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Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Most cases are functional and no therapy has proven effective. Our objective was to determine if hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) (BuscopanTM) is effective for children who present to the ED with functional abdominal pain. Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, superiority trial comparing HBB 10 mg plus acetaminophen placebo to oral acetaminophen 15 mg/kg (max 975 mg) plus HBB placebo using a double-dummy approach. We included children 8-17 years presenting to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre with colicky abdominal pain rated >40 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS). The primary outcome was VAS pain score at 80 minutes post-administration. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects; caregiver satisfaction with pain management using a five-item Likert scale; recidivism and missed surgical diagnoses within 24-hours of discharge. Analysis was based on intention to treat. Results: We analyzed 225 participants (112 acetaminophen; 113 HBB). The mean (SD) age was 12.4 (3.0) years and 148/225 (65.8%) were females. Prior to enrollment, the median (IQR) duration of pain prior was 2 (4.5) hours and analgesia was provided to 101/225 (44.9%) of participants. The mean (SD) pre-intervention pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 62.7 (15.9) mm and 60.3 (17.3) mm, respectively. At 80 minutes, the mean (SD) pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 30.1 (28.8) mm and 29.4 (26.4) mm, respectively and there were no significant differences adjusting for pre-intervention scores (p = 0.96). The median (IQR) caregiver satisfaction was high in the acetaminophen [5 (2)] and HBB [5 (1)] groups (p = 0.79). The median (IQR) length of stay between acetaminophen [235 (101)] and HBB [234 (103)] was not significantly different (p = 0.53). The proportion of participants with a return visit for abdominal pain was 4/112 (3.5%) in the acetaminophen group and 6/113 (5.3%) in the HBB group. The most common adverse effect was nausea (9% in each group) and there were no significant differences in adverse effects between acetaminophen (26/112, 23.2%) and HBB (31/113, 27.4%) (p = 0.52). There were no missed surgical diagnoses. Conclusion: For children with presumed functional abdominal pain who present to the ED, both acetaminophen and HBB produce a clinically important (VAS < 30 mm) reduction in pain and should be routinely considered in this clinical setting.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
Since the measurement of residual stress by X-ray diffraction techniques is dependent on the difference in angle of a diffraction peak maximum when the sample is examined consecutively with its surface at two different angles to the diffracting planes, it is important that these diffraction angles be obtained precisely, preferably with an accuracy of ± 0.01 deg. 2θ. Similar accuracy is desired in precise lattice parameter determination. In such measurements, it is imperative that the diffractometer be well-aligned. It is in the context of diffractometer alignment with the aid of a silicon powder standard free of residual stress that the diffraction peak analysis techniques described here have been developed, preparatory to residual stress determinations.
To recount experience with cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea and temporal bone meningoencephalocele repair in a tertiary care hospital.
A retrospective review was conducted of 16 cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea and meningoencephalic herniation patients managed surgically from 1991 to 2016.
Aetiology was: congenital (n = 3), post-traumatic (n = 2), spontaneous (n = 1) or post-mastoidectomy (n = 10). Surgical repair was undertaken by combined middle cranial fossa and transmastoid approach in 3 patients, transmastoid approach in 2, oval window plugging in 1, and subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration in 10. All patients had successful long-term outcomes, except one, who experienced recurrence after primary stage oval window plugging, but has been recurrence-free after second-stage subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration.
Dural injury or exposure in mastoidectomy may lead to cerebrospinal fluid otorrhoea or meningoencephalic herniation years later. Congenital, spontaneous and traumatic temporal bone defects may present similarly. Middle cranial fossa dural repair, transmastoid multilayer closure and subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration were successful procedures. Subtotal petrosectomy with middle-ear obliteration offers advantages over middle cranial fossa dural repair alone; soft tissue closure is more robust and is preferred in situations where hearing preservation is not a priority.
A variety of paediatric tracheostomy tubes are available. This article reviews the tubes in current use at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Evelina London Children's Hospital.
This paper outlines our current preferences, and the particular indications for different tracheostomy tubes, speaking valves and other attachments.
Our preferred types of tubes have undergone significant design changes. This paper also reports further experience with certain tubes that may be useful in particular circumstances. An updated sizing chart is included for reference purposes.
The choice of a paediatric tracheostomy tube remains largely determined by individual clinical requirements. Although we still favour a small range of tubes for use in the majority of our patients, there are circumstances in which other varieties are indicated.
To compare combined conventional Freer medialisation and controlled synechiae, performed for middle meatal access (during the initial steps of functional endoscopic sinus surgery) and post-operative middle turbinate medialisation, with basal lamella relaxing incision, the latter of which is a single step for achieving both middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation. The study also compared the effects of controlled synechiae and basal lamella relaxing incision on post-operative olfaction.
A randomised prospective study was performed on 52 nasal cavity sides (32 patients). Only basal lamella relaxing incision was performed in one group, and both conventional medialisation and controlled synechiae were performed in the other. Intra-operative and post-operative photography was used to measure the middle meatal area. A pocket smell test was used to assess olfaction.
There were no significant differences in operative middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation of the middle turbinate. Post-operative olfaction was affected more in the combined conventional medialisation and controlled synechiae group, compared to the basal lamella relaxing incision group, but this finding was not statistically significant.
Basal lamella relaxing incision is an effective single-step technique for achieving adequate middle meatal access and post-operative medialisation, with no significant effect on olfaction.
Introduction: Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that paramedics are equipped to treat effectively in the field. Current literature suggests improvements in paramedic recognition and treatment of anaphylaxis could be made. The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of cases of anaphylaxis appropriately treated with epinephrine by paramedics before and after a targeted educational intervention. Methods: This was a retrospective medical records review of patients with anaphylaxis managed by primary or advanced care paramedics in five Emergency Medical Service areas in Ontario, before and after an educational module was introduced. This module included education on anaphylaxis diagnosis, recognition, treatment priorities, and feedback on the recognition and management from the before period. All paramedic call records (PCRs) coded as local allergic reaction or anaphylaxis during 12-month periods before and after the intervention were reviewed by trained data abstractors to determine if patients met an international definition of anaphylaxis. The details of interventions performed by the paramedics were used to determine primary and secondary outcomes. Results: Of the 600 PCRs reviewed, 99/120 PCRs in the before and 300/480 in the after period were included. Of the charts included, 63/99 (63.6%) in the before and 136/300 (45.3%) in the after period met criteria for anaphylaxis (p=0.002). Of the cases meeting anaphylaxis criteria, 41/63 (65.1%) in the before and 88/136 (64.7%) in the after period were correctly identified as anaphylaxis (p=0.96). Epinephrine was administered in 37/63 (58.7%) of anaphylaxis cases in the before period and 76/136 (55.9%) in the after period (p=0.70). Anaphylactic patients with only two-system involvement received epinephrine in 20/40 (50.0%) cases in the before period and 45/93 (48.4%) in the after period (p=0.86). Conclusion: There are gaps in paramedic recognition and management of anaphylaxis, particularly in cases of two-system involvement. These gaps persisted after the implementation of an educational intervention. Other quality interventions and periodic refreshers may be necessary to improve prehospital treatment of anaphylaxis. Limitations include an increase in overall cases and decrease in rate of true anaphylaxis in the after period, which may relate to better case identification after electronic PCR implementation and changes in paramedic recognition.
The correlation between objective and subjective nasal obstruction is poor, and dissatisfaction rates after surgery for nasal obstruction are high. Accordingly, novel assessment techniques may be required. This survey aimed to determine patient experience and preferences for the measurement of nasal obstruction.
Prospective survey of rhinology patients.
Of 72 questionnaires distributed, 60 were completed (response rate of 83 per cent). Obstruction duration (more than one year) (χ2 = 13.5, p = 0.00024), but not obstruction severity, affected willingness to spend more time being assessed. Questionnaires (48 per cent) and nasal inspiratory peak flow measurement (53 per cent) are the most commonly used assessment techniques. Forty-nine per cent of participants found their assessment unhelpful in understanding their obstruction. Eighty-two per cent agreed or strongly agreed that a visual and numerical aid would help them understand their blockage.
Many patients are dissatisfied with current assessment techniques; a novel device with visual or numerical results may help. Obstruction duration determines willingness to undergo longer assessment.
The study proposes a semi-analytical model for the pulse compression of two co-propagating intense laser beams having Gaussian intensity profile in the temporal domain. The high power laser beams create the relativistic nonlinearity during propagation in plasma, which leads to the modification of the refractive index profile. The co-propagating laser beams get self- compressed by virtue of group velocity dispersion and induced nonlinearity. The induced nonlinearity in the plasma broadens the frequency spectrum of the pulse via self-phase modulation, turn to shorter the pulse duration and enhancement of laser beam intensity. The nonlinear Schrodinger equations were set up for co-propagating laser beams in plasmas and have been solved in Matlab by considering paraxial approximation. The propagation characteristics of both laser beams inside plasma are divided into three regions through the critical divider curve, which has been plotted between pulse width τ01 and laser beam power P01. Based on the preferred value of critical parameters, these regions are oscillatory compression, oscillatory broadening, and steady broadening. In findings, it is observed that the compression of the laser beam depends on the combined intensity of both beams, plasma density, and initial pulse width.
Bovine calf scours reported to be caused by multiple aetiologies resulting in heavy mortality in unweaned calves and huge economic loss to the dairy farmers. Among these, cryptosporidiosis is an emerging waterborne zoonoses and one of the important causes of neonatal calf diarrhoea. Poor immune response coupled with primary cryptosporidial infections predispose neonatal calves to multiple secondary infections resulting in their deaths. In the present study, faecal samples from 100 diarrhoeic calves randomly picked up out of 17 outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea in periurban Ludhiana, Punjab in Northern India were subjected to conventional (microscopy, modified Zeihl–Neelsen (mZN) staining) and immunological and molecular techniques (faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR) for detection of primary Cryptosporidium parvum infection as well as other frequently reported concurrent pathogens, viz. rotavirus and coronavirus, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria spp. The faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR revealed 35% prevalence of C. parvum in contrast to 25% by mZN staining with a relatively higher prevalence (66·7%) in younger (8–14-day-old) calves. The detection rate of the other enteropathogens associated with C. parvum was 45·71% for C. perfringens followed by Salmonella spp (40·0%), rotavirus (36·0%), coronavirus (16·0%), E. coli (12·0%) and Eimeria spp (4·0%) The sensitivity for detection of C. parvum by ELISA and mZN staining in comparison to PCR was 97·14% and 72·72%, respectively. An important finding of the study was that C. parvum alone was found in only 10% of the diarrhoeic faecal samples, whereas, majority of the samples (90%) showed mixed infections ranging from a combination of two to five agents. This is the first documentary proof of C. parvum and associated pathogens responsible for severe periurban outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea culminating in heavy mortality from Northern India.
Oocyte-secreted factors (OSFs) play an important role in the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence through bidirectional cross-talk between oocyte and cumulus cells via gap junctions. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of two OSFs, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes derived from two different follicle sizes. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) from large follicles (LF, >6 mm) or small follicles (SF, <6 mm) were collected and matured in vitro either in the presence of GDF9 or BMP15, or both, or with the denuded oocytes (DOs) as a source of native OSFs. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in LF-derived than SF-derived oocytes. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the DOs and the combination groups compared with the control, GDF9 alone and BMP15 alone groups, both in LF-derived and SF-derived oocytes, although the cleavage and blastocyst rates did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between DOs and combination groups. Relative mRNA analysis revealed significantly higher (P > 0.05) expression of the cumulus cell marker genes EGFR, HAS2, and CD44 in LF-derived than SF-derived oocyte; the expression of these markers was significantly higher (P > 0.05) in DOs and combination groups, irrespective of the follicle size. These results suggested that LF-derived oocytes have a higher developmental competence than SF-derived oocytes and that supplementation of GDF9 and BMP15 modulates the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes by increasing the relative abundance of cumulus-enabling factors and thereby increasing cleavage and the quality of blastocyst production.
Introduction: Emergency department visits related to substance use are becoming more serious and increasingly costly in Canada. Emergency physicians must be able to effectively screen, manage, refer, and advocate for these complex patients. This study sought to describe the current state of addiction medicine training in Canadian emergency medicine (EM) residency programs and to assess the need for a formal curriculum. Methods: All Royal College and College of Family Physicians EM Program Directors (PDs) were asked to participate in a ten-question needs assessment survey on addiction medicine training for residents. Questions were developed through consensus after reviewing the relevant literature and conducting a formal pilot survey with staff physicians experienced in survey methodology. Responses were collected securely using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) database. Results: 19 out of 31 (62%) eligible PDs completed the survey. The importance of addiction medicine training received a median score of 69.5 (IQR=74.0) on a scale of 1-100. Most programs devoted two hours or less per year of formalized teaching on individual topics (such as opioids, alcohol, harm reduction) over the past two academic years. The two most common teaching modalities used were didactic lectures (15/19, 78.9%) and case-based tutorials (12/19, 63.2%). Case-based tutorials were identified as the most effective teaching method (12/19, 63.2%). Topics highlighted as most important to include in a curriculum were: screening for substance use disorders and referral for further treatment (14/19, 73.7%), social determinants of health (14/19, 73.7%), alcohol, opioid, and stimulant intoxication and/or withdrawal (14/19, 73.7% each), and management of patients on opioid agonist therapy (14/19, 73.7%). The most commonly perceived barriers to implementing such a curriculum were insufficient curriculum time (10/19, 52.6%) and lack of qualified teaching staff (7/19, 36.8%). Conclusion: This needs assessment provides an understanding of the current state of addiction medicine training for EM residents in Canada. A case-based addiction medicine workshop is currently being developed to address identified curriculum gaps. Integrating this curriculum longitudinally into a time-constrained academic schedule is an important next step.
Introduction: Active substance use and unstable housing are both associated with increased emergency department (ED) utilization. This study examined ED health care costs among a cohort of substance using and/or homeless adults following an index ED visit, relative to a control ED population. Methods: Consecutive patients presenting to an inner-city ED between August 2010 and November 2011 who reported unstable housing and/or who had a chief presenting complaint related to acute or chronic substance use were evaluated. Controls were enrolled in a 1:4 ratio. Participants’ health care utilization was tracked via electronic medical record for six months after the index ED visit. Costing data across all EDs in the region was obtained from Alberta Health Services and calculated to include physician billing and the cost of an ED visit excluding investigations. The cost impact of ED utilization was estimated by multiplying the derived ED cost per visit by the median number of visits with interquartile ranges (IQR) for each group during follow up. Proportions were compared using non-parametric tests. Results: From 4679 patients screened, 209 patients were enrolled (41 controls, 46 substance using, 91 unstably housed, 31 both unstably housed and substance using (UHS)). Median costs (IQR) per group over the six-month period were $0 ($0-$345.42) for control, $345.42 ($0-$1139.89) for substance using, $345.42 ($0-$1381.68) for unstably housed and $1381.68 ($690.84-$4248.67) for unstably housed and substance using patients (p<0.05). Conclusion: The intensity of excess ED costs was greatest in patients who were both unstably housed and presenting with a chief complaint related to substance use. This group had a significantly larger impact on health care expenditure relative to ED users who were not unstably housed or who presented with a substance use related complaint. Further research into how care or connection to community resources in the ED can reduce these costs is warranted.
This research article addresses the effect of fillers on the high-temperature corrosion behavior of AISI 347 weld joints. Multi-pass pulsed current gas tungsten arc welding was carried out on 6.67 mm thick plates of AISI 347 using three different fillers namely ER347, ER2553, and ERNiCrMo-3. The fusion zone microstructures of AISI 347 employing ER2553 and ERNiCrMo-3 exhibited columnar and dendritic grain growth; whereas vermicular delta ferrite was observed at the fusion zone of ER347 welds. Tensile studies showed that the weld employing ERNiCrMo-3 exhibited better tensile strength than the parent metal. High-temperature corrosion studies were carried out on the fusion zones by exposing the coupons to an aggressive, synthetic molten-salt incinerator environment containing 40% Na2SO4–40% K2SO4–10% NaCl–10% KCl at 650 °C for 50 cycles. The studies attested that the fusion zone employing ERNiCrMo-3 exhibited better corrosion resistance than the other two fillers used in the study. Spallation of oxides was witnessed due to the dissolution of Cr2O3 in the ER347 and ER2553 fusion zones. The hot corroded samples were characterized using surface analytical techniques.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The association between transportation and the occurrence of the bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) has long been recognised. Many hypotheses regarding this association have been declared through the past decades, and it is agreed upon by most researchers that the multiple stressors that calves experience during transportation result in an overall immunosuppression that allows the respiratory tract to be invaded by numerous opportunistic pathogens. Furthermore, the innate immune cells, neutrophils, may be trapped in a paradox whereby their crucial defence and pathogen-killing activities are counteracted by excessive inflammation and tissue damage that may exacerbate disease, including the BRDC. Neutrophilia in response to glucocorticoids has been attributed to an influx of immature neutrophils newly released from the bone marrow, a decrease in neutrophil margination along endothelial walls, and a decrease in neutrophil apoptosis. Several of these explanations have been confirmed by altered expression of genes and proteins important for neutrophil margination and apoptosis.