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The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Central neuropathic pain is a severely disabling consequence of conditions that cause tissue damage in the central nervous system (CNS) such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO). It impacts mood, mobility and quality of life, but is often refractory to common treatments. Scrambler Therapy is an emerging non-invasive pain modifying technique that utilizes transcutaneous electrical stimulation of nociceptive fibers with the intent of re-organizing maladaptive signaling pathways. It has been examined for treatment of peripheral neuropathy with favorable safety and efficacy outcomes, but its use in central neuropathic pain has not been reported. We aim to explore acceptability and safety of Scrambler Therapy through a Phase II sham-controlled trial in NMO, and describe its use to date in central neuropathic pain. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Two patients with longstanding central neuropathic pain who failed multiple drug trials were treated as proof-of-concept, supporting the recent launch of a Phase II randomized controlled trial in NMO where patients receive 10 daily Scrambler treatments versus sham. Safety and acceptability from those recruited to date will be reported. Acceptability is measured by adherence and responses to patient surveys. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We plan to recruit 22 patients, randomized 1:1 into experimental and sham arms. We will present acceptability and safety data for Scrambler use in patients with NMO who have been recruited by the time of this conference, as well as effectiveness data from two cases that have been completed outside of the trial. One case involved a 65-year-old woman with a 4-year history of central neuropathic pain following a C3-C5 TM. Her numerical rating scale (NRS) pain score was reduced to 0/10 from a baseline score of 5/10. The second case involved a 52-year-old woman with a 13-year history of pain following a medullary cavernoma bleed. Her baseline NRS pain score was 9/10, which was reduced to 0.5/10 post-treatment. No adverse events were reported. Pain relief was sustained at 30 days’ post-treatment. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: We are investigating the acceptability and efficacy of Scrambler Therapy for central neuropathic pain treatment in NMO. Proof-of-concept was supported by two patients whose pain scores improved considerably more in response to this treatment than with previous pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. Results from this trial may support future investigation in other disorders that cause damage in the CNS, including MS and TM.
We evaluated the extent to which providing training and technical assistance to early childcare centre (ECC) directors, faculty and staff in the implementation of evidence-based nutrition strategies improved the nutrition contexts, policies and practices of ECC serving racially and ethnically diverse, low-income children in Broward County, Florida, USA. The nutrition strategies targeted snack and beverage policies and practices, consistent with Caring for Our Children National Standards.
We used the nutrition observation and document review portions of the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) instrument to observe ECC as part of a one-group pre-test/post-test evaluation design.
ECC located within areas of high rates of poverty, diabetes, minority representation and unhealthy food index in Broward County, Florida, USA.
Eighteen ECC enrolled, mean 112·9 (sd 53·4) children aged 2–5 years; 12·3 (sd 7·2) staff members; and 10·2 (sd 4·6) children per staff member at each centre.
We found significant improvements in centres’ overall nutrition contexts, as measured by total EPAO nutrition scores (P=0·01). ECC made specific significant gains within written nutrition policies (P=0·03) and nutrition training and education (P=0·01).
Our findings support training ECC directors, faculty and staff in evidence-based nutrition strategies to improve the nutrition policies and practices of ECC serving racially and ethnically diverse children from low-income families. The intervention resulted in improvements in some nutrition policies and practices, but not others. There remains a need to further develop the evaluation base involving the effectiveness of policy and practice interventions within ECC serving children in high-need areas.
Most mid-life and older adults are not achieving recommended physical activity (PA) targets and effective interventions are needed to increase and maintain PA long-term for health benefits. The Pedometer And Consultation Evaluation (PACE-UP) trial, a three-armed primary care pedometer-based walking intervention in those aged 45–75 years, demonstrated increased PA levels at 12 months. A three-year follow-up was conducted to evaluate long-term PA maintenance, including a qualitative component.
To examine facilitators and barriers to PA maintenance in mid-life and older adults previously involved in a PA trial.
Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 60 PACE-UP participants across all study arms. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and coded independently by researchers, prior to thematic analysis.
Two-thirds of participants felt since the PACE-UP trial they had an awareness of PA, with the pedometer reported as ‘kick-starting’ regular activity, and then helped them to maintain regular activity. PA facilitators included: maintaining good health, self-motivation, social support and good weather. Lack of time was the most frequently cited barrier. Other barriers were often the inverse of the facilitators; for example, poor health and bad weather. Participants described the type of ‘top-up’ intervention they would find beneficial to aid PA maintenance (eg, text messages, online resources and walking groups).
A challenge for future PA interventions is to transform barriers into facilitators; for example, educating trial participants about the value of PA for many chronic health conditions to change this from inhibiting to promoting PA. Participants provided ideas for encouraging PA maintenance which could be incorporated into future interventions.
By applying a display ecology to the Deeper, Wider, Faster proactive, simultaneous telescope observing campaign, we have shown a dramatic reduction in the time taken to inspect DECam CCD images for potential transient candidates and to produce time-critical triggers to standby telescopes. We also show how facilitating rapid corroboration of potential candidates and the exclusion of non-candidates improves the accuracy of detection; and establish that a practical and enjoyable workspace can improve the experience of an otherwise taxing task for astronomers. We provide a critical road test of two advanced displays in a research context—a rare opportunity to demonstrate how they can be used rather than simply discuss how they might be used to accelerate discovery.
In most developed countries, children in lone parent families face a high risk of poverty. A partial solution commonly sought in English-speaking nations is to increase the amounts of private child maintenance paid by the other parent. However, where lone parent families are in receipt of social assistance benefits, some countries hold back a portion of the child maintenance to reduce public expenditures. This partial ‘pass-through’ treats child maintenance as a substitute for cash benefits which conceivably neutralises its poverty reduction potential. Such neutralising effects are not well understood and can be obscured further when more subtle interactions between child maintenance systems and social security systems operate. This research makes a unique contribution to knowledge by exposing the hidden interaction effects operating in similar child maintenance systems across four countries: the United Kingdom, United States (Wisconsin), Australia and New Zealand. We found that when child maintenance is counted as income in calculating benefit entitlements, it can reduce the value of cash benefits. Using model lone parent families with ten different employment and income scenarios, we show how the poverty reduction potential of child maintenance is affected by whether it is treated as a substitute for, or a complement to, cash benefits.
The high Antarctic plateau provides exceptional conditions for infrared observations on account of the cold, dry and stable atmosphere above the ice surface. This paper describes the scientific goals behind the first program to examine the time-varying universe in the infrared from Antarctica — the Kunlun Infrared Sky Survey (KISS). This will employ a 50cm telescope to monitor the southern skies in the 2.4μmKdark window from China's Kunlun station at Dome A, on the summit of the Antarctic plateau, through the uninterrupted 4-month period of winter darkness. An earlier paper discussed optimisation of the Kdark filter for sensitivity (Li et al. 2016). This paper examines the scientific program for KISS. We calculate the sensitivity of the camera for the extrema of observing conditions that will be encountered. We present the parameters for sample surveys that could then be carried out for a range of cadences and sensitivities. We then discuss several science programs that could be conducted with these capabilities, involving star formation, brown dwarfs and hot Jupiters, exoplanets around M dwarfs, the terminal phases of stellar evolution, fast transients, embedded supernova searches, reverberation mapping of AGN, gamma ray bursts and the detection of the cosmic infrared background.
The geopolitical shape of the Middle East has varied greatly over time. This article is concerned with the period from Late Antiquity to the end of the eighteenth century, during which four basic configurations succeeded each other. Late Antiquity was marked by the coexistence of two large empires, one based in the western Middle East and the other in the eastern Middle East; the early Islamic period saw the dominance of a single empire the location of whose centre was unstable; the medieval period was characterised by the absence of large and lasting empires and a shifting plurality of smaller states; finally in the Ottoman period we see the renewed dominance of a single empire, now based in the western Middle East. Are these changes to be seen as random fluctuations, or can they be explained in terms of a small number of underlying factors? The point of this article is to argue that a focus on the potential imperial heartlands of the Middle East can help us to explain much—though not all—of the changing geopolitical configuration of the region.
Globally, freshwater ecosystems provide varied fishing opportunities (herein termed inland fisheries) represented by three sectors: recreational, commercial and subsistence fisheries. From the depths of the Laurentian Great Lakes to the shallow floodplains of the Ganges River, and from under-ice fisheries in Scandinavia to the rice fields of Southeast Asia, fish and other aquatic life are omnipresent components of fluvial and lacustrine systems. Freshwater fishes generate many ecosystem services that extend beyond their use in fisheries (Holmlund & Hammer, 1999; Cowx & Portocarrereo, 2011). Given the diversity of freshwater fish assemblages, levels of fisheries productivity, cultural norms, density of human population and socioeconomic conditions, it is not surprising that there is immense variation in how, why and the extent to which freshwater fishes and other aquatic animals are exploited. Whether it be sustaining livelihoods through the provision of essential nutrients, generating income, or enabling leisure time with family, inland fisheries are important. Although there are accepted definitions for the three fishing sectors (i.e. UN FAO – see below), ambiguities and exceptions remain that complicate appraisal and management.
Compared with marine waters where industrial-scale commercial fisheries predominate, inland fisheries tend to be smaller in scale and catches generally do not enter the global marketplace. Moreover, whereas exploitation pressures are the primary threat facing marine fish populations and marine ecosystems, in inland systems there are multiple threats including many unrelated to fishing (Arlinghaus et al., 2002). Indeed, declines in freshwater fish fauna are implicated with broad-scale economic activities such as flow regulation, hydropower, agriculture, urbanisation and pollution (Limburg et al., 2011; Chapters 4 and 9). Reflecting the multiple threats, freshwater fishes are among the most imperilled taxa on the globe (Strayer & Dudgeon, 2010; Chapter 2), freshwater biodiversity is in crisis (Dudgeon et al., 2006) and freshwater ecosystems are among the most altered (Kennish, 2002; Malmqvist & Rundle, 2002). Despite the many threats to inland fishes and fisheries, they receive disproportionally less interest and attention from the global conservation community and international political spheres. Indeed, global capture statistics underrepresented inland fisheries and their contribution to global production (Welcomme et al., 2010; Welcomme, 2011a,b), partly because of the diffuse nature of inland fisheries (Beard et al., 2011). By contrast, it is comparatively easy to generate data for commercial fisheries where products sold on established domestic and export markets can be readily monitored.
The present study aimed to identify themes emerging from an inclusive therapeutic recreational camp experience for children with disabilities who attended a 10-day summer camp. Concept mapping was used to analyse the experience of 42 participants. Results emerged with seven themes: Personal Growth; Nurturing Relationships; Non-judgmental Environment and Attitude; Traditional/Classic Camp Fun; Beneficial and Unique Opportunities; Learning/Thinking with Structures and Rules; and Independence and Recognition. Results suggested that children with disabilities experienced positive personal growth and learned new skills from an integrated, therapeutic camp. These children benefited from the social and psychological aspects of the camp experience, as well as the learned skillset and behaviours. Clinical implications and future research directions are also discussed.