952 research outputs found

    On the mass of supernova progenitors: the role of the 12^{12}C+12+^{12}C reaction

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    A precise knowledge of the masses of supernova progenitors is essential to answer various questions of modern astrophysics, such as those related to the dynamical and chemical evolution of Galaxies. In this paper we revise the upper bound for the mass of the progenitors of CO white dwarfs (\mup) and the lower bound for the mass of the progenitors of normal type II supernovae (\mups). In particular, we present new stellar models with mass between 7 and 10 \msun, discussing their final destiny and the impact of recent improvements in our understanding of the low energy rate of the \c12c12 reaction.Comment: To be published on the proceedings of NIC 201

    Impact of detecting potentially serious incidental findings during multi-modal imaging [version 3; peer review: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations]

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    Background: There are limited data on the impact of feedback of incidental findings (IFs) from research imaging.  We evaluated the impact of UK Biobank's protocol for handling potentially serious IFs in a multi-modal imaging study of 100,000 participants (radiographer 'flagging' with radiologist confirmation of potentially serious IFs) compared with systematic radiologist review of all images. Methods: Brain, cardiac and body magnetic resonance, and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scans from the first 1000 imaged UK Biobank participants were independently assessed for potentially serious IFs using both protocols. We surveyed participants with potentially serious IFs and their GPs up to six months after imaging to determine subsequent clinical assessments, final diagnoses, emotional, financial and work or activity impacts. Results: Compared to systematic radiologist review, radiographer flagging resulted in substantially fewer participants with potentially serious IFs (179/1000 [17.9%] versus 18/1000 [1.8%]) and a higher proportion with serious final diagnoses (21/179 [11.7%] versus 5/18 [27.8%]). Radiographer flagging missed 16/21 serious final diagnoses (i.e., false negatives), while systematic radiologist review generated large numbers of non-serious final diagnoses (158/179) (i.e., false positives). Almost all (90%) participants had further clinical assessment (including invasive procedures in similar numbers with serious and non-serious final diagnoses [11 and 12 respectively]), with additional impact on emotional wellbeing (16.9%), finances (8.9%), and work or activities (5.6%). Conclusions: Compared with systematic radiologist review, radiographer flagging missed some serious diagnoses, but avoided adverse impacts for many participants with non-serious diagnoses. While systematic radiologist review may benefit some participants, UK Biobank's responsibility to avoid both unnecessary harm to larger numbers of participants and burdening of publicly-funded health services suggests that radiographer flagging is a justifiable approach in the UK Biobank imaging study. The potential scale of non-serious final diagnoses raises questions relating to handling IFs in other settings, such as commercial and public health screening

    Win-Win for Wind and Wildlife: A Vision to Facilitate Sustainable Development

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    Wind energy offers the potential to reduce carbon emissions while increasing energy independence and bolstering economic development. However, wind energy has a larger land footprint per Gigawatt (GW) than most other forms of energy production, making appropriate siting and mitigation particularly important. Species that require large unfragmented habitats and those known to avoid vertical structures are particularly at risk from wind development. Developing energy on disturbed lands rather than placing new developments within large and intact habitats would reduce cumulative impacts to wildlife. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that it will take 241 GW of terrestrial based wind development on approximately 5 million hectares to reach 20% electricity production for the U.S. by 2030. We estimate there are ∼7,700 GW of potential wind energy available across the U.S., with ∼3,500 GW on disturbed lands. In addition, a disturbance-focused development strategy would avert the development of ∼2.3 million hectares of undisturbed lands while generating the same amount of energy as development based solely on maximizing wind potential. Wind subsidies targeted at favoring low-impact developments and creating avoidance and mitigation requirements that raise the costs for projects impacting sensitive lands could improve public value for both wind energy and biodiversity conservation

    Speaking and Listening with the Eyes: Gaze Signaling during Dyadic Interactions

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    Cognitive scientists have long been interested in the role that eye gaze plays in social interactions. Previous research suggests that gaze acts as a signaling mechanism and can be used to control turn-taking behaviour. However, early research on this topic employed methods of analysis that aggregated gaze information across an entire trial (or trials), which masks any temporal dynamics that may exist in social interactions. More recently, attempts have been made to understand the temporal characteristics of social gaze but little research has been conducted in a natural setting with two interacting participants. The present study combines a temporally sensitive analysis technique with modern eye tracking technology to 1) validate the overall results from earlier aggregated analyses and 2) provide insight into the specific moment-to-moment temporal characteristics of turn-taking behaviour in a natural setting. Dyads played two social guessing games (20 Questions and Heads Up) while their eyes were tracked. Our general results are in line with past aggregated data, and using cross-correlational analysis on the specific gaze and speech signals of both participants we found that 1) speakers end their turn with direct gaze at the listener and 2) the listener in turn begins to speak with averted gaze. Convergent with theoretical models of social interaction, our data suggest that eye gaze can be used to signal both the end and the beginning of a speaking turn during a social interaction. The present study offers insight into the temporal dynamics of live dyadic interactions and also provides a new method of analysis for eye gaze data when temporal relationships are of interest

    Immunogenicity Is Not Improved by Increased Antigen Dose or Booster Dosing of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in a Randomized Trial of HIV Infected Adults

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    The risk of poor vaccine immunogenicity and more severe influenza disease in HIV necessitate strategies to improve vaccine efficacy.A randomized, multi-centered, controlled, vaccine trial with three parallel groups was conducted at 12 CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network sites. Three dosing strategies were used in HIV infected adults (18 to 60 years): two standard doses over 28 days, two double doses over 28 days and a single standard dose of influenza vaccine, administered prior to the 2008 influenza season. A trivalent killed split non-adjuvanted influenza vaccine (Fluviral™) was used. Serum hemagglutinin inhibition (HAI) activity for the three influenza strains in the vaccine was measured to assess immunogenicity.297 of 298 participants received at least one injection. Baseline CD4 (median 470 cells/µL) and HIV RNA (76% of patients with viral load <50 copies/mL) were similar between groups. 89% were on HAART. The overall immunogenicity of influenza vaccine across time points and the three influenza strains assessed was poor (Range HAI ≥ 40 =  31-58%). Double dose plus double dose booster slightly increased the proportion achieving HAI titre doubling from baseline for A/Brisbane and B/Florida at weeks 4, 8 and 20 compared to standard vaccine dose. Increased immunogenicity with increased antigen dose and booster dosing was most apparent in participants with unsuppressed HIV RNA at baseline. None of 8 serious adverse events were thought to be immunization-related.Even with increased antigen dose and booster dosing, non-adjuvanted influenza vaccine immunogenicity is poor in HIV infected individuals. Alternative influenza vaccines are required in this hyporesponsive population.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00764998

    What Affects Social Attention? Social Presence, Eye Contact and Autistic Traits

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    Social understanding is facilitated by effectively attending to other people and the subtle social cues they generate. In order to more fully appreciate the nature of social attention and what drives people to attend to social aspects of the world, one must investigate the factors that influence social attention. This is especially important when attempting to create models of disordered social attention, e.g. a model of social attention in autism. Here we analysed participants' viewing behaviour during one-to-one social interactions with an experimenter. Interactions were conducted either live or via video (social presence manipulation). The participant was asked and then required to answer questions. Experimenter eye-contact was either direct or averted. Additionally, the influence of participant self-reported autistic traits was also investigated. We found that regardless of whether the interaction was conducted live or via a video, participants frequently looked at the experimenter's face, and they did this more often when being asked a question than when answering. Critical differences in social attention between the live and video interactions were also observed. Modifications of experimenter eye contact influenced participants' eye movements in the live interaction only; and increased autistic traits were associated with less looking at the experimenter for video interactions only. We conclude that analysing patterns of eye-movements in response to strictly controlled video stimuli and natural real-world stimuli furthers the field's understanding of the factors that influence social attention

    A splicing variant of TERT identified by GWAS interacts with menopausal estrogen therapy in risk of ovarian cancer

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    Menopausal estrogen-alone therapy (ET) is a well-established risk factor for serous and endometrioid ovarian cancer. Genetics also plays a role in ovarian cancer, which is partly attributable to 18 confirmed ovarian cancer susceptibility loci identified by genome-wide association studies. The interplay among these loci, ET use and ovarian cancer risk has yet to be evaluated. We analyzed data from 1,414 serous cases, 337 endometrioid cases and 4,051 controls across 10 case-control studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC). Conditional logistic regression was used to determine the association between the confirmed susceptibility variants and risk of serous and endometrioid ovarian cancer among ET users and non-users separately and to test for statistical interaction. A splicing variant in TERT, rs10069690, showed a statistically significant interaction with ET use for risk of serous ovarian cancer (pint  = 0.013). ET users carrying the T allele had a 51% increased risk of disease (OR = 1.51, 95% CI 1.19-1.91), which was stronger for long-term ET users of 10+ years (OR = 1.85, 95% CI 1.28-2.66, pint  = 0.034). Non-users showed essentially no association (OR = 1.08, 95% CI 0.96-1.21). Two additional genomic regions harboring rs7207826 (C allele) and rs56318008 (T allele) also had significant interactions with ET use for the endometrioid histotype (pint  = 0.021 and pint  = 0.037, respectively). Hence, three confirmed susceptibility variants were identified whose associations with ovarian cancer risk are modified by ET exposure; follow-up is warranted given that these interactions are not adjusted for multiple comparisons. These findings, if validated, may elucidate the mechanism of action of these loci

    Outcomes associated with matching patients' treatment preferences to physicians' recommendations: study methodology

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Patients often express strong preferences for the forms of treatment available for their disease. Incorporating these preferences into the process of treatment decision-making might improve patients' adherence to treatment, contributing to better outcomes. We describe the methodology used in a study aiming to assess treatment outcomes when patients' preferences for treatment are closely matched to recommended treatments.</p> <p>Method</p> <p>Participants included patients with moderate and severe psoriasis attending outpatient dermatology clinics at the University Medical Centre Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany. A self-administered online survey used conjoint analysis to measure participants' preferences for psoriasis treatment options at the initial study visit. Physicians' treatment recommendations were abstracted from each participant's medical records. The Preference Matching Index (PMI), a measure of concordance between the participant's preferences for treatment and the physician's recommended treatment, was determined for each participant at t<sub>1 </sub>(initial study visit). A clinical outcome measure, the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, and two participant-derived outcomes assessing treatment satisfaction and health related quality of life were employed at t<sub>1</sub>, t<sub>2 </sub>(twelve weeks post-t<sub>1</sub>) and t<sub>3 </sub>(twelve weeks post-t<sub>2</sub>). Change in outcomes was assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. The association between participants' PMI scores at t<sub>1 </sub>and outcomes at t<sub>2 </sub>and t<sub>3 </sub>was evaluated using multivariate regressions analysis.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>We describe methods for capturing concordance between patients' treatment preferences and recommended treatment and for assessing its association with specific treatment outcomes. The methods are intended to promote the incorporation of patients' preferences in treatment decision-making, enhance treatment satisfaction, and improve treatment effectiveness through greater adherence.</p

    Association Between Menopausal Estrogen-Only Therapy and Ovarian Carcinoma Risk

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    OBJECTIVE: To describe the association between postmenopausal estrogen-only therapy use and risk of ovarian carcinoma, specifically with regard to disease histotype and duration and timing of use. METHODS: We conducted a pooled analysis of 906 women with ovarian carcinoma and 1,220 women in a control group; all 2,126 women included reported having had a hysterectomy. Ten population-based case-control studies participating in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, an international consortium whose goal is to combine data from many studies with similar methods so reliable assessments of risk factors can be determined, were included. Self-reported questionnaire data from each study were harmonized and conditional logistic regression was used to examine estrogen-only therapy's histotype-specific and duration and recency of use associations. RESULTS: Forty-three and a half percent of the women in the control group reported previous use of estrogen-only therapy. Compared with them, current or recent estrogen-only therapy use was associated with an increased risk for the serous (51.4%, odds ratio [OR] 1.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27-2.09) and endometrioid (48.6%, OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.17-3.41) histotypes. In addition, statistically significant trends in risk according to duration of use were seen among current or recent postmenopausal estrogen-only therapy users for both ovarian carcinoma histotypes (Ptrend<.001 for serous and endometrioid). Compared with women in the control group, current or recent users for 10 years or more had increased risks of serous ovarian carcinoma (36.8%, OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.26-2.38) and endometrioid ovarian carcinoma (34.9%, OR 4.03, 95% CI 1.91-8.49). CONCLUSION: We found evidence of an increased risk of serous and endometrioid ovarian carcinoma associated with postmenopausal estrogen-only therapy use, particularly of long duration. These findings emphasize that risk may be associated with extended estrogen-only therapy use
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