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The discovery of new clear windows in the Galactic plane using the VVV near-IR extinction maps allows the study of the structure of the Milky Way (MW) disk. The ultimate goal of this work is to map the spiral arms in the far side of the MW, which is a relatively unexplored region of our Galaxy, using red clump (RC) giants as distance indicators. We search for near-IR clear windows located at low Galactic latitudes (
deg) in the MW disk using the VVV near-IR extinction maps. We have identified two new windows named VVV WIN 1607–5258 and VVV WIN 1475–5877, respectively, that complement the previously known window VVV WIN 1713–3939. We analyse the distribution of RC stars in these three clear near-IR windows and measure their number density along the line of sight. This allows us to find overdensities in the distribution and measure their distances along the line of sight. We then use the VVV proper motions in order to measure the kinematics of the RC stars at different distances. We find enhancements in the distance distribution of RC giants in all the studied windows, interpreting them as the presence of spiral arms in the MW disk. These structures are absent in the current models of synthetic population for the same MW lines of sight. We were able to trace the end of the Galactic bar, the Norma arm, as well as the Scutum–Centaurus arm in the far disk. Using the VVV proper motions, we measure the kinematics for these Galactic features, confirming that they share the bulk rotation of the Galactic disk.
On coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wards, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid was frequently detected on high-touch surfaces, floors, and socks inside patient rooms. Contamination of floors and shoes was common outside patient rooms on the COVID-19 wards but decreased after improvements in floor cleaning and disinfection were implemented.
The evolution of glaciers and ice sheets depends on processes in the subglacial environment. Shear seismicity along the ice–bed interface provides a window into these processes. Such seismicity requires a rapid loss of strength that is typically ascribed to rate-weakening friction, i.e., decreasing friction with sliding or sliding rate. Many friction experiments have investigated glacial materials at the temperate conditions typical of fast flowing glacier beds. To our knowledge, however, these studies have all found rate-strengthening friction. Here, we investigate the possibility that rate-weakening rock-on-rock friction between sediments frozen to the bottom of the glacier and the underlying water-saturated sediments or bedrock may be responsible for subglacial shear seismicity along temperate glacier beds. We test this ‘entrainment-seismicity hypothesis’ using targeted laboratory experiments and simple models of glacier sliding, seismicity and sediment entrainment. These models suggest that sediment entrainment may be a necessary but not sufficient condition for the occurrence of basal shear seismicity. We propose that stagnation at the Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica may be caused by the growth of a frozen fringe of entrained sediment in the ice stream margins. Our results suggest that basal shear seismicity may indicate geomorphic activity.
Chemical weed control remains a widely used component of integrated weed management strategies because of its cost-effectiveness and rapid removal of crop pests. Additionally, dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixtures are a commonly recommended herbicide combination to combat herbicide resistance, specifically in recently commercially released dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton. However, increased spray drift concerns and antagonistic interactions require that the application process be optimized to maximize biological efficacy while minimizing environmental contamination potential. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 across three locations (Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota) for a total of six site-years. The objectives were to characterize the efficacy of a range of droplet sizes [150 µm (Fine) to 900 µm (Ultra Coarse)] using a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture and to create novel weed management recommendations utilizing pulse-width modulation (PWM) sprayer technology. Results across pooled site-years indicated that a droplet size of 395 µm (Coarse) maximized weed mortality from a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture at 94 L ha–1. However, droplet size could be increased to 620 µm (Extremely Coarse) to maintain 90% of the maximum weed mortality while further mitigating particle drift potential. Although generalized droplet size recommendations could be created across site-years, optimum droplet sizes within each site-year varied considerably and may be dependent on weed species, geographic location, weather conditions, and herbicide resistance(s) present in the field. The precise, site-specific application of a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture using the results of this research will allow applicators to more effectively utilize PWM sprayers, reduce particle drift potential, maintain biological efficacy, and reduce the selection pressure for the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.
The course of illness in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) varies significantly between patients. Little is known about factors predicting a chronic course of illness. The aim of this study is to identify factors involved in inducing and in maintaining chronicity in OCD.
The present study is embedded within the Netherlands Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Association (NOCDA) study, an ongoing multicenter naturalistic cohort study designed to identify predictors of long-term course and outcome in OCD. For this study, 270 subjects with a current diagnosis of OCD were included. Chronicity status at 2-year follow-up was regressed on a selection of baseline predictors related to OCD, to comorbidity and to stress and support.
Psychotrauma [odds ratio (OR) 1.98, confidence interval (CI) 1.22–3.22, p = 0.006], recent negative life events (OR 1.42, CI 1.01–2.01, p = 0.043), and presence of a partner (OR 0.28, CI 0.09–0.85, p = 0.025) influenced the risk of becoming chronic. Longer illness duration (OR 1.46, CI 1.08–1.96, p = 0.013) and higher illness severity (OR 1.09, CI 1.03–1.16, p = 0.003) increased the risk of remaining chronic.
External influences increase the risk of becoming chronic, whereas the factors involved in maintaining chronicity are illness-related. As the latter are potentially difficult to modify, treatment should be devoted to prevent chronicity from occurring in the first place. Therapeutic strategies aimed at alleviating stress and at boosting social support might aid in achieving this goal.
We studied neuroinflammation in individuals with late-life, depression, as a
risk factor for dementia, using [11C]PK11195 positron emission
tomography (PET). Five older participants with major depression and 13
controls underwent PET and multimodal 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
with blood taken to measure C-reactive protein (CRP). We found significantly
higher CRP levels in those with late-life depression and raised
[11C]PK11195 binding compared with controls in brain regions
associated with depression, including subgenual anterior cingulate cortex,
and significant hippocampal subfield atrophy in cornu ammonis 1 and
subiculum. Our findings suggest neuroinflammation requires further
investigation in late-life depression, both as a possible aetiological
factor and a potential therapeutic target.
Landlord satisfaction levels with agricultural land-leasing agreements are examined with a 1998 sample of Arkansas landowners. Ordered probit models are estimated identifying which factors significantly affect satisfaction levels. Results indicate that the type of lease is not a significant determinant of landlord satisfaction levels. Proportion of landlord's income from leasing, tenant educational background, social capital variables, presence of irrigation equipment, and perceptions about the FAIR Act were found to significantly affect lease satisfaction in at least one of the three satisfaction models estimated. A comparison with an earlier study of Arkansas tenants indicates landlords have generally higher satisfaction levels.
All antipsychotic medications carry warnings of increased mortality for older adults, but little is known about comparative mortality risks between individual agents.
To estimate the comparative mortality risks of commonly prescribed antipsychotic agents in older people living in the community.
A retrospective, claims-based cohort study was conducted of people over 65 years old living in the community who had been newly prescribed risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, haloperidol, aripiprazole or ziprasidone (n = 136 393). Propensity score-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models assessed the 180-day mortality risk of each antipsychotic compared with risperidone.
Risperidone, olanzapine and haloperidol showed a dose–response relation in mortality risk. After controlling for propensity score and dose, mortality risk was found to be increased for haloperidol (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.18, 95% CI 1.06–1.33) and decreased for quetiapine (HR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.73–0.89) and olanzapine (HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.74–0.90).
Significant variation in mortality risk across commonly prescribed antipsychotics suggests that antipsychotic selection and dosing may affect survival of older people living in the community.
Control of the malaria vector An. gambiae is still largely obtained through chemical intervention using pyrethroids, such as permethrin. However, strains of An. gambiae that are resistant to the toxic effects of pyrethroids have become widespread in several endemic areas over the last decade. The objective of this study was to assess differences in five life-history traits (larval developmental time and the body weight, fecundity, hatch rate, and longevity of adult females) and energy metabolism between a strain of An. gambiae that is resistant to permethrin (RSP), due to knockdown resistance and enhanced metabolic detoxification, and a permethrin susceptible strain reared under laboratory conditions. We also quantified the expression levels of five antioxidant enzyme genes: GSTe3, CAT, GPXH1, SOD1, and SOD2. We found that the RSP strain had a longer developmental time than the susceptible strain. Additionally, RSP adult females had higher wet body weight and increased water and glycogen levels. Compared to permethrin susceptible females, RSP females displayed reduced metabolic rate and mitochondrial coupling efficiency and higher mitochondrial ROS production. Furthermore, despite higher levels of GSTe3 and CAT transcripts, RSP females had a shorter adult life span than susceptible females. Collectively, these results suggest that permethrin resistance alleles might affect energy metabolism, oxidative stress, and adult survival of An. gambiae. However, because the strains used in this study differ in their genetic backgrounds, the results need to be interpreted with caution and replicated in other strains to have significant implications for malaria transmission and vector control.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
In 2008 January the 24th Chinese expedition team successfully deployed the Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) to Dome A, the highest point on the Antarctic plateau. CSTAR consists of four 14.5cm optical telescopes, each with a different filter (g, r, i and open) and has a 4.5°×4.5° field of view (FOV). Based on the CSTAR data, initial statistics of astronomical observational site quality and light curves of variable objects were obtained. To reach higher photometric quality, we are continuing to work to overcome the effects of uneven cirrus cloud cirrus, optical “ghosts” and intra-pixel sensitivity. The snow surface stability is also tested for further astronomical observational instrument and for glaciology studies.
Over the next 5 years the VVV collaboration (Vista Variable in the Via Lactea) will conduct an extensive survey of the galactic bulge and disk in the near-IR, using the new VISTA telescope. This public survey covers a field of 520 sqr. deg, including not only regions of high star formation, but also 33 known globular clusters and ~350 open clusters. The final product will be a deep IR atlas in 5 passbands for ~109 point sources among which we expect 106 variable stars. These will be produce a 3-D map of the surveyed region using well-understood primary distance indicators such as RR Lyrae stars. The observations will be combined with data from MACHO, OGLE, EROS, VST, Spitzer, HST, Chandra, Integral, and ALMA for a complete understanding of the variable sources in the inner Milky Way. Several important implications for the history of the Milky Way, for globular cluster evolution, for the population census of the bulge and center, and for the pulsation theory will follow from this survey.