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Combined smoking and heavy drinking is a significant health burden. Varenicline, an efficacious tobacco pharmacotherapy that also shows promise for drinking, has yielded mixed results among heavy-drinking smokers. This pilot study investigated integrated tobacco and alcohol counselling plus varenicline for this vulnerable group.
Twelve-week parallel, randomized controlled pilot trial of two behavioural interventions in combination with open-label varenicline. Participants were randomized using computer-generated tables, stratified by sex.
Outpatient academic medical centre research clinic.
Volunteers who reported smoking and heavy drinking and sought tobacco or alcohol treatment (N = 26).
(1) Integrated tobacco + alcohol counselling (INT; n = 13) or (2) counselling focused on their presenting concern (i.e., tobacco or alcohol) (SINGLE; n = 13), plus varenicline (2 mg) for 12 weeks.
Feasibility/acceptability, smoking quit rates and heavy drinking.
INT feasibility/acceptability was high among men but not women. More participants quit smoking in INT than SINGLE. This outcome was only in men, not significant, but had a medium effect size. Both conditions yielded significant drinking reductions.
Integrated tobacco and alcohol behavioural counselling plus varenicline may be feasible and promote smoking cessation among men who smoke and drink heavily, but a larger sample is needed to replicate this finding.
This paper provides an up-to-date review of the problems related to the generation, detection and mitigation of strong electromagnetic pulses created in the interaction of high-power, high-energy laser pulses with different types of solid targets. It includes new experimental data obtained independently at several international laboratories. The mechanisms of electromagnetic field generation are analyzed and considered as a function of the intensity and the spectral range of emissions they produce. The major emphasis is put on the GHz frequency domain, which is the most damaging for electronics and may have important applications. The physics of electromagnetic emissions in other spectral domains, in particular THz and MHz, is also discussed. The theoretical models and numerical simulations are compared with the results of experimental measurements, with special attention to the methodology of measurements and complementary diagnostics. Understanding the underlying physical processes is the basis for developing techniques to mitigate the electromagnetic threat and to harness electromagnetic emissions, which may have promising applications.
A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding
. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.
Studies of the presence of magnetic fields in Herbig Ae/Be stars are extremely important because they enable us to improve our insight into how the magnetic fields of these stars are generated and how they interact with their environment, including their impact on the planet formation process and the planet-disk interaction. We report new detections of weak mean longitudinal magnetic fields in the close Herbig Ae double-lined spectroscopic binary AK Sco and in the presumed spectroscopic Herbig Ae binary HD 95881 (Järvinen et al. 2018) based on observations obtained with HARPSpol attached to ESO’s 3.6 m telescope. Such studies are important because only very few close spectroscopic binaries with orbital periods below 20 d are known among Herbig Ae stars. Our detections favour the conclusion that the previously suggested low incidence (5-10%) of magnetic Herbig Ae stars can be explained by the weakness of these fields and the limited accuracy of the published measurements. The search for magnetic fields and the determination of their geometries in close binary systems will play an important role for understanding the mechanisms that are responsible for the magnetic field generation.
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.
We describe a PCR-based method called Amplified Methylation Polymorphism (AMP) for scanning genomes for DNA methylation changes. AMP detects tissue-specific DNA methylation signatures often representing junctions between methylated and unmethylated DNA close to intronexon junctions and/or associated with CpG islands. Identical AMP profiles are detected for healthy, young, monozygotic twins.