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Fe fortification of centrally manufactured and frequently consumed condiments such as bouillon cubes could help prevent Fe deficiency in developing countries. However, Fe compounds that do not cause sensory changes in the fortified product, such as ferric pyrophosphate (FePP), exhibit low absorption in humans. Tetra sodium pyrophosphate (NaPP) can form soluble complexes with Fe, which could increase Fe bioavailability. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate Fe bioavailability from bouillon cubes fortified with either FePP only, FePP+NaPP, ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) only, or FeSO4+NaPP. We first conducted in vitro studies using a protocol of simulated digestion to assess the dialysable and ionic Fe, and the cellular ferritin response in a Caco-2 cell model. Second, Fe absorption from bouillon prepared from intrinsically labelled cubes (2·5 mg stable Fe isotopes/cube) was assessed in twenty-four Fe-deficient women, by measuring Fe incorporation into erythrocytes 2 weeks after consumption. Fe bioavailability in humans increased by 46 % (P<0·005) when comparing bouillons fortified with FePP only (4·4 %) and bouillons fortified with FePP+NaPP (6·4 %). Fe absorption from bouillons fortified with FeSO4 only and with FeSO4+NaPP was 33·8 and 27·8 %, respectively (NS). The outcome from the human study is in agreement with the dialysable Fe from the in vitro experiments. Our findings suggest that the addition of NaPP could be a promising strategy to increase Fe absorption from FePP-fortified bouillon cubes, and if confirmed by further research, for other fortified foods with complex food matrices as well.
Provision and need for mental health services among military personnel are a major concern across nations. Two recent comparisons suggest higher rates of mental disorders in US and UK military personnel compared with civilians. However, these findings may not apply to other nations. Previous studies have focused on the overall effects of military service rather than the separate effects of military service and deployment. This study compared German military personnel with and without a history of deployment to sociodemographically matched civilians regarding prevalence and severity of 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders.
1439 deployed soldiers (DS), 779 never deployed soldiers (NS) and 1023 civilians were assessed with an adapted version of the Munich Composite International Diagnostic interview across the same timeframe. Data were weighted using propensity score methodology to assure comparability of the three samples.
Compared with adjusted civilians, the prevalence of any 12-month disorder was lower in NS (OR: 0.7, 95% CI: 0.5–0.99) and did not differ in DS. Significant differences between military personnel and civilians regarding prevalence and severity of individual diagnoses were only apparent for alcohol (DS: OR: 0.3, 95% CI: 0.1–0.6; NS: OR: 0.2, 95% CI: 0.1–0.6) and nicotine dependence (DS: OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3–0.6; NS: OR: 0.5, 95% CI: 0.3–0.7) with lower values in both military samples. Elevated rates of panic/agoraphobia (OR: 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.3) and posttraumatic stress disorder (OR: 3.2, 95% CI: 1.3–8.0) were observed in DS with high combat exposure compared with civilians.
Rates and severity of mental disorders in the German military are comparable with civilians for internalising and lower for substance use disorders. A higher risk of some disorders is reduced to DS with high combat exposure. This finding has implications for mental health service provision and the need for targeted interventions. Differences to previous US and UK studies that suggest an overall higher prevalence in military personnel might result from divergent study methods, deployment characteristics, military structures and occupational factors. Some of these factors might yield valuable targets to improve military mental health.
This study aimed to evaluate in vitro and in vivo trypanocidal activity of free and nanoencapsulated curcumin against Trypanosoma evansi. In vitro efficacy of free curcumin (CURC) and curcumin-loaded in lipid-core nanocapsules (C-LNCs) was evaluated to verify their lethal effect on T. evansi. To perform the in vivo tests, T. evansi-infected animals were treated with CURC (10 and 100 mg kg−1, intraperitoneally [i.p.]) and C-LNCs (10 mg kg−1, i.p.) during 6 days, with the results showing that these treatments significantly attenuated the parasitaemia. Infected untreated rats showed protein peroxidation and an increase of nitrites/nitrates, whereas animals treated with curcumin showed a reduction on these variables. As a result, the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) differs between groups (P<0·05). Infected animals and treated with CURC exhibited a reduction in the levels of alanine aminotransferase and creatinine, when compared with the positive control group. The use of curcumin in vitro resulted in a better parasitaemia control, an antioxidant activity and a protective effect on liver and kidney functions of T. evansi-infected adult male Wistar rats.
A reduced-order modelling (ROM) approach for predicting steady, turbulent aerodynamic flows based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is presented. Model-order reduction is achieved by parameter space sampling, solution space representation via POD and restriction of a CFD solver to the POD subspace. Solving the governing equations of fluid dynamics is replaced by solving a non-linear least-squares optimisation problem. The method will be referred to as LSQ-ROM method. Two approaches of extracting POD basis information from CFD snapshot data are discussed: POD of the full state vector (global POD) and POD of each of the partial states separately (variable-by-variable POD). The method at hand is demonstrated for a 2D aerofoil (NACA 64A010) as well as for a complete industrial aircraft configuration (NASA Common Research Model) in the transonic flow regime by computing ROMs of the compressible Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations, pursuing both the global and the variable-by-variable POD approach. The LSQ-ROM approach is tried for extrapolatory flow conditions. Results are juxtaposed with those obtained by POD-based extrapolation using Kriging and the radial basis functions spline method. As a reference, the full-order CFD solutions are considered. For the industrial aircraft configuration, the cost of computing the reduced-order solution is shown to be two orders of magnitude lower than that of computing the reference CFD solution.
A method will be presented, which allows the quantitative determination of distributions of single vacancies in bulk silicon. The method uses deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) measurements of the platinum or gold concentration after diffusion at a low temperature. An analytical expression allows the calculation of the vacancy concentration from the measured platinum or gold concentration. Vacancy concentrations vary at least from 2.0×1012 to 2.2×1014 cm3 in float zone silicon. The vacancy concentrations in Czrochalski (CZ) silicon are in the range of 4×1012 to 2×1013 cm3. Microwave photoconductive decay instead of DLTS allows much faster measurements of vacancy distributions on whole wafers. Furthermore, both methods allow the investigation of oxygen precipitation in CZ silicon.
A model for the disordering of GaAs/AlAs-superlattices during zinc diffusion, which is consistent with recently established models for gallium self-diffusion and zinc diffusion in GaAs, is presented. Four coupled partial differential equations resulting from the model are solved numerically. In accordance with measured data in the literature, no disordering without zinc can result for temperatures around 600°C. Zinc diffusion, however, produces a large amount of gallium self-interstitials, which leads to a complete disordering of superlattices with a period thickness of 32 nm to a depth of about 0.8 μm within one hour. The used values for the diffusion coefficient and the equilibrium concentration of gallium self-interstitials are a consistent splitting of the gallium interstitial dominated self-diffusion coefficient.
Antenatal exposure of the fetus to inflammation may alter postnatal organ development. In our previous work, we demonstrated that the fetal liver is involved in the systemic inflammation associated with chorioamnionitis, leading to metabolic changes. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized that chorioamnionitis can lead to postnatal inflammation-related liver injury and disturbed lipid metabolism. Chorioamnionitis was induced in sheep by intra-amniotic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline at 90, 100 and 110 days of gestation. Liver homeostasis and lipid metabolism were analyzed at term and at 7 weeks of age. At term, hepatic T-lymphocytes and apoptotic hepatocytes were increased. In addition, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels were decreased in LPS-exposed animals compared with controls. At 7 weeks of age, no hepatic inflammation could be detected. However, liver triglycerides and plasma cholesterol levels were increased in LPS-exposed animals relative to controls. The changes in lipid levels at 7 weeks of age were associated with increased leptin receptor mRNA levels, increased lipid peroxidation, increased expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 as a marker for mitochondrial function and increased circulating ceramide levels. These findings demonstrate that chorioamnionitis-mediated antenatal inflammation-related liver disturbances have long-lasting postnatal effects on lipid metabolism.
This paper describes a three-step process regime for the integration of porous SiCOH based ultra low-k materials in existing copper damascene technologies. During the work with these complex and sensitive materials, it became more and more clear, that a successful patterning depends not only on the etch step but also on the adjustment between the etch and the following cleaning and k-restore processes. The presented process regime starts with a reactive ion etch process for trench patterning followed by a post etch clean to remove etch residues. Finally a k-restore process was performed to repair the damaged regions in the trench sidewalls. In this work it became clear, that the etch chemistry influences not only the results of the etch process ostensibly sidewall damage but also kind and effect of the post etch clean. Each plasma composition results in the necessity of a customized post etch cleaning solution. Finally a k-restore process using Hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) as restore chemical was demonstrated successfully. Enhanced temperatures and an additional UV-treatment are possibilities to promote the restore effect.
Energy transfer from donor-acceptor pair states is known to be an efficient excitation channel for 4f-4f emission, especially if the rare-earth centers themselves are the relevant donors. Information on this type of mechanism can be obtained in the case when it is possible to observe, parallel to the 4f-4f emission, luminescence arising from radiative deexcitation of the pairs.
We have found these two kinds of emission, under electron-beam excitation, in ZnS:Tm crystals which, according to earlier site-selective studies performed by us, contain predominantly donor-type rare-earth centers. Characteristic differences between the two kinds of emission are found in the dependence of intensities on pumping rate; these arise from partial blocking of the energy transfer due to depopulation of the 4f ground levels. By quantitative studies of the correlation between those intensities we demonstrate that the same types of initial states are involved in the energy transfer and the pair transitions.
The formation of epitaxial CoSi2 islands of nanoscopic dimensions is reported using the technique of reactive cluster deposition. Co clusters in the size range 5-50nm were synthesized by sputtering a high purity Co target inside a UHV sputtering chamber. The clusters were then deposited on the reconstructed Si (111) surface. Upon annealing the particles reacted with the Si substrate to form epitaxial CoSi2.
Our observations were made using a JEOL 200CX transmission electron microscope modified for in-situ sputtering and ultrahigh vacuum conditions.
Significant improvements of a previously reported etching process  for Hg1−xCdxTe have been achieved with respect to etch rate, surface morphology and surface stoichiometry by optimization of the process parameters. The gas phase and surface reactions driving the etching process have been analyzed by combined optical and electrical characterization of the plasma and surface analyses of the samples. A reaction scheme is suggested which allows to model and upscale the process in a consistent manner.
Surfaces with artificial roughness were generated by deposition of nanoparticles on single crystalline substrates. Nanoparticles with an average size ≈ 15 nm were produced by inert gas condensation and deposited in situ on the substrate mounted inside a modified ultra high vacuum (UHV) transmission electron microscope (TEM). We have investigated the smoothing behavior on annealing based on the difference in surface energies between cluster and substrate and their heat of mixing. The cluster substrate combination Co/Cu(100) was chosen as a model system in which the cluster has a significantly higher surface energy than the substrate. Upon deposition at 600 K, the clusters do not remain on the surface, but rather burrow into the substrate. This is confirmed by a detailed strain analysis of the particles. Nanoparticles in the system Ge/Si(100) in contrast have a lower surface energy than the substrate and are completely miscible. The particles assume the substrate orientation around 700 K. At 900 K coherent islands form which are arranged in clusters of 4 in the form of a square. The reason for this previously unobserved pattern is not yet understood.
Reverse bias breakdown behaviour of high quality 4H silicon carbide p-n diodes was investigated, using optical and electrical measurement techniques. Most of the sample diodes suffered from early breakdown phenomena in the form of microplasmas at about 80% of the calculated parallel plane breakdown voltage for the diodes, as evident from measured I-V curves. A group of these microplasmas could be correlated to micropipes, identified by optical microscopy, while a large number of microplasmas were caused by other defects and inhomogenities in the space charge region under reverse bias. The same spots that revealed early breakdown phenomena under reverse bias also showed a different electroluminescence (EL) behaviour under low forward current densities compared to those areas with a homogeneous breakdown behaviour. However, even diodes containing one or more micropipes in the region of the junction showed good rectifying behaviour up to two third of the parallel plane breakdown voltage, where the turn-on of a microplasma was observed.
Nanoscaled Iron Oxide / Silica Nanocomposite particles are produced in a pyrogenic process. The iron oxide crystallites are separated from each other and covered with a silica layer. Their size can easily be controlled by adjusting the process parameters. The amount of iron oxide can also be controlled within certain limits. Due to their size these isolated magnetic particles show a superparamagnetic behaviour. The saturation magnetisation measured depends almost linearly on the size of the iron oxide crystallites showing an increase in the magnetisation with increasing particle size. Due to the composite structure the iron oxide is chemically stable. Furthermore it shows a thermal stability which is unusual for the given oxides.
Among adolescents and young adults with DSM-IV alcohol use disorders (AUDs), there are inter-individual differences in the speed of transition from initial alcohol use (AU) to AUD. AUDs are highly co-morbid with other mental disorders. The factors associated with rapid transition from first AU to AUD remain unknown and the role of mental disorders in rapid transitions is unclear. Given this background we examined (1) whether prior anxiety, mood, externalizing and non-alcohol substance use disorders are related to the risk and speed of transition from first AU to DSM-IV alcohol abuse (AA) and alcohol dependence (AD) and (2) whether early age of onset of prior mental disorders (PMDs) is a promoter of rapid transition.
A total of 3021 community subjects (97.7% lifetime AU) aged 14–24 years at baseline were followed up prospectively for up to 10 years. AU and mental disorders were assessed with the DSM-IV/M-CIDI.
Among subjects with lifetime AU, several PMDs, such as specific phobia, bipolar disorder and nicotine dependence, were associated with an increased risk of AUD independent of externalizing disorders. Associations of PMDs with the speed of transition to AUDs were mostly weak and inconsistent. Only social phobia and externalizing disorders were associated with faster transitions to AD even after adjustment for other PMDs. Earlier age of onset of PMD was not associated with rapid transition.
Mental disorders are associated with the risk of AUD. With the possible exception of social phobia and externalizing disorders, they do not promote rapid transition, even if they occur particularly early. Future research needs to identify factors relevant to rapid transition to AUD.
Concentrations of the elements As, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sn, V, Zn were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis and its fish host Barbus barbus. A total of 27 barbels were collected from the Danube River in autumn 2006 close to the town Kozloduy (685 river kilometer) on the Bulgarian river bank. Fish were divided into 3 groups. According to their P. laevis infrapopulation size hosts were considered as heavily infected (>100 worms per fish) and lightly infected (<20 worms per fish). The third group was used to compare heavy metal concentrations between male and female P. laevis. The 5 elements As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were detected in significantly higher concentrations in parasites compared to host tissues (muscle, intestine, liver). According to the calculated mean bioconcentration factors, 3 more elements (Co, Mn, V) showed usually higher concentrations in P. laevis. Comparisons between heavily and lightly infected fish revealed significant differences only for V with higher concentrations for the heavily infected group. Concerning sex-specific metal accumulation V and Zn showed significant differences (V, at P<0·05; Zn, at P=0·05), with higher levels of both metals in females of P. laevis. Our results suggest that – for the metals analysed – the size of the parasite infrapopulation plays no role in the degree of metal accumulation. Similarly, parasite sex seems not to be a crucial factor for metal accumulation in the parasites. Thus, for metal monitoring purposes there is no need to take these aspects into account, which makes the use of parasites as bioindicators more applicable.
A national study in Switzerland in 2002 suggested nearly one in five schoolchildren was overweight. Since then, many programmes have been introduced in an attempt to control the problem. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of childhood overweight in Switzerland five years later.
In both studies a cross-sectional, three-stage, probability-proportional-to-size cluster sampling of schools throughout Switzerland was used to obtain a representative sample of approximately 2500 children aged 6–13 years. Height and weight were measured and BMI calculated. The BMI references from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used to determine the prevalences of underweight (<5th percentile), overweight (≥85th and <95th percentile) and obesity (≥95th percentile).
In 2007 the prevalences of underweight, overweight and obesity in boys were 3·5 %, 11·3 % and 5·4 %, respectively; in girls they were 2·6 %, 9·9 % and 3·2 %. Compared with 2002, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of overweight in girls and of obesity in both genders. In contrast to 2002, where there were no differences, in 2007 the prevalence of paediatric obesity was significantly higher in communities with a population >100 000 compared with smaller communities (P < 0·05).
In summary, over the past 5 years, the prevalence of adiposity has decreased in Swiss children. These findings suggest that increased awareness combined with mainly school-based programmes aimed at physical activity and healthy nutrition may have helped to control this public health problem. Future monitoring in Switzerland will determine if these findings are sustained.