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Visual processing problems may be one underlying factor for cognitive impairments related to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We examined associations between ASD-traits (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) and visual processing performance (Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test; Block Design task of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III) in young adults (mean age=25.0, s.d.=2.1 years) born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g) (n=101) or at term (n=104). A higher level of ASD-traits was associated with slower global visual processing speed among the preterm VLBW, but not among the term-born group (P<0.04 for interaction). Our findings suggest that the associations between ASD-traits and visual processing may be restricted to individuals born preterm, and related specifically to global, not local visual processing. Our findings point to cumulative social and neurocognitive problems in those born preterm at VLBW.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a growing public health concern in Europe and there is a need to develop more efficient early detection systems. Nervous signs in horses are considered to be an early indicator of WNV and, using them in a syndromic surveillance system, might be relevant. In our study, we assessed whether or not data collected by the passive French surveillance system for the surveillance of equine diseases can be used routinely for the detection of WNV. We tested several pre-processing methods and detection algorithms based on regression. We evaluated system performances using simulated and authentic data and compared them to those of the surveillance system currently in place. Our results show that the current detection algorithm provided similar performances to those tested using simulated and real data. However, regression models can be easily and better adapted to surveillance objectives. The detection performances obtained were compatible with the early detection of WNV outbreaks in France (i.e. sensitivity 98%, specificity >94%, timeliness 2·5 weeks and around four false alarms per year) but further work is needed to determine the most suitable alarm threshold for WNV surveillance in France using cost-efficiency analysis.
Results of adulthood mental health of those born late-preterm (34 + 0–36 + 6 weeks + days of gestation) are mixed and based on national registers. We examined if late-preterm birth was associated with a higher risk for common mental disorders in young adulthood when using a diagnostic interview, and if this risk decreased as gestational age increased.
A total of 800 young adults (mean = 25.3, s.d. = 0.62 years), born 1985–1986, participated in a follow-up of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study. Common mental disorders (mood, anxiety and substance use disorders) during the past 12 months were defined using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (Munich version). Gestational age was extracted from hospital birth records and categorized into early-preterm (<34 + 0, n = 37), late-preterm (34 + 0–36 + 6, n = 106), term (37 + 0–41 + 6, n = 617) and post-term (⩾42 + 0, n = 40).
Those born late-preterm and at term were at a similar risk for any common mental disorder [odds ratio (OR) 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67–1.84], for mood (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.54–2.25), anxiety (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.40–2.50) and substance use (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.74–2.32) disorders, and co-morbidity of these disorders (p = 0.38). While the mental disorder risk decreased significantly as gestational age increased, the trend was driven by a higher risk in those born early-preterm.
Using a cohort born during the advanced neonatal and early childhood care, we found that not all individuals born preterm are at risk for common mental disorders in young adulthood – those born late-preterm are not, while those born early-preterm are at a higher risk. Available resources for prevention and intervention should be targeted towards the preterm group born the earliest.
Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in children, such as frequent snoring, apnoea and choking, may lead to health problems if untreated. The caregiver's level of awareness of these symptoms has been poorly studied. This study aimed to study healthcare provider contact related to sleep-disordered breathing symptoms in a population of children aged 0–11 years.
A total of 1320 children were randomly selected from a national database that included all children living in Sweden. Caregivers answered a questionnaire about sleep-disordered breathing symptoms during the last month and healthcare provider contact related to these symptoms.
A total of 754 answers were received. The prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing symptoms was 4.8 per cent. Of this subgroup, 69 per cent had not been in contact with a healthcare provider regarding their symptoms.
This study shows that sleep-disordered breathing in children is underestimated and that there is a need to increase caregiver and healthcare provider awareness of sleep-disordered breathing in children.
It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for depression. However, dropout rates in web-based interventions are typically high, especially in self-guided web-based interventions. Rigorous empirical evidence regarding factors influencing dropout in self-guided web-based interventions is lacking due to small study sample sizes. In this paper we examined predictors of dropout in an individual patient data meta-analysis to gain a better understanding of who may benefit from these interventions.
A comprehensive literature search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy for adults with depression from 2006 to January 2013 was conducted. Next, we approached authors to collect the primary data of the selected studies. Predictors of dropout, such as socio-demographic, clinical, and intervention characteristics were examined.
Data from 2705 participants across ten RCTs of self-guided web-based interventions for depression were analysed. The multivariate analysis indicated that male gender [relative risk (RR) 1.08], lower educational level (primary education, RR 1.26) and co-morbid anxiety symptoms (RR 1.18) significantly increased the risk of dropping out, while for every additional 4 years of age, the risk of dropping out significantly decreased (RR 0.94).
Dropout can be predicted by several variables and is not randomly distributed. This knowledge may inform tailoring of online self-help interventions to prevent dropout in identified groups at risk.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are progressively used for decentralized electricity generation. To obtain the maximum yield from such systems, optimisation of all components is essential. In this contribution, we provide a comprehensive modelling and sizing of PV systems for any location. Three applications are here presented providing real time monitoring of PV potential, accurate prediction of yield taking into account thermodynamic temperature effects, optimization of modules orientation addressing the effects of shading and efficient sizing of inverter for a higher yield output. When combined, these models can accurately predict the real time performance of any PV system.
The impact of nanostructured broadband antireflection (AR) coatings on solar panel performance has been projected for a broad range of panel tilt angles at various locations. AR coated films have been integrated on test panels and the short-circuit current has been measured for the entire range of panel tilts. The integration of the AR coatings resulted in an increase in short-circuit current of the panels by eliminating front sheet reflection loss for a broad spectrum of light and wide angle of light incidence. The short-circuit current enhancement is 5% for normal light incidence and approximately 20% for off-angle light incidence. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) System Advisor Model (SAM) predicts that this AR coating can yield at least 6.5% improvement in solar panel annual power output. The greatest enhancement, approximately 14%, is predicted for vertical panels. The AR coating’s contributions to vertical mount panels and building-integrated solar panels are significant. This nanostructured broadband AR coating thus has the potential to lower the cost per watt of photovoltaic solar energy.
Flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells on lightweight substrates can deliver high specific powers. Flexible lightweight CIGS solar cells are also primary candidates for building-integrated panels. In all applications, CIGS cells can greatly benefit from the application of broadband and wide-angle AR coating technology. The AR coatings can significantly improve the transmittance of light over the entire CIGS absorption band spectrum. Increased short-circuit current has been observed after integrating AR coated films onto baseline solar panels. NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) has predicted up to 14% higher annual power output on AR integrated vertical or building-integrated panels. The combination of lightweight flexible substrates and advanced device designs employing nanostructured optical coatings together have the potential to achieve flexible CIGS modules with enhanced efficiencies and specific power.
Isolates of Listeria monocytogenes (n = 932) isolated in Sweden during 1958–2010 from human patients with invasive listeriosis were characterized by serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) (AscI). Of the 932 isolates, 183 different PFGE types were identified, of which 83 were each represented by only one isolate. In all, 483 serovar 1/2a isolates were distributed over 114 PFGE types; 90 serovar 1/2b isolates gave 32 PFGE types; 21 serovar 1/2c isolates gave nine PFGE types; three serovar 3b isolates gave one PFGE type; and, 335 serovar 4b isolates gave 31 PFGE types. During the 1980s in Sweden, several serovar 4b cases were associated with the consumption of European raw soft cheese. However, as cheese-production hygiene has improved, the number of 4b cases has decreased. Since 1996, serovar 1/2a has been the dominant L. monocytogenes serovar in human listeriosis in Sweden. Therefore, based on current serovars and PFGE types, an association between human cases of listeriosis and the consumption of vacuum-packed gravad and cold-smoked salmon is suggested.
We studied the seasonal fluctuation of norovirus and other enteric viruses in Cameroon. Two hundred participants aged between 1 and 69 years were prospectively followed up. Each participant provided monthly faecal samples over a 12-month period. A total of 2484 samples were tested using multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of norovirus, rotavirus and enterovirus. The effect of weather variables and risk factors were analysed by Pearson correlation and bivariate analysis. Overall, enterovirus was the most commonly detected virus (21·6% of specimens), followed by norovirus (3·9%) and rotavirus (0·4%). Norovirus and enterovirus were detected throughout the year with a peak of norovirus detection at the beginning of the rainy season and a significant alternation of circulation of norovirus genogroups from one month to the next. Age <5 years and consumption of tap water were risk factors for norovirus infection. Better understanding of factors influencing transmission and seasonality may provide insights into the relationship between physical environment and risk of infection for these viruses.
The effects of antidepressants for treating depressive disorders have been overestimated because of selective publication of positive trials. Reanalyses that include unpublished trials have yielded reduced effect sizes. This in turn has led to claims that antidepressants have clinically insignificant advantages over placebo and that psychotherapy is therefore a better alternative. To test this, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing psychotherapy with pill placebo.
Ten 10 studies comparing psychotherapies with pill placebo were identified. In total, 1240 patients were included in these studies. For each study, Hedges’ g was calculated. Characteristics of the studies were extracted for subgroup and meta-regression analyses.
The effect of psychotherapy compared to pill placebo at post-test was g = 0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14–0.36, I2 = 0%, 95% CI 0–58]. This effect size corresponds to a number needed to treat (NNT) of 7.14 (95% CI 5.00–12.82). The psychotherapy conditions scored 2.66 points lower on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) than the placebo conditions, and 3.20 points lower on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Some indications for publication bias were found (two missing studies). We found no significant differences between subgroups of the studies and in meta-regression analyses we found no significant association between baseline severity and effect size.
Although there are differences between the role of placebo in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy research, psychotherapy has an effect size that is comparable to that of antidepressant medications. Whether these effects should be deemed clinically relevant remains open to debate.
A strong resonance in the inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES) of cerium oxide was reported recently. Here, it is shown that dominance of the indirect channel of the resonant inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (RIPES) is so complete that the photon energy dependence can be explained in terms of emission associated with a single photon energy.
Synchrotron-based X-ray techniques are used increasingly to characterize actinide element speciation in heterogeneous media related to nuclear waste disposal safety. Especially techniques offering added temporal, spatial and energy resolved information are advancing our understanding of f-element physics and chemistry in general and of actinide element waste disposal in particular. Examples of investigations of uranium containing systems using both highly (energy) resolved X-ray emission spectroscopy (HRXES) techniques and spatially resolved techniques with focused X-ray beams are presented in this paper: polarization dependent partial fluorescence yield X-ray absorption near edge structure (PD-PFY-XANES) spectroscopic studies of a single Cs2UO2Cl4 crystal, which experimentally reveal a splitting of the σ, π, and δ components of the 6d valence states , and characterization of UO2/Mo thin films prepared on different substrates using a combination of techniques (2D and 3D micro- and nano-X-ray fluorescence, XANES and both holographic and ptychographic tomography).
This study aimed to provide further insights into the mechanism of in vivo regulation of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) 1A, 2A and 2E1 activities in pigs with different levels of testicular steroids. Hepatic mRNA and protein expression and enzymatic activity of CYP1A, CYP2A and CYP2E1 were compared between entire male and castrated pigs. Castration was performed either surgically or immunologically. The pigs were divided into four groups. In the first group, piglets were surgically castrated without anaesthesia. Immunological castration was performed by vaccination with Improvac® (Pfizer Ltd). Vaccinated pigs were subdivided into two groups according to the vaccination regimen: early and standard vaccination. Pigs in the early vaccination group were vaccinated when aged 11 and 15 weeks. Pigs in the standard vaccination group were vaccinated when aged 17 and 21 weeks. In the control group, pigs remained intact throughout the study. Hepatic CYP450 mRNA expression, measured by real-time RT-PCR, differed significantly between groups for all isoforms measured: CYP1A2 (P = 0.002), 2A (P = 0.000) and 2E1 (P = 0.002). Lower CYP450 mRNA in entire male pigs suggests suppression of CYP1A2, CYP2A and CYP2E1 by testicular steroids at the transcriptional level. However, this suppression was not always reflected in decreased protein expression and activities of these isoforms, suggesting that at least some CYP450s (e.g. CYP2E1) are regulated by a post-transcriptional mechanism.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
An outbreak of febrile gastroenteritis affected consumers of on-farm manufactured dairy products from a summer farm in Sweden. Symptoms included diarrhoea, fever, stomach cramps and vomiting in 88, 60, 54 and 21% of cases identified. The median incubation period was 31 h. A cohort study with 33 consumers showed an attack rate of 52% and an association between the total amount of product eaten and illness (P=0·07). Twenty-seven of 32 (84%) stool samples cultured for Listeria monocytogenes tested positive, although there was no association between clinical disease and the isolation of L. monocytogenes. In addition, gene sequences for VTEC and ETEC were detected in 6 and 1 subjects, respectively. Bacteriological analysis of cheese samples revealed heavy contamination with L. monocytogenes and coagulase positive staphylococci in all of them and gene markers for VTEC in one of them. Molecular profiles for L. monocytogenes isolated from dairy products, stool samples and an abscess from 1 patient who developed septic arthritis were identical. Results of both microbiological and epidemiological analyses point to L. monocytogenes as the most likely cause of this outbreak. The finding of markers for VTEC in some humans and cheese samples means that a mixed aetiology at least in some cases cannot be conclusively ruled out.
We have investigated microstructural properties of GaAs:N and GaN:As layers using transmission electron microscopy. The samples were grown onto (001)-oriented GaAs substrates by RF-plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. It has been found that during the GaAs/GaAs:N epitaxial growth the supplied active nitrogen atoms gave rise to nanometer-size GaN crystallites formed in the GaAs matrix. In addition, silicon incorporation showed abnormal behavior at the two interfaces of the thin GaAs:N layer embedded in GaAs. A model is proposed for the formation of GaN crystallites in GaAs during the growth. In the GaN:As growth, the layer exhibited columnar growth, resulting in domains with different crystallographic orientation. With an increase of the film thickness, the zincblende structure changed to the wurtzite phase of GaN. The distribution of arsenic through the layer thickness was found to be inhomogeneous and be much higher near the GaN/GaAs interface compared to the region near the surface.
Intense continua of electromagnetic radiation of very
brief duration are formed in the interaction of focused
ultra-short terawatt laser pulses with matter. Two different
kinds of experiments, which have been performed utilizing
the Lund 10 Hz titanium-doped sapphire terawatt laser system
are being described, where visible radiation and X-rays,
respectively, have been generated. Focusing into water
leads to the generation of a light continuum through self-phase
modulation. The propagation of the light through tissue
was studied addressing questions related to optical mammography
and specific chromophore absorption. When terawatt laser
pulses are focused onto a solid target with high nuclear
charge Z, intense X-ray radiation of few ps duration
and with energies exceeding hundreds of keV is emitted.
Biomedical applications of this radiation are described,
including differential absorption and gated-viewing imaging.
The conditions for potential abiotic formation of organic compounds from inorganic precursors have important implications for understanding past and present global carbon budgets. With respect to the early Earth, much of the current discussion has focused on whether the Earth's inventory of organic compounds was introduced from space or was a natural consequence of reactions taking place in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. It is, of course, of great interest in geochemistry to determine plausible pathways for abiotic synthesis of organic compounds. It is, however, equally important to identify natural settings that would be conductive for such reactions, as well as for the accumulation of simple organic compounds and for their subsequent reaction to form more complex macromolecules. The geosphere with its submarine hydrothermal systems offers a type of environment that in principle has not changed during the four billion years that have passed since the Earth's crust was formed.
Formation of oceanic crust and hydrothermal systems
New oceanic crust is created mainly by basalt production at ocean ridge spreading centers (Figure 4.1). Some basalt is also produced at oceanic hotspots, like the one that has created the Hawaiian Island Chain and is now overlain by the Loihi Seamount. During the process of basaltic crust formation, convecting water acts as a cooling fluid. The convecting water carries thermal energy away toward the relatively cold rock surface, thus creating hydrothermal systems. Geologists differentiate hydrothermal systems on the basis of their tectonic settings. In Figure 4.1, the most common types are shown: sediment-free on-axis systems on plate tectonic spreading centers, and off-axis systems on the flanks of the spreading centers.