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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine as a way to reduce COVID-19 infections was noted and consequently deregulated. However, the degree of telemedicine regulation varies from country to country, which may alter the widespread use of telemedicine. This study aimed to clarify the telepsychiatry regulations for each collaborating country/region before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We used snowball sampling within a global network of international telepsychiatry experts. Thirty collaborators from 17 different countries/regions responded to a questionnaire on barriers to the use and implementation of telepsychiatric care, including policy factors such as regulations and reimbursement at the end of 2019 and as of May 2020.
Thirteen of 17 regions reported a relaxation of regulations due to the pandemic; consequently, all regions surveyed stated that telepsychiatry was now possible within their public healthcare systems. In some regions, restrictions on prescription medications allowed via telepsychiatry were eased, but in 11 of the 17 regions, there were still restrictions on prescribing medications via telepsychiatry. Lower insurance reimbursement amounts for telepsychiatry consultations v. in-person consultations were reevaluated in four regions, and consequently, in 15 regions telepsychiatry services were reimbursed at the same rate (or higher) than in-person consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our results confirm that, due to COVID-19, the majority of countries surveyed are altering telemedicine regulations that had previously restricted the spread of telemedicine. These findings provide information that could guide future policy and regulatory decisions, which facilitate greater scale and spread of telepsychiatry globally.
Particle acceleration induced by fast magnetic reconnection may help to solve current puzzles related to the interpretation of the very high energy (VHE) and neutrino emissions from AGNs and compact sources in general. Our general relativistic-MHD simulations of accretion disk-corona systems reveal the growth of turbulence driven by MHD instabilities that lead to the development of fast magnetic reconnection in the corona. In addition, our simulations of relativistic MHD jets reveal the formation of several sites of fast reconnection induced by current-driven kink turbulence. The injection of thousands of test particles in these regions causes acceleration up to energies of several PeVs, thus demonstrating the ability of this process to accelerate particles and produce VHE and neutrino emission, specially in blazars. Finally, we discuss how reconnection can also explain the observed VHE luminosity-black hole mass correlation, involving hundreds of non-blazar sources like Perseus A, and black hole binaries.
Upcoming VLBI observations will resolve nearby supermassive black holes, most notably Sagittarius A* and M87, on event horizon-scales. Recent observations of Sagittarius A* with the Event Horizon Telescope have revealed horizon-scale structure. Accordingly, the detection and measurement of the back hole “shadow” is expected to enable the existence of astrophysical black holes to be verified directly. Although the theoretical description of the shadow is straightforward, its observational appearance is largely determined by the properties of the surrounding accretion flow, which is highly turbulent. We introduce a new polarised general-relativistic radiative transfer code, BHOSS, which accurately solves the equations of polarised radiative transfer in arbitrary strong-gravity environments, providing physically-realistic images of astrophysical black holes on event horizon-scales, as well as also providing insight into the fundamental properties and nature of the surrounding accretion flow environment.
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is significantly affected in individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar I disorder (BD-I). The current study investigated whether symptomatic remission and resilience might differently impact HRQOL in these patients.
Fifty-two patients with schizophrenia and 60 patients suffering from BD-I from outpatient mental health services as well as 77 healthy control subjects from the general community were included into a cross-sectional study. HRQOL and resilience were assessed using the WHOQOL-BREF and the Resilience Scale. In patients, psychopathology was quantified by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale or the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale and the Young Mania Rating Scale, respectively.
Notably, both patient groups showed lower HRQOL and resilience compared to control subjects, non-remitted patients indicated lower HRQOL than remitted ones. The effect of remission on HRQOL was significantly larger in patients with BD-I than in those with schizophrenia but did not explain the difference in HRQOL between groups. Resilience predicted HRQOL in all three groups. When accounting for the effect of resilience among remitted patients, only the difference in HRQOL between schizophrenia patients and control subjects was significant.
These findings demonstrate the impact of symptomatic remission and resilience on HRQOL of both patients suffering from schizophrenia and BD-I and indicate that these factors are especially relevant for HRQOL of patients with BD-I.
This study investigated subjective memory complaints in older adults and the roles of setting, response bias, and personality.
Cognitively normal older adults from two settings completed questionnaires measuring memory complaints, response bias, and personality.
(A) Neuroimaging study with community-based recruitment and (B) academic memory clinic.
Cognitively normal older adults who (A) volunteer for research (N = 92) or (B) self-referred to a memory clinic (N = 20).
Neuropsychological evaluation and adjudication of normal cognitive status were done by the neuroimaging study or memory clinic. This study administered self-reports of subjective memory complaints, response bias, five-factor personality, and depressive symptoms. Primary group differences were examined with secondary sensitivity analyses to control for sex, age, and education differences.
There was no significant difference in over-reporting response bias between study settings. Under-reporting response bias was higher in volunteers. Cognitive complaints were associated with response bias for two cognitive complaint measures. Neuroticism was positively associated with over-reporting in evaluation-seekers and negatively associated with under-reporting in volunteers. The relationship was reversed for Extraversion. Under-reporting bias was positively correlated with Agreeableness and Conscientiousness in volunteers.
Evaluation-seekers do not show bias toward over-reporting symptoms compared to volunteers. Under-reporting response bias may be important to consider when screening for memory impairment in non-help-seeking settings. The Memory Functioning Questionnaire was less sensitive to reporting biases. Over-reporting may be a facet of higher Neuroticism. Findings help elucidate psychological influences on self-perceived cognitive decline and help seeking in aging and may inform different strategies for assessment by setting.
The high-velocity compact cloud CO–0.40–0.22 was mapped in 22 molecular lines with the NRO 45 m radio telescope and the ASTE 10 m telescope. The map of each detected line shows that this cloud has a compact appearance (d≃3 pc) and extremely broad velocity width (Δ V≃100 km s−1). The representative position–velocity map along the major axis shows that CO–0.40–0.22 consists of an intense region with a shallow velocity gradient and a less intense high-velocity wing. This kinematical structure can be attributed to a gravitational kick to the molecular cloud caused by an invisible compact object with a mass of ~105M⊙. Its compactness and the absence of a counterpart at other wavelengths suggest that this massive object is an intermediate-mass black hole.
The kinetics of Ge lateral overgrowth on SiO2 with line-shaped Si seeds is examined. The growth process is described by the difference between the growth rates of Ge on (100) planes (GR100) and <311> facets (GR311). The theoretical calculations well reproduce the growth kinetics. It is shown that narrowing the line-seeds helps Ge coalescence and flat film formation.
The mode of onset and the course of schizophrenia illness exhibit substantial individual variations. Previous studies have pointed out that the mode of onset affects the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical outcomes, such as cognitive and social functioning. This study attempted to clarify the association between the DUP and clinical features, taking the different modes of onset into consideration, in a prospective longitudinal study examining patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
This study was conducted in six areas of Japan. Patients with first-episode schizophrenia were followed for over 18 months. Cognitive function, psychopathology, and social functioning were assessed at baseline and at 6, 12, and 18-month follow-up points.
We identified 168 patients and sufficient information was available to determine the DUP and the mode of onset for 156 patients (92.9%): 79 had an acute onset, and 77 had an insidious onset. The DUP was significantly associated with quality of life (QOL), social functioning, and cognitive function at most of the follow-up points in the insidious-onset group. The DUP and negative symptoms at baseline were significant predictors of cognitive function at the 18-month follow-up in the insidious-onset group.
The present results further support the hypothesis that the DUP affects QOL, social functioning, and cognitive function over the course of illness, especially in patients with an insidious onset. Effective strategies for detecting and caring for individuals with insidious onset early during the course of schizophrenia will be essential for achieving a full patient recovery.
Right hemispheric damage (RHD) caused by strokes often induce attentional disorders such as hemispatial neglect. Most patients with neglect over time have a reduction in their ipsilesional spatial attentional bias. Despite this improvement in spatial bias, many patients remain disabled. The cause of this chronic disability is not fully known, but even in the absence of a directional spatial attentional bias, patients with RHD may have an impaired ability to accurately and precisely allocate their spatial attention. This inaccuracy and variable directional allocation of spatial attention may be revealed by repeated performance on a spatial attentional task, such as line bisection (LBT). Participants with strokes of their right versus left (LHD) hemisphere along with healthy controls (HC) performed 24 consecutive trials of 24 cm horizontal line bisections. A vector analysis of the magnitude and direction of deviations from midline, as well as their standard deviations (SD), were calculated. The results demonstrated no significant difference between the LHD, RHD and HC groups in overall spatial bias (mean bisection including magnitude and direction); however, the RHD group had a significantly larger variability of their spatial errors (SD), and made larger errors (from midline) than did the LHD and HC groups. There was a curvilinear relationship between the RHD participants’ performance variability and their severity of their inaccuracy. Therefore, when compared to HC and LHD, the RHD subjects’ performance on the LBT is more variable and inaccurate. (JINS, 2015, 21, 373–377)
We investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized
relativistic jet propagating into an unmagnetized plasma. Strong magnetic fields generated
in the trailing shock contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and acceleration.
We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in these
turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the bulk Lorentz
factor of the jet, its temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. We have
also investigated accelerated electrons in strong magnetic fields generated by kinetic
shear (Kelvin-Helmholtz) instabilities. The calculated properties of the emerging
radiation will guide our understanding of the complex time evolution and/or spectral
structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants.
We perform two-dimensional relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of a mildly
relativistic shock propagating through an inhomogeneous medium. Simulation results show
that the postshock region becomes turbulent owing to preshock density inhomogeneity, and
the magnetic field is strongly amplified due to the stretching and folding of field lines
in the turbulent velocity field. The amplified magnetic field evolves into a filamentary
structure in two-dimensional simulations. The magnetic energy spectrum is flatter than the
Kolmogorov spectrum and indicates that the so-called small-scale dynamo is occurring in
the postshock region.
This paper shows a new semiconductor bonding technology for mechanically stacked multi-junction solar cells. Our strategy is the combination of conductive nanoparticle alignments and the van der Waals bonding technique. With this method, reasonably low bonding resistances and minimal optical absorption losses were simultaneously attained for the use of mechanically stacked solar cells. We examined a GaInP(Eg-1.89 eV)/GaAs (Eg-1.42 eV)/InGaAsP (Eg-1.15 eV) three-junction solar cell fabricated with this bonding method. As a result, the total efficiency of 22.5% was achieved, which was in good agreement with the theoretically predicted value. These results suggested that our bonding method is highly useful to fabricate high-efficiency mechanically stacked multi-junction solar cells.
Effect of non-thermal plasma (NTP) on bio-particles has been studied using Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and bacteriophages. NTP has been used, and states of different biological components were monitored during the course of the exposure. Analysis of green fluorescent protein (GFP), introduced into E.coli cells proved that NTP causes a prominent protein damages without cutting peptide bonds. We have developed a biological assay which evaluates in vivo DNA damage of the bacteriophages. Different doses of the plasma were applied to wet state of λ phages. From the plasma-exposed λ phages, DNA was purified and subjected to in vitro DNA packaging reactions. The re-packaged phages consist of the DNA from discharged phages and brand-new coat proteins. Survival curves of the re-packaged phages showed extremely large D value (D = 25 s) compared to the previous D value (D = 3 s) from the discharged phages. The results indicate that DNA damage hardly contributed to the inactivation, and the damage in coat proteins is responsible for inactivation of the phages. We also report a single-molecule-based analysis of strand breakages on large DNA molecules induced by the plasma exposure. Single-molecule observation of DNA that involved molecular combing was used to measure the length of individual DNA molecules. The measured DNA length showed that plasma exposure caused a marked change in length of DNA molecules. The rate of plasmainduced strand breakage on large random-coiled DNA molecules was determined using a simple mathematical model. The measured rate shows good relation with the plasma exposure time, and could be used for safety evaluation of the plasma treated water.
Recent PIC simulations of relativistic electron-positron (electron-ion) jets injected into a stationary medium show that particle acceleration occurs in the shocked regions. Simulations show that the Weibel instability is responsible for generating and amplifying highly nonuniform, small-scale magnetic fields and for particle acceleration. These magnetic fields contribute to the electron's transverse deflection behind the shock. The “jitter” radiation from deflected electrons in turbulent magnetic fields has properties different from synchrotron radiation calculated in a uniform magnetic field. This jitter radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure of gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants. In order to calculate radiation from first principles and go beyond the standard synchrotron model, we have used PIC simulations. We present synthetic spectra to compare with the spectra obtained from Fermi observations.
Recent PIC simulations of relativistic electron-positron (electron-ion) jets injected into a stationary medium show that particle acceleration occurs in the shocked regions. Simulations show that the Weibel instability is responsible for generating and amplifying highly nonuniform, small-scale magnetic fields and for particle acceleration. These magnetic fields contribute to the electron's transverse deflection behind the shock. The “jitter” radiation from deflected electrons in turbulent magnetic fields has different properties from synchrotron radiation calculated in a uniform magnetic field. This jitter radiation may be important for understanding the complex time evolution and/or spectral structure of gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants. In order to calculate radiation from first principles and go beyond the standard synchrotron model, we have used PIC simulations. We will present detailed spectra for conditions relevant to various astrophysical sites of collisionless shock formation. In particular we will discuss application to GRBs and SNRs.
Worldwide attention has now focused on bioethanol production to combat global warming and to safeguard global energy. Lignocelluloses are expected to be utilized in future as fuel ethanol production because of competition between food and fuel production. One of the major problems in producing ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is high production cost and consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is gaining recognition as a potential breakthrough for low-cost biomass processing. Basidiomycetes appear suitable for use in CBP because they can achieve the both events of lignocellulose breakdown and ethanol fermentation. We are developing CBP bioethanol production by using Flammulina velutipes from sorghums. It turns out the relationship between varietal characteristics of sorghums and ethanol conversion properties of F. velutipes, and the direction should be performed in the future became clear.
Early results from the SAGE-SMC (Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the tidally-disrupted, low-metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud) Spitzer legacy program are presented. These early results concentrate on the SAGE-SMC MIPS observations of the SMC Tail region. This region is the high H i column density portion of the Magellanic Bridge adjacent to the SMC Wing. We detect infrared dust emission and measure the gas-to-dust ratio in the SMC Tail and find it similar to that of the SMC Body. In addition, we find two embedded cluster regions that are resolved into multiple sources at all MIPS wavelengths.
We present high-angular resolution (10 pc) sub-millimeter observations of
the N159W region in the LMC obtained with the NANTEN2 telescope. We observed
the 12CO J = 4 → 3, J = 7 → 6, 13CO J = 4 → 3
rotational and the [C i] 609 μm and [C i] 370 μm
fine-structure transitions toward this region. We detected the [C i]
370 μm and 13CO J = 4 → 3 transitions for the first time in the
Aging is associated with impairments in maintaining homeostasis in response to physiologic and environmental disturbances. These age-associated impairments include alterations in metabolic and neuroendocrine function. Leptin is a hormone mainly produced in and secreted by adipose tissue, and mutations in the leptin gene are associated with extreme obesity and neuroendocrine impairments, including impaired reproduction and low sex hormones, low thyroid hormone, low growth hormone, and elevated glucocorticoids. Leptin replacement reversed many of the phenotypes of leptin-deficient mice. Fasting reduces leptin gene expression and fasting-induced neuroendocrine alterations are also reversed by leptin injection. However, it was quickly apparent that leptin is highly correlated with total fat mass, and obesity is associated with elevated, rather than reduced, leptin levels in both rodents and humans. Thus, increased adiposity is associated with leptin resistance. Since aging is associated with dramatic changes in adiposity and neuroendocrine impairments similar to those observed in leptin-deficient and leptin-resistant animals, leptin resistance and/or insufficiency might contribute to some of these age-related metabolic impairments.
The new molecular image obtained by NANTEN telescope in the galactic center has revealed the existence of the two loop like structures, loop 1 and loop 2, which have never been seen before toward l = 355° to 358°. The velocities of loop 1 and loop 2 are −180 to −90 km s−1 and −90 and −40 km s−1, respectively, and these two loops have strong velocity gradients. The foot points of the loops show a very broad linewidth of ~40 to 80 km s−1 whose large velocity spans are characteristic of the molecular gas near the galactic center. Therefore, we classified the loops as being located in the galactic center and adopt a distance of 8.5 kpc. Then, the projected lengths of loop 1 and loop 2 were estimated as ~500 and ~300 pc, respectively and velocity gradients corresponds to ~80 km s−1 per 250 pc along loop 1 and ~60 km s−1 per 150 pc along loop 2. The heights of these loops are also estimated as ~220 to ~300 pc from the galactic plane, significantly higher than the typical scale height in the nuclear disk.