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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
To assess the reliability and validity of body weight (BW) and body image (BI) perception reported by parents (in children) and by adolescents in a South American population.
Cross-sectional study. BW perception was evaluated by the question, ‘Do you think you/your child are/is: severely wasted, wasted, normal weight, overweight, obese?’ BI perception was evaluated using the Gardner scale. To evaluate reliability, BW and BI perceptions were reported twice, two weeks apart. To evaluate validity, the BW and BI perceptions were compared with WHO BMI Z-scores. Kappa and Kendall’s tau-c coefficients were obtained.
Public and private schools and high schools from six countries of South America (Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil).
Children aged 3–10 years (n 635) and adolescents aged 11–17 years (n 400).
Reliability of BW perception was fair in children’s parents (κ=0·337) and substantial in adolescents (κ=0·709). Validity of BW perception was slight in children’s parents (κ=0·176) and fair in adolescents (κ=0·268). When evaluating BI, most children were perceived by parents as having lower weight. Reliability of BI perception was slight in children’s parents (κ=0·124) and moderate in adolescents (κ=0·599). Validity of BI perception was poor in children’s parents (κ=−0·018) and slight in adolescents (κ=0·023).
Reliability of BW and BI perceptions was higher in adolescents than in children’s parents. Validity of BW perception was good among the parents of the children and adolescents with underweight and normal weight.
The influence of the concentration of carbon black nanoparticles on the mechanical behavior of a structural adhesive was studied to evaluate and understand the stiffness, strength, and deformation behavior of a reinforced epoxy adhesive. Two carbon black nanoparticles with different dielectric properties and sizes (Monarch® 120 and Vulcan® XC72R) were studied. A bi-component structural epoxy adhesive was selected. Specimens with different concentrations of carbon black were manufactured (0, 5, 10, and 20% on volume of resin) for each type of nanoparticle. The specimens were cured in a hydraulic hot-plates press machine. The mechanical behavior of the adhesives was found not to vary significantly as a function of carbon black nanoparticles amount. A scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed to evaluate the fracture surface. The fracture surfaces of specimens were correlated with the mechanical response obtained through tensile tests.
Six trials were conducted during 2014/15 and 2015/16 growing seasons in Brazil to determine the effect of 2,4-D formulations and spray nozzles on 2,4-D spray drift under conventional field conditions. An experimental 2,4-D choline formulation with Colex-D® Technology (GF-3073) and a 2,4-D dimethylamine (DMA) formulation were applied with either XR and AIXR flat-fan spray nozzles. Each plot was 30 m wide by 24 m long (720 m2) with 60 glyphosate-resistant soybean rows spaced 50 cm apart and also 35 potted tomato plants distributed on a grid across the plot 5-m apart. Applications were performed one meter away from the plot edge perpendicular to the soybean rows when wind direction was parallel to the rows with less than 30 degrees of angle deviation. Spray drift treatments were applied in 100 L ha−1 with tractor sprayers at 276 kPa equipped with a 7-m wide boom at 50 cm above the canopy of the soybean plant, operating at 6.8 km h−1. The distance from the plot edge to the farthest plant with 2,4-D symptoms was assessed for every four soybean rows at 10 and 20 days after treatment (DAT) and potted tomatoes at 10 DAT. GF-3073 reduced the distance of the farthest injured plant with 2,4-D symptoms compared to the 2,4-D DMA formulation regardless of the spray nozzle, assessment date and sensitive species. GF-3073 applied through the AIXR nozzle reduced the relative drift affected area to the standard by 68% at 10 DAT and 67% at 20 DAT for soybean and 60% at 10 DAT for potted tomatoes.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Leishmaniasis is a complex of zoonotic diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, which can develop in domestic as well as wild animals and humans throughout the world. Currently, this disease is spreading in rural and urban areas of non-endemic regions in Brazil. Recently, bats have gained epidemiological significance in leishmaniasis due to its close relationship with human settlements. In this study, we investigated the presence of Leishmania spp. DNA in blood samples from 448 bats belonging to four families representing 20 species that were captured in the Triangulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaiba areas of Minas Gerais State (non-endemic areas for leishmaniasis), Brazil. Leishmania spp. DNA was detected in 8·0% of the blood samples, 41·6% of which were Leishmania infantum, 38·9% Leishmania amazonensis and 19·4% Leishmania braziliensis. No positive correlation was found between Leishmania spp. and bat food source. The species with more infection rates were the insectivorous bats Eumops perotis; 22·2% (4/18) of which tested positive for Leishmania DNA. The presence of Leishmania in the bat blood samples, as observed in this study, represents epidemiological importance due to the absence of Leishmaniasis cases in the region.
Introduction: Unnecessary imaging of adult cervical spine (C-spine) injury patients in the Emergency Department (ED) is a concern. Guidance for C-spine image ordering exists; however, the effectiveness and safety of their implementation in the ED is not well studied. This review examines their implementation and effectiveness at reducing C-spine imaging in adults presenting to the ED with stable neck trauma. Methods: Six electronic databases and the grey literature were searched. Comparative studies examining interventions to reduce C-spine imaging were eligible for inclusion. Two independent reviewers screened for study eligibility, assessed study quality, and extracted data. Data were analyzed using RevMan (Version 5.3) to explore the effectiveness of these interventions in safely reducing C-Spine radiography. Results: A total of 848 unique citations were screened of which six before-after studies and one randomized controlled trial were included. The study population varied with respect to injury severity (i.e., stability status). None of the studies were assessed as high quality. The interventions employed included locally developed guidelines and clinical decision rules, specifically the National X-radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS) criteria and the Canadian C-Spine Rule (CCR). Various implementation strategies, such as teaching sessions, pocket reminder cards, posters and computerized decision support were used. Several studies used multi-faceted interventions. Overall, of the five study groups that examined change in x-ray ordering, three groups reported a significant reduction in c-spine radiography. The remaining two showed no change in imaging. A pooled estimate of the effectiveness of the interventions was prohibited by significant heterogeneity. Conclusion: The evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions to reduce C-spine imaging in adult ED patients with stable neck trauma is inconclusive. Given the national and international focus on improving appropriateness and reducing unnecessary imaging through campaigns such as Choosing Wisely®, additional interventional research in this field is warranted.
Introduction: Low back pain (LBP) is an extremely frequent emergency department (ED) presentation. Although LBP imaging often results in no change to the ED management, does not identify abnormalities, and has documented risks (e.g., radiation exposure), advanced imaging (i.e., computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) for patients with LBP has become increasingly frequent in the ED. The objective of this review was to identify and examine the effectiveness and safety of interventions aimed at reducing imaging in the ED for LBP patients. Methods: Six bibliographic databases and grey literature were searched. Comparative studies assessing interventions aimed at reducing ED imaging for adult patients with LBP were eligible for inclusion. Two reviewers independently screened study eligibility, completed data extraction, and assessed the quality of included studies. Due to a limited number of studies and significant heterogeneity, a descriptive analysis was performed. Results: The search yielded 510 unique citations of which three before-after studies were included. Quality assessment identified potential biases relating to comparability between the pre- and post-intervention groups, reliable assessment of outcomes, and an overall lack of information on the intervention (i.e., time point, description, intervention data collection). The interventions to reduce lumbar spine imaging varied considerably. Study interventions included: 1) clinical decision support (i.e., a specialized X-ray requisition form), which reported a 47.4% relative reduction of lumbar spine radiography referrals; 2) clinical decision guidelines, which reduced referrals by 43.8%; and 3) multidisciplinary protocols, which reported a reduction in the MRI referral rate by 26.1%. Despite reductions in simple imaging, CT use increased in two of the three studies. Conclusion: LBP has been identified as a key area of imaging overuse (e.g., Choosing Wisely recommendation). Yet, evidence of interventions’ effectiveness in reducing imaging for ED patients with LBP is sparse. While there is some evidence to suggest that interventions can reduce the use of simple imaging in LBP in the ED, unintended consequences have been reported and additional studies employing higher quality methods are strongly recommended.
The objective of this study was to determine whether Staphylococcus aureus chronic intramammary infection (IMI) influences expression of proteins related to regulation of proliferation and apoptosis processes and proliferation/apoptosis index during active involution in bovine mammary gland. Twenty-one Holstein non-pregnant cows in late lactation either uninfected or with chronic naturally acquired S. aureus IMI were included in this study. Cows were slaughtered at 7, 14 and 21 d after cessation of milking and samples for immunohistochemical analysis were taken. Protein expression of Bcl-2, Bax, Fas and active caspase-3 in mammary tissue was significantly affected by chronic S. aureus IMI, all showing increased immunoexpression in S. aureus-infected quarters at all involution stages. The percentage of apoptotic cells was increased by IMI in both mammary parenchyma and stroma, and the percentage of parenchymal and stromal cell proliferation was also increased. The proliferation/apoptosis ratio was significantly increased by IMI only in stromal cells. This imbalance to favour proliferation in S. aureus-infected mammary quarters could be one of the underlying causes that induce aberrant involution with permanence of nonsecretory tissue and increase of stromal components.
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
We present initial results of a new campaign of simulations focusing on the interaction of planetary winds with stellar environments using Adaptive Mesh Refinement methods. We have confirmed the results of Stone & Proga (2009) that an azimuthal flow structure is created in the planetary wind due to day/night temperatures differences. We show that a backflow towards the planet will occur with a strength that depends on the escape parameter. When a stellar outflow is included, we see unstable bow waves forming through the outflow's interaction with the planetary wind.
Patients with schizophrenia have intact ability to experience emotion, but empirical evidence suggests that they fail to translate emotional salience into effortful behaviour. Previous research in patients with chronic schizophrenia suggests that working memory is important in integrating emotion and behaviour. This study aimed to examine avolition and anhedonia in patients with first-episode schizophrenia and clarify the role of working memory in emotion–behaviour coupling.
We recruited 72 participants with first-episode schizophrenia and 61 healthy controls, and used a validated emotion-inducing behavioural paradigm to measure participants' affective experiences and how experienced emotion coupled with behaviour. Participants were given the opportunity to expend effort to increase or decrease their exposure to emotion-inducing photographs. Participants with schizophrenia having poor working memory were compared with those with intact working memory in their liking and emotion–behaviour coupling.
Patients with first-episode schizophrenia experienced intact ‘in-the-moment’ emotion, but their emotion was less predictive of the effort expended, compared with controls. The emotion–behaviour coupling was significantly weaker in patients with schizophrenia with poor working memory than in those with intact working memory. However, compared with controls, patients with intact working also showed substantial emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings provide strong evidence for emotion–behaviour decoupling in first-episode schizophrenia. Although working memory deficits contribute to defective translation of liking into effortful behaviour, schizophrenia alone affects emotion–behaviour coupling.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
Dysregulation of the striatum and altered corticostriatal connectivity have been associated with psychotic disorders. Social anhedonia has been identified as a predictor for the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine corticostriatal functional connectivity in individuals with high social anhedonia.
Twenty-one participants with high social anhedonia score and 30 with low social anhedonia score measured by the Chinese version of the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale were recruited from university undergraduates (age 17–21 years) to undergo resting-state functional MRI scans. Six subdivisions of the striatum in each hemisphere were defined as seeds. Voxel-wise functional connectivity analyses were conducted between each seed and the whole brain voxels, followed by repeated-measures ANOVA for the group effect.
Participants with high social anhedonia showed hyper-connectivity between the ventral striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, and between the dorsal striatum and the motor cortex. Hypo-connectivity in participants with high social anhedonia was also observed between the ventral striatum and the posterior cingulate cortex. Partial correlation analyses further showed that the functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex was associated with pleasure experience and emotional suppression.
Our findings suggest that altered corticostriatal connectivity can be found in participants with high levels of social anhedonia. Since social anhedonia has been considered a predictor for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, our results may provide novel evidence on the early changes in brain functional connectivity in at-risk individuals.
We present the observed “continuum” levels of polarization as a function of time for four well-observed Type II-Plateau supernovae (SNe II-P; Fig. 1), the class of SNe decisively determined to arise from red supergiant stars (Smartt 2009). All four objects show temporally increasing degrees of polarization through the end of the photospheric phase, with some exhibiting early-time polarization that challenge existing models (e.g., Dessart and Hillier 2011) to reproduce. A fundamental ejecta asymmetry is present in this photometrically diverse sample of type II SNe, and it probably takes different forms (e.g., 56Ni blobs/fingers, large scale deformation). We acknowledge support from NSF grants AST-1009571 and AST-1210311.
Flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) was applied to produce nanopowders of Ti1-xMxO2 and Sn1-xMxO2, where x = 0.05 and M = Nb/Sb, for use as catalyst support materials in PEM fuel cells/ electrolysers. FSP powders in the SnO2-IrO2 system were produced for the same applications. Homogenous particle size distribution (5-20 nm) was demonstrated by TEM, supported by BET and XRD analysis. Whereas two polymorphs were indicated for the Ti-based oxides, the Sb/Nb-doped SnO2 powders were single phase. FSP powders of Mn3O4 intended for supercapacitors were produced and the influence of the precursor/solvent mixtures on the physical and electrochemical properties evaluated.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and psychotic bipolar disorder (PBD) share considerable overlap in clinical features, genetic risk factors and co-occurrence among relatives. The common and unique functional cerebral deficits in these disorders, and in unaffected relatives, remain to be identified.
A total of 59 healthy controls, 37 SCZ and 57 PBD probands and their unaffected first-degree relatives (38 and 28, respectively) were studied using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). Regional cerebral function was evaluated by measuring the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF). Areas with ALFF alterations were used as seeds in whole-brain functional connectivity analysis. We then tested whether abnormalities identified in probands were present in unaffected relatives.
SCZ and PBD probands both demonstrated regional hypoactivity in the orbital frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus, as well as abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks. SCZ probands showed greater and more widely distributed ALFF alterations including the thalamus and bilateral parahippocampal gyri. Increased parahippocampal ALFF was related to positive symptoms and cognitive deficit. PBD patients showed uniquely increased functional connectivity between the thalamus and bilateral insula. Only PBD relatives showed abnormal connectivity within striatal-thalamo-cortical networks seen in both proband groups.
The present findings reveal a common pattern of deficits in frontostriatal circuitry across SCZ and PBD, and unique regional and functional connectivity abnormalities that distinguish them. The abnormal network connectivity in PBD relatives that was present in both proband groups may reflect genetic susceptibility associated with risk for psychosis, but within-family associations of this measure were not high.