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A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
Populations of Critically Endangered White-rumped Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed G. tenuirostris Vultures in Nepal declined rapidly during the 2000s, almost certainly because of the effects of the use in livestock of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, which is nephrotoxic to Gyps vultures. In 2006, veterinary use of diclofenac was banned in Nepal and this was followed by the gradual implementation, over most of the geographical range of the two vulture species in Nepal, of a Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) programme to advocate vulture conservation, raise awareness about diclofenac, provide vultures with NSAID-free food and encourage the veterinary use in livestock of a vulture-safe alternative NSAID (meloxicam). We report the results of long-term monitoring of vulture populations in Nepal before and after this programme was implemented, by means of road transects. Piecewise regression analysis of the count data indicated that a rapid decline of the White-rumped Vulture population from 2002 up to about 2013 gave way to a partial recovery between about 2013 and 2018. More limited data for the Slender-billed Vulture indicated that a rapid decline also gave way to partial recovery from about 2012 onwards. The rates at which populations were increasing in the 2010s exceeded the upper end of the range of increase rates expected in a closed population under optimal conditions. The possibility that immigration from India is contributing to the changes cannot be excluded. We present evidence from open and undercover pharmacy surveys that the VSZ programme had apparently become effective in reducing the availability of diclofenac in a large part of the range of these species in Nepal by about 2011. Hence, community-based advocacy and awareness-raising actions, and possibly also provisioning of safe food, may have made an important contribution to vulture conservation by augmenting the effects of changes in the regulation of toxic veterinary drugs.
High frequency of low birth weight (LBW) is observed in rural compared with urban Indian women. Since maternal BMI is known to be associated with pregnancy outcomes, the present study aimed to investigate factors associated with BMI in early pregnancy of urban and rural South Indian women.
Prospective observational cohort.
A hospital-based study conducted at an urban and a rural health centre in Karnataka State.
Pregnant women (n 843) aged 18–40 years recruited in early pregnancy from whom detailed sociodemographic, environmental, anthropometric and dietary intake information was collected.
A high proportion of low BMI (32 v. 26 %, P<0·000) and anaemia (48 v. 23 %, P<0·000) was observed in the rural v. the urban cohort. Rural women were younger, had lower body weight, tended to be shorter and less educated. They lived in poor housing conditions, had less access to piped water and good sanitation, used unrefined fuel for cooking and had lower standard of living score. The age (β=0·21, 95 % CI 0·14, 0·29), education level of their spouse (β=1·36, 95 % CI 0·71, 2·71) and fat intake (β=1·24, 95 % CI 0·20, 2·28) were positively associated with BMI in urban women.
Our findings indicate that risk factors associated with BMI in early pregnancy are different in rural and urban settings. It is important to study population-specific risk factors in relation to perinatal health.
Chronic osteomyelitis, a bone infection caused by bacteria, requires extensive parenteral treatments. With an aim to develop bioactive glass with antibacterial properties to resist such infections, bioactive glasses with bismuth oxide as the dopant in various amounts up to 8 wt% were prepared. X-ray diffraction patterns and Fourier-transform infrared spectra of glass samples after immersion in simulated body fluid showed the presence of hydroxyapatite (HAp) and hydroxyl carbonate apatite for all samples except with the one having Bi2O3 substitution of 8 wt%. In vitro cell proliferation by MTT assay studies using a mouse fibroblast cell line (NIH3T3) have also been carried out. Primary antimicrobial activity of the glass particles was analyzed against Escherichia coli (E. coli) using broth microdilution method which exhibited bacteriostatic effects and bactericidal properties in selected samples. The combination of bioactivity, cell proliferation, and antibacterial properties of selected Bismuth-containing bioactive glasses could be exploited in treating bone-related infections.
The effects of fragmentation and overstorey tree diversity on tree regeneration were assessed in tropical rain forests of the Western Ghats, India. Ninety plots were sampled for saplings (1–5 cm diameter at breast height (dbh); 5×5-m plots) and overstorey trees (>9.55 cm dbh; 20×20-m plots) within two fragments (32 ha and 18 ha) and two continuous forests. We tested the hypotheses that fragmentation and expected seed-dispersal declines (1) reduce sapling densities and species richness of all species and old-growth species, and increase recruitment of early-successional species, (2) reduce the prevalence of dispersed recruits and (3) increase influence of local overstorey on sapling densities and richness. Continuous forests and fragments had similar sapling densities and species richness overall, but density and richness of old-growth species declined by 62% and 48%, respectively, in fragments. Fragments had 39% lower densities and 24% lower richness of immigrant saplings (presumed dispersed into sites as conspecific adults were absent nearby), and immigrant densities of old-growth bird-dispersed species declined by 79%. Sapling species richness (overall and old-growth) increased with overstorey species richness in fragments, but was unrelated to overstorey richness in continuous forests. Our results show that while forest fragments retain significant sapling diversity, losses of immigrant recruits and increased overstorey influence strengthen barriers to natural regeneration of old-growth tropical rain forests.
Prenatal and early-life environmental exposures play a key role in the development of atopy and allergic disease. The Family Atherosclerosis Monitoring In earLY life Study is a general, population-based Canadian birth cohort that prospectively evaluated prenatal and early-life traits and their association with atopy and/or allergic disease. The study population included 901 babies, 857 mothers and 530 fathers. Prenatal and postnatal risk factors were evaluated through questionnaires collected during the antenatal period and at 1 year. The end points of atopy and allergic diseases in infants were evaluated through questionnaires and skin prick testing. Key outcomes included atopy (24.5%), food allergy (17.5%), cow’s milk allergy (4.8%), wheezing (18.6%) and eczema (16%). The association between infant antibiotic exposure [odds ratio (OR): 2.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.45–2.88] and increased atopy was noted in the multivariate analysis, whereas prenatal maternal exposure to dogs (OR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.42–0.84) and acetaminophen (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.51–0.92) was associated with decreased atopy. This population-based birth cohort in Canada demonstrated high rates of atopy, food allergy, wheezing and eczema. Several previously reported and some novel prenatal and postnatal exposures were associated with atopy and allergic diseases at 1 year of age.
The present work discusses about the mechanical and metallurgical properties of Incoloy 800 H friction welded joints. The process parameters namely friction pressure, friction time, upsetting pressure, upset time, and rotational speeds were varied from low level to high level to study their effects on the properties of the weldments. The tensile tests were carried out at four different temperatures namely at room temperature, 550, 650, and 750 °C. From the results, it is observed that as the testing temperature increased, there was a reduction in tensile strength of welds. The friction welds had higher hardness than the base metals. This was due to the formation of secondary phases (γ′ and M23C6) in friction welds. The tensile and impact fracture surfaces were further analyzed through SEM and finally the individual effects of the parameters with respect to the microstructures variation in the welds were studied.
Dicke and Goldenberg (1967a) measured the solar oblateness to be σ= (5±0.7) × 10-5 and subsequently interpreted this measurement as evidence that the solar interior rotates with a period of 1.d8. With this interpretation, they then showed that the observed oblateness causes an 8% discrepancy in the Einstein prediction of the perihelion advance of Mercury. The stability analysis of Goldreich and Schubert (1967) seems to preclude such a fast rotation of the solar interior although magnetic field effects could alter their conclusions (Dicke, 1967). More recently Goldreich and Schubert (1968) and Fricke (1969) have calculated upper bounds to the solar oblateness essentially by finding the steepest distribution of angular velocity that is consistent with secular stability at each point in the equatorial plane of the sun. Fricke’s result of σmax=1.4 × 10-5 is based on a stronger stability criterion than that of Goldreich and Schubert who found σmax=1.4 × 10-4; Fricke, however, suggests that this may be in error and should actually be σmax=3.4 × 10-5. In their calculations of σmax the above authors assumed that the outer convective layers of the sun are rotating uniformly and that the angular velocity in the interior is a function of the radial distance from the center of the sun only. We note that while these assumptions are reasonable, neither of them is supported by the observed solar rotation.
An extension of the method devised by Monaghan and Roxburgh (1965) for rapidly rotating polytropes is used to study the structure of the primary component of a synchronous close binary system. Results are presented for polytropes of index 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 4.9. We conclude that the extended Monaghan and Roxburgh method can be applied to real stars which are perturbed by both tidal and rotational forces.
Dietary patterns containing nuts are associated with a lower risk of CVD mortality, and increased nut consumption has been shown to have beneficial effects on CVD risk factors including serum lipid levels. Recent studies have reported on the relationship between nut intake and CVD outcomes and mortality. Our objective was to systematically review the literature and quantify associations between nut consumption and CVD outcomes and all-cause mortality. Five electronic databases (through July 2015), previous reviews and bibliographies of qualifying articles were searched. In the twenty included prospective cohort studies (n 467 389), nut consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality (ten studies; risk ratio (RR) 0·81; 95 % CI 0·77, 0·85 for highest v. lowest quantile of intake, Phet=0·04, I2=43 %), CVD mortality (five studies; RR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·68, 0·78; Phet=0·31, I2=16 %), all CHD (three studies; RR 0·66; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·91; Phet=0·0002, I2=88 %) and CHD mortality (seven studies; RR 0·70; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·76; Phet=0·65, I2=0 %), as well as a statistically non-significant reduction in the risk of non-fatal CHD (three studies; RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·49, 1·03; Phet=0·03, I2=72 %) and stroke mortality (three studies; RR 0·83; 95 % CI 0·69, 1·00; Phet=0·54, I2=0 %). No evidence of association was found for total stroke (two studies; RR 1·05; 95 % CI 0·69, 1·61; Phet=0·04, I2=77 %). Data on total CVD and sudden cardiac death were available from one cohort study, and they were significantly inversely associated with nut consumption. In conclusion, we found that higher nut consumption is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, total CVD, CVD mortality, total CHD, CHD mortality and sudden cardiac death.
The Upper Mustang region of Nepal holds important breeding populations of Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis. Despite this species being considered ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List, the population in Upper Mustang had declined substantially in the early to mid-2000s. During that period, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac was commonly used to treat illness and injury in domesticated ungulates throughout Nepal. The timing and magnitude of declines in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang resemble the declines in resident populations of the ‘Critically Endangered’ White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris in Nepal, both of which are also known to be highly sensitive to diclofenac. Since 2006, the veterinary use of diclofenac has been banned in Nepal to prevent further vulture declines. In this paper, we analyse the population trend in Himalayan Griffon in Upper Mustang between 2002 and 2014 and show a partial recovery. We conclude that the decline is now occurring at a slower rate than previously observed and immigration from areas where diclofenac was either not or rarely used the probable explanation for the recovery observed.
In this contribution, we report the synthesis and characterization of NixFe3-xO4 and CoxFe3-xO4 redox nanomaterials using sol-gel method. These materials will be used to produce solar fuels such as H2 or syngas from H2O and/or CO2 via solar thermochemical cycles (STCs). For the sol-gel synthesis of ferrites, the Ni, Co, Fe precursor salts were dissolved in ethanol and propylene oxide (PO) was added dropwise to the well mixed solution as a gelation agent to achieve gel formation. Freshly synthesized gels were aged, dried, and calcined by heating them to 600°C in air. The calcined powders were characterized by powder x-ray diffractometer (XRD), BET surface area, as well as scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. Their suitability to be used in STCs for the production of solar fuels was assessed by performing several reduction/re-oxidation cycles using a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA).
Since 2004, efforts to improve poliovirus detection have significantly increased the volume of specimen testing from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) patients in India. One option to decrease collection and testing burden would be collecting only a single stool specimen instead of two. We investigated stool specimen sensitivity for poliovirus detection in India to estimate the contribution of the second specimen. We reviewed poliovirus isolation data for 303984 children aged <15 years with AFP during 2000–2010. Using maximum-likelihood estimation, we determined specimen sensitivity of each stool specimen, combined sensitivity of both specimens, and sensitivity added by the second specimen. Of 5184 AFP patients with poliovirus isolates, 382 (7·4%) were identified only by the second specimen. Sensitivity was 91·4% for the first specimen and 84·5% for the second specimen; the second specimen added 7·3% sensitivity, giving a combined sensitivity of 98·7%. Combined sensitivity declined, and added sensitivity increased, as the time from paralysis onset to stool collection increased (P = 0·032). The sensitivity added by the second specimen is important to detect the last chains of poliovirus transmission and to achieve certification of polio eradication. For sensitive surveillance, two stool specimens should continue to be collected from each AFP patient in India.
Obtaining a closed-form sampling distribution for the coalescent with recombination is a challenging problem. In the case of two loci, a new framework based on an asymptotic series has recently been developed to derive closed-form results when the recombination rate is moderate to large. In this paper, an arbitrary number of loci is considered and combinatorial approaches are employed to find closed-form expressions for the first couple of terms in an asymptotic expansion of the multi-locus sampling distribution. These expressions are universal in the sense that their functional form in terms of the marginal one-locus distributions applies to all finite- and infinite-alleles models of mutation.
Many applications in genetic analyses utilize sampling distributions, which describe the probability of observing a sample of DNA sequences randomly drawn from a population. In the one-locus case with special models of mutation, such as the infinite-alleles model or the finite-alleles parent-independent mutation model, closed-form sampling distributions under the coalescent have been known for many decades. However, no exact formula is currently known for more general models of mutation that are of biological interest. In this paper, models with finitely-many alleles are considered, and an urn construction related to the coalescent is used to derive approximate closed-form sampling formulae for an arbitrary irreducible recurrent mutation model or for a reversible recurrent mutation model, depending on whether the number of distinct observed allele types is at most three or four, respectively. It is demonstrated empirically that the formulae derived here are highly accurate when the per-base mutation rate is low, which holds for many biological organisms.