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Demographic History and Genomic Response to Environmental Changes in a Rapid Radiation of Wild Rats.

Mol Biol Evol 2021 05;38(5):1905-1923

Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.

For organisms to survive and prosper in a harsh environment, particularly under rapid climate change, poses tremendous challenges. Recent studies have highlighted the continued loss of megafauna in terrestrial ecosystems and the subsequent surge of small mammals, such as rodents, bats, lagomorphs, and insectivores. However, the ecological partitioning of these animals will likely lead to large variation in their responses to environmental change. Read More

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Transport and speciation of uranium in groundwater-surface water systems impacted by legacy milling operations.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 2;761:143314. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Conserve-Prosper LLC, Grand Junction, CO 81507, USA.

Growing worldwide concern over uranium contamination of groundwater resources has placed an emphasis on understanding uranium transport dynamics and potential toxicity in groundwater-surface water systems. In this study, we utilized novel in-situ sampling methods to establish the location and magnitude of contaminated groundwater entry into a receiving surface water environment, and to investigate the speciation and potential bioavailability of uranium in groundwater and surface water. Streambed temperature mapping successfully identified the location of groundwater entry to the Little Wind River, downgradient from the former Riverton uranium mill site, Wyoming, USA. Read More

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2018 Zika Health Brigade: Delivering Critical Health Screening in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2020 Nov 9;5(4). Epub 2020 Nov 9.

U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health, Christiansted, VI 00820, USA.

In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused significant damage to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), heightening the challenges many residents faced in accessing adequate healthcare and receiving recommended Zika virus screening services. To address this challenge, the USVI Department of Health (DOH) requested technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to organize a health brigade to bring needed medical care to an underserved population. It also established the development of important partnerships between federal and private partners as well as between clinical providers and public health entities such as the Epidemiology & Disease Reporting, Maternal Child Health (MCH), and Infant and Toddlers Programs within the DOH, and local clinicians. Read More

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November 2020

Family violence against children in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic: a review of current perspectives and risk factors.

Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 2020 20;14:40. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Grup de Recerca en Victimització Infantil i Adolescent (GReVIA), Facultat de Psicologia,, Universitat de Barcelona, Passeig Vall d'Hebron, 171, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

The situation of crisis produced by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses major challenges to societies all over the world. While efforts to contain the virus are vital to protect global health, these same efforts are exposing children and adolescents to an increased risk of family violence. Various criminological theories explain the causes of this new danger. Read More

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October 2020

Choosing a Mobile Sensor Technology for a Clinical Trial: Statistical Considerations, Developments and Learnings.

Ther Innov Regul Sci 2021 01 18;55(1):38-47. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Strategic and Clinical Operations, Transparency Life Sciences, Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA.

The DIA Study Endpoints Community Working Group on Mobile Sensor Technology (MST) series addresses considerations that may be useful for selecting MST for use in a clinical trial. This article describes considerations regarding the selection of MST for clinical trials including expectations around technology specifications, verification (bench testing), regulatory clearance and certification status. We identify useful statistical methods needed to establish agreement of the MST with respect to a clinical 'gold' standard technology in terms of accuracy and precision, and to combine data across trials, data types or device versions. Read More

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January 2021

Relationship between the excretion of eggs of parasitic helminths in roe deer and local livestock density.

J Helminthol 2020 Jun 1;94:e159. Epub 2020 Jun 1.

Université de Toulouse, UMR 1225 IHAP INRAE/ENVT, 23 Chemin des Capelles, ToulouseF-31076, France.

Because of their continuing expansion, wildlife ruminant species that prosper in rural landscapes may be increasingly affected by and/or contribute to the circulation of certain generalist pathogens also infecting domestic ruminants, when they share common spaces or resources. In this study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that parasitism with gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) of wild roe deer inhabiting different rural landscapes is correlated with livestock density. We used faecal egg counts of GINs and spatial data of 74 GPS-collared roe deer, inhabiting various landscapes from closed forests to open fields, together with weekly records of livestock abundances on pasture. Read More

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Study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial evaluating personalised care planning for older people with frailty: PROSPER V2 27/11/18.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2020 28;6:56. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

1Academic Unit for Ageing and Stroke Research, University of Leeds, Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford, BD9 6RJ UK.

Background: Frailty is characterised by increased vulnerability to falls, disability, hospitalisation and care home admission. However, it is relatively reversible in the early stages. Older people living with frailty often have multiple health and social issues which are difficult to address but could benefit from proactive, person-centred care. Read More

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Role of Culture, Values, and Politics in the Implementation of Health Technology Assessment in India: A Commentary.

Value Health 2020 01 6;23(1):39-42. Epub 2019 Dec 6.

School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, UK. Electronic address:

India is a diverse land with different cultures, social norms, castes, religions, faiths, languages, politics, and a complex healthcare system. As a step to enhance healthcare, the government of India announced a move toward universal health coverage to increase accessibility and affordability of health-related services. Recently, there has been an introduction of health technology assessment (HTA) in India to help inform evidence-based decision making in cases of limited resources and budgets. Read More

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January 2020

Relative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the midwifery-led care in Nova Scotia, Canada: A retrospective, cohort study.

Midwifery 2019 Oct 9;77:144-154. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Senior Director, Maternal and Child Health, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Objectives: To compare neonatal and maternal outcomes, and the relative risk of interventions between mothers attended to by midwives, general practitioners, and obstetricians, and to assess the cost-effectiveness of the employee-model of midwifery-led care in Nova Scotia, Canada, when compared with general practitioners.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The study was a retrospective cohort study involving routinely collected clinical and administrative data from all low-risk births from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017. There were 24,662 observations. Read More

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October 2019

Enhancing Resilience in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Rapid Review of the Evidence and Implications for Public Health Practitioners.

Front Public Health 2019 7;7:14. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.

Resilience is a valuable platform for strengthening individuals and communities in the face of disaster. This review sought to evaluate the current literature related to individual and community resilience in community-dwelling older adults to understand the status of resilience in this population, identify gaps, and make recommendations about effective interventions that promote improved individual and community level capacity. Recognizing the concept of resilience is contested, the review conceptualized resilience as a collective concept that is multi-level and interdependent across those levels, cumulative, and contingent on context. Read More

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February 2019

A Cross-Cutting Approach to Surveillance and Laboratory Capacity as a Platform to Improve Health Security in Uganda.

Health Secur 2018 ;16(S1):S76-S86

Matthew Mikoleit, MS, is a Microbiologist, Division of Global Health Protection, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Global health security depends on effective surveillance for infectious diseases. In Uganda, resources are inadequate to support collection and reporting of data necessary for an effective and responsive surveillance system. We used a cross-cutting approach to improve surveillance and laboratory capacity in Uganda by leveraging an existing pediatric inpatient malaria sentinel surveillance system to collect data on expanded causes of illness, facilitate development of real-time surveillance, and provide data on antimicrobial resistance. Read More

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Design of the Prospective Real-world Outcomes Study of hepatic encephalopathy Patients' Experience on Rifaximin-α (PROSPER): an observational study among 550 patients.

Hepatol Med Policy 2018 8;3. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Liver Unit, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust and Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Background: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is one of the most important severe complications of liver cirrhosis. Thought to be caused by elevated blood levels of gut-derived neurotoxins (particularly ammonia) entering the brain, HE manifests as a wide range of neurological or psychiatric abnormalities, which increase the risk of mortality, result in substantial morbidity and negatively affect the quality of life (QoL) of both patients and their caregivers. HE is also associated with a substantial economic burden. Read More

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January 2018

Mining, land restoration and sustainable development in isolated islands: An industrial ecology perspective on extractive transitions on Nauru.

Ambio 2019 Apr 3;48(4):397-408. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.

In this empirically grounded perspective, we explore how, if managed correctly, mining might go beyond a straight conversion of finite natural capital to financial resources. We suggest a process where mineral extraction could act as a catalyst for more diversified growth and even serve as a basis to restore forms of 'natural capital' it had previously diminished. The case in point-small in scale but significant in consequence-is the particularly challenging instance of the small-island state of Nauru, which has a very negative history of socio-ecological impacts of phosphate mining. Read More

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Diversity of Bacteria and the Characteristics of Actinobacteria Community Structure in Badain Jaran Desert and Tengger Desert of China.

Front Microbiol 2018 23;9:1068. Epub 2018 May 23.

Peking Union Medical College, Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

To assess the diversity of actinobacterial taxa in desert sands and obtain the novel microbial resources, 79 and 50 samples were collected from the Badain Jaran (BJD) and Tengger Deserts (TGD) of China, respectively. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) of environmental 16S rRNA genes within these samples was conducted on an Illumina Miseq platform, using universal bacterial primers targeting the V3-V4 hypervariable region. Based on the HTS analyses, cultivation-dependent (CULD) techniques were optimized to identify the cultivable members. Read More

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Perioperative patient outcomes in the African Surgical Outcomes Study: a 7-day prospective observational cohort study.

Lancet 2018 04 3;391(10130):1589-1598. Epub 2018 Jan 3.

Anaesthesia Intensive Care Medicine Pain Management, Sylvanus Olympio University Teaching Hospital, Lomé TOGO, Togo.

Background: There is a need to increase access to surgical treatments in African countries, but perioperative complications represent a major global health-care burden. There are few studies describing surgical outcomes in Africa.

Methods: We did a 7-day, international, prospective, observational cohort study of patients aged 18 years and older undergoing any inpatient surgery in 25 countries in Africa (the African Surgical Outcomes Study). Read More

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Challenges in modeling complexity of neglected tropical diseases: a review of dynamics of visceral leishmaniasis in resource limited settings.

Emerg Themes Epidemiol 2017 18;14:10. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Simon A. Levin-Mathematical Computational and Modeling Science Center, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ USA.

Objectives: Neglected tropical diseases (NTD), account for a large proportion of the global disease burden, and their control faces several challenges including diminishing human and financial resources for those distressed from such diseases. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), the second-largest parasitic killer (after malaria) and an NTD affects poor populations and causes considerable cost to the affected individuals. Mathematical models can serve as a critical and cost-effective tool for understanding VL dynamics, however, complex array of socio-economic factors affecting its dynamics need to be identified and appropriately incorporated within a dynamical modeling framework. Read More

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September 2017

Live long and prosper: plant-soil feedback, lifespan, and landscape abundance covary.

Ecology 2017 Dec;98(12):3063-3073

Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 84322-5230, USA.

Plant soil feedbacks (PSFs) are thought to be important to plant growth and species coexistence, but most support for these hypotheses is derived from short-term greenhouse experiments. Here we use a seven-year, common garden experiment to measure PSFs for seven native and six nonnative species common to the western United States. We use these long-term, field-based estimates to test correlations between PSF and plant landscape abundance, species origin, functional type, and lifespan. Read More

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December 2017

De-extinction and Conservation.

Hastings Cent Rep 2017 Jul;47 Suppl 2:S2-S4

We are living in what is widely considered the sixth major extinction. Most ecologists believe that biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate, with up to 150 species going extinct per day according to scientists working with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Part of the reason the loss signified by biological extinction feels painful is that it seems irremediable. Read More

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Next generation crop models: A modular approach to model early vegetative and reproductive development of the common bean ().

Agric Syst 2017 Jul;155:225-239

Agricultural & Biological Engineering Dept., University of Florida, FL, USA.

The next generation of gene-based crop models offers the potential of predicting crop vegetative and reproductive development based on genotype and weather data as inputs. Here, we illustrate an approach for developing a dynamic modular gene-based model to simulate changes in main stem node numbers, time to first anthesis, and final node number on the main stem of common bean (). In the modules, these crop characteristics are functions of relevant genes (quantitative trait loci (QTL)), the environment (E), and QTL × E interactions. Read More

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Universal Prevention Exposure as a Moderator of the Community Context: Findings from the PROSPER Project.

Am J Community Psychol 2016 03 28;57(1-2):8-19. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

This study examined how participation in a universal family skills-building program may interact with community risks and resources to produce youth outcomes. Prior research has noted community-level variability in risk and protective factors, but thus far no study has examined the role that participation on a community-wide intervention may play in moderating the effects of community risks or resources. The study included 14 communities (seven in Iowa, seven in Pennsylvania) that implemented a family focused evidence-based program as part of the PROSPER project. Read More

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Pathways to Sustainability: 8-Year Follow-Up From the PROSPER Project.

J Prim Prev 2016 Jun;37(3):263-86

Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.

The large-scale dissemination of evidence-based practices (EBPs) is often hindered by problems with sustaining initiatives past a period of initial grant funding. Communities often have difficulty generating resources needed to sustain and grow their initiatives, resulting in limited public health impact. The PROSPER project, initiated in 2001, provided community coalitions with intensive technical assistance around marketing, communications, and revenue generating strategies. Read More

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Pediatric Care Coordination: Lessons Learned and Future Priorities.

Online J Issues Nurs 2015 Sep 30;20(3). Epub 2015 Sep 30.

A fundamental component of the medical home model is care coordination. In Minnesota, this model informed design and implementation of the state's health care home (HCH) model, a key element of statewide healthcare reform legislation. Children with medical complexity (CMC) often require care from multiple specialists and community resources. Read More

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September 2015

Mixed picture of readiness for adoption of evidence-based prevention programs in communities: exploratory surveys of state program delivery systems.

Am J Community Psychol 2015 Jun;55(3-4):253-65

Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Iowa State University, 2625 North Loop Drive, Suite 2400, Ames, IA, 50010, USA,

An emerging literature highlights the potential for broader dissemination of evidence-based prevention programs in communities through existing state systems, such as the land grant university Extension outreach system and departments of public education and health (DOE-DPH). This exploratory study entailed surveying representatives of the national Extension system and DOE-DPH, to evaluate dissemination readiness factors, as part of a larger project on an evidence-based program delivery model called PROSPER. In addition to assessing systems' readiness factors, differences among US regions and comparative levels of readiness between state systems were evaluated. Read More

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Pentachlorophenol degradation by Janibacter sp., a new actinobacterium isolated from saline sediment of arid land.

Biomed Res Int 2014 17;2014:296472. Epub 2014 Sep 17.

Université Tunis El Manar, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis (FST), LR03ES03 Laboratoire de Microorganisme et Biomolécules Actives, Campus Universitaire, 2092 Tunis, Tunisia.

Many pentachlorophenol- (PCP-) contaminated environments are characterized by low or elevated temperatures, acidic or alkaline pH, and high salt concentrations. PCP-degrading microorganisms, adapted to grow and prosper in these environments, play an important role in the biological treatment of polluted extreme habitats. A PCP-degrading bacterium was isolated and characterized from arid and saline soil in southern Tunisia and was enriched in mineral salts medium supplemented with PCP as source of carbon and energy. Read More

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Coupled ecosystem/supply chain modelling of fish products from sea to shelf: the Peruvian anchoveta case.

PLoS One 2014 8;9(7):e102057. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Instituto del Mar del Perú (IMARPE), Callao, Peru.

Sustainability assessment of food supply chains is relevant for global sustainable development. A framework is proposed for analysing fishfood (fish products for direct human consumption) supply chains with local or international scopes. It combines a material flow model (including an ecosystem dimension) of the supply chains, calculation of sustainability indicators (environmental, socio-economic, nutritional), and finally multi-criteria comparison of alternative supply chains (e. Read More

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October 2015

Landscape context mediates avian habitat choice in tropical forest restoration.

PLoS One 2014 4;9(3):e90573. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Department of Environmental Studies, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America.

Birds both promote and prosper from forest restoration. The ecosystem functions birds perform can increase the pace of forest regeneration and, correspondingly, increase the available habitat for birds and other forest-dependent species. The aim of this study was to learn how tropical forest restoration treatments interact with landscape tree cover to affect the structure and composition of a diverse bird assemblage. Read More

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November 2014

Effects of oil-palm plantations on diversity of tropical anurans.

Conserv Biol 2013 Jun;27(3):615-24

School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS, London, United Kingdom.

Agriculturally altered vegetation, especially oil-palm plantations, is rapidly increasing in Southeast Asia. Low species diversity is associated with this commodity, but data on anuran diversity in oil-palm plantations are lacking. We investigated how anuran biological diversity differs between forest and oil-palm plantation, and whether observed differences in biological diversity of these areas is linked to specific environmental factors. Read More

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Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity.

Nature 2012 Jun 6;486(7401):59-67. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Read More

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Assessing the role of spatial heterogeneity and human movement in malaria dynamics and control.

J Theor Biol 2012 Jun 22;303:1-14. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Department of Mathematics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Mathematical models developed for studying malaria dynamics often focus on a single, homogeneous population. However, human movement connects environments with potentially different malaria transmission characteristics. To address the role of human movement and spatial heterogeneity in malaria transmission and malaria control, we consider a simple malaria metapopulation model incorporating two regions, or patches, connected by human movement, with different degrees of malaria transmission in each patch. Read More

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C4 grasses prosper as carbon dioxide eliminates desiccation in warmed semi-arid grassland.

Nature 2011 Aug 3;476(7359):202-5. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

USDA-ARS, Rangeland Resources Research Unit and Northern Plains Area, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526, USA.

Global warming is predicted to induce desiccation in many world regions through increases in evaporative demand. Rising CO(2) may counter that trend by improving plant water-use efficiency. However, it is not clear how important this CO(2)-enhanced water use efficiency might be in offsetting warming-induced desiccation because higher CO(2) also leads to higher plant biomass, and therefore greater transpirational surface. Read More

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