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Neuroprotective effects of lithium have been well documented in tissue cultures and animal models. The evidence for lithium related neuroprotection in human subjects is limited and inconsistent, likely due to methodological heterogeneity.
To investigate the effects of lithium on brain chemistry and structure, we recruited bipolar patients selected for substantial illness burden and varied the exposure to lithium by using strict inclusion criteria.
We obtained 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging data from 27 bipolar patients with at least 2 years of ongoing lithium treatment (Li group), 16 subjects with < 3 months lifetime exposure to lithium >2 years ago (non-Li group) and 21 healthy controls. Patient groups had to have at least 10 years of illness and 5 episodes.
The non-Li group had significantly lower hippocampal volumes (t = 4.68,corrected p < 0.05) and prefrontal cortex N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) levels (t = −2.91,corrected p < 0.05) than controls, who showed comparable hippocampal volumes and NAA levels to the Li treated subjects. Duration of illness was negatively associated with NAA levels only in the non-Li, but not the Li group.
Among patients selected for substantial illness burden, only those with no or minimal lifetime Li exposure had significantly lower prefrontal NAA levels and hippocampal volumes than controls. Patients with at least 2 years of ongoing Li treatment showed no such changes, despite substantial burden of illness. These findings provide indirect support for neuroprotective effects of lithium and negative effects of illness burden on brain chemistry and structure in patients with bipolar disorders.
The frost susceptibility of Australian commercial cereal crops, in particular wheat and barley, has become an economically devastating issue for growers. The relative risk to frost damage of the currently available varieties is obtained through testing varieties in a series of field experiments at locations susceptible to frost events (FEs). The experimental design, measurement protocols and resultant data from these frost expression experiments (FEEs) are complex due to the unpredictability of the timing and severity of FEs, and the maturity of the plants at the time of the events. Design and protocol complexities include the use of multiple sowing dates and the recording of plant maturity. Data difficulties include a high degree of unbalance, and in the instance of multiple frosts in a FEE, there is a longitudinal aspect. A linear mixed model analysis was adopted to accommodate these characteristics of individual FEEs and the multi-environment trial analysis of 17 FEEs. Finally, an approach is demonstrated for dissemination of results that are of use to both growers and breeders.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects 14 to 20 million Americans and is associated with increased prevalence of affective disorders, contributing significantly to disability. This study compared cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group treatment for anxiety and depression with COPD education for COPD patients with moderate-to-severe anxiety and/or depressive symptoms.
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted between 11 July 2002 and 30 April 2005 at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX. Participants were 238 patients treated for COPD the year before, with forced expiratory value in 1 second (FEV)1/forced vital capacity (FVC)<70% and FEV1<70% predicted, and symptoms of moderate anxiety and/or moderate depression, who were being treated by a primary care provider or pulmonologist. Participants attended eight sessions of CBT or COPD education. Assessments were at baseline, at 4 and 8 weeks, and 4, 8 and 12 months. Primary outcomes were disease-specific and generic quality of life (QoL) [Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ) and Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36) respectively]. Secondary outcomes were anxiety [Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)], depressive symptoms [Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II)], 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) and use of health services.
Both treatments significantly improved QoL, anxiety and depression (p<0.005) over 8 weeks; the rate of change did not differ between groups. Improvements were maintained with no significant change during follow-up. Ratios of post- to pretreatment use of health services were equal to 1 for both groups.
CBT group treatment and COPD education can achieve sustainable improvements in QoL for COPD patients experiencing moderate-to-severe symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Increasing crop competitiveness using higher seeding rates is a possible technique for weed management in low input and organic farming systems or when herbicide resistance develops in weeds. A range of wheat seeding rates were sown and resulted in crop densities between 50–400 plants/m2 (current recommendations are 100–150 plants/m2) in the presence and absence of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.) in three wheat cultivars at nine experiments in southern Australia. Wheat densities of at least 200 plants/m2 were required to suppress L. rigidum and to a lesser extent increase crop yield across a wide range of environments (seasonal rainfall between 200–420 mm) and weed densities (50–450 L. rigidum plants/m2). Doubling crop density of all cultivars from 100 to 200 plants/m2 halved L. rigidum dry weight (averaged over all experiments) from 100 g/m2 to about 50 g/m2. Higher crop densities gave diminishing marginal reductions in weed biomass, while cultivar differences in weed suppression were small. Grain yields ranged from 0·5 t/ha to over 5 t/ha depending on site and season. Maximum yields in the weed-free plots (averaged over environments and cultivars) were at 200 crop plants/m2, and yield declined only slightly by 4–5% at densities up to 425 plants/m2. In the weedy plots grain yield continued to increase up to the highest density but at a slower rate. The percentage yield loss from weed competition was of a smaller magnitude than the suppression of L. rigidum by wheat. For example, 100 wheat plants/m2 led to an average 23% yield loss compared with 17% at 200 plants/m2, and the probability of reduced crop grain size and increased proportion of small seeds was negligible at these densities. Cultivar differences in yield loss from weed competition were small compared with differences due to crop density. Adoption of higher wheat seed rates as part of integrated weed management is now strongly promoted to farmers.
While electroluminescence has been demonstrated at terahertz frequencies from Si/SiGe quantum cascade emitters, to date no laser has been achieved due to poor vertical confinement of the optical mode. A method of increasing the vertical confinement of the optical mode for a Si/SiGe quantum cascade laser is demonstrated using silicon-on-silicide technology. Such technology is used with epitaxial growth to demonstrate a strain-symmetrised 600 period Si/SiGe quantum cascade interwell emission and the polarisation is used to demonstrate the optical confinement. Electroluminescence is demonstrated at ∼3 THz (∼100 μm) from an interwell quantum cascade emitter structure. Calculated model overlap and waveguide losses for ridge waveguides are comparable to values from GaAs quantum cascade lasers demonstrated at terahertz frequencies. The effects of high doping levels in Si/SiGe quantum cascade structures is also investigated with impurity emission demonstrated rather than intersubband emission for the highest doping levels used in the cascade active regions.
The interest in the phenomenon of islanding in a range of semiconductor systems is in part due to the fundamental importance of the Stranski-Krastanow transition but also driven by potential device applications of self-organized quantum dot arrays. However, the mechanism underlying the island formation is still to a significant degree unclear. In the present work, we focus on the epitaxial InGaAs / GaAs(001) system, with layer deposition by molecular beam epitaxy. Atomic force microscopy is used to measure the surface topography of nominally 4nm thick InxGa1-xAs films. It is shown that the growth mode switches abruptly from flat layer to island growth if a critical Indium composition of x(In)≍0.25 is reached. The structure of such layers during early stages of growth is examined using energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy. Indium gradients in the islanded layers are measured and the driving force for the islanding transition itself is considered.
SiGe/Si p-channel heteroepitaxial MOSFET test structures have been fabricated using solid-source molecular beam epitaxy. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and energy-loss filtered imaging have been used to quantitatively determine the nanoscale Ge distributions across the SiGe alloy channel. The Ge profile at the edges of the alloy channel were found to be asymmetrical due to the effect of Ge segregation, with an exponential-like distribution directed toward the surface. The results agree well with the predictions of segregation theory and indicate that the concentration of Ge in the extended distribution lay in the range 10%-1% over a distance of several nanometers from the body of the channel. Secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements upon the same samples were insensitive to this short range extended Ge distribution.
The latest transmission electron microscopes with field emission guns and imaging filters now provide much of the microanalysis and imaging necessary in applications such as ULSI device development. The installation and operating environment of the instruments are critical to their successful operation. Information from two such installations is presented here, one in a purpose built facility and the other in an existing building. Ground vibration, acoustic noise, stray electromagnetic fields, air flow and temperature variation are considered, and the measures implemented to achieve desirable levels of each parameter are discussed. The physical layout of an installation is also shown.
Atom size differences induce static displacements from an average alloy lattice and play an important role in controlling alloy phase stability and properties. The details of this role however, are difficult to study; chemical order and displacements are strongly interrelated and static displacements are hard to measure. Diffuse x-ray scattering measurements with tunable-synchrotron radiation can now measure element-specific static displacements with an accuracy of ± 0.1 pm and can simultaneously measure local chemical order out to 20 shells or more. Ideal alloys for diffuse scattering analysis with synchrotron radiation, are those that have previously been the most intractable: alloys with small Z contrast, alloys with only local order and alloys with small size differences. The combination of precise characterization of local chemical order and precise measurement of static displacement provides new information that challenges existing alloy models. We report on an ongoing systematic study of static displacements in the Fe/Ni/Cr alloys and compare the observed static displacements to the static displacements predicted by current theories. The availability of more brilliant 3rd generation hard x-ray sources will greatly enhance these measurements.
We present observations of the eclipsing binary V471 Tauri by the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) and the Very Large Array (VLA). The EUV spectrum is dominated by the continuum of the hot white dwarf and the time-averaged spectrum is fitted by a 33.1 ± 0.5 × 103 K pure hydrogen white dwarf atmosphere assuming log g = 8.5. An ISM hydrogen column density of 1.5 ± 0.4 × 1018 cm−2 is required to explain the attenuation of the white dwarf spectrum thus setting the HI column in the line of sight of the Hyades cluster. The He II λ304 Å line is in emission and varies over the orbital period of V471 Tauri following a sinusoidal modulation with the maximum reached when the K star is at inferior conjunction. Transient dips are detected at orbital phase −0.12 in the SW and MW spectrometers integrated lightcurves but are notably absent in the LW lightcurve indicating the occulting material is ionized. The VLA observation suggest the presence of a K star coronal magnetic loop between the two stars reconnecting with the white dwarf magnetic field. Such a structure could be the occulting source needed to explain the dips seen in the lightcurves of V471 Tauri in the EUV.
In this chapter we summarize the available data on a novel class of ligand-gated anion channels that are gated by the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate is classically thought to be a stimulatory neurotransmitter, however, studies in invertebrates have proven that glutamate also functions as an inhibitory ligand. The bulk of studies conducted in vivo have been on insects and crustaceans, where glutamate was first postulated to act on H-receptors resulting in a hyperpolarizing response to glutamate. Recently, glutamate-gated chloride channels have been cloned from several nematodes and Drosophila. The pharmacology and electrophysiological properties of these channels have been studied by expression in Xenopus oocytes. Studies on the cloned channels demonstrate that the invertebrate glutamate-gated chloride channels are the H-receptors and represent important targets for the antiparasitic avermectins.
The growth of strained, continuous Si1-xGex epitaxial alloy layers on Si can, under certain conditions, result in the occurrence of marked, small-scale layer thickness fluctuations in the form of crystallographically-aligned, interlocking ripple arrays. In the present work, combined transmission electron microscope (TEM) and atomic force microscope studies are employed to reveal the detailed nature of these surface ripples. TEM contrast studies demonstrate that well-defined, oscillatory strain variations accompany these ripple structures, the presence of which is shown to be associated with partial elastic strain-relief and lowering of the energy of die strained-layer system.
Bombardment damage produced by Si+ ions in AlxGa1−xAs/GaAs layer structures has been studied using transmission electron microscopy and ion channeling and backscattering spectrometry. The damage resistance of A1xGa1−xAs alloy layers increases with Al concentration. In particular, by comparison of complementary Si+ ion doses yielding similar nuclear displacement densities at 150keV and 2MeV bombardment energies, it is demonstrated for the first time that the local concentration of implanted Si impurity is likely to be a significant factor in controlling lattice damage build-up, especially for the highest Si+ ion implantation doses. It is also shown that, in a manner analogous to A1As, the alloy layers can confer a significant protection from ion damage upon adjacent, epitaxially-bonded narrow zones of crystalline GaAs.
The material-dependent manner in which ion damage occurs in AlAs/GaAs heteroepitaxial structures is demonstrated using conventional and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Both 150keV and 2MeV Si+ ion implants are employed over a wide range of ion doses. Under conditions which yield rapid build-up of lattice damage in GaAs, the AlAs is found to be relatively resistant to structure breakdown. Indeed, the crystalline AlAs exerts a novel protective effect on immediately adjacent regions of the GaAs layers. For high implantation doses amorphous-crystal superlattices are formed in multilayer structures. For the highest ion doses the AlAs lattice begins to be disrupted by a characteristic, boundary-dependent, heterogeneous mechanism. These observations suggest that mobile point defects play a significant role in AlAs in situ restructuring processes.
The MBE growth and related materials characterisation of InSb/InAlSb strained-layer structures is described. Band-gap considerations and critical thickness calculations are presented and indicate that this material system should offer considerable device potential. Detailed structural studies, performed using both transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction, confirm the growth of high quality multiple quantum-wells, and 2K photoluminescence has shown corresponding energy upshifted transitions.
Two scries of simulation experiments were used to investigate the accuracy of treatment and variance estimation with a neighbour analysis of field trials proposed by Gleeson & Cullis (1987). The first series examined the accuracy of residual maximum likelihood (REML) estimation of seven theoretical error models applicable to field trials. REML estimation provided accurate estimates of the variance parameters, but the Ftest of treatments was slightly biased upward (to +2·4%) for first differences models and slightly biased downwards (to –1·4%) for second differences models. The second series of simulations, based on 19 uniformity data sets, illustrated that treatment effects were consistently estimated more accurately by the REML neighbour (RN) analysis of Gleeson & Cullis (1987) than by incomplete block (IB) analysis with recovery of interblock information. The relative gain in accuracy of RN over IB depends on the amount of systematic variation or ‘trend’ in the trial, and ranged from 6 to 18% with an average of 12% for a range of trend and error variances commonly encountered in field trials. The predicted average standard errors of pairwise treatment differences from the RN analysis were in close agreement with their empirical estimates, indicating that the predicted average S.E.D. is approximately valid.
The implantation of Ar+ ions into AlAs/GaAs layered samples is shown to give very different damage structures in the two materials. While the GaAs is relatively easily amorphised, the AlAs is quite resistant to damage accumulation and remains crystalline for the ion doses employed in these investigations. The behaviour of the different damage structures when subjected to rapid thermal annealing treatments is described in some detail. It is demonstrated that differences in the initial damage state have a strong influence upon the nature of lattice defects produced by annealing.
The nature of disorder produced by low energy Ar+ and I+ ions (and atoms) in the III–V compound semiconductors InP and InSb, and in the II–VI semiconductors CdTe, ZnS and ZnSe has been studied in detail by conventional and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. It is demonstrated that for Ar+ ion bombardment the disorder in the III–V compounds comprises segregated indium islands which accumulate on the machined surfaces, while for the II–VI compounds the disorder consists of dense arrays (∼1011 cm−2) of small dislocation loops near to each bombarded surface. When Ar+ ions or Ar atoms are used for thin specimen preparation by milling prior to electron microscopy, the disorder produced gives contrast which seriously obscures images and so complicates their interpretation. This problem concerning the presence of artifactual defects can be greatly reduced or even eliminated by the use of reactive I+ ion milling for the final thinning of specimens.
The use of Q-switched laser melting techniques to investigate new rapid solidification phenomena is described. It has been found that Si, Ge, GaP and GaAs can give rise to orientation dependent, kinetically-controlled defect generation processes during fast recrystallization from the melt. Indeed, these materials yield amorphous phases at sufficiently high solidification rates. Ultra-fast pulsed melting permits the study of the basic thermodynamic properties of amorphous solids. It is shown that amorphous Si melts to give a normal, low viscosity, undercooled liquid and that novel explosive crystal growth processes can occur in this low temperature regime.