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Improving understanding of the pathogen-specific seasonality of enteric infections is critical to informing policy on the timing of preventive measures and to forecast trends in the burden of diarrhoeal disease. Data obtained from active surveillance of cohorts can capture the underlying infection status as transmission occurs in the community. The purpose of this study was to characterise rotavirus seasonality in eight different locations while adjusting for age, calendar time and within-subject clustering of episodes by applying an adapted Serfling model approach to data from a multi-site cohort study. In the Bangladesh and Peru sites, within-subject clustering was high, with more than half of infants who experienced one rotavirus infection going on to experience a second and more than 20% experiencing a third. In the five sites that are in countries that had not introduced the rotavirus vaccine, the model predicted a primary peak in prevalence during the dry season and, in three of these, a secondary peak during the rainy season. The patterns predicted by this approach are broadly congruent with several emerging hypotheses about rotavirus transmission and are consistent for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotavirus episodes. These findings have practical implications for programme design, but caution should be exercised in deriving inferences about the underlying pathways driving these trends, particularly when extending the approach to other pathogens.
Natural disasters have a significant impact on the health sector. On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The aim of the study was to compare patient volumes and clinical conditions presenting to the emergency department pre- and post-earthquake.
A retrospective study was done at Patan Hospital Emergency Department in Kathmandu, Nepal. Volume, demographics, and patient diagnoses were collected for 4 months post-disaster and compared with cases seen the same months the year before the disaster to control for seasonal variations.
After the 2015 Nepal earthquake, 12,180 patients were seen in the emergency department. This was a significant decrease in patient volume compared with the 14,971 patients seen during the same months in 2014 (P=0.04). Of those, 5496 patients (4093 pre-disaster and 1433 post-disaster) had a chief complaint or diagnosis recorded for analysis. An increase in cardiovascular and respiratory cases was seen as well as an increase in psychiatric cases (mostly alcohol related) and cases of anemia. There was a decrease in the number of obstetrics/gynecology, infectious disease, and poisoning cases post-earthquake.
Understanding emergency department utilization after the earthquake has the potential to give further insight into improving disaster preparedness plans for post-disaster health needs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:211–216).
We present the defect analysis by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy of CdSexTe1-x thin films, grown with varying Se content by a co-sputtered deposition method. We observe a peak at 1.203 eV in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.21, which shifts towards higher energies with increase in laser power. This peak was assigned to a donor-to-acceptor (DAP) transition, with a measured j-shift of ∼4.7 meV/decade. Temperature dependent PL intensity measurements confirm that the observed DAP peak involves a shallow defect state of binding energy ∼34.7 meV. In contrast, a free-to-bound (FB) peak at 1.294 eV involving a shallow defect of binding energy ∼18.3 meV was observed in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.14. Additionally, we observe band edge emission at 1.452 eV and 1.448 eV in CdSexTe1-x films for x = 0.14 and x = 0.21 respectively. Our analysis shows that the Se concentration not only changes the band gap energy of the resulting CdSexTe1-x alloy thin film, but also modifies the nature of the dominant observed defect emission.
Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has been used to study the defect levels in thin film copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) which we are developing as the absorber layer for the bottom cell of a monolithically grown perovskite/CuInSe2 tandem solar cell. Temperature and laser power dependent PL measurements of thin film CIS for two different Cu/In ratios (0.66 and 0.80) have been performed. The CIS film with Cu/In = 0.80 shows a prominent donor-to-acceptor peak (DAP) involving a shallow acceptor of binding energy ∼22 meV, with phonon replica at ∼32 meV spacing. In contrast, PL measurement of CIS film for Cu/In = 0.66 taken at 20 K exhibited an asymmetric and broad PL spectrum with peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV. Laser intensity dependent PL revealed that the observed peaks 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV shift towards higher energy (aka j-shift) at ∼11.7 meV/decade and ∼ 8 meV/decade with increase in laser intensity respectively. The asymmetric and broad spectrum together with large j-shift suggests that the observed peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV were related to band-to-tail (BT) and band-to-impurity (BI) transition, respectively. Such a band-tail-related transition originates from the potential fluctuation of defect states at low temperature. The appearance of band related transition in CIS film with Cu/In = 0.66 is the indicator of the presence of large number of charged defect states.
The use of laboratory experiments as plasma creating sources is a valuable tool for understanding astrophysical observations. Recently plasma created through irradiation by lasers with relativistic intensities has been used to study effects of hot electrons and X-ray pumping on X-ray formation of multiply charged ions spectra. This paper discusses the formation of K-shell Fe spectra recorded from a plasma irradiated by 35 fs pulses with intensities of 1021 W/cm2. Modeling of the spectra suggests three different regions of plasma radiation including a cold ~10 eV region, a mild ~700 eV region, and a hot ~3500 eV region. The influence of hot electrons and X-ray pumping is discussed and a comparison with K-shell Fe spectra from a 1 MA X-pinch experiment is included to highlight the differences due to the shorter time frame of the laser–plasma interaction experiment.
We report on electrical conductivity and noise measurements made on p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) thin films prepared by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD). The temperature dependent electrical conductivity can be described by the Mott Variable Range Hopping mechanism. The noise at temperatures lower than ∼ 400K is dominated by a 1/f component which follows the Hooge model and correlates with the Mott conductivity. At high temperatures there is an appreciable G-R noise component.
Most crop models make use of a nutrient-balance approach for modelling crop response to soil fertility. To counter the vast input data requirements that are typical of these models, the crop water productivity model AquaCrop adopts a semi-quantitative approach. Instead of providing nutrient levels, users of the model provide the soil fertility level as a model input. This level is expressed in terms of the expected impact on crop biomass production, which can be observed in the field or obtained from statistics of agricultural production. The present study is the first to describe extensively, and to calibrate and evaluate, the semi-quantitative approach of the AquaCrop model, which simulates the effect of soil fertility stress on crop production as a combination of slower canopy expansion, reduced maximum canopy cover, early decline in canopy cover and lower biomass water productivity. AquaCrop's fertility response algorithms are evaluated here against field experiments with tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) in Ethiopia, with maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Nepal, and with quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) in Bolivia. It is demonstrated that AquaCrop is able to simulate the soil water content in the root zone, and the crop's canopy development, dry above-ground biomass development, final biomass and grain yield, under different soil fertility levels, for all four crops. Under combined soil water stress and soil fertility stress, the model predicts final grain yield with a relative root-mean-square error of only 11–13% for maize, wheat and quinoa, and 34% for tef. The present study shows that the semi-quantitative soil fertility approach of the AquaCrop model performs well and that the model can be applied, after case-specific calibration, to the simulation of crop production under different levels of soil fertility stress for various environmental conditions, without requiring detailed field observations on soil nutrient content.
This paper provides the results of semi-distributed positive degree-day (PDD) modelling for a glacierized river basin in Nepal. The main objective is to estimate the present and future discharge from the glacierized Langtang River basin using a PDD model (PDDM). The PDDM is calibrated for the period 1993–98 and is validated for the period 1999–2006 with Nash–Sutcliffe values of 0.85 and 0.80, respectively. Furthermore, the projected precipitation and temperature data from 2010 to 2050 are obtained from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Norway, for the representative concentration pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5) scenario. The Weather Research and Forecasting regional climate model is used to downscale the data from the Norwegian Earth System Model general circulation model. Projected discharge shows no significant trend, but in the future during the pre-monsoon period, discharge will be high and the peak discharge will be in July whereas it is in August at present. The contribution of snow and ice melt from glaciers and snowmelt from rocks and vegetation will decrease in the future: in 2040–50 it will be just 50% of the total discharge. The PDDM is sensitive to monthly average temperature, as a 2°C temperature increase will increase the discharge by 31.9%. Changes in glacier area are less sensitive, as glacier area decreases of 25% and 50% result in a change in the total discharge of –5.7% and –11.4%, respectively.
Information on the abundance of tigers Panthera tigris is essential for effective conservation of the species. The main aim of this study was to determine the status of tigers in Chitwan National Park, Nepal, including the Churia hills, using a camera-trap based mark–recapture abundance estimate. Camera traps (n = 310) were placed in an area of 1,261 km2 from 20 January to 22 March 2010. The study area was divided into three blocks and each block was trapped for 19–21 days, with a total effort of 3,582 man-days, 170 elephant-days and 4,793 camera-trap nights. The effectively camera-trapped area was 2,596 km2. Camera stations were located 1.5–2 km apart. Sixty-two tigers (age ⩾ 1.5 years), comprising 15 males, 41 females and six of unidentified sex, were identified from 344 photographs. The heterogeneity model Mh (jackknife) was the best fit for the capture history data. A capture probability (
) of 0.05 was obtained, generating a population estimate (
) of 125 ± SE 21.8 tigers. The density of tigers in the area, including Churia and Barandabhar (buffer zone forest linked with mid hill forest), was estimated to be 4.5 ± SE 0.35 tigers per 100 km2, using a Bayesian spatially explicit capture–recapture model in SPACECAP. Our study showed the use of Churia by tigers and we therefore conclude that the Chitwan tiger population serves as a source to maintain tiger occupancy of the larger landscape that comprises Chitwan National Park, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Barandabhar buffer zone, Someswor forest in Nepal and Valmiki Tiger Reserve in India.
Experimental results for instabilities present in a rotating Hagen–Poiseuille flow are reported in this study through fluid flow visualization. First, we found a very good agreement between the experimental and the theoretical predictions for the onset of convective hydrodynamic instabilities. Our analysis in a space–time domain is able to obtain quantitative data, so the wavelengths and the frequencies are also estimated. The comparison of the predicted theoretical frequencies with the experimental ones shows the suitability of the parallel, spatial and linear stability analysis, even though the problem is spatially developing. Special attention is focused on the transition from convective to absolute instabilities, where we observe that the entire pipe presents wavy patterns, and the experimental frequencies collapse with the theoretical results for the absolute frequencies. Thus, we provide experimental evidence of absolute instabilities in a pipe flow, confirming that the rotating pipe flow may be absolutely unstable for moderate values of Reynolds numbers and low values of the swirl parameter.
More than 50% of the global population already lives in urban settlements and urban areas are projected to absorb almost all the global population growth to 2050, amounting to some additional three billion people. Over the next decades the increase in rural population in many developing countries will be overshadowed by population flows to cities. Rural populations globally are expected to peak at a level of 3.5 billion people by around 2020 and decline thereafter, albeit with heterogeneous regional trends. This adds urgency in addressing rural energy access, but our common future will be predominantly urban. Most of urban growth will continue to occur in small-to medium-sized urban centers. Growth in these smaller cities poses serious policy challenges, especially in the developing world. In small cities, data and information to guide policy are largely absent, local resources to tackle development challenges are limited, and governance and institutional capacities are weak, requiring serious efforts in capacity building, novel applications of remote sensing, information, and decision support techniques, and new institutional partnerships. While ‘megacities’ with more than 10 million inhabitants have distinctive challenges, their contribution to global urban growth will remain comparatively small.
Energy-wise, the world is already predominantly urban. This assessment estimates that between 60–80% of final energy use globally is urban, with a central estimate of 75%. Applying national energy (or GHG inventory) reporting formats to the urban scale and to urban administrative boundaries is often referred to as a ‘production’ accounting approach and underlies the above GEA estimate.
Agriculture is an evolutionary phenomenon. The popular myth is that agriculture began when humans realised that planting seeds in the ground would make them grow. The truth is that agriculture is a mutualism that evolved (in the biological and not merely colloquial sense of the word) from a novel ecological interaction between plants and humans. At the very origin of this mutualism, cereals rapidly adapted to the novel environment (Allen, 1977). Harvesting favoured the evolution of synchronous seed ripening. The cycle of harvesting, storage and sowing created a strong disadvantage to seed dispersal, which would remove a plant's progeny from the advantageous mutualism. Thus, newly domesticated grains rapidly evolved seed heads with a non-shattering rachis. Sowing favoured the adaptive loss of seed dormancy. These evolutionary changes were effected by people who would have been largely unaware of the selection they were imposing (Allen, 1977).
Today, evolution may seem a remote concern for agriculture, yet an evolutionary understanding of plant reproduction may provide new directions for crop improvement and agricultural management. In this chapter, we consider what evolutionary biology can tell us about crop pollination and yield. Evolutionary biologists interested in pollination have tended to ignore agricultural settings, but well-studied topics such as pollen limitation of seed set and morphological adaptations of flowers for pollination apply equally to wild and domesticated species. More recent concerns, such as the network structure of plant–pollinator interactions in different habitats, may also help us understand how invasive agricultural species interact with established pollination webs.
The purpose of this study is to identify key home garden species in order to address basic research questions aimed at understanding farmers' home gardens management practices. The study was conducted in two contrasting Hill and Tarai sites in Nepal with households (HHs) ranging from 355 to 634. Unlike larger production systems, home gardens harbour many species in small areas often with a few crop varieties and species that are not well represented in larger fields. Given the number of species and their small population sizes, species and genetic diversity are best studied by identifying representative key species characterizing the complex productive niches within farms. Although species diversity within community is large (172–342), 24 key species were identified for the study. There is no fixed size of a home garden. The log of home garden size and species richness was positively correlated (r = 0.42, P < 0.001). Species richness was significantly higher in vegetable followed by fodder, fruits and spices. This paper also explores the diversity in home gardens to identify the composition and characteristics of the key species and how they are managed, used and conserved. Most of the farmers save the seeds of these home garden species for their own use, but many also exchange and buy and sell seed in local weekly market. Farmers' practices for selecting seed vary according to the reproductive biology of the key home garden species. Home gardens provide the HH with fresh and diverse supply of nutritious food, which improves their self-sufficiency, while conserving diversity on-farm. Despite this, they are neglected in research and development by policy makers and researchers.
Outdoor farrowing system account for 27% of breeding sows in England, and it is therefore important to understand the factors affecting their production efficiency. Piglet mortality is a significant economic and welfare issue, with farrowing and preweaning losses in commercial oudoor herds currently averaging 19% of all pigs born. Since sophisticated environmental and human interventions at the time of farrowing are infeasible in these systems, risk factors may differ in importance from those seen in indoor systems. A better understanding of the risk factors for different causes of mortality will help to design strategies to minimise losses.
Piglet survival is based on a complex interaction between the piglets own genetic component (direct genetic effects), the dams genetic contribution (maternal genetic effects) and environmental effects (systematic environmental such as year-season, common litter and individual environmental effects). Disentanglement of direct and maternal genetic effects needs a powerful design of genetic relationships. In order to accomplish this, a two generation selection experiment was designed with different selection groups for direct and maternal effects and cross-classification of these selection groups. Survival at birth and survival during the nursing period may have genetically independent components and would then be treated as different traits. In addition, piglet survival traits are reported to have low direct and maternal heritabilities and traits genetically associated with survival, such as birth weight, may result in a more efficient change in survival than using survival per se. Therefore, the objective of the research was to estimate the genetic parameters of direct and maternal genetic effects of survival and birth weight in order to enhance the selection strategies for piglet survival.
The landraces of rice (Oryza sativa L.) possess wide diversity, which needs to be properly characterized for their use in genetic improvement. Replicated field studies were conducted in 1998, 1999 and 2000 at two sites in Nepal to determine diversity in 183 landraces of rice adapted to the lowlands and the hills in Nepal. Fourteen improved genotypes were also used for comparison. Thirteen agronomic traits were investigated. Shannon–Weaver diversity index (H) and Simpson's index of diversity (D) were estimated to determine the level of genetic richness among the landraces. The landraces differed significantly for all traits. Except for plant height and maturity, at least one of the landraces compared well with the performance of improved cultivars. A principal component analysis separated the lowland- and hill-adapted landraces into two broad groups.
Peri- and postnatal mortality of piglets is reported to be around 20% and genetic improvement in piglet survival has great potential benefits in terms of animal welfare, economics and the environment. The indication of an unfavourable genetic correlation between litter size and survival in particular points to the importance of including piglet survival in those pig breeding programmes that currently only aim to increase litter size. Phenotypically, individual birth weight is closely associated with piglet survival (Roehe and Kalm, 2000). Genetic parameters for piglet survival traits and individual birth weight therefore need to be estimated in order to genetically improve piglet survival efficiency