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We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
Satellite altimetric time series allow high-precision monitoring of ice-sheet mass balance. Understanding elevation changes in these regions is important because outlet glaciers along ice-sheet margins are critical in controlling flow of inland ice. Here we discuss a new airborne altimetry dataset collected as part of the ICECAP (International Collaborative Exploration of the Cryosphere by Airborne Profiling) project over East Antarctica. Using the ALAMO (Airborne Laser Altimeter with Mapping Optics) system of a scanning photon-counting lidar combined with a laser altimeter, we extend the 2003–09 surface elevation record of NASA’s ICESat satellite, by determining cross-track slope and thus independently correcting for ICESat’s cross-track pointing errors. In areas of high slope, cross-track errors result in measured elevation change that combines surface slope and the actual Δz/Δt signal. Slope corrections are particularly important in coastal ice streams, which often exhibit both rapidly changing elevations and high surface slopes. As a test case (assuming that surface slopes do not change significantly) we observe a lack of ice dynamic change at Cook Ice Shelf, while significant thinning occurred at Totten and Denman Glaciers during 2003–09.
Radiocarbon dating and carbon isotope analyses of deep peat and gases in a small ombrogenous peatland in northwestern Ontario reveals the presence of old gases at depth that are 1000–2000 yr younger than the enclosing peat. We suggest that the most likely explanation to account for this age discrepancy is the downward movement by advection of younger dissolved organic carbon for use by fermentation and methanogens bacteria. This study identifies a potentially large supply of old carbon gases in peatlands that should be considered in global carbon models of the terrestrial biosphere.
We report the direct detection of cyclic diameter variations in the Mira variable χ Cygni. Interferometric observations made between 1997 July and 1998 September, using the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST) indicate periodic changes in the apparent angular diameter with amplitude 45 per-cent of the smallest value.
The measurements were made in a 50 nm bandpass centred on 905 nm, which is only moderately contaminated by molecular absorption features. To assess the effects of atmospheric stratification on the apparent diameter measured in this band, we have also measured near-infrared diameters for a sample of five Miras, in both the J-band (1.3 μm) and Wing's (1971) 1.04 μm band, which is expected to isolate essentially pure continuum emission. We present J-band visibility curves which indicate that the intensity profiles of the stars in the sample differ greatly from each other.
Research on close binary systems has continued at a high level during the past triennium, although the rate of growth is noticeably slower – probably reflecting the cutbacks in funds to which many of us are subject. There have also been changes of emphasis within the field, which are commented on in the pages that follow. These reflect both changing opportunities for observation and the natural development of the subject. In many areas, the time is ripe for a more critical look at ideas that previously seemed adequate.
The field of variable-star research is so broad that no report of this nature could possibly mention all the papers that have appeared in the last three years. It is hoped, however, that the reviews below include the most important work and identify the most significant trends. This report comprises ten sections on as many different research topics, each written by a different member of Commission 27. In addition there are (in Section 12) three short reports about ongoing activities of the commission. The commission president is very grateful to the authors of the individual contributions who have worked so conscientously.
We report the analysis of 154 hours of nearly continuous high-speed photometric data on the pulsating DB white dwarf (DBV) GD 358 obtained during the Whole Earth Telescope (WET) run of May 1990. The Fourier transform (FT) of the light curve is dominated by power in the range from 1200 – 1700μHz with more than 180 significant peaks in the total transform. We also see significant power at the sums and differences of the dominant frequencies, indicating the importance of nonlinear behavior. We can use this data to obtain an accurate total stellar mass, and surface He layer mass. The implied surface He layer mass, if correct, provides a significant and surprising challenge to stellar evolution theory, as well as the theory of chemical mixing.
White dwarf stars provide important boundary conditions for the understanding of stellar evolution. An adequate understanding of even these simple stars is impossible without detailed knowledge of their interiors. PG1346+082, an interacting binary white dwarf system, provides a unique opportunity to view the interior of one degenerate as it is brought to light in the accretion disk of the second star as the primary strips material from its less massive companion (see Wood et at. 1987).
PG1346+082 is a photometric variable with a four magnitude variation over a four to five day quasi-period. A fast Fourier transform (FFT) of the light curve shows a complex, time-dependent structure of harmonics. PG1346+082 exhibits flickering – the signature of mass transfer. The optical spectra of the system contain weak emission features during minimum and broad absorption at all other times. This could be attributed to pressure broadening in the atmosphere of a compact object, or to a combination of pressure broadening and doppler broadening in a disk surrounding the compact accretor. No hydrogen lines are observed and the spectra are dominated by neutral helium. The spectra also display variable asymmetric line profiles.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a predominant immunoglobulin present in human breast milk and is known to play an important role in infant gut immunity maturation. Breast milk composition varies between populations, but the environmental and maternal factors responsible for these variations are still unclear. We examined the relationship between different exposures and levels of IgA in colostrum. The objective of this study was to examine whether exposures analysed influence levels of IgA in colostrum. The present study used 294 colostrum samples from the MecMilk International cohort, collected from women residing in London, Moscow and Verona. Samples were analysed in automated Abbott Architect Analyser. We found an inverse correlation between time postpartum and colostrum total IgA level (r=−0.49, P<0.001). Adjusting for maternal parity, smoking, fresh fruit and fish consumption and allergen sensitization, multiple regression model showed that IgA levels were influenced by colostrum collection time (P<0.0001) and country of collection (P<0.01). Mode of delivery influence did not appear to be significant in univariate comparisons, once adjusted for the above maternal characteristics it showed a significant influence on total IgA (P=0.01). We conclude that the concentration of IgA in colostrum drops rapidly after birth and future studies should always consider this factor in analysis. IgA concentration varied significantly between countries, with the highest level detected in Moscow and lowest in Verona. Mode of delivery effect should be confirmed on larger cohorts. Further work is needed to determine ways to correct for IgA decline over time in colostrum, and to find the cause of variations in IgA levels between the countries.
Grass silage is typically fed to dairy cows in temperate regions. However, in vivo information on methane (CH4) emission from grass silage of varying quality is limited. We evaluated the effect of two rates of nitrogen (N) fertilisation of grassland (low fertilisation (LF), 65 kg of N/ha; and high fertilisation (HF), 150 kg of N/ha) and of three stages of maturity of grass at cutting: early maturity (EM; 28 days of regrowth), mid maturity (MM; 41 days of regrowth) and late maturity (LM; 62 days of regrowth) on CH4 production by lactating dairy cows. In a randomised block design, 54 lactating Holstein–Friesian dairy cows (168±11 days in milk; mean±standard error of mean) received grass silage (mainly ryegrass) and compound feed at 80 : 20 on dry matter basis. Cows were adapted to the diet for 12 days and CH4 production was measured in climate respiration chambers for 5 days. Dry matter intake (DMI; 14.9±0.56 kg/day) decreased with increasing N fertilisation and grass maturity. Production of fat- and protein-corrected milk (FPCM; 24.0±1.57 kg/day) decreased with advancing grass maturity but was not affected by N fertilisation. Apparent total-tract feed digestibility decreased with advancing grass maturity but was unaffected by N fertilisation except for an increase and decrease in N and fat digestibility with increasing N fertilisation, respectively. Total CH4 production per cow (347±13.6 g/day) decreased with increasing N fertilisation by 4% and grass maturity by 6%. The smaller CH4 production with advancing grass maturity was offset by a smaller FPCM and lower feed digestibility. As a result, with advancing grass maturity CH4 emission intensity increased per units of FPCM (15.0±1.00 g CH4/kg) by 31% and digestible organic matter intake (33.1±0.78 g CH4/kg) by 15%. In addition, emission intensity increased per units of DMI (23.5±0.43 g CH4/kg) by 7% and gross energy intake (7.0±0.14% CH4) by 9%, implying an increased loss of dietary energy with advancing grass maturity. Rate of N fertilisation had no effect on CH4 emissions per units of FPCM, DMI and gross energy intake. These results suggest that despite a lower absolute daily CH4 production with a higher N fertilisation rate, CH4 emission intensity remains unchanged. A significant reduction of CH4 emission intensity can be achieved by feeding dairy cows silage of grass harvested at an earlier stage of maturity.
In nature, biomolecules guide the formation of hierarchically-ordered, lightweight, inorganic-organic composites such as corals, shells, teeth and bones. M13 bacteriophage has been used to mimic bio-inspired material development due to its rigid, nanoscale rod-like morphology. Liquid-crystalline monolayers of genetically engineered phage have been used to template crystallization of thin layers of inorganic and metallic materials. We have created thin films composed of engineered M13 phage capable of binding inorganic components. We employed both a dip-cast and a drop-cast film fabrication method on both smooth and rough gold, silica and glass casting surfaces to create thin films and 3D structures of various degrees of hierarchical order. We have found the engineered M13 phage and the inorganic mineral significantly affected both film morphology and the mechanical properties of the film. Similarly, film fabrication parameters such as solution chemistry, temperature, and pulling speed affected film properties. Using a calcium phosphate biomineralized 4E phage, film thickness increased linearly with the number of layers/dips in the phage solution. The stiffness of these composites (Young's modulus) were >80 GPa for mineralized, multilayer films. These materials are an order of magnitude stiffer than the biological equivalent collagen. Stiffness, however, does not appear to increase in a multilayer film beyond a saturation point. Ultimately, we have developed a platform for phage-based bio-composites for developing high performance materials.
Designing new materials with well-defined structures and desired functions is a challenge in materials science, especially with nanomaterials. Nature, however, solves design of these materials through a self-assembling, hierarchically ordered process. We have investigated the mechanisms by which the high- aspect ratio and unique surface chemistry of M13 bacteriophage can give rise to increasingly complex, hierarchically ordered, bundled phage structures with a wide range of material applications. A molecular dynamic simulation of the 3-D structure of a 20-nm section of wild type (WT) and mutant phage types were developed based on WT phage crystal structure and ab initio calculations. Simulations of these phage were then used to examine repulsive and attractive forces of the particles in solution. Examination of contact interactions between two WT phage indicated the phage were maximally attracted to each other in a head to tail orientation. A mutant phage (4E) with a higher negative surface charge relative to WT phage also preferentially ordered head to tail in solution. In contrast, a mutant phage (CLP8) with a net positive surface charge had minimal repulsion in a 90° orientation. Understanding the self-assembly process through molecular dynamic simulations and decomposition of fundamental forces driving inter- and intra-strand interactions has provided a qualitative assessment of mechanisms that lead to hierarchical phage bundle structures. Results from simulation agree with experimentally observed patterns from self-assembly. We anticipate using this system to further investigate development of hierarchical structures not only from biological molecules but also from synthetic materials.
Fractional passage rates form a fundamental element within modern feed evaluation systems for ruminants, but knowledge on feed-specific fractional passage is largely lacking. Commonly applied tracer techniques based on externally applied markers, such as chromium-mordanted neutral detergent fibre (Cr-NDF), have been criticised for behaving differently to feed particles. This study describes the use of the carbon stable isotope ratio (13C : 12C) as an internal digesta marker to quantify the fractional passage rate of concentrates through the digestive tract of dairy cows. In a crossover study, five dairy cows were fed low (24.6%) and high (52.6%) levels of concentrates (dry matter (DM) basis) and received a pulse-dosed Cr-NDF and 13C isotopes. The latter was administered orally by exchanging part of the dietary concentrates of low 13C natural abundance with a pulse dose of maize bran-based concentrates of high 13C natural abundance. Fractional passage rates from the rumen (K1) and from the large intestine (K2) were determined from faecal marker concentrations of Cr-NDF and of 13C in the DM (13C-DM), NDF (13C-NDF) and neutral detergent soluble (13C-NDS). No differences in K1 estimates were found for the two concentrate levels fed but significant differences between markers (P<0.001) were observed. Faecal Cr-NDF excretions gave lower K1 estimates (0.037–0.039/h) than 13C-DM (0.054–0.056/h) and 13C-NDF (0.061–0.063/h). The 13C-NDS was calculated by the difference of 13C in the DM and NDF, and K1 values (0.039–0.043/h) were comparable to Cr-NDF. Total mean retention time was considerably higher for Cr-NDF (40.9–42.0 h) as compared to 13C-DM and 13C-NDF (32.0–33.5 h; P<0.001). The accuracy of the curve fits for Cr-NDF and 13C-DM and 13C-NDF was overall good (mean prediction error of 9.9–13.9%). Fractional passage rate of Cr-NDF was comparable to studies where this marker was assumed to represent the fractional passage of roughages. However, K1 estimates based on the 13C : 12C ratio varied considerably from studies based on external markers. Our results suggest that the use of 13C isotopes as digesta passage markers can provide feed component-specific K1 estimates for concentrates and provides new insight into passage kinetics of NDF from technologically treated compound feed.
The current status of the DRIFT (Directional Recoil Identification From Tracks)
experiment at Boulby Mine is presented, including the latest limits on the WIMP
spin-dependent cross-section from 1.5 kg days of running with a mixture of CS2
and CF4. Planned upgrades to DRIFT IId are detailed, along with ongoing work
towards DRIFT III, which aims to be the world’s first 10 m3-scale directional
Dark Matter detector.
Background: Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) are common and are core symptoms of the condition. They cause considerable distress to the person with dementia and their carers and predict early institutionalization and death. Historically, these symptoms have been managed with anxiolytic and antipsychotic medication. Although potentially effective, such medication has been used too widely and is associated with serious adverse side-effects and increased mortality. Consequently, there is a need to evaluate non-pharmacological therapies for behavioral and psychological symptoms in this population. One such therapy is physical activity, which has widespread health benefits. The aim of this review is to summarize the current findings of the efficacy of physical activity on BPSD.
Method: Published articles were identified using electronic and manual searches. Rather than systematically aggregating data, this review adopted a rapid critical interpretive approach to synthesize the literature.
Results: Exercise appears to be beneficial in reducing some BPSD, especially depressed mood, agitation, and wandering, and may also improve night-time sleep. Evidence of the efficacy of exercise on improving other symptoms such as anxiety, apathy, and repetitive behaviors is currently weak or lacking.
Conclusion: The beneficial effect of exercise type, its duration, and frequency is unclear although some studies suggest that walking for at least 30 minutes, several times a week, may enhance outcome. The methodological shortcomings of current work in this area are substantial. The research and clinical implications of current findings are discussed.
The Western Isles–North Channel (‘WINCH’) deep seismic reflection profile runs through the North Channel across the extension of the Midland Valley into the Firth of Clyde.
A variety of shallow Carboniferous and younger sedimentary basins dominates the upper crustal structure. The deep structure includes a reflective lower crust, bounded downwards by the Moho, and dipping ‘thrusts’. No margins to the Midland Valley are observed equivalent to the bounding faults on land. Thrusts below both the Highlands and the Southern Uplands have a variety of dip directions indicative of zig-zag crustal shortening of 100 km in the Highlands and 60 km in the Southern Uplands.
The Moho varies only a little in depth, despite the gross crustal deformation in the Caledonides. Isostatic recovery of the Moho on unlocking of collided crustal blocks may explain the formation of some sedimentary basins.