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In 2017, Public Health England South East Health Protection Team (HPT) were involved in the management of an outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis (the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis) in a pack of working foxhounds. This paper summarises the actions taken by the team in managing the public health aspects of the outbreak, and lessons learned to improve the management of future potential outbreaks. A literature search was conducted to identify relevant publications on M. bovis. Clinical notes from the Public Health England (PHE) health protection database were reviewed and key points extracted. Animal and public health stakeholders involved in the management of the situation provided further evidence through unstructured interviews and personal communications. The PHE South East team initially provided ‘inform and advise’ letters to human contacts whilst awaiting laboratory confirmation to identify the infectious agent. Once M. bovis had been confirmed in the hounds, an in-depth risk assessment was conducted, and contacts were stratified in to risk pools. Eleven out of 20 exposed persons with the greatest risk of exposure were recommended to attend TB screening and one tested positive, but had no evidence of active TB infection. The number of human contacts working with foxhound packs can be large and varied. HPTs should undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of all potential routes of exposure, involve all other relevant stakeholders from an early stage and undertake regular risk assessments. Current guidance should be revised to account for the unique risks to human health posed by exposure to infected working dogs.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Compared to chart review, a definition based on the International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis code for healthcare-associated influenza-like illness (HA-ILI) among young children in a large pediatric network demonstrated high positive and negative predictive values. This finding suggests that electronic health record–based definitions for surveillance can accurately identify medically attended outpatient HA-ILI cases for research and surveillance.
Restoration in Mediterranean-climate grasslands is strongly impeded by lack of native propagules and competition with exotic grasses and forbs. We report on a study testing several methods for exotic plant control combined with planting native grasses to restore prairies in former agricultural land in coastal California. Specifically we compared tarping (shading out recently germinated seedlings with black plastic) once, tarping twice, topsoil removal, herbicide (glyphosate), and a control treatment in factorial combinations with or without wood mulch. Into each treatment we planted three native grass species (Elymus glaucus, Hordeum brachyantherum, and Stipa pulchra) and monitored plant survival and cover for three growing seasons. Survival of native grass species was high in all treatments, but was slightly lower in unmulched soil removal and control treatments in the first 2 yr. Mulching, tarping, and herbicide were all effective in reducing exotic grass cover and enhancing native grass cover for the first 2 yr, but by the third growing season cover of the plant guilds and bare ground had mostly converged, primarily because of the declining effects of the initial treatments. Mulching and tarping were both considerably more expensive than herbicide treatment. Topsoil removal was less effective in increasing native grass cover likely because soil removal altered the surface hydrology in this system. Our results show that several treatments were effective in enhancing native grass establishment, but that longer term monitoring is needed to evaluate the efficacy of restoration efforts. The most appropriate approach to controlling exotics to restore specific grassland sites will depend not only on the effectiveness, but also on relative costs and site constraints.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
Digital signal processing is one of many valuable tools for suppressing unwanted signals or inter-ference. Building hardware processing engines seems to be the way to best implement some classes of interference suppression but is, unfortunately, expensive and time-consuming, especially if several miti-gation techniques need to be compared. Simulations can be useful, but are not a substitute for real data. CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility has recently commenced a ‘software radio telescope’ project designed to fill the gap between dedicated hardware processors and pure simulation. In this approach, real telescope data are recorded coherently, then processed offline. This paper summarises the current contents of a freely available database of base band recorded data that can be used to experiment with signal processing solutions. It includes data from the following systems: single dish, multi-feed receiver; single dish with reference antenna; and an array of six 22 m antennas with and without a reference antenna. Astronomical sources such as OH masers, pulsars and continuum sources subject to interfering signals were recorded. The interfering signals include signals from the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and its Russian equivalent (GLONASS), television, microwave links, a low-Earth-orbit satellite, various other transmitters, and signals leaking from local telescope systems with fast clocks. The data are available on compact disk, allowing use in general purpose computers or as input to laboratory hardware prototypes.
In substantial numbers of affected populations, disasters adversely affect well-being and influence the development of emotional problems and dysfunctional behaviors. Nowhere is the integration of mental and behavioral health into broader public health and medical preparedness and response activities more crucial than in disasters such as the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The National Biodefense Science Board, recognizing that the mental and behavioral health responses to H1N1 were vital to preserving safety and health for the country, requested that the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee recommend actions for public health officials to prevent and mitigate adverse behavioral health outcomes during the H1N1 pandemic. The subcommittee's recommendations emphasized vulnerable populations and concentrated on interventions, education and training, and communication and messaging. The subcommittee's H1N1 activities and recommendations provide an approach and template for identifying and addressing future efforts related to newly emerging public health and medical emergencies. The many emotional and behavioral health implications of the crisis and the importance of psychological factors in determining the behavior of members of the public argue for a programmatic integration of behavioral health and science expertise in a comprehensive public health response.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:67–71)
The close interplay between mental health and physical health makes it critical to integrate mental and behavioral health considerations into all aspects of public health and medical disaster management. Therefore, the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) convened the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee to assess the progress of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in integrating mental and behavioral health into disaster and emergency preparedness and response activities. One vital opportunity to improve integration is the development of clear and directive national policy to firmly establish the role of mental and behavioral health as part of a unified public health and medical response to disasters. Integration of mental and behavioral health into disaster preparedness, response, and recovery requires it to be incorporated in assessments and services, addressed in education and training, and founded on and advanced through research. Integration must be supported in underlying policies and administration with clear lines of responsibility for formulating and implementing policy and practice.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:60–66)
Zeaxanthin is a predominant xanthophyll in human eyes and may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Spirulina is an algal food that contains a high concentration of zeaxanthin. In order to determine the zeaxanthin bioavailability of spirulina for dietary supplementation in humans, spirulina was grown in nutrient solution with 2H2O for carotenoid labelling. Single servings of 2H-labelled spirulina (4·0–5·0 g) containing 2·6–3·7 mg zeaxanthin were consumed by fourteen healthy male volunteers (four Americans and ten Chinese) with 12 g dietary fat. Blood samples were collected over a 45 d period. The serum concentrations of total zeaxanthin were measured using HPLC, and the enrichment of labelled zeaxanthin was determined using LC-atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation-MS (LC-APCI-MS). The results showed that intrinsically labelled spirulina zeaxanthin in the circulation was detected at levels as low as 10 % of the total zeaxanthin for up to 45 d after intake of the algae. A single dose of spirulina can increase mean serum zeaxanthin concentration in humans from 0·06 to 0·15 μmol/l, as shown in our study involving American and Chinese volunteers. The average 15 d area under the serum zeaxanthin response curve to the single dose of spirulina was 293 nmol × d/μmol (range 254–335) in American subjects, and 197 nmol × d/μmol (range 154–285) in Chinese subjects. It is concluded that the relative bioavailability of spirulina zeaxanthin can be studied with high sensitivity and specificity using 2H labelling and LC-APCI-MS methodology. Spirulina can serve as a rich source of dietary zeaxanthin in humans.
Burnout symptoms, which are characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and a reduced sense of professional efficacy, may deleteriously affect cognitive function in military personnel. A total of 32 U.S. Military Special Operations personnel enrolled in Survival School completed measures of trauma history, dissociation, and burnout before training. They then completed the Groton Maze Learning Test (GMLT), a neuropsychological measure of integrative visuospatial executive function during three field-based phases of Survival School—enemy evasion, captivity/interrogation, and escape/release from captivity. Lower pre-training perceptions of professional efficacy were associated with reduced executive function during all of the field-based phases of Survival School, even after adjustment for years of education, cynicism, and baseline GMLT scores. Magnitudes of decrements in executive function in Marines with low efficacy relative to those with high efficacy increased as training progressed and ranged from .58 during enemy evasion to .99 during escape/release from captivity. Pre-training perceptions of burnout may predict visuospatial executive function during naturalistic training-related stress in military personnel. Assessment of burnout symptoms, particularly perceptions of professional efficacy, may help identify military personnel at risk for stress-related executive dysfunction. (JINS, 2011, 17, 494–501)
An atom probe tomography study has been performed to estimate the matrix composition, and the size, composition and number density of the ultrafine copper-enriched precipitates that formed under neutron irradiation in a submerged arc weld (Weld 73W). This high copper (0.27 at. % Cu) weld was examined after a typical stress relief treatment of 40 h at 607°C, after neutron irradiation to a fluence of 1.8 × 1023 n m-2 (E > 1 MeV) at a temperature of 288°C, after irradiation and thermal annealing for 168 h at 454°C, and after irradiation, thermal annealing and re-irradiation to an additional fluence of 0.8 × 1023 n m-2 (E > 1 MeV). A high number density of ultrafine copper-enriched precipitates were found to form on irradiation. These precipitates were found to coarsen and decrease in number density after the annealing treatment at 454°C. These precipitates were present after re-irradiation and some additional subnanometer diameter copper- enriched precipitates were also observed. Segregation of nickel, manganese, silicon, copper and phosphorus atoms to dislocations was also observed.
Dual implantation of cobalt and iron into silicon (100) wafers and subsequent annealing has been used to form layers containing mixtures of CoSi2 and FeSi2. The structure and properties of the layers were followed by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (XTEM), Transmission Electron Diffraction (TED), Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy (RBS), and photoluminescence (PL). When a high dose of both species was implanted, segregation of the cobalt and iron occurred which for 1000°C anneals, resulted in an epitaxial layer of αFeSi2 upon a CoSi2 layer. The epitaxial quality of both of these layers was superior to those previously fabricated by single species implants. For a low dose cobalt implant followed by a high dose iron implant, a single phase solid solution was formed and segregation did not occur. Photoluminescence at 1.54 urn was observed from this layer, but with a much lower intensity and a broader line width than that from a pure βFeSi2 layer.