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In this paper, we characterize a high repetition-rate regenerating plasma mirror produced by the thin film of liquid formed when two laminar streams collide. The use of a flowing liquid film is inexpensive and the interaction surface refreshes automatically, avoiding buildup of on-target debris. The composition of the liquid material and the relative angle of the film-generating nozzles was optimized for this application. Spectra measured in reflection from a water-based plasma mirror showed a blue shift but an optical reflectivity of up to 30%. The thickness of the film was found to be of the order of 2
m, and the stability of the reflected spot was
mrad. The reflected beam profile was highly distorted but stable. Further optimization of the nozzles to affect the fluid flow should enable significant improvements in control of the fluid films and increase in the reflectivity of these mirrors.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 20–30% of adults with intellectual disability. This group are vulnerable to challenging behaviour and mental health problems.
To explore the extent to which ASD affects challenging behaviour among specialist mental health service users with intellectual disability.
To identify predictors of challenging behaviour among adults who have intellectual disability.
A cross-sectional study of 92 participants from a specialist mental health service for adults with intellectual disability in the UK. The presence/absence of ASD was confirmed using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Challenging behaviour was assessed using the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC).
Participants with ASD (N=48) had higher total DBC scores than those without ASD (N=44; mean=54.2 vs. 29.2). ASD, severity of intellectual disability, age, presence of psychiatric disorder and total number of needs were entered as independent variables into a linear regression. The model accounted for 51% of the variance and was statistically significant (F(5,91)=18.1, p<0.001). Presence of ASD and total number of needs were the only significant predictors of challenging behaviour. Presence of ASD had the highest standardised coefficient (β=0.56).
Participants with ASD had significantly higher levels of challenging behaviour than those without ASD. Challenging behaviour was also independently associated with total number of needs. Understanding which service users with intellectual disability have higher levels of challenging behaviour than others despite receiving psychiatric treatment, and the extent to which having ASD is a contributing factor, should inform the development of more effective services and lead to improved outcomes.
The provision of support for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the community is improving as a consequence of policy and legislative changes. However, specialist services are not currently provided in prisons.
This aim of the study was to determine the extent of ASD and co-occurring mental health problems among prisoners. We tested the hypothesis that ASD traits would be unrecognised by prison staff and would be significantly associated with increased rates of anxiety, depression and suicidality.
ASD traits were measured among 240 prisoners in a resettlement prison in London, UK using the 20-item Autism Quotient (AQ-20). Anxiety, depression and suicidality were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
There were 39 participants (16%) with an AQ-20 score ≥10; indicating significant autistic traits. Mental health data were available for 37 ‘high autistic trait’ participants and another 101 prisoners with no/low ASD traits. There was a significant positive association between AQ-20 and suicidality scores (r=.29, p=0.001). Participants with ASD traits had significantly higher suicidality scores (means=15.1 vs. 5, p= 0.001) and chi-square analysis showed that they were more likely to have a high suicidality rating (27% vs. 8%, p=0.003) than those without ASD traits. Moreover, those with ASD were significantly more likely to be experiencing a current episode of depression (30% vs. 6%, p<0.001) or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (27% vs. 11% p=0.019).
Our initial data suggests that severity of ASD traits is a risk factor for suicidality and common mental health problems among prisoners.
The Health of the Nation Outcomes Scales (HoNOS) has been widely used as an outcome measure in UK mental health settings for the past decade. The data-set gathered provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the totality of mental healthcare in ‘real-world’ conditions; much of our clinical evidence currently comes from highly parameterised clinical trials investigating single interventions in highly selected patients.
To examine all outcomes measured by HoNOS for a range of diagnostic groups, evaluate the influence of patient demographics on those outcomes, and observe changes in patient groups over time.
Here we show the data from 6813 adult patients treated in Cambridgeshire between 2012 and 2017. Patients were split into three diagnostic groups: psychosis, non-psychosis and organic. Changes in HoNOS scores from initial assessment to discharge were tested and regressions were used to evaluate the influence of age, gender and ethnicity on the changes, as well as to model changes in the severity of initial presenting symptoms with time.
HoNOS scores significantly improve after treatment for psychotic, non-psychotic and organic conditions in adults and older adults. Age, but not gender or ethnicity, influenced change in HoNOS scores. Patients entering secondary mental health services had increased initial HoNOS scores over time.
The UK repository of HoNOS scores provides a significant and relatively underutilised resource that can be exploited to gain insights into mental illness and treatment effectiveness. This is likely to have many applications, including influencing the commissioning of services.
The flat oyster Ostrea edulis has declined significantly in European waters since the 1850s as a result of anthropogenic activity. Ostrea edulis was designated a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Species and Habitat in 1995, and as a Feature of Conservation Importance (FOCI) within the UK Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009. To promote the recovery of oyster beds, a greater understanding of its abundance and distribution is required. Distribution of O. edulis across the proposed Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne MCZ in Essex was determined between 2008 and 2012. Ostrea edulis were present in four estuary zones; with highest sample abundance in the Blackwater and Ray Sand zones. Size structure of populations varied, with the Ray Sand and Colne zones showing a significant lack of individuals with shell height <39 mm. Ostrea edulis occurred in highest number on shell substratum, followed by silty sediments. There were no significant associations between O. edulis abundance or size structure with water column Chl a, suspended solids, oxygen, nitrate or ammonium concentrations, temperature or pH. Highest abundance and most equitable population shell-size distribution for O. edulis were located within, or adjacent to, actively managed aquaculture zones. This suggests that traditional seabed management contributed to the maintenance or recovery of the species of conservation concern. Demonstration that the Essex estuaries were a stronghold for Ostrea edulis in the southern North sea area led to the designation of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne estuaries Marine Conservation Zone in 2013.
The rocky shores of New Zealand (NZ) and Australia provide many interesting comparisons in their intertidal species and structuring processes. Both countries are in the biogeographic realm of temperate Australasia and share many common species and closely related taxa. Here we review similarities and contrasts in communities and structuring processes, especially involving grazing invertebrates and macroalgae. We consider the similarity of the structure of intertidal shores of NZ and south-eastern Australia, a suite of important trophic interactions within and between regions, the utility of local-scale experiments in understanding large-scale processes and how we might better plan for and manage our coasts. The major comparisons are between warm-temperate areas of northern NZ and New South Wales, and the cooler areas of southern NZ and south-eastern Australia. In the quest for ‘ecosystem’-level understanding, which perforce involves large-scale events, there is an increasing tendency to minimise or ignore the hard-won insights gained from well-structured experiments across multiple sites. Because all large-scale effects must be manifested at local sites, it is incumbent on us to determine what scales up or down, and the caveats that make comparisons across biogeographic regions challenging. Here, we discuss these issues using austral shores as models.
Intertidal biofilms are a diverse mixture of bacteria, algae as well as sporelings of macroalgae embedded in a polysaccharid matrix. As the primary colonisers of newly formed surfaces, biofilms undergo a succession of different microbe assemblage until the mature state is reached. A biofilm can act as primary producers and as such recycle nutrients in a habitat. It will influence macrobiota by providing a food source or sending out cues to settlers. Biofilms themselves will be controlled by these settlers. This interaction between bottom-up and top-down plays a crucial part for the functioning of the rocky shore ecosystems. However, the diversity of biolfilms as well as it nature to react quickly to environmental changes makes identification and quantification of the individual compounds a difficult task. Subsequently, the understanding of biofilms in general and intertidal, rocky shore microbe assemblages has always tied to techniques and methods available at the time of study. This chapter focusses on the techniques that have greatly contributed to increasing knowledge of biofilms and discusses their findings. Nonetheless, newly developed methods promise to further this knowledge of the ecological role of biofilms on rocky coastlines.
Adolescents’ peer networks provide an important context that can contribute to increases in antisocial behavior. By a process called deviancy training, peers can both model and reinforce these behaviors, thereby conveying group norms about the acceptability of such behaviors. This research examined the relationship between the proportion of adolescents’ peers who exchanged antisocial text messages and externalizing behaviors during high school. In Study 1, parent-, teacher-, and self-reports of rule-breaking and aggression were collected for a sample of adolescents (n = 167, 80 girls; 22.2% Black, 51.5% Caucasian, 18.7% Hispanic) during the summers before and after 9th grade. Total text frequency, frequency of antisocial texts, and the proportion of the peer network who exchanged antisocial messages were examined as predictors of antisocial behavior. The proportion of peers who exchanged antisocial texts significantly predicted rule-breaking, but not aggression. Study 2 examined the direction of the relationship documented in Study 1 more thoroughly. Externalizing behaviors at 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were evaluated as predictors of the proportion of the peer network that exchanged texts about antisocial topics (n = 205, 98 girls; 22.4% Black, 53.7% Caucasian, 16.9% Hispanic). Externalizing behaviors predicted the proportion of adolescents’ peer network that exchanged antisocial texts in each of the subsequent years, but this proportion of the peer network exchanging antisocial communication did not predict subsequent externalizing behaviors. The findings suggest that the extent to which antisocial communication permeates the peer group is a selection effect.
To determine the effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation using the Wii Fit balance platform, in adults with dizziness.
A single-site prospective clinical trial was conducted in a university hospital in the UK. Forty patients with dizziness, who would normally be candidates for vestibular rehabilitation, were identified and considered as potential participants. Participants were randomised into either the treatment group (the Wii Fit group) or the control group (standard customised vestibular rehabilitation protocol). Participants were assessed over a 16-week period using several balance and quality of life questionnaires.
Both exercise regimes resulted in a reduction of dizziness and an improvement in quality of life scores over time, but no statistically significant difference between the two interventions was identified.
This pilot study demonstrated that use of the Wii Fit balance platform resulted in a statistically significant improvement in balance function and quality of life. Furthermore, outcomes were comparable to a similar group of individuals following a standard customised vestibular rehabilitation protocol. The study provides useful information to inform the design and execution of a larger clinical trial.
Two studies consisting of six field experiments each were conducted at three locations in southwestern Ontario, Canada, in 2014 and 2015 to evaluate the possible antagonism when dicamba was added to quizalofop-p-ethyl or clethodim for the control of volunteer glyphosate-resistant (GR) corn. At 4 wk after application (WAA), quizalofop-p-ethyl at 24, 30, or 36 g ai ha−1 provided 88, 94, and 95% control of volunteer GR corn, respectively. The addition of dicamba at 300 or 600 g ae ha−1 to quizalofop-p-ethyl (24 g ha−1) reduced the activity of quizalofop-p-ethyl on volunteer GR corn by 12 and 20%. At 4 WAA, clethodim at 30, 37.5, and 45 g ai ha−1 provided 85, 91, and 95% control of volunteer GR corn, respectively. The addition of dicamba at 300 or 600 g ha−1 to clethodim (30 g ha−1) resulted in antagonism, causing a reduction in volunteer GR corn by 12 and 11%, respectively. In general, there was greater antagonism when the high rate of dicamba was tank-mixed with the lower rate of the graminicide. There was no antagonistic effect on soybean yield by tank-mixing dicamba with either graminicide at all rates evaluated. Based on these results, volunteer GR corn can be controlled effectively by increasing the rate of the graminicide when tankmixed with dicamba.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a potent serotonergic hallucinogen or psychedelic that modulates consciousness in a marked and novel way. This study sought to examine the acute and mid-term psychological effects of LSD in a controlled study.
A total of 20 healthy volunteers participated in this within-subjects study. Participants received LSD (75 µg, intravenously) on one occasion and placebo (saline, intravenously) on another, in a balanced order, with at least 2 weeks separating sessions. Acute subjective effects were measured using the Altered States of Consciousness questionnaire and the Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI). A measure of optimism (the Revised Life Orientation Test), the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, and the Peter's Delusions Inventory were issued at baseline and 2 weeks after each session.
LSD produced robust psychological effects; including heightened mood but also high scores on the PSI, an index of psychosis-like symptoms. Increased optimism and trait openness were observed 2 weeks after LSD (and not placebo) and there were no changes in delusional thinking.
The present findings reinforce the view that psychedelics elicit psychosis-like symptoms acutely yet improve psychological wellbeing in the mid to long term. It is proposed that acute alterations in mood are secondary to a more fundamental modulation in the quality of cognition, and that increased cognitive flexibility subsequent to serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) stimulation promotes emotional lability during intoxication and leaves a residue of ‘loosened cognition’ in the mid to long term that is conducive to improved psychological wellbeing.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition expected to be the fourth leading cause of disability by the year 2020. Treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is problematic in older adults (>75 years) where the presence of comorbidities is more prevalent. Exercise has been recommended irrespective of age and comorbidity. The purpose of this project was to develop a combined exercise and self-management intervention to help older adults with OA to manage their comorbidities.
Literature reviews were conducted to inform the development of an intervention followed by a pilot study to assess feasibility and test outcome measures. Participant interviews and session observation were used to evaluate the pilot study.
Evidence from the literature reviews suggested that a combined intervention consisting of behavioural change/self-management education and exercise was the most appropriate. Each component was developed and then tested as a combined package in a pilot study which comprised 12 sessions delivered over six weeks. Four males and six females aged between 75 and 92 years took part. The average attendance was 89%. Most participants reported some benefit and satisfaction with the programme along with changes in physical ability. The majority of participants continued with some form of exercise at three months.
The intervention was well received and has encouraged 80% of participants to continue exercising after the programme. The small but positive changes seen in comorbidities, benefit of the intervention, satisfaction and general health are promising. Randomised controlled trial evidence of effectiveness and cost effectiveness is needed before such interventions can be recommended.
Although serotonin receptor and cytoarchitectonic alterations are reported in prefrontal cortex (PFC) in suicide and depression, no study has considered binding relative to neuron density. Therefore, we measured neuron density and serotonin transporter (SERT), 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A binding in matched suicides and controls. Suicides and normal controls (n=15 matched pairs) were psychiatrically characterized. Neuron density and binding were determined in dorsal [Brodmann area (BA) 9] and ventral (BA 47) PFC by stereology and quantitative autoradiography in near-adjacent sections. Binding index was defined as the ratio of receptor binding to neuron density. Suicides had lower neuron density in the gyrus of both areas. The binding index was lower for SERT in BA 47 but not in BA9; the 5-HT1A binding index was higher in BA 9 but not in BA 47, while the 5-HT2A binding index was not different between groups. SERT binding was lower in suicides in BA 47 but not BA 9, while 5-HT1A binding was higher in BA 9 but not BA 47. SERT binding negatively correlated with 5-HT1A binding in BA 47 in suicides. Neuron density decreased with age. The 5-HT1A binding index was higher in females than males. We found lower neuron density and lower SERT binding index in both PFC regions in suicides. More 5-HT1A binding with less SERT binding and the negative correlation in depressed suicides suggests post-synaptic receptor up-regulation, and it is independent of the difference in neuron density. Thus, abnormalities in both cortical neurons and in their serotonergic innervation are present in suicides and future studies will need to determine whether cortical changes reflect the trophic effect of altered serotonin innervation.
This investigation examined the relation between developmental trajectories jointly estimated for social and physical aggression and adjustment problems at age 14. Teachers provided ratings of children's social and physical aggression in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 for a sample of 255 children (131 girls, 21% African American, 52% European American, 21% Mexican American). Participants, parents, and teachers completed measures of the adolescent's adjustment to assess internalizing symptoms, rule-breaking behaviors, and borderline and narcissistic personality features. Results showed that membership in a high and rising trajectory group predicted rule-breaking behaviors and borderline personality features. Membership in a high desister group predicted internalizing symptoms, rule-breaking behaviors, and borderline and narcissistic personality features. The findings suggest that although low levels of social and physical aggression may not bode poorly for adjustment, individuals engaging in high levels of social and physical aggression in middle childhood may be at greatest risk for adolescent psychopathology, whether they increase or desist in their aggression through early adolescence.
The UK was one of few European countries to document a substantial wave of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in summer 2009. The First Few Hundred (FF100) project ran from April–June 2009 gathering information on early laboratory-confirmed cases across the UK. In total, 392 confirmed cases were followed up. Children were predominantly affected (median age 15 years, IQR 10–27). Symptoms were mild and similar to seasonal influenza, with the exception of diarrhoea, which was reported by 27%. Eleven per cent of all cases had an underlying medical condition, similar to the general population. The majority (92%) were treated with antiviral drugs with 12% reporting adverse effects, mainly nausea and other gastrointestinal complaints. Duration of illness was significantly shorter when antivirals were given within 48 h of onset (median 5 vs. 9 days, P=0·01). No patients died, although 14 were hospitalized, of whom three required mechanical ventilation. The FF100 identified key clinical and epidemiological characteristics of infection with this novel virus in near real-time.
Urbanisation and agriculture are likely to be the most extensive environmental impacts that humans impose on the natural world. In 1997, it was estimated that across developed and undeveloped countries, 50% of people would live in urbanised environments by 2000, with 400 million of them in only 25 cities (Botkin and Beveridge,1997). These are not particularly new figures and are probably already out of date, but there is no doubt that the trend worldwide is for people to crowd into smaller and smaller areas as populations grow. The density of people in urbanised environments is very large (in excess of 2000 people/km2) and, because of limits to the heights of buildings, cultural imperatives for home ownership and so on, urban centres are spreading rapidly.
What is less often thought about is where the large cities are. An aerial view of the planet at night clearly shows the lights of the large urbanised centres. Apart from those in the eastern part of the USA and western Europe, these lights clearly outline the coasts and large river systems of the continents (Earth's city lights, courtesy NASA; http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov). Most large and small cities, especially those that developed prior to extensive road and rail transport, are on the coast or along waterways because of reliance on water for transport and travel. Eleven of the 15 largest cities in the world are coastal.
We appreciate the effort and thought that Stewart-Oaten (2008) has put into his comment on our paper in Environmental Conservation (Bulleri et al. 2007). Clearly, the philosophical and methodological approaches used in ecological impact assessments (EIAs) warrant much further attention and discussion by ecologists. We would like, however, to clarify that the goals of our comment were far from summarizing available procedures and, even more, from expressing an opinion about which among these should be retained or rejected. This is quite well reflected by the contents of our paper (Bulleri et al. 2007). Our ‘main purpose’ (to quote Stewart-Oaten 2008) was to point out that the degree of naturalness of a site is irrelevant to whether or not some proposed disturbance causes an impact and that all disturbances potentially cause negative impacts.
Personal Medical Services (PMS) contracts, introduced in 1997, provide a new financial model for providing general practice. The aim of this study was to measure the costs and consequences of the PMS first wave contracts for sites that aimed to increase the accessibility and the quality of care for vulnerable population groups; to describe the problems encountered in this measurement. A purposive sample of first wave PMS sites targeting vulnerable population groups were selected. A two-stage data collection procedure was used, to obtain micro-level data on the quantity and costs of capital and recurrent funds, and top-down data on costs and apportioning of monies received from central source to broad expenditure categories. The costs data focused on the largest cost components, such as staff and prescribing as well as alternative stakeholders’ contributions. The consequences data measured the accessibility and the quality of care for vulnerable population groups. Five case studies were considered. Sites that were formerly independent general medical practitioner (GP) contractors consolidated their staff with few changes in their staff-skill mix. In all sites the prescribing costs per patient were below the national average in 2000/01. Access was either consolidated or improved over the period and improved quality of care was in evidence through appropriate prescribing patterns. Though the evaluation found that the PMS sites were addressing their main objectives the data collection revealed difficulties in tracking the flows of PMS resources under the current budgetary system. We highlight the limitations of the PMS data monitoring procedures and discuss how these limitations can be overcome so that future National Health Services (NHS) reforms can be appropriately evaluated in the future.
The Neoselachii are a monophyletic group including all of the extant sharks and rays. They underwent rapid diversification throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous, going from low-diversity assemblages of members of extinct orders in the Late Triassic to diverse assemblages containing representatives of most extant clades by the end of the Cretaceous. The known fossil record of Mesozoic neoselachians is composed largely of isolated teeth, with articulated skeletal remains being known from a limited number of sites. The small tooth size of a large proportion of neoselachians, including almost all taxa in existence prior to the mid Cretaceous, led to very poor representation in older publications. Their state of knowledge has improved dramatically since 1970 with the increased use of bulk sampling for isolated dental remains. Despite this, the high proportion of Lazarus taxa from some stages suggests that the state of knowledge is still intermittent. Increase in assemblage diversity throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous suggests that radiation events resulted in real and dramatic increases in diversity, and that the perceived diversification is not an artifact of poor knowledge. Cladogenesis inferred from the fossil record typically compares more favorably with divergence predicted from molecular analysis, where Batoidea form a discrete basal clade, than with divergence predicted from morphological analysis, where Batoidea are considered a derived crown group within the Squalea. The timing of diversification events is discussed in light of the known fossil record, cladistically generated divergence times, and the paleoenvironmental distribution of faunas.