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To assess extent of a healthcare-associated outbreak of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to evaluate the effectiveness of infection control measures, including universal masking.
Outbreak investigation including 4 large-scale point-prevalence surveys.
Integrated VA healthcare system with 2 facilities and 330 beds.
Index patient and 250 exposed patients and staff.
We identified exposed patients and staff and classified them as probable and confirmed cases based on symptoms and testing. We performed a field investigation and an assessment of patient and staff interactions to develop probable transmission routes. Infection prevention interventions included droplet and contact precautions, employee quarantine, and universal masking with medical and cloth face masks. We conducted 4 point-prevalence surveys of patient and staff subsets using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for SARS-CoV-2.
Among 250 potentially exposed patients and staff, 14 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were identified. Patient roommates and staff with prolonged patient contact were most likely to be infected. The last potential date of transmission from staff to patient was day 22, the day universal masking was implemented. Subsequent point-prevalence surveys in 126 patients and 234 staff identified 0 patient cases and 5 staff cases of COVID-19, without evidence of healthcare-associated transmission.
Universal masking with medical face masks was effective in preventing further spread of SARS-CoV-2 in our facility in conjunction with other traditional infection prevention measures.
The E2F transcription factor family is distributed widely in eukaryotes and has been well studied among mammals. In the present study, the E2F transcription factor 4 (E2F4) gene was isolated from fat bodies of Antheraea pernyi and sequenced. E2F4 comprised a 795 bp open reading frame encoding a deduced amino acid sequence of 264 amino acid residues. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli (Transetta DE3), and anti-E2F4 antibodies were prepared. The deduced amino acid sequence displayed significant homology to an E2F4-like protein from Bombyx mori L. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that E2F4 expression was highest in the integument, followed by the fat body, silk glands, and haemocytes. The expression of E2F4 was upregulated in larvae challenged by bacterial (Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus), viral (nuclear polyhedrosis virus), and fungal (Beauveria bassiana) pathogens. These observations indicated that E2F4 is an inducible protein in the immune response of A. pernyi and probably in other insects.
A non-destructive neutron scattering method was developed to precisely measure the uptake of total hydrogen in nuclear grade Zircaloy-4 cladding. The hydriding apparatus consists of a closed stainless steel vessel that contains Zircaloy-4 specimens and hydrogen gas. By controlling the initial hydrogen gas pressure in the vessel and the temperature profile, target hydrogen concentrations from tens of ppm to a few thousands of ppm have been successfully achieved. Following hydrogen charging, the hydrogen content of the hydrided specimens was measured using the vacuum hot extraction method (VHE), by which the samples with desired hydrogen concentration were selected for the neutron study. Small angle incoherent neutron scattering (SAINS) were performed in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Our study indicates that a very small amount (≈ 20 ppm) hydrogen in commercial Zircaloy-4 cladding can be measured very accurately in minutes for a wide range of hydrogen concentration by a nondestructive method. The hydrogen distribution in a tube sample was obtained by scaling the neutron scattering rate with a factor, which is determined by calibration process with direct chemical analysis method on the specimen. This scale factor can be used for future test with unknown hydrogen concentration, thus provide a nondestructive method for absolute hydrogen concentration determination.
There is new evidence which identifies seasonal changes of the variability time scale in intraday variable (IDV) sources with refractive interstellar scintillation effects. Such a RISS model takes the annual change of the Earth's velocity relative to the scattering medium into account. In September 1998 we found a remarkable prolongation of the variability time scale in the IDV source 0917+624 with only small variations in flux density during a period of 5 days. This was explained as a seasonal effect, in which the velocity vector of the Earth and the interstellar medium nearly cancelled. In order to further investigate the applicability of the model for 0917+624, we performed an Effelsberg 6 cm-flux monitoring program over the course of one year. Since September 2000, the source appears to be remarkably inactive and yet (May 2001) no return to its normal, faster and stronger variability pattern is observed. Here, our observational results and a possible explanation for the current quiescence are presented.
Orbital-period variations of the neglected W UMa-type binary star, NY Lyr, were analyzed based on two newly determined eclipse times together with the others compiled from the literature. A cyclic oscillation with a period of 82.1 yr and an amplitude of 0.0247 d was discovered to be superimposed on a continuous period increase (dP/dt = +1.33 × 10−7 d yr−1). After the long-term period increase and the large-amplitude cyclic oscillation were removed from the O–C diagram, the residuals suggest that there is another small-amplitude period oscillation (A4 = 0.0053 d, P4 = 19.4 years) in the orbital period changes. As in the cases of AH Cnc and AD Cnc, both the continuous period increase and the two cyclic period oscillations make NY Lyr an interesting system to study in the future. In order to understand the evolutionary state of the binary system, new photometric and spectroscopic observations and a careful investigation on those data are needed.
Large electrocaloric (EC) effects in ferroelectric polymers and in ferroelectric ceramics have attracted great attention for new refrigeration development which is more environmental friendly and more efficient and thus could be an alternative to the existing vapor-compression refrigerators which consume large energy and release large amount of green house gas. However in the past, all EC effects investigations have been focused on solid state dielectrics. It is interesting to ask whether a large EC effect can also be realized in dielectric fluids. A dielectric fluid with large EC effect could lead to new design of cooling devices with simpler structures than these based on solid state EC materials, for example, they can be utilized as both the refrigerant and heat exchange fluid. Here we present that a large EC effect can be realized in the liquid crystal (LC) 5CB near it's nematic-isotropic (N-I) phase transition. The LC 5CB possesses a large dielectric anisotropy which can induce large polarization change from the isotropic phase to the nematic phase near the N-I transition. An isothermal entropy change of more than 23 Jkg-1K-1 was observed near 39 oC that is just above the N-I transition.
In-depth analysis of eclipsing binary (EB) observational data collected for several decades can inform us about a lot of astrophysically interesting processes taking place in the systems. We have developed a wide-ranging method for the phenomenological modelling of eclipsing binary phase curves that enables us to combine even very disparate sources of phase information. This approach is appropriate for the processing of both standard photometric series of eclipses and data from photometric surveys of all kind. We conclude that mid-eclipse times, determined using the latest version of our “hi-fi” phenomenological light curve models, as well as their accuracy, are nearly the same as the values obtained using much more complex standard physical EB models.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has a major radius of R0 = 1.75 m and a midplane halfwidth of 0.5 m. It has been operated with a toroidal magnetic field B0 = 2 T and Ip ≤ 500 kA. The evolution of the plasma equilibrium is analysed between discharges by Equilibrium Fitting Code (EFIT). Limiter, single-null and double-null diverted configurations have been produced. A plasma elongation in the range 1.3 ≤ κ ≤ 1.9 and a triangularity in the range 0.1 ≤ δ ≤ 0.55 have been sustained. The operation space of elongated discharges is also presented based on the EAST database.
N-polar and Ga-polar GaN grown on c-plane sapphire by a metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system were used to fabricate platinum deposited Schottky contacts for hydrogen sensing at room temperature. Wurtzite GaN is a polar material. Along the c-axis, there are N-face (N-polar) or Ga-face (Ga-polar) orientations on the GaN surface. The Ohmic contacts were formed by lift-off of e-beam deposited Ti (200 Å)/Al (1000 Å)/Ni (400 Å)/Au (1200 Å). The contacts were annealed at 850°C for 45 s under a flowing N2 ambient. Isolation was achieved with 2000 Å plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited SiNx formed at 300°C. A 100 Å of Pt was deposited by e-beam evaporation to form Schottky contacts. After exposure to hydrogen, Ga-polar GaN Schottky showed 10% of current change, while the N-polar GaN Schottky contacts became fully Ohmic. The N-polar GaN Schottky diodes showed stronger and faster response to 4% hydrogen than that of Ga-polar GaN Schottky diodes. The abrupt current increase from N-polar GaN Schottky exposure to hydrogen was attributed to the high reactivity of the N-face surface termination. The surface termination dominates the sensitivity and response time of the hydrogen sensors made of GaN Schottky diodes. Current-voltage characteristics and the real-time detection of the sensor for hydrogen were investigated. These results demonstrate that the surface termination is crucial in the performance of hydrogen sensors made of GaN Schottky diodes.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Tissue scaffolds have recently demonstrated widespread application in injury healing due to their biomimetic properties and their structural resemblance to the extracellular matrix in cell re-growth. The investigation of cell response to biomimetic triggers provided by tissue scaffolds will greatly extend the impact of this field.
In this paper, the response of 3T3 NIH fibroblasts to 2D planar surfaces versus their response to nanofiber mat surfaces, which have 3D effects, are investigated. A difference in cell shape from triangular cell body with prominent vertices to triangular cell body with blunted vertices and increased cell-cell adhesions at such vertices was observed using fluorescent microscopy, optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy. A new and powerful atomic force microscopy technique developed by our group, Scanning Probe Recognition Microscopy, is introduced and implemented to directly recognize and auto-focus on fibroblast vertex regions.
A universal method is described to design and construct protein-nanoparticle assemblies controlled by nanoparticle functionality, and placement of genetic tag into proteins. Well-defined binding complexes of nanoparticles and two proteins, the adenovirus serotype 12 knob and the mycobacterium tuberculosis 20S proteasome, were formed through site-specific binding between 6x-histidine tags in proteins and nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid functional groups on gold nanoparticles.
Here we review recent studies on the mode of action of the cholinergic anthelmintics (levamisole, pyrantel etc.). We also include material from studies on the free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The initial notion that these drugs act on a single receptor population, while attractive, has proven to be an oversimplification. In both free living and parasitic nematodes there are multiple types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) on the somatic musculature. Each type has different (sometimes subtly so) pharmacological properties. The implications of these findings are: (1) combinations of anthelmintic that preferentially activate a broad range of nAChR types would be predicted to be more effective; (2) in resistant isolates of parasite where a subtype has been lost, other cholinergic anthelmintics may remain effective. Not only are there multiple types of nAChR, but relatively recent research has shown these receptors can be modulated; it is possible to increase the response of a parasite to a fixed concentration of drug by altering the receptor properties (e.g. phosphorylation state). These findings offer a potential means of increasing efficacy of existing compounds as an alternative to the costly and time consuming development of new anthelmintic agents.
The crystal structure of La0.67Ca0.33Mn0.80Cu0.20O3 (LCMCO) compound was determined from laboratory X-ray powder diffraction data and refined by the Rietveld method. LCMCO is isostructural with La0.67Ca0.33MnO3 (LCMO). The crystal data are: La0.64Ca0.36Mn0.82Cu0.18O3.01, Mr=843.80, orthorhombic system, space group Pnma, a=5.4364(1) Å, b=7.6725(2) Å, c=5.4452(1) Å, V=227.124(8)Å3, Z=4, Dx=6.168 g∕cm3. In comparing with the Cu-free compound, subtle structural changes such as bond lengths and bond angles found in the Cu-doped compound may be responsible for the larger effects on the transport and magnetic properties when Cu partially substitutes for Mn in CMCO.
We report a study on the properties of Ionized Metal Plasma (IMP) Ta, Ta(N) and multi-layer Ta/Ta(N) based on a comparative evaluation of their performance as diffusion barriers in Cu based metallization schemes. The film structures used in this study are: IMP Cu(2000Å)/IMP Ta(250Å)/Si; IMP Cu(2000Å)/IMP Ta(N)(250Å)/Si; and IMP Cu(2000Å)/IMP multi-layer Ta/Ta(N)(250Å)/Si. The samples were annealed in N2 ambient at 500 °C, 550°C, 600°C and 650°C, respectively, for 30 minutes. The failure behavior and film properties of different barriers were investigated using MetaPULSE, Film stress measurement (FSM), Four-point probe (FPP), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It has been observed clearly from the sheet resistance measurements that failures of Ta(N) and Ta barriers occurred at 550°C and 600°C respectively, whereas the multi-layer Ta/Ta(N) could still survive from the annealing up to 650°C. Evidence showing the formation of Cu3Si in the failed film stacks was found from XRD spectra. Based on our studies, it can be concluded that microstructures of the barriers has the major effects on preventing Cu from diffusing through them to react with Si and this makes the multi-layer Ta/Ta(N), in overall, superior to the other two Ta and Ta(N) barriers.
Up to 47 mass% of gadolinium can be dissolved in a baseline borosilicate glass (mol%) 20 B2O3, 5 A12O3, 60 SiO2, and 20 Na2O. Understanding the dissolution of Gd in borosilicate melts is important in the optimization of glass formulations. However, probing amorphous materials with spectroscopic techniques is challenging research when little knowledge of the local chemical environment of the glass network is available. Electron energy loss fine structure (ELFS) spectroscopy is one available technique that has several advantages for probing the local structure of amorphous materials. This technique gives local atomic structure information equally well for both amorphous and crystalline materials. There is high sensitivity for low Z elements like boron, oxygen, aluminum, and silicon whereas x-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) technique faces experimental difficulties. Hence, results from ELFS can be complimentary to the results from XAFS. For medium to high Z elements, one can use the L- or M-edges of the elemental spectrum.
A bulk sample of La0.6Mg0.4MnO3 has been prepared from coprecipitated carbonate precursor for the first time in this study. Structure analysis conducted by powder x-ray diffraction indicates that the sample is in the cubic perovskite phase. It shows a metal-insulator transition at 115 K (Tp) When applied to an external field, GMR effects are observed in the whole measured temperature range. The maximum negative MR value reaches as large as 480% at 105 K and 5 T. There may be two different mechanisms governing the GMR effects in the sample for the temperatures below and above Tp.
Nanoclusters of Ag metal in MgO(100) single crystals was formed by implantation of 1.5 MeV silver ions at fluences of 6 x 1016 ion/cm2 and at 1.2 x 1017 ion/cm2, and subsequent annealing at temperatures between 600°C to 1100°C. The formation of the Ag metallic clusters was confirmed using optical absorption spectrophotometry by the absorption band at 430 nm. This is in agreement with the theoretical prediction using Mie's theory, with calculated average nanocluster size about 3 nm. Using ion channeling we confirmed that the orientation of the Ag nanoclusters was in the same direction of the host crystal. Using Z-scan we found the nonlinear refractive index of Ag implanted MgO to be 4.9 x 10-8 esu.
The surface structure of organometallic vapor phase epitaxy (OMVPE) grown α-GaN films was investigated using optical and scanning force microscopy (SFM). Optical microscopy shows that the surface is decorated with several different types of faceted features that have lateral dimensions of 10 to 75 μm and occur with a density of approximately 104/cm2. SFM images show that on the flat regions of the surface, single diatomic layer steps, 2.6 Å high, are straight, evenly spaced (at 500 to 1500 Å intervals), and oriented along á101ñ directions. The SFM images also show that the regular step patterns are often interrupted by faceted growth hillocks, 0.8 to 5 μm in diameter and 120 to 400 Å high, that occur with a density of 106/cm2. An open-core screw dislocation with a Burgers vector of 5.2 Å occurs at the center of each hillock and is a source for spiral steps. Other dislocations are also observed to intersect the flat regions of the surface and create a step, but these have smaller Burgers vectors, do not form spirals, and do not have open cores. Based on these observations, we conclude that thick OMVPE GaN films grow by a combination of the layer-by-layer and spiral growth mechanisms.
We have deposited unhydrogenated diamond-like carbon (DLC) films with 100 femtosecond laser pulses, at intensities in the 3x1014 - 6.5x1015 W/cm2 range. Film surface topography, optical property, and bonding structure were examined, respectively, with atomic force microscopy (AFM), spectroscopie ellipsometry (SE) and Raman spectrometry. The femtosecond pulse generated plasma was studied through time-of-flight (TOF) experiment. The most probable kinetic energy of carbon ions was estimated to be in the 300 – 2000 eV range, increasing with laser intensity. In addition, a unique ‘suprathermal’ component with kinetic energy ranging from 4 to 40 keV was observed in the TOF spectrum. This high energy peak is believed to originate from fast ions in a solid density plasma created during the absorption of each femtosecond laser pulse.