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Potential planting area for tuber mustard was simulated using the Maxent model under current and future conditions based on 591 coordinates and 22 environmental layers. Model accuracy was excellent, with area under the receiving operator curve values of 0.967 and 0.958 for model training and testing, respectively. Dominant factors were mean diurnal range, mean temperature of the coldest quarter, annual mean temperature and minimum temperature of the coldest month, with thresholds of 6.5–7.5, 5.5–9, 16–19 and 2.0–6.5 °C, respectively. Under current conditions, suitable habitat areas (2.16% of total land in China) were concentrated mainly in Central, Southwest and East China, which can be defined as three occurrence and diffusion centres. In the 2050s and 2070s, suitable habitat areas are predicted to change to 3.72 and 3.92%, and 3.60 and 3.73% under scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP6.0, respectively, indicating that suitable habitat areas will increase slightly. However, future distribution of tuber mustard was predicted to differ among provinces or cities, i.e. predicted suitable habitat areas in Sichuan Province increased up to the 2050s but remained relatively unchanged between the 2050s and 2070s; in Chongqing city they first increased and then decreased; in Hunan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian Provinces they increased continuously; and in Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi Provinces and Shanghai city they first decreased, and then increased. The results from the current study provide useful information for management decisions of tuber mustard.
The Iron Age of Mainland Southeast Asia began in the fifth century bc and lasted for about a millennium. In coastal regions, the development of trade along the Maritime Silk Road led to the growth of port cities. In the interior, a fall in monsoon rains particularly affected the Mun River valley. This coincided with the construction of moats/reservoirs round Iron Age settlements from which water was channelled into wet rice fields, the production of iron ploughshares and sickles, population growth, burgeoning exchange and increased conflict. We explore the social impact of this agricultural revolution through applying statistical analyses to mortuary samples dating before and after the development of wet rice farming. These suggest that there was a swift formation of social elites represented by the wealth of mortuary offerings, followed by a decline. Two associated changes are identified. The first involved burying the dead in residential houses; the second considers the impact of an increasingly aquatic environment on health by examining demographic trends involving a doubling of infant mortality that concentrated on neonates. A comparison between this sequence and that seen in coastal ports suggests two interconnected instances of rapid pathways to social change responding to different social and environmental stressors.
Skilled nursing home facilities (SNFs) house a vulnerable population frequently exposed to respiratory pathogens. Our study aims to gain a better understanding of the transmission of nursing home-acquired viral respiratory infections in non-epidemic settings. Symptomatic surveillance was performed in three SNFs for residents exhibiting acute respiratory symptoms. Environmental surveillance of five high-touch areas was performed to assess possible transmission. All resident and environmental samples were screened using a commercial multiplex polymerase chain reaction platform. Bayesian methods were used to evaluate environmental contamination. Among nursing home residents with respiratory symptoms, 19% had a detectable viral pathogen (parainfluenza-3, rhinovirus/enterovirus, RSV, or influenza B). Environmental contamination was found in 20% of total room surface swabs of symptomatic residents. Environmental and resident results were all concordant. Target period prevalence among symptomatic residents ranged from 5.5 to 13.3% depending on target. Bayesian analysis quantifies the probability of environmental shedding due to parainfluenza-3 as 92.4% (95% CI: 86.8–95.8%) and due to rhinovirus/enterovirus as 65.6% (95% CI: 57.9–72.5%). Our findings confirm that non-epidemic viral infections are common among SNF residents exhibiting acute respiratory symptoms and that environmental contamination may facilitate further spread with considerable epidemiological implications. Findings further emphasise the importance of environmental infection control for viral respiratory pathogens in long-term care facilities.
Alcoholic patients are more susceptible to Strongyloides stercoralis infection. The chronic use of alcohol raises the levels of endogenous corticosteroids, which regulates the development of larvae and stimulates the differentiation of rhabditiform into infective filariform larvae, thus inducing internal autoinfection. Therefore, early diagnosis is important to prevent severe strongyloidiasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of parasitological methods, according to the parasite load and the number of stool samples, for diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection, as well the peripheral blood eosinophil count in alcoholic patients. A total of 330 patients were included in this study. The diagnosis was established using three parasitological methods: agar plate culture, Baermann–Moraes method and spontaneous sedimentation. Peripheral eosinophilia was considered when the level was >600 eosinophils/mm3. The agar plate culture (APC) had the highest sensitivity (97.3%). However, the analysis of multiple samples increased the sensitivity of all parasitological methods. The sensitivities of the methods were influenced by the parasite load. When the larval number was above 10, the sensitivity of APC was 100%, while in spontaneous sedimentation the sensitivity reached 100% when the larval number was above 50. In the present study, 15.4% of alcoholic patients infected with S. stercoralis (12/78) had increased peripheral blood eosinophil count (above 600 eosinophils/mm3). For an efficient parasitological diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection in alcoholic patients, repeated examination by two parasitological methods must be recommended, including agar plate culture due to its higher sensitivity. Moreover, S. stercoralis infection was associated with eosinophilia, mostly in patients excreting up to 10 larvae/g faeces.
New remote sensing technologies have provided unprecedented results in vineyard monitoring. The aim of this work was to evaluate different sources of images and processing methodologies to describe spatial variability of spectral-based and canopy-based vegetation indices within a vineyard, and their relationship with productive and qualitative vine parameters. Comparison between image-derived indices from Sentinel 2 NDVI, unfiltered and filtered UAV NDVI and with agronomic features have been performed. UAV images allow calculating new non-spectral indices based on canopy architecture that provide additional and useful information to the growers with regards to within-vineyard management zone delineation.
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) of the families Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae have a symbiotic association with bacteria which makes them virulent against insects. EPNs have been mass produced using in vivo and in vitro methods, including both solid and liquid fermentation. This study assessed the effect of nematode inoculum age on the production of Steinernema feltiae in liquid, solid and biphasic processes. Several physical parameters were also assessed: the effect of medium viscosity, flask size and aeration speed on the recovery and yield of infective juveniles (IJs). Inoculum age treatments included inoculum liquid cultures that were 7, 14, 21 and 28 days old. Nematodes from the same inoculum were added to one liquid medium (liquid culture), one solid medium with bacteria previously grown in sponge (solid culture) and a variation of the solid medium (a biphasic culture), in which the bacteria were first grown in liquid and, then, soaked into the sponges, with the purpose of providing a more homogeneous bacterial culture before nematode inoculation. Experiments were conducted in Erlenmeyer flasks. Eight treatments were established involving combinations of three variables: two media (with and without 0.2% agar), two flask sizes (250 and 150 ml) and two agitation speeds (180 and 280 rpm). The study showed increases in nematode yield for liquid cultures, but not for solid or biphasic cultures, with the advance of the inoculum age up to 28 days of growth. Furthermore, the addition of 0.2% agar to the liquid medium and increasing the aeration rate by using larger flasks with higher agitation speed may increase nematode recovery and final yield. The experiments were conducted using shake flasks but the results may also be applicable for bioreactors.
Due to the non-curative nature of high grade brain tumours “difficult discussions” about goals of care, advance care planning, palliative care, and end of life are inherent to the practice of the neuro-oncology team. Clinician and patient barriers are common and may include anxiety about destroying hope, lack of readiness to discuss end of life topics, difficulty managing emotional responses, and concerns over competency in facilitating difficult discussions. Nonetheless, clinician comfort and skill in facilitating these discussions is critical and can impact patient perception of illness, coping response, and ability to make decisions about care. Methods At our regional cancer centre, a novel quality improvement initiative was designed to bring monthly case presentation of “difficult discussions” into a pre-existing weekly multi-disciplinary case conference (MCC). We will describe the rationale and developmental processes behind this initiative. Roughly 15 neuro-oncology clinicians attended each case conference, with guest attendance from palliative care and psychosocial oncology. Clinician groups represented included physicians (77%), nurses (8%), nurse practitioners (10 %), and occupational therapists (5%). Baseline and monthly surveys were administered to determine clinicians’ self- rated practices, skills, and attitudes towards “difficult discussions”. Results Early findings indicate that the initiative has been well-received. Physicians indicated highest levels of agreement with the statement “I feel that having difficult discussions is part of my responsibility”. Non physician groups indicated the greatest agreement that the intervention is beneficial to their practice. Discussion: Our challenges and successes may help guide others to incorporate a similar initiative at disease-site meetings.
In preparation of the first paleoseismic trenching in the NE border of the Roer graben (the Netherlands), site selection was carried out. Combining geological and seismological information and using existing aerial photographs, seismic reflection and geodetic levelling data, it was decided to focus on the Peel boundary fault near the village of Neer. Detailed information on the exact location of the fault was obtained through geophysical techniques, mainly ground penetrating radar (GPR) and resistivity measurements. GPR data unambiguously showed the flexuring and offset of reflectors affected by the fault. Performing eleven GPR profiles along strike allowed to obtain a 3D picture of the fault, laterally extending the information given in the trench.
In this study, we conducted the in-situ observations of the magnetic domain structure change in Nd2Fe14B magnets at elevated temperature by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) / Lorentz microscopy. The in-situ observations in Nd2Fe14B magnets revealed that the magnetization reversal easily occurred at the elevated temperature. At more than 180°C, the magnetic domain wall motion could be observed by applying the magnetic field of less than 20 mT. The motion of the magnetic domain wall was discontinuous and the domain wall jumped to one grain boundary to the neighboring grain boundary at 180°C. On the other hand, the continuous domain wall motion within grain interior as well as discontinuous domain wall motion was observed at 225°C, and some grain boundaries showed still strong pinning effect even at 225°C. The temperature dependence of the pinning effect of grain boundaries would not uniform.
This paper will discuss the structure-property model developed that correlates the tensile modulus to the elastic properties and angular distribution of constituent graphitic layers for carbon fiber derived from a polyethylene precursor. In addition, a high-temperature fiber tensile device was built to enable heating of carbon fiber bundles at a variable rate from 25 °C to greater than ∼2300 °C, while simultaneously applying a tensile stress. This capability combined with synchrotron wide-angle x-ray diffraction (WAXD), enabled observation in situ and in real time of the microstructural transformation from different carbon fiber precursors to high-modulus carbon fiber. Experiments conducted using PAN- and PE-derived fiber precursors reveal stark differences in their carbonization and high-temperature graphitization behavior.
The work presents a comparative study on GaN/AlGaN type-II heterostructures grown on c-plane Al2O3 and Si (111) substrates by Plasma Assisted Molecular Beam Epitaxy. The in-depth structural characterizations of these samples were performed by High-Resolution X-Ray Diffraction, X-ray Reflectivity and Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy. The in-plane and out-of plane strains were determined from measured c- and a-lattice parameters of the epilayers from reciprocal space mapping of both symmetric triple axis (002) and asymmetric grazing incidence (105) double axis mode. The mosaicity parameters like tilt and correlation lengths were also calculated from reciprocal space mapping. Moreover, the twist angle was measured from skew symmetric off axis scan of (102), (103), and (105) planes along with (002) symmetric plane. The defect density were measured from the full width at half maxima of skew symmetric scan of (002) and (102) reflection planes. Also, the strained states of all the layers were analyzed and corresponding Al mole fraction was calculated based on anisotropic elastic theory. The thicknesses of the layers were measured from simulation of the nominal structure by fitting with X-ray Reflectivity experimental curves and also by comparing with cross sectional Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy micrographs.
Comprehensive characterization of materials suggests measuring their different properties for optimal use in technological applications and this task becomes more challenging as size of related structures decreases and their complexity increases. At smaller scales Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) enables visualization of structures and quantitative measurements of their mechanical and electric properties. So far, several properties such as elastic modulus and work of adhesion, surface potential and dielectric permittivity can be extracted from the results obtained in various AFM modes. More complicated are the AFM experiments and their analysis in case of viscoelastic, piezoelectric and thermoelectric properties. Several examples of quantitative characterization of neat polymers will be given. In many cases the dissimilarity of the components’ properties is employed for their recognition in heterogeneous systems such as polymer blends, block copolymers and metal alloys. The confined geometries, which are common for small-scale structures, might restrict such identification and a combination of AFM with spectral methods such as Raman scattering will be helpful. Achievements and challenges of compositional mapping will be illustrated on several complex materials.
X-ray beam-induced damage in nanoscale metal islands was investigated. Monolayer-high Ni islands were prepared on a Cu(111) substrate. High brilliance X-rays with photon energies between 8.45 and 8.85 keV illuminated the sample for about 11 hours. In order to track changes in the morphology of the islands, the synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy (SX-STM) technique was utilized. The result shows that X-ray illumination onto Ni islands does not induce noticeable damage. The study demonstrates that local beam-induced changes can be studied using SX-STM.
Polymer brushes of poly[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]trimethylammonium chloride (PMETAC) and poly(sulfo propyl methacrylate) (PSPM) were synthesized by Atomic Transfer Radical Polymerization from planar and colloidal surfaces. Polymer brush growth was followed by QCMD and the water content determined by combined QCMD and elipsometry. From the water content the percentage of water lost during the brush collapse with the ionic strength could be obtained.
Highly charged PSPM brushes were indented by Atomic Force Microscopy at different ionic strengths. The force response was fitted to a phenomenological equation analogous to the equation of state of a compressible fluid. Internal energy and brush compressibility were obtained as a function of ionic strength.
Spherical brushes of PMETAC and PSPM display an invariance of the zeta potential with ionic strength in the range from 20 mM to 200 mM NaCl, the zeta potential remains almost constant. This invariance can be explained applying a hairy surface approach.
We have studied electrochemical Li deposition/dissolution processes at amorphous solid electrolyte (LiPON) interfaces with 30-nm-thick-Cu-current collectors at different current densities by in-situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM). When the current density is smaller than 300 μA cm−2, Li islands continue to grow under a Cu film without coalescing with their neighbors. Consequently, they produce small cracks in the Cu film leading to isolated Li rod growth from the cracks. On the other hand, a current density of 1.0 mA cm−2 provokes the nucleation of Li islands with a higher number density. They rapidly coalesce under a Cu film in all lateral directions before cracking the Cu film. High current density conditions therefore suppress Li rod growths.