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This is a case study of the U.S. pharmaceutical producer, Merck & Co. By 1940 this was one of the leading pharmaceutical producers in the United States, and the company went on to become one of the global industry leaders after World War II. It was founded in 1891 as the U.S. subsidiary of a much larger German pharmaceutical company, E. Merck of Darmstadt. The existing understanding of Merck & Co.’s history emphasizes how it was reacquired by the American branch of the Merck family after wartime sequestration, and from then onward it pursued a path of development separate from its former parent. This article revisits that history of the company and shows how the two Mercks began to cooperate and share technology and manufacturing know-how during the 1930s, something that was particularly to the advantage of Merck & Co.
We present results from our analysis of Chandra data on the supernova remnant MSH 11–62 (also known as G291.0−0.1). Our previous ASCA analysis showed that MSH 11–62 is most likely a composite remnant whose strong non-thermal emission is powered by a compact object, most probably a pulsar. The present analysis confirms in a spectacular fashion the earlier detection of a compact source. The Chandra data reveal a small region with a hard non-thermal spectrum located at the tip of the central radio emission seen in data taken at the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). This source is likely the young rapidly rotating neutron star powering the synchrotron nebula in MSH 11–62. Compared to other young rotation-powered pulsars the Chandra specrum of MSH 11–62 implies an energy loss rate of Ė ∼ 5 × 1036 ergs s−1.
The isotopic composition of ancient wood has the potential to provide information about past environments. We analyzed the δ13C, δ18O, and δ2H of cellulose of conifer trees from several cross-sections at each of 9 sites around the Great Lakes region ranging from ∼4000 to 14,000 cal BP. Isotopic values of Picea, Pinus, and Thuja species seem interchangeable for δ18O and δ2H comparisons, but Thuja appears distinctly different from the other 2 in its δ13C composition. Isotopic results suggest that the 2 sites of near-Younger Dryas age experienced the coldest conditions, although the Gribben Basin site near the Laurentide ice sheet was relatively dry, whereas the Liverpool site 500 km south was moister. The spatial isotopic variability of 3 of the 4 sites of Two Creeks age shows evidence of an elevation effect, perhaps related to sites farther inland from the Lake Michigan shoreline experiencing warmer daytime growing season temperatures. Thus, despite floristic similarity across sites (wood samples at 7 of the sites being Picea), the isotopes appear to reflect environmental differences that might not be readily evident from a purely floristic interpretation of macrofossil or pollen identification.
Insecta consists of 29 living orders that are not equivalent by any criteria except taxonomic rank (Davis et al. 2010). Insects demonstrate the greatest biodiversity, accounting for over half of all described eukaryotes, approximately 1 million described species (Grimaldi and Engel 2005) and a global total of anywhere between 5 and 10 million species (Gaston 1991; Raven and Yeates 2007). Although lower-end estimates of species numbers are more likely (Mora et al. 2011), around two-thirds of all insects probably remain to be discovered and described (May 2010), vastly outnumbering the total diversity of other better-studied taxonomic groups like vertebrates and vascular plants. The importance of insects for stable ecosystem functioning also cannot be understated. For example, insects are responsible for the breakdown of organic material, animal and human remains, removal of waste, aeration and turnover of soil, and the vital task of pollination for flowering plants. They also include important predators that control numbers of other pest invertebrates or weed plants, and are an essential food source for many birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Understanding the impressive numerical and ecological diversity of insects has long been recognized as an important research goal. To achieve this, it is vital to clarify the evolutionary history and ancestral attributes of lineages. Here we will (1) take stock of our current understanding of insect systematics and the role molecular phylogenetics has played, (2) review the taxonomic diversity of transcriptomes and whole genomes in Insecta and its current bias, (3) discuss the ways that NGS technologies can be used to study insect evolution, and (4) propose strategies for selecting future insects to sequence, for example to maximize genomic diversity and resolve important phylogenetic questions that remain in the field of insect systematics.
Systematics of insects and outstanding questions
In recent years of arthropod research, evidence in favour of a close affinity between hexapods (Insecta, Collembola, Protura and Diplura) and crustaceans has strengthened (Edgecombe 2010; Giribet and Edgecombe 2012; Trautwein et al. 2012; von Reumont et al. 2012). Major arthropod lineages like Myriapoda and Chelicerata are now typically considered more distant relatives than various ‘Crustacea’, and velvet worms are considered the sister-group to Arthropoda as a whole (Campbell et al. 2011, Fig 2.1). There has been some evidence that Hexapoda may be polyphyletic, or mutually paraphyletic with respect to Crustacea (Nardi et al. 2003; Cook et al. 2005).
We live in an age of ubiquitous genomics. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, both widely adopted and advancing at pace, has transformed the data landscape, opening up an enormous source of heritable characters to the comparative biologist. Its impact on systematics, like many other fields of biology, has been felt throughout its breadth: from defining species boundaries to estimating their evolutionary histories. This volume examines the broad range of ways in which NGS data are being used in systematics and in the fields that it underpins, from biodiversity prospecting to evo-devo. Experts in their fields draw on contemporary case studies to demonstrate state-of-the-art applications of NGS data. These, along with novel analyses, comprehensive reviews and lively perspectives, are combined to produce an authoritative account of contemporary issues in systematics that have been impacted by the adoption of NGS.
To date there have been few peer-reviewed studies on the feasibility,
acceptability and effectiveness of digital technologies for mental health
promotion and disorder prevention. Any evaluation of these evolving
technologies is complicated by a lack of understanding about the specific
risks and possible benefits of the many forms of internet use on mental
health. To adequately meet the mental health needs of today's society,
psychiatry must engage in rigorous assessment of the impact of digital
Spintronics utilizes spin or magnetism to provide new ways to store and process information and is primarily associated with the utilization of spin polarized currents in memory and logic devices. With the end of silicon transistor technology in sight, spintronics can provide new paradigms for information processing and storage. Compared to charge based electronics, the advantages of magnetism/spin based devices are nonvolatility and ultra low power. In particular, magnetoresistive random access memories (MRAMs) are known to be “Rad Hard” [HXNV0100 64K x 16 Non-Volatile Magnetic RAM (www.honeywell.com/aerospace), S. Gerardin and A. Paccagnella, IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci.57(6), 3016–3039 (2010), R.R. Katti, J. Lintz, L. Sundstrom, T. Marques, S. Scoppettuolo, and D. Martin, Proceedings of IEEE Radiation Effects Data Workshop, 103–105 (2009)] and are considered to be critical components for space and military systems due to their very low power consumption and nonvolatility. However, advances in the magnetic nanostructures and new materials for the scalability of MRAM and other potential applications require a re-evaluation of their radiation hardness. This review focuses mainly on recent progress in understanding the effects of irradiation on the magnetic materials and magnetic structures that are related to MRAM technology. Up to date, the most pronounced effects on the microstructures and the properties are linked to the displacement damage associated with heavy ion irradiation; however, the thermal effect is also important as it acts as an annealing process to recover the damage partially. Critical metrics for the magnetic tunnel junctions for postmortem characterizations will also be discussed. Finally, with the introduction of new perpendicular magnetic layers and the very thin MgO barrier layer in the next generation MRAM, the effects of the ionization damage shall be studied in the future.
Patient registries represent an important method of organizing “real world” patient information for clinical and research purposes. Registries can facilitate clinical trial planning and recruitment and are particularly useful in this regard for uncommon and rare diseases. Neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) are individually rare but in aggregate have a significant prevalence. In Canada, information on NMDs is lacking. Barriers to performing Canadian multicentre NMD research exist which can be overcome by a comprehensive and collaborative NMD registry.
We describe the objectives, design, feasibility and initial recruitment results for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR).
The CNDR is a clinic-based registry which launched nationally in June 2011, incorporates paediatric and adult neuromuscular clinics in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and, as of December 2012, has recruited 1161 patients from 12 provinces and territories. Complete medical datasets have been captured on 460 “index disease” patients. Another 618 “non-index” patients have been recruited with capture of physician-confirmed diagnosis and contact information. We have demonstrated the feasibility of blended clinic and central office-based recruitment. “Index disease” patients recruited at the time of writing include 253 with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy, 161 with myotonic dystrophy, and 71 with ALS.
The CNDR is a new nationwide registry of patients with NMDs that represents an important advance in Canadian neuromuscular disease research capacity. It provides an innovative platform for organizing patient information to facilitate clinical research and to expedite translation of recent laboratory findings into human studies.