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New technologies and disruptions related to Coronavirus disease-2019 have led to expansion of decentralized approaches to clinical trials. Remote tools and methods hold promise for increasing trial efficiency and reducing burdens and barriers by facilitating participation outside of traditional clinical settings and taking studies directly to participants. The Trial Innovation Network, established in 2016 by the National Center for Advancing Clinical and Translational Science to address critical roadblocks in clinical research and accelerate the translational research process, has consulted on over 400 research study proposals to date. Its recommendations for decentralized approaches have included eConsent, participant-informed study design, remote intervention, study task reminders, social media recruitment, and return of results for participants. Some clinical trial elements have worked well when decentralized, while others, including remote recruitment and patient monitoring, need further refinement and assessment to determine their value. Partially decentralized, or “hybrid” trials, offer a first step to optimizing remote methods. Decentralized processes demonstrate potential to improve urban-rural diversity, but their impact on inclusion of racially and ethnically marginalized populations requires further study. To optimize inclusive participation in decentralized clinical trials, efforts must be made to build trust among marginalized communities, and to ensure access to remote technology.
The inaugural data from the first systematic program of sea-ice observations in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, in 2018 coincided with the first winter in living memory when the Sound was not choked with ice. The following winter of 2018–19 was even warmer and characterized by even less ice. Here we discuss the mass balance of landfast ice near Kotzebue (Qikiqtaġruk) during these two anomalously warm winters. We use in situ observations and a 1-D thermodynamic model to address three research questions developed in partnership with an Indigenous Advisory Council. In doing so, we improve our understanding of connections between landfast ice mass balance, marine mammals and subsistence hunting. Specifically, we show: (i) ice growth stopped unusually early due to strong vertical ocean heat flux, which also likely contributed to early start to bearded seal hunting; (ii) unusually thin ice contributed to widespread surface flooding. The associated snow ice formation partly offset the reduced ice growth, but the flooding likely had a negative impact on ringed seal habitat; (iii) sea ice near Kotzebue during the winters of 2017–18 and 2018–19 was likely the thinnest since at least 1945, driven by a combination of warm air temperatures and a persistent ocean heat flux.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Dialysis patients may not have access to conventional renal replacement therapy (RRT) following disasters. We hypothesized that improvised renal replacement therapy (ImpRRT) would be comparable to continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in a porcine acute kidney injury model.
Following bilateral nephrectomies and 2 hours of caudal aortic occlusion, 12 pigs were randomized to 4 hours of ImpRRT or CRRT. In the ImpRRT group, blood was circulated through a dialysis filter using a rapid infuser to collect the ultrafiltrate. Improvised replacement fluid, made with stock solutions, was infused pre-pump. In the CRRT group, commercial replacement fluid was used. During RRT, animals received isotonic crystalloids and norepinephrine.
There were no differences in serum creatinine, calcium, magnesium, or phosphorus concentrations. While there was a difference between groups in serum potassium concentration over time (P < 0.001), significance was lost in pairwise comparison at specific time points. Replacement fluids or ultrafiltrate flows did not differ between groups. There were no differences in lactate concentration, isotonic crystalloid requirement, or norepinephrine doses. No difference was found in electrolyte concentrations between the commercial and improvised replacement solutions.
The ImpRRT system achieved similar performance to CRRT and may represent a potential option for temporary RRT following disasters.
Thin diamond foils are needed in many particle accelerator experiments regarding nuclear and atomic physics, as well as in some interdisciplinary research. Particularly, nanodiamond texture is attractive for this purpose as it possesses a unique combination of diamond properties such as high thermal conductivity, mechanical strength and high radiation hardness; therefore, it is a potential material for energetic ion beam stripper foils. At the ORNL Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the installed set of foils must be able to survive a nominal five-month operation period, without the need for unscheduled costly shutdowns and repairs. Thus, a single nanodiamond foil about the size of a postage stamp is critical to the entire operation of SNS and similar sources in U.S. laboratories and around the world. We are investigating nanocrystalline, polycrystalline and their admixture films fabricated using a hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) system for H- stripping to support the SNS at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Here we discuss optimization of process variables such as substrate temperature, process gas ratio of H2/Ar/CH4, substrate to filament distance, filament temperature, carburization conditions, and filament geometry to achieve high purity diamond foils on patterned silicon substrates with manageable intrinsic and thermal stresses so that they can be released as free standing foils without curling. An in situ laser reflectance interferometry tool (LRI) is used for monitoring the growth characteristics of the diamond thin film materials. The optimization process has yielded free standing foils with no pinholes. The sp3/sp2 bonds are controlled to optimize electrical resistivity to reduce the possibility of surface charging of the foils. The integrated LRI and HFCVD process provides real time information on the growth of films and can quickly illustrate growth features and control over film thickness. The results are discussed in the light of development of nanodiamond foils that will be able to withstand a few MW proton beam and hopefully will be able to be used after possible future upgrades to the SNS to greater than a 3MW beam.
An assemblage of killer whales that has been sighted in waters off the west coast of the British Isles and Ireland has previously been shown to be isolated from other North Atlantic killer whale communities based on association patterns. By applying a Bayesian formulation of the Jolly–Seber mark-recapture model to the photo-identification data compiled from opportunistic photographic encounters with this population of killer whales, we show that such sparse and opportunistically-collected data can still be valuable in estimating population dynamics of small, wide-ranging groups. Good quality photo-identification data was collected from 32 encounters over 19 years. Despite a cumulative total of 77 identifications from these encounters, just ten individuals were identified and the remaining 67 identifications were re-sights of these ten animals. There was no detected recruitment through births during the study and, as a result, the population appears to be in a slight decline. The demography of the population was highly skewed towards older individuals and had an unusually high ratio of adult males, and we suggest that demographic stochasticity due to a small population size may be further impacting the population growth rate. We recommend that this population be managed as a separate conservation unit from neighbouring killer whale populations.
For over a decade, the structure of the inner “hole” in the transition disk around TW Hydrae has been a subject of debate. To probe the innermost regions of the protoplanetary disk, observations at the highest possible spatial resolution are required. We present new interferometric data of TW Hya from near-infrared to millimeter wavelengths. We confront existing models of the disk structure with the complete data set and develop a new, detailed radiative-transfer model. This model is characterized by: 1) a spatial separation of the largest grains from the small disk grains; and 2) a smooth inner rim structure, rather than a sharp disk edge.
Fe is an essential micronutrient required for optimal cognitive and physical performance. Cross-sectional studies indicate that training degrades Fe status in female military personnel; however, longitudinal studies to measure the direct impact of military training on Fe status and performance have not been conducted. As such, the objective of the present study was to determine the longitudinal effects of military training on Fe status in female soldiers. Fe status was assessed in ninety-four female soldiers immediately before and following a 9-week basic combat training (BCT) course. Fe status indicators included Hb, erythrocyte distribution width (RDW), serum ferritin, transferrin saturation and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR). A 2-mile (3·2 km) run test was performed at the end of BCT to assess aerobic performance. Fe status was affected by BCT, as all Fe status indicators, excluding Hb, were diminished (P ≤ 0·01) at the end of BCT. Fe status indicators at the end of BCT (Hb and RDW) were associated (P ≤ 0·05) with running performance, as was the change in sTfR over the training period (r 0·320; P ≤ 0·05). In conclusion, Fe status in female soldiers is degraded during BCT, and degraded Fe status is associated with diminished aerobic performance. Female athletes and military personnel should strive to maintain Fe status to optimise physical performance.