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This chapter explores the development and purpose of the illustrations in two manuscripts of Hildegard of Bingen’s works: one designed by Hildegard (the Rupertsberg Scivias), the other designed by a later generation of her monastery’s nuns (the Lucca Liber divinorum operum). An overview of her visionary experiences demonstrates the prophetic mission of their detailed images to communicate theological truths. The author argues that Hildegard designed the Scivias images to aid that communication and provide visual exegesis of her visions, serving as a teaching tool to guide the reader through the manuscript. The next generation of nuns followed Hildegard’s impulse to illustrate her visions with the later Liber divinorum operum manuscript, but its famous cosmological diagram diverges from the text because the designer did not understand its meaning. The chapter closes with an assessment of the very limited influence of Hildegard’s illustrations in the later Middle Ages, with one story from the preaching of Johannes Tauler demonstrating their liability to reinterpretation.
New Zealand has a strategy of eliminating SARS-CoV-2 that has resulted in a low incidence of reported coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to describe the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in New Zealand via a nationwide serosurvey of blood donors. Samples (n = 9806) were collected over a month-long period (3 December 2020–6 January 2021) from donors aged 16–88 years. The sample population was geographically spread, covering 16 of 20 district health board regions. A series of Spike-based immunoassays were utilised, and the serological testing algorithm was optimised for specificity given New Zealand is a low prevalence setting. Eighteen samples were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, six of which were retrospectively matched to previously confirmed COVID-19 cases. A further four were from donors that travelled to settings with a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, suggesting likely infection outside New Zealand. The remaining eight seropositive samples were from seven different district health regions for a true seroprevalence estimate, adjusted for test sensitivity and specificity, of 0.103% (95% confidence interval, 0.09–0.12%). The very low seroprevalence is consistent with limited undetected community transmission and provides robust, serological evidence to support New Zealand's successful elimination strategy for COVID-19.
Recent cannabis exposure has been associated with lower rates of neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV (PWH). Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties may underlie this relationship by reducing chronic neuroinflammation in PWH. This study examined relations between cannabis use and inflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, and cognitive correlates of these biomarkers within a community-based sample of PWH.
263 individuals were categorized into four groups: HIV− non-cannabis users (n = 65), HIV+ non-cannabis users (n = 105), HIV+ moderate cannabis users (n = 62), and HIV+ daily cannabis users (n = 31). Differences in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, sCD14, sTNFR-II, TNF-α) by study group were determined by Kruskal–Wallis tests. Multivariable linear regressions examined relationships between biomarkers and seven cognitive domains, adjusting for age, sex/gender, race, education, and current CD4 count.
HIV+ daily cannabis users showed lower MCP-1 and IP-10 levels in CSF compared to HIV+ non-cannabis users (p = .015; p = .039) and were similar to HIV− non-cannabis users. Plasma biomarkers showed no differences by cannabis use. Among PWH, lower CSF MCP-1 and lower CSF IP-10 were associated with better learning performance (all ps < .05).
Current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis and these chemokines were linked to the cognitive domain of learning which is commonly impaired in PWH. Cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.
The Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) Project accessed Mercer Subglacial Lake using environmentally clean hot-water drilling to examine interactions among ice, water, sediment, rock, microbes and carbon reservoirs within the lake water column and underlying sediments. A ~0.4 m diameter borehole was melted through 1087 m of ice and maintained over ~10 days, allowing observation of ice properties and collection of water and sediment with various tools. Over this period, SALSA collected: 60 L of lake water and 10 L of deep borehole water; microbes >0.2 μm in diameter from in situ filtration of ~100 L of lake water; 10 multicores 0.32–0.49 m long; 1.0 and 1.76 m long gravity cores; three conductivity–temperature–depth profiles of borehole and lake water; five discrete depth current meter measurements in the lake and images of ice, the lake water–ice interface and lake sediments. Temperature and conductivity data showed the hydrodynamic character of water mixing between the borehole and lake after entry. Models simulating melting of the ~6 m thick basal accreted ice layer imply that debris fall-out through the ~15 m water column to the lake sediments from borehole melting had little effect on the stratigraphy of surficial sediment cores.
Genetic susceptibility to late maturity alpha-amylase (LMA) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in increased alpha-amylase activity in mature grain when cool conditions occur during late grain maturation. Farmers are forced to sell wheat grain with elevated alpha-amylase at a discount because it has an increased risk of poor end-product quality. This problem can result from either LMA or preharvest sprouting, grain germination on the mother plant when rain occurs before harvest. Whereas preharvest sprouting is a well-understood problem, little is known about the risk LMA poses to North American wheat crops. To examine this, LMA susceptibility was characterized in a panel of 251 North American hard spring wheat lines, representing ten geographical areas. It appears that there is substantial LMA susceptibility in North American wheat since only 27% of the lines showed reproducible LMA resistance following cold-induction experiments. A preliminary genome-wide association study detected six significant marker-trait associations. LMA in North American wheat may result from genetic mechanisms similar to those previously observed in Australian and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) germplasm since two of the detected QTLs, QLMA.wsu.7B and QLMA.wsu.6B, co-localized with previously reported loci. The Reduced height (Rht) loci also influenced LMA. Elevated alpha-amylase levels were significantly associated with the presence of both wild-type and tall height, rht-B1a and rht-D1a, loci in both cold-treated and untreated samples.
The wheat industry rejects grain with unacceptably high α-amylase enzyme levels due to the risk of poor endproduct quality. There are two main causes of elevated grain α-amylase: (1) preharvest sprouting in response to rain before harvest and (2) late maturity α-amylase (LMA) induction in response to a cool temperature shock during late grain development. LMA induction was detected in a panel of 24 Northwestern US spring wheat lines. Thus, this problem previously described in Australian and U.K. varieties also exists in U.S. varieties. Because LMA induction results were highly variable using published methods, a characterization of LMA-inducing conditions was conducted in an LMA-susceptible soft white spring wheat line, WA8124. Problems with elevated α-amylase in untreated controls were reduced by raising the temperature, 25°C day/18°C night versus 20°C day/10°C night. LMA induction was not improved by colder temperatures (15°C day/4°C night) versus moderately cold temperatures (18°C day/7.5°C night or 10°C day/10°C night). While previous studies observed LMA induction by heat stress, it failed to induce LMA in WA8124. Thus, not all LMA-susceptible cultivars respond to heat. The timing of LMA susceptibility varied between two cultivars and within a single cultivar grown at slightly different temperatures. Thus, variability in LMA induction likely results from variability in the timing of the grain developmental stage during which cold shock induces LMA. Thus, it was concluded that the visual inspection of grain is needed to correctly identify LMA-sensitive spikes at the soft dough stage of grain development (Zadok's stage 85).
Our objective was to compare patterns of dental antibiotic prescribing in Australia, England, and North America (United States and British Columbia, Canada).
Population-level analysis of antibiotic prescription.
Outpatient prescribing by dentists in 2017.
Patients receiving an antibiotic dispensed by an outpatient pharmacy.
Prescription-based rates adjusted by population were compared overall and by antibiotic class. Contingency tables assessed differences in the proportion of antibiotic class by country.
In 2017, dentists in the United States had the highest antibiotic prescribing rate per 1,000 population and Australia had the lowest rate. The penicillin class, particularly amoxicillin, was the most frequently prescribed for all countries. The second most common agents prescribed were clindamycin in the United States and British Columbia (Canada) and metronidazole in Australia and England. Broad-spectrum agents, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and azithromycin were the highest in Australia and the United States, respectively.
Extreme differences exist in antibiotics prescribed by dentists in Australia, England, the United States, and British Columbia. The United States had twice the antibiotic prescription rate of Australia and the most frequently prescribed antibiotic in the US was clindamycin. Significant opportunities exist for the global dental community to update their prescribing behavior relating to second-line agents for penicillin allergic patients and to contribute to international efforts addressing antibiotic resistance. Patient safety improvements will result from optimizing dental antibiotic prescribing, especially for antibiotics associated with resistance (broad-spectrum agents) or C. difficile (clindamycin). Dental antibiotic stewardship programs are urgently needed worldwide.
The liver is the largest parenchymal organ in the body and has a complicated circulatory system, with dual afferent blood supply from the portal vein and hepatic artery. Although the liver mass accounts for only 2.5% of adult body weight, it receives nearly 25% of the resting cardiac output and at any given time contains 10–15% of total body blood volume. In addition to serving as an important blood volume reservoir, the liver is also a complex metabolic organ with important functions in biosynthesis, innate immunity, metabolism and toxin/metabolite clearance. By virtue of its size, multiple metabolic functions, and prominent position in the circulatory system, the liver is frequently involved, either as an accomplice or as an innocent bystander, in a range of systemic, circulatory and inflammatory disorders. This chapter reviews hepatic involvement in common, and some uncommon, systemic diseases affecting children and young adults.
Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a significant destructive force in the pine forests of western Canada and has the capacity to spread east into a novel host tree species, jack pine (Pinaceae). New populations have been documented in central Alberta, Canada, but the source populations for these outbreaks have yet to be identified. In this study, we use genetic data to identify parent populations for recent outbreak sites near Slave Lake, Lac La Biche, and Hinton, Alberta. We found the northern population cluster that entered Alberta near Grande Prairie was the source of the most eastern established population near Lac La Biche, and the range expansion to this leading-edge population has been too rapid to establish evidence of population structure. However, some dispersal from a population in the Jasper and Hinton area has been detected as far north and east as Slave Lake, Alberta. We also identified two potential source populations for the current outbreak in Hinton: most beetles appear to be from Jasper National Park, Alberta, but some also originated from the northern population cluster. These findings demonstrate the dynamic dispersal capabilities of mountain pine beetle across the Alberta landscape and the potential hazard of increased dispersal to newly established leading-edge populations.
Milrinone is a phosphodiesterase type 3 inhibitor that results in a positive inotropic effect in the heart through an increase in cyclic adenosine monophosphate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate circulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate and milrinone concentrations in milrinone treated paediatric patients undergoing congenital heart surgery.
Single-centre prospective observational pilot study from January 2015 to December 2017 including children aged birth to 18 years. Milrinone and circulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentrations were measured at four time points through the first post-operative day and compared between patients with and without low cardiac output syndrome, defined using clinical and laboratory criteria.
Fifty patients were included. Nine (18%) developed low cardiac output syndrome. For all patients, 22% had single ventricle heart disease. The density and distribution of cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentrations varied between those with and without low cardiac output syndrome but were not significantly different. Milrinone concentrations increased in all patients. Paired t-tests demonstrated an increase in circulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentrations during the post-operative period among patients without low cardiac output syndrome.
In this prospective observational study, circulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentrations increased in those without low cardiac output syndrome during the first 24 post-operative hours and milrinone concentrations increased in all patients. Further study of the utility of cyclic adenosine monophosphate concentrations in milrinone treated patients is necessary.
It is commonly thought that disability is a harm or “bad difference” because having a disability restricts valuable options in life. In his recent essay “Disability, Options and Well-Being,” Thomas Crawley offers a novel defense of this style of reasoning (formulated as the Options Argument) and argues that we and like-minded critics of this brand of argument are guilty of an inconsistency. Our aim in this article is to explain why our view avoids inconsistency, to challenge Crawley's positive defense of the Options Argument, and to suggest that this general line of reasoning employs a double standard.
Models estimate that the disability burden from mental disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will more than double in the next 40 years. Similar to HIV, mental disorders are stigmatized in many SSA settings and addressing them requires community engagement and long-term treatment. Yet, in contrast to HIV, the public mental healthcare cascade has not been sustained, despite robust data on scalable strategies. We draw on findings from our International AIDS Society (IAS) 2020 virtual workshop and make recommendations for next steps in the scale up of the SSA public mental healthcare continuum.
Early HIV surveillance and care cascade targets are discussed as important strategies for HIV response in SSA that should be adopted for mental health. Advocacy, including engagement with civil society, and targeted economic arguments to policymakers, are reviewed in the context of HIV success in SSA. Parallel opportunities for mental disorders are identified. Learning from HIV, communication of strategies that advance mental health care needs in SSA must be prioritized for broad global audiences.
The COVID-19 pandemic is setting off a colossal escalation of global mental health care needs, well-publicized across scientific, media, policymaker, and civil society domains. The pandemic highlights disparities in healthcare access and reinvigorates the push for universal coverage. Learning from HIV strategies, we must seize this historical moment to improve the public mental health care cascade in SSA and capitalize on the powerful alliances ready to be forged. As noted by Ambassador Goosby in our AIDS 2020 workshop, ‘The time is now’.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
Annual grass weeds reduce profits of wheat farmers in the Pacific Northwest. The very-long-chain fatty acid elongase (VLCFA)-inhibiting herbicides S-metolachlor and dimethenamid-P could expand options for control of annual grasses but are not registered in wheat, because of crop injury. We evaluated a safener, fluxofenim, applied to wheat seed for protection of 19 soft white winter wheat varieties from S-metolachlor, dimethenamid-P, and pyroxasulfone herbicides; investigated the response of six varieties (UI Sparrow, LWW 15-72223, UI Magic CL+, Brundage 96, UI Castle CL+, and UI Palouse CL+) to incremental doses of fluxofenim; established the fluxofenim dose required to optimally protect the varieties from VLCFA-inhibiting herbicides; and assessed the impact of fluxofenim dose on glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity in three wheat varieties (UI Sparrow, Brundage 96, and UI Castle CL+). Fluxofenim increased the biomass of four varieties treated with S-metolachlor or dimethenamid-P herbicides and one variety treated with pyroxasulfone. Three varieties showed tolerance to the herbicides regardless of the fluxofenim treatment. Estimated fluxofenim doses resulting in 10% biomass reduction of wheat ranged from 0.55 to 1.23 g ai kg−1 seed. Fluxofenim doses resulting in 90% increased biomass after treatment with S-metolachlor, dimethenamid-P, and pyroxasulfone ranged from 0.07 to 0.55, 0.09 to 0.73, and 0.30 to 1.03 g ai kg−1 seed, respectively. Fluxofenim at 0.36 g ai kg−1 seed increased GST activity in UI Castle CL+, UI Sparrow, and Brundage 96 by 58%, 30%, and 38%, respectively. These results suggest fluxofenim would not damage wheat seedlings up to three times the rate labeled for sorghum, and fluxofenim protects soft white winter wheat varieties from S-metolachlor, dimethenamid-P, or pyroxasulfone injury at the herbicide rates evaluated.
Hepatoblastoma is the most common primary liver tumour in children; however, there are no reported incidences in the single-ventricle congenital heart disease population. We present three cases in patients with single-ventricle heart disease with a mean age at diagnosis of 19.7 (±4) months. The diagnosis was made prior to Fontan completion in all three cases. These represent the only documented hepatoblastoma cases in single-ventricle patients.
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is effective for most patients with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) but a substantial proportion fails to remit. Experimental and clinical research suggests that enhancing CBT using imagery-based techniques could improve outcomes. It was hypothesized that imagery-enhanced CBT (IE-CBT) would be superior to verbally-based CBT (VB-CBT) on pre-registered outcomes.
A randomized controlled trial of IE-CBT v. VB-CBT for social anxiety was completed in a community mental health clinic setting. Participants were randomized to IE (n = 53) or VB (n = 54) CBT, with 1-month (primary end point) and 6-month follow-up assessments. Participants completed 12, 2-hour, weekly sessions of IE-CBT or VB-CBT plus 1-month follow-up.
Intention to treat analyses showed very large within-treatment effect sizes on the social interaction anxiety at all time points (ds = 2.09–2.62), with no between-treatment differences on this outcome or clinician-rated severity [1-month OR = 1.45 (0.45, 4.62), p = 0.53; 6-month OR = 1.31 (0.42, 4.08), p = 0.65], SAD remission (1-month: IE = 61.04%, VB = 55.09%, p = 0.59); 6-month: IE = 58.73%, VB = 61.89%, p = 0.77), or secondary outcomes. Three adverse events were noted (substance abuse, n = 1 in IE-CBT; temporary increase in suicide risk, n = 1 in each condition, with one being withdrawn at 1-month follow-up).
Group IE-CBT and VB-CBT were safe and there were no significant differences in outcomes. Both treatments were associated with very large within-group effect sizes and the majority of patients remitted following treatment.