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To improve maternal health outcomes, increased diversity is needed among pregnant people in research studies and community surveillance. To expand the pool, we sought to develop a network encompassing academic and community obstetrics clinics. Typical challenges in developing a network include site identification, contracting, onboarding sites, staff engagement, participant recruitment, funding, and institutional review board approvals. While not insurmountable, these challenges became magnified as we built a research network during a global pandemic. Our objective is to describe the framework utilized to resolve pandemic-related issues.
We developed a framework for site-specific adaptation of the generalized study protocol. Twice monthly video meetings were held between the lead academic sites to identify local challenges and to generate ideas for solutions. We identified site and participant recruitment challenges and then implemented solutions tailored to the local workflow. These solutions included the use of an electronic consent and videoconferences with local clinic leadership and staff. The processes for network development and maintenance changed to address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, aspects of the sample processing/storage and data collection elements were held constant between sites.
Adapting our consenting approach enabled maintaining study enrollment during the pandemic. The pandemic amplified issues related to contracting, onboarding, and IRB approval. Maintaining continuity in sample management and clinical data collection allowed for pooling of information between sites.
Adaptability is key to maintaining network sites. Rapidly changing guidelines for beginning and continuing research during the pandemic required frequent intra- and inter-institutional communication to navigate.
Seed retention, and ultimately seed shatter, are extremely important for the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and are likely influenced by various agroecological and environmental factors. Field studies investigated seed-shattering phenology of 22 weed species across three soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]-producing regions in the United States. We further evaluated the potential drivers of seed shatter in terms of weather conditions, growing degree days, and plant biomass. Based on the results, weather conditions had no consistent impact on weed seed shatter. However, there was a positive correlation between individual weed plant biomass and delayed weed seed–shattering rates during harvest. This work demonstrates that HWSC can potentially reduce weed seedbank inputs of plants that have escaped early-season management practices and retained seed through harvest. However, smaller individuals of plants within the same population that shatter seed before harvest pose a risk of escaping early-season management and HWSC.
Potential effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems depends upon seed shatter of the target weed species at crop maturity, enabling its collection and processing at crop harvest. However, seed retention likely is influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed-shatter phenology in 13 economically important broadleaf weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after physiological maturity at multiple sites spread across 14 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. Greater proportions of seeds were retained by weeds in southern latitudes and shatter rate increased at northern latitudes. Amaranthus spp. seed shatter was low (0% to 2%), whereas shatter varied widely in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) (2% to 90%) over the weeks following soybean physiological maturity. Overall, the broadleaf species studied shattered less than 10% of their seeds by soybean harvest. Our results suggest that some of the broadleaf species with greater seed retention rates in the weeks following soybean physiological maturity may be good candidates for HWSC.
Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after maturity at multiple sites spread across 11 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. From soybean maturity to 4 wk after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased moving north through the states. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1% to 70%. That range had shifted to 5% to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 d after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed-shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output during certain years.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
Crack initiation in zirconium alloys is an important issue for the safety of water-cooled fission reactors. Zirconium hydrides that precipitate in service are potential crack nucleation sites. In this work, the deformation and cracking of zirconium hydrides was studied during room temperature deformation of a Zircaloy-4 tensile sample up to fracture. The sample contained a hydrogen concentration of 100 ± 20 ppm. The main aims of this study were to better understand the mechanisms behind the hydride fracture in a polycrystalline matrix, and to identify at which point in the deformation of the Zr matrix the first hydrides break. Cracks thus nucleated may coalesce and propagate through the hydrided Zr-alloy. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of a number of hydrides, both intergranular and intragranular, were taken at discrete increments of deformation during an interrupted tensile test. The results show that cracks in hydrides tend to always occur normal to the applied load, signalling the importance of the external stress. However, evidence is also provided to support the hypothesis that internal stresses generated by microstructural constraints may lead to the fracture of some intergranular hydrides.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Intertidal biofilms are a diverse mixture of bacteria, algae as well as sporelings of macroalgae embedded in a polysaccharid matrix. As the primary colonisers of newly formed surfaces, biofilms undergo a succession of different microbe assemblage until the mature state is reached. A biofilm can act as primary producers and as such recycle nutrients in a habitat. It will influence macrobiota by providing a food source or sending out cues to settlers. Biofilms themselves will be controlled by these settlers. This interaction between bottom-up and top-down plays a crucial part for the functioning of the rocky shore ecosystems. However, the diversity of biolfilms as well as it nature to react quickly to environmental changes makes identification and quantification of the individual compounds a difficult task. Subsequently, the understanding of biofilms in general and intertidal, rocky shore microbe assemblages has always tied to techniques and methods available at the time of study. This chapter focusses on the techniques that have greatly contributed to increasing knowledge of biofilms and discusses their findings. Nonetheless, newly developed methods promise to further this knowledge of the ecological role of biofilms on rocky coastlines.
To evaluate long-term efficacy of deutetrabenazine in patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD) by examining response rates from baseline in Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) scores. Preliminary results of the responder analysis are reported in this analysis.
In the 12-week ARM-TD and AIM-TD studies, the odds of response to deutetrabenazine treatment were higher than the odds of response to placebo at all response levels, and there were low rates of overall adverse events and discontinuations associated with deutetrabenazine.
Patients with TD who completed ARM-TD or AIM-TD were included in this open-label, single-arm extension study, in which all patients restarted/started deutetrabenazine 12mg/day, titrating up to a maximum total daily dose of 48mg/day based on dyskinesia control and tolerability. The study comprised a 6-week titration and a long-term maintenance phase. The cumulative proportion of AIMS responders from baseline was assessed. Response was defined as a percent improvement from baseline for each patient from 10% to 90% in 10% increments. AlMS score was assessed by local site ratings for this analysis.
343 patients enrolled in the extension study (111 patients received placebo in the parent study and 232 patients received deutetrabenazine). At Week 54 (n=145; total daily dose [mean±standard error]: 38.1±0.9mg), 63% of patients receiving deutetrabenazine achieved ≥30% response, 48% of patients achieved ≥50% response, and 26% achieved ≥70% response. At Week 80 (n=66; total daily dose: 38.6±1.1mg), 76% of patients achieved ≥30% response, 59% of patients achieved ≥50% response, and 36% achieved ≥70% response. Treatment was generally well tolerated.
Patients who received long-term treatment with deutetrabenazine achieved response rates higher than those observed in positive short-term studies, indicating clinically meaningful long-term treatment benefit.
Presented at: American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 21–27, 2018, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Petach Tikva, Israel.
To evaluate the long-term safety and tolerability of deutetrabenazine in patients with tardive dyskinesia (TD) at 2years.
In the 12-week ARM-TD and AIM-TD studies, deutetrabenazine showed clinically significant improvements in Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale scores compared with placebo, and there were low rates of overall adverse events (AEs) and discontinuations associated with deutetrabenazine.
Patients who completed ARM-TD or AIM-TD were included in this open-label, single-arm extension study, in which all patients restarted/started deutetrabenazine 12mg/day, titrating up to a maximum total daily dose of 48mg/day based on dyskinesia control and tolerability. The study comprised a 6-week titration period and a long-term maintenance phase. Safety measures included incidence of AEs, serious AEs (SAEs), and AEs leading to withdrawal, dose reduction, or dose suspension. Exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs; incidence/patient-years) were used to compare AE frequencies for long-term treatment with those for short-term treatment (ARM-TD and AIM-TD). This analysis reports results up to 2 years (Week106).
343 patients were enrolled (111 patients received placebo in the parent study and 232 received deutetrabenazine). There were 331.4 patient-years of exposure in this analysis. Through Week 106, EAIRs of AEs were comparable to or lower than those observed with short-term deutetrabenazine and placebo, including AEs of interest (akathisia/restlessness [long-term EAIR: 0.02; short-term EAIR range: 0–0.25], anxiety [0.09; 0.13–0.21], depression [0.09; 0.04–0.13], diarrhea [0.06; 0.06–0.34], parkinsonism [0.01; 0–0.08], somnolence/sedation [0.09; 0.06–0.81], and suicidality [0.02; 0–0.13]). The frequency of SAEs (EAIR 0.15) was similar to those observed with short-term placebo (0.33) and deutetrabenazine (range 0.06–0.33) treatment. AEs leading to withdrawal (0.08), dose reduction (0.17), and dose suspension (0.06) were uncommon.
These results confirm the safety outcomes seen in the ARM-TD and AIM-TD parent studies, demonstrating that deutetrabenazine is well tolerated for long-term use in TD patients.
Presented at: American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 21–27, 2018, Los Angeles, California,USA
Funding Acknowledgements: Funding: This study was supported by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Petach Tikva, Israel
Despite improvements in the medical and surgical management of infants with CHD, growth failure before surgery in many infants continues to be a significant concern. A nutritional pathway was developed, the aim of which was to provide a structured approach to nutritional care for infants with CHD awaiting surgery.
Materials and methods
The modified Delphi process was development of a nutritional pathway; initial stakeholder meeting to finalise draft guidelines and develop questions; round 1 anonymous online survey; round 2 online survey; regional cardiac conference and pathway revision; and final expert meeting and pathway finalisation.
Paediatric Dietitians from all 11 of the paediatric cardiology surgical centres in the United Kingdom contributed to the guideline development. In all, 33% of participants had 9 or more years of experience working with infants with CHD. By the end of rounds 1 and 2, 76 and 96% of participants, respectively, were in agreement with the statements. Three statements where consensus was not achieved by the end of round 2 were discussed and agreed at the final expert group meeting.
Nutrition guidelines were developed for infants with CHD awaiting surgery, using a modified Delphi process, incorporating the best available evidence and expert opinion with regard to nutritional support in this group.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
Giant ragweed has been increasing as a major weed of row crops in the last
30 yr, but quantitative data regarding its pattern and mechanisms of spread
in crop fields are lacking. To address this gap, we conducted a Web-based
survey of certified crop advisors in the U.S. Corn Belt and Ontario, Canada.
Participants were asked questions regarding giant ragweed and crop
production practices for the county of their choice. Responses were mapped
and correlation analyses were conducted among the responses to determine
factors associated with giant ragweed populations. Respondents rated giant
ragweed as the most or one of the most difficult weeds to manage in 45% of
421 U.S. counties responding, and 57% of responding counties reported giant
ragweed populations with herbicide resistance to acetolactate synthase
inhibitors, glyphosate, or both herbicides. Results suggest that giant
ragweed is increasing in crop fields outward from the east-central U.S. Corn
Belt in most directions. Crop production practices associated with giant
ragweed populations included minimum tillage, continuous soybean, and
multiple-application herbicide programs; ecological factors included giant
ragweed presence in noncrop edge habitats, early and prolonged emergence,
and presence of the seed-burying common earthworm in crop fields. Managing
giant ragweed in noncrop areas could reduce giant ragweed migration from
noncrop habitats into crop fields and slow its spread. Where giant ragweed
is already established in crop fields, including a more diverse combination
of crop species, tillage practices, and herbicide sites of action will be
critical to reduce populations, disrupt emergence patterns, and select
against herbicide-resistant giant ragweed genotypes. Incorporation of a
cereal grain into the crop rotation may help suppress early giant ragweed
emergence and provide chemical or mechanical control options for
late-emerging giant ragweed.