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Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Previous studies have shown that the interaction between limiting vitamin A (VA) and an alcohol dehydrogenase 1 C (ADH1C) variant in beef cattle results in increased intramuscular fat in the longissimus thoracis muscle in one genotype when fed low dietary VA. Although quality grade is important for increased profitability and improving taste characteristics of beef products, limiting VA too drastically can impair animal welfare. The objectives of this study were to determine if this marker-assisted management strategy would be effective, and whether any impairment in immune function would occur in a feedlot setting. Mixed breed beef steers (n=2000) were sorted into 40 feedlot pens so that all combinations of ADH1C genotype (TT or CT), VA level (50% or 100% of recommended) and hormonal implant status (implanted (IMP) or non-implanted (NI)) were equally represented within the population. The VA×ADH1C interaction was not observed. An implant status × ADH1C interaction was observed with average daily gain (ADG; P=0.03). Steers that were IMP and CT had higher ADG than IMP TT (CT=1.69 and TT=1.62 kg/day), whereas both genotypes in the NI steers were lower (CT=1.29 and TT=1.32 kg/day). Implant status was shown to affect dry matter intake (DMI; IMP=8.55 and NI=7.87 kg; P<0.01), total days-on-feed (IMP=164.4 and NI 210.5 days; P<0.01), USDA yield grade (YIELD; IMP=2.40 and NI=2.77; P<0.01), marbling score (MARB; IMP=392 and NI=455; P<0.01), longissimus thoracis area (LTA; IMP=85.0 and NI=80.7 cm2; P=0.01) and backfat thickness (FAT; IMP=8.0 and NI 10.0 mm; P<0.01). Overall, IMP animals finished on fewer total days-on-feed with higher ADG, DMI, larger LTA, and lower YIELD, MARB and FAT. To investigate immune function parameters, crossbred steers (n=18) were selected from a prior feeding trial so that all combinations of ADH1C (TT, CT and CC) and VA (25% or 75%) were equally represented. Blood cell count analysis and peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation and stimulation assays were conducted. None of these immune parameters were affected by VA level. Treatment and mortality records were examined in the 2000 steer population, where no correlations with ADH1C, implant status or VA level were observed. Due to no VA × ADH1C interaction, this nutrigenetic marker-assisted management strategy is not effective at this time in commercial beef cattle feedlots, however, supplementing VA at a level as low as 25% of recommended in finishing rations would likely not result in signs of immune dysfunction.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
We previously reported that patients with early-stage bipolar disorder,
but not healthy comparison controls, had body mass index (BMI)-related
volume reductions in limbic brain areas, suggesting that the structural
brain changes characteristic of bipolar disorder were more pronounced
with increased weight.
To determine whether the most consistently reported neurochemical
abnormality in bipolar disorder, increased glutamate/glutamine (Glx), was
also more prominent with higher BMI.
We used single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure
hippocampal Glx in 51 patients with first-episode mania (mean BMI = 24.1)
and 28 healthy controls (mean BMI = 23.3).
In patients, but not healthy controls, linear regression demonstrated
that higher BMI predicted greater Glx. Factorial ANCOVA showed a
significant BMI×diagnosis interaction, confirming a distinct effect of
weight on Glx in patients.
Together with our volumetric studies, these results suggest that higher
BMI is associated with more pronounced structural and neurochemical
limbic brain changes in bipolar disorder, even in early-stage patients
with low obesity rates.
Diarrhoea remains a common cause of illness in Guatemala, with children suffering most frequently from the disease. This study directly compared the frequency, enterotoxin, and colonization factor (CF) profiles of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains isolated from children living in a rural community in Guatemala and from Western visitors to the same location during the same seasons, using similar detection methodologies. We found that ETEC accounted for 26% of severe cases of diarrhoea in children requiring hospitalization, 15% of diarrhoea in the community, and 29% of travellers' diarrhoea in visitors staying ⩾2 weeks. The toxin and CF patterns of the ETEC strains isolated from both groups differed significantly (P < 0·0005) as determined by χ2 = 60·39 for CFs and χ2 = 35 for toxins, while ETEC phenotypes found in Guatemalan children were comparable to those found in children from other areas of the world.
Although cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder have been associated with diminished functional outcome, this relationship has been studied primarily through cross-sectional designs, and has not been studied in patients early in the course of illness. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of cognitive functioning on longitudinal 6-month functional and clinical outcome in recently diagnosed clinically stable patients with bipolar disorder.
A total of 53 recently diagnosed patients with DSM-IV bipolar disorder type I were assessed within 3 months of their first manic episode using a neuropsychological battery measuring verbal/pre-morbid intellectual functioning, learning/memory, spatial/non-verbal reasoning, attention/processing speed and executive function. Functional outcome was assessed at baseline and 6 months using the Multidimensional Scale of Independent Functioning (MSIF) and DSM-IV Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF). Clinical outcome was assessed with symptom ratings and by monitoring onset of new mood episodes.
Memory, particularly verbal learning/memory, was robustly associated with 6-month functional outcome on the MSIF, even after partialling out the influence of mood symptoms and substance abuse co-morbidity. Depression ratings at 6 months, but not cognitive variables, were associated with 6-month GAF scores. Cognitive functioning was not associated with 6-month clinical outcome.
Memory was associated with 6-month longitudinal functional but not clinical outcome in recently diagnosed patients with bipolar disorder. These data further support the distinction between clinical and functional outcome, and emphasize the need for identification of, and development of treatments for, cognitive impairments early in the course of bipolar disorder.
We present an analysis of three years of precision radial velocity measurements of 160 metal-poor stars observed with Keck/HIRES. We report on variability and long-term velocity trends for each star in our sample. We identify several long-term, low-amplitude radial-velocity variables worthy of follow-up with direct imaging techniques. We place lower limits on the detectable companion mass as a function of orbital period. None of the stars in our sample exhibits radial-velocity variations compatible with the presence of Jovian planets with periods shorter than the survey duration (3 yr). The resulting average frequency of gas giants orbiting metal-poor dwarfs with −2.0≤[Fe/H]≤ −0.6 is fp < 0.67%. By combining our dataset with the Fischer & Valenti (2005) uniform sample, we confirm that the likelihood of a star to harbor a planet more massive than Jupiter within 2 AU is a steeply rising function of the host's metallicity. However, the data for stars with −1.0≤[Fe/H]≤ 0.0 are compatible, in a statistical sense, with a constant occurrence rate fp≃1%. Our results usefully inform theoretical studies of the process of giant planet formation across two orders of magnitude in metallicity.
EURECA (European Underground Rare Event Calorimeter Array) is an
astro-particle physics facility aiming to directly detect galactic dark
matter. The Laboratoire Souterrain de Modane has been selected as host
laboratory. The EURECA collaboration unites CRESST, EDELWEISS and the
Spanish-French experiment ROSEBUD, thus concentrating and focussing effort
on cryogenic detector research in Europe into a single facility. EURECA will
use a target mass of up to one ton, enough to explore WIMP – nucleon scalar
scattering cross sections in the region of 10-9 – 10-10 picobarn.
A major advantage of EURECA is the planned use of more than just one target
material (multi target experiment for WIMP identification).
Commission 46 continues its task in the triennium, which started in September 2006. It seeks to further contribute to the development and improvement of astronomical education at all levels all over the world through various projects initiated, maintained and to be developed by the Commission, and by disseminating information concerning astronomy education.
HATNet is a network of six identical, fully automated wide field telescopes, four of which are located in Arizona, and two at Hawaii. The purpose of the network is to search for transiting extrasolar planets around relatively bright stars (8 < I < 12). The longitudinal coverage of 3.5 hours greatly enhances transit detection efficiency. HATNet has been operational since 2004, and has taken more than 1/2 million science frames at 5-min integrations, covering about 7% of the sky. Photometric precision reaches 3mmag rms at 5.5 min cadence at I ≈ 8, and is 1% at I ≈ 11.3. Hundreds of transit candidates have been detected in the data, and have been subject to vigorous follow-up by various 1m-class facilities, both spectroscopy and follow-up photometry. A fraction of the candidates that have survived these steps as not being false alarms have been observed by high resolution and precision spectrographs (primarily Keck/HIRES), to confirm their planetary nature and characterize their properties. So far nine transiting planets have been reported, making HATNet a very successful survey.
We summarize the results of two experiments to address important issues related to the correlation between planet frequencies and properties and the metallicity of the hosts. Our results can usefully inform formation, structural, and evolutionary models of gas giant planets.