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While human rights law has evolved to provide guidance to governments in realizing human rights in public health emergencies, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the foundations of human rights in global health governance. Public health responses to the pandemic have undermined international human rights obligations to realize (1) the rights to health and life, (2) human rights that underlie public health, and (3) international assistance and cooperation. As governments prepare for revisions of global health law, new opportunities are presented to harmonize global health law and human rights law, strengthening rights-based governance to respond to future threats.
Balloon valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy have been the treatment mainstays for congenital aortic stenosis in children. Choice of intervention often differs depending upon centre bias with limited relevant, comparative literature.
This study aims to provide an unbiased, contemporary matched comparison of these balloon and surgical approaches.
Retrospective analysis of patients with congenital aortic valve stenosis who underwent balloon valvuloplasty (Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane) or surgical valvotomy (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne) between 2005 and 2016. Patients were excluded if pre-intervention assessment indicated ineligibility to either group. Propensity score matching was performed based on age, weight, and valve morphology.
Sixty-five balloon patients and seventy-seven surgical patients were included. Overall, the groups were well matched with 18 neonates/25 infants in the balloon group and 17 neonates/28 infants in the surgical group. Median age at balloon was 92 days (range 2 days – 18.8 years) compared to 167 days (range 0 days – 18.1 years) for surgery (rank-sum p = 0.08). Mean follow-up was 5.3 years. There was one late balloon death and two early surgical deaths due to left ventricular failure. There was no significant difference in freedom from reintervention at latest follow-up (69% in the balloon group and 70% in the surgical group, p = 1.0).
Contemporary analysis of balloon aortic valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy shows no difference in overall reintervention rates in the medium term. Balloon valvuloplasty performs well across all age groups, achieving delay or avoidance of surgical intervention.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
We consider the flow of a thermoviscous fluid within a vertical tube which is heated from below, modelling a scenario where a fluid melts, flows and eventually drips due to a temperature-dependent viscosity. To do so, we develop a two-dimensional axisymmetric model comprising three regions, a solid granular upper region (modelled as a region of hydrostatic pressure), a middle highly viscous ‘crust’ region which flows and a lower cavity region within which the material can drip. New material is continuously added to the top, yet the highly viscous middle region can slow mass transfer from the top region to the cavity if it becomes too thick or does not drip fast enough. In the limit of a tall, thin geometry, akin to what is often seen in industrial applications, the resulting model comprises a moving boundary problem governed by an energy equation with a Stefan condition, both subject to a non-local radially averaged convective term. We carry out numerical simulations and an asymptotic analysis of the model in this tall, thin limit, for a variety of physically relevant parameter regimes. Our results reveal a variety of qualitatively different behaviours, and enable us to explore how various parameter regimes influence the salient features of the flow, including the ‘crust’ thickness and the flux of material through the lower moving boundary.
Music exists in all cultures and appears to elicit intense emotions and pleasure in the vast majority of people. Recent scientific advances have linked the pleasure of music listening to biological mechanisms associated with rewarding or reinforcing stimuli, including the activation of the brain’s reward system. Specifically, we and others have shown that the neurotransmitter dopamine is central to this phenomenon, and that it engages one subregion of the reward system in anticipation of pleasurable musical events and another during its realization. This dissociation implies that musical pleasure operates via some predictive mechanism that creates expectations, which the music then either fulfills or not. Accordingly, a growing body of evidence highlights the prevalence of prediction-based neural processing and its importance for learning about and adapting to one’s environment. Drawing on these findings and on related research into the optimization of learning, we propose that musical structures recruit neural systems of reward and emotion by evoking sufficiently uncertain expectations to build anticipation, and sufficiently surprising events to foster learning, reward, and pleasure. We explore the role that musical experience and culture play in engendering expectations, and offer suggestions for future research into the neuroscience of musical aesthetics and reward.
Rapid detection and isolation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients is the only means of reducing hospital transmission. We describe the impact of implementation of on-site severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on reducing turnaround time, isolation duration, pathology test ordering, and antibiotic use in patients who do not have COVID-19.
According to the stress inoculation hypothesis, successfully navigating life stressors may improve one's ability to cope with subsequent stressors, thereby increasing psychiatric resilience.
Among individuals with no baseline history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depressive disorder (MDD), to determine whether a history of a stressful life event protected participants against the development of PTSD and/or MDD after a natural disaster.
Analyses utilised data from a multiwave, prospective cohort study of adult Chilean primary care attendees (years 2003–2011; n = 1160). At baseline, participants completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), a comprehensive psychiatric diagnostic instrument, and the List of Threatening Experiences, a 12-item questionnaire that measures major stressful life events. During the study (2010), the sixth most powerful earthquake on record struck Chile. One year later (2011), the CIDI was re-administered to assess post-disaster PTSD and/or MDD.
Marginal structural logistic regressions indicated that for every one-unit increase in the number of pre-disaster stressors, the odds of developing post-disaster PTSD or MDD increased (OR = 1.21, 95% CI 1.08–1.37, and OR = 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.27 respectively). When categorising pre-disaster stressors, individuals with four or more stressors (compared with no stressors) had higher odds of developing post-disaster PTSD (OR = 2.77, 95% CI 1.52–5.04), and a dose–response relationship between pre-disaster stressors and post-disaster MDD was found.
In contrast to the stress inoculation hypothesis, results indicated that experiencing multiple stressors increased the vulnerability to developing PTSD and/or MDD after a natural disaster. Increased knowledge regarding the individual variations of these disorders is essential to inform targeted mental health interventions after a natural disaster, especially in under-studied populations.
Despite widespread use of radio-echo sounding (RES) in glaciology and broad distribution of processed radar products, the glaciological community has no standard software for processing impulse RES data. Dependable, fast and collection-system/platform-independent processing flows could facilitate comparison between datasets and allow full utilization of large impulse RES data archives and new data. Here, we present ImpDAR, an open-source, cross-platform, impulse radar processor and interpreter, written primarily in Python. The utility of this software lies in its collection of established tools into a single, open-source framework. ImpDAR aims to provide a versatile standard that is accessible to radar-processing novices and useful to specialists. It can read data from common commercial ground-penetrating radars (GPRs) and some custom-built RES systems. It performs all the standard processing steps, including bandpass and horizontal filtering, time correction for antenna spacing, geolocation and migration. After processing data, ImpDAR's interpreter includes several plotting functions, digitization of reflecting horizons, calculation of reflector strength and export of interpreted layers. We demonstrate these capabilities on two datasets: deep (~3000 m depth) data collected with a custom (3 MHz) system in northeast Greenland and shallow (<100 m depth, 500 MHz) data collected with a commercial GPR on South Cascade Glacier in Washington.
To establish whether a dementia intensive support (DIS) service that is part of a crisis resolution and home treatment team for older people is preventing admissions to acute hospital and psychiatric wards. The number of referrals in 2017 to the DIS service was established and those admitted to hospital ascertained. Senior doctors examined 30 sets of notes in detail and reached a conclusion on whether DIS had contributed to admission prevention. This information was then re-examined in two meetings with at least eight senior psychiatrists present. A consensus opinion was then reached as to whether DIS had contributed to admission prevention in each case.
Over 12 months, 30/171 patients (18%) referred were admitted to hospital. For the subset of 30 referrals examined in detail, DIS contributed to admission avoidance in 21 cases (70%).
Our evaluation demonstrates that the DIS service is an effective way of preventing admission.
Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
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.
The SCN5A gene is implicated in many arrhythmogenic and cardiomyopathic processes. We identified a novel SCN5A variant in a family with significant segregation in individuals affected with progressive sinus and atrioventricular nodal disease, atrial arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, and early sudden cardiac arrest.
A patient pedigree was created following the clinical evaluation of three affected individuals, two monozygotic twins and a paternal half-brother, which lead to the evaluation of a paternal half-sister (four siblings with the same father and three mothers) all of whom experienced varying degrees of atrial arrhythmias, conduction disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy in addition to a paternal history of unexplained death in his 50s with similar autopsy findings. The index male underwent sequencing of 58 genes associated with cardiomyopathies. Sanger sequencing was used to provide data for bases with insufficient coverage and for bases in some known regions of genomic segmental duplications. All clinically significant and novel variants were confirmed by independent Sanger sequencing.
All relatives tested were shown to have the same SCN5A variant of unknown significance (p. Asp197His) and the monozygotic twins shared a co-occurring NEXN (p. Glu575*). Segregation analysis demonstrates likely pathogenic trait for the SCN5A variant with an additional possible role for the NEXN variant in combination.
There is compelling clinical evidence suggesting that the SCN5A variant p. Asp197His may be re-classified as likely pathogenic based on the segregation analysis of our family of interest. Molecular mechanism studies are pending.