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Combined archaeological, ecological, and geologic research on Chuginadak and Carlisle Islands in the Islands of Four Mountains (IFM) probed questions about the sustainability of human settlements over the past 4000 years in the face of geologic, ecological, and social hazards. We use a human ecodynamics approach to frame the investigation and present original archaeological evidence from this poorly known region of the remote Aleutian Islands. Several village sites occupied during the last four millennia are clustered in locations that were not damaged by earthquake-induced tsunamis; however, new geologic evidence indicates that at least one volcanic eruption forced humans to abandon one or more prehistoric village sites. Combined archaeological, ecological, and geologic analyses demonstrate resilient Unangax̂ occupations of the IFM through long-term climate change as well as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions with occasional community vulnerability to volcanic eruptions.
We obtained radiocarbon (14C) dates with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) of vascular plant samples and a charcoal sample collected from peat deposits near the prehistoric village site informally designated CR-03 on Carlisle Island in the Islands of Four Mountains group, Alaska, to determine the eruption age of the CR-02 tephra. A fine vitric ash erupted from Okmok caldera, Umnak Island (ca. 2 ka BP) was also discovered in the bog. The ages of the CR-02 tephra and Okmok II ash are estimated to be 1050 and 2000 cal BP, respectively. Because both tephras are distinctive and widespread, these are important chronostratigraphic markers for archaeological sites in this island group. The 14C dates obtained from this bog are 800 years younger than the dates of the charcoal fragments from cultural layers in the Unit 3 of prehistoric village site CR-02 (AMK-0003).
Whole apples have not been previously implicated in outbreaks of foodborne bacterial illness. We investigated a nationwide listeriosis outbreak associated with caramel apples. We defined an outbreak-associated case as an infection with one or both of two outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes highly related by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) from 1 October 2014 to 1 February 2015. Single-interviewer open-ended interviews identified the source. Outbreak-associated cases were compared with non-outbreak-associated cases and traceback and environmental investigations were performed. We identified 35 outbreak-associated cases in 12 states; 34 (97%) were hospitalized and seven (20%) died. Outbreak-associated ill persons were more likely to have eaten commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples (odds ratio 326·7, 95% confidence interval 32·2–3314). Environmental samples from the grower's packing facility and distribution-chain whole apples yielded isolates highly related to outbreak isolates by wgMLST. This outbreak highlights the importance of minimizing produce contamination with L. monocytogenes. Investigators should perform single-interviewer open-ended interviews when a food is not readily identified.
The US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires nursing homes and long-term-care facilities to document residents' vaccination status on the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). Vaccinating residents can prevent costly hospital admissions and deaths. CMS and public health officials use RAI data to measure vaccination rates in long-term-care residents and assess the quality of care in nursing homes. We assessed the accuracy of RAI data against medical records in 39 nursing homes in Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin. We randomly sampled residents in each home during the 2010–2011 and 2011–2012 influenza seasons. We collected data on receipt of influenza vaccination from charts and RAI data. Our final sample included 840 medical charts with matched RAI records. The agreement rate was 0·86. Using the chart as a gold standard, the sensitivity of the RAI with respect to influenza vaccination was 85% and the specificity was 77%. Agreement rates varied within facilities from 55% to 100%. Monitoring vaccination rates in the population is important for gauging the impact of programmes and policies to promote adherence to vaccination recommendations. Use of data from RAIs is a reasonable approach for gauging influenza vaccination rates in nursing-home residents.
Although the cadmium chloride treatment is an essential process for high efficiency thin film cadmium telluride photovoltaic devices, the precise mechanisms involved that improve the cadmium telluride layer are not well understood. In this investigation we apply advanced micro-structural characterization techniques to study the effect of varying the time of the cadmium chloride annealing treatment on the micro-structure of cadmium telluride solar cells deposited by close spaced sublimation (CSS) and relate this to cell performance. A range of techniques has been used to observe the morphological changes to the micro-structure as well as the chemical and crystallographic changes as a function of treatment parameters. Electrical tests that link the device performance with the micro-structural properties of the cells have also been undertaken. Techniques used include Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) for sub-grain analysis and XPS for composition-depth profiling. The study provides a new insight in to the mechanisms involved in the initiation and the subsequent complete re-crystallization of the cadmium telluride layer.
Lurasidone is an atypical antipsychotic medication approved for the treatment of schizophrenia over a dose range of 40–160 mg/day. This study examined D2 receptor occupancy and its association with clinical improvement and side effects in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder following repeated doses of 80, 120, or 160 mg/day of lurasidone.
Twenty-five patients with The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV) diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were washed out of their antipsychotic medications (5 half-lives) and randomly assigned to 80, 120, or 160 mg/day of lurasidone. Subjects were imaged with 18F-fallypride at baseline and at steady-state lurasidone treatment to determine D2 receptor occupancy.
Blood lurasidone concentration (plus major metabolite), but not dose, significantly correlated with D2 receptor occupancy. D2 receptor occupancy in several subcortical structures is associated with positive but not negative symptom improvement or the presence of movement symptoms.
Blood concentrations greater than 70 ng/mL may be required to achieve a 65% occupancy level in subcortical areas. Intersubject blood concentrations at fixed dose were highly variable and may account for the lack of dose correlations.
Positron emission tomography (PET) occupancy data suggest that greater than 65% occupancy can be achieved across the dose range of 80–160 mg/day and that some patients require higher doses to achieve antipsychotic efficacy; this finding supports prior randomized clinical trial results.
It is well known that the cadmium chloride annealing treatment is an essential step in the manufacture of efficient thin film cadmium telluride solar cells. It has been recognized that the combination of annealing at ∼4000C together with the addition of cadmium chloride at the surface induces re-crystallisation of the cadmium telluride layer and also affects the n-type cadmium sulfide. We have applied advanced micro-structural characterization techniques to distinguish the effect of the annealing and the cadmium chloride treatments on the properties of the cadmium telluride deposited via close space sublimation (CSS) and relate these observations to device performance. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has shown a variation in stacking fault density with annealing temperature and annealing time. Stacking faults observed within the cadmium telluride grains in TEM were partially removed post annealing; these findings show that temperature alone has a role in the reduction of stacking faults. However, since we have previously observed almost complete removal of stacking faults with annealing in combination with cadmium chloride, the cadmium chloride is essential to defect removal and high efficiency cells.
The solar cells employed in low to medium (50 to 200 suns) concentration photovoltaic (CPV) are usually mono-crystalline silicon. Laser Groove Buried Contacts (LGBC) are preferred to screen printing in these cells due to the high currents generated in the system. In this paper, we report on the use of Coherence Correlation Interferometry (CCI) to accurately measure the width and depth of the laser-ablated grooves. In addition, the technique is also used to measure the surface roughness at the bottom of the trenches, since this can determine the success of the subsequent plating process, and at the top surface to optimize the debris control and obtain clean surfaces and well-shaped groove edges. The laser ablation process was also optimized to obtain the groove aspect ratio and surface quality required. Process parameters to be controlled include laser power, pulse energy, stage speed and focal length. The CCI technique is capable of providing all the groove and surface metrology required for this process optimization.
A new magnetron sputtering strategy is introduced that utilizes high plasma density (~5mA.cm-2) to avoid or reduce high temperature processing. The technique uses magnetrons of opposing magnetic polarity to create a “closed field” in which the plasma density is enhanced without the need for high applied Voltages. A batch system has been used which employs a rotating vertical drum as the substrate carrier and a symmetrical array of linear magnetrons. The magnetrons are fitted with target materials for each of the thin films required in the photovoltaic (PV) stack including the CdTe absorber layer, CdS window layer, metal contact using the conventional superstrate configuration. The “closed field” sputtering technology allows scale up not only for larger batch system designs but it is also configurable for “in-line” or “roll to roll” formats for large scale production. The morphology of each of the layers is characterized using a variety of structural and optical techniques including Field Emission Gun SEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD).
The objective was to quantify the vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene in two diets using a dual-isotope dilution technique and the apparent β-carotene absorption as measured by the oral–faecal balance technique. Seventeen healthy adults with an ileostomy completed the 4-week diet-controlled, cross-over intervention study. Each subject followed both diets for 2 weeks: a diet containing vegetables low in β-carotene content with supplemental β-carotene in salad dressing oil (‘oil diet’; mean β-carotene intake 3·1 mg/d) and a diet containing vegetables and fruits high in β-carotene content (‘mixed diet’; mean β-carotene intake 7·6 mg/d). Daily each subject consumed a mean of 190 μg [13C10]β-carotene and 195 μg [13C10]retinyl palmitate in oil capsules. The vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene was calculated as the dose-corrected ratio of [13C5]retinol to [13C10]retinol in serum. Apparent absorption of β-carotene was determined with oral–faecal balance. Isotopic data quantified a vitamin A equivalency of [13C10]β-carotene in oil of 3·6:1 (95 % CI 2·8, 4·6) regardless of dietary matrices differences. The apparent absorption of (labelled and dietary) β-carotene from the ‘oil diet’ (30 %) was 1·9-fold higher than from the ‘mixed diet’ (16 %). This extrinsic labelling technique can measure precisely the vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene in oil capsules, but it does not represent the effect of different dietary matrices.
Aerosol infection (AI) of Porton outbreak mice with Listeria species, exhibiting varying degrees of virulence, was compared with gastric intubation (GI) on the basis of numbers of deaths. 50% lethal dose (LD50) and pattern of listerial infection. The AI route appeared to be more sensitive, efficient and consistent than GI in that it required 105 fewer micro-organisms to obtain infection and death then ensued within 4 days, with GI deaths usually occurring on day 7. All the virulent strains tested caused 100% mortality by AI, while virulent and avirulent strains were indistinguishable by GI. Bacterial counts in the livers and spleens of infected mice were consistent with the relative virulence of the infectious agent using AI but not in GI mice. There were higher numbers of micro-organisms and more widespread lesions in the organs of AI mice than in GI. Results indicate that AI is an accurate in vivo indicator of virulence in listeria and using AI, bacterial counts in the liver and spleen could replace LD50 tests, thereby reducing the number of animals required for in vivo virulence testing.
Recent studies have suggested that untreated coeliac disease is associated with lower total cholesterol than in the general population while the effect of treatment with a gluten-free diet on the cholesterol profile of clinically apparent coeliac disease is not known. We measured the cholesterol profile at diagnosis, and compared this with Health Survey for England figures, and again following 12 months treatment with a gluten-free diet in 100 consecutive adults with coeliac disease attending the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK. The mean total cholesterol was 4·84 (sd 1·2) mmol/l in adults (mean age 51 (sd 16) years) newly diagnosed with coeliac disease. At diagnosis of coeliac disease, men had 21 % lower and women had 9 % lower mean total cholesterol in comparison to the general population (difference in age-adjusted mean total cholesterol − 1·09 mmol/l (95 % CI − 0·97, − 1·21); − 0·46 mmol/l (95 % CI − 0·24, − 0·68), respectively). There was no change in mean total cholesterol following treatment. However, there was a small but statistically significant increase of 0·12 mmol/l (95 % CI 0·05, 0·18) in the mean HDL-cholesterol. Total cholesterol was lower at diagnosis in coeliac patients than in the general population and did not increase with 1 year of a gluten-free diet while HDL-cholesterol increased following treatment. Any increase in risk of IHD or stroke in people with coeliac disease is unlikely due to an adverse cholesterol profile either before diagnosis or after treatment with a gluten-free diet.
Data on the vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene in food are inconsistent. We quantified the vitamin A equivalency (μg) of β-carotene in two diets using the dual-isotope dilution technique and the oral–faecal balance technique. A diet-controlled, cross-over intervention study was conducted in twenty-four healthy adults. Each subject followed two diets for 3 weeks each: a diet containing vegetables low in β-carotene with supplemental β-carotene in salad dressing oil (‘oil diet’) and a diet containing vegetables and fruits high in β-carotene (‘mixed diet’). During all 6 weeks, each subject daily consumed a mean of 55 (sd 0·5) μg [13C10]β-carotene and 55 (sd 0·5) μg [13C10]retinyl palmitate in oil capsules. The vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene was calculated as the dose-corrected ratio of [13C5]retinol to [13C10]retinol in serum and from apparent absorption by oral–faecal balance. Isotopic data quantified a vitamin A equivalency of [13C10]β-carotene in oil of 3·4 μg (95 % CI 2·8, 3·9), thus the bio-efficacy of the β-carotene in oil was 28 % in the presence of both diets. However, data from oral–faecal balance estimated vitamin A equivalency as 6:1 μg (95 % CI 4, 7) for β-carotene in the ‘oil diet’. β-Carotene in the ‘oil diet’ had 2·9-fold higher vitamin A equivalency than β-carotene in the ‘mixed diet’. In conclusion, this extrinsic labelling technique cannot measure effects of mixed vegetables and fruits matrices, but can measure precisely the vitamin A equivalency of the β-carotene in oil capsules.