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Adverse pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) have been associated with life-long chronic disease risk for the infant. Stress during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many studies have reported the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous populations and a smaller number of studies have measured rates of stress and depression in these populations. This study sought to examine the potential association between stress during pregnancy and the rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Australian Indigenous women residing in rural and remote communities in New South Wales. This study found a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy than the general population. There was also a higher incidence of prematurity and LBW deliveries. Unfortunately, missing post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptomatology data impeded the examination of associations of interest. This was largely due to the highly sensitive nature of the issues under investigation, and the need to ensure adequate levels of trust between Indigenous women and research staff before disclosure and recording of sensitive research data. We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between the level of stress and the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes at this stage. We recommend this longitudinal study continue until complete data sets are available. Future research in this area should ensure prioritization of building trust in participants and overestimating sample size to ensure no undue pressure is placed upon an already stressed participant.
Evidence from animal models indicates that exposure to an obesogenic or hyperglycemic intrauterine environment adversely impacts offspring kidney development and renal function. However, evidence from human studies has not been evaluated systematically. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to synthesize current research in humans that has examined the relationship between gestational obesity and/or diabetes and offspring kidney structure and function. Systematic electronic database searches were conducted of five relevant databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, MEDLINE and Scopus). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines were followed, and articles screened by two independent reviewers generated nine eligible papers for inclusion. Six studies were assessed as being of ‘neutral’ quality, two of ‘negative’ and one ‘positive’ quality. Observational studies suggest that offspring exposed to a hyperglycemic intrauterine environment are more likely to display markers of renal dysfunction and are at higher risk of end-stage renal disease. There was limited and inconsistent evidence for a link between exposure to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and offspring renal outcomes. Offspring renal outcome measures across studies were diverse, with a large variation in offspring age at follow-up, limiting comparability across studies. The collective current body of evidence suggests that intrauterine exposure to maternal obesity and/or diabetes adversely impacts renal programming in offspring, with an increased risk of kidney disease in adulthood. Further high-quality, longitudinal, prospective cohort studies that measure indicators of offspring renal development and function, including fetal kidney volume and albuminuria, at standardized follow-up time points, are warranted.
To assess whether pre-operative assessment with a bone conduction hearing device on a softband is an accurate predictor of performance with one of two transcutaneous hearing implants.
Cohort study comparing pre-and post-operative speech audiometry using correlation analysis.
Pre-operative pure tone audiometry and aided half optimum speech recognition thresholds were compared with post-operative aided results for each ear that had undergone implantation. Data were collected prospectively.
Full data were available in 24 ears. In 19 out of 24 ears (79 per cent), the difference between pre- and post-operative speech scores was less than 10 dB, demonstrating a good clinical correlation. The Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated at 0.66 (95 per cent confidence interval = 0.357–0.842), indicating a strong statistical correlation.
Pre-operative softband testing shows good clinical correlation and strong statistical correlation with hearing implant performance. The findings suggest there is value in using the test to predict performance and guide patients’ expectations.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
Solvency II is currently one of the most sophisticated insurance regulatory regimes in the world. It is built around the principles of market consistency and embedding strong risk management and governance within insurance companies. For business with long-term guarantees, the original basis produced outcomes that were unacceptable to the member states. The original design was amended through Omnibus II. The working party has looked back at the outcome of the final regulation and comments on how well Solvency II has fared, principally from a UK perspective, relative to its initial goals of improved consumer protection, harmonisation, effective risk management and financial stability. We review Pillar 1’s market consistent valuation (including the risk margin and transitional measures) as well as the capital requirements (including internal models). We look at the impact this has on asset and liability management, pro-cyclicality and product design. We look at Pillars 2 and 3 in respect of the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment, liquidity and disclosure. Finally, we stand back and look at harmonisation and the implications of Brexit. In summary we conclude that Solvency II represents a huge improvement over Solvency I although it has not fully achieved the goals it aspired to. There are acknowledged shortfalls and imperfections where adjustments to Solvency II are likely. There remain other concerns around pro-cyclicality, and the appropriateness of market consistency is still open to criticism. It is hoped that the paper and the discussion that goes with it provide an insight into where Solvency II has taken European Insurance regulation and the directions in which it could evolve.
Indigenous Australians continue to experience disparities in chronic diseases, many of which have nutrition-related trajectories. Optimal nutrition throughout the lifespan is protective for a number of adverse health outcomes, however little is known about current dietary intakes and related anthropometric outcomes of Indigenous women and their infants. Research is required to identify nutrition issues to target for health promotion activities. The Gomeroi gaaynggal programme is an ongoing, prospective cohort of pregnant Indigenous Australian women and their children. A cross-sectional examination of postnatal dietary intakes and anthropometric outcomes of mothers and children are reported. To date, 73 mother–child dyads have participated postpartum. Breastfeeding initiation was 85.9% and median (interquartile range) duration of any breastfeeding was 1.4 (0.5–4.0) months. Infants were introduced to solid foods at 5.0 months (4.0–6.0) and cow’s milk at 12.0 (10.0–13.0) months. At 12 months postpartum, 66.7% of women were overweight or obese, 63.7% at 2 years. Compared with recommendations, reported median maternal nutrient intakes from 24-h recall were low in fibre, folate, iodine, calcium, potassium and vitamin D and high in proportions of energy from total and saturated fat. Limitations of this study include a small sample size and incomplete data for the cohort at each time point. Preliminary data from this ongoing cohort of Indigenous Australian women and children suggest that women may need support to optimize nutrient intakes and to attain a healthy body weight for themselves and their children.
Indigenous Australians have high rates of chronic diseases, the causes of which are complex and include social and environmental determinants. Early experiences in utero may also predispose to later-life disease development. The Gomeroi gaaynggal study was established to explore intrauterine origins of renal disease, diabetes and growth in order to inform the development of health programmes for Indigenous Australian women and children. Pregnant women are recruited from antenatal clinics in Tamworth, Newcastle and Walgett, New South Wales, Australia, by Indigenous research assistants. Measures are collected at three time points in pregnancy and from women and their children at up to eight time points in the child’s first 5 years. Measures of fetal renal development and function include ultrasound and biochemical biomarkers. Dietary intake, infant feeding and anthropometric measurements are collected. Standardized procedures and validated tools are used where available. Since 2010 the study has recruited over 230 women, and retained 66 postpartum. Recruitment is ongoing, and Gomeroi gaaynggal is currently the largest Indigenous pregnancy-through-early-childhood cohort internationally. Baseline median gestational age was 39.1 weeks (31.5–43.2, n=110), median birth weight was 3180 g (910–5430 g, n=110). Over one third (39.3%) of infants were admitted to special care or neonatal nursery. Nearly half of mothers (47.5%) reported tobacco smoking during pregnancy. Results of the study will contribute to knowledge about origins of chronic disease in Indigenous Australians and nutrition and growth of women and their offspring during pregnancy and postpartum. Study strengths include employment and capacity-building of Indigenous staff and the complementary ArtsHealth programme.
The aim of this study was to evaluate potential sampling strategies for detection of infected flocks that could be applied during an outbreak of low pathogenicity notifiable avian influenza (LPNAI) initiated in duck holdings, following initial detection. A simulation model of avian influenza virus transmission and spread within and between holdings, respectively, was used to predict the impact on the size and duration of an outbreak of (i) changing the tracing window within which premises that might be the source of infection or that may have been infected by the index premises were sampled and (ii) changing the number of birds sampled in the flock being tested. It has shown that there is potential benefit in increasing the tracing window in terms of reducing the likelihood of a large outbreak. It has also shown that there is comparatively little benefit from increasing the number of birds sampled per flock.
We present results of a study on the effect of unprecracked arsine(AsH3) and trimethylgallium(TMGa) on carbon incorporation in UHVCVD(Ultra High Vacuum Chemical Vapor Deposition) grown GaAs epilayers on GaAs(100). Three distinct temperature-dependent regions of growth rates were identified as growth temperature was increased from 570 to 690°C. The growth rates were also strongly dependent on V/III ratio in a range of 5 to 30, which clearly indicates that the growth rate is determined by the amount of arsenic adsorbed on the surface at low V/III ratio and adsorption of TMGa or decomposition process at high V/III ratio. Hall concentration measurements and low temperature photoluminescence data show that the films are all p-type and their impurity concentrations are reduced by two orders of magnitude compared to those of epilayers grown by CBE(Chemical Beam Epitaxy) which employs TMGa and arsenic(precracked arsines) as source materials. Our results indicate that the hydrogen atoms dissociated from adsorbed arsine may remove hydrocarbon species resulting in a significant drop in hole concentration.
We report on ferroelectric/giant magnetoresistive Na0.5K0.5NbO3/La0.6Sr0.2Mn1.2O3 (NKN/LSMO) heterostructures grown onto LaAlO3 (001) single crystal using KrF pulsed laser ablation of stoichiometric ceramic target. Main processing parameters have been optimized to obtain smooth LSMO template layer, avoid NKN-LSMO interdiffusion, preserve NKN stoichiometry against the lost of volatile potassium and sodium and achieve reasonable reliability of NKN film performance. X-ray diffraction θ- 2θ scans and rocking curves evidence for single-phase content and high c-axis orientation both in template LSMO and top NKN layers. Ferroelectric measurements yield remnant polarization Pr of 1.5 [C/cm2 and spontaneous polarization Ps of 7 μC/cm2 at electric field strength of 130 kV/cm. At room temperature, dielectric permittivity ε′ and dissipation factor tan δ have been found to vary from 595 to 555 and 0.046 to 0.029 respectively in the frequency range of 0.4 to 20 kHz. At 10 kHz dielectric permittivity linearly increases from 410 to 650 in the temperature range 77 K to 415 K while the dissipation factor below 320 K does not exceed 3%.
A quiet revolution is occurring in electronics where nanometals have the ability to revolutionize adhesives and solders, nano oxides are revolutionizing fuel cell efficiency, and nanowires as well as nanotubes have the potential both to enhance short term evolutionary and long term revolutionary improvement.
This paper outlines some roadmap predictions and picks three areas with concrete examples- nano metals for ink jet formation of circuits, nano oxides in fuel cells, and lithographically developed nanowires for sensor application and details technical and commercial progress.
Three enzyme immunoassays were used for the serodiagnosis of Trypanosoma evansi in camels in the Sudan in order to evaluate their ability to discriminate between infected and non-infected animals. Two assays were used for the detection of trypanosomal antibodies, one using specific anti-camel IgG conjugate and another using a non-specific Protein A conjugate. The third assay detected the presence of trypanosomal antigens using anti-T. evansi antibodies in a double antibody sandwich assay. Inspection of the frequency distribution of assay results suggested that the ELISA for circulating trypanosomal antibodies using specific antisera and the ELISA for circulating antigens can distinguish between non-infected camels and infected camels exhibiting patent infections or not. The ELISA using Protein A conjugate to bind non-specifically to camel immunoglobulin did not appear to discriminate between infected and non-infected animals.
If an external current pulse is applied to a diffuse plasma sheet pinch, surface wave modes are generated, which decay by collisionless damping, leaving only oscillations of the Alfvén continuum along the Alfvén resonance surface. The transverse perturbations within this surface phase-mix to zero. It is shown that perturbations induced by an initial pulse are modulated by a (later applied) second pulse of different wavelength, to yield non-vanishing second-order transverse perturbations, even though the first-order transverse perturbations have phase-mixed to zero. This analysis shows the importance of nonlinear effects in the evolution of inhomogeneous magnetohydrodynamic motions.
How Congress Evolves: Social Bases of Institutional Change.
By Nelson W. Polsby. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 257p.
A new work on Congress by one of the most prominent scholars of
American government in the past half century is a major event. In this
book, Nelson Polsby revisits the U.S. House, a subject on which he
authored two major articles in the late 1960s (“The
Institutionalization of the U.S. House of Representatives,”
American Political Science Review 62 [March 1968]:
144–68; and Nelson W. Polsby, Miriam Gallaher, and Barry S.
Rundquist, “The Growth of the Seniority System in the U.S. House
of Representatives,” American Political Science Review
63 [September 1969]: 707–807). Observing the
contemporary House in this volume, Polsby finds a chamber transformed.
The “permanent” Democratic majority has been broken, the
“solidly” Democratic South now sends a Republican majority
to the House, committee chairs are subordinate to the party leadership,
and levels of party voting are at their highest since the 1890s.
This paper was written at the request of the Life Research Committee of the United Kingdom Actuarial Profession's Life Board. It concerns the valuation of U.K. with-profits business, with particular attention to the market-consistent ‘realistic reporting’ basis currently being used in the U.K. by the regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The paper surveys recent regulatory activity concerning the development and introduction of the new valuation approach, and puts it into the context of a survey of alternative methodologies, both deterministic and stochastic. The particular issues arising when considering prudential solvency are discussed, and various approaches are reviewed and compared with market consistent methods. Numerical examples are given, which demonstrate potential issues (regarding comparability and consistency) with the FSA's proposed approach — in particular the sensitivity of results to model calibration. The authors support the FSA's move to a stochastically-based framework for solvency measurement, but highlight some issues which need to be taken into account.
In this article we usually omit limits since, in all the cases which we consider, the integration variables are in the interval (-∞, ∞).
Few mathematics students in their first year at university would be likely to list linear algebra as part of their tool box for solving problems in the calculus class. Asked to show that
the majority, at this stage of their careers, would probably not realise that techniques which they had recently learned in linear algebra had any bearing on the problem. The computer experts in their midst might even argue that there was little merit in learning how to perform such calculations since high speed computers had eliminated the need to develop the technical skills which only a few years ago would have been regarded as essential for anyone aspiring to become a mathematician.
The UK Food Standards Agency convened a group of expert scientists to review current research investigating emerging diet-related surrogate end points for colorectal cancer (CRC). The workshop aimed to overview current research and establish priorities for future research. The workshop considered that the validation of current putative diet-related surrogate end points for CRC and the development of novel ones, particularly in the emerging fields of proteomics, genomics and epigenomics, should be a high priority for future research.