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We performed a molecular and epidemiologic study of a healthcare-associated rhinovirus outbreak to better understand transmission in neonatal intensive care settings. Sequencing of the 7 outbreak strains revealed 4 distinct clades, indicating multiple sources. A single clade infected 3 patients in adjacent rooms, suggesting horizontal transmission. We observed 1 rhinovirus-associated death.
A new deep drill has been developed within the framework of the European Programme for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA). Several versions of the EPICA drill exist. The version used at Dome Concordia (75˚06'1" S, 123˚23'71" E) was operated with a new electronic control system developed by the Ente per le Nuove tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente (ENEA) Research Center in Brasimone, Italy. This electronic control system was used for the first time during the 1997/98 Antarctic summer season.
Extensive field measurements and historical data have been used to re-analyse the cause of the outburst flood from Glacier de Tête Rousse that devastated the village of Saint-Gervais–Le Fayet, French Alps in 1892, causing 175 fatalities. The origin of this disaster was the rupture of an intraglacial cavity in Glacier de Tête Rousse that released 200 000 m3 of water and ice. All previous studies have concluded that the intraglacial cavity was formed from a crevasse that was filled and enlarged by meltwater. The re-analysis presented here suggests that the reservoir of the upper cavity did not originate as an enlarging crevasse. The origin of the meltwater reservoir was more likely a supraglacial lake formed before 1878 during a period of negative mass balance. Following a period of positive mass balance after 1878, the lake was hidden until the outburst flood of 1892. This means that such hazards may be detected by checking regularly for the formation of a lake on the surface of the glacier before it is hidden.
In response to the ‘oldest ice’ challenge initiated by the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), new rapid-access drilling technologies through glacier ice need to be developed. These will provide the information needed to qualify potential sites on the Antarctic ice sheet where the deepest section could include ice that is >1Ma old and still in good stratigraphic order. Identifying a suitable site will be a prerequisite for deploying a multi-year deep ice-core drilling operation to elucidate the cause and mechanisms of the mid-Pleistocene transition from 40 ka glacial–interglacial cycles to 100 ka cycles. As part of the ICE&LASERS/SUBGLACIOR projects, we have designed an innovative probe, SUBGLACIOR, with the aim of perforating the ice sheet down to the bedrock in a single season and continuously measuring in situ the isotopic composition of the melted water and the methane concentration in trapped gases. Here we present the general concept of the probe, as well as the various technological solutions that we have favored so far to reach this goal.
Due to its own rotation, it is expected that the visual figure of the Sun is a spheroid; this is not truly the case because the solar rotation is not constant both over all heliographic latitudes and in depth. The photospheric shape is thus sensitive to the interior structure: accurate measurements of both limb shape distortions and solar rotation rates determination provide useful constraints on the internal layers (density, shear zones, …). We show why and how the implication of the successive gravitational moments are important to probe the solar interior, and we compare measurements obtained either from space (SOHO/MDI) or from ground-based experiments (scanning heliometer at the Pic du Midi). The found faint departures to the sphericity, not exceeding 22 mas, could explain fluctuations that are not yet taken into account in the classical modelling of the solar irradiance. A crude model could explain the asphericities which is based on a core rotating at a nearly uniform rate combined with a prolate tachocline and an oblate outer convective zone.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. A patient was recently found to be HCV seropositive during hemodialysis follow-up.
To determine whether nosocomial transmission had occurred and which viral populations were transmitted.
HCV transmission case.
A dialysis unit in a French hospital.
Molecular and epidemiologic investigations were conducted to determine whether 2 cases were related. Risk analysis and auditing procedures were performed to determine the transmission pathway(s).
Sequence analyses of the NS5b region revealed a 5a genotype in the newly infected patient. Epidemiologic investigations suggested that a highly viremic genotype 5a HCV-infected patient who underwent dialysis in the same unit was the source of the infection. Phylogenetic analysis of NS5b and hypervariable region-1 sequences revealed a genetically related virus (>99.9% nucleotide identity). Deep sequencing of hypervariable region-1 indicated that HCV quasispecies were found in the source whereas a single hypervariable region-1 HCV variant was found in the newly infected patient, and that this was identical to the major variant identified in the source patient. Risk analysis and auditing procedures were performed to determine the transmission pathway(s). Nosocomial patient-to-patient transmission via healthcare workers’ hands was the most likely explanation. In our dialysis unit, this unique incident led to the adjustment of infection control policy.
The data support transmission of a unique variant from a source with a high viral load and genetic diversity. This investigation also underlines the need to periodically evaluate prevention and control practices.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):134–139
We investigated the effect of maternal sire on early pregnancy failure (between D0, day of insemination and D90) in their progeny during the first and second lactations (n=3508) in the Holstein breed. The estimated breeding value (EBV) for cow fertility of 12 bulls (reliability⩾0.95) was used to create the following three groups: low, medium and high EBV (EBV from −0.7 to 1 expressed as genetic standard deviation relative to the mean of the breed). In their daughters (93 to 516 per bull), progesterone measurement was carried out on the day of artificial insemination (AI; D0) to check whether the cows were in the follicular phase and on D18 to 25 to assess non-fertilisation-early embryonic mortality (NF-EEM). Late embryonic mortality (LEM) and early foetal death (FD) were determined by ultrasonography on D45 and D90 and by the return to oestrus after the first AI. Frequencies of NF-EEM, LEM, FD and pregnancy were 33.3%, 11.7%, 1.4% and 48.5% and incidences were 35.1, 19.0, 2.7 and 51.1, respectively. Sire EBV was significantly related to the incidences of pregnancy failure between D0 and D90, fertilisation failure-early embryonic mortality (FF-EEM) and LEM but not to the incidence of FD between D45 and D90 of pregnancy. The relative risk (RR) of FF-EEM was significantly higher (RR=1.2; P<0.05) for the progeny group of low EBV bulls when compared with high EBV bulls. The same effect was observed when comparing LEM of the progeny groups from the low EBV bulls to those from moderate and high EBV bulls (RR, respectively, of 1.3 and 1.4; P<005). The incidence of FF-EEM was significantly higher when cows were inseminated before 80 days postpartum compared with later, and for the extreme values of the difference between milk fat and protein content measured during the first 3 months of lactation. FF-EEM was also significantly related to the year of observation. The incidence of LEM was higher for the highest producing cows and was influenced by interaction between milk yield×lactation rank and milk yield×milk protein content. In conclusion, this study showed large differences in early pregnancy failure between progeny groups and highlights the interest of accurate characterisation of embryonic death in order to identify potential candidate genes for female fertility.
We report both cw and time resolved optical investigations performed on an InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well grown by MOVPE on <0001>-oriented sapphire substrate. At low temperature we find a strong “blue” luminescence band, of which energy position corresponds well with the wavelength of stimulated emission when excited with a nitrogen laser. We show that this PL band appears systematically red-shifted with respect to the QWs features, which supports a standard picture of fluctuations of the indium composition. Coming to the time-resolved data, we find at low temperature at least two “blue” band components which are both associated with long decay times (up to 4-5 ns at 8K). The decay time is temperature dependent and, when rising the temperature, the recombination rate increases. At room temperature, we reach typical values in the range ~100 to 500 ps.
New multiple layered perovskites with general formula RbLaNaxNb2+xO7+3x, x = 1 and 2, were synthesized via a ceramic method. While the triple layered compound could be obtained by simple direct reaction, the quadruple layered one was synthesized using a two-step solid state approach. The compounds were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction; the newly obtained compounds appear to be isostructural with the previously reported RbCa2Nb3O10 and RbCa2NaNb4O13 for RbLaNaNb3O10 and RbLaNa2Nb4O13, respectively. Preliminary results show that the new compounds can undergo ion exchange reactions involving alkali metals and transition metal chlorides.
Electron self-injection and acceleration until dephasing in the blowout regime is studied for a set of initial conditions typical of recent experiments with 100-terawatt-class lasers. Two different approaches to computationally efficient, fully explicit, 3D particle-in-cell modelling are examined. First, the Cartesian code vorpal (Nieter, C. and Cary, J. R. 2004 VORPAL: a versatile plasma simulation code. J. Comput. Phys.196, 538) using a perfect-dispersion electromagnetic solver precisely describes the laser pulse and bubble dynamics, taking advantage of coarser resolution in the propagation direction, with a proportionally larger time step. Using third-order splines for macroparticles helps suppress the sampling noise while keeping the usage of computational resources modest. The second way to reduce the simulation load is using reduced-geometry codes. In our case, the quasi-cylindrical code calder-circ (Lifschitz, A. F. et al. 2009 Particle-in-cell modelling of laser-plasma interaction using Fourier decomposition. J. Comput. Phys.228(5), 1803–1814) uses decomposition of fields and currents into a set of poloidal modes, while the macroparticles move in the Cartesian 3D space. Cylindrical symmetry of the interaction allows using just two modes, reducing the computational load to roughly that of a planar Cartesian simulation while preserving the 3D nature of the interaction. This significant economy of resources allows using fine resolution in the direction of propagation and a small time step, making numerical dispersion vanishingly small, together with a large number of particles per cell, enabling good particle statistics. Quantitative agreement of two simulations indicates that these are free of numerical artefacts. Both approaches thus retrieve the physically correct evolution of the plasma bubble, recovering the intrinsic connection of electron self-injection to the nonlinear optical evolution of the driver.
Sporadic community-acquired legionellosis (SCAL) can be acquired through contaminated aerosols from residential potable water. Electricity-dependent hot-water tanks are widely used in the province of Quebec (Canada) and have been shown to be frequently contaminated with Legionella spp. We prospectively investigated the homes of culture-proven SCAL patients from Quebec in order to establish the proportion of patients whose domestic potable hot-water system was contaminated with the same Legionella isolate that caused their pneumonia. Water samples were collected in each patient's home. Environmental and clinical isolates were compared using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Thirty-six patients were enrolled into the study. Legionella was recovered in 12/36 (33%) homes. The residential and clinical isolates were found to be microbiologically related in 5/36 (14%) patients. Contaminated electricity-heated domestic hot-water systems contribute to the acquisition of SCAL. The proportion is similar to previous reports, but may be underestimated.
Highly crystalline zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials are synthesized using a seeded growth sol-gel method. In order to control the morphology and the organization of the ZnO nanomaterials, a double hydrophilic block copolymer has been introduced during the seeded growth synthesis: the Polyacrylic acid-Polyacrylamide (PAA-PAM). Depending on the amount of PAA-PAM copolymers, different morphologies were obtained, such as ZnO nanostructured spheres or flat hexagonal crystals. Thus, systematic studies have been done to investigate the influence of the copolymer addition on ZnO nanomaterial morphologies and explain the mechanisms of the morphological modifications.
Amorphous Polymethylmethacrylate/Polyethyleneoxide blends deformed by solid-state coextrusion exhibit anomalous anisotropic Small Angle Neutron scattering patterns in the low q range. It is shown that upon drawing the samples have undergone phase separation to some extent. The resulting structure of the system is characterized by combining scattering techniques with Differential Scanning Calorimetry.
A double rotation goniometer has been mounted in the neutron beam in order to characterize the molecular deformation in polymers subjected to various strain conditions.
The results provide a direct verification of the fiber symmetry in solid state coextruded polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polypropylene (PP) homopolymers.
In the case of the shear banding phenomenon, we have been able to test the validity of the simple shear assumption: it also provides a direct estimate of the finite shear strain involved in the process. As a last illustration ofthe method, we also consider the biaxial deformation of PP and PMMA squeezed under various temperature and strain-rate conditions.
Different states of local order have been previously measured at room temperature on water quenched crystal of Ni0.76562 Fe0.235 [1−2]. The Cowley' parameters and the interaction pair potentials in a Clapp and floss approximation have been determined at : 385° C, 470°C, 507°C, 535°C, 685°C that is under and above Tc which is equal to 500°C for this composition.
The kinetic of long range order establishment is, in this alloy, very sluggish even near Tc ; the kinetic of short range order (SRO) is completely different and may be more complex . In the previous experiments it has been supposed that the state of high temperature was retained during the quench. The following experiments check this hypothesis.
Metallic Multilayers (MLs) have attracted a considerable interest during these last years because of their unusual properties. In small periods ML's (a few nm) the high density of interfaces give rise to structures very far from equilibrium. Au/Ni multilayers have been grown in the (111) orientation by M.B.E. on Si(100) via a Cu(100) buffer layer. Two different parameters have been studied: the Au:Ni ratio at constant (4 nm) superperiod and the superperiod at constant (1:1) Au:Ni ratio. The full strain state of Au and of Ni has been determined via x-ray diffraction measurements. The high lattice parameter misfit beween Au and Ni (14%) implies that all the layers are partially relaxed. Residual strains as high as several % are encountered. The residual strain in the Au layers is clearly correlated with their thickness. A residual stress as high as 3.9 GPa is determined in the thinner layers.