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Spectroscopic data from a var iety of analyt ical techniques such as x-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopies, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) can be obtained from small areas of samples (< 1 mm2) through the use of microscope sampling accessories. If provisions are made to scan or translate the sample, then a spectrum that is characteristic of each region of interest can be obtained. Alternatively, selective area detectors eliminate the requirement for scanning the sample. Extract ion of information about a specific energy band from each spectrum allows elucidat ion of the spatial distribution of the feature giving rise to that band. For example, the distribution of a compound could be imaged by extracting the intensity of an IR band or XRD peak due to that compound. Peak posit ion and peak width are other parameters that can be extracted as a function of posit ion. Similarly, elemental distributions could be obtained using SIMS and EDX.
Background: In British Columbia, neuromuscular disease accounts for 31% of IVIg use, at a cost of $10.1 M. In addition to the new screening pathway, the BC Neuromuscular IVIg Program developed the Chronic High User Project to identify areas for improvement in utilization. Methods: Utilizing CTR data, all patients on IVIg maintenance therapy for approved neuromuscular conditions between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 were identified. Patients receiving higher than usual IVIG treatments (CIDP and MG >1110 grams/year, MMNCB > 1400 grams/year) were evaluated. Following panel review, utilization data was compared with a second cohort (2014 to 2015) to determine impact. Following review, appropriateness of treatment was determined by consensus from a 3-member panel, and recommendations were made. Results: Of 377 patients, 38 “High Users” were identified. 29 cases were determined to be appropriate; 9 were not. There was a reduction in mean grams/episode in CIDP (1135g to 990g) and MG (1099 g to 1022g) between cohorts. The mean grams/episode for MMNCB did not change. Conclusions: In specific cases, the IVIg High User Program identified patients in whom the treatment could be optimized. However, the vast majority of use of IVIg for Neuromuscular Disease in BC is appropriate, including in patients requiring higher that “usual” doses.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization and use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops focuses on the theory that the implementation of these traits is an extension of the intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was initiated in 2006 in the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history of GR-corn, -cotton or -soybean in the cropping system. The impact of cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and several categorical variables on seedbank weed population density and diversity was analyzed. The parameters of total weed population density of all species in the seedbank, species richness, Shannon's H′ and evenness were not affected by any management treatment. The similarity between the seedbank and aboveground weed community was more strongly related to location than management; previous year's crops and cropping systems were also important while GR trait rotation was not. The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location (geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific weed species, and the geographical location. Continuous GR crop, compared to fields with other cropping systems, only had greater species diversity (species richness) of some life forms, i.e., biennials, winter annuals, and prostrate weeds. Overall diversity was related to geography and not cropping system. These results justify further research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with herbicide-resistance traits to provide a more complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation to the weed seedbank.
This placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind, cross-over human feeding study aimed to determine the prebiotic effect of agave fructans. A total of thirty-eight volunteers completed this trial. The treatment consisted of 3 weeks' supplementation with 5 g/d of prebiotic agave fructan (Predilife) or equivalent placebo (maltodextrin), followed by a 2-week washout period following which subjects were crossed over to alternate the treatment arm for 3 weeks followed by a 2-week washout. Faecal samples were collected at baseline, on the last day of treatment (days 22 and 58) and washout (days 36 and 72), respectively. Changes in faecal bacterial populations, SCFA and secretory IgA were assessed using fluorescent in situ hybridisation, GC and ELISA, respectively. Bowel movements, stool consistencies, abdominal comfort and mood changes were evaluated by a recorded daily questionnaire. In parallel, the effect of agave fructans on different regions of the colon using a three-stage continuous culture simulator was studied. Predilife significantly increased faecal bifidobacteria (log10 9·6 (sd 0·4)) and lactobacilli (log10 7·7 (sd 0·8)) compared with placebo (log10 9·2 (sd 0·4); P = 0·00) (log10 7·4 (sd 0·7); P = 0·000), respectively. No change was observed for other bacterial groups tested, SCFA, secretory IgA, and PGE2 concentrations between the treatment and placebo. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis indicated that bacterial communities were randomly dispersed and no significant differences were observed between Predilife and placebo treatments. The in vitro models showed similar increases in bifidobacterial and lactobacilli populations to that observed with the in vivo trial. To conclude, agave fructans are well tolerated in healthy human subjects and increased bifidobacteria and lactobacilli numbers in vitro and in vivo but did not influence other products of fermentation.
Excavations between November 1990 and February 1992 have produced important information on the date and development of the Sarn-y-bryn-caled cursus complex between 3000–2000 BC. In particular a timber circle of 2000 BC, two penannular ring-ditches and a section across the cursus monument were excavated. A radiocarbon sequence has been obtained. The results of the excavations are described in Part I. Part II comprises a discussion of the forms, dates, functions, and reconstruction of timber circles. A corpus of and chronology for timber circles is presented.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
The Magellanic System represents one of the best places to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. Photometric surveys of various depths, areas and wavelengths have had a significant impact on our understanding of the system; however, a complete picture is still lacking. VMC (the VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic System) will provide new data to derive the spatially resolved star formation history and to construct a three-dimensional map of the system. These data combined with those from other ongoing and planned surveys will give us an absolutely unique view of the system opening up the doors to truly new science!
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization of genetically
engineered (GE) crops, such as glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, focuses on
the theory that implementation of these traits is an extension of the
intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of
agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was conducted in 2006 in
the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history
of GR corn, cotton, or soybean in the cropping system. The impact of
cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and
several categorical variables on emerged weed density and diversity was
analyzed. Species richness, evenness, Shannon's H′, proportion of forbs,
erect growth habit, and C3 species diversity were all greater in
agricultural sites that lacked crop rotation or were in a continuous GR crop
system. Rotating between two GR crops (e.g., corn and soybean) or rotating
to a non-GR crop resulted in less weed diversity than a continuous GR crop.
The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location
(geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in
agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by
several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is
integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific
weed species, and the geographical location. The finding that fields with
continuous GR crops demonstrated greater weed diversity is contrary to
arguments opposing the use of GE crops. These results justify further
research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with
herbicide-resistance traits, or more broadly, GE crops, to provide a more
complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
Faecal microbial changes associated with ageing include reduced bifidobacteria numbers. These changes coincide with an increased risk of disease development. Prebiotics have been observed to increase bifidobacteria numbers within humans. The present study aimed to determine if prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) could benefit a population of men and women of 50 years and above, through modulation of faecal microbiota, fermentation characteristics and faecal water genotoxicity. A total of thirty-seven volunteers completed this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. The treatments – juice containing 4 g GOS and placebo – were consumed twice daily for 3 weeks, preceded by 3-week washout periods. To study the effect of GOS on different large bowel regions, three-stage continuous culture systems were conducted in parallel using faecal inocula from three volunteers. Faecal samples were microbially enumerated by quantitative PCR. In vivo, following GOS intervention, bifidobacteria were significantly more compared to post-placebo (P = 0·02). Accordingly, GOS supplementation had a bifidogenic effect in all in vitro system vessels. Furthermore, in vessel 1 (similar to the proximal colon), GOS fermentation led to more lactobacilli and increased butyrate. No changes in faecal water genotoxicity were observed. To conclude, GOS supplementation significantly increased bifidobacteria numbers in vivo and in vitro. Increased butyrate production and elevated bifidobacteria numbers may constitute beneficial modulation of the gut microbiota in a maturing population.
The General Insurance Board of the Faculty and Institute of Actuaries responded to some of the criticisms raised in the Morris review of the Actuarial Profession and in the press by rating agencies and others, regarding the Actuarial Profession's approach to actuarial reserving in general insurance by setting up a taskforce known as the General Insurance Reserving Issues Taskforce (GRIT). The taskforce worked from 2004 to 2006 and produced a significant report, including some new professional content and recommendations for further areas of development and research. Since then, through the GRIT successor body: the Reserving Oversight Committee (ROC), many working parties have formed and many General Insurance Research Organisation (GIRO) presentations and papers have been forthcoming. One area that has been a recurring theme through the last five years is how the Profession models and communicates the uncertainty in the claims reserving process. In the context of recent events in global financial markets, the forthcoming new regulatory framework of Solvency II, and the developments in other professions globally through IFRS and other drivers, it is timely that actuaries take stock of the many changes in our practices over the last five years and consider the direction actuaries should take for the challenges that lie ahead. This paper is a meta-study of the output of GRIT and ROC on reserving and uncertainty, with the intention of meeting these objectives.
The effect of the dietary n-3 long-chain PUFA, DHA (22 : 6n-3), on the growth of pre-term infants is controversial. We tested the effect of higher-dose DHA (approximately 1 % dietary fatty acids) on the growth of pre-term infants to 18 months corrected age compared with standard feeding practice (0·2–0·3 % DHA) in a randomised controlled trial. Infants born < 33 weeks gestation (n 657) were randomly allocated to receive breast milk and/or formula with higher DHA or standard DHA according to a concealed schedule stratified for sex and birth-weight ( < 1250 and ≥ 1250 g). The dietary arachidonic acid content of both diets was constant at approximately 0·4 % total fatty acids. The intervention was from day 2 to 5 of life until the infant's expected date of delivery (EDD). Growth was assessed at EDD, and at 4, 12 and 18 months corrected age. There was no effect of higher DHA on weight or head circumference at any age, but infants fed higher DHA were 0·7 cm (95 % CI 0·1, 1·4 cm; P = 0·02) longer at 18 months corrected age. There was an interaction effect between treatment and birth weight strata for weight (P = 0·01) and length (P = 0·04). Higher DHA resulted in increased length in infants born weighing ≥ 1250 g at 4 months corrected age and in both weight and length at 12 and 18 months corrected age. Our data show that DHA up to 1 % total dietary fatty acids does not adversely affect growth.
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the spatially resolved evolution of External Quantum Efficiency of electrodeposited CdS/CdTe solar cells as a function of the duration of the post-deposition annealing process which promotes n to p-type conversion of electrodeposited CdTe. Strips of 30×4 cm were cut from deposited plates at various stages of the fabrication process and processed into cells. Annealing treatments were carried out on these strips at 400°C for times ranging from 1 to 120 minutes. 130 spectral response curves (in the range of 300 to 900 nm) have been measured to trace temporal evolution and spatial non-uniformity of the materials and extrapolate parameters such as effective diffusion lengths, evolution of the collection profiles, and junction depth. Correlation between these parameters suggests that recrystallisation does not take place uniformly but progresses through the film. The analysis of structural vs. optical parameters along the cells provides evidence for spatial non-uniformities of the state of crystallisation of as-deposited and annealed material. Poor performance has been observed near the edges of the cells where material is resistant to recrystallisation.
The diffusion of Cu, Ag and Au has been measured in implanted, amorphous Si, over the range 150–600° C. The diffusion coefficients are characterized by Arrhenius relationships with activation energies for Cu, Ag and Au of 1.25, 1.6 and 1.4 eV respectively. The solubility of Au in amorphous Si was measured to be 6 orders of magnitude greater than crystalline Si at a temperature of 515°C. The Cu, Ag and Au are segregated ahead of the moving amorphous-crystalline interface. The presence of Au can increase the velocity of the interface.
We have examined the optical and transport properties of In.2Ga.8As/GaAs straled-kayer superlZotices (SLS's), which have been implanted either with 5 × 1015/cm2, 250keV Zn+ or with 5 × 1014/cm2, 70keV Be+ and annealed under an arsenic overpressure at 600 °C. For both cases, electrical activation in the implantation-doped regions equalled that of similar implants and anneals in bulk GaAs, even though the Be implant retained the SLS structure, while the Zn implant intermixed the SLS layers to produce an alloy semiconductor of the average SLS composition. Photoluminescence intensities in the annealed implanted regions were significantly reduced from that of virgin material, apparently due to residual implant damage. Diodes formed from both the Be- and the Zn-implanted SLS's produced electroluminescence intensity comparable to that of grown-junction SLS diodes in the same chemical system, despite the implantation processing and the potential for vertical lattice mismatch in the Zn-disordered SLS device. These results indicate that Zn-disordering can be as useful in strained-layer superlattices as in lattice-matched systems.
Cantilever-beam bending and RBS channeling measurements have been used to examine implantation-induced disorder and stress buildup in In0.2Ga0.8As/GaAs SLS structures. Implantation fluences from 1011 to 1015/cm2 were used for 150 keV Si, 320 keV Kr, and 250 keV Zn in SLS and GaAs bulk materials. The critical fluence for saturation of compressive stress occurs prior to amorphous layer formation and is followed by stress relief. For all the ions the maximum ion induced stress scales with energy density into atomic processes and stress relief occurs above ∼1 × 1020: keV/cm3. Stress relief is more pronounced for the SLSs than for bulk GaAs. We suggest that stress-relief may lead to slip or other forms of inelastic material flow in SLSs, which would be undesirable for active regions in device applications. Such material flow may be avoided by limiting maximum fluences or by multiplestep implantation and annealing cycles (or hot implants) at high fluences.