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Geochemical and related studies have been made of near-surface sediments from the River Clyde estuary and adjoining areas, extending from Glasgow to the N, and W as far as the Holy Loch on the W coast of Scotland, UK. Multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar and shallow seismic data, taken with core information, indicate that a shallow layer of modern sediment, often less than a metre thick, rests on earlier glacial and post-glacial sediments. The offshore Quaternary history can be aligned with onshore sequences, with the recognition of buried drumlins, settlement of muds from quieter water, probably behind an ice dam, and later tidal delta deposits. The geochemistry of contaminants within the cores also indicates shallow contaminated sediments, often resting on pristine pre-industrial deposits at depths less than 1m. The distribution of different contaminants with depth in the sediment, such as Pb (and Pb isotopes), organics and radionuclides, allow chronologies of contamination from different sources to be suggested. Dating was also attempted using microfossils, radiocarbon and 210Pb, but with limited success. Some of the spatial distribution of contaminants in the surface sediments can be related to grain-size variations. Contaminants are highest, both in absolute terms and in enrichment relative to the natural background, in the urban and inner estuary and in the Holy Loch, reflecting the concentration of industrial activity.
At the time of the Clean Air Act of 1990, the Los Angeles basin was the only region in the country classified as an extreme non-attainment area for exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone. Under pressure at the national level from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and at the state level from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to significantly reduce emissions, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) launched a program for trading permits in nitrogen and sulfur oxides (NOx and SOx) in the Los Angeles basin. That program was strongly supported by environmental groups and large firms in the LA basin as the most cost effective way of attaining the desired reductions. This program, the REgional CLean Air Incentives Market (RECLAIM), was initialized in October of 1993 and has been operating since early 1994.
The design of the tradable instruments was inevitably a compromise between regulatory interests and market efficiency. Regulators wanted to be able to control the timing and distribution of emissions as finely as possible with caps at many different locations and for many different time periods. To create liquidity, market designers wanted as few instruments as possible – a single aggregate cap would have been their preference. In the end, 136 different types of permits were created that could be used by a company to cover their emissions and, thereby, avoid the costs of abatement. This meant there were both substitutes and complements among the permits. Further, the markets for each of these permits would be illiquid. That created a big problem for the environmental engineers trying to choose between installing expensive abatement equipment or buying a portfolio of permits.
At the request of a number of firms, a new combinatoric market design was built and operated to help then and others deal with the complexities that the RECLAIM program created. In this chapter, we provide a description and analysis of that market.
There has been much recent excitement about the possibility that some cases of psychosis may be wholly due to brain-reactive antibodies, with antibodies to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and the voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC)-complex reported in a few patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Participants were recruited from psychiatric services in South London, UK, from 2009 to 2011 as part of the Genetics and Psychosis study. We conducted a case–control study to examine NMDAR and VGKC-complex antibody levels and rates of antibody positivity in 96 patients presenting with FEP and 98 controls matched for age and sex. Leucine-rich glioma inactiviated-1 (LGI1) and contactin-associated protein (CASPR) antibodies were also measured. Notably, patients with suspicion of organic disease were excluded.
VGKC-complex antibodies were found in both cases (n = 3) and controls (n = 2). NMDAR antibody positivity was seen in one case and one control. Either LGI1-Abs or CASPR2-Abs were found in three cases and three controls. Neuronal antibody staining, consistent with the above results or indicating potential novel antigens, was overall positive in four patients but also in six controls. Overall, antibody positivity was at low levels only and not higher in cases than in controls.
This case–control study of the prevalence of antibodies in FEP does not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that FEP is associated with an immune-mediated process in a subgroup of patients. Nevertheless, as other bio-clinical factors may influence the effect of such antibodies in a given individual, and patients with organic neurological disease may be misdiagnosed as FEP, the field requires more research to put these findings in context.
Latest Sandbian to early Katian sequences across Laurentia's epicontinental sea exhibit a transition from lithologies characterized as ‘warm-water’ carbonates to those characterized as ‘cool-water'carbonates. This shift occurs across the regionally recognized M4/M5 sequence stratigraphic boundary and has been attributed to climatic cooling and glaciation, basin reorganization and upwelling of open ocean water, and/or increased water turbidity and terrigenous input associated with the Taconic tectophase. Documentation of oxygen isotopic trends across the M4/M5 and through bracketing strata provides a potential means of distinguishing among these alternative scenarios; however, oxygen isotopic records generated to date have failed to settle the debate. This lack of resolution is because δ18O records are open to multiple interpretations and potentially confounding factors related to local environmental conditions have not been tested by examining the critical interval in multiple areas and different depositional settings. To begin to address this shortcoming, we present new species-specific and mixed assemblage conodont δ18O values in samples spanning the M4/M5 boundary from the Upper Mississippi Valley, Alabama, and Virginia. The new results are combined with previous studies, providing a record of δ18O variability across SE Laurentia. The combined dataset allows us to test for regional trends at a resolution not previously available. Our results document a ~1.5‰ decrease in values across Laurentia instead of increasing δ18O values across the M4/M5 as predicted in various ‘cool-water’ scenarios. In short, these results do not support a shift to ‘cool-water’ conditions as an explanation for changes in early Katian carbonates across the M4/M5.
Objectives: Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome is implicated in numerous human health conditions. Animal studies have linked microbiome disruption to changes in cognitive functioning, although no study has examined this possibility in neurologically healthy older adults. Methods: Participants were 43 community-dwelling older adults (50–85 years) that completed a brief cognitive test battery and provided stool samples for gut microbiome sequencing. Participants performing≥1 SD below normative performance on two or more tests were compared to persons with one or fewer impaired scores. Results: Mann Whitney U tests revealed different distributions of Bacteroidetes (p=.01), Firmicutes (p=.02), Proteobacteria (p=.04), and Verrucomicrobia (p=.003) between Intact and Impaired groups. These phyla were significantly correlated with cognitive test performances, particularly Verrucomicrobia and attention/executive function measures. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that composition of the gut microbiome is associated with cognitive test performance in neurologically healthy older adults. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore possible mechanisms. (JINS, 2017, 23, 700–705)
Over the last four decades the transactional model has emerged as a central fixture of modern developmental science. Despite this, we are aware of no principled approach for determining (a) whether it is actually necessary to invoke transactional mechanisms to explain observed patterns of stability in a given domain of adaptive functioning and (b) the extent to which transactional processes, once identified in aggregate, are accounted for by measured domains with which an aspect of adaptive functioning is theoretically in transaction. Leveraging the fact that transactional mechanisms produce excess stability in an outcome domain above and beyond autoregressive processes, along with the basic logic of mediational analysis, we introduce two novel indexes for studying transactional processes strategically. We apply these metrics to data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development cohort on mother- and teacher-reported externalizing problems and social competence along with teacher-reported and objective assessments of academic skills acquired in Grades 1, 3, and 5. During this developmental period we find that (a) transactional contributions to stability are strongest for teacher-reported outcomes, next strongest for mother-reported outcomes, and relatively weak for objective assessments of academic skills and (b) observed maternal sensitivity (but not child-reported friendship quality) accounts for a modest proportion of the total transactional effects operative in most of the domains of adaptive functioning we studied. Discussion focuses on extending the logic of our approach to additional waves of measurement.
Prenatal maternal depression and a multilocus genetic profile of two susceptibility genes implicated in the stress response were examined in an interaction model predicting negative emotionality in the first 3 years. In 179 mother–infant dyads from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability, and Neurodevelopment cohort, prenatal depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depressions Scale) was assessed at 24 to 36 weeks. The multilocus genetic profile score consisted of the number of susceptibility alleles from the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region gene (5-HTTLPR): no long-rs25531(A) (LA: short/short, short/long-rs25531(G) [LG], or LG/LG] vs. any LA) and the dopamine receptor D4 gene (six to eight repeats vs. two to five repeats). Negative emotionality was extracted from the Infant Behaviour Questionnaire—Revised at 3 and 6 months and the Early Child Behavior Questionnaire at 18 and 36 months. Mixed and confirmatory regression analyses indicated that prenatal depression and the multilocus genetic profile interacted to predict negative emotionality from 3 to 36 months. The results were characterized by a differential susceptibility model at 3 and 6 months and by a diathesis–stress model at 36 months.
This study considers the developmental origins of alcohol use in young adulthood. Despite substantial evidence linking committed romantic relationships to less problematic alcohol use in adulthood, the uniformity of these protective benefits across different romantic relationships is unclear. Further, the extent to which the establishment and maintenance of these romantic relationships is preceded by earlier adolescence alcohol use remains unknown. To address these gaps in the literature, the current study utilized multitiple-dimensional, multiple-informant data spanning 20 years on 585 individuals in the Child Development Project. Findings from both variable- and person-centered analyses support a progression of associations predicting adolescent alcohol use (ages 15–16), drinking, and romantic relationships in early adulthood (ages 18–25), and then problematic young adult alcohol use (age 27). Although adolescent alcohol use predicted greater romantic involvement and turnover in early adulthood, romantic involvement, but not turnover, appeared to reduce the likelihood of later problematic drinking. These findings remained robust even after accounting for a wide array of selection and socialization factors. Moreover, characteristics of the individuals (e.g., gender) and of their romantic relationships (e.g., partner substance use problems and romantic relationship satisfaction) did not moderate these findings. Findings underscore the importance of using a developmental–relational perspective to consider the antecedents and consequences of alcohol use early in the life span.
We argue that economic links, such as supply chains, can create a common roof that protects foreign investors in host countries that lack strong institutions to protect property rights. Supply chains link the activities of firms: when a host government breaks a contract with one firm, other firms in the supply chain are harmed. These partner firms therefore have incentive to protect one another’s property rights. This leads to the key implication of our argument: host governments are less likely to violate the property rights of firms that are more tightly linked with other firms in the host economy. We test our argument with cross-national data on investment arbitration, a survey of US multinational subsidiaries in Russia, and case studies from Azerbaijan. Our findings imply that one benefit of outsourcing in developing and transition economies is the creation of a network of partner firms that protect each other’s property rights.
Dietary advanced glycation end products (AGE) formed during heating of food have gained interest as potential nutritional toxins with adverse effects on inflammation and glucose metabolism. In the present study, we investigated the short-term effects of high and low molecular weight (HMW and LMW) dietary AGE on insulin sensitivity, expression of the receptor for AGE (RAGE), the AGE receptor 1 (AGER1) and TNF-α, F2-isoprostaglandins, body composition and food intake. For 2 weeks, thirty-six Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a diet containing 20 % milk powder with different proportions of this being given as heated milk powder (0, 40 or 100 %), either native (HMW) or hydrolysed (LMW). Gene expression of RAGE and AGER1 in whole blood increased in the group receiving a high AGE LMW diet, which also had the highest urinary excretion of the AGE, methylglyoxal-derived hydroimidazolone 1 (MG-H1). Urinary excretion of Nε-carboxymethyl-lysine increased with increasing proportion of heat-treated milk powder in the HMW and LMW diets but was unrelated to gene expression. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity, F2-isoprostaglandins, food intake, water intake, body weight or body composition between the groups. In conclusion, RAGE and AGER1 expression can be influenced by a high AGE diet after only 2 weeks in proportion to MG-H1 excretion. No other short-term effects were observed.
Disorganized attachment is an important early risk factor for socioemotional problems throughout childhood and into adulthood. Prevailing models of the etiology of disorganized attachment emphasize the role of highly dysfunctional parenting, to the exclusion of complex models examining the interplay of child and parental factors. Decades of research have established that extreme child birth weight may have long-term effects on developmental processes. These effects are typically negative, but this is not always the case. Recent studies have also identified the dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) as a moderator of childrearing effects on the development of disorganized attachment. However, there are inconsistent findings concerning which variant of the polymorphism (seven-repeat long-form allele or non–seven-repeat short-form allele) is most likely to interact with caregiving in predicting disorganized versus organized attachment. In this study, we examined possible two- and three-way interactions and child DRD4 polymorphisms and birth weight and maternal caregiving at age 6 months in longitudinally predicting attachment disorganization at 36 months. Our sample is from the Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment project, a sample of 650 mother–child dyads. Birth weight was cross-referenced with normative data to calculate birth weight percentile. Infant DRD4 was obtained with buccal swabs and categorized according to the presence of the putative allele seven repeat. Macroanalytic and microanalytic measures of maternal behavior were extracted from a videotaped session of 20 min of nonfeeding interaction followed by a 10-min divided attention maternal task at 6 months. Attachment was assessed at 36 months using the Strange Situation procedure, and categorized into disorganized attachment and others. The results indicated that a main effect for DRD4 and a two-way interaction of birth weight and 6-month maternal attention (frequency of maternal looking away behavior) and sensitivity predicted disorganized attachment in robust logistic regression models adjusted for social demographic covariates. Specifically, children in the midrange of birth weight were more likely to develop a disorganized attachment when exposed to less attentive maternal care. However, the association reversed with extreme birth weight (low and high). The DRD4 seven-repeat allele was associated with less disorganized attachment (protective), while non–seven-repeat children were more likely to be classified as disorganized attachment. The implications for understanding inconsistencies in the literature about which DRD4 genotype is the risk direction are also considered. Suggestions for intervention with families with infants at different levels of biological risk and caregiving risk are also discussed.
We aimed to compare access to gynecologic oncology care at a private and a city hospital, both of which closed for a period of time because of Hurricane Sandy.
This was a cross-sectional study of gynecologic oncology chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgical patients from October 29, 2012 (the eve of the storm), to February 7, 2013 (the reopening of the city hospital). New referrals during this time were excluded. Delays in chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery were compared.
Analysis included 113 patients: 59 private patients (52.2%) and 54 city patients (47.8%). Of the private patients, 33/59 received chemotherapy (55.9%), 1/59 received radiotherapy (1.7%), and 28/59 had planned surgery (47.5%). Of the city patients, 40/54 received chemotherapy (74.1%), 7/54 received radiotherapy (12.3%), and 18/54 had planned surgery (33.3%). The mean delay in chemotherapy was 7.6 days at the private hospital and 21.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.0004). The mean delay in scheduled surgery was 14.2 days at the private hospital and 22.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.3979). The mean delay in radiotherapy was 0.0 days at the private hospital and 25.0 days at the city hospital (P=0.0046). Loss to follow-up rates were 3/59 of the private patients (5.1%) and 3/54 of the city patients (5.6%).
Gynecologic oncology care was maintained during a natural disaster despite temporary closure and relocation of services. Disparity in care was in access to chemotherapy. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:605–608)
One of the many challenges facing emergency departments (EDs) across North America is timely access to emergency radiology services. Academic institutions, which are typically also regional referral centres, frequently require cross-sectional studies to be performed 24 hours a day with expedited final reports to accelerate patient care and ED flow.
The purpose of this study was to determine if the presence of an in-house radiologist, in addition to a radiology resident dedicated to the ED, had a significant impact on report turnaround time.
Preliminary and final report turnaround times, provided by the radiology resident and staff, respectively, for patients undergoing computed tomography or ultrasonography of their abdomen/pelvis in 2008 (before the implementation of emergency radiology in-house staff service) were compared to those performed during the same time frame in 2009 and 2010 (after staffing protocols were changed).
A total of 1,624 reports were reviewed. Overall, there was no statistically significant decrease in the preliminary report turnaround times between 2008 and 2009 (p = 0.1102), 2009 and 2010 (p = 0.6232), or 2008 and 2010 (p = 0.0890), although times consistently decreased from a median of 2.40 hours to 2.08 hours to 2.05 hours (2008 to 2009 to 2010). There was a statistically significant decrease in final report turnaround times between 2008 and 2009 (p < 0.0001), 2009 and 2010 (p < 0.0011), and 2008 and 2010 (p < 0.0001). Median final report times decreased from 5.00 hours to 3.08 hours to 2.75 hours in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. There was also a significant decrease in the time interval between preliminary and final reports between 2008 and 2009 (p < 0.0001) and 2008 and 2010 (p < 0.0001) but no significant change between 2009 and 2010 (p = 0.4144).
Our results indicate that the presence of a dedicated ED radiologist significantly reduces final report turnaround time and thus may positively impact the time to ED patient disposition. Patient care is improved when attending radiologists are immediately available to read complex films, both in terms of health care outcomes and regarding the need for repeat testing. Providing emergency physicians with accurate imaging findings as rapidly as possible facilitates effective and timely management and thus optimizes patient care.