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Cranberries are high in polyphenols, and epidemiological studies have shown that a high-polyphenol diet may reduce risk factors for diabetes and CVD. The present study aimed to determine if short-term cranberry beverage consumption would improve insulin sensitivity and other cardiovascular risk factors. Thirty-five individuals with obesity and with elevated fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance participated in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-designed pilot trial. Participants consumed 450 ml of low-energy cranberry beverage or placebo daily for 8 weeks. Changes in insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors including vascular reactivity, blood pressure, RMR, glucose tolerance, lipid profiles and oxidative stress biomarkers were evaluated. Change in insulin sensitivity via hyperinsulinaemic–euglycaemic clamp was not different between the two groups. Levels of 8-isoprostane (biomarker of lipid peroxidation) decreased in the cranberry group but increased in the placebo group (–2·18 v. +20·81 pg/ml; P = 0·02). When stratified by baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, participants with high CRP levels (>4 mg/l) benefited more from cranberry consumption. In this group, significant differences in the mean change from baseline between the cranberry (n 10) and the placebo groups (n 7) in levels of TAG (–13·75 v. +10·32 %; P = 0·04), nitrate (+3·26 v. −6·28 µmol/l; P = 0·02) and 8-isoprostane (+0·32 v. +30·8 pg/ml; P = 0·05) were observed. These findings indicate that 8 weeks of daily cranberry beverage consumption may not impact insulin sensitivity but may be helpful in lowering TAG and changing certain oxidative stress biomarkers in individuals with obesity and a proinflammatory state.
Antidepressants are amongst the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs and their use continues to grow. Adverse outcomes are part of the landscape in prescribing medications and therefore management of safety issues need to be an integral part of practice.
We have developed consensus guidelines for safety monitoring with antidepressant treatments.
To present an overview of screening and safety considerations for pharmacotherapy of clinical depressive disorders and make recommendations for safety monitoring.
Data were sourced by a literature search using Medline and a manual search of scientific journals to identify relevant articles. Draft guidelines were prepared and serially revised in an iterative manner until all co-authors gave final approval of content.
A guidelines document was produced after approval by all 19 co-authors. The final document gives guidance on; the decision to treat, baseline screening prior to commencement of treatment, and ongoing monitoring during antidepressant treatment. The guidelines state or reference screening protocols that may detect medical causes of depression as well as screening and monitoring protocols to investigate specific adverse effects associated with antidepressant treatments that may be reduced or identified earlier by baseline screening and agent-specific monitoring after commencing treatment.
The implementation of safety monitoring guidelines for treatment of clinical depression may significantly improve outcome, by improving a patient's overall physical health status.
For treatment of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, comparative
long-term effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs to reduce relapses when
minimising adverse effects is of clinical interest, hence prompting this
To evaluate the comparative long-term effectiveness of antipsychotic
We systematically searched electronic databases for reports of randomised
controlled trials (RCTs) of antipsychotic monotherapy aimed at reducing
relapse risks in schizophrenia. We conducted network meta-analysis of 18
antipsychotics and placebo.
Studies of 10 177 patients in 56 reports were included; treatment
duration averaged 48 weeks (range 4–156). Olanzapine was significantly
more effective than chlorpromazine (odds ratio (OR) 0.35, 95% CI
0.14–0.88) or haloperidol (OR=0.50, 95% CI 0.30–0.82); and fluphenazine
decanoate was more effective than chlorpromazine (OR=0.31, 95% CI
0.11–0.88) in relapse reduction. Fluphenazine decanoate, haloperidol,
haloperidol decanoate and trifluoperazine produced more extrapyramidal
adverse effects than olanzapine or quetiapine; and olanzapine was
associated with more weight gain than other agents.
Except for apparent superiority of olanzapine and fluphenazine decanoate
over chlorpromazine, most agents showed intermediate efficacy for relapse
prevention and differences among them were minor. Typical antipsychotics
yielded adverse neurological effects, and olanzapine was associated with
weight gain. The findings may contribute to evidence-based treatment
selection for patients with chronic psychotic disorders.
Nanosecond (ns) pulsed dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) actuator in a laminar flat plate boundary layer is investigated numerically in an attempt to gain some new insights into the understanding of ns DBD actuation mechanism. Special emphasis is put on the examination, separation and comparison of behaviors of discharge induced micro shock wave and residual heat as well as on the investigation of response of external flow to the two effects. The shock wave is found to introduce highly transient, localized perturbation to the flow and be able to significantly alter the flow pattern shortly after its initiation. The main flow tends to quickly recover to close to its undisturbed state due to the transient nature of perturbation. However, with the shock decay and final disappearance, another perturbation source in the vicinity of discharge region, which contains contribution from both residual heat and shock, becomes increasingly pronounced and eventually develops into a perturbation wave train in the boundary layer. The perturbation is relatively weak and may not be a Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) wave and not trigger the laminar-turbulent transition of boundary layer. Instead, it is more likely to manipulate the flow stability to achieve the strong control authority of this kind of actuation in the case of flow separation control. In addition, a parametric study over the different electrical and hydrodynamic parameters is also conducted.
The changes in discharge in pressure-driven flows through channels with longitudinal grooves have been investigated in the laminar flow regime and in the turbulent flow regime with moderate Reynolds numbers (
) using both analytical and numerical methodologies. The results demonstrate that the long-wavelength grooves can increase discharge by 20 %–150 %, depending on the groove amplitude and the type of flow, while the short-wavelength grooves reduce the discharge. It has been shown that the reduced geometry model applies to the analysis of turbulent flows and the performance of grooves of arbitrary form is well approximated by the performance of grooves whose shape is represented by the dominant Fourier mode. The flow patterns, the turbulent kinetic energy as well as the Reynolds stresses were examined to identify the mechanisms leading to an increase in discharge. It is shown that the increase in discharge results from the rearrangement of the bulk fluid movement and not from the suppression of turbulence intensity. The turbulent kinetic energy and the Reynolds stresses are rearranged while their volume-averaged intensities remain the same as in the smooth channel. Analysis of the interaction of the groove patterns on both walls demonstrates that the converging–diverging configuration results in the greatest increase in discharge while the wavy channel configuration results in a reduction in discharge.
A computational fluid dynamics solver based on homogeneous cavitation model is employed to compute the two-phase cavitating flow. The model treats the two-phase regime as the homogeneous mixture of liquid and vapour which are locally assumed to be under both kinetic and thermodynamic equilibrium. As our focus is on pressure wave formation, propagation and its impact on cavitation bubble, the compressibility effects of liquid water have to be accounted for and hence the flow is considered to be compressible. The cavitating flow disturbed by the introduced pressure wave is simulated to investigate the unsteady features of cavitation due to the external perturbations. It is observed that the cavity becomes unstable, locally experiencing deformation or collapse, which depends on the shock wave intensity and freestream flow speed.
A numerical method based on a homogeneous single-phase flow model is presented to simulate the interaction between pressure wave and flow cavitation. To account for compressibility effects of liquid water, cavitating flow is assumed to be compressible and governed by time-dependent Euler equations with proper equation of state (EOS). The isentropic one-fluid formulation is employed to model the cavitation inception and evolution, while pure liquid phase is modeled by Tait equation of state. Because of large stiffness of Tait EOS and great variation of sound speed in flow field, some of conventional compressible gasdynamics solvers are unstable and even not applicable when extended to calculation of flow cavitation. To overcome the difficulties, a Godunov-type, cell-centered finite volume method is generalized to numerically integrate the governing equations on triangular mesh. The boundary is treated specially to ensure stability of the approach. The method proves to be stable, robust, accurate, time-efficient and oscillation-free.
Novel numerical experiments are designed to investigate unsteady dynamics of the cavitating flow impacted by pressure wave, which is of great interest in engineering applications but has not been studied systematically so far. Numerical simulation indicates that cavity over cylinder can be induced to collapse if the object is accelerated suddenly and extremely high pressure pulse results almost instantaneously. This, however, may be avoided by changing the traveling speed smoothly. The accompanying huge pressure increase may damage underwater devices. However, cavity formed at relatively high upstream speed may be less distorted or affected by shock wave and can recover fully from the initial deformation. It is observed that the cavitating flow starting from a higher freestream velocity is more stable and more resilient with respect to perturbation than the flow with lower background speed. These findings may shed some light on how to control cavitation development to avoid possible damage to operating devices.
The PULSE@Parkes project has been designed to monitor the rotation of radio pulsars over time spans of days to years. The observations are obtained using the Parkes 64-m and 12-m radio telescopes by Australian and international high school students. These students learn the basis of radio astronomy and undertake small projects with their observations. The data are fully calibrated and obtained with the state-of-the-art pulsar hardware available at Parkes. The final data sets are archived and are currently being used to carry out studies of 1) pulsar glitches, 2) timing noise, 3) pulse profile stability over long time scales and 4) the extreme nulling phenomenon. The data are also included in other projects such as gamma-ray observatory support and for the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project. In this paper we describe the current status of the project and present the first scientific results from the Parkes 12-m radio telescope. We emphasise that this project offers a straightforward means to enthuse high school students and the general public about radio astronomy while obtaining scientifically valuable data sets.
The first direct detection of gravitational waves may be made through observations of pulsars. The principal aim of pulsar timing-array projects being carried out worldwide is to detect ultra-low frequency gravitational waves (f ∼ 10−9–10−8 Hz). Such waves are expected to be caused by coalescing supermassive binary black holes in the cores of merged galaxies. It is also possible that a detectable signal could have been produced in the inflationary era or by cosmic strings. In this paper, we review the current status of the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project (the only such project in the Southern hemisphere) and compare the pulsar timing technique with other forms of gravitational-wave detection such as ground- and space-based interferometer systems.
A ‘pulsar timing array’ (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of ‘global’ phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 ms pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50 cm (~700 MHz), 20 cm (~1400 MHz), and 10 cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of two to three weeks. Regular observations commenced in early 2005. This paper describes the systems used for the PPTA observations and data processing, including calibration and timing analysis. The strategy behind the choice of pulsars, observing parameters, and analysis methods is discussed. Results are presented for PPTA data in the three bands taken between 2005 March and 2011 March. For 10 of the 20 pulsars, rms timing residuals are less than 1 μs for the best band after fitting for pulse frequency and its first time derivative. Significant ‘red’ timing noise is detected in about half of the sample. We discuss the implications of these results on future projects including the International Pulsar Timing Array and a PTA based on the Square Kilometre Array. We also present an ‘extended PPTA’ data set that combines PPTA data with earlier Parkes timing data for these pulsars.
The Parkes pulsar data archive currently provides access to 144044 data files obtained from observations carried out at the Parkes observatory since the year 1991. Around 105 files are from surveys of the sky, the remainder are observations of 775 individual pulsars and their corresponding calibration signals. Survey observations are included from the Parkes 70 cm and the Swinburne Intermediate Latitude surveys. Individual pulsar observations are included from young pulsar timing projects, the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array and from the PULSE@Parkes outreach program. The data files and access methods are compatible with Virtual Observatory protocols. This paper describes the data currently stored in the archive and presents ways in which these data can be searched and downloaded.
This study was performed to determine the prevalence, distribution of specimen sources, and antimicrobial susceptibility of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus–Acinetobacter baumannii (Acb) species complex in Singapore. One hundred and ninety-three non-replicate Acb species complex clinical isolates were collected from six hospitals over a 1-month period in 2006. Of these, 152 (78·7%) were identified as A. baumannii, 18 (9·3%) as ‘Acinetobacter pittii’ [genomic species (gen. sp.) 3], and 23 (11·9%) as ‘Acinetobacter nosocomialis’ (gen. sp. 13TU). Carbapenem resistance was highest in A. baumannii (72·4%), followed by A. pittii (38·9%), and A. nosocomialis (34·8%). Most carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii and A. nosocomialis possessed the blaOXA-23-like gene whereas carbapenem-resistant A. pittii possessed the blaOXA-58-like gene. Two imipenem-resistant strains (A. baumannii and A. pittii) had the blaIMP-like gene. Representatives of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii were related to European clones I and II.
We present the results and critical analyses of recent studies of ultrafast optical nonlinearities of liquid crystals in the isotropic and ordered phases for time scales spanning femtoseconds – microseconds. Pure undoped liquid crystals as well as liquid crystals containing plasmonic nano-particles have been investigated. Individual molecular electronic optical nonlinearities are found to be useful for femtoseconds – nanoseconds nonlinear transmission clamping applications. On the other hand, laser induced order parameter and birefringence modification in aligned nematic cells allow very rapid transmission switching of visible as well as near infrared lasers with response times in the sub-microseconds - few nanoseconds regime.
The dynamic interaction of a shockwave (modelled as a pressure pulse) with an initially spherically oscillating bubble is investigated. Upon the shockwave impact, the bubble deforms non-spherically and the flow field surrounding the bubble is determined with potential flow theory using the boundary-element method (BEM). The primary advantage of this method is its computational efficiency. The simulation process is repeated until the two opposite sides of the bubble surface collide with each other (i.e. the formation of a jet along the shockwave propagation direction). The collapse time of the bubble, its shape and the velocity of the jet are calculated. Moreover, the impact pressure is estimated based on water-hammer pressure theory. The Kelvin impulse, kinetic energy and bubble displacement (all at the moment of jet impact) are also determined. Overall, the simulated results compare favourably with experimental observations of lithotripter shockwave interaction with single bubbles (using laser-induced bubbles at various oscillation stages). The simulations confirm the experimental observation that the most intense collapse, with the highest jet velocity and impact pressure, occurs for bubbles with intermediate size during the contraction phase when the collapse time of the bubble is approximately equal to the compressive pulse duration of the shock wave. Under this condition, the maximum amount of energy of the incident shockwave is transferred to the collapsing bubble. Further, the effect of the bubble contents (ideal gas with different initial pressures) and the initial conditions of the bubble (initially oscillating vs. non-oscillating) on the dynamics of the shockwave-bubble interaction are discussed.
The hypoglossal nerve is an underrated nerve usually consigned to a few words in anatomical text books, under the last four cranial nerves. However, paralysis of this nerve may be the first indication of a serious underlying disorder. Excluding previous surgery, radiotherapy and trauma, 50 per cent of cases of isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy are idiopathic. A further 20 per cent are malignant, 20 per cent are vascular and 10 per cent are due to miscellaneous causes. Presentation of an isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy is therefore an ominous sign. There is confusion over both cause and investigation, and management protocols for isolated hypoglossal nerve palsy are ill-defined. We present a case of isolated hypoglossal palsy which was due to a metastatic skull base deposit. This case illustrates the fact that magnetic resonance imaging is the investigation of choice in assessing the entire course of the hypoglossal nerve.
Nonlinear absorption processes in an extremely nonlinear optical fiber core liquid, and recently observed supra-optical-nonlinearity in dopant modified nematic liquid crystals, are discussed in the context of optical limiting and anti-laser dazzling application.
In mixed cocoa-coconut palm plantations in Malaysia the palm spadices provide large, stable nesting sites for Dolichoderus thoracicus (Smith) in contrast to impermanent sites on cocoa and on the ground. D. thoracicus and the arboreal leaf-nesting Oecophylla smaragdina (Fabricius) both benefit from the mixed system which also provides a more stable food supply from honeydew-producing Homoptera. A scoring method showed that about 50–200 O. smaragdina or 200–2000 D. thoracicus on a cocoa tree can protect it effectively from Helopeltis theobromae Miller (Hemiptera: Miridae). The relatively greater efficiency of O. smaragdina as a biological control agent is associated with its actively dispersive predatory behaviour in contrast to the localized concentration of D. thoracicus workers at sites such as cocoa pods where it tends honeydew-producing Homoptera, and where it acts largely by deterring H. theobromae. Despite its biological control potential, the painfully biting O. smaragdina, unlike D. thoracicus, is normally considered unacceptable to plantation staff. Nevertheless it should be recognized as valuable in integrated pest management of cocoa pests especially where D. thoracicus is difficult to establish.
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