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We summarize the findings from an interlaboratory study conducted between ten international research groups and investigate the use of the commonly used maximum separation distance and local concentration thresholding methods for solute clustering quantification. The study objectives are: to bring clarity to the range of applicability of the methods; identify existing and/or needed modifications; and interpretation of past published data. Participants collected experimental data from a proton-irradiated 304 stainless steel and analyzed Cu-rich and Ni–Si rich clusters. The datasets were also analyzed by one researcher to clarify variability originating from different operators. The Cu distribution fulfills the ideal requirements of the maximum separation method (MSM), namely a dilute matrix Cu concentration and concentrated Cu clusters. This enabled a relatively tight distribution of the cluster number density among the participants. By contrast, the group analysis of the Ni–Si rich clusters by the MSM was complicated by a high Ni matrix concentration and by the presence of Si-decorated dislocations, leading to larger variability among researchers. While local concentration filtering could, in principle, tighten the results, the cluster identification step inevitably maintained a high scatter. Recommendations regarding reporting, selection of analysis method, and expected variability when interpreting published data are discussed.
In the “Weather on Other Worlds” Spitzer Exploration Science program, we surveyed 44 nearby L3–T8 dwarfs for spot-induced rotational variability. Among single L3–L9.5 dwarfs, we found that 80% are variable at >0.2% in the 3–5 μm wavelength range, while 36% of T0–T8 were variable at >0.4%. Taking into account viewing angle and sensitivity considerations, both of these findings are consistent with spots being present on ~100% of L3–T8 dwarfs. Intriguingly, we find a tentative association (92% confidence) between low surface gravity and high-amplitude variability among L3–L5.5 dwarfs. Although we can not confirm whether lower gravity is also correlated with a higher incidence of variables, the result is promising for the characterization of directly imaged young extrasolar planets through variability.
Catherine Esnouf, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris,Marie Russel, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris,Nicolas Bricas, Centre de Co-opération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Paris
When dealing with the sustainability of food systems, the spatial dimension merits particular attention. On the one hand, growing urbanisation and urban sprawl in different parts of the world raise questions regarding the sustainability of food supply systems for urban populations. On the other hand, the location of different activities in food systems has a strong effect on the environmental assessment of food systems.
This chapter is distinctive from current scientific literature insofar as the sustainability of food systems is analysed, first, in terms of food supplies to cities, and second, by focusing on location strategies relative to production, processing and distribution activities linked to urban dynamics.
Sustainably feeding large cities: a major challenge
The challenges of food sustainability cannot be fully understood without taking account of the spatial dynamics of consumption, distribution, processing and production activities in different countries of the world. On the one hand, changes to diets and consumption practices have exerted a major impact on the spatial organisation of the agricultural and food sectors and hence on greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of energy consumed for the shipment of commodities.
We study self-duality of Grothendieck's blended extensions in the context of a tannakian category. The set of equivalence classes of symmetric, resp. antisymmetric, blended extensions is naturally endowed with a torsor structure, which enables us to compute the unipotent radical of the associated monodromy groups in various situations.
There is currently a great interest in the preparation of nanostructured magnetic films possessing well-defined structures and controlled properties. Recent progresses in colloidal nanocrystals synthesis and processing have led to new methods for producing films and superstructures made with these materials. Hybrid films have been prepared by organizing functionalized magnetite nanoparticles in large patterns using the Langmuir Blodgett technique. Magnetite nanoparticles with an average particle diameter of 39nm have been prepared and then coated with amphiphilic molecules. The resulting decorated particles, with a hydrophobic outer layer, have proven suitable for being processed by the LB technique. The microstructure and the compacity of the nanoparticle arrays appear to depend on the nature of the organic moiety used to decorate the nanoparticles (carboxylate or phosphonate end-capped stilbene derivatives).
LC-NANOP is an ESF EUROCORES SONS Collaborative Research Project that is addressing an innovative approach to self-organized nanostructures by combination of a variety of organic, inorganic and metal scaffolds with the unique self-organization properties of liquid crystals to obtain liquid crystal nano-particles. LC-NANOP is concerned with the synthesis, analysis, characterization, modeling and physico-chemical properties of super- and supra-molecular systems which are formed from a nano-particle as a central scaffold, surrounded by a layer of liquid crystal. The self-organization properties of the liquid crystal coating is the driving force leading to the self-assembly of the nano-particles into secondary or tertiary hierarchical structures, with emphasis on the systematic variation of nano-particle size, chirality, shape and functionality. This bottom-up approach to nano-structuring is very powerful as it combines the extraordinary variety of morphologies that liquid crystals present with the combination of functional entities, relevant for chemical, biological, optoelectronic, and photonic tasks, etc, to create ordered nano-structures that can be controlled by external stimuli.
We evaluated the usefulness of adding weekly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening to our established admission screening and clinical sampling in 4 acute care units of a university hospital. Our results suggest that weekly MRSA screening allows the detection of 56.1% of all cases of hospital-acquired MRSA carriage. These cases would have remained undetected had admission screening and clinical sampling been the only types of surveillance in place.
To assess the impact of isolation precautions on the incidence of patients colonized or infected with Acinetobacter baumannii (case patients) in a university hospital during the period from 1999 to 2006.
The Besançon University Hospital in France, a 1,200-bed acute care hospital with approximately 50,000 admissions per year.
Using Poisson regression analysis, we evaluated a total of 350,000 patient-days to determine the annual incidence of case patients. This annual incidence was used as the outcome variable, and infection control practices, antibiotic use, and other aggregated data regarding patients' age, sex, McCabe score, and immune status were used as covariates.
The implementation of isolation precautions was independently and negatively associated with the incidence of patients colonized or infected with A. baumannii (relative risk, 0.50 [95% confidence interval, 0.40–0.64]; P < .001).
Our study suggests that the implementation of isolation precautions, in addition to standard precautions, effectively prevents the spread of A. baumannii in a hospital setting.
We discuss functional and number theoretic extensions of Schanuel's conjecture, with special emphasis on the study of elliptic integrals of the third kind.
Schanuel's conjecture [La] on the layman's exponential function can be viewed as a measure of the defect between an algebraic and a linear dimension. Its functional analogue, be it in Ax's original setting [Ax1], Coleman's [Co], or Zilber's geometric interpretation [Zi], certainly gives ground to this view-point.
The same remark applies to the elliptic version of the conjecture, and to its functional analogue, as studied by Brownawell and Kubota [BK], and by J. Kirby [K1]. Here, the elliptic curve under consideration is constant. In the same spirit, we discuss in the first section of this note Ax's general theorem [Ax2] on the exponential map on a constant semiabelian variety G, where transcendence degrees are controlled by the (linear) dimension of a certain “hull”. We obtain a similar statement for the universal vectorial extension of G, and refer to the recent work of J. Kirby [K2, K3] for further generalizations of Ax's theorem, involving arbitrary differential fields, multiplicative parametrizations, and uniformity questions.
The naïve number-theoretic analogues of these functional results, however, are clearly false. The first counterexample which comes to mind is provided by periods: Riemann-Legendre relations are quadratic, and cannot be tracked back to hulls of the above type.
We evaluated the validity of the formula of Rhame and Sudderth to estimate the cumulative incidence of nosocomial bacteremia from prevalence studies. The observed cumulative incidence was threefold higher than the calculated cumulative incidence. We do not recommend converting prevalence into incidence data for nosocomial bloodstream infections.
To evaluate the usefulness of screening cultures in the control of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in intensive care units (ICUs).
A 4-year retrospective study.
Two adult ICUs of a university-affiliated public hospital in France.
A total of 7,777 specimens were analyzed and 28 (0.97%) of 2,883 screened patients had a positive result on a screening test, among the 3,678 admitted patients. Thirteen of these 28 patients were only carriers; 4 were carriers and then were colonized or infected 2, 2, 3, and 8 days later, respectively; and 11 were colonized or infected before a screening test was positive. Cluster analysis showed that the occurrence of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae cross-transmission within both ICUs was limited to 9 cases. Thus, most cases (19 of 28) were probably imported. Surveillance cultures failed to detect 9 of the 19 cases.
The low prevalence of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae carriers on admission (0.45%) and the relative ineffectiveness of our screening test to detect imported cases suggest that systematic detection of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in ICU patients is not cost-effective and that the use of clinical cultures may be sufficient to control ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in non-epidemic situations.
To describe Burkholderia cepacia contamination of a cornea bank and the measures taken to identify and eliminate the source of infection.
Cultures were performed to assess the extent and source of contamination, and pulsed-fleld gel electrophoresis was used for molecular typing.
Routine surveillance cultures identified 5 contaminated corneas during a 10-day period. Additional cultures showed that 28 of 88 samples were positive for this organism. Environmental investigation showed that an open bottle of trypan blue used to assess corneal morphology was contaminated with the epidemic strain.
Trypan blue played a major role in this contamination of corneas. This episode shows that microbial contamination can affect transplanted corneas despite ongoing culture surveillance and suggests that new methods may be needed to avoid this risk.
To evaluate the contribution of screening to the detection of cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a chronic-care facility.
Surveillance and laboratory observational study.
During a 7-month period, we compared imported and acquired MRSA in a chronic-care center by screening patients for carriage of MRSA on admission and discharge, and by recording all cases of clinical specimens positive for MRSA
The study was conducted in a 120-bed chronic-care center. This center admits approximately 850 patients per year. Approximately 90% of the patients were elderly and were admitted from other hospitals.
Of 519 patients admitted during the study period, 129 were positive for MRSA at some point during their residence, including 60 (11.6%) with MRSA found within 48 hours of admission and 69 (13.3%; 53% of all positives) with nosocomial MRSA Of the 519 admissions, 332 (64%) were discharged, of whom 62 (19%) were positive for MRSA. Of these 62, 43 (69%) acquired their MRSA during their stay in the center.
Our study confirms the amplification effect of chronic-care facilities on MRSA propagation. It also shows that screening for MRSA carriage in a chronic-care center facilitates the early identification of a large proportion of patients with MRSA.
The present work is based on a set of bottom trawl surveys performed in the Gulf of Lions between 1983 and 1992. A new method which couples the STATIS multitable approach with the logic of correspondence analysis (CoA) is proposed to study the stability of spatial organization of demersal assemblages in terms of species composition. This CoA version of STATIS has provided a clear representation of the stable part of the spatial structure of the assemblages. In addition, it gave an insight into the interannual variations of the distribution of each population around the reference structure. Our results showed that the demersal assemblages of the Gulf of Lions exhibited bold spatial structuring, mainly orientated along a bathymetric gradient. This gradient is structured around three major regions: the coast, the continental shelf and the continental slope. Despite sampling variations that occurred during the course of the study, the analysis showed a high degree of reproducibility for this spatial pattern. With the exception of Mullus surmuletus, the species considered in this investigation exhibit limited variations in their spatial distribution. Finally, in the absence of log-books covering the activities of commercial fishing vessels, these findings constitute a base of reference for the analysis of the dynamics of fishing fleets exploiting the demersal resources of the Gulf of Lions.
In this paper, we give multihomogeneous estimates for the group of relations linking multiplicatively dependent algebraic numbers. In the process, we raise a question in the style of Lehmer's problem, concerning multidimensional covolumes in the lattice of units. The proofs are based on the Brill-Gordan duality theorem on orthogonal lattices, and the paper closes with an algebraic version of the theorem, concerning orthogonal abelian subvarieties of an arbitrarily polarized abelian variety.
This study examines effects and interactions of socioeconomic status, access to water supply and sanitation, and breast-feeding practices in relation to child growth in two provincial cities in the Philippines. Multivariate analysis identified food expenditure per head, education of the household head and gender of the child as significant predictors of nutritional status. The duration of partial and full breast-feeding was negatively (though non-significantly) associated with growth. Sanitation facilities and breast-feeding are, however, important determinants during the first year of life. Among children over 1 year of age, socioeconomic variables and gender are the most important predictors. Breast-feeding is shown to provide more important health benefits for children in lower income households. The need for further studies on the causes of gender differences in nutritional status was apparent.
The scientific community will remember Peter Läuger as an exceptional man combining a generous personality and a sharp and skilful mind. He was able to attract by his views the interest of a large spectrum of biologists concerned by the mechanism of ion translocation through membranes. Yet, he was not a man with a single technique or theory. Using an authentically multidisciplinary approach, his ambition was to ‘understand transmembrane transport at the microscopic level, to capture its dynamics in the course of defined physiological processes’ (1987). According to him, ‘new concepts in the molecular physics of proteins’ had to be imagined, and ‘the traditional static picture of proteins has been replaced by the notions that proteins represent dynamic structures, subjected to conformational fluctuations covering a very wide time-range’ (1987).