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The use of Alzheimer disease medication for the treatment of dementia symptoms has shown significant benefits with regards to functional and cognitive outcomes as well as nursing home placement (NHP) and mortality. Hospitalisations in these patient groups are characterised by extended length of stays (LOS), frequent readmissions, frequent NHP and high-mortality rates. The impact of Alzheimer disease medication on the aforementioned outcomes remains still unknown. This study assessed the association of Alzheimer disease medication with outcomes of hospitalisation among patients with Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia.
A dynamic retrospective cohort study from 2004 to 2015 was conducted which claims data from a German health insurance company. People with dementia (PWD) were identified using ICD-10 codes and diagnostic measures. The main predictor of interest was the use of Alzheimer disease medication. Hospitalisation outcomes included LOS, readmissions, NHP and mortality during and after hospitalisation across four hospitalisations. Confounding was addressed using a propensity score throughout all analyses.
A total of 1380 users of Alzheimer disease medication and 6730 non-users were identified. The use of Alzheimer disease medication was associated with significantly shorter LOS during the first hospitalisations with estimates for the second, third and fourth showed a tendency towards shorter hospital stays. In addition, current users of Alzheimer disease medication had a lower risk of hospital readmission after the first two hospitalisations. These associations were not significant for the third and fourth hospitalisations. Post-hospitalisation NHP and mortality rates also tended to be lower among current users than among non-users but differences did not reach statistical significance.
Our results indicate that Alzheimer disease medication might contribute to a reduction of the LOS and the number of readmissions in PWD.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.
The discovery of gravitationally lensed radio-rings (Hewitt et al. 1988) opened up a new line of attack on the problem of dark matter in galaxies. High–resolution radio observations (Langston et al. 1989) resolve structure tangentially and radially within the rings, providing sophisticated analysis routines (Kochanek & Narayan 1992, Wallington, Narayan & Kochanek 1994) with enough constraints to compute realistic models of the mass distribution within the deflectors (Kochanek 1995). Five such systems are now known and extensive programs to identify further examples are underway.
There was not much said at this conference about the damped Lyα absorbers, yet locally and at high redshift nearly all the neutral hydrogen in the Universe lies in the damped systems, so they may have much to tell us about when and how galaxies formed. This talk is concerned with the results of narrow-band imaging searches for Lyα emission from, and around, damped Lyα absorbers. There have been many such searches, but very few detections. Here we concentrate on two groups of galaxies at high redshift, z > 2, found by this technique. One of these is a recent discovery (Francis et al. 1995), and for the other we discuss some new observations (Warren and Møller 1995). A study of these two groups provides some clues to the nature of the damped absorbers at high redshift, and the rôle they play in the formation of galaxies.
Strong absorption lines in quasar spectra primarily probe low-mass galaxies and detecting these in emission has previously been difficult. Dedicated surveys for the host galaxies of damped Lyman-α (DLA) systems have often resulted in non-detections and upper limits. Targeting the most metal-rich absorbers has proven to be a viable method, because these galaxies are brighter. By combining DLA metallicities and deriving host galaxy stellar masses, we find that metal-rich DLAs (with >10% solar metallicity) and their host galaxies follow the same redshift-dependent scaling relation between stellar mass and metallicity as luminosity-selected galaxies. We derive a prediction for an absorber galaxy mass that depends on the DLA metallicity.
We analyze a sample of 20 absorption systems intrinsic to long duration GRB host galaxies at z > 2 forwhich the metallicities are known. We compare the relation between the metallicity and cold gas velocity width for thissample to that of the Damped Lyman-alpha systems (DLAs) in the sight-lines of quasars (QSOs), and find completeagreement. We then compare the redshift evolution of the velocity-metallicity relation of our sample to that of QSODLAsand find that also GRB hosts favour a late onset of this evolution, around a redshift of ~2.6. We compute predicted stellar masses for the GRB host galaxies using the prescription determined from QSO-DLAsamples and compare the measured stellar masses for the four hosts where stellar masses have been determinedfrom SED fits. We find excellent agreement and conclude that, on basis of all available data and tests, long durationGRB-DLA hosts and intervening QSO-DLAs are consistent with being drawn from the same underlying population.
We investigated an outbreak of gastroenteritis following a Christmas buffet served on 4–9 December 2012 to ~1300 hotel guests. More than 300 people were reported ill in initial interviews with hotel guests. To identify possible sources of infection we conducted a cohort investigation through which we identified 214 probable cases. Illness was associated with consumption of scrambled eggs (odds ratio 9·07, 95% confidence interval 5·20–15·84). Imported chives added fresh to the scrambled eggs were the suspected source of the outbreak but were unavailable for testing. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection was eventually confirmed in 40 hotel guests. This outbreak reinforces that ETEC should be considered in non-endemic countries when the clinical picture is consistent and common gastrointestinal pathogens are not found. Following this outbreak, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority recommended that imported fresh herbs should be heat-treated before use in commercial kitchens.
Campylobacter is the most prevalent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide and it represents a significant public health risk of increasing severity due to its escalating resistance to clinically important quinolone and macrolide antibiotics. As a zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter is transmitted along the food chain and naturally cycles from environmental waters, feedstuff, animals and food to humans. We determined antibiotic resistance profiles, as well as multilocus sequence types and flaA-SVR types for 52 C. jejuni isolated in Slovenia from human, animal, raw and cured chicken meat and water samples. Twenty-eight different sequence types, arranged in ten clonal complexes, three new allele types and five new sequence types were identified, indicating the relatively high diversity in a small group of strains. The assignment of strains from different sources to the same clonal complexes indicates their transmission along the food supply chain. The most prevalent clonal complex was CC21, which was also the genetic group with 95% of quinolone-resistant strains. Based on the genetic relatedness of these quinolone-resistant strains identified by polymerase chain reaction with a mismatch amplification mutation assay and sequencing of the quinolone resistance-determining region of the gyrA gene, we conclude that the high resistance prevalence observed indicates the local clonal spread of quinolone resistance with CC21.
The objective was to assess the ability of the in situ mobile nylon bag method for predicting small intestinal and total tract starch digestibility. Starch disappearance was measured for 18 samples of different cereals and legumes subjected to different physical and chemical processing methods and compared with coherent in vivo digestibility. Starch disappearance was measured both with and without initial ruminal pre-incubation during 4 h. Bags were retrieved from either the ileal cannula or faeces. Two dry Danish Holstein cows fitted with rumen cannulas were used for rumen pre-incubations and two lactating Danish Holstein cows fitted with duodenal and ileal cannulas were used for intestinal incubations. Rumen pre-incubation had no significant effect on disappearance from bags recovered in faeces. The disappearance of legume starch was lower, both in the rumen and small intestine, compared with starch from barley, wheat, oats, ear maize and maize. Transit times of the mobile bags from duodenum to ileum were not significantly different between feeds. A weak positive correlation was found between in vivo small intestinal and total tract digestibility of starch and disappearance obtained using the mobile bag technique across a broad range of starch sources. Omitting two less conventional starch sources (NaOH wheat and xylose-treated barley) resulted in a high (0.87) correlation between total tract in vivo digestibility and mobile bag disappearance. The use of the mobile bag method for estimation of in vivo starch digestibility will therefore depend on the starch type.
The oscillating piezoelectric field of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) is employed to transport photoexcited electrons and holes in GaAs nanowires (NWs) transferred to a SAW beam line on a LiNbO3 crystal. We show that carriers generated in the NW by a focused light spot can be acoustically transported to a second location, where they recombine emitting short light pulses. The results presented here demonstrate the high-frequency manipulation of carriers in NWs without the use of electrical contacts, which opens new perspectives for applications in opto-electronic devices operating at GHz frequencies.
Young people with self-experienced cognitive thought and perception deficits (basic symptoms) may present with an early initial prodromal state (EIPS) of psychosis in which most of the disability and neurobiological deficits of schizophrenia have not yet occurred.
To investigate the effects of an integrated psychological intervention (IPI), combining individual cognitive–behavioural therapy, group skills training, cognitive remediation and multifamily psychoeducation, on the prevention of psychosis in the EIPS.
A randomised controlled, multicentre, parallel group trial of 12 months of IPI v. supportive counselling (trial registration number: NCT00204087). Primary outcome was progression to psychosis at 12- and 24-month follow-up.
A total of 128 help-seeking out-patients in an EIPS were randomised. Integrated psychological intervention was superior to supportive counselling in preventing progression to psychosis at 12-month follow-up (3.2% v. 16.9%; P = 0.008) and at 24-month follow-up (6.3% v. 20.0%; P = 0.019).
Integrated psychological intervention appears effective in delaying the onset of psychosis over a 24-month time period in people in an EIPS.
Nanometer sized gold patterns were produced with controlled spacings using the combination of a top-down (e-beam lithography) and a bottom-up (macromolecular chemistry) technique. Sub-10 nm nanoparticle arrays on silicon consisting of gold nano particles separated by micro meter spacings were fabricated with this approach. Using electron beam lithography, templates comprising of 150 nm to 1 μm sized trenches, holes and aperiodic patterns were made in an electron-beam resist. Block copolymer micelles were then patterned into this template by spincoating. The micelles acted as positioners for a nanometer sized gold precursor that is sequestered within its core. Subsequent removal of the resist layer left an array of Au loaded organic micelles ordered according to the pattern of the template. Exposure of this substrate to a hydrogen plasma removed the organic block copolymer and resulted in an array of sub-10 nm gold nanoparticles/nanoclusters with micron separations. The gold was then used as an anchor point for the tethering of functional molecules in order to localize fluorescent molecules.
Amorphous silicon p-i-n diodes were illuminated with LED-generated trains of rectangular light pulses under various duty-cycle conditions. Our results indicate that such diodes are able to handle modulation rates in excess of 10MHz over a wide range of operating temperatures. Measurements of the dark I-V characteristics show that the shot-noise in properly designed junctions can be reduced to a level comparable to c-Si photodiodes.
The precipitation of copper and nickel at grain boundaries in cast polycrystalline silicon is investigated. The metals are diffused into the specimens from a surface source between 800 – 1000 °C and the precipitation after cooling is studied by TEM. Copper precipitates in form of colonies containing hundreds of particles with a size between 5–6 nm. In the grain boundary they nucleate preferentially at dislocations and steps. The distribution and size of the precipitates depend on the cooling rate after the diffusion. Nickel forms only few large (micrometer size) plate-like or three dimensional precipitates at and near grain boundaries. The main features of the results and the differences between the two elements are explained under the assumption that the precipitation requires the transport of native point defects.
A new high resolution electron microscopy investigation of indentationinduced hexagonal silicon has been carried out using the JEOL 4000EX electron microscope. The better resolution of the microscope enables one to extract more structural information about this intriguing phase and its interface with the cubic phase. A new structural model for the cubic/- hexagonal interface is presented. Image simlations are carried out over a wide range of thickness and defocus for the new model and also a previous model due to Tan et al.