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The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of radiotherapy students on clinical placement, specifically focussing on the provision of well-being support from clinical supervisors.
Materials and methods:
Twenty-five students from the University of the West of England and City University of London completed an online evaluation survey relating to their experiences of placement, involving Likert scales and open-ended questions.
The quantitative results were generally positive; however, the qualitative findings were mixed. Three themes emerged: (1) provision of information and advice; (2) an open, inclusive and supportive working environment; and (3) a lack of communication, understanding, and consistency.
Students’ experiences on placement differed greatly and appeared to relate to their specific interactions with different members of staff. It is suggested that additional training around providing well-being support to students may be of benefit to clinical supervisors.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
Introduction: Prehospital blood transfusion has been adopted by many civilian helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) agencies and early outcomes are positive. Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) operates six bases in Western Canada and in 2013 implemented a prehospital transfusion program. We describe the processes and standard work ensuring safe storage, administration, and stewardship of this precious resource. Our aim was to produce a sustainable and safe blood storage system that could be carried on each mission flown. Methods: Close collaboration with transfusion services and adherence to Canadian Transfusion Standards was key at each step of development. An inexpensive, reusable, temperature controlled thermal packaging device was obtained along with an electronic temperature logger. Conditioning of the device and temperature maintenance (1 6C) was tested to ensure safe storage conditions. Online training programs were developed for air medical crew (AMC) as well as transport physicians (TPs) regarding administration indications, safety, and stewardship processes. Blood traceability and usage was monitored on an ongoing basis for quality assurance. Results: Two units of O negative packed red blood cells (pRBCs) are now carried on each flight. The blood box is conditioned and prepared by transfusion services for routine exchange every 72 hours. If pRBCs are administered the blood bank is immediately notified for preparation of another cooler. Unused blood is returned to blood bank circulation. Conclusion: The introduction of the STARS blood on board program supports the provision of emergent transfusion to selected patients in the pre-hospital environment. Our standard work and stewardship processes minimize wastage of blood products while keeping it readily available for critically ill and injured patients. Subsequent work will aim to describe characteristics and patient centred outcomes.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
To determine the patterns and predictors of treatment response trajectories for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Conditional latent growth mixture modelling was used to identify classes and predictors of class membership. In total, 2686 veterans treated for PTSD between 2002 and 2015 across 14 hospitals in Australia completed the PTSD Checklist at intake, discharge, and 3 and 9 months follow-up. Predictor variables included co-morbid mental health problems, relationship functioning, employment and compensation status.
Five distinct classes were found: those with the most severe PTSD at intake separated into a relatively large class (32.5%) with small change, and a small class (3%) with a large change. Those with slightly less severe PTSD separated into one class comprising 49.9% of the total sample with large change effects, and a second class comprising 7.9% with extremely large treatment effects. The final class (6.7%) with least severe PTSD at intake also showed a large treatment effect. Of the multiple predictor variables, depression and guilt were the only two found to predict differences in response trajectories.
These findings highlight the importance of assessing guilt and depression prior to treatment for PTSD, and for severe cases with co-morbid guilt and depression, considering an approach to trauma-focused therapy that specifically targets guilt and depression-related cognitions.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
Background: The infratemporal fossa is an anatomically complex region. Lesions that arise in the infratemporal fossa are uncommon; however, their surgical resection remain challenging. Here we present a modified preauricular subtemporal approach initially described by Obwegeser et al. used in four patients with large skull base lesions. Methods: Retrospective case series of 4 patients Results: Four patients with various lesions of the infratemporal fossa (aneurysmal bone cyst, giant cell tumor of the bone, recurrent melanoma and recurrent clival chordoma) underwent surgical resection using the modified Obwegeser approach. A multidisciplinary team cared for patients consisting of maxillofacial surgery, otolaryngology and neurosurgery. After either nasotracheal intubation or tracheostomy, the patient’s jaw was temporarily wired shut. A curvilinear incision was fashioned and the root of zygoma was exposed (masseter attached) and osteotomized followed by inferior mobilization. The mandibular condyle is osteomized next and TMJ disarticulated with temporalis muscle still attached and reflected superiorly. Surgical resection of tumor then proceeded centered around the region bridging the temporal and infratemporal fossae. Reconstruction was carried out using plates and screws. Conclusions: The modified Obwegeser approach can provide safe and direct access to certain infratemporal fossa lesions with good cosmesis and functional outcome for patients without substantially increasing OR time.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
In traditional transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of multi-planetary systems, the individual TTVs are first derived from transit fitting and later modelled using n-body dynamic simulations to constrain planetary masses. We show that fitting simultaneously the transit light curves with the system dynamics (photo-dynamical model) increases the precision of the TTV measurements and helps constrain the system architecture. We exemplify the advantages of applying this photo-dynamical model to a multi-planetary system found in K2 data very close to 3:2 mean motion resonance, K2-19. In this case the period of the larger TTV variations (libration period) is much longer (>1.5 years) than the duration of the K2 observations (80 days). However, our method allows to detect the short period TTVs produced by the orbital conjunctions between the planets that in turn permits to uniquely characterise the system. Therefore, our method can be used to constrain the masses of near-resonant systems even when the full libration curve is not observed.
Epigenetic modifications to the genome are a key mechanism involved in the biological encoding of experience. Animal studies and a growing body of literature in humans have shown that early adversity is linked to methylation of the gene for the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which is a key regulator of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis as well as a broad range of physiological systems including metabolic and immune function. One hundred eighty-four families participated, including n = 74 with child welfare documentation of moderate-severe maltreatment in the past 6 months. Children ranged in age from 3 to 5 years, and were racially and ethnically diverse. Structured record review and interviews in the home were used to assess a history of maltreatment, other traumas, and contextual life stressors, and a composite variable assessed the number exposures to these adversities. Methylation of regions 1D, 1F, and 1H of the GR gene was measured via sodium bisulfite pyrosequencing. The composite measure of adversity was positively correlated with methylation at exons 1D and 1F in the promoter of the GR gene. Individual stress measures were significantly associated with a several CpG sites in these regions. GR gene methylation may be a mechanism of the biobehavioral effects of adverse exposures in young children.
We present preliminary results on a processing protocol by chemical activation that transforms organic waste product such as coconut husk into high surface area activated carbon. Dried raw materials of the coconut husk were carbonized anaerobically into char. The char was impregnated with KOH of different ratios and were activated at 800°C and 900°C. The transmission electron microscope was used to acquire structural and morphological information of the activated carbon, and the surface area and porosity analysis were performed using Micromeritics ASAP 2020 analyzer. The activated carbons show both micropores and mesopores with specific surface area as high as 2900m2/g.
A system combining photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal approaches is designed to convert solar energy to electricity with high efficiency across the full solar spectrum. Concentrated solar spectrum is split into two parts: PV and thermal. The PV part of the spectrum is further split into several subbands directed to bandgap appropriate solar cells on an inexpensive Si substrate. Epitaxial Ge on Si is used as a virtual substrate for III-V semiconductor growth. At long and very short wavelengths where PV efficiency is low, solar radiation is directed to a high temperature thermal storage tank for electricity generation using heat engines. The potential of using PV waste heat due to thermalization of high energy photoelectrons for electricity generation is also investigated. Detailed optical and thermal analysis show that with optimized design and neglecting optical component loss, system power conversion efficiency can reach 56%, including more than 16% absolute contribution from thermal storage.
The fracture behaviour of individual grain boundaries has been studied in order to understand the mechanisms controlling stress corrosion cracking in nuclear reactors. In particular, the role of oxidation in facilitating crack initiation and propagation has been reviewed. Nickel alloys from pressurized water reactors (PWRs) have been tested in simulated primary water conditions to induce grain boundary oxidation. Microcantilevers containing an oxidized grain boundary plane have been prepared and tested for fracture. The brittle nature of the oxide was demonstrated and the required stress to fracture measured.
Systems biology aims to integrate multiple biological data types such as genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics across different levels of structure and scale; it represents an emerging paradigm in the scientific process which challenges the reductionism that has dominated biomedical research for hundreds of years. Systems biology will nevertheless only be successful if the technologies on which it is based are able to deliver the required type and quality of data. In this review we discuss how well positioned is proteomics to deliver the data necessary to support meaningful systems modelling in parasite biology. We summarise the current state of identification proteomics in parasites, but argue that a new generation of quantitative proteomics data is now needed to underpin effective systems modelling. We discuss the challenges faced to acquire more complete knowledge of protein post-translational modifications, protein turnover and protein-protein interactions in parasites. Finally we highlight the central role of proteome-informatics in ensuring that proteomics data is readily accessible to the user-community and can be translated and integrated with other relevant data types.
Charge trapping and slow (10 s to > 1000 s) detrapping in AlGaN/GaN HEMTs designed for high breakdown voltage (> 1500 V) are studied to identify the impact of Al molefraction and passivation on trapping. Two different trapping components, TG1 (Ea = 0.62 eV) and TG2 (with negligible temperature dependence) in AlGaN dominate under gate bias stress in the off-state. Al0.15Ga0.85N shows much more vulnerability to trapping under gate stress in the absence of passivation than does AlGaN with a higher Al mole fraction. Under large drain bias, trapping is dominated by a much deeper trap TD. Detrapping under illumination by monochromatic light shows TD to have Ea ≈ 1.65 eV in Al0.26Ga0.74N and Ea ≈ 1.85 eV in Al0.15Ga0.85N. This is consistent with a transition from a deep state (Ec - 2.0 eV) in the AlGaN barrier to the 2DEG.
The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is a primary mechanism in the allostatic process through which early life stress (ELS) contributes to disease. Studies of the influence of ELS on children's HPA axis functioning have yielded inconsistent findings. To address this issue, the present study considers multiple types of ELS (maternal depression, paternal depression, and family expressed anger), mental health symptoms, and two components of HPA functioning (traitlike and epoch-specific activity) in a long-term prospective community study of 357 children. ELS was assessed during the infancy and preschool periods; mental health symptoms and cortisol were assessed at child ages 9, 11, 13, and 15 years. A three-level hierarchical linear model addressed questions regarding the influences of ELS on HPA functioning and its covariation with mental health symptoms. ELS influenced traitlike cortisol level and slope, with both hyper- and hypoarousal evident depending on type of ELS. Further, type(s) of ELS influenced covariation of epoch-specific HPA functioning and mental health symptoms, with a tighter coupling of HPA alterations with symptom severity among children exposed previously to ELS. Results highlight the importance of examining multiple types of ELS and dynamic HPA functioning in order to capture the allostatic process unfolding across the transition into adolescence.