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The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Electron and proton microprobes, along with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis were used to study the microstructure of the contemporary Al–Cu–Li alloy AA2099-T8. In electron probe microanalysis, wavelength and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry were used in parallel with soft X-ray emission spectroscopy (SXES) to characterize the microstructure of AA2099-T8. The electron microprobe was able to identify five unique compositions for constituent intermetallic (IM) particles containing combinations of Al, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. A sixth IM type was found to be rich in Ti and B (suggesting TiB2), and a seventh IM type contained Si. EBSD patterns for the five constituent IM particles containing Al, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn indicated that they were isomorphous with four phases in the 2xxx series aluminium alloys including Al6(Fe, Mn), Al13(Fe, Mn)4 (two slightly different compositions), Al37Cu2Fe12 and Al7Cu2Fe. SXES revealed that Li was present in some constituent IM particles. Al SXES mapping revealed an Al-enriched (i.e., Cu, Li-depleted) zone in the grain boundary network. From the EBSD analysis, the kernel average misorientation map showed higher levels of localized misorientation in this region, suggesting greater deformation or stored energy. Proton-induced X-ray emission revealed banding of the TiB2 IM particles and Cu inter-band enrichment.
Retrospective data evaluated increases in advanced medical support for children with medically attended acute respiratory illness (MAARI) during influenza outbreak periods (IOP). Advanced support included hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission, or mechanical ventilation, for children aged 0–17 years hospitalised in Maryland's 50 acute-care hospitals over 12 influenza seasons. Weekly numbers of positive influenza tests in the Maryland area defined IOP for each season as the fewest consecutive weeks, including the peak week containing at least 85% of positive tests with a 2-week buffer on either side of the IOP. Peak IOP (PIOP) was defined as four consecutive weeks containing the peak week with the most number of positive influenza tests. Off-PIOP was defined as the ‘shoulder’ weeks during each IOP. Non-influenza season (NIS) was the remaining weeks of that study season. Rate ratios of mean daily MAARI-related admissions resulting in advanced medical support outcomes during PIOP or Off-PIOP were compared with the NIS and were significantly elevated for all 12 study seasons combined. The results suggest that influenza outbreaks are associated with increased advanced medical support utilisation by children with MAARI. We feel that this data may help preparedness for severe influenza epidemics or pandemic.
Mastery of strengthening strategies to achieve high-capacity anodes for lithium-ion batteries can shed light on understanding the nature of diffusion-induced stress and offer an approach to use submicro-sized materials with an ultrahigh capacity for large-scale batteries. Here, we report solute strengthening in a series of silicon (Si)–germanium (Ge) alloys. When the larger solute atom (Ge) is added to the solvent atoms (Si), a compressive stress is generated in the vicinity of Ge atoms. This local stress field interacts with resident dislocations and subsequently impedes their motion to increase the yield stress in the alloys. The addition of Ge into Si substantially improves the capacity retention, particularly in Si0.50Ge0.50, aligning with literature reports that the Si/Ge alloy showed a maximum yield stress in Si0.50Ge0.50. In situ X-ray diffraction studies on the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode show that the phase change undergoes three subsequent steps during the lithiation process: removal of surface oxide layer, formation of cluster-size Lix(Si,Ge), and formation of crystalline Li15(Si,Ge)4. Furthermore, the lithiation process starts from higher index facets, i.e., (220) and (311), then through the low index facet (111), suggesting the orientation-dependence of the lithiation process in the Si0.50Ge0.50 electrode.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The grain-size distribution (GSD) of sediments provides information on sediment provenance, transport processes, and the sedimentary environment. Although a wide range of statistical parameters have been applied to summarize GSDs, most are directed at only parts of the distribution, which limits the amount of environmental information that can be retrieved. Endmember modeling provides a flexible method for unmixing GSDs; however, the calculation of the exact number of endmembers and geologically meaningful endmember spectra remain unresolved using existing modeling methods. Here we present the methodology hierarchical clustering endmember modeling analysis (CEMMA) for unmixing the GSDs of sediments. Within the CEMMA framework, the number of endmembers can be inferred from agglomeration coefficients, and the grain-size spectra of endmembers are defined on the basis of the average distance between the samples in the clusters. After objectively defining grain-size endmembers, we use a least squares algorithm to calculate the fractions of each GSD endmember that contributes to individual samples. To test the CEMMA method, we use a grain-size data set from a sediment core from Wulungu Lake in the Junggar Basin in China, and find that application of the CEMMA methodology yields geologically and mathematically meaningful results. We conclude that CEMMA is a rapid and flexible approach for analyzing the GSDs of sediments.
We report on a study, employing direct numerical simulations, of the turbulent/non-turbulent interface of a wake in a stably stratified fluid. It is found that thresholds for both enstrophy and potential enstrophy are needed to identify the interface. Using conditional averaging relative to the location of the interface, various quantities of interest are examined. The thickness of the interface is found to scale with the Kolmogorov scale. From an examination of the Ozmidov and Kolmogorov length scales as well as the buoyancy Reynolds number, it is found that the buoyancy Reynolds number decreases and becomes of order 1 near the interface, indicating the suppression of the turbulence there by the stable stratification. Finally the overall rate of loss of energy due to internal wave radiation is found to be comparable to the overall rate of loss due to turbulent kinetic energy dissipation.
The objective of this research was to describe proportional differences across time and region in management practices among southern cotton farmers who experienced glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds on their farms earlier than those who experienced them later and among farmers who were closest to one of four historical outbreak epicenters: Lauderdale County, TN; Macon County, GA; Edgecombe County, NC; and Terry County, TX. A mail survey was conducted with cotton farmers in 2012 from 13 southern, cotton-producing states. Survey responses on practices used by farmers were classified into three broad categories of labor, mechanical/tillage/chemical (MTC), and cultural. Proportions of respondents using practices from each category were identified by time and region; across which, proportional-difference tests were conducted. Results indicated respondents encountering GR weeds earlier were more likely than farmers who experienced them later to use the three broad-category practices (labor, 98 vs. 92%; MTC, 95 vs. 89%; and cultural, 86 vs. 76%) and specific practices, including hooded sprayers (76 vs. 58%), in-season herbicide change (83 vs. 60%), and field-border management (60 vs. 35%). Also, respondents closest to Lauderdale County were more likely than farmers closest to Edgecombe County to use broad-labor practices (99 vs. 91%) and specific practices, including hand hoeing (96 vs. 84%), hand spraying (49 vs. 31%), spot spraying (76 vs. 59%), wick applicator (13 vs. 11%), and field-border management (58 vs. 39%). Education programs on weed management can be developed and tailored according to the time and regional differences to provide effective information and communication channels to farmers.
The Teter, Payne, and Allan “preconditioning” function plays a significant role in planewave DFT calculations. This function is often called the TPA preconditioner. We present a detailed study of this “preconditioning” function. We develop a general formula that can readily generate a class of “preconditioning” functions. These functions have higher order approximation accuracy and fulfill the two essential “preconditioning” purposes as required in planewave DFT calculations. Our general class of functions are expected to have applications in other areas.
James Foreman-Peck, Welsh Institute for Research in Economics and Development of the Cardiff Business School,
Peng Zhou, Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics (JHIAM) of the Cardiff Business School
What does a favourable culture contribute to entrepreneurship, compared with other influences, such as appropriate institutions? Entrepreneurial business often provided outlets for the energies and enterprise of national and religious minorities who were blocked from rising through the state apparatus. Max Weber instanced Poles in Russia and eastern Prussia, Huguenots in France under Louis XIV, Nonconformists and Quakers in England, and Jews for two thousand years. For Weber it was the (institutional) barrier, not the culture, that explained the entrepreneurial precocity of these minorities. His most famous supposed positive cultural influence on business and economic development, the Protestant Ethic, was something extra, he maintained.
Virtually the converse of the Protestant Ethic, the ‘cultural critique’ of British capitalism looks instead at how culture constrained entrepreneurship. For the later nineteenth century Martin Wiener proposed that British culture encouraged ‘gentrification', exactly what Protestants, or at least Puritans, would never accept, for it entailed enjoying their wealth. A pervasive anti-industrial and anti-business culture especially transmitted through middle-class education was supposedly responsible for Britain's ‘industrial decline’ in these years.
There is more evidence for David Landes's assertion that culture makes all the difference to economic development. He focuses on expatriate entrepreneurial performance; Jews and Calvinists throughout much of Europe, Chinese in East and South-East Asia, and Indians in East Africa, when thwarted by ‘bad government’ at home or, more generally, by poor institutions.
Recent empirical evidence suggests that the variance risk premium predicts aggregate stock market returns. We demonstrate that statistical finite sample biases cannot “explain” this apparent predictability. Further corroborating the existing evidence of the United States, we show that country-specific regressions for France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom result in quite similar patterns. Defining a “global” variance risk premium, we uncover even stronger predictability and almost identical cross-country patterns through the use of panel regressions.
Deterministic and stochastic yield response plateau functions were estimated to determine the expected profit-maximizing nitrogen rates, yields, and net returns for corn grown after corn, cotton, and soybeans. The stochastic response functions were more appropriate than their deterministic counterparts, and the linear response stochastic plateau described the data the best. The profit-maximizing nitrogen rates were similar for corn after corn, cotton, and soybeans, but relative to corn after corn, the expected corn yield plateaus increased by 12% and 16% after cotton and soybeans, respectively. Expected net returns increased for corn after cotton and soybeans relative to corn after corn.
The transformation plateau on the strain-stress curve is the characteristic of superelasticity of bulk shape memory alloys upon tension/compression loading. However, recent studies show that such transformation plateau is hard to see when the sample size of shape memory alloys decreases to submicrons. In order to see what happened in such small scale samples during loading, in-situ compression test has been done with single crystal Cu-14.2Al-4.0Ni (wt %) submicron pillars. Our in-situ observation during compression demonstrates that the stress-induced martensitic transformation indeed occurs in submicron pillars, but is not suppressed. Furthermore, the transformation proceeds in a sequential nucleation-growth-nucleation dominated mode, but not the transient way like that in bulk materials. As a result, the stress keeps increasing throughout the transformation and no obvious transformation plateau can be detected. However, the underlying reason for such contrast transformation behaviors between our submicron pillars and bulk materials still needs further investigation.
Computed tomography (CT) has been commonly used in medicine for assessing the anatomy of humans in conventional computer axial tomography (CAT) scans. It is also a very common tool for assessing the architecture of trabecular bones for diagnosis of conditions such as osteoporosis. More recently, high-resolution CT (micro-CT) has found increasing use in materials science for the evaluation of the internal structure of a variety of advanced materials for industrial applications. Knowledge of the micro-architecture of these materials is extremely important to better understand their performance. Micro-CT is a non-destructive 3D characterization tool that uses X rays to determine the internal structure of objects through imaging of different densities within the scanned object. High-resolution laboratory-based micro-CT or nano-CT provides image resolution on the order of 300 nm. Such high resolution allows one to visualize the internal 3D structure of fine-scale features. The data from micro-CT results in a virtual rendering of the object under investigation, which allows one to travel through the volume in any direction and angle, revealing complex hidden structures within the object. Thus, micro-CT can be an important complementary technique for a microscopy laboratory.