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Archaeological studies of Early Islamic communities in Central Asia have focused on lowland urban communities. Here, the authors report on recent geophysical survey and excavation of an Early Islamic cemetery at Tashbulak in south-eastern Uzbekistan. AMS dating places the establishment of the cemetery in the mid-eighth century AD, making it one of the earliest Islamic burial grounds documented in Central Asia. Burials at Tashbulak conform to Islamic prescriptions for grave form and body deposition. The consistency in ritual suggests the existence of a funerary community of practice, challenging narratives of Islamic conversion in peripheral areas as a process of slow diffusion and emphasising the importance of archaeological approaches for documenting the diversity of Early Islamic communities.
This chapter reviews the critical role that a contract research organization performs in developing new therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Late-phase AD trials are lengthy, expensive, and require specialized expertise and experience in order to optimize signal detection. We review the intricacies of AD protocol design, selection of optimal neuropsychiatric tests for different AD stages, rater training, imaging technologies, and use of biomarkers. Careful planning of trials involves well-thought-out investigator selection, site monitoring, and patient recruitment and retention strategies. Examples of operational issues in large global trials are also given, including adaptations necessary due to the COVID pandemic.
The aim of the current study was to explore the effect of gender, age at onset, and duration on the long-term course of schizophrenia.
Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries representing all continents participated in the study that included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with a DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia; the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale as well as relevant clinicodemographic data were gathered. Analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were used, and the methodology corrected for the presence of potentially confounding effects.
There was a 3-year later age at onset for females (P < .001) and lower rates of negative symptoms (P < .01) and higher depression/anxiety measures (P < .05) at some stages. The age at onset manifested a distribution with a single peak for both genders with a tendency of patients with younger onset having slower advancement through illness stages (P = .001). No significant effects were found concerning duration of illness.
Our results confirmed a later onset and a possibly more benign course and outcome in females. Age at onset manifested a single peak in both genders, and surprisingly, earlier onset was related to a slower progression of the illness. No effect of duration has been detected. These results are partially in accord with the literature, but they also differ as a consequence of the different starting point of our methodology (a novel staging model), which in our opinion precluded the impact of confounding effects. Future research should focus on the therapeutic policy and implications of these results in more representative samples.
Cu-doping and crystallographic site occupations within the half-Heusler (HH) TiNiSn, a promising thermoelectric material, have been examined by atom probe tomography. In particular, this investigation aims to better understand the influence of atom probe analysis conditions on the measured chemical composition. Under a voltage-pulsing mode, atomic planes are clearly resolved and suggest an arrangement of elements in-line with the expected HH (F-43m space group) crystal structure. The Cu dopant is also distributed uniformly throughout the bulk material. For operation under laser-pulsed modes, the returned composition is highly dependent on the selected laser energy, with high energies resulting in the measurement of excessively high absolute Ti counts at the expense of Sn and in particular Ni. High laser energies also appear to be correlated with the detection of a high fraction of partial hits, indicating nonideal evaporation behavior. The possible mechanisms for these trends are discussed, along with suggestions for optimal analysis conditions for these and similar thermoelectric materials.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) frequently co-occur, and large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified significant genetic correlations between these disorders.
We used the largest published GWAS for AUD (total cases = 77 822) and SCZ (total cases = 46 827) to identify genetic variants that influence both disorders (with either the same or opposite direction of effect) and those that are disorder specific.
We identified 55 independent genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms with the same direction of effect on AUD and SCZ, 8 with robust effects in opposite directions, and 98 with disorder-specific effects. We also found evidence for 12 genes whose pleiotropic associations with AUD and SCZ are consistent with mediation via gene expression in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic covariance between AUD and SCZ was concentrated in genomic regions functional in brain tissues (p = 0.001).
Our findings provide further evidence that SCZ shares meaningful genetic overlap with AUD.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems have developed protocols for prehospital activation of the cardiac catheterization laboratory for patients with suspected ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) to decrease first-medical-contact-to-balloon time (FMC2B). The rate of “false positive” prehospital activations is high. In order to decrease this rate and expedite care for patients with true STEMI, the American Heart Association (AHA; Dallas, Texas USA) developed the Mission Lifeline PreAct STEMI algorithm, which was implemented in Los Angeles County (LAC; California USA) in 2015. The hypothesis of this study was that implementation of the PreAct algorithm would increase the positive predictive value (PPV) of prehospital activation.
This is an observational pre-/post-study of the effect of the implementation of the PreAct algorithm for patients with suspected STEMI transported to one of five STEMI Receiving Centers (SRCs) within the LAC Regional System. The primary outcome was the PPV of cardiac catheterization laboratory activation for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). The secondary outcome was FMC2B.
A total of 1,877 patients were analyzed for the primary outcome in the pre-intervention period and 405 patients in the post-intervention period. There was an overall decrease in cardiac catheterization laboratory activations, from 67% in the pre-intervention period to 49% in the post-intervention period (95% CI for the difference, -14% to -22%). The overall rate of cardiac catheterization declined in post-intervention period as compared the pre-intervention period, from 34% to 30% (95% CI, for the difference -7.6% to 0.4%), but actually increased for subjects who had activation (48% versus 58%; 95% CI, 4.6%-15.0%). Implementation of the PreAct algorithm was associated with an increase in the PPV of activation for PCI or CABG from 37.9% to 48.6%. The overall odds ratio (OR) associated with the intervention was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.8). The effect of the intervention was to decrease variability between medical centers. There was no associated change in average FMC2B.
The implementation of the PreAct algorithm in the LAC EMS system was associated with an overall increase in the PPV of cardiac catheterization laboratory activation.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Although the Cascajal Block (CB), an incised greenstone slab from southeastern Veracruz, Mexico, arguably contains the earliest written text in the New World, debate remains regarding the object's authenticity, dating, and cultural affiliation. To address these issues, this article details recent analyses of the CB via polynomial texture mapping (PTM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). PTM revealed new details that have resulted in a new epigraphic drawing of the block's incised text and allowed for improved identification of several constituent signs. Spectrometric analysis confirmed that the chemical composition of the CB matrix is consistent with serpentine and identified a uniform patina on its surface, which provided additional contextual data. SEM micrographs of polymer replica molds taken from the incised text evidence manufacturing traces that correspond to lapidary techniques observed on other Formative-period Olmec objects of secure provenience. Results assist in clarifying the archaeological contexts of the object and confirm that in terms of symbols, material, and manufacture the CB conforms to other Formative-period Olmec objects, supporting the object's authenticity, dating, and cultural affiliation.
We report on the Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamic Evolution (BAaDE) survey which has observed 19 000 MSX color selected red giant stars for SiO maser emission at 43 GHz with the VLA and is in the process of observing 9 000 of these stars with ALMA at 86 GHz in the Southern sky. Our setup covers the main maser transitions, as well as those of isotopologues and selected lines of carbon-bearing species. Observations of this set of lines allow a far-reaching catalog of line-of-sight velocities in the dust-obscured regions where optical surveys cannot reach. Our preliminary detection rate is close to 70%, predicting a wealth of new information on the distribution of metal rich stars, their kinematics as function of location in the Galaxy, as well as the occurrence of lines and line ratios between the different transitions in combination with the spectral energy distribution from about 1 to 100 μm. Similar to the OH/IR stars, a clear kinematic signature between disk and bulge stars can be seen. Furthermore, the SiO J = →10 (v=3) line plays a prominent role in the derived maser properties.
We report on the analysis of virtual powder-diffraction patterns from serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) data collected at an X-ray free-electron laser. Different approaches to binning and normalizing these patterns are discussed with respect to the microstructural characteristics which each highlights. Analysis of SFX data from a powder of Pr0.5Ca0.5MnO3 in this way finds evidence of other trace phases in its microstructure which was not detectable in a standard powder-diffraction measurement. Furthermore, a comparison between two virtual powder pattern integration strategies is shown to yield different diffraction peak broadening, indicating sensitivity to different types of microstrain. This paper is a first step in developing new data analysis methods for microstructure characterization from serial crystallography data.