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Three holes were drilled to the bed of Rutford Ice Stream, through ice up to 2154 m thick, to investigate the basal processes and conditions associated with fast ice flow and the glacial history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A narrative of the drilling, measuring and sampling activities, as well as some preliminary results and initial interpretations of subglacial conditions, is given. These were the deepest subglacial access holes ever drilled using the hot-water drilling method. Samples of bed and englacial sediments were recovered, and a number of instruments were installed in the ice column and the bed. The ice–bed interface was found to be unfrozen, with an existing, well-developed subglacial hydrological system at high pressure, within ~1% of the ice overburden. The bed itself comprises soft, water-saturated sediments, consistent with previous geophysical interpretations. Englacial sediment quantity varies significantly between two locations ~2 km apart, and possibly over even shorter (~20 m) distances. Difficulties and unusual observations encountered while connecting to the subglacial hydrological system in one hole possibly resulted from the presence of a large clast embedded in the bottom of the ice.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a well-established cause of traveller's diarrhoea and occasional domestic foodborne illness outbreaks in the USA. Although ETEC are not detected by conventional stool culture methods used in clinical laboratories, syndromic culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) capable of detecting ETEC have become increasingly prevalent in the last decade. This study describes the epidemiology of ETEC infections reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) during 2016–2017. ETEC-positive stool specimens were submitted to MDH to confirm the presence of ETEC DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Cases were interviewed to ascertain illness and exposures. Contemporaneous Salmonella cases were used as a comparison group in a case-case comparison analysis of risk factors. Of 222 ETEC-positive specimens received by MDH, 108 (49%) were concordant by PCR. ETEC was the sixth most frequently reported bacterial enteric pathogen among a subset of CIDT-positive specimens. Sixty-nine (64%) laboratory-confirmed cases had an additional pathogen codetected with ETEC, including enteroaggregative E. coli (n = 40) and enteropathogenic E. coli (n = 39). Although travel is a risk factor for ETEC infection, only 43% of cases travelled internationally, providing evidence for ETEC as an underestimated source of domestically acquired enteric illness in the USA.
A new high time resolution observing mode for the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is described, enabling full polarimetric observations with up to
MHz of bandwidth and a time resolution of
s. This mode makes use of a polyphase synthesis filter to ‘undo’ the polyphase analysis filter stage of the standard MWA’s Voltage Capture System observing mode. Sources of potential error in the reconstruction of the high time resolution data are identified and quantified, with the
loss induced by the back-to-back system not exceeding
dB for typical noise-dominated samples. The system is further verified by observing three pulsars with known structure on microsecond timescales.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Inhibitory dysfunction is the key behavioural and cognitive phenotype of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and of obsessive-compulsive-disorder (OCD). Both disorders show deficits in tasks of response inhibition and cognitive flexibility as well as fronto-striatal brain dysfunctions during task performance. The goal of this research was to investigate differences and commonalities in functional neural networks mediating inhibitory control between adolescents with ADHD and those with OCD to identify disorder-specific neurofunctional biomarkers.
Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare brain activation of 18/12 boys (Stop/Switch task) with clinical ADHD, 10 boys with clinical OCD and 20 healthy comparison boys during a tracking Stop task measuring motor response inhibition and its failure and a switching task measuring cognitive flexibility. Non-parametric permutation analyses were used for fMRI analysis (XBAM). Functional connectivity analyses investigating group differences in fronto-striatal connections will be presented at the conference.
Both patient groups shared brain dysfunction compared to controls in right orbitofrontal, left dorsolateral (Stop task) and left inferior prefrontal cortices (Switch task). Right inferior prefrontal under-activation, however, was specific to ADHD during both tasks. Under-activation in left caudate and anterior cingulate was also specific to ADHD during the Switch task.
Patients with ADHD appear to have both common and distinct dysfunctions during inhibitory control compared to OCD patients. The most consistent fMRI finding in ADHD of a dysfunction in right inferior prefrontal cortex during inhibitory control appears to be disorder-specific when compared to OCD, and may be a specific neurofunctional biomarker of ADHD.
IMPaCT is a five-year project funded by the Department of Health, UK. Running in the UK and now Sweden, the IMPACT Project aims to target the poor physical health and excessive substance use seen in people with SMI. There is evidence that behavioural interventions may be associated with an improvement in physical health and substance use in this population.
IMPaCT is a randomised controlled trial of a health promotion intervention which consists of a manualised modular approach to working with people with severe mental illness to empower them to improve their physical health and substance use habits. It consists of The Manual, The Reference Guide and The Better Health Handbook which make up a therapy package to support clients to become healthier.
The therapy is provided by care coordinators (mental health practitioners) over a 6–9 month period and combines Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with Motivational Interviewing (MI) principles. The aim is to work with clients to help them identify their own problem health behaviours, e.g. smoking, diet, exercise, drug and alcohol use. Realistic goals are set and revised with the client, and individual and group sessions are used to develop personal motivation to change. Information, workbooks and diaries are provided to record progress and give helpful hints, while meaningful alternative activities are introduced to replace problem health behaviours.
There has been increasing interest in the association between childhood trauma and psychosis. Proposals for potential mechanisms involved include affective dysregulation and appraisals of threat, yet few large-scale clinical studies exist in affective psychosis.
We hypothesise that within bipolar disorder (BD), childhood events will show a significant association with psychosis, and in particular with symptoms driven by dysregulation of mood or with a persecutory content.
2019 participants were recruited as part of our programme of research into the genetic and non-genetic determinants of BD (www.bdrn.org). Data on lifetime ever presence of psychosis and specific psychotic symptoms were determined by detailed structured interview with case note review. Childhood events were recorded after self-report questionnaire and case note information.
There was no relationship between childhood events, or childhood abuse, and psychosis per se. Childhood events were not associated with increased risk of persecutory or other delusions. Significant associations were found between childhood abuse and auditory hallucinations, strongest between sexual abuse and mood congruent or abusive voices. These relationships remain significant after controlling for lifetime ever cannabis misuse.
Within affective disorder, the relationship between childhood events and psychosis appears to be relatively symptom-specific. It is possible that the pathways leading to psychotic symptoms differ, with delusions and non-hallucinatory symptoms being influenced less by childhood or early environmental experience.
1. Upthegrove R, Chard C, Jones, L, Gordon –Smith K, Forty L, Jones I and Craddock N. Adverse Childhood Events and Psychosis in Bipolar Affective Disorder. BJPsych In press BJP/2014/152611
The increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in people with severe mental illness (SMI) is well documented. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for metabolic syndrome are three or more of the following: waist circumference ( 80 cm (females), (94 cm (males) OR BMI (30, triglycerides >1.7 mmol/l or on treatment, raised blood pressure (systolic >130 mg Hg or diastolic >85 mm Hg, OR on treatment for hypertension), raised fasting blood glucose (.5.6 mmol/l) OR diagnosed type II diabetes) and reduced HDL cholesterol (< 1.03 mmol/l) OR on treatment.
The IMPACT RCT is a Department of Health funded trial of a health promotion intervention (HPI) delivered by care co-ordinators to people with SMI across South London, Kent and Sussex. The intervention is focussed on improving health by addressing modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol and substance use.
We investigated the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a sample of 212 patients for whom we had relevant baseline measures.
Data (weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels) were analysed on 212 patients.
45% of the sample met IDF criteria for metabolic syndrome. Mean BMI was 30.6, glucose 6.4 mmol/L, triglycerides 2.0 mmol/L, HDL 1.2 (mmol/L), waist circumference 105.8 cm, and BP 122/82 mm Hg.
Metabolic syndrome was highly prevalent in this sample, significantly increasing the risk of physical morbidity and potentially lowering life expectancy. There is an unmet need for health promotion interventions in order to lower morbidity and mortality risk in these populations.
There are no evidence-based treatments for severe and enduring anorexia nervosa.
To evaluate the relative efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) for adults with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa.
Randomised controlled trial.
Sixty-three participants aged 18 and over (range 20-62) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of anorexia nervosa with at least a seven year illness history.
Thirty outpatient visits over 8 months. Participants were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (EOT), and 6-month and 12-month post-treatment follow-up. At EOP and follow-up, both groups improved significantly on the majority of outcome measures. However, there were no differences between treatment groups at EOT. At 6- and 12-month follow-up, analyses indicate greater improvement for those in CBT compared to SSCM. At 6-month follow-up, CBT participants had higher scores on the social adjustment scale (p = .038), and at 12-month they reported lower eating disorder examination global score (p = .004), and higher readiness for recovery (p = .013) compared to SSCM.
Patients with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa can make significant and meaningful improvements with therapy. CBT shows significant advantage over SSCM in terms of social adjustment, core eating pathology, and readiness for change over time.
Over half of individuals with eating disorders experience suicidal ideation at some point in their lives, yet few longitudinal studies have examined predictors of ideation in this at-risk group. Moreover, prospective research has focused on relatively distal or trait-level factors that are informative for distinguishing who is most at risk but not when. Little is known about more proximal or state-level risk factors that fluctuate within an individual, which is critical for determining when a person is most likely to engage in suicidal behaviors.
Women (N = 97) receiving treatment for their eating disorder completed questionnaires weekly to assess suicidal ideation and interpersonal constructs (i.e. perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness) theorized to be proximal predictors of suicidal desire. Longitudinal multilevel models were conducted to examine both within- and between-person predictors of suicidal ideation across 12 weeks of treatment.
Statistically significant within-person effects for burdensomeness (β = 0.06; p < 0.001) indicate that when individuals have greater feelings of burdensomeness compared to their own average, they also experience higher suicidal ideation. We did not find any significant influence of thwarted belongingness or the interaction between burdensomeness and belongingness on suicidal ideation.
This study was the first to examine dynamic associations between interpersonal constructs and suicidal ideation in individuals with eating disorders. Results are only partially consistent with the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide and suggest that short-term changes in burdensomeness may impact suicidal behavior in individuals with eating disorders.
Topical nasal decongestants are frequently used as part of the medical management of symptoms related to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
This study aimed to assess the effect of topical xylometazoline hydrochloride sprayed in the anterior part of the nose on Eustachian tube active and passive opening in healthy ears.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was assessed in healthy subjects before and after intranasal administration of xylometazoline spray, using tympanometry, video otoscopy, sonotubometry, tubo-tympano-aerodynamic-graphy and tubomanometry.
Resting middle-ear pressures were not significantly different following decongestant application. Eustachian tube opening rate was not significantly different following the intervention, as measured by all function tests used. Sonotubometry data showed a significant increase in the duration of Eustachian tube opening following decongestant application.
There remains little or no evidence that topical nasal decongestants improve Eustachian tube function. Sonotubometry findings do suggest that further investigation with an obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction patient cohort is warranted.
An outbreak of 18 cases of hepatitis A virus infection across five Canadian provinces was investigated. Case onsets occurred between October 2017 and May 2018. A retrospective matched case-control study was conducted to identify the likely source of the outbreak. Three matched controls were recruited for each case using a previously established control bank, supplemented by landline and cell phone call lists. Univariate and multivariate matched analyses were conducted to identify a potential outbreak source. Seventy-two per cent of controls were recruited through the control bank, and required on average 25.5 calls per recruited control; 20% of controls were recruited through a landline sample and 8% of controls were recruited through a cell phone sample, requiring an average of 847.3 and 331.7 calls per recruited control, respectively. Results of the analysis pointed to shrimp/prawns (odds ratio (OR) 15.75, p = 0.01) and blackberries (OR 7.21, p = 0.02) as foods of interest, however, an outbreak source could not be confirmed. The control bank proved to be a more efficient method for control recruitment than random call lists. Expanding the control bank size and using alternative methods, such as online surveys, may prove beneficial for increasing the timeliness of a case-control study during an outbreak investigation.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are common causes of respiratory tract infections and place a burden on health services each winter. Systems to describe the timing and intensity of such activity will improve the public health response and deployment of interventions to these pressures. Here we develop early warning and activity intensity thresholds for monitoring influenza and RSV using two novel data sources: general practitioner out-of-hours consultations (GP OOH) and telehealth calls (NHS 111). Moving Epidemic Method (MEM) thresholds were developed for winter 2017–2018. The NHS 111 cold/flu threshold was breached several weeks in advance of other systems. The NHS 111 RSV epidemic threshold was breached in week 41, in advance of RSV laboratory reporting. Combining the use of MEM thresholds with daily monitoring of NHS 111 and GP OOH syndromic surveillance systems provides the potential to alert to threshold breaches in real-time. An advantage of using thresholds across different health systems is the ability to capture a range of healthcare-seeking behaviour, which may reflect differences in disease severity. This study also provides a quantifiable measure of seasonal RSV activity, which contributes to our understanding of RSV activity in advance of the potential introduction of new RSV vaccines.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) have been associated with life-long chronic disease risk for the infant. Stress during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many studies have reported the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous populations and a smaller number of studies have measured rates of stress and depression in these populations. This study sought to examine the potential association between stress during pregnancy and the rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Australian Indigenous women residing in rural and remote communities in New South Wales. This study found a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy than the general population. There was also a higher incidence of prematurity and LBW deliveries. Unfortunately, missing post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptomatology data impeded the examination of associations of interest. This was largely due to the highly sensitive nature of the issues under investigation, and the need to ensure adequate levels of trust between Indigenous women and research staff before disclosure and recording of sensitive research data. We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between the level of stress and the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes at this stage. We recommend this longitudinal study continue until complete data sets are available. Future research in this area should ensure prioritization of building trust in participants and overestimating sample size to ensure no undue pressure is placed upon an already stressed participant.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.