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State policymakers and regulators should consider how to respond to the emergence of new storage technologies while observing the regulatory and legal proceedings that will draw the line between state and federal jurisdiction over matters related to storage.
The emergence of new energy storage is challenging traditional jurisdictional lines and giving state policy makers new things to consider. This article discusses conflicts in jurisdiction and offers options for policy makers to consider with regard to storage technologies.
We report the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode. From that layer, we extracted n-diamonds and hexagonal diamonds (lonsdaleite), an accepted ET impact indicator, at abundances of up to about 5×106 times background levels in adjacent younger and older ice. The NDs in the concentrated layer are rounded, suggesting they most likely formed during a cosmic impact through some process similar to carbon-vapor deposition or high-explosive detonation. This morphology has not been reported previously in cosmic material, but has been observed in terrestrial impact material. This is the first highly enriched, discrete layer of NDs observed in glacial ice anywhere, and its presence indicates that ice caps are important archives of ET events of varying magnitudes. Using a preliminary ice chronology based on oxygen isotopes and dust stratigraphy, the ND-rich layer appears to be coeval with ND abundance peaks reported at numerous North American sites in a sedimentary layer, the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB), dating to 12.9 ± 0.1 ka. However, more investigation is needed to confirm this association.
To determine whether hand hygiene adherence is influenced by peer effects and, specifically, whether the presence and proximity of other healthcare workers has a positive effect on hand hygiene adherence
An observational study using a sensor network.
A 20-bed medical intensive care unit at a large university hospital.
Hospital staff assigned to the medical intensive care unit.
We deployed a custom-built, automated, hand hygiene monitoring system that can (1) detect whether a healthcare worker has practiced hand hygiene on entering and exiting a patient’s room and (2) estimate the location of other healthcare workers with respect to each healthcare worker exiting or entering a room.
We identified a total of 47,694 in-room and out-of-room hand hygiene opportunities during the 10-day study period. When a worker was alone (no recent healthcare worker contacts), the observed adherence rate was 20.85% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.78%–21.92%). In contrast, when other healthcare workers were present, observed adherence was 27.90% (95% CI, 27.48%–28.33%). This absolute increase was statistically significant (P < .01). We also found that adherence increased with the number of nearby healthcare workers but at a decreasing rate. These results were consistent at different times of day, for different measures of social context, and after controlling for possible confounding factors.
The presence and proximity of other healthcare workers is associated with higher hand hygiene rates. Furthermore, our results also indicate that rates increase as the social environment becomes more crowded, but with diminishing marginal returns.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1277–1285
We review the concept of superresolution optical fluctuation imaging (SOFI), discuss its attributes and trade-offs (in comparison with other superresolution methods), and present superresolved images taken on samples stained with quantum dots, organic dyes, and plasmonic metal nanoparticles. We also discuss the prospects of SOFI for live cell superresolution imaging and for imaging with other (non-fluorescent) contrasts.
We present an update of the ‘key points’ from the Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE) report that was published by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) in 2009. We summarise subsequent advances in knowledge concerning how the climates of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean have changed in the past, how they might change in the future, and examine the associated impacts on the marine and terrestrial biota. We also incorporate relevant material presented by SCAR to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, and make use of emerging results that will form part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.
We describe the importance of the Norwegian Twin Registry (NTR) for research in public health and provide examples from several programs of twin research at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), including the Nordic Twin Study of Cancer, our epigenetics platform, and our large program of research in mental health. The NTR has become an integral component of a national strategy for maximizing the research potential from Norwegian registries and biobank-based studies. The information provided herein builds upon and complements our recent report describing the establishment of the NTR and the cohorts comprising it. Although Norway has a long tradition in twin research, the centralization and administration of the twin data through a single register structure is fairly recent. The NTR was established in 2009 and currently includes 47,989 twins covering birth years 1895–1960 and 1967–1979; 31,440 of these twins have consented to participate in medical research (comprising 5,439 monozygotic pairs, 6,702 dizygotic same-sexed pairs, and 1,655 dizygotic opposite-sexed pairs). DNA from approximately 4,800 twins is banked at the NIPH biobank and new studies continuously add new data to the registry. The value of NTR data is greatly enhanced through record linkage possibilities offered by Norway's many nation-wide registries (medical, demographic, and socio-economic) and several studies are already taking advantage of these linkage opportunities for research.
To explore how hand hygiene observer scheduling influences the number of events and unique individuals observed.
We deployed a mobile sensor network to capture detailed movement data for 6 categories of healthcare workers over a 2-week period.
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic medical intensive care unit (ICU).
We recorded 33,721 time-stamped healthcare worker entries to and exits from patient rooms and considered each entry or exit to be an opportunity for hand hygiene. Architectural drawings were used to derive 4 optimal line-of-sight placements for observers. We ran simulations for different observer movement schedules, all with a budget of 1 hour of total observation time. We considered observation times of 1–15, 15–30, 30, and 60 minutes per station. We stochastically generated healthcare worker hand hygiene compliance on the basis of all data and recorded the total unit compliance as it would be reported by each simulated observer.
Considering a 60-minute total observation period, aggregate simulated observers captured 1.7% of the average total number of opportunities per day at best and 0.5% at worst. The 1–15-minute schedule captures, on average, 16% fewer events than does the 60-minute (ie, static) schedule, but it samples 17% more unique individuals. The 1–15-minute schedule also provides the best estimator of compliance for the duration of the shift, with a mean standard deviation of 17%, compared with 23% for the 60-minute schedule.
Our results show that observations are sensitive to different observers' schedules and suggest the importance of using data-driven approaches to schedule hand hygiene audits.
Solar energy is abundant and offers significant potential for near-term (2020) and long-term (2050) climate change mitigation. There are a wide variety of solar technologies of varying maturities that can, in most regions of the world, contribute to a suite of energy services. Even though solar energy generation still only represents a small fraction of total energy consumption, markets for solar technologies are growing rapidly. Much of the desirability of solar technology is its inherently smaller environmental burden and the opportunity it offers for positive social impacts. The cost of solar technologies has been reduced significantly over the past 30 years and technical advances and supportive public policies continue to offer the potential for additional cost reductions. Potential deployment scenarios range widely—from a marginal role of direct solar energy in 2050 to one of the major sources of energy supply. The actual deployment achieved will depend on the degree of continued innovation, cost reductions and supportive public policies.
Solar energy is the most abundant of all energy resources. Indeed, the rate at which solar energy is intercepted by the Earth is about 10,000 times greater than the rate at which humankind consumes energy. Although not all countries are equally endowed with solar energy, a significant contribution to the energy mix from direct solar energy is possible for almost every country. Currently, there is no evidence indicating a substantial impact of climate change on regional solar resources.
To assess healthcare personnel (HCP) perceptions regarding implementation of sensor-based electronic systems for automated hand hygiene adherence monitoring.
Using a mixed-methods approach, structured focus groups were designed to elicit quantitative and qualitative responses on familiarity, comfort level, and perceived impact of sensor-based hand hygiene adherence monitoring
A university hospital, a Veterans Affairs hospital, and a community hospital in the Midwest.
Focus groups were homogenous by HCP type, with separate groups held for leadership, midlevel management, and frontline personnel at each hospital.
Overall, 89 HCP participated in 10 focus groups. Levels of familiarity and comfort with electronic oversight technology varied by HCP type; when compared with frontline HCP, those in leadership positions were significantly more familiar with (P<.01) and more comfortable with (P<.01) the technology. The most common concerns cited by participants across groups included lack of accuracy in the data produced, such as the inability of the technology to assess the situational context of hand hygiene opportunities, and the potential punitive use of data produced. Across groups, HCP had decreased tolerance for electronic collection of spatial-temporal data, describing such oversight as Big Brother.
While substantial concerns were expressed by all types of HCP, participants' recommendations for effective implementation of electronic oversight technologies for hand hygiene monitoring included addressing accuracy issues before implementation and transparent communication with frontline HCP about the intended use of the data.
In this paper, various types of defects (both threading dislocation and misfit dislocations) in strained Si (sSi) have been analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Germanium upper-diffusion has been studied by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) for strained Si on SiGe/SOI. SGOI-devices processed using an optimized thermal budget show minimal Ge diffusion and minimal process related defects. Correlation between the device performance (such as leakage current and reliability) and structural information found in TEM has been established.
SiGe/SOI films have been investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Raman spectroscopy. For low Ge composition (∼ 20%), strain relaxation in the SiGe layer is minimal (<0.25%). For higher Ge content (32%), the tensile strain in a Si capping layer grown on top of SiGe/SOI is 0.46% (a stress of 0.81 GPa). TEM has revealed that most of the resulting defects at the SiGe/SOI interface and move downward. The misfit dislocation (MD) linear density is 17/μm, being consistent with the strain relaxation of the SiGe layer as determined by Raman spectroscopy. Upon thermal annealing, residual strain in the SiGe films has been further relaxed via two major routes (a) introduction of more MDs, and (b) development of surface undulation. High strain relaxation has been achieved in a SiGe layer grown on a higher-Ge content buffer layer.
Herbicides applied to container plants in nurseries are transported in runoff water to on- and off-site ponds and retention basins. This study was conducted to determine biotic and abiotic effects on isoxaben dissipation in model flow-through retention basins to maximize aqueous isoxaben degradation. Field studies were conducted in 1999 and 2000 to evaluate the effects of gravel and pine bark amendments and water retention times on isoxaben persistence in holding basins. In 1999, total isoxaben discharge into flow-through gravel-filled basins was greater than isoxaben losses from gravel and nongravel basins in which water was retained. Photodegradation appeared to be greater in basins without gravel, indicating that gravel protected isoxaben from photolysis. Further studies determined the effect of water retention time and the presence of aged pine bark amendment on isoxaben discharge from basins. Isoxaben discharge level was reduced when water retention time was increased from 3 to 5 d. In the 3-d retention time treatment, added pine bark reduced peak isoxaben discharge by 45% and total isoxaben by 53% at 14 d after treatment. In treatments containing pine bark within the retention basins, isoxaben was released over a longer period of time. No differences were observed in 5-d water retention time treatments with and without pine bark. Analysis of gravel from isoxaben-treated retention basins indicated the presence of several genera of bacteria including Pseudomonas, Arthrobacter, and Cellulomonas. Some isolates of Pseudomonas, Rahnella, Methobacterium, and Paenibacillus from the basins grew on M9 medium with isoxaben as the sole carbon and energy source, indicating their ability to metabolize isoxaben. Results indicate that retention basins are helpful in reducing isoxaben levels before release or reuse of runoff water from a container nursery, and that retention time of runoff water in basins is the most important factor in reducing isoxaben discharge.
John Fraser, School of Biological Sciences, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland, Private Bag, 92019 Auckland, New Zealand,
Vickery Arcus, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag, 92019 Auckland, New Zealand,
Thomas Proft, School of Biological Sciences, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland, Private Bag, 92019 Auckland, New Zealand
Vertebrates and microbes live together in a precarious balancing act. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes are Gram-positive commensal bacteria that inhabit the human skin, nose, and upper respiratory tract (Wannamaker and Schlievert 1988) and for the most part live an unremarkable, symbiotic existence with humans. Both organisms produce superantigens (SAGs) Table 8.1 that simultaneously bind to the T-cell Receptor (TcR) and the major histocompatibility class II (MHC-II) antigens – two molecules central to host immunity – bringing them together to cause profound T-cell activation (Schlievert, 1993; Marrack and Kappler, 1990; Kotzin et al., 1993; Fleischer, 1994; Acha Orbea and MacDonald, 1995). Any T cell bearing a reactive TcR β-chain becomes a target for a SAG and with only sixty-five TcR β-chain genes resident in the human genome (Rowen et al., 1996), any individual SAG stimulates at least 1–2% of peripheral T cells and often more than this. Superantigen activation produces toxic levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines Interleukin (IL)-1β, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interleukin-2 (IL-2) (see Chapter 10 for more details on cytokines), which can lead to the potentially lethal condition known as toxic shock. SAGs are not limited to S. aureus and S. pyogenes. Versions of SAGs have also been found in a number of other organisms and all cross-link TcR and MHC class II to overstimulate T-lymphocytes
Although a great deal is known about the structure and mode of action of the bacterial SAGs, little is known about how they act to enhance the survival of bacteria and how they might disrupt the host immune responses to other antigens.