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Understanding the long-term ecological dynamics of boreal forests is essential for assessment of the possible responses and feedbacks of forest ecosystems to climate change. New data on past forest dynamics and peatland development were obtained from a peat sequence in the southern Valdai Hills (European Russia) based on pollen, plant macrofossil, micro-charcoal, peat humification, and testate amoeba analyses. The results demonstrate a dominance of broadleaved forests in the study area from 7000–4000 cal yr BP. Picea was initially a minor component of this forest but increased in cover rapidly with climatic cooling beginning at 4000 cal yr BP, becoming the dominant species. Broadleaved species persisted until 900 cal yr BP, with evidence for intensified felling and forest management over recent centuries. Over the last four hundred years there is evidence for widespread paludification and the establishment of Picea-Sphagnum forests. These data demonstrate how modern wet woodlands have been shaped by a combination of climatic and anthropogenic factors over several millennia. The results also demonstrate the value of a multiproxy approach in understanding long-term forest ecology.
Objectives: To examine hierarchical visuospatial processing in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a single gene disorder associated with visuospatial impairments, attention deficits, and executive dysfunction. Methods: We used a modified Navon paradigm consisting of a large “global” shape composed of smaller “local” shapes that were either congruent (same) or incongruent (different) to the global shape. Participants were instructed to name either the global or local shape within a block. Reaction times, interference ratios, and error rates of children with NF1 (n=30) and typically developing controls (n=24) were compared. Results: Typically developing participants demonstrated the expected global processing bias evidenced by a vulnerability to global interference when naming local stimuli without a cost of congruence when naming global stimuli. NF1 participants, however, experienced significant interference from the unattended level when naming both local and global levels of the stimuli. Conclusions: Findings suggest that children with NF1 do not demonstrate the typical human bias of processing visual information from a global perspective. (JINS, 2017, 23, 446–450)
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
There has been a marked change in the past few years in the incidence of interest in stellar spectra. The great initial task of classification has attained its first objective—though the Henry Draper Extension, and other investigations are still progressing. Perhaps a million stars are still accessible to classification with existing instruments; but more and more time is being spent upon individual spectra, and upon theoretical investigations. In these fields progress has been very rapid, and only some of the more important results may be mentioned here.
Investigation of stellar spectra has been active during the last four years. Without attempting to make a complete survey, some important researches may be mentioned.
The theory of the intensities and contours of absorption lines has been discussed by Eddington, Milne, Pannekoek, Woolley, H. H. Plaskett, and others, and has proved to be difficult. For example, no quantitative theory has yet been developed for the residuai intensity which remains in even the strongest lines, although the physical causes underlying the formation of residual intensities are rather obvious. Study of solar lines with light which has left the surface at different angles shows that the processes which produce the wings and the centre are probably different. The most promising line of attack on this intricate problem appears to be in studies of the solar spectrum, where different regions of the disc may be separately investigated, rather than of integrated starlight. The highest dispersion available, even in solar work, will be none too great.
Two-thirds of the members of the Commission have replied to the request of the chairman for an expression of their opinion. Most of them are in general well satisfied with the existing system of classification and nomenclature. Lindblad reports on successful work upon the determination of absolute magnitudes of faint stars, in many ways. Adams writes: “I might suggest that attention be called in the report to the fact that the ultra-violet spectra, even of stars like β Orionis, show large numbers of lines. As you probably remember, the spectrum of Sirius resembles, at first sight, the solar spectrum. If all observatories had the facilities for getting spectra in the far ultra-violet, this region would probably furnish the best criteria for spectral type.” Merrill suggests: “The nomenclature which, upon the basis of atomic transition, assigns the adjective ‘nebular’ to lines which may not occur in nebulae, and ‘ auroral ‘ to lines which may not occur in the aurora, is surely not an ideal one.
Holocene climatic variability and human impact on vegetation are reconstructed from a region in central European Russia, which lies at an important ecotone between broadleaf forest and steppe. For the first time in this region we adopt a multi-proxy approach that combines analysis of local mire conditions from plant macrofossil and testate amoeba analyses with pollen-based quantitative climate reconstruction. The proxies indicate a long-term warming trend from 9700 to 7500 cal yr BP, interrupted by a series of short-term cold events. From 7500 to 5000 cal yr BP the results imply a relatively stable climate, warmer and drier than present, spanning the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Since 5000 cal yr BP the data suggest a change to cooler climate, but with centennial-scale variability. This shift at around 5000 cal yr BP is supported by extensive evidence from other sites. In the early Holocene, the region was occupied mainly by pine and birch forests. Broad-leafed forests of oak, lime and elm expanded after 7800 cal yr BP and remained dominant until the last few centuries. During the historical period, vegetation changes have been driven mainly by human activities.
Papillary microcarcinoma of the thyroid has been described as either a normal variant or a serious malignancy. We describe our experience with papillary microcarcinoma and lymph node metastases.
A total of 685 consecutive total thyroidectomies with central compartment neck dissection were reviewed for papillary microcarcinoma. Association of central compartment lymph node metastases with age, gender, tumour multifocality, bilaterality and extrathyroidal extension was analysed.
Out of 170 papillary microcarcinoma cases, multifocality was found in 72 (42.4 per cent), bilaterality in 49 (28.8 per cent) and extrathyroidal extension in 16 (9.4 per cent). In all, 23 patients (13.5 per cent) had lymph node metastases. There was a significant association (p < 0.05) between extrathyroidal extension (but no other tumour characteristics) and lymph node metastases.
In all, 13.5 per cent of papillary microcarcinomas in our series showed lymph node metastases. Lymph node metastases were associated with extrathyroidal invasion of the papillary microcarcinoma.
Clozapine remains the most effective antipsychotic for management of schizophrenia, one of the most challenging mental disorders. Yet, this medication is underutilized due to the frequent blood draws associated with monitoring adverse side effects and maintaining effective drug levels in the body. Lab-on-a-chip (LOC)-based diagnostics at the point-of-care could decrease the burden on patients and doctors, enable personalized medicine, and improve treatment outcomes. Towards that goal, we present the development of an electrochemically active biomaterial probe to facilitate monitoring of clozapine as part of patient’s treatment regimen. The probe consists of the naturally derived polymer chitosan modified with catechol to provide a redox capacitor system, allowing for significant amplification. We demonstrate a 3- fold increase of the electrochemical signal generated by clozapine with the catechol-modified chitosan system over bare gold electrodes. The improved signal-to-noise ratio and overall performance of the bio-amplifier yield a detection limit below 1 μM, thus sufficient for the clinically relevant range of 1–3 μM. We further characterize the robustness of the biomaterial system with respect to re-use and storage, and demonstrate retention of its amplification characteristics when implemented on an electrochemical microchip. Our results align well with the clinical requirements and represent a critical first step in developing a point-of-care device for improved and personalized schizophrenia treatment.
The Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis is on the brink of extinction. Although habitat loss and poaching were the reasons of the decline, today's reproductive isolation is the main threat to the survival of the species. Genetic studies have played an important role in identifying conservation priorities, including for rhinoceroses. However, for a species such as the Sumatran rhinoceros, where time is of the essence in preventing extinction, to what extent should genetic and geographical distances be taken into account in deciding the most urgently needed conservation interventions? We propose that the populations of Sumatra and Borneo be considered as a single management unit.
The drive to reduce the thickness of solar cells is putting ever greater demands on light-trapping techniques. Techniques are required to improve absorption of light within the semiconductor, while not adversely affecting the electrical properties of the device. Conventional diffraction gratings can scatter visible and near-infrared photons into large angles, which get trapped in the silicon layer by total internal reflection. However, diffraction gratings typically have large feature sizes and so increase the overall surface area of a solar cell compared to the planar case. A periodic arrangement of metal nanoparticles acts as a diffraction grating, but an over-coated semiconductor will have a similar surface area to a planar layer due a combination of a low particle height and low surface coverage.
Random arrays of identical metal nanoparticles feature Lorentzian scattering peaks that can be tuned by modifying the size and shape of the particle. Periodic arrays have much more complicated scattering peaks, due to the enhancement and suppression of scattering at different wavelengths caused by the constructive and destructive interference between each nanoparticle. In effect the scattering spectrum of the individual nanoparticle is modified by the diffractive orders of the array, and so both parameters must be optimized together.
We have studied periodic arrays of metal nanoparticles fabricated using electron-beam lithography, and characterised their reflectance properties. The optical properties of the fabricated arrays were found to be in good agreement with finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations. Au and Al nanoparticles are found to have a strong scattering effect and Al nanoparticles are also shown to exhibit an anti-reflection effect in combination with scattering. This work is focused on verifying that FDTD simulations can accurately model metal nanoparticle arrays and then extending the simulations to determine the previously unknown transmittance characteristics of metal nanoparticle arrays on silicon.
We have studied die evolution of the lattice parameter of epitaxial Fe(001) on MgO(001) vs. thickness between 1 and 200 monolayers using Grazing Incidence X-ray Scattering. We show that an interaction exists between the islanded film and the substrate, which allows the film to be incommensurate, even when the islands are too small to allow full dislocations to exist. For the conditions studied, the Fe lattice parameter increases toward the MgO lattice parameter with increasing thickness in the 1–10 monolayer coverage regime, and then relaxes back toward the bulk Fe lattice parameter at greater thicknesses. We employ a model for the interaction between film islands and the substrate which explains large changes in the lattice parameter of the Fe in the 1–10 monolayer thickness range. Relaxation at larger thicknesses is described by continuum elasticity theory.
Special fibres have been fabricated to demonstrate the potential of using multicomponent glass materials for sensors, devices and fibre lasers. High nonlinearity and large Verdet constants are confirmed for lead-silicate glass fibres. Nonlinear effects such as second harmonic generation (SHG), third harmonic generation (THG), electro-optic (EO) Kerr effect and optical switching are observed for F7 core glass fibres. Compound glasses are investigated as host glasses for fibre lasers and amplifiers. An all glass cladding pumped Nd-doped fibre laser from compound glassses is characterized.
This work assesses the incorporation of dopant ions such as Al3+, Ga3+, Zr4+, Nb5+, Ta5+ and Er3+ into the core of germanosilicate optical fibres via modified-chemical-vapour-deposition plus solution doping fabrication techniques. We find that highly-charged smaller ions, like Al3+ and Ta5+, behave similarly. These ions are more efficiently incorporated, assist in the incorporation of Er3+, and have the same influence on the fluorescence spectra of Er3+. The structural role of these ions appear to be their ability to provide nonbridging oxygens around Er3+. The waveguide and lasing characteristics of Er3+ codoped with Ta5+ are presented.