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The macroscale function of multicomponent polymeric materials is dependent on their phase-morphology. Here, we investigate the morphological structure of a multiblock copolymer consisting of poly(L-lactide) and poly(ε-caprolactone) segments (PLLA-PCL), physically cross-linked by stereocomplexation with a low molecular weight poly(D-lactide) oligomer (PDLA). The effects of blend composition and PLLA-PCL molecular structure on the morphology are elucidated by AFM, TEM and SAXS. We identify the formation of a lattice pattern, composed of PLA domains within a PCL matrix, with an average domain spacing d0 = 12 – 19 nm. The size of the PLA domains were found to be proportional to the block length of the PCL segment of the copolymer and inversely proportional to the PDLA content of the blend. Changing the PLLA-PCL / PDLA ratio caused a shift in the melt transition Tm attributed to the PLA stereocomplex crystallites, indicating partial amorphous phase dilution of the PLA and PCL components within the semicrystalline material. By elucidating the phase structure and thermal character of multifunctional PLLA-PCL / PDLA blends, we illustrate how composition affects the internal structure and thermal properties of multicomponent polymeric materials. This study should facilitate the more effective incorporation of a variety of polymeric structural units capable of stimuli responsive phase transitions, where an understanding the phase-morphology of each component will enable the production of multifunctional soft-actuators with enhanced performance.
We read with interest the recent editorial, “The Hennepin Ketamine Study,” by Dr. Samuel Stratton commenting on the research ethics, methodology, and the current public controversy surrounding this study.1 As researchers and investigators of this study, we strongly agree that prospective clinical research in the prehospital environment is necessary to advance the science of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medicine. We also agree that accomplishing this is challenging as the prehospital environment often encounters patient populations who cannot provide meaningful informed consent due to their emergent conditions. To ensure that fellow emergency medicine researchers understand the facts of our work so they may plan future studies, and to address some of the questions and concerns in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, the lay press, and in social media,2 we would like to call attention to some inaccuracies in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, and to the lay media stories on which it appears to be based.
Ho JD, Cole JB, Klein LR, Olives TD, Driver BE, Moore JC, Nystrom PC, Arens AM, Simpson NS, Hick JL, Chavez RA, Lynch WL, Miner JR. The Hennepin Ketamine Study investigators’ reply. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):111–113
Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) [Dubietis et al., Opt. Commun. 88, 437 (1992)] implemented by multikilojoule Nd:glass pump lasers is a promising approach to produce ultraintense pulses (
). Technologies are being developed to upgrade the OMEGA EP Laser System with the goal to pump an optical parametric amplifier line (EP OPAL) with two of the OMEGA EP beamlines. The resulting ultraintense pulses (1.5 kJ, 20 fs,
) would be used jointly with picosecond and nanosecond pulses produced by the other two beamlines. A midscale OPAL pumped by the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) laser is being constructed to produce 7.5-J, 15-fs pulses and demonstrate scalable technologies suitable for the upgrade. MTW OPAL will share a target area with the MTW laser (50 J, 1 to 100 ps), enabling several joint-shot configurations. We report on the status of the MTW OPAL system, and the technology development required for this class of all-OPCPA laser system for ultraintense pulses.
This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Oldowan sites in primary geological context are rare in the archaeological record. Here we describe the depositional environment of Oldowan occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya, based on field descriptions and granulometric analysis. Excavations have recovered a large Oldowan artefact sample as well as the oldest substantial sample of archaeological fauna. The deposits at Kanjera South consist of 30 m of fluvial, colluvial and lacustrine sediments. Magneto- and biostratigraphy indicate the Kanjera South Member of the Kanjera Formation was deposited during 2.3–1.92 Ma, with 2.0 Ma being a likely age for the archaeological occurrences. Oldowan artefacts and associated fauna were deposited in the colluvial and alluvial silts and sands of beds KS1–3, in the margins of a lake basin. Field descriptions and granulometric analysis of the sediment fine fraction indicate that sediments from within the main archaeological horizon were emplaced as a combination of tractional and hyperconcentrated flows with limited evidence of debris-flow deposition. This style of deposition is unlikely to significantly erode or disturb the underlying surface, and therefore promotes preservation of surface archaeological accumulations. Hominins were repeatedly attracted to the site locale, and rapid sedimentation, minimal bone weathering and an absence of bone or artefact rounding further indicate that fossils and artefacts were quickly buried.
The importance of parasites as a selective force in host evolution is a topic of current interest. However, short-term ecological studies of host–parasite systems, on which such studies are usually based, provide only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We report here on four surveys, carried out over a period of 12 years, of helminths of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus), the numerically dominant rodents inhabiting dry montane wadis in the Sinai Peninsula. With host age (age-dependent effects on prevalence and abundance were prominent) and sex (female bias in abundance in helminth diversity and in several taxa including Cestoda) taken into consideration, we focus on the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. We show that site of capture is the major determinant of prevalence and abundance of species (and higher taxa) contributing to helminth community structure, the only exceptions being Streptopharaus spp. and Dentostomella kuntzi. We provide evidence that most (notably the Spiruroidea, Protospirura muricola, Mastophorus muris and Gongylonema aegypti, but with exceptions among the Oxyuroidae, e.g. Syphacia minuta), show elements of temporal-site stability, with a rank order of measures among sites remaining similar over successive surveys. Hence, there are some elements of predictability in these systems.
The variation of the molecular architecture of multiblock copolymers has enabled the introduction of functional behaviour and the control of key mechanical properties. In the current study, we explore the synergistic relationship of two structural components in a shape-memory material formed of a multiblock copolymer with crystallizable poly(ε-caprolactone) and crystallizable poly[oligo(3S-iso-butylmorpholine-2,5-dione)] segments (PCL-PIBMD). The thermal and structural properties of PCL-PIBMD films were compared with PCL-PU and PIBMD-PU, investigated by means of DSC, SAXS and WAXS measurements. The shape-memory properties were quantified by cyclic, thermomechanical tensile tests, where deformation strains up to 900% were applied for programming PCL-PIBMD films at 50 °C. Toluene vapor treatment experiments demonstrated that the temporary shape was fixed mainly by glassy PIBMD domains at strains lower than 600%, with the PCL contribution to fixation increasing to 42±2% at programming strains of 900%. This study into the shape-memory mechanism of PCL-PIBMD provides insight into the structure-function relation in multiblock copolymers with both crystallizable and glassy switching segments.
Background: It is well documented that mothers of children with intellectual disabilities experience elevated mental health difficulties and that these are exacerbated by the presence of challenging behaviour. However, comparatively little is known about the effect of specific coping strategies for managing such behaviours. Aims: This paper aims to document coping strategies used by mothers of children showing multiple forms of challenging behaviour and to explore how these relate to positive and negative maternal mental health. Method: Eighty-nine mothers of children with intellectual disabilities completed questionnaires assessing maternal mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scale) and maternal coping strategies (Brief COPE). Results: Coping strategies were not associated with child age or ability, but were associated with maternal mental health. Higher levels of problem- and positive-coping strategies were associated with higher positive affect. Although active-avoidance coping was the least frequently reported, it was associated with higher levels of negative affect and increased anxiety and depression. Moderated mediation analyses identified that active-avoidance coping mediated the relationship between the number of forms of challenging behaviour and poor maternal mental health, but only in mothers with lower levels of problem-focused coping. Conclusions: Active-avoidance coping is associated with poorer negative mental health in mothers of children with intellectual disabilities who have average to low levels of problem-focused coping. This is reflective of that noted within a range of populations, highlighting it as a key area for intervention.
The Grotte Cosquer (southeastern France) is a Paleolithic painted cave only accessible by a deep-water dive. The cave has yielded numerous Paleolithic engravings and drawings, which were produced from wood charcoal. This article presents new radiocarbon dates obtained on samples collected in 2012 directly on 17 parietal representations and at the soil surface, and discusses the 14C results obtained since the discovery of the cave in 1992. A total of 41 samples were dated with ages ranging from 33,000 to 20,000 cal BP. They show that the cave was intermittently decorated over about 10,000 yr.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
Maternal undernutrition during pregnancy increases offspring obesity and metabolic disease risk. We hypothesized that periconceptional undernutrition in sheep from 60 days before conception through to day 30 of gestation (UN) would decrease voluntary locomotor activity in adult offspring. Distance travelled was measured at 18 months of age for ∼48 h in the paddock. Data were analysed using multiple regression analysis, with explanatory variables including sex, nutrition group, birth weight, average time between GPS measurements and percentage of time during the measurement period spent in daylight. Mean (±s.e.) distance walked (m/h) was greater for control (CON) than UN animals, and greater for females than males [110.2 (6.5), CON females; 110.7 (6.3), CON males; 105.1 (5.3), UN females and 95.5 (5.8), UN males; P = 0.02 for nutrition group effect and for sex effect]. Periconceptional undernutrition may lead to a significant decrease in voluntary physical activity in adult offspring.