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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Ecological and evolutionary factors influence the presence of modules in species interaction networks, and these modules usually cluster functional similar species. But whether closely related species form modules is still unknown. We tested whether the interaction networks formed by frugivorous birds and Miconia plants are modular and evaluated how modules were divided. To do so, we gathered from the literature data concerning four networks of Miconia and their frugivorous birds (three from Brazilian savanna and one from a rain forest in Panama). We quantified modularity using binary and weighted algorithms and also tested the relationship between bird traits (body mass, dietary specialization, migratory behaviour and phylogeny) in relation to within- and among-module connectivity indices (c and z values). If considering only binary information, networks did not present distinct modular structure. Nevertheless, by including interaction strength, modules can be detected in all four Miconia-bird networks. None of the bird traits, however, was related with the connectivity indices. The possible fluctuation of frugivorous bird abundance coupled with the asynchronic fruiting period of Miconia might favour the formation of temporal modules comprising birds and plant species with phenological overlap, ensuring seed dispersal and facilitating the coexistence in sympatry. Bird traits had little effect on the role that each species plays within the modular network, probably because the frugivorous assemblages were dominated by small-bodied and opportunistic species.
Linked administrative population data were used to estimate the burden of childhood respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalization in an Australian cohort aged <5 years. RSV-coded hospitalizations data were extracted for all children aged <5 years born in New South Wales (NSW), Australia between 2001 and 2010. Incidence was calculated as the total number of new episodes of RSV hospitalization divided by the child-years at risk. Mean cost per episode of RSV hospitalization was estimated using public hospital cost weights. The cohort comprised of 870 314 children. The population-based incidence/1000 child-years of RSV hospitalization for children aged <5 years was 4·9 with a rate of 25·6 in children aged <3 months. The incidence of RSV hospitalization (per 1000 child-years) was 11·0 for Indigenous children, 81·5 for children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), 10·2 for preterm children with gestational age (GA) 32–36 weeks, 27·0 for children with GA 28–31 weeks, 39·0 for children with GA <28 weeks and 6·7 for term children with low birthweight. RSV hospitalization was associated with an average annual cost of more than AUD 9 million in NSW. RSV was associated with a substantial burden of childhood hospitalization specifically in children aged <3 months and in Indigenous children and children born preterm or with BPD.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
Flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) was applied to produce nanopowders of Ti1-xMxO2 and Sn1-xMxO2, where x = 0.05 and M = Nb/Sb, for use as catalyst support materials in PEM fuel cells/ electrolysers. FSP powders in the SnO2-IrO2 system were produced for the same applications. Homogenous particle size distribution (5-20 nm) was demonstrated by TEM, supported by BET and XRD analysis. Whereas two polymorphs were indicated for the Ti-based oxides, the Sb/Nb-doped SnO2 powders were single phase. FSP powders of Mn3O4 intended for supercapacitors were produced and the influence of the precursor/solvent mixtures on the physical and electrochemical properties evaluated.
Magnetic fields are one of the most important drivers of the highly dynamic processes that occur in the lower solar atmosphere. They span a broad range of sizes, from large- and intermediate-scale structures such as sunspots, pores and magnetic knots, down to the smallest magnetic elements observable with current telescopes. On small scales, magnetic flux tubes are often visible as Magnetic Bright Points (MBPs). Apart from simple V/I magnetograms, the most common method to deduce their magnetic properties is the inversion of spectropolarimetric data. Here we employ the SIR code for that purpose. SIR is a well-established tool that can derive not only the magnetic field vector and other atmospheric parameters (e.g., temperature, line-of-sight velocity), but also their stratifications with height, effectively producing 3-dimensional models of the lower solar atmosphere. In order to enhance the runtime performance and the usability of SIR we parallelized the existing code and standardized the input and output formats. This and other improvements make it feasible to invert extensive high-resolution data sets within a reasonable amount of computing time. An evaluation of the speedup of the parallel SIR code shows a substantial improvement in runtime.
The objectives of this study were firstly to determine whether the stimulatory function of equine growth hormone (eGH) on equine oocyte maturation in vitro is mediated via cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP); and secondly if the addition of eGH in vitro influences oocyte nuclear maturation and if this effect is removed when GH inhibitors are added to the culture. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were recovered from follicles <25 mm in diameter and randomly allocated as follows: (i) control (no additives); and (ii) 400 ng/ml of eGH. A specific inhibitor against cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (H-89; 10−9, 10−11 or 10−15 M concentration) and a specific adenylate cyclase inhibitor, 2′,3′-dideoxyadenosine (DDA; 10−8, 10−10 or 10−14 M concentration) were used to observe whether they could block the eGH effect. After 30 h of in vitro maturation at 38.5°C with 5% CO2 in air, oocytes were stained with 10 μg/ml of Hoechst to evaluate nuclear status. More mature oocytes (P < 0.05) were detected when COCs were incubated with eGH (29 of 84; 34.5%) than in the control group (18 of 82; 21.9%). The H-89 inhibitor used at a concentration of 10−9 M (4 of 29; 13.8%) decreased (P < 0.05) the number of oocytes reaching nuclear maturation when compared with eGH (11 of 29; 38%). The DDA inhibitor at a concentration of 10−8 M (2 of 27; 7.4%) also reduced (P < 0.05) the number of oocytes reaching maturity when compared with the eGH group (9 of 30; 30%). Results from the present study show that H-89 and DDA can be used in vitro to block the eGH effect on equine oocyte maturation.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD) share considerable overlap in clinical features, genetic risk factors and co-occurrence among relatives. The common and unique functional cerebral deficits in these disorders, and in unaffected relatives, remain to be identified.
A total of 59 healthy controls, 37 SCZ and 57 PBD probands and their unaffected first-degree relatives (38 and 28, respectively) were studied using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). Regional cerebral function was evaluated by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF). Areas with ALFF alterations were used as seeds in whole-brain functional connectivity analysis. We then tested whether abnormalities identified in probands were present in unaffected relatives.
SCZ and PBD probands both demonstrated regional hypoactivity in the orbital frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus, as well as abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks. SCZ probands showed greater and more widely distributed ALFF alterations including the thalamus and bilateral parahippocampal gyri. Increased parahippocampal ALFF was related to positive symptoms and cognitive deficit. PBD patients showed uniquely increased functional connectivity between the thalamus and bilateral insula. Only PBD relatives showed abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks seen in both proband groups.
The present findings reveal a common pattern of deficits in frontostriatal circuitry across SCZ and PBD, and unique regional and functional connectivity abnormalities that distinguish them. The abnormal network connectivity in PBD relatives that was present in both proband groups may reflect genetic susceptibility associated with risk for psychosis, but within-family associations of this measure were not high.
To model the dynamics of discrete deterministic systems, we extend the Petri nets
framework by a priority relation between conflicting transitions, which is encoded by
orienting the edges of a transition conflict graph. The aim of this paper is to gain some
insight into the structure of this conflict graph and to characterize a class of suitable
orientations by an analysis in the context of hypergraph theory.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Optimal use of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) in cement-based materials relies on knowledge on how SAP absorbency is influenced by different physical and chemical parameters. These parameters include salt concentration in the pore fluid, temperature of the system and SAP particle size. The present work shows experimental results on this and presents a new technique to measure the swelling of SAP particles. This new technique is compared with existing techniques that have been recently proposed for the measurement of pore fluid absorption by superabsorbent polymers. It is seen that the concentration of Na+, K+, Ca2+, OH-, and SO2-, in the exposure liquid influences the maximum absorption of SAP. Even very low concentrations of these may reduce the absorption to a third of the value measured in pure water at room temperature. Additionally, the influence of the SAP absorption on the ionic composition of the exposure liquid is investigated with atomic absorption spectroscopy. The paper provides the reader with knowledge about the absorption capacity of SAP in a cementitious environment, and how the absorption process may influence the cement pore fluid.