1,297 research outputs found

    Frequency Dependent Specific Heat from Thermal Effusion in Spherical Geometry

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    We present a novel method of measuring the frequency dependent specific heat at the glass transition applied to 5-polyphenyl-4-ether. The method employs thermal waves effusing radially out from the surface of a spherical thermistor that acts as both a heat generator and thermometer. It is a merit of the method compared to planar effusion methods that the influence of the mechanical boundary conditions are analytically known. This implies that it is the longitudinal rather than the isobaric specific heat that is measured. As another merit the thermal conductivity and specific heat can be found independently. The method has highest sensitivity at a frequency where the thermal diffusion length is comparable to the radius of the heat generator. This limits in practise the frequency range to 2-3 decades. An account of the 3omega-technique used including higher order terms in the temperature dependency of the thermistor and in the power generated is furthermore given.Comment: 17 pages, 15 figures, Substantially revised versio

    Evidence for the evolutionary steps leading to mecA-mediated ß-lactam resistance in staphylococci

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    The epidemiologically most important mechanism of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is associated with mecA–an acquired gene encoding an extra penicillin-binding protein (PBP2a) with low affinity to virtually all β-lactams. The introduction of mecA into the S. aureus chromosome has led to the emergence of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) pandemics, responsible for high rates of mortality worldwide. Nonetheless, little is known regarding the origin and evolution of mecA. Different mecA homologues have been identified in species belonging to the Staphylococcus sciuri group representing the most primitive staphylococci. In this study we aimed to identify evolutionary steps linking these mecA precursors to the β-lactam resistance gene mecA and the resistance phenotype. We sequenced genomes of 106 S. sciuri, S. vitulinus and S. fleurettii strains and determined their oxacillin susceptibility profiles. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the core genome was performed to assess the genetic relatedness of the isolates. Phylogenetic analysis of the mecA gene homologues and promoters was achieved through nucleotide/amino acid sequence alignments and mutation rates were estimated using a Bayesian analysis. Furthermore, the predicted structure of mecA homologue-encoded PBPs of oxacillin-susceptible and -resistant strains were compared. We showed for the first time that oxacillin resistance in the S. sciuri group has emerged multiple times and by a variety of different mechanisms. Development of resistance occurred through several steps including structural diversification of the non-binding domain of native PBPs; changes in the promoters of mecA homologues; acquisition of SCCmec and adaptation of the bacterial genetic background. Moreover, our results suggest that it was exposure to β-lactams in human-created environments that has driven evolution of native PBPs towards a resistance determinant. The evolution of β-lactam resistance in staphylococci highlights the numerous resources available to bacteria to adapt to the selective pressure of antibiotics

    The longitudinal link between visual acuity and health-related quality of life in patients with diabetic retinopathy

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>This study characterized the degree of change in health-related quality of life (HRQL) associated with change in visual acuity among patients with diabetic retinopathy.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Data are from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of ruboxistaurin for vision loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy. Visual acuity was quantified as letters on the ETDRS visual acuity chart. HRQL was assessed with the 25-Item Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) and the SF-36. Patients were categorized into groups based on visual acuity change from baseline to month 18. HRQL change of these groups was compared using general linear models. Regression analyses examined visual acuity change defined continuously.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Patients (N = 535) were primarily Caucasian (81.9%) and male (64.1%); mean age = 59.3 years. Compared to patients whose visual acuity did not change, the group with > 10 letters vision loss had significantly greater decreases in all VFQ-25 subscales except ocular pain. SF-36 change scores did not correspond as closely to change in vision. Change in visual acuity defined continuously was significantly associated with change in all VFQ-25 scales except ocular pain (p < 0.0001).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Change in visual acuity was associated with corresponding changes in HRQL among patients with diabetic retinopathy. Previous research has often defined vision loss as a loss of at least 15 letters on the ETDRS visual acuity chart. In the current study, however, a loss of at least 10 letters was associated with substantial declines in HRQL domains such as driving, dependency, role limitations, and mental health. These findings suggest that patients who experience vision loss of at least 10 letters may be appropriate targets of future research and clinical intervention.</p

    Approximate square-root-time relaxation in glass-forming liquids

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    We present data for the dielectric relaxation of 43 glass-forming organic liquids, showing that the primary (alpha) relaxation is often close to square-root-time relaxation. The better an inverse power-law description of the high-frequency loss applies, the more accurately is square-root-time relaxation obeyed. These findings suggest that square-root-time relaxation is generic to the alpha process, once a common view, but since long believed to be incorrect. Only liquids with very large dielectric losses deviate from this picture by having consistently narrower loss peaks. As a further challenge to the prevailing opinion, we find that liquids with accurate square-root-time relaxation cover a wide range of fragilities

    Circling in on convective organization

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    Cold pools (CPs) contribute to convective organization. However, it is unclear by which mechanisms organization occurs. By using a particle method to track CP gust fronts in large eddy simulations, we characterize the basic collision modes between CPs. Our results show that CP interactions, where three expanding gust fronts force an updraft, are key at triggering new convection. Using this, we conceptualize CP dynamics into a parameter‐free mathematical model: circles expand from initially random points in space. Where two expanding circles collide, a stationary front is formed. However, where three expanding circles enclose a single point, a new expanding circle is seeded. This simple model supports three fundamental features of CP dynamics: precipitation cells constitute a spatially interacting system; CPs come in generations; and scales steadily increase throughout the diurnal cycle. Finally, this model provides a framework for how CPs act to cause convective self‐organization, clustering, and extremes

    PCN148 Review of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Recommendations for Anti-Cancer Agents Across Multiple Drug-Indication Combinations

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