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Fasciolosis is a zoonotic parasitic disease that seriously endangers the development of animal husbandry and human health. In order to develop a rapid serological diagnostic method for fasciolosis in ruminants, the CatL1D and CatB4 genes of Fasciola hepatica were amplified by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cloned, respectively, and then the CatL-B fusion gene (MeCatL-B) was constructed by gene splicing by overlap extension PCR technique. The recombinant rCatL1D, rCatB4 and rMeCatL-B proteins were then prepared by prokaryotic expression, respectively, and the recombinant protein with high specificity and sensitivity was screened via indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Using the selected recombinant protein rCatL1D as a diagnostic antigen, we developed a colloidal gold immunochromatographic assay (CGIA) for detecting F. hepatica-specific antibodies, and 426 serum samples of slaughtered sheep were used to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of F. hepatica CGIA assay. The results showed that the sensitivity and specificity of rCatL1D protein (100%, 96.67%) were higher than those of rCatB4 (94.29%, 80%) and rMeCatL-B (91.43%, 90%). Compared with the gold standard post-mortem inspection, the specificity and sensitivity of the CGIA method was 100% and 97%, respectively, and the consistency rate between these two methods was 99.3%. These results confirmed that the CGIA method based on rCatL1D protein could be a promising approach for rapid diagnosis of sheep fasciolosis because of its high sensitivity and specificity.
This study explored factors that influence academic achievement and hence, future career prospects. The relationships between the factors, academic trait boredom, approach to learning and academic achievement were examined using data collected from university students at a small English university and from their student records. The initial statistical analysis revealed significant effects of gender on learning approach and two of the three academic trait boredom subscales. Female students proved to be less prone to academic trait boredom than their male counterparts. A model was then developed that showed how a student’s choice of learning approach was influenced by academic trait boredom and impinged on academic achievement. This modelling also confirmed that students who are more prone to academic trait boredom are also more likely to adopt a surface approach to learning rather than a deep or strategic one. The results of this investigation have implications for students, lecturers, course designers and learning support staff both here in this one location as well as elsewhere across the higher education sector.
Wildlife is an essential component of all ecosystems. Most places in the globe do not have local, timely information on which species are present or how their populations are changing. With the arrival of new technologies, camera traps have become a popular way to collect wildlife data. However, data collection has increased at a much faster rate than the development of tools to manage, process and analyse these data. Without these tools, wildlife managers and other stakeholders have little information to effectively manage, understand and monitor wildlife populations. We identify four barriers that are hindering the widespread use of camera trap data for conservation. We propose specific solutions to remove these barriers integrated in a modern technology platform called Wildlife Insights. We present an architecture for this platform and describe its main components. We recognize and discuss the potential risks of publishing shared biodiversity data and a framework to mitigate those risks. Finally, we discuss a strategy to ensure platforms like Wildlife Insights are sustainable and have an enduring impact on the conservation of wildlife.
Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
To assess the effect of topical betahistine on Eustachian tube function in subjectively abnormal subjects in a hyperbaric chamber.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was examined using tympanometry in a pressure chamber.
Active Eustachian tube function was tested against the negative middle ear pressure induced by increasing the chamber pressure to +3 kPa. One voluntary swallow decreased middle-ear pressure by a mean of 1.36 kPa. Passive Eustachian tube function was tested by measuring spontaneous Eustachian tube openings as the chamber pressure dropped from +10 kPa to ambient. Four distinct patterns of Eustachian tube behaviour were seen, three of which indicated Eustachian tube dysfunction. Betahistine had no positive effect on Eustachian tube opening, although previous animal studies had suggested a beneficial effect.
Topical betahistine had no effect on Eustachian tube function. Combining a hyperbaric chamber with tympanometry proved ideal for evaluating Eustachian tube function.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
Increasing ship traffic and human activity in the Arctic has led to a growing demand for accurate Arctic weather forecast. High-quality forecasts obtained by models are dependent on accurate initial states achieved by assimilation of observations. In this study, a multi-variate nudging (MVN) method for assimilation of sea-ice variables is introduced. The MVN assimilation method includes procedures for multivariate update of sea-ice volume and concentration, and for extrapolation of observational information spatially. The MVN assimilation scheme is compared with the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) using the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model. Two multi-variate experiments are conducted: in the first experiment, sea-ice thickness from the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission is assimilated, and in the second experiment, sea-ice concentration from the ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility is assimilated. The multivariate effects are cross-validated by comparing the model with non-assimilated observations. It is found that the simple and computationally cheap MVN method shows comparable skills to the more complicated and expensive EnKF method for multivariate update. In addition, we show that when few observations are available, the MVN method is a significant model improvement compared to the version based on one-dimensional sea-ice concentration assimilation.
Methane consumption in upland soils represents an important part of the biologically mediated sink of tropospheric methane. The present study focuses on the role of glacier forefields as a potential methane sink. The role of these environments, though increasing in size, has not yet been taken into account in the global methane budget. Net methane fluxes were analysed based on a static chamber method on a proglacial chronosequence from the Mittivakkat valley, southeast Greenland. Methane uptake could be measured in 7of the 12 study sites, with highest rates in the oldest materials from the chronosequence, suggesting that methane oxidation potential may increase during glacier recession (80–150 years). In the chamber located at the glacier front, net methane production was observed, indicating that the microbial community changes after glacial recession from being net methanogenic to becoming net methanotrophic. Diversity analyses based on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) from the methanotrophic communities responsible for methane uptake at atmospheric levels demonstrate that methanotrophic microbial diversity changes along the chronosequence and show that there is a tendency to a larger diversity in the oldest part of the chronosequence. Sequencing of DNA retrieved from the DGGE revealed a restricted diversity of the methanotrophic community: GenBank accession numbers HM534684–HM534736.
Here we report on the material chemistry following crystallization in the presence of water vapor of chlorinated formamidinium lead-triiodide (NH2CH = NH2PbI3−xClx) perovskite films. We found in-situ exposure to water vapor reduces, or possibly eliminates, the retention of chlorine (Cl) inside NH2CH = NH2PbI3−xClx crystals. There is a strong tendency toward Cl volatility, which indicates the sensitivity of these materials for their integration into solar cells. The requisite for additional efforts focused on the mitigation of water vapor is reported. Based on the in situ results, hot casting (<100 °C) in dry conditions demonstrates improved film coverage and Cl retention with efficiencies reaching 12.07%.
Carotenoids are found in abundance in fruit and vegetables, and may be involved in the positive association of these foods with bone health. This study aimed to explore the associations of dietary carotenoid intakes and plasma concentrations with bone density status and osteoporotic fracture risk in a European population. Cross-sectional analyses (n 14 803) of bone density status, using calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and longitudinal analyses (n 25 439) of fracture cases were conducted on data from the prospective European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk cohort of middle-aged and older men and women. Health and lifestyle questionnaires were completed, and dietary nutrient intakes were derived from 7-d food diaries. Multiple regression demonstrated significant positive trends in BUA for women across quintiles of dietary α-carotene intake (P=0·029), β-carotene intake (P=0·003), β-cryptoxanthin intake (P=0·031), combined lutein and zeaxanthin intake (P=0·010) and lycopene intake (P=0·005). No significant trends across plasma carotenoid concentration quintiles were apparent (n 4570). The Prentice-weighted Cox regression showed no trends in fracture risk across dietary carotenoid intake quintiles (mean follow-up time 12·5 years), except for a lower risk for wrist fracture in women with higher lutein and zeaxanthin intake (P=0·022); nevertheless, inter-quintile differences in fracture risk were found for both sexes. Analysis of plasma carotenoid data (mean follow-up time 11·9 years) showed lower hip fracture risk in men across higher plasma α-carotene (P=0·026) and β-carotene (P=0·027) quintiles. This study provides novel evidence that dietary carotenoid intake is relevant to bone health in men and women, demonstrating that associations with bone density status and fracture risk exist for dietary intake of specific carotenoids and their plasma concentrations.
Due to limitations in available instrumentation and observation time, a spectroscopic determination of distance is not feasible for all objects in the sky. Therefore statistical methods that estimate redshifts, based on photometric measurement are of tremendous importance to many astrophysical questions. Determining cosmological parameters and understanding evolutionary processes in the universe are just two examples. When perform astrophysical analyses, it is necessary to treat the uncertainties of the estimates correctly. Over-simplification of results and the usage of wrong tools to evaluate the performance of probabilistic redshift estimates were commonly found in the literature. We present proper tools for evaluating uncertain redshift estimates and discuss the necessity of multimodal redshift distributions.
Periodic mesoporous materials possess high surface to volume ratio and nano-scale sized pores, making them potential candidates for heterogeneous catalysis, ion exchange, gas sensing and other applications. In this study, we use in situ small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the mechanical and hydrothermal stability properties of periodic mesoporous SBA-15 silica and SBA-15 type aluminosilica (Al-SBA-15) to extreme conditions. The mesoporous SBA-15 silica and Al-SBA-15 aluminosilica possess amorphous frameworks and have similar pore size distribution (pore size ∼9-10 nm). The in situ SAXS measurements were made at the B1 beamline, at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). The mesoporous SBA-15 silica and Al-SBA-15 aluminosilica specimens were loaded in a diamond anvil cell (DAC) for pressure measurements, and, separately, with water in the DAC for hydrothermal measurements to high P-T conditions (to 255 °C and ∼ 114 MPa). Analyses of the pressure-dependent SAXS data show that the mesoporous Al-SBA-15 aluminosilica is substantially more mechanically stable than the SBA-15 silica. Hydrothermal measurements show a small net swelling of the framework at elevated P-T conditions, due to dissolution of water into the pore walls. Under elevated P-T conditions, the Al-SBA-15 aluminosilica shows significantly greater hydrothermal stability than the SBA-15 silica. Our MD simulations show that the bulk modulus value of periodic mesoporous SBA-15 silica varies exponentially with percentage porosity. Molecular dynamics simulations are being made in order to better understand how the pore architecture and the chemical composition of the host structure govern the stability properties of the mesoporous materials.
Metal organic chemical vapor deposition, as well as material and basic device properties of nitride-based high electron mobility transistor structures on (111) silicon substrates varying in diameter from 4 to 8 inch were studied using in-situ and ex-situ characterization techniques. All substrates used for the growth of the nitride structures in this study were of SEMI standard thicknesses. The total thickness of the nitride structures was in the range of 1.5 – 5 µm. It is reported that nitride structures can be grown on 4, 6 and 8 inch diameter substrates with very similar post-growth wafer shape, material and device characteristics. It is also shown that their crystal quality, 2DEG transport properties and isolation blocking voltages can be improved by increasing nitride structure thickness while maintaining post-growth wafer bow and warp less than 50 µm. The maximum thickness of nitride structures that can be successfully grown on 8 inch diameter SEMI standard substrates seems to be limited to about 4.5 µm due to plastic deformation of Si. Blocking voltages of more than 700 V were achieved using 4.5 µm thick nitride-based high electron mobility transistor structures grown on 8 inch Si substrate.
Commercial dutasteride crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group P212121 (#19), with a = 7.587 44(3), b = 9.960 80(5), c = 33.500 42(12) Å, V = 2531.862(17) Å3, and Z = 4. The structure was solved and refined using synchrotron powder diffraction data, Rietveld, and density functional techniques. The most prominent feature of the structure is a zigzag chain of strong N–H···O = C hydrogen bonds along the a-axis. The powder pattern has been submitted to ICDD for inclusion in future releases of the Powder Diffraction File™.