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The Schistosoma mansoni cercarial elastase (SmCE) has previously been shown to be poorly immunogenic in mice. However, a minority of mice were able to produce antibodies against SmCE after multiple immunizations with crude preparations containing the enzyme. These mice were partially protected against challenge infections of S. mansoni. In the present study, we show that in contrast to the poor immunogenicity of the enzymatically active native form of SmCE derived from a crude preparation (cercarial transformation fluid), immunization of CBA/Ca mice with two enzymatically inactive forms, namely purified native SmCE or a recombinant SmCE fused to recombinant Schistosoma japonicum glutathione S-transferase (rSmCE-SjGST), after adsorption onto aluminum hydroxide adjuvant, induced specific anti-SmCE immunoglobulin G (IgG) in all mice within 2 weeks of the second immunization. The IgG antibody response to rSmCE-SjGST was mainly of the IgG1 subclass. These results suggest that inactive forms of the antigen could be used to obtain the optimum immunogenic effects as a vaccine candidate against schistosomiasis. Mice immunized with the rSmCE-SjGST on alum had smaller mean worm burdens and lower tissue egg counts when compared with adjuvant alone- and recombinant SjGST-injected controls. The native SmCE was antigenically cross-reactive with homologous enzymes of Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma margrebowiei.
Eating less frequently is associated with increased obesity risk in older children but data are potentially confounded by reverse causation, where bigger children eat less often in an effort to control their weight. Longitudinal data, particularly in younger children, are scarce. We aimed to determine whether eating frequency (meals and snacks) at 2 years of age is associated with past, current or subsequent BMI.
Cohort analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Eating frequency at 2 years of age was estimated using 48 h diaries that recorded when each child ate meals and snacks (parent-defined) in five-minute blocks. Body length/height and weight were measured at 1, 2 and 3·5 years of age. Linear regression assessed associations between the number of eating occasions and BMI Z-score, before and after adjustment for potential confounding variables.
Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) study, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Children (n 371) aged 1–3·5 years.
On average, children ate 5·5 (sd 1·2) times/d at 2 years of age, with most children (88–89 %) eating 4–7 times/d. Eating frequency at 2 years was not associated with current (difference in BMI Z-score per additional eating occasion; 95 % CI: −0·02; −0·10, 0·05) or subsequent change (0·02; −0·03, 0·06) in BMI. Similarly, BMI at age 1 year did not predict eating frequency at 2 years of age (difference in eating frequency per additional BMI Z-score unit; 95 % CI: −0·03; −0·19, 0·13).
Number of eating occasions per day was not associated with BMI in young children in the present study.
Healthy calves are fundamental to any profitable dairy enterprise. Research to-date, has focused on year-round calving systems which experience many different challenges compared to spring-calving systems. The objective of the present study was to determine the on-farm dry cow, calving, and colostrum management practices of spring-calving dairy production systems, and quantify their associations with herd size and herd expansion status (i.e. expanding or not expanding). Information on these management practices was available from a survey of 262 Irish spring-calving dairy farmers, representative of the Irish national population. Herd expansion in the 2 years before, and the year that the survey was conducted was not associated with any of the management practices investigated. Fifty-three percent of respondents had an average calving season length of 10 to14 weeks with 35% of herds having a longer calving season. Previous research in cattle has documented that both colostrum source and feeding management are associated with the transmission of infectious disease from cow to calf. In the present study 60% of respondents fed calves colostrum from their own dam; however, 66% of those respondents allowed the calf to suckle the dam, 23% of survey respondents fed calves pooled colostrum. Larger herds were more likely (P<0.01) to use pooled colostrum supplies, while smaller herds were more likely (P<0.05) to allow the calf to suckle the dam. The majority (86%) of respondents had stored supplies of colostrum; average-sized herds had the greatest likelihood of storing colostrum (P<0.05), compared to other herd sizes; larger sized herds had a lesser likelihood (P<0.05) of storing colostrum in a freezer, compared to other herd sizes. Although freezing colostrum was the most common method used to store colostrum (54% of respondents), 17% of respondents stored colostrum at room temperature, 29% of which stored it at room temperature for greater than 4 days. The results from the present study indicate that a particular focus needs to be placed on calving and colostrum management because this study has highlighted a number of areas which are below international standards, and may have repercussions for calf health. Furthermore, management practices on larger farms could be improved and, as these represent the future of dairy farming, a focus needs to be placed on them. Expanding herds are not a particular concern as herd expansion, independent of herd size, does not seem to be associated with calving and colostrum management practices on Irish spring-calving dairy herds.
The 2012 West Nile virus (WNV) epidemic was the largest since 2003 and the North Texas region was the most heavily impacted. We conducted a serosurvey of blood donors from four counties in the Dallas–Fort Worth area to characterize the epidemic. Blood donor specimens collected in November 2012 were tested for WNV-specific antibodies. Donors positive for WNV-specific IgG, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies were considered to have been infected in 2012. This number was adjusted using a multi-step process that accounted for timing of IgM seroreversion determined from previous longitudinal studies of WNV-infected donors. Of 4971 donations screened, 139 (2·8%) were confirmed WNV IgG positive, and 69 (1·4%) had IgM indicating infection in 2012. After adjusting for timing of sampling and potential seroreversion, we estimated that 1·8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·5–2·2] of the adult population in the Dallas–Fort Worth area were infected during 2012. The resulting overall estimate for the ratio of infections to reported WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) cases was 238:1 (95% CI 192–290), with significantly increased risk of WNND in older age groups. These findings were very similar to previous estimates of infections per WNND case, indicating no change in virulence as WNV evolved into an endemic infection in the United States.
A survey of management practices in 309 Irish dairy herds was used to identify risk factors for the presence of antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in extensively managed unvaccinated dairy herds. A previous study documented a herd-level seroprevalence in bulk milk of 49%, 19% and 86% for Salmonella, Neospora caninum and leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, respectively in the unvaccinated proportion of these 309 herds in 2009. Association analyses in the present study were carried out using multiple logistic regression models. Herds where cattle were purchased or introduced had a greater likelihood of being positive to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.01) and Salmonella (P<0.01). Larger herds had a greater likelihood of recording a positive bulk milk antibody result to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.05). Herds that practiced year round calving were more likely to be positive to Neospora caninum (P<0.05) compared to herds with a spring-calving season, with no difference in risk between herds that practiced split calving compared to herds that practiced spring calving. No association was found between presence of dogs on farms and prevalence of Neospora caninum possibly due to limited access of dogs to infected materials including afterbirths. The information from this study will assist in the design of suitable control programmes for the diseases under investigation in pasture-based livestock systems.
Transfer of sufficient immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the neonatal calf via colostrum is vital to provide the calf with immunological protection and resistance against disease. The objective of the present study was to determine the factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight in Irish dairy cows. Fresh colostrum samples were collected from 704 dairy cows of varying breed and parity from four Irish research farms between January and December 2011; colostral weight was recorded and the IgG concentration was determined using an ELISA method. The mean IgG concentration in the colostrum was 112 g/l (s.d. = 51 g/l) and ranged from 13 to 256 g/l. In total, 96% of the samples in this study contained >50 g/l IgG, which is considered to be indicative of high-quality colostrum. Mean colostral weight was 6.7 kg (s.d. = 3.6 kg) with a range of 0.1 to 24 kg. Factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight were determined using a fixed effects multiple regression model. Parity, time interval from calving to next milking, month of calving, colostral weight and herd were all independently associated with IgG concentration. IgG concentration decreased (P < 0.01) by 1.7 (s.e. = 0.6) g/l per kg increase in the colostral weight. Older parity cows, cows that had a shorter time interval from calving to milking, and cows that calved earlier in spring or in the autumn produced colostrum with higher IgG concentration. Parity (P < 0.001), time interval from calving to milking (P < 0.01), weight of the calf at birth (P < 0.05), colostral IgG concentration (P < 0.01) and herd were all independently associated with colostral weight at the first milking. Younger parity cows, cows milked earlier post-calving, and cows with lighter calves produced less colostrum. In general, colostrum quality of cows in this study was higher than in many previous studies; possible reasons include use of a relatively low-yielding cow type that produces low weight of colostrum, short calving to colostrum collection interval and grass-based nutritional management. The results of this study indicate that colostral IgG concentration can be maximised by reducing the time interval between calving and collection of colostrum.
Observations that older people who enjoy life more tend to live longer suggest that psychological well-being may be a potential resource for healthier ageing. We investigated whether psychological well-being was associated with incidence of physical frailty.
We used multinomial logistic regression to examine the prospective relationship between psychological well-being, assessed using the CASP-19, a questionnaire that assesses perceptions of control, autonomy, self-realization and pleasure, and incidence of physical frailty or pre-frailty, defined according to the Fried criteria (unintentional weight loss, weakness, self-reported exhaustion, slow walking speed and low physical activity), in 2557 men and women aged 60 to ⩾90 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).
Men and women with higher levels of psychological well-being were less likely to become frail over the 4-year follow-up period. For a standard deviation higher score in psychological well-being at baseline, the relative risk ratio (RR) for incident frailty, adjusted for age, sex and baseline frailty status, was 0.46 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40–0.54]. There was a significant association between psychological well-being and risk of pre-frailty (RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.63–0.77). Examination of scores for hedonic (pleasure) and eudaimonic (control, autonomy and self-realization) well-being showed that higher scores on both were associated with decreased risk. Associations were partially attenuated by further adjustment for other potential confounding factors but persisted. Incidence of pre-frailty or frailty was associated with a decline in well-being, suggesting that the relationship is bidirectional.
Maintaining a stronger sense of psychological well-being in later life may protect against the development of physical frailty. Future research needs to establish the mechanisms underlying these findings.
Phase formations in Co thin films (200Å in thickness) reacting with atomically clean Si(100), Ge(100), and Si0.80Ge0.20 epitaxial layer (800Å in thickness on Si(100) substrates) in UHV have been investigated. For the Co/Si system, it is found that CoSi (FeSi structure) is formed at 375°C through a very disordered CoSi phase, and the final CoSi2 phase is formed at 575°C. On the other hand, the Co5Ge7 phase was identified for the Co/Ge samples annealed at 300°C and 450°C and the final CoGe2 phase is formed at 600°C. For the Co/Si0.8 Ge0.20 samples annealed from 400°C to 600°C, Co(Si1−yGey) phases with y∼0.10 were detected, and for annealing at 700°C, only the CoSi2 phase was formed. These results indicate a preferential Co- Si reaction when annealing the Co/SiGe structure. It was also found that the sheet resistance of the reacted thin films depend strongly on annealing temperature.
Raman scattering measurements are used to characterize Co/Si, Co/Ge and CO/Si0.8Ge0.2 thin film reactions. For Co/Si samples, the phase transitions Co--CoSi--CoSi2 are identified by Raman spectroscopy. For Co/Ge samples, Raman features associated with Co5Ge 7 and CoGe2 phases were observed. For CO/Si0.8Ge0.2 samples, only CoSi was identified along with Ge enriched SiGe alloy peaks. No features associated with CoGe or Co(SiGe) were found.
During 2007–2009 a UK-wide, 3-year stratified randomized survey of UK chicken broiler flocks was conducted to estimate the prevalence of Campylobacter-infected batches of birds at slaughter. Thirty-seven abattoirs, processing 88·3% of the total UK slaughter throughput, were recruited at the beginning of the survey. Of the 1174 slaughter batches sampled, 79·2% were found to be colonized with Campylobacter, the majority of isolates being C. jejuni. Previous partial depopulation of the flock [odds ratio (OR) 5·21], slaughter in the summer months (categorized as June, July and August; OR 14·27) or autumn months (categorized as September, October and November; OR 1·70) increasing bird age (40–41 days, OR 3·18; 42–45 days, OR 3·56; ⩾46 days, OR 13·43) and higher recent mortality level in the flock (1·00–1·49% mortality, OR 1·57; ⩾1·49% mortality, OR 2·74) were all identified as significant risk factors for Campylobacter colonization of the birds at slaughter. Time in transit to the slaughterhouse of more than 2·5 h was identified as a protective factor (OR 0·52).
Consistent positive relationships have been found between birth weight and grip strength in adults but evidence in children is limited. In a prospective general population birth cohort (Southampton Women's Survey), grip strength and anthropometry (height and weight) were measured in 968 children at the age of 4 years. Mean (standard deviation (s.d.)) birth weight was 3.48 (0.52) kg. Birth weight, adjusted for sex and gestational age, was positively associated with grip strength (β = 0.22 kg/s.d. increase in adjusted birth weight; 95% CI 0.11, 0.34). The relationship was attenuated after adjustment for current height and weight such that it became non-significant (β = 0.03 kg/s.d. increase in adjusted birth weight; 95% CI−0.08, 0.14), suggesting that body size may be on the causal pathway. Early influences on muscle development appear to impact on grip strength in children, as well as adults.
The preparation of ferroelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films by rapid thermal processing (RTP) is reported. The films were deposited by chemical sol gel and physical sputter techniques. The heating rate of RTP was found to have significant influence on the crystallization behavior. Faster heating rates lead to lowering of the crystallization temperature and reduction of grain size. PZT films were obtained with dielectric constants ~ 1000, remanent polarizations between 20 and 30μC/cm2, coercive fields 20 to 60kV/cm, and no significant fatigue for 109 to 1010 stressing cycles.
Thin PZT films 1-4 μm in thickness prepared by sputtering or sol gel methods allow PZT films to be integrated with silicon technology to achieve piezoelectric or pyroelectric structures having small size or mass. Design criteria, materials and processing techniques for such devices are discussed, and the implementation of small size devices on silicon substrates is demonstrated. Factors of importance are the piezoelectric and pyroelectric characteristics achievable in the films, mechanical strength and fatigue, and the stability and compatibility of the films and electrodes with device fabrication procedures and operating conditions.
It has been shown that, across the full range of Si-Ge alloy compositions, C54 Ti(Siy Ge1-y)2 will form from the reaction of Ti with Six Gei1-x (0 ≥ x ≥ 1.00). X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) have been used to define consistent labeling of the C54 lattice parameters. In C54 Ti(Siy Ge1-y )2 the Si and Ge atoms occupy sites equivalent to the Si sites in C54 TiSi2. The Si and Ge atoms form shells about the Ti atoms that, within error, have Si and Ge occupancies consistent with the net Si and Ge atomic percents as determine by Auger microprobe depth profiled compositional analysis. There is an increase in the Si/Ge ratio (i.e., y>x) in the Titanium Germanosilicide. This increase may be due, in part, to the relative diffusion rates of Si, Ge, and Ti. The morphologies of the reacted films can be divided into three groups based on their similarity to the morphologies of C54 TiSi2 and C54 TiGe2 formed from similar solid phase reactions. The morphological groupings indicate that the morphology of the final C54 phase (and probably the reaction path) is strongly related to the Si/Ge content of the film.
The reactions of titanium on germanium were studied using Raman spectroscopy and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS). Samples used in this study were produced in a custom MBE system with dual E-gun sources, two filament sources, and base pressure <1x10−10 Torr. Ge(100) substrates were prepared by chemical cleaning and homoepitaxial deposition of 500Å - 1000Å Ge at 550°C. Ti was deposited and subsequently annealed at 50°C intervals from 500°C to 700°C. Raman and XANES spectra of the titanium germanides were obtained and used to examine the.evolution of the crystalline structures which form by the interface reactions of Ti on Ge. A low-order phase formed by diffusion controlled growth prior to the formation of TiGe2 (isomorphous with TiSi2 [C54]) by nucleation controlled growth.
Sol gel prepared PZT films from 0.3 - 1.0 μm in thickness can be crystallised at temperatures down to 520°C on aluminium substrates, but such films are often non-ferroelectric. Comparison with films made on Pt substrates suggests that reduced oxygen content at the interface nucleates a cubic non-ferroelectric PZT phase.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common in older people, but the relative importance of factors operating in early and later life in influencing risk is unclear, particularly in the case of anxiety.
We used data from five cohorts in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme: the Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936, the Caerphilly Prospective Study, the Hertfordshire Ageing Study, the Hertfordshire Cohort Study and the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. We used logistic regression to examine the relationship between factors from early and later life and risk of anxiety or depression, defined as scores of 8 or more on the subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and meta-analysis to obtain an overall estimate of the effect of each.
Greater neuroticism, poorer cognitive or physical function, greater disability and taking more medications were associated in cross-sectional analyses with an increased overall likelihood of anxiety or depression. Associations between lower social class, either in childhood or currently, history of heart disease, stroke or diabetes and increased risk of anxiety or depression were attenuated and no longer statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounding or mediating variables. There was no association between birth weight and anxiety or depression in later life.
Anxiety and depression in later life are both strongly linked to personality, cognitive and physical function, disability and state of health, measured concurrently. Possible mechanisms that might underlie these associations are discussed.
Ultrasonic transducers, microactuators and resonators using sol gel PZT films, polymer membranes and silicon machining techniques can take the form of cantilevers, membranes, and array sensors. Static deflections in simple electrode configurations for PZT films supported on silicon or silicon nitride membranes are of the order of 1 μm, while larger deflections can be developed under ac and resonant excitation. High frequency acoustic actuators using capacitative excitation of polymer films have been used to evaluate the performance of piezoelectric sensors.
The interface between ultrathin sputtered lead zirconate titanate (PZT) films and a conductive electrode (indium tin oxide-ITO) is investigated. Structural and compositional changes at the PZT-ITO interface have been examined by surface analysis and depth profiling techniques of glancing angle X-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering (RBS), SIMS, Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), and elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA). Studies indicate significant interdiffusion of lead into the underlying ITO layer and glass substrate with a large amount of residual stress at the interface. Influence of such compositional deviations at the interface is correlated to an observed thickness dependence in the dielectric properties of PZT films.
Small signal dielectric response is reported for a variety of PZT thin film samples. Small and large signal responses, recorded simultaneously during the fatiguing of PZT thin films, are used to identify distinct fatigue mechanisms. Microcracking or electrode delamination less than 100 Å is sufficient to explain the high correlation between the dielectric permittivity and remanent polarization during fatigue.