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The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Social stratification is an important mechanism of human organization that helps to explain health differences between demographic groups commonly associated with socioeconomic gradients. Individuals, or group of individuals, with similar health profiles may have had different stratification experiences. This is particularly true as social stratification is a significant non-measurable source of systematic unobservable differences in both SES indicators and health statuses of disadvantage. The goal of the present study was to expand the bulk of research that has traditionally treated socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as independent, additive influences on health by examining data from the United States. It is hypothesized that variation in an index of multi-system physiological dysregulation – allostatic load – is associated with social differentiation factors, sorting individuals with similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics into mutually exclusive econo-demographic classes. The data were from the Longitudinal and Biomarker samples of the national Study of Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) conducted in 1995 and 2004/2006. Latent class analyses and regression analyses revealed that physiological dysregulation linked to socioeconomic variation among black people, females and older adults are associated with forces of stratification that confound socioeconomic and demographic indicators. In the United States, racial stratification of health is intrinsically related to the degree to which black people in general, and black females in particular, as a group, share an isolated status in society. Findings present evidence that disparities in health emerge from group-differentiation processes to the degree that individuals are distinctly exposed to the ecological, political, social, economic and historical contexts in which social stratification is ingrained. Given that health policies and programmes emanate from said legal and political environments, interventions should target the structural conditions that expose different subgroups to different stress risks in the first place.
The epidemic of prescription and non-prescription opioid misuse is of particular importance in pregnancy. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada currently recommends opioid replacement therapy with methadone or buprenorphine for opioid-dependent women during pregnancy. This vulnerable segment of the population has been shown to be at increased risk of blood-borne infectious diseases, nutritional insecurity and stress. The objective of this study was to describe an urban cohort of pregnant women on opioid replacement therapy and to evaluate potential effects on the fetus. A retrospective chart review of all women on opioid replacement therapy and their infants who delivered at The Ottawa Hospital General and Civic campuses between January 1, 2013 and March 24, 2017 was conducted. Data were collected on maternal characteristics, pregnancy outcomes, neonatal outcomes and corresponding placental pathology. Maternal comorbidities identified included high rates of infection, tobacco use and illicit substance use, as well as increased rates of placental abruption compared with national averages. Compared with national baseline averages, the mean neonatal birth weight was low, and the incidence of small for gestational age infants and congenital anomalies was high. The incidence of NAS was comparable with estimates from other studies of similar cohorts. Findings support existing literature that calls for a comprehensive interdisciplinary risk reduction approach including dietary, social, domestic, psychological and other supports to care for opioid-dependent women in pregnancy.
Group-3 medulloblastoma (MBL) is highly resistant to radiation (IR) and chemotherapy and has the worst prognosis. Hence, there is an urgent need to elucidate targets that sensitize these tumors to chemotherapy and IR. Employing standard assays for viability and sensitization to IR, we identified PRDX1 as a therapeutic target in Group-3 MBL. Specifically, targeting PRDX1 by RNAi or inhibition by Adenanthin led to specific killing and sensitization to IR of Group-3 MBL cells. We rescued sensitization of Daoy and UW228 cells by hypermorphic expression of PRDX1. PRDX1 knockdown caused oxidative DNA damage and induced apoptosis. We correlated PRDX1 expression to patient outcomes in a validated MBL tumor-microarray. Whole genome sequencing identified pathways/genes that were dysregulated with PRDX1 inhibition or silencing. Our in vivo studies in mice employing flank/orthotopic tumors from patient derived xenografts/Group-3 MBL cells confirmed in vitro observations. Animals with tumors in which PRDX1 was targeted by RNAi or Adenanthin (using mini osmotic pumps) showed decreased tumor burden and increased survival when compared to controls. Since, Adenanthin does not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) we used HAV6 peptide to transiently disrupt the BBB and deliver Adenanthin to the tumor. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that targeting PRDX1 resulted in increased oxidative DNA damage, apoptosis and decreased proliferation. In summary, we have validated PRDX1 as a therapeutic target in group-3 MBL, identified Adenanthin as a potent chemical inhibitor of PRDX1 and confirmed the role of HAV peptide (in the transient modulation of BBB permeability) in an orthotopic model of group-3 MBL.
Lumbar punctures (LPs) are painful for children, and analgesia is recommended by academic societies. However, less than one-third of pediatric emergency physicians (EPs) adhere to recommendations. We assessed the willingness to provide analgesia among pediatric and general EPs and explored patient and provider-specific barriers.
We surveyed physicians in the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) or Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) databases from May 1 to August 1, 2016, regarding hypothetical scenarios for a 3-week-old infant, a 3-year-old child, and a 16-year-old child requiring an LP. The primary outcome was the willingness to provide analgesia. Secondary outcomes included the type of analgesia, reasons for withholding analgesia, and their perceived competence performing LPs.
For a 3-week old infant, 123/144 (85.4%) pediatric EPs and 231/262 (88.2%) general EPs reported a willingness to provide analgesia. In contrast, the willingness to provide analgesia was almost universal for a 16-year-old (144/144 [100%] of pediatric EPs and 261/262 [99.6%] of general EPs) and a 3-year-old (142/144 [98.6%] of pediatric EPs and 256/262 [97.7%] of general EPs). For an infant, the most common barrier cited by pediatric EPs was the perception that it produced additional discomfort (13/21, 61.9%). The same reason was cited by general EPs (12/31, 38.7%), along with unfamiliarity surrounding analgesic options (13/31, 41.9%).
Compared to a preschool child and adolescent, the willingness to provide analgesia for an LP in a young infant is suboptimal among pediatric and general EPs. Misconceptions and the lack of awareness of analgesic options should be targets for practice-changing strategies.
The History, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Age, Risk Factors, and Troponin (HEART) score is a decision aid designed to risk stratify emergency department (ED) patients with acute chest pain. It has been validated for ED use, but it has yet to be evaluated in a prehospital setting.
A prehospital modified HEART score can predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) among undifferentiated chest pain patients transported to the ED.
A retrospective cohort study of patients with chest pain transported by two county-based Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies to a tertiary care center was conducted. Adults without ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) were included. Inter-facility transfers and those without a prehospital 12-lead ECG or an ED troponin measurement were excluded. Modified HEART scores were calculated by study investigators using a standardized data collection tool for each patient. All MACE (death, myocardial infarction [MI], or coronary revascularization) were determined by record review at 30 days. The sensitivity and negative predictive values (NPVs) for MACE at 30 days were calculated.
Over the study period, 794 patients met inclusion criteria. A MACE at 30 days was present in 10.7% (85/794) of patients with 12 deaths (1.5%), 66 MIs (8.3%), and 12 coronary revascularizations without MI (1.5%). The modified HEART score identified 33.2% (264/794) of patients as low risk. Among low-risk patients, 1.9% (5/264) had MACE (two MIs and three revascularizations without MI). The sensitivity and NPV for 30-day MACE was 94.1% (95% CI, 86.8-98.1) and 98.1% (95% CI, 95.6-99.4), respectively.
Prehospital modified HEART scores have a high NPV for MACE at 30 days. A study in which prehospital providers prospectively apply this decision aid is warranted.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas. The ensuing unprecedented flooding throughout the Texas coastal region affected millions of individuals.1 The statewide response in Texas included the sheltering of thousands of individuals at considerable distances from their homes. The Dallas area established large-scale general population sheltering as the number of evacuees to the area began to amass. Historically, the Dallas area is one familiar with “mega-sheltering,” beginning with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.2 Through continued efforts and development, the Dallas area had been readying a plan for the largest general population shelter in Texas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:33–37)
Characterizing ruminal parameters in the context of sampling routine and feed efficiency is fundamental to understand the efficiency of feed utilization in the bovine. Therefore, we evaluated microbial and volatile fatty acid (VFA) profiles, rumen papillae epithelial and stratum corneum thickness and rumen pH (RpH) and temperature (RT) in feedlot cattle. In all, 48 cattle (32 steers plus 16 bulls), fed a high moisture corn and haylage-based ration, underwent a productive performance test to determine residual feed intake (RFI) using feed intake, growth, BW and composition traits. Rumen fluid was collected, then RpH and RT logger were inserted 5.5±1 days before slaughter. At slaughter, the logger was recovered and rumen fluid and rumen tissue were sampled. The relative daily time spent in specific RpH and RT ranges were determined. Polynomial regression analysis was used to characterize RpH and RT circadian patterns. Animals were divided into efficient and inefficient groups based on RFI to compare productive performance and ruminal parameters. Efficient animals consumed 1.8 kg/day less dry matter than inefficient cattle (P⩽0.05) while achieving the same productive performance (P⩾0.10). Ruminal bacteria population was higher (P⩽0.05) (7.6×1011v. 4.3×1011 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) and methanogen population was lower (P⩽0.05) (2.3×109v. 4.9×109 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) in efficient compared with inefficient cattle at slaughter with no differences (P⩾0.10) between samples collected on-farm. No differences (P⩾0.10) in rumen fluid VFA were also observed between feed efficiency groups either on-farm or at slaughter. However, increased (P⩽0.05) acetate, and decreased (P⩽0.05) propionate, butyrate, valerate and caproate concentrations were observed at slaughter compared with on-farm. Efficient had increased (P⩽0.05) rumen epithelium thickness (136 v. 126 µm) compared with inefficient cattle. Efficient animals also spent 318% and 93.2% more time (P⩽0.05) in acidotic (4.14% v. 1.30%) (pH⩽5.6) and optimal (5.6<pH<6.0) (8.53% v. 4.42%) RpH range compared with inefficient cattle. The circadian patterns revealed lower (P⩽0.05) RpH and no differences (P⩾0.10) in RT pre-, during, and post-prandial periods in efficient compared with inefficient cattle. In essence, superior feed efficiency in cattle seems linked to rumen features consistent with improved efficiency of feed utilization. Microbial abundance, rumen epithelial histomorphology, and RpH, may serve as indicators for feed efficiency in cattle. The divergences of assessments made on-farm and at slaughter should be considered in the development of proxies for feed efficiency.
The acanthocephalan fauna of Australian freshwater fishes was documented from field surveys, a literature survey and examination of specimens registered in Australian museums. From the 4030 fishes, representing 78 of the 354 Australian freshwater fish species (22%), examined for infection seven species of acanthocephalan were recovered. These species comprised five endemic species, three in endemic genera, two species in cosmopolitan genera, one species not fully identified and 1 putative exotic species recovered from eight species of fish. Of these Edmonsacanthus blairi from Melanotaenia splendida, was the only acanthocephalan found at a relatively high prevalence of 38·6%. These findings are indicative of a highly endemic and possibly depauperate acanthocephalan fauna. Species richness was higher in the tropical regions than the temperate regions of the country. Exotic acanthocephalan species have either not been introduced with their exotic hosts or have been unable to establish their life cycles in Australian conditions. Consequently, acanthocephalans have not yet invaded endemic Australian fish hosts.
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and preterm birth are frequent co-morbidities, both are independent risks for brain injury. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which preterm FGR increases the risk of adverse neurological outcomes. We aimed to determine the effects of prematurity and mechanical ventilation (VENT) on the brain of FGR and appropriately grown (AG, control) lambs. We hypothesized that FGR preterm lambs are more vulnerable to ventilation-induced acute brain injury. FGR was surgically induced in fetal sheep (0.7 gestation) by ligation of a single umbilical artery. After 4 weeks, preterm lambs were euthanized at delivery or delivered and ventilated for 2 h before euthanasia. Brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected for analysis of molecular and structural indices of early brain injury. FGRVENT lambs had increased oxidative cell damage and brain injury marker S100B levels compared with all other groups. Mechanical ventilation increased inflammatory marker IL-8 within the brain of FGRVENT and AGVENT lambs. Abnormalities in the neurovascular unit and increased blood–brain barrier permeability were observed in FGRVENT lambs, as well as an altered density of vascular tight junctions markers. FGR and AG preterm lambs have different responses to acute injurious mechanical ventilation, changes which appear to have been developmentally programmed in utero.
Intrauterine or fetal growth restriction (IUGR) is a major complication of pregnancy and leads to significant perinatal morbidities and mortality. Typically, induction of IUGR in animals involves the complete occlusion or ablation of vessels to the uterus or placenta, acutely impairing blood flow and fetal growth, usually with high fetal loss. We aimed to produce a model of reduced fetal growth in the spiny mouse with minimal fetal loss. At 27 days gestational age (term is 38–39 days), a piece of silastic tubing was placed around the left uterine artery to prevent the further increase of uterine blood flow with advancing gestation to induce IUGR (occluded). Controls were generated from sham surgeries without placement of the tubing. Dams were humanely euthanized at 37 days gestational age and all fetuses and placentas were weighed and collected. Of the 17 dams that underwent surgery, 15 carried their pregnancies to 37 days gestational age and 95% of fetuses survived to this time. The difference in fetal body weight between occluded and control was ~21% for fetuses in the left uterus side: there were no differences for fetuses in the right uterus side. Offspring from the occluded group had significantly lower brain, liver, lung, kidney and carcass weights compared with shams. Preventing the gestation-related increase of uterine blood flow induced significant growth restriction in the fetal spiny mouse, with minimal fetal loss. This technique could be readily adapted for other small animal.
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
Childbirth is a potent trigger for the onset of psychiatric illness in women including postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum psychosis (PP). Medical complications occurring during pregnancy and/or childbirth have been linked to postpartum psychiatric illness and sociodemographic factors. We evaluated if pregnancy and obstetrical predictors have similar effects on different types of postpartum psychiatric disorders.
A population-based cohort study using Danish registers was conducted in 392 458 primiparous women with a singleton delivery between 1995 and 2012 and no previous psychiatric history. The main outcome was first-onset postpartum psychiatric episodes. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were calculated for any psychiatric contact in four quarters for the first year postpartum.
PPD and postpartum acute stress reactions were associated with pregnancy and obstetrical complications. For PPD, hyperemesis gravidarum [IRR 2.69, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.93–3.73], gestational hypertension (IRR 1.84, 95% CI 1.33–2.55), pre-eclampsia (IRR 1.45, 95% CI 1.14–1.84) and Cesarean section (C-section) (IRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.13–1.53) were associated with increased risk. For postpartum acute stress, hyperemesis gravidarum (IRR 1.93, 95% CI 1.38–2.71), preterm birth (IRR 1.51, 95% CI 1.30–1.75), gestational diabetes (IRR 1.42, 95% CI 1.03–1.97) and C-section (IRR 1.36, 95% CI 1.20–1.55) were associated with increased risk. In contrast, risk of PP was not associated with pregnancy or obstetrical complications.
Pregnancy and obstetrical complications can increase the risk for PPD and acute stress reactions but not PP. Identification of postpartum women requiring secondary care is needed to develop targeted approaches for screening and treatment. Future work should focus on understanding the contributions of psychological stressors and underlying biology on the development of postpartum psychiatric illness.
A major hindrance to establishment of successful complementary forage systems that include warm-season perennial grasses and clovers is tolerance of the latter to herbicides available for weed control. Field experiments were conducted in 2013 at two locations in northeast Louisiana to evaluate simulated residual rate effects of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and 2,4-D plus picloram applied at 0, 0.25, 0.38, and 0.5× use rates immediately after fall planting of ball, white, crimson, and red clover. For all clovers, when averaged across herbicide rates, plant population 161/171 d after planting (DAP), ground cover, and height 184/196 DAP were equivalent for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and the nontreated control and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Averaged across clovers, plant height after all rates of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr was equivalent to the nontreated control (14.2 to 14.3 vs. 15.3 cm) and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at 25, 38, and 50% of the normal use rates reduced height 58, 76, and 85%, respectively. When averaged across clover species, yield for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr at all rates was equivalent to the nontreated control (2,624 to 2,840 vs. 2,812 kg ha−1). Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at the 0.25, 0.38, and 0.50× use rates reduced yield 65, 89, and 99%, respectively.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.