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A longstanding issue in the field of nutrition is the potential inaccuracy of methods traditionally used for dietary assessment (i.e. food diaries and food frequency questionnaires). It is possible to overcome the limitations and biases of these techniques by combining them with analytical measurements in human biofluids. Metabolomic technologies are gaining popularity as nutritional tools due to their capacity to measure metabolic responses to external stimuli, such as the ingestion of certain foods. This project performed both LC-MS and 1H-NMR metabolomic profiling on serum samples collected as part of the NICOLA study (Northern Irish Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Aging) in order to discover novel dietary biomarkers. A dietary validation cohort (NIDAS) was incorporated within NICOLA, involving 45 males and 50 females, aged 50 years and over. Participants provided detailed dietary data (4-day food diary) and blood samples at two time-points, six months apart. Serum samples were processed on two analytical platforms. 1H-NMR spectra were acquired using a Bruker 600 MHz Ascent coupled to a TCI cryoprobe and processed using Bayesil (University of Alberta, Canada). A Waters TQ-S coupled with an Acquity I-class UPLC was used in combination with a targeted commercially available kit (AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit, Biocrates). Mass spectra obtained were processed with MetIDQ and verified using MassLynx (v4.1). Data were tested for normality, and metabolite concentrations were correlated with recorded dietary intake of each food type using SPSS. Additional tests (PCA, PLS-DA, ROC Curves) were performed on MetaboAnalyst 4.0 (University of Alberta, Canada). More than 50 statistically significant (P < 0.05) food-metabolite correlations were detected, 15 of which remained significant after eliminating potential confounding from sex, age and BMI. The strongest correlations were between fruit consumption and acetic acid, and between dairy consumption and certain glycerophospholipids (e.g. LysoPC aa C20:3). Stratifying the cohort by gender yielded further correlations, including PC ae C38:2 (dairy; males), PC aa C34:4 (dairy; females), PC aa C36:4 (dairy; females) and trans-4-Hydroxyproline (meat; males). A number of potential blood-based food biomarkers were detected, many of which are gender-specific, and some are corroborated by previously published studies. However, further validation work is required. For example, biological plausibility needs to be established, and the findings need to be reproduced in other cohorts to demonstrate their applicability in larger and more diverse populations. These results contribute greatly to the ongoing efforts to discover and validate reliable nutritional biomarkers as an objective and unbiased measurement of food intake.
The South Caucasus occupies the divide between ancient Mesopotamia and prehistoric Europe, and was thus crucial in the development of Old World societies. Chronologies for the region, however, have lacked the definition achieved in surrounding areas. Concentrating on the Tsaghkahovit Plain of north-western Armenia, Project ArAGATS's multi-site radiocarbon dataset has now produced Bayesian modelling, which provides tight chronometric support for tracing the transmission of technology, population movement and social developments that shaped the Eurasian Bronze and Iron Ages.
In response to increased international collaboration in archaeological research of the South Caucases, a recent workshop has addressed important issues in applying GIS to the study of heavily modified landscapes in the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
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.
Catechesis formed a key element in the strenuous campaigns of both Protestant and Catholic clergy to raise levels of religious knowledge and spiritual awareness among their charges in early modern Europe. But compared to many of the methods of teaching and inspiring the less educated that were then tried, catechesis tended at first to be pursued with caution: the need for simplicity and brevity, for example, meant that the Bible was usually deployed in a traditional way, and in pursuit of a limited number of ends. From the later sixteenth century, however, there was a greater emphasis on the use of Scripture proofs, and increased interaction between catechising and other modes of religious instruction involving the Bible, so that in many countries by the end of the early modern period a much wider range of catechumens were being encouraged to develop a closer acquaintance with the Bible. In this chapter, a brief survey of the development of catechesis will be followed by a survey of what Catholic and Protestant catechists had in common and what separated them in their attitudes to the Bible.
The Greek verb katechizo means literally to make hear, hence to instruct, and in the New Testament it is used to signify instruction ‘in the way of the Lord’, the Law, or the Word (Luke 1:4; Acts 18:25; Rom. 2:18; Gal. 6:6). The forms of instruction given during the patristic and early medieval periods to adult katechumenoi to prepare them for baptism and communion concentrated on teaching strict adherence to the will of God through abstention from vices such as idolatry and the pursuit of virtues such as charity; but in succeeding centuries catechising gradually shifted towards a more general instruction for adolescents and adults. From the eighth century at least, parents and godparents were expected to be able to recite the Our Father and the Apostles’ Creed, and by the late Middle Ages, as a result of oral catechesis from the pulpit, penitents at their annual confession were also expected to be familiar with the Ten Commandments and the seven sacraments, works of mercy, virtues and deadly sins.
We sought to conduct a major objective of the CAEP Academic Section, an environmental scan of the academic emergency medicine programs across the 17 Canadian medical schools.
We developed an 84-question questionnaire, which was distributed to academic heads. The responses were validated by phone by the lead author to ensure that the questions were answered completely and consistently. Details of pediatric emergency medicine units were excluded from the scan.
At eight of 17 universities, emergency medicine has full departmental status and at two it has no official academic status. Canadian academic emergency medicine is practiced at 46 major teaching hospitals and 13 specialized pediatric hospitals. Another 69 Canadian hospital EDs regularly take clinical clerks and emergency medicine residents. There are 31 full professors of emergency medicine in Canada. Teaching programs are strong with clerkships offered at 16/17 universities, CCFP(EM) programs at 17/17, and RCPSC residency programs at 14/17. Fourteen sites have at least one physician with a Master’s degree in education. There are 55 clinical researchers with salary support at 13 universities. Sixteen sites have published peer-reviewed papers in the past five years, ranging from four to 235 per site. Annual budgets range from $200,000 to $5,900,000.
This comprehensive review of academic activities in emergency medicine across Canada identifies areas of strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. CAEP and the Academic Section hope we can ultimately improve ED patient care by sharing best academic practices and becoming better teachers, educators, and researchers.
We sought to gather a comprehensive list of funding strategies and opportunities for emergency medicine (EM) centres across Canada, and make recommendations on how to successfully fund all levels of research activity, including research projects, staff salaries, infrastructure, and researcher stipends.
We formed an expert panel consisting of volunteers recognized nationally for their scholarly work in EM. First, we conducted interviews with academic leaders and researchers to obtain a description of their local funding strategies using a standardized open-ended questionnaire. Panelists then identified emerging funding models. Second, we listed funding opportunities and initiatives at the provincial, national, and international levels. Finally, we used an iterative consensus-based approach to derive pragmatic recommendations after incorporating comments and suggestions from participants at an academic symposium.
Our review of funding strategies identified four funding models: 1) investigator dependent model, 2) practice plan, 3) generous benefactor, and 4) mixed funding. Recommendations in this document include approaches for research contributors and producers (seven recommendations), for local academic leaders (five recommendations), and for national organizations, such as the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) (three recommendations).
Funding for research in EM varies across Canada and is largely insecure. We offer recommendations to help facilitate funding for large and small projects, for salary support, and for local and national leaders to advance EM research. We believe that these recommendations will increase funding for all levels of EM research activity, including research projects, staff salaries, infrastructure, and researcher stipends.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease for which there are no disease-modifying drugs. It is a leading cause of disability in the UK. Increasing age and obesity are both major risk factors for OA and the health and economic burden of this disease will increase in the future. Focusing on compounds from the habitual diet that may prevent the onset or slow the progression of OA is a strategy that has been under-investigated to date. An approach that relies on dietary modification is clearly attractive in terms of risk/benefit and more likely to be implementable at the population level. However, before undertaking a full clinical trial to examine potential efficacy, detailed molecular studies are required in order to optimise the design. This review focuses on potential dietary factors that may reduce the risk or progression of OA, including micronutrients, fatty acids, flavonoids and other phytochemicals. It therefore ignores data coming from classical inflammatory arthritides and nutraceuticals such as glucosamine and chondroitin. In conclusion, diet offers a route by which the health of the joint can be protected and OA incidence or progression decreased. In a chronic disease, with risk factors increasing in the population and with no pharmaceutical cure, an understanding of this will be crucial.
MarcoPolo-R is a sample return mission to a primitive Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) selected in February 2011 for the Assessment Study Phase at ESA in the framework of ESAfs Cosmic Vision 2 program. MarcoPolo-R is a European-led mission with a proposed NASA contribution. MarcoPolo-R takes advantage of three industrial studies completed as part of the previous Marco Polo mission (see ESA/SRE (2009)3). The aim of the new Assessment Study is to reduce the cost of the mission while maintaining its high science level, on the basis of advanced studies and technologies, as well as optimization of the mission. MarcoPolo-R will rendezvous with a unique kind of target, a primitive binary NEA, scientifically characterize it at multiple scales, and return a unique pristine sample to Earth unaltered by the atmospheric entry process or terrestrial weathering. The baseline target of MarcoPolo-R is the primitive binary NEA (175706) 1996 FG3, which offers a very efficient operational and technical mission profile. A binary target also provides enhanced science return: the choice of this target will allow new investigations to be performed more easily compared to a single object, and also enables investigations of the fascinating geology and geophysics of asteroids that are impossible to obtain from a single object. Precise measurements of the mutual orbit and rotation state of both components can be used to probe higher-level harmonics of the gravitational potential, and therefore the internal structure. A unique opportunity is offered to study the dynamical evolution driven by the YORP/Yarkovsky thermal effects. Possible migration of regolith on the primary from poles to equator allows the increasing maturity of asteroidal regolith with time to be expressed as a latitude-dependent trend, with the most-weathered material at the equator matching what is seen in the secondary. MarcoPolo-R will allow us to study the most primitive materials available to investigate early solar system formation processes. Moreover, MarcoPolo-R will provide a sample from a known target with known geological context. Direct investigation of both the regolith and fresh interior fragments is also impossible by any means other than sample return. The main goal of the MarcoPolo-R mission is to return unaltered NEA material for detailed analysis in ground-based laboratories. The limited sampling provided by meteorites does not offer the most primitive material available in near-Earth space. More primitive material, having experienced less alteration on the asteroid, will be more friable and would not survive atmospheric entry in any discernible amount. Only in the laboratory can instruments with the necessary precision and sensitivity be applied to individual components of the complex mixture of materials that forms an asteroid regolith, to determine their precise chemical and isotopic composition. Such measurements are vital for revealing the evidence of stellar, interstellar medium, pre-solar nebula and parent body processes that are retained in primitive asteroidal material, unaltered by atmospheric entry or terrestrial contamination. It is no surprise therefore that sample return missions are considered a priority by a number of the leading space agencies.
A single nucleotide polymorphism rs12807809 located upstream of the neurogranin (NRGN) gene has been identified as a risk variant for schizophrenia in recent genome-wide association studies. To date, there has been little investigation of the endophenotypic consequences of this variant, and our own investigations have suggested that the effects of this gene are not apparent at the level of cognitive function in patients or controls. Because the impact of risk variants may be more apparent at the level of brain, the aim of this investigation was to delineate whether NRGN genotype predicted variability in brain structure and/or function. Healthy individuals participated in structural (N = 140) and/or functional (N = 36) magnetic resonance imaging (s/fMRI). Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare gray and white matter volumes between carriers of the non-risk C allele (i.e., CC/CT) and those who were homozygous for the risk T allele. Functional imaging data were acquired during the performance of a spatial working memory task, and were also analyzed with respect to the difference between C carriers and T homozygotes. There was no effect of the NRGN variant rs12807809 on behavioral performance or brain structure. However, there was a main effect of genotype on brain activity during performance of the working memory task, such that while C carriers exhibited a load-independent decrease in left superior frontal gyrus/BA10, TT individuals failed to show a similar decrease in activity. The failure to disengage this ventromedial prefrontal region, despite preserved performance, may be indicative of a reduction in processing efficiency in healthy TT carriers. Although it remains to be established whether this holds true in larger samples and in patient cohorts, if valid, this suggests a potential mechanism by which NRGN variability might contribute to schizophrenia risk.
In the article by Crabtree et al., published in Transactions IAU, Volume XXVIIIA there was an error in the list of authors. Pedro Russo was not included in the list of authors on the organizing committee. The editors apologise to Pedro Russo for this error. The correct authorship is published below:
PRESIDENT: Dennis R. Crabtree
VICE-PRESIDENT: Lars Lindberg Christensen
PAST PRESIDENT: Ian Robson
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Oscar Alvarez Pomare, Augusto Damineli Neto, Richard T. Fienberg, Anne Green, Ajit K. Kembhavi, Pedro Russo, Kazuhiro Sekiguchi, Patricia Ann Whitelock, Jin Zhu
Commission 55 was approved at the IAU General Assembly in Prague following the great success of the Communicating Astronomy Working Group, which had been set up in 2003. It resides within Division XII and the mission statement of the Working Group has been incorporated into the Commission:
• To encourage and enable a much larger fraction of the astronomical community to take an active role in explaining what we do (and why) to our fellow citizens.
• To act as an international, impartial coordinating entity that furthers the recognition of outreach and public communication on all levels in astronomy.
• To encourage international collaborations on outreach and public communication.
• To endorse standards, best practices and requirements for public communication.
Since its formation at the XXVI General Assembly in Prague in 2006, amazing progress has been made by Commission 55, all due to the work of the key activists and enthusiasts. The web-page for the Commission contains a wealth of information and is one of the key foundations and tools for the Commission. The web address is http://www.communicatingastronomy.org
There is no consensus on the optimal management of recent-onset episodes of atrial fibrillation or flutter. The approach to these conditions is particularly relevant in the current era of emergency department (ED) overcrowding. We sought to examine the effectiveness and safety of the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol to perform rapid cardioversion and discharge patients with these arrhythmias.
This cohort study enrolled consecutive patient visits to an adult university hospital ED for recent-onset atrial fibrillation or flutter managed with the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol. The protocol includes intravenous chemical cardioversion, electrical cardioversion if necessary and discharge home from the ED.
A total of 660 patient visits were included, 95.2% involving atrial fibrillation and 4.9% involving atrial flutter. The mean age of patients enrolled was 64.5 years. In total, 96.8% were discharged home and, of those, 93.3% were in sinus rhythm. All patients were initially administered intravenous procaïnamide, with a 58.3% conversion rate. A total of 243 patients underwent subsequent electrical cardioversion with a 91.7% success rate. Adverse events occurred in 7.6% of cases: hypotension 6.7%, bradycardia 0.3% and 7-day relapse 8.6%. There were no cases of torsades de pointes, stroke or death. The median lengths of stay in the ED were as follows: 4.9 hours overall, 3.9 hours for those undergoing conversion with procaïnamide and 6.5 hours for those requiring electrical conversion.
This is the largest study to date to evaluate the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol, a unique approach to cardioversion for ED patients with recent-onset episodes of atrial fibrillation and flutter. Our data demonstrate that the Ottawa Aggressive Protocol is effective, safe and rapid, and has the potential to significantly reduce hospital admissions and expedite ED care.