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We recently reported on the radio-frequency attenuation length of cold polar ice at Summit Station, Greenland, based on bi-static radar measurements of radio-frequency bedrock echo strengths taken during the summer of 2021. Those data also allow studies of (a) the relative contributions of coherent (such as discrete internal conducting layers with sub-centimeter transverse scale) vs incoherent (e.g. bulk volumetric) scattering, (b) the magnitude of internal layer reflection coefficients, (c) limits on signal propagation velocity asymmetries (‘birefringence’) and (d) limits on signal dispersion in-ice over a bandwidth of ~100 MHz. We find that (1) attenuation lengths approach 1 km in our band, (2) after averaging 10 000 echo triggers, reflected signals observable over the thermal floor (to depths of ~1500 m) are consistent with being entirely coherent, (3) internal layer reflectivities are ≈–60$\to$–70 dB, (4) birefringent effects for vertically propagating signals are smaller by an order of magnitude relative to South Pole and (5) within our experimental limits, glacial ice is non-dispersive over the frequency band relevant for neutrino detection experiments.
Adolescents with depression need access to culturally relevant psychological treatment. In many low- and middle-income countries treatments are only accessible to a minority. We adapted group interpersonal therapy (IPT) for adolescents to be delivered through schools in Nepal. Here we report IPT's feasibility, acceptability, and cost.
We recruited 32 boys and 30 girls (aged 13–19) who screened positive for depression. IPT comprised of two individual and 12 group sessions facilitated by nurses or lay workers. Using a pre-post design we assessed adolescents at baseline, post-treatment (0–2 weeks after IPT), and follow-up (8–10 weeks after IPT). We measured depressive symptoms with the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), and functional impairment with a local tool. To assess intervention fidelity supervisors rated facilitators' IPT skills across 27/90 sessions using a standardised checklist. We conducted qualitative interviews with 16 adolescents and six facilitators post-intervention, and an activity-based cost analysis from the provider perspective.
Adolescents attended 82.3% (standard deviation 18.9) of group sessions. All were followed up. Depression and functional impairment improved between baseline and follow-up: DSRS score decreased by 81% (95% confidence interval 70–95); functional impairment decreased by 288% (249–351). In total, 95.3% of facilitator IPT skills were rated superior/satisfactory. Adolescents found the intervention useful and acceptable, although some had concerns about privacy in schools. The estimate of intervention unit cost was US $96.9 with facilitators operating at capacity.
School-based group IPT is feasible and acceptable in Nepal. Findings support progression to a randomised controlled trial to assess effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
The biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric diagnoses are not well defined. Clinical diagnosis based on categorical systems exhibit high levels of heterogeneity and co-morbidity. The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) attempts to reconceptualize psychiatric disorders into transdiagnostic functional dimensional constructs based on neurobiological measures and observable behaviour. By understanding the underlying neurobiology and pathophysiology of the relevant processes, the RDoC aims to advance biomarker development for disease prediction and treatment response. This important evolving dimensional framework must also consider environmental factors. Emerging evidence suggests that gut microbes (microbiome) play a physiological role in brain diseases by modulating neuroimmune, neuroendocrine and neural signalling pathways between the gut and the brain. The integration of the gut microbiome signature as an additional dimensional component of the RDoC may enhance precision psychiatry.
Finch trichomonosis, caused by Trichomonas gallinae, emerged in the Canadian Maritime provinces in 2007 and has since caused ongoing mortality in regional purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus) and American goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) populations. Trichomonas gallinae was isolated from (1) finches and rock pigeons (Columbia livia) submitted for post-mortem or live-captured at bird feeding sites experiencing trichomonosis mortality; (2) bird seed at these same sites; and (3) rock pigeons live-captured at known roosts or humanely killed. Isolates were characterized using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and iron hydrogenase (Fe-hyd) gene sequences. Two distinct ITS types were found. Type A was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain and was isolated from finches and a rock pigeon with trichomonosis; apparently healthy rock pigeons and finches; and bird seed at an outbreak site. Type B was obtained from apparently healthy rock pigeons. Fe-hyd sequencing revealed six distinct subtypes. The predominant subtype in both finches and the rock pigeon with trichomonosis was identical to the UK finch epidemic strain A1. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in Fe-hyd sequences suggest there is fine-scale variation amongst isolates and that finch trichomonosis emergence in this region may not have been caused by a single spill-over event.