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The diet of most adults is low in fish and, therefore, provides limited quantities of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3FAs), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA, DHA). Since these compounds serve important roles in the brain, we sought to determine if healthy adults with low-LCn-3FA consumption would exhibit improvements in neuropsychological performance and parallel changes in brain morphology following repletion through fish oil supplementation.
In a randomized, controlled trial, 271 mid-life adults (30–54 years of age, 118 men, 153 women) consuming ⩽300 mg/day of LCn-3FAs received 18 weeks of supplementation with fish oil capsules (1400 mg/day of EPA and DHA) or matching placebo. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery examining four cognitive domains: psychomotor speed, executive function, learning/episodic memory, and fluid intelligence. A subset of 122 underwent neuroimaging before and after supplementation to measure whole-brain and subcortical tissue volumes.
Capsule adherence was over 95%, participant blinding was verified, and red blood cell EPA and DHA levels increased as expected. Supplementation did not affect performance in any of the four cognitive domains. Exploratory analyses revealed that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplementation improved executive function in participants with low-baseline DHA levels. No changes were observed in any indicator of brain morphology.
In healthy mid-life adults reporting low-dietary intake, supplementation with LCn-3FAs in moderate dose for moderate duration did not affect neuropsychological performance or brain morphology. Whether salutary effects occur in individuals with particularly low-DHA exposure requires further study.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine tolerance of blueberry to saflufenacil. Greenhouse studies included five saflufenacil rates (0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 g ai ha−1) and three southern highbush blueberry cultivars (‘Legacy’, ‘New Hanover’, and ‘O’Neal’) and one rabbiteye blueberry cultivar (‘Columbus’). Saflufenacil treatments were soil applied into each pot when blueberry plants were approximately 30-cm tall. Visible injury (purpling/reddening of foliage and leaf abscission) ranged from 3% to 12%, 3% to 42%, 0% to 43%, and 0% to 29% with saflufenacil from 50 to 400 g ha−1 in Columbus, Legacy, New Hanover, and O’Neal, respectively, at 28 d after treatment. Regardless of injury, plant growth (change in height), soil plant analysis development, and whole-plant dry biomass of all cultivars did not differ among saflufenacil rates. Field studies were conducted in Burgaw, NC, to determine the tolerance of nonbearing (<3-yr-old and not mature enough to produce fruit) and bearing (>3-yr-old and mature enough to produce fruit) southern highbush blueberry (‘Duke’) to saflufenacil application at pre-budbreak or during the vegetative growth stage. Treatments included three rates of saflufenacil (50, 100, and 200 g ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ae ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ai ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), and hexazinone (1,120 g ai ha−1), applied POST-directed to the soil surface beneath blueberry plants in a 76-cm band on both sides of the blueberry planting row. The maximum injury from treatments containing saflufenacil was ≤11% in both nonbearing and bearing blueberry. No negative effects on plant growth or fruit yield were observed from any treatments. Results from both greenhouse and field studies suggest that saflufenacil applied at 50 (1X commercial use rate) and 100 g ha−1 is safe to use in blueberry.
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that causes the diarrhoeal disease, cryptosporidiosis. Although many species have been identified, the majority of human disease worldwide is caused by two species; Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis. In Australia, data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) show that cryptosporidiosis outbreaks occur every few years. To better understand the transmission, trends and nature of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in Western Australia, epidemiological and genomic data from three cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in 2003, 2007 and 2011 were reviewed. The 2007 outbreak was the largest (n = 607) compared with the outbreaks in 2003 (n = 404) and 2011 (n = 355). All three outbreaks appeared to have occurred predominantly in the urban metropolitan area (Perth), which reported the highest number of case notifications; increases in case notifications were also observed in rural and remote areas. Children aged 0–4 years and non-Aboriginal people comprised the majority of notifications in all outbreaks. However, in the 2003 and 2007 outbreaks, a higher proportion of cases from Aboriginal people was observed in the remote areas. Molecular data were only available for the 2007 (n = 126) and 2011 (n = 42) outbreaks, with C. hominis the main species identified in both outbreaks. Subtyping at the glycoprotein 60 (gp60) locus identified subtype IbA10G2 in 46.3% and 89.5% of C. hominis isolates typed, respectively, in the 2007 and 2011 outbreaks, with the IdA15G1 subtype was identified in 33.3% of C. hominis isolates typed in the 2007 outbreak. The clustering of cases with the IdA15G1 subtype in the remote areas suggests the occurrence of a concurrent outbreak in remote areas during the 2007 outbreak, which primarily affected Aboriginal people. Both the C. hominis IbA10G2 and IdA15G1 subtypes have been implicated in cryptosporidiosis outbreaks worldwide; its occurrence indicates that the mode of transmission in both the 2007 and 2011 outbreaks was anthroponotic. To better understand the epidemiology, sources and transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Australia, genotyping data should routinely be incorporated into national surveillance programmes.
Research indicates that intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) may be associated with negative health consequences. However, differences between assessment methods can affect the comparability of intake data across studies. The current review aimed to identify methods used to assess SSB intake among children and adults in pan-European studies and to inform the development of the DEDIPAC (DEterminants of DIet and Physical Activity) toolbox of methods suitable for use in future European studies.
A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases and by hand-searching reference lists. English-language studies of any design which assessed SSB consumption were included in the review.
Studies involving two or more European countries were included in the review.
Healthy, free-living children and adults.
The review identified twenty-three pan-European studies which assessed intake of SSB. The FFQ was the most commonly used (n 24), followed by the 24 h recall (n 6) and diet records (n 1). There were several differences between the identified FFQ, including the definition of SSB used. In total, seven instruments that were tested for validity were selected as potentially suitable to assess SSB intake among adults (n 1), adolescents (n 3) and children (n 3).
The current review highlights the need for instruments to use an agreed definition of SSB. Methods that were tested for validity and used in pan-European populations encompassing a range of countries were identified. These methods should be considered for use by future studies focused on evaluating consumption of SSB.
Evidence suggests that health benefits are associated with consuming recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables (F&V), yet standardised assessment methods to measure F&V intake are lacking. The current review aims to identify methods to assess F&V intake among children and adults in pan-European studies and inform the development of the DEDIPAC (DEterminants of DIet and Physical Activity) toolbox of methods suitable for use in future European studies.
A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases and by hand-searching reference lists. English-language studies of any design which assessed F&V intake were included in the review.
Studies involving two or more European countries were included in the review.
Healthy, free-living children or adults.
The review identified fifty-one pan-European studies which assessed F&V intake. The FFQ was the most commonly used (n 42), followed by 24 h recall (n 11) and diet records/diet history (n 7). Differences existed between the identified methods; for example, the number of F&V items on the FFQ and whether potatoes/legumes were classified as vegetables. In total, eight validated instruments were identified which assessed F&V intake among adults, adolescents or children.
The current review indicates that an agreed classification of F&V is needed in order to standardise intake data more effectively between European countries. Validated methods used in pan-European populations encompassing a range of European regions were identified. These methods should be considered for use by future studies focused on evaluating intake of F&V.
Various medications and devices are available for facilitation of emergent endotracheal intubations (EETIs). The objective of this study was to survey which medications and devices are being utilized for intubation by Canadian physicians.
A clinical scenario-based survey was developed to determine which medications physicians would administer to facilitate EETI, their first choice of intubation device, and backup strategy should their first choice fail. The survey was distributed to Canadian emergency medicine (EM) and intensive care unit (ICU) physicians using web-based and postal methods. Physicians were asked questions based on three scenarios (trauma; pneumonia; heart failure) and responded using a 5-point scale ranging from “always” to “never” to capture usual practice.
The survey response rate was 50.2% (882/1,758). Most physicians indicated a Macintosh blade with direct laryngoscopy would “always/often” be their first choice of intubation device in the three scenarios (mean 85% [79%-89%]) followed by video laryngoscopy (mean 37% [30%-49%]). The most common backup device chosen was an extraglottic device (mean 59% [56%-60%]). The medications most physicians would “always/often” administer were fentanyl (mean 45% [42%-51%]) and etomidate (mean 38% [25%-50%]). EM physicians were more likely than ICU physicians to paralyze patients for EETI (adjusted odds ratio 3.40; 95% CI 2.90-4.00).
Most EM and ICU physicians utilize direct laryngoscopy with a Macintosh blade as a primary device for EETI and an extraglottic device as a backup strategy. This survey highlights variation in Canadian practice patterns for some aspects of intubation in critically ill patients.
Sustainable ecotourism requires careful management of human impacts on wildlife. Contrasting responses to the disturbance caused by ecotourism are observed across taxa and within species, because species and populations can differ in their tolerance to humans. However, the mechanisms by which tolerance develops remain unclear. Penguin colonies are popular tourist attractions. Although ecotourism increases public awareness and generates conservation income, it can also disturb penguins, raising concerns for threatened species such as the African Penguin Spheniscus demersus, whose populations are in rapid decline. We compared the tolerance of African Penguins to human disturbance across four colonies with contrasting histories of human exposure. Human approaches invoked the least response at colonies where human exposure was highest, suggesting increased human tolerance with increased exposure. The response to humans close to the nest also decreased more rapidly in highly exposed individuals within colonies. These results were consistent independent of breeding stage, and were repeated among colonies. Because the impacts of human disturbance, including temporary nest desertion, were greatest at the colony with least human exposure, human disturbance of breeding African Penguins potentially may be mitigated through increased levels of tolerance to humans, or displacement of shyer individuals, although this could not be assessed in the present study.
However, human exposure could significantly increase stress, impair reproduction and even reduce genetic diversity. Consequently, ecotourism must be managed carefully to minimize population level impacts, potentially by facilitating habituation in populations subject to non-threatening human disturbance, and maintaining some areas free of disturbance to allow shy individuals to breed.
We describe bright microwave events that were first detected with the Parkes 64-m telescope at 8.4 or 22 GHz from six active-chromosphere stars. In some flares spectral data were obtained over a large frequency range from simultaneous measurements with the Parkes reflector (8.4 or 22 GHz), the Tidbinbilla interferometer (8.4 and 2.29 GHz), the Fleurs synthesis telescope (1.42 GHz) and the Molonglo Observatory synthesis telescope (0.843 GHz). Data on circular polarization were obtained from the Parkes observations at 8.4 GHz.
The stars were in a wide variety of evolutionary states, ranging from a single pre-main-sequence star (HD 36705), two RS CVn binaries (HD 127535, HD 128171), an Algol (HD 132742) and two apparently single K giants (HD 32918 and HD 196818). Their high brightness temperatures, positive spectral indices and low polarization are consistent with optically thick gyrosynchrotron emission from mildly relativistic electrons with average energies 0.5 to 3 MeV gyrating in inhomogeneous magnetic fields of 5 to 100 G.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
Recent meta-analyses of resting-state networks in major depressive disorder (MDD) implicate network disruptions underlying cognitive and affective features of illness. Heterogeneity of findings to date may stem from the relative lack of data parsing clinical features of MDD such as phase of illness and the burden of multiple episodes.
Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 17 active MDD and 34 remitted MDD patients, and 26 healthy controls (HCs) across two sites. Participants were medication-free and further subdivided into those with single v. multiple episodes to examine disease burden. Seed-based connectivity using the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed to probe the default mode network as well as the amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) seeds to probe the salience network (SN) were conducted.
Young adults with remitted MDD demonstrated hyperconnectivity of the left PCC to the left inferior frontal gyrus and of the left sgACC to the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and left hippocampus compared with HCs. Episode-independent effects were observed between the left PCC and the right dorsolateral PFC, as well as between the left amygdala and right insula and caudate, whereas the burden of multiple episodes was associated with hypoconnectivity of the left PCC to multiple cognitive control regions as well as hypoconnectivity of the amygdala to large portions of the SN.
This is the first study of a homogeneous sample of unmedicated young adults with a history of adolescent-onset MDD illustrating brain-based episodic features of illness.
The past two decades have seen a significant advancement in the detection, classification and understanding of exoplanets and binary star systems. The vast majority of these systems consist of stars on the main sequence or on the giant branch, leading to a dearth of knowledge of properties at early times (<50 Myr). Only one transiting planet candidate and a dozen eclipsing binaries are known among pre-main sequence objects, yet these are the systems that can provide the best constraints on stellar and planetary formation models. We have recently completed a photometric survey of 3 young (<50 Myr), nearby (D<150 pc) moving groups with a small-aperture instrument, nicknamed “AggieCam”. We detected 7 candidate Hot Jupiters and over 200 likely pre-main sequence binaries, which are now being followed up photometrically and spectroscopically.
Radio interferometric observations of extragalactic radio sources have been made with antennas at the Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory in California during fourteen separate experiments distributed between September 1976 and May 1978. The components of the baseline vector and the coordinates of the sources were estimated from the data from each experiment separately. The root-weighted-mean-square scatter about the weighted mean (“repeatability”) of the estimates of the length of the 3900 km baseline was approximately 7 cm, and of the source coordinates, approximately or less, except for the declinations of low-declination sources. With the source coordinates all held fixed at the best available, a posteriori, values, and the analyses repeated for each experiment, the repeatability obtained for the estimate of baseline length was 4 cm. From analyses of the data from several experiments simultaneously, estimates were obtained of changes in the x component of pole position and in the Earth's rotation (UT1). Comparison with the corresponding results obtained by the Bureau International de l'Heure (BIH) discloses systematic differences. In particular, the trends in the radio interferometric determinations of the changes in pole position agree more closely with those from the International Polar Motion Service (IPMS) and from the Doppler observations of satellites than with those from the BIH.
Glassy organic semiconductors provide a convenient host for dispersing guest molecules, such as dopants or light-emitting chromophores. However, many glass-forming compounds will crystallize over time leading to changes in performance and stability in devices. Methods to stabilize amorphous molecular solids are therefore desirable. We demonstrate that solution-processable glasses can be formed from a mixture of 8,8′-biindeno[2,1-b]thiophenylene (BTP) atropisomers. While the trans isomer of methylated BTP, (E)-MeBTP crystallizes in spin-cast films, the addition of (Z)-MeBTP slows the growth of the spherulites. X-ray scattering and optical microscopy indicate that films containing 40% (Z)-MeBTP do not crystallize, even with the addition of nucleation agents and aging for several months.
An increasing number of middle-aged and older Americans are using social network sites (SNSs), but little research has addressed how SNS use is associated with social wellbeing outcomes in this population. Using a nationally representative sample of 1,620 Americans older than 50 from the 2012 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we examine the relationship between older adults’ SNS use and social wellbeing associated with non-kin and kin relations and explore how these associations vary by age. Results of ordinary least-squares regression analyses suggest that SNS use is positively associated with non-kin-related social wellbeing outcomes, including perceived support from friends (β = 0.13; p < 0.001; N = 460) and feelings of connectedness (β = 0.10; p < 0.001; N = 463). Regression models employing interaction terms of age and SNS use further reveal that SNS use contributes to feelings of connectedness to a greater extent as people age (β = 0.10; p < 0.001; N = 463). Of all kin-related social wellbeing outcomes, SNS use only predicts increased perceived support from children (β = 0.08; p < 0.05; N = 410), and age negatively shapes this relationship (β = −0.14; p < 0.001; N = 410). As older people engage with an increasingly smaller and narrower network with a greater proportion of kin contacts, our results suggest that SNS use may help older adults access differential social benefits throughout later life.