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Much of our current understanding about novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) comes from hospitalised patients. However, the spectrum of mild and subclinical disease has implications for population-level screening and control. Forty-nine participants were recruited from a group of 99 adults repatriated from a cruise ship with a high incidence of COVID-19. Respiratory and rectal swabs were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Sera were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and microneutralisation assay. Symptoms, viral shedding and antibody response were examined. Forty-five participants (92%) were considered cases based on either positive PCR or positive ELISA for immunoglobulin G. Forty-two percent of cases were asymptomatic. Only 15% of symptomatic cases reported fever. Serial respiratory and rectal swabs were positive for 10% and 5% of participants respectively about 3 weeks after median symptom onset. Cycle threshold values were high (range 31–45). Attempts to isolate live virus were unsuccessful. The presence of symptoms was not associated with demographics, comorbidities or antibody response. In closed settings, incidence of COVID-19 could be almost double that suggested by symptom-based screening. Serology may be useful in diagnosis of mild disease and in aiding public health investigations.
By the end of their first year, infants can interpret many different types of complex dynamic visual events, such as caused-motion, chasing, and goal-directed action. Infants of this age are also in the early stages of vocabulary development, producing their first words at around 12 months. The present work examined whether there are meaningful individual differences in infants’ ability to represent dynamic causal events in visual scenes, and whether these differences influence vocabulary development. As part of the longitudinal Language 0–5 Project, 78 10-month-old infants were tested on their ability to interpret three dynamic motion events, involving (a) caused-motion, (b) chasing behaviour, and (c) goal-directed movement. Planned analyses found that infants showed evidence of understanding the first two event types, but not the third. Looking behaviour in each task was not meaningfully related to vocabulary development, nor were there any correlations between the tasks. The results of additional exploratory analyses and simulations suggested that the infants’ understanding of each event may not be predictive of their vocabulary development, and that looking times in these tasks may not be reliably capturing any meaningful individual differences in their knowledge. This raises questions about how to convert experimental group designs to individual differences measures, and how to interpret infant looking time behaviour.
There is lack of Cameroonian adult neuropsychological (NP) norms, limited knowledge concerning HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa, and evidence of differential inflammation and disease progression based on viral subtypes. In this study, we developed demographically corrected norms and assessed HIV and viral genotypes effects on attention/working memory (WM), learning, and memory.
We administered two tests of attention/WM [Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT)-50, Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS)-III Spatial Span] and two tests of learning and memory [Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R), Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R)] to 347 HIV+ and 395 seronegative adult Cameroonians. We assessed the effects of viral factors on neurocognitive performance.
Compared to controls, people living with HIV (PLWH) had significantly lower T-scores on PASAT-50 and attention/WM summary scores, on HVLT-R total learning and learning summary scores, on HVLT-R delayed recall, BVMT-R delayed recall and memory summary scores. More PLWH had impairment in attention/WM, learning, and memory. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and current immune status had no effect on T-scores. Compared to untreated cases with detectable viremia, untreated cases with undetectable viremia had significantly lower (worse) T-scores on BVMT-R total learning, BVMT-R delayed recall, and memory composite scores. Compared to PLWH infected with other subtypes (41.83%), those infected with HIV-1 CRF02_AG (58.17%) had higher (better) attention/WM T-scores.
PLWH in Cameroon have impaired attention/WM, learning, and memory and those infected with CRF02_AG viruses showed reduced deficits in attention/WM. The first adult normative standards for assessing attention/WM, learning, and memory described, with equations for computing demographically adjusted T-scores, will facilitate future studies of diseases affecting cognitive function in Cameroonians.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
The University of Georgia (USA) is partnering with the University of Padova (Italy) for a dual Master’s degree program in sustainable agriculture, promoting collaboration on some of the biggest challenges facing agriculture today. This innovative program which was launched during 2016 provides students with outstanding training and a unique opportunity to learn about the challenges, opportunities, and leading edges of precision agriculture on another continent – an experience which will serve graduates well when they enter the job market in an increasingly global economy. This paper presents the goals of the program, the curriculum, and describes the opportunities available to prospective students. In addition it describes the process of developing the dual degree which can be used as guide by others wishing to develop similar programs.
Composites of silicone rubber and vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes were produced by capillary infiltration of PDMS. The electrical properties of silicone membranes and carbon nanotubes were investigated by impedance spectroscopy. Gauge factor was evaluated by different ways from Nyquist plots, and reached values up 8.
Ordered carbon nanotube (CNT) growth by deposition of nanoparticle catalysts using dip pen nanolithography (DPN) is presented. DPN is a direct write, tip based lithography technique capable of multi-component deposition of a wide range of materials with nanometer precision. A NanoInk NLP 2000 is used to pattern different catalytic nanoparticle solutions on various substrates. To generate a uniform pattern of nanoparticle clusters, various conditions need to be considered. These parameters include: the humidity in the vessel, temperature, and tip-surface dwell time. By patterning different nanoparticle solutions next to each other, identical growth conditions can be compared for different catalysts in a streamlined analysis process. Fe, Ni, and Co nanoparticle solutions patterned on silicon, mica, and graphite substrates serve as nucleation sites for CNT growth. The CNTs were synthesized by a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reaction. Each nanoparticle patterned substrate is placed in a tube furnace held at 725°C during CNT growth. The carbon source used in the growth chamber is toluene. The toluene is injected at a rate of 5 mL/hr. Growth is observed for Fe and Ni nanoparticle patterns, but is lacking for the Co patterns. The results of these reactions provide important information regarding efficient and highly reproducible mechanisms for CNT growth.
Recent studies of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in aqueous media have showed that water can significantly affect the tube mechanical properties. CNTs under hydrostatic compression can preserve their elastic properties up to large pressure values, while exhibiting exceptional resistance to mechanical loadings. It was experimentally observed that CNTs with encapsulated linear carbon chains (LCCs), when subjected to high hydrostatic pressure values, present irreversible red shifts in some of their vibrational frequencies. In order to address the cause of this phenomenon, we have carried out fully atomistic reactive (ReaxFF) molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for model structures mimicking the experimental conditions. We have considered the cases of finite and infinite (cyclic boundary conditions) CNTs filled with LCCs (LCC@CNTs) of different lengths (from 9 up to 40 atoms). Our results show that increasing the hydrostatic pressure causes the CNT to be deformed in an inhomogeneous way due to the LCC presence. The LCC/CNT interface regions exhibit convex curvatures, which results in more reactive sites, thus favoring the formation of covalent chemical bonds between the chain and the nanotube. This process is irreversible with the newly formed bonds continuing to exist even after releasing the external pressure and causing an irreversibly red shift in the chain vibrational modes from 1850 to 1500 cm−1.
Aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes were grown on carbon fiber surface in order to provide a way to tailor the thermal, electrical and mechanical properties of the fiber-resin interface of a polymer composite. As the deposition temperature of the nanotubes is very high, an elevated exposure time can lead to degradation of the carbon fiber. To overcome this obstacle we have developed a deposition technique where the fiber is exposed to an atmosphere of growth for just one minute, and different concentrations of precursor solution were used.
Laboratory-based surveillance data is essential for monitoring trends in the incidence of enteric disease. Current Canadian human enteric surveillance systems report only confirmed cases of human enteric disease and are often unable to capture the number of negative test results. Data from 9116 hospital stool specimens from the Waterloo Region in Canada, with a mixed urban and rural population of about 500 000 were analysed to investigate the use of stool submission data and its role in reporting bias when determining the incidence of enteric disease. The proportion of stool specimens positive for Campylobacter spp. was highest in the 15–29 years age group, and in the 5–14 years age group for Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7. By contrast, the age-specific incidence rates were highest for all three pathogens in the 0–4 years age group which also had the highest stool submission rate. This suggests that variations in age-specific stool submission rates are influencing current interpretation of surveillance data.
SMYB1 is a Schistosoma mansoni protein highly similar to members of the Y-box binding protein family. Similar to other homologues, SMYB1 is able to bind double- and single-stranded DNA, as well as RNA molecules. The characterization of proteins involved in the regulation of gene expression in S. mansoni is of great importance for the understanding of molecular events that control morphological and physiological changes in this parasite. Here we demonstrate that SMYB1 is located in the cytoplasm of cells from different life-cycle stages of S. mansoni, suggesting that this protein is probably acting in mRNA metabolism in the cytoplasm and corroborating previous findings from our group that showed its ability to bind RNA. Protein–protein interactions are important events in all biological processes, since most proteins execute their functions through large supramolecular structures. Yeast two-hybrid screenings using SMYB1 as bait identified a partner in S. mansoni similar to the SmD3 protein of Drosophila melanogaster (SmRNP), which is important in the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes. Also, pull-down assays were conducted using immobilized GST-SMYB1 proteins and confirmed the SMYB1-SmRNP interaction. The interaction of SMYB1 with a protein involved in mRNA processing suggests that it may act in processes such as turnover, transport and stabilization of RNA molecules.
We report an experimental study of the turbulent flow above a barchan dune in a channel, from particle image velocimetry measurements, for Reynolds numbers ranging from 9000, just below the threshold for particle motion, up to 24 000, where the dune moves. Two calculations of the speed-up over the dune are compared, the usual ‘same-elevation’ and the more relevant ‘Lagrangian’, showing that the latter is smaller by a factor of two. The two-layer structure of the flow disturbance – an essentially inviscid outer layer and a turbulent inner layer of thickness – is assessed. In the outer layer, streamline curvature is shown to be responsible for half of the Lagrangian speed-up, from the comparison of the velocity measurements with two Bernoulli calculations. In the inner layer, detailed measurements of the velocity and stresses are provided, down to , and the momentum budget is discussed. The Reynolds shear stress decreases monotonically towards the dune surface, according to the standard mixing-length closure, whereas the total shear stress increases strongly in the viscous sublayer. Along the dune surface, the shear stress increases up to the crest where it reaches twice its unperturbed value. A good estimate of the surface stress is provided by a parabolic fit of the inner velocity profile matching the outer flow at . Doubling the Reynolds number, the surface shear stress and the speed-up decrease by ∼30 %. The implications of these results on the dune motion, presented in Part 1 of this study (Franklin & Charru, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 675, 2011, pp. 199–222), are finally discussed.
Experiments are reported on the formation and migration of isolated dunes in a turbulent channel flow. These dunes have a very robust crescentic shape with horns pointing downstream, very similar to that of the barchan dunes observed in deserts at a much larger scale. Their main geometrical and dynamical properties are studied in detail, for four types of grains: the conditions for their formation, their morphology, the threshold shear stress for their motion, their velocity, erosion rate, minimum size and the longitudinal stripes of grains hollowed by fluid streaks in the boundary layer. In particular, the law for the dune velocity is found to involve two dimensionless parameters, the Shields number and the sedimentation Reynolds number, in contrast with predictions based on classical laws for particle transport. As the dune migrates, its size slowly decreases because of a small leakage of particles at the horn tips, and the erosion law is given. A minimum size is evidenced, which is shown to increase with the friction velocity and scale with a settling length.