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Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
The use of silage additives containing lactic acid bacteria and enzymes to promote a rapid homolactic type fermentation has met with some success in the United States but the little evidence available (see Burghardi, Goodrich and Meiske, 1980) suggests that, for grass silages, the value of this type of additive is limited. However, in laboratory silos, inoculation with lactic acid bacteria has been shown to be effective in reducing proteolysis (Carpintero, Henderson and McDonald, 1979).
The recent availability in the UK of a commercial product containing a lactic acid bacteria inoculum and the non-toxicity and ease of application of this product prompted this investigation, which describes the assessment of a silage prepared with this type of additive in comparison with a well characterized additive, formic acid.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
The subaqueous margins of calving glaciers have the potential to make significant contributions to glacier mass loss. However, to date, very little is known about the morphology and development of subaqueous margins. A unique combination of sub-bottom profile and bathymetric data collected between 2008 and 2010 in proglacial lakes at Mueller, Hooker and Tasman glaciers in New Zealand’s Southern Alps reveal subaqueous ice ramps extending up to 510 m from the terminus of each glacier. Ice ramp surfaces are undulating and covered with a thick layer (up to 10 m) of unsorted sediment derived from supraglacial and englacial debris, lateral moraines and deltaic deposits. A cyclic calving pattern, relatively stable lake level and the debris cover appear to control the development and maintenance of these ice ramps. High subaerial retreat rates generally correspond to high subaqueous calving rates, although the highest subaerial retreat rates are not associated with the largest ice ramp. Debris mantling the subaqueous ice ramp surfaces insulates the ice from melting and also reduces buoyant forces acting on the terminus. Comparisons with previous studies show that the ice ramps evolve over time with changes in glacier dynamics and water-body properties.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
In substantial numbers of affected populations, disasters adversely affect well-being and influence the development of emotional problems and dysfunctional behaviors. Nowhere is the integration of mental and behavioral health into broader public health and medical preparedness and response activities more crucial than in disasters such as the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic. The National Biodefense Science Board, recognizing that the mental and behavioral health responses to H1N1 were vital to preserving safety and health for the country, requested that the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee recommend actions for public health officials to prevent and mitigate adverse behavioral health outcomes during the H1N1 pandemic. The subcommittee's recommendations emphasized vulnerable populations and concentrated on interventions, education and training, and communication and messaging. The subcommittee's H1N1 activities and recommendations provide an approach and template for identifying and addressing future efforts related to newly emerging public health and medical emergencies. The many emotional and behavioral health implications of the crisis and the importance of psychological factors in determining the behavior of members of the public argue for a programmatic integration of behavioral health and science expertise in a comprehensive public health response.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:67–71)
The close interplay between mental health and physical health makes it critical to integrate mental and behavioral health considerations into all aspects of public health and medical disaster management. Therefore, the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) convened the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee to assess the progress of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in integrating mental and behavioral health into disaster and emergency preparedness and response activities. One vital opportunity to improve integration is the development of clear and directive national policy to firmly establish the role of mental and behavioral health as part of a unified public health and medical response to disasters. Integration of mental and behavioral health into disaster preparedness, response, and recovery requires it to be incorporated in assessments and services, addressed in education and training, and founded on and advanced through research. Integration must be supported in underlying policies and administration with clear lines of responsibility for formulating and implementing policy and practice.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:60–66)
We use cosmological hydrodynamic simulations to model galaxy formation at redshift 5 and higher. We explore how galaxies populate dark matter halos, focusing on the implications for the clustering properties of galaxies in the context of current and future deep surveys. We find a significant trend for galaxies with high gas fractions to lie in denser environments than gas poor galaxies of the same halo mass, as reflected by their different clustering strengths.
Chemical abundances and radial velocities for ∼210 stars in WLM, ∼130 new stars from DEIMOS spectroscopy, and 80 stars from Leaman et al. (2009) are presented. This sample shows that this isolated dwarf has chemically, dynamically, and spatially distinct stellar populations similar to the nearby dwarf spheroidals. The kinematics of the stars appear to be decoupled from the HI gas, which shows a higher rotational velocity profile. This thicker stellar configuration for a distant, isolated dwarf irregular may have implications for timescales of tidal transformation scenarios of infalling galaxies in the Local Group.
Thin films of lead zirconate titanate have been fabricated for application to a new family of flexure-wave piezoelectric micromotors that are characterized by low speed and high torque. The high relative dielectric constant and breakdown strength of the films lead to high stored energy densities. Evaluation of the film as a bimorph yielded a value of -88 pC/N for the transverse piezoelectric strain coefficient, d31; the relevant electromechanical coupling factor, k31, calculated thereupon was 0.22. The development of the piezoelectric ultrasonic micromotors from the PZT thin films, and the architecture of the stator structure are described. Nonoptimized prototype micromotors show rotational velocities of 100-300 rpm at drives of 3-5 V.
Improvement of glass forming ability (GFA) of two soft magnetic amorphous alloys (Fe75.5Ni1 3Si8.6B13.5 and Co69.6Fe1.3Mn4.5Si14.3B9 3Mo1) by heat treatment of melts prepared from different precursors (bulk ingot, rapidly quenched ribbons and granules) was studied. An assumption that the maximum undercooling ability corresponds to the maximum GFA was used to optimize the heat treatment mode. A temperature range was found by DTA for each alloy melt, favoring its undercooling (so called “undercoolable melt”). Usage of rapidly quenched precursor expands the range towards lower temperatures. GFA of the alloys was estimated by several melt quench techniques (casting, spinning and INROWASP). Fully amorphous samples with the thickness of 0.06–0.5 mm were prepared.
Determining risk factors for acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hospitals is important for defining infection-control measures that may lead to fewer hospital-acquired infections.
To determine patient-associated risk factors for acquisition of MRSA in a tertiary care hospital with the goal of identifying modifiable risk factors.
A retrospective matched case-control study was performed. Case patients who acquired MRSA during hospitalization and 2 matched control patients were selected among inpatients admitted to target units during the period from 2001 through 2008. The odds of exposure to potential risk factors were compared between case patients and control patients, using matched univariate conditional logistic regression. A single multivariate conditional logistic regression model identifying independent patient-specific risk factors was generated.
A total of 451 case patients and 866 control patients were analyzed. Factors positively associated with MRSA acquisition were as follows: target unit stay before index culture; primary diagnosis of respiratory disease, digestive tract disease, injury or trauma, or other diagnosis compared with cardiocirculatory disease; peripheral vascular disease; mechanical ventilation with pneumonia; ventricular shunting or ventriculostomy; and ciprofloxacin use. Factors associated with decreased risk were receipt of a solid-organ transplant and use of penicillins, cephalosporins, rifamycins, daptomycin or linezolid, and proton pump inhibitors.
Among the factors associated with increased risk, few are modifiable. Patients with at-risk conditions could be targeted for intensive surveillance to detect acquisition sooner. The association of MRSA acquisition with target unit exposure argues for rigorous application of hand hygiene, appropriate barriers, environmental control, and strict aseptic technique for all procedures performed on such Patients. Our findings support focusing efforts to prevent MRSA transmission and restriction of ciprofloxacin use.