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This study investigated the influence of first language (L1) phoneme features and phonetic salience on discrimination of second language (L2) American English (AE) vowels. On a perceptual task, L2 adult learners of English with Spanish, Japanese or Russian as an L1 showed poorer discrimination of the spectral-only difference between /æ:/ as the oddball (deviant) among frequent /ɑ:/ stimuli compared to AE controls. The Spanish listeners showed a significant difference from the controls for the spectral-temporal contrast between /ɑ:/ and /ʌ/ for both perception and the neural Mismatch Negativity (MMN), but only for deviant /ɑ:/ versus /ʌ/ (duration decrement). For deviant /ʌ/ versus /ɑ:/, and for deviant /æ:/ versus /ʌ/ or /ɑ:/, all participants showed equivalent MMN amplitude. The asymmetrical pattern for /ɑ:/ and /ʌ/ suggested that L2 phonetic detail was maintained only for the deviant. These findings indicated that discrimination was more strongly influenced by L1 phonology than phonetic salience.
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.
Visual processing problems may be one underlying factor for cognitive impairments related to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We examined associations between ASD-traits (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) and visual processing performance (Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test; Block Design task of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III) in young adults (mean age=25.0, s.d.=2.1 years) born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g) (n=101) or at term (n=104). A higher level of ASD-traits was associated with slower global visual processing speed among the preterm VLBW, but not among the term-born group (P<0.04 for interaction). Our findings suggest that the associations between ASD-traits and visual processing may be restricted to individuals born preterm, and related specifically to global, not local visual processing. Our findings point to cumulative social and neurocognitive problems in those born preterm at VLBW.
The composite nature of mineralized natural materials is achieved through both the microstructural inclusion of an organic component and an overall microstructure that is controlled by templating onto organic macromolecules. A modification of an existing laboratory technique is developed for the codeposition of a CaCO3–gelatin composite with a controllable organic content. First, calibration curves are developed to determine the organic content of a CaCO3–gelatin composite from infrared spectra. Second, a CaCO3–gelatin composite is deposited on either glass coverslips or demineralized eggshell membranes using an automated alternating soaking process. Electron microscopy images and use of the infrared spectra calibration curves show that by altering the amount of gelatin in the ionic growth solutions, the final organic component of the mineral can be regulated over the range of 1–10%, similar to that of natural eggshell.
New materials are needed to replace degenerated intervertebral disc tissue and to provide longer-term solutions for chronic back-pain. Replacement tissue potentially could be engineered by seeding cells into a scaffold that mimics the architecture of natural tissue. Many natural tissues, including the nucleus pulposus (the central region of the intervertebral disc) consist of collagen nanofibers embedded in a gel-like matrix. Recently it was shown that electrospun micro- or nano-fiber structures of considerable thickness can be produced by collecting fibers in an ethanol bath. Here, randomly aligned polycaprolactone electrospun fiber structures up to 50 mm thick are backfilled with alginate hydrogels to form novel composite materials that mimic the fiber-reinforced structure of the nucleus pulposus. The composites are characterized using both indentation and tensile testing. The composites are mechanically robust, exhibiting substantial strain-to-failure. The method presented here provides a way to create large biomimetic scaffolds that more closely mimic the composite structure of natural tissue.
Biomineralized composite materials found in nature have a compromise of good mechanical properties and relatively small embodied energies in the process of their formation. The Alternate Soaking Process (ASP) is a laboratory technique that has only recently been applied to replicating composite biomineralization. The nexus of the ASP – heterogeneous nucleation – makes it ideal for replicating biominerals where the mineral is templated onto an organic substrate, such as occurs in avian eggshell. Here we demonstrate the deposition of a calcium carbonate gelatin composite on either glass cover slips or demineralized eggshell membranes using an automated ASP. SEM images and FTIR spectra of the resulting mineral show that by altering the amount of gelatin in the growth solutions the final organic component can be controlled accurately in the range of 1-10%, similar to that of natural eggshell. This study shows for the first time the co-precipitation of a CaCO3 – gelatin composite by an ASP and that the organic fraction of this mineral can be tuned to mimic that of natural biomineralized composites.
Fluid flow in biological tissues is important in both mechanical and biological contexts. Given the hierarchical nature of tissues, there are varying length scales at which time-dependent mechanical behavior due to fluid flow may be exhibited. Here, spherical nanoindentation and microindentation testings are used for the characterization of length scale effects in the mechanical response of hydrated tissues. Although elastic properties were consistent across length scales, there was a substantial difference between the time-dependent mechanical responses for large and small contact radii in the same tissue specimens. This difference was far more obvious when poroelastic analysis was used instead of viscoelastic analysis. Overall, indentation testing is a fast and robust technique for characterizing the hierarchical structure of biological materials from nanometer to micrometer length scales and is capable of making quantitative material property measurements to do with fluid flow.
Clinical guidelines advise against prescribing more than one antipsychotic with limited exceptions. Despite this, surveys continue to report high antipsychotic polypharmacy rates. The aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of a multi-faceted intervention in reducing prescribing of antipsychotic polypharmacy on general adult psychiatry wards, compared with guidelines alone.
A pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial recruited 19 adult psychiatric units (clusters) from the South West of England. Participants were all ward doctors and nurses. The multi-faceted intervention comprised: an educational/CBT workbook; an educational visit to consultants; and a reminder system on medication charts.
The odds of being prescribed antipsychotic polypharmacy in those patients prescribed antipsychotic medication was significantly lower in the intervention than control group when adjusted for confounders (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.21–0.90, p=0.028). There was considerable between-unit variation in polypharmacy rates and in the change in rates between baseline and follow-up (5 months after baseline).
The intervention reduced levels of polypharmacy prescribing compared to guidelines alone although the effect size was relatively modest. Further work is needed to elicit the factors that were active in changing prescribing behaviour.
We investigated whether there are differences between the natural history of B and C chronic hepatitis in a southern Italian population, and whether the chronic viral hepatitis population was modified by the introduction of the anti-HCV test in 1989. We examined clinical charts of 1120 patients consecutively admitted to our division from January 1979 to December 1998 with the histological diagnosis of chronic viral hepatitis (304 from 1979 to 1988; 816 from 1989 to 1998). We found significant differences only in age at diagnosis (higher in the second decade, P=0·001), and in aetiology (HBV decreased in the second decade, P<0·0001). We were able to follow up 449 patients for 2–20 years (311 with HCV and 138 with HBV infection), and found that chronic HCV evolved to cirrhosis more frequently than did chronic HBV; but in both types time to development of cirrhosis and the incidence of death were similar. Our data confirm that a higher onset age of HBV and of HCV is frequently observed in those subjects who have a faster disease progression.
The results of an experimental study carried out to investigate
structure of turbulence near a shear-free density interface are presented.
consisted of a two-layer fluid medium in which the lower layer was maintained
a turbulent state by an oscillating grid. The measurements included the
root-mean-square (r.m.s.) turbulent velocities, wavenumber spectra, dissipation
turbulent kinetic energy and integral lengthscales. It was found that the
introduction of a density interface to a turbulent flow can strongly distort
structure of turbulence near
the interface wherein the horizontal velocity components are amplified
vertical component is damped. The modification of r.m.s velocities is essentially
limited to distances smaller than about an integral lengthscale. Inspection
spectra shows that these distortions are felt only at small wavenumbers
order of the integral scale
and a range of low-wavenumbers of the inertial subrange; the distortions
pronounced as the interface is approached. Comparison of the horizontal
data with the rapid distortion theory (RDT) analyses of Hunt & Graham
Hunt (1984) showed a qualitative agreement near the interface and a quantitative
agreement away from the interface. On the other hand, the RDT predictions
vertical component were in general agreement with the data. The near-interface
horizontal velocity data, however, showed quantitative agreement with a
proposed by Hunt (1984) based on nonlinear vortex dynamics near the interface.
The effects due to interfacial waves appear to be important for distances
than about 10% of the integral lengthscale. As a consequence of the non-zero
energy flux divergence, the introduction of a density interface to oscillating
grid turbulence increases the rate of dissipation in the turbulent layer
near the interface, where a sharp drop occurs.
The present measurements provide useful information on the structure of
in shear-free boundary layers, such as atmospheric and oceanic convective
layers, thus improving modelling capabilities for such flows.
The granites of Hong Kong comprise a variety of assemblages dominated by chemically evolved compositions. They are divided into two suites based on petrographic, geochemical, and age criteria. The oldest and most primitive intrusive units are deformed biotite-hornblende granodiorites and monzogranites of the Lamma Suite. These rocks are characterised by high CaO (1·4-2·7%), and low Nb and Y contents. The Lion Rock Suite (LRS) is dominated by relatively undeformed monzogranite with subordinate quartz syenite and comprises three subgroups. Granites of subgroup I are separated into coarse- and fine- to medium-grained lithologies. The fine- to medium-grained granites are predominantly fluorite-bearing with silica contents ranging from 75·5-78%. They are characterised by high total REE, Ga, F, Rb, Nb, and Y contents and yield a Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron age of 155 ± 6 Ma with an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0·7101 ± 0·0060 (MSWD = 4·6). Granites of subgroup II comprise a diverse range of compositions (SiO2 = 63–77%) and are characterised by highly variable trace element abundances. Coarse-grained granites yield an age of 148 ± 9 Ma with an initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0·7060 ± 0·0006 (MSWD = 0·1). Granites of subgroup III are moderately to highly evolved (SiO2 = 72·5-77·9%) and the silica-rich compositions are marked by enrichment in Y, Nb, Rb and depletion in Ba and Sr. Rb-Sr whole-rock isochron ages for individual plutons vary from 138 ± 1 to 136 ± 1 and corresponding initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios are 0·7080 ± 0·0002 (MSWD = 1·2) and 0·7092 ± 0·0006 (MSWD = 0·4). Granites of the Lamma Suite and coarse-grained granites of LRS subgroup I are interpreted as synorogenic I-types, whereas those of LRS subgroups II and III are interpreted as late-orogenic to postorogenic, fractionated I-types. Fineto medium-grained granites of LRS subgroup I have distinctive A-type affinities and together with their association with quartz syenite indicate a transition from compressional to tensional tectonics.
We review spin polarised multiple scattering theory and show how it can provide a description of magnetic anisotropic effects in metallic systems. An interpretation in terms of the leading relativistic corrections is given; namely the interaction between spin-orbit coupling and spin polarisation. It is pointed out that it is straightforward to vary the d-rection of spin polarisation within this formalism. As simple illustrations, the cases of two and three impurities in a non-interacting relativistic' electron gas are outlined and the origin of pseudo-dipolar and Dzyaloshinski-Moriya anisotropy highlighted. We go on to compare and contrast estimates of magneto-crystalline anisotropies of transition metals with those from alternative methods. Finally we discuss the paramagnetic spin susceptibility of metals within this framework and show that this work is complementary to magnetic anisotropy energy calculations. A generalised Stoner condition for the onset and direction of the magnetisation is given. Calculations for h.c.p. metals cobalt, scandium and yttrium are presented. We conclude by pointing out that this approach can be extended to set up a theory for the dynamical susceptibility with consequent implications for anisotropy of spin wave excitations.
The technique of microautoradiography was used to study the localization of 14C-SAN 6706 [4-chloro-5-(dimethylamino)-2-(α,α,α-trifluoro-m-tolyl)-3(2H-pyridazinone] in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. ‘Coker 203’), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Lee’], and corn (Zea mays L. ‘W.F. 9’). SAN 6706 was removed from the treatment solutions by absorption and also by adsorption onto the surfaces of roots. Absorbed SAN 6706 appeared to move primarily in the apoplast and to be translocated acropetally and laterally in the transpiration stream. The herbicide accumulated in striking concentrations in the lysigenous glands and trichomes of the cotton plant. This accumulation is postulated to be a major factor in lowering the effective concentration of SAN 6706 in the leaves of cotton as compared to the leaves of the more susceptible soybean and corn plants, and thus may be a significant factor in the tolerance of cotton to SAN 6706.
The technique of microradioautography was used to study the absorption and translocation of a,a,a-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-p-toluidine (trifluralin) by cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L., var. Coker 201) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr., var. Lee). Radioactivity from 14C-trifluralin was retained primarily on the surfaces of the roots of cotton and soybean. This was apparently due to a tenacious adsorption or binding of the radioactivity to the epidermis and cuticle. Entrance of radioactivity into the roots of these species was greatly facilitated by breaks in the epidermis, such as might occur from seedling diseases or mechanical damage. Within the roots, radioactivity was noted in the walls of the xylem vessels and cortical cells. Little movement out of the soybean roots was observed, but limited movement of radioactivity into the leaves of cotton, apparently via the metaxylem, was noted. Radioactivity accumulated in the protoxylem of the cotton stem where many elements appeared to be plugged. Results of this study indicate that care should be used in interpreting data from studies where loss of radioactivity from nutrient media is used as a criterion of herbicide absorption, and where gross radio autography is used as an indicator of herbicide translocation.
The techniques of cryostat sectioning, freeze-drying, and microradioautography were adapted to study the absorption and translocation of radio-labeled 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (14C-diuron) in root-treated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L., var. Coker 201) plants. Diuron appeared to move primarily in the apoplast and to be transported acropetally and laterally in the transpiration stream. Radioactivity was observed to accumulate in striking concentrations in the lysigenous, or pigment, glands and the trichomes of the cotton plant. This accumulation is postulated to be a major factor in lowering the effective concentration of the herbicide in the leaves of cotton as compared to leaves of more susceptible plants, and thus may be a significant factor in the tolerance of cotton to diuron.
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