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Important ear problems can affect the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Globally, the greatest burden of disease is due to ear conditions that are associated with otorrhoea and hearing loss.
This study reviewed the literature on the prevention and treatment of common ear conditions that are most relevant to settings with high rates of ear disease and limited resources. The grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (‘GRADE’) approach was utilised to assess interventions.
Accurate diagnosis of ear disease is challenging. Much of the preventable burden of ear disease is associated with otitis media. Nine otitis media interventions for which there is moderate to high certainty of effect were identified. While most interventions only provide modest benefit, the impact of treatment is more substantial in children with acute otitis media with perforation and chronic suppurative otitis media.
Disease prevention through good hygiene practices, breastfeeding, reducing smoke exposure, immunisation and limiting noise exposure is recommended. Children with acute otitis media with perforation, chronic suppurative otitis media, complications of otitis media, and significant hearing loss should be prioritised for medical treatment.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The efficient organization and communication of brain networks underlie cognitive processing and their disruption can lead to pathological behaviours. Few studies have focused on whole-brain networks in obesity and binge eating disorder (BED). Here we used multi-echo resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) along with a data-driven graph theory approach to assess brain network characteristics in obesity and BED.
Multi-echo rsfMRI scans were collected from 40 obese subjects (including 20 BED patients) and 40 healthy controls and denoised using multi-echo independent component analysis (ME-ICA). We constructed a whole-brain functional connectivity matrix with normalized correlation coefficients between regional mean blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals from 90 brain regions in the Automated Anatomical Labeling atlas. We computed global and regional network properties in the binarized connectivity matrices with an edge density of 5%–25%. We also verified our findings using a separate parcellation, the Harvard–Oxford atlas parcellated into 470 regions.
Obese subjects exhibited significantly reduced global and local network efficiency as well as decreased modularity compared with healthy controls, showing disruption in small-world and modular network structures. In regional metrics, the putamen, pallidum and thalamus exhibited significantly decreased nodal degree and efficiency in obese subjects. Obese subjects also showed decreased connectivity of cortico-striatal/cortico-thalamic networks associated with putaminal and cortical motor regions. These findings were significant with ME-ICA with limited group differences observed with conventional denoising or single-echo analysis.
Using this data-driven analysis of multi-echo rsfMRI data, we found disruption in global network properties and motor cortico-striatal networks in obesity consistent with habit formation theories. Our findings highlight the role of network properties in pathological food misuse as possible biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
The WR stellar population can be distinguished, at least partially, from other stellar populations by broad-band IR colour selection. We present the use of a machine learning classifier to quantitatively improve the selection of Galactic Wolf-Rayet (WR) candidates. These methods are used to separate the other stellar populations which have similar IR colours. We show the results of the classifications obtained by using the 2MASS J, H and K photometric bands, and the Spitzer/IRAC bands at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8.0μm. The k-Nearest Neighbour method has been used to select Galactic WR candidates for observational follow-up. A few candidates have been spectroscopically observed. Preliminary observations suggest that a detection rate of 50% can easily be achieved.
Epidemiology formed the basis of ‘the Barker hypothesis’, the concept of ‘developmental programming’ and today’s discipline of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Animal experimentation provided proof of the underlying concepts, and continues to generate knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Interventions in humans, based on DOHaD principles, will be informed by experiments in animals. As knowledge in this discipline has accumulated, from studies of humans and other animals, the complexity of interactions between genome, environment and epigenetics, has been revealed. The vast nature of programming stimuli and breadth of effects is becoming known. As a result of our accumulating knowledge we now appreciate the impact of many variables that contribute to programmed outcomes. To guide further animal research in this field, the Australia and New Zealand DOHaD society (ANZ DOHaD) Animals Models of DOHaD Research Working Group convened at the 2nd Annual ANZ DOHaD Congress in Melbourne, Australia in April 2015. This review summarizes the contributions of animal research to the understanding of DOHaD, and makes recommendations for the design and conduct of animal experiments to maximize relevance, reproducibility and translation of knowledge into improving health and well-being.
It is well established that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with controls. However, the role of these as risk factors is less clearly established. The aims of this systematic review were to investigate: (1) whether anxiety and/or depression predict IBS onset; (2) the size of the relative risk (RR) of anxiety versus depression in IBS onset. Subgroup analyses explored if methodological factors affected the overall findings.
Prospective cohort or case–control studies were included if they: (1) focused on the development of IBS in population-based or gastroenteritis cohorts; (2) explored the effects of anxiety and/or depression at baseline as predictors of IBS onset at a future point. In all, 11 studies were included of which eight recruited participants with a gastrointestinal infection. Meta-analyses were conducted.
The risk of developing IBS was double for anxiety cases at baseline compared with those who were not [RR 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.58–3.60]. Similar results were found for depression (RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.44–2.96). Anxiety and depression seemed to play a stronger role in IBS onset in individuals with a gastrointestinal infection although this could be attributed to other differences in methodology, such as use of diagnostic interviews rather than self-report.
The findings suggest that self-reported anxiety and depression provide a twofold risk for IBS onset. There is less support for the role of anxiety or depressive disorder diagnosed using clinical interview. These findings may have implications for the development of interventions focused on IBS prevention and treatment.
Here is an exercise to try with your students or colleagues regarding wildlife conservation and management. Tell them they are managing an area containing a population of an endangered, charismatic, flagship wildlife species, say mountain nyala in Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Invite them to write down the one or two things they would most want to know in order to best manage the population. The answers will vary. Some may inquire into the population size or density; others may want to know what the nyala are eating; others may want to know about the nyalas’ levels of genetic heterozygosity. But what we really want to know is “what is the state of the population in terms of growth rate and relationship to resource density?” “what are the threats to the population?” and “what are the population's prospects for the future?” Are these questions we can answer? Will knowledge of population size or genetics or diet allow us to answer these? Or can answers best be obtained from other information? If so, how can such information be acquired? What are the best indicators?
Ideally, indicators of population well-being must be reliable. Further, they should be easy to measure, respond quickly to environmental change and forecast the future. Measurements of population sizes are frequently used in management decisions and may excel in identifying when small population issues are of concern, but are woefully inadequate as indicators of population processes. Such metrics do not necessarily respond quickly to environmental change. Most populations experience time-lagged dynamics. But time lags mean that density is a trailing indicator of current conditions. We must search elsewhere for leading indicators – indicators that predict the future rather than simply recapitulating the past. Perhaps we can find our indicators in the traits of organisms that have been shaped by evolution (Grafen 1982, Lucas & Grafen 1985, Mitchell & Valone 1990). One attractive class of characteristics comes from foraging theory and measures of behavior (Stephens & Krebs 1986). These can be classified into behavioral indicators based on diet, patch use or habitat selection.
Consider indicators of population well-being further. An example involving the Baltic tellin (Macoma balthica) illustrates this well. Baltic tellins, benthic bivalves from the Dutch Wadden Sea, suffer predation from red knots (Calidris canutus) (van Gils et al. 2009).
A K-band (18-25 GHz) reflected-wave ruby maser (Moore and Clauss 1979) has been borrowed from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for radio astronomy use on the NASA 64-m antenna of the Deep Space Network at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, near Canberra. The purpose of the installation is to provide additional sensitive spectral line, continuum, and VLBI capabilities in the southern hemisphere. Previous measurements at 22.3 GHz (λ = 13.5 mm) determined that the Tidbinbilla 64-m antenna has a peak aperture efficiency of ˜22%, a well-behaved beam shape and consistent pointing (Fourikis and Jauncey 1979). Before installing the maser on the antenna a cooled (circulator) switch was added to provide a beam-switching capability, and a spectral line receiver following the maser was incorporated. The system was assembled and tested at JPL in late 1980 and installed at Tidbinbilla early in 1981. We give here a brief description and present some of the first line observations made in February and March 1981. Extensive line and continuum observations are planned with the present system and a program is under way to determine the telescope pointing characteristics.
We sought to clarify the etiological contribution of genetic and environmental factors to total criminal behavior (CB) measured as criminal convictions in men and women, and to violent (VCB), white-collar (WCCB) and property criminal behavior (PCB) in men only.
In 21 603 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry, we obtained information on all criminal convictions from 1973 to 2011 from the Swedish Crime Register. Twin modeling was performed using the OpenMx package.
For all criminal convictions, heritability was estimated at around 45% in both sexes, with the shared environment accounting for 18% of the variance in liability in females and 27% in males. The correlation of these risk factors across sexes was estimated at +0.63. In men, the magnitudes of genetic and environmental influence were similar in the three criminal conviction subtypes. However, for violent and white-collar convictions, nearly half and one-third of the genetic effects were respectively unique to that criminal subtype. About half of the familial environmental effects were unique to property convictions.
The familial aggregation of officially recorded CB is substantial and results from both genetic and familial environmental factors. These factors are moderately correlated across the sexes suggesting that some genetic and environmental influences on criminal convictions are unique to men and to women. Violent criminal behavior and property crime are substantially influenced respectively by genetic and shared environmental risk factors unique to that criminal subtype.
This study aims to describe in detail the temporal dynamics of E. coli O157 shedding and risk factors for shedding in a grass-fed beef herd. During a 9-month period, 23 beef cows were sampled twice a week (58 sampling points) and E. coli O157 was enumerated from faecal samples. Isolates were screened by PCR for presence of rfbE, stx1 and stx2. The prevalence per sampling day ranged from 0% to 57%. This study demonstrates that many members of the herd were concurrently shedding E. coli O157. Occurrence of rainfall (P < 0·01), feeding silage (P < 0·01) and lactating (P < 0·01) were found to be predictors of shedding. Moving cattle to a new paddock had a negative effect on shedding. This approach, based on short-interval sampling, confirms the known variability of shedding within a herd and highlights that high shedding events are rare.
The effect of prenatal distress on the risk of a small for gestational age (SGA) infant is uncertain. We have addressed the influences of prenatal stress, anxiety and depression on the risk of SGA. We also examined the effects of infant sex and timing of distress during pregnancy on any observed associations.
The study population comprised 5606 healthy nulliparous pregnant women who participated in the international prospective Screening for Obstetric and Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study. Women completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the short form of the Spielberger State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 15 ± 1 and 20 ± 1 weeks' gestation. SGA was defined as birthweight below the 10th customized percentile. Logistic regression was used for data analysis, adjusting for several potential confounders such as maternal age, body mass index (BMI), smoking, socio-economic status and physical exercise.
The risk of SGA was increased in relation to mild [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07–1.71], moderate (aOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06–1.49), high (aOR 1.45, 95% CI 1.08–1.95) and very high stress scores (aOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.03–2.37); very high anxiety score (aOR 1.45, 95% CI 1.13–1.86); and very high depression score (aOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05–1.24) at 20 ± 1 weeks' gestation. Sensitivity analyses showed that very high anxiety and very high depression increases the risk of SGA in males but not in females whereas stress increases the risk of SGA in both males and females.
These findings suggest that prenatal stress, anxiety and depression measured at 20 weeks' gestation increase the risk of SGA. The effects of maternal anxiety and depression on SGA were strongest in male infants.
Healthy food subsidy programmes have not been widely implemented in high-income countries apart from the USA and the UK. There is, however, interest being expressed in the potential of healthy food subsidies to complement nutrition promotion initiatives and reduce the social disparities in healthy eating. Herein, we describe the impact of a fruit and vegetable (F&V) subsidy programme on the nutritional status of a cohort of disadvantaged Aboriginal children living in rural Australia. A before-and-after study was used to assess the nutritional impact in 174 children whose families received weekly boxes of subsidised F&V organised through three Aboriginal medical services. The nutritional impact was assessed by comparing 24 h dietary recalls and plasma carotenoid and vitamin C levels at baseline and after 12 months. A general linear model was used to assess the changes in biomarker levels and dietary intake, controlled for age, sex, community and baseline levels. Baseline assessment in 149 children showed low F&V consumption. Significant increases (P< 0·05) in β-cryptoxanthin (28·9 nmol/l, 18 %), vitamin C (10·1 μmol/l, 21 %) and lutein–zeaxanthin (39·3 nmol/l, 11 %) levels were observed at the 12-month follow-up in 115 children, although the self-reported F&V intake was unchanged. The improvements in the levels of biomarkers of F&V intake demonstrated in the present study are consistent with increased F&V intake. Such dietary improvements, if sustained, could reduce non-communicable disease rates. A controlled study of healthy food subsidies, together with an economic analysis, would facilitate a thorough assessment of the costs and benefits of subsidising healthy foods for disadvantaged Aboriginal Australians.
The nickel-aluminum (Ni/Al) intermetallic system is useful for a variety of reactive material applications, and reaction characteristics are well studied at the normal self-heating rates of 103–106 K/s. Recent experiments at 1011–1012 K/s have measured the kinetic energy of material ejected from the reaction zone, indicating additional kinetic energy from the reactive system despite high heating rates. In order to better probe reaction phenomena at these time scales, and determine the presence of expected elements and their temperatures, we report on emission spectroscopy of electrically heated, patterned Ni/Al bridge wires, time resolved over 350 ns through the use of a streak camera. Unlike previous studies where emission was dominated by Ar and N from residual gasses in the vacuum test chamber, here we report on experiments with encapsulated laminates allowing better quantification of Al and Ni emission. We were able to identify all major spectral lines from the dominant elements present in the films, and found the multilayered Ni/Al laminates to exhibit a brighter and longer duration emission than either Al or Ni control samples. We also found the measured electrical energy absorption of the Ni/Al laminates to follow that of the Al samples up to 150 ns following the onset of emission, indicating that the exothermic mixing of vapor phase Ni and Al was the most likely source for the higher emission intensity. These results will be important for new, energetically enhanced, high efficiency bridge wire applications, where shock initiation of subsequent energetic reactions may be accomplished with less electrical energy than is currently required.