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To study 2D and 3D dosimetric values for bladder and rectum, and the influence of bladder volume on bladder dose in high dose rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT). The large patient data incorporated in this study would better represent the inherent variations in many parameters affecting dosimetry in HDR-ICBT.
Material and Methods:
We prospectively collected data for 103 consecutive cervical cancer patients (over 310 HDR fractions) undergoing CT-based HDR-ICBT at our centre. Correlation among bladder and rectum maximum volume doses and corresponding International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement (ICRU) point doses were estimated and analysed. Impact of bladder volume on bladder maximum dose was assessed.
The ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum varied from the volumetric doses to these organs. Further, bladder volume poorly correlated with bladder maximum dose for volume variations encountered in the clinical practice at our centre.
ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum are less likely to correlate with long-term toxicities to these organs. Further, in clinical practice where inter-fraction bladder volume does not vary widely there is no correlation between bladder volume and bladder dose.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Introduction: Individualizing risk for stroke following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a topic of intense research, as existing scores are context-dependent or have not been well validated. The Canadian TIA Score stratifies risk of subsequent stroke into low, moderate and high risk. Our objective was to prospectively validate the Canadian TIA Score in a new cohort of emergency department (ED) patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study in 14 Canadian EDs over 4 years. We enrolled consecutive adult patients with an ED visit for TIA or nondisabling stroke. Treating physicians recorded standardized clinical variables onto data collection forms. Given the ability of prompt emergency carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to prevent stroke (NNT = 3) in high risk patients, our primary outcome was the composite of subsequent stroke or CEA ≤7 days. We conducted telephone follow-up using the validated Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke Free Status at 7 and 90 days. Outcomes were adjudicated by panels of 3 local stroke experts, blinded to the index ED data collection form. Based on prior work, we estimated a sample size of 5,004 patients including 93 subsequent strokes, would yield 95% confidence bands of +/− 10% for sensitivity and likelihood ratio (LR). Our analyses assessed interval LRs (iLR) with 95% CIs. Results: We prospectively enrolled 7,569 patients with mean 68.4 +/−14.7 years and 52.4% female, of whom 107 (1.4%) had a subsequent stroke and 74 (1.0%) CEA ≤7 days (total outcomes = 181). We enrolled 81.2% of eligible patients; missed patients were similar to enrolled. The Canadian TIA Score stratified the stroke/CEA ≤7days risk as: Low (probability <0.2%, iLR 0.20 [95%CI 0.091-0.44]; Moderate (probability 1.3%, iLR 0.79 [0.68-0.92]; High (probability 2.6%, iLR 2.2 [1.9-2.6]. Sensitivity analysis for just stroke ≤7 days yielded similar results: Low iLR 0.17 [95%CI 0.056-0.52], Medium iLR 0.89 [0.75-1.1], High iLR 2.0 [1.6-2.4]. Conclusion: The Canadian TIA Score accurately identifies TIA patients risk for stroke/CEA ≤7 days. Patients classified as low risk can be safely discharged following a careful ED assessment with elective follow-up. Patients at moderate risk can undergo additional testing in the ED, have antithrombotic therapy optimized, and be offered early stroke specialist follow-up. Patients at high risk should in most cases be fully investigated and managed ideally in consultation with a stroke specialist during their index ED visit.
Artificial insemination (AI) technology use in poultry production has enabled the rapid dissemination of genetic material from a small number of superior males to a high number of females. Excellent fertility in poultry can be obtained by AI compared to natural mating. Successful application of this technique needs good quality semen that should be inseminated very close to the sperm storage tubules in the female to obtain the optimum fertility in chicken. Since the 1950s, AI has been used in commercial poultry production, initially in Israel and Australia, followed by the USA. Doses of spermatozoa required for AI increases with storage time or that obtained from aged bird. The average volume of semen is between 0.05-0.50 ml in light chicken breeds and 0.1-0.9 ml in heavy males. In light turkeys, volume is 0.08-0.30 ml, whereas in heavy-weight males it is 0.1-0.33 ml. Quality evaluation of semen gives an indication of the male reproductive potential and is the major determinant of fertility and subsequently hatchability of eggs. Semen from cockerels contains between 3-7 billion sperm cells/ml. Among the several factors that influence the semen quality, sperm motility is a primary determinant of fertility in domestic fowls; however, visual examination of semen cannot be ignored for successful AI under field conditions. Dilution of low and viscous volume of avian semen is essential for handling and storage, and chicken semen typically requires a two to three-fold dilution. Collected samples should be preserved at 2-8°C for avian species, ideally with turkey sperm stored at 4-8°C, and chicken semen at 7-8°C for good fertility. Currently, the technique of AI in most of the poultry species is well developed; however, there is a need for successful development programme of this technique in non-domesticated birds to assist in creating viable, self-sustaining populations of critically endangered species.
Rice has the lowest grain protein content (GPC) among cereals. Efforts have been made to improve GPC through the modified bulk-pedigree method of selection. A total of 1780 F8 recombinant lines were derived in the year 2013 from five different cross combinations involving two high-GPC landraces, namely ARC10075 and ARC10063, three high-yielding parents, namely Swarna, Naveen and IR64, and one parent, namely Sharbati, known for superior grain quality with high micronutrient content. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to facilitate high-throughput selection for GPC. Significant selection differential, response to selection and non-significant differences between the predicted and observed response to selection for GPC and protein yield indicated the effectiveness of this selection process. This resulted in lines with high GPC, protein yield and desirable levels of amylose content. Further, based on high mean and stability for GPC and protein yield over the environments in the wet seasons of 2013, 2014 and the dry season of 2014, 12 elite lines were identified. Higher accumulation of glutelin fraction and non-significant change in prolamin/glutelin ratio in the grain suggested safe guarding of the nutritional value of rice grain protein of most of these identified lines. Since rice is the staple food of millions, the output of breeding for high GPC could have a significant role in alleviating protein malnutrition, especially in the developing world.
Oocyte-secreted factors (OSFs) play an important role in the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence through bidirectional cross-talk between oocyte and cumulus cells via gap junctions. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of two OSFs, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes derived from two different follicle sizes. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) from large follicles (LF, >6 mm) or small follicles (SF, <6 mm) were collected and matured in vitro either in the presence of GDF9 or BMP15, or both, or with the denuded oocytes (DOs) as a source of native OSFs. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in LF-derived than SF-derived oocytes. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the DOs and the combination groups compared with the control, GDF9 alone and BMP15 alone groups, both in LF-derived and SF-derived oocytes, although the cleavage and blastocyst rates did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between DOs and combination groups. Relative mRNA analysis revealed significantly higher (P > 0.05) expression of the cumulus cell marker genes EGFR, HAS2, and CD44 in LF-derived than SF-derived oocyte; the expression of these markers was significantly higher (P > 0.05) in DOs and combination groups, irrespective of the follicle size. These results suggested that LF-derived oocytes have a higher developmental competence than SF-derived oocytes and that supplementation of GDF9 and BMP15 modulates the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes by increasing the relative abundance of cumulus-enabling factors and thereby increasing cleavage and the quality of blastocyst production.
Goats make up the largest group of ruminant livestock in Nigeria and are strategic in bridging animal protein supply gap and improving the economy of rural households. The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the caprine mitochondrial genome was investigated to better understand genetic diversity important for improving selection for animal breeding and conservation programs. We sequenced and analysed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) HVR1 in 291 unrelated indigenous Nigerian goats (West African Dwarf (WAD), Red Sokoto (RSO) and Sahel (SAH)), randomly sampled from around the country, and compared them with the HVR1 sequences of 336 Indian goats and 12 other sequences in five different species in the genus Capra (C. falconeri, C. ibex nubiana, C. aegagrus, C. cylindricornis and C. sibirica). A total of 139 polymorphic sites from 291 individuals were captured in 204 haplotypes. Within and among population variations were 77.25 and 22.74 percent, respectively. Nigerian goats showed high genetic diversity (0.87) and high FST values, and separate from Indian goats and other wild species. Haplogroups in WAD separates it from RSO and SAH concomitant with a different demographic history. Clear genetic structure was found among Nigerian goat breeds with appreciable variation in mtDNA HVR1 region. This study grouped Nigerian goat breeds into two major groups suggesting two different demographic origins for Northern and Southern breeds. High genetic admixing denotes different maternal origins and in contrast to evidence from goats from Levant and Central Asia, where goats were originally domesticated.
Many medications administered to patients with schizophrenia possess anticholinergic properties. When aggregated, pharmacological treatments may result in a considerable anticholinergic burden. The extent to which anticholinergic burden has a deleterious effect on cognition and impairs ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatments is unknown.
Seventy patients were followed for approximately 3 years. The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) was administered at baseline. Anticholinergic burden was measured with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Ability to benefit from psychosocial programmes was measured using the DUNDRUM-3 Programme Completion Scale (D-3) at baseline and follow-up. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the PANSS. Total antipsychotic dose was measured using chlorpromazine equivalents. Functioning was measured using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Mediation analysis found that the influence of anticholinergic burden on ability to participate and benefit from psychosocial programmes was completely mediated by the MCCB. For every 1-unit increase on the ACB scale, change scores for DUNDRUM-3 decreased by −0.27 points. This relationship appears specific to anticholinergic burden and not total antipsychotic dose. Moreover, mediation appears to be specific to cognition and not psychopathology. Baseline functioning also acted as mediator but only when MCCB was not controlled for.
Anticholinergic burden has a significant impact on patients’ ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatment programmes. Physicians need to be mindful of the cumulative effect that medications can have on patient cognition, functional capacity and ability to benefit from psychosocial treatments.
The binary X-ray source GX 1 + 4 was observed during a balloon flight in 1986, November. The source was in a relatively high intensity state. Time analysis of the data shows that the pulsation period was 111.8 ± 1.0 s indicating that one or more episodes of spin-down occurred between 1980 and 1986. Folded pulse profiles are very broad with an indication of a notch at the peak. Evidence has been found for a correlation between hard X-ray intensity and phase of the proposed 304 day orbital period. The time averaged intensity since 1980 is an order of magnitude lower than during the 1970’s. A survey of the post 1980 data shows that several reversals of the period derivative have occurred. Spin-up at the rates typical of the 1970’s has been followed by a dramatic spin-down episode with dP/dt>2.4 × 10−7 s/s.
Aspiration pneumonia is an important cause of death in head and neck cancer patients. This study therefore aimed to evaluate the risk factors associated with aspiration pneumonia in head and neck cancer patients.
Hospital death records from 12 years (2000–2012) were reviewed to obtain the number of deaths. Treatment details and cause of death were analysed. Statistical analysis was performed to identify the risk factors for aspiration pneumonia.
The records revealed that aspiration pneumonia was the cause of death in 51 out of 85 patients. Primary tumour site (oropharynx and hypopharynx, odds ratio 3.3; 95 per cent confidence interval 1.17–9.4, p = 0.02) and advanced tumour stage (odds ratio 4.2, 95 per cent confidence interval 1.16–15.61, p = 0.02) had significant negative impacts on aspiration pneumonia related mortality.
Advanced pharyngeal cancer patients are at an increased risk of aspiration pneumonia related death. Investigations for the early detection of this condition are recommended in these high-risk patients.
A cardiac source is often implicated in strokes where the deficit includes aphasia. However, less is known about the etiology of isolated aphasia during transient ischemic attack (TIA). Our objective was to determine whether patients with isolated aphasia are likely to have a cardioembolic etiology for their TIA.
We prospectively studied a cohort of TIA patients in eight tertiary-care emergency departments. Patients with isolated aphasia were identified by the treating physician at the time of emergency department presentation. Patients with dysarthria (i.e., a phonation disturbance) were not included. Potential cardiac sources for embolism were defined as atrial fibrillation on history, electrocardiogram, Holter monitor, atrial fibrillation on echocardiography, or thrombus on echocardiography.
Of the 2,360 TIA patients identified, 1,155 had neurological deficits at the time of the emergency physician assessment and were included in this analysis, and 41 had isolated aphasia as their only neurological deficit. Patients with isolated aphasia were older (73.9±10.0 v. 67.2±14.5 years; p=0.003), more likely to have a history of heart failure (9.8% v. 2.6%; p=0.027), and were twice as likely to have any cardiac source of embolism (22.0% v. 10.6%; p=0.037).
Isolated aphasia is associated with a high rate of cardioembolic sources of embolism after TIA. Emergency patients with isolated aphasia diagnosed with a TIA warrant a rapid and thorough assessment for a cardioembolic source.
HERMES is a new high-resolution multi-object spectrograph on the Anglo Australian Telescope. The primary science driver for HERMES is the GALAH survey, GALactic Archaeology with HERMES. We are planning a spectroscopic survey of about a million stars, aimed at using chemical tagging techniques to reconstruct the star-forming aggregates that built up the disk, the bulge and halo of the Galaxy. This project will benefit greatly from the stellar distances and transverse motions from the Gaia mission.
Long-term tillage and fertilizer experiments were conducted in rice in kharif followed by lentil in dry subhumid Inceptisols at Varanasi and Faizabad; horse gram at Phulbani and linseed at Ranchi in moist subhumid Alfisols in rabi during 2001 to 2010. The study was conducted to assess the effect of conventional tillage (CT), low tillage + interculture (LT1) and low tillage + herbicide (LT2) together with 100% N (organic) (F1), 50% N (organic) + 50% N (inorganic) (F2) and 100% N (inorganic) (F3) on productivity, profitability, rainwater and energy use efficiencies. The results at Varanasi revealed that CT was superior with mean yield of 2389 kg ha−1, while F1 was superior with 2378 kg ha−1 in rice. At Faizabad, CT was superior with mean rice yield of 1851 kg ha−1 and lentil yield of 977 kg ha−1, while F1 was superior with 1704 and 993 kg ha−1 of rice and lentil, respectively. At Phulbani, F2 was superior with rice yield of 1170 kg ha−1. At Ranchi, F2 with rice yield of 986 kg ha−1 and F3 with linseed yield of 224 kg ha−1 were superior. The regression model of crop seasonal rainfall and yield deviations indicated an increasing trend in rice yield over mean (positive deviation) with increase in rainfall at all locations; while a decreasing trend (negative deviation) was found for lentil at Faizabad, horse gram at Phulbani and linseed at Ranchi. Based on economic analysis, CTF1 at Varanasi and Faizabad, CTF2 at Phulbani and LT2F2 at Ranchi were superior.
This experiment was conducted to study the long-term effect of soil management treatments on crop yields, sustainability yield indices (SYI) and soil fertility in rainfed semi-arid tropical Alfisol at Hayathnagar Research Farm, Hyderabad, India, during the period 1995 to 2009. The experiment was conducted in a split–split plot design with conventional tillage (CT) and minimum tillage (MT) as main factors, surface application of sorghum stover @ 2 t ha−1 (SS), fresh Gliricidia loppings @ 2 t ha−1 (GL) and ‘no’ residue (NR) as sub-factors and levels of N viz. 0 (N0), 30 (N30), 60 (N60) and 90 (N90) kg N ha−1 as sub–sub factors in a castor–sorghum two-year rotation. On an average, CT maintained 30.4 and 57.0% higher grain yields of sorghum and castor, respectively, over MT. Between two residues, GL performed well in both the crops. The highest yields of sorghum (1425 kg ha−1) and castor (876 kg ha−1) were recorded at 90 kg N ha−1. CT maintained higher SYI of 0.44 compared to MT (0.38) and higher agronomic efficiency (AE) of 13.5 and 6.76 kg grain kg−1 N for sorghum and castor crop, respectively. Use of crop residue as mulch had an advantage in increasing the yield of both the crops with increase in rainfall under CT even without N application (control), probably by making the soil more receptive to water infiltration, better moisture storage and by reducing the evaporative losses. Using response functions, the optimum fertilizer N requirement was also computed for a given set of tillage and residue combinations. The revised optimum fertilizer N doses for sorghum and castor varied from 45 to 56 kg ha−1 and 46 to 74 kg ha−1, respectively, under different tillage and residue combinations and could be recommended depending upon the soil management practices.
Nonvolatile unipolar resistive switching has been observed in Sm doped BFO thin films in Pt/Sm: BFO/SRO stack geometry. The initial forming voltage was found to be ∼ 11 V. After the forming process repeatable switching of the resistance of Sm:BFO film was obtained between low and high resistance states with nearly constant resistance ratio ∼ 105 and non overlapping switching voltages in the range of 0.7-1 V and 4-6 V respectively. The temperature dependent measurements of the resistance of the device indicated metallic and semiconducting conduction behavior in low and high resistance states respectively. The current conduction mechanism of the Pt/Sm:BFO/SRO device in low resistance states was found to be dominated by the Ohmic behavior while in case of high resistance state and at high voltages it deviated significantly from normal Ohmic behavior and was found to correspond the Pool-Frankel (PF) emission. The Pt/Sm:BFO/SRO structure also showed efficient photo-response in high and low resistance states with increase in photocurrent which was significantly higher in low resistance state when illuminated with white light.