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Norovirus is detected in one in five diarrhoea episodes in children, yet little is known about environmental risk factors associated with this disease, especially in low-income settings. The objective of this study was to examine environmental risk factors, and spatial and seasonal patterns of norovirus diarrhoea episodes in children in León, Nicaragua. We followed a population-based cohort of children under age 5 years for norovirus diarrhoea over a 1-year period. At baseline, characteristics of each household were recorded. Households were geocoded and spatial locations of garbage dumps, rivers, and markets were collected. In bivariate analysis we observed younger children and those with animals in their households were more likely to have experienced norovirus episodes. In adjusted models, younger children remained at higher risk for norovirus episodes, but only modest associations were observed with family and environmental characteristics. We next identified symptomatic children living in the same household and within 500 m buffer zones around the household of another child infected with the same genotype. Norovirus diarrhoea episodes peaked early in the rainy season. These findings contribute to our understanding of environmental factors and norovirus infection.
This study used high-precision radiocarbon bomb-pulse dating of selected wood rings to provide an independent validation of the tree growth periodicity of Pseudolmedia rigida (Klotzsch & H. Karst) Cuatrec. from the Moraceae family, collected in the Madidi National Park in Bolivia. 14C content was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in 10 samples from a single tree covering over 70 yr from 1939 to 2011. These preliminary calendar dates were determined by dendrochronological techniques and were also used to select the samples for 14C AMS. In order to validate these preliminary dates using the established Southern Hemisphere (SH) 14C atmospheric concentration data set, the targeted rings were selected to be formed during periods before and after the 14C bomb spike nuclear tests (i.e. 1950s–1960s). The excellent agreement of the dendrochronological dates and the 14C signatures in tree rings associated with the same dates provided by the bomb-pulse 14C atmospheric values for the SH (SHCal zone 1–2) confirms the annual periodicity of the observed growth layers, and thus the high potential of this species for tree-ring analysis. The lack of discrepancies between both data sets also suggests that there are no significant latitudinal differences between the 14C SHCal zone 1–2 curve and the 14C values obtained from the selected tree rings at this geographic location (14°33′S, 68°49′W) in South America. The annual resolution of P. rigida tree rings opens the possibility of broader applications of dendrochronological analysis for ecological and paleoclimatic studies in the Bolivian tropics, as well as the possibility of using wood samples from some tree species from this region to improve the quality of the bomb-pulse 14C SHCal curve at this latitude.
Multiferroic BFO/SRO/Si trilayers have been prepared by pulsed laser deposition in the form of thin films. As a function of the BFO layer thickness, magnetic and magneto-transport properties have been investigated at room temperature and down to 5 K. At low BFO layer thickness, a residual γ-Fe2O3 phase, which interacts interfacially with the SRO and BFO layers, is responsible for moderately hard magnetic properties of the film. On increasing BFO layer thickness, more homogeneous deposits are obtained with uniform magnetic and magneto-resistive properties.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
Bismuth iron oxide BFO films were produced by the pulsed laser deposition technique. These films are a mixture of BiFeO3 ferroelectrical and Bi25FeO40 piezoelectrical phases. The ferroelectrical domain structure of these films was studied via contact resonance piezoresponse force microscopy (CR-PFM) and resonance tracking PFM (RT-PFM). The proportions of area of these BFO phases were derived from the PFM images. The ferroelectrical domain size corresponds to the size of the BiFeO3 crystals. The CR-PFM and RT-PFM techniques allowed us to be able to distinguish between the ferroelectric domains and the piezoelectric regions existing in the polycrystalline films.
Bismuth ferrite (BiFeO3) is a magnetoelectric, multiferroic material with coexisting ferroelectric and magnetic orderings. It is considered as a candidate for the next generation of ferroelectric random-access memory devices because BiFeO3, in contrast to industrial ferroelectrics used today, does not contain the toxic element lead. Furthermore, its polarization values are higher than those of lead-based ferroelectrics. The magnitude of the polarization of a BiFeO3 film is dependent on its orientation and is related to the domain structure. This contribution presents and discusses the preparation of epitaxial BiFeO3 (BFO) thin films grown on SrRuO3/SrTiO3 substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and their characterization, especially by piezo force microscopy (PFM) and atomic force acoustic microscopy (AFAM). The thickness of an individual BFO film varies between 100 and 200 nm. The epitaxial nature of films in the crystallographic (100), (110), and (111) directions was confirmed by x-ray diffraction (XRD). Thin SrRuO3 layers, also prepared by PLD, were used as bottom electrode for the ferroelectric hysteresis measurements. Low frequency PFM measurements showed a monodomain structure for the as-grown (110) and (111) oriented samples. In BFO (100) films, different polarization variants were observed by ultrasonic piezo force microscopy (UPFM). The domain structure is reproduced from minimization of the electrostatic and elastic energies. Switching experiments using standard PFM as well as UPFM were carried out on the three samples with the objective of testing the coercive field and domain stability. The AFAM technique was used to map the elastic properties of the BFO thin-films at the micro- and nanoscale.
Otolith microstructure analysis was used to reveal daily growth patterns of young-of-the year (YOY) of six species of perciform fishes, Bovichtus chilensis (Bovichtidae), Girella laevifrons and Graus nigra (Kyphosidae), Helcogrammoides chilensis (Tripterygiidae) and Hypsoblennius sordidus and Scartichthys viridis (Blenniidae). YOY collected in intertidal pools from June to December 2008 in Central Chile, ranged from 24 to 76 mm total length and from 25 to 390 days of age. In the six species, sagittal otoliths showed a slightly oval shape, symmetrical and laterally compressed and showed micro-increments distinguishable after a two-side polishing. Increment width of sagittae showed two patterns irrespective of hatch month and species: (i) a parabolic growth with wider increment widths (during the first 150 of YOY life, e.g. B. chilensis, G. nigra and G. laevifrons); and (ii) a more irregular pattern with lower increment widths during most of the seasons in H. chilensis and H. sordidus. Further results were: (i) a unique central primordium enclosed by two checks after which distinctive increments were deposited; (ii) low instantaneous growth rates estimated through the slope of the length-at-age relationship (range 0.1–0.21 mm d−1); and (iii) a linear fish size–otolith size relationship.
One of the most resent efforts in aircraft design is the replacement of aluminium structures by carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites. Due to lower material and manufacturing costs, doubly curved shapes covering big areas are preferred over simpler surfaces which integrate stiffening profiles. In this context, CAD parameterisation of surfaces allows design solutions by means of classical shape optimisation. Related geometrical parameters are manipulated towards optimal design, generating innovative geometries and detailing.
The presented structure is optimised by reducing the overall weight. The final optimum is guided using stability and strength restrictions in order to assure the safety of the component. Geometrical considerations are also included due to operational reasons. A hierarchical design procedure is developed which results in a work flow from preliminary ‘parameter-free’ form finding motivated by solving the minimal surface problem. The geometrical model for optimisation is recovered by generating B-Spline surface patches to preserve continuity requirements over large regions. The number of geometrical coefficients are defined by the accuracy in surface generation and the required freedom in surface control. The hierarchical approach reduces the possibilities of ending with an unsatisfactory optimum when several local minima characterise the non-linear problem, as it is usually the case in shape optimal design. A geometrical non-linear analysis is used to verify the performance of the optimum.
Low concentration of Si nanoparticles (n-Si) produced by a ball milling method were introduced into a SiO2 matrix by the sol-gel method. These SiO2 sol-gel suspensions were prepared with high water-TEOS ratios. The samples obtained have high silanol concentration as was proved by infrared spectroscopy. The silanol structures of this samples are resistant for temperature as high as 800°C. Raman scattering measurements showed evidence of a photo-oxidation effect of the nSi particles embedded into the SiO2 matrix with high silanol concentration. The nanometric size of the Si particles was computed from Raman scattering measurements. The photo-oxidation effect was observed as a gradual shifting and broadening of the Raman signal due to the reduction of the particle size from 14 to 7 nm.
A microwave assisted process for production of continuous fiber reinforced ceramic matrix composites is described. A simple apparatus combining a chemical vapor infiltration reactor with a conventional 700 W multimode oven is described. Microwave induced inverted thermal gradients are exploited with the ultimate goal of reducing processing times on complex shapes. Thermal gradients in stacks of SiC (Nicalon) cloths have been measured using optical thermometry. Initial results on the “inside out” deposition of SiC via decomposition of methyltrichlorosilane in hydrogen are presented. Several key processing issues are identified and discussed.
Samples of the (CdTe)1-xTex diphasic system were grown by HWFE on glass plates kept at temperatures between 150 and 260 °C. The films have excess elemental tellurium varying between 12 and 67 vol%. X-ray analyses showed the samples to be diphasic with CdTe in the cubic phase and Te in the hexagonal phase. The excess tellurium concentration increased as the substrate temperature diminished. The critical volume fraction for conductivity percolation in the (CdTe)1-xTex system was determined to be around 0.4, which indicates a non-random distribution of the excess Te. Raman spectroscopy was used to characterize the Te phase across the conductivity percolation threshold. The integrated intensity of the first-order A1 mode increases dramatically at the percolation transition. Second-order Raman scattering from Te is also seen, but only for those samples with over 38 vol% Te. In addition, the A1 mode is shifted to higher energies in films with concentrations below the transition point, revealing that Te goes from a state of tensile stress into a relaxed state as the films pass from low to high conductivity. These results indicate that simultaneously with the Te network connectivity there occurs aggregation of the excess Te, which was initially located at the grain surfaces. This mechanism relieves the strain and gives rise to high conductivity and extended vibrational modes resembling those of bulk elemental tellurium at volume concentrations around 40% and above.
Thin film phosphors for field emission displays show the potential to overcome the life-limiting problems that traditional powders face because of their high surface areas. By depositing a fully dense thin film, the surface area can be dramatically reduced, while the electrical and thermal conductivity is increased. Metal organic chemical vapor deposition offers the ability to deposit high quality, dense films that are crystalline-as-deposited and at temperatures low enough to allow for inexpensive glass. Deposition has been produced from mixtures of Y(tmhd)3, TEOS, Tb(tmhd)3, and O2 using a liquid delivery system. Coatings were shown to be composed of Y, Si, and Tb by x-ray fluorescence, but x-ray diffraction did not show any crystallinity. Excitation using radioluminescence produced a peak in the visible green at approximately 540 nm, indicative of the excitation of Tb3+. The morphology of the deposition was smooth, with surface features on the order of one micron and below. Some limited microcracking was also observed in the morphology because of the thermal expansion mismatch.
During the central Mexican late Postclassic period, the Aztec Triple Alliance became the largest and most powerful empire in Mesoamerica. Yet ancient Tlaxcallan (now Tlaxcala, Mexico) resisted incorporation into the empire despite being entirely surrounded by it and despite numerous Aztec military campaigns aimed at the defeat of the Tlaxcaltecas. How did it happen that a relatively small (1,400 km²) polity was able to resist a more powerful foe while its neighbors succumbed? We propose a resolution to this historical enigma that, we suggest, has implications for the broader study of social and cultural change, particularly in relation to theories of state formation and collective action. We find it particularly interesting that the Tlaxcaltecas abandoned a key tenet of traditional Nahua political structure in which kingship was vested in members of the nobility, substituting for it government by a council whose members could be recruited from the ranks of commoners. To achieve such a significant deviation from typical Nahua authority structure, the Tlaxcaltecas drew selectively from those aspects of Nahua mythic history and religion that were consistent with a comparatively egalitarian and collective political regime.
Concentrates are the main cash expenditure in smallholder campesino dairying in the highlands of Central Mexico. Improved, low-cost, appropriate feeding strategies have been therefore identified by campesinos as a priority. An on-farm trial was undertaken in 1998 to evaluate the response to supplementation with concentrates by dairy cows in early lactation during the rainy season with restricted access to grazing of ryegrass/white clover pastures. A base of 3·0 kg commercial concentrate/cow/day (S3) was compared against the higher rate used by farmers of 5·0 kg/cow/day (S5). Three farmers with one, and one farmer with two pairs of freshly calved upgraded Holstein cows participated in the trial (24±10·7 days into lactation). Data were analysed by a random block split-plot design where supplementation treatments were main plots and measurement periods were split-plots. Milk yield was recorded once per week for 9 weeks, and live weight and condition score for four 28 day periods. Milk yields were 21·8 for S3 and 21·9 for S5 (±0·714) kg milk/day/cow (P > 0·05); live weight S3 = 444·0 and S5 = 496·0 (±12·663) kg/cow (P > 0·05), and condition score S3 = 1·9, and S5 = 1·8 (±1·127) (P >0·05). There were no significant (P> 0·05) effects of measurement periods, and there was no significant (P > 0·05) interaction. The lack of response in milk yield, live weight or condition score to increased concentrate supplementation demonstrates that at these levels of production and management, the access to grazing of improved pastures, plus limited concentrate, enables cows in campesino systems to meet their nutrient requirements, and the feasibility of efficient milk production from grazed pastures as an appropriate technology. It is also concluded that it is an appropriate technology and that the results have implications for research and extension workers in rural development who have promoted large amounts of concentrate to dairy cows as the only way towards high yields and efficient milk production.
Effective values of the thermal diffusivity, specific heat, and thermal conductivity of a porous 380-aluminum alloy prepared by melting in a gas-fired furnace, were determined as a function of the volume fraction of porosity. For that, photoacoustic, differential calorimetric, density, and image analyzer measurements were done. Thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity decrease with the increase of porosity, whereas the thermal diffusivity shows less dependence. Among the effective models for analysis of the thermal conductivity of a two-phase system, the Maxwell model best fits the experimental data, implying a homogenous distribution of the pores in the aluminum-alloy matrix.
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