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Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) is a leading cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide. In recent years, Escherichia albertii has also been implicated as a cause of human enteric diseases. This study describes the occurrence of E. coli pathotypes and serotypes associated with enteric illness and haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) isolated in Brazil from 2011 to 2016. Pathotypes isolated included enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). PCR of stool enrichments for DEC pathotypes was employed, and E. albertii was also sought. O:H serotyping was performed on all DEC isolates. A total of 683 DEC and 10 E. albertii strains were isolated from 5047 clinical samples. The frequencies of DEC pathotypes were 52.6% (359/683) for EPEC, 32.5% for EAEC, 6.3% for ETEC, 4.4% for EIEC and 4.2% for STEC. DEC strains occurred in patients from 3 months to 96 years old, but EPEC, EAEC and STEC were most prevalent among children. Both typical and atypical isolates of EPEC and EAEC were recovered and presented great serotype heterogeneity. HUS cases were only associated with STEC serotype O157:H7. Two E. albertii isolates belonged to serogroup O113 and one had the stx2f gene. The higher prevalence of atypical EPEC in relation to EAEC in community-acquired diarrhoea in Brazil suggests a shift in the trend of DEC pathotypes circulation as previously EAEC predominated. This is the first report of E. albertii isolation from active surveillance. These results highlight the need of continuing DEC and E. albertii surveillance, as a mean to detect changes in the pattern of pathotypes and serotypes circulation and provide useful information for intervention and control strategies.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
Functional circuits of the human brain emerge and change dramatically over the second half of gestation. It is possible that variation in neural functional system connectivity in utero predicts individual differences in infant behavioral development, but this possibility has yet to be examined. The current study examines the association between fetal sensorimotor brain system functional connectivity and infant postnatal motor ability. Resting-state functional connectivity data was obtained in 96 healthy human fetuses during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Infant motor ability was measured 7 months after birth using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Increased connectivity between the emerging motor network and regions of the prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, posterior cingulate, and supplementary motor regions was observed in infants that showed more mature motor functions. In addition, females demonstrated stronger fetal-brain to infant-behavior associations. These observations extend prior longitudinal research back into prenatal brain development and raise exciting new ideas about the advent of risk and the ontogeny of early sex differences.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Body image disturbance (BID) is a core symptom of anorexia nervosa (AN), but as yet distinctive features of BID are unknown. The present study aimed at disentangling perceptual and attitudinal components of BID in AN.
We investigated n = 24 women with AN and n = 24 controls. Based on a three-dimensional (3D) body scan, we created realistic virtual 3D bodies (avatars) for each participant that were varied through a range of ±20% of the participants’ weights. Avatars were presented in a virtual reality mirror scenario. Using different psychophysical tasks, participants identified and adjusted their actual and their desired body weight. To test for general perceptual biases in estimating body weight, a second experiment investigated perception of weight and shape matched avatars with another identity.
Women with AN and controls underestimated their weight, with a trend that women with AN underestimated more. The average desired body of controls had normal weight while the average desired weight of women with AN corresponded to extreme AN (DSM-5). Correlation analyses revealed that desired body weight, but not accuracy of weight estimation, was associated with eating disorder symptoms. In the second experiment, both groups estimated accurately while the most attractive body was similar to Experiment 1.
Our results contradict the widespread assumption that patients with AN overestimate their body weight due to visual distortions. Rather, they illustrate that BID might be driven by distorted attitudes with regard to the desired body. Clinical interventions should aim at helping patients with AN to change their desired weight.
Our multi-epoch observations show that UW Pic undergoes very pronounced changes in accretion geometry. We explain our observations in terms of changing accretion rates of UW Pic coupled with a particular orientation of the system to the observer.
It is well known that the interaction between two disk galaxies generates tidal spiral arms and a connection in the form of a bridge. Here we address the question of the formation of tidal arms and bridges from a dynamical point of view. We model the bridges and tails observed in interacting galaxies using the invariant manifolds associated to the Lyapunov orbits of the Lagrangian points of the galactic system, when the two galaxies are considered as two point masses in a circular orbit.
We are trying to reduce the largest uncertainties in using white dwarf stars as Galactic chronometers by understanding the details of carbon crystalliazation that currently result in a 1–2 Gyr uncertainty in the ages of the oldest white dwarf stars. We expect the coolest white dwarf stars to have crystallized interiors, but theory also predicts hotter white dwarf stars, if they are massive enough, will also have some core crystallization. BPM 37093 is the first discovered of only a handful of known massive white dwarf stars that are also pulsating DAV, or ZZ Ceti, variables. Our approach is to use the pulsations to constrain the core composition and amount of crystallization. Here we report our analysis of 4 hours of continuous time series spectroscopy of BPM 37093 with Gemini South combined with simultaneous time-series photometry from Mt. John (New Zealand), SAAO, PROMPT, and Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito (CASLEO, Argentina).
The objective of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) current three-year CdTe plan under the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is to identify primary mechanisms that limit the open-circuit voltage and fill factor of polycrystalline CdTe photovoltaic (PV) devices, and develop CdTe synthesis processes and/or device designs that avoid these limitations. Part of this project relies on analysis of crystalline materials and pseudocrystalline CdTe layers where point and extended defects can be introduced sequentially without the complications of extensive impurities and grain boundaries that are typical of present polycrystalline films. The ultimate goals of the project include producing CdTe PV devices that demonstrate ≥20% conversion efficiency, while significantly improving our understanding of processes and materials capable of attaining cost goals of <$0.50 per watt. While NREL is investigating several options for the routine fabrication of high-quality CdTe layers, one pathway involves CdTe molecular beam heteroepitaxy (MBE) on Si in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Although CdTe/Si heteroepitaxy is relatively unfamiliar to researchers in the PV community, it has been used successfully for more than 20 years to produce high-quality CdTe surfaces required for commercial production of large-area single-crystal HgCdTe infrared detectors and focal-plane arrays. The process involves chemical and thermal preparation of Si (211) wafers, followed by deposition of As-passivation and ZnTeaccommodation layers. MBE-grown CdTe layers deposited on top of this “template” have been shown to demonstrate low etch-pit density (EPD, preferably ≤ ∼5x105 cm-2) and high structural quality (full width at half maximum ∼ 60 arcs). These initial studies indicate that 10-μm-thick CdTe layers on Si are indeed epitaxial with cathodoluminescence-determined dislocation density consistent with historic EPD measurements, and that recombination rates are distinct from either as-deposited polycrystalline or crystalline materials.
The study evaluated the effect of storage time and conditions of nutritional pellets (NP) containing Duddingtonia flagrans chlamydospores on its in vitro trapping ability against Haemonchus contortus L3 larvae. The treated batch (200 NP) contained 4 × 106 chlamydospores of the FTH0-8 strain, whereas the control batch (200 NP) was produced without spores. Both NP batches were exposed to four experimental storage conditions: (T1) shelves (indoors); (T2) refrigeration (4°C); (T3) outdoors under a roof; and (T4) 100% outdoors. Each group comprised 48 NP with spores and 48 NP without spores (control). The ability of D. flagrans spores to trap H. contortus L3 larvae was evaluated for 8 weeks for each storage condition. For that purpose, six randomly selected NP with spores were compared to their respective control NP. Each NP was individually crushed. The crushed material (1 g) was placed on the surface of a 2% water agar plate with 200 H. contortus L3 larvae. Plates were sealed and were incubated at room temperature for 8 days. The whole content of every plate was transferred to a Baermann apparatus to recover the remaining larvae. There was a clear larval reduction in the NP with spores, compared to the respective control NP in the four storage conditions (P< 0.05). The mean reductions ( ± SEM) of the storage conditions were 67 ± 4.9 (T2), 77 ± 6.1 (T1), 81.5 ± 3.8 (T4) and 82.1 ± 2.5 (T3). Larval reductions were similar at all times and were not affected by storage conditions or storage time (R2< 0.2; P>0.05). The long-term shelf-life of the chlamydospores in the NP suggests that this spore dosage technology is a viable option.
In situ resistivity and thermoelectric power (S) have been used to study the nature of the adsorption of hydrogen in bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes for H2 pressure P <1 atm and temperatures 77 K<T<500 K. Isothermal plots of S vs. Δρ/ρ0 are found to exhibit linear behavior as a function of gas coverage, consistent with a physisorption process. Studies of S, ρ at T = 500 K as a function of pressure exhibit a plateau at a pressure P~40 Torr, the same pressure where the H % measurements suggest the highest binding energy sites are being saturated. The effects of H2 exposure at 500 K on the thermoelectric transport properties are fully reversible.
We have studied the influence of substrate temperature and hydrogen dilution ratio on the properties of silicon thin films deposited on single-crystal silicon and glass substrates. We varied the initial substrate temperature from 200° to 400°C and the dilution ratio from 10 to 100. We also studied the effectiveness of the use of a seed layer to increase the crystallinity of the films. The films were analyzed by atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and transmission and scanning electron microscopy. We found that as the dilution ratio is increased, the films go from amorphous, to a mixture of amorphous and crystalline, to nanocrystalline. The effect of substrate temperature is to increase the amount of crystallinity in the film for a given dilution ratio. We found that the use of a seed layer has limited effects and is important only for low values of dilution ratio and substrate temperature, when the films have large amounts of the amorphous phase.
Pure and Zn1-xCoxO nanoparticles have been synthesized by a simple sol-gel method at low temperature where neither a chelating agent nor subsequent annealing was required. The effect of Cobalt atomic fraction, ‘x’ ≤ 0.0625, on the structural and magnetic properties of the doped ZnO powders was evaluated. X-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analyses evidenced the exclusive formation of the ZnO-wurtzite structure; no isolated Co-phases were detected. The linear dependence of cell parameters a and c with ‘x’, suggested the actual replacement of Zn by Co ions in the oxide lattice. Micro Raman spectroscopy measurements showed a band centered at 534cm-1, which can be assigned to a local vibrational mode related to Co species, in addition to the normal modes associated with wurtzite. The intensity and broadening of this band at 534 cm-1 were enhanced by increasing ‘x’. In turn, the other bands corresponding to A1 (E2, E1) and E2High modes were red shifted at higher Co contents. Room-temperature magnetization measurements revealed the paramagnetic behavior of the Co-doped ZnO nanoparticles.
Hot DQ white dwarfs constitute a new class of white dwarf stars, uncovered recently within the framework of SDSS project. There exist nine of them, out of a total of several thousands white dwarfs spectroscopically identified. Recently, three hot DQ white dwarfs have been reported to exhibit photometric variability with periods compatible with pulsation g-modes. In this contribution, we presented the results of a non-adiabatic pulsation analysis of the recently discovered carbon-rich hot DQ white dwarf stars. Our study relies on the full evolutionary models of hot DQ white dwarfs recently developed by Althaus et al. (2009), that consistently cover the whole evolution from the born-again stage to the white dwarf cooling track. Specifically, we performed a stability analysis on white dwarf models from stages before the blue edge of the DBV instability strip (Teff ≈ 30000 K) until the domain of the hot DQ white dwarfs (18000-24000 K), including the transition DB→hot DQ white dwarf. We explore evolutionary models with M*= 0.585M⊙ and M* = 0.87M⊙, and two values of thickness of the He-rich envelope (MHe = 2 × 10−7M* and MHe = 10−8M*).
In situ flow-cell ATR-FTIR using a hematite-coated germanium crystal was used to investigate the chemical interactions between Pseudomonas putida and hematite in real time, when compared with cells not attached to the mineral surface. ATR-FTIR spectra of bacteria growing on hematite showed a shift in the carboxylate signal when compared to the samples obtained from free cells, indicating a chemical interaction between the carboxylate groups and the Fe metal ions of the hematite surface. Small differences in the polysaccharide and phosphoryl regions of the IR spectra of bacteria attached to hematite were also observed. This work shows how the use of in-situ flow-cell experiments with a mineral-coated germanium crystal allows a better description of the bacterial interactions with minerals in real time, as an initial step to understand the fundamental mechanisms involved in the relationship between bacteria and mineral surfaces.
We present experimental data for the Pm3m-I4/mcm phase transitions in the perovskite crystals KMn1-xCaxF3 and SrTiO3. Comparison of calorimetric data (latent heat and specific heat) with order parameter data (measured with X-ray rocking methods) indicates that these transitions follow mean-field behaviour, and may be described using Landau potentials where the free energy expansion includes terms up to Q6. This potential is characteristic of transitions close to the tricritical point. Comparison of the behaviour of SrTiO3 and KMnF3 indicates that KMnF3 is closer to the tricritical point; a small amount of substitution of Ca for Mn causes the transition to cross the tricritical point from first order to second order behaviour.