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Contributing to poor global functioning, auditory hallucinations (AH) also interfere with elementary cognitive processes, including auditory discrimination. This is evidenced in schizophrenic (SZ) hallucinators (vs. non-hallucinators) by a greater reduction of the MMN, an auditory event-related brain potential (ERP) generated in part by NMDA receptor activity and normalized with nicotinic (nACh) agonist treatment.
To increase our understanding of NMDA-nACh interactions with auditory processing, using healthy young adults varying in their degree of experience with AH, thereby reducing the confounding influence of illness chronicity and medication associated with the study of SZ patients.
To investigate MMN differences between low and high AH subjects during separate and combined administration of ketamine, an NMDA antagonist, and nicotine, an nACh agonist.
In 40 healthy controls, all rated for AH with the Bell Object Relations and Reality Testing Inventory, MMN to frequency deviants was assessed in a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design involving the separate and combined administration of a intravenous sub-psychotomimetic dose of ketamine (0.04 mg/kg) and a dose of nicotine gum (4 mg).
In high AH subjects, ketamine reduced MMN, with the resulting amplitude being smaller than that of low AH subjects. This ketamine-induced MMN reduction was evident only with placebo gum; furthermore combined nicotine-ketamine treatment acted to increase MMN in high scorers.
AH in otherwise healthy individuals is associated with heightened sensitivity to NMDA receptor blockade, the effects of which are moderated by nicotinic neurotransmission. Both neurotransmitters may interact to moderate auditory processing and AH in SZ.
Familial risk for psychosis may interact with environmental risk factors.
We are studying a large birth cohort of children of mothers with psychotic disorders, themselves at high risk of developing a psychotic illness, to understand the developmental aetiology of psychotic illness.
Our aim is to examine whether exposure to environmental stressors in childhood, including timing of exposure, is a risk factor for psychotic illness, independent of familial liability. Specificity to maternal schizophrenia is explored.
We used record-linkage across state-wide registers (midwives, psychiatric, child protection and mortality, among others) to identify 15,486 offspring born in Western Australia 1980–2001 to mothers with a lifetime history of psychotic illness (case children) and compared them with 452,459 offspring born in the same period to mothers with no known psychiatric history (comparison children).
A total of 4.1% of case children had developed a psychotic illness compared to 1.1% of comparison children. Exposure to environmental risk factors including obstetric complications, aboriginality, lower socioeconomic status, discontinuity in parenting and childhood abuse significantly increased risk of psychotic illness in offspring. Length and age at time of discontinuity in parenting impacted on risk. At the same time, case children were also significantly more likely than comparison children to be at risk of experiencing these adverse life events.
Exposure to environmental stressors is associated with psychotic illness, and timing of exposure is important. However, children already at increased familial risk for psychotic illness are also at increased risk of experiencing these environmental stressors.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Introduction: Intranasal dexmedetomidine (IND) is an emerging agent for procedural distress in children. However, studies to date have been limited by small samples and imprecise estimates of effect size. We sought to summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of IND for procedures associated with distress in children. Methods: We performed electronic searches of MEDLINE (1946-2018), EMBASE (1980-2018), Google Scholar (2018), CINAHL (1981-2018), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (2018), 6 clinical trials registries and conference proceedings (2010-2018). Title searches, data abstraction, and risk of bias assessments were performed in duplicate. We included all published and unpublished, randomized and quasi-randomized trials of IND for procedures in children younger than 19 years of age without language restriction. The methodological quality of studies was evaluated using the Cochrane Collaboration's Risk of Bias tool. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants that were deemed to be adequately sedated for the procedure. Results: Of 661 studies, 18 met inclusion criteria. Trials involved 2128 participants, age 1 month - 14 years (836, 39.3% females), who received IND 1 - 4 mcg/kg either by drops (n = 12), atomizer (n = 4), or both (n = 2). 12 trials were eligible for meta-analysis. 13 trials used validated instruments to assess sedation. All studies except one were associated with low or moderate risk of bias. For painful procedures (IV insertion; laceration repair; dental extraction), the pooled OR (95% CI) for adequate sedation and need for additional analgesia was non-significant [1.19 (0.53, 2.65)] and [2.16 (0.62, 7.49)], respectively (n = 5). For non-painful procedures (diagnostic imaging), the corresponding pooled OR (95% CI) favored IND [3.04 (1.58, 5.82)] and [4.44 (2.11, 9.35)], respectively (n = 7). Time to onset and duration of sedation ranged from 13-31 minutes and 41-91.5 minutes, respectively. For adverse effects, the pooled OR (95% CI) was not significantly different between IND and comparators [0.58 (0.22, 1.55] and there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: IND at doses 1 to 4 mcg/kg are safe and adequately sedate children undergoing non-painful procedures, although the ease of administration must be weighed against the risk of prolonged sedation. Additional trials with larger sample sizes and greater methodologic rigor are needed for painful emergency department procedures such as laceration repair and IV insertion.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
This paper discusses the concept and parameter design of a robust stair-climbing compliant modular robot, capable of tackling stairs with overhangs. Geometry modifications of the periphery of the wheels of our robot helped in tackling overhangs. Along with establishing a concept design, the robust design parameters are set to minimize performance variations. The Grey-based Taguchi method is applied to provide an optimal setting for the design parameters of the robot. The robot prototype is shown to have successfully scaled stairs of varying dimensions, with overhang, thus corroborating the analysis performed.
Section 1 of the FM14 focus on bridging the astronomy research and outreach communities - recent highlights, emerging collaborations, best practices and support structures. This paper also contains supplementary materials that point to contributed talks and poster presentations that can be found online.
Echinacea purpurea is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs that is of interest to animal scientists due to its valuable immuno-stimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that it activates the immune system through stimulating T-cell production, lymphocytic activity, phagocytosis, cellular respiration and inhibiting the secretion of the hyaluronidase enzyme. Chicoric acid (CA) is a major active constituent of Echinacea purpurea. The CA content in roots ranges between 16.80-24.30 mg/g which has gained a lot of renown due to its promising bio-activities. CA has shown to simulate growth promoters and have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-bacterial, hypoglycaemic and hepatocyte protective properties. There have been very few studies relevant to CA and its use in poultry diets. Previously published studies have included pharmacological and nutritional investigations in the poultry industry. CA could be used as an alternative to antibiotics, and may improve meat quality and health status in broiler chickens.
The Learning Health System Network clinical data research network includes academic medical centers, health-care systems, public health departments, and health plans, and is designed to facilitate outcomes research, pragmatic trials, comparative effectiveness research, and evaluation of population health interventions.
The Learning Health System Network is 1 of 13 clinical data research networks assembled to create, in partnership with 20 patient-powered research networks, a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network.
Results and Conclusions
Herein, we describe the Learning Health System Network as an emerging resource for translational research, providing details on the governance and organizational structure of the network, the key milestones of the current funding period, and challenges and opportunities for collaborative science leveraging the network.
In August 2015 a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred following a wedding. An outbreak investigation was undertaken and a cohort study was conducted using an online survey. Of 140 guests, 134 received the survey and 113 responded (84·3% response rate). Seventy respondents met the case definition of vomiting and/or diarrhoea within 72 h of the wedding (61·9% attack rate). Fifteen exposures were associated with illness; on stratification, all were confounded by the ham hock starter. Multivariable analysis showed a significant association with exposure to ham hock (risk ratio 6·62, 95% confidence interval 2·19–20·03). Eight guests and two catering staff submitted stool samples. All tested positive for norovirus GI-6 infection, including a food handler who had vomiting less than 48 h before the wedding. A single genotype was detected among all samples, suggesting a single source of contamination. The transmission pattern suggested point-source exposure. The most plausible cause of the outbreak was transmission from an infected food handler via contaminated food. This highlights the importance of appropriate exclusions for symptomatic food handlers. Additionally, the food handler's stool sample was submitted 7 days after symptom resolution. The potential for extended viral excretion, and the extremely low infective dose of norovirus, may mean that current exclusion guidelines are not of sufficient duration.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
This paper discusses the development of an optimal wheel-torque controller for a compliant modular robot. The wheel actuators are the only actively controllable elements in this robot. For this type of robots, wheel-slip could offer a lot of hindrance while traversing on uneven terrains. Therefore, an effective wheel-torque controller is desired that will also improve the wheel-odometry and minimize power consumption. In this work, an optimal wheel-torque controller is proposed that minimizes the traction-to-normal force ratios of all the wheels at every instant of its motion. This ensures that, at every wheel, the least traction force per unit normal force is applied to maintain static stability and desired wheel speed. The lower this is, in comparison to the actual friction coefficient of the wheel-ground interface, the more margin of slip-free motion the robot can have. This formalism best exploits the redundancy offered by a modularly designed robot. This is the key novelty of this work. Extensive numerical and experimental studies were carried out to validate this controller. The robot was tested on four different surfaces and we report an overall average slip reduction of 44% and mean wheel-torque reduction by 16%.
Obesity is a growing problem in India, the dietary determinants of which have been studied using an ‘individual food/nutrient’ approach. Examining dietary patterns may provide more coherent findings, but few studies in developing countries have adopted this approach. The present study aimed to identify dietary patterns in an Indian population and assess their relationship with anthropometric risk factors.
FFQ data from the cross-sectional sib-pair Indian Migration Study (IMS; n 7067) were used to identify dietary patterns using principal component analysis. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine associations with obesity and central obesity.
The IMS was conducted at four factory locations across India: Lucknow, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The participants were rural-to-urban migrant and urban non-migrant factory workers, their rural and urban resident siblings, and their co-resident spouses.
Three dietary patterns were identified: ‘cereals–savoury foods’ (cooked grains, rice/rice-based dishes, snacks, condiments, soups, nuts), ‘fruit–veg–sweets–snacks’ (Western cereals, vegetables, fruit, fruit juices, cooked milk products, snacks, sugars, sweets) and ‘animal-food’ (red meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs). In adjusted analysis, positive graded associations were found between the ‘animal-food’ pattern and both anthropometric risk factors. Moderate intake of the ‘cereals–savoury foods’ pattern was associated with reduced odds of obesity and central obesity.
Distinct dietary patterns were identified in a large Indian sample, which were different from those identified in previous literature. A clear ‘plant food-based/animal food-based pattern’ dichotomy emerged, with the latter being associated with higher odds of anthropometric risk factors. Longitudinal studies are needed to further clarify this relationship in India.
Tolerance toward extreme groups was measured by asking respondents for their level of agreement with the following statements: “I feel sorry for groups that are the targets of FBI surveillance,” “the media should give extremist groups the opportunity to express their views,” “a group that is targeted by the FBI probably deserves the treatment it gets” (reverse-coded), and “the media should not encourage extremist groups by providing news coverage” (reverse-coded). Tolerance toward extreme groups was constructed by averaging respondents’ answers on a 10-point scale (Cronbach’s alpha = .75, M = 6.00, SD = 1.77).
Tolerance for Targeted Group Index
Tolerance for the targeted group was operationalized with an additive index of four statements taken from Marcus et al. (1995), but modified to fit the current social context. Subjects were asked how they felt about a set of statements regarding the treatment of the hypothetical group that had appeared on the manipulation stories: group members should be allowed to work as a teacher in public schools, hold public rallies, broadcast public access cable programs, and share their views over the Internet. Items were measured on 10-point scales from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Responses were used to create an index averaging the scores from these items (Cronbach’s α = .77, M = 7.12, SD = 1.86).
According to the coding scheme, coders focused exclusively on manifest content in order to establish a high degree of reliability in coding three factors: the degrees of differentiation (i.e., the number of discrete cognitive categories mentioned), the average elaboration (i.e., the extent of detail provided for each mentioned category), and integration (i.e., the interconnectedness of the various cognitive categories mentioned) in the answers provided by respondents.
The coding instrument asked coders to focus on nine conceptual categories that had been identified from a preliminary examination of the open-ended responses. To establish differentiation, coders were asked to judge which constructs were present in an explicit fashion in each answer. For example, if a respondent mentioned in her answer the “importance of ensuring due process for all,” this would have been coded as one construct (category #6: rights/constitution/freedoms). If in addition to mentioning due process, the respondent wrote about the threats posed to national security by the activities of certain groups and the need to ensure public safety, the coder, recognizing the presence of a second construct (category #5: national security/safety), would give this response a value of 2 in terms of construct differentiation.
In addition to the number of constructs present in the answer, coders were asked to rate the degree of elaboration for each concept that was present. Following the example given, just mentioning the importance of due process would have been coded as low in elaboration. A one-sentence explanation of due process would have received a medium elaboration grade, while an extended explanation of due process (two sentences or more on the subject) would have been coded as high on elaboration.
“Our enemies operate secretly and they seek to attack us from within. In this new kind of war, it is both necessary and appropriate for us to take all possible steps to locate our enemy and know what they are plotting before they strike.”
– U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez Testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee February 6, 2006
“I know for an absolute fact that we have not been involved in anything related to promoting terrorism, and yet the government has collected almost 1,200 pages on our activities. Why is the ACLU now the subject of scrutiny from the FBI?”
– Anthony. D. Romero ACLU Executive Director July 16, 2005
As the United States government took actions to engage in surveillance of activist groups, the discourse surrounding this action straddled both sides of the national security/civil liberties dichotomy. Some officials, such as Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez (quoted above), made the argument that such government activities are necessary to protect the safety and security of the American public. On the other hand, civil rights advocates such as Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s Executive Director, questioned whether activist group surveillance wasn’t motivated by political rather than security concerns. As discussed earlier, this national security/civil liberties debate was played out for public consumption through the mass media. Audience members seeking to understand the debate over government surveillance activities had to make judgments about what was happening on the basis of information reported in the media. This led us to ask questions about how the audience would make sense of this controversy in response to the news stories that they encounter.
In this chapter, we examine how different frames used to construct such new stories affect audience understanding and cognitions. As we noted in Chapter 1, frames are likely to affect people differently according to the predispositions that they bring to the processing of news stories. As such, this chapter examines the interplay of news frames and political predispositions on audience reactions to news stories. For this analysis, we used data from the Activist Study in which research participants read news stories about the surveillance of political advocacy groups under the USA PATRIOT Act.
“Police arrested an American-born Muslim in St. Louis early Sunday and took him to a police station where FBI agents questioned him about his anti-war activities and whether he was planning any attacks against the U.S. government. Bret Darren Lee, whose Muslim name is Umar ben-Livan, said…he is active in Muslim and anti-war groups and acknowledged that he holds views that may be considered outside the political mainstream. But Lee said he is far from a terrorist.…While Lee was still in custody, FBI agents returned to Lee’s apartment about noon Sunday and spent a half-hour questioning his wife about whether he was a terrorist, his thoughts about the Taliban, and whether he was planning to take part in any more anti-war protests.”
– Phillip O’Connor St. Louis Post-Dispatch February 11, 2003
“An FBI counterterrorism unit monitored and apparently infiltrated a peace group [the Thomas Merton Center] in Pittsburgh that opposed the invasion of Iraq, according to internal agency documents released Tuesday.…The documents make no mention of illegal activities, noting only that the group advocated ‘pacifism,’ opposed an invasion of Iraq, doubted the U.S. rationale for war, and had ties to an Islamic group with no known links to terrorism. The disclosure raised new questions about the extent to which federal authorities have been conducting surveillance operations against Americans since the Sept. 11 attacks.”
– Jonathan S. Landsay Knight Ridder Newspapers March 15, 2006
The quotes above are from news stories that reflect the central theme of this book: the tension between the contending values of protecting national security and defending civil liberties. Both stories involve actions by the FBI as part of the War on Terror that are seen by some as expanding the scope of surveillance to include groups that are not threats to national security. Both deal with activists who have connections to Muslim groups, but apparently have no linkages to terrorism. Yet they also differ in important ways – ways that highlight the effects of message frames that we explore in the studies reported in this book.
“While the FBI possesses no information indicating that violent or terrorist activities are being planned as part of these protests, the possibility exists that elements of the activist community may attempt to engage in violent, destructive, or dangerous acts.”
– New York Times Bulletin October 15, 2003
“‘Anti-terrorist’ legislation has been adopted in a number of western countries which allows for the arrest and detention without charge of alleged terrorists, including leaders of so-called ‘domestic radical groups’ (meaning antiwar activists), who are now categorized as a threat to Homeland Security.”
– Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa December 21, 2005
The above passages illustrate how the focus of the government’s antiterrorism activities included political activist groups, who were being considered as a threat to national security. Documented cases of government surveillance and infiltration of nonviolent activist groups, including the Occupy movement, and the dragnet monitoring of Americans revealed by Edward Snowden (as detailed in Chapter 2) substantiate concern that the USA PATRIOT Act is being used to infringe on the privacy and due process rights of citizens, including political activists who may stake out extreme positions on issues but are not suspected of criminal activities.
Public response to this range of government surveillance activities is likely to be shaped by how they are portrayed by the media. We argue that the nature of news coverage about civil liberties controversies has the potential to sway individuals’ security concerns and social tolerance judgments. Our theory builds on past research that finds contemporary information works in combination with citizens’ political predispositions to shape the level of support for civil liberties (Marcus et al., 1995). However, this past research focused only on how individuals respond when confronted with disliked groups, arguing that it is under these conditions that the limits of tolerance are best understood (Sullivan and Marcus, 1988; Sullivan et al., 1979). An unintended consequence of this focus on disliked groups has been a dearth of research on how individuals make these judgments when they confront efforts to restrict the civil liberties of groups whose causes they support, but whose tactics they may oppose. The decision to defend the civil liberties of radicals, even if only for targets toward which one feels some latent sympathy, is a meaningful test of tolerance in the political climate created after 9/11 and typified by the Snowden revelations.