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On 16 March 2018, a nursing home notified a possible acute gastroenteritis outbreak that affected 11 people. Descriptive and case–control studies and analysis of clinical and environmental samples were carried out to determine the characteristics of the outbreak, its aetiology, the transmission mechanism and the causal food. The extent of the outbreak in and outside the nursing home was determined and the staff factors influencing propagation were studied by multivariate analysis. A turkey dinner on March 14 was associated with the outbreak (OR 4.22, 95% CI 1.11–16.01). Norovirus genogroups I and II were identified in stool samples. The attack rates in residents, staff and household contacts of staff were 23.49%, 46.22% and 22.87%, respectively. Care assistants and cleaning staff were the staff most frequently affected. Cohabitation with an affected care assistant was the most important factor in the occurrence of cases in the home (adjusted OR 6.37, 95% CI 1.13–36.02). Our results show that staff in close contact with residents and their household contacts had a higher risk of infection during the norovirus outbreak.
Core-collapse supernovae are expected to be efficient producers of dust, and recent Herschel and ALMA observations have revealed up to 1 M⊙ of cold dust in the inner ejecta of SN 1987A. The formation time scale, spatial distribution and clumpiness, and the importance of the different heating sources of the dust remain poorly understood. We have started a project to make detailed 3D dust radiative transfer models for SN 1987A, based on a combination of the latest observational constraints and input from 3D hydrodynamical models and dust formation models. Preliminary results seem to indicate the need for large, micron-sized dust grains, and a relatively large dust mass.
Initial successful weight loss is often followed by weight regain after the dietary intervention. Compared with lean people, cellular stress in adipose tissue is increased in obese subjects. However, the relation between cellular stress and the risk for weight regain after weight loss is unclear. Therefore, we determined the expression levels of stress proteins during weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to weight regain. In vivo findings were compared with results from in vitro cultured human Simpson–Golabi–Behmel syndrome (SGBS) adipocytes. In total, eighteen healthy subjects underwent an 8-week diet programme with a 10-month follow-up. Participants were categorised as weight maintainers or weight regainers (WR) depending on their weight changes during the intervention. Abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were obtained before and after the diet and after the follow-up. In vitro differentiated SGBS adipocytes were starved for 96 h with low (0·55 mm) glucose. Levels of stress proteins were determined by Western blotting. WR showed increased expressions of β-actin, calnexin, heat shock protein (HSP) 27, HSP60 and HSP70. Changes of β-actin, HSP27 and HSP70 are linked to HSP60, a proposed key factor in weight regain after weight loss. SGBS adipocytes showed increased levels of β-actin and HSP60 after 96 h of glucose restriction. The increased level of cellular stress proteins in the adipose tissue of WR probably resides in the adipocytes as shown by in vitro experiments. Cellular stress accumulated in adipose tissue during weight loss may be a risk factor for weight regain.
Estimating population abundances and patterns of change over time are important in both ecology and conservation. Trend assessment typically entails fitting a regression to a time series of abundances to estimate population trajectory. However, changes in abundance estimates from year-to-year across time are due to both true variation in population size (process variation) and variation due to imperfect sampling and model fit. State-space models are a relatively new method that can be used to partition the error components and quantify trends based only on process variation. We compare a state-space modelling approach with a more traditional linear regression approach to assess trends in uncorrected raw counts and detection-corrected abundance estimates of forest birds at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Hawai‘i. Most species demonstrated similar trends using either method. In general, evidence for trends using state-space models was less strong than for linear regression, as measured by estimates of precision. However, while the state-space models may sacrifice precision, the expectation is that these estimates provide a better representation of the real world biological processes of interest because they are partitioning process variation (environmental and demographic variation) and observation variation (sampling and model variation). The state-space approach also provides annual estimates of abundance which can be used by managers to set conservation strategies, and can be linked to factors that vary by year, such as climate, to better understand processes that drive population trends.
We have combined observations of the Antennae galaxies from the radio interferometer ALMA and from the optical interferometer GHαFaS (Galaxy Hα Fabry-Perot System). The two sets of observations have comparable angular and spectral resolutions, enabling us to identify 142 giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and 303 Hii regions. We have measured, and compared, their basic physical properties (radius, velocity dispersion, luminosity). We study the mass functions of Hii regions and GMCs, where a double population of Hii regions due to a double population of GMCs is found. Using the velocity dispersion measurements, we claim that the difference between the regimes is the nature of the dominant binding force. For the regions in the lower mass range, the dominant force is the external pressure, while in the higher mass range it is the internal gravity of the clouds. We have applied the same method to similar observations (GHαFaS & ALMA) of Arp 236 and NGC 1614 finding similar results.
We have observed 3 pairs of interacting galaxies (the Antennae, Arp 236, and NGC 1614) using the Fabry-Perot interferometer GHαFaS (Galaxy Hα Fabry-Perot system) on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (WHT) at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma. We have extracted the physical properties (sizes, Hα luminosity and velocity dispersion) of Hii regions. We have combined also these observations with ALMA archival observations of these interacting galaxies, finding that there is a set of brighter and denser star forming regions. We have been able to compare these properties with those of two SMGs at redshift ~ 2.
Genetic diversity identified in the Capsicum genepool has been utilized extensively to improve pepper disease resistance, fruit quality and varied yield attributes. Little attention has been dedicated to evaluating the breadth of potential diversity within Capsicum for fresh-cut attributes and genetic enhancement of fresh-cut fruit quality. We evaluated fresh-cut attributes in pepper accessions with diverse fruit phenotype selected from available cultivars and the USDA, ARS Capsicum genebank. Subjective assessment of product quality and objective measurement of package atmospheric composition, tissue juice leakage and membrane electrolyte leakage after 7, 10 and 14 d of storage identified significant differences for fresh-cut attributes among as well as within sweet bell, large elongate, jalapeno and serrano germplasm. Sweet bell and large elongate fruited accessions generally exhibited increasing electrolyte leakage over days of storage, whereas jalapeno and serrano accessions maintained stable electrolyte leakage levels. Jalapeno and serrano fruit classes were typified by faster decline in package headspace O2 and accumulation in CO2 partial pressures in comparison to sweet bell and large elongated fruit classes. Regression analysis demonstrated a relationship between overall visual quality and electrolyte leakage after 14 d of storage for sweet bell and large elongated fruit classes. The results demonstrate extensive variation in Capsicum germplasm to improve pepper for fresh-cut applications and facilitate research to better understand physiological and heritable determinants of fresh-cut product quality.
To investigate risk factors for sporadic salmonellosis, for each notified case four randomly selected population controls matched for age, sex and geographical region were interviewed via self-administered questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression analysis of 285 matched pairs revealed significant associations for raw ground pork consumption [odds ratio (OR) 6·0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·8–20·1], taking antacids (OR 5·8, 95% CI 1·4–24·5), eating meat outside the home (OR 5·7, 95% CI 2·2–14·6) and daily changing or cleaning of dishcloth (OR 2·1, 95% CI 1·2–3·9). Animal contact and ice cream consumption were negatively associated with salmonellosis (OR 0·5, 95% CI 0·2–1 and OR 0·3, 95% CI 0·1–0·6, respectively). S. Typhimurium infections were significantly associated with raw ground pork consumption (OR 16·7, 95% CI 1·4–194·4) and S. Enteritidis infections with having travelled abroad (OR 9·7, 95% CI 2·0–47·3). Raw egg consumption was not a risk factor, substantiating the success of recently implemented national control programmes in the poultry industry. Unexpectedly, hygienic behaviour was more frequently reported by cases, probably because they overestimated their hygiene precautions retrospectively. Although animal contact might enhance human immunocompetence, underreporting of salmonellosis by pet owners could have occurred. Eating raw pork products is the major risk factor for sporadic human S. Typhimurium infections in Lower Saxony.
The unification model of active galactic nuclei postulates an accreting supermassive black hole as the central engine, surrounded by a putative dusty torus. This dust absorbs the incoming radiation, re-emits it in the infrared and obscures our view of the central region at certain inclinations. We present a new set of AGN models, in which the torus is modelled as a 3D multiphase medium. These new models can explain the observed spectral energy distribution of AGNs over the entire infrared domain, including the observed silicate feature strength and the level of near-infrared continuum. A new generation of multi-phase models, based on hydrodynamical simulations, is being constructed. We will compute the polarisation structure of these physically motivated 3D torus models, and compare them to simpler smooth torus models and to the available observational data.
We present a new method for the detection and characterization of large scale expansion in galaxy discs based on Hα Fabry-Perot spectroscopy, taking advantage of the high spatial and velocity resolution of our instrument (GHαFaS). The method analyses multi-peaked emission line profiles to find expansion along the line of sight on a pixel-by-pixel basis. At this stage we have centred our attention on the large scale structures of expansive gas which show a coherent gradient of velocities from their centres as a result of both bubble shape and projection effect. The results show a wide range of expansion velocities in these superbubbles, ranging from 30-150 km/s, with the expected trend of finding the higher velocities in the more violent areas of the galaxies. We have applied the technique to the Antennae and M83, obtaining spectacular results, and used these to investigate to what extent kinematically derived ages can be found and used to characterize the ages of their massive star clusters.
Superbubbles and large scale expansion in galaxies are important indicators of activity in galaxies: they are formed in starbursts and around active nuclei. Superbubbles can be used to give information about the star-forming region which produced them. We present in-depth results of our study of kinematically detected superbubbles using a method based on Fabry-Perot spectroscopy, which allows us to map regions of expansion across the entire disk of a galaxy. Three objects have been selected for this poster based on the interest of the results they show: two interacting galaxies, the Antennae and Arp270, at different stages of galaxy interaction, and the more isolated galaxy M83. We present the kinematic expansion maps, as well as a census of detected superbubbles and a dynamical study of their properties.
We have observed 12 interacting galaxies using the Fabry-Perot interferometer GHαFaS (Galaxy Hα Fabry-Perot system) on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope (La Palma). We have extracted the physical properties (sizes, Hα luminosity and velocity dispersion) of 236 HII regions for the full sample of interacting galaxies. We have derived the physical properties of 664 HII regions for a sample of 28 isolated galaxies observed with the same instrument in order to compare both populations of HII regions, finding that there are brighter and denser star forming regions in the interacting galaxies compared with the isolated galaxies sample.
We present a dust radiative transfer analysis of the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 5908. In our previous analysis, it was found that the standard assumption of a double-exponential dust distribution resulted in a poor fit. We investigate the possibility of the dust being distributed in one or more rings. The parameters are constrained using FitSKIRT, a code used to automatically determine the best fitting radiative transfer model given a set of observations. We discuss the possible implications of this dust distribution on the predicted spectral energy distribution.
Inhibition of α-glucosidase activity is considered an effective means for controlling diabetes by regulating glucose uptake, and blueberries have been shown to possess high levels of inhibitory activity. In the present study, we examined the variations in α-glucosidase inhibition, phenolic and anthocyanin levels, and antioxidant capacity in the peel and pulp of 16 mixed-species rabbiteye hybrids (Vaccinium ashei Reade × Vaccinium spp.), one rabbiteye cultivar (V. ashei) and two highbush hybrids (Vaccinium corymbosum). Peel tissue had, on average, about four times higher levels of α-glucosidase inhibitory activity than pulp, and exhibited significantly higher levels of all other measured activities, even though the peel comprised only a small portion of the fruit. Significant variations in the levels of antioxidant activity were observed; however, no consistent differences were observed between the hybrids with various species composition. Significant positive correlations (r≥ 0.84) were found among α-glucosidase inhibitory activity, total anthocyanin (TA) and phenolic levels, and scavenging activity against ROO∙, ∙OH, 1O2 and H2O2 radicals in the extracts from the peel and pulp. There was a high correlation observed between α-glucosidase inhibitory activity levels and ROO∙(ORAC)peel (r= 0.95). A similarly high correlation with TApeel (r= 0.93) suggests that TA would be a suitable assay proxy if a broader genotypic evaluation of blueberry genotypes is desired.
We conducted a case-control study based on 884 laboratory-confirmed sporadic Salmonella cases reported to the German infectious disease notification system. For controls, we recruited 510 rotavirus cases via the same system. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed separately for children aged 0–3 years and 4–14 years. In both age groups, the highest odds ratios (OR) were found for raw ground pork consumption [0–3 years: OR 8·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·4–30·8; 4–14 years: OR 4·5, 95% CI 1·1–19]. Further risk factors were exposure to animals (OR 1·6, 95% CI 1·1–2·1), consumption of poultry (OR 1·5, 95% CI 1·1–2·1), food items containing eggs (OR 1·5, 95% CI 1·1–2) and black pepper (OR 1·7, 95% CI 1·1–3·5) in children aged 0–3 years, and consumption of uncooked pork sausage (OR 3·6, 95% CI 1·4–9·3) in children aged 4–14 years. This study highlights the significance of raw pork products (‘Mett’ in German) as risk factors for sporadic salmonellosis in children in Germany.
The island of Aguiguan is part of the Mariana archipelago and currently supports populations of four endemic species, including one endemic genus, Cleptornis. Bird population trends since 1982 were recently assessed on the neighbouring islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota indicating declines in some native species. Point-transect surveys were conducted in 2008 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess population densities and trends on Aguiguan. Densities for six of the nine native birds—White-throated Ground-dove Gallicolumba xanthonura, Collared Kingfisher Todiramphus chloris, Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons, Golden White-eye Cleptornis marchei, Bridled White-eye Zosterops conspicillatus and Micronesian Starling Aplonis opaca—and the non-native bird—Island Collared-dove Streptopelia bitorquata—were significantly greater in 2008 than in 1982. No differences in densities were detected among the surveys for Mariana Fruit-dove Ptilinopus roseicapilla, and Micronesian Myzomela Myzomela rubratra. Three federally and locally listed endangered birds—Nightingale Reed-warbler Acrocephalus luscinius, Mariana Swiftlet Collocalia bartschi, and Micronesian Megapode Megapodius laperous)—were either not detected during the point-transect counts, the surveys were not appropriate for the species, or the numbers of birds detected were too small to estimate densities. The factors behind the increasing trends for some species are unknown but may be related to increased forest cover on the island since 1982. With declining trends for some native species on neighbouring islands, the increasing and stable trends on Aguiguan is good news for forest bird populations in the region, as Aguiguan populations can help support conservation efforts on other islands in the archipelago.
The new recommendations on emergency exposure situations of the International Commission
on Radiological Protection (ICRP) advise a reference level for the residual dose in a
range of between 20 and 100 mSv effective dose (acute or per year). At the same time, the
protection strategy should account for the simultaneous consideration of all the exposure
pathways, as well as all of the protective actions. Similarly to other countries, the
actual Belgian nuclear emergency plan is based on individual projected doses (thyroid
committed dose and total effective doses) and independent protective actions that mainly
focus on the early phase of an emergency situation. The two approaches are compared in
this study on the basis of the projected and residual dose calculations obtained using
JRODOS and the Belgian Noodplan models for different radiological or nuclear accidental
scenarios. The comparison has been made by considering separately the early and the late
phase contributions. The ingestion dose has been investigated from the predicted
deposition values and compared to the single level of the ICRP 109 recommendations.
The improved use of collective dose following the 2007 ICRP recommendations is studied
for nuclear and radiological emergency situations. To study the accumulation of low
individual doses to the collective dose the collective dose is calculated as a function of
the minimum individual dose for three cases including nuclear as well as radiological
accidents. It is found that the use of collective dose in this way can have an added value
in nuclear emergency preparedness and response in particular related to decisions on
overall protective actions following an accident.
We have determined the ice mass evolution of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets (AIS and GIS) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) glaciers from a new GRACE global solution of equal-area surface mass concentration parcels (mascons) in equivalent height of water. The mascons were estimated directly from the reduction of the inter-satellite K-band range-rate (KBRR) observations, taking into account the full noise covariance, and formally iterating the solution. The new solution increases signal recovery while reducing the GRACE KBRR observation residuals. The mascons were estimated with 10 day and 1 arcdeg equal-area sampling, applying anisotropic constraints. An ensemble empirical mode decomposition adaptive filter was applied to the mascon time series to compute annual mass balances. The details and causes of the spatial and temporal variability of the land-ice regions studied are discussed. The estimated mass trend over the total GIS, AIS and GOA glaciers for the time period 1 December 2003 to 1 December 2010 is −380 ± 31 Gt a−1, equivalent to −1.05 ± 0.09 mm a−1 sea-level rise. Over the same time period we estimate the mass acceleration to be −41 ± 27 Gt a−2 , equivalent to a −0.11 ± 0.08 mm a−2 sea-level acceleration. The trends and accelerations are dependent on significant seasonal and annual balance anomalies.
Background: Increasingly more attention has been paid to non-pharmacological interventions as treatment of agitated behaviors that accompany dementia. The aim of the current study is to test if personalized one-to-one interaction activities based on Montessori principles will improve agitation, affect, and engagement more than a relevant control condition.
Methods: We conducted a randomized crossover trial in nine residential facilities in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia (n = 44). Personalized one-to-one activities that were delivered using Montessori principles were compared with a non-personalized activity to control for the non-specific benefits of one-to-one interaction. Participants were observed 30 minutes before, during, and after the sessions. The presence or absence of a selected physically non-aggressive behavior was noted in every minute, together with the predominant type of affect and engagement.
Results: Behavior counts fell considerably during both the Montessori and control sessions relative to beforehand. During Montessori activities, the amount of time spend actively engaged was double compared to during the control condition and participants displayed more positive affect and interest as well. Participants with no fluency in English (all from non-English speaking backgrounds) showed a significantly larger reduction in agitation during the Montessori than control sessions.
Conclusion: Our results show that even non-personalized social contact can assist in settling agitated residents. Tailoring activities to residents’ needs and capabilities elicit more positive interactions and are especially suitable for people who have lost fluency in the language spoken predominantly in their residential facility. Future studies could explore implementation by family members and volunteers to avoid demands on facilities’ resources.
Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry – ACTRN12609000564257.