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TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Red Bull Stratos was a commercial program that brought a test parachutist, protected by a full-pressure suit, in a stratospheric balloon with pressurized capsule to over 127,582 ft (38,969 m), from which he free fell and subsequently parachuted to the ground. Given that the major risks to the parachutist included ebullism, negative Gz (toe-to-head) acceleration exposure from an uncontrolled flat spin, and trauma, a comprehensive plan was developed to recover the parachutist under nominal conditions and to respond to any medical contingencies that might have arisen. In this report, the project medical team describes the experience of providing emergency medical support and crew recovery for the manned balloon flights of the program.
The phases of flight, associated risks, and available resources were systematically evaluated.
Six distinct phases of flight from an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) standpoint were identified. A Medical Support Plan was developed to address the risks associated with each phase, encompassing personnel, equipment, procedures, and communications.
Despite geographical, communications, and resource limitations, the medical team was able to implement the Medical Support Plan, enabling multiple successful manned balloon flights to 71,615 ft (21,828 m), 97,221 ft (29,610 m), and 127,582 ft (38,969 m). The experience allowed refinement of the EMS and crew recovery procedures for each successive flight and could be applied to other high altitude or commercial space ventures.
BlueRS, NortonSC, LawJ, PattariniJM, AntonsenEL, GarbinoA, ClarkJB, TurneyMW. Emergency Medical Support for a Manned Stratospheric Balloon Test Program. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(5):1-6.
Cost-effective extension strategies are needed to promote widespread adoption of agricultural technologies in developing countries. Integrated pest management (IPM) practices, for example, can offer economic, health, and environmental benefits but remain largely underused. This study evaluates the current IPM dissemination program implemented by the Bangladesh Department of Agricultural Extension and uses a linear programming model to examine alternative strategies to improve IPM adoption. Results suggest that technology transfer programs may increase their impact by reallocating funding from intensive but costly interpersonal communication methods (i.e., farmer field schools) to less intensive methods (i.e., mass media and field days) that reach broader audiences.
Nursing homes have become complex care environments where residents have significant needs and most have age-related dementia. Building on research by Hirdes et al. (2011), we describe a resident profile in a representative sample of 30 urban nursing homes in the prairie provinces using Resident Assessment Instrument – Minimum Data Set 2.0 data from 5,196 resident assessments completed between 1 October 2007 and 31 December 2011. Residents were chiefly over age 85, female, and with an age-related dementia. We compared facility support and related services and resident characteristics by province, owner-operator model, and number of facility units. We observed differences in support and related services by both unit count and province. We also found that public facilities tend to care for residents with more demanding characteristics: notably cognitive impairment, aggressive behaviours, and incontinence. No clear trends associating the number of units in a facility with resident characteristics were observed.
Environmental influences on the rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression have received little attention. Our objective was to test hypotheses concerning associations between caregiver personality traits and the rate of AD progression.
Care receivers (CR) were 161 persons with AD from a population-based dementia progression study; 55 of their caregivers were spouses and 106 were adult children. Cognitive status of the CR was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination every six months, over an average of 5.6 (range: 1–14) years. Linear mixed models tested rate of cognitive decline as a function of caregiver personality traits from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory.
Significantly faster cognitive decline was observed with higher caregiver Neuroticism overall; however, in stratified models, effects were significant for adult child but not spouse caregivers. Neuroticism facets of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress were significantly associated with faster decline. Higher caregiver Extraversion was associated with slower decline in the CR when caregivers were adult children but not spouses.
For adult child caregivers, caregiver personality traits are associated with rate of cognitive decline in CRs with AD regardless of co-residency. Results suggest that dementia caregiver interventions promoting positive care management strategies and ways to react to caregiving challenges may eventually become an important complement to pharmacologic and other approaches aimed at slower rate of decline in dementia.
Farm households in the Andean region of South America face serious livelihood challenges, including a poor natural resource base and declining agricultural yields. Conservation agriculture has been identified as a potential solution to environmental degradation and the associated poverty and food insecurity in the region. This study analyses the potential economic impact of conservation agriculture in two sub-watersheds in central Ecuador utilizing a linear programming model and data from experiments in farmer fields. The model found that specific cover crops, crop rotations and reduced tillage designed to reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic matter can lead to increased incomes for farm households in a time period of as short as two years. It appears that conservation agriculture practices have the potential to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor in Ecuador because conservation agriculture activities entered the revenue-maximizing model solution for both sub-watersheds.
Background: Quality of life (QOL) is frequently assessed in persons with dementia (PWD) through self- and/or proxy-report. Determinants of QOL ratings are multidimensional and may differ between patients and caregiver proxies. This study compared self- and proxy-reported QOL ratings in a population-based study of PWD and their caregivers, and examined the extent to which discrepancies in reports were associated with characteristics of the PWD.
Methods: The sample consisted of 246 patient/caregiver dyads from the initial visit of the Cache County Dementia Progression Study, with both members of the dyad rating PWD QOL. PWD age, gender, cognitive impairment (Mini-Mental State Examination), neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory; NPI), dementia severity (Clinical Dementia Rating), medical comorbidities (General Medical Health Rating), and functional impairment (Dementia Severity Rating Scale) were examined as correlates of self- and proxy-reported QOL ratings and the differences between the QOL reports.
Results: Self- and proxy-reported PWD QOL ratings were only modestly correlated. Medical comorbidity was associated with self-report whereas NPI was associated with proxy-report. Dementia severity was associated with discrepancies in self- and proxy-report, with worse patient cognition associated with poorer proxy-reported QOL ratings.
Conclusions: PWD self- and proxy-reported QOL ratings are associated with different variables. Discrepancies between PWD and caregiver perceptions of PWD QOL should be recognized, particularly in cases of more severe dementia.
The development of new etching and contact metallurgies for the ZnO/ZnMgO/ZnCdO materials system and various approaches for realizing ZnO LEDs are reviewed. ZnO nanorod MOSFETs and pH sensors have been demonstrated. In addition, selective detection of hydrogen with Pt-coated single ZnO nanorods is discussed discussed. The Pt-coated single nanorods show a current response approximately a factor of three larger at room temperature upon exposure to 500ppm H2 in N2 than thin films of ZnO. The power consumption of these sensors can be very small (in the nW range) when using discontinuous coatings of Pt. Once the Pt coating becomes continuous, the current required to operate the sensors increases to the μW range. The ZnO nanorods are insensitive to oxygen in the measurement ambient.
This paper reviews of some of the progress made in the development of ZnO-based light emitting diodes (LEDs). n-ZnO/p-AlGaN-based heterostructures have been successfully for the fabrication of UV emitting LEDs that have operated at temperatures up to 650K, suggesting an excitonic origin for the optical transitions. RF-plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy has been used to grow epitaxial CdxZn1-xO films on GaN/sapphire structure. These films have a single-crystal wurtzite structure as demonstrated by structural and compositional analysis. High quality CdxZn1-xO films were grown with up to x=0.78 mole fraction as determined by RBS and SIMS techniques. Optical emission ranging from purple (Cd0.05Zn0.95O) to yellow (Cd0.29Zn0.71O) was observed. Compositional fluctuations in a Cd0.16Zn0.84O films were not detected by spatially resolved CL measurements, although intensity fluctuation with features of ∼0.5 μm diameter were seen on the intensity maps. Time resolved photoluminescence shows multi-exponential decay with 21 psec. and 49±3 psec. lifetimes, suggesting that composition micro-fluctuations may be present in Cd0.16Zn0.84O film.
This research investigates the potential of pulsed laser deposition to create reliable high current ohmic contacts of Ni2Si on single crystal 4H-SiC. Since this stoichiometry is the stable interphase in the nickel-silicon carbide diffusion couple, direct deposition eliminates the detrimental excess carbon normally formed by direct sintering Ni on SiC, the surface roughening that results from this sintering as well as the need for post-deposition high-temperature (900°C) anneals that are required in complex multi-component contacts. This study examines the processing parameters that must be used during deposition to obtain the desired microstructural characteristics for the contact. Pulsed laser deposition of nickel silicide produces smooth films with an amorphous or nanocrystalline structure interspersed with macroparticles. Macroparticle formation on the resulting films appear in the form of solidified droplets of the eutectic composition nickel silicide (3:1) that form during the long term target processing. The dependence of the number and size distributions of these droplets on laser fluence sample temperature is examined.
Commission 46 is dedicated to Teaching of Astronomy. Commission 46 can be seen as an
extension of the IAU Executive Committee in the sense that each adhering country has
appointed a national representative to the Commission. National Representatives maintain
liaison between the Commission and the home country, and write national triennial reports
on development of astronomy on their nations. Other IAU astronomers, with special interest in education, can become regular individual members of the Commission. Non-IAU
members can be invited by the Commission to serve for one triennial term. Commission
46 considers that one of its major duties is to contribute to enhance astronomy education
in developing countries. The Newsletter, the International School for Young Astronomers,
the Visiting Lecturer Program and the Travelling Telescope are examples of such activities administered by the Commission. The strength of Commission 46 comes from the hard
work that its members do in order to promote astronomy education worldwide.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects
of supplements of sorghum grain (1·1 kg/day),
sodium propionate (65 g/day) and intra-abomasal glucose
infusion (200 g/day) on the liveweight
gain (LWG), glucose metabolism and nitrogen utilization of
Hereford steers (four per group) given
molasses-based diets ad libitum (molasses 589, urea 18,
sunflower meal 194, pangola grass hay 187,
minerals 12 g/kg as fed). There was no significant effect
of treatment on voluntary feed consumption
(97–106 g dry matter (DM)/kg0·75
per day) or DM digestibility (0·564–0·579).
The LWG of steers given grain supplements (899 g/day) and
sodium propionate (943 g/day) were significantly
(P<0·05) higher than those of steers given the
basal diet (741 g/day) and basal diet plus glucose infusion
All supplements decreased plasma urea concentrations and
urinary N excretion and increased the
efficiency of N utilization from 0·19 to
0·36–0·38 g N retained per g apparently
digested N intake. The
provision of grain (13% DM intake) increased ammonia and
volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations
in rumen fluid, and both grain and sodium propionate increased
the proportion of propionic acid in
ruminal VFA. Grain supplementation and glucose infusions
significantly (P<0·05) increased glucose
entry rates (g/day and g/kg0·75
per day) without affecting plasma glucose concentrations or
glucose pool size and space. Sodium propionate supplements
increased plasma insulin concentrations to a
lesser extent than grain supplements and glucose infusion.
Increased glucose availability in the present
studies was associated with an improved utilization of dietary
protein and, in some cases, with improved LWG.
Sorghum grain was included in a basal diet of molasses
(molasses 505, urea 21, sunflower meal 191,
pangola grass hay 250, minerals 31 g/kg as fed) at rates
of 0, 202, 391 and 707 g/kg, generating diets
in which grain replaced 0 (diet A), 33 (diet B), 66 (diet C)
and 100% (diet D) of the molasses and hay.
The four diets were fed to groups of four Hereford steers
(293–334 kg liveweight) over a 96-day
period. One half of each treatment group was implanted with
a growth promotant (zeranol), and all
were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir at the end of the
trial. The inclusion of 33% grain
increased voluntary feed consumption, digestible dry matter
(DM) intake (from 57·6 to 82·0 g
digestible DM/kg0·75 per day and
significantly increased liveweight gain from 592 to 900 g/day.
Zeranol implantation also increased liveweight gain but not
feed intake. Steers given only grain (diet
D) had the highest liveweight gains (1127 g/day). The
addition of grain to molasses diets decreased
urinary N excretion and increased ammonia and volatile fatty
acid (VFA) concentrations in rumen
fluid. Molar proportions of propionic acid in total VFA
increased from 0·15 to 0·20, and butyric acid
decreased from 0·36 to 0·29 when 33% of the
molasses was replaced by sorghum grain. The fat
content (depth at sacral position) of the carcasses of steers
given grain only (diet D) was significantly
greater (14 mm) than that of steers given the basal diet of
molasses (4 mm), and carcass fat contents
were intermediate (10 and 11 mm) for steers given diets B
and C respectively. It was concluded that
the inclusion of small amounts of grain in molasses-based
diets increased cattle growth principally by
increasing digestible energy intake without decreasing
molasses intake, thus improving the efficiency
of utilization of molasses in molasses-based diets.
Leaves from the tropical tree legume calliandra (Calliandra
calothyrsus) were harvested and fed either
fresh frozen (F) or dried (D) as a supplement (200 g dry matter (DM)) to
(n=4) given barley
straw ad libitum in metabolism cages in a controlled-environment
house. Sheep given these
diets were intra-ruminally infused (0·5 litres/day) with either
water or a solution containing 100 g/l
polyethylene glycol (PEG). These treatments were administered
in a randomized complete block
design, and the results statistically analysed. Drying significantly
increased the cell wall (cellulose,
hemicellulose) and lignin contents, but decreased the condensed tannin
content (F=35·7, D=21·7 g/kg DM). Both drying and PEG
infusion significantly (P<0·05)
increased straw organic matter (OM) intake, but the effects
of drying plus PEG were not additive.
Organic matter digestibility of the diets was significantly
(P<0·05) increased by drying (F=433 g/kg,
D=486 g/kg), but not by the infusion of PEG. Total nitrogen (N)
digestibility was significantly (P<0·05) increased by
(F=207 g/kg, D=316 g/kg) in the absence of PEG,
and by PEG for both frozen (−PEG=207 g/kg, +PEG=392 g/kg)
and dried (−PEG=316 g/kg, +PEG=434 g/kg) calliandra. PEG
infusion significantly increased the proportion of feed
N degraded in the rumen (−PEG=0·41, +PEG=0·52) and
rumen ammonia concentrations
(−PEG=63, +PEG=103 mgN/l), but had no significant effect on the
rate or efficiency of
microbial protein synthesis in the rumen. PEG infusions significantly
increased the amount and
proportion of N intake absorbed from the lower digestive tract, but had
significant effect on
overall N balance. Drying decreased the tannin losses (as % intake)
occurring in the rumen (F=37·3%, D=24·2%), and PEG infusion
increased these losses for both frozen (−PEG=37·3%,
+PEG=72·5%) and dried (−PEG=24·2%, +PEG=68·7%)
calliandra supplements. It was
concluded from these studies that the presence of tannins in fresh (frozen)
calliandra depressed feed
utilization, and that drying was an effective means of improving the nutritive
value of calliandra when fed as a supplement to low quality straws.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the metabolism of condensed tannin (CT) in sheep and goats offered a mixture of Digitaria decumbens (700 g/kg) and Desmodium intortum (300 g/kg) hay. Radioactive 14CO2, was used to label CT in young growing desmodium plants, &[14C&]CT was extracted, purified and infused intraruminally, and the metabolism of &[14C&]CT was followed in the rumen and lower digestive tract of both species. Digestion of DM, organic matter (OM), cell-wall constituents (CWC), N and the efficiency of rumen microbial synthesis were determined using a continuous intraruminal infusion of 51Cr EDTA, YbCl3, and Na2, 35SO4. The measurements taken for sheep and goats respectively were: intake, 21 and 30 g/kg0.9 per d; digestibilities (g/g) of DM, 0.566 and 0.505; OM 0.578 and 0.508; neutral-detergent fibre, 0.584 and 0.532; and acid-detergent fibre, 0.535 and 0.435. None of these measurements was significantly different (P > 0.05) between animal species. There was an apparent net gain in lignin across the rumen and whole intestinal tract for both animal species (19 and 29% for sheep and goats respectively). There were no significant differences between sheep and goats (P > 0.05) detected for any measurements of N excretion and utilization. The overall efficiency of N digestion and utilization was also similar between species. The routes of CT metabolism were compared for both colorimetric estimates (butanol-HCl) of dietary CT (DCT) and the specific radioactivity of [14C]CT in digesta (abomasum) and excreta (urine and faeces) of both sheep and goats. &[14C]CT showed total losses of 57 and 56% in sheep and goats respectively whilst losses of DCT of 71 and 70% were detected with butanol-HCl in sheep and goats respectively. The apparent losses of DCT across the rumen of sheep and goats were 12 and 9% whilst higher losses (49 and 42% for sheep and goats respectively) were observed for [14C]CT. Losses of DCT in the lower intestinal tract accounted for 69 and 71% of the total CT leaving the abomasum. By comparison, only 40 and 35% of [14C]CT was lost during intestinal passage in sheep and goats respectively. It was concluded that the infused free [14C]CT interacted with DCT and entered the protein and fibre-bound DCT pools. The loss of DCT during passage through the intestines was considered to be a consequence of either absorption of free CT or the degradation products of CT. It was assumed that free CT arose in the lower gastrointestinal tract from protein-CT and fibre-CT dissociation to be digested and/or absorbed. The higher recoveries of [14C]CT in faeces (32 and 35%) compared with DCT (27 and 26%) for sheep and goats respectively) were associated with the excretion of [14C] degradation products or conjugates which were not reactive to butanol–HCl. It was concluded that both methods (butanol–HCl and labelling CT with 14C) detected a substantial disappearance of CT (free, protein, and fibre-bound) during metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract in sheep and goats
A factorial experiment was conducted to study the effects of condensed tannins (CT) from the tropical legumes Desmodium intorturn and Calliandra calothyrsus on the digestion and utilization of protein and carbohydrate in sheep and goats. CT-free Centrusema pubescens was also fed for comparison with the CT legumes, and each legume was included (300 g/kg DM) in a basal diet of pangola grass (Digitmia decumbens). Pangola grass alone was used as a control diet. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences between sheep and goats for the efficiency of digestion of N (0.574, SE 0.013), organic matter (OM; 0.519, SE 0.010), neutral-detergent fibre (NDF; 0.524, SE 0.011) and acid-detergent fibre (ADF; 0.407, SE 0.016). Diets containing desmodium and calliandra were digested less well in the rumen (64 and 62% of total OM digested) when compared with the pangola and centrosema diets (74 and 73% of total OM digested in rumen). There was an apparent net gain of 30% in ADF across the digestive tract of sheep and goats given calliandra, and this gain was ascribed to the formation of ‘artifact’ fibre as a result of fibre-tannin interaction. Overall, inclusion of legume at 300 g/kg in the diet significantly increased (P>0.05) the concentration of acetic acid and decreased butyric acid concentration in the rumen fluid of sheep and goats. Significantly higher proportions of dietary N apparently reached the abomasum of animals given the diets containing desmodium (50%) and calliandra (56%) when compared with animals given the centrosema and pangola diets (35%). Sheep and goats given the CT diets also had higher excretions of faecal N. This increment of faecal N (14%) did not affect post-rumen N digestion (P>0.05) since animals given CT diets absorbed more N (19%) per kg total OM digested than those given the control diets. It was concluded that whilst the low levels of CT provided in desmodium (1.0%) and calliandra (2.3%) diets protected dietary protein from degradation in the rumen, there were no overall beneficial or detrimental effects of CT in these diets for sheep or goats. A method was developed to categorize CT into fractions representative of their forms (free, protein-bound, and fibre-bound) during the digestion process. A quantitative model of CT metabolism during passage through the digestive tract was developed from the measured exchanges of CT between free, protein-bound and fibre-bound pools in the rumen and lower digestive tract. CT interchange mainly occurred in the reticulo-rumen of both animal species. Desmodium and calliandra free CT showed net losses of 68 and 78% in the rumen respectively and 57 and 68% of the fibre-bound CT was lost in the same site for sheep and goats respectively. However, protein-bound CT increased across the rumen by 73 and 56% for both animal species. Post-rumen losses of the total CT abomasal flow were 86 and 83% (free CT) for sheep and goats respectively, 70 and 66% (protein-bound CT), whilst 28% loss of fibre-bound CT occurred in sheep and goats respectively.