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Ever wondered why your life and health can sometimes be so hard to control? Or why it seems so easy for other people? Mark Hanson and Lucy Green draw on their years of experience as scientists and educators to cut through the usual information on genetics and lifestyle to reveal the secrets of early development which start to make each of us unique, during our first 1,000 days from the moment of conception. Some surprising discoveries, based on little-known new research, show how events during our first 1,000 days make each of us who we are and explain how we control our bodies, processes that go way beyond just the genes which we inherited. Provoking new ways of thinking about being parents, this book empowers individuals and society to give the next generation the gift of a good start to life and future health.
To quantify the extent of food and beverage advertising on bus shelters in a deprived area of the UK, to identify the healthfulness of advertised products, and any differences by level of deprivation. The study also sought to assess the creative strategies used and extent of appeal to young people.
Images of bus shelter advertisements were collected via in person photography (in 2019) and Google Street View (photos recorded in 2018). Food and beverage advertisements were grouped into one of seventeen food categories and classified as healthy/less healthy using the UK Nutrient Profile Model. The deprivation level of the advertisement location was identified using the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland in South Teesside.
Eight hundred and thirty-two advertisements were identified, almost half (48·9 %) of which were for foods or beverages. Of food and non-alcoholic beverage adverts, 35·1 % were less healthy. Most food advertisements (98·9 %) used at least one of the persuasive creative strategies. Food advertisements were found to be of appeal to children under 18 years of age (71·9 %). No differences in healthiness of advertised foods were found by level of deprivation.
Food advertising is extensive on bus shelters in parts of the UK, and a substantial proportion of this advertising is classified as less healthy and would not be permitted to be advertised around television programming for children. Bus shelter advertising should be considered part of the UK policy deliberations around restricting less healthy food marketing exposure.
Lithium is viewed as the first-line long-term treatment for prevention of relapse in people with bipolar disorder.
This study examined factors associated with the likelihood of maintaining serum lithium levels within the recommended range and explored whether the monitoring interval could be extended in some cases.
We included 46 555 lithium rest requests in 3371 individuals over 7 years from three UK centres. Using lithium results in four categories (<0.4 mmol/L; 0.40–0.79 mmol/L; 0.80–0.99 mmol/L; ≥1.0 mmol/L), we determined the proportion of instances where lithium results remained stable or switched category on subsequent testing, considering the effects of age, duration of lithium therapy and testing history.
For tests within the recommended range (0.40–0.99 mmol/L categories), 84.5% of subsequent tests remained within this range. Overall, 3 monthly testing was associated with 90% of lithium results remaining within range, compared with 85% at 6 monthly intervals. In cases where the lithium level in the previous 12 months was on target (0.40–0.79 mmol/L; British National Formulary/National Institute for Health and Care Excellence criteria), 90% remained within the target range at 6 months. Neither age nor duration of lithium therapy had any significant effect on lithium level stability. Levels within the 0.80–0.99 mmol/L category were linked to a higher probability of moving to the ≥1.0 mmol/L category (10%) compared with those in the 0.4–0.79 mmol/L group (2%), irrespective of testing frequency.
We propose that for those who achieve 12 months of lithium tests within the 0.40–0.79 mmol/L range, the interval between tests could increase to 6 months, irrespective of age. Where lithium levels are 0.80–0.99 mmol/L, the test interval should remain at 3 months. This could reduce lithium test numbers by 15% and costs by ~$0.4 m p.a.
The creative arts therapies offer experiences of psychotherapy that are polysensory, paradoxical, performative, and provocative. This variegated practice is, however, often researched using rigid and reductive processes – causing we arts therapists-researcher-educators at Whitecliffe College (Aotearoa New Zealand) to itch for less dissonance between what we research and how we research it, and greater congruence between skill-sets practised in both research and therapy. We thus embarked upon diverse adventures with self-as-subject and creative research, which we now entangle under the investigational umbrella-term abr+a (arts-based research through autoethnography) (Green et al, 2018). Fuelled by belief that arts therapists enhance both self and profession using these performative research approaches, abr+a now influences research taught and practised by faculty and students in the Whitecliffe School of Creative Arts Therapies.
McNiff's (1998: 170) exhortation to arts therapists that ‘the process of research should correspond as closely as possible to the experience of therapy’ informs this choice to blend arts-based research (ABR) and autoethnography (Holman Jones, Adams, and Ellis, 2015; Leavy, 2018). Simultaneously a practice, process, and product, ABR is an ‘aesthetic way of knowing’ (Greenwood, 2012): the researcher investigates a research question through artistic creating during data gathering/generation and/or analysis/translation and/or presentation. Autoethnography studies ‘the culture of self ‘ (Ricci, 2003) or others through self, encouraging ‘researchers to start with their own lived experiences as a way of uncovering new ways of knowing and understanding wider cultural beliefs’ (Gray, 2011: 67).
When COVID-19 began affecting our personal, professional, and educational worlds, we turned to abr+a to help us express, explore, and endure these uncertainties. In this chapter, we demonstrate how in April 2020, during our first major lockdown in Aotearoa, we used abr+a to craft and share metaphors for the pandemic. During this initial iteration, we lecturers gifted our nascent metaphors for the pandemic to our Master of Arts in Arts Therapy (MAAT) students. This cohort in turn used abr+a to birth, explore, and share their own generative metaphors.
Lithium was first found to have an acute antimanic effect in 1948 with further corroboration in the early 1950s. It took some time for lithium to become the standard treatment for relapse prevention in bipolar affective disorder. In this study, our aims were to examine the factors associated wtih the likelihood of maintaining lithium levels within the recommended therapeutic range and to look at the stability of lithium levels between blood tests. We examined this relation using clinical laboratory serum lithium test requesting data collected from three large UK centres, where the approach to managing patients with bipolar disorder and ordering lithium testing varied.
46,555 lithium rest requests in 3,371 individuals over 7 years were included from three UK centres. Using lithium results in four categories (<0.4 mmol/L; 0.40–0.79 mmol/L; 0.80–0.99 mmol/L; ≥1.0 mmol/L), we determined the proportion of instances where, on subsequent testing, lithium results remained in the same category or switched category. We then examined the association between testing interval and proportion remaining within target, and the effect of age, duration of lithium therapy and testing history.
For tests within the recommended range (0.40–0.99 mmol/L categories), 84.5% of subsequent tests remained within this range. Overall 3-monthly testing was associated with 90% of lithium results remaining within range compared with 85% at 6-monthly intervals. At all test intervals, lithium test result history in the previous 12-months was associated with the proportion of next test results on target (BNF/NICE criteria), with 90% remaining within range target after 6-months if all tests in the previous 12-months were on target. Age/duration of lithium therapy had no significant effect on lithium level stability. Levels within the 0.80–0.99 mmol/L category were linked to a higher probability of moving to the ≥1.0 mmol/L category (10%) than those in the 0.40–0.79 mmolL group (2%), irrespective of testing frequency. Thus prior history in relation to stability of lithium level in the previous 12 months is a predictor of future stability of lithium level.
We propose that, for those who achieve 12-months of lithium tests within the 0.40–0.79mmol/L range, it would be reasonable to increase the interval between tests to 6 months, irrespective of age, freeing up resource to focus on those less concordant with their lithium monitoring. Where lithium level is 0.80–0.99mmol/L test interval should remain at 3 months. This could reduce lithium test numbers by 15% and costs by ~$0.4 m p.a.
Through drinking water, humans are commonly exposed to atrazine, a herbicide that acts as an endocrine and metabolic disruptor. It interferes with steroidogenesis, including promoting oestrogen production and altering cell metabolism. However, its precise impact on uterine development remains unknown. This study aimed to determine the effect of prolonged atrazine exposure on the uterus. Pregnant mice (n = 5/group) received 5 mg/kg body weight/day atrazine or DMSO in drinking water from gestational day 9.5 until weaning. Offspring continued to be exposed until 3 or 6 months of age (n = 5–9/group), when uteri were collected for morphological and molecular analyses and steroid quantification. Endometrial hyperplasia and leiomyoma were evident in the uteri of atrazine-exposed mice. Uterine oestrogen concentration, oestrogen receptor expression, and localisation were similar between groups, at both ages (P > 0.1). The expression and localisation of key epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes and proteins, critical for tumourigenesis, remained unchanged between treatments, at both ages (P > 0.1). Hence, oestrogen-mediated changes to established EMT markers do not appear to underlie abnormal uterine morphology evident in atrazine exposure mice. This is the first report of abnormal uterine morphology following prolonged atrazine exposure starting in utero, it is likely that the abnormalities identified would negatively affect female fertility, although mechanisms remain unknown and require further study.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
There is a worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, chronic lung disease, and some forms of cancer; predisposition to these is linked to obesity. This is despite efforts by individuals to modify their diet and lifestyle, and government and global programs aimed at promoting healthy eating or increased physical activity. Some initiatives have begun to target childhood eating and activity. But a strong and international body of scientific and epidemiological data suggests that health interventions should be focused on a much earlier period of development: pregnancy. Expectant couples are often focused on the immediate result of their pregnancy – a viable baby. It may come as a surprise to many of them to hear that the finer details of building a baby are in fact the foundation of lifelong health.
Use of the herbicide atrazine (ATR) is banned in the European Union; yet, it is still widely used in the USA and Australia. ATR is known to alter testosterone and oestrogen production and thus reproductive characteristics in numerous species. In this proof of concept study, we examined the effect of ATR exposure, at a supra-environmental dose (5 mg/kg bw/day), beginning on E9.5 in utero, prior to sexual differentiation of the reproductive tissues, until 26 weeks of age, on the development of the mouse penis. Notably, this is the first study to specifically investigate whether ATR can affect penis characteristics. We show that ATR exposure, beginning in utero, causes a shortening (demasculinisation) of penis structures and increases the incidence of hypospadias in mice. These data indicate the need for further studies of ATR on human reproductive development and fertility, especially considering its continued and widespread use.
Sintered nanoparticle structures are macroscopically brittle but quite robust if deposited on a flexible substrate. The effects of a polymer substrate on the stretchability of both brittle and ductile coatings and traces are well established. Systematic effects of substrate properties on the fatigue resistance of aerosol printed nano-Ag are slightly more complex. The present work is focused on the early stages of fatigue, where the resistance increases significantly but cracks are not yet visible. Overall, the fatigue behavior is seen to vary with the combination of substrate modulus and viscoelastic deformation properties. Comparing two common polyimides, the rate of damage was seen to increase faster with increasing amplitude on the less compliant one. Consistently with this increasing the minimum strain in the cycle led to a significantly stronger reduction in damage rates. However, the damage rate remained lower on the less compliant substrate at all amplitudes and strain ranges of practical concern.
To determine the rate of recurrent major trauma (i.e., trauma recidivism) using a provincial population-based trauma registry. We compared outcomes between recidivists and non-recidivists, and assessed factors associated with recidivism and mortality.
Review of all adult (>17 years) major trauma patients in Nova Scotia (2001–2015) using data from the Nova Scotia Trauma Registry. Outcomes of interest were mortality, duration of hospital stay, and in-hospital complications. Multiple regression was used to assess factors associated with recidivism and mortality.
Of 9,365 major trauma patients, 2% (150/9365) were recidivists. Mean age at initial injury was 52 ± 21.5 years; 73% were male. The mortality rate for both recidivists and non-recidivists was 31%. However, after adjusting for potential confounders the likelihood of mortality was over 3 times greater for recidivists compared to non-recidivists (OR 3.67, 95% CI 2.06–6.54). Other factors associated with mortality included age, male gender, penetrating injury, Injury Severity Score, trauma team activation (TTA) and admission to the intensive care unit. The only variables associated with recidivism were age (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97–1.00) and TTA (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.34–0.96).
This is the first provincial investigation of major trauma recidivism in Canada. While recidivism was infrequent (2%), the adjusted odds of mortality were over three times greater for recidivists. Further research is warranted to determine the effectiveness of strategies for reducing rates of major trauma recidivism such as screening and brief intervention in cases of violence or substance abuse.
Movement disorders associated with exposure to antipsychotic drugs are common and stigmatising but underdiagnosed.
To develop and evaluate a new clinical procedure, the ScanMove instrument, for the screening of antipsychotic-associated movement disorders for use by mental health nurses.
Item selection and content validity assessment for the ScanMove instrument were conducted by a panel of neurologists, psychiatrists and a mental health nurse, who operationalised a 31-item screening procedure. Interrater reliability was measured on ratings for 30 patients with psychosis from ten mental health nurses evaluating video recordings of the procedure. Criterion and concurrent validity were tested comparing the ScanMove instrument-based rating of 13 mental health nurses for 635 community patients from mental health services with diagnostic judgement of a movement disorder neurologist based on the ScanMove instrument and a reference procedure comprising a selection of commonly used rating scales.
Interreliability analysis showed no systematic difference between raters in their prediction of any antipsychotic-associated movement disorders category. On criterion validity testing, the ScanMove instrument showed good sensitivity for parkinsonism (90%) and hyperkinesia (89%), but not for akathisia (38%), whereas specificity was low for parkinsonism and hyperkinesia, and moderate for akathisia.
The ScanMove instrument demonstrated good feasibility and interrater reliability, and acceptable sensitivity as a mental health nurse-administered screening tool for parkinsonism and hyperkinesia.
Returning genomic research results to family members raises complex questions. Genomic research on life-limiting conditions such as cancer, and research involving storage and reanalysis of data and specimens long into the future, makes these questions pressing. This author group, funded by an NIH grant, published consensus recommendations presenting a framework. This follow-up paper offers concrete guidance and tools for implementation. The group collected and analyzed relevant documents and guidance, including tools from the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium. The authors then negotiated a consensus toolkit of processes and documents. That toolkit offers sample consent and notification documents plus decision flow-charts to address return of results to family of living and deceased participants, in adult and pediatric research. Core concerns are eliciting participant preferences on sharing results with family and on choice of a representative to make decisions about sharing after participant death.
The Megamaser Cosmology Project (MCP) measures the Hubble Constant by determining geometric distances to circumnuclear 22 GHz H2O megamasers in galaxies at low redshift (z < 0.05) but well into the Hubble flow. In combination with the recent, exquisite observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background by WMAP and Planck, these measurements provide a direct test of the standard cosmological model and constrain the equation of state of dark energy. The MCP is a multi-year project that has recently completed observations and is currently working on final analysis. Based on distance measurements to the first four published megamasers in the sample, the MCP currently determines H0 = 69.3 ± 4.2 km s−1 Mpc−1. The project is finalizing analysis for five additional galaxies. When complete, we expect to achieve a ~4% measurement. Given the tension between the Planck prediction of H0 in the context of the standard cosmological model and astrophysical measurements based on standard candles, the MCP provides a critical and independent geometric measurement that does not rely on external calibrations or a distance ladder.
Trauma systems have been widely implemented across Canada, but access to trauma care remains a challenge for much of the population. This study aims to develop and validate a model to quantify the accessibility of definitive care within one provincial trauma system and identify populations with poor access to trauma care.
A geographic information system (GIS) was used to generate models of pre-scene and post-scene intervals, respectively. Models were validated using a population-based trauma registry containing data on prehospital time intervals and injury locations for Nova Scotia (NS). Validated models were then applied to describe the population-level accessibility of trauma care for the NS population as well as a cohort of patients injured in motor vehicle collisions (MVCs).
Predicted post-scene intervals were found to be highly correlated with documented post-scene intervals (β 1.05, p<0.001). Using the model, it was found that 88.1% and 42.7% of the population had access to Level III and Level I trauma care within 60 minutes of prehospital time from their residence, respectively. Access for victims of MVCs was lower, with 84.3% and 29.7% of the cohort having access to Level III and Level I trauma care within 60 minutes of the location of injury, respectively.
GIS models can be used to identify populations with poor access to care and inform service planning in Canada. Although only 43% of the provincial population has access to Level I care within 60 minutes, the majority of the population of NS has access to Level III trauma care.
We sought to conduct a major objective of the CAEP Academic Section, an environmental scan of the academic emergency medicine programs across the 17 Canadian medical schools.
We developed an 84-question questionnaire, which was distributed to academic heads. The responses were validated by phone by the lead author to ensure that the questions were answered completely and consistently. Details of pediatric emergency medicine units were excluded from the scan.
At eight of 17 universities, emergency medicine has full departmental status and at two it has no official academic status. Canadian academic emergency medicine is practiced at 46 major teaching hospitals and 13 specialized pediatric hospitals. Another 69 Canadian hospital EDs regularly take clinical clerks and emergency medicine residents. There are 31 full professors of emergency medicine in Canada. Teaching programs are strong with clerkships offered at 16/17 universities, CCFP(EM) programs at 17/17, and RCPSC residency programs at 14/17. Fourteen sites have at least one physician with a Master’s degree in education. There are 55 clinical researchers with salary support at 13 universities. Sixteen sites have published peer-reviewed papers in the past five years, ranging from four to 235 per site. Annual budgets range from $200,000 to $5,900,000.
This comprehensive review of academic activities in emergency medicine across Canada identifies areas of strengths as well as opportunities for improvement. CAEP and the Academic Section hope we can ultimately improve ED patient care by sharing best academic practices and becoming better teachers, educators, and researchers.
The debate about how to manage individual research results and incidental findings in genetic and genomic research has focused primarily on what information, if any, to offer back to research participants. However, increasing controversy surrounds the question of whether researchers have any responsibility to offer a participant’s results (defined here to include both individual research results and incidental findings) to the participant’s relatives, including after the participant’s death. This question arises in multiple contexts, including when researchers discover a result with potentially important health implications for genetic relatives, when a participant’s relatives ask a researcher whether any research results about the participant have implications for their own health or reproductive planning, when a participant’s relative asks whether any of the participant’s results have implications for a child’s health, and when the participant is deceased and the participant’s relatives seek information about the participant’s genetic results in order to address their own health or reproductive concerns.