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Despite increased focus on ascertaining the status of elasmobranch fish, the stock units for many species are uncertain. Data from mark-recapture tagging studies undertaken from 1959–2017 were analysed for 13 batoid species. Data were most comprehensive for skates (Rajidae), with 22,374 released and 3342 (14.9%) returned. Most data related to thornback ray Raja clavata, blonde ray R. brachyura and spotted ray R. montagui. Tags were generally returned from areas less than 50 km from their release, and usually from the ICES Division in which they were released. However, straight-line distances travelled of up to 910 km (R. brachyura) and 772 km (R. clavata) were recorded, highlighting that individual skates are capable of longer-distance movements. The maximum time at liberty was 16.6 years (R. clavata). Whilst mark-recapture data indicated that the current stock units used by ICES are broadly appropriate, southward movements of several skate species tagged off Northern Ireland (Division 6.a) to the Irish Sea (Division 7.a) were observed. In contrast, skates tagged in the Irish Sea and Bristol Channel (Division 7.f) generally remained in that area, with only occasional recaptures from Division 6.a.
In the past few years, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of forcibly displaced migrants worldwide, of which a substantial proportion is refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees and asylum seekers may experience high levels of psychological distress, and show high rates of mental health conditions. It is therefore timely and particularly relevant to assess whether current evidence supports the provision of psychosocial interventions for this population. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions compared with control conditions (treatment as usual/no treatment, waiting list, psychological placebo) aimed at reducing mental health problems in distressed refugees and asylum seekers.
We used Cochrane procedures for conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. We searched for published and unpublished RCTs assessing the efficacy and acceptability of psychosocial interventions in adults and children asylum seekers and refugees with psychological distress. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive and anxiety symptoms at post-intervention were the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes include: PTSD, depressive and anxiety symptoms at follow-up, functioning, quality of life and dropouts due to any reason.
We included 26 studies with 1959 participants. Meta-analysis of RCTs revealed that psychosocial interventions have a clinically significant beneficial effect on PTSD (standardised mean difference [SMD] = −0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.01 to −0.41; I2 = 83%; 95% CI 78–88; 20 studies, 1370 participants; moderate quality evidence), depression (SMD = −1.02; 95% CI −1.52 to −0.51; I2 = 89%; 95% CI 82–93; 12 studies, 844 participants; moderate quality evidence) and anxiety outcomes (SMD = −1.05; 95% CI −1.55 to −0.56; I2 = 87%; 95% CI 79–92; 11 studies, 815 participants; moderate quality evidence). This beneficial effect was maintained at 1 month or longer follow-up, which is extremely important for populations exposed to ongoing post-migration stressors. For the other secondary outcomes, we identified a non-significant trend in favour of psychosocial interventions. Most evidence supported interventions based on cognitive behavioural therapies with a trauma-focused component. Limitations of this review include the limited number of studies collected, with a relatively low total number of participants, and the limited available data for positive outcomes like functioning and quality of life.
Considering the epidemiological relevance of psychological distress and mental health conditions in refugees and asylum seekers, and in view of the existing data on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, these interventions should be routinely made available as part of the health care of distressed refugees and asylum seekers. Evidence-based guidelines and implementation packages should be developed accordingly.
With their sizes larger than 0.7 Mpc, Giant Radio Galaxies (GRGs) are the largest individual objects in the Universe. To date, the reason why they reach such enormous extensions is still unclear. One of the proposed scenarios suggests that they are the result of multiple episodes of jet activity. Cross-correlating the INTEGRAL+Swift AGN population with radio catalogues (NVSS, FIRST, SUMSS), we found that 22% of the sources are GRG (a factor four higher than those selected from radio catalogues). Remarkably, all of the sources in the sample show signs of restarting radio activity. The X-ray properties are consistent with this scenario, the sources being in a high-accretion, high-luminosity state with respect to the previous activity responsible for the radio lobes.
A search has been made using the Buckland Park air shower array for evidence of any excess of events from the direction of the recent supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Upper limits resulting from this search and their significance are discussed in this paper.
The extreme isotropy of cosmic ray events allows one to put upper limits on any possible non-isotropic contribution to the flux. In particular, one can investigate any excess of events which may be confined to the galactic plane. Such extra events would be expected from galactic ultra-high-energy (UHE) gamma-ray sources. Under the assumption of an isotropic cosmic ray flux, recent Buckland Park data place a 95% confidence level limit on the total southern hemisphere (declination −15° to −55°) flux of UHE gamma-rays at between 0.6 and 6 equivalent Cygnus X-3 sources, depending on assumptions concerning the gamma-ray spectrum.
Plant-parasitic nematodes cause considerable damage to global agriculture. The ability to parasitize plants is a derived character that appears to have independently emerged several times in the phylum Nematoda. Morphological convergence to feeding style has been observed, but whether this is emergent from molecular convergence is less obvious. To address this, we assess whether genomic signatures can be associated with plant parasitism by nematodes. In this review, we report genomic features and characteristics that appear to be common in plant-parasitic nematodes while absent or rare in animal parasites, predators or free-living species. Candidate horizontal acquisitions of parasitism genes have systematically been found in all plant-parasitic species investigated at the sequence level. Presence of peptides that mimic plant hormones also appears to be a trait of plant-parasitic species. Annotations of the few genomes of plant-parasitic nematodes available to date have revealed a set of apparently species-specific genes on every occasion. Effector genes, important for parasitism are frequently found among those species-specific genes, indicating poor overlap. Overall, nematodes appear to have developed convergent genomic solutions to adapt to plant parasitism.
YouTube is an internet-based repository of user-generated content. This study aimed to determine whether YouTube represented a valid and reliable patient information resource for the lay person on the topic of rhinosinusitis.
The study included the first 100 YouTube videos found using the search term ‘sinusitis’. Videos were graded on their ability to inform the lay person on the subject of rhinosinusitis.
Forty-five per cent of the videos were deemed to provide some useful information. Fifty-five per cent of the videos contained little or no useful facts, 27 per cent of which contained potentially misleading or even dangerous information. Videos uploaded by medical professionals or those from health information websites contained more useful information than those uploaded by independent users.
YouTube appears to be an unreliable resource for accurate and up to date medical information relating to rhinosinusitis. However, it may provide some useful information if mechanisms existed to direct lay people to verifiable and credible sources.
Charcoal is the result of natural and anthropogenic burning events, when biomass is exposed to elevated temperatures under conditions of restricted oxygen. This process produces a range of materials, collectively known as pyrogenic carbon, the most inert fraction of which is known as black carbon (BC). BC degrades extremely slowly and is resistant to diagenetic alteration involving the addition of exogenous carbon, making it a useful target substance for radiocarbon dating particularly of more ancient samples, where contamination issues are critical. We present results of tests using a new method for the quantification and isolation of BC, known as hydropyrolysis (hypy). Results show controlled reductive removal of non-BC organic components in charcoal samples, including lignocellulosic and humic material. The process is reproducible and rapid, making hypy a promising new approach not only for isolation of purified BC for 14C measurement but also in quantification of different labile and resistant sample C fractions.
On 24 August 2008, an outbreak alert regarding cases of acute gastroenteritis in Podgorica triggered investigations to guide control measures. From 23 August to 7 September, 1699 cases were reported in Podgorica (population 136 000) and we estimated the total size of the outbreak to be 10 000–15 000 corresponding to an attack rate of ~10%. We conducted an age- and neighbourhood-matched case-control study, microbiologically analysed faecal and municipal water samples and assessed the water distribution system. All cases (83/83) and 90% (89/90) of controls drank unboiled chlorinated municipal water [matched odds ratio (mOR) 11·2, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1·6–∞]. Consumption of bottled water was inversely associated with illness (mOR 0·3, 95% CI 0·1–0·8). Analyses of faecal samples identified six norovirus genotypes (21/38 samples) and occasionally other viruses. Multiple defects in the water distribution system were noted. These results suggest that the outbreak was caused by faecally contaminated municipal water. It is unusual to have such a large outbreak in a European city especially when the municipal water supply is chlorinated. Therefore, it is important to establish effective multiple-barrier water-treatment systems whenever possible, but even with an established chlorinated supply, sustained vigilance is central to public health.
Preparations of influenza virus A0 PR 8/34 and A 2 Malaysia/68 have been studied in the electron microscope. They were similar in appearance to preparations made by others. Each preparation was degraded by Triton N 101. The process of degradation appeared to be different from that observed using ether and, by inference, a number of other agents.
Reliable and affordable technology for collecting and managing livestock production process information is being developed. The advances in data measurement, collection and transfer technology enable us to retrieve information from one or more remote sites to be processed and managed centrally. This opens up the opportunity to advance from open loop, prescriptive production to closed loop systems where factors influencing the actual performance of animals are used to modify and improve their production parameters (feed, environment, medication). We strive from producing animals by predicting what is needed using outdated data, to measuring what is actually happening as they grow, processing this information and acting to optimise animal performance by modifying production parameters in real time.
This paper describes commercially available systems that make possible the retrieval, collection, processing and distribution of near real time production information. Various aspects of production management using this technology are discussed, and examples of how it can be applied to monitor water usage, how it relates to pig performance and how energy usage can be influenced, are considered.
We compare radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) ages of wood samples subjected to a conventional acid-base-acid pretreatment with stepped combustion (ABA-SC) with results from the same samples subjected to an acid-base-wet oxidation pretreatment with stepped combustion (ABOX-SC) and cellulose extraction with stepped combustion (CE-SC). The ABOX-SC procedure has been shown previously to lead to lower backgrounds for old charcoal samples. Analyses of relatively uncontaminated “14C-dead” samples of wood suggest that backgrounds of 0.11 ± 0.04 pMC are obtainable for both the ABOX-SC and ABA-SC procedures. Where wood is significantly contaminated the ABOX-SC technique provides significantly better decontamination than either the ABA-SC technique or cellulose extraction alone, although CE-SC can produce comparably low backgrounds to the ABOX-SC procedure.
We also report the application of the ABOX-SC, ABA-SC and CE-SC procedures to wood samples associated with the chronologically controversial Rotoehu Ash eruption, New Zealand. New 14C-AMS dates from wood sampled from below the Rotoehu Ash span an age range of 43–50 ka BP consistent with recently presented OSL dates of 42–44 ka obtained for palaeosols beneath the ash.
Between 22 January and 4 April 1997, 467 hepatitis A cases were reported to the New South
Wales Health Department, Australia. To identify the cause of the outbreak, we conducted a
matched case-control study, and an environmental investigation. Among 66 cases and 66
postcode-matched controls, there was a strong association between illness and consumption of
oysters (adjusted odds ratio 42; 95% confidence interval 5–379). More than two-thirds of cases
reported eating oysters, including one third of cases and no controls who reported eating
oysters in the Wallis Lake area. A public warning was issued on 14 February, and Wallis Lake
oysters were withdrawn from sale. Hepatitis A virus was subsequently identified in oyster
samples taken from the lake. Hepatitis A virus poses a special risk to consumers who eat raw
oysters because it can survive for long periods in estuaries and cause severe disease.
Four years after the occurrence of an outbreak of hepatitis B and HIV infection among
injecting drug user inmates at Her Majesty's Prison Glenochil in Scotland, a study design was
developed to complete the epidemiological account of the HIV outbreak. Our aim was to
identify potential cases of (1) HIV transmission not diagnosed during the original outbreak
investigation and (2) the source(s) of the outbreak. Scotland's HIV positive case register was
searched for matches to a soundexed list of 636 Glenochil inmates imprisoned during
January–June 1993. Eight HIV infections that may have been acquired in Glenochil and four
possible sources of the outbreak were identified. The second stage of follow-up – molecular
epidemiological techniques used on stored sera samples from identified individuals – is
described in the companion paper. Without breach of medical or prisoner confidentiality,
indirect and anonymous follow-up has proved possible for the Glenochil inmates.
Increasingly, there is need for methods to control cattle tick (Boophilus microplus) infestations by the use of non-chemical technology. This need is brought about by a mixture of market forces and the failure or inadequacy of existing technology. A recombinant vaccine has now been developed against the tick. This vaccine relies on the uptake with the blood meal of antibody directed against a critical protein in the tick gut. The isolation of the vaccine antigen, Bm86, and its production as a recombinant protein is briefly described. The vaccine has been tested in the field, has been taken through the full registration process and is now in commercial use in Australia. A related development has occurred in Cuba. The potential for improvement of the current vaccine and for the development of similar vaccines against other haematophagous parasites is discussed.
Single crystal γ-TiAl with axial orientation [3 16 15] has been tested in compression between 4K and 1048K and the dislocation structures observed in TEM. The slip plane was found to be (111) over the entire temperature range tested. Three regimes exist in the variation of the yield stress with temperature, whereas the dislocation substructures are of two types, dominated by 30° 1/3 and 1/2 < 110] dislocations respectively. The anomalous yield stress is associated with 1/2 < 110] dislocations undergoing frequent cross-slip off the (111) plane.
2D image sensor arrays made with a-Si devices on glass over large area are of considerable interest as document scanners and in medical applications. We have made a test array containing a-Si NIP diodes for both the sensors and the active matrix switching devices. The issues of vertical crosstalk and image lag are discussed in relation to the device performance of the switching diode. The vertical crosstalk is controlled by the diode capacitance and the image lag by the high transient current in the device. We speculate that the transient current is a trap filling current in the deep states of the switching diode.
The dielectric functions ε = ε1+iε2 of AlAs were determined from 1.5 eV to 5.0 eV, by spectroscopie ellipsometry (SE), from room temperature (RT) to ∼577 °C in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) chamber. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)-grown AlAs was covered by a thin GaAs layer, which was passivated by arsenic capping to prevent oxidation. The arsenic cap was desorbed inside the UHV chamber. SE measurements of the unoxidized sample were made, at various temperatures. Temperature dependent optical constants of AlAs were obtained by mathematically removing the effects of the GaAs cap and substrate. Quantitative analyses of the variations of critical-point energies with temperature, by using the harmonic oscillator approximation (HOA), indicate that the E1 and E1+Δ1 energies decrease -350 meV as temperature increases from RT to 500 °C.