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Although the concept, first demonstration, and potential applications of X-ray transmission mirrors (XTMs) were initially described over 30 years ago, only a few implementations exist in the literature. This is attributed to the unsolved challenge of a thick frame supporting a thin, reflecting membrane which does not itself block the transmitted beam. Here, we introduce a novel approach to solve this problem by employing silicon microfabrication. A robust XTM frame has been fabricated by using a novel two-step etch process, which secures the thin-film membrane without blocking the transmitted beam. Specifically, we have fabricated delicate XTM optics with 90% yield, which consist of 280-nm-thick low-stress silicon nitride membrane windows that are 1.5 mm wide and 125 mm long on silicon substrates. The XTM optics have been demonstrated to be a more efficient high-pass X-ray filter; for example, when configured for 40% transmission of 11.3 keV photons, we measure the reduction of 8.4 keV photons by a factor of 56.
The natural course of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) encompasses the occurrence of alternating intervals of major depressive episodes and remission. While several abnormalities in neural circuits related to acute MDD have been identified, the neural mechanisms underlying stable remission remain obscure.
Acute MDD is characterized by increased amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) activation and decreased connectivity between the amygdala and the sACC. Consequently, we expect those regions to be affected during remission.
To determine whether active counter-regulatory mechanisms are implicated in the maintenance of full remission once antidepressant treatment has been discontinued.
Functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure brain activation and volume of the amygdala and the sACC. Images were obtained from 38 healthy subjects without any psychiatric life-time diagnosis and 38 gender-matched drug-free remitted MDD patients. Furthermore, correlation analyses were performed with clinical variables.
Patients with rMDD exhibited lower activation in the amygdala and the sACC and increased functional coupling between the amygdala and sACC compared to controls. This connectivity was particularly pronounced in patients characterized by a long cumulated time of depressive episodes. Similarly, structural connectivity results showed increased association between the amygdala and sACC volume in rMDD patients compared to controls.
Remitted MDD is related to neural alterations within a neural circuit encompassing the amygdala and the sACC compared to controls. These findings suggest active counter-regulatory mechanisms likely contributing to the maintenance of remission once treatment has been discontinued.
Rare specimens of eldonioids recovered from the lower Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 4) Emu Bay Shale (EBS) Konservat-Lagerstätte represent the first record of the group for the Cambrian of East Gondwana. The disc-shaped body of the EBS taxon bears fine concentric corrugations on the dorsal surface and, ventrally, a series of internal lobes that have primary and secondary bifurcations, as well as a coiled sac. It appears to be most similar to Rotadiscus and Pararotadiscus of the Cambrian Chengjiang and Kaili biotas of South China, respectively. While the structure of the internal lobes would indicate that this occurrence in the EBS represents a new taxon within the Rotadiscidae, lack of detail regarding the precise number of internal lobes and the condition of the circumoral tentacles warrants a more conservative approach in leaving the genus and species under open nomenclature. The EBS specimens also host trace fossils, including the remains of a burrow, which are generally lacking in the body-fossil-bearing layers of the Konservat-Lagerstätte interval. These traces appear to have been made by small organisms and are similar to traces associated with the discs of Pararotadiscus guizhouensis (Zhao and Zhu, 1994) from the Kaili Biota. The available taphonomic, paleoenvironmental, and ichnological evidence indicates that the EBS eldonioids are most likely vagrants that were transported or settled into the ‘preservational trap’ and subsequently exposed on the substrate for a brief period before burial, thereby allowing organisms to exploit their carcasses for nutrients or other purposes.
Rare specimens of eldonioids recovered from the lower Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 4) Emu Bay Shale (EBS) Konservat-Lagerstätte represent the first record of the group for the Cambrian of East Gondwana. The disc-shaped body of the EBS taxon bears fine concentric corrugations on the dorsal surface and, ventrally, a series of internal lobes that have primary and secondary bifurcations, as well as a coiled sac. It appears to be most similar to Rotadiscus and Pararotadiscus of the Cambrian Chengjiang and Kaili biotas of South China, respectively. While the structure of the internal lobes would indicate that this occurrence in the EBS represents a new taxon within the Rotadiscidae, lack of detail regarding the precise number of internal lobes and the condition of the circumoral tentacles warrants a more conservative approach in leaving the genus and species under open nomenclature. The EBS specimens also host trace fossils, including the remains of a burrow, which are generally lacking in the body-fossil-bearing layers of the Konservat-Lagerstätte interval. These traces appear to have been made by small organisms and are similar to traces associated with the discs of Pararotadiscus guizhouensis Zhao and Zhu, 1994 from the Kaili Biota. The available taphonomic, paleoenvironmental, and ichnological evidence indicates that the EBS eldonioids are most likely vagrants that were transported or settled into the ‘preservational trap’ and subsequently exposed on the substrate for a brief period before burial, thereby allowing organisms to exploit their carcasses for nutrients or other purposes.
Plasmodium knowlesi is increasingly recognized as a major cause of malaria in Southeast Asia. Anopheles leucosphyrous group mosquitoes transmit the parasite and natural hosts include long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques. Despite early laboratory experiments demonstrating successful passage of infection between humans, the true role that humans play in P. knowlesi epidemiology remains unclear. The threat posed by its introduction into immunologically naïve populations is unknown despite being a public health priority for this region. A two-host species mathematical model was constructed to analyse this threat. Global sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo methods highlighted the biological processes of greatest influence to transmission. These included parameters known to be influential in classic mosquito-borne disease models (e.g. vector longevity); however, interesting ecological components that are specific to this system were also highlighted: while local vectors likely have intrinsic preferences for certain host species, how plastic these preferences are, and how this is shaped by local conditions, are key determinants of parasite transmission potential. Invasion analysis demonstrates that this behavioural plasticity can qualitatively impact the probability of an epidemic sparked by imported infection. Identifying key vector sub/species and studying their biting behaviours constitute important next steps before models can better assist in strategizing disease control.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Correlation of lower Cambrian strata is often confounded by provincialism of key fauna. The widespread occurrence of the micromollusc Watsonella crosbyi Grabau, 1900 is therefore an important biostratigraphic signpost with potential for international correlation of lower Cambrian successions. Previous correlations of W. crosbyi from Australia (Normanville Group) suggested an Atdabanian- to Botoman-equivalent age. However, in the upper part of the Mount Terrible Formation, stratigraphic ranges of W. crosbyi and Aldanella sp. cf. golubevi overlap prior to the incoming of vertically burrowed ‘piperock’, which is indicative of an age no earlier than Cambrian Stage 2. The stratigraphic range of W. crosbyi in the Normanville Group, South Australia correlates with the ranges of the taxon in China, France, Mongolia and Siberia (though not Newfoundland). The new Australian data add further support for considering the first occurrence of W. crosbyi a good potential candidate for defining the base of Cambrian Stage 2. The stratigraphic range of W. crosbyi through the lower Cambrian Normanville Group has been determined based on collections from measured sections. Although rare, W. crosbyi is part of an assemblage of micromolluscs including Bemella sp., Parailsanella sp. cf. murenica and a sinistral form of Aldanella (A. sp. cf. A. golubevi). Other fauna present include Australohalkieria sp., Eremactis mawsoni, chancelloriids and Cupitheca sp.
Worldwide, dating rock art is difficult to achieve because of the frequent lack of datable material and the difficulty of removing contamination from samples. Our research aimed to select the paints that would be the most likely to be successfully radiocarbon dated and to estimate the quantity of paint needed depending on the nature of the paint and the weathering and alteration products associated with it. To achieve this aim, a two-step sampling strategy, coupled with a multi-instrument characterization (including SEM-EDS, Raman spectroscopy, and FTIR spectroscopy analysis) and a modified acid-base-acid (ABA) pretreatment, was created. In total, 41 samples were dated from 14 sites in three separate regions of southern Africa. These novel protocols ensure that the 14C chronology produced was robust and could also be subsequently applied to different regions with possible variations in paint preparation, geology, weathering conditions, and contaminants.
The public health threat posed by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi appears to be growing: it is increasingly reported across South East Asia, and is the leading cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Plasmodium knowlesi threatens progress towards malaria elimination as aspects of its transmission, such as spillover from wildlife reservoirs and reliance on outdoor-biting vectors, may limit the effectiveness of conventional methods of malaria control. The development of new quantitative approaches that address the ecological complexity of P. knowlesi, particularly through a focus on its primary reservoir hosts, will be required to control it. Here, we review what is known about P. knowlesi transmission, identify key knowledge gaps in the context of current approaches to transmission modelling, and discuss the integration of these approaches with clinical parasitology and geostatistical analysis. We highlight the need to incorporate the influences of fine-scale spatial variation, rapid changes to the landscape, and reservoir population and transmission dynamics. The proposed integrated approach would address the unique challenges posed by malaria as a zoonosis, aid the identification of transmission hotspots, provide insight into the mechanistic links between incidence and land use change and support the design of appropriate interventions.
Recent evidence from very young human infants' responses to human and nonhuman primate vocalizations offers new insights – and brings new questions – to the forefront for those who seek to integrate primate-general and human-specific mechanisms of acoustic communication with theories of language acquisition.
A new species of Oikozetetes, O. mounti n. sp. is described from the upper Mernmerna Formation (equivalent to Cambrian Series 2) in the eastern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Description of both shell morphotypes (morph A and B) from the same stratigraphic horizon favors the interpretation of a two-shelled scleritome for Oikozetetes. Identification of at least two types of halkieriid sclerite (palmates and siculates) in stratigraphic association with the Halkieria-like shells of Oikozetetes suggests that these elements are derived from the same scleritome. This provides evidence against previous suggestions that the Gondwanan species was aspiculate; the scleritome arrangement is interpreted to be similar to Halkieria evangelista Conway Morris and Peel, 1995 and supports placement in the family Halkieriidae Poulsen, 1967. Comparison of modes of accretionary growth in Oikozetetes shell morphotypes to Halkieria shells and terminal plates in modern polyplacophorans, supports a scleritome model that places shell morphs A and B in posterior and anterior locations, respectively, along the axis of the body.
Preclinical studies suggest that prior treatment with escalating doses of methamphetamine (METH) attenuates the persistent deficits in hippocampal serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5HT) transporter (SERT) function resulting from a subsequent ‘binge’ METH exposure. Previous work also demonstrates that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) exposure increases SERT function. The current study investigated changes in hippocampal BDNF protein and SERT function in rats exposed to saline or METH self-administration prior to a binge exposure to METH or saline. Results revealed that METH self-administration increased hippocampal mature BDNF (mBDNF) immunoreactivity compared to saline-treated rats as assessed 24 h after the start of the last session. Further, mBDNF immunoreactivity was increased and SERT function was not altered in rats that self-administered METH prior to the binge METH exposure as assessed 24 h after the binge exposure. These results suggest that prior exposure to contingent METH increases hippocampal mBDNF, and this may contribute to attenuated deficits in SERT function.
Instruction and research related to engineering ethics is by no means a new field of practice. However, as the field of engineering education has been formalized and seen significant growth, the field of engineering ethics has naturally benefited. This chapter is divided into four subsections. The first section is a relatively brief overview of what engineering ethics is and how is it defined. The second section is a review of the historical development of engineering ethics in professional practice and in higher education. The third section is focused entirely on engineering ethics in education and addresses issues of curriculum content, pedagogical methods, resources, and instructor qualifications, as well as providing an overview of assessment of moral development. Finally, the fourth section focuses on engineering ethics in practice and covers such topics as the environment and sustainability, research ethics, application of ethics in international context, academic dishonesty, macroethics, and other emerging issues.
What Is Engineering Ethics?
Two of the most popular textbooks in engineering ethics define engineering ethics in similar yet different ways. The definition offered by Martin and Schinzinger (1996) in their classic text is descriptive:
Engineering ethics is (1) the study of moral issues and decisions confronting individuals and organizations engaged in engineering and (2) the study of related questions about the moral ideals, character, policies and relationships of people and corporations involved in technological activity.
The behavioral sciences have flourished by studying how traditional and/or rational behavior has been governed throughout most of human history by relatively well-informed individual and social learning. In the online age, however, social phenomena can occur with unprecedented scale and unpredictability, and individuals have access to social connections never before possible. Similarly, behavioral scientists now have access to “big data” sets – those from Twitter and Facebook, for example – that did not exist a few years ago. Studies of human dynamics based on these data sets are novel and exciting but, if not placed in context, can foster the misconception that mass-scale online behavior is all we need to understand, for example, how humans make decisions. To overcome that misconception, we draw on the field of discrete-choice theory to create a multiscale comparative “map” that, like a principal-components representation, captures the essence of decision making along two axes: (1) an east–west dimension that represents the degree to which an agent makes a decision independently versus one that is socially influenced, and (2) a north–south dimension that represents the degree to which there is transparency in the payoffs and risks associated with the decisions agents make. We divide the map into quadrants, each of which features a signature behavioral pattern. When taken together, the map and its signatures provide an easily understood empirical framework for evaluating how modern collective behavior may be changing in the digital age, including whether behavior is becoming more individualistic, as people seek out exactly what they want, or more social, as people become more inextricably linked, even “herdlike,” in their decision making. We believe the map will lead to many new testable hypotheses concerning human behavior as well as to similar applications throughout the social sciences.
In a recent New York Times column (April 15, 2013), David Brooks discussed how the big-data agenda lacks a coherent framework of social theory – a deficiency that the Bentley, O'Brien, and Brock (henceforth BOB) model was meant to overcome. Or, stated less pretentiously, the model was meant as a first step in that direction – a map that hopefully would serve as a minimal, practical, and accessible framework that behavioral scientists could use to analyze big data. Rather than treating big data as a record of, and also a predictor of, where and when certain behaviors might take place, the BOB model is interested in what big data reveal about how decisions are being made, how collective behavior evolves from daily to decadal time scales, and how this varies across communities.
An important advance in the radiocarbon dating of archaeological material occurred in the late 1990s, with direct dating of cremated human remains. A crucial part of the argument was the demonstration that comparable results could be obtained from paired dates of charcoal and calcined bone from the same contexts. Recent studies, however, have noted the influence of carbon from the fuel sources, raising a question over the interpretation of the paired charcoal/bone dates. Here, fleshed modern animal joints were burned with “old” fuel of known age, providing experimental evidence under natural conditions, demonstrating a clear effect of the fuel source on the carbon isotopic composition of calcined bone. In most situations in which branchwood was used as fuel, dates on calcined bone should not show any significant offset, as the wood will be of a similar age to the cadaver. For cases in which old wood, coal, or peat are used as fuel, we expect an offset of some decades/centuries, potentially up to millennia. We observed, however, that the amount of 14C intake from the fuel is extremely variable (from 39 to 95%). A strong correlation between age offset and δ13C values suggests that the latter might be useful in identifying large inputs from 14C-depleted fuels. A level of caution is recommended when 14C dating calcined bone in cases where fuels with an inbuilt age may have been used in the cremation process.