To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Clinical trials provide the “gold standard” evidence for advancing the practice of medicine, even as they evolve to integrate real-world data sources. Modern clinical trials are increasingly incorporating real-world data sources – data not intended for research and often collected in free-living contexts. We refer to trials that incorporate real-world data sources as real-world trials. Such trials may have the potential to enhance the generalizability of findings, facilitate pragmatic study designs, and evaluate real-world effectiveness. However, key differences in the design, conduct, and implementation of real-world vs traditional trials have ramifications in data management that can threaten their desired rigor.
Three examples of real-world trials that leverage different types of data sources – wearables, medical devices, and electronic health records are described. Key insights applicable to all three trials in their relationship to Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) are derived.
Insight and recommendations are given on four topic areas: A. Charge of the DSMB; B. Composition of the DSMB; C. Pre-launch Activities; and D. Post-launch Activities. We recommend stronger and additional focus on data integrity.
Clinical trials can benefit from incorporating real-world data sources, potentially increasing the generalizability of findings and overall trial scale and efficiency. The data, however, present a level of informatic complexity that relies heavily on a robust data science infrastructure. The nature of monitoring the data and safety must evolve to adapt to new trial scenarios to protect the rigor of clinical trials.
CHD is an important phenotypic feature of chromosome 22q11.2 copy number variants. Biventricular repair is usually possible, however there are rare reports of patients with chromosome 22q copy number variants and functional single ventricle cardiac disease.
This is a single centre retrospective review of patients with chromosome 22q copy number variants who underwent staged single ventricle reconstructive surgery between 1 July, 1984 and 31 December, 2020.
Seventeen patients met inclusion criteria. The most common diagnosis was hypoplastic left heart syndrome (n = 8) and vascular anomalies were present in 13 patients. A microdeletion of the chromosome 22 A-D low-copy repeat was present in 13 patients, and the remaining had a duplication. About half of the patients had documented craniofacial abnormalities and/or hypocalcaemia, and developmental delay was very common. Fifteen patients had a Norwood operation, 10 patients had a superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, and 7 patients had a Fontan. Two patients had cardiac transplantation after Fontan. Overall survival is 64% at 1 year, and 58% at 5 and 10 years. Most deaths occurred following Norwood operation (n = 5).
CHD necessitating single ventricle reconstruction associated with chromosome 22q copy number variants is not common, but typically occurs as a variant of hypoplastic left heart syndrome with the usual cytogenetic microdeletion. The most common neonatal surgical intervention performed is the Norwood, where most of the mortality burden occurs. Associated anomalies and medical issues may cause additional morbidity after cardiac surgery, but survival is similar to infants with other types of single ventricle disease.
We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding about the remaining options to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, through overcoming political barriers to carbon pricing, taking into account non-CO2 factors, a well-designed implementation of demand-side and nature-based solutions, resilience building of ecosystems and the recognition that climate change mitigation costs can be justified by benefits to the health of humans and nature alone. We consider new insights about what to expect if we fail to include a new dimension of fire extremes and the prospect of cascading climate tipping elements.
A synthesis is made of 10 topics within climate research, where there have been significant advances since January 2020. The insights are based on input from an international open call with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) the options to still keep global warming below 1.5 °C; (2) the impact of non-CO2 factors in global warming; (3) a new dimension of fire extremes forced by climate change; (4) the increasing pressure on interconnected climate tipping elements; (5) the dimensions of climate justice; (6) political challenges impeding the effectiveness of carbon pricing; (7) demand-side solutions as vehicles of climate mitigation; (8) the potentials and caveats of nature-based solutions; (9) how building resilience of marine ecosystems is possible; and (10) that the costs of climate change mitigation policies can be more than justified by the benefits to the health of humans and nature.
Social media summary
How do we limit global warming to 1.5 °C and why is it crucial? See highlights of latest climate science.
The objective of this study was to investigate changes in serum biomarkers of acute brain injury, including white matter and astrocyte injury during chronic foetal hypoxaemia. We have previously shown histopathological changes in myelination and neuronal density in fetuses with chronic foetal hypoxaemia at a level consistent with CHD.
Mid-gestation foetal sheep (110 ± 3 days gestation) were cannulated and attached to a pumpless, low-resistance oxygenator circuit, and incubated in a sterile fluid environment mimicking the intrauterine environment. Fetuses were maintained with an oxygen delivery of 20–25 ml/kg/min (normoxemia) or 14–16 ml/kg/min (hypoxaemia). Myelin Basic Protein and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein serum levels in the two groups were assessed by ELISA at baseline and at 7, 14, and 21 days of support.
Based on overlapping 95% confidence intervals, there were no statistically significant differences in either Myelin Basic Protein or Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein serum levels between the normoxemic and hypoxemic groups, at any time point. No statistically significant correlations were observed between oxygen delivery and levels of Myelin Basic Protein and Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein.
Chronic foetal hypoxaemia during mid-gestation is not associated with elevated serum levels of acute white matter (Myelin Basic Protein) or astrocyte injury (Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein), in this model. In conjunction with our previously reported findings, our data support the hypothesis that the brain dysmaturity with impaired myelination found in fetuses with chronic hypoxaemia is caused by disruption of normal developmental pathways rather than by direct cellular injury.
The foetal programming hypothesis posits that optimising early life factors e.g. maternal diets can help avert the burden of adverse childhood outcomes e.g. childhood obesity. To improve applicability to public health messaging, we investigated whether maternal whole diet quality and inflammatory potential influence childhood adiposity in a large consortium.
We harmonized and pooled individual participant data from up to 8,769 mother-child pairs in 7 European mother-offspring cohorts. Maternal early-, late-, and whole-pregnancy dietary quality and inflammatory potential were assessed with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII), respectively. Primary outcome was childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB), defined as age- and sex-specific body-mass-index-z score (BMIz) > 85th percentile based on WHO growth standard. Secondary outcomes were sum-of-skinfold-thickness (SST), fat-mass-index (FMI) and fat-free-mass-index (FFMI) in available cohorts. Outcomes were assessed in early- [mean (SD) age: 2.8 (0.3) y], mid- [6.2 (0.6) y], and late-childhood [10.6 (1.2) y]. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the associations of maternal E-DII and DASH with offspring adiposity outcomes in cohort-specific analyses, with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Analyses were adjusted for maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, lifestyle factors, energy intake, educational attainment, offspring age and sex.
A more pro-inflammatory maternal diet, indicated by higher E-DII, was associated with a higher risk of offspring late-childhood OWOB [pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest E-DII quartiles: 1.22 (1.01,1.47) for whole-pregnancy and 1.38 (1.05,1.83) for early-pregnancy; both P < 0.05]. Moreover, higher late-pregnancy E-DII was associated with higher mid-childhood FMI [pooled-β (95% CI): 0.11 (0.003,0.22) kg/m2; P < 0.05]; trending association was observed for whole-pregnancy E-DII [0.12 (-0.01,0.25) kg/m2; P = 0.07]. A higher maternal dietary quality, indicated by higher DASH score, showed a trending inverse association with late-childhood OWOB (pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest DASH quartiles: 0.58 (0.32,1.02; P = 0.06). Higher early-pregnancy DASH was associated with lower late-childhood SST [pooled-β (95% CI): -1.9 (-3.6,-0.1) cm; P < 0.05] and tended to be associated with lower late-childhood FMI [-0.34 (-0.71,0.04) kg/m2; P = 0.08]. Higher whole-pregnancy DASH tended to associate with lower early-childhood SST [-0.33 (-0.72,0.06) cm; P = 0.10]. Results were similar when modelling DASH and E-DII continuously.
Analysis of pooled data suggests that pro-inflammatory, low-quality maternal antenatal diets may influence offspring body composition and obesity risk, especially during mid- or late-childhood. Due to variation of data availability at each timepoint, our results should be interpreted with caution. Because most associations were observed at mid-childhood or later, future studies will benefit from a longer follow-up.
We present a detailed overview of the cosmological surveys that we aim to carry out with Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA1) and the science that they will enable. We highlight three main surveys: a medium-deep continuum weak lensing and low-redshift spectroscopic HI galaxy survey over 5 000 deg2; a wide and deep continuum galaxy and HI intensity mapping (IM) survey over 20 000 deg2 from
$z = 0.35$
to 3; and a deep, high-redshift HI IM survey over 100 deg2 from
$z = 3$
to 6. Taken together, these surveys will achieve an array of important scientific goals: measuring the equation of state of dark energy out to
$z \sim 3$
with percent-level precision measurements of the cosmic expansion rate; constraining possible deviations from General Relativity on cosmological scales by measuring the growth rate of structure through multiple independent methods; mapping the structure of the Universe on the largest accessible scales, thus constraining fundamental properties such as isotropy, homogeneity, and non-Gaussianity; and measuring the HI density and bias out to
$z = 6$
. These surveys will also provide highly complementary clustering and weak lensing measurements that have independent systematic uncertainties to those of optical and near-infrared (NIR) surveys like Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST leading to a multitude of synergies that can improve constraints significantly beyond what optical or radio surveys can achieve on their own. This document, the 2018 Red Book, provides reference technical specifications, cosmological parameter forecasts, and an overview of relevant systematic effects for the three key surveys and will be regularly updated by the Cosmology Science Working Group in the run up to start of operations and the Key Science Programme of SKA1.
To describe the infection control preparedness measures undertaken for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 (previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus) in the first 42 days after announcement of a cluster of pneumonia in China, on December 31, 2019 (day 1) in Hong Kong.
A bundled approach of active and enhanced laboratory surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and contact tracing for healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure in the hospitals was implemented. Epidemiological characteristics of confirmed cases, environmental samples, and air samples were collected and analyzed.
From day 1 to day 42, 42 of 1,275 patients (3.3%) fulfilling active (n = 29) and enhanced laboratory surveillance (n = 13) were confirmed to have the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The number of locally acquired case significantly increased from 1 of 13 confirmed cases (7.7%, day 22 to day 32) to 27 of 29 confirmed cases (93.1%, day 33 to day 42; P < .001). Among them, 28 patients (66.6%) came from 8 family clusters. Of 413 HCWs caring for these confirmed cases, 11 (2.7%) had unprotected exposure requiring quarantine for 14 days. None of these was infected, and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was not observed. Environmental surveillance was performed in the room of a patient with viral load of 3.3 × 106 copies/mL (pooled nasopharyngeal and throat swabs) and 5.9 × 106 copies/mL (saliva), respectively. SARS-CoV-2 was identified in 1 of 13 environmental samples (7.7%) but not in 8 air samples collected at a distance of 10 cm from the patient’s chin with or without wearing a surgical mask.
Appropriate hospital infection control measures was able to prevent nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
We consider the role of heating and cooling in the steady drawing of a long and thin viscous thread with an arbitrary number of internal holes of arbitrary shape. The internal holes and the external boundary evolve as a result of the axial drawing and surface-tension effects. The heating and cooling affects the evolution of the thread because both the viscosity and surface tension of the thread are assumed to be functions of the temperature. We use asymptotic techniques to show that, under a suitable transformation, this complicated three-dimensional free boundary problem can be formulated in such a way that the transverse aspect of the flow can be reduced to the solution of a standard Stokes flow problem in the absence of axial stretching. The solution of this standard problem can then be substituted into a system of three ordinary differential equations that completely determine the flow. We use this approach to develop a very simple numerical method that can determine the way that thermal effects impact on the drawing of threads by devices that either specify the fibre tension or the draw ratio. We also develop a numerical method to solve the inverse problem of determining the initial cross-sectional geometry, draw tension and, importantly, heater temperature to obtain a desired cross-sectional shape and change in cross-sectional area at the device exit. This precisely allows one to determine the pattern of air holes in the preform that will achieve the desired hole pattern in the stretched fibre.
Liquid water on Mars might be created by deliquescence of hygroscopic salts or by permafrost melts, both potentially forming saturated brines. Freezing point depression allows these heavy brines to remain liquid in the near-surface environment for extended periods, perhaps as eutectic solutions, at the lowest temperatures and highest salt concentrations where ices and precipitates do not form. Perchlorate and chlorate salts and iron sulphate form brines with low eutectic temperatures and may persist under Mars near-surface conditions, but are chemically harsh at high concentrations and were expected to be incompatible with life, while brines of common sulphate salts on Mars may be more suitable for microbial growth. Microbial growth in saturated brines also may be relevant beyond Mars, to the oceans of Ceres, Enceladus, Europa and Pluto. We have previously shown strong growth of salinotolerant bacteria in media containing 2M MgSO4 heptahydrate (~50% w/v) at 25°C. Here we extend those observations to bacterial isolates from Basque Lake, BC and Hot Lake, WA, that grow well in saturated MgSO4 medium (67%) at 25°C and in 50% MgSO4 medium at 4°C (56% would be saturated). Psychrotolerant, salinotolerant microbes isolated from Basque Lake soils included Halomonas and Marinococcus, which were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and characterized phenetically. Eutectic liquid medium constituted by 43% MgSO4 at −4°C supported copious growth of these psychrotolerant Halomonas isolates, among others. Bacterial isolates also grew well at the eutectic for K chlorate (3% at −3°C). Survival and growth in eutectic solutions increases the possibility that microbes contaminating spacecraft pose a contamination risk to Mars. The cold brines of sulphate and (per)chlorate salts that may form at times on Mars through deliquescence or permafrost melt have now been demonstrated to be suitable microbial habitats, should appropriate nutrients be available and dormant cells become vegetative.
To study the association between gastrointestinal colonization of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
We analyzed 31,526 patients with prospective collection of fecal specimens for CPE screening: upon admission (targeted screening) and during hospitalization (opportunistic screening, safety net screening, and extensive contact tracing), in our healthcare network with 3,200 beds from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2015. Specimens were collected at least once weekly during hospitalization for CPE carriers and subjected to broth enrichment culture and multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Of 66,672 fecal specimens collected, 345 specimens (0.5%) from 100 patients (0.3%) had CPE. The number and prevalence (per 100,000 patient-days) of CPE increased from 2 (0.3) in 2012 to 63 (8.0) in 2015 (P<.001). Male sex (odds ratio, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.15–3.18], P=.013), presence of wound or drain (3.12 [1.70–5.71], P<.001), and use of cephalosporins (3.06 [1.42–6.59], P=.004), carbapenems (2.21 [1.10–4.48], P=.027), and PPIs (2.84 [1.72–4.71], P<.001) in the preceding 6 months were significant risk factors by multivariable analysis. Of 79 patients with serial fecal specimens, spontaneous clearance of CPE was noted in 57 (72.2%), with a median (range) of 30 (3–411) days. Comparing patients without use of antibiotics and PPIs, consumption of both antibiotics and PPIs after CPE identification was associated with later clearance of CPE (hazard ratio, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.17–0.73], P=.005).
Concomitant use of antibiotics and PPIs prolonged duration of gastrointestinal colonization by CPE.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
To assess the effectiveness of infection control preparedness for human infection with influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong.
A descriptive study of responses to the emergence of influenza A H7N9.
A university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure (not wearing N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedure) to a patient with influenza A H7N9.
A bundle approach including active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive contact tracing for HCWs with unprotected exposure was implemented. Seventy HCWs with unprotected exposure to an index case were interviewed especially regarding their patient care activities.
From April 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014, a total of 126 (0.08%) of 163,456 admitted patients were tested for the H7 gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction per protocol. Two confirmed cases were identified. Seventy (53.8%) of 130 HCWs had unprotected exposure to an index case, whereas 41 (58.6%) and 58 (82.9%) of 70 HCWs wore surgical masks and practiced hand hygiene after patient care, respectively. Sixteen (22.9%) of 70 HCWs were involved in high-risk patient contacts. More HCWs with high-risk patient contacts received oseltamivir prophylaxis (P=0.088) and significantly more had paired sera collected for H7 antibody testing (P<0.001). Ten (14.3%) of 70 HCWs developed influenza-like illness during medical surveillance, but none had positive results by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Paired sera was available from 33 of 70 HCWs with unprotected exposure, and none showed seroconversion against H7N9.
Despite the delay in airborne precautions implementation, no patient-to-HCW transmission of influenza A H7N9 was demonstrated.
Recent Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified four low-penetrance ovarian cancer susceptibility loci. We hypothesized that further moderate- or low-penetrance variants exist among the subset of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) not well tagged by the genotyping arrays used in the previous studies, which would account for some of the remaining risk. We therefore conducted a time- and cost-effective stage 1 GWAS on 342 invasive serous cases and 643 controls genotyped on pooled DNA using the high-density Illumina 1M-Duo array. We followed up 20 of the most significantly associated SNPs, which are not well tagged by the lower density arrays used by the published GWAS, and genotyping them on individual DNA. Most of the top 20 SNPs were clearly validated by individually genotyping the samples used in the pools. However, none of the 20 SNPs replicated when tested for association in a much larger stage 2 set of 4,651 cases and 6,966 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Given that most of the top 20 SNPs from pooling were validated in the same samples by individual genotyping, the lack of replication is likely to be due to the relatively small sample size in our stage 1 GWAS rather than due to problems with the pooling approach. We conclude that there are unlikely to be any moderate or large effects on ovarian cancer risk untagged by less dense arrays. However, our study lacked power to make clear statements on the existence of hitherto untagged small-effect variants.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 (basic) is a potent angiogenic molecule involved in tumor progression, and is one of several growth factors with a central role in ovarian carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FGF2 gene may alter angiogenic potential and thereby susceptibility to ovarian cancer. We analyzed 25 FGF2 tgSNPs using five independent study populations from the United States and Australia. Analysis was restricted to non-Hispanic White women with serous ovarian carcinoma (1269 cases and 2829 controls). There were no statistically significant associations between any FGF2 SNPs and ovarian cancer risk. There were two nominally statistically significant associations between heterozygosity for two FGF2 SNPs (rs308379 and rs308447; p < .05) and serous ovarian cancer risk in the combined dataset, but rare homozygous estimates did not achieve statistical significance, nor were they consistent with the log additive model of inheritance. Overall genetic variation in FGF2 does not appear to play a role in susceptibility to ovarian cancer.
Epicardial pacing is the standard approach for permanent pacing in small children and patients with functionally univentricular physiology. The longevity of epicardial leads, however, is compromised by increased occurrences of exit block and lead fractures. We report our experience with a technique of placing a second ventricular lead, and attaching it to the atrial port of a dual chamber pacemaker to prevent the need for early re-operation in the event of failure of the primary epicardial lead. A retrospective review showed that, over the period from 2001 through 2007, epicardial ventricular pacemakers had been placed in 88 patients. In 6 of these, we had placed 2 ventricular leads, their median weight being 8.0 kilograms, with a range from 4.2 to 31.8 kilograms. Fracture of a lead occurred in 1 of the patients (17%) 8 months after placement, requiring reprogramming to pace from the atrial port. This possibility avoided the need for repeated emergent surgery. At a median follow-up of 1.5 years, with a range from 0.3 to 4.4 years, there have been no complications. During the same time period, overall failure of epicardial leads at our institution was 13%. Placement of a second ventricular epicardial pacing lead, attached to the atrial port of a dual chamber pacemaker, therefore, may provide a safe and effective means of ventricular pacing in the setting of epicardial lead failure, and may obviate the need for repeat, potentially urgent, pacemaker surgery.