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Here we provide an update of the 2013 report on the Nigerian Twin and Sibling Registry (NTSR). The major aim of the NTSR is to understand genetic and environmental influences and their interplay in psychological and mental health development in Nigerian children and adolescents. Africans have the highest twin birth rates among all human populations, and Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Due to its combination of large population and high twin birth rates, Nigeria has one of the largest twin populations in the world. In this article, we provide current updates on the NTSR samples recruited, recruitment procedures, zygosity assessment and findings emerging from the NTSR.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
Holstein-Friesian steer beef production is renowned globally as a secondary product of the milk industry. Grass feeding is a common practice in raising Holstein steers because of its low cost. Furthermore, grass feeding is an alternative way to produce beef with a balanced n-6 to n-3 fatty acids (FAs) ratio. However, the performance and meat quality of Holstein-Friesian cattle is more likely to depend on a high-quality diet. The aim of this study was to observe whether feeding two mixed diets; a corn-based total mixed ration (TMR) with winter ryegrass (Lolium perenne) or flaxseed oil-supplemented pellets with reed canary grass haylage (n-3 mix) provided benefits on carcass weight, meat quality and FA composition compared with cattle fed with reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) haylage alone. In all, 15 21-month-old Holstein-Friesian steers were randomly assigned to three group pens, were allowed free access to water and were fed different experimental diets for 150 days. Blood samples were taken a week before slaughter. Carcass weight and meat quality were evaluated after slaughter. Plasma lipid levels and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), creatine kinase (CK) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities were determined. Diet did not affect plasma triglyceride levels and GGT activity. Plasma cholesterol levels, including low-density and high-density lipoproteins, were higher in both mixed-diet groups than in the haylae group. The highest activities of plasma AST, CK and ALP were observed in the haylage group, followed by n-3 mix and TMR groups, respectively. Carcass weight was lower in the haylage group than in the other groups and no differences were found between the TMR and n-3 mix groups. Although the n-3 mix-fed and haylage-fed beef provided lower n-6 to n-3 FAs ratio than TMR-fed beef, the roasted beef obtained from the TMR group was more acceptable with better overall meat physicochemical properties and sensory scores. According to daily cost, carcass weight and n-6 to n-3 FAs ratio, the finishing diet containing flaxseed oil-supplemented pellets and reed canary grass haylage at the as-fed ratio of 40 : 60 could be beneficial for the production of n-3-enriched beef.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
We report on the results of CCD photometric observations of the open cluster NGC 2539. Eight new variable stars have been found in the observed field of this cluster. However, no γ Doradus-type variability was found among the member stars.
Several studies have investigated the effects of fish oil (FO) on infant growth, but little is known about the effects of FO and sex on insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), the main regulator of growth in childhood. We explored whether FO v. sunflower oil (SO) supplementation from 9 to 18 months of age affected IGF-1 and its binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and whether the potential effects were sex specific. Danish infants (n 115) were randomly allocated to 5 ml/d FO (1·2 g/d n-3 long-chain PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA)) or SO. We measured growth, IGF-1, IGFBP-3 and erythrocyte EPA, a biomarker of n-3 LCPUFA intake and status, at 9 and 18 months. Erythrocyte EPA increased strongly with FO compared with SO (P<0·001). There were no effects of FO compared with SO on IGF-1 in the total population, but a sex×group interaction (P=0·02). Baseline-adjusted IGF-1 at 18 months was 11·1 µg/l (95 % CI 0·4, 21·8; P=0·04) higher after FO compared with SO supplementation among boys only. The sex×group interaction was borderline significant in the model of IGFBP-3 (P=0·09), with lower IGFBP-3 with FO compared with SO among girls only (P=0·03). The results were supported by sex-specific dose–response associations between changes in erythrocyte EPA and changes in IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 (both P<0·03). Moreover, IGF-1 was sex specifically associated with BMI and length. In conclusion, FO compared with SO resulted in higher IGF-1 among boys and lower IGFBP-3 among girls. The potential long-term implications for growth and body composition should be investigated further.
We report a highly sensitive pressure sensor fabricated by photo-thermally reduced Graphene oxide (GO) with silver nano wires (AgNWs). Pressure sensors are fabricated in form of the inter-digitated capacitors (IDC) composed of two finger electrodes with pattern width of 500 µm. The fabricated IDCs are compared to the previously reported MEMS-based pressure sensors' sensitivity. The fabricated sensor is easily attachable on any surface for monitoring applied forces or pressure and maintains excellent electrical conductivity under high mechanical stress and thus holds promise for durable bio-medical sensors.
Hybrid organic/silicon heterostructures have become of great interest for photovoltaic application due to their promising features (e.g. easy fabrication in a low-temperature process) for cost-effective photovoltaics. This work is focused on solar cells with a hybrid heterojunction between the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) and n-doped monocrystalline silicon. As semi-transparent top contact, a thin (15 nm) Au layer was employed. Devices with different P3HT thicknesses were processed by spin-casting and compared with a reference Au/n-Si Schottky diode solar cell.
The current density-voltage (J-V) measurements of the hybrid devices show a significant increase in open-circuit voltage (VOC) from 0.29 V up to 0.50 V for the best performing hybrid devices compared to the Schottky diode reference, while the short-circuit current density (JSC) does not change significantly. The increased VOC indicates that P3HT effectively reduces the reverse electron current into the gold contact. The wavelength-dependent JSC measurements show a decreased JSC in the wavelength range of P3HT absorption. This is related to the reduced JSC generation in silicon not being compensated by JSC generation in P3HT. It is concluded that the charge generation in P3HT is less efficient than in silicon.
After a thermal annealing of the hybrid P3HT/silicon solar cells, we achieved power conversion efficiencies (PCE) (AM1.5 illumination) up to 6.5% with VOC of 0.52 V, JSC of 18.6 mA/cm² and a fill factor (FF) of 67%. This is more than twice the efficiency of the reference Schottky diode.
Monoclinic Cu2SnS3 was made by solution based processing of the precursor metals after which the samples are annealed in a sulphur environment. XRD and Raman spectra shows that the monoclinic phase was synthesised. One sample was further etched in KCN and HCl to remove possible secondary phases. Transmission spectra show that the material has two optical transitions and in conjunction with reflection data absorption spectra were calculated. The two optical transitions are determined to be 0.91 and 0.98 for the unetched sample and 0.90 and 0.95 eV for the etched sample. The values of the optical transitions are within the error the same and thus etching does not affect the values of these optical transitions. Photoluminescence spectra map show only one luminescence peak with a maximum at 0.95 eV, which is consistent with the values found by absorption spectra. This in combination with the Raman spectra and XRD indicates that the sample contains only one polymorph of Cu2SnS3, which is monoclinic. Therefore the two optical transitions are intrinsic to monoclinic Cu2SnS3.
Long term stability of mixed perovskite compounds is one of the important concerns for prolonged viability and economical use of perovskite based solar cells. Degradation in perovskite films mainly occurs due to exposure to moisture. Hence, a controlled atmospheric condition and lower humidity is preferred for device fabrication and use. Many different strategies such as use of thin and wide band gap semiconductor layer, improvement in pour filling of metal oxide film, and utilization of AgTFSI have been attempted to improve device stability. However, for long term durability, there is an urgent need to increase stability of parent perovskite layer, apart from use of protective layers. In this study we examined water resistant additive, structural modifications, and stoichiometric modification for enhanced film durability. These strategies and preliminary results are discussed in this report.
We have investigated the film morphology and photoluminescence properties of spin-coated CH3NH3PbI3-xClx films on mesoporous and compact TiO2 substrates. We observe that the perovskite film deposited on the mesoporous substrate composed of 20 nm TiO2 nanopaticles exhibits relatively uniform grain size, while the films deposited on the compact TiO2 substrate and the mesoporous substrate with large TiO2 nanoparticles (200 nm) show highly heterogeneous film morphology. The heterogeneity of film morphology has significant effect on the photoluminescence spectra and lifetime of the perovskite films. The result of time-resolved confocal microscopy unveils the relation between film structure and photoluminescence properties.
Flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells on lightweight substrates can deliver high specific powers. Flexible lightweight CIGS solar cells are also primary candidates for building-integrated panels. In all applications, CIGS cells can greatly benefit from the application of broadband and wide-angle AR coating technology. The AR coatings can significantly improve the transmittance of light over the entire CIGS absorption band spectrum. Increased short-circuit current has been observed after integrating AR coated films onto baseline solar panels. NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) has predicted up to 14% higher annual power output on AR integrated vertical or building-integrated panels. The combination of lightweight flexible substrates and advanced device designs employing nanostructured optical coatings together have the potential to achieve flexible CIGS modules with enhanced efficiencies and specific power.
Perovskite solar cells have caught wide attention. High efficiency, low-cost and high stability are among the major goals, which could eventually move the perovskite solar cells to the market. To achieve these goals, interface deliberation and nanostructural engineering hold the key.
In current transparent Si based photovoltaic (PV) module fabrication, green or infrared laser is the most common used band frequency to wipe off the silicon and back contact layer in perpendicular direction of cells. However, this method would result in more power loss than calculation value due to the side effects during the process such as constructional damage of module and shunt effect. A new method is presented here which focus on wiping off more silicon layer by employing green pulsed laser(532 nm wavelength) along the parallel direction of Pattern2, and it shows higher efficiency and more attractive appearance.
Performance of a perovskite based solar cell is highly determined by the crystalline qualities of the perovskite thin film sandwiched between an electron and a hole transport layer, such as grain size and uniformity of the film. Here, we demonstrated a new hybrid physical-chemical vapor deposition (HPCVD) technique to synthesis high quality perovskite films. First, a PbI2 precursor film was spin-coated on a mesoporous TiO2 (m-TiO2)/compact TiO2 (c-TiO2)/FTO substrate in ambient environment. Then, purified CH3NH3I crystal material was evaporated and the vapor reacted with the PbI2 precursor film in a vacuum pressure/temperature accurately controlled quartz tube furnace. In this technique, high vacuum (2mTorr) and low temperature (100°C) were applied to decrease perovskite film growth rate and reduce perovskite film defects. After vapor reaction, the perovskite film was annealed at 100°C for 10min in 20mTorr vacuum to recrystallize and remove CH3NH3I residue in order to further improve crystal quality of the thin film. Crystal quality of this perovskite thin film was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). SEM and AFM results illustrate perovskite thin films synthesized by this technique have larger grain sizes and more uniformity (RMS 11.6nm/Ra 9.3nm) superior to most existing methods. Strong peaks shown in the XRD chart at 14.18°, 28.52°, 31.96°, which were assigned to (110), (220), (330) miller indices of CH3NH3PbI3 perovskite crystal, indicate the complete reaction between CH3NH3I vapor and PbI2 precursor layer. High power conversion efficiency (PCE) up to 12.3% and stable efficiencies under four hours illumination of AM1.5 standard were achieved by these solar cells. This vacuum/vapor based technique is compatible with conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques and high quality perovskite film could be achieved through delicate process control. Eventually, perovskite based solar cells could be mass produced in low cost for large scale applications by this novel technique.
A non-aqueous Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(styrenesulfonic acid) (PEDOT:PSS) dispersion was developed to enable the accommodation of non-polar additives. This additional functionalisation targets selected interface characteristics and results in an improved adhesion of PEDOT:PSS on the photo-active layer. Such mechanical robustness is paramount in inverted organic photovoltaic cells contributing to improved long-term stability.