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Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically influenced almost every aspect of human life. Activities requiring human gatherings have either been postponed, canceled, or held completely virtually. To supplement lack of in-person contact, people have increasingly turned to virtual settings online, advantages of which include increased inclusivity and accessibility and a reduced carbon footprint. However, emerging online technologies cannot fully replace in-person scientific events. In-person meetings are not susceptible to poor Internet connectivity problems, and they provide novel opportunities for socialization, creating new collaborations and sharing ideas. To continue such activities, a hybrid model for scientific events could be a solution offering both in-person and virtual components. While participants can freely choose the mode of their participation, virtual meetings would most benefit those who cannot attend in-person due to the limitations. In-person portions of meetings should be organized with full consideration of prevention and safety strategies, including risk assessment and mitigation, venue and environmental sanitation, participant protection and disease prevention, and promoting the hybrid model. This new way of interaction between scholars can be considered as a part of a resilience system, which was neglected previously and should become a part of routine practice in the scientific community.
Over the past twenty years, several taxonomies of personality and psychopathology have been developed. More recently, many studies have compared dimensional models of personality pathology to categorical diagnoses of personality disorders. Altogether, this proliferation of research suggests the value of articulating the desirable properties of a good taxonomic system. Here, the authors extend basic research in cognitive science on the limitations of representational capacity, which suggests that humans need to compress complex clinical presentations to make good judgments. With this in mind, the authors propose that information compression and information fidelity are two principles that are essential to good taxonomy. The principle of information compression is that taxonomies should prune the complexities of a detailed clinical presentation to focus on important sources of covariation. The principle of information fidelity is that a good taxonomy should maintain essential features that reasonably approximate the structure of an individual or the population. They conclude with the claim that the overarching goal of taxonomic science in classifying personality pathology is to provide clinicians and researchers with empirically based informative priors that help to bias thinking toward useful clinical distinctions.
An outbreak of invasive Mycobacterium chimaera infections associated with heater-cooler devices (HCDs) has now affected patients in several countries on different continents. Clinical infections are characterized by delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment response to antimicrobial agents, and poor prognosis. Outbreak investigators found M. chimaera in HCD water circuits and air samples while HCDs were running, suggesting that transmission from the HCD to the surgical site occurs via the airborne route. New HCDs at the manufacturing site were also contaminated with M. chimaera, and recent whole-genome sequencing data suggest a point source. Some guidance on screening for M. chimaera colonization in HCD water and exhaust air is available. In contrast, reliable disinfection procedures are not well described, and it is not yet known whether eradication of M. chimaera from a contaminated HCD can be achieved. Meanwhile, strict separation of the HCD from operating room air is necessary to ensure patient safety, and these efforts may require engineering solutions. While our understanding of the causes and the extent of the M. chimaera outbreak is growing, several aspects of patient management, device handling, and risk mitigation still require clarification.
We assessed the feasibility and impact on knowledge, attitudes, and reported practices of psychological first-aid (PFA) training in a sample of Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) members. Data have been limited on the uptake of PFA training in surge responders (eg, MRC) who are critical to community response.
Our mixed-methods approach involved self-administered pre- and post-training surveys and within-training focus group discussions of 76 MRC members attending a PFA training and train-the-trainer workshop. Listen, protect, connect (a PFA model for lay persons) focuses on listening and understanding both verbal and nonverbal cues; protecting the individual by determining realistic ways to help while providing reassurance; and connecting the individual with resources in the community.
From pre- to post-training, perceived confidence and capability in using PFA after an emergency or disaster increased from 71% to 90% (P < .01), but no significant increase was found in PFA-related knowledge. Qualitative analyses suggest that knowledge and intentions to use PFA increased with training. Brief training was feasible, and while results were modest, the PFA training resulted in greater reported confidence and perceived capability in addressing psychological distress of persons affected by public health threats.
PFA training is a promising approach to improve surge responder confidence and competency in addressing postdisaster needs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-6)
Rapid mental health surveillance during the acute phase of a disaster response can inform the allocation of limited clinical resources and provide essential household-level risk estimates for recovery planning.
To describe the use of the PsySTART Rapid Mental Health Triage and Incident Management System for individual-level clinical triage and traumatic exposure assessment in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster.
We conducted a cross-sectional, comparative review of mental health triage data collected with the PsySTART system from survivors of the September 2009 earthquake-tsunami in American Samoa. Data were obtained from two sources—secondary triage of patients and a standardized community assessment survey—and analyzed descriptively. The main outcome measures were survivor-reported traumatic experiences and exposures—called triage factors—associated with risk for developing severe distress and new mental health disorders following disasters.
The most common triage factors reported by survivors referred for mental health services were “felt extreme panic/fear” (93%) and “felt direct threat to life” (93%). The most common factor reported by persons in tsunami-affected communities was “felt extreme panic or fear” (75%). Proportions of severe triage factors reported by persons living in the community were consistently lower than those reported by patients referred for mental health services.
The combination of evidence-based mental health triage and community assessment gave hospital-based providers, local public health officials, and federal response teams a strategy to match limited clinical resources with survivors at greatest risk. Also, it produced a common operating picture of acute and chronic mental health needs among disaster systems of care operating in American Samoa.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:327-331)
The Fair Trade Law of 1991 (FTL), the most recent amendments to which were promulgated in February 2002; the Enforcement Rules to the FTL, last revised in June 2002; and the Guidelines for the Handling of Combination Filings, first promulgated in July 2006 (‘the Guidelines’), make up the principal legislation concerning merger and acquisition, unfair competition and monopoly in Taiwan. Article 6 of the FTL places mergers and acquisitions in the broader category of ‘combinations of enterprises’. The 2002 amendments to the FTL and its related Enforcement Rules changed the filing process for combinations from an approval system to a notification system, and the Guidelines introduced a two-tier review system by classifying combination filings into ‘simplified’ and ‘general’ filings.
Decision-making bodies and enforcement authority(ies)
At the national level, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is the government authority governing mergers and other types of combination under the FTL. The FTC is empowered to examine and investigate possible infringements of the FTL and to take action against wrongdoers by imposing fines and other penalties. The FTC is also empowered to order the dissolution of any combinations that infringe the provisions of the FTL. The FTC will investigate complaints against combinations that are affected without the consent of the FTC, but may also investigate matters on its own initiative.
The continuously growing and wide-spread utilization of blends of organic electron and hole conducting materials comprises ambipolar field-effect transistors as well as organic photovoltaic cells. Structural, optical and electrical properties are investigated in blends and neat films of the electron donor material Cu-phthalocyanine (CuPc) together with fullerene C60 and Cu-hexadecafluorophthalocyanine (F16CuPc) as electron acceptor materials, respectively. The difference in molecular structure of the spherical C60 and the planar molecule CuPc leads to nanophase separation in the blend, causing charge carrier transport which is limited by the successful formation of percolation paths. In contrast, blends of the similar shaped CuPc and F16CuPc molecules entail mixed crystals, as can be clearly seen by X-ray diffraction measurements. We discuss differences of both systems with respect to their microstructure as well as their electrical transport properties.
Adiponectin is discussed to regulate energy balance and insulin sensitivity. Several studies indicated an association of fasting adiponectin with parameters of the metabolic syndrome. We investigated postprandial adiponectin release and its relation to traits of the metabolic syndrome. Serum adiponectin concentration after an oral glucose tolerance test and after ingestion of a standardised mixed, fat-containing meal in 110 male non-diabetic subjects was assessed. Fasting and postprandial adiponectin and the decrease of adiponectin were correlated with anthropometric and metabolic parameters. Subjects were genotyped for adiponectin − 11 388 G/A promoter single nucleotide polymorphism. Adiponectin slightly decreased after both test meals. A significant decrease was attained 5 and 6 h after the lipid load and 2 h after the glucose load. Particularly, the mixed meal postprandial adiponectin showed stronger correlations with most traits of the metabolic syndrome than fasting adiponectin: postprandial adiponectin with HDL (r 0·30) v. fasting adiponectin with HDL (r 0·23); with postprandial insulin (area under the curve): r − 0·20 v. r − 0·16; with fasting insulin: r 0·10 v. r 0·14; with BMI: r − 0·23 v. r − 0·20; with waist: r − 0·18 v. − 0·16; with systolic blood pressure: r − 0·14 v. r − 0·12; with diastolic blood pressure: r − 0·18 v. r − 0·15. In multivariate analysis, postprandial TAG were the only independent predictor of adiponectin. There was no significant association of adiponectin, NEFA and TAG with − 11 388 G/A adiponectin promoter polymorphism. Our findings favour the interpretation that postprandial adiponectin has the strongest and independent associations to postprandial TAG metabolism.
The PPARγ Pro12Ala polymorphism has been associated in several studies with a decreased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Weak hints are available about the influence of PPARγ Pro12Ala on postprandial metabolism. In 708 men, aged 45 to 65 years the PPARγ2 Pro12Ala genotypes were determined and postprandial TAG, insulin, glucose and NEFA after a standardized mixed fat meal and insulin and glucose after a glucose load (oral glucose tolerance test; OGTT) were assessed. Using the total sample, we did not find a significant impact of the genotype on the postprandial metabolism. In the subgroup with BMI < 30 kg/m2, fasting and postprandial TAG and insulin levels as well as homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA) were significantly lower in the Ala12Ala group than in the Pro12Pro group after the mixed meal. In contrast, the groups did not differ in insulin levels and HOMA after the OGTT. To investigate if differences between a fat-containing meal and OGTT are caused by adiponectin, we examined a BMI- and age-matched subgroup. No differences were found between the genotypic groups. The effects of the PPARγ2 polymorphism on insulin sensitivity are mediated by affluent dietary fat. We did not find evidence that adiponectin as a fatty-acid-dependent adipocyte factor is a causative factor for this phenomenon.
In a recent essay, George Annas, the legal columnist for The New
England Journal of Medicine, observed that the resuscitation of
extremely premature infants, even over parental objection, is not
problematic because “once the child's medical status has been
determined, the parents have the legal authority to make all subsequent
decisions.” Annas himself is quick to concede that treatment in a
high-technology neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) frequently takes on a
life of its own. He also acknowledges that although bioethicists and
courts agree that there is no ethical or legal difference between
withholding or withdrawing a respirator from a patient, parents and
physicians find the withdrawal much more emotionally troubling.
Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is the preferred treatment for lacrimal duct blockage. Endoscopic DCR has been practised increasingly in recent years as it avoids a facial scar and can be performed as a day procedure. Recent improvements in endonasal surgical techniqueled to success rates of up to 90per cent. However, the endonasal approach often requires septalor turbinate surgery to optimze access to the lacrimal area.
The incidence of concomitant procedures was investigated in 256 patients undergoing endonasal nonlaser DCR. In this study 55 out of 256 patients (21.5 per cent) required additional endonasal procedures to improve access to the lacrimal area.
It is therefore advisable that otolaryngologists are involved in this procedure.
Field experiments were conducted in 1991, 1992, and 1993 to evaluate the dissipation and carryover potential of atrazine from starch-encapsulated (SE) and commercial formulations (CF). Formulation was not a significant factor in atrazine dissipation at any application rate. The dissipation time required to reach one-half of the original concentration (DT50) was measured for each formulation. The atrazine DT50 combined over all years (1991 to 1993) and rates (1.1 to 3.4 kg ai ha−1) was 7 wk for the CF, 10.3 wk for the SE large particles (0.85 to 1.4 mm), and 8.2 wk for the SE small (0.425 to 0.85 mm). Oat injury in the spring of 1992 from all rates of both SE formulations applied in 1991 was greater than that from the CF formulation. Increased oat injury from SE formulations was attributed to more atrazine present in the top 0 to 8 cm of soil compared to that for the CF. Despite significant oat injury from the 1991 application, no injury was observed on soybeans planted in 1992. Soybeans planted in 1993 and 1994 also showed no injury from the respective applications. These findings suggest that the potential for atrazine carryover from starch-encapsulated formulations was not greater than that from the commercial formulation.
The objective of this study was to evaluate growth and seed production of giant foxtail under different N sources (NO3 and NH4) and N fertilizer application rates. Nitrate and NH4 fertilizers plus nitrification inhibitor were applied at 56, 112, and 225 kg N ha−1 under field conditions, and in the greenhouse four N rates (1, 5, 10, and 25 mM N) were applied in three NO3: NH4 ratios (100 : 0, 50 : 50, 0 : 100). Growth of giant foxtail was affected by N rates under both greenhouse and field conditions. In 1993, abundant rainfall in May and June allowed a rapid and earlier uptake of N by giant foxtail, resulting in larger plants with greater N accumulation and higher numbers of heads and seeds than in 1994. Total dry weight increased with increasing N rates; however, seed production reached a maximum at approximately 150 kg N ha−1. Nitrogen translocation efficiency decreased with increasing N rates. Giant foxtail did not show any preference to N form; however, seed production was reduced when the high N rate was applied as NH4 compared to NO3. These results suggest that NH4 fertilizer applications with a long-term nitrification inhibitor could reduce the seed production of giant foxtail and its contribution to the soil seedbank for subsequent growing seasons.
Experiments were conducted in controlled environment chambers to evaluate the effects of temperature and soil water content on the time of dissipation of commercial (CF) and starch encapsulated (SE) atrazine formulations to one-half the original concentration (T50). SE samples were also analyzed for the amount of atrazine remaining within the starch particles (percent encapsulation). The dissipation of CF atrazine was affected by changes in temperature and soil water content. SE atrazine dissipation was most influenced by changes in soil water content rather than temperature. Independent of soil water, there was no atrazine dissipation from any formulation at 15 C. The T50 for CF atrazine at 20% soil water content was 53.4 and 29.9 d for 25 and 35 C, respectively. At 20% soil water content, all SE treatments gave a T50 greater than 60 d. The percent starch encapsulation at 20% soil water content was greater than or equal to 55.8 and 30.4% for SE large and SE small, respectively. This high level of encapsulated atrazine accounts for the reduced SE dissipation observed at 20% soil water content. At 40% soil water content, the dissipation of CF and SE small atrazine were not different for either 25 or 35 C. Compared to the CF, the SE large formulation extended the T50 by 7.4 and 6.7 d at 25 and 35 C, respectively. At 40% soil water content, there was no encapsulated atrazine present in SE formulations 60 DAT.
Field experiments were conducted in 1990, 1991, and 1992 to evaluate and compare the efficacy of commercial herbicide formulations with starch encapsulated granules that contain one, two, or three herbicides. Atrazine in combination with alachlor or metolachlor composed the two-component granules and the addition of dicamba to both composed the three-component granules. All starch-encapsulated formulations were produced by twin screw extrusion technology and evaluated in two granule sizes, 1.4 to 0.5-mm (14 to 20 mesh) and 0.85 to 0.43-mm (20 to 40 mesh). Active ingredient rates applied were selected for the existing soil conditions and combination granules contained active ingredients proportional to premixed commercial formulations available or suggested for tank mixes. Evaluations were performed under conventional, chisel, and no-tillage systems. PRE and PPI applications of starch encapsulated two-component (atrazine-alachlor) in 1990 controlled giant foxtail (except at the low rate with large granule size), redroot pigweed, and common lambsquarters excellently but control of velvetleaf was fair to poor. Smaller-sized granules were generally more effective for controlling weeds than the larger-sized granules. In 1991, starch-encapsulated two-component (atrazine-metolachlor) granules applied both PRE and PPI in conventional, chisel, and no-till systems gave results similar to 1990 with the small granules more effective on velvetleaf. The addition of dicamba in the granule to form three-component starch-encapsulated granules in 1992 resulted in control of velvetleaf, ivyleaf morningglory, and jimsonweed statistically equal to commercial formulations except in one case of no-till corn. In our experiments, herbicide formulations (granular vs. commercial) had no significant effect on corn yield in 28 out of 31 treatments. These data indicate that if the experimental three-component starch-encapsulated formulations of corn herbicides used in these studies were optimized they could become as efficacious as commercial formulations presently on the market. This is the first report of research containing data on two- and three-component starch-encapsulated granular formulations.
Molecular layer-by-layer build-up on a variety of substrates is demonstrated for doped polyaniline (PAn) alternating with non-ionic water soluble polymers. The adsorption is enabled by the strong interchain interactions with PAn, such as hydrogen bonding. Multilayer build-up has been demonstrated with four distinctly different non-ionic water soluble polymers: poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP), poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), poly(acrylamide) (PAAm), and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). Thus, non-ionic water soluble polymers containing a wide variety of functional groups such as amide, hydroxyl or ether groups can be used to successfully fabricate multilayer thin films with polyaniline. FTIR spectroscopy measurements show the PAn to be hydrogen bonded in these multilayer films. Conductivities for multilayer films are on the order of 1-4 S/cm for films doped with methane sulfonic acid. Conductivities on the order of 0.1 S/cm can be achieved for a single mixed layer self-assembled from a mixed solution of PAn/PVP or PAn/PAAm.
The theoretical background for potentiometric and conductometric (bulk and surface) sensors is briefly discussed with regard to the usual application, viz. the detection of redox-active gases, and the importance of understanding chemical diffusion is stressed in this context. It is then shown how the analogous concept applied to acid-base interactions leads to powerful possibilities to measure partial pressures of acid-base active gases such as CO2, NH3 and H2O. Two examples of novel sensor principles are discussed: i) The response of the surface ionic conductivity of AgCl or CaF2 upon changes of partial pressures of (Lewis) basic or acid gases can be used to sense NH3 and BF3. ii) In the major part of the paper it is shown how the deliberate use of overall acid-base cell reactions in potentiometric arrangements leads to a fast and precise CO2-sensor. For this purpose, open reference electrodes based on Na2Ti6O13 or Na2SnO3 have been constructed. Owing to the criteria developed in the text the whole cell can be exposed to a CO2 and O2 containing atmosphere without the necessity of sealing. Detailed results are given.