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Biomass production is a diagnosis tool for the evaluation of the effect of climate, crop genomic and management. The differences in biomass accumulation are necessary for the assessment of the fertilization necessities in the strategies for variable nitrogen doses. Remote sensing-based data provide a direct observation of the differences in canopy development across time and space and can be integrated into the physiological basis of crop growth models to provide estimates of biomass production at fine scales. The proposed approach was applied in a wheat field in Albacete, Spain and the results were compared with measurements of aboveground biomass and yield maps obtained by a combined-mounted grain yield monitor.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Given that earthquakes do not occur only along high slip-rate faults, slow moving seismogenic faults should be characterized in order to minimize seismic hazard uncertainties. Although no historical earthquakes related to the El Camp fault have been documented, earlier regional geological analysis and the presence of a fault scarp provide evidence of its activity. A paleoseismological study on the southern part of the fault was performed in accordance with the following steps: 1) geological and géomorphologie analysis focussing on the detection of evidence for the seismogenic behavior of the fault, 2) near fault analysis to select the best trenching sites, and 3) trenching to establish and characterize the paleoseismic events. Different dating procedures were used in regional and trenching analyses (Thermoluminiscence, U/Th, Radiocarbon, Pollen analysis). The seismogenic nature of the fault was established by the presence of liquefaction features related to the fault, and by the presence of colluvial wedges composed of large angular blocks. We identified a segment boundary to the north of the Porquerola creek and we focussed our attention on the southern segment, which was active after 125000 yr. The slip rate in this southern segment is 0.02 mm/yr. A minimum of three seismic events were detected, from young to old: the last event Z took place some time prior to 1195 yr AD, the penultimate event Y between event X and the Holocene, and, finally, event X occurred after 125000 yr and prior to 60000 yr. The recurrence period is between 25000 and 35000 yr, the elapsed time is estimated to be no longer than 3000 yr; and the maximum estimated earthquake considering both the onshore and the offshore part of the fault is Mw 6.7 +/-0,5.
In a 1-year survey at a university hospital we found that 20·6% (81/392) of patients with antibiotic associated diarrohea where positive for C. difficile. The most common PCR ribotypes were 012 (14·8%), 027 (12·3%), 046 (12·3%) and 014/020 (9·9). The incidence rate was 2·6 cases of C. difficile infection for every 1000 outpatients.
Tumors of the distal and proximal femur are treated by total femur resection. A hip disarticulation sometimes is a result of massive trauma with crush injuries to the lower extremity. This article discusses a system designed for patient rehabilitation with bilateral hip disarticulations. The prosthetics designed allowed a patient to attain natural gait suspended between parallel articulate crutches with the body weight supported between the crutches. The design is patent pending and it could be used in people with a simple ankle sprain, people with partial immobilizations in inferior members, or people with bilateral hip disarticulation. The final design system allows patients with bilateral hip replacement or partial immobilizations to attain mobility in a natural way.
Many Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) have recently been subject of increased focus, particularly with relation to high-throughput screening (HTS) initiatives. These vital endeavours largely rely of two approaches, in vitro target-directed screening using biochemical assays or cell-based screening which takes no account of the target or targets being hit. Despite their successes both of these approaches have limitations; for example, the production of soluble protein and a lack of cellular context or the problems and expense of parasite cell culture. In addition, both can be challenging to miniaturize for ultra (u)HTS and expensive to utilize. Yeast-based systems offer a cost-effective approach to study and screen protein targets in a direct-directed manner within a eukaryotic cellular context. In this review, we examine the utility and limitations of yeast cell-based, target-directed screening. In particular we focus on the currently under-explored possibility of using such formats in uHTS screening campaigns for NTDs.
Maternal milk is the first source of exogenous polyamines for the newborn. Polyamines modulate gut maturation in neonates, but no studies are available on polyamine concentration in human milk of preterm babies, even though they could be important for their immature gut. The present study aimed to determine polyamine concentration in human breast milk of mothers with preterm or term infants during the first month of lactation. Human milk samples were obtained during the first month of lactation from twenty-seven mothers with preterm babies and twelve mothers with babies born at term. The polyamine concentration in human milk was quantified by HPLC. During the first month of lactation, the total polyamine concentration was significantly higher in preterm milk than in term milk samples (7590 (sd 4990) v. 4660 (sd 4830) nmol/l, respectively (P =0·034)), as well as individual polyamine concentrations. Polyamine concentration in mature milk for preterm babies was significantly higher than that in mature milk for babies at term, and a similar trend was observed in colostrum and transition human milk. The spermidine/spermine ratio was higher in transition milk in preterm v. term samples, while in mature milk, the ratio was significantly lower in preterm than in term babies. In conclusion, the polyamine concentration was significantly higher in human milk for preterm than for term infants. This and the different spermidine/spermine ratios could influence the gut development of premature babies.
Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare inborn disorder of sterol storage with autosomal recessive inheritance and a variable clinical presentation. We describe two siblings with an early psychiatric presentation of CTX-associated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, also associated with a mild intellectual disability and major behavioral impairments. In both cases, treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid improved externalized symptoms and a partial recovery of cognitive impairments was observed. This suggests that CTX is potentially reversible, demonstrating the need for early diagnosis and treatment of this disorder before irreversible neurological lesions can occur.
Background: The differential outcomes procedure (DOP) has proved useful to improve discrimination learning in both animals and humans. Here we adapted DOP to assess its utility to overcome the memory loss commonly associated with normal aging.
Methods: In a delayed matching-to-sample task, subjects were exposed to a man's face, and after a delay, they were required to decide if the previously seen face was within a set of six men's faces. For half the subjects, each sample face was paired with its own outcome (differential outcomes condition); outcomes were randomly arranged for the remaining half of subjects (non-differential condition). Either short (5 second) or long (30 second) delays were interposed between the sample and the comparison stimuli.
Results: Results showed that relative to younger adults, older adults' performance decreased with the longer delay. However, the use of differential outcomes was able to reverse the detrimental effect of the increased delay in the elderly group, raising their performance to the level shown by younger adults.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that DOP can help elderly people overcome their memory limitations, and they draw attention to the potential of this procedure as a therapeutic technique.
Spider silk fibers were obtained by the monitored forced silking method. This procedure allows measurement of the silking force during the process and retrieving the fibers so their tensile behavior can be characterized. Silking conditions, including the reeling speed and the use of an anaesthetising gas, were varied to ascertain their influence on the tensile properties of the silk. In all cases, it was found that the tensile properties are determined by the silking stress, obtained by dividing the silking force by the diameter of the fiber. This suggests that the sophisticated spinning system of the spider can be characterized essentially by a single parameter, which controls the properties of spider silk almost independently of the reeling conditions.
GaSb and AlSb are very interesting semiconductors widely used
in multiple applications such as optoelectronics or thermophotovoltaic
cells. AlSb has higher band gap than GaSb but very similar lattice
parameter, which allows the fabrication of lattice-matched films
with different energy band gap over GaSb substrates. Moreover
the ternary alloys, in the system AlxGa1−xSb,
are very interesting for semiconductor device engineering where the
capacity of creating lattice-matched heterostructures with different
band gap is very important. In this work, we present a study on the formation
of AlxGa1−xSb films on GaSb substrates by Al diffusion.
Al thin films were evaporated over GaSb substrates and then annealed
with different time and temperature conditions. RBS measurements
has been performed to analyze the diffusion profile and to calculate
the thickness of the AlxGa1−xSb films. The dependence
of the characteristics of the films with annealing time and temperature
is analyzed. EDAX and XRD analysis have been performed to calculate
the specific composition of the alloy depending on the film growth
A case of right hemidiaphragm rupture and abdominal herniation into the thorax occurring during the immediate post-operative course of double-lung transplantation is reported. This complication has not been reported previously. We examine the possible aetiology and suggest that the direct cause could be an increase in intra-abdominal pressure during chest physiotherapy.