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GaN films have been grown on SiC substrates with an AlN nucleation layer by using a metal organic chemical vapor deposition technique. Micro-cracking of the GaN films has been observed in some of the grown samples. In order to investigate the micro-cracking and microstructure, the samples have been studied using various characterization techniques such as optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The surface morphology of the AlN nucleation layer is related to the stress evolution in subsequent overgrown GaN epilayers. It is determined via TEM evidence that, if the AlN nucleation layer has a rough surface morphology, this leads to tensile stresses in the GaN films, which finally results in cracking. Raman spectroscopy results also suggest this, by showing the existence of considerable tensile residual stress in the AlN nucleation layer. Based on these various observations and results, conclusions or propositions relating to the microstructure are presented.
Systematic isotopic studies based on natural and artificial radio-isotopes (32Si, 137Cs), stable isotopes (δ18O) and total β activity measurements have been carried out on Chhota Shigri glacier, Himachal Pradesh, central Himalaya, to study the dynamics of the ice, meltwater composition and to identify the deposition of the Chernobyl fall-out in the Himalayan region.
Using 32Si concentrations, the snout ice has been dated at ~ 250 years, based on which the past average surface ice-flow rate has been estimated as ~ 28 m year−1. Based on δ18O variations, in a shallow ice core, the accumulation rate of the ice has been estimated at ~520kgm−2 year−1. 32Si measurements of snout ice and englacial meltwaters indicate that at least 55% of the snow meltwater mixed with 45% of the old ice-melt water that emerged from englacial streams in the month of August 1987. Deposition of the artificial radionuclide (137Cs) and the very high total β activity observed in snow samples on Chhota Shigri glacier give the first evidence of Chernobyl fall-out deposition in the Indian Himalaya.
We show how estimates of parameters characterizing inflation-based theories of structure formation localized over the past year when large scale structure (LSS) information from galaxy and cluster surveys was combined with the rapidly developing cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, especially from the recent Boomerang and Maxima balloon experiments. All current CMB data plus a relatively weak prior probability on the Hubble constant, age and LSS points to little mean curvature (Ωtot = 1.08±0.06) and nearly scale invariant initial fluctuations (ns = 1.03±0.08), both predictions of (non-baroque) inflation theory. We emphasize the role that degeneracy among parameters in the Lpk = 212 ± 7 position of the (first acoustic) peak plays in defining the Ωtot range upon marginalization over other variables. Though the CDM density is in the expected range (Ωcdmh2 = 0.17 ± 0.02), the baryon density Ωbh2 = 0.030 ± 0.005 is somewhat above the independent 0.019 ± 0.002 nucleosynthesis estimates. CMB+LSS gives independent evidence for dark energy (ΩΛ = 0.66 ± 0.06) at the same level as from supernova (SN1) observations, with a phenomenological quintessence equation of state limited by SN1+CMB+LSS to wQ < −0.7 cf. the wQ=−1 cosmological constant case.
BOOMERanG has recently resolved structures on the last scattering surface at redshift ˜ 1100 with high signal to noise ratio. We review the technical advances which made this possible, and we focus on the current results for maps and power spectra, with special attention to the determination of the total mass-energy density in the Universe and of other cosmological parameters.
Fast photometric observations of a nova-like variable KR Aurigae and the intermediate polar BG CMi (3A0729+103) were made in the B and U bands during 1984–89 to study pulsations in them. The light curves of KR Aur show large amplitude quasi-periodic pulsations with periods in the range 500–800s which can be ascribed to inhomogeneities in the accretion disc. The light curves of the X-ray emitting intermediate polar BG CMi show variable amplitude pulsations with 913s period. From the times of maxima of the pulsations obtained from observations over the period 1984–1989, the pulsation period is derived to be 0.010572966 ± 8 days and the spin-up rate to be (−5.7 ± 0.5) × 10−11 ss−1. The spin-up rate is consistent with the pulsating source being a white dwarf and not a neutron star.
Photoelectric observations of the long period RS CVn type eclipsing binary RZ Eridani were made with the 1.2m reflecting telescope of the Japal – Rangapur Observatory during the observing seasons 1976-79. We could not obtain a full light curve in any one season and therefore the combined light curve is used for analysis. No distortion wave was found in this system. The period of the system (39ḍ282466) is found to be constant during the period 1906 to 1979. From W-D solution we obtained the eccentricity to be zero whereas Popper (private communication) from his spectroscopie studies, suggested a value of e = 0.339 for the eccentricity. Such disagreement between the photometric & spectroscopic eccentricity values is reported in the system SX Cas (Struve 1944 Ap.J, 99, 89., Shao 1967 A.J, 72, 480). This might be due to circumstellar matter covering the whole system. The ultraviolet excess found by us in RZ Eri is similar to that found in systems like SX Cas, RX Cas, βLyr & W Ser
A community-based, cross-sectional study was carried out in five regions of India by adopting a multistage random sampling procedure. Information was collected from the participants about socio-demographic particulars such as age, sex, occupation, education, etc. Anthropometric measurements such as height, weight and waist and hip circumferences were measured and three measurements of blood pressure were obtained. Fasting blood sugar was assessed using a Glucometer. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics, χ2 test for association and logistic regression analysis. A total of 7531 subjects were covered for anthropometry and blood pressure. The overall prevalence of overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity was 29 and 21 %, respectively, and was higher in the Southern region (40 % each) as compared with other regions. The prevalence of hypertension was 18 and 16 % and diabetes was 9·5 % each among men and women, respectively. The risk of hypertension and diabetes was significantly higher among adults from the Southern and Western regions, the among elderly, among overweight/obese individuals and those with abdominal obesity. In conclusion, the prevalence of overweight/obesity and hypertension was higher in the Southern region, whereas diabetes was higher in the Southern and Western regions. Factors such as increasing age, male sex, overweight/obesity, and abdominal obesity were important risk factors for hypertension and diabetes. Appropriate health and nutrition education should be given to the community to control these problems.
We have fabricated by pulse laser deposition very thin (∼5-7 nm) and thick (∼27-408 nm) films of composition Fe66B24Nb4Ni6 on silicon and quartz substrates respectively, and studied their magnetic and magneto-optic properties at room temperature. We find that the thicker films on silicon can be tuned by appropriate thermal annealing to exploit soft magnetic characteristics with low HC, and high MS values. The magnetic hysteretic loops of the as-deposited thicker films on silicon substrates show two interesting characteristics: 1) increase in the coercivity with the film thickness and 2) the onset of a two stage process during the approach to magnetic saturation. The initial in-plane characteristic of the hysteresis loop is followed by a linear anisotropic behavior between remanence and saturation- that changes into square soft-magnetic loops on decreasing the film thickness. By suitable annealing the intrinsic strain disappears at relatively low temperatures (≤200 oC); the thicker films can be tailored to exhibit a simple soft-magnetic square loop with low HC. The ∼5-7 nm films deposited on glass are transparent and have been investigated for their magneto-optic properties using Faraday rotation (FR) measurement technique. Very high values of FR in the range 4-20 deg/µm almost linearly dependent on the wavelength of light in the range 405-611 nm are observed. The observed high values of Faraday rotation over a wide range of wavelength of light are useful for the applications as magneto-optic sensors in the UV to visible range.
Agriculture and livestock production systems are two major emitters of greenhouse gases. Methane with a GWP (global warming potential) of 21, and nitrous oxide (N2O) with a GWP of 300, are largely emitted from animal production agriculture, where livestock production is based on pasture and feed grains. The principal biological processes involved in N2O emissions are nitrification and denitrification. Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) is the natural ability of certain plant species to release nitrification inhibitors from their roots that suppress nitrifier activity, thus reducing soil nitrification and N2O emission. Recent methodological developments (e.g. bioluminescence assay to detect BNIs in plant root systems) have led to significant advances in our ability to quantify and characterize the BNI function. Synthesis and release of BNIs from plants is a highly regulated process triggered by the presence of NH4+ in the rhizosphere, which results in the inhibitor being released precisely where the majority of the soil-nitrifier population resides. Among the tropical pasture grasses, the BNI function is strongest (i.e. BNI capacity) in Brachiaria sp. Some feed-grain crops such as sorghum also have significant BNI capacity present in their root systems. The chemical identity of some of these BNIs has now been established, and their mode of inhibitory action on Nitrosomonas has been characterized. The ability of the BNI function in Brachiaria pastures to suppress N2O emissions and soil nitrification potential has been demonstrated; however, its potential role in controlling N2O emissions in agro-pastoral systems is under investigation. Here we present the current status of our understanding on how the BNI functions in Brachiaria pastures and feed-grain crops such as sorghum can be exploited both genetically and, from a production system's perspective, to develop low-nitrifying and low N2O-emitting production systems that would be economically profitable and ecologically sustainable.
We report on preliminary studies of low (14 at.%) and high (53at.%) concentration Mn doped MgO films deposited by co-sputtering from metallic Mn and Mg targets. The structural, surface morphologies and magnetic properties of the films of different thickness were studied. All the as grown films are found to be amorphous and film surfaces are found to be flawless and homogeneous. We observe at room temperature robust ferromagnetic loops with a saturation magnetization value that is a function of film thickness reaching a maximum of ∼38.5 emu/cm3 in the Mn0.53Mg0.47O film at a thickness of ∼92 nm. In thicker films room-temperature ferromagnetic ordering is suppressed and eventually at a thickness around 120nm the expected diamagnetism of the bulk appears. The origin of ferromagnetism may be attributed to cation defects at the Mg-site.
Mg doped ZnO thin films were prepared by DC/RF magnetron co-sputtering in (Ar+O2) ambient conditions using metallic Mg and Zn targets. We present a comprehensive study of the effects of film thickness on the structural, optical and magnetic properties. Room temperature ferromagnetism was observed in the films and the saturation magnetization (MS) increases at first as the film’s thickness increases and then decreases. The MS value as high as ∼15.76 emu/cm3 was achieved for the Mg-doped ZnO film of thickness 120 nm. The optical band gap of the films determined to be in the range 3.42 to 3.52 eV.
Mg@ZnO thin films were prepared by DC/RF magnetron co-sputtering in (N2+O2) ambient conditions using metallic Mg and Zn targets. We present a comprehensive study of the effects of film thickness, variation of O2 content in the working gas and annealing temperature on the structural, optical and magnetic properties. The band gap energy of the films is found to increase from 4.1 to 4.24 eV with the increase of O2 partial pressures from 5 to 20 % in the working gas. The films are found to be ferromagnetic at room temperature and the saturation magnetization increases initially with the film’s thickness reaching a maximum value of 14.6 emu/cm3 and then decreases to finally become diamagnetic beyond 95 nm thickness. Intrinsic strain seems to play an important role in the observed structural and magnetic properties of the Mg@ZnO films. On annealing, the as-obtained ‘mostly amorphous’ films in the temperature range 600 to 800°C become more crystalline and consequently the saturation magnetization values reduce.
Eighty-six chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) genotypes, including 44 Kabuli type and 42 Desi type, were evaluated for their phenological, physicochemical and cooking quality traits. There were significant differences among the genotypes for days to 50% flowering (34–81 d), days to maturity (85–122 d), number of pods per plant (13–66), number of seeds per plant (15–85), 100-seed weight (10.5–58.6 g), seed yield (561–1852 kg/ha), hydration capacity (0.11–0.68 g water/seed), hydration index (0.80–1.21), swelling capacity (0.11–0.7 ml/seed), seed volume (0.1–0.52 ml/seed) and cooking time (38–125 min). The Desi and Kabuli types of chickpea differed significantly from each other for all the traits except for hydration index, swelling index and cooking time. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance was recorded for 100-seed weight, hydration capacity, swelling capacity and seed volume in both Desi and Kabuli genotypes. Seed size (100-seed weight and seed volume) showed significant positive correlations with hydration capacity and swelling capacity. Cooking time did not show any significant positive or negative correlation with any of the traits studied, including seed size, indicating that other additional factors may be involved in controlling cooking time. The results of this study indicate that it is possible to develop cultivars with faster cooking time in both Kabuli and Desi types and in all seed size categories.
Pigeonpea is an important legume crop of the semi-arid tropics. In India, pigeonpea is mostly grown in areas prone to waterlogging, resulting in major production losses. It is imperative to identify genotypes that show tolerance at critical crop growth stages to prevent these losses. A selection of 272 diverse pigeonpea accessions was evaluated for seed submergence tolerance for different durations (0, 120, 144, 168 and 192 h) under in vitro conditions in the laboratory. All genotypes exhibited high (0·79–0·98) survival rates for up to 120 h of submergence. After 192 h of submergence, the hybrids as a group exhibited significantly higher survival rates (0·79) than the germplasm (0·71), elite breeding lines (0·68) and commercial varieties (0·58). Ninety-six genotypes representing the phenotypic variation observed during laboratory screening were further evaluated for waterlogging tolerance at the early seedling stage using pots, and survival rates were recorded for 8 days after completion of the stress treatment. Forty-nine of these 96 genotypes, representing the phenotypic variation for waterlogging tolerance, were chosen in order to evaluate their performance under natural field conditions. The following cultivated varieties and hybrids were identified as tolerant after three levels of testing (in vitro, in pots and in the field): ICPH 2431, ICPH 2740, ICPH 2671, ICPH 4187, MAL 9, LRG 30, Maruti, ICPL 20128, ICPL 332, ICPL 20237, ICPL 20238, Asha and MAL 15. These materials can be used as sources of waterlogging tolerance in breeding programmes.
To describe a Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) outbreak and interventions to prevent transmission.
Design, Setting, and Patients.
Epidemiologic investigation of a CRE outbreak among patients at a long-term acute care hospital (LTACH).
Microbiology records at LTACH A from March 2009 through February 2011 were reviewed to identify CRE transmission cases and cases admitted with CRE. CRE bacteremia episodes were identified during March 2009–July 2011. Biweekly CRE prevalence surveys were conducted during July 2010–July 2011, and interventions to prevent transmission were implemented, including education and auditin? of staff and isolation and cohorting of CRE patients with dedicated nursing staff and shared medical equipment. Trends were evaluated using weighted linear or Poisson regression. CRE transmission cases were included in a case-control study to evaluate risk factors for acquisition. A real-time polymerase chain reaction assay was used to detect the blaKPC gene, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed to assess the genetic relatedness of isolates.
Ninety-nine CRE transmission cases, 16 admission cases (from 7 acute care hospitals), and 29 CRE bacteremia episodes were identified. Significant reductions were observed in CRE prevalence (49% vs 8%), percentage of patients screened with newly detected CRE (44% vs 0%), and CRE bacteremia episodes (2.5 vs 0.0 per 1,000 patient-days). Cases were more likely to have received β-lactams, have diabetes, and require mechanical ventilation. All tested isolates were KPC-producing K. pneumoniae, and nearly all isolates were genetically related.
CRE transmission can be reduced in LTACHs through surveillance testing and targeted interventions. Sustainable reductions within and across healthcare facilities may require a regional public health approach.
A functionalization method for the specific and selective immobilization of the streptavidin (SA) protein on semiconductor nanowires (NWs) was developed. Silicon (Si) and silicon carbide (SiC) NWs were functionalized with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and subsequently biotinylated for the conjugation of SA. Existence of a thin native oxide shell on both Si and SiC NWs enabled efficient binding of APTES with the successive attachment of biotin and SA as was confirmed with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated nonspecific, electrostatic binding of the SA and the bovine serum albumin (BSA) proteins to APTES-coated NWs. Inhibition of nonspecific BSA binding and enhancement of selective SA binding were achieved on biotinylated NWs. The biofunctionalized NWs have the potential to be used as biosensing platforms for the specific and selective detection of proteins.
Room temperature magnetic properties of un-doped, as well as 10 at.% Fe-doped ZnO and MgO single-pass layer of ink-jet printed thin films have been investigated to obtain insight into the role of the band gaps and mechanisms for the origin of ferromagnetic order in these materials. It is found that on doping with Fe, the saturation magnetization is enhanced by several-fold in both systems when compared with the respective un-doped thin films. For a “28 nm thick film of Fe-doped ZnO (Diluted Magnetic Semiconductor, DMS) we observe an enhanced moment of 0.465μB /Fe atom while it is around 0.111μB/Fe atom for the doped MgO (Diluted Magnetic Insulator, DMI) film of comparable thickness. Also, the pure ZnO is far more ferromagnetic than pure MgO at comparable low film thicknesses which can be attributed to defect induced magnetism originating from cat-ion vacancies. However, the film thickness dependence of the magnetization and the defect concentrations are found to be significantly different in the two systems so that a comparison of the magnetism becomes more complex for thicker films.
This community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in the tribal population of randomly selected villages of Jabalpur district, Madhya Pradesh, central India. A total of 200 married men and women aged 15–49 years were interviewed to explore their knowledge, experience and health-seeking behaviour related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Though 91% of respondents were aware of STIs, the sexual route was mentioned by only 19% as the route of transmission. Around 18% reported a need for social isolation from persons with STIs. Though 88% of the respondents felt modern medicine was the best remedy for STIs, only a few of them used medical treatment while suffering from an STI. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents resorted to traditional healers, and 30% utilized home remedies for STI treatment. The study highlights a need for generating STI awareness amongst the tribal population of the region through a needs-based behaviour change communication (BCC) strategy.
To develop a psychometrically valid questionnaire for testing knowledge on micronutrients and to assess the relationship between knowledge and biomarkers of micronutrient status among adolescents.
Cross-sectional, institution-based, validity and reliability study.
Seven higher secondary schools were covered in the limits of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad, India.
Students aged 15–19 years, n 92 for the pre-test, n 108 for test–retest and n 109 for studying the relationship between knowledge and biomarkers of Fe, retinol, ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, folic acid and vitamin B12 status.
From an item pool of 106, thirty-one items were selected based on content validity. Statistical tools to obtain a valid and reliable questionnaire among adolescent boys and girls resulted in eighteen items with a difficulty index of 0·11–0·86, discrimination index of 0·20–0·72 and validity index (point bi-serial correlation) of 0·10–0·62. Reliability as measured by Cronbach's α was 0·71 and the intra-class correlation coefficient was 0·80. A Bland–Altman plot showed good agreement between test and retest scores. The mean response score to the eighteen-item questionnaire was 5·2 (sd 2·68). The mean values of serum retinol were significantly different (P = 0·022) between groups below (24·8 (sd 6·64) μg/dl) and above (28·0 (sd 7·67) μg/dl) the 50th percentile of knowledge score. The relationship persisted after controlling for economic status as a covariate using analysis of covariance (P = 0·018). Other micronutrients did not show any significant relationship.
A valid and reliable eighteen-item knowledge questionnaire was constructed and found to have a significant positive relationship with plasma retinol status alone.