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The Faint Sky Variability Survey (FSVS) is aimed at rinding photometrically and astrometrically variable objects. The main goal is to get a better understanding of binary evolution. This survey consists of 78 fields, which covers a total area of 21 deg2 in the sky and it is sensitive for objects in the magnitude range of 17 < V < 24. (For a description see Groot et al. 2003).
The quality and utility of the records of oxygen-isotopic abundances, dust concentrations and anionic concentrations preserved in the ice at Siple Station (75°55′ S, 84° 15′ W) are assessed from four shallow (20 m) cores. The combination of high accumulation (0.56 m a−1 w.e.) and low mean annual temperature (—24°C) preserves the prominent seasonal variations in δ18Ο which are very spatially coherent. Sulfate concentrations vary seasonally and, in conjunction with δ18Ο, will allow accurate dating of deeper cores from Siple Station. The concentrations of insoluble dust are the lowest measured in Antarctica, making Siple Station an excellent location to examine large increases in atmospheric tubidity.
The seasonal variations and annual fluxes of the anions are examined for the last two decades (AD 1966–85) with regard to probable sources. An unusually high sulfate flux in 1976 may reflect the February 1975 eruption of Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand. No annual signal in nitrate concentration is confirmed and no unusually high nitrate fluxes support the suggestion of nitrate production by large solar flares. However, nitrate flux is higher for the latter half of the 1970s and early 1980s, possibly reflecting the recent loss of stratospheric ozone.
Finally, comparison of the δ18O record with available surface-temperature data (AD 1957–85) reveals that multi-year trends along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula are recorded at Siple. More importantly, comparison with areally weighted temperature reconstructions suggests that the δ18Ο record may reflect larger-scale, persistent trends in the high southern latitudes. The strong spatial coherence of the preserved records, the potential for accurate dating, and possible relevance to larger-scale processes make Siple Station an excellent site for paleoenvironmental reconstruction from ice cores.
Bones that have undergone burning at high temperatures (i.e. cremation) no longer contain organic carbon. Lanting et al. (2001) proposed that some of the original structural carbonate, formed during bioapatite formation, survives. This view is based on paired radiocarbon dating of cremated bone apatite and contemporary charcoal. However, stable carbon isotope composition of carbonate in cremated bones is consistently light compared to the untreated material and is closer to the δ13C values seen in C3 plant material. This raises the question of the origin of carbonate carbon in cremated bone apatite. That is, does the isotope signal reflect an exchange of carbon with the local cremation atmosphere and thus with carbon from the burning fuel, or is it caused by isotopic fractionation during cremation?
To study the changes in carbon isotopes (14C, 13C) of bone apatite during burning up to 800 °, a modern bovine bone was exposed to a continuous flow of an artificial atmosphere (basically a high-purity O2/N2 gas mix) under defined conditions (temperature, gas composition). To simulate the influence of the fuel carbon available under real cremation conditions, fossil CO2 was added at different concentrations. To yield cremated bone apatite properties similar to archaeological cremated bones, in terms of crystallographic criteria, water vapor had to be added to the atmosphere in the oven. Infrared vibrational spectra reveal large increases in crystal size and loss of carbonate upon cremation. The isotope results indicate an effective carbon exchange between bone apatite carbonate and CO2 in the combustion gases depending on temperature and CO2 concentration. 14C dates on archaeological cremated bone apatite may thus suffer from an old-wood effect. Paired 13C and 14C values indicate that in addition to this exchange, isotope fractionation between CO2 and carbonate, and admixture of carbon from other sources such as possibly collagen or atmospheric CO2, may play a role in determining the final composition of the apatite carbonate.
Ultrafiltration of bone collagen, dissolved as gelatin (M ~100,000 D), has received considerable attention as a means to remove small contaminants and thus produce more reliable dates (Brown et al. 1988; Bronk Ramsey et al. 2004; Higham et al. 2006; Mellars 2006). However, comparative dating studies have raised the question whether this cleaning step itself may introduce contamination with carbon from the filters used (Bronk Ramsey et al. 2004; Brock et al. 2007; Hüls et al. 2007).
Here, we present results of further ultrafiltration experiments with modern and fossil collagen samples using Vivaspin 20™ and Vivaspin 15R™ ultrafilters. Evidently, the Vivaspin 20 (VS 20) ultrafilter with a polyethersulfone (PES) membrane retains more material in the >30 kD fraction than the Vivaspin 15R (VS 15R) filter with a regenerated cellulose membrane (Hydrosat), which may be related to increased retention of proteins due to suboptimal electrostatic conditions during ultrafiltration with the PES membrane. In addition, this filter type shows clear evidence for contamination with fossil carbon, presumably from membrane fibers, in the <30 kD fraction. Radiocarbon measurements on ultrafiltrated fossil collagen seem to indicate small contributions of modern carbon via glycerin left on and within the filter membranes of both types. Although SEM pictures show film remnants on the fibrous filter structure of cleaned filter membranes, EDX analysis on the VS 20 membrane to not support the assumption this may be glycerin. Our observations indicate the risks and benefits of the use of ultrafiltration in cleaning collagen samples for 14C dating need to be further quantified, especially for the cleaning of fossil bone collagen of good quality samples.
The IntCal04 and Marine04 radiocarbon calibration curves have been updated from 12 cal kBP (cal kBP is here defined as thousands of calibrated years before AD 1950), and extended to 50 cal kBP, utilizing newly available data sets that meet the IntCal Working Group criteria for pristine corals and other carbonates and for quantification of uncertainty in both the 14C and calendar timescales as established in 2002. No change was made to the curves from 0–12 cal kBP. The curves were constructed using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) implementation of the random walk model used for IntCal04 and Marine04. The new curves were ratified at the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference in June 2009 and are available in the Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org.
Since our first report on the performance of the Kiel accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system and our early work on sample preparation, systems have been built to improve the sample quality and throughput of the laboratory. Minor modifications were also made on the AMS system, mainly in order to reduce the amount of work and time needed to maintain the system in optimal condition. The design and performance of a 20-port reduction system, a pneumatic target press, and a remote alarm unit for the AMS system are discussed, along with an overview of the results obtained during the last year and the procedure used to obtain them. Statistical analysis shows that the contribution of the AMS system to the measuring uncertainty at our current level (0.3% for a modern sample) is negligible.
Randomised studies examining the effect on patients of training
professionals in adherence to suicide guidelines are scarce.
To assess whether patients benefited from the training of professionals
in adherence to suicide guidelines.
In total 45 psychiatric departments were randomised (Dutch trial
register: NTR3092). In the intervention condition, all staff in the
departments were trained with an e-learning supported train-the-trainer
programme. After the intervention, patients were assessed at admission
and at 3-month follow-up. Primary outcome was change in suicide ideation,
assessed with the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation.
For the total group of 566 patients with a positive score on the Beck
Scale for Suicide Ideation at baseline, intention-to-treat analysis
showed no effects of the intervention on patient outcomes at 3-month
follow-up. Patients who were suicidal with a DSM-IV diagnosis of
depression (n = 154) showed a significant decrease in
suicide ideation when treated in the intervention group. Patients in the
intervention group more often reported that suicidality was discussed
Overall, no effect of our intervention on patients was found. However, we
did find a beneficial effect of the training of professionals on patients
We have observed the IR counterpart of the Atoll type LMXB GX 13+1, (Naylor, Charles & Longmore 1991), from 1993 July 11…30, with the Dutch 90 cm telescope at ESO using a Gunn z (0.9–1.0 μm) filter. Over this period 110 usable images (integration time 12 m) were obtained. The data were reduced using the ESO-MIDAS/DAPHOT reduction package. A Lomb-Scargle period search was performed with the PERIOD package.
Fig. 1 shows our Gunn z band image with stars labeled as in Naylor et al. (1991). They propose their star 101 as the IR counterpart. Fig. 2 shows the light curve we obtained for this star. The star is clearly variable on a time-scale of ~ 10 d. To estimate any period more accurately we have made a Lomb-Scargle statistics periodigram (see Fig. 3); maximum power is at 12.6 d. We estimate the error to be ~ 1 day.
High-quality data from appropriate archives are needed for the continuing improvement of radiocarbon calibration curves. We discuss here the basic assumptions behind 14C dating that necessitate calibration and the relative strengths and weaknesses of archives from which calibration data are obtained. We also highlight the procedures, problems, and uncertainties involved in determining atmospheric and surface ocean 14C/12C in these archives, including a discussion of the various methods used to derive an independent absolute timescale and uncertainty. The types of data required for the current IntCal database and calibration curve model are tabulated with examples.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
A significant proportion of Q fever patients from the first Dutch Q fever outbreak in 2007 showed impairment in health status up to 1 year after infection. Interested in whether this decrease in health status persisted, we set out to determine the health status in the same cohort of patients, 4 years after primary infection and to compare health status scores at the individual patient level between 1 and 4 years follow-up. Health status was assessed with the Nijmegen Clinical Screening Instrument (NCSI). Patients were serologically tested to exclude patients with possible, probable or proven chronic Q fever. Results on the NCSI sub-domains at group level [2008 (n = 54) and 2011 (n = 46)] showed a persistent significant percentage of patients exhibiting clinically relevant (‘severe’) scores for all NCSI sub-domains. After 4 years, undue fatigue was present in 46% and exactly half of all patients experienced a severely impaired general quality of life. Patients with NCSI scores available in both 2008 and 2011 (n = 37) showed no difference in all sub-domain scores, except for a small decrease in dyspnoea emotions in 2011. In this group, a significant proportion of patients either improved or worsened in one or more sub-domains of health status. We conclude that at the group level, health status of Q fever patients remained impaired 4 years after primary infection. At the individual patient level, health status may change.
A major difficulty hampering the accuracy of UV/optical star formation rate tracers is the effect of interstellar dust, absorbing and scattering light produced by both young and old stellar populations (SPs). Although empirically calibrated corrections or energy balance SED fitting are often used for fast de-reddening of galaxy stellar emission, eventually only radiative transfer calculations can provide self-consistent predictions of galaxy model spectra, taking into account important factors such as galaxy inclination, different morphological components, non-local heating of the dust and scattered radiation. In addition, dust radiative transfer can be used to determine the fraction of monochromatic dust emission powered by either young or old SPs. This calculation needs to take into account the different response of the dust grains to the UV and optical radiation field, depending on the grain size and composition. We determined the dust heating fractions, on both global and local scales, for a high-resolution galaxy model by using our 3D ray-tracing dust radiative transfer code “DART-Ray”. We show the results obtained using this method and discuss the consequences for star formation rate indicators.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that traditionally has been linked to bone health. Recently, its involvement has been extended to other (extra-skeletal) disease areas, such as cancer, CVD, energy metabolism and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide problem, and several recommendation-setting bodies have published guidelines for adequate vitamin D intake and status. However, recommendations from, for example, the Health Council of the Netherlands do not provide advice on how to treat vitamin D deficiency, a condition that is often encountered in the clinic. In addition, these recommendations provide guidelines for the maintenance of ‘minimum levels’, and do not advise on ‘optimum levels’ of vitamin D intake/status to further improve health. The NutriProfiel project, a collaboration between the Gelderse Vallei Hospital (Ede, the Netherlands) and the Division of Human Nutrition of Wageningen University (Wageningen, the Netherlands), was initiated to formulate a protocol for the treatment of vitamin deficiency and for the maintenance of optimal vitamin D status. To discuss the controversies around treatment of deficiency and optimal vitamin D status and intakes, a workshop meeting was organised with clinicians, scientists and dietitians. In addition, a literature review was conducted to collect recent information on optimal intake of vitamins, their optimal circulating concentrations, and effective dosing regimens to treat deficiency. This information has been translated into the NutriProfiel advice, which is outlined in this article.
Background: Unexplained significant variation may suggest a quality care problem in a health care system. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of variance in spine surgery Saskatchewan and determine possible causes. Methods: Provincial billing records for new spine surgery consultations from May 2011 through October 2012 were correlated with subsequent lumbar surgery. Two tertiary centers (TC1 and TC2) were compared with reference to the Health Region of origin of the patient. Wait times for surgery and utilization of spine pathway clinics was analyzed. Results: TC1 had significantly higher rates of spine fusion and lumbar spine surgery. The percentage of new referrals that went to surgery was 14.0% in TC1 and 11.8% in TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Population-based calculation of the rate of new referrals was 1581/482387 = 0.33% for TC1 vs. 970/601739 = 0.16% for TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Utilization of the spine pathway clinic was lower and wait times for surgery were longer in TC1. Conclusions: Causes of regional variation are unknown and likely multifactorial. In Saskatchewan, the most striking variance was that the rate of primary care referrals for lower back conditions in regions served by TC1 was double that for TC2. This could potentially be reduced through more regionally consistent utilization of the spine pathway.
DART-Ray is a 3D ray-tracing dust radiative transfer (RT) code that can be used to derive stellar and dust emission maps of galaxy models and simulations with arbitrary geometries. In addition to the previously published RT algorithm, we have now included in DART-Ray the possibility of calculating the stocastically heated dust emission from each volume element within a galaxy. To show the capabilities of the code, we performed a high-resolution (26 pc) RT calculation for a galaxy N-body+SPH simulation. The simulated galaxy we considered is characterized by a nuclear disc and a flocculent spiral structure. We analysed the derived galaxy maps for the global and local effects of dust on the galaxy attenuation as well as the contribution of scattered radiation to the predicted observed emission. In addition, by performing an additional RT calculation including only the stellar volume emissivity due to young stellar populations (SPs), we derived the contribution to the total dust emission powered by young and old SPs. Full details of this work will be presented in a forthcoming publication.
A combination of high folate with low vitamin B12 plasma status has been associated with cognitive impairment in a population exposed to mandatory folic acid fortification. The objective of the present study was to examine the interactions between plasma concentrations of folate and vitamin B12 markers in relation to cognitive performance in Norwegian elderly who were unexposed to mandatory or voluntary folic acid fortification. Cognitive performance was assessed by six cognitive tests in 2203 individuals aged 72–74 years. A combined score was calculated using principal component analysis. The associations of folate concentrations, vitamin B12 markers (total vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC) and methylmalonic acid (MMA)) and their interactions in relation to cognitive performance were evaluated by quantile regression and least-squares regression, adjusted for sex, education, apo-ɛ4 genotype, history of CVD/hypertension and creatinine. Cross-sectional analyses revealed an interaction (P= 0·009) between plasma concentrations of folate and vitamin B12 in relation to cognitive performance. Plasma vitamin B12 concentrations in the lowest quartile ( < 274 pmol/l) combined with plasma folate concentrations in the highest quartile (>18·5 nmol/l) were associated with a reduced risk of cognitive impairment compared with plasma concentrations in the middle quartiles of both vitamins (OR 0·22, 95 % CI 0·05, 0·92). The interaction between folate and holoTC or MMA in relation to cognitive performance was not significant. In conclusion, this large study population unexposed to mandatory folic acid fortification showed that plasma folate, but not plasma vitamin B12, was associated with cognitive performance. Among the elderly participants with vitamin B12 concentrations in the lower range, the association between plasma folate and cognitive performance was strongest.
The metal-catalyst-free growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) using chemical vapor deposition and the application in field-effect transistors (FETs) is presented. The CNT growth process used a 3-nm-thick Ge layer on SiO2 that was subsequently annealed to produce Ge nanoparticles. Raman measurements show the presence of radial breathing mode (RBM) peaks and the absence of the disorder induced D-band, indicating single walled CNTs (SWNTs) with a low defect density. The synthesized CNTs are used to fabricate CNTFETs and the best device has a state-of-the-art on/off current ratio of 3×108 and a steep sub-threshold slope of 110 mV/decade.