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Ternary Sn-Sb-S thin films with remarkable optical, electrical and structural properties were developed by chemical bath deposition. Tin and antimony chlorides and thioacetamide were used as tin, antimony, and sulfur ion sources, respectively, while tartaric acid was used as a complexing agent. XRD analysis of as-deposited films showed a combination of binary phases of SnS, Sn2S3, and Sb2S3, while after thermal treatment in nitrogen at 400 °C, the films became crystalline showing well-defined reflections of the ternary SnSb2S4. The heating also influenced the morphology, compactness, and thickness of the films. On the other hand, all the films showed an absorption coefficient higher than 104 cm-1, while the optical band gap of the as-deposited film decreased from 1.49 to 1.37 eV after heating at 400 °C. In addition, the photoconductivity of the films prior to heating was of 10-9 Ω-1 cm-1, while after that at 400 °C was of 10-7 Ω-1 cm-1. The evaluation of the ternary film in solar cells gave an open-circuit voltage Voc of 448 mV and short-circuit current density of Jsc of 2.4 mA/cm2.
On 16 March 2018, a nursing home notified a possible acute gastroenteritis outbreak that affected 11 people. Descriptive and case–control studies and analysis of clinical and environmental samples were carried out to determine the characteristics of the outbreak, its aetiology, the transmission mechanism and the causal food. The extent of the outbreak in and outside the nursing home was determined and the staff factors influencing propagation were studied by multivariate analysis. A turkey dinner on March 14 was associated with the outbreak (OR 4.22, 95% CI 1.11–16.01). Norovirus genogroups I and II were identified in stool samples. The attack rates in residents, staff and household contacts of staff were 23.49%, 46.22% and 22.87%, respectively. Care assistants and cleaning staff were the staff most frequently affected. Cohabitation with an affected care assistant was the most important factor in the occurrence of cases in the home (adjusted OR 6.37, 95% CI 1.13–36.02). Our results show that staff in close contact with residents and their household contacts had a higher risk of infection during the norovirus outbreak.
Here, different tissue surfaces of tomato root were characterized employing atomic force microscopy on day 7 and day 21 of growth through Young's modulus and plasticity index. These parameters provide quantitative information regarding the mechanical behavior of the tomato root under fresh conditions in different locations of the cross-section of root [cell surface of the epidermis, parenchyma (Pa), and vascular bundles (Vb)]. The results show that the mechanical parameters depend on the indented region, tissue type, and growth time. Thereby, the stiffness increases in the cell surface of epidermal tissue with increasing growth time (from 9.19 ± 0.68 to 13.90 ± 1.68 MPa) and the cell surface of Pa tissue displays the opposite behavior (from 1.74 ± 0.49 to 0.48 ± 0.55); the stiffness of cell surfaces of Vb tissue changes from 10.60 ± 0.58 to 6.37 ± 0.53 MPa, all cases showed a statistical difference (p < 0.05). Viscoelastic behavior dominates the mechanical forces in the tomato root. The current study is a contribution to a better understanding of the cell mechanics behavior of different tomato root tissues during growth.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of long-term (56 years) liming on changes in soil pH and aluminium (Al) forms in the soil profile compared with an unlimed soil in a sandy moraine loam of a Dystric Glossic Retisol. Long-term liming had a significant influence on soil acidity of the whole profile, causing increased pH values in the following horizons to 120 cm depth: the ploughing horizon (Ahp), where humus accumulates; the eluvial horizon (E), from which clay particles are leached; a horizon having retic properties and predominantly coarser-textured albic material (E/B); and a horizon with retic properties and predominantly finer-textured argic material (B/E). In the solid phase, non-crystalline Al in limed soil decreased in the Ahp horizon; meanwhile a decrease in total organically bound Al (Alp) and organo–Al complexes of low to medium stability was detected in the deeper El and ElBt horizons. High-stability Al complexes with organic matter were the predominant form of Alp in the unlimed and limed whole soil profile. The concentration of total water-soluble Al ranged from 0.61 to 0.80 mg/l in the limed soil profile but 0.62–1.15 mg/l in the unlimed soil. The highest concentration of exchangeable Al was determined in the upper horizons of the unlimed soil profile and the concentration decreased significantly in the same horizons of the limed soil profile. Long-term liming promoted changes in Al compounds throughout the soil profile.
This research evidences the impact of Materials Science and Engineering Clubs as an outreach effort to expand the education and training required for a competitive Nanotechnology workforce beyond traditional STEM areas. An engineering perception questionnaire was implemented as a pre-test/post-test to track student perceptions and goals throughout the academic year to identify trends amongst gender and school level groups. Findings (107 students) show a perceived increase in student knowledge and interest for different fields of study, based on pre/post-test responses, with differences amongst gender and school level groups (middle school and high school). Also, significant differences in students’ aspirations for higher education degree were found among school level and gender. Results show that over 20% of participants increased their aspirations to higher education degrees and their interests in pursuing STEM degrees at end of the academic year. Specific findings on engineering perceptions and perceived level of knowledge and interest in science, engineering, materials, and nanotechnology as a result of club participation and student’s educational aspirations, expectations and future study plans are discussed along with implications for future STEM education.
The aim of this research was to investigate the influence of substrate roughness on the adhesion and tribological performance of thin TiN coatings obtained by physical vapor deposition. For that purpose, substrates of AISI H13 steel with surface finishes of 0.06, 0.28 and 0.90 μm in Ra were coated with TiN under the same coating conditions. The chemical composition of the steel, as well as that of the TiN coating, were obtained using EDS analysis. Adhesion tests were carried out following the procedure of BSi 1071-8 standard while hardness was evaluated by ASTM C 1327-03. On the other hand, dry sliding friction tests were conducted with a pin-on-disk tribometer, according to the ASTM G 99-05 standard. This study showed that the roughness of the coating increases as the substrate roughness increases. Regarding adhesion and hardness, all the samples showed an adhesion class 1 according to the standard and a hardness value of 14.51 GPa. Nevertheless, the highest substrate roughness produced the best adhesion. On the other hand, the lowest values for the friction coefficient and wear behavior were obtained by the sample with the lowest substrate roughness of 0.06 µm. In addition, it was found that friction and wear increase when the substrate roughness increases.
Although the Near Threatened jaguar Panthera onca ranges from the south-west USA to central Argentina, populations outside Amazonia are generally small and isolated. One such area, the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, is potentially an important area for jaguar conservation but information on the species in this region is limited and its conservation status is unknown. In this study we documented the occurrence and abundance of jaguars in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas complex. We compiled all available records of the species within the region and conducted a camera-trap survey during August 2015–December 2016. Interviews were conducted to determine the perception of the jaguar by cattle owners and to obtain information on any livestock predation. We found that jaguars still occur throughout the Sierra Madre de Chiapas landscape, including the plains on the Pacific Coast of Chiapas, but its abundance in the region is low. On the basis of our findings we have incorporated the Sierra Madre de Chiapas in Mexico's National Jaguar Conservation Strategy, and recommend that international organizations include this area in their priorities for jaguar conservation. To improve coexistence between jaguars and the communities of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, strategies need to be developed, in collaboration with the local communities, to improve livestock practices for reduction of predation by jaguars, to strengthen government conservation policies and to implement educational and communication programmes about the importance of this species in the region.
High unemployment is a hallmark of psychotic illness. Individual placement and support (IPS) may be effective at assisting the vocational recoveries of young people with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
To examine the effectiveness of IPS at assisting young people with FEP to gain employment (Australian and Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12608000094370).
Young people with FEP (n = 146) who were interested in vocational recovery were randomised using computer-generated random permuted blocks on a 1:1 ratio to: (a) 6 months of IPS in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) or (b) TAU alone. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 6 months (end of intervention), 12 months and 18 months post-baseline by research assistants who were masked to the treatment allocations.
At the end of the intervention the IPS group had a significantly higher rate of having been employed (71.2%) than the TAU group (48.0%), odds ratio 3.40 (95% CI 1.17–9.91, z = 2.25, P = 0.025). However, this difference was not seen at 12- and 18-month follow-up points. There was no difference at any time point on educational outcomes.
This is the largest trial to our knowledge on the effectiveness of IPS in FEP. The IPS group achieved a very high employment rate during the 6 months of the intervention. However, the advantage of IPS was not maintained in the long term. This seems to be related more to an unusually high rate of employment being achieved in the control group rather than a gross reduction in employment among the IPS group.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
Recent droughts in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean have emphasized the region's agricultural vulnerability to this hazard and the increasing need for adaptation mechanisms to support sustainable production. In this study, we assessed the geographic extent of agricultural conservation practices incentivized by US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and evaluated their large-scale contribution to drought adaptability. We identified concentrations of drought-related practices (e.g. cover crops, ponds) applied between 2000 and 2016. Using information from spatial databases and interviews with experts, we assessed the spatial correlation between these practices and areas exposed to drought as identified by the US Drought Monitor. Between 2000 and 2016, Puerto Rico experienced seven drought episodes concentrated around the south, east and southeastern regions. The most profound drought occurred between 2014 and 2016 when the island experienced 80 consecutive weeks of moderate drought, 48 of severe drought and 33 of extreme drought conditions. A total of 44 drought-related conservation practices were applied at 6984 locations throughout 860 km2 of farmlands between 2000 and 2016 through the NRCS-Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Practices related to water availability were statistically clustered along the coasts, whereas soil and plant health practices were clustered in the mountainous region. While these concentrations strongly correlated with areas exposed to moderate drought conditions, >80% did not coincide with areas that experienced severe or extreme drought conditions, suggesting that areas highly exposed to drought conditions generally lacked drought preparedness assisted by EQIP. Climate projections indicate an increase in the frequency and intensity of drought events, particularly in the eastern region of Puerto Rico. Our analysis highlighted the need to implement more conservation practices in these areas subject to drought intensification and exposure. Government programs intended to address vulnerabilities and enhance capacity and resilience may not be reaching areas of highest exposure. Recommendations include raising producer awareness of past and future exposure and making programs more accessible to a broader audience.