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Loss of cortical volume in frontotemporal regions occurs in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and longitudinal studies have reported progressive brain volume changes at different stages of the disease, even if cognitive deficits remain stable over time. We investigated cortical changes in patients over the 2 years following their FEP and their associations with clinical and cognitive measures.
Twenty-seven patients after their FEP (20 with schizophrenia, seven with schizo-affective disorder) and 25 healthy controls matched for age and gender participated in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed on a 1.5-T scanner both at baseline and after 2 years. Area and thickness of the cortex were measured using surface-based morphometry (SBM). Patients also underwent neuropsychological testing at these two time points.
Progressive cortical thinning in the superior and inferior frontal and, to a lesser extent, superior temporal cortex was observed in patients. Cortical area remained constant. Cortical thinning was associated with duration of treatment at a trend level and was predicted by baseline measures of IQ and working memory. Cortical thinning occurred in the absence of clinical or cognitive deterioration.
The clinical implications of these cortical changes remain uncertain, but patients with less cognitive reserve may be more vulnerable to developing cortical abnormalities when exposed to medication or other disease-related biological factors.
We introduce the concept of a rare element in a non-associative normed algebra and show that the existence of such an element is the only obstruction to continuity of a surjective homomorphism from a non-associative Banach algebra to a unital normed algebra with simple completion. Unital associative algebras do not admit any rare elements, and hence automatic continuity holds.
Outcome of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) includes impaired emotion regulation. Emotion regulation has been associated with amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate (rACC). However, functional connectivity between the two structures after injury has not been reported. A preliminary examination of functional connectivity of rACC and right amygdala was conducted in adolescents 2 to 3 years after moderate to severe TBI and in typically developing (TD) control adolescents, with the hypothesis that the TBI adolescents would demonstrate altered functional connectivity in the two regions. Functional connectivity was determined by correlating fluctuations in the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal of the rACC and right amygdala with that of other brain regions. In the TBI adolescents, the rACC was found to be significantly less functionally connected to medial prefrontal cortices and to right temporal regions near the amygdala (height threshold T = 2.5, cluster level p < .05, FDR corrected), while the right amygdala showed a trend in reduced functional connectivity with the rACC (height threshold T = 2.5, cluster level p = .06, FDR corrected). Data suggest disrupted functional connectivity in emotion regulation regions. Limitations include small sample sizes. Studies with larger sample sizes are necessary to characterize the persistent neural damage resulting from moderate to severe TBI during development. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–14)
Since 2004, efforts to improve poliovirus detection have significantly increased the volume of specimen testing from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) patients in India. One option to decrease collection and testing burden would be collecting only a single stool specimen instead of two. We investigated stool specimen sensitivity for poliovirus detection in India to estimate the contribution of the second specimen. We reviewed poliovirus isolation data for 303984 children aged <15 years with AFP during 2000–2010. Using maximum-likelihood estimation, we determined specimen sensitivity of each stool specimen, combined sensitivity of both specimens, and sensitivity added by the second specimen. Of 5184 AFP patients with poliovirus isolates, 382 (7·4%) were identified only by the second specimen. Sensitivity was 91·4% for the first specimen and 84·5% for the second specimen; the second specimen added 7·3% sensitivity, giving a combined sensitivity of 98·7%. Combined sensitivity declined, and added sensitivity increased, as the time from paralysis onset to stool collection increased (P = 0·032). The sensitivity added by the second specimen is important to detect the last chains of poliovirus transmission and to achieve certification of polio eradication. For sensitive surveillance, two stool specimens should continue to be collected from each AFP patient in India.
SXP 1062 is an exceptional case of a young neutron star in a wind-fed high-mass X-ray binary associated with a supernova remnant. A unique combination of measured spin period, its derivative, luminosity and young age makes this source a key probe for the physics of accretion and neutron star evolution. Theoretical models proposed to explain the properties of SXP 1062 shall be tested with new data.
Meal frequency is a key parameter in fish larviculture, especially in highly
cannibalistic species. Knowledge of the biological bases of cannibalism (growth capacity
of cannibals, morphological constraints on cannibalism, prey size preference) can help
predicting the risks of cannibalism for different feeding schedules under culture
conditions. This study relied on the day-by-day analysis of prey size preference and
bioenergetics of individual cannibals of the catfish Pseudoplatystoma punctifer
(8–65 mm standard length, SL, 0.5–400 mg dry mass,
DM) at 28.5 °C under 12L:12D. The results were equated with the
ontogenetic variations of morphological factors (head and mouth width) and feed efficiency
of larvae feeding on Artemia nauplii, in order to calculate the risks of
cannibalism among fish fed 2–7 daily meals. The predation capacities of P.
punctifer were highest at 8 mm SL and decreased in larger fish
(largest prey = 86% and 70% SL in fish of 8 and >30 mm
SL, respectively). Cannibals of increasing size preferred increasingly
smaller prey relative to their own size, but also to their predation capacities. These
morphological and behavioural constraints were largely compensated for by bioenergetics
performance. Cannibals consumed high daily food rations (as high as 171 and 29%
DM in fish <1 and >300 mg DM,
respectively), exhibited high gross conversion efficiencies (0.50–0.55 and about 0.70, in
fish <1 and >30 mg DM, respectively), and grew rapidly
(90 and 18% DM day-1 in fish <1 and >300 mg
DM, respectively). The growth advantage of cannibals over siblings fed
Artemia nauplii was decisive, except for high meal frequencies (6–7
daily meals). This study supports the view that the risk of cannibalism and adequate
feeding strategies can be largely predicted in a particular fish species if the
morphological, behavioural and bioenergetics bases of cannibalism are examined altogether
in an ontogenetic perspective.
Guidelines concerning early stage breast cancer do not clearly recommend tumour bed boost dose after breast conserving surgery and irradiation when the resection margins are negative. Because the number of these patients is expected to increase, we evaluated the results of our treatment scheme in which the additional tumour bed dose was omitted. One hundred consecutive individuals with ductal carcinoma in-situ or stage I or II cancer of the breast were identified for this retrospective analysis. The observed ipsilateral breast tumour recurrence and 10-year disease-free survival rates were 4% and 91% respectively. Univariate analysis indicated that triple receptor negative tumour is the most independent prognostic risk factor. In conclusion, the observed low rate of local recurrence and many long-term survivors in this study seem to legitimize the omission of the tumour bed boost dose after whole breast irradiation in women with early carcinoma of the breast and free breast conserving surgical margins.
We are presently using the Chandra X-ray Observatory to conduct the first systematic X-ray survey of planetary nebulae (PNe) in the solar neighborhood. The Chandra Planetary Nebula Survey (ChanPlaNS) is a 570 ks Chandra Cycle 12 Large Program targeting 21 high-excitation PNe within ~1.5 kpc of Earth. When complete, this survey will provide a suite of new X-ray diagnostics that will inform the study of late stellar evolution, binary star astrophysics, and wind interactions. Among the early results of ChanPlaNS (when combined with archival Chandra data) is a surprisingly high detection rate of relatively hard X-ray emission from CSPNe. Specifically, X-ray point sources are clearly detected in roughly half of the ~30 high-excitation PNe observed thus far by Chandra, and all but one of these X-ray-emitting CSPNe display evidence for a hard (few MK) component in their Chandra spectra. Only the central star of the Dumbbell appears to display “pure” hot blackbody emission from a ~200 kK hot white dwarf photosphere in the X-ray band. Potential explanations for the“excess” hard X-ray emission detected from the other CSPNe include late-type companions (heretofore undetected, in most cases) whose coronae have been rejuvenated by recent interactions with the mass-losing WD progenitor, non-LTE effects in hot white dwarf photospheres, self-shocking variable winds from the central star, and slow (re-)accretion of previously ejected red giant envelope mass.
An amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photoconductor array with two distinct integrated amorphous silicon carbon alloy (a-SiC:H) high pass filters is used to detect two of the cell intrinsic fluorophores. The cutoff wavelength of the filters is tuned by the carbon content in the film. The fluorophores of interest – reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are indicative of the redox state of the cells. Concentrations down to 1 μM for NADH and 50 μM for FAD were detected.
In this work, we present a reliability and stability study of doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (n+-a-Si:H) thin-film silicon MEMS resonators. The n+-a-Si:H structural material was deposited using radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RF-PECVD) and processed using surface micromachining at a maximum deposition temperature of 110 ºC. n+-a-Si:H resonant bridges can withstand the industry standard of 1011 cycles at high load with no structural damage. Tests performed up to 3x1011 cycles showed a negligible level of degradation in Q during the entire cycling period which in addition shows the high stability of the resonator. In measurements both in vacuum and in air a resonance frequency shift which is proportional to the number of cycles is established. This shift is between 0.1 and 0.4%/1x1011 cycles depending on the applied VDC. When following the resonance frequency in vacuum during cyclic loading, desorption of air molecules from the resonator surface is responsible for an initial higher resonance frequency shift before the linear dependence is established.
The fabrication and characterization of thin-film silicon bulk resonators processed on glass substrates is described. The microelectromechanical (MEMS) structures consist of surface micromachined disk resonators of phosphorous-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (n+-a-Si:H) deposited by radiofrequency plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (RF-PECVD). The devices are driven into resonance by electrostatic actuation and the vibrational displacement is detected optically. Resonance frequencies up to 30 MHz and quality factors in the 103-104 range in vacuum were measured. A high density of modes that increases with resonator diameter was observed. Membrane-like vibrational modes show good agreement with finite element simulations. The effect of geometrical dimensions of the disks on the resonance frequency was also studied. When operated in air higher harmonic modes show increasing quality factors.
Immunoassays are currently the main analytical technique for quantification of a wide range of analytes of clinical, medical, biotechnological, and environmental significance with high sensitivity and specificity. Miniaturization of immunoassays is achieved using microfluidics coupled with integrated optical detection of the antibody-antigen molecular recognition reaction using thin-film amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photodiodes. The detection system used consists of an a-Si:H photodiode aligned with a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel. An enzymatic reaction taking place in the microchannel yields a product which is a light-absorbent molecule and hence can be optically detected by the integrated photodiode. Specific antigen-antibody reaction was detected and distinguished from the non-specific reaction.
This paper presents the fluorescence detection of DNA hybridization with a surface immobilized probe using an hydrogenated amorphous silicon photosensor. This sensor integrates a SiO2 layer for DNA probe immobilization, a p-i-n amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photodiode for fluorescence detection and a fluorescence filter of amorphous silicon carbon (a-SiC:H) to cut the excitation light. With this integrated photosensor system, a five order of magnitude difference was obtained in the signal measured at the emission wavelength and that measured at the excitation wavelength for the same incident photon flux. The fluorophore Alexa Fluor 430 was used to label the DNA target molecules and a laser at 405 nm and a photon flux of 5.7×1016 cm−2.s−1 was used as the excitation light source. The detection limit achieved for fluorophores in solution in contact with the device and for fluorophores immobilized on the device surface is 5×10−9 M and 0.4 pmol/cm2, respectively. The fluorescence detection of the DNA target hybridization with a covalently or electrostatically immobilized probe was successfully detected at a surface density of ∼3 pmol/cm2.
The on-chip application of single, sub-ms voltage pulses promotes the immobilization of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) probes from a solution to a chemically functionalized SiO2 surface and as well as the hybridization between ssDNA targets from a solution to covalently immobilized ssDNA probes (E-assisted DNA reactions). Compared to diffusion-based surface reactions (in the absence of the applied electric field), an improvement of several orders of magnitude in the kinetics of the immobilization and hybridization reactions is observed with low amplitude (below 2 V) and short duration (100 ns to 1 ms) voltage pulses. E-assisted DNA reactions are demonstrated using mm-size macroelectrodes and then optimized using μm-size microelectrodes.
We present the design of two biointerfaces on a SiO2 substrate for single stranded DNA (ssDNA) immobilization using either covalent grafting or electrostatic adsorption. The influence of the type of biointerface on the rate of diffusion-limited hybridization reaction with complementary ssDNA from a solution is studied. Patterning of the biointerfacefunctionalization layers and the scaling down of the reaction volumes to µL range is demonstrated. The use of externally applied electric field pulses is shown to accelerate the hybridization reaction kinetics to the sub-ms time scale.
Recent efforts to advance photoluminescence (PL)-based oxygen sensors have focused on developing compact, field-deployable devices. This has led to organic light emitting device (OLED)-based sensors with a structurally integrated [OLED excitation source]/[sensing film] module. To additionally integrate a photodetector (PD), PECVD for fabrication of thin-film p-i-n and n-i-p Si- and Si,Ge-based PDs was employed. O2 concentrations are advantageously determined by monitoring the effect of O2 on shortening the PL decay time of an oxygen-sensitive dye, rather than on quenching its PL intensity. This approach, which employs pulsed OLEDs, eliminates the need for frequent sensor calibration, minimizes issues associated with background light, and eliminates the need for optical filters, which lead to bulkier sensors. However, it requires PDs with response times significantly shorter than . Therefore, the development of thin-film PDs focused on decreasing their response time, and understanding the factors affecting it. In this paper we show that boron diffusion during growth from the p+ to the i layer increases the response time of PECVD grown p-i-n PDs. Incorporating a SiC buffer layer and fabricating superstrate structures, where the p+ layer is grown last, decrease it. Additionally, ECR fabricated PDs show a slower response in comparison to VHF PECVD-grown PDs.
The grain size of thermally crystallized a-Si films is controlled by the nucleation, rN, and growth, rG, rates according to the standard Avrami's theory. Despite this evidence, most papers devoted to improve the crystallized grain size analyze their results with a qualitative reference to this theory. In this paper, we will show that one can identify the standard set of rN and rG values for a-Si and that experiments show that deviations from this standard values always result in a smaller grain size. It is also shown that one cannot expect any substantial improvement with non-conventional heat treatments. Finally, it is argued that a larger grain size is expected from a-Si films containing, in their as-grown state, a controlled density of embedded nanocrystals.