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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
To review the literature regarding screening for vestibular schwannoma in the context of demographic changes leading to increasing numbers of elderly patients presenting with asymmetric auditory symptoms.
A systematic review of the literature was performed, with narrative synthesis and statistical analysis of data where appropriate.
Vestibular schwannomas diagnosed in patients aged over 70 years exhibit slower growth patterns and tend to be of smaller size compared to those tumours in younger age groups. This fact, combined with reduced life expectancy, renders the probability of these tumours in the elderly requiring active treatment with surgery or stereotactic radiotherapy to be extremely low. Vestibular schwannomas in the elderly are much more likely to be managed by serial monitoring with magnetic resonance imaging. The weighted yield of magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of vestibular schwannoma in all age groups is 1.18 per cent, with almost 85 scans required to diagnose 1 tumour.
An evidence-based approach to the investigation of asymmetric hearing loss and tinnitus in the elderly patient can be used to formulate guidelines for the rational use of magnetic resonance imaging in this population.
There is evidence of increased morbidity, decreased quality of life, and premature mortality in people living with HIV (PLHIV) who smoke tobacco compared to PLHIV who do not smoke tobacco. Evidence-based screening for tobacco dependence, pharmacological treatment, and treatment monitoring and education into relapse prevention are not readily available in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). We evaluated the effects of a brief tobacco dependence intervention in improving knowledge on the health effects of smoking and intention to quit smoking in PLHIV in Nepal, a low-income country in south Asia.
Using a quasi-experimental design, we assigned 59 smokers to participate in the intervention and 67 in the control group. The 1.5 h smoking cessation intervention emphasized harms of smoking, reasons for smoking and quitting, causes of relapse in previous quit attempts, and quitting strategies. We collected data at baseline and immediately post-intervention.
Findings indicate that a brief smoking cessation intervention produced a significant increase in smoking-related knowledge and intention to quit among PLHIV. The positive effects of our intervention remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders.
Our brief tobacco dependence intervention was effective in improving knowledge on the health effects of smoking and intention to quit among PLHIV. Further studies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of our intervention in increasing smoking cessation among PLHIV in LMIC.
One of the most promising nanoscale materials which fascinated researchers for the last few decades owing to its unique optoelectronics and physicochemical properties are carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs). Various forms of CBNs have been developed such as single and multi-walled carbon nanotubes, graphene, fullerenes, nanodiamonds, and fluorescent carbon quantum dots (C-Dots) whereas each form is having its own exceptional properties owing to its dimensionalities and architectures. The advent of these unique classes of nanoscale materials opens up a spectrum of new opportunities and possibilities in employing these in emerging areas of biomedical. However, successful biomedical applications greatly rely on the likelihood of the comprehensive understanding of physicochemical interactions and biological responses of CBNs. Herein, we have tried to explore the ‘blood-CBNs’ interface by including the findings of recent studies. The role of surface modifications and functionalization in order to mitigate the adverse outcomes has also been incorporated.
Molecular dynamics simulations were utilized to determine the oxygen anion diffusivity in pure ceria (CeO2) and doped ceria MxCe1-xO2-0.5x (M=Gd, Sm and Pr) with varying level of dopant concentration from 5-30% (x = 0.05-0.3). Doping with Gd showed an improvement in oxygen anion diffusivity value by two order of magnitude (D = 4.67x10-8 cm2/s at 1173 K) as compared to the undoped ceria (D = 1.33x10-10 cm2/s at 1173 K). 10% of doping level was estimated as the optimum concentration of all the dopants at which all of the doped ceria materials showed maximum diffusivity of oxygen anion. Among the three dopants studied, Pr was observed to show maximum diffusivity of oxygen anion in the temperature range of 773-1173 K of simulations.
I propose a unified explanation for parties' joint policy and emphasis decisions which bridges saliency theory and spatial analyses of party campaigns. Party platforms are anchored by the policy preferences of activists, core supporters and target voters, leading parties to disproportionately emphasize issues where their policies are popular with all key constituencies. However, which voters a party targets relates to its historical electoral performance (“party size”). Traditionally successful (“major”) parties emphasize issues where the policies preferred by activists and core supporters are generally popular, but smaller (“minor”) parties emphasize issues where their preferred policies may be unpopular but are distinctive. Using recent European data and various empirical strategies, I show that this account has significant explanatory power beyond existing party typologies and theories of issue selection.
Manipulation of an array of surface droplets organised in an ordered structure turns out to be of immense consequence in a wide variety of applications ranging from photonics, near field imaging and inkjet printing on the one hand to bio-molecular analysis and DNA sequencing on the other. While evaporation of a single isolated sessile droplet has been well studied, the collective evaporative dynamics of an ordered array of droplets on a solid substrate remains elusive. Physically, the closed region between the centre and side droplets in the ordered array reduces the mobility of the diffusing vapour, resulting in its accumulation along with enhanced local concentration and a consequent increment in the lifetime of the centre droplet. Here, we present a theoretical model to account for evaporation lifetime scaling in closely placed ordered linear droplet arrays. In addition, the present theory predicts the limiting cases of droplet interaction; namely, critical droplet separation for which interfacial interaction ceases to exist and minimum possible droplet separation (droplets on the verge of coalescence) for which the droplet system achieves maximum lifetime scaling. Further experimental evidence demonstrates the applicability of the present scaling theory to extended dimensions of the droplet array, generalising our physical conjecture. It is also worth noting that the theoretical time scale is applicable across a wide variety of drop–substrate combinations and initial droplet volumes. We also highlight that the scaling law proposed here can be extended seamlessly to other forms of confinement such as an evaporating droplet inside a mini-channel, as encountered in countless applications ranging from biomedical engineering to surface patterning.
In this investigation, we have reported the alloying behavior, phase evolution, and thermal stability of equiatomic AlCoCrFeNiTi high-entropy alloy (HEA). The 40 h milled powder shows good chemical homogeneity with agglomerated particles varying in the range of ∼3–18 μm. The formation of a nanostructured single-phase BCC (a = 2.85 ± 0.01 Å) was observed along with the minor tungsten carbide (WC) phase that formed due to contamination during milling. Thermal stability of the alloy has been studied using dynamic differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) thermogram and in situ X-ray diffraction. It has been found that this HEA is stable up to 600 °C (873 K). Consolidated samples at 1000 °C (1273 K) showed the transformation of body centered cubic (BCC) phase into the B2 (a = 2.87 ± 0.03 Å) phase co-existing with minor hexagonal WC (a = 2.90 Å, c = 2.83 Å) phase.
To measure the outcomes of laser treatment of cholesteatoma covering cochlear and vestibular fistulas.
Cholesteatoma matrix over the fistula was denatured; the power density was sufficient only to gradually heat, but not vaporise, the keratin-forming matrix. The denaturing speed was controlled so that the integrity of the fistula cover was maintained. The change in bone conduction threshold and the residual rate of cholesteatoma at the fistula were measured.
Thirty-six fistulas were assessed. There were seven cochlear fistulas. All were 5 mm or less in maximum length. For the entire group, the average change in bone conduction threshold was −0.3 dB. For cochlear fistulas, the average change in bone conduction was + 0.2 dB. The distribution of hearing results for the entire group was Gaussian; the apparent changes in hearing could be attributed to errors associated with testing. All patients underwent second-stage surgery. In all cases, the cholesteatoma was completely cleared from the fistula site. There were no facial palsies.
Laser denaturing of cholesteatoma matrix over fistulas measuring 5 mm or less of vestibular apparatus and the cochlea is effective at eliminating cholesteatoma, and is not associated with cochlear hearing loss or facial palsy.