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News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Houston Methodist Research Institute scientists used genome sequencing to discover that an otherwise rare strain of a superbug was found in more than one-third of the Houston patients studied. This strain is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. "Finding the otherwise uncommon strain in our city was a very surprising discovery," said James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine at the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital. "Because Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common and important cause of human infections, we urgently need to identify potential vaccine targets or other new treatments, and develop new and rapid diagnostic techniques." In the largest published study to date on the bacterial pathogen Klebsiella pneumoniae, researchers sequenced the genome of more than 1,700 strains causing infections in patients over a four-year period. The study appears in the May 16 issue of mBio, an online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology. [Click here for video of James M. Musser, M.D., Ph.D., explaining this research] Musser said the reason why this particular strain is prevalent in the Houston area is a mystery, but is a focus of intensive ongoing research. K. pneumoniae is one of the most common causes of infections in hospitalized patients in the United States. The team's discovery documents the occurrence of an especially strong group of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a city of approximately six million people. Musser said K. pneumoniae is a challenging pathogen because it causes serious infections, especially in hospitalized patients. K. pneumoniae typically doesn't cause disease when it lives inside human intestines. However, when it moves into other parts of the body, the bacteria can cause a range of illnesses, including pneumonia; bloodstream, wound or surgical site infections; meningitis; and urinary tract infections. Musser's team collaborated with scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago to sequence and analyze the genomes of 1,777 K. pneumoniae strains causing infections between September 2011 and May 2015 in patients in the Houston Methodist system. Unexpectedly, the otherwise uncommon clone type 307 was the most abundant strain of K. pneumoniae circulating. This organism also has been periodically identified in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. However, until now, clone type 307 has not been documented to be an abundant cause of infections in one city. "Incorporating sophisticated and novel computational and molecular strategies allowed us to rapidly identify the drug-resistant strains," said S. Wesley Long, M.D., Ph.D., first author and associate director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at Houston Methodist Hospital. "The faster we can successfully identify which antibiotics this strain is sensitive to, the faster a treating physician can target the appropriate therapy to these ill patients. Our discoveries also give us the tools to begin to understand how the germ is spreading throughout the Houston area." Earlier this year, K. pneumoniae made national and international headlines when the Centers for Disease Control documented the first case of an elderly Nevada woman who died from a rare form of this superbug after she failed to respond to all 26 antibiotics used in the United States. "Fortunately, the strain 307 identified in our study remains susceptible to certain antibiotics that can be used to successfully treat infected patients," said Long. Work was supported by the Fondren Foundation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Service (HHSN272201400027C). Other collaborators on the mBio paper include Randall J. Olsen, Todd Eagar, Stephen Beres, and Picheng Zhao (Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX); and James Davis, Thomas Brettin and Fangfang Xia (Argonne National Laboratory and University of Chicago, Chicago, IL). To speak with Dr. James Musser, contact Gale Smith, Houston Methodist, at 281.627.0439 or gsmith@houstonmethodist.org. For more information about Houston Methodist, visit houstonmethodist.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For more information: S. Long, R. Olsen, T. Eagar, S. Beres, P. Zhao, J. Davis, T. Brettin, F. Xia, J. Musser. mBio, (Online May 16, 2017). DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00489-17.

News Article | May 17, 2017
Site: cleantechnica.com

In one of its recent blog posts, the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory revealed that plug-in electric vehicles captured a 23.5% share of Norway’s total auto market in 2016. What that means is that around one in every four cars sold in Norway during 2016 was a plug-in electric vehicle of some kind. Not that you didn’t know it, but that makes Norway the market with the highest rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption anywhere in the world. This compares to an EV market penetration percentage of 5.1% in the Netherlands, 3.2% in Sweden, 1.3% in the UK, 1.2% in France, and 0.7% in Germany. Despite the UK’s fairly low EV market share, because of the large size of the UK’s market, it was still responsible for around 17.3% of all plug-in electric vehicle sales in Europe in 2016, barely second to Norway’s 19.9%. As a reminder here, the plug-in electric vehicle market penetration percentage in the US was around 0.9% in 2016. Here’s a graph released by the Argonne National Laboratory that illustrates the state of things in 2016 quite well: We recently wrote a piece diving into Norway’s EV market. With it being the star of this show, that whole article is just posted below again in case you missed it. Norway is like a lab experiment for electric transport. Crushing the electric car market share of any other country, Norway’s 30% or so EV share has been reached after more or less following the exponential growth trend that you see in theoretical charts like this one: → Related: ~Half Of New Car Sales In Oslo (Norway) In January Were EVs, Garage With 100+ Charging Points Opens Of course, the electric car options will change dramatically by the time any other country reaches 30% market share, but it’s still interesting to have a look at which electric models have seen the most love in Norway’s rather mature market. One of our wonderful, faithful readers — Are Hansen — recently shared some charts on just that. From EV-focused website elbil.no, here’s a look at the 10 electric cars you’re most likely to see on a Norwegian street (registration data as of March 31, 2017): Another chart from that page that caught my eye is one showing registrations of fully electric cars versus plug-in hybrids: As you can see, plug-in hybrid sales rose from almost nothing to a significant share of 2016 and 2017 registrations. There are various reasons for that, but I think one factor worth highlighting is that there are now 20 or so plug-in hybrids on the market in Europe. Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen have been sticking small batteries and electric motors motors into many of their gasoline models like the best way to transition to electric transport is to put as little work and money in as possible and offer token electric batteries that get the automakers over European regulatory hurdles. I wouldn’t call it trolling (well, maybe I would) … but I do presume it’s a delay tactic to postpone a true EV revolution for as long as possible. That said, people do seem to be buying and appreciating these plug-in hybrids, even in EV-loving Norway. And our surveys have shown that plug-in hybrid drivers are similar to other EV drivers in the reasons they have for going electric — with “environmental benefit” being the most popular reason. Survey results from our new EV report. Responses came from over 2,000 EV drivers across 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces. Responses were segmented according to region — North America vs Europe — and type of electric car — plug-in hybrid vs Tesla vs non-Tesla fully electric car. I just wish the vehicles would be designed more as EVs and have batteries with twice the capacity, following in the footsteps of the successful and effective Chevy Volt drivetrain. Instead, it seems that Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen had a quiet meeting in a dark room somewhere and decided to offer plug-in hybrids with the smallest batteries possible. I’m curious to hear more from Norwegians or others here who have some deeper perspective on the plug-in hybrid market in Norway or elsewhere. Check out our new 93-page EV report. Join us for an upcoming Cleantech Revolution Tour conference! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. James Ayre 's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

Rozhkova E.A.,Argonne National Laboratory
Advanced Materials | Year: 2011

This article reports on recent progress in the development of advanced nanoscale photoreactive, magnetic and multifunctional materials applicable to brain cancer diagnostics, imaging, and therapy, with an emphasis on the latest contributions and the novelty of the approach, along with the most promising emergent trends. This article reports on recent progress in the development of advanced nanoscale photoreactive, magnetic and multifunctional materials applicable to brain cancer diagnostics, imaging, and therapy, with an emphasis on the latest contributions and the novelty of the approach, along with the most promising emergent trends. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Ilavsky J.,Argonne National Laboratory
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2012

Nika is an Igor Pro-based package for correction, calibration and reduction of two-dimensional area-detector data into one-dimensional data (lineouts). It is free (although the user needs a paid license for Igor Pro), open source and highly flexible. While typically used for small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data, it can also be used for grazing-incidence SAXS data, wide-angle diffraction data and even small-angle neutron scattering data. It has been widely available to the user community since about 2005, and it is currently used at the SAXS instruments of selected large-scale facilities as their main data reduction package. It is, however, also suitable for desktop instruments when the manufacturers software is not available or appropriate. Since it is distributed as source code, it can be scrutinized, verified and modified by users to suit their needs. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved.

Kuzmenko I.,Argonne National Laboratory
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report a structural study of cholesterol-DPPC (1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn- glycero-3-phophocholine) monolayers using x-ray reflectivity and grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. Reflectivity reveals that the vertical position of cholesterol relative to phospholipids strongly depends on its mole fraction (χCHOL). Moreover, we find that at a broad range of χCHOL cholesterol and DPPC form alloylike mixed domains of short-range order and the same stoichiometry as that of the film. Based on the data presented, we propose a new model of cholesterol-phospholipid organization in mixed monolayers. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Snezhko A.,Argonne National Laboratory | Aranson I.S.,Argonne National Laboratory
Nature Materials | Year: 2011

Self-assembled materials must actively consume energy and remain out of equilibrium to support structural complexity and functional diversity. Here we show that a magnetic colloidal suspension confined at the interface between two immiscible liquids and energized by an alternating magnetic field dynamically self-assembles into localized asters and arrays of asters, which exhibit locomotion and shape change. By controlling a small external magnetic field applied parallel to the interface, we show that asters can capture, transport, and position target microparticles. The ability to manipulate colloidal structures is crucial for the further development of self-assembled microrobots. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Knope K.E.,Argonne National Laboratory | Soderholm L.,Argonne National Laboratory
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013

A study was conducted to demonstrate solution and solid-state structural chemistry of actinide hydrates and their hydrolysis and condensation products. The investigations focused on providing a detailed metrical description of a hydrated ion's coordination environment and how it changed as it further reacted with water through hydrolysis. The study emphasized on facilitating information transfer and comparisons between these two approaches to the same problem. It also focused on relating the metal-ligand correlated moieties and aggregates identified from thermodynamics with molecular level structures for which the theorist assessed the results. A number of An hydrates, mononuclear hydrolysis products, and polynuclear complexes were highlighted where polynuclear complexes resulted from metal-ion hydrolysis and condensation in aqueous and nonaqueous solution.

Liu G.,Argonne National Laboratory
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

Photon upconversion in rare earth activated phosphors involves multiple mechanisms of electronic transitions. Stepwise optical excitation, energy transfer, and various nonlinear and collective light-matter interaction processes act together to convert low-energy photons into short-wavelength light emission. Upconversion luminescence from nanomaterials exhibits additional size and surface dependencies. A fundamental understanding of the overall performance of an upconversion system requires basic theories on the spectroscopic properties of solids containing rare earth ions. This review article surveys the recent progress in the theoretical interpretations of the spectroscopic characteristics and luminescence dynamics of photon upconversion in rare earth activated phosphors. The primary aspects of upconversion processes, including energy level splitting, transition probability, line broadening, non-radiative relaxation and energy transfer, are covered with an emphasis on interpreting experimental observations. Theoretical models and methods for analyzing nano-phenomena in upconversion are introduced with detailed discussions on recently reported experimental results. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Back B.B.,Argonne National Laboratory | Esbensen H.,Argonne National Laboratory | Jiang C.L.,Argonne National Laboratory | Rehm K.E.,Argonne National Laboratory
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2014

In this review the main advances in heavy-ion fusion research that have taken place over the last decade are addressed. During this period, experimental studies have been extended to deep sub-barrier energies to reveal the unexpected phenomenon of fusion hindrance. The coupled-channels descriptions have been refined to include the effects of nucleon transfer and to account for the fusion hindrance in terms of the ion-ion potential in the strongly overlapping region. Substantial progress has been made in time-dependent Hartree-Fock theory to the point that this approach now can make parameter-free predictions of heavy-ion fusion excitation functions. As several heavy-ion fusion reactions are of crucial importance in late-stage giant-star evolution, these reactions continue to be studied with better experimental and theoretical tools in order to provide improved input to astrophysical models. The effects of loosely bound valence nucleons on the fusion cross sections are the focus of a number of experimental studies involving radioactive beams, which have only recently become available. And finally, as the active field of synthesizing superheavy elements relies on heavy-ion fusion to reach the nuclei of interest, it is important to understand the fusion dynamics that plays a crucial role in both the "cold-fusion" and "hot-fusion" approaches to the superheavy island of stability. Also this area has seen significant progress in several different approaches to the problem of predicting the cross sections for formation and survival of these rare nuclei. © 2014 American Physical Society.

GIXSGUI is a MATLAB toolbox that offers both a graphical user interface and script-based access to visualize and process grazing-incidence X-ray scattering data from nanostructures on surfaces and in thin films. It provides routine surface scattering data reduction methods such as geometric correction, one-dimensional intensity linecut, two-dimensional intensity reshaping etc. Three-dimensional indexing is also implemented to determine the space group and lattice parameters of buried organized nanoscopic structures in supported thin films. © 2015 International Union of Crystallography.

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