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Background: There is an unmet need for blood-based biomarkers that can reliably detect MS disease activity. Serum Biomarkers of interest includ Neurofilament-light-chain (NfL), Glial-fibrillary-strocyte-protein(GFAP) and Tau. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is reserved for aggressive forms of MS and has been shown to halt detectable CNS inflammatory activity for prolonged periods. Significant pre-treatment tissue damage at followed by inflammatory disease abeyance should be reflected longitudinal sera collected from these patients. Methods: Sera were collected from 23 MS patients pre-treatment, and following BMT at 3, 6, 9 and 12-months in addition from 33 non-inflammatory neurological controls. Biomarker quantification was performed with SiMoA. Results: Pre-AHSCT levels of serum NfL and GFAP but not Tau were elevated compared to controls (p=0.0001), and NfL correlated with lesion-based disease activity (6-month-relapse, MRI-T2 and Gadolinium-enhancement). 3-months post-treatment, while NfL levels remained elevated, Tau/GFAP paradoxically increased (p=0.0023/0.0017). These increases at 3m correlated with MRI ‘pseudoatrophy’ at 6-months. NfL/Tau levels dropped to that of controls by 6-months (p=0.0036/0.0159). GFAP levels dropped progressively after 6-months although even at 12-months remained higher than controls (p=0.004). Conclusions: NfL was the closest correlate of MS disease activity and treatment response. Chemotherapy-related toxicity may account for transient increases in NfL, Tau and MRI brain atrophy post-BMT.
Ion-implantation has many applications in the fabrication and processing of microelectronic devices from semiconductors, but thermal treatments are required to remove defects produced by the implant and to electrically activate dopants. Recently, pulsed laser annealing has been used to activate surface layers of GaAs that have been heavily doped with 28Si+ by ion implantation, and carrier concentrations of > 1 x 1019 cm-3 have been achieved (Ref. 1). Double-crystal x-ray diffraction techniques are very sensitive to strains and defects in single crystals and provide a means for characterizing and quantifying the damage produced by ion-implantation and the subsequent relief of damage by pulsed laser annealing.
Trace minerals have important roles in immune function and oxidative metabolism; however, little is known about the relationships between supplementation level and source with outcomes in dairy cattle. Multiparous Holstein cows (n=48) beginning at 60 to 140 days in milk were utilized to determine the effects of trace mineral amount and source on aspects of oxidative metabolism and responses to intramammary lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. Cows were fed a basal diet meeting National Research Council (NRC) requirements except for no added zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) or manganese (Mn). After a 4-week preliminary period, cows were assigned to one of four topdress treatments in a randomized complete block design with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments: (1) NRC inorganic (NRC levels using inorganic (sulfate-based) trace mineral supplements only); (2) NRC organic (NRC levels using organic trace mineral supplements (metals chelated to 2-hydroxy-4-(methythio)-butanoic acid); (3) commercial inorganic (approximately 2×NRC levels using inorganic trace mineral supplements only; and (4) commercial organic (commercial levels using organic trace mineral supplements only). Cows were fed the respective mineral treatments for 6 weeks. Treatment effects were level, source and their interaction. Activities of super oxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in erythrocyte lysate and concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in plasma were measured as indices of oxidative metabolism. Effects of treatment on those indices were not significant when evaluated across the entire experimental period. Plasma immunoglobulin G level was higher in cows supplemented with organic trace minerals over the entire treatment period; responses assessed as differences of before and after Escherichia coli J5 bacterin vaccination at the end of week 2 of treatment period were not significant. Cows were administered an intramammary LPS challenge during week 5; during week 6 cows fed commercial levels of Zn, Cu and Mn tended to have higher plasma TAC and cows fed organic sources had decreased plasma TBARS. After the LPS challenge, the extent and pattern of response of plasma cortisol concentrations and clinical indices (rectal temperature and heart rate) were not affected by trace mineral level and source. Productive performance including dry matter intake and milk yield and composition were not affected by treatment. Overall, results suggest that the varying level and source of dietary trace minerals do not have significant short-term effects on oxidative metabolism indices and clinical responses to intramammary LPS challenge in midlactation cows.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
Introduction: Smoking prevalence remains high among people with a mental illness, contributing to higher levels of morbidity and mortality. Health and community services are an opportune setting for the provision of smoking cessation care. Although family carers are acknowledged to play a critical role in supporting the care and assistance provided by such services to people with a mental illness, their expectations regarding the delivery of smoking cessation care have not been examined.
Aims: To explore family carer expectations of smoking cessation care provision by four types of health services, to clients with a mental illness, and factors associated with expectations.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted with carers of a person with a mental illness residing in New South Wales, Australia. Carers were surveyed regarding their expectations of smoking cessation care provision from four types of health services. Possible associations between carer expectation of smoking cessation care provision and socio-demographic and attitudinal variables were explored.
Results: Of 144 carers, the majority of carers considered that smoking cessation care should be provided by: mental health hospitals (71.4%), community mental health services (78.0%), general practice (82.7%), and non-government organisations (56.6%). The factor most consistently related to expectation of care was a belief that smoking cessation could positively impact mental health.
Conclusions: The majority of carers expected smoking cessation treatment to be provided by all services catering for people with a mental illness, reinforcing the appropriateness for such services to provide smoking cessation care for clients in an effective and systematic manner.
The skull base is a highly complex anatomical region that provides passage for important nerves and vessels as they course into and out of the cranial cavity. Key to the management of pathology in this region is a thorough understanding of the anatomy, with its variations, and the relationship of various neurovascular structures to the pathology in question. Targeted high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging on high field strength magnets can enable the skull base surgeon to understand this intricate relationship and deal with the pathology from a position of relative advantage.
With the help of case studies, this paper illustrates the application of specialised magnetic resonance techniques to study pathology of the orbital apex in particular.
The fine anatomical detail provided gives surgeons the ability to design an endonasal endoscopic procedure appropriate to the anatomy of the pathology.
In 2013, the Kenyan government adopted a hybrid censorship strategy that relied on regulation, the presence of a strong security state, and the willingness of Kenyans to self-censor. The goal of this censorship strategy was to ensure a peaceful election. This study examines two issues. First, it investigates steps taken by the Kenyan government to minimise hate speech. Second, it explores how efforts to minimise hate speech affected citizen communications over SMS during the 2013 election. An initial round of qualitative data was gathered (n = 101) through a structured exit interview administered election week. A statistically significant, representative sample of quantitative data was gathered by a reputable Kenyan polling firm (n ≥ 2000). Both sets of empirical data indicate that Kenyan citizens cooperated in large part with efforts to limit political speech. Yet speech was not always completely “peaceful’. Rather, voters used electronic media to insult, offend, and express contentious political views as well as express peace speech. This study argues that the empirical evidence suggests hate speech over text messages during the Kenyan election declined between 2008 and 2013.”
Along SE coast of Australia a variety of Holocene barriers composed of siliceous sand and shell detritus occur within bedrock-confined embayments. On basis of morphostratigraphy 4 barrier types are recognized: prograded, stationary, receded and episodic transgressive dunes. Several subtypes are also distinguished. Composite bay barriers involving partial eolian reworking of a prograded barrier constitute most complex examples of Holocene depositional sequences on this coast. The present list is a preliminary attempt at defining the age structure of a group of such barriers (excepting receded type). Ages are reported in conventional years bp. Text references to ages and age ranges are environmental effect corrected ages bp* and yr* (as recommended by Stuiver and Polach, 1977), using 450 ± 35 yr as postulated by Gillespie and Polach (in press) in order to relate Australian oceanic environment shells to terrestrial environment wood. δ13C errors, where based on measurement, are always ± 0.2% and are not shown in the text; when based on estimated values (Est) the error is given.
Dates issued by the British Museum radiocarbon laboratory between 1980 and 1984 are known to have been in error. This paper outlines the cause of the problem and the procedures adopted to revise the results affected. Where revision has been possible, on average this has given dates older by 200 to 300 radiocarbon years. The individual revised results are tabulated.
The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is a major pest species on companion animals thus of significant importance to the animal health industry. The aim of this study was to develop sampling and storage protocols and identify stable reference genes for gene expression studies to fully utilize the growing body of molecular knowledge of C. felis. RNA integrity was assessed in adult and larvae samples, which were either pierced or not pierced and stored in RNAlater at ambient temperature. RNA quality was maintained best in pierced samples, with negligible degradation evident after 10 days. RNA quality from non-pierced samples was poor within 3 days. Ten candidate reference genes were evaluated for their stability across four group comparisons (developmental stages, genders, feeding statuses and insecticide-treatment statuses). Glyceraldehyde 3 phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), 60S ribosomal protein L19 (RPL19) and elongation factor-1α (Ef) were ranked highly in all stability comparisons, thus are recommended as reference genes under similar conditions. Employing just two of these three stable reference genes was sufficient for accurate normalization. Our results make a significant contribution to the future of gene expression studies in C. felis, describing validated sample preparation procedures and reference genes for use in this common pest.
Exposure to environmental chemicals has adverse effects on the health and survival of humans. Emerging evidence supports the idea that exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) can perturb an individual’s physiological set point and as a result increase his/her propensity toward several diseases. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, the primary plasticizer found in plastic medical devices used in neonatal intensive care units, its effects on the fetus and newborn, epidemiological studies, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and epigenetic implications. We searched the PubMed databases to identify relevant studies. Phthalates are known EDCs that primarily are used to improve the flexibility of polyvinyl chloride plastic products and are called plasticizers in lay terms. Neonates and infants are particularly vulnerable to the effects of phthalates, beginning with maternal exposure and placental transfer during gestation and during infancy following birth. In line with the developmental origins of adult disease, a focus on the effects of environmental chemicals in utero or early childhood on the genesis of adult diseases through epigenome modulation is timely and important. The epigenetic effects of phthalates have not been fully elucidated, but accumulating evidence suggests that they may be associated with adverse health effects, some of which may be heritable. Phthalate exposure during pregnancy and the perinatal period is particularly worrisome in health-care settings. Although the clinical significance of phthalate exposure has been difficult to assess with epidemiologic studies, the evidence that physiological changes occur due to exposure to phthalates is growing and points toward the need for more investigation at a molecular, specifically epigenetic level.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.