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Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), poverty, violence and harmful alcohol/substance are associated with poor mental health outcomes in the general population. These risks are likely to be exacerbated among Female Sex Workers (FSWs), however there are few studies examining risks factors for mental health problems among FSWs. We examine the prevalence and correlates of common mental health problems including suicidal behaviour among FSWs in Kenya.
Maisha Fiti is a longitudinal study among FSWs randomly selected from Sex Worker Outreach Programme (SWOP) clinics across Nairobi. Baseline data were collected from June-December 2019. Mental health problems were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression, the Generalised Anxiety Disorder tool (GAD-7) for anxiety, and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ-17) for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recent suicidal behaviour was defined as reported suicide attempt or suicidal ideation in the past 30 days. Other measurement tools included the WHO Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score, WHO Violence Against Women questionnaire, and the WHO ASSIST tool (to measure harmful alcohol/substance use in the past 3 months). Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were conducted in Stata 16.1.
Of 1039 eligible FSWs, 1003 FSWs took part in the study (response rate: 96%) with a mean age of 33.7 years. The prevalence of moderate/severe depression was 23.2% (95%CI: 20.7–25.9%), moderate/severe anxiety 11.0% (95%CI: 9.3–13.1%), PTSD 14.0% (95% CI: 12.2–16.5%) and recent suicidal behaviour 10.2% (95%CI: 8.5–12.2%) (2.6% suicide attempt; 10.0% suicidal ideation). Among women with any mental health problem 63.0% also had a harmful alcohol/substance use problem. One in four women (25%; 95%CI: 22.5–27.8%) had depression and/or anxiety and this was independently associated with higher ACE scores, hunger (skipped a meal in last week due to financial difficulties), death of a child, perceived sex work stigma and recent sexual/physical violence. PTSD was associated with higher ACE scores, hunger, increased STI prevalence (chlamydia trachomatis) and recent violence. Recent suicidal behaviour was associated with higher ACE scores, low literacy, hunger, and recent violence. Mental health problems and suicidal behaviour were less prevalent among women reporting social support.
The high burden of mental problems among FSWs indicates a need for accessible services tailored for FSWs alongside broader structural interventions addressing poverty, harmful alcohol/substance use and violence. High rates of ACEs among this population indicates the need to consider early childhood and family interventions to prevent poor mental health outcomes.
Funding: Medical Research Council and the UK Department of International Development
This paper reports on an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier (LNDA) in a transferred-substrate InP double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology which exhibits a uniform low-noise characteristic over a large frequency range. To obtain very high bandwidth, a distributed architecture has been chosen with cascode unit gain cells. Each unit cell consists of two cascode-connected transistors with 500 nm emitter length and ft/fmax of ~360/492 GHz, respectively. Due to optimum line-impedance matching, low common-base transistor capacitance, and low collector-current operation, the circuit exhibits a low-noise figure (NF) over a broad frequency range. A 3-dB bandwidth from 40 to 185 GHz is measured, with an NF of 8 dB within the frequency range between 75 and 105 GHz. Moreover, this circuit demonstrates the widest 3-dB bandwidth operation among all reported single-stage amplifiers with a cascode configuration. Additionally, this work has proposed that the noise sources of the InP DHBTs are largely uncorrelated. As a result, a reliable prediction can be done for the NF of ultra-wideband circuits beyond the frequency range of the measurement equipment.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials are very promising with respect to their integration into optoelectronic devices. Monolayer tungsten diselenide (WSe2) is a direct-gap semiconductor with a bandgap of ∼1.6eV, and is therefore a complement to other two-dimensional materials such as graphene, a gapless semimetal, and boron nitride, an insulator. The direct bandgap distinguishes monolayer WSe2 from its bulk and bilayer counterparts, which are both indirect gap materials with smaller bandgaps. This sizable direct bandgap in a two-dimensional layered material enables a host of new optical and electronic devices. In this work, a comprehensive analysis of the effect of optical excitation on the transport properties in few-layer WSe2 is studied. Monolayer WSe2 flakes from natural WSe2 crystals were transferred onto Si/SiO2 (270nm) substrates by mechanical exfoliation. The flakes were observed under an optical microscope. A FET based on mechanically exfoliated WSe2 was fabricated using photolithography with Molybdenum as metal contact and Silicon as back gate and the electronic properties were measured in a wide range of temperatures. The mobility of our device was found to be 0.2 cm /V-S at room temperature. The schottky barrier height was found to decrease from 80 meV to 25 meV as the gate voltage increases.
Climate change is expected to affect optimum agricultural management practices for autumn-sown wheat, especially those related to sowing date and nitrogen (N) fertilization. To assess the direction and quantity of these changes for an important production region in eastern Austria, the agricultural production systems simulator was parameterized, evaluated and subsequently used to predict yield production and grain protein content under current and future conditions. Besides a baseline climate (BL, 1981–2010), climate change scenarios for the period 2035–65 were derived from three Global Circulation Models (GCMs), namely CGMR, IPCM4 and MPEH5, with two emission scenarios, A1B and B1. Crop management scenarios included a combination of three sowing dates (20 September, 20 October, 20 November) with four N fertilizer application rates (60, 120, 160, 200 kg/ha). Each management scenario was run for 100 years of stochastically generated daily weather data. The model satisfactorily simulated productivity as well as water and N use of autumn- and spring-sown wheat crops grown under different N supply levels in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 experimental seasons. Simulated wheat yields under climate change scenarios varied substantially among the three GCMs. While wheat yields for the CGMR model increased slightly above the BL scenario, under IPCM4 projections they were reduced by 29 and 32% with low or high emissions, respectively. Wheat protein appears to increase with highest increments in the climate scenarios causing the largest reductions in grain yield (IPCM4 and MPEH-A1B). Under future climatic conditions, maximum wheat yields were predicted for early sowing (September 20) with 160 kg N/ha applied at earlier dates than the current practice.
Vitamin D has an important role in calcium homeostasis and is known to have various health-promoting effects. Moreover, potential interactions between vitamin D and physical activity have been suggested. This study aims to investigate the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and exercise capacity quantified by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). For this, 1377 participants from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-1) and 750 participants from the independent SHIP-TREND cohort were investigated. Standardised incremental exercise tests on a cycle ergometer were performed to assess exercise capacity by VO2 at anaerobic threshold, peakVO2, O2 pulse and peak power output. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured by an automated chemiluminescence immunoassay. In SHIP-1, 25(OH)D levels were positively associated with all considered parameters of cardiopulmonary exercise capacity. Subjects with high 25(OH)D levels (4th quartile) showed an up to 25 % higher exercise capacity compared with subjects with low 25(OH)D levels (1st quartile). All associations were replicated in the independent SHIP-TREND cohort and were independent of age, sex, season and other interfering factors. In conclusion, significant positive associations between 25(OH)D and parameters of CPET were detected in two large cohorts of healthy adults.
Objective: To report the autosomal dominant inheritance of the Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome in a highly inbred family, the initiation of Torsades de Pointes, and the natural history of the syndrome based on a 16-year follow-up of the kindred. Method: A family tree was constructed that included 66 blood relatives from three successive generations. Electrocardiograms were obtained from 59 living members including the proband, four members from a nuclear family, and 54 from the extended family. Evoked response audiometry was recorded for the proband and the nuclear family. All 59 family members were followed up regularly for 16 years. Results: A total of 24 living members were affected – QTc: 480–680 ms. The proband had long QTc, bilateral high-tone sensorineural deafness, recurrent syncope, and Torsades de Pointes. The asymptomatic father had long QTc and unilateral high-tone sensorineural deafness that involved specifically the left ear. One asymptomatic sibling of the proband had long QTc and normal hearing. The mother and another sibling were asymptomatic; QTc and hearing were normal in both. A total of 21 affected members from the extended family had only long QTc, and all were asymptomatic. There were three congenitally deaf first cousins who had recurrent syncope and adrenergic-triggered sudden death. In all, seven of 10 parents had consanguineous marriage to a first cousin. Each affected offspring had at least one affected parent. The severely symptomatic proband who received only β-blocker therapy and the 23 affected members without antiadrenergic therapy, all remained asymptomatic throughout the 16-year follow-up period. Conclusion: Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome was inherited as autosomal dominant in this kindred. The majority of the affected members had a mild phenotype. The severity of auditory and cardiac phenotypes corresponded.
The electric resistance and the transport properties of a carbon nanotube (5,5) adsorbed with a copper chain connected with two copper end electrodes have been calculated by employing the nonequilibrium Green’s function and the Density Function Theory. The properties of the pure carbon nanotube (5,5) with the Cu electrodes have also been calculated as a reference. Both the equilibrium and the nonequilibrium conditions have been investigated. The results have shown that the electrical resistance of the metallic CNT (5,5) has been reduced by the adsorption of the Cu chain due to the interaction between the Cu and the CNT. The change of the I-V curve slope is also explained in terms of the transmission spectrum.
Concentration- and layer-dependent percolation thresholds can be determined for carbon nanotube (CNT) films deposited from aqueous dispersions on paper substrates at both the surface of the deposited film (in-plane) and through the thickness of the paper (thru-plane) using impedance spectroscopy. By analyzing the impedance spectra as a function of the number of layers (solution concentration is constant) or the solution concentration (number of layers is constant), the electrical properties and percolation thresholds for CNT-paper composites can be determined. In-plane measurements show that percolation occurs at 4 layers when 1 mg/mL solution concentration is used. In the thru-plane direction, the films are already percolated at 1 mg/mL concentration, which is confirmed by varying the concentration of the solution used to deposit 1 layer films. A second percolation event happens between 8 and 12 layers due to an increased number of interconnections of CNTs within the paper substrate. The lowest sheet resistance achieved was 100 Ω/□.
The atomic and electronic structures of multilayer graphene on a monolayer boron nitride (MLBN) have been investigated by using the pseudopotential method and the local density approximation (LDA) of the density functional theory (DFT). We show that the LDA energy band gap can be tuned in the range 41-278 meV for a multilayer graphene by using MLBN as a substrate. The dispersion of the π/π* bands slightly away from the K point is linear with the electron speed of 0.9×106 and 0.93×106 for graphene (MLG)/MLBN and ABA trilayer graphene (TLG)/MLBN systems, respectively. This behaviour becomes quadratic with a relative effective mass of 0.0021 for the bilayer graphene (BLG)/MLBN system. The calculated binding energies are in the range of 10-43 meV per C atom.
We report on the direct synthesis of multi-layer boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) and their electron microscopic characterization. The synthesis process is carried out by irradiating hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) target using short laser pulses. Scanning electron microscopy showed large area (≈50×50 μm2) flat layers of BNNSs transparent to the electron beam. Low magnification transmission electron microscope (TEM) is used to characterize different areas of nanosheets. TEM revealed that each individual nanosheet is composed of several layers. High resolution TEM (HRTEM) measurements confirmed the layered structure. HRTEM analysis of the edge of a nanosheet showed 10 layers from which we obtained the thickness (3.3nm) of an individual nanosheet. Selected area electron diffraction pattern indicated polycrystalline structure of nanosheets. Raman spectroscopy clearly identified E2g vibrational mode related to h-BN.
Carbon-based nanostructures have been the center of intense research and development for more than two decades now. Of these materials, graphene, a two-dimensional (2D) layered material system, has had a significant impact on science and technology in recent years after it was experimentally isolated in single layers in 2004. The recent emergence of other classes of 2D layered systems beyond graphene has added yet more exciting and new dimensions for research and exploration given their diverse and rich spectrum of properties. For example, h-BN a layered material closest in structure to graphene, is an insulator, while NbSe, a transition metal dichalcogenide is metallic and monolayers of other transition metal di-chalcogenides such as MoS2 are direct band-gap semiconductors. The rich variety of properties that 2D layered material systems offer can potentially be engineered on-demand, and creates exciting prospects for their device and technological applications ranging from electronics, sensing, photonics, energy harvesting and flexible electronics in the near future.
Herein, we investigated the noncovalent interactions derived from functionalized carbon nanotube matrices grafting metallic alloy PtRu nanoparticle-decorated Vulcan carbon (fMWCNTs-g-PtRu/C) toward the enhancement of alcohol oxidation reactions. The fMWCNTs noncovalently grafted PtRu/C was successfully synthesized and demonstrated significant enhancement of the electro-catalytic activity and stability toward alcohol oxidation reactions as revealed by electrochemical characterizations. The presented results indicate that the grafting matrix specifically enhances ethanol oxidation reaction kinetics much more than methanol and propanol oxidation reactions. Since the same loading of PtRu/C was used for all tests, the differentiation between these reactants revealed the different strength of noncovalent interactions between the functional matrix and corresponding reactants. This result reveals a new strategy for using fMWCNTs matrix as potential catalyst supports due to its facile fabrication and functionalization, cost effectiveness and environmental friendliness, factors in which all of them are necessary for the practical application of direct alcohol fuel cells in near future.
Graphyne is a generic name for a family of carbon allotrope two-dimensional structures where sp2 (single and double bonds) and sp (triple bonds) hybridized states coexists. They exhibit very interesting electronic and mechanical properties sharing some of the unique graphene characteristics. Similarly to graphene, the graphyne electronic properties can be modified by chemical functionalization, such as; hydrogenation, fluorination and oxidation. Oxidation is of particular interest since it can produce significant structural damages.
In this work we have investigated, through fully atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations, the dynamics and structural changes of the oxidation of single-layer graphyne membranes at room temperature. We have considered α, β, and γ-graphyne structures. Our results showed that the oxidation reactions are strongly site dependent and that the sp-hybridized carbon atoms are the preferential sites to chemical attacks. Our results also showed that the effectiveness of the oxidation (estimated from the number of oxygen atoms covalently bonded to carbon atoms) follows the α, β, γ-graphyne structure ordering. These differences can be explained by the fact that for α-graphyne structures the oxidation reactions occur in two steps: first, the oxygen atoms are trapped at the center of the large polygonal rings and then they react with the carbon atoms composing of the triple bonds. The small rings of γ-graphyne structures prevent these reactions to occur. The effectiveness of β-graphyne oxidation is between the α- and γ-graphynes.
Diamond was investigated as one of the superior dielectric materials for advanced wakefield accelerators. Both planar and cylindrical wakefield accelerating structures were constructed. An AsTex microwave plasma-enhanced CVD system was modified for synthesis of cylindrical polycrystalline diamond tubes. Cylindrical diamond tubes were successfully synthesized from hydrogen and methane and are characterized with micro Raman, photoluminescence spectroscopy and optical tests. In addition, planar wakefield structures were constructed from commercially available diamond. Wakefield tests on a rectangular diamond structure confirm that diamond can sustain microwave electric field strengths of 0.3 GV/m at its surface without material breakdown.
Mechanical strain creates strong gauge fields in graphene, offering the possibility of controlling its electronic properties. We developed a gauge field theory on a honeycomb lattice valid beyond first-order continuum elasticity. Along the way, we resolve a recent controversy on the theory of strain engineering in graphene: there are no K-point dependent gauge fields.
Transparent films of platinum nanoparticles on graphene nanohybrids were synthesized in a two-step process. Reduction of homogeneously dispersed Pt precursor and graphene in water and solution coating/annealing afforded thin films with high catalytic performance as counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC). The requisite dispersant consisting of poly(oxyethylene)-(POE) segments and cyclic imide functionalities allowed the in-situ reduction of dihydrogen hexachloroplatinate by ethanol and the formation of nanohybrids of graphene-supported Pt nanoparticles at 4.0 nm diameter. Characterizations of polymeric dispersants by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and nanohybrids by transmission electron microscope were performed. After screening various compositions of Pt/graphene, the nanohybrid film at the specific ratio of 5/1 by weight was fabricated into a counter electrode (CE) for DSSC by the solution casting method. The evaluation of cell performance demonstrated the most improved power conversion efficiency of 8.00%. This is significant achievement in comparison with 7.14% for the DSSC with the conventional platinum sputtered CE. Furthermore, the solution casting method allows the preparation of transparent CE films that are suitable for using as rear-illuminated DSSC. The approach was proven to be feasible by measuring the cell efficiency under rear light illumination. The power efficiency up to 7.01%, comparable to 8.00% by a normally front illumination, has been accomplished. In contrast, the rear illumination at merely 2.36% efficiency was obtained for the DSSC with sputtered platinum CE. Analyses of cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectra were well correlated to the high efficiency of the performance caused by this nanohybrid film.
As an important method for preparing ordered mesoporous polymer and carbon, organic template directed self-assembly is facing challenges because of the weak non-covalent interactions between the organic templates and the building blocks. Herein we developed a novel synthetic procedure based on a reactive template-induced self-assembly to construct ordered mesoporous framework. The aldehyde end-group of reactive template can react with the building blocks (i.e., resol) to form a stable covalent bond during the self-assembly process. This leads to an enhanced interaction between resol and template and thus achieves the formation of ordered mesostructure.
We fabricated MoS2 transistor adopting electric double layer (EDL) as gate dielectric. So far, EDL has realized p-type conducting MoS2 in addition to well-known n-type conduction showing ambipolar operation. In our study, field-effect superconducting transition of MoS2 was realized with maximum TC around 10 K. This TC is the highest not only within MoS2 compounds but also among whole TMDs. The highest TC discovered in this study lies in the carrier density region much smaller than chemically investigated region. Such compounds with small doping level have never been successfully synthesized by chemical method. Furthermore, by combining HfO2 (typical high-k material for FETs) gating with EDL gating, continuous control of carrier density, and thus quantum phase, was demonstrated. As a result, we successfully obtained the phase diagram of MoS2. Interestingly, the TC exhibits strong carrier density dependence, showing dome-shaped superconducting phase. Superconducting dome in other materials than cuprates has been reported only a few times in doped 2D semiconductors. Since FET charge accumulation is basically two dimensional, our result implies the existence of common mechanism for superconducting dome in 2D band insulators.
Novel field emission (FE) devices are introduced employing lateral architecture. Ultrathin multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) sheet were utilized to fabricate the emitter. Effects of basic configuration of sheets, including the orientation of CNTs and sheet thickness were examined. The novel device achieved the threshold field (the electric field at which current density reach 1 mA/cm2) of 0.67 V/µm and enhancement factor larger than 20,000.