Monthly Archives: March 2015

USAID Official to Speak on New Ways to Save Lives at Birth at National Press Club April 2


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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Thursday, April 2, experts will share new evidence to be published in The Lancet and The Lancet Global Health with the potential to save thousands of newborn lives with low cost, effective and commonly available antibiotics. Almost a quarter of the three million neonatal deaths annually are the result of severe infections like sepsis – a fast progressing life-threatening illness in newborns that requires rapid treatment. Newborn sepsis can be difficult for families and even clinicians to recognize in newborns, who rapidly decline without timely and appropriate treatment.

Mozilla Releases Security Updates for Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird

Original release date: March 31, 2015

The Mozilla Foundation has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. Exploitation of one of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.

Available updates include:

  • Firefox 37
  • Firefox ESR 31.6
  • Thunderbird 31.6

Users and administrators are encouraged to review the Security Advisories for Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird and apply the necessary updates.


This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Privacy & Use policy.

CFRP Renewal of Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (Web Report 4352)

The project completed and reported on multiple tasks, including: Review literature and data on degradation of CFRP to determine the material adjustment and time effect factors that should be used in design of CFRP liners for design lives of five and fifty years; Review literature and data on buckling resistance of CFRP liners in degrading PCCP; Perform two full-scale hydrostatic pressure tests and eight three-edge bearing tests to study the behavior of CFRP-lined distressed PCCP with regions of broken wires and cracked outer core; Perform detailed nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) of ten representative CFRP-lined buried PCCP, simulating the degradation process of PCCP after CFRP installation; and verify critical design parameters; Determine the buckling equation that should be used in design of the CFRP liners; Perform reliability analysis and determine load and resistance factors for all design limit states of CFRP-lined PCCP. Failure modes were discovered that were not included among the initial list of failure modes of the CFRP liner, which prevented continuing to pressurize the pipe to the ultimate capacity of the CFRP-renewed and strengthened pipe. A design confirmation test is recommended in which the pressure in the CFRP-renewed and strengthened pipe is allowed to increase until either the CFRP is ruptured or the calculated ultimate capacity of the pipe is reached. The results of this research have been shared with the AWWA Standard Committee on Renewal and Strengthening of PCCP.

2015/03/31 THoR Aims to Help Future Patients “Weather the Storm” of Infection

DARPA’s new Technologies for Host Resilience (THoR) program aims to tackle the rising prevalence of multi-drug-resistant pathogens, as well as emerging biological threats. Instead of focusing on how to kill specific pathogens, THoR seeks to catalyze the development of breakthrough interventions that would increase a patient’s ability to tolerate a broad range of pathogens. The program will explore the fundamental biology of host tolerance to infection with the goal of expanding treatment options for humans in the future.

In every population that encounters an infectious organism, a few individuals prove to be resilient—unfazed by that pathogen because they are either resistant to it (their immune systems keep the pathogen from multiplying to dangerous levels) or tolerant (they don’t get as sick as they otherwise might despite carrying high pathogen loads). Conventional disease treatments such as antibiotics have almost exclusively sought to emulate natural resistance by keeping patients’ pathogen levels as low as possible. This approach has been incredibly successful but has an increasingly serious downside: Any pathogens that survive a particular treatment can defy it from then on, giving rise to new antibiotic-resistant strains. The rising prevalence of multi-drug-resistant pathogens, as well as emerging biological threats, makes developing new medical countermeasures a national security priority.

Increasing Transparency and Accountability for Students

Higher education remains the most important investment any person can make in their future. In the several months I’ve been at the U.S. Department of Education, I have had a number of conversations with students and families that have inspired me to double down on our commitment to making college more affordable and accessible. A big part of our work toward that goal has been to increase both the quantity and quality of information that students, families, borrowers and the public have about higher education.

Perinatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Atopy at 1 Year of Age in a Multi-Center Canadian Birth Cohort Study

Author Affiliations open
1School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 2Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; 3Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; 4Air Quality Research Division, Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 5Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 6Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 7Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; 8Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 9BC Children’s Hospital and Child and Family Research Institute, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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  • Background: The role of traffic related air pollution (TRAP) exposure in the development of allergic sensitization in children is unclear and few birth cohort studies have incorporated spatiotemporal exposure assessment.

    Objectives: To examine the association between TRAP and atopy in 1 year old children from an ongoing national birth cohort study in four Canadian cities.

    Methods: We identified 2477 children ≥ 1 year old with assessment of atopy for inhalant (Alternaria, Der p, Der f, Cat, Dog, Cockroach) and food-related (milk, eggs, peanuts, soy) allergens. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was estimated from city-specific land use regression models accounting for residential mobility and temporal variability in ambient concentrations. We used mixed models to examine associations between atopy and exposure during pregnancy and the first year of life, including adjustment for covariates (maternal atopy, SES, pets, mold, and nutrition). We also conducted analyses stratified by time-location patterns, daycare attendance, and modeled home ventilation.

    Results: Following spatiotemporal adjustment, TRAP exposure after birth increased the risk for development of atopy to any allergens (adjusted OR per 10 µg/m3 NO2 = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.41), but not during pregnancy (aOR = 1.02; 95% CI: 0.86, 1.22). This association was stronger among children not attending daycare (aOR = 1.61; 95% CI: 1.28, 2.01) compared to daycare attendees (aOR = 1.05; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.28). Trends to increased risk were also found for food (aOR = 1.17; 95% CI: 0.95, 1.47) and inhalant allergens aOR = 1.28; 95% CI: 0.93, 1.76).

    Conclusion: Using refined exposure estimates that incorporated temporal variability and residential mobility, traffic-related air pollution during the first year of life was associated with atopy.

  • This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

    Citation: Sbihi H, Allen RW, Becker A, Brook JR, Mandhane P, Scott JA, Sears MR, Subbarao P, Takaro TK, Turvey SE, Brauer M. Perinatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Atopy at 1 Year of Age in a Multi-Center Canadian Birth Cohort Study. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1408700.

    Received: 15 May 2014
    Accepted: 26 March 2015
    Advance Publication: 31 March 2015

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Pushing the Boundaries of Propelling Deep Space Missions

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are advancing the propulsion system that will propel the first ever mission to redirect an asteroid for astronauts to explore in the 2020s.  NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission will test a number of new capabilities, like advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), needed for future astronaut expeditions into deep space, including to Mars.

The Hall thruster is part of an SEP system that uses 10 times less propellant than equivalent chemical rockets. In a recent test, engineers from Glenn and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, using a Glenn vacuum chamber to simulate the space environment, successfully tested a new, higher power Hall thruster design, which is more efficient and has longer life. “We proved that this thruster can process three times the power of previous designs and increase efficiency by 50 percent,” said Dan Herman, Electric Propulsion Subsystem lead.

Hall thrusters trap electrons in a magnetic field and use them to ionize the onboard propellant. The magnetic field also generates an electric field that accelerates the charged ions creating an exhaust plume of plasma that pushes the spacecraft forward. This method delivers cost-effective, safe and highly efficient in-space propulsion for long duration missions. In addition to propelling an asteroid mission, this new thruster could be used to send large amounts of cargo, habitats and other architectures in support of human missions to Mars.

Image Credit: NASA
Michelle M. Murphy (Wyle Information Systems, LLC)

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Passes Critical Milestone

NASA’s groundbreaking science mission to retrieve a sample from an ancient space rock has moved closer to fruition. The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has passed a critical milestone in its path towards launch and is officially authorized to transition into its next phase.

Pushing the Boundaries of Propelling Deep Space Missions

Engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center are advancing the propulsion system that will propel the first ever mission to redirect an asteroid for astronauts to explore in the 2020s.  NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission will test a number of new capabilities, like advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), needed for future astronaut expeditions into deep space, including to Mars.

The Hall thruster is part of an SEP system that uses 10 times less propellant than equivalent chemical rockets. In a recent test, engineers from Glenn and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, using a Glenn vacuum chamber to simulate the space environment, successfully tested a new, higher power Hall thruster design, which is more efficient and has longer life. “We proved that this thruster can process three times the power of previous designs and increase efficiency by 50 percent,” said Dan Herman, Electric Propulsion Subsystem lead.

Hall thrusters trap electrons in a magnetic field and use them to ionize the onboard propellant. The magnetic field also generates an electric field that accelerates the charged ions creating an exhaust plume of plasma that pushes the spacecraft forward. This method delivers cost-effective, safe and highly efficient in-space propulsion for long duration missions. In addition to propelling an asteroid mission, this new thruster could be used to send large amounts of cargo, habitats and other architectures in support of human missions to Mars.

Image Credit: NASA
Michelle M. Murphy (Wyle Information Systems, LLC)

An Overview of a Trajectory-Based Solution for En Route and Terminal Area Self-Spacing: Fifth Edition

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of the fifth revision to an algorithm specifically designed to support NASA’s Airborne Precision Spacing concept. This algorithm is referred to as the Airborne Spacing for Terminal Arrival Routes version 12 (ASTAR12). This airborne self-spacing concept is trajectory-based, allowing for spacing operations prior to the aircraft being on a common path. Because this algorithm is trajectory-based, it also has the inherent ability to support required-time-of- arrival…

Numerical Calculations of 3-D High-Lift Flows and Comparison with Experiment

Abstract: Solutions were obtained with the Navier-Stokes CFD code TLNS3D to predict the flow about the NASA Trapezoidal Wing, a high-lift wing composed of three elements: the main-wing element, a deployed leading-edge slat, and a deployed trailing-edge flap. Turbulence was modeled by the Spalart-Allmaras one-equation turbulence model. One case with massive separation was repeated using Menter’s two-equation SST (Menter’s Shear Stress Transport) k-omega turbulence model in an attempt to improve the agre…

Get the Science Right when Paying for Nature’s Services

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) mechanisms leverage economic and social incentives to shape how people influence natural processes and achieve conservation and sustainability goals. Beneficiaries of nature’s goods and services pay owners or stewards of ecosystems that produce those services, with payments contingent on service provision (1, 2). Integrating scientific knowledge and methods into PES is critical (3, 4). Yet many projects are based on weak scientific foundations, and effectiveness is rarely evaluated with the rigor necessary for scaling up and understanding the importance of these approaches as policy instruments and conservation tools (2, 5, 6). Part of the problem is the lack of simple, yet rigorous, scientific principles and guidelines to accommodate PES design and guide research and analyses that foster evaluations of effectiveness (4). As scientists and practitioners from government, nongovernment, academic, and finance institutions, we propose a set of such guidelines and principles.