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We evaluated the safety and feasibility of high-intensity interval training via a novel telemedicine ergometer (MedBIKE™) in children with Fontan physiology.
The MedBIKE™ is a custom telemedicine ergometer, incorporating a video game platform and live feed of patient video/audio, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and power output, for remote medical supervision and modulation of work. There were three study phases: (I) exercise workload comparison between the MedBIKE™ and a standard cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer in 10 healthy adults. (II) In-hospital safety, feasibility, and user experience (via questionnaire) assessment of a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training protocol in children with Fontan physiology. (III) Eight-week home-based high-intensity interval trial programme in two participants with Fontan physiology.
There was good agreement in oxygen consumption during graded exercise at matched work rates between the cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer and MedBIKE™ (1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute versus 1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute, p = 0.44). Ten youth with Fontan physiology (11.5 ± 1.8 years old) completed a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training session with no adverse events. The participants found the MedBIKE™ to be enjoyable and easy to navigate. In two participants, the 8-week home-based protocol was tolerated well with completion of 23/24 (96%) and 24/24 (100%) of sessions, respectively, and no adverse events across the 47 sessions in total.
The MedBIKE™ resulted in similar physiological responses as compared to a cardiopulmonary exercise test ergometer and the high-intensity interval training protocol was safe, feasible, and enjoyable in youth with Fontan physiology. A randomised-controlled trial of a home-based high-intensity interval training exercise intervention using the MedBIKE™ will next be undertaken.
Reducing stigma is a perennial target of mental health advocates, but effectively addressing stigma relies on the ability to correctly understand and accurately measure culture-specific and location-specific components of stigma and discrimination.
We developed two culture-sensitive measures that assess the core components of stigma. The 40-item Interpersonal Distance Scale (IDS) asks respondents about their willingness to establish four different types of relationships with individuals with 10 target conditions, including five mental health-related conditions and five comparison conditions. The 40-item Occupational Restrictiveness Scale (ORS) asks respondents how suitable it is for individuals with the 10 conditions to assume four different types of occupations. The scales – which take 15 min to complete – were administered as part of a 2013 survey in Ningxia Province, China to a representative sample of 2425 adult community members.
IDS and ORS differentiated the level of stigma between the 10 conditions. Of the total, 81% of respondents were unwilling to have interpersonal relationships with individuals with mental health-related conditions and 91% considered them unsuitable for various occupations. Substantial differences in attitudes about the five mental health-related conditions suggest that there is no community consensus about what constitutes a ‘mental illness’.
Selection of comparison conditions, types of social relationships, and types of occupations considered by the IDS and ORS make it possible to develop culture-sensitive and cohort-specific measures of interpersonal distance and occupational restrictiveness that can be used to compare the level and type of stigma associated with different conditions and to monitor changes in stigma over time.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Academic medical centers (AMCs) face challenges in conducting research among traditionally marginalized communities due to long-standing community mistrust. Evidence suggests that some AMC faculty and staff lack an understanding of the history of distrust and social determinants of health (SDH) affecting their communities. Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute Program in Community Engagement (PCE) aims to build bridges between communities and Wake Forest Baptist Health by equipping faculty, clinicians, administrators, and staff (FCAS) with a better understanding of SDH. The PCE collaborated with community partners to develop and implement community tours to improve cross-community AMC understanding and communication, enhance knowledge of SDH, and build awareness of community needs, priorities, and assets. Nine day-long tours have been conducted with 92 FCAS. Tours included routes through under-resourced neighborhoods and visits to community assets. Participant evaluations assessed program quality; 89% reported enhanced understanding of access-to-care barriers and how SDH affect health; 86% acknowledged the experience would improve future interactions with participants and patients; and 96% agreed they would recommend the tour to colleagues. This work supports the use of community tours as a strategy to improve cross-community AMC communication, build trust, and raise awareness of community needs, priorities, and assets.
The 2014 World Health Organization report on global suicide identified large differences in the male-to-female ratio of suicide rates between countries: most high-income countries (HICs) report ratios of 3:1 or higher while many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) – including China and India – report ratios of less than 1.5:1. Most authors suggest that gender-based social-cultural factors lead to higher rates of suicidal behaviour among women in LMICs and, thus, to relatively high female suicide rates. We aim to test an alternative hypothesis: differences in the method and case-fatality of suicidal behaviour – not differences in the rates of suicidal behaviour – are the main determinants of higher female suicide rates in LMICs.
A prospective registry of suicide attempts treated in all 14 general hospitals in a rural county in China was established and data from the registry were integrated with population and mortality data from the same county from 2009 to 2014.
There were 160 suicides and 1010 medically-treated suicidal attempts in the county; 84% of female suicides and 58% of male suicides ingested pesticides while 73% of female attempted suicides and 72% of male attempted suicides ingested pesticides. The suicide rate (per 100 000 person-years of exposure) was 8.4 in females and 9.1 in males (M:F ratio = 1.08:1) while the incidence of ‘serious suicidal acts’ (i.e. those that result in death or received treatment in a hospital) was 81.5 in females and 47.7 in males (M:F ratio = 0.59:1). The case-fatality of serious suicidal acts was higher in males than in females (19 v. 10%), increased with age, was highest for violent methods (92%), intermediate for pesticide ingestion (13%) and lowest for other methods (5%).
The incidence of medically serious suicidal behaviour among females in rural China was similar to that reported in HICs, but the case-fatality was much higher, primarily because most suicidal acts involved the ingestion of pesticides, which had a higher case-fatality than methods commonly used by women in HICs. These findings do not support sociological explanations for the relatively high female suicide rate in China but, rather, suggest that gender-specific method choice and the case-fatality of different methods are more important determinants of the demographic profile of suicide rates. Further research that involves ongoing monitoring of the changing incidence, demographic profile and case-fatality of different suicidal methods in urban and rural parts of both LMICs and HICs is needed to confirm this hypothesis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
We investigated the physiology of two closely related albatross species relative to their breeding strategy: black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) breed annually, while grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) breed biennially. From observations of breeding fate and blood samples collected at the end of breeding in one season and feather corticosterone levels (fCort) sampled at the beginning of the next breeding season, we found that in both species some post-breeding physiological parameters differed according to breeding outcome (successful, failed, deferred). Correlations between post-breeding physiology and fCort, and links to future breeding decisions, were examined. In black-browed albatrosses, post-breeding physiology and fCort were not significantly correlated, but fCort independently predicted breeding decision the next year, which we interpret as a possible migratory carry-over effect. In grey-headed albatrosses, post-breeding triglyceride levels were negatively correlated with fCort, but only in females, which we interpret as a potential cost of reproduction. However, this potential cost did not carry-over to future breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses. None of the variables predicted future breeding decisions. We suggest that biennial breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses may have evolved as a strategy to buffer against the apparent susceptibility of females to negative physiological costs of reproduction. Future studies are needed to confirm this.
There are meagre data on Axis II personality disorders and suicidal behaviour in China.
To describe the prevalence of Axis II personality disorders in suicides and suicide attempts in China and to estimate risk for these outcomes associated with personality disorders.
People who died by suicide (n = 151), people who attempted suicide (n = 118) and living community controls (n = 140) were randomly sampled from four Chinese counties and studied using the Structured Clinical Interviews for DSM-IV-TR Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) and Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II). We also determined the prevalence of subthreshold versions of ten DSM-IV personality disorders.
Axis II personality disorders were present in 7% of the suicide group, 6% of the suicide attempt group and 1% of the control group. Threshold and subthreshold personality disorders had adjusted odds ratios (point estimates) in the range of 2.7–8.0 for suicide and for suicide attempts.
Axis II personality disorders may confer increased risk for suicidal behaviour in China, but their low prevalence in the community and among people with suicidal behaviour suggests that other personality constructs such as select dimensional traits may be a more fruitful avenue for understanding and preventing suicide in China.
A scalable approach for synthesis of ultra-thin (<10 nm) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) films on stretchable polymeric materials is presented. Specifically, magnetron sputtering from pure TMD targets, such as MoS2 and WS2, was used for growth of amorphous precursor films at room temperature on polydimethylsiloxane substrates. Stacks of different TMD films were grown upon each other and integrated with optically transparent insulating layers such as boron nitride. These precursor films were subsequently laser annealed to form high quality, few-layer crystalline TMDs. This combination of sputtering and laser annealing is commercially scalable and lends itself well to patterning. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, scanning probe, optical, and transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirm our assertions and illustrate annealing mechanisms. Electrical properties of simple devices built on flexible substrates are correlated to annealing processes. This new approach is a significant step toward commercial-scale stretchable 2D heterostructured nanoelectronic devices.