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Many patients with advanced serious illness or at the end of life experience delirium, a potentially reversible form of acute brain dysfunction, which may impair ability to participate in medical decision-making and to engage with their loved ones. Screening for delirium provides an opportunity to address modifiable causes. Unfortunately, delirium remains underrecognized. The main objective of this pilot was to validate the brief Confusion Assessment Method (bCAM), a two-minute delirium-screening tool, in a veteran palliative care sample.
This was a pilot prospective, observational study that included hospitalized patients evaluated by the palliative care service at a single Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. The bCAM was compared against the reference standard, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition. Both assessments were blinded and conducted within 30 minutes of each other.
We enrolled 36 patients who were a median of 67 years (interquartile range 63–73). The primary reasons for admission to the hospital were sepsis or severe infection (33%), severe cardiac disease (including heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and myocardial infarction) (17%), or gastrointestinal/liver disease (17%). The bCAM performed well against the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, for detecting delirium, with a sensitivity (95% confidence interval) of 0.80 (0.4, 0.96) and specificity of 0.87 (0.67, 0.96).
Significance of Results
Delirium was present in 27% of patients enrolled and never recognized by the palliative care service in routine clinical care. The bCAM provided good sensitivity and specificity in a pilot of palliative care patients, providing a method for nonpsychiatrically trained personnel to detect delirium.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the association between hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) epidemics and meteorological conditions. We used HFMD surveillance data of all 47 prefectures in Japan from January 2000 to December 2015. Spectral analysis was performed using the maximum entropy method (MEM) for temperature-, relative humidity-, and total rainfall-dependent incidence data. Using MEM-estimated periods, long-term oscillatory trends were calculated using the least squares fitting (LSF) method. The temperature and relative humidity thresholds of HFMD data were estimated from the LSF curves. The average temperature data indicated a lower threshold at 12 °C and a higher threshold at 30 °C for risk of HFMD infection. Maximum and minimum temperature data indicated a lower threshold at 6 °C and a higher threshold at 35 °C, suggesting a need for HFMD control measures at temperatures between 6 and 35 °C. Based on our findings, we recommend the use of maximum and minimum temperatures rather than the average temperature, to estimate the temperature threshold of HFMD infections. The results obtained might aid in the prediction of epidemics and preparation for the effect of climatic changes on HFMD epidemiology.
There are faint contaminants near primary stars in the direct imaging of exoplanets. Our goal is to estimate statistically the ratio of exoplanets in the detected batch of point sources by calculating the fraction of contamination. In this study, we compared the detected number of stars with the number of contaminants predicted by our model. We found that the observed number of faint stars were fewer than the predicted results towards the Pleiades and GOODS-South field when the parameters of the conventional stellar distribution models were employed. We thus estimated new model parameters in correspondence to the results of the observations.
The Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) is a microlensing survey conducted at Mt. John Observatory in New Zealand. We searched transiting planet candidates from the MOA-I Galactic bulge data, which have been obtained with a 61cm B&C telescope from 2000 to 2005 for a microlensing search. Although this survey data were dedicated to microlensing, they are also quite useful for searching transiting objects because of the large number of stars monitored (~7 million) and the long span of the survey (~6 years). From our analysis, we found 58 transiting planet candidates. We are planning to follow up these candidates with high-precision spectroscopic and photometric observations for further selection, toward the detection of planets by radial velocity observations.
The commercialization of 4H-SiC MOSFETs will greatly depend on the reliability of gate oxide. Long-term gate oxide reliability and device stability of 1200 V 4H-SiC MOSFETs are being studied, both under the on- and off-states. Device reliability is studied by stressing the device under three conditions: (a) Gate stress - a constant gate voltage of +15 V is applied to the gate at a temperature of 175°C. The forward I-V characteristics and threshold voltage are monitored for device stability, (b) Forward current stress – devices are stressed under a constant drain current of Id = 4 A and Vg = 20 V. The devices were allowed to self-heat to a temperature of Tsink = 125°C and the I-V curves are monitored with time, and (c) High temperature reverse bias testing at 1200 V and 175°C to study the reliability of the devices in the off-state. Our very first measurements on (a) and (b) show very little variation between the pre-stress and post-stress I-V characteristics and threshold voltage up to 1000 hrs of operation at 175°C indicating excellent stability of the MOSFETs in the on-state. In addition, high temperature reverse bias stress test looks very promising with the devices showing very little variation in the reverse leakage current with time.
Fabrication and characteristics of high voltage, normally-on JFETs in 4H-SiC are presented. The devices were built on 5x1015 cm-3 doped, 12 μm thick n-type epilayer grown on a n+ 4H-SiC substrate. A specific on-resistance of 10 m Ω-cm2 and a blocking voltage of 1.8 kV were measured. Device characteristics were measured for temperatures up to 300oC. An increase of specific on-resistance by a factor of 5 and a decrease in transconductance were observed at 300oC, when compared to the value at room temperature. This is due to a decrease in bulk electron mobility at elevated temperature. A slight negative shift in pinch-off voltage was also observed at 300oC. The devices demonstrated robust DC characteristics for temperatures up to 300oC, and stable high temperature inverter operation in a power DC-DC converter application, using these devices, is reported in this paper.
The reduction in the current gain of SiC BJTs has been observed after operating the devices for as little as 15 minutes. It is accompanied by an increase in the on-resistance of the BJT. The origin of the current gain degradation in the BJTs is investigated. Two possible mechanisms, which may be simultaneously present in the device, are thought to be responsible: (a) increase in the surface recombination particularly in the region between the emitter and the base implant, and (b) bulk recombination in the base due to the generation and growth of stacking faults. Initial observation reveals the presence of stacking fault in the base-emitter region when the device is forward-biased. At the same time, minimizing the effect of recombination from the surface using improved passivation helped in the suppression of the current gain degradation in SiC BJTs.
The light curves for three eclipsing binaries in the Magellanic Clouds have been obtained using CCD uVJIC photometry. One target in the LMC, MACHO*05:36:48.7−69:17:00, is an eccentric system, e = 0.20, with a period of 3.853534 ± 0.000005 d. Initial solutions indicate a primary component in the range Teff,1 = 20,000−35,000K and the secondary Teff,2 1000−2000K cooler than the primary, with inclinations ranging i = 84.2° − 86.0°. Two targets in the SMC, MOA J005018.4-723855 and MOA J005623.5−722123, have periods of 1.8399±0.0004 and 2.3199 ± 0.0003 days respectively. Both have circular orbits with the former being a semi-detached system.
More than 4000 stars observed in both MOA and DENIS projects showing periodic or quasi-periodic light curves are studied. Almost all Mira stars are located on the classical period-luminosity relation, and the multiplicity of the period-luminosity relation is confirmed for small-amplitude stars. The colour-magnitude diagrams based on the MOA red band, Rm, and Ks constructed for the sequences, form a single strip with small successive shifts.
A review of the MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics) project is presented. MOA is a collaboration of approximately 30 astronomers from New Zealand and Japan established with the aim of finding and detecting microlensing events towards the Magellanic Clouds and the Galactic bulge, which may be indicative of either dark matter or of planetary companions. The observing program commenced in 1995, using very wide band blue and red filters and a nine-chip mosaic CCD camera.
As a by-product of these observations a large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both LMC and SMC has been established. In one preliminary analysis 576 bright variable stars were confirmed, nearly half of them being Cepheids. Another analysis has identified large numbers of blue variables, and 205 eclipsing binaries are included in this sample. In addition 351 red variables (AGB stars) have been found. Light curves have been obtained for all these stars. The observations are carried out on a 61-cm f/6.25 telescope at Mt John University Observatory where a new larger CCD camera was installed in 1998 July. From this latitude (44° S) the Magellanic Clouds can be monitored throughout the year.
The red variables whose amplitude is larger than 1.3 mag in the MOA database are studied for the LMC. Among 3 196 such stars, 532 stars are likely to be Miras or red semiregular variables. The period–colour relation of these stars is shown.
A large database of CCD photometry for 1.4 million stars towards both the LMC and the SMC, which has been established by the MOA project, is a useful resource to study variable stars. In our preliminary study, variables identified as β Lyrae type stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars have been found amongst blue stars.
Magnetic properties and roughness of sputter-deposited Pt/CO films strongly depend on preparation conditions such as rf input power, underlayers and their etching. Large coercivity was obtained by using suitable underlayers such as ZnO and adjusting input power higher for Co and lower for Pt. The coercivity in Pt/CO films seems to depend on the roughness of the surface and/or the layer interface as well as the perpendicular anisotropy.
Subsurface damage in silicon formed by ion implantation and the residual damage after annealing have been successfully evaluated by measuring the photo-acoustic displacement (PAD) induced by an intensity modulated pump beam. The PAD was detected by a laser interferometrie probe with a sensitivity of 0.1 picometers in a noncontact manner. A temperature rise within the subsurface damage due to a decrease in the thermal conductivity leads to significant thermal expansion and causes a displacement on the sample surface. Therefore, subsurface damage can be monitored by measuring the PAD. Experimental results for As+ and B+ implanted samples indicate that recrystallization of ion implant damage by annealing can be monitored by this technique. Samples of higher doses (>1014/cm2) have residual damage even after annealing at 800'C for 30 minutes. The results for high-energy (2MeV) implanted samples also show that the secondary defects after annealing, which are formed in a deep region a few microns under the surface, can be detected with high sensitivity.
A highly sensitive laser probe for photo-acoustic displacement(PAD) has been developed and applied to the monitoring of low-level lattice damage in semiconductors. Since a photodisplacement laser probe with the sensitivity of 0.1 picometers is employed in this measurement, lower density damage for instance, formed by 50 keV B+ implantation with a dose of 5X109 ions/cm2 can be detected. Correlation of the PAD with damage density was obtained in B+ implantation. Therefore, quantitative damage density can be obtained from the relation for lightly damaged layers, such as formed by chemomechanical polishing and by electron cyclotron resonance plasma etching. This technique is useful-for monitoring of low damage density surface.
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