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The introduction of agriculture is known to have profoundly affected the ecological complexion of landscapes. In this study, a rapid transition from C3 to C4 vegetation is inferred from a shift to higher stable carbon (13C/12C) isotope ratios of soils and sediments in the Benoué River Valley and upland Fali Mountains in northern Cameroon. Landscape change is viewed from the perspective of two settlement mounds and adjacent floodplains, as well as a rock terrace agricultural field dating from 1100 cal yr BP to the recent past (<400 cal yr BP). Nitrogen (15N/14N) isotope ratios and soil micromorphology demonstrate variable uses of land adjacent to the mound sites. These results indicate that Early Iron Age settlement practices involved exploitation of C3 plants on soils with low δ15N values, indicating wetter soils. Conversely, from the Late Iron Age (>700 cal yr BP) until recent times, high soil and sediment δ13C and δ15N values reflect more C4 biomass and anthropogenic organic matter in open, dry environments. The results suggest that Iron Age settlement practices profoundly changed landscapes in this part of West Africa through land clearance and/or utilization of C4 plants.
Incidence of human yersiniosis in New Zealand has increased between 2013 and 2017. For surveillance and outbreak investigations it is essential that an appropriate level of discrimination between pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica isolates is provided, in order to support epidemiological linking of connected cases. Subtyping of 227 Y. enterocolitica isolates was performed using a range of different typing methods, including biotyping, serotyping and seven loci multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). In addition, core genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (core SNP) analysis and multi-locus sequence typing were performed on a subset of 69 isolates. Sixty-seven different MLVA types were identified. One MLVA profile was associated with an outbreak in the Bay of Plenty region, supported by epidemiological data. Core SNP analysis showed that all the outbreak-related isolates clustered together. The subtyping and epidemiological evidence suggests that the outbreak of yersiniosis in the Bay of Plenty region between October and December 2016 could be attributed to a point source. However, subtyping results further suggest that the same clone was isolated from several regions between August 2016 and March 2017. Core SNP analysis and MLVA typing failed to differentiate between Y. enterocolitica biotype 2 and biotype 3. For this reason, we propose that these biotypes should be reported as a single type namely: Y. enterocolitica biotype 2/3 and that the serotype should be prioritised as an indicator of prevalence.
The last 12 years have seen the evolution of a new funding regime under the supervision of the Pensions Regulator. Over this period, there has been significant turbulence in financial markets, including record low interest rates. This paper takes a critical look at the development of funding approaches and methodologies over this period. It analyses the Pensions Regulator guidance and how scheme specific actuarial methods have emerged since the move away from the Minimum Funding Requirement in 2001 and the introduction of the Scheme Specific Funding Requirements in 2005. It asks whether these new methodologies have been successful from the perspective of members, trustees, employers and shareholders. At a time when actuarial valuation methodologies have faced considerable criticism, this paper aims to propose a pension funding methodology which is fit for purpose and also reflects the latest guidance from the Pensions Regulator on integrated risk management.
Locally acquired hepatitis A infection is re-emerging in Australia owing to person-to-person outbreaks among men who have sex with men and imported frozen produce. This paper describes a multi-state foodborne outbreak in the first half of 2018. Enhanced human epidemiological investigation including a case–control study, as well as microbial surveillance and trace-back investigations concluded that the outbreak was caused by consumption of imported frozen pomegranate arils. A total of 30 cases of hepatitis A infection, genotype IB with identical sequences met the outbreak case definition, including 27 primary cases and three secondary cases. Twenty-five (83%) of the cases were hospitalised for their illness and there was one death. Imported frozen pomegranate arils from Egypt were strongly implicated as the source of infection through case interviews (19 of 26 primary cases) as well as from a case–control study (adjusted odds ratio 43.4, 95% confidence interval 4.2–448.8, P = 0.002). Hepatitis A virus (HAV) was subsequently detected by polymerase chain reaction in two food samples of the frozen pomegranate aril product. This outbreak was detected and responded to promptly owing to routine genetic characterisation of HAVs from all hepatitis A infections in Australia as part of a national hepatitis A enhanced surveillance project. This is now the third outbreak of hepatitis A in Australia from imported frozen fruits. A re-assessment of the risk of these types of imported foods is strongly recommended.
We recently reported an association of offspring educational attainment with polygenic risk scores (PRS) computed on parent’s non-transmitted alleles for educational attainment using the second GWAS meta-analysis article on educational attainment published by the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium. Here we test the replication of these findings using a more powerful PRS from the third GWAS meta-analysis article by the Consortium. Each of the key findings of our previous paper is replicated using this improved PRS (N = 2335 adolescent twins and their genotyped parents). The association of children’s attainment with their own PRS increased substantially with the standardized effect size, moving from β = 0.134, 95% CI = 0.079, 0.188 for EA2, to β = 0.223, 95% CI = 0.169, 0.278, p < .001, for EA3. Parent’s PRS again predicted the socioeconomic status (SES) they provided to their offspring and increased from β = 0.201, 95% CI = 0.147, 0.256 to β = 0.286, 95% CI = 0.239, 0.333. Importantly, the PRS for alleles not transmitted to their offspring — therefore acting via the parenting environment — was increased in effect size from β = 0.058, 95% CI = 0.003, 0.114 to β = 0.067, 95% CI = 0.012, 0.122, p = .016. As previously found, this non-transmitted genetic effect was fully accounted for by parental SES. The findings reinforce the conclusion that genetic effects of parenting are substantial, explain approximately one-third the magnitude of an individual’s own genetic inheritance and are mediated by parental socioeconomic competence.
Birth weight and early growth have been associated with later blood pressure. However, not all studies consistently find a significant reduction in blood pressure with an increase in birth weight. In addition, the relative importance of birth weight and of other lifestyle and environmental factors is often overlooked and the association is rarely studied in adolescents. We investigated early life predictors, including birth weight, of adolescent blood pressure in the Gateshead Millennium Study (GMS). The GMS is a cohort of 1029 individuals born in 1999–2000 in Gateshead in Northern England. Throughout infancy and early childhood, detailed information were collected, including birth weight and measures of height and weight. Assessments of 491 returning participants at age 12 years included measures of body mass and blood pressure. Linear regression and path analysis were used to determine predictors and their relative importance on blood pressure. Birth weight was not directly associated with blood pressure at the age of 12. However, after adjustment for contemporaneous body mass index (BMI), an inverse association of standardized birth weight on systolic blood pressure was significant. The relative importance of birth weight on later systolic blood pressure was smaller than other contemporaneous body measures (height and BMI). There was no independent association of birth weight on blood pressure seen in this adolescent population. Contemporaneous body measures have an important role to play. Lifestyle factors that influence body mass or size, such as diet and physical activity, where interventions are directed at early prevention of hypertension should be targeted.
Family-based strategies to reduce the risk of overweight in childhood are needed in the Caribbean.
To investigate the associations between parental characteristics and risk of overweight and explore possible mechanisms.
Data from a parenting intervention were analysed. Parental characteristics were obtained by questionnaire at enrolment. At 18 months, 501 infants (82.9% of cohort) had weight and length measured using standardized methods. The association of parents’ characteristics with risk of infant overweight was assessed using random-effects logistic regression. Four focus groups among mothers in Jamaica were conducted to explore mechanisms.
Overall, 20.6% of infants were ‘at risk of overweight’. Fathers were present in 52% of households. Fathers’ presence [OR (95% CI) 0.60 (0.37–0.96)] was associated with reduced risk of overweight independent of socioeconomic status. Mothers reported that fathers encouraged healthier practices.
Fathers may be important agents of change in intervention strategies to prevent childhood overweight.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Background: Annually, 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur with nearly 75% classified as mild TBI (mTBI), also known as a concussion. Mild TBI can be subtle and detection requires a high index of suspicion and a regimented evaluation process. This study was done to define the proportion of patients with a possible mTBI evaluated for concussion at a high volume urban trauma center. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Methods: A prospective cohort of patients was identified using a 3-question screen at the time of triage: did an injury occur; was the mechanism consistent with mTBI; was there a period of altered mental status. Patients who screened positive were thought to meet a minimum threshold for the evaluation of mTBI. Information about mTBI specific evaluation, management, and education was obtained from the patient’s charts. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Results: 38,484 patients were screened over 16 weeks, of whom 453 (1.18%) screened positive for a possible mTBI and did not meet exclusion criteria. In total, 198 patients had documented loss of consciousness, 101 were diagnosed with mTBI, and 49 received mTBI discharge instructions. Overall, 32.5% of included patients had mTBI listed in the differential or as a diagnosis and 32.3% with loss of consciousness received a mTBI diagnosis. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Conclusions: Many patients with a possible mTBI were not evaluated, managed, or educated for their potential injury. Changes in physicians’ approach to mTBI must occur to increase the proportion of patients receiving appropriate evaluation, management, and education. These results define the current reality of mTBI treatment in the Emergency Department and show the need for further experimental studies targeted at physician decision support interventions to improve mTBI care.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
There is remarkably little documented information in the scientific literature on any of the 18 species of buttonquail as they are very difficult to observe in the wild. This lack of information has hampered informed conservation decision making. We undertook the first biome-wide survey for the fynbos endemic Hottentot Buttonquail Turnix hottentottus, using flush transect surveys covering 275 km. We used location data for sightings as well as from records reported by the bird-watching community and modelled distribution using MaxEnt. Encounters were restricted to the fynbos biome, and the top contributors to our prediction of suitable habitat were habitat transformation, slope and time since fire. We obtained a density estimate of 0.032 individuals per hectare which, across an estimated median range of 27,855 km2, provides a population estimate of 89,136 individuals. Given the extent of the range and the population estimate we suggest the IUCN Red List status could be ‘Vulnerable’, rather than ‘Endangered’. Agricultural and alien-vegetation encroachment means that the future of the species is certainly under threat and further studies are needed to inform conservation management.
Herbicide resistance, and in particular multiple-herbicide resistance, poses an ever-increasing threat to food security. A biotype of junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] with resistance to four herbicides, imazamox, fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, quinclorac, and propanil, each representing a different mechanism of action, was identified in Sunflower County, MS. Dose responses were performed on the resistant biotype and a biotype sensitive to all four herbicides to determine the level of resistance. Application of a cytochrome P450 inhibitor, malathion, with the herbicides imazamox and quinclorac resulted in increased susceptibility in the resistant biotype. Differential gene expression analysis of resistant and sensitive plants revealed that 170 transcripts were upregulated in resistant plants relative to sensitive plants and 160 transcripts were upregulated in sensitive plants. In addition, 507 transcripts were only expressed in resistant plants and 562 only in sensitive plants. A subset of these transcripts were investigated further using quantitative PCR (qPCR) to compare gene expression in resistant plants with expression in additional sensitive biotypes. The qPCR analysis identified two transcripts, a kinase and a glutathione S-transferase that were significantly upregulated in resistant plants compared with the sensitive plants. A third transcript, encoding an F-box protein, was downregulated in the resistant plants relative to the sensitive plants. As no cytochrome P450s were differentially expressed between the resistant and sensitive plants, a single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis was performed, revealing several nonsynonymous point mutations of interest. These candidate genes will require further study to elucidate the resistance mechanisms present in the resistant biotype.
Research on environmental and genetic pathways to complex traits such as educational attainment (EA) is confounded by uncertainty over whether correlations reflect effects of transmitted parental genes, causal family environments, or some, possibly interactive, mixture of both. Thus, an aggregate of thousands of alleles associated with EA (a polygenic risk score; PRS) may tap parental behaviors and home environments promoting EA in the offspring. New methods for unpicking and determining these causal pathways are required. Here, we utilize the fact that parents pass, at random, 50% of their genome to a given offspring to create independent scores for the transmitted alleles (conventional EA PRS) and a parental score based on alleles not transmitted to the offspring (EA VP_PRS). The formal effect of non-transmitted alleles on offspring attainment was tested in 2,333 genotyped twins for whom high-quality measures of EA, assessed at age 17 years, were available, and whose parents were also genotyped. Four key findings were observed. First, the EA PRS and EA VP_PRS were empirically independent, validating the virtual-parent design. Second, in this family-based design, children's own EA PRS significantly predicted their EA (β = 0.15), ruling out stratification confounds as a cause of the association of attainment with the EA PRS. Third, parental EA PRS predicted the SES environment parents provided to offspring (β = 0.20), and parental SES and offspring EA were significantly associated (β = 0.33). This would suggest that the EA PRS is at least as strongly linked to social competence as it is to EA, leading to higher attained SES in parents and, therefore, a higher experienced SES for children. In a full structural equation model taking account of family genetic relatedness across multiple siblings the non-transmitted allele effects were estimated at similar values; but, in this more complex model, confidence intervals included zero. A test using the forthcoming EA3 PRS may clarify this outcome. The virtual-parent method may be applied to clarify causality in other phenotypes where observational evidence suggests parenting may moderate expression of other outcomes, for instance in psychiatry.
Water wave overwash of a step by small steepness, regular incident waves is analysed using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and a mathematical model, in two spatial dimensions. The CFD model is based on the two-phase, incompressible Navier–Stokes equations, and the mathematical model is based on the coupled potential-flow and nonlinear shallow-water theories. The CFD model is shown to predict vortices, breaking and overturning in the region where overwash is generated, and that the overwash develops into fast-travelling bores. The mathematical model is shown to predict bore heights and velocities that agree with the CFD model, despite neglecting the complicated dynamics where the overwash is generated. Evidence is provided to explain the agreement in terms of the underlying agreement of mass and energy fluxes.
Archaeologists have long examined how the emergence of core polities prompts changes in the settlement patterns of peripheral regions through various processes like warfare, patronage claims, control of ritual rites, and unequal balances of trade. According to historical records, there were 54 small Mahan polities in southwestern Korea, and one of these polities, Baekje, grew to become an ancient state by unifying other polities in the 4th century AD. It is assumed that subsequent changes in the settlement patterns of southwestern Korea were caused directly or indirectly by the expansion of Baekje, but the nature of this presumed influence is not fully explained due to difficulties in establishing chronologies and the limited application of spatial analyses. In this paper, radiocarbon (14C) dates, kernel density estimates, and spatial autocorrelation analyses are used to compare Mahan settlement distributions before and after the rise of the Baekje kingdom. The results demonstrate that the spatial distribution of Mahan settlements changed over time, correlating with the emergence of Baekje statehood, but detailed aspects of the settlement patterns observed in each region were not uniform. Baekje applied various expansion strategies and exerted asymmetrical hegemony based on the conditions and responses of peripheral communities.
New simultaneous X-ray and radio observations of the archetypal mode-switching pulsar PSR B0943+10 have been carried out with XMM-Newton and the LOFAR, LWA and Arecibo radio telescopes in November 2014. They allowed us to better constrain the X-ray spectral and variability properties of this pulsar and to detect, for the first time, the X-ray pulsations also during the X-ray-fainter mode. The combined timing and spectral analysis indicates that unpulsed non-thermal emission, likely of magnetospheric origin, and pulsed thermal emission from a small polar cap are present during both radio modes and vary in a correlated way.
We have observed the 12CO (Ishizuki et al 1990) and 13CO emission of the central 65″ region of the galaxy IC342 at the high resolutions of 2.4″ for 12CO and 5.1″×4.2″ for 13CO using the Nobeyama Millimeter Array. The integrated intensities of 12CO and 13CO emission are shown in Fig.1 and 2, respectively.
We are investigating complete samples of southern hemisphere flat spectrum extra-galactic radio sources drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz Survey (see Bolton et al. 1979 and references therein). These samples are being used for a variety of investigations, including a determination of the space distribution and luminosity function of radio QSOs, their radio size distribution, as well as the structures of the individual sources. Accurate positions are being determined, as well, in order to establish an extra-galactic position reference frame in the southern hemisphere.
Six radio telescopes were operated as the first southern hemisphere VLBI array in April and May 1982. Observations were made at 2.3 and 8.4 Ghz. This array produced VLBI images of 28 southern hemisphere radio sources, high accuracy VLBI geodesy between southern hemisphere sites, and subarcsecond radio astrometry of celestial sources south of declination −45 degrees. This paper discusses only the astrophysical aspects of the experiment.