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Since its emergence, devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) has spread throughout most of the geographic range of the Tasmanian devil, causing >90% local population decline, >80% overall decline and cascading effects on the ecosystem. We developed a decision tree to guide research and management of this cancer. The devil–DFTD system gives an opportunity to study a wildlife disease in all stages of existence across the entire geographic range of a natural host. Despite predictions of extinction, devils persist. State–space models show that individuals with higher fitness (the larger, more dominant individuals responsible for most of the biting) are more likely to become infected themselves. Individual-based models in which demographic parameters depend on the size of the tumours carried by individual hosts show that DFTD epidemics operate on a much slower timescale than those of viral or bacterial diseases. Following an initial epidemic peak, the consequences for a general epidemic may be coexistence, even in the absence of evolutionary changes in either host or pathogen. Multiple lines of evidence show that Tasmanian devils are evolving in response to DFTD. Conservation efforts are now shifting from managing for extinction to managing for persistence.
Transmastoid occlusion of the posterior or superior semicircular canal is an effective and safe management option in patients with refractory benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or symptomatic superior semicircular canal dehiscence. A method of quantifying successful canal occlusion surgery is described.
This paper presents representative patients with intractable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or symptomatic superior semicircular canal dehiscence, who underwent transmastoid occlusion of the posterior or superior semicircular canal respectively. Vestibular function was assessed pre- and post-operatively. The video head impulse test was included as a measure of semicircular canal and vestibulo-ocular reflex functions.
Post-operative video head impulse testing showed reduced vestibulo-ocular reflex gain in occluded canals. Gain remained normal in the non-operated canals. Post-operative audiometry demonstrated no change in hearing in the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo patient and slight hearing improvement in the superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome patient.
Transmastoid occlusion of the posterior or superior semicircular canal is effective and safe for treating troublesome benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or symptomatic superior semicircular canal dehiscence. Post-operative video head impulse testing demonstrating a reduction in vestibulo-ocular reflex gain can reliably confirm successful occlusion of the canal and is a useful adjunct in post-operative evaluation.
The effectiveness of many widely used conservation interventions is poorly understood because of a lack of high-quality impact evaluations. Randomized control trials (RCTs), in which experimental units are randomly allocated to treatment or control groups, offer an intuitive way to calculate the impact of an intervention by establishing a reliable counterfactual scenario. As many conservation interventions depend on changing people's behaviour, conservation impact evaluation can learn a great deal from RCTs in fields such as development economics, where RCTs have become widely used but are controversial. We build on relevant literature from other fields to discuss how RCTs, despite their potential, are just one of a number of ways to evaluate impact, are not feasible in all circumstances, and how factors such as spillover between units and behavioural effects must be considered in their design. We offer guidance and a set of criteria for deciding when RCTs may be an appropriate approach for evaluating conservation interventions, and factors to consider to ensure an RCT is of high quality. We illustrate this with examples from one of the few concluded RCTs of a large-scale conservation intervention: an incentive-based conservation programme in the Bolivian Andes. We argue that conservation should aim to avoid a rerun of the polarized debate surrounding the use of RCTs in other fields. Randomized control trials will not be feasible or appropriate in many circumstances, but if used carefully they can be useful and could become a more widely used tool for the evaluation of conservation impact.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Clinical Enterobacteriacae isolates with a colistin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥4 mg/L from a United States hospital were screened for the mcr-1 gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Four colistin-resistant Escherichia coli isolates contained mcr-1. Two isolates belonged to the same sequence type (ST-632). All subjects had prior international travel and antimicrobial exposure.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
To examine the association between parenting styles and overall child dietary quality within households that are low-income and food-insecure.
Child dietary intake was measured via a 24 h dietary recall. Dietary quality was assessed using the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). Parenting styles were measured and scored using the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire. Linear regressions were used to test main and interaction associations between HEI-2005 scores and parenting styles.
Non-probability sample of low-income and food-insecure households in South Carolina, USA.
Parent–child dyads (n 171). Parents were ≥18 years old and children were 9–15 years old.
We found a significant interaction between authoritative and authoritarian parenting style scores. For those with a mean authoritarian score, each unit increase in authoritative score was associated with a higher HEI-2005 score (b = 3·36, P < 0.05). For those with an authoritarian score that was 1 sd above the mean authoritarian score, each unit increase in authoritative score was associated with a higher HEI-2005 score (b = 8.42, P < 0.01). For those with an authoritarian score that was −1 sd below the mean authoritarian score, each unit increase in authoritative score was associated with a lower HEI-2005 score; however, this was not significant (b = −1·69, P > 0·05). Permissive parenting style scores were negatively associated with child dietary quality (b = −2·79, P < 0·05).
Parenting styles should be considered an important variable that is associated with overall dietary quality in children living within low-income and food-insecure households.
Starting in 2016, we initiated a pilot tele-antibiotic stewardship program at 2 rural Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Antibiotic days of therapy decreased significantly (P < .05) in the acute and long-term care units at both intervention sites, suggesting that tele-stewardship can effectively support antibiotic stewardship practices in rural VAMCs.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
High-energy lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries still suffer from poor rate capability and short cycle life caused by the polysulfides shuttle and insulating nature of S (and the discharge product, Li2S). Selenium disulfide (SeS2), with a theoretical specific capacity of 1342 mAh g−1, is a promising cathode material as it has better conductivity compared to sulfur. The electrochemical reaction kinetics of CNFs-S/SeS2 composites (denoted as CNFs/S1-xSex, where x ≤ 0.1) are expected to be remarkably improved because of the better conductivity of SeS2 compared to sulfur. Here, a high-performance composite cathode material of CNFs/S1-xSex for novel Li-S batteries is reported. The CNFs/S1-xSex composites combine the higher conductivity and higher density of SeS2 with high specific capacity of sulfur. The CNFs/S1-xSex electrode shows good initial discharge capacity of ∼1050 mAh g−1 at 0.05 C rate with high mass loading of materials (∼6-7 mg cm−2 of composites) and > 97% initial coulombic efficiency. The CNFs/S1-xSex electrode shows more than 600 mAh g-1 specific capacity after 50 charge-discharge cycles at 0.5C rate, much higher compared to the CNFs/S cathodes.