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Evidence from previous small trials has suggested the effectiveness of early social communication interventions for autism.
The Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT) investigated the efficacy of such an intervention in the largest psychosocial autism trial to date.
To provide a stringent test of a pre-school communication intervention for autism.
152 children with core autism aged 2 years - 4 years 11 months in a 3 site 2 arm single (assessor) blinded randomised controlled trial of the parent-mediated communication-focused intervention added to treatment as usual (TAU) against TAU alone. Primary outcome; severity of autism symptoms (modified social communication algorithm from Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, ADOS-G). Secondary outcomes; blinded measures of parent-child interaction, child language, and adaptation in school.
At 13 month endpoint the treatment resulted in strong improvement in parental synchronous response to child (adjusted between-group effect size 1.22 (95% CI 0.85, 1.59) and child initiations with parent (ES 0.41 (0.08, 0.74) but small effect on autism symptomatology (ADOS-G, ES -0.24 (95% CI -0.59, 0.11) ns). Parents (not blind to allocation) reported strong treatment effects on child language and social adaptation but effects on blinded research assessed language and school adaptation were small.
Addition of the PACT intervention showed clear benefit in improving parent-child dyadic social communication but no substantive benefit over TAU in modifying objectively rated autism symptoms. This attenuation on generalisation from ‘proximal’ intervention effects to wider symptom change in other contexts remains a significant challenge for autism treatment and measurement methodology.
Using index matching and particle tracking, we measure the three-dimensional velocity field in an isotropic porous medium composed of randomly packed solid spheres. This high-resolution experimental dataset provides new insights into the dynamics of dispersion and stretching in porous media. Dynamic-range velocity measurements indicate that the distribution of the velocity magnitude,
, is flat at low velocity (probability density function
). While such a distribution should lead to a persistent anomalous dispersion process for advected non-diffusive point particles, we show that the dispersion of non-diffusive tracers nonetheless becomes Fickian beyond a time set by the smallest effective velocity of the tracers. We derive expressions for the onset time of the Fickian regime and the longitudinal and transverse dispersion coefficients as a function of the velocity field properties. The experimental velocity field is also used to study, by numerical advection, the stretching histories of fluid material lines. The mean and the variance of the line elongations are found to grow exponentially in time and the distribution of elongation is log-normal. These results confirm the chaotic nature of advection within three-dimensional porous media. By providing the laws of dispersion and stretching, the present study opens the way to a complete description of mixing in porous media.
Depression occurs frequently in primary care. Its broad clinical variability makes it difficult to diagnose. This makes it essential that family practitioner (FP) researchers have validated tools to minimize bias in studies of everyday practice. Which tools validated against psychiatric examination, according to the major depression criteria of DSM-IV or 5, can be used for research purposes?
An international FP team conducted a systematic review using the following databases: Pubmed, Cochrane and Embase, from 2000/01/01 to 2015/10/01.
The three databases search identified 770 abstracts: 546 abstracts were analyzed after duplicates had been removed (224 duplicates); 50 of the validity studies were eligible and 4 studies were included. In 4 studies, the following tools were found: GDS-5, GDS-15, GDS-30, CESD-R, HADS, PSC-51 and HSCL-25. Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive Predictive Value, Negative Predictive Value were collected. The Youden index was calculated.
Using efficiency data alone to compare these studies could be misleading. Additional reliability, reproducibility and ergonomic data will be essential for making comparisons.
This study selected seven tools, usable in primary care research, for the diagnosis of depression. In order to define the best tools in terms of efficiency, reproducibility, reliability and ergonomics for research in primary care, and for care itself, further research will be essential.
To reduce competition with human-edible feed resources, it is of interest to incorporate by-products from the food industry in animal feeds. The current research investigated the effect of including increasing amounts of tofu by-product (TF) in practical pig diets on animal performance, nitrogen balance and ammonia emissions from manure. Two experiments were conducted including a control diet without TF, containing 160 g/kg dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSPs) and three diets including 122, 246 and 360 g TF/kg DM (TF122, TF246 and TF360, respectively) to reach 220, 280 and 360 g/kg NSP. All diets had the same level of CP and protein digestible in the small intestine which particularly was realized by replacing rice bran with TF. Animal performance was assessed in a first experiment with 40 growing barrows with initial BW of 26.6 ± 1.80 kg (M ± SD) being allocated to the 4 treatments, during 2 growth phases (i.e. until 50 kg BW and from 50 to 80 kg BW). In the growth phase until 50 kg, feed intake and average daily gain (ADG) were linearly reduced by dietary TF inclusion, while this negative impact disappeared during the second growth phase (50 to 80 kg BW). Tofu by-product inclusion even positively affected the feed conversion ratio during this second growth phase (3.4 to 2.7 kg feed/kg ADG for 0 to 360 g/kg dietary TF). Over the entire growth period, performance and feed intake were negatively affected at the highest dietary TF level. Experiment 2 was conducted to assess digestibility, nitrogen balance and ammonia emission from manure. For this purpose, 16 pigs with BW of 62.8 ± 3.6 kg (M ± SD) were assigned to either 1 of the 4 treatments. There was no difference in total tract apparent digestibility of dietary organic matter or CP, while NDF digestibility increased with increasing TF level, suggesting increasing importance of the hindgut fermentation when digesting diets with increasing TF levels. Nevertheless, this was not reflected in increasing levels of faecal volatile fatty acids or purines, nor in reduced manure pH. As a result, ammonia emission from slurry was not reduced through dietary TF inclusion, despite the linear decrease in urinary nitrogen. In conclusion, TF can be included in pigs’ diets up to an inclusion rate of 25% without risk of impaired animal performance; however, this dietary strategy fails to mitigate ammonia emission from slurry.
Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
The experiences of and reflections on interpersonal violence and victimisation among adolescents living in low- and middle-income countries are poorly understood. The aim was to describe Vietnamese adolescents’ reflections on their experiences of victimisation.
A self-completed, cross-sectional survey investigating exposure to violence among high school students in Hanoi, Vietnam was conducted during 2013–2014. The last section invited participants to write about any of the matters covered in the questionnaire. Thematic analysis was conducted on these free-text comments.
A total of 73/76 eligible students participated in the pilot and 1616/1745 in the main survey. Of these, a total of 239 records with free-text comments were analysed. Students described experiences of violence occurring at home, at school and in the community. Experiences of violence led to sadness, loneliness, having extremely negative thoughts about the value of life, and suicidal ideas. Adolescents’ experiences occurred in the context of poor parent–adolescent and teacher–student relationships, particularly concerning dissatisfaction with academic performance. Adolescents wanted to be trusted, to be given more autonomy, and to improve their relationships with parents and teachers.
Vietnamese adolescents experience various forms of victimisation, which are detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Understanding of their experiences of and perceptions of violence and its impact on their health and wellbeing is important in the prevention of violence against young people in Vietnam.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
We evaluate the effects of climate change on Vietnam's rice market. Results suggest that under a low-emission scenario and without interventions, rice production would drop by as much as 18% by 2030 relative to the 1980–1999 average. Farm and wholesale prices would increase by 1.86%, causing domestic demand to fall by 0.38%. The export sector would experience a rise of 6.94% in export free-on-board prices and a drop of 55.36% in export quantities. Farmers would experience a sales loss of 16.02%, whereas wholesalers would see a sales gain of 1.48%. For exporters, their sales loss would amount to 48.42%.
Limiting the post-weaning intake of the young rabbit is known to improve its resistance to digestive disorders, whereas a degradation of its housing hygiene is assumed to have a negative impact on its health. This study aims at providing insights into the mechanism of digestive health preservation regarding both host (growth and immune response) and its symbiotic digestive microbiota. A 2×2 factorial design from weaning (day 28) to day 64 was set up: ad libitum intake or restricted intake at 70% of ad libitum, and high v. low hygiene of housing (n=105 per group). At day 36 and day 45, 15 animals/group were subcutaneously immunized with ovalbumin (OVA) to assess their specific immune response. Blood was sampled at 36, 45, 57 and 64 days of age to determine total and anti-OVA immunoglobulin type G (IgG) and haptoglobin levels. The cecal bacterial community was explored (18 per group) by 454 pyrosequencing of genes coding for the 16S ribosomal RNA, whereas cecal pH, NH3 and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations were measured to characterize fermentative activity. A 30% reduction in feed intake reduced the growth by only 17% (P<0.001), and improved the feed conversion ratio by 15% (P<0.001), whereas the degradation of hygiene conditions slightly decreased the feed intake in ad libitum fed rabbits (−3.5%, P<0.02). As poor hygiene conditions did not affect weight gain, feed conversion was improved from day 42 (P<0.05). Restricted feeding led to a lower mortality between day 28 and day 40 (P=0.047), whereas degraded hygiene conditions decreased overall morbidity (7.8% v. 16.6%; P<0.01). Both a reduced intake and low hygiene conditions of housing affected microbiota composition and especially dominant genera belonging to the Ruminococcaceae family (P<0.01). Moreover, low hygiene was associated with a higher Ruminococcaceae/Lachnospiraceae ratio (3.7 v. 2.4; P<0.05). Cecal total VFA and pH were increased (+19%; P<0.001) and decreased (−0.1 pH unit; P<0.05), respectively, in feed-restricted rabbits. Neither specific anti-OVA IgG nor haptoglobin was affected by treatments. Total IgG concentrations were the highest in animals raised in poor hygiene conditions after 8 days of restriction, but decreased after 19 days of restriction in high hygiene conditions (−2.15%; P<0.05). In conclusion, the degradation of hygiene conditions failed to induce a systematic specific and inflammatory response in rabbit, but reduced morbidity instead. Our results suggest that the microbiota composition would be a helpful source of biomarkers of digestive health.
Enteric methane (CH4) production is a side-effect of herbivore digestion, but it is unknown whether CH4 itself influences digestive physiology. We investigated the effect of adding CH4 to, or reducing it in, the reticulorumen (RR) in a 4×4 Latin square experiment with rumen-fistulated, non-lactating cows, with four treatments: (i) control, (ii) insufflation of CH4 (iCH4), (iii) N via rumen fistula, (iv) reduction of CH4 via administration of bromochloromethane (BCM). DM intake (DMI), apparent total tract digestibility, digesta mean retention times (MRT), rumen motility and chewing activity, spot breath CH4 emission (CH4exhal, litre/kg DMI) as well as CH4 dissolved in rumen fluid (CH4RRf, µg/ml) were measured. Data were analysed using mixed models, including treatment (or, alternatively, CH4exhal or CH4RRf) and DMI relative to body mass0·85 (rDMI) as covariates. rDMI was the lowest on the BCM treatment. CH4exhal was highest for iCH4 and lowest for BCM treatments, whereas only BCM affected (reduced) CH4RRf. After adjusting for rDMI, CH4RRf had a negative association with MRT in the gastrointestinal tract but not in the RR, and negative associations with fibre digestibility and measures of rumination activity. Adjusting for rDMI, CH4exhal had additionally a negative association with particle MRT in the RR and a positive association with rumen motility. Thus, higher rumen levels of CH4 (CH4exhal or CH4RRf) were associated with shorter MRT and increased motility. These findings are tentatively interpreted as a feedback mechanism in the ruminant digestive tract that aims at mitigating CH4 losses by shortening MRT at higher CH4.
Birds play a central role in the epidemiology of several flaviviruses of concern for public and veterinary health. Seabirds represent the most abundant and widespread avifauna in the western Indian Ocean and may play an important role as host reservoirs and spreaders of arthropod-borne pathogens such as flaviviruses. We report the results of a serological investigation based on blood samples collected from nine seabird species from seven islands in the Indian Ocean. Using a commercial competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay directed against the prototypic West Nile flavivirus, antibodies against flaviviruses were detected in the serum of 47 of the 855 seabirds tested. They were detected in bird samples from three islands and from four bird species. Seroneutralization tests on adults and chicks suggested that great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) from Europa were infected by West Nile virus during their non-breeding period, and that Usutu virus probably circulated within bird colonies on Tromelin and on Juan de Nova. Real-time polymerase chain reactions performed on bird blood samples did not yield positive results precluding the genetic characterization of flavivirus using RNA sequencing. Our findings stress the need to further investigate flavivirus infections in arthropod vectors present in seabird colonies.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
Deriving glacier outlines from satellite data has become increasingly popular in the past decade. In particular when glacier outlines are used as a base for change assessment, it is important to know how accurate they are. Calculating the accuracy correctly is challenging, as appropriate reference data (e.g. from higher-resolution sensors) are seldom available. Moreover, after the required manual correction of the raw outlines (e.g. for debris cover), such a comparison would only reveal the accuracy of the analyst rather than of the algorithm applied. Here we compare outlines for clean and debris-covered glaciers, as derived from single and multiple digitizing by different or the same analysts on very high- (1 m) and medium-resolution (30 m) remote-sensing data, against each other and to glacier outlines derived from automated classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data. Results show a high variability in the interpretation of debris-covered glacier parts, largely independent of the spatial resolution (area differences were up to 30%), and an overall good agreement for clean ice with sufficient contrast to the surrounding terrain (differences ∼5%). The differences of the automatically derived outlines from a reference value are as small as the standard deviation of the manual digitizations from several analysts. Based on these results, we conclude that automated mapping of clean ice is preferable to manual digitization and recommend using the latter method only for required corrections of incorrectly mapped glacier parts (e.g. debris cover, shadow).
Non-typhoidal Salmonella are an important but poorly characterized cause of paediatric diarrhoea in developing countries. We conducted a hospital-based case-control study in children aged <5 years in Ho Chi Minh City to define the epidemiology and examine risk factors associated with Salmonella diarrhoeal infections. From 1419 diarrhoea cases and 571 controls enrolled between 2009 and 2010, 77 (5·4%) diarrhoea cases were stool culture-positive for non-typhoidal Salmonella. Salmonella patients were more likely to be younger than controls (median age 10 and 12 months, respectively) [odds ratio (OR) 0·97; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·94–0·99], to report a recent diarrhoeal contact (8·1% cases, 1·8% controls; OR 5·98, 95% CI 1·8–20·4) and to live in a household with >2 children (cases 20·8%, controls 10·2%; OR 2·32, 95% CI 1·2–4·7). Our findings indicate that Salmonella are an important cause of paediatric gastroenteritis in this setting and we suggest that transmission may occur through direct human contact in the home.
The Dawn spacecraft orbited Asteroid (4) Vesta for a year, and returned disk-resolved images and spectra covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths at scales as high as 20 m/pix. The visible geometric albedo of Vesta is ~ 0.36. The disk-integrated phase function of Vesta in the visible wavelengths derived from Dawn approach data, previous ground-based observations, and Rosetta OSIRIS observations is consistent with an IAU H-G phase law with H=3.2 mag and G=0.28. Hapke's modeling yields a disk-averaged single-scattering albedo of 0.50, an asymmetry factor of -0.25, and a roughness parameter of ~20 deg at 700 nm wavelength. Vesta's surface displays the largest albedo variations observed so far on asteroids, ranging from ~0.10 to ~0.76 in geometric albedo in the visible wavelengths. The phase function of Vesta displays obvious systematic variations with respect to wavelength, with steeper slopes within the 1- and 2-micron pyroxene bands, consistent with previous ground-based observations and laboratory measurement of HED meteorites showing deeper bands at higher phase angles. The relatively high albedo of Vesta suggests significant contribution of multiple scattering. The non-linear effect of multiple scattering and the possible systematic variations of phase function with albedo across the surface of Vesta may invalidate the traditional algorithm of applying photometric correction on airless planetary surfaces.