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Introduction: CanadiEM.org is a multi-author open access medical education website which aims to improve emergency care in Canada by building an online community of practice for healthcare practitioners and providing them with high quality, freely available educational resources. It is used by physicians, allied health professionals, and trainees globally. Junior (medical student and/or resident) Editors are key members of the community who are mentored to advance their academic skills and knowledge for their careers and the healthcare field. The program also aims to increase the sustainability of the CanadiEM project by supporting the creation and publishing of online content. We aimed to assess the impact and efficacy of this program while discovering ways to improve it. Methods: The experience of all current and previous Junior Editors were assessed through a survey developed by the authorship team for this purpose. The survey consisted of 48 questions, including 15 multiple choice questions rated using a Likert Scale, 10 open-ended questions, and 23 demographic or binary yes/no questions. The participants' perceptions of their experience, desire for future involvement, and opinions regarding implementation of the program at other medical education websites were assessed using open-ended qualitative questions. These responses were thematically analyzed. Results: A total of 28 Junior Editors responded (71.7% of those surveyed). They listed their responsibilities as uploading/copyediting posts, authorship of posts, infographic creation, social media promotion, authorship of podcast summaries, editing of podcasts, and logo design. Results revealed a positive experience across all domains, with participants citing a better experience when compared to previous similar roles. 85.7% (24/28) stated they achieved their expectations from the program, and 82.1% (23/28) would incorporate this program into another medical education website if given the opportunity. Conclusion: Junior Editors reported positive experiences across all responsibilities, with particular value placed on digital and authorship skills development, inspiration for future FOAMed, research engagement, and mentorship/networking. Through collaboration with current team members, we will implement improvement initiatives. Based upon these results, we believe that the Junior Editor model may also be viable within other medical education communities.
Total ecosystem carbon storage has frequently been found to increase with woody encroachment in savannas. However the loss of grass roots associated with woody encroachment can lead to a decrease in below-ground carbon storage which is not compensated for by an increase in above-ground carbon. To investigate how the extent of total woody cover affected ecosystem carbon, soil and above-ground carbon storage along eight thicket–savanna and five forest–grassland boundaries were measured. To investigate whether changes in soil carbon concentrations were related to the percentage of C4 (grass) roots to total roots and root quantity and quality, we measured fine-root biomass, root C : N ratios, root N, and % C4 roots at three different depths across thicket patches of different ages (n = 189). Forests contained significantly more carbon than adjacent grasslands in both above-ground carbon (mean difference 12.1 kg m−2) and in the top 100 cm of the soil (mean difference 4.54 kg m−2). Thickets contained significantly more above-ground carbon than adjacent savannas (3.33 kg m−2) but no significant differences in soil carbon were evident. Total fine-root biomass appeared to be more important than root quality (root C : N) in determining soil carbon concentrations during the encroachment process (i.e. in thicket of different ages). Similarly for thickets, the % C4 roots had no significant effect on soil carbon concentrations. In conclusion, thicket invading into open savanna vegetation did not lead to significant gains in ecosystem carbon at this study site. Significant gains were only evident in mature forest, suggesting that the process may take place very slowly.
Epigenetic changes may be causal in the ageing process and may be influenced by diet, providing opportunities to improve health in later life. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of several areas of research relevant to this topic and to explore a hypothesis relating to a possible role of epigenetic effects, mediated by sirtuin 1, in the beneficial effects of dietary restriction, including increased lifespan. Epigenetic features of ageing include changes in DNA methylation, both globally and at specific loci, which differ between individuals. A major focus of research on dietary influences on epigenetic status has been on nutrition in utero, because the epigenome is probably particularly malleable during this life-course window and because epigenetic marking by early exposures is a compelling mechanism underlying effects on lifelong health. We explore the potential of diet during adulthood, including the practice of dietary restriction, to affect the epigenetic architecture. We report progress with respect to deriving data to support our hypothesis that sirtuin 1 may mediate some of the effects of dietary restriction through effects on DNA methylation and note observations that resveratrol affects DNA methylation and other epigenetic features. Disentangling cause and effect in the context of epigenetic change and ageing is a challenge and requires better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and also the development of more refined experimental tools to manipulate the epigenetic architecture, to facilitate hypothesis-driven research to elucidate these links and thus to exploit them to improve health across the full life-course through dietary measures.
Offenders in prisons in England and Wales have access to a suite of accredited interventions designed to reduce reoffending. The programmes offered are generally cognitive-behavioural in nature, and address a range of offending behaviours and maladaptive thinking styles. This chapter focuses on how programmes are evaluated in a prison setting across England and Wales. The meta-analytic method has been a useful tool in the What Works area. Once a research question has been set there are many issues to address to optimize the success of an evaluation. These include the choice of methodology, of outcome, of outcome measurement, of comparison group and analysis. The chapter describes the evaluation approach followed in the UK where the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Interventions Group (IG) routinely collects both demographic and criminal variables on every offender undergoing treatment. It also examines the outcome studies pertaining specifically to Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS) programmes.
A rapid screening method is reported in which material processing parameters are investigated as a function of the CdTe absorber thickness in CdTe/CdS solar cells. It has been used to investigate i) the optimum absorber thickness for CdCl2 processing at 380°C for 10 mins, and ii) the effect on device performance of post-growth annealing of CdS layer with H2, N2, and O2. It was found that the optimum thickness of CdTe compatible with the processing was ∼3μm. The device results were independent of the post-growth treatment of the CdS for the conditions investigated here. The bevel method allowed for ∼30 data points to be obtained from each sample, this giving a significant advantage over conventional experimental methods.
This study aimed to determine whether training aids (side reins and a Pessoa) increased the use of the longissimus dorsi when horses are being lunged. Horses were lunged on a circle under four different conditions on the left and right reins in walk and trot, and electromyographic (EMG) and speed measurements were taken using surface EMG at T16 and GPS, respectively. The EMG intensity was substantially greater for the longissimus dorsi on the inside of the circle. Differences occurred in both the timing and the intensity of the EMG between the conditions. At walk, the EMG intensity was the greatest for the control condition and at trot the EMG intensity was the greatest for the control and Pessoa control conditions. It is concluded that the training aids of side reins and a Pessoa do not increase the use of the longissimus dorsi to stabilise the back.
Muscle function depends in part on the interplay between its activity and its length within the stretch-shortening cycle. The longissimus dorsi is a large epaxial muscle running along the thoracic and lumbar regions of the equine back. Due to its anatomical positioning, the longissimus dorsi has the capability of contributing to many functions: developing bending moments in the dorsoventral and lateral (coupled to axial rotation) directions and also providing stiffness to limit motion in these directions. We hypothesize that the exact function of the longissimus dorsi will vary along the back and between gaits as the relation between activity and motion of the back changes. Electromyograms (EMG) were recorded at walk (inclined and level) and trot (on the level) on a treadmill from the longissimus dorsi at muscle segments T14, T16, T18 and L2. Back motion was additionally measured using a fibre-optic goniometer. Co-contractions of the muscle between its left and right sides were quantified using correlation analysis. A greater dominance of unilateral activity was found at more cranial segments and for level walking, suggesting a greater role of the longissimus dorsi in developing lateral bending moments. Timing of the EMG varied between muscle segments relative to the gait cycle, the locomotor condition tested and the flexion–extension cycle of the back. This supports the hypothesis that the function of the longissimus dorsi changes along the back and between gaits.
The functional programming community has shown some interest in spreadsheets, but surprisingly no one seems to have considered making a standard spreadsheet, such as Excel, work with a standard functional programming language, such as Haskell. In this paper, we show one way that this can be done. Our hope is that by doing so, we might get spreadsheet programmers to give functional programming a try.
Pain, atrophy and dysfunction of the longissimus dorsi in the equine back can lead to poor performance and altered biomechanics. Back problems are often treated by manipulative therapy to this muscle. The purpose of this study was to identify if manipulative therapy resulted in changes to muscle tone or electromyographic (EMG) activity immediately after treatment. We measured the muscle tone during standing using a mechanical tissue indenter and the EMG activity (both at the T16 level in the longissimus dorsi) during walking around a figure-of-eight course in 26 horses. The horses were randomly assigned into three groups that received: (a) spinal (McTimoney) manipulations, (b) reflex inhibition therapy or (c) a control group that was not manipulated. The muscle tone and activity were measured immediately after treatment. Both the McTimoney and the reflex inhibition groups showed significant decreases in muscle tone (c. 12%) and walking EMG activity (c. 19%). The control group showed no significant change in tone or EMG activity. These results document how the longissimus dorsi muscle responds immediately after manipulative therapy. Further studies would be needed to identify how long such changes persist or if such changes caused a reduction in pain or an increase in performance.
Functional languages provide an excellent framework for formulating biological algorithms in a naive form and then transforming them into an efficient form. This helps biologists understand what matters about programming and brings functional programming into the realm of the practical. In this column, we present an example from our MSc course on bioinformatics and report on our experiences teaching functional programming in this context.