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There is limited knowledge on vitamin D status of children residing in the Andes and its association with undernutrition. We evaluated the vitamin D status of children residing in a low socio-economic status (SES) setting in the Ecuadorian Andes and assessed the association between vitamin D status, stunting and underweight. We hypothesized that children who were underweight would have lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and lower 25(OH)D levels would be associated with a higher risk of stunting.
We conducted a cross-sectional secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, the Vitamin A, Zinc and Pneumonia study. Children had serum 25(OH)D concentrations measured. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to determine a vitamin D cut-off specific for our endpoints. Associations between serum 25(OH)D and underweight (defined as weight-for-age Z-score≤−1) and stunting (defined as height-for-age Z-score≤−2) were assessed using multivariate logistic regression.
Children residing in five low-SES peri-urban neighbourhoods near Quito, Ecuador.
Children (n 516) aged 6–36 months.
Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 58·0 (sd 17·7) nmol/l. Sensitivity analysis revealed an undernutrition-specific 25(OH)D cut-off of <42·5 nmol/l; 18·6 % of children had serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l. Children who were underweight were more likely to have serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l (adjusted OR (aOR)=2·0; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·3). Children with low serum 25(OH)D levels were more likely to be stunted (aOR=2·8; 95 % CI 1·6, 4·7).
Low serum 25(OH)D levels were more common in underweight and stunted Ecuadorian children.
Two disorders of attachment have been consistently identified in some young children following severe deprivation in early life: reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder. However, less is known about whether signs of these disorders persist into adolescence. We examined signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder at age 12 years in 111 children who were abandoned at or shortly after birth and subsequently randomized to care as usual or to high-quality foster care, as well as in 50 comparison children who were never institutionalized. Consistent with expectations, those who experienced institutional care in early life had more signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder at age 12 years than children never institutionalized. In addition, using a conservative intent-to-treat approach, those children randomized to foster care had significantly fewer signs of reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder than those randomized to care as usual. Analyses within the ever institutionalized group revealed no effects of the age of placement into foster care, but number of caregiving disruptions experienced and the percentage of the child's life spent in institutional care were significant predictors of signs of attachment disorders assessed in early adolescence. These findings indicate that adverse caregiving environments in early life have enduring effects on signs of attachment disorders, and provide further evidence that high-quality caregiving interventions are associated with reductions in both reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder.
This observational study aims to investigate the microbiological quality of commercially prepared lightly cooked foods with a major component of food of animal origin and collected as would be served to a consumer. A total of 356 samples were collected from catering (92%), retail (7%) or producers (1%) and all were independent of known incidents of foodborne illness. Using standard methods, all samples were tested for: the presence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. and enumerated for levels of, Bacillus spp. including B. cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriacea and aerobic colony count (ACC). Results were interpreted as unsatisfactory, borderline or satisfactory according to the Health Protection Agency guidelines for assessing the microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods placed on the market. Amongst all samples, 70% were classified as satisfactory, 18% were borderline and 12% were of unsatisfactory microbiological quality. Amongst the unsatisfactory samples, six (2%) were potentially injurious to health due to the presence of: Salmonella spp. (one duck breast); Campylobacter spp. (two duck breast and one chicken liver pâté); L. monocytogenes at 4·3 × 103 cfu (colony-forming units)/g (one duck confit with foie gras ballotin) and C. perfringens at 2·5 × 105 cfu/g (one chicken liver pâté). The remaining unsatisfactory samples were due to high levels of indicator E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae or ACC.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the microbiological quality of liver pâté. During 2012–13, a total of 870 samples, unrelated to the investigation of food-poisoning outbreaks, were collected either at retail (46%), catering (53%) or the point of manufacture (1%) and were tested using standard methods to detect Salmonella spp. or Campylobacter spp., and to enumerate for Listeria spp., including Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringens, coagulase-positive staphylococci including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus spp., including Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, and aerobic colony counts (ACCs). Seventy-three percent of samples were of satisfactory microbiological quality, 18% were borderline and 9% unsatisfactory. Salmonella spp. or Campylobacter spp. was not recovered from any sample. The most common causes of unsatisfactory results were elevated ACCs (6% of the samples) and high Enterobacteriaceae counts (4% of samples). The remaining unsatisfactory results were due to elevated counts of: E. coli (three samples); B. cereus (one sample at 2·6 × 105 cfu/g); or L. monocytogenes (one sample at 2·9 × 103 cfu/g). Pâté from retail was less likely to be contaminated with L. monocytogenes than samples collected from catering and samples from supermarkets were of significantly better microbiological quality than those from catering establishments.
Some results of the photometry multi-site observations of two δ Scuti stars, V624 Tau and HD 23194, are presented. The observations were carried out in the framework of a STEPHI network in 1999. We collected 343 hours of useful data and detected seven frequencies in V624 Tau and two frequencies in HD 23194.
A reassortant swine-origin A(H3N2) virus (A/swine/BinhDuong/03-9/2010) was detected through swine surveillance programmes in southern Vietnam in 2010. This virus contains haemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes from a human A(H3N2) virus circulating around 2004–2006, and the internal genes from triple-reassortant swine influenza A viruses (IAVs). To assess population susceptibility to this virus we measured haemagglutination inhibiting (HI) titres to A/swine/BinhDuong/03-9/2010 and to seasonal A/Perth/16/2009 for 947 sera collected from urban and rural Vietnamese people during 2011–2012. Seroprevalence (HI ⩾ 40) was high and similar for both viruses, with 62·6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 59·4–65·7] against A/Perth/16/2009 and 54·6% (95% CI 51·4–57·8%) against A/swine/BinhDuong/03-9/2010, and no significant differences between urban and rural participants. Children aged <5 years lacked antibodies to the swine origin H3 virus despite high seroprevalence for A/Perth/16/2009. These results reveal vulnerability to infection to this contemporary swine IAV in children aged <5 years; however, cross-reactive immunity in adults would likely limit epidemic emergence potential.
We examined caregiver report of externalizing behavior from 12 to 54 months of age in 102 children randomized to care as usual in institutions or to newly created high-quality foster care. At baseline no differences by group or genotype in externalizing were found. However, changes in externalizing from baseline to 42 months of age were moderated by the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region genotype and intervention group, where the slope for short–short (S/S) individuals differed as a function of intervention group. The slope for individuals carrying the long allele did not significantly differ between groups. At 54 months of age, S/S children in the foster care group had the lowest levels of externalizing behavior, while children with the S/S genotype in the care as usual group demonstrated the highest rates of externalizing behavior. No intervention group differences were found in externalizing behavior among children who carried the long allele. These findings, within a randomized controlled trial of foster care compared to continued care as usual, indicate that the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region genotype moderates the relation between early caregiving environments to predict externalizing behavior in children exposed to early institutional care in a manner most consistent with differential susceptibility.
The bacterium Francisella tularensis causes the vector-borne zoonotic disease tularemia, and may infect a wide range of hosts including invertebrates, mammals and birds. Transmission to humans occurs through contact with infected animals or contaminated environments, or through arthropod vectors. Tularemia has a broad geographical distribution, and there is evidence which suggests local emergence or re-emergence of this disease in Europe. This review was developed to provide an update on the geographical distribution of F. tularensis in humans, wildlife, domestic animals and vector species, to identify potential public health hazards, and to characterize the epidemiology of tularemia in Europe. Information was collated on cases in humans, domestic animals and wildlife, and on reports of detection of the bacterium in arthropod vectors, from 38 European countries for the period 1992–2012. Multiple international databases on human and animal health were consulted, as well as published reports in the literature. Tularemia is a disease of complex epidemiology that is challenging to understand and therefore to control. Many aspects of this disease remain poorly understood. Better understanding is needed of the epidemiological role of animal hosts, potential vectors, mechanisms of maintenance in the different ecosystems, and routes of transmission of the disease.
A search for new pulsating stars in the Coma Berenices open cluster was carried out. As a result of this search, the cluster member Melotte 111 AV 1224 presented clear indications of photometric variability. In order to determine its physical parameters, Strömgren standard indices and low-resolution spectra were acquired. In this work, we present the preliminary results of these observations.
Objective: The Advisory Council of the American Red Cross Disaster Services requested that an independent study determine whether first-aid providers without professional mental health training, when confronted with people who have experienced a traumatic event, offer a “safe, effective and feasible intervention.”
Methods: Standard databases were searched by an expert panel from 1990 to September 2010 using the keyword phrase “psychological first aid.” Documents were included if the process was referred to as care provided to victims, first responders, or volunteers and excluded if it was not associated with a disaster or mass casualty event, or was used after individual nondisaster traumas such as rape and murder. This search yielded 58 citations.
Results: It was determined that adequate scientific evidence for psychological first aid is lacking but widely supported by expert opinion and rational conjecture. No controlled studies were found. There is insufficient evidence supporting a treatment standard or a treatment guideline.
Conclusion: Sufficient evidence for psychological first aid is widely supported by available objective observations and expert opinion and best fits the category of “evidence informed” but without proof of effectiveness. An intervention provided by volunteers without professional mental health training for people who have experienced a traumatic event offers an acceptable option. Further outcome research is recommended.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:247–252)
Good dispersion of oxide ceramics in organic solvents can be achieved using many different dispersants. Several types of dispersants, including fatty acids, coupling agents, polar aromatic compounds and polymers, are discussed to illustrate the important phenomena. Many new problems arise in actual slips during ceramics processing; these are briefly discussed.
The formation of low temperature Au-Ge contacts to n-GaAs is a two-step process. In the first step, the metals segregate into Au and Ge rich regions and the intermixing of the Au and Ge with the Ga and As causes a reduction in the barrier height. The second step occurs after extended annealing, during which time Au and Ge continue to diffuse into the substrate. An orthorhombic Au-Ga phase is formed and it is likely that other Au-Ga or Ge-As phases are formed. The length of the extended anneal is dependent upon the atomic percent of Ge in the film, with the 10 at. % Ge taking 6 hr., the 27 at. % Ge taking 3 hr. and the 50 at. % Ge taking 9 hr. to become ohmic. The 75 at. % Ge sample doesn’t show ohmic behavior even after 33 hr. of annealing. The metal-semiconductor interface configuration appears abrupt, showing no protrusions into the GaAs substrate.
Active thin film coatings on optical fibers provide a variety of functions that are being used to develop active all-fiber optical devices. Two types of active coatings that are of interest for device development include resistive and piezoelectric coatings. Resistive coatings can be used to heat an optical fiber, while piezoelectric coatings can be used to strain the fiber. Localized changes in the fiber waveguiding properties can be achieved by electrically activating the fiber coating. These coated fibers show promise for applications such as optical phase shifters and modulators.
Recent developments in the fabrication of diffraction gratings within the core of an optical fiber have provided the means for making a variety of intra-core reflection and band pass filters. By combining these passive intra-core fiber devices with active coatings, wavelength tunable devices have been demonstrated. Wavelength tunable devices are expected to have a variety of applications in telecommunications and sensing networks. A review of recent developments in fiber coating and analysis techniques, device fabrication, and applications of active all-fiber devices are presented along with a discussion of which coating materials are of interest in active devices.