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Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
Introduction: Hypotension is known to be associated with increased mortality in severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) of <90 mmHg is the threshold for hypotension in consensus TBI treatment guidelines; however, evidence suggests hypotension should be defined at higher levels for these patients. Our objective was to determine the influence of hypotension on mortality in TBI patients requiring ICU admission using different thresholds of SBP on arrival at the emergency department (ED). Methods: Retrospective cohort study of patients with severe TBI (Abbreviated Injury Scale Head score ≥3) admitted to ICU at the QEII Health Sciences Centre (Halifax, Canada) between 2002 and 2013. Patients were grouped by SBP on ED arrival ( <90 mmHg, <100 mmHg, <110 mmHg). We performed multiple logistic regression analysis with mortality as the dependent variable. Models were adjusted for confounders including age, gender, Injury Severity Score (ISS), injury mechanism, and trauma team activation (TTA). Results: A total of 1233 patients sustained a severe TBI and were admitted to the ICU during the study period. The mean age was 43.4 ± 23.9 years and most patients were male (919/1233; 74.5%). The most common mechanism of injury was motor vehicle collision (491/1233; 41.2%) followed by falls (427/1233; 35.8%). Mean length of stay in the ICU was 6.1 ± 6.4 days, and the overall mortality rate was 22.7%. SBP on arrival was available for 1182 patients. The <90 mmHg group had 4.6% (54/1182) of these patients; mean ISS was 20.6 ± 7.8 and mortality was 40.7% (22/54). The <100 mmHg had 9.3% (110/1182) of patients; mean ISS was 19.3 ± 7.9 and mortality was 34.5% (38/110). The <110 mmHg group had 16.8% (198/1182) of patients; mean ISS was 17.9 ± 8.0 and mortality was 28.8% (57/198). After adjusting for confounders, the association between hypotension and mortality was 2.22 (95% CI 1.19-4.16) using a <90 mmHg cutoff, 1.79 (95% CI 1.12-2.86) using a <100 mmHg cutoff, and 1.50 (95% CI 1.02-2.21) using a <110 mmHg cutoff. Conclusion: While we found that TBI patients with a SBP <90 mmHg were over 2 times more likely to die, patients with an SBP <110 mmHg on ED arrival were still 1.5 times more likely to die from their injuries compared to patients without hypotension. These results suggest that establishing a higher threshold for clinically meaningful hypotension in TBI patients is warranted.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
Quantitative analysis of six clay minerals commonly found in drilling mud solids is studied by x-ray diffraction using the method of internal standards. Standard clay samples are used with three internal standards to derive calibration curves from which four synthetic mud solids are analyzed. If careful sample preparation and handling are employed, reasonably accurate and reproducible results are obtained.
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
STARDUST, a Discovery-class mission, will return intact samples of cometary dust and volatiles from comet P/Wild 2, as well as samples of the interstellar dust moving through the solar system. Dust capture utilizes aerogel, a microporous silica that is capable of intact capture of hypervelocity particles. A navigation camera, an in situ dust analyzer, and a dust flux monitor complete the payload. The Wild 2 flyby takes place in January 2004, with Earth return in January 2006.
We consider pressure-driven flow of an ion-carrying viscous Newtonian fluid through a non-uniformly shaped channel coated with a charged deformable porous layer, as a model for blood flow through microvessels that are lined with an endothelial glycocalyx layer (EGL). The EGL is negatively charged and electrically interacts with ions dissolved in the blood plasma. The focus here is on the interplay between electrochemical effects, and the pressure-driven flow through the microvessel. To analyse these effects we use triphasic mixture theory (TMT) which describes the coupled dynamics of the fluid phase, the elastic EGL, ion transport within the fluid and electric fields within the microvessel. The resulting equations are solved numerically using a coupled boundary–finite element method (BEM-FEM) scheme. However, in the physiological regime considered here, ion concentrations and electric potentials vary rapidly over a thin transitional region (Debye layer) that straddles the lumen–EGL interface, which is difficult to resolve numerically. Accordingly we analyse this region asymptotically, to determine effective jump conditions across the interface for BEM-FEM computations within the bulk EGL/lumen. Our results demonstrate that ion–EGL electrical interactions can influence the near-wall flow, causing it to become reversed. This alters the stresses exerted upon the vessel wall, which has implications for the hypothesised role of the EGL as a transmitter of mechanical signals from the blood flow to the endothelial vessel surface.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
Ice streams are critical regulatory mechanisms in contemporary ice sheets. It has been inferred that they also had a significant effect on the dynamics of former ice sheets. Subsequently, many people have invoked their widespread occurrence from a variety of formerly glaciated areas. Hypothesised locations, however, have often outweighed meaningful evidence. This paper addresses the problem, using the characteristics of contemporary ice streams as a basis for their identification from former ice-sheet beds. A convergence of knowledge gained from contemporary ice-stream research, coupled with theories of glacial geomorphology, allows several geomorphological criteria to be identified as suggestive signatures of ice-stream activity. It is envisaged that the geomorphological criteria developed here will introduce a more objective approach to the study of former ice streams. The criteria are used to construct conceptual land-system models of the beds of former ice streams, and it is hoped such models can provide an observational template upon which hypotheses of former ice streams can be better based.
A 141m ice core was recovered from Combatant Col (51.385° N, 125.258° W; 3000ma.s.l.), Mount Waddington, Coast Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. Records of black carbon, dust, lead and water stable isotopes demonstrate that unambiguous seasonality is preserved throughout the core, despite summer surface snowmelt and temperate ice. High accumulation rates at the site (>4 m ice eq. a-1) limit modification of annual stratigraphy by percolation of surface meltwater. The ice-core record spans the period 1973–2010. An annually averaged time series of lead concentrations from the core correlates well with historical records of lead emission from North America, and with ice-core records of lead from the Greenland ice sheet. The depth-age scale for the ice core provides sufficient constraint on the vertical strain to allow estimation of the age of the ice at bedrock. Total ice thickness at Combatant Col is ~250 m; an ice core to bedrock would likely contain ice in excess of 200 years in age. Accumulation at Combatant Col is significantly correlated with both regional precipitation and large-scale geopotential height anomalies.
Mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGLs) are longitudinally aligned corrugations (ridge–groove structures 6–100 km long) in sediment produced subglacially. They are indicators of fast flow and a common signature of ice-stream beds. We develop a qualitative theory that accounts for their formation, and use numerical modelling, and observations of ice-stream beds to provide supporting evidence. Ice in contact with a rough (scale of 10–103 m) bedrock surface will mimic the form of the bed. Because of flow acceleration and convergence in ice-stream onset zones, the ice-base roughness elements experience transverse strain, transforming them from irregular bumps into longitudinally aligned keels of ice protruding downwards. Where such keels slide across a soft sedimentary bed, they plough through the sediments, carving elongate grooves, and deforming material up into intervening ridges. This explains MSGLs and has important implications for ice-stream mechanics. Groove ploughing provides the means to acquire new lubricating sediment and to transport large volumes of it downstream. Keels may provide basal drag in the force budget of ice streams, thereby playing a role in flow regulation and stability. We speculate that groove ploughing permits significant ice-stream widening, thus facilitating high-magnitude ice discharge.
A high resolution X-ray image from the Einstein Observatory of the young supernova remnant G292.0+1.8 (MSH11–54), previously noted as peculiar in terms of its spectral and morphological properties at optical and radio wavelengths, also shows an unusual X-ray morphology. Instead of a limb-brightened X-ray shell characteristic of most SNRs, the remnant consists of a central bar-like feature superposed on an ellipsoidal disc of approximately uniform surface brightness. We attribute the bar emission to a ring of oxygen-rich material ejected in the equatorial plane of a massive rotating progenitor, and the uniform disc component to emission from material with roughly cosmic composition heated by the accompanying blast wave. This interpretation provides observational support for the rotating precursor model of a Type II supernova discussed by Bodenheimer and Woosley.
More than 3000 radial velocity observations across the face of the Crab Nebula are used to investigate its 3-dimensional properties. In the standard model it consists of a thick hollow shell with synchrotron emission from within. We show that the thick shell is composed of bright inner and faint outer components
This paper reports the observation of high-n lines in emission from n = 12-11, 13-12, 14-13 and 16-15 Rydberg transitions in H, Mg and Si in solar far IR spectra taken from balloon altitudes, in which the H I line intensities are found to exceed those from the heavier elements. Tentative identification is also made of the n = 8-7 hydrogen line in emission on 20 μm spectra taken from Mauna Kea. The characteristics of the hydrogen lines are compared with lower-n transitions seen in the Space Shuttle ATMOS spectra, in which Brackett, Pfund and n = 6 lines with Δn = 1, 2, 3 and 4 are seen as broad absorption features, while the n = 7-6 line shows a small emission peak within a broader absorption line and the n = 9-7, and possibly the 11-8, transitions appear as weak emission lines. These results indicate that the transformation from absorption to emission occurs at longer wavelengths for hydrogen lines than for those of heavier elements.
VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz of SN1987A on 28 February 1987 yielded no fringes, implying, for an optically thin shell, a lower bound on the (outer) diameter of 1.9 mas. From the comparison of the VLBI and optical results, we infer that the radiosphere of SN1987A was either about equal to, or larger than, the photosphere of the supernova five days after the explosion.
A two-beam Martin-Puplett polarizing interferometer has been used in the rapid-scan mode on the 15 meter JCMT in conjunction with the facility detector, UKT14, to survey the solar sub-millimeter and millimeter spectrum in the four wavebands at 7-11, 11-15, 21-24 and 27-30 cm–1 to a spectral resolution of 0.01 cm–1 and at spatial resolutions of 19″, 16″, 7″ and 6″, respectively. Overall atmospheric transmission through these windows has been evaluated by comparison with synthetic spectra generated with FASCOD/HITRAN. A search has been made for contributions to these spectra from high-n transitions of H and heavier elements by several methods, including the comparison of solar with lunar and limb with disk center spectra.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is becoming a commonly applied technique in geomorphology. However, its use in the study of subglacial bedforms has yet to be fully explored and exploited. This paper presents the results of a GPR feasibility study conducted on a drumlinized terrain in Cumbria, UK, where five drumlins were investigated using multiple radar antenna frequencies. The site was selected for the presence of nearby bedrock outcrops, suggesting a shallow drumlinized diamict–bedrock contact and a permeable lithology. Despite the clayey sediment and unfavourable weather conditions, a considerable penetration depth of ~12 m was achieved when using a 50 MHz antenna, with a separation of 1 m, trace spacing of 1 m and 128-fold vertical stack. Results indicate that the drumlinized diamict is in direct erosional contact with the bedrock. While the internal drumlin geometry is generally chaotic on the stoss side, evidence of layering dipping downflow at an angle greater than the drumlin surface profile was found on the lee side. The inter-drumlin areas comprise ~4 m of infill sediment that masks part of the original drumlin profile. Overall, this study indicates that GPR can be deployed successfully in the study of glacial bedform sedimentary architecture.