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Tuberculosis (TB) has been known to affect elephants for thousands of years. It was put into spotlight when few circus elephants were diagnosed carrying Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis. Because of the zoonotic risk and high susceptibility to M. tuberculosis, periodic testing was enacted since, in captive breeding programmes. Presently, trunk wash is the recommended diagnostic procedure for TB. Trunk wash, however, puts the operator at risk, has low sensitivity, and is prone to contamination. Here, bronchoalveolar lavage is described for the first time for TB diagnosis in elephants. Bronchial, trunk and mouth fluids were investigated using bacterial culture, M. tuberculosis complex (MTC)-specific real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and mycobacterial genus-specific qPCR for overall presence of mycobacteria or mycobacterial DNA including bacteria or DNA of closely related genera, respectively, in 14 elephants. Neither bacteria of the MTC nor their DNA were identified in any of the elephants. Yet, 25% of the cultures grew non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) or closely related bacterial species. Furthermore, 85% of the samples contained DNA of NTM or closely related bacterial genera. This finding might explain continued false-positive results from various serological tests. From a zoonotic point of view, bronchoalveolar lavage is safer for the testing personal, has higher probability of capturing MTC and, through PCR, identifies DNA NTM in elephants. Yet, necessary endoscopic equipment, animal sedation and access to a TB reference laboratory might pose challenging requirements in remote conditions in some elephant range countries.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients typically overmonitor their own behavior, as shown by symptoms of excessive doubt and checking. Although this is well established for the patients’ relationship with external stimuli in the environment, no study has explored their monitoring of internal body signals, a process known to be affected in anxiety-related syndromes. Here, we explored this issue through a cardiac interoception task that measures sensing of heartbeats. Our aim was to explore key behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of internal-cue monitoring in OCD, while examining their potential distinctiveness in this condition.
We administered a heartbeat detection (HBD) task (with related interoceptive confidence and awareness measures) to three matched groups (OCD patients, panic disorder patients, healthy controls) and recorded ongoing modulations of two task-relevant electrophysiological markers: the heart evoked potential (HEP) and the motor potential (MP).
Behaviorally, OCD patients outperformed controls and panic patients in the HBD task. Moreover, they exhibited greater amplitude modulation of both the HEP and the MP during cardiac interoception. However, they evinced poorer confidence and awareness of their interoceptive skills.
Convergent behavioral and electrophysiological data showed that overactive monitoring in OCD extends to the sensing of internal bodily signals. Moreover, this pattern discriminated OCD from panic patients, suggesting a condition-distinctive alteration. Our results highlight the potential of exploring interoceptive processes in the OCD spectrum to better characterize the population's cognitive profile. Finally, these findings may lay new bridges between somatic theories of emotion and cognitive models of OCD.
HD151018 is a normal O-type giant with periodic variability of the wind seen in both spectroscopy and linear polarimetry. The characteristics of the wind emission strongly indicate a magnetically confined wind. This work presents the observational results and an initial modelling of the polarimetric modulation of this star.
Internet-based cognitive–behavioural treatment (ICBT) for anxiety disorders has shown some promise, but no study has yet examined unguided ICBT in primary care. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) investigated whether a transdiagnostic, unguided ICBT programme for anxiety disorders is effective in primary care settings, after a face-to-face consultation with a physician (MD). We hypothesized that care as usual (CAU) plus unguided ICBT would be superior to CAU in reducing anxiety and related symptoms among patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PDA) and/or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Adults (n = 139) with at least one of these anxiety disorders, as reported by their MD and confirmed by a structured diagnostic interview, were randomized. Unguided ICBT was provided by a novel transdiagnostic ICBT programme (‘velibra’). Primary outcomes were generic measures, such as anxiety and depression symptom severity, and diagnostic status at post-treatment (9 weeks). Secondary outcomes included anxiety disorder-specific measures, quality of life, treatment adherence, satisfaction, and general psychiatric symptomatology at follow-up (6 months after randomization).
CAU plus unguided ICBT was more effective than CAU at post-treatment, with small to medium between-group effect sizes on primary (Cohen's d = 0.41–0.47) and secondary (Cohen's d = 0.16–0.61) outcomes. Treatment gains were maintained at follow-up. In the treatment group, 28.2% of those with a SAD diagnosis, 38.3% with a PDA diagnosis, and 44.8% with a GAD diagnosis at pretreatment no longer fulfilled diagnostic criteria at post-treatment.
The unguided ICBT intervention examined is effective for anxiety disorders when delivered in primary care.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections are a public health threat associated with increased patient mortality and healthcare costs. Antibiotic usage, particularly cephalosporins, has been associated with VRE colonization and VRE bloodstream infections (VRE BSI). We examined the relationship between antimicrobial usage and incident VRE colonization at the individual patient level. Prospective, weekly surveillance was undertaken for incident VRE colonization defined by negative admission but positive surveillance swab in a medical intensive care unit over a 17-month period. Antimicrobial exposure was quantified as days of therapy (DOT)/1000 patient-days. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyse incident VRE colonization and antibiotic DOT, controlling for demographic and clinical covariates. Ninety-six percent (1398/1454) of admissions were swabbed within 24 h of intensive care unit (ICU) arrival and of the 380 patients in the ICU long enough for weekly surveillance, 83 (22%) developed incident VRE colonization. Incident colonization was associated in bivariate analysis with male gender, more previous hospital admissions, longer previous hospital stay, and use of cefepime/ceftazidime, fluconazole, azithromycin, and metronidazole (P < 0·05). After controlling for demographic and clinical covariates, metronidazole was the only antibiotic independently associated with incident VRE colonization (odds ratio 2·0, 95% confidence interval 1·2–3·3, P < 0·009). Our findings suggest that risk of incident VRE colonization differs between individual antibiotic agents and support the possibility that antimicrobial stewardship may impact VRE colonization and infection.
Deficits in facial emotion recognition (FER) have been shown to substantially impair several aspects in everyday life of affected individuals (e.g. social functioning). Presently, we aim at assessing differences in emotion recognition performance in three patient groups suffering from mild forms of cognitive impairment compared to healthy controls.
Performance on a concise emotion recognition test battery (VERT-K) of 68 patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 44 non-amnestic (non-aMCI), and 25 amnestic patients (aMCI) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was compared with an age-equivalent sample of 138 healthy controls all of which were recruited within the framework of the Vienna Conversion to Dementia Study. Additionally, patients and controls underwent individual assessment using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery examining attention, executive functioning, language, and memory (NTBV), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and a measure of premorbid IQ (WST).
Type of diagnosis showed a significant effect on emotion recognition performance, indicating progressively deteriorating results as severity of diagnosis increased. Between-groups effect sizes were substantial, showing non-trivial effects in all comparisons (Cohen's ds from −0.30 to −0.83) except for SCD versus controls. Moreover, emotion recognition performance was higher in women and positively associated with premorbid IQ.
Our findings indicate substantial effects of progressive neurological damage on emotion recognition in patients. Importantly, emotion recognition deficits were observable in non-amnestic patients as well, thus conceivably suggesting associations between decreased recognition performance and global cognitive decline. Premorbid IQ appears to act as protective factor yielding lesser deficits in patients showing higher IQs.
We describe a laboratory plasma physics experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that uses two merging supersonic plasma jets formed and launched by pulsed-power-driven railguns. The jets can be formed using any atomic species or mixture available in a compressed-gas bottle and have the following nominal initial parameters at the railgun nozzle exit: ne ≈ ni ~ 1016 cm−3, Te ≈ Ti ≈ 1.4 eV, Vjet ≈ 30–100 km/s, mean charge
≈ 1, sonic Mach number Ms ≡ Vjet/Cs > 10, jet diameter = 5 cm, and jet length ≈20 cm. Experiments to date have focused on the study of merging-jet dynamics and the shocks that form as a result of the interaction, in both collisional and collisionless regimes with respect to the inter-jet classical ion mean free path, and with and without an applied magnetic field. However, many other studies are also possible, as discussed in this paper.
The properties of the host galaxies of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) are essential for the understanding of the suspected coevolution of central supermassive black holes (BHs) and their host galaxies. In Busch et al. (2014), we present a study of 20 low-luminosity type-1 QSOs (LLQSO; Busch et al.2012) that have been selected from the Hamburg/ESO survey for bright UV-excess QSOs (z ≤ 0.06). Performing careful decomposition of deep near-infrared J,H,K images, we found that the observed sources do not follow published MBH – Lbulge relations for inactive galaxies, supporting similar results found for type-1 AGN in the optical. This can be explained by overluminous bulges with very young stellar populations or undermassive black holes that are observed in a phase of growth. We use 3d-spectroscopy in the optical and near-infrared as a powerful tool to analyze gas and stellar kinematics, determine gas masses, star formation rate, trace underlying stellar continuum, etc. (e.g., Smajić et al.2014) and thereby constrain possible evolution scenarios. The results will be interpreted in the context of galaxy evolution and particularly the still unknown role of the AGN in this process. Here, we show first results for HE 1029-1831.
The straw itch mite, Pyemotes tritici Lagrèze-Fossat and Montané (Acari: Pyemotidae), was discovered parasitising the goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive exotic species to California, United States of America, and the Mexican goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus coxalis Waterhouse (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), during surveys for natural enemies for a classical biological control programme for A. auroguttatus. Pyemotes tritici caused low levels of mortality to each species of flatheaded borer, but it will likely not be a good candidate for a biological control programme because it is a generalist parasitoid with deleterious human health effects.
The goals of this study were to establish prevalence of subjective memory complaints (SMC) and depressive symptoms (DS) and their relation to cognitive functioning and cognitive status in an outpatient memory clinic cohort.
Two hundred forty-eight cognitively healthy controls and 581 consecutive patients with cognitive complaints who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in the study.
A statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between control group and patient group regarding mean SMC was detected. 7.7% of controls reported a considerable degree of SMC, whereas 35.8% of patients reported considerable SMC. Additionally, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between controls and patient group regarding Beck depression score was detected. 16.6% of controls showed a clinical relevant degree of DS, whereas 48.5% of patients showed DS. An analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant difference across all four groups (control group, SCI group, naMCI group, aMCI group) (p < 0.001). Whereas 8% of controls reported a considerable degree of SMC, 34% of the SCI group, 31% of the naMCI group, and 54% of the aMCI group reported considerable SMC. A two-factor analysis of variance with the factors cognitive status (controls, SCI group, naMCI group, aMCI group) and depressive status (depressed vs. not depressed) and SMC as dependent variable revealed that both factors were significant (p < 0.001), whereas the interaction was not (p = 0.820).
A large proportion of patients seeking help in a memory outpatient clinic report considerable SMC, with an increasing degree from cognitively healthy elderly to aMCI. Depressive status increases SMC consistently across groups with different cognitive status.
A fast moving infrared excess source (G2) which is widely interpreted as a core-less gas and dust cloud approaches Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) on a presumably elliptical orbit. VLT Ks-band and Keck K′-band data result in clear continuum identifications and proper motions of this ∼19m Dusty S-cluster Object (DSO). In 2002-2007 it is confused with the star S63, but free of confusion again since 2007. Its near-infrared (NIR) colors and a comparison to other sources in the field speak in favor of the DSO being an IR excess star with photospheric continuum emission at 2 microns than a core-less gas and dust cloud. We also find very compact L′-band emission (<0.1″) contrasted by the reported extended (0.03″ up to ∼0.2″ for the tail) Brγ emission. The presence of a star will change the expected accretion phenomena, since a stellar Roche lobe may retain a fraction of the material during and after the peri-bothron passage.
We aim at modeling small groups of young stars such as IRS 13N, 0.1 pc away from Sgr A*, which is suggested to contain a few embedded massive young stellar objects. We perform hydrodynamical simulations to follow the evolution of molecular clumps orbiting around a 4 × 106 M⊙ black hole, to constrain the formation and the physical conditions of such groups.
We find that the strong compression due to the black hole along the orbital radius vector of clumps evolving on highly eccentric orbits causes the clumps densities to increase to higher than the tidal density of Sgr A* and required for star formation. This suggests that the tidal compression from the black hole could support star formation.
Additionally, we speculate that the infrared excess source G2/DSO approaching Sgr A* on a highly eccentric orbit could be associated with a dust enshrouded star that may have been formed recently through the mechanism supported by our models.
We present the very first detection of N2H+J = (1 – 0) and CH3OH(2k−1k) line emission on 5″ scales in the circumnuclear disk (CND) around Sgr A*. The emission matches the position and shape of the dark clouds in the near-infrared. Our findings suggest that these molecular clouds in the eastern CND are significantly colder and denser than the rest of the CND, and partially shocked. The research on these dark clouds will contribute to understanding the processes of star formation close to a supermassive black hole.
We propose that neuroscientific understanding of antisocial behavior can be advanced by focusing programmatic efforts on neurobehavioral trait constructs, that is, individual difference constructs with direct referents in neurobiology as well as behavior. As specific examples, we highlight inhibitory control and defensive reactivity as two such constructs with clear relevance for understanding antisocial behavior in the context of development. Variations in inhibitory control are theorized to reflect individual differences in the functioning of brain systems that operate to guide and inhibit behavior and regulate emotional response in the service of nonimmediate goals. Variations in defensive reactivity are posited to reflect individual differences in the sensitivity of the brain's aversive motivational (fear) system. We describe how these constructs have been conceptualized in the adult and child literatures and review work pertaining to traditional psychometric (rating and behaviorally based) assessment of these constructs and their known physiological correlates at differing ages as well as evidence linking these constructs to antisocial behavior problems in children and adults. We outline a psychoneurometric approach, which entails systematic development of neurobiological measures of target trait constructs through reference to psychological phenotypes, as a paradigm for linking clinical disorders to neurobiological systems. We provide a concrete illustration of this approach in the domain of externalizing proneness and discuss its broader implications for research on conduct disorder, antisocial personality, and psychopathy.
Resonant coupling of an optical mode confined within a microcavity and an emitter is the basic prerequisite for the observation of Bose-Einstein condensation phenomena and the development of novel optical devices based on cavity polaritons.
We demonstrate highly spatially resolved 2” wafer characterization of the reflectivity and emission properties of a nitride based multi quantum well semi microcavity (i.e. structure without top Bragg reflector) to verify resonant regions. Photoluminescence and reflectivity spectra recorded at the same positions on the wafer exhibit a strong spatial dependence of the multi quantum well emission and the center wavelength of the stop band of the bottom Bragg reflector across the sample. Resonance, i.e., matching of the emission and the center wavelength of the stop band, is found in a region 8 mm off the center of the wafer.
The thickness profile across the AlInN/GaN Bragg reflector and multi quantum well layers was obtained by x-ray mappings over the full wafer. A perfect correlation between the local optical properties and the x-ray thickness distribution is found. Additional transmission electron microscopy investigations indicate a complete crack free structure and smooth interfaces between the layers within the Bragg reflector making the structure appropriate for strong coupling applications.
With the advent of efficient and relatively inexpensive pulsed and CW laser systems for both civilian and military applications, the need for adequate eye and sensor protection is becoming increasingly important. While it is possible to filter out harmful wavelengths if the laser frequency is known, the proliferation of frequency agile laser sources underscores the need for “smart” passive materials that can sense the incident wavelength and provide protection. There has been considerable progress made in recent years in the design of optical power limiting (OPL) materials that can function by a variety of mechanisms, most of which derive their limiting behavior from some type of nonlinear absorption process. The most well-studied of these processes involve excited state absorption in which the absorption cross-sections of the photo-generated transient species are much greater than the original S0 to S1 transition. In this presentation we will discuss the efficacy of charge transfer species for optical limiting, and the need for more and better electron acceptor species.
The influence of various melt spinning parameters and the effect of consolidation on the microstructure of melt spun NiAl and NiAl + W alloys have been examined by optical and electron microscopy techniques. It was found that the addition of 0.5 at.% W to NiAl results in a fine dispersion of W particles after melt spinning which effectively controls grain growth during annealing treatments or consolidation at temperatures between 1523 and 1723 K. Increased wheel speeds are effective at reducing both ribbon thickness and grain size, such that proper choice of both composition and casting parameters can produce structures with grain sizes as small as 2 μ m. Finally, fabrication of continuous fiber reinforced composites which used pulverized ribbon as the matrix material was demonstrated.
The compatibility of candidate ceramic reinforcement materials with intermetallic matrices for high temperature composite systems has been evaluated. Powders of FeAl and NiAl were mixed with ceramic powders and consolidated by hot isostatic pressing and subsequent heat treatment. The microstructures of these composites and the nature of the ceramic/matrix interfaces were assessed using a wide variety of electron-beam techniques. The system FeAl/TiB2 was found to be particularly promising. The matrix appears to be bonded to the ceramic particles, which may be the result of diffusion of Fe into the ceramic. The particles stabilized in a previously unreported monoclinic crystal structure, rather than the equilibrium hexagonal form exhibited by the binary compound.
The migration behaviour with respect to retardation by sorption of radioactive Ce, Cs, I, Nb, Ru, Sm, Sr, Tc and Zr in fluviatile and aeolian sand aquifers has been examined in laboratory tests. In these tests it was attempted to simulate the natural conditions of the field. The tests were performed as batch and column experiments. The results of both types of experimental procedures agree within the error limits and show
- small sorption for I− and TcO4−
- medium sorption for Sr2+
- high sorption for Cs+, Ce3+, Sm3+, Ru4+, Zr4+ and Nb5+
The investigations will be continued with other geologic materials from the same site.