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Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.
Overweight and obesity may increase risk of disease progression in men with prostate cancer, but there have been few studies of weight loss interventions in this patient group. In this study overweight or obese men treated for prostate cancer were randomised to a self-help diet and activity intervention with telephone-based dietitian support or a wait-list mini-intervention group. The intervention group had an initial group meeting, a supporting letter from their urological consultant, three telephone dietitian consultations at 4-week intervals, a pedometer and access to web-based diet and physical activity resources. At 12 weeks, men in both groups were given digital scales for providing follow-up weight measurements, and the wait-list group received a mini-intervention of the supporting letter, a pedometer and access to the web-based resources. Sixty-two men were randomised; fifty-four completed baseline and 12-week measurements, and fifty-one and twenty-seven provided measurements at 6 and 12 months, respectively. In a repeated-measures model, mean difference in weight change between groups (wait-list mini-intervention minus intervention) at 12 weeks was −2·13 (95 % CI −3·44, −0·82) kg (P = 0·002). At 12 months the corresponding value was −2·43 (95 % CI −4·50, −0·37) kg (P = 0·022). Mean difference in global quality of life score change between groups at 12 weeks was 12·3 (95 % CI 4·93, 19·7) (P = 0·002); at 12 months there were no significant differences between groups. Results suggest the potential of self-help diet and physical activity intervention with trained support for modest but sustained weight loss in this patient group.
Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
Quantitative analysis of six clay minerals commonly found in drilling mud solids is studied by x-ray diffraction using the method of internal standards. Standard clay samples are used with three internal standards to derive calibration curves from which four synthetic mud solids are analyzed. If careful sample preparation and handling are employed, reasonably accurate and reproducible results are obtained.
High resolution Bragg-case X-ray double and triple axis diffractometry and Laue-case white beam synchrotron X-ray topography experiments have been performed on undoped  oriented float-zone GaAs crystals have been grown under microgravity conditions in space on the D2 mission. Near the seed, excellent anomalous transmission was achieved and a clear cellular structure of dislocations observed. The double and triple axis rocking curves were comparable with those from semi-insulating terrestrial material. Following a heater failure, the molten zone height dropped and reciprocal space maps revealed a long ridge of scatter transverse to the diffraction vector direction. This corresponds to the presence of a distribution of sub-grains containing little internal strain. Continued growth resulted in twin formation.
Objectives: This study examined the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) on sentence and word comprehension in healthy adults. Methods: Healthy adult participants, aged between 19 and 30 years, received either a-tDCS over the left inferior frontal gyrus (n=18) or sham stimulation (n=18). Participants completed sentence comprehension and word comprehension tasks before and during stimulation. Accuracy and reaction times (RTs) were recorded as participants completed both tasks. Results: a-tDCS was found to significantly decrease RT on the sentence comprehension task compared to baseline. There was no change in RT following sham stimulation. a-tDCS was not found to have a significant effect on accuracy. Also, a-tDCS did not affect accuracy or RTs on the word comprehension task. Conclusions: The study provides evidence that non-invasive anodal electrical stimulation can modulate sentence comprehension in healthy adults, at least compared to their baseline performance. (JINS, 2019, 25, 331–335)
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder, linked to several structural abnormalities of the brain. More specifically, previous findings have suggested that increased gyrification in frontal and temporal regions are implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
The current study included participants at high familial risk of schizophrenia who remained well (n = 31), who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms (n = 28) and who developed schizophrenia (n = 9) as well as healthy controls (HC) (n = 16). We first tested whether individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia carried an increased burden of trait-associated alleles using polygenic risk score analysis. We then assessed the extent to which polygenic risk was associated with gyral folding in the frontal and temporal lobes.
We found that individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia who developed schizophrenia carried a significantly greater burden of risk-conferring variants for the disorder compared to those at high risk (HR) who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms or remained well and HC. Furthermore, within the HR cohort, there was a significant and positive association between schizophrenia polygenic risk score and bilateral frontal gyrification.
These results suggest that polygenic risk for schizophrenia impacts upon early neurodevelopment to confer greater gyral folding in adulthood and an increased risk of developing the disorder.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
The ability of the aorta to buffer blood flow and provide diastolic perfusion (Windkessel function) is a determinant of cardiovascular health. We have reported cardiac dysfunction indicating downstream vascular abnormalities in young adult baboons who were intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) at birth as a result of moderate maternal nutrient reduction. Using 3 T MRI, we examined IUGR offspring (eight male, eight female; 5.7 years; human equivalent 25 years) and age-matched controls (eight male, eight female; 5.6 years) to quantify distal descending aortic cross-section (AC) and distensibility (AD). ANOVA showed decreased IUGR AC/body surface area (0.9±0.05 cm2/m2v. 1.2±0.06 cm2/m2, M±s.e.m., P<0.005) and AD (1.7±0.2 v. 4.0±0.5×10−3/mmHg, P<0.005) without sex difference or group-sex interaction, suggesting intrinsic vascular pathology and impaired development persisting in adulthood. Future studies should evaluate potential consequences of these changes on coronary perfusion, afterload and blood pressure.
Healthy adults (n 30) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blinded, cross-over study consisting of two 28 d treatments (β2-1 fructan or maltodextrin; 3×5 g/d) separated by a 14-d washout. Subjects provided 1 d faecal collections at days 0 and 28 of each treatment. The ability of faecal bacteria to metabolise β2-1 fructan was common; eighty-seven species (thirty genera, and four phyla) were isolated using anaerobic medium containing β2-1 fructan as the sole carbohydrate source. β2-1 fructan altered the faecal community as determined through analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms and 16S rRNA genes. Supplementation with β2-1 fructan reduced faecal community richness, and two patterns of community change were observed. In most subjects, β2-1 fructan reduced the content of phylotypes aligning within the Bacteroides, whereas increasing those aligning within bifidobacteria, Faecalibacterium and the family Lachnospiraceae. In the remaining subjects, supplementation increased the abundance of Bacteroidetes and to a lesser extent bifidobacteria, accompanied by decreases within the Faecalibacterium and family Lachnospiraceae. β2-1 Fructan had no impact on the metagenome or glycoside hydrolase profiles in faeces from four subjects. Few relationships were found between the faecal bacterial community and various host parameters; Bacteroidetes content correlated with faecal propionate, subjects whose faecal community contained higher Bacteroidetes produced more caproic acid independent of treatment, and subjects having lower faecal Bacteroidetes exhibited increased concentrations of serum lipopolysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide binding protein independent of treatment. We found no evidence to support a defined health benefit for the use of β2-1 fructans in healthy subjects.
More than 3000 radial velocity observations across the face of the Crab Nebula are used to investigate its 3-dimensional properties. In the standard model it consists of a thick hollow shell with synchrotron emission from within. We show that the thick shell is composed of bright inner and faint outer components
A two-beam Martin-Puplett polarizing interferometer has been used in the rapid-scan mode on the 15 meter JCMT in conjunction with the facility detector, UKT14, to survey the solar sub-millimeter and millimeter spectrum in the four wavebands at 7-11, 11-15, 21-24 and 27-30 cm–1 to a spectral resolution of 0.01 cm–1 and at spatial resolutions of 19″, 16″, 7″ and 6″, respectively. Overall atmospheric transmission through these windows has been evaluated by comparison with synthetic spectra generated with FASCOD/HITRAN. A search has been made for contributions to these spectra from high-n transitions of H and heavier elements by several methods, including the comparison of solar with lunar and limb with disk center spectra.
VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz of SN1987A on 28 February 1987 yielded no fringes, implying, for an optically thin shell, a lower bound on the (outer) diameter of 1.9 mas. From the comparison of the VLBI and optical results, we infer that the radiosphere of SN1987A was either about equal to, or larger than, the photosphere of the supernova five days after the explosion.
Near IR total eclipse measurements have provided clear evidence during both 2nd and 3rd contacts for a limb extension of about 125 km for wavelengths in the range containing the CO fundamental vibration-rotation bands between 4.3 and 5.5 μm, when compared to the limb at nearby shorter wavelengths. This is interpreted as a “flash” spectrum in the CO lines, with the above extension representing the outer level of the CO emission layer. This height can be compared to the τCO = 1.0 level incorporated into recent representative atmospheric models (Ayres and Wiedemann, 1989) which is 90 km above the visible limb for a semi-empirical “hot chromosphere” model (Avrett, 1985) and 220 km for a “cool” radiative equilibrium model based upon work by Anderson (1989).
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
The objective was to determine the effects of immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone on reproductive characteristics in boars. A total of 72 boars were used in a randomized design with three treatments: single immunization (SI) (10 weeks of age) or double immunization (DI) (10 and 15 weeks of age) with Improvest® and intact controls (no Improvest®; CNT) (n=24/group). At 10, 15, 20, 25 and 40 weeks of age, blood was collected and serum harvested to evaluate testosterone concentrations. Testosterone concentrations were less for DI boars compared with CNT boars and SI boars at 20 and 25 weeks (P<0.001), but not at 40 weeks of age. At week 25, 18 pigs (n=6/group) were sacrificed and testes were removed, weighed and measured, and seminiferous tubules were examined and scored using histological slides of testes parenchyma. A sample of neck fat was assessed for boar taint aroma. All testicular measurements and weights and seminiferous tubule scores were less for DI boars compared with SI and CNT boars (P<0.001). More (P<0.05) SI and CNT boars had detectable boar taint aroma than DI boars. Libido was assessed at 32, 36, 47, 60 and 63 weeks of age and semen collected at 60 weeks of age was analyzed for indicators of quality. There were no effects of treatment (P=0.41) or treatment by week (P=0.71) on libido. Semen volume, gel weight and total number of sperm cells, determined in a subset of boars (n=3/treatment), were not different among treatments. Sperm concentration was greater for DI than SI (P=0.01), and tended to be greater for DI compared with CNT (P=0.10). Sperm motility tended to be greater for DI boars compared with CNT boars (P=0.066). In conclusion, our results show that there are no long-term effects of immunocastration on reproductive characteristics in boars.
This is the official guideline endorsed by the specialty associations involved in the care of head and neck cancer patients in the UK. With only limited high-level evidence for management of nasal and paranasal sinus cancers owing to low incidence and diverse histology, this paper provides recommendations on the work up and management based on the existing evidence base.
• Sinonasal tumours are best treated de novo and unusual polyps should be imaged and biopsied prior to definitive surgery. (G)
• Treatment of sinonasal malignancy should be carefully planned and discussed at a specialist skull base multidisciplinary team meeting with all relevant expertise. (G)
• Complete surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for inverted papilloma and juvenile angiofibroma. (R)
• Essential equipment is necessary and must be available prior to commencing endonasal resection of skull base malignancy. (G)
• Endoscopic skull base surgery may be facilitated by two surgeons working simultaneously, utilising both sides of the nose. (G)
• To ensure the optimum oncological results, the primary tumour must be completely removed and margins checked by frozen section if necessary. (G)
• The most common management approach is surgery followed by post-operative radiotherapy, ideally within six weeks. (R)
• Radiation is given first if a response to radiation may lead to organ preservation. (G)
• Radiotherapy should be delivered within an accredited department using megavoltage photons from a linear accelerator (typical energies 4–6 MV) as an unbroken course. (R)
β2-1 Fructans are purported to improve health by stimulating growth of colonic bifidobacteria, increasing host resistance to pathogens and stimulating the immune system. However, in healthy adults, the benefits of supplementation remain undefined. Adults (thirteen men, seventeen women) participated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised, cross-over study consisting of two 28-d treatments separated by a 14-d washout period. Subjects’ regular diets were supplemented with β2-1 fructan or placebo (maltodextrin) at 3×5 g/d. Fasting blood and 1-d faecal collections were obtained at the beginning and at the end of each phase. Blood was analysed for clinical, biochemical and immunological variables. Determinations of well-being and general health, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, regularity, faecal SCFA content, residual faecal β2-1 fructans and faecal bifidobacteria content were undertaken. β2-1 Fructan supplementation had no effect on blood lipid or cholesterol concentrations or on circulating lymphocyte and macrophage numbers, but significantly increased serum lipopolysaccharide, faecal SCFA, faecal bifidobacteria and indigestion. With respect to immune function, β2-1 fructan supplementation increased serum IL-4, circulating percentages of CD282+/TLR2+ myeloid dendritic cells and ex vivo responsiveness to a toll-like receptor 2 agonist. β2-1 Fructans also decreased serum IL-10, but did not affect C-reactive protein or serum/faecal Ig concentrations. No differences in host well-being were associated with either treatment, although the self-reported incidence of GI symptoms and headaches increased during the β2-1 fructan phase. Although β2-1 fructan supplementation increased faecal bifidobacteria, this change was not directly related to any of the determined host parameters.