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Weed invasion is a prevailing problem in modestly managed lawns. Less attention has been given to the exploration of the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) under different invasion pressures from lawn weeds. We conducted a four-season investigation into a Zoysia tenuifolia Willd. ex Thiele (native turfgrass)–threeflower beggarweed [Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC.] (invasive weed) co-occurring lawn. The root mycorrhizal colonizations of the two plants, the soil AM fungal communities and the spore densities under five different coverage levels of D. triflorum were investigated. Desmodium triflorum showed significantly higher root hyphal and vesicular colonizations than those of Z. tenuifolia, while the root colonizations of both species varied significantly among seasons. The increased coverage of D. triflorum resulted in the following effects: (1) the spore density initially correlated with mycorrhizal colonizations of Z. tenuifolia but gradually correlated with those of D. triflorum. (2) Correlations among soil properties, spore densities, and mycorrhizal colonizations were more pronounced in the higher coverage levels. (3) Soil AMF community compositions and relative abundances of AMF operational taxonomic units changed markedly in response to the increased invasion pressure. The results provide strong evidence that D. triflorum possessed a more intense AMF infection than Z. tenuifolia, thus giving rise to the altered host contributions to sporulation, soil AMF communities, relations of soil properties, spore densities, and root colonizations of the two plants, all of which are pivotal for the successful invasion of D. triflorum in lawns.
Whether the latitudinal distribution of climate-sensitive lithologies is stable through greenhouse and icehouse regimes remains unclear. Previous studies suggest that the palaeolatitudinal distribution of palaeoclimate indicators, including coals, evaporites, reefs and carbonates, has remained broadly similar since the Permian period, leading to the conclusion that atmospheric and oceanic circulation control their distribution rather than the latitudinal temperature gradient. Here we revisit a global-scale compilation of lithologic indicators of climate, including coals, evaporites and glacial deposits, back to the Devonian period. We test the sensitivity of their latitudinal distributions to the uneven distribution of continental areas through time and to global tectonic models, correct the latitudinal distributions of lithologies for sampling- and continental area-bias, and use statistical methods to fit these distributions with probability density functions and estimate their high-density latitudinal ranges with 50% and 95% confidence intervals. The results suggest that the palaeolatitudinal distributions of lithologies have changed through deep geological time, notably a pronounced poleward shift in the distribution of coals at the beginning of the Permian. The distribution of evaporites indicates a clearly bimodal distribution over the past ~400 Ma, except for Early Devonian, Early Carboniferous, the earliest Permian and Middle and Late Jurassic times. We discuss how the patterns indicated by these lithologies change through time in response to plate motion, orography, evolution and greenhouse/icehouse conditions. This study highlights that combining tectonic reconstructions with a comprehensive lithologic database and novel data analysis approaches provide insights into the nature and causes of shifting climatic zones through deep time.
Elastic strain is an effective and thus widely used parameter to control and modify the electrical, optical, and magnetic properties of crystalline solid-state materials. It has a large impact on device performance and enables adjusting the materials functionality. Here, we promote a micromechanical strain enhancement technology to achieve ultra-high strain in semiconductors. The here presented suspended membranes enable the accurate control of the strain on a wafer-scale by standard top-down fabrication methods making it attractive for both device applications and also, thanks to the simplicity of the method, for fundamental research. This review aims at discussing the process of strain enhancement and its usage as an investigation platform for strain-related physical properties. Furthermore, we present design rules and a detailed analysis of fracture effects limiting the strain enhancement.
Between 2010 and 2012, 3 outbreaks of nosocomial infections in German neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) attracted considerable public interest. Headlines on national television channels and in newspapers had important consequences for the involved institutions and a negative impact on the relationship between families and staff in many German NICUs.
To determine whether NICU outbreaks reported in the media influenced provider behavior in the community of neonatal care and led to more third-line antibiotic prescribing.
Observational cohort study.
To investigate secular trends, we evaluated data for very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBWIs, birth weight <1,500 g) enrolled in the German Neonatal Network (GNN) between 2009 and 2014 (N=10,253). For outbreak effects, we specifically analyzed data for VLBWIs discharged 6 months before (n=2,428) and 6 months after outbreaks (n=2,508).
The exposure of all VLBWIs to third-line antibiotics increased after outbreaks (19.4% before vs 22.5% after; P=.007). This trend particularly affected male infants (4.6% increase; P=.005) and infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 1,499 g (3.5% increase; P=.001)
In a logistic regression analysis, month of discharge as linear variable of time was associated with increased exposure to third-line antibiotics (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.009–1.014; P<.001), and discharge within the 6-month period after outbreak reports independently contributed to this long-term trend (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.017–1.270; P=.024).
Media reports directly affect medical practice, eg, overuse of third-line antibiotics. Future communication and management strategies must be based on objective dialogues between the scientific community and investigative journalists.
A population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx was established by reintroductions in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem in the 1970s and 1980s. The most recent information on the population status indicates that the distribution has stagnated since the late 1990s, for unknown reasons. We assessed the availability of suitable habitat along the Austrian–German–Czech border, and hypothesized that the Bohemian–Bavarian lynx population is not in equilibrium with habitat suitability. Based on global positioning system data from 10 radio-collared lynx, we used a maximum entropy approach to model suitable habitat. Variables reflecting anthropogenic influence contributed most to the model and were negatively associated with the occurrence of lynx. We evaluated the model prediction using independent records of lynx from monitoring in Bavaria, Germany. Using our habitat approach we estimated the area of potential habitat, based on a mean annual home range of 445 km2 for males and 122 km2 for females. Our results indicated there were 12,415 km2 of suitable habitat, distributed among 13 patches, for a potential population of c. 142 (93–160) resident lynx. We assessed connectivity via least-cost paths and found that all suitable patches could be reached by the lynx. A comparison with the current distribution of lynx, however, confirms that a significant proportion of suitable habitat is not occupied, which indicates that the distribution is limited by factors other than habitat, with illegal killing being the most likely cause. Our study provides crucial information for the development of a conservation strategy and regional planning for the Bohemian–Bavarian lynx population.
An experimental methodology compliant with industrial constraints was deployed to uncover the origin of soft breakdown events in large planar silicon-based NMOS capacitors. Complementary advanced failure analysis techniques were advantageously employed to localize, isolate and observe structural defects at nanoscale. After an accurate localization of the failing area by optical beam-induced resistance change (OBIRCH), focused ion beam (FIB) technique enabled preparing thin specimens adequate for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Characterization of the gate oxide microstructure was performed by highresolution TEM imaging and energy-filtered spectroscopy. A dedicated experimental protocol relying on iterative FIB thinning and TEM observation enabled improving the quality of electron imaging of defects at atom scale. In that way, the gate oxide integrity was evaluated and an electrical stress-induced silicon epitaxy was detected concomitantly to soft breakdown events appearing during constant voltage stress. The growth of silicon hillocks enables consuming a part of the breakdown energy and may prevent the soft breakdown event to evolve towards a hard breakdown that is catastrophic for device functionality.
The European Convention on Human Rights (hereafter ECHR, or Convention) has gained more importance within the multi-level system of judicial protection of human rights in Germany in recent years. The number of adverse judgments against Germany delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (hereafter ECtHR, or Strasbourg Court) has been relatively low compared with other member states of the Council of Europe. In 2007 and 2008, the ECtHR found a violation of the Convention in seven and six judgments respectively. The number is even lower when one looks into the records before the Strasbourg Court became a permanent institution in 1998. However, since 2009 an increase of adverse judgments against Germany can be observed, with the ECtHR delivering twenty-nine adverse judgments in 2010 and thirty-one in 2011. Even though several of the judgments concerned repetitive cases, the Strasbourg Court has for the first time decided on significant topics like preventive detention in Germany. It also issued its first pilot judgment against Germany regarding excessive length of court proceedings, as well as judgments on freedom of expression and the protection of whistleblowers. The increase in adverse judgments, as well as the importance of the issues they involve, raise significant questions concerning the role of the ECtHR's judgments in the domestic system of human rights protection.
We provide a framework for studying randomly coloured point sets in a locally compact second-countable space on which a metrizable unimodular group acts continuously and properly. We first construct and describe an appropriate dynamical system for uniformly discrete uncoloured point sets. For point sets of finite local complexity, we characterize ergodicity geometrically in terms of pattern frequencies. The general framework allows us to incorporate a random colouring of the point sets. We derive an ergodic theorem for randomly coloured point sets with finite-range dependencies. Special attention is paid to the exclusion of exceptional instances for uniquely ergodic systems. The setup allows for a straightforward application to randomly coloured graphs
In this paper we present a microfabricated SiC based alternative to glass-fiber optogenetic stimulation. The glass fiber system currently used for stimulation has numerous drawbacks. First, the very presence of glass can evoke an immune response in cortical tissue that can impede the light-to-neuron optical interface. This glial scarring of brain tissue effectively lowers the spatial resolution and power output of the system. Second, the fragility of an implanted glass fiber is a problem that has yet to be fully addressed. Using SiC the proposed optical structure will address these problems by significantly lowering the amount glial scarring and astrocytic activity expressed as a result of the implant. In addition, single crystal SiC allows for a flexible device that can move with the surrounding tissue without fracturing. Finally, the current glass fibers tend be single channel devices with a single ended emitter. The proposed microfabricated device will allow for multiple channels, multiple wavelengths of stimulation, and electrical feedback on each channel improving upon the current standard.
Spider walks are systems of interacting particles. The particles move independently as long as their movements do not violate some given rules describing the relative position of
the particles; moves that violate the rules are not realized. The goal of this paper is to study qualitative properties, as recurrence, transience, ergodicity, and positive rate of escape of these Markov processes.
The immobilization of polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(IC)] on ã-Fe2O3 maghemite nanoparticles via the phosphor-amidate route using a multifunctional polymer is reported. The dsRNA coupled nanoparticles were used to visualize the Toll-like (TLR3) receptors at the cell surface. The presence of TLR3 was demonstrated independently in the Caki-1 cell line by RT-PCR and immunostaining techniques
In natural systems, structural macromolecules undergo prescribed recognition and assembly steps during synthesis and processing. These associations lead to more complex assemblies that exhibit useful multifunctional properties. Many of these processes are not well understood. Some aspects of these processes are presented using the fibrous protein polymer silk as an example. Issues such as polymer chain biosynthesis, chain interactions, processing into fibrils, and complex engineering into supra-assemblies are addressed and biochemical, spectroscopic and modeling studies are reviewed. Genetic level controls of chain composition, crystalline/amorphous domain distribution, chain aggregation, chain registry, silk I-silk II phase transitions, nematic liquid crystalline phase, loss of water, global molecular alignment, and solution spinning are some of the characteristics of this biological system that are addressed. Although some information is available at the molecular and macro-scale levels, a key issue is the paucity of information at the meso-scale level to fully understand the role of structural hierarchy in the silk fiber assembly process.
Cast silk membranes exhibit useful properties. However, there is limited control over the molecular architecture in these structures. The Langmuir-Blodgett technique can enhance the control of the membrane structure and allow improved control over membrane properties. We have formed natural silk monolayers using the Langmuir technique. Silk fibroin, regenerated from Bombvx mori cocoons, formed stable monolayers evident from pressure/area isotherms. Multilayers of the silk fibroin monolayers were deposited on a number of substrates and characterized. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and ellipsometry data provide basic information about the physical characteristics of the monolayer. Preliminary analysis of electron diffraction data of the monolayer indicate polycrystalline structure, consistent with the known structure of silk. Infrared spectrometric analysis of the monolayer using Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR) gave wavenumbers for Amide I, II, III and V bands which compare with the silk II conformation reported for cast silk membranes.
A range of compositions of high-zirconia borosilicate glasses were formulated and their structures investigated by a combination of techniques. These compositions have potential applications for high-level nuclear waste storage in combination with advanced reprocessing methods. Raman and Zr EXAFS data were collected for a series of glasses spanning a range of zirconia concentrations. The Raman spectra indicate that Zr acts as a silicate network modifier, where the silicate tetrahedral network depolymerizes as the zirconia content increases. Zr EXAFS analysis indicates that Zr is found in octahedral sites, and to a minor extent, sevencoordinated sites. As the zirconia content increases, the fraction of seven-coordinated Zr-sites increases; this may be the cause of ZrO2 baddeleyite crystallization that was observed in some Zr-rich glasses investigated.
We have investigated the integration of Hf-based material as Inter Poly Dielectric in flash memories devices. Electrical measurements showed the good properties of SiO2/HfO2/SiO2 stacks. We then interested to the impact of the thermal budget on this specific stack which induces changes in the electrical properties. XPS measurements suggests those changes are due to the presence of an Hf-silicate layer at the SiO2/HfO2 interface.
MnO nanoparticles were conjugated to single stranded DNA (ssDNA), Cytosin-phosphatidyl-Guanosin oligonucleotide (CpG ODN) to detect and activate Toll-like (TLR9) receptors in cells and to follow nanoparticle cellular trafficking by different means of imaging while at the same time serving as a drug carrier system. By virtue of their magnetic properties these nanoparticles may serve as vehicles for the transport of target molecules into cells, while the fluorescent target ligand allows optical detection simultaneously.x
Initiation of pathways that lead to proliferation and chemoresistance by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is an important factor in cancer progression. Here, we show the response of human cancer cells to TLR signaling inevitably linked to tumor biology. The approach is based on tailored multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles equipped with pathogen-derived ligands (CpG) functioning as TLR agonists (molecular component) to investigate the impact of transcription factor immune activation on human cancer cells. Magnetic nanoparticles (MnO and bifunctional Au-MnO) particles were covalently coated with a multifunctional polymer, displaying no cytotoxicity, to being able to enter cells while carrying foreign DNA (unmethylated CpG) to recognize intracellular TLR 9. Both, the particle and the nucleic acid are tagged with fluorescent markers for simultaneous visualization inside the cell. Apart from optical imaging, the magnetism of the particles also allows magnetic resonance imaging of organisms.
ϵ Eridani hosts one known inner planet and an outer Kuiper belt analog. Further, Spitzer/IRS measurements indicate that warm dust is present at distances as close as a few AU from the star. Its origin is puzzling, since an “asteroid belt” that could produce this dust would be unstable because of the inner planet. We tested a hypothesis that the observed warm dust is generated by collisions in the outer belt and is transported inward by P-R drag and strong stellar winds. With numerical simulation we investigated how the dust streams from the outer ring into the inner system, and calculated the thermal emission of the dust. We show that the observed warm dust can indeed stem from the outer belt. Our models reproduce the shape and magnitude of the observed SED from mid-IR to sub-mm wavelengths, as well as the Spitzer/MIPS radial brightness profiles.