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Heterotrophic soil protists encompass lineages that are both evolutionarily ancient and highly diverse, providing an untapped wealth of scientific insight. Yet the diversity of free-living heterotrophic terrestrial protists is still largely unknown. To contribute to our understanding of this diversity, we present a checklist of heterotrophic protists currently reported from terrestrial Antarctica, for which no comprehensive evaluation currently exists. As a polar continent, Antarctica is especially susceptible to rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing a baseline for future conservation efforts of Antarctic protists is therefore important. We performed a literature search and found 236 taxa identified to species and an additional 303 taxa identified to higher taxonomic levels in 54 studies spanning over 100 years of research. Isolated by distance, climate and the circumpolar vortex, Antarctica is the most extreme continent on Earth: it is not unreasonable to think that it may host physiologically and evolutionarily unique species of protists, yet currently most species discovered in Antarctica are considered cosmopolitan. Additional sampling of the more extreme intra-continental zones will probably result in the discovery of more novel and unique taxa.
Childhood maltreatment is one of the strongest predictors of adulthood depression and alterations to circulating levels of inflammatory markers is one putative mechanism mediating risk or resilience.
To determine the effects of childhood maltreatment on circulating levels of 41 inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with a major depressive disorder (MDD) diagnosis.
We investigated the association of childhood maltreatment with levels of 41 inflammatory markers in two groups, 164 patients with MDD and 301 controls, using multiplex electrochemiluminescence methods applied to blood serum.
Childhood maltreatment was not associated with altered inflammatory markers in either group after multiple testing correction. Body mass index (BMI) exerted strong effects on interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels in those with MDD.
Childhood maltreatment did not exert effects on inflammatory marker levels in either the participants with MDD or the control group in our study. Our results instead highlight the more pertinent influence of BMI.
Declaration of interest
D.A.C. and H.W. work for Eli Lilly Inc. R.N. has received speaker fees from Sunovion, Jansen and Lundbeck. G.B. has received consultancy fees and funding from Eli Lilly. R.H.M.-W. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Ferrer, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck, MyTomorrows, Otsuka, Pfizer, Pulse, Roche, Servier, SPIMACO and Sunovian. I.M.A. has received consultancy fees or has a financial relationship with Alkermes, Lundbeck, Lundbeck/Otsuka, and Servier. S.W. has sat on an advisory board for Sunovion, Allergan and has received speaker fees from Astra Zeneca. A.H.Y. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, Lundbeck, Eli Lilly, Sunovion; honoraria for consulting from Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck, Sunovion, Janssen; and research grant support from Janssen. A.J.C. has received honoraria for speaking from Astra Zeneca, honoraria for consulting with Allergan, Livanova and Lundbeck and research grant support from Lundbeck.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Introduction: Emergency Department Overcrowding (EDOC) is a multifactorial issue that leads to Access Block for patients needing emergency care. Identified as a national problem, patients presenting to a Canadian Emergency Department (ED) at a time of overcrowding have higher rates of admission to hospital and increased seven-day mortality. Using the well accepted input-throughput-output model to study EDOC, current research has focused on throughput as a measure of patient flow, reported as ED length of stay (LOS). In fact, ED LOS and ED beds occupied by inpatients are two “extremely important indicators of EDOC identified by a 2005 survey of Canadian ED directors. One proposed solution to improve ED throughput is to utilize a physician at triage (PAT) to rapidly assess newly arriving patients. In 2017, a pilot PAT program was trialed at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), a tertiary care hospital, as part of a PDSA cycle. The aim was to mitigate EDOC by improving ED throughput by the end of 2018, to meet the national targets for ED LOS suggested in the 2013 CAEP position statement. Methods: During the fiscal periods 1-6 (April 1 to September 7, 2017) a PAT shift occurred daily from 1000-2200, over four long weekends. ED LOS, time to inpatient bed, time to physician initial assessment (PIA), number of British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS) offload delays, and number of patients who left without being seen (LWBS) were extracted from an administrative database. Results were retrospectively analyzed and compared to data from 1000-2200 of non-PAT trial days during the trial periods. Results: Median ED LOS decreased from 3.8 to 3.4 hours for high-acuity patients (CTAS 1-3), from 2.1 to 1.8 hours for low-acuity patients (CTAS 4-5), and from 9.3 to 8.0 hours for all admitted patients. During PAT trial weekends, there was a decrease in the average time to PIA by 65% (from 73 to 26 minutes for CTAS 2-5), average number of daily BCAS offload delays by 39% (from 2.3 to 1.4 delays per day), and number of patients who LWBS from 2.4% to 1.7%. Conclusion: The implementation of PAT was associated with improvements in all five measures of ED throughput, providing a potential solution for EDOC at KGH. ED LOS was reduced compared to non-PAT control days, successfully meeting the suggested national targets. PAT could improve efficiency, resulting in the ability to see more patients in the ED, and increase the quality and safety of ED practice. Next, we hope to prospectively evaluate PAT, continuing to analyze these process measures, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and formally assess ED staff and patient perceptions of the program.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
On 2 March 2016, several small en échelon tabular icebergs calved from the seaward front of the McMurdo Ice Shelf, and a previously inactive rift widened and propagated by ~3 km, ~25% of its previous length, setting the stage for the future calving of a ~14 km2 iceberg. Within 24 h of these events, all remaining land-fast sea ice that had been stabilizing the ice shelf broke-up. The events were witnessed by time-lapse cameras at nearby Scott Base, and put into context using nearby seismic and automatic weather station data, satellite imagery and subsequent ground observation. Although the exact trigger of calving and rifting cannot be identified definitively, seismic records reveal superimposed sets of both long-period (>10 s) sea swell propagating into McMurdo Sound from storm sources beyond Antarctica, and high-energy, locally-sourced, short-period (<10 s) sea swell, in the 4 days before the fast ice break-up and associated ice-shelf calving and rifting. This suggests that sea swell should be studied further as a proximal cause of ice-shelf calving and rifting; if proven, it suggests that ice-shelf stability is tele-connected with far-field storm conditions at lower latitudes, adding a global dimension to the physics of ice-shelf break-up.
Background: The diagnosis of a sports-related concussion is often dependent on the athlete self-reporting their symptoms. It has been suggested that improving youth athlete knowledge and attitudes toward concussion may increase self-reporting behaviour. The objective of this study was to determine if a novel Concussion-U educational program improves knowledge of and attitudes about concussion among a cohort of elite male Bantam and Midget AAA hockey players. Methods: Fifty-seven male Bantam and Midget AAA-level hockey players (mean age=14.52±1.13 years) were recruited from the local community. Each participant completed a modified version of the Rosenbaum Concussion Knowledge and Attitudes Survey–Student Version immediately before and after a Concussion-U educational presentation. Follow-up sessions were arranged 4 to 6 months after the presentation, and assessed retention of knowledge and attitude changes. Results: Forty-three players completed all three surveys. Concussion knowledge and attitude scores significantly (p<0.01) increased from pre- to post-presentation by 12.79 and 8.41%, respectively. At long-term follow-up, knowledge levels remained significantly (p<0.01) higher than baseline by 8.49%. Mean attitude scores were also increased at follow-up; however, this increase was not statistically significant. Conclusions: A Concussion-U educational program led to an immediate improvement in concussion knowledge and attitudes among elite male Bantam and Midget AAA hockey players. Increased knowledge was maintained at long-term follow-up, but improved attitude was not. Future studies should investigate whether similar educational programs influence symptom reporting and concussion incidence. In addition, they should focus on how to maintain improved concussion attitudes.
This study aimed to compare the efficacy of diode laser, coblation and cold dissection tonsillectomy in paediatric patients.
A total of 120 patients aged 10–15 years with recurrent tonsillitis were recruited. Participants were prospectively randomised to diode laser, coblation or cold dissection tonsillectomy. Operative time and blood loss were recorded. Pain was recorded on a Wong–Baker FACES® pain scale.
The operative time (10 ± 0.99 minutes), blood loss (20 ± 0.85 ml) and pain were significantly lower with coblation tonsillectomy than with cold dissection tonsillectomy (20 ± 1.0 minutes and 30 ± 1.0 ml; p = 0.0001) and diode laser tonsillectomy (15 ± 0.83 minutes and 25 ± 0.83 ml; p = 0.0001). Diode laser tonsillectomy had a shorter operative time (p = 0.0001) and less blood loss (p = 0.001) compared with cold dissection tonsillectomy. However, at post-operative day seven, the diode laser tonsillectomy group had significantly higher pain scores compared with the cold dissection (p = 0.042) and coblation (p = 0.04) tonsillectomy groups.
Both coblation and diode laser tonsillectomy are associated with significantly reduced blood loss and shorter operative times compared with cold dissection tonsillectomy. However, we advocate coblation tonsillectomy because of the lower post-operative pain scores compared with diode laser and cold dissection tonsillectomy.
This study aimed to measure changes in disease-specific quality of life in children following tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy.
A multicentre prospective cohort study was performed involving seven ENT departments in England. A total of 276 children entered the study over a 2-month period: 107 underwent tonsillectomy and 128 adenotonsillectomy. Forty-one children referred with throat problems initially managed by watchful waiting were also recruited. The follow-up period was 12 months. Outcome measures were the T14, parental impressions of their child's quality of life and the number of days absent from school.
One-year follow-up data were obtained from 150 patients (52 per cent). The mean baseline T14 score in the non-surgical group was significantly lower (T14 = 23) than in the tonsillectomy group (T14 = 31) or the adenotonsillectomy group (T14 = 35; p < 0.001). There was a significant improvement in the T14 scores of responders in all groups at follow up. The effect size was 1.3 standard deviations (SD) for the non-surgical group, 2.1 SD for the tonsillectomy group and 1.9 SD for the adenotonsillectomy group. Between-group differences did not reach statistical significance. A third of children in the non-surgical group underwent surgery during the follow-up period.
Children who underwent surgical intervention achieved a significant improvement in disease-specific quality of life. Less severely affected children were managed conservatively and also improved over 12 months, but 1 in 3 crossed over to surgical intervention.
The geographic distribution of brachiopod genus occurrences over the Phanerozoic shows that secular declines in origination and extinction rates were paralleled by increases in invasion and extirpation rates. Origination and extinction rates declined in two phases, the first from the Cambrian to latest Permian Periods and the second from the latest Permian Period to the present, which were accompanied by concomitant increases in invasion and extirpation rates. In addition to the temporal correlation, an inverse correlation was also weakly evident among time-averaged latitudinal gradients of rates. Compared with faunas at higher latitudes, low-latitude faunas experienced higher origination and extinction rates, and lower invasion and extirpation rates. We suggest that progressive increases in migration ability lowered origination and extinction rates because species that were better equipped to track a preferred habitat, for example, by the ability to disperse larvae over large distances, were less likely to evolve or become extinct in response to local environmental changes. The two phases were separated by the end-Permian mass extinction, which reset to high levels the origination and extinction rates of a taxonomically and ecologically altered global brachiopod fauna. Our data also allow us to quantify the relative contributions of origination, extinction, invasion, and extirpation to regional diversity (quantified as 10° latitudinal zones) more generally. Overall, invasion and extirpation explained slightly more variation in diversity than in situ origination and extinction. The four variables usually occurred in combinations that maintained rather than altered the shape of the latitudinal diversity gradient. For most of the Phanerozoic Eon, the gradient was not the product of continuous renewal, but rather existed as a holdover from a previous interval.
In recent practice, we have used tissue transfer (pedicled or free flap) to augment the pharyngeal circumference of the neopharynx following salvage total laryngectomy, even in patients who have sufficient pharyngeal mucosa for primary closure. In this study, the rates of pharyngocutaneous fistula were compared in soft tissue flap reconstructed patients versus patients who underwent primary closure.
A retrospective assessment was carried out of all patients who had undergone a salvage total laryngectomy between 2000 and 2010. The presence or absence of a pharyngocutaneous fistula was compared in those who received reconstruction closure versus those who received primary closure.
The reconstruction closure group (n = 7) had no incidence of pharyngocutaneous fistula, whereas the primary closure group (n = 38) had 10 fistulas, giving pharyngocutaneous fistula rates of 0 per cent versus 26 per cent, respectively.
The findings revealed a lower rate of pharyngocutaneous fistula with tissue transfer compared with primary closure of the neopharynx.
The objective of this study was to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of a culture method and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for detection of two Campylobacter species: C. jejuni and C. coli. Data were collected during a 3-year survey of UK broiler flocks, and consisted of parallel sampling of caeca from 436 batches of birds by both PCR and culture. Batches were stratified by season (summer/non-summer) and whether they were the first depopulation of the flock, resulting in four sub-populations. A Bayesian approach in the absence of a gold standard was adopted, and the sensitivity and specificity of the PCR and culture for each Campylobacter subtype was estimated, along with the true C. jejuni and C. coli prevalence in each sub-population. Results indicated that the sensitivity of the culture method was higher than that of PCR in detecting both species when the samples were derived from populations infected with at most one species of Campylobacter. However, from a mixed population, the sensitivity of culture for detecting both C. jejuni or C. coli is reduced while PCR is potentially able to detect both species, although the total probability of correctly identifying at least one species by PCR is similar to that of the culture method.
Polyurethanes are widely used, from medical devices to electrical materials to consumer goods. These materials have chemical stability issues which impact the mechanical stability. Infrared micro spectroscopy has been used to study polyurethane degradation, but due to experimental limitations, samples examined were no smaller than approximately 15 microns on a side. Because of the complex chemistry of urethanes, chemical examination of the material on a much higher spatial resolution scale would be valuable.
A relatively new technique, Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrochemical MicroImaging has been used to examine degraded polyester urethanes. Rather than using a single-element detector, a two dimensional array detector generates thousands of spectra simultaneously. In addition, a germanium prism generates a magnification effect; resulting in a significantly higher spatial resolution. The net output of the analysis is a hypercube of high resolution infrared spectra showing urethane degradation progression on a much smaller spatial scale than was previously possible.
During 2007–2009 a UK-wide, 3-year stratified randomized survey of UK chicken broiler flocks was conducted to estimate the prevalence of Campylobacter-infected batches of birds at slaughter. Thirty-seven abattoirs, processing 88·3% of the total UK slaughter throughput, were recruited at the beginning of the survey. Of the 1174 slaughter batches sampled, 79·2% were found to be colonized with Campylobacter, the majority of isolates being C. jejuni. Previous partial depopulation of the flock [odds ratio (OR) 5·21], slaughter in the summer months (categorized as June, July and August; OR 14·27) or autumn months (categorized as September, October and November; OR 1·70) increasing bird age (40–41 days, OR 3·18; 42–45 days, OR 3·56; ⩾46 days, OR 13·43) and higher recent mortality level in the flock (1·00–1·49% mortality, OR 1·57; ⩾1·49% mortality, OR 2·74) were all identified as significant risk factors for Campylobacter colonization of the birds at slaughter. Time in transit to the slaughterhouse of more than 2·5 h was identified as a protective factor (OR 0·52).
Feed conversion into milk, nutrient excretion in manure and subsequent environment impacts of manure management are highly influenced by the diets that farmers feed their lactating cows (Bos taurus). On confinement-based dairy farms, determinations of diet composition are relatively straightforward because the types, amounts and nutrients contained in stored feeds are often well known. However, on grazing-based dairy farms, diet composition is more difficult to determine because forage intake during grazing must be estimated. The objectives of this study were to determine relationships between (1) feed N intake (NI), milk production, milk urea N (MUN), feed N use efficiency (FNUE) and excreted manure N (ExN); and (2) between feed P intake (PI), dung P concentrations (g/kg dry matter (DM)) and excreted manure P (ExP) for grazing-based lactating cows having a very wide range of diets and milk production. An additional objective was to evaluate how well these relationships compare with similar relationships based on more direct measurement of feed–milk–manure on confinement-based dairy farms. Four dairy farms located in southeastern Australia were visited during autumn and spring, and data were collected on feed, milk and dung of 18 cows on each farm. Estimated dry matter intake (DMI) from pasture comprised 12% to 75% of total diet DMI, and the crude protein (CP) concentrations in the total diets ranged from 167 to 248 g/kg. During spring, as diet CP increased FNUE declined. Total diet DMI and NI provided the best predictors of ExN, and PI provided the most accurate prediction of ExP. These results indicated accuracy in the study's indirect estimates of pasture DMI. Likely due to high levels and great variability in dietary CP and P concentrations associated with use of diet supplements, MUN did not appear to be a good indicator of dietary CP, and P in dung was not a good indicator of dietary P.