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The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015–2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015–2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015–2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.
To develop and evaluate a Nutrition Transition-FFQ (NT-FFQ) to measure nutrition transition among adolescents in South India.
We developed an interviewer-administered NT-FFQ comprising a 125-item semi-quantitative FFQ and a twenty-seven-item eating behaviour survey. The reproducibility and validity of the NT-FFQ were assessed using Spearman correlations, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), and levels of agreement using Bland–Altman and cross-classification over 2 months (NT-FFQ1 and NT-FFQ2). Validity of foods was evaluated against three 24-h dietary recalls (24-HR). Face validity of eating behaviours was evaluated through semi-structured cognitive interviews. The reproducibility of eating behaviours was assessed using weighted kappa (κw) and cross-classification analyses.
A representative sample of 198 adolescents aged 14–18 years.
Reproducibility of NT-FFQ: Spearman correlations ranged from 0·33 (pulses) to 0·80 (red meat) and ICC from 0·05 (fruits) to 1·00 (tea). On average, concordance (agreement) was 60 % and discordance was 7 % for food groups. For eating behaviours, κw ranged from 0·24 (eating snacks while watching television) to 0·67 (eating lunch at home) with a mean of 0·40. Validity of NT-FFQ: Spearman correlations ranged from 0·11 (fried traditional foods) to 0·70 (tea) and ICC ranged from 0·02 (healthy global foods) to 1·00 (grains). The concordance and discordance were 48 % and 8 %, respectively. Bland–Altman plots showed acceptable agreement between NT-FFQ2 and 24-HR. The eating behaviours had acceptable face validity.
The NT-FFQ has good reproducibility and acceptable validity for food intake and eating behaviours. The NT-FFQ can quantify the nutrition transition among Indian adolescents.
Benthic communities form an important component of the marine food chain. Their occurrence also provides information on the health of the ecosystem. A study was carried out to understand the distribution and abundance of macrobenthos along with sediment characteristics and physicochemical parameters in Visakhapatnam Harbour, a major port along the east coast of India. In all 84 macrobenthic taxa were reported from the port area of which 60 were polychaetes and 24 were other invertebrate taxa. Our observations revealed an increase in the number of polychaete species observed over the last 20 years from this region. An earlier study reported 38 polychaete species in 1975 and a year later the number of polychaete species reported was 12, indicating an increase in the number of polychaete species in the present study by about 150%. The macrobenthic abundance and dominance of species varied with the seasons. Pre-monsoon was dominated by Cirratulus sp., during monsoon tanaids were dominant indicating a seasonal shift in the occurrence and dominance of macrobenthos. During post-monsoon, Cossura coasta was dominant followed by Nephtys dibranchis and amphipods. Sediment characteristics (sand, silt and clay), organic carbon and dissolved oxygen were the important factors influencing the abundance and species diversity. The abundance of macrobenthic forms also varied with inner and outer harbour region. Higher species diversity was observed in the outer harbour suggesting the outer harbour has semi-polluted conditions such as higher dissolved oxygen (DO) and salinity, low nutrients (nitrite, nitrate and silicate) and low organic carbon in the sediment.
The importance of nanodiamond in biological and technological applications has been recognized, and applied in drug delivery, biochip, sensors and biosensors. Nanodiamond (ND) and nitrogen doped nanodiamond (NND) films were deposited on n-type silicon films, and later functionalized with enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX). Functionalized electrode has been characterized using different techniques; i.e.fourier transform spectroscopy (FTIR) -, Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electrochemical techniques, respectively. Under this work, the ND/GOX and NND/GOX electrodes have demonstrated providing sensitive glucose concentration response. Besides, the cytotoxic effects of the NDs have been studied in vitro. Human Embryonic Kidney 293 (HEK293) cells are cultured in the presence of the films then toxicity has been detected using MTT-based cytotoxicity assays utilizing 3-(4, 5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT). The final results for MTT assays are quantified by spectrophotometry using a plate reader at 570 nm As-prepared nanodiamond has been found to be stable , biocompatible and useful for biosensing applications. A linear response of the enzyme based electrode to glucose concentration is also observed from 1-8 x mM before saturation condition close to 10mM has been observed.
The Chinese Famine of 1959–1961 caused up to 30 million deaths. It varied in intensity across China and affected rural areas disproportionately. Data from the China–U.S. Collaborative Project for Neural Tube Defect Prevention on 31, 449 women (born 1957–1963) and their offspring birth size were recorded in 1993–1996. We used a measure of famine intensity at county level based on the size of famine-born cohorts relative to cohorts preceding and following the famine in a difference-in-difference model that compared offspring birth size of pre-famine (1957–1958; exposed between 0.5 and 4.5 years), famine (1959–1961; prenatal and up to 2.5 years) and post-famine (1962; some exposed in early pregnancy) cohort groups to that of the unexposed 1963 cohort. The model corrected for age and cohort trends and estimated associations between maternal famine exposure and offspring birth size for the average level of famine intensity across counties, and included adjustment for clustering. In rural areas and in pre-famine and famine cohorts, exposure to famine was associated with larger weight (69 g; 95% CI 30, 108), length (0.3 cm; 95% CI −0.0, 0.5) and birth body mass index (0.1 kg/m2; 95% CI 0.0, 0.2). In urban areas, however, exposure to famine was not associated with offspring birth size. Our findings in rural areas suggest that severe and prolonged famine leads to larger newborn size in the offspring of mothers exposed to famine in utero and during the first few years of life; less severe famine in urban areas however, appeared to have no impact. The markedly increased mortality in rural areas may have resulted in the selection of hardier mothers with greater growth potential, which becomes expressed in their offspring.
Technological applications of high temperature superconductors (HTS) require high critical current density, Jc, under operation at high magnetic field strengths. This requires effective flux pinning by introducing artificial defects through creative processing. In this work, we evaluated the feasibility of mixed-phase LaMnO3:MgO (LMO:MgO) films as a potential cap buffer layer for the epitaxial growth and enhanced performance of YBa2Cu3O7-δ (YBCO) films. Such composite films were sputter deposited directly on IBAD-MgO templates (with no additional homo-epitaxial MgO layer) and revealed the formation of two phase-separated, but at the same time vertically aligned, self-assembled composite nanostructures that extend throughout the entire thickness of the film. The YBCO coatings deposited on these nanostructured cap layers showed correlated c-axis pinning and improved in-field Jc performance compared to those of YBCO films fabricated on standard LMO buffers. Microstructural characterization revealed additional extended disorder in the YBCO matrix. The present results demonstrate the feasibility of novel and potentially practical approaches in the pursuit of more efficient, economical, and high performance superconducting devices.
A new process, based on melt processing has been investigated with oxide thermoelectrics to achieve long-range grain alignment for low resistivity as well as to embed secondary phase precipitates and associated crystal defects for low thermal conductivity. Melt-processing of Bi2Sr2Co2Ox and CaMnO3 has been studied. A high degree of (00l) grain alignment has been achieved by melt processing. Good values of Seebeck coefficient of nearly -250 μV/K were measured in the melt-processed CaMnO3. Secondary phases of Ca4Mn3O10 and CaMn2O4 are found to be trapped between the aligned grains which led to high electrical resistivity values and limited the figure of merit in our initial samples.
Mixed ionic electronic conducting perovskite type oxides are promising materials for potential use in various applications such as in fuel cells and membranes for air separation. An important issue in the development of the perovskites is the structural, chemical and mechanical stability of these materials at high temperatures and reducing environments (oxygen partial pressure from 0.21 to 10−17 atm) encountered in membrane reactors. SrFeO3 oxides doped with La on the A-site and Cr on the B-site showed high strength at room temperature in air. The strength degrades rapidly with an increase in temperature in air as compared to in N2 and CO2/CO environment. Fracture in the material is characterized by non-equilibrium segregation of elements within the grains. The observations provide valuable structure-property correlation as applicable to the long-term behavior of the material in advanced catalytic membrane reactors.
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