110 research outputs found

    An Ounce of Prevention is a Ton of Work: Mass Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Anthrax, New York City, 2001

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    Protocols for mass antibiotic prophylaxis against anthrax were under development in New York City beginning in early 1999. This groundwork allowed the city’s Department of Health to rapidly respond in 2001 to six situations in which cases were identified or anthrax spores were found. The key aspects of planning and lessons learned from each of these mass prophylaxis operations are reviewed. Antibiotic distribution was facilitated by limiting medical histories to issues relevant to prescribing prophylactic antibiotic therapy, formatting medical records to facilitate rapid decision making, and separating each component activity into discrete work stations. Successful implementation of mass prophylaxis operations was characterized by clarity of mission and eligibility criteria, well-defined lines of authority and responsibilities, effective communication, collaboration among city agencies (including law enforcement), and coordination of staffing and supplies. This model can be adapted for future planning needs including possible attacks with other bioterrorism agents, such as smallpox

    The K2-HERMES Survey: Age and Metallicity of the Thick Disc

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    Asteroseismology is a promising tool to study Galactic structure and evolution because it can probe the ages of stars. Earlier attempts comparing seismic data from the {\it Kepler} satellite with predictions from Galaxy models found that the models predicted more low-mass stars compared to the observed distribution of masses. It was unclear if the mismatch was due to inaccuracies in the Galactic models, or the unknown aspects of the selection function of the stars. Using new data from the K2 mission, which has a well-defined selection function, we find that an old metal-poor thick disc, as used in previous Galactic models, is incompatible with the asteroseismic information. We show that spectroscopic measurements of [Fe/H] and [α\alpha/Fe] elemental abundances from the GALAH survey indicate a mean metallicity of log(Z/Z)=0.16\log (Z/Z_{\odot})=-0.16 for the thick disc. Here ZZ is the effective solar-scaled metallicity, which is a function of [Fe/H] and [α\alpha/Fe]. With the revised disc metallicities, for the first time, the theoretically predicted distribution of seismic masses show excellent agreement with the observed distribution of masses. This provides an indirect verification of the asteroseismic mass scaling relation is good to within five percent. Using an importance-sampling framework that takes the selection function into account, we fit a population synthesis model of the Galaxy to the observed seismic and spectroscopic data. Assuming the asteroseismic scaling relations are correct, we estimate the mean age of the thick disc to be about 10 Gyr, in agreement with the traditional idea of an old α\alpha-enhanced thick disc.Comment: 21 pages, submitted to MNRA

    A systematic review of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of peer education and peer support in prisons.

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    BACKGROUND: Prisoners experience significantly worse health than the general population. This review examines the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of peer interventions in prison settings. METHODS: A mixed methods systematic review of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness studies, including qualitative and quantitative synthesis was conducted. In addition to grey literature identified and searches of websites, nineteen electronic databases were searched from 1985 to 2012. Study selection criteria were: Population: Prisoners resident in adult prisons and children resident in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). INTERVENTION: Peer-based interventions Comparators: Review questions 3 and 4 compared peer and professionally led approaches. OUTCOMES: Prisoner health or determinants of health; organisational/ process outcomes; views of prison populations. STUDY DESIGNS: Quantitative, qualitative and mixed method evaluations. RESULTS: Fifty-seven studies were included in the effectiveness review and one study in the cost-effectiveness review; most were of poor methodological quality. Evidence suggested that peer education interventions are effective at reducing risky behaviours, and that peer support services are acceptable within the prison environment and have a positive effect on recipients, practically or emotionally. Consistent evidence from many, predominantly qualitative, studies, suggested that being a peer deliverer was associated with positive effects. There was little evidence on cost-effectiveness of peer-based interventions. CONCLUSIONS: There is consistent evidence from a large number of studies that being a peer worker is associated with positive health; peer support services are also an acceptable source of help within the prison environment and can have a positive effect on recipients. Research into cost-effectiveness is sparse. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO ref: CRD42012002349

    MicroRNA132 Modulates Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity but Not Basal Release Probability in Hippocampal Neurons

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    MicroRNAs play important regulatory roles in a broad range of cellular processes including neuronal morphology and long-term synaptic plasticity. MicroRNA-132 (miR132) is a CREB-regulated miRNA that is induced by neuronal activity and neurotrophins, and plays a role in regulating neuronal morphology and cellular excitability. Little is known about the effects of miR132 expression on synaptic function. Here we show that overexpression of miR132 increases the paired-pulse ratio and decreases synaptic depression in cultured mouse hippocampal neurons without affecting the initial probability of neurotransmitter release, the calcium sensitivity of release, the amplitude of excitatory postsynaptic currents or the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. These findings are the first to demonstrate that microRNAs can regulate short-term plasticity in neurons

    The GALAH survey: velocity fluctuations in the Milky Way using red clump giants

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    If the Galaxy is axisymmetric and in dynamical equilibrium, we expect negligible fluctuations in the residual line-of-sight velocity field. However, non-axisymmetric structures like a bar, spiral arms and merger events can generate velocity fluctuations. Recent results using the APOGEE survey find significant fluctuations in velocity for stars in the midplane (|z|< 0.25 kpc) and out to 5 kpc, which suggests that the dynamical influence of the Milky Way's bar extends out to the Solar neighborhood. Their measured power spectrum has a characteristic amplitude of 11 km/s on a scale of ~ 2.5 kpc. The existence of large streaming motions on these scales has important implications for determining the Sun's motion about the Galactic Centre. Using red clump stars from the GALAH and APOGEE surveys, we map the line-of-sight velocity field around the Sun out to distances of 5 kpc and up to 1.25 kpc from the Galactic Plane. By subtracting a smooth axisymmetric model for the velocity field, we study the residual velocity fluctuations and compare our findings with mock survey generated by Galaxia based on an axisymmetric, steady state model. We find negligible large-scale fluctuations away from the plane. In the mid-plane, we reproduce the earlier APOGEE power spectrum results but with 20\% smaller amplitude (9.5 km/s) after taking a few systematic effects into account (e.g. volume completeness). The amplitude power is further reduced to 6.7 km/s if a flexible axisymmetric model is used. Additionally, our mock simulations show that, in the plane, the distances are underestimated for high mass red clump stars and this can lead to spurious power with amplitude of about 5.5 km/s. Taking this into account, we estimate the amplitude of real fluctuations to be less than 4.2 km/s, about a factor of three less than the previous result from APOGEE

    The GALAH survey: Co-orbiting stars and chemical tagging

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    We present a study using the second data release of the GALAH survey of stellar parameters and elemental abundances of 15 pairs of stars identified by Oh et al 2017. They identified these pairs as potentially co-moving pairs using proper motions and parallaxes from Gaia DR1. We find that 11 very wide (>1.7 pc) pairs of stars do in fact have similar Galactic orbits, while a further four claimed co-moving pairs are not truly co-orbiting. Eight of the 11 co-orbiting pairs have reliable stellar parameters and abundances, and we find that three of those are quite similar in their abundance patterns, while five have significant [Fe/H] differences. For the latter, this indicates that they could be co-orbiting because of the general dynamical coldness of the thin disc, or perhaps resonances induced by the Galaxy, rather than a shared formation site. Stars such as these, wide binaries, debris of past star formation episodes, and coincidental co-orbiters, are crucial for exploring the limits of chemical tagging in the Milky Way.Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures, submitted to MNRAS. Updated for Gaia DR2 value

    The GALAH survey: Milky Way disc metallicity and alpha-abundance trends in combined APOGEE-GALAH catalogues

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    GALAH and APOGEE are two high resolution multi object spectroscopic surveys that provide fundamental stellar parameters and multiple elemental abundance estimates for >> 400,000 stars in the Milky Way. They are complimentary in both sky coverage and wavelength regime. Thus combining the two surveys will provide us a large sample to investigate the disc metallicity and alpha abundance trends. We use the Cannon data-driven approach selecting training sets from among \sim20,000 stars in common for the two surveys to predict the GALAH scaled stellar parameters from APOGEE spectra as well as APOGEE scaled stellar parameters from GALAH spectra. We provide two combined catalogues with GALAH scaled and APOGEE scaled stellar parameters each having \sim500,000 stars after quality cuts. With \sim470,000 stars that are common in both these catalogues, we compare the GALAH scaled and APOGEE scaled metallicity distribution functions (MDF), radial and vertical metallicity gradients as well as the variation of [α\alpha/Fe] vs [Fe/H] trends along and away from the Galactic mid plane. We find mean metallicities of APOGEE scaled sample to be higher compared to that for the GALAH scaled sample. We find similar [α\alpha/Fe] vs [Fe/H] trends using both samples consistent with previous observational as well as simulation based studies. Radial and vertical metallicity gradients derived using the two survey scaled samples are consistent except in the inner and outer Galactocentric radius bins. Our gradient estimates in the solar neighborhood are also consistent with previous studies and are backed by larger sample size compared to previous works.Comment: 21 pages, 19 figures, submitted to MNRA

    The GALAH survey: Co-orbiting stars and chemical tagging

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    We present a study using the second data release of the GALAH survey of stellar parameters and elemental abundances of 15 pairs of stars identified by Oh et al 2017. They identified these pairs as potentially co-moving pairs using proper motions and parallaxes from Gaia DR1. We find that 11 very wide (>1.7 pc) pairs of stars do in fact have similar Galactic orbits, while a further four claimed co-moving pairs are not truly co-orbiting. Eight of the 11 co-orbiting pairs have reliable stellar parameters and abundances, and we find that three of those are quite similar in their abundance patterns, while five have significant [Fe/H] differences. For the latter, this indicates that they could be co-orbiting because of the general dynamical coldness of the thin disc, or perhaps resonances induced by the Galaxy, rather than a shared formation site. Stars such as these, wide binaries, debris of past star formation episodes, and coincidental co-orbiters, are crucial for exploring the limits of chemical tagging in the Milky Way.Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures, submitted to MNRAS. Updated for Gaia DR2 value
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