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Birth weight and early growth have been associated with later blood pressure. However, not all studies consistently find a significant reduction in blood pressure with an increase in birth weight. In addition, the relative importance of birth weight and of other lifestyle and environmental factors is often overlooked and the association is rarely studied in adolescents. We investigated early life predictors, including birth weight, of adolescent blood pressure in the Gateshead Millennium Study (GMS). The GMS is a cohort of 1029 individuals born in 1999–2000 in Gateshead in Northern England. Throughout infancy and early childhood, detailed information were collected, including birth weight and measures of height and weight. Assessments of 491 returning participants at age 12 years included measures of body mass and blood pressure. Linear regression and path analysis were used to determine predictors and their relative importance on blood pressure. Birth weight was not directly associated with blood pressure at the age of 12. However, after adjustment for contemporaneous body mass index (BMI), an inverse association of standardized birth weight on systolic blood pressure was significant. The relative importance of birth weight on later systolic blood pressure was smaller than other contemporaneous body measures (height and BMI). There was no independent association of birth weight on blood pressure seen in this adolescent population. Contemporaneous body measures have an important role to play. Lifestyle factors that influence body mass or size, such as diet and physical activity, where interventions are directed at early prevention of hypertension should be targeted.
Field studies of grazing management have frequently concluded that the magnitude and direction of vegetation response is dependent on initial vegetation condition. On upland heath, this dependence reflects the importance of small-scale ecological processes (e.g. plant competition), and local neighbourhood effects (e.g. spatial distribution of plant species), in driving the vegetation dynamics. These small-scale effects, together with variation in grazing patterns, increase the difficulty of deriving general rules about the effect of grazing on vegetation change from field studies. However, we need to determine the impacts of such grazing-related vegetation change upon biodiversity, (e.g. birds). For many bird species it is impractical to use experimental approaches due to low breeding densities, and the influence of other site and management effects (e.g. predator control). To predict the effect of management changes on them requires an accurate assessment of the large-scale effects of grazing management on the ecological landscape using data from small-scale field studies. This paper sets out an approach that integrates field studies with theoretical models to investigate the large-scale effects of grazing management on plant and bird communities on upland heath.
The closely related actions of cortisol and leptin (Ahima & Flier, 2000) are involved with appetite, tissue growth and maturation, energy balance and weight deposition so that resistance to either may lead to obesity. In normal weight humans, plasma leptin and cortisol exhibit diurnal variation, peaking during darkness and late afternoon (respectively). In sheep, the literature consensus is that plasma cortisol levels are greatest during daylight. Ovine plasma leptin is also reported to vary in response to photoperiod-driven changes (Bocquier et al., 1998) and such as alterations in voluntary feed intake as daylength changes. Daily circadian patterns, however, are thought to be entrained by the time of daily feed presentation (Marie et al., 2001). The aim of the present study was to investigate the diurnal variation in ovine plasma leptin in unrestrained animals with ad-lib access to hay and water in relation to their plasma cortisol profile over the same period. Remote blood sampling was employed in order to reduce sampling stress that would affect the animals’ plasma physiology.
Few studies have investigated nitrogen (N) fertilizer management in no-tillage (NT) tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum L.) production systems, even though N fertilization is known to influence tobacco cured leaf yield and quality. The present study evaluated how tillage practice and N fertilizer rate affected burley tobacco agronomic performance, plant available nitrogen (PAN) supply, and leaf chemical constituents. In 2012 and 2013, three N fertilizer rates (0, 140 and 280 kg N/ha) were introduced as split-plots within a long-term NT and conventional tillage (CT) (mouldboard plough) comparison study. Results (2007–2013) showed that the effect of tillage on tobacco yield depended on seasonal weather; NT tobacco appeared to have lower yield than CT tobacco in seasons with <450 mm growing season rainfall, but similar yields when rainfall was >500 mm. In 2012 (432 mm rainfall; 84% of the long-term seasonal mean), leaf SPAD reading, leaf nitrate concentration, total nitrogen concentration at the topping day (i.e. removal of flowers/buds at the tops of the plants) and cured leaf nicotine and alkaloid content suggested that N deficiency was more pronounced in NT than CT at the lowest N fertilizer rate. The PAN supply, as measured by a modified in situ resin core method, was similar in 2012 between NT and CT, suggesting that plant factors may have had a role in N uptake efficiency. This scenario did not repeat in 2013 (706 mm rainfall; 137% of the long-term seasonal mean). Even though N fertilization rates were identical for both tillage practices in 2012 and 2013, PAN was lower, on average, in 2012. Because N uptake is largely the result of mass flow, the impact of reduced root density in NT tobacco would be expected to be more pronounced in a season such as 2012, when water was limited. Banding N close to the tobacco root system and/or side-dressing some portion of N may be recommended strategies to improve N use efficiency in NT burley tobacco production.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Two types of TiN/HfOx/TiN devices have been fabricated where the top 200nm TiN electrode has been deposited by two different sputtering methods; reactive, using a titanium target in a nitrogen environment, and non-reactive, using a titanium nitride target. Characterization of the materials shows that the reactive TiN is single-phase stoichiometric TiN with a sheet resistance of 7Ω/square. The non-reactive TiN has a sheet resistance of 300Ω/square and was found to contain significant amounts of oxygen. The resistive switching behavior differs for both devices. The reactive stoichiometric TiN device results in bipolar switching with a Roff/Ron ratio of 50. The non-reactive TiN results in unipolar switching with a Roff/Ron ratio of more than 103, however this device shows poor reproducibility. These results show that an oxygen rich layer between the top electrode and insulator affects the Roff value. It supports the theory of oxygen vacancies leading to the formation of conductive filaments.
Heat stress (HS) jeopardizes livestock health and productivity and both may in part be mediated by reduced intestinal integrity. Dietary zinc improves a variety of bowel diseases, which are characterized by increased intestinal permeability. Study objectives were to evaluate the effects of supplemental zinc amino acid complex (ZnAA) on intestinal integrity in heat-stressed growing pigs. Crossbred gilts (43±6 kg BW) were ad libitum fed one of three diets: (1) control (ZnC; 120 ppm Zn as ZnSO4; n=13), (2) control+100 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn220; containing a total of 220 ppm Zn; n=14), and (3) control+200 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn320; containing a total of 320 ppm Zn; n=16). After 25 days on their respective diets, all pigs were exposed to constant HS conditions (36°C, ∼50% humidity) for either 1 or 7 days. At the end of the environmental exposure, pigs were euthanized and blood and intestinal tissues were harvested immediately after sacrifice. As expected, HS increased rectal temperature (P⩽0.01; 40.23°C v. 38.93°C) and respiratory rate (P⩽0.01; 113 v. 36 bpm). Pigs receiving ZnAA tended to have increased rectal temperature (P=0.07; +0.27°C) compared with ZnC-fed pigs. HS markedly reduced feed intake (FI; P⩽0.01; 59%) and caused BW loss (2.10 kg), but neither variable was affected by dietary treatment. Fresh intestinal segments were assessed ex vivo for intestinal integrity. As HS progressed from days 1 to 7, both ileal and colonic transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) decreased (P⩽0.05; 34% and 22%, respectively). This was mirrored by an increase in ileal and colonic permeability to the macromolecule dextran (P⩽0.01; 13- and 56-fold, respectively), and increased colonic lipopolysaccharide permeability (P⩽0.05; threefold) with time. There was a quadratic response (P⩽0.05) to increasing ZnAA on ileal TER, as it was improved (P⩽0.05; 56%) in Zn220-fed pigs compared with ZnC. This study demonstrates that HS progressively compromises the intestinal barrier and supplementing ZnAA at the appropriate dose can improve aspects of small intestinal integrity during severe HS.
Combined microfocus XAS and XRD analysis of α-particle radiation damage haloes around thorium-containing monazite in Fe-rich biotite reveals changes in both short- and long-range order. The total α-particles flux derived from the Th and U in the monazite over 1.8 Ga was 0.022 α particles per atomic component of the monazite and this caused increasing amounts of structural damage as the monazite emitter is approached. Short-range order disruption revealed by Fe K-edge EXAFS is manifest by a high variability in Fe–Fe bond lengths and a marked decrease in coordination number. XANES examination of the Fe K-edge shows a decrease in energy of the main absorption by up to 1 eV, revealing reduction of the Fe3+ components of the biotite by interaction with the 24He2+, the result of low and thermal energy electrons produced by the cascade of electron collisions. Changes in d spacings in the XRD patterns reveal the development of polycrystallinity and new domains of damaged biotite structure with evidence of displaced atoms due to ionization interactions and nuclear collisions. The damage in biotite is considered to have been facilitated by destruction of OH groups by radiolysis and the development of Frenkel pairs causing an increase in the trioctahedral layer distances and contraction within the trioctahedral layers. The large amount of radiation damage close to the monazite can be explained by examining the electronic stopping flux.
The aim of this study was to investigate spatial variation in risk of hospitalization in childhood pneumonia and empyema in the North of England and associated risk factors. Data on childhood (0–14 years) hospital admissions with a diagnosis pneumonia or empyema were linked to postcode districts. Bayesian conditional autoregressive models were used to evaluate spatial variation and the relevance of specific spatial covariates in an area-based study using postcode as the areal unit. There was a sixfold variation in the risk of hospitalization due to pneumonia across the study region. Variation in risk was associated with material deprivation, Child Well-being Index (CWI) health domain score, number of children requiring local authority support, and distance to hospital. No significant spatial variation in risk for empyema was found.
Although the environmental benefits of recycling plastics are well established and most geographic locations within the U.S. offer some plastic recycling, recycling rates are often low. Low recycling rates are often observed in conventional centralized recycling plants due to the challenge of collection and transportation for high-volume low-weight polymers. The recycling rates decline further when low population density, rural and relatively isolated communities are investigated because of the distance to recycling centers makes recycling difficult and both economically and energetically inefficient. The recent development of a class of open source hardware tools (e.g. RecycleBots) able to convert post-consumer plastic waste to polymer filament for 3-D printing offer a means to increase recycling rates by enabling distributed recycling. In addition, to reducing the amount of plastic disposed of in landfills, distributed recycling may also provide low-income families a means to supplement their income with domestic production of small plastic goods. This study investigates the environmental impacts of polymer recycling. A life-cycle analysis (LCA) for centralized plastic recycling is compared to the implementation of distributed recycling in rural areas. Environmental impact of both recycling scenarios is quantified in terms of energy use per unit mass of recycled plastic. A sensitivity analysis is used to determine the environmental impacts of both systems as a function of distance to recycling centers. The results of this LCA study indicate that distributed recycling of HDPE for rural regions is energetically favorable to either using virgin resin or conventional recycling processes. This study indicates that the technical progress in solar photovoltaic devices, open-source 3-D printing and polymer filament extrusion have made distributed polymer recycling and upcycling technically viable.
Molybdenum contamination has been detected in silicon epitaxial layers and substrate wafers after processing in any one of several epitaxial silicon reactors. Greatly reduced minority carrier diffusion lengths and lifetimes are consistent with Mo concentrations measured by DLTS in the 1012 and 1013 cm−3 ranges. Depth profiling of diffusion length and the Mo deep level show much greater penetration than expected from previous reports of Mo as a slow diffuser. The data indicate a lower limit of 10−8 cm2/sec for the diffusion coefficient of Mo in silicon at 1200°C, consistent with high diffusivities measured for other transition metals.
In this paper we report preliminary observations of oxygen precipitation in degenerately-doped silicon using etching, optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that n+ material was resistant to precipitation, but p+ material precipitated readily. A multistep heat treatment starting with a low temperature step to achieve a high supersaturation ratio was sucessfully used to induce precipitation in n+ material.
This paper presents the results of a systematic TEM investigation to understand the chemical, morphological and microstructural makeup of photoresist residues following oxygen plasma ashing. The investigation was carried out on generic non-product control wafers and product wafers with a view to help aid in the identification of a suitable post-ashing cleaning process. Specimens in planview were prepared by mechanical grinding and Argon ion milling from the substrate end of the sample. Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS) was used to obtain the composition and selected area electron diffraction (SAD) was used to obtain information on crystallinity. The residues were essentially amorphous and were found to be arsenic-rich in composition and exhibited a dropletlike morphology decorating areas where the photoresist was used as an implantation mask. In addition, hexagonally shaped crystals and spherical particulates of varying dimensions were seen in several regions and were found to be carbon rich.
The use of poly-buffered LOCOS processing is a common feature of many
sub-micron integrated circuit fabrication processes. However, the silicon
layer interposed between the nitride oxidation mask and the pad oxide is
often difficult to remove. Different strategies involve dry and/or wet
etching of the film. We have demonstrated the utility of adding metals such
as Fe or Cu to a conventional phosphoric bath used to etch silicon nitride.
Briefly, the presence of the metals is thought to result in a classic
oxidation-reduction reaction between the metal and the silicon. Additions of
60ppm of Cu+2 resulted in etch rates of 20Å /min. on undoped
polysilicon at a process temperature of 165°C, whereas, the etch rate of
SiO2 was less than 1Å/min. Similar results were obtained for
additions of Fe+3 and other metals.