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New Zealand has a strategy of eliminating SARS-CoV-2 that has resulted in a low incidence of reported coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to describe the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in New Zealand via a nationwide serosurvey of blood donors. Samples (n = 9806) were collected over a month-long period (3 December 2020–6 January 2021) from donors aged 16–88 years. The sample population was geographically spread, covering 16 of 20 district health board regions. A series of Spike-based immunoassays were utilised, and the serological testing algorithm was optimised for specificity given New Zealand is a low prevalence setting. Eighteen samples were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, six of which were retrospectively matched to previously confirmed COVID-19 cases. A further four were from donors that travelled to settings with a high risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, suggesting likely infection outside New Zealand. The remaining eight seropositive samples were from seven different district health regions for a true seroprevalence estimate, adjusted for test sensitivity and specificity, of 0.103% (95% confidence interval, 0.09–0.12%). The very low seroprevalence is consistent with limited undetected community transmission and provides robust, serological evidence to support New Zealand's successful elimination strategy for COVID-19.
Temporary excavations during the construction of the Glendoe Hydro Scheme above Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland exposed a clay-rich fault gouge in Dalradian Supergroup psammite. The gouge coincides with the mapped trace of the subvertical Sronlairig Fault, a feature related in part to the Great Glen and Ericht–Laidon faults, which had been interpreted to result from brittle deformation during the Caledonian orogeny (c. 420–390 Ma). Exposure of this mica-rich gouge represented an exceptional opportunity to constrain the timing of the gouge-producing movement on the Sronlairig Fault using isotopic analysis to date the growth of authigenic (essentially synkinematic) clay mineralization. A series of fine-size separates was isolated prior to K–Ar analysis. Novel, capillary-encapsulated X-ray diffraction analysis was employed to ensure nearly perfect, random orientation and to facilitate the identification and quantification of mica polytypes. Coarser size fractions are composed of greater proportions of the 2M1 illite polytype. Finer size fractions show increasing proportions of the 1M illite polytype, with no evidence of 2M1 illite in the finest fractions. A series of Illite Age Analysis plots produced excellent R2 values with calculated mean ages of 296 ± 7 Ma (Late Carboniferous–Early Permian) for the oldest (2M1) illite and 145 ± 7 Ma (Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous) for the youngest (1M) illite. The Late Carboniferous–Early Permian (Faulting event 1) age may represent resetting of earlier-formed micas or authigenesis during dextral displacement of the Great Glen Fault Zone (GGFZ). Contemporaneous WNW(NW)–ESE(SE) extension was important for basin development and hydrocarbon migration in the Pentland Firth and Moray Firth regions. The Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous (Faulting event 2) age corresponds with Moray Firth Basin development and indicates that the GGFZ and related structures may have acted to partition the active extension in the Moray Firth region from relative inactivity in the Pentland Firth area at this time. These new age dates demonstrate the long-lived geological activity on the GGFZ, particularly so in post-Caledonian times where other isotopic evidence for younger tectonic overprints is lacking.
The Roman period sees the introduction of many new plants and animals into Britain, with a profound impact on people's experience of their environment. Sweet chestnut is considered to be one such introduction, for which records of sweet chestnut wood and charcoal from archaeological excavations of Romano-British period contexts have been used as evidence. This paper reviews the records for sweet chestnut in Britain pre-a.d. 650, by critically evaluating original excavation reports and examining archived specimens. This review re-assesses the original identifications of sweet chestnut and/or their dating and concludes that most of the evidence that justified sweet chestnut's status as a Roman archaeophyte is untenable. The review emphasises the importance of securely identifying and directly dating plant material and of long-term curation by museums and archives. The Supplementary Material online (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068113X19000011) contains details of all published records of finds of sweet chesnut.
Nighttime eating is often associated with a negative impact on weight management and cardiometabolic health. However, data from recent acute metabolic studies have implicated a benefit of ingesting a bedtime snack for weight management. The present study compared the impact of ingesting a milk snack containing either 10 (BS10) or 30 g (BS30) protein with a non-energetic placebo (BS0) 30 min before bedtime on next morning metabolism, appetite and energy intake in mildly overweight males (age: 24·3 (sem 0·8) years; BMI: 27·4 (sem 1·1) kg/m2). Next morning measurements of RMR, appetite and energy intake were measured using indirect calorimetry, visual analogue scales and an ad libitum breakfast, respectively. Bedtime milk ingestion did not alter next morning RMR (BS0: 7822 (sem 276) kJ/d, BS10: 7482 (sem 262) kJ/d, BS30: 7851 (sem 261) kJ/d, P=0·19) or substrate utilisation as measured by RER (P=0·64). Bedtime milk ingestion reduced hunger (P=0·01) and increased fullness (P=0·04) during the evening immediately after snack ingestion, but elicited no effect the next morning. Next morning breakfast (BS0: 2187 (sem 365) kJ, BS10: 2070 (sem 336) kJ, BS30: 2582 (sem 384) kJ, P=0·21) and 24 h post-trial (P=0·95) energy intake was similar between conditions. To conclude, in mildly overweight adults, compared with a non-energetic placebo, a bedtime milk snack containing 10 or 30 g of protein does not confer changes in next morning whole-body metabolism and appetite that may favour weight management.
The effect of transportation and lairage on the faecal shedding and post-slaughter contamination of carcasses with Escherichia coli O157 and O26 in young calves (4–7-day-old) was assessed in a cohort study at a regional calf-processing plant in the North Island of New Zealand, following 60 calves as cohorts from six dairy farms to slaughter. Multiple samples from each animal at pre-slaughter (recto-anal mucosal swab) and carcass at post-slaughter (sponge swab) were collected and screened using real-time PCR and culture isolation methods for the presence of E. coli O157 and O26 (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and non-STEC). Genotype analysis of E. coli O157 and O26 isolates provided little evidence of faecal–oral transmission of infection between calves during transportation and lairage. Increased cross-contamination of hides and carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 between co-transported calves was confirmed at pre-hide removal and post-evisceration stages but not at pre-boning (at the end of dressing prior to chilling), indicating that good hygiene practices and application of an approved intervention effectively controlled carcass contamination. This study was the first of its kind to assess the impact of transportation and lairage on the faecal carriage and post-harvest contamination of carcasses with E. coli O157 and O26 in very young calves.
At the QEII Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department (ED) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, advanced care paramedics (ACPs) perform procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) for many indications, including orthopedic procedures. We have begun using ACPs as sedationists for emergent upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy. This study compares ACP-performed ED PSA for UGI endoscopy and orthopedic procedures in terms of adverse events, airway intervention, vasopressor requirement, and PSA medication use.
A data set was built from an ED PSA quality control database matching 61 UGI endoscopy PSAs to 183 orthopedic PSAs by propensity scores calculated using age, gender, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) classification. Outcomes assessed were hypotension (systolic BP<100 mm Hg or a 15% decrease from baseline), hypoxia (SaO2<90%), apnea (>30 sec), vomiting, arrhythmias, death, airway intervention, vasopressor requirement, and PSA medication use.
UGI endoscopy patients experienced hypotension more frequently than orthopedic patients (OR=4.11, CI: 2.05-8.22) and required airway repositioning less often (OR=0.24, CI: 0.10-0.59). They received ketamine more frequently (OR=15.7, CI: 4.75-67.7) and fentanyl less often (OR=0.30, CI: 0.15-0.63) than orthopedic patients. Four endoscopy patients received phenylephrine, and one required intubation. No patient died in either group.
In ACP-led sedation for UGI endoscopy and orthopedic procedures, adverse events were rare with the notable exception of hypotension, which was more frequent in the endoscopy group. Only endoscopy patients required vasopressor treatment and intubation. We provide preliminary evidence that ACPs can manage ED PSA for emergent UGI endoscopy, although priorities must shift from pain control to hemodynamic optimization.
The Glasgow area has a combination of highly variable superficial deposits and a legacy of heavy industry, quarrying and mining. These factors create complex foundation and hydrological conditions, influencing the movement of contaminants through the subsurface and giving rise locally to unstable ground conditions. Digital geological three-dimensional models developed by the British Geological Survey are helping to resolve the complex geology underlying Glasgow, providing a key tool for planning and environmental management. The models, covering an area of 3200km2 to a depth of 1.2km, include glacial and post-glacial deposits and the underlying, faulted Carboniferous igneous and sedimentary rocks. Control data, including 95,000 boreholes, digital mine plans and published geological maps, were used in model development. Digital outputs from the models include maps of depth to key horizons, such as rockhead or depth to mine workings. The models have formed the basis for the development of site-scale high-resolution geological models and provide input data for a wide range of other applications from groundwater modelling to stochastic lithological modelling.
The stress sensitization theory hypothesizes that individuals exposed to childhood adversity will be more vulnerable to mental disorders from proximal stressors. We aimed to test this theory with respect to risk of 30-day major depressive episode (MDE) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) among new US Army soldiers.
The sample consisted of 30 436 new soldier recruits in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience (Army STARRS). Generalized linear models were constructed, and additive interactions between childhood maltreatment profiles and level of 12-month stressful experiences on the risk of 30-day MDE and GAD were analyzed.
Stress sensitization was observed in models of past 30-day MDE (χ28 = 17.6, p = 0.025) and GAD (χ28 = 26.8, p = 0.001). This sensitization only occurred at high (3+) levels of reported 12-month stressful experiences. In pairwise comparisons for the risk of 30-day MDE, the risk difference between 3+ stressful experiences and no stressful experiences was significantly greater for all maltreatment profiles relative to No Maltreatment. Similar results were found with the risk for 30-day GAD with the exception of the risk difference for Episodic Emotional and Sexual Abuse, which did not differ statistically from No Maltreatment.
New soldiers are at an increased risk of 30-day MDE or GAD following recent stressful experiences if they were exposed to childhood maltreatment. Particularly in the military with an abundance of unique stressors, attempts to identify this population and improve stress management may be useful in the effort to reduce the risk of mental disorders.
The number and size of free-range laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) production systems are increasing within Australia in response to consumer demand for perceived improvement in hen welfare. However, variation in outdoor stocking density has generated consumer dissatisfaction leading to the development of a national information standard on free-range egg labelling by the Australian Consumer Affairs Ministers. The current Australian Model Code of Practice for Domestic Poultry states a guideline of 1500 hens/ha, but no maximum density is set. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology was used to measure daily range usage by individual ISA Brown hens housed in six small flocks (150 hens/flock – 50% of hens tagged), each with access to one of three outdoor stocking density treatments (two replicates per treatment: 2000, 10 000, 20 000 hens/ha), from 22 to 26, 27 to 31 and 32 to 36 weeks of age. There was some variation in range usage across the sampling periods and by weeks 32 to 36 individual hens from the lowest stocking density on average used the range for longer each day (P<0.001), with fewer visits and longer maximum durations per visit (P<0.001). Individual hens within all stocking densities varied in the percentage of days they accessed the range with 2% of tagged hens in each treatment never venturing outdoors and a large proportion that accessed the range daily (2000 hens/ha: 80.5%; 10 000 hens/ha: 66.5%; 20 000 hens/ha: 71.4%). On average, 38% to 48% of hens were seen on the range simultaneously and used all available areas of all ranges. These results of experimental-sized flocks have implications for determining optimal outdoor stocking densities for commercial free-range laying hens but further research would be needed to determine the effects of increased range usage on hen welfare.
Background: Ataluren is the first drug to treat the underlying cause of nmDMD. Methods: ACT DMD is a Phase 3, randomized, double-blind study. Males 7-16 years with nmDMD and a screening six-minute walk distance (6MWD) ≥150 m and <80%-predicted were randomized to ataluren 40 mg/kg/day or placebo for 48 weeks. A pre-specified subgroup included patients with baseline 6MWD 300-400 m. A meta-analysis of the overall ACT DMD population and the ‘ambulatory decline phase’ subgroup of the Phase 2b study (those patients meeting ACT DMD entry criteria) was pre-specified in the statistical plan. Results: In the overall ACT DMD population (N=228), changes in TFTs favored ataluren over placebo: 10-meter walk/run, -1.2s (p=0.117); 4-stair climb, -1.8s (p=0.058); 4-stair descend, -1.8s (p=0.012). In the pre-specified subgroup (n=99), these differences increased to -2.1s, -3.6s, and -4.3s, respectively, and were statistically significant (p<0.01) for 4-stair climb and descend. Results are supported by the meta-analysis (N=291), which demonstrated significant differences (p<0.05) in 10-meter walk/run, 4-stair climb, 4-stair descend. Conclusions: TFT results showed a benefit for ataluren in ACT DMD, and a larger treatment effect in the pre-specified baseline 6MWD 300-400 m subgroup as well as the pre-specified meta-analysis of ACT DMD and the Phase 2b study decline subgroup.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST), which at present images a fully synthesised 70′ field in 12 h, is being converted to enable observing modes which extend the field size to 160′. The new observing modes will allow the MOST to survey completely the sky south of δ = −30° to a (5σ) sensitivity limit of about 5 mJy. The result will be a catalogue of over 400,000 radio sources with a spatial density of less than 1 source per 100 beam areas, providing the foundation for a number of novel astronomical and cosmological investigations. The conversion involves construction of 352 low-noise HEMT preamplifiers, 88 digitally controlled UHF quad phase shifters, 88 mixers and IF sections, a new communication and control system, and several other new sub-systems. The project has been funded and developments are well advanced.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Consulting relationships between medical school faculty and the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries offer the potential to advance research and promote the translation of academic discoveries into technologies that can benefit the health of individuals and populations. Such relationships are common, and studies suggest that faculty with industry relationships are more productive than their peers without such relationships. These benefits notwithstanding, numerous academic studies, government hearings, and litigation have called attention to the potential risks associated with these relationships.
Consulting includes a broad range of activities in which a faculty member provides advice or services to a company related to his/her area of professional expertise, typically in exchange for payment. Many universities permit faculty members to devote a portion of their faculty time to consulting (e.g., one business day per week), and faculty members are typically paid directly by the company, rather than through the university.
The addition of supplementary fat to pig diets above current dietary recommendations has generally been viewed in a negative manner because it is considered that the surplus energy will be deposited into adipose tissue, and may therefore be detrimental to carcass value. The current study sought to investigate the effects of adding supplementary fat, in place of starch, to increase the energy density of male and female pig diets on growth performance and carcass quality. A total of 288 Large White × Landrace male and female pigs (boars and gilts) were randomly allocated to pens of 12 pigs each. The effects of (i) sex (gilts v. boars), (ii) added dietary fat level (as tallow; 0 v. 40 and 80 g/kg) and (iii) within added dietary fat level (40 v. 80 g fat/kg), were tested for a 5-week period (Period 1) (n = 4). These diets were formulated to contain 13·5, 14·3 and 15·2 MJ digestible energy/kg for 0, 40 and 80 g added fat/kg, respectively; the calculated standardized ileal digestible lysine content was kept constant at 8·8 g/kg of diet. Thereafter the experiment was designed to test for the same effects over a second 5-week period (Period 2), during which pigs from the initial three treatments were offered the diets with 0 and 40 g added fat/kg. Treatment effects were also assessed over the whole 10 weeks of the study. There was a positive linear effect of dietary fat supplementation in Period 1 on average daily weight gain, whereas dietary fat level in Period 1 had no effect on performance in Period 2, overall, or on carcass weight and P2 backfat thickness (i.e. thickness of fat at 65 mm down the left side from the midline, at the level of the head of the last rib) at 10 weeks. In contrast, supplementation of the diet with 40 g fat/kg during Period 2, regardless of the diet offered in Period 1, increased ADG in the second period and over the entire experiment. There were minimal effects of supplementary fat on feed intake in the entire experiment; however feed conversion ratio (FCR) was influenced by sex over the entire study and tended to be reduced by dietary fat supplementation in Period 2. The diet with 40 g added fat/kg fed in Period 2 increased carcass weight by an average of 2·8 kg and P2 backfat thickness by 1·2 mm. Collectively, the data from the current study suggest that dietary fat supplementation is more effective in finisher pigs than in grower pigs in terms of growth rate, FCR and carcass weight.
This retrospective, descriptive case-series reviews the clinical presentations and significant laboratory findings of patients diagnosed with and treated for injectional anthrax (IA) since December 2009 at Monklands Hospital in Central Scotland and represents the largest series of IA cases to be described from a single location. Twenty-one patients who fulfilled National Anthrax Control Team standardized case definitions of confirmed, probable or possible IA are reported. All cases survived and none required limb amputation in contrast to an overall mortality of 28% being experienced for this condition in Scotland. We document the spectrum of presentations of soft tissue infection ranging from mild cases which were managed predominantly with oral antibiotics to severe cases with significant oedema, organ failure and coagulopathy. We describe the surgical management, intensive care management and antibiotic management including the first description of daptomycin being used to treat human anthrax. It is noted that some people who had injected heroin infected with Bacillus anthracis did not develop evidence of IA. Also highlighted are biochemical and haematological parameters which proved useful in identifying deteriorating patients who required greater levels of support and surgical debridement.
Public disclosure of industry payments to physicians is one way to address financial conflicts of interest in medicine. As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA) requires pharmaceutical, medical device, and biologics manufacturers who have at least one product reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid to disclose payments to physicians and teaching hospitals on a public website starting in 2014. The physician payment data will contain individual physician names, monetary values, and specific products connected to payments.
According to the Final Regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in February 2013, the law will make transparent the extent and nature of relationships between physicians, teaching hospitals, and manufacturers.
We discuss observations of Sagittarius A* with NACO@VLT in K-band and recent synchronous observations with NIRC2@Keck II and OSIRIS@Keck I in L′-band and H-band, respectively. The variability of Sagittarius A* in the near infrared is a continuous one-state process that can be described by a pure red-noise process having a timescale of a few hours. We describe this process and its properties in detail. Our newest observations with the Keck telescopes represent the first truly synchronous high cadence data set to test for time variability of the spectral index within the near infrared. We discovered a time-variable spectral index that might be interpreted as a time lag of the L′-band with respect to the H-band.
Some data suggest that older adults with anxiety disorders do not respond as well to treatment as do younger adults.
We examined age differences in outcomes from the Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM) study, an effectiveness trial comparing usual care to a computer-assisted collaborative care intervention for primary care patients with panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and/or social anxiety disorder. This is the first study to examine the efficacy of a collaborative care intervention in a sample that included both younger and older adults with anxiety disorders. We hypothesised that older adults would show a poorer response to the intervention than younger adults.
We examined findings for the overall sample, as well as within each diagnostic category (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00347269).
The CALM intervention was more effective than usual care among younger adults overall and for those with generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. Among older adults, the intervention was effective overall and for those with social anxiety disorder and PTSD but not for those with panic disorder or generalised anxiety disorder. The effects of the intervention also appeared to erode by the 18-month follow-up, and there were no significant effects on remission among the older adults.
These results are consistent with the findings of other investigators suggesting that medications and psychotherapy for anxiety disorders may not be as effective for older individuals as they are for younger people.
Imprinting control regions (ICRs) play a fundamental role in establishing and maintaining the non-random monoallelic expression of certain genes, via common regulatory elements such as non-coding RNAs and differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of DNA. We recently surveyed DNA methylation levels within four ICRs (H19-ICR, IGF2-DMR, KvDMR, and NESPAS-ICR) in whole-blood genomic DNA from 128 monozygotic (MZ) and 128 dizygotic (DZ) human twin pairs. Our analyses revealed high individual variation and intra-domain covariation in methylation levels across CpGs and emphasized the interaction between epigenetic variation and the underlying genetic sequence in a parent-of-origin fashion. Here, we extend our analysis to conduct two genome-wide screenings of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) underlying either intra-domain covariation or parent-of-origin-dependent association with methylation status at individual CpG sites located within ICRs. Although genome-wide significance was not surpassed due to sample size limitations, the most significantly associated SNPs found through multiple-trait genome-wide association (MQFAM) included the previously described rs10732516, which is located in the vicinity of the H19-ICR. Similarly, we identified an association between rs965808 and methylation status within the NESPAS-ICR. This SNP is positioned within an intronic region of the overlapping genes GNAS and GNAS-AS1, which are imprinted genes regulated by the NESPAS-ICR. Sixteen other SNPs located in regions apart from the analyzed regions displayed suggestive association with intra-domain methylation. Additionally, we identified 13 SNPs displaying parent-of-origin association with individual methylation sites through family-based association testing. In this exploratory study, we show the value and feasibility of using alternative GWAS approaches in the study of the interaction between epigenetic state and genetic sequence within imprinting regulatory domains. Despite the relatively small sample size, we identified a number of SNPs displaying suggestive association either in a domain-wide or in a parent-of-origin fashion. Nevertheless, these associations will require future experimental validation or replication in larger and independent samples.