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Electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formic acid is a good strategy to address both environmental and energy issues. However, some drawbacks including low activity, selectivity, and stability of electrocatalysts must be overcome. We propose a method for tailoring Bi2O2CO3-coated carbon fiber electrodes with higher selectivity and stability for electrochemical CO2 reduction to formic acid. We evaluated the effect of Bi2O2CO3 and Nafion contents on the electrocatalysts performance for CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR). All electrodes produced only HCOO− in the liquid phase with a maximum faradaic efficiency (FE) of 69%. The electrocatalysts were stable under 24 h of continuous CO2RR operation. The FE increased with the increasing electrolyte concentration and cation radius size, which indicates that the anion stabilization in solution is critical for adequate formate generation. The CO2RR mechanism was proposed with basis on the literature. The structural carbonate of Bi2O2CO3 acts as an intermediate species in the formate production from CO2.
Wearable devices such as a wrist actigraph may have a potential to objectively estimate patients’ functioning and may supplement performance status (PS). This proof-of-concept study aimed to evaluate whether actigraphy data are significantly associated with patients’ functioning and are predictive of their survival in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
We collected actigraphy data for a three-day period in ambulatory patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. We computed correlations between actigraphy data (specifically, proportion of time spent immobile while awake) and clinician-rated PS, subjective report of physical activities, quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index), and survival.
Actigraphy data (the proportion of time awake spent immobile) were significantly correlated with Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index (r = −0.53, p < 0.001) and with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS (ECOG PS) (r = 0.37, p < 0.001). The proportion of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival. For each 10% increase in this measure, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.48 (95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.06, 2.06) for overall mortality, and odds ratio was 2.99 (CI95% = 1.27, 7.05) for six-month mortality. ECOG PS was also associated with worse survival (HR = 2.80, CI95% = 1.34, 5.86). Among patients with ECOG PS 0-1, the percentage of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival, HR = 1.93 (CI95% = 1.10, 3.42), whereas ECOG PS did not predict survival.
Significance of Results
Actigraphy may have potential to predict important clinical outcomes, such as quality of life and survival, and may serve to supplement PS. Further validation study is warranted.
Whole-crop maize forage was ensiled without inoculant (control), inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri and L. plantarum at a rate of 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (LBLP), or inoculated with Bacillus subtilis and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (BSLP) with the goal to investigate the growth performance of finishing feedlot lambs. Thirty Dorper × Santa Ines lambs (29 ± 3.5 kg initial body weight) were used in the feedlot programme and assigned (n = 10) to one of three diets containing control, LBLP or BSLP silages in a 60:40 forage:concentrate ratio. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter dry matter intake (overall mean = 1.16 kg/day) and average daily gain (overall mean = 0.217 kg/day) of lambs. Consequently, feed efficiency remained unchanged. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter carcass and meat traits of lambs, with the exception of meat colour, wherein yellowness (b*) decreased by feeding LBLP and BSLP diets compared with the untreated diet. Regarding ruminal fermentation, there was an interaction between diets and the interval at which ruminal fluid was sampled for determining total volatile fatty acid concentration, but inoculation yielded no obvious results. In conclusion, the use of diets based on maize silage inoculated with L. plantarum combined with either L. buchneri or B. subtilis did not display relevant effects on growth performance of lambs; this response might be related to the limited impact of these bacterial inoculants on silage composition.
. A fraction of high-mass X-ray binaries are supergiant fast X-ray transients. These systems have on average low X-ray luminosities, but display short flares during which their X-ray luminosity rises by a few orders of magnitude. The leading model for the physics governing this X-ray behaviour suggests that the winds of the donor OB supergiants are magnetized. In agreement with this model, the first spectropolarimetric observations of the SFXT IGR J11215-5952 using the FORS 2 instrument at the Very Large Telescope indicate the presence of a kG longitudinal magnetic field. Based on these results, it seems possible that the key difference between supergiant fast X-ray transients and other high-mass X-ray binaries are the properties of the supergiant’s stellar wind and the physics of the wind’s interaction with the neutron star magnetosphere.
Understanding the peculiar properties of Ultra Diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) via spectroscopic analysis is a challenging task that is now becoming feasible. The advent of 10m-class telescopes and high sensitivity instruments is enabling the gathering of high quality spectra even for the faintest systems. In addition, advances in the modelling of stellar populations, stellar libraries, and full-spectral fitting codes are allowing the recovery of the stellar content shaping those spectra with unprecedented reliability. In this contribution we report on the extensive tests we have carried out using the inversion code STECKMAP. The similarities between the Star Formation Histories (SFH) recovered from STECKMAP (applied to high-quality spectra) and deep Colour-Magnitude diagrams fitting (resolved stars) in two Local Group dwarf galaxies (LMC and LeoA) are remarkable, demonstrating the impressive performance of STECKMAP. We exploit the capabilities of STECKMAP and perform one of the most complete and reliable characterisations of the stellar component of UDGs to date using deep spectroscopic data. We measure radial and rotation velocities, SFHs and mean population parameters, such as ages and metallicities, for a sample of five UDG candidates in the Coma cluster. From the radial velocities, we confirm the Coma membership of these galaxies. We find that their rotation properties, if detected at all, are compatible with dwarf-like galaxies. The SFHs of the UDG are dominated by old (∼ 7 Gyr), metal-poor ([M/H] ∼ -1.1) and alpha-enhanced ([Mg/Fe]∼ 0.4) populations followed by a smooth or episodic decline which halted ∼ 2 Gyr ago, possibly a sign of cluster-induced quenching. We find no obvious correlation between individual SFH shapes and any UDG morphological properties. The recovered stellar properties for UDGs are similar to those found for DDO 44, a local UDG analogue resolved into stars. We conclude that the UDGs in our sample are extended dwarfs whose properties are likely the outcome of both internal processes, such as bursty SFHs and/or high-spin haloes, as well as environmental effects within the Coma cluster.
Previous circular polarization observations obtained with the ESO FOcal Reducer low dispersion spectrograpgh at the VLT in 2007–2008 revealed the presence of a weak longitudinal magnetic field on the surface of the optical component of the X-ray binary Cyg X-1, which contains a black hole and an O9.7Iab supergiant on a 5.6 d orbit. In this contribution we report on recently acquired FORS 2 spectropolarimetric observations of Cyg X-1 along with measurements of a few additional high-mass X-ray binaries.
To compare cognitive function among frail and prefrail older adults.
Cross-sectional clinical study.
Fifty-one non-institutionalized older individuals participated in this study.
Cognitive functions were evaluated through Mini-Mental State Examination (Global Cognition), Digit Span Forward (short-term memory), Digit Span Backward (working memory), Verbal Fluency Test (semantic memory/executive function). Data were compared using parametric and non-parametric bivariate tests. Binary logistic regression was used to test a frailty prediction model. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.01 to compare groups. In the regression model, the p value was set to be ≤0.05.
Statistically significant differences were observed in global cognition, and short-term memory between frail and prefrail individuals (p ≤ 0.01). Global cognition explained 14–19% of frailty's model.
According to our findings, the evaluation of cognitive functions among older persons with frailty and prefrailty provides important complementary information to better manage frailty and its progression.
To assess counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in nasal polyps of adults with or without long-term exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke.
Twenty-two patients with and 22 patients without exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke participated in the study. After endoscopic polypectomy, the fragments of the nasal polyps were analysed by immunohistochemistry.
Compared to patients with no exposure, patients with exposure showed higher counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (t-test, p < 0.05). However, in patients with no exposure, multivariate analysis showed gender dimorphism, with lower counts in males than in females, and no influence from other variables (analysis of covariance, p > 0.05).
Exposure to cigarette tobacco smoke may induce increased counts of α4 and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in nasal polyps of adults, with lower counts in males than females without exposure to tobacco smoke.
Early career investigators have few opportunities for targeted training in supportive oncology research. To address this need, we developed, implemented, and evaluated an intensive, six-day workshop on methods in supportive oncology research for trainees and junior faculty across multiple disciplines.
A multidisciplinary team of supportive oncology researchers developed a workshop patterned after the clinical trials workshop offered jointly by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association of Cancer Research. The curriculum included lectures and a mentored experience of writing a research protocol. Each year since 2015, the workshop has accepted and trained 36 early career investigators. Over the course of the workshop, participants present sections of their research protocols daily in small groups led by senior researchers, and have dedicated time to write and revise these sections. Primary outcomes for the workshop included the frequency of completed protocols by the end of the workshop, a pre- and posttest assessing participant knowledge, and follow-up surveys of the participants and their primary mentors.
Over three years, the workshop received 195 applications; 109 early career researchers were competitively selected to participate. All participants (109/109, 100%) completed writing a protocol by the end of their workshop. Participants and their primary mentors reported significant improvements in their research knowledge and skills. Each year, participants rated the workshop highly in terms of satisfaction, value, and likelihood of recommending it to a colleague. One year after the first workshop, most respondents (29/30, 96.7%) had either submitted their protocol or written at least one other protocol.
Significance of results
We developed a workshop on research methods in supportive oncology. More early career investigators applied for the workshop than capacity, and the workshop was fully attended each year. Both the workshop participants and their primary mentors reported improvement in research skills and knowledge.
To (i) estimate the consumption of minimally processed, processed and ultra-processed foods in a sample of Lebanese adults; (ii) explore patterns of intakes of these food groups; and (iii) investigate the association of the derived patterns with cardiometabolic risk.
Cross-sectional survey. Data collection included dietary assessment using an FFQ and biochemical, anthropometric and blood pressure measurements. Food items were categorized into twenty-five groups based on the NOVA food classification. The contribution of each food group to total energy intake (TEI) was estimated. Patterns of intakes of these food groups were examined using exploratory factor analysis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the associations of derived patterns with cardiometabolic risk factors.
Greater Beirut area, Lebanon.
Adults ≥18 years (n 302) with no prior history of chronic diseases.
Of TEI, 36·53 and 27·10 % were contributed by ultra-processed and minimally processed foods, respectively. Two dietary patterns were identified: the ‘ultra-processed’ and the ‘minimally processed/processed’. The ‘ultra-processed’ consisted mainly of fast foods, snacks, meat, nuts, sweets and liquor, while the ‘minimally processed/processed’ consisted mostly of fruits, vegetables, legumes, breads, cheeses, sugar and fats. Participants in the highest quartile of the ‘minimally processed/processed’ pattern had significantly lower odds for metabolic syndrome (OR=0·18, 95 % CI 0·04, 0·77), hyperglycaemia (OR=0·25, 95 % CI 0·07, 0·98) and low HDL cholesterol (OR=0·17, 95 % CI 0·05, 0·60).
The study findings may be used for the development of evidence-based interventions aimed at encouraging the consumption of minimally processed foods.
In the present investigation, AA7075-T6 alloys and AZ31B-H24 were joined by the FSW process using the following range of parameters: rotational speed between 200 and 800 rpm, welding speed from 30 to 60 mm/min and a tilt angle from 1° to 3°. In some cases, a tool offset of 1 mm was used into Mg-based alloy. The experimental results show that sound and good joints can be obtained by positioning the tool in the middle of the joint-line using a rotational speed of 200 rpm, a welding speed of 30 mm/min and a tool tilt angle of 1°. The hardness and ultimate tensile strength in the stir zone were 122 Hv and 61.35 MPa, respectively. Also, it is important to mention that the Al3Mg2 and Al12Mg17 intermetallics compounds were observed in the this zone besides some defects like cavities and tunnel.
Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows atomic scale characterization of solid–solid interfaces, but has seen limited applications to solid–liquid interfaces due to the volatility of liquids in the microscope vacuum. Although cryo-electron microscopy is routinely used to characterize hydrated samples stabilized by rapid freezing, sample thinning is required to access the internal interfaces of thicker specimens. Here, we adapt cryo-focused ion beam (FIB) “lift-out,” a technique recently developed for biological specimens, to prepare intact internal solid–liquid interfaces for high-resolution structural and chemical analysis by cryo-STEM. To guide the milling process we introduce a label-free in situ method of localizing subsurface structures in suitable materials by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Monte Carlo simulations are performed to evaluate the depth-probing capability of the technique, and show good qualitative agreement with experiment. We also detail procedures to produce homogeneously thin lamellae, which enable nanoscale structural, elemental, and chemical analysis of intact solid–liquid interfaces by analytical cryo-STEM. This work demonstrates the potential of cryo-FIB lift-out and cryo-STEM for understanding physical and chemical processes at solid–liquid interfaces.