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This presentation will compare preliminary results from the first two European studies being carried out on acupuncture and schizophrenia, one in the UK and one in Germany. Statistical comment will be made on comparable study outcomes and there will be discussion on the methodological successes and challenges of the studies. Implications for future research on acupuncture on acupuncture and schizophrenia in European mental health settings will be explored.
Both studies are using a case study approach, incorporating a wide range of methods, in order to explore the possible effects that acupuncture may have on schizophrenia. Amongst the methods used to explore the possible effect that acupuncture might have, both studies are using the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).
The intervention phase of both studies is currently underway. First results of the PANSS and the PSQI will be presented.
These are the first attempts to carry out research on the possibility of acupuncture as a treatment or an adjunct treatment for schizophrenia in Europe. It is hoped that these results will indicate the way forward in terms of analysis of the remainder of the outcomes of the study and there will be some indication for the possibility for future research in this area.
To assess the effects of second generation antipsychotics on neurocognitive function in patients with stable remission of first episode psychosis.
Fifty-three patients with first onset psychosis in the schizophrenia spectrum entered a randomised controlled trial of guided discontinuation (GD) versus maintenance treatment (MT) with second generation antipsychotics. A comprehensive neurocognitive test battery was administered at the time of remission and shortly after dose reduction or discontinuation (GD-group) or at the same time in the MT-group.
With the exception of negative symptoms, PANSS scores decreased over time and neurocognition improved significantly on most tests in both groups. The GD-group, however, improved significantly more than the MT-group on three neurocognitive measures in the domain of speed of processing.
These data suggest that, in first episode patients, dose reduction or discontinuation of second generation antipsychotics after stable remission is achieved, might improve neurocognitive function more than continuing second generation antipsychotics, suggesting a negative role for second generation antipsychotics, specifically in the domain of speed of processing.
We examined the role of the most important metabolic enzyme families in the detoxification of neurotoxic insecticides on adult males and females from susceptible populations of Cydia pomonella (L.), Grapholita molesta (Busck), and Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller). The interaction between the enzyme families – carboxylesterases (EST), glutathione-S-transferases (GST), and polysubstrate monooxygenases (PSMO) – with the insecticides – chlorpyrifos, λ-cyhalothrin, and thiacloprid – was studied. Insect mortality arising from the insecticides, with the application of enzyme inhibitors – S,S,S-tributyl phosphorotrithioate (DEF), diethyl maleate (DEM), and piperonyl butoxide (PBO) – was first determined. The inhibitors' influence on EST, GST, and PSMO activity was quantified. EST and PSMO (the phase-I enzymatic activities) were involved in the insecticide detoxification in the three species for both sexes, highlighting the role of EST, whereas GST (phase-II enzymes) was involved only in G. molesta insecticide detoxification. L. botrana exhibited, in general, the highest level of enzymatic activity, with a significantly higher EST activity compared with the other species. It was the only species with differences in the response between sexes, with higher GST and PSMO activity in females than in males, which can be explained as the lower susceptibility of the females to the tested insecticides. A positive correlation between PSMO activity and the thiacloprid LD50s in the different species-sex groups was observed explaining the species-specific differences in susceptibility to the product reported in a previous study.
Phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic metabolic disorder that is characterized by the inability to convert phenylalanine to tyrosine, leads to severe intellectual disability and other cerebral complications if left untreated. Dietary treatment, initiated soon after birth, prevents most brain-related complications. A leading hypothesis postulates that a shortage of brain monoamines may be associated with neurocognitive deficits that are observable even in early-treated PKU. However, there is a paucity of evidence as yet for this hypothesis.
We therefore assessed in vivo striatal dopamine D2/3 receptor (D2/3R) availability and plasma monoamine metabolite levels together with measures of impulsivity and executive functioning in 18 adults with PKU and average intellect (31.2 ± 7.4 years, nine females), most of whom were early and continuously treated. Comparison data from 12 healthy controls that did not differ in gender and age were available.
Mean D2/3R availability was significantly higher (13%; p = 0.032) in the PKU group (n = 15) than in the controls, which may reflect reduced synaptic brain dopamine levels in PKU. The PKU group had lower plasma levels of homovanillic acid (p < 0.001) and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylglycol (p < 0.0001), the predominant metabolites of dopamine and norepinephrine, respectively. Self-reported impulsivity levels were significantly higher in the PKU group compared with healthy controls (p = 0.033). Within the PKU group, D2/3R availability showed a positive correlation with both impulsivity (r = 0.72, p = 0.003) and the error rate during a cognitive flexibility task (r = 0.59, p = 0.020).
These findings provide further support for the hypothesis that executive functioning deficits in treated adult PKU may be associated with cerebral dopamine deficiency.
Methyl isonicotinate is one of several patented 4-pyridyl carbonyl compounds being investigated for a variety of uses in thrips pest management. It is probably the most extensively studied thrips non-pheromone semiochemical, with field and glasshouse trapping experiments, and wind tunnel and Y-tube olfactometer studies in several countries demonstrating a behavioural response that results in increased trap capture of at least 12 thrips species, including the cosmopolitan virus vectors such as western flower thrips and onion thrips. Methyl isonicotinate has several of the characteristics that are required for an effective semiochemical tool and is being mainly used as a lure in combination with coloured sticky traps for enhanced monitoring of thrips in greenhouses. Research indicates that this non-pheromone semiochemical has the potential to be used for other thrips management strategies such as mass trapping, lure and kill, lure and infect, and as a behavioural synergist in conjunction with insecticides, in a range of indoor and outdoor crops.
Obesity levels in cats are increasing and the main causative factor is higher energy intake v. energy expenditure over time. Therefore, altering energy expenditure by enhancing physical activity of the cat could be a strategy to reduce obesity. Hydrating commercial dry diets with water increased activity in cats; however, no study has compared this approach with feeding high-moisture canned diets. Eight healthy male neutered domestic shorthair cats were fed four different dietary treatments in a Latin square design. Treatments were a canned diet ‘as is’ (82 % moisture) and freeze-dried (4 %), a dry diet ‘as is’ (3 %) and with added water (70 %). Cat activity was measured continuously using Actical® accelerometers. Cats were group housed during the first 14 d of each period and then moved to individual cages for 7 d with faecal and urine production measured over the final 4 d. Intake was similar for each diet. The average activity over 24 h was not different between treatments (P > 0·05). However, the ratio between average activity during the day v. at night was higher when cats were fed the dry diet (P = 0·030). Total water intake and urine volume increased when the canned diet was fed (P < 0·001). The similarity in total activity of the cats on the treatments indicates that dietary moisture or diet type did not have a major effect on these cats. However, the stronger diurnal activity patterns observed in the cats when they were fed the dry diet are intriguing and require further study.
Much progress has been made in recent years towards understanding how early-type galaxies (ETGs) form and evolve. SAURON (Bacon et al. 2001) integral-field spectroscopy from the ATLAS3D survey (Cappellari et al. 2011) has suggested that less massive ETGs are linked directly to spirals, whereas the most massive objects appear to form from a series of merging and accretion events (Cappellari et al. 2013). However, the ATLAS3D data typically only extends to about one half-light radius (or effective radius, Re), making it unclear if this picture is truly complete.
There is limited knowledge about the effect of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) carriage on health-related quality of life (QoL). With this study, we explored whether LA-MRSA causes infections or affects health-related QoL in pig farmers. This prospective cohort study surveyed persons working on 49 farrowing pig farms in The Netherlands for 1 year (2010–2011). On six sampling moments, nasal swabs, environmental samples and questionnaires on activities and infections were collected. At the end of the study year, persons were asked about their QoL using the validated SF-36 and EQ-5D questionnaires. Of 120 persons, 44 (37%) were persistent MRSA carriers. MRSA carriage was not associated with infections, use of antimicrobials, healthcare contact and health-related QoL items in univariate or multivariate analysis, most likely due to the ‘healthy worker effect’. Despite high carriage rates, the impact of LA-MRSA carriage in this population of relatively healthy pig farmers on health and health-related QoL appears limited; more research is needed for confirmation.
The main resistance mechanism of codling moth (Cydia pomonella) in the tree fruit area of Lleida (NE Spain) is multifunction oxidases (MFO). We studied the frequency of MFO-resistant adults captured by different lures, with and without pear ester, and flights in orchards under different crop management systems. The factor year affected codling moth MFO-resistance level, particularly in the untreated orchards, highlighting the great influence of codling moth migration on the spread of resistance in field populations. Chemical treatments and adult flight were also very important but mating disruption technique showed no influence. The second adult flight showed the highest frequency, followed by the first flight and the third flight. In untreated orchards, there were no significant differences in the frequency of MFO-resistant individuals attracted by Combo and BioLure. Red septa lures baited with pear ester (DA) captured sufficient insects only in the first generation of 2010, obtaining a significantly lower proportion of MFO-resistant adults than Combo and BioLure. In the chemically treated orchards, in 2009 BioLure caught a significantly lower proportion of MFO-resistant adults than Combo during the first and third flight, and also than DA during the first flight. No significant differences were found between the lures or flights in 2010. These results cannot support the idea of a higher attractiveness of the pear ester for MFO-resistant adults in the field but do suggest a high influence of the response to the attractant depending on the management of the orchard, particularly with regard to the use of chemical insecticides.
The response of Grapholita molesta (Busck) males to three-component sex pheromone blends containing a 100% ratio of the major sex pheromone component, (Z)-8-dodecenyl acetate and a 10% ratio of (Z)-8-dodecenol, but with varying ratios of (E)-8-dodecenyl acetate (0.4, 5.4, 10.4, 30.4, and 100.1% E-blends) was tested with populations in eight stone and pome fruit orchards in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Traps baited with the 5.4% E-blend caught significantly more males than traps with any other blend with all populations. Significantly more males were caught in traps baited with the 10.4% E-blend than in traps with the remaining blends, except with the 0.4% E-blend in Turkey. Significant differences in male moth catches occurred between the other blends with the 0.4>30.4% E-blend, and the 30.4>100.1% E-blend. Male moth catches with the 100.1% E-blend only differed from the hexane control in Chile. No apparent differences were noted to these blends in populations collected from pome or stone fruits. Flight tunnel assays to synthetic blends with a subset of populations were similar to the field results, but the breadth of the most attractive E-blends was wider. Flight tunnel assays also demonstrated a high level of male–female cross-attraction among field-collected populations. Female gland extracts from field-collected populations did not show any significant variation in their three-component blends. The only exceptions in these assays were that long-term laboratory populations were less responsive and attractive, and produced different blend ratios of the two minor components than recently collected field populations.
Resistant starch (RS) has been suggested to prolong satiety in adult pigs. The present study investigated RS-induced changes in behaviour, satiety-related hormones and metabolites in catheterized growing pigs to explore possible underlying mechanisms for RS-induced satiety. In a cross-over design with two 14-day periods, 10 pigs (initial BW: 58 kg) were assigned to two treatments comprising diets containing either 35% pregelatinized starch (PS) or 34% retrograded starch (RS). Diets were isoenergetic on gross energy. Pigs were fed at 2.8× maintenance. Postprandial plasma response of satiety-related hormones and metabolites was measured at the end of each period using frequent blood sampling. Faecal and urinary energy losses were measured at the end of each period. Behaviour was scored 24 h from video recordings using scan sampling. Energy digestibility and metabolizability were ~6% lower in RS compared with PS diet (P<0.001), and metabolizable energy (ME) intake was ~3% lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). RS-fed pigs showed less feeder-directed (P=0.001) and drinking (P=0.10) behaviours than PS-fed pigs throughout the day. Postprandial peripheral short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). Postprandial glucose and insulin responses were lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001). Triglyceride levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.01), and non-esterified fatty acid levels did not differ between diets (P=0.90). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels were lower in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs (P<0.001), and peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) levels did not differ between diets (P=0.90). Blood serotonin levels were lower (P<0.001), whereas monoamine oxidase activity (P<0.05) and tryptophan (P<0.01) levels were higher in RS-fed than in PS-fed pigs. Despite a lower ME intake, RS seemed to prolong satiety, based on behavioural observations. Possible underlying mechanisms for RS-induced satiety include increased 24 h plasma SCFA levels, and decreased postprandial glucose and insulin responses. GLP-1 and PYY seemed not to play a role in RS-induced satiety. Low blood serotonin levels in RS-fed pigs suggested a difference in intestinal serotonin release between treatments. Increased postprandial plasma triglyceride levels corresponded with increased SCFA levels, but it is unclear whether triglycerides may have signalled satiety in RS-fed pigs.
Limited studies exist regarding whether incorporating micronutrient supplements during tuberculosis (TB) treatment may improve cell-mediated immune response. We examined the effect of micronutrient supplementation on lymphocyte proliferation response to mycobacteria or T-cell mitogens in a randomized trial conducted on 423 patients with pulmonary TB. Eligible participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of micronutrients (vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and selenium) or placebo at the time of initiation of TB treatment. We found no overall effect of micronutrient supplements on lymphocyte proliferative responses to phytohaemagglutinin or purified protein derivatives in HIV-negative and HIV-positive TB patients. Of HIV-negative TB patients, the micronutrient group tended to show higher proliferative responses to concanavalin A than the placebo group, although the clinical relevance of this finding is not readily notable. The role of nutritional intervention in this vulnerable population remains an important area of future research.
We report recent results from the photometric follow-up study we are conducting in the context of the SAURON project. We use ground-based MDM V −band and Spitzer/IRAC 3.6 μm imaging to characterise our sample of E, S0 and Sa galaxies photometrically. Combined with SAURON integral-field spectroscopic observations, this information allows us to explore and understand the location of these galaxies on the Fundamental Plane relation, providing an important diagnostic tool to study their formation and evolution.
The virulence of faecal and urinary Escherichia coli strains was studied in relation to serotype, haemolysin production and haemagglutination pattern. By means of an experimental mouse model E. coli strains can be divided into avirulent (I), mouse nephropathogenic (II), and generally virulent (III) strains. Virulent group II and group III strains were more often haemolytic and haemagglutinating than avirulent group I strains. Presence of K antigen could not be associated with virulence. Discriminant analysis for qualitative variables revealed that no combination of the investigated properties contributed more to a strain's virulence level than did one single property. It is concluded that other virulence factors, apart from haemolysin production in group II strains and haemagglutinins in group III strains, must be involved in the determination of a strain's virulence level.
All O2, O6 and O18ac strains tested were virulent, and by far the most O75 strains were avirulent, whereas other O groups were more variable with regard to virulence. Pyelonephritis strains were more often mannose-resistant haemagglutinating than faecal and other urinary isolates, indicating that mannoseresistant adhesins may be important in the pathogenesis of pyelonephritis.
To determine methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in poultry and slaughterhouse personnel, 40 Dutch broiler flocks, in six slaughterhouses and 466 personnel were sampled. Of the employees, 26 were positive (5·6%), indicating a higher risk of exposure when compared to the general Dutch population (0·1%). This risk was significantly higher for personnel having contact with live animals (5·2%) – especially hanging broilers on the slaughterline (20·0%) – than for all other personnel (1·9%). Conventional electric stunning conferred a significantly higher risk of MRSA carriage for employees than CO2 stunning (9·7% vs. 2·0%). A total of 405 broilers were sampled upon their arrival at the slaughterhouse, of which 6·9% were positive. These broilers originated from 40 Dutch slaughter flocks of which 35·0% were positive. MRSA contamination in the different compartments of slaughterhouses increased during the production day, from 8% to 35%. Of the 119 MRSA isolates, predominantly livestock-associated MRSA ST398 was found, although 27·7% belonged to ST9 (spa type t1430). There is an increased risk of MRSA carriage in personnel working at broiler slaughterhouses, particularly those having contact with live animals.
Early-type galaxies (ETGs) satisfy a now classic scaling relation Re ∝ σ1.2eI−0.8e, the Fundamental Plane (FP; Djorgovski & Davis 1987; Dressler et al. 1987), between their size, stellar velocity dispersion and mean surface brightness. A significant effort has been devoted in the past twenty years to try to understand why the coefficients of the relation are not the ones predicted by the virial theorem Re ∝ σ2eI−1e.
The nitride-based SONOS cell, for its excellent scalability and process simplicity, is the candidate to push the scaling roadmap for FLASH memories beyond the limit imposed on floating-gate memories by the electrostatic interference between adjacent cells. The traditional SONOS cell consists of a nitride layer (the storage element) encapsulated by two SiO2 layers which isolate the nitride layer from the Si substrate and the poly-Si gate (Poly-Si/SiO2/Si3N4/SiO2/c-Si). However, the thick tunnel oxide necessary to meet the retention requirements imposes a severe limit on the erase performance because of the erase saturation phenomenon. One possibility to guarantee both the erase and the retention performance is the replacement of the top SiO2 layer with materials of higher dielectric constant (high-k dielectric). The presence of a high-k dielectric reduces the electric field across the top dielectric, thus decreasing the unwanted parasitic electron injection from the gate during the erase operation. This will allow the cell to erase deep so to meet a basic requirement for Gigabit multilevel NAND memories. The introduction of high-k materials in the SONOS stack is unfortunately not straightforward. One problem is the Fermi-level pinning at the poly-Si/high-k interface. Another problem is the morphological changes the high-k material undergoes during the device fabrication thermal budget. These changes can modify the k-value and affect the band offset between gate and high-k material. The results may, in both cases, be the decrease of the barrier for electron injection from the gate and, as a consequence, the deterioration of the erase performance. In this paper we study the effect of gate material and of the morphological transformation associated with the high-k post deposition anneal on the erase and the retention behaviour of nitride-based cells. Two different high-k dielectrics are investigated: Al2O3 (which has already been found to be able to significantly improve the erase operation, guaranteeing at the same time excellent endurance and sufficient bake retention) and HfAlO. We show that both for Al2O3 and HfAlO a trade-off exists between erase and retention, higher PDA temperatures being beneficial for erase but detrimental for retention. We also discuss the effect of Fermi level pinning and poly-Si depletion on the erase behaviour and compare the erase performances of several PVD- and AVD-deposited metal gates.
Upper Triassic volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Mamonia Complex in southwestern Cyprus are exposed in erosional windows through the post-Cretaceous cover, where the Mamonia Complex is tectonically imbricated with the Troodos and Akamas ophiolitic suites. Most of these Upper Triassic volcanic rocks have been considered to represent remnants of Triassic oceanic crust and its associated seamounts. New Nd and Pb isotopic data show that the whole Mamonia volcanic suite exhibits features of oceanic island basalts (OIB). Four rock types have been distinguished on the basis of the petrology and chemistry of the rocks. Volcanism began with the eruption of depleted olivine tholeiites (Type 1) and oceanic island tholeiites (Type 2) associated with deep basin siliceous and/or calcareous sediments. The tholeiites were followed by highly phyric alkali basalts (Type 3) interbedded with pelagic Halobia-bearing limestones or white reefal limestones. Strongly LREE-enriched trachytes (Type 4) were emplaced during the final stage of volcanic activity. Nd and Pb isotopic ratios suggest that tholeiites and mildly alkali basalts derived from partial melting of heterogeneous enriched mantle sources. Fractional crystallization alone cannot account for the derivation of trachytes from alkaline basalts. The trachytes could have been derived from the partial melting at depth of mafic material which shares with the alkali basalts similar trace element and isotopic compositions. This is corroborated by the rather similar isotopic compositions of the alkali basalts and trachytes. The correlations observed between incompatible elements (Nb, Th) and εNd and Pb isotopic initial ratios suggest that the Mamonia suite was derived from the mixing of a depleted mantle (DMM) and an enriched component of High μ (μ = 238U/204Pb, HIMU) type. Models using both Nd and Pb isotopic initial ratios suggest that the depleted tholeiites (Type 1) derived from a DMM source contaminated by an Enriched Mantle Type 2 component (EM2), and that the oceanic tholeiites (Type 2), alkali basalts (Type 3) and trachytes (Type 4) were derived from the mixing of the enriched mantle source of the depleted tholeiites with a HIMU component. None of the Mamonia volcanic rocks show evidence of crustal contamination. The Upper Triassic within-plate volcanism likely erupted in a small southerly Neotethyan basin, located north of the Eratosthenes seamount and likely floored by oceanic crust.