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Social outings can trigger influenza transmission, especially in children and elderly. In contrast, school closures are associated with reduced influenza incidence in school-aged children. While influenza surveillance modelling studies typically account for holidays and mass gatherings, age-specific effects of school breaks, sporting events and commonly celebrated observances are not fully explored. We examined the impact of school holidays, social events and religious observances for six age groups (all ages, ⩽4, 5–24, 25–44, 45–64, ⩾65 years) on four influenza outcomes (tests, positives, influenza A and influenza B) as reported by the City of Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory, Milwaukee, Wisconsin from 2004 to 2009. We characterised holiday effects by analysing average weekly counts in negative binomial regression models controlling for weather and seasonal incidence fluctuations. We estimated age-specific annual peak timing and compared influenza outcomes before, during and after school breaks. During the 118 university holiday weeks, average weekly tests were lower than in 140 school term weeks (5.93 vs. 11.99 cases/week, P < 0.005). The dampening of tests during Winter Break was evident in all ages and in those 5–24 years (RR = 0.31; 95% CI 0.22–0.41 vs. RR = 0.14; 95% CI 0.09–0.22, respectively). A significant increase in tests was observed during Spring Break in 45–64 years old adults (RR = 2.12; 95% CI 1.14–3.96). Milwaukee Public Schools holiday breaks showed similar amplification and dampening effects. Overall, calendar effects depend on the proximity and alignment of an individual holiday to age-specific and influenza outcome-specific peak timing. Better quantification of individual holiday effects, tailored to specific age groups, should improve influenza prevention measures.
Traditionally, aluminum has been the most important raw metal material for the aerospace industry. Since the major part of aluminum production is consumed for aircraft, military, space, and other programs, sponsored or regulated by the U. S. Government, quality of various Al alloys is under governmental control. The representatives of the governmental agency are placed at each aluminum plant in order to assure a high quality of production on-site. A fast and reliable analytical method is essential to control the production process and to keep chemical composition of the alloys inside specified ranges.
States use repression to enforce obedience, but repression—especially if it is violent, massive, and indiscriminate—often incites opposition. Why does repression have such disparate effects? We address this question by studying the political legacy of Stalin’s coercive agricultural policy and collective punishment campaign in Ukraine, which led to the death by starvation of over three million people in 1932–34. Using rich micro-level data on eight decades of local political behavior, we find that communities exposed to Stalin’s “terror by hunger” behaved more loyally toward Moscow when the regime could credibly threaten retribution in response to opposition. In times when this threat of retribution abated, the famine-ridden communities showed more opposition to Moscow, both short- and long-term. Thus, repression can both deter and inflame opposition, depending on the political opportunity structure in which post-repression behavior unfolds.
Modern on-stream X-ray equipment for slurry analysis is now used in hundreds of mines throughout the world. This technique provides valuable information for process control which cannot be achieved by other analytical methods. One of the most recent successful examples is the Brenda Mines, in Canada, where the ARL Process Control X-ray Quantometer (PCXQ) is used for ten different streams in a Cu-Mo concentrator.
The success of slurry analysis is highly dependent upon the analytical method selected, based on the following factors: (i) the features of the analyzed materials, (ii) the concentration ranges, (iii) percent of solids, and (iv) requirements of analytical accuracy and precision. A preliminary investigation of methods and of analytical conditions can be done on a laboratory X-ray spectrometer using solid models of slurry. Such preliminary work significantly simplifies the introduction of the new technology and helps in the preparation of proper specifications.
Development of matrix correction procedures in the field of X-ray spectral analysis leads usually to “universal” algorithms which allow use of a common calibration equation for assay of various materials with different composition and concentration ranges. In many applications, such methods can guarantee accuracy of 3-5% rel.
For X-ray analysis of automotive catalysts, one such technique is based on the theoretical correction of interelement effects. The article states that “the overall accuracy of this approach is about 10% relative error, although this may vary depending upon the particular specimen being analyzed.” However, narrow specification limits for the quality control of catalysts require the total error of analysis less than 1-1.5% rel.
Hexokinase (HK) is a core glycolytic enzyme of Microsporidia which regulates host cell metabolic processes. The goal of the present study was to test for the utility of HK for molecular phylogenetics, species identification and molecular detection of microsporidia in infected insects. HK sequence-based reconstructions were essentially similar to those based upon largest subunit RNA polymerase (RPB1) gene sequences, as well as previously published rRNA gene and genome-based trees. Comparing HK sequences allowed clear differentiation of closely related taxa, such as Nosema bombycis and Nosema pyrausta. In Nosema ceranae, unique SNPs were found for an isolate from wild colonies of the Burzyan dark honey bee as compared with the isolates from domesticated European honey bee. Similarly, in Encephalitozoon cuniculi, HK was as effective as RPB1 for discrimination of isolates belonging to different ITS genotypes. Amplification using species-specific primers flanking short fragments at the 3′-end of HK gene showed the presence of infection in insect tissues infected with N. pyrausta, Nosema ceranae and Paranosema (Antonospora) locustae. For the latter parasite species, HK expression was also demonstrated at early stages of infection using total mRNA extracts of locust larvae. These results indicate the suitability of HK as a novel tool for molecular genetic studies of Microsporidia.
Why do armies sometimes surrender to the enemy and sometimes fight to the bitter end? Existing research has highlighted the importance of battlefield resolve for the onset, conduct, and outcome of war, but has left these life-and-death decisions mostly unexplained. We know little about why battle-level surrender occurs, and why it stops. In this paper, we argue that surrender emerges from a collective-action problem: success in battle requires that soldiers choose to fight as a unit rather than flee, but individual decisions to fight depend on whether soldiers expect their comrades to do the same. Surrender becomes contagious across battles because soldiers take cues from what other soldiers did when they were in a similar position. Where no recent precedent exists, mass surrender is unlikely. We find empirical support for this claim using a new data set of conventional battles in all interstate wars from 1939 to 2011. These findings advance our understanding of battlefield resolve, with broader implications for the design of political-military institutions and decisions to initiate, continue, and terminate war.
Indium oxide (InOx) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on glass substrates by plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (PERTE) at different substrate temperatures. The films were then submitted to two etching solutions with different chemical reactivity: i) HNO3 (6%), at room temperature; ii) HCl (35%): (40 °Bé) FeCl3 (1:1), at 40 °C. The dependence of the etchability of the films on the structural and deposition conditions is discussed. Previously to etching, structural characterization was made. X-ray diffraction showed the appearance of a peak around 2θ=31° as the deposition temperature increases from room temperature to 190 °C, both for ITO and InOx. AFM surface topography and SEM micrographs of the deposited films are consistent with the structural properties suggested by X-ray spectra: as the deposition temperature increases, the surface changes from a finely grained structure to a material with a larger-sized grain or/and agglomerate structure of the order of 250-300 nm. The roughness Rq varies from 0.74 nm for the amorphous tissue to a maximum of 10.83 nm for the sample with the biggest crystalline grains. Raman spectra are also presented.
Understanding the long-term ecological dynamics of boreal forests is essential for assessment of the possible responses and feedbacks of forest ecosystems to climate change. New data on past forest dynamics and peatland development were obtained from a peat sequence in the southern Valdai Hills (European Russia) based on pollen, plant macrofossil, micro-charcoal, peat humification, and testate amoeba analyses. The results demonstrate a dominance of broadleaved forests in the study area from 7000–4000 cal yr BP. Picea was initially a minor component of this forest but increased in cover rapidly with climatic cooling beginning at 4000 cal yr BP, becoming the dominant species. Broadleaved species persisted until 900 cal yr BP, with evidence for intensified felling and forest management over recent centuries. Over the last four hundred years there is evidence for widespread paludification and the establishment of Picea-Sphagnum forests. These data demonstrate how modern wet woodlands have been shaped by a combination of climatic and anthropogenic factors over several millennia. The results also demonstrate the value of a multiproxy approach in understanding long-term forest ecology.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
There is paucity in the level of knowledge on the actual insurer expenses associated with patients suffering with dementia in the developing world. Less is known about direct costs by severity and how costs vary because of the presence of other comorbidities.
Using claims data from an insurer for three years, we identified patients with AD with an algorithm that takes advantage of information on age, primary diagnosis, and services and drugs provided.
Distribution by dementia stage was as follows: mild 21%, moderate 53%, severe 17%, and undetermined 9%. Expenses paid for all causes by the insurer were at least double than estimated in the literature and were increasing annually at rates higher than 30%. Also, 92% of patients have at least another chronic condition.
Worldwide costs of dementia estimates maybe underestimating the actual costs to health systems in the developing world.
Far-UV photons (FUV, E < 13.6 eV) from hot massive stars regulate, or at least influence, the heating, ionization, and chemistry of most of the neutral interstellar medium (H i and H2 clouds). Investigating the interaction between FUV radiation and interstellar matter (molecules, atoms and grains) thus plays an important role in astrochemistry.
The Orion Bar, an interface region between the Orion A molecular cloud and the H ii region around the Trapezium cluster, is a textbook example of a strongly illuminated dense PDR (photodissociation region). The Bar is illuminated by a FUV field of a few 104 times the mean interstellar radiation field. Because of its proximity and nearly edge-on orientation, it provides a very good template to investigate the chemical content, structure, and dynamics of a strongly irradiated molecular cloud edge. We have used ALMA to mosaic a small field of the Bar where the critical transition from atomic to molecular gas takes place. These observations provide an unprecedented sharp view of this transition layer (≲ 1″ resolution or ≲ 414 AU). The resulting images (so far in the rotational emission of CO, HCO+, H13CO+, SO+, SO, and reactive ions SH+ and HOC+) show the small-scale structure in gas density and temperature, and the steep abundance gradients. The images reveal a pattern of high-density substructures, photo-ablative gas flows and instabilities at the edge of the molecular cloud. These first ALMA images thus show a more complex morphology than the classical clump/interclump static model of a PDR.
In order to quantify the chemical content in strongly FUV-irradiated gas, we have also used the IRAM-30 m telescope to carry out a complete line-survey of the illuminated edge of the Bar in the millimeter domain. Our observations reveal the presence of complex organic molecules (and precursors) that were not expected in such a harsh environment. In particular, we have reported the first detection of the unstable cis conformer of formic acid (HCOOH) in the ISM. The energy barrier to internal rotation (the conversion from trans to cis) is approximately 4827 cm−1 (≈7000 K). Hence, this detection is surprising. The low inferred trans-to-cis abundance ratio of 2.8±1.0 supports a photoswitching mechanism: a given conformer absorbs a FUV stellar photon that radiatively excites the molecule to electronic states above the interconversion barrier. Subsequent fluorescent decay leaves the molecule in a different conformer form. This mechanism, which we have specifically studied with ab initio quantum calculations, was not considered so far in astrochemistry although it can affect the structure of a variety of molecules in PDRs.
Silicon carbide dust grains are ubiquitous in circumstellar envelopes around C-rich AGB stars. However, the main gas-phase precursors leading to the formation of SiC dust have not yet been identified. To date, only three molecules containing an Si–C bond have been identified to have significant abundances in C-rich AGB stars: SiC2, SiC, and Si2C. The ring molecule SiC2 has been observed in a handful of evolved stars, while SiC and Si2C have only been detected in the C-star envelope IRC +10216. We aim to study how widespread and abundant SiC2, SiC, and Si2C are in envelopes around C-rich AGB stars and whether or not these species play an active role as gas-phase precursors of silicon carbide dust in the ejecta of carbon stars.
In order to further define the molecular content of planetary nebulae (PNe), we have conducted searches for HCN, HCO+, HNC, and CCH at millimeter wavelengths in a sample of seventeen PNe using the new 12 m and Sub-Millimeter Telescopes of the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). HCN and HCO+ were identified in 75% of the PNe, with corresponding fractional abundances of f(HCN/H2) ~ 0.1-9.1 × 10−7 and f(HCO+/H2) ~ 0.04-7.4 × 10−7. HNC was subsequently identified in twelve PNe with f(HNC/H2) ~ 0.02-2.2 × 10−7. The [HCN]/[HNC] ratio was found to be ~1-8 in nebulae observed. CCH was also detected in eight PNe. The abundances for all molecules were found to remain relatively constant with nebular age across 10,000 years, in contrast to model predictions. They are also 10-100 greater than those observed in diffuse clouds, and suggest that molecular material from PNe seed the diffuse ISM.
In 2005 we suggested a relation between the optimal locus of gas giant planet formation, prior to migration, and the metallicity of the host star, based on the core accretion model, and radial profiles of dust surface density and gas temperature. At that time, less than 200 extrasolar planets were known, limiting the scope of our analysis. Here, we take into account the expanded statistics allowed by new discoveries, in order to check the validity of some premises. We compare predictions with the present available data and results for different stellar mass ranges. We find that the zero age planetary orbit (ZAPO) hypothesis continues to hold after a two order of magnitude increase in discovered planets, as well as the prediction that planets around metal poor stars would have shorter orbits.
Planets form in disks around young stars. The planet formation process may start when the protostar and disk are still deeply embedded within their infalling envelope. However, unlike more evolved protoplanetary disks, the physical and chemical structure of these young embedded disks are still poorly constrained. We have analyzed ALMA data for 13CO, C18O and N2D+ to constrain the temperature structure, one of the critical unknowns, in the disk around L1527. The spatial distribution of 13CO and C18O, together with the kinetic temperature derived from the optically thick 13CO emission and the non-detection of N2D+, suggest that this disk is warm enough (≳ 20 K) to prevent CO freeze-out.
The molecular composition of the stellar outflows of AGB stars is determined by the stellar elemental carbon-to-oxygen abundance ratio, together with the physical circumstances in the innermost region of the outflow. Near the stellar surface, thermal equilibrium (TE) can be assumed. This leads to a certain molecular composition with a O- or C-rich signature. However, several molecular species have been detected that are not expected to be present in the inner region under the assumption of TE chemistry. As a solution to explain the presence of these unexpected species, non-equilibrium chemistry in the inner region of the outflow has been proposed. The outflows of AGB stars are generally not spherically symmetric or homogeneous, which influences the penetration of interstellar UV photons throughout the outflow. We investigate the effect of a clumpy, non-homogeneous outflow on the composition of the inner region by introducing a simple porosity formalism in our chemical model.
The physical evolution of low-mass protostars is relatively well-established, however, there are many open questions on the chemical structure of protostars. The chemical fingerprint generated in the early embedded phase of star formation may be transmitted to the later stages of star, planet and comet formation. The factors that influence the chemical fingerprint are then of interest to study, and determine whether the chemical structure is inherited from the parent cloud or product of the physical processes during star formation. Results of observations and modelling of molecules that trace the cold and warm extended structures of embedded protostars are briefly presented here. Two multiple protostellar systems are studied, IRAS 16293-2422 and VLA 1623-2417, both located in ρ Ophiuchus. We find that the physical structure of the protostars, that is the disk(-like) strucutres, outflow cavity and different luminosities, are important factors in determining the chemical structure of these embedded protostars.
A systematic study, using ion trap time-of-flight mass spectrometry, is presented for the photo-dissociation processes of Bisanthenquinone (Bq) cations, C28H12O2+, a ketone substituted Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH). The Bq cation fragments through sequential loss of the two neutral carbonyl (CO) units upon laser (626nm) irradiation, resulting in a PAH-like derivative C26H12+. Upon further irradiation, C26H12+ exhibits both stepwise dehydrogenation and C2/C2H2 loss fragmentation channels. Quantum chemistry calculations reveal a detailed picture for the first CO-loss, which involves a transition state with a barrier of ∼ 3.4 eV, which is lower than the energy required for the lowest H-loss pathway (∼ 5.0 eV). The barrier for the second CO-loss is higher (∼ 4.9 eV). The subsequent loss of this unit changes the Bq geometry from a planar to a bent one. It is concluded that the photodissociation mechanism of the substituted PAH cations studied here is site selective in the substituted subunit. This work also shows that an acetone substituted PAH cation is not photo-stable upon irradiation.