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The aim of this study was to investigate inter-generational changes in selected mid-upper-arm measurements of boys from Kolkata, India. The analysis was based on the anthropometric measurements of two cohorts of Bengali boys aged 7–16 from middle-class families, in 1982–83 and 2005–11. The two cohorts were compared in terms of their mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) and mid-upper-arm area (MUAA), mid-upper-arm muscle area (MUAMA), mid-upper-arm fat area (MUAFA) and Arm Fat Index (AFI). The significances of the differences were determined using two-way ANOVA. All features differed significantly between the examined cohorts and all showed a general positive secular trend. In most cases, the biggest differences were noted for 14- and 16-year olds and the smallest for the youngest boys. The contemporary boys seemed to have more favourable overall developmental conditions, probably related to socioeconomic progress in India over recent decades.
A de novo drug delivery nanosystem based on gold nanoparticles (GNPs), decorated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), and folate (FA)-conjugated graphene oxide (GO) was designed and developed successfully. Initially, the graphite (G) powder was oxidized to the GO, and then functionalized with chloroacetic acid to afford a carboxylated graphene oxide (GO–COOH). The obtained GO–COOH was functionalized with an amine end-caped PEG, FA, as well as 3-amino-1-propanethiol to produce a GO–PEG–FA–SH. In another experimental section, GNPs were synthesized through a citrate-mediated reduction approach, and subsequently decorated onto/into GO–PEG–FA–SH through the formation of Au–S bond to afford a GO–PEG–FA/GNP nanosystem. The resultant nanosystem was loaded with doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) as a model anticancer drug, and its drug-loading capacity as well as pH-dependent drug release behavior were investigated. The anticancer activity of the developed theranostic nanomedicine was extensively evaluated using MTT assay against human breast cancer cells (MCF7). The developed GO–PEG–FA/GNPs–DOX theranostic nanomedicine exhibited an excellent cancer chemotherapy feature. In addition, this nanomedicine can be used in chemo-photothermal therapy of solid tumors because of the presence of GO and GNPs in its structure.
A growing number of studies have tested the association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and the unintendedness of pregnancy or birth, and most have suggested that unintendedness of pregnancy is a cause of IPV. However, about nine in every ten women face violence after delivering their first baby. This study examined the effects of the intendedness of births on physical IPV using data from the National Family Health Survey (2015–16). The multivariate logistic regression model analysis found that, compared with women with no unwanted births (2.9%), physical IPV was higher among those women who had unwanted births (6.9%, p<0.001), followed by those who had mistimed births (4.4 %, p<0.001), even after adjusting for several women’s individual and socioeconomic characteristics. Thus, the reduction of women with mistimed and unwanted births could reduce physical IPV in India. The study highlights the unfinished agenda of family planning in the country and argues for the need to integrate family planning and Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health Care (RMNCH) services to yield multi-sectoral outcomes, including the elimination of IPV.
The present study was performed to evaluate the effects of n-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil on genetic and metabolic profiles in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed in sixty women with GDM. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to intake either 2 × 1000 mg/d n-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil containing 400 mg α-linolenic acid in each capsule (n 30) or placebo (n 30) for 6 weeks. n-3 Fatty acid intake up-regulated PPAR-γ (P < 0·001) and LDL receptor (P = 0·004) and down-regulated gene expression of IL-1 (P = 0·002) and TNF-α (P = 0·001) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of subjects with GDM. In addition, n-3 fatty acid supplementation reduced fasting plasma glucose (P = 0·001), insulin levels (P = 0·001) and insulin resistance (P < 0·001) and increased insulin sensitivity (P = 0·005) when compared with the placebo. Additionally, n-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with a decrease in TAG (P < 0·001), VLDL-cholesterol (P < 0·001), total cholesterol (P = 0·01) and total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (P = 0·01) when compared with placebo. n-3 Fatty acid administration was also associated with a significant reduction in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (P = 0·006) and malondialdehyde (P < 0·001), and an increase in total nitrite (P < 0·001) and total glutathione levels (P = 0·006) when compared with the placebo. n-3 Fatty acid supplementation for 6 weeks to women with GDM had beneficial effects on gene expression related to insulin, lipid and inflammation, glycaemic control, lipids, inflammatory markers and oxidative stress.
Survey research can generate knowledge that is central to the study of collective action, public opinion, and political participation. Unfortunately, many populations—from undocumented migrants to right-wing activists and oligarchs—are hidden, lack sampling frames, or are otherwise hard to survey. An approach to hard-to-survey populations commonly taken by researchers in other disciplines is largely missing from the toolbox of political science methods: respondent-driven sampling (RDS). By leveraging relations of trust, RDS accesses hard-to-survey populations; it also promotes representativeness, systematizes data collection, and, notably, supports population inference. In approximating probability sampling, RDS makes strong assumptions. Yet if strengthened by an integrative multimethod research design, it can shed light on otherwise concealed—and critical—political preferences and behaviors among many populations of interest. Through describing one of the first applications of RDS in political science, this article provides empirically grounded guidance via a study of activist refugees from Syria. Refugees are prototypical hard-to-survey populations, and mobilized ones are even more so; yet the study demonstrates that RDS can provide a systematic and representative account of a vulnerable population engaged in major political phenomena.
To examine the psychometric properties of an Arabic version of the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ-A) in a sample of Saudi pre-schoolers and their mothers.
Cross-sectional study. Mothers completed questionnaires over the telephone and child anthropometry was measured objectively using standardized procedures; BMI Z-scores (BMIZ) were calculated based on the age- and sex-specific WHO growth standards and reference data. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the original seven-factor CFQ model, as well as a modified nine-factor model. Cronbach’s α was calculated to examine the internal consistency of each factor; Spearman correlation was used to examine 2-week retest reliability. Factor–factor and factor–child BMIZ correlations were examined.
Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
A total of 209 mothers and children were recruited from eight different pre-schools.
Both the original seven-factor and modified nine-factor CFQ-A exhibited good fit (root-mean-square-error of approximation < 0·05). Six out of nine factors had excellent internal consistency and all factors showed excellent 2-week test–retest reliability. There were significant correlations between child BMIZ and five out of the nine factors; Perceived Child Weight, Perceived Parent Weight, Restriction and Monitoring were each positively correlated with child BMIZ, while Concern about Child’s Diet was negatively correlated with child BMIZ.
The study provided evidence supporting the validity and reliability of the original seven-factor and modified nine-factor CFQ-A. Future studies are needed to further establish the psychometric properties of the CFQ-A in addition to other feeding assessment tools.
This study examines what motivates an organization representing a religious-national minority to provide social services. The case study for examining this issue is the Islamic Movement in Palestinian society in Israel, and specifically its social activities in the town of Kafr Qassim. The article analyzes the factors leading to the development of the movement’s various services in the town by tracing their historical development and current offerings. This case study analysis is informed by two theoretical bodies of knowledge: the development of NGOs and the development of faith-based organizations. The data is based upon 17 semi-structured in-depth interviews with the heads of all the social services, social activists and municipality representatives in Kafr Qassim, where the movement was established. Some of the interviews also include tours and observations of actual services provision. Additional sources include archival documents, such as the organization’s regulations and work plans. The findings identify three main factors in the development of minority religious organizations: government failure in providing services (necessary factor) and religious ideology and mobilization of political support as secondary factors. All three are grounded in the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian minority group and the state.
This study analysed the recent changes and patterns of information received about contraceptive methods by contraceptive users in India – an important indicator of quality of care in family planning services. Data were taken from the third and fourth rounds of National Family and Health Surveys (NFHS) conducted in India during 2005–06 and 2015–16. The Method Information Index (MII) was used to capture the information received by respondents on three aspects of contraceptive method use: information about the side-effects of the method, what to do if they experienced any complication from using the method and information received about other methods of contraception. A separate analysis of information received by users about the permanency of sterilization was also carried out. Logistic regression models were applied to assess the independent effects of users’ background characteristics and their states and union territories of residence on method information received by them. The value of the MII nearly doubled from about 16% in 2004–05 to 31% in 2015–16, indicating a marked increase in the information received by contraceptive users in India over the period between 2005–06 and 2015–16. In addition, the percentage of sterilized women who received information about the permanency of the method also increased, from 67% to 80%, over the period. While considerable progress has been made in the last decade, there is still plenty of scope for improvement in the information received by contraceptive users to advance a voluntary approach to family planning.
This study was performed to evaluate the effects of vitamin D and n-3 fatty acids’ co-supplementation on markers of cardiometabolic risk in diabetic patients with CHD. This randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted among sixty-one vitamin D-deficient diabetic patients with CHD. At baseline, the range of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in study participants was 6·3–19·9 ng/ml. Subjects were randomly assigned into two groups either taking 50 000 IU vitamin D supplements every 2 weeks plus 2× 1000 mg/d n-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil (n 30) or placebo (n 31) for 6 months. Vitamin D and n-3 fatty acids’ co-supplementation significantly reduced mean (P = 0·01) and maximum levels of left carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) (P = 0·004), and mean (P = 0·02) and maximum levels of right CIMT (P = 0·003) compared with the placebo. In addition, co-supplementation led to a significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose (β −0·40 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·77, −0·03; P = 0·03), insulin (β −1·66 μIU/ml; 95 % CI −2·43, −0·89; P < 0·001), insulin resistance (β −0·49; 95 % CI −0·72, −0·25; P < 0·001) and LDL-cholesterol (β −0·21 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·41, −0·01; P = 0·04), and a significant increase in insulin sensitivity (β +0·008; 95 % CI 0·004, 0·01; P = 0·001) and HDL-cholesterol (β +0·09 mmol/l; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·17; P = 0·02) compared with the placebo. Additionally, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (β −1·56 mg/l; 95 % CI −2·65, −0·48; P = 0·005) was reduced in the supplemented group compared with the placebo group. Overall, vitamin D and n-3 fatty acids’ co-supplementation had beneficial effects on markers of cardiometabolic risk.
This paper studies the problem of optimizing the kinematic structure of an eight degree-of-freedom upper-limb rehabilitation exoskeleton. The objective of optimization is achieving minimum volume and maximum dexterity in the workspace of daily activities specified by a set of upper-arm configurations. To formulate the problem, a new index is proposed for effective characterization of kinematic dexterity for wearable robots. Additionally, a set of constraints are defined to ensure that the optimal design can cover the desired workspace of the exoskeleton, while singular configurations and physical interferences are avoided. The formulated multi-objective optimization problem is solved using an evolutionary algorithm (Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II) and the weighted sum approach. Among the resulted optimal points, the point with least sensitivity with respect to the variations of design variables is chosen as the final design.
In the summer of 2015, Beirut experienced a garbage crisis that led to rioting. Riot control measures resulted in multiple casualties. This study examines injury patterns of riot victims presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary care center in a developing country.
A retrospective study was conducted in the emergency department of the American University of Beirut Medical Center between August 22 and August 30, 2015. Patients seen in the emergency department with riot injuries were included. Patient characteristics, injuries, and resources utilized in the emergency department were analyzed.
Ninety-five patients were identified. Most patients presented to the emergency department within a short time period. The mean age of the patients was 28.0 ± 8.7 years. Most (90.5%) of the patients were males and 92.6% were protestors. Emergency medical services were utilized by 41.0% of patients. Laceration was the most common presenting complaint (28.5%), and blunt trauma was the most common type of injury (50.5%). The head/face/neck was the most common injured body region (55.8%). Most patients did not require blood tests or procedures (91.6% and 61.0%, respectively), and 91.2% of patients were treated in the emergency department and discharged. One patient required intensive care unit admission and another was dead on arrival.
Most patients had mild injuries on presentation. The emergency department experienced a high influx of patients. Complications and deaths can occur from seemingly nonlethal weapons used during riots and warrant effective prehospital and hospital disaster planning.
In the last decades of the nineteenth and first decades of the twentieth century, widespread wage labour emerged across the African continent for the first time. The continent's population and economy remained, as it would throughout the twentieth century, largely rural and agrarian. Forced labour, driven by both colonial states and private employers, also remained widespread. However, the growing importance of capitalist mining and agriculture, along with the increasing development of roads, railways and other infrastructure by colonial states, produced a market for wage labour in locations across the continent on an unprecedented scale.
In this same period, European intellectuals were in the midst of a fervent debate on the ‘social question’. The rapid transformation that nineteenthcentury capitalist expansion had initiated called for a reconsideration of welfare, well-being and the very structure of social life. This debate might have seemed distant from the African context at the time. The emerging groups of urban wage workers on the continent were assumed by colonial states to be temporary sojourners from their natural and permanent homes in the countryside. The welfare and social reproduction of African workers were seen as the domain of the rural and traditional. However, as capitalism and colonialism continued to disrupt and dislocate extant forms of social life, this assumption was increasingly exposed as fiction. Already by the 1930s the question of social welfare had been brought to the centre of colonial administrators’ attention through burgeoning nationalist and labour movements across the continent. Since the period of late colonial reforms, through the developmentalism of the post-independence era, and into the more recent focus on poverty reduction, social welfare has remained a central focus of African political debates and policy initiatives.
Social welfare in Africa has had both political and economic dimensions. Waves of contention, advancing demands for independence and democracy, have repeatedly reshaped the relationship between states and citizens. The state provision of welfare first emerged from the colonial authorities, who hoped that improving standards of living would quell growing demands for political transformation. For post-independence states, welfare provided by the government and by private employers was a tool for securing the support of workers, who were among the most organized, and in some cases oppositional, constituencies in the political landscape of many new countries.
This paper aims at estimating the tremor torque using extended Kalman filter (EKF) applied to a two-link 3-DOF robot with nonlinear dynamics modelled using Lie-group and Lie-algebra theory. Later, it is generalised to d number of links with (d + 1) -DOF. The configuration of each link at any time is described by its rotation relative to the preceding link. Using this formulation, an elegant formula for the kinetic energy of the (d + 1) -DOF system is obtained as a quadratic form in the angular velocities with coefficients being highly nonlinear trigonometric functions of the angles. Properties of the Lie algebra generators and the Lie adjoint map are used to arrive at this expression. Further, the gravitational potential energy and the torque potential energy are expressed as nonlinear trigonometrical functions of the angles using properties of the SO(3) group. The input torque comprises a nonrandom intentional torque component and a highly nonlinear tremor torque component. The tremor torque is modelled as a stochastic differential equation (sde) satisfying Ornstein–Uhlenbeck (OU) process with diffusion and damping coefficients. Further, the tremor is treated as the disturbance. The Euler–Lagrange equations for the angles are derived. These form a system of sdes, and the EKF is used to get a more accurate disturbance estimate than that provided by the usual disturbance observer. The EKF is based on noisy angle measurements and yields as a bonus the angle and angular velocity estimates on a real-time basis. The parameters in the OU process model of the tremor torque, and parameters of the Fourier components of the intentional torque have also been estimated.