Abstract:
Research investigating the efficacy of infant massage has largely focused on premature and low birth weight infants. The majority of investigations have neglected highly acute patients in academic neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The current study was developed with two aims: (Phase 1) to develop, implement and demonstrate the feasibility and safety of a parent-trained compassionate touch/massage program for infants with complex medical conditions and (Phase 2) to conduct a longitudinal randomized control trial (RCT) of hand containment/massage versus standard of care in a level III academic Center for Newborn and Infant Critical Care (CNICC). Certified infant massage instructors (CIMIs) taught parents to massage their hospitalized infants. Massage therapy and instruction were performed for seven consecutive days and health outcomes were collected for up to 1 month following treatment. Caregivers, nurses and certified infant massage therapists indicated moderate to high levels of satisfaction and feasibility with the implementation of hand containment/massage in a level III academic center CNICC. In addition, infant behavioral and physiological measures were within safe limits during the massage sessions. All caregivers participating in the massage group reported high levels of satisfaction 7 days into the intervention and at the 1-month follow-up with regards to their relationship with their infant, the massage program's impact on that relationship and the massage program. Due to unequal and small sample sizes, between group analyses (control versus massage) were not conducted. Descriptive infant characteristics of health outcomes are described. Preliminary data from this study indicates feasibility and safety of infant massage and satisfaction among the caregivers, CIMIs and the nurses in the CNICC. An important contribution from this study was the demonstration of the infants' safety based on physiological stability and no change in agitation/pain scores of the infants receiving massage. Massage in a tertiary urban academic NICU continues to be an area of needed study. Future studies examining infant health outcomes, such as weight gain, decreased length of hospitalization and caregiver–infant bonding, would provide greater insight into the impact of massage for medically fragile infants.

Abstract:
This paper describes a new technique for the alignment of crystal radiators used to produce high energy, linearly polarized photons via coherent bremsstrahlung scattering at electron beam facilities. In these experiments the crystal is mounted on a goniometer which is used to adjust its orientation relative to the electron beam. The angles and equations which relate the crystal lattice, goniometer and electron beam direction are presented here, and the method of alignment is illustrated with data taken at MAMI (the Mainz microtron). A practical guide to setting up a coherent bremsstrahlung facility and installing new crystals using this technique is also included.

Abstract:
Ozsvath and Szabo have defined a knot concordance invariant tau that bounds the 4-ball genus of a knot. Here we discuss shortcuts to its computation. We include examples of Alexander polynomial one knots for which the invariant is nontrivial, including all iterated untwisted positive doubles of knots with nonnegative Thurston-Bennequin number, such as the trefoil, and explicit computations for several 10 crossing knots. We also note that a new proof of the Slice-Bennequin Inequality quickly follows from these techniques.

Abstract:
As proved by Hedden and Ording, there exist knots for which the Ozsvath-Szabo and Rasmussen smooth concordance invariants, tau and s, differ. The Hedden-Ording examples have nontrivial Alexander polynomials and are not topologically slice. It is shown in this note that a simple manipulation of the Hedden-Ording examples yields a topologically slice Alexander polynomial one knot for which tau and s differ. Manolescu and Owens have previously found a concordance invariant that is independent of both tau and s on knots of polynomial one, and as a consequence have shown that the smooth concordance group of topologically slice knots contains a summand isomorphic to a free abelian group on two generators. It thus follows quickly from the observation in this note that this concordance group contains a subgroup isomorphic to a free abelian group on three generators.

Abstract:
To a Seifert matrix of a knot K one can associate a matrix w(K) with entries in the rational function field, Q(t). The Murasugi, Milnor, and Levine-Tristram knot signatures, all of which provide bounds on the 4-genus of a knot, are determined by w(K). More generally, the minimal rank of a representative of the class represented by w(K) in the Witt group of hermitian forms over Q(t) provides a lower bound for the 4-genus of K. Here we describe an easily computed new bound on the minimal rank of the class represented by w(K). Furthermore, this lower bound is complete modulo torsion in the Witt group. Specifically, if the bound on the rank is M, then 4w(K) has a representative of rank exactly 4M. Applications to explicit knots are given, finding 4-genus bounds for specific knots that are unattainable via other approaches.

Abstract:
For n >1, if the Seifert form of a knotted 2n-1 sphere K in S^{2n+1} has a metabolizer, then the knot is slice. Casson and Gordon proved that this is false in dimension three (n = 1). However, in the three dimensional case it is true that if the metabolizer has a basis represented by a strongly slice link then K is slice. The question has been asked as to whether it is sufficient that each basis element is represented by a slice knot to assure that K is slice. For genus one knots this is of course true; here we present a genus two counterexample.

Abstract:
Levine defined the rational algebraic knot concordance group and proved that each nontrivial element is of order two, of order four, or of infinite order. The determination of the order of an element depends on a p-adic analysis for all primes p. Here we develop effective means to determine the order of any element that is in the image of the integral algebraic concordance group by restricting the set of primes that need to be considered and by finding simple tests that often avoid p-adic considerations. The paper includes an outline of how the results apply to give the determination of the algebraic orders of all 2,977 prime knots of 12 or fewer crossings. The paper also includes a short expository account of the necessary background in p-adic numbers and Witt groups of bilinear forms.

Abstract:
The knot concordance invariant Upsilon, recently defined by Ozsvath, Stipsicz, and Szabo, takes values in the group of piecewise linear functions on the closed interval [0,2]. This paper presents a description of one approach to defining Upsilon and of proving its basic properties related to the knot 3-genus, 4-genus, and concordance genus.

Abstract:
Let $F_g$ denote the closed orientable surface of genus $g$. What is the least order finite group, $G_g$, for which there is a homomorphism $\psi$ from $\pi_1(F_g)$ to $G_g$ so that no nontrivial simple closed curve on $F_g$ represents an element in Ker($\psi$)? For the torus it is easily seen that $G_1 = Z_2 \times Z_2$ suffices. We prove here that $G_2$ is a group of order 32 and that an upper bound for the order of $G_g$ is given by $g^{2g +1}$. The previously known upper bound was greater than $2^{g{2^{2g}}}$.

Abstract:
In answer to a question of Long, Flapan constructed an example of a prime strongly positive amphicheiral knot that is not slice. Long had proved that all such knots are algebraically slice. Here we show that the concordance group of algebraically slice knots contains an infinitely generated free subgroup that is generated by prime strongly positive amphicheiral knots. A simple corollary of this result is the existence of positive amphicheiral knots that are not of order two in concordance.