Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and Pythium aphanidermatum Edson cause cabbage seedling damping-off, resulting in severe yield losses. The current study demonstrates the production of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by two strains of Bacillus mycoides and the evaluation of a potential use of B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent to control cabbage damping-off. Two VOCs, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia, were found to reduce radial growth, cause hyphal deformation and result in organelle degeneration in both R. solani and P. aphanidermatum. Pathogen hyphae, after being exposed to VOCs, showed poor rigidity, shrinkage, curling and swelling. The amount of VOCs produced by B. mycoides and the antagonistic activity against plant pathogens varied, depending on the type of medium used to culture bacteria. Application of B. mycoides cell suspensions to cultivation medium promotes growth of five different plant species tested. Experiments conducted in greenhouses revealed that B. mycoides did not reduce damping-off incidence caused by R. solani. However, B. mycoides reduced damping-off incidence induced by P. aphanidermatum by as much as 45% on cabbage seedlings. The results provide valuable information on the feasibility of utilizing B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent in controlling cabbage damping-off.
We investigated the clinical predictors of methicillin-resistance and their impact on mortality in 371 patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia identified from two prospective multi-centre studies. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) accounted for 42.2% of community-onset and 74.5% of hospital-onset cases. No significant clinical difference was found between patients infected with MRSA vs. methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), except that the former were more likely to have had hospital-onset bacteraemia and received antibiotics in the preceding 90 days. After stratifying according to the acquisition site, prior antibiotic use was the only independent predictor of having MRSA in both community-onset and hospital-onset cases. The frequency of inappropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was higher in patients with MRSA than in those with MSSA bacteraemia. However, methicillin resistance was not a predictor of mortality in patients and the clinical characteristics and outcomes of both MRSA and MSSA bacteraemia were similar. This study indicates that there are no definitive clinical or epidemiological risk factors which could distinguish MRSA from MSSA cases with the exception of the previous use of antibiotics for having MRSA bacteraemia, which emphasises the prudent use of glycopeptide treatment of patients at risk for invasive MRSA infections.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and identifying effective treatment strategies is crucial for the control of depression. Well-conducted systematic reviews (SRs) and meta-analyses can provide the best evidence for supporting treatment decision-making. Nevertheless, the trustworthiness of conclusions can be limited by lack of methodological rigour. This study aims to assess the methodological quality of a representative sample of SRs on depression treatments.
A cross-sectional study on the bibliographical and methodological characteristics of SRs published on depression treatments trials was conducted. Two electronic databases (the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects) were searched for potential SRs. SRs with at least one meta-analysis on the effects of depression treatments were considered eligible. The methodological quality of included SRs was assessed using the validated AMSTAR (Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews) tool. The associations between bibliographical characteristics and scoring on AMSTAR items were analysed using logistic regression analysis.
A total of 358 SRs were included and appraised. Over half of included SRs (n = 195) focused on non-pharmacological treatments and harms were reported in 45.5% (n = 163) of all studies. Studies varied in methods and reporting practices: only 112 (31.3%) took the risk of bias among primary studies into account when formulating conclusions; 245 (68.4%) did not fully declare conflict of interests; 93 (26.0%) reported an ‘a priori’ design and 104 (29.1%) provided lists of both included and excluded studies. Results from regression analyses showed: more recent publications were more likely to report ‘a priori’ designs [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.31, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.57], to describe study characteristics fully (AOR 1.16, 95% CI 1.06–1.28), and to assess presence of publication bias (AOR 1.13, 95% CI 1.06–1.19), but were less likely to list both included and excluded studies (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.81–0.92). SRs published in journals with higher impact factor (AOR 1.14, 95% CI 1.04–1.25), completed by more review authors (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) and SRs on non-pharmacological treatments (AOR 1.62, 95% CI 1.01–2.59) were associated with better performance in publication bias assessment.
The methodological quality of included SRs is disappointing. Future SRs should strive to improve rigour by considering of risk of bias when formulating conclusions, reporting conflict of interests and authors should explicitly describe harms. SR authors should also use appropriate methods to combine the results, prevent language and publication biases, and ensure timely updates.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
As part of a 4-year Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (CosPA) Research Excellence Initiative in Taiwan, AMiBA - a 19-element dual-channel 85-105 GHz interferometer array is being specifically built to search for high redshift clusters of galaxies via the Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect (SZE). In addition, AMiBA will have full polarization capabilities, in order to probe the polarization properties of the Cosmic Microwave Background. AMiBA, to be sited on Mauna Kea in Hawaii or in Chile, will reach a sensitivity of ˜ 1 mJy or 7μK in 1 hour. The project involves extensive international scientific and technical collaborations. The construction of AMiBA is scheduled to starting operating in early 2004.
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.
To determine whether controlling the prescription of targeted antibiotics would translate to a measurable reduction in hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) rates.
A multicenter before-and-after intervention comparative study.
Ten medical centers in the greater New York region. Intervention group comprised of 6 facilities with early antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs). The 4 facilities without ASPs made up the nonintervention group.
Intervention facilities identified target antibiotics using case-control studies and implemented ASP-based strategies to control their use. Pre- and postintervention hospital-onset CDI rates and antibiotic consumption were compared for a 20-month period from June 2010 to January 2012. Antibiotic usage was compared using defined daily dose, days of therapy, and number of courses prescribed. Comparisons used bivariate and regression techniques.
Intervention facilities identified piperacillin/tazobactam, fluoroquinolones, or cefepime (odds ratio, 2.0-9.8 in CDI case patients compared with those without CDI) as intervention targets and selected several interventions (all included a component of audit and feedback). Varying degrees of success were observed in reducing antibiotic consumption over time. Total target antibiotic use significantly decreased (P < .05) when measured by days of therapy and number of courses but not by defined daily dose. Intravenous moxifloxacin and oral ciprofloxacin use showed significant reduction when measured by defined daily dose and days of therapy (P ≤ .01). Number of courses with all forms of these antibiotics was reduced (P ≤ .005). Intervention hospitals reported fewer hospital-onset CDI cases (2.8 rate point difference) compared with nonintervention hospitals; however, we were unable to show statistically significant decreases in aggregate hospital-onset CDI either between intervention and nonintervention groups or within the intervention group over time.
Although decreases in target antibiotic consumption did not translate into reductions of hospital-onset CDI in this study, many valuable lessons (including implementation strategies and antibiotic consumption measures) were learned. The findings can inform potential policy decisions regarding incorporating control of CDI and ASP as healthcare quality measures.
This multicentre surveillance study was conducted to investigate the trends in incidence and aetiology of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (HCA-BSIs) in Taiwan. From 2000 to 2011 a total of 56 830 HCA-BSIs were recorded at three medical centres, and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were the most common pathogens isolated (n = 9465, 16·7%), followed by E. coli (n = 7599, 13·4%). The incidence of all HCA-BSIs in each and all hospitals significantly increased over the study period owing to the increase of aerobic Gram-positive cocci and Enterobacteriaceae by 4·2% and 3·6%, respectively. Non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria, Bacteroides spp. and Candida spp. also showed an increase but there was a significant decline in the numbers of methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In conclusion, the incidence of HCA-BSIs in Taiwan is significantly increasing, especially for Enterobacteriaceae and aerobic Gram-positive cocci.
With economic development, non-communicable diseases replace infectious diseases as the leading cause of death; how such transition occurs for infectious diseases with long latency has rarely been considered. We took advantage of a Chinese population with rapid economic development in the mid-20th century to study changing patterns of infection-related cancers. We used sex-specific Poisson regression to estimate age, period and cohort effects on adult deaths 1976–2005 from eight infection-related cancers in Hong Kong. Cervical, head and neck, and oesophageal cancers, associated with sexually transmitted infections, decreased for the first birth cohorts with sexual debut in a more developed environment. Leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, associated with vertically transmitted infections, decreased for the first cohorts born into a more developed environment. Birth cohort patterns were unclear for nasopharyngeal, stomach and liver cancers. Mortality rates for cancers related to early infections may depend on population history, with delayed reductions for some infection-related cancers.
This paper describes the development of a nitrogen-based passivation technique for interface states near the conduction band edge [Dit(Ec)] in 4H-SiC/SiO2. These states have been observed and characterized in several laboratories for n- and p-SiC since their existence was first proposed by Schorner, et al. . The origin of these states remains a point of discussion, but there is now general agreement that these states are largely responsible for the lower channel mobilities that are reported for n-channel, inversion mode 4H-SiC MOSFETs. Over the past year, much attention has been focused on finding methods by which these states can be passivated. The nitrogen passivation process that is described herein is based on post-oxidation, high temperature anneals in nitric oxide. An NO anneal at atmospheric pressure, 1175°C and 200–400sccm for 2hr reduces the interface state density at Ec-E ≅0.1eV in n-4H-SiC by more than one order of magnitude - from > 3×1013 to approximately 2×1012cm−2eV−1. Measurements for passivated MOSFETs yield effective channel mobilities of approximately 30–35cm2/V-s and low field mobilities of around 100cm2/V-s. These mobilities are the highest yet reported for MOSFETs fabricated with thermal oxides on standard 4H-SiC and represent a significant improvement compared to the single digit mobilities commonly reported for 4H inversion mode devices. The reduction in the interface state density is associated with the passivation of carbon cluster states that have energies near the conduction band edge. However, attempts to optimize the the passivation process for both dry and wet thermal oxides do not appear to reduce Dit(Ec) below about 2×1012cm−2eV−1 (compared to approximately 1010cm−2eV−1 for passivated Si/SiO2). This may be an indication that two types of interface states exist in the upper half of the SiC band gap – one type that is amenable to passivation by nitrogen and one that is not. Following NO passivation, the average breakdown field for dry oxides on p-4H-SiC is higher than the average field for wet oxides (7.6MV/cm compared to 7.1MV/cm at room temperature). However, both breakdown fields are lower than the average value of 8.2MV/cm measured for wet oxide layers that were not passivated. The lower breakdown fields can be attributed to donor-like states that appear near the valence band edge during passivation.
This paper presents a review of new results obtained by a combination of first-principles theory, Z-contrast imaging, and electron-energy-loss spectroscopy in the context of a broader experimental/theoretical program to understand and control the atomic-scale structure of SiCSiO2 interfaces. The ultimate purpose is to achieve low interface trap densities for device applications. Results are given for global bonding arrangements in comparison with those of the Si-SiO2 interface, the mechanism of the oxidation process, the nature of possible interface defects and their passivation by N and H, and the formation and dissolution of C clusters in SiO2 during oxidation and reoxidation.
A new structure of triode type field emission displays based on single-walled carbon nanotube emitters is demonstrated. In this structure, gate electrodes are situated under cathode electrodes with an in-between insulating layer, so called under-gate type triode. Electron emission from the carbon nanotube emitters is modulated by changing gate voltages. A threshold voltage is approximately 70 V at the anode bias of 275 V.
Raman Scattering Was Used To Obtain New Information on the formation of Au-Ge-GaAs alloyed ohmic contacts. During alloying, we observe that amorphous Ge is transfoplmed into polycrystalline material. When Ge diffuses into the GaAs, no n+-GaAs layer is formed. Due to the intermixing of layers, both GaAs and Ge had a large number of impurities which formed deep electronic states in the forbidden gap. Electronic light scattering involving these states was observed. While several models for the Au-Ge-GaAs ohmic contact have been proposed, the model consistent with our Raman data includes resonant tunneling assisted by impurity levels in the graded Au-Ge-GaAs heterojunction structure as a basic conduction mechanism.
A comparison was made of gold and copper wires used in ball bonding in terms of their mechanical properties, bondability and the reliability of their bond interfaces in elevated temperature environments. The ball bondability of copper and gold was evaluated through clarification of the factors which govern ball deformability. Moreover a bonding method to suppress the generation of silicon cracks was proposed for ball bonding of copper wire. As to the reliability of the heat affected zone and the bond interfaces, copper wire was found to be superior to gold wire.
The stress induced failure of passivated aluminum based metallizations is the combined result of the stress induced void nucleation and growth of voids. The present work investigates the dependence of the void nucleation on aging temperature and cooling rate. Narrow Al, Al(0.2%Cu) and Al(2%Si) lines of different widths were fabricated by lift-off and passivated with various thicknesses of Si3N4. After a 400°C anneal, the specimens were cooled directly to the selected aging temperature and aged for up to 1100 hours. Void nucleation was found to occur predominantly during the initial cool-down. The rate of nucleation varied in quite different ways with the combination of aging temperature and cooling rate for the different alloys, which is consistent with a grain boundary sliding controlled nucleation mechanism.
Various Lamp phosphors, including [Ca10(PO4)6(Cl,F):Sb:Mn], (Y,Eu)2O3 (YOE), BaMgAl10O17:Eu (BAM), and (La,Ce)PO4:Ce:Tb (LAP), with or without flux, have been synthesized by a microwave processing technique in a multimode microwave furnace operating at 2.45 GHz. The microwave-synthesized phosphors were comprehensively characterized for particle size, specific surface area, brightness, and luminescence. Although most properties of the microwave-synthesized phosphors were comparable to that of the conventional products, the kinetics of the phosphor synthesis was substantially enhanced in the microwave processing. As a result, the soaking time at the final temperature was reduced by up to 90% compared to a conventional process. In addition, the required synthesis temperature was also lowered by 100-200°C in microwave process, compared to the conventional process for these lamp phosphors. Certain improved property was also observed in some microwave synthesized samples. The mechanism and advantages of microwave process for the lamp phosphor synthesis through solid-state reaction are addressed.
The stress induced growth of individual voids in passivated Al-lines at room temperature was monitored in-situ without removing the passivation. The kinetics was strongly influenced by variations in line gec.etry, even over distances of many Am, indicating variations in the stress relaxation as well.
Both energy and load required to fracture the material are important quantities and they are not necessarily related to each other as suggested by the fracture mechanics of brittle materials. For example, the difference of the failure behavior between the semi-brittle ABS polymer and the ductile Al 6061-TO can be well characterized by a pre-fracture energy E0 (Joule/m) and a fracture energy Ef (Joule/m2 ). Al 6061-TO has much higher values of E0 and EF than the ABS polymer. This accounts for the ductility of Al 6061-TO. However, the applied stress intensity factor KIapp for both materials are similar. The reason is that their plastic zones have similar shielding effects, even though Aluminum has dislocations and the ABS polymer has cavities and crazes.
The asymmetric amorphous silicon thin film transistors are fabricated and exposed to various stress environments. A visible light illumination of 200,000 Ix and gate bias of 30 V are applied to both asymmetric and widely used symmetric a-Si TFT's. It is observed that the leakage current of asymmetric structure, where only one electrode is fully overlapped by gate electrode, is much less than that of symmetric one. The visible light illumination as well as gate bias stress do not degrade the leakage current of the asymmetric a-Si TFT's, while the leakage current in die symmetric TFT's are increased considerably due to the stress. Also, the degree of degradation in the threshold voltage, the field effect mobility and the subthreshold slope of asymmetric TFT's are relatively much less than that of conventional symmetric TFT's.