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Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was 1 of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from August 1 to December 8, 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11/d). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of 1 per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
Domestic dogs display complex roaming behaviours, which need to be captured to more realistically model the spread of rabies. We have previously shown that roaming behaviours of domestic dogs can be categorised as stay-at-home, roamer and explorer in the Northern Peninsular Area (NPA), Queensland, Australia. These roaming behaviours are likely to cause heterogeneous contact rates that influence the speed or pattern of rabies spread in a dog population. The aim of this study was to define contact spatial kernels using the overlap of individual dog utilisation distributions to describe the daily probability of contact between pairs of dogs exhibiting these three a priori roaming behaviours. We further aimed to determine if the kernels lead to different predicted rabies outbreaks (outbreak duration and number of rabid dogs) by incorporating the spatial kernels into a previously developed rabies spread model for the NPA. Spatial kernels created with both dogs in a pair being explorers or one dog explorer and one dog roamer (who roamed away from their residence) produced short but large outbreaks compared with spatial kernels with at least one stay-at-home dog. Outputs from this model incorporating heterogeneous contacts demonstrate how roaming behaviours influence disease spread in domestic dog populations.
Because individuals develop dementia as a manifestation of neurodegenerative or neurovascular disorder, there is a need to develop reliable approaches to their identification. We are undertaking an observational study (Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative [ONDRI]) that includes genomics, neuroimaging, and assessments of cognition as well as language, speech, gait, retinal imaging, and eye tracking. Disorders studied include Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular cognitive impairment. Data from ONDRI will be collected into the Brain-CODE database to facilitate correlative analysis. ONDRI will provide a repertoire of endophenotyped individuals that will be a unique, publicly available resource.
Various foods are associated with effects against metabolic diseases such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; however, their mechanisms of action are mostly unclear. Fatty acids may contribute by acting as precursors of signalling molecules or by direct activity on receptors. The medium- and long-chain NEFA receptor FFA1 (free fatty acid receptor 1, previously known as GPR40) has been linked to enhancement of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, whereas FFA4 (free fatty acid receptor 4, previously known as GPR120) has been associated with insulin-sensitising and anti-inflammatory effects, and both receptors are reported to protect pancreatic islets and promote secretion of appetite and glucose-regulating hormones. Hypothesising that FFA1 and FFA4 mediate therapeutic effects of dietary components, we screened a broad selection of NEFA on FFA1 and FFA4 and characterised active compounds in concentration–response curves. Of the screened compounds, pinolenic acid, a constituent of pine nut oil, was identified as a relatively potent and efficacious dual FFA1/FFA4 agonist, and its suitability for further studies was confirmed by additional in vitro characterisation. Pine nut oil and free and esterified pure pinolenic acid were tested in an acute glucose tolerance test in mice. Pine nut oil showed a moderately but significantly improved glucose tolerance compared with maize oil. Pure pinolenic acid or ethyl ester gave robust and highly significant improvements of glucose tolerance. In conclusion, the present results indicate that pinolenic acid is a comparatively potent and efficacious dual FFA1/FFA4 agonist that exerts antidiabetic effects in an acute mouse model. The compound thus deserves attention as a potential active dietary ingredient to prevent or counteract metabolic diseases.
Using redshifts from the 2M++ redshift compilation, we reconstruct the density of galaxies within 200 h−1 Mpc, and compare the predicted peculiar velocities Tully-Fisher and SNe peculiar velocities. The comparison yields a best-fit value of β ≡ Ωm0.55/b* = 0.431 ± 0.021, suggesting Ωm0.55σ8,lin = 0.401 ± 0.024, in good agreement with other probes. The predicted peculiar velocity of the Local Group from sources within the 2M++ volume is 540 ± 40 km s−1, towards l = 268° ± 4°, b = 38° ± 6°, which is misaligned by only 10° with the Cosmic Microwave Background dipole. To account for sources outside the 2M++ volume, we fit simultaneously for β* and an external bulk flow in our analysis. The external bulk flow has a velocity of 159 ± 23 km s−1 towards l = 304° ± 11°, b6° ± 13°.
We present results on the stellar populations of 232 quiescent galaxies in the Shapley Supercluster, based on spectroscopy from the AAOmega spectrograph at the AAT. The key characteristic of this survey is its coverage of many low-luminosity objects (σ ~ 50 kms−1), with high signal-to-noise (~45 Å−1). Balmer-line age estimates are recovered with ~25% precision even for the faintest sample members. We summarize the observations and absorption line data, and present correlations of derived ages and metallicities with mass and luminosity. We highlight the strong correlation between age and α-element abundance ratio, and the anti-correlation of age and metallicity at fixed mass, which is shown to extend into the low-luminosity regime.
Antibiotic-encapsulated PLA and PLGA nanoparticles were prepared by the single emulsion-solvent evaporation technique. Different PLA and PLGA systems were prepared, varying the copolymer composition and the amount of the surfactant polyvinyl alcohol. Characterization and drug loading studies were performed by UV-Visible spectrophotometry, dynamic light scattering, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Simultaneously, in order to model the diffusion of the nanoparticles within the osteoblast, QDs such as functionalized InGaP/ZnS and polymer encapsulated InGaP/ZnS nanoparticles were added to confluent cultures of primary mouse osteoblasts. Following PreFer fixation, cultures were examined via confocal microscopy. QDs were clearly visible within osteoblasts.
Red-sequence galaxies are known to obey well-defined scaling relations, such as the Fundamental Plane and the colour-magnitude relation, yet their star formation histories, which in part drive these relations, remain poorly understood. In this contribution, we summarize recent results from the NOAO Fundamental Plane Survey (NFPS). These results appear in more detail in Smith et al. (2006) and Nelan et al. (2005).
The SMAC cluster sample (Hudson et al. 1999), with a depth of ˜ 12000km s-1, has a bulk velocity of ˜ 600 km s-1, with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) frame. Other surveys (Willick 1999, hereafter LP10k; Lauer & Postman 1994, hereafter ACIF) have also yielded large bulk motions on similarly large scales. Taken at face value, these results appear to be in conflict with bulk flows expected from favoured cosmological models. However, at the same time, other surveys (notably Dale et al. 1999, hereafter SC) have found rather small bulk motions on large scales. We have measured bulk flows from the above mentioned surveys plus SNIa (Riess et al. 1995) in a consistent way. The results are given in Table 1. The measurement errors are due to peculiar velocity errors. Note that these are the errors typically quoted. Based on these errors alone, there appears to be conflict between some of the surveys (e.g. SC vs SMAC).
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