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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
The decontamination of hazardous chemical agents from porous media is an important and critical part of the clean-up operation following a chemical weapon attack. Decontamination is often achieved through the application of a cleanser, which reacts on contact with an agent to neutralise it. While it is relatively straightforward to write down a model that describes the interplay of the agent and cleanser on the scale of the pores in the porous medium, it is computationally expensive to solve such a model over realistic spill sizes.
In this paper, we consider the homogenisation of a pore-scale model for the interplay between agent and cleanser, with the aim of generating simplified models that can be solved more easily on the spill scale but accurately capture the microscale structure and chemical activity. We consider two situations: one in which the agent completely fills local porespaces and one in which it does not. In the case when the agent does not completely fill the porespace, we use established homogenisation techniques to systematically derive a reaction–diffusion model for the macroscale concentration of cleanser. However, in the case where the agent completely fills the porespace, the homogenisation procedure is more in-depth and involves a two-timescale approach coupled with a spatial boundary layer. The resulting homogenised model closely resembles the microscale model with the effect of the porous material being incorporated into the parameters. The two models cater for two different spill scenarios and provide the foundation for further study of reactive decontamination.
We derive a mathematical model for the drawing of a two-dimensional thin sheet of viscous fluid in the direction of gravity. If the gravitational field is sufficiently strong, then a portion of the sheet experiences a compressive stress and is thus unstable to transverse buckling. We analyse the dependence of the instability and the subsequent evolution on the process parameters, and the mutual coupling between the weakly nonlinear buckling and the stress profile in the sheet. Over long time scales, the sheet centreline ultimately adopts a universal profile, with the bulk of the sheet under tension and a single large bulge caused by a small compressive region near the bottom, and we derive a canonical inner problem that describes this behaviour. The large-time analysis involves a logarithmic asymptotic expansion, and we devise a hybrid asymptotic–numerical scheme that effectively sums the logarithmic series.
Age- and sex-based BMI cut-offs are used to define overweight and obesity, but the relationship between BMI and body composition has not been very well studied in children or compared between children of different ethnic groups. Body size and composition in childhood are also influenced by size at birth. Our aim was to compare body size and composition at 2 years in children with different ethnicity and size at birth. We prospectively followed a multi-ethnic cohort of 300 children born with risk factors for neonatal hypoglycaemia (infants of diabetics, large or small at birth or late preterm) to 2 years corrected age. Complete data on weight, height and head circumference and body composition using bioelectrical impedance 24±1 months corrected age were available in 209 children. At birth, compared with European children, Chinese, Indian and other ethnicity children were lighter, and Indian children had smaller head circumferences, but birth lengths were similar in all ethnic groups. At 2 years, Pacific children were heavier and had higher BMI z scores, and Indian children had smaller head circumferences and lower BMI z scores than those from other ethnic groups. However, fat mass and fat-free mass indices were similar in all groups. At median BMI, fat mass:fat-free mass ratio was 23 % lower in Pacific than in Indian children (0·22 v. 0·27, P=0·03). BMI is not a good indicator of adiposity in this multi-ethnic cohort of 2-year-old New Zealand children.
We consider the spreading of a thin viscous droplet, injected through a finite region of a substrate, under the influence of surface tension. We neglect gravity and assume that there is a precursor layer covering the whole substrate and that the rate of injection is constant. We analyse the evolution of the film profile for early and late time, and obtain power-law dependencies for the maximum film thickness at the centre of the injection region and the position of an apparent contact line, which compare well with numerical solutions of the full problem. We relax the conditions on the injection rate to consider more general time-dependent and spatially varying forms. In the case of power-law injection of the form
, we observe a switch in the behaviour of the evolution of the film thickness for late time from increasing to decreasing at a critical value of
. We show that point-source injection can be treated as a limiting case of a finite-injection slot and the solutions exhibit identical behaviours for late time. Finally, we formulate the problem with thickness-dependent injection rate, discuss the behaviour of the maximum film thickness and the position of the apparent contact line and give power-law dependencies for these.
Psychosocial disability affects a number of individuals with psychosis and often begins years before the formal onset of disorder. This suggests that for many, their psychosocial disability is enduring, and targeted interventions are therefore needed earlier in their developmental trajectories to ensure that psychosocial disability does not become entrenched. Poor psychosocial functioning also affects individuals with a range of different emerging mental health problems, putting these young people at risk of long-term social marginalisation and economic disadvantage; all of which are known risk factors for the development of psychosis. Identification of the markers of poor psychosocial functioning will help to inform effective treatments. This editorial will discern the early trajectories and markers of poor psychosocial outcome in psychosis, and highlight which individuals are most at risk of having a poor outcome. This editorial will also discuss whether early interventions are currently being targeted appropriately and will propose how intervention and preventative strategies can be implemented, to restore psychosocial trajectories in a way that enables young people to maximise their life chances.
The conservation of threatened species requires information on how management activities influence habitat quality. The Critically Endangered black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis is restricted to savannahs representing c. 5% of its historical range. Fire is used extensively in savannahs but little is known about how rhinos respond to burning. Our aim was to understand rhino responses to fire by studying habitat selection and foraging at multiple scales. We used resource selection functions and locations of 31 rhinos during 2014–2016 to study rhino habitat use in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Rhino selectivity was quantified by comparing forage consumption to plant species availability in randomly sampled vegetation plots; rhino diets were subsequently verified through DNA metabarcoding analysis of faecal samples. Rhino habitat use was a unimodal function of fire history, with highly occupied sites having fire frequencies of < 0.6 fires/year and maximum occupancy occurring at a fire frequency of 0.1 fires/year. Foraging stations had characteristic plant communities, with 17 species associated with rhino foraging. Rhinos were associated with, and disproportionately consumed, woody plants, forbs and legumes, all of which decreased in abundance with increasing fire frequency. In contrast to common management practices, multiple lines of evidence suggest that the current fire regime in the Serengeti negatively influences rhino habitat use and foraging and that frequent fire limits access of rhinos to preferred forage. We outline a conceptual model to guide managers and conservationists in the use of fire under variable habitat conditions.
Adolescence is a critical time point in the lifecourse. LifeLab is an educational intervention engaging adolescents in understanding Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concepts and the impact of the early life environment on future health, benefitting both their long-term health and that of the next generation. We aimed to assess whether engaging adolescents with DOHaD concepts improves scientific literacy and whether engagement alone improves health behaviours.
Six schools were randomized, three to intervention and three to control. Outcome measures were changed in knowledge, and intended and actual behaviour in relation to diet and lifestyle. A total of 333 students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. At 12 months, intervention students showed greater understanding of DOHaD concepts. No sustained changes in behaviours were identified.
Adolescents’ engagement with DOHaD concepts can be improved and maintained over 12 months. Such engagement does not itself translate into behaviour change. The intervention has consequently been revised to include additional components beyond engagement alone.
Introduction: Frailty is a geriatric syndrome conferring a high risk of declining functional capacities. Some serum biomarkers were associated with frailty, but no study has investigated this possible association among community-dwelling seniors with minor injuries in the emergency department (ED). The aim was to determine if ED serum biomarker assay combined with frailty status improve the prediction of 3-months functional or mobility impairments in this population, beyond frailty status alone. Methods: This prospective sub-study of the CETI cohort includes 190 participants (age 65 years, ED consultation within 2 weeks of a minor injury, independent in daily activities 4 weeks prior to injury, and discharged home from EDs). Biomarkers were obtained from blood samples at baseline (ED visit). Normal vs. at risk physiological states were defined according to clinical threshold values. Also, the patients were screened for frailty at baseline) while their functional (OARS scale) and mobility characteristics were assessed at the ED visit and 3 months later. Patients were classified as robust or pre-frail/frail according of the CHSA-CFS and SOF scales. Simple generalized linear models with a binomial distribution and a log link function were used to explore the differences in functional and mobility outcomes at three months across sub-groups (RR). Results: When compared to robust ones, ED pre-frail/frail patients were less functional in their instrumental activities of day living (p=0.004), slower walkers (p=0.02), more frequent users of walking aids (p=0.03), more fearful of falling (p=0.006), went outside their home less often weekly (p=0.004) and had higher abnormal creatinine levels (p=0.02). We observed an overall 3-month functional decline in around 10% of patients combined with worsened mobility characteristics. We found that vitamin D [RR: 0.51 (0.07-3.9)], glucose (RR: 0.27 [(0.03-2.16)]) and creatinine (RR: [1.10 [(0.40-2.97]) modulate the prediction of 3-months mobility impairments. However, ED frailty status with CHSA-CFS and SOF scales clearly remained the stronger predictor of mobility impairments [vitamin DRR: 2.93 (1.12-7.65); glucoseRR: 2.36 (0.85-6.55); creatinine: RR2.06 (1.21-3.53)]. Conclusion: Since they do not improve the prediction of 3-months functional or mobility impairments associated with frailty status, ED biomarker assays are not useful in adequately screening for frailty among independent seniors with minor injuries.
Insomnia treatment using an internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy
for insomnia (CBT-I) program reduces depression symptoms, anxiety
symptoms and suicidal ideation. However, the speed, longevity and
consistency of these effects are unknown.
To test the following: whether the efficacy of online CBT-I was sustained
over 18 months; how rapidly the effects of CBT-I emerged; evidence for
distinct trajectories of change in depressive symptoms; and predictors of
A randomised controlled trial compared the 6-week Sleep Healthy Using the
Internet (SHUTi) CBT-I program to an attention control program. Adults
(N=1149) with clinical insomnia and subclinical
depression symptoms were recruited online from the Australian
Depression, anxiety and insomnia decreased significantly by week 4 of the
intervention period and remained significantly lower relative to control
for >18 months (between-group Cohen's d=0.63, 0.47,
0.55, respectively, at 18 months). Effects on suicidal ideation were only
short term. Two depression trajectories were identified using growth
mixture models: improving (95%) and stable/deteriorating (5%) symptoms.
More severe baseline depression, younger age and limited comfort with the
internet were associated with reduced odds of improvement.
Online CBT-I produced rapid and long-term symptom reduction in people
with subclinical depressive symptoms, although the initial effect on
suicidal ideation was not sustained.
Sheep systems on upland permanent pastures sown with Lolium perenne/Trifolium repens, have typically been relatively intensively managed, relying on inorganic fertilizers to maintain or increase animal output. However changes in the Common Agricultural Policy have resulted in the development of agri-environment schemes to deliver environmental goals from grasslands. These schemes encourage more extensive grazing systems, and change the emphasis from animal output to issues such as increasing biodiversity. Lower stocking densities provide increased opportunities for diet selection, the development of a heterogeneous habitat and associated changes in species composition. However, will more extensive management increase botanical diversity in upland sown swards? The experiment reported here describes the effect of more extensive management combining cessation of fertilizer and lower grazing intensity on vegetation change, stocking density and lamb output over 14 years.
Livestock farming is a traditional and important contributor to the rural economy in the hills and uplands of the UK. However, significant areas of the uplands have seen a decline in the condition of heath and mire habitats and the loss of dwarf shrubs as a result of over-grazing. Attempts to halt the decline and improve the condition of upland heath and mire habitats have been undertaken by the introduction of agri-environment schemes. In the main, such schemes rely on the reduction of sheep numbers. However, recent Defra funded research (LS1508) has indicated that this can result in dominance by competitive and/or unpalatable species such as purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea ) or mat-grass (Nardus stricta ), leading in time to a reduction in the physical and financial performance of the flock. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of cattle grazing on Nardus stricta dominated pasture on sheep and cattle performance. It is being carried out as part of a wider project to determine environmentally sustainable and economically viable grazing systems for heather moorland.
Research reviews highlight methodological limitations and gaps in the evidence base for the arts in dementia care. In response, we developed a 12-week visual art program and evaluated the impact on people living with dementia through a mixed-methods longitudinal investigation.
One hundred and twenty-five people living with mild to severe dementia were recruited across three research settings in England and Wales (residential care homes, a county hospital, and community venues). Quantitative and qualitative data on quality of life (QoL), communication and perceptions of the program were obtained through interviews and self-reports with participants and their carers. Eight domains of well-being were measured using a standardized observation tool, and data compared to an alternative activity with no art.
Across all sites, scores for the well-being domains of interest, attention, pleasure, self-esteem, negative affect, and sadness were significantly better in the art program than the alternative condition. Proxy-reported QoL significantly improved between baseline and 3-month follow-up, but no improvements in QoL were reported by the participants with dementia. This was contrasted by their qualitative accounts, which described a stimulating experience important for social connectedness, well-being, and inner-strength. Communication deteriorated between baseline and follow-up in the hospital setting, but improved in the residential care setting.
The findings highlight the potential for creative aging within dementia care, the benefits of art activities and the influence of the environment. We encourage dementia care providers and arts and cultural services to work toward embedding art activities within routine care provision.
Children in slums are at high risk of undernutrition, which has long-term negative consequences on their physical growth and cognitive development. Severe undernutrition can lead to the child’s death. The present paper aimed to understand the causes of undernutrition in children as perceived by various groups of community members in Nairobi slums, Kenya.
Analysis of ten focus group discussions and ten individual interviews with key informants. The main topic discussed was the root causes of child undernutrition in the slums. The focus group discussions and key informant interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were coded in NVivo by extracting concepts and using a constant comparison of data across the different categories of respondents to draw out themes to enable a thematic analysis.
Two slum communities in Nairobi, Kenya.
Women of childbearing age, community health workers, elders, leaders and other knowledgeable people in the two slum communities (n 90).
Participants demonstrated an understanding of undernutrition in children.
Findings inform target criteria at community and household level that can be used to identify children at risk of undernutrition. To tackle the immediate and underlying causes of undernutrition, interventions recommended should aim to: (i) improve maternal health and nutrition; (ii) promote optimal infant and young children feeding practices; (iii) support mothers in their working role; (iv) increase access to family planning; (v) improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); (vi) address alcohol problems at all levels; and (vii) address street food issues with infant feeding counselling.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The Cycadales are a group of significant global conservation concern and have the highest extinction risk of all seed plants. Understanding the synchronisation of reproductive phenology of Cycadales may be useful for conservation by enabling the targeting of pollen and seed collection from wild populations and identifying the window of fertilisation to aid in the cultivation of Cycadales. Phenological data for 11 species of Zamia were gathered from herbarium specimens. Four phenological characters were coded with monthly character states. DNA was isolated and sequenced for 26S, CAB, NEEDLY, matK and rbcL, and a simultaneous phylogenetic analysis of phenology and DNA sequence data was carried out. Three major clades were recovered: a Caribbean clade, a Central American clade and a South American clade. Eight species showed statistically significant synchronisation in microsporangiate and ovulate phenological phases, indicating the time of fertilisation. Close reproductive synchronisation was consistently observed throughout the Caribbean clade (statistically significant in four of five species) but was less consistent in the Central American clade (statistically significant in one of two species) and South American clade (statistically significant in three of four species). Ultimately, phenology is shown to be a potential driver of speciation in some clades of Zamia and in others to be a potential barrier to hybridisation.
Flowering and successful pollination in wheat are key determinants of both quantity and quality of grain. Bread wheat line ‘Paragon’, introgressed with single or multiple daylength insensitivity alleles was used to dissect the effects on the timing and duration of flowering within a hierarchical plant architecture. Flowering of wheat plants was observed in a series of pot-based and field experiments. Ppd-D1a was the most potent known allele affecting the timing of flowering, requiring the least thermal time to flowering across all experiments. The duration of flowering for individual lines was dominated by the shift in the start of flowering in later tillers and the number of tillers per plant, rather than variation in flowering duration of individual spikes. There was a strong relationship between flowering duration and the start of flowering with the earliest lines flowering for the longest. The greatest flowering overlap between tillers was recorded for the Ppd-1b. Across all lines, a warmer environment significantly reduced the duration of flowering and the influence of Ppd-1a alleles on the start of flowering. These findings provide evidence of pleiotropic effects of the Ppd-1a alleles, and have direct implications for breeding for increased stress resilient wheat varieties.
One mechanism for spreading hot, metal enriched gas away from galaxies is through gigantic chimneys formed in the disk of a galaxy. Chimneys form when shells or bubbles blown by many massive stellar winds and supernova explosions grow large enough to exceed the neutral hydrogen (H I) scale height of the disk. The shells then become unstable at their polar regions and expand rapidly, breaking out to the galaxy's halo. If galactic fountain models are correct the hot gas liberated by these chimneys should cool into H I cloudlets high above the galaxy's disk. The Milky Way provides the nearest laboratory to search for these objects in order to study how they form and the fate of the expelled gas. While we expect tens of chimneys in the Milky Way to account for the thermal support of the halo there are only a few known chimneys. Here we present an H I study of one Galactic chimney GSH 277+00+36. GSH 277+00+36 is the the only chimney known to have blown out of both sides of a galactic disk. We discuss the development of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in this object and the role those may have had in the formation of the chimney.
With HST and WFPC2, galaxies in the Medium Deep Survey can be reliably classified to magnitudes I814 ≲ 22.0 in the F814W band, at a mean redshift . The main result is the relatively high proportion (~40%) of objects which are in some way irregular or anomalous, and which are of relevance in understanding the origin of the familiar excess population of faint galaxies. These diverse objects include compact galaxies, apparently interacting pairs, galaxies with superluminous starforming regions and diffuse low surface brightness galaxies of various forms. The ‘irregulars’ and ‘peculiar’ galaxies contribute most of the excess counts in the I-band at our limiting magnitude, and may explain the ‘faint blue galaxy’ problem.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.