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Although pneumonia is a leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide, comprehensive information about its causes and incidence in low- and middle-income countries is lacking. Active surveillance of hospitalized patients with pneumonia is ongoing in Thailand. Consenting patients are tested for seven bacterial and 14 viral respiratory pathogens by PCR and viral culture on nasopharyngeal swab specimens, serology on acute/convalescent sera, sputum smears and antigen detection tests on urine. Between September 2003 and December 2005, there were 1730 episodes of radiographically confirmed pneumonia (34·6% in children aged <5 years); 66 patients (3·8%) died. A recognized pathogen was identified in 42·5% of episodes. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection was associated with 16·7% of all pneumonias, 41·2% in children. The viral pathogen with the highest incidence in children aged <5 years was RSV (417·1/100 000 per year) and in persons aged ⩾50 years, influenza virus A (38·8/100 000 per year). These data can help guide health policy towards effective prevention strategies.
The Solar Mass Ejection Imager (SMEI) was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit in January 2003. Its mission objective is to detect and track coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the Sun in order to improve space weather forecasts. In the three years since launch, over 200 CMEs, about 30 of which were Earth-directed, have been observed by SMEI. We have been able to track several of these CMEs from the SOHO LASCO coronagraphs ($<$8$^\circ$ from the Sun) through the SMEI field of view ($>$20$^\circ$) out to 0.5 AU and beyond, and to observe the morphology and evolution of distinctive features over this wide distance range. We report on comparisons of measurements of CME parameters made in the inner heliosphere with the more typical measurements made nearer the Sun with coronagraphs. We illustrate SMEI's capabilities and present key statistical results on basic CME parameters and the use of SMEI-type data in space weather forecasting models. For example, timely observations by SMEI of CMEs en route to Earth could be input to DoD's operational Hakamada-Akasofu-Fry solar wind model to correct or refine its real-time forecasts of approaching disturbances.
Previous studies from our group suggest that the synchronised onset of oestradiol secretion by preimplantation conceptuses from Meishan pigs may contribute to the enhanced prenatal survival characteristic of this breed (Ashworth and Pickard, 1998). We have recently reported that in vitro, the onset of oestradiol secretion by conceptuses can be regulated in a dose-dependent manner by an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole; Ashworth et al., 2005). Before commencing in vivo trials to assess the efficacy of letrozole to promote prenatal survival, it is important to determine whether exogenous letrozole reaches the uterine lumen and to establish the relationship between the dose administered and the impact on oestradiol secretion at the conceptus-uterine interface.
We assessed the architecture of the medial gastrocnemius in nine children (five males, four females; age range 6 to 15 years; mean 10 years 10 months, SD 3 years 6 months) with spastic diplegia by ultrasound imaging before and after a gastrocnemius recession. The children were ambulant (seven independent, one with a posterior walker, one using crutches) before and after surgical intervention. We compared values for fascicle lengths and deep fascicular-aponeurosis angles with those from a group of normally developing children (five males, five females; age range 6 to 11 years; mean 8 years 4 months, SD 1 year 4 months). Despite a variable interval between assessments (from 56 to 610 days), fascicles were shorter (p=0.00226) and the deep fascicular-aponeurosis angle increased (p=0.0152) after intervention. Fascicle lengths of patients were similar to those in the group of normally developing children before surgery. After surgery, fascicles in the group of children with spastic diplegia were shorter than in their normally developing peers (p=0.00109). The gastrocnemius recession procedure alters muscle architecture, though the degree of fascicular shortening varied, with four of the participants in our study losing less than 10% of their original fascicular length at maximum dorsiflexion. Increases in ankle-joint power in walking, observed after surgical intervention in children with spastic diplegia, may be due to a more normal ankle position rather than to improvements in the active mechanical performance of the gastrocnemius.
When two magnetic films are separated by a nonmagnetic film, pinholes in the nonmagnetic film can allow direct contact and, thereby, direct magnetic exchange coupling between the two magnetic films. We have studied this coupling by having one of the magnetic films pinned and leaving the other free to switch at low field. The pinning is accomplished with test structures based on exchange bias and synthetic antiferromagnetic layers. Since the pinning strength increases sharply at low temperatures but orange-peel coupling does not, low-temperature (77 K) measurements appear to identify whether an observed coupling arises primarily from magnetic coupling through pinholes or primarily from orange-peel roughness. Our measurements appear to indicate that the observed coupling arises primarily from magnetic coupling through pinholes for Cu films less than 2.1 nm thick and for Al2O3films less than 0.6 nm thick but primarily from roughness-induced (orange-peel) magnetostatic coupling for larger thicknesses.
Bladder, or detrusor, instability is a symptomatic condition which is characterized by uncontrollable rises in pressure within the bladder lumen leading to a feeling of urgency of micturition and, if severe enough, urinary incontinence. The rises in pressure are brought about by contraction of the detrusor smooth muscle which forms the major tissue component of the urinary bladder wall. This abnormality can be associated with a number of clinical conditions and when there is evidence of associated neurological deficits it is termed detrusor hyper-reflexia. An increase in bladder outflow resistance is also associated with detrusor instability and this is especially prevalent in men due to the age-related hypertrophy of the prostate gland which surrounds the urethra. However, in the majority of cases the cause is idiopathic and probably multifactorial. No matter what the cause, detrusor instability is one the largest causes of morbidity in the community; in the UK its prevalence increases from about 2 % in men and 9 % in women aged 15-64 years to 7 % and 12 %, respectively, in the over 65 years age group (Thomas et al. 1980; Brocklehurst, 1993).
The passive and active electrical properties of left ventricular myocardium were measured, using conducted action potentials and current clamp of isolated myocytes. The objective was to quantify changes of intracellular resistivity, Ri, during hypertrophic growth and the simultaneous imposition of cellular hypoxia. Ri was estimated from the time course of the rising phase of a conducted action potential using a solution of the two-dimensional cable equation. The thoracic aorta of guinea-pigs was constricted to induce left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and myocardium used 50 and 150 days post-operation. Conduction velocity increased in the earlier stage of LVH and declined in the later stage, compared with age-matched controls. Hypoxia reduced conduction velocity in all experimental groups. Ri increased only in the later stage of hypertrophy (253 ± 39 [Omega] cm to 544 ± 130 [Omega] cm) and was additionally increased by hypoxia in all groups (e.g. control myocardium 252 ± 39 [Omega] cm to 506 ± 170 [Omega] cm). The magnitude of the increase of Ri in hypertrophied, hypoxic myocardium can create conditions required to generate re-entrant arrhythmias.
Plasma treatment and deposition techniques have been used to facilitate the covalent attachment of DNA to polymer surfaces. The variety of surface functional groups that can be created by plasma techniques enables different chemical conjugation routes to be explored. For example, a phosphodiester linkage can be used for surfaces with hydroxyl groups. Likewise, a carboxyamide linkage can be used for surfaces with carboxyl or amine groups. The primary application of the engineered materials has been the hybridization-based separation of multiplexed DNA sequencing products. Traditionally, sequencing reactions are performed individually on single templates. Multiplex sequencing offers reagent and time savings by permitting multiple sequencing reactions on single or multiple templates. The method developed uses recoverable DNA sequencing primers with additional “capture sequences” attached to the 5' end. The capture sequences are designed to be complementary to “binding sequences” covalently attached to the plasma-treated polymer supports. When a solution of the extended recoverable primers is exposed to a polymer support, primers with complementary capture sequences hybridize to the immobilized binding sequences. Contacting a multiplexed sample with a series of solid supports (each having a different binding sequence) selectively removes each set of sequencing products from the mixture. Washing each solid support, followed by releasing the hybridized DNA, results in isolated and purified sequencing products that are amenable to analysis by gel or capillary electrophoresis.
Two complementary techniques are used to study the electrical transport properties related to the use of diamonds as materials for ionizing radiation detectors. Transient photoconductivity using soft x-rays is used to probe the first few microns of the material, while ionizing particle-excited conductivity is used to probe the entire bulk of the material (1 millimeter). Both techniques measure the mean drift distance of free carriers, or the collection distance d. In addition, transient photoconductivity is able to extract the lifetimes and mobilities of the excited carriers. The collection distance measured by the two methods are in agreement, suggesting the material is homogeneous. At an applied field of 10 kV/cm, d is 25 to 30 microns, and, up to a field of 25 kV/cm, d has not saturated. The lifetime varies between 100 and 600 ps, and the mobility varies between 1000 and 4000 cm2/V-s, the range due to natural variations from sample to sample. The primary defects limiting the lifetime are believed to be nitrogen impurities and dislocations.
The electrical properties associated with carrier mobility, μ, and lifetime, τ, have been investigated for the chemical vapor deposited (CVD) diamond films using charged particle-induced conductivity and time resolved transient photo-induced conductivity. The collection distance, d, the average distance which electron and hole depart when driven by an applied electric field E, was measured by both methods. The collection distance is related to the carrier mobility and lifetime by d = μEτ Our measurements show that the collection distance increases linearly with sample thickness for CVD diamond films. The collection distance at the growth side of the CVD diamond film is comparable to that of single crystal natural type IIa diamond; at the substrate side of the film, the collection distance is near zero. No saturation of the collection distance is observed for film thickness up to 500 microns.
Evidence has accumulated over the past twenty years to suggest that the deep-sea environment is not as constant as was at one time thought, but exhibits temporal variations related to the seasonally in the overlying surface waters. Recent results from deep-moored sediment traps suggest that this coupling is mediated through the sedimentation of organic material, while observations in the Porcupine Seabight indicate that in this region, at least, there is a major and rapid seasonal deposition of aggregated phytodetritus to the sea-floor at slope and abyssal depths.
This paper summarises the results of the Porcupine Seabight studies over the past five years or so, using time-lapse sea-bed photography and microscopic, microbiological and chemical analyses of samples of phytodetritus and of the underlying sediment. The data are to some extent equivocal, but they suggest that the seasonal deposition is a regular and dramatic phenomenon and that the material undergoes relatively little degradation during its passage through the water column. The mechanisms leading to the aggregation of the phytodetritus have not been identified, and it is not yet known whether the phenomenon is geographically widespread nor whether it is of significance to the deep-living mid-water and benthic communities.
Novel hydroxynaphthoquinones are reported with outstanding efficacy against Plasmodium, Eimeria and Theileria species. Biochemical evidence is presented for the selective toxicity of these compounds being due to inhibition of parasite respiratory systems.
At least four stones fell over a distance of about 9 km at the end of a west to east trajectory on 25 April 1971 at about 1630 hours local time. Their approximate location is 11° 51′ N., 8° 13′ E. About 13·4 kg of this xenolithic bronzite chondrite, class H4, were recovered. A bulk chemical analysis with total Fe = 29°4 % (wt), is presented. Olivine is Fa18.9 (molec.) in composition. Concentrations of the cosmogenic radionuclides 22Na, 26Al, and 54Mn were 71±6, 56±5 and 84±6 dpm/kg, respectively.