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Single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is a family of super-resolution microscopy techniques based on localizing clusters of detected photons that are emitted by single molecules. The localization procedure is based on careful statistical analysis of long image sequences to derive the nanometer positions of the molecules. By introducing additional optics, such as cylindrical lenses in the optical system, SMLM techniques have been extended to 3D super-resolution imaging. This adds a calibration step, thereby further complicating the data analysis. Here we present Huygens Localizer, a well-supported user-friendly package that carries out these tasks quickly by offloading carefully designed 2D and 3D analysis and visualization procedures to massively parallel graphical processors (GPUs).
During South Africa's first two decades as a democracy, the Western Cape Province has undergone radical changes to its healthcare system in an effort to address the extensive socioeconomic inequities that remain in the aftermath of the apartheid era. Although progress has been made, there is a clear need for interventions that support parents and children receiving health services in the public sector who are vulnerable to multiple psychosocial risks associated with extreme poverty. In this mixed-method study, we examined the feasibility and acceptability of adapting an evidence-based parenting intervention called Mothering from the Inside Out that was developed for mothers who are vulnerable to similar risks in the United States. Using qualitative methods, we documented the collaborative process that was guided by principles of community-based participatory research and examined themes in the Western Cape collaborators’ perspectives about the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. Using quantitative methods, we tested the preliminary efficacy of the adapted version of Mothering from the Inside Out for improving maternal reflective functioning and mother–child interactions. Although findings from both study components indicated preliminary promise, a number of obstacles and challenges at multiple levels underscore the need for (a) flexibility and contextual support for intervention research conducted in under-resourced communities, (b) clinical sensitivity to the unique experiences of parents rearing children in highly stressful, under-resourced environments, and (c) equal partnerships that allow the expertise of local providers to inform the design proposals of consulting investigators.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We aimed to explore whether a) step stool use is associated with improved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) quality; b) provider adjusted height is associated with improved CPR quality; and if associations exist, c) determine whether just-in-time (JIT) CPR training and/or CPR visual feedback attenuates the effect of height and/or step stool use on CPR quality.
We analysed data from a trial of simulated cardiac arrests with three study arms: No intervention; CPR visual feedback; and JIT CPR training. Step stool use was voluntary. We explored the association between 1) step stool use and CPR quality, and 2) provider adjusted height and CPR quality. Adjusted height was defined as provider height + 23 cm (if step stool was used). Below-average height participants were ≤ gender-specific average height; the remainder were above average height. We assessed for interaction between study arm and both adjusted height and step stool use.
One hundred twenty-four subjects participated; 1,230 30-second epochs of CPR were analysed. Step stool use was associated with improved compression depth in below-average (female, p=0.007; male, p<0.001) and above-average (female, p=0.001; male, p<0.001) height providers. There is an association between adjusted height and compression depth (p<0.001). Visual feedback attenuated the effect of height (p=0.025) on compression depth; JIT training did not (p=0.918). Visual feedback and JIT training attenuated the effect of step stool use (p<0.001) on compression depth.
Step stool use is associated with improved compression depth regardless of height. Increased provider height is associated with improved compression depth, with visual feedback attenuating the effects of height and step stool use.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
The development of medical school courses on medical responses for disaster victims has been deemed largely inadequate. To address this gap, a 2-week elective course on Terror Medicine (a field related to Disaster and Emergency Medicine) has been designed for fourth year students at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey (USA). This elective is part of an overall curricular plan to broaden exposure to topics related to Terror Medicine throughout the undergraduate medical education.
A course on Terror Medicine necessarily includes key aspects of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, though the converse is not the case. Courses on Disaster Medicine may not address features distinctively associated with a terror attack. Thus, a terror-related focus not only assures attention to this important subject but to accidental or naturally occurring incidents as well.
The course, implemented in 2014, uses a variety of teaching modalities including lectures, videos, and tabletop and hands-on simulation exercises. The subject matter includes biological and chemical terrorism, disaster management, mechanisms of injury, and psychiatry. This report outlines the elective’s goals and objectives, describes the course syllabus, and presents outcomes based on student evaluations of the initial iterations of the elective offering.
All students rated the course as “excellent” or “very good.” Evaluations included enthusiastic comments about the content, methods of instruction, and especially the value of the simulation exercises. Students also reported finding the course novel and engaging.
An elective course on Terror Medicine, as described, is shown to be feasible and successful. The student participants found the content relevant to their education and the manner of instruction effective. This course may serve as a model for other medical schools contemplating the expansion or inclusion of Terror Medicine-related topics in their curriculum.
ColeLA, NatalB, FoxA, CooperA, KennedyCA, ConnellND, SugalskiG, KulkarniM, FeravoloM, LambaS. A Course on Terror Medicine: Content and Evaluations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):98–101.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
The International Society for Twin Studies has lost a valued friend and colleague. Dr Louis Keith, Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University, in Chicago, passed away on Sunday, July 6, 2014. His life and work with twins will be acknowledged at the November 2014 International Twin Congress in Budapest, Hungary. Next, twin research reports on the severity of asthma symptoms, a case of chimerism, and factors affecting DNA breakage and repair mechanisms are reviewed. Media reports cover twins born apart, elevated twin frequencies, a celebrity father of twins, and a family's decision to keep conjoined twins together.
Variation in clinical accuracy of molecular diagnostic methods for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is commonly observed depending on the sample source, the method of DNA recovery and the molecular test. Few attempts have been made to compare these variables. Two swab and aspirate samples from lesions of patients with suspected CL (n = 105) were evaluated alongside standard diagnosis by microscopic detection of amastigotes or culture of parasites from lesion material. Three DNA extraction methods were compared: Qiagen on swab and aspirate specimens, Isohelix on swabs and Boil/Spin of lesion aspirates. Recovery of Leishmania DNA was evaluated for each sample type by real-time polymerase chain reaction detection of parasitic 18S rDNA, and the diagnostic accuracy of the molecular method determined. Swab sampling combined with Qiagen DNA extraction was the most efficient recovery method for Leishmania DNA, and was the most sensitive (98%; 95% CI: 91–100%) and specific (84%; 95% CI: 64–95%) approach. Aspirated material was less sensitive at 80% (95% CI: 70–88%) and 61% (95% CI: 50–72%) when coupled to Qiagen or Boil-Spin DNA extraction, respectively. Swab sampling of lesions was painless, simple to perform and coupled with standardized DNA extraction enhances the feasibility of molecular diagnosis of CL.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Biochar, a carbon-rich product formed by the incomplete combustion of biomass, has been shown to improve soil quality and increase crop growth but has not been evaluated in prairie ecosystems. We assessed the response of a native perennial grass, big bluestem, and an invasive herbaceous perennial, sericea, to biochar amendments in two greenhouse experiments in 2010 and 2011. In the first experiment, big bluestem and sericea were grown in monoculture; the main treatments were soil type (silt, sand), percent biochar (0%, 1%, 2%, and 4%) and nitrogen (0 and 10 g N m−2). Big bluestem growth was increased by the addition of biochar, particularly in the sand soil. In contrast, sericea growth was either not affected or decreased when biochar was added to the soil, particularly at the higher biochar rates. Adding N to the soil appeared to increase sericea growth in the presence of biochar and the silt soil, which suggests that biochar may have reduced N availability. A replacement series was used in the second experiment to evaluate the effect of biochar on competition between the two species. Main treatments were biochar rates (0% and 2%), nitrogen rates (0 and 10 g N m−2) and the following big bluestem to sericea ratios: 6 : 0, 4 : 2, 3 : 3, 2 : 4, and 0 : 6. After 180 d, big bluestem height and biomass were significantly greater in biochar-amended soils than in unamended soils. However, sericea height and biomass were unaffected by biochar amendments and the addition of biochar did not alter competitive outcomes. Competition between big bluestem and sericea was asymmetrical; sericea reduced the growth of big bluestem but big bluestem had relatively little effect on the growth of sericea. Our research suggests that biochar has the potential to increase the growth of big bluestem and may be a useful tool for prairie restoration.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use has been researched widely; however, studies with older adults and Australian populations are limited. The profile of Australian women CAM users has been mapped using the 1996 data from the ALSWH (Adams et al., 2003). Mid-age adults were frequent CAM users (28%) followed by young adults (19%) and older adults (15%). No consistent characteristics of CAM users across age groups were identified. Generally, CAM users lived in non-urban settings, and reported poorer physical and mental health. Predictors of CAM use for Australian women have not yet been explored.
Rehabilitation professionals have long used work samples in assessing the ability and functionality of clients requesting rehabilitation services. Although there has been remarkable development in the type and scope of work samples, the incorporation of work samples into assessment has lagged behind that of other measurement systems. One logical reason is the prolonged time required to administer work samples. Despite this time commitment, work samples have usefulness and value for rehabilitation counselling and vocational evaluation. The purpose of this brief report is to provide evidence to indicate the usefulness of work-simulated work samples versus ability-predicted work samples. The authors discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both assessment approaches in demonstrating the benefits in vocational assessment for clients and professionals.