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Using an ensemble of close- and long-range remote sensing, lake bathymetry and regional meteorological data, we present a detailed assessment of the geometric changes of El Morado Glacier in the Central Andes of Chile and its adjacent proglacial lake between 1932 and 2019. Overall, the results revealed a period of marked glacier down wasting, with a mean geodetic glacier mass balance of −0.39 ± 0.15 m w.e.a−1 observed for the entire glacier between 1955 and 2015 with an area loss of 40% between 1955 and 2019. We estimate an ice elevation change of −1.00 ± 0.17 m a−1 for the glacier tongue between 1932 and 2019. The increase in the ice thinning rates and area loss during the last decade is coincident with the severe drought in this region (2010–present), which our minimal surface mass-balance model is able to reproduce. As a result of the glacier changes observed, the proglacial lake increased in area substantially between 1955 and 2019, with bathymetry data suggesting a water volume of 3.6 million m3 in 2017. This study highlights the need for further monitoring of glacierised areas in the Central Andes. Such efforts would facilitate a better understanding of the downstream impacts of glacier downwasting.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Leaf colour characteristics of 730 sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. (Convolvulaceae), plant introduction (PI) accessions from the USDA sweetpotato germplasm collection were evaluated during 2012–2014. Colorimetry data for the abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces were recorded using a tristimulus colorimeter and the CIE 1976 L*a*b* and CIE L*C*h* colour spaces. Most accessions (725 of 730 PIs) had dark-to-medium green leaves, but two PIs had totally purple leaves, and three PIs had yellow or yellow-green (chartreuse) leaves. For mature, field-grown green leaves, values for the red-green coordinate (a*) averaged −12.4 for the adaxial and −10.4 for the abaxial leaf surface. Values for the blue-yellow coordinate (b*) averaged 17.2 for the adaxial and 17.3 for the abaxial leaf surface. Hue angle (h*) for green leaves averaged 120.9° for the adaxial and 126.2° for the abaxial leaf surface. Colour saturation (Chroma, C*) averaged 21.3 for the adaxial and 20.2 for the abaxial leaf surface. Lightness (L*) averaged 35.4 for the adaxial and 47.2 for the abaxial leaf surface of green leaves. Late in the season, over one-half (53.9%) of the 730 PIs showed some level of purple pigmentation in the leaf lamina. Late-season purple leaves were collected and colour coordinates were recorded for 118 PIs grown in the field. For purple leaves, values for a*, b*, C*, L* and h* averaged 2.3, 6.2, 7.9, 28.2 and 64.4° for the adaxial surface and −1.0, 12.7, 13.9, 43.1 and 87.0° for the abaxial leaf surface, respectively.
Five cases of STEC O157 phage type (PT) 21/28 reported consumption of raw cows' drinking milk (RDM) produced at a dairy farm in the South West of England. STEC O157 PT21/28 was isolated from faecal specimens from milking cows on the implicated farm. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that human and cattle isolates were the same strain. Further analysis of WGS data confirmed that sequences of isolates from an additional four cases (who did not report consumption of RDM when first questioned) fell within the same five single nucleotide polymorphism cluster as the initial five cases epidemiologically linked to the consumption of RDM. These four additional cases identified by WGS were investigated further and were, ultimately, associated with the implicated farm. The RDM outbreak strain encoded stx2a, which is associated with increased pathogenicity and severity of symptoms. Further epidemiological analysis showed that 70% of isolates within a wider cluster containing the outbreak strain were from cases residing in, or linked to, the same geographical region of England. During this RDM outbreak, use of WGS improved case ascertainment and provided insights into the evolution of a highly pathogenic clade of STEC O157 PT21/28 stx2a associated with the South West of England.
In June 2014 Public Health England confirmed a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in a neonate following birth at home in a hired birthing pool incorporating a heater and a recirculation pump which had been filled in advance of labour. The case triggered a public health investigation and a microbiological survey of an additional ten heated birthing pools hired or recently hired to the general public across England. The birthing pool used by the parent of the confirmed case was identified as the source of the neonate's infection following detection of Legionella pneumophila ST48 in both patient and environmental samples. Legionella species were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction but not culture in a further three pools together with other opportunistic pathogens identified by culture and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI–ToF) mass spectrometry. A Patient Safety Alert from NHS England and Public Health England was issued stating that heated birthing pools filled in advance of labour should not be used for home births. This recommendation remains in place. This investigation in conjunction with other recent reports has highlighted a lack of awareness regarding the microbiological safety of heated birthing pools and their potential to be a source of LD and other opportunistic infections. Furthermore, the investigation raised important considerations with regards to microbiological sampling and testing in such incidents. Public health authorities and clinicians should consider LD in the differential diagnosis of severe respiratory infection in neonates within 14 days of a water birth.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of 11 September 2001 (9/11) is one of the most prevalent and persistent health conditions among both professional (e.g. police) and non-traditional (e.g. construction worker) WTC responders, even several years after 9/11. However, little is known about the dimensionality and natural course of WTC-related PTSD symptomatology in these populations.
Data were analysed from 10 835 WTC responders, including 4035 police and 6800 non-traditional responders who were evaluated as part of the WTC Health Program, a clinic network in the New York area established by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were used to evaluate structural models of PTSD symptom dimensionality; and autoregressive cross-lagged (ARCL) panel regressions were used to examine the prospective interrelationships among PTSD symptom clusters at 3, 6 and 8 years after 9/11.
CFAs suggested that five stable symptom clusters best represent PTSD symptom dimensionality in both police and non-traditional WTC responders. This five-factor model was also invariant over time with respect to factor loadings and structural parameters, thereby demonstrating its longitudinal stability. ARCL panel regression analyses revealed that hyperarousal symptoms had a prominent role in predicting other symptom clusters of PTSD, with anxious arousal symptoms primarily driving re-experiencing symptoms, and dysphoric arousal symptoms primarily driving emotional numbing symptoms over time.
Results of this study suggest that disaster-related PTSD symptomatology in WTC responders is best represented by five symptom dimensions. Anxious arousal symptoms, which are characterized by hypervigilance and exaggerated startle, may primarily drive re-experiencing symptoms, while dysphoric arousal symptoms, which are characterized by sleep disturbance, irritability/anger and concentration difficulties, may primarily drive emotional numbing symptoms over time. These results underscore the importance of assessment, monitoring and early intervention of hyperarousal symptoms in WTC and other disaster responders.
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare tumor arising from the pleura, most notably associated with exposure to asbestos. Typically, mesothelioma is a locally aggressive tumor with a poor outcome in the order of months from the time of diagnosis. Although cases of distant metastases of mesothelioma have been documented in the literature, this tumor has less reported cases of metastases than other malignancies of the chest, and most reported cases of metastases have been identified in autopsy studies, likely related to the short survival times of patients harboring these tumors.
Longitudinal symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are often characterized by heterogeneous trajectories, which may have unique pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. To date, however, no study has evaluated the nature and determinants of predominant trajectories of PTSD symptoms in World Trade Center (WTC) responders.
A total of 10835 WTC responders, including 4035 professional police responders and 6800 non-traditional responders (e.g. construction workers) who participated in the WTC Health Program (WTC-HP), were evaluated an average of 3, 6 and 8 years after the WTC attacks.
Among police responders, longitudinal PTSD symptoms were best characterized by four classes, with the majority (77.8%) in a resistant/resilient trajectory and the remainder exhibiting chronic (5.3%), recovering (8.4%) or delayed-onset (8.5%) symptom trajectories. Among non-traditional responders, a six-class solution was optimal, with fewer responders in a resistant/resilient trajectory (58.0%) and the remainder exhibiting recovering (12.3%), severe chronic (9.5%), subsyndromal increasing (7.3%), delayed-onset (6.7%) and moderate chronic (6.2%) trajectories. Prior psychiatric history, Hispanic ethnicity, severity of WTC exposure and WTC-related medical conditions were most strongly associated with symptomatic trajectories of PTSD symptoms in both groups of responders, whereas greater education and family and work support while working at the WTC site were protective against several of these trajectories.
Trajectories of PTSD symptoms in WTC responders are heterogeneous and associated uniquely with pre-, peri- and post-trauma risk and protective factors. Police responders were more likely than non-traditional responders to exhibit a resistant/resilient trajectory. These results underscore the importance of prevention, screening and treatment efforts that target high-risk disaster responders, particularly those with prior psychiatric history, high levels of trauma exposure and work-related medical morbidities.
NASA's NuSTAR observatory is the first focusing hard X-ray telescope. Launched in June 2012, NuSTAR is sensitive in the 3–79 keV range with unprecedented ~17″ FWHM angular resolution above 12 keV, a result of its multilayer-coated optics and 10-m focal length. With its large effective area (900 cm2 at 10 keV), NuSTAR has point-source sensitivity ~100 times better than previous hard X-ray telescopes. Here we describe NuSTAR and its planned work on rotation-powered pulsars and magnetars during its nominal 2-yr baseline mission that has just commenced.
Joint hypermobility is overrepresented among people with anxiety and can be
associated with abnormal autonomic reactivity. We tested for associations
between regional cerebral grey matter and hypermobility in 72 healthy
volunteers using voxel-based morphometry of structural brain scans.
Strikingly, bilateral amygdala volume distinguished those with from those
without hypermobility. The hypermobility group scored higher for
interoceptive sensitivity yet were not significantly more anxious. Our
findings specifically link hypermobility to the structural integrity of a
brain centre implicated in normal and abnormal emotions and physiological
responses. Our observations endorse hypermobility as a multisystem phenotype
and suggest potential mechanisms mediating clinical vulnerability to
Differences in clomazone tolerance among sweetpotato cultivars were first observed in April 2007 after use of the herbicide for weed control in fields containing the sweetpotato breeding project at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory. Susceptible cultivars and experimental clones exhibited severe foliar chlorosis and reduced growth, whereas the most tolerant were not injured. Twelve cultivars and experimental clones were included in a greenhouse experiment to quantify the differences in clomazone tolerance. In the greenhouse, the clomazone concentration that caused moderate injury or reduction in shoot growth to the most tolerant clones was approximately 10 times the concentration that caused a similar response in the most susceptible clones. Two older cultivars, Excel and Sumor, that were developed before the registration of clomazone for use in sweetpotato were susceptible. Clomazone is an important component in sweetpotato weed management, and susceptibility is an undesirable trait that should be avoided in new sweetpotato cultivars.
Preliminary evidence suggests that consumption of Porphyridium cruentum (PC) biomass results in hypocholesterolaemic effects; however, mechanisms responsible have not been elucidated. The aim of the present study was to determine whether PC biomass lowers circulating cholesterol concentrations, dose dependently, in hamsters fed hypercholesterolaemic diets for 28 d and determine whether cholesterol biosynthesis is affected. Biomass added to diets at 2·5, 5 and 10 % resulted in 14, 38 and 53 % reductions (P < 0·001) in total plasma cholesterol, respectively, compared with a control diet. Similarly, non-HDL-cholesterol concentrations in the 5 and 10 % PC groups were reduced (P < 0·001) 28 and 45 %, respectively, v. controls. These effects were unrelated to cholesterol fractional synthesis rate (FSR), as this did not differ between either treatment or control animals. PC consumption had no effect on food intake, plasma glucose concentrations or energy expenditure, but percentage of body fat was lower (P < 0·001) in the 5 and 10 % PC groups compared with controls. These data show that PC reduces total plasma cholesterol and non-HDL-cholesterol when incorporated into the diet at levels as low as 2·5 %. The mechanism of action for this reduction may be related to increased excretion since food intakes and cholesterol FSR were not reduced in the animals receiving the PC. In conclusion, the use of PC biomass reduces circulating cholesterol, dose dependently, in hypercholesterolaemic hamsters but not via reductions in cholesterol FSR. There is potential for the use of this biomass as a functional ingredient to aid in the management of blood cholesterol concentrations.
The objective of the present study was to assess the prevalence and determinants of preconceptional folic acid supplement use among pregnant women in Lebanon.
The study was a descriptive epidemiological study. Analysis was performed on 5280 deliveries admitted to twelve member hospitals of the National Collaborative Perinatal Neonatal Network during the period September 2003–January 2005. Information on folic acid intake and maternal and neonatal characteristics were obtained from obstetric charts along with direct interviews performed by trained personnel. Logistic regression was performed to determine the predictors of preconceptional folic acid use.
The overall use of preconceptional folic acid supplementation was 14·0 % (18·6 % in urban hospitals v. 2·7 % in rural hospitals). Higher socio-economic status, lower parity and having a history of previous spontaneous abortions were significantly associated with preconceptional folic acid use.
Our study shows that Lebanon currently has a low rate of preconceptional folic acid supplement use. Intervention through the means of awareness campaigns needs to be implemented on a national level.
In addition to a hard-copy textbook, Power-Point presentations and videos, the authors have developed a series of Flash modules and on-line quizzing tools for use in teaching and assessing the fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering. The original thrust was aimed at non-science majors at university, but the modules are also designed for ease of use in high school curricula. In the current paper, we present our philosophy for the presentation of materials' related subject material, using different learning objects, by describing one particular module: on electronic materials.
In 1997 a new collaborative research project was initiated by the British School at Rome. This project draws on a variety of sources of archaeological information to explore the regional impact of the City of Rome throughout the period from 1000 BC to AD 1300. The project provides a common collaborative research framework which brings together a range of archaeologists and historians working in various institutions. In this paper those involved in different aspects of this new project outline their work and its overall objectives.