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A power MOSFET-based push–pull configuration nanosecond-pulse generator has been designed, constructed, and characterized to permeabilize cells for biological and medical applications. The generator can deliver pulses with durations ranging from 80 ns up to 1 µs and pulse amplitudes up to 1.4 kV. The unit has been tested for in vitro experiments on a medulloblastoma cell line. Following the exposure of cells to 100, 200, and 300 ns electric field pulses, permeabilization tests were carried out, and viability tests were conducted to verify the performance of the generator. The maximum temperature rise of the biological load was also calculated based on Joule heating energy conservation and experimental validation. Our results indicate that the developed device has good capabilities to achieve well-controlled electro-manipulation in vitro.
Oldowan sites in primary geological context are rare in the archaeological record. Here we describe the depositional environment of Oldowan occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya, based on field descriptions and granulometric analysis. Excavations have recovered a large Oldowan artefact sample as well as the oldest substantial sample of archaeological fauna. The deposits at Kanjera South consist of 30 m of fluvial, colluvial and lacustrine sediments. Magneto- and biostratigraphy indicate the Kanjera South Member of the Kanjera Formation was deposited during 2.3–1.92 Ma, with 2.0 Ma being a likely age for the archaeological occurrences. Oldowan artefacts and associated fauna were deposited in the colluvial and alluvial silts and sands of beds KS1–3, in the margins of a lake basin. Field descriptions and granulometric analysis of the sediment fine fraction indicate that sediments from within the main archaeological horizon were emplaced as a combination of tractional and hyperconcentrated flows with limited evidence of debris-flow deposition. This style of deposition is unlikely to significantly erode or disturb the underlying surface, and therefore promotes preservation of surface archaeological accumulations. Hominins were repeatedly attracted to the site locale, and rapid sedimentation, minimal bone weathering and an absence of bone or artefact rounding further indicate that fossils and artefacts were quickly buried.
The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase (AD 800–1130) employed agricultural strategies and water-management systems to enhance food cultivation in this unpredictable environment. Scepticism concerning the timing and effectiveness of this system, however, remains common. Using optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments and LiDAR imaging, the authors located Bonito Phase canal features at the far west end of the canyon. Additional ED-XRF and strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses confirm the diversion of waters from multiple sources during Chaco’s occupation. The extent of this water-management system raises new questions about social organisation and the role of ritual in facilitating responses to environmental unpredictability.
The most important element in consumer enjoyment of meat is tenderness, closely followed by flavour, with variation in these traits having a significant impact on consumer satisfaction (Casas et al. 2006). In order to forge improvements in these traits, either through quantitative breeding or molecular genetics, it is essential that there is a reliable method of trait testing. Sensory data, as collected using a taste panel, are subject to high measurement error as well as problems associated with subjectivity. Unfortunately these sensory panels are a necessary step in the improvement of the above mentioned beef traits, as no machine can measure the range of interacting characteristics that contribute to eating quality and palatability (Warriss 2000). This study aimed to test the repeatability and reproducibility values for seven sensory beef traits assessed by a taste panel operating in a commercial setting.
The main limitation for determining feed efficiency of freely grazing ruminants is measurement of daily individual feed intake. This paper describes an investigation that assessed a method for estimating intake of forage based on changes in BW of ewes. A total of 24 dry and non-pregnant Romane ewes (12 hoggets, HOG; mean±SD 51.8±2.8 kg BW; body condition score (BCS) 2.6±0.2; and 12 adults, ADU; 60.4±8.5 kg BW; BCS 2.7±0.8) were selected for the study and moved from their rangeland system to a confined pen with controlled conditions and equipped with individual automatic feeders. The experiment lasted for 28 days (21 days adaptation and 7 days feed intake measurement). Ewes were fed hay and trained to use the electronic feeders (one feeding station per ewe) in which actual daily intake (Hintake24) was measured. The pens were designed to maximize movement of trained ewes through an automated Walk-over-Weighing device, by using water and mineral salts as attractants. Total individual intake of hay measured in the automatic feeder at each meal (Hintake) was compared with indirect estimates of feed intake determined using differences in the BW of the ewes (∆BW) before and 1 h following morning and afternoon feeding at fixed times. The BW, BCS, Hintake, Hintake24, as well as plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose and insulin profiles were determined. The BW was higher in ADU v. HOG but BCS was not affected by parity. The Hintake24 was affected by day of experiment as a consequence of reduced availability and intake of water on one day. Plasma glucose, NEFA and insulin were not affected by parity or day of experiment. The HIntake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in the morning in HOG, whereas Hintake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in ADU at the afternoon meal. Irrespective of parity or feeding time, there was very strong correlation (r2=0.93) between Hintake and ∆BW. This relationship confirms that our indirect method of estimating individual forage intake was reliable within the strictly controlled conditions of the present experiment. The method appears suitable for use in short-term intensive group feeding situations, and has potential to be further developed for longer-term forage intake studies, with a view to developing a method for freely grazing ruminants.
Optical matching of ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) satellite image pairs is used to determine the surface velocities of major glaciers across the central Karakoram. The ASTER images were acquired in 2006 and 2007, and cover a 60×120km region over Baltoro glacier, Pakistan, and areas to the north and west. The surface velocities were compared with differential global position system (GPS) data collected on Baltoro glacier in summer 2005. The ASTER measurements reveal fine details about ice dynamics in this region. For example, glaciers are found to be active over their termini even where they are very heavily debris-covered. The characteristics of several surge-type glaciers were measured, with terminus advances of several hundred meters per year and the displacement of trunk glaciers as surge glaciers pushed into them. This study is the first synthesis of glacier velocities across this region, and provides a baseline against which both past and future changes can be compared.
A large number of multispectral and stereo-image data are expected to become available as part of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space project. We investigate digital elevation model extraction, anisotropic reflectance correction and selected glacier analysis tasks that must be developed to achieve full utility of these new data. Results indicate that glaciers in the Karakoram and Nanga Parbat Himalaya, northern Pakistan, exhibit unique spectral, spatial and geomorphometric patterns that can be exploited by various models and algorithms to produce accurate information regarding glacier extent, supraglacial features and glacier geomorphology The integration of spectral, spatial and geomorphometric features, coupled with approaches for advanced pattern recognition, can help geoscientists study glacier mass balance, glacier erosion, sediment-transfer efficiency and landscape evolution.
In this paper, we describe improvements to the in situ cosmogenic radiocarbon extraction system at SUERC made since 2004, highlighting the factors that potentially control the reduction of analytical variability. We also present new results on system blanks and of measurements of in situ14C in shielded quartz and a surface quartz sample used at the University of Arizona as an in situ14C standard (PP-4). The SUERC in situ14C extraction system was built in 2001 and is based on a combustion technique following the design of the extraction system at the University of Arizona. Our preliminary results suggest that the continuous running of the extraction system and the monitoring of gas collecting time and of the temperature of the cryogenic traps used in the gas cleaning steps are key to maintaining low and stable system blanks. Our latest average system blank is 2.02 ± 0.23 x 10514C atoms. This is consistent with those recently published by the University of Arizona and ETH in situ14C labs. Measurements of in situ14C concentrations in sample PP-4 yield an average of 3.82 ± 0.23 x 105 atoms g–1 quartz, again consistent with published values.
In both historical and modern conflicts, space plays a critical role in how interactions occur over time. Despite its importance, the spatial distribution of adversaries has often been neglected in mathematical models of conflict. In this paper, we propose an entropy-maximising spatial interaction method for disaggregating the impact of space, employing a general notion of ‘threat’ between two adversaries. This approach addresses a number of limitations that are associated with partial differential equation approaches to spatial disaggregation. We use this method to spatially disaggregate the Richardson model of conflict escalation, and then explore the resulting model with both analytical and numerical treatments. A bifurcation is identified that dramatically influences the resulting spatial distribution of conflict and is shown to persist under a range of model specifications. Implications of this finding for real-world conflicts are discussed.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
Concerning a materials ability to convert heat to electrical energy, the electrical power factor S2/ρ as well as the thermal conductivity at elevated temperatures are of special interest. Since Flash experiments measure the thermal diffusivity and standard steady-state heat-flow experiments are inaccurate at elevated temperatures due to radiation errors inherent to this technique, direct and accurate thermal conductivity data on type-I clathrate single crystals at elevated temperatures are scarce in literature. Here we report 3ω thermal conductivity data on single crystalline Ba8Cu5.09Ge40.91 (BCG), La1.23Ba6.99Au5.91Si39.87, and Ce1.06Ba6.91Au5.56Si40.47 in the temperature range between 80 and 330 K, and specific heat data on BCG between 2 and 300 K. The comparison of our room temperature phonon thermal conductivity data (κph) to results on transition metal (TM) free type-I clathrates in terms of the guest free space (Rfree) suggests a stronger dependence of κph on Rfree for the clathrates containing TM elements.
TM-QTL is a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on ovine chromosome 18 (OAR18) known to affect loin muscling in Texel sheep. Previous work suggested that its mode of inheritance is consistent with paternal polar overdominance, but this has yet to be formally demonstrated. This study used purebred Texel sheep segregating for TM-QTL to confirm its presence in the chromosomal region in which it was first reported and to determine its pattern of inheritance. To do so, this study used the first available data from a Texel flock, which included homozygote TM-QTL carriers (TM/TM; n=34) in addition to homozygote non-carriers (+/+; n=40 and, heterozygote TM-QTL-carriers inheriting TM-QTL from their sire (TM/+; n=53) or their dam (+/TM; n=17). Phenotypes included a wide range of loin muscling, carcass composition and tissue distribution traits. The presence of a QTL affecting ultrasound muscle depth on OAR18 was confirmed with a paternal QTL effect ranging from +0.54 to +2.82 mm UMD (s.e. 0.37 to 0.57 mm) across the sires segregating for TM-QTL. Loin muscle width, depth and area, loin muscle volume and dissected M. longissimus lumborum weight were significantly greater for TM/+ than +/+ lambs (+2.9% to +7.9%; P<0.05). There was significant evidence that the effect of TM-QTL on the various loin muscling traits measured was paternally polar overdominant (P<0.05). In contrast, there was an additive effect of TM-QTL on both live weight at 20 weeks and carcass weight; TM/TM animals were significantly (P<0.05) heavier than +/+ (+11.1% and +7.3%, respectively) and +/TM animals (+11.9% and +11.7%, respectively), with TM/+ intermediate. Weights of the leg, saddle and shoulder region (corrected for carcass weight) were similar in the genotypic groups. There was a tendency for lambs inheriting TM-QTL from their sire to be less fat with slightly more muscle than non-carriers. For example, carcass muscle weight measured by live animal CT-scanning was 2.8% higher in TM/TM than +/+ lambs (P<0.05), carcass muscle weight measured by carcass CT-scanning was 1.36% higher in TM/+ than +/+ lambs (P<0.05), and weight of fat trimmed from the carcass cuts was significantly lower for TM/+ than +/+ lambs (−11.2%; P<0.05). No negative effects of TM-QTL on carcass traits were found. Optimal commercial use of TM-QTL within the sheep industry would require some consideration, due to the apparently different mode of action of the two main effects of TM-QTL (on growth and muscling).
US public health laboratories began reporting Escherichia coli O157 isolates to CDC in 1996. We describe temporal and geographical patterns of isolates reported from 1996 to 2011 and demographics of persons whose specimens yielded isolates. We calculated annual E. coli O157 isolation rates/100 000 persons by patient's state of residence, county of residence, age, and sex using census data. The average annual isolation rate was 0·84. The average isolation rate in northern states (1·52) was higher than in southern states (0·43). Counties with ⩾76% rural population had a lower isolation rate (0·67) than counties with ⩽25%, 26–50%, and 51–75% rural populations (0·81, 0·92, and 0·81, respectively). The highest isolation rate (3·19) was in children aged 1–4 years. Infections were seasonal with 49% of isolates collected during July to September. Research into reasons for higher incidence in northern states and for seasonality could guide strategies to prevent illnesses.
In August 2008 an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 occurred in South West London. Sixteen cases were identified with a particular multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) pattern. In a matched case-control study 14 primary cases were included. These were defined as individuals with gastrointestinal symptoms and Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 isolated from a stool specimen, with a characteristic antibiotic resistance profile and MLVA pattern, and diagnosed in a local laboratory. Four controls per case were matched on age, gender and area of residence. Cases were 26 times more likely than controls to have eaten beef biltong, a South African speciality meat product (odds ratio 25·83, 95% confidence interval 4·92–135·59, P < 0·01). Although environmental investigation failed to identify Salmonella in the food product we conclude that beef biltong consumption led to this outbreak. This conclusion has importance in informing the ongoing risk assessment relating to uncontrolled foodstuffs.
Resistive memory devices have the potential to replace flash technology due to their increased scalability, low voltage of operation, and compatibility with silicon semiconductor manufacturing. We report a spin-on resistive switching material, hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ), which is a commonly used electron beam resist. We demonstrate device scalability from 100 μm to 48 nm and show that the switching properties do not depend on the device size. Set voltages were typically <3 V, while reset voltages were <1 V when analyzing the positive unipolar switching properties of these devices. The ratio of the high resistance to the low resistance was ranged from 101 to 102, creating a distinct memory window between the memory states. Composition–depth profiling revealed that copper from the bottom electrode migrated into the HSQ films as a result of annealing. It is therefore speculated that copper may play a role in the switching properties of devices based on this material.
In this work, we report on the use ion of implantation to synthesize resistive memory oxides. The surface of copper thin films was converted to copper oxide using oxygen implantation. Devices fabricated from the copper oxide (CuxO) layers exhibited unipolar switching behavior without the need for a forming voltage. Technology scaling was demonstrated by oxygen implanting copper damascene vias. Unipolar switching was observed in via-based devices down to 48 nm. The current-voltage data of devices scaled from 100 μm to 48 nm suggests that the RESET transition is related to localized Joule heating. Tantalum oxide (TaxOy) was also created by oxygen implantation but exhibited bipolar resistive switching. Analysis of the conduction suggests that the difference between the two resistance states in these devices is largely due to a lowering of the Pt-TaxOy Schottky barrier.