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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Community-based breeding programs (CBBPs) for small ruminants have been suggested as alternatives to centralised, government-controlled breeding schemes which have been implemented in many developing countries. An innovative methodological framework on how to design, implement and sustain CBBPs was tested in three sites in Ethiopia: Bonga, Horro and Menz. In these CBBPs, the main selection trait identified through participatory approaches was 6-month weight in all three sites. In Horro and Bonga, where resources such as feed and water permitted larger litter sizes, twinning rate was included. Ten-year (2009 to 2018) performance data from the breeding programs were analysed using Average Information Restricted Maximum Likelihood method (AI-REML). Additionally, the socioeconomic impact of CBBPs was assessed. Results indicated that 6-month weight increased over the years in all breeds. In Bonga, the average increase was 0.21 ± 0.018 kg/year, followed by 0.18 ± 0.007 and 0.11 ± 0.003 kg/year in Horro and Menz, respectively. This was quite substantial in an on-farm situation. The birth weight of lambs did not improve over the years in Bonga and Horro sheep but significant increases occurred in Menz. Considering that there was no direct selection on birth weight in the community flock, the increased weights observed in Menz could be due to correlated responses, but this was not the case in Bonga and Horro. The genetic trend for prolificacy over the years in both Bonga and Horro flocks was positive and significant (P < 0.01). This increase in litter size, combined with the increased 6-month body weight, increased income by 20% and farm-level meat consumption from slaughter of one sheep per year to three. The results show that CBBPs are technically feasible, result in measurable genetic gains in performance traits and impact the livelihoods of farmers.
Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the seasonal dynamic and epidemic occurrence of bacterial meningitis in the African meningitis belt remain unknown. Regular seasonality (seasonal hyperendemicity) is observed for both meningococcal and pneumococcal meningitis and understanding this is critical for better prevention and modelling. The two principal hypotheses for hyperendemicity during the dry season imply (1) an increased risk of invasive disease given asymptomatic carriage of meningococci and pneumococci; or (2) an increased transmission of these bacteria from carriers and ill individuals. In this study, we formulated three compartmental deterministic models of seasonal hyperendemicity, featuring one (model1-‘inv’ or model2-‘transm’), or a combination (model3-‘inv-transm’) of the two hypotheses. We parameterised the models based on current knowledge on meningococcal and pneumococcal biology and pathophysiology. We compared the three models' performance in reproducing weekly incidences of suspected cases of acute bacterial meningitis reported by health centres in Burkina Faso during 2004–2010, through the meningitis surveillance system. The three models performed well (coefficient of determination R2, 0.72, 0.86 and 0.87, respectively). Model2-‘transm’ and model3-‘inv-transm’ better captured the amplitude of the seasonal incidence. However, model2-‘transm’ required a higher constant invasion rate for a similar average baseline transmission rate. The results suggest that a combination of seasonal changes of the risk of invasive disease and carriage transmission is involved in the hyperendemic seasonality of bacterial meningitis in the African meningitis belt. Consequently, both interventions reducing the risk of nasopharyngeal invasion and the bacteria transmission, especially during the dry season are believed to be needed to limit the recurrent seasonality of bacterial meningitis in the meningitis belt.
Knowledge of the effects of burial depth and burial duration on seed viability and, consequently, seedbank persistence of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] ecotypes can be used for the development of efficient weed management programs. This is of particular interest, given the great fecundity of both species and, consequently, their high seedbank replenishment potential. Seeds of both species collected from five different locations across the United States were investigated in seven states (sites) with different soil and climatic conditions. Seeds were placed at two depths (0 and 15 cm) for 3 yr. Each year, seeds were retrieved, and seed damage (shrunken, malformed, or broken) plus losses (deteriorated and futile germination) and viability were evaluated. Greater seed damage plus loss averaged across seed origin, burial depth, and year was recorded for lots tested at Illinois (51.3% and 51.8%) followed by Tennessee (40.5% and 45.1%) and Missouri (39.2% and 42%) for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. The site differences for seed persistence were probably due to higher volumetric water content at these sites. Rates of seed demise were directly proportional to burial depth (α=0.001), whereas the percentage of viable seeds recovered after 36 mo on the soil surface ranged from 4.1% to 4.3% compared with 5% to 5.3% at the 15-cm depth for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. Seed viability loss was greater in the seeds placed on the soil surface compared with the buried seeds. The greatest influences on seed viability were burial conditions and time and site-specific soil conditions, more so than geographical location. Thus, management of these weed species should focus on reducing seed shattering, enhancing seed removal from the soil surface, or adjusting tillage systems.
Background: EMBRACE (NCT02462759) Part 1 is a randomized, double-blind, sham-procedure controlled study assessing safety/tolerability of intrathecal nusinersen (12-mg equivalent dose) in symptomatic infants/children with SMA who were not eligible to participate in ENDEAR or CHERISH. Methods: Eligible participants had onset of SMA symptoms at ≤6 months with 3 SMN2 copies; onset at ≤6 months, age >7 months and 2 copies; or onset at >6 months, age ≤18 months, and 2/3 copies. Safety/tolerability was the primary endpoint. Exploratory endpoints included Hammersmith Infant Neurological Examination Section 2 (HINE-2) motor milestone attainment, change in ventilator use, and growth. Results: EMBRACE Part 1 was terminated early based on positive results from ENDEAR. Safety/tolerability was similar to previous trials. More nusinersen-treated (11/14;79%) vs. sham–treated individuals (2/7;29%) were HINE-2 motor milestone responders. Between Day 183 and 302, mean (SD) hours of ventilator use changed by +1.236 (3.712) hours in nusinersen-treated (n=12) and +2.123 (3.023) hours in sham–treated individuals (n=7). Similar increases in weight and body length were observed in nusinersen-treated and sham–treated individuals by Day 183. Conclusions: In EMBRACE Part 1, nusinersen demonstrated a favorable benefit-risk profile. These results add to the aggregated efficacy, safety/tolerability data of nusinersen in SMA.
As a result of the selection for genotypes with greater sow prolificacy, litter size increased and, concomitantly, average litter birth weight and early postnatal survival rates of low birth weight (L-BtW) offspring decreased. This study compared the impact of l-carnitine (CAR) and l-arginine (ARG) supplemented with a milk replacer and fed to L-BtW piglets born from large litters from days 7 to 28 of age on growth performance, carcass composition, organ and Semitendinosus muscle (STM) development. A total of 30 female and castrated Swiss Large White piglets weaned at 7 days of age were assigned to three milk replacer diets containing either no supplement (CON), CAR (0.40 g/piglet per day) or ARG (1.08 g/kg BW per day). Piglets were kept in pairs in rescue decks (0.54 m2). They were weighed daily and daily allowance of both, feed and ARG, was adjusted accordingly. Thus, feed allowance depended on growth. Each day, the milk replacer was prepared with water (1:4). Feed (allowance: 60 g dry matter/kg BW per day) was offered daily in six equal rations. Feed intake and feed efficiency was assessed for the pairs and apparent total tract-energy and -protein digestibility was determined from days 21 to 28 of age. On day 28, piglets were euthanized, blood samples were collected and the whole STM and organs were weighed. In STM, the size and metabolic properties of myofibers were determined. No difference in growth performance was found between dietary treatments, but piglets from the CAR group tended (P<0.10) to grow faster during the 1st experimental week and consume more feed from days 14 to 21 as compared with piglets of the CON group. A setback in growth in the last week in the CAR group coincided with the lower (P<0.05) energy and protein digestibility. Dietary treatments had no effect on STM and organ weight and myofiber size. Compared with the other groups, there were trends (P<0.10) for blood serum urea and glucose level to be greater in CAR and for non-esterified fatty acid level to be greater in ARG piglets. The greater (P<0.05) ratio of lactate dehydrogenase to either citrate synthase or β-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase indicated that the relative importance of the glycolytic compared with the oxidative pathway was greater in STM of CAR and ARG compared with CON piglets. These results suggest that ARG and CAR supplements were beneficial for muscle maturation whereas findings on phenotypic traits were rather unsystematic.
Tannins have long been considered ‘anti-nutritional’ factors in monogastric nutrition, shown to reduce feed intake and palatability. However, recent studies revealed that compared with condensed tannins, hydrolysable tannins (HT) appear to have far less impact on growth performance, but may be inhibitory to the total activity of caecal bacteria. This in turn could reduce microbial synthesis of skatole and indole in the hindgut of entire male pigs (EM). Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the impact of a group of dietary HT on growth performance, carcass traits and boar taint compounds of group housed EM. For the study, 36 Swiss Large White boars were assigned within litter to three treatment groups. Boars were offered ad libitum one of three finisher diets supplemented with 0 (C), 15 (T15) or 30 g/kg (T30) of HT from day 105 to 165 of age. Growth performance, carcass characteristics, boar taint compounds in the adipose tissue and cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes CYP2E1, CYP1A2 and CYP2A19 gene expression in the liver was assessed. Compared with C, feed efficiency but not daily gain and daily feed intake was lower (P<0.05) in T15 and T30 boars. Except for the percentage carcass weight loss during cooling, which tended (P<0.10) to be greater in T30 than C and T15, carcass characteristics were not affected by the diets. In line with the numerically lower androstenone level, bulbourethral and salivary glands of T30 boars were lighter (P<0.05) than of T15 with intermediate values for C. Indole level was lower (P<0.05) in the adipose tissue of T30 than C pigs with intermediate levels in T15. Skatole levels tended (P<0.10) to be lower in T30 and C than T15 pigs. Hepatic gene expression of CYP isoenzymes did not differ between-treatment groups, but was negatively correlated (P<0.05) with androstenone (CYP2E1 and CYP1A2), skatole (CYP2E1, CYP2A) and indole (CYP2A) level. In line with the numerically highest androstenone and skatole concentrations, boar taint odour but not flavour was detected by the panellists in loins from T15 compared with loins from C and T30 boars. These results provide evidence that HT affected metabolism of indolic compounds and androstenone and that they affected the development of accessory sex glands. However, the effects were too small to be detected by sensory evaluation.
Previous research has indicated that biological older brothers increase the odds of androphilia in males. This finding has been termed the fraternal birth order effect. The maternal immune hypothesis suggests that this effect reflects the progressive immunization of some mothers to male-specific antigens involved in fetal male brain masculinization. Exposure to these antigens, as a result of carrying earlier-born sons, is hypothesized to produce maternal immune responses towards later-born sons, thus leading to female-typical neural development of brain regions underlying sexual orientation. Because this hypothesis posits mechanisms that have the potential to be active in any situation where a mother gestates repeated male fetuses, a key prediction is that the fraternal birth order effect should be observable in diverse populations. The present study assessed the association between sexual orientation and birth order in androphilic male-to-female transsexuals in Brazil, a previously unexamined population. Male-to-female transsexuals who reported attraction to males were recruited from a specialty gender identity service in southern Brazil (n=118) and a comparison group of gynephilic non-transsexual men (n=143) was recruited at the same hospital. Logistic regression showed that the transsexual group had significantly more older brothers and other siblings. These effects were independent of one another and consistent with previous studies of birth order and male sexual orientation. The presence of the fraternal birth order effect in the present sample provides further evidence of the ubiquity of this effect and, therefore, lends support to the maternal immune hypothesis as an explanation of androphilic sexual orientation in some male-to-female transsexuals.
The present study investigated whether parent/child pairs would select more healthful foods when: (i) products were labelled with front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labels relative to packages without labels; (ii) products were labelled with colour-coded Multiple Traffic Light (MTL) FOP labels relative to monochromatic Facts up Front (FuF) FOP labels; and (iii) FOP labels were explained via in-aisle signage v. unexplained.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: (i) FuF labels with in-aisle signs explaining the labels; (ii) FuF labels, no signage; (iii) MTL labels with in-aisle signage; (iv) MTL labels, no signage; (v) control group, no labels/signage. Saturated fat, sodium, sugar and energy (calorie) content were compared across conditions.
The study took place in a laboratory grocery aisle.
Parent/child pairs (n 153) completed the study.
Results did not support the hypothesis that MTL labels would lead to more healthful choices than FuF labels. The presence of FOP labels did little to improve the healthfulness of selected foods, with few exceptions (participants with v. without access to FOP labels selected lower-calorie cereals, participants with access to both FOP labels and in-aisle explanatory signage selected products with less saturated fat v. participants without explanatory signage).
Neither MTL nor FuF FOP labels led to food choices with significantly lower saturated fat, sodium or sugar. In-aisle signs explaining the FOP labels were somewhat helpful to consumers in making more healthful dietary decisions. New FOP labelling programmes could benefit from campaigns to increase consumer awareness and understanding of the labels.
Sainfoin is a temperate legume that contains condensed tannins (CT), i.e. polyphenols that are able to bind proteins and thus reduce protein degradation in the rumen. A reduction in protein degradation in the rumen can lead to a subsequent increase in amino acid flow to the small intestine. The effects of CT in the rumen and the intestine differ according to the amount and structure of CT and the nature of the protein molecular structure. The objective of the present study was to investigate the degradability in the rumen of three CT-containing sainfoin varieties and CT-free lucerne in relation to CT content and structure (mean degree of polymerization, proportion of prodelphinidins and cis-flavanol units) and protein structure (amide I and II bands, ratio of amide I-to-amide II, α-helix, β-sheet, ratio of α-helix-to-β-sheet). Protein molecular structures were identified using Fourier transform/infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FT/IR-ATR) spectroscopy. The in situ degradability of three sainfoin varieties (Ambra, Esparcette and Villahoz) was studied in 2008, during the first growth cycle at two harvest dates (P1 and P2, i.e. 5 May and 2 June, respectively) and at one date (P3) during the second growth cycle (2 June) and these were compared with a tannin-free legume, lucerne (Aubigny). Loss of dry matter (DMDeg) and nitrogen (NDeg) in polyester bags suspended in the rumen was measured using rumen-fistulated cows. The NDeg of lucerne compared with sainfoin was 0·80 v. 0·77 at P1, 0·78 v. 0·65 at P2 and 0·79 v. 0·70 at P3, respectively. NDeg was related to the rapidly disappearing fraction (‘a’) fraction (r=0·76), the rate of degradation (‘c’) (r=0·92), to the content (r=−0·81) and structure of CT. However, the relationship between NDeg and the slowly disappearing fraction (‘b’) was weak. There was a significant effect of date and species×date, for NDeg and ‘a’ fraction. The secondary protein structure varied with harvest date (species×date) and was correlated with the fraction ‘b’. Both tannin and protein structures influenced the NDeg degradation. CT content and structure were correlated to the ‘a’ fraction and to the ‘c’. Features of the protein molecular secondary structure were correlated to the ‘b’ fraction.
Rietveld analysis of X-ray powder diffraction data was performed on SmBa4Cu3O8.5+δ, which was synthesized from precursors Sm2O3, BaO2, and CuO at 1000 °C in an oxygen atmosphere. SmBa4Cu3O8.5+δ has a cubic perovskite-related structure that is isostructural with YBa4Cu3O8.5+δ, and a doubled perovskite unit cell parameter of 8.177 90±0.000 04 Å.
Schizophrenia is associated with increased cardiac mortality. A disturbed autonomic modulation of heart rate (HR) has been described in patients with schizophrenia in whom antipsychotic medication may represent an additional cardiac risk. The novel measure deceleration capacity (DC) of heart rate predicts cardiac mortality in patients with cardiovascular illnesses. The aim of the present paper was to calculate DC in patients with schizophrenia and to compare this measure with established parameters of heart rate variability (HRV).
HRV and DC were calculated in 24-hour electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings of 20 unmedicated, 40 medicated patients with schizophrenia and 40 controls. As activity has a major influence on HRV, 4-hour periods of “sleep-” and “wake-” ECG were evaluated as additional parameters. Actigraphy was used to ensure comparable levels of activity in patients and controls.
The DC as well as the other established HRV measures were not significantly different comparing unmedicated patients with schizophrenia to healthy controls. However, medicated patients showed a significant reduction of DC calculated from ECG recordings during 4 hour over night periods.
Calculation of DC might contribute to a better monitoring and identification of an increased risk of cardiac mortality in patients with schizophrenia undergoing antipsychotic treatment.
This paper presents results from psychophysical experiments on human binocular rivalry in central and peripheral vision. Results show that the incidence of periods of exclusive visibility of a given eye's rival target increased with decreasing target size, and for a given sized target exclusive visibility increased with retinal eccentricity. Control measures confirmed that these results were not attributable solely to reduced peripheral acuity, to Troxler's effect, or to spatial frequency. We computed the minimum-sized stimulus that would lead to a criterion level of exclusive visibility of one or the other eye; this we term the spatial zone of binocular rivalry. The change in estimated size of spatial zones of rivalry with eccentricity compares favorably with estimates of human cortical magnification. We propose a model that assumes concentrically organized zones of rivalry. These zones do not function independently, but instead exhibit a high degree of mutual excitatory cooperativity. The model has multiple solutions for the foveal zone size, but the best fits predict a diameter of 5.3 or 7.3 min of visual angle; these values dovetail nicely with our empirical estimates of the foveal zone size.
Objective: To note the incidence of middle-ear barotrauma following standard and slow compression during hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). The standards used were: (1) less than 40 per cent of the cohort should develop barotraumas, and (2) the incidence of barotrauma following the slow technique should be less than that caused by the standard technique.
Design: Prospective clinical audit.
Material and methods: Forty-two consecutive patients who received either standard compression or slow compression HBOT were included. Pre- and post-treatment otoscopy (graded according to a modified Teed's scale), tympanometry, audiometry and subjective ear complaints were compared between the groups and also compared with the set standard.
Results: Significantly less middle-ear barotrauma was noted when using the slow compression technique compared with the standard compression technique (p < 0.05). The incidence of barotrauma when using standard compression failed to meet the set standard of less than 40 per cent.
Conclusion: The slow compression method of HBOT proved to be both safe and superior to the standard compression technique.