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The extending market of concentrated solar power plants requires high-temperature materials for solar surface receivers that would ideally heat an air coolant beyond 1300 K. This work presents investigation on high-temperature alloys with ceramic coatings (AlN or SiC/AlN stacking) to combine the properties of the substrate (creep resistance, machinability) and coating (slow oxidation kinetics, high solar absorptivity). The first results showed that high-temperature oxidation resistance and optical properties of metallic alloys were improved by the different coatings. However, the fast thermal shocks led to high stress levels not compatible due to the differences in thermal expansion coefficients.
Secondary carbonate deposits (similar to speleothems) in urban undergrounds, have been recently highlighted as powerful archives for reconstruction of the historical anthropogenic imprint on the environment. The precise chronology of these secondary carbonate deposits is a key issue for the accurate time reconstruction of environmental conditions. We present three 14C data sets for urban speleothem-like deposits that developed in contrasted man made environments. The first one was sampled in an underground technical gallery of the Palace of Versailles (France), and the other two in a manhole (Saint-Martin spring) of a historical underground aqueduct in Paris (France). The comparison of these records with the bomb peak and relative chronology (laminae counting) allowed us to identify: i) fast carbon transfer from the atmosphere to the urban underground; ii) a high proportion of dead carbon and a high damping effect in relation to possible old carbon stored within urban soils and/or the influence of local fossil carbon burning. This study also shows that the lamination of these deposits is bi-annual in these highly urbanized sites.
Ecoevolutionary processes affecting hosts, vectors and pathogens are important drivers of zoonotic disease emergence. In this study, we focused on nephropathia epidemica (NE), which is caused by Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) whose natural reservoir is the bank vole, Myodes glareolus. We questioned the possibility of NE emergence in a French region that is considered to be NE-free but that is adjacent to a NE-endemic region. We first confirmed the epidemiology of these two regions and we demonstrated the absence of spatial barriers that could have limited dispersal, and consequently, the spread of PUUV into the NE-free region. We next tested whether regional immunoheterogeneity could impact PUUV chances to circulate and persist in the NE-free region. We showed that bank voles from the NE-free region were sensitive to experimental PUUV infection. We observed high levels of immunoheterogeneity between individuals and also between regions. Antiviral gene expression (Tnf and Mx2) reached higher levels in bank voles from the NE-free region. During experimental infections, anti-PUUV antibody production was higher in bank voles from the NE-endemic region. These results indicated a lower susceptibility to PUUV for bank voles from this NE-free region, which might limit PUUV persistence and therefore, the risk of NE.
The Grotte Cosquer (southeastern France) is a Paleolithic painted cave only accessible by a deep-water dive. The cave has yielded numerous Paleolithic engravings and drawings, which were produced from wood charcoal. This article presents new radiocarbon dates obtained on samples collected in 2012 directly on 17 parietal representations and at the soil surface, and discusses the 14C results obtained since the discovery of the cave in 1992. A total of 41 samples were dated with ages ranging from 33,000 to 20,000 cal BP. They show that the cave was intermittently decorated over about 10,000 yr.
The nearby compact object RX J1856.5−3754 may be a paradigm for the vast majority of neutron stars. Its spectral energy distribution lacks any non-thermal continuua or lines. Study of the thermal surface has provided insights into the surface and interior properties of neutron stars. We report on attempts to model the spectrum. Non-magnetic heavy metal atmospheres reproduce the overall spectral energy distribution, but not the lack of absorption lines.
Our etymological understanding of PDE bread has been influenced, to a considerable extent, by Otto Jespersen's comment that ‘An Englishman cannot thrive or be ill or die without Scandinavian words; they are to the language what bread and eggs are to the daily fare.’ This article analyses the evidence behind the possibility that PDE bread might represent a Norse-derived semantic loan, i.e. that OE brēad acquired the meaning ‘bread’, which was more frequently expressed by OE hlāf, because of the influence of its Viking Age Norse cognate (cp. OIc brauð ‘bread’). On the basis of an in-depth study of the attestations of OE brēad and hlāf and their early Middle English reflexes, as well as the use of their cognates in various Germanic languages, the article challenges the traditional view that OE brēad originally meant ‘piece, morsel of bread’ and concludes that Norse influence is not needed in order to account for the semantic history of PDE bread.
In Chile, while dog rabies has decreased markedly over the last 30 years, bat rabies is still reported frequently. In order to shed new light on the spatiotemporal trends of these reports, we analysed active and passive data from years 1985 and 2012, which included 61 076 samples from 289 counties of Chile. We found that from 1994 to 2012, more than 15 000 bat samples were submitted for diagnostics through passive surveillance, 9·5% of which tested positive for rabies. By contrast, the prevalence of infection was only ~0·4% among the nearly 12 000 bat samples submitted through active surveillance. We found that the prevalence of dog rabies dropped steadily over the same period, with just a single confirmed case since 1998. None of the 928 samples from wild animals, other than bats, were positive for rabies. Although there has been only one confirmed case of human rabies in Chile since 1985, and a single confirmed case in a dog since 1998, bats remain a reservoir for rabies viruses. While active surveillance indicates that rabies prevalence is low in bat colonies, the high proportion of positive bats submitted through passive surveillance is a concern. To prevent human rabies, local public health agencies should increase research on the basic ecology of bats and the role of stray dogs and cats as potential rabies amplifiers.
The death of Nelson Mandela on 5 December 2013 was in a sense a wake-up call for South Africans, and a time to reflect on what has been achieved since ‘those magnificent days in late April 1994’ (as the editors of this volume put it) ‘when South Africans of all colours voted for the first time in a democratic election’. In a time of recall and reflection it is important to take account, not only of the dramatic events that grip the headlines, but also of other signposts that indicate the shape and characteristics of a society. The New South African Review looks, every year, at some of these signposts, and the essays in this fourth volume of the series again examine and analyse a broad spectrum of issues affecting the country. They tackle topics as diverse as the state of organised labour; food retailing; electricity generation; access to information; civil courage; the school system; and – looking outside the country to its place in the world – South Africa’s relationships with north-east Asia, with Israel and with its neighbours in the southern African region. Taken together, these essays give a multidimensional perspective on South Africa’s democracy as it turns twenty, and will be of interest to general readers while being particularly useful to students and researchers.
A Fragile Democracy – Twenty Years On, the fourth New South African Review, is one of doubtless numerous attempts to characterise the state of South Africa some two decades after those magnificent days in late April 1994 when South Africans of all colours voted for the first time in a democratic election. As we write this, we are approaching the country's fourth such election, a significant indicator of the overall success of our democratic transition – for although there may prove to be wrinkles there is every expectation that the forthcoming contest will again be ‘free and fair’. Nonetheless, there are likely to be changes in the electoral landscape, there being significant prospect at time of writing that the ruling African National Congress's (ANC's) proportion of the vote will fall below 60 per cent, the level of electoral dominance it has consistently achieved hitherto. While the ANC can claim many triumphs, and can convincingly claim to have transformed South Africa for the better (materially and spiritually), there is nonetheless widespread discontent abroad. The ANC itself displays many divisions. The Tripartite Alliance (which links it to the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)), is creaking; it is threatened by new opposition parties which appeal to disaffection – especially among the poor and those who feel excluded from the benefits of democracy – and even the established opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) today seeks to cloak itself in the mantle of Mandela. Even while the ANC boasts about steady growth, more jobs, improved service delivery and better standards of living for the majority, critics point out that the economy is stagnating, unemployment remains stubbornly high, corruption flourishes, popular protest abounds, and government and many public services (notably the intelligence agencies and the police) have earned an alarming reputation for unaccountability. So we could go on – but we won't, as we would rather encourage our readers to engage with the wide-ranging set of original essays provided by our authors.
The long-term effects of dietary strategies designed to combat the metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain unknown. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a new dietary strategy based on macronutrient distribution, antioxidant capacity and meal frequency (MEtabolic Syndrome REduction in NAvarra (RESMENA) diet) for the treatment of the MetS when compared with the American Heart Association guidelines, used as Control. Subjects with the MetS (fifty-two men and forty-one women, age 49 (se 1) years, BMI 36·11 (se 0·5) kg/m2) were randomly assigned to one of two dietary groups. After a 2-month nutritional-learning intervention period, during which a nutritional assessment was made for the participants every 15 d, a 4-month self-control period began. No significant differences were found between the groups concerning anthropometry, but only the RESMENA group exhibited a significant decrease in body weight ( − 1·7 %; P= 0·018), BMI ( − 1·7 %; P= 0·019), waist circumference ( − 1·8 %; P= 0·021), waist:hip ratio ( − 1·4 %; P= 0·035) and android fat mass ( − 6·9 %; P= 0·008). The RESMENA group exhibited a significant decrease in alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) concentrations ( − 26·8 %; P= 0·008 and − 14·0 %; P= 0·018, respectively), while the Control group exhibited a significant increase in glucose (7·9 %; P= 0·011), AST (11·3 %; P= 0·045) and uric acid (9·0 %; P< 0·001) concentrations. LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations were increased (Control group: 34·4 %; P< 0·001 and RESMENA group: 33·8 %; P< 0·001), but interestingly so were the LDL-C:apoB ratio (Control group: 28·7 %; P< 0·001, RESMENA group: 17·1 %; P= 0·009) and HDL-cholesterol concentrations (Control group: 21·1 %; P< 0·001, RESMENA group: 8·7; P= 0·001). Fibre was the dietary component that most contributed to the improvement of anthropometry, while body-weight loss explained changes in some biochemical markers. In conclusion, the RESMENA diet is a good long-term dietary treatment for the MetS.
We report on the long term X-ray monitoring with Swift, RXTE, Suzaku, Chandra, and XMM-Newton of the outburst of the newly discovered magnetar Swift J1822.3–1606 (SGR 1822-1606), from the first observations soon after the detection of the short X-ray bursts which led to its discovery (July 2011), through the first stages of its outburst decay (April 2012). Our X-ray timing analysis finds the source rotating with a period of P = 8.43772016(2) s and a period derivative Ṗ = 8.3(2) × 10−14 ss−1, which entails an inferred dipolar surface magnetic field of B ≃ 2.7 × 1013 G at the equator. This measurement makes Swift J1822.3–1606 the second lowest magnetic field magnetar (after SGR 0418+5729; Rea et al. 2010). Following the flux and spectral evolution from the beginning of the outburst, we find that the flux decreased by about an order of magnitude, with a subtle softening of the spectrum, both typical of the outburst decay of magnetars. By modeling the secular thermal evolution of Swift J1822.3–1606, we find that the observed timing properties of the source, as well as its quiescent X-ray luminosity, can be reproduced if it was born with a poloidal and crustal toroidal fields of Bp ~ 1.5 × 1014 G and Btor ~ 7 × 1014 G, respectively, and if its current age is ~550 kyr (Rea et al. 2012).
Omega 3 fatty acids can be obtained from several sources, and should be added to the daily diet to enjoy a good health and to prevent many diseases. Worldwide, general population use omega-3 fatty acid supplements and enriched foods to get and maintain adequate amounts of these fatty acids. The aim of this paper was to review main scientific evidence regarding the public health risks and benefits of the dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. A systematic literature search was performed, and one hundred and forty-five articles were included in the results for their methodological quality. The literature described benefits and risks of algal, fish oil, plant, enriched dairy products, animal-derived food, krill oil, and seal oil omega-3 fatty acids.