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A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
We deposited TaWSi amorphous metal thin films to determine how composition affects film crystallization and oxidation at high temperatures. Films were deposited by magnetron sputtering from targets of nominal compositions Ta : W : Si = 40 : 40 : 20, 30 : 50 : 20, and 30 : 30 : 40, and studied by electron probe microanalysis, electron microscopy, electrical methods, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and atomic-force microscopy. All films remained amorphous to 800 °C or higher temperatures. Films prepared from the target composition 30 : 30 : 40 yielded the film composition Ta41.7W38.4Si19.9, which retained its film integrity and amorphous structure to 1100 °C, even after annealing in air.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
The challenges presented by traumatic injuries in low-resource communities are especially relevant in South Sudan. This study was conducted to assess whether a 3-day wilderness first aid (WFA) training course taught in South Sudan improved first aid knowledge. Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) Schools designed the course to teach people with limited medical knowledge to use materials from their environment to provide life-saving care in the event of an emergency.
A pre-test/post-test study design was used to assess first aid knowledge of 46 community members in Kit, South Sudan, according to a protocol approved by the University of New England Institutional Review Board. The course and assessments were administered in English and translated in real-time to Acholi and Arabic, the two primary languages spoken in the Kit region. Descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analyses were conducted.
Results included a statistically significant improvement in first aid knowledge after the 3-day training course: t(38)=3.94; P<.001. Although men started with more health care knowledge: (t(37)=2.79; P=.008), men and women demonstrated equal levels of knowledge upon course completion: t(37)=1.56; P=.88.
This research, which may be the first of its kind in South Sudan, provides evidence that a WFA training course in South Sudan is efficacious. These findings suggest that similar training opportunities could be used in other parts of the world to improve basic medical knowledge in communities with limited access to medical resources and varying levels of education and professional experiences.
KatonaLB, DouglasWS, LenaSR, RatnerKG, CrothersD, ZondervanRL, RadisCD. Wilderness First Aid Training as a Tool for Improving Basic Medical Knowledge in South Sudan. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(6):574–578.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) of the National Ocean Survey (NOS), a component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has begun a project to establish and operate a 3-station network of permanent observatories to monitor polar-motion and Earth rotation (UT1) by radio interferometric observations of quasars. The project designation is POLARIS (POLar-motion Analysis by Radio Interferometric Surveying).
The POLARIS observatories will be equipped with a new generation of instrumentation and software, the Mark III data acquisition and processing system currently under development by a multi-organizational team.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.
Evaluation of turfgrass performance at low nitrogen fertility levels is important because many home lawns are fertilized below common recommendations. The objective of this study was to evaluate visible quality and weed susceptibility of common and alternative cool season grasses under multiple management regimes in Wisconsin. A split-split plot completely randomized block design was used to evaluate ‘Kingfisher' Kentucky bluegrass (Kentucky bluegrass), ‘Kenblue' Kentucky bluegrass, ‘Victory II' chewings fescue, ‘Grande II' tall fescue, and ‘Jiffe II' perennial ryegrass. Each species was mowed at 3.5, 6.0, or 8.5 cm, and fertilized with 0, 98, or 196 kg ha−1 yr−1 of nitrogen. Visible quality and weed cover were evaluated four times annually for 3 yr. Tall fescue had the greatest turf quality across all treatments. Kingfisher Kentucky bluegrass, an improved variety, responded most dramatically to nitrogen fertilization, with quality rating improved from 5.1 to 7.1 when annual nitrogen applications totaled 196 kg ha−1 compared to the nonfertilized control. Kenblue Kentucky bluegrass, a common variety, had the greatest weed cover at all mowing heights and fertilizer rates. Assessment of common dandelion flowers by digital image analysis revealed that improved and common Kentucky bluegrass had greater common dandelion cover than fine or tall fescue when herbicides were withheld for 2.5 yr. Background soil fertility was found to have a significant impact on visible quality and weed cover. In an area with eroded, low-fertility soil, improved Kentucky bluegrass required 196 kg N ha−1 yr−1 to maintain high quality and limit weed invasion. These results suggest that tall fescue is best suited to low and high input conditions, while improved varieties of Kentucky bluegrass performed acceptably only under high inputs.