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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Introduction: Hydronephrosis is the de facto measure of obstructive uropathy (OU) and can be evaluated using renal Point of Care Ultrasound (rPOCUS). This educational initiative aimed to develop an effective one-day rPOCUS curriculum and evaluate if feedback/quality assurance (QA), leads to an improvement in image acquisition and interpretation of hydronephrosis as well as comfort with the technique. Methods: Physicians were randomized into a QA or control group (NQA) and all attended a one day training session which involved acquiring rPOCUS scans with one-on-one instruction. Participants then performed POCUS scans on all ED patients where formal renal US was deemed clinically indicated. The QA group received feedback on every scan from qualified ED physicians. Overall sensitivity and specificity were calculated compared to formal scans using a chi-square test. Written QA was reviewed for future improvements. Crossover occurred at 10 weeks to allow for equal learning opportunity but analyses focused on pre-crossover data. Participants completed surveys at study start and end focusing on initiative effectiveness and barriers/comfort with POCUS measured with a likert scale (Not at all (1)-Very (7)). Results: Fourteen ED physicians participated. The most common cited barrier to utilizing rPOCUS was lack of knowledge/training (78.6%). A total of 63 POCUS scans were reviewed. Common feedback included breath-holding (69.7%), use of color doppler (48.5%) and including a transverse sweep (36.4%). Sensitivity and specificity were better in the QA versus NQA group though the difference was not significant (Se- 75.0% vs 50.0%, 95%CI: −34.0-73.4%; Sp- 89.3% vs 73.9%, 95% CI: 8.2-39.2%). Ten physicians completed the post survey; all reported improved comfort with rPOCUS in assessment of hydronephrosis (median [IQR]: Δ+2 [1-3]). At study end, the comfort rating for using only POCUS and not formal scan remained low (median [IQR]: 3.50 [1.8-4.2]). The training initiative was rated highly with a median [IQR] rating of 5.50 [4.8-7.0]. Conclusion: Although the initiative was rated highly effective and resulted in improved comfort with renal POCUS, physicians did not feel comfortable solely using POCUS without formal scan to diagnose OU. Despite the initiative's success, further educational programs are needed before rPOCUS can be safely used as the primary investigation. In the future, a greater emphasis should be placed on the commonly noted areas of improvement.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
This paper presents the characteristics of the different stages in the evolution of the wake of a circular cylinder rolling without slipping along a wall at constant speed, acquired through numerical stability analysis and two- and three-dimensional numerical simulations. Reynolds numbers between 30 and 300 are considered. Of importance in this study is the transition to three-dimensionality from the underlying two-dimensional periodic flow and, in particular, the way that the associated transitions influence the fluid forces exerted on the cylinder and the development and the structure of the wake. It is found that the steady two-dimensional flow becomes unstable to three-dimensional perturbations at
, and that the transition to unsteady two-dimensional flow – or periodic vortex shedding – occurs at
, thus validating and refining the results of Stewart et al. (J. Fluid Mech. vol. 648, 2010, pp. 225–256). The main focus here is on Reynolds numbers beyond the transition to unsteady flow at
. From impulsive start up, the wake almost immediately undergoes transition to a periodic two-dimensional wake state, which, in turn, is three-dimensionally unstable. Thus, the previous three-dimensional stability analysis based on the two-dimensional steady flow provides only an element of the full story. Floquet analysis based on the periodic two-dimensional flow was undertaken and new three-dimensional instability modes were revealed. The results suggest that an impulsively started cylinder rolling along a surface at constant velocity for
will result in the rapid development of a periodic two-dimensional wake that will be maintained for a considerable time prior to the wake undergoing three-dimensional transition. Of interest, the mean lift and drag coefficients obtained from full three-dimensional simulations match predictions from two-dimensional simulations to within a few per cent.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
It is unclear which potentially modifiable risk factors best predict post-trauma psychiatric disorders. We aimed to identify pre-trauma risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression (MD) that could be targeted with resilience interventions.
Newly recruited paramedics (n = 453) were assessed for history of mental disorders with structured clinical interviews within the first week of their paramedic training and completed self-report measures to assess hypothesized predictors. Participants were assessed every 4 months for 2 years to identify any episodes of PTSD and MD; 386 paramedics (85.2%) participated in the follow-up interviews.
In all, 32 participants (8.3%) developed an episode of PTSD and 41 (10.6%) an episode of MD during follow-up. In all but nine cases (2.3%), episodes had remitted by the next assessment 4 months later. At 2 years, those with episodes of PTSD or MD during follow-up reported more days off work, poorer sleep, poorer quality of life, greater burn-out; and greater weight-gain for those with PTSD. In line with theories of PTSD and depression, analyses controlling for psychiatric and trauma history identified several pre-trauma predictors (cognitive styles, coping styles and psychological traits). Logistic regressions showed that rumination about memories of stressful events at the start of training uniquely predicted an episode of PTSD. Perceived resilience uniquely predicted an episode of MD.
Participants at risk of developing episodes of PTSD or depression could be identified within the first week of paramedic training. Cognitive predictors of episodes of PTSD and MD are promising targets for resilience interventions.
Nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens when ingested under conditions that increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds. There have been limited efforts to develop US databases of dietary nitrate and nitrite for standard FFQ. Here we describe the development of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database and its calibration.
We analysed data from a calibration study of 1942 members of the NIH–AARP (NIH–AARP, National Institutes of Health–AARP) Diet and Health Study who reported all foods and beverages consumed on the preceding day in two non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls (24HR) and completed an FFQ. Based on a literature review, we developed a database of nitrate and nitrite contents for foods reported on these 24HR and for food category line items on the FFQ. We calculated daily nitrate and nitrite intakes for both instruments, and used a measurement error model to compute correlation coefficients and attenuation factors for the FFQ-based intake estimates using 24HR-based values as reference data.
FFQ-based median nitrate intake was 68·9 and 74·1 mg/d, and nitrite intake was 1·3 and 1·0 mg/d, in men and women, respectively. These values were similar to 24HR-based intake estimates. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients between FFQ- and 24HR-based values for men and women respectively were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·59 and 0·58 for nitrite; energy-adjusted attenuation factors were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·47 and 0·38 for nitrite.
The performance of the FFQ in assessing dietary nitrate and nitrite intakes is comparable to that for many other macro- and micronutrients.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
To study a cluster of Mycobacterium wolinskyi surgical site infections (SSIs).
Observational and case-control study.
Subjects who developed SSIs with M. wolinskyi following cardiothoracic surgery.
Electronic surveillance was performed for case finding as well as electronic medical record review of infected cases. Surgical procedures were observed. Medical chart review was conducted to identify risk factors. A case-control study was performed to identify risk factors for infection; Fisher exact or Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for comparisons of proportions and medians, respectively. Patient isolates were studied using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Environmental microbiologic sampling was performed in operating rooms, including high-volume water sampling.
Six definite cases of M. wolinskyi SSI following cardiothoracic surgery were identified during the outbreak period (October 1, 2008–September 30, 2011). Having cardiac surgery in operating room A was significantly associated with infection (odds ratio, 40; P = .0027). Observational investigation revealed a cold-air blaster exclusive to operating room A as well a microbially contaminated, self-contained water source used in heart-lung machines. The isolates were indistinguishable or closely related by PFGE. No environmental samples were positive for M. wolinskyi.
No single point source was established, but 2 potential sources, including a cold-air blaster and a microbially contaminated, self-contained water system used in heart-lung machines for cardiothoracic operations, were identified. Both of these potential sources were removed, and subsequent active surveillance did not reveal any further cases of M. wolinskyi SSI.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(9):1169-1175
Using first-principles full-field electromagnetic simulations, we demonstrate that near-perfect above-band-gap solar absorption can be achieved in nanostructured, ultra-thin-film iron oxide photoanodes for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. In our designed core-shell nanocone structures, all regions of hematite (α-iron oxide) are away from the interface between hematite and water by a minimum distance of less than the hole diffusion length in hematite, which is assumed to be no greater than 20nm. The optical absorption in our structure corresponds to a photocurrent density of 12.5mA/cm2 if one assumes an air mass 1.5 solar spectrum and a unity absorbed photon-to-current efficiency (APCE) for all wavelengths in that spectrum. Our photon management strategy eliminates the trade-off between optical absorption and carrier collection as commonly found in conventional designs of PEC cells, and variants of the strategy are generally applicable to other material systems.