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Biomass burning has links with a number of global concerns including soil health, food security and climate change. In central Côte d'Ivoire (West Africa), we conducted a field study to compare nutrient losses, soil fertility and yam yield in slash-and-burn versus slash-and-mulch agriculture. Trials involved five sites established in the dominant Chromolaena odorata fallows of the region, each consisting of paired plots: slash and burnt biomass (SB) versus slashed and unburnt biomass, but left to serve as mulch (SM). Carbon and five elemental nutrients were assessed in the aboveground biomass prior to burning and in ash after fires; losses were assessed by subtraction. The greatest proportions of loss occurred with C (95%), N (95%) and K (74%), corresponding to losses into the atmosphere of 3532 ± 408, 200 ± 36, 132 ± 36 kg ha−1. Six weeks after the fire, soil properties were assessed: soil organic C, total N and Mg2+ were higher in SM than in SB sites. At final harvest, yam tuber yield was twice as large in SM as in SB (18 ± 4 vs. 9 ± 2 Mg ha−1) with soil C, total N and K+ as the main influential soil parameters. The key finding was that the elements lost in greatest proportion during burning were those mostly influencing yam yields. Because a clear negative relationship between biomass burning and yam production has been established the promotion of the more productive, alternate slash-and-mulch system compared to slash-and-burn system, is warranted. The findings of our research can be used in support of developing a sustainable yam production system in the region and in West Africa more generally.
The global spread of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) may be due to HIV/AIDS and other environmental factors. The symptoms of NTM and tuberculosis (TB) disease are indistinguishable, but their treatments are different. Lack of research on the epidemiology of NTM infections has led to underestimation of its prevalence within TB endemic countries. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of pulmonary NTM in Bamako. A cross-sectional study which include 439 suspected cases of pulmonary TB. From 2006 to 2013 a total of 332 (76%) were confirmed to have sputum culture positive for mycobacteria. The prevalence of NTM infection was 9.3% of our study population and 12.3% of culture positive patients. The seroprevalence of HIV in NTM group was 17.1%. Patients who weighed <55 kg and had TB symptoms other than cough were also significantly more likely to have disease due to NTM as compared to those with TB disease who were significantly more likely to have cough and weigh more than 55 kg (OR 0.05 (CI 0.02–0.13) and OR 0.32 (CI 0.11–0.93) respectively). NTM disease burden in Bamako was substantial and diagnostic algorithms for pulmonary disease in TB endemic countries should consider the impact of NTM.
Patients with a deletion at chromosome 22q11.2 (22q11DS) have 30% lifetime risk of developing a psychosis. People fulfilling clinical criteria for ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis have 30% risk of developing a psychosis within 2 years. Both high-risk groups show white-matter (WM) abnormalities in microstructure and volume compared to healthy controls (HC), which have been related to psychotic symptoms. Comparisons of WM pathology between these two groups may specify WM markers related to genetic and clinical risk factors.
Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and WM volume with structural MRI, in 23 UHR patients, 21 22q11DS patients, and 33 HC.
Compared to UHR patients 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD in corpus callosum (CC), cortical fasciculi, and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), (2) higher FA in CC and ATR, and (3) lower occipital and superior temporal gyrus WM volume. Compared to HC, 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD throughout cortical fasciculi and (2) higher FA in ATR, CC and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Compared to HC, UHR patients had (1) higher mean MD, RD, and AD in CC, ATR and cortical fasciculi, (2) no differences in FA.
UHR and 22q11DS patients share a susceptibility for developing psychosis yet were characterized by distinct patterns of WM alterations relative to HC. While UHR patients were typified by signs suggestive of aberrant myelination, 22q11DS subjects showed signs suggestive of lower axonal integrity.
Migratory fishes are natural wonders. For many people, the term migratory fish evokes images of salmon audaciously jumping at waterfalls as they return to their own riverine birthplace to spawn after years of growth in the ocean, but freshwater fishes actually show a broad spectrum of migration strategies. Migratory fishes include small species – three-spined sticklebacks that spawn in coastal streams around the northern Pacific and gobies that move from the ocean into tropical island streams by climbing waterfalls (McDowall, 1988) – as well as some of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, such as the Mekong dog-eating catfish and the Chinese paddlefish (Stone, 2007). Aside from migratory habits, these species have few shared characteristics; they encompass numerous evolutionary lineages, enormous differences in life history, and every possible direction and distance of migration. Biologists treat migratory freshwater fishes as a functional group because their life-history strategy revolves around long-distance movement between ecosystems in a perilous quest to take advantage of both high-quality breeding sites and bountiful feeding areas. As humans have physically blocked fish migrations, degraded breeding and feeding grounds and relentlessly harvested migrants for their flesh and roe, many populations have declined or been extirpated. This chapter will provide an overview of fundamental and applied research that is helping to guide efforts to conserve migratory freshwater fishes.
For practical purposes, we define migratory behaviour as the synchronized movement of a substantial proportion of a population between distinct habitats, which is repeated through time within or across generations. Modern definitions of fish migrations typically recognise both the adaptive benefits of migrating and individual variation in executing the general strategy (see McDowall, 1988; Lucas & Baras, 2001). Not every individual must move, the timing may vary somewhat from year to year, and the motive for migrating may include seeking refuge from harsh conditions in addition to breeding and feeding. Nonetheless, in most cases, migration is critical to individual fitness and population persistence because it enables specialised use of different habitats for growth and reproduction. Where their migration routes are blocked or key habitats are lost, migratory fishes often suffer rapid and catastrophic losses.
Human appropriation and degradation of the Earth's freshwater ecosystems (Vörösmarty et al., 2010; Carpenter et al., 2011) have transformed this reliance on multiple habitats into a detriment for many migratory fishes.
The effects of an imposed, axial magnetic field
on hydrodynamics and energetic electrons in inertial confinement fusion indirect-drive hohlraums are studied. We present simulations from the radiation-hydrodynamics code HYDRA of a low-adiabat ignition design for the National Ignition Facility, with and without
. The field’s main hydrodynamic effect is to significantly reduce electron thermal conduction perpendicular to the field. This results in hotter and less dense plasma on the equator between the capsule and hohlraum wall. The inner laser beams experience less inverse bremsstrahlung absorption before reaching the wall. The X-ray drive is thus stronger from the equator with the imposed field. We study superthermal, or ‘hot’, electron dynamics with the particle-in-cell code ZUMA, using plasma conditions from HYDRA. During the early-time laser picket, hot electrons based on two-plasmon decay in the laser entrance hole (Regan et al., Phys. Plasmas, vol. 17(2), 2010, 020703) are guided to the capsule by a 70 T field. Twelve times more energy deposits in the deuterium–tritium fuel. For plasma conditions early in peak laser power, we present mono-energetic test-case studies with ZUMA as well as sources based on inner-beam stimulated Raman scattering. The effect of the field on deuterium–tritium deposition depends strongly on the source location, namely whether hot electrons are generated on field lines that connect to the capsule.
The fate of right ventricular dimensions after surgical closure of secundum-type atrial septal defects remains unclear. The objectives of this study were to assess ventricular dimensions, exercise capability, and arrhythmias of patients operated for secundum-type atrial septal defect and compare the results with those in healthy references.
A total of 78 consecutive patients underwent surgical closure for a secundum-type atrial septal defect between 1990 and 1995. In all, 42 patients were included and underwent a cross-sectional evaluation including echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, exercise testing, and 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography. Patients were matched with healthy controls for gender, body surface area, and age.
The mean age at surgery was 4.6 plus or minus 2.8 years, and the mean age at follow-up was 16 plus or minus 3 years. There were no residual intracardiac lesions. The mean right ventricular end-systolic volume was significantly larger in patients (142 ± 26 millilitres) than in references (137 ± 28 millilitres; p = 0.04). In 25% of the patients, right ventricular end-systolic volume was larger than the 95th percentile for references. No relevant arrhythmias were detected. Exercise testing did not reveal differences with healthy references: maximal power (169 ± 43 Watt patients versus 172 ± 53 controls; p = 0.8), maximal oxygen uptake (38 ± 8 versus 41 ± 13 millilitres per minute per kilogram; p = 0.1).
After surgical closure of secundum-type atrial septal defect, right ventricular end-systolic volume is increased. These findings have no impact on rhythm status or exercise capacity at this stage of follow-up, but may have implications for the timing of surgery or the technique of closure if confirmed in longer follow-up.
Exposure to highly focussed flash light (photonic flash sintering) has been developed as a technology to successfully cure printed metal inks on temperature sensitive plastic substrates. In contrast to the traditional approach of thermal oven sintering, conductivities up to 30 % of the value of bulk silver can be achieved within a few seconds without foil deformation. The compatibility of this technology with R2R production has been demonstrated with line speeds up to 5 m/min. As a consequence, our approach is expected to enable the high throughput fabrication of current collecting grids for organic solar cells in order to replace transparent electrodes based on metal oxides such as ITO. Additionally, our new sintering technology has enabled us to process a new generation of conductive inks, based on copper complexes, which cannot be processed by oven sintering.
The study presented in this paper is a first step of an EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) analysis
of the behaviour of a railway power substation at high frequency. Before on site intensive experimentation, the
approach is performed with a reduced scale model. The mock-up of the substation is powered by a 220 V
three-phase voltage supplied by a 15 kV A power transformer, a rectifier and loads. The study consists in
designing an equivalent electrical circuit of power transformer in high frequency, available over a large panel
of loads. The model of power transformer was deduced from measurements in frequency domain within the range 40 Hz to 30 MHz.
Subjects at ‘ultra high risk’ (UHR) for developing psychosis have differences in white matter (WM) compared with healthy controls. WM integrity has not yet been investigated in UHR subjects in relation to the development of subsequent psychosis. Hence, we investigated a prospective cohort of UHR subjects comparing whole brain fractional anisotropy (FA) of those later developing psychosis (UHR-P) to those who did not (UHR-NP).
We recruited 37 subjects fulfilling UHR criteria and 10 healthy controls. Baseline 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) ratings were obtained. UHR subjects were assessed at 9, 18 and 24 months for development of frank psychosis. We compared baseline FA of UHR-P to controls and UHR-NP subjects. Furthermore, we related clinical data to MRI outcome in the patient population.
Of the 37 UHR subjects, 10 had transition to psychosis. UHR-P subjects showed significantly lower FA values than control subjects in medial frontal lobes bilaterally. UHR-P subjects had lower FA values than UHR-NP subjects, lateral to the right putamen and in the left superior temporal lobe. UHR-P subjects showed higher FA values, compared with UHR-NP, in the left medial temporal lobe. In UHR-P, positive PANSS negatively correlated to FA in the left middle temporal lobe. In the total UHR group positive PANSS negatively correlated to FA in the right superior temporal lobe.
UHR subjects who later develop psychosis have differences in WM integrity, compared with UHR subjects who do not develop psychosis and to healthy controls, in brain areas associated with schizophrenia.
Intermediate hosts of Schistosoma haematobium, the causative agent of urinary schistosomiasis, in Lake Malaŵi include: Bulinus globosus, a member of the B. africanus group and B. nyassanus, a diploid member of the B. truncatus/tropicus species complex. We compared genetic variability between isolates of S. haematobium from the southern part of the lake (Cape Maclear), where both B. globosus and B. nyassanus play a role as intermediate hosts, and isolates from the northern part, where only B. globosus is host. Data show that the S. haematobium isolates from these two areas of Lake Malaŵi cannot be distinguished using nuclear or mitochondrial sequences and are capable of cross-infections.
Trypanosomosis is a major cause of mortality for dogs in Nigeria and treatment with diminazene aceturate has steadily become less effective, either as a result of low quality of the locally available diminazene preparations or of drug resistance. To investigate these alternatives, samples of locally obtained drugs were analysed for diminazene aceturate content and a strain of Trypanosoma brucei brucei was isolated from a diminazene-refractory dog in Nsukka, south-eastern Nigeria, and used to infect albino rats. The quality of diminazene aceturate-based preparations was variable, with two preparations containing less than 95% of the stated active compound. Rats infected with T. brucei isolated from the dog were treated 7 and 10 days after infection either with 7 mg/kg diminazene aceturate (intraperitoneally, once) or with 4 mg/kg pentamidine isethionate (intramuscularly, 7 consecutive days). Relapse rates were 100% for both trypanocides in the groups of rat treated 10 days post-infection, and 83% and 50% of rats treated 7 days after infection relapsed to diminazene aceturate and pentamidine isethionate, respectively. Careful consideration of physiological parameters showed that pentamidine was only marginally superior to diminazene aceturate as applied in this study. It was concluded that dogs in Nigeria are infected with genuinely diminazene aceturate-resistant trypanosomes that appear to be cross-resistant to pentamidine isethionate.
THE political agenda in Cameroon has become increasingly
by what is known as the ‘anglophone problem’, which poses a
challenge to the efforts of the post-colonial state to forge national unity
and integration, and has led to the reintroduction of forceful arguments
and actions in favour of ‘federalism’ or even ‘secession’.
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