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Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
Accurate and reproducible patient positioning is a critical step in radiotherapy for breast cancer. This has seen the use of permanent skin markings becoming standard practice in many centres. Permanent skin markings may have a negative impact on long-term cosmetic outcome, which may in turn, have psychological implications in terms of body image. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a semi-permanent tattooing device for the administration of skin marks for breast radiotherapy set-up.
Materials and methods
This was designed as a phase II double-blinded randomised-controlled study comparing our standard permanent tattoos with the Precision Plus Micropigmentation (PPMS) device method. Patients referred for radical breast radiotherapy were eligible for the study. Each study participant had three marks applied using a randomised combination of the standard permanent and PPMS methods and was blinded to the type of each mark. Follow up was at routine appointments until 24 months post radiotherapy. Participants and a blind assessor were invited to score the visibility of each tattoo at each follow-up using a Visual Analogue Scale. Tattoo scores at each time point and change in tattoo scores at 24 months were analysed by a general linear model using the patient as a fixed effect and the type of tattoo (standard or research) as covariate. A simple questionnaire was used to assess radiographer feedback on using the PPMS.
In total, 60 patients were recruited to the study, of which 55 were available for follow-up at 24 months. Semi-permanent tattoos were more visible at 24 months than the permanent tattoos. Semi-permanent tattoos demonstrated a greater degree of fade than the permanent tattoos at 24 months (final time point) post completion of radiotherapy. This was not statistically significant, although it was more apparent for the patient scores (p=0·071) than the blind assessor scores (p=0·27). No semi-permanent tattoos required re-marking before the end of radiotherapy and no adverse skin reactions were observed.
The PPMS presents a safe and feasible alternative to our permanent tattooing method. An extended period of follow-up is required to fully assess the extent of semi-permanent tattoo fade.
Prestahnúkur is a 570m high rhyolite glaciovolcanic edifice in Iceland’s Western Rift Zone with a volume of 0.6 km3. Uniform whole rock, mineral and glass compositions suggest that Prestahnúkur was constructed during the eruption of one magma batch. Ar-Ar dating gives an age of 89± 24 ka, which implies eruption during the transition (Oxygen Isotope substages 5d to 5a) between the Eemian interglacial and the Weichselian glacial period. Prestahnu´kur is unique among published accounts of rhyolite tuyas because a base of magmatically-fragmented tephra appears to be absent. Instead, basal exposures consist of glassy lava lobes and coarse hyaloclastite, above which are single and multiple lava sheets with matrix-supported basal breccias and hyaloclastite upper carapaces. Steepening ramp structures at sheet termini are interpreted as ice-contact features. Interactions between erupting magma and water/ice have affected all lithologies. A preliminary model for the construction of Prestahnúkur involves an effusive subglacial eruption between 2–19 years duration which never became emergent, into an ice sheet over 700m thick. If 700m of ice had built up during this interglacial–glacial transition, this would corroborate models arguing for the swift accumulation of land-based ice in rapid response to global cooling.
SET along its rocky outcrop between two long sandy beaches, the St Andrews skyline is dominated by its medieval buildings. The towers of the churches of St Salvator, Holy Trinity and St Regulus, the gables of the cathedral and the remains of the castle retain a visual prominence. These buildings are reminders of the status and wealth of St Andrews between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries. In this era St Andrews was a centre of unique significance in Scotland. It could claim to be the ecclesiastical capital of the land. St Andrews was the seat of the leading bishop, and from 1472 the archbishop, of Scotland whose diocese was both the richest in the Scottish church and included the core regions of the kingdom. Its cathedral was by far the largest church (and the largest building) in medieval Scotland and housed relics of the figure increasingly adopted as the nation's patron saint. The long history of scholarship at this site was reflected by the foundation of the first Scottish university in 1413. Though removed from the natural routes between royal residences and the largest burghs, and possessing a rich, but relatively small, hinterland, medieval St Andrews’ claims to be a city rested less on size than on the status provided to an urban community which grew under the wing of powerful clerical patrons and benefited from the flow of clergy, pilgrims and students through its streets and dwellings.
However, the ruinous state of the cathedral, the castle and several of the churches has also been a reminder to modern visitors of the violent closing of the era of St Andrews’ greatest significance in the second half of the sixteenth century. The destruction, neglect and loss of status caused by the Scottish Reformation had a devastating effect on the fortunes of the town. Even in the earliest depiction of the city, drawn by John Geddy around 1580, St Andrews shows the scars of recent upheaval. The cathedral and the churches of the Black and Grey Friars are shown as roofless and uninhabited. These are scars that were never healed. When he included St Andrews in his Scottish tour in 1773, Dr Johnson described it as ‘a city, which only history shews to have once flourished’ as he ‘surveyed the ruins of ancient magnificence’. The ruins and decline struck not only Johnson but also Sir Walter Scott.
St Andrews was of tremendous significance in medieval Scotland. Its importance remains readily apparent in the buildings which cluster the rocky promontory jutting out into the North Sea: the towers and walls of cathedral, castle and university provide reminders of the status and wealth of the city in the Middle Ages. As a centre of earthly and spiritual government, as the place of veneration forScotland's patron saint and as an ancient seat of learning, St Andrews was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. This volume provides the first full study of this special and multi-faceted centre throughout its golden age. The fourteen chapters use St Andrews as a focus for the discussion of multiple aspects of medieval life in Scotland. They examine church, spirituality, urban society andlearning in a specific context from the seventh to the sixteenth century, allowing for the consideration of St Andrews alongside other great religious and political centres of medieval Europe.
Michael Brown is Professor of Medieval Scottish History, University of St Andrews; Katie Stevenson is Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland and Senior Lecturer in Late Medieval History, University of St Andrews.
Contributors: Michael Brown, Ian Campbell, David Ditchburn, Elizabeth Ewan, Richard Fawcett, Derek Hall, Matthew Hammond, Julian Luxford, Roger Mason, Norman Reid, Bess Rhodes, Catherine Smith, Katie Stevenson, Simon Taylor, Tom Turpie.
The Trawenagh Bay Granite (TBG) is shown to be a tabular pluton with gently inclined contacts that, from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) studies, was emplaced as a series of flow lobes whose geometries indicate that it flowed horizontally towards the W out of late stage adjacent steeply inclined monzogranite sheets of the Main Donegal Granite (MDG). We thus confirm in detail the central broad idea of the Pitcher & Read (1959) model that the Main Donegal Granite fed the Trawenagh Bay Granite. Early TBG flow lobes cut and are cut by deformation associated with the sinistral shear zone in which the MDG lies, thus demonstrating synchronicity of shearing and magmatism. The TBG magma leaked out of the shear zone and emplaced into undeformed country rocks and was probably guided by shear zone splays that die out along its northern and southern margins. At a late stage in the development of MDG, the splays developed from the NNE-trending SW boundary of the shear zone and caused a gap in this structure through which TBG magma was channelled out of the MDG. A review is presented of the last twenty-five years of published and unpublished work on the batholith, showing that the MDG shear zone was a long-lived structure almost certainly in existence before the emplacement of that body, and that four of the contiguous granitiods (Thorr, Ardara, and Rosses, as well as Trawenagh Bay) were all sourced within the shear zone. A new model is presented for the development of the batholith. The pre-existing crustal structure was a deep-seated N12°E fault in the basement to the Dalradian wall rocks of the granites, that was coupled to up to six other more minor WNW-ESE basement faults in the W. A NE-SW-trending sinistral shear zone was initiated at the end of the Caledonian orogeny, as calc-alkaline and deep-seated appinites were generated in the area. This shearing activated the pre-existing structures at the current crustal level, and the N12°E structure acted as a continental transform fault which allowed the dilation needed to facilitate the wedging space requirements of the MDG and the other units in the shear zone, as well as transferring regional sinistral shear through the system. The Thorr and Ardara plutons were emplaced first into the shear zone and then those magmas leaked out into the adjacent wall rocks: one to form a large laccolith, the other to form a balloon. Steep early MDG complex sheets (granodiorites and tonalities) were emplaced in the shear zone between the Thorr and Ardara emplacement sites. Dilation continued until late stage extensive monzogranite sheets were intruded in the NW and SE of the pluton. One of these probably leaked material westward to form the Rosses laccolith and southwestwards to form the TBG in the final stages of shear zone movement.
The recently formed surface layers of peatlands are archives of past environmental conditions and can have a temporal resolution considerably greater than deeper layers. The low density and conditions of fluctuating water table have hindered attempts to construct chronologies for these peats. We tested the use of the radiocarbon bomb pulse to date recently accumulated peat in a blanket mire. The site was chosen because the peat profiles contained independent chronological markers in the form of charcoal-rich layers produced from known burning events. We compared chronologies derived from accelerator mass spectrometry 14C analysis of plant macrofossils against these chronological markers. The bomb 14C-derived chronologies were in broad agreement with the charcoal dating evidence. However, there were uncertainties in the final interpretation of the 14C results because the pattern of 14C concentration in the peat profiles did not follow closely the known atmospheric 14C record. Furthermore, samples of different macrofossil materials from the same depth contained considerable differences in 14C. Suggested explanations for the observed results include the following: i) minor disturbance at the site, ii) in-situ contamination of the 14C samples by carbonaceous soot, and iii) differential incorporation of plant material during blanket peat growth.
A scalable approach for synthesis of ultra-thin (<10 nm) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) films on stretchable polymeric materials is presented. Specifically, magnetron sputtering from pure TMD targets, such as MoS2 and WS2, was used for growth of amorphous precursor films at room temperature on polydimethylsiloxane substrates. Stacks of different TMD films were grown upon each other and integrated with optically transparent insulating layers such as boron nitride. These precursor films were subsequently laser annealed to form high quality, few-layer crystalline TMDs. This combination of sputtering and laser annealing is commercially scalable and lends itself well to patterning. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy, scanning probe, optical, and transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirm our assertions and illustrate annealing mechanisms. Electrical properties of simple devices built on flexible substrates are correlated to annealing processes. This new approach is a significant step toward commercial-scale stretchable 2D heterostructured nanoelectronic devices.
There can be little doubt that, as Eduard Schwartz points out, the problem of the political sympathies of Thucydides can only be properly approached if it is remembered that his history in its present form was revised and possibly rewritten after the end of the Peloponnesian War. He was living in an atmosphere of défaitisme. Many of his contemporaries tended to glorify Sparta and her institutions, and to regard Athenian imperialism as a disastrous mistake. As a man of the older generation Thucydides felt it his duty to counteract this tendency by drawing attention to the real idealism which had inspired the Machtpolitik of the Periclean age, and by pointing to the benefits which the rule of Athens had conferred on the Greek world. The Preface to Book I may be regarded as a veiled apologia for the Athenian Empire, which had secured for Greece the freedom of intercourse which the writer holds to be essential alike for economic prosperity and for cultural development. Similarly the contrasts which Thucydides draws between the Athenian and the Spartan character, and the glorification of Athens which is the main subject of the Funeral Oration are inspired by the hope that the disillusioned Greeks of the early fourth century might come to realise that the ideals of Pericles and other Athenian imperialists had been not sordid but noble, and that Greece as a whole had derived benefits from the rule of Athens.
Understanding the spatial distribution of disease is critical for effective disease control. Where formal address networks do not exist, tracking spatial patterns of clinical disease is difficult. Geolocation strategies were tested at rural health facilities in western Kenya. Methods included geocoding residence by head of compound, participatory mapping and recording the self-reported nearest landmark. Geocoding was able to locate 72·9% [95% confidence interval (CI) 67·7–77·6] of individuals to within 250 m of the true compound location. The participatory mapping exercise was able to correctly locate 82·0% of compounds (95% CI 78·9–84·8) to a 2 × 2·5 km area with a 500 m buffer. The self-reported nearest landmark was able to locate 78·1% (95% CI 73·8–82·1) of compounds to the correct catchment area. These strategies tested provide options for quickly obtaining spatial information on individuals presenting at health facilities.
Many eminent foreign scholars have investigated the principles on which Athens conducted her Public Finance during the ascendancy of Pericles, but the subject has been strangely neglected in England, and no apology is perhaps required for drawing attention to its importance and for suggesting certain considerations which appear to the writer fatal to some views which have been widely accepted. Competent writers have come to such different conclusions that certainty is probably unattainable, but it is hoped that the theory propounded in this paper may be regarded as consistent with the admittedly scanty evidence. Finance did not interest Thucydides, who omits such important facts as the transference to Athens of the treasury of the League and the increase of the φόρος during the Archidamian War. The inscriptions, though invaluable, are frequently so badly mutilated that they lend themselves to very different interpretations. Under these conditions dogmatism is obviously inadmissible.