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Vacuum x-ray fluorescence spectrometers are used routinely in our laboratory to analyze automotive exhaust particulate emissions. However, a problem has developed in the analyses of samples collected from cars equipped with catalytic converters. The catalytic converters which were developed to decrease the carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbon emissions from auto exhausts, also produce sulfuric acid through the oxidation of part of the SO2 emissions. The sulfuric acid aerosol which is collected with the particulate emissions causes problems in the use of a vacuum spectrometer. If the samples are analyzed as , collected, the sulfuric acid would be pumped off the collection filters resulting in the loss of sulfur from the samples and contamination of the spectrometer. A technique was needed to fix the sulfuric acid so that it would remain on the filters. Exposure of the samples to ammonia gave the needed stability. Details of the technique in cluding standard preparation procedures are described. The results obtained with samples exposed to ammonia at various concentrations and periods of time are presented.
Gravitational interactions allow one to investigate the nature of matter in the universe independent of the properties that make it luminous. Much as studies of the dynamics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies have indicated the presence of dark matter, gravitational lensing provides an independent probe of the large scale distribution of dark matter in the universe.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Gravitational lens surveys are of cosmological interest because they provide a way to measure the gravitational field of both luminous and dark matter. Many of the other methods used to detect the presence of dark matter, such as studies of galaxy rotation curves and cluster dynamics, require that there be luminous objects in the gravitational field that act as tracers of the mass. This may introduce a selection effect. In constrast, in studies of gravitational lenses, the beacon we observe can be far (at distances of order one thousand Mpc) from the gravitational field. In this paper we describe a VLA survey designed to detect gravitational lensing on sub-arc second and arc second scales. We also present a preliminary result of the radio data: we find that the density of matter in the form of a uniform, comoving number density of 1011 to 1012M⊙ compact objects, luminous or dark, must be substantially less than the critical density.
The MACHO microlensing experiment's time-sampled photometry database contains blue and red lightcurves for nearly 9 million stars in the central bar region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have identified known LMC Planetary Nebulae (PN) in the database and find one, Jacoby 5, to be variable. We additionally present data on the “parent populations” of LMC PN, and discuss the star formation history of the LMC bar.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
We present the first results of the analysis of 22 Blazhko stars. We find: 1) Blazhko RRab stars that are nearly pure amplitude modulators; 2) Blazhko RRab stars that have both amplitude and phase modulation; 3) A Blazhko RRab star that has an abrupt period change; 4) Proof of the Blazhko effect in RRc stars. Our data show the character of the amplitude and phase modulations of the light curves over the Blazhko cycles far better than has been previously possible.
We present the first massive frequency analysis of the 1200 first overtone RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud observed in the first 4.3 yr of the MACHO project. Besides the many new double-mode variables, we also discovered stars with closely spaced frequencies. These variables are most probably nonradial pulsators.
The Cosmic Background Explorer, launched November 18, 1989, has nearly completed its first full mapping of the sky with all three of its instruments: a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) covering 0.1 to 10 mm, a set of Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) operating at 3.3, 5.7, and 9.6 mm, and a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) spanning 1 to 300 µm in ten bands. A preliminary map of the sky derived from DIRBE data is presented. Initial cosmological implications include: a limit on the Comptonization y parameter of 10−3, on the chemical potential μ parameter of 10−2, a strong limit on the existence of a hot smooth intergalactic medium, and a confirmation that the dipole anisotropy has the spectrum expected from a Doppler shift of a blackbody. There are no significant anisotropies in the microwave sky detected, other than from our own galaxy and a cosθ dipole anisotropy whose amplitude and direction agree with previous data. At shorter wavelengths, the sky spectrum and anisotropies are dominated by emission from ‘local’ sources of emission within our Galaxy and Solar System. Preliminary comparison of IRAS and DIRBE sky brightnesses toward the ecliptic poles shows the IRAS values to be significantly higher than found by DIRBE at 100 μm. We suggest the presence of gain and zero-point errors in the IRAS total brightness data. The spacecraft, instrument designs, and data reduction methods are described.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
The rapid sol–gel synthesis of macroscopic quantities of nanodiamond aerogel (NDAG) is reported at standard temperature and pressure using acid-catalyzed covalent crosslinking of air-oxidized detonation nanodiamond (DND) nanocrystals. Acetonitrile acts as a polar, aprotic solvent both to form a colloidal dispersion of DND particles and to conduct acid-catalyzed polycondensation reactions between resorcinol and formaldehyde (RF) small molecule precursors. Several characterization techniques show that nanodiamond grains are connected via covalent bonding with RF molecules to form a porous, three-dimensional network. Solvent exchange into liquid carbon dioxide and subsequent supercritical drying of NDAGs are used to recover low-density (151 mg/cm3), three-dimensional monolithic aerogels that exhibit surface areas in excess of 589 m2/g. The large accessible pore volume from the rapidly synthesized, macroscopic NDAG materials suggests a range of potential applications in catalysis, sensing, energy storage, as well as inert excipients for small-molecule pharmaceuticals.
Community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections are a public health concern, yet little is known about infections that do not present to hospital. We identified community-onset S. aureus infections via specimens submitted to a community-based pathology service. Referring doctors confirmed eligibility and described infection site, severity and treatment. Isolates were characterized on antibiotic resistance, PFGE, MLST/SCCmec, and Panton–Valentine leukocidin (PVL), representing 106 community-onset infections; 34 non-multiresistant methicillin-resistant S. aureus (nmMRSA) (resistant to <3 non-β-lactam antibiotics), 15 multiply antibiotic-resistant MRSA (mMRSA) and 57 methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA). Most (93%) were skin and soft tissue infections. PVL genes were carried by 42% of nmMRSA isolates [95% confidence interval (CI) 26–61] and 15% of MSSA (95% CI 8–28). PVL was associated with infections of the trunk, head or neck (56·4% vs. 24·3%, P = 0·005) in younger patients (23 vs. 52 years, P < 0·001), and with boils or abscesses (OR 8·67, 95% CI 2·9–26·2), suggesting underlying differences in exposure and/or pathogenesis.
A thermally-activated micelle consisting of a crystallizable poly(caprolactone), PCL, core and a poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, corona was developed to contain magnetic nanoparticles and anti-cancer agent doxorubicin as well as display a targeting RGD peptide. This system has the potential to target cancer cells, deliver combination hyperthermia and chemotherapy, and offer magnetic resonance imaging contrast. The micelles self-assemble in aqueous solutions and form a crystalline core with a melting transition ranging from 40 to 50 °C, depending on the length of the PCL blocks, with dynamic light scattering showing micelle sizes typically ranging from 20 to 100 nm, depending on block lengths and added drug or nanoparticles. The micelles become unstable as they are heated above their melting point, creating a thermally-activated drug release mechanism. By adding magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles into the PCL core, the micelles can be heated using an externally applied AC magnetic field to induce hyperthermia in combination with the thermally-activated drug release. The polymers and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were synthesized and characterized in our laboratories. The melting transitions of the PCL micelle cores were investigated using microcalorimetry. The heating of nanoparticles and magnetomicelles was conducted using a custom-built hyperthermia coil capable of generating fields of several hundred Oersteds at frequencies ranging from 50 to 450 kHz. Heating of MNPs was maximized at high field intensities. RGD peptides were attached to the PEG corona using maleimide chemistry, and the ability of the RGD-derivatized micelles to target integrin-expressing cells was investigated using fluorescent dye PKH26 to identify the localization of micelles in cultured human kidney (293) cells in vitro. The crystallizable (and meltable) cores in these micelles were designed to overcome drug leakage common in liposome systems and release the drug on demand after a period of time for localization to integrin receptors.
To access the fermentative response of equine caecal microbial population to nitrogen availability, an in vitro study was conducted using caecal contents provided with adequate energy sources and nitrogen as limiting nutrient. Two nitrogen (N) sources were provided, protein (casein) and non-protein (urea). Caecal fluid, taken from three cannulated horses receiving a hay–concentrate diet, was mixed with a N-free buffer–mineral solution. The influence of four N levels (3.7, 6.3, 12.5 or 25 mg of N in casein or urea) was studied using the gas production technique. Total volatile fatty acids (VFA), NH3-N and gas production were measured after a 24-h incubation period. Microbial biomass was estimated using adenine and guanine bases as internal markers, and ATP production was estimated stoichiometrically. Microbial growth efficiency (YATP) and gas efficiency (Egas) were estimated. Fermentation with casein as the sole N source was generally characterized by lower total VFA, NH3-N, total gas production and higher acetate : propionate (A : P) ratio and YATP than with urea. Results herein presented indicate that, under these in vitro conditions, caecal microbial population does in fact use urea N, but less efficiently than casein in terms of microbial growth.