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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
There is limited knowledge on vitamin D status of children residing in the Andes and its association with undernutrition. We evaluated the vitamin D status of children residing in a low socio-economic status (SES) setting in the Ecuadorian Andes and assessed the association between vitamin D status, stunting and underweight. We hypothesized that children who were underweight would have lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and lower 25(OH)D levels would be associated with a higher risk of stunting.
We conducted a cross-sectional secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, the Vitamin A, Zinc and Pneumonia study. Children had serum 25(OH)D concentrations measured. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to determine a vitamin D cut-off specific for our endpoints. Associations between serum 25(OH)D and underweight (defined as weight-for-age Z-score≤−1) and stunting (defined as height-for-age Z-score≤−2) were assessed using multivariate logistic regression.
Children residing in five low-SES peri-urban neighbourhoods near Quito, Ecuador.
Children (n 516) aged 6–36 months.
Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 58·0 (sd 17·7) nmol/l. Sensitivity analysis revealed an undernutrition-specific 25(OH)D cut-off of <42·5 nmol/l; 18·6 % of children had serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l. Children who were underweight were more likely to have serum 25(OH)D<42·5 nmol/l (adjusted OR (aOR)=2·0; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·3). Children with low serum 25(OH)D levels were more likely to be stunted (aOR=2·8; 95 % CI 1·6, 4·7).
Low serum 25(OH)D levels were more common in underweight and stunted Ecuadorian children.
Animal models of early postnatal mother–infant interactions have highlighted the importance of tactile contact for biobehavioral outcomes via the modification of DNA methylation (DNAm). The role of normative variation in contact in early human development has yet to be explored. In an effort to translate the animal work on tactile contact to humans, we applied a naturalistic daily diary strategy to assess the link between maternal contact with infants and epigenetic signatures in children 4–5 years later, with respect to multiple levels of child-level factors, including genetic variation and infant distress. We first investigated DNAm at four candidate genes: the glucocorticoid receptor gene, nuclear receptor subfamily 3, group C, member 1 (NR3C1), μ-opioid receptor M1 (OPRM1) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR; related to the neurobiology of social bonds), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; involved in postnatal plasticity). Although no candidate gene DNAm sites significantly associated with early postnatal contact, when we next examined DNAm across the genome, differentially methylated regions were identified between high and low contact groups. Using a different application of epigenomic information, we also quantified epigenetic age, and report that for infants who received low contact from caregivers, greater infant distress was associated with younger epigenetic age. These results suggested that early postnatal contact has lasting associations with child biology.
Do women vote for women and men for men? Do visible minorities vote for minority candidates, and white voters for white candidates? And what happens when a minority woman appears on the ballot? This study tests for the presence of gender and ethnic affinity voting in the Toronto mayoral election of 2014, where Olivia Chow was the only woman and only visible minority candidate among the three major contenders. Our analysis, which draws on a survey of eligible Toronto voters, is the first to examine the interactive effects of sex and ethnicity on vote choice in Canada in the context of a non-partisan election and in a non-experimental manner. We find strong evidence of ethnic affinity voting and show that Chow received stronger support from ethnic Chinese voters than from other minority groups. Our results also reveal that gender was related to vote choice but only when connected with race.
Voting behaviour in municipal elections is understudied in Canada. Existing research is limited by the type of data (aggregate instead of individual-level) and the cases evaluated (partisan when most contests are non-partisan). The objective of this study is to contribute to this literature by using individual-level data about a non-partisan election. To do so, we use data from the Toronto Election Study, conducted during the 2014 election. Our research goals are to evaluate whether a standard approach to understanding vote choice (the multi-stage explanatory model) is applicable in a non-partisan, municipal-level contest, and to determine the correlates of vote choice in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election in particular. Our analysis reveals that, although it was a formally non-partisan contest, voters tended to view the mayoral candidates in both ideological and partisan terms. We also find that a standard vote choice model provides valuable insight into voter preferences at the municipal level.
Prevalence of blaKPC-encoding Enterobacteriaceae (KPC) in Chicago long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) rose rapidly after the first recognition in 2007. We studied the epidemiology and transmission capacity of KPC in LTACHs and the effect of patient cohorting.
Data were available from 4 Chicago LTACHs from June 2012 to June 2013 during a period of bundled interventions. These consisted of screening for KPC rectal carriage, daily chlorhexidine bathing, medical staff education, and 3 cohort strategies: a pure cohort (all KPC-positive patients on 1 floor), single rooms for KPC-positive patients, and a mixed cohort (all KPC-positive patients on 1 floor, supplemented with KPC-negative patients). A data-augmented Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method was used to model the transmission process.
Average prevalence of KPC colonization was 29.3%. On admission, 18% of patients were colonized; the sensitivity of the screening process was 81%. The per admission reproduction number was 0.40. The number of acquisitions per 1,000 patient days was lowest in LTACHs with a pure cohort ward or single rooms for colonized patients compared with mixed-cohort wards, but 95% credible intervals overlapped.
Prevalence of KPC in LTACHs is high, primarily due to high admission prevalence and the resultant impact of high colonization pressure on cross transmission. In this setting, with an intervention in place, patient-to-patient transmission is insufficient to maintain endemicity. Inclusion of a pure cohort or single rooms for KPC-positive patients in an intervention bundle seemed to limit transmission compared to use of a mixed cohort.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(10):1148–1154
To determine the prospective relationship between changes in sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake and central adiposity in older children.
Dietary intakes of children were obtained by 3 d food records at ages 10 and 13 years. Waist circumference (WC) and weight and height to determine BMI were measured at 10 and 13 years and total body fat mass (TBFM) at 13 years by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Analyses were conducted using multivariable linear regression. Reporting errors were measured and participants were categorized as under-, plausible and over-reporters of dietary intakes.
Community-based British cohort of children participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.
Among 2455 older children, increased SSB consumption from ages 10 to 13 years was associated with higher WC (standardized β=0·020, P=0·19), BMI (β=0·028, P=0·03) and TBFM (β=0·017, P=0·20) at 13 years. Effects were strengthened among plausible dietary reporters (n 1059): WC (β=0·097, P<0·001), BMI (β=0·074, P<0·001) and TBFM (β=0·065, P=0·003). The association between change in SSB and WC was weakened, but remained statistically significant after accounting for BMI (β=0·042, P=0·02) and TBFM (β=0·048, P=0·01).
Higher consumption of SSB from ages 10 to 13 years was associated with a larger WC at age 13 years independent of differences in total adiposity. Accounting for dietary reporting errors strengthened associations. Our findings further support recommendations to limit intakes of SSB to reduce excess weight gain in children and suggest that SSB have an additional deleterious effect on central adiposity.
The main objectives of our study were to explore reasons for seasonal influenza vaccine acceptance and declination in employees of a large integrated healthcare system and to identify underlying constructs that influence acceptance versus declination. Secondary objectives were to determine whether vaccine acceptance varied by hospital location and to identify facility-level measures that explained variability.
A national health promotion survey of employees was conducted that included items on vaccination in the 2009-2010 influenza season. The survey was administered with two other institutional surveys in a stratified fashion: approximately 40% of participating employees were randomly assigned to complete the health promotion survey.
National single-payer healthcare system with 152 hospitals.
Employees of the healthcare system in 2010 who responded to the survey.
Factor analysis was used to identify underlying constructs that influenced vaccine acceptance versus declination. Mean factor scores were examined in relation to demographic characteristics and occupation. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to determine whether vaccine acceptance varied by location and to identify facility-level measures that explained variability.
Four factors were identified related to vaccine declination and were labeled as (1) “don't care,” (2) “don't want,” (3) “don't believe,” and (4) “don't know.” Significant differences in mean factor scores existed by demographic characteristics and occupation. Vaccine acceptance varied by location, and vaccination rates in the previous year were an important facility-level predictor.
Results should guide interventions that tailor messages on the basis of particular reasons for declination. Occupation-specific and culturally appropriate messaging should be considered. Continued efforts will be taken to better understand how workplace context influences vaccine acceptance.
Despite the absence of artificial light pollution at Antarctic plateau sites such as Dome A, other factors such as airglow, aurorae and extended periods of twilight have the potential to adversely affect optical observations. We present a statistical analysis of the airglow and aurorae at Dome A using spectroscopic data from Nigel, an optical/near-IR spectrometer operating in the 300–850 nm range. The median auroral contribution to the B, V and R photometric bands is found to be 22.9, 23.4 and 23.0 mag arcsec−2 respectively. We are also able to quantify the amount of annual dark time available as a function of wavelength; on average twilight ends when the Sun reaches a zenith distance of 102.6°.
Electron and ion beams can be used to deposit thin films and etch surfaces using gas phase precursors. However, the generation of undesirable gas phase products and the diffusion of the reactive species beyond the region irradiated by the electron or ion beam can limit selectivity. Tn this paper, the feasibility of processing condensed precursors such as diborane, tri-methyl aluminum, ammonia and water at 78 K with low energy (100–1000 eV) electron and ion beams (Ar+, N2+ and H2+) ranging in current density from 50 nA to several μ a per cm2 is examined. It was found that boron, boron nitride and stoichiometric aluminum oxide films could be deposited from the condensed volatile species using charged particle beams and some of the physical and chemical aspects and limitations of this new technique are discussed.