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Bog bodies are among the best-known archaeological finds worldwide. Much of the work on these often extremely well-preserved human remains has focused on forensics, whereas the environmental setting of the finds has been largely overlooked. This applies to both the ‘physical’ and ‘cultural’ landscape and constitutes a significant problem since the vast spatial and temporal scales over which the practice appeared demonstrate that contextual assessments are of the utmost importance for our explanatory frameworks. In this article we develop best practice guidelines for the contextual analysis of bog bodies, after assessing the current state of research and presenting the results of three recent case studies including the well-known finds of Lindow Man in the United Kingdom, Bjældskovdal (Tollund Man and Elling Woman) in Denmark, and Yde Girl in the Netherlands. Three spatial and chronological scales are distinguished and linked to specific research questions and methods. This provides a basis for further discussion and a starting point for developing approaches to bog body finds and future discoveries, while facilitating and optimizing the re-analysis of previous studies, making it possible to compare deposition sites across time and space.
System software subsystems in an unmanned aircraft system share hardware resources due to space, weight, and power constraints. Such subsystems have different criticality, requirements, and failure rates, and can cause undesired interference when sharing the same hardware. A component with high failure rate can reduce the reliability of the system unless a fault containment mechanism is adopted.
This work proposes an asymmetric multiprocessor architecture to establish isolation at the hardware level for distributed implementation of safety-critical subsystems along with user defined payload subsystems on the same hardware with minimally reduced reliability of the system. To achieve that, subsystems are strategically segregated in separate processors, connected to an on-chip protective interconnect for inter-processor communications. A custom watchdog and reset mechanism are implemented to reset a specific processor without affecting the entire system if required. The architecture is demonstrated on a FPGA chip. In addition, an example of an optimised distribution is provided for a specific flight control system with five subsystems.
To assess the prevalence of prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities among overweight or obese clozapine- or olanzapine-treated schizophrenia patients, and to identify characteristics of the schizophrenia group with prediabetes.
A cross-sectional study assessing the presence of prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities in schizophrenia clozapine- or olanzapine-treated patients with a body mass index (BMI) ≥27 kg/m2. Procedures were part of the screening process for a randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating liraglutide vs placebo for improving glucose tolerance. For comparison, an age-, sex-, and BMI-matched healthy control group without psychiatric illness and prediabetes was included. Prediabetes was defined as elevated fasting plasma glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance and/or elevated glycated hemoglobin A1c.
Among 145 schizophrenia patients (age = 42.1 years; males = 59.3%) on clozapine or olanzapine (clozapine/olanzapine/both: 73.8%/24.1%/2.1%), prediabetes was present in 69.7% (101 out of 145). While schizophrenia patients with and without prediabetes did not differ regarding demographic, illness, or antipsychotic treatment variables, metabolic abnormalities (waist circumference: 116.7±13.7 vs 110.1±13.6 cm, P = 0.007; triglycerides: 2.3±1.4 vs 1.6±0.9 mmol/L, P = 0.0004) and metabolic syndrome (76.2% vs 40.9%, P<0.0001) were significantly more pronounced in schizophrenia patients with vs without prediabetes. The age-, sex-, and BMI-matched healthy controls had significantly better glucose tolerance compared to both groups of patients with schizophrenia. The healthy controls also had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein compared to patients with schizophrenia and prediabetes.
Prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities were highly prevalent among the clozapine- and olanzapine-treated patients with schizophrenia, putting these patients at great risk for later type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These results stress the importance of identifying and adequately treating prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities among clozapine- and olanzapine-treated patients with schizophrenia.
We present a savings plan for retirement that removes risk by fixing a constraint on a life-long pension so that it has an upper and a lower bound. This corresponds to the ideas of Nobel laureate R.C. Merton whose implementation has never been published. We show with an illustration that our proposed practical algorithm reproduces the theoretical results after a savings period of around 30 years by using daily, monthly, weekly or yearly updates of the investment positions. We calculate the percentiles of the final accumulated wealth distribution for the adjusted implementation. In the simulated illustration, we observe that the adjusted values converge to the theoretical values of the percentiles when the frequency of update increases. We conclude that monthly adjustments result in a practical way to implement theoretical results that were obtained under the hypothesis of a continuous process by Donnelly et al. (2015). This method is easy to use in practice by pension savers and fund managers.
Antipsychotics are associated with a polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, torsades de pointes, which, in the worst case, can lead to sudden cardiac death. The QT interval corrected for heart rate (QTc) is used as a clinical proxy for torsades de pointes. The QTc interval can be prolonged by antipsychotic monotherapy, but it is unknown if the QTc interval is prolonged further with antipsychotic polypharmaceutical treatment. Therefore, this study investigated the associations between QTc interval and antipsychotic monotherapy and antipsychotic polypharmaceutical treatment in schizophrenia, and measured the frequency of QTc prolongation among patients.
We carried out an observational cohort study of unselected patients with schizophrenia visiting outpatient facilities in the region of Central Jutland, Denmark. Patients were enrolled from January of 2013 to June of 2015, with follow-up until June of 2015. Data were collected from clinical interviews and clinical case records.
Electrocardiograms were available for 65 patients, and 6% had QTc prolongation. We observed no difference in average QTc interval for the whole sample of patients receiving no antipsychotics, antipsychotic monotherapy, or antipsychotic polypharmaceutical treatment (p=0.29). However, women presented with a longer QTc interval when receiving polypharmacy than when receiving monotherapy (p=0.01). A limitation of this study was its small sample size.
We recommend an increased focus on monitoring the QTc interval in women with schizophrenia receiving antipsychotics as polypharmacy.
In 2015, Denmark launched an automated surveillance system for hospital-acquired infections, the Hospital-Acquired Infections Database (HAIBA).
To describe the algorithm used in HAIBA, to determine its concordance with point prevalence surveys (PPSs), and to present trends for hospital-acquired bacteremia
Private and public hospitals in Denmark
A hospital-acquired bacteremia case was defined as at least 1 positive blood culture with at least 1 pathogen (bacterium or fungus) taken between 48 hours after admission and 48 hours after discharge, using the Danish Microbiology Database and the Danish National Patient Registry. PPSs performed in 2012 and 2013 were used for comparison.
National trends showed an increase in HA bacteremia cases between 2010 and 2014. Incidence was higher for men than women (9.6 vs 5.4 per 10,000 risk days) and was highest for those aged 61–80 years (9.5 per 10,000 risk days). The median daily prevalence was 3.1% (range, 2.1%–4.7%). Regional incidence varied from 6.1 to 8.1 per 10,000 risk days. The microorganisms identified were typical for HA bacteremia. Comparison of HAIBA with PPS showed a sensitivity of 36% and a specificity of 99%. HAIBA was less sensitive for patients in hematology departments and intensive care units. Excluding these departments improved the sensitivity of HAIBA to 44%.
Although the estimated sensitivity of HAIBA compared with PPS is low, a PPS is not a gold standard. Given the many advantages of automated surveillance, HAIBA allows monitoring of HA bacteremia across the healthcare system, supports prioritizing preventive measures, and holds promise for evaluating interventions.
During his lifetime Talcott Parsons discussed social development on various levels of analysis of which his theory of social evolution can be regarded as being on the highest level. However, the level of analysis that I will take in this discussion is that of generalized historical development. Contrary to prevailing folklore, Parsons was always highly interested in historical analysis and wrote numerous pieces to that effect. The claim that Parsons ignored historical questions is simply unfounded.
Parsons's interpretation of world history is pointedly presented in his later works and his theoretical outline is summed up in his 1971article “Comparative Studies and Evolutionary Change.” I am here particularly interested in Parsons's notion of “seed-bed society,” although I suggest a different interpretation from the one he presented. I will use this new interpretation to discuss the history of Europe and China in order to indicate why it proved historically impossible for China to launch an industrial revolution and to show how the basic factors, which prohibit an industrial revolution are still haunting China today.
Because of space limitations I have had to leave out supporting documentation. While a more elaborate argumentation would have been prudent, I hope that this compressed presentation will nonetheless serve its purpose.
Parsons's Theory of Social Evolution
Parsons sporadically presented his theory of social evolution and its corresponding historical analysis in various works but it appears particularly prominent during his late period. At the center of Parsons's theory is the concept of differentiation. For Parsons differentiation processes characterize in general all living systems. As he explains, “the concept of differentiation is the basic unifier of the evolutionary and the comparative perspectives.” Parsons mentions cell division in biology as a typical example of what differentiation implies. He also emphasizes that the process is directional; it proceeds in a temporal sequence of “from-to” and as such produces new units that previously did not exist. In this way, Parsons underscores that there is both direction and coherence in the historical process.
Addressing the question of whether history is a random distribution of unique cultures, Parsons said: “But empirically, this simply is not the case; history consists rather, like the system of organic species, of an immensely ramified ‘inverted branching tree’ of forms at many levels of system reference.”
Right heart function is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in pulmonary arterial hypertension and many CHD. We investigated whether treatment with the prostacyclin analogue treprostinil could prevent pressure overload-induced right ventricular hypertrophy and failure.
Male Wistar rats were randomised to severe pulmonary trunk banding with a 0.5-mm banding clip (n=41), moderate pulmonary trunk banding with a 0.6-mm banding clip (n=36), or sham procedure (n=10). The banded rats were randomised to 6 weeks of treatment with a moderate dose of treprostinil (300 ng/kg/minute), a high dose of treprostinil (900 ng/kg/minute), or vehicle.
Pulmonary trunk banding effectively induced hypertrophy, dilatation, and decreased right ventricular function. The severely banded animals presented with decompensated heart failure with extracardial manifestations. Treatment with treprostinil neither reduced right ventricular hypertrophy nor improved right ventricular function.
In the pulmonary trunk banding model of pressure overload-induced right ventricular hypertrophy and failure, moderate- and high-dose treatment with treprostinil did not improve right ventricular function neither in compensated nor in decompensated right heart failure.
Despite its high plant diversity, the Amazon forest is dominated by a limited number of highly abundant, oligarchic tree and liana species. The high diversity can be related to specific habitat requirements in many of the less common species, but fewer studies have investigated the characteristics of the dominant species. To test how environmental variation may contribute to the success of dominant species we investigated whether the vital rates of the abundant liana Machaerium cuspidatum is sensitive to canopy height, topographic steepness, vegetation density, soil components and floristic composition across an Ecuadorian Amazon forest. The population was inventoried in 1998 and in 2009. Plants were divided into seedling-sized individuals, non-climbers and climbers. Out of 448 seedling-sized plants 421 died, 539 of 732 non-climbers died, and 107 of 198 climbers died. There was weak positive effect of dense understorey on the relative growth rate of climbers. The mortality of seedling-sized plants was higher in areas with intermediate slope, but for larger plants mortality was not related to environmental variation. The limited sensitivity of the vital rates to environmental gradients in the area suggests that ecological generalism contributes to the success of this dominant Amazonian liana.
This paper presents an assessment of the surplus grass production in the Region of Southern Denmark, and the perspectives of utilizing it in local biogas production. Grass production represents a significant role in the Danish agricultural sector. However, statistical data show an excess production of averagely 12% in the period 2006–2012. Based on spatial analyses and statistical data, the geographical distribution of grass production and consumption was estimated and mapped for the Region of Southern Denmark. An excess production of grass was estimated for several of the municipalities in the Region of Southern Denmark, but the excess production was found to be quite sensitive to the management practice of the grass fields and the productivity of the grass. The yields of excess grass estimated in the sensitive and conservative scenario were found to be sufficient to serve a sole co-substrate in 2–8 biogas plants using animal manure as primary feedstock. The yields in the intensive scenario were assessed to be sufficient to serve a sole co-substrate in 8–16 biogas plants. Alternatively, at least 31% of the regionally produced maize which is exported to the biogas sector could annually be substituted by methane produced from the production of excess grass. The intensive scenario was estimated to have significantly higher grass yields than the sensitive and conservative scenario. The environmental impacts of intensified agricultural management should, however, be assessed carefully in order to ensure that the ecosystems are not increasingly being burdened. The potential of utilizing residual grass for energy production in the region or as an alternative to the maize exported to Northern Germany, was concluded to seem as a promising possibility for a sustainable development of the regional biogas sector. Furthermore, it could provide incentives for establishing new biogas plants in the region and thereby increase the share of manure being digested anaerobically, which could help extrapolate the environmental and climate related benefits documented for the use of digested animal manure as fertilizer on agricultural land.
Malignant arrhythmias are a major cause of sudden cardiac death in adults with congenital heart disease. We developed a model to serially investigate electrophysiological properties in an animal model of right ventricular hypertrophy and failure.
We created models of compensated (cHF; n=11) and decompensated (dHF; n=11) right ventricular failure in Wistar rats by pulmonary trunk banding. Healthy controls underwent sham operation (Control; n=13). Surface electrocardiography was recorded from extremities, and inducibility of ventricular tachycardia was evaluated in vivo by programmed stimulation. Isolated right ventricular myocardium was analysed for mRNA expression of selected genes.
Banding caused an increased mRNA expression of both connexin 43 and the voltage-gated sodium channel 1.5, as well as a prolongation of PQ, QRS and QTc intervals. Ventricular tachycardia was induced in the majority of banded animals compared with none in the healthy control group. No differences were found between the two degrees of failure in neither the electrophysiological parameters nor inducibility.
The electrophysiological properties of rat hearts subjected to pulmonary trunk banding were significantly changed with increased susceptibility to ventricular tachycardia, but no differences were found between compensated and decompensated right ventricular failure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in vivo electrophysiological evaluation is a sensitive method to characterise the cardiac electric phenotype in an experimental rat model.
In addition to a yet-to-be published study showing arabinose to have an inhibiting effect on maltase, in vitro studies have shown l-arabinose to exert an inhibiting effect on small-intestinal sucrase and maltase and the consumption of a sucrose-rich drink containing l-arabinose to exert positive effects on postprandial blood glucose, insulin and C-peptide responses in humans. However, the effects of adding l-arabinose to mixed meals on the indices of glucose control are unknown. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the positive effects of l-arabinose added to a sugar drink could be reproduced in subjects consuming a mixed meal containing sucrose and/or starch from wheat flour. A total of seventeen healthy men participated in study 1, a randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial. In this study, the subjects consumed two different breakfast meals containing sucrose and starch from wheat flour (meal A) or starch from wheat flour (meal B) supplemented with 0, 5 and 10 % l-arabinose by weight after a 12 h fast. A total of six healthy men participated in study 2, a randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial. In this study, the subjects also consumed meal B served in two different textures and a liquid meal with maltose supplemented with 0 and 20 % l-arabinose. In addition, 1·5 g of paracetamol was chosen as an indirect marker to assess gastric emptying. Postprandial plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide concentrations were measured regularly for 3 h. The results of the present study showed that the peak plasma concentration, time to reach peak plasma concentration or AUC values of glucose, insulin and C-peptide were not altered after consumption of the test meals. Overall, it was not possible to reproduce the beneficial effects of l-arabinose added to sucrose drinks when l-arabinose was mixed in a solid or semi-solid mixed meal.
The effects of a high level of dietary fibre (DF) either as arabinoxylan (AX) or resistant starch (RS) on digestion processes, SCFA concentration and pool size in various intestinal segments and on the microbial composition in the faeces were studied in a model experiment with pigs. A total of thirty female pigs (body weight 63·1 (sem 4·4) kg) were fed a low-DF, high-fat Western-style control diet (WSD), an AX-rich diet (AXD) or a RS-rich diet (RSD) for 3 weeks. Diet significantly affected the digestibility of DM, protein, fat, NSP and NSP components, and the arabinose:xylose ratio, as well as the disappearance of NSP and AX in the large intestine. RS was mainly digested in the caecum. AX was digested at a slower rate than RS. The digesta from AXD-fed pigs passed from the ileum to the distal colon more than twice as fast as those from WSD-fed pigs, with those from RSD-fed pigs being intermediate (P< 0·001). AXD feeding resulted in a higher number of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Roseburia intestinalis, Blautia coccoides–Eubacterium rectale, Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in the faeces sampled at week 3 of the experimental period (P< 0·05). In the caecum, proximal and mid colon, AXD feeding resulted in a 3- to 5-fold higher pool size of butyrate compared with WSD feeding, with the RSD being intermediate (P <0·001). In conclusion, the RSD and AXD differently affected digestion processes compared with the WSD, and the AXD most efficiently shifted the microbial composition towards butyrogenic species in the faeces and increased the large-intestinal butyrate pool size.
We put one of the predictions of adverse-selection models to the test, using data from the Danish automobile insurance market: that there is a positive correlation between claims risk and insurance coverage. We can find a statistically significant insurance coverage--risk correlation when coverage is expressed relative to the insurance premium, but not when it is expressed in monetary terms.
We have investigated the performance of pension schemes of with-profit policies containing a guaranteed minimum rate of return and we have found that the price of the guarantee measured in terms of lost returns is enormous. We use simple simulations rather than complex pricing methods to illustrate that the price of an interest guarantee is high in pension products that are currently commercialised in the market. We have found that the customer loses up to about 0.75% yearly in the rate of return when an interest guarantee is purchased, compared to the return of an equivalent saving strategy with the same risk at the level 95%. This can explain why such arrangements are not widely popular. Our approach can be used to inform clients, who are not experts in modern financial models, the impact of paying for an interest guarantee.
The prevalence of right ventricular dysfunction in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy is incompletely studied in children. Furthermore, right ventricular function may signal worse outcomes. We evaluated recently published right ventricular function echocardiographic indices in identifying dysfunction in children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and the impact of right ventricular dysfunction on long-term prognosis.
A retrospective database review of right ventricular function indices in 30 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy was compared with 60 age- and sex-matched controls from January, 2001 until December, 2010. Right ventricular function was assessed by Doppler tissue peak systolic S′, early and late diastolic E′ and A′ waves and isovolumic acceleration at the tricuspid valve annulus; pulsed wave Doppler tricuspid valve inflow E and A waves; right ventricular myocardial performance index; tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion; right ventricular fractional area change.
Right ventricular systolic and diastolic function in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy was significantly impaired. All measured indices except for isovolumic acceleration and fractional area change were significantly reduced, with a p-value less than 0.05. There was no right ventricular index predictive of death or transplantation. Patients with poor outcome were significantly more likely to need inotropic support (p-value equal to 0.018), be placed on a ventricular assist device (p equal to 0.005), and have a worse left ventricular ejection fraction z-score (p-value equal to 0.002).
Right ventricular dysfunction is under-recognised in children presenting with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. The need for clinical circulatory support and left ventricular ejection fraction z-score less than minus 8 were primary determinants of outcome, independent of the degree of derangement in right ventricular function.
Objective: Causative relations between infections and psychosis, especially schizophrenia, have been speculated for more than a century, suggesting a hypothesis of association between schizophrenia and hereditary immune defects. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) is a pattern-recognition molecule of the innate immune defence. MBL deficiency is the most common hereditary defect in the immune system and may predispose to infection and autoimmunity. Mannan-binding lectin serine protease-2 (MASP-2) is an MBL-associated serine protease mediating complement activation upon binding of MBL/MASP to microorganisms. The objective was to investigate if schizophrenia is associated with serum concentrations of MBL and MASP-2 or with genetic variants of the genes MBL2 and MASP2 encoding these proteins.
Methods: The sample consisted of 100 patients with schizophrenia and 350 controls. Concentrations of MBL and MASP-2 in serum were measured and seven single nucleotide polymorphisms known to influence these concentrations were genotyped.
Results: Significant association of disease with genetic markers was found in MBL2 but not in MASP2. Significant difference in MBL serum concentration was found between patients and controls when adjusting for MBL2 haplotypes. For concentrations of MASP-2, a significant interaction effect between a MASP2 variant and disease was found. Interestingly, MASP-2 levels also depended significantly on variants in MBL2 exon 1.
Conclusion: This study supports previous studies showing increased complement activity in patients with schizophrenia, indicates aetiological heterogeneity among patients and underlines that multilocus genotypes have to be considered when investigating effects on MBL level. It appears that inclusion of additional components from the system of complement activation is warranted.
By adding the information of reported count data to a classical triangle of reserving data, we derive a suprisingly simple method for forecasting IBNR and RBNS claims. A simple relationship between development factors allows to involve and then estimate the reporting and payment delay. Bootstrap methods provide prediction errors and make possible the inference about IBNR and RBNS claims, separately.