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On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, resulting in serious widespread impact across the island, including communication and power outages, water systems impairment, and damage to life-saving infrastructure. In collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Public Health Branch (PHB), operating under the Department of Health and Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team, was tasked with completing assessments of health-care facilities in Puerto Rico to determine infrastructure capabilities and post-hurricane capacity. Additionally, in response to significant data entry and presentation needs, the PHB leadership worked with the Puerto Rico Planning Board to develop and test a new app-based infrastructure capacity assessment tool. Assessments of hospitals were initiated September 28, 2017, and completed November 10, 2017 (n = 64 hospitals, 97%). Assessments of health-care centers were initiated on October 7, 2017, with 186 health-care centers (87%) assessed through November 18, 2017. All hospitals had working communications; however, 9% (n = 17) of health-care centers reported no communication capabilities. For the health-care centers, 114 (61%) reported they were operational but had sustainment needs. In conclusion, health-care facility assessments indicated structural damage issues and operational capacity decreases, while health-care centers reported loss of communication capabilities post-Hurricane Maria.
The Murcia Twin Registry (MTR) is the only population-based registry in Spain. Created in 2006, the registry has been growing more than a decade to become one of the references for twin research in the Mediterranean region. The MTR database currently comprises 3545 adult participants born between 1940 and 1977. It also holds a recently launched satellite registry of university students (N = 204). Along five waves of data collection, the registry has gathered questionnaire and anthropometric data, as well as biological samples. The MTR keeps its main research focus on health and health-related behaviors from a public health perspective. This includes lifestyle, health promotion, quality of life or environmental conditions. Future short-term development points to the expansion of the biobank and the continuation of the collection of longitudinal data.
HLA-G expression has been detected in early preimplantation embryos and it has been postulated that a relationship between embryonic expression of this factor and successful pregnancy may exist. Forty-six patients were prospectively selected from our centre ‘Unidad de Reproducción Humana, Hospital Universitario de Canarias’ for conducting this study. In all cases, metaphase II (MII) oocytes were fertilized using intracytoplasmic sperm injection 2–4 h after retrieval. Embryos were cultured individually in 20 µl droplets of G-1 medium (VitroLife) under oil at 37°C and a 6% CO2 environment. Fertilization was assessed at 18 h postinsemination and all oocytes fertilized were passed into a new culture plaque individually in 300 µl culture medium until day 3 of culture. The culture medium was examined for the expression and secretion of sHLA-G with a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit (BioVendor, Heidelberg, Germany) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We found statistical significance between higher levels of sHLA-G secretion and pregnancy rate. When both groups were compared there was no difference in embryo quality of transferred embryos, but a significant difference in the number of oocytes and the embryo quality of the cohort existed that was greater in the pregnant group. A standardized sHLA-G assay with a specifically defined range and standard units provides a non-invasive method to identify the most competent embryos for transfer.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
We determined the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis isolates to evaluate its potential impact on pertussis reemergence in a population of Mexico. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cases were included. Pertussis infection was confirmed by culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected B. pertussis isolates were further analysed; i.e. clonality was analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ptxP-ptxA, prn, fim2 and fim3 typing was performed by PCR and sequencing. Out of 11 864 analysed samples, 687 (5.8%) were positive for pertussis, with 244 (36%) confirmed by both culture and PCR whereas 115 (17%) were positive only by culture and 328 (48%) were positive only by PCR. One predominant clone (clone A, n = 62/113; 55%) and three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) were identified by PFGE. All 113 selected isolates had the allelic combination ptxP3-ptxA1. The predominant clone A and the three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) corresponded to the emerging genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1. In conclusion, the presence of an endemic clone and three predominant subtypes belonging to the genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1 were detected. This finding supports the global spread/expansion reported for these outbreaks associated genotypes.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
In the present investigation, nanostructured ceramic HfN coatings were deposited onto silicon (100) wafer by magnetron sputtering DC method, from a metallic Hf target. The deposition process followed by a similar pattern as the multilayer film deposition, using cycles with the nitrogen gas turned on for 90 s and turned off for 15 s; four sets of samples were obtained using 5, 10, 15 and 20 cycles. The X ray diffraction (XRD) identified the presence of two different cubic crystalline phases of HfN, corroborated by Rietveld analysis. The Vickers hardness test showed that the hardness values increases with more cycles, due to a higher compressive stress evaluated by Stoney formula. All samples were investigated with no visible fracture until 10 grf for the 5 cycles sample; however, no fractures were visible at all for the 15 and 20 cycle samples for that given load, instead fractures started to appear at 25grf for the 10 and 15 cycles coating. Eventually it is distinguished that, the thickness and morphology of the coatings were measured by field emission scanning electron microscopy FE-SEM. As well as, the thickness increased from 0.4 µm to almost 1.33 µm as the number of cycles also increased, where we can observe the formation of columnar growth, moreover it is possible to distinguish the formation of two different clusters which might be related to different phases.
This newly described chondrichthyan fauna from the late Miocene Chucunaque Formation of Lago Bayano reveals a prolific and highly diverse assemblage from Panama, and one of the richest shark faunas from the Neotropics. Strontium geochronology indicates an age of 10–9.5 Ma for the chonrichthyan-bearing strata. Field efforts resulted in 1429 identifiable specimens comprising at least 31 taxa, of which at least eight are new to the documented fossil record of Panama. With this information an analysis of functional diversity was conducted, indicating ecosystems dominated by generalist species feeding upon a wide range of organisms, from plankton to marine mammals. A probabilistic approach of paleobathymetric estimation suggests a neritic environment. Previous studies based on foraminifera have suggested that the Chucunaque Formation had a greater Pacific Ocean affinity, making this the first Miocene chondrichthyan fauna described from the Pacific shelf of Panama. However, our geographic comparisons show that this fauna has mixed Caribbean and Pacific biogeographic affinities, which likely supports the previously purported connection between chondrichthyan faunas during the late Miocene.
Positive Deviance (PD) is a process to achieve a social and cultural change. This strategy has been used for the control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in some health institutions in the United States, but has rarely been adopted in institutions from developing countries where resources are limited. We describe our experience of PD in the control of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) due to MRSA in a Colombian hospital with the aim of reducing HAI rates through a cultural change in processes. A time-series study was conducted based on the MRSA-HAI rate and the number of months with zero MRSA infections before and after application of PD (2001–2012). On comparing the pre-intervention and intervention periods, the mean overall rates of MRSA-HAI was 0·62 and 0·36, respectively (P = 0·0005); the number of months with zero MRSA-HAIs were 3/70 and 12/74 (odds ratio 0·264, 95% confidence interval 0·078–0·897); the percentage of MRSA-HAIs was 53·2% and 41·0%. These results are consistent with other published data. Implementation of PD was associated with a significant reduction of MRSA-HAIs, it did not involve high costs and the changes have been lasting.
Blazar OJ 287 is one of the best observed extragalactic objects. It's historical light curve goes back to 1890′s. Based on the historical behaviour Sillanpää et al. (1988) showed that OJ 287 displays large periodic outbursts, with a period of 11.7 years. We have monitored OJ 287 intensively for two years, during the OJ-94 project. This project was created for monitoring OJ 287 during its predicted new outburst in 1994. In the data archive we have over 7000 observations on OJ 287, in the radio, infrared and optical bands. This data archive contains the best ever obtained light curves for any extragalactic object. The optical light curve shows continuous variability down to time scales of tens of minutes. The variability observed in OJ 287 can be broken down to (at least) four different categories:
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be the most effective preventive strategy to reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups. Despite healthcare personnel (HCP) being considered part of such high-risk groups, their vaccination coverage is low in Europe. In January 2012, we distributed an 18-question survey regarding influenza vaccination to HCP at Gregorio Marañon Paediatric Hospital, in Madrid, Spain. After we documented that only ~30% of HCP were vaccinated an educational programme was implemented in October 2012 before the next influenza season. In January 2013, the same survey delivered again to all HCP documented a significant increase in vaccination rates (from 30% to 40%, P = 0·007) mainly among physicians and for patients' protection. In summary we found that a simple and inexpensive educational programme significantly improved the uptake of influenza vaccination in HCP in our centre. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remained low, and broader and updated campaigns are needed to overcome perception barriers.
Surveys with ISO (Kessler et al 1996), in particular with the CAM (Cesarsky et al 1996) and PHOT (Lemke et al 1996) instruments, will greatly extend our understanding of extra-galactic populations and their cosmological evolution. The main advantages that ISO surveys have over e.g IRAS are increased sensitivity/depth and wavelength coverage. Within the Guaranteed and Open Time programmes there are many field surveys which will efficiently map the limits in these parameters. In this talk I will briefly overview those surveys before concentrating in more detail on one survey in particular, the ISO survey of the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), to illustrate the kind of results that can be expected.
This paper shows the technological development for manufacturing corner angle sections or cardboard. Its manufacture involves splicing sheets (liners) of different weight Kraft papers joined with white glue. The thickness and strength of each profile is determined by the amount of spliced leaves and paperweight. There are two types of finishing in the profile, which are: natural finish Kraft wrapping paper and the white paper envelope. The second one is used to print images or logos on the exterior face for advertising purposes. They can withstand bending stresses for supporting buckling in horizontal and vertical position. These profiles are mainly used for packaging, protect corners, transportation and storage. A machine for manufacturing specialized linear process to obtain the required thickness is used. In this article, the basic load of an angular profile is analyzed by the finite element method using ANSYS 14 ®. Mechanical design considerations based on the mechanics of composite materials and the theory of laminated beams are considered. With the results of this analysis, load capacities like bending, buckling and deformation profiles are obtained. Furthermore, a comparison of three thicknesses of angular profiles supporting the mentioned loads is also presented.
Recently, the use of different types of natural fibers to produce paper and textiles from agave plants has been proposed. Agave atrovirens can be a good source of cellulose and lignin; nevertheless, the microstructural changes that happen during delignification have scarcely been studied. The aim of this work was to study the microstructural changes that occur during the delignification of agave fibers by means of microscopy techniques and image analysis. The fibers of A. atrovirens were obtained from leaves using convective drying, milling, and sieving. Fibers were processed using the Acetosolv pulping method at different concentrations of acetic acid; increasing acid concentration promoted higher levels of delignification, structural damage, and the breakdown of fiber clumps. Delignification followed by spectrometric analysis and microstructural studies were carried out by light, confocal laser scanning and scanning electron microscopy and showed that the delignification process follows three stages: initial, bulk, and residual. Microscopy techniques and image analysis were efficient tools for microstructural characterization during delignification of agave fibers, allowing quantitative evaluation of the process and the development of linear prediction models. The data obtained integrated numerical and microstructural information that could be valuable for the study of pulping of lignocellulosic materials.