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The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Alexithymia (difficulties in identifying and describing emotion) is a transdiagnostic trait implicated in social–emotional and mental health problems in the general population. Many autistic individuals experience significant social-communication difficulties and elevated anxiety/depression and alexithymia. Nevertheless, the role of alexithymia in explaining individual variability in the quality/severity of social-communication difficulties and/or anxiety and depression symptoms in autism remains poorly understood.
In total, 337 adolescents and adults (autism N = 179) were assessed for alexithymia on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and for social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms. A total of 135 individuals (autism N = 76) were followed up 12–24 months later. We used regression models to establish cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between alexithymia, social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms.
Autistic individuals reported significantly higher alexithymia than comparison individuals (p < 0.001, r effect size = 0.48), with 47.3% of autistic females and 21.0% of autistic males meeting cut-off for clinically relevant alexithymia (score ⩾61). Difficulties in describing feelings were particularly associated with current self-reported social-communication difficulties [p < 0.001, β = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44–0.67] and predicted later social-communication difficulties (p = 0.02, β = 0.43, 95% CI 0.07–0.82). Difficulties in identifying feelings were particularly associated with current anxiety symptom severity (p < 0.001, β = 0.54, 95% CI 0.41–0.77) and predicted later anxiety (p = 0.01; β = 0.31, 95% CI 0.08–0.62).
Our findings suggest that difficulties in identifying v. describing emotion are associated with differential clinical outcomes in autism. Psychological therapies targeting emotional awareness may improve social-communication and anxiety symptoms in autism, potentially conferring long-term benefits.
Sarcopenic obesity is characterised by the double burden of diminished skeletal muscle mass and the presence of excess adiposity. From a mechanistic perspective, both obesity and sarcopenia are associated with sub-acute, chronic pro-inflammatory states that impede metabolic processes, disrupting adipose and skeletal functionality, which may potentiate disease. Recent evidence suggests that there is an important cross-talk between metabolism and inflammation, which has shifted focus upon metabolic-inflammation as a key emerging biological interaction. Dietary intake, physical activity and nutritional status are important environmental factors that may modulate metabolic-inflammation. This paradigm will be discussed within the context of sarcopenic obesity risk. There is a paucity of data in relation to the nature and the extent to which nutritional status affects metabolic-inflammation in sarcopenic obesity. Research suggests that there may be scope for the modulation of sarcopenic obesity with alterations in diet. The potential impact of increasing protein consumption and reconfiguration of dietary fat composition in human dietary interventions are evaluated. This review will explore emerging data with respect to if and how different dietary components may modulate metabolic-inflammation, particularly with respect to adiposity, within the context of sarcopenic obesity.
In this paper, we characterize a high repetition-rate regenerating plasma mirror produced by the thin film of liquid formed when two laminar streams collide. The use of a flowing liquid film is inexpensive and the interaction surface refreshes automatically, avoiding buildup of on-target debris. The composition of the liquid material and the relative angle of the film-generating nozzles was optimized for this application. Spectra measured in reflection from a water-based plasma mirror showed a blue shift but an optical reflectivity of up to 30%. The thickness of the film was found to be of the order of 2
m, and the stability of the reflected spot was
mrad. The reflected beam profile was highly distorted but stable. Further optimization of the nozzles to affect the fluid flow should enable significant improvements in control of the fluid films and increase in the reflectivity of these mirrors.
Epidemiological and clinical evidence highlight the benefit of dietary fibre consumption on body weight. This benefit is partly attributed to the interaction of dietary fibre with the gut microbiota. Dietary fibre possesses a complex food structure which resists digestion in the upper gut and therefore reaches the distal gut where it becomes available for bacterial fermentation. This process yields SCFA which stimulate the release of appetite-suppressing hormones glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY. Food structures can further enhance the delivery of fermentable substrates to the distal gut by protecting the intracellular nutrients during upper gastrointestinal digestion. Domestic and industrial processing can disturb these food structures that act like barriers towards digestive enzymes. This leads to more digestible products that are better absorbed in the upper gut. As a result, less resistant material (fibre) and intracellular nutrients may reach the distal gut, thus reducing substrates for bacterial fermentation and its subsequent benefits on the host metabolism including appetite suppression. Understanding this link is essential for the design of diets and food products that can promote appetite suppression and act as a successful strategy towards obesity management. This article reviews the current evidence in the interplay between food structure, bacterial fermentation and appetite control.
Post hoc analysis of occupational attainment and performance on a standard neurocognitive battery suggests that performance on letter-number sequencing is strongly associated with work attainment. Letter-number sequencing may warrant further investigation as a clinically useful tool to inform decisions around vocational rehabilitation.
Bipolar disorder is frequently misdiagnosed or diagnosed late.
We aimed to improve the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in our team.
Using an excel database, an audit of the diagnoses of all patients in a CMHT in Bedford was carried out.
It was noted that few patients were diagnosed as having bipolar II disorder, while there was a large number of Bipolar I patients, and a larger number of patients with recurrent depressive disorder, mixed anxiety and depression, unipolar depression, and psychotic depression.
All patients with recurrent depressive disorder, anxiety and depression, unipolar depression and psychotic depression are being reassessed in the outpatient clinic, using a longitudinal history, a family history, and, when these tests are positive, the ‘mood disorder questionnaire’.
The new diagnoses are recorded in the Database.
This poster represents work in progress. Increased awareness of bipolar disorder is leading to a more frequent diagnosis or re-diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder, as well as a consequent change in the proportions of each diagnosis in the sample.
The frequent misdiagnosis of Bipolar II disorder frequently leads to the treatment of these patients with anti-depressants only.
This leads to the possibility of patients becoming elated, or going into mixed states, with increased suicidality.
Appropriate diagnosis of bipolar II disorder requires skills at present found in secondary care. Such patients should therefore be referred to secondary care. Both Primary and Secondary care should be more aware of this diagnosis and its consequences.
To compare the anxiolytic efficacy and speed of onset of pregabalin (PGB) and venlafaxine-XR (VXR) in patients with GAD.
Adult outpatients with DSM-IV GAD and a HAM-A score >20 were randomized to 8-weeks of flexible-dose double-bind treatment with PGB 300-600mg/d (n=121), VXR 75-225mg/d (n=125), or placebo (PBO; n=128). Primary outcome: LOCF-endpoint change in HAM-A total score. Secondary outcomes included the Clinical Global Impression, Severity scale (CGI-S).
Study groups were similar at baseline, or PGB, VXR, and PBO, respectively, in terms of gender, mean age, and baseline HAM-A (27.6±0.4 vs. 27.4±0.4 vs. 26.8±0.4. Treatment with PGB was associated with significantly greater improvement than placebo at LOCF-endpoint, with onset of treatment effect beginning by day 4. HAM-A-total scores for PBO, PGB, and VXR at day 4 were: -3.4±0.5, -5.3±0.5 (P=.008), and -2.9±0.6 (P=.070), respectively; corresponding LOCF-endpoint HAM-A-total scores were: -11.7±0.9, -14.5±0.9 (P=.03), and -12.0±0.9 (P=.097). LOCF-endpoint CGI-S scores for PBO, PGB, and VXR were: -1.5±0.2, -2.0±0.2 (P=.02), and -1.7±0.2 (P=.36),
Severe AE rates were: PGB (9.1%), VXR (20.0%), and PBO (7.8%). Discontinuation due to AEs were: PGB (12.4%), VXR (17.6%), and PBO (5.5%).
Pregabalin was safe and effective, demonstrating significantly earlier onset of anxiolytic activity against GAD than venlafaxine-XR. Venlafaxine-XR did not demonstrate significant efficacy, possibly due to a relatively high placebo response.
The untimely event of suicidal hanging requires a timely, competent, and coordinated response by security and healthcare staff. A successful, life-saving response also requires special cutdown equipment (“suicide cutdown knife”) and staff that is trained in its proper use. The training is hands-on and practical, including retrieving the cutdown tool and actually doing some cutting. Because a serious hanging attempt is relatively rare, most security and healthcare staff have had almost no actual experience with a suicidal hanging. The presentation summarizes our in-depth training program, which includes follow-ups on every work shift to measure the impact of the training. The training includes our retention mnemonic, “The 5 Cs of Rescue.”
Accurate methods for determining the duration of HIV infection at the individual level are valuable in many settings, including many critical research studies and in clinical practice (especially for acute infection). Since first published in 2003, the ‘Fiebig staging system’ has been used as the primary way of classifying early HIV infection into five sequential stages based on HIV test result patterns in newly diagnosed individuals. However, Fiebig stages can only be assigned to individuals who produce both a negative and a positive test result on the same day, on specific pairs of tests of varying ‘sensitivity’. Further, in the past 16 years HIV-testing technology has evolved substantially, and three of the five key assays used to define Fiebig stages are no longer widely used. To address these limitations, we developed an improved and more general framework for estimating the duration of HIV infection by interpreting any combination of diagnostic test results, whether obtained on single or multiple days, into an estimated date of detectable infection, or EDDI. A key advantage of the EDDI method over Fiebig staging is that it allows for the generation of a point estimate, as well as an associated credibility interval for the date of first detectable infection, for any person who has at least one positive and one negative HIV test of any kind. The tests do not have to be run on the same day; they do not have to be run during the acute phase of infection and the method does not rely on any special pairing of tests to define ‘stages’ of infection. The size of the interval surrounding the EDDI (and therefore the precision of the estimate itself) depends largely on the length of time between negative and positive tests. The EDDI approach is also flexible, seamlessly incorporating any assay for which there is a reasonable diagnostic delay estimate. An open-source, free online tool includes a user-updatable curated database of published diagnostic delays. HIV diagnostics have evolved tremendously since that original publication more than 15 years ago, and it is time to similarly evolve the methods used to estimate timing of infection. The EDDI method is a flexible and rigorous way to estimate the timing of HIV infection in a continuously evolving diagnostic landscape.
Research has shown that religious affiliation has a protective effect against deliberate self-harm. This is particularly pronounced in periods of increased religious significance, such as periods of worship, celebration, and fasting. However, no data exist as to whether this effect is present during the Christian period of Lent. Our hypothesis was that Lent would lead to decreased presentations of self-harm emergency department (ED) in a predominantly Catholic area of Ireland.
Following ethical approval, we retrospectively analysed data on presentations to the ED of University Hospital Limerick during the period of Lent and the 40 days immediately preceding it. Frequency data were compared using Pearson’s chi-squared tests in SPSS.
There was no significant difference in the overall number of people presenting to the ED with self-harm during Lent compared to the 40 days preceding it (χ2 = 0.75, df = 1, p > 0.05), and there was no difference in methods of self-harm used. However, there was a significant increase in attendances with self-harm during Lent in the over 50’s age group (χ2 = 7.76, df = 1, p = 0.005).
Based on our study, Lent is not a protective factor for deliberate self-harm and was associated with increased presentations in the over 50’s age group. Further large-scale studies are warranted to investigate this finding as it has implications for prevention and management of deliberate self-harm.
Forgiveness and mercy are often thought of as acts that we perform or gifts that we bestow. In this essay the author focuses on character and explores the implications for punishment if one focuses on having a character that is merciful and forgiving in disposition. He argues that the tension that is often thought to exist between justice, on the one hand, and forgiveness and mercy, on the other, is lessened by focusing on the virtue of having a forgiving and merciful character.
Dietary Zn has significant impacts on the growth and development of breeding rams. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary Zn source and concentration on serum Zn concentration, growth performance, wool traits and reproductive performance in rams. Forty-four Targhee rams (14 months; 68 ± 18 kg BW) were used in an 84-day completely randomized design and were fed one of three pelleted dietary treatments: (1) a control without fortified Zn (CON; n = 15; ~1 × NRC); (2) a diet fortified with a Zn amino acid complex (ZnAA; n = 14; ~2 × NRC) and (3) a diet fortified with ZnSO4 (ZnSO4; n = 15; ~2 × NRC). Growth and wool characteristics measured throughout the course of the study were BW, average daily gain (ADG), dry matter intake (DMI), feed efficiency (G : F), longissimus dorsi muscle depth (LMD), back fat (BF), wool staple length (SL) and average fibre diameter (AFD). Blood was collected from each ram at four time periods to quantify serum Zn and testosterone concentrations. Semen was collected 1 to 2 days after the trial was completed. There were no differences in BW (P = 0.45), DMI (P = 0.18), LMD (P = 0.48), BF (P = 0.47) and AFD (P = 0.9) among treatment groups. ZnSO4 had greater (P ≤ 0.03) serum Zn concentrations compared with ZnAA and CON treatments. Rams consuming ZnAA had greater (P ≤ 0.03) ADG than ZnSO4 and CON. There tended to be differences among groups for G : F (P = 0.06), with ZnAA being numerically greater than ZnSO4 and CON. Wool staple length regrowth was greater (P < 0.001) in ZnSO4 and tended to be longer (P = 0.06) in ZnAA treatment group compared with CON. No differences were observed among treatments in scrotal circumference, testosterone, spermatozoa concentration within ram semen, % motility, % live sperm and % sperm abnormalities (P ≥ 0.23). Results indicated beneficial effects of feeding increased Zn concentrations to developing Targhee rams, although Zn source elicited differential responses in performance characteristics measured.
Healthy young adults often demonstrate a leftward spatial bias called “pseudoneglect” which often diminishes with aging. One hypothesis for this phenomenon is an age-related deterioration in right hemisphere functions (right hemi-aging). If true, then a greater rightward bias should be evident on all spatial attention tasks regardless of content. Another hypothesis is a decrease in asymmetrical hemispheric activation with age (HAROLD). If true, older participants may show reduced bias in all spatial tasks, regardless of leftward or rightward biasing of specific spatial content.
Seventy right-handed healthy participants, 33 younger (21–40) and 37 older (60–78), were asked to bisect solid and character-letter lines as well as to perform left and right trisections of solid lines.
Both groups deviated toward the left on solid line bisections and left trisections. Both groups deviated toward the right on right trisections and character line bisections. In all tasks, the older participants were more accurate than the younger participants.
The finding that older participants were more accurate than younger participants across all bisection and trisection conditions suggests a decrease in the asymmetrical hemispheric activation of these specialized networks important in the allocation of contralateral spatial attention or spatial action intention.
Background: There is a paucity of research regarding ALS epidemiology in Canada. Previously published data from Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) demonstrate an average incidence of 2.4/100,000 from 2000-2004 (peak 3.3 in 2001, the highest reported in Canada). Local neurologists believe that the incidence has continued to increase. Methods: Clinicians affiliated with the electromyography (EMG) lab at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s compiled a list of patients diagnosed with ALS from 2012-2016, based on recall. Their medical records were reviewed and demographic information collected. This was cross-referenced with new referrals to the ALS Society NL per year. Results: Based on new referrals to ALS Society NL the average incidence between 2012-2016 was 2.81/100,000 (peak 3.6 in 2015). Average age-adjusted incidence from the EMG lab was 1.33 (peak 1.73 in 2016). The EMG lab documented a crude incidence of 3.97 in 2018. Conclusions: The incidence of ALS in NL is increased compared to the usual incidence of 1-2/100,000 per year. After the preliminary study, the EMG lab maintained more thorough records and an incidence of 3.97/100,000 was found in 2018. This makes a compelling argument for future research which could explore potential genetic or environmental causes for the increased incidence in this population.