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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 one 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 1 August to 8 December 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1,435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1,670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3,500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11 per day). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of one 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.
Goosegrass control options in bermudagrass are limited. Topramezone is one option that offers excellent control of mature goosegrass, but application to bermudagrass results in unacceptable symptoms of bleaching and necrosis typical of hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase inhibitors. Previous research has shown that adding chelated iron reduced the phytotoxicity of topramezone without reducing the efficacy of the herbicide, resulting in safening when applied to bermudagrass. Our objective was to examine additional iron sources to determine whether similar safening effects occur with other sources. Field trials were conducted in the summers of 2016 to 2018 (Auburn University). Mixtures of topramezone and methylated seed oil were combined with six different commercial iron sources, including sodium ferric ethylenediamine di-o-hydroxyphenyl-acetate (FeEDDHA), ferrous diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (FeDTPA), iron citrate, FeSO4, and a combination of iron oxide/sucrate/sulfate, some of which contained nitrogen. Bermudagrass necrosis and bleaching symptoms were visually rated on a 0% to 100% scale. Reflectance (normalized difference vegetation index) and clipping yield measurements were also collected. Application of FeDTPA and FeSO4 reduced symptoms of bleaching and necrosis when applied with topramezone. Other treatments that contained nitrogen did not reduce injury but did reduce bermudagrass recovery time following the appearance of necrosis. Inclusion of small amounts of nitrogen often negated the safening effects of FeSO4. The iron oxide/sucrate/sulfate product had no effect on bleaching or necrosis. Data suggest that the iron source had a differential effect on bleaching and necrosis reduction when applied in combination with topramezone to bermudagrass. Overall, FeSO4 and FeDTPA safened topramezone the most on bermudagrass.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons causing muscle atrophy and weakness. Nusinersen, the first effective SMA therapy was approved by Health Canada in June 2017 and has been added to the provincial formulary of all but one Canadian province. Access to this effective therapy has triggered the inclusion of SMA in an increasing number of Newborn Screening (NBS) programs. However, the range of disease-modifying SMN2 gene copy numbers encountered in survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1)-null individuals means that neither screen-positive definition nor resulting treatment decisions can be determined by SMN1 genotype alone. We outline an approach to this challenge, one that specifically addresses the case of SMA newborns with four copies of SMN2.
To develop a standardized post-referral evaluation pathway for babies with a positive SMA NBS screen result.
An SMA NBS pilot trial in Ontario using first-tier MassARRAY and second-tier multi-ligand probe amplification (MLPA) was launched in January 2020. Prior to this, Ontario pediatric neuromuscular disease and NBS experts met to review the evidence regarding the diagnosis and treatment of children with SMA as it pertained to NBS. A post-referral evaluation algorithm was developed, outlining timelines for patient retrieval and management.
Ontario’s pilot NBS program has created a standardized path to facilitate early diagnosis of SMA and initiation of treatment. The goal is to provide timely access to those SMA infants in need of therapy to optimize motor function and prolong survival.
POST goosegrass and other grassy weed control in bermudagrass is problematic. Fewer herbicides that can control goosegrass are available due to regulatory pressure and herbicide resistance. Alternative herbicide options that offer effective control are needed. Previous research demonstrates that topramezone controls goosegrass, crabgrass, and other weed species; however, injury to bermudagrass may be unacceptable. The objective of this research was to evaluate the safening potential of topramezone combinations with different additives on bermudagrass. Field trials were conducted at Auburn University during summer and fall from 2015 to 2018 and 2017 to 2018, respectively. Treatments included topramezone mixtures and methylated seed oil applied in combination with five different additives: triclopyr, green turf pigment, green turf paint, ammonium sulfate, and chelated iron. Bermudagrass bleaching and necrosis symptoms were visually rated. Normalized-difference vegetative index measurements and clipping yield data were also collected. Topramezone plus chelated iron, as well as topramezone plus triclopyr, reduced bleaching potential the best; however, the combination of topramezone plus triclopyr resulted in necrosis that outweighed reductions in bleaching. Masking agents such as green turf paint and green turf pigment were ineffective in reducing injury when applied with topramezone. The combination of topramezone plus ammonium sulfate should be avoided because of the high level of necrosis. Topramezone-associated bleaching symptoms were transient and lasted 7 to 14 d on average. Findings from this research suggest that chelated iron added to topramezone and methylated seed oil mixtures acted as a safener on bermudagrass.
Five marsupial species are recognized from the Brule Formation at two localities in southwestern North Dakota: Fitterer Ranch and Obritsch Ranch (middle Oligocene; Whitneyan North American Land Mammal Age [NALMA]). The herpetotheriids Herpetotherium fugax Cope, 1873a, Copedelphys superstes new species, and the peradectid Nanodelphys hunti (Cope, 1873b) are represented at both localities. A fourth species is H. sp., cf. H. merriami (Stock and Furlong, 1922), represented by a single specimen from Fitterer Ranch, being limited elsewhere to the later Arikareean NALMA. A fifth species is represented by two isolated lower cheek teeth, interpreted as m1s, from Fitterer Ranch that are unique in lacking a trigonid (only two cusps present) while having a well-developed talonid. These specimens are referred to an indeterminate herpetotheriine species. The new species of Copedelphys is distinct from other species of the genus in that the anterior two lower molars are enlarged relative to the posterior molars. Overall, this new species is more similar in proportions to the latest Eocene (Chadronian) C. titanelix (Matthew, 1903) than the Oligocene (Orellan and Whitneyan) C. stevensoni (Cope, 1873b). This study adds a third and fourth Whitneyan marsupial fauna from the Great Plains region of North America, increases the known diversity of Whitneyan marsupials, and provides further evidence that marsupial diversity during the late Paleogene in North America was relatively stable until the late early Arikareean NALMA.
The number of older people choosing to relocate to retirement villages (RVs) is increasing rapidly. This choice is often a way to decrease social isolation while still living independently. Loneliness is a significant health issue and contributes to overall frailty, yet RV resident loneliness is poorly understood. Our aim is to describe the prevalence of loneliness and associated factors in a New Zealand RV population.
A resident survey was used to collect demographics, social engagement, loneliness, and function, as well as a comprehensive geriatric assessment (international Resident Assessment Instrument [interRAI]) as part of the “Older People in Retirement Villages Study.”
RVs, Auckland, New Zealand.
Participants included RV residents living in 33 RVs (n = 578).
Two types of recruitment: randomly sampled cohort (n = 217) and volunteer sample (n = 361). Independently associated factors for loneliness were determined through multiple logistic regression with odds ratios (ORs).
Of the participants, 420 (72.7%) were female, 353 (61.1%) lived alone, with the mean age of 81.3 years. InterRAI assessment loneliness (yes/no question) was 25.8% (n = 149), and the resident survey found that 37.4% (n = 216) feel lonely sometimes/often/always. Factors independently associated with interRAI loneliness included being widowed (adjusted OR 8.27; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.15–16.48), being divorced/separated/never married (OR 4.76; 95% CI 2.15–10.54), poor/fair quality of life (OR 3.37; 95% CI 1.43–7.94), moving to an RV to gain more social connections (OR 1.55; 95% CI 0.99–2.43), and depression risk (medium risk: OR 2.58, 95% CI 1.53–4.35; high risk: OR 4.20, 95% CI 1.47–11.95).
A considerable proportion of older people living in RVs reported feelings of loneliness, particularly those who were without partners, at risk of depression and decreased quality of life and those who had moved into RVs to increase social connections. Early identification of factors for loneliness in RV residents could support interventions to improve quality of life and positively impact RV resident health and well-being.
Chills and vomiting have traditionally been associated with severe bacterial infections and bacteremia. However, few modern studies have in a prospective way evaluated the association of these signs with bacteremia, which is the aim of this prospective, multicenter study. Patients presenting to the emergency department with at least one affected vital sign (increased respiratory rate, increased heart rate, altered mental status, decreased blood pressure or decreased oxygen saturation) were included. A total of 479 patients were prospectively enrolled. Blood cultures were obtained from 197 patients. Of the 32 patients with a positive blood culture 11 patients (34%) had experienced shaking chills compared with 23 (14%) of the 165 patients with a negative blood culture, P = 0.009. A logistic regression was fitted to show the estimated odds ratio (OR) for a positive blood culture according to shaking chills. In a univariate model shaking chills had an OR of 3.23 (95% CI 1.35–7.52) and in a multivariate model the OR was 5.9 (95% CI 2.05–17.17) for those without prior antibiotics adjusted for age, sex, and prior antibiotics. The presence of vomiting was also addressed, but neither a univariate nor a multivariate logistic regression showed any association between vomiting and bacteremia. In conclusion, among patients at the emergency department with at least one affected vital sign, shaking chills but not vomiting were associated with bacteremia.
Resilience is a cross-disciplinary concept that is relevant for understanding the sustainability of the social and environmental conditions in which we live. Most research normatively focuses on building or strengthening resilience, despite growing recognition of the importance of breaking the resilience of, and thus transforming, unsustainable social-ecological systems. Undesirable resilience (cf. lock-ins, social-ecological traps), however, is not only less explored in the academic literature, but its understanding is also more fragmented across different disciplines. This disparity can inhibit collaboration among researchers exploring interdependent challenges in sustainability sciences. In this article, we propose that the term lock-in may contribute to a common understanding of undesirable resilience across scientific fields.
What promised to be a refreshing addition to cumulative cultural evolution, by moving the focus from cultural transmission to technological innovation, falls flat through a lack of thoroughness, explanatory power, and data. A comprehensive theory of cumulative cultural change must carefully integrate all existing evidence in a cohesive multi-level account. We argue that the manuscript fails to do so convincingly.
This article involved a broad search of applied sciences for milestone technologies we deem to be the most significant innovations applied by the North American pork industry, during the past 10 to 12 years. Several innovations shifted the trajectory of improvement or resolved significant production limitations. Each is being integrated into practice, with the exception being gene editing technology, which is undergoing the federal approval process. Advances in molecular genomics have been applied to gene editing for control of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and to identify piglet genome contributions from each parent. Post-cervical artificial insemination technology is not novel, but this technology is now used extensively to accelerate the rate of genetic progress. A milestone was achieved with the discovery that dietary essential fatty acids, during lactation, were limiting reproduction. Their provision resulted in a dose-related response for pregnancy, pregnancy maintenance and litter size, especially in maturing sows and ultimately resolved seasonal infertility. The benefit of segregated early weaning (12 to 14 days of age) was realized for specific pathogen removal for genetic nucleus and multiplication. Application was premature for commercial practice, as piglet mortality and morbidity increased. Early weaning impairs intestinal barrier and mucosal innate immune development, which coincides with diminished resilience to pathogens and viability later in life. Two important milestones were achieved to improve precision nutrition for growing pigs. The first involved the updated publication of the National Research Council nutrient requirements for pigs, a collaboration between scientists from America and Canada. Precision nutrition advanced further when ingredient description, for metabolically available amino acids and net energy (by source plant), became a private sector nutrition product. The past decade also led to fortuitous discoveries of health-improving components in ingredients (xylanase, soybeans). Finally, two technologies converged to facilitate timely detection of multiple pathogens in a population: oral fluids sampling and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pathogen analysis. Most critical diseases in North America are now routinely monitored by oral fluid sampling and prepared for analysis using PCR methods.
A new species, Contarinia brassicola Sinclair (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), which induces flower galls on canola (Brassica napus Linnaeus and Brassica rapa Linnaeus (Brassicaceae)), is described from Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Larvae develop in the flowers of canola, which causes swelling and prevents opening, pod formation, and seed set. Mature larvae exit the galls, fall to the soil, and form cocoons. Depending on conditions, larvae will either pupate and eclose in the same calendar year or enter facultative diapause and emerge the following year. At least two generations of C. brassicola occur each year. Adults emerge from overwintering cocoons in the spring and lay eggs on developing canola flower buds. The galls produced by C. brassicola were previously attributed to the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Kieffer) in Saskatchewan; here, we compare and list several characters to differentiate the two species.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibitor herbicide with an alternative mode of action that provides PRE weed control in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] produced in a plasticulture setting in Florida. Plasticulture mulch could decrease fomesafen dissipation and increase crop injury in rotational crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, to investigate fomesafen persistence and movement in soil in Florida strawberry systems for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles. Treatments included fomesafen preplant at 0, 0.42, and 0.84 kg ai ha−1. Soil samples were taken under the plastic from plots treated with fomesafen at 0.42 kg ha−1 throughout the production cycle. Fomesafen did not injure strawberry or decrease yield. Fomesafen concentration data for the 0.0- to 0.1-m soil depth were described using a three-parameter logistic function. The fomesafen 50% dissipation times were 37 and 47 d for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. At the end of the study, fomesafen was last detected in the 0.0- to 0.1-m depth soil at 167 and 194 d after treatment in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. Fomesafen concentration was less than 25 ppb on any sampling date for 0.1- to 0.2-m and 0.2- to 0.3-m depths. Fomesafen concentration decreased significantly after strawberry was transplanted and likely leached during overhead and drip irrigation used during the crop establishment.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
When assessing hepatitis B virus (HBV) status in clinical settings, it is unclear whether self-reports on vaccination history and previous HBV-test results have any diagnostic capacity. Of 3997 participants in a multi-centre HBV-screening study in Paris, France, 1090 were asked questions on their last HBV-test result and vaccination history. Discordance between self-reported history compared with infection status (determined by serology) was calculated for participants claiming ‘negative’, ‘effective vaccine’, ‘past infection’, or ‘chronic infection’ HBV-status. Serological testing revealed that 320 (29.4%) were non-immunised, 576 (52.8%) were vaccinated, 173 (15.9%) had resolved the infection and 21 (1.9%) were hepatitis B surface antigen positive. In total 208/426 (48.8%) participants with a self-reported history of ‘negative’ infection had a discordant serological result, in whom 128 (61.5%) were vaccinated and 74 (35.6%) had resolved infections. A total of 153/599 (25.5%) participants self-reporting ‘effective vaccine’ had a discordant serological result, in whom 100 (65.4%) were non-immunised and 50 (32.7%) were resolved infections. Discordance for declaring ‘past’ or ‘chronic infection’ occurred in 9/55 (16.4%) and 3/10 (30.0%) individuals, respectively. In conclusion, self-reported HBV-status based on participant history is partially inadequate for determining serological HBV-status, especially between negative/vaccinated individuals. More adapted patient education about HBV-status might be helpful for certain key populations.
Background: Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease. In June 2017, Health Canada approved Nusinersen, currently the only available drug for SMA. Since 2016, patients in Ontario have been treated clinically with Nusinersen through different access programs. Methods: Retrospective case series of patients with SMA treated clinically with Nusinersen in Ontario, describing clinical characteristics and logistics of intrathecal Nusinersen administration. Results: Twenty patients have been treated across four centres. To date, we have reviewed 8 cases at one centre (seven SMA Type I, one SMA Type II). Age at first dose ranged from 3-156 months and disease duration 9-166 months. Patients had received 4-7 doses at last evaluation. Three patients with scoliosis (2 with spinal rods) required fluoroscopy-guided radiologist administration, and 4 required general anesthesia. No complications/adverse events were reported. At last follow up, 5/8 families reported improved daily activities. Of 5 patients with baseline and follow up motor function testing, 3 demonstrated improved scores. One patient died due to respiratory decline at age 9 months, despite improved motor outcome scores. Conclusions: We describe the first Canadian post-marketing experience with Nusinersen. Timely dissemination of this information is needed to guide clinicians, hospital administrators, and policy-makers.
Most basic science research has focused on overt stroke caused by blockage of major blood vessels. Less attention has been paid to small vessel disease giving rise to covert stroke that often leads to vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). One reason for this may be the relative lack of relevant animal models. This talk will describe a model of VCI induced in middle-aged Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a diet high in saturated fats, salt and refined sugar (HFSS). In Experiment 1, rats fed HFSS and subjected to a small mediodorsal (MD) thalamic stroke with or without concomitant cerebral hypoperfusion experienced significant executive dysfunction. In Experiment 2, dietary influences on functional, physiological and anatomical parameters were assessed. We found significant hypertension, blockage of brain microvessels (2-photon microscopy) and white matter atrophy in HFSS diet animals. As in Experiment 1, profound, specific set-shifting executive dysfunction was noted following both small MD infarcts (0.332 mm3) and the HFSS diet. In summary, these data describe a middle-aged animal model of VCI that includes clinically-relevant metabolic disturbances and small vessel disease and as such may be helpful in developing new cognitive therapies.
Broadleaf species escape current integrated weed management strategies in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] production. Clopyralid is a registered POST control option, but current application timings provide suppression of only some species. Earlier clopyralid application timings may increase spray coverage to weeds at the planting hole, but strawberry plant tolerance to applications shortly after transplant is unknown. The objectives of the study were to determine the degree of clopyralid tolerance when applied to mature strawberry plants according to current management strategies, whether clopyralid absorption and translocation were involved in the tolerance response demonstrated by mature strawberry plants, and whether clopyralid could be safely applied to immature strawberry plants shortly after transplant. Clopyralid caused no damage when applied to mature strawberry plants and did not affect crop height, number of crowns, flowers, immature berries, or yield. Maximal strawberry absorption of radiolabeled clopyralid was 82% of the recovered radioactivity and reached peak (90%) absorption at 15 h. Maximal total translocation of radioactivity from the treated leaf was 17% and reached peak translocation at 52 h. Translocation was primarily to the new leaves and reproductive structures. In the early-application experiment, damage induced by clopyralid for all application timings reached 0 by 8 wk after treatment. Across all timings, maximal damage at 140 g ha−1 was 17% when applied 14 d after transplant (DATr) and 56% at 28 g ha−1 when applied at 21 DATr. Clopyralid dose did not affect the number of crowns, aboveground biomass, or yield. There was some stunting in plant height (3%) by the high labeled dose of clopyralid. Labeled dose clopyralid applications appear safe for application timings closer to strawberry transplant, though considerations of leaf cupping should be taken under consideration for label changes.