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Africa’s subregional courts have experienced a marked impact by international human rights law notwithstanding the fact that these courts were established primarily to support and enhance the pursuit of economic integration. This chapter argues that international human rights law has become increasingly entrenched as a substantive source of law in African subregional regimes through a combination of uncritical reception and deployment by the subregional courts relying on statements of fundamental principles contained in treaties and the acquiesce of state parties to those treaties. Analysing the practices of the East African Court of Justice and the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice as case studies, the charter demonstrates that even though the presence of international human rights law is evident in the work of Africa’s subregional courts, the impact that international rights law has made is significantly different in each regime. It is shown that the impact is more robust where the court is not constrained by jurisdictional limitations in human rights adjudication and allows standing to individuals pursuing human rights claims.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis a hereditary, multi-systemic and life-threatening disease resulting in neuropathy and cardiomyopathy. In the APOLLO study, patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting hepatic TTR production resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL compared to placebo and was generally well tolerated. Methods: APOLLO, a Phase 3 study of patisiran vs. placebo (NCT01960348) prespecified a cardiac subpopulation (n=126 of 225 total) that included patients with baseline left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥ 13mm and no medical history of aortic valve disease or hypertension. Cardiac measures included structure and function by electrocardiography, changes in NT-proBNP and 10-MWT gait speed. Results: At 18 months, patisiran treatment resulted in a mean reduction in LV wall thickness of 1 mm (p=0.017) compared to baseline, which was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in LV end diastolic volume (+8.31 mL, p=0.036), global longitudinal strain (-1.37%, p=0.015) and NT-proBNP (55% reduction, p=7.7 x 10-8) (Figure 1). Gait speed was also improved relative to placebo (+0.35 m/sec, p=7.4 x 10-9). Rate of death or hospitalization was lower with patisiran. mNIS+7 results in the cardiac subpopulation will also be presented. Conclusions: These data suggest patisiran has the potential to halt or reverse cardiac manifestations of hATTR amyloidosis.
Parasites can evolve phenotypically plastic strategies for transmission such that a single genotype can give rise to a range of phenotypes depending on the environmental condition. State-dependent plasticity in particular can arise from individual differences in the parasite's internal state or the condition of the host. Facultative parasites serve as ideal model systems for investigating state-dependent plasticity because individuals can exhibit two life history strategies (free-living or parasitic) depending on the environment. Here, we experimentally show that the ectoparasitic mite Macrocheles subbadius is more likely to parasitize a fruit fly host if the female mite is mated; furthermore, the propensity to infect increased with the level of starvation experienced by the mite. Host condition also played an important role; hosts infected with moderate mite loads were more likely to gain additional infections in pairwise choice tests than uninfected flies. We also found that mites preferentially infected flies subjected to mechanical injury over uninjured flies. These results suggest that a facultative parasite's propensity to infect a host (i.e. switch from a free-living strategy) depends on both the parasite's internal state and host condition. Parasites often live in highly variable and changing environments, an infection strategy that is plastic is likely to be adaptive.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the USA. About 10–25% of patients present with synchronous liver metastases at the time of primary diagnosis and another 20–25% develop metachronous liver metastases during the course of the disease. Surgical resection of distant CRC metastases may result in improved long-term survival and even cure in a subset of selected patients. The 5-year survival rates after curative resection of liver metastases range from 35% to 58%. However, only 25% of patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) are candidates for liver resection, while the majority remain unresectable. Chemotherapy and newer therapies can extend survival of patients with non-resectable CLM up to 24 months.
In recent years, image-guided percutaneous ablation therapies have flourished as alternative treatment options for selected patients with unresectable CLM. Different ablation technologies include radiofrequency, microwave, laser, and cryoablation, that use heat or freezing as a means of causing cell damage and death of the target tumor. More recently, irreversible electroporation (IRE), a non-thermal technology, has been applied for liver tumor ablation, including CLM.
The goal of local tumor ablation is to efficiently destroy the malignant tumor with surrounding margins while minimizing the destruction of non-affected liver. This is an important parameter for patients with low volume of healthy functioning parenchyma as those with underlying cirrhosis or steatohepatitis from prolonged chemotherapy exposure as well as those who have previously undergone extensive liver resection and present for ablation as a salvage therapy for postsurgical recurrences.
The safety and effectiveness of local tumor ablation in patients with CLM have been demonstrated in several uncontrolled studies. Patient survival after percutaneous ablation seems comparable to that of surgical series (up to 55% at 5 years) in selected patients with small-volume disease that can be treated with sufficient margins. This observation may suggest that image-guided ablation could be an equally effective and less morbid alternative to surgery for a subset of selected patients.
Population outbreaks of the coral-eating predator crown of thorns starfish (COTS), Acanthaster planci are responsible for large-scale disturbance of coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. In response, attempts are often made to control COTS outbreaks in protected areas. For instance, volunteers remove thousands of sea stars every year in Malaysia. This study reports the status of the COTS population in the Pulau Tioman Marine Park and examines the effectiveness of the seasonal sea star removal programme. After the 2009 removal season, we monitored COTS densities and coral assemblages before and after a 6-month no-removal season at sites with and without COTS removal efforts. We recorded high COTS densities up to 330 ind. ha−1 at a few sites independent of removal effort. In fact, removal only temporarily reduced large individuals from local populations. Moreover, after the no-removal season, sites with COTS removal had increased live coral cover, but sites without COTS removal had a drastic decrease in live coral cover, with Acropora spp. being most affected. Therefore, this study suggests that the current seasonal removals could promote coral health, despite the high density of COTS.
ZnO thin films were synthesized by radio-frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering of high purity ZnO solid targets on sapphire substrates. Depositions were carried out at selected temperatures between 293 K and 1173 K, and post-deposition annealing was performed at 1173 K for 3 min. in an O2 atmosphere. Samples for electron microscopy investigations were prepared by lift-out technique in a multi-beam FIB/SEM instrument. The ZnO thin films show generally uniform thickness (about 1µm), determined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging. Irrespective of the deposition temperature, the ZnO thin films are polycrystalline, with individual grains exhibiting columnar morphology with the long axis oriented perpendicular to the ZnO/sapphire interface. The grain size varies with the deposition temperature, and a direct correlation between grain size and photoluminescence has been observed. Analyses performed using low-temperature photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements at 12 K revealed luminescence peaks at 3.361, 3.317, 3.218 and 3.115 eV. The intensity of the luminescence peak at 3.317 eV decreased with increasing deposition temperature. The films deposited at lower temperatures also exhibited a higher density of stacking faults as observed from the atomic resolution TEM. The crystallographic imperfections/photoluminescence relationship is not clear. The purpose of this study is to quantify the observed crystallographic imperfections and understand their effect on the photoluminescence of undoped ZnO thin films deposited on sapphire substrates.
Orthopedic injuries and diseases commonly affect soft tissues, including cartilage, which line the surface of articulating joints, as well as ligaments and tendons, which connect bone to bone and muscle to bone, respectively. Continued developments in tissue engineering have led to advancements in the regeneration of these tissues, while recently emphasis has been placed on the regeneration of the interfaces or insertion sites that connect these soft tissues to bone, which are characterized by a gradient of structural and mechanical properties . The integrity of these regions is essential to facilitating synchronized joint motion, mediating load transfer between distinct tissue types, and sustaining heterotypic cellular communications necessary for interface function and homeostasis [2–4]. These critical junctions are also prone to injury, and healing is typically incomplete after surgical repair. The need for functional interface regeneration is highlighted by the fact that failure to restore the intricate tissue-to-tissue interface has been reported to compromise graft stability and long-term clinical outcome [5, 6].
Fundamentally, tissue engineering involves the use of cells, growth factors, and/or biomaterial scaffolds in a variety of ways to engineer tissues in vitro and in vivo. The principles of tissue engineering have been applied for the successful formation of connective tissues, including bone, cartilage, ligament, and tendon. Recently the focus in the field has shifted from tissue formation to tissue function , specifically to imparting physiologically relevant functionality to tissue-engineered grafts. One of the most significant challenges to clinical application is achieving biological fixation of musculoskeletal grafts with each other as well as to the native host environment .
We focus our analysis on an event which occurred at the W-limb on May 30, 2003. The dynamical behavior of the filament, including damped oscillations, was investigated with the CDS and EIT (SoHO) experiments, as well as with Hα filtergrams (movies). The eruptive phase is analyzed taking into account the approximate phasing with other eruptive phenomena occurring at the same time or before, called homologous flares and eruptions.
OVERVIEW. Substance use disorders cover a range of problems associated with using and abusing psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, heroin, benzodiazepines, as well as a variety of other substances taken to affect thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Interventions may include a “mix” of approaches, both modern and indigenous, including assessment and diagnosis, self-help intervention, outpatient, diversion and restorative justice approaches, residential care, and harm-reduction tactics. In this chapter, various substance use disorder concepts, the history of substance use disorder practice and research, substance use disorder recovery theories, legal and professional issues related to substance use disorders, as well as issues for further research and scholarship in Africa are examined. Cultural issues that affect and influence the use and treatment of substances use disorders within the African context are also explored.
By the end of the chapter, the reader should be able to:
Define key concepts relevant to substance use disorders.
Outline core African indigenous and modern practices used to treat or counsel clients with substance use disorders.
Discuss the rationale of major recovery theories and psychosocial theories relating to substance use disorder counseling.
Discuss legal and professional issues related to substance use disorders within the African context.
Identify prospective areas of research that would advance the knowledge of substance use disorder intervention and scholarship within the African context.
The chemical state of (NH4)2S treated (100)GaAs surfaces exposed to ambient conditions for several days was correlated with barrier height measurements. Surface chemistry was characterized by Auger electron spectroscopy and barrier heights were calculated from C-V measurements obtained with a Hg probe. Results show that surfaces are chemically and electrically unstable for several hours following the sulfide treatment. The chemical and electrical states continually changed during ambient exposure up to 300 hours. Although strictly speaking, the surfaces were not passivated, the presence of sulfur did inhibit the formation of Ga and As oxides and the incorporation of carbon. In addition, stable, low barrier heights were observed after ambient exposure for several hours. Barrier heights from C-V measurements using deposited Au and Al contacts were compared to the barrier heights obtained with a Hg probe.
Many of the innovations in ultrasonic technology make use of modem smart alloys and materials. As a result, the theory and application of ultrasonic energy have become extremely important in various disciplines such as ultrasonic surgery, deaning and imaging. However, despite the fact that most of these ultrasonic devices are based on widely known materials, there remains a class of materials which have not been fully explored as potential active components in ultrasonic designs. In this paper, the giant magnetostrictive smart material, ETREMA TERFENOL-D®, is discussed to illustrate its potential for such applications. Frequency analysis, reliability and advantages of ultrasonic mechanisms using ETREMA TERFENOL-D® are also shown for a general broadband ultrasonic device. Frequencies between 1 kHz and 30 kHz were obtained for these applications.
Pulsed-laser ablation was used to deposit YBa2Cu3O7-x (YBCO) films on LaAlO3 and metallic substrates in an effort to understand and develop the processing of coated conductors with enhanced properties. Doping of YBCO films with Nd was utilized as an approach for increasing their flux pinning properties. Separate targets of Nd2O3 and YBCO were used instead of a pre-mixed Nd2O3-YBCO target. The critical current density (Jc) of the films was measured by whole body dc transport measurements and the transition temperature (Tc) by ac susceptibility. The composition vs. depth profiles of the films were obtained by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. The critical current of a 5000 Å thick Nd-doped YBCO film on a LaAlO3 substrate was measured at 77 K and found to be 57 A (Jc = 1.1×106 A/cm2).
Device-grade, boron-doped amorphous hydrogenated silicon can be made microporous by anodization in ethanoic HF. The thickness of the porous layer is limited by an instability due to the high resistivity of the material. Amorphous porous silicon exhibits strong room-temperature photoluminescence around 1.5 eV even in samples containing a high density of non-radiative recombination centers. This demonstrates the presence of a spatial confinement effect, as opposed to quantum confinement effect for crystalline porous silicon. The temperature dependence of the luminescence intensity is also accounted for on the same grounds.
In this paper, we present detailed reverse leakage data on laser annealed diodes which were formed by implanting 1 × 1013 and 1 × 1014 /cm2 B atoms at 20 keV and by implanting 1× 1014 and 1× 1015/cm2 As atoms at 50 keV into Si. The implant is made into bare Si through oxide windows where 1700Å thermal SiO2 is both the implant mask and the diode edge passivation. The thermal controls were annealed at 900°C for the B and 950°C for the As for 30 minutes. Diode reverse leakage curves versus voltage are reported for devices with variable perimeter to area ratios. The results indicate that B diodes can easily be made with characteristics similar to thermally annealed devices with leakage at 1V in the 10−9 A/cm2 range. For As implanted diodes, the results are mixed. For As implants of 1 × 1014 /cm2 the diodes had leakage currents at 3V in the high 10−9 A/cm2 range. At the 1 × 1015/cm 2 level devices with significantly higher leakage values at high reverse bias were obtained. The leakage and sheet resistance are determined in both cases and an optimum is shown as a function of laser power.
This paper presents the stress stability of thin films for MEMS structural and sacrificial layers. The average residual stresses of the thin films were monitored via wafer curvature measurement over a long period of time. Poly-Si, poly-SiGe, poly-Ge and thermally growth SiO2 films are found to be stable in humid environments. Moisture makes LPCVD and TEOS-based PECVD SiO2 films more compressive over time. Multi-layer thin film stress is modeled with the same methodology used to derive the Stoney Equation .