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How do bureaucracies remember? The conventional view is that institutional memory is static and singular, the sum of recorded files and learned procedures. There is a growing body of scholarship that suggests contemporary bureaucracies are failing at this core task. This Element argues that this diagnosis misses that memories are essentially dynamic stories. They reside with people and are thus dispersed across the array of actors that make up the differentiated polity. Drawing on four policy examples from four sectors (housing, energy, family violence and justice) in three countries (the UK, Australia and New Zealand), this Element argues that treating the way institutions remember as storytelling is both empirically salient and normatively desirable. It is concluded that the current conceptualisation of institutional memory needs to be recalibrated to fit the types of policy learning practices required by modern collaborative governance.
The semiclassically scaled time-dependent multi-particle Schrödinger equation describes, inter alia, quantum dynamics of nuclei in a molecule. It poses the combined computational challenges of high oscillations and high dimensions. This paper reviews and studies numerical approaches that are robust to the small semiclassical parameter. We present and analyse variationally evolving Gaussian wave packets, Hagedorn’s semiclassical wave packets, continuous superpositions of both thawed and frozen Gaussians, and Wigner function approaches to the direct computation of expectation values of observables. Making good use of classical mechanics is essential for all these approaches. The arising aspects of time integration and high-dimensional quadrature are also discussed.
In the past decade, network analysis (NA) has been applied to psychopathology to quantify complex symptom relationships. This statistical technique has demonstrated much promise, as it provides researchers the ability to identify relationships across many symptoms in one model and can identify central symptoms that may predict important clinical outcomes. However, network models are highly influenced by node selection, which could limit the generalizability of findings. The current study (N = 6850) tests a comprehensive, cognitive–behavioral model of eating-disorder symptoms using items from two, widely used measures (Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire and Eating Pathology Symptoms Inventory).
We used NA to identify central symptoms and compared networks across the duration of illness (DOI), as chronicity is one of the only known predictors of poor outcome in eating disorders (EDs).
Our results suggest that eating when not hungry and feeling fat were the most central symptoms across groups. There were no significant differences in network structure across DOI, meaning the connections between symptoms remained relatively consistent. However, differences emerged in central symptoms, such that cognitive symptoms related to overvaluation of weight/shape were central in individuals with shorter DOI, and behavioral central symptoms emerged more in medium and long DOI.
Our results have important implications for the treatment of individuals with enduring EDs, as they may have a different core, maintaining symptoms. Additionally, our findings highlight the importance of using comprehensive, theoretically- or empirically-derived models for NA.
Banked human milk (BHM) has inherent infectious risks, even when pasteurized. Because of the ubiquity of Bacillus cereus in the environment and its ability to resist the Holder pasteurization process, there is a concern that BHM might lead to severe B. cereus infections.
We reviewed observed and published cases to determine the potential causal role of BHM as the source of these infections.
Two infants in the province of Québec (Canada) developed a B. cereus neonatal infection, and both had received BHM. We conducted bacteriological studies to compare clinical isolates and those found in these cases.
After extended culture of BHM retention lots, B. cereus was found to have been involved in batches related to the first case. However, molecular typing showed that the strain was different from the clinical isolate, therefore excluding BHM as the source of contamination. In the second case, a Brevibacillus spp was isolated, a species distinct from the clinical isolate.
Based on these cases and others reported in the literature, a causal link between B. cereus contaminated BHM and preterm neonatal infection has never been documented. Therefore, the risk that BHM can cause this infection remains theoretical. Given the widespread presence of B. cereus in the hospital environment and its capacity to resist standard cleaning procedures, it seems likely that airborne or direct or indirect contact are the main sources of most, if not all, cases of severe B. cereus neonatal infections, even in babies exposed to BHM.
Late Fontan survivors are at high risk to experience heart failure and death. Therefore, the current study sought to investigate the role of non-invasive diagnostics as prognostic markers for failure of the systemic ventricle following Fontan procedure.
This monocentric, longitudinal observational study included 60 patients with a median age of 24.5 (19–29) years, who were subjected to cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, and blood analysis. The primary endpoint of this study was decompensated heart failure with symptoms at rest, peripheral and/or pulmonary edema, and/or death.
During a follow-up of 24 months, 5 patients died and 5 patients suffered from decompensated heart failure. Clinical (NYHA class, initial surgery), functional (VO2 peak, ejection fraction, cardiac index), circulating biomarkers (N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide), and imaging parameters (end diastolic volume index, end systolic volume index, mass-index, contractility, afterload) were significantly related to the primary endpoint. Multi-variate regression analysis identified afterload as assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging as an independent predictor of the primary endpoint (hazard ratio 1.98, 95% confidence interval 1.19–3.29, p = 0.009).
We identified distinct parameters of cardiopulmonary exercise testing, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and blood testing as markers for future decompensated heart failure and death in patients with Fontan circulation. Importantly, our data also identify increased afterload as an independent predictor for increased morbidity and mortality. This parameter is easy to assess by non-invasive cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Its modulation may represent a potential therapeutic approach target in these high-risk patients.
Emotion dysregulation is a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD), which often co-occurs with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) have been linked to lower high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV), a measure of autonomous nervous system functioning. However, previous research on vagally-mediated heart rate in BPD revealed heterogeneous findings and the effects of comorbid PTSD and dissociation on HF-HRV are not yet completely understood. This study aim to investigate HF-HRV during resting-state and an ER task in female BPD patients with comorbid PTSD (BPD + PTSD), patients without this comorbidity (BPD), and healthy controls (HC).
57 BPD patients (BPD: n = 37, BPD + PTSD: n = 20) and 27 HC performed an ER task with neutral, positive, and negative images. Participants were instructed to either attend these pictures or to down-regulate their upcoming emotions using cognitive reappraisal. Subjective arousal and wellbeing, self-reported dissociation, and electrocardiogram data were assessed.
Independent of ER instruction and picture valence, both patient groups (BPD and BPD + PTSD) reported higher subjective arousal and lower wellbeing; patients with BPD + PTSD further exhibited significantly lower HF-HRV compared with the other groups. Higher self-reported state dissociation predicted higher HF-HRV during down-regulating v. attending negative pictures in BPD + PTSD.
Findings suggest increased emotional reactivity to negative, positive, and neutral pictures, but do not provide evidence for deficits in instructed ER in BPD. Reduced HF-HRV appears to be particularly linked to comorbid PTSD, while dissociation may underlie attempts to increase ER and HF-HRV in BPD patients with this comorbidity.
Young Onset Dementia (YOD), defined by first symptoms of cognitive or behavioral decline occurring before the age of 65 years, is relatively rare compared to dementia of later onset, but it is associated with diagnostic difficulty and heavy burden on affected individuals and their informal carers. Existing health and social care structures rarely meet the needs of YOD patients. Internet-based interventions are a novel format of delivering health-related education, counseling, and support to this vulnerable yet underserved group.
The RHAPSODY (Research to Assess Policies and Strategies for Dementia in the Young) project is a European initiative to improve care for people with YOD by providing an internet-based information and skill-building program for family carers. The e-learning program focuses on managing problem behaviors, dealing with role change, obtaining support, and looking after oneself. It will be evaluated in a pilot study in three countries using a randomized unblinded design with a wait-list control group. Participants will be informal carers of people with dementia in Alzheimer's disease or behavioral-variant Frontotemporal degeneration with an onset before the age of 65 years. The primary outcome will be caregiving self-efficacy after 6 weeks of program use. As secondary outcomes, caregivers’ stress and burden, carer health-related quality of life, caring-related knowledge, patient problem behaviors, and user satisfaction will be assessed. Program utilization will be monitored and a health-economic evaluation will also be performed.
The RHAPSODY project will add to the evidence on the potential and limitations of a conveniently accessible, user-friendly, and comprehensive internet-based intervention as an alternative for traditional forms of counseling and support in healthcare, aiming to optimize care and support for people with YOD and their informal caregivers.
There is evidence that subclinical vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is common in India. Vegetarianism is prevalent and therefore meat consumption is low. Our objective was to explore the contribution of B12-source foods and maternal B12 status during pregnancy to plasma B12 concentrations.
Maternal plasma B12 concentrations were measured during pregnancy. Children’s dietary intakes and plasma B12 concentrations were measured at age 9·5 years; B12 and total energy intakes were calculated using food composition databases. We used linear regression to examine associations between maternal B12 status and children’s intakes of B12 and B12-source foods, and children’s plasma B12 concentrations.
South Indian city of Mysore and surrounding rural areas.
Children from the Mysore Parthenon Birth Cohort (n 512, 47·1 % male).
Three per cent of children were B12 deficient (<150 pmol/l). A further 14 % had ‘marginal’ B12 concentrations (150–221 pmol/l). Children’s total daily B12 intake and consumption frequencies of meat and fish, and micronutrient-enriched beverages were positively associated with plasma B12 concentrations (P=0·006, P=0·01 and P=0·04, respectively, adjusted for socio-economic indicators and maternal B12 status). Maternal pregnancy plasma B12 was associated with children’s plasma B12 concentrations, independent of current B12 intakes (P<0·001). Milk and curd (yoghurt) intakes were unrelated to B12 status.
Meat and fish are important B12 sources in this population. Micronutrient-enriched beverages appear to be important sources in our cohort, but their high sugar content necessitates care in their recommendation. Improving maternal B12 status in pregnancy may improve Indian children’s status.
Arterial physiology relies on a delicate three-dimensional (3D) organization of cells and extracellular matrix, which is remarkably altered by vascular diseases like abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). The ability to explore the micro-histology of the aorta wall is important in the study of vascular pathologies and in the development of vascular constitutive models, i.e., mathematical descriptions of biomechanical properties of the wall. The present study reports and validates a fast image processing sequence capable of quantifying collagen fiber organization from histological stains. Powering and re-normalizing the histogram of the classical fast Fourier transformation (FFT) is a key step in the proposed analysis sequence. This modification introduces a powering parameter w, which was calibrated to best fit the reference data obtained using classical FFT and polarized light microscopy (PLM) of stained histological slices of AAA wall samples. The values of w = 3 and 7 give the best correlation (Pearson's correlation coefficient larger than 0.7, R2 about 0.7) with the classical FFT approach and PLM measurements. A fast and operator independent method to identify collagen organization in the arterial wall was developed and validated. This overcomes severe limitations of currently applied methods like PLM to identify collagen organization in the arterial wall.
To describe the course and management of a protracted outbreak after intercontinental transfer of 2 patients colonized with multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDRAB).
An 18-month outbreak investigation.
An 860-bed university hospital in France.
Case patients (ie, carriers) were those colonized or infected with an MDRAB isolate.
During the epidemic period, all intensive care unit (ICU) patients and contacts of carriers who were transferred to wards were screened for MDRAB carriage. Contact precautions, environmental screening, and auditing of healthcare worker (HCW) practices were implemented; rooms were cleaned with hydrogen peroxide mist disinfection. One ICU, in which most of the cases occurred, was closed on 4 occasions for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
The 2 index case patients were identified as 2 patients who carried the same MDRAB strain and who were admitted to the hospital after repatriation from Tahiti 5 months apart. During an 18-month period, a total of 84 secondary cases occurred. Reintroduction of MDRAB into the ICUs occurred from patients previously colonized or from healthcare personnel. Termination of the outbreak was only achieved when all carriers from wards or the ICU were cohorted to an isolation unit with dedicated healthcare personnel.
Intercontinental transfer of carriers of MDRAB can result in extensive outbreaks and serious disruption of the hospital's organization. Transmission from carriers most likely occurred via the hands of HCWs, poor cleaning protocols, airborne spread, and contaminated water from sink traps. This protracted outbreak was controlled only after implementation of an extensive control program and eventual cohorting of all carriers in an isolation unit with dedicated healthcare personnel.
Aging has been associated with several brain changes that often affect the cognitive functioning of adults, but changes in executive functions, particularly in the field of decision making, have not been fully investigated. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a widely used tool to evaluate decision making, but little is known about the effect of age on its results. This study used the IGT and compared healthy young (n= 40) and elderly (n = 40) adults to evaluate their decision making processes. There were significant differences in the learning curve of the two age groups, but no difference in overall IGT performance. The results for the first IGT block were different from those of the rest of the task, and the group of elderly adults had a better performance in this block. Elderly adults also showed a preference for deck A, the one that resulted in greater losses. Findings confirmed the results of other studies, which reported that the IGT block score is the variable with the greatest sensitivity to age in this instrument.
Nitrogen (N) inputs from human activities have led to ecological deteriorations in large parts of the coastal oceans along European coastlines, including harmful algae blooms and anoxia.
Riverine N-loads are the most pronounced nitrogen sources to coasts and estuaries. Other significant sources are nitrogen in atmospheric deposition and fixation.
This chapter describes all major N-turnover processes which are important for the understanding of the complexity of marine nitrogen cycling, including information on biodiversity.
Linkages to other major elemental cycles like carbon, oxygen, phosphorus and silica are briefly described in this chapter.
A tentative budget of all major sources and sinks of nitrogen integrated for global coasts is presented, indicating uncertainties where present, especially the N-loss capacity of ocean shelf sediments.
Finally, specific nitrogen problems in the European Regional Seas, including the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, North Sea, and Mediterranean Sea are described.
Key findings/state of knowledge
Today, human activity delivers several times more nitrogen to the coasts compared to the natural background of nitrogen delivery. The source of this is the land drained by the rivers. Therefore, the major European estuaries (e.g. Rhine, Scheldt, Danube and the coastlines receiving the outflow), North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea as well as some parts of the Mediterranean coastlines are affected by excess nutrient inputs.
Biodiversity is reduced under high nutrient loadings and oxygen deficiency. This process has led to changes in the nutrient recycling in sediments, because mature communities of benthic animals are lacking in disturbed coastal sediments. The recovery of communities may not be possible if high productivity and anoxia persist for longer time periods.
In the present study, we evaluated the cholesterol-lowering effects of different oat bran (OB) preparations, differing regarding their peak molecular weight (MWp) of β-glucans (2348, 1311, 241, 56, 21 or < 10 kDa), in C57BL/6NCrl mice. The diets were designed to be atherogenic (0·8 % cholesterol and 0·1 % cholic acid), and they reflected the Western diet pattern (41 % energy fat). All OB preparations that were investigated significantly reduced plasma cholesterol when compared with a cellulose-containing control diet, regardless of the molecular weight of β-glucan. Moreover, the difference in viscous properties between the processed OB (from 0·11 to 17·7 l/g) did not appear to play a major role in the cholesterol-lowering properties. In addition, there was no correlation between the molecular weight of β-glucan and the amount of propionic acid formed in caecum. Interestingly, however, there was a significant correlation between the ratio of (propionic acid+butyric acid)/acetic acid and the MWp of β-glucans: the ratio increased with increasing molecular weight. The results of the present study suggest that the molecular weights and viscous properties of β-glucan in oat products may not be crucial parameters for their cholesterol-lowering effects.
HfO2-based layers prepared by RF magnetron sputtering were studied by X-ray diffraction, infrared absorption spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy techniques. The effect of the deposition parameters and post-deposition annealing treatment on the properties of the layers was investigated. The amorphous-crystalline transformation of pure HfO2 layers is observed to be stimulated by annealing treatment at 800 ° C. It was found that the incorporation of silicon in HfO2 matrix allows to prevent crystallization of the layers and to shift the crystallization temperature to values up to 900 °C.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play a pivotal role in human physiology, and mutations in these genes often result in severe hereditary diseases. ABC transporters are expressed in the bovine mammary gland but their physiological role in this organ remains elusive. Based on findings in the context of human disorders we speculated that candidate ABC transporters are implicated in lipid and cholesterol transport in the mammary gland. Therefore we investigated the expression pattern of selected genes that are associated with sterol transport in lactating and nonlactating mammary glands of dairy cows. mRNA levels from mammary gland biopsies taken during lactation and in the first and second week of the dry period were analysed using quantitative PCR. Five ABC transporter genes, namely ABCA1, ABCA7, ABCG1, ABCG2 and ABCG5, their regulating genes LXRα, PPARγ, SREBP1 and the milk proteins lactoferrin and α-lactalbumin were assessed. A significantly enhanced expression in the dry period was observed for ABCA1 while a significant decrease of expression in this period was detected for ABCA7, ABCG2, SREBP1 and α-lactalbumin. ABCG1, ABCG5, LXRα, PPARγ and lactoferrin expression was not altered between lactation and dry period. These results indicate that candidate ABC transporters involved in lipid and cholesterol transport show differential mRNA expression between lactation and the dry period. This may be due to physiological changes in the mammary gland such as immigration of macrophages or the accumulation of fat due to the loss of liquid in the involuting mammary gland. The current mRNA expression analysis of transporters in the mammary gland is the prerequisite for elucidating novel molecular mechanisms underlying cholesterol and lipid transfer into milk.