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An industry levy on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) was implemented in the UK in 2018. One year later, Brexit is likely to change the UK trade regime with potential implications for sugar price. We modelled the effect of potential changes in sugar price due to Brexit on SSB levy impacts upon CHD mortality and inequalities.
We modelled a baseline SSB levy scenario; an SSB levy under ‘soft’ Brexit, where the UK establishes a free trading agreement with the EU; and an SSB levy under ‘hard’ Brexit, in which World Trade Organization tariffs are applied. We used the previously validated IMPACT Food Policy model and probabilistic sensitivity analysis to estimate the effect of each scenario on CHD deaths prevented or postponed and life-years gained, stratified by age, sex and socio-economic circumstance, in 2021.
Adults aged 25 years or older.
The SSB levy was associated with approximately 370 (95 % uncertainty interval 220, 560) fewer CHD deaths and 4490 (2690, 6710) life-years gained in 2021. Associated reductions in CHD mortality were 4 and 8 % greater under ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexit scenarios, respectively. The SSB levy was associated with approximately 110 (50, 190) fewer CHD deaths in the most deprived quintile compared with 60 (20, 100) in the most affluent, under ‘hard’ Brexit.
Our study found the SSB levy resilient to potential effects of Brexit upon sugar price. Even under ‘hard’ Brexit, the SSB levy would yield benefits for CHD mortality and inequalities. Brexit negotiations should deliver a fiscal and regulatory environment which promotes population health.
Species duration data for living benthic foraminifera derived from an extensive literature search have been compiled and analyzed to investigate rates and patterns of species origination. The same data subjected to taxonomic standardization through examination of many specimens lodged in museum collections indicate strikingly different, and more realistic, rates and patterns.
Evolutionary generalizations based on data generated from the literature only are often unreliable and may be directly in opposition to reality. Extensive attempts at taxonomic standardization should be the norm in paleobiological investigations.
Reconciliation of paleontological and molecular phylogenetic evidence holds great promise for a better understanding of the temporal succession of cladogenesis and character evolution, especially for taxa with a fragmentary fossil record and uncertain classification. In zoology, studies of this kind have largely been restricted to Bilateria. Hexactinellids (glass sponges) readily lend themselves to test such an approach for early-branching (non-bilaterian) animals: they have a long and rich fossil record, but for certain taxa paleontological evidence is still scarce or ambiguous. Furthermore, there is a lack of consensus for taxonomic interpretations, and discrepancies exist between neontological and paleontological classification systems. Using conservative fossil calibration constraints and the largest molecular phylogenetic data set assembled for this group, we infer divergence times of crown-group Hexactinellida in a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock framework. With some notable exceptions, our results are largely congruent with interpretations of the hexactinellid fossil record, but also indicate long periods of undocumented evolution for several groups. This study illustrates the potential of an integrated molecular/paleobiological approach to reconstructing the evolution of challenging groups of organisms.
As part of the Z-PAndAS Keck II DEIMOS survey of resolved stars in our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), we have built up a unique data set of measured velocities and chemistries for thousands of stars in the Andromeda stellar halo, particularly probing its rich and complex substructure. In this contribution, we will discuss the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of Andromeda's dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and how there is no observational evidence for a difference in the evolutionary histories of those found on and off M31's vast plane of satellites. We will also discuss a possible extension to the most significant merger event in M31 - the Giant Southern Stream - and how we can use this feature to refine our understanding of M31's mass profile, and its complex evolution.
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Access to Psychological Services Ireland (APSI), a primary care adult psychology service.
A repeated measures design was used to evaluate the clinical outcomes of service users who completed an intervention. Psychological distress, depressive symptomatology and anxiety symptomatology were measured using the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation–Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), respectively. Self-reported health and economic outcomes were measured using the EQ-5D-3L and the Eco-Psy, respectively.
A total of 381 adults were assessed as suitable for an APSI intervention, with 198 (52%) of these completing at least one intervention. Significant reductions in psychological distress were observed for completers of guided self-help and brief cognitive behavioural therapy, with service users also showing significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptomatology. Reliable and clinically significant change on the CORE-OM was observed for 67.9% of treatment completers. Service users reported significant improvements in their health status but did not show changes in their health service usage in the 3-month follow-up period.
APSI provided an accessible service model that was clinically effective in managing a range of mild to moderate mental health difficulties. The cost-effectiveness of the service model may be enhanced by offering a wider range of high-throughput interventions and by increasing the treatment completion rate.
A wetland deposit from the southern Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, USA, has been radiocarbon dated and shows continuous deposition from the early Holocene to the present. Non-coastal records of Holocene paleoenvironments are rare from the southeastern USA. Increased stable carbon isotope ratios (?13C) of sedimentary organic matter and pollen percentages indicate warm, dry early- to mid-Holocene conditions. This interpretation is also supported by n-alkane biomarker data and bulk sedimentary C/N ratios. These warm, dry conditions coincide with a mid-Holocene hypsithermal, or altithermal, documented elsewhere in North America. Our data indicate that the southeastern USA warmed concurrently with much of the rest of the continent during the mid-Holocene. If the current "warming hole" in the southeastern USA persists, during a time of greenhouse gas-induced warming elsewhere, it will be anomalous both in space and time.
Since the discovery in 1989 that mutations in cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) underlie cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common life shortening genetic disorder in Caucasians, it has been possible to identify heterozygous mutation carriers at risk of having affected children. The Human Genetics Society of Australasia has produced a position statement with recommendations in relation to population-based screening for CF. These include: (1) that screening should be offered to all relatives of people with or carriers of CF (cascade testing) as well as to all couples planning to have children or who are pregnant; (2) the minimum CFTR mutation panel to be tested consists of 17 mutations which are those mutations that are associated with typical CF and occur with a frequency of 0.1% or higher among individuals diagnosed with CF in Australasia; (3) that genetic counselling is offered to all couples where both members are known to have one or two CFTR mutations and that such couples are given the opportunity to meet with a physician with expertise in the management of CF as well as a family/individual affected by the condition.
Optical properties of Si nanowire arrays (SiNWs) prepared on p-doped Si(111) and Si(100) substrates are studied. The SiNWs were synthesized by self-assembly electroless metal deposition nanoelectrochemistry in an ionic silver HF solution through selective etching. Total reflectance (Rt) and total diffuse reflectance (Rdt) of SiNWs change drastically in comparison to polished Si. To understand these changes diffuse reflectance (Rd) with polarized incident light was studied. For samples prepared on Si(111), the wavelength integrated Rd (wIRd) shows maxima at certain angle of incidence θ and it does not depend on light polarization. Moreover, Rdt of SiNWs prepared on Si(111) can be modeled as an ensemble of diffuse reflectors. For samples prepared on Si(100) wIRd increases with θ, being greater when the light electric field is parallel to the plane of incidence. Also, Rd spectra show structures due to interference effects. For these reasons SiNWs prepared on Si(100) can be considered as a thin film whose refractive index depends on light polarization.
A retrospective case–case control study was conducted, including 60 cases with daptomycin-nonsusceptible vancomycin-resistant enterococci (DNS-VRE) matched to cases with daptomycin-susceptible VRE and to uninfected controls (1:1:3 ratio). Immunosuppression, presence of comorbid conditions, and prior exposure to antimicrobials were independent predictors of DNS-VRE, although prior daptomycin exposure occurred rarely. In summary, a case–case control study identified independent risk factors for the isolation of DNS-VRE: immunosuppression, multiple comorbid conditions, and prior exposures to cephalosporines and metronidazole.
In order to understand the kinetics of formation of interface/surface states and its correlation on the final device performance, a preliminary study was performed on MIS structures, before and after surface oxidation/passivation, using different oxidation techniques and oxides: thermal (in air), chemical (in H2O2) and oxygen plasma.
The devices used in this work are based on a glass/Cr/a-Si:H(n+)/a-Si:H(i)/SiOx/Pd structures, where the amorphous silicon intrinsic layer (i a-Si:H) with a photosensitivity of 107 was deposited by a modified plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) triode system.
The electrical properties of a-Si:H MIS structures were investigated by measuring their diode current-voltage characteristics in the dark and under illumination as well as the spectral response, as a function of the various oxidation techniques. Infrared spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry were used as a complementary tool to characterise the oxidised surface.
An amorphous ZnO/p-i-n/Al imager that uses a small-signal scanning beam to read out the short circuit current signal is presented. An analysis of the image geometric distortion, restoration, and enhancement is performed. A simple image-processing algorithm is used to recover main features of projected images. Modifications of the transducer structure are proposed for improving the sensor performance.The effect of the doped layers and image intensity on the sensor output characteristics are analysed. Results show that a trade-off between the sensor structure and contact geometry is needed for a correct read-out. Algorithms and tools are proposed for image analysis.
This paper presents the process conditions that lead to the production of nanostructured silicon films grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition close to the so-called gamma regime (powder formation), highly dense and with low density of bulk states. Thus, the powder management is one important issue to be addressed in this paper. As a general rule we observed that high quality films (low density of states and high μτ products) are obtained when films are grown under low ion bombardment at high hydrogen dilution and deposition pressure conditions, to allow the proper surface passivation and surface activation.
The performances of amorphous and nano-crystalline porous silicon thin films as gas detector are pioneer reported in this work. The films were produced by the hot wire chemical vapour deposition (HW-CVD). These films present a porous like-structure, which is due to the uncompensated bonds and oxidise easily in the presence of air. This behaviour is a problem when the films are used for solar cells or thin film transistors. For as gas detectors, the oxidation is a benefit, since the CO, H2 or O2 molecules replace the OH adsorbed group. In the present study we observe the behaviour of amorphous and nano-crystalline porous silicon thin films under the presence of ethanol, at room temperature. The data obtained reveal a change in the current values recorded by more than three orders of magnitude, depending on the film preparation condition. This current behaviouris due to the adsorption of the OH chemical group by the Si uncompensated bonds as can be observed in the infrared spectra. Besides that, the current response and its recover time are done in few seconds.
The role of the deposition pressure (p) and the type of filaments (tungsten, W or tantalum, Ta) used to produce large area (10cm×10cm) n-type Si:H films by hot wire chemical vapour (HW-CVD) deposition technique was investigated. The data show that the electro-optical properties of the films produced are dependent on the gas pressure used. In the pressure range of 1×10-3 Torr to 1.0 Torr, the room dark conductivity (σd) varies from 1×10-8 to 2 S/cm for films produced at the same hydrogen dilution and filament temperature (Tfil.). On the other hand, the hydrogen concentration (CH) decreases from 10% to 2%, while the growth rate (R) shows an exponential increase, from 1 to 9 Å/s. The SIMS analysis, within the detection limits, does not reveal the existence of any significant W or Ta contamination in the films produced.
Amorphous hydrogenated silicon (a-Si:H) solar cells need efficient light trapping structures to achieve high efficiency. To this end, aluminum doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) as a transparent front contact was periodically structured. Solar cells with grating periods between 390 and 980 nm were realized. The structures were characterized by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and optical reflection. A simple formula for the wavelength where total internal reflection starts is deduced for each diffraction order. Solar cells with a periodic grating show a significant reduction in the overall reflectance which is comparable to cells with an optimized statistical texture.
In this work, we show results concerning electro-optical properties, composition and morphology of nanocrystalline hydrogenated undoped silicon (nc-Si:H) films produced by hot wire plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition process (HWPA-CVD) and exhibiting a compact granular structure, as revealed by SEM micrographs. This was also inferred by infrared spectra, which does not present the SiO vibration band located at 1050-1200 cm-1, even when samples have long atmospheric exposition. The photoconductivity measured at room temperature also does not change when samples have a long time exposition to the air or to the light irradiation. The influence of hydrogen dilution on the properties of the films was also investigated.