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Retrospective self-report is typically used for diagnosing previous pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). A new semi-structured interview instrument (New Mexico Assessment of Pediatric TBI; NewMAP TBI) investigated test–retest reliability for TBI characteristics in both the TBI that qualified for study inclusion and for lifetime history of TBI.
One-hundred and eight-four mTBI (aged 8–18), 156 matched healthy controls (HC), and their parents completed the NewMAP TBI within 11 days (subacute; SA) and 4 months (early chronic; EC) of injury, with a subset returning at 1 year (late chronic; LC).
The test–retest reliability of common TBI characteristics [loss of consciousness (LOC), post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), retrograde amnesia, confusion/disorientation] and post-concussion symptoms (PCS) were examined across study visits. Aside from PTA, binary reporting (present/absent) for all TBI characteristics exhibited acceptable (≥0.60) test–retest reliability for both Qualifying and Remote TBIs across all three visits. In contrast, reliability for continuous data (exact duration) was generally unacceptable, with LOC and PCS meeting acceptable criteria at only half of the assessments. Transforming continuous self-report ratings into discrete categories based on injury severity resulted in acceptable reliability. Reliability was not strongly affected by the parent completing the NewMAP TBI.
Categorical reporting of TBI characteristics in children and adolescents can aid clinicians in retrospectively obtaining reliable estimates of TBI severity up to a year post-injury. However, test–retest reliability is strongly impacted by the initial data distribution, selected statistical methods, and potentially by patient difficulty in distinguishing among conceptually similar medical concepts (i.e., PTA vs. confusion).
To describe a pilot project infection prevention and control (IPC) assessment conducted in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in New York State (NYS) during a pivotal 2-week period when the region became the nation’s epicenter for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A telephone and video assessment of IPC measures in SNFs at high risk or experiencing COVID-19 activity.
SNFs in 14 New York counties, including New York City.
A 3-component remote IPC assessment: (1) screening tool; (2) telephone IPC checklist; and (3) COVID-19 video IPC assessment (ie, “COVIDeo”).
In total, 92 SNFs completed the IPC screening tool and checklist: 52 (57%) were conducted as part COVID-19 investigations, and 40 (43%) were proactive prevention-based assessments. Among the 40 proactive assessments, 14 (35%) identified suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases. COVIDeo was performed in 26 (28%) of 92 assessments and provided observations that other tools would have missed: personal protective equipment (PPE) that was not easily accessible, redundant, or improperly donned, doffed, or stored and specific challenges implementing IPC in specialty populations. The IPC assessments took ∼1 hour each and reached an estimated 4 times as many SNFs as on-site visits in a similar time frame.
Remote IPC assessments by telephone and video were timely and feasible methods of assessing the extent to which IPC interventions had been implemented in a vulnerable setting and to disseminate real-time recommendations. Remote assessments are now being implemented across New York State and in various healthcare facility types. Similar methods have been adapted nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Respiratory distress syndrome results from inadequate functional pulmonary surfactant and is a significant cause of mortality in preterm infants. Surfactant is essential for regulating alveolar interfacial surface tension, and its synthesis by Type II alveolar epithelial cells is stimulated by leptin produced by pulmonary lipofibroblasts upon activation by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ). As it is unknown whether PPARγ stimulation or direct leptin administration can stimulate surfactant synthesis before birth, we examined the effect of continuous fetal administration of either the PPARγ agonist, rosiglitazone (RGZ; Study 1) or leptin (Study 2) on surfactant protein maturation in the late gestation fetal sheep lung. We measured mRNA expression of genes involved in surfactant maturation and showed that RGZ treatment reduced mRNA expression of LPCAT1 (surfactant phospholipid synthesis) and LAMP3 (marker for lamellar bodies), but did not alter mRNA expression of PPARγ, surfactant proteins (SFTP-A, -B, -C, and -D), PCYT1A (surfactant phospholipid synthesis), ABCA3 (phospholipid transportation), or the PPARγ target genes SPHK-1 and PAI-1. Leptin infusion significantly increased the expression of PPARγ and IGF2 and decreased the expression of SFTP-B. However, mRNA expression of the majority of genes involved in surfactant synthesis was not affected. These results suggest a potential decreased capacity for surfactant phospholipid and protein production in the fetal lung after RGZ and leptin administration, respectively. Therefore, targeting PPARγ may not be a feasible mechanistic approach to promote lung maturation.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Over half of the Irish population is overweight or obese. The Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016–2025 will set reformulation targets for fat, saturated fat and sugar in Ireland and review progress. In 2016, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland undertook a cross-sectional market scan of yoghurts to evaluate the energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar content based solely on declared nutrition labels. The aims of this 2018 study were to verify the accuracy of declared nutrition information on yoghurts and to confirm the suitability of declared nutrition labels for energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar reformulation monitoring.
Yoghurts identified in the 2016 market scan (n578) were weighted based on categorisation of manufacturer type (branded, own brand), product category (natural, flavoured and luxury) and declared nutrition content. Samples (n200) were randomly selected from these weighted groups and tested by a laboratory accredited for energy, fat, saturated fat, and sugar analysis. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS (version25). As data was not normally distributed, median values were investigated for declared and tested energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar content using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test and Spearman Rank-Order Correlation.
Of the tested yoghurts, 3% (n6), 5% (n9) and 19% (n31) were outside the recommended European Commission (EC) labelling tolerance for fat, saturated fat and sugar, respectively. Tested nutrient content was consistently lower than declared. There was a statistically significant difference in declared vs. tested energy (87kcal vs. 84kcal p = 0.03), fat (2.7 g vs. 2.5 g p < 0.001), and sugar (9.9 g vs. 8.7 g p < 0.001) content per 100 g yoghurt. Declared vs. tested sugar content per 100 g yoghurt was statistically significant across all yoghurt types, including natural (4.8 g vs. 3.4 g p < 0.001), flavoured (9.7 g vs. 8.6 g p < 0.001) and luxury (15 g vs. 13.6 g p = 0.002). There was a statistically significant difference between declared vs. tested fat (2.8 g vs. 2.5 g p < 0.001) and saturated fat (1.9 g vs.1.6 g p = 0.017) content of own brand yoghurts per 100 g. There was a positive correlation between energy content and portion size (r = .2,p < 0.01).
There was a high level of agreement between declared vs. tested fat and saturated fat content of yoghurts, but a lower level of agreement between declared vs. tested sugar content of yoghurts. This indicates that declared nutrition labels are suitable for reformulation monitoring of fat and saturated fat, but may not be suitable for sugar. This finding will be further investigated and tested in future work planned for nutrition label verification of other food categories.
Haplosporidian protist parasites are a major concern for aquatic animal health, as they have been responsible for some of the most significant marine epizootics on record. Despite their impact on food security, aquaculture and ecosystem health, characterizing haplosporidian diversity, distributions and host range remains challenging. In this study, water filtering bivalve species, cockles Cerastoderma edule, mussels Mytilus spp. and Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas, were screened using molecular genetic assays using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) markers for the Haplosporidia small subunit ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid region. Two Haplosporidia species, both belonging to the Minchinia clade, were detected in C. edule and in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis in a new geographic range for the first time. No haplosporidians were detected in the C. gigas, Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis or Mytilus hybrids. These findings indicate that host selection and partitioning are occurring amongst cohabiting bivalve species. The detection of these Haplosporidia spp. raises questions as to whether they were always present, were introduced unintentionally via aquaculture and or shipping or were naturally introduced via water currents. These findings support an increase in the known diversity of a significant parasite group and highlight that parasite species may be present in marine environments but remain undetected, even in well-studied host species.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Gut symbionts can augment resistance to pathogens by stimulating host-immune responses, competing for space and nutrients, or producing antimicrobial metabolites. Gut microbiota of social bees, which pollinate many crops and wildflowers, protect hosts against diverse infections and might counteract pathogen-related bee declines. Bumble bee gut microbiota, and specifically abundance of Lactobacillus ‘Firm-5’ bacteria, can enhance resistance to the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia bombi. However, the mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We hypothesized that the Firm-5 bacterium Lactobacillus bombicola, which produces lactic acid, inhibits C. bombi via pH-mediated effects. Consistent with our hypothesis, L. bombicola spent medium inhibited C. bombi growth via reduction in pH that was both necessary and sufficient for inhibition. Inhibition of all parasite strains occurred within the pH range documented in honey bees, though sensitivity to acidity varied among strains. Spent medium was slightly more potent than HCl, d- and l-lactic acids for a given pH, suggesting that other metabolites also contribute to inhibition. Results implicate symbiont-mediated reduction in gut pH as a key determinant of trypanosomatid infection in bees. Future investigation into in vivo effects of gut microbiota on pH and infection intensity would test the relevance of these findings for bees threatened by trypanosomatids.
Innovative evidence-based interventions are needed to equip research mentors with skills to address cultural diversity within research mentoring relationships. A pilot study assessed initial outcomes of a culturally tailored effort to create and disseminate a novel intervention titled Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM) for research mentors.
Intervention development resulted in 4 products: a 6 hour CAM training curriculum, a facilitator guide, an online pretraining module, and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of CAM training.
Participants were 64 research mentors from 3 US research-intensive universities. Quantitative pretraining and posttraining evaluation survey data were collected.
Participants found high value and satisfaction with the CAM training, reported gains in personal cultural awareness and cultural skills, and increased intentions and confidence to address cultural diversity in their mentoring.
Study findings indicate that the CAM training holds promise to build research mentors’ capacity and confidence to engage directly with racial/ethnic topics in research mentoring relationships.
Mars landed and orbiter missions have instrumentation capable of detecting oxychlorine phases (e.g. perchlorate, chlorate) on the surface. Perchlorate (~0.6 wt%) was first detected by the Wet Chemistry Laboratory in the surface material at the Phoenix Mars Landing site. Subsequent analyses by the Thermal Evolved Gas Analyser aboard the same lander detected an oxygen release (~465°C) consistent with the thermal decomposition of perchlorate. Recent thermal analysis by the Mars Science Laboratory's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument has also indicated the presence of oxychlorine phases (up to 1.2 wt%) in Gale Crater materials. Despite being at detectable concentrations, the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffractometer has not detected oxychlorine phases. This suggests that Gale Crater oxychlorine may exist as poorly crystalline phases or that perchlorate/chlorate mixtures exist, so that individual oxychlorine concentrations are below CheMin detection limits (~1 wt%). Although not initially designed to detect oxychlorine phases, reinterpretation of Viking Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer data also suggest that oxychlorine phases are present in the Viking surface materials. Remote near-infrared spectral analyses by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument indicate that at least some martian recurring slope lineae (RSL) have spectral signatures consistent with the presence of hydrated perchlorates or chlorates during the seasons when RSL are most extensive. Despite the thermal emission spectrometer, Thermal Emission Imaging System, Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activité and CRISM detection of hundreds of anhydrous chloride (~10–25 vol%) deposits, expected associated oxychlorine phases (>5–10 vol%) have not been detected. Total Cl and oxychlorine data sets from the Phoenix Lander and the Mars Science Laboratory missions could be used to develop oxychlorine versus total Cl correlations, which may constrain oxychlorine concentrations at other locations on Mars by using total Cl determined by other missions (e.g. Viking, Pathfinder, MER and Odyssey). Development of microfluidic or ‘lab-on-a-chip’ instrumentation has the potential to be the next generation analytical capability used to identify and quantify individual oxychlorine species on future landed robotic missions to Mars.
Provision of non-pharmacological interventions is a common policy objective for people with dementia, and support groups are an increasingly common intervention. However, there have been few attempts to synthesize evidence on the effectiveness of support groups for people with dementia. This review investigated the outcomes of support groups for people with dementia, explored participant characteristics and reviewed group formats.
A systematic review was undertaken and a narrative synthesis of data from 29 papers (reporting on 26 groups and a survey of a range of groups) was conducted.
Support groups seem acceptable to people with dementia. Qualitative studies report subjective benefits for participants but there is limited evidence of positive outcomes based on quantitative data. Samples have tended to be homogenous and this may limit the generalizability of findings.
Although qualitative studies will remain important in this area, further mixed-methods randomized controlled trials (RCTs)or comparison group studies with longer follow-up periods are needed to strengthen the evidence base.
We are developing a purely commensal survey experiment for fast (<5 s) transient radio sources. Short-timescale transients are associated with the most energetic and brightest single events in the Universe. Our objective is to cover the enormous volume of transients parameter space made available by ASKAP, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and field of view. Fast timescale transients open new vistas on the physics of high brightness temperature emission, extreme states of matter and the physics of strong gravitational fields. In addition, the detection of extragalactic objects affords us an entirely new and extremely sensitive probe on the huge reservoir of baryons present in the IGM. We outline here our approach to the considerable challenge involved in detecting fast transients, particularly the development of hardware fast enough to dedisperse and search the ASKAP data stream at or near real-time rates. Through CRAFT, ASKAP will provide the testbed of many of the key technologies and survey modes proposed for high time resolution science with the SKA.
Several robotic exploration missions will travel to Mars during this decade to investigate habitability and the possible presence of life. Field research at Mars analogue sites such as desert environments can provide important constraints for instrument calibration, landing site strategies and expected life detection targets. We have characterized the mineralogy, organic chemistry and microbiology of ten selected sample sites from the Utah desert in close vicinity to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) during the EuroGeoMars 2009 campaign (organized by International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), NASA Ames and ESA ESTEC). Compared with extremely arid deserts (such as the Atacama), organic and biological materials can be identified in a larger number of samples and subsequently be used to perform correlation studies. Among the important findings of this field research campaign are the diversity in the mineralogical composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles, mainly Bacteria and also Archaea and Eukarya was observed. The dominant factor in measurable bacterial abundance seems to be soil porosity and lower small (clay-sized) particle content. However, correlations between many measured parameters are difficult to establish. Field research conducted during the EuroGeoMars 2009 campaign shows that the geological history and depositional environment of the region, as well as the mineralogy influence the ability to detect compounds such as amino acids and DNA. Clays are known to strongly absorb and bind organic molecules often preventing extraction by even sophisticated laboratory methods. Our results indicate the need for further development and optimization of extraction procedures that release biological compounds from host matrices to enable the effective detection of biomarkers during future sampling campaigns on Earth and Mars.
The methanol multi-beam (MMB) survey has produced the largest and most complete catalogue of Galactic 6.7-GHz methanol masers to date. 6.7-GHz methanol masers are exclusively associated with high-mass star formation, and as such provide invaluable insight into the Galactic distribution and properties of high-mass star formation regions. I present the statistical properties of the MMB catalogue and, through the calculation of kinematic distances, investigate the resolution of distance ambiguities and explore the Galactic distribution.