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The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) throughout key regions of the United States in early 2020 placed a premium on timely, national surveillance of hospital patient censuses. To meet that need, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN), the nation’s largest hospital surveillance system, launched a module for collecting hospital coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data. We present time-series estimates of the critical hospital capacity indicators from April 1 to July 14, 2020.
From March 27 to July 14, 2020, the NHSN collected daily data on hospital bed occupancy, number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and the availability and/or use of mechanical ventilators. Time series were constructed using multiple imputation and survey weighting to allow near–real-time daily national and state estimates to be computed.
During the pandemic’s April peak in the United States, among an estimated 431,000 total inpatients, 84,000 (19%) had COVID-19. Although the number of inpatients with COVID-19 decreased from April to July, the proportion of occupied inpatient beds increased steadily. COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from mid-June in the South and Southwest regions after stay-at-home restrictions were eased. The proportion of inpatients with COVID-19 on ventilators decreased from April to July.
The NHSN hospital capacity estimates served as important, near–real-time indicators of the pandemic’s magnitude, spread, and impact, providing quantitative guidance for the public health response. Use of the estimates detected the rise of hospitalizations in specific geographic regions in June after they declined from a peak in April. Patient outcomes appeared to improve from early April to mid-July.
The objective of this study was to derive a factor structure of the measures of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB) that is representative of cognitive abilities in a large ethnically diverse cohort of 8-year-old children in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our sample comprised of 4298 8-year-old children from the Growing Up in New Zealand study. We conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis for the NIH Toolbox CB measures to discover the best-fitting factor structure in our sample. Measurement invariance of the identified model was tested across child’s gender, socio-economic status (SES), and ethnicity.
A three-dimensional factor structure was identified, with one factor of Crystallised Cognition (Reading and Vocabulary), and two distinguished factors of fluid cognition: Fluid Cognition I (Attention/Inhibitory Control, Processing Speed, and Cognitive Flexibility) and Fluid Cognition II (Working Memory, Episodic Memory). The results demonstrate excellent model fit, but reliability of the factors was low. Measurement invariance was confirmed for child’s gender. We found configural, but neither metric nor scalar, invariance across SES and the four major ethnic groups: European, Māori, Pacific Peoples, and Asian.
Our findings show that, at the age of 8 years, fluid abilities are more strongly associated with one another than with crystallised abilities and that fluid abilities need to be further differentiated. This dimensional structure allows for comparisons across child’s gender, but evaluations across SES and ethnicity within the Aotearoa New Zealand context must be conducted with caution. We recommend using raw scores of the individual NIH Toolbox CB measures in future research.
In May 2019 we launched a special exhibition at the Uganda Museum in Kampala titled “The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin.” It consisted of 150 images made by government photographers in the 1970s. In this essay we explore how political history has been delimited in the Museum, and how these limitations shaped the exhibition we curated. From the time of its creation, the Museum's disparate and multifarious collections were exhibited as ethnographic specimens, stripped of historical context. Spatially and organizationally, “The Unseen Archive of Idi Amin” turned its back on the ethnographic architecture of the Uganda Museum. The transformation of these vivid, evocative, aesthetically appealing photographs into historical evidence of atrocity was intensely discomfiting. We have been obliged to organize the exhibition around categories that did not correspond with the logic of the photographic archive, with the architecture of the Museum, or with the experiences of the people who lived through the 1970s. The exhibition has made history, but not entirely in ways that we chose.
Garden loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris L.), is an invasive wetland plant that is subject to management in King County, WA, USA. Large-scale management efforts are generally conducted using herbicides. In this case study, we analyzed 17 yr of monitoring and treatment data in four riparian areas in King County to estimate the rate of spread of L. vulgaris and the efficacy of herbicidal treatments against L. vulgaris populations. In each area, herbicide treatments were applied annually. In three of the areas, the area infested with L. vulgaris did not change over time, while in the fourth area populations of L. vulgaris were spreading at a rate of 0.79 m2 yr−1. There were a greater number of sampled locations infested with L. vulgaris over the 17-yr period, and because populations were either not spreading or spreading slowly, it is possible that populations were becoming more fragmented. There was no relationship between the percentage of the infested area treated with herbicides and the area infested in the following year. However, there was a negative relationship between the area treated and the percent change in the invaded area; specifically, in years when <80% of the infested area was treated, there was an increase in the percent change of the invaded area between the year of treatment and the following year. The results of this study suggest that at the current level of management effort, the spatial extent of L. vulgaris did not retract over the 17-yr study period.
Prospectively acquired Canadian cerebrospinal fluid samples were used to assess the performance characteristics of three ante-mortem tests commonly used to support diagnoses of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. The utility of the end-point quaking-induced conversion assay as a test for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease diagnoses was compared to that of immunoassays designed to detect increased amounts of the surrogate markers 14-3-3γ and hTau. The positive predictive values of the end-point quaking-induced conversion, 14-3-3γ, and hTau tests conducted at the Prion Diseases Section of the Public Health Agency of Canada were 96%, 68%, and 66%, respectively.
The evolution of resistance to multiple herbicides in Palmer amaranth is a major challenge for its management. In this study, a Palmer amaranth population from Hutchinson, Kansas (HMR), was characterized for resistance to inhibitors of photosystem II (PSII) (e.g., atrazine), acetolactate synthase (ALS) (e.g., chlorsulfuron), and EPSP synthase (EPSPS) (e.g., glyphosate), and this resistance was investigated. About 100 HMR plants were treated with field-recommended doses (1×) of atrazine, chlorsulfuron, and glyphosate, separately along with Hutchinson multiple-herbicide (atrazine, chlorsulfuron, and glyphosate)–susceptible (HMS) Palmer amaranth as control. The mechanism of resistance to these herbicides was investigated by sequencing or amplifying the psbA, ALS, and EPSPS genes, the molecular targets of atrazine, chlorsulfuron, and glyphosate, respectively. Fifty-two percent of plants survived a 1× (2,240 g ai ha−1) atrazine application with no known psbA gene mutation, indicating the predominance of a non–target site resistance mechanism to this herbicide. Forty-two percent of plants survived a 1× (18 g ai ha−1) dose of chlorsulfuron with proline197serine, proline197threonine, proline197alanine, and proline197asparagine, or tryptophan574leucine mutations in the ALS gene. About 40% of the plants survived a 1× (840 g ae ha−1) dose of glyphosate with no known mutations in the EPSPS gene. Quantitative PCR results revealed increased EPSPS copy number (50 to 140) as the mechanism of glyphosate resistance in the survivors. The most important finding of this study was the evolution of resistance to at least two sites of action (SOAs) (~50% of plants) and to all three herbicides due to target site as well as non–target site mechanisms. The high incidence of individual plants with resistance to multiple SOAs poses a challenge for effective management of this weed.
Acifluorfen is a nonsystemic PPO-inhibiting herbicide commonly used for POST Palmer amaranth control in soybean, peanut, and rice across the southern United States. Concerns have been raised regarding herbicide selection pressure and particle drift, increasing the need for application practices that optimize herbicide efficacy while mitigating spray drift. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 in Mississippi and Nebraska to evaluate the influence of a range of spray droplet sizes [150 μm (Fine) to 900 μm (Ultra Coarse)], using acifluorfen to create a novel Palmer amaranth management recommendation using pulse width modulation (PWM) technology. A pooled site-year generalized additive model (GAM) analysis suggested that 150-μm (Fine) droplets should be used to obtain the greatest Palmer amaranth control and dry biomass reduction. Nevertheless, GAM models indicated that only 7.2% of the variability observed in Palmer amaranth control was due to differences in spray droplet size. Therefore, location-specific GAM analyses were performed to account for geographical differences to increase the accuracy of prediction models. GAM models suggested that 250-μm (Medium) droplets optimize acifluorfen efficacy on Palmer amaranth in Dundee, MS, and 310-μm (Medium) droplets could sustain 90% of maximum weed control. Specific models for Beaver City, NE, indicated that 150-μm (Fine) droplets provide maximum Palmer amaranth control, and 340-μm (Medium) droplets could maintain 90% of greatest weed control. For Robinsonville, MS, optimal Palmer amaranth control could be obtained with 370-μm (Coarse) droplets, and 90% maximum control could be sustained with 680 μm (Ultra Coarse) droplets. Differences in optimal droplet size across location could be a result of convoluted interactions between droplet size, weather conditions, population density, plant morphology, and soil fertility levels. Future research should adopt a holistic approach to identify and investigate the influence of environmental and application parameters to optimize droplet size recommendations.
Herbicide applications performed with pulse width modulation (PWM) sprayers to deliver specific spray droplet sizes could maintain product efficacy, minimize potential off-target movement, and increase flexibility in field operations. Given the continuous expansion of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth populations across the southern and midwestern United States, efficacious and cost-effective means of application are needed to maximize Palmer amaranth control. Experiments were conducted in two locations in Mississippi (2016, 2017, and 2018) and one location in Nebraska (2016 and 2017) for a total of 7 site-years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of a range of spray droplet sizes [150 (Fine) to 900 μm (Ultra Coarse)] on lactofen and acifluorfen efficacy for Palmer amaranth control. The results of this research indicated that spray droplet size did not influence lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth control and percent dry-biomass reduction remained consistent with lactofen applied within the aforementioned droplet size range. Therefore, larger spray droplets should be used as part of a drift mitigation approach. In contrast, acifluorfen application with 300-μm (Medium) spray droplets provided the greatest Palmer amaranth control. Although percent biomass reduction was numerically greater with 300-μm (Medium) droplets, results did not differ with respect to spray droplet size, possibly as a result of initial plant injury, causing weight loss, followed by regrowth. Overall, 900-μm (Ultra Coarse) droplets could be used effectively without compromising lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth, and 300-μm (Medium) droplets should be used to achieve maximum Palmer amaranth control with acifluorfen.
Germ plasm, a cytoplasmic factor of germline cell differentiation, is suggested to be a perspective tool for in vitro meiotic differentiation. To discriminate between the: (1) germ plasm-related structures (GPRS) involved in meiosis triggering; and (2) GPRS involved in the germ plasm storage phase, we investigated gametogenesis in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma. The GPRS of the mitosis-to-meiosis period are similar in males and females. In both sexes, five events typically occur: (1) turning of the primary Vasa-positive germ plasm granules into the Vasa-positive intermitochondrial cement (IMC); (2) aggregation of some mitochondria by IMC followed by arising of mitochondrial clusters; (3) intramitochondrial localization of IMC-originated Vasa; followed by (4) mitochondrial cluster degradation; and (5) intranuclear localization of Vasa followed by this protein entering the nuclei (gonial cells) and synaptonemal complexes (zygotene–pachytene meiotic cells). In post-zygotene/pachytene gametogenesis, the GPRS are sex specific; the Vasa-positive chromatoid bodies are found during spermatogenesis, but oogenesis is characterized by secondary arising of Vasa-positive germ plasm granules followed by secondary formation and degradation of mitochondrial clusters. A complex type of germ plasm generation, ‘the follicle cell assigned germ plasm formation’, was found in late oogenesis. The mechanisms discovered are recommended to be taken into account for possible reconstruction of those under in vitro conditions.
The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) has made major advances in the molecular etiology of MDD, confirming that MDD is highly polygenic. Pathway enrichment results from PGC meta-analyses can also be used to help inform molecular drug targets. Prior to any knowledge of molecular biomarkers for MDD, drugs targeting molecular pathways (MPs) proved successful in treating MDD. It is possible that examining polygenicity within specific MPs implicated in MDD can further refine molecular drug targets.
Using a large case–control GWAS based on low-coverage whole genome sequencing (N = 10 640) in Han Chinese women, we derived polygenic risk scores (PRS) for MDD and for MDD specific to each of over 300 MPs previously shown to be relevant to psychiatric diagnoses. We then identified sets of PRSs, accounting for critical covariates, significantly predictive of case status.
Over and above global MDD polygenic risk, polygenic risk within the GO: 0017144 drug metabolism pathway significantly predicted recurrent depression after multiple testing correction. Secondary transcriptomic analysis suggests that among genes in this pathway, CYP2C19 (family of Cytochrome P450) and CBR1 (Carbonyl Reductase 1) might be most relevant to MDD. Within the cases, pathway-based risk was additionally associated with age at onset of MDD.
Results indicate that pathway-based risk might inform etiology of recurrent major depression. Future research should examine whether polygenicity of the drug metabolism gene pathway has any association with clinical presentation or treatment response. We discuss limitations to the generalizability of these preliminary findings, and urge replication in future research.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) incidence in the USA has quadrupled since 2000. Health departments must detect LD outbreaks quickly to identify and remediate sources. We tested the performance of a system to prospectively detect simulated LD outbreaks in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. We generated three simulated LD outbreaks based on published outbreaks. After verifying no significant clusters existed in surveillance data during 2014–2016, we embedded simulated outbreak-associated cases into 2016, assigning simulated residences and report dates. We mimicked daily analyses in 2016 using the prospective space-time permutation scan statistic to detect clusters of ⩽30 and ⩽180 days using 365-day and 730-day baseline periods, respectively. We used recurrence interval (RI) thresholds of ⩾20, ⩾100 and ⩾365 days to define significant signals. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for daily analyses, separately for each embedded outbreak. Two large, simulated cooling tower-associated outbreaks were detected. As the RI threshold was increased, sensitivity and negative predictive value decreased, while positive predictive value and specificity increased. A small, simulated potable water-associated outbreak was not detected. Use of a RI threshold of ⩾100 days minimised time-to-detection while maximizing positive predictive value. Health departments should consider using this system to detect community-acquired LD outbreaks.
Inappropriate use of antibiotics is contributing to a serious antimicrobial resistance problem in Asian hospitals. Despite resource constraints in the region, all Asian hospitals should implement antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programs to optimize antibiotic treatment, improve patient outcomes, and minimize antimicrobial resistance. This document describes a consensus statement from a panel of regional experts to help multidisciplinary AMS teams design programs that suit the needs and resources of their hospitals. In general, AMS teams must decide on appropriate interventions (eg, prospective audit and/or formulary restriction) for their hospital, focusing on the most misused antibiotics and problematic multidrug-resistant organisms. This focus is likely to include carbapenem use with the goal to reduce carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria. Rather than initially trying to introduce a comprehensive, hospital-wide AMS program, it would be practical to begin by pilot testing a simple program based on 1 achievable core intervention for the hospital. AMS team members must work together to determine the most suitable AMS interventions to implement in their hospitals and how best to put them into practice. Continuous monitoring and feedback of outcomes to the AMS teams, hospital administration, and prescribers will enhance sustainability of the AMS programs.
The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
Herbicide resistance, and in particular multiple-herbicide resistance, poses an ever-increasing threat to food security. A biotype of junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] with resistance to four herbicides, imazamox, fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, quinclorac, and propanil, each representing a different mechanism of action, was identified in Sunflower County, MS. Dose responses were performed on the resistant biotype and a biotype sensitive to all four herbicides to determine the level of resistance. Application of a cytochrome P450 inhibitor, malathion, with the herbicides imazamox and quinclorac resulted in increased susceptibility in the resistant biotype. Differential gene expression analysis of resistant and sensitive plants revealed that 170 transcripts were upregulated in resistant plants relative to sensitive plants and 160 transcripts were upregulated in sensitive plants. In addition, 507 transcripts were only expressed in resistant plants and 562 only in sensitive plants. A subset of these transcripts were investigated further using quantitative PCR (qPCR) to compare gene expression in resistant plants with expression in additional sensitive biotypes. The qPCR analysis identified two transcripts, a kinase and a glutathione S-transferase that were significantly upregulated in resistant plants compared with the sensitive plants. A third transcript, encoding an F-box protein, was downregulated in the resistant plants relative to the sensitive plants. As no cytochrome P450s were differentially expressed between the resistant and sensitive plants, a single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis was performed, revealing several nonsynonymous point mutations of interest. These candidate genes will require further study to elucidate the resistance mechanisms present in the resistant biotype.
The impact of storage on stability and detection of Clostridium difficile toxins in feces is poorly understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the immunological stability of C. difficile toxins in clinical stool specimens under different storage conditions by evaluating this stability using toxin detection by enzyme immunoassay (EIA).
Stool specimens positive for C. difficile infection (CDI) by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were used for EIA testing with the C. difficile Tox A/B II kit. The EIA-positive specimens were stored aerobically under refrigerated (4–10°C) and frozen (−30°C and −80°C) conditions. Measurement of toxin quantity was conducting using optical density (OD) on days 0, 14, 30, 60, 90, and 120 of storage.
Clostridium difficile toxins demonstrated good detection in undiluted stool specimens by EIA up to 120 days of storage. Good detection of the toxins was observed in diluted samples at refrigerated and −80°C temperatures. Dilution detrimentally affected toxin detection at −30°C.
Storage of undiluted clinical stool specimens at refrigerated, −30°C, and −80°C temperatures for up to 120 days has no discernible effect on the immunological stability of C. difficile cytotoxins. However, storage at −30°C has a detrimental effect on C. difficile toxin stability in diluted specimens.
Habits are behavioral routines that are automatic and frequent, relatively independent of any desired outcome, and have potent antecedent cues. Among individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN), behaviors that promote the starved state appear habitual, and this is the foundation of a recent neurobiological model of AN. In this proof-of-concept study, we tested the habit model of AN by examining the impact of an intervention focused on antecedent cues for eating disorder routines.
The primary intervention target was habit strength; we also measured clinical impact via eating disorder psychopathology and actual eating. Twenty-two hospitalized patients with AN were randomly assigned to 12 sessions of either Supportive Psychotherapy or a behavioral intervention aimed at cues for maladaptive behavioral routines, Regulating Emotions and Changing Habits (REaCH).
Covarying for baseline, REaCH was associated with a significantly lower Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) score and significantly lower Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q) global score at the end-of-treatment. The end-of-treatment effect size for SRHI was d = 1.28, for EDE-Q was d = 0.81, and for caloric intake was d = 1.16.
REaCH changed habit strength of maladaptive routines more than an active control therapy, and targeting habit strength yielded improvement in clinically meaningful measures. These findings support a habit-based model of AN, and suggest habit strength as a mechanism-based target for intervention.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.