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Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was 1 of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from August 1 to December 8, 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11/d). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of 1 per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
Nearly three times as many people detained in a jail have a serious mental illness (SMI) when compared to community samples. Once an individual with SMI gets involved in the criminal justice system, they are more likely than the general population to stay in the system, face repeated incarcerations, and return to prison more quickly when compared to their nonmentally ill counterparts.
To study the clinical profile and outcomes of patients with paraproteinemic neuropathy (PPN) and to explore the utility of nerve conduction studies (NCSs) to differentiate between the demyelinating subtypes.
We did a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with PPN between January 2010 and December 2019 in an inpatient setting. The study population consisted of patients above 16 years of age presenting with clinical features suggestive of chronic peripheral neuropathy and on evaluation was found to have PPN.
A total of 74 patients were identified. The patients were predominantly in the 6th decade, and the majority were males. The subtypes of PPN were monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) (45.9%), POEMS syndrome (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal plasma cell disorder, and skin changes) (24.3%), solitary plasmacytoma (17.6%), multiple myeloma (8.1%), and AL amyloidosis (4.1%). There are specific features on NCS which can help in identifying POEMS syndrome and IgM MGUS. The majority of patients with PPN tend to stabilize or improve with treatment; however, many have a severe residual disability. New terminology and classification of these entities as ‘monoclonal gammopathies of neurological significance’ can aid in early diagnosis and the development of effective treatment, to prevent residual disability.
PPN has a heterogeneous spectrum of clinical, biochemical, and electrophysiological features. NCS can help distinguish POEMS syndrome and IgM MGUS from other demyelinating subtypes.
Controlled clinical trials (CCTs) have traditionally been limited to urban academic clinical centers. Implementation of CCTs in rural setting is challenged by lack of resources, the inexperience of patient care team members in CCT conductance and workflow interruption, and global inexperience with remote data monitoring.
We report our experience during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in activating through remote monitoring a multicenter clinical trial (the Study of Efficacy and Safety of Canakinumab Treatment for cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in Participants with COVID-19-induced Pneumonia [CAN-COVID] trial, ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04362813) at a rural satellite hospital, the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU-CMH) in South Hill, VA, that is part of the larger VCU Health network, with the lead institution being VCU Health Medical College of Virginia Hospital (VCU-MCV), Richmond, VA. We used the local resources at the facility and remote guidance and oversight from the VCU-MCV resources using a closed-loop communication network. Investigational pharmacy, pathology, and nursing were essential to operate the work in coordination with the lead institution.
Fifty-one patients with COVID-19 were enrolled from May to August 2020, 35 (69%) at VCU-MCV, and 16 (31%) at VCU-CMH. Among the patients enrolled at VCU-CMH, 37.5% were female, 62.5% Black, and had a median age of 60 (interquartile range 56–68) years.
Local decentralization of this trial in our experience gave rural patients access to a novel treatment and also accelerated enrollment and more diverse participants’ representative of the target population.
Animal-derived dietary protein ingestion and physical activity stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in older adults. We determined whether a non-animal-derived diet can support daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates to the same extent as an omnivorous diet. Nineteen healthy older adults (aged 66 (sem 1) years; BMI 24 (sem 1) kg/m2; twelve males, seven females) participated in a randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial during which they consumed a 3-d isoenergetic high-protein (1·8 g/kg body mass per d) diet, where the protein was provided from predominantly (71 %) animal (OMNI; n 9; six males, three females) or exclusively vegan (VEG; n 10; six males, four females; mycoprotein providing 57 % of daily protein intake) sources. During the dietary control period, participants conducted a daily bout of unilateral resistance-type leg extension exercise. Before the dietary control period, participants ingested 400 ml of deuterated water, with 50-ml doses consumed daily thereafter. Saliva samples were collected throughout to determine body water 2H enrichments, and muscle samples were collected from rested and exercised muscle to determine daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates. Deuterated water dosing resulted in body water 2H enrichments of approximately 0·78 (sem 0·03) %. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were 13 (sem 8) (P = 0·169) and 12 (sem 4) % (P = 0·016) greater in the exercised compared with rested leg (1·59 (sem 0·12) v. 1·77 (sem 0·12) and 1·76 (sem 0·14) v. 1·93 (sem 0·12) %/d) in OMNI and VEG groups, respectively. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates did not differ between OMNI and VEG in either rested or exercised muscle (P > 0·05). Over the course of a 3-d intervention, omnivorous- or vegan-derived dietary protein sources can support equivalent rested and exercised daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in healthy older adults consuming a high-protein diet.
The Cal-DSH Diversion Guidelines provide 10 general guidelines that jurisdictions should consider when developing diversion programs for individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) who become involved in the criminal justice system. Screening for SMI in a jail setting is reviewed. In addition, important treatment interventions for SMI and substance use disorders are highlighted with the need to address criminogenic risk factors highlighted.
Methods of suicide have received considerable attention in suicide research. The common approach to differentiate methods of suicide is the classification into “violent” versus “non-violent” method. Interestingly, since the proposition of this dichotomous differentiation, no further efforts have been made to question the validity of such a classification of suicides. This study aimed to challenge the traditional separation into “violent” and “non-violent” suicides by generating a cluster analysis with a data-driven, machine learning approach. In a retrospective analysis, data on all officially confirmed suicides (N = 77,894) in Austria between 1970 and 2016 were assessed. Based on a defined distance metric between distributions of suicides over age group and month of the year, a standard hierarchical clustering method was performed with the five most frequent suicide methods. In cluster analysis, poisoning emerged as distinct from all other methods – both in the entire sample as well as in the male subsample. Violent suicides could be further divided into sub-clusters: hanging, shooting, and drowning on the one hand and jumping on the other hand. In the female sample, two different clusters were revealed – hanging and drowning on the one hand and jumping, poisoning, and shooting on the other. Our data-driven results in this large epidemiological study confirmed the traditional dichotomization of suicide methods into “violent” and “non-violent” methods, but on closer inspection “violent methods” can be further divided into sub-clusters and a different cluster pattern could be identified for women, requiring further research to support these refined suicide phenotypes.
Following the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in one of the most sensational jurisprudence events of the modern era, we examine potential repercussions across multiple themes in public health, law, and policy stemming from his ideology and the confirmation process.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
Long-term forest dynamics plots in the tropics tend to be situated on stable terrain. This study investigated forest dynamics on the north coast of New Guinea where active subduction zones are uplifting lowland basins and exposing relatively young sediments to rapid weathering. We examined forest dynamics in relation to disturbance history, topography and soil nutrients based on partial re-census of the 50-ha Wanang Forest Dynamics Plot in Papua New Guinea. The plot is relatively high in cations and phosphorus but low in nitrogen. Soil nutrients and topography accounted for 29% of variation in species composition but only 4% of variation in basal area. There were few areas of high biomass and most of the forest was comprised of small-diameter stems. Approximately 18% of the forest was less than 30 y old and the annual tree mortality rate of nearly 4% was higher than in other tropical forests in South-East Asia and the neotropics. These results support the reputation of New Guinea's forests as highly dynamic, with frequent natural disturbance. Empirical documentation of this hypothesis expands our understanding of tropical forest dynamics and suggests that geomorphology might be incorporated in models of global carbon storage especially in regions of unstable terrain.
The challenges of detecting and localising Fast Radio Bursts in real time can be met with the use of Phased Array Feeds. One such system, capable of creating up to 36 simultaneous beams, is currently being commissioned at the Effelsberg radio telescope in Germany following testing at the 64 m Parkes radio telescope. The PAFINDER (Phased Array Feed FRB Finder) pipeline will be used with this receiver to enable real–time single–pulse detection and localisation.
A CrMnFeCoNi high-entropy alloy was investigated by nanoindentation from room temperature to 400 °C in the nanocrystalline state and cast plus homogenized coarse-grained state. In the latter case a 〈100〉-orientated grain was selected by electron back scatter diffraction for nanoindentation. It was found that hardness decreases more strongly with increasing temperature than Young’s modulus, especially for the coarse-grained state. The modulus of the nanocrystalline state was slightly higher than that of the coarse-grained one. For the coarse-grained sample a strong thermally activated deformation behavior was found up to 100–150 °C, followed by a diminishing thermally activated contribution at higher testing temperatures. For the nanocrystalline state, different temperature dependent deformation mechanisms are proposed. At low temperatures, the governing processes appear to be similar to those in the coarse-grained sample, but with increasing temperature, dislocation-grain boundary interactions likely become more dominant. Finally, at 400 °C, decomposition of the nanocrystalline alloy causes a further reduction in thermal activation. This is rationalized by a reduction of the deformation controlling internal length scale by precipitate formation in conjunction with a diffusional contribution.
While the use of formal trauma teams is widely promoted, the literature is not clear that this structure provides improved outcomes over emergency physician delivered trauma care. The goal of this investigation was to examine if a trauma team model with a formalized, specialty-based trauma team, with specific activation criteria and staff composition, performs differently than an emergency physician delivered model. Our primary outcome was survival to discharge or 30 days.
An observational registry-based study using aggregate data from both the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia trauma registries was performed with data from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013. Inclusion criteria included patients 16 years-old and older who had an Injury Severity Score greater than 12, who suffered a kinetic injury and arrived with signs of life to a level-1 trauma centre.
266 patients from the trauma team model and 111 from the emergency physician model were compared. No difference was found in the primary outcome of proportion of survival to discharge or 30 days between the two systems (0.88, n=266 vs. 0.89, n=111; p=0.8608).
We were unable to detect any difference in survival between a trauma team and an emergency physician delivered model.
The Omani basement is located spatially distant from the dominantly juvenile Arabian–Nubian Shield (ANS) to its west, and its relationship to the amalgamation of those arc terranes has yet to be properly constrained. The Jebel Ja'alan (NE Oman) basement inlier provides an excellent opportunity to better understand the Neoproterozoic tectonic geography of Oman and its relationship to the ANS. To understand the origin of this basement inlier, we present new radiogenic isotopic data from igneous bodies in Jebel Ja'alan. U–Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronological data are used to constrain the timing of magmatism and metamorphism in the jebel. Positive εHf and εNd values indicate a juvenile origin for the igneous lithologies. Phase equilibria modelling is used to constrain the metamorphic conditions recorded by basement. Pressure–temperature (P–T) pseudosections show that basement schists followed a clockwise P–T path, reaching peak metamorphic conditions of c. 650–700°C at 4–7.5 kbar, corresponding to a thermal gradient of c. 90–160°C/kbar. From the calculated thermal gradient, in conjunction with collected trace-element data, we interpret that the Jebel Ja'alan basement formed in an arc environment. Geochronological data indicate that this juvenile arc formed during Tonian time and is older than basement further west in Oman. We argue that the difference in timing is related to westwards arc accretion and migration, which implies that the Omani basement represents its own tectonic domain separate to the ANS and may be the leading edge of the Neoproterozoic accretionary margin of India.
Introduction: The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) hospital implemented an inpatient opt-out smoking-cessation service where smokers received a mandatory smoking-cessation consult and phone follow-up within 1-month post-discharge.
Aim: To examine predictors of patients who opted-out of bedside counselling or follow-up phone calls.
Methods: Eligible adult cigarette smokers admitted to the MUSC hospital were enrolled in the programme. Opting-out of bedside consult or follow-up calls were assessed separately using log-linear modelling where predictors included patient demographics, length of hospitalisation, insurance type, smoking history, and motivation/confidence to quit.
Results: Of the 38,758 admitted patients (February 2014–May 2015), 6,684 reported currently smoking and were automatically referred to bedside-consult. Approximately 26% of smokers made contact with the counselor, most of whom (83%) accepted the consult. Amongst patients eligible for post-discharge follow-up (n = 3485), 49% responded to the calls. Those who opted-out of the bedside-consult were mostly males (RR = 1.29). Those who did not respond to follow-up calls were younger age (RR = 1.33), with Medicaid/no insurance (RR = 1.17), and had not received a bedside consult (RR = 1.32).
Conclusions: An opt-out smoking-cessation programme was feasible and acceptable to most patients and was able to reach 65% of eligible smokers; 17% opted-out of bedside counselling; <1% asked to be removed from further phone calls.