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Background: There is an unmet need for blood-based biomarkers that can reliably detect MS disease activity. Serum Biomarkers of interest includ Neurofilament-light-chain (NfL), Glial-fibrillary-strocyte-protein(GFAP) and Tau. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is reserved for aggressive forms of MS and has been shown to halt detectable CNS inflammatory activity for prolonged periods. Significant pre-treatment tissue damage at followed by inflammatory disease abeyance should be reflected longitudinal sera collected from these patients. Methods: Sera were collected from 23 MS patients pre-treatment, and following BMT at 3, 6, 9 and 12-months in addition from 33 non-inflammatory neurological controls. Biomarker quantification was performed with SiMoA. Results: Pre-AHSCT levels of serum NfL and GFAP but not Tau were elevated compared to controls (p=0.0001), and NfL correlated with lesion-based disease activity (6-month-relapse, MRI-T2 and Gadolinium-enhancement). 3-months post-treatment, while NfL levels remained elevated, Tau/GFAP paradoxically increased (p=0.0023/0.0017). These increases at 3m correlated with MRI ‘pseudoatrophy’ at 6-months. NfL/Tau levels dropped to that of controls by 6-months (p=0.0036/0.0159). GFAP levels dropped progressively after 6-months although even at 12-months remained higher than controls (p=0.004). Conclusions: NfL was the closest correlate of MS disease activity and treatment response. Chemotherapy-related toxicity may account for transient increases in NfL, Tau and MRI brain atrophy post-BMT.
As part of ongoing molecular phylogenetic work on the large Gesneriaceae genus Cyrtandra, new insights into the taxonomy and relationships of the Cyrtandra of Japan, Taiwan and Batan Island in the northern Philippines have emerged. Cyrtandra umbellifera is confirmed as a species with a distribution that includes both Taiwan and Batan Island. Cyrtandra yaeyamae is found to be distinct from the widespread C. cumingii, with a distribution that includes both the Ryukyu Islands in Japan and Batan Island.
Towards a comprehensive revision of Gesneriaceae in Sri Lanka, 12 names are here typified, of which 11 are lectotypifications, including one second-step lectotypification, and the other is a neotypification.
Two new species of Oreocharis, O. tribracteata and O. rufescens, are described and a key to the species in Vietnam is provided. The new species have distinct features not previously, or rarely, observed in the genus, both showing the partial fusion of the calyx lobes into a tube, and the presence of three bracts in Oreocharis tribracteata.
Eleven new species of Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae) from Sulawesi are described and illustrated: C. albiflora Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. boliohutensis Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. gambutensis Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. hekensis Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. hendrianii Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. hispidula Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. kinhoii Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. multinervis Karton. & R.Bone, C. nitida Karton. & H.J.Atkins, C. rantemarioensis Karton. & R.Bone and C. rubribracteata Karton. & H.J.Atkins. Illustrations, maps and preliminary conservation assessments are provided for all the species.
The Star Centre is a national astronomy and space science base which
facilitates public access to news and information
promotes public awareness, interest, enjoyment and understanding.
The Star Centre meets these twin aims by providing an information service which can be accessed in a variety of ways and by offering a menu of public observing events.
The concept of a national astronomy base developed as part of the Centre for Science Educations growing portfolio of initiatives in both the formal education sector and the wider umbrella of the Public Understanding of Science. In December 1996 the Star Centre was launched with the aid of a Royal Society COPUS development grant and matching funding from Sheffield Hallam University.
Dietary patterns are a major risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality; however, few studies have examined this relationship in older adults. We examined prospective associations between dietary patterns and the risk of CVD and all-cause mortality in 3226 older British men, aged 60–79 years and free from CVD at baseline, from the British Regional Heart Study. Baseline FFQ data were used to generate thirty-four food groups. Principal component analysis identified dietary patterns that were categorised into quartiles, with higher quartiles representing higher adherence to the dietary pattern. Cox proportional hazards examined associations between dietary patterns and risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. We identified three interpretable dietary patterns: ‘high fat/low fibre’ (high in red meat, meat products, white bread, fried potato, eggs), ‘prudent’ (high in poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, pasta, rice, wholemeal bread, eggs, olive oil) and ‘high sugar’ (high in biscuits, puddings, chocolates, sweets, sweet spreads, breakfast cereals). During 11 years of follow-up, 899 deaths, 316 CVD-related deaths, 569 CVD events and 301 CHD events occurred. The ‘high-fat/low-fibre’ dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality only, after adjustment for confounders (highest v. lowest quartile; hazard ratio 1·44; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·84). Adherence to a ‘high-sugar’ diet was associated with a borderline significant trend for an increased risk of CVD and CHD events. The ‘prudent’ diet did not show a significant trend with cardiovascular outcomes or mortality. Avoiding ‘high-fat/low-fibre’ and ‘high-sugar’ dietary components may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in older adults.
Socio-economic gradients in diet quality are well established. However, the influence of material socio-economic conditions particularly in childhood, and the use of multiple disaggregated socio-economic measures on diet quality have been little studied in the elderly. In the present study, we examined childhood and adult socio-economic measures, and social relationships, as determinants of diet quality cross-sectionally in 4252 older British men (aged 60–79 years). A FFQ provided data on daily fruit and vegetable consumption and the Elderly Dietary Index (EDI), with higher scores indicating better diet quality. Adult and childhood socio-economic measures included occupation/father's occupation, education and household amenities, which combined to create composite scores. Social relationships included social contact, living arrangements and marital status. Both childhood and adult socio-economic factors were independently associated with diet quality. Compared with non-manual social class, men of childhood manual social class were less likely to consume fruit and vegetables daily (OR 0·80, 95 % CI 0·66, 0·97), as were men of adult manual social class (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·54, 0·79), and less likely to be in the top EDI quartile (OR 0·73, 95 % CI 0·61, 0·88), similar to men of adult manual social class (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·55, 0·79). Diet quality decreased with increasing adverse adult socio-economic scores; however, the association with adverse childhood socio-economic scores diminished with adult social class adjustment. A combined adverse childhood and adulthood socio-economic score was associated with poor diet quality. Diet quality was most favourable in married men and those not living alone, but was not associated with social contact. Diet quality in older men is influenced by childhood and adulthood socio-economic factors, marital status and living arrangements.
Four new species of Cyrtandra (Gesneriaceae) from the Latimojong Mountains, South Sulawesi (Sulawesi Selatan) are described and illustrated: C. floccosa R.Bone & H.J.Atkins, C. kjellbergii R.Bone & H.J.Atkins, C. purpureofucata R.Bone & H.J.Atkins, and C. spectabilis R.Bone & H.J.Atkins. Conservation recommendations are made for the four species.
A two-layer waste package (carbon steel outer barrier and Alloy 825 inner
barrier) is specified to dispose of high-level nuclear waste at the
potential repository at Yucca Mountain. A set of improvements and more
realism have been added to a stochastic waste-package degradation model
which was developed for a recent total system performance assessment of the
potential repository . The waste-package surface is divided into
“patches” to better represent the general corrosion of the carbon-steel
outer barrier. The “corrosion-time” concept is developed to represent the
corrosion of the carbon-steel outer barrier in changing exposure conditions
with time such as those expected in the potential repository. With the
patches approach and the corrosion-time concept implemented into the
waste-package degradation model, sensitivity of the waste package
degradation (failure and pitting degradation) to different threshold
spalling thicknesses of the corrosion products from the carbon-steel outer
barrier is analyzed. The results show that the waste-package pitting
degradation is sensitive to the corrosion-products spalling thickness of the
carbon-steel outer barrier. A greater pitting degradation of the waste
packages is predicted with a smaller spalling thickness. Further
understanding of the corrosion-products spalling in different exposure
conditions (i.e., water chemistry, water contact mode, etc.) and its effects
on carbon steel corrosion is needed to enhance the confidence in the
waste-package performance modeling in the potential repository.
Halogen-based slurries have been investigated for chemical-mechanical polishing of tungsten. Among these slurries, Bromine-methanol-water slurry gives the best results. Depending on the polishing parameters and slurry concentration, polishing rate of the slurry for W varies from 100 nm/min to 300 nm/min, while the chemical etch rate of the slurry for W and SiO2 is near zero. The W and SiO2 films after polishing with the slurry show very smooth surfaces (featureless under a high quality optical microscope). The selectivity of larger than 15 has been achieved between W and PECVD TEOS oxide. Tungsten stud formation through CMP with this slurry has been demonstrated with no significant dishing in the metal.
Permanent X(2) gratings can be written in doped silica fibers by coherent irradiation with light at ω and 2ω. The X(2) gratings give rise to phase-matched second harmonic generation (SHG), i.e. subsequent irradiation of the prepared fiber with light at ω results in an output at 2ω. The efficiency with which the gratings can be written depends on the nature and concentration of defect states induced by dopants in the, glass. We present results for fibers doped with Ge and rare earth ions and discuss the implications of our results for the various mechanisms that have been proposed to explain photoinduced SHG in fibers.
Humid-air and aqueous general and pitting corrosion models (including their uncertainties) for the carbon steel outer containment barrier were developed using the corrosion data from literature for a suite of cast irons and carbon steels which have similar corrosion behaviors to the outer barrier material. The corrosion data include the potential effects of various chemical species present in the testing environments. The atmospheric corrosion data also embed any effects of cyclic wetting and drying and salts that may form on the corroding specimen surface. The humid-air and aqueous general corrosion models are consistent in that the predicted humid-air general corrosion rates at relative humidities between 85 and 100% RH are close to the predicted aqueous general corrosion rates. Using the expected values of the model parameters, the model predicts that aqueous pitting corrosion is the most likely failure mode for the carbon steel outer barrier, and an earliest failure (or initial pit penetration) of the 100-mm thick barrier may occur as early as about 500 years if it is exposed continuously to an aqueous condition at between 60 and 70°C.
A detailed stochastic waste package degradation simulation model was developed incorporating the humid-air and aqueous general and pitting corrosion models for the carbon steel corrosion-allowance outer barrier and aqueous pitting corrosion model for the Alloy 825 corrosion-resistant inner barrier. The uncertainties in the individual corrosion models were also incorporated to capture the variability in the corrosion degradation among waste packages and among pits in the same waste package. Within the scope of assumptions employed in the simulations, the corrosion modes considered, and the near-field conditions from the drift-scale thermohydrologic model, the results of the waste package performance analyses show that the current waste package design appears to meet the ‘controlled design assumption’ requirement of waste package performance, which is currently defined as having less than 1% of waste packages breached at 1,000 years . It was shown that, except for the waste packages that fail early, pitting corrosion of the corrosion-resistant inner barrier has a greater control on the failure of waste packages and their subsequent degradation than the outer barrier. Further improvement and substantiation of the inner barrier pitting model (currently based on an elicitation) is necessary in future waste package performance simulation model.