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Recent modelling estimates up to two-thirds of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men occur within partnerships, indicating the importance of dyadic HIV prevention efforts. Although new interventions are available to promote dyadic health-enhancing behaviours, minimal research has examined what factors influence partners’ mutual engagement in these behaviours, a critical component of intervention success. Actor-partner interdependence modelling was used to examine associations between relationship characteristics and several dyadic outcomes theorised as antecedents to health-enhancing behaviours: planning and decision making, communication, and joint effort. Among 270 male-male partnerships, relationship satisfaction was significantly associated with all three outcomes for actors (p = .02, .02, .06 respectively). Latino men reported poorer planning and decision making (actor p = .032) and communication (partner p = .044). Alcohol use was significantly and negatively associated with all outcomes except actors’ planning and decision making (actors: p = .11, .038, .004 respectively; partners: p = .03, .056, .02 respectively). Having a sexual agreement was significantly associated with actors’ planning and decision making (p = .007) and communication (p = .008). Focusing on interactions between partners produces a more comprehensive understanding of male couples’ ability to engage in health-enhancing behaviours. This knowledge further identifies new and important foci for the tailoring of dyadic HIV prevention and care interventions.
This study explored how coping with war-related traumatic events in Sierra Leone impacted mental health outcomes among 529 youth (aged 10–17 at baseline; 25% female) using longitudinal data from three time points (Time 1 in 2002, Time 2 in 2004, and Time 3 in 2008). We examined two types of coping items (approach and avoidance); used multiple regression models to test their relations with long-term mental health outcomes (internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, adaptive/prosocial behaviors, and posttraumatic stress symptoms); and used mediation analyses to test whether coping explained the relation between previous war exposures (being raped, death of parent(s), or killing/injuring someone during the war) and those outcomes. We found that avoidance coping items were associated with lower internalizing and posttraumatic stress behaviors at Time 3, and provided some evidence of mediating the relation between death of parent(s) during the war and the two outcomes mentioned above. Approach coping was associated with higher Time 3 adaptive/prosocial behaviors, whereas avoidance coping was associated with lower Time 3 adaptive/prosocial behaviors. Avoidance coping may be a protective factor against mental illness, whereas approach coping may be a promotive factor for adaptive/prosocial behaviors in war-affected societies. This study has important implications for designing and implementing mental health interventions for youth in postconflict settings.
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.
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.
To understand the genotypic spectrum of environmental contamination of Staphylococcus aureus in households and its persistence
Prospective longitudinal cohort investigation.
Index participants identified at 2 academic medical centers.
Adults and children with S. aureus skin infections and their household contacts in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Household fomites were surveyed for contamination at baseline and 3 months. All isolates underwent genetic typing.
We enrolled 346 households, 88% of which completed the 3-month follow-up visit. S. aureus environmental contamination was 49% at baseline and 51% at 3 months. Among households with a USA300 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) body infection isolate, environmental contamination with an indistinguishable MRSA strain was 58% at baseline and 63% at 3 months. Baseline factors associated with environmental contamination by the index subject’s infection isolate were body colonization by any household member with the index subject’s infection isolate at baseline (odds ratio [OR], 10.93 [95% confidence interval (CI), 5.75–20.79]), higher housing density (OR, 1.47 [95% CI, 1.10–1.96]), and more frequent household fomite cleaning (OR, 1.62 [95% CI, 1.16–2.27]). Household environmental contamination with the index subject’s infection strain at 3 months was associated with USA300 MRSA and a synergistic interaction between baseline environmental contamination and body colonization by any household member with the index subject’s infection strain.
We found that infecting S. aureus isolates frequently persisted environmentally in households 3 months after skin infection. Presence of pathogenic S. aureus strain type in the environment in a household may represent a persistent reservoir that places household members at risk of future infection.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(11):1373–1382
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.
Historically, republicans were of different minds about markets: some, such as Rousseau, reviled them, while others, like Adam Smith, praised them. The recent republican resurgence has revived this issue. Classical liberals such as Gerald Gaus contend that neorepublicanism is inherently hostile to markets, while neorepublicans like Richard Dagger and Philip Pettit reject this characterization—though with less enthusiasm than one might expect. I argue here that the right republican attitude toward competitive markets is celebratory rather than acquiescent and that republicanism demands such markets for the same reason it requires the rule of law: because both are essential institutions for protecting individuals from arbitrary interference. I reveal how competition restrains—and in the limit, even eradicates—market power and thereby helps us realize “market freedom,” i.e., freedom as nondomination in the context of economic exchange. Finally, I show that such freedom necessitates “Anglo-Nordic” economic policies.
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.
Protein-permeable dense (non-porous) urethane membranes have been evaluated for in vitro cell culture, and in vivo cell encapsulation. Polyurethane membranes were designed to exhibit permeability to proteins, gases, and nutrients without the existence of pores. The membranes are non-cytotoxic, angiogenic, and permeable to gases, nutrients, secretagogues and cell products via purely concentration-driven transport. Non-anchorage and anchorage dependent cells were grown encapsulated within the membrane and with the membrane as a growth substrate. Several non-anchorage dependent cell types proliferated within the membrane both in-vitro and in-vivo. Anchorage-dependent cells were grown on the membranes as a substrate. Encapsulated cells have been maintained in culture for up to six months with nutrients supplied only by the external media. Immuno-isolation has been demonstrated with cells implanted into murine hosts. Explants of membrane encapsulated cells exhibited a high degree of vascularization, with little or no fibrous tissue. The ability to support cell growth and function, and the ability to protect xenogenic cells from immunologic rejection suggest that the membranes would be useful in the construction of hybrid artificial organs, devices for cell transplantation, and substrates for cell and tissue culture.
A numerical tool is developed to simulate the optical and thermal interactions of selected lasers with precursors and substrates in support of the emerging technology for the direct write of Mesoscopic Integrated Conformal Electronics (MICE). The code couples the Discrete Ordinate Method (DOM) radiation model with the multi-physics computation fluid dynamics code CFD-ACE to predict the conductive and radiative heat transport in the process
This paper provides a brief overview of the numerical model. Selected simulations are presented including comparison with empirical data. The capabilities, limitations, and potential applications of the model with respect to MICE are discussed. Future model enhancements are proposed
The dielectric properties of composites are affected in different ways by a number of parameters. These include the electrical properties of both the filler and matrix, the wetting properties of the matrix on the filler, the size and shape of the filler, and the amount of the filler. Most composite systems have been studied via dc resistivity measurements which clearly show the effect of the addition of a second phase to an insulating matrix. However, frequency dependent measurements can provide additional insight into the mechanisms controlling the electrical response. The frequency dependence of the dielectric properties of composites will be shown. The permittivity and admittance plots of BN/B4C composites will be given and the relevance of the trends seen in them will be discussed.