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Heart rate variability (HRV) is a proxy measure of autonomic function and can be used as an indicator of swine stress. While traditional linear measures are used to distinguish between stressed and unstressed treatments, inclusion of nonlinear HRV measures that evaluate data structure and organization shows promise for improving HRV interpretation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the inclusion of nonlinear HRV measures in response to an acute heat episode. Twenty 12- to 14-week-old growing pigs were individually housed for 7 days and acclimated to thermoneutral conditions (20.35°C ± 0.01°C; 67.6% ± 0.2% RH) before undergoing one of the two treatments: (1) thermoneutral control (TN; n = 10 pigs) or (2) acute heat stress (HS; n = 10 pigs; 32.6°C ± 0.1°C; 26.2% ± 0.1% RH). In Phase 1 of the experimental procedure (P1; 60 min), pigs underwent a baseline HRV measurement period in thermoneutral conditions before treatment [Phase 2; P2; 60 min once gastrointestinal temperature (Tg) reached 40.6°C], where HS pigs were exposed to heated conditions and TN pigs remained in thermoneutral conditions. After P2, all pigs were moved back to thermoneutral conditions (Phase 3; P3; 60 min). During each phase, Tg data were collected every 5 min and behavioural data were collected to evaluate the amount of time each pig spent in an active posture. Additionally, linear (time and frequency domain) and nonlinear [sample entropy (SampEn), de-trended fluctuation analysis, percentage recurrence, percentage determinism (%DET), mean diagonal line length in a recurrence plot] HRV measures were quantified. Heat stressed pigs exhibited greater Tg (P = 0.002) and spent less time in an active posture compared to TN pigs during P2 (P = 0.0003). Additionally, low frequency to high frequency ratio was greater in HS pigs during P3 compared to TN pigs (P = 0.02). SampEn was reduced in HS pigs during P2 (P = 0.01) and P3 (P = 0.03) compared to TN pigs. Heat stressed pigs exhibited greater %DET during P3 (P = 0.03) and tended to have greater %DET (P = 0.09) during P2 than TN pigs. No differences between treatments were detected for the remaining HRV measures. In conclusion, linear HRV measures were largely unchanged during P2. However, changes to SampEn and %DET suggest increased heat stress as a result of the acute heat episode. Future work should continue to evaluate the benefits of including nonlinear HRV measures in HRV analysis of swine heat stress.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Given the difficulty in obtaining robust chronologies from tree rings in tropical regions, the search for appropriate species is very important. Both dendrochronology and radiocarbon (14C) measurements are required to validate the use of any specific tree. Some species have proved to be reliable for representing atmospheric 14C concentration over time, such as Cedrela fissilis and Araucaria angustifolia. However, not only the species have to be validated, but also different climatic conditions may result in different growth patterns for the same species. In this work, we study the annual growth rings of Cedrela fissilis from a dry tropical forest patch typical of a highly seasonal climate in central Brazil. 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was used to compare the isotopic ratios of tree rings with the 14C concentrations in the atmosphere during the nuclear tests based on curve Bomb13SH 1-2. Results are similar to the bomb peak curve within the period from 1958 to 1980 AD and serve as a crucial test for the cross-dating analyses using the skeleton plot technique.
In 2017, Italy experienced a large measles epidemic with 5408 cases and four deaths. As Subnational Reference Laboratory of the Measles and Rubella surveillance NETwork (MoRoNET), the EpiSoMI (Epidemiology and Molecular Surveillance of Infections) Laboratory (University of Milan) set up rapid and active surveillance for the complete characterisation of the Measles virus (Mv) responsible for the large measles outbreak in Milan and surrounding areas (Lombardy, Northern Italy). The aims of this study were to describe the genetic profile of circulating viruses and to track the pathway of measles transmission. Molecular analysis was performed by sequencing the highly variable 450 nucleotides region of the N gene (N-450) of Mv genome. Two-hundred and ninety-nine strains of Mv were analysed. The phylogenetic analysis showed five different variants, two not previously described in the studied area, belonging to D8 and B3 genotypes. Three events of continuous transmission of autochthonous variants (D8-Osaka, D8-London and B3-Milan variants) and two events of continuous transmission of imported variants (B3-Dublin and D8-Hulu Langat) tracked five different transmission pathways. These pathways outlined two epidemic peaks: the first in April and the second in July 2017. The correlation between Mv variant and the epidemiological data may enable us to identify the sources of virus importation and recognise long-lasting virus transmission pathways.
To evaluate the relationships between maternal fish consumption and pregnancy outcomes in a large, population-based sample of women in the USA.
We collected average fish consumption prior to pregnancy using a modified version of the semi-quantitative Willett FFQ. We estimated adjusted OR (aOR) and 95 % CI for associations between different levels of fish consumption and preterm birth (<37 weeks), early preterm birth (<32 and <35 weeks) and small-for-gestational-age infants (SGA; <10th percentile).
The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS).
Control mother–infant pairs with estimated delivery dates between 1997 and 2011 (n 10 919).
No significant associations were observed between fish consumption and preterm birth or early preterm birth (aOR = 0·7–1·0 and 0·7–0·9, respectively). The odds of having an SGA infant were elevated (aOR = 2·1; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·4) among women with daily fish consumption compared with women consuming fish less than once per month. No associations were observed between other levels of fish consumption and SGA (aOR = 0·8–1·0).
High intake of fish was associated with twofold higher odds of having an SGA infant, while moderate fish consumption prior to pregnancy was not associated with preterm or SGA. Our study, like many other studies in this area, lacked information regarding preparation methods and the specific types of fish consumed. Future studies should incorporate information on nutrient and contaminant contents, preparation methods and biomarkers to assess these relationships.
Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) is an investigational retroviral replicating vector that selectively infects dividing cancer cells, integrates into the genome and replicates due to immune defects in tumors. Toca 511 spreads through tumors and stably delivers the gene encoding an optimized yeast cytosine deaminase that converts the prodrug Toca FC (investigational, extended-release of 5-fluorocytosine) into 5-fluorouracil. In preclinical models, 5-fluorouracil kills infected dividing cancer cells, myeloid derived suppressor cells and tumor associated macrophages, enabling immune activation against the tumor. In this dose ascending Ph1 trial (NCT01470794), Toca 511 was injected into the resection cavity wall of patients with rHGG, followed by courses of oral Toca FC. Additional cohorts included combination with bevacizumab or lomustine. Across the Ph1 program, the safety profile remains favorable. Objective responses (ORs) were assessed by IRR using MRI scans prior to Toca FC treatment as baseline. ORs occurred 6-19 months after Toca 511 administration, suggesting an immunologic mechanism. The ORs were observed in 4 patients with IDH1-wildtype and 2 patients with IDH1-mutant tumors, including 5 complete responses (CRs) with the investigational therapy alone, and 1 CR in combination with bevacizumab. The median duration of response (mDoR) was 35.1+ months. As of AUG2017, all responders were CR and remain alive. In a 23-patient subgroup who received high doses of Toca 511 and met Ph3 trial criteria, mOS was 14.4 months, 3-year survival rate was 26.1%, and mDoR was 35.7+ months with a durable response rate of 21.7%. Data suggest a positive association of durable response with OS.
Nighttime eating is often associated with a negative impact on weight management and cardiometabolic health. However, data from recent acute metabolic studies have implicated a benefit of ingesting a bedtime snack for weight management. The present study compared the impact of ingesting a milk snack containing either 10 (BS10) or 30 g (BS30) protein with a non-energetic placebo (BS0) 30 min before bedtime on next morning metabolism, appetite and energy intake in mildly overweight males (age: 24·3 (sem 0·8) years; BMI: 27·4 (sem 1·1) kg/m2). Next morning measurements of RMR, appetite and energy intake were measured using indirect calorimetry, visual analogue scales and an ad libitum breakfast, respectively. Bedtime milk ingestion did not alter next morning RMR (BS0: 7822 (sem 276) kJ/d, BS10: 7482 (sem 262) kJ/d, BS30: 7851 (sem 261) kJ/d, P=0·19) or substrate utilisation as measured by RER (P=0·64). Bedtime milk ingestion reduced hunger (P=0·01) and increased fullness (P=0·04) during the evening immediately after snack ingestion, but elicited no effect the next morning. Next morning breakfast (BS0: 2187 (sem 365) kJ, BS10: 2070 (sem 336) kJ, BS30: 2582 (sem 384) kJ, P=0·21) and 24 h post-trial (P=0·95) energy intake was similar between conditions. To conclude, in mildly overweight adults, compared with a non-energetic placebo, a bedtime milk snack containing 10 or 30 g of protein does not confer changes in next morning whole-body metabolism and appetite that may favour weight management.
The increasing tropospheric ozone concentration [O3] strongly affects plant growth. However, the response of belowground processes in rice (Oryza sativa L.) systems to higher O3 is not well understood. The grain production, belowground biomass partitioning, root morphology and activity of rice (cv. Shanyou 63) were investigated in a free-air O3 enrichment platform at four key growth stages. Elevated O3 (EO3, 50% above the ambient O3) significantly decreased the grain yield and total biomass at the grain milky mature stage, root biomass at the tillering stage and root to shoot ratios (RRS) at the flowering and grain filling stages. The effects of EO3 on root morphology and activity varied among rice growth stage. EO3 significantly decreased root length, density, area, diameter and volume at the flowering stage, but EO3 significantly decreased various root morphological indices at the tillering, grain filling and milky mature stages. EO3 significantly increased the specific root respiration rate (root activity) and root respiration rate (autotrophic respiration) at grain filling and milky mature stages. Higher root autotrophic respiration and lower RRS in response to EO3 would reduce allocation of assimilated carbon to root growth, adversely affecting rice productivity. Our findings are critical for understanding the O3-induced impairment of belowground processes and carbon cycling in rice cropping systems and breeding of O3-tolerant cultivars under higher [O3] scenarios.
Introduction: Medication discrepancies are unintended differences between a patient’s outpatient and inpatient medication regimens, and occur in up to 60% of hospital admissions. Canadian emergency departments (EDs) have implemented medication reconciliation forms that are pre-populated with outpatient medication dispensing data in order to reduce medication discrepancies and resultant adverse drug events. However, these forms may introduce errors of commission by prompting prescribers to reorder discontinued or potentially harmful medications. Our objective was to evaluate the incidence of medication discrepancies and errors of commission after the implementation of pre-populated medication reconciliation forms. Methods: This chart review included admitted patients who were enrolled in a parent study in which a research pharmacist prospectively collected best-possible medication histories (BPMHs) in the ED using all available information sources. Following discharge, research assistants uninvolved with the parent study compared medication orders documented within 48 h of admission with the BPMH to identify medication discrepancies and errors of commission. Errors of commission were defined as inappropriate continuations of medications and reordering discontinued medications. An independent panel adjudicated the clinical significance of the errors. We used regression methods to identify factors associated with errors. The sample size was limited by enrolment into the parent study. Results: Of 151 patients, 71 (47%; 95%CI 39.2-54.9) were exposed to 112 medication errors. Of these errors, 75.9% (85/112; 95%CI 67.1-82.9) were discrepancies, of which 18.8% (16/85; 95%CI 12.0-28.4) were clinically significant. Errors of commission made up 24.1% (27/112; 95%CI 17.3-32.8) of all errors, of which 37.0% (10/27; 95%CI 18.8-55.2) were clinically significant. Taking 8 or more medications was associated with a 5-fold greater odds of experiencing a medication error after controlling for confounders (OR 5.00; 95%CI 2.45-10.17; p<0.001). Conclusion: Clinically significant medication discrepancies and errors of commission remain common despite the implementation of electronically pre-populated medication reconciliation forms. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate whether using pre-populated medication reconciliation forms increases the risk of introducing errors of commission.
In this chapter, we assess the core empirical predictions developed in Chapter 5 – namely, that public participation in policy formulation contributes to less contentious and more effective policy outcomes. Previous work has hinted at such predictions but has forgone testing them empirically due to the difficulty of measuring participation and policy outcomes. Determined to create such measures, we combed through government websites, almanacs, and national archives for records of participatory activity. Specifically, we focus on public consultation, a form of participation that allows members of the public to critique government policies in a less confrontational manner. Armed with original data on public consultation, we looked for effects on mass contestation, popular grievances, and policy compliance contained in official reports and yearbooks. Comparing across provinces and over time, we show that higher rates of consultation are associated with less contestation and greater compliance. Focusing on labor policy, we find that more consultation is associated with fewer labor disputes. With regard to environmental policy, we find little support for the claim that consultation improves implementation, although we do find evidence that provinces with denser civil society networks and higher rates of consultation perform better in wastewater management. These findings are the first step in clarifying the opaque role of public participation in China’s unique model of authoritarian governance.
Beyond the headline findings, five additional themes emerged from our research. First, Chinese governance reforms must be understood on their own terms and in the context of the Chinese policymaking process. Second, Chinese reforms were only partially successful. Many were not fully implemented or failed to achieve the full extent of the outcomes envisioned for them. Third, there is no single Chinese model; approaches to governance varied widely over time and across Chinese provinces. Fourth, reforms were most successful when accompanied by other reform initiatives. Fifth, Chinese governance reforms were intentionally not embedded in permanent and self-reinforcing institutions. After reviewing these themes, we reflect on the implications of our research for the future of the Chinese regime. Our analysis draws from the burgeoning literatures on authoritarian institutions, regime transition, and democratization. We offer the provocative perspective that these reforms may pave the way for successful democratization in two respects. First, the legacy of a high-quality bureaucracy and strong governance has been shown to influence the success of democratic transitions. Second, enhanced legitimacy may enable the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), like other single-party regime, to concede from a position of strength – allowing multiparty competition because it believes it can win in a free and fair contest.
China is widely viewed as a global powerhouse that has achieved a remarkable economic transformation with little political change. Less well known is that China's leaders have also implemented far‐reaching governance reforms designed to promote government transparency and increase public participation in official policymaking. What are the motivations behind these reforms and, more importantly, what impact are they having? This puzzle lies at the heart of Chinese politics and could dictate China's political trajectory for years to come. This extensive collaborative study not only documents the origins and scope of these reforms across China, but offers the first systematic assessment by quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing the impact of participation and transparency on important governance outcomes. Comparing across provinces and over time, the authors argue that the reforms are resulting in lower corruption and enhanced legal compliance, but these outcomes also depend on a broader societal ecosystem that includes an active media and robust civil society.
The final chapter on public decision-making extends our empirical inquiry into China’s consultative decision-making process by addressing selection biases and mapping causal mechanisms. By comparing three provinces, each with varying capacity and resources for dealing with policy challenges, we clarify the conditions under which Chinese policymakers rely on public consultation as well as the conditions under which consultation contributes to more effective policy choices. Looking closely at Sichuan, Jiangsu, and Chongqing we find that public participation is tool of necessity, not convenience. That is, policymakers turn to consultation when faced with the sort of policy challenges for which traditional top-down authority is ill-equipped to deal with. For example, policymakers in both Sichuan and Jiangsu experimented with consultation to resolve labor and environmental policy challenges resulting from mass privatization and disasters, both natural and man-made. By contrast, Chongqing’s municipal authorities relied on large public expenditures and propaganda to win over public opinion.