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In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We generalise a result of Chern [‘A curious identity and its applications to partitions with bounded part differences’, New Zealand J. Math.47 (2017), 23–26] on distinct partitions with bounded difference between largest and smallest parts. The generalisation is proved both analytically and bijectively.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
To describe the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions in patients with known viral respiratory infections (VRIs) diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 3 emergency departments (EDs) and to identify patient characteristics that influence the prescribing of antibiotics by ED physicians despite PCR confirmation of viral cause.
Retrospective, observational analysis of patients with PCR-diagnosed VRI discharged from 3 acute-care hospital EDs within 1 health system.
In total, 323 patients were discharged from the ED with a VRI diagnosis, of whom 68 were prescribed antibiotics (21.1%). These patients were older (median, 59.5 vs 43 years; P = .04), experienced symptoms longer (median, 4 vs 2 days; P = .002), were more likely to have received antibiotics in the preceding 7 days (27.9% vs 9.8%; P < .001), and had higher proportions of abnormal chest X-rays (64.5% vs 28.4%; P < .001). Patients were more likely to receive antibiotics for a diagnosis of pneumonia (39.7% vs 1.6%; P < .001) or otitis media (7.4% vs 0.4%; P = .002), and were less likely with diagnosis of upper respiratory infection (2.9% vs 13.7%; P = .02) or influenza (20.6% vs 44.3%; P < .001).
Despite a diagnosis of VRI, one-fifth of ED patients were prescribed antibiotics. Patient characteristics including age, duration of symptoms, abnormal chest X-rays, and specific diagnosis may increase provider concern for concurrent bacterial infections. Opportunities exist for antimicrobial stewardship strategies to incorporate rapid diagnostics in promoting judicious antibiotic usage in the ED.
We are developing the novel αIIbβ3 antagonist, RUC-4, for subcutaneously (SC)-administered first-point-of-medical-contact treatment for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
We studied the (1) pharmacokinetics (PK) of RUC-4 at 1.0, 1.93, and 3.86 mg/kg intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM), and SC in non-human primates (NHPs); (2) impact of aspirin on RUC-4 IC50 in human platelet-rich plasma (PRP); (3) effect of different anticoagulants on the RUC-4 IC50 in human PRP; and (4) relationship between αIIbβ3 receptor blockade by RUC-4 and inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation.
(1) All doses of RUC-4 were well tolerated, but animals demonstrated variable temporary bruising. IM and SC RUC-4 reached dose-dependent peak levels within 5–15 minutes, with T1/2 s between 0.28 and 0.56 hours. Platelet aggregation studies in NHPs receiving IM RUC-4 demonstrated >80% inhibition of the initial slope of ADP-induced aggregation with all three doses 30 minutes post-dosing, with subsequent dose-dependent loss of inhibition over 4–5 hours. (2) The RUC-4 IC50 for ADP-induced platelet aggregation was unaffected by aspirin treatment (40±9 nM vs 37±5 nM; p = 0.39). (3) The RUC-4 IC50 was significantly higher in PRP prepared from D-phenylalanyl-prolyl-arginyl chloromethyl ketone (PPACK)-anticoagulated blood compared to citrate-anticoagulated blood using either thrombin receptor activating peptide (TRAP) (122±17 vs 66±25 nM; p = 0.05; n = 4) or ADP (102±22 vs 54±13; p<0.001; n = 5). (4) There was a close correspondence between receptor blockade and inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation, with aggregation inhibition beginning with ~40% receptor blockade and becoming nearly complete at >80% receptor blockade.
Based on these results and others, RUC-4 has now progressed to formal preclinical toxicology studies.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
India has the second largest number of people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) globally. Epidemiological evidence indicates that consumption of white rice is positively associated with T2D risk, while intake of brown rice is inversely associated. Thus, we explored the effect of substituting brown rice for white rice on T2D risk factors among adults in urban South India. A total of 166 overweight (BMI ≥ 23 kg/m2) adults aged 25–65 years were enrolled in a randomised cross-over trial in Chennai, India. Interventions were a parboiled brown rice or white rice regimen providing two ad libitum meals/d, 6 d/week for 3 months with a 2-week washout period. Primary outcomes were blood glucose, insulin, glycosylated Hb (HbA1c), insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) and lipids. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) was a secondary outcome. We did not observe significant between-group differences for primary outcomes among all participants. However, a significant reduction in HbA1c was observed in the brown rice group among participants with the metabolic syndrome (−0·18 (se 0·08) %) relative to those without the metabolic syndrome (0·05 (se 0·05) %) (P-for-heterogeneity = 0·02). Improvements in HbA1c, total and LDL-cholesterol were observed in the brown rice group among participants with a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with those with a BMI < 25 kg/m2 (P-for-heterogeneity < 0·05). We observed a smaller increase in hs-CRP in the brown (0·03 (sd 2·12) mg/l) compared with white rice group (0·63 (sd 2·35) mg/l) (P = 0·04). In conclusion, substituting brown rice for white rice showed a potential benefit on HbA1c among participants with the metabolic syndrome and an elevated BMI. A small benefit on inflammation was also observed.
We report on an initial long-term study of dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC) from Sabino Creek, located in Sabino Canyon, Pima County, Arizona. The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in dissolved radiocarbon (14C) with time and to understand the processes contributing to these variations. Our results span the period 2009–2016 and show a mixing trend between dissolved inorganic and organic carbon modern end-members with an older component. This study provides preliminary information for more detailed research on recycling of organic components in this stream system.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depressed adults. CBT interventions are complex, as they include multiple content components and can be delivered in different ways. We compared the effectiveness of different types of therapy, different components and combinations of components and aspects of delivery used in CBT interventions for adult depression. We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials in adults with a primary diagnosis of depression, which included a CBT intervention. Outcomes were pooled using a component-level network meta-analysis. Our primary analysis classified interventions according to the type of therapy and delivery mode. We also fitted more advanced models to examine the effectiveness of each content component or combination of components. We included 91 studies and found strong evidence that CBT interventions yielded a larger short-term decrease in depression scores compared to treatment-as-usual, with a standardised difference in mean change of −1.11 (95% credible interval −1.62 to −0.60) for face-to-face CBT, −1.06 (−2.05 to −0.08) for hybrid CBT, and −0.59 (−1.20 to 0.02) for multimedia CBT, whereas wait list control showed a detrimental effect of 0.72 (0.09 to 1.35). We found no evidence of specific effects of any content components or combinations of components. Technology is increasingly used in the context of CBT interventions for depression. Multimedia and hybrid CBT might be as effective as face-to-face CBT, although results need to be interpreted cautiously. The effectiveness of specific combinations of content components and delivery formats remain unclear. Wait list controls should be avoided if possible.
Suicide attempt is an important indicator of suicide and potential future mortality. However, the prevalence of suicide attempts has been inconsistent across studies. This meta-analysis aimed to examine the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia and associated correlates.
Relevant publications in Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed, Web of science and Cochrane were systematically searched. Data on the prevalence of suicide attempts in individuals with schizophrenia were pooled using a random-effects model.
Thirty-five studies with 16 747 individuals with schizophrenia were included. The pooled lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts was 26.8% (95% CI 22.1–31.9%; I2 = 97.0%), while the 1-year prevalence, 1-month prevalence and the prevalence of suicide attempts from illness onset were 3.0% (95% CI 2.3–3.7%; I2 = 95.6%), 2.7% (95% CI 2.1–3.4%; I2 = 78.5%) and 45.9% (95% CI 42.1–49.9%; I2 = 0), respectively. Earlier age of onset (Q = 4.38, p = 0.04), high-income countries (Q = 53.29, p < 0.001), North America and Europe and Central Asia (Q = 32.83, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of suicide attempts.
Suicide attempts are common in individuals with schizophrenia, especially those with an early age of onset and living in high-income countries and regions. Regular screening and effective preventive measures should be implemented as part of the clinical care.