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The aim of this retrospective review was to assess the overall burden and trend in spinal tuberculosis (TB) at tertiary hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. All spinal TB cases seen at the province's three tertiary hospitals between 2012 and 2015 were identified and clinical records of each case assessed. Cases were subsequently classified as bacteriologically confirmed or clinically diagnosed and reported with accompanying clinical and demographic information. Odds ratios (OR) for severe spinal disease and corrective surgery in child vs. adult cases were calculated. A total of 393 cases were identified (319 adults, 74 children), of which 283 (72%) were bacteriologically confirmed. Adult cases decreased year-on-year (P = 0.04), however there was no clear trend in child cases. Kyphosis was present in 60/74 (81%) children and 243/315 (77%) adults with available imaging. Corrective spinal surgery was performed in 35/74 (47%) children and 80/319 (25%) adults (OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.6–4.5, P = 0.0003). These findings suggest that Western Cape tertiary hospitals have experienced a substantial burden of spinal TB cases in recent years with a high proportion of severe presentation, particularly among children. Spinal TB remains a public health concern with increased vigilance required for earlier diagnosis, especially of child cases.
To investigate an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex and describe the measures that revealed the source.
A 629-bed, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital in Houston, Texas.
Pediatric patients without cystic fibrosis (CF) hospitalized in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units.
We investigated an outbreak of B. cepacia complex from February through July 2016. Isolates were evaluated for molecular relatedness with repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR); specific species identification and genotyping were performed at an independent laboratory. The investigation included a detailed review of all cases, direct observation of clinical practices, and respiratory surveillance cultures. Environmental and product cultures were performed at an accredited reference environmental microbiology laboratory.
Overall, 18 respiratory tract cultures, 5 blood cultures, 4 urine cultures, and 3 stool cultures were positive in 24 patients. Among the 24 patients, 17 had symptomatic infections and 7 were colonized. The median age of the patients was 22.5 months (range, 2–148 months). Rep-PCR typing showed that 21 of 24 cases represented the same strain, which was identified as a novel species within the B. cepacia complex. Product cultures of liquid docusate were positive with an identical strain of B. cepacia complex. Local and state health departments, as well as the CDC and FDA, were notified, prompting a multistate investigation.
Our investigation revealed an outbreak of a unique strain of B. cepacia complex isolated in clinical specimens from non-CF pediatric patients and from liquid docusate. This resulted in a national alert and voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
Observation of GaN-based islands surrounded by V-defects in the barrier layer of green LED is reported for InGaN MQWs deposited under no hydrogen or at growth temperatures of less than 800°C. Nanoscale mechanical properties of the areas enclosed and outside of the ring defects does not show any appreciable variation as measured by UFM. Chemical etching of the MQW structure in addition to cross-sectional TEM analysis ruled out the possibility of growth of inversion domains of N-polar GaN in a Ga-polar GaN matrix.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
Sediments from the River Tay contained higher concentrations of ammonia than nitrate throughout an 18 month sampling cycle. Sediments from Kingoodie Bay and from the North Sea off the Tay Estuary produced nitrite and ammonia when incubated in the presence of nitrate.
The nitrate-reducing bacteria present in Kingoodie Bay sediments were Aeromonasj Vibrio organisms with smaller numbers of enterobacteria and pseudomonads and even smaller numbers of acinetobacters. Continuous culture enrichments of sediments showed that in media containing no added NaCl, acinetobacters predominated anaerobically in the presence of nitrate and acetate while enterobacteria predominated in the presence of nitrate and glycerol. With 0.2M NaCl added to media enterobacteria were predominant, irrespective of carbon source, while with 0.4M NaCl addition pseudomonads predominated in acetate and enterobacteria in glycerol media.
These results indicate that, at the salinities observed in the Tay Estuary at Kingoodie Bay, fermentative bacteria are most likely to be active in nitrate reduction.
A salt solution (doped with Tc-99), that simulates the salt waste stream to be processed at the Saltstone Production Facility, was immobilized in grout waste forms with and without (1) ground granulated blast furnace slag and (2) pretreatment with iron salts. The degree of immobilization of Tc-99 was measured through monolithic and crushed grout leaching tests. Although Fe (+2) was shown to be effective in reducing Tc-99 to the +4 state, the strong reducing nature of the blast furnace slag present in the grout formulation dominated the reduction of Tc-99 in the cured grouts. An effective diffusion coefficient of 4.75 x 10-12 (Leach Index of 11.4) was measured using the ANSI/ANS-16.1 protocol. The leaching results show that, even in the presence of a concentrated salt solution, blast furnace slag can effectively reduce pertechnetate to the immobile +4 oxidation state. The measured diffusivity was introduced into a flow and transport model (PORFLOW) to calculate the release of Tc-99 from a Saltstone Vault as a function of hydraulic conductivity of the matrix.
The passive film stability of several Fe-based amorphous metal formulations have been found to be comparable to that of high-performance Ni-based alloys, and superior to that of stainless steels, based on electrochemical measurements of the passive film breakdown potential and general corrosion rates. Chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) provide corrosion resistance; boron (B) enables glass formation; and rare earths such as yttrium (Y) lower critical cooling rate (CCR). The high boron content of this particular amorphous metal also makes it an effective neutron absorber, and suitable for criticality control applications, as discussed in companion publications. Corrosion data for SAM2X5 (Fe49.7Cr17.7Mn1.9Mo7.4W1.6B15.2C3.8Si2.4) is discussed here.
We investigate the room temperature growth of evaporated Au thin films on both clean and dirty single crystal Ge (111) substrates. The annealing behavior of these films was then examined under low and high temperatures.
As integrated circuit sizes decrease below 0.25 microns, device performance will no longer improve at the same rate as for past generations because of RC interconnect delay which becomes significant as compared to the intrinsic gate delay. Parallel approaches to address this are to use a lower resistance metal (i.e., copper instead of aluminum) and to use a dielectric material with a dielectric constant significantly below that of dense silica (∼4). Recently, considerable progress has been made in development of thin films of nanoporous silica for these applications. Advantages include high thermal stability, small pore size, similarity to conventional spin-on deposition processes and spin-on glass precursors and final material (silica). The dielectric constant of nanoporous silica can be tailored between ∼1 and 3 which allows its’ implementation at multiple technology nodes in integrated circuit manufacture.
Recent development efforts have been focused on; 1) simpler and more reproducible deposition processes, 2) a more complete understanding of processing-property relationships for this material, 3) scale-up of manufacturing to yield a range of precursor products with stability for at least six months and very high purity, and 4) working with customers to integrate this material into both aluminum/gapfill and copper/damascene process flows. This paper targets several specific issues related to nanoporous silica use including water adsorption, pore size distribution control, processing at commercially viable throughputs, and obtaining thickness and dielectric uniformity across 200 mm wafers and wafer to wafer.
The electronic transport mechanism in tetrahedrally-coordinated amorphous carbon was investigated using measurements of stress relaxation, thermal evolution of electrical conductivity, and temperature-dependent conductivity measurements. Stress relaxation measurements were used to determine the change in 3-fold coordinated carbon concentration, and the electrical conductivity was correlated to this change. It was found that the conductivity was exponentially proportional to the change in 3-fold concentration, indicating a tunneling or hopping transport mechanism. It was also found that the activation energy for transport decreased with increasing anneal temperature. The decrease in activation energy was responsible for the observed increase in electrical conductivity. A model is described wherein the transport in this material is described by thermally activated conduction along 3-fold linkages or chains with variable range and variable orientation hopping. Thermal annealing leads to chain ripening and a reduction in the activation energy for transport.
The use of chemical solution routes to form inorganic thin films is a relatively new method which represents an alternative to vapor phase routes. The present study involves the use of a chemical solution route, the decomposition of metal carboxylates, to prepare bismuth thin films of controlled porosity. Such morphologies offer the opportunity to disrupt phonon transport without greatly affecting electrical conductivity and bismuth represents a well known system in which to investigate these effects. Porous bismuth thin films have been prepared using bismuth 2-ethylhexanoate (Bi[OOCCH(C2H5)C4H9]3) as the precursor in a solvent of 2-methyl- 1-propanol. The solution is deposited on glass, Kapton, silicon, alumina or magnesia substrates by spin coating and heated to between 250 – 300°C in hydrogen. Heat treatment temperature and time are important for controlling film microstructure as both pore volume (25 to 50%) and preferred orientation depend upon heat treatment conditions. Bismuth films (62 nm thick) with 32% porosity exhibit conductivities in the range of 150 S/cm with Seebeck coefficients comparable to that of bulk materials.
The microsporidian parasite, Pleistophora mulleri, infects the abdominal muscle of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. We recently showed that P. mulleri infection was associated with G. d. celticus hosts being more vulnerable to predation by the invasive amphipod Gammarus pulex. Parasitized G. d. celticus also had a reduced ability to prey upon other co-occurring amphipods. We suggested the parasite may have pervasive influences on host ecology and behaviour. Here, we examine the association between P. mulleri parasitism and parameters influencing individual host fitness, behaviour and interspecific interactions. We also investigate the relationship between parasite prevalence and host population structure in the field. In our G. d. celticus study population, P. mulleri prevalence was strongly seasonal, ranging from 8·5% in summer to 44·9% in winter. The relative abundance of hosts with the heaviest parasite burden increased during summer, which coincided with high host mortality, suggesting that parasitism may regulate host abundance to some degree. Females were more likely to be parasitized than males and parasitized males were paired with smaller females than unparasitized males. Parasitism was associated with reduction in the host's activity level and reduced both its predation on the isopod Asellus aquaticus and aggression towards precopula pairs of the invasive G. pulex. We discuss the pervasive influence of this parasite on the ecology of its host.
We have developed a compact, 14.7 nm, sub-5 ps X-ray laser source at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) together with a Mach-Zehnder
type diffraction grating interferometer built at Colorado State University
for probing dense, high intensity laser-produced plasmas. The short
wavelength and pulse length of the probe reduces refraction, absorption
effects within the plasma and minimizes plasma motion blurring. This
unique diagnostic capability gives precise two-dimensional (2D) density
profile snapshots and is generating new data for rapidly evolving
laser-heated plasmas. A review of the results from dense, mm-scale line
focus plasma experiments will be described with detailed comparisons to
Recruitment determines the profile of fibre-type-specific genes expressed across the range of muscle fibres associated with slow, fast fatigue-resistant and fast fatiguable motor units. Downstream signalling pathways activated by neural signalling and mechanical load have been the focus of intensive research in past years. It is now known that Ca2+-dependent calcineurin–nuclear factor of activated T cells and insulin-like growth factor 1 pathways and their downstream mediators contribute to these adaptive responses. These pathways regulate gene expression through muscle-specific (myocyte-enhancing factor 2, myoblast determination protein) and non-specific (nuclear factor of activated T cell 2, GATA-2) transcription factors. Transcriptional signals activated with increased contractile activity result in altered expression of fibre-type specific genes, including the myosin heavy chain isoforms and oxidative and glycolytic enzymes and a net change in muscle fibre-type composition. In contrast, transcriptional signals activated by increased load bearing result in hypertrophy or a growth response, a component of which involves satellite cell recruitment and fusion with existing adult myofibres. Calcineurin has been identified as a key mediator in the hypertrophic response, and the current challenge has been to determine the downstream target genes of this pathway. Exciting new data have emerged, showing that myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, and utrophin, a cytoskeletal protein important in maintaining membrane integrity, are downstream targets of calcineurin signalling. Increased understanding of these mediators of muscle growth may provide strategies for the development of effective therapeutics to counter muscle weakness and muscular dystrophy.
McDonald (1998) has studied the motion of an intense, quasi-geostrophic,
equivalent-barotropic, singular vortex near an infinitely long escarpment. The present work
considers the remaining cases of the motion of weak and moderate intensity singular
vortices near an escarpment. First, the limit that the vortex is weak is studied
using linear theory. For times which are short compared to the advective time scale
associated with the vortex it is found that topographic waves propagate rapidly away
from the vortex and have no leading-order influence on the vortex drift velocity.
The vortex propagates parallel to the escarpment in the sense of its image in the
escarpment. The mechanism for this motion is identified and is named the pseudoimage
of the vortex. Large-time asymptotic results predict that vortices which move in the
same direction as the topographic waves radiate non-decaying waves and drift slowly
towards the escarpment in response to wave radiation. Vortices which move in
the opposite direction to the topographic waves reach a steadily propagating state.
Contour dynamics results reinforce the linear theory in the limit that the vortex
is weak, and show that the linear theory is less robust for vortices which move
counter to the topographic waves. Second, contour dynamics results for a moderate
intensity vortex are given. It is shown that dipole formation is a generic feature of the
motion of moderate intensity vortices and induces enhanced motion in the direction
perpendicular to the escarpment.
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