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Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
Universal access to abundant scientific data, and the software to analyze the data at scale, could fundamentally transform the field of materials science. Today, the materials community faces serious challenges to bringing about this data-accelerated research paradigm, including diversity of research areas within materials, lack of data standards, and missing incentives for sharing, among others. Nonetheless, the landscape is rapidly changing in ways that should benefit the entire materials research enterprise. We provide an overview of the current state of the materials data and informatics landscape, highlighting a few selected efforts that make more data freely available and useful to materials researchers.
Understanding the nutritional demands on serving military personnel is critical to inform training schedules and dietary provision. Troops deployed to Afghanistan face austere living and working environments. Observations from the military and those reported in the British and US media indicated possible physical degradation of personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the changes in body composition and nutritional status of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan and how these were related to physical fitness. In a cohort of British Royal Marines (n 249) deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, body size and body composition were estimated from body mass, height, girth and skinfold measurements. Energy intake (EI) was estimated from food diaries and energy expenditure measured using the doubly labelled water method in a representative subgroup. Strength and aerobic fitness were assessed. The mean body mass of volunteers decreased over the first half of the deployment ( − 4·6 (sd 3·7) %), predominately reflecting fat loss. Body mass partially recovered (mean +2·2 (sd 2·9) %) between the mid- and post-deployment periods (P< 0·05). Daily EI (mean 10 590 (sd 3339) kJ) was significantly lower than the estimated daily energy expenditure (mean 15 167 (sd 1883) kJ) measured in a subgroup of volunteers. However, despite the body mass loss, aerobic fitness and strength were well maintained. Nutritional provision for British military personnel in Afghanistan appeared sufficient to maintain physical capability and micronutrient status, but providing appropriate nutrition in harsh operational environments must remain a priority.
This paper reports findings from three focus groups, involving 24 people, aged 65 to 79 years (20 women, four men), concerning their knowledge of safety on stairs. Findings indicate that older people use their stairs as and when necessary, but tend to avoid stair use when it becomes more difficult. The location of essential facilities in some homes (e.g. the lavatory), however, may lead to increased use of stairs for some. Despite recognition of hazardous behaviour, participants reported that they continued to engage in activities which may increase risk of falling, e.g. leaving objects on stairs and using stairs in the dark. Cleaning stairs presents problems in some cases due to difficulties with access or the need to use heavy and awkward equipment. Focus group participants recognised that medications and use of alcohol may increase the risk of falling, but it seems that individuals may not always appreciate when they personally are at increased risk. Most participants indicated they had given only limited thought to stair safety prior to the focus groups. Possibilities for prevention are reviewed, including modifications to the stair environment and equipment design, coupled with safety education, to raise awareness of risks and strategies for dealing with these.
The Sumatran rhino Dicerorhinus sumatrensis is regarded as critically endangered with a world population of approximately 400. In 1991 it was recorded in Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, 30 years after the park's last rhino was believed to have been shot. A Sumatran Rhino Population and Habitat Viability Analysis (PHVA) workshop in 1993 recommended an immediate survey be carried out to assess the rhino population in the park. The Way Kambas Project recorded observations of rhino sign between 1993 and 1995. Sign was most frequently observed along trails in mature secondary forest. Data from the areas surveyed suggest the presence of at least four rhinos.
To date, a number of studies involving the use of bond prices and/or returns have utilized the published prices of trades on the New York and other exchanges. These exchange quotes reflect the odd-lot activities of individual investors and account for only a negligible portion of the trading in listed issues. In contrast, the vast majority of listed corporate trading occurs over-the-counter and involves round-lot trades between institutions. Given differences in market characteristics, odd-lot exchange prices may differ substantially from those in the round-lot institutional market. This study compares exchange quotations from Moody's Bond Record with prices assigned by Merrill Lynch's institutional pricing service and uses each set of prices to calculate return and risk measures. Institutional (Merrill Lynch) bond prices are shown to be systematically greater than exchange (Moody's) prices. In addition, bond returns based on Merrill Lynch prices are shown to yield significantly higher beta and R2 estimates, as well as significantly lower standard deviation and residual risk estimates.
This paper is concerned with two decisions facing firms with defined benefit, trusteed pension plans: the amount of funds to contribute to the pension fund in any given period; and the selection of a particular mix of assets for that fund. The pension decision area is of importance for many firms today due to the recent rapid growth in pension costs in absolute terms and as a percent of firm profits. Unfunded liabilities (pension benefits payable net of pension assets) have become a sizable component of the capital structure of many firms. Pension funds (assets) also have grown rapidly due to liberalizationof pension benefits, inflation, the higher funding requirements of the pension reform law (ERISA), and the overall aging of the labor force.
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