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Observations show that glaciers around the world are in retreat and losing mass. Internationally coordinated for over a century, glacier monitoring activities provide an unprecedented dataset of glacier observations from ground, air and space. Glacier studies generally select specific parts of these datasets to obtain optimal assessments of the mass-balance data relating to the impact that glaciers exercise on global sea-level fluctuations or on regional runoff. In this study we provide an overview and analysis of the main observational datasets compiled by the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS). The dataset on glacier front variations (∼42 000 since 1600) delivers clear evidence that centennial glacier retreat is a global phenomenon. Intermittent readvance periods at regional and decadal scale are normally restricted to a subsample of glaciers and have not come close to achieving the maximum positions of the Little Ice Age (or Holocene). Glaciological and geodetic observations (∼5200 since 1850) show that the rates of early 21st-century mass loss are without precedent on a global scale, at least for the time period observed and probably also for recorded history, as indicated also in reconstructions from written and illustrated documents. This strong imbalance implies that glaciers in many regions will very likely suffer further ice loss, even if climate remains stable.
Ge-Si alloy nanoparticles (NPs) covering the full range of compositions were studied in regard to their suitability as semiconducting channel layer in thin-film transistors (TFTs). Special focus is given to the influence of annealing and encapsulation techniques on the contact and channel properties. Therefore, electrical characterization methods separating contact from channel characteristics are highlighted and applied. It is demonstrated that appropriate passivation of the nanoparticle surfaces can improve the Ion/Ioff ratios by modulation of the density of free charge carriers and also can suppress hysteresis effects. Ge-rich NP alloys can generally be passivated more effectively regardless if passivation is done with solution-processed poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) or by aluminum oxide (Al2O3) from Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). Sufficient annealing improves the contact formation between aluminum electrodes and Ge-Si particles by modification of charge injection. The presented analysis leads to a better understanding interface and surface effects in porous nanoparticle semiconductors for application in TFT devices.
Alterations of the glucocorticoid system and of hippocampal volumes have consistently been reported in patients with major depressive disorders (MDD). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of glucocorticoid inducible genes is associated with changes in the cornu ammonis (CA) and dentate gyrus subfields. Forty-three patients with MDD and 43 healthy controls were recruited and investigated with high resolution magnetic resonance imaging. Hippocampal subfields were measured using freesurfer. Measurement of whole blood mRNA expression of glucocorticoid inducible genes serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1 (SGK1), FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5), and glucocorticoid induced leucine zipper (GILZ) was performed. Patients with MDD had significantly smaller volumes of CA1, CA2/3, CA4/DG, and subiculum compared to healthy controls. In the regression analysis, the factor diagnosis had a significant moderating effect on the association of SGK1 and hippocampal volumes. Patients with low expression of SGK1 had significantly smaller CA2/3 and CA4/DG volumes compared to patients with high expression of SGK1 mRNA and to healthy controls with low/high expression of SGK1, respectively. Therefore, a lack of mRNA expression of glucocorticoid inducible genes in patients with MDD that seems to correspond to a blunted cortisol response is associated with smaller hippocampal CA and dentate gyrus volumes. SGK1 seems to be particularly relevant for stress-related mental disorders.
Persons suffering from congenital heart defects require lifelong specialist medical care. Failure to attend cardiological follow-up examinations and risky health behaviour in the transition phase may cause severe medical complications. A good level of disease-specific knowledge enhances compliance. Therefore, the study's aim was to investigate: (a) the level of disease-specific knowledge, (b) information preferences, and (c) sources of information for children, adolescents, and young adults regarding their illness.
Methods and results
In all, 596 patients, aged 10–30 years, participated in this cross-sectional survey study (response rate: 53%). All patients were already enrolled in the German National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. The main outcome measures included disease-specific knowledge, information preferences, and information sources regarding patients’ individual cardiac condition. The patients demonstrated a major knowledge gap concerning their illness and how to live with it. For all three age groups, patients’ information needs were unmet on nearly half of the topics of interest. Children's information needs were comparable to those of adolescents and adults concerning several important topics, for example, work/career, sports. Information preferences varied according to age and gender, rather than disease severity. The most important sources of information were physicians (71.0%), family and friends (58.2%), and the Internet (37.5%).
The study revealed substantial knowledge gaps, indicating a need for structured multidisciplinary patient education interventions. These interventions should start as early as in childhood and help patients manage their condition and assume responsibility for their own health, so that the transition phase runs smoothly.
The field of short- and mid-range radar sensors for automotive comfort and safety systems is a fast-growing market. The frequency regulation provides a new 76–81 GHz frequency band, which will be mandatory in the EU for ultra-wideband sensors from 2018. In the “radar-on-chip for cars” (RoCC) project funded by the German Ministry of Research (BMBF), a new technology was developed based on SiGe components with the objective to make the sensors affordable for all car platforms. This paper reports on the contribution of Continental A.D.C. GmbH to the joint “RoCC” project. The aim of the project was to exploit the cost-reduction potential of the SiGe technology by a further integration of the individual components and to show that the reliability and the functionality of the new sensors can meet the current requirements of the market. For this purpose, we evaluated the new eWLB package technology of Infineon. The Institute of Microwave Techniques of the University of Ulm supported us in designing a substrate integrated slotted waveguide antenna array. Demonstration sensors for short- and mid-range applications were built up and tested in the laboratory. To show the ability of the sensors to deal with real scenarios on the road, they were integrated into an experimental vehicle.
In November 2009, routine sampling of endoscopes performed to monitor the effectiveness of the endoscope-cleaning procedure at our hospital detected Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Herein we report the results of the subsequent investigation.
Design and Methods.
The investigation included environmental cultures for source investigation, molecular analysis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to reveal the identity of the strains, and determination of the bactericidal activity of the glutaraldehyde-based disinfectant used for automated endoscope reprocessing. In addition, patient outcome was analyzed by medical chart review, and incidence rates of clinical samples with P. aeruginosa were compared.
The University Hospital of Basel is an 855-bed tertiary care center in Basel, Switzerland. Approximately 1,700 flexible bronchoscopic, 2,500 gastroscopic, 1,400 colonoscopic, 140 endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic, and 140 endosonographic procedures are performed annually.
P. aeruginosa was detected in samples obtained from endoscopes in November 2009 for the first time since the initiation of surveillance in 2006. It was found in the rinsing water and in the drain of 1 of the 2 automated endoscope reprocessors. PFGE revealed 2 distinct P. aeruginosa strains, one in each reprocessor. The glutaraldehyde-based disinfectant showed no activity against the 2 pseudo-outbreak strains when used in the recommended concentration under standard conditions. After medical chart review, 6 patients with lower respiratory tract and bloodstream infections were identified as having a possible epidemiological link to the pseudo-outbreak strain.
This is the first description of a pseudo-outbreak caused by P. aeruginosa with reduced susceptibility to an aldehyde-based disinfectant routinely used in the automated processing of endoscopes.
ZnO TFTs with bottom gate top S/D contact architecture were fabricated by sputtering of ZnO with layer thicknesses from 30 nm to 100 nm. The effect of post deposition annealing in oxygen and forming gas atmospheres at 400°C to 500°C on the devices was investigated. The tendencies of a lower threshold voltage Vth and a higher saturation mobility μsat for higher annealing temperature can be observed for both oxygen and forming gas annealing. Reduction of trap density in oxygen annealing and additional hydrogen incorporation in forming gas annealing play an important role for these electrical parameters. Morphological changes of increased grain size and fewer grain boundaries in the channel also contribute to tendencies in electrical characteristics of ZnO TFTs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted in a newspaper article last year as claiming that “[b]y their mentality and culture, the people of Russia are Europeans”. The accuracy of this claim has been a topic of considerable debate in Russian literature and politics from the time of Czar Peter the Great at least. The pressing question is whether Russia wants to be part of today's Europe. Mounting evidence from the domestic and foreign policy of the Russian Federation suggests that the answer to this question is ‘nyet'.
We obtained season-of-birth data in 727 autopsy-confirmed cases of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and compared these data with expected general population birth rates. There were no significant differences between quarterly birth rates in the AD group and expected quarterly birth rates. Edward's test for cyclical trends did not establish a peak period of birth in the AD sample. No significant differences between observed and expected quarterly birth rates were found when data were analyzed with regard to either family history of dementia or to gender. Edward's test for peak quarter was significant for AD females, however, with the peak period occurring early in the first quarter. These negative findings between observed and expected quarterly birth rates, based on the large number of autopsy-confirmed AD cases in this study, suggest that a season-of-birth effect in AD is highly unlikely.
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