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In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
The use of three-dimensional printing has been rapidly expanding over the last several decades. Virtual surgical three-dimensional simulation and planning has been shown to increase efficiency and accuracy in various clinical scenarios.
To report the feasibility of three-dimensional printing in paediatric laryngotracheal stenosis and discuss potential applications of three-dimensional printed models in airway surgery.
Retrospective case series in a tertiary care aerodigestive centre.
Three-dimensional printing was undertaken in two cases of paediatric laryngotracheal stenosis. One patient with grade 4 subglottic stenosis with posterior glottic involvement underwent an extended partial cricotracheal reconstruction. Another patient with grade 4 tracheal stenosis underwent tracheal resection and end-to-end anastomosis. Models of both tracheas were printed using PolyJet technology from a Stratasys Connex2 printer.
It is feasible to demonstrate stenosis in three-dimensional printed models, allowing for patient-specific pre-operative surgical simulation. The models serve as an educational tool for patients’ understanding of the surgery, and for teaching residents and fellows.
Keel bone damage (KBD) in laying hens is an important welfare problem in both conventional and organic egg production systems. We aimed to identify possible risk factors for KBD in organic hens by analysing cross-sectional data of 107 flocks assessed in eight European countries. Due to partly missing data, the final multiple regression model was based on data from 50 flocks. Keel bone damage included fractures and/or deviations, and was recorded, alongside with other animal based measures, by palpation and visual inspection of at least 50 randomly collected hens per flock between 52 and 73 weeks of age. Management and housing data were obtained by interviews, inspection and by feed analysis. Keel bone damage flock prevalences ranged from 3% to 88%. Compiled on the basis of literature and practical experience, 26 potential associative factors of KBD went into an univariable selection by Spearman correlation analysis or Mann–Whitney U test (with P<0.1 level). The resulting nine factors were presented to stepwise forward linear regression modelling. Aviary v. floor systems, absence of natural daylight in the hen house, a higher proportion of underweight birds, as well as a higher laying performance were found to be significantly associated with a higher percentage of hens with KBD. The final model explained 32% of the variation in KBD between farms. The moderate explanatory value of the model underlines the multifactorial nature of KBD. Based on the results increased attention should be paid to an adequate housing design and lighting that allows the birds easy orientation and safe manoeuvring in the system. Furthermore, feeding management should aim at sufficient bird live weights that fulfil breeder weight standards. In order to achieve a better understanding of the relationships between laying performance, feed management and KBD further investigations are needed.
Introduction: Foreign patients often do not receive appropriate treatment in the emergency room as compared to locals. This is due to various causes such as language, insurance, and cultural differences. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is a wide range of health inequalities among foreigners who visited the emergency room with injury and to find out what causes it. Methods: We analyzed clinical data from the National Emergency Department Information System(NEDIS) database, which visited the emergency room from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, in all age groups. Foreigners are classified based on the personal information described in the NEDIS. We analyzed the number of injuries, serious cases(death, operation, ICU admission), length of stay in ER, and transfer ratio. Results: A total of 4,464,603 cases of injured patients were included, of whom 67,683 were foreign patients. The incidence rate per 100,000 people per year was 2960.5 from locals and 1659.8 from foreigners. Serious outcomes were higher for foreigners than for locals(31.0% versus 23.2%, p<0.001). There was a further difference in the rural region. Length of stay was longer for foreigners(72 versus 69 minutes, median, p<0.001). The transfer rate was also higher for foreigners(1.9% versus 1.6%, p<0.001). Daegu had the highest ratio of foreigners’ injury compared to locals(ratio=0.998). Jeonnam(0.073) was the highest serious outcome rate in Korea, and Jeonbuk(0.070) was the second. The area with the longest length of stay in the Emergency department was the median 139 minutes for locals and 153 minutes for foreigners in Daegu. The more patients per day, the shorter the time spent in the emergency rooms(Spearman correlation coefficient=-0.388). This phenomenon was more prominent in locals(-0.624 versus -0.175). Multivariable logistic regression was used as a dependent variable for the serious outcomes of foreign patients. The foreign patients(OR=1.413, p<0.001), intention, no insurance, age, sex, urban area, low blood pressure, decreased consciousness, transfer, acuity, and length of stay were statistically significant. Conclusion: This study showed that there is a health inequality for foreigners who came to the emergency room due to injury in Korea. Also, serious outcomes from injury in foreigners have been shown to be related to various causes including factors of the foreigner.
Little is known about how behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) manifest in the general hospital. The aim was to examine the frequency of BPSD in general hospitals and their associations with nursing staff distress and complications in care.
Cross-sectional representative study with 1469 patients aged ≥65, including 270 patients with dementia, of 33 randomly selected general hospitals in Germany. BPSD and complications were reported by nurses.
Overall frequency of BPSD was higher in patients with dementia (76%) than without (38%). The most frequent symptoms in patients with dementia were nighttime disturbances (38%), depression (29%) and aberrant motor behaviour (28%) and the most distressing symptoms for nursing staff were delusions, aggression and nighttime disturbances. The overall frequency of BPSD increased from 67% in mild dementia, to 76% in moderate dementia and to 88% in severe dementia. The most frequent symptoms in patients without dementia were depression (19%), nighttime disturbances (13%) and irritability (13%). The most distressing symptoms were aggression and delusions, while the same symptoms were consistently rated as less distressing than in patients with dementia. Factor analysis revealed three independent groups of BPSD that explained 45% of the total variance. First, expansive symptoms (aggression, irritability, nighttime disturbances, aberrant motor behaviour and disinhibition) were frequent, distressing for nursing staff and associated with many complications. Second, psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) were infrequent, distressing and associated with some complications. Third, affective symptoms (apathy, anxiety and depression) were frequent, non-distressing and associated with few complications. The results did not change when cases with delirium were excluded from both groups.
BPSD are common in older hospital patients with dementia and associated with considerable distress in nursing staff, as well as a wide range of special treatments needs and additional behavioural and medical complications. Management strategies are needed to improve the situation for both patients and hospital staff.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has been associated with abnormal cognitive and emotional functions and these dysfunctions may be dependent on the disruption of dynamic interactions within neuronal circuits associated with emotion regulation. Although several studies have shown the aberrant cognitive–affective processing in OCD patients, little is known about how to characterize effective connectivity of the disrupted neural interactions. In the present study, we applied effective connectivity analysis using dynamic causal modeling to explore the disturbed neural interactions in OCD patients.
A total of 20 patients and 21 matched healthy controls performed a delayed-response working memory task under emotional or non-emotional distraction while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging.
During the delay interval under negative emotional distraction, both groups showed similar patterns of activations in the amygdala. However, under negative emotional distraction, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) exhibited significant differences between groups. Bayesian model averaging indicated that the connection from the DLPFC to the OFC was negatively modulated by negative emotional distraction in patients, when compared with healthy controls (p < 0.05, Bonferroni-corrected).
Exaggerated recruitment of the DLPFC may induce the reduction of top-down prefrontal control input over the OFC, leading to abnormal cortico-cortical interaction. This disrupted cortico-cortical interaction under negative emotional distraction may be responsible for dysfunctions of cognitive and emotional processing in OCD patients and may be a component of the pathophysiology associated with OCD.
This study examined the hypothesis that a brief, strengths-based home visiting strategy can promote positive engagement between caregiver and child and thereby reduce various forms of early childhood neglect. A total of 731 low-income families receiving services through the Women, Infants, and Children nutritional supplement program were randomized to the Women, Infants, and Children as usual or the Family Check-Up intervention. Assessments and intervention services were delivered in the home environment at ages 2, 3, 4, and 5. During the assessments, staff videotaped caregiver–child interactions and rated various features of the home environment, including the physical appropriateness of the home setting for children. Trained observers later coded the videotapes, unaware of the family's intervention condition. Specific caregiver–child interaction patterns were coded and macroratings were made of the caregiver's affection, monitoring, and involvement with the child. An intention to treat design revealed that randomization to the Family Check-Up increased duration of positive engagement between caregivers and children by age 3, which in turn was prognostic of less neglect of the child at age 4, controlling for family adversity. It was also found that family adversity moderated the impact of the intervention, such that the families with the most adverse circumstances were highly responsive to the intervention. Families with the highest levels of adversity exhibited the strongest mediation between positive engagement and reduction of neglect. Findings are discussed with respect to developmental theory and their potential implications for a public health approach to the prevention of early childhood maltreatment.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For the success of PAL-XFEL, two critical systems, namely a low emittance injector and a variable gap out-vacuum undulator, are under development. In order to realize the target emittance of the PAL-XFEL injector we carried out an optimization study of various parameters, such as the laser beam transverse profile, the laser pulse length, the laser phase, and the gun energy. The transverse emittance measured at the Injector Test Facility (ITF) is
. An undulator prototype based on the EU-XFEL design and modified for PAL-XFEL was built and tested. A local-
pole tuning procedure was developed and tested. A significant reduction (90%) of the local-
fluctuation was observed. The requirement of undulator field reproducibility better than
and the undulator gap setting accuracy below
were achieved for the prototype. The optical phase jitter after the pole height tuning at the tuning gap was calculated to be
rms, which satisfies the requirement of
To identify clinical factors that can explain the differences in treatment outcome, and examine the value of human papillomavirus infection as a prognostic biomarker in stage IVa tonsillar carcinomas.
Fifty-nine patients with tonsillar carcinoma classified as stage IVa were retrospectively analysed for survival outcomes according to various clinical factors. Human papillomavirus infection was evaluated using a human papillomavirus DNA chip test and immunohistochemical staining for p16 and p53.
Lower disease-free survival rates were associated with increasing local invasiveness and nodal status. Although human papillomavirus positivity and p16 expression was more common in locally advanced tonsillar carcinomas with advanced nodal status, the overall survival rate was better for patients with human papillomavirus positive, p16-positive tumours.
The disease-free survival rate may differ according to local tumour invasiveness and nodal status, even for stage IVa tonsillar cancers. Human papillomavirus infection may be a useful biomarker for predicting treatment outcomes for stage VIa tumours.
To contrast mean values of Na:K with Na and K mean intakes by demographic factors, and to calculate the prevalence of New York City (NYC) adults meeting the WHO guideline for optimal Na:K (<1 mmol/mmol, i.e. <0·59 mg/mg) using 24 h urinary values.
Data were from the 2010 Community Health Survey Heart Follow-Up Study, a population-based, representative study including data from 24 h urine collections.
Participants were interviewed using a dual-frame sample design consisting of random-digit dial telephone exchanges that cover NYC. Data were weighted to be representative of NYC adults as a whole.
The final sample of 1656 adults provided 24 h urine collections and self-reported health data.
Mean Na:K in NYC adults was 1·7 mg/mg. Elevated Na:K was observed in young, minority, low-education and high-poverty adults. Only 5·2 % of NYC adults had Na:K in the optimal range.
Na intake is high and K intake is low in NYC adults, leading to high Na:K. Na:K is a useful marker and its inclusion for nutrition surveillance in populations, in addition to Na and K intakes, is indicated.
The grown-in tensile strain, due to a lattice mismatch between AlGaN and GaN, is responsible for the observed cracking that seriously limits the feasibility of nitride-based ultraviolet (UV) emitters. We report in-situ monitoring of strain/stress during MOCVD of AlGaN based on a wafer-curvature measurement technique. The strain/stress measurement confirms the presence of tensile strain during growth of AlGaN pseudomorphically on a thick GaN layer. Further growth leads to the onset of stress relief through crack generation. We find that the growth of AlGaN directly on low-temperature (LT) GaN or AlN buffer layers results in a reduced and possibly controllable strain.
Liposomal drug delivery products have been already commercialized in tumor therapeutics, which can realize passive tumor targeting via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect resulting from the leaky tumor vasculature. To control drug release out of the liposomes, thermo-sensitive liposomes (TSLs) have been developed so that an abrupt exposure of highly concentrated drugs to tumor tissues was enabled by locally treated thermal stimuli. As interests upon TSL have increased along with ongoing clinical trials, some types of TSLs with different physical properties in pharmacokinetics and the mechanism of drug release have been formulated. However, there are few protocols established with a desirable heat source to maximize the efficacy of different TSLs as treating tumors. In this study, we examined different protocols for the most effective application of different TSLs to tumor therapy. First, we examined if enhancing the accumulation of TSLs within tumor tissues prior to bursting drugs out of TSLs could lead to increasing anti-tumor efficacy. Second, we compared the efficiency of two different heat sources on the use of TSL, a warm water bath (42°C) and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). Our study suggests that the specified protocol be setup for TSLs with different physical properties to optimally function in tumor therapies.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of post-operative voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal.
The study retrospectively enrolled 55 consecutive patients who had undergone voice therapy after phonomicrosurgery for vocal polyp removal occurring between June 2010 and June 2011. A historical group of 63 similar patients not receiving voice therapy was used as an external control. We compared voice analysis parameters and Voice Handicap Index scores for the two groups.
Most objective and subjective voice outcome parameters were significantly improved after surgical treatment. Although the study and control groups showed no significant difference regarding objective parameters (using acoustic and aerodynamic analysis) or the subjective parameters assessed using the grade-roughness-breathiness-asthenia-strain scale, the study group had significantly better final Voice Handicap Index scores.
Following surgery for vocal polyps, post-operative voice therapy can improve patients' vocal discomfort, emotional responses and everyday self-perception.