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In the 2015 review paper ‘Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide’ a comprehensive overview of the current status of high-power facilities of
was presented. This was largely based on facility specifications, with some description of their uses, for instance in fundamental ultra-high-intensity interactions, secondary source generation, and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). With the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to Professors Donna Strickland and Gerard Mourou for the development of the technique of chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which made these lasers possible, we celebrate by providing a comprehensive update of the current status of ultra-high-power lasers and demonstrate how the technology has developed. We are now in the era of multi-petawatt facilities coming online, with 100 PW lasers being proposed and even under construction. In addition to this there is a pull towards development of industrial and multi-disciplinary applications, which demands much higher repetition rates, delivering high-average powers with higher efficiencies and the use of alternative wavelengths: mid-IR facilities. So apart from a comprehensive update of the current global status, we want to look at what technologies are to be deployed to get to these new regimes, and some of the critical issues facing their development.
This contribution discusses results obtained from 3-D neutron diffraction and 2-D fabric analyser in situ deformation experiments on laboratory-prepared polycrystalline deuterated ice and ice containing a second phase. The two-phase samples used in the experiments are composed of an ice matrix with (1) air bubbles, (2) rigid, rhombohedral-shaped calcite and (3) rheologically soft, platy graphite. Samples were tested at 10°C below the melting point of deuterated ice at ambient pressures, and two strain rates of 1 × 10−5 s−1 (fast) and 2.5 × 10−6 s−1 (medium). Nature and distribution of the second phase controlled the rheological behaviour of the ice by pinning grain boundary migration. Peak stresses increased with the presence of second-phase particles and during fast strain rate cycles. Ice-only samples exhibit well-developed crystallographic preferred orientations (CPOs) and dynamically recrystallized microstructures, typifying deformation via dislocation creep, where the CPO intensity is influenced in part by the strain rate. CPOs are accompanied by a concentration of [c]-axes in cones about the compression axis, coinciding with increasing activity of prismatic-<a> slip activity. Ice with second phases, deformed in a relatively slower strain rate regime, exhibit greater grain boundary migration and stronger CPO intensities than samples deformed at higher strain rates or strain rate cycles.
To evaluate whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as a molecular typing tool for MRSA outbreak investigation.
Investigation of MRSA colonization/infection in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over 3 years (2014–2017).
Single-center level IV NICU.
NICU infants and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Infants were screened for MRSA using a swab of the anterior nares, axilla, and groin, initially by targeted (ring) screening, and later by universal weekly screening. Clinical cultures were collected as indicated. HCWs were screened once using swabs of the anterior nares. MRSA isolates were typed using WGS with core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Colonized and infected infants and HCWs were decolonized. Control strategies included reinforcement of hand hygiene, use of contact precautions, cohorting, enhanced environmental cleaning, and remodeling of the NICU.
We identified 64 MRSA-positive infants: 53 (83%) by screening and 11 (17%) by clinical cultures. Of 85 screened HCWs, 5 (6%) were MRSA positive. WGS of MRSA isolates identified 2 large clusters (WGS groups 1 and 2), 1 small cluster (WGS group 3), and 8 unrelated isolates. PFGE failed to distinguish WGS group 2 and 3 isolates. WGS groups 1 and 2 were codistributed over time. HCW MRSA isolates were primarily in WGS group 1. New infant MRSA cases declined after implementation of the control interventions.
We identified 2 contemporaneous MRSA outbreaks alongside sporadic cases in a NICU. WGS was used to determine strain relatedness at a higher resolution than PFGE and was useful in guiding efforts to control MRSA transmission.
The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase (AD 800–1130) employed agricultural strategies and water-management systems to enhance food cultivation in this unpredictable environment. Scepticism concerning the timing and effectiveness of this system, however, remains common. Using optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments and LiDAR imaging, the authors located Bonito Phase canal features at the far west end of the canyon. Additional ED-XRF and strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses confirm the diversion of waters from multiple sources during Chaco’s occupation. The extent of this water-management system raises new questions about social organisation and the role of ritual in facilitating responses to environmental unpredictability.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has expanded beyond the mere patterned deposition of melted solids, moving into areas requiring spatially structured soft matter—typically materials composed of polymers, colloids, surfactants, or living cells. The tunable and dynamically variable rheological properties of soft matter enable the high-resolution manufacture of soft structures. These rheological properties are leveraged in 3D printing techniques that employ sacrificial inks and sacrificial support materials, which go through reversible solid–fluid transitions under modest forces or other small perturbations. Thus, a sacrificial material can be used to shape a second material into a complex 3D structure, and then discarded. Here, we review the sacrificial materials and related methods used to print soft structures. We analyze data from the literature to establish manufacturing principles of soft matter printing, and we explore printing performance within the context of instabilities controlled by the rheology of soft matter materials.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of self- and informant-subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and to determine if SCC predict longitudinal changes in objective measures (OM) of cognitive function. Methods: The study included healthy and cognitively normal late middle-aged adults enriched with a family history of AD who were evaluated at up to three visits over a 4-year period. At each visit (Visit 1–3), self- and informant-SCC and OM were evaluated. Linear mixed models were used to determine if the longitudinal rate of change of self- and informant-SCC were associated with demographic variables, depressive symptoms, family history (FH), and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (APOE4) status. The same modeling approach was used to examine the effect of Visit 1 SCC on longitudinal cognitive change after controlling for the same variables. Results: At Visit 1, more self-SCC were associated with fewer years of education and more depressive symptoms. SCC were also associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, such that more self-SCC at Visit 1 were associated with poorer performance on memory and executive functioning measures at Visit 1, while more informant-SCC were associated with faster rate of longitudinal decline on a measure of episodic learning and memory. FH and APOE4 status were not associated with SCC. Discussion: Self- and informant-SCC showed an association with OM, albeit over different time frames in our late middle-aged sample. Additional longitudinal follow-up will likely assist in further clarifying these relationships as our sample ages and more pronounced cognitive changes eventually emerge. (JINS, 2017, 23, 617–626)
A scalable approach for synthesis of ultra-thin (<10 nm) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) films on stretchable polymeric materials is presented. Specifically, magnetron sputtering from pure TMD targets, such as MoS2 and WS2, was used for growth of amorphous precursor films at room temperature on polydimethylsiloxane substrates. Stacks of different TMD films were grown upon each other and integrated with optically transparent insulating layers such as boron nitride. These precursor films were subsequently laser annealed to form high quality, few-layer crystalline TMDs. This combination of sputtering and laser annealing is commercially scalable and lends itself well to patterning. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, scanning probe, optical, and transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirm our assertions and illustrate annealing mechanisms. Electrical properties of simple devices built on flexible substrates are correlated to annealing processes. This new approach is a significant step toward commercial-scale stretchable 2D heterostructured nanoelectronic devices.
It is UK Government policy to dispose of higher activity radioactive waste through geological disposal into an engineered deep underground geological disposal facility (GDF; DECC, 2014). Those wastes include low-level (LLW) and intermediate-level (ILW) radioactive wastes that are very heterogeneous, containing a range of inorganic and organic materials, the latter including cellulosic items. After closure of the GDF, eventual resaturation with groundwater is expected, resulting in the development of a hyperalkaline environment due to the proposed use of a cementitious backfill. Under these high-pH conditions, cellulose is unstable and will be degraded chemically, forming a range of water-soluble, low molecular weight compounds, of which the most abundant is isosaccharinic acid (ISA). As ISA is known to form stable soluble complexes with a range of radionuclides, thereby increasing the chance of radionuclide transport, the impact of microbial metabolism on this organic substrate was investigated to help determine the role of microorganisms in moderating the transport of radionuclides from a cementitious GDF. Anaerobic biodegradation of ISA has been studied recently in high-pH cementitious ILW systems, but less work has been done under anaerobic conditions at circumneutral conditions, more representative of the geosphere surrounding a GDF. Here we report the fate of ISA in circumneutral microcosms poised under aerobic and anaerobic conditions; the latter with nitrate, Fe(III) or sulfate added as electron acceptors. Data are presented confirming the metabolism of ISA under these conditions, including the direct oxidation of ISA under aerobic and nitrate-reducing conditions and the fermentation of ISA to acetate, propionate and butyrate prior to utilization of these acids during Fe(III) and sulfate reduction. The microbial communities associated with these processes were characterized using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Methane production was also quantified in these experiments, and the added electron acceptors were shown to play a significant role in minimizing methanogenesis from ISA and its breakdown products.
We present the first quantitative assessment of combustion dynamics of on-chip porous silicon (PS) energetic material using sulfur and nitrate-based oxidizers with potential for improved moisture stability and/or minimized environmental impact compared to sodium perchlorate (NaClO4). Material properties of the PS films were characterized using gas adsorption porosimetry, and profilometry to calculate specific surface area, porosity and etch depth. The PS/sulfur energetic composite was formed using three pore loading techniques, where the combustion speeds ranged from 2.9 – 290 m/s. The nitrate-based oxidizers were solution-deposited using different compatible solvents, and depending on the metal-nitrate yielded combustion speeds of 3.1 – 21 m/s. Additionally, the combustion enthalpies from bomb calorimetry experiments are reported for the alternative PS/oxidizer systems in both nitrogen and oxygen environments.