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A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
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.
. High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXB) have been revealed by a wealth of multi-wavelength observations, from X-ray to optical and infrared domain. After describing the 3 different kinds of HMXB, we focus on 3 HMXB hosting supergiant stars: IGR J16320-4751, IGR J16465-4507 and IGR J16318-4848, respectively called “The Good”, “The Bad” and “The Ugly”. We review in these proceedings what the observations of these sources have brought to light concerning our knowledge of HMXB, and what part still remains in the dark side. Many questions are still pending, related to accretion processes, stellar wind properties in these massive and active stars, and the overall evolution due to transfer of mass and angular momentum between the companion star and the compact object. Future observations should be able to answer these questions, which constitute the dark side of HMXB.
To identify ways that the built environment may support or disrupt safe doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in biocontainment units (BCU).
We observed interactions between healthcare workers (HCWs) and the built environment during 41 simulated PPE donning and doffing exercises.
The BCUs of 4 Ebola treatment facilities and 1 high-fidelity BCU mockup.
A total of 64 HCWs (41 doffing HCWs and 15 trained observers) participated in this study.
In each facility, we observed how the physical environment influences risky behaviors by the HCW. The environmental design impeded communication between trained observers (TOs) and HCWs because of limited window size or visual obstructions with louvers, which allowed unobserved errors. The size and configuration of the doffing area impacted HCW adherence to protocol, and lack of clear demarcation of zones resulted in HCWs inadvertently leaving the doffing area and stepping back into the contaminated areas. Lack of standard location for items resulted in equipment and supplies frequently shifting positions. Finally, different solutions for maintaining balance while removing shoe covers (ie, chair, hand grips, and step stool) had variable success. We identified the 5 key requirements that doffing areas must achieve to support safe doffing of PPE, and we developed a matrix of proposed design strategies that can be implemented to meet those requirements.
Simple, low-cost environmental design interventions can provide structure to support and improve HCW safety in BCUs. These interventions should be implemented in both current and future BCUs.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
We have recently discovered evidence for a population of radio-loud quasars that is reddened by dust. The dust is either along the line of sight to the quasars or is associated with the quasars. In the latter case the dust may be in molecular clouds in the quasar’s host galaxy, or in a molecular torus around the nucleus. We are planning to use 3 mm observations to search for molecular absorption lines (CO and HCO+) associated with dust at the redshift of these quasars. If any absorption systems are detected we will be able to deduce detailed information about the physical state of the molecular gas, hopefully showing which of the proposed locations of the dust is most likely.
Autonomic diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common complications of type 1 diabetes mellitus, and studies using heart rate variability to investigate these individuals have shown inconclusive results regarding autonomic nervous system activation.
To investigate the dynamics of heart rate in young subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus through nonlinear and linear methods of heart rate variability.
We evaluated 20 subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus and 23 healthy control subjects. We obtained the following nonlinear indices from the recurrence plot: recurrence rate (REC), determinism (DET), and Shanon entropy (ES), and we analysed indices in the frequency (LF and HF in ms2 and normalised units – nu – and LF/HF ratio) and time domains (SDNN and RMSSD), through analysis of 1000 R–R intervals, captured by a heart rate monitor.
There were reduced values (p<0.05) for individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus compared with healthy subjects in the following indices: DET, REC, ES, RMSSD, SDNN, LF (ms2), and HF (ms2). In relation to the recurrence plot, subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus demonstrated lower recurrence and greater variation in their plot, inter-group and intra-group, respectively.
Young subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus have autonomic nervous system behaviour that tends to randomness compared with healthy young subjects. Moreover, this behaviour is related to reduced sympathetic and parasympathetic activity of the autonomic nervous system.
We report here the microstructural changes occurring in the zirconium alloy Excel (Zr–3.5 wt% Sn–0.8Nb–0.8Mo–0.2Fe) during heavy ion irradiation. In situ irradiation experiments were conducted at reactor operating temperatures on two Zr Excel alloy microstructures with different states of alloying elements, with the states achieved by different solution heat treatments. In the first case, the alloying elements were mostly concentrated in the beta (β) phase, whereas, in the second case, large Zr3(Mo,Nb,Fe)4 secondary phase precipitates (SPPs) were grown in the alpha (α) phase by long term aging. The heavy ion induced damage and resultant compositional changes were examined using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM)-energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mapping. Significant differences were seen in microstructural evolution between the two different microstructures that were irradiated under similar conditions. Nucleation and growth of <c>-component loops and their dependence on the alloying elements are a major focus of the current investigation. It was observed that the <c>-component loops nucleate readily at 100, 300, and 400 °C after a threshold incubation dose (TID), which varies with irradiation temperature and the state of alloying elements. It was found that the TID for the formation of <c>-component loops increases with decrease in irradiation temperature. Alloying elements that are present in the form of SPPs increase the TID compared to when they are in the β phase solid solution. Dose and temperature dependence of loop size and density are presented. Radiation induced redistribution and clustering of alloying elements (Sn, Mo, and Fe) have been observed and related to the formation of <c>-component loops. It has been shown that at the higher temperature tests, irradiation induced dissolution of precipitates occurs whereas irradiation induced amorphization occurs at 100 °C. Furthermore, dose and temperature seem to be the main factors governing the dissolution of SPPs and redistribution of alloying elements, which in turn controls the nucleation and growth of <c>-component loops. The correlation between the microstructural evolution and microchemistry has been found by EDS and is discussed in detail.
Diarrhoeal diseases are major causes of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. This longitudinal study aimed to identify controllable environmental drivers of intestinal infections amidst a highly contaminated drinking water supply in urban slums and villages of Vellore, Tamil Nadu in southern India. Three hundred households with children (<5 years) residing in two semi-urban slums and three villages were visited weekly for 12–18 months to monitor gastrointestinal morbidity. Households were surveyed at baseline to obtain information on environmental and behavioural factors relevant to diarrhoea. There were 258 diarrhoeal episodes during the follow-up period, resulting in an overall incidence rate of 0·12 episodes/person-year. Incidence and longitudinal prevalence rates of diarrhoea were twofold higher in the slums compared to rural communities (P < 0·0002). Regardless of study site, diarrhoeal incidence was highest in infants (<1 year) at 1·07 episodes/person-year, and decreased gradually with increasing age. Increasing diarrhoeal rates were associated with presence of children (<5 years), domesticated animals and low socioeconomic status. In rural communities, open-field defecation was associated with diarrhoea in young children. This study demonstrates the contribution of site-specific environmental and behavioural factors in influencing endemic rates of urban and rural diarrhoea in a region with highly contaminated drinking water.
Methylation of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) exon 1/intron 1 boundary positioned fragile X related epigenetic element 2 (FREE2), reveals skewed X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in fragile X syndrome full mutation (FM: CGG > 200) females. XCI skewing has been also linked to abnormal X-linked gene expression with the broader clinical impact for sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs). In this study, 10 FREE2 CpG sites were targeted using methylation specific quantitative melt analysis (MS-QMA), including 3 sites that could not be analysed with previously used EpiTYPER system. The method was applied for detection of skewed XCI in FM females and in different types of SCA. We tested venous blood and saliva DNA collected from 107 controls (CGG < 40), and 148 FM and 90 SCA individuals. MS-QMA identified: (i) most SCAs if combined with a Y chromosome test; (ii) locus-specific XCI skewing towards the hypomethylated state in FM females; and (iii) skewed XCI towards the hypermethylated state in SCA with 3 or more X chromosomes, and in 5% of the 47,XXY individuals. MS-QMA output also showed significant correlation with the EpiTYPER reference method in FM males and females (P < 0.0001) and SCAs (P < 0.05). In conclusion, we demonstrate use of MS-QMA to quantify skewed XCI in two applications with diagnostic utility.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) alginate culture systems on in vitro development of pre-antral caprine follicles. In addition, the influence of the reproductive age of the ovary donor on the in vitro culture success was investigated. Pre-antral follicles from pre-pubertal or adult goats were isolated and cultured directly on a plastic surface (2D) or encapsulated in an alginate-based matrix (3D). After 18 days, the oocytes underwent in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) to produce embryos. The 3D system showed higher rates of follicle survival, lower rates of oocyte extrusion, and a greater number of recovered oocytes for IVM and IVF (P < 0.05). Only pre-antral follicles from adult animals produced MII oocytes and embryos. The estradiol concentrations increased from day 2 to day 12 of culture in all groups tested (P < 0.05). Conversely, progesterone concentrations were lower in 3D-cultured follicles than in 2D-cultured follicles, with differences on days 2 and 6 of culture (P < 0.05). We provide compelling evidence that a 2D or 3D alginate in vitro culture system offers a promising approach to achieving full in vitro development of caprine pre-antral follicles to produce mature oocytes that are capable of fertilization and viable embryos.
Large transport aircraft are particularly susceptible to impact damage from runway debris thrown up by the landing gear. A methodology was developed to predict the trajectories of stones lofted by the nose wheel and subjected to aerodynamic forces due to the wake behind the nose landing gear and beneath the aircraft. In conjunction with finite element modelling of the stone/ground/tyre contact mechanics, an analytical model was used to perform a stochastic prediction of the trajectories of runway stones to generate impact threat maps which showed the relative likelihood of stones impinging upon various areas on the underside of a C-130 Hercules. The impact envelopes for the C-130 extended three to eighteen metres behind the nose wheel and two metres either side of the centre of the aircraft. The impact threat maps were especially sensitive to the values of the coefficients of lift and drag acting on the stone during its flight.
The aim of this review is to summarise the evidence linking vitamin D to bone health outcomes in older adults. A plethora of scientific evidence globally suggests that large proportions of people have vitamin D deficiency and are not meeting recommended intakes. Older adults are at particular risk of the consequences of vitamin D deficiency owing to a combination of physiological and behavioural factors. Epidemiological studies show that low vitamin D status is associated with a variety of negative skeletal consequences in older adults including osteomalacia, reduced bone mineral density, impaired Ca absorption and secondary hyperparathyroidism. There seems to be inconsistent evidence for a protective role of vitamin D supplementation alone on bone mass. However, it is generally accepted that vitamin D (17·5 μg/d) in combination with Ca (1200 mg/d) reduces bone loss among older white subjects. Evidence for a benefit of vitamin D supplementation alone on reducing fracture risk is varied. According to a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality review in the USA the evidence base shows mixed results for a beneficial effect of vitamin D on decreasing overall fracture risk. Limitations such as poor compliance with treatment, incomplete assessment of vitamin D status and large drop-out rates however, have been highlighted within some studies. In conclusion, it is generally accepted that vitamin D in combination with Ca reduces the risk of non-vertebral fractures particularly those in institutional care. The lack of data on vitamin D and bone health outcomes in certain population groups such as diverse racial groups warrants attention.