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This paper describes the epidemiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Northern Ireland (NI) between 26 February 2020 and 26 April 2020, and analyses enhanced surveillance and contact tracing data collected between 26 February 2020 and 13 March 2020 to estimate secondary attack rates (SAR) and relative risk of infection among different categories of contacts of individuals with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Our results show that during the study period COVID-19 cumulative incidence and mortality was lower in NI than the rest of the UK. Incidence and mortality were also lower than in the Republic of Ireland (ROI), although these observed differences are difficult to interpret given considerable differences in testing and surveillance between the two nations. SAR among household contacts was 15.9% (95% CI 6.6%–30.1%), over 6 times higher than the SAR among ‘high-risk’ contacts at 2.5% (95% CI 0.9%–5.4%). The results from logistic regression analysis of testing data on contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases show that household contacts had 11.0 times higher odds (aOR: 11.0, 95% CI 1.7–70.03, P-value: 0.011) of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to other categories of contacts. These results demonstrate the importance of the household as a locus of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and the urgency of identifying effective interventions to reduce household transmission.
To critically review the literature regarding workplace breast-feeding interventions and to assess their impact on breast-feeding indicators.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. Electronic searches for workplace intervention studies to support breast-feeding, without restriction on language or study design, were performed in PubMed, CENTRAL, CINAHL, Embase, Web of Science, Business Source Complete, ProQuest-Sociology and ProQuest-Social Science to 13 April 2020. A meta-analysis of the pooled effect of the programmes on breast-feeding indicators was conducted.
The search identified 10 215 articles; fourteen studies across eighteen publications met eligibility criteria. Programmes were delivered in the USA (n 10), Turkey (n 2), Thailand (n 1) or Taiwan (n 1). There were no randomised controlled trials. The pooled OR for exclusive breast-feeding at 3 or 6 months for participants v. non-participants of three non-randomised controlled studies was 3·21 (95 % CI 1·70, 6·06, I2 = 22 %). Despite high heterogeneity, other pooled outcomes were consistently in a positive direction with acceptable CI. Pooled mean duration of breast-feeding for five single-arm studies was 9·16 months (95 % CI 8·25, 10·07). Pooled proportion of breast-feeding at 6 months for six single-arm studies was 0·76 (95 % CI 0·66, 0·84) and breast-feeding at 12 months for three single-arm studies was 0·41 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·62). Most programmes were targeted at mothers; two were targeted at expectant fathers.
Workplace programmes may be effective in promoting breast-feeding among employed mothers and partners of employed fathers. However, no randomised controlled trials were identified, and better-quality research on workplace interventions to improve breast-feeding is needed.
This article reviews the advancements and prospects of liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and analysis methods in understanding the nucleation, growth, etching, and assembly dynamics of nanocrystals. The bonding of atoms into nanoscale crystallites produces materials with nonadditive properties unique to their size and geometry. The recent application of in situ liquid cell TEM to nanocrystal development has initiated a paradigm shift, (1) from trial-and-error synthesis to a mechanistic understanding of the “synthetic reactions” responsible for the emergence of crystallites from a disordered soup of reactive species (e.g., ions, atoms, molecules) and shape-defined growth or etching; and (2) from post-processing characterization of the nanocrystals’ superlattice assemblies to in situ imaging and mapping of the fundamental interactions and energy landscape governing their collective phase behaviors. Imaging nanocrystal formation and assembly processes on the single-particle level in solution immediately impacts many existing fields, including materials science, nanochemistry, colloidal science, biology, environmental science, electrochemistry, mineralization, soft condensed-matter physics, and device fabrication.
Liquid phase electron microscopy is a new analytical method that has opened up a rapidly emerging field of research during the past decade. This article discusses this new microscopy modality within the context of imaging eukaryotic cells, bacteria, proteins, viruses, and biomineralization processes. The obtained resolution is typically not a function of the instrument, rather it is limited by the available electron dose within the limit of radiation damage. Therefore, different types of samples are best imaged with different electron microscopy (EM) modalities. The obtained information differs from that acquired with conventional EM as well as cryo-electron microscopy. This article gives an overview of achievements thus far in this area and the unique information that has been obtained. A discussion on potential future developments in the field, and technological advancements required to reach those goals conclude the article.
Insights into the dynamics of electrochemical processes are critically needed to improve our fundamental understanding of electron, charge, and mass transfer mechanisms and reaction kinetics that influence a broad range of applications, from the functionality of electrical energy-storage and conversion devices (e.g., batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors), to materials degradation issues (e.g., corrosion and oxidation), and materials synthesis (e.g., electrodeposition). To unravel these processes, in situ electrochemical scanning/transmission electron microscopy (ec-S/TEM) was developed to permit detailed site-specific characterization of evolving electrochemical processes that occur at electrode–electrolyte interfaces in their native electrolyte environment, in real time and at high-spatial resolution. This approach utilizes “closed-form” microfabricated electrochemical cells that couple the capability for quantitative electrochemical measurements with high spatial and temporal resolution imaging, spectroscopy, and diffraction. In this article, we review the state-of-the-art instrumentation for in situ ec-S/TEM and how this approach has resulted in new observations of electrochemical processes.
Liquid phase (or liquid cell) transmission electron microscopy (LP-TEM) has been established as a powerful tool for observing dynamic processes in liquids at nanometer to atomic length scales. However, the simple act of observation using electrons irreversibly alters the nature of the sample. A clear understanding of electron-beam-driven processes during LP-TEM is required to interpret in situ observations and utilize the electron beam as a stimulus to drive nanoscale dynamic processes. In this article, we discuss recent advances toward understanding, quantifying, mitigating, and harnessing electron-beam-driven chemical processes occurring during LP-TEM. We highlight progress in several research areas, including modeling electron-beam-induced radiolysis near interfaces, electron-beam-induced nanocrystal formation, and radiation damage of soft materials and biomolecules.
Liquid phase (also called “liquid cell”) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a powerful platform for nanoscale imaging and characterization of physical and chemical processes of materials in liquids. It is a direct approach to address critical scientific questions on how materials form or transform in response to external stimuli, such as changes in chemical potential, applied electric bias, and interactions with other materials or their environment. Answers to these questions are essential for understanding and controlling nanoscale materials properties and advancing their applications. With the recent technical advances in TEM, such as the development of sample stages, detectors, and image processing toolkits, liquid phase TEM is transforming our ability to characterize materials and revolutionizing our understanding of many fundamental processes in materials science and other fields. In this article, we briefly review the current status, challenges, and opportunities in liquid phase TEM. More details of the development and applications of liquid cell TEM are discussed in the articles in this issue of MRS Bulletin.
Ammonia can supplement hydrogen gas as a clean fuel to combat climate change. It overcomes hindrances that currently impede the realization of the full potential of hydrogen gas, including economical storage, political commitment, and safety concerns.
Liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has become an essential tool for studying the structure and properties of both hard and soft condensed-matter samples, as well as liquids themselves. Liquid cell sample holders, often consisting of two thin window layers separating the liquid sample from the high vacuum of the microscope column, have been designed to control in situ conditions, including temperature, voltage/current, or flow through the window region. While high-resolution and time-resolved TEM imaging probes the structure, shape, and dynamics of liquid cell samples, information about the chemical composition and spatially resolved bonding is often difficult to obtain due to the liquid thickness, the window layers, the holder configuration, or beam-induced radiolysis. In this article, we review different approaches to quantitative liquid cell electron microscopy, including recent developments to perform energy-dispersive x-ray and electron energy-loss spectroscopy experiments on samples in a liquid environment or the liquid itself. We also cover graphene liquid cells and other ultrathin window layer holders.
Space exemplifies the ultimate test-bed environment for any materials technology. The harsh conditions of space, with extreme temperature changes, lack of gravity and atmosphere, intense solar and cosmic radiation, and mechanical stresses of launch and deployment, represent a multifaceted set of challenges. The materials we engineer must not only meet these challenges, but they need to do so while keeping overall mass to a minimum and guaranteeing performance over long periods of time with no opportunity for repair. Nanophotonic materials—materials that embody structural variations on a scale comparable to the wavelength of light—offer opportunities for addressing some of these difficulties. Here, we examine how advances in nanophotonics and nanofabrication are enabling ultrathin and lightweight structures with unparalleled ability to shape light–matter interactions over a broad electromagnetic spectrum. From solar panels that can be fabricated in space to applications of light for propulsion, the next generation of lightweight and multifunctional photonic materials stands to both impact existing technologies and pave the way for new space technologies.