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In lifecourse studies that encompass the adolescent period, the assessment of pubertal status is important, but can be challenging. We aimed to identify current methods for pubertal assessment and assess their appropriateness for population-based research by combining a review of the literature with the views of experts in the field. We searched bibliographic databases, extracted data and assessed study quality to inform a workshop with 21 experts. Acceptability of different approaches was explored with a panel of ten adolescents. We screened 11,935 abstracts, assessed 157 articles and summarised results from 38 articles. Combining these with the opinions of experts, self-assessment was found to be a practical method for use in studies where agreement with the gold standard of clinical assessment by physical examination to within one Tanner stage was acceptable. Serial measures of height and foot size accurately indicated timing of the pubertal growth spurt and age at peak height velocity, and were seen as feasible within longitudinal studies. Hormonal and radiological methods did not offer a practical means of assessing pubertal status. Assessment of voice maturation was promising, but needed validation. Young people thought that self-assessment, foot size and voice assessments were acceptable, and preferred an assessor of the same sex for clinical assessment. This review thus informs researchers working in lifecourse and adolescent health, and identifies future directions in order to improve validity of the methods.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
The surprise outcome of the 2016 presidential election continues to raise more questions as experts grapple with the evidence for why most prognosticators considered a Hillary Clinton victory almost certain. This article uses the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study data to show that a primary explanation for why the election of Donald Trump was difficult to predict is that the bulk of his support did not materialize until Election Day, in the battleground states that he had to carry to win the Electoral College.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Thirty-one natural olivines, of which 25 had been previously analysed by wet chemical methods, have been analysed for Mg, Fe, Mn, Ca, Ni, and Co by electron-microprobe techniques. The totals of the olivine molecules Fo, Fa, etc., calculated from the above metals vary from 97·6 to 101·5 with a mean of 99·6%. Twenty-one of the specimens had been used previously by Yoder and Sahama to prepare a determinative curve between mole per cent. Fo and the lattice spacing d130. Yoder and Sahama had found that the data for natural olivines showed large random displacements from a straight line, and that the best straight line deviated for low Fo values from that for synthetic olivines. A plot of Fo determined from the microprobe vs. d130 corrected for lattice expansion caused by Ca and Mn shows no systematic deviation between natural and synthetic specimens, and only small deviations from the best continuous curve (maximum 4% in Fo assuming no error in d130). The maximum contents found for Mn, Ca, Ni, and Co were 3·2, 0·54, 0·33, and 0·03%, respectively. For these minor constituents, some of the wet chemical analyses agreed very well with the microprobe results while others showed large deviations. Although the substitution of Ca is small, it can affect considerably the determination of mole per cent. Fo from d130.
After specimen preparation and calibration have been carried out, microprobe analyses for most major and minor (but not trace) elements in common silicates can be made with an accuracy of about 0·5 to 5% of the amount present in about one minute for each group of three elements. Although standard chemical methods applied to large homogeneous samples will retain their fundamental reference value, microprobe techniques with their high spatial resolution, relative freedom from contamination problems, high speed, and moderate to good accuracy promise to revolutionize analytical programmes in mineralogy and petrology.
The in situ dry matter disappearance technique (Ørskov and McDonald, 1979) evaluates forages for their rate and extent of degradation in the rumen. However, this method does not allow the evaluation of a large number of samples at one and the same time and therefore which limits screening of treatments applied to forages. The in vitro gas production method is faster and allows handling of many samples per batch; therefore, gas production could be an alternative to the use of nylon bags if the response to treatments between the two methods is similar among treated forages. The objective of this experiment was to compare results obtained with both the gas production and the nylon bag techniques for forages treated with four levels of maceration and conserved as hay or silage.
The mid-infrared range contains many spectral features associated with large molecules and dust grains such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and silicates. These are usually very strong compared to fine-structure gas lines, and thus valuable in studying the spectral properties of faint distant galaxies. In this paper, we evaluate the capability of low-resolution mid-infrared spectroscopic surveys of galaxies that could be performed by SPICA. The surveys are designed to address the question how star formation and black hole accretion activities evolved over cosmic time through spectral diagnostics of the physical conditions of the interstellar/circumnuclear media in galaxies. On the basis of results obtained with Herschel far-infrared photometric surveys of distant galaxies and Spitzer and AKARI near- to mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of nearby galaxies, we estimate the numbers of the galaxies at redshift z > 0.5, which are expected to be detected in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon features or dust continuum by a wide (10 deg2) or deep (1 deg2) blind survey, both for a given observation time of 600 h. As by-products of the wide blind survey, we also expect to detect debris disks, through the mid-infrared excess above the photospheric emission of nearby main-sequence stars, and we estimate their number. We demonstrate that the SPICA mid-infrared surveys will efficiently provide us with unprecedentedly large spectral samples, which can be studied further in the far-infrared with SPICA.
Measurements of glacier ice cliff evolution are sparse, but where they do exist, they indicate that such areas of exposed ice contribute a disproportionate amount of melt to the glacier ablation budget. We used Structure from Motion photogrammetry with Multi-View Stereo to derive 3-D point clouds for nine ice cliffs on Khumbu Glacier, Nepal (in November 2015, May 2016 and October 2016). By differencing these clouds, we could quantify the magnitude, seasonality and spatial variability of ice cliff retreat. Mean retreat rates of 0.30–1.49 cm d−1 were observed during the winter interval (November 2015–May 2016) and 0.74–5.18 cm d−1 were observed during the summer (May 2016–October 2016). Four ice cliffs, which all featured supraglacial ponds, persisted over the full study period. In contrast, ice cliffs without a pond or with a steep back-slope degraded over the same period. The rate of thermo-erosional undercutting was over double that of subaerial retreat. Overall, 3-D topographic differencing allowed an improved process-based understanding of cliff evolution and cliff-pond coupling, which will become increasingly important for monitoring and modelling the evolution of thinning debris-covered glaciers.
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that outdoor-kept pigs show an improvement to health and productivity after being moved to a new site. This study explores whether Salmonella occurrence reduced and was sustained after moving to a new site. Nine farms were followed for a year in which four sampling visits were completed. The highest detection of Salmonella was from pooled faecal dropping from pigs, run-off/ pooled water, rodents and wild birds. Descriptive summaries showed that the prevalence of both all Salmonella and serovars of public health importance were lower at all visits after the move. Some variability was shown in results from individual farms, but a year after the move, six farms still maintained a lower prevalence. A risk factor model showed that the prevalence at visits 2 and 3 after the move was significantly lower than baseline, after accounting for a number of significant factors that were included in the model. These were sample type and seasonality (included as a priori), presence of coughing in the sampled group and Glasser's disease on the farm, and the use of tent or kennel accommodation. This finding provides important evidence that more frequent site moves may help reduce Salmonella prevalence in outdoor herds.
Supernova (SN) 1987A has provided a unique opportunity to study how SN ejecta evolve in 30 years time scale. We report our ALMA spectral observations of SN 1987A, taken in 2014, 2015 and 2016, with detections of CO, 28SiO, HCO+ and SO, with weaker lines of 29SiO.
We find a dip in the SiO line profiles, suggesting that the ejecta morphology is likely elongated. The difference of the CO and SiO line profiles is consistent with hydrodynamic simulations, which show that Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities causes mixing of gas, with heavier elements much more disturbed, making more elongated structure.
Using 28SiO and its isotopologues, Si isotope ratios were estimated for the first time in SN 1987A. The estimated ratios appear to be consistent with theoretical predictions of inefficient formation of neutron rich atoms at lower metallicity, such as observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud (about half a solar metallicity).
The deduced large HCO+ mass and small SiS mass, which are inconsistent to the predictions of chemical model, might be explained by some mixing of elements immediately after the explosion. The mixing might have made some hydrogen from the envelope to sink into carbon and oxygen-rich zone during early days after the explosion, enabling the formation of a substantial mass of HCO+. Oxygen atoms may penetrate into silicon and sulphur zone, suppressing formation of SiS.
Our ALMA observations open up a new window to investigate chemistry, dynamics and explosive-nucleosynthesis in supernovae.
In August 2015 a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred following a wedding. An outbreak investigation was undertaken and a cohort study was conducted using an online survey. Of 140 guests, 134 received the survey and 113 responded (84·3% response rate). Seventy respondents met the case definition of vomiting and/or diarrhoea within 72 h of the wedding (61·9% attack rate). Fifteen exposures were associated with illness; on stratification, all were confounded by the ham hock starter. Multivariable analysis showed a significant association with exposure to ham hock (risk ratio 6·62, 95% confidence interval 2·19–20·03). Eight guests and two catering staff submitted stool samples. All tested positive for norovirus GI-6 infection, including a food handler who had vomiting less than 48 h before the wedding. A single genotype was detected among all samples, suggesting a single source of contamination. The transmission pattern suggested point-source exposure. The most plausible cause of the outbreak was transmission from an infected food handler via contaminated food. This highlights the importance of appropriate exclusions for symptomatic food handlers. Additionally, the food handler's stool sample was submitted 7 days after symptom resolution. The potential for extended viral excretion, and the extremely low infective dose of norovirus, may mean that current exclusion guidelines are not of sufficient duration.
Field experiments were conducted in Citra, FL, and Tifton, GA, to evaluate simulated drift of dicamba and 2,4-D on cotton. Drift applications were made at the sixth leaf and first square growth stages using variable and constant carrier volumes and the same herbicide rate. Drift applied using variable carrier volumes were proportionally reduced with the herbicide rate while drift applied at constant carrier volumes were all made at 140 L ha-1, regardless of herbicide rate. At 21 DAT, dicamba applied at variable carrier volumes reduced cotton heights 8% [from nontreated check (NTC)] compared to no change in height with dicamba applied at constant carrier volumes. The same effect was seen with 2,4-D applied at first square where variable carrier volumes decreased cotton heights 18% (from NTC) compared to 2% at 140 L ha-1. Cotton yields were reduced to 70% of NTC when dicamba was applied at sixth leaf at variable carrier volumes compared to 87% at constant carrier volumes. The same response was seen with 2,4-D applied at sixth leaf where variable carrier volumes reduced cotton yields to 19% of NTC compared to 32% at constant carrier volumes. Cotton injury, height, boll production, and yield were all affected by drift carrier volume. When simulating herbicide drift in the future, it is critical to use variable carrier volumes for application as constant carrier volumes have shown to decrease the amount of plant injury observed.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
The importance of PRE herbicide applications in cotton has increased since the evolution of glyphosate-resistant (GR) Palmer amaranth. Cotton producers are relying on residual herbicides for control of Palmer amaranth, as POST options are limited or ineffective. S-Metolachlor, acetochlor, fomesafen, and dicamba all provide PRE control of Palmer amaranth; however, little is known about the effect of irrigation rate on incorporation and herbicidal efficacy. In 2015, an experiment was conducted on fine sand and loamy sand soils to evaluate the influence of irrigation volume (0.0 to 12.7 mm ha−1) on Palmer amaranth control with PRE herbicides. Irrigation volume after herbicide application was significant for both S-metolachlor and acetochlor. Efficacy of S-metolachlor was greatest in plots receiving 6.4 and 12.7 mm of irrigation where Palmer amaranth biomass was reduced to 4 and 2% of a nontreated control (NTC), respectively, compared with 61% in plots with the 0-mm irrigation treatment. Palmer amaranth control by acetochlor incorporated at 3.2- to 12.7-mm irrigation did not differ but did reduce Palmer amaranth biomass compared with the 1.6-mm irrigation rate. Irrigation volume was not significant for the soil incorporation of fomesafen or dicamba. Across all herbicides, fomesafen-treated plots provided the most consistent control of Palmer amaranth, reducing its biomass to < 3% of NTC at all irrigation rates. Dicamba provided the least and most inconsistent control of Palmer amaranth, producing 17 to 51% of NTC biomass.
We present ground-based data of the BL Lac object PKS 2155-305 obtained during a large international campaign spanning the electro–magnetic spectrum from the radio waves to X-rays in November 1991. For the complete description of the observations and data analysis we refer to the paper by Courvoisier et al. 1993, and references therein. The ground-based data include radio, infrared JHKL and UBVRI fluxes as well as optical and near IR polarimetry.
The broad-band optical and near IR data from U to I exhibit the same behaviour in all bands: the flux nearly doubled over the well-covered period of 23 days. The cross-correlation function does not reveal any significant changes in the light-curves. Though significant variations in 24 hours have been recorded, the cumulated Fourier power spectrum drops to the noise level for periods shorter than 2.5 days. The spectral index remained constant.
The polarised flux varied by a larger factor than the total flux and did not follow the same pattern. The degree of polarisation and polarisation angle are nearly independent of the wavelength and are strongly correlated in all filters.
In the radio domain the spectral index increased from −0.1 on November 5 to +0.02 on 25-th.
The absence of the lag between the optical and infrared bands and the polarisation variations are consistent with a model in which the variability is caused by micro-lensing of the source (Stickel, Fried and Kühr 1988). One would, however, expect in this model that the variation in the polarisation and the total flux are tightly correlated contrary to what is observed.
The constant shape of the continuum spectral energy suggests that only the number of electrons whose emission is beamed towards the observer changes, rather than the arrival of fresh electrons that are being accelerated.
The variability of the polarisation may be explained by changes in the geometry of the magnetic field (dominant direction). This is consistent with the observed variations of the polarisation angle.
A major international effort to observe and compile the results of observations from many transit circle programs into a single catalog of positions referred to the FK4 system came to a conclusion with the completion and distribution of the Southern Reference Star (SRS) catalog of 20,488 stars. Previous discussions focussed on the adjustments to the observational material to refer it to the FK4 system and on the random errors as estimated from residual differences. In the present discussion, we give the results of internal comparisons which have been made between the individual contributing catalogs and the final combined SRS catalog. Also, results of a comparison between the SRS catalog and the AGK3R catalog are given where they overlap in the declination zone from +5 to −5 degrees. The possibility of magnitude equation and color error in the SRS catalog is discussed.
The reduction procedure used to transform the version of the SRS catalog based on the FK4/B1950.0 system to the version based on the FK5/J2000.0 system is given.
Since the discovery of fading X-rays from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with BeppoSAX (Piro et al. 1997, Costa et al. 1997), world-wide follow-up observations in optical band have achieved the fruitful results. The case of GRB 970228, there was an optical transient, coincides with the BeppoSAX position and faded (Paradijs et al. 1997, Sahu et al. 1997). These optical observations also confirmed the extended component, which was associated with the optical transient. The new transient are fading with a power-law function in time and the later observation of HST confirmed the extended emission is stable (Fruchter et al. 1997). This extended object seems to be a distant galaxy and strongly suggests to be the host.
Since the last General Assembly in Patras, Greece, we have held three meetings of the Working Group. The 10th Meeting was held in Mzkheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, USSR, hosted by their Academy of Sciences on April 3-7, 1984. All members except one, who was represented by a member of his Task Group, were present at the very productive meeting.