positivity rate of 10.2%, the estimated negative predictive value (NPV) was 97.2% and the NPV rose as prevalence decreased during the study.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine as a way to reduce COVID-19 infections was noted and consequently deregulated. However, the degree of telemedicine regulation varies from country to country, which may alter the widespread use of telemedicine. This study aimed to clarify the telepsychiatry regulations for each collaborating country/region before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We used snowball sampling within a global network of international telepsychiatry experts. Thirty collaborators from 17 different countries/regions responded to a questionnaire on barriers to the use and implementation of telepsychiatric care, including policy factors such as regulations and reimbursement at the end of 2019 and as of May 2020.
Thirteen of 17 regions reported a relaxation of regulations due to the pandemic; consequently, all regions surveyed stated that telepsychiatry was now possible within their public healthcare systems. In some regions, restrictions on prescription medications allowed via telepsychiatry were eased, but in 11 of the 17 regions, there were still restrictions on prescribing medications via telepsychiatry. Lower insurance reimbursement amounts for telepsychiatry consultations v. in-person consultations were reevaluated in four regions, and consequently, in 15 regions telepsychiatry services were reimbursed at the same rate (or higher) than in-person consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our results confirm that, due to COVID-19, the majority of countries surveyed are altering telemedicine regulations that had previously restricted the spread of telemedicine. These findings provide information that could guide future policy and regulatory decisions, which facilitate greater scale and spread of telepsychiatry globally.
The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria with a view of generating evidence to enhance planning and response strategies. A national surveillance dataset between 27 February and 6 June 2020 was retrospectively analysed, with confirmatory testing for COVID-19 done by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The primary outcomes were cumulative incidence (CI) and case fatality (CF). A total of 40 926 persons (67% of total 60 839) had complete records of RT-PCR test across 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 12 289 (30.0%) of whom were confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those confirmed cases, 3467 (28.2%) had complete records of clinical outcome (alive or dead), 342 (9.9%) of which died. The overall CI and CF were 5.6 per 100 000 population and 2.8%, respectively. The highest proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths were recorded in persons aged 31–40 years (25.5%) and 61–70 years (26.6%), respectively; and males accounted for a higher proportion of confirmed cases (65.8%) and deaths (79.0%). Sixty-six per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic at diagnosis. In conclusion, this paper has provided an insight into the early epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria, which could be useful for contextualising public health planning.
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.
Background: SMA1 is a neurodegenerative disease caused by bi-allelic survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) deletion/mutation. In the phase 1 study, SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of symptomatic SMA1 patients. We report preliminary data of STR1VE, a pivotal study (NCT03306277) evaluating efficacy and safety of a one-time intravenous AVXS-101 infusion. Methods: STR1VE is a phase 3, multicenter, open-label, single-arm study in SMA1 patients aged <6 months (bi-allelic SMN1 loss, 2xSMN2). Primary outcomes: independent sitting for ≥30 seconds (18 months) and survival (14 months). Secondary outcomes: ability to thrive and ventilatory support (18 months). Exploratory outcomes: CHOP-INTEND and Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development scores. Results: Enrollment is complete with 22 patients dosed. Mean age at symptom onset, genetic diagnosis, and enrollment was 1.9 (0–4.0), 2.1 (0.5–4.0), and 3.7 (0.5–5.9) months. At baseline, no patient required ventilatory/nutritional support, and all exclusively fed by mouth. Mean baseline CHOP-INTEND score was 32.6 (17.0–52.0), which increased 6.9 (-4.0–16.0, n=20), 10.4 (2.0–18.0, n=12), and 11.6 (-3.0–23.0, n=9) points at 1, 2, and 3 months; updates provided at congress. Conclusions: Preliminary data from STR1VE show rapid motor function improvements in SMA1 patients, paralleling phase 1 findings.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
We present a multi-frequency study of the intermediate spiral SAB(r)bc type galaxy NGC 6744, using available data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope, radio continuum data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array and Murchison Widefield Array, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared observations. We identify 117 X-ray sources and 280 radio sources. Of these, we find nine sources in common between the X-ray and radio catalogues, one of which is a faint central black hole with a bolometric radio luminosity similar to the Milky Way’s central black hole. We classify 5 objects as supernova remnant (SNR) candidates, 2 objects as likely SNRs, 17 as H ii regions, 1 source as an AGN; the remaining 255 radio sources are categorised as background objects and one X-ray source is classified as a foreground star. We find the star-formation rate (SFR) of NGC 6744 to be in the range 2.8–4.7 M⊙~yr − 1 signifying the galaxy is still actively forming stars. The specific SFR of NGC 6744 is greater than that of late-type spirals such as the Milky Way, but considerably less that that of a typical starburst galaxy.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.