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The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
Few countries routinely collect comprehensive encephalitis data, yet understanding the epidemiology of this condition has value for clinical management, detecting novel and emerging pathogens, and guiding timely public health interventions. When this study was conducted there was no standardized diagnostic algorithm to aid identification of encephalitis or systematic surveillance for adult encephalitis. In July 2012 we tested three pragmatic surveillance options aimed at identifying possible adult encephalitis cases admitted to a major Australian hospital: hospital admissions searches, clinician notifications and laboratory test alerts (CSF herpes simplex virus requests). Eligible cases underwent structured laboratory investigation and a specialist panel arbitrated on the final diagnosis. One hundred and thirteen patients were initially recruited into the 10-month study; 20/113 (18%) met the study case definition, seven were diagnosed with infectious or immune-mediated encephalitis and the remainder were assigned alternative diagnoses. The laboratory alert identified 90% (102/113) of recruited cases including six of the seven cases of confirmed encephalitis suggesting that this may be a practical data source for case ascertainment. The application of a standardized diagnostic algorithm and specialist review by an expert clinical panel aided diagnosis of patients with encephalitis.
We relate the geometric Poisson brackets on the 2-Grassmannian in ℝ4 and on the (2, 2) Möbius sphere. We show that, when written in terms of local moving frames, the geometric Poisson bracket on the Möbius sphere does not restrict to the space of differential invariants of Schwarzian type. But when the concept of conformal natural frame is transported from the conformal sphere into the Grassmannian, and the Poisson bracket is written in terms of the Grassmannian natural frame, it restricts and results in either a decoupled system or a complexly coupled system of Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equations, depending on the character of the invariants. We also show that the bi-Hamiltonian Grassmannian geometric brackets are equivalent to the non-commutative KdV bi-Hamiltonian structure. Both integrable systems and Hamiltonian structure can be brought back to the conformal sphere.
A verified instrumental calibration of annually resolved δ18O for a stalagmite from Gümüşhane in northeast Turkey is presented and cross-validated using a ‘leave-one-out’ technique. The amount of late autumn to winter precipitation is negatively correlated with stalagmite δ18O between AD 1938 and 2004. The observed relationship is extrapolated back to ~ AD 1500 leading to the first long winter precipitation reconstruction for this region. Modern day October to January precipitation is linked to pressure fields in Western Russia. Anomalously lower reconstructed rainfall is recorded in AD 1540–1560 at which time higher pressure over the Caspian Sea region is inferred.
Studies suggest that neuronal density in left dorsolateral prefrontal
cortex is increased in schizophrenia.
To replicate these findings and extend them to both hemispheres.
Neuronal density, size and shape were estimated in the prefrontal cortex
(Brodmann area 9) of the left and right hemispheres of brains taken
postmortem from 10 people with schizophrenia and 10 without mental
illness (6 men, 4 women in both groups).
Overall neuronal density (individually corrected for shrinkage) did not
differ between the groups. In the control brains, density was generally
greater in the left than the right hemisphere, the reverse was seen in
the schizophrenia brains; this loss or reversal of asymmetry was most
significant in cortical layer 3. Pyramidal neurons in this cell layer
were significantly larger on the left and more spherical in shape than on
the right side in control brains, but size and shape did not differ
between the two sides in schizophrenia. Non-pyramidal and glial cell
densities were unchanged.
We failed to find an increase in neuronal density, but found evidence at
a cellular level of loss or reversal of asymmetry, consistent with the
hypothesis of a primary change in the relative development of areas of
heteromodal association cortex in the two hemispheres.
Central venous catheter (CVC)-related bloodstream infections (BSIs) are known to increase rates of morbidity and mortality in both inpatients and outpatients, including hematology-oncology patients and those undergoing hemodialysis or home infusion therapy. Biofilm-associated organisms on the lumens of these catheters have reduced susceptibility to antimicrobial chemotherapy. This study tested the efficacy of tetrasodium EDTA as a catheter lock solution on biofilms of several clinically relevant microorganisms.
Biofilms of Staphylococcus epidermidis, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Candida albicans were grown to levels of approximately 1 × 105 colony-forming units (CFU)/cm−1 on CVC segments in a model system, then subjected to the tetrasodium EDTA lock treatment.
Comparisons of biofilms before and after exposure to the 40-mg/mL−1 tetrasodium EDTA lock for 21 hours showed that the biofilm viable cell counts of all organisms tested were significantly reduced (P < .05) after exposure to the treatment.
Antimicrobial lock treatment using 40 mg/mL−1 of tetrasodium EDTA for at least 21 hours could significantly reduce or potentially eradicate CVC-associated bio-films of clinically relevant microorganisms (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2005;26:515-519).
Fungi play a key role in ecosystem nutrient cycles by scavenging, concentrating, translocating and redistributing nitrogen. To quantify and predict fungal nitrogen redistribution, and assess the importance of the integrity of fungal networks in soil for ecosystem function, we need better understanding of the structures and processes involved. Until recently nitrogen translocation has been experimentally intractable owing to the lack of a suitable radioisotope tracer for nitrogen, and the impossibility of observing nitrogen translocation in real time under realistic conditions. We have developed an imaging method for recording the magnitude and direction of amino acid flow through the whole mycelial network as it captures, assimilates and channels its carbon and nitrogen resources, while growing in realistically heterogeneous soil microcosms. Computer analysis and modeling, based on these digitized video records, can reveal patterns in transport that suggest experimentally testable hypotheses. Experimental approaches that we are developing include genomics and stable isotope NMR to investigate where in the system nitrogen compounds are being acquired and stored, and where they are mobilized for transport or broken down. The results are elucidating the interplay between environment, metabolism, and the development and function of transport networks as mycelium forages in soil. The highly adapted and selected foraging networks of fungi may illuminate fundamental principles applicable to other supply networks.
We tested the efficacy and safety of linopirdine, a novel phenylindolinone, in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial of linopirdine (30 mg three times per day or placebo). Patients (n = 382, 55% male, 98% Caucasian, age range 51-95 years) with mild or moderate Alzheimer's disease, of whom 375 received at least one treatment dose were analysed. There were no important differences between the groups at baseline.
No difference was seen in Clinical Global Impression scores between patients receiving placebo and those receiving linopirdine (n = 189). Small differences in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) scores were seen throughout the study favouring linopirdine; at 6 months the ADAS-Cog scores were 20.2 (linopirdine) and 22.1 (placebo) p = 0.01.
This trial did not detect clinically meaningful differences in patients receiving linopirdine for 6 months, despite evidence of a small degree of improved cognitive function. Further studies may benefit from more sensitive tests of treatment effects in Alzheimer's disease.
The exact mechanisms by which non-starch polysaccharides increase stool output are unknown. In the present study the hypothesis that the site of fermentation and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) accumulation is related to the action of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) on stool output was tested. The basal diet (45 g NSP/kg) of forty-three male Wistar rats was supplemented with 50 g/kg of either guar, karaya, tragacanth, gellan, xanthan or ispaghula for 28 d. A further twenty-three rats were maintained on the basal diet for the same time period. Faeces were then collected over 2 d and caecal contents obtained post-mortem. Caecal and faecal wet and dry weights and SCFA were measured. Each supplement had a different effect on the caecal and faecal contents but they appeared to fall into three groups when compared with the basal diet. In group 1, guar gum affected only caecal SCFA. It had no effect on stool output or faecal SCFA. In group 2, karaya increased caecal SCFA and tragacanth, karaya and xanthan increased faecal SCFA and faecal water. In group 3, ispaghula and gellan had no consistent effect on caecal or faecal SCFA concentrations but increased Total faecal SCFA output and increased faecal wet and dry weight. Although the knowledge that SCFA are rapidly absorbed in the large intestine has led us to believe that they play no role in determining faecal output, these results suggest that in some cases where NSP are slowly fermented, and increase faecal SCFA, the role of the SCFA may need to be reassessed.
Interest in vascular causes for cognitive impairment is increasing, in recognition that such causes are common, and possibly preventable. This has led to attempts to better define vascular dementia and its natural history. Several sets of criteria for the diagnosis of vascular dementia have been proposed. We provide a brief overview of the background to the initiation of a Canadian consensus conference, established by the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R) and report the conclusions reached at that conference. To date, no one set of criteria is demonstrably superior to another; we have therefore not endorsed any of the competing sets, nor have we recommended our own. Instead we suggest that empiric studies are required to establish valid criteria. A diagnostic checklist, which combines existing criteria and additional data, is attached for clinicians wishing to participate in such studies.
A 14C-Iabelled plant cell wall preparation (I4C-PCW) produced from spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) cell culture exhibits uniform labelling of the major polysaccharide groups (%): pectins 53, hemicellulose 13, cellulose 21, starch 3. This 14C-PCW preparation has been used in rat studies as a marker for plant cell wall metabolism. Metabolism of the 14C-PCW occurred largely over the first 24 h. This was due to fermentation in the caecum. The pectic fraction of the plant cell walls was degraded completely in the rat gastrointestinal tract, but some [14C-]cellulose was still detected after 24 h in the colon. Of the 14C,22% was recovered in the host liver, adipose tissue and skin, 26% excreted as 14CO2 and up to 18%was excreted in the faeces. There was no urinary excretion of 14C. In vitro fermentation using a caecal inocuium showed reduced 14CO2 production, 12% compared with 26% in the intact rat. 14C-PCW is auseful marker to investigate the fate of plant cell wall materials in the gastrointestinal tract. These studies show both bacterial fermentation of the 14C-PCW and host metabolism of the 14C-labelled fermentation products.