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Structural brain abnormalities have been described in autism but studies are often small and contradictory. We aimed to identify which brain regions can reliably be regarded as different in autism compared to healthy controls.
A systematic search was conducted for magnetic resonance imaging studies of regional brain size in autism. Data were extracted and combined using random effects meta-analysis. The modifying effects of age and IQ were investigated using meta-regression.
The total brain, cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum and caudate nucleus were increased in volume, whereas the corpus callosum area was reduced. There was evidence for a modifying effect of age and IQ on the cerebellar vermal lobules VI–VII and for age on the amygdala.
Autism may result from abnormalities in specific brain regions and a global lack of integration due to brain enlargement. Inconsistencies in the literature partly relate to differences in the age and IQ of study populations. Some regions may show abnormal growth trajectories.
Competition in the US Congress has been characterised along a single, left-right ideological dimension. We challenge this characterisation by showing that the content of legislation has far more predictive power than alternative measures, most notably legislators’ ideological positions derived from scaling roll call votes. Using a machine learning approach, we identify a topic model for final passage votes in the 111th through the 113th House of Representatives and conduct out-of-sample tests to evaluate the predictive power of bill topics relative to other measures. We find that bill topics and congressional committees are important for predicting roll call votes but that other variables, including member ideology, lack predictive power. These findings raise serious doubts about the claim that congressional politics can be boiled down to competition along a single left-right continuum and shed new light on the debate about levels of polarisation in Congress.
Drug Safety Communications (DSCs) are used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform health care providers, patients, caregivers, and the general public about safety issues related to FDA-approved drugs. To assess patient knowledge of the messaging contained in DSCs related to the sleep aids zolpidem and eszopiclone, we conducted a large, cross-sectional patient survey of 1,982 commercially insured patients selected by stratified random sampling from the Optum Research Database who had filled at least two prescriptions for either zolpidem or eszopiclone between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Among the 594 respondents (32.7% response rate), two-thirds reported hearing generally about drug safety information prior to starting a new drug, with the remaining one-third “rarely” or “never” hearing such information. Providers and pharmacists were primary sources of drug safety information. Two-thirds of zolpidem users and half of eszopiclone users reported having heard about the related DSC messages, ability to accurately identify the major factual messages was limited (overall median 2 correct out of 5, with men and those reporting higher educational level scoring higher [2/5 vs. 1/5, p=0.001]). Respondents reacted to new drug safety information about their sleep aids by reporting that they would want to learn about alternative ways to help them sleep (70%) and seek out more information about the safety of their specific sleeping pill (59-78%). Opportunities may exist for the FDA to work with providers and pharmacies to help ensure the DSC information is more widely received and is more fully understood by those taking the affected medications.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.
Micro-scale energy storage devices are of great importance to the advancement of low maintenance, high power electronics. They can easily be used in applications that extract energy from mechanical, solar, thermal and thermoelectric sources. Several of these devices have achieved mean areal capacitance of 1.5 mF cm-2 and maximal energy and power densities of 6.6 mJ cm-2 and 44.9 mW cm-2, respectively. It has been demonstrated that a smaller interspace enhances the performance. Currently, these types of devices are only made possible by using several micro-fabrication steps and techniques that are cost prohibitive and limit the larger scale manufacturability. We present a simple but highly scalable and cost effective method in fabricating high power interdigitated micro energy storage devices using binder-free carbon nanotubes membranes and laser irradiation to obtain interspaces on the order of 75 μm. The binder-free electrode devices show higher power density and an improved frequency response, compared to what has been reported in the literature. Additionally, we observed significant reduction in cell resistance leading to enhancement in cell capacitance, and consequently, an increase in energy density.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Preadmission skin antisepsis, while controversial, has gained acceptance as a strategy for reducing the risk of SSI. In this study, we analyze the benefit of an electronic alert system for enhancing compliance to preadmission application of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Following informed consent, 100 healthy volunteers in an academic, tertiary care medical center were randomized to 5 chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin application groups: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive applications. Participants were further randomized into 2 subgroups: with or without electronic alert. Skin surface concentrations of CHG (μg/mL) were analyzed using a colorimetric assay at 5 separate anatomic sites.
Preadmission application of chlorhexidine gluconate, 2%
Mean composite skin surface CHG concentrations in volunteer participants receiving EA following 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 applications were 1,040.5, 1,334.4, 1,278.2, 1,643.9, and 1,803.1 µg/mL, respectively, while composite skin surface concentrations in the no-EA group were 913.8, 1,240.0, 1,249.8, 1,194.4, and 1,364.2 µg/mL, respectively (ANOVA, P<.001). Composite ratios (CHG concentration/minimum inhibitory concentration required to inhibit the growth of 90% of organisms [MIC90]) for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 applications using the 2% CHG cloth were 208.1, 266.8, 255.6, 328.8, and 360.6, respectively, representing CHG skin concentrations effective against staphylococcal surgical pathogens. The use of an electronic alert system resulted in significant increase in skin concentrations of CHG in the 4- and 5-application groups (P<.04 and P<.007, respectively).
The findings of this study suggest an evidence-based standardized process that includes use of an Internet-based electronic alert system to improve patient compliance while maximizing skin surface concentrations effective against MRSA and other staphylococcal surgical pathogens.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):254–259
The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) approach to emergency prehospital care in the United States (US) has global influence. As the 50-year anniversary of modern US EMS approaches, there is value in examining US EMS education development over this period. This report describes US EMS education milestones and identifies themes that provide context to readers outside the US.
As US EMS education is described mainly in publications of federal US EMS agencies and associations, a Google search and hand searching of documents identified publications in the public domain. MEDLINE and CINAHL Plus were searched for peer reviewed publications. Documents were reviewed using both a chronological and thematic approach.
Seventy-eight documents and 685 articles were screened, the full texts of 175 were reviewed, and 41 were selected for full review. Four historical periods in US EMS education became apparent: EMS education development (1966-1980); EMS education consolidation and review (1981-1989); EMS education reflection and change (1990-1999); and EMS education for the future (2000-2014). Four major themes emerged: legislative authority, physician direction, quality, and development of the profession.
Documents produced through broad interprofessional consultations, with support from federal and US EMS authorities, reflect the catalysts for US EMS education development. The current model of US EMS education provides a structure to enhance educational quality into the future. Implementation evaluation of this model would be a valuable addition to the US EMS literature. The themes emerging from this review assist the understanding of the characteristics of US EMS education.
BrooksIA, SayreMR, SpencerC, ArcherFL. An Historical Examination of the Development of Emergency Medical Services Education in the US through Key Reports (1966-2014). Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):90–97.
Warfare on the periphery of Europe and across cultural boundaries is a particular focus of this volume. One article, on Castilian seapower, treats the melding of northern and southern naval traditions; another clarifies the military roles of the Ayyubid and Mamluk miners and stoneworkers in siege warfare; a third emphasizes cultural considerations in an Icelandic conflict; a fourth looks at how an Iberian prelate navigated the line between ecclesiastical and military responsibilities; and a fifth analyzes the different roles of early gunpowder weapons in Europe and China, linking technological history with the significance of human geography. Further contributions also consider technology, two dealing with fifteenth-century English artillery and the third with prefabricated mechanical artillery during the Crusades. Another theme of the volume is source criticism, with re-examinations of the sources for Owain Glyndwr's (possible) victory at Hyddgen in 1401, a (possible) Danish attack on England in 1128, and the role of non-milites in Salian warfare. Contributors: Nicolas Agrait, Tonio Andrade, David Bachrach, Oren Falk, Devin Fields, Michael S. Fulton, Thomas K. Heeboll-Holm, Rabei G. Khamisy, Michael Livingstone, Dan Spencer, L.J. Andrew Villalon
If a doctoral dissertation is an original scholarly contribution to knowledge, then it seems important that the information gained be disseminated through means of publication, where its contribution can benefit society. In our view, for a dissertation to have an impact, submitting to ProQuest UMI, for example, does not suffice as publication, even though called “publishing” by the company. Even though this is the primary archive for dissertations and theses including an estimated “95% to 98% of all U.S. doctoral dissertations” (Proquest, 2013), limited access to these archives and their lack of use by many professionals may limit the visibility and ultimate utility of those projects only published in this forum.
Unfortunately, we have observed a number of students who have “walked away” from their dissertations (or masters’ theses) after being awarded their degrees (and not just in our own graduate program). These students, for a variety of reasons, do not pursue publication of these projects. These decisions not to seek publication are rarely due to poorly conceived or inadequately conducted research. In fact, some dissertation research may be of higher quality than published research is (McLeod & Weisz, 2004). Nor have these projects resulted in uninterpretable, nonsignificant, or unoriginal findings, which therefore might not constitute uniquely valuable contributions to the scholarly literature. Indeed, in many cases, the “quality assurance” mechanisms of mentorship, committee review, and oral and written defenses are often sufficient to obviate such undesirable outcomes (McLeod & Weisz, 2004). Non-publication apparently results from a lack of further interest or incentive to publish and a desire to move on to other career activities.
To measure trends in aminoglycoside antibiotic use and gentamicin-resistant clinical isolates across a network of hospitals and compare network-level relationships with those of individual hospitals.
Longitudinal observational investigation.
US academic medical centers.
Adult aminoglycoside use was measured from 2002 or 2003 through 2009 in 29 hospitals. Hospital-wide antibiograms assessed gentamicin resistance by proportions and incidence rates for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli. Mixed-effects analysis of variance was used to assess the significance of changes in aminoglycoside use and changes in resistance rates and proportions. Generalized estimating equations were used to assess the relationship between aminoglycoside use and resistance.
Mean aminoglycoside use declined by 41%, reflecting reduced gentamicin (P <.0001) and tobramycin (P = .005) use; amikacin use did not change. The rate and proportion of gentamicin-resistant P. aeruginosa decreased by 48% (P < .0001) and 31% (P < .0001), respectively. The rate and proportion of gentamicin-resistant E. coli increased by 166% and 124%, respectively (P < .0001), and they were related to increasing quinolone resistance in E. coli. Resistance among K. pneumoniae and A. baumannii did not change. Relationships between aminoglycoside use and resistance at the network level were highly variable at the individual hospital level.
Mean aminoglycoside use declined in this network of US hospitals and was associated with significant and opposite changes in rates of resistance for some organisms and no change for others. At the individual hospital level, antibiograms appear to be an unreliable reflection of antibiotic use, at least for aminoglycosides.
The secoiridoids 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol-elenolic acid (3,4-DHPEA-EA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethanol-elenolic acid dialdehyde (3,4-DHPEA-EDA) account for approximately 55 % of the phenolic content of olive oil and may be partly responsible for its reported human health benefits. We have investigated the absorption and metabolism of these secoiridoids in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Both 3,4-DHPEA-EDA and 3,4-DHPEA-EA were relatively stable under gastric conditions, only undergoing limited hydrolysis. Both secoiridoids were transferred across a human cellular model of the small intestine (Caco-2 cells). However, no glucuronide conjugation was observed for either secoiridoid during transfer, although some hydroxytyrosol and homovanillic alcohol were formed. As Caco-2 cells are known to express only limited metabolic activity, we also investigated the absorption and metabolism of secoiridoids in isolated, perfused segments of the jejunum and ileum. Here, both secoiridoids underwent extensive metabolism, most notably a two-electron reduction and glucuronidation during the transfer across both the ileum and jejunum. Unlike Caco-2 cells, the intact small-intestinal segments contain NADPH-dependent aldo-keto reductases, which reduce the aldehyde carbonyl group of 3,4-DHPEA-EA and one of the two aldeydic carbonyl groups present on 3,4-DHPEA-EDA. These reduced forms are then glucuronidated and represent the major in vivo small-intestinal metabolites of the secoiridoids. In agreement with the cell studies, perfusion of the jejunum and ileum also yielded hydroxytyrosol and homovanillic alcohol and their respective glucuronides. We suggest that the reduced and glucuronidated forms represent novel physiological metabolites of the secoiridoids that should be pursued in vivo and investigated for their biological activity.