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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a high demand on personal protective equipment, including disposable N95 masks. Given the need for mask reuse, we tested the feasibility of vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP), ultraviolet light (UV), and ethanol decontamination strategies on N95 mask integrity and the ability to remove the infectious potential of SARS-CoV-2.
Disposable N95 masks, including medical grade (1860, 1870+) and industrial grade (8511) masks, were treated by VHP, UV, and ethanol decontamination. Mask degradation was tested using a quantitative respirator fit testing. Pooled clinical samples of SARS-CoV-2 were applied to mask samples, treated, and then either sent immediately for real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or incubated with Vero E6 cells to assess for virucidal effect.
Both ethanol and UV decontamination showed functional degradation to different degrees while VHP treatment showed no significant change after two treatments. We also report a single SARS-CoV-2 virucidal experiment using Vero E6 cell infection in which only ethanol treatment eliminated detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
We hope our data will guide further research for evidenced-based decisions for disposable N95 mask reuse and help protect caregivers from SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens.
Patients often have very different ideas from clinicians about what they want treatments to achieve. Their views on what outcomes are important are not always reflected in trials.
To elicit the views of people who self-harm on the most commonly used outcome measures and to identify the outcomes that matter to them.
We conducted in-depth interviews with 18 people with histories of self-harm, recruited from hospital and community settings. We conducted thematic analysis using a framework approach and used visual mapping to arrive at our final analysis and interpretation.
Participants' accounts contained a number of challenges to the validity and meaningfulness of current trial outcome measures. Five broad issues emerged: (a) relationship between frequency and severity of self-harm; (b) behavioural substitution; (b) self-management skills; (d) the role of self-harm as survival tool and affect regulator, and (e) strategic self-presentation. We show how these affect the visibility and measurability of commonly used outcomes. The outcomes that mattered to participants focused on positive achievements in three domains: (a) general functioning and activities of everyday living; (b) social participation, and (c) engagement with services. Participants conceptualised these as both measures and means of sustained improvement.
Our findings suggest that current self-harm trial science rests on flawed assumptions about the relationship between mental states and behaviours and about our ability to measure both. Greater understanding of the outcomes that matter to people who self-harm is needed to inform both intervention development and trial design.
We present the current status of a scalable computing framework to address the need of the multidisciplinary effort to study chemical dynamics. Specifically, we are enabling scientists to process and store experimental data, run large-scale computationally expensive high-fidelity physical simulations, and analyze these results using state-of-the-art data analytics, machine learning, and uncertainty quantification methods using heterogeneous computing resources. We present the results of this framework on a single metadata-driven workflow to accelerate an additive manufacturing use-case.
In order to gain an understanding of the genetic basis of traits of interest to breeders, the pea varieties Brutus, Enigma and Kahuna were selected, based on measures of their phenotypic and genotypic differences, for the construction of recombinant inbred populations. Reciprocal crosses were carried out for each of the three pairs, and over 200 F2 seeds from each cross advanced to F13. Bulked F7 seeds were used to generate F8–F11 bulks, which were grown in triplicated plots within randomized field trials and used to collect phenotypic data, including seed weight and yield traits, over a number of growing seasons. Genetic maps were constructed from the F6 generation to support the analysis of qualitative and quantitative traits and have led to the identification of four major genetic loci involved in seed weight determination and at least one major locus responsible for variation in yield. Three of the seed weight loci, at least one of which has not been described previously, were associated with the marrowfat seed phenotype. For some of the loci identified, candidate genes have been identified. The F13 single seed descent lines are available as a germplasm resource for the legume and pulse crop communities.
Contaminated hands of healthcare workers (HCWs) are an important source of transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, while effective, do not provide sustained antimicrobial activity. The objective of this study was to compare the immediate and persistent activity of 2 hand hygiene products (ethanol [61% w/v] plus chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG; 1.0% solution] and ethanol only [70% v/v]) when used in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, crossover study
Three ICUs at a large teaching hospital
In total, 51 HCWs involved in direct patient care were enrolled in and completed the study.
All HCWs were randomized 1:1 to either product. Hand prints were obtained immediately after the product was applied and again after spending 4–7 minutes in the ICU common areas prior to entering a patient room or leaving the area. The numbers of aerobic colony-forming units (CFU) were compared for the 2 groups after log transformation. Each participant tested the alternative product after a 3-day washout period.
On bare hands, use of ethanol plus CHG was associated with significantly lower recovery of aerobic CFU, both immediately after use (0.27 ± 0.05 and 0.88 ± 0.08 log10 CFU; P = .035) and after spending time in ICU common areas (1.81 ± 0.07 and 2.17 ± 0.05 log10 CFU; P<.0001). Both the antiseptics were well tolerated by HCWs.
In comparison to the ethanol-only product, the ethanol plus CHG sanitizer was associated with significantly lower aerobic bacterial counts on hands of HCWs, both immediately after use and after spending time in ICU common areas.
We analyse ice flow and structural glaciology of Shackleton Glacier, a dendritic glacier with multiple icefalls in the Canadian Rockies. A major tributary-trunk junction allows us to investigate the potential of tributaries to alter trunk flow and structure, and the formation of bedrock steps at confluences. Multi-year velocity-stake data and structural glaciology up-glacier from the junction were assimilated with glacier-wide velocity derived from Radarsat-2 speckle tracking. Maximum flow speeds are 65 m a−1 in the trunk and 175 m a−1 in icefalls. Field and remote-sensing velocities are in good agreement, except where velocity gradients are high. Although compression occurs in the trunk up-glacier of the tributary entrance, glacier flux is steady state because flow speed increases at the junction due to the funnelling of trunk ice towards an icefall related to a bedrock step. Drawing on a published erosion model, we relate the heights of the step and the hanging valley to the relative fluxes of the tributary and trunk. It is the first time that an extant glacier is used to test and support such model. Our study elucidates the inherent complexity of tributary/trunk interactions and provides a conceptual model for trunk flow restriction by a tributary in surge-type glaciers.
Depression is a common and costly comorbidity in dementia. There are very few data on the cost-effectiveness of antidepressants for depression in dementia and their effects on carer outcomes.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of sertraline and mirtazapine compared with placebo for depression in dementia.
A pragmatic, multicentre, randomised placebo-controlled trial with a parallel cost-effectiveness analysis (trial registration: ISRCTN88882979 and EudraCT 2006-000105-38). The primary cost-effectiveness analysis compared differences in treatment costs for patients receiving sertraline, mirtazapine or placebo with differences in effectiveness measured by the primary outcome, total Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) score, over two time periods: 0–13 weeks and 0–39 weeks. The secondary evaluation was a cost-utility analysis using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) computed from the Euro-Qual (EQ-5D) and societal weights over those same periods.
There were 339 participants randomised and 326 with costs data (111 placebo, 107 sertraline, 108 mirtazapine). For the primary outcome, decrease in depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective compared with placebo. However, examining secondary outcomes, the time spent by unpaid carers caring for participants in the mirtazapine group was almost half that for patients receiving placebo (6.74 v. 12.27 hours per week) or sertraline (6.74 v. 12.32 hours per week). Informal care costs over 39 weeks were £1510 and £1522 less for the mirtazapine group compared with placebo and sertraline respectively.
In terms of reducing depression, mirtazapine and sertraline were not cost-effective for treating depression in dementia. However, mirtazapine does appear likely to have been cost-effective if costing includes the impact on unpaid carers and with quality of life included in the outcome. Unpaid (family) carer costs were lower with mirtazapine than sertraline or placebo. This may have been mediated via the putative ability of mirtazapine to ameliorate sleep disturbances and anxiety. Given the priority and the potential value of supporting family carers of people with dementia, further research is warranted to investigate the potential of mirtazapine to help with behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia and in supporting carers.
First results of near-IR adaptive optics (AO)-assisted imaging, interferometry, and spectroscopy of this Luminous Blue Variable (LBV) are presented. They suggest that the Pistol Star is at least double. If the association is physical, it would reinforce questions concerning the importance of multiplicity for the formation and evolution of extremely massive stars.
Land use and land cover change in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA) is changing dramatically as shifting cultivation gives way to commercial agriculture driven by domestic demand and regional trade agreements. In Xishuangbanna, China, both owners of semi-privatised state farms and minority farmers are planting rubber at rates that threaten to transform landscapes, with elevations of between 300 m and even above 1,000 m, into an unbroken carpet of rubber. While it has become apparent that this region is on the cusp of major changes in tree cover, there is much uncertainty about the direction of change and the sustainability of this land use in terms of people's livelihoods and environmental variables such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration, watershed hydrology, and climate.
This paper explores the hydrological sustainability of this land-cover change at the basin scale, showing the importance of science for a sustainable water resources management policy. Observations in the study basin showed that water is an important and needed resource of rubber especially during the driest and hottest season. These results were not observed in native vegetation. This could also have negative large-scale implications on available local and regional water resources that need to be considered before launching land management policies.
Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA) is a large, ecologically vital region comprising approximately half the land area of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and China's Yunnan Province (Figure 10.1). It is a region of great biological and cultural diversity that has come under close scrutiny in the last several decades as a result of both real and perceived deforestation, land degradation, and most recently, conversion of land from traditional agriculture, including shifting cultivation, to more permanent cash crops which are driven by regional and global markets (Fox and Vogler 2005).
The pleiotropic effect of the rose-comb gene (R) on fertility when combined with artificial selection against the single-comb type (r) results in an interesting example of operational over-dominance. An evaluation of the equilibrium frequency of the rose-comb gene based on this over-dominance concept provides a plausible explanation for the relatively high frequency of single-comb birds appearing in the Wyandotte breed of fowls.
The Bengal Florican is a ‘Critically Endangered’ bustard (Otididae) restricted to India, Nepal and southern Indochina. Fewer than 500 birds are estimated to remain in the Indian subcontinent, whilst the Indochinese breeding population is primarily restricted to grasslands surrounding the Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia. We conducted the first comprehensive breeding season survey of Bengal Florican within the Tonle Sap region (19,500 km2). During 2005/06 and 2006/07 we systematically sampled 1-km squares for territorial males. Bengal Florican were detected within 90 1-km squares at a mean density of 0.34 males km−2 which, accounting for unequal survey effort across grassland blocks, provides a mean estimate of 0.2 males km−2. Based on 2005 habitat extent, the estimated Tonle Sap population is 416 adult males (333–502 ± 95% CI), more than half of them in Kompong Thom province. Tonle Sap grasslands are rapidly being lost due to intensification of rice cultivation and, based on satellite images, we document declines of 28% grassland cover within 10 grassland blocks between January 2005 and March 2007. Based on mean 2005 population densities the remaining grassland may support as few as 294 adult male florican, a decline of 30% since 2005. In response to these habitat declines almost 350 km2 of grassland have been designated as protected areas, set aside for biodiversity and local livelihoods. Conservation activities in these areas include participatory land-use zoning, patrols reporting new developments to government officials, awareness-raising and incentive-led nest protection schemes.
Chapters 6 and 7 describe the mechanisms underlying induction and expression of plasticity in the barrel cortex. In using the term plasticity, synaptic plasticity is meant implicitly, including not only the second-to-second changes that ensue during in vitro forms of plasticity such as LTP and long-term depression (LTD) but also the growth of pre- and postsynaptic elements of the synapse that occur over longer time scales. This chapter deals with the cellular evidence on the nature of synaptic plasticity mechanisms, while Chapter 7 deals with the systems level evidence for plasticity induced in the whole animal. The extent to which all plasticity mechanisms in the cortex are underpinned by synaptic plasticity is, of course, a subject of much debate and an issue we take up in the following pages.
Historically, synaptic plasticity has been studied extensively in hippocampus, visual cortex and barrel cortex. In some respects, plasticity studies in barrel cortex have caught up with those parallel investigations in the visual system and in some areas overtaken them. There are a number of reasons why this has happened, including the ease of manipulation of the peripheral receptors in the whisker system, the introduction of transgenics and knockouts in rodents and the invention of the thalamocortical slice preparation (Agmon and Connors, 1991). Although synaptic plasticity is not as well understood in the barrel cortex as in the hippocampus, even at this early stage it is clear that some differences exist between the two systems.
Since the 1970s, a detailed description of the anatomical pathways of the vibrissae system has evolved in the literature. The process has been facilitated by the ability to discern topographical arrangements at each stage of the somatosensory pathway by virtue of the barrel pattern itself and by the careful application of dye-tracing techniques by a number of laboratories. The connectivity of the barrel cortex still remains a challenge because of its intricate complexity, and it has only recently become ammenable to description as a result of dual intracellular recording and glutamate uncaging methodologies. In this chapter, we describe the pathways leading from the whisker follicles (Section 2.1) through the brainstem (Section 2.2) and thalamus (Section 2.3) to the barrel cortex (Section 2.4). Where appropriate, the physiology of subcortical pathways are discussed but a more detailed consideration of barrel cortex physiology is reserved for subsequent chapters. We begin here at the periphery by considering the anatomy of the vibrissa follicle.
Whisker follicle innervation
The follicle itself is composed of a series of concentrically arranged membranes. Closest to the vibrissa itself lies a thick basement membrane, often referred to as the glassy membrane, which ensheaths the vibrissa hair (Figure 2.1). Outside the glassy membrane is a mesenchymal sheath that forms the inner surface of the follicle sinus. Outside this lies the vascular sinus itself, which is bounded on the outside by another thick highly collagenous membrane that forms the outside of the follicle sinus.