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We present a specimen preparation procedure for atom-probe tomography using SemGlu from Kleindiek Nanotechnik, an adhesive that hardens under electron beam irradiation. The SemGlu adhesive is used in place of focused-ion-beam-induced deposition of organo-metallic Pt, W, or C to form a bond between the sample and the substrate during the specimen preparation procedure. We demonstrate the utility of this adhesive-based specimen preparation technique with a correlated atom-probe tomography-scanning transmission electron microscopy study of the iron-nickel alloy kamacite (ferrite, ɑ-iron) in the Bristol iron meteorite and two steel specimens.
In implementing a hospital mandatory influenza vaccination policy, we developed an automated, real-time tracking and reminder system. Of 6,957 policy-covered individuals automatically identified, automated reminders left only 5 requiring counseling. This decreased Occupational Health workload in contacting noncompliant individuals and hosting vaccination events while simultaneously facilitating a 96% vaccination rate.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(11):1421–1424
White matter (WM) abnormalities are proposed as potential endophenotypic markers of bipolar disorder (BD). In a diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) voxel-based analysis (VBA) study of families multiply affected with BD, we previously reported that widespread abnormalities of fractional anisotropy (FA) are associated with both BD and genetic liability for illness. In the present study, we further investigated the endophenotypic potential of WM abnormalities by applying DTI tractography to specifically investigate tracts implicated in the pathophysiology of BD.
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired from 19 patients with BD type I from multiply affected families, 21 of their unaffected first-degree relatives and 18 healthy volunteers. DTI tractography was used to identify the cingulum, uncinate fasciculus (UF), arcuate portion of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), corpus callosum, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC). Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the effect of participant group and genetic liability on FA and radial diffusivity (RD) in each tract.
We detected a significant effect of group on both FA and RD in the cingulum, SLF, callosal splenium and ILF driven by reduced FA and increased RD in patients compared to controls and relatives. Increasing genetic liability was associated with decreased FA and increased RD in the UF, and decreased FA in the SLF, among patients.
WM microstructural abnormalities in limbic, temporal and callosal pathways represent microstructural abnormalities associated with BD whereas alterations in the SLF and UF may represent potential markers of endophenotypic risk.
The collaborative London based non-governmental organization network ELRHA (Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance) supports partnerships between higher education institutions and humanitarian organizations worldwide with the objective to enhance the professionalization of the humanitarian sector. While coordination and control of the humanitarian sector has plagued the response to every major crisis, concerns highlighted by the 2010 Haitian earthquake response further catalyzed and accelerated the need to ensure competency-based professionalization of the humanitarian health care work force. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative sponsored an independent survey of established academically affiliated training centers in North America that train humanitarian health care workers to determine their individual training center characteristics and preferences in the potential professionalization process. The survey revealed that a common thread of profession-specific skills and core humanitarian competencies were being offered in both residential and online programs with additional programs offering opportunities for field simulation experiences and more advanced degree programs. This study supports the potential for the development of like-minded academic affiliated and competency-based humanitarian health programs to organize themselves under ELRHA's regional “consultation hubs” worldwide that can assist and advocate for improved education and training opportunities in less served developing countries.
Burkle Jr FM, WallsAE, HeckJP, SorensenBS, CranmerHH, JohnsonK, LevineAC, KaydenS, CahillB, VanRooyenMJ. Academic Affiliated Training Centers in Humanitarian Health, Part I: Program Characteristics and Professionalization Preferences of Centers in North America. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013:28(2):1-8.
Assessing the relative success of serial strategies for increasing healthcare personnel (HCP) influenza vaccination rates is important to guide hospital policies to increase vaccine uptake.
To evaluate serial campaigns that include a mandatory HCP vaccination policy and to describe HCP attitudes toward vaccination and reasons for declination.
Retrospective cohort study.
We assessed the impact of serial vaccination campaigns on the proportions of HCP who received influenza vaccination during die 2006–2011 influenza seasons. In addition, declination data over these 5 seasons and a 2007 survey of HCP attitudes toward vaccination were collected.
HCP influenza vaccination rates increased from 44.0% (2,863 of 6,510 HCP) to 62.9% (4,037 of 6,414 HCP) after institution of mobile carts, mandatory declination, and peer-to-peer vaccination efforts. Despite maximal attempts to improve accessibility and convenience, 27.2% (66 of 243) of die surveyed HCP were unwilling to wait more than 10 minutes for a free influenza vaccination, and 23.3% (55 of 236) would be indifferent if they were unable to be vaccinated. In this context, institution of a mandatory vaccination campaign requiring unvaccinated HCP to mask during the influenza season increased rates of compliance to over 90% and markedly reduced the proportion of HCP who declined vaccination as a result of preference.
A mandatory influenza vaccination program for HCP was essential to achieving high vaccination rates, despite years of intensive vaccination campaigns focused on increasing accessibility and convenience. Mandatory vaccination policies appear to successfully capture a large portion of HCP who are not opposed to receipt of die vaccine but who have not made vaccination a priority.
The evolution of glyphosate resistance in weedy species places an environmentally benign herbicide in peril. The first report of a dicot plant with evolved glyphosate resistance was horseweed, which occurred in 2001. Since then, several species have evolved glyphosate resistance and genomic information about nontarget resistance mechanisms in any of them ranges from none to little. Here, we report a study combining iGentifier transcriptome analysis, cDNA sequencing, and a heterologous microarray analysis to explore potential molecular and transcriptomic mechanisms of nontarget glyphosate resistance of horseweed. The results indicate that similar molecular mechanisms might exist for nontarget herbicide resistance across multiple resistant plants from different locations, even though resistance among these resistant plants likely evolved independently and available evidence suggests resistance has evolved at least four separate times. In addition, both the microarray and sequence analyses identified non–target-site resistance candidate genes for follow-on functional genomics analysis.
Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne infection in Europe with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) being the most commonly identified serovar. The predominant phage type for S. Enteritidis is phage type (PT) 4, although PT 8 has increased in incidence. Within these phage types, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) provides a method of further subdivision. The international project, Salm-gene, was established in 2001 to develop a database of PFGE profiles within nine European countries and to establish criteria for real-time pattern recognition. It uses DNA fingerprints of salmonellas to investigate outbreaks and to evaluate trends and emerging issues of foodborne infection within Europe. The Salm-gene database contains details of about 11 700 S. Enteritidis isolates, demonstrating more than 65 unique PFGE profiles. The clonal nature of S. Enteritidis is evidenced by the high similarity and distribution of PFGE profiles. Over 56% (6603/11 716) of the submitted isolates of several different phage types were profile SENTXB.0001, although this profile is most closely associated with PT 4. The next most common profiles, SENTXB.0002 and SENTXB.0005, were closely associated with PT 8 and PT 21 respectively. Studies to investigate the relationship of profile types with outbreaks and possible vehicles of infection suggest that the incidence of PFGE profile SENTXB.0002, and thus PT 8, in some countries may be due to importation of foods or food production animals from Eastern Europe, where PT 8 is amongst the most frequently identified phage types. Collation of subtyping data, especially in the commonly recognized phage types, is necessary in order to evaluate trends and emerging issues in salmonella infection.
This study investigates the distribution of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles within Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis phage type (PT) 4 and S. Typhimurium definitive phage type (DT) 104, from cases of human infection in nine European countries from 2000 to 2004. Isolates were subtyped using standardized methods and gel images submitted by each participating country to the coordinating centre (Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, UK), where they were entered into a central database, developed within BioNumerics software, and designated using an agreed nomenclature. S. Enteritidis PT4 (n=3637) was differentiated into 38 different profiles. Simpson's index of diversity (D) of profiles ranged from 0·2 to 0·4. Profile SENTXB.0001 represented at least 80% of all profiles in each country. S. Typhimurium DT104 (n=1202) was differentiated into 28 different profile types. Simpson's D was at least 0·6 in all countries except in Austria and Italy. In both these countries over 74% of S. Typhimurium DT104 profiles were STYMXB.0013. Profile STYMXB.0061, was predominant in Denmark, Spain, Finland and England & Wales where it represented between 36% and 45% of profiles. Profile STYMXB.0001 represented nearly half of all profiles in Scotland and 23% in England & Wales. PFGE is proving useful for further discrimination within S. Enteritidis PT4 and S. Typhimurium DT104. Ascertainment of international outbreaks involving common serotypes and phage types may be increased by the timely pooling of PFGE profiles within a central database readily accessible to all participating countries.
A systematic study of current European electricity and heat systems performed in the frame of the Swiss LCA project ecoinvent was extended to a few new technologies and used as a basis for comparison and ranking using External Costs Assessment and one selected Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) method. The energy systems include full process chains from extraction of resources through waste disposal. The external costs from airborne emissions were estimated using the most recent findings of the ExternE series on the average damage factors for Europe.
Current fossil electricity systems exhibit the highest LCIA scores as well as the highest external costs, unless greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are valued very low (sensitivity) and advanced technologies are applied. Alpine hydropower always exhibits the lowest score. Environmental performance of current renewables is generally better than fossil but LCIA ranking for wind and PV may worsen when increased importance is attributed to abiotic resource depletion. Wood cogeneration has a relatively poor score compared to other renewables. Nuclear shows generally good environmental performance, unless the high radioactive wastes are given subjectively high negative value. For heating systems, oil has higher external costs than natural gas, with conventional wood in between. External costs of heat pumps strongly depend on the origin of the electricity supplied.
Sensitivity analyses were performed for external costs to reflect uncertainties of impacts and variations in monetary valuation. Fossils remain worst performers. External costs of nuclear remain low. Using allocation by exergy, electricity by diesel and natural gas cogeneration ranks worse than oil and natural gas combined cycle, respectively, and never better than renewables or nuclear.
The morphology of insect eyes often seems to be shaped by evolution to match their behaviour and lifestyle. Here the relationship between the nuptial flight behaviour of 10 Atta species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the eye size of male and female alates, including the compound eyes, ommatidia facets, and ocelli were examined. These species can be divided into two distinct groups by nuptial flight behaviour: those that initiate the nuptial flight during the day and those that initiate it at night. The most striking difference between day- vs night-flying alates was in ocellus area, which was almost 50% larger in night-flying species. Night-flying species also had significantly larger ommatidia facets than day-flying species. A scaling relationship was also found between compound eye area, facet diameter, and ocellus area vs overall body size. Detailed observations are also presented on the nuptial flight behaviour of a night- vs day-flying species, A. texana and A. sexdens, respectively. The pattern in A. texana is for a single large and precisely timed nuptial flight before dawn, while flights of A. sexdens last for several hours, beginning at midday. Further observations suggest that the timing of the nuptial flight in A. texana is easily disrupted by light pollution.
Proteomics is a new field of research. It has developed rapidly in the last five years and is turning more and more into a mature science with relevance to the clinic. The recent elucidation of the human genome sequence has provided a wealth of useful information but does not provide information on diseases caused by changes at the protein level. Proteomics includes the characterisation and functional analysis of all proteins that are expressed by the genome at a certain moment, under certain conditions. Since expression levels of many proteins strongly depend on complex, but well-balanced regulatory systems, the proteome, unlike the genome, is highly dynamic. This variation depends on the biological function of a cell, but also on signals from its environment. In (bio)medical research it has become increasingly apparent that cellular processes, in particular in disease, are determined by multiple proteins. Hence it is important not to focus on one single gene product (one protein), but to study the complete set of gene products (the proteome). In this way the multi-factorial relations underlying certain diseases may be unravelled potentially identifying therapeutical targets. For many diseases characterisation of the functional proteome is crucial for elucidating alterations in protein expression and modifications. When proteins undergo non-genetically determined alterations such as alternative splicing, or post-translational modifications, e.g. phosphorylation or glycosylation, it may effect their function. Although abnormalities in splicing or post-translational modifications can cause a disease process, they can also be a consequence. An example is that patients with diabetes have a high blood glucose which glycosylates hundreds or even thousands of proteins, including HbA1c which is used to monitor diabetic control.
We observe improved photoconductivity stability against light-soaking in hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin films as a result of an ultraviolet (UV) illumination and etch treatment. UV-etch treated samples begins with red-light photoconductivities inferior to that of a control sample which is only etched. After less than an hour of 1 sun red light-soaking, the photoconductivity of the etched-only control falls below that of the UV-etch treated sample. After 2 to 3 days light soaking, the UV-etch films can have a photosensitivity 20 to 38% above their control. We observe no corresponding improvement of defect optical absorption by constant photocurrent method spectroscopy. The UV-etch treatment also produces small improvements in the stabilized open-circuit voltage of Schottky barier solar cells. We speculate that mobile hydrogen produced during UV illumination is penetrating the film and improving stability.
Illumination of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) samples with short (e.g., 40 microsecond) pulses of red light produces a smaller metastable absorption increase in the defect region than continuous illumination of the same intensity for the same integrated exposure time. The defect absorption was measured at 1.3 and 1.4 eV by use of the constant photocurrent method (CPM). This smaller degradation is also observed in the photoconductivity. Careful measurement of the film temperature with several techniques confirm that the film temperature rises by less than 5 °C, under continuous illumination. However, several experiments suggest that the suppressed degradation during pulsed illumination is caused primarily by annealing during the dark time between pulses, even at 15 to 26 °C.
We degraded hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) using red light pulses of 32 microseconds to 2 milliseconds. These metastable photoconductivity degradations were compared to degradation with continuous light of the same intensity and same exposure time. For a given integrated exposure time we observe higher degraded photoconductivities (by up to 40 %) as we shorten the pulses. For example, to obtain the same amount of degradation with 120 microsecond pulses as with continuous illumination, the integrated sample exposure time must be doubled. Experiments were conducted to exclude thermal effects. Our result cannot be explained with a simple recombination-driven degradation mechanism, because electron and hole populations rise and fall to steady-state values in only a few microseconds. We conclude that carrier recombination creates a more proximate precursor to metastable degradation of a-Si:H. When illumination begins, this precursor's density rises more slowly than the density of photocarriers and therefore degradation is delayed.
We successfully grow high-quality hydrogenated amorphous-silicon-germanium alloys (a-SiGe:H) by the hot-wire chemical-vapor deposition (HWCVD) technique using silane and germane gas mixtures. These alloys display electronic properties as good as those grown by the plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition (PECVD) technique, when comparing materials with the same optical bandgaps. However, we grow materials with good electrical properties at high deposition rates—up to 40 Å/s, compared to 1–4 Å/s for PECVD materials. Our alloys exhibit similar trends with increasing Ge content to alloys grown by PECVD. The defect density, the dark conductivity, and the degree of nanostructural heterogeneity (as measured by small-angle X-ray scattering) all increase with increasing germanium content in the alloy. The nanostructural heterogeneity displays a sharp transition between 9 at.% and 14 at.% germanium. PECVD- grown a-SiGe:H alloys exhibit a similar transition at 20 at.% Ge. The photoconductivity and the ambipolar diffusion length of the alloys decrease with increasing germanium content. For a fixed silane-to-germane gas ratio, all material properties improve substantially when increasing substrate temperature (Tsub) from 220°C to 375°C. Increasing Tsub also narrows the optical bandgap and lowers the hydrogen content in the alloys for the same germane-to-silane gas ratio.