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We consider a two-player zero-sum-game in a bounded open domain Ω
described as follows: at a point x∈ Ω, Players I and II
play an ε-step tug-of-war game with probability α, and
with probability β (α + β = 1), a
random point in the ball of radius ε centered at x is
chosen. Once the game position reaches the boundary, Player II pays Player I the amount
given by a fixed payoff function F. We give a detailed proof of the fact
that the value functions of this game satisfy the Dynamic Programming Principle
for x∈ Ω with
u(y) = F(y) when
y ∉ Ω. This principle implies the existence of
quasioptimal Markovian strategies.
We have used a simple camera phone to significantly improve an ‘exploration system’ for astrobiology and geology. This camera phone will make it much easier to develop and test computer-vision algorithms for future planetary exploration. We envision that the ‘Astrobiology Phone-cam’ exploration system can be fruitfully used in other problem domains as well.
It has been suggested that the presence of a bit reflexly increases salivation but, at the same time, interferes with the horse's ability to swallow. The objective of this study was to compare swallowing frequency in 12 horses exercising at canter while wearing a head collar, a bitless bridle, a jointed snaffle bit and a Myler correctional-ported barrel bit. Laryngeal movements were recorded videoendoscopically as the horses cantered (8 m s−1) on a high speed treadmill, with the use of side reins to flex the poll. Swallowing was stimulated artificially by infusion of sterile water at a constant rate of 5 ml min−1 through a cannula in the endoscope's biopsy port. The results showed large differences in swallowing frequency between horses. Swallowing frequency was lower for the Myler snaffle than for the other conditions (P<0.05). It is concluded that the presence of a bit does not preclude swallowing during exercise at canter with the poll in a flexed position, but certain types of bits may be associated with a reduction in swallowing frequency.
The objective was to describe and compare the positions of different types of bits within the horse's oral cavity. Eight horses were fitted with a bridle and six bits [jointed snaffle ( JS), Boucher, KK Ultra, Myler snaffle (MylerS), Myler ported barrel (MylerPB), Myler correctional-ported barrel (MylerCPB)]. Lateral radiographs and custom software were used to measure the position and orientation of the bits relative to the horse's palate and second premolar teeth without rein tension and with 25±5 N bilateral rein tension. The results showed differences in the position of the bits within the horse's oral cavity and in their movements in response to rein tension. Without rein tension, single-jointed bits were further from the premolar teeth ( JS 32.2±10.6 mm; Boucher 33.9±10.8 mm) than the Myler bits (MylerS 20.2±9.7 mm; MylerPB 12.8±6.7 mm; MylerCPB 14.6±4.3 mm). Single-jointed bits moved closer to the premolars when tension was applied to the reins (JS 20.8±6.3 mm; Boucher 19.7±6.8 mm). The cannons of the Boucher were more elevated than those of the other bits. The cannon angulation decreased significantly from 38.7±13.7 deg. to 21.6±6.9 deg. for JS and from 43.1±10.1 deg. to 27.8±10.1 deg. for the Boucher when tension was applied to the reins. The Myler bits showed minimal change in position in response to the application of rein tension.
A mathematical model was used to evaluate the impact of the Italian Measles National Elimination Plan (NEP), and possible sources of failure in achieving its targets. The model considered two different estimates of force of infection, and the possible effect on measles transmission of the current Italian demographic situation, characterized by a below-replacement fertility. Results suggest that reaching all NEP targets will allow measles elimination to be achieved. In addition, the model suggests that achieving elimination by reaching a 95% first-dose coverage appears unlikely; and that conducting catch-up activities, reaching high vaccination coverage, could interrupt virus circulation, but could not prevent the infection re-emerging before 2020. Also, the introduction of the second dose of measles vaccine seems necessary for achieving and maintaining elimination. Furthermore, current Italian demography appears to be favourable for reaching elimination.
The present investigation deals with the genetic variability of milking speed, measured as the
volume of milk collected during the first minute of milking (MD1), and its association with dairy
traits. Data originated from 2589 lactations of 1421 Alpine goats, sired by 93 bucks, measured
between 1985 and 1997 at the Moissac Goat Experimental Station (Lozère, France). Two genetic
analyses were carried out. Firstly, a polygenic model was used to estimate genetic and phenotypic
parameters among milking speed and dairy traits using a multiple-trait animal model. Secondly,
segregation analysis was used to test the hypothesis of mixed model inheritance (polygenes+major
gene) for MF1. Heritability and repeatability of MF1 under the polygenic model were high (0·65
and 0·82, respectively). Estimated genetic and phenotypic correlations between milking speed and
dairy traits were low, positive for yields and negative for contents. Segregation analysis yielded a
highly significant likelihood ratio, confirming the segregation of a major gene with two alleles with
partial dominance. The difference between the mean values of the two homozygotes was around
2·3 phenotypic standard deviation units of the trait. The major gene explained more than 60% of
the estimated total genetic variance. The estimate of the ‘residual’ heritability, after taking into
account the effect of the major locus, was 0·30.
The existence and time evolution of charge separation at a plasma edge is
studied using a code in which both ions and electrons are described by
gyrokinetic equations that include the finite-Larmor-radius correction and the
polarization drift. The ion finite-Larmor-radius effect allows the existence of
charge separation between ions and electrons, and the polarization drift, which
has opposite signs for ions and electrons, has a tendency to accentuate the
charge separation in a time-varying electric field. We compare our results with
those previously obtained using a code in which the ions were described by
using a fluid guiding-centre model, and only the electrons were treated
kinetically. In particular, we present results showing excellent agreement
between the two codes on the transition of the spectrum of the nonlinear
solution from a turbulent spectrum to one dominated by the fundamental
mode, where the energy is condensing in the lowest-k modes (inverse cascade).
A large group of the so called “free galloping horse” bronze Punic coins, that is the most common series largely diffused in the Mediterranean basin, has been found during the archaeological excavation at Tharros (western Sardinia, Italy). Forty-seven coins have been studied in order to determine the chemical composition and the microchemical structure of the copper alloys used by Punies for the coinage of this series and to gain further information about the metal ores used to produce the metals. The results have shown that copper, tin, iron, silver, antimony, lead, zinc and arsenic vary significantly thus indicating different trends in the alloys production. The content of the major and minor elements has also indicated that Punic metallurgists controlled only the content of some elements to within quite narrow limits and when deliberate adding was used just to increase the metal to fill the mould, as might sometimes be the case with the addition of lead instead of the more expensive tin.
Tubular aggregates (TAs) have been identified with a number of myopathies in humans. Periodic paralysis and muscle pain are frequently associated with TAs. Very little is known about the functional and anatomical significance of TAs in myopathic and aging human muscle. Recently, animal models for TAs have been identified which suggested that TAs are gender specific. However, recent studies suggest a need for more controls.
The effects of moclobemide (300–600 mg/day), a reversible monoamine oxidase inhibitor – A (MAOI-A), were compared in a double-blind, multi-centre trial with those of clomipramine (100–200 mg/day) on 129 in-patients suffering from endogenous depression (according to ICD–9 and the Newcastle Scale). No significant differences in efficacy were seen between the two treatment groups. In the moclobemide group the mean scores on the MADRS were 36.4 on day 0 and 13.2 on day 42 (end-point analysis); scores were 37.4 and 10.9 respectively in the clomipramine group. An earlier onset of antidepressant activity was noted for moclobemide. Tolerability was significantly better for moclobemide, as shown by the Clinical Global Impression of Tolerance (CGIT). Anticholinergic effects, weight gain and orthostatic hypotension were more frequent in the clomipramine group. No biological treatment-related changes were observed.
Genetic parameters for dystocia in the Main-Anjou breed were estimated. Data consisted of 28 178 birth records collected between 1978 and 1989 in 995 herds, with 161, 71 and 12 415 sires, maternal grandsires and dams, respectively, represented. Original scores (1 through 5) were collapsed in order to set two dystocia definitions: dystocia 1 (scores 1+2 v. 3+4+5) and dystocia 2 (scores 1 v. 2+3+4+5). Four models were proposed for genetic parameter estimation: (1) fixed effects plus sire effects; (2) model 1 plus maternal grandsire effect; (3) model 2 plus dam within maternal grandsire effects; (4) same as model 3 but a random effect ‘herds’ replaced a fixed effect ‘regions’. Two methods of fitting models were applied: marginal maximum likelihood and the ‘tilde-hat’ approach. Estimates of genetic parameters by the two methods were similar. Models ignoring maternal effects overestimated the heritability of direct effects especially in the case of dystocia 2. Dystocia definition was responsible for the greatest difference among estimated genetic parameters. Possible reasons for this are discussed. When analysing large data sets, it is recommended judiciously to collapse dystocia categories and to apply approximate statistical procedures to complete models including maternal effects.
Qualitative microscopic analysis of muscle architecture provides information about cellular markers of muscle fiber disruption in myopathic, aging, and experimentally damaged muscle. However, this approach does not provide sensitive information regarding the extent of muscle damage and has serious limitations when research protocols address tissue remodeling. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess the extent of muscle damage in young and older adults before and after exercise-induced damage. The older adults in this study had lower aerobic capacities and muscle mass than their younger counterparts, suggesting greater vulnerability toward muscle damage produced by physiologic stress.
Five young males, ages 20 to 29 years and five older males, age 60 to 75 years had percutaneous needle biopsies taken from the vastis lateralis muscle before and after (N=9) exercise consisting of reverse cycling or downhill treadmill running at a prescribed physiologic effort. Muscle samples were prefixed in 3.0% gluteraldehyde in cacodylate buffer and post-fixed in VL OSO4. This was followed by routine procedures for TEM.
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