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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.
Folic acid (FA) supplementation is recommended in the periconceptional period, for the prevention of neural tube defects. Limited data are available on the folate status of New Zealand (NZ) pregnant women and its association with FA supplementation intake. Objectives were to examine the relationship between plasma folate (PF) and reported FA supplement use at 15 weeks’ gestation and to explore socio-demographic and lifestyle factors associated with PF. We used data and blood samples from NZ participants of the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints cohort study. Healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy (n 1921) were interviewed and blood samples collected. PF was analysed via microbiological assay. Of the participants, 73 % reported taking an FA supplement at 15 weeks’ gestation – of these, 79 % were taking FA as part of/alongside a multivitamin supplement. Of FA supplement users, 56 % reported consuming a daily dose of ≥800 μg; 39 % reported taking less than 400 µg/d. Mean PF was significantly higher in women reporting FA supplementation (54·6 (se 1·5) nmol/l) v. no FA supplementation (35·1 (se 1·6) nmol/l) (P<0·0001). Reported daily FA supplement dose and PF were significantly positively correlated (r 0·41; P<0·05). Younger maternal age, Pacific and Maori ethnicity and obesity were negatively associated with PF levels; vegetarianism was positively associated with PF. Reported FA supplement dose was significantly associated with PF after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle confounders and multivitamin intake. The relationship observed between FA supplementation and PF demonstrates that self-reported intake is a reliable proxy for FA supplement use in this study population.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played an important role in the evolution of nematodes. Among candidate genes, cyanase, which is typically found only in plants, bacteria and fungi, is present in more than 35 members of the Phylum Nematoda, but absent from free-living and clade V organisms. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the cyanases of clade I organisms Trichinella spp., Trichuris spp. and Soboliphyme baturini (Subclass: Dorylaimia) represent a well-supported monophyletic clade with plant cyanases. In contrast, all cyanases found within the Subclass Chromadoria which encompasses filarioids, ascaridoids and strongyloids are homologous to those of bacteria. Western blots exhibited typical multimeric forms of the native molecule in protein extracts of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae, where immunohistochemical staining localized the protein to the worm hypodermis and underlying muscle. Recombinant Trichinella cyanase was bioactive where gene transcription profiles support functional activity in vivo. Results suggest that: (1) independent HGT in parasitic nematodes originated from different Kingdoms; (2) cyanase acquired an active role in the biology of extant Trichinella; (3) acquisition occurred more than 400 million years ago (MYA), prior to the divergence of the Trichinellida and Dioctophymatida, and (4) early, free-living ancestors of the genus Trichinella had an association with terrestrial plants.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Introduction: Patients with uncomplicated biliary disease frequently present to the emergency department for assessment. To improve bedside clinical decision making many emergency medicine physicians have pursued specialized training to perform point of care biliary ultrasound in the emergency department (BUSED). The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of BUSED in predicting the need for surgical consultation and intervention for biliary disease. Methods: A retrospective study of 283 consecutive patients visiting the emergency department who received a BUSED scan from December 1, 2016 to July 16, 2017. Physician interpretations of the BUSED scans were collected from the electronic image storage and interpretation system. Additional data was collected from the electronic health record including lab values, the subsequent use of diagnostic imaging, and outcomes data including disposition, surgical consultation or intervention, and 28 day follow up for representation or complication. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were performed. Results: Of the patients who received a biliary POCUS scan, 29% were referred to general surgery, and 43% of those referred proceeded to eventual cholecystectomy. Factors found to be independently predictive of surgical intervention on point of care BUSED scans included presence of gall stones (OR 13.01, 95%CI 5.02 to 27.1) and increased gallbladder wall thickness (OR 6.01, 95%CI 1.7 to 11.1). A total of 30% of patients receiving BUSED required at least one additional, radiology based imaging test (CT or diagnostic US). Average emergency department length of stay was substantially longer for those who required additional imaging as compared to those who were able to be diagnosed by BUSED alone (16.1 versus 5.2 hours, 10.9 hours 95%CI 10.6 11.2, p<0.05) . Conclusion: Point of care biliary ultrasound performed by emergency physicians provides timely access to diagnostic information. Positive findings of gall stones and increased gall bladder wall thickness are highly predictive of the need for surgical intervention. Future, prospective studies are warranted to determine if point of care sonography is sufficient to proceed to surgery in select cases of uncomplicated biliary disease.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Introduction: Emergency physicians (EP) often work at undesirable hours. In response to deleterious effects on quality of life for EPs, traditional 2300-0700 night shifts have been replaced at some centres with staggered 6-hour casino shifts (22:00-04:00 and 04:00-10:00). Though purported to allow for better sleep and recovery patterns, no evidence exists to support the benefits on sleep or quality of life that is used to justify a casino shift model. Using a before and after survey model, this study examines the impact of overhauling night work from a traditional 8-hour shift to casino shifts on the quality of life and job satisfaction of EPs working in an academic emergency department (ED). Methods: In 2010, an initial online, 37-item survey, was sent to all EPs working in the ED, just prior to the transition to casino shifts. 6 years following the transition, a slightly modified 37-item survey was again distributed to all current EPs working at that same centre. Participants rated their level of agreement on a 7-point Likert scale regarding questions related to night work. Results from the two surveys were compared. Results: 43 2010- and 47 2016-surveys were completed. In 2016, recovery to baseline function after a single early shift (22:00-04:00) was most common after 1 day at 52.4%, and after multiple early shifts was ≥2 days at 66.7%. Recovery after a single late shift (04:00-10:00) was most common at 1 day at 54.8%, and after multiple late shifts was ≥2 days at 59.5%. This was in contrast to 2010, when 55.8% recovered from a single traditional night shift after 1 day, and 95.3% required ≥2 days to recover from multiple traditional night shifts. In relation to casino shifts, 40.5% of respondents stated that night shifts are the greatest drawback of their job, compared to 79.1% previously. A minority of respondents felt that teaching (36.5%), diagnostic test interpretation (23.2%), and quality of handover (33.5%) were inferior on early and late night shifts compared to other shifts (74.4%, 58.1%, and 60.5% for traditional night shifts respectively).95.0% of respondents preferred casino over traditional night shifts. Conclusion: There were self-reported improvements in all domains following the implementation of casino shifts.
Gender equality is considered paramount to the success of the Sustainable Development Goals and incorporated into global health programming and delivery, but there is great gender disparity within global health leadership and an absence of women at the highest levels of decision making. This perspective piece outlines the current gaps and challenges, highlighting the lack of data and unanswered questions regarding possible solutions, as well as the activity of Women in Global Health and efforts to directly address the inequity and lack of female leaders. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equality and catalyzing change.
Gender equity is imperative to the attainment of healthy lives and wellbeing of all, and promoting gender equity in leadership in the health sector is an important part of this endeavour. This empirical research examines gender and leadership in the health sector, pooling learning from three complementary data sources: literature review, quantitative analysis of gender and leadership positions in global health organisations and qualitative life histories with health workers in Cambodia, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The findings highlight gender biases in leadership in global health, with women underrepresented. Gender roles, relations, norms and expectations shape progression and leadership at multiple levels. Increasing women's leadership within global health is an opportunity to further health system resilience and system responsiveness. We conclude with an agenda and tangible next steps of action for promoting women's leadership in health as a means to promote the global goals of achieving gender equity.
Photoelectric B and V light curves and high dispersion spectroscopic observations were obtained in 1985 February for the rapidly rotating spotted star HD 36705. The visual light range was about 0.09 magnitude, with a well correlated B-V change of approximately 0.04 magnitude, the star being redder when faintest. There is evidence for a broadband flare of ~0.05 magnitude in V and 0.07 magnitude in B. This occurred near maximum light.
Spectroscopic observations show a variation in the equivalent width of the Ca K emission by a factor of about two in antiphase with the photometric variations, maximum emission corresponding to minimum brightness. This is probably due to bright plages and enhanced chromospheric heating associated with the photospheric starspots.
High dispersion, high signal-to-noise spectroscopic observations confirm the presence of lithium λ 6708 as reported by Rucinski (1982, 1985).
Several interpretations of the nature of HD 36705 are discussed; however at present none is completely satisfactory and further observations are required. As the star is probably at less than 100 pc, a parallax determination may be possible, and could help answer many of the questions concerning HD 36705.
In an attempt to determine whether the lithium Une at 6707 Å cornes mainly from the quiet photosphere or from the cooler spots on spotted active stars we have measured Une équivalent widths due to Li and also due to Cal at 6717 Å at various rotation phases on three fast rotating stars, AB Doradus, PZ Telescopium and V 1005 Orionis. The results for AB Dor and PZ Tel show there might be some small rotational modulation which can be linked to the best estimate of the spot position from the available photometry. This moduation is less than that expected on the basis of Giampapa’s work on sunspot spectra. The Li and Cal line equivalent widths were found to anticorrelate.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
Illegal killing/taking of birds is a growing concern across the Mediterranean. However, there are few quantitative data on the species and countries involved. We assessed numbers of individual birds of each species killed/taken illegally in each Mediterranean country per year, using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge. We estimated that 11–36 million individuals per year may be killed/taken illegally in the region, many of them on migration. In each of Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Syria, more than two million birds may be killed/taken on average each year. For species such as Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Common Quail Coturnix coturnix, Eurasian Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, House Sparrow Passer domesticus and Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, more than one million individuals of each species are estimated to be killed/taken illegally on average every year. Several species of global conservation concern are also reported to be killed/taken illegally in substantial numbers: Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca. Birds in the Mediterranean are illegally killed/taken primarily for food, sport and for use as cage-birds or decoys. At the 20 worst locations with the highest reported numbers, 7.9 million individuals may be illegally killed/taken per year, representing 34% of the mean estimated annual regional total number of birds illegally killed/taken for all species combined. Our study highlighted the paucity of data on illegal killing/taking of birds. Monitoring schemes which use systematic sampling protocols are needed to generate increasingly robust data on trends in illegal killing/taking over time and help stakeholders prioritise conservation actions to address this international conservation problem. Large numbers of birds are also hunted legally in the region, but specific totals are generally unavailable. Such data, in combination with improved estimates for illegal killing/taking, are needed for robustly assessing the sustainability of exploitation of birds.
N- and p-type filled-skutterudite materials prepared for thermoelectric power generation modules were analyzed by neutron diffraction at the POWGEN beam line of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The skutterudite powders were processed by melt spinning, followed by ball milling and annealing. The n-type material consists of Ba–Yb–Co–Sb and the p-type material consists of Di–Fe–Ni–Sb or Di–Fe–Co–Sb (Di = didymium, an alloy of Pr and Nd). Powders for prototype module fabrication from General Motors and Marlow Industries were analyzed in this study. XRD and neutron diffraction studies confirm that both the n- and p-type materials have cubic symmetry. Structural Rietveld refinements determined the lattice parameters and atomic parameters of the framework and filler atoms. The cage filling fraction was found to depend linearly on the lattice parameter, which in turn depends on the average framework atom size. This knowledge may allow the filling fraction of these skutterudite materials to be purposefully adjusted, thereby tuning the thermoelectric properties.
Outpatient hemodialysis bloodstream infection rates, now used for performance measurement and were significantly higher for manual compared with automated surveillance (P<.001), largely owing to the absence of blood culture data in the dialysis electronic health record. Improvement in data sharing between hospitals and outpatient dialysis centers is necessary.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(4):472–474
Reports of bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among chronic hemodialysis patients to 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance systems (National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event and Emerging Infections Program) were compared to evaluate completeness of reporting. Many methicillin-resistant S. aureus bloodstream infections identified in hospitals were not reported to National Healthcare Safety Network Dialysis Event.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(2):205–207
Under the alkaline conditions expected in an intermediate-level waste repository, cellulosic material will undergo chemical hydrolysis. This will produce hydrolysis products, some of which can form soluble complexes with some radionuclides. Analyses of samples containing autoclaved tissue and cotton wool incubated in a saturated solution of Ca(OH)2 ( pH > 12) confirmed previous reports that isosaccharinic acid (ISA) is produced from these cellulose polymers at high pH. However, when inoculated with a sediment sample from a hyperalkaline site contaminated with lime-kiln waste, microbial activity was implicated in the enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose and the subsequent production of acetate. This in turn led to acidification of the microcosms and a marked decrease in ISA production from the abiotic alkali hydrolysis of cellulose. DNA analyses of microbial communities present in the microcosms further support the hypothesis that bacterial activities can have a controlling influence on the formation of organic acids, including ISA, via an interplay between direct and indirect mechanisms. These and previous results imply that microorganisms could have a role in attenuating the mobility of some radionuclides in and around a geological disposal facility, via either the direct biodegradation of ISA or by catalysing cellulose fermentation and therefore preventing the formation of ISA.
Case mix index (CMI) has been used as a facility-level indicator of patient disease severity. We sought to evaluate the potential for CMI to be used for risk adjustment of National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) healthcare-associated infection (HAI) data.
NHSN facility-wide laboratory-identified Clostridium difficile infection event data from 2012 were merged with the fiscal year 2012 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Impact file by CMS certification number (CCN) to obtain a CMI value for hospitals reporting to NHSN. Negative binomial regression was used to evaluate whether CMI was significantly associated with healthcare facility-onset (HO) CDI in univariate and multivariate analysis.
Among 1,468 acute care hospitals reporting CDI data to NHSN in 2012, 1,429 matched by CCN to a CMI value in the Impact file. CMI (median, 1.49; interquartile range, 1.36–1.66) was a significant predictor of HO CDI in univariate analysis (P<.0001). After controlling for community onset CDI prevalence rate, medical school affiliation, hospital size, and CDI test type use, CMI remained highly significant (P<.0001), with an increase of 0.1 point in CMI associated with a 3.4% increase in the HO CDI incidence rate.
CMI was a significant predictor of NHSN HO CDI incidence. Additional work to explore the feasibility of using CMI for risk adjustment of NHSN data is necessary.