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Kernza® intermediate wheatgrass [Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & Dewey], the first perennial grain crop to come to market in North America, can provide a number of ecosystem services when integrated into cropping systems that are dominated by annual grain crops. However, grain yield from Kernza is lower than comparable annual cereal crops such as wheat and oats. Also, although Kernza is a long-lived perennial that can persist for decades, grain yield tends to decline over time as Kernza stands age leading most farmers to replant or rotate to a different crop after 3–5 yrs. Increased intraspecific competition as stand density increases with age has been reported to cause grain yield declines. We investigated the effect of strip-tillage applied at two different timings, between the third and fourth grain harvests, from a Kernza stand in upstate New York. Strip-tillage applied in late fall as plants were entering dormancy increased grain yield by 61% when compared to the control treatment without strip-tillage. However, total crop biomass was not reduced resulting in a greater harvest index for the fall strip-tillage treatment. Strip-tillage applied before stem elongation the following spring reduced overall tiller density and total crop biomass but did not impact tiller fertility or grain yield compared to the control treatment without strip-tillage. Increased grain yield in the fall strip-tillage treatment was due to an increase in the percentage of tillers that produced mature seedheads. This suggests that grain yield decline over time is at least partially caused by competition between tillers in dense stands. Results support further research and development of strip-tillage and other forms of managed disturbance as tools for maintaining Kernza grain yield over time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented global crisis, necessitating drastic changes to living conditions, social life, personal freedom and economic activity. No study has yet examined the presence of psychiatric symptoms in the UK population under similar conditions.
We investigated the prevalence of COVID-19-related anxiety, generalised anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms in the UK population during an early phase of the pandemic, and estimated associations with variables likely to influence these symptoms.
Between 23 and 28 March 2020, a quota sample of 2025 UK adults aged 18 years and older, stratified by age, gender and household income, was recruited by online survey company Qualtrics. Participants completed standardised measures of depression, generalised anxiety and trauma symptoms relating to the pandemic. Bivariate and multivariate associations were calculated for demographic and health-related variables.
Higher levels of anxiety, depression and trauma symptoms were reported compared with previous population studies, but not dramatically so. Anxiety or depression and trauma symptoms were predicted by young age, presence of children in the home, and high estimates of personal risk. Anxiety and depression were also predicted by low income, loss of income and pre-existing health conditions in self and others. Specific anxiety about COVID-19 was greater in older participants.
This study showed a modest increase in the prevalence of mental health problems in the early stages of the pandemic, and these problems were predicted by several specific COVID-related variables. Further similar surveys, particularly of those with children at home, are required as the pandemic progresses.
The sweep of the coronavirus pandemic across the world and the United States offers an almost unparalleled opportunity to study how social systems cope with the threat and opportunities for collective action. In this paper, we draw on survey data collected as the United States flailed in response and before a general consensus among executive officeholders developed in the following weeks. In particular, we assess how holding prosperity gospel views strongly shaped perceptions of the virus and reactions to state responses to the virus. Research on the prosperity gospel is slowly expanding and this paper helps to highlight some missing dimensions. At a time when concerted action for the social good could be uniting the country, prosperity gospel beliefs systematically undermine that possibility by augmenting threat, raising outgroup barriers, and decreasing social trust.
Head impact exposure (HIE) in youth football is a public health concern. The objective of this study was to determine if one season of HIE in youth football was related to cognitive changes.
Over 200 participants (ages 9–13) wore instrumented helmets for practices and games to measure the amount of HIE sustained over one season. Pre- and post-season neuropsychological tests were completed. Test score changes were calculated adjusting for practice effects and regression to the mean and used as the dependent variables. Regression models were calculated with HIE variables predicting neuropsychological test score changes.
For the full sample, a small effect was found with season average rotational values predicting changes in list-learning such that HIE was related to negative score change: standardized beta (β) = -.147, t(205) = -2.12, and p = .035. When analyzed by age clusters (9–10, 11–13) and adding participant weight to models, the R2 values increased. Splitting groups by weight (median split), found heavier members of the 9–10 cohort with significantly greater change than lighter members. Additionaly, significantly more participants had clinically meaningful negative changes: X2 = 10.343, p = .001.
These findings suggest that in the 9–10 age cluster, the average seasonal level of HIE had inverse, negative relationships with cognitive change over one season that was not found in the older group. The mediation effects of age and weight have not been explored previously and appear to contribute to the effects of HIE on cognition in youth football players.
The Minimal Data Set are demographic and tobacco use questions asked during enrollment at many quitlines. We tested whether these questions can be used to predict program engagement and success, and to evaluate whether findings can inform the tailoring of protocols to disparate populations. We analyzed 7,920 Arizona Smokers' Helpline treatment records to test a Structural Equation Model of the mediating effects of quitline services and short-term cessation outcomes on the relationship between intake questions and 7-month quit rate. Education (b = 0.05), gender (b = 0.03), Medicaid (b = −0.09), longest length of previous quit attempt (b = 0.05), confidence in quitting for 24 h (b = 0.04), environmental risk (b = −0.05), and life stress (b = 0.04) all significantly (P < 0.05) predicted engagement in quitline services. Program engagement had a direct effect on an in-program cessation outcomes construct (b = 0.47) and 7-month quit rate (b = 0.44). This in-program cessation outcomes construct had a significant direct effect on 7-month quit rate (b = −0.12). This model showing the relationship between program engagement and outcomes suggests that tailoring protocols can focus on engaging clients who have historically not taken full advantage of quitline services.
Apart from its role as a digestive and absorptive organ, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a vital immune organ that encompasses roughly 70 % of the total immune cells of the body. As such, the physical, chemical and nutrient composition of the diet influences overall GI function, effectively as an immune organ. With the improvement in feed technology, agro-industrial co-products that are high in fibre have been widely used as a feed ingredient in the diets of pigs and poultry. Arabinoxylan (AX) and mannan are the most abundant hemicellulosic polysaccharides present in cereal grain and co-product ingredients used in the livestock industry. When monogastric animals consume diets containing high amounts of AX and mannans, stimulation of GI immune cells may occur. This involves the activation of several cellular and molecular pathways of the immune system and requires a considerable amount of energy and nutrients to be expended by the animal, which may ultimately influence overall health and growth performance of animals. Therefore, a better understanding of the role of AX and mannan in immune modulation will be helpful in modulating untoward GI immune responses, thereby minimising nutrient and energy expenditure toward this effort. This review will summarise pertinent research on the role of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides containing AX and mannans in immune modulation in order to preserve gut integrity.
This article analyzes the use of religious language on Twitter by members of the U.S. Congress (MOCs). Politicians use various media platforms to communicate about their political agendas and their personal lives. In the United States, religious language is often part of the messaging from politicians to their constituents. This is done carefully and often strategically and across media platforms. With members of Congress increasingly using Twitter to connect with constituents on a regular basis, we want to explain who uses religious language on Twitter, when, and how. Using 1.5 million tweets scraped from members of Congress in April of 2018, we find that MOCs from both major political parties make use of a “religious code” on Twitter in order to send messages about their own identities as well as to activate the religious identities of their constituents. However, Republicans use the code more extensively and with Judeo-Christian-specific terms. Additionally, we discuss gender effects for the ways MOCs use “religious code” on Twitter.
We retrospectively evaluated antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) interventions over a 63-month period. We compared acceptance rates for those interventions communicated telephonically versus those communicated with a temporary note left in the electronic medical record. Telephonic communication produced superior acceptance rates overall and when analyzed by intervention type and provider.
With the implementation of the European Green Paper on Mental Health, and the development of the Mental Health Pact, the strategic importance of Mental Health promotion and illness reduction as keystones of a European mental health policy and practice has never been greater.
The PROMISE project is a EU project and is financed by the European Commission, Directorate General for Health and Consumers, DG Sanco. It aims to develop and disseminate guidelines for generic training and education with respect to Mental Health Promotion and Illness Reduction. The best practice guidelines will specifically focus on the prevention of suicide, depression, and alcohol and drug abuse, and the promotion of healthy living.
A specific innovation is the involvement of mental health service users as non-traditional actors by developing multi-disciplinary training guidelines and training programs with a special emphasis on positive mental health, healthy living, diet and exercise project.
Project partners are all ‘multiplier’ organizations from 8 different European countries and have extensive previous expertise in their designated roles.
The role of Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona PROMISE is: Identify best practice media guidelines for engaging press and media with the mental health promotion agenda through the use of positive role models. Monitor the implementation of the best practice guidelines through the design and development of local case studies in 7 sites across Europe.
Outcomes are an integrated and comprehensive set of training guidelines and model training programs accessed through an interactive website, endorsed by European level professional body and university networks.
Despite a putative role for estrogen in depression, studies on the association between depression and estrogen receptor (ER) polymorphisms are surprisingly lacking.
To determine the association between ER polymorphisms and late-life depression in 6809 men and women and to investigate factors which could modify this association.
Community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and older were recruited in France as part of the Three City Study. Depression was assessed using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, according to DSM-IV criteria. The association between five polymorphisms of the ER-α and ER-β with depression was determined using multi-adjusted logistic regression models.
Men with the AA genotype of the ER-β rs4986938 polymorphism had an increased risk of depression, while in women, carriers of the A allele for the ER-β rs1256049 had an increased risk. Subsequent analysis indicated that the increased risk in women occurred only in those not using hormone treatment. In women the CC and GG genotypes of the ER-α PvuII and XbaI, respectively were associated with a decreased risk of depression. A significant interaction between the ER-α PvuII and ER-β rs4986938 polymorphisms suggests they may act together to modify the depression risk.
Sex-specific associations between ER polymorphisms and depression have been identified, with HT appearing to be beneficial for genetically vulnerable women. These findings of distinct genetic susceptibility to late-life depression may be important for designing novel hormone-based therapies that would have optimal effectiveness in sub-groups of depressed women and men.
Fine-scale temporal processes, such as the synchronous deposition of organic materials, can be challenging to identify using 14C datasets. While some events, such as volcanic eruptions, leave clear evidence for synchronous deposition, synchroneity is more difficult to establish for other types of events. This has been a source of controversy regarding 14C dates associated with a hypothesized extraterrestrial impact at the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB). To address this controversy, we first aggregate 14C measurements from Northern Hemisphere YDB sites. We also aggregate 14C measurements associated with a known synchronous event, the Laacher See volcanic eruption. We then use a Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate the magnitude of variability expected in a 14C dataset associated with a synchronous event. The simulation accounts for measurement error, calibration uncertainty, “old wood” effects, and laboratory measurement biases. The Laacher See 14C dataset is consistent with expectations of synchroneity generated by the simulation. However, the YDB 14C dataset is inconsistent with the simulated expectations for synchroneity. These results suggest that a central requirement of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, synchronous global deposition of a YDB layer, is extremely unlikely, calling into question the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis more generally.
Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of community paramedicine, but the absence of a recognized standard for assessment practices contributes to uncertainty about what drives care planning and treatment decisions. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments and describe the state of current practice in community paramedicine home visit programs.
We performed an environmental scan of all community paramedicine programs in Ontario, Canada, and used content analysis to describe current assessment practices in home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy.
A total of 43 of 52 paramedic services in Ontario, Canada, participated in the environmental scan with 24 being eligible for further investigation through content analysis of intake assessment forms. Among the 24 services, 16 met inclusion criteria for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF. At the subdomain level, only assessment of impairments of the functions of the cardiovascular, hematological, immunological, and respiratory systems appeared in all assessments.
Although community paramedicine home visit programs may differ in design and aim, all complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. If community paramedicine home visit programs share similar characteristics but assess patients differently, it is difficult to expect that the resulting referrals, care planning, treatments, or interventions will be similar.