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Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
Giant ragweed has been increasing as a major weed of row crops in the last 30 yr, but quantitative data regarding its pattern and mechanisms of spread in crop fields are lacking. To address this gap, we conducted a Web-based survey of certified crop advisors in the U.S. Corn Belt and Ontario, Canada. Participants were asked questions regarding giant ragweed and crop production practices for the county of their choice. Responses were mapped and correlation analyses were conducted among the responses to determine factors associated with giant ragweed populations. Respondents rated giant ragweed as the most or one of the most difficult weeds to manage in 45% of 421 U.S. counties responding, and 57% of responding counties reported giant ragweed populations with herbicide resistance to acetolactate synthase inhibitors, glyphosate, or both herbicides. Results suggest that giant ragweed is increasing in crop fields outward from the east-central U.S. Corn Belt in most directions. Crop production practices associated with giant ragweed populations included minimum tillage, continuous soybean, and multiple-application herbicide programs; ecological factors included giant ragweed presence in noncrop edge habitats, early and prolonged emergence, and presence of the seed-burying common earthworm in crop fields. Managing giant ragweed in noncrop areas could reduce giant ragweed migration from noncrop habitats into crop fields and slow its spread. Where giant ragweed is already established in crop fields, including a more diverse combination of crop species, tillage practices, and herbicide sites of action will be critical to reduce populations, disrupt emergence patterns, and select against herbicide-resistant giant ragweed genotypes. Incorporation of a cereal grain into the crop rotation may help suppress early giant ragweed emergence and provide chemical or mechanical control options for late-emerging giant ragweed.
We present maps in the visible emission lines of [S II] and the infrared emission lines of H2, at 2.12μm, for several bipolar outflow complexes which exhibit jet structures. A comparison of the morphology of this infrared emission and that seen in visible emission lines shows both the visible and the H2 emission exhibit clumpy structure on similar scales. It appears that the brightest H2 emission occurs at the working surfaces of the jets. Virtually no H2 emission is associated with the jets themselves.
Velocity profiles are presented for several objects and possible emission mechanisms are discussed.
Dinoflagellates are a major component of the marine microplankton and, from fossil evidence, appear to have been so for the past 200 million years. In contrast, the pre-Triassic record contains only equivocal occurrences of dinoflagellates, despite the fact that comparative ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic evidence indicates a Precambrian origin for the lineage. Thus, it has often been assumed that the dearth of Paleozoic fossil dinoflagellates was due to a lack of preservation or recognition and that the relatively sudden appearance of dinoflagellates in the Mesozoic is an artifact of the record. However, new evidence from a detailed analysis of the fossil record and from the biogeochemical record indicates that dinoflagellates did indeed undergo a major evolutionary radiation in the early Mesozoic.
Accurate reconstruction of the biomass, structure, and productivity of ancient forests from their fossilized remnants remains an interesting challenge in paleoecology. In well-preserved Tertiary fossil Metasequoia forests of Canada's Arctic, in situ stumps and fragments of stems, treetops, and branches contain substantial information about tree dimensions that can be used to determine tree height, stand biomass, and other characteristics such as canopy depth and structure, and the history of stand development. To validate a method for reconstructing the biomass of the Eocene floodplain Metasequoia forests of Axel Heiberg Island, we measured stump diameters and spacing, and stem, branch, and treetop characteristics in living Metasequoia glyptostroboides and Chamaecyparis thyoides stands in ways that simulate the limited measurements that can be made in well-preserved fossil forests in Canada and probably elsewhere. We used those limited measurements to estimate tree height and volume, branch and foliar dry weights, and tree biomass. The estimates derived from the limited data set are usually within 15% of the estimates derived from the methods currently used in forest ecology for determining those metrics in modern forests. Under appropriate conditions, the biomass of ancient forests can be estimated with reasonable confidence.
Demonstrating the effectiveness of health care interventions requires valid measurement of the impact, or outcome of those interventions. It is increasingly suggested that Quality of Life (QoL) is the ‘gold standard’ outcome internationally (Bowling 1995) and in Australasia (Mordue & Parkin, 1997). Although a number of QoL measures are now available, questions remain about the definition of the concept itself and the psychometric properties of those measures. A consequence of major concern is that health services research or clinical studies of healthcare interventions using inadequately defined outcomes or invalid measures will in turn produce results that lack validity. This paper explores a number of such issues concerning the concept of QoL and the way it is measured.
To determine what factors are associated with parental motivation to change body weight in overweight children.
Dunedin, New Zealand.
Two hundred and seventy-one children aged 4–8 years, recruited in primary and secondary care, were identified as overweight (BMI≥85th percentile) after screening. Parents completed questionnaires on demographics; motivation to improve diet, physical activity and weight; perception and concern about weight; parenting; and social desirability, prior to being informed that their child was overweight. Additional measures of physical activity (accelerometry), dietary intake and child behaviour (questionnaire) were obtained after feedback.
Although all children were overweight, only 42 % of parents perceived their child to be so, with 36 % indicating any concern. Very few parents (n 25, 8 %) were actively trying to change the child’s weight. Greater motivation to change weight was observed for girls compared with boys (P=0·001), despite no sex difference in BMI Z-score (P=0·374). Motivation was not associated with most demographic variables, social desirability, dietary intake, parenting or child behaviour. Increased motivation to change the child’s weight was observed for heavier children (P<0·001), those who were less physically active (P=0·002) and more sedentary (P<0·001), and in parents who were more concerned about their child’s weight (P<0·001) or who used greater food restriction (P<0·001).
Low levels of parental motivation to change overweight in young children highlight the urgent need to determine how best to improve motivation to initiate change.
It is now just on forty years since Professor Garstang made his first excavations in the mounds of Sakce Gözü (then known as Sak je Geuzi) accompanied by Mr. (now Canon) Phythian Adams and Mr. Hamilton Beattie. The first indication of the site had been the discovery of sculptured Hittite blocks on the surface in 1907. The excavations were conducted in the autumn of 1908 and 1911, and the weather was hot and sultry. To avoid malaria, the excavators had to pitch their tents high on the slopes of the Kurt Daǧ, and ride several miles each day to the scene of the work. The site, however, amply repaid excavation, for in two seasons a periphery wall was discovered enclosing to the north-east the portico of a palace ornamented with a fine series of late Hittite sculptures. As well, several trenches were excavated outside the wall. These revealed a series of painted pottery levels, and at bed-rock a black incised and burnished ware. The importance of this discovery and the early period represented, were at once recognised by Professor Garstang, although at this point no comparable matetiaJ was available. For although Tall Halaf had been discovered by Baron von Oppenheim in 1899, he was not able to excavate there until 1911, and the prehistoric kilns of Carchemish were not discovered by Woolley until two years later, in 1913. Years afterwards in 1936 when much work had been done on the prehistoric cultures of the Near East, Professor Garstang decided to republish the early wares from this site, making use of the comparative material then available. He was not, however, satisfied that all that could be known about Sakce Gözü had been discovered, and had long planned a furthet season in the field.
Parents report that children’s eating behaviours are a major barrier to providing them with a healthy diet. Links between problem eating behaviours and parental feeding practices are not well established and have not previously been examined in overweight children. The aim of the present study was to assess associations between problem food behaviours, dietary intake and parental feeding practices of overweight children aged 4–8 years.
Participants were recruited for a lifestyle intervention (n 203). At baseline, children’s BMI was measured and parents completed comprehensive questionnaires about the feeding practices they used, the problem food behaviours their children exhibited and the foods their child consumed. A fussy eating scale was developed and associations were determined using correlations and regression analysis, including interactions.
Dunedin, New Zealand.
Overweight children aged 4–8 years.
Healthy eating guidance and monitoring by parents were related to the consumption of fewer unhealthy foods (B=−0·4, P=0·001 and B=−0·4, P<0·001). Conversely, a lack of parental control (child control) was related to a higher intake of unhealthy foods (B = 0·5, P<0·001). Parents of children who were fussy eaters monitored their child’s food intake less (P<0·001) and allowed the child more freedom over what he/she ate (P<0·001). These children consumed fewer fruit and vegetables than those who were not fussy eaters (P<0·001). However, fussy eaters with food-restrictive parents ate more fruit and vegetables (B=2·9, P<0·001).
These results suggest that a more structured food environment might be beneficial for the diet and food behaviours of young overweight children.
Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a sensitive and reproducible vibrational spectroscopic technique used to detect and characterize molecules near the surface of noble metals like Au, Ag, Pt, Cu, etc. SERS enhances Raman signals through light-induced plasmonic vibrations occurring on irregular metal surfaces and localized electromagnetic augmentation. To better define nano-scale regions of the Raman signal enhancement, we generated gold nanoparticles with a unique multi-branched configuration along with surface-adsorbed fluorescent reporter molecules. The reporter molecules included a set of near-infra red active fluorescent dyes IR820 (green cyanine, photo electronic dye), DTTC (3, 3'-diethylthiatricarbocyanine iodide) and DTDC (3, 3'- diethylthiadicarbocyanine iodide). We employed a one-pot synthesis method in order to generate a stellate configuration in gold nanoparticles through the reduction of HAuCl4 with Good’s buffer, HEPES, at pH 7.4 and room temperature. A cell viability assay was performed with normal esophageal cells exposed to the multi-branched gold nanoparticles and SERS molecules to assess their toxicity. Our results demonstrate the capacity of multibranched gold nanoparticles linked to Raman reporter molecules to generate distinct signature spectra and, with the exception of the gold nanoparticles functionalized with DTTC, remain non-toxic to normal esophageal cells.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, may help meet a need for accessible and cost-effective treatments for chronic pain. ACT has a growing evidence base, but has not yet been tested within general practice settings.
The purpose of the present study was to examine the feasibility of conducting a full-scale randomized controlled trial of ACT in general practice.
A total of 481 potential participants with chronic pain identified from general practice in southwest England were invited into a treatment trial. Subsequently, 102 (21.2%) of those invited were screened, and 73 (71.6%) of those screened were allocated to ACT plus usual care or usual care alone. The ACT treatment included four, four-hour group-based sessions over two weeks.
Twenty-six (70.3%) of the patients allocated to ACT attended three or four sessions. Those who received ACT rated it as credible in a short survey, with Mdn rating 7.0 on a 0–10 scale, across five credibility items. During a post-treatment interview considering 12 aspects of the study from invitation to treatment termination, a median of 79.2% of participants rated the aspects ‘acceptable.’ Qualitative data from the interviews showed a mixed picture of patient experiences, revealing possible tensions between patients’ wishes to avoid discomfort and confusion, and treatment methods that explicitly ask patients to, in essence, ‘live with’ some discomfort and confusion.
These data suggest that further study of ACT, as a treatment for chronic pain, is feasible in general practice and it may be possible to further optimize the treatment experience.
The aim of this study was to estimate the amount of childhood hepatitis B virus transmission in children born in the UK, a very low-prevalence country, that is preventable only by universal hepatitis B immunization of infants. Oral fluid specimens were collected from schoolchildren aged 7–11 years in four inner city multi-ethnic areas and tested for the presence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Those found positive or indeterminate were followed up with testing on serum to confirm their hepatitis B status. The overall prevalence of anti-HBc in children was low [0·26%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·14–0·44]. The estimated average annual incidence of hepatitis B was estimated to be 29·26/100 000 children (95% CI 16·00–49·08). The total incidence that is preventable only by a universal infant immunization programme in the UK was estimated to be between 5·00 and 12·49/100 000. The study demonstrates that the extent of horizontal childhood hepatitis B virus transmission is low in children born in the UK and suggests that schools in the UK are an uncommon setting for the transmission of the virus. Targeted hepatitis B testing and immunization of migrants from intermediate- and high-prevalence countries is likely to be a more effective measure to reduce childhood transmission than a universal infant immunization programme.