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Recent analysis pointed towards visual imaging analysis (VIA), which yields pig body size measures and shape indices from two-dimensional visual images of living pigs, as a potential technique for estimating fat and lean content in pig carcasses (Doeschl et al., 2004). The present analysis further explored the potential of using VIA body size and shape indices as indicators of the proportion of lean and fat in various carcass joints, either alone or in combination with ultrasonic backfat depth of the live animal. Due to increasing interest in the shape of retail cuts in the meat industry, the association between VIA size measures and the dimensions of the longissimus dorsi and gluteobiceps muscles is also assessed.
The weak thermal emission from the largest minor planets can be detected in the microwave regime by the Very Large Array (VLA). Signal-to-noise ratios are sufficiently high to permit precise measurement of the positions of these objects at all points in their orbits with respect to background extragalactic sources. We are in the process of obtaining observations of astrometric accuracy for minor planets 1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, 4 Vesta, and 10 Hygeia.
Minor planets have historically served as “test particles” in the solar system, and optical observations of these objects have been valuable in the determination of fundamental astronomical constants. In particular, optical observations of minor planets have played an important role in the establishment of the fundamental optical reference frame by permitting the determination of the orientation of the Earth's orbit relative to the stars defining the frame.
Similarly, radio observations of these bodies can play a corresponding role in the establishment of a fundamental radio reference frame. Our observations will provide a direct link between the dynamical and radio reference frames, and provide important information on the relationship between the radio and optical reference frames.
Most algorithms to extract dry snowpack water equivalent (SWE) from satellite passive-microwave observations are based on point measurements of SWE or extrapolation of point measurements to the 30 km footprint of the satellite observations. SWE observations on a scale comparable to the satellite observations can be obtained from airborne gamma-ray attenuation techniques from flight lines that are approximately 10 km long. During the winter of 1989, the NOAA National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC) flew 92 of these night lines over a 200 × 250 km area of the Red River basin which is located in the north-central part of the United States of America. These observations provide a unique dataset of snow water-equivalent determinations on spatial scales similar to the satellite passive-microwave observations as acquired by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) F-8 satellite. Land-classification determinations from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) show that the eastern part of the region contains a coniferous forest of varying coverage, while the remainder is farmland or prairie. SSM/I data, including observations from a no-snow case in the preceding fall, the flight-line data and the AVHRR data were all co-registered to a common 20 km grid. The resulting dataset was analyzed using linear regression, artificial intelligence and general linear models. The results showed that the passive-microwave response was similar to the response predicted by Mie scattering theory. A comparison of the three techniques found that the artificial intelligence technique and the general linear model explained significantly more of the variance in the dataset, as evidenced by R2 values of 0.97 compared to 0.88 for the linear multiple-regression analysis. Hence, a neural network approach which was continually trained on new datasets as they became available, could provide better estimates of snowpack water equivalent than algorithms based on linear-regression techniques.
DW-NOMINATE scores for the U.S. Congress are widely used measures of legislators' ideological locations over time. These scores have been used in a large number of studies in political science and closely related fields. In this paper, we extend the work of Lewis and Poole (2004) on the parametric bootstrap to DW-NOMINATE and obtain standard errors for the legislator ideal points. These standard errors are in the range of 1%–4% of the range of DW-NOMINATE coordinates.
Neighboring tidewater glaciers often exhibit asynchronous dynamic behavior, despite relatively uniform regional atmospheric and oceanic forcings. This variability may be controlled by a combination of local factors, including glacier and fjord geometry, fjord heat content and circulation, and glacier surface melt. In order to characterize and understand contrasts in adjacent tidewater glacier and fjord dynamics, we made coincident ice-ocean-atmosphere observations at high temporal resolution (minutes to weeks) within a 10 000 km2 area near Uummannaq, Greenland. Water column velocity, temperature and salinity measurements reveal systematic differences in neighboring fjords that imply contrasting circulation patterns. The observed ocean velocity and hydrography, combined with numerical modeling, suggest that subglacial discharge plays a major role in setting fjord conditions. In addition, satellite remote sensing of seasonal ice flow speed and terminus position reveal both speedup and slow-down in response to melt, as well as differences in calving style among the neighboring glaciers. Glacier force budgets and modeling also point toward subglacial discharge as a key factor in glacier behavior. For the studied region, individual glacier and fjord geometry modulate subglacial discharge, which leads to contrasts in both fjord and glacier dynamics.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
PolarBase contains stellar spectropolarimetric data collected with the NARVAL & ESPaDOnS instruments (Petit et al. 2014). Their respective spectral resolutions are 65 000 and 68 000, in spectropolarimetric mode. As the first part of this work, we use the NARVAL spectropolarimetric repositories. We selected spectra from a sample of cool stars with effective Temperature (Teff) ranging between 4900 to 6000 K. This sample contains stellar systems with and without reported exoplanets. We exploit the full wavelength range from 380 to 900 nm in order to obtain chromospheric indexes such as the Ca ii H&K S-Index, and a Ca ii IRT and Hα index. We calibrated our measurements using the Mount Wilson S-Index values. Furthermore, we employ lithium (Li) abundance measurements from the literature (Gonzalez et al. 2010; Delgado Mena et al. 2014; Israelian et al. 2004), investigating in this way a possible correlation between the chromospheric activity measurements and the Li abundance in 32 selected cool stars.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
The pygmy hippopotamus Choeropsis liberiensis is an Endangered species found only in the Upper Guinea rainforests of West Africa. Using a two-phase approach, with initial semi-structured interviews followed by more extensive questionnaires, we examined local residents' awareness of and attitudes towards the pygmy hippopotamus along the Moa River near Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Sierra Leone. The interviews and questionnaires addressed human–hippopotamus interactions, local knowledge and awareness of pygmy hippopotamus ecology and behaviour, and public attitudes towards hippopotamus conservation. Overall, 22% of questionnaire respondents acknowledged benefits related to hippopotamus conservation; factors affecting the perception of benefits included age, livestock ownership, distance from Tiwai Island and exposure to conservation programmes. The results of this study could be used to inform the conservation of the pygmy hippopotamus and highlight the critical role of local support in the management of threatened species in biodiversity hotspots.
Introduction: Sleep disturbance is common among cigarette smokers and predicts smoking cessation failure. Aims: The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot test of whether provision of a sleep intervention might bolster smoking cessation outcomes among this vulnerable group. Methods: Smokers with insomnia (N = 19) seeking smoking cessation treatment were randomly assigned to receive 8 sessions over 10 weeks of either: (1) cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia + smoking cessation counselling (CBT-I+SC; n = 9) or (2) smoking cessation counselling alone (SC; n = 10). Counselling commenced 4 weeks prior to a scheduled quit date, and nicotine patch therapy was also provided for 6 weeks starting on the quit date. Results: There was no significant effect of counselling condition on smoking cessation outcomes. Most participants had difficulty initiating and maintaining smoking abstinence in that 7-day point prevalence abstinence rates at end of treatment (CBT-I+SC: 1/7, 14%; SC: 2/10, 20%) and follow-up (CBT-I+SC: 1/7, 14%; SC: 0/10, 0%) were low for both conditions. CBT-I+SC participants reported improvements in sleep efficiency, quality, duration and insomnia symptoms. Sleep changes were not associated with the likelihood of achieving smoking abstinence. Conclusions: This randomised pilot study suggests that behavioural interventions may improve sleep among smokers with insomnia, but a larger sample is needed to replicate this finding and evaluate whether these changes facilitate smoking cessation.
Prostate cancer (PCa) has been linked to fat intake, but the effects of both different dietary fat levels and types remain inconsistent and incompletely characterised. The effects on PCa in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) cancer model of an elevated fat (20 % of energy as fat) diet containing 155 g of whole walnuts were compared to those of an elevated fat (20 % of energy as soyabean oil) diet with matched macronutrients, tocopherols as well as a low-fat (8 % of energy as soyabean oil) diet. Mice, starting at 8 weeks of age, consumed one of the three different diets ad libitum; and prostates, livers and blood were obtained after 9, 18 or 24 weeks of feeding. No differences were observed in whole animal growth rates in either high-fat (HF) diet group, but prostate tumour weight and growth rate were reduced in the walnut diet group. Walnut diet group prostate weight, plasma insulin-like growth factor 1, resistin and LDL were lower at 18 weeks, while no statistically significant prostate weight differences by diet were seen at 9 or 24 weeks. Multiple metabolites in the livers differed by diet at 9 and 18 weeks. The walnut diet's beneficial effects probably represent the effects of whole walnuts' multiple constituents and not via a specific fatty acid or tocopherols. Moreover, as the two HF diets had dissimilar effects on prostate tumour growth rate and size, and yet had the same total fat and tocopherol composition and content, this suggests that these are not strongly linked to PCa growth.
In the summer of 2009, an outbreak of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC O157) was identified in visitors to a large petting farm in South East England. The peak attack rate was 6/1000 visitors, and highest in those aged <2 years (16/1000). We conducted a case-control study with associated microbiological investigations, on human, animal and environmental samples. We identified 93 cases; 65 primary, 13 secondary and 15 asymptomatic. Cases were more likely to have visited a specific barn, stayed for prolonged periods and be infrequent farm visitors. The causative organism was identified as VTEC O157 PT21/28 with the same VNTR profile as that isolated in faecal specimens from farm animals and the physical environment, mostly in the same barn. Contact with farm livestock, especially ruminants, should be urgently reviewed at the earliest suspicion of a farm-related VTEC O157 outbreak and appropriate risk management procedures implemented without delay.
Westlothiana lizziae is known from the Brigantian of East Kirkton, Scotland. The skull resembles that of later amniotes in the large size of the parietal, the apparent loss of the intertemporal, and the absence of a squamosal notch, palatal fangs and labyrinthine infolding of the marginal teeth, but is primitive in the absence of a transverse flange of the pterygoid. The individual trunk vertebrae resemble those of amniotes; large intercentra are retained, but the neural arch is fused to the centrum. A surprising feature is the presence of 36 presacral vertebrae, as is the relative size of the very small but highly ossified limbs. The humerus is much shorter than the femur, but similar in configuration to that of early amniotes. There are three proximal tarsals as in primitive tetrapods, but an amniote phalangeal count. The presence of massive dorsal as well as ventral scales is a more primitive feature than that of most anthracosaurs.
Westlothiana is ‘reptiliomorph’, and is judged to be a stem-group amniote on features of the skull roof, the absence of an otic notch, the gastrocentrous vertebrae and the pedal phalangeal formula. It has not, however, reached the amniote condition in the structure of the tarsus, and the palate is more primitive than that of both early amniotes and the ‘diadectomorphs’.
Gas phase processing rakes laser deposition over large areas possible but homogeneous nucleation of large atomic clusters must be avoided if films are to be produced. Clusters can be highly variable in size from a few atoms to significant fractions of a micrometer. If conditions do not allow for complete quenching of the clusters produced in the gas phase, these clusters can arrive at the substrate with sufficient energy to self sinter into homogeneous films which are substantially different from metallic films grown by thermal techniques. Using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we have characterized the microstructure of thin metallic films deposited by laser breakdown chemical vapor deposition and identified a range of deposition conditions which can lead from powders to homogeneous polycrystalline films and mixed phase materials. Gas phase nucleation is dependent on reactant partial pressures and the gas phase quench rate which car be varied in part by adjusting the H2 content of the source gas. Manipulation of these parameters can vary powder size from about one micrometer to less than 2 nanometers. Variation of the quench rate during the deposition of polycrystalline films varies the grain size in the films. heating the substrate drastically changes the conditions under which the film is formed and as a consequence, can radically alter the microstructure of the film itself.