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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
This work established the feasibility of flexible solution-processed radiation sensors prepared from an organic scintillator (1-phenyl-3-mesityl-2-pyrazoline) and a biocompatible semiconducting polymer (violanthrone-79). Absorbance, steady-state, and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements demonstrated a high efficiency for the transfer of absorbed energy from the scintillator to the semiconductor. Blended nanoparticles containing both materials were fabricated in order to reduce the intermolecular distance between molecules, creating a highly efficient energy transfer pathway. Radiation-sensing devices were then constructed from the materials. These exhibited successful sensitivity for gamma radiation from a 137Cs source that was not present for the control semiconducting polymer alone.
The decontamination of hazardous chemical agents from porous media is an important and critical part of the clean-up operation following a chemical weapon attack. Decontamination is often achieved through the application of a cleanser, which reacts on contact with an agent to neutralise it. While it is relatively straightforward to write down a model that describes the interplay of the agent and cleanser on the scale of the pores in the porous medium, it is computationally expensive to solve such a model over realistic spill sizes.
In this paper, we consider the homogenisation of a pore-scale model for the interplay between agent and cleanser, with the aim of generating simplified models that can be solved more easily on the spill scale but accurately capture the microscale structure and chemical activity. We consider two situations: one in which the agent completely fills local porespaces and one in which it does not. In the case when the agent does not completely fill the porespace, we use established homogenisation techniques to systematically derive a reaction–diffusion model for the macroscale concentration of cleanser. However, in the case where the agent completely fills the porespace, the homogenisation procedure is more in-depth and involves a two-timescale approach coupled with a spatial boundary layer. The resulting homogenised model closely resembles the microscale model with the effect of the porous material being incorporated into the parameters. The two models cater for two different spill scenarios and provide the foundation for further study of reactive decontamination.
We derive a mathematical model for the drawing of a two-dimensional thin sheet of viscous fluid in the direction of gravity. If the gravitational field is sufficiently strong, then a portion of the sheet experiences a compressive stress and is thus unstable to transverse buckling. We analyse the dependence of the instability and the subsequent evolution on the process parameters, and the mutual coupling between the weakly nonlinear buckling and the stress profile in the sheet. Over long time scales, the sheet centreline ultimately adopts a universal profile, with the bulk of the sheet under tension and a single large bulge caused by a small compressive region near the bottom, and we derive a canonical inner problem that describes this behaviour. The large-time analysis involves a logarithmic asymptotic expansion, and we devise a hybrid asymptotic–numerical scheme that effectively sums the logarithmic series.
High-rate lithium ion batteries with long cycling lives can provide electricity grid stabilization services in the presence of large fractions of intermittent generators, such as photovoltaics. Engineering for high rate and long cycle life requires an appropriate selection of materials for both electrode and electrolyte and an understanding of how these materials degrade with use. High-rate lithium ion batteries can also facilitate faster charging of electric vehicles and provide higher energy density alternatives to supercapacitors in mass transport applications.
High-rate lithium ion batteries can play a critical role in decarbonizing our energy systems both through their underpinning of the transition to use renewable energy resources, such as photovoltaics, and electrification of transport. Their ability to be rapidly and frequently charged and discharged can enable this energy storage technology to play a key role in stabilizing future low-carbon electricity networks which integrate large fractions of intermittent renewable energy generators. This decarbonizing transition will require lithium ion technology to provide increased power and longer cycle lives at reduced cost. Rate performance and cycle life are ultimately limited by the materials used and the kinetics associated with the charge transfer reactions and ionic and electronic conduction. We review material strategies for electrode materials and electrolytes that can facilitate high rates and long cycle lives and discuss the important issues of cost, resource availability and recycling.
Age- and sex-based BMI cut-offs are used to define overweight and obesity, but the relationship between BMI and body composition has not been very well studied in children or compared between children of different ethnic groups. Body size and composition in childhood are also influenced by size at birth. Our aim was to compare body size and composition at 2 years in children with different ethnicity and size at birth. We prospectively followed a multi-ethnic cohort of 300 children born with risk factors for neonatal hypoglycaemia (infants of diabetics, large or small at birth or late preterm) to 2 years corrected age. Complete data on weight, height and head circumference and body composition using bioelectrical impedance 24±1 months corrected age were available in 209 children. At birth, compared with European children, Chinese, Indian and other ethnicity children were lighter, and Indian children had smaller head circumferences, but birth lengths were similar in all ethnic groups. At 2 years, Pacific children were heavier and had higher BMI z scores, and Indian children had smaller head circumferences and lower BMI z scores than those from other ethnic groups. However, fat mass and fat-free mass indices were similar in all groups. At median BMI, fat mass:fat-free mass ratio was 23 % lower in Pacific than in Indian children (0·22 v. 0·27, P=0·03). BMI is not a good indicator of adiposity in this multi-ethnic cohort of 2-year-old New Zealand children.
We consider the spreading of a thin viscous droplet, injected through a finite region of a substrate, under the influence of surface tension. We neglect gravity and assume that there is a precursor layer covering the whole substrate and that the rate of injection is constant. We analyse the evolution of the film profile for early and late time, and obtain power-law dependencies for the maximum film thickness at the centre of the injection region and the position of an apparent contact line, which compare well with numerical solutions of the full problem. We relax the conditions on the injection rate to consider more general time-dependent and spatially varying forms. In the case of power-law injection of the form
, we observe a switch in the behaviour of the evolution of the film thickness for late time from increasing to decreasing at a critical value of
. We show that point-source injection can be treated as a limiting case of a finite-injection slot and the solutions exhibit identical behaviours for late time. Finally, we formulate the problem with thickness-dependent injection rate, discuss the behaviour of the maximum film thickness and the position of the apparent contact line and give power-law dependencies for these.
We investigate the Dead Hand Proxy Put, a contractual innovation in corporate debt agreements that may impact hedge fund activism. We find the provision principally in loans, not bonds, and provide evidence linking the adoption of the provision to hedge fund activism. Furthermore, controlling for endogeneity, we find that the provision significantly reduces the cost of loans. Bondholder wealth also increases. Moreover, cross-sectional analysis of share returns reveals that the provision is positively associated with repeat banking relationships and negatively associated with free cash flow problems, suggesting a cost-benefit tradeoff.
Psychosocial disability affects a number of individuals with psychosis and often begins years before the formal onset of disorder. This suggests that for many, their psychosocial disability is enduring, and targeted interventions are therefore needed earlier in their developmental trajectories to ensure that psychosocial disability does not become entrenched. Poor psychosocial functioning also affects individuals with a range of different emerging mental health problems, putting these young people at risk of long-term social marginalisation and economic disadvantage; all of which are known risk factors for the development of psychosis. Identification of the markers of poor psychosocial functioning will help to inform effective treatments. This editorial will discern the early trajectories and markers of poor psychosocial outcome in psychosis, and highlight which individuals are most at risk of having a poor outcome. This editorial will also discuss whether early interventions are currently being targeted appropriately and will propose how intervention and preventative strategies can be implemented, to restore psychosocial trajectories in a way that enables young people to maximise their life chances.
SNP in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene is associated with risk of lower respiratory infections. The influence of genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway resulting in susceptibility to upper respiratory infections (URI) has not been investigated. We evaluated the influence of thirty-three SNP in eleven vitamin D pathway genes (DBP, DHCR7, RXRA, CYP2R1, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, CYP3A4, CYP27A1, LRP2, CUBN and VDR) resulting in URI risk in 725 adults in London, UK, using an additive model with adjustment for potential confounders and correction for multiple comparisons. Significant associations in this cohort were investigated in a validation cohort of 737 children in Manchester, UK. In all, three SNP in VDR (rs4334089, rs11568820 and rs7970314) and one SNP in CYP3A4 (rs2740574) were associated with risk of URI in the discovery cohort after adjusting for potential confounders and correcting for multiple comparisons (adjusted incidence rate ratio per additional minor allele ≥1·15, Pfor trend ≤0·030). This association was replicated for rs4334089 in the validation cohort (Pfor trend=0·048) but not for rs11568820, rs7970314 or rs2740574. Carriage of the minor allele of the rs4334089 SNP in VDR was associated with increased susceptibility to URI in children and adult cohorts in the United Kingdom.
The conservation of threatened species requires information on how management activities influence habitat quality. The Critically Endangered black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis is restricted to savannahs representing c. 5% of its historical range. Fire is used extensively in savannahs but little is known about how rhinos respond to burning. Our aim was to understand rhino responses to fire by studying habitat selection and foraging at multiple scales. We used resource selection functions and locations of 31 rhinos during 2014–2016 to study rhino habitat use in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Rhino selectivity was quantified by comparing forage consumption to plant species availability in randomly sampled vegetation plots; rhino diets were subsequently verified through DNA metabarcoding analysis of faecal samples. Rhino habitat use was a unimodal function of fire history, with highly occupied sites having fire frequencies of < 0.6 fires/year and maximum occupancy occurring at a fire frequency of 0.1 fires/year. Foraging stations had characteristic plant communities, with 17 species associated with rhino foraging. Rhinos were associated with, and disproportionately consumed, woody plants, forbs and legumes, all of which decreased in abundance with increasing fire frequency. In contrast to common management practices, multiple lines of evidence suggest that the current fire regime in the Serengeti negatively influences rhino habitat use and foraging and that frequent fire limits access of rhinos to preferred forage. We outline a conceptual model to guide managers and conservationists in the use of fire under variable habitat conditions.