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Both blood- and milk-based biomarkers have been analysed for decades in research settings, although often only in one herd, and without focus on the variation in the biomarkers that are specifically related to herd or diet. Biomarkers can be used to detect physiological imbalance and disease risk and may have a role in precision livestock farming (PLF). For use in PLF, it is important to quantify normal variation in specific biomarkers and the source of this variation. The objective of this study was to estimate the between- and within-herd variation in a number of blood metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and serum IGF-1), milk metabolites (free glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, urea, isocitrate, BHB and uric acid), milk enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase)) and composite indicators for metabolic imbalances (Physiological Imbalance-index and energy balance), to help facilitate their adoption within PLF. Blood and milk were sampled from 234 Holstein dairy cows from 6 experimental herds, each in a different European country, and offered a total of 10 different diets. Blood was sampled on 2 occasions at approximately 14 days-in-milk (DIM) and 35 DIM. Milk samples were collected twice weekly (in total 2750 samples) from DIM 1 to 50. Multilevel random regression models were used to estimate the variance components and to calculate the intraclass correlations (ICCs). The ICCs for the milk metabolites, when adjusted for parity and DIM at sampling, demonstrated that between 12% (glucose-6-phosphate) and 46% (urea) of the variation in the metabolites’ levels could be associated with the herd-diet combination. Intraclass Correlations related to the herd-diet combination were generally higher for blood metabolites, from 17% (cholesterol) to approximately 46% (BHB and urea). The high ICCs for urea suggest that this biomarker can be used for monitoring on herd level. The low variance within cow for NAGase indicates that few samples would be needed to describe the status and potentially a general reference value could be used. The low ICC for most of the biomarkers and larger within cow variation emphasises that multiple samples would be needed - most likely on the individual cows - for making the biomarkers useful for monitoring. The majority of biomarkers were influenced by parity and DIM which indicate that these should be accounted for if the biomarker should be used for monitoring.
Unbalanced metabolic status in the weeks after calving predisposes dairy cows to metabolic and infectious diseases. Blood glucose, IGF-I, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are used as indicators of the metabolic status of cows. This work aims to (1) evaluate the potential of milk mid-IR spectra to predict these blood components individually and (2) to evaluate the possibility of predicting the metabolic status of cows based on the clustering of these blood components. Blood samples were collected from 241 Holstein cows on six experimental farms, at days 14 and 35 after calving. Blood samples were analyzed by reference analysis and metabolic status was defined by k-means clustering (k=3) based on the four blood components. Milk mid-IR analyses were undertaken on different instruments and the spectra were harmonized into a common standardized format. Quantitative models predicting blood components were developed using partial least squares regression and discriminant models aiming to differentiate the metabolic status were developed with partial least squares discriminant analysis. Cross-validations were performed for both quantitative and discriminant models using four subsets randomly constituted. Blood glucose, IGF-I, NEFA and BHB were predicted with respective R2 of calibration of 0.55, 0.69, 0.49 and 0.77, and R2 of cross-validation of 0.44, 0.61, 0.39 and 0.70. Although these models were not able to provide precise quantitative values, they allow for screening of individual milk samples for high or low values. The clustering methodology led to the sharing out of the data set into three groups of cows representing healthy, moderately impacted and imbalanced metabolic status. The discriminant models allow to fairly classify the three groups, with a global percentage of correct classification up to 74%. When discriminating the cows with imbalanced metabolic status from cows with healthy and moderately impacted metabolic status, the models were able to distinguish imbalanced group with a global percentage of correct classification up to 92%. The performances were satisfactory considering the variables are not present in milk, and consequently predicted indirectly. This work showed the potential of milk mid-IR analysis to provide new metabolic status indicators based on individual blood components or a combination of these variables into a global status. Models have been developed within a standardized spectral format, and although robustness should preferably be improved with additional data integrating different geographic regions, diets and breeds, they constitute rapid, cost-effective and large-scale tools for management and breeding of dairy cows.
How things are perceived from a distance may help better understand their nature. Perceptions at home are likely to shape perceptions abroad. The mutual cross-references between local and distant perspectives on the Italian Mental Health Law 180 may help understand the process which preceded and resulted in the reform. This editorial argues that Law 180 came about at a unique – enabling – time in history. It argues that the run-up to and passing of Law 180 constituted a great accomplishment by professionals, the wider public and politicians/administrators. This editorial goes on to argue that the profession managed to cope with (many) adverse effects of the reform. The attention that Law 180 has received internationally should be devoted to other national (or regional) mental health reform processes as this may help us to understand how mental health care systems evolve and what defines ‘windows of (operative) opportunity’ or ‘moments for (public) action’.
The large scatter in Lyman-α opacity at z > 5.3 has been an ongoing mystery, prompting a flurry of numerical models. A uniform ultra-violet background has been ruled out at those redshifts, but it is unclear whether any proposed models produce sufficient inhomogeneities. In this paper we provide an update on the measurement which first highlighted the issue: Lyman-α effective optical depth along high-z quasar lines of sight. We nearly triple on the previous sample size in such a study thanks to the cooperation of the DES-VHS, SHELLQs, and SDSS collaborations as well as new reductions and spectra. We find that a uniform UVB model is ruled out at 5.1 < z < 5.3, as well as higher redshifts, which is perplexing. We provide the first such measurements at z ∼ 6. None of the numerical models we confronted to this data could reproduce the observed scatter.
Static surface shapes of a magnetic fluid volume between two plates in a non-uniform magnetic field are investigated theoretically and experimentally. Abrupt changes and hysteresis of the magnetic fluid surface shape are observed in the experiments when the current in the coil increases and decreases quasi-statically. The necessary and sufficient conditions for a local minimum of the energy functional are derived theoretically. A method to find stable/unstable surface shapes is developed. The ambiguity in the determination of the magnetic fluid surface shape at the same value of the current is shown. It is found that the experimentally observed surface shapes of the given magnetic fluid volume coincide with the shapes obtained numerically, and practically all of them satisfy the derived necessary and sufficient conditions of the minimum energy. The stability curves of the magnetic fluid bridge between the plates are determined experimentally and theoretically.
Panic disorder (PD) patients are constantly concerned about future panic attacks and exhibit general hypersensitivity to unpredictable threat. We aimed to reveal phasic and sustained brain responses and functional connectivity of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) during threat anticipation in PD.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated 17 PD patients and 19 healthy controls (HC) during anticipation of temporally unpredictable aversive and neutral sounds. We used a phasic and sustained analysis model to disentangle temporally dissociable brain activations.
PD patients compared with HC showed phasic amygdala and sustained BNST responses during anticipation of aversive v. neutral stimuli. Furthermore, increased phasic activation was observed in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), insula and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Insula and PFC also showed sustained activation. Functional connectivity analyses revealed partly distinct phasic and sustained networks.
We demonstrate a role for the BNST during unpredictable threat anticipation in PD and provide first evidence for dissociation between phasic amygdala and sustained BNST activation and their functional connectivity. In line with a hypersensitivity to uncertainty in PD, our results suggest time-dependent involvement of brain regions related to fear and anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by fear of social and performance situations. The consequence of scrutiny by others for the neural processing of performance feedback in SAD is unknown.
We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activation to positive, negative, and uninformative performance feedback in patients diagnosed with SAD and age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy control subjects who performed a time estimation task during a social observation condition and a non-social control condition: while either being monitored or unmonitored by a body camera, subjects received performance feedback after performing a time estimation that they could not fully evaluate without external feedback.
We found that brain activation in ventral striatum (VS) and midcingulate cortex was modulated by an interaction of social context and feedback type. SAD patients showed a lack of social-context-dependent variation of feedback processing, while control participants showed an enhancement of brain responses specifically to positive feedback in VS during observation.
The present findings emphasize the importance of social-context processing in SAD by showing that scrutiny prevents appropriate reward-processing-related signatures in response to positive performances in SAD.
Engagement and training of educators in student mental health holds promise for promoting access to care as a task sharing strategy but has not been well-studied in low-income regions.
We used a prospective and convergent mixed methods design to evaluate a customized school mental health 2½ day training for teachers in rural Haiti (n = 22) as the initial component of formative research developing a school-based intervention to promote student mental health. Training prepared teachers to respond to student mental health needs by providing psychoeducational and practical support to facilitate access to care. We examined level of participation and evaluated feasibility, acceptability, and perceived effectiveness by calculating mean scores on self-report Likert-style items eliciting participant experience. We examined effectiveness of the training on improving mental health knowledge and attitudes by comparing mean scores on an assessment administered pre- and post-training. Finally, we examined self-report written open-ended responses and focus group discussion (FGD) interview data bearing on perceived feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness to contextualize participant ratings of training and to identify recommendations for enhancing the utility of mental health training locally for educators.
Mean scores of knowledge and attitudes significantly improved between the pre-test and post-tests; e.g., knowledge improved from 58% correct at baseline to 68% correct on the second post-test (p = 0.039). Mean ratings of the training were favorable across all categories and FGD data demonstrated widespread participant endorsement of training acceptability and effectiveness; participants recommended extending the duration and number of training sessions.
Findings support feasibility, acceptability, and a limited scope of effectiveness of brief mental health training for secondary school teachers in Haiti. Further development of approaches to engage teachers in promoting school mental health through training is warranted.
Politics and policy: It is important to understand why, in the translational continuum from pilot research and randomised controlled efficacy trials to roll-out programmes and routine effectiveness studies, some service innovations are taken up by health service purchasers and providers, while others are not. Why do some innovative interventions or models of care get to the stage of implementation, while others fail to be funded?
Introduction: Literature suggests that up to 25% of people with HIV in North America are unaware of their status and are at risk to transmit the virus unknowingly. A high proportion of HIV patients are diagnosed when the disease is more advanced, with CD4 counts < 200. This study examined the rates of HIV testing, detection, and treatment of clients at an inner city shelter and detoxification centre after the introduction of a point of care testing (POCT) program by on-site community paramedics (CP). Methods: In 2013, in collaboration with a regional HIV program, CP received training and instituted an HIV POCT program and post-test counselling initiative. A retrospective electronic database review from October 16, 2013 to October 15, 2014 of adult patients who received testing was performed. Demographic and testing details of each patient encounter were abstracted and select variables were compared to a historic population who received POC HIV testing at an inner city emergency department (ED) in the same city. Results: 1,207 HIV POC tests were performed on 997 patients during the pilot. 57% of the patients tested were less than 40 years of age (range 18-73 years) compared to 55% in the historic ED population. A total of 9 reactive cases were identified in the study population including 3 new cases, 5 previously known cases, and 1 false reactive result. The mean age of the new cases was 47 years, vs 44 in the historical control. All 3 new cases were referred to a local HIV clinic for further care and treatment. New HIV cases represented 0.25% of total tests performed, which is less than the expected prevalence rate of 1% for this population, as well as the rate of 1.4% found in the ED population. Conclusion: Despite lower than expected reactive rates, the large scale implementation of a CP HIV POCT program in an inner city shelter and detoxification centre is feasible. All patients with new reactive tests were immediately connected to care. Future research will focus on risk factors and barriers to testing.
We present the largest homogeneous survey of redshift > 4.4 damped Lyα systems (DLAs) using the spectra of 163 quasars that comprise the Giant Gemini GMOS (GGG) survey. With this survey we make the most precise high-redshift measurement of the cosmological mass density of neutral hydrogen, ΩHI. After correcting for systematic effects using a combination of mock and higher-resolution spectra, we find ΩHI= 0.98+0.20-0.18 × 10−3 at 〈z〉 = 4.9, assuming a 20% contribution from lower column density systems below the DLA threshold. By comparing to literature measurements at lower redshifts, we show that ΩHI can be described by the functional form ΩHI(z) ∝ (1 + z)0.4. This gradual decrease from z = 5 to 0 suggests that in the galaxies which dominate the cosmic star formation rate, Hi is a transitory gas phase fuelling star formation which must be continually replenished by more highly-ionized gas from the intergalactic medium, and from recycled galactic winds.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) plays a critical role in gut mucosal immune defense. Initially provided by breastmilk, IgA production by the infant gut is gradually stimulated by developing gut microbiota. This study reports associations between infant fecal IgA concentrations 4 months after birth, breastfeeding status and other pre/postnatal exposures in 47 infants in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development cohort. Breastfed infants and first-born infants had higher median fecal IgA concentrations (23.11 v. 9.34 µg/g protein, P<0.01 and 22.19 v. 8.23 µg/g protein, P=0.04). IgA levels increased successively with exclusivity of breastfeeding (β-coefficient, 0.37, P<0.05). This statistical association was independent of maternal parity and household pets. In the absence of breastfeeding, female sex and pet exposure elevated fecal IgA to levels found in breastfed infants. In addition to breastfeeding, infant fecal IgA associations with pre/postnatal exposures may affect gut immunity and risk of allergic disease.
Dietary patterns derived by statistical procedures is a way to identify overall dietary habits in specific populations. The aim of this study was to identify and characterise dietary patterns in Swedish adults using data from the national dietary survey Riksmaten adults 2010–11 (952 women, 788 men). Principal component analyses were used and two patterns were identified in both sexes: a healthy pattern loading positively on vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, and vegetable oils, and negatively on refined bread and fast food, and a Swedish traditional pattern loading positively on potatoes, meat and processed meat, full-fat milk products, sweet bakery products, sweet condiments and margarine. In addition, a light-meal pattern was identified in women with positive loadings on fibre-rich bread, cheese, rice, pasta and food grain dishes, substitute products for meat and dairy products, candies and tea. The healthy pattern was positively correlated to dietary fibre (r 0·51–0·58) and n-3 (r 0·25–0·31) (all P<0·0001), and had a higher nutrient density of folate, vitamin D and Se. The Swedish traditional and the light-meal pattern were positively correlated to added sugar (r 0·20–0·25) and the Swedish traditional also to SFA (r 0·13–0·21) (all P<0·0001); both patterns were in general negatively correlated to micronutrients. Dietary pattern scores were associated with, for example, age, physical activity, education and income. In conclusion, we identified three major dietary patterns among Swedish adults. The patterns can be further used for examining the association between whole diet and health outcomes.
This work experimentally examines the detachment of liquid droplets from both oleophilic and oleophobic fibres, using an atomic force microscope. The droplet detachment force was found to increase with increasing fibre diameter and forces were higher for philic fibres than phobic fibres. We also considered the detachment of droplets situated on the intersection of two fibres and arrays of fibres (such as found in fibrous mats or filters) and found that the required detachment forces were higher than for similarly sized droplets on a single fibre, though not as high as expected based on theory. A model was developed to predict the detachment force, from single fibres, which agreed well with experimental results. It was found that the entire dataset (single and multiple fibres) could be best described by power law relationships.
Shared decision making has been advocated as a means to improve patient-orientation and quality of health care. There is a lack of knowledge on clinical decision making and its relation to outcome in the routine treatment of people with severe mental illness. This study examined preferred and experienced clinical decision making from the perspectives of patients and staff, and how these affect treatment outcome.
“Clinical Decision Making and Outcome in Routine Care for People with Severe Mental Illness” (CEDAR; ISRCTN75841675) is a naturalistic prospective observational study with bimonthly assessments during a 12-month observation period. Between November 2009 and December 2010, adults with severe mental illness were consecutively recruited from caseloads of community mental health services at the six study sites (Ulm, Germany; London, UK; Naples, Italy; Debrecen, Hungary; Aalborg, Denmark; and Zurich, Switzerland). Clinical decision making was assessed using two instruments which both have parallel patient and staff versions: (a) The Clinical Decision Making Style Scale (CDMS) measured preferences for decision making at baseline; and (b) the Clinical Decision Making Involvement and Satisfaction Scale (CDIS) measured involvement and satisfaction with a specific decision at all time points. Primary outcome was patient-rated unmet needs measured with the Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS). Mixed-effects multinomial regression was used to examine differences and course over time in involvement in and satisfaction with actual decision making. The effect of clinical decision making on the primary outcome was examined using hierarchical linear modelling controlling for covariates (study centre, patient age, duration of illness, and diagnosis). Analysis were also controlled for nesting of patients within staff.
Of 708 individuals approached, 588 adults with severe mental illness (52% female, mean age = 41.7) gave informed consent. Paired staff participants (N = 213) were 61.8% female and 46.0 years old on average. Shared decision making was preferred by patients (χ2 = 135.08; p < 0.001) and staff (χ2 = 368.17; p < 0.001). Decision making style of staff significantly affected unmet needs over time, with unmet needs decreasing more in patients whose clinicians preferred active to passive (−0.406 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.007) or shared (−0.303 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.015) decision making.
Decision making style of staff is a prime candidate for the development of targeted intervention. If proven effective in future trials, this would pave the ground for a shift from shared to active involvement of patients including changes to professional socialization through training in principles of active decision making.