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Tomography using a focused ion beam (FIB) combined with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) is well-established for a wide range of conducting materials. However, performing FIB–SEM tomography on ion- and electron-beam-sensitive materials as well as poorly conducting soft materials remains challenging. Some common challenges include cross-sectioning artifacts, shadowing effects, and charging. Fully dense materials provide a planar cross section, whereas pores also expose subsurface areas of the planar cross-section surface. The image intensity of the subsurface areas gives rise to overlap between the grayscale intensity levels of the solid and pore areas, which complicates image processing and segmentation for three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. To avoid the introduction of artifacts, the goal is to examine porous and poorly conducting soft materials as close as possible to their original state. This work presents a protocol for the optimization of FIB–SEM tomography parameters for porous and poorly conducting soft materials. The protocol reduces cross-sectioning artifacts, charging, and eliminates shadowing effects. In addition, it handles the subsurface and grayscale intensity overlap problems in image segmentation. The protocol was evaluated on porous polymer films which have both poor conductivity and pores. 3D reconstructions, with automated data segmentation, from three films with different porosities were successfully obtained.
The issues of my research study concern psychosocial and personality conditioning of criminal thinking styles of juveniles.
The objective of my research study is to distinguish and characterize profiles of criminal thinking styles of juvenile boys and girls who committed a criminal offence and to define psychosocial (restricting to the family environment - a guardian system) and personality factors conditioning a criminal thinking style of juveniles.
For the purpose of the research following methods have been used: PICTS by G. Walters - has been adapted into polish circumstances, Values Scale (Rokeach), Davis Empathy Scale, The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) by Fitts, Skala Postaw by Plpoa, KBPK by Kurzyp-Wojnarska.
In the analysed problem the following research tasks are involved:
· Singling out of juvenile criminal thinking styles
· determining the criminal predicators in criminal thinking styles
· establishing predicators of criminal thinking styles, defining factors determining criminal thinking style of juveniles (a group of explanatory variables include: thinking styles of parents (guardians), parents’ attitude towards a child, a value system of parents, personality variables of a juvenile, i.e. self-esteem, empathy level (level of emphatic understanding), a sense of control and a social competence level).showing (presenting) constitutive differences and similarities In terms of criminal thinking styles between the group of minors and their parents (guardian)
· establishing the differences and similarities in terms of cognitive functioning (thinking styles) of the juveniles due to the criminal act.
Mistletoes are considered keystone species on woodlands and savannas worldwide, providing a food resource for a diversified fauna, as well as a nutrient-enriched litter. Infections can be large (∼1–3 m) and, in some parts of the Amazonian savannas, parasitize up to 70% of hosts locally. Despite these facts, biomass of mistletoes is rarely investigated. Here we constructed allometric models to predict the biomass stock of the shrubby mistletoe Psittacanthus plagiophyllus in an Amazonian savanna. In addition, we determined whether host size could be used as a proxy for mistletoe biomass. Finally, we compared the biomass of mistletoes with that of trees, to evaluate their relative importance. We have shown that: (1) biomass of leaves (46.1% ± 13.5%) are as important as of stems (47.8% ± 13.5%), and relative contribution of stems increases as plant grows; (2) the model including width, breadth and vertical depth was the best (SE = 0.39, R2 = 0.9) for predicting individual mistletoe biomass; (3) mistletoe load and biomass per host had a positive, but weak (R2 = 0.11 and 0.09, respectively), relationship with host size, and thus such host information is a poor predictor of mistletoe biomass; and (4) in comparison with trees, mistletoes constituted less than 0.15% (0.5–22 kg ha−1) of the total above-ground biomass, suggesting that this life-form is irrelevant to the local biomass stock despite its unequivocal biological importance.
The island of Bawean, Indonesia, is home to the endemic Bawean warty pig Sus verrucosus blouchi and Bawean deer Axis kuhlii. Despite their threatened status, no long-term monitoring programme is in place for either species. Using random encounter and occupancy modelling based on 4,516 camera-trap days in 2014 and 2015 we aimed to provide population estimates and ecological data, including habitat preferences, for these species. For the Bawean warty pig we estimate an overall population size of 234–467 mature individuals and demonstrate a negative correlation between probability of occupancy and distance from villages. This preference for human-modified habitat has implications for human–wildlife conflict and hunting pressure for this species. The population of the Bawean deer could not be estimated because of the low number of encounters, but we suggest that this indicates the population is considerably smaller than previously reported. As island endemics, the Bawean warty pig and Bawean deer are particularly vulnerable to threats, and appropriate measures for safeguarding the species need to be taken.
In 2017 Zagreb faced the largest outbreak of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) to date. We investigated to describe the extent of the outbreak and identify risk factors for infection. We compared laboratory-confirmed cases of Hantavirus infection in Zagreb residents with the onset of illness after 1 January 2017, with individually matched controls from the same household or neighbourhood. We calculated adjusted matched odds ratios (amOR) using conditional logistic regression. During 2017, 104 cases were reported: 11–81 years old (median 37) and 71% (73) male. Compared with 104 controls, cases were more likely to report visiting Mount Medvednica (amOR 60, 95% CI 6–597), visiting a forest (amOR 46, 95% CI 4.7–450) and observing rodents (amOR 20, 95% CI 2.6–159). Seventy per cent of cases (73/104) had visited Mount Medvednica prior to infection. Among participants who had visited Mount Medvednica, cases were more likely to have drunk water from a spring (amOR 22, 95% CI 1.9–265), observed rodents (amOR 17, 95% CI 2–144), picked flowers (amOR 15, 95% CI 1.2–182) or cycled (amOR 14, 95% CI 1.6–135). Our study indicated that recreational activity around Mount Medvednica was associated with HFRS. We recommend enhanced surveillance of the recreational areas during an outbreak.
A popular explanation for economic development is that ‘individualistic values’ provide a mind-set that is favorable to the creation of growth-promoting institutions. The present paper investigates the relationship between individualistic values and personal attitudes toward government intervention. We consider two key components of an individualistic culture to be particularly relevant for attitude formation: self-direction (‘social’ individualism) and self-determination (‘economic’ individualism). Results indicate that both are negatively associated with interventionist attitudes. Effects of self-direction are much weaker though, than self-determination. Moreover, the effects of self-direction are mitigated through higher trust in the state and lower confidence in companies, while that is not the case for self-determination values. We conclude that especially economic individualism supports attitudes conducive to the formation of formal market-friendly institutions.
Depression has been cross-sectionally associated with short telomeres as a measure of biological age. However, the direction and nature of the association is currently unclear.
We examined whether short telomere length is associated with depression cross-sectionally as well as prospectively and genetically.
Telomere length and three polymorphisms, TERT, TERC and OBFC1, were measured in 67306 individuals aged 20–100 years from the Danish general population and associated with register-based attendance at hospital for depression and purchase of antidepressant medication.
Attendance at hospital for depression was associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally, but not prospectively. Further, purchase of antidepressant medication was not associated with short telomere length cross-sectionally or prospectively. Mean follow-up was 7.6 years (range 0.0–21.5). The genetic analyses suggested that telomere length was not causally associated with attendance at hospital for depression or with purchase of antidepressant medication.
Short telomeres were not associated with depression in prospective or in causal, genetic analyses.
Madagascar is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, underpinned by its high proportion of endemic species and high rates of deforestation of about 1500 km2 per year (Myers et al., 2000; Moat and Smith, 2007). Since 1997 until today, the number of described lemur taxa has risen from 50 to 107 species and subspecies (Schwitzer et al., 2013). In 2012, a new IUCN Red List assessment revealed that 94% of the then 103 described lemur taxa had been placed in one of the Threatened categories (Schwitzer et al., 2013). Apart from geographic distribution and population densities, thorough knowledge of the biology and ecology, such as habitat needs or life-history data, are crucial to design conservation measures (Schwab and Ganzhorn, 2004; Merker et al., 2005; Schwitzer et al., 2013). In particular, the behaviour and ecology of nocturnal lemur species are poorly studied (Chapter 19); up until the reassessment in 2012, 37 of the 40 lemur taxa assessed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List were nocturnal (Schwitzer et al., 2013).
One of these poorly studied species is the nocturnal northern giant mouse lemur Mirza zaza Kappeler & Roos, family Cheirogaleidae, which was distinguished from M. coquereli Grandidier as a unique species in 2005 (Kappeler et al., 2005). M. zaza is a nocturnal lemur of approximately 300 g that lives in the dry deciduous forests of northwestern Madagascar up to the transition zone to the Sambirano evergreen rainforest domain in the north (Kappeler et al., 2005; Markolf et al., 2008). The species is IUCN Red-Listed as Endangered (IUCN, 2014). The only population estimates so far yielded the highest encounter rates in degraded forests with a high number of mango trees (Mangifera indica, family Anacardiaceae), the fruits of which may be an important food source for M. zaza (Markolf et al., 2008; Mittermeier, pers. comm.). Western dry forest is one of the forest types declining the most quickly in Madagascar, with ongoing threats to remaining and already heavily fragmented forests where M. zaza occurs (Schwitzer and Lork, 2004; Schwitzer et al., 2007).
New material phases formed under non-equilibrium conditions at pressures above 100 GPa and temperatures exceeding 104K, the conditions of the warm dense matter (WDM), have become accessible using micro-explosions triggered by ultra-short sub-1 ps pulses tightly focused into micro-volume with cross sections comparable with the wavelength of light. Laser-induced micro-explosions convert a material in a focal volume into a non-equilibrium disordered plasma state confined inside the bulk of pristine crystal. Ultra-high quenching rates overcome kinetic barriers to the formation of new metastable high pressure phases, which are preserved in the surrounding pristine crystal for following recovery and exploitation. Direct laser writing was used to pattern large areas by closely packed arrays of the microexplosion modified sites for structural characterisation of the minute volumes of nano-materials with transmission electron microscopy, diffraction and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The method of ultrafast-laser induced confined microexplosion is demonstrated for modification and creation of new phases in case of bcc-Al inside sapphire, valence change of Fe-ions in olivine, formation of new tetragonal bt8 and st12 phases of silicon, Ge and O separation in GeO2 glass and molecular oxygen formation inside voids at the site of microexplosion inside glasses.
An outbreak of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) started on Medvednica mountain near Zagreb in January 2012. In order to detect the aetiological agent of the disease in small rodents and to make the link with the human outbreak, rodents were trapped at four different altitudes. Using nested RT–PCR, Puumala virus (PUUV) RNA was detected in 41/53 (77·4%) bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and Dobrava virus (DOBV) RNA was found in 6/61 (9·8%) yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis). Sequence analysis of a 341-nucleotide region of the PUUV S segment, obtained from all infected bank voles and five HFRS patients, showed 98·8–100% sequence similarity, indicating that the patients were probably exposed to PUUV on Medvednica mountain. A very large bank-vole population combined with an extremely high infection rate of PUUV was responsible for this unusual winter outbreak of HFRS in Croatia.
Two new microsporidia, Anostracospora rigaudi n. g., n. sp., and Enterocytospora artemiae n. g., n. sp. infecting the intestinal epithelium of Artemia parthenogenetica Bowen and Sterling, 1978 and Artemia franciscana Kellogg, 1906 in southern France are described. Molecular analyses revealed the two species belong to a clade of microsporidian parasites that preferentially infect the intestinal epithelium of insect and crustacean hosts. These parasites are morphologically distinguishable from other gut microsporidia infecting Artemia. All life cycle stages have isolated nuclei. Fixed spores measure 1·3×0·7 μm with 5–6 polar tube coils for A. rigaudi and 1·2×0·9 μm with 4 polar tube coils for E. artemiae. Transmission of both species is horizontal, most likely through the ingestion of spores released with the faeces of infected hosts. The minute size of these species, together with their intestinal localization, makes their detection and identification difficult. We developed two species-specific molecular markers allowing each type of infection to be detected within 3–6 days post-inoculation. Using these markers, we show that the prevalence of these microsporidia ranges from 20% to 75% in natural populations. Hence, this study illustrates the usefulness of molecular approaches to study prevalent, but cryptic, infections involving microsporidian parasites of gut tissues.
This paper presents a comprehensive study on the design of a 30 GHz, circularly polarized (CP), single horn-fed, metallic electromagnetic band gap (EBG) antenna. Three different approaches have been studied in order to create a 20 dBi antenna with an axial ratio (AR) lower than 1 dB over a 500 MHz bandwidth. Based on theoretical and experimental results, a conclusion is given on the best solution to obtain the desired characteristics. Perspectives and guidelines are also given for the design of multi-feed EBG antenna as a reflector focal feed for Ka-Band Space Applications.
For a finite group G we study certain rings (k)G called k-S-rings, one for each k ≥ 1, where (1)G is the centraliser ring Z(ℂG) of G. These rings have the property that (k+1)G determines (k)G for all k ≥ 1. We study the relationship of (2)G with the weak Cayley table of G. We show that (2)G and the weak Cayley table together determine the sizes of the derived factors of G (noting that a result of Mattarei shows that (1)G = Z(ℂG) does not). We also show that (4)G determines G for any group G with finite conjugacy classes, thus giving an answer to a question of Brauer. We give a criteria for two groups to have the same 2-S-ring and a result guaranteeing that two groups have the same weak Cayley table. Using these results we find a pair of groups of order 512 that have the same weak Cayley table, are a Brauer pair, and have the same 2-S-ring.
Most large carnivores are secretive and threatened, and these characteristics pose problems for research on, and monitoring of, these species across extensive areas. Participatory monitoring, however, can be a useful tool for obtaining long-term data across large areas. Pumas Puma concolor and jaguars Panthera onca are the largest predators in the threatened Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. To survey the presence of these two species we established a participatory network of volunteers and a partnership with researchers in the three countries that share the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay). We trained participants in simple methods of collecting faeces and track imprints of large felids. Between 2002 and 2008 > 100 volunteers helped with monitoring, obtaining 1,633 records identified as pumas or jaguars across c. 92,890 km2. We confirmed jaguar presence in a large section of the Misiones Green Corridor in Argentina and in the largest protected areas of Brazil and Paraguay. Pumas exhibited a wider distribution, being recorded throughout Misiones province in Argentina and in some areas of Brazil and Paraguay where jaguars were not detected. Both species, and especially jaguars, were detected mainly in the few remaining medium and large forest fragments in this Forest. Although these carnivores are often in conflict with local people, their charisma and cultural significance makes them flagship species that motivated the participation of volunteers and institutions. Participatory monitoring allowed coverage of a vast area at relatively low cost whilst enhancing collaborative management policies among people and institutions from three countries.