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We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
Research on close binary systems has continued at a high level during the past triennium, although the rate of growth is noticeably slower – probably reflecting the cutbacks in funds to which many of us are subject. There have also been changes of emphasis within the field, which are commented on in the pages that follow. These reflect both changing opportunities for observation and the natural development of the subject. In many areas, the time is ripe for a more critical look at ideas that previously seemed adequate.
We present optical and IR observations of the dwarf nova OY Car during the May 1985 superoutburst. From them we find that the superhump has a temperature of ~8000K and an area of order half the size of the red dwarf or accretion disk. We also compare the behaviour during two simultaneous optical/IR observations. Whilst the light curves in the two pass bands are similar during one observation, in the other observation they show marked differences that may be due to a cool region in the outer disk.
The current status of the DRIFT (Directional Recoil Identification From Tracks)
experiment at Boulby Mine is presented, including the latest limits on the WIMP
spin-dependent cross-section from 1.5 kg days of running with a mixture of CS2
and CF4. Planned upgrades to DRIFT IId are detailed, along with ongoing work
towards DRIFT III, which aims to be the world’s first 10 m3-scale directional
Dark Matter detector.
Direct deposition of graphene from carbon sources on foreign substrates without the use of metal catalysts is shown to be an effective process with several advantages over other growth techniques. Carbon source molecular beam epitaxy (CMBE) in particular provides an additional control parameter in carbon flux and enables growth on substrates other than SiC, including oxidized Si and sapphire. CMBE using thermally evaporated C60 and a heated graphite filament on SiC is reported here. The graphene films were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and Hall effect. Graphene films on Si-face SiC grown using the C60 source have Bernal-like stacking and n-type conduction while those grown using the graphite filament have turbostratic stacking and p-type conduction. The sheet concentration for both n- and p-type doping is linearly dependent on film thickness.
The results of Bednorz and Muller  and Wu and Chu  have stimulated a tremendous volume of research on ceramic superconductors [3–7]. Despite a number of other synthetic techniques, the solid state reaction remains the choice of most workers due to its simplicity [4,5,7]: CuO, Y2O3 and BaCO3 are often used in the powder synthesis of Ba2YCu3O7−x. BaO2 is known to be a useful reagent in the synthesis of compounds containing higher oxidation states of metals . Therefore, in our study of the possible role of Cu3+ in superconducting perovskites, we also use BaO2 in the solid state reaction. This paper compares reaction chemistry, material processing and material characterization using BaCO3or BaO2 in the solid state reaction. We obtain greater mass density, increased sample homogeneity, lower resistance, and improved reproducibility for material prepared using BaO2. We would like to point out that other groups have produced Ba2YCu3O7−x using BaO2 [4,7]; Calestani and Rizzoli have reported a one-step process for producing single crystals of Ba2YCu3O7−x using BaO2 .
Polyimides are of great interest as insulators for microelectronic fabrication due to their low dielectric constant and planarizing properties. However, they are thermally sensitive films. Nonetheless, preliminary results clearly demonstrate that nickel lines readily can be laser-pyrolytically drawn over polyimide films.
While elevated laser power will damage underlying polyimide films, microelectronic quality nickel lines can be drawn using nickel carbonyl at relatively low laser intensities over polyimides with little or no change in the electrical characteristics. Polyimide's lower thermal conductivity relative to silicon dioxide facilitates increased nickel deposition rates. Self-limiting effects have been observed during the deposition that can lead to near microelectronically ideal line cross sections.
X-ray absorption spectroscopy has been used to investigate the Nb B-site in pyrochlores (A1.2B2O6Y0–1, Fd3m, Z=8) and samarskites (A3B5O16) in both metamict and annealed condition. The XANES and EXAFS measurements indicate significant changes in pyrochlore and smaller changes in samarskite as a result of radiation damage. In the metamict state the Nb site in both pyrochlores and samarskites is similar to Nb in Nb2O5. Short Nb-O (1.65Å) bonds are not disrupted by alpha-decay/recoil-nuclei events as much as longer bonds (2.00Å). This increases the asymmetry and static disorder at the local Nb site while long range order is greatly diminished resulting in considerable distribution in Nb-M distances and bond angles.
Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) has fabricated cerium-activated lithium silicate scintillating fibers via a hot-downdraw process. These fibers, which, as produced, typically have a transmission length (e−1 length) of greater than 2 meters, are found to undergo aging when subjected to room air. The aging, which is complete in a few weeks, reduces the transmission length to the order of 0.5 meter. Because of the high alkali content of the glass (on the order of 20-30 mole % lithia), we have attributed this aging to aqueous corrosion at the polymer cladding/glass interface. Changes in transmission with chemical treatment of the surface support the corrosion model. Fiber transmission performance has been preserved by modifying the hot-downdraw to a double crucible to produce glass-on-glass waveguides.
With an average diameter of 80–200 nm, nylon fibers embedded with ferrite nanoparticles were electrospun using a point to plate geometry. The nickel-ferrite particles with a diameter range of 20–30 nm were used to prepare the composite electrospun nanofibers. The ferrite nanoparticles were dispersed in the polymer solution using a surfactant dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid (DBSA). Ultrasonication was used to dissolve nylon-6 into the formic acid/particle dispersion. Electrospinning of virgin polymer solution and particle filled polymer system was carried out with polymer concentration of 15% w/v. The particle loading was 3%w/w. SEM of the particle filled fibers show some bead formations and a diameter distribution of about 80–200 nm. The DSC analyses of the neat nylon polymer fibers and ferrite filled nanofibers show an increase in glass transition temperature from 55°C to 72°C. The melting temperature showed a decrease from 226°C to 201°C. The TEM images show the presence and some alignment of particles in the polymer. The electron diffraction pattern of ferrite nanoparticles confirms its crystalline nature.
The flame retardancy of nylon 6/laponite and nylon 6/montmorillonite nanocomposites was investigated. The pronounced effect of layered silicates on heat release and mass loss rates of nylon 6 was examined. We found that nylon 6/laponite has 46 % and nylon 6/montmorillonite has 52.5 % lower peak heat release rates than that of neat nylon 6. The 6.5 % difference between the peak heat release rates of laponite- and montmorillonite-based nanocomposites was attributed to differences in aspect ratio and surface charge density of the nanoparticles.
The barrier properties of nanocomposite chars was evaluated by examining the peak heat release and mass loss rate reductions of stacks of layers, with the bottom layer being neat nylon 6 polymer and the top layers being nanocomposites that formed chars during the experiments. We observed that the peak heat release rate of a 10×10×0.3 cm neat nylon 6 slab was reduced by about 45 % when protected with a char-forming nylon 6/montmorillonite slab of same dimensions. The dramatic reduction of the peak heat release rate of neat nylon 6 when covered with a nanocomposite char was consistent with the notion that the flame retardancy of polymer/clay nanocomposites is affected by the (thermal and/or mass) barrier properties of the char. In order to test the thermal insulation of the char, temperature profiles of the layered samples were measured during cone calorimeter experiments. We observed that the nanocomposite char that brought about a 44.5 % reduction in peak heat release and mass loss rates reduced the heating rate of the same neat nylon 6 by about 31.2 %. The reduction in the heating rate increased with the amount of nanocomposite char formed.
Polymer materials such as Kevlar that are susceptible to UV degradation may be protected by appropriate coatings. We are using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles with an average particle size ranging from 25 to 70 nm. Five weight percent nanoparticles were dispersed in acrylic coatings, the dispersion is assisted by addition of a non-ionic surfactant, mechanical stirring and ultrasonication. The UV protective mechanism of nanoparticle-embedded coatings is theoretically explained using Mie theory. We estimated the minimum thickness of a 5 weight % nanoparticle-embedded coatings that is required to prevent the UV radiation from reaching the base of the substrate. Results obtained from nanoparticle-embedded acrylic-coated Kevlar fabric and neat acrylic-coated Kevlar fabric after exposure to UV radiation in QUV weatherometer show that the nanoparticle coating offers protection. UV-visible spectroscopy was used to obtain quantitative results.