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5-HT4 receptor stimulation has pro-cognitive and antidepressant-like effects in animal experimental studies; however, this pharmacological approach has not yet been tested in humans. Here we used the 5-HT4 receptor partial agonist prucalopride to assess the translatability of these effects and characterise, for the first time, the consequences of 5-HT4 receptor activation on human cognition and emotion.
Forty one healthy volunteers were randomised, double-blind, to a single dose of prucalopride (1 mg) or placebo in a parallel group design. They completed a battery of cognitive tests measuring learning and memory, emotional processing and reward sensitivity.
Prucalopride increased recall of words in a verbal learning task, increased the accuracy of recall and recognition of words in an incidental emotional memory task and increased the probability of choosing a symbol associated with a high likelihood of reward or absence of loss in a probabilistic instrumental learning task. Thus acute prucalopride produced pro-cognitive effects in healthy volunteers across three separate tasks.
These findings are a translation of the memory enhancing effects of 5-HT4 receptor agonism seen in animal studies, and lend weight to the idea that the 5-HT4 receptor could be an innovative target for the treatment of cognitive deficits associated with depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Contrary to the effects reported in animal models, prucalopride did not reveal an antidepressant profile in human measures of emotional processing.
We measure the cosmic star formation history out to z = 1.3 using a sample of 918 radio-selected star-forming galaxies within the 2-deg2 COSMOS field. To increase our sample size, we combine 1.4-GHz flux densities from the VLA-COSMOS catalogue with flux densities measured from the VLA-COSMOS radio continuum image at the positions of I < 26.5 galaxies, enabling us to detect 1.4-GHz sources as faint as 40 μJy. We find that radio measurements of the cosmic star formation history are highly dependent on sample completeness and models used to extrapolate the faint end of the radio luminosity function. For our preferred model of the luminosity function, we find the star formation rate density increases from 0.017 M⊙ yr−1 Mpc−3 at z ∼ 0.225 to 0.092 M⊙ yr−1 Mpc−3 at z ∼ 1.1, which agrees to within 40% of recent UV, IR and 3-GHz measurements of the cosmic star formation history.
Laboratory identification of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a key step in controlling its spread. Our survey showed that most Veterans Affairs laboratories follow VA guidelines for initial CRE identification, whereas 55.0% use PCR to confirm carbapenemase production. Most respondents were knowledgeable about CRE guidelines. Barriers included staffing, training, and financial resources.
In Scotland, the base of the Ballagan Formation has traditionally been placed at the first grey mudstone within a contiguous Late Devonian to Carboniferous succession. This convention places the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary within the Old Red Sandstone (ORS) Kinnesswood Formation. The consequences of this placement are that tetrapods from the Ballagan Formation were dated as late Tournaisian in age and that the ranges of typically Devonian fish found in the Kinnesswood Formation continued into the Carboniferous. The Pease Bay specimen of the fish Remigolepis is from the Kinnesswood Formation. Comparisons with its range in Greenland, calibrated against spores, show it was Famennian in age. Detailed palynological sampling at Burnmouth from the base of the Ballagan Formation proves that the early Tournaisian spore zones (VI and HD plus Cl 1) are present. The Schopfites species that occurs through most of the succession is Schopfites delicatus rather than Schopfites claviger. The latter species defines the late Tournaisian CM spore zone. The first spore assemblage that has been found in Upper ‘ORS' strata underlying the Ballagan Formation (Preston, Whiteadder Water), contains Retispora lepidophyta and is from the early latest Famennian LL spore zone. The spore samples are interbedded with volcaniclastic debris, which shows that the Kelso Volcanic Formation is, in part, early latest Famennian in age. These findings demonstrate that the Ballagan Formation includes most of the Tournaisian with the Devonian–Carboniferous boundary positioned close to the top of the Kinnesswood Formation. The Stage 6 calcrete at Pease Bay can be correlated to the equivalent section at Carham, showing that it represents a time gap equivalent to the latest Famennian glaciation(s). Importantly, some of the recently described Ballagan Formation tetrapods are older than previously dated and now fill the key early part of Romer's Gap.
The lower Mississippian Ballagan Formation of northern Britain is one of only two successions worldwide to yield the earliest known tetrapods with terrestrial capability following the end-Devonian mass extinction event. Studies of the sedimentary environments and habitats in which these beasts lived have been an integral part of a major research project into how, why and under what circumstances this profound step in the evolution of life on Earth occurred. Here, a new palaeogeographic map is constructed from outcrop data integrated with new and archived borehole material. The map shows the extent of a very low-relief coastal wetland developed along the tropical southern continental margin of Laurussia. Coastal floodplains in the Midland Valley and Tweed basins were separated from the marginal marine seaway of the Northumberland–Solway Basin to the south by an archipelago of more elevated areas. A complex mosaic of sedimentary environments was juxtaposed, and included fresh and brackish to saline and hypersaline lakes, a diverse suite of floodplain palaeosols and a persistent fluvial system in the east of the region. The strongly seasonal climate led to the formation of evaporite deposits alternating with flooding events, both meteoric and marine. Storm surges drove marine floods from the SW into both the western Midland Valley and Northumberland–Solway Basin; marine water also flooded into the Tweed Basin and Tayside in the east. The Ballagan Formation is a rare example in the geological record of a tropical, seasonal coastal wetland that contains abundant, small-scale evaporite deposits. The diverse sedimentary environments and palaeosol types indicate a network of different terrestrial and aquatic habitats in which the tetrapods lived.
Each year, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel respond to over 30 million calls for assistance in the United States alone. These EMS personnel have a rate of occupational fatality comparable to firefighters and police, and a rate of non-fatal injuries that is higher than the rates for police and firefighters and much higher than the national average for all workers. In Australia, no occupational group has a higher injury or fatality rate than EMS personnel. Emergency Medical Services personnel in the US have a rate of occupational violence injuries that is about 22-times higher than the average for all workers. On average, more than one EMS provider in the US is killed every year in an act of violence.
The objective of this epidemiological study was to identify the risks and factors associated with work-related physical violence against EMS personnel internationally.
An online survey, based on a tool developed by the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland), collected responses from April through November 2016.
There were 1,778 EMS personnel respondents from 13 countries; 69% were male and 54% were married. Around 55% described their primary EMS work location as “urban.” Approximately 68% described their employer as a “public provider.” The majority of respondents were from the US.
When asked “Have you ever been physically attacked while on-duty?” 761 (65%) of the 1,172 who answered the question answered “Yes.” In almost 10% (67) of those incidents, the perpetrator used a weapon. Approximately 90% of the perpetrators were patients and around five percent were patient family members. The influence of alcohol and drugs was prevalent. Overall, men experienced more assaults than women, and younger workers experienced more assaults than older workers.
In order to develop and implement measures to increase safety, EMS personnel must be involved with the research and implementation process. Furthermore, EMS agencies must work with university researchers to quantify agency-level risks and to develop, test, and implement interventions in such a way that they can be reliably evaluated and the results published in peer-reviewed journals.
MaguireBJ, BrowneM, O’NeillBJ, DealyMT, ClareD, O’MearaP. International Survey of Violence Against EMS Personnel: Physical Violence Report. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(5):526–531.
We compared sepsis “time zero” and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) SEP-1 pass rates among 3 abstractors in 3 hospitals. Abstractors agreed on time zero in 29 of 80 (36%) cases. Perceived pass rates ranged from 9 of 80 cases (11%) to 19 of 80 cases (23%). Variability in time zero and perceived pass rates limits the utility of SEP-1 for measuring quality.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
The partial skull of a lion from Natodomeri, northwest Kenya is described. The Natodomeri sites are correlated with Member I of the Kibish Formation, dated to between 195 ka and ca. 205 ka. The skull is remarkable for its very great size, equivalent to the largest cave lions (Panthera spelaea [Goldfuss, 1810]) of Pleistocene Eurasia and much larger than any previously known lion from Africa, living or fossil. We hypothesize that this individual represents a previously unknown population or subspecies of lion present in the late Middle and Late Pleistocene of eastern Africa rather than being an indication of climate-driven size increase in lions of that time. This raises questions regarding the extent of our understanding of the pattern and causes of lion evolution in the Late Pleistocene.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Operation of the six 13.7 m antennas of the Fleurs synthesis telescope as a sub-array has provided a new and surprisingly versatile astronomical tool. With enhanced reliability and fully automated operation, unattended observing over several days is possible. Interleaved ‘multiple-snapshot’ observations of many fields per day can be made.
The array has shown itself to be particularly suitable for the measurement of precision (a few arcsecond) positions for the optical identification of a large number of radio sources, a survey of compact sources and the monitoring of the activity of several radio stars over periods of weeks. At present a program of recalibration is under way to improve the positional accuracy and dynamic range of the instrument.
A program to determine accurate radio positions and optical identifications of southern flat-spectrum radio sources has been undertaken with the six-dish array of the Fleurs synthesis telescope at 1.4 GHz and using the SERC J sky survey. This sample covers the declination range −80° to −50° and comprises all 198 sources from the Parkes catalogue with α of > −0.5 and flux density of 0.25 Jy.
The radio astrometric phase of the program is complete. We conclude that by comparison with accurate VLBI positions the FST positions have r.m.s. uncertainties of ∼0″.9. There is no global bias in the FST positions at the 0″.2 to 0″.3 level relative to the JPL VLBI extragalactic reference frame. A comparison with positions from the Parkes catalogue shows that in the southern regions the Parkes catalogue has rms position errors of about 9″. There is no significant bias between the FST and Parkes positions.
Introduction: Common short screening measures of dependence that use number of cigarettes per day may not be appropriate for use in populations of occasional smokers.
Aims: In this study, we investigate whether perceived addiction (PA) predicts quit attempts and successful cessation among occasional smokers.
Methods: Current occasional smokers (18+) in the Ontario Tobacco Survey (OTS) longitudinal cohort study followed up every six months for up to three years. Respondents rated their self-perceived level of addiction (very vs. somewhat or not very addicted). Generalised Estimating Equation models and proportional hazard models were used to test the predictive ability of PA.
Results/Findings: Occasional smokers with very high PA had a higher likelihood of reporting a quit attempt (RR: 2.49; 95% CI: 1.88, 3.30) after adjusting for demographics. Given an incident quit attempt, occasional smokers who reported being very addicted were 2.93 times more likely to relapse (95%: 2.01, 4.28). The effect of PA was independent of other predictors of smoking behaviour.
Conclusions: For some, occasional smokers, smoking cessation is a difficult process that may require significant support. Asking occasional smokers about PA is an effective way to predict likely success in quitting smokers that may be easily assessed in population based, as well as in community and clinical, settings.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Preadmission skin antisepsis, while controversial, has gained acceptance as a strategy for reducing the risk of SSI. In this study, we analyze the benefit of an electronic alert system for enhancing compliance to preadmission application of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Following informed consent, 100 healthy volunteers in an academic, tertiary care medical center were randomized to 5 chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin application groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive applications. Participants were further randomized into 2 subgroups: with or without electronic alert. Skin surface concentrations of CHG (μg/mL) were analyzed using a colorimetric assay at 5 separate anatomic sites.
Preadmission application of chlorhexidine gluconate, 2%
Mean composite skin surface CHG concentrations in volunteer participants receiving EA following 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 applications were 1,040.5, 1,334.4, 1,278.2, 1,643.9, and 1,803.1 µg/mL, respectively, while composite skin surface concentrations in the no-EA group were 913.8, 1,240.0, 1,249.8, 1,194.4, and 1,364.2 µg/mL, respectively (ANOVA, P<.001). Composite ratios (CHG concentration/minimum inhibitory concentration required to inhibit the growth of 90% of organisms [MIC90]) for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 applications using the 2% CHG cloth were 208.1, 266.8, 255.6, 328.8, and 360.6, respectively, representing CHG skin concentrations effective against staphylococcal surgical pathogens. The use of an electronic alert system resulted in significant increase in skin concentrations of CHG in the 4- and 5-application groups (P<.04 and P<.007, respectively).
The findings of this study suggest an evidence-based standardized process that includes use of an Internet-based electronic alert system to improve patient compliance while maximizing skin surface concentrations effective against MRSA and other staphylococcal surgical pathogens.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):254–259
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Dietary fish consumption contributes to a reduced risk of cardiac mortality. In the present study, the effect of low-dose fish oil (FO) supplementation on heart rate (HR) response to intense exercise and recovery was investigated in physically fit males. The subjects (n 26) were supplemented (double-blind, parallel design) with (2 × 1 g/d) soya bean oil (control) or tuna FO providing the long-chain n-3 PUFA DHA (560 mg) and EPA (140 mg). Erythrocyte omega-3 index (%EPA+DHA), HR, HR variability and HR recovery were analysed during rest, intense exercise and recovery at baseline and after 8 weeks of supplementation. The mean erythrocyte omega-3 index, which did not differ between the groups at baseline (control 4·2 (sem 0·2), n 13; FO 4·7 (sem 0·2), n 13), remained unchanged in the control group (3·9 (sem 0·2)), but increased in the FO group (6·3 (sem 0·3); P< 0·01). The mean HR during supine resting conditions (control 56 (sem 10); FO 59 (sem 9)) was not affected by FO supplementation. Poincaré analysis of HR variability at rest exhibited a decreasing trend in parasympathetic activity in the FO group (SD1 (standard deviation of points perpendicular to the axis of line of identity)/SD2 (standard deviation of points along the axis of line of identity): control 0·02 (sem 0·01); FO − 0·05 (sem 0·02); P= 0·18). Peak HR was not affected by supplementation. However, during submaximal exercise over 5 min, fewer total heart beats were recorded in the FO group ( − 22 (sem 6) ( = − 4·5 beats/min)), but not in the control group (+1 (sem 4)) (P< 0·05). Supine HR recovery (half-time) after cycling was significantly faster after FO supplementation (control − 0·4 (sem 1·2) s; FO − 8·0 (sem 1·7) s; P< 0·05). A low intake of FO increased the omega-3 index and reduced the mean exercise HR and improved HR recovery without compromising the peak HR. A direct influence of DHA via reductions in the cardiac intrinsic beat rate was balanced by a reciprocal decrease in vagal tone.