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Tropical forest regions in equatorial Africa are threatened with degradation, deforestation and biodiversity loss as a result of land-cover change. We investigated historical land-cover dynamics in unprotected forested areas of the Littoral Region in south-western Cameroon during 1975–2017, to detect changes that may influence this important biodiversity and wildlife area. Processed Landsat imagery was used to map and monitor changes in land use and land cover. From 1975 to 2017 the area of high-value forest landscapes decreased by c. 420,000 ha, and increasing forest fragmentation caused a decline of c. 12% in the largest patch index. Conversely, disturbed vegetation, cleared areas and urban areas all expanded in extent, by 32% (c. 400,000 ha), 5.6% (c. 26,800 ha) and 6.6% (c. 78,631 ha), respectively. The greatest increase was in the area converted to oil palm plantations (c. 26,893 ha), followed by logging and land clearing (c. 34,838 ha), all of which were the major factors driving deforestation in the study area. Our findings highlight the increasing threats facing the wider Littoral Region, which includes Mount Nlonako and Ebo Forest, both of which are critical areas for regional conservation and the latter a proposed National Park and the only sizable area of intact forest in the region. Intact forest in the Littoral Region, and in particular at Ebo, merits urgent protection.
Every four years leading researchers gather to survey the latest developments in all aspects of group theory. Initially held in St Andrews, these meetings have become the premier forum for group theory across the whole of the UK. Since 1981, the proceedings of 'Groups St Andrews' have provided a regular snapshot of the state-of-the-art in group theory and helped to shape the direction of research in the field. This volume contains papers from the 2017 meeting held in Birmingham. It includes expository articles from the invited speakers, and further surveys contributed by the participants. Topics include: generation of finite simple groups, block theory, fusion systems, algebraic groups, one-relator groups, geometric group theory, and Beauville groups.
That which is uttered with the mouth of the flesh is the articulate sound of the word… . For our word is so made in some way into an articulate sound of the body … as the Word of God was made flesh.
The Following Essay is Presented as a sketch of some significant features of Christian humanism which relate to language and discourse in France during the first half of the seventeenth century. Its central intent is to testify to the early Jesuit conviction that the manifestation of God in the world is profound. And this belief and emphasis on the ability to discover and rediscover God in the world, in its past and present, both nourished and was nourished by the Society of Jesus's involvement in humanism.
Early identification of infants with CHD at heightened risk of developmental delays can inform surveillance priorities. This study investigated pre-operative and post-operative neuromotor performance in infants undergoing open-heart surgery, and their developmental status at 6 months of age, to identify risk factors and inform care pathways.
Infants undergoing open-heart surgery before 4 months of age were recruited into a prospective cohort study. Neuromotor performance was assessed pre-operatively and post-operatively using the Test of Infant Motor Performance and Prechtl’s Assessment of General Movements. Development was assessed at 6 months of age using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire third edition. Pre-operative and post-operative General Movements performance was compared using McNemar’s test and test of infant motor performance z-scores using Wilcoxon’s signed rank test. Risk factors for delayed development at 6 months were explored using logistic regression.
Sixty infants were included in this study. In the 23 (38%) infants. A total of 60 infants were recruited. In the 23 (38%) infants assessed pre-operatively, there was no significant difference between pre- and post-operative performance on the GMs (p=0.63) or TIMP (p=0.28). At discharge, 15 (26%) infants presented with abnormal GMs, and the median TIMP z-score was −0.93 (IQR: −1.4 to −0.69). At 6 months, 28 (52.8%) infants presented with gross motor delay on the ASQ-3, significantly negatively associated with gestational age (p=0.03), length of hospital stay (p=0.04) and discharge TIMP score (p=0.01).
Post-operative assessment using the GMs and TIMP may be useful to identify infants requiring individualised care and targeted developmental follow-up. Long-term developmental surveillance beyond 6 months of age is recommended.
Supportive social relationships can reduce both psychological and physiological responses to stressful experiences. Recently, studies have also assessed the potential for social relationships to buffer the intergenerational transmission of stress. The majority of these studies, however, have focussed on social learning as a mechanism responsible for the intergenerational transmission of stress. Evidence of biological mechanisms is lacking. The objective of the current study was, therefore, to determine whether the association between maternal adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and infant hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function is mediated by maternal HPA axis function during pregnancy and moderated by social support. Data were from 243 mother–infant dyads enrolled in a prospective longitudinal cohort (the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition Study). Maternal history of ACEs was retrospectively assessed while maternal perceived social support and salivary cortisol were assessed prospectively at 6–22 weeks gestation (Time 1) and 27–37 weeks gestation (Time 2), and infant cortisol reactivity to a laboratory stressor and maternal perceived social support were assessed at 5–10 months postnatal (Time 3). Results revealed that maternal HPA axis function during pregnancy mediated the effects of maternal ACEs on infant HPA axis reactivity, suggesting that the maternal HPA axis is a mechanism by which maternal early life stress is transmitted to offspring. Furthermore, social support in the prenatal and postnatal periods moderated the cascade from maternal ACEs to infant HPA axis reactivity. Specifically, prenatal social support moderated the association between ACEs and maternal HPA axis function during pregnancy, and postnatal social support moderated the association between maternal HPA axis function and infant cortisol reactivity. These findings highlight the social sensitivity of the HPA axis and suggest the utility of social relationships as an intervention target to reduce the effects of maternal early life stress on infant outcomes.
Environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) and systemic inflammation (SI) are common in developing countries and may cause stunting. In Bangladesh, >40 % of preschool children are stunted, but EED and SI contributions are unknown. We aimed to determine the impact of EED and SI (assessed with multiple indicators) on growth in children (n 539) enrolled in a community-based randomised food supplementation trial in rural Bangladesh. EED was defined with faecal myeloperoxidase, α-1 antitrypsin and neopterin and serum endotoxin core antibody and glucagon-like peptide-2, consolidated into gut inflammation (GI) and permeability (GP) scores, and urinary lactulose:mannitol α-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) characterised SI. Biomarker associations with anthropometry (15-, 18- and 24-month length-for-age (LAZ), weight-for-length (WLZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) z scores) were examined in pairwise correlations and adjusted mixed-effects regressions. Stunting, wasting and underweight prevalence at 18 months were 45, 15 and 37 %, respectively, with elevated EED and SI markers common. EED and SI were not associated with 15–24-month length trajectory. Elevated (worse) GI and GP scores predicted reduced 18–24-month WLZ change (β −0·01 (se 0·00) z score/month for both). Elevated GP was also associated with reduced 15–18-month WLZ change (β −0·03 (se 0·01) z score/month) and greater 15-month WLZ (β 0·16 (se 0·05)). Higher AGP was associated with reduced prior and increased subsequent WLZ change (β −0·04 (se 0·01) and β 0·02 (se 0·00) z score/month for 15–18 and 18–24 months). The hypothesised link from EED to stunting was not observed in this sample of Bangladeshi 18-month-olds, but the effects of EED on constrained weight gain may have consequences for later linear growth or for other health and development outcomes.
Transthyretin (TTR), also known as thyroxin-binding prealbumin, is a serum protein with a molecular mass of 55 kDa made up of four identical subunits. The prealbumin name is derived from its mobility during electrophoresis as it migrates faster than albumin. It is one of the three major thyroxine binding proteins and forms a complex with retinol binding protein to aid the transport of vitamin A in plasma. TTR is a negative acute phase reactant and serum levels fall due to decreased synthesis in inflammation, malignancy and protein wasting diseases of the gut or kidney. Human serum levels of TTR are measured in diagnostic laboratories as an indicator of health status and a number of commercial assays are available for this purpose. However, such tests have yet to be established for the pig. The aim of this study was to develop an assay to measure TTR in porcine serum.
The following article documents the expansion of high school exchange programs during the Cold War. It also examines the potential conflicts underlying that expansion, which relied on preexisting networks of government agencies and private philanthropies and sometimes conflated the rhetoric of world peace with a narrower pursuit of American interests. Ultimately, the article contends, experiences abroad prompted teenagers to criticize American foreign policy and to reform their sponsoring organizations along increasingly multilateral, anti-colonial, and socially conscious lines.
Carbon aerogels (CAs) are a unique class of high surface area materials derived by sol–gel chemistry. Their high mass-specific surface area and electrical conductivity, environmental compatibility, and chemical inertness make them very promising materials for many applications, such as energy storage, catalysis, sorbents, and desalination. Since the first CAs were made via pyrolysis of resorcinol–formaldehyde (RF)-based organic aerogels in the late 1980s, the field has really grown. Recently, in addition to RF-derived amorphous CAs, several other carbon allotropes have been realized in aerogel form: carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, graphite, and diamond. Furthermore, the popularity of graphene aerogels has inspired research into aerogels made of a host of graphene analog materials (e.g., boron nitride, transition metal dichalcogenides, etc.), with potential for an even wider array of applications. Finally, the development of three-dimensional-printed aerogels provides the potential for CAs to have an even broader impact on energy-related technologies. Here, we will present recent work covering the novel synthesis of RF-derived, CNT, graphene, graphite, diamond, and graphene analog aerogels.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
A prompt radio burst has been observed from the supernova 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Observations were made at 0.843, 1.415, 2.29, and 8.41 GHz. At frequencies around 1 GHz, the peak flux density reached about 150 mJy and occurred within four days of the supernova. This event may be a weak precursor to a major radio outburst of the type previously observed in other extragalactic supernovae. Radio monitoring of the supernova is continuing at each of the above frequencies, and coordination is underway of a southern hemisphere VLBI array to map the radio outburst region as it expands. Differential astrometry carried out on prime-focus plates taken with the Anglo-Australian telescope indicates that the component, star 1, of Sanduleak's star SK-69202 is within 0.05 ± 0.13 arcsec of the supernova.
The deformation of a strain triangle (≈6 km × 8 km × 11 km) located on first-year ice in the Beaufort Sea was observed over a two-week period in March 1971. Significant strain events (≈ 1.5%) were observed to occur during short (≈6 h) time periods. The long-term (one day or more) divergence rate varied between 0.04 and 0.08 × 10−3 h−1. Short-term divergence rates showed values as high as 0.29 × 10−3 h−1. The observed shearing motion indicated that the floes to the east were moving to the south relative to the floes to the west. This agrees with the shear pattern that might be expected considering the location of the station in the Pacific Gyre. Studies of fracture (lead and crack) orientations in the vicinity of the strain triangle indicate reasonable correlations with the orientation of the strain-rate ellipse. A qualitative relation is suggested between the fracture density and the long-term divergence rate. Correlations were also observed between the divergence of the wind field as computed from the surface pressure field and the ice divergence.