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Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
An estimated 19–25% of perinatal women in low- and middle-income countries are affected by depression which, untreated, is associated with multiple health problems for mothers and children. Nonetheless, few perinatal women have access to depression care. The Thinking Healthy Programme (THP), promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), is an evidence-based, non-specialist delivered depression intervention that addresses this care gap. However, the WHO THP manual explains intervention delivery but not the antecedents to implementation. Here, we describe a principled, planned approach leading to the implementation of THP in Lima, Peru by the non-profit organization Socios En Salud with community health workers (CHW) to inform its implementation in other settings.
The Replicating Effective Programs (REP) framework guided THP implementation, following four phases: (I) pre-conditions; (II) pre-implementation; (III) implementation; and (IV) maintenance and evolution. This paper centers on REP phases I and II, including (1) documented high perinatal depression rates in Peru; (2) designation of perinatal depression as a government priority; (3) THP Implementation Team orientation and training; (4) data collection plan development; (5) public health system coordination; (6) CHW selection and training; and (7) THP launch.
Between December 2016 and March 2017, a THP training program was developed and seven CHW were trained to deliver the intervention to 10 perinatal women, the first of whom was enrolled on 17 April 2017.
THP was rapidly implemented by a community-based organization with no prior experience in delivering non-specialist perinatal depression care. The steps followed may inform the implementation of THP in other settings.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The ascidian Ecteinascidia turbinata is reported from Maltese waters for the first time. Mature colonies were recorded on artificial substrata at two different sites (and on natural substrata at one of these), 4 km apart, during the summer months. The appearance of this ascidian is expected to be seasonal as the winter temperature in Malta may fall below that required for the maintenance of zooid growth. A second species, E. moorei, which was described in 1890 is here confirmed to be the same as E. turbinata, meaning that the species has existed in the Mediterranean since at least ~1880. The possibility that the Mediterranean population is a relic one from warmer periods cannot yet be excluded, so it is best described as being cryptogenic. The species appears to be spreading slowly, perhaps as a result of the rise in surface sea temperature. The Maltese sites offer an opportunity to monitor the species as they are accessible dive sites. This will allow assessment of whether this species remains restricted to these sites, or if it spreads perhaps to impact other species.
We utilize the concept of sparsity or compressibility to develop an new generation of inversion codes for the Stokes parameters. The inversion code uses numerical optimization techniques based on the idea of proximal algorithms to impose sparsity. In so doing, we allow to exploit the presence of spatial correlation on the maps of physical parameters. Sparsity also regularizes the solution by reducing the number of unknowns. The solution has an increased robustness.
We present an exceptional data set acquired with the Vacuum Tower Telescope (Tenerife, Spain) covering the pre-flare, flare, and post-flare stages of an M3.2 flare. The full Stokes spectropolarimetric observations were recorded with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter in the He i 1083.0 nm spectral region. The object under study was active region NOAA 11748 on 2013 May 17. During the flare the chomospheric He i 1083.0 nm intensity goes strongly into emission. However, the nearby photospheric Si i 1082.7 nm spectral line profile only gets shallower and stays in absorption. Linear polarization (Stokes Q and U) is detected in all lines of the He i triplet during the flare. Moreover, the circular polarization (Stokes V) is dominant during the flare, being the blue component of the He i triplet much stronger than the red component, and both are stronger than the Si i Stokes V profile. The Si i inversions reveal enormous changes of the photospheric magnetic field during the flare. Before the flare magnetic field concentrations of up to ~1500 G are inferred. During the flare the magnetic field strength globally decreases and in some cases it is even absent. After the flare the magnetic field recovers its strength and initial configuration.
This chapter reviews evidence concerning the vital role that temporal dynamics can have in the ecology of trees and other long-lived species in the assembly and maintenance of natural communities. The research synthesised here was stimulated by a desire to determine the action of temporal dynamics in nature, and its implications for the nature of competition, community structure and assembly on multiple scales and across a range of climatic conditions. For the most part, the results discussed concern tropical forests, but we think they provide strong support for a more general view that can be applied across biomes. Finally, we ask if there may be a potential role for temporal dynamics in speciation, in light of what we have learned from the tropical trees.
A field programme begun in the late ’90s in the tropical dry forest of México was consciously designed to study the coexistence of closely related species in a very speciose community, but the role of temporal dynamics had not been suspected and its finding was serendipitous. With centuries-long lifespans, decades-long juvenile stages and low population turnover rates, trees are problematic candidates for demographic analyses, either observational or experimental. Unless instant death is involved, the particular hurdle with trees, as with any long-lived organism, is directly connecting any specific response in the early life of the individual with the long-term individual persistence or character of the standing population. However, trees differ from many long-lived organisms in carrying their history in their structure at both the individual and population levels. Thus, a tree population itself documents individual success over the history of the population (Parker et al. 1997, Cole et al. 2011). The distribution of a population with regard to physical conditions, size and age structure and relative to other woody species all contain information on the ecology and interactions of species (e.g. Veblen 1989, 1992, Villalba and Veblen 1998, Kelly et al. 2001) and it was the age structure of populations that revealed the action of temporal dynamics at Chamela Biological Station.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
In this work, we calculated the ground and first excited states of an electron confined in an asymmetric double DDQW system within a Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) matrix. The two-dimensional impurities density (N2d) considered in our calculation are within the range of 1012 to 1013 cm−2. We obtain the linear and nonlinear optical properties related to intersubband transitions as a function of the spacing between δ-doped wells, two-dimensional impurities concentrations as well as in presence of electric field. We reported results for the linear and nonlinear optical absorption coefficient and in the relative refractive index changes. Our results show that the asymmetry induced in the double δ-doped well system gives rise to values that are several orders of magnitude higher in the resonant peaks intensity.
Background: The use of telemedicine for the care of mental health problems has developed significantly over the last decade thanks to the emergence of a number of stable telepsychiatry programs in many countries. Parallel to this development, this care modality has also targeted specific populations with higher difficulty in gaining access to mental health services such as the elderly. Telepsychogeriatrics is expected to have an increasing role in providing care to geographically isolated rural communities, with a particular focus on long-term care facilities, in light of the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders in these centers and the lack of available specialized care.
Methods: A thorough search of the literature was conducted using Medline, Web of Science, and PsychINFO databases in order to gather available evidence on the applicability of telepsychiatry, specifically the use of videoconferencing for remote consultation, in the elderly population with mental disorders. A succinct description of the selected studies is given along with a general reflection on the state-of-the-art in the field of psychogeriatric clinical practice and research.
Results: Research on the use of telemedicine in this age group has taken into account their special characteristics, and has focused on demonstrating its applicability, the acceptance and satisfaction of elderly users and their healthcare providers, the possibility of carrying out cognitive and diagnostic assessments, and the efficiency of these programs.
Conclusions: Despite limited experience, telepsychogeriatrics appears to be a viable option, well accepted by patients, including those having dementia. More systematized studies are needed in this new field based on larger sample sizes, including comparison with traditional consultations and assessment of the clinical outcomes.
Data on the relationship between core symptoms and daily functioning in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are limited. Daily functioning was assessed as part of an open-label extension, and associations with symptom scores were evaluated.
After a 5-week double-blind study with adults with ADHD receiving osmotic-controlled release oral delivery system (OROS) methylphenidate (MPH) 18, 36 or 72 mg/day, or placebo, participants were eligible for a 7-week open-label extension in which all patients received OROS MPH. Data for the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale – Observer: Screening Version (CAARS-O:SV) (primary endpoint) have been presented previously. Secondary endpoints included the observer self-reported short version of the CAARS (CAARS-S:S) and the Clinical Global Impressions – Severity Scale (CGI-S). Daily functioning and quality of life were assessed using the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) and the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q) respectively. In post-hoc analyses, changes in CAARS-O:SV were evaluated in subgroups. Relationships between symptom and functional outcomes were evaluated in a multivariate regression analysis.
A total of 370 patients entered the open-label extension. Significant improvements from baseline in CAARS-O:SV were similar regardless of sex, ADHD subtype, prior treatment or psychiatric co-morbidity. Significant improvements from double-blind baseline were also seen for the CAARS-S:S, CGI-S, SDS and Q-LES-Q. Improvements in the CAARS-O:SV Hyperactivity/Impulsivity subscale were associated with improvements in SDS total and subscale scores, and in the Q-LES-Q score at open-label endpoint. Improvements in CAARS-O:SV Inattention subscale and CGI-S scores were not significantly associated with functional changes.
Improvements in ADHD symptoms relating to hyperactivity and impulsivity in adults receiving OROS MPH are associated with improvements in daily functioning and quality of life.
Locating cobalt promoters on catalytically MoS2 structures is a challenging task to achieve; this is due to the size on those MoS2 nanostructures. Previous reports in the literature indicate that specific locations for Co in MoS2 slabs are (1010)-plane creating either a sulfur-Co or Molybdenum-Co termination edge, due to lower energy required for the permutation Mo, S and Co to occur. We present results obtained from Density Functional Theory study done on the interface between MoS2 and Co9S8 crystal structures; the interface show an interesting thiocubane cluster and it is suspected to be the responsible for Mo-S-Co bonding to exist, along with HDS reaction. In order to understand electronic properties on thiocubane Density of States and Mulliken Population Analysis calculations were implemented using Cambridge Serial Total Energy Package (CASTEP). Results indicate a strong electron donation from Co to Mo through intermediate sulfur atom bonded to both metals while an enhanced metallic character is also found.
Recently reported results from latest Mars Orbiters and Rovers missions are transforming our opinion about the red planet. That dry and inhospitable planet reported in the past is becoming a wetter planet with high probabilities of water existence in the past. Nowadays, some results seem to indicate the presence of water beneath the Mars surface. But also mineralogy studies by NASA Opportunity Rover report iron oxides and hydroxides precipitates on Endurance Crater. Sedimentary deposits have been identified at Meridiani Planum. These deposits must have generated in a dune aqueous acidic and oxidizing environment. Similarities appear when we study Rio Tinto, and acidic river under the control of iron.
The discovery of extremophiles on Earth widened the window of possibilities for life to develop in the Universe, and as a consequence on Mars and other planetary bodies with astrobiological interest. The compilation of data produced by the ongoing missions offers an interested view for life possibilities to exist: signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity as well as ground morphological characteristics that seem to be promoted by liquid water. The discovery of important accumulations of sulfates and the existence of iron minerals such as jarosite in rocks of sedimentary origin has allowed specific terrestrial models to come into focus. Río Tinto (Southwestern Spain, Iberian Pyritic Belt) is an extreme acidic environment, product of the chemolithotrophic activity of micro-organisms that thrive in the massive pyrite-rich deposits of the Iberian Pyritic Belt. Some particular protective environments should house the organic molecules and bacterial life forms in harsh environments such as Mars surface supporting microniches inside precipitated minerals or inside rocks. Terrestrial analogues could help us to afford the comprehension of habitability (on other planetary bodies).
We are reporting here the multidisciplinary study of some endolithic niches inside salt deposits used by phototrophs for taking advantage of sheltering particular light wavelengths. These acidic salts deposits located in Río Tinto shelter life forms that are difficult to visualize by eye. This interdisciplinary field analogue campaign was conducted in the framework of the CAREX FP7 EC programme.
Considerable progress has been made in development of thin films of nanoporous silica (also known as aerogels or low density xerogels) for ILD and IMD applications. Advantages of these materials include high thermal stability, small pore size, and similarity to conventional deposition processes, precursors and final material (silica). We have previously reported success in synthesizing low density, low dielectric constant (K<2) thin films using ambient pressure processing. However, processing of those films was complicated due to large number of process steps and difficulties in independently controlling both film thickness and film porosity.
Nanoglass has now developed a new process which considerably reduces the number of process steps and allows independent control of both film thickness and porosity. The dielectric constant of the films can be tailored between 1.3 and 2.5. These films have improved mechanical properties due to controlled pore size and narrow pore size distribution and also because of higher density. The trade-offs between density, mechanical strength and dielectric constant for these types of porous solids will be elucidated. The known properties of the film and the process flow for deposition and post-deposition curing and the role of the relative rates of reaction, gelation, aging, and drying will be presented.
The continued scaling of device feature size demands the use of low permittivity intermetal dielectric materials. Porous silica xerogel films have low dielectric permittivity through the incorporation of micropores into the SiO2 network. A feasible xerogel process has been developed. Crack-free and uniform silica xerogel films up to two microns in thickness with targeted porosity were readily coated. Xerogel materials completely filled 0.3 μm wide gaps with a 2:1 aspect ratio. MOSCAP measurements revealed a low permittivity and high dielectric breakdown strength. The dielectric breakdown strength is expected to be higher than that of ambient air because the average pore size of in the xerogel film is much smaller than the mean free path of the ambient air. Surface treated xerogel films were found to be hydrophobic as indicated by the absence of adsorbed moisture peaks in FTIR spectra. Xerogel films maintained their porosity after deposition of dense capping layers and a subsequent process under 700 atm Ar pressure at 400 °C. Test structures containing xerogel were successfully planarization with CMP and went through a tungsten plug deposition process without delamination nor collapsing. These results reflect the reasonable mechanical strength of xerogel films.
As integrated circuit sizes decrease below 0.25 microns, device performance will no longer improve at the same rate as for past generations because of RC interconnect delay which becomes significant as compared to the intrinsic gate delay. Parallel approaches to address this are to use a lower resistance metal (i.e., copper instead of aluminum) and to use a dielectric material with a dielectric constant significantly below that of dense silica (∼4). Recently, considerable progress has been made in development of thin films of nanoporous silica for these applications. Advantages include high thermal stability, small pore size, similarity to conventional spin-on deposition processes and spin-on glass precursors and final material (silica). The dielectric constant of nanoporous silica can be tailored between ∼1 and 3 which allows its’ implementation at multiple technology nodes in integrated circuit manufacture.
Recent development efforts have been focused on; 1) simpler and more reproducible deposition processes, 2) a more complete understanding of processing-property relationships for this material, 3) scale-up of manufacturing to yield a range of precursor products with stability for at least six months and very high purity, and 4) working with customers to integrate this material into both aluminum/gapfill and copper/damascene process flows. This paper targets several specific issues related to nanoporous silica use including water adsorption, pore size distribution control, processing at commercially viable throughputs, and obtaining thickness and dielectric uniformity across 200 mm wafers and wafer to wafer.
Solidification of a simple casting made of ductile iron is mathematically modeled in this work. The model is able to numerically simulate the cooling rate and solidification of the whole casting system composed by a cubic piece, a blind riser connected through a rectangular neck, and immersed in a green sand mold. The center of the neck acts as a valve that allows the flow of liquid metal between the casting and the riser based on the feeding technique known as Pressure Control Risering (PCR). The developed model couples the energy conservation equation and the solidification kinetics of ductile iron, through the statement of proper nucleation and growth laws. This model is satisfactorily validated by comparing the thermal histories predictions with experimental cooling curves obtained in the foundry laboratory for the same casting. According to a process analysis developed in this work, the pouring temperature is the variable that affects the most the solidification and the feeding behavior, since it increases significantly the solidification times in all regions of the casting system.
P-type Si wafers (∼1019 cm−3) were implanted with 300 keV Mn+ ions at 350°C to a dose of 1×1016 cm−2, and then annealed at 800°C for 5 min. The magnetic properties with dependence upon temperature were measured by using a Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometer. The Mn-implanted Si compound shows ferromagnetic ordering above room temperature. The saturation magnetization increases by ∼ 2 × after annealing and the Curie temperature is TC > 400 K. The structural properties have been investigated by means of Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) depth profiling and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) imaging. Measurements showed that the Mn atoms redistribute in the Si crystal due to the thermal annealing and form a band layer composed of nanoscale structures such as crystallites or defects.