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We present the first results of the MINDVIEW project. An innovative imaging system for the human brain examination, allowing simultaneous acquisition of PET/MRI images, has been designed and constructed. It consists of a high sensitivity and high resolution PET scanner integrated in a novel, head-dedicated, radio frequency coil for a 3T MRI scanner. Preliminary measurements from the PET scanner show sensitivity 3 times higher than state-of-the-art PET systems that will allow safe repeated studies on the same patient. The achieved spatial resolution, close to 1 mm, will enable differentiation of relevant brain structures for schizophrenia. A cost-effective and simple method of radiopharmaceutical production from 11C-carbon monoxide and a mini-clean room has been demonstrated. It has been shown that 11C-raclopride has higher binding potential in a new VAAT null mutant mouse model of schizophrenia compared to wild type control animals. A significant reduction in TSPO binding has been found in gray matter in a small sample of drug-naïve, first episode psychosis patients, suggesting a reduced number or an altered function of immune cells in brain at early stage schizophrenia.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of using different floor types to accommodate growing and finishing beef cattle on lameness. In all, 80 dairy origin bulls were blocked according to live weight and breed into 20 groups, and randomly allocated within groups to one of four treatments. The floor types studied were fully slatted flooring throughout the entire experimental period (CS); fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips throughout the entire experimental period (RS); fully slatted flooring during the growing period and then moved to a solid floor covered with straw bedding during the finishing period (CS-S) and fully slatted flooring during the growing period and then moved to fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips during the finishing period (CS-RS). The total duration of the study was 204 days. The first 101 days was defined as the growing period, with the remainder of the study defined as the finishing period. During the growing period, there was a tendency for bulls accommodated on CS to have a higher locomotion score compared with those accommodated on RS (P=0.059). However, floor type had no significant effect on locomotion score during the finishing period. There was also no significant effect of floor type on digital dermatitis during both the growing or finishing period. Floor type had no significant effect on swelling at the leg joints at the end of the finishing period. Bulls accommodated on RS had the least probability of bruised soles during both the growing and finishing period (P<0.01). Growing bulls accommodated on CS had significantly greater front heel height net growth compared with those accommodated on RS (P<0.05). However, bulls accommodated on RS had a tendency to have greater front toe net growth compared with those accommodated on CS (P=0.087). Finishing bulls accommodated on CS-RS had the greatest front toe net growth (P<0.001). Heel height net growth was greatest in bulls accommodated on CS-S (P<0.001). Floor type had no significant effect on mean maximum hoof temperature during the growing period. Finishing bulls accommodated on CS-S had a significantly lower mean maximum hoof temperature compared with those accommodated on any other floor type (P<0.001). The study concluded that rubber flooring is a suitable alternative to fully slatted flooring, reducing the prevalence of bruised soles. Despite greater toe net growth in bulls accommodated on rubber flooring, there was no effect of floor type on locomotion score, suggesting that increased toe net growth does not adversely affect walking ability. In addition, although mean maximum hoof temperature was lowest in bulls accommodated on straw bedding, there was no evidence to suggest this is indicative of improved hoof health.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of using different floor types to accommodate growing and finishing beef cattle on their performance, cleanliness, carcass characteristics and meat quality. In total, 80 dairy origin young bulls (mean initial live weight 224 kg (SD=28.4 kg)) were divided into 20 blocks with four animals each according to live weight. The total duration of the experimental period was 204 days. The first 101 days was defined as the growing period, with the remainder of the study defined as the finishing period. Cattle were randomly assigned within blocks to one of four floor type treatments, which included fully slatted flooring throughout the entire experimental period (CS); fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips throughout the entire experimental period (RS); fully slatted flooring during the growing period and moved to a solid floor covered with straw bedding during the finishing period (CS-S) and fully slatted flooring during the growing period and moved to fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips during the finishing period (CS-RS). Bulls were offered ad libitum grass silage supplemented with concentrates during the growing period. During the finishing period, bulls were offered concentrates supplemented with chopped barley straw. There was no significant effect of floor type on total dry matter intake (DMI), feed conversion ratio, daily live weight gain or back fat depth during the growing and finishing periods. Compared with bulls accommodated on CS, RS and CS-RS, bulls accommodated on CS-S had a significantly lower straw DMI (P<0.01). Although bulls accommodated on CS and CS-S were significantly dirtier compared with those accommodated on RS and CS-RS on days 50 (P<0.05) and 151 (P<0.01), there was no effect of floor type on the cleanliness of bulls at the end of the growing and finishing periods. There was also no significant effect of floor type on carcass characteristics or meat quality. However, bulls accommodated on CS-S had a tendency for less channel, cod and kidney fat (P=0.084) compared with those accommodated on CS, RS and CS-RS. Overall, floor type had no effect on the performance, cleanliness, carcass characteristics or meat quality of growing or finishing beef cattle.
Maternal diet-induced obesity can cause detrimental developmental origins of health and disease in offspring. Perinatal exposure to a high-fat diet (HFD) can lead to later behavioral and metabolic disturbances, but it is not clear which behaviors and metabolic parameters are most vulnerable. To address this critical gap, biparental and monogamous oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus), which may better replicate most human societies, were used in the current study. About 2 weeks before breeding, adult females were placed on a control or HFD and maintained on the diets throughout gestation and lactation. F1 offspring were placed at weaning (30 days of age) on the control diet and spatial learning and memory, anxiety, exploratory, voluntary physical activity, and metabolic parameters were tested when they reached adulthood (90 days of age). Surprisingly, maternal HFD caused decreased latency in initial and reverse Barnes maze trials in male, but not female, offspring. Both male and female HFD-fed offspring showed increased anxiogenic behaviors, but decreased exploratory and voluntary physical activity. Moreover, HFD offspring demonstrated lower resting energy expenditure (EE) compared with controls. Accordingly, HFD offspring weighed more at adulthood than those from control fed dams, likely the result of reduced physical activity and EE. Current findings indicate a maternal HFD may increase obesity susceptibility in offspring due to prenatal programming resulting in reduced physical activity and EE later in life. Further work is needed to determine the underpinning neural and metabolic mechanisms by which a maternal HFD adversely affects neurobehavioral and metabolic pathways in offspring.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
To compare the accuracy of surveillance of severe sepsis using electronic health record clinical data vs claims and to compare incidence and mortality trends using both methods.
We created an electronic health record–based surveillance definition for severe sepsis using clinical indicators of infection (blood culture and antibiotic orders) and concurrent organ dysfunction (vasopressors, mechanical ventilation, and/or abnormal laboratory values). We reviewed 1,000 randomly selected medical charts to characterize the definition’s accuracy and stability over time compared with a claims-based definition requiring infection and organ dysfunction codes. We compared incidence and mortality trends from 2003–2012 using both methods.
Two US academic hospitals.
The electronic health record–based clinical surveillance definition had stable and high sensitivity over time (77% in 2003–2009 vs 80% in 2012, P=.58) whereas the sensitivity of claims increased (52% in 2003–2009 vs 67% in 2012, P=.02). Positive predictive values for claims and clinical surveillance definitions were comparable (55% vs 53%, P=.65) and stable over time. From 2003 to 2012, severe sepsis incidence imputed from claims rose by 72% (95% CI, 57%–88%) and absolute mortality declined by 5.4% (95% CI, 4.6%–6.7%). In contrast, incidence using the clinical surveillance definition increased by 7.7% (95% CI, −1.1% to 17%) and mortality declined by 1.7% (95% CI, 1.1%–2.3%).
Sepsis surveillance using clinical data is more sensitive and more stable over time compared with claims and can be done electronically. This may enable more reliable estimates of sepsis burden and trends.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):163–171
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
A scoping review was conducted to identify modifiable non-antimicrobial factors to reduce the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in cattle populations. Searches were developed to retrieve peer-reviewed published studies in animal, human and in vitro microbial populations. Citations were retained when modifiable non-antimicrobial factors or interventions potentially associated with antimicrobial resistance were described. Studies described resistance in five bacterial genera, species or types, and 40 antimicrobials. Modifiable non-antimicrobial factors or interventions ranged widely in type, and the depth of evidence in animal populations was shallow. Specific associations between a factor or intervention with antimicrobial resistance in a population (e.g. associations between organic systems and tetracycline susceptibility in E. coli from cattle) were reported in a maximum of three studies. The identified non-antimicrobial factors or interventions were classified into 16 themes. Most reported associations between the non-antimicrobial modifiable factors or interventions and antimicrobial resistance were not statistically significant (P > 0·05 and a confidence interval including 1), but when significant, the results were not consistent in direction (increase or decrease in antimicrobial resistance) or magnitude. Research is needed to better understand the impacts of promising modifiable factors or interventions on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance before any recommendations can be offered or adopted.
Valid comparison between hospitals for benchmarking or pay-for-performance incentives requires accurate correction for underlying disease severity (case-mix). However, existing models are either very simplistic or require extensive manual data collection.
To develop a disease severity prediction model based solely on data routinely available in electronic health records for risk-adjustment in mechanically ventilated patients.
Retrospective cohort study.
Mechanically ventilated patients from a single tertiary medical center (2006–2012).
Predictors were extracted from electronic data repositories (demographic characteristics, laboratory tests, medications, microbiology results, procedure codes, and comorbidities) and assessed for feasibility and generalizability of data collection. Models for in-hospital mortality of increasing complexity were built using logistic regression. Estimated disease severity from these models was linked to rates of ventilator-associated events.
A total of 20,028 patients were initiated on mechanical ventilation, of whom 3,027 deceased in hospital. For models of incremental complexity, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve ranged from 0.83 to 0.88. A simple model including demographic characteristics, type of intensive care unit, time to intubation, blood culture sampling, 8 common laboratory tests, and surgical status achieved an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.87 (95% CI, 0.86–0.88) with adequate calibration. The estimated disease severity was associated with occurrence of ventilator-associated events.
Accurate estimation of disease severity in ventilated patients using electronic, routine care data was feasible using simple models. These estimates may be useful for risk-adjustment in ventilated patients. Additional research is necessary to validate and refine these models.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(7):807–815
This audit cycle aimed to identify deficiencies in medicines management in an adult psychiatric hospital. The original audit in 2009 highlighted that a number of improvements were needed to enhance prescribing standards. Following implementation of these recommendations, two reaudits were performed to assess both the improvements in medicines management along with evaluating the newly introduced drug prescription chart.
Local, national and international guidelines on medicines management were reviewed in 2009, following which an audit tool was designed. Recommendations from the original audit were taken on board with the introduction of a new medication chart. This chart incorporated many of the recommendations from the original audit into it. Two reaudits were then performed, each over 1 day by four assessors and included all inpatient wards.
The initial audit in 2009 outlined a number of recommendations, namely the introduction of an appropriate ‘fit for purpose’ medication chart, the need for regular postgraduate prescribing education and training and the consideration of a prescribing formulary and/or Drugs & Therapeutics Committee. Results from the reaudits revealed that considerable improvement was made in areas such as patient demographics, pharmacist involvement, generic prescribing, BLOCK capitals, inclusion of Medical Council Registration Number, PRN prescribing and discontinuation procedures.
Although significant improvement was noted, further improvement is required with regards to the need for a review date for PRN medication; the need for improved documentation of allergies, height and weight; and the importance of a working group to assess community medicines management and the need for further reaudits to assess continued improvement in all deficient areas.
Orphan Afterglows (OA) are slow transients produced by Gamma Ray Bursts seen off–axis that become visible on timescales of days/years at optical/NIR and radio frequencies, when the prompt emission at high energies (X and γ rays) has already ceased. Given the typically estimated jet opening angle of GRBs θjet ~ 3°, for each burst pointing to the Earth there should be a factor ~ 700 more GRBs pointing in other directions. Despite this, no secure OAs have been detected so far. Through a population synthesis code we study the emission properties of the population of OA at radio frequencies. OAs reach their emission peak on year-timescales and they last for a comparable amount of time. The typical peak fluxes (which depend on the observing frequency) are of few μJy in the radio band with only a few OA reaching the mJy level. These values are consistent with the upper limits on the radio flux of SN Ib/c observed at late times. We find that the OA radio number count distribution has a typical slope − 1.7 at high fluxes and a flatter ( − 0.4) slope at low fluxes with a break at a frequency–dependent flux. Our predictions of the OA rates are consistent with the (upper) limits of recent radio surveys and archive searches for radio transients. Future radio surveys like VAST/ASKAP at 1.4 GHz should detect ~ 3 × 10− 3 OA deg− 2 yr− 1, MeerKAT and EVLA at 8.4 GHz should see ~ 3 × 10− 1 OA deg− 2 yr− 1. The SKA, reaching the μJy flux limit, could see up to ~ 0.2 − 1.5 OA deg− 2 yr− 1. These rates also depend on the duration of the OA above a certain flux limit and we discuss this effect with respect to the survey cadence.
Cross-national population data from the WHO World Mental Health surveys are used to compare role attainments and role impairments associated with binge-eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN).
Community surveys assessed 23 000 adults across 12 countries for BED, BN and ten other DSM-IV mental disorders using the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Age-of-onset was assessed retrospectively. Ten physical disorders were assessed using standard conditions checklists. Analyses examined reciprocal time-lagged associations of eating disorders (EDs) with education, associations of early-onset (i.e., prior to completing education) EDs with subsequent adult role attainments and cross-sectional associations of current EDs with days of role impairment.
BED and BN predicted significantly increased education (females). Student status predicted increased risk of subsequent BED and BN (females). Early-onset BED predicted reduced odds of current (at time of interview) marriage (females) and reduced odds of current employment (males). Early-onset BN predicted increased odds of current work disability (females and males). Current BED and BN were both associated with significantly increased days of role impairment (females and males). Significant BED and BN effects on adult role attainments and impairments were explained by controls for comorbid disorders.
Effects of BED on role attainments and impairments are comparable with those of BN. The most plausible interpretation of the fact that these associations are explained by comorbid disorders is that causal effects of EDs are mediated through secondary disorders. Controlled treatment effectiveness studies are needed to trace out long-term effects of BED–BN on secondary disorders.
The UK has seen a significant transition from Defined Benefit (“DB”) to Defined Contribution (“DC”) for occupational pension saving. The planned automatic enrolment program starting in 2012 is expected to increase the use of DC. The main features of DC are that investment risk falls onto the individual during the pre-retirement phase and that there are no guarantees as to investment returns or the level of pension. In July 2012, Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, challenged industry to think hard about meeting the need for more certainty about pension savings in DC plans and to consider providing an affordable ‘Money Safe’ guarantee where the member would get back at least the nominal value of their contributions (individual, employer and tax relief). This paper explores whether this is viable for the mass market.
We present a catalogue of the 322 damped Lyman alpha absorbers taken from the literature. All damped Lyman alpha absorbers are included, with no selection on redshift or quasar magnitude. Of these, 123 are candidates and await confirmation using high resolution spectroscopy. For all 322 objects we catalogue the radio properties of the background quasars, where known. Around 60 quasars have radio flux densities above 0.1 Jy and approximately half of these have optical magnitudes brighter than V = 18. This compilation should prove useful in several areas of extragalactic/cosmological research.