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In product design engineering (PDE), ideation involves the generation of technical behaviours and physical structures to address specific functional requirements. This differs from generic creative ideation tasks, which emphasise functional and technical considerations less. To advance knowledge about the neural basis of PDE ideation, we present the first fMRI study on professional product design engineers practising in industry. We aimed to explore brain activation during ideation, and compare activation in open-ended and constrained tasks. Imagery manipulation tasks were contrasted with ideation tasks in a sample of 29 PDE professionals. The key findings were: (1) PDE ideation is associated with greater activity in left cingulate gyrus; (2) there were no significant differences between open-ended and constrained tasks; and (3) a preliminary association with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus was also observed. The results are consistent with existing fMRI work on generic creative ideation, suggesting that PDE ideation may share a number of similarities at the neural level. Future work includes: functional connectivity analysis of open-ended and constrained ideation to further investigate potential differences; investigating the effects of aspects of design expertise/training on processing; and the use of novelty measures directly linked to the designer’s internal processing in fMRI analysis.
Background: Understanding successful and unsuccessful behavioural treatment for pain is essential. Aims: We carried out a retrospective survey of 130 people who had undergone pain rehabilitation based on acceptance and commitment therapy, aiming to identify factors associated with non-response. Method: The sample was selected using the reliable change index to define ‘responders’ and ‘non-responders’ to key outcome measures. We surveyed a range of treatment-related, systemic, practical and personal factors that may have affected their treatment, and then compared ‘non-responders’ with ‘responders’, controlling for factors that might not be causal or specific to non-response. Results: Logistic regression analysis showed two themes that distinguished the groups, ‘people outside programme’ and ‘emotional state’. Conclusions: These data have clinical implications, as such factors can be addressed directly or incorporated into an assessment of treatment ‘readiness’. This study introduced a novel methodology for the investigation of pain treatment response, which allowed a broad study of clinically relevant variables, but with greater rigour than conventional self-reports of ‘helpful factors’ in treatment.
Introduction: Decreasing readmission rates and return emergency department (ED) visits represent a major challenge for health organizations. Seniors are especially vulnerable to discharge adverse events which can result in unplanned readmissions and loss of physical, functional and/or cognitive capacity. The ACE Collaborative is a national quality improvement initiative that aims to improve care of elderly patients. We aimed to adapt Mount Sinai’s Care Transitions program to our local context in order to decrease avoidable readmissions and ED visits among seniors. Methods: We performed a prospective pre/post implementation cohort study. We recruited frail elderly hospitalized patients (≥50 years old) discharged to home and at risk of readmission (modified LACE index score≥7/12). We excluded patients being discharged to long-term nursing homes or institutions. Our intervention is based on selected strategic ACE Care Transitions best practices: transition coach, telehealth personal response services and a structured discharge checklist. The intervention is offered to selected patients before hospital discharge. Our primary outcome is a 30-day post-discharge composite of hospital readmission and return ED visit rate. Our secondary outcomes are functional autonomy, satisfaction with care transition, quality of life, caregiver strain and healthcare resource use at recruitment and at 30-days follow-up. Hospital-level administrative data is also collected to measure global effect of practice changes. Results: The project is currently ongoing and preliminary results are available for the pre-implementation cohort only. Patients in this cohort (n=33) were mainly men (61%), aged 75±10 years and presented an OARS score (Activities of Daily Living instrument that ranges from 0-28) of 5.6±4.9. At 30 days post-discharge, the patients in our cohort had a 42.4% readmission rate (14 hospitalisations) and a 54.5% return ED visit rate (18 visits). For the same time period, readmission and return ED rates for all patients in the same corresponding age-group at the hospital level were 14.4% and 21.9%, respectively. Further results for our post-intervention cohort will be presented at CAEP 2017. Conclusion: Our cohort of elderly patients have high readmission and return ED visit rates. Our ongoing quality improvement project aims to decrease these readmissions and ED visits.
This review summarizes the results from the INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) divergent selection experiment on residual feed intake (RFI) in growing Large White pigs during nine generations of selection. It discusses the remaining challenges and perspectives for the improvement of feed efficiency in growing pigs. The impacts on growing pigs raised under standard conditions and in alternative situations such as heat stress, inflammatory challenges or lactation have been studied. After nine generations of selection, the divergent selection for RFI led to highly significant (P<0.001) line differences for RFI (−165 g/day in the low RFI (LRFI) line compared with high RFI line) and daily feed intake (−270 g/day). Low responses were observed on growth rate (−12.8 g/day, P<0.05) and body composition (+0.9 mm backfat thickness, P=0.57; −2.64% lean meat content, P<0.001) with a marked response on feed conversion ratio (−0.32 kg feed/kg gain, P<0.001). Reduced ultimate pH and increased lightness of the meat (P<0.001) were observed in LRFI pigs with minor impact on the sensory quality of the meat. These changes in meat quality were associated with changes of the muscular energy metabolism. Reduced maintenance energy requirements (−10% after five generations of selection) and activity (−21% of time standing after six generations of selection) of LRFI pigs greatly contributed to the gain in energy efficiency. However, the impact of selection for RFI on the protein metabolism of the pig remains unclear. Digestibility of energy and nutrients was not affected by selection, neither for pigs fed conventional diets nor for pigs fed high-fibre diets. A significant improvement of digestive efficiency could likely be achieved by selecting pigs on fibre diets. No convincing genetic or blood biomarker has been identified for explaining the differences in RFI, suggesting that pigs have various ways to achieve an efficient use of feed. No deleterious impact of the selection on the sow reproduction performance was observed. The resource allocation theory states that low RFI may reduce the ability to cope with stressors, via the reduction of a buffer compartment dedicated to responses to stress. None of the experiments focussed on the response of pigs to stress or challenges could confirm this theory. Understanding the relationships between RFI and responses to stress and energy demanding processes, as such immunity and lactation, remains a major challenge for a better understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms of the trait and to reconcile the experimental results with the resource allocation theory.
We analyze photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) using a hyperspectral imager that records spectrally resolved luminescence images of solar cell absorbers. The system is calibrated to yield the luminescence flux in absolute values. This system enables to quantitatively image physical parameters such as the photovoltage with an uncertainty of less than 30mV. The wide field illumination, low power excitation and fast acquisition brings new insights compare to classical setups such as confocal microscope. Several types of absorbers have been analyzed. For instance, we can investigate spatial fluctuations of the Quasi Fermi Levels splitting in CIGS polycristalline absorbers and link those fluctuations to transport properties. The method is general to the point that third generation PV cells absorbers can also be evaluated. We illustrate the great potential of our setup by imaging quasi Fermi levels splitting in Intermediate Band Solar cells. Such techniques, directly evaluating the performance of photovoltaic absorbers and devices are needed for fast, high throughput investigations of combinatorial experiments such as the projects carried out for the material genomics programme.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
We analyze photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) using a hyperspectral imager that records spectrally resolved luminescence images of solar cell absorbers. The system is calibrated to yield the luminescence flux in absolute values. This system enables to quantitatively image physical parameters such as the photovoltage with an uncertainty of less than 30mV. The wide field illumination, low power excitation and fast acquisition brings new insights compared to classical setups such as confocal microscope. Several types of absorbers have been analyzed. For instance, we can investigate spatial fluctuations of the Quasi Fermi Levels splitting in CIGS polycristalline absorbers and link those fluctuations to transport properties. The method is general to the point that third generation PV cells absorbers can also be evaluated. We illustrate the great potential of our setup by imaging carrier temperature in Hot Carriers Solar cells absorbers and quasi Fermi levels splitting in Intermediate Band Solar cells.
A girl aged 6 presented with haematuria and her sister (aged 5) presented with haematuria and proteinuria. Family history showed multiple individuals suffering from end stage renal failure from the paternal side of the pedigree. Following kidney biopsy in the father and paternal grandmother, the pathological diagnosis was of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Exome sequencing was undertaken in the proband's sister and grandmother. Genetic variants shared by both affected individuals were interrogated to identify the genetic cause of disease. Candidate variants were then sequenced in all the family members to determine segregation with the disease. A mutation of COL4A5 known to cause Alport syndrome segregated with disease from the paternal side of the pedigree and a variant in NPHS1 was present in both paediatric cases and inherited from their mother. This study highlights the advantages of exome sequencing over single gene testing; disease presentation can be heterogeneous with several genes representing plausible candidates; candidate gene(s) may be unavailable as a diagnostic test; consecutive, single gene testing typically concludes once a single causal mutation is identified. In this family, we were able to confirm a diagnosis of Alport syndrome, which will facilitate testing in other family members.
Accurate food and nutrient intake assessment is essential for investigating diet–disease relationships. In the present study, food and nutrient intake assessment among European adolescents using 24 h recalls (mean of two recalls) and a FFQ (separately and the combination of both) were evaluated using concentration biomarkers. Biomarkers included were vitamin C, β-carotene, DHA+EPA, vitamin B12 (cobalamin and holo-transcobalamin) and folate (erythrocyte folate and plasma folate). For the evaluation of the food intake assessment 390 adolescents were included, while 697 were included for the nutrient intake assessment evaluation. Spearman rank and Pearson correlations, and validity coefficients, which are correlations between intake estimated and habitual true intake, were calculated. Correlations were higher between frequency of food consumption (from the FFQ) and concentration biomarkers than between mean food intake (from the recalls) and concentration biomarkers, especially for DHA+EPA (r 0·35 v. r 0·27). Most correlations were higher among girls than boys. For boys, the highest validity coefficients were found for frequency of fruit consumption (0·88) and for DHA+EPA biomarker (0·71). In girls, the highest validity coefficients were found for fruit consumption frequency (0·76), vegetable consumption frequency (0·74), mean fruit intake (0·90) and DHA+EPA biomarker (0·69). After exclusion of underreporters, correlations slightly improved. Correlations between usual food intakes, adjusted for food consumption frequency, and concentration biomarkers were higher than correlations between mean food intakes and concentration biomarkers. In conclusion, two non-consecutive 24 h recalls in combination with a FFQ seem to be appropriate to rank subjects according to their usual food intake.
The spectral multiplicity of self-adjoint operators H associated with singular differential expressions of the form
is investigated. Based on earlier work of I. S. Kac and recent results on subordinacy, complete sets of necessary and sufficient conditions for the spectral multiplicity to be one or two are established in terms of: (i) the boundary behaviour of Titchmarsh–Weyl m-functions, and (ii) the asymptotic properties of solutions of Lu = λu, λ∈ℝ, at the endpoints a and b. In particular, it is shown that H has multiplicity two if and only if L is in the limit point case at both a and b and the set of all λ for which no solution of Lu = λu is subordinate at either a or b has positive Lebesgue measure. The results are completely general, subject only to minimal restrictions on the coefficients p(r), q(r)and w(r), and the assumption of separated boundary conditions when L is in the limit circle case at both endpoints.
The theory of subordinacy is extended to all one-dimensional Schrödinger operatorsfor which the corresponding differential expression L = – d2/(dr2) + V(r) is in the limit point case at both ends of an interval (a, b), with V(r) locally integrable. This enables a detailed classification of the absolutely continuous and singular spectra to be established in terms of the relative asymptotic behaviour of solutions of Lu = xu, x εℝ, as r→a and r→b. The result provides a rigorous but straightforward method of direct spectral analysis which has very general application, and somefurther properties of the spectrum are deduced from the underlying theory.
Pulsed laser deposition has been used to fabricate thin-film capacitor structures in which the dielectric layer is composed of a superlattice of Ba0.8Sr0.2TiO3 and Ba0.2Sr0.8TiO3. The properties of the capacitors were investigated as a function of superlattice periodicity. The dielectric constant was significantly enhanced, and temperature migration of the peak in dielectric constant as a function of frequency was observed, at stacking periodicities of a few unit cells. However, such ‘relaxor-like’ features were found to be associated with high dielectric loss. Analysis of the imaginary permittivity as a function of frequency showed that fine-scale superlattices conform to Maxwell-Wagner behaviour, indicating that the observed features may be an artefact of increased carrier mobility. Modelling showed that both dielectric enhancement and frequency relaxation could readily be reproduced by Maxwell-Wagner formalism.
Motivated by the growing impact of PZT film orientation on ferroelectric film properties as film thickness is scaled down, we present basic studies on orientation selection in sol-gel derived PZT films, using pre-annealed Pt/Ti electrode layers as a model electrode system. FTIR was used to study, on a real temperature scale, chemical reactions in the films during the initial thermal steps prior to crystallization. We found that the chemical structure of the pyrolyzed film has a much larger impact on orientation selection than has previously been realized. In addition to pyrolysis conditions, the ambient used for the crystallization step was found to play a crucial role in orientation selection. As film thickness decreases, excessive oxygen incorporation in the films is seen to result in the loss of the preferential (111) texture when crystallization is performed in air. By performing crystallizations in N2, 40 nm thick PZT films with a strongly preferential (111) orientation could be obtained.
Thin film capacitors with barium strontium titanate (BST) dielectric layers of 7.5 to 950 nm were fabricated by Pulsed Laser Deposition. XRD and EDX analyses confirmed a strongly oriented BST cubic perovskite phase with the desired cation stoichiometry. Room temperature frequency dispersion (ε100 kHz / ε100 Hz) for all capacitors was greater than 0.75. Absolute values for the dielectric constant were slightly lower than expected. This was attributed to the use of Au top electrodes since the same sample showed up to a threefold increase in dielectric constant when Pt was used in place of Au. Dielectric constant as a function of thicknesses greater than 70 nm, was fitted using the series capacitor model. The large interfacial parameter ratio di / εi of 0.40 ± 0.05 nm implied a significant dead-layer component within the capacitor structure. Modelled consideration of the dielectric behaviour for BST films, whose total thickness was below that of the dead layer, predicted anomalies in the plots of d/ ε against d at the dead layer thickness. For the SRO/BST/Au system studied, no anomaly was observed. Therefore, either (i) 7.5 nm is an upper limit for the total dead layer thickness in this system, or (ii) dielectric collapse is not associated with a distinct interfacial dead layer, and is instead due to a through-film effect.