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This provocative new history of early modern Europe argues that changes in the generation, preservation and circulation of information, chiefly on newly available and affordable paper, constituted an 'information revolution'. In commerce, finance, statecraft, scholarly life, science, and communication, early modern Europeans were compelled to place a new premium on information management. These developments had a profound and transformative impact on European life. The huge expansion in paper records and the accompanying efforts to store, share, organize and taxonomize them are intertwined with many of the essential developments in the early modern period, including the rise of the state, the Print Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and the Republic of Letters. Engaging with historical questions across many fields of human activity, Paul M. Dover interprets the historical significance of this 'information revolution' for the present day, and suggests thought-provoking parallels with the informational challenges of the digital age.
Wavelength-dispersive X-ray (WDX) spectroscopy was used to measure silicon atom concentrations in the range 35–100 ppm [corresponding to (3–9) × 1018 cm−3] in doped AlxGa1–xN films using an electron probe microanalyser also equipped with a cathodoluminescence (CL) spectrometer. Doping with Si is the usual way to produce the n-type conducting layers that are critical in GaN- and AlxGa1–xN-based devices such as LEDs and laser diodes. Previously, we have shown excellent agreement for Mg dopant concentrations in p-GaN measured by WDX with values from the more widely used technique of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). However, a discrepancy between these methods has been reported when quantifying the n-type dopant, silicon. We identify the cause of discrepancy as inherent sample contamination and propose a way to correct this using a calibration relation. This new approach, using a method combining data derived from SIMS measurements on both GaN and AlxGa1–xN samples, provides the means to measure the Si content in these samples with account taken of variations in the ZAF corrections. This method presents a cost-effective and time-saving way to measure the Si doping and can also benefit from simultaneously measuring other signals, such as CL and electron channeling contrast imaging.
Many studies of wildlife poaching acknowledge the challenges of detecting poaching activities, but few address the issue. Data on poaching may be an inaccurate reflection of the true spatial distribution of events because of low detection rates. The deployment of conservation and law enforcement resources based on biased data could be ineffective or lead to unintended outcomes. Here, we present a rigorous method for estimating the probabilities of detecting poaching and for evaluating different patrol strategies. We illustrate the method with a case study in which imitation snares were set in a private nature reserve in South Africa. By using an experimental design with a known spatial distribution of imitation snares, we estimated the detection probability of the current patrol strategy used in the reserve and compared it to three alternative patrol strategies: spatially focused patrols, patrols with independent observers, and systematic search patterns. Although detection probabilities were generally low, the highest proportion of imitation snares was detected with systematic search strategies. Our study provides baseline data on the probability of detecting snares used for poaching, and presents a method that can be modified for use in other regions and for other types of wildlife poaching.
To identify the BOLD (blood oxygenation level dependent) correlates of bursts of beta frequency band electrophysiological activity, and to compare BOLD responses between healthy controls and patients with psychotic illness.
The post movement beta rebound (PMBR) is a transient increase in power in the beta frequency band (13-30 Hz), recorded with methods such as electroencephalography (EEG), following the completion of a movement. PMBR size is reduced in patients with schizophrenia and inversely correlated with severity of illness. PMBR size is inversely correlated with measures of schizotypy in non-clinical groups. Therefore, beta-band activity may reflect a fundamental neural process whose disruption plays an important role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Recent work has found that changes in beta power reflect changes in the probability-of-occurrence of transient bursts of beta-frequency activity. Understanding the generators of beta bursts could help unravel the pathophysiology of psychotic illness and thus identify novel treatment targets.
EEG data were recorded simultaneously with BOLD data measured with 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), whilst participants performed an n-back working memory task. We included seventy-eight participants – 32 patients with schizophrenia, 16 with bipolar disorder and 30 healthy controls. Beta bursts were identified in the EEG data using a thresholding method and burst timings were used as markers in an event-related fMRI design convolved with a conventional haemodynamic response function. A region of interest analysis compared beta-event-related BOLD activity between patients and controls.
Beta bursts phasically activated brain regions implicated in coding task-relevant content (specifically, regions involved in the phonological representation of letter stimuli, as well as areas representing motor responses). Further, bursts were associated with suppression of tonically-active regions. In the EEG, PMBR was greater in controls than patients, and, in patients, PMBR size was positively correlated with Global Assessment of Functioning scores, and negatively correlated with persisting symptoms of disorganisation and performance on a digit symbol substition test. Despite this, patients showed greater, more extensive, burst-related BOLD activation than controls.
Our findings are consistent with a recent model in which beta bursts serve to reactivate latently-maintained, task-relevant, sensorimotor information. The increased BOLD response associated with bursts in patients, despite reduced PMBR, could reflect inefficiency of burst-mediated cortical synchrony, or it may suggest that the sensorimotor information reactivated by beta bursts is less precisely specified in psychosis. We propose that dysfunction of the mechanisms by which beta bursts reactivate task-relevant content can manifest as disorganisation and working memory deficits, and may contribute to persisting symptoms and impairment in psychosis.
To assess patient and clinician acceptability of handheld 6-lead ECG, for obtaining information about cardiac rhythm and electrical intervals, in acute general adult mental health ward inpatients who refuse traditional 12-lead ECG.
In a previous audit of patients admitted to four acute general adult mental health wards, we found that 1 in 4 patients refused 12-lead ECG for at least two weeks, with 1 in 6 refusing throughout their entire stay. ECG refusers were significantly more likely to have a psychotic illness than non-refusers and were thus more likely to benefit from medications that carry a risk of prolonging the QT interval. Less invasive, handheld, 6-lead ECG, which includes measurement of lead II (the lead used to define traditional QT-interval cut-off values) is available on the NHS supply chain. Whilst not providing the full range of information that 12-lead ECG is able to provide, handheld 6-lead ECG might be an acceptable alternative in patients who would otherwise never have any form of ECG performed.
We developed a Standard Operating Procedure for use of handheld 6-lead ECG and provided training for junior doctors on the four wards that were the subject of our original audit. These doctors were then able to offer the device to patients on their wards who refused 12-lead ECG. Doctors completed a short feedback form each time a handheld ECG was offered.
So far, handheld 6-lead ECGs have been offered to 17 patients who refused 12-lead ECGs. Mean age (± SD) was 36.1 (± 12.6) years, and 4 of these patients were female. 13 patients (76%) accepted a handheld ECG. One of these attempts failed due to patient agitation. Attempts took a mean of 7 (± 5.4) minutes. 54% of recordings were described as “very easy” by clinicians, whereas 15%, 23% and 8% were described as “somewhat easy”, “intermediate”, and “somewhat difficult”, respectively. Clinician difficulties focussed on patient movement with impact on electrode contact and trace quality. Where answered (N = 10), 90% of patients stated they would recommend a handheld ECG to others. Patients liked the speed of the process, that it felt “less scary”, and that it was less invasive and did not involve removing clothing.
Our initial findings from this pilot suggest that handheld 6-lead ECG may be acceptable, both to clinicians and patients, as a means of obtaining information on cardiac rhythm and electrical intervals for patients who refuse 12-lead ECGs.