An activity comparison of tritiated water was organized in 2013 between 3 laboratories: FTMC (Lithuania), LNE-LNHB (France) and VNIIM (Russia). The solution was prepared by LNHB and ampoules were sent to the others laboratories. This solution was standardized in terms of activity per unit mass by participant laboratories using the Triple to Double Coincidence Ratio (TDCR) method in liquid scintillation counting (LSC). The tritiated water solution is traceable to the solution prepared by LNHB for the CCRI(II)-K2.H-3 2009 (3)H international comparison.
The quantity of the long lived (half-life 15.7 million years) radioactive isotope 129I in the pre-nuclear age ocean was approximately 100 kg. Various nuclear related activities, including weapons testing, nuclear fuel reprocessing, Chernobyl and other authorized or non-authorized dumping of radioactive waste have increased the ocean inventory of 129I by more than one order of magnitude. The most important of these sources are the direct marine discharges from the commercial reprocessing facilities at La Hague (France) and Sellafield (UK) which have discharged approximately 1640 kg in the English Channel, and approximately 720 kg in the Irish Sea, respectively. We discuss how this 129I can be used as both a 'pathway' and 'transit time' tracer in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, as well as a parameter for distinguishing between reprocessed and non-reprocessed nuclear waste in the ocean, and as a proxy for the transport and dilution of other soluble pollutants input to the North Sea.
This selective report notes recent events relating to pregnancy termination in the U.S., France, England, Italy, East and West Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Due to the Supreme Court decision in January 1973, abortion is now legal in the U.S. Although abortions is illegal in France, an estimated 400,000-1,000,000 clandestine abortions occur each year. Although abortions are legal in Britain, the ease with which they can be obtained varies regionally. As of March 1973, contraceptives are part of Britain's National Health Service. In Italy, a bill to legalize abortion has been introduced in Parliament, though there is little likelihood of its passing. In East Germany, abortion can be granted for medical or social reasons, while in West Germany, the governmental policies are more conservative, resulting in an abundance of illegal abortions performed by physicians. There is a trend toward easier abortion laws in Norway and Sweden. Little is happening in the Netherlands as far as liberalizing the abortion laws. Rather liberal grounds for pregnancy termination exist in China (though emphasis is on contraception), India, Russia, and Eastern Europe (with the exception of Romania). Abortion is frowned upon in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East resulting in a large number of illegal abortions. It is concluded that there is liberalized abortion in communist bloc countries, there is trend toward liberalizing abortion in a large group of western countries, and tradition and religion are responsible for conservative abortion laws in a third group of countries.
Acceptance of guideline recommendations and perceived implementation of coronary heart disease prevention among primary care physicians in five European countries: the Reassessing European Attitudes about Cardiovascular Treatment (REACT) survey.
BACKGROUND: Although primary care is the major target of coronary heart disease (CHD) clinical recommendations, little is known of how community physicians view guidelines and their implementation. The REACT survey was designed to assess the views, and perceived implementation, of CHD and lipid treatment guidelines among primary care physicians. METHODS: Semi-structured validated telephone interviews were conducted, in the relevant native tongue, with 754 randomly selected primary care physicians (GPs and family doctors) in five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK). RESULTS: Most physicians (89%) agreed with the content of current guidelines and reported use of them (81%). However, only 18% of physicians believed that guidelines were being implemented to a major extent. Key barriers to greater implementation of guidelines were seen as lack of time (38% of all physicians), prescription costs (30%), and patient compliance (17%). Suggestions for ways to improve implementation centred on more education, both for physicians themselves (29%) and patients (25%); promoting, publicizing or increasing guideline availability (23%); simplifying the guidelines (17%); and making them clearer (12%). Physicians perceived diabetes to be the most important risk factor for CHD, followed by hypertension and raised LDL-C. Most physicians (92%) believe their patients do associate high cholesterol levels with CHD. After establishing that a patient is 'at risk' of CHD, physicians reported spending an average of 16.5 minutes discussing risk factors and lifestyle changes or treatment that is required. Factors preventing this included insufficient time (42%), having too many other patients to see (27%) and feeling that patients did not listen or understand anyway (21%). CONCLUSIONS: Primary care physicians need more information and support on the implementation of CHD and cholesterol guideline recommendations. This need is recognized by clinicians.
The Cambridge Pulmonary Hypertension Outcome Review (CAMPHOR) is the first disease-specific instrument for assessing patient-reported symptoms, functioning and quality of life (QoL) in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
To create and validate French-Canadian (FC) and English-Canadian (EC) language versions of the CAMPHOR.
A translation panel (for the FC version) and lay panels (for both versions) were convened to adapt the questionnaires (dual-panel methodology). Subsequently, these new questionnaires were field-tested in 15 FC PAH and 15 EC PAH patients. Finally, in a postal validation study, the new language versions of the CAMPHOR underwent psychometric evaluation in 41 FC and 52 EC PAH patients to test for reliability and validity.
The FC and EC field-test interview participants found the questionnaires relevant, comprehensible and easy to complete. Psychometric analyses showed that the FC and EC adaptations were successful. High test-retest coefficients for the scales after controlling for change in respondent's QoL (FC: 0.92 to 0.96; EC: 0.85 to 0.99) indicated a high degree of reliability. The FC and EC CAMPHOR scales had good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficients 0.90 to 0.92 and 0.88 to 0.92, respectively). Predicted correlations with the Nottingham Health Profile provided evidence of the construct validity of the FC and EC scales. The FC and EC adaptations also showed known groups validity.
The FC and EC adaptations of the CAMPHOR have been shown to be reliable and valid for measures of health-related QoL and QoL in PAH, and thus can be recommended for use in clinical studies and routine practice in PAH.
Cites: Eur Heart J. 2004 Dec;25(24):2243-7815589643
Cites: Qual Life Res. 2006 Feb;15(1):103-1516411035
How temperate forests will respond to climate change is uncertain; projections range from severe decline to increased growth. We conducted field tests of sessile oak (Quercus petraea), a widespread keystone European forest tree species, including more than 150 000 trees sourced from 116 geographically diverse populations. The tests were planted on 23 field sites in six European countries, in order to expose them to a wide range of climates, including sites reflecting future warmer and drier climates. By assessing tree height and survival, our objectives were twofold: (i) to identify the source of differential population responses to climate (genetic differentiation due to past divergent climatic selection vs. plastic responses to ongoing climate change) and (ii) to explore which climatic variables (temperature or precipitation) trigger the population responses. Tree growth and survival were modeled for contemporary climate and then projected using data from four regional climate models for years 2071-2100, using two greenhouse gas concentration trajectory scenarios each. Overall, results indicated a moderate response of tree height and survival to climate variation, with changes in dryness (either annual or during the growing season) explaining the major part of the response. While, on average, populations exhibited local adaptation, there was significant clinal population differentiation for height growth with winter temperature at the site of origin. The most moderate climate model (HIRHAM5-EC; rcp4.5) predicted minor decreases in height and survival, while the most extreme model (CCLM4-GEM2-ES; rcp8.5) predicted large decreases in survival and growth for southern and southeastern edge populations (Hungary and Turkey). Other nonmarginal populations with continental climates were predicted to be severely and negatively affected (Bercé, France), while populations at the contemporary northern limit (colder and humid maritime regions; Denmark and Norway) will probably not show large changes in growth and survival in response to climate change.
Cites: Nature. 2009 Dec 24;462(7276):1052-520033047
Indigenous yeasts can be detected at high populations in raw milk Cantal cheese, a French Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) hard cheese. To investigate their use as adjunct cultures to promote flavour development in Cantalet (small Cantal) cheese, three strains isolated from raw milk Cantal cheese, Kluyveromyces lactis, Yarrowia lipolytica, and Pichia fermentans were added at 3 (E3) and 5 (E5) log(10) colony-forming units (cfu)/mL to microfiltered milk at a ratio of 80/10/10 viable cells, respectively. The global microbial, compositional and biochemical changes induced by the presence of yeasts in cheese were determined. Adjunct yeasts did not grow but stayed at viable populations of approximately 4 and 6 log(10) cfu/g in E3 and E5 cheeses, respectively, throughout the ripening period. They were mainly constituted of K. lactis, while P. fermentans and Y. lipolytica were not detectable after 3 and 45 days of ripening, respectively. Several species of indigenous yeasts were also detected in E3 cheeses at the beginning of ripening only, and in the control cheeses without yeasts added. Lactoccoci survived for longer periods in the presence of yeast adjuncts, while, conversely, the viability of Streptococcus thermophilus decreased more rapidly. The addition of yeasts did not influence cheese composition and total free amino acid content. In contrast, it slightly increased lipolysis in both E3 and E5 cheeses and markedly enhanced the formation of some volatile aroma compounds. The concentrations of ethanol, ethyl esters and some branched-chain alcohols were 6 to 10 fold higher in E5 cheeses than in the control cheeses, and only slightly higher in E3 cheeses. This study shows that K. lactis has a potential as cheese adjunct culture in Cantalet cheese and that, added at populations of 4-5 log(10) cfu/g cheese, it enhances the formation of flavour compounds.