To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) play a significant role in obesity-associated systemic low-grade inflammation. High-fat diet (HFD) is known to induce inflammatory changes in both scAT and PBMCs. However, the time course of the effect of HFD on these systems is still unknown. The aim of the current study was to determine the time course of the effect of high fat diet (HFD) on PBMCs and scAT. New Zealand white rabbits were fed HFD for 5 or 10 weeks (i.e., HFD-5 and HFD-10), or regular chow (i.e., CNT-5 and CNT-10). Thereafter, metabolic and inflammatory parameters of PBMCs and scAT were quantitated. HFD induced hyperfattyacidemia in HFD-5 and HFD-10 groups, with the development of insulin resistance (IR) in HFD-10, while no changes were observed in scAT lipid metabolism and inflammatory status. HFD activated the inflammatory pathways in PBMCs of HFD-5 group, and induced modified autophagy in that of HFD-10. The rate of fat oxidation in PBMCs was directly associated with the expression of inflammatory markers; and tended to inversely associate with autophagosome formation markers in PBMCs. HFD affected systemic substrate metabolism, and the metabolic, inflammatory, and autophagy pathways in PBMCs in the absence of metabolic and inflammatory changes in scAT. Dietary approaches or interventions to avert HFD-induced changes in PBMCs could be essential in prevention of metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity, and promote healthier living.
Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.
Refractory depression is a major contributor to the economic burden of depression. Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RO DBT) is an unevaluated new treatment targeting overcontrolled personality, common in refractory depression, but it is not yet known whether the additional expense of RO DBT is good value for money.
To estimate the cost-effectiveness of RO DBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) compared with TAU alone in people with refractory depression (trial registration: ISRCTN85784627).
We undertook a cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a randomised trial evaluating RO DBT plus TAU versus TAU alone for refractory depression in three UK secondary care centres. Our economic evaluation, 12 months after randomisation, adopted the perspective of the UK National Health Service (NHS) and personal social services. It evaluated cost-effectiveness by comparing the net cost of RO DBT with the net gain in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), estimated using the EQ-5D-3L measure of health-related quality of life.
The additional cost of RO DBT plus TAU compared with TAU alone was £7048 and was associated with a difference of 0.032 QALYs, yielding an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of £220 250 per QALY. This ICER was well above the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) upper threshold of £30 000 per QALY. A cost-effectiveness acceptability curve indicated that RO DBT had a zero probability of being cost-effective compared with TAU at the NICE £30 000 threshold.
In its current resource-intensive form, RO DBT is not a cost-effective use of resources in the UK NHS.
Declaration of interest
R.H. is co-owner and director of Radically Open Ltd, the RO DBT training and dissemination company. D.K. reports grants outside the submitted work from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). T.L. receives royalties from New Harbinger Publishing for sales of RO DBT treatment manuals, speaking fees from Radically Open Ltd, and a grant outside the submitted work from the Medical Research Council. He was co-director of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and May 2015 and is married to Erica Smith-Lynch, the principal shareholder and one of two directors of Radically Open Ltd. H.O'M. reports personal fees outside the submitted work from the Charlie Waller Institute and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy. S.R. provides RO DBT supervision through her company S C Rushbrook Ltd. I.R. reports grants outside the submitted work from NIHR and Health & Care Research Wales. M. Stanton reports personal fees outside the submitted work from British Isles DBT Training, Stanton Psychological Services Ltd and Taylor & Francis. M. Swales reports personal fees outside the submitted work from British Isles DBT Training, Guilford Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis. B.W. was co-director of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and February 2015.
Substantial clinical heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) suggests it may group together individuals with diverse aetiologies. Identifying distinct subtypes should lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment, while providing more useful targets for further research. Genetic and clinical overlap between MDD and schizophrenia (SCZ) suggests an MDD subtype may share underlying mechanisms with SCZ.
The present study investigated whether a neurobiologically distinct subtype of MDD could be identified by SCZ polygenic risk score (PRS). We explored interactive effects between SCZ PRS and MDD case/control status on a range of cortical, subcortical and white matter metrics among 2370 male and 2574 female UK Biobank participants.
There was a significant SCZ PRS by MDD interaction for rostral anterior cingulate cortex (RACC) thickness (β = 0.191, q = 0.043). This was driven by a positive association between SCZ PRS and RACC thickness among MDD cases (β = 0.098, p = 0.026), compared to a negative association among controls (β = −0.087, p = 0.002). MDD cases with low SCZ PRS showed thinner RACC, although the opposite difference for high-SCZ-PRS cases was not significant. There were nominal interactions for other brain metrics, but none remained significant after correcting for multiple comparisons.
Our significant results indicate that MDD case-control differences in RACC thickness vary as a function of SCZ PRS. Although this was not the case for most other brain measures assessed, our specific findings still provide some further evidence that MDD in the presence of high genetic risk for SCZ is subtly neurobiologically distinct from MDD in general.
Individuals with depression often do not respond to medication or psychotherapy. Radically open dialectical behaviour therapy (RO DBT) is a new treatment targeting overcontrolled personality, common in refractory depression.
To compare RO DBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) for refractory depression with TAU alone (trial registration: ISRCTN 85784627).
RO DBT comprised 29 therapy sessions and 27 skills classes over 6 months. Our completed randomised trial evaluated RO DBT for refractory depression over 18 months in three British secondary care centres. Of 250 adult participants, we randomised 162 (65%) to RO DBT. The primary outcome was the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), assessed masked and analysed by treatment allocated.
After 7 months, immediately following therapy, RO DBT had significantly reduced depressive symptoms by 5.40 points on the HRSD relative to TAU (95% CI 0.94–9.85). After 12 months (primary end-point), the difference of 2.15 points on the HRSD in favour of RO DBT was not significant (95% CI –2.28 to 6.59); nor was that of 1.69 points on the HRSD at 18 months (95% CI –2.84 to 6.22). Throughout RO DBT participants reported significantly better psychological flexibility and emotional coping than controls. However, they reported eight possible serious adverse reactions compared with none in the control group.
The RO DBT group reported significantly lower HRSD scores than the control group after 7 months, but not thereafter. The imbalance in serious adverse reactions was probably because of the controls' limited opportunities to report these.
Declaration of interest
Six of the 16 authors have received royalties or fees for RO DBT. R.J.H. is co-owner and director of Radically Open Ltd, the RO DBT training and dissemination company. D.K. reports grants outside the submitted work from NIHR. T.R.L. receives royalties from New Harbinger Publishing for sales of RO DBT treatment manuals, speaking fees from Radically Open Ltd and a grant outside the submitted work from the Medical Research Council. He was codirector of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and May 2015 and is married to Erica Smith-Lynch, the principal shareholder and one of two current directors of Radically Open Ltd. H.O’M. reports personal fees from the Charlie Waller Institute and Improving Access to Psychological Therapy. S.C.R. provides RO DBT supervision through S C Rushbrook Ltd. I.T.R. reports grants outside the submitted work from NIHR and Health & Care Research Wales. M.St. reports personal fees from British Isles DBT Training, Stanton Psychological Services Ltd, and Taylor & Francis Ltd. M.Sw. reports personal fees from British Isles DBT Training, Guilford Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis Ltd. B.W. was codirector of Radically Open Ltd between November 2014 and February 2015.
The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
Laser–solid interactions are highly suited as a potential source of high energy X-rays for nondestructive imaging. A bright, energetic X-ray pulse can be driven from a small source, making it ideal for high resolution X-ray radiography. By limiting the lateral dimensions of the target we are able to confine the region over which X-rays are produced, enabling imaging with enhanced resolution and contrast. Using constrained targets we demonstrate experimentally a
X-ray source, improving the image quality compared to unconstrained foil targets. Modelling demonstrates that a larger sheath field envelope around the perimeter of the constrained targets increases the proportion of electron current that recirculates through the target, driving a brighter source of X-rays.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
We present the results of a preliminary study of the use of polychromatic synchrotron radiation in energy-dispersive mode for the rapid characterization of thin film and multilayer materials. This technique takes advantage of the high intensity and excellent collimation properties of white beam synchrotron radiation. The glancing angle diffraction geometry allows structural depth probing as well as enhanced signal-to-noise by suppressing substrate contributions. The technique was successfully applied to metallic films a few hundred Angstroms thick, and to W-C multilayers.
The orthorhombic mineral moolooite, CuC2O4. nH2O, described by Clarke and Williams (1986) using Debye-Scherrer photographic data, has a fully-disordered stacking fault (FDSF) structure. Related monoclinic models have been reported for various synthesised samples based on Schmittler (1968). In the present study, synchrotron radiation diffraction data for moolooite and synthesised specimens have been examined with particular reference to crystallographic disorder. The moolooite data correspond to space group Pnnm, with a = 5.3064(2), b = 5.6804(2), c = 2.5630(1) Å; Vc = 77.26(1) Å3; and Z = 1; and the FDSF structure along the b-direction has been confirmed. The synthetic specimen data from the study indicate partial ordering, with space group P21/n; and the cell parameters for one specimen being a = 5.957(7), b = 5.611(5), c = 5.133(7) Å; β = 115.16(2)°; Vc = 155.27 Å3 and Z = 2. The level of zeolitic water in the materials has been considered using the approach of Schmittler based on thermogravimetry and pycnometry. The new data for natural topotype material correspond to CuC2O4.1.0H2O. It is postulated that the level of water for natural and synthetic specimens may be attributed to the conditions under which the material forms.
Minimizing the negative ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions is one goal of land management. Using selective herbicides is one strategy to achieve this goal; however, the unintended consequences of this strategy are not always fully understood. The recently introduced herbicide indaziflam has a mode of action not previously used in non-crop weed management. Thus, there is limited information about the impacts of this active ingredient when applied alone or in combination with other non-crop herbicides. The objective of this research was to evaluate native species tolerance to indaziflam and imazapic applied alone and with other broadleaf herbicides. Replicated field plots were established at two locations in Colorado with a diverse mix of native forbs and grasses. Species richness and abundance were compared between the nontreated control plots and plots where indaziflam and imazapic were applied alone and in combination with picloram and aminocyclopyrachlor. Species richness and abundance did not decrease when indaziflam or imazapic were applied alone; however, species abundance was reduced by treatments containing picloram and aminocyclopyrachlor. Species richness was only impacted at one site 1 yr after treatment (YAT) by these broadleaf herbicides. Decreases in abundance were mainly due to reductions in forbs that resulted in a corresponding increase in grass cover. Our data suggest that indaziflam will control downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) for multiple years without reduction in perennial species richness or abundance. If B. tectorum is present with perennial broadleaf weeds requiring the addition of herbicides like picloram or aminocyclopyrachlor, forb abundance could be reduced, and in some cases there could be a temporary reduction in perennial species richness.
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
Chronic suppurative otitis media is a massive public health problem in numerous low- and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, few low- and middle-income countries can offer surgical therapy.
A six-month long programme in Cambodia focused on training local surgeons in type I tympanoplasty was instigated. Qualitative educational and quantitative surgical outcomes were evaluated in the 12 months following programme completion. A four-month long training programme in mastoidectomy and homograft ossiculoplasty was subsequently implemented, and the preliminary surgical and educational outcomes were reported.
A total of 124 patients underwent tympanoplasty by the locally trained surgeons. Tympanic membrane closure at six weeks post-operation was 88.5 per cent. Pure tone audiometry at three months showed that 80.9 per cent of patients had improved hearing, with a mean gain of 17.1 dB. The trained surgeons reported high confidence in performing tympanoplasty. Early outcomes suggest the local surgeons can perform mastoidectomy and ossiculoplasty as safely as overseas-trained surgeons, with reported surgeon confidence reflecting these positive outcomes.
The training programme has demonstrated success, as measured by surgeon confidence and operative outcomes. This approach can be emulated in other settings to help combat the global burden of chronic suppurative otitis media.
Some swimming microorganisms are sensitive to light, and this can affect the way in which they negotiate their environment. In particular, photophobic cells are repelled from unfavourable light conditions, and in a quiescent fluid environment this can be observed as elevated cell levels in regions away from these light conditions. This photoresponsive effect is of interest due to its potential technological applications. For example, the use of light to focus and direct cells could be used as a convenient means to separate out the algae used in biofuel production (for example, hydrogen), or exploited within devices for biodetection of environmental contaminants. However, in these types of situations the swimming cells will usually be suspended in a flow with shear. In this environment, it has previously been shown that cells can become hydrodynamically trapped in regions of high fluid shear, and so the extent to which photofocusing can occur under these conditions is not immediately clear. Moreover, in applications where the light must pass through appreciable volumes of the suspension, cells will typically absorb light and so shade each other from the illumination. As such, the intensity at any point in the flow is dependent upon the global cell concentration. Hence, in this study we model the coupled influence of fluid shear and cell photosensitivity on a suspension of swimming microorganisms, and ask under what circumstances a suspension of photophobic cells might be focused into high concentration regions.
J. E. Colwell, University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida, USA,
J. Blum, Technische Universität Braunschweig Braunschweig, GERMANY,
R. N. Clark, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA,
S. Kempf, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado, USA,
R. M. Nelson, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA
The surface area of Saturn's rings is greater than that of any of the planets in the solar system, yet, aside from dust, we have never observed or sampled an individual ring particle. Rings are unique in the solar system in that they are a complex dynamical system whose individual constituents interact not only with the light that we use to sense them remotely, but also with each other through gravitational and contact forces. These dynamical interactions play as large a role in determining the appearance of the ring system as do the optical properties of the individual ring particles. In this chapter we review the experimental work that has been done to help us understand both aspects of planetary rings: their collective dynamical behavior and their optical properties.
We have a wealth of data on the behavior of ensembles of particles, both dynamically and their optical properties. Laboratory measurements of the behavior of various likely ring particle analogs are a critical link in connecting these bulk observations with the nature of individual ring particles, and understanding the properties of individual ring particles should provide clues to the outstanding unanswered questions about the age and origin of rings.
Images of Saturn's rings and optical depth profiles from occultations show features at a variety of spatial scales, from the resolution limit of tens of meters for occultations up to thousands of kilometers, and including most scales in between (Colwell et al., 2009; Chapter 3). A frustratingly small fraction of these structures is well understood. Many that remain puzzling, such as the large optical depth fluctuations in Saturn's central B ring, the complex structure in the B ring and the inner A ring, the long-wavelength low-amplitude undulations in optical depth in the C ring, and the plateaus in the C ring, are likely linked to either the collective behavior of the ring particles governed in part by their collisional properties (see e.g. Schmidt et al., 2009, for a review) or by ballistic transport of material due to extrinsic micrometeoroid bombardment (Chapter 9). The mechanical properties of individual ring particles are critical in both types of process.
STARDUST, a Discovery-class mission, will return intact samples of cometary dust and volatiles from comet P/Wild 2, as well as samples of the interstellar dust moving through the solar system. Dust capture utilizes aerogel, a microporous silica that is capable of intact capture of hypervelocity particles. A navigation camera, an in situ dust analyzer, and a dust flux monitor complete the payload. The Wild 2 flyby takes place in January 2004, with Earth return in January 2006.