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Smartphones have the potential for capturing subtle changes in cognition that characterize preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in older adults. The Ambulatory Research in Cognition (ARC) smartphone application is based on principles from ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and administers brief tests of associative memory, processing speed, and working memory up to 4 times per day over 7 consecutive days. ARC was designed to be administered unsupervised using participants’ personal devices in their everyday environments.
We evaluated the reliability and validity of ARC in a sample of 268 cognitively normal older adults (ages 65–97 years) and 22 individuals with very mild dementia (ages 61–88 years). Participants completed at least one 7-day cycle of ARC testing and conventional cognitive assessments; most also completed cerebrospinal fluid, amyloid and tau positron emission tomography, and structural magnetic resonance imaging studies.
First, ARC tasks were reliable as between-person reliability across the 7-day cycle and test-retest reliabilities at 6-month and 1-year follow-ups all exceeded 0.85. Second, ARC demonstrated construct validity as evidenced by correlations with conventional cognitive measures (r = 0.53 between composite scores). Third, ARC measures correlated with AD biomarker burden at baseline to a similar degree as conventional cognitive measures. Finally, the intensive 7-day cycle indicated that ARC was feasible (86.50% approached chose to enroll), well tolerated (80.42% adherence, 4.83% dropout), and was rated favorably by older adult participants.
Overall, the results suggest that ARC is reliable and valid and represents a feasible tool for assessing cognitive changes associated with the earliest stages of AD.
Experimental studies have shown that in small cell neuroendocrine lung carcinomas (SCLC) global opening of the chromatin structure is associated with a higher transcription activity and increase of tumor aggressiveness and metastasis. The study of the fractal characteristics (FD) of nuclear chromatin has been widely used to describe the cell nuclear texture and its changes correspond to changes in nuclear metabolic and transcription activity. Hence, we investigated whether the nuclear fractal dimension could be a prognostic factor in SCLC. Hematoxylin-eosin stained brush cytology slides from 49 patients with SCLC were retrieved from our files. The chromatin (FD) was calculated in digitalized and interactively segmented nuclei using a differential box-counting method. The 3,575 nuclei studied showed a bimodal distribution (peaks at FD1 = 2.115 and FD2 = 2.180). The 75 percentile of the FD was an independent unfavorable prognostic factor for overall survival when tested together with ECOG (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group) performance status, tumor extension, and therapy in a multivariate Cox regression. Our study corroborates the concept of two main chromatin configurations in small cell neuroendocrine carcinomas and that globally more open chromatin indicates a higher risk of metastasis and therefore a shorter survival of the patient.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
Motivated by recent discoveries of isolated, dispersed radio pulses of possible extragalactic origin, we are performing a commensal search for short-duration (ms) continuum radio pulses using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). The geographically separated antennæ of the VLBA make the system robust to local RFI and allow events to be verified and localised on the sky with milli-arcsec accuracy. We report sky coverage and detection limits from the experiment to date.
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