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All organisms encounter pathogens, and birds are especially susceptible to infection by malaria parasites and other haemosporidians. It is important to understand how immune genes, primarily innate immune genes which are the first line of host defense, have evolved across birds, a highly diverse group of tetrapods. Here, we find that innate immune genes are highly conserved across the avian tree of life and that although most show evidence of positive or diversifying selection within specific lineages or clades, the number of sites is often proportionally low in this broader context of putative constraint. Rather, evidence shows a much higher level of negative or purifying selection in these innate immune genes – rather than adaptive immune genes – which is consistent with birds' long coevolutionary history with pathogens and the need to maintain a rapid response to infection. We further explored avian responses to haemosporidians by comparing differential gene expression in wild birds (1) uninfected with haemosporidians, (2) infected with Plasmodium and (3) infected with Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus). We found patterns of significant differential expression with some genes unique to infection with each genus and a few shared between ‘treatment’ groups, but none that overlapped with the genes included in the phylogenetic study.
From the early days of European settlement in North America, Christianity has had a profound impact on American law and culture. This volume profiles nineteen of America's most influential Christian jurists from the early colonial era to the present day. Anyone interested in American legal history and jurisprudence, the role Christianity has played throughout the nation's history, and the relationship between faith and law will enjoy this worthy and unique study. The jurists covered in this collection were pious men and women, but that does not mean they agreed on how faith should inform law. From Roger Williams and John Cotton to Antonin Scalia and Mary Ann Glendon, America's great Christian jurists have brought their faith to bear on the practice of law in different ways and to different effects.
Formally established in the fall of 1947, the Laboratory of Archaeology at the University of Georgia is an archaeological research and collection repository. It is considered one of the premier institutions for curation of archaeological collections from the American Southeast. For over 70 years, the Laboratory has served as a repository for objects and associated records generated from archaeological projects and research undertaken by faculty, students, CRM professionals, and state and federal agencies. The Laboratory curates over 20,000 cubic feet of artifacts as well as paper and digital archives. In addition, the Laboratory houses the Georgia Archaeological Site File and manages data from more than 59,000 archaeological sites, including over 11,500 archaeological reports. In this paper, we explore implementation procedures for bringing legacy collections up to modern curation standards. We also outline how we migrate the data on paper records into the digital realm, articulating them within a comprehensive framework.
Much of the peace agreement durability literature assumes that stronger peace agreements are more likely to survive the trials of the post-conflict environment. This work does an excellent job identifying which provisions indicate that agreements are more likely to endure. However, there is no widely accepted way to directly measure the strength of agreements, and existing measures suffer from a lack of nuance or reliance on subjective weighting. We use a Bayesian item response theory model to develop a principled measure of the latent strength of peace agreements in civil conflicts from 1975 to 2005. We illustrate the measure's utility by exploring how various international factors such as sanctions and mediation contribute to the strength or weakness of agreements.
Research indicates that anti-depressant prescribing is higher in Northern Ireland (NI) than in the rest of the UK, and that socio-economic and area-level factors may contribute to this. The current study provides comprehensive population-based estimates of the prevalence of anti-depressant prescription prescribing in NI from 2011 to 2015, and examined the associations between socio-demographic, socio-economic, self-reported health and area-level factors and anti-depressant prescription.
Data were derived from the 2011 NI Census (N = 1 588 355) and the Enhanced Prescribing Database. Data linkage techniques were utilised through the Administrative Data Research Centre in NI. Prevalence rates were calculated and binary logistic analysis assessed the associations between contextual factors and anti-depressant prescription.
From 2011 to 2015, the percentages of the population in NI aged 16 or more receiving anti-depressant prescriptions were 12.3%, 12.9%, 13.4%, 13.9% and 14.3%, respectively, and over the 5-year period was 24.3%. The strongest predictors of anti-depressant prescription in the multivariate model specified were ‘very bad’ (OR = 4.02) or ‘Bad’ general health (OR = 3.98), and self-reported mental health problems (OR = 3.57). Other significant predictors included social renting (OR = 1.67) and unemployment (OR = 1.25). Protective factors included Catholic religious beliefs, other faith/philosophic beliefs and no faith/philosophic beliefs in comparison to reporting Protestant/other Christian religious beliefs (ORs = 0.78–0.91).
The prevalence of anti-depressant prescription in NI appears to be higher than the prevalence of depressive disorders, although this may not necessarily be attributable to over-prescribing as anti-depressants are also prescribed for conditions other than depression. Anti-depressant prescription was linked to several factors that represent socio-economic disadvantage.
Ferrierite is the name for a series of zeolite-group of minerals which includes three species with the same ferrierite framework (FER) crystal structure but different extra-framework cations. Recent studies have shown that ferrierite can exhibit a fibrous-asbestiform crystal habit and may possess the same properties as carcinogenic fibrous erionite. Characterisation of the ferrierite in and around a mine location will be helpful in assessing the potential for toxic outcomes of exposure in the mine and any local population.
The zeolite-rich tuff deposit of Lovelock, Nevada, USA is the largest occurrence of diagenetic ferrierite-Mg. A previous survey reported that ferrierite hosted in these rocks displays a fibrous morphology. However, these observations concerned a limited number of samples and until now there has been little evidence of widespread occurrence of fibrous ferrierite in the Lovelock deposit.
The main goal of this study was to perform a mineralogical and morphometric characterisation of the tuff deposit at Lovelock and evaluate the distribution of fibrous ferrierite in the outcrop. For this purpose, a multi-analytical approach including powder X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission microscopies, micro-Raman spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and surface-area determination was applied.
The results prove fibrous ferrierite is widespread and intermixed with mordenite and orthoclase, although there are variations in the spatial distribution in the bedrock. The crystal habit of the ferrierite ranges from prismatic to asbestiform (elongated, thin and slightly flexible) and fibres are aggregated in bundles. According to the WHO counting criteria, most of the ferrierite fibres can be classified as breathable. While waiting for confirmatory in vitro and in vivo tests to assess the actual toxicity/pathogenicity potential of this mineral fibre, it is recommended to adopt a precautionary approach for mining operations in this area to reduce the risk of exposure.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
Cahokia is the largest documented urban settlement in the pre-Columbian United States. Archaeological evidence suggests that the city, located near what is now East St. Louis, Illinois, began to rapidly expand starting around AD 1050. At its height, Cahokia extended across 1000 ha and included large plazas, timber palisade walls, and hundreds of monumental earthen mounds. Following several centuries of occupation, the city experienced a period of gradual abandonment from about AD 1200 to 1400. Here, we present geochemical data from a 1500-year-old sediment core from nearby Horseshoe Lake that records watershed impacts associated with the growth and decline of Cahokia. Sedimentary analysis shows a distinctive 24-cm-thick, gray, fine-grained layer formed between AD 1150 and 1220 and characterized by low carbonate δ13C, elevated sorbed metal concentrations, and higher organic matter δ15N. The deposition of this layer is contemporaneous with archaeological evidence of increased agricultural activity, earthen mound construction, and higher populations surrounding the lake. We hypothesize that these human impacts increased soil erosion, producing new sediment sources from deeper soil horizons, and shifted dissolved transport to the lake, producing lower carbonate δ13C values, higher concentrations of lead, copper, potassium, and aluminum, and increased δ15N, likely due to contributions of enriched nitrogen from sewage.
Evidence exists of an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions within developed and developing nations, notably for priority population groups. The need for the collection of geospatial data to monitor the health impact of rapid social-environmental and economic changes occurring in these countries is being increasingly recognized. Rigorous accuracy assessment of such geospatial data is required to enable error estimation, and ultimately, data utility for exploring population health. This research outlines findings from a field-based evaluation exercise of the SOMAARTH DDESS geospatial-health platform. Participatory-based mixed methods have been employed within Palwal-India to capture villager perspectives on built infrastructure across 51 villages. This study, conducted in 2013, included an assessment of data element position and attribute accuracy undertaken in six villages, documenting mapping errors and land parcel changes. Descriptive analyses of 5.1% (n = 455) of land parcels highlighted some discrepancies in position (6.4%) and attribute (4.2%) accuracy, and land parcel changes (17.4%). Furthermore, the evaluation led to a refinement of the existing geospatial health platform incorporating ground-truthed reflections from the participatory field exercise. The evaluation of geospatial data accuracies contributes to understandings on global public health surveillance systems, outlining the need to systematically consider assessment of environmental features in relation to lifestyle-related diseases.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) are often treated with an atypical antipsychotic, especially quetiapine or clozapine, but side effects, lack of sufficient efficacy, or both may motivate a switch to pimavanserin, the first medication approved for management of PDP. How best to implement a switch to pimavanserin has not been clear, as there are no controlled trials or case series in the literature to provide guidance. An abrupt switch may interrupt partially effective treatment or potentially trigger rebound effects from antipsychotic withdrawal, whereas cross-taper involves potential drug interactions. A panel of experts drew from published data, their experience treating PDP, lessons from switching antipsychotic drugs in other populations, and the pharmacology of the relevant drugs, to establish consensus recommendations. The panel concluded that patients with PDP can be safely and effectively switched from atypical antipsychotics used off label in PDP to the recently approved pimavanserin by considering each agent’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, receptor interactions, and the clinical reason for switching (efficacy or adverse events). Final recommendations are that such a switch should aim to maintain adequate 5-HT2A antagonism during the switch, thus providing a stable transition so that efficacy is maintained. Specifically, the consensus recommendation is to add pimavanserin at the full recommended daily dose (34 mg) for 2–6 weeks in most patients before beginning to taper and discontinue quetiapine or clozapine over several days to weeks. Further details are provided for this recommendation, as well as for special clinical circumstances where switching may need to proceed more rapidly.