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Exposure to industrial pollutants is a potential risk factor not fully explored in ASD with regression (ASD+R). We studied geographical collocation patterns of industrial air chemical emissions and the location of homes of children with ASD+R at different exposure times, compared with ASD cases without regression (ASD−R). Fifteen of 111 emitted chemicals collocated with ASD+R, and 65 with ASD−R. ASD+R collocated more strongly with different neurotoxicants/immunotoxicants a year before diagnosis, whereas ASD−R were moderately collocated with chemicals across all exposure periods. This preliminary exploratory analysis of differences in exposure patterns raises a question regarding potential pathophysiological differences between the conditions.
Existing mass vaccination clinic guidance calls for staffing and resource requirements that may not be achievable in smaller settings. Practical and scalable solutions to these problems were developed by a volunteer group of continuous improvement professionals, working to assist 2 non-governmental organizations engaged in coordinating refugee health services: the Somali Health Board of Seattle, WA and Community Health Services Inc. of Rochester, MN. Our shared goal was to get more shots in arms by bringing vaccines to small communities through pop-up clinics that are quick to set-up and require minimal resources. The clinics were developed using continuous improvement methods, thereby yielding a 2-minute vaccine administration time and an 8-fold improvement in productivity as a result of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidance. This report details our field-tested methods and achieved results. The relevance and benefits of this approach deserve attention as pandemic response needs continue to evolve and vaccines become more globally available.
To estimate the prevalence of DSM-V mental disorders in a population of Irish emerging adults
Mental disorders are the leading cause of years lived with disability in youth worldwide. Few studies use gold standard of face to face semi-structured standardized interview tools, and this is a limitation in the estimates of prevalence rates of mental disorder in the extant literature.
Briefly, we recruited a representative sample of 212 adolescents and followed them up over ten years. In this wave of the adolescent brain development study, 103 of the initial 212 participants took part, 50 males and 53 females, with a mean age of 20.87 years (SD = 1.3). Psychopathology was assessed in all participants by trained research psychologists and mental health professionals using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-V (SCID).
52.4% of participants had one lifetime mental disorder, the prevalence rates were highest for Major Depressive Episode (25.3%), Social Anxiety (12.6%) and Generalized Anxiety (8.7%). 50.5% had a history of a mental disorder. 27.2% had 1 lifetime diagnosis, 15.5% had 2 and 7.8% had >2.
Rates of mental disorder rapidly increase during emerging adulthood. In a similar Irish study, 55% of young adults met the criteria for lifetime mental disorder. Whilst the rates of mental disorder are high in young people, previous longitudinal research has suggested that many common mental disorders remit by the late twenties. We suggest a need for further research investigating the comparative later functional and economic outcomes of these young people. Research to date is supportive of a need to expand capacity of youth friendly services for prevention and treatment.
Ethical approval for the study protocols, including interviews and assessments, along with informed consent documents, was granted by the Beaumont Hospital Medical Ethics Committee in 2016.
1. European Research Council Consolidator Award and Health Research Board Ireland Award to Mary Cannon
2. Health Professionals Fellowship from the Health Research Board Ireland to Helen Coughlan.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
The StratEx program used a self-contained space suit and balloon system to loft pilot Alan Eustace to a record-breaking altitude and skydive from 135,897 feet (41,422 m). After releasing from the balloon and a stabilized freefall, the pilot safely landed using a parachute system based on a modified tandem parachute rig. A custom spacesuit provided life support using a similar system to NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Washington, DC USA) Extravehicular Mobility Unit. It also provided tracking, communications, and connection to the parachute system. A recovery support team, including at least two medical personnel and two spacesuit technicians, was charged with reaching the pilot within five minutes of touchdown to extract him from the suit and provide treatment for any injuries. The team had to track the flight at all times, be prepared to respond in case of premature release, and to operate in any terrain. Crew recovery operations were planned and tailored to anticipate outcomes during this novel event in a systematic fashion, through scenario and risk analysis, in order to minimize the probability and impact of injury. This analysis, detailed here, helped the team configure recovery assets, refine navigation and tracking systems, develop procedures, and conduct training. An extensive period of testing and practice culminated in three manned flights leading to a successful mission and setting the record for exit altitude, distance of fall with stabilizing device, and vertical speed with a stabilizing device. During this mission, recovery teams reached the landing spot within one minute, extracted the pilot, and confirmed that he was not injured. This strategy is presented as an approach to prehospital planning and care for improved safety during crew recovery in novel, extreme events.
AntonsenEL. Crew Recovery and Contingency Planning for a Manned Stratospheric Balloon Flight – the StratEx Program. Prehosp Disaster Med.2016;31(5):524–531.
Background: Transitioning from medical school to residency is difficult and stressful, necessitating innovation in easing this transition. In response, a Canadian neurosurgical Rookie Camp was designed and implemented to foster acquisition of technical, cognitive and behavioral skills among incoming Canadian post graduate year one (PGY-1) neurosurgery residents. Methods: The inaugural Rookie Camp was held in July 2012 in Halifax. The curriculum was developed based on a national needs-assessment and consisted of a pre-course manual, 7 case-based stations, 4 procedural skills stations and 2 group discussions. The content was clinically focused, used a variety of teaching methods, and addressed multiple CanMEDS competencies. Evaluation included participant and faculty surveys and a pre-course, post-course, and 3-month retention knowledge test. Results: 17 of 23 PGY-1 Canadian neurosurgical residents participated in the Camp. All agreed the course content was relevant for PGY-1 training and the experience prepared them for residency. All participants would recommend the course to future neurosurgical residents. A statistically significant improvement was observed in knowledge related to course content (F(2,32) = 7.572, p<0.002). There were no significant differences between post-test and retention-test scores at three months. Conclusion: The inaugural Canadian Neurosurgery Rookie Camp for PGY-1 residents was successfully delivered, with engagement from participants, training programs, the Canadian Neurosurgical Society, and the Royal College. In addition to providing fundamental knowledge, which was shown to be retained, the course eased junior residents’ transition to residency by fostering camaraderie and socialization within the specialty.
Red Bull Stratos was a commercial program that brought a test parachutist, protected by a full-pressure suit, in a stratospheric balloon with pressurized capsule to over 127,582 ft (38,969 m), from which he free fell and subsequently parachuted to the ground. Given that the major risks to the parachutist included ebullism, negative Gz (toe-to-head) acceleration exposure from an uncontrolled flat spin, and trauma, a comprehensive plan was developed to recover the parachutist under nominal conditions and to respond to any medical contingencies that might have arisen. In this report, the project medical team describes the experience of providing emergency medical support and crew recovery for the manned balloon flights of the program.
The phases of flight, associated risks, and available resources were systematically evaluated.
Six distinct phases of flight from an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) standpoint were identified. A Medical Support Plan was developed to address the risks associated with each phase, encompassing personnel, equipment, procedures, and communications.
Despite geographical, communications, and resource limitations, the medical team was able to implement the Medical Support Plan, enabling multiple successful manned balloon flights to 71,615 ft (21,828 m), 97,221 ft (29,610 m), and 127,582 ft (38,969 m). The experience allowed refinement of the EMS and crew recovery procedures for each successive flight and could be applied to other high altitude or commercial space ventures.
BlueRS, NortonSC, LawJ, PattariniJM, AntonsenEL, GarbinoA, ClarkJB, TurneyMW. Emergency Medical Support for a Manned Stratospheric Balloon Test Program. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(5):1-6.
We present the characteristics of a high temperature CMOS integrated circuit process based on 4H silicon carbide designed to operate at temperatures beyond 300°C. N-channel and P-channel transistor characteristics at room and elevated temperatures are presented. Both channel types show the expected low values of field effect mobility well known in SiC MOSFETS. However the performance achieved is easily capable of exploitation in CMOS digital logic circuits and certain analogue circuits, over a wide temperature range.
Data is also presented for the performance of digital logic demonstrator circuits, in particular a 4 to 1 analogue multiplexer and a configurable timer operating over a wide temperature range. Devices are packaged in high temperature ceramic dual in line (DIL) packages, which are capable of greater than 300°C operation. A high temperature “micro-oven” system has been designed and built to enable testing and stressing of units assembled in these package types. This system heats a group of devices together to temperatures of up to 300°C while keeping the electrical connections at much lower temperatures. In addition, long term reliability data for some structures such as contact chains to n-type and p-type SiC and simple logic circuits is summarized.
National and international policies have encouraged the establishment of a representative network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa, with the aim of protecting marine biodiversity. The extent to which these marine and estuarine protected areas (EPAs) represent marine fish species and communities was assessed by comparing their species compositions with those of exploited areas, as sampled using four fishing techniques. Seven hundred fish species were sampled, representing one-third of South Africa's marine fishes. MPAs in coastal habitats scored c. 40% on the Bray-Curtis measure of similarity for species representativeness, but this score declined markedly for offshore ‘trawlable’ fishing grounds. The combined effects of sampling error, temporal variation and the effects of fishing on relative abundance suggest that 80% similarity would be the maximum achieveable. Forty-nine per cent of all fish species that were recorded were found in the 14 MPAs sampled. Redundancy in the MPA network was low, with fish species most commonly being represented in only one MPA or absent. There was greater redundancy in the 33 EPAs, with 40% of species being found in two or more EPAs, but many of these estuaries were adjacent to each other and embedded in large MPAs. Deep water fish communities (>80 m deep) and communities located on the west and south-east coasts of South Africa were most poorly represented by MPAs. Routine fishery surveys provide a robust and repeatable opportunity to assess species representativeness in MPAs, and the method used could form the basis of an operational definition of ‘representative’. In contrast to an assessment based on presence-absence data, this analysis of quantitative data presents a more pessimistic assessment of protection.
The structure of Schur multiplicative maps on matrices over a field is studied. The result is then used to characterize Schur multiplicative maps f satisfying for different subsets S of matrices including the set of rank k matrices, the set of singular matrices, and the set of invertible matrices. Characterizations are also obtained for maps on matrices such that Γ(f(A))=Γ(A) for various functions Γ including the rank function, the determinant function, and the elementary symmetric functions of the eigenvalues. These results include analogs of the theorems of Frobenius and Dieudonné on linear maps preserving the determinant functions and linear maps preserving the set of singular matrices, respectively.
To compare sharp-device injury rates among hospital staff nurses in 4 Western countries.
Acute-care hospital nurses in the United States (Pennsylvania), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario), the United Kingdom (England and Scotland), and Germany.
A total of 34,318 acute-care hospital staff nurses in 1998-1999.
Survey-based rates of retrospectively-reported needlestick injuries in the previous year for medical-surgical unit nurses ranged from 146 injuries per 1,000 full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) in the US sample to 488 injuries per 1,000 FTEs in Germany. In the United States and Canada, very high rates of sharp-device injury among nurses working in the operating room and/or perioperative care were observed (255 and 569 injuries per 1,000 FTEs per year, respectively). Reported use of safety-engineered sharp devices was considerably lower in Germany and Canada than it was in the United States. Some variation in injury rates was seen across nursing specialties among North American nurses, mostly in line with the frequency of risky procedures in the nurses' work.
Studies conducted in the United States over the past 15 years suggest that the rates of sharp-device injuries to front-line nurses have fallen over the past decade, probably at least in part because of increased awareness and adoption of safer technologies, suggesting that regulatory strategies have improved nurse safety. The much higher injury rate in Germany may be due to slow adoption of safety devices. Wider diffusion of safer technologies, as well as introduction and stronger enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations, are likely to decrease sharp-device injury rates in various countries even further.
We compared the crop yields and economic performance of organic, lowinput, and conventional farming systems over an eight-year period based on research from the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) Project in California's Sacramento Valley. The SAFS Project consisted of four farming-system treatments that differed in material input use and crop rotation sequence. The treatments included four-year rotations under conventional (conv-4), low-input, and organic management, and a conventionally-managed, two-year rotation (conv-2). The four-year rotations included processing tomato, safflower, corn, and bean and a winter grain and/or legume doublecropped with bean. The conv-2 treatment was a tomato and wheat rotation. In the lowinput and organic systems, inorganic fertilizer and synthetic pesticide inputs were reduced or eliminated largely through crop rotation, legume cover crops, composted manure applications, and mechanical cultivation.
All crops, except safflower, demonstrated significant yield differences across farming systems in at least some years of the experiment. Yields of tomato and corn, the most nitrogen (N)-demanding crops in the rotations, responded most years to the farming-system years treatments, while bean and the winter grain/legume displayed treatment differences less often and instead tended to vary more with yearly growing conditions. Nitrogen availability and/or weed competition appeared to account for lower crop yields in the organic and low-input systems in some years. The economics of all farming systems depended mainly on the costs and profits associated with tomato production. The most profitable system was the conv-2 system due to the greater frequency of tomato in that system. Among the four-year rotations, the organic system was the most profitable. However, this system's dependence on price premiums leads to some concern over its long-term economic viability. Among the low-input cropping systems, corn demonstrated clear agronomic and economic advantages over conventional production methods. Based upon these findings, we suggest that future research on organic and low-input farming systems focus on developing cost-effective fertility and weed management options based upon improved understanding of N dynamics and weed ecology.
During the absorption of a laser pulse of moderate length, the leading edge can experience excited state absorption out of the first singlet state. The measurement of this excited state absorption spectrum can only be accurately probed using short pulse pump-probe techniques. Specifically, we examine the excited state absorption of AF-380 in THF using ultrafast transient white light absorption spectroscopy (TWLA). This material has been the focus of several investigations due to it's purported large two-photon absorption cross-section, the discrepancies between long and short pulse measurements, and it's use in holographic twophoton induced photopolymerization. It is believed that a substantial excited state absorbance can account for the difference in two-photon cross section measurements. It is also possible that this excited state exhibits coherence for time scales that can affect further absorption of longer pump pulses. We examine the transient absorption of this species, as well as polarization and free carrier effects and discuss the possible implications with regards to measurement techniques.
We evaluated the effects of free-range chickens and geese on insect pests and weeds in an experimental, nonchemical agroecosystem consisting of an apple orchard with intercropped potatoes. The objective was to assess the potential of these domestic bird species as biological control agents. Four insect pests were studied: plum curculio, apple maggot, Japanese beetle, and Colorado potato beetle. Chickens fed on several potential crop pests, including Japanese beetle. Although Japanese beetles were less abundant on apple trees when chickens were present, the proportion of damaged fruit was not reduced. Furthermore, chickens did not affect weed abundance or crop productivity. In contrast, geese were effective weeders. Their activities reduced weed abundance and increased potato plant growth and yields compared with a minimally weeded control. In addition, the activities of geese indirectly reduced apple fruit damage by plum curculio and increased the proportion of pest-free fruit, possibly because removal of vegetation by the geese reduced humidity at the soil surface and therefore reduced the activity of plum curculio.
We evaluated free-range domestic chickens and geese as components of a nonchemical apple orchard intercropped with potato. Chickens and geese were compatible with the system but provided different benefits and had different requirements. Chickens were omnivorous and highly active throughout the day, and dispersed throughout the available area. In contrast, geese were strictly herbivorous and less active, and usually remained close to their coop and water source. Geese substantially reduced vegetation biomass under the trees and around the potatoes without damaging either crop. Chickens reduced noncrop vegetation biomass slightly but also consumed several insect species, including Japanese beetle and Colorado potato beetle. Factors influencing the feasibility of integrating domestic chickens or geese into agroecosystems are discussed.
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