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In March 2020, New York City (NYC) became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (US). As healthcare facilities were overwhelmed with patients, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center was transformed into the nation’s largest alternate care site (ACS): Javits New York Medical Station (Javits). Protecting healthcare workers during a global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a non-traditional healthcare setting posed unique challenges. We describe components of the healthcare worker safety program implemented at Javits.
Javits, a large convention center transformed into a field hospital, with clinical staff from the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
Healthcare Worker Safety Methods:
Key strategies included ensuring one-way flow of traffic on and off the patient floor; developing a matrix detailing PPE required for each work activity and location; PPE extended use and reuse protocols; personnel training; and monitoring adherence to PPE donning/doffing protocols when entering or exiting the patient floor. Javits staff who reported COVID-19 symptoms were immediately isolated, monitored, and offered a SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
A well-designed and implemented healthcare worker safety plan can minimize the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for healthcare workers. The lessons learned from operating the nation’s largest COVID-19 ACS can be adapted to other environments during public health emergencies.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
Current treatments for schizophrenia are often associated with increased rates of metabolic syndrome (MetSy). MetSy is defined as meeting 3 of the following 5 criteria: waist circumference >40in (men) or >35in (women), triglycerides =150mg/dL, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) <40mg/dL (men) or <50mg/dL (women), systolic blood pressure (BP) =130mmHg or diastolic BP =85mmHg, fasting glucose =100mg/dL. Patients with MetSy have an elevated risk of developing type II diabetes and increased mortality due to cardiovascular disease. Lumateperone (lumateperone tosylate, ITI−007), a mechanistically novel antipsychotic that simultaneously modulates serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate neurotransmission, is FDA approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. This distinct pharmacological profile has been associated with favorable tolerability and a low risk of adverse metabolic effects in clinical trials. This post hoc analysis of 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of patients with an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia compared rates of MetSy with lumateperone and risperidone. Data from an open-label long-term trial of lumateperone were also evaluated.
The incidence and shift in MetSy were analyzed in data pooled from 2 short-term (4 or 6 week) placebo- and active-controlled (risperidone 4mg) studies of lumateperone 42mg (Studies 005 and 302). The pooled lumateperone data were compared with data for risperidone. Data from an open-label 1-year trial (Study 303) evaluated MetSy in patients with stable schizophrenia switched from prior antipsychotic (PA) treatment to lumateperone 42mg.
In the acute studies (n=256 lumateperone 42mg, n=255 risperidone 4mg), rates of MetSy were similar between groups at baseline (16% lumateperone, 19% risperidone). At the end of treatment (EOT), MetSy was less common with lumateperone than with risperidone (13% vs 25%). More lumateperone patients (46%) compared with risperidone (25%) patients improved from having MetSy at baseline to no longer meeting MetSy criteria at EOT. Conversely, more patients on risperidone than on lumateperone developed MetSy during treatment (13% vs 5%). Differences in MetSy conversion rates were driven by changes in triglycerides and glucose. In the long-term study (n=602 lumateperone 42mg), 33% of patients had MetSy at PA baseline. Thirty-six percent of patients (36%) with MetSy at PA baseline improved to no longer meeting criteria at EOT. Fewer than half that percentage shifted from not meeting MetSy criteria to having MetSy (15%).
In this post hoc analysis, lumateperone 42mg patients had reduced rates of MetSy compared with risperidone patients. In the long-term study, patients with MetSy on PA switched to lumateperone 42mg had a reduction in the risk of MetSy. These results suggest that lumateperone 42mg is a promising new treatment for schizophrenia with a favorable metabolic profile.
Mind–body dualism is often considered to be incompatible with modern psychiatry for two reasons. First, it is claimed that dualism is falsified by recent advances in neuroscience. Second, dualism is thought to lead to an unhelpful attitude towards patients and their illnesses. I reflect on and challenge both lines of thought and argue that there is no inherent conflict between dualism and psychiatry.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding about the remaining options to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, through overcoming political barriers to carbon pricing, taking into account non-CO2 factors, a well-designed implementation of demand-side and nature-based solutions, resilience building of ecosystems and the recognition that climate change mitigation costs can be justified by benefits to the health of humans and nature alone. We consider new insights about what to expect if we fail to include a new dimension of fire extremes and the prospect of cascading climate tipping elements.
A synthesis is made of 10 topics within climate research, where there have been significant advances since January 2020. The insights are based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) the options to still keep global warming below 1.5 °C; (2) the impact of non-CO2 factors in global warming; (3) a new dimension of fire extremes forced by climate change; (4) the increasing pressure on interconnected climate tipping elements; (5) the dimensions of climate justice; (6) political challenges impeding the effectiveness of carbon pricing; (7) demand-side solutions as vehicles of climate mitigation; (8) the potentials and caveats of nature-based solutions; (9) how building resilience of marine ecosystems is possible; and (10) that the costs of climate change mitigation policies can be more than justified by the benefits to the health of humans and nature.
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The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
Scientific interest in the therapeutic effects of classical psychedelics has increased in the past two decades. The psychological effects of these substances outside the period of acute intoxication have not been fully characterized. This study aimed to: (1) quantify the effects of psilocybin, ayahuasca, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) on psychological outcomes in the post-acute period; (2) test moderators of these effects; and (3) evaluate adverse effects and risk of bias.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental studies (single-group pre-post or randomized controlled trials) that involved administration of psilocybin, ayahuasca, or LSD to clinical or non-clinical samples and assessed psychological outcomes ⩾24 h post-administration. Effects were summarized by study design, timepoint, and outcome domain.
A total of 34 studies (24 unique samples, n = 549, mean longest follow-up = 55.34 weeks) were included. Classical psychedelics showed significant within-group pre-post and between-group placebo-controlled effects on a range of outcomes including targeted symptoms within psychiatric samples, negative and positive affect-related measures, social outcomes, and existential/spiritual outcomes, with large between-group effect in these domains (Hedges' gs = 0.84 to 1.08). Moderator tests suggest some effects may be larger in clinical samples. Evidence of effects on big five personality traits and mindfulness was weak. There was no evidence of post-acute adverse effects.
High risk of bias in several domains, heterogeneity across studies, and indications of publication bias for some models highlight the need for careful, large-scale, placebo-controlled randomized trials.
Gonorrhoea cases in women have been rising in Australia in the 2010s but the cause of the increase is not well understood. This cross-sectional study aimed to describe the characteristics of genital gonorrhoea infection in women attending the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia. Gonorrhoea cases were diagnosed by nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and/or culture. Genitourinary specimens were obtained in 12 869 clinic visits in women aged 16 years or above between August 2017 and August 2018. Genital gonorrhoea was detected in 142 (1.1%) of the visits. Almost half of the cases were asymptomatic, 47.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 39.8–56.1%]; yellow, green or pus-like vaginal discharge was present in 11.3% (95% CI 7.0–17.6%) and other genital symptoms in 40.8% (95% CI 33.1–49.1%) of the cases. The mean time between last sexual contact and onset of symptoms was 7.3 days and between the onset of symptoms to presentation to the clinic was 12.1 days. Half of the cases of genital gonorrhoea among women are asymptomatic and these cases would have been missed by testing of only symptomatic women. Further epidemiological and behavioural research is required to understand the temporal changes in sexual practices among women in Australia.
The typical marine animal has increased in biovolume by more than two orders of magnitude since the beginning of the Cambrian, but the causes of this trend remain unknown. We test the hypothesis that the efficiency of intra-organism oxygen delivery is a major constraint on body-size evolution in marine animals. To test this hypothesis, we compiled a dataset comprising 13,723 marine animal genera spanning the Phanerozoic. We coded each genus according to its respiratory medium, circulatory anatomy, and feeding mode. In extant genera, we find that respiratory medium and circulatory anatomy explain more of the difference in size than feeding modes. Likewise, we find that most of the Phanerozoic increase in mean biovolume is accounted for by size increase in taxa that accomplish oxygen delivery through closed circulatory systems. During the Cambrian, water-breathing animals with closed circulatory systems were smaller, on average, than contemporaries with open circulatory systems. However, genera with closed circulatory systems superseded in size genera with open circulatory systems by the Middle Ordovician, as part of their Phanerozoic-long trend of increasing size. In a regression analysis, respiratory and circulatory anatomy explain far more size variation in the living fauna than do feeding modes, even after accounting for taxonomic affinity at the class level. These findings suggest that ecological and environmental drivers of the Phanerozoic increase in the mean size of marine animals operated within strong, anatomically determined constraints.
Simultaneous Disasters in Southeast Asia: Is Risk Outpacing Resilience?
Since Southeast Asian leaders signed the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in 2005, the region has prioritized developing national and regional disaster management capabilities to respond to disasters. However, the recent back-to-back disasters that occurred between July and August 2018 tested the response capacities of national governments and the humanitarian community. Parts of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines battled floods of varying severity induced by seasonal monsoon rains, tropical storms and a dam collapse on a tributary of the Mekong River. Meanwhile, Indonesia's Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara was hit by multiple earthquakes and aftershocks between 29 July and 19 August. The ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) reported that at the peak of these disasters, over 588,000 people were displaced and more than 5.2 million people in Southeast Asia were affected. Against the backdrop of recent disasters generating simultaneous responses, this chapter makes key observations on Southeast Asia's ability to meet the immediate needs of disasteraffected communities while building greater disaster resilience for the future. It assesses the (i) institutionalization of disaster management in ASEAN; (ii) localization of disaster response; and (iii) opportunities for financial risk management for building disaster-resilient communities.
ASEAN in the Eye of the Storm—Institutionalization of Disaster Management in ASEAN
In assessing current and future disaster management capabilities, this chapter focuses on the floods in Laos and Cambodia after the collapse of a saddle dam of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower project, floods in Myanmar caused by heavy monsoon rainfall and a breached dam in the Bago region, and the earthquakes and aftershocks in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. It identifies the evolution of a regional mechanism to respond to disasters grounded in the legallybinding AADMER. This agreement was ratified by all ASEAN member states and came into force in 2009 and represented ASEAN's regional commitment to respond to disasters. Its objectives are to provide effective disaster management mechanisms and to have ASEAN member states “jointly respond to disaster emergencies” through regional cooperation. AADMER's most significant contribution has been to institutionalize disaster management within and between ASEAN member states.
Hospital environmental surfaces are frequently contaminated by microorganisms. However, the causal mechanism of bacterial contamination of the environment as a source of transmission is still debated. This prospective study was performed to characterize the nature of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission between the environment and patients using standard microbiological and molecular techniques.
Prospective cohort study at 2 academic medical centers.
A prospective multicenter study to characterize the nature of bacterial transfer events between patients and environmental surfaces in rooms that previously housed patients with 1 of 4 ‘marker’ MDROs: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Clostridium difficile, and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii. Environmental and patient microbiological samples were obtained on admission into a freshly disinfected inpatient room. Repeat samples from room surfaces and patients were taken on days 3 and 7 and each week the patient stayed in the same room. The bacterial identity, antibiotic susceptibility, and molecular sequences were compared between organisms found in the environment samples and patient sources.
We enrolled 80 patient–room admissions; 9 of these patients (11.3%) were asymptomatically colonized with MDROs at study entry. Hospital room surfaces were contaminated with MDROs despite terminal disinfection in 44 cases (55%). Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events either to the patient, the environment, or both occurred in 12 patient encounters (18.5%) from the microbiologically evaluable cohort.
Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events between patients and the environment were observed in 18.5% of patient encounters and occurred early in the admission. This study suggests that research on prevention methods beyond the standard practice of room disinfection at the end of a patient’s stay is needed to better prevent acquisition of MDROs through the environment.
Improvements in computational resources over the last decade are enabling a new era of computational prediction and design of novel materials. The resulting resources are databases such as the Materials Project (www.materialsproject.org), which is harnessing the power of supercomputing together with state-of-the-art quantum mechanical theory to compute the properties of all known inorganic materials, to design novel materials, and to make the data available for free to the community, together with online analysis and design algorithms. The current release contains data derived from quantum mechanical calculations for more than 70,000 materials and millions of associated materials properties. The software infrastructure carries out thousands of calculations per week, enabling screening and predictions for both novel solids as well as molecular species with targeted properties. As the rapid growth of accessible computed materials properties continues, the next frontier is harnessing that information for automated learning and accelerated discovery. In this article, we highlight some of the emerging and exciting efforts, and successes, as well as current challenges using descriptor-based and machine-learning methods for data-accelerated materials design.