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High performing dairy cows experience distinct metabolic stress during periods of negative energy balance. Subclinical disorders of the cow’s energy metabolism facilitate failure of adaptational responses resulting in health problems and reduced performance. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) with its sympathetic and parasympathetic branches plays a predominant role in adaption to inadequate energy and/or fuel availability and mediation of the stress response. Therefore, we hypothesize that indices of heart rate variability (HRV) that reflect ANS activity and sympatho-vagal balance could be early markers of metabolic stress, and possibly useful to predict cows with compromised regulatory capacity. In this study we analysed the autonomic regulation and stress level of 10 pregnant dried-off German Holstein cows before, during and after a 10-h fasting period by using a wide range of HRV parameters. In addition heat production (HP), energy balance, feed intake, rumen fermentative activity, physical activity, non-esterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyric acid, cortisol and total ghrelin plasma concentrations, and body temperature (BT) were measured. In all cows fasting induced immediate regulatory adjustments including increased lipolysis (84%) and total ghrelin levels (179%), reduction of HP (−16%), standing time (−38%) and heart rate (−15%). However, by analysing frequency domain parameters of HRV (high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) components, ratio LF/HF) cows could be retrospectively assigned to groups reacting to food removal with increased or decreased activity of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS. Regression analysis reveals that under control conditions (feeding ad libitum) group differences were best predicted by the nonlinear domain HRV component Maxline (LMAX, R2=0.76, threshold; TS=258). Compared with cows having LMAX values above TS (>LMAX: 348±17), those with LMAX values below TS (<LMAX: 109±26) had higher basal blood cortisol levels, lower concentrations of insulin, and respond to fasting with a shift of their sympatho-vagal balance towards a much stronger dominance of the sympathetic branch of the ANS and development of stress-induced hyperthermia. The data indicate a higher stress level, reduced well-being and restricted regulatory capacity in <LMAX cows. This assumption is in accord with the lower dry matter intake and energy corrected milk yield (16.0±0.7 and 42±2 kg/day) in lactating <LMAX compared with >LMAX cows (18.5±0.4 and 47.3 kg/day). From the present study, it seems conceivable that LMAX can be used as a predictive marker to discover alterations in central autonomic regulation that might precede metabolic disturbances.
To identify predictors of influenza vaccine acceptance among VHA healthcare workers (HCWs), with emphasis on modifiable factors related to promotion campaigns.
National single-payer healthcare system with 140 hospitals and 321,000 HCWs.
National voluntary sample of HCWs in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system.
We invited a random sample of 5% of all VHA HCWs to participate. An 18-item intranet-based survey inquired about occupation, vaccination status, employer policy, and local campaign efforts.
The response rate was 17.4%. Of 2,502 initial respondents, 2,406 (96.2%) provided usable data. This sample includes respondents from all 140 VA hospitals. Self-reported influenza vaccination rates were highest among physicians (95.6%) and licensed independent providers (88.3%). Nonclinical staff (80.7%) reported vaccine uptake similar to other certified but nonlicensed providers (81.2%). The strongest predictor of vaccine acceptance among VHA HCWs was individual awareness of organizational policy. Vaccine acceptance was also higher among HCWs who reported more options for access to vaccination and among those in facilities with more education activities.
Influenza vaccine acceptance varied significantly by employee awareness of employer policy and on-site access to vaccine. Employer-sponsored activities to increase access continue to show positive returns across occupations. Local influenza campaign efforts to educate HCWs may have reached saturation in this target group. These results suggest that focused communications to increase HCW awareness and understanding of employer policy can drive further increase in influenza vaccination acceptance.
Euclid is a Europe-led cosmology space mission dedicated to a visible and near infrared survey of the entire extra-galactic sky. Its purpose is to deepen our knowledge of the dark content of our Universe. After an overview of the Euclid mission and science, this contribution describes how the community is getting organized to face the data analysis challenges, both in software development and in operational data processing matters. It ends with a more specific account of some of the main contributions of the Swiss Science Data Center (SDC-CH).
During the past three years the measurement of stellar radial velocities has formed an important part of the spectroscopic programme of most observatories possessing large telescopes. As observations are carried to fainter and fainter stars and the number of observable objects increases rapidly, a natural development has been the selection of special groups and types of stars, the radial velocities of which will aid in the solution of certain specific problems. Illustrations are the studies of the O, B and A type stars made at the Dominion Astrophysical, the Lick, and the Simeis Observatories, of the members of the galactic clusters at the Lick Observatory, and of the fainter Cepheid variables and early-type stars with strong interstellar lines at the Mount Wilson Observatory.
During the past three years observational and theoretical work has been uncommonly extensive and fruitful in two of the fields within the interests of Commission 28—namely, the distribution of external galaxies and the analysis of diffuse nebulosity, the latter including interstellar absorbing material. Important work is also under way at a number of observatories in the interpretation of planetary nebulae. Studies of clusters, however, have been limited to a few active workers, and progress has not been rapid in the analysis of individual galaxies.
The following report, which has been drawn up partly on the basis of the reports of the members of the Commission, touches briefly and without any attempt at completeness a few points of the recent developments in certain important fields falling within the domain of the Commission.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be delivered efficaciously through various modalities, including telephone (T-CBT) and face-to-face (FtF-CBT). The purpose of this study was to explore predictors of outcome in T-CBT and FtF-CBT for depression.
A total of 325 depressed participants were randomized to receive eighteen 45-min sessions of T-CBT or FtF-CBT. Depression severity was measured using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses were conducted with baseline participant demographics and psychological characteristics predicting depression outcomes, HAMD and PHQ-9, at end of treatment (week 18).
The demographic and psychological characteristics accurately identified 85.3% and 85.0% of treatment responders and 85.7% and 85.0% of treatment non-responders on the HAMD and PHQ-9, respectively. The Coping self-efficacy (CSE) scale predicted outcome on both the HAMD and PHQ-9; those with moderate to high CSE were likely to respond with no other variable influencing that prediction. Among those with low CSE, depression severity influenced response. Social support, physical functioning, and employment emerged as predictors only for the HAMD, and sex predicted response on the PHQ-9. Treatment delivery method (i.e. telephone or face-to-face) did not impact the prediction of outcome.
Findings suggest that the predictors of improved depression are similar across treatment modalities. Most importantly, a moderate to high level of CSE significantly increases the chance of responding in both T-CBT and FtF-CBT. Among patients with low CSE, those with lower depressive symptom severity are more likely to do well in treatment.
On 23 May 2011, CDC identified a multistate cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg infections and two multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates from ground turkey retail samples with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns. We defined cases as isolation of outbreak strains in persons with illness onset between 27 February 2011 and 10 November 2011. Investigators collected hypothesis-generating questionnaires and shopper-card information. Food samples from homes and retail outlets were collected and cultured. We identified 136 cases of S. Heidelberg infection in 34 states. Shopper-card information, leftover ground turkey from a patient's home containing the outbreak strain and identical antimicrobial resistance profiles of clinical and retail samples pointed to plant A as the source. On 3 August, plant A recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey. This outbreak increased consumer interest in MDR Salmonella infections acquired through United States-produced poultry and played a vital role in strengthening food safety policies related to Salmonella and raw ground poultry.
At the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a new type of refractive X-ray optics has been developed. Owing to its comparably easy fabrication method and the large aperture, the so-called Rolled X-ray Prism Lenses (RXPL) have the potential to be used with X-ray tubes in an industrial environment as a low-cost alternative to existing optics. The lens itself is built out of a micro-structured foil which is cut into shape and rolled around a winding core to form a refracting element for X-rays. The resulting refractive structure can be used as illumination optics. Diffractometry experiments with an NIST 1976a sample were performed and showed up to an 18-fold enhanced integrated intensity compared to that acquired with a steel tube collimator.
A general framework for age-structured predator-prey systems is introduced. Individuals
are distinguished into two classes, juveniles and adults, and several possible
interactions are considered. The initial system of partial differential equations is
reduced to a system of (neutral) delay differential equations with one or two delays.
Thanks to this approach, physically correct models for predator-prey with delay are
provided. Previous models are considered and analysed in view of the above results. A
Rosenzweig-MacArthur model with delay is presented as an example.
Stressful life events have long been suspected to contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity. The few studies examining the relationship between stressful events and neuroimaging markers have been small and inconsistent. This study examined whether different types of stressful events and perceived stress could predict the development of brain lesions.
This was a secondary analysis of 121 patients with MS followed for 48 weeks during a randomized controlled trial comparing stress management therapy for MS (SMT-MS) to a waitlist control (WLC). Patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans every 8 weeks. Every month, patients completed an interview measure assessing stressful life events and self-report measures of perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, which were used to predict the presence of gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) and T2 lesions on MRI scans 29–62 days later. Participants classified stressful events as positive or negative. Negative events were considered ‘major’ if they involved physical threat or threat to the patient's family structure, and ‘moderate’ otherwise.
Positive stressful events predicted decreased risk for subsequent Gd+ lesions in the control group [odds ratio (OR) 0.53 for each additional positive stressful event, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.30–0.91] and less risk for new or enlarging T2 lesions regardless of group assignment (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55–0.99). Across groups, major negative stressful events predicted Gd+ lesions (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.18–2.64) and new or enlarging T2 lesions (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.11–2.23) whereas moderate negative stressful events, perceived stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms did not.
Major negative stressful events predict increased risk for Gd+ and T2 lesions whereas positive stressful events predict decreased risk.
The effects of antidepressants for treating depressive disorders have been overestimated because of selective publication of positive trials. Reanalyses that include unpublished trials have yielded reduced effect sizes. This in turn has led to claims that antidepressants have clinically insignificant advantages over placebo and that psychotherapy is therefore a better alternative. To test this, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing psychotherapy with pill placebo.
Ten 10 studies comparing psychotherapies with pill placebo were identified. In total, 1240 patients were included in these studies. For each study, Hedges’ g was calculated. Characteristics of the studies were extracted for subgroup and meta-regression analyses.
The effect of psychotherapy compared to pill placebo at post-test was g = 0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14–0.36, I2 = 0%, 95% CI 0–58]. This effect size corresponds to a number needed to treat (NNT) of 7.14 (95% CI 5.00–12.82). The psychotherapy conditions scored 2.66 points lower on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) than the placebo conditions, and 3.20 points lower on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Some indications for publication bias were found (two missing studies). We found no significant differences between subgroups of the studies and in meta-regression analyses we found no significant association between baseline severity and effect size.
Although there are differences between the role of placebo in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy research, psychotherapy has an effect size that is comparable to that of antidepressant medications. Whether these effects should be deemed clinically relevant remains open to debate.
The data base for compounds produced during long-term corrosion of iron and copper objects is reviewed. Compounds are identified that occur in long-term but not in short-term corrosion. Where possible, the formation of these compounds is explained or at least rationalized. An effort is made to discriminate those compounds whose formation depends on microbiological action from those forming abiotically.
We have shown that high efficiency solar cells can be obtained by incorporating materials of different band gaps in a multijunction configuration. This configuration gives rise to high efficiency due to spectrum splitting as well as superior stability due to thin top cells.
We have fabricated multijunction solar cells and acheived a 13% conversion efficiency using 1.7eV a-Si:F:H and 1.5 eV a-Si:Ge:F:H materials in a three-cell triple configuration. This device was deposited onto a stainless steel substrate coated with a back reflector; it also incorporates a microcrystalline p+ layer.
The physical properties of each of the solar cell layers and their role in the device physics of a high efficiency solar cell will be described.
A vacuum UV-photo-CVD reactor for direct decomposition of Si2H6, SiH4, GeH4, and B2H6 for a-Si:H, a-Ge:H, and a-SiGe:H deposition has been operated with a large area dielectric-barrier discharge lamp emitting excimer radiation of Xe (7.3eV), Kr (8.6eV), or Ar (9.8eV).
It is shown that the deposition process (Si2H6 or GeH4 at 0.5 mbar) is governed by the diffusion of long-lifetime radicals.
High quality undoped and p-type doped a-Si:H has been deposited from Si2H6 and B2H6 with the Xe lamp spectrum (σph/σ≈106 at Eg=1.9eV) and film growth rates of up to 5 nm/min have been achieved.
The formation of low temperature Au-Ge contacts to n-GaAs is a two-step process. In the first step, the metals segregate into Au and Ge rich regions and the intermixing of the Au and Ge with the Ga and As causes a reduction in the barrier height. The second step occurs after extended annealing, during which time Au and Ge continue to diffuse into the substrate. An orthorhombic Au-Ga phase is formed and it is likely that other Au-Ga or Ge-As phases are formed. The length of the extended anneal is dependent upon the atomic percent of Ge in the film, with the 10 at. % Ge taking 6 hr., the 27 at. % Ge taking 3 hr. and the 50 at. % Ge taking 9 hr. to become ohmic. The 75 at. % Ge sample doesn’t show ohmic behavior even after 33 hr. of annealing. The metal-semiconductor interface configuration appears abrupt, showing no protrusions into the GaAs substrate.
Infrared (ir) spectroscopy is used to investigate the structural properties of a-SiC:H in a wide compositional range and as a function of film thickness. Hydrogen content NH increases considerably with increasing carbon fraction. For low carbon alloys this is mainly due to an increase of hydrogen bonded to silicon, incorporated in a mono- or dihydride form. Above Eg=2.3eV the proportion of hydrogen incorporated in C-H bonds increases considerably. Oxidation of high C alloys is observed. Converting experimental transmission exactly into absorption data yields thickness independent NH values. It is shown that the previously reported discrepancy between the hydrogen content calculated from ir and nuclear reaction techniques is an artifact of the ir analysis.
Vitrification by joule-heating requires suitable electrode materials. Molybdenum electrodes are used often in high temperature (∼1500°C) joule-heated melters producing commercial glass while Inconel 690 has been the material of choice for lower temperature (∼1150°C) high-level nuclear waste vitrification. Vitrification of diverse waste streams at higher-temperatures places increasingly severe demands upon the electrode materials. Some commercially available ceramics possess sufficient conductivity at high temperatures to be used as electrodes. Many mixed- and low-level waste vitrification applications involve significant amounts of reducible species that accelerate the corrosion process for metallic electrodes. In addition, the corrosion rate of all electrode materials depends on the electrode current density. A special test rig was designed that measures the dependence of corrosion rate on both current density and temperature over extended periods of time. Molybdenum, Inconel 690, and three types of commercial ceramic coupons were tested over a range of conditions in simulated waste glasses containing key reducible species (e.g., PbO, CuO, ZnO, SO3). The corrosion rates show strong dependencies on the current density. Coupons were sectioned and the glass-coupon interface examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) coupled with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). Cu, Pb, Ni and Sn were found to be reduced to their metallic states at the molybdenum coupon surfaces and were active in the corrosion process.
In many vitrification processes, refractory materials are used to contain the waste glass melt. The corrosive nature of the high-temperature melt consumes the waste feed materials but also limits refractory life. As vitrification is applied to more diverse waste streams, and particularly in higher-temperature applications, increasingly severe demands are placed on the refractory materials. A variety of potential refractory materials including Fused-cast AZS, Monofrax K3, Monofrax E, and the Corhart refractories ER1195, ER2161, C1215, C1215Z, Rechrome, and TI 186, were subjected to corrosion testing at 1450°C using the ASTM C-621 procedure. A series of simulated waste glasses was used which included F, Cl, S, Cu, Zn, Pb; these minor components were found to cause significant, and in some cases drastic, increases in corrosion rates. The corrosion tests were conducted over a range of time intervals extending to 144 hrs in order to investigate the kinetics of the corrosion processes. The change of the concentrations of constituents in the glass was monitored by compositional analysis of glass samples and correlated to the observed extent of corrosion; typically, components of the material under test increase with time while key minor components, such as Cu and Pb, decrease. The rate of corrosion of high-zirconia refractories was slowed considerably by adding zirconia to the waste glass composition; this has the added benefit of improving the aqueous leach resistance of the waste form that is produced.