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Availability of organic foods has been increasing in the United States due to consumer demand for food produced with a lower environmental footprint. Surveys show that organic consumers view organic food as safer and of higher quality, but a number of food-borne outbreaks have been linked to organic produce in recent years. This outcome suggests that improved food safety protocols are needed to ensure food safety along organic food chains. In this study, model integrated crop–livestock organic systems were established in three states (Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania) to evaluate biological performance and food safety aspects. Organically raised cattle and their feed/forage, feces, hide and meat were examined for the presence of two pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. Results confirmed that E. coli O157:H7 was not isolated on any hide or meat samples. Across all sites, the prevalence rate for E. coli O157:H7 on feed/forage and fecal matter was 9.43 and 7.26%, respectively. Salmonella spp. was isolated from 1.89, 3.33 and 18.6% of feed, fecal and hide samples, respectively. Salmonella spp. was not detected on any meat samples. While Salmonella spp. rates on hides were greater than those in feed and fecal samples, the prevalence rate of both pathogens on cattle hides was lower than in previous studies. The use of an organic fly repellent containing essential oils in this study would need to be investigated further to determine any correlation between its use and lower pathogen rates on hides. Feed/forage was more likely to test positive for E. coli O157:H7 from June through August, indicating the importance of strict sanitary measures to prevent feed contamination during summer months. These results suggest that careful adherence to food safety management strategies can help reduce the risk of bacterial contamination in integrated crop–livestock systems.
Decades of research have highlighted the significance of parenting in children's development, yet few studies have focused specifically on the development of parental monitoring strategies in diverse families living in at-risk neighborhoods. The current study investigated the development of active (i.e., parental discussions and curfew rules) and passive (i.e., child communication with parents) parental monitoring strategies across different developmental periods (middle childhood and adolescence; Grades 4–5 and 7–11) as well as individual (child, parent), family, and contextual antecedents (measured in kindergarten) of this parenting behavior. Using an ecological approach, this study evaluated longitudinal data from 753 participants in the Fast Track Project, a multisite study directed at the development and prevention of conduct problems in at-risk children. Latent trajectory modeling results identified little to no mean growth in these monitoring strategies over time, suggesting that families living in at-risk environments may engage in consistent levels of monitoring strategies to ensure children's safety and well-being. Findings also identified several kindergarten antecedents of the growth factors of these parental monitoring strategies including (a) early child conduct problems; (b) parental warmth/involvement, satisfaction, and efficacy; and (c) parent–child relationship quality. These predictive effects largely highlighted the important role of early parenting behaviors on later levels of and growth in parental monitoring strategies. These findings have important implications for potential prevention and intervention targets to promote the development of parental monitoring strategies among families living in more at-risk contexts.
Poor physical health in severe mental illness (SMI) remains a major issue for clinical practice.
To use electronic health records of routinely collected clinical data to determine levels of screening for cardiometabolic disease and adverse health outcomes in a large sample (n = 7718) of patients with SMI, predominantly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
We linked data from the Glasgow Psychosis Clinical Information System (PsyCIS) to morbidity records, routine blood results and prescribing data.
There was no record of routine blood monitoring during the preceding 2 years for 16.9% of the cohort. However, monitoring was poorer for male patients, younger patients aged 16–44, those with schizophrenia, and for tests of cholesterol, triglyceride and glycosylated haemoglobin. We estimated that 8.0% of participants had diabetes and that lipids levels, and use of lipid-lowering medication, was generally high.
Electronic record linkage identified poor health screening and adverse health outcomes in this vulnerable patient group. This approach can inform the design of future interventions and health policy.
One of Tom Dishion's most significant contributions to prevention science was the development of affordable, ecologically valid interventions, such as the Family Check-Up, that screen for child and family risk factors broadly, but concentrate family-specific interventions on those with greatest potential for population impact. In the spirit of this approach, investigators examined effects of a brief, universal postnatal home visiting program on child emergency medical care and billing costs from birth to age 24 months. Family Connects is a community-wide public health intervention that combines identification and alignment of community services and resources with brief, postpartum nurse home visits designed to assess risk, provide supportive guidance, and connect families with identified risk to community resources. Over 18 months, families of all 4,777 resident Durham County, North Carolina, births were randomly assigned based on even or odd birth date to receive a postnatal nurse home visiting intervention or services as usual (control). Independently, 549 of these families were randomly selected and participated in an impact evaluation study. Families, blind to study goals, provided written consent to access hospital administrative records. Results indicate that children randomly assigned to Family Connects had significantly less total emergency medical care (by 37%) through age 24 months, with results observed across almost all subgroups. Examination of billing records indicate a $3.17 decrease in total billing costs for each $1 in program costs. Overall, results suggest that community-wide postpartum support program can significantly reduce population rates of child emergency medical care through age 24 months while being cost-beneficial to communities.
Equitable access to mental healthcare is a priority for many countries. The National Health Service in England uses a weighted capitation formula to ensure that the geographical distribution of resources reflects need.
To produce a revised formula for estimating local need for secondary mental health, learning disability (intellectual disability) and psychological therapies services for adults in England.
We used demographic records for 43 751 535 adults registered with a primary care practitioner in England linked with service use, ethnicity, physical health diagnoses and type of household, from multiple data-sets. Using linear regression, we estimated the individual cost of care in 2015 as a function of individual- and area-level need and supply variables in 2013 and 2014. We sterilised the effects of the supply variables to obtain individual-need estimates. We aggregated these by general practitioner practice, age and gender to derive weights for the national capitation formula.
Higher costs were associated with: being 30–50 years old, compared with 20–24; being Irish, Black African, Black Caribbean or of mixed ethnicity, compared with White British; having been admitted for specific physical health conditions, including drug poisoning; living alone, in a care home or in a communal environment; and living in areas with a higher percentage of out-of-work benefit recipients and higher prevalence of severe mental illness. Longer distance from a provider was associated with lower cost.
The resulting needs weights were higher in more deprived areas and informed the distribution of some 12% (£9 bn in 2019/20) of the health budget allocated to local organisations for 2019/20 to 2023/24.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a psychological treatment that has been found to increase weight loss in adults when combined with lifestyle modification, compared with the latter treatment alone. However, an ACT-based treatment for weight loss has never been tested in adolescents.
The present pilot study assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a 16-week, group ACT-based lifestyle modification treatment for adolescents and their parents/guardians. The co-primary outcomes were: (1) mean acceptability scores from up to 8 biweekly ratings; and (2) the percentage reduction in body mass index (BMI) from baseline to week 16. The effect size for changes in cardiometabolic and psychosocial outcomes from baseline to week 16 also was examined.
Seven families enrolled and six completed treatment (14.3% attrition). The mean acceptability score was 8.8 for adolescents and 9.0 for parents (on a 1–10 scale), indicating high acceptability. The six adolescents who completed treatment experienced a 1.3% reduction in BMI (SD = 2.3, d = 0.54). They reported a medium increase in cognitive restraint, a small reduction in hunger, and a small increase in physical activity. They experienced small improvements in most quality of life domains and a large reduction in depression.
These preliminary findings indicate that ACT plus lifestyle modification was a highly acceptable treatment that improved weight, cognitive restraint, hunger, physical activity, and psychosocial outcomes in adolescents with obesity.
Objective: Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common, but mechanisms and risk factors are poorly understood. Frailty may be an important risk factor for cognitive impairment after stroke. We investigated the association between pre-stroke frailty and acute post-stoke cognition. Methods: We studied consecutively admitted acute stroke patients in a single urban teaching hospital during three recruitment waves between May 2016 and December 2017. Cognition was assessed using the Mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment (min=0; max=12). A Frailty Index was used to generate frailty scores for each patient (min=0; max=100). Clinical and demographic information were collected, including pre-stroke cognition, delirium, and stroke-severity. We conducted univariate and multiple-linear regression analyses with covariates forced in (covariates included were: age, sex, stroke severity, stroke-type, pre-stroke cognitive impairment, delirium, previous stroke/transient ischemic attack) to investigate the association between pre-stroke frailty and post-stroke cognition. Results: Complete data were available for 154 stroke patients. Mean age was 68 years (SD=11; range=32–97); 93 (60%) were male. Median mini-Montreal Cognitive Assessment score was 8 (IQR=4–12). Mean Frailty Index score was 18 (SD=11). Pre-stroke cognitive impairment was apparent in 13/154 (8%) patients. Pre-stroke frailty was significantly associated with lower post-stroke cognition (Standardized-Beta=−0.40; p<0.001) and this association was independent of covariates (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.005). Additional significant variables in the multiple regression model were age (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.05; p=0.002), delirium (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.81; p<0.001), pre-stroke cognitive impairment (Unstandardized-Beta=−2.28; p=0.001), and stroke-severity (Unstandardized-Beta=−0.20; p<0.001). Conclusions: Pre-stroke frailty may be a moderator of post-stroke cognition, independent of other well-established post-stroke cognitive impairment risk factors. (JINS, 2019, 25, 501–506)
Herbicides are the foundation of weed control in commercial crop-production systems. However, herbicide-resistant (HR) weed populations are evolving rapidly as a natural response to selection pressure imposed by modern agricultural management activities. Mitigating the evolution of herbicide resistance depends on reducing selection through diversification of weed control techniques, minimizing the spread of resistance genes and genotypes via pollen or propagule dispersal, and eliminating additions of weed seed to the soil seedbank. Effective deployment of such a multifaceted approach will require shifting from the current concept of basing weed management on single-year economic thresholds.
During the time elapsed since the last general assembly of the I.A.U., many activities have been pursued by the astronomers engaged in research work in the wide fields of problems concerning nebulae and clusters. In fact a number of important discoveries have been made and earlier work has been extended in a way to consolidate earlier views or revise them. The embarras de richesse in this field and the extremely short time available for the compilation of a report make it impossible to present anything else than a few short notes partly written by heart and only intended to express personal views on the question of how the research work on nebulae and clusters might be carried on.
The following report is mainly restricted to work done since the last meeting of the I.A.U., but in a few cases it has been necessary to mention earlier results.
Uranium incorporation into magnetite and its behaviour during subsequent oxidation has been investigated at high pH to determine the uranium retention mechanism(s) on formation and oxidative perturbation of magnetite in systems relevant to radioactive waste disposal. Ferrihydrite was exposed to U(VI)aq containing cement leachates (pH 10.5–13.1) and crystallization of magnetite was induced via addition of Fe(II)aq. A combination of XRD, chemical extraction and XAS techniques provided direct evidence that U(VI) was reduced and incorporated into the magnetite structure, possibly as U(V), with a significant fraction recalcitrant to oxidative remobilization. Immobilization of U(VI) by reduction and incorporation into magnetite at high pH, and with significant stability upon reoxidation, has clear and important implications for limiting uranium migration in geological disposal of radioactive wastes.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization and use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops focuses on the theory that the implementation of these traits is an extension of the intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was initiated in 2006 in the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history of GR-corn, -cotton or -soybean in the cropping system. The impact of cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and several categorical variables on seedbank weed population density and diversity was analyzed. The parameters of total weed population density of all species in the seedbank, species richness, Shannon's H′ and evenness were not affected by any management treatment. The similarity between the seedbank and aboveground weed community was more strongly related to location than management; previous year's crops and cropping systems were also important while GR trait rotation was not. The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location (geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific weed species, and the geographical location. Continuous GR crop, compared to fields with other cropping systems, only had greater species diversity (species richness) of some life forms, i.e., biennials, winter annuals, and prostrate weeds. Overall diversity was related to geography and not cropping system. These results justify further research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with herbicide-resistance traits to provide a more complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation to the weed seedbank.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Thin diamond foils are needed in many particle accelerator experiments regarding nuclear and atomic physics, as well as in some interdisciplinary research. Particularly, nanodiamond texture is attractive for this purpose as it possesses a unique combination of diamond properties such as high thermal conductivity, mechanical strength and high radiation hardness; therefore, it is a potential material for energetic ion beam stripper foils. At the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the installed set of foils must be able to survive a nominal five-month operation period, without the need for unscheduled costly shutdowns and repairs. Thus, a single nanodiamond foil about the size of a postage stamp is critical to the entire operation of SNS and similar sources in U.S. laboratories and around the world. We are investigating nanocrystalline, polycrystalline and their admixture films fabricated using a hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) system for H- stripping to support the SNS at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Here we discuss optimization of process variables such as substrate temperature, process gas ratio of H2/Ar/CH4, substrate to filament distance, filament temperature, carburization conditions, and filament geometry to achieve high purity diamond foils on patterned silicon substrates with manageable intrinsic and thermal stresses so that they can be released as free standing foils without curling. An in situ laser reflectance interferometry tool (LRI) is used for monitoring the growth characteristics of the diamond thin film materials. The optimization process has yielded free standing foils with no pinholes. The sp3/sp2 bonds are controlled to optimize electrical resistivity to reduce the possibility of surface charging of the foils. The integrated LRI and HFCVD process provides real time information on the growth of films and can quickly illustrate growth features and control over film thickness. The results are discussed in the light of development of nanodiamond foils that will be able to withstand a few MW proton beam and hopefully will be able to be used after possible future upgrades to the SNS to greater than a 3MW beam.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization of genetically
engineered (GE) crops, such as glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, focuses on
the theory that implementation of these traits is an extension of the
intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of
agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was conducted in 2006 in
the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history
of GR corn, cotton, or soybean in the cropping system. The impact of
cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and
several categorical variables on emerged weed density and diversity was
analyzed. Species richness, evenness, Shannon's H′, proportion of forbs,
erect growth habit, and C3 species diversity were all greater in
agricultural sites that lacked crop rotation or were in a continuous GR crop
system. Rotating between two GR crops (e.g., corn and soybean) or rotating
to a non-GR crop resulted in less weed diversity than a continuous GR crop.
The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location
(geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in
agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by
several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is
integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific
weed species, and the geographical location. The finding that fields with
continuous GR crops demonstrated greater weed diversity is contrary to
arguments opposing the use of GE crops. These results justify further
research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with
herbicide-resistance traits, or more broadly, GE crops, to provide a more
complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation.