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Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease resulting in muscle weakness, dysarthria and dysphagia, and ultimately respiratory failure leading to death. Half of the ALS patients survive less than 3 years, and 80% of the patients survive less than 5 years. Riluzole is the only approved medication in Canada with randomized controlled clinical trial evidence to slow the progression of ALS, albeit only to a modest degree. The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR) collects data on over 140 different neuromuscular diseases including ALS across ten academic institutions and 28 clinics including ten multidisciplinary ALS clinics. Methods: In this study, CNDR registry data were analyzed to examine potential differences in ALS care among provinces in time to diagnosis, riluzole and feeding tube use. Results: Significant differences were found among provinces, in time to diagnosis from symptom onset, in the use of riluzole and in feeding tube use. Conclusions: Future investigations should be undertaken to identify factors contributing to such differences, and to propose potential interventions to address the provincial differences reported.
Our objective was to examine and describe the common socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of first time older sex offenders.
Research papers published in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and EMBASE were searched systematically. Following removal of duplicates and irrelevant papers, a total of 423 papers were reviewed to determine whether the selection criteria were met. A total of seven publications were included and evaluated by two researchers.
Of the seven publications, there were two retrospective research studies and five case reports. There was a higher proportion of neurocognitive disorder in this offender group and the victims were usually vulnerable individuals. Yet, cognitive assessments were rarely done or reported. Two subtypes of older sex offenders were identified: (i) offenders who had offended in the past but were not previously detected; (ii) first-time offenders with a high proportion of neurocognitive disorder.
There is a paucity of research in first time sex offending by older people. This review has highlighted a need for better designed studies to explore the characteristics of older sex offenders. Better collaboration between forensic and old-age psychiatric services is required for improved assessment and management of older sex offenders.
In Sovereignty in Cyberspace:Lex Lata Vel Non?, Michael Schmitt and Liis Vihul argue that territorial sovereignty is a primary rule of international law that limits cyber activities. They recognize, however, that not all cyber effects constitute violations of territorial sovereignty, and like Rule 4 in the Tallinn Manual 2.0 and its commentary, they acknowledge a distinct lack of consensus among the Tallinn participants on the critical question of applicable thresholds. Problematically, they do not identify the necessary state practice and opinio juris that would be required to establish either the primary rule that they proffer or the existence and contours of the exception they would recognize.
International law is a foundational pillar of the modern international order, and its applicability to both state and nonstate cyber activities is, by now, beyond question. However, owing to the unique and rapidly evolving nature of cyberspace, its ubiquitous interconnectivity, its lack of segregation between the private and public sectors, and its incompatibility with traditional concepts of geography, there are difficult and unresolved questions about exactly how international law applies to this domain. Chief among these is the question of the exact role that the principle of sovereignty plays in regulating states’ cyber activities.
Driving in persons with dementia poses risks that must be counterbalanced with the importance of the care for autonomy and mobility. Physicians often find substantial challenges in the assessment and reporting of driving safety for persons with dementia. This paper describes a driving in dementia decision tool (DD-DT) developed to aid physicians in deciding when to report older drivers with either mild dementia or mild cognitive impairment to local transportation administrators.
A multi-faceted, computerized decision support tool was developed, using a systematic literature and guideline review, expert opinion from an earlier Delphi study, as well as qualitative interviews and focus groups with physicians, caregivers of former drivers with dementia, and transportation administrators. The tool integrates inputs from the physician-user about the patient's clinical and driving history as well as cognitive findings, and it produces a recommendation for reporting to transportation administrators. This recommendation is translated into a customized reporting form for the transportation authority, if applicable, and additional resources are provided for the patient and caregiver.
An innovative approach was needed to develop the DD-DT. The literature and guideline review confirmed the algorithm derived from the earlier Delphi study, and barriers identified in the qualitative research were incorporated into the design of the tool.
There is a growing need for environmental scientists, geoscientists, and analysts skilled in the use of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry and X-ray diffractometry. The challenge for educators is how to inspire, teach, and make the next generation of professional X-ray users and analysts ready for employment. In this paper, we present vignettes from teaching applications of X-ray analytical techniques at three scaffolded levels, from senior high school students, undergraduate science students, to postgraduate researchers. At each of these levels the pedagogical complexity increases, from simple data use at high school, to observing how data are generated and being able to constrain analytical uncertainty at the undergraduate level, to generating high-quality data at the postgraduate level. In all cases, transportable equipment is used in on-site analytical programs to inform the experimental design, level of sampling required, and research outcomes.
Excess body adiposity, especially abdominal obesity and ectopic fat accumulation, are key risk factors in the development of a number of chronic diseases. The advent of in vivo imaging methodologies that allow direct assessment of total body fat and its distribution have been pivotal in this process. They have helped to identify a number of sub-phenotypes in the general population whose metabolic risk factors are not commensurate with their BMI. At least two such sub-phenotypes have been identified: subjects with normal BMI, but excess intra-abdominal (visceral) fat (with or without increased ectopic fat) and subjects with elevated BMI (> 25 kg/m2) but low visceral and ectopic fat. The former sub-phenotype is associated with adverse metabolic profiles, while the latter is associated with a metabolically normal phenotype, despite a high BMI. Here, examples of these phenotypes are presented and the value of carrying out enhanced phenotypical characterisation of subjects in interventional studies discussed.
Melting and solidification of a silicon film by continuous wave laser beam irradiation has been studied. The silicon film melting and recrystallization is controlled by the temperature distribution in the semiconductor. Calculations have been carried out for a range of laser beam parameters and material translational speeds. The results for the melt pool size have been compared with experimental data. The temperature field development has also been monitored with localized transient reflectivity measurements.
A highly sensitive x-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique has been developed for the determination of low metal concentrations in the etch resistant layer of surface-imaged photoresists. The samples may be analyzed quickly and the method is applicable to a wide variety of surfaceimaging processes. For each metal of interest the XRF spectrometer is easily calibrated using polymer films containing known concentrations of a metal-containing reagent. Examples of the application of this technique to the analysis of Ti, Si and Zr-containing films are described.
The evolution of optical lithography to higher resolution patterning with step-and-repeat exposure methods has resulted from the precise fabrication of higher numerical aperture lenses, more precisely engineered and controlled mechanical and electrical subsystems, and new lenses, systems components and light sources which enable efficient printing at shorter wavelengths. Optical resist technology is undergoing a parallel evolution which is sharpening this capability even further. This paper outlines resist materials and processes at the leading edge of photolithography which will enable printing near and perhaps at the theoretical resolution limits. Subtopics discussed include resists sensitive to 248.4 nm excimer laser radiation, planarization methods, multilevel resist materials, and surface-functionalized plasma-developed resists. Finally, some conjecture about the practical resolution limits of optical lithography is presented.
Polymer surfaces play essential roles in many technical arenas, but their importance in imaging science and technology has only recently been established. As optical lithography for integrated circuit applications pushes below 0.5μm feature sizes, ever shorter wavelengths and lenses with larger numerical aperatures are required. These narrow the depth-of-focus to such a degree that it eventually becomes less than the substrate topography, resist film thickness and wafer nonuniformity contributions to focus placement. Thick single-layer, surface-conforming resists will not be able to record the aerial image accurately.
Surface imaging of planarized single-layer or bilayer organic films offers a means for minimizing the depth-of-focus constraints. This paper outlines this general concept which includes radiation-induced chemical changes in the surface and near-surface regions, amplification of these events by gas-solid reactions with inorganic and organometallic agents and plasma development using an oxygen plasma. Two approaches to surface imaging are discussed. The first employs Plasmask® resist, a very absorbing diazonaphthoquinone-functionalized novolac resin which is exposed and functionalized in the topmost several hundred nm of film. According to Coopmans, Roland and coworkers  and Pierrat, et al.,  two tones are possible depending upon the processing. The present study reports results obtained for both processing modes using 248.4 nm lithography.
The second approach involves imaging at the surface and utilizes one of the oldest polymer photoreactions, photo-oxidation, in the imaging step. Hydrophobic aromatic polymers are first irradiated in air to give hydrophilic groups. These sorb water selectively on the hydrophilic areas. The water is reacted in a separate step with an inorganic or organometallic compound such as TiC14 to give a metal oxide film (TiO2) on the exposed areas. Development with an oxygen plasma gives negative tone patterns because TiO2 reduces the etching rate by a factor of ∼ 500 in the exposed regions. Imaging is dependent upon the polymer structure, among other things, and is optimized at shorter wavelengths likely to be used in future exposure systems. From the present results we feel that surface imaging resists may realize 0.25 μm resolution at 193 nm and that <0.10 μm resolution may be achieved using x-ray radiation.
High-manganese ferrous-based alloys containing 10–20 at. % Mn have been investigated as prospective iron-based structural amorphous metals with magnetic transition temperatures far below the ambient temperature. Many of these alloys are found to have a high reduced glass transition temperature of 0.6–0.63 and large supercooled liquid region of 40–90 °C. Rod-shaped amorphous samples with diameters reaching 4 mm are obtained by employing simple injection casting. The search for good glass-forming alloys has been guided by an atomistic approach coupled with the realization of low-lying liquidus temperatures via proper alloying. The tensile yield strengths and Vickers hardness of the new amorphous metals far exceed those known in high-strength steel alloys, and the elastic moduli are comparable to those reported for super-austenitic steels. The present high-manganese amorphous Fe-alloys also show promise as very good corrosion-resistant materials.
Iron doped lithium niobate (Fe:LiNbO3) in a simple focal plane geometry has demonstrated efficient optical limiting through two-beam coupling. The performance is largely independent of the total Fe concentration and the oxidation state of the Fe ions, providing the linear optical transmission of uncoated crystals is between 30% and 60%. Fe has been found to be the best dopant for LiNbO3, giving the widest spectral coverage and the greatest optical limiting. Optical limiting in Fe:LiNbO3 has been shown to be very much greater than predicted by simple diffusion theory. The reason for this is a higher optical gain than expected. It is suggested that this may be due to an enhancement of the space-charge field arising from the photovoltaic effect. The standard two-beam coupling equations have been modified to include the effects of the dark conductivity. This has produced a theoretical intensity dependence on the ΔOD which closely follows the behaviour observed in the laboratory. A further modification to the theory has also shown that the focusing lens f-number greatly affects the optical limiting characteristics of Fe:LiNbO3. A lens f-number of approximately 20 gives the best results.
Polymer light-emitting diodes (PLEDs) show great promise of revolutionizing display technologies. The archetypical multilayer PLED heterostructure introduces numerous chemical and physical challenges to the develoment of efficient and robust devices. These layered structure are formed from solution based spin-casting or printing with subsequesnt removal of the solvent. However, solvent from the freshly deposited film may dissolve or partially dissolve the underlying layer resulting in loss of the desired structure and corresponding device functionality. Undesirable changes in the morphology and interfaces of the polymer films are another detrimental effect associated with solvent removal. Herein, we demonstrated that by embedding hole transporting materials (HTLs) in a cross-linked polymer matrix, the total luminance and external quantum efficiency were greatly improved over devices without this HTL layer.