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The optimum parameters for the generation of synchrotron radiation in ultraintense laser pulse interactions with planar foils are investigated with the application of Bayesian optimization, via Gaussian process regression, to 2D particle-in-cell simulations. Individual properties of the synchrotron emission, such as the yield, are maximized, and simultaneous mitigation of bremsstrahlung emission is achieved with multi-variate objective functions. The angle-of-incidence of the laser pulse onto the target is shown to strongly influence the synchrotron yield and angular profile, with oblique incidence producing the optimal results. This is further explored in 3D simulations, in which additional control of the spatial profile of synchrotron emission is demonstrated by varying the polarization of the laser light. The results demonstrate the utility of applying a machine learning-based optimization approach and provide new insights into the physics of radiation generation in laser–foil interactions, which will inform the design of experiments in the quantum electrodynamics (QED)-plasma regime.
Strain, temperature and strain rate are crucial factors governing the development of crystallographic preferred orientations (CPO) in ice. To better understand how CPO patterns change in response to these variables, we performed quantitative analyses on neutron diffraction data between 2010 and 2019, collected in situ during uniaxial compression experiments on deuterium ice. At strains >10% and temperatures <−10°C, the c-axis pattern switches from a single maximum (‘cluster’) to small circle (‘cone’), both oriented parallel to shortening. The diameter and mean width of the cone pattern decrease as strain and/or strain rate increases. Prismatic axis (a and m) patterns are characterised by great circles parallel to the pole figure margin and may be distinguishable from the patterns in ice deformed under simple shear. While strain has the main influence on the degree of preferred orientation (or CPO ‘strength’), both temperature and strain rate have minor influences, which limits the extent to which CPOs can be used to measure strain. As cluster patterns can be observed in the c-axes of ice deformed under both pure and simple shear settings, this may complicate interpretations of flow geometry in terrestrial ice unless the prismatic axis patterns are also considered.
The updated vancomycin guideline for treatment of serious methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections prompted institutions to convert from trough to area-under-the-curve monitoring. The physician perception of the transition, coupled with that of pharmacists, was measured by pre- and postimplementation surveys. Both groups believed safety would be increased without efficacy changes.
Monitoring the prevalence and abundance of parasites over time is important for addressing their potential impact on host life histories, immunological profiles and their influence as a selective force. Only long-term ecological studies have the potential to shed light on both the temporal trends in infection prevalence and abundance and the drivers of such trends, because of their ability to dissect drivers that may be confounded over shorter time scales. Despite this, only a relatively small number of such studies exist. Here, we analysed changes in the prevalence and abundance of gastrointestinal parasites in the wild Soay sheep population of St. Kilda across 31 years. The host population density (PD) has increased across the study, and PD is known to increase parasite transmission, but we found that PD and year explained temporal variation in parasite prevalence and abundance independently. Prevalence of both strongyle nematodes and coccidian microparasites increased during the study, and this effect varied between lambs, yearlings and adults. Meanwhile, abundance of strongyles was more strongly linked to host PD than to temporal (yearly) dynamics, while abundance of coccidia showed a strong temporal trend without any influence of PD. Strikingly, coccidian abundance increased 3-fold across the course of the study in lambs, while increases in yearlings and adults were negligible. Our decades-long, intensive, individual-based study will enable the role of environmental change and selection pressures in driving these dynamics to be determined, potentially providing unparalleled insight into the drivers of temporal variation in parasite dynamics in the wild.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition characterized by emotion dysregulation, interpersonal impairment, and high suicidality. Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is the most widely studied psychotherapeutic treatment for BPD. To date, the vast majority of DBT research has focused on cisgender women, with a notable lack of systematic investigation of sex and/or gender differences in treatment response. In order to encourage effective, equitable treatment of BPD, further investigation into treatment targets in this population is critical. Here, we employed a systematic strategy to delineate gaps in the DBT literature pertaining to sex and gender differences and propose directions for future research. Findings demonstrate a significant discrepancy in measurement of sex and gender, particularly among gender-diverse individuals. Exploring DBT treatment response across the full spectrum of genders will facilitate the provision of more tailored, impactful care to all individuals who suffer from BPD.
Key learning aims
(1) To date, DBT treatment literature has focused almost exclusively on cisgender women, with only two of 253 DBT studies in current literature accounting for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals.
(2) Recognize how gender minority stress may impact the prevalence of BPD among TGD individuals.
(3) Learn how future research initiatives can be employed to rectify this gap in the DBT literature.
To describe the genomic analysis and epidemiologic response related to a slow and prolonged methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreak.
Prospective observational study.
Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
We conducted an epidemiologic investigation of a NICU MRSA outbreak involving serial baby and staff screening to identify opportunities for decolonization. Whole-genome sequencing was performed on MRSA isolates.
A NICU with excellent hand hygiene compliance and longstanding minimal healthcare-associated infections experienced an MRSA outbreak involving 15 babies and 6 healthcare personnel (HCP). In total, 12 cases occurred slowly over a 1-year period (mean, 30.7 days apart) followed by 3 additional cases 7 months later. Multiple progressive infection prevention interventions were implemented, including contact precautions and cohorting of MRSA-positive babies, hand hygiene observers, enhanced environmental cleaning, screening of babies and staff, and decolonization of carriers. Only decolonization of HCP found to be persistent carriers of MRSA was successful in stopping transmission and ending the outbreak. Genomic analyses identified bidirectional transmission between babies and HCP during the outbreak.
In comparison to fast outbreaks, outbreaks that are “slow and sustained” may be more common to units with strong existing infection prevention practices such that a series of breaches have to align to result in a case. We identified a slow outbreak that persisted among staff and babies and was only stopped by identifying and decolonizing persistent MRSA carriage among staff. A repeated decolonization regimen was successful in allowing previously persistent carriers to safely continue work duties.
The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP) has emerged out of the quantitative approach to psychiatric nosology. This approach identifies psychopathology constructs based on patterns of co-variation among signs and symptoms. The initial HiTOP model, which was published in 2017, is based on a large literature that spans decades of research. HiTOP is a living model that undergoes revision as new data become available. Here we discuss advantages and practical considerations of using this system in psychiatric practice and research. We especially highlight limitations of HiTOP and ongoing efforts to address them. We describe differences and similarities between HiTOP and existing diagnostic systems. Next, we review the types of evidence that informed development of HiTOP, including populations in which it has been studied and data on its validity. The paper also describes how HiTOP can facilitate research on genetic and environmental causes of psychopathology as well as the search for neurobiologic mechanisms and novel treatments. Furthermore, we consider implications for public health programs and prevention of mental disorders. We also review data on clinical utility and illustrate clinical application of HiTOP. Importantly, the model is based on measures and practices that are already used widely in clinical settings. HiTOP offers a way to organize and formalize these techniques. This model already can contribute to progress in psychiatry and complement traditional nosologies. Moreover, HiTOP seeks to facilitate research on linkages between phenotypes and biological processes, which may enable construction of a system that encompasses both biomarkers and precise clinical description.
Despite evidence favoring perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis (ABP) use in patients undergoing craniotomy to reduce rates of surgical site infections (SSIs), standardized protocols are lacking. We describe demographic characteristics, risk factors, and ABP choice in patients with craniotomy complicated with SSI.
Retrospective case series from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2020.
Tertiary-care referral center.
Adults who underwent craniotomy and were diagnosed with an SSI.
Logistic regression to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals to identify factors associated with SSIs.
In total, 5,328 patients undergoing craniotomy were identified during the study period; 59 (1.1%) suffered an SSI. Compared with non-SSI cases, patients with SSI had a significantly higher frequency of emergency procedures: 13.5% versus 5.8% (P = .02; odds ratio [OR], 2.52; 95% confidene interval [CI], 1.10–5.06; P = .031). Patients with SSI had a higher rate of a dirty (5.1% vs 0.9%) and lower rate of clean-contaminated (3.3% vs 14.5%) wound class than those without infection (P = .002). Nearly all patients received ABP before craniotomy (98.3% in the SSI group vs 99.6% in the non-SSI group; P = .10). Combination of vancomycin and cefazolin as dual therapy was more prevalent in the group of patients without infection (n = 1,761, 34.1%) than those with SSI (n = 4, 6.8%) (P < .001), associated with decreased odds for SSI (OR, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.005–0.42; P ≤ .001).
SSI are frequently seen after an emergent neurosurgical procedure and a dirty wound classification. Combination of prophylactic cefazolin and vancomycin is associated with decreased risk for SSI.
There is limited understanding of treatment pathways for paediatric sleep-disordered breathing. This study explored current UK pathways and what is important to well-being for parents and children.
The study comprised in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 22) with parents of children (2–9 years) with symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing referred to a regional ENT clinic (n = 11), general practitioners who might refer these children to ENT (n = 5) and hospital doctors involved in treating these children (n = 6). Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, anonymised and analysed thematically.
General practitioners rarely identify seeing children with sleep-disordered breathing; conversely hospital doctors identify unsuspected issues. Parents are worried their child will stop breathing, but routes to referral and diagnosis are not straightforward. Modern technology can aid investigation and diagnosis. Patient weight is an issue for general practitioners and hospital doctors. Adenotonsillectomy is the treatment of choice, and information on paediatric sleep-disordered breathing is needed.
Guidelines for the management of paediatric sleep-disordered breathing are needed.
A detailed analysis of steady coating flow of a thin film of a viscous fluid on the outside of a uniformly rotating horizontal circular cylinder in the absence of surface-tension effects but in the presence of a non-uniform pressure distribution due to an irrotational airflow with circulation shows that the presence of the airflow can result in qualitatively different behaviour of the fluid film from that in classical coating flow. Full-film solutions corresponding to a continuous film of fluid covering the entire cylinder are possible only when the flux and mass of fluid do not exceed critical values, which are determined in terms of the non-dimensional parameters $F$ and $K$ representing the speed of the far-field airflow and the circulation of the airflow, respectively. The qualitative changes in the behaviour of the film thickness as $F$ and $K$ are varied are described. In particular, the film thickness can have as many as four stationary points and, in general, has neither top-to-bottom nor right-to-left symmetry. In addition, when the circulation of the airflow is in the same direction as the rotation of the cylinder the maximum mass of fluid that can be supported on the cylinder is always less than that in classical coating flow, whereas when the circulation is in the opposite direction the maximum mass of fluid can be greater than that in classical coating flow.
Two introduced carnivores, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus, have had extensive impacts on Australian biodiversity. In this study, we collate information on consumption of Australian birds by the fox, paralleling a recent study reporting on birds consumed by cats. We found records of consumption by foxes on 128 native bird species (18% of the non-vagrant bird fauna and 25% of those species within the fox’s range), a smaller tally than for cats (343 species, including 297 within the fox’s Australian range, a subset of that of the cat). Most (81%) bird species eaten by foxes are also eaten by cats, suggesting that predation impacts are compounded. As with consumption by cats, birds that nest or forage on the ground are most likely to be consumed by foxes. However, there is also some partitioning, with records of consumption by foxes but not cats for 25 bird species, indicating that impacts of the two predators may also be complementary. Bird species ≥3.4 kg were more likely to be eaten by foxes, and those <3.4 kg by cats. Our compilation provides an inventory and describes characteristics of Australian bird species known to be consumed by foxes, but we acknowledge that records of predation do not imply population-level impacts. Nonetheless, there is sufficient information from other studies to demonstrate that fox predation has significant impacts on the population viability of some Australian birds, especially larger birds, and those that nest or forage on the ground.
Introduced mammalian predators are responsible for the decline and extinction of many native species, with rats (genus Rattus) being among the most widespread and damaging invaders worldwide. In a naturally fragmented landscape, we demonstrate the multi-year effectiveness of snap traps in the removal of Rattus rattus and Rattus exulans from lava-surrounded forest fragments ranging in size from <0.1 to >10 ha. Relative to other studies, we observed low levels of fragment recolonization. Larger rats were the first to be trapped, with the average size of trapped rats decreasing over time. Rat removal led to distinct shifts in the foraging height and location of mongooses and mice, emphasizing the need to focus control efforts on multiple invasive species at once. Furthermore, because of a specially designed trap casing, we observed low non-target capture rates, suggesting that on Hawai‘i and similar islands lacking native rodents the risk of killing non-target species in snap traps may be lower than the application of rodenticides, which have the potential to contaminate food webs. These efforts demonstrate that targeted snap-trapping is an effective removal method for invasive rats in fragmented habitats and that, where used, monitoring of recolonization should be included as part of a comprehensive biodiversity management strategy.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
Having access and skills to use social technology, i.e. social internet use, social media and social applications, are considered as being vital to online social connection. Whilst evidence exists around facilitators and barriers to general technology use, evidence is limited with regards to the motivators, skills and tangible offline benefits older technology users experience with social technology. Therefore, this study used a qualitative, exploratory method to understand older adults’ experiences of using social technology to connect with others. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 older adults (65+ years) across England, Scotland and Wales. Despite having access to social technology for social connection, and using this technology regularly, multiple barriers impacted motivators and skills for use, namely perceived self-efficacy and fear, the culture of online communication, absence of social capital and physical functioning. Some of these barriers of social technology use are reminiscent of barriers of wider technology use and emphasise the importance of addressing these barriers for digital exclusion, as well as social connection. However, some of these barriers were specific to social technology use and should be considered when providing guidance or interventions to increase older adults’ online social connection. Social connection was a clear tangible outcome to social technology use, and individuals discussed the benefits of using social technology, particularly visual communication tools, for online connection.
Acute change in mental status (ACMS), defined by the Confusion Assessment Method, is used to identify infections in nursing home residents. A medical record review revealed that none of 15,276 residents had an ACMS documented. Using the revised McGeer criteria with a possible ACMS definition, we identified 296 residents and 21 additional infections. The use of a possible ACMS definition should be considered for retrospective nursing home infection surveillance.
Pregabalin is indicated for the treatment of GAD in adults in Europe. The efficacy and safety of pregabalin for the treatment of adults and elderly patients with GAD has been demonstrated in 6 of 7 short-term clinical trials of 4 to 8 weeks.
To characterise the long-term efficacy and safety of pregabalin in subjects with GAD.
Subjects were randomised to double-blind treatment with either high-dose pregabalin (450-600 mg/d), low-dose pregabalin (150-300 mg/d), or lorazepam (3-4 mg/d) for 3 months. Treatment was extended with drug or blinded placebo for a further 3 months.
At 3 months, mean change from baseline Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) for pregabalin high- and low-dose, and for lorazepam ranged from -16.0 to -17.4. Mean change from baseline Clinical Global Impression-Severity (CGI-S) scores ranged from -2.1 to -2.3 and mean CGI-Improvement (CGI-I) scores were 1.9 for each active treatment group. At 6 months, improvement was retained for all 3 active drug groups, even when switched to placebo. HAM-A and CGI-S change from baseline scores ranged from -14.9 to -19.0 and -2.0 to -2.5, respectively. Mean CGI-I scores ranged from 1.5 to 2.3. The most frequently reported adverse events were insomnia, fatigue, dizziness, headache, and somnolence.
Efficacy was observed at 3 months, with maintained improvement in anxiety symptoms over 6 months of treatment. These results are consistent with previously reported efficacy and safety trials of shorter duration with pregabalin and lorazepam in subjects with GAD.