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The Shang (c. 1500–1045 BC) and Zhou dynasties (c. 1045–771 BC) of China are famous for their sophisticated ritual bronze vessels. Sourcing the leaded tin-bronze has, however, proved to be a challenge. A new systematic approach to metal chemistry uses trace elements and isotopes to characterise the underlying circulation pattern. It reveals the complexity of the copper sources on which the late Shang capital at Anyang depended for its bronzes, suggesting the transport of copper from distant regions in the south, on the Yangtze, and from north-east China. The new interpretational system furthers our understanding of the network on which successive Chinese dynasties depended for copper, lead and tin, and attempts to give equal weight to the archaeological and chemical data.
Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infects 95% of the global population and is associated with up to 2% of cancers globally. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to EBV have been shown to be heritable and associated with developing malignancies. We, therefore, performed a pilot genome-wide association analysis of anti-EBV IgG traits in an African population, using a combined approach including array genotyping, whole-genome sequencing and imputation to a panel with African sequence data. In 1562 Ugandans, we identify a variant in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQA1, rs9272371 (p = 2.6 × 10−17) associated with anti-EBV nuclear antigen-1 responses. Trans-ancestry meta-analysis and fine-mapping with European-ancestry individuals suggest the presence of distinct HLA class II variants driving associations in Uganda. In addition, we identify four putative, novel, very rare African-specific loci with preliminary evidence for association with anti-viral capsid antigen IgG responses which will require replication for validation. These findings reinforce the need for the expansion of such studies in African populations with relevant datasets to capture genetic diversity.
Eta Carinae is one of the most massive observable binaries. Yet determination of its orbital and physical parameters is hampered by obscuring winds. However the effects of the strong, colliding winds changes with phase due to the high orbital eccentricity. We wanted to improve measures of the orbital parameters and to determine the mechanisms that produce the relatively brief, phase-locked minimum as detected throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We conducted intense monitoring of the He ii λ4686 line in η Carinae for 10 months in the year 2014, gathering ~300 high S/N spectra with ground- and space-based telescopes. We also used published spectra at the FOS4 SE polar region of the Homunculus, which views the minimum from a different direction. We used a model in which the He ii λ4686 emission is produced by two mechanisms: a) one linked to the intensity of the wind-wind collision which occurs along the whole orbit and is proportional to the inverse square of the separation between the companion stars; and b) the other produced by the ‘bore hole’ effect which occurs at phases across the periastron passage. The opacity (computed from 3D SPH simulations) as convolved with the emission reproduces the behavior of equivalent widths both for direct and reflected light. Our main results are: a) a demonstration that the He ii λ4686 light curve is exquisitely repeatable from cycle to cycle, contrary to previous claims for large changes; b) an accurate determination of the longitude of periastron, indicating that the secondary star is ‘behind’ the primary at periastron, a dispute extended over the past decade; c) a determination of the time of periastron passage, at ~4 days after the onset of the deep light curve minimum; and d) show that the minimum is simultaneous for observers at different lines of sight, indicating that it is not caused by an eclipse of the secondary star, but rather by the immersion of the wind-wind collision interior to the inner wind of the primary.
We present improvement and confirmation of identified frequencies and pulsation modes for the γ Doradus star HD 189631. This work improves upon previous studies by incorporating a significant number of additional spectra and precise determination of frequencies. Four frequencies were identified for this star: 1.6774 ± 0.0002 d−1, 1.4174 ± 0.0002 d−1, 0.0714 ± 0.0002 d−1, and 1.8228 ± 0.0002 d−1 which were identified with the modes (l,m) = (1, +1), (1, +1), (2, −2), and (1, +1) respectively. These findings are in agreement with the most recent literature. The prevalence of (l,m) = (1, +1) modes in γ Doradus stars is starting to become apparent and we discuss this result.
The gravity modes present in γ Doradus stars probe the deep stellar interiors and are thus of particular interest in asteroseismology. For the MUSICIAN programme at the University of Canterbury, we obtain extensive high-resolution echelle spectra of γ Dor stars from the Mt John University Observatory in New Zealand. We analyze these to obtain the pulsational frequencies and identify these with the multiple pulsational modes excited in the star. A summary of recent results from our spectroscopic mode-identification programme is given.
We carried out an extensive photometric and spectroscopic investigation of the SPB binary, HD 25558 (see Fig. 1 for the time and geographic distribution of the observations). The ~2000 spectra obtained at 13 observatories during 5 observing seasons, the ground-based multi-colour light curves and the photometric data from the MOST satellite revealed that this object is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with a very long orbital period of about 9 years. We determined the physical parameters of the components, and have found that both lie within the SPB instability strip. Accordingly, both components show line-profile variations consistent with stellar pulsations. Altogether, 11 independent frequencies and one harmonic frequency were identified in the data. The observational data do not allow the inference of a reliable orbital solution, thus, disentangling cannot be performed on the spectra. Since the lines of the two components are never completely separated, the analysis is very complicated. Nevertheless, pixel-by-pixel variability analysis of the cross-correlated line profiles was successful, and we were able to attribute all the frequencies to the primary or secondary component. Spectroscopic and photometric mode-identification was also performed for several of these frequencies of both binary components. The spectroscopic mode-identification results suggest that the inclination and rotation of the two components are rather different. While the primary is a slow rotator with ~6 d rotation period, seen at ~60° inclination, the secondary rotates fast with ~1.2 d rotation period, and is seen at ~20° inclination. Our spectropolarimetric measurements revealed that the secondary component has a magnetic field with at least a few hundred Gauss strength, while no magnetic field was detected in the primary.
The detailed analysis and results of this study will be published elsewhere.
The musician programme at the University of Canterbury has been successfully identifying pulsation modes in many γ Doradus stars using hundreds of ground-based spectroscopic observations. This paper describes some of the successful mode identifications and emerging patterns of the programme. The hybrid γ Doradus/δ Scuti star HD 49434 remains an enigma, despite the analysis of more than 1700 multi-site high-resolution spectra. A new result for this star is apparently distinct line-profile variations for the γ Doradus and δ Scuti frequencies.
Variable absorption features were observed in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum of β Pictoris soon after this star gained attention in the early 1980s due to its large IRAS infrared excess and the discovery, from optical imaging, of an edge-on dust disk. The absorption has been attributed to the evaporation of infalling planetesimals or comet-like bodies (the falling evaporating bodies, or FEB, hypothesis). With a view to confronting this hypothesis with fuller observations, we monitored the Ca II H and K lines in β Pictoris simultaneously during 1998, obtaining sequences of spectra on 50 nights. Variable absorption was usually present. The different oscillator strengths of the H and K lines permit the determination of covering factors, but detailed modelling is required to test whether all features can be explained by the FEB hypothesis. The blend of Ca II H with Balmer H ε means that the H and K photospheric profiles are different, and that the variable absorption features do not evolve in parallel. The behaviour of the variable absorption on November 27 is evocative of a body passing in front of the stellar disk in a prograde equatorial orbit.
In September 2006, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was added to the UK immunization programme. We aimed to evaluate the impact of PCV7 on the incidence of all-cause community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in children. A prospective survey was undertaken in 2008–2009 at 11 hospitals in North East England of children aged 0–16 years with radiologically confirmed pneumonia. Data were compared to those from a similar survey undertaken in the same hospitals in 2001–2002. A total of 542 children were enrolled, of which 74% were aged <5 years. PCV7 uptake was 90·7%. The incidence of pneumonia was 11·8/10 000 [95% confidence interval (CI) 10·9–12·9], and the hospitalization rate was 9·9/10 000 (95% CI 9·0–10·9). Compared to 2001, there was a 19% (95% CI 8–29) reduction in the rate of CAP in those aged <5 years, and in those <2 years a 33·1% (95% CI 20–45) reduction in the incidence of CAP and 38·1% (95% CI 24–50) reduction in hospitalization rates. However, for those unvaccinated aged ⩾5 years, there was no difference in the incidence of CAP and hospitalization rate between both surveys. Since 2001, the overall reduction in incidence was 17·7% (95% CI 8–26) and for hospitalization 18·5% (95% CI 8–28). For the <5 years age group there was a lower incidence of CAP in PCV7-vaccinated children (25·2/10 000, 95% CI 22·6–28·2) than in those that were not vaccinated (37·4/10 000, 95% CI 29·2–47·1). In conclusion, PCV7 has reduced both incidence and rate of hospitalization of pneumonia in children, particularly in the <2 years age group.
To compare induction, pre- and post-discharge recovery characteristics and patient preferences between four anaesthetic regimens in adult day-surgery.
Randomized controlled trial. In all, 1158 adults assigned to: propofol induction and maintenance, propofol induction with isoflurane/N2O, or sevoflurane/N2O maintenance, or sevoflurane/N2O alone. We prospectively recorded induction and pre-discharge recovery characteristics, collected 7-day post-discharge recovery characteristics using patient diaries and patient preferences by telephone follow-up.
Recruitment rate was 73% – of the 425 refusals, 226 were not willing to risk a volatile induction. During induction, excitatory movements and breath holding were more common with sevoflurane only (P < 0.01). Injection pain and hiccup were more common with propofol induction (P < 0.01). In the recovery room and the postoperative ward, both nausea and vomiting were more common with sevoflurane only (P < 0.01). This difference disappeared within 48 h. There was no difference between groups in the mental state on awakening, recovery time, time to discharge or overnight admissions; then was also no difference in pain between the four groups for each of the seven postoperative days (P < 0.01), nor any differences in concentration or forgetfulness. Patients took 6.5 days (95% CI: 6.0–7.0, n = 693) to resume normal activities. Patients who received sevoflurane only were more likely to recall an unpleasant induction and least likely to want the same induction method again (P < 0.01).
Differences in outcome between the four regimens are transient; sevoflurane is not an ideal sole agent for adult day case anaesthesia and, in this setting, patients base their preferences for future anaesthetics on the method of induction.
PLANET, the Probing Lensing Anomaly NETwork, is an international team
conducting observations of on-going gravitational microlensing
events from five sites in the southern hemisphere. Our primary goal is to
detect or to put constraints on sub-stellar companions of M dwarfs from the galactic disk.
We report the current status and discuss the future prospects.
A 2 m robotic telescope at Dome C which would benefit from continuous coverage and dream like seeing
(median of 0.27 arcsec) is currently the best option for a
ground based aggressive search for Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
Background and objective: In October 2000, we conducted a national postal survey of consultant day case anaesthetists in the UK to explore the range and variation in the practice of anaesthetizing a patient for day case surgery (paediatrics, urology and orthopaedics). The survey was carried out as part of a larger study that comprised a major two-centre randomized controlled trial designed to investigate the costs and outcome of several anaesthetic techniques during day care surgery in paediatric and adult patients (cost-effectiveness study of anaesthesia in day case surgery). We report the findings of this national survey of adult urology and orthopaedic day case anaesthetic practice in the UK.
Methods: The survey used a structured postal questionnaire and collected data on the duration of the surgical procedure; the use of premedication; the anaesthetic agents used for induction and maintenance; the fresh gas flows used for anaesthesia; the use of antiemetics; and the administration of local anaesthesia and analgesia.
Results: The overall response rate for the survey was 74% (63% for urology, 67% for orthopaedics). The survey indicated the following practice in adult urology and adult orthopaedic day case surgery: 6 and 12% used premedication; propofol was the preferred induction agent (96 and 97%) and isoflurane the preferred maintenance agent (56 and 58%); 32 and 41% used prophylactic antiemetics; 86 and 93% used a laryngeal mask.
Conclusions: This survey identifies the variation in current clinical practice in adult day surgery anaesthesia in the UK and discusses this variation in the context of current published evidence.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
We review the current status and future prospects of the PLANET collaboration, an international team of astronomers performing high-precision photometric monitoring of microlensing events. Our photometric precision and sampling is characterised and the suitability of the database for variable star studies is discussed. Preliminary results on K-giant stability are presented.