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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Capillary rise of a liquid displacing gas is analysed for both open and closed capillaries. We include menisci mass and hysteresis, and show that oscillations due to inertia are muted by friction at the advancing meniscus. From single-phase numerical computations in a no-slip/slip capillary, we quantify losses due to entry, flow development, meniscus slip, exit and acceleration of fluid within the reservoir. For closed capillaries, determining viscous drag due to gas requires inclusion of compressibility, and solving a moving boundary problem. This solution is derived through perturbation expansion with respect to two different small parameters for obtaining pressure above the liquid meniscus. Our rise predictions spanning a large range of experimental conditions and fluids for both open and closed capillaries match the data. The experimental data confirm the adequacy of the theoretically constructed dimensionless groups for predicting oscillatory behaviour.
Predicting mental workload of pilots can provide cockpit designers with useful information to reduce the possibility of pilot error and cost of training, improve the safety and performance of systems, and increase operator satisfaction. We present a theoretical model of mental workload, using information theory, based on review investigations of how effectively task complexity, visual performance, and pilot experience predict mental workload. The validity of the model was confirmed based on data collected from pilot taxiing experiments. Experiments were performed on taxiing tasks in four different scenarios. Results showed that predicted values from the proposed mental workload model were highly correlated to actual mental workload ratings from the experiments. The findings indicate that the proposed mental workload model appears to be effective in the prediction of pilots’ mental workload over time.
To compare the epidemiologic features (e.g. settings and transmission mode) and patient clinical characteristics associated with outbreaks of different norovirus (Nov) strains, we retrospectively analysed data of Nov outbreaks occurring in Guangzhou, China from 2012 to 2018. The results suggested that outbreaks of Nov GII.2, GII.17 and GII.4 Sydney exhibited different outbreak settings, transmission modes and symptoms. GII.2 outbreaks mainly occurred in kindergartens, elementary and high schools and were transmitted mainly through person-to-person contact. By contrast, GII.4 Sydney outbreaks frequently occurred in colleges and were primarily associated with foodborne transmission. Cases from GII.2 and GII.17 outbreaks reported vomiting more frequently than those from outbreaks associated with GII.4 Sydney.
Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
To determine whether oral vancomycin prophylaxis accompanying systemic antibiotics reduces the risk of relapse in patients with history of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI).
Retrospective cohort study.
Adult inpatients with a history of CDI who received systemic antibiotics in either of 2 hospitals between January 2009 and June 2015.
We compared relapse rates in patients who started oral vancomycin concurrently with systemic antibiotics (exposed group) versus those who did not. We assessed for CDI relapse by toxin or nucleic acid testing at 90 days. We used inverse probability weighting and machine learning to adjust for confounders, to estimate propensity for treatment, and to calculate odds ratios for CDI relapse. We performed secondary analyses limited to toxin-positive relapses, patients with 1 versus >1 prior CDI episodes, and patients who received oral vancomycin on each antibiotic day.
CDI relapse occurred within 90 days in 19 of 193 exposed patients (9.8%) versus 53 of 567 unexposed patients (9.4%; unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60–1.81; adjusted OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.35–1.14). CDI relapses at 90 days were less frequent in exposed patients with only 1 prior episode of CDI (OR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.19–0.93) but not in those with >1 prior episode (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.42–3.33). Our findings were consistent with a lack of benefit of oral vancomycin when restricting results to toxin-positive relapses and to patients who received vancomycin each antibiotic day.
Prophylactic oral vancomycin was not consistently associated with reduced risk of CDI relapse among hospitalized patients receiving systemic antibiotics. However, patients with only 1 prior CDI episode may benefit.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
X-ray diffraction topography is the name given to several x-ray diffraction techniques where large area x-ray beams diffracted from a crystal provide detailed information about the surface structure and internal perfection of crystal microstructures. Since x-ray topographic techniques are based on Bragg (reflection) or Laue (transmission) diffraction from a crystal lattice, they are extremely sensitive to any atomic lattice imperfections and strains. Alterations of the interplanar spacing as small as one part in ten thousand extending over a reasonable number of atomic ce11 lengths can be recorded as a corresponding change in the diffracted beam intensity. Line Modified-Asymmetric Crystal Topography (LM-ACT) is one such reflection technique that shows particular promise in Che field of microelectronics. The LM-ACT system is designed with low angular divergence in the x-ray beam probe. Low probe beam divergence allows details of device geometries on the order of microns to be resolved in the recorded x-ray intensity variation of the diffracted beam.
The LM-ACT system was applied here to the study of integrated circuits (IC) after specific processing steps were accomplished during IC fabrication and in the final product condition. Topographs obtained from specular crystal surfaces that were implanted through a patterned mask showed contrast variations between the implanted and non-implanted regions; details of the mask patterns have been resolved on the order of a few microns. LMACT topographs from annealed, and unannealed, Implanted specimens showed marked differences and as a result it is suggested that LM-ACT would be beneficial in optimizing the processing schedule for a particular wafer/electronic system. A significant feature of the LM-ACT technique is the capability for producing high resolution stereo-pair topographs that provide quantitative information through the depth of individual process layers in an integrated circuit.
While Mixtec languages are well-known for their tonal systems, there remains relatively little work focusing on their consonant inventories. This paper provides an in-depth phonetic description of the consonant system of the Yoloxóchitl Mixtec language (Oto-Manguean, ISO 639-3 code xty), a Guerrero Mixtec variety. The language possesses a number of contrasts common among Mixtec languages, such as voiceless unaspirated stops, prenasalized stops, and a strong tendency for words to conform to a minimally bimoraic structure. Using a controlled set of data, we focus on how word size and word position influence the acoustic properties of different consonant types. We examine closure duration, VOT, and formant transitions with the stop series, spectral moments with the fricative series, the timing between oral and nasal closure with the prenasalized stop series, and both formant transitions and qualitative variability with the glide series. The general effect of word size is discussed in relation to work on polysyllabic shortening (Turk & Shattuck-Hufnagel 2000) and demonstrates the importance of prosodic templates in Mixtec languages (Macken & Salmons 1997). The prenasalized stop data provides evidence that such stops are best analyzed as allophones of nasal consonants preceding oral vowels (as per Marlett 1992) and not as hypervoiced variants of voiced stops (as per Iverson & Salmons 1996).
In experimental and clinical studies, green or black tea consumption has been shown to reduce oxidative stress. However, these studies involved high levels of tea consumption and may not reflect patterns in the general population. Here, we examined the association between black or green tea consumption and oxidative stress in a cross-sectional study of 889 premenopausal US women aged 35–54 years. Tea consumption was measured using the Block-98 FFQ. Urinary 8-iso-PGF2α (F2-IsoP) and 2,3-dinor-5,6-dihydro-15-F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP-M) were used as biomarkers of oxidative stress. These compounds were measured by MS and normalised to creatinine. Linear regression was used to calculate the geometric mean differences (GMD) and 95% CI for log-transformed urinary F2-IsoP or 15-F2t-IsoP-M in relation to black or green tea consumption. We further examined whether adjusting for caffeine impacted associations between tea and oxidative stress. Geometric means of urinary F2-IsoP and 15-F2t-IsoP-M were 1·44 (95% CI 1·39, 1·49) and 0·71 (95% CI 0·69, 0·73) ng/mg creatinine, respectively. Overall, green tea consumption was not associated with urinary F2-IsoP or 15-F2t-IsoP-M. High-level black tea consumption (≥5 cups/week compared with 0) was associated with higher 15-F2t-IsoP-M concentrations (adjusted GMD=0·10, 95 % CI 0·02–0.19) but not F2-IsoP. Adjusting for caffeine nullified the association between black tea and 15-F2t-IsoP-M. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that dietary tea consumption is inversely associated with oxidative stress.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy is an effective and safe treatment for allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma. Different symptom scores are used to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy in clinical trials.
A total of 58 allergic rhinitis patients sensitised to house dust mites, with or without mild asthma, were included. Symptom score, medication score, visual analogue scale score and quality of life were assessed before and after 6, 12 and 24 months of subcutaneous immunotherapy.
After two years of subcutaneous immunotherapy, asthma symptom scores nearly reached zero, whereas the scores remained higher for nasal symptoms. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different (p < 0.05) and occurred faster than the changes in nasal symptom scores when compared between monosensitised and polysensitised groups. Significant reductions in visual analogue scale score and medication score were demonstrated after subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Two-year subcutaneous immunotherapy with house dust mite vaccine is an effective treatment for both monosensitised and polysensitised allergic patients. The changes in asthma symptom scores were markedly different and occurred quicker than the changes in nasal symptom scores in Chinese house dust mite allergic patients.
A multichannel calorimeter system is designed and constructed which is capable of delivering single-shot and broad-band spectral measurement of terahertz (THz) radiation generated in intense laser–plasma interactions. The generation mechanism of backward THz radiation (BTR) is studied by using the multichannel calorimeter system in an intense picosecond laser–solid interaction experiment. The dependence of the BTR energy and spectrum on laser energy, target thickness and pre-plasma scale length is obtained. These results indicate that coherent transition radiation is responsible for the low-frequency component (
1 THz) of BTR. It is also observed that a large-scale pre-plasma primarily enhances the high-frequency component (
3 THz) of BTR.
The patterns and drivers of late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the southeastern United States are poorly understood due to low site density, problematic chronologies, and a paucity of independent paleoclimate proxy records. We present a well-dated (15 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates) 30,000-yr record from White Pond, South Carolina that consists of high-resolution analyses of fossil pollen, macroscopic charcoal, and Sporormiella spores, and an independent paleotemperature reconstruction based on branched glycerol dialkyl tetraethers. Between 30,000 and 20,000 cal yr BP, open Pinus-Picea forest grew under cold and dry conditions; elevated Quercus before 26,000 cal yr BP, however, suggest warmer conditions in the Southeast before the last glacial maximum, possibly corresponding to regionally warmer conditions associated with Heinrich event H2. Warming between 19,700 and 10,400 cal yr BP was accompanied by a transition from conifer-dominated to mesic hardwood forest. Sporormiella spores were not detected and charcoal was low during the late glacial period, suggesting megaherbivore grazers and fire were not locally important agents of vegetation change. Pinus returned to dominance during the Holocene, with step-like increases in Pinus at 10,400 and 6400 cal yr BP, while charcoal abundance increased tenfold, likely due to increased biomass burning associated with warmer conditions. Low-intensity surface fires increased after 1200 cal yr BP, possibly related to the establishment of the Mississippian culture in the Southeast.
Flow over a moderately swept wing is characterised by complex localised flow vortex topologies such as ‘closed’ separation bubbles or ‘open’ separation structures. A model of a complex cambered, twisted, tapered wing with 40° leading edge sweep, representative of those designed for manoeuvre at high subsonic Mach numbers, was investigated using the oil-film visualisation, stereo particle image velocimetry and force moment measurements. Wind-tunnel tests were conducted at a range of Reynolds number from 2.1×105 to 8.4×105 and at angles of incidence from −1° to 22°. Still images combined with video clips enable flow patterns over the wing model to be interpreted more clearly and accurately. Using successive images extracted from the video of flow visualisation, the movement of the oil pigment has been estimated. The influence of the Reynolds number and incidence angle was discussed through analysing the flow pattern over the wing surface. Additionally, the link between the flow structures present and the wing aerodynamic performance was studied.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.