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This research communication addresses the hypothesis that Southeast dairy producers' self-reported bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC) was associated with producers' response to three statements (1) ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is the worries it causes me,’ (2) ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is that cows suffer,’ and (3) ‘my broad goals include taking good care of my cows and heifers.’ Surveys were mailed to producers in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia (29% response rate, N = 596; final analysis N = 574), as part of a larger survey to assess Southeastern dairy producers' opinions related to BTSCC. Surveys contained 34 binomial (n = 9), Likert scale (n = 7), and descriptive (n = 18) statements targeted at producer self-assessment of herd records, management practices, and BTSCC. Statements 1 and 2 were assessed on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree.’ Statement 3 was assessed on a 5-point Likert scale from ‘very unimportant’ to ‘very important.’ Reported mean BTSCC for all participants was 254 500 cells/ml. Separate univariable logistic regressions using generalized linear mixed models (SAS 9.4, Cary, NC, USA) with a random effect of farm, were performed to determine if BTSCC was associated with probability for a producer's response to statements. If BTSCC was significant, forward manual addition was performed until no additional variables were significant (P ≤ 0.05), but included BTSCC, regardless of significance. Bulk tank somatic cell count was associated with ‘a troublesome thing about mastitis is the worries it causes me,’ but not with Statements 2 or 3. This demonstrates that >75% of Southeastern dairy producers are concerned with animal care and cow suffering, regardless of BTSCC. Understanding Southeast producers' emphasis on cow care is necessary to create targeted management tools for herds with elevated BTSCC.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
Certain ways of responding to psychotic experiences (PEs) appear more commonly associated with clinical distress (e.g. avoidance) and other ways with benign or positive outcomes (e.g. reappraisal and acceptance). Past research has largely been limited to retrospective self-report. We aimed to compare clinical and non-clinical individuals on experimental analogues of anomalous experiences.
Response styles of two groups with persistent PEs (clinical n = 84; non-clinical n = 92) and a control group without PEs (n = 83) were compared following experimental analogues of thought interference (Cards Task, Telepath) and hearing voices (Virtual Acoustic Space Paradigm).
The non-clinical group with PEs were less likely to endorse unhelpful response styles, such as passive responding or attempts to avoid, suppress, worry about or control mental experiences, compared with the clinical group on all three tasks. The clinical group were more likely to endorse unhelpful response styles compared with controls on two out of three tasks (Cards Task and Telepath). The non-clinical group performed similarly to controls on unhelpful responding across all tasks. There were no group differences for helpful response styles, such as cognitive reappraisal or mindful acceptance of experiences.
In line with cognitive models of psychosis, the findings suggest that the way in which individuals respond to unusual experiences may be an important factor in understanding clinical distress, supporting the therapeutic rationale of targeting potentially unhelpful patterns of response.
We describe diet quality by demographic factors and weight status among Barbadian children and examine associations with excess energy intake (EI). A screening tool for the identification of children at risk of excess EI was developed.
In a cross-sectional survey, the Diet Quality Index–International (DQI-I) was used to assess dietary intakes from repeat 24h recalls among 362 children aged 9–10 years. Participants were selected by probability proportional to size. A model to identify excess energy intake from easily measured components of the DQI-I was developed.
Primary-school children in Barbados.
Over one-third of children were overweight/obese, and mean EI for boys (8644 (se 174·5) kJ/d (2066 (se 41·7) kcal/d)) and girls (8912 (se 169·9) kJ/d (2130 (se 40·6) kcal/d)) exceeded the RDA. Children consuming a variety of food groups, more vegetables and fruits, and lower percentage energy contribution from empty-calorie foods showed reduced likelihood of excess EI. Intake of more than 2400 mg Na/d and higher macronutrient and fatty acid ratios were positively related to the consumption of excess energy. A model using five DQI-I components (overall food group variety, variety for protein source, vegetables, fruits and empty calorie intake) had high sensitivity for identification of children at risk of excess EI.
Children’s diet quality, despite low intakes of fruit and vegetables, was within acceptable ranges as assessed by the DQI-I and RDA; however, portion size was large and EI high. A practical model for identification of children at risk of excess EI has been developed.
Radnor Lake State Natural Area in Nashville, TN, has cedar glades that contain the endangered perennial herb wild dill [Perideridia americana (Nutt. ex DC.) Rchb.] and the invasive shrub Amur honeysuckle [Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder]. This research examined whether L. maackii treatment in the Radnor Lake State Natural Area cedar glades is followed by an increase in P. americana plants. A grid of 60 adjacent 2 m by 4 m plots was placed in five cedar glades to encompass the P. americana population. With great care to protect P. americana, the annual treatment for L. maackii was to pull plants ≤1-m tall from the ground; and to cut stems >1-m tall and then treat the stumps with glyphosate. The t-tests of means for the log natural of the number of plants in the 60 plots (significance level of P-value = 0.05) were used to compare pretreatment L. maackii and P. americana counts with posttreatment counts in 2018 and P. americana counts at leaf out and flowering in 2018. The L. maackii population was significantly smaller (P-value < 0.001) in 2018 than pretreatment at all five sites. When pretreatment in 2014 and 2015 was compared with posttreatment in 2018 for the P. americana populations, the increases were significant at the Cheek, Harris 2, Hideaway, and Norfleet sites, but the increase at East Hall Farm was not significant. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) trampling was the explanation given for the decreases in P. americana from leaf out to flowering at all five sites in 2018. Browsing was evident only at Hideaway, which had a greater loss for P. americana from leaf out to flowering in 2018 than the combined losses for the Cheek, East Hall Farm, Harris 2, and Norfleet sites. The research informed the creation of adaptive management decisions regarding monitoring and treatment of the invasive species L. maackii for an endangered species.
We introduce a Bayesian approach to conduct inferential analyses on dyadic data while accounting for interdependencies between observations through a set of additive and multiplicative effects (AME). The AME model is built on a generalized linear modeling framework and is thus flexible enough to be applied to a variety of contexts. We contrast the AME model to two prominent approaches in the literature: the latent space model (LSM) and the exponential random graph model (ERGM). Relative to these approaches, we show that the AME approach is (a) to be easy to implement; (b) interpretable in a general linear model framework; (c) computationally straightforward; (d) not prone to degeneracy; (e) captures first-, second-, and third-order network dependencies; and (f) notably outperforms ERGMs and LSMs on a variety of metrics and in an out-of-sample context. In summary, AME offers a straightforward way to undertake nuanced, principled inferential network analysis for a wide range of social science questions.
This research aims to explore the submerged landscapes of the Pilbara of western Australia, using predictive archaeological modelling, airborne LiDAR, marine acoustics, coring and diver survey. It includes excavation and geophysical investigation of a submerged shell midden in Denmark to establish guidelines for the underwater discovery of such sites elsewhere.
Hearing voices can be a distressing and disabling experience for some, whilst it is a valued experience for others, so-called ‘healthy voice-hearers’. Cognitive models of psychosis highlight the role of memory, appraisal and cognitive biases in determining emotional and behavioural responses to voices. A memory bias potentially associated with distressing voices is the overgeneral memory bias (OGM), namely the tendency to recall a summary of events rather than specific occasions. It may limit access to autobiographical information that could be helpful in re-appraising distressing experiences, including voices.
We investigated the possible links between OGM and distressing voices in psychosis by comparing three groups: (1) clinical voice-hearers (N = 39), (2) non-clinical voice-hearers (N = 35) and (3) controls without voices (N = 77) on a standard version of the autobiographical memory test (AMT). Clinical and non-clinical voice-hearers also completed a newly adapted version of the task, designed to assess voices-related memories (vAMT).
As hypothesised, the clinical group displayed an OGM bias by retrieving fewer specific autobiographical memories on the AMT compared with both the non-clinical and control groups, who did not differ from each other. The clinical group also showed an OGM bias in recall of voice-related memories on the vAMT, compared with the non-clinical group.
Clinical voice-hearers display an OGM bias when compared with non-clinical voice-hearers on both general and voices-specific recall tasks. These findings have implications for the refinement and targeting of psychological interventions for psychosis.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
In the 1990s, a part of the North Korean economy underwent a process of marketization and de facto privatization. While largely spontaneous, this process was eerily reminiscent of developments in other post-Communist countries in Eastern Europe. One of the results was the emergence of a new entrepreneurial class, a nascent bourgeoisie. In order to overcome the obstacles that arose from the lack of any legal framework for their activities, they often chose to register their enterprises with state agencies, creating what we call Pseudo-state Enterprises (PSEs). Utilizing an agency theory approach, with particular emphasis on property rights and contracting problems, this article traces the origin of the PSE, their interaction with the state, how they are managed and the challenges they face. The article is based on refugee interviews with five North Koreans involved with the PSE-related activities in nine entities covering a range of different sectors.
Among low‐income homebuyers, a contract for deed (CFD) has been a widely used but risky and informal mechanism for purchasing a home or lot. This article examines a series of major consumer protections adopted by the Texas Legislature from 1995 to 2005 and whether this legislation shaped the behavior of sellers who historically relied on CFDs in Texas colonias. Tracking changes in the use of CFDs between 1990 and 2010, we show that developers responded to the legislative reforms by shifting away from CFDs and into other forms of seller financing. At the same time, developers have adopted a series of workarounds to the legislation (presumably legal), leaving low‐income buyers vulnerable to rapid repossession by the developer. In contrast, the impact of the legislation on low‐income residents selling their homes has been minimal. These consumer‐to‐consumer transactions remain highly informal, with ongoing reliance on the now illegal, unrecorded CFD.
The recent growth in self-employment has sparked scholarly interest in why individuals choose and remain in self-employment. Yet, relatively little is known about how self-employed workers enact their daily lives and what this means for their work–life interface. Self-employment is often presented as a means to enhance life choice and as enabling work and nonwork activities to be combined more satisfactorily. However, extant evidence on how self-employment is experienced is mixed, with some studies reporting long and irregular working hours and high levels of stress. Furthermore, the way in which self-employment is experienced may be influenced by national context – economic, institutional and cultural factors. In this paper, we develop a multi-level model which extends existing work on the Person–Environment Fit by incorporating factors relevant to self-employment. The model assists us to understand how contextual factors create both opportunities and tensions which impact the work–life interface of self-employed workers.
People displaying persistent, full-blown psychotic experiences without a need-for-care in the general population are an ideal group to investigate to differentiate those factors that are linked to distress and dysfunction from those that are merely associated with benign anomalous experiences. The UNIQUE study investigated the cognitive and social processes predicted by cognitive models of psychosis to differentiate between benign and pathological outcomes of psychotic experiences (PEs).
Two hundred and fifty-nine individuals were recruited (84 clinical participants with PEs; 92 non-clinical participants with PEs; 83 controls without PEs) from urban (South-East London) and rural (North Wales) UK sites. The three groups were compared on clinical and psychological measures, on reasoning tasks, and on their appraisals of experimental tasks inducing anomalous experiences (of thought interference symptoms and auditory hallucinations).
The clinical picture demonstrated a distinctive pattern of similarities and differences on PEs between the clinical and non-clinical groups, while their demographic and psychological profiles were markedly different. As predicted, the clinical group showed a ‘jump-to-conclusions’ reasoning style, and endorsed more threatening appraisals ratings of the experimentally-induced anomalous experiences than the non-clinical group, who did not differ from the controls.
The results of this study identified a number of specific factors that may be protective against transition to psychosis in individuals with persistent PEs. They also provide robust experimental evidence for the key role of appraisals in determining outcome, as postulated by cognitive models of psychosis.
Medical research Council, UK.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Within the online media universe, there are many underlying communities. These may be defined, for example, through politics, location, health, occupation, extracurricular interests or retail habits. Government departments, charities and commercial organisations can benefit greatly from insights about the structure of these communities; the move to customer-centred practices requires knowledge of the customer base. Motivated by this issue, we address the fundamental question of whether a sub-network looks like a collection of individuals who have effectively been picked at random from the whole, or instead forms a distinctive community with a new, discernible structure. In the former case, to spread a message to the intended user base it may be best to use traditional broadcast media (TV, billboard), whereas in the latter case a more targeted approach could be more effective. In this work, we therefore formalise a concept of testing for sub-structure and apply it to social interaction data. First, we develop a statistical test to determine whether a given sub-network (induced sub-graph) is likely to have been generated by sampling nodes from the full network uniformly at random. This tackles an interesting inverse alternative to the more widely studied “forward” problem. We then apply the test to a Twitter reciprocated mentions network where a range of brand name based sub-networks are created via tweet content. We correlate the computed results against the independent views of 16 digital marketing professionals. We conclude that there is great potential for social media based analytics to quantify, compare and interpret online brand allegiances systematically, in real time and at large scale.
The aims of this study were to develop and validate a prediction equation of fat-free mass (FFM) based on bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and anthropometry using air-displacement plethysmography (ADP) as a reference in Asian neonates and to test the applicability of the prediction equations in an independent Western cohort. A total of 173 neonates at birth and 140 at two weeks of age were included. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to develop the prediction equations in a two-third randomly selected subset and validated on the remaining one-third subset at each time point and in an independent Queensland cohort. FFM measured by ADP was the dependent variable, and anthropometric measures, sex and impedance quotient (L2/R50) were independent variables in the model. Accuracy of prediction equations was assessed using intra-class correlation and Bland–Altman analyses. L2/R50 was the significant predictor of FFM at week two but not at birth. Compared with the model using weight, sex and length, including L2/R50 slightly improved the prediction with a bias of 0·01 kg with 2 sd limits of agreement (LOA) (0·18, −0·20). Prediction explained 88·9 % of variation but not beyond that of anthropometry. Applying these equations to the Queensland cohort provided similar performance at the appropriate age. However, when the Queensland equations were applied to our cohort, the bias increased slightly but with similar LOA. BIA appears to have limited use in predicting FFM in the first few weeks of life compared with simple anthropometry in Asian populations. There is a need for population- and age-appropriate FFM prediction equations.