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When I was asked about contributing to this roundtable on contemplative pedagogy, I was honored to be included in the mix. Yes, I have experimented in my teaching with contemplative practices for about five years now, and so I fit the group's focus in that way. And yes, my postdoctoral work focused on university pedagogy, and so it would seem like I would be a natural for this sort of roundtable. But before I go any further, I feel as though I need to out myself for who I truly am—instead of being a contemplative professor, I am a contemplative coward. No doubt, I have been impressed reading about and witnessing other professors’ thoughtful uses of contemplative practices in the classroom. And I even dabble in having my world religions students “go through the motions” of religious practices from Buddhism and Islam. But as I spent time thinking through my approach in anticipation of this roundtable, it became clear that my efforts have been nothing short of cowardly, due to the fact that, first, I have questioned my own ability to lead students in contemplative exercises, and second, I have been wary of asking students to engage in the practices of religious others in a serious way.
Zn plays an important role in maintaining the anti-oxidant status within the heart and helps to counter the acute redox stress that occurs during myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion. Individuals with low Zn levels are at greater risk of developing an acute myocardial infarction; however, the impact of this on the extent of myocardial injury is unknown. The present study aimed to compare the effects of dietary Zn depletion with in vitro removal of Zn (N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis(2-pyridinylmethyl)-1,2-ethanediamine (TPEN)) on the outcome of acute myocardial infarction and vascular function. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed either a Zn-adequate (35 mg Zn/kg diet) or Zn-deficient (<1 mg Zn/kg diet) diet for 2 weeks before heart isolation. Perfused hearts were subjected to a 30 min ischaemia/2 h reperfusion (I/R) protocol, during which time ventricular arrhythmias were recorded and after which infarct size was measured, along with markers of anti-oxidant status. In separate experiments, hearts were challenged with the Zn chelator TPEN (10 µm) before ischaemia onset. Both dietary and TPEN-induced Zn depletion significantly extended infarct size; dietary Zn depletion was associated with reduced total cardiac glutathione (GSH) levels, while TPEN decreased cardiac superoxide dismutase 1 levels. TPEN, but not dietary Zn depletion, also suppressed ventricular arrhythmias and depressed vascular responses to nitric oxide. These findings demonstrate that both modes of Zn depletion worsen the outcome from I/R but through different mechanisms. Dietary Zn deficiency, resulting in reduced cardiac GSH, is the most appropriate model for determining the role of endogenous Zn in I/R injury.
To identify ways that the built environment may support or disrupt safe doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) in biocontainment units (BCU).
We observed interactions between healthcare workers (HCWs) and the built environment during 41 simulated PPE donning and doffing exercises.
The BCUs of 4 Ebola treatment facilities and 1 high-fidelity BCU mockup.
A total of 64 HCWs (41 doffing HCWs and 15 trained observers) participated in this study.
In each facility, we observed how the physical environment influences risky behaviors by the HCW. The environmental design impeded communication between trained observers (TOs) and HCWs because of limited window size or visual obstructions with louvers, which allowed unobserved errors. The size and configuration of the doffing area impacted HCW adherence to protocol, and lack of clear demarcation of zones resulted in HCWs inadvertently leaving the doffing area and stepping back into the contaminated areas. Lack of standard location for items resulted in equipment and supplies frequently shifting positions. Finally, different solutions for maintaining balance while removing shoe covers (ie, chair, hand grips, and step stool) had variable success. We identified the 5 key requirements that doffing areas must achieve to support safe doffing of PPE, and we developed a matrix of proposed design strategies that can be implemented to meet those requirements.
Simple, low-cost environmental design interventions can provide structure to support and improve HCW safety in BCUs. These interventions should be implemented in both current and future BCUs.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
Eventing is a very expensive sport to organise and run and relies heavily upon sponsorship funding to enable it to remain financially viable. This research is concerned with the challenges that events face in attracting and retaining sponsorship and what can be done to address these problems, resulting in a clearer understanding of what makes a successful sponsorship. Fourteen interviews were conducted with both event organisers and sponsoring companies, as well four people who are considered to be knowledgeable about sponsorship within the equine industry, to ensure that a balanced view of the issues was gained. The research found that the industry suffers from a culture of patronage with some companies sponsoring eventing for altruistic reasons. They see sponsorship as a way of raising public awareness and of building goodwill with their customers by being seen to put something back into a sport that their customers care about. Sponsors commented that sponsorship impresses people and gives them an idea about the values of the company and where it is positioned within the industry. They saw the sponsored event as an opportunity for them to entertain clients, customers, press and other business professionals, often in very beautiful surroundings. As eventing attracts more AB and C1 competitors and spectators than any other sport, it can offer sponsors an opportunity for highly targeted marketing to a sector of the population who are acknowledged to be difficult to reach via traditional advertising. Sponsors are interested in getting value for money from their sponsorship, and they expect to be dealt with in a professional manner. Event organisers need to demonstrate clearly how the sponsorship will benefit the company and ensure that they meet all of the sponsors’ business objectives. Sponsors expect to have name and brand awareness delivered to their target audience at the event, thus organisers must ensure that this happens by providing good branding opportunities. In order to gain the maximum benefit from the sponsorship, the sponsoring company needs to promote and publicise the sponsorship as much as possible by integrating it across their whole marketing strategy. This can be a great advantage to the event organiser as it raises the profile of the event. Events at the top end of the sport were found to have good sponsorship deals in place and the organisers said that they did not need sponsorship to make their events viable. However, the smaller events at grassroots level are only viable if sufficient sponsorship can be found. One interviewee suggested that these small events need to target smaller local companies who could benefit from raising their public profile in the local area. The event organisers interviewed feel undervalued by British Eventing, the sport’s governing body, and think that British Eventing could do more to support event organisers in attracting and retaining sponsorship. This is particularly crucial at grassroots level, because without sponsorship these events are not financially viable.
Pregnancy loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, and abortion) is an age-old, and typically hidden, part of women's lives, yet only in recent years has it started to receive recognition to match its prevalence. Based on ethnographic research, this article analyzes liturgical and memorial practices developing within American Catholicism to acknowledge and commemorate pregnancy losses. Growing efforts have emerged as parishes, dioceses, and other Catholic organizations across the country have developed rites and memorials that provide formal ways to attend to grief that often accompanies experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth, and abortion. The memorials range from “miscarriage masses” to public monuments to postabortion ministry retreats. This article argues that these memorial practices seek to change how pregnancy-loss experiences are understood or “known” by ritual participants by reframing them within Catholic narratives of forgiveness and healing, thereby transforming situations of isolating loss into stories of grace, community, and shared sorrow.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Traditionally, personalised nutrition was delivered at an individual level. However, the concept of delivering tailored dietary advice at a group level through the identification of metabotypes or groups of metabolically similar individuals has emerged. Although this approach to personalised nutrition looks promising, further work is needed to examine this concept across a wider population group. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (1) identify metabotypes in a European population and (2) develop targeted dietary advice solutions for these metabotypes. Using data from the Food4Me study (n 1607), k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of three metabolically distinct clusters based on twenty-seven metabolic markers including cholesterol, individual fatty acids and carotenoids. Cluster 2 was identified as a metabolically healthy metabotype as these individuals had the highest Omega-3 Index (6·56 (sd 1·29) %), carotenoids (2·15 (sd 0·71) µm) and lowest total saturated fat levels. On the basis of its fatty acid profile, cluster 1 was characterised as a metabolically unhealthy cluster. Targeted dietary advice solutions were developed per cluster using a decision tree approach. Testing of the approach was performed by comparison with the personalised dietary advice, delivered by nutritionists to Food4Me study participants (n 180). Excellent agreement was observed between the targeted and individualised approaches with an average match of 82 % at the level of delivery of the same dietary message. Future work should ascertain whether this proposed method could be utilised in a healthcare setting, for the rapid and efficient delivery of tailored dietary advice solutions.
In order to extend diagnoses of recent sea-ice variations beyond the past few decades, a century-scale digital dataset of Arctic sea-ice coverage has been compiled. For recent decades, the compilation utilizes satellite-derived hemispheric datasets. Regional datasets based primarily on ship reports and aerial reconnaissance are the primary inputs for the earlier part of the 20th century. While the various datasets contain some discrepancies, they capture the same general variations during their period of overlap. The outstanding feature of the time series of total hemispheric ice extent is a decrease that has accelerated during the past several decades. The decrease is greatest in summer and weakest in winter, contrary to the seasonality of the greenhouse changes projected by most global climate models. The primary spatial modes of sea-ice variability diagnosed in terms of empirical orthogonal functions, also show a strong seasonality. The first winter mode is dominated by an opposition of anomalies in the western and eastern North Atlantic, corresponding to the well-documented North Atlantic Oscillation. The primary summer mode depicts an anomaly of the same sign over nearly the entire Arctic and captures the recent trend of sea-ice coverage.
Sea-ice thickness distributions from 12 submarine cruises under the North Pole are used to evaluate and enhance the results of sea-ice model simulations. The sea-ice models include versions with cavitating fluid and elastic-viscous-plastic rheologies, and versions with a single thickness and with multiple (5–27) thicknesses in each gridcell. A greater portion of the interannual variance of observed mean thickness at the Pole is captured by the multiple-thickness models than by the single-thickness models, although even the highest correlations are only about 0.6. After The observed thickness distributions are used to ˚tune" the model to capture the primary mode of the distribution, the largest model-data discrepancies are in the thin-ice tail of the distribution. In a 41 year simulation ending in 1998, the model results show a pronounced decrease of mean ice thickness at the Pole around 1990; the minimum simulated thickness occurs in summer 1998. The decrease coincides with a shift of the Arctic Oscillation to its positive phase. The smallest submarine-derived mean thickness occurs in 1990, but no submarine data were available after 1992. The submarine-derived thicknesses for 1991 and 1992 are only slightly smaller than the 12–case mean.
We present polarimetric observations of the 4 ground-state transitions of OH, toward a sample of maser-emitting planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This sample includes confirmed OH-emitting PNe, confirmed and candidate H2O-maser-emitting PNe. Polarimetric observations provide information related to the magnetic field of these sources. Maser-emitting PNe are very young PNe and magnetic fields are a key ingredient in the early evolution and shaping process of PNe. Our preliminary results suggest that magnetic field strengths may change very rapidly in young PNe.
Airborne and spaceborne altimeters provide measurements of sea-ice elevation, from which sea-ice freeboard and thickness may be derived. Observations of the Arctic ice pack by satellite altimeters indicate a significant decline in ice thickness, and volume, over the last decade. NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) is a next-generation laser altimeter designed to continue key sea-ice observations through the end of this decade. An airborne simulator for ICESat-2, the Multiple Altimeter Beam Experimental Lidar (MABEL), has been deployed to gather pre-launch data for mission development. We present an analysis of MABEL data gathered over sea ice in the Greenland Sea and assess the capabilities of photon-counting techniques for sea-ice freeboard retrieval. We compare freeboard estimates in the marginal ice zone derived from MABEL photon-counting data with coincident data collected by a conventional airborne laser altimeter. We find that freeboard estimates agree to within 0.03 m in the areas where sea-ice floes were interspersed with wide leads, and to within 0.07 m elsewhere. MABEL data may also be used to infer sea-ice thickness, and when compared with coincident but independent ice thickness estimates, MABEL ice thicknesses agreed to within 0.65 m or better.
Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
Functional neurological disorders (FNDs), also known as conversion disorder, are unexplained neurological symptoms unrelated to a neurological cause. The disorder is common, yet poorly understood. The symptoms are experienced as involuntary but have similarities to voluntary processes. Here we studied intention awareness in FND.
A total of 26 FND patients and 25 healthy volunteers participated in this functional magnetic resonance study using Libet's clock.
FND is characterized by delayed awareness of the intention to move relative to the movement itself. The reporting of intention was more precise, suggesting that these findings are reliable and unrelated to non-specific attentional deficits. That these findings were more prominent with aberrant positive functional movement symptoms rather than negative symptoms may be relevant to impairments in timing for an inhibitory veto process. Attention towards intention relative to movement was associated with lower right inferior parietal cortex activity in FND, a region early in the processing of intention. During rest, aberrant functional connectivity was observed with the right inferior parietal cortex and other motor intention regions.
The results converge with observations of low inferior parietal activity comparing involuntary with voluntary movement in FND, emphasizing core deficiencies in intention. Heightened precision of this impaired intention is consistent with Bayesian theories of impaired top-down priors that might influence the sense of involuntariness. A primary impairment in voluntary motor intention at an early processing stage might explain clinical observations of slowed effortful voluntary movement, heightened self-directed attention and underlie functional movements. These findings further suggest novel therapeutic targets.