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The Winkie Drill is an agile, commercially available rock coring system. The U.S. Ice Drilling Program has modified a Winkie Drill for subglacial rock and ice/rock interface coring, as well as drilling and coring access holes through ice. The original gasoline engine was replaced with an electric motor though the two-speed gear reducer and Unipress hand feed system were maintained. Using standard aluminum AW34 drill rod (for 33.5 mm diameter core), the system has a depth capability of 120 m. The drill uses forward fluid circulation in a closed loop system. The drilling fluid is Isopar K, selected for favorable properties in polar environment. When firn or snow is present at the drill site, casing with an inflatable packer can be deployed to contain the drill fluid. The Winkie Drill will operate from sea level to high altitudes and operation results in minimal environmental impact. The drill can be easily and quickly assembled and disassembled in the field by two people. All components can be transported by Twin Otter or helicopter to the field site.
A new drilling system was developed by the US Ice Drilling Program (IDP) to rapidly drill through overlying ice to collect subglacial rock cores. The Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill system is capable of drilling up to 700 m of ice in a continuous manner. Intermittent ice core samples can be taken as needed. Ten-plus meters of subglacial bedrock and unconsolidated, frozen sediment cores can be drilled with wireline core retrieval. The functionality of the drill system was demonstrated in 2016–17 at the Pirrit Hills, Antarctica where 8 m of high-quality, continuous granite core was retrieved beneath 150 m of ice. The particulars of the drill system development, features and performance are discussed.
Over the course of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 austral summer seasons, the South Pole Ice Core project recovered a 1751 m deep ice core at the South Pole. This core provided a high-resolution record of paleoclimate conditions in East Antarctica during the Holocene and late Pleistocene. The drilling and core processing were completed using the new US Intermediate Depth Drill system, which was designed and built by the US Ice Drilling Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In this paper, we present and discuss the setup, operation, and performance of the drill system.
The Palaeoproterozoic Birimian Supergroup of the West African Craton (WAC) consists of volcanic belts composed predominantly of basaltic and andesitic rocks and intervening sedimentary basins composed predominantly of wackes and argillites. Mafic metavolcanic rocks and granitoid-hosted enclaves from the Palaeoproterozoic Lawra Belt of Ghana were analysed for geochemical and Sr–Nd isotopic data to constrain the geological evolution of the southeastern part of the WAC. The metavolcanic rocks display mainly tholeiitic signatures, whereas the enclaves show calc-alkaline signatures. The high SiO2 contents (48.6–68.9 wt%) of the enclaves are suggestive of their evolved character. The high Th/Yb values of the samples relative to that of the mantle array may indicate derivation of their respective magmas from subduction-modified source(s). The rocks show positive εNd values of +0.79 to +2.86 (metavolcanic rocks) and +0.79 to +1.82 (enclaves). These signatures and their Nd model ages (TDM2) of 2.31–2.47 Ga (metavolcanic rocks) and 2.39–2.47 Ga (enclaves) suggest they were probably derived from juvenile mantle-derived protoliths, with possible input of subducted pre-Birimian (Archean?) rocks in their source(s). Their positive Ba–Th and negative Nb–Ta, Zr–Hf and Ti anomalies may indicate their formation through subduction-related magmatism consistent with an arc setting. We propose that the metavolcanic rocks and enclaves from the Lawra Belt formed in a similar island-arc setting. We infer that the granitoids developed through variable degrees of mixing/mingling between basic magma and granitic melt during subduction, when blobs of basic to intermediate parental magma became trapped in the granitic magma to form the enclaves.
When a lightning bolt darts across the sky, the thunderclap that reaches our ears a few seconds later is an example of a fluid dynamical shock: a wave across which flow properties such as pressure and density change almost discontinuously. In compressible fluids these shocks are associated with high-energy supersonic flows and so require specialist equipment to realise in steady state. But in granular media, shocks occur much more readily and at flow speeds easily obtainable in the laboratory. In the featured article, Khan et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 884, 2020, R4) exploit this to explore a remarkable range of steady and oscillatory shocks and shock interactions, which demonstrate many of the unique rheological complexities of granular flow.
To increase the proportion of patients with no psychotropic drug discrepancies at the community mental health team (CMHT)–general practice interface. Three CMHTs participated. Over a 14 month period, quality improvement methodologies were used: individual patient-level feedback to patient's prescribers, run charts and meetings with CMHTs.
One CMHT improved medicines reconciliation accuracy and demonstrated significant reductions in prescribing discrepancies. One in three (119/356) patients had ≥1 discrepancy involving 20% (166/847) of all prescribed psychotropics. Discrepancies were graded as: ‘fatal’ (0%), ‘serious’ (17%) and ‘negligible/minor harm’ (83%) but were associated with extra avoidable prescribing costs. For medicines routinely supplied by secondary care, 68% were not recorded in general practice electronic prescribing systems.
Improvements in medicines reconciliation accuracy were achieved for one CMHT. This may have been partly owing to a multidisciplinary team approach to sharing and addressing prescribing discrepancies. Improving prescribing accuracy may help to reduce avoidable drug-related harms to patients.
The growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, combined with greater recognition of the effectiveness of lipid lowering agents (LLAs), has fuelled their increasing use in recent years. Similarly, increasing recognition of mental health and, arguably, societal expectations and pressures, has driven appreciable growth in antidepressant prescribing in recent years. Concurrent with this, growing resource pressures enhanced by the continual launch of new premium priced medicines necessitates reforms and initiatives within finite budgets. Scotland has introduced multiple measures in recent years to improve both the quality and efficiency of prescribing. There is a need to document these initiatives and outcomes to provide future direction.
Assessment of the utilization (items dispensed) and expenditure of key LLAs (mainly statins) and SSRIs between 2001 and 2017 in Scotland alongside initiatives.
Multiple interventions have increased international non-proprietary name (INN) prescribing (99% for statins and up to 99.9% for SSRIs). They have also increased preferential prescribing of generic versus patented statins with low costs for generics, reduced inappropriate prescribing of ezetimibe due to effectiveness concerns, and increased the prescribing of higher dose statins (71% in 2015). These measures have resulted in a 50% reduction in LLA expenditure between 2001 and 2015 despite a 412% increase in utilization. Initiatives to reduce the prescribing of escitalopram as lack of evidence demonstrating cost-benefits over generic citalopram, along with high INN prescribing, achieved a 73.7% reduction in SSRI expenditure between 2001 and 2017 despite a 2.34-fold increase in utilisation. Concerns with paroxetine, and more recently citalopram and escitalopram following safety warnings, resulted in a considerable reduction in their use alongside a significant increase in sertraline.
Generic availability coupled with multiple measures has resulted in appreciable shifts in statin and SSRI prescribing behavior and reduced ezetimibe prescribing, resulting in improvements in both the quality and efficiency of prescribing to provide future direction.
Objectives: Visuospatial processing deficits have been reported in Huntington’s disease (HD). To date, no study has examined associations between visuospatial cognition and posterior brain findings in HD. Methods: We compared 119 premanifest (55> and 64<10.8 years to expected disease onset) and 104 early symptomatic (59 stage-1 and 45 stage-2) gene carriers, with 110 controls on visual search and mental rotation performance at baseline and 12 months. In the disease groups, we also examined associations between task performance and disease severity, functional capacity and structural brain measures. Results: Cross-sectionally, there were strong differences between all disease groups and controls on visual search, and between diagnosed groups and controls on mental rotation accuracy. Only the premanifest participants close to onset took longer than controls to respond correctly to mental rotation. Visual search negatively correlated with disease burden and motor symptoms in diagnosed individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Mental rotation (“same”) was negatively correlated with motor symptoms in stage-2 individuals, and positively correlated with functional capacity. Visual search and mental rotation were associated with parieto-occipital (pre-/cuneus, calcarine, lingual) and temporal (posterior fusiform) volume and cortical thickness. Longitudinally, visual search deteriorated over 12 months in stage-2 individuals, with no evidence of declines in mental rotation. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence linking early visuospatial deficits to functioning and posterior cortical dysfunction in HD. The findings are important since large research efforts have focused on fronto-striatal mediated cognitive changes, with little attention given to aspects of cognition outside of these areas. (JINS, 2016, 22, 595–608)
A microcompressor is a precision mechanical device that flattens and immobilizes living cells and small organisms for optical microscopy, allowing enhanced visualization of sub-cellular structures and organelles. We have developed an easily fabricated device, which can be equipped with microfluidics, permitting the addition of media or chemicals during observation. This device can be used on both upright and inverted microscopes. The apparatus permits micrometer precision flattening for nondestructive immobilization of specimens as small as a bacterium, while also accommodating larger specimens, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, for long-term observations. The compressor mount is removable and allows easy specimen addition and recovery for later observation. Several customized specimen beds can be incorporated into the base. To demonstrate the capabilities of the device, we have imaged numerous cellular events in several protozoan species, in yeast cells, and in Drosophila melanogaster embryos. We have been able to document previously unreported events, and also perform photobleaching experiments, in conjugating Tetrahymena thermophila.
The drilling of a deep borehole in ice is an undertaking that spans several seasons. Over recent decades such drilling has become widespread in both polar regions. Owing to the remoteness of the drill sites, considerable cost is associated with the drilling of a deep borehole of several thousand meters. The replicate coring system allows re-drilling of ice core at select depths within an existing parent borehole. This effectively increases the yield of the existing borehole and permits re-sampling of ice in areas of high scientific value. The replicate coring system achieves this through the combination of actuators, motors, sensors and a computerized control system. The replicate coring drill is a further development of the deep ice-sheet coring (DISC) drill, extending the capabilities of the DISC drill to include replicate coring.