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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.
Highly resolved, well-dated paleoclimate records from the southern South African coast are needed to contextualize the evolution of the highly diverse extratropical plant communities of the Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) and to assess the environmental impacts on early human hunter-gatherers. We present new speleothem stable oxygen and carbon isotope ratios (δ18Oc and δ13C) from two caves at Pinnacle Point, South Africa, covering the time between 330 and 43 ka. Composite δ18Oc and δ13C records were constructed for Staircase Cave and PP29 by combining all stable isotope analyses into a single time series and smoothing by a 3-point running mean. δ18Oc and δ13C values record changes in rainfall seasonality and the proportions of C3 and C4 plants in the vegetation, respectively. We show that in general increased summer rainfall brought about a wider spread of C4 grasses and retreat of the C3 plant–dominated GCFR communities. The occurrence of summer rainfall on the southern coast of South Africa was linked to total rainfall amounts in the interior region through tropical temperate troughs. These rainfall systems shifted the southern coastal climate toward more summer (winter) rainfall when precession was high (low) and/or the westerlies were in a northern (southern) position.
Using water–salt water laboratory experiments, we investigate the mechanism of erosion by a turbulent jet impinging onto a density interface, for moderate Reynolds and Froude numbers. The Froude number is defined by
, the typical velocity and width of the jet at the interface, and
the reduced gravitational acceleration. The Froude number
characterizes the competition between inertial forces against the restoring buoyancy force. Contrary to previous observations reporting baroclinic destabilization of the interface, we show that the entrainment, in the range of parameters explored here, is driven by interfacial gravity waves. The waves are generated by the barotropic excitation coming from the turbulent fluctuations of the jet; they are then amplified by a mechanism of wave-induced stress; and they finally break and induce entrainment and mixing. Based on those physical observations, we introduce a scaling model for the entrainment rate, which varies continuously from
power law from small to large Froude numbers, in agreement with the present and some of the previous laboratory data.
Efficacy of pre-trauma prevention for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has not yet been established in a randomized controlled trial. Attention bias modification training (ABMT), a computerized intervention, is thought to mitigate stress-related symptoms by targeting disruptions in threat monitoring. We examined the efficacy of ABMT delivered before combat in mitigating risk for PTSD following combat.
We conducted a double-blind, four-arm randomized controlled trial of 719 infantry soldiers to compare the efficacy of eight sessions of ABMT (n = 179), four sessions of ABMT (n = 184), four sessions of attention control training (ACT; n = 180), or no-training control (n = 176). Outcome symptoms were measured at baseline, 6-month follow-up, 10 days following combat exposure, and 4 months following combat. Primary outcome was PTSD prevalence 4 months post-combat determined in a clinical interview using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Secondary outcomes were self-reported PTSD and depression symptoms, collected at all four assessments.
PTSD prevalence 4 months post-combat was 7.8% in the no-training control group, 6.7% with eight-session ABMT, 2.6% with four-session ABMT, and 5% with ACT. Four sessions of ABMT reduced risk for PTSD relative to the no-training condition (odds ratio 3.13, 95% confidence interval 1.01–9.22, p < 0.05, number needed to treat = 19.2). No other between-group differences were found. The results were consistent across a variety of analytic techniques and data imputation approaches.
Four sessions of ABMT, delivered prior to combat deployment, mitigated PTSD risk following combat exposure. Given its low cost and high scalability potential, and observed number needed to treat, research into larger-scale applications is warranted. The ClinicalTrials.gov identifier is NCT01723215.
The purpose of this paper was to examine national differences in the desire to participate in decision-making of people with severe mental illness in six European countries.
The data was taken from a European longitudinal observational study (CEDAR; ISRCTN75841675). A sample of 514 patients with severe mental illness from the study centers in Ulm, Germany, London, England, Naples, Italy, Debrecen, Hungary, Aalborg, Denmark and Zurich, Switzerland were assessed as to desire to participate in medical decision-making. Associations between desire for participation in decision-making and center location were analyzed with generalized estimating equations.
We found large cross-national differences in patients’ desire to participate in decision-making, with the center explaining 47.2% of total variance in the desire for participation (P < 0.001). Averaged over time and independent of patient characteristics, London (mean = 2.27), Ulm (mean = 2.13) and Zurich (mean = 2.14) showed significantly higher scores in desire for participation, followed by Aalborg (mean = 1.97), where scores were in turn significantly higher than in Debrecen (mean = 1.56). The lowest scores were reported in Naples (mean = 1.14). Over time, the desire for participation in decision-making increased significantly in Zurich (b = 0.23) and decreased in Naples (b = −0.14). In all other centers, values remained stable.
This study demonstrates that patients’ desire for participation in decision-making varies by location. We suggest that more research attention be focused on identifying specific cultural and social factors in each country to further explain observed differences across Europe.
Modern conceptions of brain function consider the brain as a “predictive organ,” where learned regularities about the world are utilised to facilitate perception of incoming sensory input. Critically, this process hinges on a role for cognitive penetrability. We review a mechanism to explain this process and expand our previous proposals of cognitive penetrability in visual recognition to social vision and visual hallucinations.
This paper reports low temperature, digital control, fast synthesis of high-quality boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) and their electronic device application. Raman scattering spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are used to characterize the BNNSs. With the synthesized various BNNSs, two prototypic types of deep UV photodetectors have been fabricated, and sensitivity, response and recovery times, as well as repeatability have been characterized. Effects of period and thickness of BNNSs on the properties of prototypic photodetectors are also discussed.
Ultrathin colloidal PbS nanosheets are synthesized using organometallic precursors with chloroalkane cosolvents, resulting in tunable thicknesses ranging from 1.2 nm to 4.6 nm. We report the first thickness-dependent photoluminescence spectra from lead-salt nanosheets. The one-dimensional confinement energy of these quasi-two-dimensional nanosheets is found to be proportional to 1/L instead of 1/L2 (L is the thickness of the nanosheet), which is consistent with results calculated using density functional theory as well as tight-binding theory.
Graphyne is a generic name for a carbon allotrope family of 2D structures, where acetylenic groups connect benzenoid rings, with the coexistence of sp and sp2 hybridized carbon atoms. In this work we have investigated, through fully atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations, the dynamics and structural changes of the hydrogenation of α, β, and γ graphyne forms. Our results showed that the existence of different sites for hydrogen bonding, related to single and triple bonds, makes the process of incorporating hydrogen atoms into graphyne membranes much more complex than the graphene ones. Our results also show that hydrogenation reactions are strongly site dependent and that the sp-hybridized carbon atoms are the preferential sites to chemical attacks. In our cases, the effectiveness of the hydrogenation (estimated from the number of hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to carbon atoms) follows the α, β, γ-graphyne structure ordering.
Resonant Raman scattering in molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is studied as a function of the sample thickness. Optical emission from 1ML, 2ML, 3ML and bulk MoS2 is investigated both at room and at liquid helium temperature. The experimental results are analysed in terms of the recently proposed attribution of the Raman peaks to multiphonon replica involving transverse acoustic phonons from the vicinity of the high-symmetry M point of the MoS2 Brillouin zone. It is shown that the corresponding processes are quenched in a few monolayer samples much stronger than the modes involving longitudinal acoustic phonons. It is also shown that along with the disappearance of multiphonon replica, the Raman modes, which are in-active in bulk become active in a few-monolayer flakes.
In this report, we describe a process for achieving atomically smooth, few-layer thick, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) films on sapphire substrates by MOCVD, using Triethylboron (TEB) and NH3 as precursors. Two different growth modes have been observed depending on the V/III ratio. Three-dimensional (3D) island growth is dominant in the low V/III range; in this range growth rate decreases with increasing deposition temperature. This island growth mode transitions to a self-terminating growth mode when V/III > 2000, over the entire deposition temperature range studied (i.e. 1000-1080oC). Raman spectroscopy verifies the h-BN phase of these films, and atomic force microscopy measurements confirm that the surfaces are smooth and continuous, even over atomic steps on the surface of the substrate. Using X-ray reflectance measurements, the thickness of each film grown under a range of conditions and times was determined to consistently terminate at 1.6nm, with a variation of less than 0.2 nm. Thus we have identified a self-terminating growth mode that enables robust synthesis of h-BN with highly uniform and reliable thickness on non-metal catalyzed substrates. Furthermore, this self-terminating growth behavior has shown signs of transitioning to continuous growth as deposition temperature increases.
In this work we produce atomically thin carbon nanostructures which have a disk-like shape when deposited on a substrate. These nanostructures have intermediate characteristics between a graphene island and a molecular compound and have the potentiality to be used either as they are, or to become building blocks for functional materials or to be manipulated and engineered into composite layered structures.
The carbon nanostructures are produced in a premixed ethylene/air flame with a slight excess of fuel with respect to the stoichiometric value. The size distribution of the produced compounds in aerosol phase has been measured on line by means of a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) and topographic images of the structures deposited on mica disks were obtained by Atomic Force Microscopy. Raman spectroscopy and XPS have been used to characterize their structure and the electronic and optical properties were obtained combining on-line photoionization measurements with Cyclic Voltammetry, light absorption and photoluminescence.
When deposited on the mica substrate the carbon compounds assume the shape of an atomically thin disk with in plane diameter of about 20 nm. Carbon nano-disks consist of a network of small aromatic island with in plane length, La, of about 1 nm. Raman spectra evidence a significant amount of disorder which is in a large part due to the quantum confinement in the aromatic islands. Nano-disks contain small percentage of sp3 and the O/C ratio is lower than 6%. They furthermore present interesting UV and visible photoluminescence properties.
Chalcogenide materials have regained attention after the recent recognition of the compatibility of transition metal dichalcogenides with graphene. Additionally, there has been a recent appreciation for the rich variety of properties they support due to the anomalies in the materials’ intrinsic band structure. These materials generally have layered structures and weak interlayer connection through the chalcogen layer and its van der Waals type bonding. We have synthesized orthorhombic copper telluride and measured its electrical transport properties. The results of these measurements reveal that the conduction is metallic in both the in-plane and out-of-plane directions. The range of stability of this structure is examined along with the lattice constants. The independence of the resistivity in samples to changes in excess copper indicates that the transport is essentially within the conducting planes. This result shows that the material hosts two-dimensional character likely due to its covalent interlayer bonding.
Nanoscrolls consist of sheets rolled up into a papyrus-like form. Their open ends produce great radial flexibility, which can be exploited for a large variety of applications, from actuators to hydrogen storage. They have been successfully synthesized from different materials, including carbon and boron nitride. In this work we have investigated, through fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, the dynamics of scroll formation for a series of graphene-like carbon nitride (CN) two-dimensional systems: g-CN, triazine-based (g-C3N4), and heptazine-based (g-C3N4). Carbon nitride (CN) structures have been attracting great attention since their prediction as super hard materials. Recently, graphene-like carbon nitride (g-CN) structures have been synthesized with distinct stoichiometry and morphologies. By combining these unique CN characteristics with the structural properties inherent to nanoscrolls new nanostructures with very attractive mechanical and electronic properties could be formed. Our results show that stable nanoscrolls can be formed for all of CN structures we have investigated here. As the CN sheets have been already synthesized, these new scrolled structures are perfectly feasible and within our present-day technology.
The electronic band structures of monolayer molybdenum dichalcogenides, MoS2, MoSe2, and MoTe2 under either uniaxial or biaxial strain are calculated using first-principles calculation with the GW method. The imposed uniaxial strain is in the zigzag direction in the honeycomb lattice whereas the imposed biaxial strain is in the zigzag and armchair directions. It is found that the band gaps of these dichalcogenides almost linearly increase with the decrease of the magnitude of compressive strain, reach their maxima at some compressive strain, and then decrease almost linearly with the increase of tensile strain. It is also found their maximum band gaps are direct bandgaps.
Boron nitride is of great interest as a 2 dimensional (2D) insulator for use as an atomically flat substrate, gate dielectric and tunneling barrier. At this point the most promising and widely used approach for growth of mono-to-few layer BN is metal catalyzed chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Bulk Cu foil has been the most popular metal substrate for growth of h-BN and graphene, as such there are well developed processes for substrate preparation and growth. As an alternative thin Cu films deposited on an insulating substrate have some advantages over foil, including more uniform thermal contact with substrate heater, better mechanical stability, transfer free processing, and selective area growth. However, Cu films deposited on SiO2 present their own unique problems like Cu SiO2 stability and small Cu grain size. Here we present results on the growth on few-layer BN by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on Cu thin films on SiO2/Si. We explore the effects of substrate preparation and annealing conditions on the Cu morphology in order to understand the impact on the BN. To minimize the effects of Cu SiO2 interdiffusion, we investigate the use of a Ni buffer layers. BN films were studied after transfer to SiO2/Si films using Raman and AFM to determine the impact of Cu film microstructure on the morphology of few layer BN films.