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The late Miocene is a time of strong environmental change in SW Asia. Himalayan foreland stable isotope data show a shift in the dominant vegetation of the flood plains away from trees and shrubs towards more C4 grasslands at a time when oceanic upwelling increased along the Oman margin. We present integrated geochemical and colour spectral records from International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1456 in the eastern Arabian Sea to reconstruct changing chemical weathering and erosion, as well as relative humidity during this climatic transition. Increasing hematite/goethite ratios derived from spectral data are consistent with long-term drying after c. 7.7 Ma. Times of dry conditions are largely associated with weaker chemical alteration measured by K/Rb and reduced coarse clastic flux, constrained by Si/Al and Zr/Al. A temporary phase of increased humidity from 6.3 to 5.95 Ma shows a reversal to stronger weathering and erosion. Wetter conditions can result in both more and less alteration due to the nonlinear relationship between weathering rates, precipitation and sediment transport times. Trends in relative aridity do not follow existing palaeoceanographic records and are not apparently linked to changes in Tibetan or Himalayan elevation, but more closely correlate with global cooling. An apparent opposing trend in the humidity evolution in the Indus compared to southern China, as tracked by spectrally estimated hematite/goethite, likely reflects differences in the topography in the Indus compared to the Pearl River drainage basins, as well as the generally wetter climate in southern China.
Significant genetic diversity for sucrose and fibre percentages exists in the species that served as the foundation of present day sugarcane cultivars. However, information is lacking worldwide on the recent contributions of sugarcane crop wild relatives (mainly Saccharum, Erianthus and Miscanthus wild species) in developing new varieties. There is renewed interest in using those relatives for creating new varieties to use as a dedicated bioenergy crop with higher fibre. This study focuses on past data analysis of sugarcane breeding in Mauritius with the objective to assess the efficiency in exploiting sugarcane wild relatives since 1970s to date. Pedigree analyses helped retrace the parentages of elite inter-specific hybrids reaching the final stages of selection. The studies confirmed the high prevalence of a few ‘wonder canes’ (successful hybrids with wild canes produced in the beginning of last century) among the ancestors of Mauritian varieties. Among the wild relatives, eight Saccharum spontaneum, two S. robustum, and one Erianthus clones were involved in generating elite genotypes worth evaluating at the advanced variety trial stages. A few early generation hybrids were released in the past for industrial exploitation, the latest one being M 1002/02 in 2016, with sugar as the primary output. Recent studies on the biomass potential and fibre yield of inter-specific hybrids are giving promising results, which expands the horizon in the use of sugarcane wild relatives for the generation of novel type of sugarcane varieties for multiple end-uses.
Rabies is one of the major public health problems in China, and the mortality rate of rabies remains the highest among all notifiable infectious diseases. A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) vaccination rate and risk factors for human rabies in mainland China. The PubMed, Web of Science, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Science and Technology Periodical and Wanfang databases were searched for articles on rabies vaccination status (published between 2007 and 2017). In total, 10 174 human rabies cases from 136 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Approximately 97.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.1–98.7%) of rabies cases occurred in rural areas and 72.6% (95% CI 70.0–75.1%) occurred in farmers. Overall, the vaccination rate in the reported human rabies cases was 15.4% (95% CI 13.7–17.4%). However, among vaccinated individuals, 85.5% (95% CI 79.8%–83.4%) did not complete the vaccination regimen. In a subgroup analysis, the PEP vaccination rate in the eastern region (18.8%, 95% CI 15.9–22.1%) was higher than that in the western region (13.3%, 95% CI 11.1–15.8%) and this rate decreased after 2007. Approximately 68.9% (95% CI 63.6–73.8%) of rabies cases experienced category-III exposures, but their PEP vaccination rate was 27.0% (95% CI 14.4–44.9%) and only 6.1% (95% CI 4.4–8.4%) received rabies immunoglobulin. Together, these results suggested that the PEP vaccination rate among human rabies cases was low in mainland China. Therefore, standardised treatment and vaccination programs of dog bites need to be further strengthened, particularly in rural areas.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a public health concern that frequently occurs in pregnant mammals and neonatal offspring. Ferrous N-carbamylglycinate chelate (Fe-CGly) is a newly designed iron fortifier with proven effects in iron-deficient rats and weanling piglets. However, the effects of this new compound on pregnant mammals are unknown. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Fe-CGly on sow reproductive performance and iron status of both sows and neonatal piglets. A total of 40 large-white sows after second parity were randomly assigned to two groups (n=20). They were receiving a diet including 80 mg Fe/kg as FeSO4 or Fe-CGly, respectively, from day 85 of gestation to parturition. The serum (day 110 of pregnancy) and placentas of sows were sampled. Litter size, mean weight of live born piglets, birth (live) litter weight, number of live born piglets, and the number of still-born piglets, mummies, and weak-born piglets were recorded. Once delivered, eight litters were randomly selected from the 20 litters per treatment, and one new-born male piglet (1.503±0.142 kg) from each selected litter was slaughtered within 3 h after birth from the selected litters, without colostrum ingestion. The serum, longissimus muscle, liver and kidneys of the piglets were collected. The iron status of the serum samples and the messenger RNA level of iron-related genes in the placenta, liver and kidney were analyzed. The results showed that litter weight of live born piglets was higher (P=0.030) in the Fe-CGly group (19.86 kg) than in the FeSO4 group (17.34 kg). Fe-CGly significantly increased placental iron concentration (P<0.05) of sows. It also significantly increased iron saturation and reduced the total iron-binding capacity of piglets (P<0.05) at birth. However, the results revealed that supplementation of Fe-CGly in sows reduced liver and kidney iron concentration of neonatal piglets (P<0.05), indicating decreased iron storage. In addition, the concentration of iron in the colostrum was not significantly changed. Therefore, the present results suggested that replacement of maternal FeSO4 supplement with Fe-CGly in the late-gestating period for sows could improve litter birth weight, probably via enhanced iron transportation in the placenta.
Robust time-averaged molecular dynamics has been developed to calculate finite-temperature elastic constants of a single crystal. We find that when the averaging time exceeds a certain threshold, the statistical errors in the calculated elastic constants become very small. We applied this method to compare the elastic constants of Pd and PdH0.6 at representative low (10 K) and high (500 K) temperatures. The values predicted for Pd match reasonably well with ultrasonic experimental data at both temperatures. In contrast, the predicted elastic constants for PdH0.6 only match well with ultrasonic data at 10 K; whereas, at 500 K, the predicted values are significantly lower. We hypothesize that at 500 K, the facile hydrogen diffusion in PdH0.6 alters the speed of sound, resulting in significantly reduced values of predicted elastic constants as compared to the ultrasonic experimental data. Literature mechanical testing experiments seem to support this hypothesis.
This study aimed to evaluate subjective symptom changes in obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients following nasal surgery, and to explore treatment efficacy in improving patient quality of life.
Patients with nasal blockage accompanied by habitual snoring were stratified into four groups. Their subjective symptoms were evaluated before and after nasal surgery.
There was a significant decrease in the nasal blockage symptom visual analogue scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Snore Outcomes Survey, Spouse/Bed Partners Survey and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores for all patients at six months after surgery. The visual analogue scale score for subjective olfactory function was significantly improved in the severe obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patient group.
Nasal surgery can effectively improve the subjective symptoms of patients with simple snoring accompanied by nasal blockage and of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome, thus improving their quality of life.
This paper presents the first major data release and survey description for the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme. ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme is an ongoing supernova spectroscopy campaign utilising the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The first and primary data release of this programme (AWSNAP-DR1) releases 357 spectra of 175 unique objects collected over 82 equivalent full nights of observing from 2012 July to 2015 August. These spectra have been made publicly available via the WISEREP supernova spectroscopy repository.
We analyse the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme sample of Type Ia supernova spectra, including measurements of narrow sodium absorption features afforded by the high spectral resolution of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument. In some cases, we were able to use the integral-field nature of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument to measure the rotation velocity of the SN host galaxy near the SN location in order to obtain precision sodium absorption velocities. We also present an extensive time series of SN 2012dn, including a near-nebular spectrum which both confirms its ‘super-Chandrasekhar’ status and enables measurement of the sub-solar host metallicity at the SN site.
We tested the feasibility of dating freshwater and terrestrial molluscs from the semiarid and arid zone in China, since these types of shell material deposit only aragonite to form their shell structure, and shell integrity can be easily observed using X-ray diffraction. We also tested the possibility of estimating microenvironmental changes from shell δ13C values, but variations within shell populations preclude the use of these values as a reliable indicator. Reservoir ages were calculated for living shells of the same species as fossil shells by using their measured 14C ages, which were recalculated using an average value of atmospheric 14C activity for the years spanning their time of collection as the modern standard. The results indicate that freshwater and terrestrial shells are potentially useful as dating material, provided extreme care is taken in their collection and other datable material (in this case wood and pollen) is within the profile to act as a comparison.
Twenty-two annually banded samples of coral from 1977 to 1998 were collected from Daya Bay, South China Sea, and bomb 14C concentrations were determined. The interannual variation of coral Δ14C is controlled mainly by oceanic factors. In ENSO years, the coastwise upwelling current of the South China Sea has been intensified; hence, the coral Δ14C displays its minimum value. The interannual variation curve of Δ14C in coral bears a relationship with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) curves: the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)w is 0.43 and the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)y is 0.27. The coral Δ14C has no remarkable response to the variation of solar radiation energy. In the past 20 yr or so, the general situation and oceanic thermal structure of the South China Sea are still stable even though interannual variations in atmosphere-sea interaction and upwelling current driven by the tropical energy have occurred.
Through the establishment of radiocarbon chronozones relating common geological events within lacustrine and eolian sediments from five profiles representative of loess yuan (tablelands), river valley and northwest margin features of the Loess Plateau, we propose a series of stratigraphic divisions within the last 30 ka. The focus of this detailed study involves stratigraphic relationships contributing to evidence of Younger Dryas events, with the recognition of cold-dry, cool-wet and cold-dry periods represented within the Heiheze silt, Midiwan peat and Liushuwan eolian sand. The stratigraphic profiles reflect century-scale fluctuations of the East Asian monsoons. The precursor events enable us to place the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary at 10,000 bp.
The valley of the Baxie River, situated in the western region of the Loess Plateau in central China, contains a loess profile 15 m thick, which can be considered representative of loess-paleosol sequences formed over the last 17 ka. Both thermoluminescence (TL) determinations on fine-grained sediment (4–11 μm) and 14C determinations on various organic fractions of paleosols from the profile have provided an extremely useful chronological framework for these sequences. These sequences indicate a weakened summer monsoon during the last glacial maximum followed by a strengthening of the summer monsoon, beginning ca. 13 ka cal bp. An abrupt change to a weakened summer monsoon regime lasted from ca. 10.9 to 10.2 ka cal bp. The Asian summer monsoon circulation, recording the Holocene optimum, then increased and lasted from ca. 10.2 to 6 ka cal bp. The organic component of samples taken down the profile has δ13C values ranging from −21 to −24‰ with respect to the PDB standard. The more positive δ13C values suggest that the proportion of C4-type plants in river valleys of the Loess Plateau increased as Asian summer monsoon influence weakened, and C3-type vegetation increased as the summer monsoon influence strengthened. Magnetic susceptibility and organic content were low during loess deposition, also reflecting weakening of summer monsoon. Two 14C determinations on the humin fraction of the organic component near the top of the lower paleosol and the base of the upper paleosol complex gave ages of 10.2 and 10.9 ka cal BP, respectively. These ages mark the beginning and termination of a brief event involving increased dust influx under weakened summer monsoon conditions.
The study investigates three-dimensional kinematics of lower limb for female Chinese population during normal squatting activity. 25 young female and 25 elder female Chinese subjects were recruited. With each subject's data collected, the means of three-dimensional rotation angles of knee, hip, and ankle joints of those two groups were calculated and analyzed. Measured results showed that the maximal eccentric range of hip flexion/extension of 128.6° for the young female group (P < 0.05) was compared with that of 158.8° for the elder female group. Thus, the elder female undergoes more hip flexion/extension angles than the young female in the posture of squatting. The mean range of motion (ROM) of knee flexion/extension was 140.2° for the young female group and 138.7° (significant level P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The mean ROM of ankle flexion/extension was 47.90° for the young female group and 31.9° (P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The ROMs obtained in the experiment during squatting were greater than the reported ones achieved after joint arthroplasty. These data may be invaluable in providing designers of lower limb prosthesis with basic mechanical parameters, and assessing the effect of kinematics of low limb on rehabilitation for the Chinese population.
It remains unclear whether the topological deficits of the white matter network documented in cross-sectional studies of chronic schizophrenia patients are due to chronic illness or to other factors such as antipsychotic treatment effects. To answer this question, we evaluated the white matter network in medication-naive first-episode schizophrenia patients (FESP) before and after a course of treatment.
We performed a longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study in 42 drug-naive FESP at baseline and then after 8 weeks of risperidone monotherapy, and compared them with 38 healthy volunteers. Graph theory was utilized to calculate the topological characteristics of brain anatomical network. Patients’ clinical state was evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) before and after treatment.
Pretreatment, patients had relatively intact overall topological organizations, and deficient nodal topological properties primarily in prefrontal gyrus and limbic system components such as the bilateral anterior and posterior cingulate. Treatment with risperidone normalized topological parameters in the limbic system, and the enhancement positively correlated with the reduction in PANSS-positive symptoms. Prefrontal topological impairments persisted following treatment and negative symptoms did not improve.
During the early phase of antipsychotic medication treatment there are region-specific alterations in white matter topological measures. Limbic white matter topological dysfunction improves with positive symptom reduction. Prefrontal deficits and negative symptoms are unresponsive to medication intervention, and prefrontal deficits are potential trait biomarkers and targets for negative symptom treatment development.
We present a review of our recent studies of Bias Temperature Instability (BTI) in Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect-Transistors (MOSFETs) fabricated with different material systems, highlighting the reliability opportunities and challenges of each novel device family. We discuss first the intrinsic reliability improvement offered by SiGe and Ge p-channel technologies, if a Si cap is used to passivate the channel, in order to fabricate a standard SiO2/HfO2 gate stack. We focus on SiGe gate stack optimizations for maximum BTI reliability, and on a simple physics-based model able to reproduce the experimental trends. This model framework is then used to understand the suboptimal BTI reliability and excessive time-dependent variability induced by oxide defect charging in different high-mobility channel gate stacks, such as Ge/GeOx/high-k and InGaAs/high-k. Finally we discuss how to pursue a reduction of charge trapping in alternative material systems in order to boost the device reliability and minimize time-dependent variability.
Nine wheat genotypes, bred for the high-input agronomical conditions of Henan Province (China), were tested under the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions of Spain. Two cultivars widely grown in the zone were included as controls. Crop growth and leaf chlorophyll (Chl) content, leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and canopy temperature (CT) were measured during the crop cycle and stable carbon (C), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N) isotope compositions (δ13C, δ18O and δ15N) were analysed on different plant parts. The lower yield of the Chinese genotypes compared with the controls was due to fewer grains/unit area, associated with lower tillering and a plant height clearly below the optimal range. Moreover, Chinese wheat exhibited a lower spike fertility index than the controls, and this was associated with a less compact spike structure. The physiological characteristics that were related to better performance under high-yielding Mediterranean conditions consisted of a higher green aerial biomass, particularly during the reproductive stage, together with more favourable water conditions (higher gs and lower CT and δ13C), the capacity to take up water during grain fill (higher δ18O) and a more efficient uptake (lower δ15N) and utilization (lower leaf N and Chl content) of N fertilizer. It is concluded that Chinese genotypes exhibited a low acclimation capacity to the moderate stress typical of the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions.