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TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
Medical equipment can transmit pathogenic bacteria to patients. This single-institution point prevalence study aimed to characterise the types and relative amount of bacteria found on surgical loupes, headlights and their battery packs.
Surgical loupes, headlights and battery packs of 16 otolaryngology staff and residents were sampled, cultured and quantified. Plate scores were summed for each equipment type, and the total was divided by the number of users to generate mean bacterial burden scores. Residents completed a questionnaire regarding their equipment cleaning practices.
The contamination rates of loupes, headlights and battery packs were 68.75 per cent, 100 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively. Battery packs cultured more bacteria (1.58 per swab ± 1.00) than loupes (0.75 per swab ± 0.66; p = 0.024). Headlights had non-significantly greater growth (1.50 per swab ± 0.71) than loupes (p = 0.052). Bacterial growth was significantly higher from inner surfaces of loupes (p = 0.035) and headlights (p = 0.037). Potentially pathogenic bacteria were cultured from the equipment of five participants, including: Pantoea agglomerans, Acinetobacter radioresistens, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus baumannii complex and Moraxella osloensis.
This study demonstrates that surgical loupes and headlights used in otolaryngology harbour non-pathogenic skin flora and potentially pathogenic bacteria.
The instrumentation developed for poly crystalline diffractometry using the storage ring at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory is described. A pair of automated vertical scan diffractometers was used for a Si (111) channel monochromator and the powder specimens. The parallel beam powder diffraction was defined by horizontal parallel slits which had several times higher intensity than a receiving slit at the same resolution. The patterns were obtained with 2:1 scanning with’ a selected monochromatic beam, and an energy dispersive diffraction method in which the monochromator is step-scanned, and the specimen and scintillation counter are fixed. Both methods use the same instrumentation.
A method for using synchrotron-radiation parallel-beam X-ray diffractometry for precision measurement of scattering angles and lattice parameters is described. The important advantages of the method are the high P/B made possible by wavelength selection and high source intensity, the symmetrical profiles and the absence of most systematic errors making it unnecessary to use standards. Profile fitting with a pseudo-Voigt function is used to determine 2θ to 0.0001º. The zero-angle correction and lattice parameter were determined from least-squares refinement and the average accuracy of observed-calculated 2θs was 0.0020°. Average values of ∆d/d = ∆a/a directly calculated from the individual hkl measurements ranged from 2x 10-5 to 5.7 x 10-5. The precision estimated from the standard deviation of the mean is in the 10-6 range and 1 ppm precision was obtained for Si. The determination of the exact wavelength selected remains to be solved, but ratios of lattice spacings to standards such as NBS SRM 640a can be determined.
During its 2012 session the Florida Legislature amended the text of the Florida Statutes which lists exemptions from the requirements of obtaining a Florida drivers’ license. Removed from the text of Florida Statute 322.04 was the line concerning nonresidents, both fellow Americans and international visitors, “who has in his or her immediate possession a valid noncommercial driver's license issued to the nonresident in his or her home state or country [emphasis added].” Inserted was a new line, “An International Driving Permit issued in his or her name in his or her country of residence and a valid license issued in that country.” International visitors were required to have in their possession not only a valid drivers’ license, but also an International Driving Permit (IDP) that translated into English the personal identification information of the driver. The change took effect January 1, 2013, but even before that date, Florida faced allegations that it was violating international law with this new requirement.
At the 2007 Charleston Conference, Elaine Yontz and Jack Fisher, library science professor and librarian respectively at Valdosta State University, gave a presentation on their study of indexing by the leading information science indexers of the seventy-eight open access journals (OAJ) listed for library and information science in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). They discovered that less than 47% of the journals listed in the DOAJ were indexed. Additional observations made were the relative newness of many of the library science journal titles listed in DOAJ, the breadth of languages in which OAJ were being published, and the quality of many of the publishers or groups behind the journals. Yontz and Fisher are concerned that American scholars overlook these potentially helpful journals because of the lack of indexing.
The literature on the financial revolution and the rise of the English fiscal-military state frequently gives the impression that a singular set of reforms emanating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 changed the entire landscape of English army finances, allowing a fundamental shift from patchwork solutions based on short-term credit and managed through a system of wholesale venality to a solid system of long-term funded loans raised on an impersonal market. This article focuses on the crucial role that merchant networks and the personal connections of financial intermediaries continued to play in international troop payments arranged by the English state through the Dutch Republic. Even when the English or Dutch treasuries could find the necessary money to pay and provision the troops in time, getting the money to the military commanders in the field or to their distant suppliers often depended on long and complex credit lines. Short-term loans acquired in making military expenditure – consisting of unpaid bills to suppliers, payments advanced by officials and officers, and temporary loans contracted by financial intermediaries – as well as the widespread reliance on commercial credit in the form of bills of exchange as a way to transfer funds effectively formed the life thread of army finance. The ability to finance the military in times of exploding costs and permanent emergencies without defaulting rested not only on the capacity to draw on financial resources at home, but also on the strength of commercial and financial networks abroad. In doing so, closeness to the centres of emerging international financial capitalism seems to have been of greater importance than a specific set of institutional innovations.
Taxation is accepted as a fact of modern life, despite recurring political conflict over the nature and direction of fiscal policies. Most financiers regard obligations issued by the state as a safe investment option. Neither taxation nor state obligations were taken for granted during much of the history of public finance, however, at least not before the early 1800s. The ‘tax state’ developed in fits and starts, driven by the exigencies of warfare, which provided the main rationale for raising state income. Although wartime fiscal innovations eventually facilitated the rise of an efficient military state, the options available for implementing such improvements and preferences for specific fiscal or financial instruments varied greatly across early modern states. Focusing on the ‘long’ eighteenth century, this introduction presents a framework for assessing these differences and introduces the other articles in this special issue.
Qing China represents a counterfactual to the early modern European history of fiscal expansion in the wake of warfare. In response to the staggering costs of suppressing the White Lotus Rebellion (1796–1804), the Jiaqing Emperor sought to solve the empire's fiscal problems by tightening bureaucratic control over an overstretched system of treasury finance. However, Jiaqing's policy of austerity and retrenchment was not simply an expedient in times of fiscal strain, but deeply rooted in ideological struggles over taxation that began in the eighteenth century. It was an expression of hardline fiscal conservatism, which held fixed revenue quotas sacrosanct and which I call quota-ism. This policy had dire consequences for the ability of the Qing regime to respond to external shocks and to fulfill its sovereign tasks – war, river conservancy and famine relief. It contributed to the bankruptcy of Qing government finance by the time of the Opium War.
Based on an extensive survey of French primary sources and a discussion of the recent literature on fiscal policy in France and Europe during Louis XIV's wars, this article revisits the rationale behind the first experiment with paper money undertaken by finance minister Michel Chamillart, comparing it to other belligerents’ strategies, in particular England's, to adjust their monetary regime to the challenges of funding long wars of attrition. The article shows how concerns about economic activity, coinage and the need to finance the war deficit led to a series of debasements of the French currency, the establishment of a bank in the form of a Caisse des emprunts and the introduction of mint bills, which became legal tender and caused the first experience of fiat money inflation in history. Whereas Chamillart's personal shortcomings have been recently suggested as the cause of Louis XIV's humbling in the War of the Spanish Succession, I argue on the contrary that the introduction of paper money in 1704 was key to the capacity of France to sustain its military effort, but that a succession of military defeats against a more powerful coalition led to inflation. I also argue that the introduction of paper money saved the Caisse des emprunts and its bonds which helped sustain the war effort up until the peace. By situating the use of paper money within the broader question of the exercise of power in the absolute monarchy, this article examines the formation of fiscal policy, paying attention to the ways in which government sought advice from experts. It concludes by calling for further studies on policy- and decision-making under Louis XIV.
This article offers an architectural blueprint for the study of economic connections between warfare in the early modern period and the long-term growth of Europe's competing national economies. It surveys and critically investigates the concepts derived mainly from economic theory and the statistical evidence accessible in primary and secondary sources for the investigation of this meta-problem for students of economic theory.
A method for monitoring the reproductive status of female pigs, using non–invasive hormone analysis was developed. Plasma and saliva samples were collected from five reproductively active sows, and analysed for oestradiol–17ß and progesterone by immunoassay. The oestradiol–17ß content of the saliva samples was also measured using a novel biosensor–based method to demonstrate, in principle, the potential to develop an automated system for hormone analysis and interpretation. A hand–held saliva sampling device was designed and built for the purpose of this experiment. Plasma and saliva samples were collected for 3.5 months from four of the five sows. The vascular access port implanted into the fifth sow failed; therefore she could only be used for saliva collection. Saliva sampling was 100% successful for the first two weeks of the study. Over the entire sampling period, daily and twice weekly samples could be collected on 86% of the attempts made. Both progesterone and oestradiol–17ß were measured in saliva samples using conventional immunoassay techniques.
A legionellosis outbreak at an industrial site was investigated to identify and control the source. Cases were identified from disease notifications, workplace illness records, and from clinicians. Cases were interviewed for symptoms and risk factors and tested for legionellosis. Implicated environmental sources were sampled and tested for legionella. We identified six cases with Legionnaires’ disease and seven with Pontiac fever; all had been exposed to aerosols from the cooling towers on the site. Nine cases had evidence of infection with either Legionella pneumophila serogroup (sg) 1 or Legionella longbeachae sg1; these organisms were also isolated from the cooling towers. There was 100% DNA sequence homology between cooling tower and clinical isolates of L. pneumophila sg1 using sequence-based typing analysis; no clinical L. longbeachae isolates were available to compare with environmental isolates. Routine monitoring of the towers prior to the outbreak failed to detect any legionella. Data from this outbreak indicate that L. pneumophila sg1 transmission occurred from the cooling towers; in addition, L. longbeachae transmission was suggested but remains unproven. L. longbeachae detection in cooling towers has not been previously reported in association with legionellosis outbreaks. Waterborne transmission should not be discounted in investigations for the source of L. longbeachae infection.