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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
A completely randomized experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of α-amylase (AMY) and glucoamylase (GLU) on total losses, fermentative profile, chemical composition and amylolytic activity of rehydrated maize. Eighty-four experimental silos of rehydrated maize [0.33 litres/kg ground maize, 4-mm theoretical particle size, and 625 g/kg dry matter (DM)] were assigned to the following treatments: (1) control (CON), no enzyme addition; (2) GLU added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize (as-fed); and (3) AMY added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize. Seven silos from each treatment were opened after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Differences among treatments were evaluated through orthogonal contrasts (CON v. enzymes, and AMY v. GLU). Time effects were decomposed using polynomial regression. Glucoamylase silage exhibited greater total losses than AMY. Enzymes increased acetate and lactic acid concentrations and decreased ethanol concentration. Regardless of treatment, gas, effluent and total fermentative losses linearly increased, whereas DM recovery linearly decreased with higher storage length. Glucoamylase silage had lower ammonia nitrogen and higher lactic acid concentrations than AMY. Enzyme treatments decreased silage neutral detergent fibre content and increased in vitro DM degradation. Glucoamylase silage exhibited a more moderate starch content and greater in vitro DM degradation than AMY. Storage time linearly decreased DM, starch and fibre content of rehydrated maize. In vitro degradation of DM linearly increased as the storage length increased. This study showed evidence that enzymes with amylolytic activity, particularly GLU, improve the fermentative profile and DM degradation of rehydrated maize silage.
To evaluate the Orange County Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) prevention collaborative’s effect on rates of CDI in acute-care hospitals (ACHs) in Orange County, California.
Controlled interrupted time series.
We convened a CDI prevention collaborative with healthcare facilities in Orange County to reduce CDI incidence in the region. Collaborative participants received onsite infection control and antimicrobial stewardship assessments, interactive learning and discussion sessions, and an interfacility transfer communication improvement initiative during June 2015–June 2016. We used segmented regression to evaluate changes in monthly hospital-onset (HO) and community-onset (CO) CDI rates for ACHs. The baseline period comprised 17 months (January 2014–June 2015) and the follow-up period comprised 28 months (September 2015–December 2017). All 25 Orange County ACHs were included in the CO-CDI model to account for direct and indirect effects of the collaborative. For comparison, we assessed HO-CDI and CO-CDI rates among 27 ACHs in 3 San Francisco Bay Area counties.
HO-CDI rates in the 15 participating Orange County ACHs decreased 4% per month (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.96; 95% CI, 0.95–0.97; P < .0001) during the follow-up period compared with the baseline period and 3% (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99; P = .002) per month compared to the San Francisco Bay Area nonparticipant ACHs. Orange County CO-CDI rates declined 2% per month (IRR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96–1.00; P = .03) between the baseline and follow-up periods. This decline was not statistically different from the San Francisco Bay Area ACHs (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–1.00; P = .09).
Our analysis of ACHs in Orange County provides evidence that coordinated, regional multifacility initiatives can reduce CDI incidence.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
Hydrogels made of sodium 2-acrylamide-2-methypropanesulfonate were synthesized with the goal of creating a polymer for tissue engineering applications. The hydrogels were doped with silver nanoparticles to create hydrogel/Ag with possible antibacterial properties. We varied the weight/volume percentage of Laponite from 3 to 10 w/v% to alter the rheological properties of the hydrogels. Raman spectroscopy was used to study the progress of the chemical reaction at different polymerization times under ultraviolet radiation. By comparing the changes in the intensities of the Raman bands corresponding to C=C and C–C bonds with reaction time, we found that the optimal polymerization time to obtain chains of poly(2-acrylamide-2-methylpropanesulfonate) was 3 to 4 h. Characterization of the hydrogels with scanning electron microscopy indicated pore sizes of 1 to 6 µm.
The Brangus breed was developed to combine the superior characteristics of both of its founder breeds, Angus and Brahman. It combines the high adaptability to tropical and subtropical environments, disease resistance, and overall hardiness of Zebu cattle with the reproductive potential and carcass quality of Angus. It is known that the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, also known as bovine leucocyte antigen: BoLA), located on chromosome 23, encodes several genes involved in the adaptive immune response and may be responsible for adaptation to harsh environments. The objective of this work was to evaluate whether the local breed ancestry percentages in the BoLA locus of a Brangus population diverged from the estimated genome-wide proportions and to identify signatures of positive selection in this genomic region. For this, 167 animals (100 Brangus, 45 Angus and 22 Brahman) were genotyped using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array. The local ancestry analysis showed that more than half of the haplotypes (55.0%) shared a Brahman origin. This value was significantly different from the global genome-wide proportion estimated by cluster analysis (34.7% Brahman), and the proportion expected by pedigree (37.5% Brahman). The analysis of selection signatures by genetic differentiation (Fst) and extended haplotype homozygosity-based methods (iHS and Rsb) revealed 10 and seven candidate regions, respectively. The analysis of the genes located within these candidate regions showed mainly genes involved in immune response-related pathway, while other genes and pathways were also observed (cell surface signalling pathways, membrane proteins and ion-binding proteins). Our results suggest that the BoLA region of Brangus cattle may have been enriched with Brahman haplotypes as a consequence of selection processes to promote adaptation to subtropical environments.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients typically overmonitor their own behavior, as shown by symptoms of excessive doubt and checking. Although this is well established for the patients’ relationship with external stimuli in the environment, no study has explored their monitoring of internal body signals, a process known to be affected in anxiety-related syndromes. Here, we explored this issue through a cardiac interoception task that measures sensing of heartbeats. Our aim was to explore key behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of internal-cue monitoring in OCD, while examining their potential distinctiveness in this condition.
We administered a heartbeat detection (HBD) task (with related interoceptive confidence and awareness measures) to three matched groups (OCD patients, panic disorder patients, healthy controls) and recorded ongoing modulations of two task-relevant electrophysiological markers: the heart evoked potential (HEP) and the motor potential (MP).
Behaviorally, OCD patients outperformed controls and panic patients in the HBD task. Moreover, they exhibited greater amplitude modulation of both the HEP and the MP during cardiac interoception. However, they evinced poorer confidence and awareness of their interoceptive skills.
Convergent behavioral and electrophysiological data showed that overactive monitoring in OCD extends to the sensing of internal bodily signals. Moreover, this pattern discriminated OCD from panic patients, suggesting a condition-distinctive alteration. Our results highlight the potential of exploring interoceptive processes in the OCD spectrum to better characterize the population's cognitive profile. Finally, these findings may lay new bridges between somatic theories of emotion and cognitive models of OCD.
Magnetic nanoparticles were obtained by chemical coprecipitation technique from aqueous solutions of iron salts, the synthesis was carried out in an alkaline medium, obtaining magnetic nanoparticles of around 2-10 nm in size. The nanoparticles obtained were stabilized with polyvinylpirrolidone (PVP), the particle size was measured by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the crystal structure of the magnetic nanoparticles obtained was verified by X-ray diffraction (DRX). The chemical composition of the nanoparticles powder was investigated using electron scanning microscope with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) equipment. Optical properties as absorption was studied by UV-Vis spectroscopy.
Two metal fillers with TiC nanoparticles (TiC NPs) of less than 100 nm for the overlay process is an alternative to hardfacing for treating surfaces subjected to severe wear. In this work, the effect of tribological behavior for TiC NPs addition on two Co-based filler materials, as well as the dilutions, was studied. Mixtures of Co-based filler metals without and with 0.5% and 2% TiC NPs were deposited onto D2 steel plates using PTA (Plasma Transferred Arc). The BET surface area was 0.17 m2 g-1 and 0.31 m2 g-1, respectively, for Stellite 6 and 12. The distribution of ca 23% macroporous for Stellite 6 was sufficient to get inside the TiC NPs, as well as in the case of Stellite 12, with a pore distribution of ca 13%. Stellite 12 has an increase in the dilutions (70%) and enthalpies showed endothermic reactions. Stellite 6 with NPs was determined to be most effective in increasing the wear resistance.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
Recent work (Corradi et al. 2015; Jones et al. 2016) has shown that the phenomenon of extreme abundance discrepancies, where recombination line abundances exceed collisionally excited line abundances by factors of 10 or more, seem to be strongly associated with planetary nebulae with close binary central stars. To further investigate, we have obtained spectra of a sample of nebulae with known close binary central stars, using FORS2 on the VLT, and we have discovered several new extreme abundance discrepancy objects. We did not find any non-extreme discrepancies, suggesting that a very high fraction of nebulae with close binary central stars also have an extreme abundance discrepancy.
Phosphatase activity of Leishmania spp. has been shown to deregulate the signalling pathways of the host cell. We here show that Leishmania mexicana promastigotes and amastigotes secrete proteins with phosphatase activity to the culture medium, which was higher in the Promastigote Secretion Medium (PSM) as compared with the Amastigote Secretion Medium (ASM) and was not due to cell lysis, since parasite viability was not affected by the secretion process. The biochemical characterization showed that the phosphatase activity present in PSM was higher in dephosphorylating the peptide END (pY) INASL as compared with the peptide RRA (pT)VA. In contrast, the phosphatase activity in ASM showed little dephosphorylating capacity for both peptides. Inhibition assays demonstrated that the phosphatase activity of both PSM and ASM was sensible only to protein tyrosine phosphatases inhibitors. An antibody against a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) of Leishmania major cross-reacted with a 44·9 kDa molecule in different cellular fractions of L. mexicana promastigotes and amastigotes, however, in PSM and ASM, the antibody recognized a protein about 70 kDa. By electron microscopy, the PP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket of amastigotes. PSM and ASM induced the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1β, IL-12p70 and IL-10 in human macrophages.
Disk galaxies in cosmological numerical simulations grow by accreting gas from the cosmic web. This gas reaches the external disk, and then spirals in dragged along by tidal forces and/or disk instabilities. The importance of gas infall is as clear from numerical simulations as it is obscure to observations. Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies seem to be the best example we have of the gas accretion process at work. They have large off-center starbursts which show significant metallicity drop compared with the host galaxy. This observation is naturally explained as a gas accretion event caught in the act. We present preliminary results of the kinematical properties of the metal poor starbursts in XMPs, which suggest that the starbursts are kinematically decoupled entities within the host galaxy.
The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR BSI) reduction programme and healthcare workers' compliance with recommendations. A 3-year surveillance programme of CR BSIs in all hospital settings was implemented. As part of the programme, there was a direct observation of insertion and maintenance of central venous catheters (CVCs) to determine performance. A total of 38 education courses were held over the study period and feedback reports with the results of surveillance and recommendations were delivered to healthcare workers every 6 months. A total of 6722 short-term CVCs were inserted in 4982 patients for 58 763 catheter-days. Improvements of compliance with hand hygiene was verified at the insertion (87·1–100%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (51·1–72·1%, P = 0·029) of CVCs; and the use of chlorhexidine for skin disinfection was implemented at insertion (35·7–65·4%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (33·3–45·9%, P < 0·197) of CVCs. There were 266 CR BSI incidents recorded with an annual incidence density of 5·75/1000 catheter-days in the first year, 4·38 in the second year [rate ratio (RR) 0·76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·57–1·01] and 3·46 in the third year (RR 0·60, 95% CI 0·44–0·81). The education programme clearly improved compliance with recommendations for CVC handling, and was effective in reducing the burden of CR BSIs.
The nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum is becoming more widely recorded globally, and is of increasing concern as a cause of disease in dogs. Apparent geographic spread is difficult to confirm due to a lack of standardized disease recording systems, increasing awareness among veterinary clinicians, and recent improvements in diagnostic technologies. This study examines the hypothesis that A. vasorum has spread in recent years by repeating the methods of a previous survey of the fox population. The hearts and lungs of 442 foxes from across Great Britain were collected and examined by dissection and flushing of the pulmonary circulation and microscopic inspection of tracheal scrapes. Sampling and parasite extraction methods were identical to an earlier survey in 2005 to ensure comparability. Prevalence of A. vasorum was 18·3% (exact binomial confidence bounds 14·9–22·3), compared with 7·3% previously (5·3–9·9, n = 546), and had increased significantly in most regions, e.g. 7·4% in the Northern UK (previously zero) and 50·8% in the south-east (previously 23·2%). Other nematodes identified were Crenosoma vulpis (prevalence 10·8%, CI 8·1–14·2) and Eucoleus aerophilus (31·6%, CI 27·3–36·2). These data support the proposal that A. vasorum has increased in prevalence and has spread geographically in Great Britain.
This paper focuses on the impact of process parameters of gas metal arc welding (GMAW) on the mechanisms of fail and wear present in the contact tips (CT), component located in the welding gun, when high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel is welded with ER70S - 0.045” copper coated electrode in manual mode. By means of chemical analysis the alloy was identified as C12200. It was also identified that the maximum temperature reached by the CT is 850° C. 30 samples were obtained that had different lifetime, which were analyzed by stereoscope and its behavior against wear was determined by using an equation of relative wear. Microstructural changes as recrystallization and grain growth undergone by these CT were also evidenced by light microscopy. In addition the changes in their mechanical properties such as decrease in their hardness to about of half that initially had. Finally some significant samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM); microanalysis was used to identify the exchange of matter leaving from the electrode in the CT and spatter into the hole of the component.