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Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
The up to 60 m thick Neurath Sand (Serravallian, late middle Miocene) is one of several marine sands in the Lower Rhine Basin which were deposited as a result of North Sea transgressive activity in Cenozoic times. The shallow-marine Neurath Sand is well exposed in the Garzweiler open-cast mine, which is located in the centre of the Lower Rhine Basin. Detailed examination of three sediment profiles extending from the underlying Frimmersdorf Seam via the Neurath Sand and through to the overlying Garzweiler Seam, integrating both sedimentological and palaeontological data, has enabled the depositional setting of the area to be reconstructed.
Six subenvironments are recognised in the Neurath Sand, commencing with the upper shoreface (1) sediments characterised by glauconite-rich sands and an extensive biota (Ophiomorpha ichnosp.). These are associated with the silt-rich sands of a transitional subenvironment (2), containing Skolithos linearis, Planolites ichnosp. and Teichichnus ichnosp. These silt-rich sands grade up to the upper shoreface subenvironment (1), which is indicative of an initial regressive trend. The overlying intertidal deposits can be subdivided into a lower breaker zone (3), characterised by ridge-and-runnel systems, and the swash zone (4) where the surge and backwash of waves resulted in the deposition of high-energy laminites. The intertidal deposits were capped by aeolian backshore sediments (5). Extensive root traces present in this latter subenvironment reflect the development of the overlying peatland (i.e. Garzweiler Seam). Within the Garzweiler Seam, restricted sand lenses indicate a lagoonal or estuarine depositional environment (6). Regional correlation with adjacent wells establishes that shallow-marine conditions were widespread across the Lower Rhine Basin in middle Serravallian times. The shoreline profile, characterised by both tidal and wave activity and influenced by fluvial input from the adjacent Rhenish Massif, is indicative of the complexity of the coastal depositional setting within the Lower Rhine Basin.
In an effort to better understand the consequences of early weaning (EW) for replacement beef heifers, a two-phase experiment was conducted investigating the impact on metabolic function and documenting reproductive characteristics. In phase 1, Angus×Simmental heifers (n=35) were stratified by BW and sire, and randomly assigned to either a normal weaning (NW, n=18) or EW (n=17) treatment. EW heifers were weaned at 107±3 days of age and provided access to a concentrate-based ration ad libitum with limit-fed mixed grass hay. NW heifers remained with their dams until 232±3 days of age, at which point heifers from both treatments were comingled and grazed on mixed summer pasture. Following NW, weekly blood samples were collected from all heifers for progesterone analyses used to determine the onset of puberty. Pelvic and ovarian size was measured before breeding. All heifers were subjected to an estrous synchronization protocol with timed artificial insemination (AI) at 437±4 days of age. During phase 2 of the experiment, a subset of pregnant heifers (n=16) were divided into two replicates and subjected to a glucose tolerance test, epinephrine challenge and progesterone clearance analysis. Neither age nor BW at puberty differed between EW and NW heifers. Likewise, no differences in pelvic area or ovarian size were observed. Thus, it appears that the reproductive maturity of EW and NW heifers was similar. Heifers studied during phase 2 of the experiment were restricted to those that had become pregnant to their first AI. Within this cohort, EW heifers tended to have lower overall circulating progesterone concentrations than those that were NW (P=0.14). Aspects of glucose and insulin dynamics were also altered, as EW heifers tended to have lower baseline glucose concentrations (P=0.10) despite similar baseline insulin concentrations. Compared with NW heifers, EW heifers had lower insulin area under the curve (P<0.05), which was partly the result of a tendency for lower peak insulin concentrations (P=0.11). Results of the glucose tolerance test indicate that a lesser insulin response was necessary to properly clear the glucose in the EW heifers, suggesting enhanced insulin sensitivity. Collectively, these results indicate that EW is not detrimental for the growth or reproductive development of replacement beef heifers, although some differences in glucose and insulin dynamics persist into adulthood.
The temperature dependence of cross-plane lattice thermal conductivity for thin film IV-VI semiconductors grown by molecular beam epitaxy was measured. Samples consisting of PbSe/PbSrSe multiple quantum wells (MQWs) on PbSe/PbSnSe superlattices (SLs) were grown with variations in SL layer thickness and the number of SL pairs. Localized lattice temperatures within the MQW layers were extracted from analysis of continuous wave photoluminescence (PL) emission spectra at heat sink temperatures between 100 K and 250 K. These data, finite element analysis, and electrical characterization were used to determine cross-plane lattice thermal conductivity of two different SL materials. A SL material with three different PbSe/PbSnSe thicknesses (1.2/1.2, 1.8/1.8, and 2.4/2.4 nm) exhibited a fairly constant lattice thermal conductivity from 1.2 to 1.3 W/mK as the sample was cooled from 250 K to 100 K. Another SL material with five different PbSe/PbSnSe thicknesses (0.5/0.5, 1.0/1.0, 1.6/1.6, 2.1/2.1, and 2.6/2.6 nm) exhibited very low lattice thermal conductivities from 0.46 to 0.47 W/mK 250 K to 100 K. These results are consistent with reflection of low energy heat transporting acoustic phonons within the SL material.
The principal types of stratification and some characteristic sedimentary sequences found in vegetated coastal dunes in Atlantic Canada are described. Four examples are selected to show a range of dune types and depositional settings. In each case the documentation and interpretation of the internal structure and stratification has made an important contribution to understanding the evolution of the dunes. Stratification and depositional models are presented for:
(1) a single, continuous, transgressive foredune ridge which maintains its form during transgression;
(2) a discontinuous transgressive foredune ridge, interrupted by washover passages;
(3) a “precipitation” dune, which buries an existing stable dune; and
(4) complex dunes produced by two or more phases of aeolian activity characterised by different plant associations.
This study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing as a screening tool for hearing loss in children, after grommet insertion.
A prospective study was conducted of 48 children (91 ears) aged three to 16 years who had undergone grommet insertion for glue ear. At post-operative review, pure tone audiometry was performed followed by transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing. Outcomes for both tests, in each ear, were compared.
The pure tone audiometry threshold was ≤20 dB in 85 ears (93.4 per cent), 25 dB in two ears (2.2 per cent) and ≥30 dB in four ears (4.4 per cent). Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions were detected in 69 ears (75.8 per cent). The sensitivity of transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing for detecting hearing loss was 100 per cent for ≥30 dB loss but only 66.7 per cent for ≥25 dB loss.
Transient evoked otoacoustic emission testing offers a sensitive means of detecting hearing loss of ≥30 dB following grommet insertion in children. However, the use of such testing as a screening tool may miss some cases of mild hearing loss.
Epitaxial (100) iridium films have been grown on (100) SrTiO3 (STO) substrates by electron beam evaporation. The epitaxial relationship between the iridium film and STO substrate was determined to be Ir(001)//STO(001). A systematic study of the role of STO substrate surface preparation, Ir thickness, and substrate temperature on Ir film crystallinity and morpholo- gy has been performed. The best Ir films typically have small Ir(200) XRD linewidths < 0.3 °, surface roughness of 0.2 nm, and low ion channeling yields, χmin≤ 4%, when deposited at 800 °C. Films generally become smoother with better crystallinity when the film thickness approaches 300 nm. A growth mode with initial island formation and subsequent layer-by-layer appears to take place at higher substrate temperatures, whereas at lower temperatures the film grows in a 3D mode.
X-ray diffraction (XRD) and adsorption isotherms have long been traditional methods of characterising molecular sieves. By combining these techniques at low temperatures with variable temperature 129-Xe N.M.R. we now have a fuller understanding of the behaviour of sorbed layers inside these materials. In particular we have observed phase transformations of Xe in a polyhydroxyaluminium-pillared montmorillonite molecular sieve and have developed a model consistent with the data. In addition, using XRD, an interpillar distance of ca. 30Å was calculated. We present the first detailed low temperature studies of 129-Xe N.M.R. on these systems.