Publications by authors named "Andrew Turner"

354 Publications

Positive Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody and Thyroglobulin Antibody are Associated With Better Clinicopathologic Features of Papillary Thyroid Cancer.

Endocr Pract 2020 Dec 15. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Thyroid Surgery, General Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China. Electronic address:

Objective: To compare the thyroid autoantibody status of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and benign nodular goiter as well as possible associations between thyroid autoantibodies and clinicopathologic features of PTC.

Methods: A total of 3934 participants who underwent thyroidectomy were enrolled in this retrospective study. Patients were divided into PTC and benign nodule groups according to pathological diagnosis. Based on the preoperative serum antibody results, PTC patients were divided into thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb)-positive, thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb)-positive, dual TPOAb- and TgAb-positive, or antibody-negative groups.

Results: Of the 3934 enrolled patients, 2926 (74.4%) were diagnosed with PTC. Multivariate regression analyses suggested that high thyroid-stimulating hormone levels (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.732, 95% CI [1.485-2.021], P < .001), positive TgAb (adjusted OR = 1.768, 95% CI [1.436-2.178], P < .001), and positive TPOAb (adjusted OR = 1.452, 95% CI [1.148-1.836], P = .002) were independent risk factors for predicting malignancy of thyroid nodules. Multinomial multiple logistic regression analyses indicated that positive TPOAb alone was an independent predictor of less central lymph node metastasis in PTC patients (adjusted OR = 0.643, 95% CI [0.448-0.923], P = .017), whereas positive TgAb alone was significantly associated with less extrathyroidal extension (adjusted OR = 0.778, 95% CI [0.622-0.974], P = .028). PTC patients with dual-positive TPOAb and TgAb displayed a decreased incidence of extrathyroidal extension (adjusted OR = 0.767, 95% CI [0.623-0.944], P = .012) and central lymph node metastasis (adjusted OR = 0.784, 95% CI [0.624-0.986], P = .037).

Conclusion: Although preoperative positive TPOAb and TgAb are independent predictive markers for PTC, they are also associated with better clinicopathologic features of PTC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eprac.2020.10.017DOI Listing
December 2020

Rare earth elements in plastics.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 6;774:145405. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

Because of their unique properties, rare earth elements (REEs), comprising the lanthanide elements plus Sc and Y, have a variety of integral applications in modern electronic equipment. Consequently, it has been suggested that REEs may act as contaminants of and tracers for recycled electrical and electronic plastics in consumer goods. In this study, REEs have been determined in a range of consumer plastics of different polymeric makeup (n = 31), and purchased new and in societal circulation, by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry following acid digestion. Samples were also screened by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for Br and Sb as markers of brominated flame retardants and the retardant synergist, SbO, respectively. One or more REE was detected in 24 samples, with four samples returning detectable concentrations of all REEs analysed and with total REE concentrations up to 8 mg kg. REEs were most commonly observed in samples containing Br and Sb at levels insufficient to effect flame retardancy and, therefore, likely derived from recycled electronic plastic, but were not detectable in new electrical plastics. Various REEs were also present in plastics with no detectable Br and Sb, however, and where unregulated recycling is prohibited (e.g. food packaging). This observation, and correlations between pairs of REEs for all samples considered, suggests a more generic source of these elements in consumer plastics in addition to the recycling of electrical and electronic waste. REEs reported in the literature for beached marine plastics were characterised by similar concentrations and inter-element correlations, suggesting that REEs are ubiquitous and pervasive contaminants of both contemporary and historical consumer and environmental plastics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145405DOI Listing
February 2021

Marine invertebrate interactions with Harmful Algal Blooms - implications for One Health.

J Invertebr Pathol 2021 Feb 16:107555. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, United Kingdom.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are natural atypical proliferations of micro or macro algae in either marine or freshwater environments which have significant impacts on human, animal and ecosystem health. The causative HAB organisms are primarily dinoflagellates and diatoms in marine and cyanobacteria within freshwater ecosystems. Several hundred species of HABs, most commonly marine dinoflagellates affect animal and ecosystem health either directly through physical, chemical or biological impacts on surrounding organisms or indirectly through production of algal toxins which transfer through lower-level trophic organisms to higher level predators. Traditionally, a major focus of HABs has concerned their natural production of toxins which bioaccumulate in filter-feeding invertebrates, which with subsequent trophic transfer and biomagnification cause issues throughout the food web, including the human health of seafood consumers. Whilst in many regions of the world, regulations, monitoring and risk management strategies help mitigate against the impacts from HAB/invertebrate toxins upon human health, there is ever-expanding evidence describing enormous impacts upon invertebrate health, as well as the health of higher trophic level organisms and marine ecosystems. This paper provides an overview of HABs and their relationships with aquatic invertebrates, together with a review of their combined impacts on animal, human and ecosystem health. With HAB/invertebrate outbreaks expected in some regions at higher frequency and intensity in the coming decades, we discuss the needs for new science, multi-disciplinary assessment and communication which will be essential for ensuring a continued increasing supply of aquaculture foodstuffs for further generations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2021.107555DOI Listing
February 2021

Lipophilic Toxins in Wild Bivalves from the Southern Gulf of California, Mexico.

Mar Drugs 2021 Feb 9;19(2). Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, La Paz, B.C.S. 23096, Mexico.

Most of the shellfish fisheries of Mexico occur in the Gulf of California. In this region, known for its high primary productivity, blooms of diatoms and dinoflagellates are common, occurring mainly during upwelling events. Dinoflagellates that produce lipophilic toxins are present, where some outbreaks related to okadaic acid and dinophisystoxins have been recorded. From January 2015 to November 2017 samples of three species of wild bivalve mollusks were collected monthly in five sites in the southern region of Bahía de La Paz. Pooled tissue extracts were analyzed using LC-MS/MS to detect lipophilic toxins. Eighteen analogs of seven toxin groups, including cyclic imines were identified, fortunately individual toxins did not exceed regulatory levels and also the total toxin concentration for each bivalve species was lower than the maximum permitted level for human consumption. Interspecific differences in toxin number and concentration were observed in three species of bivalves even when the samples were collected at the same site. Okadaic acid was detected in low concentrations, while yessotoxins and gymnodimines had the highest concentrations in bivalve tissues. Although in low quantities, the presence of cyclic imines and other lipophilic toxins in bivalves from the southern Gulf of California was constant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md19020099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7914588PMC
February 2021

Implementation of remote consulting in UK primary care following the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods longitudinal study.

Br J Gen Pract 2021;71(704):e166-e177. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West), University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol; CAPC, University of Bristol, Bristol Medical School, Bristol.

Background: To reduce contagion of COVID-19, in March 2020 UK general practices implemented predominantly remote consulting via telephone, video, or online consultation platforms.

Aim: To investigate the rapid implementation of remote consulting and explore impact over the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design And Setting: Mixed-methods study in 21 general practices in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Method: Longitudinal observational quantitative analysis compared volume and type of consultation in April to July 2020 with April to July 2019. Negative binomial models were used to identify if changes differed among different groups of patients. Qualitative data from 87 longitudinal interviews with practice staff in four rounds investigated practices' experience of the move to remote consulting, challenges faced, and solutions. A thematic analysis utilised Normalisation Process Theory.

Results: There was universal consensus that remote consulting was necessary. This drove a rapid change to 90% remote GP consulting (46% for nurses) by April 2020. Consultation rates reduced in April to July 2020 compared to 2019; GPs and nurses maintained a focus on older patients, shielding patients, and patients with poor mental health. Telephone consulting was sufficient for many patient problems, video consulting was used more rarely, and was less essential as lockdown eased. SMS-messaging increased more than three-fold. GPs were concerned about increased clinical risk and some had difficulties setting thresholds for seeing patients face-to-face as lockdown eased.

Conclusion: The shift to remote consulting was successful and a focus maintained on vulnerable patients. It was driven by the imperative to reduce contagion and may have risks; post-pandemic, the model will need adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2020.0948DOI Listing
February 2021

Distribution of Tetrodotoxin in Pacific Oysters ().

Mar Drugs 2021 Feb 2;19(2). Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.

A potent and heat-stable tetrodotoxin (TTX) has been found to accumulate in various marine bivalve species, including Pacific oysters (), raising a food safety concern. While several studies on geographical occurrence of TTX have been conducted, there is a lack of knowledge about the distribution of the toxin within and between bivalves. We, therefore, measured TTX in the whole flesh, mantle, gills, labial palps, digestive gland, adductor muscle and intravalvular fluid of using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Weekly monitoring during summer months revealed the highest TTX concentrations in the digestive gland (up to 242 µg/kg), significantly higher than in other oyster tissues. Intra-population variability of TTX, measured in the whole flesh of each of twenty animals, reached 46% and 32% in the two separate batches, respectively. In addition, an inter-population study was conducted to compare TTX levels at four locations within the oyster production area. TTX concentrations in the whole flesh varied significantly between some of these locations, which was unexplained by the differences in weight of flesh. This is the first study examining TTX distribution in and the first confirmation of the preferential accumulation of TTX in oyster digestive gland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md19020084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7913107PMC
February 2021

Rapid uptake and slow depuration: Health risks following cyanotoxin accumulation in mussels?

Environ Pollut 2021 Feb 28;271:116400. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, AB10 7GJ, UK.

Freshwater cyanobacteria produce highly toxic secondary metabolites, which can be transported downstream by rivers and waterways into the sea. Estuarine and coastal aquaculture sites exposed to toxic cyanobacteria raise concerns that shellfish may accumulate and transfer cyanotoxins in the food web. This study aims to describe the competitive pattern of uptake and depuration of a wide range of microcystins (MC-LR, MC-LF, MC-LW, MC-LY, [Asp3]-MC-LR/[Dha7]-MC-LR, MC-HilR) and nodularins (NOD cyclic and linear) within the common blue mussel Mytilus edulis exposed to a combined culture of Microcystis aeruginosa and Nodularia spumigena into the coastal environment. Different distribution profiles of MCs/NODs in the experimental system were observed. The majority of MCs/NODs were present intracellularly which is representative of healthy cyanobacterial cultures, with MC-LR and NOD the most abundant analogues. Higher removal rate was observed for NOD (≈96%) compared to MCs (≈50%) from the water phase. Accumulation of toxins in M. edulis was fast, reaching up to 3.4 μg/g shellfish tissue four days after the end of the 3-days exposure period, with NOD (1.72 μg/g) and MC-LR (0.74 μg/g) as the dominant toxins, followed by MC-LF (0.35 μg/g) and MC-LW (0.31 μg/g). Following the end of the exposure period depuration was incomplete after 27 days (0.49 μg/g of MCs/NODs). MCs/NODs were also present in faecal material and extrapallial fluid after 24 h of exposure with MCs the main contributors to the total cyanotoxin load in faecal material and NOD in the extrapallial fluid. Maximum concentration of MCs/NODs accumulated in a typical portion of mussels (20 mussels, ≈4 g each) was beyond greater the acute, seasonal and lifetime tolerable daily intake. Even after 27 days of depuration, consuming mussels harvested during even short term harmful algae blooms in close proximity to shellfish beds might carry a high health risk, highlighting the need for testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859834PMC
February 2021

A Photoionization Study on the Detection of 1-Sila Glycolaldehyde (HSiOCH OH), 2-Sila Acetic Acid (H SiCOOH), and 1,2-Disila Acetaldehyde (HSiOSiH ).

Chemistry 2020 Dec 25. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Department of Chemistry, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2545 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA.

The identification of silicon-substituted, complex organics carrying multiple functional groups by classical infrared spectroscopy is challenging because the group frequencies of functional groups often overlap. Photoionization (PI) reflectron time-of-fight mass spectrometry (ReTOF-MS) in combination with temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) holds certain advantages because molecules are identified after sublimation from the matrix into in the gas phase based on distinct ionization energies and sublimation temperatures. In this study, we reveal the detection of 1-silaglycolaldehyde (HSiOCH OH), 2-sila-acetic acid (H SiCOOH), and 1,2-disila-acetaldehyde (H SiSiHO)-the silicon analogues of the well-known glycolaldehyde (HCOCH OH), acetic acid (H CCOOH), and acetaldehyde (H CCHO), in the gas phase after preparation in silane (SiH )-carbon dioxide ices exposed to energetic electrons and subliming the neutral reaction products formed within the ices into the gas phase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.202004863DOI Listing
December 2020

Polystyrene foam as a source and sink of chemicals in the marine environment: An XRF study.

Authors:
Andrew Turner

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 3;263:128087. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK. Electronic address:

Polystyrene foam (expanded and extruded polystyrene: EPS and XPS, respectively) is a ubiquitous and pervasive type of marine plastic whose physical properties, transport and fate are distinctly different to those of other common (unfoamed) types of thermoplastic litter. In this study, a range of fragments of EPS and XPS retrieved from three beaches in southwest England have been characterised by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry in order to examine the chemical makeup and potential biological and geochemical impacts and interactions of this type of plastic waste. Analyses performed through sample faces and, in some cases and after dissection, through the material core, revealed variable concentrations of Fe, Ti and Zn among the fragments and, in many instances, within the same sample. This likely reflects the presence of reaction residues and pigments arising from the manufacture of polystyrene, and, for Fe and Ti, significant and heterogeneous ion and mineral acquisition from the environment during transport in suspension or while beached. Acquired oxides of Fe are partly responsible for the chemical fouling observed on the face of most samples and are able to act as an adsorbent for other metals, like Pb. Detection of Br in many fragments up to concentrations of 11,500 mg kg likely results from the incorporation of the flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane, in EPS and XPS designed for (but not necessarily limited to) the construction sector. These observations suggest that EPS and XPS can act as both a source and sink for contaminants in the marine environment that merit further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128087DOI Listing
January 2021

Application of Six Detection Methods for Analysis of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Shellfish from Four Regions within Latin America.

Mar Drugs 2020 Dec 3;18(12). Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Laboratory of Marine Toxins, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago 8320000, Chile.

With the move away from use of mouse bioassay (MBA) to test bivalve mollusc shellfish for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, countries around the world are having to adopt non-animal-based alternatives that fulfil ethical and legal requirements. Various assays have been developed which have been subjected to single-laboratory and multi-laboratory validation studies, gaining acceptance as official methods of analysis and approval for use in some countries as official control testing methods. The majority of validation studies conducted to date do not, however, incorporate shellfish species sourced from Latin America. Consequently, this study sought to investigate the performance of five alternative PSP testing methods together with the MBA, comparing the PSP toxin data generated both qualitatively and quantitatively. The methods included a receptor binding assay (RBA), two liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection (LC-FLD) methods including both pre-column and post-column oxidation, liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and a commercial lateral flow assay (LFA) from Scotia. A total of three hundred and forty-nine shellfish samples from Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay were assessed. For the majority of samples, qualitative results compared well between methods. Good statistical correlations were demonstrated between the majority of quantitative results, with a notably excellent correlation between the current EU reference method using pre-column oxidation LC-FLD and LC-MS/MS. The LFA showed great potential for qualitative determination of PSP toxins, although the findings of high numbers of false-positive results and two false negatives highlighted that some caution is still needed when interpreting results. This study demonstrated that effective replacement methods are available for countries that no longer wish to use the MBA, but highlighted the importance of comparing toxin data from the replacement method using local shellfish species of concern before implementing new methods in official control testing programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md18120616DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761785PMC
December 2020

Human exposure to microplastics: A study in Iran.

J Hazard Mater 2021 02 5;403:123799. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK.

Exposure of microplastics (MPs) to a cohort of adults of various demographics from different regions of Iran has been quantitatively assessed. Specifically, MPs were retrieved from filtered washes of the hand and face skin, head hair and saliva of individuals (n = 2000) after an exposure period of 24 h and were counted and, in a selected number of cases, characterised for shape-form and size microscopically. A total of over 16,000 MPs were recorded in the study, with head hair returning the most samples (> 7000, or, on average, >3.5 MPs per individual per day), saliva returning the least samples (about 650, or on average 0.33 MPs per individual), and MPs about twice as high in males than females. The number of MPs was similar amongst residents of different urbanised regions, albeit with evidence of greater quantities captured in more humid settings, and was considerably lower in residents of a remote and sparsely populated area. Polyethylene-polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene fibres of < 100 μm in length, likely derived from clothing and soft furnishings in the indoor setting and a wider range of sources in the exterior environment, were the most abundant type of MP in all body receptors. Daily sampling of receptors from six participants over a seven-day period revealed that, despite these broad trends, both inter- and intra-individual exposure was highly heterogeneous. Although the present study has demonstrated the ubiquity of MP exposure, the resulting impacts on human health are unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123799DOI Listing
February 2021

Exploiting Photoionization Reflectron Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry to Explore Molecular Mass Growth Processes to Complex Organic Molecules in Interstellar and Solar System Ice Analogs.

Acc Chem Res 2020 Dec 1;53(12):2791-2805. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Chemistry and W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, United States.

ConspectusThis Account presents recent advances in our understanding on the formation pathways of complex organic molecules (COMs) within interstellar analog ices on ice-coated interstellar nanoparticles upon interaction with ionizing radiation exploiting reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ReTOF-MS) coupled with tunable vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) single photon ionization (PI) and resonance enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) of the subliming molecules during the temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) phase. Laboratory simulation experiments provided compelling evidence that key classes of complex organics (aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, enols, ketones, and carboxylic acids) can be synthesized upon exposure of astrophysically relevant model ices to ionizing radiation and the ices at temperatures as low as 5 K.Molecular mass growth processes can be initiated by suprathermal or electronically excited reactants along with barrierless radical-radical recombination if both radicals hold a proper recombination geometry. Methyl (CH), amino (NH), hydroxyl (OH), ethyl (CH), vinyl (CH), ethynyl (CH), formyl (HCO), hydroxycarbonyl (HOCO), hydroxymethyl (CHOH), methoxy (CHO), and acetyl (CHCO) represent readily available reactants for the ices. Reactive singlet species were found to without barrier into carbon-hydrogen and carbon-carbon single bonds (carbene) leading to an extension of the carbon chain and may to carbon-carbon double bonds (carbene, atomic oxygen) forming cyclic reaction products. These galactic cosmic ray-triggered nonequilibrium pathways overcome previous obstacles of hypothesized thermal grain-surface processes and operate at 5 K. Our investigations discriminate between multiple structural isomers such as alcohols/ethers, aldehydes/enols, and cyclic/acyclic carbonyls. These data provide quantitative, input parameters for a cosmic ray-dictated formation of complex organics in interstellar ices and are fully able to replicate the astronomical observations of complex organics over typical lifetimes of molecular clouds of a few 10 to 10 years. Overall, PI-ReTOF-MS revealed that the processing of astrophysically relevant ices can lead to multifaceted mixtures of organics reaching molecular weights of up to 200 amu. Further advances in laboratory techniques beyond the FTIR-QMS limit are clearly desired not only to confidently assign detection in laboratory ice analog experiments of increasingly more complex molecules of interest but also from the viewpoint of future astronomical searches in the age of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.accounts.0c00584DOI Listing
December 2020

A Digital Program (Hope) for People Living With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Protocol for a Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial.

JMIR Res Protoc 2020 Dec 4;9(12):e24264. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom.

Background: During the COVID-19 lockdown period in the United Kingdom that began on March 23, 2020, more than a quarter of a million people with cancer reported worsening mental health. Help to Overcome Problems Effectively (Hope) is a self-management program for people with cancer, designed to provide support for distress, unmet needs, and poor psychological health. In light of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, digital delivery of the Hope Programme has become ever more vital for people with cancer. Previous pre-post studies of the digital Hope Programme have found reduced anxiety and depression and improved well-being for people with cancer. However, evaluation of this evidence has been limited by the lack of a control group in these previous studies.

Objective: We now present a protocol for a feasibility randomized controlled trial of the digital Hope Programme for people with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Primary outcomes will be recruitment, dropout, and adherence rates, and estimations of sample and effect size. To detect signals of efficacy, secondary outcomes will be participant mental health and well-being.

Methods: Participants will be recruited by Macmillan Cancer Support (MCS) through their social media networks. The study will employ a feasibility wait-list randomized controlled trial (RCT) design, with people with cancer being randomized to join the digital Hope Programme immediately (intervention group [IG]) or join a 6-week waiting list (wait-list control group [WLCG]) with a 1:1 allocation ratio. Participants will complete digital measures of depression, anxiety, mental well-being, and confidence in managing their own health. Online questionnaires will be administered preprogram and 6 weeks postprogram.

Results: All people who had requested access to the Hope Programme from MCS (N=61) will be invited to participate in the trial. Baseline data collection commenced in April 2020, and the Hope Programme began for the IG in May 2020 and for the WLCG in June 2020. Postprogram data collection was completed by the end of August 2020.

Conclusions: This feasibility study will provide data to inform the design of a future definitive trial. Wider-scale provision of the digital Hope Programme has potential to improve the lives of thousands of people with cancer and reduce the burden on health care providers during these unprecedented times.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN79623250; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN79623250.

International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/24264.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/24264DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721632PMC
December 2020

Antimony release from polyester textiles by artificial sweat solutions: A call for a standardized procedure.

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 2021 Feb 19;119:104824. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department F.-A. Forel, University of Geneva, Boulevard Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1205, Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Polyester fibres are usually contaminated by antimony because of its use as a catalyst in the production of polyethylene terephthalate and as a flame retardant synergist in a variety of new and recycled polymers. The present study determined the release of antimony (at total concentrations ranging from about 125 to 470 μg g) from polyester textile samples designed to be in contact with human skin using standard artificial sweat solutions (ISO 105-E04 and EN 1811). The study also examined the role of different experimental parameters on the release of the metalloid. Overall, and using the default parameters, between about 0.05 and 2% of total antimony (or 0.1-1 μg g) was mobilized into artificial sweat. A reduction in time (from 24 to 12 h) and temperature (from 37 to 20 or 4 °C) and an increase in pH (from 5.5 to 7) resulted in a decline in antimony mobilization from textiles, while altering textile mass to solution volume and the presence of lactate had little impact on the results. Removal of a filtration step increased antimony mobilization but this was attributed to artefacts associated with release from microfibres during extract storage and analysis. In general, antimony mobilization was sufficiently repeatable using either EN 1811 or ISO 105-E04 but the latter is recommended for an assessment of antimony mobilization and potential exposure because its pH is closer to that of human sweat. Since the first fraction of either extractions mobilized the greatest quantity of antimony, exposure can be minimized by washing articles before use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2020.104824DOI Listing
February 2021

Paralytic shellfish toxins and associated toxin profiles in bivalve mollusc shellfish from Argentina.

Harmful Algae 2020 Nov 16;99:101910. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning is a potentially fatal syndrome, resulting from the filter-feeding activities of marine molluscs accumulating harmful neurotoxins naturally occurring in microalgae. Outbreaks are well recognised throughout most regions of the world, but with the highest levels of toxicity to date recorded in mussels from Argentina. Whilst toxicity has been documented for selected outbreaks over the years, testing has been conducted using a mouse bioassay. Consequently there is a need to establish baseline data utilising modern chemical detection methods, which also facilitate the quantification of individual toxin analogues, giving useful data on toxin profiles as well as total sample toxicity. In this study, 151 shellfish samples harvested from the marine waters of Argentina between 1980 and 2012 were subjected to analysis by liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection, since Jan 2019 the European Union reference method for PSP determination. Total PST concentrations were found to vary enormously throughout the coastline of Argentina, with higher levels of toxins found in the central regions of Rio Negro and Chubut. Toxin profiles in terms of molar percentage of total concentrations were dominated by the gonyautoxins GTX1&4 and GTX2&3, followed by C1&2, STX and dcGTX2&3, with minor levels of other analogues previously not reported in the country. Profiles were found to vary significantly, with statistical clusters of profile types associated with a wide range of factors, including species, spatial and temporal differences, as well as likely source microalgae species and potential toxin transformation pathways. Overall application of the chemical detection method has confirmed both the significant risk to shellfish consumers in Argentina with periodic outbreaks of extremely high toxin levels and a large variability in toxin profiles relating in part to previously reported variabilities in microalgal toxin content. The study has demonstrated the potential for the method to systematically study the relationships between toxicity, toxin profile, source phytoplankton and other environmental factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2020.101910DOI Listing
November 2020

Impacts of microplastic fibres on the marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovinciallis.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 10;262:128290. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK. Electronic address:

Tumble dryer lint has been employed as a surrogate for synthetic and processed (microplastic) fibres discharged to the environment from laundering activities and exposed to marine mussels (Mytilus galloprovinciallis) in controlled experiments for a period of 7 d. A range of biological responses at different levels of organisation were subsequently determined, with copper employed concurrently as a positive control. Physiological changes were assessed from measurements of clearance rate, histopathological effects were evaluated from abnormalities in (or injuries to) gill and digestive gland tissues, and genetic damage was determined by measuring DNA strand breaks using the comet assay. With increasing lint concentration (over the range 56-180 mg L) we observed a reduction in mean clearance rate, increasing extents of abnormality in both gills (e.g. deciliation and hypertrophy) and digestive gland (e.g. atrophy and necrosis), and an increase in damage to DNA. The precise causes of these effects are unclear but likely arise from both the fibrous material itself and from chemicals (e.g. additives and metals) that are mobilised from the polymers into seawater or the digestive tract. The latter assertion is consistent with an observed increase in the release of certain trace elements (e.g. zinc) into the exposure medium with increasing lint concentration. Although microfibre concentrations we employed are significantly greater than those typically encountered in the environment, the results indicate the potential for this type of material to exert a range of adverse effects on exposed marine animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128290DOI Listing
January 2021

Corrigendum to "The influence of additives on the fate of plastics in the marine environment, exemplified with barium sulphate" [Mar. Pollut. Bull. 158 (2020) 111352].

Mar Pollut Bull 2021 Jan 28;162:111787. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department F.-A. Forel, University of Geneva, Boulevard Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111787DOI Listing
January 2021

The Influence of the Toxin Producing Dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella (1119/27), on the Feeding and Survival of the Marine Copepod, Acartia tonsa.

Harmful Algae 2020 Sep 29;98:101890. Epub 2020 Aug 29.

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom.

Blooms of harmful algae are increasing globally, yet their impacts on copepods, an important link between primary producers and higher trophic levels, remain largely unknown. Algal toxins may have direct, negative effects on the survival of copepods. They may also indirectly affect copepod survival by deterring feeding and thus decreasing the availability of energy and nutritional resources. Here we present a series of short-term (24 h) experiments in which the cosmopolitan marine copepod, Acartia tonsa, was exposed to a range of concentrations of the toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium catenella (strain 1119/27, formerly Alexandrium tamarense), with and without the presence of alternative, non-toxic prey (Rhodomonas sp.). We also present the toxin profile concentrations for A. catenella. The survival and feeding of A. tonsa were not affected across the range of concentrations recorded for A. catenella in the field; increased mortality of A. tonsa was only discernible when A. catenella was present at concentrations that exceed their reported environmental concentrations by two orders of magnitude. The observed lethal median concentration (LC) for A. tonsa exposed to A. catenella was 12.45 ng STX eq L. We demonstrate that A. tonsa is capable of simultaneously ingesting both toxic and non-toxic algae, but increases clearance rates towards non-toxic prey as the proportional abundance of toxic A. catenella increases. The ability to actively select non-toxic algae whilst also ingesting toxic algae suggests that consumption of the latter does not cause physical incapacitation and thus does not affect ingestion in A. tonsa. This work shows that short-term exposure to toxic A. catenella is unlikely to elicit major effects on the grazing or survival of A. tonsa. However, more work is needed to understand the longer-term and sub-lethal effects of toxic algae on marine copepods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2020.101890DOI Listing
September 2020

Vegetation forcing modulates global land monsoon and water resources in a CO-enriched climate.

Nat Commun 2020 10 14;11(1):5184. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Geography, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

The global monsoon is characterised by transitions between pronounced dry and wet seasons, affecting food security for two-thirds of the world's population. Rising atmospheric CO influences the terrestrial hydrological cycle through climate-radiative and vegetation-physiological forcings. How these two forcings affect the seasonal intensity and characteristics of monsoonal precipitation and runoff is poorly understood. Here we use four Earth System Models to show that in a CO-enriched climate, radiative forcing changes drive annual precipitation increases for most monsoon regions. Further, vegetation feedbacks substantially affect annual precipitation in North and South America and Australia monsoon regions. In the dry season, runoff increases over most monsoon regions, due to stomatal closure-driven evapotranspiration reductions and associated atmospheric circulation change. Our results imply that flood risks may amplify in the wet season. However, the lengthening of the monsoon rainfall season and reduced evapotranspiration will shorten the water resources scarcity period for most monsoon regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18992-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7560717PMC
October 2020

Lead in plastics - Recycling of legacy material and appropriateness of current regulations.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Feb 30;404(Pt A):124131. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department F.-A. Forel, University of Geneva, Boulevard Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

X-ray fluorescence spectrometry has been employed to measure Pb in a wide range of consumer and environmental plastics, including food-packaging material, household goods, electronic casings, beach litter and agricultural waste. Results reveal high concentrations of Pb (>1000 mg kg) in historical items that are still in use or circulation (e.g. toys, construction plastics, wiring insulation) and variable, but generally lower concentrations in more recently manufactured articles. Analysis of Br, Cl and Cr, proxies for brominated flame retardants, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chromate pigments, respectively, suggests that as historical material is recycled, Pb from electronic plastics and pigments, but not PVC, is dispersed into a variety of newer products. Although most cases in the consumer sector comply with relevant EU Directives, some products that are non-compliant highlight shortfalls in regulations where recycling is involved and potential problems arising from the direct fashioning of industrial plastics into new consumer goods through attempts to be environmentally positive. The uncontrolled loss of historical and recycled plastics has also resulted in Pb contamination of the environment. Here, it is proposed that litter can be classified as hazardous depending on its Pb content and according to existing regulations that embrace consumer plastics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124131DOI Listing
February 2021

Environmental concentrations of antifouling paint particles are toxic to sediment-dwelling invertebrates.

Environ Pollut 2021 Jan 30;268(Pt A):115754. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Marine Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, UK. Electronic address:

Antifouling paint particles (APPs) and associated metals have been identified in sediments around boatyards and marinas globally, but the effects of APPs on benthic organisms are largely unknown. Sub-lethal endpoints were measured following laboratory exposures of the harbour ragworm (Hediste diversicolor) and the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) to environmentally relevant concentrations of biocidal ('modern' and 'historic') and biocide-free ('silicone') APPs added to clean estuarine sediment. Further, the 5-day median lethal concentrations (LC) and effects concentrations (EC) for modern biocidal APPs were calculated. For ragworms, significant decreases in weight (15.7%; p < 0.01) and feeding rate (10.2%; p < 0.05) were observed in the modern biocidal treatment; burrowing behaviour was also reduced by 29% in this treatment, but was not significant. For cockles, the modern biocidal treatment led to 100% mortality of all replicates before endpoints were measured. In cockles, there was elevated levels of metallothionein-like protein (MTLP) in response to both modern and historic biocidal treatments. Ragworms had a higher tolerance to modern APPs (5-day LC:19.9 APP g L; EC: 14.6 g L) compared to cockles (5-day LC: 2.3 g L and EC: 1.4 g L). The results of this study indicate that modern biocidal APPs, containing high Cu concentrations, have the potential to adversely affect the health of benthic organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations. The findings highlight the need for stricter regulations on the disposal of APP waste originating from boatyards, marinas and abandoned boats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115754DOI Listing
January 2021

Duality of roles and the provision of high-quality end-of-life care in the intensive care.

J Crit Care 2020 Sep 25. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Australian National University, Medical School, Canberra, Australia; University of Canberra, Faculty of Health, Canberra, Australia; Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.09.023DOI Listing
September 2020

Foamed Polystyrene in the Marine Environment: Sources, Additives, Transport, Behavior, and Impacts.

Authors:
Andrew Turner

Environ Sci Technol 2020 09 20;54(17):10411-10420. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences University of Plymouth Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K.

Foamed polystyrene (PS) that may be either expanded (EPS) or extruded (XPS) is a rigid, lightweight insulating thermoplastic that has a variety of uses in the consumer, packaging, construction, and marine sectors. The properties of the material also result in waste that is readily generated, dispersed, and fragmented in the environment. This review focuses on foamed PS in the marine setting, including its sources, transport, degradation, acquisition of contaminants, ingestion by animals, and biological impacts arising from the mobilization of chemical additives. In the ocean, foamed PS is subject to wind-assisted transport and fracturing via photolytic degradation. The material may also act as a substrate for rafting organisms while being exposed to elevated concentrations of natural and anthropogenic surface-active chemicals in the sea surface microlayer. In the littoral setting, fragmentation is accentuated by milling in the swash zone and abrasion when beached, with wind transport leading to the temporary burial of significant quantities of material. Ingestion of EPS and XPS has been documented for a variety of marine animals, but principally those that feed at the sea surface or use the material as a habitat. As well as risking injuries due to gastro-intestinal blockage, ingestion of foamed PS exposes animals to harmful chemicals, and of greatest concern in this respect is the presence of the historical, but still recycled, flame-retardant, hexabromocyclododecane. Because foamed PS is particularly difficult to retrieve as a constituent of marine litter, means of reducing its presence and impacts will rely on the elimination of processes that generate foamed waste, modification of current storage and disposal practices, and the development of more durable and sustainable alternatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c03221DOI Listing
September 2020

Cyanobacterial Abundance and Microcystin Profiles in Two Southern British Lakes: The Importance of Abiotic and Biotic Interactions.

Toxins (Basel) 2020 08 5;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of Science & Technology, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK.

Freshwater cyanobacteria blooms represent a risk to ecological and human health through induction of anoxia and release of potent toxins; both conditions require water management to mitigate risks. Many cyanobacteria taxa may produce microcystins, a group of toxic cyclic heptapeptides. Understanding the relationships between the abiotic drivers of microcystins and their occurrence would assist in the implementation of targeted, cost-effective solutions to maintain safe drinking and recreational waters. Cyanobacteria and microcystins were measured by flow cytometry and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry in two interconnected reservoirs varying in age and management regimes, in southern Britain over a 12-month period. Microcystins were detected in both reservoirs, with significantly higher concentrations in the southern lake (maximum concentration >7 µg L). Elevated microcystin concentrations were not positively correlated with numbers of cyanobacterial cells, but multiple linear regression analysis suggested temperature and dissolved oxygen explained a significant amount of the variability in microcystin across both reservoirs. The presence of a managed fishery in one lake was associated with decreased microcystin levels, suggestive of top down control on cyanobacterial populations. This study supports the need to develop inclusive, multifactor holistic water management strategies to control cyanobacterial risks in freshwater bodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins12080503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7472260PMC
August 2020

Multiple New Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Vectors in Offshore North Sea Benthos, a Deep Secret Exposed.

Mar Drugs 2020 Jul 29;18(8). Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK.

In early 2018, a large easterly storm hit the East Anglian coast of the UK, colloquially known as the 'Beast from the East', which also resulted in mass strandings of benthic organisms. There were subsequent instances of dogs consuming such organisms, leading to illness and, in some cases, fatalities. Epidemiological investigations identified paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) as the cause, with toxins present in a range of species and concentrations exceeding 14,000 µg STX eq./kg in the sunstar . This study sought to better elucidate the geographic spread of any toxicity and identify any key organisms of concern. During the summers of 2018 and 2019, various species of benthic invertebrates were collected from demersal trawl surveys conducted across a variety of locations in the North Sea. An analysis of the benthic epifauna using two independent PST testing methods identified a 'hot spot' of toxic organisms in the Southern Bight, with a mean toxicity of 449 µg STX eq./kg. PSTs were quantified in sea chervil (), the first known detection in the phylum bryozoan, as well as eleven other new vectors (>50 µg STX eq./kg), namely the opisthobranch , the starfish , and , the brittlestar , the crustaceans and , the sea mouse , and the sea urchin . The two species that showed consistently high PST concentrations were and . Two toxic profiles were identified, with one dominated by dcSTX (decarbamoylsaxitoxin) associated with the majority of samples across the whole sampling region. The second profile occurred only in North-Eastern England and consisted of mostly STX (Saxitoxin) and GTX2 (gonyautoxin 2). Consequently, this study highlights widespread and variable levels of PSTs in the marine benthos, together with the first evidence for toxicity in a large number of new species. These findings highlight impacts to 'One Health', with the unexpected sources of toxins potentially creating risks to animal, human and environmental health, with further work required to assess the severity and geographical/temporal extent of these impacts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md18080400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7460140PMC
July 2020

Health Outcome Prioritization in Alzheimer's Disease: Understanding the Ethical Landscape.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;77(1):339-353

Department of Psychiatry and Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Dementia has been described as the greatest global health challenge in the 21st Century on account of longevity gains increasing its incidence, escalating health and social care pressures. These pressures highlight ethical, social, and political challenges about healthcare resource allocation, what health improvements matter to patients, and how they are measured. This study highlights the complexity of the ethical landscape, relating particularly to the balances that need to be struck when allocating resources; when measuring and prioritizing outcomes; and when individual preferences are sought.

Objective: Health outcome prioritization is the ranking in order of desirability or importance of a set of disease-related objectives and their associated cost or risk. We analyze the complex ethical landscape in which this takes place in the most common dementia, Alzheimer's disease.

Methods: Narrative review of literature published since 2007, incorporating snowball sampling where necessary. We identified, thematized, and discussed key issues of ethical salience.

Results: Eight areas of ethical salience for outcome prioritization emerged: 1) Public health and distributive justice, 2) Scarcity of resources, 3) Heterogeneity and changing circumstances, 4) Knowledge of treatment, 5) Values and circumstances, 6) Conflicting priorities, 7) Communication, autonomy and caregiver issues, and 8) Disclosure of risk.

Conclusion: These areas highlight the difficult balance to be struck when allocating resources, when measuring and prioritizing outcomes, and when individual preferences are sought. We conclude by reflecting on how tools in social sciences and ethics can help address challenges posed by resource allocation, measuring and prioritizing outcomes, and eliciting stakeholder preferences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-191300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7592677PMC
January 2020

Conflicts of interest in the context of end of life care for potential organ donors in Australia.

J Crit Care 2020 10 4;59:166-171. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University. Geelong, Australia.

End-of-life (EOL) care has become an integral part of intensive care medicine and includes the exploration of possibilities for deceased organ and tissue donation. Donation physicians are specialist doctors with expertise in EOL processes encompassing organ and tissue donation, who contribute significantly to improvements in organ and tissue donation services in many countries around the world. Donation physicians are usually also intensive care physicians, and thus they may be faced with the dual obligation of caring for dying patients and their families in the intensive care unit (ICU), whilst at the same time ensuring organ and tissue donation is considered according to best practice. This dual obligation poses specific ethical challenges that need to be carefully understood by clinicians, institutions and health care networks. These obligations are complementary and provide a unique skillset to care for dying patients and their families in the ICU. In this paper we review current controversies around EOL care in the ICU, including the use of palliative analgesia and sedation specifically with regards to withdrawal of cardiorespiratory support, the usefulness of the so-called doctrine of double effect to guide ethical decision-making, and the management of potential or perceived conflicts of interest in the context of dual professional roles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.06.016DOI Listing
October 2020

Effects of HO on growth, metabolic activity and membrane integrity in three strains of Microcystis aeruginosa.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Nov 7;27(31):38916-38927. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Life & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science & Technology, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK.

The application of hydrogen peroxide (HO) as a management tool to control Microcystis blooms has become increasingly popular due to its short lifetime and targeted action. HO increases intracellular reactive oxygen species resulting in oxidative stress and subsequently cell death. HO is naturally produced in freshwater bodies as a result of photocatalytic reactions between dissolved organic carbon and sunlight. Previously, some studies have suggested that this environmental source of HO selectively targets for toxigenic cyanobacteria strains in the genus Microcystis. Also, past studies only focused on the morphological and biochemical changes of HO-induced cell death in Microcystis with little information available on the effects of different HO concentrations on growth, esterase activity and membrane integrity. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of non-lethal (40-4000 nM) concentrations on percentage cell death; with a focus on sub-lethal (50 μM) and lethal (275 μM; 500 μM) doses of HO on growth, cells showing esterase activity and membrane integrity. The non-lethal dose experiment was part of a preliminary study. Results showed a dose- and time-dependent relationship in all three Microcystis strains post HO treatment. HO resulted in a significant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species, decreased chlorophyll a content, decreased growth rate and esterase activity. Interestingly, at sub-lethal (50 μM HO treatment), percentage of dead cells in microcystin-producing strains was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that in non-microcystin-producing strains at 72 h. These findings further cement our understanding of the influence of HO on different strains of Microcystis and its impact on membrane integrity and metabolic physiology: important to future toxic bloom control programmes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09729-6DOI Listing
November 2020

Ethical and Social Implications of Using Predictive Modeling for Alzheimer's Disease Prevention: A Systematic Literature Review.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;76(3):923-940

Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: The therapeutic paradigm in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is shifting from symptoms management toward prevention goals. Secondary prevention requires the identification of individuals without clinical symptoms, yet "at-risk" of developing AD dementia in the future, and thus, the use of predictive modeling.

Objective: The objective of this study was to review the ethical concerns and social implications generated by this new approach.

Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review in Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, and Scopus, and complemented it with a gray literature search between March and July 2018. Then we analyzed data qualitatively using a thematic analysis technique.

Results: We identified thirty-one ethical issues and social concerns corresponding to eight ethical principles: (i) respect for autonomy, (ii) beneficence, (iii) non-maleficence, (iv) equality, justice, and diversity, (v) identity and stigma, (vi) privacy, (vii) accountability, transparency, and professionalism, and (viii) uncertainty avoidance. Much of the literature sees the discovery of disease-modifying treatment as a necessary and sufficient condition to justify AD risk assessment, overlooking future challenges in providing equitable access to it, establishing long-term treatment outcomes and social consequences of this approach, e.g., medicalization. The ethical/social issues associated specifically with predictive models, such as the adequate predictive power and reliability, infrastructural requirements, data privacy, potential for personalized medicine in AD, and limiting access to future AD treatment based on risk stratification, were covered scarcely.

Conclusion: The ethical discussion needs to advance to reflect recent scientific developments and guide clinical practice now and in the future, so that necessary safeguards are implemented for large-scale AD secondary prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-191159DOI Listing
January 2020

The influence of additives on the fate of plastics in the marine environment, exemplified with barium sulphate.

Mar Pollut Bull 2020 Sep 18;158:111352. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department F.-A. Forel, University of Geneva, Boulevard Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland. Electronic address:

With an inherent density marginally below that of seawater, polyolefins (polyethylene-polypropylene) are predicted to float or undergo beaching in the marine environment. Polyolefins commonly observed on the seabed, therefore, require additional considerations that are usually based around increasing density through fouling or packaging into sinking faecal matter. Here, however, we propose that the presence of additives is of least equal significance to the behaviour of such plastics in marine systems. We compared barium, present largely as the filler, BaSO (density = 4.5 g cm), in consumer and beached plastics and established that the metal was more abundant and occurred at higher concentrations in the former samples, consistent with the environmental fractionation of plastics based on additive content. Significantly, the Ba content of polyolefins required to confer a density above seawater is about 13,000 mg kg, a value that was exceeded in many consumer plastics but never observed in beached samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111352DOI Listing
September 2020