47 research outputs found

    High throughput particle analysis: combining dielectrophoretic particle focussing with confocal optical detection

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    A microflow cytometer has been fabricated that detects and counts fluorescent particles flowing through a microchannel at a high speed based upon their fluorescence emission intensity. Dielectrophoresis is used to continuously focus particles within the flowing fluid stream into the centre of the device, which is 40 μm high and 250 μm wide. The method ensures that all the particles pass through an interrogation region approximately 5 μm in diameter, which is created by focusing a beam of light into a spot. The functioning of the device was demonstrated by detecting and counting fluorescent latex particles at a rate of up to 250 particles/s. A mixture of three different populations of latex particle was used, each sub-population with a distinct level of fluorescent intensity. The device was evaluated by comparison with a conventional fluorescent activated cell sorter (FACS) and numerical simulation demonstrated that for 6 mico m beads, and for this design of chip the theoretical throughput is of the order of 1000 particles/s (corresponding to a particle velocty of 1 mm/s)

    Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi

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    Cordyceps, comprising over 400 species, was historically classified in the Clavicipitaceae, based on cylindrical asci, thickened ascus apices and filiform ascospores, which often disarticulate into part-spores. Cordyceps was characterized by the production of well-developed often stipitate stromata and an ecology as a pathogen of arthropods and Elaphomyces with infrageneric classifications emphasizing arrangement of perithecia, ascospore morphology and host affiliation. To refine the classification of Cordyceps and the Clavicipitaceae, the phylogenetic relationships of 162 taxa were estimated based on analyses consisting of five to seven loci, including the nuclear ribosomal small and large subunits (nrSSU and nrLSU), the elongation factor 1α (tef1), the largest and the second largest subunits of RNA polymerase II (rpb1 and rpb2), β-tubulin (tub), and mitochondrial ATP6 (atp6). Our results strongly support the existence of three clavicipitaceous clades and reject the monophyly of both Cordyceps and Clavicipitaceae. Most diagnostic characters used in current classifications of Cordyceps (e.g., arrangement of perithecia, ascospore fragmentation, etc.) were not supported as being phylogenetically informative; the characters that were most consistent with the phylogeny were texture, pigmentation and morphology of stromata. Therefore, we revise the taxonomy of Cordyceps and the Clavicipitaceae to be consistent with the multi-gene phylogeny. The family Cordycipitaceae is validated based on the type of Cordyceps, C. militaris, and includes most Cordyceps species that possess brightly coloured, fleshy stromata. The new family Ophiocordycipitaceae is proposed based on Ophiocordyceps Petch, which we emend. The majority of species in this family produce darkly pigmented, tough to pliant stromata that often possess aperithecial apices. The new genus Elaphocordyceps is proposed for a subclade of the Ophiocordycipitaceae, which includes all species of Cordyceps that parasitize the fungal genus Elaphomyces and some closely related species that parasitize arthropods. The family Clavicipitaceae s. s. is emended and includes the core clade of grass symbionts (e.g., Balansia, Claviceps, Epichloë, etc.), and the entomopathogenic genus Hypocrella and relatives. In addition, the new genus Metacordyceps is proposed for Cordyceps species that are closely related to the grass symbionts in the Clavicipitaceae s. s. Metacordyceps includes teleomorphs linked to Metarhizium and other closely related anamorphs. Two new species are described, and lists of accepted names for species in Cordyceps, Elaphocordyceps, Metacordyceps and Ophiocordyceps are provided

    Home interventions and light therapy for treatment of vitiligo (HI-Light Vitiligo Trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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    Vitiligo is a condition resulting in white patches on the skin. People with vitiligo can suffer from low self-esteem, psychological disturbance and diminished quality of life. Vitiligo is often poorly managed, partly due to lack of high quality evidence to inform clinical care. We describe here a large, independent, randomised controlled trial (RCT) assessing the comparative effectiveness of potent topical corticosteroid, home-based hand-held narrowband ultraviolet B-light (NB-UVB) or combination of the two, for the management of vitiligo. Methods and Analysis The HI-Light Vitiligo Trial is a multi-centre, three-arm, parallel group, pragmatic, placebo-controlled RCT. 516 adults and children with actively spreading, but limited, vitiligo are randomised (1:1:1) to one of three groups: mometasone furoate 0.1% ointment plus dummy NB-UVB light, vehicle ointment plus NB-UVB light, or mometasone furoate 0.1% ointment plus NB-UVB light. Treatment of up to three patches of vitiligo is continued for up to 9 months with clinic visits at baseline, 3, 6 and 9 months and four post treatment questionnaires. The HI-Light Vitiligo Trial assesses outcomes included in the vitiligo core outcome set and places emphasis on participants’ views of treatment success. The primary outcome is proportion of participants achieving treatment success (patient-rated Vitiligo Noticeability Scale) for a target patch of vitiligo at 9 months with further independent blinded assessment using digital images of the target lesion before and after treatment. Secondary outcomes include time to onset of treatment response, treatment success by body region, percentage repigmentation, quality of life, time-burden of treatment, maintenance of response, safety, and within-trial cost effectiveness. Ethics and Dissemination Approvals were granted by East Midlands–Derby Research Ethics Committee (14/EM/1173) and the MHRA (EudraCT 2014-003473-42). The trial was registered 8th January 2015 ISRCTN (17160087). Results will be published in full as open access in the NIHR Journal library and elsewhere

    The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment: Exploring Fundamental Symmetries of the Universe

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    The preponderance of matter over antimatter in the early Universe, the dynamics of the supernova bursts that produced the heavy elements necessary for life and whether protons eventually decay --- these mysteries at the forefront of particle physics and astrophysics are key to understanding the early evolution of our Universe, its current state and its eventual fate. The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) represents an extensively developed plan for a world-class experiment dedicated to addressing these questions. LBNE is conceived around three central components: (1) a new, high-intensity neutrino source generated from a megawatt-class proton accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, (2) a near neutrino detector just downstream of the source, and (3) a massive liquid argon time-projection chamber deployed as a far detector deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This facility, located at the site of the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, is approximately 1,300 km from the neutrino source at Fermilab -- a distance (baseline) that delivers optimal sensitivity to neutrino charge-parity symmetry violation and mass ordering effects. This ambitious yet cost-effective design incorporates scalability and flexibility and can accommodate a variety of upgrades and contributions. With its exceptional combination of experimental configuration, technical capabilities, and potential for transformative discoveries, LBNE promises to be a vital facility for the field of particle physics worldwide, providing physicists from around the globe with opportunities to collaborate in a twenty to thirty year program of exciting science. In this document we provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess.Comment: Major update of previous version. This is the reference document for LBNE science program and current status. Chapters 1, 3, and 9 provide a comprehensive overview of LBNE's scientific objectives, its place in the landscape of neutrino physics worldwide, the technologies it will incorporate and the capabilities it will possess. 288 pages, 116 figure

    Choice of boundary condition for lattice-Boltzmann simulation of moderate-Reynolds-number flow in complex domains

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    Modeling blood flow in larger vessels using lattice-Boltzmann methods comes with a challenging set of constraints: a complex geometry with walls and inlet/outlets at arbitrary orientations with respect to the lattice, intermediate Reynolds number, and unsteady flow. Simple bounce-back is one of the most commonly used, simplest, and most computationally efficient boundary conditions, but many others have been proposed. We implement three other methods applicable to complex geometries (Guo, Zheng and Shi, Phys Fluids (2002); Bouzdi, Firdaouss and Lallemand, Phys. Fluids (2001); Junk and Yang Phys. Rev. E (2005)) in our open-source application \HemeLB{}. We use these to simulate Poiseuille and Womersley flows in a cylindrical pipe with an arbitrary orientation at physiologically relevant Reynolds (1--300) and Womersley (4--12) numbers and steady flow in a curved pipe at relevant Dean number (100--200) and compare the accuracy to analytical solutions. We find that both the Bouzidi-Firdaouss-Lallemand and Guo-Zheng-Shi methods give second-order convergence in space while simple bounce-back degrades to first order. The BFL method appears to perform better than GZS in unsteady flows and is significantly less computationally expensive. The Junk-Yang method shows poor stability at larger Reynolds number and so cannot be recommended here. The choice of collision operator (lattice Bhatnagar-Gross-Krook vs.\ multiple relaxation time) and velocity set (D3Q15 vs.\ D3Q19 vs.\ D3Q27) does not significantly affect the accuracy in the problems studied.Comment: Submitted to Phys. Rev. E, 14 pages, 6 figures, 5 table

    Silk garments plus standard care compared with standard care for treating eczema in children: A randomised, controlled, observer-blind, pragmatic trial (CLOTHES Trial)

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    © 2017 Thomas et al. Background: The role of clothing in the management of eczema (also called atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema) is poorly understood. This trial evaluated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of silk garments (in addition to standard care) for the management of eczema in children with moderate to severe disease. Methods and findings: This was a parallel-group, randomised, controlled, observer-blind trial. Children aged 1 to 15 y with moderate to severe eczema were recruited from secondary care and the community at five UK medical centres. Participants were allocated using online randomisation (1:1) to standard care or to standard care plus silk garments, stratified by age and recruiting centre. Silk garments were worn for 6 mo. Primary outcome (eczema severity) was assessed at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 mo, by nurses blinded to treatment allocation, using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), which was log-transformed for analysis (intention-to-treat analysis). A safety outcome was number of skin infections. Three hundred children were randomised (26 November 2013 to 5 May 2015): 42% girls, 79% white, mean age 5 y. Primary analysis included 282/300 (94%) children (n = 141 in each group). The garments were worn more often at night than in the day (median of 81% of nights [25th to 75th centile 57% to 96%] and 34% of days [25th to 75th centile 10% to 76%]). Geometric mean EASI scores at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 mo were, respectively, 9.2, 6.4, 5.8, and 5.4 for silk clothing and 8.4, 6.6, 6.0, and 5.4 for standard care. There was no evidence of any difference between the groups in EASI score averaged over all follow-up visits adjusted for baseline EASI score, age, and centre: adjusted ratio of geometric means 0.95, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.07, (p = 0.43). This confidence interval is equivalent to a difference of −1.5 to 0.5 in the original EASI units, which is not clinically important. Skin infections occurred in 36/142 (25%) and 39/141 (28%) of children in the silk clothing and standard care groups, respectively. Even if the small observed treatment effect was genuine, the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year was £56,811 in the base case analysis from a National Health Service perspective, suggesting that silk garments are unlikely to be cost-effective using currently accepted thresholds. The main limitation of the study is that use of an objective primary outcome, whilst minimising detection bias, may have underestimated treatment effects. Conclusions: Silk clothing is unlikely to provide additional benefit over standard care in children with moderate to severe eczema. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN77261365

    Reality beckons: metamodernist depthiness beyond panfictionality

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    It is often argued that postmodernism has been succeeded by a new dominant cultural logic. We conceive of this new logic as metamodernism. Whilst some twenty-first century texts still engage with and utilise postmodernist practices, they put these practices to new use. In this article, we investigate the metamodern usage of the typically postmodernist devices of metatextuality and ontological slippage in two genres: autofiction and true crime documentary. Specifically, we analyse Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and the Netflix mini-series The Keepers, demonstrating that forms of fictionalisation, metafictionality and ontological blurring between fiction and reality have been repurposed. We argue that, rather than expand the scope of fiction, overriding reality, the metamodernist repurposing of postmodernist textual strategies generates a kind of ‘reality-effect’