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The IntCal family of radiocarbon (14C) calibration curves is based on research spanning more than three decades. The IntCal group have collated the 14C and calendar age data (mostly derived from primary publications with other types of data and meta-data) and, since 2010, made them available for other sorts of analysis through an open-access database. This has ensured transparency in terms of the data used in the construction of the ratified calibration curves. As the IntCal database expands, work is underway to facilitate best practice for new data submissions, make more of the associated metadata available in a structured form, and help those wishing to process the data with programming languages such as R, Python, and MATLAB. The data and metadata are complex because of the range of different types of archives. A restructured interface, based on the “IntChron” open-access data model, includes tools which allow the data to be plotted and compared without the need for export. The intention is to include complementary information which can be used alongside the main 14C series to provide new insights into the global carbon cycle, as well as facilitating access to the data for other research applications. Overall, this work aims to streamline the generation of new calibration curves.
Many male prisoners have significant mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. High proportions struggle with homelessness and substance misuse.
This study aims to evaluate whether the Engager intervention improves mental health outcomes following release.
The design is a parallel randomised superiority trial that was conducted in the North West and South West of England (ISRCTN11707331). Men serving a prison sentence of 2 years or less were individually allocated 1:1 to either the intervention (Engager plus usual care) or usual care alone. Engager included psychological and practical support in prison, on release and for 3–5 months in the community. The primary outcome was the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), 6 months after release. Primary analysis compared groups based on intention-to-treat (ITT).
In total, 280 men were randomised out of the 396 who were potentially eligible and agreed to participate; 105 did not meet the mental health inclusion criteria. There was no mean difference in the ITT complete case analysis between groups (92 in each arm) for change in the CORE-OM score (1.1, 95% CI –1.1 to 3.2, P = 0.325) or secondary analyses. There were no consistent clinically significant between-group differences for secondary outcomes. Full delivery was not achieved, with 77% (108/140) receiving community-based contact.
Engager is the first trial of a collaborative care intervention adapted for prison leavers. The intervention was not shown to be effective using standard outcome measures. Further testing of different support strategies for prison with mental health problems is needed.
Governments across the world have been slow in reacting to meeting the needs of disabled people during the pandemic. This has exposed existing inequalities in social policies, as well as new support barriers. Debates over social care have focused on Covid-19's impact on those living in residential care. Little is known about the experiences of disabled people who rely on daily support in their homes.
This article reports on a year-long study examining the experiences of disabled people during the pandemic in England and Scotland. It focuses on the crisis in social care and offers evidence of how lives have been disrupted. For many, this resulted in a sudden loss of services, delayed assessments and break down of routines and communities. Findings underline the weakness of social care in its wider relationship with the NHS and show how the social care crisis has challenged the goal of independent living.
Both dendrochronology and radiocarbon (14C) dating have their roots back in the early to mid-1900s. Although they were independently developed, they began to intertwine in the 1950s when the founder of dendrochronology, A. E. Douglass, provided dated wood samples for Willard Libby to test his emerging 14C methods. Since this early connection, absolutely dated tree-rings have been key to calibration of the Holocene portion of the 14C timescale. In turn, 14C dating of non-calendar-dated tree-rings has served to place those samples more precisely in time, advance development of long tree-ring chronologies, and bring higher resolution to earlier portions of the 14C calibration curve. Together these methods continue to shape and improve chronological frameworks across the globe, answering questions in archaeology, history, paleoclimatology, geochronology, and ocean, atmosphere, and solar sciences.
Qualitative fit testing is a popular method of ensuring the fit of sealing face masks such as N95 and FFP3 masks. Increased demand due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to shortages in testing equipment and has forced many institutions to abandon fit testing. Three key materials are required for qualitative fit testing: the test solution, nebulizer, and testing hood. Accessible alternatives to the testing solution have been studied. This exploratory qualitative study evaluates alternatives to the nebulizer and hoods for performing qualitative fit testing.
Four devices were trialed to replace the test kit nebulizer. Two enclosures were tested for their ability to replace the test hood. Three researchers evaluated promising replacements under multiple mask fit conditions to assess functionality and accuracy.
The aroma diffuser and smaller enclosures allowed participants to perform qualitative fit tests quickly and with high accuracy.
Aroma diffusers show significant promise in their ability to allow individuals to quickly, easily, and inexpensively perform qualitative fit testing. Our findings indicate that aroma diffusers and homemade testing hoods may allow for qualitative fit testing when conventional apparatus is unavailable. Additional research is needed to evaluate the safety and reliability of these devices.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Early researchers of radiocarbon levels in Southern Hemisphere tree rings identified a variable North-South hemispheric offset, necessitating construction of a separate radiocarbon calibration curve for the South. We present here SHCal20, a revised calibration curve from 0–55,000 cal BP, based upon SHCal13 and fortified by the addition of 14 new tree-ring data sets in the 2140–0, 3520–3453, 3608–3590 and 13,140–11,375 cal BP time intervals. We detail the statistical approaches used for curve construction and present recommendations for the use of the Northern Hemisphere curve (IntCal20), the Southern Hemisphere curve (SHCal20) and suggest where application of an equal mixture of the curves might be more appropriate. Using our Bayesian spline with errors-in-variables methodology, and based upon a comparison of Southern Hemisphere tree-ring data compared with contemporaneous Northern Hemisphere data, we estimate the mean Southern Hemisphere offset to be 36 ± 27 14C yrs older.
Annually resolved tree-ring samples of the time period 1625–1510 BCE were analyzed from the German oak tree-ring chronology. Blocks of the same tree rings were previously used to generate IntCal calibration data. The new dataset shows an offset to the calibration data IntCal13 of 24 years and resembles annual data for the same time period derived from tree-ring records in other growth locations. A subset of samples of the period 1625–1585 BCE was additionally measured in three other laboratories (ETH, AAR, AA) for quality control.
In 2018 Pearson et al. published a new sequence of annual radiocarbon (14C) data derived from oak (Quercus sp.) trees from Northern Ireland and bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) from North America across the period 1700–1500 BC. The study indicated that the more highly resolved shape of an annually based calibration dataset could improve the accuracy of 14C calibration during this period. This finding had implications for the controversial dating of the eruption of Thera in the Eastern Mediterranean. To test for interlaboratory variation and improve the robustness of the annual dataset for calibration purposes, we have generated a replicate sequence from the same Irish oaks at ETH Zürich. These data are compatible with the Irish oak 14C dataset previously produced at the University of Arizona and are used (along with additional data) to examine inter-tree and interlaboratory variation in multiyear annual 14C time-series. The results raise questions about regional 14C offsets at different scales and demonstrate the potential of annually resolved 14C for refining subdecadal and larger scale features for calibration, solar reconstruction, and multiproxy synchronization.
The origins of Venice have been of great interest to Venetians and to scholars more generally for centuries. Long shrouded in myth and legend due to the dearth of pre-ninth-century AD evidence, recent archaeological research is now illuminating how the famous city built on water began. Using high-resolution AMS dating of peach stones (pits) from below the Basilica of San Marco, the authors provide the first evidence for human activity at what is now the location of Piazza San Marco. Dating to between AD 650 and 770, this activity included canal in-filling and ground consolidation intended to create an area that was to become the city's civic centre in the early ninth century.
The date of the volcanic eruption of Santorini that caused extensive damage toMinoan Crete has been controversial since the 1980s. Some have placed the event in the late seventeenth century BC. Others have made the case for a younger date of around 1500 BC. A recent contribution to that controversy has been the dating of an olive tree branch preserved within the volcanic ash fall on Santorini. In this debate feature Paolo Cherubini and colleagues argue that the olive tree dating (which supports the older chronology) is unreliable on a number of grounds. There follows a response from the authors of that dating, and comments from other specialists, with a closing reply from Cherubini and his team.
A total of 272 oak (Quercus sp.) samples have been collected from large subfossil trees dredged from sediment deposited by the Sava and various tributary rivers in the Zagreb region of northwestern Croatia, and in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Measurement series of tree-ring widths from these samples produced 12 groups, totaling 3456 years of floating tree-ring chronologies spread through the last ca. 8000 years. This work represents the first step in creating a new, high-resolution resource for dating and paleoenvironmental reconstruction in the Balkan region and potentially a means to bridge between the floating tree-ring chronologies of the wider Mediterranean region and the continuous long chronologies from central Europe.
Implemented as part of the 2005 amendments to the Disability Equality Act, the Disability Equality Duty (DED) placed new and important demands on public sector bodies. All such organisations are required to develop policies and working practices which actively promote the equality of disabled people as employees, consumers or visitors. The promotion of equality has to be proactive as opposed to reactive and must be mainstreamed into the normal day-to-day activities of organisational working practices. Whilst the DED follows on from the framework of previous anti-discrimination legislation set in place over the last 15 years, it represents a significant change in equality legislation and demands that public sector bodies instigate fundamental changes in their approach towards disability. This article reports on the initial stages of the implementation process of the DED across a range of public sector organisations in England, focussing in particular on how this policy has impacted on mainstreaming. Discussion shows that although organisations show awareness of mainstreaming and its implications for disability equality, there is limited evidence to suggest that the public sector has fully embraced this agenda.
The East Mediterranean Radiocarbon (inter-)Comparison Project (EMRCP) has measured the 14C ages of a number of sets of tree rings from the Gordion Area dendrochronology from central Anatolia at the Heidelberg Radiocarbon Laboratory. In several cases, multiple measurements were made over a period from the 1980s to 2009. This paper presents the final data set from this work (128 high-precision measurements), and considers (i) the relationship of these data against the standard Northern Hemisphere 14C calibration data set (IntCal09), and (ii) the optimum calendar dating of this floating tree-ring record on the basis of the final set of high-precision 14C data. It finds good agreement between the Anatolian data and IntCal09 in some important intervals (e.g. ∼1729 to 1350 cal BC) and observes one period (9th–8th centuries BC) where there appears to be some indication of a regional/growing season signal, and another period (later 14th–13th centuries BC) where IntCal09 may not best reflect the real 14C record. The scale of the typical growing-season-related regional 14C offset (ΔR) between the Aegean/Anatolian region and IntCal09 is also assessed (for the mid-2nd millennium BC and mid-2nd millennium AD), and found to be usually minor (at times where there are no major additional forcing factors and/or issues with the IntCal09 data set): of the order of 2–4 ± 2–4 yr.
To examine associations between parenting styles, family structure and aspects of adolescent dietary behaviour.
Secondary schools in the East Midlands, UK.
Adolescents aged 12–16 years (n 328, 57 % boys) completed an FFQ assessing their consumption of fruit, vegetables, unhealthy snacks and breakfast. Adolescents provided information on parental and sibling status and completed a seventeen-item instrument measuring the general parenting style dimensions of involvement and strictness, from which four styles were derived: indulgent, neglectful, authoritarian, authoritative.
After controlling for adolescent gender and age, analysis of covariance revealed no significant interactions between parenting style and family structure variables for any of the dietary behaviours assessed. Significant main effects for family structure were observed only for breakfast consumption, with adolescents from dual-parent families (P < 0·01) and those with no brothers (P < 0·05) eating breakfast on more days per week than those from single-parent families and those with one or more brother, respectively. Significant main effects for parenting style were observed for all dietary behaviours apart from vegetable consumption. Adolescents who described their parents as authoritative ate more fruit per day, fewer unhealthy snacks per day, and ate breakfast on more days per week than those who described their parents as neglectful.
The positive associations between authoritative parenting style and adolescent dietary behaviour transcend family structure. Future research should be food-specific and assess the efficacy of strategies promoting the central attributes of an authoritative parenting style on the dietary behaviours of adolescents from a variety of family structures.
The initial implementation of the 1996 Community Care (Direct Payments) Act in April 1997 as enabling legislation gave local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland and health and social service trusts (HSS) in Northern Ireland the option whether to offer direct payments or maintain existing modes of service provision (see Pearson, 2004a for a discussion of this). In exploring some of the key problems underpinning this trend, this chapter focuses specifically on the impact and future directions of policy in Scotland.
The impact of the early years of direct payments across the UK may be described as limited. Indeed, although many areas largely in the south-east of England have consistently increased their user take-up (see Riddell et al, 2005), access has remained fairly marginal elsewhere.
This chapter begins by mapping the early impact of indirect payment and third party schemes in Scotland through the actions of local alliances of disabled people. Discussion then follows the initial take-up of policy in the period from April 1997 to 2000. Policy development at this time is shown to be especially poor, with only a small number of local authorities enabling access to direct payments. Indeed, changes since 2003 have seen a heightened drive from both the Scottish Executive and local authorities in promoting policy and encouraging a more diverse user population. However, drawing on preliminary analysis from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded study, ‘Disabled People and Direct Payments: A UK Comparative Study’, being carried out by researchers at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leeds Universities, the discussion outlines some of the key trends and policy issues that have emerged in relation to direct payments in Scotland over the past eight years.
This includes a focus on practitioner roles, which, in many areas, have been responsible for resistance to direct payments, thereby creating attitudinal and structural barriers to change. Such problems have often been linked to concerns from trades unions over the promotion of policy as a means to privatise social care services. Commentary at this stage examines some of these issues more closely and questions the emergence of these debates over the past few years. This is then extended to examining the development of support services for direct payment users.
Direct payments have been heralded by the disability movement as an important means to achieving independent living and hence greater social justice for disabled people through enhanced recognition as well as financial redistribution. Drawing on data from the ESRC funded project Disabled People and Direct Payments: A UK Comparative Perspective, this paper presents an analysis of policy and official statistics on use of direct payments across the UK. It is argued that the potential of direct payments has only partly been realised as a result of very low and uneven uptake within and between different parts of the UK. This is accounted for in part by resistance from some Labour-controlled local authorities, which regard direct payments as a threat to public sector jobs. In addition, access to direct payments has been uneven across impairment groups. However, from a very low base there has been a rapid expansion in the use of direct payments over the past three years. The extent to which direct payments are able to facilitate the ultimate goal of independent living for disabled people requires careful monitoring.
To determine the cause of acute illness on August 30, 2000, among patients at an outpatient dialysis center (center A).
We performed a cohort study of all patients receiving dialysis on August 30, 2000; reviewed dialysis procedures; and analyzed dialysis water samples using microbiologic and chemical assays.
Dialysis center (center A).
A case-patient was defined as a patient who developed chills within 5 hours after starting hemodialysis at center A on August 30, 2000.
Sixteen (36%) of 44 patients at center A met the case definition. All case-patients were hospitalized; 2 died. Besides chills, 15 (94%) of the case-patients experienced nausea; 12 (75%), vomiting; and 4 (25%), fever. Illness was more frequent on the second than the first dialysis shift (16 of 20 vs 0 of 24, P < .001); no other risk factors were identified. The center's water treatment system had received inadequate maintenance and disinfection and a sulfurous odor was noted during sampling of the water from the reverse osmosis (RO) unit. The water had elevated bacterial counts. Volatile sulfur-containing compounds (ie, methanethiol, carbon disulfide, dimethyldisulfide, and sulfur dioxide) were detected by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry in 8 of 12 water samples from the RO unit and in 0 of 28 samples from other areas (P < .001). Results of tests for heavy metals and chloramines were within normal limits.
Parenteral exposure to volatile sulfur-containing compounds, produced under anaerobic conditions in the RO unit, could have caused the outbreak. This investigation demonstrates the importance of appropriate disinfection and maintenance of water treatment systems in hemodialysis centers.