3,555 research outputs found

    Readout of the ATLAS Transition Radiation Tracker: Timing Parameters and Constraints

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    The atlas Transition Radiation Tracker (trt) is a straw tracker capable of detecting both minimum ionizing particles as well as transition radiation. The control and readout of this detector are very sensitive to several timing parameters, the values of which are constrained by the time available to sample data from a given event. In this note, these parameters and constraints are discussed

    Preventive analgesia and novel strategies for the prevention of chronic post-surgical pain

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    Chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) is a serious complication of major surgery that can impair a patient’s quality of life. The development of CPSP is a complex process which involves biologic, psychosocial, and environmental mechanisms that have yet to be fully understood. Currently perioperative pharmacologic interventions aim to suppress and prevent sensitization with the aim of reducing pain and analgesic requirement in acute as well as long-term pain . Despite the detrimental effects of CPSP on patients, the body of literature focused on treatment strategies to reduce CPSP remains limited and continues to be understudied. This article reviews the main pharmacologic candidates for the treatment of CPSP, discusses the future of preventive analgesia, and considers novel strategies to help treat acute postoperative pain and lessen the risk that it becomes chronic. In addition, this article highlights important areas of focus for clinical practice including: multimodal management of CPSP patients, psychological modifiers of the pain experience, and the development of a Transitional Pain Service specifically designed to manage patients at high risk of developing chronic post-surgical pain.HC is supported by a Merit Award (Department of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto) and the STAGE Training Program in Genetic Epidemiology (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, CIHR) and a grant by the Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation. JK is supported by a Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology. The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to declare

    Field Assessment of a Model Tuberculosis Outbreak Response Plan for Low-Incidence Areas

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    Background: For a regional project in four low-incidence states, we designed a customizable tuberculosis outbreak response plan. Prior to dissemination of the plan, a tuberculosis outbreak occurred, presenting an opportunity to perform a field assessment of the plan. The purpose of the assessment was to ensure that the plan included essential elements to help public health professionals recognize and respond to outbreaks. Methods: We designed a semi-structured questionnaire and interviewed all key stakeholders involved in the response. We used common themes to assess validity of and identify gaps in the plan. A subset of participants provided structured feedback on the plan. Results: We interviewed 11 public health and six community stakeholders. The assessment demonstrated that (1) almost all of the main response activities were reflected in the plan; (2) the plan added value by providing a definition of a tuberculosis outbreak and guidelines for communication and evaluation. These were areas that lacked written protocols during the actual outbreak response; and (3) basic education about tuberculosis and the interpretation and use of genotyping data were important needs. Stakeholders also suggested adding to the plan questions for evaluation and a section for specific steps to take when an outbreak is suspected. Conclusion: An interactive field assessment of a programmatic tool revealed the value of a systematic outbreak response plan with a standard definition of a tuberculosis outbreak, guidelines for communication and evaluation, and response steps. The assessment highlighted the importance of education and training for tuberculosis in low-incidence areas

    Compte-rendu et apport de la conférence-débat : "Nature, conditionnalité et verdissement de la PAC : un tournant wallon ?", 9 novembre 2011, Espace Senghor, Gembloux, Belgique

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    Proceedings of the conference: "Nature, conditionnalité et verdissement de la PAC : un tournant wallon ?". 9th November 2011. Espace Senghor, Gembloux, Belgium. Recently, the European Union (EU) proposed a reform project for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). One of the proposed reforms consists of imposing a set aside proportion of 7% of arable land for biodiversity support purposes. A conference on this proposal was held in Gembloux, Belgium, on 9th November 2011. Such a set aside system already exists in neighboring countries. The French and Swiss systems were presented at the conference in order to highlight their advantages and limitations. Scientific arguments underlying such policies were also presented. It was shown that the creation of semi-natural elements within the agricultural matrix is an efficient way to promote biodiversity. Both the quantity and the quality of these elements need to be considered. In addition, biodiversity is likely to provide services to agriculture, notably crop pollination and pest control. Currently, uncertainties remain regarding areas that are eligible to be designated as reaching the 7% threshold. However, based on the most probable scenarios, the current likely eligible areas cover only 4.3% of arable land in Wallonia. Less than 20% of Walloon farms already reach the 7% threshold proposed by the EU. If the European project is approved, it will therefore be of great importance to have some form of societal recognition afforded to farmers for their efforts. In order to optimize the positive effects of the policy on biodiversity, it is also imperative to ensure that a high level of biological quality is reached in the areas dedicated to biodiversity and to monitor this quality using clearly defined objectives. Economical, societal and environmental issues all need to be considered when applying this policy in order to improve agricultural sustainability and to stop the decline in biodiversity in agricultural landscapes

    Distinguishing problematic from nonproblematic postsurgical pain: A pain trajectory analysis after total knee arthroplasty

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    The goal of this study was to follow a cohort of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty over time to: (1) identify and describe the various pain trajectories beginning preoperatively and for up to 12 months after surgery, (2) identify baseline predictors of trajectory group membership, and (3) identify trajectory groups associated with poor psychosocial outcomes 12 months after surgery. One hundred seventy-three participants (female = 85 [49%]; mean age [years] = 62.9, SD = 6.8) completed pain and psychological questionnaires and functional performance tests preoperatively and 4 days, 6 weeks, and 3 and 12 months after total knee arthroplasty. Using growth mixture modeling, results showed that a 4-group model, with a quadratic slope and baseline pain data predicting trajectory group membership, best fit the data (Akaike information criterion = 2772.27). The first 3 pain trajectories represent various rates of recovery ending with relatively low levels of pain 12 months after surgery. Group 4, the constant high pain group, comprises patients who have a neutral or positive pain slope and do not show improvement in their pain experience over the first year after surgery. This model suggests that preoperative pain levels are predictive of pain trajectory group membership and moderate preoperative pain, as opposed to low or high pain, is a risk factor for a neutral or positive pain trajectory postoperatively. Consistent with previous studies, these results show that postoperative pain is not a homogeneous condition and point to the importance of examining intraindividual pain fluctuations as they relate to pain interventions and prevention strategies.M. G. Page´ is supported by a Canada Graduate Scholarship— Doctoral Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and is a recipient of a Lillian-Wright Maternal-Child Health Scholarship from York University, a trainee member of Pain in Child Health and a CIHR Strategic Training Fellow in Pain: Molecules to Community. J. Katz is supported by a CIHR Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University. H. A. Clarke is supported by a Merit Award from the Department of Anaesthesia at the University of Toronto and also supported by the STAGE Training Program in Genetic Epidemiology from the CIHR. The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to declare

    Human-Induced Expanded Distribution of Anopheles plumbeus, Experimental Vector of West Nile Virus and a Potential Vector of Human Malaria in Belgium

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    For the majority of native species, human-created habitats provide a hostile environment that prevents their colonization. However, if the conditions encountered in this novel environment are part of the fundamental niche of a particular species, these low competitive environments may allow strong population expansion of even rare and stenotopic species. If these species are potentially harmful to humans, such anthropogenic habitat alterations may impose strong risks for human health. Here, we report on a recent and severe outbreak of the viciously biting and day-active mosquito Anopheles plumbeus Stephens, 1828, that is caused by a habitat shift toward human-created habitats. Although historic data indicate that the species was previously reported to be rare in Belgium and confined to natural forest habitats, more recent data indicate a strong population expansion all over Belgium and severe nuisance at a local scale. We show that these outbreaks can be explained by a recent larval habitat shift of this species from tree-holes in forests to large manure collecting pits of abandoned and uncleaned pig stables. Further surveys of the colonization and detection of other potential larval breeding places of this mosquito in this artificial environment are of particular importance for human health because the species is known as a experimental vector of West Nile virus and a potential vector of human malari

    Improved Measurement of the Positive Muon Lifetime and Determination of the Fermi Constant

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    The mean life of the positive muon has been measured to a precision of 11 ppm using a low-energy, pulsed muon beam stopped in a ferromagnetic target, which was surrounded by a scintillator detector array. The result, tau_mu = 2.197013(24) us, is in excellent agreement with the previous world average. The new world average tau_mu = 2.197019(21) us determines the Fermi constant G_F = 1.166371(6) x 10^-5 GeV^-2 (5 ppm). Additionally, the precision measurement of the positive muon lifetime is needed to determine the nucleon pseudoscalar coupling g_P.Comment: As published version (PRL, July 2007
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