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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally
written up for the volume.
In the past four decades lipid vesicles (liposomes) have evolved from
widely used biomembrane models into important drug and gene carriers. The
phosphatidylcholine phospholipids PC used in the drug carriers are
biocompatible and biodegradable but they function as a relatively inert
shell and require the incorporation of cholesterol to maintain the drug
encapsulated in the liposome; The PC are also incapable of associating
with ligands and have very weak interactions with nucleic acids.
Moreover, they are not particularly good for cytoplasmic delivery of the
encapsulated cargo. Recently, we have devised three classes of new lipids
and have improved the synthesis of a fourth class that enable the
preparation of a bioresponsive targeted carrier with improved nucleic
acid delivery. Class 1 are low pH sensitive and include a diortho ester
PEG lipid or a di-orthoester PC. Class two are redox sensitive lipids and
include thiocholesterol based and thio diacyl chain based lipids that can
be used in a sequential assembly process to encapsulate nucleic acid
drugs in a charge neutral or negatively charged nanolipid particle. Class
3 is a new family of lipids that provide increased in vivo bilayer
stability without the need for crosslinking of the bilayer. Class 4 is an
improved synthesis of a triNTA diacyl lipid. This lipid can be used to
attach His-6 containing molecules to the bilayer vesicle after the
liposomes have been prepared and loaded with drugs. These lipids form a
tool kit that can be used to prepare a variety of targeted drug, protein
and nucleic acid delivery vesicles with attached targeting ligands. The
synthesis, characterization and use of these lipids in a variety of drug
delivery applications will be described. Suported by NIH EB003008 &
The order Onchoproteocephalidea (Eucestoda) was recently erected to accommodate the hook-bearing tetraphyllideans and the proteocephalideans, which are characterized by internal proglottization and a tetra-acetabulate scolex. The recognized subfamilies in the Proteocephalidae appeared to be non-monophyletic based on 28S recombinant DNA (rDNA) sequence data. Other molecular markers with higher phylogenetic resolution, such as large mitochondrial DNA fragments and multiple genes, are obviously needed. Thus the mitochondrial genome of Gangesia oligonchis, belonging to the putative earliest diverging group of the Proteocephalidae, was sequenced. The circular mitogenome of G. oligonchis was 13,958 bp in size, and contained the standard 36 genes: 22 transfer RNA genes, two rRNA genes and 12 protein-coding genes, as well as two major non-coding regions. A short NCR and a large NCR (lNCR) region were 216 bp and 419 bp in size, respectively. Highly repetitive regions in the lNCR region were detected with that of 11 repeat units. The mitogenome of G. oligonchis shared 71.1% nucleotide identity with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete mitochondrial genomes with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods indicated that G. oligonchis formed a sister clade with Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016 with maximum support. The ordinal topology is (Caryophyllidea, (Diphyllobothriidea, (Bothriocephalidea, (Onchoproteocephalidea, Cyclophyllidea)))). The mitogenomic gene arrangement of G. oligonchis was identical to that of Testudotaenia sp. WL-2016. Both mitogenomic and nuclear sequence data for many more taxa are required to effectively explore the inter-relationships among the Onchoproteocephalidea.
Eslami, Jabbari, and Kuo examine over 4,000 compliments produced by Persian Facebook users, focusing on comments on profile pictures and providing a systematic overview of online complimenting behavior in a language that remains strongly underrepresented within politeness research. The authors examine verbal and non-verbal compliment forms, the latter overwhelmingly represented by ‘likes’, a convenient way of paying compliments, though the exact target of the ‘like’ remains ambiguous. The verbal compliments involve different forms of modification and take explicit (often elliptical) and implicit forms. The interpretation of implicit forms requires the complimentee and the analyst to infer implied meaning based on common background knowledge reflecting in-group norms and values, though the presence of the picture and the responses to the compliment facilitate the analyst’s interpretation. The study compares the data to previous (unpublished) work on face-to-face compliments in Persian, and concludes that implicit compliments are more common in the examined online environment, with modification playing a central role in achieving the desired effect of the comment.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
To study physical activity and sleep in Fontan patients and healthy controls before and after an endurance training program, and after 1 year.
Fontan patients (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 25) wore accelerometers for seven consecutive days and nights during a school week before and after a 12-week endurance training program and after 1 year.
Patients had similar sleep duration and sleep efficiency as healthy controls. Latency to sleep onset in minutes was longer for patients than controls (22.4 (4.3–55.3) minutes versus 14.8 (8.6–29.4) minutes, p < 0.01). More time in moderate-to-vigorous activity daytime was correlated with increased sleep time (p < 0.05; r2 = 0.20), improved sleep efficiency (p < 0.01; r2 = 0.24) and less time as wake after sleep onset (p < 0.05; r2 = 0.21) for patients but not controls. Sleep variables did not change after the exercise intervention for patients or controls. After 1 year, patients had decreased total sleep time, decreased sleep efficiency, increased accelerometer counts during sleep and more time as wake after sleep onset during sleep time, but not controls.
Fontan patients have prolonged latency to sleep onset compared with controls. More time in physical activities was correlated with better sleep quality for the patients. Also, subjects with low sleep efficiency and long latency to sleep onset may benefit most from physical exercise. These patients should be encouraged to engage in individually designed physical exercise as this could improve sleep quality.
The determination of low boron concentrations in silicate glasses by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) remains a significant challenge. The internal interferences from the diffraction crystal, i.e. the Mo-B4C large d-spacing layered synthetic microstructure crystal, can be thoroughly diminished by using an optimized differential mode of pulse height analysis (PHA). Although potential high-order spectral interferences from Ca, Fe, and Mn on the BKα peak can be significantly reduced by using an optimized differential mode of PHA, a quantitative calibration of the interferences is required to obtain accurate boron concentrations in silicate glasses that contain these elements. Furthermore, the first-order spectral interference from ClL-lines is so strong that they hinder reliable EPMA of boron concentrations in Cl-bearing silicate glasses. Our tests also indicate that, due to the strongly curved background shape on the high-energy side of BKα, an exponential regression is better than linear regression for estimating the on-peak background intensity based on measured off-peak background intensities. We propose that an optimal analytical setting for low boron concentrations in silicate glasses (≥0.2 wt% B2O3) would best involve a proper boron-rich glass standard, a low accelerating voltage, a high beam current, a large beam size, and a differential mode of PHA.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depressed adults. CBT interventions are complex, as they include multiple content components and can be delivered in different ways. We compared the effectiveness of different types of therapy, different components and combinations of components and aspects of delivery used in CBT interventions for adult depression. We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials in adults with a primary diagnosis of depression, which included a CBT intervention. Outcomes were pooled using a component-level network meta-analysis. Our primary analysis classified interventions according to the type of therapy and delivery mode. We also fitted more advanced models to examine the effectiveness of each content component or combination of components. We included 91 studies and found strong evidence that CBT interventions yielded a larger short-term decrease in depression scores compared to treatment-as-usual, with a standardised difference in mean change of −1.11 (95% credible interval −1.62 to −0.60) for face-to-face CBT, −1.06 (−2.05 to −0.08) for hybrid CBT, and −0.59 (−1.20 to 0.02) for multimedia CBT, whereas wait list control showed a detrimental effect of 0.72 (0.09 to 1.35). We found no evidence of specific effects of any content components or combinations of components. Technology is increasingly used in the context of CBT interventions for depression. Multimedia and hybrid CBT might be as effective as face-to-face CBT, although results need to be interpreted cautiously. The effectiveness of specific combinations of content components and delivery formats remain unclear. Wait list controls should be avoided if possible.
Civil emergencies occurring with little warning can quickly produce mass casualties. To develop an Emergency Department’s surge capacity, medical student involvement in the disaster response has been advocated. Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore is located in proximity to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and represents an untapped manpower resource. With appropriate training, medical students can be leveraged upon as ready and reasonably qualified manpower.
This review provides a snapshot of the conceptualization and setting up of the Disaster Volunteer Corps (DVC) program. We discuss the overall strategy and benefits to stakeholders, emphasizing the close symbiotic relationship between academia and healthcare services.
Duke-NUS medical students will be recruited to receive training from SGH emergency physicians. The frequency of training will be four times yearly, with ad hoc participation in disaster simulation exercises. A call-tree will be employed for DVC activation. The DVC curriculum includes disaster response principles, HAZMAT, crowd control, marshaling, logistics, psychological support, and basic first aid. Teaching methods include didactic lectures, case discussions, involvement in event medical cover, and participation in disaster simulation exercises and response planning.
To date, there are 10 medical students and four emergency physician faculty volunteers involved in the program. Support is provided by adjunct instructors from nursing, nuclear medicine, social work, and security, for training in decontamination, radiological disasters, psychological first aid, and crowd control measures respectively. Assessment by faculty will be conducted to ensure the quality of training and competency of skills.
The DVC provides a unique way of teaching medical students disaster medicine principles in a hands-on experiential format, while simultaneously enhancing the operational readiness of the hospital in times of disaster. This model of close collaboration between university educational and healthcare services provides a feasible model of structured volunteerism that could be replicated in other similar settings.
Introduction: Our team developed “The Ottawa Troponin Pathway” (OTP) for Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) diagnosis using serial conventional troponin (cTnI) 3 hours apart to aid in safe and early disposition of ED patients. The primary objective of this study is to validate the diagnostic accuracy of the OTP in the cohort of patients with cTnI values above the 99th percentile ( > 45ng/L). Methods: This study is a health records review conducted at the Civic and General Campuses of The Ottawa Hospital from August 2017 to December 2017. Adults (≥18 years) who presented to the ED with symptoms of ACS, and who had serial cTnI (at least two values 3 hours ±15 minutes apart) performed for diagnosis of NSTEMI and at least one cTnI value > 45ng/L were included. Patients with cardiac arrest, STEMI, unstable angina or those with TnI values ≤45ng/L were excluded. The outcomes were death due to unknown cause or NSTEMI adjudicated by two blinded investigators within 30 days. Data collected include baseline characteristics, ED management, length of stay, cTnI values and times of measurement, disposition, and outcome. We used descriptive statistics and test diagnostic characteristics to analyze our data. Results: We screened 53,077 patients, of whom 635 patients were included in the study (mean age 71.6 years; 57.6% males; 59.7% hospitalized; median ED length of stay 4.7 hours.). 107 patients (16.9%; 95%CI 14.1%-20.0%) were diagnosed with NSTEMI within 30 days. Among patients with TNI values above the 99th percentile, the OTP did not miss any patients diagnosed with NSTEMI. The sensitivity and the specificity of the OTP were 100% (95%CI 96.6%-100%) and 32.2% (95%CI 28.2%-36.4%) respectively. Conclusion: Our results show that the OTP is diagnostically accurate in ruling out NSTEMI among patients with cTNI values above the 99th percentile with symptoms concerning for ACS. Using the OTP will allow for early referral to consulting services for management, safe and early discharge home, and improve ED crowding.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.