Australian regional communities are changing. The combined impact of out-migration and ageing populations means that the capacity of regional communities to function as they traditionally have is challenged. In this context, volunteer effort remains a vital part of building community resilience and social capital. Yet, volunteering per se is under threat, and encouraging young people to volunteer an even greater challenge. This paper presents the results of a project that sought to understand the barriers to, and incentives for, youth volunteering at three regional local government areas in South Australia. First, we find that despite a popular conviction that youth volunteering is on the decline, it has in fact increased; the actual decline is with those volunteers who are within the 35–55-year age groups. Second, we found that two models of volunteering exist in the regions: (1) volunteering as an activity involving participation on committees or doing regular primarily public good group-based work (e.g., emergency services, Rotary, conservation); and (2) event-based, one-off, fun activities (sometimes, but not always, for the broader public good). Volunteering per se, however, was considered by all participants as central to community identity. Culture, sports and youth clubs emerged as important hubs for youth activity and potential volunteer recruitment. We suggest a new model for regional youth volunteering that prioritizes events, partnerships and social media, as well as using existing institutions as bridging organizations.
Background Careful development of interventions using principles of co-production is now recognized as an important step for clinical trial development, but practical guidance on how to do this in practice is lacking. This paper aims (1) provide practical guidance for researchers to co-produce interventions ready for clinical trial by describing the 4-stage process we followed, the challenges experienced and practical tips for researchers wanting to co-produce an intervention for a clinical trial; (2) describe, as an exemplar, the development of our intervention package. Method We used an Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) approach to co-produce a telehealth-delivered exercise program for people with stroke. The 4-stage process comprised of (1) a start-up planning phase with the co-production team. (2) Content development with knowledge user informants. (3) Design of an intervention protocol. (4) Protocol refinement. Results and reflections The four stages of intervention development involved an 11-member co-production team and 32 knowledge user informants. Challenges faced included balancing conflicting demands of different knowledge user informant groups, achieving shared power and collaborative decision making, and optimising knowledge user input. Components incorporated into the telehealth-delivered exercise program through working with knowledge user informants included: increased training for intervention therapists; increased options to tailor the intervention to participant’s needs and preferences; and re-naming of the program. Key practical tips include ways to minimise the power differential between researchers and consumers, and ensure adequate preparation of the co-production team. Conclusion Careful planning and a structured process can facilitate co-production of complex interventions ready for clinical trial. Graphical Abstract
The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hard scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.
TIMMDC1 encodes the T ranslocase of I nner M itochondrial M embrane D omain- C ontaining protein 1 (TIMMDC1) subunit of complex I of the electron transport chain responsible for ATP production. We studied a consanguineous family with two affected children, now deceased, who presented with failure to thrive in the early postnatal period, poor feeding, hypotonia, peripheral neuropathy and drug-resistant epilepsy. Genome sequencing data revealed a known, deep intronic pathogenic variant TIMMDC1 c.597-1340A>G, also present in gnomAD (~1/5000 frequency), that enhances aberrant splicing. Using RNA and protein analysis we show almost complete loss of TIMMDC1 protein and compromised mitochondrial complex I function. We have designed and applied two different splice-switching antisense oligonucleotides (SSO) to restore normal TIMMDC1 mRNA processing and protein levels in patients’ cells. Quantitative proteomics and real-time metabolic analysis of mitochondrial function on patient fibroblasts treated with SSOs showed restoration of complex I subunit abundance and function. SSO-mediated therapy of this inevitably fatal TIMMDC1 neurologic disorder is an attractive possibility.
This short communication paper aimed to compile the main determinants of inequality in dental services by distinguishing between access, utilisation, and provision of dental services. Recent findings integrated, and a dedicated conceptual framework entitled “Triangle of inequality in dental services” has been suggested. These can contribute a rich knowledge in this area and open a new window for policymakers and researchers to seek applied interventions to decrease inequality and improve access and utilisation in communities. This paper aims to synthesise the available evidence and add value to the scope. It highlights a dedicated concept for inequality in dental services beyond other areas of public health.
The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed to meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.
Background Disadvantage and transgenerational trauma contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians being more likely to experience adverse health consequences from alcohol and other drug use than non-Indigenous peoples. Addressing these health inequities requires local monitoring of alcohol and other drug use. While culturally appropriate methods for measuring drinking patterns among Indigenous Australians have been established, no similar methods are available for measuring other drug use patterns (amount and frequency of consumption). This paper describes a protocol for creating and validating a tablet-based survey for alcohol and other drugs (“The Drug Survey App”). Methods The Drug Survey App will be co-designed with stakeholders including Indigenous Australian health professionals, addiction specialists, community leaders, and researchers. The App will allow participants to describe their drug use flexibly with an interactive, visual interface. The validity of estimated consumption patterns, and risk assessments will be tested against those made in clinical interviews conducted by Indigenous Australian health professionals. We will then trial the App as a population survey tool by using the App to determine the prevalence of substance use in two Indigenous communities. Discussion The App could empower Indigenous Australian communities to conduct independent research that informs local prevention and treatment efforts.
Background Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (‘Indigenous’) Australians experience a greater burden of disease from alcohol consumption than non-Indigenous peoples. Brief interventions can help people reduce their consumption, but people drinking at risky levels must first be detected. Valid screening tools (e.g., AUDIT-C) can help clinicians identify at-risk individuals, but clinicians also make unstructured assessments. We aimed to determine how frequently clinicians make unstructured risk assessments and use AUDIT-C with Indigenous Australian clients. We also aimed to determine the accuracy of unstructured drinking risk assessments relative to AUDIT-C screening. Finally, we aimed to explore whether client demographics influence unstructured drinking risk assessments. Methods We performed cross-sectional analysis of a large clinical dataset provided by 22 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Australia. We examined instances where clients were screened with unstructured assessments and with AUDIT-C within the same two-monthly period. This aggregated data included 9884 observations. We compared the accuracy of unstructured risk assessments against AUDIT-C using multi-level sensitivity and specificity analysis. We used multi-level logistic regression to identify demographic factors that predict risk status in unstructured assessments while controlling for AUDIT-C score. Results The primary variables were AUDIT-C score and unstructured drinking risk assessment; demographic covariates were client age and gender, and service remoteness. Clinicians made unstructured drinking risk assessments more frequently than they used AUDIT-C (17.11% and 10.85% of clinical sessions respectively). Where both measures were recorded within the same two-month period, AUDIT-C classified more clients as at risk from alcohol consumption than unstructured assessments. When using unstructured assessments, clinicians only identified approximately one third of clients drinking at risky levels based on their AUDIT-C score (sensitivity = 33.59% [95% CI 22.03, 47.52], specificity = 99.35% [95% CI 98.74, 99.67]). Controlling for AUDIT-C results and demographics (gender and service remoteness), clinicians using unstructured drinking risk assessments were more likely to classify older clients as being at risk from alcohol consumption than younger clients. Conclusions Evidence-based screening tools like AUDIT-C can help clinicians ensure that Indigenous Australian clients (and their families and communities) who are at risk from alcohol consumption are better detected and supported.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, many people now wear face masks in public. Face masks impair our ability to identify faces, which can cause problems for professional staff who identify offenders or members of the public. Here, we investigate whether performance on a masked face matching task can be improved by training participants to compare diagnostic facial features (the ears and facial marks)—a validated training method that improves matching performance for unmasked faces. We show this brief diagnostic feature training, which takes less than two minutes to complete, improves matching performance for masked faces by approximately 5%. A control training course, which was unrelated to face identification, had no effect on matching performance. Our findings demonstrate that comparing the ears and facial marks is an effective means of improving face matching performance for masked faces. These findings have implications for professions that regularly perform face identification.
Background Diabetes-related foot disease (DFD) is a leading cause of the Australian disease burden. The 2011 Australian DFD guidelines were outdated. We aimed to develop methodology for systematically adapting suitable international guidelines to the Australian context to become the new Australian evidence-based guidelines for DFD. Methods We followed the Australian National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines for adapting guidelines. We systematically searched for all international DFD guideline records. All identified records were independently screened and assessed for eligibility. Those deemed eligible were further assessed and included if scoring at least moderate quality, suitability and currency using AGREE II and NHMRC instruments. The included international guidelines had all recommendations extracted into six sub-fields: prevention, wound classification, peripheral artery disease, infection, offloading and wound healing. Six national panels, each comprising 6–8 multidisciplinary national experts, screened all recommendations within their sub-field for acceptability and applicability in Australia using an ADAPTE form. Where panels were unsure of any acceptability and applicability items, full assessments were undertaken using a GRADE Evidence to Decision tool. Recommendations were adopted, adapted, or excluded, based on the agreement between the panel’s and international guideline’s judgements. Each panel drafted a guideline that included all their recommendations, rationale, justifications, and implementation considerations. All underwent public consultation, final revision, and approval by national peak bodies. Results We screened 182 identified records, assessed 24 full text records, and after further quality, suitability, and currency assessment, one record was deemed a suitable international guideline, the International Working Group Diabetic Foot Guidelines (IWGDF guidelines). The six panels collectively assessed 100 IWGDF recommendations, with 71 being adopted, 27 adapted, and two excluded for the Australian context. We received 47 public consultation responses with > 80% (strongly) agreeing that the guidelines should be approved, and ten national peak bodies endorsed the final six guidelines. The six guidelines and this protocol can be found at: https://www.diabetesfeetaustralia.org/new-guidelines/ Conclusion New Australian evidence-based guidelines for DFD have been developed for the first time in a decade by adapting suitable international guidelines. The methodology developed for adaptation may be useful for other foot-related conditions. These new guidelines will now serve as the national multidisciplinary best practice standards of DFD care in Australia.
Purpose To evaluate the measurement properties of the Oxford Hip Score (OHS), EQ-5D-5L utility index and EQ-5D-5L visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS) in patients undergoing elective total hip arthroplasty in Australia. Methods In this prospective multi-centre study, the OHS and EQ-5D-5L were collected preoperatively, six weeks (6w) and six months (6m) postoperatively. The OHS, EQ-VAS and EQ-5D-5L index were evaluated for concurrent validity, predictive validity (Spearman's Rho of predicted and observed values from a generalised linear regression model (GLM)), and responsiveness (effect size (ES) and standard response mean (SRM)). Results 362 patients were included in this analysis for 6w and 269 for 6m. The EQ-5D-5L index showed good concurrent validity with the OHS (r = 0.71 preoperatively, 0.61 at 6w and 0.59 at 6m). Predictive validity for EQ-5D-5L index was similar to OHS when regressed (GLM). Responsiveness was good at 6w (EQ-5D-5L index ES 1.53, SRM 1.40; OHS ES 2.16, SRM 1.51) and 6m (EQ-5D-5L index ES 1.88, SRM 1.70; OHS ES 3.12, SRM 2.24). The EQ-VAS returned poorer results, at 6w an ES of 0.75 (moderate) and SRM 0.8. At 6m the EQ-VAS had an ES of 0.92 and SRM of 1.00. It, however, had greater predictive validity. Conclusions The EQ-5D-5L index and the OHS demonstrate strong concurrent validity. The EQ-5D-5L index demonstrated similar predictive validity at 6w and 6m, and both PROMs had adequate responsiveness. The EQ-VAS should be used routinely together with the EQ-5D-5L index. The EQ-5D-5L is suitable to quantify health-related quality of life in Australian hip arthroplasty patients.
During Australia's unprecedented bushfires in 2019-2020, misinformation blaming arson surfaced on Twitter using #ArsonEmergency. The extent to which bots and trolls were responsible for disseminating and amplifying this misinformation has received media scrutiny and academic research. Here, we study Twitter communities spreading this misinformation during the newsworthy event, and investigate the role of online communities using a natural experiment approach-before and after reporting of bots promoting the hashtag was broadcast by the mainstream media. Few bots were found, but the most bot-like accounts were social bots, which present as genuine humans, and trolling behaviour was evident. Further, we distilled meaningful quantitative differences between two polarised communities in the Twitter discussion, resulting in the following insights. First, Supporters of the arson narrative promoted misinformation by engaging others directly with replies and mentions using hashtags and links to external sources. In response, Opposers retweeted fact-based articles and official information. Second, Supporters were embedded throughout their interaction networks, but Opposers obtained high centrality more efficiently despite their peripheral positions. By the last phase, Opposers and unaffiliated accounts appeared to coordinate, potentially reaching a broader audience. Finally, the introduction of the bot report changed the discussion dynamic: Opposers only responded immediately, while Supporters countered strongly for days, but new unaffiliated accounts drawn into the discussion shifted the dominant narrative from arson misinformation to factual and official information. This foiled Supporters' efforts, highlighting the value of exposing misinformation. We speculate that the communication strategies observed here could inform counter-strategies in other misinformation-related discussions. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13278-022-00892-x.
Background Fluoride has a major role in strengthening the structure of enamel against acids. Despite differences between caries and root resorption processes, both events inherently involve acidic dissolution of dental tissues. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of water fluoridation levels on the surface roughness of root cementum and resorption craters. The findings provided more insight into the influence of fluoride on the surfaces of intact cementum surface and resorption craters. Methods Twenty-eight orthodontic patients were recruited from two cities in Turkey, with high (≥ 2 ppm) and low (≤ 0.05 ppm) water fluoridation. These patients needed bilateral maxillary first premolar extraction as part of their orthodontic treatment and were allocated into two study groups ( n = 14 in each group) based on water fluoridation exposure level: the high-fluoride group (HF) and low-fluoride group (LF). 150 g of buccal tipping forces was applied to all maxillary first premolar teeth for 12 weeks with a beta-titanium spring which was reactivated every 4 weeks. All maxillary premolars were removed at the end of the experiment for surface roughness assessment using three-dimensional confocal microscopy and the associated software. The buccal root surface and the largest buccal resorption crater were investigated. Results Resorption craters were significantly rougher in LF group compared to HF group ( p = 0.002). Craters were rougher than the intact root surfaces ( p = 0.000). Cervical and apical regions were significantly rougher than the middle region ( p = 0.000 and p = 0.024, respectively). Conclusions Higher water fluoridation level of ≥ 2 ppm resulted in significantly smoother root resorption craters than low water fluoridation level of ≤ 0.05 ppm when the teeth were subjected to 150 g of buccal tipping force. Fluoride seems to have a protective role at the interface of root resorption, and further mineral or histological studies may shed light on the exact protective process against root resorption.
Industrial hemp, with low levels of the intoxicating cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is grown for fibre and seeds. The industrial hemp industry is poised for expansion. The legalisation of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and the inclusion of hemp seed in foods is helping to drive the expansion of the hemp food ingredients industry. This paper discusses the opportunity to build an industrial hemp industry, with a focus on the prospects of hemp seed and its components in food applications. The market opportunities for industrial hemp products are examined. Various aspects of the science that underpins the development of an industrial hemp industry through the food supply chain are presented. This includes a discussion on the agronomy, on-farm and post-harvest considerations and the various types of food ingredients that can be made from hemp seed. The characteristics of hemp seed meal, hemp seed protein and hemp seed oil are reviewed. Different processes for production of value-added ingredients from hemp seed, hemp seed oil and hemp seed protein, are examined. The applicability of hemp seed ingredients in food applications is reviewed. The design of hemp seed ingredients that are fit-for-purpose for target food applications, through the selection of varieties and processing methods for production of various hemp seed ingredients, needs to consider market-led opportunities. This will require an integrated through chain approach, combined with the development of on-farm and post-farm strategies, to ensure that the hemp seed ingredients and foods containing hemp seed are acceptable to the consumer.
Hydraulic fracturing of tight formations and placing proppants within induced fractures are commonly performed in unconventional shale reservoirs all over the world, especially in North America. However, the overall recovery of these oil and gas resources is very low and hence, production enhancement is inevitable. This study investigated the acidizing of propped fractures as a recovery enhancement method in Eagle Ford shale samples. Experiments were designed using sample slabs having proppants between them. Differing parameters were examined to optimize the fracture conductivity through acidizing. For a range of confining pressures, the fracture conductivity was maximized by minimizing the proppant embedment. A higher acid injection rate was achieved with a 5 % HCl concentration. Proppant concentration and proppant size were found to affect fracture conductivity inversely. However, this trend was not observed to be monotonic. In terms of production parameters, the skin factor determined the optimized conditions at a constant confining pressure. Overall, the optimum conditions for acidizing in the propped fractures were determined while having 5 % HCl concentration, 1 lb/ft² (4.88 kg/m²) proppant concentration, 600–710 μm of proppant size and 8 ml/min acid injection rate. These findings confirmed the applicability of the method for hydraulic fracturing optimization in Eagle Ford shale samples. It can also be regarded as a primary enhancement method due to its low cost and the process simplicity in comparison to hydraulic fracturing operations. The experimental results of this study would correspondingly enlighten their potential field applications through facilitating appropriate modification with regards to specific operational conditions.
The accumulation of waste plastics has caused serious environmental issues due to their unbiodegradable nature and hazardous additives. Converting waste plastics to different carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) is a promising approach to minimize plastic pollution and realize advanced manufacturing of CNMs. The reported plastic-derived carbons include carbon filaments (i.e. carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers), graphene, carbon nanosheets, carbon sphere, and porous carbon. In this review, we present the influences of different intrinsic structures of plastics on the pyrolysis intermediates. We also reveal that non-charring plastics are prone to being pyrolyzed into light hydrocarbons while charring plastics are prone to being pyrolyzed into aromatics. Subsequently, light hydrocarbons favor to form graphite while aromatics are inclined to form amorphous carbon during the carbon formation process. In addition, the conversion tendency of different plastics into various morphologies of carbon is concluded. We also discuss other impact factors during the transformation process, including catalysts, temperature, processing duration and templates, and reveal how to obtain different morphological CNMs from plastics. Finally, current technology limitations and perspectives are presented to provide future research directions in effective plastic conversion and advanced CNM synthesis.
The ongoing rapid increase in the integration of variable and uncertain renewable energy sources calls for enhancing the ways of providing flexibility to power grids. To this end, we propose an optimal approach for utilizing electric vehicle parking lots to provide flexibility at the distribution level. Accordingly, we present a day-ahead scheduling model for distribution system operators, where they can offer discounts on the network tariff to electric vehicle parking lot operators. This way, they will be encouraged to exploit the potential flexibility of electric vehicle batteries to assist in alleviating the steep ramps of system net-load. To determine the optimal discounts, the distribution system operator minimizes the network operating costs considering the network operational constraints, while the electric vehicle parking lot operators try to maximize their profits. Due to the contradictory objectives and decision hierarchy, the problem is an instance of Stackelberg games and can be formulated as a bi-level program, which is linearized and converted to a single-level mixed-integer linear program using strong-duality theorem and Karush–Kuhn–Tucker conditions. To validate the proposed model, comprehensive simulation studies are performed on a test distribution network. The simulation results show that implementing the model can reduce the peak-off-peak difference and peak-to-average ratio of the network net-load by up to 15% and 24%, respectively.
Fines migration is a widespread cause of productivity problems for oil production wells. Modelling efforts often focus on the effect of high fluid velocities in the near wellbore region on fines detachment and straining. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of capillary detachment of clays by the oil–water meniscus during imbibition, which occurs during commingled oil and water production during water-cut increase. In this study, we develop a new model to quantify the total detachment during increase in water saturation with two-phase flow and the consequent formation damage to production well. The fines-detachment model proposed is presented in the form of the maximum retention concentration as a function of saturation. The model shows good agreement with laboratory measurements. Finally, the maximum retention function (MRF) is incorporated into an inflow-performance homogeneous reservoir model. The resulting model allows calculating the productivity decline occurring during the increase of water-cut due to fines migration. The results are presented as the well impedance versus the water-cut (fractional flow). These curves, summarising well productivity history, allow predicting the growth of formation damage during the well life, determining the time for well stimulation, and calculating the final impedance at abandonment. The model is compared with production histories for three wells, and good agreement is found.
Background Withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy is a common phenomenon following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. The clinical practices surrounding withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy remain unclear and warrant further inspection due to their reported impact on post-cardiac arrest mortality. Objectives To determine factors associated with withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy (WLST) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Methods A retrospective review of ICU patients’ clinical records following OHCA was conducted from January 2010 to December 2015. Demographic features, cardiac arrest characteristics, and targeted temperature management practices were compared between patients with and without WLST. We dichotomised WLST into early (ICU length of stay <72 h) and late (ICU length of stay ≥72 h). Factors independently associated with WLST were determined by multivariable binary logistic regression. Results The study cohort included 260 post-OHCA ICU patients. The mean age was 58 years, and majority were males (178, 68%); 145 (56%) underwent WLST, with the majority undergoing early WLST (89, 61%). Status myoclonus was the strongest independent factor associated with early WLST (OR 42.53, 95% CI 4.97–363.60; p < 0.001). Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) motor response of <4 on day three post-OHCA was the strongest factor associated with delayed WLST (OR 48.76, 95% CI 11.87–200.27; p < 0.0001). Conclusion The majority of deaths in ICU patients post-OHCA occurred following early WLST. Status myoclonus and a GCS motor response of <4 on day three post-OHCA are independently associated with WLST.
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