387 research outputs found

    Determination of the Fermi Velocity by Angle-dependent Periodic Orbit Resonance Measurements in the Organic Conductor alpha-(BEDT-TTF)2KHg(SCN)4

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    We report detailed angle-dependent studies of the microwave (f=50 to 90 GHz) interlayer magneto-electrodynamics of a single crystal sample of the organic charge-density-wave (CDW) conductor alpha-(BEDT-TTF)2KHg(SCN)4. Recently developed instrumentation enables both magnetic field (B) sweeps for a fixed sample orientation and, for the first time, angle sweeps at fixed f/B. We observe series' of resonant absorptions which we attribute to periodic orbit resonances (POR) - a phenomenon closely related to cyclotron resonance. The angle dependence of the POR indicate that they are associated with the low temperature quasi-one-dimensional (Q1D) Fermi surface (FS) of the title compound; indeed, all of the resonance peaks collapse beautifully onto a single set of f/B versus angle curves, generated using a semiclassical magneto-transport theory for a single Q1D FS. We show that Q1D POR measurements provide one of the most direct methods for determining the Fermi velocity, without any detailed assumptions concerning the bandstructure; our analysis yields an average value of v_F=6.5x10^4 m/s. Quantitative analysis of the POR harmonic content indicates that the Q1D FS is strongly corrugated. This is consistent with the assumption that the low-temperature FS derives from a reconstruction of the high temperature quasi-two-dimensional FS, caused by the CDW instability. Detailed analysis of the angle dependence of the POR yields parameters associated with the CDW superstructure which are consistent with published results. Finally, we address the issue as to whether or not the interlayer electrodynamics are coherent in the title compound.Comment: 28 pages, including 6 figures. Submitted to PR

    UK science press officers, professional vision and the generation of expectations

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    Science press officers can play an integral role in helping promote expectations and hype about biomedical research. Using this as a starting point, this article draws on interviews with 10 UK-based science press officers, which explored how they view their role as science reporters and as generators of expectations. Using Goodwin’s notion of ‘professional vision’, we argue that science press officers have a specific professional vision that shapes how they produce biomedical press releases, engage in promotion of biomedical research and make sense of hype. We discuss how these insights can contribute to the sociology of expectations, as well as inform responsible science communication.This project was funded by the Wellcome Trust (Wellcome Trust Biomedical Strategic Award 086034)

    Superconducting fluctuation corrections to ultrasound attenuation in layered superconductors

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    We consider the temperature dependence of the sound attenuation and sound velocity in layered impure metals due to superconducting fluctuations of the order parameter above the critical temperature. We obtain the dependence on material properties of these fluctuation corrections in the hydrodynamic limit, where the electron mean free path is much smaller than the wavelength of sound and where the electron collision rate is much larger than the sound frequency. For longitudinal sound propagating perpendicular to the layers, the open Fermi surface condition leads to a suppression of the divergent contributions to leading order, in contrast with the case of paraconductivity. The leading temperature dependent corrections, given by the Aslamazov-Larkin, Maki-Thompson and density of states terms, remain finite as T->Tc. Nevertheless, the sensitivity of new ultrasonic experiments on layered organic conductors should make these fluctuations effects measurable.Comment: 13 pages, 6 figures. Accepted for PRB. Added discussion on incoherent interlayer tunneling and other small modifications suggested by referee

    Nuclear-mitochondrial DNA segments resemble paternally inherited mitochondrial DNA in humans.

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    Several strands of evidence question the dogma that human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited exclusively down the maternal line, most recently in three families where several individuals harbored a 'heteroplasmic haplotype' consistent with biparental transmission. Here we report a similar genetic signature in 7 of 11,035 trios, with allelic fractions of 5-25%, implying biparental inheritance of mtDNA in 0.06% of offspring. However, analysing the nuclear whole genome sequence, we observe likely large rare or unique nuclear-mitochondrial DNA segments (mega-NUMTs) transmitted from the father in all 7 families. Independently detecting mega-NUMTs in 0.13% of fathers, we see autosomal transmission of the haplotype. Finally, we show the haplotype allele fraction can be explained by complex concatenated mtDNA-derived sequences rearranged within the nuclear genome. We conclude that rare cryptic mega-NUMTs can resemble paternally mtDNA heteroplasmy, but find no evidence of paternal transmission of mtDNA in humans

    Statistical methodology for the evaluation of vaccine efficacy in a phase III multi-centre trial of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine in African children

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    BACKGROUND\ud \ud There has been much debate about the appropriate statistical methodology for the evaluation of malaria field studies and the challenges in interpreting data arising from these trials.\ud \ud METHODS\ud \ud The present paper describes, for a pivotal phase III efficacy of the RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine, the methods of the statistical analysis and the rationale for their selection. The methods used to estimate efficacy of the primary course of vaccination, and of a booster dose, in preventing clinical episodes of uncomplicated and severe malaria, and to determine the duration of protection, are described. The interpretation of various measures of efficacy in terms of the potential public health impact of the vaccine is discussed.\ud \ud CONCLUSIONS\ud \ud The methodology selected to analyse the clinical trial must be scientifically sound, acceptable to regulatory authorities and meaningful to those responsible for malaria control and public health policy

    Exploring the relationship between chronic undernutrition and asymptomatic malaria in Ghanaian children

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>A moderate association has been found between asymptomatic parasitaemia and undernutrition. However, additional investigation using the gold standard for asymptomatic parasitaemia confirmation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is needed to validate this association. Anthropometric measurements and blood samples from children less than five years of age in a rural Ghanaian community were used to determine if an association exists between chronic undernutrition and PCR-confirmed cases of asymptomatic malaria.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 214 children less than five years of age from a community near Kumasi, Ghana. Blood samples and anthropometric measurements from these children were collected during physical examinations conducted in January 2007 by partners of the Barekuma Collaborative Community Development Programme.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Findings from the logistic model predicting the odds of asymptomatic malaria indicate that children who experienced mild, moderate or severe stunting were not more likely to have asymptomatic malaria than children who were not stunted. Children experiencing anaemia had an increased likelihood (OR = 4.15; 95% CI: 1.92, 8.98) of asymptomatic malaria. Similarly, increased spleen size, which was measured by ultrasound, was also associated with asymptomatic malaria (OR = 2.17; 95% CI: 1.44, 3.28). Fast breathing, sex of the child, and age of the child were not significantly associated with the asymptomatic malaria.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>No significant association between chronic undernutrition and presence of asymptomatic malaria was found. Children who experience anaemia and children who have splenomegaly are more likely to present asymptomatic malaria. Programmes aimed at addressing malaria should continue to include nutritional components, especially components that address anaemia.</p
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