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The U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) has been a leader in weed science research covering topics ranging from the development and use of integrated weed management (IWM) tactics to basic mechanistic studies, including biotic resistance of desirable plant communities and herbicide resistance. ARS weed scientists have worked in agricultural and natural ecosystems, including agronomic and horticultural crops, pastures, forests, wild lands, aquatic habitats, wetlands, and riparian areas. Through strong partnerships with academia, state agencies, private industry, and numerous federal programs, ARS weed scientists have made contributions to discoveries in the newest fields of robotics and genetics, as well as the traditional and fundamental subjects of weed–crop competition and physiology and integration of weed control tactics and practices. Weed science at ARS is often overshadowed by other research topics; thus, few are aware of the long history of ARS weed science and its important contributions. This review is the result of a symposium held at the Weed Science Society of America’s 62nd Annual Meeting in 2022 that included 10 separate presentations in a virtual Weed Science Webinar Series. The overarching themes of management tactics (IWM, biological control, and automation), basic mechanisms (competition, invasive plant genetics, and herbicide resistance), and ecosystem impacts (invasive plant spread, climate change, conservation, and restoration) represent core ARS weed science research that is dynamic and efficacious and has been a significant component of the agency’s national and international efforts. This review highlights current studies and future directions that exemplify the science and collaborative relationships both within and outside ARS. Given the constraints of weeds and invasive plants on all aspects of food, feed, and fiber systems, there is an acknowledged need to face new challenges, including agriculture and natural resources sustainability, economic resilience and reliability, and societal health and well-being.
Archival charcoal tree-ring segments from the Mississippian center of Kincaid Mounds provide chronometric information for the history of this important site. However, charcoal recovered from Kincaid was originally treated with a paraffin consolidant, a once common practice in American archaeology. This paper presents data on the efficacy of a solvent pretreatment protocol and new wiggle-matched 14C dates from the largest mound (Mound 10) at Kincaid. FTIR and 14C analysis on known-age charcoal intentionally contaminated with paraffin, as well as archaeological material, show that a chloroform pretreatment is effective at removing paraffin contamination. Wiggle-matched cutting dates from the final construction episodes on Mound 10 at Kincaid, indicate that the mound was used in the late 1300s with the construction of a unique structure on the apex occurring around 1390. This study demonstrates the potential for museum collections of archaeological charcoal to contribute high-resolution chronological information despite past conservation practices that complicate 14C dating.
An early economic evaluation to inform the translation into clinical practice of a spectroscopic liquid biopsy for the detection of brain cancer. Two specific aims are (1) to update an existing economic model with results from a prospective study of diagnostic accuracy and (2) to explore the potential of brain tumor-type predictions to affect patient outcomes and healthcare costs.
A cost-effectiveness analysis from a UK NHS perspective of the use of spectroscopic liquid biopsy in primary and secondary care settings, as well as a cost–consequence analysis of the addition of tumor-type predictions was conducted. Decision tree models were constructed to represent simplified diagnostic pathways. Test diagnostic accuracy parameters were based on a prospective validation study. Four price points (GBP 50-200, EUR 57-228) for the test were considered.
In both settings, the use of liquid biopsy produced QALY gains. In primary care, at test costs below GBP 100 (EUR 114), testing was cost saving. At GBP 100 (EUR 114) per test, the ICER was GBP 13,279 (EUR 15,145), whereas at GBP 200 (EUR 228), the ICER was GBP 78,300 (EUR 89,301). In secondary care, the ICER ranged from GBP 11,360 (EUR 12,956) to GBP 43,870 (EUR 50,034) across the range of test costs.
The results demonstrate the potential for the technology to be cost-effective in both primary and secondary care settings. Additional studies of test use in routine primary care practice are needed to resolve the remaining issues of uncertainty—prevalence in this patient population and referral behavior.
The phase-sensitive radio-echo sounder (pRES) is a powerful new instrument that can measure the depth of internal layers and the glacier bed to millimetre accuracy. We use a stationary 16-antenna pRES array on Store Glacier in West Greenland to measure the three-dimensional orientation of dipping internal reflectors, extending the capabilities of pRES beyond conventional depth sounding. This novel technique portrays the effectiveness of pRES in deriving the orientation of dipping internal layers that may complement profiles obtained through other geophysical surveying methods. Deriving ice vertical strain rates from changes in layer depth as measured by a sequence of pRES observations assumes that the internal reflections come from vertically beneath the antenna. By revealing the orientation of internal reflectors and the potential deviation from nadir of their associated reflections, the use of an antenna array can correct this assumption. While the array configuration was able to resolve the geometry of englacial layers, the same configuration could not be used to accurately image the glacier bed. Here, we use simulations of the performance of different array geometries to identify configurations that can be tailored to study different types of basal geometry for future deployments.
Different lifestyle patterns across Europe may influence plasma concentrations of B-vitamins and one-carbon metabolites and their relation to chronic disease. Comparison of published data on one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions is difficult due to differences in sampling procedures and analytical methods between studies. The present study aimed, to compare plasma concentrations of one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions with one laboratory performing all biochemical analyses. We performed the present study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort among 5446 presumptively healthy individuals. Quantile regression was used to compare sex-specific median concentrations between Northern (Denmark and Sweden), Central (France, Germany, The Netherlands and United Kingdom) and Southern (Greece, Spain and Italy) European regions. The lowest folate concentrations were observed in Northern Europe (men, 10·4 nmol/l; women, 10·7 nmol/l) and highest concentrations in Central Europe. Cobalamin concentrations were slightly higher in Northern Europe (men, 330 pmol/l; women, 352 pmol/l) compared with Central and Southern Europe, but did not show a clear north–south gradient. Vitamin B2 concentrations were highest in Northern Europe (men, 22·2 nmol/l; women, 26·0 nmol/l) and decreased towards Southern Europe (Ptrend< 0·001). Vitamin B6 concentrations were highest in Central Europe in men (77·3 nmol/l) and highest in the North among women (70·4 nmol/l), with decreasing concentrations towards Southern Europe in women (Ptrend< 0·001). In men, concentrations of serine, glycine and sarcosine increased from the north to south. In women, sarcosine increased from Northern to Southern Europe. These findings may provide relevant information for the study of regional differences of chronic disease incidence in association with lifestyle.
New poly(fluorene-thiophene) alternating copolymers are described in which either the dioctylfluorene or bithiophene units in poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-bithiophene) (F8T2) are replaced by other fluorene or thiophene-based groups, respectively. Improvements in solubility are realized when the bithiophene unit of F8T2 is replaced by dihexylterthiophene or dihexylpentathiophene units. Melting temperatures are also lowered by 50 – 100°C in these polymers when compared to F8T2. Replacement of the bithiophene unit of F8T2 with a dihexylpentathiophene unit also results in a significant improvement in hysteresis (< 2 V vs. 3.5 – 5 V for F8T2). Initial results are also reported on the thermal cleavage of the C8 side groups of F8T2, which yields an insoluble polymeric semiconductor film that continues to exhibit transistor switching characteristics as part of a bottom gate device.
Polyfluorenes are a class of polyaromatic macromolecules that are characterized by an alternating backbone structure that consists of a 9,9-dialkylfluorene unit in combination with another aromatic group. The nature of this aromatic unit plays a key role in the electronic properties of the polymers. For example, polyfluorenes which combine chromophoric and charge transporting aromatic units have received a great deal of attention over the last several years as the emissive layer in polymeric light emitting diodes [LUMATION* Light-Emitting Polymers (LEPs)]. More recently, polyfluorenes have also been designed to perform as the organic semiconducting layer in polymeric field effect transistors (PFETs). This effort has led to a class of polymeric semiconductors with an excellent combination of charge mobility, environmental stability, and processability. One such polymer is the polyfluorene based on an alternating backbone of 9,9-dioctylfluorene and 2,2'-bithiophene units. This material has been shown to have charge mobilities as high as 0.02 cm2/V-s with current on/off ratios of up to 106. The poly(fluorene-bithiophene) is more resistant to doping by atmospheric oxygen than other polymeric semiconductors such as poly(3-hexylthiophene). Inks based on solutions of poly(fluorene-bithiophene) in xylene, mesitylene, and other solvents have also been prepared. The paper will focus on the recent advances in the synthesis, fabrication, and electrical characterization of poly(fluorene-bithiophene). *Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company
Structural properties of polycrystalline Pb(Zr0.35Ti0.65)O3 (PZT) thin films grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on Ir bottom electrodes were investigated. Symmetric x-ray diffraction measurements showed that as-deposited 1500 íthick PZT films are partially tetragonal and partially rhombohedral. Cross-section scanning electron microscopy showed that these films have a polycrystalline columnar microstructure with grains extending through the thickness of the film. X-ray depth profiling using the grazing-incidence asymmetric Bragg scattering geometry suggests that each grain has a bilayer structure consisting of a near-surface region in the etragonal phase and the region at the bottom electrode interface in the rhombohedral hase. The required compatibility between the tetragonal and rhombohedral phases in he proposed layered structure of the 1500 Å PZT can explain the peak shifts observed n the symmetric x-ray diffraction results of thicker PZT films.
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