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Nature’s optical nanomaterials are poised to form the platform for future optical devices with unprecedented functionality. The brilliant colors of many animals arise from the physical interaction of light with nanostructured, multifunctional materials. While their length scale is typically in the 100-nm range, the morphology of these structures can vary strongly. These biological nanostructures are obtained in a controlled manner, using biomaterials under ambient conditions. The formation processes nature employs use elements of both equilibrium self-assembly and far-from-equilibrium and growth processes. This renders not only the colors themselves, but also the formation processes technologically and ecologically highly relevant. Yet, for many biological nanostructured materials, little is known about the formation mechanisms—partially due to a lack of in vivo imaging methods. Here, we present the toolbox of natural multifunctional nanostructures and the current knowledge about the understanding of their far-from-equilibrium assembly processes.
Little is known about potential harmful effects as a consequence of self-guided internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (iCBT), such as symptom deterioration rates. Thus, safety concerns remain and hamper the implementation of self-guided iCBT into clinical practice. We aimed to conduct an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis to determine the prevalence of clinically significant deterioration (symptom worsening) in adults with depressive symptoms who received self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions. Several socio-demographic, clinical and study-level variables were tested as potential moderators of deterioration.
Randomised controlled trials that reported results of self-guided iCBT compared with control conditions in adults with symptoms of depression were selected. Mixed effects models with participants nested within studies were used to examine possible clinically significant deterioration rates.
Thirteen out of 16 eligible trials were included in the present IPD meta-analysis. Of the 3805 participants analysed, 7.2% showed clinically significant deterioration (5.8% and 9.1% of participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively). Participants in self-guided iCBT were less likely to deteriorate (OR 0.62, p < 0.001) compared with control conditions. None of the examined participant- and study-level moderators were significantly associated with deterioration rates.
Self-guided iCBT has a lower rate of negative outcomes on symptoms than control conditions and could be a first step treatment approach for adult depression as well as an alternative to watchful waiting in general practice.
The aim of this study was to explore the support needs of Dutch informal caregivers of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 caregivers of ALS patients. Audio-taped interviews were transcribed and data were analyzed thematically.
A total of four global support needs emerged: “more personal time”, “assistance in applying for resources”, “counseling”, and “peer contact”. Despite their needs, caregivers are reluctant to apply for and accept support. They saw their own needs as secondary to the needs of the patients.
Significance of results
ALS seems to lead to an intensive caregiving situation with multiple needs emerging in a short period. This study offers targets for the development of supportive interventions. A proactive approach seems essential, acknowledging the importance of the role of the caregivers in the care process at an early stage, informing them about the risk of burden, monitoring their wellbeing, and repeatedly offering support opportunities. Using e-health may help tailor interventions to the caregivers’ support needs.
Maternal vitamin B12 (B12) status has been inversely associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and positively with fetal growth and infant development. South Asians, Canada’s largest ethnic minority, are prone to B12 deficiency. Yet, data are lacking on B12 status in South Asian pregnant women in North America. We sought to determine B12 status, using multiple biomarkers, in 1st and 2nd trimester pregnant women of South Asian and, for comparison, European ethnicity living in Vancouver, Canada. In this retrospective cohort study, total B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine concentrations were quantified in two routinely collected (mean gestational week: 11·5 (range 8·3–13·9) and 16·5 (range 14·9–20·9)), banked serum samples of 748 healthy pregnant South Asian (n 371) and European (n 377) women. South Asian pregnant women had significantly lower B12 status than European pregnant women at both time points, as indicated by lower serum total B12 and holoTC concentrations, and higher MMA concentrations (all P≤0·001). The largest difference, which was substantial (Cohen’s d≥0·5), was observed in mean serum total B12 concentrations (1st trimester: 189 (95 % CI 180, 199) v. 246 (95 % CI 236, 257) pmol/l; 2nd trimester: 176 (95 % CI 168, 185) v. 226 (95 % CI 216, 236) pmol/l). Further, South Asian ethnicity was a significant negative predictor of B12 status during pregnancy. South Asian women living in Vancouver have substantially lower B12 status during early pregnancy. Future research identifying predictors and health consequences of this observed difference is needed to allow for targeted interventions.
The electromigration lifetimes of a very large quantity of passivated electroplated Au interconnects were measured utilizing high-resolution in-situ resistance monitoring equipment. Application of moderate accelerated stress conditions with current density limited to 2 MA/cm2 and oven temperatures in the range of 300°C to 375°C prevented large Joule-heated temperature gradients and electrical overstress failures. A Joule-heated Au film temperature increase of 10°C on average was determined from measured temperature coefficients of resistance (TCRs). A failure criterion of 50% resistance degradation was selected to avoid thermal runaway and catastrophic open circuit failures. All Au lifetime distributions followed log-normal statistics. An activation energy of 0.80 ± 0.05 eV was measured from constant-current electromigration tests at multiple temperatures. A current density exponent of 1.91 ± 0.03 was extracted from multiple current densities at a single constant temperature.
It is well documented that global warming is unequivocal. Dairy production systems are considered as important sources of greenhouse gas emissions; however, little is known about the sensitivity and vulnerability of these production systems themselves to climate warming. This review brings different aspects of dairy cow production in Central Europe into focus, with a holistic approach to emphasize potential future consequences and challenges arising from climate change. With the current understanding of the effects of climate change, it is expected that yield of forage per hectare will be influenced positively, whereas quality will mainly depend on water availability and soil characteristics. Thus, the botanical composition of future grassland should include species that are able to withstand the changing conditions (e.g. lucerne and bird's foot trefoil). Changes in nutrient concentration of forage plants, elevated heat loads and altered feeding patterns of animals may influence rumen physiology. Several promising nutritional strategies are available to lower potential negative impacts of climate change on dairy cow nutrition and performance. Adjustment of feeding and drinking regimes, diet composition and additive supplementation can contribute to the maintenance of adequate dairy cow nutrition and performance. Provision of adequate shade and cooling will reduce the direct effects of heat stress. As estimated genetic parameters are promising, heat stress tolerance as a functional trait may be included into breeding programmes. Indirect effects of global warming on the health and welfare of animals seem to be more complicated and thus are less predictable. As the epidemiology of certain gastrointestinal nematodes and liver fluke is favourably influenced by increased temperature and humidity, relations between climate change and disease dynamics should be followed closely. Under current conditions, climate change associated economic impacts are estimated to be neutral if some form of adaptation is integrated. Therefore, it is essential to establish and adopt mitigation strategies covering available tools from management, nutrition, health and plant and animal breeding to cope with the future consequences of climate change on dairy farming.
The effects of bread consumption change over time on anthropometric measures have been scarcely studied. We analysed 2213 participants at high risk for CVD from the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) trial to assess the association between changes in the consumption of bread and weight and waist circumference gain over time. Dietary habits were assessed with validated FFQ at baseline and repeatedly every year during 4 years of follow-up. Using multivariate models to adjust for covariates, long-term weight and waist circumference changes according to quartiles of change in energy-adjusted white and whole-grain bread consumption were calculated. The present results showed that over 4 years, participants in the highest quartile of change in white bread intake gained 0·76 kg more than those in the lowest quartile (P for trend = 0·003) and 1·28 cm more than those in the lowest quartile (P for trend < 0·001). No significant dose–response relationships were observed for change in whole-bread consumption and anthropometric measures. Gaining weight (>2 kg) and gaining waist circumference (>2 cm) during follow-up was not associated with increase in bread consumption, but participants in the highest quartile of changes in white bread intake had a reduction of 33 % in the odds of losing weight (>2 kg) and a reduction of 36 % in the odds of losing waist circumference (>2 cm). The present results suggest that reducing white bread, but not whole-grain bread consumption, within a Mediterranean-style food pattern setting is associated with lower gains in weight and abdominal fat.
The Dawn spacecraft orbited Asteroid (4) Vesta for a year, and returned disk-resolved images and spectra covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths at scales as high as 20 m/pix. The visible geometric albedo of Vesta is ~ 0.36. The disk-integrated phase function of Vesta in the visible wavelengths derived from Dawn approach data, previous ground-based observations, and Rosetta OSIRIS observations is consistent with an IAU H-G phase law with H=3.2 mag and G=0.28. Hapke's modeling yields a disk-averaged single-scattering albedo of 0.50, an asymmetry factor of -0.25, and a roughness parameter of ~20 deg at 700 nm wavelength. Vesta's surface displays the largest albedo variations observed so far on asteroids, ranging from ~0.10 to ~0.76 in geometric albedo in the visible wavelengths. The phase function of Vesta displays obvious systematic variations with respect to wavelength, with steeper slopes within the 1- and 2-micron pyroxene bands, consistent with previous ground-based observations and laboratory measurement of HED meteorites showing deeper bands at higher phase angles. The relatively high albedo of Vesta suggests significant contribution of multiple scattering. The non-linear effect of multiple scattering and the possible systematic variations of phase function with albedo across the surface of Vesta may invalidate the traditional algorithm of applying photometric correction on airless planetary surfaces.
Initiation of pathways that lead to proliferation and chemoresistance by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is an important factor in cancer progression. Here, we show the response of human cancer cells to TLR signaling inevitably linked to tumor biology. The approach is based on tailored multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles equipped with pathogen-derived ligands (CpG) functioning as TLR agonists (molecular component) to investigate the impact of transcription factor immune activation on human cancer cells. Magnetic nanoparticles (MnO and bifunctional Au-MnO) particles were covalently coated with a multifunctional polymer, displaying no cytotoxicity, to being able to enter cells while carrying foreign DNA (unmethylated CpG) to recognize intracellular TLR 9. Both, the particle and the nucleic acid are tagged with fluorescent markers for simultaneous visualization inside the cell. Apart from optical imaging, the magnetism of the particles also allows magnetic resonance imaging of organisms.
Adult male southern elephant seals instrumented in 2000 on King George Island (n = 13), travelled both to the north (n = 2) and to the east (n = 6) of the Antarctic Peninsula. Five males remained within 500 km of the island focusing movements in the Bransfield Strait and around the Antarctic Peninsula. Sea surface temperatures encountered by these animals showed little variation. While animal trajectories appeared unaffected by sea ice cover, areas of shallow depths were frequented. Three males moved as far as 75°S to the east of the Peninsula with maximum distances of more than 1500 km from King George Island. They travelled into the Weddell Sea along the western continental shelf break until they reached the region of the Filchner Trough outflow. Here the sea floor consists of canyons and ridges that support intensive mixing between the warm saline waters of the Weddell Gyre, the very cold outflow waters and ice shelf water at the Antarctic Slope Front. The need for re-instrumentation of adult males from King George Island is highlighted to investigate whether males continue to travel to similar areas and to obtain higher resolution data.
Biotin is required by rumen microbes for efficient fermentation. To evaluate the role of protozoa in ruminal biotin metabolism, five diets composed of grass hay or of grass hay/cereal grain mixtures were supplied to faunated or defaunated RUSITEC fermenters. In the mixed diets, hay was replaced to 33:67 or 67:33 w/w on an air-dried basis by either wheat or maize grain in order to simulate different cellulolytic and amylolytic fermentation conditions. Defaunation increased SCFA production, whereas NH4 concentration and the release of CH4 were reduced. Biotin input declined when cereal grain was used to replace the hay. With the exception of the high-wheat treatment, defaunated fermenters yielded higher biotin outputs than faunated fermenters. The biotin balance, calculated as the difference between the total biotin output (biotin in the solid residue contained in the nylon bags after fermentation plus the biotin in the effluent) and the biotin input with the feed, was negative for all the dietary treatments apart from fermenters supplied with the high-maize diet. It was less negative or, in the case of the high-maize diets, more positive for defaunated compared with faunated fermenters. It was concluded that, under normal faunated conditions, protozoa directly utilise or indirectly affect the bacterial synthesis and/or utilisation of biotin. With diets of a high fermentation potential, as realised with the high-wheat diet, protozoa prevent the development of a bacterial population that would utilise high or synthesise low amounts of biotin.
Pale-headed Brush-finch Atlapetes pallidiceps is a restricted-range species that is threatened with extinction due to habitat loss. The total population of 60–80 individuals achieved a reproductive output of only 0.74 young per breeding pair in 2002. Brood parasitism by Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis was a major factor reducing breeding success, affecting 38.5% of broods. Parasitism rates reached 50% in an ungrazed reserve, but only 14% on an adjacent grazed plot. The resulting difference in breeding success was not, however, attributable to vegetation parameters used to describe microhabitat use. Cowbird parasitism rates therefore seem to be influenced largely by factors operating at the landscape level. These may include grazing scheme, topography, humidity and host availability. It is suggested that lower species diversity and bird abundance rendered the grazed site less attractive to cowbirds. Current parasitism rates are of great conservation concern due to the low population size of Pale-headed Brush-finch, and the initiation of controlling measures is pressing. Management options described from intensive cowbird control programmes in North America are reviewed and evaluated for their applicability here. To combine the possibility of further data collection with commencement of immediate conservation action, we consider two alternative approaches. Nest monitoring and cowbird egg removal would enable the study of the distribution of parasitism in relation to landscape and vegetation variables, whereas cowbird shooting and nest monitoring might provide a larger short-term benefit to reproductive output. Habitat management, resumption of some grazing in the reserve and cowbird removal should be considered for the intermediate future.
We present recent X-ray and optical observations of five M-type giants which were detected as strong X-ray sources. One of these stars, HR 5512, shows short-term variations in both X-ray flux as well as in the shape of the Hα and Ca ii H+K lines, and it rotates much faster than M-type giants usually do. No indication of binarity has been found for this star. We propose that the X-ray emission of HR 5512 is related to a large degree of stellar activity. For two other stars (15 Tri, HR 7547) radial velocity observations seem to indicate spectroscopic binarity.
We use some results of Trnková to show first that subcoalgebras are always closed under
finite intersections. Assuming that the type functor F is bounded, we obtain a concrete
representation of the terminal F-coalgebra. We also provide several equivalent
characterizations of boundedness.
GaN grown on sapphire (α–Al2O3) was characterized by laser-induced molecular beam epitaxy. Threading dislocations with Burgers vectors of 1/3〈1120〉, 1/3〈1123〉 and  were observed with a predominance of the first type. Additionally, inversion domains with Ga-polarity existed with respect to the adjacent matrix, which was of N-polarity. The dislocation densities and coherence lengths were deduced from x-ray diffraction and found to be in accordance with those measured by transmission electron microscopy. Both displacement fringe contrast analysis and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy results indicated that the inversion domain boundaries had Ga–N bonds between domains and the adjacent matrix.