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Current methods of control recruitment for case-control studies can be slow (a particular issue for outbreak investigations), resource-intensive and subject to a range of biases. Commercial market panels are a potential source of rapidly recruited controls. Our study evaluated food exposure data from these panel controls, compared with an established reference dataset. Market panel data were collected from two companies using retrospective internet-based surveys; these were compared with reference data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). We used logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios to compare exposure to each of the 71 food items between the market panel and NDNS participants. We compared 2103 panel controls with 2696 reference participants. Adjusted for socio-demographic factors, exposure to 90% of foods was statistically different between both panels and the reference data. However, these differences were likely to be of limited practical importance for 89% of Panel A foods and 79% of Panel B foods. Market panel food exposures were comparable with reference data for common food exposures but more likely to be different for uncommon exposures. This approach should be considered for outbreak investigation, in conjunction with other considerations such as population at risk, timeliness of response and study resources.
Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
Cyg X-3 underwent a series of giant radio outbursts beginning on September 28, 1982 (Geldzahler et al. 1983). The flux densities at 2.7 and 8.1 GHz (11.1, 3.71 cm respectively, see Figure 1) were measured with the 2.4 km baseline of the Green Bank interferometer once every three days before October 5, 1982 (= JD 244 5248) and three times daily thereafter.
In Table I we present the list of 38 celestial objects that have been observed since January 1978 at 2.7 and 8.1 GHz with the Green Bank interferometer. The sources fall naturally into three categories: radio stars, possibly Galactic sources, and extragalactic sources. SS433, Cyg X-3, and each extrgalactic source is measured several times per day while the other sources are measured once every three days. Reports on the entire program will be found in Geldzahler et al. (1983a), and on specific sources: SS433—Johnston et al. (1983a), BL Lac—Johnston et al. (1983b), Cyg X-3—Geldzahler et al. (1983b) and elsewhere in this volume), and CTA 26—Spencer et al. (1983).
Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
This report will try to review briefly the work achieved from 1982 to 1984 in different “subjects to be considered by Commission 31 Time” as adopted in Grenoble 1976. It contains also information provided by Commission members, for which hearty thanks are to be given. The limitation of space required the abbrevation of some institution reports.
Water supply-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks have decreased in England since the application of risk reduction measures to public water supplies. We hypothesized that smaller outbreaks were occurring which could be better detected by enhanced surveillance. Rolling analysis of detailed questionnaire data was applied prospectively in a population of 2·2 million in the south of England in 2009 and 2010. Detection of spatiotemporal clusters using SaTScan was later undertaken retrospectively. Together these approaches identified eight outbreaks, compared to an expectation of less than one based on national surveillance data. These outbreaks were small and associated with swimming pool use or, less commonly, direct (e.g. petting-farm) contact with animals. These findings suggest that frequent small-scale transmission in swimming pools is an important contributor to disease burden. Identification of swimming pool-level risk factors may inform preventative measures. These findings and the approaches described may be applicable to many other populations and to some other diseases.
We sought to explain seasonality and other aspects of Campylobacter jejuni epidemiology by integrating population genetic and epidemiological analysis in a large 3-year longitudinal, two-centre, population-based study. Epidemiological information was collected for 1505 isolates, which were multilocus sequence-typed. Analyses compared pathogen population structure between areas, over time, and between clinical presentations. Pooled analysis was performed with published international datasets. Subtype association with virulence was not observed. UK sites had nearly identical C. jejuni populations. A clade formed by ST45 and ST283 clonal complexes showed a summer peak. This clade was common in a Finnish dataset but not in New Zealand and Australian collections, countries with less marked seasonality. The UK, New Zealand and Australian collections were otherwise similar. These findings map to known in-vitro differences of this clade. This identifies a target for studies to elucidate the drivers of the summer peak in human C. jejuni infection.
The goal of the division is to address the scientific issues that were developed at the 2009 IAU General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro. These are:
—Gaussian gravitational constant, Astronomical Unit, GMSun, geodesic precession-nutation
•Solar System Ephemerides
—Comparison of dynamical reference frames
•Future Optical Reference Frame
•Future Radio Reference Frame
•Predictions of Earth orientation
•Units of measurements for astronomical quantities in relativistic context
•Astronomical units in the relativistic framework
•Time-dependent ecliptic in the GCRS
•Review of space missions
•Detection of gravitational waves
•VLBI on the Moon
•Real time electronic access to UT1-UTC
In pursuit of these goals Division I members have made significant scientific and organizational progress, and are organizing a Joint Discussion on Space-Time Reference Systems for Future Research at the 2012 IAU General Assembly. The details of Division activities and references are provided in the individual Commission and Working Group reports in this volume. A comprehensive list of references related to the work of the Division is available at the IAU Division I website at http://maia.usno.navy.mil/iaudiv1/.
A pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 outbreak in a summer school affected 117/276 (42%) students. Residential social contact was associated with risk of infection, and there was no evidence for transmission associated with the classroom setting. Although the summer school had new admissions each week, which provided susceptible students the outbreak was controlled using routine infection control measures (isolation of cases, basic hygiene measures and avoidance of particularly high-risk social events) and prompt treatment of cases. This was in the absence of chemoprophylaxis or vaccination and without altering the basic educational activities of the school. Modelling of the outbreak allowed estimation of the impact of interventions on transmission. These models and follow-up surveillance supported the effectiveness of routine infection control measures to stop the spread of influenza even in this high-risk setting for transmission.
Single walled carbon nanotubes are shown to interact with a conjugated polymer in a periodic manner. Here this interaction is probed using electron microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy optical and vibrational spectroscopy. The spectroscopic behaviour of the polymer is seen to be dramatically affected, which is attributed to conformational changes due to the effect of the nanotubes.
Proton-induced X-ray emmision and proton-induced gamma-ray emission analyses have been used to determine the elemental content of four oil fly ash samples collected from the flue line of an oil-fired power plant. X-ray absorption spectroscopy was used to characterize the vanadium and nickel compounds present in the fly ash. Vanadium was present primarily as VOSO4·3H2O and nickel was present as a mixture of NiSO4 and NiO.
Fly ash and gasification ash have been evaluated economically for the following uses: partial replacement of Portland cement; mineral wool; blended cement; Sulfurcrete®, high flexural strength ceramic products; ash to upgrade roads; glazed ceramic wall tile; and unglazed floor tile. The ash evaluated is a high-calcium, high-sodium material derived from the Beulah-Zap lignite mined in the Beulah region of North Dakota. Of the uses examined, concrete replacement provided an 8.0% cost saving, blended cement 37.3%, high flexural strength ceramics 52.8%, ash in road construction 44.4%, and wall tile 5.2%. Mineral wool had no replacement savings calculated because blast furnace slag is not available locally to provide a consistent basis. Sulfurcrete® did not provide a cost saving over concrete but its use life and properties are sufficiently different from those of concrete to justify use in some applications, provided that the raw materials are readily available.
During the fourth servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the second set of solar arrays (SA-II) was replaced with a third set and the SA-II was brought back to Earth. A section of the retrieved SA-II solar array drive arm (SADA) multilayer insulation (MLI), which experienced 8.25 years of space exposure, was provided to NASA Glenn Research Center for environmental durability analyses of the top layer of silver-Teflon fluorinated ethylene propylene (Ag-FEP). Because the SADA MLI had solar and anti-solar facing surfaces and was exposed to the space environment for a long duration, it provided a unique opportunity to study solar effects on environmental degradation of Ag-FEP, a commonly used spacecraft thermal control material. Therefore, the objective of this research was to characterize the degradation of retrieved HST SADA Ag-FEP with particular emphasis on solar radiation effects. Data obtained included tensile properties, solar absorptance, surface morphology and chemistry. The solar facing surface of the SADA was found to be extremely embrittled and contained numerous through-thickness cracks. Tensile testing indicated that the solar facing surface lost 60% of its mechanical strength and 90% of its elasticity while the anti-solar facing surface had ductility similar to pristine FEP. The solar absorptance of both the solar facing surface (0.155 ± 0.032) and the anti-solar facing surface (0.208 ± 0.012) were found to be greater than pristine Ag-FEP (0.074). Solar facing and anti-solar facing surfaces were microscopically textured, and locations of isolated contamination were present on the anti-solar surface resulting in increased localized texturing. Yet, the overall texture was significantly more pronounced on the solar facing surface indicating a synergistic effect of combined solar exposure and increased heating with atomic oxygen erosion. The results indicate a very strong dependence of degradation, particularly embrittlement, upon solar exposure with orbital thermal cycling having a significant effect.
There were four 1.5-hour sessions of Division I business meetings during the XXVIIth IAU General Assembly. The first three were devoted to the reports of Commissions, Working Groups and services associated with the Division, discussion about plans for the next triennium and future structure of the Division. Scientific presentations on the future space astrometric mission Gaia were made at the fourth session.