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Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
This work is based on a recent theoretical study of how the hydrostatic pressure and core/shell sizes affect the optical properties associated with the transition from the ground state to first excited state (1s–1p), of an exciton confined in spherical core/shell quantum dots (SCSQDs). We have computed under an effective mass framework, linear, third-order nonlinear, and total absorption coefficients (AC) and refractive index (RI) as functions of photon energy for different sizes of SCSQDs with varying hydrostatic pressure. Our results show that the optical absorption is deeply dependent on the incident light intensity. Both AC and RI significantly influenced by the confinement and pressure effects.
Prenatal sex steroid exposure plays an important role in determining child development. Yet, measurement of prenatal hormonal exposure has been limited by the paucity of newborn/infant data and the invasiveness of fetal hormonal sampling. Here we provide descriptive data from the MIREC-ID study (n=173 girls; 162 boys) on a range of minimally invasive physical indices thought to reflect prenatal exposure to androgens [anogenital distances (AGDs); penile length/width, scrotal/vulvar pigmentation], to estrogens [vaginal maturation index (VMI) – the degree of maturation of vaginal wall cells] or to both androgens/estrogens [2nd-to-4th digit ratio (2D:4D); areolar pigmentation, triceps/sub-scapular skinfold thickness, arm circumference]. VMI was found to be associated with triceps skinfold thickness (β=0.265, P=0.005), suggesting that this marker may be sensitive to estrogen levels produced by adipose tissue in girls. Both estrogenic and androgenic markers (VMI: β=0.338, P=0.031; 2D:4D – right: β=−0.207, P=0.040; left: β=−0.276, P=0.006; AGD-fourchette − β=0.253, P=0.036) were associated with areolar pigmentation in girls, supporting a role for the latter as an index of both androgen and estrogen exposure. We also found AGD-penis (distance from the anus to the penis) to be associated with scrotal pigmentation (β=0.290, P=0.048), as well as right arm circumference (β=0.462, P<0.0001), supporting the notion that these indices may be used together as markers of androgen exposure in boys. In sum, these findings support the use of several physical indices at birth to convey a more comprehensive picture of prenatal exposure to sex hormones.
The Research Domain Criteria initiative was launched by the US National Institute of Mental Health to establish a multi-level framework for understanding psychological constructs relevant to human psychiatric disorders, and identified ‘effort valuation/willingness to work’ as a clinically useful construct worthy of further study. This construct encompasses the processes by which the cost(s) of obtaining an outcome are calculated, and the tendency to overcome response costs to obtain a reinforcer. The current study aims to examine effort valuation as a correlate of psychopathology in children and adults, and the moderating effects of sex on this relationship.
Participants were 1215 children aged 6–12 and their parents (n = 1044). All participants completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task as a measure of effort expenditure. Child psychopathology was measured via the Child Behavior Checklist, while adult psychopathology was measured via the Adult Self Report. Additionally, the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents and Injury Behavior Checklist were used to examine child social impairments/problem behaviors.
In children, significant interactions between reward sensitivity and sex were observed in association with anxiety and thought problems, specifically at low reward sensitivity levels. In adults, main effects of effort expenditure were seen in drug and alcohol abuse, where higher effort was associated with higher degrees of abuse.
These results establish effort valuation as a relevant psychological construct for understanding psychopathology, but with different profiles of associated psychopathology across sex in children and adults.
To characterise subjective symptoms in patients undergoing surgical repair of superior semicircular canal dehiscence.
Questionnaires assessing symptom severity and impact on function and quality of life were administered to patients before superior semicircular canal dehiscence surgery, between June 2011 and March 2016. Questionnaire sections included general quality of life, internal amplified sounds, dizziness and tinnitus, with scores of 0–100 points.
Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaire before surgery. Section scores (mean±standard deviation) were: 38.2 ± 25.2 for general quality of life, 52.5 ± 23.9 for internal amplified sounds, 35.1 ± 28.8 for dizziness, 33.3 ± 30.7 for tinnitus, and 39.8 ± 22.2 for the composite score. Cronbach's α statistic averaged 0.93 (range, 0.84–0.97) across section scores, and 0.83 for the composite score.
The Gopen–Yang Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Questionnaire provides a holistic, patient-centred characterisation of superior semicircular canal dehiscence symptoms. Internal consistency analysis validated the questionnaire and provided a quantitative framework for further optimisation in the clinical setting.
A cluster of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns was detected in October 2015. Interviews initially identified nut butters, kale, kombucha, chia seeds and nutrition bars as common exposures. Epidemiologic, environmental and traceback investigations were conducted. Thirteen ill people infected with the outbreak strain were identified in 10 states with illness onset during 18 July–22 November 2015. Eight of 10 (80%) ill people reported eating Brand A raw sprouted nut butters. Brand A conducted a voluntary recall. Raw sprouted nut butters are a novel outbreak vehicle, though contaminated raw nuts, nut butters and sprouted seeds have all caused outbreaks previously. Firms producing raw sprouted products, including nut butters, should consider a kill step to reduce the risk of contamination. People at greater risk for foodborne illness may wish to consider avoiding raw products containing raw sprouted ingredients.
Two new species of Oreocharis, O. tribracteata and O. rufescens, are described and a key to the species in Vietnam is provided. The new species have distinct features not previously, or rarely, observed in the genus, both showing the partial fusion of the calyx lobes into a tube, and the presence of three bracts in Oreocharis tribracteata.
The paper presents experimental and theoretical research data on the generation, transport, and extraction of a large cross-section (750 × 150 mm2) electron beam into the air through a thin metal foil in an accelerator with a mesh plasma cathode on the bases of a low-pressure arc and with a multi-aperture two-electrode electron-optical system. When the burning conditions of the arc discharge, responsible for the generation of the emission plasma, is changed, the characteristics of this plasma were investigated, including under the conditions of the selection of electrons from it. Our experiments show that at an accelerating voltage of 200 kV, current in the accelerating gap of up to 30 A, and full width at half maximum of up to 100 µm, the average extracted power is ≈4 kW and the extracted beam current is ≈85% from the common current into the accelerating gap. Our numerical estimates give a good correlation between the arc and emission plasma parameters depending on the electrode configuration in the discharge system and on the mechanism of electron beam generation. Analysis of the emission plasma parameters under different arc conditions and of the mechanisms responsible for the beam energy loss suggests that most of the energy in the accelerator is lost at the support grid and at the output foil due to defocusing of the beam and partial electron reflection from the foil. Other mechanisms that decrease the extracted beam energy are discussed.
We examined the association between a history of smallpox vaccination and immune activation (IA) in a population of antiretroviral therapy-naïve people living with HIV (PLHIV). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Senegal from July 2015 to March 2017. Smallpox vaccination was ascertained by the presence of smallpox vaccine scar and IA by the plasma level of β-2-microglobulin (β2m). The association was analysed using logistic regression and linear regression models. The study population comprised 101 PLHIV born before 1980 with a median age of 47 years (interquartile range (IQR) = 42–55); 57·4% were women. Smallpox vaccine scar was present in 65·3% and the median β2m level was 2·59 mg/l (IQR = 2·06–3·86). After adjustment, the presence of smallpox vaccine scar was not associated with a β2m level ⩾2·59 mg/l (adjusted odds ratio 0·94; 95% confidence interval 0·32–2·77). This result was confirmed by the linear regression model. Our study does not find any association between the presence of smallpox vaccine scar and the β2m level and does not support any association between a previous smallpox vaccination and HIV disease progression. In this study, IA is not a significant determinant of the reported non-targeted effect of smallpox vaccination in PLHIV.
We present a case of a 57-year-old man with congenitally corrected transposition of great vessels who was found to have coronary ostial atresia with cranial flow through left superior vena cava on CT with contrast injection in coronary tributaries. As such, he was ineligible for cardiac resynchronization therapy.
Breast-fed infants are susceptible to vitamin D deficiency rickets. The current vitamin D ‘adequate intake’ (AI) for 0–6-month-old infants is 10 µg/d, corresponding with a human milk antirachitic activity (ARA) of 513 IU/l. We were particularly interested to see whether milk ARA of mothers with lifetime abundant sunlight exposure reaches the AI. We measured milk ARA of lactating mothers with different cultural backgrounds, living at different latitudes. Mature milk was derived from 181 lactating women in the Netherlands, Curaçao, Vietnam, Malaysia and Tanzania. Milk ARA and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were analysed by liquid-chromatography-MS/MS; milk fatty acids were analysed by GC-flame ionisation detector (FID). None of the mothers reached the milk vitamin D AI. Milk ARA (n; median; range) were as follows: Netherlands (n 9; 46 IU/l; 3–51), Curaçao (n 10; 31 IU/l; 5–113), Vietnam: Halong Bay (n 20; 58 IU/l; 23–110), Phu Tho (n 22; 28 IU/l; 1–62), Tien Giang (n 20; 63 IU/l; 26–247), Ho-Chi-Minh-City (n 18; 49 IU/l; 24–116), Hanoi (n 21; 37 IU/l; 11–118), Malaysia–Kuala Lumpur (n 20; 14 IU/l; 1–46) and Tanzania-Ukerewe (n 21; 77 IU/l; 12–232) and Maasai (n 20; 88 IU/l; 43–189). We collected blood samples of these lactating women in Curaçao, Vietnam and from Tanzania–Ukerewe, and found that 33·3 % had plasma 25(OH)D levels between 80 and 249·9 nmol/l, 47·3 % between 50 and 79·9 nmol/l and 19·4 % between 25 and 49·9 nmol/l. Milk ARA correlated positively with maternal plasma 25(OH)D (range 27–132 nmol/l, r 0·40) and milk EPA+DHA (0·1–3·1 g%, r 0·20), and negatively with latitude (2°S-53°N, r −0·21). Milk ARA of mothers with lifetime abundant sunlight exposure is not even close to the vitamin D AI for 0–6-month-old infants. Our data may point at the importance of adequate fetal vitamin D stores.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
We compared the impact of a commercial chlorination product (brand name Air RahMat) in stored drinking water to traditional boiling practices in Indonesia. We conducted a baseline survey of all households with children <5 years in four communities, made 11 subsequent weekly home visits to assess acceptability and use of water treatment methods, measured Escherichia coli concentration in stored water, and determined diarrhoea prevalence among children <5 years. Of 281 households surveyed, boiling (83%) and Air RahMat (7%) were the principal water treatment methods. Multivariable log-binomial regression analyses showed lower risk of E. coli in stored water treated with Air RahMat than boiling (risk ratio (RR) 0·75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·56–1·00). The risk of diarrhoea in children <5 years was lower among households using Air RahMat (RR 0·43, 95% CI 0·19–0·97) than boiling, and higher in households with E. coli concentrations of 1–1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·54, 95% CI 1·04–2·28) or >1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·86, 95% CI 1·09–3·19) in stored water than in households without detectable E. coli. Although results suggested that Air RahMat water treatment was associated with lower E. coli contamination and diarrhoeal rates among children <5 years than water treatment by boiling, Air RahMat use remained low.
We present high resolution observations of HCN(J=1-0) line in the bright carbon star Y CVn. With an angular resolution of 0.5 arcsec we are able to resolve the HCN envelope around Y CVn. The HCN(J=1-0) line profile toward the central position exhibits several strong spikes having brightness temperature in excess of 1000 K. This result indicates that the J=1-0 line is masing. We also discuss the pump mechanism of this maser and the implication for the determination of the HCN abundance.
This research examines the relations between tournament-based incentives and corporate cash holdings and the value of cash. We find robust evidence that tournament-based incentives are positively related to cash holdings and the value of cash. Moreover, the effect of tournament-based incentives on the value of cash is stronger for financially constrained firms. Our evidence indicates that as tournament-based incentives motivate riskier corporate policy choices that lead to not only larger expected shareholder value but also greater cash-flow uncertainty, firms increase cash holdings to cushion potential liquidity shortfalls that may cause underinvestment.
Cellular oxidative damage is thought to be one of the key mechanisms underlying age-related cognitive impairment in dogs. Several nutritional interventions to limit cognitive decline are reported in the literature. To our knowledge, the association of grape and blueberry extracts has never been tested in aged dogs. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of a polyphenol-rich extract from grape and blueberry (PEGB) on oxidative status and cognitive performances in aged dogs. A total of thirty-five beagle dogs (aged 8·0–14·5 years) were fed a basal diet with PEGB at either 0 parts per million (ppm) (n 11; control), 240 ppm (n 12; PEGB1) or 480 ppm (n 12; PEGB2) for 75 d. To investigate the effects of PEGB supplementation on cognition and oxidative status, a delayed non-matching to position (DNMP) test and RT-PCR on genes involved in oxidative stress were evaluated. The dogs fed PEGB1 showed a higher superoxide dismutase mRNA expression compared with dogs fed PEGB2 (P = 0·042) and with the control group (P = 0·014). Moreover, the dogs fed PEGB2 showed higher nuclear factor-like 2 (Nrf2) mRNA expression compared with the dogs fed PEGB1 (P = 0·027). Concerning the DNMP test, the proportion of dogs showing cognitive improvements relative to their baseline level was significantly higher in dogs fed the PEGB, regardless of the dosage, than in dogs receiving no supplementation (P = 0·030). The results obtained in the DNMP test suggested a potential benefit of the PEGB on working memory. However, this hypothesis should be further investigated to confirm this cognitive effect.
Radiation environment of near-Earth space is one of the most important factors of space weather. Space Monitoring Data Center of Moscow State University provides operational monitor and forecast of radiation conditions both at Geostationary Orbits (GEO) and at Low Earths Orbits (LEO) of the near-Earth space using data of recent space missions (Vernov, CORONAS series) and current (Lomonosov, Meteor-M, Electro-L) ones. Internet portal of Space Monitoring Data Center of Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University (SINP MSU - [swx.sinp.msu.ru]) provides possibilities to monitor and analyze the space radiation conditions in the real time mode together with the geomagnetic and solar activity including hard X-ray and gamma-emission of solar flares.
This research examines the relationship between policy uncertainty and mergers and acquisitions (M&As). We find that policy uncertainty is negatively related to firm acquisitiveness and positively related to the time it takes to complete M&A deals. In addition, policy uncertainty motivates acquirers to use stock for payment and to pay lower bid premiums. Acquirers, on average, create larger shareholder value from M&A deals undertaken during periods of high policy uncertainty, which is attributable to their prudence as well as the wealth transfer from the financially constrained targets to acquirers.
Oxidative stress has been linked to many obesity-related conditions among children including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Exposure to environmental chemicals such as phthalates, ubiquitously found in humans, may also generate reactive oxygen species and subsequent oxidative stress. We examined longitudinal changes of 8-isoprostane urinary concentrations, a validated biomarker of oxidative stress, and associations with maternal prenatal urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites for 258 children at 5, 9 and 14 years of age participating in a birth cohort residing in an agricultural area in California. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and in utero exposure has been also linked to altered lipid metabolism, as well as adverse birth and neurodevelopmental outcomes. We found that median creatinine-corrected 8-isoprostane concentrations remained constant across all age groups and did not differ by sex. Total cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure were positively associated with 8-isoprostane in 14-year-old children. No associations were observed between 8-isoprostane and body mass index (BMI), BMI Z-score or waist circumference at any age. Concentrations of three metabolites of high molecular weight phthalates measured at 13 weeks of gestation (monobenzyl, monocarboxyoctyl and monocarboxynonyl phthalates) were negatively associated with 8-isoprostane concentrations among 9-year olds. However, at 14 years of age, isoprostane concentrations were positively associated with two other metabolites (mono(2-ethylhexyl) and mono(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalates) measured in early pregnancy. Longitudinal data on 8-isoprostane in this pediatric population with a high prevalence of obesity provides new insight on certain potential cardiometabolic risks of prenatal exposure to phthalates.
Establishing an evidence-based diagnostic system informed by the biological (dys)function of the nervous system is a major priority in psychiatry. This objective, however, is often challenged by difficulties in identifying homogeneous clinical populations. Melancholia, a biological and endogenous subtype for major depressive disorder, presents a canonical test case in the search of biological nosology.
We employed a unique combination of naturalistic functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms – resting state and free viewing of emotionally salient films – to search for neurobiological signatures of depression subtypes. fMRI data were acquired from 57 participants; 17 patients with melancholia, 17 patients with (non-melancholic) major depression and 23 matched healthy controls.
Patients with melancholia showed a prominent loss of functional connectivity in hub regions [including ventral medial prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and superior temporal gyrus] during natural viewing, and in the posterior cingulate cortex while at rest. Of note, the default mode network showed diminished reactivity to external stimuli in melancholia, which correlated with the severity of anhedonia. Intriguingly, the subgenual ACC, a potential target for treating depression with deep brain stimulation (DBS), showed divergent changes between the two depression subtypes, with increased connectivity in the non-melancholic and decreased connectivity in the melancholic subsets.
These findings reveal neurobiological changes specific to depression subtypes during ecologically valid behavioural conditions, underscoring the critical need to respect differing neurobiological processes underpinning depressive subtypes.