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Calculated patterns play an essential role in X-ray powder diffraction analysis. This paper gives examples of their use in qualitative analysis for evaluating and supplementing reference patterns in the ICDD Powder Diffraction File (PDF), in quantitative analysis for calculating Reference Intensity Ratios (RIRs), in ceil parameter refinements for indexing of low-symmetry/large unit cell diffractograms, in powder pattern determination for validating intensities and recognizing preferred orientation, in new materials synthesis for verification of structure type and phase purity, and for modeling the effects of solid solution substitution.
Procedures and tools for evaluation of reference x-ray powder patterns in the JCPDSICDD Powder Diffraction File are illustrated by a review of air-stable binary oxides. The reference patterns are evaluated using an available microcomputer version of the NBS*A1DS83 editorial program and PDF patterns retrieved directly from the CD-ROM in the program's input format. The patterns are compared to calculated and experimental diffractograms. The majority of the oxide patterns have been found to be in good agreement with the calculated and observed diffractograms, but are often missing some weak reflections routinely observed with a modern diffractometer. These weak reflections are added to the PDF pattern. For the remainder of the phases, patterns are redetermined.
Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
An unexpected increase in gastroenteritis cases was reported by healthcare workers on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast, South Africa, January 2017 with >600 cases seen over a 3-week period. A case–control study was conducted to identify the source and risk factors associated with the outbreak so as to recommend control and prevention measures. Record review identified cases and controls and structured-telephonic interviews were conducted to obtain exposure history. Stool specimens were collected from 20 cases along with environmental samples and both screened for enteric pathogens. A total of 126 cases and 62 controls were included in the analysis. The odds of developing gastroenteritis were 6.0 times greater among holiday makers than residents (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0–17.7). Swimming in the lagoon increased the odds of developing gastroenteritis by 3.3 times (95% CI 1.06–10.38). Lagoon water samples tested positive for norovirus (NoV) GI.6, GII.3 and GII.6, astrovirus and rotavirus. Eleven (55%) stool specimens were positive for NoV with eight genotyped as GI.1 (n = 2), GI.5 (n = 3), GI.6 (n = 2), and GI.7 (n = 1). A reported sewage contamination event impacting the lagoon was the likely source with person-to-person spread perpetuating the outbreak. Restriction to swimming in the lagoon was apparently ineffective at preventing the outbreak, possibly due to inadequate enforcement, communication and signage strategies.
Established methods of recruiting population controls for case–control studies to investigate gastrointestinal disease outbreaks can be time consuming, resulting in delays in identifying the source or vehicle of infection. After an initial evaluation of using online market research panel members as controls in a case–control study to investigate a Salmonella outbreak in 2013, this method was applied in four further studies in the UK between 2014 and 2016. We used data from all five studies and interviews with members of each outbreak control team and market research panel provider to review operational issues, evaluate risk of bias in this approach and consider methods to reduce confounding and bias. The investigators of each outbreak reported likely time and cost savings from using market research controls. There were systematic differences between case and control groups in some studies but no evidence that conclusions on the likely source or vehicle of infection were incorrect. Potential selection biases introduced by using this sampling frame and the low response rate are unclear. Methods that might reduce confounding and some bias should be balanced with concerns for overmatching. Further evaluation of this approach using comparisons with traditional methods and population-based exposure survey data is recommended.
The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 (C4) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC region can now be used to predict C4 RNA expression in the brain. Increased predicted C4A RNA expression is associated with the risk of SZ, and C4 is reported to influence synaptic pruning in animal models.
Based on our previous studies associating MHC SZ risk variants with poorer memory performance, we tested whether increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with reduced memory function in a large (n = 1238) dataset of psychosis cases and healthy participants, and with altered task-dependent cortical activation in a subset of these samples.
We observed that increased predicted C4A RNA expression predicted poorer performance on measures of memory recall (p = 0.016, corrected). Furthermore, in healthy participants, we found that increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with a pattern of reduced cortical activity in middle temporal cortex during a measure of visual processing (p < 0.05, corrected).
These data suggest that the effects of C4 on cognition were observable at both a cortical and behavioural level, and may represent one mechanism by which illness risk is mediated. As such, deficits in learning and memory may represent a therapeutic target for new molecular developments aimed at altering C4’s developmental role.
Disc galaxies forming in a LambdaCDM cosmology often experience violent mergers. The fact that disc galaxies are ubiquitous suggests that quiescent histories are not necessary. Modern cosmological simulations can now obtain realistic populations of disc galaxies, but it is still unclear how discs manage to survive massive mergers. Here we use a suite of hydrodynamical cosmological simulations to elucidate the fate of discs encountering massive mergers. We follow the changes in the post-merger disc-to-total ratios (D/T) of simulated galaxies and examine the relations between their present-day morphology, assembly history and gas fractions. We find that approximately half of present-day disc galaxies underwent at least one merger with a satellite more massive the host's stellar component and a third had mergers with satellites three times as massive. These mergers lead to a sharp, but often temporary, decrease in the D/T of the hosts, implying that discs are usually disrupted but then quickly re-grow. To do so, high cold gas fractions are required post-merger, as well as a relatively quiescent recent history (over a few Gyrs before z = 0). Our results show that discs can form via diverse merger pathways and that quiescent histories are not the dominant mode of disc formation.
Providing care for a person with dementia or other chronic illness at home often places stress on the primary caregiver. In an Irish population, ~67% of carers reported experiencing extreme physical or mental tiredness. This study aimed to identify factors that influence carer burden and identify the sub-populations of carers who are most susceptible to burden.
Consecutive carers referred to a local carers’ support organisation completed the following measurements: the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Zarit Burden Interview, Social Network Index, General Health Questionnaire, Short Form Survey, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Brown’s Locus of Control scale and provided demographic data on themselves and their patient.
The sample consisted 53 carers, mean age: 64.5±11.7, of whom 43 (81.1%) were females. A linear regression model found significant independent (p<0.05) factors for carer burden were: increased behavioural problems of the patient, carer characteristics including female gender, younger age, high number of contacts, lower physical functioning and emotional problems, while protective factors were marriage and higher number of embedded networks.
The ability to predict which carers are more susceptible to burden allows service providers to more quickly and accurately identify ‘higher risk’ carers, facilitating routine check-ups by physicians and carer support services.
Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
An outbreak of respiratory diphtheria occurred in two health districts in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2015. A multidisciplinary outbreak response team was involved in the investigation and management of the outbreak. Fifteen cases of diphtheria were identified, with ages ranging from 4 to 41 years. Of the 12 cases that were under the age of 18 years, 9 (75%) were not fully immunized for diphtheria. The case fatality was 27%. Ninety-three household contacts, 981 school or work contacts and 595 healthcare worker contacts were identified and given prophylaxis against Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. A targeted vaccination campaign for children aged 6–15 years was carried out at schools in the two districts. The outbreak highlighted the need to improve diphtheria vaccination coverage in the province and to investigate the feasibility of offering diphtheria vaccines to healthcare workers.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
The triennial report of Commission 19 was composed from the contributions of its members. Space does not permit a listing of their names, but their contributions are sincerely appreciated. Unfortunately because of limited space it is also not possible to provide in this report the extensive list of publication of the Commission members. The list of publications is however available on the Commission 19 web site at maia.usno.navy.mil/iauc19.
In the days following our Joint Discussion the Co-editors were joined by two of the participants, Dr. Ivan King and Dr. Uli Steinlin, in an effort to evaluate results reported as well as the problems posed for future work. As a result of these discussions at Grenoble the present listing was made. This list was presented to members of the Organizing Committee but since it was impossible in the last days at Grenoble to convene this group or to speak collegially with all participants it must remain the responsibility of the above-named authors. It cannot be a complete resumé nor can it presume to represent adequately the varied opinions expressed at Grenoble on 25 August. We hope here only to attempt a synthesis of certain evident results and to outline certain prospects for exploring further the exciting problems of structure and evolution in the galactic polar caps.