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Public awareness of ‘red flag’ symptoms for head and neck cancer is low. There is a lack of evidence regarding patient concerns and expectations in consultations for cancer assessment.
This prospective questionnaire study examined the symptoms, concerns and expectations of 250 consecutive patients attending an ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ clinic at a tertiary referral centre.
The patients’ most frequent responses regarding their concerns were ‘no concerns’ (n = 72, 29 per cent); ‘all symptoms’ were a cause for concern (n = 65, 26 per cent) and ‘neck lump’ was a symptom causing concern (n = 37, 17 per cent). The expectations of patients attending clinic were that they would find out what was wrong with them, followed by having no expectations at all. Overall patient knowledge of red flag symptoms was lacking and their expectations were low.
Patients with non-cancer symptoms are frequently referred with suspected cancer. Patients with red flag symptoms are not aware of their significance and they have low expectations of healthcare.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The completion of a laser safety course remains a core surgical curriculum requirement for otolaryngologists training in the UK. This project aimed to develop a comprehensive laser safety course utilising both technical and non-technical skills simulation.
Otolaryngology trainees and consultants from the West of Scotland Deanery attended a 1-day course comprising lectures, two high-fidelity simulation scenarios and a technical simulation of safe laser use in practice.
The course, and in particular the use of simulation training, received excellent feedback from otolaryngology trainees and consultants who participated. Both simulation scenarios were validated for future use in laser simulation.
The course has been recognised as a laser safety course sufficient for the otolaryngology Certificate of Completion of Training. To the authors’ knowledge, this article represents the first description of using in situ non-technical skills simulation training for teaching laser use in otolaryngology.
There is little consensus on how best to manage head and neck cancer with palliative intent. Predicting outcome is difficult and reported survival varies. The present study sought to delineate local practice and outcomes in patients treated with palliative intent.
The clinical records of all head and neck cancer patients treated with palliative intent presenting between 2015 and 2016 to our multidisciplinary team were reviewed.
Eighty-four patients (21.5 per cent) were treated with palliative intent. All had squamous cell carcinoma. Mean survival time was 151 days (standard deviation = 121.1; range, 8–536 days). Of the patients, 83.3 per cent had a palliative care referral; 74.1 per cent had a hospice referral. Patients received a variety of interventions, and there was an associated complication in 8.2 per cent. The mean number of days spent in hospital for interventions was 11.9 days (standard deviation = 12.5; range, 0–41 days).
Different interventions are used to manage head and neck cancer patients with palliative intent, and these may be associated with significant morbidity. Survival time is variable, often several months; thus, any treatment must take into account morbidity in conjunction with the patient's wishes.
Teaching undergraduate students, mentoring graduate students, and generating publishable research are distinct tasks for many political scientists. This article highlights lessons for merging these activities through experiences from an initiative that sparked a series of collaborative-research projects focused on opinions about crime and punishment in the United States. This article describes three collaborative projects conducted between 2015 and 2017 to demonstrate how to merge undergraduate teaching, graduate training, and producing research. By participating in these projects, students learned about social-scientific research through hands-on experiences designing experiments, collecting and analyzing original data, and reporting empirical findings to a public audience. This approach is an effective way to engage students and generate research that can advance professional goals.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
In Scotland, patients with suspected head and neck cancer are referred on the basis of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer, rather than the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. A chest X-ray should be requested by the general practitioner at the same time as referral for persistent hoarseness. The evidence for this is level 4.
This audit identified adherence to this recommendation and X-ray results. All ‘urgent suspicion of cancer’ referrals to the ENT department in the National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde for 2015–2016 were audited.
Persistent hoarseness for more than 3 weeks instigated referral in 318 patients (15.7 per cent). Chest X-ray was performed in 120 patients (38 per cent), which showed: no abnormality in 116 (96.7 per cent), features of infection in 2 (1.7 per cent) and something else in 2 patients (1.7 per cent). No chest X-ray altered the management of a patient.
Performance of chest X-ray does not alter management and its removal from the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer is recommended.
While our fascination with understanding the past is sufficient to warrant an increased focus on synthesis, solutions to important problems facing modern society require understandings based on data that only archaeology can provide. Yet, even as we use public monies to collect ever-greater amounts of data, modes of research that can stimulate emergent understandings of human behavior have lagged behind. Consequently, a substantial amount of archaeological inference remains at the level of the individual project. We can more effectively leverage these data and advance our understandings of the past in ways that contribute to solutions to contemporary problems if we adapt the model pioneered by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis to foster synthetic collaborative research in archaeology. We propose the creation of the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis coordinated through a U.S.-based National Center for Archaeological Synthesis. The coalition will be composed of established public and private organizations that provide essential scholarly, cultural heritage, computational, educational, and public engagement infrastructure. The center would seek and administer funding to support collaborative analysis and synthesis projects executed through coalition partners. This innovative structure will enable the discipline to address key challenges facing society through evidentially based, collaborative synthetic research.
To characterize the microbial disruption indices of hospitalized patients to predict colonization with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).
A cross-sectional survey of the fecal microbiome was conducted in a tertiary referral, acute-care hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
The study population consisted of adult patients hospitalized in general medical/surgical wards.
Rectal swabs were obtained from patients within 48 hours of hospital admission and screened for MDRO colonization using conventional culture techniques. The V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to assess the fecal microbiome. Microbial diversity and composition, as well as the functional potential of the microbial communities present in fecal samples, were compared between patients with and without MDRO colonization.
A total of 44 patients were included in the study, of whom 11 (25%) were colonized with at least 1 MDRO. Reduced microbial diversity and high abundance of metabolic pathways associated with multidrug-resistance mechanisms characterized the fecal microbiome of patients colonized with MDRO at hospital admission.
Our data suggest that microbial disruption indices may be key to predicting MDRO colonization and could provide novel infection control approaches.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
A major hindrance to establishment of successful complementary forage systems that include warm-season perennial grasses and clovers is tolerance of the latter to herbicides available for weed control. Field experiments were conducted in 2013 at two locations in northeast Louisiana to evaluate simulated residual rate effects of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and 2,4-D plus picloram applied at 0, 0.25, 0.38, and 0.5× use rates immediately after fall planting of ball, white, crimson, and red clover. For all clovers, when averaged across herbicide rates, plant population 161/171 d after planting (DAP), ground cover, and height 184/196 DAP were equivalent for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr and the nontreated control and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Averaged across clovers, plant height after all rates of fluroxypyr plus triclopyr was equivalent to the nontreated control (14.2 to 14.3 vs. 15.3 cm) and greater than 2,4-D plus picloram. Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at 25, 38, and 50% of the normal use rates reduced height 58, 76, and 85%, respectively. When averaged across clover species, yield for fluroxypyr plus triclopyr at all rates was equivalent to the nontreated control (2,624 to 2,840 vs. 2,812 kg ha−1). Compared with the nontreated control, 2,4-D plus picloram at the 0.25, 0.38, and 0.50× use rates reduced yield 65, 89, and 99%, respectively.
The variability of CD-24 7599 (V=11.48 mag) was discovered by JCC during observing run XCOV7 of the Whole Earth Telescope (WET, Nather et al. 1990) network in February, 1992. The star was observed as an additional target and 117 hours of high-quality temporal spectroscopic observations were obtained.
Our analysis of these data revealed the presence of 7 independent pulsation modes between 27.0 and 38.1 cycles per day (313 – 441 μHz) with semiamplitudes of 2.1 – 10.2 milli-modulation amplitudes (mma). We showed that peaks at linear combination frequencies detected in the power spectra were not due to eigenmodes excited to visible amplitude by resonant mode coupling.
Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions – updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = −0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.26 to −0.11, Z = 5.05, p < 0.001, I2 = 82%], with a significant subgroup effect (χ2 = 22.06, degrees of freedom = 3, p < 0.001, I2 = 86.4%) demonstrating differential effects across executive functions. Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = −0.33, 95% CI −0.46 to −0.19, Z = 4.72, p < 0.001, I2 = 74%), switching (SMD = −0.19, 95% CI −0.36 to −0.02, Z = 2.16, p < 0.05, I2 = 85%) and updating (SMD = −0.26, 95% CI −0.37 to −0.15, Z = 4.49, p < 0.001, I2 = 82%). No differences were observed in inhibitory control. We conclude that this is the most comprehensive analysis of executive function in ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
Aim 1 of this study was to examine the developmental changes in typically developing English-speaking children's syntactically based sentence interpretation abilities and sensitivity to word order. Aim 2 was to determine the psychometric standing of the novel sentence interpretation task developed for this study, because we wish to use it later with children with specific language impairment. Children listened to semantically implausible sentences in which noun animacy and the natural affordance between the nouns were removed, thus controlling for event probability. Using this novel “whatdunit?” agent selection task, 256 children 7–11 years old listened to two structures with canonical word order and two with noncanonical word order. After each sentence, children selected as quickly as possible the picture of the noun they believed was “doing the action.” Children interpreted sentences with canonical word order with greater accuracy and speed than those with noncanonical word order. Older children (mean age = 10 years, 8 months) were more accurate and faster than younger children (mean age = 8 years, 1 month) across all sentence forms. Both older and younger children demonstrated similar error patterns across sentence type. The “whatdunit?” task also proved to have strong validity and reliability, making it suitable for studies with children with specific language impairment.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
The nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum is becoming more widely recorded globally, and is of increasing concern as a cause of disease in dogs. Apparent geographic spread is difficult to confirm due to a lack of standardized disease recording systems, increasing awareness among veterinary clinicians, and recent improvements in diagnostic technologies. This study examines the hypothesis that A. vasorum has spread in recent years by repeating the methods of a previous survey of the fox population. The hearts and lungs of 442 foxes from across Great Britain were collected and examined by dissection and flushing of the pulmonary circulation and microscopic inspection of tracheal scrapes. Sampling and parasite extraction methods were identical to an earlier survey in 2005 to ensure comparability. Prevalence of A. vasorum was 18·3% (exact binomial confidence bounds 14·9–22·3), compared with 7·3% previously (5·3–9·9, n = 546), and had increased significantly in most regions, e.g. 7·4% in the Northern UK (previously zero) and 50·8% in the south-east (previously 23·2%). Other nematodes identified were Crenosoma vulpis (prevalence 10·8%, CI 8·1–14·2) and Eucoleus aerophilus (31·6%, CI 27·3–36·2). These data support the proposal that A. vasorum has increased in prevalence and has spread geographically in Great Britain.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.