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After high hopes in the initial post-communist years after 1989, disenchantment became noticeable in some sectors of the local populations in Central and Southeastern Europe. Among the problems which have alienated portions of local publics are the weakness of the economies (especially in Southeastern Europe), the monopolization of the media by new elites, and difficulties in building up constitutional orders, although in each case there are those who benefit from the persistence of these problems. In Catholic countries, especially but not only in Poland, abortion has figured as a pivotal issue, with the Catholic Church pushing for legislation to be binding on all citizens, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Differences in the present state of affairs reflect, in part, differences in the pattern of the breakdown of the communist system, from one state to the other, in particular between transitions engineered from above and transitions pushed forward from below.
Experiments were performed within Sandia National Labs’ Multiphase Shock Tube to measure and quantify the shock-induced dispersal of a shock/dense particle curtain interaction. Following interaction with a planar travelling shock wave, schlieren imaging at 75 kHz was used to track the upstream and downstream edges of the curtain. Data were obtained for two particle diameter ranges (
) across Mach numbers ranging from 1.24 to 2.02. Using these data, along with data compiled from the literature, the dispersion of a dense curtain was studied for multiple Mach numbers (1.2–2.6), particle sizes (
) and volume fractions (9–32 %). Data were non-dimensionalized according to two different scaling methods found within the literature, with time scales defined based on either particle propagation time or pressure ratio across a reflected shock. The data show that spreading of the particle curtain is a function of the volume fraction, with the effectiveness of each time scale based on the proximity of a given curtain’s volume fraction to the dilute mixture regime. It is seen that volume fraction corrections applied to a traditional particle propagation time scale result in the best collapse of the data between the two time scales tested here. In addition, a constant-thickness regime has been identified, which has not been noted within previous literature.
Loess is common in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States south of the Late Wisconsinan glacial border particularly along rivers draining the glaciated areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The broadest deposits occur on the flat landscapes of the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland where two episodes of deposition have been identified. The earlier Miles Point Loess has a limited distribution and is buried by the more widespread Paw Paw Loess. OSL and 14C dates place deposition of the Miles Point Loess during MIS 3. The well developed paleosol formed in the Miles Point Loess acts as a stratigraphic marker. The Paw Paw Loess buries Clovis age cultural materials which date deposition to the end of the Pleistocene. Loess deposits and paleosols are critical in understanding regional landscape evolution, Late Pleistocene environments, and early North American cultural history. Mapping the extent of loess in the Mid-Atlantic using the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s gSSURGO database overrepresents loess in some areas and underrepresents in others.
Simulation of the water balance in cropping systems is an essential tool, not only to monitor water status and determine drought but also to find ways in which soil water and irrigation water can be used more efficiently. However, besides the requirement that models are physically correct, the spatial representativeness of input data and, in particular, accurate precipitation data remain a challenge. In recent years, satellite-based soil moisture products have become an important data source for soil wetness information at various spatial-temporal scales. Four different study areas in the Czech Republic and Austria were selected representing Central European soil and climatic conditions. The performance of soil water content outputs from two different crop-water balance models and the Metop Advanced SCATterometer (ASCAT) soil moisture product was tested with field measurements from 2007 to 2011. The model output for soil water content shows that the crop model Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer performs well during dry periods (<30% plant available soil moisture (ASM), whereas the soil water-balance model SoilClim presents the best results in humid months (>60% ASM). Moreover, the model performance is best in the early growing season and decreases later in the season due to biases in simulated crop-related above-ground biomass compared with the relatively stable grass canopy of the measurement sites. The Metop ASCAT soil moisture product, which presents a spatial average of soil surface moisture, shows the best performance under medium soil wetness conditions (30–50% ASM), which is related to low variation in precipitation frequency and under conditions of low-surface biomass (early vegetation season).
Knowledge of Arctic sea-ice conditions is of great interest for Arctic residents, as well as for commercial usage, and to study the effects of climate change. Information gained from analysis of satellite data contributes to this understanding. In the course of using in situ data in combination with remotely sensed data, the question of how representative local scale measurements are of a wider region may arise. We compare in situ total sea-ice thickness measurements from the Norwegian young sea ICE expedition in the area north of Svalbard with airborne-derived total sea-ice thickness from electromagnetic soundings. A segmented and classified synthetic aperture radar (SAR) quad-pol ALOS-2 Palsar-2 satellite scene was grouped into three simplified ice classes. The area fractions of the three classes are: 11.2% ‘thin’, 74.4% ‘level’, and 14.4% ‘deformed’. The area fractions of the simplified classes from ground- and helicopter-based measurements are comparable with those achieved from the SAR data. Thus, this study shows that there is potential for a stepwise upscaling from in situ, to airborne, to satellite data, which allow us to assess whether in situ data collected are representative of a wider region as observed by satellites.
One of the Leishmania species known to be non-infective to humans is Leishmania (Mundinia) enriettii whose vertebrate host is the guinea pig Cavia porcellus. It is a good model for cutaneous leishmaniasis, chemotherapeutic and molecular studies. In the last years, an increased interest has emerged concerning the L. (Mundinia) subgenus after the finding of Leishmania (M.) macropodum in Australia and with the description of other new/putative species such as L. (M.) martiniquensis and ‘L. (M.) siamensis’. This review focused on histopathology, glycoconjugates and innate immunity. The presence of Leishmania RNA virus and shedding of extracellular vesicles by the parasite were also evaluated.
The resonance modes in Mach 0.94 turbulent flow over a cavity having a length-to-depth ratio of five were explored using time-resolved particle image velocimetry (TR-PIV) and time-resolved pressure sensitive paint (TR-PSP). Mode switching was quantified in the velocity field simultaneous with the pressure field. As the mode number increased from one through three, the resonance activity moved from a region downstream within the recirculation region to areas further upstream in the shear layer, an observation consistent with linear stability analysis. The second and third modes contained organized structures associated with shear layer vortices. Coherent structures occurring in the velocity field during modes two and three exhibited a clear modulation in size with streamwise distance. The streamwise periodicity was attributable to the interference of downstream-propagating vortical disturbances with upstream-travelling acoustic waves. The coherent structure oscillations were approximately
out of phase with the modal surface pressure fluctuations, analogous to a standing wave. Modal propagation (or phase) velocities, based on cross-correlations of bandpass-filtered velocity fields were found for each mode. The phase velocities also showed streamwise periodicity and were greatest at regions of maximum constructive interference where coherent structures were the largest. Overall, the phase velocities increased with modal frequency, which coincided with the modal activity residing at higher portions of the cavity where the local mean flow velocity was elevated. Together, the TR-PIV and TR-PSP provide unique details not only on the distribution of modal activity throughout the cavity, but also new understanding of the resonance mechanism as observed in the velocity field.
There has been increasing evidence that chronic low-grade inflammation is associated with mood disorders. However, the findings have been inconsistent because of heterogeneity across studies and methodological limitations. Our aim is to prospectively evaluate the bi-directional associations between inflammatory markers including interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) with mood disorders.
The sample consisted of 3118 participants (53.7% women; mean age: 51.0, s.d. 8.8 years), randomly selected from the general population, who underwent comprehensive somatic and psychiatric evaluations at baseline and follow-up (mean follow-up duration = 5.5 years, s.d. 0.6). Current and remitted mood disorders including bipolar and major depressive disorders (MDD) and its subtypes (atypical, melancholic, combined atypical and melancholic, and unspecified) were based on semi-structured diagnostic interviews. Inflammatory biomarkers were analyzed in fasting blood samples. Associations were tested by multiple linear and logistic regression models.
Current combined MDD [β = 0.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03–0.55] and current atypical MDD (β = 0.32, 95% CI 0.10–0.55) at baseline were associated with increased levels of hsCRP at follow-up. There was little evidence for inflammation markers at baseline predicting mood disorders at follow-up.
The prospective unidirectional association between current MDD subtype with atypical features and hsCRP levels at follow-up suggests that inflammation may be a consequence of this condition. The role of inflammation, particularly hsCRP that is critically involved in cardiovascular diseases, warrants further study. Future research that examines potential influences of medications on inflammatory processes is indicated.
Identifying the transmission sources and reservoirs of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) is a long-standing question for pneumococcal epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and vaccine policy. Here we use serotype to identify SP transmission and examine acquisitions (in the same household, local community, and county, or of unidentified origin) in a longitudinal cohort of children and adults from the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache American Indian Tribes. We found that adults acquire SP relatively more in the household than other age groups, and children 2–8 years old typically acquire in their own or surrounding communities. Age-specific transmission probability matrices show that transmissions within household were mostly seen from older to younger siblings. Outside the household, children most often transmit to other children in the same age group, showing age-assortative mixing behavior. We find toddlers and older children to be most involved in SP transmission and acquisition, indicating their role as key drivers of SP epidemiology. Although infants have high carriage prevalence, they do not play a central role in transmission of SP compared with toddlers and older children. Our results are relevant to inform alternative pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dosing strategies and analytic efforts to inform optimization of vaccine programs, as well as assessing the transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by close contact in general.
Malaria elimination is on global agendas following successful transmission reductions. Nevertheless moving from low to zero transmission is challenging. South Africa has an elimination target of 2018, which may or may not be realised in its hypoendemic areas.
The Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System has monitored population health in north-eastern South Africa since 1992. Malaria deaths were analysed against individual factors, socioeconomic status, labour migration and weather over a 21-year period, eliciting trends over time and associations with covariates.
Of 13 251 registered deaths over 1.58 million person-years, 1.2% were attributed to malaria. Malaria mortality rates increased from 1992 to 2013, while mean daily maximum temperature rose by 1.5 °C. Travel to endemic Mozambique became easier, and malaria mortality increased in higher socioeconomic groups. Overall, malaria mortality was significantly associated with age, socioeconomic status, labour migration and employment, yearly rainfall and higher rainfall/temperature shortly before death.
Malaria persists as a small but important cause of death in this semi-rural South African population. Detailed longitudinal population data were crucial for these analyses. The findings highlight practical political, socioeconomic and environmental difficulties that may also be encountered elsewhere in moving from low-transmission scenarios to malaria elimination.
There is limited information on the presentation and characteristics of psychotic illness experienced by people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
To describe autistic and psychotic phenomenology in a group of individuals with comorbid ASD and psychosis (ASD–P) and compare this group with populations affected by either, alone.
We studied 116 individuals with ASD–P. We compared features of their ASD with people with ASD and no comorbid psychosis (ASD–NP), and clinical characteristics of psychosis in ASD–P with people with psychosis only.
Individuals with ASD–P had more diagnoses of atypical psychosis and fewer of schizophrenia compared with individuals with psychosis only. People with ASD–P had fewer stereotyped interests/behaviours compared with those with ASD–NP.
Our data show there may be a specific subtype of ASD linked to comorbid psychosis. The results support findings that psychosis in people with ASD is often atypical, particularly regarding affective disturbance.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Saliva composition may affect sialolithiasis formation; thus, this study compared the salivary inorganic composition of sialolithiasis patients with that of healthy controls, and determined whether salivary inorganic composition changes after sialolithiasis surgery.
The study included 40 patients with sialolithiasis and 40 matched healthy controls. Patients were examined before and after sialolithiasis surgery; controls were examined once. Flow rate and the inorganic saliva composition in unstimulated whole saliva were assessed.
Patients’ salivary flow prior to surgery was significantly lower compared to that of healthy controls, but equalised after surgery. Prior to surgery, patients’ saliva exhibited higher concentrations of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous compared to that of healthy controls. The concentration of most ions remained high after sialolithiasis surgery.
Sialolithiasis patients had increased salivary concentrations of the ions that constitute the main inorganic phase of most sialoliths, and this may confer a risk for developing sialolithiasis.
Plant sterols (PS) lower LDL-cholesterol, an established risk factor for CHD. Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation are two important features in the development of atherosclerosis. Whether PS affect biomarkers of endothelial function and low-grade inflammation is not well studied. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of regular intake of PS on biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation. In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, which was primarily designed to investigate the effect of PS intake on vascular function (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01803178), 240 hypercholesterolaemic but otherwise healthy men and women consumed a low-fat spread with added PS (3 g/d) or a placebo spread for 12 weeks. Endothelial dysfunction biomarkers (both vascular and intracellular adhesion molecules 1 and soluble endothelial-selectin) and low-grade inflammation biomarkers (C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1) were measured using a multi-array detection system based on electrochemiluminescence technology. Biomarkers were combined using z-scores. Differences in changes from baseline between the PS and the placebo groups were assessed. The intake of PS did not significantly change the individual biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation. The z-scores for endothelial dysfunction (−0·02; 95 % CI −0·15, 0·11) and low-grade inflammation (−0·04; 95 % CI −0·16, 0·07) were also not significantly changed after PS intake compared with placebo. In conclusion, biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation were not affected by regular intake of 3 g/d PS for 12 weeks in hypercholesterolaemic men and women.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
This review represents the Southern Ocean community’s satellite data needs for the coming decade. Developed through widespread engagement and incorporating perspectives from a range of stakeholders (both research and operational), it is designed as an important community-driven strategy paper that provides the rationale and information required for future planning and investment. The Southern Ocean is vast but globally connected, and the communities that require satellite-derived data in the region are diverse. This review includes many observable variables, including sea ice properties, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, atmospheric parameters, marine biology (both micro and macro) and related activities, terrestrial cryospheric connections, sea surface salinity, and a discussion of coincident and in situ data collection. Recommendations include commitment to data continuity, increases in particular capabilities (sensor types, spatial, temporal), improvements in dissemination of data/products/uncertainties, and innovation in calibration/validation capabilities. Full recommendations are detailed by variable as well as summarized. This review provides a starting point for scientists to understand more about Southern Ocean processes and their global roles, for funders to understand the desires of the community, for commercial operators to safely conduct their activities in the Southern Ocean, and for space agencies to gain greater impact from Southern Ocean-related acquisitions and missions.
We present ground-based data of the BL Lac object PKS 2155-305 obtained during a large international campaign spanning the electro–magnetic spectrum from the radio waves to X-rays in November 1991. For the complete description of the observations and data analysis we refer to the paper by Courvoisier et al. 1993, and references therein. The ground-based data include radio, infrared JHKL and UBVRI fluxes as well as optical and near IR polarimetry.
The broad-band optical and near IR data from U to I exhibit the same behaviour in all bands: the flux nearly doubled over the well-covered period of 23 days. The cross-correlation function does not reveal any significant changes in the light-curves. Though significant variations in 24 hours have been recorded, the cumulated Fourier power spectrum drops to the noise level for periods shorter than 2.5 days. The spectral index remained constant.
The polarised flux varied by a larger factor than the total flux and did not follow the same pattern. The degree of polarisation and polarisation angle are nearly independent of the wavelength and are strongly correlated in all filters.
In the radio domain the spectral index increased from −0.1 on November 5 to +0.02 on 25-th.
The absence of the lag between the optical and infrared bands and the polarisation variations are consistent with a model in which the variability is caused by micro-lensing of the source (Stickel, Fried and Kühr 1988). One would, however, expect in this model that the variation in the polarisation and the total flux are tightly correlated contrary to what is observed.
The constant shape of the continuum spectral energy suggests that only the number of electrons whose emission is beamed towards the observer changes, rather than the arrival of fresh electrons that are being accelerated.
The variability of the polarisation may be explained by changes in the geometry of the magnetic field (dominant direction). This is consistent with the observed variations of the polarisation angle.
Radiocarbon measurements of hermatypic corals from 4 sites in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Caribbean Sea were made to estimate the marine 14C reservoir age (R) and the marine regional correction (ΔR) for this region. Coral skeletal material from the Flower Garden Banks (northern GOM continental shelf), Veracruz, Mexico, and 2 reefs from the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, were analyzed. Annual and subannual samples from 1945–1955 were milled and 14C composition was determined. In the Gulf of Mexico, average coral Δ14C is −52.6 ± 0.7‰ and average Δ14C for the Cariaco Basin corals is −53.4 ± 0.8‰. Average values for the marine reservoir age and ΔR are computed with this data and compared with results derived from previous measurements made in the same regions. These values are important in calibrating the 14C ages of carbonate samples from the area.