The aim of the current study is to examine if the top-down controlled response inhibition on a stop-signal task (SST) can be trained. Results from previous studies have been equivocal, possibly because signal-response combinations are often not varied across training and test phases, allowing bottom-up signal-response associations to be formed that may improve response inhibition. The current study compared the response inhibition on the SST in a pre-test and post-test in an experimental group (EG) and control group (CG). In between tests, the EG received ten training sessions on the SST with varying signal-response combinations that were also different from the combinations in the test phase. The CG received ten training sessions on the choice reaction time task. Results failed to reveal a decrease in stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) during and after training, with Bayesian analyses revealing anecdotal and substantial evidence for the null hypothesis during and after training, respectively. Yet, the EG did show smaller go reaction times (Go_RT) and stop signal delays (SSD) after training. The results indicate that the top-down controlled response inhibition is difficult or impossible to improve.
Central/West Africa is one of the most biodiverse regions on earth and one of the largest producers of cacao, producing about 68.4 % of the world's chocolate. Here, cacao pests and diseases can cause losses of $761 million annually. However, no studies from Africa have quantified the role of flying vertebrates as pest suppressors in cacao plantations. We used an exclusion experiment to prevent access of bats and birds to cacao trees for 12 months and quantified how their absence affected arthropod communities, herbivory, and cacao crop yield. Overall, important pests such as mealybugs and other hemipterans were more abundant in exclosures (9 and 1.6 times increase, respectively), despite potential multitrophic interactions with simultaneously increasing predatory arthropods such as spiders and mantis. Under heavy shade (90 %), cacao trees with flying vertebrate exclosures had 3.9 times fewer flowers and 3.2 times fewer large pods than control trees, corresponding to estimated losses on average of $478 ha⁻¹y⁻¹. Under low tree-level shade cover (10 %) however, the opposite pattern was evident: exclosure trees had 5.2 times more flowers and 3.7 times more large pods than control trees, corresponding to estimated savings on average of $796 ha⁻¹y⁻¹. We demonstrate that the enormous potential of African flying vertebrates as pest suppressors in cacao plantations is dependent on local shade tree management and only economically relevant above 50 % of shade. Despite higher productivity at low shade levels, our findings encourage African policymakers and farmers to adopt more high shade cacao agroforestry systems to maximize pest suppression services provided by bats and birds.
Objective: The aim of this study is to explore whether cortical activation and its lateralization during motor imagery (MI) in subacute spinal cord injury (SCI) are indicative of existing or upcoming central neuropathic pain (CNP). Methods: Multichannel electroencephalogram was recorded during MI of both hands in four groups of participants: able-bodied (N = 10), SCI and CNP (N = 11), SCI who developed CNP within 6 months of EEG recording (N = 10), and SCI who remained CNP-free (N = 10). Source activations and its lateralization were derived in four frequency bands in 20 regions spanning sensorimotor cortex and pain matrix. Results: Statistically significant differences in lateralization were found in the theta band in premotor cortex (upcoming vs existing CNP, p = 0.036), in the alpha band at the insula (healthy vs upcoming CNP, p = 0.012), and in the higher beta band at the somatosensory association cortex (no CNP vs upcoming CNP, p = 0.042). People with upcoming CNP had stronger activation compared to those with no CNP in the higher beta band for MI of both hands. Conclusions: Activation intensity and lateralization during MI in pain-related areas might hold a predictive value for CNP. Significance: The study increases understanding of the mechanisms underlying transition from asymptomatic to symptomatic early CNP in SCI.
The measurement of dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAs) is an important second-line test to aid in the diagnosis of premature adrenarche, peripubertal gynaecomastia in males and in identifying the source of elevated androgens in females. Historically, DHEAs has been measured by immunoassay platforms which are prone to poor sensitivity and more importantly poor specificity. The aim was to develop an LC-MSMS method for the measurement of DHEAs in human plasma and serum, develop an in-house paediatric (<6 year old) reference limit and compare the performance against the Abbott Alinity DHEAs immunoassay method. Following pre-treatment with an internal standard, samples were loaded onto EVOLUTE® EXPRESS ABN plate. Analytes were separated with reverse-phase chromatography using ACQUITY® UPLC® HSS T3 2.1 mm × 50 mm, 1.8 μm column. Mass spectrometry detection was performed using a Waters® Xevo TQ-XS in electrospray negative mode. For the paediatric reference range, samples were collected from an inpatient setting (age ≤ 6 years old) with no evidence of adrenal dysfunction or history of/current steroid use. The method comparison was performed using samples from this cohort aged between 0 and 52 weeks. The assay demonstrated linearity up to 15 µmol/L (r2 > 0.99) with a functional sensitivity of 0.1 µmol/L. Accuracy results revealed a mean bias of 0.7% (-14% to 15%) when compared against the NEQAS EQA LC-MSMS consensus mean (n = 48). The paediatric reference limit was calculated as ≤ 2.3 µmol/L (95% C.I. 1.4 to 3.8 µmol/L) for ≤ 6 year olds (n = 38). Comparison of neonatal (<52 weeks) DHEAs with the Abbott Alinity revealed that the immunoassay ran at a 166% positive bias (n = 24) which appeared to lessen with increasing age. Described is a robust LC-MSMS method for the measurement of plasma or serum DHEAs validated against internationally recognised protocols. Comparison of paediatric samples of <52 weeks against an immunoassay platform demonstrated that in the immediate new-born period results generated from the LC-MSMS method offer superior specificity than an immunoassay platform.
Purpose: Although physical activity (PA) has been consistently associated with breast cancer, existing evidence is limited to self-reported physical activity, which is prone to dilution bias. Therefore, this aims to examine the associations of device-measured PA domains with breast cancer risk and whether it differs by menopausal status. Methods: Prospective cohort study. Data from 48,286 women from the UK Biobank cohort were analyzed. A wrist triaxial accelerometer was used to collect physical activity data for light, moderate, vigorous, moderate to vigorous, and total PA. Cox proportional models were performed to examine the association between PA domains, menopausal status, and breast cancer risk. Results: Eight hundred thirty-six breast cancer cases were diagnosed during a median of 5.4 years (interquartile range: 4.7-5.9). For total PA, those in the most active quartile had a 26% lower risk of breast cancer (Hazard ratio [HR]: 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61-0.91) compared with those least active. Similar results were observed for light PA (HR: 0.79; 95% CI, 0.64-0.96), and moderate to vigorous PA (HR: 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64-0.96). However, moderate PA (HR: 0.73; 95% CI, 0.44-1.19) and vigorous PA (HR: 0.77; 95% CI, 0.56-1.05) was nonsignificant. No evidence of interaction between PA domains and menopause status was found (P > .10). Conclusion: High levels of PA are associated with a lower risk of breast cancer with similar magnitude of associations observed across different intensity domains.
We report on oxide free 940 nm VCSELs based on a buried tunnel junction acting as a lithographic aperture and achieving power conversion efficiency above 40%. We present the fabrication flow implementing a 2-step epitaxial growth as well as a detailed electro-optical characterization of the fabricated devices. The tunnel junction based VCSELs benefit from a uniform current distribution thanks to a low resistive n-doped top DBR. The mesa-free lithographically defined aperture enables the arrangement of compact arrays constituted of small single mode emitters. Such array configuration allows to scale up the generated optical power while maintaining a diffraction-limited Gaussian beam and limiting the impact of thermal rollover.
- Alvaro Sanchez-Rubio
- Vineetha Jayawarna
- Emily Maxwell
- Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez
Tissue engineering aims at replicating tissues and organs to develop applications in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, by engineering artificial constructs using functional materials and cells to provide both physiological form and function. In vitro, by engineering 3D models to support drug discovery and enable understanding of fundamental biology. 3D culture constructs mimic cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and use biomaterials seeking to increase the resemblance of engineered tissues with its in vivo homologues. Native tissues, however, include complex architectures, with compartmentalized regions of different properties containing different types of cells that can be captured by multicompartment constructs. Recent advances in fabrication technologies, such as micropatterning, microfluidics or 3D bioprinting, have enabled compartmentalized structures with defined compositions and properties that are essential in creating 3D cell-laden multiphasic complex architectures. This review focuses on advances in engineered multicompartment constructs that mimic tissue heterogeneity. It included multiphasic 3D implantable scaffolds and in vitro models, including systems that incorporate different regions emulating in vivo tissues, highlighting the emergence and relevance of 3D bioprinting in the future of biological research and medicine. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
- Laura Maenhout
- Maïté Verloigne
- Deborah Cairns
- Sofie Compernolle
Background Co-creation is a method to develop acceptable, contextually appropriate and potentially more effective interventions. Adolescents with intellectual disabilities (ID) seldomly participate in research and program development due to the assumption that they lack the capacity to understand and discuss the related topics. Objective This study describes reflections on a co-creation process with adolescents with ID from the point of view of the researchers in developing an intervention to increase physical activity. It was the aim to highlight elements that must be considered when implementing co-creation and consequently formulate important lessons learned. Methods Twenty-three adolescents (14–22 y) with mild to moderate ID participated in six co-creation sessions at their school. The objectives and working methods in each session are described. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted on the researchers' reflection forms, which were completed after each session. Results Seven main themes could be distinguished from the data: experiences related to assistance (i.e., teacher presence) during sessions, the importance of building rapport, co-decision making power, the impact of different group dynamics, the relevance of adapted questioning, the influence of co-creative working methods and required characteristics of a co-creation researcher. Conclusion Seven lessons learned were formulated when preparing and conducting co-creation with adolescents with ID. Innovative, concrete (non-abstract) and creative working methods are highly needed. Describing the entire process transparently could be a first step to turn co-creative research into an evidence-based methodology.
- Joseph Runde
- Iva Veseli
- Emily C Fogarty
- A Murat Eren
Background and Aims Exclusive enteral nutrition [EEN] is a dietary intervention to induce clinical remission in children with active luminal Crohn’s disease [CD]. While changes in the gut microbial communities have been implicated in achieving this remission, a precise understanding of the role of microbial ecology in the restoration of gut homeostasis is lacking. Methods Here we reconstructed genomes from the gut metagenomes of 12 paediatric subjects who were sampled before, during and after EEN. We then classified each microbial population into distinct ‘phenotypes’ or patterns of response based on changes in their relative abundances throughout the therapy on a per-individual basis. Results Our data show that children achieving clinical remission during therapy were enriched with microbial populations that were either suppressed or that demonstrated a transient bloom as a function of EEN. In contrast, this ecosystem-level response was not observed in cases of EEN failure. Further analysis revealed that populations that were suppressed during EEN were significantly more prevalent in healthy children and adults across the globe compared with those that bloomed ephemerally during the therapy. Conclusions These observations taken together suggest that successful outcomes of EEN are marked by a temporary emergence of microbial populations that are rare in healthy individuals, and a concomitant reduction in microbes that are commonly associated with gut homeostasis. Our work is a first attempt to highlight individual-specific, complex environmental factors that influence microbial response in EEN. This model offers a novel, alternative viewpoint to traditional taxonomic strategies used to characterize associations with health and disease states.
Clinically we have been aware of the concept of Candida biofilms for many decades, though perhaps without the formal designation. Just over twenty years ago the subject emerged on the back of progress made from the bacterial biofilms, and academic progress pace has continued to mirror the bacterial biofilm community, albeit at a decreased volume. It is apparent that Candida species have a considerable capacity to colonise surfaces and interfaces and form tenacious biofilm structures, either alone or in mixed species communities. From the oral cavity, to the respiratory and genitourinary tracts, wounds, or in and around a plethora of biomedical devices, the scope of these infections is vast. These are highly tolerant to antifungal therapies that has a measurable impact on clinical management. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overight of our current clinical understanding of where these biofilms cause infections, and we discuss existing and emerging antifungal therapies and strategies.
This article discusses the implementation of the press publishers’ right introduced by Art. 15 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (CDSM). It analyses Member States’ transpositions through the lens of the legislative intent of the EU legislator, who aimed to strengthen the press publishers’ bargaining position towards digital intermediates while preserving users’ freedom to share information online. The article argues that the implementation process further exposes the shortcomings of the press publishers’ right and its unfitness to deliver the goals set. The negotiation basis that the right provides is neither clear, nor capable of correcting bargaining imbalances, as it is unable to force relevant platforms to the negotiation table. The extension of the scope of the press publishers’ right to social media is questionable, as it inherently influences users’ freedoms. The article cautions against the implementation of the press publishers’ right in a way that mimics the solutions endorsed in the competition law-based bargaining codes with the excess of implementation freedoms provided by the CDSM Directive.
The vortex ring state (VRS) is a flow condition typical of rotors operating in axial descent flight which may lead to large unpredictable thrust oscillations and possibly the loss of control of the rotorcraft. Despite the dangers associated with this flight condition, there is a distinct lack of detailed experimental data related to shrouded rotors operating in axial descent, which is of relevance owing to the number of novel unmanned aerial vehicles that incorporate this technology. This manuscript presents an experimental investigation designed to assess if and how the presence of the shroud affects the development of the vortex ring state. To this end, laser Doppler anemometry and particle image velocimetry were used to investigate the flow for a range of descent velocities and results were compared with those obtained without the shroud. Time-averaged data were used to assess the general structures of the flow fields, whilst statistical analysis of the velocity fluctuations and modal analysis of the velocity field using proper orthogonal decomposition highlighted the unsteady features of the flow. The investigation showed that shrouded rotors enter the VRS similarly to their isolated counterparts, and the presence of the shroud may be responsible for a slight delay of its onset. Graphical abstract
This study examines the piezoresistive behavior of MWCNT/polymer composites fabricated by the digital light processing (DLP) technique. A photocurable nanocomposite resin feedstock possessing low viscosity with excellent printability and high conductivity was developed for DLP 3D printing of bulk and cellular geometries. By optimizing the resin composition and synthesis route, electrical percolation was achieved at an ultra-low MWCNT loading of 0.01 phr (parts per hundred resin), providing a conductivity of 3.5 × 10⁻⁵ S m⁻¹, which is significantly higher than the values reported in the extant works for similar nanocomposites. Reducing the MWCNT content also enhanced the piezoresistivity of the nanocomposite due to longer inter-MWCNT distances in the percolating conductive network. Under quasi-static tensile loading, the nanocomposite with 0.01 phr MWCNT loading showed gauge factors of 2.40 and 4.78, corresponding to the elastic and inelastic regime, respectively. Quasi-static cyclic tensile tests with constant strain amplitudes (within elastic regime) revealed that the response of the nanocomposite was affected by viscoelastic deformation, which caused significant changes in the material’s strain sensing performance between consecutive load cycles. Finally, the developed resin was used to realize a self-sensing gyroid lattice structure, and its strain and damage sensing capabilities were demonstrated.
Chagas disease is a significant public health risk in rural and semi-rural areas of Venezuela. Triatomine infection by the aetiological agent Trypanosoma cruzi is also observed in the Metropolitan District of Caracas (MDC), where foodborne T. cruzi outbreaks occasionally occur but active vector-to-human transmission (infection during triatomine bloodmeal) is considered absent. Citizen science-based domiciliary triatomine collection carried out between 2007 and 2013 in the MDC has advanced understanding of urban T. cruzi prevalence patterns and represents an important public awareness-building tool. The present study reports on the extension of this triatomine collection program from 2014 to 2019 and uses mitochondrial metabarcoding to assess feeding behavior in a subset of specimens. The combined, thirteen-year dataset (n = 4872) shows a high rate of T. cruzi infection (75.2%) and a predominance of Panstrongylus geniculatus (99.01%) among triatomines collected in domiciliary areas by MDC inhabitants. Collection also involved nymphal stages of P. geniculatus in 18 of 32 MDC parishes. Other collected species included Triatoma nigromaculata, Triatoma maculata, Rhodnius prolixus, and Panstrongylus rufotuberculatus. Liquid intestinal content indicative of bloodmeal was observed in 53.4% of analyzed specimens. Dissection pools representing 108 such visually blooded P. geniculatus specimens predominantly tested positive for human cytochrome b DNA (22 of 24 pools). Additional bloodmeal sources detected via metabarcoding analysis included key sylvatic T. cruzi reservoirs (opossum and armadillo), rodents, and various other synanthropic and domesticated animals. Results suggest a porous sylvatic-domiciliary transmission interface and ongoing adaptation of P. geniculatus to the urban ecotope. Although P. geniculatus defecation traits greatly limit the possibility of active T. cruzi transmission for any individual biting event, the cumulation of this low risk across a vast metropolitan population warrants further investigation. Efforts to prevent triatomine contact with human food sources also clearly require greater attention to protect Venezuela's capital from Chagas disease.
Objectives: To describe multiligament stifle injury in dogs and report complications and long-term outcomes. Methods: Medical records of dogs surgically treated for multiligament stifle injury were reviewed from six veterinary hospitals. Long-term follow-up was collected from referring veterinarians. Results: Twenty-six client-owned dogs and 26 stifles were included. Road traffic accidents and limb entrapment were the most common causes of injury. Cranial cruciate and lateral collateral ligament rupture was the most common combination of injury (10 cases). The caudal cruciate ligament was damaged in 12/23 cases but was surgically addressed in only 2 cases. Cranial cruciate ligament rupture was present in all cases and was managed using TPLO (6 cases), extracapsular suture (15 cases) and TTA (2 cases). Postoperative immobilisation with a transarticular external skeletal fixator was used in 4/26 cases. Intraoperative complications were reported in 2/23 cases, short-term complications in 17/25 cases, of which eight were major, and long-term complications in 7/18, of which two were major. Patella luxation was seen in one case and is a previously unreported complication. The overall outcome was excellent in 9/24 cases, good in 5/24 cases, fair in 7/24 cases and poor in 3/24 cases. Follow-up time ranged from 1.5 months to 9 years with the median (IQR) of 9.5 (4.0 to 28.5) months. Conclusions: Multiligament stifle injury in dogs is associated with a high rate of major complications. The overall outcome was good to excellent in just over half of the dogs.
Successful pancreas or islet transplantation is currently the only cure for type-1 diabetes mellitus. Since the first pancreas transplant in 1966, there have been various refinements of surgical technique along with improved immunosuppressive regimens, resulting in significantly improved outcomes, with contemporary research into graft monitoring and newer biomarkers, potentially lengthening graft survival rates further. Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus who are eligible for pancreas or islet transplantation represent a select group, the tip of the iceberg for a significant global diabetes disease burden. In the last fifty years there have been quantum advances in alternative technologies in diabetes therapy, both experimental and translational. Further development and improved access are required to treat the larger proportion of people suffering from diabetes. Emerging stem cell therapy is still experimental whereas alternatives including automated insulin delivery systems, islet cell transplantation are already used in some countries. While automated insulin delivery systems have increased in efficacy, they still do not achieve the near physiological control of blood sugar, which can be achieved by successful pancreas or islet transplantation. This state-of-the-art review provides a summary of pancreas and islet transplantation to its current place in diabetes therapy, along with alternative and future therapies, including the obstacles associated with the dissemination of these new therapies. With the advent of these modern cellular and technological advances, this review addresses the question: are we entering an era where whole organ pancreas transplantation could be replaced entirely by modern technological advances in diabetes therapy?
This article takes a case study approach to shed light on the work of female managerial staff in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the care and medical sector more broadly. It takes as its point of departure an example of conflict between the Infirmary’s matron and a member of the committee of subscribers in order to examine the complex workplace relations in an institution increasingly responsible for healthcare provision for the poor in the city of Edinburgh. It explores contemporary assumptions about gendered patterns of work, care and housekeeping tasks and the implications of this normative framework for female staff and their personal, professional, and familial lives. It argues that the expanding sector of institutionalised care proved a space in which women found avenues to develop life-long careers in line with assumptions about gendered work, gaining occupational identities and financial independence. Finally, it provides evidence of complex welfare strategies and patterns of familial relations that pose challenges to standing assumptions about life-cycle work patterns and the relationship between women’s employment, marital and familial status, and residency arrangements.
The vortex ring state (VRS) of a rotor is associated with the development of the trailed vortex system in powered descending flight, where the topology of the vortex wake changes from its usual helical form into a toroidal form. In the VRS the toroidal vortex ring envelops the entire rotor, and it sheds and reforms in an unsteady manner. In previous attempts to understand the basic phenomenology of the VRS, the focus was on the role of the trailed vortices in the transition to the VRS: computational and experimental work utilised rotor models to generate the trailing vortex wake, and mechanisms for the emergence of the VRS were postulated based upon the interaction of the trailed vortices. In this paper a different approach is taken: a set of experiments on a core annular jet flow are described, where the jet flow in counterflow is used to simulate a rotor in powered descent. It is shown that this leads to the formation of a flow field that shares many of the features of the VRS of a rotor system. This brings into question the role of the rotor blade trailing vortices in the development of the rotor wake VRS, and it is proposed instead that the interaction between the mean flow and counterflow drives the VRS phenomenon.
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