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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Before weaning, breast milk is the physiological form of neonatal nutrition, providing pups with all nutrient requirements. Maternal low-protein diet (LPD) during pregnancy and lactation induces adverse changes in key maternal organs, which have negative effects on pup development. We studied the effects of maternal LPD on liver weight, mammary gland (MG) cell differentiation, milk composition and production and pup development throughout lactation. We fed rats with control (C) or LPD (R) during pregnancy and lactation. At 7 d early, 14 d mid and 21 d late lactation stages, maternal biochemical parameters, body, liver and MG weights were analysed. MG cell differentiation was analysed by haematoxylin and eosin staining; milk nutrient composition and production were studied; pup body, liver and brain weights, hippocampal arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA were quantified. Results showed lower body and liver weights, minor MG cell differentiation and lower serum insulin and TAG in R compared with C. R milk contained less protein and higher AA at early and mid stages compared with C. R pup milk and fat intake were lower at all stages. R protein intake at early and mid stages and DHA intake at mid and late stages were lower compared with C. In R pups, lower body, liver and brain weights were associated with decreased hippocampal AA and DHA. We conclude that maternal LPD impairs liver and MG function and induces significant changes in maternal milk composition, pup milk intake and organ development.
Ceramic–metal composites are an important group of materials that have gained interest recently because of their peculiar properties. There have been numerous studies on the reinforcement of alumina through the incorporation of various ductile metals in it. However, these studies have been limited to determining the effect of the addition of metals on the mechanical properties of ceramics, without determining the effect of these metal additions on other physical properties of the resulting composite. In this way, in agreement with the obtained results, we have that because of the conductive nature of metals, there is a considerable decrease in the electrical resistivity of alumina, mainly when copper is added to it. However, in terms of optical performance, alumina matrix composites showed significant changes in absorbance in the visible spectra. The addition of iron, titanium, and yttrium enhanced the absorbance of alumina, whereas manganese addition significantly decreased the optical absorption.
Advancements in computer technology have enabled three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, data-stitching, and manipulation of 3D data obtained on X-ray imaging systems such as micro-computed tomography (μ-CT). Likewise, intuitive evaluation of these 3D datasets can be enhanced by recent advances in virtual reality (VR) hardware and software. Additionally, the generation, viewing, and manipulation of 3D X-ray diffraction datasets, such as pole figures employed for texture analysis, can also benefit from these advanced visualization techniques. We present newly-developed protocols for porting 3D data (as TIFF-stacks) into a Unity gaming software platform so that data may be toured, manipulated, and evaluated within a more-intuitive VR environment through the use of game-like controls and 3D headsets. We demonstrate this capability by rendering μ-CT data of a polymer dogbone test bar at various stages of in situ mechanical strain. An additional experiment is presented showing 3D XRD data collected on an aluminum test block with vias. These 3D XRD data for texture analysis (χ, ϕ, 2θ dimensions) enables the viewer to visually inspect 3D pole figures and detect the presence or absence of in-plane residual macrostrain. These two examples serve to illustrate the benefits of this new methodology for multidimensional analysis.
High-temperature X-ray diffraction with concurrent gas chromatography (GC) was employed in the study of iron disulfide (FeS2) cathode pellets disassembled from thermal batteries. When FeS2 cathode materials were analyzed in an air environment, reaction of the KCl and LiCl salt phases led to the formation of Li2(SO4) and KFe2S3 phases beginning at ~230 °C. These phases subsequently reacted to generate various forms of potassium iron sulfates in the 280–500 °C range, with the final products resulting in a β-Fe2O3 phase and K2(SO4). Independent simultaneous thermal analysis coupled with mass spectroscopy (MS) augmented the diffraction results and supported the overall picture of FeS2 decomposition. Both gas analysis measurements (i.e. GC and MS) from the independent experiments confirmed the formation of SO2 off-gas species during the breakdown of the FeS2. In contrast, characterization of the same cathode material under inert conditions showed the persistence of the initial FeS2 phase throughout the entire temperature range of analysis.
Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
The aim of this study was the construction and validation of a novel research instrument to quantify the degree of post-hurricane trauma and distress in an affected population. The Post-Hurricane Distress Scale (PHDS) has quantitative measures of both acute and prolonged distress, attributable to meteorological and hydrological disasters.
A careful evaluation of existing questionnaires, as well as extensive canvasing of the post-Maria population of Puerto Rico, availed the construction of the PHDS. The PHDS consists of 20 items, organized into 4 subscales. The PHDS was pre-validated (n=79), revised, and then distributed to a broad sampling of the post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rican population (n=597). Validation, including factor analysis, analyses of concurrent validity, discriminant validity, and internal reliability, was performed.
After comparing various scales, factor loading profiles, concurrent validities, and models of fit, we show that the PHDS is best scored as a single 0–6 distress scale. When compared with the Traumatic Exposure Severity Scale, the PHDS shows superior concurrent validity, more accurately predicting scores for the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, Impact of Event Scale – Revised, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 Scale. The PHDS shows good internal reliability and discriminant validity.
The PHDS represents a novel, useful instrument for disaster first-responders and researchers. The prompt identification of high-risk populations is possible using this instrument. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:82-89)
In dairy goats, the kid rearing system can have critical importance in financial returns. Commonly used criteria for the choice of rearing system are not always clear due to the high number of factors involved. The aim of this study was to quantify all those factors to facilitate decision making. So, the effect of two different kid rearing systems, mixed rearing system (MRS) and artificial rearing system (ARS), on milk yield, milk composition and somatic cell count (SCC), milk yield loss at weaning for MRS, kid growth and costs of the different traits on the financial returns in Murciano-Granadina breed goats was studied. Twenty-four goats per group were used. In the MRS, goats reared only one kid, which had free access to goat milk 24 h a day and were weaned at week 6 of lactation, whereas kids in the ARS were separated from their mothers at kidding, colostrum and artificially reared. In both systems, dams were machine-milked once a day throughout lactation and the records took place weekly. Potential milk yield was estimated according to the oxytocin method up to week 12 of lactation, and was similar for both rearing systems, although a 12.3% drop in potential milk yield at weaning was observed for MRS. During the first 6 weeks of lactation, marketable milk was lower for dams in MRS compared to those in ARS (72.1 v. 113.0 l), but similar for the rest of the experiment (101.5 v. 99.4 l, respectively). Marketable milk composition and SCC throughout the 12 weeks of lactation were unaffected by the rearing system. Artificial rearing system entailed an increment in production cost of 22.2€ per kid compared to the rearing by MRS. A similar economic return per goat and kid was obtained from ARS and MRS in this experiment, although, due to one herd’s prolificacy of 1.8, the actual results would be 16.2€ per goat in favour of MRS. The real interest of this experiment may be the possibility of extrapolation to different flocks with diverse levels of milk production, prolificacy and prices and costs for incomes and outputs, to estimate the production system that increases returns. In conclusion, the results showed an increase in the cost of €22.2 per kid bred in the ARS, compared to the MRS, and a final return of 16.2€ per goat in favour of the mixed system.
This review presents mechanistic studies performed in vitro and in animal models, as well as data obtained in patients that contribute to a better understanding of the impact of nutrients interacting with the gut microbiota on metabolic and behavioural alterations linked to obesity. The gut microbiota composition and function are altered in several pathological conditions including obesity and related diseases i.e. non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). The gut–liver axis is clearly influenced by alterations of the gut barrier that drives inflammation. In addition, recent papers propose that specific metabolites issued from the metabolic cooperation between the gut microbes and host enzymes, modulate inflammation and gene expression in the liver. This review illustrates how dietary intervention with prebiotics or probiotics influences host energy metabolism and inflammation. Indeed, intervention studies are currently underway in obese and NAFLD patients to unravel the relevance of the changes in gut microbiota composition in the management of metabolic and behavioural disorders by nutrients interacting with the gut microbiota. In conclusion, diet is among the main triggers of NAFLD and the gut microbiota is modified accordingly, underlining the importance of the concomitant study of the nutrients and microbial impact on liver health and metabolism, in order to propose innovative, clinically relevant, therapeutic approaches.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
This paper presents a fully-integrated direct-conversion fundamentally-operated mixer-first quadrature receiver module with a tunable LO in the 219–266 GHz band. It has been implemented in a 0.13-μm SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistor technology. It includes an on-chip LO path driven externally from the printed circuit board (PCB) connector level at 13.6–16.7 GHz. A hybrid coupler generates the quadrature LO signal, which drives a pair of double-balanced fundamentally-operated down-conversion mixers, whose RF ports are connected to a wideband lens-integrated on-chip ring antenna. The chip-on-lens assembly is placed in the recess of a high-speed PCB and wire-bonded. To compensate the inductive behavior of the wire-bond interconnection between the chip and the PCB at the high-speed IF outputs, an on-board 8-section step-impedance low-pass filter has been implemented. The module shows a 47 GHz 3-dB radio frequency/local oscillator operation bandwidth (BW), a peak conversion gain of 7.8 dB, a single-side-band noise figure of 11.3 dB, and a 3-dB IF BW of 13 GHz. The in-phase and quadrature amplitude imbalance stays below 1.58 dB for the 210–280 GHz band. The down-conversion and the baseband stages consume together 75.5 mW, while the LO path 378 mW. The maximum data-rate achieved with this receiver in combination with the transmitter presented in [1–3] is 60 Gbps for quadrature phase shift keying modulation.
Introduction: Each year about two thirds of U.S. smokers make a quit attempt. Yet, less than 5% remain abstinent three months post-quit date. One factor that may affect abstinence is negative feelings about the self-associated with being a smoker (disequilibrium), particularly if smoking is important to the sense of self and one is trying to quit.
Aims: We evaluated a multivariate structural equation model proposing that smoking's subjective importance to a smoker would influence carbon monoxide verified smoking abstinence at 24 weeks (post-quit date). Further, we assessed whether the relation would be moderated by the smoker's experience of disequilibrium.
Methods: Participants were 440 regular smokers taking part in a clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of different durations of nicotine replacement therapy use. Participants completed the subjective importance of smoking survey at baseline and were assessed for carbon monoxide verified seven-day point prevalence abstinence at 24 weeks
Results: Using exploratory structural equation modelling, the subjective importance of smoking was associated with point prevalence abstinence at 24 weeks, but only for smokers with high disequilibrium.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that experiencing negative feelings about being a smoker could motivate smokers to remain abstinent, despite the importance of smoking to the smoker's sense of self.
This work attempts to confirm the effect of an enriched diet with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) trying to mitigate the reproductive performances issues such as low conception rate of primiparous rabbits. A total of 127 does were fed ad libitum throughout their two first cycles with two diets with different fat sources: mixed fat in the control and salmon oil in the enriched one, with 3.19 g/100 g (n=63 does) and 28.77 g/100 g (n=64 does) of n-3 of the total fatty acid, respectively. Feed intake was similar between groups (P>0.05). Plasma progesterone concentration was higher in the enriched females than in control ones at 7 (30.9±2.18 v. 23.9±2.30 ng/ml, respectively; P=0.029) and 14 (38.7±2.18 v. 28.2±2.30 ng/ml, respectively; P=0.001) days of first gestation. Considering both cycles, reproductive parameters of mothers (fertility, duration of gestation and prolificacy) and litter parameters (weight at parturition and weaning, mortality and average daily gain (ADG) of kits during lactation) were similar in both groups. However, individual measurements of neonates of enriched group improved 5.87%, 7.10% and 18.01% (P<0.05) in terms of crown-rump length, biparietal and thoracic diameters, respectively, compared to control ones at first parturition. It is noteworthy that at the second insemination, critical point in rabbit, fertility rate of enriched group did not decline as sharply as in the control group (89.7% v. 76.6%, respectively; P=0.067), although ADG and littler weight were slightly lower at the second lactation after PUFA enrichment (P<0.05). Total PUFA and unsaturated index of milk of enriched does group were significantly elevated than in control one (33.3±0.02 v. 23.2±0.02 g/100 g and 1.20±0.00 v. 0.86±0.00, respectively; P<0.05). Finally, plasma progesterone, ovulation rate, fertility and embryo development at 3.5 days after the artificial insemination were similar between diets (P>0.05), but embryo apoptosis rate was higher in control group than in enriched one (31.1±4.56% v. 17.1±3.87%, respectively; P<0.05). In conclusion, dietary PUFA enrichment from the rearing and throughout two productive cycles improved plasma progesterone during pregnancy, fertility, milk fatty acid profile and neonates development of primiparous supporting the beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation in rabbit does.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.
Bovine embryos produced in vivo and in vitro differ with respect to molecular profiles, including epigenetic marks and gene expression profiles. This study investigated the CpG methylation status in bovine testis satellite I (BTS) and Bos taurus alpha satellite I (BTαS) DNA sequences, and concomitantly the relative abundance of transcripts, critically involved in DNA methylation (DNMT1 and DNMT3A), growth and development (IGF2R) and pluripotency (POU5F1) in Bos indicus embryos produced in vitro or in vivo. Results revealed that methylation of BTS were higher (P < 0.05) in embryos produced in vitro compared with their in vivo produced counterparts, while the methylation status of BTαS was similar in both groups. There were no significant differences in transcript abundance for DNMT3A, IGF2R and POU5F1 between blastocysts produced in vivo and in vitro. However, a significantly lower amount of DNMT1 transcripts was found in the in vitro cultured embryos (P < 0.05) compared with their in vivo derived counterparts. In conclusion, this study reported only minor changes in the expression of developmentally important genes and satellite DNA methylation related to the in vitro embryo production system.
The crayfish plague agent, Aphanomyces astaci, has spread throughout Europe, causing a significant decline in native European crayfish. The introduction and dissemination of this pathogen is attributed to the spread of invasive North American crayfish, which can act as carriers for A. astaci. As native European crayfish often succumb to infection with A. astaci, determining the prevalence of this pathogen in non-native crayfish is vital to prioritize native crayfish populations for managed translocation. In the current study, 23 populations of invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) from the UK were tested for A. astaci presence using quantitative PCR. Altogether, 13 out of 23 (56·5%) populations were found to be infected, and pathogen prevalence within infected sites varied from 3 to 80%. Microsatellite pathogen genotyping revealed that at least one UK signal crayfish population was infected with the A. astaci genotype group B, known to include virulent strains. Based on recent crayfish distribution records and the average rate of signal crayfish population dispersal, we identified one native white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) population predicted to come into contact with infected signal crayfish within 5 years. This population should be considered as a priority for translocation.