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In Germany, Eastern regions had a mild first wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from March to May 2020, but were badly hit by a second wave later in autumn and winter. It is unknown how the second wave was initiated and developed in Eastern Germany where the number of COVID-19 cases was close to zero in June and July 2020. We used genomic epidemiology to investigate the dynamic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage development across the first and second waves in Eastern Germany. With detailed phylogenetic analyses we could show that SARS-CoV-2 lineages prevalent in the first and second waves in Eastern Germany were different, with several new variants including four predominant lineages in the second wave, having been introduced into Eastern Germany between August and October 2020. The results indicate that the major driving force behind the second wave was the introduction of new variants.
We evaluated the effects of partly substituting lard with marine n-3 fatty acids (FA) on body composition and weight, adipose tissue distribution and gene expression in five adipose depots of male Wistar rats fed a high-fat diet. Rats were fed diets including lard (19·5 % lard) or n-3 FA (9·1 % lard and 10·4 % Triomar™) for 7 weeks. Feed consumption and weight gain were similar, whereas plasma lipid concentrations were lower in the n-3 FA group. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed smaller visceral (mesenteric, perirenal and epididymal) adipose depots in the n-3 FA-fed animals (35, 44 and 32 % reductions, respectively). n-3 FA feeding increased mRNA expression of cytokines as well as chemokines in several adipose depots. Expression of Adipoq and Pparg was enhanced in the mesenteric adipose depots of the n-3 FA-fed rats, and fasting plasma insulin levels were lowered. Expression of the lipogenic enzymes Acaca and Fasn was increased in the visceral adipose depots, whereas Dgat1 was reduced in the perirenal and epididymal depots. Cpt2 mRNA expression was almost doubled in the mesenteric depot and liver. Carcass analyses showed similar body fat (%) in the two feeding groups, indicating that n-3 FA feeding led to redistribution of fat away from the visceral compartment.
To describe an outbreak of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)–producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in the intensive care units (ICUs) of a hospital and the impact of routine and reinforced infection control measures on interrupting nosocomial transmission.
A 31-bed intensive care department (composed of 4 ICUs) in a university hospital in Belgium.
After routine infection control measures (based on biweekly surveillance cultures and contact precautions) failed to interrupt a 2-month outbreak of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, reinforced infection control measures were implemented. The frequency of surveillance cultures was increased to daily sampling. Colonized patients were moved to a dedicated 6-bed ICU, where they received cohorted care with the support of additional nurses. Two beds were closed to new admissions in the intensive care department. Meetings between the ICU and infection control teams were held every day. Postdischarge disinfection of rooms was enforced. Broad-spectrum antibiotic use was discouraged.
Compared with a baseline rate of 0.44 cases per 1,000 patient-days for nosocomial transmission, the incidence peaked at 11.57 cases per 1,000 patient-days (October and November 2005; rate ratio for peak vs baseline, 25.46). The outbreak involved 30 patients, of whom 9 developed an infection. Bacterial genotyping disclosed that the outbreak was polyclonal, with 1 predominant genotype. Reinforced infection control measures lasted for 50 days. After the implementation of these measures, the incidence fell to 0.08 cases per 1,000 patient-days (rate ratio for after the outbreak vs during the outbreak, 0.11).
These data indicate that, in an intensive care department in which routine screening and contact precautions failed to prevent and interrupt an outbreak of ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae, reinforced infection control measures controlled the outbreak without major disruption of medical care.
A high density of planar defects is observed by scanning and
transmission electron microscopy in wafers cut from 4H-SiC
crystals containing nitrogen above about
2 × 1019 cm−3 and heat treated at 1100 °C.
All of the planar defects observed by high-resolution transmission
electron microscopy have the same structure comprising six Si-C
bilayers in cubic stacking sequence. Such a lamella can originate
from two stacking faults in neighbouring basal planes and is
therefore called double stacking fault. The recently proposed
quantum well model of the electronic structure of the double
stacking faults is used to explain the characteristic luminescence
band at about 500 nm and the strong anisotropy of the electrical
resistivity in the heavily doped, heat treated wafers.
Integrated plastic circuits (IPCs) will become an integral component of future low cost electronics. For low cost processes IPCs have to be made of all-polymer Transistors. We present our recent results on fabrication of Organic Field-Effect Transistors (OFETs) and integrated inverters. Top-gate transistors were fabricated using polymer semiconductors and insulators. The source-drain structures were defined by standard lithography of Au on a flexible plastic film, and on top of these electrodes, poly(3-alkylthiophene) (P3AT) as semiconductor, and poly(4-hydroxystyrene) (PHS) as insulator were homogeneously deposited by spin-coating. The gate electrodes consist of metal contacts. With this simple set-up, the transistors exhibit excellent electric performance with a high source-drain current at source - drain and gate voltages below 30V. The characteristics show very good saturation behaviour for low biases and are comparable to results published for precursor pentacene. With this setup we obtain a mobility of 0.2cm2/Vs for P3AT. Furthermore, we discuss organic integrated inverters exhibiting logic capability. All devices show shelf-lives of several months without encapsulation.
Sublimation growth of 6H-SiC has been studied with respect to surface morphology, growth temperature, supersaturation and growth rate. Growth was performed on the C-terminated face of 6H seeds mainly and for comparison also the Si-terminated face was used. Step bunching is observed dependent on different parameters and is strongly influenced by the seed orientation. The growth rate of 4H on the C-face is found to be higher than the rate of 6H grown on the Siface.
Dehydrin and QP47, proteins present in mature pea seeds (Pisum sativum), have been proposed to play protective roles during desiccation. To identify possible relationships between these proteins and desiccation tolerance, their tissue locations and patterns of synthesis and degradation have been examined during germination. Tissue locations were determined by immunocytochemistry using polyclonal antibodies raised against a conserved dehydrin amino acid sequence and against purified QP47. In embryonic axis and cotyledon cells, QP47 and dehydrin were distributed uniformly with no apparent nuclear or organellar specificity. Both proteins were present in 24 h-imbibed axes that had not initiated radicle growth but were completely absent from 24 h-imbibed axes that had begun to grow. The amounts of QP47 and dehydrin in embryonic axes decreased with time after the start of imbibition and were undetectable by 48 h. When germination was prevented by polyethylene glycol (PEG) or abscisic acid (ABA), both proteins remained at their original amounts. Thus, both QP47 and dehydrin disappeared coincidently with the beginning of growth and not simply as a function of the time after imbibition. QP47 persisted in cotyledons until at least 31 days into seedling growth, whereas dehydrin was not detectable in cotyledons after 7 days. Dehydrin, but not QP47, could be re-induced in pea shoots and cotyledons by dehydration. The timing of degradation of both proteins was correlated with the loss of desiccation tolerance during germination of pea axes.
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