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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.
To explore the prevalence and drivers of hospital-level variability in antibiotic utilization among hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to inform antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
Retrospective cohort study using data merged from the Pediatric Health Information System and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
The study included 27 transplant centers in freestanding children’s hospitals.
The primary outcome was days of broad-spectrum antibiotic use in the interval from day of HCT through neutrophil engraftment. Hospital antibiotic utilization rates were reported as days of therapy (DOTs) per 1,000 neutropenic days. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate hospital utilization rates, adjusting for patient covariates including demographics, transplant characteristics, and severity of illness. To better quantify the magnitude of hospital variation and to explore hospital-level drivers in addition to patient-level drivers of variation, mixed-effects negative binomial models were also constructed.
Adjusted hospital rates of antipseudomonal antibiotic use varied from 436 to 1121 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days, and rates of broad-spectrum, gram-positive antibiotic use varied from 153 to 728 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days. We detected variability by hospital in choice of antipseudomonal agent (ie, cephalosporins, penicillins, and carbapenems), but gram-positive coverage was primarily driven by vancomycin use. Considerable center-level variability remained even after controlling for additional hospital-level factors. Antibiotic use was not strongly associated with days of significant illness or mortality.
Among a homogenous population of children undergoing HCT for acute leukemia, both the quantity and spectrum of antibiotic exposure in the immediate posttransplant period varied widely. Antimicrobial stewardship initiatives can apply these data to optimize the use of antibiotics in transplant patients.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
The characteristics of an X-ray detection system based on an array of parabolic reflectors that provide a line-shaped focus will be described. The most recent rocket instrument has an overall length of about two meters and utilizes a pair of thin-window gas-flow proportional counters for detecting the X-rays. The variation of effective aperture with X-ray energy, the amount of scattering from the mirror surfaces, and the quality of the optical focus will be discussed. Estimates of the sensitivity of a larger set of X-ray optics used as a survey system, and when combined with a special grating to form a spectrograph, will be presented.
Biogenic nitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) accumulations were measured in groundwater, streams and the vadose zone of small agricultural watersheds in the Mid-Atlantic USA. In general, N2 and N2O in excess of atmospheric equilibrium were found in groundwater virtually everywhere that was sampled. Excess N2 in groundwater ranged from undetectable to 616 μmol N2-N/l, the latter representing c. 50% of background N2. The N2O-N concentrations varied from undetectable to 75 μm, and usually greatly exceeded values at atmospheric equilibrium (25–30 nM); however, N2O was generally 1–10% of excess N2. Intermediate levels of deficit and excess N2 in flowing streams (−65 to +250 μmol N2-N/L) resulting from both abiotic and biotic processes were also measured. In vadose zone gases, multiple N2/Ar gas profiles were measured which exhibited seasonal variations with below atmospheric values when the soil was warming in spring/summer and above atmospheric values when groundwater was cooling in fall/winter. Both abiotic and biotic processes contributed to the excess N2 and N2O that was observed. The current data indicate that large concentrations of excess N gases can accumulate within soil, groundwater, and streams of agriculturally dominated watersheds. When excess N gases are exchanged with the atmosphere, the net fluxes to the atmosphere may represent an important loss term for watershed N budgets.
There is interest in reducing the shot number in the poly-Si laser crystallisation process in order to improve its throughput. Two distinct shot number dependent effects have been identified, which are both laser intensity dependent. The critical laser energy density is that which causes full film melt-through, and the major issue occurs at energies greater than this, where there is a considerable degradation in device uniformity with reducing shot number. The cause of this is non-uniform recovery of the full-melt-through fine grain poly-Si, and it is demonstrated that by extending the trailing edge of the beam, the material uniformity at reduced shot number can be improved. For energies less than this, the issue is not so much uniformity, as a general degradation in overall device properties with reducing shot number, which has been correlated with reducing grain size.
In more demanding, future applications (such as system-on-panel), it will be necessary to improve circuit performance and approach that of current MOSFET devices. This will require short channel, self-aligned (SA) TFTs, and some of the issues with this architecture, particularly lateral ion implantation damage beneath the gate edge and drain field relief are discussed.
Lupins (Lupinus; Leguminosae) as a high protein, high energy, nitrogen-fixing grain legume, have the potential to be used as a home-grown feedstuff to replace soya (Glycine max) in livestock feeds in the UK. Lupins are not typically grown in the UK but their high feed value and the low alkaloid concentrations in new varieties have prompted a renewed interest in their use (Wilkins and Jones, 2000). Traditionally, white lupin (Lupinus albus) is the predominant species fed as a soya replacement to dairy cows in Europe and the USA but recent research has shown advantages of growing yellow lupins (Lupinus luteus) in the UK compared with white lupins. This study reports on the effects of feeding concentrate diets containing yellow lupin compared with soya bean meal on intakes, milk productivity and milk composition in dairy cows.
Retropubic Burch colposuspension has been considered by many to be the “gold standard” procedure for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence for almost 40 years. Vancaillie and Schuessler introduced the laparoscopic approach to retropubic colposuspension in 1991. Numerous reports followed in subsequent years describing laparoscopic colposuspensions and their efficacy. Analysis of the outcomes of these various laparoscopic “Burch” colposuspensions is difficult because many of the techniques are not true Burch procedures but rather other modified retropubic colposuspensions. In this section, we describe the laparoscopic Burch colposuspension, including patient selection, preoperative evaluation, operative technique, possible complications, and efficacy. We review the efficacy of the laparoscopic Burch colposuspension studies that use the Burch—Tanagho procedure and compare these techniques to other popular anti-incontinence procedures. The many modified laparoscopic retropubic procedures are not addressed.
BURCH COLPOSUSPENSION: THE EVOLUTION OF A PROCEDURE
In 1961, Burch published the description of a new female anti-incontinence procedure, based on a technique started in 1958. The technique involved entering the space of Retzius via a paramedian incision. After clearing the periurethral tissue of its overlying fat and areolar tissue, three 2-0 chromic sutures were placed at the mid-urethra and the bladder neck and then fixed to Cooper's ligament. Burch reported a subjective cure rate of 92% in 143 patients with 10 to 60 months of followup.
Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne infection in Europe with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) being the most commonly identified serovar. The predominant phage type for S. Enteritidis is phage type (PT) 4, although PT 8 has increased in incidence. Within these phage types, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) provides a method of further subdivision. The international project, Salm-gene, was established in 2001 to develop a database of PFGE profiles within nine European countries and to establish criteria for real-time pattern recognition. It uses DNA fingerprints of salmonellas to investigate outbreaks and to evaluate trends and emerging issues of foodborne infection within Europe. The Salm-gene database contains details of about 11 700 S. Enteritidis isolates, demonstrating more than 65 unique PFGE profiles. The clonal nature of S. Enteritidis is evidenced by the high similarity and distribution of PFGE profiles. Over 56% (6603/11 716) of the submitted isolates of several different phage types were profile SENTXB.0001, although this profile is most closely associated with PT 4. The next most common profiles, SENTXB.0002 and SENTXB.0005, were closely associated with PT 8 and PT 21 respectively. Studies to investigate the relationship of profile types with outbreaks and possible vehicles of infection suggest that the incidence of PFGE profile SENTXB.0002, and thus PT 8, in some countries may be due to importation of foods or food production animals from Eastern Europe, where PT 8 is amongst the most frequently identified phage types. Collation of subtyping data, especially in the commonly recognized phage types, is necessary in order to evaluate trends and emerging issues in salmonella infection.
This study investigates the distribution of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles within Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis phage type (PT) 4 and S. Typhimurium definitive phage type (DT) 104, from cases of human infection in nine European countries from 2000 to 2004. Isolates were subtyped using standardized methods and gel images submitted by each participating country to the coordinating centre (Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, UK), where they were entered into a central database, developed within BioNumerics software, and designated using an agreed nomenclature. S. Enteritidis PT4 (n=3637) was differentiated into 38 different profiles. Simpson's index of diversity (D) of profiles ranged from 0·2 to 0·4. Profile SENTXB.0001 represented at least 80% of all profiles in each country. S. Typhimurium DT104 (n=1202) was differentiated into 28 different profile types. Simpson's D was at least 0·6 in all countries except in Austria and Italy. In both these countries over 74% of S. Typhimurium DT104 profiles were STYMXB.0013. Profile STYMXB.0061, was predominant in Denmark, Spain, Finland and England & Wales where it represented between 36% and 45% of profiles. Profile STYMXB.0001 represented nearly half of all profiles in Scotland and 23% in England & Wales. PFGE is proving useful for further discrimination within S. Enteritidis PT4 and S. Typhimurium DT104. Ascertainment of international outbreaks involving common serotypes and phage types may be increased by the timely pooling of PFGE profiles within a central database readily accessible to all participating countries.
The conformation, tissue composition, and chemical composition of three types of pigs, given food ad libitum and slaughtered over a nominal live weight range of 35 to 115 kg, was assessed in relation to data provided on the live animals by a visual image analysis (VIA) system. The pig types were named as ‘3⁄4 Landrace’, ‘1⁄2 Pietrain’, and ‘1⁄4 Meishan’ types, representing ‘attenuated’, ‘blocky’, and ‘flabby’ types. Three analyses of the shape, conformation and composition data were performed. First, the relationship between conformation and age/size was assessed using linear regression of logarithmically transformed VIA and carcass data. In relation to age, ‘1⁄2 Pietrain’ pigs were found by both VIA and carcass measurements to have the widest shoulders. Both analyses also found this type to have the widest ham, trunk, and shoulders in relation to body length across most of the body length range studied, although the greatest rate of increase in ham width in relation to body length was found in the ‘1/4 Meishan’ type pigs. Second, the relationship between composition and VIA shape was examined using linear regression of transformed and standardized data. Significant relationships were found between fat, lipid, muscle, and protein weight and VIA shape, although relationships were weaker for protein and muscle weight. For fat and lipid, the VIA shape measures from the trunk region proved the most informative, whereas the VIA ham measures proved the most informative for muscle and protein. Third, detrended measures of composition/conformation and shape were used to remove the effect of animal size from the data. Removal of the variation due to growth generally led to substantial decreases in the adjusted R2 statistics and in the R2-like statistics for prediction. Although in the models without detrending, relative fat and lipid weight had been found most strongly correlated with VIA shape, relative muscle was found most strongly correlated with shape in the detrended data. This was considered to result from the low between-animal variation in the data set combined with greater across-weight variation in fat and lipid weights than muscle and protein weights in the data without trend removal. Future trials with greater between-animal variation imposed would allow more precise determination of the relationship between conformation and shape.
Four dietary treatments were based on a flat-rate (5 kg/day) of concentrates with ad libitum grass silage. The concentrates were iso-energetic and iso-nitrogenous, based on either barley or unmolassed sugar-beet pulp and either extracted rapeseed meal (RSM) or a 1: 3 mixture of fish and soya-bean meals (F/S). These diets were offered to 61 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows in a continuous design experiment from lactation weeks 4 to 22. Milk yields tended to he higher with RSM (25·1 v. 23·9 kg/day; s.e.d. = 0·64; P < 0·1), whilst milk fat (38·1 v. 40·0 g/kg; s.e.d. = 0·81) and milk protein (30·4 v. 31·3 g/kg; s.e.d. = 0·41) concentrations were significantly (P < 0·05) lower. There were no significant effects of treatments on the efficiency of conversion of food-nitrogen (N) to milk-N or on N-retention. A lower organic matter apparent digestibility (g/g) was found for RSM-based diets (0·738 v. 0·763; s.e.d. = 0·0096; P < 0·05). The diets were also offered to four fistulated dairy cows in a Latin-square-design experiment. Concentrate energy source had significant effects on rumen pH (P < 0·05) and ammonia-N concentration (P < 0·01), whilst protein sources had no effect; values were always in the optimal range (pH > 6 and ammonia-N > 50 mg/l). There was a significant interaction effect (P < 0·05) such that the N-degradability of the whole diet, estimated in vivo, was unaffected by energy source for RSM-based diets but highly dependent on energy source for FIS diets. Microbial protein yield was reduced on the RSM-based diets (179 v. 220 g/day; s.e.d. = 9·6; P < 0·001).
Some of the effects of a passive, single-layer, viscoelastic compliant surface on the stability of a Blasius boundary layer were investigated in a low-turbulence wind tunnel. Measurements of the wavelength and growth rates of vibrating-ribbon-excited harmonic waves were made by hot-wire anemometry. The data for three compliant surfaces with different shear moduli, material damping coefficients, and thicknesses were compared to rigid-surface data. The flow-induced surface displacements were measured using an electro-optic displacement transducer. The results show that the growth rates of unstable Tollmien–Schlichting waves, and the extent of the unstable region in the (F, Rδ*)-plane are reduced over the compliant surfaces relative to those over a rigid surface with the absence of flow-induced surface instabilities. The suppression of the Tollmien–Schlichting waves is accompanied by a surface motion driven by the flow field at the excitation frequency. The experimental results suggest that a delay of the onset to turbulence is possible in air by using appropriately tuned surface characteristics. Further experiments are needed to study the three-dimensional disturbance mode, the flow-induced surface instabilities and the breakdown process.
The near-wall flow structure of a zero-pressure-gradient flat-plate turbulent boundary layer with a single-layer viscoelastic compliant surface was visualized using the hydrogen-bubble technique. The compliant materials were made by mixing silicone elastomer with silicone oil. The flow-visualization experiments indicated low-speed wall streaks with increased spanwise spacing and elongated spatial coherence compared to those obtained on a rigid surface. More interestingly, an intermittent relaminarization-like phenomenon was observed at low Reynolds numbers for the particular compliant surface investigated. Apparently, the observed changes in the near-wall flow structure over the compliant surface are caused by the stable interaction between the compliant surface and the turbulent flow-field. Optical holographic interferometry and laser Doppler velocimetry were also employed to obtain the basic parameters of the turbulent boundary layers and the flow-induced compliant-surface displacements to better understand the physics of the interaction between a turbulent boundary layer and a passive compliant surface.
Preliminary studies at the Bernard Weitz Centre have shown that maize silage has the potential to increase forage intake and milk production. The trend towards earlier calving, encouraged by the Milk Marketing Board pricing policy, means that maize silage may not be available for early lactation; as most farmers rely on the current seasons crop, and few carry stocks over from the previous year. The objective of the current trial was to determine the eflect on forage intake and milk production of incorporating maize silage into grass silage based rations either from early or mid-lactation.
A ROVE BEETLE, OCYPUS OLENS,1 WITH POTENTIAL FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF THE BROWN GARDEN SNAIL, HELIX ASPERSA,2 IN CALIFORNIA, INCLUDING A KEY TO THE NEARCTIC SPECIES OF OCYPUS
A female rove beetle (Ocypus olens Müller) in the laboratory consumed 20 small-sized brown garden snails (Helix aspersa Müller) in 22 days, eating almost its weight in snail bodies daily. H. aspersa is a serious agricultural and residential plant pest. Field observations from an area where O. olens was well established had a smaller snail population than similar areas lacking the beetle. O. olens appears to be a promising candidate species for biological control of H. aspersa. Mass production of O. olens has not yet been attempted. A tabular key to the nearctic species of Ocypus is presented. In North America its distribution is limited to California for which a map is included.