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The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to determine if the introduction of a pre-arrival and pre-departure Trauma Checklist as a cognitive aid, coupled with an educational session, will improve clinical performance in a simulated environment. The Trauma Checklist was developed in response to a quality assurance review of high-acuity trauma activations. It focuses on pre-arrival preparation and a pre-departure review prior to patient transfer to diagnostic imaging or the operating room. We conducted a pilot, randomized control trial assessing the impact of the Trauma Checklist on time to critical interventions on a simulated pediatric patient by multidisciplinary teams. Methods: Emergency department teams composed of 2 physicians, 2 nurses and 2 confederate actors were enrolled in our study. In the intervention arm, participants watched a 10-minute educational video modelling the use of the trauma checklist prior to their simulation scenario and were provided a copy of the checklist. Teams participated in a standardized simulation scenario caring for a severely injured adolescent patient with hemorrhagic shock, respiratory failure and increased intracranial pressure. Our primary outcome of interest was time measurement to initiation of key clinical interventions, including intubation, first blood product administration, massive transfusion protocol activation, initiation of hyperosmolar therapy and others. Secondary outcome measures included a Trauma Task Performance score and checklist completion scores. Results: We enrolled 14 multidisciplinary teams (n=56 participants) into our study. There was a statistically significant decrease in median time to initiation of hyperosmolar therapy by teams in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (581 seconds, [509-680] vs. 884 seconds, [588-1144], p=0.03). Time to initiation of other clinical interventions was not statistically significant. There was a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores in the intervention group however this did not reach statistical significant (p=0.09). Pre-arrival and pre-departure checklist scores were higher in the intervention group (9.0 [9.0-10.0] vs. 7.0 [6.0-8.0], p=0.17 and 12.0 [11.5-12.0] vs. 7.5 [6.0-8.5], p=0.01). Conclusion: Teams using the Trauma Checklist did not have decreased time to initiation of key clinical interventions except in initiating hyperosmolar therapy. Teams in the intervention arm had statistically significantly higher pre-arrival and pre-departure scores, with a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores. Our study was a pilot and recruitment did not achieve the anticipated sample size, thus underpowered. The impact of this checklist should be studied outside tertiary trauma centres, particularly in trainees and community emergency providers, to assess for benefit and further generalizability.
This paper investigates the rupture problem of a thin micropolar liquid film under a magnetic field on a horizontal plate, using long-wave perturbation to resolve nonlinear evolution equations with a free film interface. The governing equation is resolved using a finite difference method as part of an initial value problem for spatial periodic boundary conditions. The effect of a micropolar liquid under a magnetic field on the nonlinear rupture mechanism is studied in terms of the micropolar parameter, R, the Hartmann constant, m and the initial disturbance amplitude, H0. Modeling results indicate that the R, m and H0 parameters strongly affect the film flow. Enhancing the micropolar and magnetic effects is found to delay the rupture time. In addition, the results show that the film rupture time increases as the values of initial disturbance magnitude decrease. The micropolar and magnetic parameters indeed play a significant role in the film flow on a horizontal plate. Moreover, the optimum conditions can be found to alter stability of the film flow by controlling the applied magnetic field.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Indoor transmission of respiratory droplets bearing influenza within humans poses high risks to respiratory function deterioration and death. Therefore, we aimed to develop a framework for quantifying the influenza infection risk based on the relationships between inhaled/exhaled respiratory droplets and airborne transmission dynamics in a ventilated airspace. An experiment was conducted to measure the size distribution of influenza-containing droplets produced by coughing for a better understanding of potential influenza spread. Here we integrated influenza population transmission dynamics, a human respiratory tract model, and a control measure approach to examine the indoor environment–virus–host interactions. A probabilistic risk model was implemented to assess size-specific infection risk for potentially transmissible influenza droplets indoors. Our results found that there was a 50% probability of the basic reproduction number (R0) exceeding 1 for small-size influenza droplets of 0·3–0·4 µm, implicating a potentially high indoor infection risk to humans. However, a combination of public health interventions with enhanced ventilation could substantially contain indoor influenza infection. Moreover, the present dynamic simulation and control measure assessment provide insights into why indoor transmissible influenza droplet-induced infection is occurring not only in upper lung regions but also in the lower respiratory tract, not normally considered at infection risk.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
An immunodominant serine protease of Trichinella spiralis named NBL1 showed encouraging potential in early diagnosis of trichinellosis in pigs and elicited protective immune responses during infection of animals. To further define serological reagents for diagnostic use, the specific epitopes on NBL protein recognized by the antibody responses of different susceptible hosts need to be defined. The present study described comprehensive mapping of immunodominant linear epitopes in the antigenic region (NBL-C, the C-terminal part of the protein) using various serum samples obtained from three kinds of hosts – pig, wild boar and mice. We identified six peptides which were commonly recognized by sera from pigs experimentally infected with Trichinella and pigs immunized with rNBL1-C; five and four peptides were recognized by sera from wild boars and mice infected with Trichinella, respectively. Three peptides (NBL1-6, -7 and -9) were commonly recognized by antisera in all three hosts, which share the sequence PSSGSRPTYP. We also found that one peptide (NBL1-12) was only recognized by antibodies from pigs immunized with rNBL1-C. The identification of specific epitopes targeted by the host antibody response is important both for understanding the natural response to infection and for the development of subunit vaccines and diagnostic tools for trichinellosis.
The Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) co-ordinates the activities of the six Australian research institutions and a group of industrial partners in the Australia-US Institute for Advanced Photovoltaics (AUSIAPV) to develop the next generations of photovoltaic device technology and to provide a pipeline of opportunities for performance increase and cost reduction. AUSIAPV links ACAP with US-based partners. These national and international research collaborations provide a pathway for highly visible, structured photovoltaic research collaboration between Australian and US researchers, institutes and agencies with significant joint programs based on the clear synergies between the participating organizations. The research program is organized in five collaborative Program Packages (PPs). PP1 deals with silicon wafer-based cells, focusing on three main areas: cells from solar grade silicon, rear contact and silicon-based tandem cells. PP2 involves research into a range of organic solar cells, organic/inorganic hybrid cells, "earth abundant" thin-film materials and "third generation" approaches. PP3 is concerned with optics and characterization. PP4 will deliver a substantiated methodology for assessing manufacturing costs of the different technologies and PP5 involves education, training and outreach. The main research topics, results and plans for the future are presented.
Co-infections of cystic echinococcosis (CE) and HIV/AIDS is rare. We report four CE cases that were HIV positive. Three out of the four patients underwent a surgical operation to remove the hydatid cysts in their livers. The operation confirmed that in two of the cases their cysts had ruptured. These patients were given 3 months of albendazole after the operation. Follow-up showed they were remarkably improved in term of their health, although they were still HIV antibody positive 6 months after surgical treatment. Interestingly, the treatment remarkably increased their CD4+ cell population. We showed that surgery is suitable for treating hepatic cystic echinococcosis with HIV/AIDS co-infection.
To assess the effectiveness of infection control preparedness for human infection with influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong.
A descriptive study of responses to the emergence of influenza A H7N9.
A university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure (not wearing N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedure) to a patient with influenza A H7N9.
A bundle approach including active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive contact tracing for HCWs with unprotected exposure was implemented. Seventy HCWs with unprotected exposure to an index case were interviewed especially regarding their patient care activities.
From April 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014, a total of 126 (0.08%) of 163,456 admitted patients were tested for the H7 gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction per protocol. Two confirmed cases were identified. Seventy (53.8%) of 130 HCWs had unprotected exposure to an index case, whereas 41 (58.6%) and 58 (82.9%) of 70 HCWs wore surgical masks and practiced hand hygiene after patient care, respectively. Sixteen (22.9%) of 70 HCWs were involved in high-risk patient contacts. More HCWs with high-risk patient contacts received oseltamivir prophylaxis (P=0.088) and significantly more had paired sera collected for H7 antibody testing (P<0.001). Ten (14.3%) of 70 HCWs developed influenza-like illness during medical surveillance, but none had positive results by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Paired sera was available from 33 of 70 HCWs with unprotected exposure, and none showed seroconversion against H7N9.
Despite the delay in airborne precautions implementation, no patient-to-HCW transmission of influenza A H7N9 was demonstrated.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The electron transport properties of ultra-scaled amorphous phase change material (PCM) GeTe are studied using non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF). The inelastic electron-phonon scattering is included using Born approximation. It is shown that, in ultra-scaled PCM device with 6 nm channel length, less than 4% of the energy carried by the incident electrons from the source is transferred to the atomic lattice before reaching the drain, indicating that the electron transport is largely elastic. Our simulation results show that the inelastic electron-phonon scattering, which plays an important role to excite trapped electrons in bulk PCM devices, exerts very limited influence on the current density value and the shape of current-voltage curve of ultra-scaled PCM devices. The analysis reveals that the Poole-Frenkel law and the Ohm’s law, which are the governing physical mechanisms of the bulk PCM devices, cease to be valid in the ultra-scaled PCM devices.
Dengue, one of the most important mosquito-borne diseases, is a major international public health concern. This study aimed to assess potential dengue infection risk from Aedes aegypti in Kaohsiung and the implications for vector control. Here we investigated the impact of dengue transmission on human infection risk using a well-established dengue–mosquito–human transmission dynamics model. A basic reproduction number (R0)-based probabilistic risk model was also developed to estimate dengue infection risk. Our findings confirm that the effect of biting rate plays a crucial role in shaping R0 estimates. We demonstrated that there was 50% risk probability for increased dengue incidence rates exceeding 0·5–0·8 wk−1 for temperatures ranging from 26°C to 32°C. We further demonstrated that the weekly increased dengue incidence rate can be decreased to zero if vector control efficiencies reach 30–80% at temperatures of 19–32°C. We conclude that our analysis on dengue infection risk and control implications in Kaohsiung provide crucial information for policy-making on disease control.
Films of GaN have been grown using a modified MBE method in which the active nitrogen is supplied from an RF activated plasma source. Wurtzite films grown on (0 0 1) oriented GaAs substrates show highly defective, ordered polycrystalline growth with a columnar structure; the (0 0 0 1) planes of the layers being parallel to the (0 0 1) planes of the GaAs substrate. Films grown using a coincident As flux, however, have a single crystal zinc-blende growth mode. They have better structural and optical properties. To improve the properties of the wurtzite films we have studied the growth of such films on (1 1 1)A and (1 1 1)B oriented GaAs substrates. The improved structural properties of such films, assessed using x-ray and TEM methods, correlate with better low temperature PL performance.
The crystallization properties of the phase change material (PCM) germanium telluride (GeTe) are investigated. It is shown that the critical nucleus radius of a crystalline cluster is smaller than 1.4nm when the annealing temperature is lower than 600K, indicating an extremely promising scaling scenario. It is revealed that the elastic energy, which is largely ignored in existing PCM crystallization studies, plays an important role in determining various crystallization properties and the ultimate scaling limit of the PCM. By omitting the influence of elastic energy, the critical formation energy (critical nuclei radius) will be underestimated by 41.7% (22.4%), and the nucleation rate will be overestimated by 74.2% when the annealing temperature is 600 K. The methodology proposed here is capable of quantitatively calculating the nucleation rate and growth speed of amorphous PCM from first principle calculations, which is relevant to computational design and optimization of PCM.
The sub-threshold electron transport properties of amorphous (a-) germanium telluride (GeTe) phase change material (PCM) ultra-thin films are investigated by using ab initio molecular dynamics, density function theory, and Green’s function simulations. The simulation results reproduce the trends in measured electron transport properties, e.g. current-voltage curve, intra-bandgap donor-like and acceptor-like defect states, and p-type conductivity. The underlying physical mechanism of electron transport in ultra-scaled a-PCM is unraveled. We find that, though the current-voltage curve of the ultra-scaled a-PCM resembles that of the bulk a-PCM, their physical origins are different. Unlike the electron transport in bulk a-PCM, which is governed by the Poole-Frenkel effect, the electron transport in ultra-scaled a-PCM is largely dominated by tunneling transport via intra-bandgap donor-like and acceptor-like defect states.