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Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Piglets are characteristically cold intolerant and thus susceptible to high mortality. However, browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) can induce non-shivering thermogenesis as a potential strategy to facilitate the animal’s response to cold. Whether cold exposure can induce browning of subcutaneous WAT (sWAT) in piglets in a similar manner as it can in humans remains largely unknown. In this study, piglets were exposed to acute cold (4°C, 10 h) or chronic cold exposure (8°C, 15 days), and the genes and proteins of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent and independent thermogenesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, lipogenic and lipolytic processes were analysed. Interestingly, acute cold exposure induced browning of porcine sWAT, smaller adipocytes and the upregulated expression of UCP1, PGC1α, PGC1β, C/EBPβ, Cidea, UCP3, CKMT1 and PM20D1. Conversely, chronic cold exposure impaired the browning process, reduced mitochondrial numbers and the expression of browning markers, including UCP1, PGC1α and PRDM16. The present study demonstrated that acute cold exposure (but not chronic cold exposure) induces porcine sWAT browning. Thus, browning of porcine sWAT could be a novel strategy to balance the body temperature of piglets, and thus could be protective against cold exposure.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
GLOBALink, a large online network of tobacco control professionals, was active in the promotion of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty, an international treaty aimed at reducing the global burden of tobacco-related death and disease. We examined and compared the roles that different countries served in the GLOBALink community during FCTC negotiation and ratification. Previous studies of FCTC ratification found the process adhered to a diffusion of innovation model (Valente et al., 2015). We followed that work by conducting content analyses of discussion messages posted by GLOBALink members representing different countries. Based on the time when they ratified the FCTC, each country was labeled by one of the four adoption stages of the diffusion model and we investigated the amount of shared word use between the different stages. A goodness-of-fit chi-squared test indicated that content was not shared in an expected manner between stages (χ2 = 11,856.45, N = 51,447, p < 0.001). A deeper look at the specific words shared between countries within and between adoption stages provided insight into how interactions between certain countries might have served to support the ratification process.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The morbidity and mortality in adults with single ventricular hearts who have undergone Fontan palliation is poorly defined. These patients have a high burden of arrhythmia, heart failure, and re-operation. We hypothesized that age and type of Fontan predict occurrence of arrhythmia. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 205 patients aged 18 years who had undergone a Fontan procedure were identified. Those with incomplete data were excluded. Demographic, anatomic, pharmacologic, imaging, hemodynamic, and electrophysiologic data were collected. The χ2 and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to test significance defined as p<0.05. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Of the 205 patients identified, 59 had been lost to follow-up. Of the 146 patients (77, 53% female) actively followed 18 (12%) had died at a median (IQR) age of 27 (21–34.3); in patients alive as of 10/2016 the median age was 26 years (22–34). Fontan types were lateral tunnel (LT) (n=79, 54.1%), extracardiac (EC) (n=32, 22%), right atrial to pulmonary artery (RV-PA) (n=28, 19%), and Fontan with Bjork modification (n=4, 2.7%). Systemic left ventricle (n=96, 66%) was more common than systemic right ventricle (n=43, 30%). Of the 146 patients, 101 (69%) had significant morbidity or mortality: 86 (59%) were diagnosed with arrhythmia, 18 (12%) died, and 11 (8%) underwent heart transplants. Frequent procedures included: Fontan revisions/cryoablation in 28 (19%), electrophysiology studies with ablation in 73 (50%), and pacemakers in 53 (36%). Of the arrhythmia diagnoses, 57 (64%) were atrial tachyarrhythmias. RV-PA Fontan procedures were associated with significantly more atrial arrhythmia than all other Fontan types (70% vs. 30%; p<0.01). There was no statistical difference in occurrence of atrial arrhythmia in adults with LT Versus EC Fontans (p=0.3). While patients who had undergone RV-PA and Bjork Fontans were older with median age 34 years, there was no significant difference in age between LT and EC (median 24.0 and 24.5). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Adult survivors of the Fontan procedure suffer from significant morbidity and mortality. The single most prevalent morbidity is atrial arrhythmia. We conclude that RV-PA Fontans, now obsolete, have the highest prevalence of arrhythmia and that there is no difference in arrhythmia burden between LT and EC Fontans. Given the high prevalence of morbidity and mortality in this population, it is imperative that they be followed by cardiologists with expertise in congenital heart disease.
The increasing demands on renewable energy nowadays caused the development of marine current turbine industry. In order to improve the current design of marine current turbines, studies were conducted to analyse their hydrodynamic performances during operation. Since most of the time marine current turbines operate in arrays, it is important to understand the interactions between the turbines in order to design the optimum turbine farm. OpenFOAM® was used to simulate the turbine interactions of conventional and biomimetic marine current turbines in tandem configuration. The conventional marine current turbines were referred to Pinon et al. (2012) and Mycek et al. (2013) while the biomimetic marine current turbine was adopted from Chu (2016). The numerical simulations were conducted with turbines in different inter-device distances, A/D. The percentage differences of ‘‘efficiency’’, η between the IFREMER-LOMC and the biomimetic turbine case of inter-device distances, A/D = 4, 6, 8 and 10 are 14.3%, 6.4%, 3% and 1.92% respectively. The results show that the power produced by the biomimetic turbines in tandem is comparable with the IFREMER-LOMC turbines when A/D > 4. The biomimetic marine current turbines can be a fair choice due to their potential to have alternative fabrication method of their sheet-like turbine blades.
Medical technology offers enormous potential for scalable medicine—to improve the quality and access in health care while simultaneously reducing cost. However, current medical device innovation within companies often only offers incremental advances on existing products, or originates from engineers with limited knowledge of the clinical complexities. We describe how the Hacking Medicine Initiative, based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an innovative “healthcare hackathon” approach, bringing diverse teams together to rapidly validate clinical needs and develop solutions. Hackathons are based on three core principles; emphasis on a problem-based approach, cross-pollination of disciplines, and “pivoting” on or rapidly iterating on ideas. Hackathons also offer enormous potential for innovation in global health by focusing on local needs and resources as well as addressing feasibility and cultural contextualization. Although relatively new, the success of this approach is clear, as evidenced by the development of successful startup companies, pioneering product design, and the incorporation of creative people from outside traditional life science backgrounds who are working with clinicians and other scientists to create transformative innovation in health care.
We present a high precision frequency determination method for digitized NMR FID signals. The method employs high precision numerical integration rather than simple summation as in many other techniques. With no independent knowledge of the other parameters of a NMR FID signal (phase ф, amplitude A, and transverse relaxation time T2) this method can determine the signal frequency f0 with a precision of if the observation time T ≫ T2. The method is especially convenient when the detailed shape of the observed FT NMR spectrum is not well defined. When T2 is +∞ and the signal becomes pure sinusoidal, the precision of the method is which is one order more precise than the ±1 count error induced precision of a typical frequency counter. Analysis of this method shows that the integration reduces the noise by bandwidth narrowing as in a lock-in amplifier, and no extra signal filters are needed. For a pure sinusoidal signal we find from numerical simulations that the noise-induced error in this method reaches the Cramer-Rao Lower Band (CRLB) on frequency determination. For the damped sinusoidal case of most interest, the noise-induced error is found to be within a factor of 2 of CRLB when the measurement time T is 2 or 3 times larger than T2. We discuss possible improvements for the precision of this method.
We examined the spatial distribution pattern and meteorological drivers of dengue fever (DF) in Guangdong Province, China. Annual incidence of DF was calculated for each county between 2005 and 2011 and the geographical distribution pattern of DF was examined using Moran's I statistic and excess risk maps. A time-stratified case-crossover study was used to investigate the short-term relationship between DF and meteorological factors and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). High-epidemic DF areas were restricted to the Pearl River Delta region and the Han River Delta region, Moran's I of DF distribution was significant from 2005 to 2006 and from 2009 to 2011. Daily vapour pressure, mean and minimum temperatures were associated with increased DF risk. Maximum temperature and SOI were negatively associated with DF transmission. The risk of DF was non-randomly distributed in the counties in Guangdong Province. Meteorological factors could be important predictors of DF transmission.
The Night Sky Monitoring Network is a project that aims to study the extent, distribution, and properties of the light pollution condition in the populous metropolis of Hong Kong. Continuous measurements of the Night Sky Brightness (NSB) at strategically chosen locations that cover a wide range of population density and land usage were made, with over 2.5 million NSB readings collected in 18 months up to June 2012. Results from the project are presented, with focus on the contrast between the urban and rural night sky profiles, and light pollution contributions from artificial lightings. This project is supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund of the Hong Kong SAR government (ECF 10/2009, ECF 1/2007).
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.
We survey HII free-free emission around ∼60 spectroscopically confirmed young stellar objects (YSOs) in the Large Magellanic Cloud using the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at 3.3 and 5.5 cm. From each YSOs' infrared spectrum, we: a) quantify how embedded/evolved the YSO is through principle component analysis (PCA) of the silicate absorption (Seale et al. 2009); and b) estimate the mass from SED models (Robitaille et al. 2007). We have four main results: (1) Based on mass estimates from SED models and ATCA detection limits, we find that most massive YSOs are in HII regions regardless of age; (2) Older massive YSOs (as indicated by silicate PCA index) are much more likely to be resolved than younger YSOs, indicating evolving HII regions; (3) Resolved (typically older) sources usually have lower densities. Thus, in our survey we see a transition from ultra-compact HII to HII regions; and (4) We find that accretion about the massive YSO is likely non-spherical, resulting in HII regions in the shape of prolate spheroids.
Past environmental changes based on diatom relative abundances have been inferred from the maar Lake Erlongwan in northeast China. The limnology of Lake Erlongwan is affected by the strongly seasonal regional climate. The composition of diatom assemblages, in turn, responds to changes in the seasonal duration of ice cover in winter, water-column turnover in spring and autumn, and thermal stratification in summer. Statistical analysis of the sedimentary diatom assemblages reveals three significant stratigraphic zones over the past 1000 yr. The highest abundance of the planktonic species Discostella species occurs between AD 1050 and 1400 and suggests an annual ice-free period of long duration and well-developed summer stratification of the water column. This planktonic diatom peak between ca. AD 1150 and 1200 suggests that this period was the warmest over the past 1000 yr. The interval between AD 1400 and 1800 is marked by a decline in planktonic diatoms and suggests shorter duration of the ice-free season, weaker water stratification and possibly generally cold conditions. After AD 1800 relative abundances of planktonic diatoms, including Puncticulata praetermissa and Asterionella formosa, increase again, which indicates lengthening of the duration of the annual ice-free period and a stronger overturn of the water column. All these data imply that the pattern of the seasons is different between the MWP and the 20th century.
Motivated by recent experimental observations, we consider a steady-state boundary layer flow with polymers in forced convection above a heated plate and study how the heat transport might be affected by the polymers. We discuss how a set of equations can be derived for the problem and how these equations can be solved numerically by an iterative scheme. By carrying out such a scheme, we find that the effect of the polymers is equivalent to producing a space-dependent effective viscosity that first increases from the zero-shear value at the plate then decreases rapidly back to the zero-shear value far from the plate. We further show that such an effective viscosity leads to a decrease in the streamwise velocity near the plate, which in turn leads to a reduction in heat transport.
Previous studies have suggested that Lingzhi (Ganoderma lucidum) has antioxidant effects and possibly beneficial effects on blood pressure, plasma lipids and glucose, but these have not been confirmed in subjects with mild hypertension or hyperlipidaemia. The objective of the present study was to assess the cardiovascular, metabolic, antioxidant and immunomodulatory responses to therapy with Lingzhi in patients with borderline elevations of blood pressure and/or cholesterol in a controlled cross-over trial. A total of twenty-six patients received 1·44 g Lingzhi daily or matching placebo for 12 weeks in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over study with placebo-controlled run-in and cross-over periods. Body weight, blood pressure, metabolic parameters, urine catecholamines and cortisol, antioxidant status and lymphocyte subsets were measured after each period. Lingzhi was well tolerated and data from twenty-three evaluable subjects showed no changes in BMI or blood pressure when treated with Lingzhi or placebo. Plasma insulin and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were lower after treatment with Lingzhi than after placebo. TAG decreased and HDL-cholesterol increased with Lingzhi but not with placebo in the first treatment period, but significant carry-over effects prevented complete analysis of these parameters. Urine catecholamines and cortisol, plasma antioxidant status and blood lymphocyte subsets showed no significant differences across treatments. Results indicate that Lingzhi might have mild antidiabetic effects and potentially improve the dyslipidaemia of diabetes, as shown previously in some animal studies. Further studies are desirable in patients with hyperglycaemia.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.