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The extending market of concentrated solar power plants requires high-temperature materials for solar surface receivers that would ideally heat an air coolant beyond 1300 K. This work presents investigation on high-temperature alloys with ceramic coatings (AlN or SiC/AlN stacking) to combine the properties of the substrate (creep resistance, machinability) and coating (slow oxidation kinetics, high solar absorptivity). The first results showed that high-temperature oxidation resistance and optical properties of metallic alloys were improved by the different coatings. However, the fast thermal shocks led to high stress levels not compatible due to the differences in thermal expansion coefficients.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of parents are associated with a variety of negative health outcomes in offspring. Little is known about the mechanisms by which ACEs are transmitted to the next generation. Given that maternal depression and anxiety are related to ACEs and negatively affect children’s behaviour, these exposures may be pathways between maternal ACEs and child psychopathology. Child sex may modify these associations. Our objectives were to determine: (1) the association between ACEs and children’s behaviour, (2) whether maternal symptoms of prenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety mediate the relationship between maternal ACEs and children’s behaviour, and (3) whether these relationships are moderated by child sex. Pearson correlations and latent path analyses were undertaken using data from 907 children and their mothers enrolled the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study. Overall, maternal ACEs were associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression during the perinatal period, and externalizing problems in children. Furthermore, we observed indirect associations between maternal ACEs and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems via maternal anxiety and depression. Sex differences were observed, with boys demonstrating greater vulnerability to the indirect effects of maternal ACEs via both anxiety and depression. Findings suggest that maternal mental health may be a mechanism by which maternal early life adversity is transmitted to children, especially boys. Further research is needed to determine if targeted interventions with women who have both high ACEs and mental health problems can prevent or ameliorate the effects of ACEs on children’s behavioural psychopathology.
Ecoevolutionary processes affecting hosts, vectors and pathogens are important drivers of zoonotic disease emergence. In this study, we focused on nephropathia epidemica (NE), which is caused by Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) whose natural reservoir is the bank vole, Myodes glareolus. We questioned the possibility of NE emergence in a French region that is considered to be NE-free but that is adjacent to a NE-endemic region. We first confirmed the epidemiology of these two regions and we demonstrated the absence of spatial barriers that could have limited dispersal, and consequently, the spread of PUUV into the NE-free region. We next tested whether regional immunoheterogeneity could impact PUUV chances to circulate and persist in the NE-free region. We showed that bank voles from the NE-free region were sensitive to experimental PUUV infection. We observed high levels of immunoheterogeneity between individuals and also between regions. Antiviral gene expression (Tnf and Mx2) reached higher levels in bank voles from the NE-free region. During experimental infections, anti-PUUV antibody production was higher in bank voles from the NE-endemic region. These results indicated a lower susceptibility to PUUV for bank voles from this NE-free region, which might limit PUUV persistence and therefore, the risk of NE.
This longitudinal study explored whether aspects of subsistence agriculture were associated with presence and intensity of Ascaris and hookworm in preschool children in rural Panama. Questionnaires were used to collect data on household socio-demographics, child exposure to agriculture and household agricultural practices. Stool samples were collected from children (6 months–5 years) at 3 time points, with albendazole administered after each to clear infections, resulting in 1 baseline and 2 reinfection measures. A novel Agricultural Activity Index (AAI) was developed using principal components analysis to measure the intensity of household agricultural practices. Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models revealed baseline hookworm egg counts were higher if children went to the agricultural plot and if the plot was smaller. Baseline and reinfection Ascaris egg counts were higher if children went to the plot and households had higher AAI, and higher at baseline if the plot was smaller. Caregiver time in the plot was negatively associated with baseline Ascaris egg counts, but positively associated with baseline hookworm and Ascaris reinfection egg counts. Children who spent more time playing around the home were less likely to be infected with Ascaris at baseline. We conclude that preschool child exposure to subsistence agriculture increased Ascaris and hookworm intensity.
This study explored whether the yard environment and child hygiene and play behaviours were associated with presence and intensity of Ascaris and hookworm in preschool children and with eggs and larvae in soil. Data were collected using questionnaires, a visual survey of the yard, soil samples and fecal samples collected at baseline and following re-infection. The presence of eggs/larvae in soil was associated negatively with water storage (eggs) but positively with dogs (eggs) and distance from home to latrine (larvae). Baseline and re-infection prevalences were: hookworm (28·0%, 3·4%); Ascaris (16·9%, 9·5%); Trichuris (0·9%, 0·7%). Zero-inflated negative binomial regression models revealed a higher baseline hookworm infection if yards had eggs or larvae, more vegetation or garbage, and if the child played with soil. Baseline Ascaris was associated with dirt floor, dogs, exposed soil in yard, open defecation and with less time playing outdoors, whereas Ascaris re-infection was associated with water storage, vegetation cover and garbage near the home and not playing with animals. Our results show complex interactions between infection, the yard environment and child behaviours, and indicate that transmission would be reduced if latrines were closer to the home, and if open defecation and water spillage were reduced.
In Chile, while dog rabies has decreased markedly over the last 30 years, bat rabies is still reported frequently. In order to shed new light on the spatiotemporal trends of these reports, we analysed active and passive data from years 1985 and 2012, which included 61 076 samples from 289 counties of Chile. We found that from 1994 to 2012, more than 15 000 bat samples were submitted for diagnostics through passive surveillance, 9·5% of which tested positive for rabies. By contrast, the prevalence of infection was only ~0·4% among the nearly 12 000 bat samples submitted through active surveillance. We found that the prevalence of dog rabies dropped steadily over the same period, with just a single confirmed case since 1998. None of the 928 samples from wild animals, other than bats, were positive for rabies. Although there has been only one confirmed case of human rabies in Chile since 1985, and a single confirmed case in a dog since 1998, bats remain a reservoir for rabies viruses. While active surveillance indicates that rabies prevalence is low in bat colonies, the high proportion of positive bats submitted through passive surveillance is a concern. To prevent human rabies, local public health agencies should increase research on the basic ecology of bats and the role of stray dogs and cats as potential rabies amplifiers.
When assessing the benefits and risks of transgenic crops, one consideration is their relative effects on non-target arthropod (NTA) abundance and functions within agroecosystems. Several laboratory and field trials have been conducted in Spain since the late 1990s to assess this issue. A consideration in the design of field trials is whether it is necessary to sample most NTAs living in the crop or only representative taxa that perform main ecological functions and have a good capacity to detect small changes in their abundance. Small changes in the field abundance of an effective representative taxon should be detectable using standard experimental protocols. The ability of a species to reveal differences across treatments may be analysed by examining the detectable treatment effects for surveyed non-target organisms. Analysis of data from several NTAs recorded in 14 field trials conducted over 10 years using complete block designs allowed us to select a number of representative taxa capable of detecting changes in the density or activity of arthropod herbivores, predators, parasitoids and decomposers in transgenic and non-transgenic maize varieties. The most suitable NTA as representative taxa (with detectable treatment effects below 50%) included leafhoppers among arthropod herbivores, Orius spp., Araneae, and Carabidae among predators, chalcidids, particularly the family Mymaridae, among parasitoids and Chloropidae as decomposer. Details of sampling techniques for each sampled taxa and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. It is concluded that abundance of taxa is the most influential factor determining their capacity to detect changes caused by genetically modified varieties.
The long-term effects of dietary strategies designed to combat the metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain unknown. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a new dietary strategy based on macronutrient distribution, antioxidant capacity and meal frequency (MEtabolic Syndrome REduction in NAvarra (RESMENA) diet) for the treatment of the MetS when compared with the American Heart Association guidelines, used as Control. Subjects with the MetS (fifty-two men and forty-one women, age 49 (se 1) years, BMI 36·11 (se 0·5) kg/m2) were randomly assigned to one of two dietary groups. After a 2-month nutritional-learning intervention period, during which a nutritional assessment was made for the participants every 15 d, a 4-month self-control period began. No significant differences were found between the groups concerning anthropometry, but only the RESMENA group exhibited a significant decrease in body weight ( − 1·7 %; P= 0·018), BMI ( − 1·7 %; P= 0·019), waist circumference ( − 1·8 %; P= 0·021), waist:hip ratio ( − 1·4 %; P= 0·035) and android fat mass ( − 6·9 %; P= 0·008). The RESMENA group exhibited a significant decrease in alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) concentrations ( − 26·8 %; P= 0·008 and − 14·0 %; P= 0·018, respectively), while the Control group exhibited a significant increase in glucose (7·9 %; P= 0·011), AST (11·3 %; P= 0·045) and uric acid (9·0 %; P< 0·001) concentrations. LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations were increased (Control group: 34·4 %; P< 0·001 and RESMENA group: 33·8 %; P< 0·001), but interestingly so were the LDL-C:apoB ratio (Control group: 28·7 %; P< 0·001, RESMENA group: 17·1 %; P= 0·009) and HDL-cholesterol concentrations (Control group: 21·1 %; P< 0·001, RESMENA group: 8·7; P= 0·001). Fibre was the dietary component that most contributed to the improvement of anthropometry, while body-weight loss explained changes in some biochemical markers. In conclusion, the RESMENA diet is a good long-term dietary treatment for the MetS.
We report on the long term X-ray monitoring with Swift, RXTE, Suzaku, Chandra, and XMM-Newton of the outburst of the newly discovered magnetar Swift J1822.3–1606 (SGR 1822-1606), from the first observations soon after the detection of the short X-ray bursts which led to its discovery (July 2011), through the first stages of its outburst decay (April 2012). Our X-ray timing analysis finds the source rotating with a period of P = 8.43772016(2) s and a period derivative Ṗ = 8.3(2) × 10−14 ss−1, which entails an inferred dipolar surface magnetic field of B ≃ 2.7 × 1013 G at the equator. This measurement makes Swift J1822.3–1606 the second lowest magnetic field magnetar (after SGR 0418+5729; Rea et al. 2010). Following the flux and spectral evolution from the beginning of the outburst, we find that the flux decreased by about an order of magnitude, with a subtle softening of the spectrum, both typical of the outburst decay of magnetars. By modeling the secular thermal evolution of Swift J1822.3–1606, we find that the observed timing properties of the source, as well as its quiescent X-ray luminosity, can be reproduced if it was born with a poloidal and crustal toroidal fields of Bp ~ 1.5 × 1014 G and Btor ~ 7 × 1014 G, respectively, and if its current age is ~550 kyr (Rea et al. 2012).
Speech perception involves the integration of auditory and visual articulatory information, and thus requires the perception of temporal synchrony between this information. There is evidence that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulty with auditory speech perception but it is not known if this is also true for the integration of auditory and visual speech. Twenty Spanish-speaking children with SLI, twenty typically developing age-matched Spanish-speaking children, and twenty Spanish-speaking children matched for MLU-w participated in an eye-tracking study to investigate the perception of audiovisual speech synchrony. Results revealed that children with typical language development perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 666 ms regardless of whether the auditory or visual speech attribute led the other one. Children with SLI only detected the 666 ms asynchrony when the auditory component followed the visual component. None of the groups perceived an audiovisual asynchrony of 366 ms. These results suggest that the difficulty of speech processing by children with SLI would also involve difficulties in integrating auditory and visual aspects of speech perception.
Amiodarone can induce severe hyperthyroidism that justifies its withdrawal and the introduction of antithyroid drugs. Continuing amiodarone use, failure to control hyperthyroidism and poor clinical progress may require thyroidectomy. This study aimed to evaluate patients’ post-operative development and mid-term outcome after thyroidectomy for amiodarone-associated thyrotoxicosis.
Prospective case series.
Tertiary care centre.
Subjects and methods:
We prospectively collected cases of amiodarone-associated thyrotoxicosis requiring thyroidectomy due to failure of antithyroid treatment, despite amiodarone discontinuation. Post-thyroidectomy complications were compared immediately, 30 days and one year post-operatively, and also for scheduled versus emergency surgery cases.
Of 11 total cases, nine scheduled thyroidectomy cases had no morbidity after elective surgery. Two cases required emergency surgery for multiple organ failure and cardiac problems. Immediate post-operative complications (mostly haemodynamic) occurred in both cases (emergency vs routine surgery, p = 0.018).
In such cases, pre-operative medical treatment is vital to limit peri- and post-operative complications, but surgery should not be delayed if the haemodynamic status deteriorates. Surgery, with careful anaesthesia, is the cornerstone of the treatment.
Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from several sources, and should be added to the daily diet to enjoy a good health and to prevent many diseases. Worldwide, general population use omega-3 fatty acid supplements and enriched foods to get and maintain adequate amounts of these fatty acids. The aim of this paper was to review main scientific evidence regarding the public health risks and benefits of the dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A systematic literature search was performed, and one hundred and forty-five articles were included in the results for their methodological quality. The literature described benefits and risks of algal, fish oil, plant, enriched dairy products, animal-derived food, krill oil, and seal oil omega-3 fatty acids.
Among other reliability concerns, the dielectric charging is considered the major failure mechanism which hinders the commercialization of electrostatic capacitive radio frequency micro-electro-mechanical systems (RF MEMS) switches. In this study, Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) surface potential measurements have been employed to study this phenomenon. Several novel KPFM-based characterization methods have been proposed to investigate the charging in bare dielectric films, metal–insulator–metal (MIM) capacitors, and MEMS switches, and the results from these methods have been correlated. The used dielectric material is plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) silicon nitride. The SiNx films have been charged by using a biased atomic force microscope (AFM) tip or by electrically stressing MIM capacitors and MEMS switches. The influence of several parameters on the dielectric charging has been studied: dielectric film thickness, deposition conditions, and under layers. Fourier transform infra-red (FT-IR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) material characterization techniques have been used to determine the chemical bonds and compositions, respectively, of the SiNx films. The data from the physical material characterization have been correlated to the KPFM results. The study provides an accurate understanding of the charging/discharging processes in dielectric films implemented in electrostatic MEMS devices.
Tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) films were deposited onto p-type silicon substrates using reactive DC magnetron sputtering, and then annealed for one hour in a dry air ambient at temperatures of 730°C, 780°C, and 830°C. Annealing was shown to reduce stress from the as-deposited sample, and resulted in a compressive stress state for samples annealed at 730°C and a tensile stress state for the other samples. Hardness values were approximately 8 GPa, with the exception of the sample annealed at 780°C that demonstrated a hardness of 13 GPa. Leakage current generally decreased with annealing, especially at the lower temperatures. Electrical breakdown was observed for as-deposited and the 830°C annealed films. Resistivities of the films ranged from 6.5 × 109 to 6.1 × 1012 ω-cm, with the film annealed at 830°C being the most conductive. Annealing also led to an increase in dielectric constant. Dielectric constants varied from 9.3 for the as-deposited to greater than 30 for the 780°C and 830°C annealed sample. Annealing resulted in crystalline films that were close to stoichiometric.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
We have designed and synthesized a series of modular ligands based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coupled with functional terminal groups to promote biocompatibility of water-soluble quantum dots (QDs). Each hydrophilic ligand is comprised of three modules: a PEG single chain to promote hydrophilicity, dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA) unit connected to one end of the PEG chain for strong anchoring on the QD surface, and potential biological functional groups (biotin, amino, and carboxyl groups) at the other end of the PEG. Water-soluble QDs capped with one type or mixtures of the functional ligands were prepared via cap exchange with the native hydrophobic caps. Homogeneous QD solutions that are stable over extended periods of time and over broad pH range were prepared. Surface binding assay showed that DHLA-PEG-biotin-functionalized QDs strongly interacted with NeutrAvidin-modified surfaces. The new functional surface ligands studied here provide not only stable and highly water-soluble QDs but also simple and easy access to various biological entities.
Multiphoton absorption has become a powerful technique for the creation of three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures. Here we review some of our recent progress towards creating functional microdevices with multiphoton absorption. Specific thrusts of our research include development of new resins for multiphoton absorption polymerization, design of novel schemes for metal deposition, and post-fabrication ablation of polymeric structures.
This paper shows the potentialities of merging the MEMS and micromachining with SiGe technologies in order to speed up the performances of next generation of front end in term of flexibility, reconfigurability and adaptability. MEMS technologies are presented based on Benzo-Cyclo-Butene (BCB) materials and Bulk Acoustic Wave (BAW) materials. Special attention is paid to ensure a full compatibility between IC and MEMS. We have shown that very innovative functions could be considered by using this MEMSIC concept.
In this article we investigate the effect of relative humidity on dielectric charging/discharging processes in electrostatically actuated MEMS devices. The assessment procedure is based on surface potential measurements using Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) and it targets in this specific work PECVD silicon nitride films in view of application in electrostatic capacitive RF MEMS switches. Charges have been injected through the AFM tip and the induced surface potential has been measured under different relative humidity levels. The impact of the charge injection duration and the bias level as well as bias polarity applied during the charge injection step, have been explored. Finally, the effect of the dielectric film thickness under different relative humidity levels has been assessed through depositing SiN films with different thicknesses.