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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.
Hosts face mortality from parasitic and environmental stressors, but interactions of parasitism with other stressors are not well understood, particularly for long-lived hosts. We monitored survival of flour beetles (Tribolium confusum) in a longitudinal design incorporating cestode (Hymenolepis diminuta) infection, starvation and exposure to the pesticide diatomaceous earth (DE). We found that cestode cysticercoids exhibit increasing morphological damage and decreasing ability to excyst over time, but were never eliminated from the host. In the presence of even mild environmental stressors, host lifespan was reduced sufficiently that extensive degradation of cysticercoids was never realized. Median host lifespan was 200 days in the absence of stressors, and 3–197 days with parasitism, starvation and/or DE. Early survival of parasitized hosts was higher relative to controls in the presence of intermediate concentrations of DE, but reduced under all other conditions tested. Parasitism increased host mortality in the presence of other stressors at times when parasitism alone did not cause mortality, consistent with an interpretation of synergy. Environmental stressors modified the parasite numbers needed to reveal intensity-dependent host mortality, but only rarely masked intensity dependence. The longitudinal approach produced observations that would have been overlooked or misinterpreted if survival had only been monitored at a single time point.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
Due to the wide bandgap and other key materials properties of 4H-SiC, SiC MOSFETs
offer performance advantages over competing Si-based power devices. For example,
SiC can more easily be used to fabricate MOSFETs with very high voltage ratings,
and with lower switching losses. Silicon carbide power MOSFET development has
progressed rapidly since the market release of Cree’s 1200V 4H-SiC
power MOSFET in 2011. This is due to continued advancements in SiC substrate
quality, epitaxial growth capabilities, and device processing. For example,
high-quality epitaxial growth of thick, low-doped SiC has enabled the
fabrication of SiC MOSFETs capable of blocking extremely high voltages (up to
15kV); while dopant control for thin highly-doped epitaxial layers has helped
enable low on-resistance 900V SiC MOSFET production. Device design and
processing improvements have resulted in lower MOSFET specific on-resistance for
each successive device generation. SiC MOSFETs have been shown to have a long
device lifetime, based on the results of accelerated lifetime testing, such as
high-temperature reverse-bias (HTRB) stress and time-dependent dielectric
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.
We present a deterministic approach to the ptychographic retrieval of the wave at the exit surface of a specimen of condensed matter illuminated by X-rays. The method is based on the solution of an overdetermined set of linear equations, and is robust to measurement noise. The set of linear equations is efficiently solved using the conjugate gradient least-squares method implemented using fast Fourier transforms. The method is demonstrated using a data set obtained from a gold–chromium nanostructured test object. It is shown that the transmission function retrieved by this linear method is quantitatively comparable with established methods of ptychography, with a large decrease in computational time, and is thus a good candidate for real-time reconstruction.
The objective of the study was to compare the change in diastolic function, E/A ratio, in response to prolonged exercise in low birth weight and normal birth weight individuals. Using a case–control study design, 23 students of the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences who had neonatal clinic cards as proof of birth weight were recruited into the study. Measurements of diastolic function, E/A ratio, were obtained using an echocardiogram before and after 75 minutes of exercise. Among the cohort, seven had low birth weight – <2500 g, three female patients and four male patients – and 16 had normal birth weight – six female patients and 10 male patients). The mean age was 20.7±3.3 years. After prolonged exercise for 75 minutes of running on a treadmill, decreases in diastolic function, E/A ratio, were significantly greater in low birth weight than in normal birth weight individuals (0.48±0.27 versus 0.19±0.18 p<0.05, respectively). There was a significant association between low birth weight and exercise-induced cardiac fatigue (the χ2 test p<0.05, odds ratio 4.64, 95% confidence interval 1.19–18.1). We conclude that low birth weight is associated with exercise-induced diastolic dysfunction in young adults.
In our work on laser scribing CdTe solar cells we have found what appears to be an unpublished laser material interaction that allows precise laser etching of SnO2 films to an arbitrary thickness with high uniformity. This precise and efficient laser etching mechanism allows arbitrary reduction of the film thickness in a controlled manner on the scale of tens of nm. In addition to the fine depth selection, we find that there develops a pulse duration dependent microstructure on the surface. This micro microstructure results in a strong diffraction effect in the visible portion of the spectrum. In this work we propose a physical mechanism behind this novel depth selective laser interaction as well as the resultant micro-structure. Finally we demonstrate and propose some possible applications for this process.
The Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System (BOOTES), is a global robotic
observatory network, which started in 1998 with Spanish leadership devoted to study
optical emissions from gamma ray bursts (GRBs) that occur in the Universe. We present shot
history and current status of BOOTES network. The Network philosophy, science and some
details of 117 GRBs followed-up are discussed.
Herpes virus infections can cause cognitive impairment during and after acute encephalitis. Although chronic, latent/persistent infection is considered to be relatively benign, some studies have documented cognitive impairment in exposed persons that is untraceable to encephalitis. These studies were conducted among schizophrenia (SZ) patients or older community dwellers, among whom it is difficult to control for the effects of co-morbid illness and medications. To determine whether the associations can be generalized to other groups, we examined a large sample of younger control individuals, SZ patients and their non-psychotic relatives (n=1852).
Using multivariate models, cognitive performance was evaluated in relation to exposures to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), controlling for familial and diagnostic status and sociodemographic variables, including occupation and educational status. Composite cognitive measures were derived from nine cognitive domains using principal components of heritability (PCH). Exposure was indexed by antibodies to viral antigens.
PCH1, the most heritable component of cognitive performance, declines with exposure to CMV or HSV-1 regardless of case/relative/control group status (p = 1.09 × 10−5 and 0.01 respectively), with stronger association with exposure to multiple herpes viruses (β = −0.25, p = 7.28 × 10−10). There were no significant interactions between exposure and group status.
Latent/persistent herpes virus infections can be associated with cognitive impairments regardless of other health status.
Surface adsorption represents a competition between collision and scattering processes that depend on surface energy, surface structure and temperature. The surface reactivity of the actinides can add additional complexity due to radiological dissociation of the gas and electronic structure. Here we elucidate the chemical bonding of gas molecules adsorbed on Pu metal and oxide surfaces. Atmospheric gas reactions were studied at 190 and 300 K using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Evolution of the Pu 4f and O 1s core-level states were studied as a function of gas dose rates to generate a set of Langmuir isotherms. Results show that the initial gas dose forms Pu2O3 on the Pu metal surface followed by the formation of PuO2 resulting in a layered oxide structure. This work represents the first steps in determining the activation energy for adsorption of various atmospheric gases on Pu.