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Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
Background: Diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) tractography is commonly used in neurosurgical practice, but is largely limited to the preoperative setting. This is due primarily to image degradation caused by susceptibility artifact when conventional single-shot (SS) echo-planar imaging DTI is acquired for open cranial, surgical position intraoperative DTI (iDTI). A novel, artifact-resistant, readout-segmented (RS) DTI has not yet been evaluated in the intraoperative MRI (iMRI) environment. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of RS-DTI versus SS-DTI for intraoperative white matter imaging. Methods: Pre- and intraoperative 3T, T1-weighted and DTI (RS-iDTI and SS-iDTI) in 22 adults undergoing intraaxial iMRI resections (low-grade glioma: 14, 64%; high-grade glioma: 7, 32%; cortical dysplasia: 1). Regional susceptibility artifact, anatomical deviation relative to T1WI, and tractographic output were compared between iDTI sequences. Results: RS-iDTI resulted in less regional susceptibility artifact and mean anatomic deviation (RS-iDTI: 2.7±0.2 mm versus SS-iDTI 7.5±0.4 mm; p<0.0001). Tractographic failure occurred in 8/22 (36%) patients for SS-iDTI whereas RS-iDTI permitted successful reconstruction in 4 of these 8. Maximal tractographic differences between DTI sequences were substantial (mean 9.7±5.7 mm). Conclusions: Readout-segmented EPI enables higher quality and more accurate DTI for surgically relevant tractography of major white matter tracts in intraoperative, open cranium, neurosurgical applications at 3T.
The effects of high-Z dopant on the laser-driven ablative Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI) are investigated by theoretical analysis and radiation hydrodynamics simulations. It is found that the oscillation amplitude of ablative RMI depends on the ablation velocity, the blow-off plasma velocity and the post-shock sound speed. Owing to enhancing the radiation at the plasma corona and increasing the radiation temperature at the ablation front, the high-Z dopant in plastic target can significantly increase the ablation velocity and the blow-off plasma velocity, leading to an increase in oscillation frequency and a reduction in oscillation amplitude of the ablative RMI. The high-Z dopant in plastic target is beneficial to reduce the seed of ablative Rayleigh–Taylor instability. These results are helpful for the design of direct drive inertial confinement fusion capsules.
Vibrio cholerae O139 emerged as a causative agent of epidemic cholera in 1992 in India and Bangladesh, and was subsequently reported in China in 1993. The genetic relatedness and molecular characteristics of V. cholerae O139 in Guangdong Province, located in the southern coastal area of China, remains undetermined. In this study, we investigated 136 clinical V. cholerae O139 isolates from 1993 to 2013 in Guangdong. By conventional PCR, 123 (90·4%) isolates were positive for ctxB, ace and zot. Sequencing of the positive amplicons indicated 113 (91·7%) isolates possessed the El Tor allele of ctxB (genotype 3); seven carried the classical ctxB type (genotype 1) and three harboured a novel ctxB type (genotype 5). With respect to tcpA, 123 (90·4%) isolates were positive for the El Tor allele. In addition, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (with NotI digestion) differentiated the isolates into clusters A and B. Cluster A contained seven of the non-toxigenic isolates from 1998 to 2000; another six non-toxigenic isolates (from 1998 and 2007) and all of the toxigenic isolates formed cluster B. Our results suggest that over a 20-year period, the predominant O139 clinical isolates have maintained a relatively tight clonal structure, although some genetic variance and shift has occurred. Our data highlight the persistence of toxigenic V. cholerae O139 in clinical settings in the southern coastal area of China.
We conducted a systematic review to compare resistance to third-generation cephalosporins (TGCs) in Shigella strains between Europe-America and Asia-Africa from 1998 to 2012 based on a literature search of computerized databases. In Asia-Africa, the prevalence of resistance of total and different subtypes to ceftriaxone, cefotaxime and ceftazidime increased markedly, with a total prevalence of resistance up to 14·2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 3·9–29·4], 22·6% (95% CI 4·8–48·6) and 6·2% (95% CI 3·8–9·1) during 2010–2012, respectively. By contrast, resistance rates to these TGCs in Europe-America remained relatively low – less than 1·0% during the 15 years. A noticeable finding was that certain countries both in Europe-America and Asia-Africa, had a rapid rising trend in the prevalence of resistance of S. sonnei, which even outnumbered S. flexneri in some periods. Moreover, comparison between countries showed that currently the most serious problem concerning resistance to these TGCs appeared in Vietnam, especially for ceftriaxone, China, especially for cefotaxime and Iran, especially for ceftazidime. These data suggest that monitoring of the drug resistance of Shigella strains should be strengthened and that rational use of antibiotics is required.
Exposure to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is an important risk factor for impaired learning and memory, particularly in males. Although the basis of IUGR-associated learning and memory dysfunction is unknown, potential molecular participants may be insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1) and its receptor, IGF1r. We hypothesized that transcript levels and protein abundance of Igf1 and IGF1r in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory, would be lower in IUGR male rats than in age-matched male controls at birth (postnatal day 0, P0), at weaning (P21) and adulthood (P120). We also hypothesized that changes in messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcript levels and protein abundance would be associated with specific histone marks in IUGR male rats. Lastly, we hypothesized that IUGR male rats would perform poorer on tests of hippocampal function at P120. IUGR was induced by bilateral ligation of the uterine arteries in pregnant dams at embryonic day 19 (term is 21 days). Hippocampal Igf1 mRNA transcript levels and protein abundance were unchanged in IUGR male rats at P0, P21 or P120. At P0 and P120, IGF1r expression was increased in IUGR male rats. At P21, IGF1r expression was decreased in IUGR male rats. Increased IGF1r expression was associated with more histone 3 lysine 4 dimethylation (H3K4Me2) in the promoter region. In addition, IUGR male rats performed poorer on intermediate-term spatial working memory testing at P120. We speculate that altered IGF1r expression in the hippocampus of IUGR male rats may play a role in learning and memory dysfunction later in life.
An attenuated strain of Salmonella typhimurium has been used as a carrier for oral and intranasal genetic immunization. Here, we evaluate the efficacy of a vaccine strain of S. typhimurium. CSO22 (pGM-CSF/SS, plasmid granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor/somatostatin) expressing two copies of SS genes. A total of 115 piglets, aged 2 months old, were either orally or intranasally immunized against the vaccine strain CSO22 (pGM-CSF/SS) with three dosages (5 × 1010 colony forming units (CFU), 5 × 109 CFU and 5 × 108 CFU). For oral immunization, the specific anti-SS antibodies were detected in the immunized piglets. The levels of SS antibodies in the high-dose immunized group (5 × 1010 CFU) were significantly higher than that in the phosphate buffered saline immunized group (P < 0.01) and 40% of animals were positive in SS antibodies in the high-dose immunized group. Moreover, the weight gain of the high-dose group was increased by 20.86%, 10.26% and 15.30% during 4, 8 and 12 weeks, respectively, after immunization in comparison to the control. For intranasal immunization, the growth of the low-dose group was increased by 10.23% in the whole test period (12 weeks). In conclusion, our results suggest that the recombinant strain could elicit anti-SS antibodies and improve the growth performance of immunized piglets, and that the oral immunization program is better than the intranasal program.
We evaluate the probe forming capability of a JEOL 2200FS transmission electron microscope equipped with a spherical aberration (Cs) probe corrector. The achievement of a real space sub-Angstrom (0.1 nm) probe for scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) imaging is demonstrated by acquisition and modeling of high-angle annular dark-field STEM images. We show that by optimizing the illumination system, large probe currents and large collection angles for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) can be combined to yield EELS fine structure data spatially resolved to the atomic scale. We demonstrate the probe forming flexibility provided by the additional lenses in the probe corrector in several ways, including the formation of nanometer-sized parallel beams for nanoarea electron diffraction, and the formation of focused probes for convergent beam electron diffraction with a range of convergence angles. The different probes that can be formed using the probe corrected STEM opens up new applications for electron microscopy and diffraction.
FePt:C films were prepared by filtered vacuum arc deposition. A strong
dependence of coercivity and ordering of the face-central tetragonal
structure on both C concentration and annealing temperature was observed.
With C concentration of 21%, the sample with a coercivity of 5.7 kOe was
obtained when annealing temperature was only 350 °C. Transmission
electron microscope observations revealed that FePt grains with an average
size of 4.1 nm were embedded in C and appeared to be well isolated.
A description is given of the profiling of CVD grown 3C SiC on undulant (001) Si using low temperature photoluminescence (LTPL). Inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and X-ray Raman scattering (XRS) are compared for acoustical modes of 4H SiC. Schottky barrier heights are obtained for 4H and 6H SiC on different crystal faces using three different measuring techniques. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to display a variety of porous SiC morphologies achieved in n-type and p-type SiC.
This paper is intended to be the introduction to the “CHARACTERIZATION” section of this volume. To serve this purpose we illustrate the subject matter with new results using four distinct experimental techniques.
Retrotransposons and retroviruses replicate by
reverse transcription of an mRNA intermediate. Most retroelements
initiate reverse transcription from a host-encoded tRNA
primer. DNA synthesis typically extends from the 3′-OH
of the acceptor stem, which is complementary to sequences
on the retroelement mRNA (the primer binding site, PBS).
However, for some retrotransposons, including the yeast
Ty5 elements, sequences in the anticodon stem-loop of the
initiator methionine tRNA (IMT) are complementary to the
PBS. We took advantage of the genetic tractability of the
yeast system to investigate the mechanism of Ty5 priming.
We found that transposition frequencies decreased at least
800-fold for mutations in the Ty5 PBS that disrupt complementarity
with the IMT. Similarly, transposition was reduced at least
200-fold for IMT mutations in the anticodon stem-loop.
Base pairing between the Ty5 PBS and IMT is essential for
transposition, as compensatory changes that restored base
pairing between the two mutant RNAs restored transposition
significantly. An analysis of 12 imt mutants with
base changes outside of the region of complementarity failed
to identify other tRNA residues important for transposition.
In addition, assays carried out with heterologous IMTs
from Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Arabidopsis
thaliana indicated that residues outside of the anticodon
stem-loop have at most a fivefold effect on transposition.
Our genetic system should make it possible to further define
the components required for priming and to understand the
mechanism by which Ty5's novel primer is generated.
This communication describes a new method for producing stable, high concentrations of Sc2+ in optically clear CaF2 crystals. We have achieved Sc2+ concentrations as high as 3 × 1018 cm−3 without degradation of optical quality. We have converted as much as 5% of the scandium dopant to the divalent state. The concentration of divalent scandium is stable during room temperature storage for periods of at least one year.
The unloading of an indentation provides information about the shape of the indentation and the elastic properties of the materials. The assumptions of axisymmetry and material isotropy are critically examined, and a model for transversely isotropic materials is compared to measurements on single crystals. The methods used to infer the area of the indentation from the unloading curve are examined. The area is a fundamental value for the determination of hardness, modulus, and other mechanical properties in the so-called nano-indentor and other continuously monitored indentor techniques. The models of elastic recovery which are currently used are found to lack the flexibility to model the parameters which determine indentation depth. If the current self-consistent model is extended to cover the important aspects of the unloading, the area of the indentation is still not determined uniquely. Guidelines for further development of a unique model are suggested.
The resistive transition of a preferentially oriented thin film of Y2Ba4Cu8O16‐δ has been measured in fields up to 20 T oriented parallel to the c‐axis. The data can be analysed in terms of thermally activated flux flow and flux pinning due to dislocation lines. The analysis yields the upper critical field Bc2 which shows an unusual upward curvature at low temperatures. Furthermore an estimate can be made of the correlation length Lc of the flux line lattice in the field direction. Lc is found to be very small, however, remaining larger than the Cu02 plane distance.
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