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    The Social Fabric of Watershed Management: Comparison of Citizen-Based and Agency-Based Organizations

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    This research offers an exploration of the social networks within two distinct watershed groups in the Hudson River, New York State, USA: citizen-based and agency-based organizations. Through a social network analysis of their operations and interactions, this study unveils the complex dynamics and roles of individual nodes in facilitating nine types of connections, such as political and financial, within these networks. The citizen-based organization demonstrated denser and more cohesive networks, suggesting robust relationships and enhanced resilience and adaptability. In contrast, the agency-based organization exhibited more hierarchical networks. This study employs both network-level and node-level analyses to examine the social networks within watershed groups. Our network-level analysis focuses on metrics such as density, average degree, and hierarchy, while our node-level analysis examines clustering coefficients and influence. It also explores ego networks through an analysis of their density and the effective size of structural holes. Our finding is that the social networks of the two groups are quite distinct, and there is limited exchange of information and resources between them. However, we discovered that effective communication among a few well-connected individuals (e.g., those with high influence values) within each group can enhance the effectiveness and resilience of these networks. These analyses aim to provide a detailed understanding of the social dynamics within regional watershed groups

    Perspectives From Public Health Practitioners and Advocates on Community Development for Active Living: What are the Lasting Impacts?

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    Purpose Evidence suggests differential impacts of community development, including gentrification and displacement. Public health practitioners and advocates are key stakeholders involved in the community development process related to active living, yet little is known about their perceptions of its impacts. We explored the perspectives of relevant leaders of public health departments and key community and advocacy organizations on community development, gentrification, and displacement. Approach Purposive key informant interviews. Setting CDC State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) funding recipients. Participants CDC SPAN recipient leadership (n = 10 of 16) and advocacy organizations they partnered with (n = 7 of 16). Method Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and thematically analyzed with direct quotes representing key themes. Results Both groups felt community development held important benefits, specifically by creating healthy living opportunities, but also potentially leading to the displacement of long-time residents. Practitioners reported the benefits were for all community members, whereas advocates noted the benefits were seen in those with privilege, and the consequences were disproportionately seen in disadvantaged communities. Both mentioned the importance and difficulty of getting diverse representation for community engagement. Conclusions Learning how key stakeholders perceive and navigate the community development process can help inform recommendations for better equity in active living community improvements. More work is needed to further elucidate best practices for health and social equity in the community development process

    A Systematic Review of Dietary Interventions for Cancer Survivors and Their Families or Caregivers

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    Family or caregiver engagement has the potential to support healthy dietary changes among cancer survivors. However, little is known about these family- or caregiver-involved dietary interventions and their effects. This systematic review aimed to identify the behavior change techniques (BCTs) used in dietary interventions for cancer survivors and their families or caregivers and to synthesize intervention effects on dietary and health outcomes. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we conducted systematic searches in three databases and identified 12 trials (16 peer-reviewed manuscripts) for inclusion in this review. Data were extracted from these manuscripts and the BCT taxonomy was used to identify the BCTs. A total of 38 BCTs were identified from 12 trials, 13 of which were used in at least half of the 12 trials. Ten studies reported significant intervention effects on health outcomes (e.g., adiposity) and six suggested significant improvements in dietary behaviors (e.g., fruit and vegetable intake). Overall, this review found that family- or caregiver-involved interventions for cancer survivors significantly improved dietary and health outcomes. Future research should identify BCTs particularly for dietary changes and develop effective dyadic strategies to facilitate diet-related interactions between survivors and their families or caregivers to enhance their engagement in healthy diets

    Computational Modeling Insights into Extreme Heterogeneity in COVID-19 Nasal Swab Data

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    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented level of clinical nasal swab data from around the globe has been collected and shared. Positive tests have consistently revealed viral titers spanning six orders of magnitude! An open question is whether such extreme population heterogeneity is unique to SARS-CoV-2 or possibly generic to viral respiratory infections. To probe this question, we turn to the computational modeling of nasal tract infections. Employing a physiologically faithful, spatially resolved, stochastic model of respiratory tract infection, we explore the statistical distribution of human nasal infections in the immediate 48 h of infection. The spread, or heterogeneity, of the distribution derives from variations in factors within the model that are unique to the infected host, infectious variant, and timing of the test. Hypothetical factors include: (1) reported physiological differences between infected individuals (nasal mucus thickness and clearance velocity); (2) differences in the kinetics of infection, replication, and shedding of viral RNA copies arising from the unique interactions between the host and viral variant; and (3) differences in the time between initial cell infection and the clinical test. Since positive clinical tests are often pre-symptomatic and independent of prior infection or vaccination status, in the model we assume immune evasion throughout the immediate 48 h of infection. Model simulations generate the mean statistical outcomes of total shed viral load and infected cells throughout 48 h for each “virtual individual”, which we define as each fixed set of model parameters (1) and (2) above. The “virtual population” and the statistical distribution of outcomes over the population are defined by collecting clinically and experimentally guided ranges for the full set of model parameters (1) and (2). This establishes a model-generated “virtual population database” of nasal viral titers throughout the initial 48 h of infection of every individual, which we then compare with clinical swab test data. Support for model efficacy comes from the sampling of infection dynamics over the virtual population database, which reproduces the six-order-of-magnitude clinical population heterogeneity. However, the goal of this study is to answer a deeper biological and clinical question. What is the impact on the dynamics of early nasal infection due to each individual physiological feature or virus–cell kinetic mechanism? To answer this question, global data analysis methods are applied to the virtual population database that sample across the entire database and de-correlate (i.e., isolate) the dynamic infection outcome sensitivities of each model parameter. These methods predict the dominant, indeed exponential, driver of population heterogeneity in dynamic infection outcomes is the latency time of infected cells (from the moment of infection until onset of viral RNA shedding). The shedding rate of the viral RNA of infected cells in the shedding phase is a strong, but not exponential, driver of infection. Furthermore, the unknown timing of the nasal swab test relative to the onset of infection is an equally dominant contributor to extreme population heterogeneity in clinical test data since infectious viral loads grow from undetectable levels to more than six orders of magnitude within 48 h

    Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship: Grace Barnard

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    Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship 2023; Gold Coast, Australia; With the Carolina Blue Honors Fellowship, Grace travelled to Gold Coast, Australia for 10 weeks interning for a RDK Sports International

    Remembering Friend, Mentor, and Scholar Sam Bass Warner Jr., 1928–2023

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    For the urban historian, it is heartening to see awareness of the injustices of urban renewal, redlining, freeway siting, and other historic practices figure prominently in public conversations today—recognition of our turbulent urban and planning history is even beginning to inform governments’ current policies. Sam Bass Warner Jr. was among the first group of scholars to turn a critical eye on the historical development of American cities, and works of his, including Streetcar Suburbs (1962), The Private City (1968), and The Urban Wilderness (1972), became seminal pieces in the nascent, largely uncharted field of American urban and planning history during the 1960s and 1970s. Beginning with these influential debuts, Sam’s six-decade career remained dedicated to bringing urban and planning history out of obscurity and into the place we see it today

    Mechanistic Insights into Peptide Binding and Deactivation of an Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor

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    Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (ADGRGs) play critical roles in the reproductive, neurological, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems. In particular, ADGRG2 plays a significant role in Ewing sarcoma cell proliferation, parathyroid cell function, and male fertility. In 2022, a cryo-EM structure was reported for the active ADGRG2 bound by an optimized peptide agonist IP15 and the Gs protein. The IP15 peptide agonist was also modified to antagonists 4PH-E and 4PH-D with mutations of the 4PH residue to Glu and Asp, respectively. However, experimental structures of inactive antagonist-bound ADGRs remain to be resolved, and the activation mechanism of ADGRs such as ADGRG2 is poorly understood. Here, we applied Gaussian accelerated molecular dynamics (GaMD) simulations to probe conformational dynamics of the agonist- and antagonist-bound ADGRG2. By performing GaMD simulations, we were able to identify important low-energy conformations of ADGRG2 in the active, intermediate, and inactive states, as well as explore the binding conformations of each peptide. Moreover, our simulations revealed critical peptide-receptor residue interactions during the deactivation of ADGRG2. In conclusion, through GaMD simulations, we uncovered mechanistic insights into peptide (agonist and antagonist) binding and deactivation of the ADGRG2. These findings will potentially facilitate rational design of new peptide modulators of ADGRG2 and other ADGRs

    Shifts in routine vaccine confidence during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kinshasa Province, DRC: A mixed-methods approach

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    The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted routine immunizations worldwide, decreasing confidence in vaccination programs. Leveraging a previously validated Shift in Vaccine Confidence (SVC) tool, we measured changes in routine HBV vaccine confidence due to the pandemic among Kinshasa-based participants and factors influencing vaccination confidence, uptake, and intention. We verbally administered SVC surveys in person to HBV-negative adults in Kinshasa who were ≥18 years of age, exposed to HBV in the household, and eligible for HBV vaccination. We measured HBV vaccination status in three ways: vaccinee, willing to receive HBV vaccination, or refused. We interviewed participants at one time point, during which they responded to prompts in the framework of (1) before and (2) during the pandemic. To measure shifts in vaccine confidence, we compared vaccination confidence before versus during the pandemic using Chi-square tests. We also coded open-ended responses to explore context-specific vaccine uptake and perception determinants. From April 2022 to February 2023, we administered the SVC tool to a purposive sample of 41 participants: 7 vaccinees, 23 willing to receive HBV vaccine, and 11 refusers. We observed statistically significant declines in opinion across all five vaccine confidence domains when comparing responses during versus before the pandemic (p<0.01). The most significant shift in perspective was that 80.5% of participants believed that vaccines were safe before the pandemic, compared to 46.3% during the pandemic (p<0.01). Qualitative analysis identified four emergent domains impacting uptake decisions: vaccine confidence, knowledge, risks, and external influences. Rising uncertainty about efficacy, safety, and distrust in the COVID-19 vaccine undermined vaccine confidence among our participants. Factors such as distrust in manufacturers and government, fear of side effects, perceived low illness risk, and inconvenient healthcare access contributed to low vaccine uptake. These insights underscore the pandemic's impact on routine immunization and emphasize the need for consideration in future vaccination campaigns

    Achieving High-Energy-Density Graphene/Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Lithium-Ion Capacitors from Organic-Based Electrolytes

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    Developing electrode materials with high voltage and high specific capacity has always been an important strategy for increasing the energy density of lithium-ion capacitors (LICs). However, organic-based electrolytes with lithium salts limit their potential for application in LICs to voltages below 3.8 V in terms of polarization reactions. In this work, we introduce Li[N(C2F5SO2)2] (lithium Bis (pentafluoroethanesulfonyl)imide or LiBETI), an electrolyte with high conductivity and superior electrochemical and mechanical stability, to construct a three-electrode LIC system. After graphite anode pre-lithiation, the anode potential was stabilized in the three-electrode LIC system, and a stable solid electrolyte interface (SEI) film formed on the anode surface as expected. Meanwhile, the LIC device using LiBETI as the electrolyte, and a self-synthesized graphene/single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) composite as the cathode, showed a high voltage window, allowing the LIC to achieve an operating voltage of 4.5 V. As a result, the LIC device has a high energy density of up to 182 Wh kg−1 and a 2678 W kg−1 power density at 4.5 V. At a current density of 2 A g−1, the capacity retention rate is 72.7% after 10,000 cycles

    The Association of Food Insecurity, Mental Health, and Healthcare Access and Use Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in the United States: Results From the 2021 National Health Interview Survey

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    Purpose We sought to describe the prevalence of food insecurity and its relationship with mental health, health care access, and use among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults in the U.S. Design and Setting We analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a cross-sectional study of noninstitutionalized adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Sample The study sample was restricted to LGB adults ≥18 years (N = 1178) from the 2021 NHIS survey. Measures Food security was assessed using the 10-item U.S Adult Food Security Survey Module. Study outcomes were mental health (depression, anxiety, life satisfaction, and serious psychological distress), health care utilization, and medication adherence. Analysis Descriptive statistics and linear and generalized linear regressions. Results The study sample consisted of 69% White, 14% Hispanic/Latinx, 9% Black, and 8% people of other races. Approximately half (53%) identified as bisexual and 47% identified as gay or lesbian. Eleven percent were food insecure. Sexual orientation, income-to-poverty ratio, and health insurance were significant correlates of food insecurity. In multivariable analyses, food insecurity was significantly associated with mental illness (including depression, anxiety, and serious psychological distress), limited health care access and use (including inability to pay medical bills, delay in getting medical and mental health care, and going without needed medical and mental health care), and medication nonadherence (including skipping medication, taking less medication, delay filling prescription, and going without needed prescription). Conclusion Food insecurity is a constant predictor of adverse mental health and low medical and mental health care use rates among LGB adults in the United States. Achieving food security in LGB people requires improving their financial and nonfinancial resources to obtain food

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