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In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges.
It has been previously demonstrated that a cognitive bias against disconfirmatory evidence (BADE) is associated with delusions. However, small samples of delusional patients, reliance on difference scores and choice of comparison groups may have hampered the reliability of these results. In the present study we aimed to improve on this methodology with a recent version of the BADE task, and compare larger groups of schizophrenia patients with/without delusions to obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients, a population with persistent and possibly bizarre beliefs without psychosis.
A component analysis was used to identify cognitive operations underlying the BADE task, and how they differ across four groups of participants: (1) high-delusional schizophrenia, (2) low-delusional schizophrenia, (3) OCD patients and (4) non-psychiatric controls.
As in past studies, two components emerged and were labelled ‘evidence integration’ (the degree to which disambiguating information has been integrated) and ‘conservatism’ (reduced willingness to provide high plausibility ratings when justified), and only evidence integration differed between severely delusional patients and the other groups, reflecting delusional subjects giving higher ratings for disconfirmed interpretations and lower ratings for confirmed interpretations.
These data support the finding that a reduced willingness to adjust beliefs when confronted with disconfirming evidence may be a cognitive underpinning of delusions specifically, rather than obsessive beliefs or other aspects of psychosis such as hallucinations, and illustrates a cognitive process that may underlie maintenance of delusions in the face of counter-evidence. This supports the possibility of the BADE operation being a useful target in cognitive-based therapies for delusions.
We report on the preparation and characterization of crystalline bismuth oxide thin films via Biased Target Ion Beam Deposition method. A focused blue laser (405nm) is used to write an array of dots in the bismuth oxide thin film and demonstrate clear and circular recording marks in form of “bubbles” or “little volcanos” (FWHM ∼500nm). Results indicate excellent static recording characteristics, writing sensitivity and contrast. The recording mechanism is investigated and is believed to be related to laser-induced morphology change.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
We show that quasimap Floer cohomology for varying symplectic quotients resolves several puzzles regarding displaceability of toric moment fibers. For example, we present a compact Hamiltonian torus action containing an open subset of non-displaceable orbits and a codimension four singular set, partly answering a question of McDuff, and we determine displaceability for most of the moment fibers of a symplectic ellipsoid.
V- and I-band observations were taken over 9 months to study the RR Lyrae population in the metal-poor diffuse globular cluster NGC 6101. We identify one new variable, which is either a potential long-period red giant variable or eclipsing binary, and recover all previously identified RR Lyraes. One previously studied RR Lyrae is reclassified as an RRc type, while two period estimations have been significantly refined. We confirm that NGC6101 is Oosterhoff type II with a high ratio of n(c)/n(ab + c) = 0.833 with a very long mean RRab period of 0.86 d. By using theoretical RRLyrae period-luminosity-metallicity relations, we use our V- and I-band RR Lyrae data to gain an independent estimate of the reddening towards this cluster of E(B − V) = 0.15 ± 0.04 and derive a distance of 12.8 ± 0.8 kpc. The majority of the work in this study was undertaken by upper secondary school students involved in the Space to Grow astronomy education project in Australia.
The exact horizon occupied by the Shetland strata of Old Red Sandstone age, and their relation to the corresponding series in the north of Scotland, have long been subjects of considerable speculation and much uncertainty. While their resemblance to the flag-stones of Caithness and Orkney was generally recognised, more definite palæontological evidence was required for correlation purposes, and the barrenness of the islands in this respect has been commented on again and again. Up to quite recent years the only fossils found in Shetland were fragmentary plant remains of doubtful affinities, and the small crustacean Estheria membranacea; the abundant ichthyolites which characterise the beds of Caithness and Orkney seemed here to be wanting, and the dearth of fossil evidence is reflected in the conservative and guarded opinions as to the position to be assigned to the series.
Salmonella is the second most commonly reported human foodborne pathogen in England and Wales, and antimicrobial-resistant strains of Salmonella are an increasing problem in both human and veterinary medicine. In this work we used a generalized linear spatial model to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella Typhimurium in England and Wales. Of the antimicrobials considered we found a common peak in the probability that an S. Typhimurium incident will show resistance to a given antimicrobial in late spring and in mid to late autumn; however, for one of the antimicrobials (streptomycin) there was a sharp drop, over the last 18 months of the period of investigation, in the probability of resistance. We also found a higher probability of resistance in North Wales which is consistent across the antimicrobials considered. This information contributes to our understanding of the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella.
We report site-selective studies of the Zeeman splittings that are observed for magnetic fields up to 6.6T for different Eu incorporation sites in GaN. Utilizing resonant excitation with visible light, we are able to distinguish the site and find for one center (Eu1) a splitting into five components as expected for C3v symmetry. The corresponding g-values are 1.66 and 1.90. The two lines of another center Eu2 each split into two levels corresponding to g-values of 1.9 and 2.84. Most surprisingly a third center, for which only one line is clearly identified, a g-value of 6.16 is found which is larger than can be explained for a 7F2 purely ionic Eu state.
In-situ doped Eu ions in GaN grown by Organometallic Vapor-phase Epitaxy (OMVPE) at different pressures were investigated under different excitation methods and through the use of the following experimental techniques: (1) resonant site-selective laser irradiation (2) electron beam excitation, and (3) a dual excitation using a combination of electron beam and laser irradiation. With these means, we have examined the difference in the excitation pathways that result from resonant laser and electron hole (e-h) pair excitation of Eu ions for two different distinct incorporation sites, which are responsible for most of the luminescence. We have obtained clear evidence that e-h pairs do not have the ability to excite all of the ions and that there is excitation trapping by defects involved in the Eu excitation.
We present Spitzer spectroscopy of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi obtained on several occasions between 2006 and 2009. The spectra show variability in the silicate dust features at 9.7 μm and 18 μm, which form in the wind of the red giant in the system. We fit the spectra with Dusty models and find changes in the dust temperature, due to changes in the luminosity of the central source. The mass-loss rate of the secondary is a few 10−7M⊙yr−1, typical of a red giant of its type.
The corrosion behavior of TiCode-12 (Ti-0.3 Mo-0.8 Ni) high level nuclear waste container alloy has been studied for a simulated WIPP brine at a temperature of 150°C or below. Crevice corrosion was identified as a potentially important failure mode for this material. Within a mechanical crevice, a thick oxide film was found and shown to be the rutile form of TiO2, with a trace of lower oxide also present. Acidic conditions were found to cause a breakdown of the passive oxide layer. Solution aeration and increased acidity accelerate the corrosion rate. In hydrogen embrittlement studies, it was found that hydrogen causes a significant decrease in the apparent stress intensity level in fracture mechanics samples. Hydride formation is thought to be responsible for crack initiation. Stress corrosion cracking under static loads was not observed. Attention has also been given to methods for extrapolating short term uniform corrosion rate data to extended times.
Crystal damage of GaAs(100) caused by Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) using a mixture of Cl2 and Ar gas has been assessed using Surface Roughness (Ra), Resonant Raman Spectroscopy (RRS), Schottky diodes, and Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE). Plasma conditions for minimum induced damage have been determined and compared to optimised RIE processes using plasma gases SiCl4, CH4-H2, CCl2F2 and Ar. The SiCl4 plasma was found to produce the least crystal damage.
In this paper, different variations of a recently developed focused ion beam (FIB)-based TEM specimen preparation technique are studied conceptually and experimentally, compared, and evaluated. This procedure mainly consists of formation, removal, transport, and mounting of an electron transparent transverse membrane on a support grid for TEM study. Based on the experimental results obtained from this evaluation, some modifications have been conceived and implemented. These details as well as other critical information have been presented and discussed.
Ba0.7Sr0.3TiO3 (BST) single and quadruple layer capacitors with Pt electrodes were fabricated together on polycrystalline alumina substrates with a SiO2-based multicomponent amorphous buffer layer (SiO2/Al2O3). This paper presents the results of the characterization of these capacitors, to demonstrate their suitability for application as decoupling (high value) capacitors and as components in tunable RF applications (e.g., phase shifters and filters). BST films of different compositions, (Ba0.7Sr0.3)TiO3 and (Ba0.5Sr0.5)TiO3, were grown by metal-organic decomposition (MOD) and RF magnetron reactive sputtering. The capacitance density of 90–140 nm thick BST films was in the range of 20 to 70 fF/μm 2. Parallel plate capacitors with areas from 16 μm2 to 2.25 mm2 were fabricated using photolithography and ion milling techniques. For large capacitors (0.125 to 2.25 mm2), capacitance and tanδ were measured at low frequencies (1 KHz - 1 MHz) using an LCR meter. Smaller capacitors (16 μm2 to 3600 μm2) were additionally characterized in the frequency range of 50 MHz - 20 GHz. In such case, capacitance, tanδ and equivalent series resistance (ESR) were extracted from two port scattering parameters obtained using a vector network analyzer (VNA). The relationship between dielectric loss, tunability and calculated figure of merit vs. BST composition and deposition temperature was outlined. In addition, loss and ESR at high frequencies was investigated. The typical achieved leakage current density of sputtered BST films for 2.25 mm2 capacitors fabricated on SiO2/Al2O3 was 7.3×10-9 A/cm2 at 300 kV/cm (65 fF/μm2), about 2 times lower than for (Ba0.7Sr0.3)TiO3 films deposited by MOD (1.4×10-8 A/cm2 at 300 kV/cm, 34.5 fF/μm2). Furthermore, the tunability of (Ba0.7Sr0.3)TiO3 deposited by both methods on SiO2/Al2O3 was ∼60% at 350 kV/cm.
Although antipsychotic medication still represents the treatment of choice for schizophrenia, its objective impact on symptoms is only in the medium-effect size range and at least 50% of patients discontinue medication in the course of treatment. Hence, clinical researchers are intensively looking for complementary therapeutic options. Metacognitive training for schizophrenia patients (MCT) is a group intervention that seeks to sharpen the awareness of schizophrenia patients on cognitive biases (e.g. jumping to conclusions) that seem to underlie delusion formation and maintenance. The present trial combined group MCT with an individualized cognitive-behavioural therapy-oriented approach entitled individualized metacognitive therapy for psychosis (MCT+) and compared it against an active control.
A total of 48 patients fulfilling criteria of schizophrenia were randomly allocated to either MCT+ or cognitive remediation (clinical trial NCT01029067). Blind to intervention, both groups were assessed at baseline and 4 weeks later. Psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS). Jumping to conclusions was measured using a variant of the beads task.
PANSS delusion severity declined significantly in the combined MCT treatment compared with the control condition. PSYRATS delusion conviction as well as jumping to conclusions showed significantly greater improvement in the MCT group. In line with prior studies, treatment adherence and subjective efficacy was excellent for the MCT.
The results suggest that the combination of a cognition-oriented and a symptom-oriented approach ameliorate psychotic symptoms and cognitive biases and represents a promising complementary treatment for schizophrenia.