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Dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-transmitted disease in the world. In China, Guangzhou City is believed to be the most important epicenter of dengue outbreaks although the transmission patterns are still poorly understood. We developed an autoregressive integrated moving average model incorporating external regressors to examine the association between the monthly number of locally acquired dengue infections and imported cases, mosquito densities, temperature and precipitation in Guangzhou. In multivariate analysis, imported cases and minimum temperature (both at lag 0) were both associated with the number of locally acquired infections (P < 0.05). This multivariate model performed best, featuring the lowest fitting root mean squared error (RMSE) (0.7520), AIC (393.7854) and test RMSE (0.6445), as well as the best effect in model validation for testing outbreak with a sensitivity of 1.0000, a specificity of 0.7368 and a consistency rate of 0.7917. Our findings suggest that imported cases and minimum temperature are two key determinants of dengue local transmission in Guangzhou. The modelling method can be used to predict dengue transmission in non-endemic countries and to inform dengue prevention and control strategies.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
The past two decades have seen a significant advancement in the detection, classification and understanding of exoplanets and binary star systems. The vast majority of these systems consist of stars on the main sequence or on the giant branch, leading to a dearth of knowledge of properties at early times (<50 Myr). Only one transiting planet candidate and a dozen eclipsing binaries are known among pre-main sequence objects, yet these are the systems that can provide the best constraints on stellar and planetary formation models. We have recently completed a photometric survey of 3 young (<50 Myr), nearby (D<150 pc) moving groups with a small-aperture instrument, nicknamed “AggieCam”. We detected 7 candidate Hot Jupiters and over 200 likely pre-main sequence binaries, which are now being followed up photometrically and spectroscopically.
Magnesium hydroxyfluoride, Mg(OH)F, has been synthesized by a subcritical hydrothermal route from a 1:1 molar mixture of brucite, Mg(OH)2, and sellaite, MgF2 with a rutile type structure, in excess water. Using a combination of synchrotron X-ray and time-of-flight neutron powder diffraction, the structure of Mg(OH)F has been solved in the diaspore space group Pnma with a = 10.116(3), b = 4.6888(10) and c = 3.0794(7) Å at ambient conditions. The most intense diffraction lines are [dobs (hkl) Iobs]: 2.291 (211) 10, 4.253 (101) 7, 1.747 (212) 7, 2.229 (401) 6 and 1.480 (610) (4) Å, with the largest d-spacing at 5.058 Å. Sharp infrared stretching bands are located at 3679 and 3645 cm–1, with a broader band at 3535 cm–1. The topology of the structure is intermediate between that of the OH and F endmembers, being derived through notional shearing nearly normal to the sheets of octahedra of the CdI2/Mg(OH)2-type structure. Further similar shearing at an interval 1/2a would lead to a Cd(OH)F-type structure, which is also related to the rutile structure type. The observations and model presented here indicate a close correlation between the structural properties of the endmembers and Mg(OH)F.
The SMC is now known to contain many more transient X-ray pulsars than would be expected based on a simple scaling of the number of such sources in the Galaxy by the relative mass of the SMC. We have been conducting regular monitoring observations of the SMC with the Proportional Counter Array on the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer since 1997. This has resulted in the discovery of many of these X-ray pulsars and also provided orbital period measurements from detections of regular outbursts. We can now investigate the differences and similarities of the Galactic and SMC X-ray pulsar populations and consider the origin of the huge SMC X-ray pulsar over-abundance.
The prevalence of active infection with Helicobacter pylori in the general population of England and Wales was estimated using high reactivity for specific IgG in serum ELISA as a marker. A total of 10118 anonymized residues of serum samples collected in 1986 and 1996 from persons aged 1–84 years were used. Estimated prevalence of active infection varied by region and was highest in London. Prevalence was related to decade of birth and increased from 4·3% in those born during the 1980s to 30% in those born before 1940. An estimated total of 7·5 million people living in England and Wales have an active infection and analysis by decade of birth showed no significant difference between samples collected in 1986 and 1996. These data suggest H. pylori infection is becoming less common, is acquired at an early age and is unlikely to be resolved unless suitable antimicrobial treatment is sought.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
We present the first results of the analysis of 22 Blazhko stars. We find: 1) Blazhko RRab stars that are nearly pure amplitude modulators; 2) Blazhko RRab stars that have both amplitude and phase modulation; 3) A Blazhko RRab star that has an abrupt period change; 4) Proof of the Blazhko effect in RRc stars. Our data show the character of the amplitude and phase modulations of the light curves over the Blazhko cycles far better than has been previously possible.
We present the first massive frequency analysis of the 1200 first overtone RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud observed in the first 4.3 yr of the MACHO project. Besides the many new double-mode variables, we also discovered stars with closely spaced frequencies. These variables are most probably nonradial pulsators.
The MACHO microlensing experiment's time-sampled photometry database contains blue and red lightcurves for nearly 9 million stars in the central bar region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have identified known LMC Planetary Nebulae (PN) in the database and find one, Jacoby 5, to be variable. We additionally present data on the “parent populations” of LMC PN, and discuss the star formation history of the LMC bar.
The relationship between the magnetic and crystalline microstructure of SrRu03 thin films is analyzed using transmission electron microscopy. Regions with a stripe magnetic domain structure in different orientations are observed in Lorentz imaging mode when the specimens are zero-field-cooled through the ferromagnetic transition temperature, Tc ≈ 150K. The different orientations of the stripe regions correspond to different crystallographic domains as determined by electron diffraction and magnetic image contrast; all of the six possible orientations of the orthorhombic SrRuO3 structure grown epitaxially on a SrTiO3 cubic substrate are identified. The results show that the uniaxial anisotropy indicated for these multi(crystal)domain films is the same as that determined for single crystal films by bulk magnetization measurements, and is therefore primarily magnetocrystalline in nature.
Data from the F1, F2 and F3 generations derived from four F1 hybrids of sunflower were analysed to determine the genetical control of eleven agronomically important traits namely, flowering time (FT), final height (FH), seed set (SS), fresh seed weight (FSW), dry seed weight (DSW), 25-seed weight (SSW), head diameter (HD), head angle (HA), neck width (NW), Botrylis infection (BI) and percentage oil content (PO), with the objective of assessing their potential for producing superior recombinant lines. Comparisons of means revealed significant differences between the F: generations of crosses for all the characters except FT. Model fitting indicated that these differences were attributed either to variation in the magnitude of the dominance component [h], or the projected mean of the Finfin; generation, m. Further, all the variation in the generation means was accounted for by the m and [h] parameters and epistasis was shown to be non-existent for almost all the traits. Analysis of the second degree statistics revealed the presence of additive genetic effects and most of the characters showed moderate heritability except for HD, which was highly heritable. All the crosses were predicted to produce significant numbers of transgressive segregants and consequently were expected to yield superior inbred lines and second cycle hybrids either to be released as varieties as such or to be utilized in future breeding work. The overall differences between the crosses, however, were not highly pronounced and therefore it was not possible to identify a cross which would yield markedly superior recombinant lines and F1 crosses compared to the others.