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We derive the surface and basal radar reflectance and backscatter coefficients of the southern McMurdo Ice Shelf (SMIS) and part of the nearby Ross Ice Shelf (RIS), Antarctica, from radar statistical reconnaissance using a 60-MHZ airborne survey. The surface coefficients are further inverted in terms of snow density and roughness, providing a spatial distribution of the processes contributing to the surface boundary conditions. We disentangle the basal coefficients from surface transmission losses, and we provide the basal coherent content, an indicator of the boundary geometric disorder that is also self-corrected from englacial attenuation. The basal radar properties exhibit sharp gradients along specific iso-depths, suggesting an abrupt modification of the ice composition and geometric structure. We interpret this behavior as locations where the pressure-melting point is reached, outlining fields of freezing and melting ice. Basal steps are observed at both SMIS and RIS, suggesting a common geometric expression of widespread basal processes. This technique offers a simultaneous view of both the surface and basal boundary conditions to help investigate the ice-shelf stability, while its application to airborne data significantly improves coverage of the difficult-to-observe ice–ocean boundary. It also provides constraints on thermohaline circulation in ice shelves cavities, which are analogs for ice-covered ocean worlds.
Excessive mobilization of body reserves during the transition from pregnancy to lactation imposes a risk for metabolic diseases on dairy cows. We aimed to establish an experimental model for high v. normal mobilization and herein characterized performance, metabolic and endocrine changes from 7 weeks antepartum (a.p.) to 12 weeks postpartum (p.p.). Fifteen weeks a.p., 38 pregnant multiparous Holstein cows were allocated to two groups that were fed differently to reach either high or normal body condition scores (HBCS: 7.2 NEL MJ/kg dry matter (DM); NBCS: 6.8 NEL MJ/kg DM) at dry-off. Allocation was also based on differences in body condition score (BCS) in the previous and the ongoing lactation that was further promoted by feeding to reach the targeted BCS and back fat thickness (BFT) at dry-off (HBCS: >3.75 and >1.4 cm; NBCS: <3.5 and <1.2 cm). Thereafter, both groups were fed identical diets. Blood samples were drawn weekly from 7 weeks a.p. to 12 weeks p.p. to assess the serum concentrations of metabolites and hormones. The HBCS cows had greater BCS, BFT and BW than the NBCS cows throughout the study and lost more than twice as much BFT during the first 7 weeks p.p. compared with NCBS. Milk yield and composition were not different between groups, except that lactose concentrations were greater in NBSC than in HBCS. Feed intake was also greater in NBCS, and NBCS also reached a positive energy balance earlier than HBCS. The greater reduction in body mass in HBCS was accompanied by greater concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids, and β-hydroxybutyrate in serum after calving than in NBCS, indicating increased lipomobilization and ketogenesis. The mean concentrations of insulin across all time-points were greater in HBCS than in NBCS. In both groups, insulin and IGF-1 concentrations were lower p.p than in a.p. Greater free thyroxine (fT4) concentrations and a lower free 3-3′-5-triiodothyronine (fT3)/fT4 ratio were observed in HBCS than in NBCS a.p., whereas p.p. fT3/fT4 ratio followed a reverse pattern. The variables indicative for oxidative status had characteristic time courses; group differences were limited to greater plasma ferric reducing ability values in NBSC. The results demonstrate that the combination of pre-selection according to BCS and differential feeding before dry-off to promote the difference was successful in obtaining cows that differ in the intensity of mobilizing body reserves. The HBCS cows were metabolically challenged due to intense mobilization of body fat, associated with reduced early lactation dry matter intake and compromised antioxidative capacity.
To examine prenatal APAP exposure in relation to language development in offspring at 30 months of age.
A population-based pregnancy cohort study including 754 women who enrolled in the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy (SELMA) study in pregnancy week 8–13. Two exposure measures were used: (1) maternally reported number of APAP tablets taken between conception and enrollment; (2) APAP urinary concentration at enrollment. Language development at 30 months was assessed by nurse's evaluation and parental questionnaire, including the number of words the child used (<25, 25–50 and >50). Main study outcome; parental report of use of fewer than 50 words, termed language delay (LD).
59.2% of women enrolled in weeks 8–13 reported taking APAP between conception and enrollment. APAP was measurable in all urine samples and urinary APAP was correlated with the number of APAP taken during pregnancy (P<0.01). Language delay was more prevalent in boys (12.6%) than girls (4.1%) (8.5% in total). Both the number of APAP tablets and urinary APAP concentration were associated with greater LD in girls but not in boys. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for LD among girls whose mothers reported >6 vs. 0 APAP tablets was 5.92 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–31.94). The OR for LD in girls whose mothers’ urinary APAP was in the highest compared to the lowest quartile was 10.34 (95% CI 1.37–77.86). While it cannot be ruled out, our available data do not support confounding by indication.
Given the prevalence of prenatal APAP use and the importance of language development, these findings, if replicated, would suggest that pregnant women should limit their use of this analgesic during pregnancy.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 can infect poultry causing low pathogenicity (LP) AI, but these LPAIVs may mutate to highly pathogenic AIV in chickens or turkeys causing high mortality, hence H5/H7 subtypes demand statutory intervention. Serological surveillance in the European Union provides evidence of H5/H7 AIV exposure in apparently healthy poultry. To identify the most sensitive screening method as the first step in an algorithm to provide evidence of H5/H7 AIV infection, the standard approach of H5/H7 antibody testing by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) was compared with an ELISA, which detects antibodies to all subtypes. Sera (n = 1055) from 74 commercial chicken flocks were tested by both methods. A Bayesian approach served to estimate diagnostic test sensitivities and specificities, without assuming any ‘gold standard’. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 97% and 99.8%, and for H5/H7 HI 43% and 99.8%, respectively, although H5/H7 HI sensitivity varied considerably between infected flocks. ELISA therefore provides superior sensitivity for the screening of chicken flocks as part of an algorithm, which subsequently utilises H5/H7 HI to identify infection by these two subtypes. With the calculated sensitivity and specificity, testing nine sera per flock is sufficient to detect a flock seroprevalence of 30% with 95% probability.
Here, we report reproducible and accurate measurement of crystallographic parameters using scanning transmission electron microscopy. This is made possible by removing drift and residual scan distortion. We demonstrate real-space lattice parameter measurements with <0.1% error for complex-layered chalcogenides Bi2Te3, Bi2Se3, and a Bi2Te2.7Se0.3 nanostructured alloy. Pairing the technique with atomic resolution spectroscopy, we connect local structure with chemistry and bonding. Combining these results with density functional theory, we show that the incorporation of Se into Bi2Te3 causes charge redistribution that anomalously increases the van der Waals gap between building blocks of the layered structure. The results show that atomic resolution imaging with electrons can accurately and robustly quantify crystallography at the nanoscale.
Helicobacter pylori infection is a major cause of peptic ulcer and is also associated with chronic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Guidelines have been developed in the United States and Europe (areas with low prevalence) for the diagnosis and management of this infection, including the recommendation to ‘test and treat’ those with dyspepsia. A group of international experts performed a targeted literature review and formulated an expert opinion for evidenced-based benefits and harms for screening and treatment of H. pylori in high-prevalence countries. They concluded that in Arctic countries where H. pylori prevalence exceeds 60%, treatment of persons with H. pylori infection should be limited only to instances where there is strong evidence of direct benefit in reduction of morbidity and mortality, associated peptic ulcer disease and MALT lymphoma and that the test-and-treat strategy may not be beneficial for those with dyspepsia.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) from uteroplacental dysfunction causes impaired nephrogenesis and ultimately hypertension, but it is unknown whether IUGR caused by insufficient space for placental development seen in uterine anomalies and/or multifetal gestation exerts the same effects. Fetal renal development and metabolism were studied in an ovine space-restriction model by combining unilateral horn surgical ligation and/or multifetal gestation. Reduced placental attachment sites and placental weight per fetus defined space-restricted (USR) v. control nonrestricted (NSR) fetuses. Space-restricted fetuses exhibited evidence for decreased plasma volume, with higher hematocrit and plasma albumin at gestational day (GD) 120, followed by lower blood pO2, and higher osmolarity and creatinine at GD130, P < 0.05 for all. By combining treatments, fetal kidney weight relative to fetal weight was inversely related to both fetal weight and plasma creatinine levels, P < 0.05 for both. At GD130, space-restricted fetal kidney weights, cortical depths and glomerular generations were decreased, P < 0.05 for all. Space-restricted kidneys underwent an adaptive response by prolonging active nephrogenesis and increasing maculae densa number, P < 0.05 for both. The major renal adaptations in space-restricted IUGR fetuses included immaturity in both development and endocrine function, with evidence for impaired renal excretory function.
Recent studies have provided strong evidence that variation in the gene neurocan (NCAN, rs1064395) is a common risk factor for bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia. However, the possible relevance of NCAN variation to disease mechanisms in the human brain has not yet been explored. Thus, to identify a putative pathomechanism, we tested whether the risk allele has an influence on cortical thickness and folding in a well-characterized sample of patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls.
Sixty-three patients and 65 controls underwent T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and were genotyped for the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1064395. Folding and thickness were analysed on a node-by-node basis using a surface-based approach (FreeSurfer).
In patients, NCAN risk status (defined by AA and AG carriers) was found to be associated with higher folding in the right lateral occipital region and at a trend level for the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Controls did not show any association (p > 0.05). For cortical thickness, there was no significant effect in either patients or controls.
This study is the first to describe an effect of the NCAN risk variant on brain structure. Our data show that the NCAN risk allele influences cortical folding in the occipital and prefrontal cortex, which may establish disease susceptibility during neurodevelopment. The findings suggest that NCAN is involved in visual processing and top-down cognitive functioning. Both major cognitive processes are known to be disturbed in schizophrenia. Moreover, our study reveals new evidence for a specific genetic influence on local cortical folding in schizophrenia.
This trial aimed to compare the guillotine technique of tonsillectomy with ‘cold steel’ dissection, the current ‘gold standard’.
A single centre, randomised, controlled trial.
One hundred children aged 3 to 11 years who were listed for bilateral tonsillectomy were recruited. Patients had one tonsil removed by each technique, and were blinded to the side. The operative time, intra-operative blood loss, haemostasis requirement and post-operative pain scores were recorded and compared.
Operative time and intra-operative blood loss were both significantly less for the guillotine technique (p < 0.001) and there was a significantly reduced haemostasis requirement (p < 0.001). Pain was also less on the guillotine side (p < 0.001). There were no tonsillar remnants or palatal trauma for either technique. There was no significant difference between techniques in the frequency of secondary haemorrhage.
This study provides level Ib evidence that guillotine tonsillectomy in children with mobile tonsils is an effective and time-efficient procedure which produces less intra-operative blood loss and post-operative pain than cold steel dissection.
Experimental and clinical data suggest that the Ginkgo biloba standardized extract EGb 761® exerts beneficial effects in conditions which are associated with impaired cognitive function. However, the neurochemical correlates of these memory enhancing effects are not yet fully clarified. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of repeated oral administration of EGb 761® and some of its characteristic constituents on extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), serotonin (5-HT), acetylcholine (ACh) and the metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of awake rats by use of in vivo microdialysis technique.
Subacute (14 days, once daily), but not acute, oral treatment with EGb 761® (100 and 300 mg/kg) or the flavonoid fraction, which represents about 24% of the whole extract caused a significant and dose-dependent increase in extracellular DA levels in the mPFC. Repeated administration of EGb 761® also caused a modest but significant increase in the NA levels, whereas the concentrations of 5-HT and those of the metabolites DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA were not affected. The same treatment regimen was used in a subsequent study with the aim of investigating the effects of two Ginkgo-specific acylated flavonols, 3-O-(2’’-O-(6’’’-O-(p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamoyl)-β-D-glucosyl)-α-L-rhamnosyl)quercetin (Q-ag) and 3-O-(2’’-O-(6’’’-O-(p-hydroxy-trans-cinnamoyl)-β-D-glucosyl)-α-L-rhamnosyl)kaempferol (K-ag). Both compounds together represent about 4.5% of the whole extract. Repeated oral treatment with Q-ag (10 mg/kg) for 14 days caused a significant increase in extracellular DA levels of 159% and extracellular acetylcholine (ACh) levels of 151% compared to controls. Similarly, administration of K-ag (10 mg/kg) induced a significant rise of DA levels to 142% and ACh levels to 165% of controls, whereas treatment with isorhamnetin, an O-methylated aglycon component of EGb 761® flavonol glycosides had no effect. None of the tested flavonoids had a significant effect on extracellular DOPAC and HVA levels.
The present findings provide evidence that the subacute treatment with EGb 761® and its flavonol constituents increases DA and ACh release in the rat mPFC, and suggest that the two Ginkgo-specific acylated flavonol glycosides Q-ag and K-ag are active constituents contributing to these effects. As seen for isorhamnetin, the effect on neurotransmitter levels seems not to be a general effect of flavonols but rather to be a specific action of acylated flavonol glycosides which are present in EGb 761®. The direct involvement of these two flavonol derivatives in the increase of dopaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex may be one of the underlying mechanisms behind the reported effects of EGb 761® on the improvement of cognitive function.
We summarize our results on the photometric metallicities and on the presence of metallicity gradients for nine M 81 group dSphs. The majority of our studied dSphs contains a significant fraction of intermediate–age stellar populations, which we consider as a function of the deprojected distance from the dominant galaxy of the group.
Gross alpha and beta measurements are common procedures for screening water samples in order to estimate the level of total indicative dose (TID) from the radionuclides in water. However, it has been pointed out that gross alpha and beta measurements are not suitable for waters containing high concentrations of natural radionuclides, especially Ra-226 and Ra-228. Cambrian-Vendian aquifer system is the major source of public water supply in northern and north-eastern Estonia. The aquifer is known for its high radionuclide concentrations. The main sources of TID are Ra-226 and Ra-228, but the water also contains K-40. Other nuclides from uranium and thorium series may be present as well. A set of Ra-226, Ra-228 and K-40 activity concentrations measured by gammaspectrometry are studied to analyze the applicability of gross alpha and beta measurements in case of Cambrian-Vendian ground water. The calculations indicate that the levels suggested by WHO guidelines are not suitable for the Cambrian-Vendian ground water. Results on the applicability analysis are given.
First comprehensive studies of the radionuclides’ concentration and its composition in Estonian ground water began in 1990s. It was quickly realized that the activity concentration of 226Ra and 228Ra in Cambrian-Vendian (Cm-V) aquifer are the highest contributors to the total indicative dose (TID). About 22% of the population in Estonia uses Cm-V ground water for drinking water supply. In recent study , it was concluded, that about 91% of Cm-V aquifer consumers (20% of the Estonian population) obtain higher TID doses (TID exceeding 0.1 mSv/y) than set by European Commission and national regulations. Over the years, a good representation level by the number of measured samples for 226Ra and 228Ra from Cm-V aquifer has been obtained. However, for other widely used aquifers – Ordovician-Cambrian, Silurian-Ordovician and Devonian – only poor data is available. In several southern counties, only few percent of the water supplies have been surveyed. Data for other natural radionuclides (234,238U, 210Po and 210Pb) is also poor. Scarce data has been partly due to the lack of analysis techniques available in Estonian nuclear analysis laboratories. This has been the motivation in the development of gamma spectrometric and liquid scintillation (LSC) counting techniques for ground and drinking water applications.