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The U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has been a leader in weed science research covering topics ranging from the development and use of integrated weed management (IWM) tactics to basic mechanistic studies, including biotic resistance of desirable plant communities and herbicide resistance. ARS weed scientists have worked in agricultural and natural ecosystems, including agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures, forests, wild lands, aquatic habitats, wetlands, and riparian areas. Through strong partnerships with academia, state agencies, private industry, and numerous federal programs, ARS weed scientists have made contributions to discoveries in the newest fields of robotics and genetics, as well as the traditional and fundamental subjects of weed–crop competition and physiology and integration of weed control tactics and practices. Weed science at ARS is often overshadowed by other research topics; thus, few are aware of the long history of ARS weed science and its important contributions. This review is the result of a symposium held at the Weed Science Society of America’s 62nd Annual Meeting in 2022 that included 10 separate presentations in a virtual Weed Science Webinar Series. The overarching themes of management tactics (IWM, biological control, and automation), basic mechanisms (competition, invasive plant genetics, and herbicide resistance), and ecosystem impacts (invasive plant spread, climate change, conservation, and restoration) represent core ARS weed science research that is dynamic and efficacious and has been a significant component of the agency’s national and international efforts. This review highlights current studies and future directions that exemplify the science and collaborative relationships both within and outside ARS. Given the constraints of weeds and invasive plants on all aspects of food, feed, and fiber systems, there is an acknowledged need to face new challenges, including agriculture and natural resources sustainability, economic resilience and reliability, and societal health and well-being.
Recent studies postulated the viability of a suite of metabolic pathways in Enceladus’ ocean motivated by the detection of H2 and CO2 in the plumes – evidence for available free energy for methanogenesis driven by hydrothermal activity at the moon's seafloor. However, these have not yet been explored in detail. Here, a range of experiments were performed to investigate whether microbial iron reduction could be a viable metabolic pathway in the ocean by iron-reducing bacteria such as Geobacter sulfurreducens. This study has three main outcomes: (i) the successful reduction of a number of crystalline Fe(III)-bearing minerals predicted to be present at Enceladus was shown to take place to differing extents using acetate as an electron donor; (ii) substantial bacterial growth in a simulated Enceladus ocean medium was demonstrated using acetate and H2(g) separately as electron donors; (iii) microbial iron reduction of ferrihydrite was shown to partially occur at pH 9, the currently accepted value for Enceladus’ ocean, whilst being severely hindered at the ambient ocean temperature of 0°. This study proposes the possibilities for biogeochemical iron cycling in Enceladus’ ocean, suggesting that a strain of iron-reducing bacteria can effectively function under Enceladus-like conditions.
Two introduced carnivores, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus, have had extensive impacts on Australian biodiversity. In this study, we collate information on consumption of Australian birds by the fox, paralleling a recent study reporting on birds consumed by cats. We found records of consumption by foxes on 128 native bird species (18% of the non-vagrant bird fauna and 25% of those species within the fox’s range), a smaller tally than for cats (343 species, including 297 within the fox’s Australian range, a subset of that of the cat). Most (81%) bird species eaten by foxes are also eaten by cats, suggesting that predation impacts are compounded. As with consumption by cats, birds that nest or forage on the ground are most likely to be consumed by foxes. However, there is also some partitioning, with records of consumption by foxes but not cats for 25 bird species, indicating that impacts of the two predators may also be complementary. Bird species ≥3.4 kg were more likely to be eaten by foxes, and those <3.4 kg by cats. Our compilation provides an inventory and describes characteristics of Australian bird species known to be consumed by foxes, but we acknowledge that records of predation do not imply population-level impacts. Nonetheless, there is sufficient information from other studies to demonstrate that fox predation has significant impacts on the population viability of some Australian birds, especially larger birds, and those that nest or forage on the ground.
Seeman, Morris, and Summers misrepresent or misunderstand the arguments we have made, as well as their own previous work. Here, we correct these inaccuracies. We also reiterate our support for hypothesis-driven and evidence-based research.
An early economic evaluation to inform the translation into clinical practice of a spectroscopic liquid biopsy for the detection of brain cancer. Two specific aims are (1) to update an existing economic model with results from a prospective study of diagnostic accuracy and (2) to explore the potential of brain tumor-type predictions to affect patient outcomes and healthcare costs.
A cost-effectiveness analysis from a UK NHS perspective of the use of spectroscopic liquid biopsy in primary and secondary care settings, as well as a cost–consequence analysis of the addition of tumor-type predictions was conducted. Decision tree models were constructed to represent simplified diagnostic pathways. Test diagnostic accuracy parameters were based on a prospective validation study. Four price points (GBP 50-200, EUR 57-228) for the test were considered.
In both settings, the use of liquid biopsy produced QALY gains. In primary care, at test costs below GBP 100 (EUR 114), testing was cost saving. At GBP 100 (EUR 114) per test, the ICER was GBP 13,279 (EUR 15,145), whereas at GBP 200 (EUR 228), the ICER was GBP 78,300 (EUR 89,301). In secondary care, the ICER ranged from GBP 11,360 (EUR 12,956) to GBP 43,870 (EUR 50,034) across the range of test costs.
The results demonstrate the potential for the technology to be cost-effective in both primary and secondary care settings. Additional studies of test use in routine primary care practice are needed to resolve the remaining issues of uncertainty—prevalence in this patient population and referral behavior.
The aim of this study was to determine if magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is cost-effective compared with medication, for refractory pain from bone metastases in the United States.
We constructed a Markov state transition model using TreeAge Pro software (TreeAge Software, Inc., Williamstown, MA, USA) to model costs, outcomes, and the cost-effectiveness of a treatment strategy using MRgFUS for palliative treatment of painful bone metastases compared with a Medication Only strategy (Figure 1). Model transition state probabilities, costs (in 2018 US$), and effectiveness data (quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs]) were derived from available literature, local expert opinion, and reimbursement patterns at two U.S. tertiary academic medical centers actively performing MRgFUS. Costs and QALYs, discounted at three percent per year, were accumulated each month over a 24-month time horizon. One-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed.
In the base-case analysis, the MRgFUS treatment strategy costs an additional $11,863 over the 2-year time horizon to accumulate additional 0.22 QALYs, equal to a $54,160/QALY ICER, thus making MRgFUS the preferred strategy. One-way sensitivity analyses demonstrate that for the base-case analysis, the crossover point at which Medication Only would instead become the preferred strategy is $23,341 per treatment. Probabilistic sensitivity analyses demonstrate that 67 percent of model iterations supported the conclusion of the base case.
Our model demonstrates that MRgFUS is cost-effective compared with Medication Only for palliation of painful bone metastases for patients with medically refractory metastatic bone pain across a range of sensitivity analyses.
Although death by neurologic criteria (brain death) is legally recognized throughout the United States, state laws and clinical practice vary concerning three key issues: (1) the medical standards used to determine death by neurologic criteria, (2) management of family objections before determination of death by neurologic criteria, and (3) management of religious objections to declaration of death by neurologic criteria. The American Academy of Neurology and other medical stakeholder organizations involved in the determination of death by neurologic criteria have undertaken concerted action to address variation in clinical practice in order to ensure the integrity of brain death determination. To complement this effort, state policymakers must revise legislation on the use of neurologic criteria to declare death. We review the legal history and current laws regarding neurologic criteria to declare death and offer proposed revisions to the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and the rationale for these recommendations.
To sustainably improve cleaning of high-touch surfaces (HTSs) in acute-care hospitals using a multimodal approach to education, reduction of barriers to cleaning, and culture change for environmental services workers.
The study was conducted in 2 academic acute-care hospitals, 2 community hospitals, and an academic pediatric and women’s hospital.
Frontline environmental services workers.
A 5-module educational program, using principles of adult learning theory, was developed and presented to environmental services workers. Audience response system (ARS), videos, demonstrations, role playing, and graphics were used to illustrate concepts of and the rationale for infection prevention strategies. Topics included hand hygiene, isolation precautions, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning protocols, and strategies to overcome barriers. Program evaluation included ARS questions, written evaluations, and objective assessments of occupied patient room cleaning. Changes in hospital-onset C. difficile infection (CDI) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) bacteremia were evaluated.
On average, 357 environmental service workers participated in each module. Most (93%) rated the presentations as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ and agreed that they were useful (95%), reported that they were more comfortable donning/doffing PPE (91%) and performing hand hygiene (96%) and better understood the importance of disinfecting HTSs (96%) after the program. The frequency of cleaning individual HTSs in occupied rooms increased from 26% to 62% (P < .001) following the intervention. Improvement was sustained 1-year post intervention (P < .001). A significant decrease in CDI was associated with the program.
A novel program that addressed environmental services workers’ knowledge gaps, challenges, and barriers was well received and appeared to result in learning, behavior change, and sustained improvements in cleaning.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Anomalous aortic origin of the coronary arteries is associated with exercise-induced ischaemia, leading some physicians to restrict exercise in patients with this condition. We sought to determine whether exercise restriction was associated with increasing body mass index over time. From 1998 to 2015, 440 patients ⩽30 years old were enrolled into an inception cohort. Exercise-restriction status was documented in 143 patients. Using linear mixed model repeated-measures regression, factors associated with increasing body mass index z-score over time, including exercise restriction and surgical intervention as time-varying covariates, were investigated. The 143 patients attended 558 clinic visits for which exercise-restriction status was recorded. The mean number of clinic visits per patient was 4, and the median duration of follow-up was 1.7 years (interquartile range (IQR) 0.5–4.4). The median age at first clinic visit was 10.3 years (IQR 7.1–13.9), and 71% (101/143) were males. All patients were alive at their most recent follow-up. At the first clinic visit, 54% (78/143) were exercise restricted, and restriction status changed in 34% (48/143) during follow-up. The median baseline body mass index z-score was 0.2 (IQR 0.3–0.9). In repeated-measures analysis, neither time-related exercise restriction nor its interaction with time was associated with increasing body mass index z-score. Surgical intervention and its interaction with time were associated with decreasing body mass index z-score. Although exercise restriction was not associated with increasing body mass index over time, surgical intervention was associated with decreasing body mass index z-score over time in patients with anomalous aortic origin of the coronary arteries.
The final effort of the CLIMAP project was a study of the last interglaciation, a time of minimum ice volume some 122,000 yr ago coincident with the Substage 5e oxygen isotopic minimum. Based on detailed oxygen isotope analyses and biotic census counts in 52 cores across the world ocean, last interglacial sea-surface temperatures (SST) were compared with those today. There are small SST departures in the mid-latitude North Atlantic (warmer) and the Gulf of Mexico (cooler). The eastern boundary currents of the South Atlantic and Pacific oceans are marked by large SST anomalies in individual cores, but their interpretations are precluded by no-analog problems and by discordancies among estimates from different biotic groups. In general, the last interglacial ocean was not significantly different from the modern ocean. The relative sequencing of ice decay versus oceanic warming on the Stage 6/5 oxygen isotopic transition and of ice growth versus oceanic cooling on the Stage 5e/5d transition was also studied. In most of the Southern Hemisphere, the oceanic response marked by the biotic census counts preceded (led) the global ice-volume response marked by the oxygen-isotope signal by several thousand years. The reverse pattern is evident in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, where the oceanic response lagged that of global ice volume by several thousand years. As a result, the very warm temperatures associated with the last interglaciation were regionally diachronous by several thousand years. These regional lead-lag relationships agree with those observed on other transitions and in long-term phase relationships; they cannot be explained simply as artifacts of bioturbational translations of the original signals.
The Neoproterozoic Ediacara biota at Mistaken Point contains the oldest diverse Ediacaran assemblages and is one of the few known deepwater localities, yet the biota is dominated by endemic forms, nearly all of which remain undescribed. Thectardis avalonensis new genus and species, one of these endemic forms, is a cm-scale triangular fossil with a raised rim and a featureless-to-faintly-segmented central depression. More than 200 specimens occur on two bedding plane surfaces: the 565 Ma E surface and the 575 Ma Pigeon Cove surface, nearly 2,000 m lower in the succession. Morphological and taphonomic data suggest that the organism was an elongate cone that may have lived as a suspension-feeding “mat sticker” with its pointed base inserted into the microbially bound sediment. If true, Thectardis n. gen. would be the tallest-known mat sticker, reaching a maximum height of over 15 cm. Specimens display little ontogenetic change in length:width ratio, suggesting that Thectardis grew uniformly by incremental addition of material to its distal end. Morphological differences between specimens at two well-separated stratigraphic levels may have resulted from evolutionary or ecophenotypic variation.
The borderline between the periods commonly termed "medieval" and "Renaissance", or "medieval" and "early modern", is one of the most hotly, energetically and productively contested faultlines in literary history studies. The essays presented in this volume both build upon and respond to the work of Professor Helen Cooper, a scholar who has long been committed to exploring the complex connectionsand interactions between medieval and Renaissance literature. The contributors re-examine a range of ideas, authors and genres addressed in her work, including pastoral, chivalric romance, early English drama, and the writings of Chaucer, Langland, Spenser and Shakespeare. As a whole, the volume aims to stimulate active debates on the ways in which Renaissance writers used, adapted, and remembered aspects of the medieval.
Andrew King is Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at University College, Cork; Matthew Woodcock is Senior Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of East Anglia.
Contributors: Joyce Boro, Aisling Byrne, Nandini Das, Mary C. Flannery, Alexandra Gillespie, Andrew King, Megan G. Leitch, R.W. Maslen, Jason Powell,Helen Vincent, James Wade, Matthew Woodcock