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Escherichia coli O157 are zoonotic bacteria for which cattle are an important reservoir. Prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 in British cattle for human consumption are over 10 years old. A new baseline is needed to inform current human health risk. The British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) ran between September 2014 and November 2015 on 270 farms across Scotland and England & Wales. This is the first study to be conducted contemporaneously across Great Britain, thus enabling comparison between Scotland and England & Wales. Herd-level prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 did not differ significantly for Scotland (0·236, 95% CI 0·166–0·325) and England & Wales (0·213, 95% CI 0·156–0·283) (P = 0·65). The majority of isolates were verocytotoxin positive. A higher proportion of samples from Scotland were in the super-shedder category, though there was no difference between the surveys in the likelihood of a positive farm having at least one super-shedder sample. E. coli O157 continues to be common in British beef cattle, reaffirming public health policy that contact with cattle and their environments is a potential infection source.
In the case of the poems of Romanos the Melodos the usual difficulties involved in establishing chronologies are further compounded by at least two factors. First, very little is known about this Byzantine poet of the sixth century. A hagiographical life, adorned by a miracle, provides us with meagre information about Byzantium’s poetic genius. Secondly, because his poetry is liturgical, composed for the corporate worship of the Church, it is necessarily impersonal and general in character. Romanos speaks most often as a priest, a sacred poet of the ekklesia. Fortunately, however, rich sources survive for the Golden Age of Justinian, the period of Romanos’ poetic activity in Constantinople. Encouraged by these abundant materials, and eager to understand better the poet’s creativity, the student of Romanos is tempted to undertake chronological problems. This paper is concerned with the chronology of the six kontakia of Romanos in which the Apostle Peter figures prominently.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of preventable cancer deaths worldwide, with dietary factors being recognised as key risk modifiers. Foods containing dietary fibre are protective to a degree that the World Cancer Research Fund classifies the evidence supporting their consumption as ‘convincing’. The mechanisms by which fibre components protect against CRC remain poorly understood, especially their interactions with the gut microbiome. Fibre is a composite of indigestible plant polysaccharides and it is emerging that fermentable fibres, including resistant starch (RS), are particularly important. RS fermentation induces SCFA production, in particular, relatively high butyrate levels, and in vitro studies have shown that this acid has strong anti-tumorigenic properties. Butyrate inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis of CRC cell lines at physiological concentrations. These effects are attributed to butyrate's ability to alter gene transcription by inhibiting histone deacetylase activity. However, the more recent discovery of G-protein coupled receptors that bind butyrate and other SCFA and data obtained from proteomic and genomic experiments suggest that alternative pathways are involved. Here, we review the mechanisms involved in butyrate-induced apoptosis in CRC cells and, additionally, the potential role this SCFA may play in mediating key processes in tumorigenesis including genomic instability, inflammation and cell energy metabolism. This discussion may help to inform the development of strategies to lower CRC risk at the individual and population levels.
Depression is common among older people but more common among those living in care homes. Depression is not easily detected among older adults because of the presentation, and the tendency for older people not to complain of depression, particularly those living in care homes. In general, care home staff have limited training in recognising depression. Depression is undertreated and residents may not receive a therapeutic dose of antidepressant. The true prevalence of depression among care home residents is uncertain.
This feasibility study aimed to explore the level of depression among older people in care homes by comparing the outcome of an assessment by care home staff with the outcome of a diagnostic clinical interview, using ICD-10 criteria and the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), conducted by a psychiatrist.
In all, 47 older people from four care homes were interviewed by a psychiatrist. Of them, 39.1% (18/46) of residents were prescribed an antidepressant and were no longer depressed; 8.7% (4/46) were prescribed an antidepressant and remained depressed; and 6.5% (3/46) of residents assessed as being depressed, had not been prescribed an antidepressant. That is, 54% (25/46) of residents had been or were currently depressed. Using ICD-10 criteria, the sensitivity of the GDS at a threshold of 10 and 11 was 100%. In total, 89.4% of residents received a correct diagnosis (presence or absence of depression) using the GDS at the 11 threshold.
The prevalence of depression in these homes was 54%. Of the residents with depression, 72% (18/25) were managed with an antidepressant and 28% (7/25) were receiving ineffective or no treatment. The 30-item GDS can provide more useful information than a home care staff assessment for identifying depression. More research should explore the value of training home care staff to administer the 30-item GDS to optimise the management of depression in older people in care homes.
Due to its high density and cubic structure, Lutetium oxide (Lu2O3) has been extensively researched for scintillating applications. Present manufacturing methods, such as hot pressing and sintering, do not provide adequate resolution due to light scattering of polycrystalline materials. Vapor deposition has been investigated as an alternative manufacturing method. Lutetium oxide transparent optical coatings by magnetron sputtering offer a means of tailoring the coating for optimum scintillation and resolution. Low crystallization in the sputtering process adversely affects transparency and scintillation, and is critical in growing stress free, thick coatings. The effect of process parameters on the crystallization is being investigated via x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and emission spectroscopy and will be presented and discussed.
Cholesterol and phospholipid concentrations in serum lipoproteins, plasma activities of lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in adipose tissue biopsies were measured ante and post partum in dairy cows given either free or restricted access to feed during the dry period. After parturition, all cows were fed ad libitum. The purpose of this study was to try to understand the earlier observed marked drop post partum in plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) in terms of lipoprotein metabolism in cows developing fatty liver post partum. As would be expected, free access to feed during the dry period induced a rise of hepatic TAG concentrations post partum associated with a decrease in plasma TAG levels. Total and free cholesterol concentrations in the VLDL, IDL, LDL and HDL2 fractions fell immediately after parturition. VLDL and IDL cholesterol concentrations remained at a constant, low level during the entire sampling period post partum, whereas the drop in LDL and HDL2 cholesterol post partum was followed by a rebound rise. Plasma LCAT and PLTP activities decreased by on average 19% and 33%, respectively, after parturition and then rose to values seen before parturition, but there was no effect of feeding regimen during the dry period. Activities of LCAT and PLTP were significantly correlated with cholesterol and phospholipid concentrations in LDL and HDL2. Plasma LCAT activity, as measured with exogenous substrate, and PLTP activity were both positively correlated with HDL3 phospholipid levels. LPL activity in adipose tissue dropped after parturition, the drop being smaller after feeding ad libitum during the dry period. It is concluded that the drop in adipose tissue LPL activity post partum is at variance with the simultaneous fall in plasma TAG. Possibly, the decrease in adipose tissue LPL activity helps to channel fatty acids away from adipose tissue into the udder. The post-partum changes in lipid transfer proteins in the blood are in line with the changes observed in the levels of the lipoproteins.
Data recording the course of scrapie outbreaks in 4 sheep flocks (2 in Cheviot sheep and 2 in Suffolks) are compared. For each outbreak the data on scrapie incidence and sheep demography and pedigrees cover periods of years or decades. A key finding is that the incidence of clinical cases peaks in sheep 2–3 years old, despite very different forces-of-infection. This is consistent with age-specific susceptibility of sheep to scrapie, as has been reported for cattle to bovine spongiform encephalopathy and for humans to variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Scrapie incidence was higher in ewes than rams and at certain times of years, though these effects were not consistent between flocks. There was no evidence for high levels of vertical transmission.
There is a popular impression that the contemporary family has lost that position of dominance which it held in the days of our forefathers. Many have come to regard the family as an institution with a great and historic past but with a dark and uncertain future. Meyer F. Nimkoff has assembled some of the evidence in support of this position. “Some students,” he writes, “think they see the eventual demise of the family in the growing restlessness of large numbers of people over the limitations of conventional family life.” He draws attention to the trend towards unconventional sex arrangements as revealed in recent studies of sexual phenomena, to changing public opinion as shown in the changed attitudes towards the family of representative modern novelists, to statements concerning the evolutionary supersession of the family made by scholars such as Müller-Lyer, to increase of childlessness, and to the possibilities of ectogenesis. Though of qualified significance, he might have cited statistics on divorce.