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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Smoking rates in people with depression and anxiety are twice as high as in the general population, even though people with depression and anxiety are motivated to stop smoking. Most healthcare professionals are aware that stopping smoking is one of the greatest changes that people can make to improve their health. However, smoking cessation can be a difficult topic to raise. Evidence suggests that smoking may cause some mental health problems, and that the tobacco withdrawal cycle partly contributes to worse mental health. By stopping smoking, a person's mental health may improve, and the size of this improvement might be equal to taking antidepressants. In this article we outline ways in which healthcare professionals can compassionately and respectfully raise the topic of smoking to encourage smoking cessation. We draw on evidence-based methods such as cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and outline approaches that healthcare professionals can use to integrate these methods into routine care to help their patients stop smoking.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has necessitated almost exclusive National Health Service focus on emergency work and cancer care. There are concerns that increased hospital and community pressures will lead to decreased referrals and worse outcomes for head and neck cancer patients.
This is a retrospective review of all cases referred for suspected head and neck cancer to our institution in January and April 2020.
There was a 55 per cent decrease in referrals but diagnostic yield rose from 2.9 per cent in January to 8.06 per cent in April. In both months, 100 per cent of patients met the 31- and 62-day targets, with similar 14-day wait time success (97.83 per cent for January vs 98.33 per cent for April). Referrals for laryngopharyngeal reflux rose from 27.5 per cent to 41.9 per cent. Referrals for those aged over 60 years fell from 42 per cent to 26 per cent.
It is suggested that further research be conducted into the reasons why fewer patients were referred, particularly elderly patients, and why laryngopharyngeal reflux is so prevalent in fast-track referrals.
Results of in situ U–Pb dating of calcite spherulites, cone-in-cone (CIC) calcite and calcite fibres from a calcareous concretion of the upper Ediacaran of Finnmark, Arctic Norway, are reported. Calcite spherulites from the innermost layers of the concretion yielded a lower intercept age of 563 ± 70 Ma, which, although imprecise, is within uncertainty of the age of sedimentation based on fossil assemblages. Non-deformed CIC calcite from the bottom part of the concretion yielded an age of 475 ± 25 Ma, which is interpreted as the age of CIC calcite formation during a period of fluid overpressure induced during burial of the sediments. Deformed CIC calcite from the top part of the concretion yielded an age of 418 ± 23 Ma, which overlaps with a known Caledonian tectono-metamorphic event, and indicates a potential post-depositional overprint at this time. Calcite fibres that grew in small fissures along spherulite rims, which are interpreted as a recrystallization feature during deformation and formation of a cleavage, gave an imprecise age of 486 ± 161 Ma. Our results show that U–Pb dating of calcite can provide age constraints for ancient carbonates and syn- to post-depositional processes that operated during burial and metamorphic overprinting.
New information on acritarchs from the Duolbagáisá Formation, Digermulen Peninsula, Arctic Norway, enable recognition of the three Cambrian Series 2 acritarch-based zones: the Skiagia ornata–Fimbriaglomerella membranacea, Heliosphaeridium dissimilare–Skiagia ciliosa and Volkovia dentifera–Liepaina plana Assemblage zones. Acritarchs of the Skiagia ornata–Fimbriaglomerella membranacea Zone (Cambrian Stage 3) appear near the base of the unit, close to an undetermined trilobite. In the Upper Member of the Duolbagáisá Formation, in levels with Kjerulfia n. sp. and Elliptocephala n. sp., appears an assemblage with abundant Skiagia ciliosa, indicative of the Heliosphaeridium dissimilare–Skiagia ciliosa Zone. A few metres higher appear Liepaina plana, Heliosphaeridium notatum and Retisphaeridium dichamerum, which indicate the Volkovia dentifera–Liepaina plana Zone (Cambrian Stage 4). The transition between the Duolbagáisá Formation and the overlying Kistedalen Formation is marked by the appearance of Comasphaeridium longispinosum, Multiplicisphaeridium llynense and Eliasum llaniscum, diagnostic of the Miaolingian Series. This coincides with the disappearance of Skiagia; occurrences of Skiagia in Miaolingian strata consist of reworked material related to the Hawke Bay regression at the Cambrian Stage 4–Wuliuan transition. The absence of Skiagia in higher levels of the Duolbagáisá Formation and Kistedalen Formation suggests that no unconformity formed during the Hawke Bay regression in this area. The chronostratigraphical significance of the Skiagia ornata–Fimbriaglomerella membranacea, Heliosphaeridium dissimilare–Skiagia ciliosa and Volkovia dentifera–Liepaina plana zones is critically analysed. Correlation of the Duolbagáisá Formation with peri-Gondwanan terrains of Avalonia and Iberia is established. The Digermulen Peninsula has great potential as a reference section for establishing a Cambrian chronostratigraphy based on acritarchs.
The volume of evidence from scientific research and wider observation is greater than ever before, but much is inconsistent and scattered in fragments over increasingly diverse sources, making it hard for decision-makers to find, access and interpret all the relevant information on a particular topic, resolve seemingly contradictory results or simply identify where there is a lack of evidence. Evidence synthesis is the process of searching for and summarising a body of research on a specific topic in order to inform decisions, but is often poorly conducted and susceptible to bias. In response to these problems, more rigorous methodologies have been developed and subsequently made available to the conservation and environmental management community by the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. We explain when and why these methods are appropriate, and how evidence can be synthesised, shared, used as a public good and benefit wider society. We discuss new developments with potential to address barriers to evidence synthesis and communication and how these practices might be mainstreamed in the process of decision-making in conservation.
Following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) in a poultry house, control measures are put in place to prevent further spread. An essential part of the control measures based on the European Commission Avian Influenza Directive 2005/94/EC is the cleansing and disinfection (C&D) of infected premises. Cleansing and disinfection includes both preliminary and secondary C&D, and the dismantling of complex equipment during secondary C&D is also required, which is costly to the owner and also delays the secondary cleansing process, hence increasing the risk for onward spread. In this study, a quantitative risk assessment is presented to assess the risk of re-infection (recrudescence) occurring in an enriched colony-caged layer poultry house on restocking with chickens after different C&D scenarios. The risk is expressed as the number of restocked poultry houses expected before recrudescence occurs. Three C&D scenarios were considered, namely (i) preliminary C&D alone, (ii) preliminary C&D plus secondary C&D without dismantling and (iii) preliminary C&D plus secondary C&D with dismantling. The source-pathway-receptor framework was used to construct the model, and parameterisation was based on the three C&D scenarios. Two key operational variables in the model are (i) the time between depopulation of infected birds and restocking with new birds (TbDR) and (ii) the proportion of infected material that bypasses C&D, enabling virus to survive the process. Probability distributions were used to describe these two parameters for which there was recognised variability between premises in TbDR or uncertainty due to lack of information in the fraction of bypass. The risk assessment estimates that the median (95% credible intervals) number of repopulated poultry houses before recrudescence are 1.2 × 104 (50 to 2.8 × 106), 1.9 × 105 (780 to 5.7 × 107) and 1.1 × 106 (4.2 × 103 to 2.9 × 108) under C&D scenarios (i), (ii) and (iii), respectively. Thus for HPAIV in caged layers, undertaking secondary C&D without dismantling reduces the risk by 16-fold compared to preliminary C&D alone. Dismantling has an additional, although smaller, impact, reducing the risk by a further 6-fold and thus around 90-fold compared to preliminary C&D alone. On the basis of the 95% credible intervals, the model demonstrates the importance of secondary C&D (with or without dismantling) over preliminary C&D alone. However, the extra protection afforded by dismantling may not be cost beneficial in the context of reduced risk of onward spread.
Transoral laser microsurgery for glottic squamous cell carcinoma is the standard of care at many institutions. Repeat transoral laser microsurgery for recurrence may avoid the need for radiotherapy and total laryngectomy. This study aimed to identify oncological and functional outcomes in a cohort of patients who had undergone repeat transoral laser microsurgery procedures.
A retrospective review of prospectively collected data of patients treated with transoral laser microsurgery for carcinoma in situ or tumour stages T1 or T2 glottic cancer, from 2003 to 2018.
Twenty patients were identified. Additional treatment was not needed in 45 per cent of patients. The five-year overall survival rate was 90 per cent. The disease-specific survival rate was 100 per cent. The laryngeal preservation rate was 85 per cent. There was improvement in mean Voice Handicap Index-10 scores following repeat transoral laser microsurgery treatment, when comparing the pre- and post-operative periods (mean scores = 15.5 vs 11.5, p = 0.373).
Repeat transoral laser microsurgery can be an oncologically safe alternative to other salvage therapies for glottic squamous cell carcinoma recurrence, without sacrificing functional outcomes.
We present a passive (unpowered) exoskeleton that assists the back during lifting. Our exoskeleton uses carbon fiber beams as the sole means to store energy and return it to the wearer. To motivate the design, we present general requirements for the design of a lifting exoskeleton, including calculating the required torque to support the torso for people of different weights and heights. We compare a number of methods of energy storage for exoskeletons in terms of mass, volume, hysteresis, and cycle life. We then discuss the design of our exoskeleton, and show how the torso assembly leads to balanced forces. We characterize the energy storage in the exoskeleton and the torque it provides during testing with human subjects. Ten participants performed freestyle, stoop, and squat lifts. Custom image processing software was used to extract the curvature of the carbon fiber beams in the exoskeleton to determine the stored energy. During freestyle lifting, it stores an average of 59.3 J and provides a peak torque of 71.7 Nm.
The Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA) is a longitudinal behavioral genetic study with a primary focus on cognitive and brain aging in men, particularly early identification of risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It comprises a subset of over 1600 twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry. Twins live all over the USA. Assessments began when participants were in their 50s. Follow-ups were conducted every 5–6 years, and wave 3 has been completed as of this writing. The age range of participants is narrow (about 10 years). An extensive neurocognitive test battery has added precision in assessing differences in middle-aged adults, and predicting progression to MCI. Young adult cognitive test data (at an average age of 20 years) provide a means of disentangling aging effects from longstanding differences. Genome wide genotyping and plasma assays of AD biomarkers from waves 1 and 3 were conducted in wave 3. These features make the VETSA ideal for studying the heterogeneity of within-individual trajectories from midlife to old age, and for early detection of risk factors for cognitive decline.
The Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) is a longitudinal twin study that recruited over 16,000 twin-pairs born between 1994 and 1996 in England and Wales through national birth records. More than 10,000 of these families are still engaged in the study. TEDS was and still is a representative sample of the population in England and Wales. Rich cognitive and emotional/behavioral data have been collected from the twins from infancy to emerging adulthood, with data collection at first contact and at ages 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 21, enabling longitudinal genetically sensitive analyses. Data have been collected from the twins themselves, from their parents and teachers, and from the UK National Pupil Database. Genotyped DNA data are available for 10,346 individuals (who are unrelated except for 3320 dizygotic co-twins). TEDS data have contributed to over 400 scientific papers involving more than 140 researchers in 50 research institutions. TEDS offers an outstanding resource for investigating cognitive and behavioral development across childhood and early adulthood and actively fosters scientific collaborations.
Owing to the interplay between the forward Stokes drift and the backward wave-induced Eulerian return flow, Lagrangian particles underneath surface gravity wave groups can follow different trajectories depending on their initial depth below the surface. The motion of particles near the free surface is dominated by the waves and their Stokes drift, whereas particles at large depths follow horseshoe-shaped trajectories dominated by the Eulerian return flow. For unidirectional wave groups, a small net displacement in the direction of travel of the group results near the surface, and is accompanied by a net particle displacement in the opposite direction at depth. For deep-water waves, we study these trajectories experimentally by means of particle tracking velocimetry in a two-dimensional flume. In doing so, we provide visual illustration of Lagrangian trajectories under groups, including the contributions of both the Stokes drift and the Eulerian return flow to both the horizontal and the vertical Lagrangian displacements. We compare our experimental results to leading-order solutions of the irrotational water wave equations, finding good agreement.
The Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS) is a prospective adoption study of birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted children (n = 561 adoptees). The original sample has been expanded to include siblings of the EGDS adoptees who were reared by the birth mother and assessed beginning at age 7 years (n = 217 biological children), and additional siblings in both the birth and adoptive family homes, recruited when the adoptees were 8–15 years old (n = 823). The overall study aims are to examine how family, peer and contextual processes affect child and adolescent adjustment, and to examine their interplay (mediation, moderation) with genetic influences. Adoptive and birth parents were originally recruited through adoption agencies located throughout the USA following the birth of a child. Assessments are ongoing and occurred in 9 month’s intervals until the adoptees turned 3 years of age, and in 1 to 2 year intervals thereafter through age 15. Data collection includes the following primary constructs: child temperament, behavior problems, mental health, peer relations, executive functioning, school performance and health; birth and adoptive parent personality characteristics, mental health, health, context, substance use, parenting and marital relations; and the prenatal environment. Findings highlight the power of the adoption design to detect environmental influences on child development and provide evidence of complex interactions and correlations between genetic, prenatal environmental and postnatal environmental influences on a range of child outcomes. The study sample, procedures and an overview of findings are summarized and ongoing assessment activities are described.
TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
The Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS) is a new prospective children-of-twins study in the UK, designed to investigate intergenerational associations across child developmental stages. CoTEDS will enable research on genetic and environmental factors that underpin parent–child associations, with a focus on mental health and cognitive-related traits. Through CoTEDS, we will have a new lens to examine the roles that parents play in influencing child development, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that shape parenting behavior and experiences. Recruitment is ongoing from the sample of approximately 20,000 contactable adult twins who have been enrolled in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) since infancy. TEDS twins are invited to register all offspring to CoTEDS at birth, with 554 children registered as of May 2019. By recruiting the second generation of TEDS participants, CoTEDS will include information on adult twins and their offspring from infancy. Parent questionnaire-based data collection is now underway for 1- and 2-year-old CoTEDS infants, with further waves of data collection planned. Current data collection includes the following primary constructs: child mental health, temperament, language and cognitive development; parent mental health and social relationships; parenting behaviors and feelings; and other socioecological factors. Measurement tools have been selected with reference to existing genetically informative cohort studies to ensure overlap in phenotypes measured at corresponding stages of development. This built-in study overlap is intended to enable replication and triangulation of future analyses across samples and research designs. Here, we summarize study protocols and measurement procedures and describe future plans.
The primary aim of the Michigan State University Twin Registry (MSUTR) is to examine developmental differences in genetic, environmental, neural, epigenetic, and neurobiological influences on psychopathology and resilience, particularly during childhood and adolescence. The MSUTR has two broad components: a large-scale, population-based registry of child, adolescent, and adult twins and their families (current N ~30,000) and a series of more focused and in-depth studies drawn from the registry (projected N ~7200). Participants in the population-based registry complete a family health and demographic questionnaire via mail. Families can then be recruited for one or more of the intensive, in-person studies from the population-based registry, using any one of several recruitment strategies (e.g., population-based, based on their answers to the registry questionnaire). These latter studies target a variety of biological, genetic, and environmental phenotypes, including multi-informant measures of psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes, functional and structural neuroimaging, comprehensive measures of the twin family environment (e.g., census and neighborhood informant reports of twin neighborhood characteristics, videotaped interactions of child twin families), buccal swab and salivary DNA samples, and/or assays of adolescent and adult steroid hormone levels. This article provides an overview of the MSUTR and describes current and future research directions.
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.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.