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The technology leading to very large aperture telescopes and their optics has progressed well in the period since 1984 and plans for many new large aperture telescopes have been made. Focal plane instrumentation continues to become more sophisticated or more efficient: multi-object capabilities, automatic instrument control and operation, and increasing use of CCDs are examples of areas to which this applies. The proportion of time devoted to observations using two-dimensional photoelectronic detectors has grown substantially at many observatories, particularly with telescopes of moderate aperture; and the use of high quantum efficiency array detectors is now being extended into the infrared spectral region. Important advances have also been made in instrumentation and techniques for ground-based high angular resolution interferometry.
A time sequence of longitudinal magnetograms of two active regions, McMath Regions 9281 and 9760, have indicated magnetic field changes occurring in localized areas with time scales of the order of hours. We believe the observed field changes are evolutionary in nature, rather than related to the occurrence of small flares. Three examples of evolutionary magnetic changes are discussed.
Increased recognition of the business case for managing corporate impacts on the environment has helped drive increasingly detailed and quantified corporate environmental goals. Foremost among these are goals of no net loss (NNL) and net positive impact (NPI). We assess the scale and growth of such corporate goals. Since the first public, company-wide NNL/NPI goal in 2001, 32 companies have set similar goals, of which 18 specifically include biodiversity. Mining companies have set the most NNL/NPI goals, and the majority of those that include biodiversity, despite the generally lower total global impact of the mining industry on biodiversity compared to the agriculture or forestry industries. This could be linked to the mining industry's greater participation in best practice bodies, high-profile impacts, and higher profit margins per area of impact. The detail and quality of present goals vary widely. We examined specific NNL/NPI goals and assessed the extent to which their key components were likely to increase the effectiveness of these goals in benefiting biodiversity and managing business risk. Nonetheless, outcomes are more important than goals, and we urge conservationists to work with companies to both support and monitor their efforts to achieve increasingly ambitious environmental goals.
Surveying and declaring disease freedom in wildlife is difficult because information on population size and spatial distribution is often inadequate. We describe and demonstrate a novel spatial model of wildlife disease-surveillance data for predicting the probability of freedom of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in New Zealand, in which the introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the primary wildlife reservoir. Using parameters governing home-range size, probability of capture, probability of infection and spatial relative risks of infection we employed survey data on reservoir hosts and spillover sentinels to make inference on the probability of eradication. Our analysis revealed high sensitivity of model predictions to parameter values, which demonstrated important differences in the information contained in survey data of host-reservoir and spillover-sentinel species. The modelling can increase cost efficiency by reducing the likelihood of prematurely declaring success due to insufficient control, and avoiding unnecessary costs due to excessive control and monitoring.
The base-line study consisted of three visits to Sullom Voe before the oil terminal became operational. General stress indices were used to measure the health and condition of four native and two transplanted populations of mussels (Mytilus edulis). A mobile laboratory was used to measure the physiological responses under ambient field conditions. These were then integrated into the stress indices, scope for growth and oxygen :nitrogen ratio. The general biochemical and cytological stress indices, namely taurine: glycine ratio, gametogenic development and latency of lysosomal β-hexosaminidase were also measured for each population. All these general stress indices indicated that the mussel populations were in a relatively healthy physiological condition. However, mussels from the Houb of Scatsta showed a transient stress response, probably caused by freshwater run-off from the surrounding peat beds.
In addition to the general stress indices, specific cellular responses known to be induced by petroleum hydrocarbons were monitored. The activity of enzymes forming components of the mixed-function oxidase system (NADPH neotetrazolium reductase, G6PDH and NADP-ICDH, and aldrin epoxidation) were measured.
The rationale for measuring these general and specific stress indices as part of a Sullom Voe environmental monitoring programme is discussed in the light of experiments with petroleum hydrocarbons in the laboratory and with reference to the future operation of the oil terminal.
There is increasing epidemiological evidence linking sub-optimal vitamin D status with overweight and obesity. Although increasing BMI and adiposity have also been negatively associated with the change in vitamin D status following supplementation, results have been equivocal. The aim of this randomised, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures of adiposity and the wintertime serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) response to 15 μg cholecalciferol per d in healthy young and older Irish adults. A total of 110 young adults (20–40 years) and 102 older adults ( ≥ 64 years) completed the 22-week intervention with >85 % compliance. The change in 25(OH)D from baseline was calculated. Anthropometric measures of adiposity taken at baseline included height, weight and waist circumference (WC), along with skinfold thickness measurements to estimate fat mass (FM). FM was subsequently expressed as FM (kg), FM (%), FM index (FMI (FM kg/height m2)) and as a percentage ratio to fat-free mass (FFM). In older adults, vitamin D status was inversely associated with BMI (kg/m2), WC (cm), FM (kg and %), FMI (kg/m2) and FM:FFM (%) at baseline (r − 0·33, − 0·36, − 0·33, − 0·30, − 0·33 and − 0·27, respectively, all P values < 0·01). BMI in older adults was also negatively associated with the change in 25(OH)D following supplementation (β − 1·27, CI − 2·37, − 0·16, P = 0·026); however, no such associations were apparent in younger adults. Results suggest that adiposity may need to be taken into account when determining an adequate wintertime dietary vitamin D intake for healthy older adults residing at higher latitudes.
The ‘Smart Choices’ programme was an industry-driven, front-of-package (FOP) nutritional labelling system introduced in the USA in August 2009, ostensibly to help consumers select healthier options during food shopping. Its nutritional criteria were developed by members of the food industry in collaboration with nutrition and public health experts and government officials. The aim of the present study was to test the extent to which products labelled as ‘Smart Choices’ could be classified as healthy choices on the basis of the Nutrient Profile Model (NPM), a non-industry-developed, validated nutritional standard.
A total of 100 packaged products that qualified for a ‘Smart Choices’ designation were sampled from eight food and beverage categories. All products were evaluated using the NPM method.
In all, 64 % of the products deemed ‘Smart Choices’ did not meet the NPM standard for a healthy product. Within each ‘Smart Choices’ category, 0 % of condiments, 8·70 % of fats and oils, 15·63 % of cereals and 31·58 % of snacks and sweets met NPM thresholds. All sampled soups, beverages, desserts and grains deemed ‘Smart Choices’ were considered healthy according to the NPM standard.
The ‘Smart Choices’ programme is an example of industries’ attempts at self-regulation. More than 60 % of foods that received the ‘Smart Choices’ label did not meet standard nutritional criteria for a ‘healthy’ food choice, suggesting that industries’ involvement in designing labelling systems should be scrutinized. The NPM system may be a good option as the basis for establishing FOP labelling criteria, although more comparisons with other systems are needed.
Sintered compacts of magnetically aligned single-crystal particles have been studied by x-ray, microscopy, and magnetic measurements. Though significant alignment and very anisotropie magnetic hysteresis were obtained, the magnitude of the hysteresis indicates, through the critical state model, that the bulk critical current density remains low.
Although light microscopy is commonly used to characterize high-temperature superconductors, few details have appeared in the literature. This paper discusses light-microscopy observations on secondary phases, grain structure, twinning, microhardness, and texture in sintered compacts of Y1Ba2Cu3O7−x (123).
Prototype Laves Phases MgCu2 and MgZn2 have been deformed in compression at various temperatures and strain rates, and dislocations produced by deformation have been characterized by TEM. Ternary cubic Laves phases Mg(Cu,M)2, where M-Al, Ni, Si, and Zn, have also been deformed, and substantial solution hardening was observed
MgNi2 and MgCu0.4Zn1.6, two C36 Laves phases, were plastically deformed at elevated temperatures, and, the deformation-induced defects were studied by TEM. Extensive faulting was observed, consistent with the low stacking-fault energy of the C36 structure. HREM revealed multi-layer faults with a variety of stacking sequences.
Ti-Cr alloys near the TiCr2 composition have been studied to determine the single-phase Laves field and the associated defects accompanying off-stoichiometry. A combination of metallography, x-ray diffraction, lattice parameter measurements, density measurements and electron microprobe analysis have been used to establish a narrow single-phase region extending towards Ti-rich compositions. All three Laves crystal structures (C14, C36 and C15) were found to exist at different temperatures. Hardness and fracture toughness values determined by Vickers microindentation were studied as a function of alloy composition. Effects of adding Fe, Nb, Mo, and V to TiCr2 on lattice parameter, crystal structure, hardness and fracture toughness are reported.
A bacteriological survey was made on the distribution and occurrence of coliforms and pathogenic indicators of pollution within the surf-zone and near-shore waters along a section of the Natal Coast, prior to the use of submarine outfalls. The distance covered measured approximately 47 miles. The waters sampled and assessed ranged from ‘clean’ beaches to heavily polluted areas; a single short run off an Eastern Cape coastal region was included for comparative purposes. In all cases, the bacteriological picture was related to sanitary features on the shore. The method is based on Escherichia coli I counts, parasite units, staphylococci, salmonellas and salinity, and provides an objective approach to the assessment of any future changes in water quality consequent on development.
A bacteriological survey on the distribution and occurrence of coliforms and pathogenic indicators of pollution within the surf-zone and near-shore waters along a section of the Natal coast before the use of submarine outfalls was reported previously. In that report more than half the beaches in the region were found to be of Class IV or III quality. After the submarine outfalls became operational, ten further sampling runs were made. A considerable improvement in the sea-water quality was apparent, most of the beaches being regraded to Class II or I, notably in the bathing areas.