For men and women of a specific age, high-frequency hearing thresholds were lower (better) in 1999-2004 than in 1959-1962. The prevalences of hearing impairment were also lower in the recent survey. Differences seen at 500 Hz may be attributable at least in part to changes in standards for ambient noise in audiometry. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 distributions are offered as a possible replacement for Annex B in ISO-1999 and ANSI S3.44.
Saturable absorption is a phenomenon readily seen in the optical and infrared wavelengths. It has never been observed in core-electron transitions owing to the short lifetime of the excited states involved and the high intensities of the soft X-rays needed. We report saturable absorption of an L-shell transition in aluminium using record intensities over 10 16 W cm −2 at a photon energy of 92 eV. From a consideration of the relevant timescales, we infer that immediately after the X-rays have passed, the sample is in an exotic state where all of the aluminium atoms have an L-shell hole, and the valence band has approximately a 9 eV temperature, whereas the atoms are still on their crystallographic positions. Subsequently, Auger decay heats the material to the warm dense matter regime, at around 25 eV temperatures. The method is an ideal candidate to study homogeneous warm dense matter, highly relevant to planetary science, astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Saturable absorption, the decrease in the absorption of light with increasing intensity, is a well-known effect in the visible and near-visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum 1 , and is a widely exploited phenomenon in laser technology. Although there are many ways to induce this effect, in the simplest two-level system it will occur when the population of the lower, absorbing level is severely depleted, which requires light intensities sufficiently high to overcome relaxation from the upper level. Here, we report on the production of saturable absorption of a metal in the soft X-ray regime by the creation of highly uniform warm dense conditions, a regime that is of great interest in high-pressure science 2,3 , the geophysics of large planets 4,5 , astrophysics 6 , plasma production and inertial confinement fusion 7 . Furthermore, the process by which the saturation of the absorption occurs will lead, after the X-ray pulse, to the storage of about 100 eV per atom, which in turn evolves to a warm dense state. This manner of creation is unique as it requires intense, subpicosecond, soft X-rays. As such, it has not hitherto been observed in this region of the spectrum, owing both to the lack of high-intensity sources, and the rapid recombination times associated with such high photon energies. However, with the advent of new fourth-generation X-ray light sources, including the free-electron laser in Hamburg 8 (FLASH), soft X-ray intensities that have previously remained the province of high-power optical lasers can now be produced. Experiments at such high intensities using gas jets have already exhibited novel absorption phenomena 9 , and the possibility of irradiating solid samples with intense soft and hard X-rays has aroused interest as a possible means of producing warm dense matter (WDM) at known atomic densities 10,11 .We present the first measurements of the absorption coefficient of solid samples subject to subpicosecond soft X-ray pulses with intensities up to and in excess of 10 16 W cm −2 , two orders of magnitude higher than could ...
Objective This field study aimed to assess the noise reduction of hearing protection for individual workers, demonstrate the effectiveness of training on the level of protection achieved, and measure the time required to implement hearing protector fit-testing in the workplace. Design The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted field studies in Louisiana and Texas to test the performance of HPD Well-Fit. Study Sample Fit tests were performed on 126 inspectors and engineers working in the offshore oil industry. Results Workers were fit tested with the goal of achieving a 25 dBA PAR. Less than half of the workers were achieving sufficient protection from their hearing protectors prior to NIOSH intervention and training; following re-fitting and re-training, over 85% of the workers achieved sufficient protection. Typical test times were 6 to 12 minutes. Conclusions Fit testing of the workers’ earplugs identified those workers who were and were not achieving the desired level of protection. Recommendations for other hearing protection solutions were made for workers who could not achieve the target PAR. The study demonstrates the need for individual hearing protector fit testing and addresses some of the barriers to implementation.
Despite its importance in harboring genes critical for spermatogenesis and male-specific functions, the Y chromosome has been largely excluded as a priority in recent mammalian genome sequencing projects. Only the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes have been well characterized at the sequence level. This is primarily due to the presumed low overall gene content and highly repetitive nature of the Y chromosome and the ensuing difficulties using a shotgun sequence approach for assembly. Here we used direct cDNA selection to isolate and evaluate the extent of novel Y chromosome gene acquisition in the genome of the domestic cat, a species from a different mammalian superorder than human, chimpanzee, and mouse (currently being sequenced). We discovered four novel Y chromosome genes that do not have functional copies in the finished human male-specific region of the Y or on other mammalian Y chromosomes explored thus far. Two genes are derived from putative autosomal progenitors, and the other two have X chromosome homologs from different evolutionary strata. All four genes were shown to be multicopy and expressed predominantly or exclusively in testes, suggesting that their duplication and specialization for testis function were selected for because they enhance spermatogenesis. Two of these genes have testis-expressed, Y-borne copies in the dog genome as well. The absence of the four newly described genes on other characterized mammalian Y chromosomes demonstrates the gene novelty on this chromosome between mammalian orders, suggesting it harbors many lineage-specific genes that may go undetected by traditional comparative genomic approaches. Specific plans to identify the male-specific genes encoded in the Y chromosome of mammals should be a priority.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received an employee request for a health hazard evaluation of a Special Weapons Assault Team (SWAT) in January 2002. The department was concerned about noise exposures and potential hearing damage from weapons training on their indoor and outdoor firing ranges. NIOSH investigators conducted noise sampling with an acoustic mannequin head and 1/4 -inch microphone to characterize the noise exposures that officers might experience during small arms qualification and training when wearing a variety of hearing protection devices provided by the department. The peak sound pressure levels for the various weapons ranged from 156 to 170 decibels (dB SPL), which are greater than the recommended allowable 140 dB SPL exposure guideline from NIOSH. The earplugs, ear muffs, and customized SWAT team hearing protectors provided between 25 and 35 dB of peak reduction. Double hearing protection (plugs plus muffs) added 15-20 dB of peak reduction.
The structure of laser-shock-compressed polycrystalline iron was probed using in situ x-ray diffraction over a pressure range spanning the α-phase transition. Measurements were also made of the c/a ratio in the phase, which, in contrast with previous in situ x-ray diffraction experiments performed on single crystals and large scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are close to those found in high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments. This is consistent with the observation that significant plastic flow occurs within the nanosecond timescale of the experiment. Furthermore, within the sensitivity of the measurement technique, the FCC phase that had been predicted by MD simulations was not observed.
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