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Debate about the nature of climate and the magnitude of ecological change across Australia during the last glacial maximum (LGM; 26.5–19 ka) persists despite considerable research into the late Pleistocene. This is partly due to a lack of detailed paleoenvironmental records and reliable chronological frameworks. Geochemical and geochronological analyses of a 60 ka sedimentary record from Brown Lake, subtropical Queensland, are presented and considered in the context of climate-controlled environmental change. Optically stimulated luminescence dating of dune crests adjacent to prominent wetlands across North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) returned a mean age of 119.9 ± 10.6 ka; indicating relative dune stability soon after formation in Marine Isotope Stage 5. Synthesis of wetland sediment geochemistry across the island was used to identify dust accumulation and applied as an aridification proxy over the last glacial-interglacial cycle. A positive trend of dust deposition from ca. 50 ka was found with highest influx occurring leading into the LGM. Complexities of comparing sedimentary records and the need for robust age models are highlighted with local variation influencing the accumulation of exogenic material. An inter-site comparison suggests enhanced moisture stress regionally during the last glaciation and throughout the LGM, returning to a more positive moisture balance ca. 8 ka.
We have previously shown that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables is inversely associated with carotid artery intima-media thickness. To further test the hypothesis that an increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with reduced indicators of structural vascular disease in other areas of the vascular tree, we aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association between cruciferous vegetable intake and extensive calcification in the abdominal aorta. Dietary intake was assessed, using a FFQ, in 684 older women from the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study. Cruciferous vegetables included cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) was scored using the Kauppila AAC24 scale on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry lateral spine images and was categorised as ‘not extensive’ (0–5) or ‘extensive’ (≥6). Mean age was 74·9 (sd 2·6) years, median cruciferous vegetable intake was 28·2 (interquartile range 15·0–44·7) g/d and 128/684 (18·7 %) women had extensive AAC scores. Those with higher intakes of cruciferous vegetables (>44·6 g/d) were associated with a 46 % lower odds of having extensive AAC in comparison with those with lower intakes (<15·0 g/d) after adjustment for lifestyle, dietary and CVD risk factors (ORQ4 v. Q1 0·54, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·97, P = 0·036). Total vegetable intake and each of the other vegetable types were not related to extensive AAC (P > 0·05 for all). This study strengthens the hypothesis that higher intake of cruciferous vegetables may protect against vascular calcification.
Although death by neurologic criteria (brain death) is legally recognized throughout the United States, state laws and clinical practice vary concerning three key issues: (1) the medical standards used to determine death by neurologic criteria, (2) management of family objections before determination of death by neurologic criteria, and (3) management of religious objections to declaration of death by neurologic criteria. The American Academy of Neurology and other medical stakeholder organizations involved in the determination of death by neurologic criteria have undertaken concerted action to address variation in clinical practice in order to ensure the integrity of brain death determination. To complement this effort, state policymakers must revise legislation on the use of neurologic criteria to declare death. We review the legal history and current laws regarding neurologic criteria to declare death and offer proposed revisions to the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and the rationale for these recommendations.
We identified a pseudo-outbreak of Mycobacterium avium in an outpatient bronchoscopy clinic following an increase in clinic procedure volume. We terminated the pseudo-outbreak by increasing the frequency of automated endoscope reprocessors (AER) filter changes from quarterly to monthly. Filter changing schedules should depend on use rather than fixed time intervals.
The illegal wildlife trade is driving declines in populations of a number of large, charismatic animal species but also many lesser known and restricted-range species, some of which are now facing extinction as a result. The ploughshare tortoise Astrochelys yniphora, endemic to the Baly Bay National Park of north-western Madagascar, is affected by poaching for the international illegal pet trade. To quantify this, we estimated population trends during 2006–2015, using distance sampling surveys along line transects, and recorded national and international confiscations of trafficked tortoises for 2002–2016. The results suggest the ploughshare tortoise population declined > 50% during this period, to c. 500 adults and subadults in 2014–2015. Prior to 2006 very few tortoises were seized either in Madagascar or internationally but confiscations increased sharply from 2010. Since 2015 poaching has intensified, with field reports suggesting that two of the four subpopulations are extinct, leaving an unknown but almost certainly perilously low number of adult tortoises in the wild. This study has produced the first reliable population estimate of the ploughshare tortoise and shows that the species has declined rapidly because of poaching for the international pet trade. There is an urgent need for increased action both in Madagascar and along international trade routes if the extinction of the ploughshare tortoise in the wild is to be prevented.
The role of vegetable and fruit intake in reducing falls risk in elderly populations is uncertain. This study examined the associations of vegetable and fruit intake with falls-related hospitalisations in a prospective cohort study of elderly women (n 1429, ≥70 years), including effects on muscular function, which represented a potential causal pathway. Muscular function, measured using grip strength and timed-up-and-go (TUG), and vegetable and fruit intake, quantified using a validated FFQ, were assessed at baseline (1998). Incident falls-related hospitalisation over 14·5-year follow-up was captured by the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, linked via the Western Australian Data Linkage System. Falls-related hospitalisation occurred in 568 (39·7 %) of women. In multivariable-adjusted models, falls-related hospitalisations were lower in participants consuming more vegetables (hazard ratio (HR) per 75 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·99)), but not fruit intake (per 150 g serve: 1·03 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·14)). Only total cruciferous vegetable intake was inversely associated with falls-related hospitalisation (HR: per 20 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·97)). Higher total vegetable intake was associated with lower odds for poor grip strength (OR: 0·87 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·97)) and slow TUG (OR: 0·88 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·99)). Including grip strength and TUG in the multivariable-adjusted model attenuated the association between total vegetable intake and falls-related hospitalisations. In conclusion, elderly women with higher total and cruciferous vegetable intake had lower injurious falls risk, which may be explained in a large part by better physical function. Falls reduction may be considered an additional benefit of higher vegetable intake in older women.
Britain has long taken a firm public line against terrorist ransom, insisting that yielding to terrorist demands only encourages further acts of intimidation and kidnapping. Hitherto, academic research has tended to take these assertions of piety at face value. This article uses a historical approach to show that the British position has shifted over time and was often more complex and pragmatic. Indeed, Britain’s position with regard to kidnap and ransom insurance has, until quite recently, been rather ambiguous. We use the British case to suggest that, rather than dividing states into groups that make concessions and those that do not, it is perhaps better to recognise there is often a broad spectrum of positions, sometimes held by different parts of the same government, together with the private security companies that move in the shadows on their behalf. One of the few things that unites them is a tendency to dissemble and this presents some intriguing methods problems for researchers.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
The nutrient choline is necessary for membrane synthesis and methyl donation, with increased requirements during lactation. The majority of immune development occurs postnatally, but the importance of choline supply for immune development during this critical period is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the importance of maternal supply of choline during suckling on immune function in their offspring among rodents. At parturition, Sprague–Dawley dams were randomised to either a choline-devoid (ChD; n 7) or choline-sufficient (ChS, 1 g/kg choline; n 10) diet with their offspring euthanised at 3 weeks of age. In a second experiment, offspring were weaned to a ChS diet until 10 weeks of age (ChD-ChS, n 5 and ChS-ChS, n 9). Splenocytes were isolated, and parameters of immune function were measured. The ChD offspring received less choline in breast milk and had lower final body and organ weight compared with ChS offspring (P<0·05), but this effect disappeared by week 10 with choline supplementation from weaning. ChD offspring had a higher proportion of T cells expressing activation markers (CD71 or CD28) and a lower proportion of total B cells (CD45RA+) and responded less to T cell stimulation (lower stimulation index and less IFN-γ production) ex vivo (P<0·05). ChD-ChS offspring had a lower proportion of total and activated CD4+ T cells, and produced less IL-6 after mitogen stimulation compared with cells from ChS-ChS (P<0·05). Our study suggests that choline is required in the suckling diet to facilitate immune development, and choline deprivation during this critical period has lasting effects on T cell function later in life.
There are multiple recent reports of an association between anxious/depressed (A/D) symptomatology and the rate of cerebral cortical thickness maturation in typically developing youths. We investigated the degree to which anxious/depressed symptoms are tied to age-related microstructural changes in cerebral fiber pathways. The participants were part of the NIH MRI Study of Normal Brain Development. Child Behavior Checklist A/D scores and diffusion imaging were available for 175 youths (84 males, 91 females; 241 magnetic resonance imagings) at up to three visits. The participants ranged from 5.7 to 18.4 years of age at the time of the scan. Alignment of fractional anisotropy data was implemented using FSL/Tract-Based Spatial Statistics, and linear mixed model regression was carried out using SPSS. Child Behavior Checklist A/D was associated with the rate of microstructural development in several white matter pathways, including the bilateral anterior thalamic radiation, bilateral inferior longitudinal fasciculus, left superior longitudinal fasciculus, and right cingulum. Across these pathways, greater age-related fractional anisotropy increases were observed at lower levels of A/D. The results suggest that subclinical A/D symptoms are associated with the rate of microstructural development within several white matter pathways that have been implicated in affect regulation, as well as mood and anxiety psychopathology.
Higher fruit intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. However, data on individual fruits are limited, and the generalisability of these findings to the elderly remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to examine the association of apple intake with all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years in a cohort of women aged over 70 years. Secondary analyses explored relationships of other fruits with mortality outcomes. Usual fruit intake was assessed in 1456 women using a FFQ. Incidence of all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years was determined through the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data system. Cox regression was used to determine the hazard ratios (HR) for mortality. During 15 years of follow-up, 607 (41·7 %) women died from any cause. In the multivariable-adjusted analysis, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·97) per sd (53 g/d) increase in apple intake, HR 0·80 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·98) for consumption of 5–100 g/d and HR 0·65 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·89) for consumption of >100 g/d (an apple a day), compared with apple intake of <5 g/d (Pfor trend=0·03). Our analysis also found that higher apple intake was associated with lower risk for cancer mortality, and that higher total fruit and banana intakes were associated lower risk of CVD mortality (P<0·05). Our results support the view that regular apple consumption may contribute to lower risk of mortality.
Residual herbicides are routinely recommended to aid in control of glyphosate-resistant (GR) Palmer amaranth in cotton. Acetochlor, a chloroacetamide herbicide, applied PRE, controls Palmer amaranth. A microencapsulated (ME) formulation of acetochlor is now registered for PRE application in cotton. Field research was conducted in North Carolina to evaluate cotton tolerance and Palmer amaranth control by acetochlor ME alone and in various combinations. Treatments, applied PRE, consisted of acetochlor ME, pendimethalin, or no herbicide arranged factorially with diuron, fluometuron, fomesafen, diuron plus fomesafen, and no herbicide. The PRE herbicides were followed by glufosinate applied twice POST and diuron plus MSMA directed at layby. Acetochlor ME was less injurious to cotton than pendimethalin. Acetochlor ME alone or in combination with other herbicides reduced early season cotton growth 5 to 8%, whereas pendimethalin alone or in combinations injured cotton 11 to 13%. Early season injury was transitory, and by 65 to 84 d after PRE treatment, injury was no longer noticeable. Before the first POST application of glufosinate, acetochlor ME and pendimethalin controlled Palmer amaranth 84 and 64%, respectively. Control by acetochlor ME was similar to control by diuron plus fomesafen and greater than control by diuron, fluometuron, or fomesafen alone. Greater than 90% control was obtained with acetochlor ME mixed with diuron or fomesafen. Palmer amaranth control was similar with acetochlor ME plus a full or reduced rate of fomesafen. Acetochlor ME controlled large crabgrass and goosegrass at 91 and 100% compared with control at 83 and 91%, respectively, by pendimethalin. Following glufosinate, applied twice POST, and diuron plus MSMA, at layby, 96 to 99% control was obtained late in the season by all treatments, and no differences among herbicide treatments were noted for cotton yield. This research demonstrated that acetochlor ME can be safely and effectively used in cotton weed management programs.
Choline demands during lactation are high; however, detailed knowledge is lacking regarding the optimal dietary intake during this critical period. The present study was designed to determine the effects of varying intakes of choline on maternal immune function during lactation. Primiparous Sprague–Dawley rats (n 42) were randomised 24-48 h before birth and fed the following diets for 21 d: choline-devoid (0 g choline/kg diet; D, n 10); 1·0 g choline/kg diet (C1, n 11); 2·5 g choline/kg diet (C2·5, n 10); 6·2 g choline/kg diet (C6, n 11). Splenocytes were isolated and stimulated ex vivo with concanavalin A, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or CD3/CD28. D and C6 dams had lower final body weight, spleen weight and average pup weight than C1 dams (P< 0·05). There was a linear relationship between free choline concentration in pup stomach contents with maternal dietary choline content (P< 0·001, r2 0·415). Compared with C1 and C2·5, D spleens had a lower proportion of mature T cells and activated suppressor cells, and this resulted in reduced cytokine production after stimulation (P< 0·05). Feeding 6·2 g choline/kg diet resulted in a higher cytokine production after stimulation with CD3/CD28 (P< 0·05). Except for a higher IL-6 production after LPS stimulation with cells from the C2·5 dams (P< 0·05), there were no differences between the C1 and C2·5 dams. For the first time, we show that feeding lactating mothers a diet free of choline has substantial effects on their immune function and on offspring growth. Additionally, excess dietary choline had adverse effects on maternal and offspring body weight but only minimal effects on maternal immune function.
This paper aims to provide a detailed analysis of the diagnostic process of lung cancer from a primary-care perspective.
Diagnosing lung cancer at a stage where curative treatment is possible remains a challenge. Beginning to understand the complexity and difficulty in the diagnostic journey should enable the development of interventions in order to facilitate timelier diagnosis.
A national study of significant events was conducted whereby general practitioners (GPs) in Wales were asked to report data relating to the diagnostic process of recent lung cancer diagnoses using a standard template. Both qualitative and quantitative data were analysed.
Case reports were received from 96 general practices on 118 patients. A total of 96 patients (81.4%) presented with respiratory symptoms. A total of 79 patients (66.9%) had a GP-initiated X-ray before diagnosis. A total of 23 patients (19.5%) had a chest X-ray that did not initially show suspicion of lung cancer. A total of 25 patients (21.2%) were diagnosed after a GP-initiated acute admission. Analysis of free-text qualitative data showed that, for many patients, their GP behaved in an exemplary manner. However, for some patients, the GP could have made more of the opportunities presented for timelier diagnosis. There were a number of atypical and complex presentations, where the opportunities for more timely diagnosis were more limited. A variety of causes of diagnostic delays in secondary care were reported. These findings will inform health policy, and will inform the design of interventions to try to facilitate more timely diagnosis for symptomatic patients. We encourage greater compliance with diagnostic guidelines and greater vigilance for patients presenting with atypical symptoms, as well as for patients whose initial chest X-rays are normal.
This study evaluated the efficacy of 3 common hospital disinfectants to inactivate influenza virus on elastomeric respirators. Quaternary ammonium/isopropyl alcohol and bleach detergent wipes eliminated live virus, whereas 70% isopropyl alcohol alone was ineffective.
It is uncertain whether antipsychotic long-acting injection (LAI) medication in schizophrenia is associated with better clinical outcomes than oral preparations.
To examine the impact of prior treatment delivery route on treatment outcomes and whether any differences are moderated by adherence.
Analysis of data from two pragmatic 1-year clinical trials in which patients with schizophrenia were randomised to either an oral first-generation antipsychotic (FGA), or a non-clozapine second-generation antipsychotic (SGA, CUtLASS 1 study), or a non-clozapine SGA or clozapine (CUtLASS 2 study).
Across both trials, 43% (n = 155) of participants were prescribed an FGA-LAI before randomisation. At 1-year follow-up they showed less improvement in quality of life, symptoms and global functioning than those randomised from oral medication. This difference was confined to patients rated as less than consistently adherent pre-randomisation. The relatively poor improvement in the patients prescribed an LAI pre-randomisation was ameliorated if they had been randomised to clozapine rather than another SGA. There was no advantage to being randomly assigned from an LAI at baseline to a non-clozapine oral SGA rather than an oral FGA.
A switch at randomisation from an LAI to an oral antipsychotic was associated with poorer clinical and functional outcomes at 1-year follow-up compared with switching from one oral antipsychotic to another. This effect appears to be moderated by adherence, and may not extend to switching to clozapine. This has implications for clinical trial design: the drug from which a participant is randomised may have a greater effect than the drug to which they are randomised.