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One of Tom Dishion's most significant contributions to prevention science was the development of affordable, ecologically valid interventions, such as the Family Check-Up, that screen for child and family risk factors broadly, but concentrate family-specific interventions on those with greatest potential for population impact. In the spirit of this approach, investigators examined effects of a brief, universal postnatal home visiting program on child emergency medical care and billing costs from birth to age 24 months. Family Connects is a community-wide public health intervention that combines identification and alignment of community services and resources with brief, postpartum nurse home visits designed to assess risk, provide supportive guidance, and connect families with identified risk to community resources. Over 18 months, families of all 4,777 resident Durham County, North Carolina, births were randomly assigned based on even or odd birth date to receive a postnatal nurse home visiting intervention or services as usual (control). Independently, 549 of these families were randomly selected and participated in an impact evaluation study. Families, blind to study goals, provided written consent to access hospital administrative records. Results indicate that children randomly assigned to Family Connects had significantly less total emergency medical care (by 37%) through age 24 months, with results observed across almost all subgroups. Examination of billing records indicate a $3.17 decrease in total billing costs for each $1 in program costs. Overall, results suggest that community-wide postpartum support program can significantly reduce population rates of child emergency medical care through age 24 months while being cost-beneficial to communities.
Current adolescent substance use risk models have inadequately predicted use for African Americans, offering limited knowledge about differential predictability as a function of developmental period. Among a sample of 500 African American youth (ages 11–21), four risk indices (i.e., social risk, attitudinal risk, intrapersonal risk, and racial discrimination risk) were examined in the prediction of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette initiation during early (ages 11–13), mid (ages 16–18), and late (ages 19–21) adolescence. Results showed that when developmental periods were combined, racial discrimination was the only index that predicted initiation for all three substances. However, when risk models were stratified based on developmental period, variation was found within and across substance types. Results highlight the importance of racial discrimination in understanding substance use initiation among African American youth and the need for tailored interventions based on developmental stage.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Interactions at magnetic interfaces are central to the operation of virtually all magnetic heterostructures. When the interface is between two magnetic materials, the exchange interaction between spins at the interface is often a dominant force, and can dramatically change the magnetic response of the overall heterostructure. In ferromagnet (FM)/antiferromagnet (AFM) heterostructures, this interaction is often referred to as exchange anisotropy or bias and it has been widely used over the past decade in a wide array of applications such as magnetic recording heads, MRAMs, etc. The powerful implications of interactions between an AFM and a FM have been realized in a wide range of thin film heterostructure with both metallic and oxide constituents. There is, however, much less work on oxide-oxide FM/AFM systems. On the other hand, the development and understanding of functional oxide materials, especially multifunctional materials like BiFeO3 (BFO), have piqued the interest of researchers worldwide with the promise of coupling between order parameters such as ferroelectricity and antiferromagnetism. Recent research suggests that there is exchange coupling and anisotropy between the metallic ferromagnet Co0.9Fe0.1 (CoFe) and the multiferroic, antiferromagnet BFO, showing the possibility to create highly desirable multifunctional systems with new possibilities for device design. Such a result provides the driving force to create multifunctional oxide-oxide systems where exchange interactions could be much stronger then in metal/oxide structures due the added epitaxial nature of the interface. In this study, we use La0.7Sr0.3MnO3(LSMO)/BFO thin film heterostructures as a model system to explore the exchange interaction at an oxide interface. The heterostructures are grown on various vicinal cuts of SrTiO3 single crystal substrates using laser MBE. Structural analysis using x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry reveals high quality films with the pristine interfaces required for exchange coupling. First results from photoemission electron microscope (PEEM) studies reveal that the magnetic LSMO domain structure mimics underneath ferroelectric BFO domain structure, i..e, it is strongly pinned by the underlying AFM structure. The coupling behavior is being characterized by magnetic measurements (SQUID, VSM), which shows a strong enhancement in the coercivity of the LSMO layer, suggesting the existence of exchange bias coupling. We are probing the strength of this coupling using a combination of careful laser MBE growth experiments and physical property measurements. In this paper, we will report results of experiments in which the LSMO layer has been grown by laser MBE in the thickness range of 2-50nm on a  BFO layer.
To identify interstage best practices associated with lower mortality, we studied National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative centres registry using a positive deviance approach.
Positive deviant and control centre team members were interviewed to identify potential interstage best practices. Subsequently, all collaborative centres were surveyed on the use of these practices to test their associations with centre mortality. Questionnaires were scored using Likert scales; the overall score was linearly transformed to a 0–100-point scale with higher scores indicating increased use of practices. Mortality was based on patients enrolled after a centre’s first year in the collaborative. Centre mortality rates were divided into tertiles. Survey scores for the low mortality tertile were compared with the other tertiles.
For this study, seven positive deviant and four control teams were interviewed. A total of 20 potential best practices were identified, including team composition, improvement practices, and parent involvement. Questionnaires were completed by 36/43 eligible centres, providing 1504 patients for analysis. Average survey score was 50.2 (SD 13.4). Average mortality was 6.1% (SD 4.1). There was no correlation between survey scores and mortality (r=0.14, p=0.41). The one practice associated with the low mortality tertile was frequency of discussion of interstage results: 58.3% of low mortality teams discussed results at least monthly versus 8.4% of the middle and high tertile centres (p=0.02).
Low-mortality centres more frequently discuss interstage results than high-mortality centres. Heightened awareness of outcomes may influence practice; however, further study is needed to understand the variation in outcomes across centres.
The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) measures three aspects of catastrophic cognitions about pain—rumination, magnification, and helplessness. To facilitate assessment and clinical application, we aimed to (a) develop a short version on the basis of its factorial structure and the items’ correlations with key pain-related outcomes, and (b) identify the threshold on the short form indicative of risk for depression.
Social centers for older people.
664 Chinese older adults with chronic pain.
Besides the PCS, pain intensity, pain disability, and depressive symptoms were assessed.
For the full scale, confirmatory factor analysis showed that the hypothesized 3-factor model fit the data moderately well. On the basis of the factor loadings, two items were selected from each of the three dimensions. An additional item significantly associated with pain disability and depressive symptoms, over and above these six items, was identified through regression analyses. A short-PCS composed of seven items was formed, which correlated at r=0.97 with the full scale. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted against clinically significant depressive symptoms, defined as a score of ≥12 on a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. This analysis showed a score of ≥7 to be the optimal cutoff for the short-PCS, with sensitivity = 81.6% and specificity = 78.3% when predicting clinically significant depressive symptoms.
The short-PCS may be used in lieu of the full scale and as a brief screen to identify individuals with serious catastrophizing.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Diet, obesity and adipokines play important roles in diabetes and CVD; yet, limited studies have assessed the relationship between diet and multiple adipokines. This cross-sectional study assessed associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines in Mexican Americans. The cohort included 1128 participants (age 34·7±8·2 years, BMI 29·5±5·9 kg/m2, 73·2 % female). Dietary intake was assessed by 12-month food frequency questionnaire. Adiposity was measured by BMI, total percentage body fat and percentage trunk fat using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Adiponectin, apelin, C-reactive protein (CRP), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-IV), IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-18, leptin, lipocalin, monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resistin, secreted frizzled protein 4 (SFRP-4), SFRP-5, TNF-α and visfatin were assayed with multiplex kits or ELISA. Joint multivariate associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines were analysed using canonical correlations adjusted for age, sex, energy intake and kinship. The median (interquartile range) energy intake was 9514 (7314, 11912) kJ/d. Overall, 55 % of total intake was accounted for by carbohydrates (24 % from sugar). A total of 66 % of the shared variation between diet and adiposity, and 34 % of diet and adipokines were explained by the top canonical correlation. The diet component was most represented by sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), fruit and vegetables. Participants consuming a diet high in SSB and low in fruits and vegetables had higher adiposity, CRP, leptin, and MCP-1, but lower SFRP-5 than participants with high fruit and vegetable and low SSB intake. In Mexican Americans, diets high in SSB but low in fruits and vegetables contribute to adiposity and a pro-inflammatory adipokine profile.
Direct numerical simulation of intense laser–solid interactions is still of great challenges, because of the many coupled atomic and plasma processes, such as ionization dynamics, collision among charged particles and collective electromagnetic fields, to name just a few. Here, we develop a new particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code, which enables us to calculate laser–solid interactions in a more realistic way. This code is able to cover almost ‘all’ the coupled physical processes. As an application of the new code, the generation and transport of energetic electrons in front of and within the solid target when irradiated by intense laser beams are studied. For the considered case, in which laser intensity is
and pre-plasma scale length in front of the solid is
, several quantitative conclusions are drawn: (i) the collisional damping (although it is very weak) can significantly affect the energetic electrons generation in front of the target, (ii) the Bremsstrahlung radiation will be enhanced by 2–3 times when the solid is dramatically heated and ionized, (iii) the ‘cut-off’ electron energy is lowered by an amount of 25% when both collision damping and Bremsstrahlung radiations are included, and (iv) the resistive electromagnetic fields due to Ohmic heating play nonignorable roles and must be taken into account in such interactions.
Layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have attracted interest due to their promise for future electronic and optoelectronic technologies. As one approaches the two-dimensional (2D) limit, thickness and local topology can greatly influence the macroscopic properties of a material. To understand the unique behavior of TMDs it is therefore important to identify the number of atomic layers and their stacking in a sample. The goal of this work is to extract the thickness and stacking sequence of TMDs directly by matching experimentally recorded high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscope images and convergent-beam electron diffraction (CBED) patterns to quantum mechanical, multislice scattering simulations. Advantageously, CBED approaches do not require a resolved lattice in real space and are capable of neglecting the thickness contribution of amorphous surface layers. Here we demonstrate the crystal thickness can be determined from CBED in exfoliated 1T-TaS2 and 2H-MoS2 to within a single layer for ultrathin ≲9 layers and ±1 atomic layer (or better) in thicker specimens while also revealing information about stacking order—even when the crystal structure is unresolved in real space.
Ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) have sizes comparable to the Milky Way and stellar masses of about 1/1000 of it. They attracted a lot of attention as possible “dark galaxies” heavily dominated by dark matter, however, no reliable dynamical mass estimates were done because of their extremely low surface brightness. We have recently found 13 gas free diffuse young (300–500 Myr) post-starburst galaxies (PSGs) without ongoing star formation in Coma and Abell 2147, which, should they continue to evolve passively, will become UDGs in 5 Gyr. We obtained deep spectroscopic observations for 11 diffuse PSGs and derived their internal kinematics and stellar population properties. All of them possess disk-like kinematics (substantial rotation, low stellar velocity dispersion) and likely experienced starburst episodes prior to the star formation quenching by ram pressure stripping. Our results suggest that at least some UDGs were “normal” intermediate to large-sized disk galaxies in the past, which were later quenched by dense environment.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
Although interstage mortality for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome has declined within the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, variation across centres persists. It remains unclear whether centres with lower interstage mortality have lower-risk patients or whether differences in care may explain this variation. We examined previously established risk factors across National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative centres with lower and higher interstage mortality rates.
Lower-mortality centres were defined as those with >25 consecutive interstage survivors. Higher-mortality centres were defined as those with cumulative interstage mortality rates >10%, which is a collaborative historic baseline rate. Baseline risk factors and perioperative characteristics were compared.
Seven lower-mortality centres were identified (n=331 patients) and had an interstage mortality rate of 2.7%, as compared with 13.3% in the four higher-mortality centres (n=173 patients, p<0.0001). Of all baseline risk factors examined, the only factor that differed between the lower- and higher-mortality centres was postnatal diagnosis (18.4 versus 31.8%, p=0.001). In multivariable analysis, there remained a significant mortality difference between the two groups of centres after adjusting for this variable: adjusted mortality rate was 2.8% in lower-mortality centres compared with 12.6% in higher-mortality centres, p=0.003. Secondary analyses identified multiple differences between groups in perioperative practices and other variables.
Variation in interstage mortality rates between these two groups of centres does not appear to be explained by differences in baseline risk factors. Further study is necessary to evaluate variation in care practices to identify targets for improvement efforts.
Recent advances in the additive manufacturing technology now enable fused filament fabrication of polyetheretherketone (PEEK). A standardized lumbar fusion cage design was 3D printed with different speeds of the printhead nozzle to investigate whether 3D-printed PEEK cages exhibit sufficient material properties for lumbar fusion applications. It was observed that the compressive and shear strength of the 3D-printed cages were 63–71% of the machined cages, whereas the torsion strength was 92%. The printing speed is an important printing parameter for 3D-printed PEEK, which resulted in up to 20% porosity at the highest speed of 3000 mm/min, leading to reduced cage strength. Printing speeds below 1500 mm/min can be chosen as the optimal printing speed for this printer to reduce the printing time while maintaining strength. The crystallinity of printed PEEK did not differ significantly from the as-machined PEEK cages from extruded rods, indicating that the processing provides similar microstructure.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.