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Background: There is a paucity of research regarding ALS epidemiology in Canada. Previously published data from Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) demonstrate an average incidence of 2.4/100,000 from 2000-2004 (peak 3.3 in 2001, the highest reported in Canada). Local neurologists believe that the incidence has continued to increase. Methods: Clinicians affiliated with the electromyography (EMG) lab at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s compiled a list of patients diagnosed with ALS from 2012-2016, based on recall. Their medical records were reviewed and demographic information collected. This was cross-referenced with new referrals to the ALS Society NL per year. Results: Based on new referrals to ALS Society NL the average incidence between 2012-2016 was 2.81/100,000 (peak 3.6 in 2015). Average age-adjusted incidence from the EMG lab was 1.33 (peak 1.73 in 2016). The EMG lab documented a crude incidence of 3.97 in 2018. Conclusions: The incidence of ALS in NL is increased compared to the usual incidence of 1-2/100,000 per year. After the preliminary study, the EMG lab maintained more thorough records and an incidence of 3.97/100,000 was found in 2018. This makes a compelling argument for future research which could explore potential genetic or environmental causes for the increased incidence in this population.
Hunger strikes in a custodial setting are complex to manage clinically, with associated legal and ethical complexities. Hunger strikes in Irish prisons have received, and are likely to continue to be the focus of, considerable media attention. Whilst there is an internationally accepted consensus ethical position, there is limited legal guidance available for psychiatrists to draw upon in such cases. In this paper, we review recent case-law and discuss the legal considerations in the management of prisoners on hunger strike.
Background: The Saskatoon stroke program participated in the ESCAPE trial looking at rapid endovascular revascularization for large vessel occlusion. Improvements were necessary to meet the timelines mandates in ESCAPE and to comply with Canadian Best Practice Guidelines. Methods: Retrospective chart review and prospective gathering of key metrics was performed using REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) software. Changes adapted from Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for Stroke Care, the ESCAPE protocol, and the Calgary stroke program HASTE project were implemented. Results: Changes implemented included increasing ambulance bypass window to 12 hours, FAST stroke assessment, emergency department pre-notification and registration, stroke alert protocol, team swarm of the patient, administration of tPA in the computed tomography (CT) room, and rapid access to the endovascular suite. Total number of patients between the years 2012 and 2014 was 287, and of those, 93 received tPA. Door-to-CT times decreased from 40 minutes to 21 minutes from 2012 to 2014; and Door-to-Needle (tPA) decreased from 62 minutes to 46 minutes from 2012 to 2014. Conclusions: By following Canadian best practice recommendations for stroke care, the ESCAPE protocol, and adaptation of Calgary stroke program HASTE project, our stroke program implemented changes to reduce treatment times for patients experiencing stroke in our province.
This talk summarizes recent work that has been done on cataclysmic variables at Oxford and Cambridge. Full details should be sought elsewhere, either from the authors concerned or from the references given below.
We review the importance of Centaurus A in high-energy astrophysics as a nearby object with many of the properties expected of a major source of very high-energy cosmic rays and gamma rays. We examine observational techniques and the results so far obtained in the energy range from 200 GeV to above 100 EeV and attempt to fit those data to expectations of Centaurus Aas an astrophysical source from very high to ultra-high energies.
India was one of the great causes of Burke’s political career, one that he pursued from around 1780 until his retirement from parliament. Indeed, in his own retrospective judgement, it was the cause ‘on which I value myself the most’ (WS, IX: 159). By ‘India’ here is meant the incipient British empire in India or, more precisely, the regime of the English East India Company, to which parliament had ceded not only a commercial monopoly, but also authority over those parts of India that came under British control. ‘India’ also denotes the distant country and people as Burke tried to imagine them, and for whom he became a passionate advocate.
Burke became convinced that the East India Company (and by extension parliament) was abusing its trust by perpetrating (or permitting) severe forms of oppression and plunder of India and, more ominously, destroying the social foundations of a great, though alien, civilisation. Analysing and exposing the various abuses of imperial rule, Burke (together with his fellow Whigs under Fox) called for reforms. More dramatically, as a way of raising both parliamentary and public consciousness about the affairs of India, Burke pursued the prosecution and impeachment of Warren Hastings, the former governor-general of Bengal, whom Burke believed had directed and personified many of the abusive practices.
Our understanding of the role of the initial surface on atomic layer
deposition (ALD) of Cu diffusion barrier materials is limited by the
complexity of the sequential reactions and the heterogeneous nature of
typical dielectric substrates. The atomically controlled surface chemistry
of self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) provides a means of creating model
substrates for ALD. Here we report on ALD of WCxNy
films on SAMs derived from bromoundecyltrichlorosilane adsorbed on silicon
dioxide. The as-prepared SAM is macroscopically ordered with the expected
Br-termination and has a well-defined chemical composition as determined by
contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy,
respectively. Temperature programmed desorption spectroscopy confirms that
the SAM is stable to 550°C. It survives multiple cycles of ALD at 300°C as
evidenced by the detection of mass fragments characteristic of the alkyl
chain and supported by the persistence of a Br 2p peak at 71 eV. X-ray
fluorescence, ellipsometry and atomic force microscopy reveal that the
underlying SAM influences WCxNy film coverage, thickness, and
Medium energy ion scattering (MEIS), operated at sub-nm depth resolution in the double alignment configuration, has been used to examine implant and damage depth profiles formed in Si(100) substrates irradiated with 2.5 keV As+ and 1 keV B+ ions. Samples were implanted at temperatures varying between 150°C, and 300°C to doses ranging from 3X1014 to 2X1016 cm-2. For the As implants the MEIS studies demonstrate the occurrence of effects such as a dopant accommodation linked to the growth in depth of the damage layer, dopant clustering, as well as damage and dopant movement upon annealing. Following epitaxial regrowth at 600°C, approximately half of the As was observed to be in substitutional sites, consistent with the reported formation of AsnV complexes (n≤4), while the remainder became segregated and became trapped within a narrow, 1.1 nm wide layer at the Si/oxide interface
MEIS measurements of the B implants indicate the formation of two distinct damage regions each with a different dependence on implant dose, the importance of dynamic annealing for implants at room temperature and above, and a competing point defect trapping effect at the Si/oxide interface. B+ implantation at low temperature resulted in the formation of an amorphous layer due to the drastic reduction of dynamic annealing processes.
Notably different dopant distributions were measured by SIMS in the samples implanted with As at different temperatures following rapid thermal annealing (RTA) up to 1100°C in an oxidising environment. Implant temperature dependent interactions between defects and dopants are reflected in the transient enhanced diffusion (TED) behaviour of As.
Formation of ultra-shallow junctions by excimer laser annealing (ELA) of ultra-low energy (1keV –250 eV) B implanted in Si has been investigated. High resolution TEM has been used to assess the as-implanted damage and the crystal recovery following ELA. The electrical activation and redistribution of B in Si during ELA has been studied as a function of the laser energy density (melt depth), the implant dose and the number of laser pulses (melt duration). Under appropriate ELA conditions, ultra-shallow profiles, extending to a depth as low as 35 nm with an abrupt profile (2.5 nm/dec), have been achieved. A significant amount of the implanted dopant was lost from the sample following ELA. However, the dopant that was retained in crystal material was fully activated following rapid re-solidification. We developed a theoretical model, that considers the dopant redistribution during melting and regrowth, showing that the fraction of the implanted dopant not activated during ELA was lost from the sample through out diffusion. The lateral distribution of the implanted B following laser annealing has been studied with 2-D measurements, using selective etching and cross-section TEM on samples where the implanted dopant was confined by using test structures including windows opened in silicon dioxide masks and patterned gate stack structures.
Although dielectric polishing is primarily mechanical in nature, surface chemical effects can be tailored to enhance material removal, selectivity and planarity. The use of ceria abrasives in oxide polishing is particularly attractive because of favorable polishing characteristics that are generally not obtainable using conventional fumed or colloidal silica abrasives. Unfortunately, a characteristic of ceria abrasive is an enhanced tendency toward defectivity in comparison with conventional silica. Entirely novel composite structures comprising 300 nm polymer particles coated by ceria (specific surface area of the powder 61 m2/g), are achieved by either adding silane coupling agents (Composite A) or tuning the pH in order to form electrostatic attractive interactions between the core and the shell (Composite B). The polymer core shows mechanical properties that are highly tunable by variation of its synthesis parameters, while the major advantage of the ceria coating is an enhanced chemical action of the abrasive particles, commonly referred to as the chemical tooth model. In this study we report the evolution of RR, haze, and defects such as particles and scratches in CMP experiments on high-density plasma (HDP) silicon oxide using four abrasive types (14 nm primary size ceria particles, 300 nm polymer particles, composites A and B) at pH 3 and 10. Interestingly, the two types of composite exhibit different RR. This is attributed to differences in morphology and surface composition. Composite B presents more similarities with the ceria, as confirmed by particle / silica surface adhesion forces in different pH solutions, measured by a colloidal AFM technique.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of chronic abdominal pain, altered bowel habit and abdominal distension. It is the commonest cause of referral to gastroenterologists in the developed world and yet current therapeutic strategies are often unsatisfactory. There is now increasing evidence linking alterations in the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and IBS. Changes in faecal and mucosa-associated microbiota, post-infectious IBS, a link with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and an up-regulation of the GI mucosal immune system all suggest a role for the GI microbiota in the pathogenesis of IBS. Given this evidence, therapeutic alteration of the GI microbiota by probiotic bacteria could be beneficial. The present paper establishes an aetiological framework for the use of probiotics in IBS and comprehensively reviews randomised placebo-controlled trials of probiotics in IBS using multiple electronic databases. It highlights safety concerns over the use of probiotics and attempts to establish guidelines for their use in IBS in both primary and secondary care.
Well-designed prospective studies of substance misuse in first-episode
psychosis can improve our understanding of the risks associated with
comorbid substance misuse and psychosis.
To examine the potential effects of substance misuse on in-patient
admission and remission and relapse of positive symptoms in first-episode
The study was a prospective 15-month follow-up investigation of 103
patients with first-episode psychosis recruited from three mental health
Substance misuse was independently associated with increased risk of
in-patient admission, relapse of positive symptoms and shorter time to
relapse of positive symptoms after controlling for potential confounding
factors. Substance misuse was not associated with remission or time to
remission of positive symptoms. Heavy substance misuse was associated
with increased risk of in-patient admission, relapse and shorter time to
Substance misuse is an independent risk factor for a problematic recovery
from first-episode psychosis.
Crystal distortions modify the propagation of X-rays in single
crystal materials, and X-ray topography can be used to record
these modifications on a film thus providing images of the
distributions and nature of defects, dislocations, strains,
precipitates, etc. in semiconductors. Small variations of contrast,
which often need to be analysed can be rendered invisible.
Furthermore, artefacts in the films must be removed. This study
examines the use of advanced image analysis techniques applied to
a selection of X-ray topographs in section transmission mode: (i)
the automated counting of oxygen-related precipitates and (ii) the
enhancement of Pendellösung fringes. The technique also succeeds
in removing unwanted features in the original x-ray topographs such
as vertical streaking due to collimating slit phase contrast and
strain features near the surface due to the presence of integrated
circuit process strains.
The occurrence, location and sex ratio of Corynosoma strumosum (Acanthoceophala: Polymorphidae) from 26 juvenile grey seals, Halichoerus grypus, by-caught from around the Inishkea Islands, Co. Mayo, from March to June 1997 were recorded. The location of C. strumosum within the seal did not vary, with all worms being found in the small intestine. The prevalence of infection was 100%, with no other acanthocephalan species being recorded. The mean abundance was 416 (range 80–846) C. strumosum per seal. There was no significant change in abundance by month. The sex ratio of mature female to mature male parasites was 1.2:1. The lengths of female and male worms did not differ significantly.
The RAPD technique was used to distinguish two forms of
Melampsora rust on Salix viminalis. Fifteen
isolates of the stem-infecting form and 19 of the leaf-infecting form
collected from the U.K. were tested with 10 arbitrary primers. All
the primers generated polymorphic bands and 46 putative loci were
examined. Seven primers gave a total of eight bands specific for the
stem-infecting form and four primers produced five bands
characteristic of the leaf-infecting form. Cluster analysis using
Unweighted Pair-Group Method with Averaging (UPGMA) revealed 62%
disagreement between the two forms. The RAPD band patterns of the
stem-infecting form isolates were almost identical, while those of
the leaf-infecting isolates showed up to 29% variation.