823 research outputs found

    Mass flow in the interacting binary TX Ursae Majoris

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    Twenty-two far-ultraviolet and 23 near-ultraviolet high resolution IUE spectra of the interactive Algol-type binary TX Ursae Majoris (B8 V + F-K III-IV) were analyzed in order to determine the nature of the mass flow occurring in this system. Absorption features due to high-temperature ions of Si IV, C IV, and N V are always present. The resonance lines of Al III, Fe II, Mg II and Si IV show strong phase and secular variations indicative of gas streaming and circumstellar/circumbinary material. Radial velocities as high as 500 to 600 km/sec are present. The gas flow is particularly prominent in 1985 between phases 0.7 and 0.0. The system is more active than U Sagittae and as active as U Cephei

    Ice-nucleating particle emissions from biomass combustion and the potential importance of soot aerosol

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    Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) are required for initial ice crystal formation in clouds at temperatures warmer than about -36°C and thus play a crucial role in cloud and precipitation formation. Biomass burning has been found to be a source of INPs in previous studies and is also a major contributor to atmospheric black carbon (BC) concentrations. This study focuses on isolating the BC contribution to the INP population associated with biomass combustion. Emissions of condensation mode INPs from a number of globally relevant biomass fuels were measured at -30°C and above water saturation as fires progressed from ignition to extinguishment in a laboratory setting. Number emissions of INPs were found to be highest during intense flaming combustion (modified combustion efficiency\u3e0.95). Overall, combustion emissions from 13 of 22 different biomass fuel types produced measurable INP concentrations for at least one replicate experiment. On average, all burns that produced measureable INPs had higher combustion efficiency, which is associated with higher BC emissions, than those that did not produce measureable INPs. Across all burns that produced measureable INPs, concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 10 cm-3, and the median emission factor was about 2 × 107 INPs per kilogram of fuel burned. For a subset of the burns, the contribution of refractory black carbon (rBC) to INP concentrations was determined by removing rBC via laser-induced incandescence. Reductions in INPs of 0-70% were observed, indicating an important contribution of rBC particles to INP concentrations for some burns, especially marsh grasses

    The Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impactor–Droplet Freezing Technique (MOUDI-DFT) for Measuring Concentrations of Ice Nucleating Particles as a Function of Size: Improvements and Initial Validation

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    The micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor– droplet freezing technique (MOUDI-DFT) combines particle collection by inertial impaction (via the MOUDI) and a microscope-based immersion freezing apparatus (the DFT) to measure atmospheric concentrations of ice nucleating particles (INPs) as a function of size and temperature. In the first part of this study we improved upon this recently introduced technique. Using optical microscopy, we investigated the non-uniformity of MOUDI aerosol deposits at spatial resolutions of 1, 0.25 mm, and for some stages when necessary 0.10 mm. The results from these measurements show that at a spatial resolution of 1mm and less, the concentration of particles along the MOUDI aerosol deposits can vary by an order of magnitude or more. Since the total area of a MOUDI aerosol deposit ranges from 425 to 605mm2 and the area analyzed by the DFT is approximately 1.2mm2, this non-uniformity needs to be taken into account when using the MOUDI-DFT to determine atmospheric concentrations of INPs. Measurements of the non-uniformity of the MOUDI aerosol deposits were used to select positions on the deposits that had relatively small variations in particle concentration and to build substrate holders for the different MOUDI stages. These substrate holders improve reproducibility by holding the substrate in the same location for each measurement and ensure that DFT analysis is only performed on substrate regions with relatively small variations in particle concentration. In addition, the deposit non-uniformity was used to determine correction factors that take the non-uniformity into account when determining atmospheric concentrations of INPs. In the second part of this study, the MOUDI-DFT utilizing the new substrate holders was compared to the continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) technique of Colorado State University. The intercomparison was done using INP concentrations found by the two instruments during ambient measurements of continental aerosols. Results from two sampling periods were compared, and the INP concentrations determined by the two techniques agreed within experimental uncertainty. The agreement observed here is commensurate with the level of agreement found in other studies where CFDC results were compared to INP concentrations measured with other methods

    Ultrafast carrier relaxation in GaN, In_(0.05)Ga_(0.95)N and an In_(0.05)Ga_(0.95)/In_(0.15)Ga_(0.85)N Multiple Quantum Well

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    Room temperature, wavelength non-degenerate ultrafast pump/probe measurements were performed on GaN and InGaN epilayers and an InGaN multiple quantum well structure. Carrier relaxation dynamics were investigated as a function of excitation wavelength and intensity. Spectrally-resolved sub-picosecond relaxation due to carrier redistribution and QW capture was found to depend sensitively on the wavelength of pump excitation. Moreover, for pump intensities above a threshold of 100 microJ/cm2, all samples demonstrated an additional emission feature arising from stimulated emission (SE). SE is evidenced as accelerated relaxation (< 10 ps) in the pump-probe data, fundamentally altering the re-distribution of carriers. Once SE and carrier redistribution is completed, a slower relaxation of up to 1 ns for GaN and InGaN epilayers, and 660 ps for the MQW sample, indicates carrier recombination through spontaneous emission.Comment: submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Stabilizing short-lived Schiff base derivatives of 5-aminouracils that activate mucosal-associated invariant T cells

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    Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are activated by unstable antigens formed by reactions of 5-amino-6-D-ribitylaminouracil (a vitamin B2 biosynthetic intermediate) with glycolysis metabolites such as methylglyoxal. Here we show superior preparations of antigens in dimethylsulfoxide, avoiding their rapid decomposition in water (t1/2 1.5 h, 37 °C). Antigen solution structures, MAIT cell activation potencies (EC50 3–500 pM), and chemical stabilities are described. Computer analyses of antigen structures reveal stereochemical and energetic influences on MAIT cell activation, enabling design of a water stable synthetic antigen (EC50 2 nM). Like native antigens, this antigen preparation induces MR1 refolding and upregulates surface expression of human MR1, forms MR1 tetramers that detect MAIT cells in human PBMCs, and stimulates cytokine expression (IFNγ, TNF) by human MAIT cells. These antigens also induce MAIT cell accumulation in mouse lungs after administration with a co-stimulant. These chemical and immunological findings provide new insights into antigen properties and MAIT cell activation

    The influence of 'significant others' on persistent back pain and work participation: a qualitative exploration of illness perceptions

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    Background Individual illness perceptions have been highlighted as important influences on clinical outcomes for back pain. However, the illness perceptions of 'significant others' (spouse/partner/close family member) are rarely explored, particularly in relation to persistent back pain and work participation. The aim of this study was to initiate qualitative research in this area in order to further understand these wider influences on outcome. Methods Semi-structured interviews based on the chronic pain version of the Illness Perceptions Questionnaire-Revised were conducted with a convenience sample of UK disability benefit claimants, along with their significant others (n=5 dyads). Data were analysed using template analysis. Results Significant others shared, and perhaps further reinforced, claimants' unhelpful illness beliefs including fear of pain/re-injury associated with certain types of work and activity, and pessimism about the likelihood of return to work. In some cases, significant others appeared more resigned to the permanence and negative inevitable consequences of the claimant's back pain condition on work participation, and were more sceptical about the availability of suitable work and sympathy from employers. In their pursuit of authenticity, claimants were keen to stress their desire to work whilst emphasising how the severity and physical limitations of their condition prevented them from doing so. In this vein, and seemingly based on their perceptions of what makes a 'good' significant other, significant others acted as a 'witness to pain', supporting claimants' self-limiting behaviour and statements of incapacity, often responding with empathy and assistance. The beliefs and responses of significant others may also have been influenced by their own experience of chronic illness, thus participants lives were often intertwined and defined by illness. Conclusions The findings from this exploratory study reveal how others and wider social circumstances might contribute both to the propensity of persistent back pain and to its consequences. This is an area that has received little attention to date, and wider support of these findings may usefully inform the design of future intervention programmes aimed at restoring work participation

    Providing education on evidence-based practice improved knowledge but did not change behaviour: a before and after study

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    BACKGROUND: Many health professionals lack the skills to find and appraise published research. This lack of skills and associated knowledge needs to be addressed, and practice habits need to change, for evidence-based practice to occur. The aim of this before and after study was to evaluate the effect of a multifaceted intervention on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour of allied health professionals. METHODS: 114 self-selected occupational therapists were recruited. The intervention included a 2-day workshop combined with outreach support for eight months. Support involved email and telephone contact and a workplace visit. Measures were collected at baseline, post-workshop, and eight months later. The primary outcome was knowledge, measured using the Adapted Fresno Test of Evidence-Based Practice (total score 0 to 156). Secondary outcomes were attitude to evidence-based practice (% reporting improved skills and confidence; % reporting barriers), and behaviour measured using an activity diary (% engaging/not engaging in search and appraisal activities), and assignment completion. RESULTS: Post-workshop, there were significant gains in knowledge which were maintained at follow-up. The mean difference in the Adapted Fresno Test total score was 20.6 points (95% CI, 15.6 to 25.5). The change from post-workshop to follow-up was small and non-significant (mean difference 1.2 points, 95% CI, -6.0 to 8.5). Fewer participants reported lack of searching and appraisal skills as barriers to evidence-based practice over time (searching = 61%, 53%, 24%; appraisal 60%, 65%, 41%). These differences were statistically significant (p = 0.0001 and 0.010 respectively). Behaviour changed little. Pre-workshop, 6% engaged in critical appraisal increasing to 18% post-workshop and 18% at follow-up. Nearly two thirds (60%) were not reading any research literature at follow-up. Twenty-three participants (20.2%) completed their assignment. CONCLUSION: Evidence-based practice skills and knowledge improved markedly with a targetted education intervention and outreach support. However, changes in behaviour were small, based on the frequency of searching and appraisal activities. Allied health educators should focus more on post-workshop skill development, particularly appraisal, and help learners to establish new routines and priorities around evidence-based practice. Learners also need to know that behaviour change of this nature may take months, even years

    Effects of deletion of the Streptococcus pneumoniae lipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase gene lgt on ABC transporter function and on growth in vivo

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    Lipoproteins are an important class of surface associated proteins that have diverse roles and frequently are involved in the virulence of bacterial pathogens. As prolipoproteins are attached to the cell membrane by a single enzyme, prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt), deletion of the corresponding gene potentially allows the characterisation of the overall importance of lipoproteins for specific bacterial functions. We have used a Δlgt mutant strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae to investigate the effects of loss of lipoprotein attachment on cation acquisition, growth in media containing specific carbon sources, and virulence in different infection models. Immunoblots of triton X-114 extracts, flow cytometry and immuno-fluorescence microscopy confirmed the Δlgt mutant had markedly reduced lipoprotein expression on the cell surface. The Δlgt mutant had reduced growth in cation depleted medium, increased sensitivity to oxidative stress, reduced zinc uptake, and reduced intracellular levels of several cations. Doubling time of the Δlgt mutant was also increased slightly when grown in medium with glucose, raffinose and maltotriose as sole carbon sources. These multiple defects in cation and sugar ABC transporter function for the Δlgt mutant were associated with only slightly delayed growth in complete medium. However the Δlgt mutant had significantly reduced growth in blood or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and a marked impairment in virulence in mouse models of nasopharyngeal colonisation, sepsis and pneumonia. These data suggest that for S. pneumoniae loss of surface localisation of lipoproteins has widespread effects on ABC transporter functions that collectively prevent the Δlgt mutant from establishing invasive infection