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The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development of decentralized clinical trials (DCT). DCT’s are an important and pragmatic method for assessing health outcomes yet comprise only a minority of clinical trials, and few published methodologies exist. In this report, we detail the operational components of COVID-OUT, a decentralized, multicenter, quadruple-blinded, randomized trial that rapidly delivered study drugs nation-wide. The trial examined three medications (metformin, ivermectin, and fluvoxamine) as outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2 for their effectiveness in preventing severe or long COVID-19. Decentralized strategies included HIPAA-compliant electronic screening and consenting, prepacking investigational product to accelerate delivery after randomization, and remotely confirming participant-reported outcomes. Of the 1417 individuals with the intention-to-treat sample, the remote nature of the study caused an additional 94 participants to not take any doses of study drug. Therefore, 1323 participants were in the modified intention-to-treat sample, which was the a priori primary study sample. Only 1.4% of participants were lost to follow-up. Decentralized strategies facilitated the successful completion of the COVID-OUT trial without any in-person contact by expediting intervention delivery, expanding trial access geographically, limiting contagion exposure, and making it easy for participants to complete follow-up visits. Remotely completed consent and follow-up facilitated enrollment.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has been a leader in weed science research covering topics ranging from the development and use of integrated weed management (IWM) tactics to basic mechanistic studies, including biotic resistance of desirable plant communities and herbicide resistance. ARS weed scientists have worked in agricultural and natural ecosystems, including agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures, forests, wild lands, aquatic habitats, wetlands, and riparian areas. Through strong partnerships with academia, state agencies, private industry, and numerous federal programs, ARS weed scientists have made contributions to discoveries in the newest fields of robotics and genetics, as well as the traditional and fundamental subjects of weed–crop competition and physiology and integration of weed control tactics and practices. Weed science at ARS is often overshadowed by other research topics; thus, few are aware of the long history of ARS weed science and its important contributions. This review is the result of a symposium held at the Weed Science Society of America’s 62nd Annual Meeting in 2022 that included 10 separate presentations in a virtual Weed Science Webinar Series. The overarching themes of management tactics (IWM, biological control, and automation), basic mechanisms (competition, invasive plant genetics, and herbicide resistance), and ecosystem impacts (invasive plant spread, climate change, conservation, and restoration) represent core ARS weed science research that is dynamic and efficacious and has been a significant component of the agency’s national and international efforts. This review highlights current studies and future directions that exemplify the science and collaborative relationships both within and outside ARS. Given the constraints of weeds and invasive plants on all aspects of food, feed, and fiber systems, there is an acknowledged need to face new challenges, including agriculture and natural resources sustainability, economic resilience and reliability, and societal health and well-being.
Monoclonal antibody therapeutics to treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Many barriers exist when deploying a novel therapeutic during an ongoing pandemic, and it is critical to assess the needs of incorporating monoclonal antibody infusions into pandemic response activities. We examined the monoclonal antibody infusion site process during the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted a descriptive analysis using data from 3 sites at medical centers in the United States supported by the National Disaster Medical System. Monoclonal antibody implementation success factors included engagement with local medical providers, therapy batch preparation, placing the infusion center in proximity to emergency services, and creating procedures resilient to EUA changes. Infusion process challenges included confirming patient severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity, strained staff, scheduling, and pharmacy coordination. Infusion sites are effective when integrated into pre-existing pandemic response ecosystems and can be implemented with limited staff and physical resources.
To describe the cumulative seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among employees of a large pediatric healthcare system.
Design, setting, and participants:
Prospective observational cohort study open to adult employees at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted April 20–December 17, 2020.
Employees were recruited starting with high-risk exposure groups, utilizing e-mails, flyers, and announcements at virtual town hall meetings. At baseline, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months, participants reported occupational and community exposures and gave a blood sample for SARS-CoV-2 antibody measurement by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A post hoc Cox proportional hazards regression model was performed to identify factors associated with increased risk for seropositivity.
In total, 1,740 employees were enrolled. At 6 months, the cumulative seroprevalence was 5.3%, which was below estimated community point seroprevalence. Seroprevalence was 5.8% among employees who provided direct care and was 3.4% among employees who did not perform direct patient care. Most participants who were seropositive at baseline remained positive at follow-up assessments. In a post hoc analysis, direct patient care (hazard ratio [HR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–3.68), Black race (HR, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.24–5.87), and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting (HR, 4.32; 95% CI, 2.71–6.88) were associated with statistically significant increased risk for seropositivity.
Employee SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates remained below the point-prevalence rates of the surrounding community. Provision of direct patient care, Black race, and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting conferred increased risk. These data can inform occupational protection measures to maximize protection of employees within the workplace during future COVID-19 waves or other epidemics.
We present the data and initial results from the first pilot survey of the Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU), observed at 944 MHz with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The survey covers
of an area covered by the Dark Energy Survey, reaching a depth of 25–30
rms at a spatial resolution of
11–18 arcsec, resulting in a catalogue of
220 000 sources, of which
180 000 are single-component sources. Here we present the catalogue of single-component sources, together with (where available) optical and infrared cross-identifications, classifications, and redshifts. This survey explores a new region of parameter space compared to previous surveys. Specifically, the EMU Pilot Survey has a high density of sources, and also a high sensitivity to low surface brightness emission. These properties result in the detection of types of sources that were rarely seen in or absent from previous surveys. We present some of these new results here.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Late Holocene sediment deposits in Pine Island Bay, West Antarctica, are hypothesized to be linked to intensive meltwater drainage during the retreat of the paleo-Pine Island Ice Stream after the Last Glacial Maximum. The uppermost sediment units show an abrupt transition from ice-proximal debris to a draped silt during the late Holocene, which is interpreted to coincide with rapid deglaciation. The small scale and fine sorting of the upper unit could be attributed to origins in subglacial meltwater; however the thickness and deposition rate for this unit imply punctuated- rather than continuous-deposition. This, combined with the deposit's location seaward of large, bedrock basins, has led to the interpretation of this unit as the result of subglacial lake outbursts in these basins. However, the fine-scale sorting of the silt unit is problematic for this energetic interpretation, which should mobilize and deposit a wider range of sediment sizes. To resolve this discrepancy, we present an alternative mechanism in which the silt was sorted by a distributed subglacial water system, stored in bedrock basins far inland of the grounding line, and subsequently eroded at higher flow speeds during retreat. We demonstrate that this mechanism is physically plausible given the subglacial conditions during the late Holocene. We hypothesize that similar silt units observed elsewhere in Antarctica downstream of bedrock basins could be the result of the same mechanism.
During the past two decades, it has been amply documented that neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs) disproportionately account for burden of illness attributable to chronic non-communicable medical disorders globally. It is also likely that human capital costs attributable to NPDs will disproportionately increase as a consequence of population aging and beneficial risk factor modification of other common and chronic medical disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease). Notwithstanding the availability of multiple modalities of antidepressant treatment, relatively few studies in psychiatry have primarily sought to determine whether improving cognitive function in MDD improves patient reported outcomes (PROs) and/or is cost effective. The mediational relevance of cognition in MDD potentially extrapolates to all NPDs, indicating that screening for, measuring, preventing, and treating cognitive deficits in psychiatry is not only a primary therapeutic target, but also should be conceptualized as a transdiagnostic domain to be considered regardless of patient age and/or differential diagnosis.
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.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Assemblages of the boat-shaped bivalve Odontogryphaea thirsae (Gabb, 1861) from southwestern Alabama are used to define three ontogenetic growth stages that are bounded by major discontinuities in either mineral structure or growth-line prominence. Features of the larval and juvenile stages are described here for the first time and are compared with the well-known morphologic features that distinguish adults (late dissoconchs).
The larval stage is represented by prodissoconch valves which are about 0.4 mm in height with suborbicular outlines, commarginal striations, and ridge-like, opisthogyral beaks. The juvenile (early dissoconch) stage is expressed by dissoconch valves up to 19 mm in height with elliptical outlines (height > length), indistinct commarginal growth lines, flat commissural planes, and tiny attachment areas on left valves; the valve interiors exhibit a posterior adductor muscle scar, a resilifer, and chomata. The adult (late dissoconch) stage is characterized by dissoconch valves >19 mm in height with subtriangular outlines, prominent commarginal growth lines, wavy commissural planes, and a keel-like terebratuloid fold.
Paleonvironmental and stratigraphic studies of the diversely fossiliferous Odontogryphaea thirsae beds indicate 0. thirsae (Gabb, 1861) thrived in a shallow, normal-marine, tropical sea that extended from Texas to Georgia about 57 million years ago.
Real-time ultrasound information taken on beef heifers prior to backgrounding is used to develop a logit model to aid heifer retention decisions. The value of ultrasound data is calculated as the difference in certainty equivalents between a decision rule incorporating ultrasound information and one using only visual cues. The value of ultrasound data is found to be around $10 per head but is influenced by heifer value and backgrounding costs.