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In this work, the first nonlinear particle-in-cell simulations carried out in a stellarator with the global gyrokinetic code EUTERPE using adiabatic electrons and realistic plasma parameters are reported. Several studies are conducted with the aim of enabling reliable nonlinear simulations in stellarators with this code. First, EUTERPE is benchmarked against ORB5 in both linear and nonlinear settings in a tokamak configuration. Next, the use of noise control and stabilization tools, a Krook-type collision operator, markers’ weight smoothing and heating sources is investigated. It is studied in detail how these tools influence the linear growth rate of instabilities in both tokamak and stellarator geometries, and their influence on the linear zonal flow evolution in a stellarator. Then, it is studied how these tools allow improvement of the quality of the results in a set of nonlinear simulations of electrostatic turbulence in a stellarator configuration. Finally, these tools are applied to a W7-X magnetic configuration using experimental plasma parameters.
Agricultural weeds remain an important production constraint, with labor shortages and a lack of new herbicide options in recent decades making the problem even more acute. Robotic weeding machines are a possible solution to these increasingly intractable weed problems. Franklin Robotics’ Tertill™ is an autonomous weeding robot designed for home gardeners that relies on a minimalistic design to be cost-effective. The objectives of this study were to investigate the ability of the Tertill to control broadleaf and grass weeds, and based on early observations, experiments were conducted with and without its string-trimmer–like weeding implement. Tertill demonstrated high weed-control efficacy, supporting its utility as a tool for home gardeners. Weeds were best controlled by the combined effect of soil disturbance caused by the action of the robot’s wheels and the actuation of the string trimmer. Despite the regrowth potential of an annual grass due to its meristem location, Tertill maintained low densities of millet in an experimental arena. The simple and effective design of the Tertill may offer insights to inform future development of farm-scale weeding robots. Weed density, emergence periodicity, robot working rate, and robotic weeding mechanisms are important design criteria regardless of the technology used for plant detection.
Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas (GHG) produced and released by eructation to the atmosphere in large volumes by ruminants. Enteric CH4 contributes significantly to global GHG emissions arising from animal agriculture. It has been contended that tropical grasses produce higher emissions of enteric CH4 than temperate grasses, when they are fed to ruminants. A number of experiments have been performed in respiration chambers and head-boxes to assess the enteric CH4 mitigation potential of foliage and pods of tropical plants, as well as nitrates (NO3−) and vegetable oils in practical rations for cattle. On the basis of individual determinations of enteric CH4 carried out in respiration chambers, the average CH4 yield for cattle fed low-quality tropical grasses (>70% ration DM) was 17.0 g CH4/kg DM intake. Results showed that when foliage and ground pods of tropical trees and shrubs were incorporated in cattle rations, methane yield (g CH4/kg DM intake) was decreased by 10% to 25%, depending on plant species and level of intake of the ration. Incorporation of nitrates and vegetable oils in the ration decreased enteric CH4 yield by ∼6% to ∼20%, respectively. Condensed tannins, saponins and starch contained in foliages, pods and seeds of tropical trees and shrubs, as well as nitrates and vegetable oils, can be fed to cattle to mitigate enteric CH4 emissions under smallholder conditions. Strategies for enteric CH4 mitigation in cattle grazing low-quality tropical forages can effectively increase productivity while decreasing enteric CH4 emissions in absolute terms and per unit of product (e.g. meat, milk), thus reducing the contribution of ruminants to GHG emissions and therefore to climate change.
The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
To evaluate the long-term tolerability and effectiveness of aripiprazole adjunctive to lithium or valproate in bipolar mania.
Completers of a 6-week double-blind comparison of adjunctive aripiprazole versus placebo in bipolar mania partially responsive to monotherapy were followed up over 46-weeks on open-label aripiprazole plus lithium (ARI+LI) or valproate (ARI+VAL).
283 (ARI+LI n=108; ARI+VAL n=175) patients entered and 146 (ARI+LI n=55; ARI+VAL n=91) completed the 46-week extension. Safety results for both combinations were consistent with the known tolerability profile of aripiprazole, lithium and valproate. No clinically significant changes in lipids or glucose were observed with either ARI+LI or ARI+VAL. Mean (SE) weight change from double-blind endpoint to Week 46 (LOCF) was 2.3 (0.6) kg with ARI+LI and 2.0 (0.4) kg with ARI+VAL. Temporal analysis of the time of first onset of adverse events showed that akathisia and insomnia tended to occur early in treatment, with few new cases in patients previously treated with aripiprazole during the 6-week study.
Significant improvements from baseline in YMRS total score and MADRS total score were sustained over the 52 weeks with both ARI+LI and ARI+VAL treatment.
Mean reduction from baseline at Week 52 LOCF[95%CI], p value vs baseline
YMRS total score
-16.5 [-18.1; -14.8], p<0.001
-17.6 [-18.9; -16.3] p<0.001
MADRS total score
-1.7 [-3.3; -0.1] p<0.05
-2.7 [-4.0; -1.4] p<0.001
Long-term aripiprazole adjunctive to lithium/valproate in bipolar mania was safe and well-tolerated. Improvements in manic and depressive symptoms observed during the first 6 weeks of treatment were maintained.
Processing speed and executive functioning are among the more impaired cognitive domains in schizophrenia, do not improve despite antipsychotic medication, and are associated with poor long-term functioning and quality of life. Cognitive remediation therapy for psychosis (REHACOP) try to improve cognitive deficits by teaching information processing strategies through guided mental exercises. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive remediation therapy (REHACOP), compared to other treatments, on processing speed and executive functioning difficulties.
Material and methods
Fifty-seven patients with DSM-IV schizophrenia and 29 with first-episode psychosis were randomly allocated into one of two groups: Cognitive rehabilitation group (REHACOP) or occupational therapy group. The REHACOP group received 3 months structured group rehabilitation sessions (3 per week) focused on tasks requiring attention, language, memory, speed, executive functioning and activities of daily living. All subjects underwent a neuropsychological assessment pre- and post treatment, which included tests for processing speed (Trail-Making Test-A, Digit Symbol, and Stroop-Color) and executive functioning (Stroop Word-Color part and interference)
Repeated measures of MANOVA showed that the interaction term groupXtime was significant for the executive functioning (F = 9.88, p < 0.01) and processing speed (F = 5.92, p < 0.05) measures, suggesting that the REHACOP experimental group improved significantly when compared to the control group's performance on both domains.
Results suggest that REHACOP is effective to improve executive dysfunction and processing speed deficits in first-episode psychosis and schizophrenia compared to occupational therapy.
To find out the frequency of medical conditions presented by a population of institutionalized chronic schizophrenic patients.
The target population is a total of 220 schizophrenic patients, 48 men and 172 women, diagnosed following the ICD-10 criteria, institutionalized at least during 5 years in a 76,8% of the patients. The average age was of 64,64 years.
Specific survey applied by the group of investigators aiming to collect socio-demographical data and the medical conditions, using the following psychometric scales: Cumulative Index of Illnesses (CII), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI).
Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS v 15.0, including descriptive statistics and correlation analysis.
Diabetes was found in 15% of cases, obesity in 31,7%, overweight in 39%, high blood pressure in 24,5%, high cholesterol serum levels in 21%, high triglyceride serum levels in 8,7%. A 26% of the patients were smokers.
The average number of categories at the CII scale was 4,84 and the average total score was 11,96.
Our patients predominantly are of an advanced age, female sex, and long-term inpatients. The presence of comorbid physical illness is high. The relatively low number of smokers could be explained by the demographic characteristics of our sample.
Cocaine consumption can induce transient psychotic symptoms, expressed as paranoia or hallucinations. Cocaine induced psychosis (CIP) is common but not developed in all cases.
To describe the Risk Factors for developing cocaine-induced psychosis in cocaine dependent patients, according DSM-IV-TR criteria.
This is the first European study about the relationship of CIP with consumption pattern variables and personality disorders, we evaluated 220 cocaine dependents over 18 years, 80'5% males, mean age 33.9 years (SD = 7.6). Patients were recluted from an outpatient clinic department and subsequently systematically evaluated using SCID I and SCID II interviews for comorbidity disorders, and a clinical-based systematic psychotic symptoms form.
A high proportion of cocaine dependent patients reported psychotic symptoms (51.8%) under influence of cocaine. The most frequent reported psychotic symptoms were paranoid beliefs and suspiciousness (42.4%). After a logistic regression analysis we found that a model consisted of high cocaine consumption (mean of 12.01 grams per week), cannabis dependence history and to use intranasal or smoked rout of administration had a sensitivity of 63.2% and a specificity of 70.2%.
We conclude that is relevant to evaluate CIP in patients consuming high amounts of cocaine, with cannabis dependence history and who do not use intranasal rout. It could be useful for preventing consequences or risks of psychotic states for themselves or others.
Serotonin Syndrome (SS) is an adverse drug reaction that drives mental-status changes, autonomic hyperactivity and neuromuscular abnormalities.
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) is an idiopathic reaction to dopamine-antagonist that consists of extra-pyramidal symptoms, autonomic dysfunction, hyperthermia, diaphoresis and fluctuating consciousness.
Differential diagnosis is sometimes difficult for their overlapping clinical features. Potentially lethal, both require heightened clinical awareness for prevention, recognition and prompt treatment.
Caucasian 59 years-old woman with Catatonic profile (Scored: severity-17points/ 5 screening in Bush-Francis Catatonia-Rating-Scale).
Past Medical History
- Bipolar Disorder type-2 (25 years of evolution)
15 days before hospitalization, anafranil and fluoxetine treatment was replaced by Trazodone 200 mg/day and venlafaxine 150mg/day. She was also on valpromida and lorazepam 15 mg/day.
Mutism, negativism. No reaction to painful stimuli, stuporous. Diaphoresis, pallor, tremor, axial rigidity without pyramidalism (>lower limbs), high fever (40°C), tachycardia (>100lpm), rhabdomyolysis (CPK reached 17.000, 48 hours after the admission), leukocytosis, upper transaminasas, hiponatremia with hiperpotasemia.
-NMS: Intensity, duration and high CPK are suggestive (Sternbach). This syndrome has been described due to Venlafaxine.
-SS: Combination of Venlafaxine and Trazodone favors but she doesn't have acatisia, hiperreflexia, diarrhea and it wasn't resolved after 96 hours.
Drugs were removed and Lorazepam on high doses (5mg/day) was prescribed. One month later the patient was totally recovered of the episode.
If unsure diagnoses it's priority to remove the causing drugs and supportive care. Afterwards, it can be used benzodiacepines, also dantroleno in SNM.