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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
The component of the neoclassical electrostatic potential that is non-constant on the magnetic surface, that we denote by
, can affect radial transport of highly charged impurities, and this has motivated its inclusion in some modern neoclassical codes. The number of neoclassical simulations in which
is calculated is still scarce, partly because they are usually demanding in terms of computational resources, especially at low collisionality. In this paper the size, the scaling with collisionality and with aspect ratio and the structure of
on the magnetic surface are analytically derived in the
and superbanana-plateau regimes of stellarators close to omnigeneity; i.e. stellarators that have been optimized for neoclassical transport. It is found that the largest
that the neoclassical equations admit scales linearly with the inverse aspect ratio and with the size of the deviation from omnigeneity. Using a model for a perturbed omnigenous configuration, the analytical results are verified and illustrated with calculations by the code KNOSOS. The techniques, results and numerical tools employed in this paper can be applied to neoclassical transport problems in tokamaks with broken axisymmetry.
To evaluate the presence of endolymphatic hydrops in patients with immune-mediated inner-ear disease.
The presence of endolymphatic hydrops was prospectively evaluated in 17 patients clinically diagnosed with secondary (n = 5) or primary (n = 12) immune-mediated inner-ear disease, who attended the ENT department of a tertiary care centre for evaluation or treatment over the previous year. All patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the temporal bone.
Intratympanic gadolinium three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging diagnosed hydrops in 11 of 12 patients with primary immune-mediated inner-ear disease (92 per cent). Of these, seven patients (64 per cent) presented only cochlear (n = 5) or predominantly cochlear (n = 2) hydrops. A positive magnetic resonance imaging result was observed in only one of five patients with secondary immune-mediated inner-ear disease (20 per cent).
This study confirms the presence of endolymphatic hydrops in immune-mediated inner-ear disease patients. The virtual absence of hydrops in patients with secondary immune-mediated inner-ear disease is remarkable, although firm conclusions cannot be drawn; this should be explored in a multicentre study with a larger sample of patients. A different immune reaction without development of endolymphatic hydrops should not be ruled out in secondary immune-mediated inner-ear disease patients.
We present a fast method to prepare hybrid materials of polyaniline (PAni) with carbon nanotubes (CNTs, both undoped and nitrogen-doped) by ball milling without solvents or strong oxidants. PAni forms nanoparticles, attached to CNTs in a nanocomposite structure, with the nanotubes well dispersed among the polymer. This is achieved with only a few minutes of ball milling. Raman spectroscopy confirms that PAni was synthesized in its conductive state and suggests a good CNT–PAni interaction, particularly with nitrogen-doped CNTs. We found that water increased polymer yield, which we optimized, together with the nanocomposite conductivity, as function of amount of water and of oxidant (FeCl3). The nanocomposite conductivity is four orders of magnitude higher than that of PAni, for both types of nanotubes. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction both show negligible damage to the CNT during this mechanosynthesis procedure, while dry milling and milling CNT in water without aniline does damage nanotubes, indicating that the reaction absorbs most of the mechanical energy.
Metamaterials offer the possibility to control and manipulate electromagnetic radiation. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials are the focus of this Element of the Metamaterials Series. The fundamentals of spoof surface plasmons are reviewed, and advances on plasmonic metamaterials based on spoof plasmons are presented. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials on a wide range of geometries are discussed: from planar platforms to waveguides and localized modes, including cylindrical structures, grooves, wedges, dominos or conformal surface plasmons in ultrathin platforms. The Element closes with a review of recent advances and applications such as Terahertz sensing or integrated devices and circuits.
Both breed and feeding system can affect the composition of fat depots in cattle. Furthermore, carcass fat colour may be influenced by forage-based diets due to the deposition of pigments, but also by changes in texture and firmness because of differences in the fatty acid (FA) profile. The objective of this work was to study the relationship between colour and FA profile of subcutaneous (SC) fat depending on breed and feeding systems in yearling bulls.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
Ranking trait was used as a selection criterion for competition horses to estimate racing performance. In the literature the most common approaches to estimate breeding values are the linear or threshold statistical models. However, recent studies have shown that a Thurstonian approach was able to fix the race effect (competitive level of the horses that participate in the same race), thus suggesting a better prediction accuracy of breeding values for ranking trait. The aim of this study was to compare the predictability of linear, threshold and Thurstonian approaches for genetic evaluation of ranking in endurance horses. For this purpose, eight genetic models were used for each approach with different combinations of random effects: rider, rider–horse interaction and environmental permanent effect. All genetic models included gender, age and race as systematic effects. The database that was used contained 4065 ranking records from 966 horses and that for the pedigree contained 8733 animals (47% Arabian horses), with an estimated heritability around 0.10 for the ranking trait. The prediction ability of the models for racing performance was evaluated using a cross-validation approach. The average correlation between real and predicted performances across genetic models was around 0.25 for threshold, 0.58 for linear and 0.60 for Thurstonian approaches. Although no significant differences were found between models within approaches, the best genetic model included: the rider and rider–horse random effects for threshold, only rider and environmental permanent effects for linear approach and all random effects for Thurstonian approach. The absolute correlations of predicted breeding values among models were higher between threshold and Thurstonian: 0.90, 0.91 and 0.88 for all animals, top 20% and top 5% best animals. For rank correlations these figures were 0.85, 0.84 and 0.86. The lower values were those between linear and threshold approaches (0.65, 0.62 and 0.51). In conclusion, the Thurstonian approach is recommended for the routine genetic evaluations for ranking in endurance horses.
A Q fever outbreak was declared in February 2016 in a company that manufactures hoists and chains and therefore with no apparent occupational-associated risk. Coxiella burnetii infection was diagnosed by serology in eight of the 29 workers of the company; seven of them had fever or flu-like signs and five had pneumonia, one requiring hospitalisation. A further case of C. burnetii pneumonia was diagnosed in a local resident. Real-time PCR (RTi–PCR) showed a widespread distribution of C. burnetii DNA in dust samples collected from the plant facilities, thus confirming the exposure of workers to the infection inside the factory. Epidemiological investigations identified a goat flock with high C. burnetii seroprevalence and active shedding which was owned and managed by one of the workers of the company as possible source of infection. Genotyping by multispacer sequence typing (MST) and a 10-loci single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination using RTi–PCR identified the same genotype (MST18 and SNP type 8, respectively) in the farm and the factory. These results confirmed the link between the goat farm and the outbreak and allowed the identification of the source of infection. The circumstances and possible vehicles for the bacteria entering the factory are discussed.
A eutectoid carbon steel was studied at three different annealing heat treatment cycles: spheroidizing, isothermal annealing, and normalization (air cooling). The aim of this study was to determine the correlation among thermal, structural, and metallurgical properties, as a result of the annealing heat treatment. Microstructure differences were produced by the heat treatment cooling rate with significant effects on Vickers nanohardness, thermal properties, and crystallinity. It was reflected in photothermal radiometry (PTR) images as in thermal conductivity and diffusivity. The amplitude signal increased as the cooling rate increased. It means that as the cooling rate increased, crystallinity, thermal diffusivity, and conductivity decreased. The cooling rate affected the metallurgical structure directly, and consequently, the nanohardness which decreased due to the solid solution formation and decomposition of the pearlite phase. As the cooling rate increased, the nanohardness increased modifying structural properties and the steel crystallinity. As the cooling rate decreased, the crystallinity increased.
The number of horses in northern Spanish mountains has increased in recent decades, but little is known about their grazing behaviour, performance and potential for foal meat production. This research aimed to study the diet selection, liveweight (LW) changes and parasitic status of dry and lactating mares, and foals’ LW gains, grazing on heathlands with different botanical composition. The experimental design consisted of three vegetation types: dominated by heather (Ericaceae) species (H), dominated by gorse (Ulex gallii; G) and co-dominated by gorse and heath-grasses (G-G), with four replicates per treatment (12 paddocks of 1.2 ha). The study lasted three grazing seasons (2010–12). Each year, 24 crossbred mature mares (310±52 kg LW) were used, managing one lactating mare with her foal plus one non-lactating mare per paddock from May to late summer or early autumn. In the case of H paddocks, animals had to be removed before (late August to early September) because of apparent loss of body condition. Animals were periodically weighed. Mares’ diet composition was estimated using alkane markers, analysing the discrepancies in alkane concentrations between dietary plant components and faeces. Faecal samples were also analysed for gastrointestinal nematodes ova. Chemical composition of the main plant components (i.e. heather, gorse and grasses) revealed a low nutritive value, averaging 79, 115 and 113 g CP/kg dry matter (DM), respectively, that could restrict livestock performance. Mares initially selected gorse and grasses (0.47 and 0.40, respectively, in 2010), increasing heather consumption over time (from 0.13 in 2010 to 0.29 in 2012) as gorse availability decreased. The performance of both mares and foals was lower in H compared with G and G-G paddocks (−216 v. 347 g/day for mares, P<0.01; 278 v. 576 g/day for foals, P<0.05), whereas LW changes were more favourable in dry mares than in lactating ones (241 v. 78 g/day; P<0.05). Small strongyle (Cyathostominae) egg counts in mares’ faeces increased across the grazing season with no differences between treatments. These results indicate that grazing by horses on gorse- and grass-gorse-dominated shrublands could be sustainable at least during part of the year (4 to 6 months). However, heather-dominated heathlands are not able to meet the nutritional needs of horses even for a short time (2 to 4 months). Nevertheless, the low nutritive quality of these vegetation communities, especially in autumn, requires animal access to other pastures with a higher nutritive value, or supplementary feeding, to enhance foals’ growth and maintain sustainable grazing systems with productive herds.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.