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The exotic internal structure of polar topologies in multiferroic materials offers a rich landscape for materials science research. As the spatial scale of these entities is often subatomic in nature, aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is the ideal characterization technique. Software to quantify and visualize the slight shifts in atomic placement within unit cells is of paramount importance due to the now routine acquisition of images at such resolution. In the previous ~decade since the commercialization of aberration-corrected TEM, many research groups have written their own code to visualize these polar entities. More recently, open-access Python packages have been developed for the purpose of TEM atomic position quantification. Building on these packages, we introduce the TEMUL Toolkit: a Python package for analysis and visualization of atomic resolution images. Here, we focus specifically on the TopoTEM module of the toolkit where we show an easy to follow, streamlined version of calculating the atomic displacements relative to the surrounding lattice and thus plotting polarization. We hope this toolkit will benefit the rapidly expanding field of topology-based nano-electronic and quantum materials research, and we invite the electron microscopy community to contribute to this open-access project.
This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of a peer support intervention to encourage adoption and maintenance of a Mediterranean diet (MD) in established community groups where existing social support may assist the behaviour change process. Four established community groups with members at increased Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk and homogenous in gender were recruited and randomised to receive either a 12-month Peer Support (PS) intervention (PSG) (n 2) or a Minimal Support intervention (educational materials only) (MSG) (n 2). The feasibility of the intervention was assessed using recruitment and retention rates, assessing the variability of outcome measures (primary outcome: adoption of an MD at 6 months (using a Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS)) and process evaluation measures including qualitative interviews. Recruitment rates for community groups (n 4/8), participants (n 31/51) and peer supporters (n 6/14) were 50 %, 61 % and 43 %, respectively. The recruitment strategy faced several challenges with recruitment and retention of participants, leading to a smaller sample than intended. At 12 months, a 65 % and 76·5 % retention rate for PSG and MSG participants was observed, respectively. A > 2-point increase in MDS was observed in both the PSG and the MSG at 6 months, maintained at 12 months. An increase in MD adherence was evident in both groups during follow-up; however, the challenges faced in recruitment and retention suggest a definitive study of the peer support intervention using current methods is not feasible and refinement based on the current feasibility study should be incorporated. Lessons learned during the implementation of this intervention will help inform future interventions in this area.
Adhering to a Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with reduced CVD risk. This study aimed to explore methods of increasing MD adoption in a non-Mediterranean population at high risk of CVD, including assessing the feasibility of a developed peer support intervention. The Trial to Encourage Adoption and Maintenance of a MEditerranean Diet was a 12-month pilot parallel group RCT involving individuals aged ≥ 40 year, with low MD adherence, who were overweight, and had an estimated CVD risk ≥ 20 % over ten years. It explored three interventions, a peer support group, a dietician-led support group and a minimal support group to encourage dietary behaviour change and monitored variability in Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) over time and between the intervention groups, alongside measurement of markers of nutritional status and cardiovascular risk. 118 individuals were assessed for eligibility, and 75 (64 %) were eligible. After 12 months, there was a retention rate of 69 % (peer support group 59 %; DSG 88 %; MSG 63 %). For all participants, increases in MDS were observed over 12 months (P < 0·001), both in original MDS data and when imputed data were used. Improvements in BMI, HbA1c levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the population as a whole. This pilot study has demonstrated that a non-Mediterranean adult population at high CVD risk can make dietary behaviour change over a 12-month period towards an MD. The study also highlights the feasibility of a peer support intervention to encourage MD behaviour change amongst this population group and will inform a definitive trial.
Throughout this volume, masjids have been positioned not only as space but also as an interpretive lens through which to view Islam not only as a condition of being but also a mode of place-making and in fact interpreting the world. This has not only allowed diverse communities to come together in ways that were not previously thought to be possible, but it has also allowed communities to expand outwards, creating satellite societies that are physically separated yet nonetheless intimately connected and thus contained within a spiritual community, creating a “highly variegated ecology of Muslim experience” (Mandel 1996, 147). The volume has covered numerous masjid spaces in Africa that have either existed over a significant period of time or are just beginning to make their presence known. As representative mechanisms, these masjids not only actively reproduce diverse iterations of Islamic identity in Africa over time and space, but also adapt within these contexts in response to an evolving spectrum of influences, ideologies, and interventions that have each played important roles in shaping the contours of Islamic identity and practice within specific regional contexts. Importantly, these spaces challenge established ideas of space and architecture by generating progressive discussions of the masjid in terms of what it is and how it manifests in contemporary Africa as well as around the world. Such conversations are just beginning and will progress into the future as social, political, cultural, and spiritual identities continue to evolve. Thus, masjids must be seen, read, interpreted, and privileged as contextually embedded structural manifestations of the ways in which time and transformation have been allowed to act upon the environment, as well as spatial strategies and/or solutions to the problem of performing Muslim identity within the diverse contexts of Africa both now and moving in the future.
The second chapter addresses three case studies that position masjids as spaces that reflect processes of compromise, concession, and sometimes intervention as it concerns heritage. The first case study explores how the shrine and mosque structures of the holy city of Harar Jugol (Ethiopia) serve as both spiritual touchstones and important Islamic heritage sites, and, in doing so, reflect the problems involved in how these sites negotiate these dual realities. The second case study focuses on the Muslim community of New Gourna, designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, which was meant to function both as a sustainable community and as a celebration of Egypt’s architectural, cultural, and spiritual legacies, but ultimately failed. Interestingly, Fathy would transplant these ideas in a later masjid project located in Abiquiú, New Mexico, raising questions about the so-called “embeddedness” of heritage traditions. The third case study also references this aspect with regards to contemporary spiritual architectural imports like “Neo-Ottoman”-style mosques into African space. This was recently realized in Ghana’s new National Mosque, located in the capital city of Accra, which eschews Ghana’s historical mosque-building traditions and raises questions with regards to who the stakeholders are in decisions about what constitutes heritage and what does not.
The introduction provides a broad theoretical overview of the definition of a masjid as both an ambiguous space and a space distinct from the structural genre of the mosque. To this end, the masjid is defined as a space created through spiritual performance, and this definition is fleshed out over the course of this chapter through a series of targeted discussions. The first discussion addresses Islam’s long and diverse history on the continent and the histories, identities, and realities that have emerged over the course of its 1500-year existence on the continent. In this context, the idea of multiple “Islams” comes to the fore, focusing on the diverse identities Islam has come to occupy for different individuals and communities over time and space. This has resulted in multiple, diverse iterations of masjid space that are embedded in the specifics of their diverse contexts.
The fourth chapter focuses on contemporary mobility paradigms and the ability of masjid space to travel and evolve in response to changing conditions of being. The case studies in this chapter push discussions of masjid space beyond considerations of three-dimensional form to accommodate the realities of individuals and groups on the move. The first case study focuses on the car rapides transport buses in the city of Dakar, which in many ways act as mobile masjids capable of transporting sanctification throughout the city. The second case study in this chapter follows the development of airport prayer spaces on the continent, whose spiritually ambiguous identities allow them to shift character in response to the bodies that inhabit them. The third case study in this chapter focuses on the emergence of virtual space, specifically the growing online terrain of the holy city of Touba (Senegal), which is increasingly operating beyond its geographic borders by expanding itself as a conceptual “territory” into a global digital environment. These case studies move masjid space beyond a tangibly rooted form toward privileging its reality as a flexible, mobile, and sometimes immaterial terrain that is able to realize itself beyond established hierarchies of physical presence.
The first chapter uses the lens of intersectionality to explore three different case studies involving masjid space on the continent. The first case study focuses on the development of spaces such as the Open Mosque (South Africa), which actively provides a space where men and women can engage equitably in performative spirituality. The second case study continues this discussion with the Al-Fitre Foundation, which is currently the continent’s first openly LGBT+ congregation and moves beyond gender-equitable sites to promote spaces for Muslims whose sexual identity does not conform to that traditionally interpreted by Islamic doctrine. The third case study addresses the destruction of Timbuktu’s masjid landscape by extremist group Ansar Dine in 2012 towards demonstrating that just as masjid spaces can empower identity, they can also disrupt, intervene, and even destroy it, given its function as a spatial text that articulates the specific sociopolitical character of its context.
Background: Identification of hospitalized patients with enteric multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) carriage, combined with implementation of targeted infection control interventions, may help reduce MDRO transmission. However, the optimal surveillance approach has not been defined. We sought to determine whether daily serial rectal surveillance for MDROs detects more incident cases (acquisition) of MDRO colonization in medical intensive care unit (MICU) patients than admission and discharge surveillance alone. Methods: Prospective longitudinal observational single-center study from January 11, 2017, to January 11, 2018. Inclusion criteria were ≥3 consecutive MICU days and ≥2 rectal or stool swabs per MICU admission. Daily rectal or stool swabs were collected from patients and cultured for MDROs, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacterales (3GCR), and extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) (as a subset of 3GCR). MDRO detection at any time during the MICU stay was used to calculate prevalent colonization. Incident colonization (acquisition) was defined as new detection of an MDRO after at least 1 prior negative swab. We then determined the proportion of prevalent and incident cases detected by daily testing that were also detected when only first swabs (admission) and last swabs (discharge) were tested. Data were analyzed using SAS version 9.4 software. Results: In total, 939 MICU stays of 842 patients were analyzed. Patient characteristics were median age 64 years (interquartile range [IQR], 51–74), median MICU length of stay 5 days (IQR, 3–8), median number of samples per admission 3 (IQR, 2–5), and median Charlson index 4 (IQR, 2–7). Prevalent colonization with any MDRO was detected by daily swabbing in 401 stays (42.7%). Compared to daily serial swabbing, an admission- and discharge-only approach detected ≥86% of MDRO cases (ie, overall prevalent MDRO colonization). Detection of incident MDRO colonization by an admission- or discharge-only approach would have detected fewer cases than daily swabbing (Figure 1); ≥34% of total MDRO acquisitions would have been missed. Conclusions: Testing patients upon admission and discharge to an MICU may fail to detect MDRO acquisition in more than one-third of patients, thereby reducing the effectiveness of MDRO control programs that are targeted against known MDRO carriers. The poor performance of a single discharge swab may be due to intermittent or low-level MDRO shedding, inadequate sampling, or transient MDRO colonization. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal surveillance approach of enteric MDRO carriage.
This volume examines the emergence of alternative spaces and architectural landscapes of Islamic practice in contemporary Africa through the lens of the masjid, whose definition as a “place of prostration” has enabled Muslim populations across the continent to navigate the murky waters of the contemporary condition through a purposeful renovation of spiritual space. Drawing from multiple disciplines and utilizing a series of diverse case studies, Michelle Apotsos reflects on the shifting realities of Islamic communities as they engage in processes of socio-political and cultural transformation. Illustrated through the growth of forward-thinking and in flexible environments that highlight how Muslim communities have developed unique solutions to the problem of performing identity within diverse contexts across the continent, she re-imagines the major themes surrounding definitions of Islamic architectural space in the contemporary period in Africa and the nature of the “modernity” as it has unfolded across diverse contexts on the continent.
The third chapter continues discussions of conservation and preservation in the form of contemporary environmentalism and eco-criticism. To this end, the three case studies in this chapter address how masjid space functions as an expression of the relationship between man and the natural environment, and thus not only complement the natural world but actively work to maintain it. The first case study focuses on the kramats of Cape Town, South Africa and their utilization of a “natural aesthetic” that positions nature as something to be celebrated, venerated, and preserved. The second case study addresses the Djenne mosque in Mali, which not only deploys historical building technology toward creating a fundamentally environmentally friendly structure, but also potentially utilizes a biomimetic adaptation of the West African termite mound, whose superior heating, cooling, and organizational systems provide an excellent model on which to base a functional space. The final case study introduces Tanzania’s first “eco-mosque” as a prototype for the application of ecologically and spiritually responsible living in rural, low-income areas. Collectively, these case studies privilege the idea of masjid as a fundamentally eco-friendly spatial concept that can manifest in diverse forms and spaces.