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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 SARS-CoV-2-exposed masks and respirators. We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The two 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 (5CD) to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on three N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and two medical mask (MM) models. We inoculated FFR and MM materials with three coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and treated with 10 µM MB and exposed to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5CD using multiple US and international test methods and compared to the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all three coronaviruses with 99.8 - to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and MMs tested. FFR and MM integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas one FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating three tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5CD. MBL decontamination is effective, low-cost and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in all-resource settings.
Contemporary feminist theory by and large agrees on criticizing the traditional, autonomous subject and instead maintains a relational, dependent self, but the vocabulary used to describe the latter remains contested. These contestations are seen in comparing the approach of some feminist legal theory, as demonstrated by Martha Fineman, to the approach of some feminist theory that draws on continental philosophy, as demonstrated by Judith Butler. Fineman's concept of vulnerability emphasizes the universality of vulnerability in the human condition, arguing that a “responsive state” is most conducive to producing subjects who are “resilient” in the face of neoliberal pressures. We argue that vulnerability, as an existential as opposed to a political description, is a limited rubric under which to organize against neoliberal forces. Further, we contend that Fineman's rhetoric of resilience risks reiterating a neoliberal logic of individualized self-management. In response, we look to Butler's concept of precarity, which underscores particular social conditions, as opposed to universal ontological vulnerabilities, that debilitate certain subjects. At stake is how we respond to neoliberal forces today: a vocabulary of precarity poses a more effective challenge than one of vulnerability, for it opens onto not merely individual or institutional resilience but grounded, communal resistance.
The Louisville Twin Study (LTS) is nationally recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive studies of child development related to multiple birth status. The LTS is unique because of the extensive longitudinal face-to-face assessments, the frequency of data collection, the inclusion of data on additional family members (i.e., parents, siblings, grandparents; and later, twins’ own spouses and children), and the variety of data collection methods used. Data preservation efforts began in 2008 and are largely complete, although efforts are ongoing to obtain funding to convert the electronic data to a newer format. A pilot study was completed in the summer of 2018 to bring the twins, who are now middle-aged, back for testing. A grant is currently under review to extend the pilot study to include all former participants who are now ≥40 years of age. Opportunities for collaboration are welcome.
Zirconolite glass-ceramics are being developed as potential wasteforms for the disposition of Pu wastes in the UK. Previous studies utilised a variety of surrogates whilst this work uses both cold-press and sinter and hot isostatic press methods to validate the wasteform with PuO2. A cold press and sinter sample was fabricated as part of a validation study for plutonium incorporation in hot isostatically pressed (HIPed) wasteforms. The results confirmed the cold-press and sinter, achieved successful waste incorporation and a microstructure and phase assemblage that was in agreement with those expected of a HIPed equivalent. A HIP sample was fabricated of the same composition and characterised by SEM and XRD. Results were in agreement with the sintered sample and achieved complete waste incorporation into the glass-ceramic wasteform. These samples have demonstrated successful incorporation of PuO2 into glass-ceramic HIPed wasteforms proposed for processing Pu-based waste-streams in the UK.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
Coughlan & Cannon have provided an extremely useful review, highlighting the evidence for the association between childhood trauma and psychosis. This is relevant to those working with individuals with psychosis across all age ranges. This commentary discusses further some of the points raised, the complexity of the association and developmental aspects.
The northern New England region includes the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and encompasses a large degree of climate and edaphic variation across a relatively small spatial area, making it ideal for studying climate change impacts on agricultural weed communities. We sampled weed seedbanks and measured soil physical and chemical characteristics on 77 organic farms across the region and analyzed the relationships between weed community parameters and select geographic, climatic, and edaphic variables using multivariate procedures. Temperature-related variables (latitude, longitude, mean maximum and minimum temperature) were the strongest and most consistent correlates with weed seedbank composition. Edaphic variables were, for the most part, relatively weaker and inconsistent correlates with weed seedbanks. Our analyses also indicate that a number of agriculturally important weed species are associated with specific U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones, implying that future changes in climate factors that result in geographic shifts in these zones will likely be accompanied by changes in the composition of weed communities and therefore new management challenges for farmers.
The staffing of ambulances with different levels of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers is a difficult decision with evidence being mixed on the benefit of each model.
The objective of this study was to describe a pilot program evaluating alternative staffing on two ambulances utilizing the paramedic-basic (PB) model (staffed with one paramedic and one emergency medical technician[EMT]).
This was a retrospective study conducted from September 17, 2013 through December 31, 2013. The PB ambulances were compared to geographically matched ambulances staffed with paramedic-paramedic (PP ambulances). One PP and one PB ambulance were based at Station A; one PP and one PB ambulance were based at Station B. The primary outcome was total on-scene time. Secondary outcomes included time-to-electrocardiogram (EKG), time-to-intravenous (IV) line insertion, IV-line success rate, and percentage of protocol violations. Inclusion criteria were all patients requesting prehospital services that were attended to by these teams. Patients were excluded if they were not attended to by the study ambulance vehicles. Descriptive statistics were reported as medians and interquartile ranges (IQR). Proportions were reported with 95% confidence intervals (CI). The Mann-Whitley U test was used for significance testing (P<.05).
Median on-scene times at Station A for the PP ambulance were shorter than the PB ambulance team (PP: 10.1 minutes, IQR 6.0-15; PB: 13.0 minutes, IQR 8.1-18; P=.01). This finding also was noted at Station B (PP: 13.5 minutes, IQR 8.5-19; PB: 14.3 minutes, IQR 9.9-20; P=.01). There were no differences between PP and PB ambulance teams at Station A or Station B in time-to-EKG, time-to-IV insertion, IV success rate, and protocol violation rates.
In the setting of a well-developed EMS system utilizing an all-Advanced Life Support (ALS) response, this study suggests that PB ambulance teams may function well when compared to PP ambulances. Though longer scene times were observed, differences in time to ALS interventions and protocol violation rates were not different. Hybrid ambulance teams may be an effective staffing alternative, but decisions to use this model must address clinical and operational concerns.
CortezEJ, PanchalAR, DavisJE, KesegDP. The Effect of Ambulance Staffing Models in a Metropolitan, Fire-Based EMS System. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(2):175–179.
Training for the clinical research workforce does not sufficiently prepare workers for today’s scientific complexity; deficiencies may be ameliorated with training. The Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals’ Training and Qualifications developed competency standards for principal investigators and clinical research coordinators.
Clinical and Translational Science Awards representatives refined competency statements. Working groups developed assessments, identified training, and highlighted gaps.
Forty-eight competency statements in 8 domains were developed.
Training is primarily investigator focused with few programs for clinical research coordinators. Lack of training is felt in new technologies and data management. There are no standardized assessments of competence.
The translation of discoveries to drugs, devices, and behavioral interventions requires well-prepared study teams. Execution of clinical trials remains suboptimal due to varied quality in design, execution, analysis, and reporting. A critical impediment is inconsistent, or even absent, competency-based training for clinical trial personnel.
In 2014, the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) funded the project, Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals’ Training and Qualifications (ECRPTQ), aimed at addressing this deficit. The goal was to ensure all personnel are competent to execute clinical trials. A phased structure was utilized.
This paper focuses on training recommendations in Good Clinical Practice (GCP). Leveraging input from all Clinical and Translational Science Award hubs, the following was recommended to NCATS: all investigators and study coordinators executing a clinical trial should understand GCP principles and undergo training every 3 years, with the training method meeting the minimum criteria identified by the International Conference on Harmonisation GCP.
We anticipate that industry sponsors will acknowledge such training, eliminating redundant training requests. We proposed metrics to be tracked that required further study. A separate task force was composed to define recommendations for metrics to be reported to NCATS.
The Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) is a non-profit organisation comprised of individuals dedicated to improving the care of children and young adults with cardiac rhythm disturbances. Although PACES is a predominantly North American-centric organisation, international members have been a part of PACES for the last two decades. This year, PACES expanded its North American framework into a broadly expansive international role. On 12 May, 2015, paediatric electrophysiology leaders from within the United States of America and Canada met with over 30 international paediatric electrophysiologists from 17 countries and five continents discussing measures to (1) expand PACES’ global vision, (2) address ongoing challenges such as limited resource allocation that may be present in developing countries, (3) expand PACES’ governance to include international representation, (4) promote joint international sessions at future paediatric EP meetings, and (5) facilitate a global multi-centre research consortium. This meeting marked the inception of a formal international collaborative spirit in PACES. This editorial addresses some solutions to breakdown the continental silos paediatric electrophysiologists have practiced within; however, there remain ongoing limitations, and future discussions will be needed to continue to move the PACES global international vision forward.
Burnout occurs among students when they suddenly lose interest in their studies due to feeling physically and emotionally drained. They experience further emotional depletion due to study demands, distrustfulness and detachment about their work. This study investigated the relationship between the Five-Factor Model (FFM) personality traits and burnout, as operationalised by Maslach's three dimensions of burnout, namely exhaustion, cynicism and reduced personal efficacy. Previous Western research was replicated in order to contribute to the cross-cultural literature on burnout. The Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Survey University Form and the NEO – Personality Inventory Revised Form S were subjected to stepwise forward regression using FFM factors and facets to predict the scores on each burnout dimension. Five hundred and seventy-seven Filipino college students (age 17 to 24) from private universities and colleges within Metro Manila participated. Results revealed that neuroticism and conscientiousness predict all three burnout constructs. However, certain facets of neuroticism and conscientiousness are more important than others. At the facet level, facets of agreeableness and openness contributed to prediction of burnout as well.
Recent studies have brought to question the efficacy of the use of prehospital therapeutic hypothermia for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Though guidelines recommend therapeutic hypothermia as a critical link in the chain of survival, the safety of this intervention, with the possibility of minimal treatment benefit, becomes important.
This study examined prehospital therapeutic hypothermia for OHCA, its association with survival, and its complication profile in a large, metropolitan, fire-based Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system, where bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and post-arrest care are in the process of being optimized.
This evaluation was a retrospective chart review of all OHCA patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) treated with therapeutic hypothermia, from January 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013. The primary outcomes were the proportion of patients with initiation of prehospital therapeutic hypothermia with survival to hospital admission, the proportion of patients with initiation of prehospital therapeutic hypothermia with survival to hospital discharge, and the complication profile of therapeutic hypothermia in this population. The complication profile included several clinical, radiographic, and laboratory parameters. Exclusion criteria included: no prehospital therapeutic hypothermia initiation; no ROSC; and age of 17 year old or younger.
Fifty-one post-cardiac arrest patients were identified that met inclusion criteria. The mean age was 61 years (SD=14.7 years), and 33 (72%) were male. The initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia in 17 (37%) patients, and bystander CPR was performed in 28 (61%) patients with ROSC. Thirty-nine (85%) patients survived to hospital admission. Twenty-one patients (48%; 95% CI, 33-64) were administered vasopressors, 10 patients (24%; 95% CI, 10-37) were administered diuretics, and 19 patients (44%; 95% CI, 29-60) were administered antibiotics. Initial chest radiograph (CXR) findings were normal in 12 (29%) patients. Overall, 13 (28%; 95% CI, 15-42) study patients survived to hospital discharge.
Recent reports have questioned the efficacy and safety of prehospital therapeutic hypothermia. In this evaluation, in the setting of unstandardized post-arrest care, 85% of the patients survived to hospital admission and 28% survived to hospital discharge, with a complication profile which was similar to that noted in other studies. This suggests that further evidence may be needed before EMS systems stop administering therapeutic hypothermia to appropriately selected patients. In less-optimized systems, therapeutic hypothermia may still be an essential link in the chain of survival.
CortezE, PanchalAR, DavisJ, ZeebP, KesegDP. Clinical Outcomes in Cardiac Arrest Patients Following Prehospital Treatment with Therapeutic Hypothermia. Prehosp Disaster Med2015; 30(5):452–456.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.
The vertebrate record at the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site (ZRFS) near Snowmass Village, Colorado ranges from ~140 to 77 ka, spanning all of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. The site contains at least 52 taxa of macro- and microvertebrates, including one fish, three amphibian, four reptile, ten bird, and 34 mammal taxa. The most common vertebrate is Ambystoma tigrinum (tiger salamander), which is represented by >22,000 elements representing the entire life cycle. The mastodon, Mammut americanum, is the most common mammal, and is documented by >1800 skeletal elements making the ZRFS one of the largest accumulations of proboscidean remains in North America. Faunas at the ZRFS can be divided into two groups, a lake-margin group dating to ~140–100 ka that is dominated by woodland taxa, and a lake-center group dating to ~87–77 ka characterized by taxa favoring more open conditions. The change in faunal assemblages occurred between MIS 5c and 5a (vertebrates were absent from MIS 5b deposits), which were times of significant environmental change at the ZRFS. Furthermore, the ZRFS provides a well-dated occurrence of the extinct Bison latifrons, which has implications for the timing of the Rancholabrean Mammal Age in the region.
The population of adults with intellectual disabilities has been largely neglected in survey research, as the significant impairments in communication and understanding that are common among this population were considered too great a barrier to their participation in large-scale surveys. While there had been qualitative research, prior to 2002 there had never been a nationally representative survey conducted with this population. In surveys concerning this population, data was largely collected from proxy respondents, such as parents or caregivers. In the absence of a sampling frame for the whole population, surveys generally used convenience samples of those in touch with services.
In March 2001, the UK government White Paper Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century (Department of Health, 2001) was published, setting out the Government’s commitment to improving the life chances of people with intellectual disabilities in England. This was the first White Paper in thirty years concerning this population, and there had been a significant amount of change in service provision in that time. One important issue highlighted in the White Paper was the lack of national information available for England about people with intellectual disabilities, with much information based on estimates from administrative data, in the absence of survey research.
Research uses of human bodies maintained by mechanical ventilation after being declared dead by neurological criteria (“heart-beating cadavers”), were first published in the early 1980s with a renewed interest in research on the newly or nearly dead occurring in about last decade. While this type of research may take many different forms, recent technologic advances in genomic sequencing along with high hopes for genomic medicine, have inspired interest in genomic research with the newly dead. For example, the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) program through the National Institutes of Health aims to collect large numbers of diverse human tissues with the eventual goal of elucidating the genetic bases of common diseases through a better understanding of the relationship between genetic variation and gene expression.