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Fine details of morphological changes in biological structures, which approach the resolution limits of a microscope or detection device, are often difficult to determine. These difficulties are compounded if imaging of living specimens is required. In this work we use a variety of software approaches to enhance individual images removed from a video of thrombocyte (platelet) activation on a glass coverslip. Through software approaches, fine details and focal depth were significantly improved in images of pseudopodia from activated thrombocytes.
In this paper, we review the current Philippine archaeological record between c. 14,000 and 4000 cal. bp in the context of our developing understanding of human adaptation to post-glacial environments at the end of the Pleistocene, and the cultural and technological changes that were occurring across Southeast Asia during this period. Due to their location at the northwestern fringes of Wallacea, close proximity to Borneo and Taiwan, and the long Palawan coastline bordering the southern margins of the South China Sea, the Philippines have likely acted as a conduit for the movements of people, material culture and ideas between the islands of Southeast Asia throughout prehistory. Current research suggests that the Philippines were possibly embedded in larger maritime networks from the Late Pleistocene onwards. This appears to have been a period of significant social change and technological innovation, as illustrated by the appearance of new organic and inorganic technologies and the emergence of diverse burial traditions across Southeast Asia. These included sophisticated fishing strategies, techniques of hafting and composite tool production, and long-distance interaction across the Philippine archipelago and Island Southeast Asia perhaps as far as Near Oceania.
The discovery of a small portable grinding stone at Rach Nui in southern Vietnam provides significant new insights into regional Neolithic trade networks and ground stone technologies. Previous research held that the manufacture of stone tools took place near stone sources in the interior, along the Dong Nai and Be River basins, but the Rach Nui grinding stone comes from a Neolithic site in the Mekong Delta, approximately 80km to the south-east. This suggests that some manufacturing occurred away from raw material sources. Technological analysis indicates that the artefact was a portable tool for the polishing, maintenance and repair of ground stone adzes. Its discovery at Rach Nui may indicate the presence of specialist tool makers or itinerant traders. This research illustrates the complexity of Neolithic trading networks, and highlights the technological expertise that circulated alongside finished and incomplete objects.
Shell artefacts in Island Southeast Asia have often been considered local variants of ground-stone implements, introduced in the Late Pleistocene from Mainland Southeast Asia. The discovery of a well-preserved Tridacna shell adze from Ilin Island in the Philippines, suggests, however, a different interpretation. Using radiocarbon dating, X-ray diffraction and stratigraphic and chronological placement within the archaeological record, the authors place the ‘old shell’ effect into context, and suggest that shell technology was in fact a local innovation that emerged in the early Middle Holocene. The chronology and distribution of these artefacts has significant implications for the antiquity of early human interaction between the Philippines and Melanesia. It may have occurred long before the migrations of Austronesian-speaking peoples and the emergence of the Lapita Cultural Complex that are traditionally thought to mark the first contact.
This paper brings together the work of the GI Solvency II Technical Provisions working party. The working party was formed in 2009 for the primary purpose of raising awareness of Solvency II and the impact it would have on the work that reserving actuaries do. Over the years, the working party’s focus has shifted to exploring and promoting discussion of the many practical issues raised by the requirements and to promoting best practice. To this end, we have developed, presented and discussed many of the ideas contained in this paper at events and forums. However, the size of the subject means that at no one event have we managed to cover all of the areas that the reserving actuary needs to be aware of. This paper brings together our thinking in one place for the first time. We hope experienced practitioners will find it thought provoking, and a useful reference tool. For new practitioners, we hope it helps to get you up-to-speed quickly. Good luck!
This study uses the eastern Canadian continental margin as a type example to assess controls on the distribution of different types of submarine landslides. A brief summary is provided of the major styles of submarine landslides recognized globally, their transport mechanisms, and the factors responsible for both preconditioning and triggering failure. The eastern Canadian continental margin differs along its length as a result of the northward-decreasing age of oceanic rifting and resulting depth of the ocean floor. It has been strongly modified by Quaternary glaciation. Landslides on the margin are recognized from 2D and 3D seismic data, multibeam bathymetry, and 10-m-long cores. The ages of landslides are well defined from regional stratigraphic studies. The distribution of different types of landslides on the eastern Canadian margin depends on whether the margin is progradational or erosional. Progradational slopes have unconsolidated sediment available for retrogressive slumps, whereas on more erosional slopes more consolidated sediment is available to form blocky disaggregated landslides. Most large landslides appear to result from regional failure during large, but rare, passive-margin earthquakes. Preconditioning factors such as sedimentation rate or flux of basinal fluids do not seem to have had a major impact on the distribution of larger failures, but could be locally significant for small landslides.
For many decades Palaeolithic research viewed the development of early modern human behaviour as largely one of progress down a path towards the ‘modernity’ of the present. The European Palaeolithic sequence — the most extensively studied — was for a long time the yard-stick against which records from other regions were judged. Recent work undertaken in Africa and increasingly Asia, however, now suggests that the European evidence may tell a story that is more parochial and less universal than previously thought. While tracking developments at the large scale (the grand narrative) remains important, there is growing appreciation that to achieve a comprehensive understanding of human behavioural evolution requires an archaeologically regional perspective to balance this.
One of the apparent markers of human modernity that has been sought in the global Palaeolithic record, prompted by finds in the European sequence, is innovation in bonebased technologies. As one step in the process of re-evaluating and contextualizing such innovations, in this article we explore the role of prehistoric bone technologies within the Southeast Asian sequence, where they have at least comparable antiquity to Europe and other parts of Asia. We observe a shift in the technological usage of bone — from a minor component to a medium of choice — during the second half of the Last Termination and into the Holocene. We suggest that this is consistent with it becoming a focus of the kinds of inventive behaviour demanded of foraging communities as they adapted to the far-reaching environmental and demographic changes that were reshaping this region at that time. This record represents one small element of a much wider, much longerterm adaptive process, which we would argue is not confined to the earliest instances of a particular technology or behaviour, but which forms part of an on-going story of our behavioural evolution.
The suicide rate is higher in prisoners compared with the general population. The aim was to describe the characteristics of and longitudinal trends in prisoner suicides in England and Wales.
A case series was ascertained from the Safer Custody and Offender Policy Group at the Ministry of Justice and included a 9-year (1999–2007) national census of prisoner suicides. Questionnaires were completed by prison staff on sociodemographic, custodial, clinical and service-level characteristics of the suicides.
There was a fall in the number of prison suicides and a decline in the proportion of young prisoner (18–20 years) suicides over time. Females were over-represented. Upward trends were found in prisoners with a history of violence and with previous mental health service contact. A downward trend was found in those with a primary psychiatric diagnosis of drug dependence. Drug dependence was found to be significant in explaining suicides within the first week of custody.
The findings provide an important insight to aid a target set in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy in England to reduce suicides in the prisoner population by 20% and highlight an important area for policy development in mental health services. Examining trends identified subgroups that may require improved mental healthcare and recognized those that appeared to be having their treatment needs more adequately met. Evidence suggests that targeted suicide prevention strategies for subgroups of prisoners are required.
Recently released prisoners are at markedly higher risk of suicide than the general population. The aim of this study was to identify key risk factors for suicide by offenders released from prisons in England and Wales.
All suicides committed by offenders within 12 months of their release from prison in England and Wales, between 2000 and 2002, were identified. One control matched on gender and date of release from prison was recruited for each case. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression modelling identified key independent risk factors for suicide.
Of 256 920 released prisoners, 384 suicides occurred within a year of release. Factors significantly associated with post-release suicide were increasing age over 25 years, released from a local prison, a history of alcohol misuse or self-harm, a psychiatric diagnosis, and requiring Community Mental Health Services (CMHS) follow-up after release from prison. Non-white ethnicity and a history of previous imprisonment were protective factors.
There is a need to improve the continuity of care for people who are released from prison and for community health, offender and social care agencies to coordinate care for these vulnerable individuals.
New research into the Neolithic of Island Southeast Asia is broadening the old models and making them more diverse, more human – more like history: people and animals can move through the islands in a multitude of ways. The domestic pig is an important tracker of Neolithic people and practice into the Pacific, and the authors address the controversial matter of whether domestic pigs first reached the islands of Southeast Asia from China via Taiwan or from the neighbouring Vietnamese peninsula. The DNA trajectory read from modern pigs favours Vietnam, but the authors have found well stratified domestic pig in the Philippines dated to c. 4000 BP and associated with cultural material of Taiwan. Thus the perils of relying only on DNA – but are these alternative or additional stories?