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The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
To investigate an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex and describe the measures that revealed the source.
A 629-bed, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital in Houston, Texas.
Pediatric patients without cystic fibrosis (CF) hospitalized in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units.
We investigated an outbreak of B. cepacia complex from February through July 2016. Isolates were evaluated for molecular relatedness with repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR); specific species identification and genotyping were performed at an independent laboratory. The investigation included a detailed review of all cases, direct observation of clinical practices, and respiratory surveillance cultures. Environmental and product cultures were performed at an accredited reference environmental microbiology laboratory.
Overall, 18 respiratory tract cultures, 5 blood cultures, 4 urine cultures, and 3 stool cultures were positive in 24 patients. Among the 24 patients, 17 had symptomatic infections and 7 were colonized. The median age of the patients was 22.5 months (range, 2–148 months). Rep-PCR typing showed that 21 of 24 cases represented the same strain, which was identified as a novel species within the B. cepacia complex. Product cultures of liquid docusate were positive with an identical strain of B. cepacia complex. Local and state health departments, as well as the CDC and FDA, were notified, prompting a multistate investigation.
Our investigation revealed an outbreak of a unique strain of B. cepacia complex isolated in clinical specimens from non-CF pediatric patients and from liquid docusate. This resulted in a national alert and voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
Background: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) aims to teach people skills to help them self-manage their depression. Trial evidence shows that CBT is an effective treatment for depression and individuals may experience benefits long-term. However, there is little research about individuals’ continued use of CBT skills once treatment has finished. Aims: To explore whether individuals who had attended at least 12 sessions of CBT continued to use and value the CBT skills they had learnt during therapy. Method: Semi-structured interviews were held with participants from the CoBalT trial who had received CBT, approximately 4 years earlier. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: 20 participants were interviewed. Analysis of the interviews suggested that individuals who viewed CBT as a learning process, at the time of treatment, recalled and used specific skills to manage their depression once treatment had finished. In contrast, individuals who viewed CBT only as an opportunity to talk about their problems did not appear to utilize any of the CBT skills they had been taught and reported struggling to manage their depression once treatment had ended. Conclusions: Our findings suggest individuals may value and use CBT skills if they engage with CBT as a learning opportunity at the time of treatment. Our findings underline the importance of the educational model in CBT and the need to emphasize this to individuals receiving treatment.
The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is a major pest species on companion animals thus of significant importance to the animal health industry. The aim of this study was to develop sampling and storage protocols and identify stable reference genes for gene expression studies to fully utilize the growing body of molecular knowledge of C. felis. RNA integrity was assessed in adult and larvae samples, which were either pierced or not pierced and stored in RNAlater at ambient temperature. RNA quality was maintained best in pierced samples, with negligible degradation evident after 10 days. RNA quality from non-pierced samples was poor within 3 days. Ten candidate reference genes were evaluated for their stability across four group comparisons (developmental stages, genders, feeding statuses and insecticide-treatment statuses). Glyceraldehyde 3 phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), 60S ribosomal protein L19 (RPL19) and elongation factor-1α (Ef) were ranked highly in all stability comparisons, thus are recommended as reference genes under similar conditions. Employing just two of these three stable reference genes was sufficient for accurate normalization. Our results make a significant contribution to the future of gene expression studies in C. felis, describing validated sample preparation procedures and reference genes for use in this common pest.
Fontan survivors have depressed cardiac index that worsens over time. Serum biomarker measurement is minimally invasive, rapid, widely available, and may be useful for serial monitoring. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers that correlate with lower cardiac index in Fontan patients.
Methods and results
This study was a multi-centre case series assessing the correlations between biomarkers and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived cardiac index in Fontan patients ⩾6 years of age with biochemical and haematopoietic biomarkers obtained ±12 months from cardiac magnetic resonance. Medical history and biomarker values were obtained by chart review. Spearman’s Rank correlation assessed associations between biomarker z-scores and cardiac index. Biomarkers with significant correlations had receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve estimated. In total, 97 cardiac magnetic resonances in 87 patients met inclusion criteria: median age at cardiac magnetic resonance was 15 (6–33) years. Significant correlations were found between cardiac index and total alkaline phosphatase (−0.26, p=0.04), estimated creatinine clearance (0.26, p=0.02), and mean corpuscular volume (−0.32, p<0.01). Area under the curve for the three individual biomarkers was 0.63–0.69. Area under the curve for the three-biomarker panel was 0.75. Comparison of cardiac index above and below the receiver operating characteristic curve-identified cut-off points revealed significant differences for each biomarker (p<0.01) and for the composite panel [median cardiac index for higher-risk group=2.17 L/minute/m2 versus lower-risk group=2.96 L/minute/m2, (p<0.01)].
Higher total alkaline phosphatase and mean corpuscular volume as well as lower estimated creatinine clearance identify Fontan patients with lower cardiac index. Using biomarkers to monitor haemodynamics and organ-specific effects warrants prospective investigation.
We analyzed the recent (< 25 yr) spread in New Hampshire, USA, of the exotic tree Kalopanax septemlobus, native to Asia. The invasion was likely initiated by a single tree planted ca. 1972. Our objective was to assess the viability of the invasion, especially in light of the small propagule size. We tallied, mapped, aged, and measured the height and growth of K. septemlobus individuals at two sites, the University of New Hampshire campus (UC) and Thompson Farm (TF), both in Durham. We found over 3,800 plants at UC and 270 at TF in < 120 ha (296 ac) total area. Plant age ranged from 0 to 22 yr, and UC plants were as far as 775 m (2,543 ft) from the purported parent tree. Annual height growth was comparable to midtolerant native trees. Plants occurred in both open and forested habitats, and the mean level of photosynthetically active radiation incident on understory plants was 4 to 6% of full sun. The large population size, shade tolerance, rapid height growth, and ability to sprout from damaged stems suggest potential for K. septemlobus to invade and persist in forests, the most common natural ecosystem in the northeastern United States. We further suggest that small propagule size, likely a single tree, has not prevented K. septemlobus from initiating a spatially extensive and vigorous population. Kalopanax septemlobus has been planted as an ornamental in the northeastern United States, and prevention of region-wide invasion might depend on removal of these trees, even when they occur as single individuals.
Electron microscopy (EM), cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) are essential techniques used for characterizing basic virus morphology and determining the three-dimensional structure of viruses. Enveloped viruses, which contain an outer lipoprotein coat, constitute the largest group of pathogenic viruses to humans. The purification of enveloped viruses from cell culture presents certain challenges. Specifically, the inclusion of host-membrane-derived vesicles, the complete destruction of the viruses, and the disruption of the internal architecture of individual virus particles. Here, we present a strategy for capturing enveloped viruses on affinity grids (AG) for use in both conventional EM and cryo-EM/ET applications. We examined the utility of AG for the selective capture of human immunodeficiency virus virus-like particles, influenza A, and measles virus. We applied nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid lipid layers in combination with molecular adaptors to selectively adhere the viruses to the AG surface. This further development of the AG method may prove essential for the gentle and selective purification of enveloped viruses directly onto EM grids for ultrastructural analyses.
Terrestrial meteorite ages indicate that some ice at the Allan Hills blue ice area (AH BIA) may be as old as 2.2 Ma. As such, ice from the AH BIA could potentially be used to extend the ice core record of paleoclimate beyond 800 ka. We collected samples from 5 to 10 cm depth along a 5 km transect through the main icefield and drilled a 225 m ice core (S27) at the midpoint of the transect to develop the climate archive of the AH BIA. Stable water isotope measurements (δD) of the surface chips and of ice core S27 yield comparable signals, indicating that the climate record has not been significantly altered in the surface ice. Measurements of 40Aratm and δ18Oatm taken from ice core S27 and eight additional shallow ice cores constrain the age of the ice to approximately 90–250 ka. Our findings provide a framework around which future investigations of potentially older ice in the AH BIA could be based.
The 6dF Galaxy Survey (6dFGS) is an all-southern-sky galaxy survey, including 125,000 redshifts and a Fundamental Plane (FP) subsample of 10,000 peculiar velocities. This makes 6dFGS the largest peculiar-velocity sample to date. We have fitted the FP with a tri-variate Gaussian model using a maximum-likelihood approach, and derive the Bayesian probability distribution of the peculiar velocity for each of the 10,000 galaxies. We fit models of the velocity field, including comparisons to the field predicted from the redshift-survey density field, to derive the values of the redshift-space distortion parameter β, the bulk flow and the residual bulk flow in excess of that predicted from the density field. We compare these results to those derived by other authors and discuss the cosmological implications.
While the summit of the Antarctic Plateau has long been expected to harbor the best ground-based sites for terahertz (THz) frequency astronomical investigations, it is only recently that direct observations of exceptional THz atmospheric transmission and stability have been obtained. These observations, in combination with recent technological advancements in astronomical instrumentation and autonomous field platforms, make the recognition and realization of terahertz observatories on the high plateau feasible and timely. Here, we will explore the context of terahertz astronomy in the era of Herschel, and the crucial role that observatories on the Antarctic Plateau can play. We explore the important scientific questions to which observations from this unique environment may be most productively applied. We examine the importance and complementarity of Antarctic THz astronomy in the light of contemporary facilities such as ALMA, CCAT, SOFIA and (U)LDB ballooning. Finally, building from the roots of THz facilities in Antarctica to present efforts, we broadly highlight future facilities that will exploit the unique advantages of the Polar Plateau and provide a meaningful, lasting astrophysical legacy.
Extreme impacts can result from extreme weather and climate events, but can also occur without extreme events. This chapter examines two broad categories of impacts on human and ecological systems, both of which are influenced by changes in climate, vulnerability, and exposure: first, the chapter primarily focuses on impacts that result from extreme weather and climate events, and second, it also considers extreme impacts that are triggered by less-than-extreme weather or climate events. These two categories of impacts are examined across sectors, systems, and regions. Extreme events can have positive as well as negative impacts on ecosystems and human activities.
Economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters have increased, but with large spatial and interannual variability (high confidence, based on high agreement, medium evidence). Global weather- and climate-related disaster losses reported over the last few decades reflect mainly monetized direct damages to assets, and are unequally distributed. Estimates of annual losses have ranged since 1980 from a few US$ billion to above 200 billion (in 2010 dollars), with the highest value for 2005 (the year of Hurricane Katrina). In the period 2000 to 2008, Asia experienced the highest number of weather- and climate-related disasters. The Americas suffered the most economic loss, accounting for the highest proportion (54.6%) of total loss, followed by Asia (27.5%) and Europe (15.9%). Africa accounted for only 0.6% of global economic losses. Loss estimates are lower bound estimates because many impacts, such as loss of human lives, cultural heritage, and ecosystem services, are difficult to value and monetize, and thus they are poorly reflected in estimates of losses. [4.5.1, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206]