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The Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
The effects of growing pinto peanut mixed with elephant grass-based pastures are still little known. The aim of the current research was to evaluate the performance of herbage yield, nutritive value of forage and animal responses to levels of pinto peanut forage mass mixed with elephant grass in low-input systems. Three grazing systems were evaluated: (i) elephant grass-based (control); (ii) pinto peanut, low-density forage yield (63 g/kg of dry matter – DM) + elephant grass; and (iii) pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield (206 g/kg DM) + elephant grass. The experimental design was completely randomized with the three treatments (grazing systems) and three replicates (paddocks) in split-plot grazing cycles. Forage samples were collected to evaluate the pasture and animal responses. Leaf blades of elephant grass and the other companion grasses of pinto peanut were collected to analyse the crude protein, in vitro digestible organic matter and total digestible nutrients. The pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield + elephant grass treatment was found to give the best results in terms of herbage yield, forage intake and stocking rate, as well as having higher crude protein contents for both elephant grass and the other grasses, followed by pinto peanut with low-density forage yield + elephant grass and finally elephant grass alone. Better results were found with the grass–legume system for pasture and animal responses.
In this study, we sought to evaluate the influence of cigarette smoke and pH cycling on the chemical composition and surface/cross-sectional enamel microhardness. A total of 40 dental blocks obtained from bovine incisors were divided into four groups (n=10): no treatment (control); exposure to cigarette smoke (CS); exposure to pH cycling (PC); and exposure to cigarette smoke and pH cycling (CS-PC). The samples were analyzed by synchrotron radiation micro X-ray fluorescence, bench mode X-ray fluorescence, as well as surface microhardness (SMH) and cross-sectional microhardness (CSMH) testing. The SMH results were submitted to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test. The CSMH results were evaluated using split-plot ANOVA and Tukey’s test. A high amount of Cd and Pb and traces of Ni and As were observed in enamel and dentin after exposure to cigarette smoke (CS and CS-PC). The SMH and CSMH of CS were statistically higher when compared with the control. The PC and CS-PC showed lower SMH and CSMH. We conclude that exposure to cigarette smoke promoted heavy metal deposition in enamel/dentin. In addition, it increased the enamel microhardness but did not promote a protective effect on the in vitro development of caries. The clinical significance of this work is that there is significant bioaccumulation of heavy metals from cigarette smoke on the surface and in the enamel and dentin.
Parasites of the genus Trypanosoma are microorganisms that display wide morphological, biological and genetic variability. Here we present the first description of an isolate of the genus Trypanosoma naturally infecting the tick Amblyomma brasiliense. The ticks were collected from a specimen of Tayassu pecari (Queixada, white-lipped peccary) from the Itatiaia National Park, Itatiaia, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The isolate was characterized by molecular, morphometric and biological analyses. A Trypanosoma culture was isolated from crushed nymphal and adult ticks, propagated in the tick cell line IDE8 and maintained in L15B culture medium, incubated at 32 °C. The isolate grew well in L15B medium at 30, 32 and 34 °C but not at lower or higher temperatures. The culture remained stable in axenic L15B medium at 30 °C. Cryopreserved cultures retained viability after cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen. Growth in axenic medium and developmental forms of the trypanosomes were analysed. Analysis of the 18S rDNA region confirmed the authenticity of this new species and the nucleotide sequence was deposited in Genbank. The species was named Trypanosoma amblyommi sp. nov. strain C1RJ. Characteristics related to pathogenicity, involvement with vertebrate hosts, epidemiology, developmental cycle and transmission mechanisms are still unknown. Therefore, further studies are necessary to understand the aspects of the biological cycle of T. amblyommi sp. nov.
Parasites of the genus Trypanosoma are unicellular flagellated microorganisms of the Trypanosomatidae. This study describes an isolate of the genus Trypanosoma naturally infecting Rhipicephalus microplus ticks, characterized through molecular, morphological and biological analysis. Trypanosome cultures, designated strain P1RJ, were obtained by isolation from R. microplus haemolymph in cultures of the tick cell line IDE8. After isolation, strain P1RJ grew well axenically in L15B medium at temperatures of 30, 32 and 34 °C. The new trypanosome remained stable in axenic culture over 14 passages in L15B at 30 °C and was successfully cryopreserved and resuscitated. Morphometric analysis was performed on randomly selected developmental forms. 18S rRNA and 24Sα rDNA sequence analyses confirmed that strain P1RJ is a new species of the genus Trypanosoma. The nucleotide sequences described were submitted to Genbank. Pathogenicity, involvement in vertebrate hosts, epidemiology, developmental cycle and transmission mechanisms of strain P1RJ are still unknown. Therefore, more studies will be necessary to determine life cycle aspects of this trypanosome, for which we propose the name Trypanosoma rhipicephalis sp. nov.
The unstart phenomena in a model scramjet with a free stream Mach number of 4.5 were investigated at an arc-heated hypersonic wind tunnel. High-speed schlieren imaging and high resonance frequency pressure measurements were used to capture the flow features during the unstart process. Three unstart conditions were tested: (i) a low-enthalpy free stream with mass loading, (ii) a high-enthalpy free stream with mass loading and (iii) a high-enthalpy free stream with mass loading and heat release. It was revealed that the unstart threshold and the time from the onset to the completion of unstart depended strongly on the mass loading rate and the heat exchange. The negative heat addition (cooling) significantly increased the threshold of mass flow rate triggering unstart. The decrement of the mass flow rate threshold for unstart was observed in the presence of heat release by combustion. The observed transient and quasi-steady behaviours of the unstart shockwave system and the jet motion were similar in all of the test conditions. On the other hand, at the lip of inlet model, the unstart shockwave under the cold free stream condition exhibited a relatively steady behaviour while severe oscillatory flow motions of the jet and the unstart shockwave were observed in the combustion-driven unstart process. The different unstarted flow behaviours between the three flow conditions were explained using a simplified one-dimensional flow choking analysis and use of the Korkegi criterion.
The Vibrio cholerae O1 (VCO1) El Tor biotype appeared during the seventh cholera pandemic starting in 1961, and new variants of this biotype have been identified since the early 1990s. This pandemic has affected Vietnam, and a large outbreak was reported in southern Vietnam in 2010. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analyses (MLVA) were used to screen 34 VCO1 isolates from the southern Vietnam 2010 outbreak (23 patients, five contact persons, and six environmental isolates) to determine if it was genetically distinct from 18 isolates from outbreaks in southern Vietnam from 1999 to 2004, and two isolates from northern Vietnam (2008). Twenty-seven MLVA types and seven PFGE patterns were identified. Both analyses showed that the 2008 and 2010 isolates were distinctly clustered and separated from the 1999–2004 isolates.
This study examined the temporal and spatial patterns of diarrhoea in relation to hydro-meteorological factors in the Mekong Delta area in Vietnam. A time-series design was applied to examine the temporal pattern of the climate–diarrhoea relationship using Poisson regression models. Spatial analysis was applied to examine the spatial clusters of diarrhoea using Global Moran's I and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation (LISA). The temporal pattern showed that the highest peak of diarrhoea was from weeks 30–42 corresponding to August–October annually. A 1 cm increase in river water level at a lag of 1 week was associated with a small [0·07%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·01–0·1] increase in the diarrhoeal rate. A 1 °C increase in temperature at lag of 2 and 4 weeks was associated with a 1·5% (95% CI 0·3−2·7) and 1·1% (95% CI 0·1−2·3) increase in diarrhoeal risk, respectively. Relative humidity and diarrhoeal risk were in nonlinear relationship. The spatial analysis showed significant clustering of diarrhoea, and the LISA map shows three multi-centred diarrhoeal clusters and three single-centred clusters in the research location. The findings suggest that climatic conditions projected to be associated with climate change have important implication for human health impact in the Mekong Delta region.
Different dietary interventions have been identified as potential modifiers of adiponectin concentrations, and they may be influenced by lipid intake. We identified studies investigating the effect of dietary lipids (type/amount) on adiponectin concentrations in a systematic review with meta-analysis. A literature search was conducted until July 2013 using databases such as Medline, Embase and Scopus (MeSH terms: ‘adiponectin’, ‘dietary lipid’, ‘randomized controlled trials (RCT)’). Inclusion criteria were RCT in adults analysing adiponectin concentrations with modification of dietary lipids. Among the 4930 studies retrieved, fifty-three fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were grouped as follows: (1) total dietary lipid intake; (2) dietary/supplementary n-3 PUFA; (3) conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation; (4) other dietary lipid interventions. Diets with a low fat content in comparison to diets with a high-fat content were not associated with positive changes in adiponectin concentrations (twelve studies; pooled estimate of the difference in means: − 0·04 (95 % CI − 0·82, 0·74) μg/ml). A modest increase in adiponectin concentrations with n-3 PUFA supplementation was observed (thirteen studies; 0·27 (95 % CI 0·07, 0·47) μg/ml). Publication bias was found by using Egger's test (P= 0·01) and funnel plot asymmetry. In contrast, CLA supplementation reduced the circulating concentrations of adiponectin compared with unsaturated fat supplementation (seven studies; − 0·74 (95 % CI − 1·38, − 0·10) μg/ml). However, important sources of heterogeneity were found as revealed by the meta-regression analyses of both n-3 PUFA and CLA supplementation. Results of new RCT would be necessary to confirm these findings.
In Vietnam, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 infections in poultry often occur without concomitant clinical signs and outbreaks are not consistently reported. Live bird markets represent a convenient site for surveillance that does not rely on farmers' notifications. Two H5N1 surveys were conducted at live bird markets/slaughter points in 39 districts (five provinces) in the Red River, Mekong delta, and central Vietnam during January and May 2011. Oropharyngeal and rectal swab samples from 12 480 ducks were tested for H5N1 by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction in pools of five. Traders and stallholders were interviewed using standardized questionnaires; 3·3% of pools tested positive. The highest prevalence (6·6%) corresponded to the Mekong delta, and no H5N1 was detected in the two Red River provinces. The surveys identified key risk behaviours of traders and stallholders. It is recommended that market surveys are implemented over time as a tool to evaluate progress in HPAI control in Vietnam.
An outbreak of meningococcal disease (MD) with severe morbidity and mortality was investigated in midwestern Brazil in order to identify control measures. A MD case was defined as isolation of Neisseria meningitidis, or detection of polysaccharide antigen in a sterile site, or presence of clinical purpura fulminans, or an epidemiological link with a laboratory-confirmed case-patient, between June and August 2008. In 8 out of 16 MD cases studied, serogroup C ST103 complex was identified. Five (31%) cases had neurological findings and five (31%) died. The attack rate was 12 cases/100 000 town residents and 60 cases/100 000 employees in a large local food-processing plant. We conducted a matched case-control study of eight primary laboratory-confirmed cases (1:4). Factors associated with illness in single variable analysis were work at the processing plant [matched odds ratio (mOR) 22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·3–207·7, P<0·01], and residing <1 year in Rio Verde (mOR 7, 95% CI 1·11–43·9, P<0·02). Mass vaccination (>10 000 plant employees) stopped propagation in the plant, but not in the larger community.
The microstructures of tungsten, molybdenum and copper wires used as Langmuir probes at ISTTOK edge plasma have been investigated. The probes cross-sections evidenced extensive grain growth, intergranular bubbles and increased hardness at the plasma exposed regions. Internal surfaces of large bubbles exhibited slip bands resulting from plastic deformation induced by high H2 pressure. Elastic recoil detection analysis was used to measure H concentration profiles. The present results suggest that H2 bubble formation in first wall components under long-term high thermal loads should be closely monitored in nuclear fusion devices. Strategies for H damage mitigation are proposed and discussed.
Results of the microstructural characterization of four different RAFM ODS Eurofer 97 batches are presented and discussed. Analyses and observations were performed by nuclear microprobe and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. X-ray elemental distribution maps obtained with proton beam scans showed homogeneous composition within the proton beam spatial resolution and, in particular, pointed to a uniform distribution of ODS (yttria) nanoparticles in the Eurofer 97 matrix. This was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy made evident the presence of chromium carbide precipitation. Precipitates occurred preferentially along grain boundaries (GB) in three of the batches and presented a discrete distribution in the other, as a result of different thermo-mechanical routes. Additional electron backscattered diffraction experiments revealed the crystalline textures in the ferritic polycrystalline structure of the ODS steel samples.
A novel material design for nuclear fusion reactors is proposed based on Cu-Diamond and W-Diamond nanocomposites. The proposed design involves the production of W/W-Diamond/CuDiamond/Cu functionally graded material. W, W-Diamond, Cu-Diamond and Cu nanostructured composite powders were produced independently by mechanical alloying and subsequently consolidated/welded through spark plasma sintering. Modulation of processing parameters allowed controlling the extent of unfavourable conversion of Diamond into tungsten carbide, as well as to overcome the Diamond intrinsically difficult bonding to copper. Microstructural features and microhardness of the as-produced materials are presented.
In-plane aligned MgO thin films (∼100Å) have been obtained on various amorphous substrates by Ar+ ion-assisted electron-beam evaporation. Based on RHEED and cross-section TEM, we have shown that the MgO texture appears at a very early stage of film growth and is optimized at a thickness of around 100Å. Optimal thickness is the stage at which the surface is fully covered by MgO crystallites. The planar-view TEM of grain structure evolution in samples at different stages of growth reveals the dynamics of the texture developing process. Small, (100)-faceted MgO grains were observed both in planar-view and cross-section TEM images.
This paper shows the potentialities of merging the MEMS and micromachining with SiGe technologies in order to speed up the performances of next generation of front end in term of flexibility, reconfigurability and adaptability. MEMS technologies are presented based on Benzo-Cyclo-Butene (BCB) materials and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) materials. Special attention is paid to ensure a full compatibility between IC and MEMS. We have shown that very innovative functions could be considered by using this MEMSIC concept.
The evolution of stored ferroelectric polarization in PZT thin film capacitors was imaged using synchrotron x-ray microdiffraction with a submicron-diameter focused incident x-ray beam. To form the capacitors, an epitaxial Pb(Zr,Ti)O3 (PZT) thin film was deposited on an epitaxially-grown conductive SrRuO3 (SRO) bottom electrode on a SrTiO3 (STO) (001) substrate. Polycrystalline SRO or Pt top electrodes were prepared by sputter deposition through a shadow mask and subsequent annealing. The intensity of x-ray reflections from the PZT film depended on the local ferroelectric polarization. With 10 keV x-rays, regions of opposite polarization differed in intensity by 26% in our PZT capacitor with an SRO top electrode. Devices with SRO electrodes showed just a 25% decrease in the remnant polarization after 107 switching cycles. In devices with Pt top electrodes, however, the switchable polarization decreased a by 70% after only 5×104 cycles.
Quasars are the choicest objects to define a quasi-inertial reference frame. At the same time, they are active galactic nuclei powered by a massive black hole. As the astrometric precision of ground-based optical observations approaches the limit set by the forthcoming GAIA mission, astrometric stability can be investigated. Though the optical emission from the core region usually exceeds the other components by a factor of a hundred, the variability of those components must surely imply some measure of variability of the astrometric baricenter. Whether this is confirmed or not, it puts important constraints on the relationship of the quasar's central engine to the surrounding distribution of matter. To investigate the correlation between long-term optical variability and what is dubbed as the “random walk” of the astrometric center, a program is being pursued at the WFI/ESO 2.2m. The sample was selected from quasars known to undergo large-amplitude and long-term optical variations (Smith et al. 1993; Teerikorpi 2000). The observations are typically made every two months. The treatment is differential, comparing the quasar position and brightness against a sample of selected stars for which the average relative distances and magnitudes remain constant. The provisional results for four objects bring strong support to the hypothesis of a relationship between astrometric and photometric variability. A full account is provided by Andrei et al. (2009).
We present experimental studies on the interaction of soft X-rays on gas-phase and solid-phase amino acids and nucleobases in an attempt to verify if these molecules (supposed to be formed in molecular clouds/protostellar clouds) can survive long enough to be observed or even to be found in meteorites. Measurements have been undertaken employing 150 eV photons under high vacuum conditions at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS). The produced ions from the gas-phase experiments (glycine, adenine and uracil) have been mass/charge analyzed by time-of-flight spectrometer. The analysis of solid phase samples (glycine, DL-proline, DL-valine, adenine and uracil) were performed by a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer coupled to the experimental chamber. Photodissociation cross sections and halflives were determined and extrapolated to astrophysical environments. The nucleobases photostability was up to two orders of magnitude higher than for the amino acids.