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Submarine melting of tidewater glaciers is proposed as a trigger for their recent thinning, acceleration and retreat. We estimate spring submarine melt rates (SMRs) of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia in southwest Greenland, from 2012 to 2014, by examining changes in along-fjord freeboard and velocity of the seasonal floating ice tongue. Estimated SMRs vary spatially and temporally near the grounding line, with mean rates of 1.3 ± 0.6, 0.8 ± 0.3 and 1.0 ± 0.4 m d−1 across the tongue in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. Higher melt rates correspond with locations of emerging subglacial plumes and terminus calving activity observed during the melt season using time-lapse camera imagery. Modelling of subglacial flow paths suggests a dynamic system capable of rapid re-routing of subglacial discharge both within and between melt seasons. Our results provide an empirically-derived link between the presence of subglacial discharge plumes and areas of high spring submarine melting and calving along glacier termini.
One way of testing cognitive abilities (or intelligence”) is by using so-called “means-end” tests, where the desired outcome can only be achieved by utilising some means to that end. Pulling a piece of food that is out of reach into reach with the help of an attached string is one of these means-end tasks. The ability of dogs to solve this problem has so far been only tested in 4 studies, all from the 1930s and 40s, with a total of 11 dogs and varying success. Additionally to exploring this basic cognitive ability in pet dogs the study explored whether training, and in particular so-called Clicker training (operant conditioning with secondary reinforcer), had an influence on the performance in this task.
We used a web-based mixed methods survey (HowsYourHealth – Frail) to explore the health of frail older (78% age 80 or older) adults enrolled in a home-based primary care program in Vancouver, Canada. Sixty per cent of eligible respondents participated, representing over one quarter (92/350, 26.2%) of all individuals receiving the service. Despite high levels of co-morbidity and functional dependence, 50 per cent rated their health as good, very good, or excellent. Adjusted odds ratios for positive self-rated health were 7.50, 95 per cent CI [1.09, 51.81] and 4.85, 95 per cent CI [1.02, 22.95] for absence of bothersome symptoms and being able to talk to family or friends respectively. Narrative responses to questions about end of life and living with illness are also described. Results suggest that greater focus on symptom management, and supporting social contact, may improve frail seniors’ health.
Mental health problems are inseparable from the environment. With virtual reality (VR), computer-generated interactive environments, individuals can repeatedly experience their problematic situations and be taught, via evidence-based psychological treatments, how to overcome difficulties. VR is moving out of specialist laboratories. Our central aim was to describe the potential of VR in mental health, including a consideration of the first 20 years of applications. A systematic review of empirical studies was conducted. In all, 285 studies were identified, with 86 concerning assessment, 45 theory development, and 154 treatment. The main disorders researched were anxiety (n = 192), schizophrenia (n = 44), substance-related disorders (n = 22) and eating disorders (n = 18). There are pioneering early studies, but the methodological quality of studies was generally low. The gaps in meaningful applications to mental health are extensive. The most established finding is that VR exposure-based treatments can reduce anxiety disorders, but there are numerous research and treatment avenues of promise. VR was found to be a much-misused term, often applied to non-interactive and non-immersive technologies. We conclude that VR has the potential to transform the assessment, understanding and treatment of mental health problems. The treatment possibilities will only be realized if – with the user experience at the heart of design – the best immersive VR technology is combined with targeted translational interventions. The capability of VR to simulate reality could greatly increase access to psychological therapies, while treatment outcomes could be enhanced by the technology's ability to create new realities. VR may merit the level of attention given to neuroimaging.
Persecutory delusions may be unfounded threat beliefs maintained by
safety-seeking behaviours that prevent disconfirmatory evidence being
successfully processed. Use of virtual reality could facilitate new
To test the hypothesis that enabling patients to test the threat
predictions of persecutory delusions in virtual reality social
environments with the dropping of safety-seeking behaviours (virtual
reality cognitive therapy) would lead to greater delusion reduction than
exposure alone (virtual reality exposure).
Conviction in delusions and distress in a real-world situation were
assessed in 30 patients with persecutory delusions. Patients were then
randomised to virtual reality cognitive therapy or virtual reality
exposure, both with 30 min in graded virtual reality social environments.
Delusion conviction and real-world distress were then reassessed.
In comparison with exposure, virtual reality cognitive therapy led to
large reductions in delusional conviction (reduction 22.0%,
P = 0.024, Cohen's d = 1.3) and
real-world distress (reduction 19.6%, P = 0.020, Cohen's
d = 0.8).
Cognitive therapy using virtual reality could prove highly effective in
Astronomy education research (AER) uses the systematic techniques honed in science education and physics education research to understand what and how students learn about astronomy, and determine how instructors can create more productive learning environments for their students. A recent review of the literature in this area revealed a number of articles that could be classified into four major categories: research into student understanding, research on instructional methods, research on teacher understanding, and descriptions of curriculum materials.
Detailed quantitative data has previously been collected from plant megafossil assemblages from a Middle Jurassic (Aalenian) plant bed from Hasty Bank, North Yorkshire, UK. We conducted a similar analysis of palynological dispersed sporomorph (spore and pollen) assemblages collected from the same section using the same sampling regime: 67 sporomorph taxa were recorded from 50 samples taken at 10 cm intervals through the plant bed. Basic palynofacies analysis was also undertaken on each sample. Both dispersed sporomorph and plant megafossil assemblages display consistent changes in composition, diversity (richness), and abundance through time. However, the dispersed sporomorph and plant megafossil records provide conflicting evidence for the nature of parent vegetation. Specifically, conifers and ferns are underrepresented in plant megafossil assemblages, bryophytes and lycopsids are represented only in sporomorph assemblages, and sphenophytes, pteridosperms, Caytoniales, Cycadales, Ginkgoales and Bennettitales are comparatively underrepresented in sporomorph assemblages. Combined multivariate analysis (correspondence analysis and nonmetric multidimensional scaling) of sporomorph occurrence/abundance data demonstrates that temporal variation in sporomorph assemblages is the result of depositional change through the plant bed. The reproductive strategies of parent plants are considered to be a principal factor in shaping many of the major abundance and diversity irregularities between dispersed sporomorph and plant megafossil data sets that seemingly reflects different parent vegetation. Preferential occurrence/preservation of sporomorphs and equivalent parent plants is a consequence of a complex array of biological, ecological, geographical, taphonomic, and depositional factors that act inconsistently between and within fossil assemblages, which results in notable discrepancies between data sets.
Methylation of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) exon 1/intron 1 boundary positioned fragile X related epigenetic element 2 (FREE2), reveals skewed X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) in fragile X syndrome full mutation (FM: CGG > 200) females. XCI skewing has been also linked to abnormal X-linked gene expression with the broader clinical impact for sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCAs). In this study, 10 FREE2 CpG sites were targeted using methylation specific quantitative melt analysis (MS-QMA), including 3 sites that could not be analysed with previously used EpiTYPER system. The method was applied for detection of skewed XCI in FM females and in different types of SCA. We tested venous blood and saliva DNA collected from 107 controls (CGG < 40), and 148 FM and 90 SCA individuals. MS-QMA identified: (i) most SCAs if combined with a Y chromosome test; (ii) locus-specific XCI skewing towards the hypomethylated state in FM females; and (iii) skewed XCI towards the hypermethylated state in SCA with 3 or more X chromosomes, and in 5% of the 47,XXY individuals. MS-QMA output also showed significant correlation with the EpiTYPER reference method in FM males and females (P < 0.0001) and SCAs (P < 0.05). In conclusion, we demonstrate use of MS-QMA to quantify skewed XCI in two applications with diagnostic utility.
Being physically assaulted is known to increase the risk of the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms but it may also skew judgements about the intentions of other people. The objectives of the study were to assess paranoia and PTSD after an assault and to test whether theory-derived cognitive factors predicted the persistence of these problems.
At 4 weeks after hospital attendance due to an assault, 106 people were assessed on multiple symptom measures (including virtual reality) and cognitive factors from models of paranoia and PTSD. The symptom measures were repeated 3 and 6 months later.
Factor analysis indicated that paranoia and PTSD were distinct experiences, though positively correlated. At 4 weeks, 33% of participants met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, falling to 16% at follow-up. Of the group at the first assessment, 80% reported that since the assault they were excessively fearful of other people, which over time fell to 66%. Almost all the cognitive factors (including information-processing style during the trauma, mental defeat, qualities of unwanted memories, self-blame, negative thoughts about self, worry, safety behaviours, anomalous internal experiences and cognitive inflexibility) predicted later paranoia and PTSD, but there was little evidence of differential prediction.
Paranoia after an assault may be common and distinguishable from PTSD but predicted by a strikingly similar range of factors.
Atomistic simulation methods have been used to model the structure of the (1014) surfaces of calcite, dolomite, and magnesite under dry and wet conditions. The potential parameters for the carbonate and water species contain shell terms to model the polarizability of the oxygen atoms. These static calculations show that the surfaces undergo relaxation leading to the rotation and distortion of the carbonate groups with associated movement of cations. The dry surface energies are 0.322, 0.247, and 0.256 Jm−2 for calcite, dolomite, and magnesite respectively. The influence of water on the surface structure and energies has been investigated for monolayer coverage. When fully hydrated with a monolayer of water, the surface energy for calcite is reduced indicating a stabilization of the surface with hydration. The extent of carbonate group distortion is greater for the dry surfaces compared to the hydrated surfaces, and for the dry calcite relative to that for dry magnesite.
Tests designed to be similar to the unsaturated and oxidizing conditions expected in the candidate repository at Yucca Mountain are in progress with spent fuel at 90°C. The similarities and the differences in release behavior for 137Cs during the first 2.6 years and the actinides during the first 1.6 years of testing are presented for tests done with (1) water dripped on the fuel at a rate of 0.075 and 0.75 mL every 3.5 days and (2) in a saturated water vapor environment.
Apatite-type oxides, La10-x(Si/Ge)6O26+z, have been attracting significant interest recently due to their high oxide ion conductivities. Most of the work so far has focused on the Si based systems, since the Ge based systems suffer from problems attributed to Ge loss. In this paper we show that doping divalent cations on the La site or B on the Ge site helps to stabilise the hexagonal apatite lattice for these Ge based systems. These doped phases show high oxide ion conductivities, although results from extended sintering studies suggest that Ge loss is still a problem. In order to limit Ge loss, we have also examined Bi doping to lower the sintering temperature and preliminary results for the novel Bi containing apatite-type phases, La6Bi2M2Ge6O26 (M=Mg, Sr, Ba) and La8-xBi2Ge5GaO26+y, are also reported.
Impaired flexibility in the use of substrates for energy production in the heart is implicated in cardiomyopathy. We investigated the effect of maternal protein restriction during pregnancy in rats on the transcription of key genes in cardiac lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in the offspring. Rats were fed protein-sufficient or protein-restricted (PR) diets during pregnancy. Triacylglycerol concentration in adult (day 105) heart was altered by maternal protein intake contingent on post-weaning fat intake and sex. mRNA expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 was increased by the maternal PR diet in adult, but not neonatal, offspring. PPARα promoter methylation was lower in adult and neonatal heart from PR offspring. These findings suggest that prenatal nutrition alters the future transcriptional regulation of cardiac energy metabolism in the offspring through changes in epigenetic regulation of specific genes. However, changes in gene functional changes may not be apparent in early life.
Feeding pregnant rats a protein-restricted (PR) diet induces altered expression of candidate genes in the liver of the adult offspring, which can be prevented by supplementation of the PR diet with folic acid (PRF). We investigated the effect of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on the liver transcriptome in their adult male offspring. Pregnant rats were fed control, PR or PRF diets. Male offspring were killed on day 84. The liver transcriptome was analysed by microarray (six livers per maternal dietary group) followed by post hoc analysis of relative mRNA levels and gene ontology. These results were confirmed for selected genes by real-time RT-PCR. There were 311 genes that differed significantly ( ≥ 1·5-fold change; P < 0·05) between PR offspring (222 increased) and control offspring, while 191 genes differed significantly between PRF offspring (forty-five increased) compared with offspring of control dams. There were sixteen genes that were significantly altered in both PR and PRF offspring compared with controls. Ion transport, developmental process, and response to reactive oxygen species (RROS) and steroid hormone response (SHR) ontologies were altered in PR offspring. Folic acid supplementation prevented changes within RROS and SHR response pathways, but not in ion transport or developmental process. There was no effect of maternal PR on mRNA expression of imprinted genes. Insulin 1 and Pleckstrin homology-like domain family A member 2 were increased significantly in PRF compared with PR offspring. The present findings show that the pattern of induced changes in the adult liver transcriptome were dependent on maternal protein and folic acid intakes during pregnancy.
Fundamental advances in solid-state ionics for energy conversion and storage are crucial in addressing the global challenge of cleaner energy sources. This review aims to demonstrate the valuable role that modern computational techniques now play in providing deeper fundamental insight into materials for solid oxide fuel cells and rechargeable lithium batteries. The scope of contemporary work is illustrated by studies on topical materials encompassing perovskite-type proton conductors, gallium oxides with tetrahedral moieties, apatite-type silicates, and lithium iron phosphates. Key fundamental properties are examined, including mechanisms of ion migration, dopant-defect association, and surface structures and crystal morphologies.