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With the aim to elucidate gonococcal antimicrobial resistance (AMR)–risk factors, we undertook a retrospective analysis of the molecular epidemiology and AMR of 104 Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates from clinical samples (urethra, rectum, pharynx and cervix) of 94 individuals attending a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Madrid (Spain) from July to October 2016, and explored potential links with socio-demographic, behavioural and clinical factors of patients. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by E-tests, and isolates were characterised by N. gonorrhoeae multi-antigen sequence typing. Penicillin resistance was recorded for 15.4% of isolates, and most were susceptible to tetracycline, cefixime and azithromycin; a high incidence of ciprofloxacin resistance (~40%) was found. Isolates were grouped into 51 different sequence types (STs) and 10 genogroups (G), with G2400, ST5441, ST2318, ST12547 and G2992 being the most prevalent. A significant association (P = 0.015) was evident between HIV-positive MSM individuals and having a ciprofloxacin-resistant strain. Likewise, a strong association (P = 0.047) was found between patient age of MSM and carriage of isolates expressing decreased susceptibility to azithromycin. A decrease in the incidence of AMR gonococcal strains and a change in the strain populations previously reported from other parts of Spain were observed. Of note, the prevalent multi-drug resistant genogroup G1407 was represented by only three strains in our study, while the pan-susceptible clones such as ST5441, and ST2318, associated with extragenital body sites were the most prevalent.
Taxation is regularly depicted as one of the last trenches behind which national sovereigns resist the incoming European tide. This assumption is simply wrong. In fact, national tax systems have been deeply and thoroughly Europeanised since the very moment the European Communities were established. The persistent myth of the untrammelled national sovereign is largely the result of a double optical illusion. The first illusion is that of the reduction of the power to tax to the power to collect taxes. While the European Union collects very few taxes which raise very modest revenue, not only does European constitutional law (the four economic fundamental freedoms) shape (and distort) the form and structure of national tax systems and of all national taxes, but the very definition of the bases and even of the rates of many taxes (notably VAT) have been deeply Europeanised. The second is the belief that the abandonment of the original pattern of Europeanisation of national tax systems in the early 1980s meant that taxes remained a national issue. The fact of the matter is that Europeanisation of national taxes systems became deeper and faster, only it proceeded by very different means. National taxes were homogenised by the pressure exerted by economic actors making use of their revamped economic freedoms to challenge, one after the other, national tax laws that were said to create obstacles to the exercise of their economic freedoms. This shift fostered the financial, fiscal and macroeconomic weaknesses that became open crises in 2007.
GROWTH OF THE STRUCTURAL GAP BETWEEN THE LEVELS OF PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND TAX REVENUE
Integration through the removal of tax obstacles contributed to the growth of the structural gap between the levels of public expenditure and tax revenue. At the same time, it facilitated some of the means through which the tax gap could be dissimulated (especially by turning private debt propelled activities into alternative sources of tax revenue). But while the tax gap was structural, the dissimulation strategies were bound to be both unsustainable and extremely costly (resulting from 2007 onwards in massive costs to the taxpayer).
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
Idiopathic intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a result of impaired placental nutrient supply. Newborns with IUGR exhibiting postnatal catch-up growth are of higher risk for cardiovascular and metabolic co-morbidities in adult life. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was recently shown to function as a placental nutrient sensor. Thus, we determined possible correlations of members of the placental mTOR signaling cascade with auxologic parameters of postnatal growth. The protein expression and activity of mTOR-pathway signaling components, Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase α, mTOR, p70S6kinase1 and insulin receptor substrate-1 were analysed via western blotting in IUGR v. matched appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) placentas. Moreover, mTOR was immunohistochemically stained in placental sections. Data from western blot analyses were correlated with retrospective auxological follow-up data at 1 year of age. We found significant catch-up growth in the 1st year of life in the IUGR group. MTOR and its activated form are immunohistochemically detected in multiple placental compartments. We identified correlations of placental mTOR-pathway signaling components to auxological data at birth and at 1 year of life in IUGR. Analysis of the protein expression and phosphorylation level of mTOR-pathway components in IUGR and AGA placentas postpartum, however, did not reveal pathognomonic changes. Our findings suggest that the level of activated mTOR correlates with early catch-up growth following IUGR. However, the complexity of signals converging at the mTOR nexus and its cellular distribution pattern seem to limit its potential as biomarker in this setting.
The model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana is believed to be a single species with a global distribution, but it has not been confirmed previously whether isolates from different environmental and geographic origins are genotypically and phenotypically identical. In the present study, a polyphasic approach was employed to characterize nine clonal isolates, plus an additional replicate of one of the isolates, of the diatom T. pseudonana from culture collections to investigate whether there was any cryptic speciation in the publicly available strains of this species. Morphological analysis using scanning electron microscopy concluded that the strains were indistinguishable. Furthermore, conventional DNA barcoding genes (SSU rDNA, ITS1 and ITS2 rDNA and rbcL), revealed no nucleotide variation among the strains tested. On employing a whole genome fingerprinting technique, Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), three clusters were revealed, although the level of variation between the clusters was surprisingly low. These findings indicate a low level of diversity among these cultured T. pseudonana strains, despite their wide spatial and temporal distribution and the salinity range of their original habitats. Based on the limited number of available strains, this suggests that T. pseudonana is a highly conserved diatom that nevertheless has an ability to tolerate wide ranges of salinity and populate varied geographic locations.
Phenolic acids are secondary plant metabolites that may have protective effects against oxidative stress, inflammation and cancer in experimental studies. To date, limited data exist on the quantitative intake of phenolic acids. We estimated the intake of phenolic acids and their food sources and associated lifestyle factors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Phenolic acid intakes were estimated for 36 037 subjects aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000 in ten European countries using a standardised 24 h recall software (EPIC-Soft), and their food sources were identified. Dietary data were linked to the Phenol-Explorer database, which contains data on forty-five aglycones of phenolic acids in 452 foods. The total phenolic acid intake was highest in Aarhus, Denmark (1265·5 and 980·7 mg/d in men and women, respectively), while the intake was lowest in Greece (213·2 and 158·6 mg/d in men and women, respectively). The hydroxycinnamic acid subclass was the main contributor to the total phenolic acid intake, accounting for 84·6–95·3 % of intake depending on the region. Hydroxybenzoic acids accounted for 4·6–14·4 %, hydroxyphenylacetic acids 0·1–0·8 % and hydroxyphenylpropanoic acids ≤ 0·1 % for all regions. An increasing south–north gradient of consumption was also found. Coffee was the main food source of phenolic acids and accounted for 55·3–80·7 % of the total phenolic acid intake, followed by fruits, vegetables and nuts. A high heterogeneity in phenolic acid intake was observed across the European countries in the EPIC cohort, which will allow further exploration of the associations with the risk of diseases.
Ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (LIR > 1012 L⊙) are locally rare, but appear to dominate the co-moving energy density at higher redshifts (z>2). Many of these are optically-faint, dust-obscured galaxies that have been identified by the detection of their thermal dust emission at sub-mm wavelengths. Multi-wavelength spectroscopic follow-up observations of these sub-mm galaxies (SMGs) have shown that they are massive (Mstellar ~ 1011 M⊙) objects undergoing intense star-formation (SFRs ~ 102−103 M⊙ yr−1) with a mean redshift of z ~ 2, coinciding with the epoch of peak quasar activity. The large fraction of AGNs in SMGs and the derived SMBH masses (M• < 108 M⊙) in these galaxies suggest that the submm phase may play an important role in the rapid growth of SMBHs. When both AGN and star-formation activity are present, long-slit spectroscopic techniques face difficulties in disentangling their contributions and may result in SFR and mass overestimates. We present an integral field view of the Hα emission in a sample of 3 SMGs at z~1.4–2.4 with the IFU instrument OSIRIS on Keck. Designed to be used with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics, OSIRIS allows a spatial resolution of up to 10× higher than what has been possible in previous seeing-limited studies of the ionized gas in these galaxies. Our main results are the following: (1) We detect multiple galactic-scale sub-components: the compact, broad Hα emission (FWHM >1000 km s−1) likely associated with an AGN, the more extended narrow-line Hα emission (FWHM ≲500 km s−1) of star-forming regions; the latter are dominated by multiple 1–2 kpc sized Hα-bright clumps, each contributing 1-25% of the total clump-integrated Hα emission. (2) We derive clump dynamical masses ~1–10×109M⊙, 1–2 orders of magnitude larger than the kpc-scaled stellar clumps uncovered in optically-selected z ~ 2 star-forming galaxies. (3) We determine high star-formation rate surface densities (ΣSFR~1–50 M⊙yr−1 kpc−2, after extinction correction), similar to local starbursts and luminous infrared galaxies. In contrast to these local environments, SMGs undergo such intense activity on significantly larger spatial scales as revealed by extended Hα emission over 4–16 kpc. (4) We find no evidence of ordered global motion as it would be found in a disk, but rather large velocity offsets (~ few × 100 km s−1) between the distinct stellar clumps. The merger interpretation is likely the most accurate scenario for the SMGs in our sample. However, the final test of whether an underlying disk structure is present will come from studies of the cold gas at the high spatial resolutions possible with ALMA.
We refer the reader to Menéndez-Delmestre et al. (2012) for more details.
UHV-CVD growth based on a deuterium stabilized Sn hydride and digermane produces Ge-Sn alloys with tunable bandgaps. The Ge1−xSnx (x=2–20 at.%) alloys are deposited on Si (100) and exhibit superior crystallinity and thermal stability compared with MBE grown films. Composition, crystal and electronic structure, and optical and vibrational properties are characterized by RBS, low energy SIMS, high resolution electron microscopy TEM, x-ray diffraction, as well as Raman and IR spectroscopies. TEM studies reveal epitaxial films with lattice constants between those of Ge and Sn. X-ray diffraction shows well-defined (004) peaks and rocking curves indicate a tightly aligned spread of the crystal mosaics. Resonance Raman indicate a E1 bandgap reduction relative to Ge, consistent with a decrease of the E2 critical point observed in spectroscopic ellipsometry. IR transmission spectra indicate an increase in absorption with increasing Sn content consistent with a decrease of the direct bandgap.
We report the synthesis, structural characterization, and preliminary optical studies of ultrathin Ge-Si superlattices with individual sublayers smaller than the Si unit cell, grown by MBE on (001) silicon substrates. Structures are fabricated one monolayer at a time in a configuration GeGeSiSiGeGe..., resulting in either ordered alloys or complex cell superlattices. Rutherford backscattering and channeling experiments on these highly strained heterostructures indicate excellent crystallinity with tetragonal distortion as high as 3.5%. Electron diffraction patterns exhibit characteristic superlattice reflections indicative of one-dimensional layering with periodicity of four monolayers. X-ray scans along the growth direction at the (002) position in reciprocal space reveal a strong peak not observed in random GeSi alloys. This scattering is attributed indirectly to the GeSi ordered phase. The optical transition energies measured by Schottky barrier electroreflectance correspond to those expected from homogeneous alloys of the same composition; however, the width of optical transitions is less than 30 meV at room temperature, allowing a clear resolution of the splitting of the valence band by strain. Modification of the unit cell of the diamond lattice in this way should permit the design of materials with novel opto-electronic characteristics. Preliminary Raman and photoconductivity measurements are also reported.
We performed a theoretical study of the microscopic arrangement of the C atoms in Si1–x–yGexCy, alloys using the Sankey local-orbital density-functional formalism. Our first-principles calculations show that in the dilute limit, the lattice constant in Si1–yCy, alloys decreases much more (by about 2/3) with concentration than predicted by Vegard's law. We show thatthis result is consistent with Raman and infrared experiments and with previous empiricalcalculations. As the C concentration increases, the interactions between the C atoms become important: Interstitial C becomes more abundant and increases the lattice constant, and the substitutional C atoms array under appropriate growth conditions. The effect of this ordering on the lattice constant is small, but it can be seen in the Raman spectra of layer-by-layer grown samples.
The synthesis and optical properties of a new class of Si-based infrared semiconductors in the Ge1-x Snx system are described. Chemical methods based on deuterium-stabilized Sn hydrides and UHV-CVD were used to prepare a wide range of metastable compositions and structures directly on silicon. These materials exhibit high thermal stability, superior crystallinity, and unique crystallographic and optical properties, such as adjustable band gaps and lattice constants. These properties are characterized by Rutherford backscattering, low-energy secondary ion mass spectrometry, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction as well as infrared and Raman spectroscopies and spectroscopic ellipsometry. The films grow essentially strain free and display a strong compositional dependence of the band structure.
The generation processes of microscopic images in as Backscattered Scanning Electrons (BSE) are produced by complex interaction between incident electrons beam within the specimen. Different authors have correlated the energy of impact released with the mean atomic number (Z) of the phase to study, and deducing that the nature of the scattering events induced by the electron beam is strongly controlled by the Z value of them. If we compared the amount of electron backscattering with respect to response of the beam energies and so deduced a mathematical functions, for each specimen studied, and respectively by to digital images processing (based on the linear transformation of levels grey range in those energies) allows to sharpen in the discrimination and quantification of some phases in cements that, due to overlap processes, until now, could not be isolated. By means theses theoretical studios it is possible, for example, to identify interstitial cations that impinge on Z factor of phase deducing for each types of energies answer a series of mathematical functions, fitting a coefficient and across digital image techniques allows to sharpen in the discrimination and quantification of certain phases in cements that, as well, is noted in grey levels of digital image. In electron microscope have to settle down a strict work conditions (DW=10 mm, V0=20 KeV), and from a pattern specimen, found the grey level of image histogram for those working conditions, and fitting to the linear function, even if operated with BSE, the theoretic phases deduced from the EDX and the quantitative analysis of the stoichiometric formula. Given a coefficient (ç) its effective Z it's calculated; the deviation, therefore, gives the interstitial cations presence. With this tool, for example, the ettringite of gypsum is discriminates; or C-S-H products and the C3S. Once obtained the greys levels image of surface to examine and by means of threshold images process (a value of limit grey level or phase identification) he is immediate to obtain stereological relations (working with planar surfaces, which facilitate the treatment and the development of algorithms of mathematical morphology) and quantitative character phases of each phase
Light element complex hydrides (e.g. NaBH4) together with metal hydrides (e.g. MgH2) are considered two primary classes of solid state hydrogen storage materials. In spite of drawbacks such as unfavourable thermodynamics and poor kinetics, enhancements may occur in reactive hydride composites by nanostructuring of reactant phases and formation of more stable product phases (e.g. MgB2) which lower overall reaction enthalpy and allow reversibility. One potential system is based on mixing NaBH4 and MgH2 and subsequent ball milling, which in a 2:1 molar ratio can store considerable amounts of hydrogen by weight (up to 7.8 wt%). A study of the 2NaBX4 + MgX2 → MgB2 + 2NaX + 4X2 (X=D,H) reaction is assessed by means of in-situ neutron diffraction with different combinations of hydrogen and deuterium on the X position. The desorption is established to begin at temperatures as low as 250 °C, starting with decomposition of nanostructured MgX2 due to joint effects of nanostructured MgX2 and its reducing effect at NaBX4. Analyses of background profile, due to the high incoherent neutron scattering of hydrogen, as a function of temperature demonstrate direct correlation of H/D desorption reactions with relative phases amount.
In this paper a comparative study of the hydration process in a very early age, first 20 hours, between a conventional cement paste and its equivalent with a replacement of fly ash of about 7.9%, is done. The study was undertaken through semiadibatic calorimetry, electrical impedance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. It shows that using electrical impedance spectroscopy we can determine the state of crystallization of the material with and without additions, thereby determining the time at which the different processes are started in the hydration
Ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs; L > 1012 L⊙) are quite rare in the local universe, but seem to dominate the co-moving energy density at z > 2. Many are optically-faint, dust-obscured galaxies that have been identified only relatively recently by the detection of their thermal dust emission redshifted into the sub-mm wavelengths. These submm galaxies (SMGs) have been shown to be a massive objects (M* ~ 1011 M⊙) undergoing intense star-formation(SFRs ~ 102 − 103 M⊙ yr−1) and the likely progenitors of massive ellipticals today. However, the AGN contribution to the far-IR luminosity had for years remained a caveat to these results. We used the Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) to investigate the energetics of 24 radio-identified and spectroscopically-confirmed SMGs in the redshift range of 0.6 < z < 3.2. We find emission from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) – which are associated with intense star-formation activity – in >80% of our sample and find that the median mid-IR spectrum is well described by a starburst component with an additional power-law continuum representing < 32% AGN contribution to the far-IR luminosity. We also find evidence for a more extended distribution of warm dust in SMGs compared to the more compact nuclear bursts in local ULIRGs and starbursts, suggesting that SMGs are not simple high-redshift analogs of local ULIRGs or nuclear starbursts, but have star formation which resembles that seen in less-extreme star-forming environments at z ~ 0.
Ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (LIR > 1012L⊙) are locally rare, but appear to dominate the co-moving energy density at higher redshifts (z > 2). Many of these are optically faint, dust-obscured galaxies that have been identified by the detection of their thermal dust emission in the sub-mm. Multi-wavelength spectroscopic follow-up observations of these sub-mm galaxies (SMGs) have shown that they are massive (Mstellar ~ 1011M⊙) objects undergoing intense star-formation (SFRs ~ 102–103M⊙ yr−1) with a mean redshift of z ~ 2, coinciding with the epoch of peak quasar activity. Furthermore, the presence of AGNs in ~ 28–50% of SMGs has been unveiled in the X-ray and near-IR. When both AGN and star-formation activity are present, long-slit spectroscopic techniques face difficulties in disentangling their independent contributions from integrated spectra. We have observed Hα emission from a sample of three SMGs in the redshift range z ~ 1.4–2.4 with the integral field spectrograph OSIRIS on Keck, in conjunction with Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics. The spatially resolved, two-dimensional spectroscopic insight that these observations provide is the only viable probe of the spatial distribution and line-of-sight motion of ionized gas within these galaxies. We detect multiple galactic-scale sub-components, distinguishing the compact, broad Hα emission arising from an AGN from the more extended narrow-line emission of star-forming regions spreading over ~ 8–17 kpc. We explore the dynamics of gas in the inner galaxy halo to improve our understanding of the internal dynamics of this enigmatic galaxy population. We find no evidence of ordered orbital motion such as would be found in a gaseous disk, but rather large velocity offsets of a few hundred kilometers per second between distinct galactic-scale sub-components. Considering the disturbed morphology of SMGs, these sub-components are likely remnants of originally independent gas-rich galaxies that are in the process of merging, hence triggering the ultraluminous SMG phase.