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Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
Changing management in UK lowland pasture systems has lead to larger fertiliser inputs, increased intensity and frequency of cutting and a movement towards silage rather than hay based systems. This has lead to changes in both floral diversity and the seasonal characteristics of sward architectural complexity, which include the loss of key vegetation structures at critical times of the year. e.g., seed heads. This has had large impacts on invertebrate communities in pasture systems and is thought to be the cause of large-scale declines in both the abundances and diversity of invertebrates (Duffey et al., 1974). This decline in invertebrate abundance has also been linked to a concomitant decline in farmland bird populations reliant on invertebrates as a food sources (Vickery et al., 2001). By manipulating cattle grazing, cutting and fertiliser regimes in intensively managed pasture systems the role of vegetation structure for a variety of invertebrate communities has been investigated.
The last major calving event along the Ross Ice Shelf (RIS, Antarctica) front occurred a decade ago, following a substantial increase in the rate of ice-front advance in the few years preceding the event. This “B-9” event, on the eastern part of the front between Edward VII Peninsula and Roosevelt Island, removed ≈ 5100 km2 of ice, about 100 years of advance in that sector, but reduced the ice-shelf area by only 1%. Since 1987 the entire ice front has continued to advance, more than regaining the area lost during the B-9 event. The western front is now well north of any position recorded during the last 150 years, and it lias not experienced major calving forat least 90 years. Ice-front heights generally decrease from east to west, but local variability is high. Elevations are relatively low from 171° to 177° W, the location of “warm” Modified Circumpolar Deep Water circulation beneath the outer ice shelf. Modern heights considerably exceed historical heights between 179° Wand 178° E and are lower west of 174° E, probably due to recent dynamic changes such as rifting and the western advance. The general advance of the RIS front and the period of several decades to more than a century that elapses between major calving events is consistent with a relatively stable ice front. This contrasts with several smaller ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula and McMurdo Ice Shelf in the Ross Sea which have retreated substantially during the past few decades.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
Radiometric and AMS radiocarbon dating of a 6-m sediment core from Loch Ness, Scotland, indicates that it represents perhaps the very end of the Late Pleistocene, and the first ca. 7500 yr of the Holocene. Counts of laminations observed in the Holocene section of the core suggest that they are present in sufficient number to constitute annual laminations (varves), an hypothesis consistent with the pollen record, which contains a sequence of zones representative of the Early, Middle and part of the Late Holocene regional vegetation history. On the basis of BSEM and X-ray studies of sediments, and modern seston trap data, the laminations are believed to be produced by winter floods, which introduce increased silt loading into the Loch. Sediment for the rest of the year is mostly composed of clay-sized material. This hypothesis is being further tested, however, by continuing sedimentological and microfossil studies.
Time-depth relations for the core based on calibrated 14C dates and lamination counts, respectively, illustrate the close correspondence between the two sets of data. The latter are therefore now being used to develop a varve chronology for the Holocene for Loch Ness. This will then in turn be used for further chronological studies, and for investigations of palaeoclimatic variations over the eastern North Atlantic, to which the signal of lamination thickness in the sediments is thought to be particularly sensitive. They may also eventually be used for calibration studies, employing 14C dating of specific carbon compounds, or groups of compounds extracted from the sediment using modern organic geochemical methods.
We describe the serendipitous discovery of two new lithium-rich M5 members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association (Sco-Cen). Both stars exhibit large 12 and 22 μm excesses and strong, variable Hα emission which we attribute to accretion from circumstellar discs. Such stars are thought to be incredibly rare at the ~16 Myr median age of much of Sco-Cen. The serendipitous discovery of two accreting stars hosting large quantities of circumstellar material may be indicative of a sizeable age spread in Sco-Cen, or further evidence that disc dispersal and planet formation time-scales are longer around lower-mass stars.
The current drive towards reducing the environmental impact of aircraft necessitates the ability to evaluate techniques for promoting natural laminar flow in a large scale wind tunnel facility. A test was undertaken on the M2355 variable sweep model to obtain temperature sensitive paint (TSP) and hot-film data from which the transition locations at a range of sweep angles and flow conditions could be identified. The TSP technique has been shown to be a reliable method for determining transition on suitably treated wind tunnel models. Pressure data were also acquired and interpolated to provide the input to the laminar boundary layer code, BL2D, the output from which was used in the linear stability analysis code, CoDS, to calculate the N-factor for the ARA TWT (Transonic Wind Tunnel) facility. Two sets of N-factors were calculated, firstly using incompressible analysis with stationary crossflow and secondly using compressible analysis with travelling crossflow. In both analyses the Tollmien-Schlichting and crossflow cases were calculated together, rather than separating the cases before running the analysis. The resulting N-factors indicate a degree of scatter typical for experimental data. The N-factor based on incompressible theory for crossflow was found to be approximately 7 and for Tollmien-Schlichting (T-S), approximately 11. The results of the wind tunnel test and the analysis carried out are considered to be the first steps towards establishing a methodology for performance testing, in atmospheric tunnels such as the TWT, for aircraft designed to have significant regions of laminar flow. The project has also provided a body of experimental test data which will be valuable for future research into development and validation of laminar flow methods.
We sought to explain seasonality and other aspects of Campylobacter jejuni epidemiology by integrating population genetic and epidemiological analysis in a large 3-year longitudinal, two-centre, population-based study. Epidemiological information was collected for 1505 isolates, which were multilocus sequence-typed. Analyses compared pathogen population structure between areas, over time, and between clinical presentations. Pooled analysis was performed with published international datasets. Subtype association with virulence was not observed. UK sites had nearly identical C. jejuni populations. A clade formed by ST45 and ST283 clonal complexes showed a summer peak. This clade was common in a Finnish dataset but not in New Zealand and Australian collections, countries with less marked seasonality. The UK, New Zealand and Australian collections were otherwise similar. These findings map to known in-vitro differences of this clade. This identifies a target for studies to elucidate the drivers of the summer peak in human C. jejuni infection.
Detached-eddy simulations for the 1303 UCAV geometry are undertaken aiming to investigate the flow physics of the interaction of a store with the flow inside a UCAV weapons bay. Advanced multi-block topologies had to be used to properly represent the planform of the UCAV and all the details of the weapon bay, including doors and hinges, while sliding meshes were needed to insert the store into the UCAV configuration. Results with an empty bay were encouraging for such complex configurations. Flow visualisation revealed the added turbulent content due to the door leading edges and hinges. The addition of a store in between the doors had little effect close to the front wall of the bay. However averaged flow-fields showed that the proximity of the shear layer to the apex of the store deflected it downwards into the bay and restricted its growth.
We report on the first use of optical low coherence reflectometry (OLCR) for Edge Defined Film-Fed Growth (EFG) silicon characterization. This OLCR sensor system has been used to measure horizontal profiles of silicon thickness and flatness to an accuracy of 1.5 Rim with the sensor head positioned 1 cm away from the silicon. The use of this noninvasive sensor for EFG silicon growth monitoring may lead to more efficient solar cell manufacturing processes.
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, enables benefit-cost analysis (BCA) to be used in setting federal drinking water standards, known as MCLs. While BCAs are typically conceived of as a tool to inform efficiency considerations by helping to identify MCL options that maximize net social benefits, in this paper we also illustrate how important equity and affordability considerations can be brought to light by suitably applying BCAs to drinking water regulations, especially in the context of communities served by relatively small water systems. We examine the applicability and relevance of health-health analysis (HHA), and provide an empirical evaluation of the risk tradeoffs that may be associated with the MCL established for arsenic. We find that the cost-associated risks may offset a nontrivial portion of the cancer risk reduction benefits attributed to the MCL (e.g., the additional adverse health impacts from the costs may be roughly half as large as the number of cancer cases avoided). This reveals the relevance of using the HHA approach for examining net benefits of MCLs in small drinking water utilities, and raises issues related to whether and how these cost-associated health risks should be considered in BCAs for drinking water standards.
Optically detected X-ray absorption spectroscopy (ODXAS) and X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) have been applied in parallel to the study of local bonding in luminescent diamonds. Imaging ODXAS and XEOL reveal correlations between lateral variation in colour (transmitted light and luminescence) and local carbon bonding in selected samples showing strong optical absorption contrast. Dark regions of the crystals viewed in transmitted light correlate with a lower total luminescence yield when excited with soft X-rays of photon energy ~280 eV. ODXAS reveals a higher proportion of sp2-bonded carbon species in darker (less luminescent) regions associated with graphitic micro-inclusions.
This paper examines the concept of environmental education as it relates to engineering education. The main area of applicability is considered to be in the continuing and postgraduate education areas, although some environmental input into undergraduate degree programmes is thought to be desirable.
The interdisciplinary nature of environmental problems necessitates a certain amount of formal coursework which should be coupled with a project to provide experience in solving real problems. The course-work should contain both broadening elements to introduce students to the relevance of disciplines outside their undergraduate experience and a specialization in a particular multidisciplinary area such as air pollution control or water resources engineering.
The criteria for environmental programmes in engineering are developed with special reference to the new Environmental Engineering Postgraduate Programme at the University of Melbourne.
In many areas of south and south-eastern Asia, concentrations of As in ground water have been found to exceed the WHO maximum concentration limit of 10 μg/l. This is adversely affecting the health of millions of people and has grave current and future health implications. It has recently been suggested that extensive abstraction of ground water in these areas may accelerate the release of As to ground water. This study uses geochemical and isotopic data to assess this hypothesis. The area investigated in this study is in the Chakdaha block of the Nadia District, West Bengal. The ground water is predominantly of the Ca-Mg-HCO3 type, although some samples were found to contain elevated concentrations of Na, Cl and SO4. This is thought to reflect a greater degree of water-rock interaction at the locations of these particular samples. Arsenic concentrations exceeded the national limit of 50 μg/l in 13 of the 22 samples collected. Four of the 13 samples with high As were recovered from tubewells with depths of 60 m or more. Shallow ground water samples were found to have a stable isotopic composition which falls subparallel to the Global Meteoric Water Line. This probably represents a contribution of evaporated surface water to the ground water, possibly from surface ponds or re-infiltrating irrigation water. Deep ground water, conversely, was shown to have a composition that closely reflects that of meteoric water. The data presented in this study suggest that, whilst the drawdown of surface waters may drive As release in shallow ground waters, it is not responsible for driving As release in deep ground water. However, local abstraction may have resulted in changes in the ground water flow regime of the area, with contaminated shallow ground waters being drawn into previously uncontaminated deep aquifers.
We discuss the impact of strong absorption for thermal neutrons on data analysis and compare absorption corrections in the GSAS and MAUD Rietveld codes for texture and structural parameter refinement. Diffraction data were collected on the neutron powder diffractometer HIPPO at LANSCE from dysprosium and erbium, which are moderate-to-strong absorbers for thermal neutrons with absorption cross sections of 159 barns for Er and 994 barns for Dy at λ=1.8 Å. Both elements have hexagonal-close-packed (hcp) crystal structures, and the samples were various thicknesses of rolled foils. The orientation distribution functions (ODF) were fit to the same neutron time-of-flight data sets using two very different full pattern Rietveld analysis procedures. Spherical harmonics functions were fit to the textured data using GSAS. These data were also analyzed by the modified direct method E-WIMV using MAUD. The resulting pole figures from the ODFs determined by both Rietveld analysis packages are qualitatively similar, and the textures were confirmed by X-ray diffraction. Additionally, data from orthorhombic dysprosium and erbium fluoride powders show that atomic positions are not sensitive to absorption. We address inconsistencies and methodologies in data analysis when strong absorption is present.
A prospective controlled study with repeated measures before and after surgery examined the medical, surgical, and health outcomes of gastrostomy for children with disabilities at a tertiary paediatric referral centre in the North Thames area, UK. Anthropometric measures included weight, mid-upper-arm and head circumference. Five-day prospective food diaries were completed and data on physical health and surgical outcomes recorded. Seventy-six children participated and underwent gastrostomy (44 males, 32 females; median age 3y 4mo, range 4mo–17y 5mo), and 35/76 required an anti-reflux procedure. Categories of disability were: cerebral palsy (32/76), syndrome of chromosomal or other genetic origin (25/76), slowly progressive degenerative disease (11/76), and unconfirmed diagnosis (8/76). Most children had gross motor difficulties (99%) and were non-ambulant (83%). Oromotor problems were identified in 78% of children, 69% aspirated, and 65% were fed nasogastrically before surgery. The mean weight before surgery was –2.84 standard deviation score (SDS; SD 2.21, range –9.8 to 3.4). Two-thirds of children achieved catch-up growth postoperatively: weight-for-age (mean difference 0.51 SDS, 95% CI 0.23–0.79, p=0.001) and mid-upper arm circumference (mean difference 1.12cm, 95% confidence interval 0.50–1.75, p=0.001). Health gains included a reduction in drooling, secretions, vomiting, and constipation. Major surgical complications were found in 13/74 children. The study provides evidence that catch-up growth and health gains are possible following gastrostomy.
Between 1 August and 15 September 2000, 361 cases of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium definitive phage type (DT) 104, resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulphonamides, spectinomycin and tetracycline (R-type ACSSuSpT), were identified in England and Wales residents. Molecular typing of 258 isolates of S. Typhimurium DT104 R-type ACSSuSpT showed that, although isolates were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, 67% (174/258) were characterized by a particular plasmid profile. A statistically significant association between illness and consumption of lettuce away from home was demonstrated (OR=7·28; 95% CI=2·25–23·57; P=0·0006) in an unmatched case–control study. Environmental investigations revealed that a number of food outlets implicated in the outbreak had common suppliers of salad vegetables. No implicated foods were available for microbiological testing. An environmental audit of three farms that might have supplied salad vegetables to the implicated outlets did not reveal any unsafe agricultural practices. The complexity of the food supply chain and the lack of identifying markers on salad stuffs made tracking salad vegetables back to their origin extremely difficult in most instances. This has implications for public health since food hazard warnings and product withdrawal are contingent on accurate identification of the suspect product.