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Navigation methods, traditional and modern, use lines of position in the plane. Standard Gaussian assumptions about errors leads to a constant sum of squared distances from the lines defining a probability contour. It is well known these contours are a family of ellipses centred on the most probable position and they can be computed using algebraic methods. In this paper we show how the most probable position, the axes and foci of ellipses can be found using geometric methods. This results in a ruler and compasses construction of these points and this gives insight into the way the shape and orientation of the probability contours depend on the angles between the lines of position. We start with the classical case of three lines of position with equal variances, we show how this can be extended to the case where the variances in the errors in the lines of position differ, and we go on to consider the case of four lines of position using a methodology that generalises to an arbitrary number of lines.
In early October 2014, 7 months after the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa began, a cluster of reported deaths in Koinadugu, a remote district of Sierra Leone, was the first evidence of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in the district. Prior to this event, geographic isolation was thought to have prevented the introduction of Ebola to this area. We describe our initial investigation of this cluster of deaths and subsequent public health actions after Ebola was confirmed, and present challenges to our investigation and methods of overcoming them. We present a transmission tree and results of whole genome sequencing of selected isolates to identify the source of infection in Koinadugu and demonstrate transmission between its villages. Koinadugu's experience highlights the danger of assuming that remote location and geographic isolation can prevent the spread of Ebola, but also demonstrates how deployment of rapid field response teams can help limit spread once Ebola is detected.
Programmatic surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis during control can typically use four diagnostic tests, either singularly or in combination, but these have yet to be cross-compared directly. Our study assembled a complete diagnostic dataset, inclusive of infection intensities, from 258 children from five Ugandan primary schools. The schools were purposely selected as typical of the endemic landscape near Lake Albert and reflective of high- and low-transmission settings. Overall prevalence was: 44.1% (95% CI 38.0–50.2) by microscopy of duplicate Kato-Katz smears from two consecutive stools, 56.9% (95% CI 50.8–63.0) by urine-circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) dipstick, 67.4% (95% CI 61.6–73.1) by DNA-TaqMan® and 75.1% (95% CI 69.8–80.4) by soluble egg antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SEA-ELISA). A cross-comparison of diagnostic sensitivities, specificities, positive and negative predictive values was undertaken, inclusive of a latent class analysis (LCA) with a LCA-model estimate of prevalence by each school. The latter ranged from 9.6% to 100.0%, and prevalence by school for each diagnostic test followed a static ascending order or monotonic series of Kato-Katz, urine-CCA dipstick, DNA-TaqMan® and SEA-ELISA. We confirm that Kato-Katz remains a satisfactory diagnostic standalone in high-transmission settings but in low-transmission settings should be augmented or replaced by urine-CCA dipsticks. DNA-TaqMan® appears suitable in both endemic settings though is only implementable if resources permit. In low-transmission settings, SEA-ELISA remains the method of choice to evidence an absence infection. We discuss the pros and cons of each method concluding that future surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis would benefit from a flexible, context-specific approach both in choice and application of each diagnostic method, rather than a single one-size fits all approach.
We report a novel approach to the instantaneous photoinitiated synthesis of mixed anatase-rutile nanocrystalline TiO2 thin films with a three-dimensional nanostructure through pulsed white light irradiation of photosensitive Ti-organic precursor films. Pulsed photoinitiated pyrolysis accompanied by instantaneous self-assembly and crystallization occurred to form graphitic oxides-coated TiO2 nanograins. Subsequent pulsed light irradiation working as in situ pulsed photothermal treatment improved the crystalline quality of TiO2 film despite its low attenuation of light. The non-radiative recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes in TiO2 nanograins, coupled with inefficient heat dissipation due to low thermal conductivity, produces enough heat to provide the thermodynamic driving force for improving the crystalline quality. The graphitic oxides were reduced by pulsed photothermal treatment and can be completely removed by oxygen plasma cleaning. This photoinitiated nanofabrication technology opens a promising way for the low-cost and high-throughput manufacturing of nanostructured metal oxides as well as TiO2 nanocrystalline thin films.
Goats make up the largest group of ruminant livestock in Nigeria and are strategic in bridging animal protein supply gap and improving the economy of rural households. The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the caprine mitochondrial genome was investigated to better understand genetic diversity important for improving selection for animal breeding and conservation programs. We sequenced and analysed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) HVR1 in 291 unrelated indigenous Nigerian goats (West African Dwarf (WAD), Red Sokoto (RSO) and Sahel (SAH)), randomly sampled from around the country, and compared them with the HVR1 sequences of 336 Indian goats and 12 other sequences in five different species in the genus Capra (C. falconeri, C. ibex nubiana, C. aegagrus, C. cylindricornis and C. sibirica). A total of 139 polymorphic sites from 291 individuals were captured in 204 haplotypes. Within and among population variations were 77.25 and 22.74 percent, respectively. Nigerian goats showed high genetic diversity (0.87) and high FST values, and separate from Indian goats and other wild species. Haplogroups in WAD separates it from RSO and SAH concomitant with a different demographic history. Clear genetic structure was found among Nigerian goat breeds with appreciable variation in mtDNA HVR1 region. This study grouped Nigerian goat breeds into two major groups suggesting two different demographic origins for Northern and Southern breeds. High genetic admixing denotes different maternal origins and in contrast to evidence from goats from Levant and Central Asia, where goats were originally domesticated.
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.
There are few data on excess direct and indirect costs of diabetes in India and limited data on rural costs of diabetes. We aimed to further explore these aspects of diabetes burdens using a clinic-based, comparative cost-of-illness study.
Persons with diabetes (n = 606) were recruited from government, private, and rural clinics and compared to persons without diabetes matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status (n = 356). We used interviewer-administered questionnaires to estimate direct costs (outpatient, inpatient, medication, laboratory, and procedures) and indirect costs [absence from (absenteeism) or low productivity at (presenteeism) work]. Excess costs were calculated as the difference between costs reported by persons with and without diabetes and compared across settings. Regression analyses were used to separately identify factors associated with total direct and indirect costs.
Annual excess direct costs were highest amongst private clinic attendees (INR 19 552, US$425) and lowest amongst government clinic attendees (INR 1204, US$26.17). Private clinic attendees had the lowest excess absenteeism (2.36 work days/year) and highest presenteeism (0.06 work days/year) due to diabetes. Government clinic attendees reported the highest absenteeism (7.48 work days/year) and lowest presenteeism (−0.31 work days/year). Ten additional years of diabetes duration was associated with 11% higher direct costs (p < 0.001). Older age (p = 0.02) and longer duration of diabetes (p < 0.001) were associated with higher total lost work days.
Excess health expenditures and lost productivity amongst individuals with diabetes are substantial and different across care settings. Innovative solutions are needed to cope with diabetes and its associated cost burdens in India.
Magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere provide the energy for most varieties of solar activity, including high-energy electromagnetic radiation, solar energetic particles, flares, and coronal mass ejections, as well as powering the solar wind. Despite the fundamental role of magnetic fields in solar and heliospheric physics, there exist only very limited measurements of the field above the base of the corona. What is needed are direct measurements of not only the strength and orientation of the magnetic field but also the signatures of wave motions in order to better understand coronal structure, solar activity, and the role of MHD waves in heating and accelerating the solar wind. Fortunately, the remote sensing instrumentation used to make magnetic field measurements is also well suited to measure the Doppler signature of waves in the solar structures. We present here a mission concept for the Waves And Magnetism In the Solar Atmosphere (WAMIS) experiment which is proposed for a NASA long-duration balloon flight.
During a longitudinal study investigating the dynamics of malaria in Ugandan lakeshore communities, a consistently high malaria prevalence was observed in young children despite regular treatment. To explore the short-term performance of artemether-lumefantrine (AL), a pilot investigation into parasite carriage after treatment(s) was conducted in Bukoba village. A total of 163 children (aged 2–7 years) with a positive blood film and rapid antigen test were treated with AL; only 8·7% of these had elevated axillary temperatures. On day 7 and then on day 17, 40 children (26·3%) and 33 (22·3%) were positive by microscopy, respectively. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that multi-species Plasmodium infections were common at baseline, with 41·1% of children positive for Plasmodium falciparum/Plasmodium malariae, 9·2% for P. falciparum/ Plasmodium ovale spp. and 8·0% for all three species. Moreover, on day 17, 39·9% of children infected with falciparum malaria at baseline were again positive for the same species, and 9·2% of those infected with P. malariae at baseline were positive for P. malariae. Here, chronic multi-species malaria infections persisted in children after AL treatment(s). Better point-of-care diagnostics for non-falciparum infections are needed, as well as further investigation of AL performance in asymptomatic individuals.
Following a recent assessment of the distribution and habitat use of Gurney’s Pitta in Myanmar (Burma), further extensive surveys were undertaken in 2010, 2011 and 2012. These have extended the species’ known altitudinal limit to between 250 m and 300 m asl and its latitudinal limit to above 12.5°N, around 80 km north of the northernmost historical record, although the species was recorded far less frequently at higher altitudes and latitudes. Birds were recorded in a range of forested habitats, from intact primary forest to secondary and bamboo forest, with no significant difference between major forest types in the likelihood of occurrence. Niche envelope modelling (MaxEnt) suggested a total range size in Myanmar of 3,379 km2, and did not identify any potentially suitable areas in adjacent parts of Thailand. The species’ preference for warmer, wetter areas on flat ground, conditions ideal for growing oil palm and rubber, suggest that its distribution is likely to contract in the near future. The entire range of Gurney’s Pitta in Myanmar falls within the part of the country most suitable for commercial oil palm production, although the projected yields within its range are low to moderate. Field surveys found evidence of rapid recent deforestation and high levels of hunting and trapping in many parts of the region. The species’ range in Myanmar does not overlap with any protected areas. The protection of southern Myanmar’s biodiversity will require substantial investment by foreign conservation interests, sympathetic land-use planning and the strengthening of environment legislation. Protection of extensive tracts of lowland forest within the range of Gurney’s Pitta, particularly the proposed Lenya National Park and the adjacent Ngawun and Htaung Pru Reserve Forests, is urgently needed. Conserving these areas will also protect populations of other globally threatened bird and mammal species.
Self-rated health questions have been proven to be a highly reliable and valid measure of overall health as measured by other indicators in many population groups. It also has been shown to be a very good predictor of mortality, chronic or severe diseases, and the need for services, and is positively correlated with clinical assessments. Genetic factors have been estimated to account for 25–64% of the variance in the liability of self-rated health. The aim of the present study was to identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) underlying the heritability of self-rated health by conducting a genome-wide association analysis in a large sample of 6,706 Australian individuals aged 18–92. No genome wide significant SNPs associated with self-rated health could be identified, indicating that self-rated health may be influenced by a large number of SNPs with very small effect size. A very large sample will be needed to identify these SNPs.
To our knowledge, no comprehensive, interdisciplinary initiatives have been taken to examine the role of genetic variants on patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes. The overall objective of this paper is to describe the establishment of an international and interdisciplinary consortium, the GENEQOL Consortium, which intends to investigate the genetic disposition of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes. We have identified five primary patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes as initial targets: negative psychological affect, positive psychological affect, self-rated physical health, pain, and fatigue. The first tangible objective of the GENEQOL Consortium is to develop a list of potential biological pathways, genes and genetic variants involved in these quality-of-life outcomes, by reviewing current genetic knowledge. The second objective is to design a research agenda to investigate and validate those genes and genetic variants of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes, by creating large datasets. During its first meeting, the Consortium has discussed draft summary documents addressing these questions for each patient-reported quality-of-life outcome. A summary of the primary pathways and robust findings of the genetic variants involved is presented here. The research agenda outlines possible research objectives and approaches to examine these and new quality-of-life domains. Intriguing questions arising from this endeavor are discussed. Insight into the genetic versus environmental components of patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes will ultimately allow us to explore new pathways for improving patient care. If we can identify patients who are susceptible to poor quality of life, we will be able to better target specific clinical interventions to enhance their quality of life and treatment outcomes.
Observations have been made of the time-mean velocity profile at midspan in the near-wake of circular cylinders at moderate Reynolds numbers between 600 and 4600, well beyond the Reynolds number of approximately 200 at which the wake becomes three-dimensional. The measured profiles are found to be represented quite accurately by a family of function profiles with known linear instability characteristics. The complex instability frequency is then determined as a function of wake position, using the function profiles. In general, the near wake undergoes a transition from convective to absolute instability; the distance downstream to the point of transition is found to increase over the Reynolds number range investigated. The emergence of a significant region of convective instability is consistent with the known appearance of Bloor–Gerrard vortices. The selected frequency of the wake instability is determined by the saddle-point criterion; the Strouhal numbers for Bénard–von Kármán vortex shedding are found to compare well with the values in the literature.
Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea is a Critically Endangered species that has not been confirmed in the wild since 1948–1949. Historical records of the species are concentrated in India, although there are also a few from Myanmar. Between 2003 and 2005, BirdLife International and the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) conducted a series of field surveys of wetland habitats in the lowlands of Kachin state, an area with a cluster of historical records of the species. These were the first targeted efforts to assess the status of the species in Myanmar. These surveys were complemented by reviews of museum specimens and literature relating to the species in Myanmar. Two specimen records represent very strong evidence that the species occurred in Myanmar historically, although they shed little light on its seasonal status in the country. The surveys conducted by BirdLife International and BANCA were unable to confirm the continued occurrence of Pink-headed Duck in Myanmar. However, they did generate a limited amount of equivocal direct evidence, most notably two possible but unconfirmed sightings. There are several reasons for believing that the species may still persist in the lowlands of Kachin state and, perhaps, elsewhere in Myanmar. Shyness, combined with rarity, possible nocturnal habits and the impenetrability of its habitats, means that the species tended to be under-recorded historically, and may continue to be so currently. Further surveys are required to confirm this.
Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) has been grown on oxide coated silicon wafers by microwave plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition using a novel seeding technique followed by optimised growth conditions, and leads to a highly-dense form of this material with grain sizes around 100nm for films approximately 1.5 microns thick. The electrical properties of these films have been investigated using Impedance Spectroscopy, which enables the contributions from sources characterised by differing capacitances, such as grain boundaries and grain interiors, to be isolated. After an initial acid clean the electrical properties of the film are not stable, and both grain boundaries and grains themselves contribute to the frequency dependant impedance values recorded. However, following mild oxidation grain boundary conduction is completely removed and the films become highly resistive (>1013 ohm/sq). This is most unusual, as conduction through NCD material is more normally dominated by grain boundary effects. Interestingly, the AC properties of these films are also excellent with a dielectric loss value (tan δ) as low as 0.002 for frequencies up to 10MHz. The dielectric properties of these NCD films are therefore as good as high quality free-standing (large grain) polycrystalline diamond films, and not too dissimilar to single crystal diamond, and are therefore ideally suited to future ‘silicon-on-diamond’ applications.