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Weaning is known to induce important nutritional and energetic stress in piglets. Low-birthweight (LBW) piglets, now frequently observed in swine production, are more likely to be affected. The weaning period is also associated with dysfunctional immune responses, uncontrolled inflammation and oxidative stress conditions that are recognized risk factors for infections and diseases. Mounting evidence indicates that mitochondria, the main cellular sources of energy in the form of adenosine 5′ triphosphate (ATP) and primary sites of reactive oxygen species production, are related to immunity, inflammation and bacterial pathogenesis. However, no information is currently available regarding the link between mitochondrial energy production and oxidative stress in weaned piglets. The objective of this study was to characterize markers of cellular and mitochondrial energy metabolism and oxidative status in both normal-birthweight (NBW) and LBW piglets throughout the peri-weaning period. To conduct the study, 30 multiparous sows were inseminated and litters were standardized to 12 piglets. All the piglets were weighted at day 1 and 120 piglets were selected and assigned to 1 of 2 experimental groups: NBW (n = 60, mean weight of 1.73 ± 0.01 kg) and LBW piglets weighing less than 1.2 kg (n = 60, 1.01 ± 0.01 kg). Then, 10 piglets from each group were selected at 14, 21 (weaning), 23, 25, 29 and 35 days of age to collect plasma and organ (liver, intestine and kidney) samples. Analysis revealed that ATP concentrations were lower in liver of piglets after weaning than during lactation (P < 0.05) thus suggesting a significant impact of weaning stress on mitochondrial energy production. Oxidative damage to DNA (8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, 8-OHdG) and proteins (carbonyls) measured in plasma increased after weaning and this coincides with a rise in enzymatic antioxidant activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) (P < 0.05). Mitochondrial activities of both GPx and SOD are also significantly higher (P < 0.05) in kidney of piglets after weaning. Additionally, oxidative damage to macromolecules is more important in LBW piglets as measured concentrations of 8-OHdG and protein carbonyls are significantly higher (P < 0.05) in plasma and liver samples, respectively, than for NBW piglets. These results provide novel information about the nature, intensity and duration of weaning stress by revealing that weaning induces mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular oxidative stress conditions which last for at least 2 weeks and more severely impact smaller piglets.
The Beck’s Petrel Pseudobulweria beckii is a ‘Critically Endangered’ seabird whose breeding sites remain unknown. Historic observations suggest the species’ distribution is concentrated in the Bismarck Archipelago and particularly southern New Ireland. Over the course of two research expeditions in 2016 and 2017 we used on-land and at-sea observations, local interviews and satellite telemetry to understand the distribution of the species, its at-sea movements and potential breeding locations. Land-based and at-sea observations indicated that the area of Silur Bay in southern New Ireland was a significant site for Beck’s Petrel with numbers of birds increasing near shore prior to dusk and birds observed in spotlights over land. A local population is estimated to be in the low thousands. In 2017 a single Beck’s was captured at sea, fitted with a satellite transmitter and tracked for eight months. This bird maintained a core distribution off the south-east coast of New Ireland and north of Bougainville for 122 days. During the tracking period, the bird was located over land at night seven times; predominantly over southern New Ireland, where the signal was also lost for extended periods suggesting occupancy of an underground burrow. In August the bird migrated 1,400 km to a core pelagic habitat north of West Papua before the signal was eventually lost. Our combination of land- and sea-based observations and analysis of behaviour from satellite tracking supports the conclusion that a breeding site for Beck’s Petrel lies in the inland mountains of southern New Ireland and most likely in the high-altitude zone (> 2000 m) of the Hans Meyer Range. Further investigations are required to determine the exact location of breeding colonies in the mountains of southern New Ireland and the importance of a potential west Papuan non-breeding pelagic habitat for the species.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
The Association of American Medical Colleges recommended an increase in medical education for public health emergencies, bioterrorism, and weapons of mass destruction in 2003. The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine (USD SSOM) implemented a 1-day training event to provide disaster preparedness training and deployment organization for health professions students called Disaster Training Day (DTD).
Hospital staff and emergency medical services personnel provided the lecture portion of DTD using Core Disaster Life Support (CDLS; National Disaster Life Support Foundation) as the framework. Pre-test and post-test analyses were presented to the students. Small group activities covered leadership, anaphylaxis, mass fatality, points of dispensing deployment training, psychological first aid, triage, and personal protective equipment. Students were given the option to sign up for statewide deployment through the South Dakota Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers (SERV SD). DTD data and student satisfaction surveys from 2009 to 2016 were reviewed.
Since 2004, DTD has provided disaster preparedness training to 2246 students across 13 health professions. Significant improvement was shown on CDLS post-test performance with a t-score of −14.24 and a resulting P value of <0.00001. Students showed high levels of satisfaction on a 5-level Likert scale with overall training, small group sessions, and perceived self-competency relating to disaster response. SERV SD registration increased in 2015, and 77.5% of the participants registered in 2016.
DTD at the USD SSOM provides for an effective 1-day disaster training course for health professions students. Resources from around the state were coordinated to provide training, liability coverage, and deployment organization for hundreds of students representing multiple health professions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:735–740)
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We use an Eulerian Vlasov code, which solves the one-dimensional relativistic Vlasov–Maxwell equations for both electrons and ions, to follow in details the evolution of the distribution functions and the mechanism of the formation and evolution of double layers during ion acceleration driven by a high-intensity circularly polarized short laser pulse (12 ω−1 where ω is the laser angular frequency) normally incident on a thin dense foil. We compare three cases with a high-density deuterium plasma target of total thickness 1.767 cω−1 and constant n/ncr = 100, where ncr is the critical density, and where the laser intensity is varied from a situation where the target is opaque to the laser pulse (normalized vector potential or quiver momentum a0 = 80), to a situation where, above a critical laser intensity, a very small fraction of the laser pulse is transmitted through the target (a0 = 90), and finally to a situation where a more important fraction is transmitted through the target (a0 = 100). The dynamics of ion and electron acceleration are quite different in the three cases, and are followed in detail by the Eulerian Vlasov code, which allows an accurate representation of the distribution function. In the intermediate case, the Vlasov code has revealed a remarkably well-developed spiral structure in the phase space of the electron distribution function, which is associated with large sawtooth modulations in the electron density profiles.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved
understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural
weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate
subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some
excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a
very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive
studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to
established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast,
invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using
invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions
grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed
management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would
benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and
increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in
this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for
weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop
specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists
and with the wider scientific community.
The goal of the current study was to investigate asthma and mental health among youth in the community, and to consider the role of asthma severity and persistence in this link.
Data were drawn from the Raine Study, a population-based birth cohort study in Western Australia. Logistic regression models and generalized estimating equations were used to examine the relationship between asthma at age 5 years and the range of internalizing and externalizing mental health problems at ages 5–17 years. Analyses were stratified by asthma severity and persistence, and adjusted for a range of potential confounders.
More severe and persistent asthma at age 5 was associated with significantly increased odds of affective, anxiety, somatic, oppositional defiant and conduct problems at ages 5–17. Mild asthma and remitted asthma were not associated with heightened vulnerability to mental disorders.
Our results suggest that youth with symptomatic asthma are more likely to suffer from a wide range of mental health problems, and that the likelihood of mental health problems appears to increase as a function of asthma severity. Youth with poorly controlled and/or more severe and persistent asthma may be considered a vulnerable group who might benefit from mental health screening in clinical, school and community settings.
We present a numerical study of the acceleration of ions in the interaction of a high intensity circularly polarized laser beam normally incident on an overdense plasma target, and the subsequent formation of neutral plasma ejected toward the rear side of the target. We compare the results obtained from two different numerical codes. We use an Eulerian Vlasov code for the numerical solution of the one-dimensional relativistic Vlasov-Maxwell set of equations, for both electrons and ions, and a particle-in-cell code applied to the same problem. We consider the case when the laser free space wavelength λ0 is greater than the scale length of the jump in the plasma density at the target plasma edge Ledge (λ0 ≫ Ledge), and the ratio of the plasma density to the critical density is such that n/ncr ≫ 1. The ponderomotive pressure due to the incident high-intensity laser radiation pushes the electrons at the target plasma surface, producing a sharp density gradient at the plasma surface, which gives rise to a charge separation. The resulting electric field accelerates the ions that reach a free streaming expansion phase, where they are neutralized by the electrons. A neutral plasma jet is thus ejected toward the rear side of the target. Two cases are studied: In the first case, the laser intensity rises to a maximum and then remains constant, and in the second case, the laser intensity is a Gaussian-shaped pulse. The results show substantial differences in the phase-space structure of the ions and the electrons between these two cases. There is good agreement between the quantitative macroscopic results obtained by the two codes, and good qualitative agreement between the results showing the kinetic details of the phase-space structures. The low noise level of the Eulerian Vlasov code allows a more detailed representation of the phase-space structures associated with this system, especially in the low density regions of the phase-space where ions are accelerated.
The maternal experience of stressful events during pregnancy has been associated with a number of adverse consequences for behavioral development in offspring, but the measurement and interpretation of prenatal stress varies among reported studies. The Raine Study recruited 2900 pregnancies and recorded life stress events experienced by 18 and 34 weeks' gestation along with numerous sociodemographic data. The mother's exposure to life stress events was further documented when the children were followed-up in conjunction with behavioral assessments at ages 2, 5, 8, 10, and 14 years using the Child Behavior Checklist. The maternal experience of multiple stressful events during pregnancy was associated with subsequent behavioral problems for offspring. Independent (e.g., death of a relative, job loss) and dependent stress events (e.g., financial problems, marital problems) were both significantly associated with a greater incidence of mental health morbidity between age 2 and 14 years. Exposure to stressful events in the first 18 weeks of pregnancy showed similar associations with subsequent total and externalizing morbidity to events reported at 34 weeks of gestation. These results were independent of postnatal stress exposure. Improved support for women with chronic stress exposure during pregnancy may improve the mental health of their offspring in later life.
Using particle-in-cell simulations, we investigated the effect of group velocity dispersion (GVD) and third order dispersion (TOD) in the laser pulse on high-order harmonic generation and laser absorption in overdense plasmas. A 1020 W/cm−2, 35-fs transform-limited Gaussian pulse was stretched to 160 fs through chirping. When including GVD alone, the temporal pulse shape remains symmetric and no difference was seen in the harmonic spectra for opposite signs of GVD. However, when adding TOD to GVD, the pulse is no longer symmetric and noticeable differences in harmonics intensity were observed for opposite signs of TOD. We show that the higher harmonic intensity obtained with positive TOD is connected with a steeper front edge of the pulse and the appearance of strong modulations in the harmonic spectrum. The chirp broadens and shifts the harmonics. Laser energy absorption is also mostly affected by the pulse shape. Simple estimates indicate that, in the main example considered in this paper, about half the laser energy absorption (10%) is due to vacuum heating.