To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
We used multivariable analyses to assess whether meeting core elements was associated with antibiotic utilization. Compliance with 7 elements versus not doing so was associated with higher use of broad-spectrum agents for community-acquired infections [days of therapy per 1,000 patient days: 155 (39) vs 133 (29), P = .02] and anti-methicillin-resistant S. aureus agents [days of therapy per 1,000 patient days: 145 (37) vs 124 (30), P = .03].
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
The current work focuses on optimizing aptamer scaffolds that are tailored to allow for the formation of binding pockets for both a redox active signaling molecule and the target miR-92a. These newly designed allosteric nucleic acid systems are studied for efficacy to undergo a target based conformational switch. Two hairpin scaffolds were designed with differing stem stabilities and were explored using fluorescence quenching measurements. The dose dependent data for the detection of miR-92a shows the importance of scaffold design where the stability of the intra-molecular hairpin structure has to be optimized for target binding. Additional experiments explored the selectivity of the aptamer scaffolds in the presence of competing miR’s and mismatched sequences. These results provide an important precursor to constructing nucleic acid scaffolds for the detection of miR’s using label-free redox signaling.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
In the current study, for the main crops cultivated in the Campania region (South of Italy), three indicators were proposed and analysed. The blue water footprint (WFb), which gives an indication of the impact of irrigation on the water resource; the gross margin WFb (GMWFb), describing the economic productivity of irrigation; and the job WFb (JWFb) that expresses the social value of blue water in terms of job opportunities. Results confirmed that water applied through irrigation is much higher compared with crop requirements. In terms of GMWFb, silage maize, maize and alfalfa had the highest values, while olive, potato and tomato had the lowest. Concerning JWFb, silage maize was the crop with the highest value. Even though a deeper analysis should be done in terms of added value in the entire supply chain, the results indicated a clear difference between the crops related to animal feeding (alfalfa, maize) and the other crops taken into consideration. In fact, for the former, both the GMWFb and the JWFb achieved their highest values. Results showed that for certain irrigation volumes and for certain crops, the economic and social impacts are very different and the choice of an irrigated crop rather than another has different repercussions in terms of environmental and socio-economic sustainability. The proposed indicators would allow water managers and farmers to assess and compare production systems in terms of the different benefits that their use of water can provide.
Point-of-care systems require highly sensitive, quantitative and selective detection platforms for the real-time multiplexed monitoring of target analytes. To ensure facile development of a sensor, it is preferable for the detection assay to have minimal chemical complexity, contain no wash steps and provide a wide and easily adaptable detection range for multiple targets. Current studies involve label-free detection strategy for relevant clinical molecules such as heme using G-quadruplex based self-assembly. We have explored the measurement of binding and kinetic parameters of various G-quadruplex/heme complexes which are able to self-associate to form a DNAzyme with peroxidase mimicking capabilities and are critical to nucleic acid research. The detection strategy includes immobilizing the G-quadruplex sequences within a polymer matrix to provide a self-assembly based detection approach for heme that could be translated towards other clinically relevant targets.
Consumption of palatable foods high in refined carbohydrate has been implicated as a contributing factor to the epidemic levels of obesity. Such foods may disrupt appetite regulation in the hypothalamus through alterations in hunger and satiety signalling. This investigation examined whether a palatable high refined carbohydrate (HRC) diet with the potential to induce obesity was linked to modulation of serotonin and dopamine signalling within the hypothalamus of rats. Male Wistar rats were allowed ad libitum access to either a palatable refined carbohydrate enriched (HRC) diet or standard chow (SC). Visceral fat percentage was used as a measure of the animals' weight gain during the trial. Real-time PCR was applied to determine any variation in levels of expression of the serotonin (Slc6A4 or Sert) and dopamine transporter (Slc6A3 or Dat) genes. After 29 weeks, the HRC group showed a significant increase in visceral fat percentage accompanied by increased expression of Sert. Higher levels of circulating triglycerides were also seen. This investigation determined that a refined high carbohydrate diet is associated with visceral obesity, increased circulating lipids in the blood and distorted serotonergic signalling, which possibly alters satiety and hunger signals.
Biological invasions and climate change pose two of the most important challenges facing global biodiversity. Of particular importance are aquatic invasive plants, which have caused extensive economic and environmental impacts by drastically altering native biodiversity and ecosystem services of freshwater wetlands. Here, we used the maximum entropy model, Maxent, to model the potential range expansion of three nonnative aquatic invasive plants: alligatorweed, limnophila, and giant salvinia, throughout the continental United States under current, 2030 to 2059 (2040), and 2070 to 2099 (2080) climate scenarios. Maxent is a popular method to model predicted current and future species distributions based on biogeography and climate. Alligatorweed, limnophila, and giant salvinia are noxious invaders of freshwater habitats in the southeastern United States and cause economic and ecological loss. In addition, we analyzed each species' habitat preference based on wetland type, occurrence in man-made habitats, and distance to the nearest stream to better understand what future habitats are at risk and how these species spread. Our results show that in 2040 and 2080 climate scenarios, all three species have the potential to increase their range throughout the northeastern United States and as far as New York and Massachusetts. The spatial distribution of alligatorweed was primarily determined by precipitation of the warmest quarter (15.8%), limnophila was primarily determined by precipitation of the warmest quarter (52.2%) and mean temperature of the coldest quarter (21.8%), and giant salvinia was primarily determined by the mean temperature of the coldest quarter (24.3%). All three species were found significantly more frequently in lakes and ponds than in other freshwater habits. Giant salvinia was found significantly more often in man-made wetland habitats. In order to reduce the detrimental impacts of these species, land managers in the northeastern United States should concentrate early detection and rapid response management in lakes, ponds and man-made wetland habitats.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.
With the large improvement in effective area of Astro-H's micro-calorimeter soft X-ray spectrometer (SXS) over grating spectrometers, high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy with good signal to noise will become more commonly available, also for faint and extended sources. This will result in a range of spectral lines being resolved for the first time in celestial sources, especially in the Fe region. However, a large number of X-ray line energies in the atomic databases are known to a lesser accuracy than that expected for Astro-H/SXS, or have no known uncertainty at all. To benchmark the available calculations, we have therefore started to measure reference energies of K-shell transition in L-shell ions for astrophysically relevant elements in the range 11≤ Z ≤ 28 (Na to Ni), using the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's EBIT-I electron beam ion trap coupled with the NASA/GSFC EBIT calorimeter spectrometer (ECS). The ECS has a resolution of ~5 e V, i.e., similar to Astro-H/SXS and Chandra/HETG. A comparison to crystal spectra of lower charge states of sulfur with ~0.6 e V resolution shows that the analysis of spectra taken at ECS resolution allows to determine the transition energies of the strongest components.
In nature, biomolecules guide the formation of hierarchically-ordered, lightweight, inorganic-organic composites such as corals, shells, teeth and bones. M13 bacteriophage has been used to mimic bio-inspired material development due to its rigid, nanoscale rod-like morphology. Liquid-crystalline monolayers of genetically engineered phage have been used to template crystallization of thin layers of inorganic and metallic materials. We have created thin films composed of engineered M13 phage capable of binding inorganic components. We employed both a dip-cast and a drop-cast film fabrication method on both smooth and rough gold, silica and glass casting surfaces to create thin films and 3D structures of various degrees of hierarchical order. We have found the engineered M13 phage and the inorganic mineral significantly affected both film morphology and the mechanical properties of the film. Similarly, film fabrication parameters such as solution chemistry, temperature, and pulling speed affected film properties. Using a calcium phosphate biomineralized 4E phage, film thickness increased linearly with the number of layers/dips in the phage solution. The stiffness of these composites (Young's modulus) were >80 GPa for mineralized, multilayer films. These materials are an order of magnitude stiffer than the biological equivalent collagen. Stiffness, however, does not appear to increase in a multilayer film beyond a saturation point. Ultimately, we have developed a platform for phage-based bio-composites for developing high performance materials.
Deep levels studies on a set of n-GaN films grown by MOCVD and HVPE reveal the presence of electron traps with levels near Ec−0.25 eV, Ec−0.55 eV, Ec−0.8 eV, Ec−1 eV, hole traps with levels near Ev+0.9 eV and a band of relatively shallow states in the lower half of the bandgap. The total density of these latter states was estimated to be some 1016 cm−3 and they were tentatively associated with dislocations in GaN based on their high concentration and band-like character. None of the electron or hole traps could be unambiguously related with strong changes of diffusion lengths of minority carriers in various samples. It is proposed that such changes occur due to different surface recombination velocities. An important role of Ec−0.55 eV traps in persistent photoconductivity phenomena in n-GaN has been demonstrated.
Capacity legislation aims to protect individual autonomy and avoid undue paternalism as far as possible, partly through ensuring patients are not deemed to lack capacity because they make an unwise decision. To this end, the law employs a procedural test of capacity that excludes substantive judgments about patients' decisions. However, clinical intuitions about patients' capacity to make decisions about their treatment often conflict with a strict reading of the legal criteria for assessing capacity, particularly in psychiatry. In this article I argue that this tension arises because the procedural conception of capacity is inadequate and does not reflect the clinical or legal realities of assessing capacity. I propose that conceptualising capacity as having ‘recognisable reasons’ for a treatment decision provides a practical way of legitimately incorporating both procedural and substantive elements of decision-making into assessments of capacity.
Deep levels studies on a set of n-GaN films grown by MOCVD and HVPE reveal the presence of electron traps with levels near Ec-0.25 eV, Ec-0.55 eV, Ec-0.8 eV, Ec-1 eV, hole traps with levels near Ev+0.9 eV and a band of relatively shallow states in the lower half of the bandgap. The total density of these latter states was estimated to be some 1016 cm−3 and they were tentatively associated with dislocations in GaN based on their high concentration and band-like character. None of the electron or hole traps could be unambiguously related with strong changes of diffusion lengths of minority carriers in various samples. It is proposed that such changes occur due to different surface recombination velocities. An important role of Ec-0.55 eV traps in persistent photoconductivity phenomena in n-GaN has been demonstrated.