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Spectroscopic data from a var iety of analyt ical techniques such as x-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopies, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) can be obtained from small areas of samples (< 1 mm2) through the use of microscope sampling accessories. If provisions are made to scan or translate the sample, then a spectrum that is characteristic of each region of interest can be obtained. Alternatively, selective area detectors eliminate the requirement for scanning the sample. Extract ion of information about a specific energy band from each spectrum allows elucidat ion of the spatial distribution of the feature giving rise to that band. For example, the distribution of a compound could be imaged by extracting the intensity of an IR band or XRD peak due to that compound. Peak posit ion and peak width are other parameters that can be extracted as a function of posit ion. Similarly, elemental distributions could be obtained using SIMS and EDX.
An outbreak of mumps within a student population in Scotland was investigated to assess the effect of previous vaccination on infection and clinical presentation, and any genotypic variation. Of the 341 cases, 79% were aged 18–24. Vaccination status was available for 278 cases of whom 84% had received at least one dose of mumps containing vaccine and 62% had received two. The complication rate was 5·3% (mainly orchitis), and 1·2% were admitted to hospital. Genetic sequencing of mumps virus isolated from cases across Scotland classified 97% of the samples as genotype G. Two distinct clusters of genotype G were identified, one circulating before the outbreak and the other thereafter, suggesting the virus that caused this outbreak was genetically different from the previously circulating virus. Whilst the poor vaccine effectiveness we found may be due to waning immunity over time, a contributing factor may be that the current mumps vaccine is less effective against some genotypes. Although the general benefits of the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine should continue to be promoted, there may be value in reassessing the UK vaccination schedule and the current mumps component of the MMR vaccine.
Although cognitive deficits are common in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), no study to date has investigated whether these deficits extend to the capacity to execute delayed intentions (prospective memory, PM). This is a surprising omission given the critical role PM plays in correctly implementing many important CHF self-care behaviors. The present study aimed to provide the first empirical assessment of PM function in people with CHF. The key dependent measure was a laboratory measure of PM that closely simulates PM tasks in daily life – Virtual Week. A group comparison design was used, with 30 CHF patients compared to 30 demographically matched controls. Background measures assessing executive functions, working memory, and verbal memory were also administered. The CHF group exhibited significant PM impairment, with difficulties generalizing across different types of PM tasks (event, time, regular, irregular). The CHF group also had moderate deficits on several of the background cognitive measures. Given the level of impairment remained consistent even on tasks that imposed minimal demands on memory for task content, CHF-related difficulties most likely reflects problems with the prospective component. However, exploratory analyses suggest that difficulties with retrospective memory and global cognition (but not executive control), also contribute to the PM difficulties seen in this group. The implications of these data are discussed, and in particular, it is argued that problems with PM may help explain why patient engagement in CHF self-care behaviors is often poor. (JINS, 2015, 21, 1–10)
The yttrium-based metal–organic framework, Y(btc) (btc = 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate), shows moderate uptake of methane (0.623 mmol g−1) and molecular oxygen (0.183 mmol g−1) at 1 bar and 308 K. Neutron powder-diffraction data for the guest-free, CD4-, and O2-loaded framework reveal multiple adsorption sites for each gas. Both molecular guests exhibit interactions with the host framework characterised by distances between the framework and guest atoms that range from 2.83 to 4.81 Å, with these distances identifying interaction most commonly between the guest molecule and the carboxylate functional groups of the benzenetricarboxylate bridging ligand of the host.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions associated with urine nitrogen (N) deposition during grazing are a major component of greenhouse gas emissions from domestic livestock. The present study investigated the relationship between urine N loading rate and the efficacy of a nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD), on cumulative N2O emissions from a grassland soil in Ireland over 80 and 360-day periods in 2009/10 and 2010/11. A diminishing curvilinear relationship between urine N rate and cumulative N2O emissions was observed in both years. Despite this increase in cumulative N2O emissions, the emission factor (EF3) for N2O decreased with increasing urine N rate from, on average, 0·24 to 0·10% (urine applied at 300 and 1000 kg N/ha, respectively), during an 80-day measurement period. This was probably the result of a factor other than N, such as carbon (C), limiting the production of N2O. The efficacy of DCD varied with urine N loading rate, and inter-annual variability in efficacy was also observed. Dicyandiamide was effective at reducing N2O production for 50–80 days after urine application, which accounted for the major period of elevated daily flux. However, DCD was ineffective at reducing N2O production after this period, which was likely a result of its removal from the soil via degradation and leaching.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
A heuristic greedy algorithm is developed for efficiently tiling spatially dense redshift surveys. In its first application to the Galaxy and MassAssembly (GAMA) redshift survey we find it rapidly improves the spatial uniformity of our data, and naturally corrects for any spatial bias introduced by the 2dF multi-object spectrograph. We make conservative predictions for the final state of the GAMA redshift survey after our final allocation of time, and can be confident that even if worse than typical weather affects our observations, all of our main survey requirements will be met.
Feeding n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) to gilts or sows has shown different responses to litter growth, pre-weaning mortality and subsequent reproductive performance of the sow. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) that feeding a marine oil-based supplement rich in protected n-3 LCPUFAs to gilts in established gestation would improve the growth performance of their litters; and (2) that continued feeding of the supplement during lactation and after weaning would offset the negative effects of lactational catabolism induced, using an established experimental model involving feed restriction of lactating primiparous sows. A total of 117 primiparous sows were pair-matched at day 60 of gestation by weight, and when possible, litter of origin, and were allocated to be either control sows (CON) fed standard gestation and lactation diets, or treated sows (LCPUFA) fed the standard diets supplemented with 84 g/day of a n-3 LCPUFA rich supplement, from day 60 of first gestation, through a 21-day lactation, and until euthanasia at day 30 of their second gestation. All sows were feed restricted during the last 7 days of lactation to induce catabolism, providing a background challenge against which to determine beneficial effects of n-3 LCPUFA supplementation on subsequent reproduction. In the absence of an effect on litter size or birth weight, n-3 LCPUFA tended to improve piglet BW gain from birth until 34 days after weaning (P = 0.06), while increasing pre-weaning mortality (P = 0.05). It did not affect energy utilization by the sow during lactation, thus not improving the catabolic state of the sows. Supplementation from weaning until day 30 of second gestation did not have an effect on embryonic weight, ovulation rate or early embryonic survival, but did increase corpora lutea (CL) weight (P = 0.001). Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels were increased in sow serum and CL (P < 0.001), whereas only DHA levels increased in embryos (P < 0.01). In conclusion, feeding n-3 LCPUFA to gilts tended to improve litter growth, but did not have an effect on overall subsequent reproductive performance.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine how evidence from systematic review (SR) is perceived and negotiated by expert stakeholders in considering a technology for potential disinvestment.
Methods: An evidence-informed stakeholder engagement examined results from a diagnostic accuracy SR of vitamin B12 and folate tests. Pathologists deliberated around the SR findings to generate an informed contribution to future policy for the funding of B12 and folate tests. Deliberations were transcribed and subject to qualitative analysis.
Results: Pathologists did not engage with findings from the SR in depth; rather they sought to contest the terms of the problem driving the review and attempted to reframe it. Pathologists questioned the usefulness of SR outcomes given the variable definitions of B12 deficiency and deferred addressing disinvestment options specifically pertaining to B12 testing. However, folate testing was proffered as a potential disinvestment candidate, based upon pathologists' definition of “appropriate” evidence beyond the bounds of the SR.
Conclusions: The value of SR to informing disinvestment deliberations by expert stakeholders may be a function of timing as well as content. Engagement of stakeholders in co-produced evidence may be required at two levels: (i) Early in the synthesis phase to help shape the SR and harmonize expert views with the available evidence (including gaps); (ii) Collaboration in primary research to fill evidence-gaps thus supporting evidence-based disinvestment. Without this, information asymmetry between clinically engaged experts and decision makers may preclude the collaborative, informed, and technical discussions required to generate productive policy change.
Epidemic cholera reached Guatemala in July 1991. By mid-1993, Guatemala ranked third in the hemisphere in reported cases of cholera. We conducted a case-control study with two age-, sex-, and neighbourhood-matched controls per patient in periurban Guatemala City. Twenty-six patients hospitalized for cholera and 52 controls were enrolled. Seven (47%) of 15 stool cultures obtained after admission yielded toxigenic Vibrio cholerae Ol. All seven were resistant to furazolidone, sulfisoxazole, and streptomycin, and differed substantially by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis from the Latin American epidemic strain dominant in the hemisphere since 1991. In univariate analysis, illness was associated with consumption of left-over rice (odds ratio [OR] = 7·0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1·4–36), flavored ices (‘helados’) (OR = 3·6, CI = 1·1–12), and street-vended non-carbonated beverages (OR = 3·8, CI = 1·2–12) and food items (OR = 11·0, CI = 2·3–54). Street-vended food items remained significantly associated with illness in multivariate analysis (OR = 6·5, CI = 1·4–31). Illness was not associated with drinking municipal tap water. Maintaining water safety is important, but slowing the epidemic in Guatemala City and elsewhere may also require improvement in street vendor food handling and hygiene.
Anomalous frequencies of transferrin phenotypes were found among the offspring of matings between deer mice heterozygous for the two forms of transferrin most common in natural populations. Matings involving other phenotypes produced offspring in the expected phenotypic frequencies. Selective penetration by facility, occurring only in the reproductive tract of the heterozygous females, appears to provide the most satisfactory explanation for the observations.
BMI is commonly used as a sole indicator for the assessment of nutritional status. While it is a good predictor of morbidity and mortality among young and middle-aged adults, its predictive ability among the oldest old remains unclear. The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between BMI and risk of falls, fractures and all-cause mortality among older Australians in residential aged care facilities. One thousand eight hundred and forty-six residents of fifty-two nursing homes and thirty hostels in northern Sydney, Australia, participated in the present study. Baseline weight and height were measured and BMI (kg/m2) calculated. For 2 years following the baseline measurements, incidence and date of all falls and fractures were recorded by research nurses who visited the facilities regularly and date of death was documented based on the participants' records at each facility. Cox proportional hazards regression models were calculated to determine the relationship between baseline BMI and time to fall, fracture or death, within 2 years following the baseline measures taken to be the censoring date. After adjustments were made for age, sex and level of care, low BMI ( < 22 kg/m2) increased the risk of fracture by 38 % (hazard ratio = 1·38, 95 % CI 1·11, 1·73) and all-cause mortality by 52 % (hazard ratio = 1·52, 95 % CI 1·30, 1·79). The magnitude of this effect was only slightly reduced when adjustments were further made to incorporate cognition, number of medications, falls and fracture in the subsequent 2-year period. In conclusion, BMI has predictive ability in the area of fracture and all-cause mortality for residents of aged care facilities. It is a simple and rapid indicator of nutritional status rendering it a useful nutrition screen and goal for nutrition intervention.
It is estimated that of 50000 persons in Scotland (1% of the county's population), infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 90% injected drugs. This paper reviews data on the prevalence and incidence of HCV, and the methods used to generate such information, among injecting drug users (IDUs), in Scotland. The prevalence estimate for HCV among IDUs in Scotland as a whole (44% in 2000), is comparable with those observed in many European countries. Incidence rates ranged from 11·9 to 28·4/100 person-years. The data have shaped policy to prevent infection among IDUs and have informed predictions of the number of HCV-infected IDUs who will likely progress to, and require treatment and care for, severe HCV-related liver disease. Although harm reduction interventions, in particular needle and syringe exchanges and methadone maintenance therapy, reduced the transmission of HCV among IDUs during the early to mid-1990s, incidence in many parts of the country remains high. The prevention of HCV among IDUs continues to be one of Scotland's major public health challenges.
This study aimed to describe the recovery of impairments after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) over a 3-year period. An inception cohort over 2 years was recruited from 11 brain injury rehabilitation units participating in a state-wide program. The 131 individuals with TBI were assessed at admission to the rehabilitation program, 18 months and 3 years post-trauma. This report described results from the Disability Rating Scale (DRS) and Mayo-Portland Adaptability Index (MPAI). Regression analyses, examining the influence of five acute injury variables on DRS and MPAI, revealed that posttraumatic amnesia (PTA) was a significant individual predictor. Data were thus analysed according to duration of PTA: 1 to 2 weeks (n = 19), 2 to 4 weeks (n = 44) and more than 4 weeks (n = 68). At program admission there was poorer overall level of functioning on the DRS in the longest PTA group, but no difference between the shorter PTA groups. Significant improvements occurred on the DRS for all PTA groups over the first 18 months posttrauma, with improvements continuing between 18 months and 3 years. At the 3-year follow-up, frequency data from the MPAI indicated that clinically significant impairments in mobility, hand function, communication and behaviour were uncommon in the shorter PTA groups, although 36% to 47% continued to experience cognitive impairments. Impairments were common in the longest PTA group in some areas, particularly cognition where two thirds or more continued to experience clinically significant impairments in attention, memory and novel problem-solving. These results confirm the predictive significance of PTA duration regarding longer-term level of recovery. They also highlight the limitation in classifying the ‘severe’ TBI category as an homogenous group: significant subgroup differences occurred on medical and functional variables at program admission, 18 months and 3 years posttrauma. These data further substantiate the persistence of neuropsychological impairments in the face of good physical recovery at all levels of severity within the severe TBI group.