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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certifies a suite of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) to address specific aspects of the performance of X-ray powder diffraction instruments. This report describes SRM 1879b, the third generation of this powder diffraction SRM. SRM 1879b is intended for use in the preparation of calibration standards for the quantitative analyses of cristobalite by X-ray powder diffraction in accordance with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Analytical Method 7500, or equivalent. A unit of SRM 1879b consists of approximately 5 g of cristobalite powder bottled in an argon atmosphere. It is certified with respect to crystalline phase purity, or amorphous phase content, and lattice parameter. Neutron powder diffraction, both time-of-flight and constant wavelength, was used to certify the phase purity using SRM 676a as an internal standard. A NIST-built diffractometer, incorporating many advanced design features was used for certification measurements for lattice parameters.
To identify home environment factors associated with toddler dietary behaviours using ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
Home environment and toddler’s diet were assessed by mothers through EMA (random beeps over ≤8 d and a brief survey). Dietary outcomes were fruit/vegetable consumption, eating episode (‘snack’ v. ‘meal’) and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Home environment factors included interacting with mother, eating alone/with others, eating in a high chair/chair at the table, watching television and movement/translocation. Multilevel logistic mixed-effects regression models assessed both within- (individual toddlers across time) and between- (toddlers-on-average) subject effects.
Low-income mother–toddler dyads (n 277).
Urban and suburban Maryland, USA.
EMA captured eating/drinking episodes for 249/277 (89·9 %) toddlers (883 eating episodes, 1586 drinking episodes). Toddlers-on-average were more likely (adjusted OR, P value) to eat fruit/vegetables when not moving around (0·43, P=0·043), eat with the television off (0·33, P<0·001) and eat in a high chair/chair (3·38, P<0·001); no within-subject effects were shown. For eating episodes, both toddlers-on-average and individual toddlers were more likely to eat snacks when not in a high chair/chair (0·13, P<0·001 and 0·06, P<0·001, respectively) and when eating alone (0·30, P<0·001 and 0·31, P<0·001, respectively). Also, individual toddlers were more likely to eat snacks when moving around (3·61, P<0·001). Toddlers-on-average were more likely to consume SSB when not in a high chair/chair (0·21, P=0·001), eating alone (0·38, P=0·047) or during a snacking episode (v. a meal: 3·96, P=0·012); no within-subject effects shown.
Factors in the home environment are associated with dietary behaviours among toddlers. Understanding the interplay between the home environment and toddler diet can inform future paediatric dietary recommendations.
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
This paper presents latest thinking from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Model Risk Working Party and follows on from their Phase I work, Model Risk: Daring to Open the Black Box. This is a more practical paper and presents the contributors’ experiences of model risk gained from a wide range of financial and non-financial organisations with suggestions for good practice and proven methods to reduce model risk. After a recap of the Phase I work, examples of model risk communication are given covering communication: to the Board; to the regulator; and to external stakeholders. We present a practical framework for model risk management and quantification with examples of the key actors, processes and cultural challenge. Lessons learned are then presented from other industries that make extensive use of models and include the weather forecasting, software and aerospace industries. Finally, a series of case studies in practical model risk management and mitigation are presented from the contributors’ own experiences covering primarily financial services.
Electronic health records (EHRs) provide great promise for identifying cohorts and enhancing research recruitment. Such approaches are sorely needed, but there are few descriptions in the literature of prevailing practices to guide their use. A multidisciplinary workgroup was formed to examine current practices in the use of EHRs in recruitment and to propose future directions. The group surveyed consortium members regarding current practices. Over 98% of the Clinical and Translational Science Award Consortium responded to the survey. Brokered and self-service data warehouse access are in early or full operation at 94% and 92% of institutions, respectively, whereas, EHR alerts to providers and to research teams are at 45% and 48%, respectively, and use of patient portals for research is at 20%. However, these percentages increase significantly to 88% and above if planning and exploratory work were considered cumulatively. For most approaches, implementation reflected perceived demand. Regulatory and workflow processes were similarly varied, and many respondents described substantive restrictions arising from logistical constraints and limitations on collaboration and data sharing. Survey results reflect wide variation in implementation and approach, and point to strong need for comparative research and development of best practices to protect patients and facilitate interinstitutional collaboration and multisite research.
Treerow vegetation abundance and biodiversity were measured in response to six orchard floor management strategies in organic peach in northern Utah for three growing seasons. A total of 32 weed species were observed in the treerow; the most common were field bindweed, dandelion, perennial grasses (e.g., red fescue and ryegrass), clovers, and prickly lettuce. Weed biomass was two to five times greater in unmanaged (living mulch) than in manipulated treatments. Tillage greatly reduced weeds for approximately one month; however, vegetation rebounded midseason. Tillage selected for species adapted to disturbance, such as common purslane and field bindweed. Straw mulch provided equivalent weed suppression to tillage in the early season. Straw required annual reapplication with material costs, labor, and weed-seed contamination (e.g., volunteer grains and quackgrass) as disadvantages. Plastic fabric mulch reduced weeds the most, but had high initial costs and required seasonal maintenance. Weed biomass declined within seasons and across the three years of the study, likely due to tree canopy shading. Neither birdsfoot trefoil nor a perennial grass mixture planted in the alleyways influenced treerow weeds. Our results demonstrate several viable alternatives to tillage for weed management in treerows of organic peach orchards in the Intermountain West.
Far-UV photons (FUV, E < 13.6 eV) from hot massive stars regulate, or at least influence, the heating, ionization, and chemistry of most of the neutral interstellar medium (H i and H2 clouds). Investigating the interaction between FUV radiation and interstellar matter (molecules, atoms and grains) thus plays an important role in astrochemistry.
The Orion Bar, an interface region between the Orion A molecular cloud and the H ii region around the Trapezium cluster, is a textbook example of a strongly illuminated dense PDR (photodissociation region). The Bar is illuminated by a FUV field of a few 104 times the mean interstellar radiation field. Because of its proximity and nearly edge-on orientation, it provides a very good template to investigate the chemical content, structure, and dynamics of a strongly irradiated molecular cloud edge. We have used ALMA to mosaic a small field of the Bar where the critical transition from atomic to molecular gas takes place. These observations provide an unprecedented sharp view of this transition layer (≲ 1″ resolution or ≲ 414 AU). The resulting images (so far in the rotational emission of CO, HCO+, H13CO+, SO+, SO, and reactive ions SH+ and HOC+) show the small-scale structure in gas density and temperature, and the steep abundance gradients. The images reveal a pattern of high-density substructures, photo-ablative gas flows and instabilities at the edge of the molecular cloud. These first ALMA images thus show a more complex morphology than the classical clump/interclump static model of a PDR.
In order to quantify the chemical content in strongly FUV-irradiated gas, we have also used the IRAM-30 m telescope to carry out a complete line-survey of the illuminated edge of the Bar in the millimeter domain. Our observations reveal the presence of complex organic molecules (and precursors) that were not expected in such a harsh environment. In particular, we have reported the first detection of the unstable cis conformer of formic acid (HCOOH) in the ISM. The energy barrier to internal rotation (the conversion from trans to cis) is approximately 4827 cm−1 (≈7000 K). Hence, this detection is surprising. The low inferred trans-to-cis abundance ratio of 2.8±1.0 supports a photoswitching mechanism: a given conformer absorbs a FUV stellar photon that radiatively excites the molecule to electronic states above the interconversion barrier. Subsequent fluorescent decay leaves the molecule in a different conformer form. This mechanism, which we have specifically studied with ab initio quantum calculations, was not considered so far in astrochemistry although it can affect the structure of a variety of molecules in PDRs.
To determine whether living in a food swamp (≥4 corner stores within 0·40 km (0·25 miles) of home) or a food desert (generally, no supermarket or access to healthy foods) is associated with consumption of snacks/desserts or fruits/vegetables, and if neighbourhood-level socio-economic status (SES) confounds relationships.
Cross-sectional. Assessments included diet (Youth/Adolescent FFQ, skewed dietary variables normalized) and measured height/weight (BMI-for-age percentiles/Z-scores calculated). A geographic information system geocoded home addresses and mapped food deserts/food swamps. Associations examined using multiple linear regression (MLR) models adjusting for age and BMI-for-age Z-score.
Baltimore City, MD, USA.
Early adolescent girls (6th/7th grade, n 634; mean age 12·1 years; 90·7 % African American; 52·4 % overweight/obese), recruited from twenty-two urban, low-income schools.
Girls’ consumption of fruit, vegetables and snacks/desserts: 1·2, 1·7 and 3·4 servings/d, respectively. Girls’ food environment: 10·4 % food desert only, 19·1 % food swamp only, 16·1 % both food desert/swamp and 54·4 % neither food desert/swamp. Average median neighbourhood-level household income: $US 35 298. In MLR models, girls living in both food deserts/swamps consumed additional servings of snacks/desserts v. girls living in neither (β=0·13, P=0·029; 3·8 v. 3·2 servings/d). Specifically, girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls who did not (β=0·16, P=0·003; 3·7 v. 3·1 servings/d), with no confounding effect of neighbourhood-level SES. No associations were identified with food deserts or consumption of fruits/vegetables.
Early adolescent girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls not living in food swamps. Dietary interventions should consider the built environment/food access when addressing adolescent dietary behaviours.
Virkisjökull is a rapidly retreating outlet glacier draining the western flanks of Öræfajökull in SE Iceland. Since 2011 there have been continuous measurements of flow in the proglacial meltwater channel and regular campaigns to sample stable isotopes δ2H and δ18O from the river, ice, moraine springs and groundwater. The stable isotopes provide reliable end members for glacial ice and shallow groundwater. Analysis of data from 2011 to 2014 indicates that although ice and snowmelt dominate summer riverflow (mean 5.3–7.9 m3 s−1), significant flow is also observed in winter (mean 1.6–2.4 m3 s−1) due primarily to ongoing glacier icemelt. The stable isotope data demonstrate that the influence of groundwater discharge from moraines and the sandur aquifer increases during winter and forms a small (15–20%) consistent source of baseflow to the river. The similarity of hydrological response across seasons reflects a highly efficient glacial drainage system, which makes use of a series of permanent englacial channels within active and buried ice throughout the year. The study has shown that the development of an efficient year round drainage network within the lower part of the glacier has been coincident with the stagnation and subsequent rapid retreat of the glacier.
Papillary microcarcinoma of the thyroid has been described as either a normal variant or a serious malignancy. We describe our experience with papillary microcarcinoma and lymph node metastases.
A total of 685 consecutive total thyroidectomies with central compartment neck dissection were reviewed for papillary microcarcinoma. Association of central compartment lymph node metastases with age, gender, tumour multifocality, bilaterality and extrathyroidal extension was analysed.
Out of 170 papillary microcarcinoma cases, multifocality was found in 72 (42.4 per cent), bilaterality in 49 (28.8 per cent) and extrathyroidal extension in 16 (9.4 per cent). In all, 23 patients (13.5 per cent) had lymph node metastases. There was a significant association (p < 0.05) between extrathyroidal extension (but no other tumour characteristics) and lymph node metastases.
In all, 13.5 per cent of papillary microcarcinomas in our series showed lymph node metastases. Lymph node metastases were associated with extrathyroidal invasion of the papillary microcarcinoma.
We conducted an experiment to determine whether early-life social learning of feeding site selection in lambs was sex-specific. Sixteen ewes and their new born lambs were used in a controlled experiment. Eight ewe–lamb pairs included a male lamb and the remaining eight a female lamb. All pairs were individually exposed to an experimental arena containing a safe and unsafe artificial feeding site (SFS, UFS) each consisting of nine bowls which contained either ground Bermuda grass hay (SFS) or ground alfalfa hay (UFS). The bowls in UFS were surrounded by bright orange traffic cones (visual cues). Half the ewes were trained with controlled electric shock to avoid UFS. Thus, pairs were randomly assigned to: (1) shock aversion training (SAT) to mothers of male lambs (MS); (2) SAT to mothers of female lambs (FS); (3) no aversion training (NAT, control) to mothers of male lambs (MC); and (4) NAT (control) to mothers of female lambs (FC). None of the lambs were subjected to SAT. During training, testing, extinction, and retraining ewe–lamb pairs were exposed to the arena together. Ewes were then removed from the experiment and two additional extinction phases were conducted with weaned lambs alone. Fear conditioning elicited UFS avoidance of both the trained ewes (means±s.e.m. % times observed in UFS during testing phase: FC=95.3±1.70; MC=94.4±4.87; FS=1.6±1.63; MS=0 ±0; P<0.01) and their naïve lambs (FC=83.8±6.07%; MC=76.6±6.56%; FS=30.4±7.90%; MS=33.9±9.23%; P<0.01). UFS avoidance in lambs occurred regardless of sex and tended to persist after weaning (% times observed in UFS during 1st post-weaning extinction phase: FC=92.6±4.50%; MC=89.8±6.09%; FS=45.1±10.57%; MS=43.5±10.42%; P=0.06). Fear conditioning in mothers appeared to alter sex-related differences in mother–infant behavioral synchrony by increasing and decreasing feeding synchrony of male and female lambs, respectively (FC: r=0.52, P<0.01; MC: r=−0.02, P=0.86; FS: r=0.14, P=0.26; MS: r=0.46, P<0.01). During the extinction phase mothers of ram lambs were observed feeding more often (FC=85.0±2.33%; MC=92.7±1.45%; FS=47.3±8.81%; MS=72±5.68%; P=0.02) and standing less often than ewes with daughters (FC=7.3±2.40%; MC=2.7±0.83%; FS=39.3±9.04%; MS=18.0±5.29%; P=0.06). This study suggests that social conditioning at an early age could be a viable tool to induce learning of feeding site avoidance in female and male lambs alike.
To date many studies have measured the effect of key child survival interventions on the main cause of mortality while anecdotally reporting effects on all-cause mortality. We conducted a systematic literature review and abstracted cause-specific and all-cause mortality data from included studies. We then estimated the effect of the intervention on the disease of primary interest and calculated the additional deaths prevented (i.e. the indirect effect). We calculated that insecticide-treated nets have been shown to result in a 12% reduction [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·0–23] among non-malaria deaths. We found pneumonia case management to reduce non-pneumonia mortality by 20% (95% CI 8–22). For measles vaccine, seven of the 10 studies reporting an effect on all-cause mortality demonstrated an additional benefit of vaccine on all-cause mortality. These interventions may have benefits on causes of death beyond the specific cause of death they are targeted to prevent and this should be considered when evaluating the effects of implementation of interventions.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy remains common in many countries. Exposure to even low amounts of alcohol (i.e. ethanol) in pregnancy can lead to the heterogeneous fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), while heavy alcohol consumption can result in the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is characterized by cerebral dysfunction, growth restriction and craniofacial malformations. However, the effects of lower doses of alcohol during pregnancy, such as those that lead to FASD, are less well understood. In this article, we discuss the findings of recent studies performed in our laboratories on the effects of fetal alcohol exposure using sheep, in which we investigated the effects of late gestational alcohol exposure on the developing brain, arteries, kidneys, heart and lungs. Our studies indicate that alcohol exposure in late gestation can (1) affect cerebral white matter development and increase the risk of hemorrhage in the fetal brain, (2) cause left ventricular hypertrophy with evidence of altered cardiomyocyte maturation, (3) lead to a decrease in nephron number in the kidney, (4) cause altered arterial wall stiffness and endothelial and smooth muscle function and (5) result in altered surfactant protein mRNA expression, surfactant phospholipid composition and pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in the lung. These findings suggest that fetal alcohol exposure in late gestation can affect multiple organs, potentially increasing the risk of disease and organ dysfunction in later life.
To describe the identification, management, and clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) during the peak period of activity of the 2009 pandemic strain of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (2009 H1N1).
Retrospective review of electronic medical records.
Patients and Setting.
Hospitalized patients who presented to the emergency department during the period October 18 through November 14, 2009, at 4 hospitals in Cook County, Illinois, with the capacity to perform real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing for influenza.
Vital signs and notes recorded within 1 calendar day after emergency department arrival were reviewed for signs and symptoms consistent with ILI. Cases of ILI were classified as recognized by healthcare providers if an influenza test was performed or if influenza was mentioned as a possible diagnosis in the physician notes. Logistic regression was used to determine the patient attributes and symptoms that were associated with ILI recognition and with influenza infection.
We identified 460 ILI case patients, of whom 412 (90%) had ILI recognized by healthcare providers, 389 (85%) were placed under airborne or droplet isolation precautions, and 243 (53%) were treated with antiviral medication. Of 401 ILI case patients tested for influenza, 91 (23%) had a positive result. Fourteen (3%) ILI case patients and none of the case patients who tested positive for influenza had sore throat in the absence of cough.
Healthcare providers identified a high proportion of hospitalized ILI case patients. Further improvements in disease detection can be made through the use of advanced electronic health records and efficient diagnostic tests. Future studies should evaluate the inclusion of sore throat in the ILI case definition.