5,368 research outputs found

    Numerical understanding of regional scale water table behavior in the Guadalupe Valley aquifer, Baja California, Mexico

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    International audienceA regional groundwater flow model was developed, in order to evaluate the water table behavior in the region of the Guadalupe Valley, in Baja California, Mexico. The State of Baja California has been subject to an increment of the agricultural, urban and industrials activities, implicating a growing water-demand. However, the State is characterized by its semi-arid climate with low surface water availability; resulting in an extensive use of groundwater in local aquifer. Based on historic piezometric information of the last two decades, however, a negative evolution could be observed, resulting a negative storage volume. So far, there is not an integral hydrogeological evaluation that determine the real condition of the groundwater resource, and that permit to planning a management of the Guadalupe Valley Aquifer. A steady-state calibration model was carried out in order to obtain the best possible match to measured levels at the Guadalupe Valley Aquifer. The contours of calculated water table elevations for January 1983 were reproduced. Generally, the comparison of the observed and calculated water table configurations have a good qualitative and quantitatively adjustment. Nowadays, it is count with a hydrogeological model that can be used for simulates the groundwater flow in the region of the Guadalupe Valley

    A balancing act: Evidence for a strong subdominant d-wave pairing channel in Ba0.6K0.4Fe2As2{\rm Ba_{0.6}K_{0.4}Fe_2As_2}

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    We present an analysis of the Raman spectra of optimally doped Ba0.6K0.4Fe2As2{\rm Ba_{0.6}K_{0.4}Fe_2As_2} based on LDA band structure calculations and the subsequent estimation of effective Raman vertices. Experimentally a narrow, emergent mode appears in the B1gB_{1g} (dx2y2d_{x^2-y^2}) Raman spectra only below TcT_c, well into the superconducting state and at an energy below twice the energy gap on the electron Fermi surface sheets. The Raman spectra can be reproduced quantitatively with estimates for the magnitude and momentum space structure of the s+_{+-} pairing gap on different Fermi surface sheets, as well as the identification of the emergent sharp feature as a Bardasis-Schrieffer exciton, formed as a Cooper pair bound state in a subdominant dx2y2d_{x^2-y^2} channel. The binding energy of the exciton relative to the gap edge shows that the coupling strength in this subdominant dx2y2d_{x^2-y^2} channel is as strong as 60% of that in the dominant s+s_{+-} channel. This result suggests that dx2y2d_{x^2-y^2} may be the dominant pairing symmetry in Fe-based sperconductors which lack central hole bands.Comment: 10 pages, 6 Figure

    Contact Profiles in Eight European Countries and Implications for Modelling the Spread of Airborne Infectious Diseases

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    BACKGROUND: For understanding the spread of infectious diseases it is crucial to have knowledge of the patterns of contacts in a population during which the infection can be transmitted. Besides contact rates and mixing between age groups, the way individuals distribute their contacts across different locations may play an important role in determining how infections spread through a population. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Representative surveys were performed in eight countries to assess the number of social contacts (talking to another person at close distance either with or without physical contact), using a diary approach in which participants recorded individual contacts. The overall sample size was 7290 respondents. We analyzed the reported numbers of contacts per respondent in six different settings (household, work, school, leisure, transportation and others) to define different contact profiles. The identification of the profiles and classification of respondents according to these profiles was conducted using a two-step cluster analysis algorithm as implemented in SPSS. We identified seven distinct contact profiles: respondents having (1) mixed: contacts predominantly at school, during transportation and leisure time, (2) contacts during leisure time, (3) contacts mainly in the household (large family), (4) contacts at work, (5) contacts solely at school, (6) contacts in other places and finally (7) respondents having a low number of contacts in any setting. Similar contact profiles can be found in all eight European countries which participated in the study. The distributions of respondents across the profiles were similar in all countries. The profiles are dominated by work, school and household contacts. But also contacts during leisure activities play an important role in the daily lives of a large fraction of individuals. A surprisingly large number of individuals has only few contacts in all locations. There was a distinct age-dependence in the distribution of the population across contact profiles. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast with earlier studies that focussed on the contribution of different age groups to the spread of an infectious disease, our results open up the opportunity to analyze how an infection spreads between locations and how locations as work or school are interconnected via household contacts. Mathematical models that take these local contact patterns into account can be used to assess the effect of intervention measures like school closure and cancelling of leisure activities on the spread of influenza

    Proteomic analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

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    So far, only the detection of 14-3-3 proteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been accepted as diagnostic criterion for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). However, this assay cannot be used for screening because of the high rate of false-positive results, whereas patients with variant CJD are often negative for 14-3-3 proteins. The aim of this study was to compare the spot patterns of CSF by 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) to search for a CJD-specific spot pattern. We analyzed the CSF of 28 patients {[}11 CJD, 9 Alzheimer's disease ( AD), 8 nondemented controls (NDC)] employing 2D-PAGE which was optimized for minimal volumes of CSF (0.1 ml; 7-cm strips). All samples were run at least three times, gels were silver stained and analyzed by an analysis software and manually revised. We could consistently match 268 spots which were then compared between all groups. By the use of 5 spots, we were able to differentiate CJD from AD or NDC with a sensitivity of 100%. CJD could also be distinguished from both groups by using a heuristic clustering algorithm of 2 spots. We conclude that this proteomic approach can differentiate CJD from other diseases and may serve as a model for other neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright (C) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

    Which solar EUV indices are best for reconstructing the solar EUV irradiance ?

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    The solar EUV irradiance is of key importance for space weather. Most of the time, however, surrogate quantities such as EUV indices have to be used by lack of continuous and spectrally resolved measurements of the irradiance. The ability of such proxies to reproduce the irradiance from different solar atmospheric layers is usually investigated by comparing patterns of temporal correlations. We consider instead a statistical approach. The TIMED/SEE experiment, which has been continuously operating since Feb. 2002, allows for the first time to compare in a statistical manner the EUV spectral irradiance to five EUV proxies: the sunspot number, the f10.7, Ca K, and Mg II indices, and the He I equivalent width. Using multivariate statistical methods such as multidimensional scaling, we represent in a single graph the measure of relatedness between these indices and various strong spectral lines. The ability of each index to reproduce the EUV irradiance is discussed; it is shown why so few lines can be effectively reconstructed from them. All indices exhibit comparable performance, apart from the sunspot number, which is the least appropriate. No single index can satisfactorily describe both the level of variability on time scales beyond 27 days, and relative changes of irradiance on shorter time scales.Comment: 6 figures, to appear in Adv. Space. Re

    Significant association of a M129V independent polymorphism in the 5\prime UTR of the PRNP gene with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in a large German case-control study

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    Background: A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the coding region of the prion protein gene (PRNP) at codon 129 has been repeatedly shown to be an associated factor to sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), but additional major predisposing DNA variants for sCJD are still unknown. Several previous studies focused on the characterisation of polymorphisms in PRNP and the prion-like doppel gene (PRND), generating contradictory results on relatively small sample sets. Thus, extensive studies are required for validation of the polymorphisms in PRNP and PRND.Methods: We evaluated a set of nine SNPs of PRNP and one SNP of PRND in 593 German sCJD patients and 748 German healthy controls. Genotyping was performed using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.Results: In addition to PRNP 129, we detected a significant association between sCJD and allele frequencies of six further PRNP SNPs. No significant association of PRND T174M with sCJD was shown. We observed strong linkage disequilibrium within eight adjacent PRNP SNPs, including PRNP 129. However, the association of sCJD with PRNP 1368 and PRNP 34296 appeared to be independent on the genotype of PRNP 129. We additionally identified the most common haplotypes of PRNP to be over-represented or under-represented in our cohort of patients with sCJD.Conclusion: Our study evaluated previous findings of the association of SNPs in the PRNP and PRND genes in the largest cohorts for association study in sCJD to date, and extends previous findings by defining for the first time the haplotypes associated with sCJD in a large population of the German CJD surveillance study

    The importance of strigolactone transport regulation for symbiotic signaling and shoot branching.

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    This review presents the role of strigolactone transport in regulating plant root and shoot architecture, plant-fungal symbiosis and the crosstalk with several phytohormone pathways. The authors, based on their data and recently published results, suggest that long-distance, as well local strigolactone transport might occur in a cell-to-cell manner rather than via the xylem stream. Strigolactones (SLs) are recently characterized carotenoid-derived phytohormones. They play multiple roles in plant architecture and, once exuded from roots to soil, in plant-rhizosphere interactions. Above ground SLs regulate plant developmental processes, such as lateral bud outgrowth, internode elongation and stem secondary growth. Below ground, SLs are involved in lateral root initiation, main root elongation and the establishment of the plant-fungal symbiosis known as mycorrhiza. Much has been discovered on players and patterns of SL biosynthesis and signaling and shown to be largely conserved among different plant species, however little is known about SL distribution in plants and its transport from the root to the soil. At present, the only characterized SL transporters are the ABCG protein PLEIOTROPIC DRUG RESISTANCE 1 from Petunia axillaris (PDR1) and, in less detail, its close homologue from Nicotiana tabacum PLEIOTROPIC DRUG RESISTANCE 6 (PDR6). PDR1 is a plasma membrane-localized SL cellular exporter, expressed in root cortex and shoot axils. Its expression level is regulated by its own substrate, but also by the phytohormone auxin, soil nutrient conditions (mainly phosphate availability) and mycorrhization levels. Hence, PDR1 integrates information from nutrient availability and hormonal signaling, thus synchronizing plant growth with nutrient uptake. In this review we discuss the effects of PDR1 de-regulation on plant development and mycorrhization, the possible cross-talk between SLs and other phytohormone transporters and finally the need for SL transporters in different plant species

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and homocysteine levels in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid

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    Background: There is evidence that homocysteine contributes to various neurodegenerative disorders. Objective: To assess the values of homocysteine in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma. Methods: Study design: Case control study. Total homocysteine was quantified in CSF and plasma samples of CJD patients (n = 13) and healthy controls (n = 13). Results: Mean values in healthy controls: 0.15 mumol/l +/- 0.07 (CSF) and 9.10 mumol/l +/- 2.99 (plasma); mean values in CJD patients: 0.13 mumol/l +/- 0.03 (CSF) and 9.22 mumol/l +/- 1.81 (plasma). No significant differences between CJD patients and controls were observed (Mann-Whitney U, p > 0.05). Conclusions: The results indicate that the CSF and plasma of CJD patients showed no higher endogenous levels of homocysteine as compared to normal healthy controls. These findings provide no evidence for an additional role of homocysteine in the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying CJD neurodegeneration. Copyright (C) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

    Raman-Scattering Detection of Nearly Degenerate ss-Wave and dd-Wave Pairing Channels in Iron-Based Ba0.6_{0.6}K0.4_{0.4}Fe2_2As2_2 and Rb0.8_{0.8}Fe1.6_{1.6}Se2_2 Superconductors

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    We show that electronic Raman scattering affords a window into the essential properties of the pairing potential Vk,kV_{\mathbf{k},\mathbf{k^{\prime}}} of iron-based superconductors. In Ba0.6_{0.6}K0.4_{0.4}Fe2_2As2_2 we observe band dependent energy gaps along with excitonic Bardasis-Schrieffer modes characterizing, respectively, the dominant and subdominant pairing channel. The dx2y2d_{x^2-y^2} symmetry of all excitons allows us to identify the subdominant channel to originate from the interaction between the electron bands. Consequently, the dominant channel driving superconductivity results from the interaction between the electron and hole bands and has the full lattice symmetry. The results in Rb0.8_{0.8}Fe1.6_{1.6}Se2_2 along with earlier ones in Ba(Fe0.939_{0.939}Co0.061_{0.061})2_2As2_2 highlight the influence of the Fermi surface topology on the pairing interactions.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    Human dose response relation for airborne exposure to Coxiella burnetii

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    Background: The recent outbreak of Q fever in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2009 is the largest recorded Q fever outbreak. Exposure to Coxiella burnetii may cause Q fever but the size of the population exposed during the outbreak remained uncertain as little is known of the infectivity of this pathogen. The quantification of the infectiousness and the corresponding response is necessary for assessing the risk to the population. Methods: A human challenge study was published in the 1950s but this study quantified the dose of C. burnetii in relative units. Data from a concurrent guinea pig challenge study were combined with a recent study in which guinea pigs were challenged with a similar aerosol route to quantify human exposure. Concentration estimates for C. burnetii are made jointly with estimates of the dose response parameters in a hierarchical Bayesian framework. Results: The dose for 50% infection (InfD50%) in human subjects is 1.18 bacteria (95% credible interval (CI) 0.76-40.2). The dose for 50% illness (IllD50) in challenged humans is 5.58 (95%CI 0.89-89.0) bacteria. The probability of a single viable C. burnetii causing infection in humans is 0.44 (95%CI 0.044-0.59) and for illness 0.12 (95%CI 0.0006-0.55). Conclusions: To our knowledge this is the first human dose–response model for C. burnetii. The estimated dose response relation demonstrates high infectivity in humans. In many published papers the proportion of infected individuals developing illness is reported to be 40%. Our model shows that the proportion of symptomatic infections may vary with the exposure dose. This implies that presence of these bacteria in the environment, even in small numbers, poses a serious health risk to the population