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We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
Identifying factors that influence the functional outcome is an important goal in schizophrenia research. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a unique genetic model with high risk (20–25%) for schizophrenia. This study aimed to identify potentially targetable domains of neurocognitive functioning associated with functional outcome in adults with 22q11DS.
We used comprehensive neurocognitive test data available for 99 adults with 22q11DS (n = 43 with schizophrenia) and principal component analysis to derive four domains of neurocognition (Verbal Memory, Visual and Logical Memory, Motor Performance, and Executive Performance). We then investigated the association of these neurocognitive domains with adaptive functioning using Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales data and a linear regression model that accounted for the effects of schizophrenia status and overall intellectual level.
The regression model explained 46.8% of the variance in functional outcome (p < 0.0001). Executive Performance was significantly associated with functional outcome (p = 0.048). Age and schizophrenia were also significant factors. The effects of Executive Performance on functioning did not significantly differ between those with and without psychotic illness.
The findings provide the impetus for further studies to examine the potential of directed (early) interventions targeting Executive Performance to improve long-term adaptive functional outcome in individuals with, or at high risk for, schizophrenia. Moreover, the neurocognitive test profiles may benefit caregivers and clinicians by providing insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of individuals with 22q11DS, with and without psychotic illness.
Clinical databases in congenital and paediatric cardiac care provide a foundation for quality improvement, research, policy evaluations and public reporting. Structured audits verifying data integrity allow database users to be confident in these endeavours. We report on the initial audit of the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4) clinical registry.
Materials and methods
Participants reviewed the entire registry to determine key fields for audit, and defined major and minor discrepancies for the audited variables. In-person audits at the eight initial participating centres were conducted during a 12-month period. The data coordinating centre randomly selected intensive care encounters for review at each site. The audit consisted of source data verification and blinded chart abstraction, comparing findings by the auditors with those entered in the database. We also assessed completeness and timeliness of case submission. Quantitative evaluation of completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of case submission is reported.
We audited 434 encounters and 29,476 data fields. The aggregate overall accuracy was 99.1%, and the major discrepancy rate was 0.62%. Across hospitals, the overall accuracy ranged from 96.3 to 99.5%, and the major discrepancy rate ranged from 0.3 to 0.9%; seven of the eight hospitals submitted >90% of cases within 1 month of hospital discharge. There was no evidence for selective case omission.
Based on a rigorous audit process, data submitted to the PC4 clinical registry appear complete, accurate, and timely. The collaborative will maintain ongoing efforts to verify the integrity of the data to promote science that advances quality improvement efforts.
Genetic testing in psychiatry promises to improve patient care through
advances in personalised medicine. However, there are few clinically
To determine whether patients with a well-established genetic subtype of
schizophrenia show a different response profile to the antipsychotic
clozapine than those with idiopathic schizophrenia.
We retrospectively studied the long-term safety and efficacy of clozapine
in 40 adults with schizophrenia, half with a 22q11.2 deletion (22q11.2DS
group) and half matched for age and clinical severity but molecularly
confirmed to have no pathogenic copy number variant (idiopathic
Both groups showed similar clinical improvement and significant
reductions in hospitalisations, achieved at a lower median dose for those
in the 22q11.2DS group. Most common side-effects were similarly prevalent
between the two groups, however, half of the 22q11.2DS group experienced
at least one rare serious adverse event compared with none of the
idiopathic group. Many were successfully retried on clozapine.
Individuals with 22q11.2DS-schizophrenia respond as well to clozapine
treatment as those with other forms of schizophrenia, but may represent a
disproportionate number of those with serious adverse events, primarily
seizures. Lower doses and prophylactic (for example anticonvulsant)
management strategies can help ameliorate side-effect risks. This first
systematic evaluation of antipsychotic response in a genetic subtype of
schizophrenia provides a proof-of-principle for personalised medicine and
supports the utility of clinical genetic testing in schizophrenia.
The partial excavation under rescue conditions in 1961–63 of the ditches and
interior of an enclosure of the earlier neolithic period is described. The
enclosure, covering a total area of approximately 2.4 ha, was defined by
double concentric interrupted ditches, which were for the most part
naturally filled. There were many traces of activity within the interior,
presumed to be contemporary with the ditches, including pits, gullies, post-
and stake-holes, and varying concentrations of struck and burnt flint and
pottery. Human burials were found. There is a little Ebbsfleet pottery in
secondary contexts and there are later prehistoric, Roman and medieval
finds. It is probably not possible to ascribe a single or specific role to
the site, which may have been important as a place where several activities
were concentrated, including occupation, subsistence, exchange, enclosure or
defence, burial and ritual.
Some of the illustrative concepts for the disposal of intermediate-level waste in a geological disposal facility in the UK employ a cementitious backfill around the waste packages. The concept for higher strength rocks would use a highly alkaline backfill composed of Portland cement (now known as CEM I), hydrated lime and limestone flour, referred to as Nirex reference vault backfill (NRVB).
This paper reports a study of the extensive leaching of cured NRVB in a range of generic leachant compositions (deionized water, 0.1 M and 1 M NaCl solutions) under flow-through conditions using a flexible wall permeameter. The experiments were designed to run for up to two years and to pass at least 1000 volumes of leachant (defined as the cumulative leachate volume produced/NRVB solid specimen volume) through the NRVB samples. Results for the pH evolution profiles of the leachates and the microstructural analysis of the unleached and leached samples are presented.
A carbon composite bipolar plate for PEM fuel cells has been developed that has high electrical conductivity, high strength, light weight, is impermeable, and has the potential for being produced at low cost. The plate is produced by slurry molding short carbon fibers into preform structures, molding features into the green body, and using chemical vapor infiltration to strengthen the material, give it high conductivity, and densify the surface to make it impermeable. Current efforts have focused on optimizing the fabrication process and characterizing prototypical components.
We evaluated the performance of the food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) administered to participants in the US NIH–AARP (National Institutes of Health–American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study, a cohort of 566 404 persons living in the USA and aged 50–71 years at baseline in 1995.
The 124-item FFQ was evaluated within a measurement error model using two non-consecutive 24-hour dietary recalls (24HRs) as the reference.
Participants were from six states (California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Louisiana) and two metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Georgia and Detroit, Michigan).
A subgroup of the cohort consisting of 2053 individuals.
For the 26 nutrient constituents examined, estimated correlations with true intake (not energy-adjusted) ranged from 0.22 to 0.67, and attenuation factors ranged from 0.15 to 0.49. When adjusted for reported energy intake, performance improved; estimated correlations with true intake ranged from 0.36 to 0.76, and attenuation factors ranged from 0.24 to 0.68. These results compare favourably with those from other large prospective studies. However, previous biomarker-based studies suggest that, due to correlation of errors in FFQs and self-report reference instruments such as the 24HR, the correlations and attenuation factors observed in most calibration studies, including ours, tend to overestimate FFQ performance.
The performance of the FFQ in the NIH–AARP Diet and Health Study, in conjunction with the study’s large sample size and wide range of dietary intake, is likely to allow detection of moderate (≥1.8) relative risks between many energy-adjusted nutrients and common cancers.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an innovative radio telescope optimized for the frequency range 30–240 MHz. The telescope is realized as a phased aperture array without any moving parts. Digital beam forming allows the telescope to point to any part of the sky within a second. Transient buffering makes retrospective imaging of explosive short-term events possible. The scientific focus of LOFAR will initially be on four key science projects (KSPs): (i) Detection of the formation of the very first stars and galaxies in the universe during the so-called epoch of reionization by measuring the power spectrum of the neutral hydrogen 21-cm line (Shaver et al. 1999) on the ∼ 5′ scale; (ii) Low-frequency surveys of the sky with of order 108 expected new sources; (iii) All-sky monitoring and detection of transient radio sources such as γ-ray bursts, X-ray binaries, and exo-planets (Farrell et al. 2004); and (iv) Radio detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (Falcke & Gorham 2003) allowing for the first time access to particles beyond 1021 eV (Scholten et al. 2006). Apart from the KSPs open access for smaller projects is also planned. Here we give a brief description of the telescope.
Eighteen male and 18 female weaned rabbits were randomly allocated to two diets formulated to give energy concentrations of 8 (LE) and 10 (HE) MJ metabolizable energy per kg dry matter and three target slaughter weights (1·5, 2·25 and 3·0 kg live weight) to give a 2 × 2 × 3 factorial design with three replicates. Voluntary food intake and live-weight gain were monitored and the carcasses chemically analysed. The metabolizable energy concentrations of the diets were determined by balance and found to be 9·87 and 6·84 MJ/kg dry matter for diets HE and LE respectively.
Rabbits fed the LE diet consumed more dry matter (P < 0·001) and metabolizable energy (P < 0·01) in total, but grew more slowly than those fed the HE diet (P < 0·001). A diet × slaughter weight interaction occurred (P < 0·01); rabbits of the LE–3 kg treatment took longer to reach target weight as a result of a flattening of their growth curve.
Rabbits fed the LE diet had lower killing-out proportions (P < 0·05), heavier gut weights (P < 0·05) and gut contents (P < 0·05), but lighter livers than those fed the HE diet. Killing-out proportion progressively increased with increasing slaughter weight. External offal weight as a proportion of live weight tended to increase while internal offal weight as a proportion of live weight tended to decrease as slaughter weight increased. The carcasses of rabbits slaughtered at 3 kg had lower moisture contents (P < 0·001), greater fat contents (P < 0·001) and lower ash contents (P < 0·05) than other slaughter treatments. A significant diet × slaughter weight interaction occurred in fat content, with rabbits of the LE–3 kg treatment having proportionally more fat. With age at slaughter as a covariate, rabbits fed the HE diet had proportionally more fat (P < 0·05).
Twenty-five Californian does were mated and given pelleted diets of either 8(LE) or 10(HE) MJ/kg dry matter (ruminant metabolizable energy values) throughout gestation and lactation. Litter sizes were adjusted to six offspring per doe. Milk yield was estimated from the weight differences of the litters before and after suckling, when the opportunity for nursing was confined to once daily. The young rabbits were allowed access to either the LE or HE diets from 18 days of age. Weaning took place at 32 days of age when four rabbits from each doe grouP × pre-weaning diet were slaughtered. Diet had no effect on litter size or birth weight, but does on the LE diet had lower live weights post partum (P < 0·05). Dry-matter consumption by the does on the LE diet was greater than for the HE diet (P < 0·05) both during gestation and lactation, but calculated metabolizable energy intakes were lower during lactation. There were no statistically significant differences between treatments for milk yield or live-weight gain to weaning and dry-matter intakes of the young at weaning, but daily live-weight gain from fostering to 18 days of age was greater for litters of does fed the HE rather than the LE diet (P < 0·05). There were no statistically significant differences between diets for carcass traits at weaning.
After weaning, 32 rabbits were given either the LE or HE diet until 2 kg live weight when they were slaughtered. A post-weaning × pre-weaning diet interaction (P < 0·05) occurred for live weights of the rabbits at the start of the post-weaning trial (i.e. after a 10-day adaptation period) with LE: LE rabbits being lighter than other rabbits as a results of poor live-weight gains during the adaptation period. Live-weight gains to slaughter were greater for the pre-weaning LE diet (P < 0·05) and the post-weaning HE diet (P < 0·01), although dry-matter intakes of the HE diet were less (P < 0·05). Rabbits on the LE diet had greater empty gut weights (P < 0·05) and lighter livers (P < 0·05) at slaughter.
A preliminary study to define a laboratory diet on which to rear the larvae of Rhyacionia buoliana (Schiff.) was made. The rearing vials were very important and gaseous exchange was essential for proper rearing and moisture levels. It was found that wheat germ appeared to contain essential components or balance of nutrients necessary for rearing this insect. Ascorbic acid also appeared to be an important component either for its nutritional value or as an antioxidant protecting other labile dietary components. It also appeared, because of the feeding habits of this insect and the length of its life cycle, that the larvae may have to be periodically transferred to new diet formulations to insure the presence of changing necessary nutrient(s). Aseptic rearing of the larvae seemed to be feasible. It was found that eggs, surface sterilized in 0.1% hypochlorite solution for 10–15 minutes, could be aseptically introduced into containers without appreciable decrease in egg hatch; however, sustained asepsis was difficult to maintain in the rearing vials employed.
Experiments have been conducted to determine the optimum conditions for the hydrothermal growth of ruby. The solubility of corundmn in various solutions has been determined and compared with the respective growth obtained in each medium. The discrepancy between solubility and effective growth is discussed.
The need for a high degree of chemical purity has resulted in the development of platinum liners for the autoclaves. The effects of impurities and of other factors on the growth of ruby crystals have been studied. The crystal habit of hydrothermal ruby is also described.
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