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Inattentive respondents introduce noise into data sets, weakening correlations between items and increasing the likelihood of null findings. “Screeners” have been proposed as a way to identify inattentive respondents, but questions remain regarding their implementation. First, what is the optimal number of Screeners for identifying inattentive respondents? Second, what types of Screener questions best capture inattention? In this paper, we address both of these questions. Using item-response theory to aggregate individual Screeners we find that four Screeners are sufficient to identify inattentive respondents. Moreover, two grid and two multiple choice questions work well. Our findings have relevance for applied survey research in political science and other disciplines. Most importantly, our recommendations enable the standardization of Screeners on future surveys.
We sought to define the prevalence of echocardiographic abnormalities in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and determine the utility of screening in asymptomatic patients. We analysed echocardiograms performed on survivors who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from 1982 to 2006. A total of 389 patients were alive in 2017, with 114 having an echocardiogram obtained ⩾5 years post-infusion. A total of 95 patients had echocardiogram performed for routine surveillance. The mean time post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 13 years. Of 95 patients, 77 (82.1%) had ejection fraction measured, and 10/77 (13.0%) had ejection fraction z-scores ⩽−2.0, which is abnormally low. Those patients with abnormal ejection fraction were significantly more likely to have been exposed to anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Among individuals who received neither anthracyclines nor total body irradiation, only 1/31 (3.2%) was found to have an abnormal ejection fraction of 51.4%, z-score −2.73. In the cohort of 77 patients, the negative predictive value of having a normal ejection fraction given no exposure to total body irradiation or anthracyclines was 96.7% at 95% confidence interval (83.3–99.8%). Systolic dysfunction is relatively common in long-term survivors of paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who have received anthracyclines or total body irradiation. Survivors who are asymptomatic and did not receive radiation or anthracyclines likely do not require surveillance echocardiograms, unless otherwise indicated.
The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase (AD 800–1130) employed agricultural strategies and water-management systems to enhance food cultivation in this unpredictable environment. Scepticism concerning the timing and effectiveness of this system, however, remains common. Using optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments and LiDAR imaging, the authors located Bonito Phase canal features at the far west end of the canyon. Additional ED-XRF and strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses confirm the diversion of waters from multiple sources during Chaco’s occupation. The extent of this water-management system raises new questions about social organisation and the role of ritual in facilitating responses to environmental unpredictability.
Rapid or explosive heating of electrically conductive films has several applications, and the use of reactive laminates to increase output energy is an intriguing concept. Past studies have shown electrically heated aluminum/nickel (Al/Ni) nano-laminate films to augment this energy by an amount approximately equivalent to the expected heat of mixing between the two elements, which for most intermetallics is a significant fraction of the total heat of reaction (86% for Al/Ni). In this study, we investigate the use of sputtered aluminum/boron (Al/B) laminates to determine whether a similar increase, as measured by the velocity of an ejected flyer layer, occurs. However, observed velocities in any samples containing boron were 38% to 45% lower than samples without boron, despite much higher heats of reaction reported in the literature for Al/B. We attributed this reduction to the vaporization temperature of boron being much higher than that of Al, and because Al electrical resistivity at elevated temperatures was still much lower than boron, boron heating was less efficient as vaporized Al expanded and drove the ejected flyer. These results and analysis give insight into other reactive material combinations in which one of the constituents is an electrical insulator.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
Poly[sulfur-random-(1,3-diisopropenylbenzene)] copolymers synthesized via inverse vulcanization represent an emerging class of electrochemically active polymers recently used in cathodes for Li–S batteries, capable of realizing enhanced capacity retention (1,005 mAh/g at 100 cycles) and lifetimes of over 500 cycles. The composite cathodes are organized in complex hierarchical three-dimensional (3D) architectures, which contain several components and are challenging to understand and characterize using any single technique. Here, multimode analytical scanning and transmission electron microscopies and energy-dispersive X-ray/electron energy-loss spectroscopies coupled with multivariate statistical analysis and tomography were applied to explore origins of the cathode-enhanced capacity retention. The surface topography, morphology, bonding, and compositions of the cathodes created by combining sulfur copolymers with varying 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene content and conductive carbons have been investigated at multiple scales in relation to the electrochemical performance and physico-mechanical stability. We demonstrate that replacing the elemental sulfur with organosulfur copolymers improves the compositional homogeneity and compatibility between carbons and sulfur-containing domains down to sub-5 nm length scales resulting in (a) intimate wetting of nanocarbons by the copolymers at interfaces; (b) the creation of 3D percolation networks of conductive pathways involving graphitic-like outer shells of aggregated carbons; (c) concomitant improvements in the stability with preserved meso- and nanoscale porosities required for efficient charge transport.
Giant ragweed has been increasing as a major weed of row crops in the last
30 yr, but quantitative data regarding its pattern and mechanisms of spread
in crop fields are lacking. To address this gap, we conducted a Web-based
survey of certified crop advisors in the U.S. Corn Belt and Ontario, Canada.
Participants were asked questions regarding giant ragweed and crop
production practices for the county of their choice. Responses were mapped
and correlation analyses were conducted among the responses to determine
factors associated with giant ragweed populations. Respondents rated giant
ragweed as the most or one of the most difficult weeds to manage in 45% of
421 U.S. counties responding, and 57% of responding counties reported giant
ragweed populations with herbicide resistance to acetolactate synthase
inhibitors, glyphosate, or both herbicides. Results suggest that giant
ragweed is increasing in crop fields outward from the east-central U.S. Corn
Belt in most directions. Crop production practices associated with giant
ragweed populations included minimum tillage, continuous soybean, and
multiple-application herbicide programs; ecological factors included giant
ragweed presence in noncrop edge habitats, early and prolonged emergence,
and presence of the seed-burying common earthworm in crop fields. Managing
giant ragweed in noncrop areas could reduce giant ragweed migration from
noncrop habitats into crop fields and slow its spread. Where giant ragweed
is already established in crop fields, including a more diverse combination
of crop species, tillage practices, and herbicide sites of action will be
critical to reduce populations, disrupt emergence patterns, and select
against herbicide-resistant giant ragweed genotypes. Incorporation of a
cereal grain into the crop rotation may help suppress early giant ragweed
emergence and provide chemical or mechanical control options for
late-emerging giant ragweed.
Neptunium-237 will be present in radioactive wastes over extended time periods due to its long half-life (2.13 × 106 years). Understanding its behaviour under conditions relevant to radioactive waste disposal is therefore of particular importance. Here, microcosm experiments were established using sediments from a legacy lime workings with high-pH conditions as an analogue of cementitious intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal. To probe the influence of Fe biogeochemistry on Np(V) in these systems, additional Fe(III) (as ferrihydrite) was added to select experiments. Biogeochemical changes were tracked in experiments with low levels of Np(V) (20 Bq ml–1; 3.3 μM), whilst parallel higher concentration systems (2.5 KBq ml–1; 414 μM) allowed X-ray absorption spectroscopy. As expected, microbial reduction processes developed in microbially-active systems with an initial pH of 10; however, during microbial incubations the pH dropped from 10 to ∼7, reflecting the high levels of microbial metabolism occurring in these systems. In microbially-active systems without added Fe(III), 90% sorption of Np(V) occurred within one hour with essentially complete removal by one day. In the ferrihydrite-amended systems, complete sorption of Np(V) to ferrihydrite occurred within one hour. For higher-activity sediments, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at end points where Fe(II) ingrowth was observed confirmed that complete reductive precipitation of Np(V) to Np(IV) had occurred under similar conditions to low-level Np experiments. Finally, pre-reduced, Fe(III)-reducing sediments, with and without added Fe(III) and held at pH 10, were spiked with Np(V). These alkaline pre-reduced sediments showed significant removal of Np to sediments, and XAS confirmed partial reduction to Np(IV) with the no Fe system, and essentially complete reduction to Np(IV) in the Fe(III)-enriched systems. This suggested an indirect, Fe(II)-mediated pathway for Np(V) reduction under alkaline conditions. Microbial analyses using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing suggested a role for alkali-tolerant, Gram-positive Firmicutes in coupled Fe(III) reduction and Np immobilization in these experiments.
Decreasing sodium intake has been associated with improvements in blood pressure (BP) and proteinuria, two important risk factors for CVD and chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression. We aimed to investigate the role of sodium intake by examining the effect of changes in sodium intake over 1 year on BP and proteinuria in people with early stage CKD. From thirty-two general practices, 1607 patients with previous estimated glomerular filtration rate of 59–30 ml/min per 1·73 m2 and mean age of 72·9 (sd 9·0) years were recruited. Clinical assessment, urine and serum biochemistry testing were performed at baseline and after 1 year. Sodium intake was estimated from early morning urine specimens using an equation validated for this study population. We found that compared with people who increased their sodium intake from ≤100 to >100 mmol/d over 1 year, people who decreased their intake from >100 to ≤100 mmol/d evidenced a greater decrease in all BP variables (Δmean arterial pressure (ΔMAP)=–7·44 (sd 10·1) v. –0·23 (sd 10·4) mmHg; P<0·001) as well as in pulse wave velocity (ΔPWV=–0·47 (sd 1·3) v. 0·08 (sd 1·88) m/s; P<0·05). Albuminuria improved only in albuminuric patients who decreased their sodium intake. BP improved in people who maintained low sodium intake at both times and in those with persistent high intake, but the number of anti-hypertensive increased only in the higher sodium intake group, and PWV improved only in participants with lower sodium intake. Decreasing sodium intake was an independent determinant of ΔMAP. Although more evidence is needed, our results support the benefits of reducing and maintaining sodium intake below 100 mmol/d (2·3–2·4 g/d) in people with early stages of CKD.
Poly[sulfur-random-1,3-diisopropenylbenzene (DIB)] copolymers synthesized via inverse vulcanization form electrochemically active polymers used as cathodes for high-energy density Li–S batteries, capable of enhanced capacity retention (1005 mAh/g at 100 cycles) and lifetimes of over 500 cycles. In this prospective, we demonstrate how analytical electron microscopy can be employed as a powerful tool to explore the origins of the enhanced capacity retention. We analyze morphological and compositional features when the copolymers, with DIB contents up to 50% by mass, are blended with carbon nanoparticles. Replacing the elemental sulfur with the copolymers improves the compatibility and interfacial contact between active sulfur compounds and conductive carbons. There also appears to be improvements of the cathode mechanical stability that leads to less cracking but preserving porosity. This compatibilization scheme through stabilized organosulfur copolymers represents an alternative strategy to the nanoscale encapsulation schemes which are often used to improve the cycle life in high-energy density Li–S batteries.
The present study explores the burning of microscale porous silicon channels with sodium perchlorate. These on-chip porous silicon energetics were embedded in crystalline silicon, and therefore surrounded on three sides by an efficient thermal conductor. For slow burning systems, this presents complications as heat loss to the crystalline silicon substrate can result in inconsistent burning or flame extinction. We investigated <100 μm wide porous silicon strips, sparsely filled with sodium perchlorate (NaClO4), to probe the limits of on-chip combustion. Four different etch times were attempted to decrease the dimensions of the porous silicon strips. The smallest size achieved was 12 x 64 µm, and despite the small dimensions, demonstrated the same flame speed as the larger porous silicon strips of 6-7 m/s. We predict that unreacted porous silicon acts as a thermal insulator to aid combustion for slow burning porous silicon channels, and SEM images provide evidence to support this. We also investigated the small scale combustion of a rapidly burning sample (∼1200 m/s). Despite the rapid flame speed, the propagation followed a designed, winding flame path. The use of these small scale porous silicon samples could significantly reduce the energetic material footprint for future microscale applications.
We present a tapped tunable delay line filter for radiofrequency (RF) photonic filtering applications, capable of rapid tunability over a wide RF bandwidth limited only by the optical components’ losses, while maintaining independence from polarization state. Multiple fiber taps with contrasting dispersion slopes are used in intensity-modulated direct detection microwave photonic links. A temporal delay is generated between the signals within each arm of the link. Once a signal is received using balanced differential detection, nulls are generated as a function of the laser's operating wavelength. Tuning of the laser allows for a rapid shifting of the nulls in the RF spectrum to dynamically mitigate co-site interference. Through this method we demonstrate the potential for rapid tunability over the RF spectrum by the variation of the operating wavelength of the optical carrier.
We present the first quantitative assessment of combustion dynamics of on-chip porous silicon (PS) energetic material using sulfur and nitrate-based oxidizers with potential for improved moisture stability and/or minimized environmental impact compared to sodium perchlorate (NaClO4). Material properties of the PS films were characterized using gas adsorption porosimetry, and profilometry to calculate specific surface area, porosity and etch depth. The PS/sulfur energetic composite was formed using three pore loading techniques, where the combustion speeds ranged from 2.9 – 290 m/s. The nitrate-based oxidizers were solution-deposited using different compatible solvents, and depending on the metal-nitrate yielded combustion speeds of 3.1 – 21 m/s. Additionally, the combustion enthalpies from bomb calorimetry experiments are reported for the alternative PS/oxidizer systems in both nitrogen and oxygen environments.
High Speed Sintering (HSS) is a novel additive manufacturing technology which currently uses Nylon 12 as the standard feedstock material. To expand the number of processable materials, the preferred characteristics of polymeric powder as a feedstock powder are presented, appropriate materials identified, parts made, and mechanical properties measured. Two commercially available laser sintering (LS) grade powders previously untested for HSS were selected, DuraForm® HST10 and ALM TPE 210-S. Tensile test specimens were manufactured using each material and mechanical properties analyzed and compared to the manufacturers' specification for LS. Tensile test specimens built using DuraForm® PA show higher tensile strength and elongation at break than LS whereas DuraForm® HST10 shows somewhat reduced tensile strength but slightly increased elongation at break. ALM TPE 210-S shows elongation at break of more than double that of LS demonstrating the capability of HSS to process viscous materials. The results indicate that HSS is capable of processing LS grade polymeric powders and may extend beyond.