BACKGROUND: Stress, strain, and fatigue at the workplace have previously not been studied in relation to acoustic conditions. AIMS: To examine the influence of different acoustic conditions on the work environment and the staff in a coronary critical care unit (CCU). METHOD: Psychosocial work environment data from start and end of each individual shift were obtained from three shifts (morning, afternoon, and night) for a one-week baseline period and for two four-week periods during which either sound reflecting or sound absorbing tiles were installed. RESULTS: Reverberation times and speech intelligibility improved during the study period when the ceiling tiles were changed from sound reflecting tiles to sound absorbing ones of identical appearance. Improved acoustics positively affected the work environment; the afternoon shift staff experienced significantly lower work demands and reported less pressure and strain. CONCLUSIONS: Important gains in the psychosocial work environment of healthcare can be achieved by improving room acoustics. The study points to the importance of further research on possible effects of acoustics in healthcare on staff turnover, quality of patient care, and medical errors.
Sunghir is one of the most important Upper Palaeolithic sites in the world because of its most Northern location, the extraordinary richness of the artifacts, and the state of human bone preservation. The skeletal finds give evidence for the study both of adult and subadult body builds in the group. For the reconstruction of patterns of postcranial morphology, total measurements of bones and X-ray observations have been used. We have determined the basic structural traits typical for Sunghirians: small corticalisation of adult postcranial skeletons; large volume of the bone marrow cavity relative to the general size; quick tempo of attainment in early ontogenesis of large adult size combined with late synostoses ensuring prolonged linear growth; macroskelia combined with extreme andromorphy in the shoulder belt structure; capacious chest. The above traits can be interpreted in terms of adaptation to such formative factors as low temperature stress, deficit of atmospheric oxygen, high protein nutrition, and mechanical loads.
This work studies a new survival modeling technique based on least-squares support vector machines. We propose the use of a least-squares support vector machine combining ranking and regression. The advantage of this kernel-based model is threefold: (i) the problem formulation is convex and can be solved conveniently by a linear system; (ii) non-linearity is introduced by using kernels, componentwise kernels in particular are useful to obtain interpretable results; and (iii) introduction of ranking constraints makes it possible to handle censored data. In an experimental setup, the model is used as a preprocessing step for the standard Cox proportional hazard regression by estimating the functional forms of the covariates. The proposed model was compared with different survival models from the literature on the clinical German Breast Cancer Study Group data and on the high-dimensional Norway/Stanford Breast Cancer Data set.
Population stratification results from unequal, nonrandom genetic contribution of ancestors and should be reflected in the underlying genealogies. In Quebec, the distribution of Mendelian diseases points to local founder effects suggesting stratification of the contemporary French Canadian gene pool. Here we characterize the population structure through the analysis of the genetic contribution of 7,798 immigrant founders identified in the genealogies of 2,221 subjects partitioned in eight regions. In all but one region, about 90% of gene pools were contributed by early French founders. In the eastern region where this contribution was 76%, we observed higher contributions of Acadians, British and American Loyalists. To detect population stratification from genealogical data, we propose an approach based on principal component analysis (PCA) of immigrant founders' genetic contributions. This analysis was compared with a multidimensional scaling of pairwise kinship coefficients. Both methods showed evidence of a distinct identity of the northeastern and eastern regions and stratification of the regional populations correlated with geographical location along the St-Lawrence River. In addition, we observed a West-East decreasing gradient of diversity. Analysis of PC-correlated founders illustrates the differential impact of early versus latter founders consistent with specific regional genetic patterns. These results highlight the importance of considering the geographic origin of samples in the design of genetic epidemiology studies conducted in Quebec. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the study of deep ascending genealogies can accurately reveal population structure.
Our objective was to examine the influence of adult and childhood socioeconomic status (SES) on attained adult food intake patterns. We used data from a 20- to 22-y follow-up study of 1904 Danish teenagers. The baseline survey was conducted partly in 1983 and partly in 1985 and the follow-up survey was conducted in 2005. Dietary data were collected at follow-up using a 195-item FFQ. Food patterns were derived from principal component analysis. Two food patterns labeled "traditional-western food pattern" and "green food pattern" were identified. In men, adult SES was inversely associated with adherence to the traditional-western food pattern. High adherence to the green food pattern was positively related to high adult SES in both sexes. Among women, those with high SES in childhood had higher green food pattern factor scores than those with low childhood SES, regardless of adult SES. Among men, those with high adult SES had higher green food pattern factor scores than those with low adult SES, regardless of childhood SES. In conclusion, socioeconomic position is important for the development of adult food intake patterns. However, childhood SES seems more important for adult female food intake patterns, whereas adult SES seems more important for adult male food intake patterns.
Alu insertions provide useful markers for the study of inter-population affinities and historical processes, but data on these systems are not numerous in Native Americans and related populations.
The study aimed to answer the following questions: (a) do the population relationships found agree with ethnic, historical and geographical data? and (b) what can heterozygote levels and associated results inform us about the events that led to the colonization of the New World?
Twelve Alu insertion polymorphisms were studied in 330 individuals belonging to South American Native, Siberian and Mongolian populations. These data were integrated with those from 526 persons, to ascertain the relationships between Asian, Northern Arctic and Amerindian populations.
A decreasing trend concerning heterozygosities and amount of gene flow was observed in the three sets, in the order indicated above. Most results indicated the validity of these subdivisions. However, no clear structure could be observed within South American Natives, indicating the importance of dispersive (genetic drift, founder effects) factors in their differentiation.
The answers to the questions are: (a) yes; and (b) an initial moderate bottleneck, intensified by more recent historical events (isolation and inbreeding), can explain the current Amerindian pattern of diversity.
Accounting for population genetic substructure is important in reducing type 1 errors in genetic studies of complex disease. As efforts to understand complex genetic disease are expanded to different continental populations the understanding of genetic substructure within these continents will be useful in design and execution of association tests. In this study, population differentiation (Fst) and Principal Components Analyses (PCA) are examined using >200 K genotypes from multiple populations of East Asian ancestry. The population groups included those from the Human Genome Diversity Panel [Cambodian, Yi, Daur, Mongolian, Lahu, Dai, Hezhen, Miaozu, Naxi, Oroqen, She, Tu, Tujia, Naxi, Xibo, and Yakut], HapMap [ Han Chinese (CHB) and Japanese (JPT)], and East Asian or East Asian American subjects of Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino and Chinese ancestry. Paired Fst (Wei and Cockerham) showed close relationships between CHB and several large East Asian population groups (CHB/Korean, 0.0019; CHB/JPT, 00651; CHB/Vietnamese, 0.0065) with larger separation with Filipino (CHB/Filipino, 0.014). Low levels of differentiation were also observed between Dai and Vietnamese (0.0045) and between Vietnamese and Cambodian (0.0062). Similarly, small Fst's were observed among different presumed Han Chinese populations originating in different regions of mainland of China and Taiwan (Fst's
Periods of unusually hot weather, especially in temperate climates, carry with them a burden of morbidity and mortality, particularly in urban areas. With lessening debate on its origins, and signs of global warming already apparent, it is becoming imperative for public health practitioners to recognize and predict the risks of "heat waves", and to develop protective community responses to them. This study makes use of historical data and a methodology developed previously to examine the pattern of hot weather experienced over the last five decades in the City of Toronto, and to assess the associated burden of mortality.
Synoptic classification of air masses based on meteorological data for Toronto was used, to assign the annual mean burden of illness (in terms of elevated mortality) associated with hot weather and air pollution. Then, coefficients relating daily mortality risk to historical daily weather and air quality data were determined with a model system that (for each air mass) assessed the factors that contributed to day-to-day variability in mortality.
Over the period of study, there were 120 (95% CI: 105-135) heat-related deaths on average per year, with great variability from year to year, reflecting the variability of hot weather. Mortality was greatest in July and August, when the greatest number of multi-day heat episodes occurred. Furthermore, the longer the episode, the greater was the daily risk for mortality.
The method can be used to forecast the risk of heat-related mortality, and to facilitate the development of public health responses to mitigate that risk.
For most of the world, human genome structure at a population level is shaped by interplay between ancient geographic isolation and more recent demographic shifts, factors that are captured by the concepts of biogeographic ancestry and admixture, respectively. The ancestry of non-admixed individuals can often be traced to a specific population in a precise region, but current approaches for studying admixed individuals generally yield coarse information in which genome ancestry proportions are identified according to continent of origin. Here we introduce a new analytic strategy for this problem that allows fine-grained characterization of admixed individuals with respect to both geographic and genomic coordinates. Ancestry segments from different continents, identified with a probabilistic model, are used to construct and study "virtual genomes" of admixed individuals. We apply this approach to a cohort of 492 parent-offspring trios from Mexico City. The relative contributions from the three continental-level ancestral populations-Africa, Europe, and America-vary substantially between individuals, and the distribution of haplotype block length suggests an admixing time of 10-15 generations. The European and Indigenous American virtual genomes of each Mexican individual can be traced to precise regions within each continent, and they reveal a gradient of Amerindian ancestry between indigenous people of southwestern Mexico and Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula. This contrasts sharply with the African roots of African Americans, which have been characterized by a uniform mixing of multiple West African populations. We also use the virtual European and Indigenous American genomes to search for the signatures of selection in the ancestral populations, and we identify previously known targets of selection in other populations, as well as new candidate loci. The ability to infer precise ancestral components of admixed genomes will facilitate studies of disease-related phenotypes and will allow new insight into the adaptive and demographic history of indigenous people.
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European population history has been shaped by migrations of people, and their subsequent admixture. Recently, ancient DNA has brought new insights into European migration events linked to the advent of agriculture, and possibly to the spread of Indo-European languages. However, little is known about the ancient population history of north-eastern Europe, in particular about populations speaking Uralic languages, such as Finns and Saami. Here we analyse ancient genomic data from 11 individuals from Finland and north-western Russia. We show that the genetic makeup of northern Europe was shaped by migrations from Siberia that began at least 3500 years ago. This Siberian ancestry was subsequently admixed into many modern populations in the region, particularly into populations speaking Uralic languages today. Additionally, we show that ancestors of modern Saami inhabited a larger territory during the Iron Age, which adds to the historical and linguistic information about the population history of Finland.