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Engineered products have economic, environmental, and social impacts, which comprise the major dimensions of sustainability. This paper seeks to determine the interaction between design parameters when the social impacts are incorporated into the design process. Social impact evaluation is increasing in importance similar to what has happened with environmental impact consideration in recent years in the design of engineered products. Concurrently, research into new airship design has increased, however airships have yet to be reintroduced at a large scale and for a range of applications in society. Although airships have the potential for positive environmental and economic impacts, the social impacts are still rarely considered. This paper presents a case study of the hypothetical introduction of airships in the Amazon to help local farmers transport their produce to market. It explores the design space in terms of the airship's social impacts connected to the design parameters. The social impacts are found to be dependent not only on the social factors and airship design parameters, but also on the farmer-airship system, suggesting that socio-technical systems design will benefit from integrated social impact metric analysis.
We aimed to understand practice nurses’ perceptions about how they engage with parents during consultations concerning the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The incidence of measles is increasing globally. Immunisation is recognised as the most significant intervention to influence global health in modern times, although many factors are known to adversely affect immunisation uptake. Practice nurses are a key member of the primary care team responsible for delivering immunisation. However, little is known how practice nurses perceive this role.
Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 15 practice nurses in England using a qualitative descriptive approach. Diversity in terms of years of experience and range of geographical practice settings were sought. These interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and open-coded using qualitative content analysis to manage, analyse and identify themes.
Three themes were derived from the data: engaging with parents, the informed practice nurse and dealing with parental concerns: strategies to promote MMR uptake. During their consultations, practice nurses encountered parents who held strong opinions about the MMR vaccine and perceived this to be related to the parents’ socio-demographic background. Practice nurses sought to provide parents with tailored and accurate sources of information to apprise their immunisation decision-making about the MMR vaccine.
Ecological models acknowledge the importance of human-environment interactions in understanding and changing behavior. These models incorporate multiple levels of influence on behavior, including policy, community, organizational, social, and individual. Studies applying ecological models to explore health behavior correlates have tended to identify determinants at the individual level, with fewer exploring correlates at the social, physical, and policy levels. While primarily developed to explain human behavior, some ecological models have been further developed to inform interventions to change human behavior, often paired with theories such as social cognitive theory, organizational theory, and behavioral choice theory. Evidence syntheses indicate that ecological models are seldom used to inform intervention design, with the majority focusing on just one or two levels of the model. Most interventions applying ecological models to target child and adolescent health behaviors have reported small effect sizes, while child obesity prevention initiatives targeting factors at multiple levels of influence have shown larger effects. Future research should focus on developing interventions targeting all levels of ecological models, using interventions based on ecological models to change the behavior of whole communities, using ecological models within a systems framework, and exploring how they can assist with the scaling up of interventions to improve population reach.
The RemoveDEBRIS mission has been the first mission to successfully demonstrate, in-orbit, a series of technologies that can be used for the active removal of space debris. The mission started late in 2014 and was sponsored by a grant from the EC that saw a consortium led by the Surrey Space Centre to develop the mission, from concept to in-orbit demonstrations, that terminated in March 2019. Technologies for the capture of large space debris, like a net and a harpoon, have been successfully tested together with hardware and software to retrieve data on non-cooperative target debris kinematics from observations carried out with on board cameras. The final demonstration consisted of the deployment of a drag-sail to increase the drag of the satellite to accelerate its demise.
In pig husbandry, pregnant females are often exposed to stressful conditions, and their outcomes on maternal and offspring health have not been well evaluated. The present study aimed at testing whether improving the welfare of gestating sows could be associated with a better maternal health during gestation, changes in the composition of lacteal secretions and improvement in piglet survival. Two contrasted group-housing systems for gestating sows were used, that is, a French conventional system on slatted floor (C, 49 sows) and an enriched system using larger pens on deep straw (E, 57 sows). On the 105th days of gestation (DG105), sows were transferred into identical farrowing crates on slatted floor. Saliva was collected from all sows on DG35, DG105 and DG107. Blood samples were collected on DG105 from all sows and on the 1st day of lactation (DL1) from a subset of them (C, n=18; E, n=19). Colostrum and milk samples were collected from this subset of sows at farrowing (DL0) and DL4. Saliva concentration of cortisol was greater in C than in E sows at DG35 and DG105, and dropped to concentrations comparable to E sows after transfer into farrowing crates (DG107). On DG105, plasma concentrations of haptoglobin, immunoglobulins G (IgG) and A (IgA), blood lymphocyte counts and plasma antioxidant potential did not differ between groups (P > 0.10), whereas blood granulocyte count, and plasma hydroperoxide concentration were lower in E than in C sows (P < 0.05). Concentrations of IgG and IgA in colostrum and milk did not differ between the two groups. The number of cells did not differ in colostrum but was greater in milk from E than C sows (P < 0.05). Pre-weaning mortality rates were lower in E than C piglets (16.7% v. 25.8%, P < 0.001), and especially between 12 and 72 h postpartum (P < 0.001). Plasma concentration of IgG was similar in E and C piglets on DL4. In conclusion, differences in salivary cortisol, blood granulocyte count and oxidative stress markers between groups suggested improved welfare and reduced immune solicitation during late gestation in sows of the E compared with the C system. However, the better survival observed for neonates in the E environment could not be explained by variations in colostrum composition.
Sow environment during gestation can generate maternal stress which could alter foetal development. The effects of two group-housing systems for gestating sows on piglet morphological and physiological traits at birth were investigated. During gestation, sows were reared in a conventional system on a slatted floor (C, 18 sows), demonstrated as being stressful for sows or in an enriched system in larger pens and on deep straw bedding (E, 19 sows). On gestation day 105, sows were transferred into identical individual farrowing crates on a slatted floor. Farrowing was supervised to allow sampling from piglets at birth. In each litter, one male piglet of average birth weight was euthanized immediately after birth to study organ development and tissue traits. Blood samples were collected from 6 or 7 piglets per litter at birth and 2 piglets per litter at 4 days of lactation (DL4). At birth, mean piglet BW did not differ between groups (P > 0.10); however, the percentage of light (<1.2 kg) and heavy (⩾2 kg) piglets was greater and lower, respectively, in C than in E litters (P < 0.01). Plasma concentrations of cortisol, IGF-I, T4, T3, lactate, NEFA, fructose and albumin did not differ (P > 0.10) between C and E piglets, but the insulin to glucose ratio was greater (P = 0.02) in C than in E piglets. Compared with E piglets, C piglets had a lighter gut at birth (P = 0.01) and their glycogen content in longissimus muscle was lower (P < 0.01). In this muscle, messenger RNA levels of PAX7, a marker of satellite cells and of PPARGC1A, a transcriptional coactivator involved in mitochondriogenesis and mitochondrial energy metabolism, were greater (P < 0.05), whereas the expression level of PRDX6, a gene playing a role in antioxidant pathway, was lower (P = 0.03) in C than in E piglets. Other studied genes involved in myogenesis did not differ between C and E piglets. No system effect was observed on target genes in liver and subcutaneous adipose tissue. On DL4, C piglets exhibited a lower plasma antioxidant capacity than E piglets (P = 0.002). In conclusion, exposure of sows to a stressful environment during gestation had mild negative effects on the maturity of piglets at birth.
This study investigated the incidence and risk to staff groups for sustaining needlestick injuries (NSIs) in the National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore. A retrospective cohort review of incident NSI cases was undertaken to determine the injury rate, causation, and epidemiological profile of such injuries. Analysis of the risk of sustaining recurrent NSI by occupation and location was done using the Cox proportional hazards model. There were 244 NSI cases in 5957 employees in NUH in 2014, giving an incidence rate of 4·1/100 healthcare workers (HCWs) per year. The incidence rate was highest for doctors at 21·3, and 2·7 for nurses; 40·6% of injuries occurred in wards, and 32·8% in operating theatres. There were 27 cases of repeated NSI cases. The estimated cost due to NSIs in NUH ranged from US$ 109 800 to US$ 563 152 in 2014. We conclude that creating a workplace environment where top priority is given to prevention of NSIs in HCWs, is essential to address the high incidence of reported NSIs. The data collected will be of value to inform the design of prevention programmes to reduce further the risk of NSIs in HCWs.
A recent photometric survey in the NGC 3766 cluster led to the detection of stars presenting an unexpected variability. They lie in a region of the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram where no pulsation are theoretically expected, in between the δ Scuti and slowly pulsating B (SPB) star instability domains. Their variability periods, between ~0.1–0.7 d, are outside the expected domains of these well-known pulsators. The NCG 3766 cluster is known to host fast rotating stars. Rotation can significantly affect the pulsation properties of stars and alter their apparent luminosity through gravity darkening. Therefore we inspect if the new variable stars could correspond to fast rotating SPB stars. We carry out instability and visibility analysis of SPB pulsation modes within the frame of the traditional approximation. The effects of gravity darkening on typical SPB models are next studied. We find that at the red border of the SPB instability strip, prograde sectoral (PS) modes are preferentially excited, with periods shifted in the 0.2–0.5 d range due to the Coriolis effect. These modes are best seen when the star is seen equator-on. For such inclinations, low-mass SPB models can appear fainter due to gravity darkening and as if they were located between the δ Scuti and SPB instability strips.
Most individuals with dementia live in the community, receiving care from family or lay carers. Carers’ wellbeing, and the quality of the care they provide, depends on their resilience in the face of the challenges associated with caring for someone with dementia. However, factors associated with carers’ resilience are not yet fully understood. The aim of this review is to present a narrative synthesis of factors, materials and resources associated with carers’ resilience. Electronic and hand searches identified relevant published literature, which was narratively synthesized. A framework consisting of three inter-related domains of factors influencing carers’ resilience emerged, encompassing: social and cultural factors; properties of the care relationship; and carers’ psychological factors. Holistic assessment based on this framework can help practitioners to identify vulnerable carers and to target help on factors that help to make them vulnerable but that are amenable to change.
Asymptomatic carriage of gastrointestinal zoonoses is more common in people whose profession involves them working directly with domesticated animals. Subclinical infections (defined as an infection in which symptoms are either asymptomatic or sufficiently mild to escape diagnosis) are important within a community as unknowing (asymptomatic) carriers of pathogens do not change their behaviour to prevent the spread of disease; therefore the public health significance of asymptomatic human excretion of zoonoses should not be underestimated. However, optimal strategies for managing diseases where asymptomatic carriage instigates further infection remain unresolved, and the impact on disease management is unclear. In this review we consider the environmental pathways associated with prolonged antigenic exposure and critically assess the significance of asymptomatic carriage in disease outbreaks Although screening high-risk groups for occupationally acquired diseases would be logistically problematical, there may be an economic case for identifying and treating asymptomatic carriage if the costs of screening and treatment are less than the costs of identifying and treating those individuals infected by asymptomatic hosts.
Global climate change is expected to affect the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme water-related weather events such as excessive precipitation, floods, and drought. We conducted a systematic review to examine waterborne outbreaks following such events and explored their distribution between the different types of extreme water-related weather events. Four medical and meteorological databases (Medline, Embase, GeoRef, PubMed) and a global electronic reporting system (ProMED) were searched, from 1910 to 2010. Eighty-seven waterborne outbreaks involving extreme water-related weather events were identified and included, alongside 235 ProMED reports. Heavy rainfall and flooding were the most common events preceding outbreaks associated with extreme weather and were reported in 55·2% and 52·9% of accounts, respectively. The most common pathogens reported in these outbreaks were Vibrio spp. (21·6%) and Leptospira spp. (12·7%). Outbreaks following extreme water-related weather events were often the result of contamination of the drinking-water supply (53·7%). Differences in reporting of outbreaks were seen between the scientific literature and ProMED. Extreme water-related weather events represent a risk to public health in both developed and developing countries, but impact will be disproportionate and likely to compound existing health disparities.
We investigated an international outbreak of Salmonella Agona with a distinct PFGE pattern associated with an Irish Food company (company X) producing pre-cooked meat products sold in various food outlet chains in Europe. The outbreak was first detected in Ireland. We undertook national and international case-finding, food traceback and microbiological investigation of human, food and environmental samples. We undertook a matched case-control study on Irish cases. In total, 163 cases in seven European countries were laboratory-confirmed. Consumption of food from food outlet chains supplied by company X was significantly associated with being a confirmed case (mOR 18·3, 95% CI 2·2–149·2) in the case-control study. The outbreak strain was isolated from the company's pre-cooked meat products and production premises. Sufficient evidence was gathered to infer the vehicles of infection and sources of the outbreak and to justify the control measures taken, which were plant closure and food recall.