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How do citizens within countries hosting U.S. military personnel view that presence? Using new cross-national survey data from 14 countries, we examine how different forms of exposure to a U.S. military presence in a country affect attitudes toward the U.S. military, government, and people. We find that contact with U.S. military personnel or the receipt of economic benefits from the U.S. presence correlates with stronger support for the U.S. presence, people, and government. This study has profound implications for the role that U.S. installations play in affecting the social fabric of host nations and policy implications for the conduct of U.S. military activities outside the United States.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for the detection of foetal aneuploidy through analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in maternal blood is offered routinely by many healthcare providers across the developed world. This testing has recently been recommended for evaluative implementation in the UK National Health Service (NHS) foetal anomaly screening pathway as a contingent screen following an increased risk of trisomy 21, 18 or 13. In preparation for delivering a national service, we have implemented cfDNA-based NIPT in our Regional Genetics Laboratory. Here, we describe our validation and verification processes and initial experiences of the technology prior to rollout of a national screening service.
Data are presented from more than 1000 patients (215 retrospective and 840 prospective) from ‘high- and low-risk pregnancies’ with outcome data following birth or confirmatory invasive prenatal sampling. NIPT was by the Illumina Verifi® test.
Our data confirm a high-fidelity service with a failure rate of ~0.24% and a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of foetal trisomy 13, 18 and 21. Secondly, the data show that a significant proportion of patients continue their pregnancies without prenatal invasive testing or intervention after receiving a high-risk cfDNA-based result. A total of 46.5% of patients referred to date were referred for reasons other than high screen risk. Ten percent (76/840 clinical service referrals) of patients were referred with ultrasonographic finding of a foetal structural anomaly, and data analysis indicates high- and low-risk scan indications for NIPT.
NIPT can be successfully implemented into NHS regional genetics laboratories to provide high-quality services. NHS provision of NIPT in patients with high-risk screen results will allow for a reduction of invasive testing and partially improve equality of access to cfDNA-based NIPT in the pregnant population. Patients at low risk for a classic trisomy or with other clinical indications are likely to continue to access cfDNA-based NIPT as a private test.
To define optimal thromboprophylaxis strategy after stent implantation in superior or total cavopulmonary connections.
Stent thrombosis is a rare complication of intravascular stenting, with a perceived higher risk in single-ventricle patients.
All patients who underwent stent implantation within superior or total cavopulmonary connections (caval vein, innominate vein, Fontan, or branch pulmonary arteries) were included. Cohort was divided into aspirin therapy alone versus advanced anticoagulation, including warfarin, enoxaparin, heparin, or clopidogrel. Primary endpoint was in-stent or downstream thrombus, and secondary endpoints included bleeding complications.
A total of 58 patients with single-ventricle circulation underwent 72 stent implantations. Of them 14 stents (19%) were implanted post-superior cavopulmonary connection and 58 (81%) post-total cavopulmonary connection. Indications for stenting included vessel/conduit stenosis (67%), external compression (18%), and thrombotic occlusion (15%). Advanced anticoagulation was prescribed for 32 (44%) patients and aspirin for 40 (56%) patients. Median follow up was 1.1 (25th–75th percentile, 0.5–2.6) years. Echocardiograms were available in 71 patients (99%), and advanced imaging in 44 patients (61%). Thrombosis was present in two patients on advanced anticoagulation (6.3%) and none noted in patients on aspirin (p = 0.187). Both patients with in-stent thrombus underwent initial stenting due to occlusive left pulmonary artery thrombus acutely post-superior cavopulmonary connection. There were seven (22%) significant bleeding complications for advanced anticoagulation and none for aspirin (p < 0.001).
Antithrombotic strategy does not appear to affect rates of in-stent thrombus in single-ventricle circulations. Aspirin alone may be sufficient for most patients undergoing stent implantation, while pre-existing thrombus may warrant advanced anticoagulation.
Transcatheter right ventricle decompression in neonates with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum is technically challenging, with risk of cardiac perforation and death. Further, despite successful right ventricle decompression, re-intervention on the pulmonary valve is common. The association between technical factors during right ventricle decompression and the risks of complications and re-intervention are not well described.
This is a multicentre retrospective study among the participating centres of the Congenital Catheterization Research Collaborative. Between 2005 and 2015, all neonates with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum and attempted transcatheter right ventricle decompression were included. Technical factors evaluated included the use and characteristics of radiofrequency energy, maximal balloon-to-pulmonary valve annulus ratio, infundibular diameter, and right ventricle systolic pressure pre- and post-valvuloplasty (BPV). The primary end point was cardiac perforation or death; the secondary end point was re-intervention.
A total of 99 neonates underwent transcatheter right ventricle decompression at a median of 3 days (IQR 2–5) of age, including 63 patients by radiofrequency and 32 by wire perforation of the pulmonary valve. There were 32 complications including 10 (10.5%) cardiac perforations, of which two resulted in death. Cardiac perforation was associated with the use of radiofrequency (p=0.047), longer radiofrequency duration (3.5 versus 2.0 seconds, p=0.02), and higher maximal radiofrequency energy (7.5 versus 5.0 J, p<0.01) but not with patient weight (p=0.09), pulmonary valve diameter (p=0.23), or infundibular diameter (p=0.57). Re-intervention was performed in 36 patients and was associated with higher post-intervention right ventricle pressure (median 60 versus 50 mmHg, p=0.041) and residual valve gradient (median 15 versus 10 mmHg, p=0.046), but not with balloon-to-pulmonary valve annulus ratio, atmospheric pressure used during BPV, or the presence of a residual balloon waist during BPV. Re-intervention was not associated with any right ventricle anatomic characteristics, including pulmonary valve diameter.
Technical factors surrounding transcatheter right ventricle decompression in pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum influence the risk of procedural complications but not the risk of future re-intervention. Cardiac perforation is associated with the use of radiofrequency energy, as well as radiofrequency application characteristics. Re-intervention after right ventricle decompression for pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum is common and relates to haemodynamic measures surrounding initial BPV.
This essay calls into question Zuckert's claim in Postmodern Platos that Strauss provides the best contemporary defense of the superiority of the philosophic life against the claims of Nietzsche and Heidegger that it leads to nihilism and despair. For her, Strauss persuasively draws on Plato, read through Alfarabi and Maimonides, to defend this view by showing that the philosopher understands the true ends of human life as a whole which is part of the whole, and thus provides a vision of the noblest, best, and most beautiful. I argue that this claim is implausible, that Strauss's Platonic vision of the ends of human life is obscure, and that even if correct, it does not offer an answer to the question of the relative value of these heterogenous ends, and thus does not demonstrate that the philosophic life is more worth living than any other form of life.
While a large literature suggests an important role for political parties in development, this article is the first attempt to layout and test a comprehensive theory connecting parties to economic growth. The authors argue that strong parties broaden the constituencies to which policymakers respond and help politicians solve coordination problems. These features help to ensure better economic management, public services, and political stability. And this, in turn, enhances economic growth. Drawing on a novel measure of party strength from the Varieties of Democracy data set, the authors test this theory on data drawn from more than 150 countries observed annually from 1901–2010. They identify a sizeable effect that is robust to various specifications, estimators, and samples. The effect operates in both democracies and autocracies, and is fairly stable across regions and time periods.
Cannabis and its main psychoactive ingredient δ-9-tetrahydrocannibidiol (THC) can induce transient psychotic symptoms in healthy individuals and exacerbate them in those with established psychosis. However, not everyone experience these effects, suggesting that certain individuals are particularly susceptible. The neural basis of this sensitivity to the psychotomimetic effects of THC is unclear.
We investigated whether individuals who are sensitive to the psychotomimetic effects of THC (TP) under experimental conditions would show differential hippocampal activation compared with those who are not (NP). We studied 36 healthy males under identical conditions under the influence of placebo or THC (10 mg) given orally, on two separate occasions, in a pseudo-randomized, double-blind, repeated measures, within-subject, cross-over design, using psychopathological assessments and functional MRI while they performed a verbal learning task. They were classified into those who experienced transient psychotic symptoms (TP; n = 14) following THC administration and those who did not (NP; n = 22).
Under placebo conditions, there was significantly greater engagement of the left hippocampus (p < 0.001) in the TP group compared with the NP group during verbal encoding, which survived leave-one-out analysis. The level of hippocampal activation was directly correlated (Spearman's ρ = 0.44, p = 0.008) with the severity of transient psychotic symptoms induced by THC. This difference was not present when we compared two subgroups from the same sample that were defined by sensitivity to anxiogenic effects of THC.
These results suggest that altered hippocampal activation during verbal encoding may serve as a marker of sensitivity to the acute psychotomimetic effects of THC.
Paediatric hospital-associated venous thromboembolism is a leading quality and safety concern at children’s hospitals.
The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in critically ill children following cardiothoracic surgery or therapeutic cardiac catheterisation.
We conducted a retrospective, case–control study of children admitted to the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital (St. Petersburg, Florida, United States of America) from 2006 to 2013. Hospital-associated venous thromboembolism cases were identified based on ICD-9 discharge codes and validated using radiological record review. We randomly selected two contemporaneous cardiovascular intensive care unit controls without hospital-associated venous thromboembolism for each hospital-associated venous thromboembolism case, and limited the study population to patients who had undergone cardiothoracic surgery or therapeutic cardiac catheterisation. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations between putative risk factors and hospital-associated venous thromboembolism were determined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.
Among 2718 admissions to the cardiovascular intensive care unit during the study period, 65 met the criteria for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism (occurrence rate, 2%). Restriction to cases and controls having undergone the procedures of interest yielded a final study population of 57 hospital-associated venous thromboembolism cases and 76 controls. In a multiple logistic regression model, major infection (odds ratio=5.77, 95% confidence interval=1.06–31.4), age ⩽1 year (odds ratio=6.75, 95% confidence interval=1.13–160), and central venous catheterisation (odds ratio=7.36, 95% confidence interval=1.13–47.8) were found to be statistically significant independent risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in these children. Patients with all three factors had a markedly increased post-test probability of having hospital-associated venous thromboembolism.
Major infection, infancy, and central venous catheterisation are independent risk factors for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism in critically ill children following cardiothoracic surgery or cardiac catheter-based intervention, which, in combination, define a high-risk group for hospital-associated venous thromboembolism.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States and increases risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Identifying modifiable risk factors for NAFLD could allow better targeting of prevention programs. Insulin resistance (IR) plays a significant role in the development and progression of NAFLD. IR is also an important precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). However, the development and duration of IR during young adulthood and its association with NAFLD and T2DM in midlife is unclear. To test whether trajectories of IR using homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR) change throughout early adulthood are associated with risk of prevalent NAFLD and T2DM among persons with NAFLD in midlife independent of current or baseline HOMA-IR. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Participants from the CARDIA study, a prospective multicenter population-based biracial cohort of adults (baseline age 18–30 years), underwent HOMA-IR measurement (≥8 h fasting and not pregnant) at baseline (1985–1986) and follow-up exam years 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25. At Year 25 (Y25, 2010–2011), liver fat was assessed by noncontrast computed tomography (CT). NAFLD was defined as CT liver attenuation <51 Hounsfield Units after exclusion of other causes of liver fat (alcohol/hepatitis/medications). Latent mixture modeling was used to identify 25-year trajectories in HOMA-IR over time. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess associations between HOMA-IR trajectory groups and prevalent NAFLD with adjustment for baseline or Y25 HOMA-IR. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Among 3060 participants, we identified 3 distinct trajectory groups for HOMA-IR for individuals free from diabetes in middle adulthood: qualitatively low-stable (46.7% of the cohort), moderate-increasing (42.0%), and high-increasing (11.3%) with a NAFLD prevalence at Y25 of: 8.3%, 33.4%, and 63.5%, respectively (p-trend<0.0001). After adjustment for confounders (baseline smoking status, alcohol use, body mass index, physical activity score, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication use, and total/HDL cholesterol ratio) and baseline HOMA-IR, increasing HOMA-IR trajectories were associated with greater NAFLD prevalence compared with the low-stable trajectory group [odds ratio (95% CI): 5.8 (4.3–7.9) and 22.3 (14.2–34.9) for moderate and high, respectively]. These associations were attenuated, but remained significant, even after controlling for current Y25 HOMA-IR [OR=3.6 (2.6–5.0) for moderate and 5.9 (3.4–10.3) for high (referent: low)]. Among participants with NAFLD (n=511), high-increasing HOMA-IR trajectory was associated with greater prevalent [OR=6.5 (1.6–25.7)] and incident [OR=8.7 (2.2–34.4)] T2DM at Y25 independent of confounders and Y25 HOMA-IR (referent: low-stable). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: In this community-based sample of individuals free from diabetes at baseline, an increasing HOMA-IR trajectory through young adulthood was associated with greater NAFLD prevalence in midlife. Knowledge of changes in IR throughout adulthood provides new information on the risk of T2DM among persons with NAFLD in midlife independent of current level of IR. These findings highlight early identification of increasing IR as a potential target for primary prevention of T2DM in the setting of NAFLD.
To evaluate differences in interstage growth of pulmonary arteries between use of polytetrafluoroethylene and femoral vein homograft as Sano shunt during stage-I Norwood palliation.
A retrospective review of all patients who survived to the second stage following Norwood–Sano operation at two institutions was performed. Either polytetrafluoroethylene or the valved segment of femoral vein homograft was used for construction of the Sano shunt. The size of pulmonary arteries was compared at pre-Glenn catheterisation.
A total of 48 neonates with the diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome or its variants comprised the study population. Femoral vein homograft of 5–6 mm diameter was used in 14 and polytetrafluoroethylene graft of 5 mm was used in 34 patients. The two groups were comparable in terms of preoperative demographics and age at time of pre-Glenn catheterisation (3.9±0.7 versus 3.4±0.8 months, p=0.06). Patients who received femoral vein homograft demonstrated a significantly higher pre-Glenn Nakata index [264 (130–460) versus 165 (108–234) mm2/m2, p=0.004]. The individual branch pulmonary arteries were significantly larger in the femoral vein group (right, 7.8±3.6 versus 5.0±1.2, p=0.014; left, 7.2±2.1 versus 5.6±1.9, p=0.02). There were no differences in cardiac index, Qp:Qs, ventricular end-diastolic pressure or systemic oxygen saturations.
Utilisation of a valved segment of femoral vein homograft as right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit during Norwood–Sano operation confers better interstage growth of the pulmonary arteries. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of femoral vein homograft on single ventricle function.
After the Portuguese discovered the Cape Verde Islands in AD 1456 they divided its main island, Santiago, into two governing captaincies. The founding settlement in the south-west, Cidade Velha, soon became the Islands’ capital and a thriving trade centre; in contrast, that in the east, Alcatrazes, only lasted as an official seat from 1484–1516 and is held to have ‘failed’ (see Richter 2015).
The time required to obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is a frequent subject of efforts to reduce unnecessary delays in initiating clinical trials. This study was conducted by and for IRB directors to better understand factors affecting approval times as a first step in developing a quality improvement framework.
807 IRB-approved clinical trials from 5 University of California campuses were analyzed to identify operational and clinical trial characteristics influencing IRB approval times.
High workloads, low staff ratios, limited training, and the number and types of ancillary reviews resulted in longer approval times. Biosafety reviews and the need for billing coverage analysis were ancillary reviews that contributed to the longest delays. Federally funded and multisite clinical trials had shorter approval times. Variability in between individual committees at each institution reviewing phase 3 multisite clinical trials also contributed to delays for some protocols. Accreditation was not associated with shorter approval times.
Reducing unnecessary delays in obtaining IRB approval will require a quality improvement framework that considers operational and study characteristics as well as the larger institutional regulatory environment.
Because of their status of res nullius—owned by no one—property theory is underdeveloped in regard to wildlife. In this article, wildlife is seen to be sometimes subject to a shadow ownership by class interests in society. Hunters accuse protected wolves of being the “pets” or “property” of an urban-based conservationist middle class. This phenomenon fragments the common fauna and undermines responsibility taking and policy compliance for wildlife that is seen as being owned by an oppositional social class. Using an empirical case study of Swedish hunters, we show how responsibility for wildlife has become entangled with property rights. A historical materialist analysis reveals that hunters once experienced ownership of wildlife by the nobility as co-opting state coercive power. Today, however, aristocracy is replaced by a new elite class of conservationists. Noting the hunters’ tendency to evoke quasi-aristocratic virtues of ownership, we advance recommendations for an alternative approach. We appeal to deliberative democracy to promote the “communing” of wildlife across classes in fora that withstand co-optation by class interests.
We evaluated the QX200 Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR™, Bio-Rad) system and protocols for the detection of the tick-borne pathogens Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi in Ixodes scapularis nymphs and adults collected from North Truro, Massachusetts. Preliminary screening by nested PCR determined positive infection levels of 60% for B. burgdorferi in these ticks. To investigate the utility of ddPCR as a screening tool and to calculate the absolute number of bacterial genome copies in an infected tick, we adapted previously reported TaqMan®-based qPCR assays for ddPCR. ddPCR proved to be a reliable means for detection and absolute quantification of control bacterial DNA with precision as low as ten spirochetes in an individual sample. Application of this method revealed the average carriage level of B. burgdorferi in infected I. scapularis nymphs to be 2291 spirochetes per nymph (range: 230–5268 spirochetes) and 51 179 spirochetes on average in infected adults (range: 5647–115 797). No ticks naturally infected with B. miyamotoi were detected. The ddPCR protocols were at least as sensitive to conventional qPCR assays but required fewer overall reactions and are potentially less subject to inhibition. Moreover, the approach can provide insight on carriage levels of parasites within vectors.
Stonehenge is a site that continues to yield surprises. Excavation in 2009 added a new and unexpected feature: a smaller, dismantled stone circle on the banks of the River Avon, connected to Stonehenge itself by the Avenue. This new structure has been labelled ‘Bluestonehenge’ from the evidence that it once held a circle of bluestones that were later removed to Stonehenge. Investigation of the Avenue closer to Stonehenge revealed deep periglacial fissures within it. Their alignment on Stonehenge's solstitial axis (midwinter sunset–midsummer sunrise) raises questions about the early origins of this ritual landscape.
We describe a versatile infrared camera/spectrograph, IRIS, designed and constructed at the Anglo-Australian Observatory for use on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. A variety of optical configurations can be selected under remote control to provide several direct image scales and a few low-resolution spectroscopic formats. Two cross-dispersed transmission echelles are of novel design, as is the use of a modified Bowen-Burch system to provide a fast f/ratio in the widest-field option. The drive electronics includes a choice of readout schemes for versatility, and continuous display when the array is not taking data, to facilitate field acquisition and focusing.
The linearity of the detector has been studied in detail. Although outwardly good, slight nonlinearities prevent removal of fixed-pattern noise from the data without application of a cubic linearising function.
Specific control and data-reduction software has been written. We describe also a scanning mode developed for spectroscopic imaging.