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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.
Chronic aggression and violence in schizophrenia are rare, but receive disproportionate negative media coverage. This contributes to the stigma of mental illness and reduces accessibility to mental health services. Substance Use Disorders (SUD), antisocial behavior, non-adherence and recidivism are known risk factors for violence. Treatment with antipsychotic medication can reduce violence. Aside from clozapine, long-acting injectable antipsychotics (LAI) appear to be superior to oral antipsychotics for preventing violence, addressing adherence and recidivism. LAI also facilitate the implementation of functional skills training. For the high-risk recidivist target population with schizophrenia, better life skills have the potential to also reduce the risk for contact with the legal system, including an improved ability to live independently in supported environments and interact appropriately with others. High-risk patients who are resistant to treatment with other antipsychotics should receive treatment with clozapine due to its direct positive effects on impulsive violence, along with a reduction in comorbid risk factors such as SUDs.
To investigate the extent of suspected hybridization between the brolga Antigone rubicunda and the Australian sarus crane Antigone antigone gillae, first noted in the 1970s, we analysed the genetic diversity of 389 feathers collected from breeding and flocking areas in north Queensland, Australia. We compared these with 15 samples from birds of known identity, or that were phenotypically typical. Bayesian clustering based on 10 microsatellite loci identified nine admixed birds, confirming that Australian cranes hybridize in the wild. Four of these were backcrosses, also confirming that wild Australian crane hybrids are fertile. Genetic analyses identified 10 times more hybrids than our accompanying visual field observations. Our analyses also provide the first definitive evidence that both brolgas and sarus cranes migrate between the Gulf Plains, the principal breeding area for sarus cranes, and major non-breeding locations on the Atherton Tablelands. We suggest that genetic analysis of shed feathers could potentially offer a cost-effective means to provide ongoing monitoring of this migration. The first observations of hybrids coincided with significantly increased opportunities for interaction between the two species when foraging on agricultural crops, which have developed significantly in the Atherton Tablelands flocking area since the 1960s. As the sarus crane is declining in much of its Asian range, challenges to the genetic integrity of the Australian sarus crane populations have international conservation significance.
This paper reports on an ultra-wideband low-noise distributed amplifier (LNDA) in a transferred-substrate InP double heterojunction bipolar transistor (DHBT) technology which exhibits a uniform low-noise characteristic over a large frequency range. To obtain very high bandwidth, a distributed architecture has been chosen with cascode unit gain cells. Each unit cell consists of two cascode-connected transistors with 500 nm emitter length and ft/fmax of ~360/492 GHz, respectively. Due to optimum line-impedance matching, low common-base transistor capacitance, and low collector-current operation, the circuit exhibits a low-noise figure (NF) over a broad frequency range. A 3-dB bandwidth from 40 to 185 GHz is measured, with an NF of 8 dB within the frequency range between 75 and 105 GHz. Moreover, this circuit demonstrates the widest 3-dB bandwidth operation among all reported single-stage amplifiers with a cascode configuration. Additionally, this work has proposed that the noise sources of the InP DHBTs are largely uncorrelated. As a result, a reliable prediction can be done for the NF of ultra-wideband circuits beyond the frequency range of the measurement equipment.
Laboratory identification of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) is a key step in controlling its spread. Our survey showed that most Veterans Affairs laboratories follow VA guidelines for initial CRE identification, whereas 55.0% use PCR to confirm carbapenemase production. Most respondents were knowledgeable about CRE guidelines. Barriers included staffing, training, and financial resources.
of positive degree, we investigate the existence of auxiliary polynomials
factors as a product of polynomials of small relative degree. One consequence of this work shows that for any quadratic polynomial
, there are infinitely many
for which the largest prime factor of
is no larger than
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
We report on the successful search for CO (2-1) and (3-2) emission associated with OH/IR stars in the Galactic Bulge. We observed a sample of eight extremely red AGB stars with the APEX telescope and detected seven. The sources were selected at sufficient high Galactic latitude to avoid interference by interstellar CO, which hampered previous studies of inner galaxy stars. We also collected photometric data and Spitzer IRS spectroscopy to construct the SEDs, which were analysed through radiative transfer modelling. We derived variability periods of our stars from the VVV and WISE surveys. Through dynamical modelling we then retrieve the total mass loss rates (MLR) and the gas-to-dust ratios. The luminosities range between approximately 4,000 and 5,500 L⊙ and periods are below 700 days. The total MLR ranges between 10−5 and 10−4 M⊙ yr−1. The results are presented in Blommaert et al. 2018 and summarized below.
The chemistry within the outflow of an AGB star is determined by its elemental C/O abundance ratio. Thanks to the advent of high angular resolution observations, it is clear that most outflows do not have a smooth density distribution, but are inhomogeneous or “clumpy”. We have developed a chemical model that takes into account the effect of a clumpy outflow on its gas-phase chemistry by using a theoretical porosity formalism. The clumpiness of the model increases the inner wind abundances of all so-called unexpected species, i.e. species that are not predicted to be present assuming an initial thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry. By applying the model to the distribution of cyanopolyynes and hydrocarbon radicals within the outflow of IRC+10216, we find that the chemistry traces the underlying density distribution.
We explore the circumstellar effects on the Li and Ca abundances determination in a complete sample of massive Galactic AGB stars. The Li abundance is an indicator of the hot bottom burning (HBB) activation, while the total Ca abundance could be affected by overproduction of the short-lived radionuclide 41Ca by the s-process. Li abundances were previously studied with hydrostatic models, while Ca abundances are determined here for the first time. The pseudo-dynamical abundances of Li and Ca are very similar to the hydrostatic ones, indicating that circumstellar effects are almost negligible. The new Li abundances confirm the (super-)Li-rich character of the sample Li-detected stars, supporting the HBB activation in massive Galactic AGB stars. Most sample stars display nearly solar Ca abundances that are consistent with predictions from the s-process nucleosynthesis models. A minority of the sample stars show a significant Ca depletion. Possible reasons for their (unexpected) low Ca content are given.
We determine Zr and Nb elemental abundances in barium stars to probe the operation temperature of the s-process that occurred in the companion asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Along with Zr and Nb, we derive the abundances of a large number of heavy elements. They provide constraints on the s-process operation temperature and therefore on the s-process neutron source. The results are then compared with stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis models. We compare the nucleosynthetic profile of the present sample stars with those of CEMP-s, CEMP-rs and CEMP-r stars. One barium star of our sample is potentially identified as the highest-metallicity CEMP-rs star yet discovered.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Given the very recent investment in research on organic rabbit production, many knowledge gaps remain. Simulation models based on data from experiments and farms may help generate general principles for organic rabbit production. Our goals were to (i) develop a model to simulate intake regulation and growth of rabbits raised on pastures, (ii) validate this model under a diversity of conditions and (iii) conduct a simulation experiment to predict the potential to decrease the supply of complete feed by increasing the grazing area per rabbit. The model developed (PASTRAB) simulates organic rabbit fattening on pastures in four main submodels that represent dynamics of (i) herbage standing biomass, fill and feed values; (ii) intake of herbage, complementary feed (i.e. complete pellets, cereal–legume grain mixtures) and hay as regulated by herbage allowance, fill and feed values of feedstuffs and rabbit physiological parameters; (iii) conversion of rabbit intake into live weight gain; and (iv) rabbit mortality. The model also calculates gross margin per rabbit sold. Model accuracy was assessed by considering the fit between observed and predicted herbage intake, which was low, with a relative root mean square error (rRMSE) of 51% and 66% on grass-based and legume-based pastures, respectively. However, the standard deviations of observed herbage intake were similar to the root mean square error of predicted herbage intake, indicating that it would have been difficult to improve model calibration. The fit between observed and predicted rabbit live weight was acceptable, with an rRMSE of 11% and 10% for grass-based and legume-based pastures, respectively. Simulated scenarios showed that a decrease in complementary feed combined with an increase in the grazing area per rabbit had little impact on average daily growth and gross margin per rabbit but increased herbage use efficiency. With 90 g of complementary feed per day and grazing of 0.4 m²/rabbit per day, herbage use efficiency was 22%, with average daily growth of 21.6 g/day and gross margin of 18.80 €/rabbit. With no complementary feed and grazing of 1.2 m²/rabbit per day, average daily growth decreased (19.2 g/day), but herbage use efficiency reached 100% and gross margin reached 19.20 €/rabbit. We used PASTRAB in participatory workshops with farmers so that the latter could explore adaptations to their current practices. Overall, farmers considered the model predictions realistic, and some of them decided to adapt some of their management practices immediately after the workshops.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
Neisseria meningitidis is a gram-negative bacterium that lives as a commensal in the human nasopharynx. Meningococci are generally non-invasive, but can invade the nasopharyngeal epithelia and enter the bloodstream causing life-threatening illnesses. It is generally thought that meningococci do not survive for long outside the host, and that transmission requires relatively close contact between hosts. There are some reports, however, that meningococci can survive drying on surfaces, including glass, plastic and cloth. Our examination of N. meningitidis strains dried on glass showed differences in survival of isolates belonging to serogroups B, C and W135, including persistence of Cuban, New Zealand, and Norwegian epidemic strains up to 8 days, depending on temperature and humidity. Survival of a New Zealand epidemic strain isolate NZ98/254 under ambient conditions in the laboratory was greatest in winter suggesting that environmental factors impacted survival. For most isolates, including NZ98/254, survival under controlled conditions at 30 °C was greater at 22% than 30% relative humidity. There were also some differences in survival between carriage and invasive strains. The results suggest that N. meningitidis could be transmitted through contact with surfaces outside the host, potentially including contact through shared drinking vessels.
Healthy adults (n 30) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blinded, cross-over study consisting of two 28 d treatments (β2-1 fructan or maltodextrin; 3×5 g/d) separated by a 14-d washout. Subjects provided 1 d faecal collections at days 0 and 28 of each treatment. The ability of faecal bacteria to metabolise β2-1 fructan was common; eighty-seven species (thirty genera, and four phyla) were isolated using anaerobic medium containing β2-1 fructan as the sole carbohydrate source. β2-1 fructan altered the faecal community as determined through analysis of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms and 16S rRNA genes. Supplementation with β2-1 fructan reduced faecal community richness, and two patterns of community change were observed. In most subjects, β2-1 fructan reduced the content of phylotypes aligning within the Bacteroides, whereas increasing those aligning within bifidobacteria, Faecalibacterium and the family Lachnospiraceae. In the remaining subjects, supplementation increased the abundance of Bacteroidetes and to a lesser extent bifidobacteria, accompanied by decreases within the Faecalibacterium and family Lachnospiraceae. β2-1 Fructan had no impact on the metagenome or glycoside hydrolase profiles in faeces from four subjects. Few relationships were found between the faecal bacterial community and various host parameters; Bacteroidetes content correlated with faecal propionate, subjects whose faecal community contained higher Bacteroidetes produced more caproic acid independent of treatment, and subjects having lower faecal Bacteroidetes exhibited increased concentrations of serum lipopolysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide binding protein independent of treatment. We found no evidence to support a defined health benefit for the use of β2-1 fructans in healthy subjects.