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Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and Pythium aphanidermatum Edson cause cabbage seedling damping-off, resulting in severe yield losses. The current study demonstrates the production of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by two strains of Bacillus mycoides and the evaluation of a potential use of B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent to control cabbage damping-off. Two VOCs, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia, were found to reduce radial growth, cause hyphal deformation and result in organelle degeneration in both R. solani and P. aphanidermatum. Pathogen hyphae, after being exposed to VOCs, showed poor rigidity, shrinkage, curling and swelling. The amount of VOCs produced by B. mycoides and the antagonistic activity against plant pathogens varied, depending on the type of medium used to culture bacteria. Application of B. mycoides cell suspensions to cultivation medium promotes growth of five different plant species tested. Experiments conducted in greenhouses revealed that B. mycoides did not reduce damping-off incidence caused by R. solani. However, B. mycoides reduced damping-off incidence induced by P. aphanidermatum by as much as 45% on cabbage seedlings. The results provide valuable information on the feasibility of utilizing B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent in controlling cabbage damping-off.
High conflict and low warmth in families may contribute to immune cells developing a tendency to respond to threats with exaggerated inflammation that is insensitive to inhibitory signaling. We tested associations between family environments and expression of genes bearing response elements for transcription factors that regulate inflammation: nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and glucocorticoid receptor. The overall sample (47 families) completed interviews, questionnaires, and 8-week daily diary assessments of conflict and warmth, which were used to create composite family conflict and warmth scores. The diaries assessed upper respiratory infection (URI) symptoms, and URI episodes were clinically verified. Leukocyte RNA was extracted from whole blood samples provided by a subsample of 42 children (8–13 years of age) and 73 parents. In children, higher conflict and lower warmth were related to greater expression of genes bearing response elements for the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB, and more severe URI symptoms. In parents, higher conflict and lower warmth were also related to greater NF-κB–associated gene expression. Monocytes and dendritic cells were implicated as primary cellular sources of differential gene expression in the sample. Consistent with existing conceptual frameworks, stressful family environments were related to a proinflammatory phenotype at the level of the circulating leukocyte transcriptome.
Plant defence systems can be induced by biotic and abiotic stress. Experiments were undertaken to explore the feasibility of different fungal proteins for the reduction of vegetable diseases. Total proteins purified from three soil-borne and five foliar fungal pathogens had no fungistatic effects nor did they trigger hypersensitive reactions on test plants. The abilities to promote plant growth and to reduce disease severity varied among test proteins and plants. Depending on test proteins, experiments have demonstrated that exogenous application of fungal proteins could reduce Alternaria brassicicola-induced black spot severity on cabbage, Colletotrichum spp.-induced anthracnose on Chinese cabbage and cucumber, Rhizoctonia solani-induced damping-off on sweet pepper and Chinese cabbage, and powdery mildew on cucumber seedlings. An Alternariaprotein effector 1 (Ape1)-coding gene was cloned from two Alternaria spp. and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed Ape1 reduced anthracnose incidence on cucumber leaves, indicating that Ape1 was the primary activator in the crude protein extracts responsible for disease reduction. Application of Alternaria proteins onto Chinese cabbage seedlings caused an increase of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and peroxidase activities in treated seedlings, which may have played a role in host defence.
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.
An association between low levels of physical activity and impaired cognitive performance in schizophrenia has been proposed, but most studies have relied on self-report measures of activity. This study examined the association between actigraphy-derived physical activity and cognitive performance adjusting for multiple covariates in patients with schizophrenia.
Patients with schizophrenia (n = 199) were recruited from chronic psychiatric wards, and 60 age-, sex- and body mass index-matched comparison participants were recruited from the staff of two hospitals and universities. Physical activity was assessed objectively for 7 days using an ActiGraph. Cognitive performance was assessed with the Cognitrone test from the Vienna Test System and the Grooved Pegboard Test. Demographic variables, metabolic parameters, positive and negative symptoms, duration of illness and hospitalization, and medication use were included as covariates. Pearson correlations and multivariable linear regressions were conducted to examine the associations between physical activity levels and cognitive performance.
Patients with schizophrenia were less physically active and had poorer performance on attention/concentration and speed of processing than the comparison group. Patients with schizophrenia who spent more time in light physical activity showed better performance on attention/concentration (β = 0.198, p = 0.020) and speed of processing (β= −0.169, p = 0.048) tasks than those who were less active. Cognitive performance was also associated with moderate-vigorous physical activity, but the effect was no longer significant once light physical activity had been taken into account.
This study provides evidence for a positive association between objectively measured light physical activity and cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia, after adjustment for multiple confounders.
In many jurisdictions, legislation requires long-term care (LTC) facilities to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Although considerable research exists on LTC nurse staffing intensity, no empirical research on this requirement exists. Our retrospective observational study in Saskatchewan compared facilities with 24/7 RN coverage to facilities with less coverage supplemented with various night-shift staffing models. Adjusted for nurse staffing intensity and other potential confounders, risk ratios associated with less-than-24/7 RN coverage supplemented with licensed practical nurse night-shift staffing were 1.17, 95% CI [0.91, 1.50] and 1.00, 95% CI [0.72, 1.39]; and with less-than-24/7 RN coverage supplemented with care aide night-shift staffing, risk ratios were 1.46, 95% CI [1.11, 1.91] and 1.11, 95% CI [0.78, 1.58], for inpatient hospital admissions and Emergency Department visits respectively. Findings suggest that acute services utilization may be negatively influenced by the absence of 24/7 RN coverage.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Alcohol consumption is a possible co-factor of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) persistence, a major step in cervical carcinogenesis, but the association between alcohol and continuous HPV infection remains unclear. This prospective study identified the association between alcohol consumption and HR-HPV persistence. Overall, 9230 women who underwent screening during 2002–2011 at the National Cancer Center, Korea were analysed in multivariate logistic regression. Current drinkers [odds ratio (OR) 2·49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–4·71] and drinkers for ⩾5 years (OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·17–4·63) had a higher risk of 2-year HR-HPV persistence (HPV positivity for 3 consecutive years) than non-drinkers and drinkers for <5 years, respectively (vs. HPV negativity for 3 consecutive years). A high drinking frequency (⩾twice/week) and a high beer intake (⩾3 glasses/occasion) had higher risks of 1-year (OR 1·80, 95% CI 1·01–3·36) HPV positivity for 2 consecutive years) and 2-year HR-HPV persistence (OR 3·62, 95% CI 1·35–9·75) than non-drinkers. Of the HPV-positive subjects enrolled, drinking habit (OR 2·68, 95% CI 1·10–6·51) and high consumption of beer or soju (⩾2 glasses/occasion; OR 2·90, 95% CI 1·06–7·98) increased the risk of 2-year consecutive or alternate HR-HPV positivity (vs. consecutive HPV negativity). These findings suggest that alcohol consumption might increase the risk of cervical HR-HPV persistence in Korean women.
The Night Sky Monitoring Network is a project that aims to study the extent, distribution, and properties of the light pollution condition in the populous metropolis of Hong Kong. Continuous measurements of the Night Sky Brightness (NSB) at strategically chosen locations that cover a wide range of population density and land usage were made, with over 2.5 million NSB readings collected in 18 months up to June 2012. Results from the project are presented, with focus on the contrast between the urban and rural night sky profiles, and light pollution contributions from artificial lightings. This project is supported by the Environment and Conservation Fund of the Hong Kong SAR government (ECF 10/2009, ECF 1/2007).
We report a rare case of posterior semicircular canal dehiscence caused by a jugular diverticulum, and we describe its surgical treatment using a dehiscence resurfacing manoeuvre.
The clinical findings, surgical procedure and outcomes are presented.
A 66-year-old man presented with disequilibrium, sound-induced vertigo, a reduced ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential threshold, and pressure-induced vertical and torsional nystagmus. Computed tomography revealed a right posterior semicircular canal dehiscence caused by a diverticulum of the jugular bulb. The defect in the posterior semicircular canal was localised and resurfaced with bone paté, temporalis muscle fascia and conchal cartilage, under direct visualisation. Post-operatively, the patient's symptoms disappeared and his ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential threshold normalised.
This case illustrates that posterior semicircular canal dehiscence can be surgically managed by resurfacing the defect site via a transmastoid approach.
A strong resonance in the inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES) of cerium oxide was reported recently. Here, it is shown that dominance of the indirect channel of the resonant inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (RIPES) is so complete that the photon energy dependence can be explained in terms of emission associated with a single photon energy.
Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA), and other methods based on the same principle, are sensitive and specific, but they suffer from several disadvantages, such as their inherent complexity and requirement for multiple reagents, incubation and washing steps and require a relatively large sample size. We have adapted a new carbon nanotube field effect transistors (CNT-FET) based platform to capture Escherichia coli antigens using only the capture anti-body showing good correlation with an established ELISA assay contrived positive and negative specimens were used to test the new CNT-FET platform and results were obtained within three minutes per each sample. The test is easy to perform, rapid, and cost efficient making it a valuable screening tool for E. coli. In this study, we looked at the applicability of using CNT field effect transistor based biosensor as a rapid diagnostic platform for Escherichia coli O157:H7. The CNT-FETs platform detected positive E. coli samples in three minutes using only 2.5 μL of sample volume. This low sample volume required by the CNT-FET platform can be especially advantageous for diagnostic tests constricted by limited amount of samples.
We present ultraviolet (UV) properties of dwarf galaxies in the Fornax and Ursa Major clusters in comparison with the Virgo cluster. Most of the dwarf galaxies in the Fornax cluster show red UV colors which is consistent with that the Fornax is dynamically evolved cluster with large fraction of early-type galaxies. Meanwhile, majority of dwarf galaxies of Ursa Major cluster are late-type with blue UV colors, indicating prevalence of strong star formation activities in the low density environment.
This paper describes the development of a nitrogen-based passivation technique for interface states near the conduction band edge [Dit(Ec)] in 4H-SiC/SiO2. These states have been observed and characterized in several laboratories for n- and p-SiC since their existence was first proposed by Schorner, et al. . The origin of these states remains a point of discussion, but there is now general agreement that these states are largely responsible for the lower channel mobilities that are reported for n-channel, inversion mode 4H-SiC MOSFETs. Over the past year, much attention has been focused on finding methods by which these states can be passivated. The nitrogen passivation process that is described herein is based on post-oxidation, high temperature anneals in nitric oxide. An NO anneal at atmospheric pressure, 1175°C and 200–400sccm for 2hr reduces the interface state density at Ec-E ≅0.1eV in n-4H-SiC by more than one order of magnitude - from > 3×1013 to approximately 2×1012cm−2eV−1. Measurements for passivated MOSFETs yield effective channel mobilities of approximately 30–35cm2/V-s and low field mobilities of around 100cm2/V-s. These mobilities are the highest yet reported for MOSFETs fabricated with thermal oxides on standard 4H-SiC and represent a significant improvement compared to the single digit mobilities commonly reported for 4H inversion mode devices. The reduction in the interface state density is associated with the passivation of carbon cluster states that have energies near the conduction band edge. However, attempts to optimize the the passivation process for both dry and wet thermal oxides do not appear to reduce Dit(Ec) below about 2×1012cm−2eV−1 (compared to approximately 1010cm−2eV−1 for passivated Si/SiO2). This may be an indication that two types of interface states exist in the upper half of the SiC band gap – one type that is amenable to passivation by nitrogen and one that is not. Following NO passivation, the average breakdown field for dry oxides on p-4H-SiC is higher than the average field for wet oxides (7.6MV/cm compared to 7.1MV/cm at room temperature). However, both breakdown fields are lower than the average value of 8.2MV/cm measured for wet oxide layers that were not passivated. The lower breakdown fields can be attributed to donor-like states that appear near the valence band edge during passivation.
Poly-Si Thin-Film Transistors (TFTs) are currently used in commercial active-matrix displays. They provide superior performance with respect to their amorphous silicon counterparts and allow integration of driving electronics directly on the display glass plates.
For several applications, it can be desirable to have active-matrix displays made on flexible substrates. However, a direct application of a standard TFT process to plastic substrates is not in general possible, mostly because of temperature limits and related dimensional stability issues. In addition, standard flat-panel manufacturing tools are not capable of automatically handling non-rigid floppy substrates.
Therefore, a new process has to be developed, compatible with a suitable way of handling plastic substrates. A process was developed in which plastic sheets are laminated on glass carrier wafers and run through all the automated tools. A low-temperature process using excimer laser annealing is developed and optimized. High-quality TFT backplanes are manufactured with a pixel layout designed for active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays. Field-effect mobility in excess of 70 cm2Vs on p-channel TFTs are achieved, together with leakage currents lower than 2 pA per micron gate width.
Challenges include low-temperature gate dielectric development, reduction of intrinsic film stress, protection of plastic from laser damage, and contact formation. Solutions to these challenges are discussed and TFT transfer characteristics on glass and plastic substrates are presented. Finally, images from prototype monochrome AMOLED displays are presented, with 64 × 64 pixels and 80-dpi resolution.