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In this article, we demonstrate that the combination of elemental and phase mapping is a very powerful tool for characterizing sputtered, binary plutonium alloys.
A specially designed energy-dispersive spectrometer equipped with an automated x-y translational stage was used to measure elemental differences in several disks sputter-coated with binary plutonium alloys. Automated diffractometer scans were obtained from selected areas on the disks by using specially designed sample holders. The elemental differences were then correlated with the phases present and the observed corrosion resistance. The elemental spectra and diffractometer scans were analyzed using a modified version of the SPECPLOT program. This program enables the user to analyze both energy-dispersive elemental data and diffractometer data using a single program.
In this article, we show that mechanically-induced phase transformations can be readily achieved in two Pu-alloy systems. We have observed mechanically-induced phase transformations in both Ti-stabilized β-Pu and Ga-stabilized δ-Pu, In both of these alloys, the parent phase has been largely transformed to α-Pu, and the cause of these transformations was mechanical strain introduced by the metallographic sample preparation. For the Ga alloys, x-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns were taken at about 1.5-μm steps down to the undisturbed material in order to develop depth profiles of the surface damage. The total depth of the disturbed material in these alloys is estimated to be about 7.6μm, but this depth was not measured for the Ti alloys. The proportions of α-Pu and δ-Pu in the Ga alloys have been estimated using (a) a new quantitative phase analysis program (SPECQUAN) that uses multiple peaks of each phase in order to minimize the effects of preferred orientation and (b) an older manual technique (i.e., hand calculations). The results from these techniques are compared. SPECQUAN was developed to use the Specplot data file structure directly, thus reducing our data processing. The program is written in Fortran 77 and employs an external intensity ratio quantification procedure to obtain its results. XRD calibration has been done independently by means of accurate density measurements on a reference Ga alloy.
This study evaluated in a rigorous 18-month randomized controlled trial the efficacy of an enhanced vocational intervention for helping individuals with a recent first schizophrenia episode to return to and remain in competitive work or regular schooling.
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) was adapted to meet the goals of individuals whose goals might involve either employment or schooling. IPS was combined with a Workplace Fundamentals Module (WFM) for an enhanced, outpatient, vocational intervention. Random assignment to the enhanced integrated rehabilitation program (N = 46) was contrasted with equally intensive clinical treatment at UCLA, including social skills training groups, and conventional vocational rehabilitation by state agencies (N = 23). All patients were provided case management and psychiatric services by the same clinical team and received oral atypical antipsychotic medication.
The IPS–WFM combination led to 83% of patients participating in competitive employment or school in the first 6 months of intensive treatment, compared with 41% in the comparison group (p < 0.005). During the subsequent year, IPS–WFM continued to yield higher rates of schooling/employment (92% v. 60%, p < 0.03). Cumulative number of weeks of schooling and/or employment was also substantially greater with the IPS–WFM intervention (45 v. 26 weeks, p < 0.004).
The results clearly support the efficacy of an enhanced intervention focused on recovery of participation in normative work and school settings in the initial phase of schizophrenia, suggesting potential for prevention of disability.
Cover crop–based, organic rotational no-till (CCORNT) corn and soybean systems have been developed in the mid-Atlantic region to build soil health, increase management flexibility, and reduce labor. In this system, a roller-crimped cover crop mulch provides within-season weed suppression in no-till corn and soybean. A cropping system experiment was conducted in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware to test the cumulative effects of a multitactic weed management approach in a 3-yr hairy vetch/triticale–corn–cereal rye–soybean–winter wheat CCORNT rotation. Treatments included delayed planting dates (early, intermediate, late) and supplemental weed control using high-residue (HR) cultivation in no-till corn and soybean phases. In the no-till corn phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated control by 58%, 23%, and 62% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. In the no-till soybean phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated treatment planted in narrow rows (19 to 38 cm) by 20%, 41%, and 78% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. Common ragweed was more dominant in soybean (39% of total biomass) compared with corn (10% of total biomass), whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed were more dominant in corn, comprising 46% and 22% of total biomass, respectively. Common ragweed became less abundant as corn and soybean planting dates were delayed, whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed increased as a percentage of total biomass as planting dates were delayed. At the Pennsylvania location, inconsistent termination of cover crops with the roller-crimper resulted in volunteer cover crops in other phases of the rotation. Our results indicate that HR cultivation is necessary to achieve adequate weed control in CCORNT systems. Integration of winter grain or perennial forages into CCORNT systems will also be an important management tactic for truncating weed seedbank population increases.
Development of a catalogue of approximately 100 radio sources having positional accuracy of ~0.005 arcseconds is one goal of the DSN radio reference frame program. This objective is set by the navigation requirements of the Galileo Project for reconstruction of the probe entry angle into the atmosphere of Jupiter. These radio positions are determined by VLBI observations using the antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network on two intercontinental baselines – California-Spain and California-Australia. Since 1978, measurements have been made simultaneously at 2.3 and 8.4 Ghz. Sixteen to twenty-four hours of data on each of the two baselines are usually obtained within a few days of each other, and since mid-1982 these pairs of observations have been made at approximately six week intervals.
Development of a radio reference frame of very high accuracy has become necessary in order to obtain the required accuracy in spacecraft navigation for current and future planetary missions. The antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network are being utilized on a regular basis to obtain the positions of over 100 compact extragalactic radio sources distributed over the sky down to a declination of −45 degrees with uncertainties of less than 0.005 arcseconds.
Studies on microbial biohydrogenation of fatty acids in the rumen are of importance as this process lowers the availability of nutritionally beneficial unsaturated fatty acids for incorporation into meat and milk but also might result in the accumulation of biologically active intermediates. The impact was studied of adsorption of 22:6n-3 (DHA) to particulate material on its disappearance during 24 h in vitro batch incubations with rumen inoculum. Four adsorbants were used in two doses (1 and 5 mg/ml of mucin, gum arabic, bentonite or silicic acid). In addition, the distribution of 22:6n-3 in the pellet and supernatant of diluted rumen fluid was measured. Bentonite and silicic acid did not alter the distribution of 22:6n-3 between pellet and supernatant nor increased the disappearance of 22:6n-3 during the incubation. Both mucin and gum arabic increased the recovery of 22:6n-3 in the supernatant, indicating that these compounds lowered the adsorption of the fatty acid to ruminal particles. This was associated with an increased disappearance of 22:6n-3, when initial 22:6n-3 was 0.06 or 0.10 mg/ml, and an increased formation of 22:0, when initial 22:6n-3 was 0.02 mg/ml, during the 24 h batch culture experiment. Addition of gum arabic to pure cultures of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens or Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus did not negate the inhibitory effect of 22:6n-3 on growth. As both mucin and gum arabic provide fermentable substrate for ruminal bacteria, an additional experiment was performed in which mucin and gum arabic were replaced by equal amounts of starch, cellulose or xylan. No differences in disappearance of 22:6n-3 were observed, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of mucin and gum arabic on disappearance of 22:6n-3 most probably is not due to provision of an alternative site of adsorption but related to stimulation of bacterial growth. A relatively high proportion of 22:6n-3 can be reduced to 22:0 provided the initial concentration is low.
The present study aimed to evaluate the precision, ease of use and likelihood of future use of portion size estimation aids (PSEA).
A range of PSEA were used to estimate the serving sizes of a range of commonly eaten foods and rated for ease of use and likelihood of future usage.
For each food, participants selected their preferred PSEA from a range of options including: quantities and measures; reference objects; measuring; and indicators on food packets. These PSEA were used to serve out various foods (e.g. liquid, amorphous, and composite dishes). Ease of use and likelihood of future use were noted. The foods were weighed to determine the precision of each PSEA.
Males and females aged 18–64 years (n 120).
The quantities and measures were the most precise PSEA (lowest range of weights for estimated portion sizes). However, participants preferred household measures (e.g. 200 ml disposable cup) – deemed easy to use (median rating of 5), likely to use again in future (all scored either 4 or 5 on a scale from 1=‘not very likely’ to 5=‘very likely to use again’) and precise (narrow range of weights for estimated portion sizes). The majority indicated they would most likely use the PSEA preparing a meal (94 %), particularly dinner (86 %) in the home (89 %; all P<0·001) for amorphous grain foods.
Household measures may be precise, easy to use and acceptable aids for estimating the appropriate portion size of amorphous grain foods.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and postnatal catch-up growth confer an increased risk of adult-onset disease. Overnourishment of adolescent ewes generates IUGR in ∼50% of lambs, which subsequently exhibit increased fractional growth rates. We investigated putative epigenetic changes underlying this early postnatal phenotype by quantifying gene-specific methylation at cytosine:guanine (CpG) dinucleotides. Hepatic DNA/RNA was extracted from IUGR [eight male (M)/nine female (F)] and normal birth weight (12 M/9 F) lambs. Polymerase chain reaction was performed using primers targeting CpG islands in 10 genes: insulin, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)1, IGF2, H19, insulin receptor, growth hormone receptor, IGF receptors 1 and 2, and the glucocorticoid receptor. Using pyrosequencing, methylation status was determined by quantifying cytosine:thymine ratios at 57 CpG sites. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of IGF system genes and plasma IGF1/insulin were determined. DNA methylation was independent of IUGR status but sexual dimorphism in IGF1 methylation was evident (M<F, P=0.008). IGF1 mRNA:18S and plasma IGF1 were M>F (both P<0.001). IGF1 mRNA expression correlated negatively with IGF1 methylation (r=−0.507, P=0.002) and positively with plasma IGF1 (r=0.884, P<0.001). Carcass and empty body weights were greater in males (P=0.002–0.014) and this gender difference in early body conformation was mirrored by sexual dimorphism in hepatic IGF1 DNA methylation, mRNA expression and plasma IGF1 concentrations.
The bran and particularly the aleurone fraction of wheat are high in betaine and other physiological methyl donors, which may exert beneficial physiological effects. We conducted two randomised, controlled, cross-over postprandial studies to assess and compare plasma betaine and other methyl donor-related responses following the consumption of minimally processed bran and aleurone fractions (study A) and aleurone bread (study B). For both studies, standard pharmacokinetic parameters were derived for betaine, choline, folate, dimethylglycine (DMG), total homocysteine and methionine from plasma samples taken at 0, 0·5, 1, 2 and 3 h. In study A (n 14), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially elevated from 0·5 to 3 h following the consumption of both bran and aleurone compared with the control; however, aleurone gave significantly higher responses than bran. Small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG measures; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. In study B (n 13), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially higher following consumption of the aleurone bread compared with the control bread; small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG and folate measures in response to consumption of the aleurone bread; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. Peak plasma betaine concentrations, which were 1·7–1·8 times the baseline levels, were attained earlier following the consumption of minimally processed aleurone compared with the aleurone bread (time taken to reach peak concentration 1·2 v. 2·1 h). These results showed that the consumption of minimally processed wheat bran, and particularly the aleurone fraction, yielded substantial postprandial increases in plasma betaine concentrations. Furthermore, these effects appear to be maintained when aleurone was incorporated into bread.
It is paramount to understand the epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B to inform national policies on vaccination and screening/testing as well as cost-effectiveness studies. However, information on the national (Scottish) prevalence of chronic hepatitis B by ethnic group is lacking. To estimate the number of people with chronic hepatitis B in Scotland in 2009 by ethnicity, gender and age, the test data from virology laboratories in the four largest cities in Scotland were combined with estimates of the ethnic distribution of the Scottish population. Ethnicity in both the test data and the Scottish population was derived using a name-based ethnicity classification software (OnoMAP; Publicprofiler Ltd, UK). For 2009, we estimated 8720 [95% confidence interval (CI) 7490–10 230] people aged ⩾15 years were living with chronic hepatitis B infection in Scotland. This corresponds to 0·2% (95% CI 0·17–0·24) of the Scottish population aged ⩾15 years. Although East and South Asians make up a small proportion of the Scottish population, they make up 44% of the infected population. In addition, 75% of those infected were aged 15–44 years with almost 60% male. This study quantifies for the first time on a national level the burden of chronic hepatitis B infection by ethnicity, gender and age. It confirms the importance of promoting and targeting ethnic minority groups for hepatitis B testing.