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To explore changes in functioning with flexible doses of paliperidone ER in a large international study in patients with schizophrenia previously unsuccessfully treated with other oral antipsychotics.
Prospective 6-month open-label study. Functioning was assessed using the Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP), including four domains:
(1) personal and social relationships,
(2) socially useful activities including work and study,
(3) self care and
(4) disturbing and aggressive behavior.
1812 patients were included (59.9% male, mean age 40.1±12.6 years, 75.8% paranoid schizophrenia); most were enrolled because of lack of efficacy (n=1026) or lack of tolerability (n=490) with prior antipsychotic treatment. The median mode dose of paliperidone ER was 6 mg/day. 70.7% of patients completed the study. Most frequent reasons for early discontinuation were patient choice (8.8%), lack of efficacy or adverse event (5.1% each). AEs reported in >= 5% of patients were insomnia (9.2%) and anxiety (7.2%). Mean total baseline PSP score was 57.7±14.5, which improved to 64.1±15.6 at endpoint (mean change +6.4±13.5; 95% confidence interval 5.8;7.0, p< 0.0001); 49.0% of patients improved by at least one 10-point category in PSP. At baseline, 84.3% of patients had moderate to severe functional impairment, mostly driven by at least marked difficulties in socially useful activities (46.4.%) and personal and social relationships (36.4%). These percentages decreased to 30.6% and 22.9%, respectively.
In this large prospective flexible-dose study, results from recent randomized controlled studies are supported that paliperidone ER is associated with a clinically meaningful improvement of functioning in patients with schizophrenia.
GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
Charge carrier trapping in diamond surface conduction field effect transistors (FETs) has been analyzed. For these devices two methods were used to obtain a negative electron affinity diamond surface; either plasma hydrogenation or annealing in an H2 environment. In both cases the Al2O3 gate dielectric can trap both electrons and holes in deep energy levels with emission timescales of seconds, while the diamond – Al2O3 interface traps exhibit much shorter time scales in the microsecond range. Capacitance-Voltage (CV) analysis indicates that these interface traps exhibit acceptor-like characteristics. Correlation with CV based free hole density measurements indicates that the conductance based interface trap analysis provides a method to quantify surface characteristics that lead to surface conduction in hydrogenated diamond where atmospheric adsorbates provide the acceptor states for transfer doping of the surface.
We conducted infrared spectroscopic observations of bright stars in the direction of the molecular clouds W33 and GMC G23.3 − 0.3. We compared stellar spectro-photometric distances with parallactic distances to these regions, and we were able to assess the association of the detected massive stars with these molecular complexes. The spatial and temporal distributions of the detected stars enabled us to locate sources of ionizing radiation and to gather precise information on the star formation history of these clouds. The studied clouds present different distributions of massive stars.
This report summarizes epidemiological data on nephropathia epidemica (NE) in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. NE cases identified in the period 1997–2013 were investigated in parallel with the hantavirus antigen prevalence in small rodents in the study area. A total of 13 930 NE cases were documented in all but one district of Tatarstan, with most cases located in the central and southeastern districts. The NE annual incidence rate exhibited a cyclical pattern, with the highest numbers of cases being registered once in every 3–5 years. The numbers of NE cases rose gradually from July to November, with the highest morbidity in adult males. The highest annual disease incidence rate, 64·4 cases/100 000 population, was observed in 1997, with a total of 2431 NE cases registered. NE cases were mostly associated with visiting forests and agricultural activities. The analysis revealed that the bank vole Myodes glareolus not only comprises the majority of the small rodent communities in the region, but also consistently displays the highest hantavirus prevalence compared to other small rodent species.
The Magellanic System represents one of the best places to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. Photometric surveys of various depths, areas and wavelengths have had a significant impact on our understanding of the system; however, a complete picture is still lacking. VMC (the VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic System) will provide new data to derive the spatially resolved star formation history and to construct a three-dimensional map of the system. These data combined with those from other ongoing and planned surveys will give us an absolutely unique view of the system opening up the doors to truly new science!
Continuous decrease of the feature size of transistors in modern integrated circuits (ICs) constrains thickness of auxiliary dielectric layers in interconnects because of their relatively high dielectric constant, which reduces the efficiency of low-k material integration. Dielectric materials used today as barrier or etch-stop layers are usually SiN (k ∼ 7.0) and SiCN (k ∼ 4.8), which k-value significantly exceeds that of recent ultra low-k materials (k < 2.2). In our work we have investigated thin films of rigid-chain polyimide (PI) with a k-value of about 3.2-3.3. This film was deposited using a Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique and can be as thin as several monolayers. The intermolecular interaction of densely packed precursor macromolecules within a monolayer formed at the water-air interface makes it possible to avoid penetration of precursor material inside the pores. The latter peculiarity of the deposition process results in a pore sealing effect using a 4 nm PI film.
Recent near-infrared surveys of the galactic plane have been used to identify new massive cluster candidates. Follow up study indicates about half are not true, gravitationally-bound clusters. These false positives are created by high density fields of unassociated stars, often due to a sight-line of reduced extinction. What is not so easy to estimate is the number of false negatives, clusters which exist but are not currently being detected by our surveys. In order to derive critical characteristics of the Milky Way's massive cluster population, such as cluster mass function and cluster lifetimes, one must be able to estimate the characteristics of these false negatives. Our group has taken on the daunting task of attempting such an estimate by first creating the stellar cluster imaging simulation program, MASSCLEAN. I will present our preliminary models and methods for deriving the biases of current searches.
During a recent large tularemia outbreak in Bulgaria we found several cases that were remote from the main focus. One case had an unusual mode of transmission. A hunter acquired tularemia through a nail scratch from a buzzard (Buteo buteo) and consequently developed a typical ulceroglandular form of the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed by serological methods and successful cultivation. Comparative strain typing was performed by high-resolution multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). The isolated strain was identical to one of the outbreak genotypes. We consider that this case represents a bird-to-human transmission of F. tularensis.
On 24 August 2008, an outbreak alert regarding cases of acute gastroenteritis in Podgorica triggered investigations to guide control measures. From 23 August to 7 September, 1699 cases were reported in Podgorica (population 136 000) and we estimated the total size of the outbreak to be 10 000–15 000 corresponding to an attack rate of ~10%. We conducted an age- and neighbourhood-matched case-control study, microbiologically analysed faecal and municipal water samples and assessed the water distribution system. All cases (83/83) and 90% (89/90) of controls drank unboiled chlorinated municipal water [matched odds ratio (mOR) 11·2, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1·6–∞]. Consumption of bottled water was inversely associated with illness (mOR 0·3, 95% CI 0·1–0·8). Analyses of faecal samples identified six norovirus genotypes (21/38 samples) and occasionally other viruses. Multiple defects in the water distribution system were noted. These results suggest that the outbreak was caused by faecally contaminated municipal water. It is unusual to have such a large outbreak in a European city especially when the municipal water supply is chlorinated. Therefore, it is important to establish effective multiple-barrier water-treatment systems whenever possible, but even with an established chlorinated supply, sustained vigilance is central to public health.
In 1985, at Novovoronezh NPP (NVNPP), liquid radioactive waste leaked from the storage facility No2 (SLW-2). The leakage took place along the perimeter of the storage facility from the underpan closed with soil; therefore the leakage has been discovered in about half year, during water sampling from the test boreholes. According to the assessments, a volume of liquid waste released in soil was about 480 m3 with ∼76 and 15 TBq activities of 60Co and 137Cs, respectively. Up to now, the majority of 137Cs amount has been localized at the place of the leakage – in the unsaturated zone at the level of the underpan; 60Co was infiltrated into the aquifer and spread through – ground waters at about 700 meters up to Don River. 60Co occurrence in the river was registered in 1995. The ground water discharge into Don River caused contamination of some part of bottom sediments up to the level of solid radioactive waste. This paper presents the calculation results of 60Co migration via ground waters.
During 2001–2002 we investigated current contamination of soils in several places in the Chornobyl zone. We have measured the content of alpha emitting isotopes Pu, 241Am, 154,155Eu, 90Sr, and 137Cs in layers of soil up to the depth of 30 cm. By including the two mechanisms of migration: convection and diffusion in our model, we were able to estimate the ecological and effective half-lives of self-purification processes for these layers of soil. Effective half-lives vary from 20 to 400 years dependent upon the type of soil and the isotopes.
In 1985, at Novovoronezh NPP (NVNPP), the leakage occurred of liquid radioactive waste (LRW) from the storage facility No. 2 (SLW-2) into the soil. According to the fulfilled assessments, the total volume of LRW penetrated into the soil was about 480 m3, the total activity of 60Co was 76 TBq (2050 Ci) and of 137Cs – 15 TBq (390 Ci). The total activity of other radionuclides was less than 0,037 TBq (1 Ci). The salt contents in LRW were 120–150 g/l. Thus, 60Co was the main contaminant of the environment.
Three-dimensional hybrid simulation of a plasma current-carrying column reveal two different regimes of sausage and kink instability development. In the first regime, with small Hall parameter, development of instabilities leads to the appearance of large-scale axial perturbations and eventually to bending of the plasma column. In the second regime, with a four-times-larger Hall parameter, small-scale perturbations dominate and no bending of the plasma column is observed. Simulation results are compared with laser probing experimental data obtained during wire array implosions on the Zebra pulse power generator at the Nevada Terawatt Facility.
Purified single-walled nanotubes (SWNTs) were dispersed in an epoxy polymer and subjected to uniaxial compressive loading. The orientation and stress in the nanotubes were monitored in situ using polarized Raman microscopy. At strains less than 2%, the nanotubes reorient normal to the direction of compression, thereby minimizing the local strain energy. Above 2% strain, the Raman peak shift reaches a plateau. A new analytical model, which approximates the SWNT reorientation by varying the aspect ratio of a representative spheroid, predicted the rotation behavior of nanotubes under load. The results of this model suggest that the observed plateau of the Raman peak shift is caused by both polymer yielding and interfacial debonding at the ends of nanotubes.
This work presents results of studies of the structural features of nanocrystalline doped Ce1−xMexO2−y samples (Me = Sm, Bi, Gd; X = 0–0.5) prepared via the polymerised precursor (Pechini) route by using a combination of diffraction (XRD, TEM, WAXS on SR) and spectroscopic (EXAFS, Raman, FTIRS of lattice modes, XPS, SIMS) methods.
Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) is a unique technique for growing vertically-aligned multiwall carbon nanotubes (VA-MWNTs) at controllable tube densities. This technique is of considerable importance for low temperature growth of VA-MWNTs at desired locations. However, the graphitic order of these MWNTs is inferior to those grown by laser ablation, arc discharge, and thermal CVD techniques. Previously, these VA-MWNTs were grown by a one-plasma approach (DC, microwave etc), either for gas decomposition or substrate biasing. Here, we describe a dual-RF plasma enhanced CVD (dual-RF-PECVD) technique that offers unique capability for controlling the graphitic order and diameters of VA-MWNTs.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the inter-relationships between nutritional status (past and current nutrition), brain development, and scholastic achievement (SA) of Chilean high-school graduates from high and low intellectual quotient (IQ) and socio-economic status (SES) (mean age 18·0 (SD 0·9) years). Results showed that independently of SES, high-school graduates with similar IQ have similar nutritional, brain development and SA variables. Multiple regression analysis between child IQ (dependent variable) and age, sex, SES, brain volume (BV), undernutrition during the first year of life, paternal and maternal IQ (independent variables) revealed that maternal IQ (P<0·0001), BV (P<0·0387) and severe undernutrition during the first year of life (P<0·0486), were the independent variables with the greatest explanatory power for child IQ variance (r2 0·707), without interaction with age, sex or SES. Child IQ (P<0·0001) was the only independent variable that explained both SA variance (r2 0·848) and academic aptitude test variance (r2 0·876) without interaction with age, sex or SES. These results confirm the hypotheses formulated for this study that: (1) independently of SES, high-school graduates with similar IQ have similar variables of nutritional status, brain development and SA; (2) past nutritional status, brain development, child IQ and SA are strongly and significantly inter-related. These findings are relevant in explaining the complex interactions between variables that affect IQ and SA and can be useful for nutritional and educational planning.
Ca and/or F-modified samples of LaMnO3 have been prepared by the Pechini method. The bulk structure of samples was characterized by TEM, EXAFS and XRD, while the surface composition was studied by SIMS. Thermal analysis, O2 TPD, H2 TPR and isothermal pulse/flow samples reduction by CO were applied to characterize the accessible surface/bulk oxygen mobility and reactivity. A reasonable description of the experimental energetic spectrum of the surface oxygen for various types of regular and defect surface sites on the perovskite faces was achieved by using semiempirical Interacting Bonds Method in the slab approximation with a due regard for the surface face termination and relaxation. Fluorine was found to decrease the surface coverage by reactive weakly bound oxygen forms while increasing the bulk oxygen excess and mobility. Calcium generated reactive weakly bound oxygen forms while decreasing the oxygen excess in the lattice and converting the regular M-O oxygen forms into the bridging ones through migration to the surface.