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Stone was a critical resource for prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Archaeologists, therefore, have long argued that these groups would actively have sought out stone of ‘high quality’. Although the defining of quality can be a complicated endeavour, researchers in recent years have suggested that stone with fewer impurities would be preferred for tool production, as it can be worked and used in a more controllable way. The present study shows that prehistoric hunter-gatherers at the Holocene site of Welling, in Ohio, USA, continuously selected the ‘purest’ stone for over 9000 years.
To identify the intracochlear electrode position in cochlear implant recipients and determine the correlation to speech perception for two peri-modiolar electrode arrays.
Post-operative cone-beam computed tomography images of 92 adult recipients of the ‘CI512’ electrode and 18 adult recipients of the ‘CI532’ electrode were analysed. Phonemes scores were recorded pre-implantation, and at 3 and 12 months post-implantation.
All CI532 electrodes were wholly within scala tympani. Of the 79 CI512 electrodes intended to be in scala tympani, 58 (73 per cent) were in scala tympani, 14 (17 per cent) were translocated and 7 (9 per cent) were wholly in scala vestibuli. Thirteen CI512 electrodes were deliberately inserted into scala vestibuli. Speech perception scores for post-lingual recipients were higher in the scala tympani group (69.1 per cent) compared with the scala vestibuli (54.2 per cent) and translocation (50 per cent) groups (p < 0.05). Electrode location outside of scala tympani independently resulted in a 10.5 per cent decrease in phoneme scores.
Cone-beam computed tomography was valuable for demonstrating electrode position. The rate of scala tympani insertion was higher in CI532 than in CI512 electrodes. Scala vestibuli insertion and translocation were associated with poorer speech perception outcomes.
Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with cognitive impairment but the relationships between specific biomarkers and neurocognitive domains remain unclear. The present study examined the influence of common health comorbidities on these relationships. Adults with suspected OSA (N=60; 53% male; M age=52 years; SD=14) underwent neuropsychological evaluation before baseline polysomnography (PSG). Apneic syndrome severity, hypoxic strain, and sleep architecture disturbance were assessed through PSG. Methods: Depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, CESD), pain, and medical comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index) were measured via questionnaires. Processing speed, attention, vigilance, memory, executive functioning, and motor dexterity were evaluated with cognitive testing. A winnowing approach identified 9 potential moderation models comprised of a correlated PSG variable, comorbid health factor, and cognitive performance. Results: Regression analyses identified one significant moderation model: average blood oxygen saturation (AVO2) and depression predicting recall memory, accounting for 31% of the performance variance, p<.001. Depression was a significant predictor of recall memory, p<.001, but AVO2 was not a significant predictor. The interaction between depression and AVO2 was significant, accounting for an additional 10% of the variance, p<.001. The relationship between low AVO2 and low recall memory performance emerged when depression severity ratings approached a previously established clinical cutoff score (CESD=16). Conclusions: This study examined sleep biomarkers with specific neurocognitive functions among individuals with suspected OSA. Findings revealed that depression burden uniquely influence this pathophysiological relationship, which may aid clinical management. (JINS, 2018, 28, 864–875)
To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio–astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day−1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
The science cases for incorporating high time resolution capabilities into modern radio telescopes are as numerous as they are compelling. Science targets range from exotic sources such as pulsars, to our Sun, to recently detected possible extragalactic bursts of radio emission, the so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Originally conceived purely as an imaging telescope, the initial design of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) did not include the ability to access high time and frequency resolution voltage data. However, the flexibility of the MWA’s software correlator allowed an off-the-shelf solution for adding this capability. This paper describes the system that records the 100 μs and 10 kHz resolution voltage data from the MWA. Example science applications, where this capability is critical, are presented, as well as accompanying commissioning results from this mode to demonstrate verification.
To determine whether there is a difference in antibody titers and functionality after receipt of the influenza vaccine for obese versus nonobese healthcare workers (HCW).
Prospective observational study.
Tertiary medical center.
Baseline influenza antibody titers for obese and nonobese HCW were recorded during the hospital’s 2011 annual influenza vaccination day and follow-up antibody titers were measured 4 weeks later. Antibodies were measured using the hemagglutination inhibition assay and functionality was measured using the micro-neutralization method.
Of 200 initial HCWs, 190 completed the study (97 obese and 93 nonobese). Seroprotection after immunization was not significantly different for nonobese compared with obese HCW for each strain (influenza A [H1N1], 99% and 99%; influenza A [H3N2], 100% and 99%; and influenza B, 67% and 71%, respectively)
All geometric mean titers measured by micro-neutralization showed statistically significant increases in activity. In comparison, there was no difference in the 4-fold increase in H1N1 or B titers. There was a significant difference in the 4-fold increase of H3N2 titers between the nonobese and obese HCWs (82/93 [88%] vs 64/97 [66%], P=.003)
In an ad hoc analysis we found that obese HCWs had a statistically greater number of 4-fold decreases in titers with H1N1 and H3N2.
There was no significant difference in protection from influenza between obese and nonobese HCWs after immunization.
Water supply-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks have decreased in England since the application of risk reduction measures to public water supplies. We hypothesized that smaller outbreaks were occurring which could be better detected by enhanced surveillance. Rolling analysis of detailed questionnaire data was applied prospectively in a population of 2·2 million in the south of England in 2009 and 2010. Detection of spatiotemporal clusters using SaTScan was later undertaken retrospectively. Together these approaches identified eight outbreaks, compared to an expectation of less than one based on national surveillance data. These outbreaks were small and associated with swimming pool use or, less commonly, direct (e.g. petting-farm) contact with animals. These findings suggest that frequent small-scale transmission in swimming pools is an important contributor to disease burden. Identification of swimming pool-level risk factors may inform preventative measures. These findings and the approaches described may be applicable to many other populations and to some other diseases.
Less than 1 per cent of tumours occurring in the region encompassing the internal auditory canal and the cerebellopontine angle are malignant. Primary central nervous system melanomas arising from this region are exceptionally rare and are often initially misdiagnosed as acoustic neuromas.
We present a 71-year-old man with acute vestibular disturbance and unilateral hearing loss. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a mass, thought to be a cochlear nerve schwannoma, involving the cochlea and the internal auditory canal. At surgery, a pigmented mass adherent to the facial nerve was visualised, and the observed histopathology was consistent with a malignant melanoma. No extracranial site for the primary tumour was found, suggestive of a primary central nervous system melanoma.
Despite surgical resection and adjuvant radiotherapy, the patient re-presented with extensive leptomeningeal disease 16 months later.
Malignant tumours in the internal auditory canal and cerebellopontine angle region are rare. Early diagnosis and management are aided by recognition of characteristic factors such as a history of prior malignancy, atypical magnetic resonance imaging findings and accelerated audiovestibular symptoms. Despite the presented patient's outcome, total surgical resection with post-operative radiotherapy remains the recommended treatment.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the psychological and functional impact attributed to acoustic neuroma symptoms.
Materials and methods:
A sample of 207 acoustic neuroma patients completed a study-specific questionnaire about the severity, frequency, and psychological and functional impact of 9 acoustic neuroma symptoms.
The survey response rate was 56.4 per cent. All symptoms had some degree of psychological impact for the majority of participants; hearing loss was the symptom most often reported to have a severe psychological impact. The majority of respondents reported functional impact attributed to hearing loss, balance disturbance, dizziness, eye problems, headache and fatigue; balance disturbance was the symptom most often reported to have a severe functional impact. For most symptoms, psychological and functional impact were related to severity and frequency.
Of the acoustic neuroma symptoms investigated, hearing loss and balance disturbance were the most likely to have a severe psychological and functional impact, respectively.
Numerous techniques have been described to manage the skin and other soft tissues during bone-anchored hearing aid insertion. Previously, generally accepted techniques have sometimes led to distressing alopecia and soft tissue defects. Now, some surgeons are rejecting the originally described split skin flap in favour of a less invasive approach.
To investigate bone-anchored hearing aid placement utilising a single, linear incision with either no or minimal underlying soft tissue reduction.
Patients and methods:
Thirty-four adults were prospectively enrolled to undergo single-stage bone-anchored hearing aid placement with this modified technique. A small, linear incision was used at the standard position and carried down through the periosteum. Standard technique was then followed with placement of an extended length abutment. Patients were reviewed regularly to assess wound healing, including evaluation with Holgers' scale.
Only 14.7 per cent of patients had a reaction score of 2 or higher. Most complications were limited to minor skin reactions that settled with silver nitrate cautery and/or antibiotics. None required revision surgery for tissue overgrowth, and there were no implant failures.
Our results suggest this to be a simple and effective insertion technique with favourable cosmesis and patient satisfaction.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.