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Successful organic farming requires crop varieties that are resilient to environmental variability. Assessing variety performance across the range of conditions represented on working farms is vital to developing such varieties; however, data collected from on-farm, participatory trials can be difficult to both collect and interpret. To assess the utility of data arising from participatory trialing efforts, we examined the performance of butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata L.), broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) and carrot (Daucus carota L.) varieties grown in diverse organic production environments in participatory trials in Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and New York using adaptability analysis (regression of variety means on environmental index). Patterns of adaptation varied across varieties, with some demonstrating broad adaptation and others showing specific adaptation to low- or high-yielding environments. Selection of varieties with broad vs specific adaptation should be guided by farmers’ risk tolerance and on-farm environmental variation. Adaptability analysis was appropriate for continuous variables (e.g., yield traits), but less so for ordinal variables and quality traits such as flavor and appearance, which can be vitally important in organic vegetable crop variety selection. The relative advantages of adaptability analysis and additive main effects and multiplicative interactions are also discussed in relation to on-farm trial networks. This work demonstrated the unique challenges presented by extensive participatory vegetable trialing efforts, which, as compared to grain crops, require novel approaches to facilitating farmer participation as well as data collection and analysis. Efficient, precise and reliable methods for evaluating quality related traits in these crops would allow researchers to assess stability and adaptation across a wider range of traits, providing advantages for effective plant breeding and trialing activities within the organic sector.
Falls prevention strategies can only be effective in reducing falls amongst older people if they are adopted and enacted in their daily lives. There is limited evidence identifying what older people in residential aged care (RAC) homes understand about falls and falls prevention, or what may limit or enable their adoption of strategies. This study was conducted in two countries and explored older people's knowledge and awareness of falls and their preferences, opportunities and motivation to undertake falls prevention strategies. A cross-sectional survey was administered to participants (N = 70) aged 65 years and over, living in six RAC homes in Perth, Australia and six RAC homes in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Participants had limited knowledge about intrinsic falls risk factors and strategies to address these and frequently expressed self-blame regarding falling. Almost all (N = 67, 95.7%) participants felt highly motivated to maintain their current functional mobility and independence in everyday tasks. Key preferences for receiving falls prevention messages favoured a positive approach promoting wellness and independence (N = 41, 58.6%) via pictorial posters or brochures (N = 37, 52.9%) and small group discussions preferably with demonstrations (N = 18, 25.7%). Findings from this study may assist organisations and staff to more effectively engage with older people living in RAC about falls prevention and design targeted resources to address the motivations and preferences of this population.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Operational stress describes individual behavior in response to the occupational demands and tempo of a mission. The stress response of military personnel involved in combat and peace-keeping missions has been well-described. The spectrum of effect on medical professionals and support staff providing humanitarian assistance, however, is less well delineated. Research to date concentrates mainly on shore-based humanitarian missions.
The goal of the current study was to document the pattern of operational stress, describe factors responsible for it, and the extent to which these factors impact job performance in military and civilian participants of Continuing Promise 2011 (CP11), a ship-based humanitarian medical mission.
This was a retrospective study of Disease Non-Battle Injury (DNBI) data from the medical sick-call clinic and from weekly self-report questionnaires for approximately 900 US military and civilian mission participants aboard the USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20). The incidence rates and job performance impact of reported Operational Stress/Mental Health (OS/MH) issues and predictors (age, rank, occupation, service branch) of OS/MH issues (depression, anxiety) were analyzed over a 22-week deployment period.
Incidence rates of OS/MH complaints from the sick-call clinic were 3.7% (4.5/1,000 persons) and 12.0% (53/1,000 persons) from the self-report questionnaire. The rate of operational stress increased as the mission progressed and fluctuated during the mission according to ship movement. Approximately 57% of the responders reported no impact on job performance. Younger individuals (enlisted ranks E4-6, officer ranks O1-3), especially Air Force service members, those who had spent only one day off ship, and those who were members of specific directorates, reported the highest rates of operational stress.
The overall incidence of OS/MH complaints was low in participants of CP11 but was under-estimated by clinic-based reporting. The OS/MH complaints increased as the mission progressed, were more prevalent in certain groups, and appeared to be related to ship’s movement. These findings document the pattern of operational stress in a ship-based medical humanitarian mission and confirm unique ship-based stressors. This information may be used by planners of similar missions to develop mitigation strategies for known stressors and by preventive medicine, behavioral health specialists, and mission leaders to develop sensitive surveillance tools to better detect and manage operational stress while on mission.
ScoutenWT, MehalickML, YoderE, McCoyA, BrannockT, RiddleMS. The Epidemiology of Operation Stress during Continuing Promise 2011: A Humanitarian Response and Disaster Relief Mission aboard a US Navy Hospital Ship. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):393–402.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
We present results from deep Chandra X-ray observations of the galaxy group NGC 5813. This system shows three pairs of collinear cavities, with each pair associated with an elliptical AGN outburst shock. Due to the relatively regular morphology of this system, and the unique unambiguous detection of three distinct AGN outburst shocks, it is particularly well-suited for the study of AGN feedback and the AGN outburst history. We find that the mean kinetic power is roughly the same for each outburst, and that the total energy associated with the youngest outburst is significantly lower than that of the previous outbursts. This implies that the mean AGN jet power has remained stable for at least 50 Myr, and that the youngest outburst is ongoing. We find that the mean shock heating rate balances the local radiative cooling rate at each shock front, suggesting that AGN outburst shock heating alone is sufficient to offset cooling and establish AGN/ICM feedback within at least the central 30 kpc. Finally, we find non-zero shock front widths that are too large to be explained by particle diffusion, but are instead consistent with arising from broadening of the shock fronts due to propagation through a turbulent ICM with a mean turbulent speed of ~ 70 km s−1.
Paramedics rely on establishing a health provider-patient relationship with patients that promotes two-way communication, patient satisfaction, and facilitates appropriate patient assessment and treatment. Paramedics also must have an ability to empathize with patients and their family members in order to develop a successful health provider-patient relationship. The objective of this study was to assess paramedics’ empathy and attitudes toward patients with specific conditions.
This was a cross-sectional study using a convenience sample of first-, second-, and third-year, Australian undergraduate paramedic students. Student empathy levels were assessed using two standardized self-reporting instruments: the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) Health Professional (HP) version and the Medical Condition Regard Scale (MCRS).
A total of 94 paramedic students participated in the study. The JSPE demonstrated that male paramedic students had higher mean empathy scores than did female paramedic students (113.25 and 107.5, respectively; P = .042). The JSPE empathy level scores were lowest among first-year paramedic students (mean = 107.53); age was not found to be a significant variable on empathy scores. The Medical Condition Regard Scale revealed lowest scores in compassion towards substance abuse (mean = 46.42).
The results of this study provide the discipline of paramedic health care with useful data, and provide students, academics, and other educators with important information regarding the improvement of the health provider-patient relationship and paramedic education curriculum development.
WilliamsB, BoyleM, EarlT. Measurement of Empathy Levels in Undergraduate Paramedic Students. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-5.
Septal nuclei, components of basal forebrain, are strongly and reciprocally connected with hippocampus, and have been shown in animals to play a critical role in memory. In humans, the septal forebrain has received little attention. To examine the role of human septal forebrain in memory, we acquired high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from 25 healthy subjects and calculated septal forebrain volume using recently developed probabilistic cytoarchitectonic maps. We indexed memory with the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Linear regression showed that bilateral septal forebrain volume was a significant positive predictor of recognition memory accuracy. More specifically, larger septal forebrain volume was associated with the ability to recall item source/context accuracy. Results indicate specific involvement of septal forebrain in human source memory, and recall the need for additional research into the role of septal nuclei in memory and other impairments associated with human diseases. (JINS, 2012, 18, 157–161)