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In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
In sub-Saharan Africa, there are limited data on burden of non-alcohol substance abuse (NAS) and depressive symptoms (DS), yet potential risk factors such as alcohol and intimate partner violence (IPV) are common and NAS abuse may be the rise. The aim of this study was to measure the burden of DS and NAS abuse, and determine whether alcohol use and IPV are associated with DS and/or NAS abuse. We conducted a cross-sectional study at five sites in four countries: Nigeria (nurses), South Africa (teachers), Tanzania (teachers) and two sites in Uganda (rural and peri-urban residents). Participants were selected by simple random sampling from a sampling frame at each of the study sites. We used a standardized tool to collect data on demographics, alcohol use and NAS use, IPV and DS and calculated prevalence ratios (PR). We enrolled 1415 respondents and of these 34.6% were male. DS occurred among 383 (32.3%) and NAS use among 52 (4.3%). In the multivariable analysis, being female (PR = 1.49, p = 0.008), NAS abuse (PR = 2.06, p = 0.02) and IPV (PR = 2.93, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with DS. Older age [odds ratio (OR) = 0.31, p < 0.001)], female (OR = 0.48, p = 0.036) were protective of NAS but current smokers (OR = 2.98, p < 0.001) and those reporting IPV (OR = 2.16, p = 0.024) were more likely to use NAS. Longitudinal studies should be done to establish temporal relationships with these risk factors to provide basis for interventions.
To identify predominant dietary patterns in four African populations and examine their association with obesity.
We used data from the Africa/Harvard School of Public Health Partnership for Cohort Research and Training (PaCT) pilot study established to investigate the feasibility of a multi-country longitudinal study of non-communicable chronic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. We applied principal component analysis to dietary intake data collected from an FFQ developed for PaCT to ascertain dietary patterns in Tanzania, South Africa, and peri-urban and rural Uganda. The sample consisted of 444 women and 294 men.
We identified two dietary patterns: the Mixed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of unprocessed foods such as vegetables and fresh fish, but also cold cuts and refined grains; and the Processed Diet pattern characterized by high intakes of salad dressing, cold cuts and sweets. Women in the highest tertile of the Processed Diet pattern score were 3·00 times more likely to be overweight (95 % CI 1·66, 5·45; prevalence=74 %) and 4·24 times more likely to be obese (95 % CI 2·23, 8·05; prevalence=44 %) than women in this pattern’s lowest tertile (both P<0·0001; prevalence=47 and 14 %, respectively). We found similarly strong associations in men. There was no association between the Mixed Diet pattern and overweight or obesity.
We identified two major dietary patterns in several African populations, a Mixed Diet pattern and a Processed Diet pattern. The Processed Diet pattern was associated with obesity.
The interferometric and single-dish observations of the Extended Green Objects sample have been carried out in order to check the possible common pumping mechanism of class I methanol maser (cIMM) and OH(1720 MHz) maser and their identification with a front of bipolar outflow as a source of interstellar shock stimulating collisional pumping of the molecules. High spatial and spectral resolution observations of OH masers allow us to investigate structure, kinematics, and magnetic field configuration of the inner region of the source, i.e., the outflow ejection region. Analysis of magnetic field strength in a disk area is crucial to understanding of the outflow origin.
Using quasi-simultaneous observations of 86 stars with known SiO maser emission, we searched for systematic differences between the strengths of the 43 and 86 GHz v=1 maser lines. Although for individual stars there is wide scatter between the line strengths spanning nearly an order of magnitude, there is no evidence of a systematic difference between these line strengths for the entire sample.
Circumstellar SiO masers can be observed in red giant evolved stars throughout the Galaxy. Since stellar masers are not affected by non-gravitational forces, they serve as point-mass probes of the gravitational potential and form an excellent sample for studies of the Galactic structure and dynamics. Compared to optical studies, the non-obscured masers are in particular valuable when observed close to the highly obscured Galactic Bulge and Plane. Their line-of-sight velocities can easily be obtained with high accuracy, proper motions can be measured and distances can be estimated. Furthermore, when different mass and metallicity effects can be accounted for, such a large sample will highlight asymmetries and evolutionary traces in the sample. In our Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamic Evolution (BAaDE) survey we have searched 20,000 infrared selected evolved stars for 43 GHz SiO masers with the VLA in the northern Bulge and Plane and are in the process of observing another 10,000 stars for 86 GHz SiO masers with ALMA in the southern Bulge. Our instantaneous detection rate in the Bulge is close to 70%, both at 43 and 86 GHz, with occasionally up to 7 simultaneous SiO transitions observed in a single star. Here we will outline the BAaDE survey, its first results and some of the peculiar maser features we have observed. Furthermore we will discuss the prospects for obtaining proper motions and parallaxes for individual maser stars to reconstruct individual stellar orbits.
We present the results of sub-millimetre observations on three periodic methanol maser sources. Our results indicate that there are geometric differences between some periodic methanol masers which have different variability profiles.
The Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution (BAaDE) project aims to map the positions and velocities of up to ~20,000 late-type stars with SiO maser emission along the full Galactic plane, with a large concentration in the Galactic Bulge and inner Galaxy. Both J = 1 → 0 and J = 2 → 1 transitions using the Very Large Array (VLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) are being observed. In the VLA observing setup, in addition to the 28SiO, v = 1 and v = 2J = 1 → 0 maser transitions, the bandwidth was wide enough to include the J = 1 → 0 transitions of the rare isotopologues of the SiO molecule in both the ground and vibrationally excited states: 29SiO, v = 0, 30SiO, v = 0, 29SiO, v = 1, and 29SiO, v = 2. Approximately 10% of the initial ~3500 targets of the project show maser emission from at least one of these lines. Some of these stars (with isotopic maser emission) show high radial velocities which implies that they are indeed in the Galactic Bulge or inner Galaxy (i.e. not foreground objects). We present line profiles, refined detection statistics, and the implications of the detection of the isotopic maser emission on pumping schemes that have been previously presented.
The association of 6.7 GHz class II methanol (CH3OH) masers with ATLASGAL/ ALMA 0.9 mm massive dense cores is presented in this work from a statistical viewpoint. 42 of the 112 cores (37.5%) detected with the Atacama Compact Array (ACA) excite 6.7 GHz CH3OH masers. ACA cores have offsets 0\rlap.″17 to 4\rlap.″79 from the methanol multibeam survey (MMB), with a median of 2.″19. Approximately 90% of the MMB-associated cores are of masses > 40 M⊙. Because all the cores show evidence of outflow activity, and only a fraction of the cores excited CH3OH masers, we suggest that outflows precede the emergence of maser emission. This first ALMA survey of massive dense cores combined with the MMB survey along with other maser specie surveys is a promising tool to trace the evolutionary sequence of high-mass stars.
Our 2015-2016 ALMA 1.3 to 0.87 mm observations (resolution ~200 au) of the massive protocluster NGC6334I revealed that an extraordinary outburst had occurred in the dominant millimeter dust core MM1 (luminosity increase of 70×) when compared with earlier SMA data. The outburst was accompanied by the flaring of ten maser transitions of three species. We present new results from our recent JVLA observations of Class II 6.7 GHz methanol masers and 6 GHz excited OH masers in this region. Class II masers had not previously been detected toward MM1 in any interferometric observations recorded over the past 30 years that targeted the bright masers toward other members of the protocluster (MM2 and MM3=NGC6334F). Methanol masers now appear both toward and adjacent to MM1 with the strongest spots located in a dust cavity ~1 arcsec (1300 au) north of the MM1B hypercompact HII region. In addition, new excited OH masers appear on the non-thermal source CM2. These data reveal the dramatic effects of episodic accretion onto a deeply-embedded high mass protostar and demonstrate its ongoing impact on the surrounding protocluster.
Radio astrometric campaigns using VLBI have provided distances and proper motions for masers associated with young massive stars (BeSSeL survey). The ongoing BAaDE project plans to obtain astrometric information of SiO maser stars located in the inner Galaxy. These stars are associated with evolved, mass-losing stars. By overlapping optical (Gaia), infrared (2MASS, MSX and WISE) and radio (BAaDE) sources, we expect to obtain important clues on the intrinsic properties and population distribution of late-type stars. Moreover, a comparison of the Galactic parameters obtained with Gaia and VLBI can be done using radio observations on different targets: young massive stars (BeSSeL) and evolved stars (BAaDE).
We present polarimetric observations of the 4 ground-state transitions of OH, toward a sample of maser-emitting planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This sample includes confirmed OH-emitting PNe, confirmed and candidate H2O-maser-emitting PNe. Polarimetric observations provide information related to the magnetic field of these sources. Maser-emitting PNe are very young PNe and magnetic fields are a key ingredient in the early evolution and shaping process of PNe. Our preliminary results suggest that magnetic field strengths may change very rapidly in young PNe.
Methanol and water masers indicate young stellar objects. They often exhibit flares, and a fraction shows periodic activity. Several mechanisms might explain this behavior but the lack of concurrent infrared (IR) data complicates the identification of its cause. Recently, 6.7 GHz methanol maser flares were observed, triggered by accretion bursts of high-mass YSOs which confirmed the IR-pumping of these masers. This suggests that regular IR changes might lead to maser periodicity. Hence, we scrutinized space-based IR imaging of YSOs associated with periodic methanol masers. We succeeded to extract the IR light curve from NEOWISE data for the intermediate mass YSO G107.298+5.639. Thus, for the first time a relationship between the maser and IR variability could be established. While the IR light curve shows the same period of ~34.6 days as the masers, its shape is distinct from that of the maser flares. Possible reasons for the IR periodicity are discussed.
We present subarcsecond resolution pre- and post-outburst JVLA continuum and water maser observations of the massive protostellar outburst source NGC6334I-MM1. The continuum data at 5 and 1.4 cm reveal that the free-free emission powered by MM1B, modeled as a hypercompact HII region from our 2011 JVLA data, has dropped by a factor of 5.4. Additionally, the water maser emission toward MM1, which had previously been strong (500 Jy) has dramatically reduced. In contrast, the water masers in other locations in the protocluster have flared, with the strongest spots associated with CM2, a non-thermal radio source that appears to mark a shock in a jet emanating 2″ (2600 au) northward from MM1. The observed quenching of the HCHII region suggests a reduction in uv photon production due to bloating of the protostar in response to the episodic accretion event.
Is M31 going to collide with the Milky Way, or spiral around it? Determining the gravitational potential in the Local Group has been a challenge since it requires 3D space velocities and orbits of the members, and most objects have only had line-of-sight velocities measured. Compared to the less massive group members, the transverse velocity of M31 is of great interest, as after the Milky Way, M31 is the most dominant constituent and dynamic force in the Local Group. Proper motion studies of M31 are preferentially done using masers, as continuum sources are much weaker, and are enabled through the high angular resolution provided by VLBI in the radio regime. The challenges of achieving high astrometric accuracy at high VLBI frequencies (> 20 GHz) makes observations at lower frequencies attractive, as long as sufficient angular resolution is obtained. In particular, we have discovered 6.7 GHz methanol masers in M31 using the VLA, and here we will address their feasibility as VLBI proper motion targets using a set of global VLBI observations.
Using the VLBA, the BeSSeL survey has provided distances and proper motions of young massive stars, allowing an accurate measure of the Galactic spiral structure. By the same technique, we are planning to map the inner Galaxy using positions and velocities of evolved stars (provided by the BAaDE survey). These radio astrometric measurements (BeSSeL and BAaDE) will be complementary to Gaia results and the overlap will provide important clues on the intrinsic properties and population distribution of the stars in the bulge.
Halophilic Archaea are known to tolerate multiple extreme conditions on Earth and have been proposed as models for astrobiology. In order to assess the importance of cold-adaptation of these microorganisms in surviving stratospheric conditions, we launched live, liquid cultures of two species, the mesophilic model Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and the cold-adapted Antarctic isolate Halorubrum lacusprofundi ATCC 49239, on helium balloons. After return to Earth, the cold-adapted species showed nearly complete survival while the mesophilic species exhibited slightly reduced viability. Parallel studies found that the cold-adapted species was also better able to survive freezing and thawing in the laboratory. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis was used to compare the two haloarchaea at optimum growth temperatures versus low temperatures supporting growth. The cold-adapted species displayed perturbation of a majority of genes upon cold temperature exposure, divided evenly between up-regulated and down-regulated genes, while the mesophile exhibited perturbation of only a fifth of its genes, with nearly two-thirds being down-regulated. These results underscore the importance of genetic responses of H. lacusprofundi to cold temperature for enhanced survival in the stratosphere.
Specific roles of individual CDPKs vary, but in general they mediate essential biological functions necessary for parasite survival. A comparative analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella and Babesia bovis calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) together with those of Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii was performed by screening against 333 bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs). Structural modelling and experimental data revealed that residues other than the gatekeeper influence compound–protein interactions resulting in distinct sensitivity profiles. We subsequently defined potential amino-acid structural influences within the ATP-binding cavity for each orthologue necessary for consideration in the development of broad-spectrum apicomplexan CDPK inhibitors. Although the BKI library was developed for specific inhibition of glycine gatekeeper CDPKs combined with low inhibition of threonine gatekeeper human SRC kinase, some library compounds exhibit activity against serine- or threonine-containing CDPKs. Divergent BKI sensitivity of CDPK homologues could be explained on the basis of differences in the size and orientation of the hydrophobic pocket and specific variation at other amino-acid positions within the ATP-binding cavity. In particular, BbCDPK4 and PfCDPK1 are sensitive to a larger fraction of compounds than EtCDPK1 despite the presence of a threonine gatekeeper in all three CDPKs.
Human campylobacteriosis exhibits a distinctive seasonality in temperate regions. This paper aims to identify the origins of this seasonality. Clinical isolates [typed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST)] and epidemiological data were collected from Scotland. Young rural children were found to have an increased burden of disease in the late spring due to strains of non-chicken origin (e.g. ruminant and wild bird strains from environmental sources). In contrast the adult population had an extended summer peak associated with chicken strains. Travel abroad and UK mainland travel were associated with up to 17% and 18% of cases, respectively. International strains were associated with chicken, had a higher diversity than indigenous strains and a different spectrum of MLST types representative of these countries. Integrating empirical epidemiology and molecular subtyping can successfully elucidate the seasonal components of human campylobacteriosis. The findings will enable public health officials to focus strategies to reduce the disease burden.
To investigate microbiological biofilm contamination of retrieved bone-anchored hearing aids.
Materials and methods:
Nine failed, retrieved bone-anchored hearing aids and 16 internal screws were examined by scanning electron microscopy. A fixture from a failing implant, which had been removed and disassembled under aseptic conditions, was cultured. Finally, an internal screw from a new, unimplanted fixture was examined by scanning electron microscopy.
Debris was seen on the fixture and abutment of all bone-anchored hearing aids, and on the heads of the 16 internal screws. On eight screws, biofilm extended down the shaft to the threads, where it was several micrometres thick. Culture of a failing fixture yielded staphylococcus. The new, unimplanted fixture internal screw showed evidence of scratching and metallic debris on the threads, which may interfere with close fitting of the screw and subsequently facilitate microleakage.
There may be a link between internal microbial contamination and failure of bone-anchored hearing aids.