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Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
Livestock farming is a traditional and important contributor to the rural economy in the hills and uplands of the UK. However, significant areas of the uplands have seen a decline in the condition of heath and mire habitats and the loss of dwarf shrubs as a result of over-grazing. Attempts to halt the decline and improve the condition of upland heath and mire habitats have been undertaken by the introduction of agri-environment schemes. In the main, such schemes rely on the reduction of sheep numbers. However, recent Defra funded research (LS1508) has indicated that this can result in dominance by competitive and/or unpalatable species such as purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea ) or mat-grass (Nardus stricta ), leading in time to a reduction in the physical and financial performance of the flock. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of cattle grazing on Nardus stricta dominated pasture on sheep and cattle performance. It is being carried out as part of a wider project to determine environmentally sustainable and economically viable grazing systems for heather moorland.
With increasing emphasis in the meat sector on better and more consistent quality, carcass leanness and conformation is now an important issue for sheep breeders. In 1999, only 47% of all carcasses in the UK met the target specifications for weight, fat and conformation (MLC, 2000), highlighting the potential for improvement. In the current stratified crossbreeding system, crossbred wether lambs are a by-product of the production of dam line ewes for the lowland sector. If their carcass quality is sufficient, they can give a valuable boost to the economics of the breeding programme. Genetic improvement of carcass quality in crossing sire breeds would benefit the crossbred wethers, as well as filter through to the terminal sire cross lambs produced by the crossbred ewes. This work aims to assess the influence of selection index and live conformation score of crossing sires (in this case Bluefaced Leicesters) on growth and carcass quality traits of their crossbred progeny, as a first step towards designing a genetic improvement programme for crossing sire sheep.
Sheep group breeding schemes have gained in popularity in recent years. The objectives of group breeding schemes are to improve desirable traits such as carcass conformation, weight and maternal ability whilst maintaining local type. However, if group breeding schemes were to work together then a larger genetic pool of performance recorded animals would be available to facilitate improvements. The objectives of this project were therefore twofold, 1.) was to improve traits such as weight and carcass conformation and 2.) to demonstrate the benefits of cooperative groups working together. In this project, group breeding schemes from North and Mid Wales have been working together with ram performance testing groups from North, South and Mid Wales to improve results from Welsh Mountain breeding schemes.
Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions may be at increased risk for pertussis. We conducted a retrospective administrative claims analysis to examine the incidence and economic burden of diagnosed pertussis among adolescents and adults in the USA with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. Patients aged ⩾11 years with diagnosed pertussis and pre-existing COPD (n = 343) or asthma (n = 1041) were matched 1:1 to patients with diagnosed pertussis but without COPD or asthma. Differences in all-cause costs (‘excess’ costs) during the 45-day and 3-month and 6-month periods before and after the pertussis index date were calculated; adjusted excess costs were estimated via multivariate regressions. The incidence of diagnosed pertussis was higher among patients with COPD or asthma than among matched patients. Compared with matched patients, patients with pertussis and pre-existing COPD or asthma accrued greater all-cause adjusted costs across study periods ($3694 and $1193 more, respectively, in the 45-day period; $4173 and $1301 more in the 3-month period; and $6154 and $1639 more in the 6-month period; all P < 0·0001). Patients with pre-existing COPD or asthma experience an increased economic burden after diagnosed pertussis and may especially benefit from targeted tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccination strategies.
Laboratory tasks to delineate anxiety disorder features are used to refine classification and inform our understanding of etiological mechanisms. The present study examines laboratory measures of response inhibition, specifically the inhibition of a pre-potent motor response, in clinical anxiety. Data on associations between anxiety and response inhibition remain inconsistent, perhaps because of dissociable effects of clinical anxiety and experimentally manipulated state anxiety. Few studies directly assess the independent and interacting effects of these two anxiety types (state v. disorder) on response inhibition. The current study accomplished this goal, by manipulating state anxiety in healthy and clinically anxious individuals while they complete a response inhibition task.
The study employs the threat-of-shock paradigm, one of the best-established manipulations for robustly increasing state anxiety. Participants included 82 adults (41 healthy; 41 patients with an anxiety disorder). A go/nogo task with highly frequent go trials was administered during alternating periods of safety and shock threat. Signal detection theory was used to quantify response bias and signal-detection sensitivity.
There were independent effects of anxiety and clinical anxiety on response inhibition. In both groups, heightened anxiety facilitated response inhibition, leading to reduced nogo commission errors. Compared with the healthy group, clinical anxiety was associated with excessive response inhibition and increased go omission errors in both the safe and threat conditions.
Response inhibition and its impact on go omission errors appear to be a promising behavioral marker of clinical anxiety. These results have implications for a dimensional view of clinical anxiety.
To determine the impact of total household decolonization with intranasal mupirocin and chlorhexidine gluconate body wash on recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection among subjects with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection.
Three-arm nonmasked randomized controlled trial.
Five academic medical centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Adults and children presenting to ambulatory care settings with community-onset MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection (ie, index cases) and their household members.
Enrolled households were randomized to 1 of 3 intervention groups: (1) education on routine hygiene measures, (2) education plus decolonization without reminders (intranasal mupirocin ointment twice daily for 7 days and chlorhexidine gluconate on the first and last day), or (3) education plus decolonization with reminders, where subjects received daily telephone call or text message reminders.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Owing to small numbers of recurrent infections, this analysis focused on time to clearance of colonization in the index case.
Of 223 households, 73 were randomized to education-only, 76 to decolonization without reminders, 74 to decolonization with reminders. There was no significant difference in time to clearance of colonization between the education-only and decolonization groups (log-rank P=.768). In secondary analyses, compliance with decolonization was associated with decreased time to clearance (P=.018).
Total household decolonization did not result in decreased time to clearance of MRSA colonization among adults and children with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection. However, subjects who were compliant with the protocol had more rapid clearance
The technology leading to very large aperture telescopes and their optics has progressed well in the period since 1984 and plans for many new large aperture telescopes have been made. Focal plane instrumentation continues to become more sophisticated or more efficient: multi-object capabilities, automatic instrument control and operation, and increasing use of CCDs are examples of areas to which this applies. The proportion of time devoted to observations using two-dimensional photoelectronic detectors has grown substantially at many observatories, particularly with telescopes of moderate aperture; and the use of high quantum efficiency array detectors is now being extended into the infrared spectral region. Important advances have also been made in instrumentation and techniques for ground-based high angular resolution interferometry.
A radiochemical 71Ga−71 Ge experiment to determine the integral flux of neutrinos from the sun has been constructed at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the USSR. Measurements have begun with 30 tonnes of gallium. The experiment is being expanded with the addition of another 30 tonnes. The motivation, experimental procedures, and present status of this experiment are presented.
To identify risk factors for recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization.
Prospective cohort study conducted from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012.
Five adult and pediatric academic medical centers.
Subjects (ie, index cases) who presented with acute community-onset MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection.
Index cases and all household members performed self-sampling for MRSA colonization every 2 weeks for 6 months. Clearance of colonization was defined as 2 consecutive sampling periods with negative surveillance cultures. Recurrent colonization was defined as any positive MRSA surveillance culture after clearance. Index cases with recurrent MRSA colonization were compared with those without recurrence on the basis of antibiotic exposure, household demographic characteristics, and presence of MRSA colonization in household members.
The study cohort comprised 195 index cases; recurrent MRSA colonization occurred in 85 (43.6%). Median time to recurrence was 53 days (interquartile range, 36–84 days). Treatment with clindamycin was associated with lower risk of recurrence (odds ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29–0.93). Higher percentage of household members younger than 18 was associated with increased risk of recurrence (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00–1.02). The association between MRSA colonization in household members and recurrent colonization in index cases did not reach statistical significance in primary analyses.
A large proportion of patients initially presenting with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection will have recurrent colonization after clearance. The reduced rate of recurrent colonization associated with clindamycin may indicate a unique role for this antibiotic in the treatment of such infection.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(7):786–793
Thin films of AlxGa1−xN (0.05 ≤ x ≤ 0.96) having smooth surfaces were deposited directly on both vicinal and on-axis 6H-SiC(0001) substrates. Cross-sectional TEM of Al0.13Ga0.87N revealed stacking faults near the SiC/Nitride alloy interface and numerous threading dislocations. EDX, AES and RBS were used to determine the compositions, which were paired with their respective CL near band-edge emission energies. A negative bowing parameter was determined. The CL emission energies were similar to the bandgap energies obtained by SE. FE-AES of the initial growth of Al0.2Ga0.8N revealed an aluminum rich layer near the interface. N-type (silicon) doping was achieved for AlxGa1−xN for 0.12 ≤ x ≤ 0.42. Al0.2Ga0.8N/GaN superlattices were fabricated with coherent interfaces. Additionally, HEMT structures using an AlN/GaN/AlN buffer structure were fabricated.
Background: There is suggestion that self-reported depressive syndromes can independently manifest in the general population as cognitive/affective or somatic/vegetative. The Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd edition (BDI-II), a self-report measure of depressive symptoms, has been shown to support this two-factor structure. However, this finding has not been examined in an older adult sample with cognitive impairment. In order to determine whether older adults with cognitive impairments exhibit similarly independent cognitive/affective and somatic/vegetative depressive syndromes, we explored the factor structure of the BDI-II in this population.
Methods: Participants were 228 older adults (mean age = 74, SD = 7.9) diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI; n = 137) or early Alzheimer's disease (n = 85), who completed the BDI-II as part of an outpatient neuropsychological evaluation. Exploratory principal component factor analysis with direct Oblimin rotation was conducted, and a two-factor solution was specified based on our theoretical conceptualization of the cognitive/affective and somatic/vegetative items from the scale.
Results: The first factor represented cognitive/affective symptoms of depression (e.g. self-dislike, pessimism, worthlessness), and accounted for 36% of the variance. Adding the second factor, reflecting somatic/vegetative items (e.g. sleep and appetite changes, loss of energy), accounted for an additional 6.8% of the variance.
Conclusion: Results supported the presence of two distinct depressive syndromes, cognitive/affective and somatic/vegetative symptoms. Thus, cognitively impaired older adults report mood symptoms relatively similarly to younger and midlife adults. This supports the validity of self-reported mood in this group, and the results may have implications for psychiatric treatment in this population.
Previous studies on the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and psychological morbidity are conflicting. To resolve this confusing picture we examined the hypothesis that there is a non-linear relationship between panic and systolic BP (SBP) and explored the association of generalized anxiety symptoms with SBP.
We used data from the population-based Nord-Trøndelag health study (HUNT) in which all 92 936 individuals aged ⩾20 years residing in one Norwegian county were invited to participate. Panic was assessed using one item from the anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and generalized anxiety with the remaining six items of this subscale. SBP was the mean of two measurements by an automatic device.
A total of 64 871 respondents had SBP recorded (70%). Both unadjusted (n=61 408) and adjusted analyses provided evidence for a non-linear relationship between panic and SBP, represented by a U-shaped curve with a minimum prevalence of panic at around 140 mmHg. The relationship was strengthened after adjustment for confounders, with the quadratic term significantly associated with panic (p=0.03). Generalized anxiety symptoms were associated only with low SBP.
The U-shaped relationship between SBP and panic provides a unifying explanation for the separate strands of published literature in this area. The results support the hypothesis that high BP and panic disorder could share brainstem autonomic and serotonergic abnormalities. By contrast, generalized anxiety symptoms were more common only at lower BPs, suggesting that any biological link between panic and high BP does not extend to generalized anxiety.
The domestic dog is the reservoir host of Leishmania infantum, the causative agent of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis endemic in Mediterranean Europe. Targeted control requires predictive risk maps of canine leishmaniasis (CanL), which are now explored. We databased 2187 published and unpublished surveys of CanL in southern Europe. A total of 947 western surveys met inclusion criteria for analysis, including serological identification of infection (504, 369 dogs tested 1971–2006). Seroprevalence was 23 2% overall (median 10%). Logistic regression models within a GIS framework identified the main environmental predictors of CanL seroprevalence in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy, or in France alone. A 10-fold cross-validation approach determined model capacity to predict point-values of seroprevalence and the correct seroprevalence class (<5%, 5–20%, >20%). Both the four-country and France-only models performed reasonably well for predicting correctly the <5% and >20% seroprevalence classes (AUC >0 70). However, the France-only model performed much better for France than the four-country model. The four-country model adequately predicted regions of CanL emergence in northern Italy (<5% seroprevalence). Both models poorly predicted intermediate point seroprevalences (5–20%) within regional foci, because surveys were biased towards known rural foci and Mediterranean bioclimates. Our recommendations for standardizing surveys would permit higher-resolution risk mapping.
We report the chemical synthesis of Fe-core/Au-shell nanoparticles (Fe/Au) by a reverse micelle method, and the investigation of their growth mechanisms and oxidation-resistant characteristics. The core-shell structure and the presence of the Fe and Au phases have been confirmed by transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and inductively coupled plasma techniques. Additionally, atomic-resolution Z-contrast imaging and electron energy loss spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscope have been used to study details of the growth processes. The Au-shells grow by nucleating on the Fe-core surfaces before coalescing. First-order reversal curves, along with the major hysteresis loops of the Fe/Au nanoparticles have been measured as a function of time in order to investigate the evolution of their magnetic properties. The magnetic moments of such nanoparticles, in the loose powder form, decrease over time due to oxidation. The less than ideal oxidation-resistance of the Au shell may have been caused by the rough Au surfaces. In a small fraction of the particles, off-centered Fe cores have been observed, which are more susceptible to oxidation. However, in the pressed pellet form, electrical transport measurements show that the particles are fairly stable, as the resistance and magnetoresistance of the pellet do not change appreciably over time. Our results demonstrate the complexity involved in the synthesis and properties of these heterostructured nanoparticles.
Diamond-like Carbon(DLC) films have been deposited at Los alamos National Laboratory by pulsed ion beam ablation of graphite targets. the targets are illuminated by an intense beam of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen ions at a fluence of 15-45 J/cm2. Ion energies are on the order of 350 keV, with beam current rising to 35 kA over a 400 ns ion current pulse.
Raman spectra of the deposited films indicate an increasing ratio of sp3 to sp2 bonding as the substrate is moved further away from the target and further off the target normal. Using a thin film platinum resistor at various positions, we have measured the heating of the substrate surface due to the kinetic energy and heat of condensation of the ablated material. Plume power density and energy input are inferred from the temperature measurements. This information is used to determine if substrate heating is responsible for the lack of DLC in positions close to the target and near the target normal.
We have developed a technology for 2D matrix-addressed image sensors using amorphous silicon photodiodes and thin film transistors. We have built a small prototype, having 192×192 pixels with a 20μm pixel pitch, and assessed its performance. The nip photodiodes can have dark current densities of less than 1011 A.cm-2 (up to 5V reverse bias) and peak quantum efficiencies of 88% (at 580nm). We operated the sensor in real time mode at high speed (50 Hz frame rate and 64μS line time). The image sensor has a low noise performance giving a dynamic range in excess of 104. The maximum crosstalk is about 2%, which allows at least 50 grey levels. The bottom contact of the photodiode acts as a light shield from light through the substrate, which enables the sensor to be operated as an intimate contact image sensor to image a document placed directly on top of the array. In this mode, the CTF was 75% at 2 lp.mm1. Good quality images are demonstrated in both front projection and intimate contact imaging modes.