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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.
Understanding endemic infectious disease risk factors through traditional epidemiological tools is challenging. Population-based case–control studies are costly and time-consuming. A case–case analyses using surveillance data addresses these limitations by using resources more efficiently. We conducted a case–case analyses using routine surveillance data reported by 16 U.S. states (2005–2015), wherein reported cases of salmonellosis were used as a comparison group to identify exposure associations with reported cases of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis. Odds ratios adjusted for age and reporting state (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated. A total of 10 704 cryptosporidiosis cases, 17 544 giardiasis cases, and 106 351 salmonellosis cases were included in this analyses. When compared with cases of salmonellosis, exposure to treated recreational water (aOR 4.7, 95% CI 4.3–5.0) and livestock (aOR: 3.2; 95% CI: 2.9–3.5) were significantly associated with cryptosporidiosis and exposure to untreated drinking (aOR 4.1, 95% CI 3.6–4.7) and recreational water (aOR 4.1, 95% CI 3.7–4.5) were associated with giardiasis. Our analyses shows that routine surveillance data with standardised exposure information can be used to identify associations of interest for cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis.
The Commensal Real-time Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Fast Transients survey is the first extensive astronomical survey using phased array feeds. Since January 2017, it has been searching for fast radio bursts in fly’s eye mode. Here, we present a calculation of the sensitivity and total exposure of the survey that detected the first 20 of these bursts, using the pulsars B1641-45 and B0833-45 as calibrators. The beamshape, antenna-dependent system noise, and the effects of radio-frequency interference and fluctuations during commissioning are quantified. Effective survey exposures and sensitivities are calculated as a function of the source counts distribution. Statistical ‘stat’ and systematics ‘sys’ effects are treated separately. The implied fast radio burst rate is significantly lower than the 37 sky−1 day−1 calculated using nominal exposures and sensitivities for this same sample by Shannon et al. (2018). At the Euclidean (best-fit) power-law index of −1.5 (−2.2), the rate is
(sys) ± 3.6 (stat) sky−1 day−1 (
(sys) ± 2.8 (stat) sky−1 day−1) above a threshold of 56.6 ± 6.6(sys) Jy ms (40.4 ± 1.2(sys) Jy ms). This strongly suggests that these calculations be performed for other FRB-hunting experiments, allowing meaningful comparisons to be made between them.
Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9–39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0–20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5–7.0), male–male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8–362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01–2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2–5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1–3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.
Introduction: Global Emergency Medicine (Global EM) is growing rapidly as an academic niche in Canada. An increasing number of Canadian emergency physicians work internationally as part of their practice, and trainees consistently seek out international projects and electives. For the most part however, residents have had to create their own training opportunities as formal Global EM fellowship training has been lacking in Canada. To address this identified need, Queens University established a Global EM fellowship, the first of its kind in the country. Methods: The fellowship is designed to provide the skills necessary for an academic career in Global Emergency Medicine. Curriculum and objectives are modeled on similar well-established fellowships in the United States. Areas of expertise include emergency medicine systems development, humanitarian medicine, disaster response, public health, tropical medicine, research, administration and education. Fellows have the opportunity to tailor their training according to their specific interests within these domains. Importantly, the fellowship provides direct mentorship from academic global EM and public health physicians, and networking opportunities within the global health sphere. Results: The two-year fellowship curriculum is divided between: 1) coursework to complete a Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree 2) fieldwork 3) relevant international emergency medicine training courses and 4) clinical work in the emergency departments at the Kingston Health Sciences Center. The Queens Global EM fellowship admitted its first fellow in August 2017. To date, the inaugural fellow has completed the MissionCraft Leadership in Disaster Relief course as well as a Humanitarian U Disaster and Response course, in addition to submitting a research grant as a co-principal investigator, starting coursework for an MPH degree and giving several invited lectures on humanitarian medicine. The fellow also travelled to Lebanon to support research in collaboration with aid organizations responding to the Syrian crisis. Upcoming fieldwork involves teaching at a newly established emergency medicine residency program in Haiti as well as a humanitarian crisis deployment. Conclusion: In response to a lack of formal international emergency medicine training opportunities in Canada, Queens University has established a Global Emergency Medicine fellowship. The fellowship aims to provide protected time, access to field opportunities and dedicated mentorship to develop the skills necessary to succeed as an academic Global EM physician. We believe it provides a unique opportunity to significantly expand fellows experiences in global health fieldwork, education and research while continuing to practice in a Canadian tertiary emergency department.
The significant proportion of schizophrenia patients refractory to treatment, primarily directed at the dopamine system, suggests that multiple mechanisms may underlie psychotic symptoms. Reinforcement learning tasks have been employed in schizophrenia to assess dopaminergic functioning and reward processing, but these have not directly compared groups of treatment-refractory and non-refractory patients.
In the current functional magnetic resonance imaging study, 21 patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS), 21 patients with non-treatment-resistant schizophrenia (NTR), and 24 healthy controls (HC) performed a probabilistic reinforcement learning task, utilizing emotionally valenced face stimuli which elicit a social bias toward happy faces. Behavior was characterized with a reinforcement learning model. Trial-wise reward prediction error (RPE)-related neural activation and the differential impact of emotional bias on these reward signals were compared between groups.
Patients showed impaired reinforcement learning relative to controls, while all groups demonstrated an emotional bias favoring happy faces. The pattern of RPE signaling was similar in the HC and TRS groups, whereas NTR patients showed significant attenuation of RPE-related activation in striatal, thalamic, precentral, parietal, and cerebellar regions. TRS patients, but not NTR patients, showed a positive relationship between emotional bias and RPE signal during negative feedback in bilateral thalamus and caudate.
TRS can be dissociated from NTR on the basis of a different neural mechanism underlying reinforcement learning. The data support the hypothesis that a favorable response to antipsychotic treatment is contingent on dopaminergic dysfunction, characterized by aberrant RPE signaling, whereas treatment resistance may be characterized by an abnormality of a non-dopaminergic mechanism – a glutamatergic mechanism would be a possible candidate.
Aqueous two-phase systems and related emulsion-based structures defined within micro- and nanoscale environments enable a bottom-up synthetic biological approach to mimicking the dynamic compartmentation of biomaterial that naturally occurs within cells. Model systems we have developed to aid in understanding these phenomena include on-demand generation and triggering of reversible phase transitions in ATPS confined in microscale droplets, morpho-logical changes in networks of femtoliter-volume aqueous droplet interface bilayers (DIBs) formulated in microfluidic channels, and temperature-driven phase transitions in interfacial lipid bilayer systems supported on micro and nanostructured substrates. For each of these cases, the dynamics were intimately linked to changes in the chemical potential of water, which becomes increasingly susceptible to confinement and crowding. At these length scales, where interfacial and surface areas predominate over compartment volumes, both evaporation and osmotic forces become enhanced relative to ideal dilute solutions. Consequences of confinement and crowding in cell-sized microcompartments for increasingly complex scenarios will be discussed, from single-molecule mobility measurements with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to spatio-temporal modulation of resource sharing in cell-free gene expression bursting.
Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia have major functional impacts. Modafinil is a cognitive enhancer whose effect in healthy volunteers is well-described, but whose effects on the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia appear to be inconsistent. Two possible reasons for this are that cognitive test batteries vary in their sensitivity, or that the phase of illness may be important, with patients early in their illness responding better.
A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled single-dose crossover study of modafinil 200 mg examined this with two cognitive batteries [MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB)] in 46 participants with under 3 years’ duration of DSM-IV schizophrenia, on stable antipsychotic medication. In parallel, the same design was used in 28 age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy volunteers. Uncorrected p values were calculated using mixed effects models.
In patients, modafinil significantly improved CANTAB Paired Associate Learning, non-significantly improved efficiency and significantly slowed performance of the CANTAB Stockings of Cambridge spatial planning task. There was no significant effect on any MCCB domain. In healthy volunteers, modafinil significantly increased CANTAB Rapid Visual Processing, Intra-Extra Dimensional Set Shifting and verbal recall accuracy, and MCCB social cognition performance. The only significant differences between groups were in MCCB visual learning.
As in earlier chronic schizophrenia studies, modafinil failed to produce changes in cognition in early psychosis as measured by MCCB. CANTAB proved more sensitive to the effects of modafinil in participants with early schizophrenia and in healthy volunteers. This confirms the importance of selecting the appropriate test battery in treatment studies of cognition in schizophrenia.
This study aimed to assess the association between giardiasis and subsequent development of arthritis or joint pain using a retrospective cohort of individuals from a large administrative claims database in the United States. Using 2006–2010 data from MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters, we conducted a retrospective cohort study in people with an ICD-9-CM code for giardiasis (n = 3301) and persons without giardiasis (n = 14 612) individually matched on age, sex, and enrolment length. We used conditional logistic regression to model the association between giardiasis and arthritis or joint pain documented in the 6 months following initial giardiasis diagnosis or index date for matched controls. After adjusting for healthcare utilization rate, giardiasis was associated with a 51% increase in claims for arthritis or joint pain (odds ratio 1·51, 95% confidence interval 1·26–1·80). In age- and sex-stratified adjusted analyses, the association remained significant across all subgroups (age 0–19 years, age 20–64 years, males, and females). Findings from this study lend epidemiological support for the association between giardiasis and subsequent development of arthritis. Reactive arthritis might occur more frequently than has been reported in the literature. Further research is necessary to determine the mechanisms by which giardiasis could lead to arthritis.
Cryptosporidium is the leading aetiology of waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States. This report briefly describes the temporal and geographical distribution of US cryptosporidiosis cases and presents analyses of cryptosporidiosis case data reported in the United States for 1995–2012. The Cochran–Armitage test was used to assess changes in the proportions of cases by case status (confirmed vs. non-confirmed), sex, race, and ethnicity over the study period. Negative binomial regression models were used to estimate rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for comparing rates across three time periods (1995–2004, 2005–2008, 2009–2012). The proportion of confirmed cases significantly decreased (P < 0·0001), and a crossover from male to female predominance in case-patients occurred (P < 0·0001). Overall, compared to 1995–2004, rates were higher in 2005–2008 (RR 2·92, 95% CI 2·08–4·09) and 2009–2012 (RR 2·66, 95% CI 1·90–3·73). However, rate changes from 2005–2008 to 2009–2012 varied by age group (Pinteraction < 0·0001): 0–14 years (RR 0·55, 95% CI 0·42–0·71), 15–44 years (RR 0·99, 95% CI 0·82–1·19), 45–64 years (RR 1·47, 95% CI 1·21–1·79) and ⩾65 years (RR 2·18, 95% CI 1·46–3·25). The evolving epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis necessitates further identification of risk factors in population subgroups. Adding systematic molecular typing of Cryptosporidium specimens to US national cryptosporidiosis surveillance would help further identify risk factors and markedly expand understanding of cryptosporidiosis epidemiology in the United States.
Deep borehole disposal (or DBD) is now seen as a viable alternative to the (comparatively shallow) geologically repository concept for disposal of high level waste and spent nuclear fuel. Based on existing oil and geothermal well technologies, we report details of investigations into cementitious grouts as sealing/support matrices (SSMs) for waste disposal scenarios in the DBD process where temperatures at the waste package surface do not exceed ∼190ºC. Grouts based on Class G oil well cements, partially replaced with silica flour, are being developed, and the use of retarding admixtures is being investigated experimentally. Sodium gluconate appears to provide sufficient retardation and setting characteristics to be considered for this application and also provides an increase in grout fluidity. The quantity of sodium gluconate required in the grout to ensure fluidity for 4 hours at 90, 120 and 140°C is 0.05, 0.25 and 0.25 % by weight of cement respectively. A phosphonate admixture only appears to provide desirable retardation properties at 90°C. The presence of either retarder does not affect the composition of the hardened cement paste over 14 days curing and the phases formed are durable under conditions of high temperature and pressure.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group-based intervention similar to mindfulness-based stress reduction, but which includes cognitive therapy techniques. This study investigates its usefulness in the treatment of depressive, anxiety and stress/distress symptoms in cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology service. It also examines whether effect on depression is mediated by self-compassion.
In phase 1 of this study, 16 cancer patients with mild/moderate psychological distress were randomised to MBCT (n=8) or treatment as usual (TAU; n=8), and assessed pre- and post-treatment. Analysis of variance was performed to examine the effect of treatment on anxiety and depression. In phase 2, the TAU group received the intervention, and results of pre- and post-MBCT assessments were combined with those receiving MBCT in phase 1. Finally, both groups were followed up at 3 months.
In phase 1, the MBCT group had a significant improvement in mindfulness and a decrease in anxiety. Statistically significant improvements in both depression and anxiety were found at 3 month follow-up. Self-compassion appeared to mediate the effect on anxiety/depression.
This small pilot study suggests that MBCT may have a beneficial effect on psychological variables often adversely affected in cancer in a heterogeneous cancer population.
Model scale tests of modern ‘open rotor’ propulsor concepts that have potential for significant fuel burn reduction for aircraft applications were completed at NASA Glenn Research Center. The recent test campaign was a collaboration between NASA, FAA, and General Electric (GE). GE was the primary industrial partner, but other organisations were involved such as Boeing and Airbus who provided additional hardware for fuselage simulations. The open rotor is a modern version of the UnDucted Fan (UDF®) that was flight tested in the late 1980s through a partnership between NASA and GE. The UDF® was memorable for its scimitar shaped propeller blades and its unique noise signature. Design methods of the time were not able to optimise for both high aerodynamic efficiency and low noise simultaneously. Contemporary CFD/CAA based design methods can produce open rotor blade designs that maintain efficiency with acceptable acoustic signatures. Tests of two generations of new open rotor designs were conducted in the 9’ × 15’ Low Speed Wind Tunnel and the 8’ × 6’ Supersonic Wind Tunnel starting in late 2009 and completed in early 2012. Aerodynamic performance and acoustic data were obtained for take-off, approach and cruise conditions in isolated and semi-installed configurations. Additional detailed flow diagnostic measurements and acoustic measurements, including canonical shielding configurations, were obtained by NASA. NASA and GE conducted joint systems analysis to evaluate the performance of the new blade designs on a Boeing 737 class aircraft. The program demonstrated a 2-3% improvement in overall net efficiency relative to the best efficiency designs of the 1980s while nominally achieving 15-17 EPNdB noise margin to Chapter 4 (at a Technology Readiness Level of 5) for a notional aircraft system defined by NASA.
An overview of the Czech national R&D project HiLASE (High average power pulsed laser) is presented. The project focuses on the development of advanced high repetition rate, diode pumped solid state laser (DPSSL) systems with energies in the range from mJ to 100 J and repetition rates in the range from 10 Hz to 100 kHz. Some applications of these lasers in research and hi-tech industry are also presented.
What determines inter-individual variability to impairments in behavioural control that may underlie road-traffic accidents, and impulsive and violent behaviours occurring under the influence of cannabis, the most widely used illicit drug worldwide?
Employing a double-blind, repeated-measures design, we investigated the genetic and neural basis of variable sensitivity to cannabis-induced behavioural dyscontrol in healthy occasional cannabis users. Acute oral challenge with placebo or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was combined with functional magnetic resonance imaging, while participants performed a response inhibition task that involved inhibiting a pre-potent motor response. They were genotyped for rs1130233 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the protein kinase B (AKT1) gene.
Errors of inhibition were significantly (p = 0.008) increased following administration of THC in carriers of the A allele, but not in G allele homozygotes of the AKT1 rs1130233 SNP. The A allele carriers also displayed attenuation of left inferior frontal response with THC evident in the sample as a whole, while there was a modest enhancement of inferior frontal activation in the G homozygotes. There was a direct relationship (r = − 0.327, p = 0.045) between the behavioural effect of THC and its physiological effect in the inferior frontal gyrus, where AKT1 genotype modulated the effect of THC.
These results require independent replication and show that differing vulnerability to acute psychomotor impairments induced by cannabis depends on variation in a gene that influences dopamine function, and is mediated through modulation of the effect of cannabis on the inferior frontal cortex, that is rich in dopaminergic innervation and critical for psychomotor control.
In up to a quarter of patients, schizophrenia is resistant to standard treatments. We undertook a naturalistic study of 153 patients treated in the tertiary referral in-patient unit of the National Psychosis Service based at the Maudsley Hospital in London. A retrospective analysis of symptoms on admission and discharge was undertaken using the OPCRIT tool, along with preliminary economic modelling of potential costs related to changes in accommodation.
In-patient treatment demonstrated statistically significant improvements in all symptom categories in patients already identified as having schizophrenia refractory to standard secondary care. The preliminary cost analysis showed net savings to referring authorities due to changes from pre- to post-discharge accommodation.
Despite the enormous clinical, personal and societal burden of refractory psychotic illnesses, there is insufficient information on the outcomes of specialised tertiary-level care. Our pilot data support its utility in all domains measured.
Alterations in gray matter (GM) are commonly observed in schizophrenia. Accumulating studies suggest that the brain changes associated with schizophrenia are distributed rather than focal, involving interconnected networks of areas as opposed to single regions. In the current study we aimed to explore GM volume (GMV) changes in a relatively large sample of treatment-naive first-episode schizophrenia (FES) patients using optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and covariation analysis.
High-resolution T1-weighted images were obtained using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from 86 first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia and 86 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Symptom severity was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). GMV was assessed using optimized VBM and in 16 regions of interest (ROIs), selected on the basis of a previous meta-analysis. The relationships between GMVs in the ROIs were examined using an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The VBM analysis revealed that first-episode patients showed reduced GMV in the hippocampus bilaterally. The ROI analysis identified reductions in GMV in the left inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral hippocampus and right thalamus. The ANCOVA revealed different patterns of regional GMV correlations in patients and controls, including of inter- and intra-insula, inter-amygdala and insula–postcentral gyrus connections.
Schizophrenia involves regional reductions in GMV and changes in GMV covariance in the insula, amygdala and postcentral gyrus. These findings were evident at the onset of the disorder, before treatment, and therefore cannot be attributable to the effects of chronic illness progression or medication.
It is not clear whether the progressive changes in brain microstructural deficits documented in previous longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies might be due to the disease process or to other factors such as medication. It is important to explore the longitudinal alterations in white-matter (WM) microstructure in antipsychotic-naive patients with first-episode schizophrenia during the very early phase of treatment when relatively ‘free’ from chronicity.
Thirty-five patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 22 healthy volunteers were recruited. High-resolution diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was obtained from participants at baseline and after 6 weeks of treatment. A ‘difference map’ for each individual was calculated from the 6-week follow-up fractional anisotropy (FA) of DTI minus the baseline FA. Differences in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores between baseline and 6 weeks were also evaluated and expressed as a 6-week/baseline ratio.
Compared to healthy controls, there was a significant decrease in absolute FA of WM around the bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus and the right anterior corona radiata of the frontal lobe in first-episode drug-naive patients with schizophrenia following 6 weeks of treatment. Clinical symptoms improved during this period but the change in FA did not correlate with the changes in clinical symptoms or the dose of antipsychotic medication.
During the early phase of treatment, there is an acute reduction in WM FA that may be due to the effects of antipsychotic medications. However, it is not possible to entirely exclude the effects of underlying progression of illness.