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Quantitative plant biology is an interdisciplinary field that builds on a long history of biomathematics and biophysics. Today, thanks to high spatiotemporal resolution tools and computational modelling, it sets a new standard in plant science. Acquired data, whether molecular, geometric or mechanical, are quantified, statistically assessed and integrated at multiple scales and across fields. They feed testable predictions that, in turn, guide further experimental tests. Quantitative features such as variability, noise, robustness, delays or feedback loops are included to account for the inner dynamics of plants and their interactions with the environment. Here, we present the main features of this ongoing revolution, through new questions around signalling networks, tissue topology, shape plasticity, biomechanics, bioenergetics, ecology and engineering. In the end, quantitative plant biology allows us to question and better understand our interactions with plants. In turn, this field opens the door to transdisciplinary projects with the society, notably through citizen science.
Childhood trauma is associated with an elevated risk for psychosis, but the psychological mechanisms involved remain largely unclear. This study aimed to investigate emotional and psychotic stress reactivity in daily life as a putative mechanism linking childhood trauma and clinical outcomes in individuals at ultra-high-risk (UHR) for psychosis.
Experience sampling methodology was used to measure momentary stress, affect and psychotic experiences in the daily life of N = 79 UHR individuals in the EU-GEI High Risk Study. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was used to assess self-reported childhood trauma. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, 1- and 2-year follow-up.
The association of stress with positive (β = −0.14, p = 0.010) and negative affect (β = 0.11, p = 0.020) was modified by transition status such that stress reactivity was greater in individuals who transitioned to psychosis. Moreover, the association of stress with negative affect (β = 0.06, p = 0.019) and psychotic experiences (β = 0.05, p = 0.037) was greater in individuals exposed to high v. low levels of childhood trauma. We also found evidence that decreased positive affect in response to stress was associated with reduced functioning at 1-year follow-up (B = 6.29, p = 0.034). In addition, there was evidence that the association of childhood trauma with poor functional outcomes was mediated by stress reactivity (e.g. indirect effect: B = −2.13, p = 0.026), but no evidence that stress reactivity mediated the association between childhood trauma and transition (e.g. indirect effect: B = 0.14, p = 0.506).
Emotional and psychotic stress reactivity may be potential mechanisms linking childhood trauma with clinical outcomes in UHR individuals.
In support of the ICRF experiments planned on the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, i.e. fast ion generation, wall conditioning, target plasma production and heating, a first experimental study on plasma production has been made in the Uragan-2M (U-2M) stellarator using W7-X-like two-strap antenna. In all the experiments, antenna monopole phasing was used. The W7-X-like antenna operation with launched radiofrequency power of ~100 kW have been performed in helium (p = (4–14) × 10−2 Pa) with the vacuum vessel walls pre-loaded with hydrogen. Production of plasma with a density higher than 1012 cm−3 was observed near the first harmonic of the hydrogen cyclotron frequency. Operation at first hydrogen harmonic is feasible in W7-X future ICRF experiments.
Étudier la qualité de vie liée à la santé (QVS) et ses déterminants chez des adolescents consultant pour syndrome de Gilles de la Tourette (SGT).
Après hétéro-évaluation par la YGTSS et la CY-BOCS, la QVS des adolescents était mesurée à l’aide de 3 questionnaires d’autoévaluation (SF-36, VSP-A, CHAQ). Des contrôles appariés sur l’âge et le sexe ont rempli les mêmes questionnaires. Les parents des patients et des contrôles ont renseigné les questionnaires sociodémographique et médical, la CBCL et deux hétéroévaluations de la QVS des adolescents (VSP P et CHAQ parents). Tous les participants avaient donné leur consentement éclairé.
Pour les 75 adolescents (14,8 ans, DS = 1,8 ; 80 % de garçons) inclus, le score YGTSS moyen était de 33,9 (DS = 20). Pour la CBCL, le score total, les scores symptômes internalisés et symptômes externalisés étaient limites/pathologiques pour 39,4 %, 52,1 % et 33,3 % des adolescents respectivement. La QVS des adolescents SGT était significativement altérée comparée aux contrôles pour toutes les dimensions de la SF-36, pour les dimensions vitalité, relations avec les pairs et loisirs de la VSP A et pour le score total de la CHAQ. On retrouvait des corrélations négatives significatives entre les scores Tics moteurs et sévérité globale de la YGTSS et les dimensions psychologiques et sociales du SF-36, une corrélation positive entre le score Tics vocaux de la YGTSS et le score total à la CHAQ. Les adolescents avec des scores CBCL total et symptômes internalisés limites/pathologiques avaient des scores significativement plus bas sur plusieurs dimensions de QVS.
Les dimensions physiques, psychologiques et sociales de la QVS sont altérées chez les adolescents SGT. La sévérité des tics, les difficultés émotionnelles et comportementales ont un impact négatif sensible sur les dimensions physiques, psychologiques et sociales de la QVS chez les adolescents SGT.
Pharmacogenetics in schizophrenia comprises pharmacokinetical and pharmacodynamical aspects as well as an approach to identify candidate genes associated with therapy response or side effects. Firstly focussing on classical drug targets like dopaminergic or serotonergic receptors, currently also developmental and regulatory genes presumably associated with effects of antipsychotic therapy are identified. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between therapy response in schizophrenic patients and different polymorphisms previously been identified within a genome wide array in rodents treated with MK-801 and/or haloperidol combined with some well-known schizophrenia candidate genes. We genotyped for 200 different polymorphisms in 285 schizophrenic patients, who were treated with different antipsychotics within randomized controlled trials. Psychopathology was measured weekly using the PANSS scale. Correlations between psychopathology and genotypes were calculated by using a linear model (ANCOVA).
We found significant associations between some well-known candidate genes (e.g. D2-, 5HT1A-, and α1A-receptors) and different PANSS subscales at baseline and after four weeks of antipsychotic treatment considered as therapy response. Furthermore we also identified several significant associations between some genes introduced from the animal model and psychopathology at baseline and towards therapy response. Some of them were formerly described in the literature (e.g. Homer1, Phospholipase C and Transthyretin), but most of them have not been related to schizophrenia or antipsychotic treatment by now (e.g. PLEKHA6, CLIC6 and SOSTDC1).
This indicates an involvement of genes in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia apart from yet known candidate genes and might further help in detecting differential therapy response in individuals with schizophrenia.
Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) competencies are increasingly important in emergency medicine (EM) and are now included in the CanMEDS framework. We conducted a survey aimed at determining the Canadian EM residents’ perspectives on the level of QIPS education and support available to them.
An electronic survey was distributed to all Canadian EM residents from the Royal College and Family Medicine training streams. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, Likert, and free-text entry questions aimed at understanding familiarity with QIPS, local opportunities for QIPS projects and mentorship, and the desire for further QIPS education and involvement.
Of 535 EM residents, 189 (35.3%) completed the survey, representing all 17 medical schools; 77.2% of respondents were from the Royal College stream; 17.5% of respondents reported that QIPS methodologies were formally taught in their residency program; 54.7% of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” familiar with QIPS; 47.2% and 51.5% of respondents reported either “not knowing” or “not having readily available” opportunities for QIPS projects and QIPS mentorship, respectively; 66.9% of respondents indicated a desire for increased QIPS teaching; and 70.4% were interested in becoming involved with QIPS training and initiatives.
Many Canadian EM residents perceive a lack of QIPS educational opportunities and support in their local setting. They are interested in receiving more QIPS education, as well as project and mentorship opportunities. Supporting residents with a robust QIPS educational and mentorship framework may build a cohort of providers who can enhance the local delivery of care.
The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) selection process has come under scrutiny due to the increasing number of unmatched medical graduates. In response, we outline our residency program's selection process including how we have incorporated best practices and novel techniques.
We selected file reviewers and interviewers to mitigate gender bias and increase diversity. Four residents and two attending physicians rated each file using a standardized, cloud-based file review template to allow simultaneous rating. We interviewed applicants using four standardized stations with two or three interviewers per station. We used heat maps to review rating discrepancies and eliminated rating variance using Z-scores. The number of person-hours that we required to conduct our selection process was quantified and the process outcomes were described statistically and graphically.
We received between 75 and 90 CaRMS applications during each application cycle between 2017 and 2019. Our overall process required 320 person-hours annually, excluding attendance at the social events and administrative assistant duties. Our preliminary interview and rank lists were developed using weighted Z-scores and modified through an organized discussion informed by heat mapped data. The difference between the Z-scores of applicants surrounding the interview invitation threshold was 0.18-0.3 standard deviations. Interview performance significantly impacted the final rank list.
We describe a rigorous resident selection process for our emergency medicine training program which incorporated simultaneous cloud-based rating, Z-scores, and heat maps. This standardized approach could inform other programs looking to adopt a rigorous selection process while providing applicants guidance and reassurance of a fair assessment.
Introduction: When presenting to the Emergency Department (ED), the care of elderly patients residing in Long Term Care (LTC) can be complicated by threats to patient safety created by ineffective transitions of care. Though standardized inpatient handover tools exist, there has yet to be a universal tool adopted for transfers to the ED. In this study, we surveyed relevant stakeholders and identified what information is essential in the transitions of care for this vulnerable population. Methods: We performed a descriptive, cross sectional electronic survey that was distributed to physicians and nurses in ED and LTC settings, paramedics, and patient advocates in two Canadian cities. The survey was kept open for a one month period with weekly formal reminders sent. Questions were generated after performing a literature review which sought to assess the current landscape of transitional care in this population. These were either multiple choice or free text entry questions aimed at identifying what information is essential in transitional periods. Results: A total of 191 health care providers (HCP) and 22 patient advocates (PA) responded to the survey. Within the HCPs, 38% were paramedics, 38% worked in the ED, and 24% were in LTC. In this group, only 41% of respondents were aware of existing handover protocols. Of the proposed informational items in transitional care, 100% of the respondents within both groups indicated that items including reason for transfer and advanced care directives were essential. Other areas identified as necessary were past medical history and baseline functional status. Furthermore, the majority of PAs identified that items such as primary language, bowel and bladder incontinence and spiritual beliefs should be included. Conclusion: This survey demonstrated that there is a need for an improved handover culture to be established when caring for LTC patients in the ED. Education needs to be provided surrounding existing protocols to ensure that health care providers are aware of their existence. Furthermore, we identified what information is essential to transitional care of these patients according to HCPs and PAs. These findings will be used to generate a simple, one page handover form. The next iteration of this project will pilot this handover form in an attempt to create safer transitions to the ED in this at-risk population.
Introduction: Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) are increasingly recognized as integral to the provision and advancement of emergency medicine (EM) care. In 2015, QIPS were added to the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) framework. However, the level of QIPS education and support that Canadian EM residents receive is unknown. In order to better plan national QIPS efforts aimed at enabling EM residents to improve their local care settings, we sought to assess the current state of QIPS education and support in Canadian EM residency programs. Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional electronic survey that was disseminated to all current Canadian EM residents from both Royal College (RC) and Family Medicine - EM training streams. Residents were recruited either directly or through their program's administrative assistant. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, Likert and free-text entry questions. Themes included a) familiarity with QIPS; b) local opportunities for QIPS projects and mentorship; and c) desire for further QIPS education and involvement. The survey was open for a five-week period, with formal reminders after the first and third weeks. Descriptive statistics are reported. Results: 189 (35%) of 535 current EM residents completed the survey, representing all 17 medical schools. 77% of respondents were from the RC stream. 54.7% of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” familiar with QIPS. 47.2% of respondents reported “not knowing” or “not having readily available” QIPS projects to participate in their local environment, and 51.5% had equivalent responses with respect to QIPS mentorship opportunities. Only 17.5% of respondents reported that QIPS methodologies were already formally taught in their residency program, and 66.9% indicated a desire for increased QIPS teaching. The majority of respondents were “slightly” (35.9%), “moderately” (23.2%) or “very” (11.3%) interested in becoming involved with QIPS training and initiatives. Conclusion: Responding Canadian EM residents are interested in obtaining greater QIPS education as well as project and mentorship opportunities, but many perceive that they do not have adequate access to these at the current time. As the importance of QIPS increases in the EM community, supporting residents with more robust educational infrastructures may be necessary. Future efforts may include the standardizing of QIPS postgraduate curricula and improving access to QIPS opportunities across the country.
The objective of this study is to evaluate if use of a patient decision aid (PDA), when choosing between a repeat cesarean or a trial of labor after a cesarean (TOLAC), reduces medical liability exposure. The authors conclude that use of a PDA conferred liability protection when potential jurors were presented with a hypothetical malpractice claim against an obstetrician following a TOLAC.
Applying sufficient tensile strain to Ge leads to a direct bandgap group IV semiconductor, which emits in the mid-infrared (MIR) wavelength range. However, highly strained-Ge cannot be directly grown on Si because of its large lattice mismatch. In this work, we have developed a process based on Ge micro-bridge strain redistribution intentionally landed to the Si substrate. Traction arms were then partially etched to keep locally strained-Ge micro-blocks. Large tunable uniaxial stresses up to 4.2% strain were demonstrated in Ge, which was bonded on Si. Our approach allows envisioning integrated strained-Ge on Si platform for MIR-integrated optics. Silicon photonics merge optical and electronic components that can be integrated together onto a single microchip.
Cannabis use shows a robust dose-dependent relationship with psychosis risk among the general population. Despite this, it has been difficult to link cannabis use with risk for transitioning to a psychotic disorder among individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study examined UHR transition risk as a function of cannabis use characteristics which vary substantially between individuals including age of first use, cannabis abuse severity and a history of cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS).
Participants were 190 UHR individuals (76 males) recruited at entry to treatment between 2000 and 2006. They completed a comprehensive baseline assessment including a survey of cannabis use characteristics during the period of heaviest use. Outcome was transition to a psychotic disorder, with mean time to follow-up of 5.0 years (range 2.4–8.7 years).
A history of cannabis abuse was reported in 58% of the sample. Of these, 26% reported a history of cannabis-induced APS. These individuals were 4.90 (95% confidence interval 1.93–12.44) times more likely to transition to a psychotic disorder (p = 0.001). Greater severity of cannabis abuse also predicted transition to psychosis (p = 0.036). However, this effect was mediated by higher abuse severity among individuals with a history of cannabis-induced APS.
Findings suggest that cannabis use poses risk in a subpopulation of UHR individuals who manifest cannabis-induced APS. Whether this reflects underlying genetic vulnerability requires further study. Nevertheless, findings reveal an important early marker of risk with potentially significant prognostic utility for UHR individuals.
Interventions based on the experience sampling method (ESM) are ideally suited to provide insight into personal, contextualized affective patterns in the flow of daily life. Recently, we showed that an ESM-intervention focusing on positive affect was associated with a decrease in symptoms in patients with depression. The aim of the present study was to examine whether ESM-intervention increased patient empowerment.
Depressed out-patients (n = 102) receiving psychopharmacological treatment who had participated in a randomized controlled trial with three arms: (i) an experimental group receiving six weeks of ESM self-monitoring combined with weekly feedback sessions, (ii) a pseudo-experimental group participating in six weeks of ESM self-monitoring without feedback, and (iii) a control group (treatment as usual only). Patients were recruited in the Netherlands between January 2010 and February 2012. Self-report empowerment scores were obtained pre- and post-intervention.
There was an effect of group × assessment period, indicating that the experimental (B = 7.26, P = 0.061, d = 0.44, statistically imprecise) and pseudo-experimental group (B = 11.19, P = 0.003, d = 0.76) increased more in reported empowerment compared to the control group. In the pseudo-experimental group, 29% of the participants showed a statistically reliable increase in empowerment score and 0% reliable decrease compared to 17% reliable increase and 21% reliable decrease in the control group. The experimental group showed 19% reliable increase and 4% reliable decrease.
These findings tentatively suggest that self-monitoring to complement standard antidepressant treatment may increase patients’ feelings of empowerment. Further research is necessary to investigate long-term empowering effects of self-monitoring in combination with person-tailored feedback.