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Natural living conductive biofilms transport electrons between electrodes and cells, as well as among cells fixed within the film, catalyzing an array of reactions from acetate oxidation to CO2 reduction. Synthetic biology offers tools to modify or improve electron transport through biofilms, creating a new class of engineered living conductive materials. Engineered living conductive materials could be used in a range of applications for which traditional conducting polymers are not appropriate, including improved catalytic coatings for microbial fuel-cell electrodes, self-powered sensors for austere environments, and next-generation living components of bioelectronic devices that interact with the human microbiome.
A core question in the debate about how to organise mental healthcare is whether in- and out-patient treatment should be provided by the same (personal continuity) or different psychiatrists (specialisation). The controversial debate drives costly organisational changes in several European countries, which have gone in opposing directions. The existing evidence is based on small and low-quality studies which tend to favour whatever the new experimental organisation is.
We compared 1-year clinical outcomes of personal continuity and specialisation in routine care in a large scale study across five European countries.
This is a 1-year prospective natural experiment conducted in Belgium, England, Germany, Italy and Poland. In all these countries, both personal continuity and specialisation exist in routine care. Eligible patients were admitted for psychiatric in-patient treatment (18 years of age), and clinically diagnosed with a psychotic, mood or anxiety/somatisation disorder.
Outcomes were assessed 1 year after the index admission. The primary outcome was re-hospitalisation and analysed for the full sample and subgroups defined by country, and different socio-demographic and clinical criteria. Secondary outcomes were total number of inpatient days, involuntary re-admissions, adverse events and patients’ social situation. Outcomes were compared through mixed regression models in intention-to-treat analyses. The study is registered (ISRCTN40256812).
We consecutively recruited 7302 patients; 6369 (87.2%) were followed-up. No statistically significant differences were found in re-hospitalisation, neither overall (adjusted percentages: 38.9% in personal continuity, 37.1% in specialisation; odds ratio = 1.08; confidence interval 0.94–1.25; p = 0.28) nor for any of the considered subgroups. There were no significant differences in any of the secondary outcomes.
Whether the same or different psychiatrists provide in- and out-patient treatment appears to have no substantial impact on patient outcomes over a 1-year period. Initiatives to improve long-term outcomes of psychiatric patients may focus on aspects other than the organisation of personal continuity v. specialisation.
Reliable and affordable technology for collecting and managing livestock production process information is being developed. The advances in data measurement, collection and transfer technology enable us to retrieve information from one or more remote sites to be processed and managed centrally. This opens up the opportunity to advance from open loop, prescriptive production to closed loop systems where factors influencing the actual performance of animals are used to modify and improve their production parameters (feed, environment, medication). We strive from producing animals by predicting what is needed using outdated data, to measuring what is actually happening as they grow, processing this information and acting to optimise animal performance by modifying production parameters in real time.
This paper describes commercially available systems that make possible the retrieval, collection, processing and distribution of near real time production information. Various aspects of production management using this technology are discussed, and examples of how it can be applied to monitor water usage, how it relates to pig performance and how energy usage can be influenced, are considered.
Charcoal is the result of natural and anthropogenic burning events, when biomass is exposed to elevated temperatures under conditions of restricted oxygen. This process produces a range of materials, collectively known as pyrogenic carbon, the most inert fraction of which is known as black carbon (BC). BC degrades extremely slowly and is resistant to diagenetic alteration involving the addition of exogenous carbon, making it a useful target substance for radiocarbon dating particularly of more ancient samples, where contamination issues are critical. We present results of tests using a new method for the quantification and isolation of BC, known as hydropyrolysis (hypy). Results show controlled reductive removal of non-BC organic components in charcoal samples, including lignocellulosic and humic material. The process is reproducible and rapid, making hypy a promising new approach not only for isolation of purified BC for 14C measurement but also in quantification of different labile and resistant sample C fractions.
A search has been made using the Buckland Park air shower array for evidence of any excess of events from the direction of the recent supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Upper limits resulting from this search and their significance are discussed in this paper.
We report here a search of data recorded by the Buckland Park air shower array from the first year after the supernova and set an upper limit to the proton luminosity of SN1987A of 7.7 × 1040 ergs s−1.
An analysis has been made of events recorded in one year from the direction of the active galaxy Centaurus A using the Buckland Park UHE gamma-ray telescope. No statistically significant excess was observed over this period. Data collected between 1984 and 1989 show evidence for an excess of events from this direction at shower sizes in the range of 2 × 105 to 5 × 105 particles.
The extreme isotropy of cosmic ray events allows one to put upper limits on any possible non-isotropic contribution to the flux. In particular, one can investigate any excess of events which may be confined to the galactic plane. Such extra events would be expected from galactic ultra-high-energy (UHE) gamma-ray sources. Under the assumption of an isotropic cosmic ray flux, recent Buckland Park data place a 95% confidence level limit on the total southern hemisphere (declination −15° to −55°) flux of UHE gamma-rays at between 0.6 and 6 equivalent Cygnus X-3 sources, depending on assumptions concerning the gamma-ray spectrum.
The cosmic ray array at Buckland Park is being developed to extend its useful collecting area at 1016 eV to ∼105m2 so that anisotropy measurements can be made at higher energies than previously possible with that system. A new array is also being designed to assist with this investigation. Design considerations for the new arrays are discussed.
Several extragalactic HI surveys using a λ21 cm 13-beam focal plane array will begin in early 1997 using the Parkes 64 m telescope. These surveys are designed to detect efficiently nearby galaxies that have failed to be identified optically because of low optical surface brightness or high optical extinction. We discuss scientific and technical aspects of the multibeam receiver, including astronomical objectives, feed, receiver and correlator design and data acquisition. A comparison with other telescopes shows that the Parkes multibeam receiver has significant speed advantages for any large-area λ21 cm galaxy survey in the velocity range range 0–14000 km s−1.
Fracking is a controversial practice but is thriving in many areas. We combine a comprehensive data set on local bans and moratoria in the state of New York with local-level census data and spatial characteristics in a spatial econometric analysis of local fracking policies. Some factors, including location in the Utica shale, proportion of registered Democrats, and education level, increase the probability of restrictions on fracking. Extent of local land development, location in highly productive petroleum areas, and number of extant oil and gas wells are among factors that have a negative impact on the likelihood of a ban or moratorium.
A cloud monitor has been developed for use with cosmic ray air shower fluorescence detectors, the High Resolution Fly's Eye and the Pierre Auger Observatory. This is based on an infrared thermopile device which, unlike previous such monitors, requires no moving chopper and is suitable for unattended operation over long periods of time.
The dielectric functions ε = ε1+iε2 of AlAs were determined from 1.5 eV to 5.0 eV, by spectroscopie ellipsometry (SE), from room temperature (RT) to ∼577 °C in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) chamber. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)-grown AlAs was covered by a thin GaAs layer, which was passivated by arsenic capping to prevent oxidation. The arsenic cap was desorbed inside the UHV chamber. SE measurements of the unoxidized sample were made, at various temperatures. Temperature dependent optical constants of AlAs were obtained by mathematically removing the effects of the GaAs cap and substrate. Quantitative analyses of the variations of critical-point energies with temperature, by using the harmonic oscillator approximation (HOA), indicate that the E1 and E1+Δ1 energies decrease -350 meV as temperature increases from RT to 500 °C.
We have developed a technology for 2D matrix-addressed image sensors using amorphous silicon photodiodes and thin film transistors. We have built a small prototype, having 192×192 pixels with a 20μm pixel pitch, and assessed its performance. The nip photodiodes can have dark current densities of less than 1011 A.cm-2 (up to 5V reverse bias) and peak quantum efficiencies of 88% (at 580nm). We operated the sensor in real time mode at high speed (50 Hz frame rate and 64μS line time). The image sensor has a low noise performance giving a dynamic range in excess of 104. The maximum crosstalk is about 2%, which allows at least 50 grey levels. The bottom contact of the photodiode acts as a light shield from light through the substrate, which enables the sensor to be operated as an intimate contact image sensor to image a document placed directly on top of the array. In this mode, the CTF was 75% at 2 lp.mm1. Good quality images are demonstrated in both front projection and intimate contact imaging modes.
Cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and zinc concentrations in the bivalve mollusc Macoma balthica and the polychaete annelids Hediste diversicolor and Arenicola marina were measured, during winter and summer, at sites throughout the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. The mean concentration of each metal in A. marina was greater in the lower Severn Estuary than in the far less contaminated outer Bristol Channel and the concentration of a given metal, e.g. Cr, in a species occasionally peaked at a site, reflecting local metal contamination. The concentrations of each metal in each of these biomonitor species almost invariably differed significantly among sites and often seasons and there were sometimes interactions between site and season. This indicates that the various factors that determine the concentration of a metal in a species operate in a complex manner and that their individual effects can vary among sites and/or seasons. The rank order of each metal concentration in each species at a site within the estuary frequently did not match the sequence for the concentration of that metal measured in the sediment at that site at the same time. This lack of correspondence is likely to be due, at least in part, to one or both of the following: (1) variations in the bioavailability of certain metals among sites due to differences in such features as the metal-binding properties of the sediments; (2) the effects of the constant transport and redistribution of the sediments and thus also of their associated trace metals by the very strong tidal action that characterizes the Severn Estuary. This would mean that single time measurements do not accurately reflect the overall trace metal environment to which the biomonitor organism had been exposed in the weeks/months prior to sampling. Marked differences in the concentrations of certain metals, e.g. Cu and Zn, in co-occurring biomarker species could frequently be related to differences between the ability of these species to regulate certain metals. Non-metric multi-dimensional scaling ordination and associated tests emphasize that the relationships between the concentrations of the various metals differed markedly among species and between sites and seasons in individual species and elucidated which metals contributed most to those differences. If the proposed scheme for harnessing tidal power in the Severn Estuary proceeds, the data in this paper provide a baseline for assessing the impact of such major changes on the bioavailability of trace metals in this estuary. This information will also be invaluable for predicting the changes likely to occur in other estuaries that become subjected to major structural changes.
We estimated the excess risk of in-patient hospitalization in a large cohort of persons diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, controlling for social deprivation. A total of 20 749 individuals diagnosed with HCV in Scotland by 31 December 2006 were linked to the Scottish hospital discharge database, and indirectly standardized hospitalization rates, adjusting for sex, age, year and deprivation were calculated. We observed significant excess morbidity considering episodes for: any diagnosis [standardized morbidity ratio (SMR) 3·4, 95% CI 3·3–3·5]; liver-related diagnoses (SMR 41·3, 95% CI 39·6–43·0); and only non-liver-related diagnoses (SMR 2·14, 95% CI 2·08–2·19). Cox regression analyses of the 2000–2006 data indicated increased relative risks of hospitalization for males [hazard ratio (HR) 1·1, 95% CI 1·0–1·2], older age (per 10 years) (HR 1·55, 95% CI 1·5–1·6), and those testing HIV-positive (HR 1·6, 95% CI 1·3–1·8). This study has revealed substantial excess all-cause and liver-related morbidity in the Scottish HCV-diagnosed population, even after allowing for deprivation.
We estimated the extent of undiagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in injecting drug users (IDUs) in Scotland. We used record-linkage to determine HCV diagnosis status for 41 062 current/former IDUs attending drug treatment and support services between 1 April 1995 and 31 March 2006; the extent of undiagnosed HCV infection was estimated by comparing the number HCV-diagnosed to the number HCV-infected (estimated from an unlinked anonymous testing survey of 2141 current/former IDUs). In all, 9145 IDUs (22%) were diagnosed HCV antibody-positive since first attendance at drug services (diagnosis rate of 33·6/1000 person-years, 95% CI 32·7–34·4). By 31 March 2006, of the 19 632 current/former IDUs who had attended drug services and were determined to be living with HCV, an estimated 58% (95% CI 45–62) had not been HCV-diagnosed. It is essential that the deployment of resources for identifying at-risk IDUs with a view to offering antiviral therapy is guided by evidence.