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The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Kochia is one of the most problematic weeds in the United States. Field studies were conducted in five states (Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota) over 2 yr (2010 and 2011) to evaluate kochia control with selected herbicides registered in five common crop scenarios: winter wheat, fallow, corn, soybean, and sugar beet to provide insight for diversifying kochia management in crop rotations. Kochia control varied by experimental site such that more variation in kochia control and biomass production was explained by experimental site than herbicide choice within a crop. Kochia control with herbicides currently labeled for use in sugar beet averaged 32% across locations. Kochia control was greatest and most consistent from corn herbicide programs (99%), followed by soybean (96%) and fallow (97%) herbicide programs. Kochia control from wheat herbicide programs was 93%. With respect to the availability of effective herbicide options, glyphosate-resistant kochia control was easiest in corn, soybean, and fallow, followed by wheat; and difficult to manage with herbicides in sugar beet.
Formation of a low barrier back contact plays a critical role in improving the photoconversion efficiency of the CdTe solar cells. Incorporating a buffer layer to minimize the band bending at the back of the CdTe device can significantly lower the barrier for the hole current, improving open circuit voltage (VOC) and the fill factor. Over the past years, researchers have incorporated the both ZnTe and Te as buffer layers to improve CdTe device performance. Here we compare device performance using these two materials as buffer layers at the back of CdTe devices. We show that using Te in contact to CdTe results in higher performance than using ZnTe in contact to the CdTe. Low temperature current density-voltage measurements show that Te results is a lower barrier with CdTe than ZnTe, indicating that Te has better band alignment, resulting in less downward bending in the CdTe at the back interface, than ZnTe does.
Cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) control in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) can be difficult with existing selective herbicides. High phenotypic diversity within populations coupled with suboptimal herbicide application conditions leads to varying degrees of control with herbicide treatments. The following research focused on the consequence of low temperature on imazamox fate in S. cereale. A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the number of warm-temperature days required for imazamox to control S. cereale. Absorption, translocation, and metabolism of imazamox was evaluated under warm (22/18C) and cold (4/4C) temperatures to identify changes to the fate of imazamox under different environmental conditions. In greenhouse conditions, more than 5 d of warm temperature following herbicide application was required to achieve 80% S. cereale mortality. Absorption of imazamox was reduced 20% when S. cereale was subjected to cold compared with warm temperatures. Only 10% of applied imazamox was moved from the treated leaf in continuous cool temperatures compared with greater than 60% in warm conditions. In cold conditions, imazamox content increased in all tested plant parts evaluated for the duration of the study, whereas in warm conditions, imazamox concentrations decreased in root and crown tissues after 3 d. Imazamox behavior was affected more by temperature than S. cereale growth stage. Secale cereale metabolism of imazamox was reduced, but not stopped in cold temperatures. After 6 d, only a 10% difference in intact imazamox remained between temperature treatments. In cold temperatures, reduced absorption and translocation, coupled with continued metabolism, allow plants to recover from an otherwise lethal imazamox treatment.
Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has been used to study the defect levels in thin film copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) which we are developing as the absorber layer for the bottom cell of a monolithically grown perovskite/CuInSe2 tandem solar cell. Temperature and laser power dependent PL measurements of thin film CIS for two different Cu/In ratios (0.66 and 0.80) have been performed. The CIS film with Cu/In = 0.80 shows a prominent donor-to-acceptor peak (DAP) involving a shallow acceptor of binding energy ∼22 meV, with phonon replica at ∼32 meV spacing. In contrast, PL measurement of CIS film for Cu/In = 0.66 taken at 20 K exhibited an asymmetric and broad PL spectrum with peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV. Laser intensity dependent PL revealed that the observed peaks 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV shift towards higher energy (aka j-shift) at ∼11.7 meV/decade and ∼ 8 meV/decade with increase in laser intensity respectively. The asymmetric and broad spectrum together with large j-shift suggests that the observed peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV were related to band-to-tail (BT) and band-to-impurity (BI) transition, respectively. Such a band-tail-related transition originates from the potential fluctuation of defect states at low temperature. The appearance of band related transition in CIS film with Cu/In = 0.66 is the indicator of the presence of large number of charged defect states.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Wide bandgap Cd1-xZnxTe (CZT) and Cd1-xMgxTe (CMT) have drawn attention as top cells in tandem devices. These materials allow tuning of the band gap over a wide range by controlling the Zn or Mg concentration with little alteration to the base CdTe properties. Historically, CdS has been used as a heterojunction partner for CZT or CMT devices. However, these devices show a significant lower open circuit voltage (VOC) than expected for wide bandgap absorbers. Recent modelling work suggests that poor band alignment between the CdS emitter and absorber results in a high concentration of holes at the interface, which increased recombination and limits the VOC. This recombination should be exacerbated for wider bandgap absorbers such as CZT and CMT. In this study, we use numerical simulations with SCAPS-1D software to investigate the band alignment in the front contacts for wider bandgap CdTe based absorbers. Results show that by replacing the CdS with a wide bandgap emitter layer, the VOC can be greatly improved, though under certain conditions, the fill factor remains sensitive to the location of the emitter conduction band. As a result, different transparent front contacts were also investigated to determine a device structure required to produce a high performance CZT or CMT top-cell for tandems devices.
We present the defect analysis by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy of CdSexTe1-x thin films, grown with varying Se content by a co-sputtered deposition method. We observe a peak at 1.203 eV in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.21, which shifts towards higher energies with increase in laser power. This peak was assigned to a donor-to-acceptor (DAP) transition, with a measured j-shift of ∼4.7 meV/decade. Temperature dependent PL intensity measurements confirm that the observed DAP peak involves a shallow defect state of binding energy ∼34.7 meV. In contrast, a free-to-bound (FB) peak at 1.294 eV involving a shallow defect of binding energy ∼18.3 meV was observed in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.14. Additionally, we observe band edge emission at 1.452 eV and 1.448 eV in CdSexTe1-x films for x = 0.14 and x = 0.21 respectively. Our analysis shows that the Se concentration not only changes the band gap energy of the resulting CdSexTe1-x alloy thin film, but also modifies the nature of the dominant observed defect emission.
We studied the radiolysis of a wide variety of N-heterocycles, including many of biological importance, and find that the majority are remarkably stable in the solid-state when subjected to large doses of ionizing gamma radiation from a 60Co source. Degradation of N-heterocycles as a function of dose rate and total dose was measured using high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection. Many N-heterocycles show little degradation when γ-irradiated up to a total dose of ~1 MGy, which approximates hundreds of millions of years’ worth of radiation emitted in meteorite parent bodies due to slow radionuclide decay. Extrapolation of these results suggests that these N-heterocyclic compounds would be stable in dry parent bodies over solar system timescales. We suggest that the abundance of these N-heterocycles as measured presently in carbonaceous meteorites is largely reflective of their abundance at the time aqueous alteration stopped in their parent bodies and the absence of certain compounds in present-day samples is either due to the formation mechanisms or degradation which occurred during periods of aqueous alteration or thermal metamorphism.
Increasing the band gap of cadmium telluride (CdTe) from 1.48 eV to > 2 eV can be achieved by alloying CdTe with ZnTe. Like CdTe, the alloyed films are expected to allow for low cost production, suggesting that Cd1-xZnxTe could be an ideal top cell for mass produced tandem devices. However, the CdCl2 activation of the alloyed films results in a significant loss of Zn, thereby reducing the bandgap. In this study, we demonstrate a novel CdCl2 activation method that does not result in significant Zn loss. By performing the activation step in a closed, inert environment we are able to avoid oxidation of the Zn in the Cd1-xZnxTe film; furthermore, by including sacrificial Zn in the container, an overpressure of ZnCl2 forms limiting the amount of ZnCl2 formed in the film. Both x-ray diffraction, optical measurements, and Auger spectroscopy show that the CdCl2 treatment with no flowing gas minimizes the loss of Zn from the CZT alloy.
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an evidence-based treatment program for people with severe mental illness developed in high-income countries. We report the first randomized controlled trial of ACT in mainland China.
Sixty outpatients with schizophrenia with severe functional impairments or frequent hospitalizations were randomly assigned to ACT (n = 30) or standard community treatment (n = 30). The severity of symptoms and level of social functioning were assessed at baseline and every 3 months during the 1-year study. The primary outcome was the duration of hospital readmission. Secondary outcomes included a pre-post change in symptom severity, the rates of symptom relapse and gainful employment, social and occupational functioning, and quality of life of family caregivers.
Based on a modified intention-to-treat analysis, the outcomes for ACT were significantly better than those of standard community treatment. ACT patients were less likely to be readmitted [3.3% (1/30) v. 25.0% (7/28), Fisher's exact test p = 0.023], had a shorter mean readmission time [2.4 (13.3) v. 30.7 (66.9) days], were less likely to relapse [6.7% (2/30) v. 28.6% (8/28), Fisher's exact test p = 0.038], and had shorter mean time in relapse [3.5 (14.6) v. 34.4 (70.6) days]. The ACT group also had significantly longer times re-employed and greater symptomatic improvement and their caregivers experienced a greater improvement in their quality of life.
Our results show that culturally adapted ACT is both feasible and effective for individuals with severe schizophrenia in urban China. Replication studies with larger samples and longer duration of follow up are warranted.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd2+, Zn2+, and Fe2+salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd2+ or Zn2+in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.
By any measure, the death penalty is in steep decline worldwide. In 1977, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty, but that figure had increased to 140 by 2016. In this chapter we focus on the United States, where, as of mid-2015, the death penalty was authorized in thirty-two states and approximately 2,900 men and women are housed on death row. While a dwindling number of Americans view the death penalty as a social problem because they want to expand its use, a growing number are seeing it as a social problem because they believe it is no longer justified and want it to be restricted or even abolished. In this chapter we describe the arguments used by both sides, and conclude that the long-term trend away from the death penalty is unidirectional and further eroding of its use is inevitable.
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) provide a way to measure the impact of a disease and its associated treatments on the quality of life from the patients’ perspective. The aim of this review was to identify PROMs that have been developed and/or validated in patients with carotid artery disease (CAD) undergoing revascularization, and to assess their psychometric properties and examine suitability for research and clinical use.
Eight electronic databases including MEDLINE and CINAHL were searched from inception to May 2015 and updated in the MEDLINE database to February 2017. A two-stage search approach was used to identify studies reporting the development and/or validation of relevant PROMs in patients with CAD undergoing revascularization. Supplementary citation searching and hand-searching reference lists of included studies were also undertaken. The Consensus-based standards for the selection of health measurement instruments (COSMIN) and Oxford criteria were used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies, and the psychometric properties of the PROMs were evaluated using established assessment criteria.
Six PROMs, reported in five studies, were identified: 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), Euro-QoL-5-Dimension Scale (EQ-5D), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Quality of life for CAD scale by Ivanova 2015 and a disease-specific PROM designed by Stolker 2010. The rigour of the psychometric assessment of the PROMs were variable with most only attempting to assess a single psychometric criterion. No study reported evidence on criterion validity and test-retest reliability. The overall psychometric evaluation of all included PROMs was rated as poor.
This review highlighted a lack of evidence in validated PROMs used for patients undergoing carotid artery revascularization. As a result, the development and validation of a new PROM for this patient population is warranted in order to provide data which can supplement traditional clinical outcomes (stroke >30 days post-procedural, myocardial infarction and death), and capture changes in health status and quality of life in patients to help inform treatment decisions.
We evaluated the extent to which providing training and technical assistance to early childcare centre (ECC) directors, faculty and staff in the implementation of evidence-based nutrition strategies improved the nutrition contexts, policies and practices of ECC serving racially and ethnically diverse, low-income children in Broward County, Florida, USA. The nutrition strategies targeted snack and beverage policies and practices, consistent with Caring for Our Children National Standards.
We used the nutrition observation and document review portions of the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) instrument to observe ECC as part of a one-group pre-test/post-test evaluation design.
ECC located within areas of high rates of poverty, diabetes, minority representation and unhealthy food index in Broward County, Florida, USA.
Eighteen ECC enrolled, mean 112·9 (sd 53·4) children aged 2–5 years; 12·3 (sd 7·2) staff members; and 10·2 (sd 4·6) children per staff member at each centre.
We found significant improvements in centres’ overall nutrition contexts, as measured by total EPAO nutrition scores (P=0·01). ECC made specific significant gains within written nutrition policies (P=0·03) and nutrition training and education (P=0·01).
Our findings support training ECC directors, faculty and staff in evidence-based nutrition strategies to improve the nutrition policies and practices of ECC serving racially and ethnically diverse children from low-income families. The intervention resulted in improvements in some nutrition policies and practices, but not others. There remains a need to further develop the evaluation base involving the effectiveness of policy and practice interventions within ECC serving children in high-need areas.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the evidence payers cited in their coverage policies for multi-gene panels and sequencing tests (panels), and to compare these findings with the evidence payers cited in their coverage policies for other types of medical interventions.
Methods: We used the University of California at San Francisco TRANSPERS Payer Coverage Registry to identify coverage policies for panels issued by five of the largest US private payers. We reviewed each policy and categorized the evidence cited within as: clinical studies, systematic reviews, technology assessments, cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs), budget impact studies, and clinical guidelines. We compared the evidence cited in these coverage policies for panels with the evidence cited in policies for other intervention types (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostic tests and imaging, and surgical interventions) as reported in a previous study.
Results: Fifty-five coverage policies for panels were included. On average, payers cited clinical guidelines in 84 percent of their coverage policies (range, 73–100 percent), clinical studies in 69 percent (50–87 percent), technology assessments 47 percent (33–86 percent), systematic reviews or meta-analyses 31 percent (7–71 percent), and CEAs 5 percent (0–7 percent). No payers cited budget impact studies in their policies. Payers less often cited clinical studies, systematic reviews, technology assessments, and CEAs in their coverage policies for panels than in their policies for other intervention types. Payers cited clinical guidelines in a comparable proportion of policies for panels and other technology types.
Conclusions: Payers in our sample less often cited clinical studies and other evidence types in their coverage policies for panels than they did in their coverage policies for other types of medical interventions.
In the late nineteenth century, the British writer Lewis Carroll published a nonsensical poem called The Hunting of the Snark in which an unlikely alliance hunts a fictional animal, which Carroll named the “snark.” Despite the alliance's intense search for the snark and their questions about how to describe and classify it (apparently, “a Boojum”), they do not find it. I want to suggest that any effort to locate “emotions” in the Hebrew Bible or the ancient Near East is comparable to hunting the snark. If we want our hunt to be successful, we will turn away from “the emotions” and toward something more like the psychological taxonomy that the emotions displaced in the late-modern period: namely, the taxonomy of “passions and affections.” “The emotions” are simply not to be found in the Hebrew Bible or in the historical contexts behind its emergence.
We present a re-analysis of the results obtained from a series of measurements on freshwater and saline ice beams under various centrifugal accelerations. The data show a strong influence of beam size, brine volume and centrifugal acceleration on the elastic modulus of ice. The data suggest a transition brine volume at around 9%, which might occur close to the melting point, at which the elastic modulus of ice drops rapidly due to a possible change of brine-pocket structure. Furthermore, for brine volumes less than 9%, there is a negligible increase in the elastic modulus measured under high centrifugal acceleration, but for brine volumes more than 9% the increase is considerable, approaching that measured with freshwater ice. This may be due to necking of brine drainage channels just above the ice/water interface at high centrifugal acceleration. A model of sea ice was constructed based on existing theories of brine inclusions in sea ice, which satisfactorily predicts the observed trends.