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Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
An obesity paradox has been proposed in many conditions including HIV. Studies conducted to investigate obesity and its effect on HIV disease progression have been inconclusive and are lacking for African settings. This study investigated the relationship between overweight/obesity (BMI≥25 kg/m2) and HIV disease progression in HIV+ asymptomatic adults not on antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Botswana over 18 months. A cohort study in asymptomatic, ART-naïve, HIV+ adults included 217 participants, 139 with BMI of 18·0–24·9 kg/m2 and seventy-eight participants with BMI≥25 kg/m2. The primary outcome was time to event (≥25 % decrease in cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) cell count) during 18 months of follow-up; secondary outcomes were time to event of CD4 cell count<250 cells/µl and AIDS-defining conditions. Proportional survival hazard models were used to compare hazard ratios (HR) on time to events of HIV disease progression over 18 months. Higher baseline BMI was associated with significantly lower risk of an AIDS-defining condition during the follow-up (HR 0·218; 95 % CI 0·068, 0·701; P=0·011). Higher fat mass at baseline was also significantly associated with decreased risk of AIDS-defining conditions during the follow-up (HR 0·855; 95 % CI 0·741, 0·987; P=0·033) and the combined outcome of having CD4 cell count≤250/µl and AIDS-defining conditions, whichever occurred earlier (HR 0·918; 95 % CI 0·847, 0·994; P=0·036). All models were adjusted for covariates. Higher BMI and fat mass among the HIV-infected, ART-naïve participants were associated with slower disease progression. Mechanistic research is needed to evaluate the association between BMI, fat mass and HIV disease progression.