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Loneliness and social networks have been extensively studied in relation to cognitive impairments, but how they interact with each other in relation to cognition is still unclear. This study aimed at exploring the interaction of loneliness and various types of social networks in relation to cognition in older adults.
a cross-sectional study.
497 older adults with normal global cognition were interviewed.
Loneliness was assessed with Chinese 6-item De Jong Gierverg’s Loneliness Scale. Confiding network was defined as people who could share inner feelings with, whereas non-confiding network was computed by subtracting the confiding network from the total network size. Cognitive performance was expressed as a global composite z-score of Cantonese version of mini mental state examination (CMMSE), Categorical verbal fluency test (CVFT) and delayed recall. Linear regression was used to test the main effects of loneliness and the size of various networks, and their interaction on cognitive performance with the adjustment of sociodemographic, physical and psychological confounders.
Significant interaction was found between loneliness and non-confiding network on cognitive performance (B = .002, β = .092, t = 2.099, p = .036). Further analysis showed a significant interaction between loneliness and the number of family members in non-confiding network on cognition (B = .021, β = .119, t = 2.775, p = .006).
Results suggested that a non-confiding relationship with family members might put lonely older adults at risk of cognitive impairment. Our study might have implications on designing psychosocial intervention for those who are vulnerable to loneliness as an early prevention of neurocognitive impairments.
Our objective was to identify predictors of severe acute respiratory infection in hospitalised patients and understand the impact of vaccination and neuraminidase inhibitor administration on severe influenza. We analysed data from a study evaluating influenza vaccine effectiveness in two Michigan hospitals during the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016 influenza seasons. Adults admitted to the hospital with an acute respiratory infection were eligible. Through patient interview and medical record review, we evaluated potential risk factors for severe disease, defined as ICU admission, 30-day readmission, and hospital length of stay (LOS). Two hundred sixteen of 1119 participants had PCR-confirmed influenza. Frailty score, Charlson score and tertile of prior-year healthcare visits were associated with LOS. Charlson score >2 (OR 1.5 (1.0–2.3)) was associated with ICU admission. Highest tertile of prior-year visits (OR 0.3 (0.2–0.7)) was associated with decreased ICU admission. Increasing tertile of visits (OR 1.5 (1.2–1.8)) was associated with 30-day readmission. Frailty and prior-year healthcare visits were associated with 30-day readmission among influenza-positive participants. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with decreased LOS among vaccinated participants with influenza A (HR 1.6 (1.0–2.4)). Overall, frailty and lack of prior-year healthcare visits were predictors of disease severity. Neuraminidase inhibitors were associated with reduced severity among vaccine recipients.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
There have been a number of studies that have attempted to estimate the past radiocarbon reservoir effects in Qinghai Lake, China. This article reports on measurements on modern samples collected at the lake in October 2003 and October 2009, which allow us to better understand the systematics of the lake and shed new insights on the processes occurring in the lake. The results indicate that atmospheric exchange of 14C is the main process affecting surface dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the lake, but dissolved organic carbon (DOC) can be explained as a combination of sources. We also conclude that sediment carbon can be explained by a model where input from the surrounding rivers and groundwater are important, in agreement with the model of Yu et al. (2007).
Based on a refined dynamical model, afterglows from jetted γ-ray burst (GRB) remnants are investigated numerically. Measuring of GRB beaming by using orphan afterglow surveys is addressed. The possible existence of a kind of cylindrical jets is also discussed.
The Cosmic Background Explorer, launched November 18, 1989, has nearly completed its first full mapping of the sky with all three of its instruments: a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) covering 0.1 to 10 mm, a set of Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) operating at 3.3, 5.7, and 9.6 mm, and a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) spanning 1 to 300 µm in ten bands. A preliminary map of the sky derived from DIRBE data is presented. Initial cosmological implications include: a limit on the Comptonization y parameter of 10−3, on the chemical potential μ parameter of 10−2, a strong limit on the existence of a hot smooth intergalactic medium, and a confirmation that the dipole anisotropy has the spectrum expected from a Doppler shift of a blackbody. There are no significant anisotropies in the microwave sky detected, other than from our own galaxy and a cosθ dipole anisotropy whose amplitude and direction agree with previous data. At shorter wavelengths, the sky spectrum and anisotropies are dominated by emission from ‘local’ sources of emission within our Galaxy and Solar System. Preliminary comparison of IRAS and DIRBE sky brightnesses toward the ecliptic poles shows the IRAS values to be significantly higher than found by DIRBE at 100 μm. We suggest the presence of gain and zero-point errors in the IRAS total brightness data. The spacecraft, instrument designs, and data reduction methods are described.
The details of the formation of the first objects, stars and galaxies and their subsequent evolution remain a cosmological unknown. Few observational probes of these processes exist. The Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) originates from this era and measurements of its anisotropy can provide information to test models of both galaxy evolution and the growth of primordial structure. Such measurements should provide a sensitive probe of the large-scale variation in protogalaxy density at redshifts, z ~ 0.5-3, while optical galaxy surveys provide complementary information at z < 0.5 and Lyman alpha absorption forest studies and Cosmic Microwave Background measurements add information at higher redshifts.
In this paper, transient response analysis of a circular sandwich plate with a functionally graded material (FGM) central disk and two piezoelectric layers is presented. Material properties of the FGM central disk for the circular sandwich plate are assumed to vary through the structural thickness according to a power law and the Poisson’s ratio is assumed as the same constant. Based on the first-order shear deformation theory and geometric nonlinear relationship, the nonlinear motion equations of the circular sandwich plate are formulated by using the Hamilton’s variational principle, then combining with the boundary and initial conditions, the whole problem is solved by adopting the finite difference method, Newmark method and iterative method. Numerical results are presented to illustrate that the volume fraction index, geometric parameters, mechanical and electrical loads have a great influence on transient response of the circular sandwich plate.
In Taiwan, avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5N2, H6N1 and H7N3 have been identified in domestic poultry, and several strains of these subtypes have become endemic in poultry. To evaluate the potential of avian-to-human transmission due to occupational exposure, an exploratory analysis of AIV antibody status in poultry workers was conducted. We enrolled 670 poultry workers, including 335 live poultry vendors (LPVs), 335 poultry farmers (PFs), and 577 non-poultry workers (NPWs). Serum antibody titres against various subtypes of viruses were analysed and compared. The overall seropositivity rates in LPVs and PFs were 2·99% (10/335) and 1·79% (6/335), respectively, against H5N2; and 0·6% (2/335) and 1·19% (4/335), respectively, for H7N3 virus. Of NPWs, 0·35% (2/577) and 0·17% (1/577) were seropositive for H5N2 and H7N3, respectively. Geographical analysis revealed that poultry workers whose workplaces were near locations where H5N2 outbreaks in poultry have been reported face greater risks of being exposed to viruses that result in elevated H5N2 antibody titres. H6N1 antibodies were detected in only one PF, and no H7N9 antibodies were found in the study subjects. Subclinical infections caused by H5N2, H6N1 and H7N3 viruses were thus identified in poultry workers in Taiwan. Occupational exposure is associated with a high risk of AIV infection, and the seroprevalence of particular avian influenza strains in humans reflects the endemic strains in poultry in this region.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Dengue, one of the most important mosquito-borne diseases, is a major international public health concern. This study aimed to assess potential dengue infection risk from Aedes aegypti in Kaohsiung and the implications for vector control. Here we investigated the impact of dengue transmission on human infection risk using a well-established dengue–mosquito–human transmission dynamics model. A basic reproduction number (R0)-based probabilistic risk model was also developed to estimate dengue infection risk. Our findings confirm that the effect of biting rate plays a crucial role in shaping R0 estimates. We demonstrated that there was 50% risk probability for increased dengue incidence rates exceeding 0·5–0·8 wk−1 for temperatures ranging from 26°C to 32°C. We further demonstrated that the weekly increased dengue incidence rate can be decreased to zero if vector control efficiencies reach 30–80% at temperatures of 19–32°C. We conclude that our analysis on dengue infection risk and control implications in Kaohsiung provide crucial information for policy-making on disease control.
Undoped layers of GaN grown by MOVPE on sapphire substrates have been characterized by photoluminescence, photocapacitance and photoinduced current transient spectroscopy (PICTS). Photocapacitance reveals in all samples two specific signatures at photon energies of 1 eV and 2.5 eV. The photocapacitance decrease observed at 1 eV seems to be due to an electron capture process from the valence band, whereas the capacitance increase at 2.5 eV is related to an electron emission process. The fact that the capacitance step at 1 eV is only seen after photoionization at energies above 2.5 eV, and the observed correlation between its amplitude and the photoluminescence intensity of the “yellow band”, lead us to conclude that both transitions are linked to the same trap, which is also suggested to be responsible for the yellow band. The position of this trap, at 2.5 eV below the conduction band, is confirmed by PICTS measurements, that show a hole thermal emission activation energy of 0.9 eV at 350 K.
We report the results of photoluminescence measurements on a number of GaN thin films grown by MBE on GaAs (111)B substrates. In particular, we draw attention to a new observation of a line at approximately 3.40eV which is accompanied by complex fine structure and interpret it as due to a donor-acceptor (DA) transition. Assuming a donor energy of 30meV, we derive an acceptor binding energy of approximately 80meV which is very much smaller than the accepted value of 250meV for the well established Mg acceptor. However, our result is in agreement with a recent estimate of the hydrogenic acceptor energy as being 85meV.
This paper discusses the growth of Mg-doped GaN samples using a modified Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) method. Our results suggest that the dopant is incorporated from a surface population maintained by the incident Mg flux by a rapid diffusion mechanism. It follows that the chemical concentration will increase with time of growth and that the p-doping level will also increase progressively with film thickness for a given Mg flux. Increasing the Mg flux to the surface results at first in a higher doping density, but this saturates when the Mg surface concentration reaches a finite value.
Films of GaN have been grown using a modified MBE method in which the active nitrogen is supplied from an RF activated plasma source. Wurtzite films grown on (0 0 1) oriented GaAs substrates show highly defective, ordered polycrystalline growth with a columnar structure; the (0 0 0 1) planes of the layers being parallel to the (0 0 1) planes of the GaAs substrate. Films grown using a coincident As flux, however, have a single crystal zinc-blende growth mode. They have better structural and optical properties. To improve the properties of the wurtzite films we have studied the growth of such films on (1 1 1)A and (1 1 1)B oriented GaAs substrates. The improved structural properties of such films, assessed using x-ray and TEM methods, correlate with better low temperature PL performance.