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Little is known about the early history of the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), including the timing and circumstances of its introduction into new cultural environments. To evaluate its spatio-temporal spread across Eurasia and north-west Africa, the authors radiocarbon dated 23 chicken bones from presumed early contexts. Three-quarters returned dates later than those suggested by stratigraphy, indicating the importance of direct dating. The results indicate that chickens did not arrive in Europe until the first millennium BC. Moreover, a consistent time-lag between the introduction of chickens and their consumption by humans suggests that these animals were initially regarded as exotica and only several centuries later recognised as a source of ‘food’.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disease associated with a variety of psychological, cognitive, and motoric symptoms. Walking is among the most important functions compromised by MS. Dual-task walking (DTW), an everyday activity in which people walk and engage in a concurrent, discrete task, has been assessed in MS, but little is known about how it relates to other MS symptoms. Self-awareness theory suggests that DTW may be a function of the interactions among psychological, cognitive, and motor processes.
Cognitive testing, self-report assessments for depression and falls self-efficacy (FSE), and walk evaluations [DTW and single-task walk (STW)] were assessed in seventy-three people with MS in a clinical care setting. Specifically, we assessed whether psychological factors (depression and FSE) that alter subjective evaluations regarding one’s abilities would moderate the relationships between physical and cognitive abilities and DTW performance.
DTW speed is related to diverse physical and cognitive predictors. In support of self-awareness theory, FSE moderated the relationship between STW and DTW speeds such that lower FSE attenuated the strength of the relationship between them. DTW costs – the change in speed normalized by STW speed – did not relate to cognitive and motor predictors. DTW costs did relate to depressive symptoms, and depressive symptoms moderated the effect of information processing on DTW costs.
Findings indicate that an interplay of physical ability and psychological factors – like depression and FSE – may enhance understanding of walking performance under complex, real-world, DTW contexts.
In March 2020, New York City (NYC) became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (US). As healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with patients, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was transformed into the nation’s largest alternate care site (ACS): Javits New York Medical Station (Javits). Protecting healthcare workers during a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a non-traditional healthcare setting posed unique challenges. We describe components of the healthcare worker safety program implemented at Javits.
Javits, a large convention center transformed into a field hospital, with clinical staff from the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
Healthcare Worker Safety Methods:
Key strategies included ensuring one-way flow of traffic on and off the patient floor; developing a matrix detailing PPE required for each work activity and location; PPE extended use and reuse protocols; personnel training; and monitoring adherence to PPE donning/doffing protocols when entering or exiting the patient floor. Javits staff who reported COVID-19 symptoms were immediately isolated, monitored, and offered a SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
A well-designed and implemented healthcare worker safety plan can minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for healthcare workers. The lessons learned from operating the nation’s largest COVID-19 ACS can be adapted to other environments during public health emergencies.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: a) Explore topics related to AMC CRP job titles, descriptions, and pre-requisites for hire b) Describe impact of COVID-19 on the AMC CRP workforce c) Discuss opportunities for improving diversity in the CRP workforce d) Discuss opportunities to enhance institutional staffing culture to retain CRP workforce METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Qualitative data from a series of workshop breakout sessions and open-text survey materials focusing on AMC CRP recruitment, retention and diversity were analyzed to inform content and recommendations for clinical research job titles and descriptions, pre-requisites, diversity, and current needs. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: While certain institutions have established competency-based frameworks for job descriptions and career ladders, standardization remains generally lacking across CTSA hubs. Significant hiring needs have reached exponential proportions across hubs, unable to meet current and projected clinical research goals. Data confirmed an urgent need for closing gaps in clinical research workforce at AMCs, especially for improving diversity and equity of personnel. Improved collaboration with human resource departments, engagement with principal investigators, and overcoming both organizational and resource challenges were suggested strategies, as well as pipeline development via outreach to universities, community colleges, and high schools to raise awareness of the professional pathways for CRPs. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on input from 130 CRP leaders at 38 CTSA hubs and 4 IDeA sites evaluating data from 23 breakout transcripts and ~92 surveys from the Collaborative Conversations Unmeeting, new opportunities emerged during the analysis. The findings will be summarized in a 2022 Synergy manuscript including best practice benchmarking recommendations.
Life relies on mutualistic relationships among species, and on the constant rejuvenation of Earth’s materials. Mutualistic cities would do the same thing, enhancing biodiversity, clean air, better soils, fresh water, and stronger communities. Today, however, cities are far from mutualistic. Currently, more than 4 billion people live in cities, and that number is rising quickly. These conglomerations of humanity consume vast Earth resources, and, worst yet, disgorge astonishing amounts of waste into the atmosphere, water, land and sea around them. Unlike "smart cities" that rely on sophisticated technology to monitor and respond to environmental conditions, and unlike "sustainable cities" that stress reduction and reuse, the concept of a "mutualistic city" emphasizes regenerative cycles and virtuous feedback loops. These cities are the key to our future.
Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists.
A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries.
Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87–9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63–10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63–10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1–17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2–5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41).
Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.
Response to lithium in patients with bipolar disorder is associated with clinical and transdiagnostic genetic factors. The predictive combination of these variables might help clinicians better predict which patients will respond to lithium treatment.
To use a combination of transdiagnostic genetic and clinical factors to predict lithium response in patients with bipolar disorder.
This study utilised genetic and clinical data (n = 1034) collected as part of the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLi+Gen) project. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were computed for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, and then combined with clinical variables using a cross-validated machine-learning regression approach. Unimodal, multimodal and genetically stratified models were trained and validated using ridge, elastic net and random forest regression on 692 patients with bipolar disorder from ten study sites using leave-site-out cross-validation. All models were then tested on an independent test set of 342 patients. The best performing models were then tested in a classification framework.
The best performing linear model explained 5.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response and was composed of clinical variables, PRS variables and interaction terms between them. The best performing non-linear model used only clinical variables and explained 8.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response. A priori genomic stratification improved non-linear model performance to 13.7% (P = 0.0001) and improved the binary classification of lithium response. This model stratified patients based on their meta-polygenic loadings for major depressive disorder and schizophrenia and was then trained using clinical data.
Using PRS to first stratify patients genetically and then train machine-learning models with clinical predictors led to large improvements in lithium response prediction. When used with other PRS and biological markers in the future this approach may help inform which patients are most likely to respond to lithium treatment.
The backward-facing step is perhaps the quintessential geometry used to study separated flow. Extensive previous research has quantified its detailed flow characteristics. However, often regions of separated flow do not exist in isolation; rather, interaction occurs between multiple regions. This motivated an experimental investigation into the time-averaged and dynamic flow features of a double backward-facing step, covering separations of zero to eight step heights between equal-height steps. Three flow regimes are identified. A single reattachment regime occurs for separations of less than four step heights, perhaps remarkable for the lack of variation in key flow characteristics from a single backward-facing step response. Next, an intermediate regime is identified for a separation of four step heights. In this case, the flow does not yet reattach on the first step, although significant differences in reattachment length, surface pressure on the vertical step faces and turbulence statistics occur. Finally, for greater step separations, a double reattachment regime, with reattachment on both steps, is identified. Downwash, induced by the first recirculation zone, reduces the reattachment length and turbulent fluctuations of the second recirculation zone. The surface pressure on the first-step vertical face is reduced, seemingly a result of an upstream influence due to the low pressure in the second-step recirculation zone. Detailed characterisation of the regimes offers insight into the fundamental interaction of regions of separated flow, revealing aspects of complex dynamics relevant to a broad range of practical scenarios.
Numerous theories posit different core features to borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recent advances in network analysis provide a method of examining the relative centrality of BPD symptoms, as well as examine the replicability of findings across samples. Additionally, despite the increase in research supporting the validity of BPD in adolescents, clinicians are reluctant to diagnose BPD in adolescents. Establishing the replicability of the syndrome across adolescents and adults informs clinical practice and research. This study examined the stability of BPD symptom networks and centrality of symptoms across samples varying in age and clinical characteristics.
Cross-sectional analyses of BPD symptoms from semi-structured diagnostic interviews from the Collaborative Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders (CLPS), the Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Service (MIDAS) study, and an adolescent clinical sample. Network attributes, including edge (partial association) strength and node (symptom) expected influence, were compared.
The three networks were largely similar and strongly correlated. Affective instability and identity disturbance emerged as relatively central symptoms across the three samples, and relationship difficulties across adult networks. Differences in network attributes were more evident between networks varying both in age and in BPD symptom severity level.
Findings highlight the relative importance of affective, identity, and relationship symptoms, consistent with several leading theories of BPD. The network structure of BPD symptoms appears generally replicable across multiple large samples including adolescents and adults, providing further support for the validity of the diagnosis across these developmental phases.
To quantify the extent of food and beverage advertising on bus shelters in a deprived area of the UK, to identify the healthfulness of advertised products, and any differences by level of deprivation. The study also sought to assess the creative strategies used and extent of appeal to young people.
Images of bus shelter advertisements were collected via in person photography (in 2019) and Google Street View (photos recorded in 2018). Food and beverage advertisements were grouped into one of seventeen food categories and classified as healthy/less healthy using the UK Nutrient Profile Model. The deprivation level of the advertisement location was identified using the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland in South Teesside.
Eight hundred and thirty-two advertisements were identified, almost half (48·9 %) of which were for foods or beverages. Of food and non-alcoholic beverage adverts, 35·1 % were less healthy. Most food advertisements (98·9 %) used at least one of the persuasive creative strategies. Food advertisements were found to be of appeal to children under 18 years of age (71·9 %). No differences in healthiness of advertised foods were found by level of deprivation.
Food advertising is extensive on bus shelters in parts of the UK, and a substantial proportion of this advertising is classified as less healthy and would not be permitted to be advertised around television programming for children. Bus shelter advertising should be considered part of the UK policy deliberations around restricting less healthy food marketing exposure.
To improve maternal health outcomes, increased diversity is needed among pregnant people in research studies and community surveillance. To expand the pool, we sought to develop a network encompassing academic and community obstetrics clinics. Typical challenges in developing a network include site identification, contracting, onboarding sites, staff engagement, participant recruitment, funding, and institutional review board approvals. While not insurmountable, these challenges became magnified as we built a research network during a global pandemic. Our objective is to describe the framework utilized to resolve pandemic-related issues.
We developed a framework for site-specific adaptation of the generalized study protocol. Twice monthly video meetings were held between the lead academic sites to identify local challenges and to generate ideas for solutions. We identified site and participant recruitment challenges and then implemented solutions tailored to the local workflow. These solutions included the use of an electronic consent and videoconferences with local clinic leadership and staff. The processes for network development and maintenance changed to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, aspects of the sample processing/storage and data collection elements were held constant between sites.
Adapting our consenting approach enabled maintaining study enrollment during the pandemic. The pandemic amplified issues related to contracting, onboarding, and IRB approval. Maintaining continuity in sample management and clinical data collection allowed for pooling of information between sites.
Adaptability is key to maintaining network sites. Rapidly changing guidelines for beginning and continuing research during the pandemic required frequent intra- and inter-institutional communication to navigate.
South Africa has embarked on major health policy reform to deliver universal health coverage through the establishment of National Health Insurance (NHI). The aim is to improve access, remove financial barriers to care, and enhance care quality. Health technology assessment (HTA) is explicitly identified in the proposed NHI legislation and will have a prominent role in informing decisions about adoption and access to health interventions and technologies. The specific arrangements and approach to HTA in support of this legislation are yet to be determined. Although there is currently no formal national HTA institution in South Africa, there are several processes in both the public and private healthcare sectors that use elements of HTA to varying extents to inform access and resource allocation decisions. Institutions performing HTAs or related activities in South Africa include the National and Provincial Departments of Health, National Treasury, National Health Laboratory Service, Council for Medical Schemes, medical scheme administrators, managed care organizations, academic or research institutions, clinical societies and associations, pharmaceutical and devices companies, private consultancies, and private sector hospital groups. Existing fragmented HTA processes should coordinate and conform to a standardized, fit-for-purpose process and structure that can usefully inform priority setting under NHI and for other decision makers. This transformation will require comprehensive and inclusive planning with dedicated funding and regulation, and provision of strong oversight mechanisms and leadership.
Reflex-mediated syncope occurs in 15% of children and young adults. In rare instances, pacemakers are required to treat syncopal episodes associated with transient sinus pauses or atrioventricular block. This study describes a single centre experience in the use of permanent pacemakers to treat syncope in children and young adults.
Materials and methods:
Patients with significant pre-syncope or syncope and pacemaker implantation from 1978 to 2018 were reviewed. Data collected included the age of presentation, method of diagnosis, underlying rhythm disturbance, age at implant, type of pacemaker implanted, procedural complications and subsequent symptoms.
Fifty patients were identified. Median age at time of the first syncopal episode was 10.2 (range 0.3–20.4) years, with a median implant age of 14.9 (0.9–34.3) years. Significant sinus bradycardia/pauses were the predominant reason for pacemaker implant (54%), followed by high-grade atrioventricular block (30%). Four (8%) patients had both sinus pauses and atrioventricular block documented. The majority of patients had dual-chamber pacemakers implanted (58%), followed by ventricular pacemakers (38%). Median follow-up was 6.7 (0.4–33.0) years. Post-implant, 4 (8%) patients continued to have syncope, 7 (14%) had complete resolution of their symptoms, and the remaining reported a decrease in their pre-syncopal episodes and no further syncope. Twelve (24%) patients had complications, including two infections and eight lead malfunctions.
Paediatric patients with reflex-mediated syncope can be treated with pacing. Complication rates are high (24%); as such, permanent pacemakers should be reserved only for those in whom asystole from sinus pauses or atrioventricular block has been well documented.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating gastrointestinal disease of prematurity that typically develops after the administration of infant formula, suggesting a link between nutritional components and disease development. One of the most significant complications that develops in patients with NEC is severe lung injury. We have previously shown that the administration of a nutritional formula that is enriched in pre-digested Triacylglyceride that do not require lipase action can significantly reduce the severity of NEC in a mouse model. We now hypothesise that this ‘pre-digested fat (PDF) system’ may reduce NEC-associated lung injury. In support of this hypothesis, we now show that rearing newborn mice on a nutritional formula based on the ‘PDF system’ promotes lung development, as evidenced by increased tight junctions and surfactant protein expression. Mice that were administered this ‘PDF system’ were significantly less vulnerable to the development of NEC-induced lung inflammation, and the administration of the ‘PDF system’ conferred lung protection. In seeking to define the mechanisms involved, the administration of the ‘PDF system’ significantly enhanced lung maturation and reduced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These findings suggest that the PDF system protects the development of NEC-induced lung injury through effects on lung maturation and reduced ROS in the lung and also increases lung maturation in non-NEC mice.
Throughout the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, health and social care workers have faced unprecedented professional demands, all of which are likely to have placed considerable strain on their psychological well-being.
To measure the national prevalence of mental health symptoms within healthcare staff, and identify individual and organisational predictors of well-being.
The COVID-19 Staff Wellbeing Survey is a longitudinal online survey of psychological well-being among health and social care staff in Northern Ireland. The survey included four time points separated by 3-month intervals; time 1 (November 2020; n = 3834) and time 2 (February 2021; n = 2898) results are presented here. At time 2, 84% of respondents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The survey included four validated psychological well-being questionnaires (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and insomnia), as well as demographic and organisational measures.
At time 1 and 2, a high proportion of staff reported moderate-to-severe symptoms of depression (30–36%), anxiety (26–27%), post-traumatic stress (30–32%) and insomnia (27–28%); overall, significance tests and effect size data suggested psychological well-being was generally stable between November 2020 and February 2021 for health and social care staff. Multiple linear regression models indicated that perceptions of less effective communication within their organisation predicted greater levels of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and insomnia.
This study highlights the need to offer psychological support to all health and social care staff, and to communicate with staff regularly, frequently and clearly regarding COVID-19 to help protect staff psychological well-being.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.