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The aim of our study was to describe and to investigate the factors associated with glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE) acquisition during a single-strain outbreak which occurred in several wards of hospital from September 2013 to January 2014. We designed a case–control study. Analyses were performed using Bayesian methods. Univariate logistic regressions with informative priors from published studies were conducted. A multivariate model was build including variables with a probability of odd-ratio exceeding one (Pr) >85% or <15%. Thirteen cases and 52 controls were recruited. The description of this outbreak highlighted the importance to quickly detect patients at risk of GRE carriage in order to implement the isolation measures and to transfer to dedicated department if they are effectively carriers. Following multivariate analysis, antibiotics during hospitalisation (Pr = 0.968), number of hospitalisation days in the year (Pr = 0.964), antacids intake (Pr = 0.878) (with a risk increase), immunosuppression (Pr = 0.026) and isolation measures (Pr = 0.003) (both with protective effect) were associated with GRE acquisition. The use of Bayesian statistics was useful because of our study's small population size and prior information availability.
Improving neurocognitive outcomes following treatment for brain metastases have become increasingly important. We propose that a brief telephone-based neurocognitive assessment may improve follow-up cognitive assessments in this palliative population. Aim: To prospectively assess the feasibility and reliability of a telephone based brief neurocognitive assessment compared to the same tests delivered face-to-face. Methods: Brain metastases patients to be treated with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) were assessed using a brief validated neurocognitive battery at baseline, at 1 month and 3 months following WBRT (in person and over the phone). The primary outcome was feasibility and inter-procedural (in person versus telephone) reliability. The secondary objective was to evaluate the change in neurocognitive function before and after WBRT. Results: Out of 39 patients enrolled, 82% of patients completed the baseline in-person and telephone neurocognitive assessments. However, at 1 month, only 41% of enrolled patients completed the in-person and telephone cognitive assessments and at 3 months, only 10% of patients completed them. Results pertaining to reliability and change in neurocognitive function will be updated. Conclusion: The pre-defined definition of feasibility (at least 80% completion for face to face and telephone neurocognitive assessments) was met at baseline. However, a large proportion of participants did not complete either telephone or in person neurocognitive follow-up at 1 month and at 3 months post-WBRT. Attrition remained a challenge for neurocognitive testing in this population even when a telephone-based brief assessment was used.
We have obtained low resolution infrared spectra of 21 brown dwarf candidates, selected from a survey performed at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. The spectra were obtained at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (La Palma), using the NICS spectrometer in the Amici configuration, which allows to observe the range 0.85–2.45 μm in a single shot. The bands shown by most of the spectra confirm that we are dealing with low effective temperature objects. Preliminary results of spectral classification are presented.
We present new high-resolution observations and modeling of SSTtau J042021+ 281349, a 400 AU-radius edge-on protoplanetary disk. We have gathered visible and near-infrared scattered light images of the system with the Hubble Space Telescope and Keck adaptive optics system, as well as a 1.3 mm continuum map with CARMA. Compared to the well-known HH 30 disk, this new system is remarkable because of its spectacular bipolar jet and the high degree of lateral symmetry of the disk. Indeed, we argue that this system is a “cleaner” prototype for edge-on disks. In addition, the apparent achromaticity of dust properties (most notably the almost grey opacity law) from the visible to the near-infrared in this disk suggests that it is in an advanced stage of dust evolution.
Among the numerous known extrasolar planets, only a handful have been imaged directly so far, at large orbital radii and in rather evolved systems. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will have the capacity to observe these wide planetary systems at a younger age, thus bringing a better understanding of the planet formation process. Here we explore the ability of ALMA to detect the gaps carved by planets on wide orbits.
DX Cha (HD 104237) is a southern, optically bright Herbig Ae star with an infrared excess, that is part of a small stellar group younger than 5 Myr. We used the APEX and ASTE submillimeter telescopes in Chile to search for continuum and gas emission around this system. Using LABOCA on APEX we detect strong continuum emission around HD104237-A and system component HD104237-E. Our ASTE spectrum detects a double-peaked 12CO(3-2) line profile towards the system, typical of a rotating disk. The new data are used as constraints with MCFOST to produce a disk model that fits the entire SED as well as the observed CO line profile.
With the combination of Herschel PACS (far-IR), submillimeter (submm) and millimeter (mm) ground-based observations, we are leading an investigation of all members with spectral types M4 and onwards in the Taurus star-forming region. This complete census spans the stellar to substellar boundary (M6.25), and the wavelength range covers the transition from optically thick to optically thin emission. From our Hershel PACS observations of ~135 sources, we obtain a detection rate of ~40% at 70 μm and a detection rate of ~20% at 160 μm, and provide the first far-IR measurements for the majority of these members. With our complementary submm and mm observations, best fit SED models from the radiative transfer code MCFOST will be used to infer disk properties such as scale height, mass, outer radius and maximum dust grain size. These comprehensive population statistics of disks are critical for testing star/brown dwarf and planet formation models around these later type members of Taurus.
We present detailed models of the edge-on protoplanetary disk ESO Hα 569 (SSTgbs J111110.7-764157) from resolved scattered light images from HST and a complete spectral energy distribution. Data was obtained as part of an HST campaign to catalogue edge-on disks around young stars in nearby star forming regions (HST program 12514, PI: Karl Stapelfeldt). We confirm that this object is an optically thick edge-on disk around a young star with an outer radius of 125 AU. Using full radiative transfer models, we probe the distribution of dust grains and overall shape of the disk (inclination, scale height, dust mass, maximum particle size, inner radius, flaring exponent and surface/volume density exponent).
Studying the inner regions of protoplanetary disks (1-10 AU) is of importance to understand the formation of planets and the accretion process feeding the forming central star. Herbig AeBe stars are bright enough to be routinely observed by Near IR interferometers. The data for the fainter T Tauri stars is much more sparse. In this contribution we present the results of our ongoing survey at the VLTI. We used the PIONIER combiner that allows the simultaneous use of 4 telescopes, yielding 6 baselines and 3 independent closure phases at once. PIONIER's integrated optics technology makes it a sensitive instrument. We have observed 22 T Tauri stars so far, the largest survey for T Tauri stars to this date.
Our results demonstrate the very significant contribution of an extended component to the interferometric signal. The extended component is different from source to source and the data, with several baselines, offer a way to improve our knowledge of the disk geometry and/or composition. These results validate an earlier study by Pinte et al. 2008 and show that the dust inner radii of T Tauri disks now appear to be in better agreement with the expected position of the dust sublimation radius, contrary to previous claims.
Over the past decade, a growing number of deep imaging surveys have started to provide meaningful constraints on the population of extrasolar giant planets at large orbital separation. Primary targets for these surveys have been carefully selected based on their age, distance and spectral type, and often on their membership to young nearby associations where all stars share common kinematics, photometric and spectroscopic properties. The next step is a wider statistical analysis of the frequency and properties of low mass companions as a function of stellar mass and orbital separation. In late 2009, we initiated a coordinated European Large Program using angular differential imaging in the H band (1.66 μm) with NaCo at the VLT. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive and statistically significant study of the occurrence of extrasolar giant planets and brown dwarfs at large (5-500 AU) orbital separation around ~150 young, nearby stars, a large fraction of which have never been observed at very deep contrast. The survey has now been completed and we present the data analysis and detection limits for the observed sample, for which we reach the planetary-mass domain at separations of ≳50 AU on average. We also present the results of the statistical analysis that has been performed over the 75 targets newly observed at high-contrast. We discuss the details of the statistical analysis and the physical constraints that our survey provides for the frequency and formation scenario of planetary mass companions at large separation.
The close environment of Herbig stars starts to be revealed step by step and it appears to be quite complex. Many physical phenomena interplay: the dust sublimation causing a puffed-up inner rim, a dusty halo, a dusty wind or an inner gaseous component. To investigate more deeply these regions, getting images at the first Astronomical Unit scale is necessary. This has become possible with near infrared instruments on the VLTI. We have developed a new imaging method adapted to young stellar objects where we process separately the stellar component from the rest of the image to reveal the environment by using the spectral differences between these two components. We present the result of this method on the first imaging survey of Herbig stars carried out by PIONIER on the VLTI.
Our direct density function-based simulations of Ru-, Pt- and mixed Ru-Pt clusters on carbon-based supports reveal that substrates can mediate the PtRu5 particles . Oblate structure of PtRu5 on C has been found . Nevertheless, the cluster-substrate interface interactions are still unknown. In this work, we present the applications of combinations of quantitative z-contrast imaging and high resolution electron microscopy in investigating the effect of different substrates and ligand shells on metal particles. Specifically, we developed a relatively new and powerful method to determine numbers of atoms in a nanoparticle as well as three-dimensional structures of particles including size and shape of particles on the substrates by very high angle (~96mrad) annular dark-field (HAADF) imaging [2-4] techniques. Recently, we successfully synthesize icosahedra Au13 clusters with mixed ligands and cuboctahedral Au13 cores with thiol ligands, which have been shown by TEM to be of sub-nanometer size (0.84nm) and highly monodisperse narrow distribution. X-ray absorption and UV-visible spectra indicate many differences between icosahedra and cuboctahedral Au13 cores. Particles with different ligands show different emissions and higher quantum efficiency has been found in Au11 (PPH3) SC12)2C12. We plan to deposit those ligands-protected gold clusters onto different substrates, such as, TiO2 and graphite, etc. Aforementioned analysis procedure will be performed for those particles on the substrates and results will be correlated with that of our simulations and activity properties. This approach will lead to an understanding of the cluster-substrates relationship for consideration in real applications.
Nano-catalysts, Au nano-particles on TiO2 (anatase), were studied by means of quantitative scanning transmission electron microcopy (Q-STEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microcopy (HRTEM). All the Au nano-catalysts were produced from an Au13 precursor, Au13[PPh3]4[S(CH2)11CH3]4, TiO2 supports, with three treatments: (1) thermal heating in the air at 400°C for 2 hours, (2) exposure to ozone (O3) at room temperature, and (3) exposure to atomic oxygen (AO, or O) with a AO dose of 7.3 ×1018 atom/cm2 at room temperature. Both reactive oxygen species O3 and AO produced significantly small sizes of Au particles as compared to those from the heating treatment in the air (2.7 ± 0.6 nm, 324 b 264 atoms). Ozone produced the smallest (1.2 ± 0.5 nm, 40 ± 49 atoms), whereas AO produced smaller (2.1 ± 0.7 nm, 72 ± 98 atoms), with a broad size distribution and a variety of shapes. HRTEM studies on the AO treated Au/TiO2 samples found that there could exist relationship between the particles size and their shapes which also affected by the interaction with TiO2 supports. The support effect of TiO2 to the shapes of Au particles was also studied.
The highly dispersed metal (e.g. Au) nanoparticles have exhibited exceptional catalytic activity for several reactions, including CO oxidation. Their high catalytic activity has been attributed to nanoparticles nano-structural effects (including cluster thickness, shape, chemical information, and number of atoms of the cluster). The three dimensional exact structure and chemical bonding state of these supported nanoparticles is still challenging to be quantified by conventional methods due to their limitations in understanding size distribution of supported metal nanoparticles that are usually less than 1 nm (< 100 atoms). In this paper, the structure of Au heterogeneous catalysts has been successfully characterized by High Resolution Electron Microscopy (HREM), Z-contrast Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM). The ligand protected Au13 nanoparticles on TiO2 support have been studied by ozone and thermal treatments to remove the ligands. The ozone removal method results in the truncated cuboctahedral structure while the thermal treatment results in the cuboctahedral structure. The ozone treatment yields less Au nanoparticles sintering than thermal treatment. Their FCC structure was confirmed by quantified Z-contrast STEM, HREM and its Fourier transformation.
Whereas the understanding of most phases of stellar evolution made
considerable progress throughout the whole of the twentieth century, stellar
formation remained rather enigmatic and poorly constrained by observations
until about three decades ago, when major discoveries (e.g., that protostars
are often associated with highly collimated jets) revolutionized the field.
At this time, it became increasingly clearer that magnetic fields were
playing a major role at all stages of stellar formation. We describe herein a quick overview of the main breakthroughs that observations
and theoretical modelling yielded for our understanding of how stars (and their
planetary systems) are formed and on how much these new worlds are shaped by
the presence of magnetic fields, either those pervading the interstellar medium
and threading molecular clouds or those produced through dynamo processes in
the convective envelopes of protostars or in the accretion discs from which
A wide range of high-quality data is becoming available for protoplanetary disks. From these data sets many issues have already been addressed, such as constraining the large scale geometry of disks, finding evidence of dust grain evolution, as well as constraining the kinematics and physico-chemical conditions of the gas phase. Most of these results are based on models that emphasise fitting observations of either the dust component (SEDs or scattered light images or, more recently, interferometric visibilities), or the gas phase (resolved maps in molecular lines). In this contribution, we present a more global approach which aims at interpreting consistently the increasing amount of observational data in the framework of a single model, in order to to better characterize both the dust population and the gas disk properties, as well as their interactions. We present results of such modeling applied to a few disks (e.g. IM Lup, see Figure) with large observational data-sets available (scattered light images, polarisation maps, IR spectroscopy, X-ray spectrum, CO maps). These kinds of multi-wavelengths studies will become very powerful in the context of forthcoming instruments such as Herschel and ALMA.