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We introduce exact methods for the simulation of sample paths of one-dimensional diffusions with a discontinuity in the drift function. Our procedures require the simulation of finite-dimensional candidate draws from probability laws related to those of Brownian motion and its local time, and are based on the principle of retrospective rejection sampling. A simple illustration is provided.
Giant ragweed has been increasing as a major weed of row crops in the last 30 yr, but quantitative data regarding its pattern and mechanisms of spread in crop fields are lacking. To address this gap, we conducted a Web-based survey of certified crop advisors in the U.S. Corn Belt and Ontario, Canada. Participants were asked questions regarding giant ragweed and crop production practices for the county of their choice. Responses were mapped and correlation analyses were conducted among the responses to determine factors associated with giant ragweed populations. Respondents rated giant ragweed as the most or one of the most difficult weeds to manage in 45% of 421 U.S. counties responding, and 57% of responding counties reported giant ragweed populations with herbicide resistance to acetolactate synthase inhibitors, glyphosate, or both herbicides. Results suggest that giant ragweed is increasing in crop fields outward from the east-central U.S. Corn Belt in most directions. Crop production practices associated with giant ragweed populations included minimum tillage, continuous soybean, and multiple-application herbicide programs; ecological factors included giant ragweed presence in noncrop edge habitats, early and prolonged emergence, and presence of the seed-burying common earthworm in crop fields. Managing giant ragweed in noncrop areas could reduce giant ragweed migration from noncrop habitats into crop fields and slow its spread. Where giant ragweed is already established in crop fields, including a more diverse combination of crop species, tillage practices, and herbicide sites of action will be critical to reduce populations, disrupt emergence patterns, and select against herbicide-resistant giant ragweed genotypes. Incorporation of a cereal grain into the crop rotation may help suppress early giant ragweed emergence and provide chemical or mechanical control options for late-emerging giant ragweed.
A microchannel plate was used as an ion sensitive detector in a commercial helium ion microscope (HIM) for dark-field transmission imaging of nanomaterials, i.e. scanning transmission ion microscopy (STIM). In contrast to previous transmission HIM approaches that used secondary electron conversion holders, our new approach detects forward-scattered helium ions on a dedicated annular shaped ion sensitive detector. Minimum collection angles between 125 mrad and 325 mrad were obtained by varying the distance of the sample from the microchannel plate detector during imaging. Monte Carlo simulations were used to predict detector angular ranges at which dark-field images with atomic number contrast could be obtained. We demonstrate atomic number contrast imaging via scanning transmission ion imaging of silica-coated gold nanoparticles and magnetite nanoparticles. Although the resolution of STIM is known to be degraded by beam broadening in the substrate, we imaged magnetite nanoparticles with high contrast on a relatively thick silicon nitride substrate. We expect this new approach to annular dark-field STIM will open avenues for more quantitative ion imaging techniques and advance fundamental understanding of underlying ion scattering mechanisms leading to image formation.
Recent studies suggest that sand can serve as a vehicle for exposure of humans to pathogens at beach sites, resulting in increased health risks. Sampling for microorganisms in sand should therefore be considered for inclusion in regulatory programmes aimed at protecting recreational beach users from infectious disease. Here, we review the literature on pathogen levels in beach sand, and their potential for affecting human health. In an effort to provide specific recommendations for sand sampling programmes, we outline published guidelines for beach monitoring programmes, which are currently focused exclusively on measuring microbial levels in water. We also provide background on spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of microbes in sand, as these factors influence sampling programmes. First steps toward establishing a sand sampling programme include identifying appropriate beach sites and use of initial sanitary assessments to refine site selection. A tiered approach is recommended for monitoring. This approach would include the analysis of samples from many sites for faecal indicator organisms and other conventional analytes, while testing for specific pathogens and unconventional indicators is reserved for high-risk sites. Given the diversity of microbes found in sand, studies are urgently needed to identify the most significant aetiological agent of disease and to relate microbial measurements in sand to human health risk.
Australia has a long history of establishing protected areas and they are now the cornerstones of its national and regional conservation strategies, covering over 13% of the country. There are large regional variations in levels of coverage, with most large protected areas placed far from dense human populations and away from productive agricultural land. Most of the recent growth in coverage has been driven by Indigenous Protected Areas and private protected areas, a trend that is likely to increase in the future. It is difficult to say how effective protected areas are in conserving biodiversity due to shortcomings in monitoring and evaluation, but the data that exist show that biodiversity outcomes are variable and that management effectiveness could be substantially improved. Threats to the protected area system are currently increasing with strong government pressure to allow extractive industries, such as mining, logging and grazing, and damaging recreational uses such as hunting to occur on land that is currently protected. If this trend continues, the future holds a great deal of uncertainty for Australia’s protected areas.
For centuries people all over the world have set aside places to which they ascribe special values. The reasons for this have been many and various but they are linked by a central purpose – to protect something that humankind perceives as valuable. Over the past century, as human populations have grown and their use of natural resources has increased, so the need to protect the remaining natural areas has also grown. Formally protected areas have become the centrepiece of the global strategy for nature conservation. These are areas where human activities are restricted and that are managed with the primary purpose of nature conservation (Dudley 2008). Australia is no exception in using protected areas as the cornerstones of its national and regional conservation strategies and is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD is an international legally binding treaty that commits Australia to achieving a number of conservation targets.
The United States dependence on fossil fuels has become mandatory over the past few decades. The fuel shortage during the 1970s and after Hurricane Katrina has catalyzed a need for creating alternative energy sources, improving the efficacy of these alternative energy sources, and enhancing energy sustainability. The U.S. Department of Energy has set goals to replace 30% of the liquid petroleum transportation fuel with biofuels and to replace 25% of industrial organic chemicals with biomass-derived chemicals by 2025. In the southeast United States, subterranean termites are prevalent and microbes in their gut degrade wood based materials such as cellulose which produce simple sugars that can be used to produce bioethanol. Upon seasonal change, subterranean termites undergo less enzymatic activity and wood-eating capability limiting the amount of sugars that may be produced. This limited activity sparks an interest to investigate this poorly understood phenomenon of how temperature may affect the enzymatic activity in subterranean termites’ guts. In this study, we report the development thermoresponsive biomaterial nanofiber mats containing cellulose to model cellulase activity. Using electrospinning techniques, poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) celluose fiber mats have been prepared via alkaline hydrolysis and labeled with fluorescent tags. Subterranean termites (reticulitermes species) were feed fiber mats for 10 consecutive days to assess enzyme mapping and kinetics. Fluorescent microscopy images confirmed spatial and temporal localization of cellulase enzyme throughout the termite gut upon time and temperature change. These novel high affinity enzyme detection membranes show promise towards future biofuel production.
The kesterite semiconductor Cu2ZnSnS(e)4 is seen as a suitable absorber layer to replace Cu(In,Ga)Se2 in thin film solar cells, if thin film photovoltaics are to be deployed on the terawatt scale. Currently the best devices, and hence the best kesterite absorber layers are grown away from stoichiometry and are zinc rich and copper poor, presumably leading to the formation of ZnS(e). However, it has been shown that secondary phases present in an absorber layer reduce device performance. If growth in Zn rich conditions seems to be mandatory, then any secondary phases formed should be grown on the surface of the absorber layer so that they may be easily removed by etching. Therefore, it is important to know how and why secondary phases form, and if possible, how to segregate them to the surface of the absorber layer.
Here we show that ZnSe is formed at the initial stages of absorber formation from annealing metal stacks in selenium vapor. Further we demonstrate that the way the precursor metals are distributed on the substrate leads to different absorber layer performances in full devices. The importance of selenium vapor pressure is highlighted in respect to the order of selenisation of the metals, Zn before Cu. Additionally, the importance of selenium and tin selenide vapor pressure during annealing is reviewed with regard to avoiding a decomposition of the Cu2ZnSnSe4 to ZnSe and Cu2Se phases. Regardless of the atmosphere above the absorber, the reaction of the absorber with molybdenum appears unavoidable without the use of a passivation strategy. Counter-intuitively, it is demonstrated that for our absorber layers grown under Zn-rich conditions, removal of the ZnSe is harmful for device performance.
Imputation of moderate-density genotypes from low-density panels is of increasing interest in genomic selection, because it can dramatically reduce genotyping costs. Several imputation software packages have been developed, but they vary in imputation accuracy, and imputed genotypes may be inconsistent among methods. An AdaBoost-like approach is proposed to combine imputation results from several independent software packages, i.e. Beagle(v3.3), IMPUTE(v2.0), fastPHASE(v1.4), AlphaImpute, findhap(v2) and Fimpute(v2), with each package serving as a basic classifier in an ensemble-based system. The ensemble-based method computes weights sequentially for all classifiers, and combines results from component methods via weighted majority ‘voting’ to determine unknown genotypes. The data included 3078 registered Angus cattle, each genotyped with the Illumina BovineSNP50 BeadChip. SNP genotypes on three chromosomes (BTA1, BTA16 and BTA28) were used to compare imputation accuracy among methods, and the application involved the imputation of 50K genotypes covering 29 chromosomes based on a set of 5K genotypes. Beagle and Fimpute had the greatest accuracy among the six imputation packages, which ranged from 0·8677 to 0·9858. The proposed ensemble method was better than any of these packages, but the sequence of independent classifiers in the voting scheme affected imputation accuracy. The ensemble systems yielding the best imputation accuracies were those that had Beagle as first classifier, followed by one or two methods that utilized pedigree information. A salient feature of the proposed ensemble method is that it can solve imputation inconsistencies among different imputation methods, hence leading to a more reliable system for imputing genotypes relative to independent methods.
The close interplay between mental health and physical health makes it critical to integrate mental and behavioral health considerations into all aspects of public health and medical disaster management. Therefore, the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) convened the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee to assess the progress of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in integrating mental and behavioral health into disaster and emergency preparedness and response activities. One vital opportunity to improve integration is the development of clear and directive national policy to firmly establish the role of mental and behavioral health as part of a unified public health and medical response to disasters. Integration of mental and behavioral health into disaster preparedness, response, and recovery requires it to be incorporated in assessments and services, addressed in education and training, and founded on and advanced through research. Integration must be supported in underlying policies and administration with clear lines of responsibility for formulating and implementing policy and practice.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:60–66)
Excavations in the late-glacial Presumpscot Formation at Portland, Maine, uncovered tree remains and other terrestrial organics associated with marine invertebrate shells in a landslide deposit. Buds of Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar) occurred with twigs of Picea glauca (white spruce) in the Presumpscot clay. Tree rings in Picea logs indicate that the trees all died during winter dormancy in the same year. Ring widths show patterns of variation indicating responses to environmental changes. Fossil mosses and insects represent a variety of species and wet to dry microsites. The late-glacial environment at the site was similar to that of today's Maine coast. Radiocarbon ages of 14 tree samples are 11,907 ± 31 to 11,650 ± 50 14C yr BP. Wiggle matching of dated tree-ring segments to radiocarbon calibration data sets dates the landslide occurrence at ca. 13,520 + 95/−20 cal yr BP. Ages of shells juxtaposed with the logs are 12,850 ± 65 14C yr BP (Mytilus edulis) and 12,800 ± 55 14C yr BP (Balanus sp.), indicating a marine reservoir age of about 1000 yr. Using this value to correct previously published radiocarbon ages reduces the discrepancy between the Maine deglaciation chronology and the varve-based chronology elsewhere in New England.
The laser-assisted chemical vapor deposition (LCVD) technique has proved to be an effective means of depositing cadmium sulfide layers in a well-controlled manner over select small areas. Observations of favorable conditions for deposition and typical pitfalls in the process are discussed. Analysis of the LCVD CdS layers is presented in conjunction with comparisons to conventionally grown CdS layers. The stoichiometry, thickness, and grain structure of the LCVD CdS layers have been suitably optimized for use in solar-cell applications.
Significant research effort is regularly applied to the goal of reducing the size of radio-frequency antennas while maintaining the entire set of positive attributes of proven but relatively large antennas. Such parameters as frequency response (multiple or single), bandwidth, and complexity of the antenna-driver balun structures require iterative optimization. The direct-write processes now available have enabled the insertion of reactive-loading elements as integral parts of the antenna structure, especially into new conformal designs. These reactive-loading elements were used in conjunction with modern design techniques to achieve antenna devices that were reduced in size to as much as half that of traditional counterparts. The performances of the miniaturized antennas constructed by direct-write methods were evaluated and compared to those of traditional antenna structures.
As device geometries and operating voltage continue to scale while functional density increases, it is imperative to reduce the RC time delay. The replacement of Si0 2 as an intermetal dielectric with an insulator of lower dielectric constant is a particularly attractive solution since it provides immediate performance improvement through reduction in capacitance. An embedded polymer integration scheme improves the interconnect performance through line-to-line capacitance reduction by using polymer only between tightly spaced lines. The gapfill polymeric materials do not degrade the electromigration performance of standard multilayered TiN/Al/TiN interconnects. Embedded polymers alleviate many of the integration and reliability problems associated with polymer integration, and can be easily adopted into a standard production process.