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Sodium silicate solutions have been manufactured commercially for over one hundred years. Such solutions have been used in the past as major constituents in waxes, polishes and adhesives, and in detergents. A current additional use is their application in enhanced oil recovery. In many uses of sodium silicate solutions trace metal levels adversely effect performance. Depending on the source of the raw materials used in the silicate production and on processing conditions iron and vanadium in particular may be found at the 50-200 ppm level. X-ray fluorescence is used as a rapid method for analysis of iron in sand, one of the raw materials used in silicate manufacture. In order to use an instrument already at the plant site, we decided to develop an XRF method for metals analysis in the silicate solutions as well.
Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation products have been used to improve the performance of nursery pigs. However, research on the influence of this supplement on health is lacking. This study was designed to determine if feeding a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product to weaned pigs would reduce stress and acute phase responses (APR) following a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Pigs (n=30; 6.4±0.1 kg) were individually housed in stainless steel pens with ad libitum access to feed and water. Pigs were weighed upon arrival, assigned to one of three groups (n=10/treatment), and fed for 18 days: (1) Control, fed a non-medicated starter diet; (2) Control diet with the inclusion of a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product at 1 kg/metric ton (SGX1) and (3) Control diet with the inclusion of a Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product at 2 kg/metric ton (SGX2). On day 7 pigs were anesthetized for insertion of an i.p. temperature device, and similarly on day 14 for insertion of a jugular catheter. Pigs were challenged i.v. with LPS (25 µg/kg BW) on day 15. Blood samples were collected at 0.5 h (serum) and 1 h (complete blood cell counts) intervals from −2 to 8 h and at 24 h relative to LPS administration at 0 h. Pigs and feeders were weighed on days 7, 14 and 18. The supplemented pigs had increased BW and average daily gain before the challenge. In response to LPS, there was a greater increase in i.p. temperature in Control pigs compared with supplemented pigs. In addition, cortisol was reduced in SGX2 pigs while cortisol was elevated in SGX1 pigs at several time points post-challenge. White blood cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes were decreased in SGX1 and SGX2 compared with Control pigs. Furthermore, the pro-inflammatory cytokine response varied by treatment and dose of treatment. Specifically, serum TNF-α was greatest in SGX2, intermediate in Control, and least in SGX1 pigs, while the magnitude and temporal pattern of IFN-γ in SGX2 pigs was delayed and reduced. In contrast, IL-6 concentrations were reduced in both SGX treatment groups compared with Control pigs. These data demonstrate that different supplementation feed inclusion rates produced differential responses, and that feeding SynGenX to weaned pigs attenuated the APR to an LPS challenge.
Marteilia refringens causes marteiliosis in oysters, mussels and other bivalve molluscs. This parasite previously comprised two species, M. refringens and Marteilia maurini, which were synonymized in 2007 and subsequently referred to as M. refringens ‘O-type’ and ‘M-type’. O-type has caused mass mortalities of the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. We used high throughput sequencing and histology to intensively screen flat oysters and mussels (Mytilus edulis) from the UK, Sweden and Norway for infection by both types and to generate multi-gene datasets to clarify their genetic distinctiveness. Mussels from the UK, Norway and Sweden were more frequently polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive for M-type (75/849) than oysters (11/542). We did not detect O-type in any northern European samples, and no histology-confirmed Marteilia-infected oysters were found in the UK, Norway and Sweden, even where co-habiting mussels were infected by the M-type. The two genetic lineages within ‘M. refringens’ are robustly distinguishable at species level. We therefore formally define them as separate species: M. refringens (previously O-type) and Marteilia pararefringens sp. nov. (M-type). We designed and tested new Marteilia-specific PCR primers amplifying from the 3’ end of the 18S rRNA gene through to the 5.8S gene, which specifically amplified the target region from both tissue and environmental samples.
Background: In RRMS patients with inadequate response to prior therapy, 2 alemtuzumab courses (12 mg/day; baseline: 5 days; 12 months later: 3 days) significantly improved outcomes versus SC IFNB-1a over 2 years (CARE-MS II [NCT00548405]). Efficacy remained durable in a 4-year extension (NCT00930553); patients could receive as-needed alemtuzumab retreatment (≥12 months apart) for disease activity, or another disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Through Year 6, 88% remained on study; 50% received neither alemtuzumab retreatment nor another DMT; 16% received ≥4 courses; 3% received ≥5 courses. We evaluated Course 4 (C4) efficacy in patients receiving ≥4 courses. Methods: Annualized relapse rate (ARR); improved/stable Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (versus baseline); 6-month confirmed disability improvement (CDI). 11% of patients met inclusion criteria: ≥4 courses within 60 months of baseline; no DMT. Those receiving C5 were censored at that time. Results: ARR decreased after C4 (12 months pre-C4 [-12M]: 0.75; 12 months post-C4 [+12M]: 0.19; P<0.0001), remaining low (0.23) at Year 3 post-C4. More patients had stable/improved EDSS scores +12M (67.5%) versus at C4 administration (53.5%). Percentage with CDI increased post-C4 (-12M: 10.0%; +12M: 26.7%). Conclusions: C4 reduced relapses and stabilized/improved disability in patients with disease activity after initial treatment (C1, C2) plus one additional course (C3).
Bandelier National Monument (BNM) was created to protect an extraordinary inventory of archaeological resources carved in the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. These include more than one thousand excavated chambers, called cavates, used for dwelling, storage, and textile production. The glass-rich tuffs at the base of the Tshirege Member are poorly consolidated and susceptible to erosion by wind, rain, and mechanical abrasion, with resultant loss of cultural material. However, rock surfaces develop protective weathering rinds that are resistant to erosion. Using optical microscopy, SEM-EDS, XRD, and electron microprobe analysis, we determined that this rind consists of clay and silt sediments colonized by lichens and other surface biota, accompanied by the precipitation of secondary minerals in the near-surface pore space. Scoping experiments focused on glass-organic acid interactions indicate that oxalic acid excreted by microbial crust constituents catalyzes biogeochemical reactions that lead to the preferential dissolution of Si, Al, and Fe components of the volcanic glass; these cations become available for precipitation of opal, and smectite and sepiolite clays. Enzyme assays that quantify biological activity at outcrop surfaces indicate that microbial populations initially thrive as they derive nutrients from the dissolution reactions of the glass, but activity starts to decline as precipitation of secondary minerals limits access to new sources of nutrients, so that alteration processes are self-limiting. As case hardening progresses, imbibition rates at the surface decrease, and the erosion resistance of the altered surfaces is substantially improved. This article presents summary results of research conducted over a period of five years to characterize the roles of lichens and other microflora in rind formation, and the resulting contributions to tuff stability. The interaction of lichens and other microflora with rock surfaces in archaeological sites and monuments is usually explored in terms of biodeterioration and consequent damage. However, this study shows that, under some circumstances, lichens and microflora provide a level of erosion protection to relatively porous and unconsolidated rock strata that outweighs their biodeteriorative effects.
Research suggests Emergency Medical Services (EMS) over-use in urban cities is partly due to substance users with limited access to medical/social services. Recent efforts to deliver brief, motivational messages to encourage these individuals to enter treatment have not considered EMS providers.
Little research has been done with EMS providers who serve substance-using patients. The EMS providers were interviewed about participating in a pilot program where they would be trained to screen their patients for substance abuse and encourage them to enter drug treatment.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD; Baltimore, Maryland USA) EMS providers (N=22). Topics included EMS misuse, work demands, and views on participating in the pilot program. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory and constant-comparison.
Participants were mostly white (68.1%); male (68.2%); with Advanced Life Skills training (90.9%). Mean age was 37.5 years. Providers described the “frequent flyer problem” (eg, EMS over-use by a few repeat non-emergent cases). Providers expressed disappointment with local health delivery due to resource limitations and being excluded from decision making within their administration, leading to reduced team morale and burnout. Nonetheless, providers acknowledged they are well-positioned to intervene with substance-using patients because they are in direct contact and have built rapport with them. They noted patients might be most receptive to motivational messages immediately after overdose revival, which several called “hitting their bottom.” Several stated that involvement with the proposed study would be facilitated by direct incorporation into EMS providers’ current workflow. Many recommended that research team members accompany EMS providers while on-call to observe their day-to-day work. Barriers identified by the providers included time constraints to intervene, limited knowledge of substance abuse treatment modalities, and fearing negative repercussions from supervisors and/or patients. Despite reservations, several EMS providers expressed inclination to deliver brief motivational messages to encourage substance-using patients to consider treatment, given adequate training and skill-building.
Emergency Medical Service providers may have many demands, including difficult case time/resource limitations. Even so, participants recognized their unique position as first responders to deliver motivational, harm-reduction messages to substance-using patients during transport. With incentivized training, implementing this program could be life- and cost-saving, improving emergency and behavioral health services. Findings will inform future efforts to connect substance users with drug treatment, potentially reducing EMS over-use in Baltimore.
Maragh-BassAC, FieldsJC, McWilliamsJ, KnowltonAR. Challenges and Opportunities to Engaging Emergency Medical Service Providers in Substance Use Research: A Qualitative Study. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):148–155.
The Paramyxida, closely related to haplosporidians, paradinids, and mikrocytids, is an obscure order of parasitic protists within the class Ascetosporea. All characterized ascetosporeans are parasites of invertebrate hosts, including molluscs, crustaceans and polychaetes. Representatives of the genus Marteilia are the best studied paramyxids, largely due to their impact on cultured oyster stocks, and their listing in international legislative frameworks. Although several examples of microsporidian hyperparasitism of paramyxids have been reported, phylogenetic data for these taxa are lacking. Recently, a microsporidian parasite was described infecting the paramyxid Marteilia cochillia, a serious pathogen of European cockles. In the current study, we investigated the phylogeny of the microsporidian hyperparasite infecting M. cochillia in cockles and, a further hyperparasite, Unikaryon legeri infecting the digenean Meiogymnophallus minutus, also in cockles. We show that rather than representing basally branching taxa in the increasingly replete Cryptomycota/Rozellomycota outgroup (containing taxa such as Mitosporidium and Paramicrosoridium), these hyperparasites instead group with other known microsporidian parasites infecting aquatic crustaceans. In doing so, we erect a new genus and species (Hyperspora aquatica n. gn., n.sp.) to contain the hyperparasite of M. cochillia and clarify the phylogenetic position of U. legeri. We propose that in both cases, hyperparasitism may provide a strategy for the vectoring of microsporidians between hosts of different trophic status (e.g. molluscs to crustaceans) within aquatic systems. In particular, we propose that the paramyxid hyperparasite H. aquatica may eventually be detected as a parasite of marine crustaceans. The potential route of transmission of the microsporidian between the paramyxid (in its host cockle) to crustaceans, and, the ‘hitch-hiking’ strategy employed by H. aquatica is discussed.
This study investigated local perceptions of changes stemming from a long-standing Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT-G) program for the treatment of depression in rural Uganda. The study was conducted in a low-income, severely HIV/AIDS-affected area where in 2001 the prevalence of depression was estimated at 21% among adults.
Data were collected using free-listing and key informant qualitative interviews. A convenience sample of 60 free-list respondents was selected from among IPT-G participants, their families, and other community members from 10 Ugandan villages. Twenty-two key informants and six IPT-G facilitators were also interviewed.
Content analysis yielded five primary categories of change in the community related to the IPT-G program: (1) improved school attendance for children; (2) improved productivity; (3) improved sanitation in communities; (4) greater cohesion among community members; and (5) reduced conflict in families. Community members and IPT-G facilitators suggested that as depression remitted, IPT-G participants became more hopeful, motivated and productive.
Results suggest that providing treatment for depression in communities with high depression prevalence rates may lead to positive changes in a range of non-mental health outcomes.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in childhood and is associated with substantial deficits in executive functioning and lost academic and occupational attainment. This study evaluates symptoms of ADHD and their association with neurocognitive deficits in a cohort of rural Ugandan children who were born to HIV-infected mothers.
We assessed ADHD symptoms and executive function (including memory and attention) in a non-clinical sample of children born to HIV-infected mothers in rural eastern Uganda. Analyses included assessments of the psychometric properties, factor structure, and convergent and discriminant validity of the ADHD measure (ADHD-Rating Scale-IV); and executive function deficits in children meeting symptom criteria for ADHD.
232 children [54% female; mean age 7.8 years (s.d. 2.0)] were assessed for ADHD and executive function deficits. The ADHD measure showed good internal consistency (α = 0.85.) Confirmatory factor analysis showed an acceptable fit for the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) two-factor model. Subjects meeting DSM-5 symptom criteria for ADHD had worse parent-rated executive function on six out of seven subscales.
Our results demonstrate structural validity of the ADHD measure with this population, strong associations between ADHD symptom severity and poorer executive function, and higher levels of executive function problems in perinatally HIV-exposed Ugandan children with ADHD. These findings suggest that ADHD may be an important neurocognitive disorder associated with executive function problems among children in sub-Saharan African settings where perinatal HIV exposure is common.
There is limited evidence on the acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions to narrow the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, aims and methods of the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) collaborative research hub. AFFIRM is investigating strategies for narrowing the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa in four areas. First, it is assessing the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions by conducting randomised controlled trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. The AFFIRM Task-sharing for the Care of Severe mental disorders (TaSCS) trial in Ethiopia aims to determine the acceptability, affordability, effectiveness and sustainability of mental health care for people with severe mental disorder delivered by trained and supervised non-specialist, primary health care workers compared with an existing psychiatric nurse-led service. The AFFIRM trial in South Africa aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of a task-sharing counselling intervention for maternal depression, delivered by non-specialist community health workers, and to examine factors influencing the implementation of the intervention and future scale up. Second, AFFIRM is building individual and institutional capacity for intervention research in sub-Saharan Africa by providing fellowship and mentorship programmes for candidates in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Each year five Fellowships are awarded (one to each country) to attend the MPhil in Public Mental Health, a joint postgraduate programme at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. AFFIRM also offers short courses in intervention research, and supports PhD students attached to the trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. Third, AFFIRM is collaborating with other regional National Institute of Mental Health funded hubs in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, by designing and executing shared research projects related to task-sharing and narrowing the treatment gap. Finally, it is establishing a network of collaboration between researchers, non-governmental organisations and government agencies that facilitates the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice. This article describes the developmental process of this multi-site approach, and provides a narrative of challenges and opportunities that have arisen during the early phases. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this work is the nurturing and sustaining of partnerships between African mental health researchers, policy makers, practitioners and international collaborators.
Radiological terror presents a real threat, but little is known about how low-income, urban African Americans may respond to such threats. The aim of this study was to understand the unique challenges of this group and to explore their knowledge of what a “dirty bomb” is, their intended behaviors should one occur, and their barriers to complying with “shelter in place” recommendations.
Thirty-seven 18-65-year-olds who were users of community centers in disadvantaged areas participated in 3 focus groups in Philadelphia. Results were analyzed by using the Krueger method of analyzing narrative text.
The responses highlighted little knowledge or concern about a dirty bomb. Lack of trust in local authorities was expressed, with participants indicating that they did not feel their needs were addressed. While shelter in place was understood, most said they would still check on family or talk with others to get the “whole truth” because the most trusted information sources were neighbors and community leaders.
Our results indicate that a risk communication intervention for urban minorities may support desirable behaviors in the event of a dirty bomb, but successful communication will require establishing a local leader as a spokesperson to convince people of the importance of sheltering in place.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;0:1-10)
The Magnetoresistance Measured perpendicular to the plane of the Multilayer, (CPP-MR) has been measured for the Cu/CO and Cu/ (Ni/Fe) systems. The predictions of a two spin-channel model are summarized, and the Cu/CO data are analysed in terms of this theory. The Cu/ (NiFe) data show a more complex behaviour.
Exposure to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is an important risk factor for impaired learning and memory, particularly in males. Although the basis of IUGR-associated learning and memory dysfunction is unknown, potential molecular participants may be insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1) and its receptor, IGF1r. We hypothesized that transcript levels and protein abundance of Igf1 and IGF1r in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory, would be lower in IUGR male rats than in age-matched male controls at birth (postnatal day 0, P0), at weaning (P21) and adulthood (P120). We also hypothesized that changes in messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcript levels and protein abundance would be associated with specific histone marks in IUGR male rats. Lastly, we hypothesized that IUGR male rats would perform poorer on tests of hippocampal function at P120. IUGR was induced by bilateral ligation of the uterine arteries in pregnant dams at embryonic day 19 (term is 21 days). Hippocampal Igf1 mRNA transcript levels and protein abundance were unchanged in IUGR male rats at P0, P21 or P120. At P0 and P120, IGF1r expression was increased in IUGR male rats. At P21, IGF1r expression was decreased in IUGR male rats. Increased IGF1r expression was associated with more histone 3 lysine 4 dimethylation (H3K4Me2) in the promoter region. In addition, IUGR male rats performed poorer on intermediate-term spatial working memory testing at P120. We speculate that altered IGF1r expression in the hippocampus of IUGR male rats may play a role in learning and memory dysfunction later in life.
Recent data provide strong support for a substantial common polygenic contribution (i.e. many alleles each of small effect) to genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia and overlapping susceptibility for bipolar disorder.
To test hypotheses about the relationship between schizophrenia and psychotic types of bipolar disorder.
Using a polygenic score analysis to test whether schizophrenia polygenic risk alleles, en masse, significantly discriminate between individuals with bipolar disorder with and without psychotic features. The primary sample included 1829 participants with bipolar disorder and the replication sample comprised 506 people with bipolar disorder.
The subset of participants with Research Diagnostic Criteria schizoaffective bipolar disorder (n = 277) were significantly discriminated from the remaining participants with bipolar disorder (n = 1552) in both the primary (P = 0.00059) and the replication data-sets (P = 0.0070). In contrast, those with psychotic bipolar disorder as a whole were not significantly different from those with non-psychotic bipolar disorder in either data-set.
Genetic susceptibility influences at least two major domains of psychopathological variation in the schizophrenia–bipolar disorder clinical spectrum: one that relates to expression of a ‘bipolar disorder-like’ phenotype and one that is associated with expression of ‘schizophrenia-like’ psychotic symptoms.
Ferromagnetic/non-magnetic (F/N) metallic multilayers in the Current-Perpendicular-to-Plane (CPP) geometry show giant Magnetoresistance (MR) and are promising candidates for potential use in high density storage devices. F/Al interfaces were recently shown to have large interface specific resistances that enhance the CPP-resistance. However, the CPP resistances showed instability over time at room temperature and also upon annealing to 453K. To help understand both the large interface specific resistances and their instabilities, we have undertaken cross-sectional High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) studies of both as-sputtered and annealed Py/Al and Co/Al multilayers. We find well-layered, but rough structures with local F/Al interfaces being tilted up to ˜15°from the plane perpendicular to the growth direction. HRTEM images appear to show diffuse interfaces, but a through-focus series of images suggests considerable grain overlap in the electron beam direction, thereby complicating interpretation. This combination of HRTEM imaging and EELS analysis suggests that any interfacial mixing is limited in scale, and shows no evidence of intermetallic compound formation. No obvious differences are seen between assputtered and annealed samples.
Fast switching from conductor to insulator induced by laser light illumination has been studied in single crystals and thin films of La1−xSrxMnO3 in the range of the ferromagnetic phase transition. Based on our experimental data on the photoresponse as a function of temperature, electric current, and intensity, we have demonstrated that the switching and relaxation processes are determined by heating and heat conduction processes. The relaxation time, specific heat and the latent heat constants have been estimated.
The magnetic properties of cubic (3C) silicon carbide (SiC) doped by first row transition metals (TM) are studied within the local spin density functional approach using the linearized muffin-tin orbital (LMTO) method in the atomic sphere approximation (ASA). The magnetic properties are found to depend strongly on the doping site. For the preferred doping site (Si), Cr and Mn exhibit the most pronounced magnetic behavior with Cr favoring ferromagnetic coupling and Mn antiferromagnetic coupling.