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Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Maternal systemic inflammation during pregnancy may restrict embryo−fetal growth, but the extent of this effect remains poorly established in undernourished populations. In a cohort of 653 maternal−newborn dyads participating in a multi-armed, micronutrient supplementation trial in southern Nepal, we investigated associations between maternal inflammation, assessed by serum α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein, in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and newborn weight, length and head and chest circumferences. Median (IQR) maternal concentrations in α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein in the first and third trimesters were 0.65 (0.53–0.76) and 0.40 (0.33–0.50) g/l, and 0.56 (0.25–1.54) and 1.07 (0.43–2.32) mg/l, respectively. α1-acid glycoprotein was inversely associated with birth size: weight, length, head circumference and chest circumference were lower by 116 g (P = 2.3 × 10−6), and 0.45 (P = 3.1 × 10−5), 0.18 (P = 0.0191) and 0.48 (P = 1.7 × 10−7) cm, respectively, per 50% increase in α1-acid glycoprotein averaged across both trimesters. Adjustment for maternal age, parity, gestational age, nutritional and socio-economic status and daily micronutrient supplementation failed to alter any association. Serum C-reactive protein concentration was largely unassociated with newborn size. In rural Nepal, birth size was inversely associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation during pregnancy as indicated by serum α1-acid glycoprotein.
A compact transition between conductor-backed coplanar waveguide (CBCPW) and substrate integrated suspended line (SISL) is presented. Compared to the reported transitions from CBCPW to SISL, performance and compactness are improved. For demonstration purpose, a multilayer transition is designed and fabricated for operation up to 46 GHz. Experimental results, based on an electronic calibration and thru–reflect–line calibration allowing measurement in the 0.01–50 GHz frequency range, demonstrate an insertion loss of 0.59 ± 0.51 dB with a return loss of better than 10 dB in the 10 MHz to 46 GHz frequency range.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) visits related to substance use are rapidly increasing. Despite this, few Canadian EDs have immediate access to addiction medicine specialists or on-site addiction medicine clinics. This study characterized substance-related ED presentations to an urban tertiary care ED and assessed need for an on-site rapid-access addiction clinic (RAAC). Methods: This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC.This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC. Results: Of the 557 enrolment forms received, 458 were included in the analysis. 64% of included patients were male and 36% were female, with a median age of 35.0 years. Polysubstance use was seen in 23% of patients, and alcohol was the most common substance indicated (60%), followed by stimulants (32%) and opioids (16%). The median ED length of stay for included patients was 483 minutes, compared to 354 minutes for all-comers discharged from the ED during the study period. 28% of patients had a previous ED visit within 7 days of the index visit, and an additional 17% had a visit in the preceding 30 days. The ED care team indicated ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED for 66% of patients, for a mean of 4.3 patients referred per day during the study period. Multivariable analysis showed that all substances (except cannabis) correlated to a statistically significant increase in likelihood for indicating ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED (alcohol, stimulants, opioids, polysubstance; p < 0.05). Patients presenting to the ED with a chief complaint related to substance use were also more likely to be referred (p = 0.01). Conclusion: This retrospective chart review characterized substance-related presentations at a Canadian urban tertiary care ED. Approximately four patients per day would have been referred to an on-site RAAC had one been available. The RAAC model has been implemented in other Canadian hospitals, and collaborating with these sites to begin developing this service would be an important next step.
This work describes exploration of mitigating the parasitic amorphous alumina (Al2O3) shell of aluminum nanoparticles (n-Al) and modifying the surface using different plasmas, leading to n-Al with thinner shell and different coatings including carbons and oxidizing salt called aluminum iodate hexahydrate (AIH), respectively. The approach exploits a prototype atmospheric non-thermal plasma reactor with dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) configuration for nanoparticle surface modifications using n-Al of 80 nm average diameter as an example. Preliminary results indicate that the amorphous Al2O3 shell surrounding the active aluminum core can be mitigated with inert plasmas by as much as 40% using either helium (He) or argon (Ar). The particle surface becomes carbon-rich with carbon monoxide (CO) / He plasmas. By immersing the plasma-treated n-Al in an iodic acid (HIO3) solution, AIH crystals can be formed on the n-Al surface. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is used as a major tool to study the details of the modified surface morphologies, diffraction patterns, and chemical composition of the modified n-Al. The results demonstrate effective surface passivation of n-Al via atmospheric plasma techniques.
Recent advances in techniques to generate static ultra-high pressure (>100 GPa) in the diamond anvil cell have significantly enhanced our understanding of the properties of solids under these extreme conditions. In order to characterize the structure of solids at these pressures, X-ray diffraction using synchrotron radiation has become an invaluable tool. Since the highest pressures are attained at the expense of sample volume (~ 100 μm3) , it is best to use the intense radiation available from a synchrotron to study the very small samples used in ultra-high pressure studies. Even with the intense x-ray beams currently available, it is still often desirable to focus the x-ray beam to increase the available flux. We have developed a focusing system which uses multilayer coated spherical mirrors. With this system, intense x-ray beams with sizes smaller than 10 μm by 10 μm can be achieved at a synchrotron radiation beamline. Previously, we used the focusing system for x-ray microprobe experiments.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
We developed a systematic experimental method to demonstrate that damage threshold fluence (DTF) for fused silica changes with the number of femtosecond laser (800 nm,
, 10 Hz and 600 Hz) pulses. Based on the experimental data, we were able to develop a model which indicates that the change in DTF varies with the number of shots logarithmically up to a critical value. Above this value, DTF approaches an asymptotic value. Both DTF for a single shot and the asymptotic value as well as the critical value where this happens, are extrinsic parameters dependent on the configuration (repetition rate, pressure and geometry near or at the surface). These measurements indicate that the power of this dependence is an intrinsic parameter independent of the configuration.
Hospitalized patients placed in isolation due to a carrier state or infection with resistant or highly communicable organisms report higher rates of anxiety and loneliness and have fewer physician encounters, room entries, and vital sign records. We hypothesized that isolation status might adversely impact patient experience as reported through Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, particularly regarding communication.
Retrospective analysis of HCAHPS survey results over 5 years.
A 1,165-bed, tertiary-care, academic medical center.
Patients on any type of isolation for at least 50% of their stay were the exposure group. Those never in isolation served as controls.
Multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, race, gender, payer, severity of illness, length of stay and clinical service were used to examine associations between isolation status and “top-box” experience scores. Dose response to increasing percentage of days in isolation was also analyzed.
Patients in isolation reported worse experience, primarily with staff responsiveness (help toileting 63% vs 51%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.77; P = .0009) and overall care (rate hospital 80% vs 73%; aOR, 0.78; P < .0001), but they reported similar experience in other domains. No dose-response effect was observed.
Isolated patients do not report adverse experience for most aspects of provider communication regarded to be among the most important elements for safety and quality of care. However, patients in isolation had worse experiences with staff responsiveness for time-sensitive needs. The absence of a dose-response effect suggests that isolation status may be a marker for other factors, such as illness severity. Regardless, hospitals should emphasize timely staff response for this population.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Theoretical investigations on ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) with asymmetric electrodes and a composite barrier are presented. A large tunneling electroresistance effect exists for the Pt/SrTiO3/BaTiO3/SrRuO3 junction; on the other hand, exchange of the dielectric and ferroelectric layer stacking sequence can seriously degrade the performance. These correlations are rationalized by the proposed concept of an asymmetry factor, defined as the ratio between the average barrier heights of FTJs for two opposite polarization orientations. We show that a large asymmetry factor is beneficial to FTJs. This work may provide a way to enhance the performance of FTJs by structure engineering.
Cultivated pastures in southern China are being used to improve forage productivity and animal performance, but studies on grazing behaviour of goats in these cultivated pastures are still rare. In the current study, the grazing behaviour of Yunling black goats under low (5 goats/ha) and high (15 goats/ha) stocking rates (SRs) was evaluated. Data showed that the proportion of time goats spent on activities was: eating (0.59–0.87), ruminating (0.05–0.35), walking (0.03–0.06) and resting (0.01–0.03). Compared with low SR, goats spent more time eating and walking, and less time ruminating and resting under high SR. Goats had similar diet preferences under both SR and preferred to eat grasses (ryegrass and cocksfoot) more than a legume (white clover). The distribution of eating time on each forage species was more uniform under high v. low SR. Bites/step, bite weight and daily intake were greater under low than high SR. Results suggest that the SR affects grazing behaviour of goats on cultivated pasture, and identifying an optimal SR is critical for increasing bite weight and intake.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.