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We report key learning from the public health management of the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified in the UK. The first case imported, and the second associated with probable person-to-person transmission within the UK. Contact tracing was complex and fast-moving. Potential exposures for both cases were reviewed, and 52 contacts were identified. No further confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked epidemiologically to these two cases. As steps are made to enhance contact tracing across the UK, the lessons learned from earlier contact tracing during the country's containment phase are particularly important and timely.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Type 2 diabetes plays a major role in racial/ethnic health disparities. We conducted the first study to examine whether multifaceted interventions targeting patients with poorly controlled diabetes (HgbA1c >9%) can reduce racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes control. Among 4595 patients with diabetes at a Federally Qualified Health Center in New York, a higher percentage of blacks (32%) and Hispanics/Latinos (32%) had poorly controlled diabetes than whites (25%) at baseline (prevalence ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.14–1.43; P<0.001). After four years, this percentage was reduced in all groups (blacks, 21%; Hispanics/Latinos, 20%; whites, 20%; P<0.001 for each relative to baseline). Disparities in diabetes control also were significantly reduced (change in disparity relative to whites: blacks, P=0.03; Hispanics/Latinos, P=0.008). In this diverse population, interventions targeting patients with poorly controlled diabetes not only improved diabetes control in all racial/ethnic groups, but significantly reduced disparities. This approach warrants further testing and may help reduce disparities in other populations.
Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars’ atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather ‘storms’ caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.
The two Pan-STARRS telescopes, located on Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii, are 1.8-meter diameter telescopes equipped with 1.4 Gigapixel cameras that deliver 7 square degree fields-of-view. The first of these telescopes, Pan-STARRS1, is conducting a search for Near Earth Objects, and is currently the leading discoverer of Near Earth Objects. The second telescope, Pan-STARRS2, is nearing the end of its commissioning, and is becoming more productive.
Pan-STARRS has become the leading survey for Near Earth Objects, responsible for approximately half of the NEO discoveries to date in 2015. Pan-STARRS is also the leading discoverer of new comets.
Splash-form tektites are glassy rocks ranging in size from roughly 1 to 100 mm that are believed to have formed from the splash of silicate liquid after a large terrestrial impact from which they are strewn over thousands of kilometres. They are found in an array of shapes including spheres, oblate ellipsoids, dumbbells, rods and possibly fragments of tori. It has recently become appreciated that surface tension and centrifugal forces associated with the rotation of fluid droplets are the main factors determining the shapes of these tektites. In this contribution, we compare the shape distribution of 1163 measured splash-form tektites with the results of the time evolution of a 3D numerical model of a rotating fluid drop with surface tension. We demonstrate that many aspects of the measured shape distribution can be explained by the results of the dynamical model.
An outbreak of staphylococcal sepsis in a burns unit occurred between January 1976 and May 1978. Many patients and members of staff had boils, and a number of patients also developed septicaemia. Most of the boils in the early period of the trial and a large proportion of boils in patients during the later period yielded Staphylococcus aureus resistant to penicillin, tetracycline and erythromycin only (PTE), and were shown to be of phage type 95 in the early period while strains were phage typed. From blood cultures, most strains in the early period were of resistance pattern PTE and phage type 95, but in the later period other resistance patterns were predominant. Strains from burns were usually multiresistant (PTEKNML) and of the phage pattern 29/77, which had been endemic in the Unit, but during the early period of the outbreak there was an increased proportion of strains in burns with the resistance pattern PTE and of phage type 95.
Staphylococcal sepsis has for many years been very infrequent in the burns unit. This outbreak seems to have been initiated by a strain of phage type 95 and resistance pattern PTE, but during the course of the outbreak the endemic strain of type 29/77 and some other staphylococci seem to have developed enhanced ability to cause clinical infections, conceivably by transduction from the epidemic strain of phage type 95.
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous compound implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. This tryptophan metabolite antagonizes both the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and the nicotinic α7* receptors at micromolar concentrations. In the present study the effects of amphetamine on dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens and on firing of DA neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) were investigated in rats treated with kynurenine, the precursor of KYNA, in order to elevate brain KYNA levels. In rats subchronically treated with kynurenine (90 mg/kg.d for 6 d via osmotic minipumps, resulting in a 2-fold increase in whole-brain KYNA), the amphetamine-induced (2 mg/kg i.p.) increase in accumbal DA release was clearly enhanced compared to controls. Furthermore, subchronic treatment with kynurenine reduced the inhibitory action of amphetamine (0.2–25.6 mg/kg i.v.) on firing rate and burst firing activity of VTA DA neurons. A single dose of kynurenine (5 mg/kg s.c., 60 min, resulting in a 3-fold increase in whole-brain KYNA) did not alter the amphetamine-induced effects on DA neurotransmission compared to control rats. Present data are in agreement with the increased striatal DA release by amphetamine as observed by brain-imaging studies in patients with schizophrenia. Thus, subchronic elevation of rat brain KYNA, may rationally serve as an animal model similar to a pathophysiological condition of schizophrenia. It is proposed that the reduced responsivity of VTA DA neurons to the inhibitory action of amphetamine observed in rats with subchronically elevated KYNA levels may partly account for the increase in terminal DA release.
On 27 June 2004, Serbian voters went to the polls for the third time in a year to choose a president. The winner of the first two rounds of voting, Tomislav Nikolić, Deputy to the President of the extreme right Serbian Radical Party (SRS), lost the third round of voting to the more liberal Borisav Tadić by just under 8 percentage points (53.2 to 45.4), and the Radicals failed to form a ruling coalition in government. Nevertheless, more than five years after the last war in the disintegration of the Yugoslav state, the largest political party in the largest of the successor states has been characterized as the most extreme right party in the Balkans today. Indeed, the Radicals have been an enduring force in Serbian politics for the past decade and a half, sometimes ruling in coalition with Slobodan Milošević's Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS). SRS founder Vojislav Šešelj, a flamboyant, obstreperous, highly influential figure, and his fellow Radicals have sought and in many ways succeeded in shaping the post-communist transformation of Yugoslav politics and society, calling for a return to the true spirit of Serbia, when the nation was strong because its men defended its honor as well as its borders.
2002–2005 has seen rapid progress in cosmology with the publication of the 1st year WMAP results and analyses of large scale red-shift surveys, ushering in an era of “precision cosmology”. There has been steady progress, too, in the discovery and study of quasars and galaxies in the early Universe.
As documented by the reports of the Presidents of Commission 28 and Commission 47 the fields of extra-galactic research and cosmology have experienced a higher and higher development leading to a vast harvest of results and discoveries. They range from the description of the overall structure of the universe to that of the individual properties of galaxies. The availability of very large telescopes and the coverage of regions of the sky with deep surveys, on the observational side, and the wide use of sophisticated numerical simulations on the theoretical one are starting to produce a satisfactory understanding of the physical processes taking place during the evolution of galaxies. Very often there is an profitable interplay between the subjects of the two Commissions without clearcut boundaries. This makes Division VIII, which is one of the largest of the IAU, counting 1373 members, very well balanced and deserving to remain without modifications for the future.