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While assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power plants, researchers have focused their attention on radiocarbon (14C) owing to its high mobility in the environment and important radiological impact on human beings. The 10 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China that adopted helium as primary coolant and graphite spheres containing tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particles as fuel elements. A series of experiments on the 14C source terms in HTR-10 was conducted: (1) measurement of the specific activity and distribution of typical nuclides in the irradiated graphite spheres from the core, (2) measurement of the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant, and (3) measurement of the amount of 14C discharged in the effluent from the stack. All experimental data on 14C available for HTR-10 were summarized and analyzed using theoretical calculations. A sensitivity study on the total porosity, open porosity, and percentage of closed pores that became open after irradiating the matrix graphite was performed to illustrate their effects on the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant and activity amount of 14C in various deduction routes.
The very high temperature reactor (VHTR) is a development of the high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) and one of the six proposed Generation IV reactor concept candidates. The 10 MW high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China. A sampling system for the measurement of carbon-14 (14C) was established in the helium purification system of the HTR-10 primary loop, which could sample 14C from the coolant at three locations. The results showed that activity concentration of 14C in the HTR-10 primary coolant was 1.2(1) × 102 Bq/m3 (STP). The production mechanisms, distribution characteristics, reduction routes, and release types of 14C in HTR-10 were analyzed and discussed. A theoretical model was built to calculate the amount of 14C in the core of HTR-10 and its concentration in the primary coolant. The activation reaction of 13C has been identified to be the dominant 14C source in the core, whereas in the primary coolant, it is the activation of 14N. These results can supplement important information for the source term analysis of 14C in HTR-10 and promote the study of 14C in HTGRs.
Flexibility is a particularly important biomechanical property for intracranial vascular stents. To study the flexibility of stent, the following work was carried out by using the finite element method: Four mechanical models were adopted to simulate the bending deformation of stents, and comparative studies were conducted about the distinction between cantilever beam and simply supported beam, as well as the distinction between moment-loading method and displacement-loading method. A complete process as implanting a stent including compressing, expanding and bending was also simulated, for analyzing the effects of compressing and expanding deformation on stent flexibility. At the same time, the effects of the arrangement and the number of bridges on stent flexibility were researched. The results show that: 1. A same flexibility index was obtained from cantilever beam model and simply supported beam model; displacement-loading method is better than moment-loading for simulating the bending deformation of stents. 2. The flexibility of stent with compressing and expanding deformation is lower than that in the initial form. 3. Crossly arranging the neighboring bridges in axial direction, can effectively improve the stent flexibility and reduce the flexibility difference in various bending directions; the bridge number, has proportional non-linear correlation with the stent rigidity as well as the maximum moment required for bending the stent.
This study aimed to examine the epidemiology and treatment outcomes of community-onset purulent staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in Central Australia. We performed a prospective observational study of patients hospitalised with community-onset purulent staphylococcal SSTI (n = 160). Indigenous patients accounted for 78% of cases. Patients were predominantly young adults; however, there were high rates of co-morbid disease. Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) was the dominant phenotype, accounting for 60% of cases. Hospitalisation during the preceding 6 months, and haemodialysis dependence were significant predictors of CA-MRSA infection on univariate analysis. Clinical presentation and treatment outcomes were found to be comparable for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant cases. All MRSA isolates were characterised as non-multi-resistant, with this term used interchangeably with CA-MRSA in this analysis. We did not find an association between receipt of an active antimicrobial agent within the first 48 h, and progression of infection; need for further surgical debridement; unplanned General Practitioner or hospital re-presentation; or need for further antibiotics. At least one adverse outcome was experienced by 39% of patients. Clindamycin resistance was common, while rates of trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole resistance were low. This study suggested the possibility of healthcare-associated transmission of CA-MRSA. This is the first Australian report of CA-MRSA superseding MSSA as the cause of community onset staphylococcal SSTI.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
A pilot study by 6 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) explored how bibliometrics can be used to assess research influence.
Evaluators from 6 institutions shared data on publications (4202 total) they supported, and conducted a combined analysis with state-of-the-art tools. This paper presents selected results based on the tools from 2 widely used vendors for bibliometrics: Thomson Reuters and Elsevier.
Both vendors located a high percentage of publications within their proprietary databases (>90%) and provided similar but not equivalent bibliometrics for estimating productivity (number of publications) and influence (citation rates, percentage of papers in the top 10% of citations, observed citations relative to expected citations). A recently available bibliometric from the National Institutes of Health Office of Portfolio Analysis, examined after the initial analysis, showed tremendous potential for use in the CTSA context.
Despite challenges in making cross-CTSA comparisons, bibliometrics can enhance our understanding of the value of CTSA-supported clinical and translational research.
Factors which might influence outcome in patients with meningioma are not well-understood. Previous studies have examined associations of laboratory blood values including hemoglobin levels with patient outcomes in cancer. We hypothesized those changes in CBC before tumor resection can be used as one of the prognostic factors for tumor recurrence/progression in meningioma. To address this, we gathered the clinical and pre-operative CBC results for final analysis from 226 patients (64 males and 162 females) who underwent craniotomy for primary meningioma (grades: 157 WHO GI, 59 GII, 10 GIII) at our institution between 2001 and 2015.Individual parameters were analyzed for correlation with progression-free survival. The median recurrence free survival (RFS) was not reached and follow-up ranged 0.3-14 years. Fifty-six patients (25%) had anemia and 30% of the patients showed leukocytosis using standard cut-offs. On univariate analyses, low hemoglobin (Hb) level, as well as high leukocytes (Lkc), neutrophil (Neutro) and monocyte counts correlated with worse RFS. As expected, tumor grade was correlated with RFS. Low Hb level, high Lkc and Neutro counts were all significantly associated with RFS after adjusting for grade. Strikingly, 32% of patients with pre-operative anemia experienced a recurrence at 5 years, compared with only 11% of non-anemic patients. Conclusion: In this exploratory study, we find that pre-operative CBC data, which is readily available, may contain prognostic information relevant to subsequent risk of recurrence or progression in meningioma. While the biological mechanism for these associations is not clear, they represent hypotheses for further investigation.
This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate factors that influence the likelihood of syphilis infection from risk-taking behaviours and medical conditions. A retrospective case-control study was conducted by enrolling 664 syphilis inpatients (excluding 11 congenital syphilis patients) and 800 sex- and age-matched controls. Medical histories, clinical data and patient interview data were collected and subjected to logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of syphilis in the study population was 3·9% (675/17 304). By univariate analysis, syphilis infection was associated with migration between cities, marital status, smoking, reproductive history, hypertension, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (P < 0·05). A high rate of syphilis-HBV co-infection was observed in HIV-negative patients and further research revealed an association between syphilis and specific HBV serological reactivity. Syphilis was also associated with the frequency, duration and status of tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that syphilis infection was independently associated with migration between cities [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·368, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·048–1·785], current smoking (aOR 1·607, 95% CI 1·177–2·195), elevated BUN (aOR 1·782, 95% CI 1·188–2·673) and some serological patterns of HBV infection. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, inpatients and blood donors should be tested for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV simultaneously.
This study aimed to explore adenoid regrowth after transoral power-assisted adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface.
Transoral adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascia surface was performed on 39 patients under endoscopic guidance, using a power-assisted system. The operation time, amount of blood loss and iatrogenic injury, presence of complications, and success and regrowth rates were recorded to assess the feasibility, safety and effectiveness of our surgical technique.
In this adenoidectomy procedure, the pharyngobasilar fascia was left intact. The estimated blood loss was 5–50 ml (mean 15 ml), and the success rate was 97.3 per cent. Early complications occurred in 2.3 per cent of patients, while no long-term complications occurred in the cohort. No regrowth was found in the follow-up assessments, which were performed for 18–36 months after surgery.
Adenoid regrowth was rare after adenoidectomy down to the pharyngobasilar fascial surface. The pharyngobasilar fascia can therefore be considered a surgical boundary for adenoidectomy.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
Seismic tomography – in which we construct images of a body's interior using seismic waves – is an inverse problem; that is, our goal is to find a model that fits a set of existing data observations. This is much less straightforward than the reverse, forward problem (i.e., generating synthetic data from an existing model) due to the fact that multiple models can fit the same data or, in other words, the solution is non-unique. Furthermore, there may be parts of the model to which the data have no sensitivity, and small errors in the data can propagate into significant errors in the model (e.g., Trampert, 1998). In order to transform data space into model space, a seismic modeling algorithm is required that can generate synthetic data from an initial model, and then update the initial model to minimize the misfit between synthetic and observed data. There is therefore always a trade-off between the computational efficiency of the modeling algorithm and the accuracy or resolution with which it can represent the real seismic structure. Which kind of modeling algorithm is employed in a given situation depends very much on the nature of the structure being imaged, the quality of the data, and the available computational resources.
Traditionally, seismic tomography has used the travel times of wave phases between a seismic source and receiver to infer the sound-speed structure along the path between them. This so-called travel-time tomography, more typically referred to as “time–distance helioseismology” when applied to the Sun, is based upon ray theory, which assumes that waves travel with an infinitely high frequency, in much the same way as light rays propagating through a medium with smoothly varying refractive index, occasionally encountering a sharp interface. Under this approximation the seismic energy propagates along infinitesimally narrow geometric “ray paths.”
We conducted a systematic review to compare resistance to third-generation cephalosporins (TGCs) in Shigella strains between Europe-America and Asia-Africa from 1998 to 2012 based on a literature search of computerized databases. In Asia-Africa, the prevalence of resistance of total and different subtypes to ceftriaxone, cefotaxime and ceftazidime increased markedly, with a total prevalence of resistance up to 14·2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3·9–29·4], 22·6% (95% CI 4·8–48·6) and 6·2% (95% CI 3·8–9·1) during 2010–2012, respectively. By contrast, resistance rates to these TGCs in Europe-America remained relatively low – less than 1·0% during the 15 years. A noticeable finding was that certain countries both in Europe-America and Asia-Africa, had a rapid rising trend in the prevalence of resistance of S. sonnei, which even outnumbered S. flexneri in some periods. Moreover, comparison between countries showed that currently the most serious problem concerning resistance to these TGCs appeared in Vietnam, especially for ceftriaxone, China, especially for cefotaxime and Iran, especially for ceftazidime. These data suggest that monitoring of the drug resistance of Shigella strains should be strengthened and that rational use of antibiotics is required.
Hospital-based studies have determined high rates of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Indigenous populations. However, there is a paucity of community-based data. We obtained 20 years (1993–2012) of data on S. aureus isolates (N = 20 210) collected from community clinics that provide services for Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Australia. Methicillin resistance increased from 7% to 24%, resistance to macrolides remained stable at ~25%, and there was a slight increase in resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. The increase in methicillin resistance is concerning for the Indigenous communities represented by this data, but it is also of significance if virulent MRSA clones emerge and spread more widely from such settings.
In this paper, the multi-body dynamic model of an asymmetric variable sweep wing morphing UAV is built based on Kane’s method. This model describes the UAV’s transient behaviour during morphing process and the dynamic characteristic of the variable sweep wings. An integrated design of trajectory tracking control via constrained backstepping method is presented then. The idea of aircraft roll control through asymmetric wing sweep angle changes rather than traditional aileron is explored and used in the fight control design. The control of variable sweep wings is designed as well based on the presented dynamic model. Command filters are used in the backstepping design procedure to accommodate magnitude, rate and bandwidth constraints on virtual states and actuator signals. Stability of the closed-loop system can be proved in the sense of Lyapunov. Simulation of tracking a desired trajectory which contains two manoeuvres demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed protocol and the morphing wing roll controller.
An association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and disturbances in neurocognitive function has been identified in Caucasians but the nature and extent of impaired cognition in Asian MetS patients, who may be at greater risk of degenerative cognitive decline, remains unspecified.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at the National University Hospital of Singapore. Participants were recruited from a diabetes clinic at the National University Hospital. Fifty-three patients who met MetS criteria and 44 clinical controls were recruited. All participants were 55 years and above and community ambulant. Neurocognitive function was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). CANTAB performances between MetS and control groups were examined with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the relative contributions of vascular risk, and intrademographic factors on CANTAB scores were dilineated with stepwise regression analyses.
Participants with MetS consistently performed significantly worse than controls across all CANTAB subtests. Education and Chinese race were found to be potential protective factors.
Executive and memory impairment is present in Asian patients with midlife MetS who may be particularly vulnerable to the detrimental impact of MetS in midlife.
Eggshell fragments attributed to large birds have been known from the Palaeogene of southern France for half a century, but reconstructing their original dimensions and identifying the birds that laid the eggs has been fraught with difficulties. On the basis of numerous newly collected specimens and using geometrical calculations, the original size of the thick-shelled eggs is reconstructed, showing that they were slightly larger than ostrich eggs, with a greatest length of 17.8 cm and a mean diameter of 12.0 cm in transversal section. The estimated volume is 1330.4 cm3. The fossil eggs from southern France are thus among the largest known avian eggs, being only surpassed by Aepyornis and some moas. Estimated egg mass is about 1.4 kg. On the basis of egg mass, the body mass of the parent bird is estimated at between 135.4 kg and 156.4 kg, assuming that the hatchlings were precocial. These calculations are in good agreement with the dimensions and mass estimates for the Palaeogene giant bird Gastornis, a probable anseriform, which lived in Europe at the time the eggs were laid. Other large Early Tertiary birds from Europe (Remiornis, Palaeotis) are too small to have laid these eggs. In all likelihood, the large eggs from the Palaeogene of southern France were laid by gastornithid birds.
Ross River virus (RRV) is the most common vector-borne disease in Australia. It is vitally important to make appropriate projections on the future spread of RRV under various climate change scenarios because such information is essential for policy-makers to identify vulnerable communities and to better manage RRV epidemics. However, there are many methodological challenges in projecting the impact of climate change on the transmission of RRV disease. This study critically examined the methodological issues and proposed possible solutions. A literature search was conducted between January and October 2012, using the electronic databases Medline, Web of Science and PubMed. Nineteen relevant papers were identified. These studies demonstrate that key challenges for projecting future climate change on RRV disease include: (1) a complex ecology (e.g. many mosquito vectors, immunity, heterogeneous in both time and space); (2) unclear interactions between social and environmental factors; and (3) uncertainty in climate change modelling and socioeconomic development scenarios. Future risk assessments of climate change will ultimately need to better understand the ecology of RRV disease and to integrate climate change scenarios with local socioeconomic and environmental factors, in order to develop effective adaptation strategies to prevent or reduce RRV transmission.