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We show the design and simulation of organic neuromorphic circuits in a hybrid-computation approach that emulates Boolean and reversible logic gates based on multigate organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). The organic neuromorphic circuits consist of input, hidden, and output layers that can carry out Boolean operations, including the Exclusive OR (XOR) function, with five or less OECTs. The multigate functionality of OECTs is harnessed to perform the summation function of the neurons. Connection weights of the networks are defined in an unconventional way that depends on the value of the drain-source current of the outputting neuron, which changes according to the input values of the circuit. The Boolean circuits can be cascaded together to build higher level circuits and are demonstrated to form a full adder circuit and the Double Feynman and Toffoli reversible logic gates. Using realistic experimental parameters, the energy per computation is estimated to be ~2.3 nJ for circuit designs with a bias voltage of 0.5 V, with ~230 fJ or less being achievable for lower bias voltages.
We evaluated the effects of fermentation time and acid casein content on the microbial rennet obtained by solid-state fermentation using wheat bran as the carbon source. The experiments used two fermentation times (72 and 96 h), while acid casein content was 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 g. Rennet strength from eight enzymatic extracts was measured using pasteurized whole milk. Rennet strength of samples from 72 h of fermentation showed an increase when acid casein content increased. The rennet strength increased at 96 h of fermentation with increasing amount of casein (up to 2.5 g), and then decreased with the largest addition (3.0 g) of casein. Coagulation time for the sample with highest rennet strength was 420 s.
Nektaspids are Palaeozoic non-biomineralized euarthropods that were at the peak of their diversity during the Cambrian Period. Post-Cambrian nektaspids are a low-diversity group with only a few species described so far. Here we describe Tariccoia tazagurtensis, a new species of small-bodied nektaspid from the Lower Ordovician Fezouata Shale of Morocco. The new species differs from the type (and only other known) species from the Ordovician strata of Sardinia (Italy), Tariccoia arrusensis, in possessing more pointed genal angles, a cephalon with marginal rim, a pygidium with anterior margin curved forwards, a rounded posterior margin, and longer and more curved thoracic tergites. The two specimens of T. tazagurtensis sp. nov. show remains of digestive glands that are comparable to those seen in the Cambrian nektaspid Naraoia. The rare occurrence of T. tazagurtensis sp. nov. in the Fezouata Shale and the distribution of other liwiids suggest that these liwiids were originally minor members of open-marine communities during the Cambrian Period, and migrated into colder brackish or restricted seas during the Ordovician Period.
Recent evidence points to relationships between intra-specific seed mass variation and viability loss in response to ageing stress. However, little is known about how seed quality may change temporally in response to such stress. Here we examined seed–water relations of mass-separated Rudbeckia mollis seeds to better understand physiological status among mass classes. We then evaluated seed viability and vigour changes in response to various storage conditions or post-storage vigour tests (a 41°C, 75% RH stress for up to 45 d). We found similar pre-storage physiology among mass classes. However, seeds of lower mass deteriorated up to 1.5-fold faster than heavier seeds under certain conditions. Stressing seeds after storage resulted in distinct vigour differences among mass classes. For example, vigour in lower mass seeds tended to decline more compared to heavier seeds following storage in a climate-controlled room. Alternatively, vigour loss varied among mass classes following storage in a non-climate-controlled shed. Our results highlight the importance of distinguishing between pre-sowing storage and post-storage vigour effects when quantifying relative levels of viability loss among seeds of different mass. Furthermore, differential responses to storage and ageing stress among mass classes may have important implications for post-storage regeneration and subsequent population dynamics.
In the American continent, the sugarcane borer Diatraea saccharalis (F.) is the main pest in sugarcane producing areas. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of crop residue management on damage by D. saccharalis, its egg parasitoids and the ants associated with sugarcane. The study was carried out during 2011–2012, 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 crop cycles, in three commercial fields located in different regions of Tucumán state, Argentina. Two types of crop residue management (= treatments) were compared: conservation of trash at the soil surface (CT) and trash burning (TB). In ‘trash conservation’ treatment, crop residue was allowed to remain over the soil surface during the whole sugarcane growing season, while the second treatment consisted of complete burning of trash blanket approximately 2 weeks after harvest. The injury level was measured by recording the number of stalks bored and internodes bored. Parasitism was estimated by counting the total number of eggs and number of black eggs (which indicates the occurrence of egg parasitoids). Ants (Formicidae) richness was calculated by two estimators; abundance-based coverage estimator and incidence-based coverage estimator, using the non-parametric richness estimators: Chao 2 and Jackknife. Finally, the indicator value was estimated through the measurement of specificity and fidelity. In all the parameters studied no significant difference was found between TB and CT treatments.
Safe cochlear implantation is challenging in patients with canal wall down mastoid cavities, and the presence of large meatoplasties increases the risk of external canal overclosure. This paper describes our results of obliteration of the mastoid cavity with conchal cartilage as an alternative procedure in cases of canal wall down mastoidectomy with very large meatoplasty.
The cases of seven patients with a canal wall down mastoidectomy cavity who underwent cochlear implantation were retrospectively reviewed. Post-operative complications were analysed. The mean follow-up duration was 4.5 years.
There was no hint of cholesteatoma recurrence and all patients have been free of symptoms during follow up. Only one patient showed cable extrusion six months after surgery, and implantation of the contralateral ear was needed.
Pseudo-obliteration of the mastoid cavity with a cartilage multi-layered palisade reconstruction covering the electrode may be a safe alternative in selected patients with a large meatoplasty.
The COVID-19 outbreak could be considered as an uncontrollable stressful life event. Lockdown measures have provoked a disruption of daily life with a great impact over older adults’ health and well-being. Nevertheless, eudaimonic well‐being plays a protective role in confronting adverse circumstances, such as the COVID-19 situation. This study aims to assess the association between age and psychological well-being (personal growth and purpose in life). Young–old (60–70 years) and old–old (71–80 years) community-dwelling Spaniards (N = 878) completed a survey and reported on their sociodemographic characteristics and their levels of health, COVID-19 stress-related, appraisal, and personal resources. Old–old did not evidence poorer psychological well-being than young–old. Age has only a negative impact on personal growth. The results also suggest that the nature of the COVID-19 impact (except for the loss of a loved one) may not be as relevant for the older adults’ well-being as their appraisals and personal resources for managing COVID-related problems. In addition, these results suggest that some sociodemographic and health-related variables have an impact on older adults’ well-being. Thus, perceived-health, family functioning, resilience, gratitude, and acceptance had significant associations with both personal growth and purpose in life. Efforts to address older adults’ psychological well-being focusing on older adults’ personal resources should be considered.
The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
To evaluate the effect of pregabalin as a tapering therapy over the subjective sleep quality of patients who underwent a benzodiazepine withdrawal program.
This was a secondary analysis of a 12-week, prospective, and observational study carried out in patients aged 18 years or over, who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for benzodiazepine dependence without other major psychiatry disorder. Evaluations included the Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptom Questionnaire, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, the Clinical Global Impression scale, and the MOS-Sleep Scale. Changes from baseline to the endpoint in the different scales’ scores as well as correlations of these changes with those of the MOS-Sleep scores were calculated.
282 patients met the criteria for analysis. Mean pregabalin dose was 315 (166) mg/day at end-of-trial. We observed a significant and clinically relevant improvement in sleep outcomes at the study endpoint as measured with the MOS-Sleep Summary Index, that was reduced from 55.8 (18.9) pts at baseline to 25.1 (18.0) pts at week 12 (55% reduction), as well as with the six dimensions of the MOS-Sleep Scale. Moderate correlations were observed between Summary Index and sleep domains with improvements in the anxiety symptoms and in the disease severity as well. Also, sleep ameliorations were observed in the 52% successfully benzodiazepines withdrawals but, although to a lesser extent, in the remaining failures as well.
Pregabalin treatment improves subjective sleep quality in patients who underwent a benzodiazepine withdrawal program and this effect appears partly independent of the improvement of anxiety or withdrawal symptoms.
Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drinking, alcohol seeking, loss of control over alcohol consumption, and impaired social and occupational functioning. Treatment of Alcohol Dependence (AD) comprises two steps, detoxification and relapse prevention (RP). Traditionally, long half-life benzodiazepines have been the most widely used agents for alcohol detoxification. On the other hand, disulfiram, naltrexone and acamprosate are the three drugs that have been approved for relapse prevention. In the last decades, nevertheless, there is a growing interest in the use of anticonvulsant drugs in the management of both, detoxification and relapse prevention of alcohol.
To review the different pharmacological strategies in which an anticonvulsant was used in the management of AD.
We searched in MEDLINE and in the Cochrane Database System Review, selecting all studies from 1980 until present, in which a pharmacological intervention with anticonvulsant agents was made for alcohol detoxification or RP.
The most tested anticonvulsant drugs are the classical Carbamazepine and Valproate. Both have demonstrated to be efficacious in Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome and RP. However, the use of these agents has been limited by their hepatic and hematologic toxicity. Novel anticonvulsants such as Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Topiramate, Oxcarbazepine and Zonisamide have also been found to be effective, with the advantage of rapid onset of action, lower toxicity and fewer side effects.
Anticonvulsants are efficacious and safe agents in the management of AD. Further randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are warranted to increase the evidence of the use of these agents.
To explore different longitudinal patterns of social functioning before onset of psychotic illness and how they relate to clinical presentation, substance use and acute treatment response.
Inclusion criteria: Drug-naïve first-episode psychosis, 18-50 yo, criteria for Schizophrenia or Other Psychotic Disorders (DSM-IV), excluding Psychotic Disorder due to a General Medical Condition and Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder.
Mental Retardation, neurological disease, brain injury or drug dependence.
Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS), Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS).
Ward cluster analyses were carried out to differentiate three longitudinal patterns of social premorbid adjustment from childhood to late adolescence: stable good (N=75), stable bad (N=44) and deteriorating (N=35). Chi-square and ANOVA tests were used.
154 subjects (64.5% male, mean age 26.81, SD=6.98) participated in the study.
At baseline the socially stable good group had more positive symptoms, SAPS 13.85 (3.99), than the stable bad group, SAPS 11.82 (3.93) (p=0.023).
At six weeks post-treatment the socially deteriorating group had more negative symptoms, SANS 8 (4.89), than the stable good, SANS 3.85 (4.11), and the stable bad, SANS 5.23 (5.45) (p=0.000).
The stable good group had the highest rates of substance use, followed by the deteriorating group.
A good premorbid social life was related to higher substance use and more positive symptoms at presentation. A social deteriorating pattern was associated with more negative symptoms at baseline and six weeks post-treatment. These differences would argue for different pathogeneses of psychosis.
Ketamine is an anesthetic, blocker or antagonist of NMDA receptors, commonly used in veterinary medicine. Ketamine is also a 'club drug”, an hallucinogen and a dissociative drug used for recreation. The continued consumption leads to tolerance and dependence, in addition to cognitive and psychiatric disorders. The abuse and dependence on ketamine requires a multidisciplinary approach, combining medical, psychological aspects and social support. Its pharmacotherapy is not yet established.
Analyze the utility of paliperidone palmitate in the treatment of ketamine dependence through a clinical report.
Aims and methods
We report the case of a 38-year-old man diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Multi-drug consumer with serious ketamine addiction up to 5-6 g/day and a ketamine-induced cystopathy at risk of losing his bladder. History of various admissions to the psychiatric unit and hospital detoxification unit without success. Last year starts treatment with paliperidone palmitate in increasing doses from 75 to 150 mg combined with bupropion in high doses with clinical improvement and ketamine withdrawl.
From the start of treatment the patient is abstinent of ketamine. Impulsivity and dysphoria have improved and suicide ideation has gone. Subjective assessment of treatment is very good.
Treatment for ketamine addiction is a multidisciplinary issue. Pharmacotherapy is not well defined but Paliperidone palmitate may be useful in drug dose-reduction and maintaining abstinence.
Verbal working memory span is decreased in patients with schizophrenia, and this might contribute to impairment in higher cognitive functions as well as to the formation of certain clinical symptoms. Processing speed has been identified as a crucial factor in cognitive efficiency in this population. We tested the hypothesis that decreased processing speed underlies the verbal working memory deficit in patients and mediates the associations between working memory span and clinical symptoms.
Forty-nine schizophrenia inpatients recruited from units for chronic and acute patients, and forty-five healthy participants, were involved in the study. Verbal working memory span was assessed by means of the letter-number span. The Digit Copy test was used to assess motor speed, and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test to assess cognitive speed.
The working memory span was significantly impaired in patients (F(1,90) = 4.6, P < 0.05). However, the group difference was eliminated when either the motor or the cognitive speed measure was controlled (F(1,89) = 0.03, P = 0.86, and F(1,89) = 0.03, P = 0.88). In the patient group, working memory span was significantly correlated with negative symptoms (r = –0.52, P < 0.0001) and thought disorganisation (r = –0.34, P < 0.025) scores. Regression analyses showed that the association with negative symptoms was no longer significant when the motor speed measure was controlled (β = –0.12, P = 0.20), while the association with thought disorganisation was no longer significant when the cognitive speed measure was controlled (β = –0.10, P = 0.26).
Decrement in motor and cognitive speed plays a significant role in both the verbal working memory impairment observed in patients and the associations between verbal working memory impairment and clinical symptoms.
To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of pregabalin in the management of the discontinuation of benzodiazepines in long-term users.
Subjects and methods
We performed a 12-week, prospective, uncontrolled, non-interventional, and observational study in patients aged 18 years old or above, who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for benzodiazepine dependence without other major psychiatry disorder. Evaluations included the Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptom Questionnaire, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, the Clinical Global Impression Scale, and the Sheehan Disability Scale. A urine drug screen for benzodiazepines was performed at baseline and every 4 weeks thereafter. The primary effectiveness variable was success rate, defined as achievement of benzodiazepine-free status at week 12 according to the urine drug screen.
Results and discussion
The mean dose at week 12 was 315 (±166) mg/day. The success rate of the benzodiazepine taper in the primary efficacy population (n = 282) was 52% (95% confidence interval [CI], 46–58). Success rates for women and men were 58% (95% CI, 49–67) and 46% (95% CI, 38–55), respectively. The success rates did not differ according to either the benzodiazepine of abuse or the presence of other substance use disorders. Significant and clinically relevant improvements were observed in withdrawal and anxiety symptoms, as well as in patients’ functioning. At week 12, tolerability was rated as good or excellent by 90% and 83% of the clinicians and patients, respectively.
Our results suggest that pregabalin is an efficacious and well-tolerated adjunctive treatment for benzodiazepine withdrawal.