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This chapter outlines the case for the global green building movement to embrace integrated ‘climate-smart’ green building design, construction and operation, which optimises new and existing buildings to achieve both mitigation and adaptation goals synergistically and cost-effectively. The climate-smart building agenda is a high priority for this sector because it can help improve the well-being, productivity and health of occupants, and provide other social equity benefits, thus helping, simultaneously, to achieve other UN Sustainable Development Goals. Focus extends to precincts, the building blocks of cities, interfacing Building and Precinct Information Modelling. Overview is provided of leading sustainability assessment and rating tools for design of buildings and precincts. The chapter identifies key stakeholders and decision makers, and how each can best play their part to enable needed changes in this sector to achieve a net zero-carbon resilient future. It examines the role of governments in addressing major market and informational failures and what policies are needed to underpin efforts by all these key actors to achieve decarbonisation of the built environment sector.
Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have led to greater longevity among men in reproductive ages with a 75% five-year cancer survival rate in boys aged 15 years or younger  and 66% among men aged 15–44 . There is increased recognition that quality of life including paternity is significant issues for cancer survivors. We will focus primarily on patients with testicular cancer and lymphoma that generally affects younger patients in the reproductive window with an excellent overall survival. However, one must realize in our modern society the age of desiring paternity has increased due to postponement of marriage as well as for other social reasons. Therefore, this chapter will focus not only on those who completed chemotherapy as children but adult cancer patients as well.
Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is possible among symptom-free individuals. Patients are avoiding medically necessary healthcare visits for fear of becoming infected in the healthcare setting. We screened 489 symptom-free healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2 and found no positive results, strongly suggesting that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was <1%.
Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was 1 of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from August 1 to December 8, 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11/d). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of 1 per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can infect a variety of different vertebrates, including animals and humans. This study aims to broaden scientific knowledge about the presence and biodiversity of trypanosomes in Australian bats. Molecular and morphological analysis was performed on 86 blood samples collected from seven different species of microbats in Western Australia. Phylogenetic analysis on 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences identified Trypanosoma dionisii in five different Australian native species of microbats; Chalinolobus gouldii, Chalinolobus morio, Nyctophilus geoffroyi, Nyctophilus major and Scotorepens balstoni. In addition, two novels, genetically distinct T. dionisii genotypes were detected and named T. dionisii genotype Aus 1 and T. dionisii genotype Aus 2. Genotype Aus 2 was the most prevalent and infected 20.9% (18/86) of bats in the present study, while genotype Aus 1 was less prevalent and was identified in 5.8% (5/86) of Australian bats. Morphological analysis was conducted on trypomastigotes identified in blood films, with morphological parameters consistent with trypanosome species in the subgenus Schizotrypanum. This is the first report of T. dionisii in Australia and in Australian native bats, which further contributes to the global distribution of this cosmopolitan bat trypanosome.
Trifludimoxazin, a new protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibiting herbicide, is being evaluated for possible use as a soil-residual active herbicide treatment in cotton for control of small-seeded annual broadleaf weeds. Laboratory and greenhouse studies were conducted to compare vertical mobility and cotton tolerance of trifludimoxazin to flumioxazin and saflufenacil, which are two currently registered protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibiting herbicides for use in cotton, in three West Texas soils. Vertical soil mobility of trifludimoxazin was similar to flumioxazin in Acuff loam and Olton loam soils, but was more mobile than flumioxazin in the Amarillo loamy sand soil. The depth of trifludimoxazin movement after a 2.5-cm irrigation event ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 cm in all soils, which would not allow for crop selectivity based on herbicide placement, because ideal cotton seeding depth is from 0.6 to 2.54 cm deep. Greenhouse studies indicated that PRE treatments were more injurious than the 14 d preplant treatment when summarized across soils for the three herbicides (43% and 14% injury, respectively). No differences in visual cotton response or dry weight was observed after trifludimoxazin preplant as compared with the nontreated control within each of the three West Texas soils and was similar to the flumioxazin preplant across soils. On the basis of these results, a use pattern for trifludimoxazin in cotton may be established with the use of a more than 14-d preplant restriction before cotton planting.
The Inaccessible Island Rail Atlantisia rogersi, the world’s smallest extant flightless bird, is endemic to Inaccessible Island, a 14-km2 uninhabited island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, central South Atlantic Ocean. Rail populations are notoriously hard to survey and the rugged topography of Inaccessible Island makes a survey particularly challenging. Fortunately, Inaccessible Island Rails are very vocal, because their secretive behaviour means birds are hard to observe in the dense vegetation. We assessed the distribution of rails across Inaccessible Island using playbacks at 350 point-count sites in October–November 2018. Rail calls were heard at 98% of sites and we estimate the rail population to be in the order of 10,300 birds (95% CI 9,100–12,200), based on estimated rail densities in the six main habitats. Historic population estimates were reasonably crude and thus not suitable for inferring population trends, but the population appears to be stable and we recommend the species’ status remains as ‘Vulnerable’. The accidental introduction of alien mammals poses the greatest threat to the survival of the Inaccessible Island Rail and the removal of house mouse Mus musculus and ship rat Rattus rattus from neighbouring Tristan da Cunha Island would greatly reduce the risk of such a catastrophe.
Wellness is often intimidating. Pursuing it requires significant commitment and carries emotional risk/vulnerability . While fear can be a strong motivator, it can also be the reason one may not try or follow-through with a plan. In most cases, fear prevents us from being able to accomplish what we wish to. In the case of wellness, we found that due to the commitment many were challenged by the fear of not being able to achieve the results and goals they had set for themselves. For example, if one was never taught, or had modeled, how to live a life full of joy, love, and wellness, they will fear a life different than what they were taught, whether by observation or directly. Occasionally it can be more difficult and painful to break a pattern than to live in it . The path to wellness will likely be unique for each and every one of us.
Digital health is rapidly expanding due to surging healthcare costs, deteriorating health outcomes, and the growing prevalence and accessibility of mobile health (mHealth) and wearable technology. Data from Biometric Monitoring Technologies (BioMeTs), including mHealth and wearables, can be transformed into digital biomarkers that act as indicators of health outcomes and can be used to diagnose and monitor a number of chronic diseases and conditions. There are many challenges faced by digital biomarker development, including a lack of regulatory oversight, limited funding opportunities, general mistrust of sharing personal data, and a shortage of open-source data and code. Further, the process of transforming data into digital biomarkers is computationally expensive, and standards and validation methods in digital biomarker research are lacking.
In order to provide a collaborative, standardized space for digital biomarker research and validation, we present the first comprehensive, open-source software platform for end-to-end digital biomarker development: The Digital Biomarker Discovery Pipeline (DBDP).
Here, we detail the general DBDP framework as well as three robust modules within the DBDP that have been developed for specific digital biomarker discovery use cases.
The clear need for such a platform will accelerate the DBDP’s adoption as the industry standard for digital biomarker development and will support its role as the epicenter of digital biomarker collaboration and exploration.
Alien species are a driver of biodiversity loss, with impacts of different aliens on native species varying considerably. Identifying the contributions of alien species to native species declines could help target management efforts. Globally, seabirds breeding on islands have proven to be highly susceptible to alien species. The breeding colonies of the pink-footed shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) are threatened by the negative impacts of alien mammals. We combined breeding monitoring data with a hierarchical model to separate the effects of different alien mammal assemblages on the burrow occupancy and hatching success of the pink-footed shearwater in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile. We show that alien mammals affected the rates of burrow occupancy, but had little effect on hatching success. Rabbits produced the highest negative impacts on burrow occupancy, whereas the effects of other alien mammals were more uncertain. In addition, we found differences in burrow occupancy between islands regardless of their alien mammal assemblages. Managing rabbits will improve the reproductive performance of this shearwater, but research is needed to clarify the mechanisms by which alien mammals affect the shearwaters and to explain why burrow occupancy varies between islands.
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.
Hot carrier based methods constitute a valuable approach for efficient and silicon compatible sub-bandgap photodetection. Although, hot electron excitation and transfer have been studied extensively on traditional materials such as Au and Ti, reports on alternative materials such as titanium nitride (TiN) are rare. Here, we perform hot hole photodetection measurements on a p-Si/metal thin film junction using Ti, Au and TiN. This material is of interest as it constitutes a refractory alternative to Au which is an important property for plasmonic applications where high field intensities can occur. In contrast to Au, a TiN/Si junction does not suffer from metal diffusion into the Si, which eases the integration with current Si-fabrication techniques. This work shows that a backside illuminated p-Si/TiN system can be used for efficient hot hole extraction in the IR, allowing for a responsivity of 1 mA/W at an excitation wavelength of 1250 nm and at zero bias. Via a comparison between TiN and other commonly used materials such as Au, the origin of this comparably high photoresponse can be traced back to be directly linked to a thin TiO2-x interfacial layer allowing for a distinct hot-hole transfer mechanism. Moreover, the fabrication of TiN nanodisk arrays is demonstrated which bears great promise to further boost the device efficiency.
To evaluate how avian influenza virus (AIV) circulates among the avifauna of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, we surveyed 14 species of birds from Marion, Livingston and Gough islands. A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was carried out on the sera of 147 birds. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the AIV genome from 113 oropharyngeal and 122 cloacal swabs from these birds. The overall seroprevalence to AIV infection was 4.8%, with the only positive results coming from brown skuas (Catharacta antarctica) (4 out of 18, 22%) and southern giant petrels (Macronectes giganteus) (3 out of 24, 13%). Avian influenza virus antibodies were detected in birds sampled from Marion and Gough islands, with a higher seroprevalence on Marion Island (P = 0.014) and a risk ratio of 11.29 (95% confidence interval: 1.40–91.28) compared to Gough Island. The AIV genome was not detected in any of the birds sampled. These results confirm that AIV strains are uncommon among Antarctic and sub-Antarctic predatory seabirds, but they may suggest that scavenging seabirds are the main avian reservoirs and spreaders of this virus in the Southern Ocean. Further studies are necessary to determine the precise role of these species in the epidemiology of AIV.
Blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea Gmelin) rapidly moult their flight feathers in Antarctic waters in February–April, immediately following the breeding season, yet the behaviour of moulting birds at sea has not been described. We observed large numbers of moulting blue petrels off West Antarctica from 67–71°S and 78–119°W in mid-February 2017. Most of these birds probably breed at the Diego Ramirez archipelago, southwest of Cape Horn, which is the closest colony to this area. Moulting petrels often sit on the water in dense flocks, just outside the marginal ice zone, at sea temperatures of -0.7 to 0.9°C. Wing moult is intense, with 7–8 inner primaries (62–75% of primary length and 55–69% of primary mass), their corresponding primary coverts and all greater secondary coverts being grown at the same time. Moulting petrels need a reliable food source during this energetically demanding period, so the waters off West Antarctica are probably crucial for the Diego Ramirez population, which makes up more than half of the world's blue petrels.
The diet of most adults is low in fish and, therefore, provides limited quantities of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3FAs), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA, DHA). Since these compounds serve important roles in the brain, we sought to determine if healthy adults with low-LCn-3FA consumption would exhibit improvements in neuropsychological performance and parallel changes in brain morphology following repletion through fish oil supplementation.
In a randomized, controlled trial, 271 mid-life adults (30–54 years of age, 118 men, 153 women) consuming ⩽300 mg/day of LCn-3FAs received 18 weeks of supplementation with fish oil capsules (1400 mg/day of EPA and DHA) or matching placebo. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery examining four cognitive domains: psychomotor speed, executive function, learning/episodic memory, and fluid intelligence. A subset of 122 underwent neuroimaging before and after supplementation to measure whole-brain and subcortical tissue volumes.
Capsule adherence was over 95%, participant blinding was verified, and red blood cell EPA and DHA levels increased as expected. Supplementation did not affect performance in any of the four cognitive domains. Exploratory analyses revealed that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplementation improved executive function in participants with low-baseline DHA levels. No changes were observed in any indicator of brain morphology.
In healthy mid-life adults reporting low-dietary intake, supplementation with LCn-3FAs in moderate dose for moderate duration did not affect neuropsychological performance or brain morphology. Whether salutary effects occur in individuals with particularly low-DHA exposure requires further study.
We compared systematic and random survey techniques to estimate breeding population sizes of burrow-nesting petrel species on Marion Island. White-chinned (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and blue (Halobaena caerulea) petrel population sizes were estimated in systematic surveys (which attempt to count every colony) in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In 2015, we counted burrows of white-chinned, blue and great-winged (Pterodroma macroptera) petrels within 52 randomized strip transects (25 m wide, total 144 km). Burrow densities were extrapolated by Geographic Information System-derived habitat attributes (geology, vegetation, slope, elevation, aspect) to generate island-wide burrow estimates. Great-winged petrel burrows were found singly or in small groups at low densities (2 burrows ha−1); white-chinned petrel burrows were in loose clusters at moderate densities (3 burrows ha−1); and blue petrel burrows were in tight clusters at high densities (13 burrows ha−1). The random survey estimated 58% more white-chinned petrels but 42% fewer blue petrels than the systematic surveys. The results suggest that random transects are best suited for species that are widely distributed at low densities, but become increasingly poor for estimating population sizes of species with clustered distributions. Repeated fixed transects provide a robust way to monitor changes in colony density and area, but might fail to detect the formation/disappearance of new colonies.
Natural disasters often damage or destroy the protective public health service infrastructure (PHI) required to maintain the health and well-being of people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This interruption increases the risk of an acute exacerbation or complication, potentially leading to a worse long-term prognosis or even death. Disaster-related exacerbations of NCDs will continue, if not increase, due to an increasing prevalence and sustained rise in the frequency and intensity of disasters, along with rapid unsustainable urbanization in flood plains and storm-prone coastal zones. Despite this, the focus of disaster and health systems preparedness and response remains on communicable diseases, even when the actual risk of disease outbreaks post-disaster is low, particularly in developed countries. There is now an urgent need to expand preparedness and response beyond communicable diseases to include people with NCDs.
The developing evidence-base describing the risk of disaster-related exacerbation of NCDs does not incorporate the perspectives, concerns, and challenges of people actually living with the conditions. To help address this gap, this research explored the key influences on patient ability to successfully manage their NCD after a natural disaster.
A survey of people with NCDs in Queensland, Australia collected data on demographics, disease, disaster experience, and primary concern post-disaster. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests with a Bonferroni-adjustment were used to analyze data.
There were 118 responses to the survey. Key influences on the ability to self-manage post-disaster were access to medication, medical services, water, treatment and care, power, and food. Managing disease-specific symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, and respiratory diseases were primary concerns following a disaster. Stress and anxiety, loss of sleep, weakness or fatigue, and shortness of breath were common concerns for all patients with NCDs. Those dependent on care from others were most worried about shortness of breath and slow healing sores. Accessing medication and medical services were priorities for all patients post-disaster.
The key influences on successful self-management post-disaster for people with NCDs must be reflected in disaster plans and strategies. Achieving this will reduce exacerbations or complications of disease and decrease demand for emergency health care post-disaster.