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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
To investigate the reciprocal relationship between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms from childhood to adolescence.
Unhealthy eating behaviours were measured by the frequencies of eating foods with excess salt, sugar or fat in the past week. Depressive symptoms in the past two weeks were measured using a seven-item scale. Hierarchical linear growth models were used to analyse longitudinal associations between unhealthy eating behaviours and depressive symptoms. Time-fixed variables (sex, parents’ education level and household monthly income) and time-varying variables (parents’ marital status, family activities, body weight, vegetable or fruit consumption, exercising and smoking) were controlled for.
The Child and Adolescent Behaviors in Long-Term Evolution study, which commenced in 2001 and has annual follow-up.
Students (n 2630) followed from 2nd grade (8 years old in 2002) to 11th grade.
The frequency of unhealthy eating behaviours in the previous year and the difference between the frequency in the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initiation and growth rate of depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms in the previous year and the difference in depressive symptoms between the previous and successive year were positively associated with the initial state and growth rate of unhealthy eating behaviours.
Our results suggest a reciprocal relationship between depressive symptoms and unhealthy eating behaviours. This relationship should be considered when developing programmes targeting depressive symptoms and unhealthy diet in children and adolescents.
Optical control is a reversible and convenient technology, able to be measured in real-time, which makes it excellent for application to microfluidic, biomechanical, and electro-mechanical devices. These advantages are especially attractive for photo-responsive materials. In this study, we developed a new photo-responsive, electrostrictive material from a composite material made by mixing a dielectric polymer P(VDF-TrFE-CFE) and an organic photoconductive material TiOPc. The photo-responsibility of the material has been validated by corresponding actuators. We found that under white light illumination, deformation will increase which can be attributed to a decrease in the TiOPc impedance. We identified that the optimal TiOPc concentration for actuator applications is 10% P(VDF-TrFE-CFE)/TiOPc. Moreover, controlling the fluid flow within the capillary tube through light illumination also validated the photo-responsive actuator. Our results show that the mechanism and the photo-responsive material can be used to pursue further study on light controlling microfluidic, and related electro-mechanical devices.
Asians and Pacific Islanders have higher circulating serum ferritin (SF) compared with Caucasians but the clinical significance of this is unclear. There is a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Taiwanese Indigenous than Han Chinese. Genetically, Indigenous are related to Austronesians and account for 2 % of Taiwan's population. We tested the hypothesis that accumulation of Fe in the body contributes to the ethnic/racial disparities in MetS in Taiwan.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and Penghu Island.
A total of 2638 healthy adults aged ≥19 years. Three ethnic groups were included.
Han Chinese and Indigenous people had comparable levels of SF. Austronesia origin was independently associated with MetS (OR = 2·61, 95 % CI 2·02, 3·36). After multiple adjustments, the odds for MetS (OR = 2·49, 95 % CI 1·15, 5·28) was significantly higher among Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Hakka and Penghu Islanders yielded the lowest risks (OR = 1·08, 95 % CI 0·44, 2·65 and OR = 1·21, 95 % CI 0·52, 2·78, respectively). Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile had increased risk for abnormal levels of fasting glucose (OR = 2·34, 95 % CI 1·27, 4·29), TAG (OR = 1·94, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·39) and HDL-cholesterol (OR = 2·10, 95 % CI 1·18, 3·73) than those in the lowest SF tertile.
Our results raise the possibility that ethnic/racial differences in body Fe store susceptibility may contribute to racial and geographic disparities in MetS.
Background: Executive dysfunction is not uncommon in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). This study aimed to investigate the applicability of executive function tests (EFTs) in aMCI as an aid in establishing the diagnosis of multi-domain MCI.
Methods: One hundred and twenty (120) aMCI patients, 126 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, and 100 normal controls were enrolled. The EFTs evaluated included the trail making test, digit backward span, Stroop color–word test, and design fluency and category fluency tests.
Results: Of the aMCI participants, 66% exhibited impairment in at least one EFT. Among the five selected EFTs, the category fluency test was the most discriminative in detecting executive dysfunction between patients with aMCI (standardized β = 0.264) or AD (standardized β = 0.361) with the controls, followed by the Stroop test. The performance of aMCI patients with two or more impaired EFTs was significantly different from those of controls but not from those of AD patients.
Conclusion: In the clinical setting, aMCI patients who fail in two or more EFTs may represent a unique population with multi-domain MCI that require close follow-up.
Based on a scanning electron microscope operated at 30 kV with a homemade specimen holder and a multiangle solid-state detector behind the sample, low-kV scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) is presented with subsequent electron tomography for three-dimensional (3D) volume structure. Because of the low acceleration voltage, the stronger electron-atom scattering leads to a stronger contrast in the resulting image than standard TEM, especially for light elements. Furthermore, the low-kV STEM yields less radiation damage to the specimen, hence the structure can be preserved. In this work, two-dimensional STEM images of a 1-μm-thick cell section with projection angles between ±50° were collected, and the 3D volume structure was reconstructed using the simultaneous iterative reconstructive technique algorithm with the TomoJ plugin for ImageJ, which are both public domain software. Furthermore, the cross-sectional structure was obtained with the Volume Viewer plugin in ImageJ. Although the tilting angle is constrained and limits the resulting structural resolution, slicing the reconstructed volume generated the depth profile of the thick specimen with sufficient resolution to examine cellular uptake of Au nanoparticles, and the final position of these nanoparticles inside the cell was imaged.
Polyaniline nanofiber (PANF) was synthesized using interfacial polymerization and was mixed with aqueous solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to form PANF–PVA binaries. The PANF suspension in water could be stabilized by PVA for more than 3 months due to the hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA. The specific characteristics of PANF–PVA films was checked by scanning electron microscopy, conductivity measurement, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. The composite film contained 25 wt% PVA (PANF–PVA25) casting at 105 °C was found to have a porous structure and good conductivity. The presence of hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA improves the electroactivity and electroactive stability of PANF–PVA25 for electrochemical applications. However, an ether linkage between PANF and PVA polymer chain was also found as casting the PANF–PVA film at 200 °C, which is unfavorable for electrochemical applications.
Episodic memory tasks are one of the most sensitive tools to discriminate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aimed to validate a shorter version verbal memory test that will efficiently assess Chinese elderly with memory complaints. One hundred and eighty-five elderly with normal cognition (NC) and 217 AD patients were evaluated. Each participant received the Chinese Version Verbal Learning Test (CVVLT) consisting of 9 two-character nouns with 4 learning trials, 2 delayed recalls in 30 seconds and 10 minutes, and a word recognition test. In the NC elderly, age and sex had significant effects on recall scores in CVVLT, while education level showed an inverse correlation with 3 different patterns of errors made during the learning, recall, and recognition trials. AD patients had lower scores across all recall tests. In those with lower educational level, NC elderly had higher perseveration errors than AD patients. The cutoff value between the AD and NC groups in the 10-minute recall was 4/5 for those aged >75 years and 5/6 for those aged <75 years. This study has good validity in discriminating AD participants and the data here can help in diagnosing AD and mild cognitive impairment using the CVVLT. (JINS, 2010, 16, 244–251.)
Ni–7 wt% V diffusion barrier is commonly used in flip chip technology, and Sn is the primary element of all commercial electronic solders. Different from the interfacial reactions in the Sn/Ni couples, a ternary T phase is formed in the Sn/Ni–7 wt% V couples reacted at temperatures lower than 350 °C. The T phase is a mixture of an amorphous phase and the Ni3Sn4 phase with grains about 50 nm in size. The amorphous phase is composed mainly of Sn and V atoms, and it is formed due to the fast diffusion of Sn and relative immobility of V. Activation energy of the T phase formation is 16.5 kJ/mol, which is approximately 50% of that of the Ni3Sn4 phase determined from the Sn/Ni interfacial reactions. The T phase is no longer formed and the reaction product is the Ni3Sn4 phase in the Sn/Ni–7 wt% V couples reacted at temperatures higher than 350 °C.
Sn–0.7 wt% Cu alloy is an important Pb-free solder, and Ni–7 wt% V is the major diffusion barrier layer material of flip chip technology. Reactions at the Sn–0.7 wt% Cu/Ni–7 wt% V interface are examined at 160, 180, and 210 °C. Only the Cu6Sn5 phase is formed in the Sn–0.7 wt% Cu/Ni–7 wt% V couple reacted at 160 and 180 °C; however, in addition to the Cu6Sn5 and Ni3Sn4 phases, a quaternary Q phase is formed in the Sn–0.7 wt% Cu/Ni–7 wt% V couple reacted at 210 °C. The Q phase is a mixture of nanocrystalline Ni3Sn4 phase and an amorphous phase. With longer reaction time at 210 °C in the Ni–V/Q/Sn–Cu couple where the Q phase is in direct contact with solder, the Ni3Sn4 phase nucleates inside the preformed Q phase, and the alternating layer phenomenon Ni–V/Q/Ni3Sn4/Q/Ni3Sn4/Cu6Sn5/Sn–Cu is observed. The interesting solid state amorphization and alternating layer phenomena at 210 °C are primarily caused by the fact that Sn and Cu are fast diffusing species, while V is relatively immobile.
To investigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance on clinical and economic outcomes among hospitalized patients with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia.
A retrospective, matched-cohort study.
A tertiary care university teaching hospital
A matched case-control (1:1) study was conducted to compare the differences in clinical and economic outcomes of patients with MDR A. baumannii bacteremia and patients with non-MDR A. baumannii bacteremia. Case patients were matched to control patients on the basis of sex, age, severity of underlying and acute illness, and length of hospital stay before onset of bacteremia.
Forty-six (95.8%) of 48 cases with MDR A. baumannii bacteremia were eligible for the study and matched with appropriate controls. The sepsis-related mortality rate was 34.8% among cases and 13.0% among controls, for an attributable mortality rate of 21.8% (adjusted odds ratio, 4.1 [95% confidence interval, 1.1-15.7]; P = .036). After the onset of bacteremia, cases and controls had a significantly different length of hospital stay (54.2 vs 34.1 days; P = .006), hospitalization cost (US$9,349 vs US$4,865; P = .001 ), and antibiotic therapy cost (US$2,257 vs US$1,610; P = .014). Thus, bacteremia due to MDR A. baumannii resulted in 13.4 days of additional hospitalization and US$3,758 of additional costs, compared with bacteremia due to non-MDR A. baumannii.
Patients with MDR A. baumannii bacteremia had a higher mortality rate and incurred greater medical costs than patients with non-MDR A. baumannii bacteremia.
The microstructure and composition of aluminum oxide films, formed by a two-step anodization process in various electrolytes at 100 V then subject to an intermediate heat treatment (500 °C, 2 min), were investigated. The anodization electrolytes used included ammonium adipate electrolyte, phosphoric acid electrolyte, ammonium dihydrogen phosphate electrolyte, and their mixtures. The cross-section morphologies, crystal structure, and chemical composition of aluminum anodic oxides were examined by transmission electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was carried out to study the surface chemical state of the anodic films. The corresponding capacitances and retention voltages of these oxide films were also explored. The results indicated that amorphous-to-crystalline transformation of the oxide, primarily in films formed in ammonium adipate electrolyte, was induced by the heat treatment. Electron diffraction analyses further revealed the oxide films consisted of two distinct zones, which included an inner amorphous layer and an outer layer containing crystalline γ′-Al2O3. This study found that the phosphorous species in either the primary or the re-anodization electrolytes had a potential to cause changes of Al and O distributions within the oxides. The oxide film primarily anodized in ammonium adipate and re-anodized in phosphoric acid had the highest capacitance due to its high degree of crystallinity and thinness compared to oxides formed in other electrolytes. The presence of phosphorus, from the primary anodization electrolytes, in the oxides could inhibit the formation of crystalline γ′-Al2O3 and, consequently, decrease the capacitances of the anodic films. At the same time, the retention voltage and hydration resistance of these oxide films were improved.
Described is a method for preparing crystalline silver nanorods in water, in the absence of a surfactant or polymer to direct nanoparticle growth, and without externally added seed crystallites. The procedure used is one in which a silver salt is reduced to silver metal by sodium citrate under the influence of microwave irradiation. Key aspects for the production of these nanorods are the use of a closed-chamber microwave heating system that allows precise temperature control and judicious choice of the citrate concentration. This novel finding demonstrates the utility of microwave-assisted synthesis and provides a promising method for the preparation of silver nanorods.
Carcinoma of the stomach is one of the most prevalent cancer types in the world today. Only a limited number of biomarkers are available for detection and prognostic evaluation of gastric cancer. New advances in identifying molecular biomarkers are essential. Two major forms of gastric cancer are distinguished according to their morphological and clinicopathological classifications (well-differentiated/intestinal type and poorly differentiated/diffuse type) – characteristics that can also be attributed to different oncogene activations. Many genes related to cell cycle regulation and signal transduction have been implicated in gastric cancer progression. In particular, there is convincing evidence that protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) are involved in oncogenesis and disease progression. To learn more about the biological significance of all expressed PTKs in human cancers, an improved and more-comprehensive PTK profiling approach has been developed to discover additional PTKs activated in cancer cells. With the completion of the human genome project and the availability of cDNA microarrays or DNA chips, the entire human transcriptome can be used for elucidating genes responsible for human gastric cancer oncogenesis and progression.
This study examined NADPH-d and nNOS expression in the SCG of hamsters. By light microscopy,
numerous NADPH-d/NOS positive processes were widely distributed in the ganglion. Ultrastructurally, the
NADPH-d reaction product was associated with the membranous organelles of neuronal soma, dendrites,
myelinated fibres, small granular cells, and axon profiles bearing agranular vesicles. The NOS
immunoreaction product, on the other hand, was localised in the cytoplasm of principal neurons and
dendrites. Some of the NADPH-d/NOS labelled processes formed junctional contacts including synapses or
zonulae adherentia. Compared with the neurons, the nonneuronal cells in the ganglion, namely,
macrophages, satellite cells and endothelial cells were labelled by NADPH-d but devoid of nNOS
immunoreaction product. The results suggest that the NADPH-d/NOS positive fibres in the SCG originate
not only from the projecting fibres of the lateral horns of thoracic spinal cord, but also from the principal
neurons and small granular cells; some may represent visceral afferent fibres. Electron microscopic
morphometry has shown that about 67% of the principal neurons contain NADPH-d reaction product, and
that the majority were small to medium sized neurons based on cross-sectional areas in image analysis. On
the basis of the present morphological study, it is concluded NO is produced by some local neurons and
possibly some nonneuronal cells in the SCG as well as some fibres of extrinsic origin. In this connection,
NO may serve either as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator.
Head-on collision of two coaxial vortex rings has been studied by joint experimental and numerical investigation. The Reynolds number, ReΓ, based on the initial circulation of the vortex rings, ranged from 400 to 2700. Besides numerical data, the vorticity field was also resolved by a non-intrusive visualization technique, LIPA, which enabled simultaneous measurement of velocities at multiple locations on a plane area. It was found that the enstrophy, rather than circulation, revealed three stages of evolution of the vortex rings prior to their breakdown. These include the free-travelling stage, stage of vortex stretching and the stage of viscous dissipation dominance. The results indicate that it would be incorrect to neglect the viscous effect, in particular, for the latter two stages of flow development. In fact, the rebound behaviour of the vortex rings for lower ReΓ is essentially a viscous phenomenon and is found to be closely related to the dissipation of enstrophy when the vortex rings are brought to interact actively with each other and is also related to the increase of the vorticity core diameter in the stage of dominance of viscous dissipation. Furthermore, an instant dimensionless group, Nt/ReΓ, based on the local vorticity distribution and the radius of a vortex ring, is found to be appropriate to characterize the onset of instability. Our investigation indicates that, in the range of observation, bulging instability will be observed during collision when Nt/ReΓ exceeds a critical value, (Nt/ReΓ)cr, which is a function of the initial core-size of the vortex ring. Comparisons showed that the numerical, measured, and visualization results were in consistent agreement; this not only enables us to assess the range of validity of the axisymmetry assumed for the numerical simulation, but also provides us with a rational basis for further analysis of azimuthal instability.
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