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The objective of this study was to derive a factor structure of the measures of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB) that is representative of cognitive abilities in a large ethnically diverse cohort of 8-year-old children in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our sample comprised of 4298 8-year-old children from the Growing Up in New Zealand study. We conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis for the NIH Toolbox CB measures to discover the best-fitting factor structure in our sample. Measurement invariance of the identified model was tested across child’s gender, socio-economic status (SES), and ethnicity.
A three-dimensional factor structure was identified, with one factor of Crystallised Cognition (Reading and Vocabulary), and two distinguished factors of fluid cognition: Fluid Cognition I (Attention/Inhibitory Control, Processing Speed, and Cognitive Flexibility) and Fluid Cognition II (Working Memory, Episodic Memory). The results demonstrate excellent model fit, but reliability of the factors was low. Measurement invariance was confirmed for child’s gender. We found configural, but neither metric nor scalar, invariance across SES and the four major ethnic groups: European, Māori, Pacific Peoples, and Asian.
Our findings show that, at the age of 8 years, fluid abilities are more strongly associated with one another than with crystallised abilities and that fluid abilities need to be further differentiated. This dimensional structure allows for comparisons across child’s gender, but evaluations across SES and ethnicity within the Aotearoa New Zealand context must be conducted with caution. We recommend using raw scores of the individual NIH Toolbox CB measures in future research.
The following position statement from the Union of the European Phoniatricians, updated on 25th May 2020 (superseding the previous statement issued on 21st April 2020), contains a series of recommendations for phoniatricians and ENT surgeons who provide and/or run voice, swallowing, speech and language, or paediatric audiology services.
This material specifically aims to inform clinical practices in countries where clinics and operating theatres are reopening for elective work. It endeavours to present a current European view in relation to common procedures, many of which fall under the aegis of aerosol generating procedures.
As evidence continues to build, some of the recommended practices will undoubtedly evolve, but it is hoped that the updated position statement will offer clinicians precepts on safe clinical practice.
Aberrant salience may contribute to the development of schizophrenia symptoms via alterations in reward processing and motivation. However, tests of this hypothesis have yielded inconsistent results. These inconsistencies may reflect problems with the validity and specificity of measures of aberrant salience in schizophrenia. Therefore, we investigated relationships among measures of aberrant salience, reward, and motivation in schizophrenia and anxiety.
Individuals with schizophrenia (n = 30), anxiety (n = 33) or unaffected by mental disorder (n = 30) completed measures of aberrant salience [Aberrant Salience Inventory (ASI), Salience Attribution Test (SAT)], motivation (Effort Expenditure for Reward Task), and reinforcer sensitivity (Stimulus Chase Task).
Schizophrenia participants scored higher than anxiety (d = 0.71) and unaffected (d = 1.54) groups on the ASI and exhibited greater aberrant salience (d = 0.60) and lower adaptive salience (d = 0.98) than anxious participants on the SAT. There was no evidence of a correlation between measures of aberrant salience. Schizophrenia was associated with related deficits in motivated behaviour and maladaptive reward processing. However, these differences in reward processing did not correlate with aberrant salience measures.
The results suggest that key measures of aberrant salience have limited specificity and validity. These problems may account for inconsistent findings reported in the literature.
Single crystal gold clusters (10 nm in size) have been collectively manipulated on mono- and bi-layered MoS2 islands (up to 20 µm) grown on SiO2 using AFM. On the monolayer the clusters tend to move in a direction corresponding to the zigzag alignment of the Mo and S atoms, and assemble into long striation patterns parallel to the scan direction. The distance between consecutive stripes is inversely proportional to the cluster concentration and size. A more detailed observation based on SEM shows that within each stripe the clusters remain separated by gaps of few nm in width possibly caused by electrostatic repulsion and/or the roughness of the SiO2 substrate (~2 nm). The stripes also proved to be thermally stable, preserving their superstructures up to 823 K. On the bilayer gold clusters are much less prone to move and assemble into stripes. These results suggest that the formation of nanostructures resulting from collective manipulation of metal clusters can be oriented by a properly chosen scan path in a rather straightforward way (as compared to one-by-one displacement of single clusters). The goal of forming µm-long but nm-thin wires with a geometrically defined shape could be easily reached with the use of smoother substrates or TMD materials with lesser charge transfer to metals adsorbed on them.
Animal studies have suggested that exposure of the middle ear to topical local anaesthesia may be ototoxic. This study aimed to report sensorineural hearing outcomes and patients’ satisfaction in those who underwent myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion using topical local anaesthesia.
Twenty-nine patients (32 ears) were operated on. Pre- and post-operative audiology findings were compared. A Likert-type questionnaire on treatment satisfaction was completed at the end of the procedure.
Median patient age was 55 years (range, 27–88 years). Pre- and post-operative bone conduction pure tone averages were 26.76 dB and 25.26 dB respectively (mean reduction of −1.22 dB, 95 per cent confidence interval of −5.91 to 8.13 dB; p = 0.7538). One ear (3 per cent) had a reduction in pure tone average of 10 dB.
The results suggest that sensorineural hearing loss is not a complication of ear exposure to topical local anaesthesia during myringotomy and ventilation tube insertion. The procedure was well perceived.
The spatial-intensity profile of light reflected during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with a microstructured target is investigated experimentally and the potential to apply this as a diagnostic of the interaction physics is explored numerically. Diffraction and speckle patterns are measured in the specularly reflected light in the cases of targets with regular groove and needle-like structures, respectively, highlighting the potential to use this as a diagnostic of the evolving plasma surface. It is shown, via ray-tracing and numerical modelling, that for a laser focal spot diameter smaller than the periodicity of the target structure, the reflected light patterns can potentially be used to diagnose the degree of plasma expansion, and by extension the local plasma temperature, at the focus of the intense laser light. The reflected patterns could also be used to diagnose the size of the laser focal spot during a high-intensity interaction when using a regular structure with known spacing.
Kefir is a fermented milk obtained by the activity of kefir grains which are composed of lactic and acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts. Many beneficial health effects have been associated with kefir consumption such as stimulation of the immune system and inhibition of pathogenic microorganisms. The biological activity of kefir may be attributed to the presence of a complex microbiota as well as the microbial metabolites that are released during fermentation. The aim of this work was to characterise the non-microbial fraction of kefir and to study its antagonism against Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Bacillus cereus. During milk fermentation there was a production of organic acids, mainly lactic and acetic acid, with a consequent decrease in pH and lactose content. The non-microbial fraction of kefir added to nutrient broth at concentrations above 75% v/v induced a complete inhibition of pathogenic growth that could be ascribed to the presence of un-dissociated lactic acid. In vitro assays using an intestinal epithelial cell model indicated that pre-incubation of cells with the non-microbial fraction of kefir did not modify the association/invasion of Salmonella whereas pre-incubation of Salmonella with this fraction under conditions that did not affect their viability significantly decreased the pathogen's ability to invade epithelial cells. Lactate exerted a protective effect against Salmonella in a mouse model, demonstrating the relevance of metabolites present in the non-microbial fraction of kefir produced during milk fermentation.
Ultramarine pigments were synthesized successfully from Na-A zeolite derived from kaolin waste. Na-A zeolite encapsulates the sulfur species formed and which act as chromophores, which circumvents their oxidation and the subsequent liberation of high levels of toxic gases during the reaction. Different Na-A zeolite matrices with various grain sizes (fine to coarse) were mixed with sulfur and sodium carbonate in various proportions to study the influence of these variables on the pigments’ colours and hues. After calcination at 500°C for 5 h, the products were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy and were classified by the Munsell system (colour and hue). Products with colour ranging from blue to green with various hues were obtained. Both colour and hue were affected by the amount of additives and by the particle size.
As in the past, the primary activity of the IAU Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements has been to prepare and publish a triennial (“2009”) report containing current recommendations for models for Solar System bodies (Archinal et al. (2011a)). The authors are B. A. Archinal, M. F. A'Hearn, E. Bowell, A. Conrad, G. J. Consolmagno, R. Courtin, T. Fukushima, D. Hestroffer, J. L. Hilton, G. A. Krasinsky, G. Neumann, J. Oberst, P. K. Seidelmann, P. Stooke, D. J. Tholen, P. C. Thomas, and I. P. Williams. An erratum to the “2006” and “2009” reports has also been published (Archinal et al. (2011b)). Below we briefly summarize the contents of the 2009 report, a plan to consider requests for new recommendations more often than every three years, three general recommendations by the WG to the planetary community, other WG activities, and plans for our next report.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the letter by Gibson and Little. The authors raise several points that require a response. First, they claim that we inaccurately characterized the DERP/Washington State Medicaid agency, and did not appreciate that the DERP and the Washington State Medicaid agency have different missions. On the contrary, however, we fully recognized that DERP's mission is to conduct systematic reviews and not to make recommendations, whereas Washington State uses the reviews in making recommendations for their Medicaid enrollees. We specifically noted in the study that “Washington Medicaid is one of fourteen participants in the DERP. DERP researchers conduct health technology assessments for drug classes. Participants in the DERP, such as the Washington Medicaid program, retain local authority for interpreting DERP reports and for decision making regarding which drugs to pay for.” We chose to analyze DERP/Washington State as a single entity for our exercise because we were interested in analyzing the link between the HTA conducted and the decisions that follow them.