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In a widely reported 2011 interview at the Royal Geographic Society, the British– Caribbean novelist and essayist V. S. Naipaul shocked his interlocutors and many members of the reading public when he said: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think it is unequal to me.” He continued: “A woman is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing, too. My publisher, who was so good as a taste-maker and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh.” Naipaul's valedictory flourish was the clarification: “I don't mean this in any unkind way.”
The notion that a reader may discern the gender of a text's author through close reading is, paradoxically, antithetical to the notion of close reading itself; nevertheless, it still finds roots deep in various literary historiographies and methodologies. In the early years of his career, before becoming the doyen of the social history of the medieval Mediterranean, S. D. Goitein claimed that while listening to the performance of Arabic poetry in Yemen, he could always tell whether a poem had been written by a man or a woman regardless of the gender of the performer. Such a belief, in no way limited to Naipaul and Goitein, bears serious interpretive consequences that have limited scholarly ability to comprehend the boundaries of women's writing. In this chapter, I propose to examine those consequences as they bear upon the construction of a literary history of Andalusi women poets and argue that only by overcoming both gender-essentialist and female-exceptionalist interpretation, two faces of the same critical coin, can we arrive at sound explanations for women's participation in the world of Andalusi courtly literature and the nature and extent of the limits placed upon that participation during the medieval period. The example of the single medieval Hebrew poem attributed to an Andalusi woman, both within its medieval context and in the light of the literary historiography that has tried to interpret and contextualize it, will be the test case for such a reassessment of that literary historiography.
People experiencing severe mental illness (SMI) face a shortened life expectancy of up to 20 years, primarily due to preventable cardiovascular (CV) diseases. Lifestyle interventions are effective in reducing CV risk, yet examples of service-wide interventions are lacking. Staff culture remains a barrier to the successful implementation of lifestyle interventions. The Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) program, established by SESLHD (Australia), aims to close the gap in life expectancy through multidisciplinary teams, including clinical nurse consultants, dieticians, exercise physiologists, and peer support workers. Prior to the KBIM rollout, an individualized lifestyle intervention called Keeping Our Staff In Mind (KoSiM) was offered to all district mental health staff.
KoSiM examined the effectiveness of a staff intervention to improve physical health, confidence, knowledge and attitudes of mental health staff.
Mental health staffs were invited to participate in an online survey and a 4-week individualized intervention including personalised health screening and lifestyle advice, with a 16-week follow-up. Outcomes assessed included: attitudes, confidence and knowledge regarding metabolic health, weight, waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, sleep, diet, physical activity and exercise capacity.
Of a total of 702 staff, 204 completed the survey (29%). Among those completing the survey, 154 staff (75%) participated in the intervention. A mean decrease in waist circumference of 2 ± 2.7 cm, (P < 0.001) was achieved. Among staffs that were overweight or obese at baseline, 75% achieved a decrease in WC.
Improving staff culture regarding physical health interventions is an important step in integrating lifestyle interventions into routine care.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
Observational evidence suggests that increased whole grain (WG) intake reduces the risks of many non-communicable diseases, such as CVD, type 2 diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. More recently, studies have shown that WG intake lowers all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Much of the reported evidence on risk reduction is from US and Scandinavian populations, where there are tangible WG dietary recommendations. At present there is no quantity-specific WG dietary recommendation in the UK, instead we are advised to choose WG or higher fibre versions. Despite recognition of WG as an important component of a healthy diet, monitoring of WG intake in the UK has been poor, with the latest intake assessment from data collected in 2000–2001 for adults and in 1997 for children. To update this information we examined WG intake in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey rolling programme 2008–2011 after developing our database of WG food composition, a key resource in determining WG intake accurately. The results showed median WG intakes remain low in both adults and children and below that of countries with quantity-specific guidance. We also found a reduction in C-reactive protein concentrations and leucocyte counts with increased WG intake, although no association with other markers of cardio-metabolic health. The recent recommendations by the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition to increase dietary fibre intake will require a greater emphasis on consuming more WG. Specific recommendations on WG intake in the UK are warranted as is the development of public health policy to promote consumption of these important foods.
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 work focused on the modification of milled GaN powder. Successful attachment of a porphyrin derivative to a GaN powder was performed via in situ functionalization in the presence of phosphoric acid. The GaN powder was imaged using scanning electron microscopy and was found to be heterogeneous in nature, adopting no consistent geometry in the aggregates. The aqueous stability of the porphyrin used was observed in deionized water and a solution of phosphoric acid using ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy. Surface chemistry was characterized with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy, which identified evidence of successful functionalization through the presence of characteristic peaks. The interface stability of the covalent bond between GaN and porphyrin was evaluated using fluorescence spectroscopy and demonstrated no leaching of dye in water solutions for 20 days.
Increased whole grain intake has been shown to reduce the risk of many non-communicable diseases. Countries including the USA, Canada, Denmark and Australia have specific dietary guidelines on whole grain intake but others, including the UK, do not. Data from 1986/87 and 2000/01 have shown that whole grain intake is low and declining in British adults. The aim of the present study was to describe whole grain intakes in the most current dietary assessment of UK households using data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey rolling programme 2008–11. In the present study, 4 d diet diaries were completed by 3073 individuals between 2008 and 2011, along with details of socio-economic status (SES). The median daily whole grain intake, calculated for each individual on a dry weight basis, was 20 g/d for adults and 13 g/d for children/teenagers. The corresponding energy-adjusted whole grain intake was 27 g/10 MJ per d for adults and 20 g/10 MJ per d for children/teenagers. Whole grain intake (absolute and energy-adjusted) increased with age, but was lowest in teenagers (13–17 years) and younger adults up to the age of 34 years. Of the total study population, 18 % of adults and 15 % of children/teenagers did not consume any whole-grain foods. Individuals from lower SES groups had a significantly lower whole grain intake than those from more advantaged classifications. The whole grain intake in the UK, although higher than in 2000/01, remains low and below that in the US and Danish recommendations in all age classes. Favourable pricing with increased availability of whole-grain foods and education may help to increase whole grain intake in countries without whole-grain recommendations. Teenagers and younger adults may need targeting to help increase whole grain consumption.
Epidemiological evidence suggests an inverse association between whole grain consumption and the risk of non-communicable diseases, such as CVD, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. A recent analysis of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey rolling programme (NDNS-RP) has shown lower intake of whole grain in the UK. It is important to understand whether the health benefits associated with whole grain intake are present at low levels of consumption. The present study aimed to investigate the association of whole grain intake with intakes of other foods, nutrients and markers of health (anthropometric and blood measures) in the NDNS-RP 2008–11, a representative dietary survey of UK households. A 4-d diet diary was completed by 3073 individuals. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure levels, and blood and urine samples were collected after diary completion. Individual whole grain intake was calculated with consumers categorised into tertiles of intake. Higher intake of whole grain was associated with significantly decreased leucocyte counts. Significantly higher concentrations of C-reactive protein were seen in adults in the lowest tertile of whole grain intake. No associations with the remaining health markers were seen, after adjustments for sex and age. Over 70 % of this population did not consume the minimum recommend intake associated with disease risk reduction, which may explain small variation across health markers. Nutrient intakes in consumers compared with non-consumers were closer to dietary reference values, such as higher intakes of fibre, Mg and Fe, and lower intakes of Na, suggesting that higher intake of whole grain is associated with improved diet quality.
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.
Despite their pivotal role as primary producers, there is little information as to the diversity and physiology of cyanobacteria in the meltwater ecosystems of polar regions. Thirty cyanobacterial mats from Adelaide Island, Antarctica were investigated using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis, and screened for cyanobacterial toxins using molecular and chemical approaches. A total of 274 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected. The richness ranged between 8 and 33 cyanobacterial OTUs per sample, reflecting a high mat diversity. Leptolyngbya and Phormidium (c. 55% and 37% of the OTUs per mat) were dominant. Cyanobacterial community composition was similar between mats, particularly those obtained from closely adjacent locations. The cyanotoxin microcystin was detected in 26 of 27 mats (10–300 ng g-1 organic mass), while cylindrospermopsin, detected for the first time in Antarctica, was present in 21 of 30 mats (2–156 ng g-1 organic mass). The latter was confirmed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and by the presence of the cyrAB and cyrJ genes. This study demonstrates the usefulness of pyrosequencing for characterizing diverse cyanobacterial communities, and confirms that cyanobacteria from extreme environments produce a similar range of cyanotoxins as their temperate counterparts.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is typically associated with high-risk population groups, but the risk of PTSD that is associated with trauma experienced in the community, and effect of changes in diagnostic criteria in DSM-5 on prevalence in the general population, is unknown.
Cross-sectional analysis of population-based data from 4558 adults aged 25–83 years resident in Caerphilly county borough, Wales, UK. Exposure to different traumatic events was assessed using categorisation of free-text descriptions of trauma. PTSD caseness was determined using items assessing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM-IV) and DSM-5 A criteria and the Traumatic Screening Questionnaire.
Of the 4558 participants, 1971 (47.0%) reported a traumatic event. The most common DSM-IV A1 qualifying trauma was life-threatening illnesses and injuries (13.6%). The highest risk of PTSD was associated with assaultive violence [34.1%]. The prevalence of PTSD using DSM-IV A criteria was 14.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.8, 15.9%). Using DSM-5 A criteria reduced the prevalence to 8.0 (95% CI = 6.9, 9.4%), primarily due to exclusion of DSM-IV A1 qualifying events, such as life-threatening illnesses.
Nearly one-half of a general community sample had experienced a traumatic event and of these around one in seven was a DSM-IV case of PTSD. Although the majority of research has concentrated on combat, rape and assaultive violence, life threatening illness is a more common cause of PTSD in the community. Removal of this traumatic event in DSM-5 could reduce the number of cases of PTSD by around 6.0%.
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.