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We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
Radiocarbon dating and carbon isotope analyses of deep peat and gases in a small ombrogenous peatland in northwestern Ontario reveals the presence of old gases at depth that are 1000–2000 yr younger than the enclosing peat. We suggest that the most likely explanation to account for this age discrepancy is the downward movement by advection of younger dissolved organic carbon for use by fermentation and methanogens bacteria. This study identifies a potentially large supply of old carbon gases in peatlands that should be considered in global carbon models of the terrestrial biosphere.
We report the direct detection of cyclic diameter variations in the Mira variable χ Cygni. Interferometric observations made between 1997 July and 1998 September, using the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope (COAST) indicate periodic changes in the apparent angular diameter with amplitude 45 per-cent of the smallest value.
The measurements were made in a 50 nm bandpass centred on 905 nm, which is only moderately contaminated by molecular absorption features. To assess the effects of atmospheric stratification on the apparent diameter measured in this band, we have also measured near-infrared diameters for a sample of five Miras, in both the J-band (1.3 μm) and Wing's (1971) 1.04 μm band, which is expected to isolate essentially pure continuum emission. We present J-band visibility curves which indicate that the intensity profiles of the stars in the sample differ greatly from each other.
Research on close binary systems has continued at a high level during the past triennium, although the rate of growth is noticeably slower – probably reflecting the cutbacks in funds to which many of us are subject. There have also been changes of emphasis within the field, which are commented on in the pages that follow. These reflect both changing opportunities for observation and the natural development of the subject. In many areas, the time is ripe for a more critical look at ideas that previously seemed adequate.
Global VLBI snapshot observations at 1.6 GHz (5 EVN + 4 VLBA) of a sample of low-frequency variable (LFV) radio sources found using the Cambridge Low Frequency Synthesis Telescope (CLFST) are presented. Variability at 151 MHz is almost certainly due to propagation effects in our Galaxy (e.g., refractive interstellar scintillation). Theory indicates that only sources with a significant fraction of their low-frequency flux coming from components with angular sizes ≲ 30 mas will show such effects. This is confirmed by the VLBI images.
We report the analysis of 154 hours of nearly continuous high-speed photometric data on the pulsating DB white dwarf (DBV) GD 358 obtained during the Whole Earth Telescope (WET) run of May 1990. The Fourier transform (FT) of the light curve is dominated by power in the range from 1200 – 1700μHz with more than 180 significant peaks in the total transform. We also see significant power at the sums and differences of the dominant frequencies, indicating the importance of nonlinear behavior. We can use this data to obtain an accurate total stellar mass, and surface He layer mass. The implied surface He layer mass, if correct, provides a significant and surprising challenge to stellar evolution theory, as well as the theory of chemical mixing.
White dwarf stars provide important boundary conditions for the understanding of stellar evolution. An adequate understanding of even these simple stars is impossible without detailed knowledge of their interiors. PG1346+082, an interacting binary white dwarf system, provides a unique opportunity to view the interior of one degenerate as it is brought to light in the accretion disk of the second star as the primary strips material from its less massive companion (see Wood et at. 1987).
PG1346+082 is a photometric variable with a four magnitude variation over a four to five day quasi-period. A fast Fourier transform (FFT) of the light curve shows a complex, time-dependent structure of harmonics. PG1346+082 exhibits flickering – the signature of mass transfer. The optical spectra of the system contain weak emission features during minimum and broad absorption at all other times. This could be attributed to pressure broadening in the atmosphere of a compact object, or to a combination of pressure broadening and doppler broadening in a disk surrounding the compact accretor. No hydrogen lines are observed and the spectra are dominated by neutral helium. The spectra also display variable asymmetric line profiles.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is a predominant immunoglobulin present in human breast milk and is known to play an important role in infant gut immunity maturation. Breast milk composition varies between populations, but the environmental and maternal factors responsible for these variations are still unclear. We examined the relationship between different exposures and levels of IgA in colostrum. The objective of this study was to examine whether exposures analysed influence levels of IgA in colostrum. The present study used 294 colostrum samples from the MecMilk International cohort, collected from women residing in London, Moscow and Verona. Samples were analysed in automated Abbott Architect Analyser. We found an inverse correlation between time postpartum and colostrum total IgA level (r=−0.49, P<0.001). Adjusting for maternal parity, smoking, fresh fruit and fish consumption and allergen sensitization, multiple regression model showed that IgA levels were influenced by colostrum collection time (P<0.0001) and country of collection (P<0.01). Mode of delivery influence did not appear to be significant in univariate comparisons, once adjusted for the above maternal characteristics it showed a significant influence on total IgA (P=0.01). We conclude that the concentration of IgA in colostrum drops rapidly after birth and future studies should always consider this factor in analysis. IgA concentration varied significantly between countries, with the highest level detected in Moscow and lowest in Verona. Mode of delivery effect should be confirmed on larger cohorts. Further work is needed to determine ways to correct for IgA decline over time in colostrum, and to find the cause of variations in IgA levels between the countries.
Offenders with an intellectual disability pose a major challenge to Intellectual Disability Service providers in the Republic of Ireland. This is especially so as no national Forensic Intellectual Disability Service currently exists.
The Forensic Intellectual Disability Working Group of the Irish College of Psychiatrists was established in order to take steps to address this issue by establishing the level of need for a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service in Ireland and developing a college position paper.
No previous study has been carried out to measure offending behaviour amongst persons with an intellectual disability attending mental health services in Ireland.
A postal survey was undertaken targeting the lead clinicians of all Intellectual Disability Psychiatry, General Adult Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry Services in the Republic of Ireland. This survey requested anonymous data regarding service users with an intellectual disability and offending behaviour in this population.
Data relating to 431 service users was returned. Those reported to engage in offending behaviour were predominantly young males. Assault was the most common offence type. A significant number of serious offences such as unlawful killing, sexual assault and arson were reported.
There is an urgent need for the development of a Forensic Intellectual Disability Service in the Republic of Ireland. The current efforts of the National Forensic Mental Health Service to establish such a service by the creation of a post of Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist (special interest in intellectual disability) are to be welcomed.
The Dome C (Concordia) station in Antarctica (75°06′S, 123°21′E, 3233 m above mean sea level) has a unique opportunity to test the quality of remote-sensing measurements and meteorological analyses because it is situated well inside the Eastern Antarctic Plateau and is less affected by local phenomena. Measurements of tropospheric temperature and water vapour (H2O) together with the integrated water vapour (IWV) performed in 2010 are statistically analysed to assess their quality and to study the yearly correlation between temperature and H2O over the entire troposphere. The statistical tools include yearly evolution, seasonally-averaged mean and bias, standard deviation and linear Pearson correlation. The datasets are made of measurements from the ground-based microwave radiometer H2O Antarctica Microwave Stratospheric and Tropospheric Radiometer (HAMSTRAD), radiosonde, in situ sensors, the space-borne infrared sensors Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the MetOp-A platform and the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) on the Aqua platform, and the analyses from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF). Despite some obvious biases within all these datasets, our study shows that temperature and IWV are generally measured with high quality whilst H2O measurement quality is slightly worse. The AIRS and IASI measurements do not have the vertical resolution to correctly probe the lowermost troposphere, whilst HAMSTRAD loses sensitivity in the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere. Within the entire troposphere over the whole year, it is found that the time evolution of temperature and H2O is highly correlated (> 0.8). This suggests that, in addition to the variability of solar radiation producing an obvious diurnal cycle in the planetary boundary layer in summer and an obvious seasonal cycle over the year, the H2O and temperature intra-seasonal variabilities are affected by the same processes, e.g. related to the long-range transport of air masses.
We report an interesting property of carbon dots: they emit light under charge injection. We synthesized carbon dots in diameter about 20 nm using wet chemistry methods. The photoluminescence quantum efficiency of the carbon dots dissolved in water was about 11%. We observed strong electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) from the sample. This observation of ECL from carbon dots indicates that they could be a good candidate material for carbon-based electroluminescent devices.
Recently, Elias et al. (Science 323, 610 (2009).) reported the experimental realization of the formation of graphane from hydrogenation of graphene membranes under cold plasma exposure. In graphane, the carbon-carbon bonds are in sp3 configuration, as opposed to the sp2 hybridization of graphene, and the C–H bonds exhibit an alternating pattern (up and down with relation to the plane defined by the carbon atoms). In this work we have investigated, using reactive molecular dynamics simulations, the role of H frustration (breaking the H atoms up and down alternating pattern) in graphane-like structures. Our results show that a significant percentage of uncorrelated H frustrated domains are formed in the early stages of the hydrogenation process, leading to membrane shrinkage and extensive membrane corrugations. This might explain the significant broad distribution of values of lattice parameter experimentally observed. For comparison purposes we have also analyzed fluorinated graphane-like structures. Our results show that similarly to H, F atoms also create significant uncorrelated frustrated domains on graphene membranes.
The results of Bednorz and Muller  and Wu and Chu  have stimulated a tremendous volume of research on ceramic superconductors [3–7]. Despite a number of other synthetic techniques, the solid state reaction remains the choice of most workers due to its simplicity [4,5,7]: CuO, Y2O3 and BaCO3 are often used in the powder synthesis of Ba2YCu3O7−x. BaO2 is known to be a useful reagent in the synthesis of compounds containing higher oxidation states of metals . Therefore, in our study of the possible role of Cu3+ in superconducting perovskites, we also use BaO2 in the solid state reaction. This paper compares reaction chemistry, material processing and material characterization using BaCO3or BaO2 in the solid state reaction. We obtain greater mass density, increased sample homogeneity, lower resistance, and improved reproducibility for material prepared using BaO2. We would like to point out that other groups have produced Ba2YCu3O7−x using BaO2 [4,7]; Calestani and Rizzoli have reported a one-step process for producing single crystals of Ba2YCu3O7−x using BaO2 .
Most medical diagnoses are made from the physical history alone. In the psychiatric literature, physical assessment usually focuses on examination rather than history. We aimed to ascertain the relative importance that trainee psychiatrists attach to the physical history and examination, and to investigate their actual method of physical assessment. The relative weight that trainees attach to physical history and examination was assessed with a postal questionnaire. Their actual practice was evaluated by reviewing a selection of case notes from patients under their care.
Trainees weighted the physical examination as more important than the history in theoretical terms (P=0.02). They also indicated that they attached more importance to examination in their own practice (P=0.03). On review of the case notes, 34 (71%) of inpatients had been physically examined, but only one (2%) had evidence of a physical history.
It appears that many psychiatric trainees do not adhere to the basic medical principle of taking a physical history on which to base a physical examination. ‘Blind’ examinations are unlikely to yield medical diagnoses. These findings have implications for our patients' health and psychiatric training.