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‘Munchausen's syndrome by proxy’ characteristically describes women alleged to have fabricated or induced illnesses in children under their care, purportedly to attract attention. Where conclusive evidence exists the condition's aetiology remains speculative, where such evidence is lacking diagnosis hinges upon denial of wrong-doing (conduct also compatible with innocence). How might investigators obtain objective evidence of guilt or innocence? Here, we examine the case of a woman convicted of poisoning a child. She served a prison sentence but continues to profess her innocence. Using a modified fMRI protocol (previously published in 2001) we scanned the subject while she affirmed her account of events and that of her accusers. We hypothesized that she would exhibit longer response times in association with greater activation of ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices when endorsing those statements she believed to be false (i.e., when she ‘lied’). The subject was scanned 4 times at 3 Tesla. Results revealed significantly longer response times and relatively greater activation of ventrolateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices when she endorsed her accusers' version of events. Hence, while we have not ‘proven’ that this subject is innocent, we demonstrate that her behavioural and functional anatomical parameters behave as if she were.
Effective management of uncertainty can lead to better, more informed decisions. However, many decision makers and their advisers do not always face up to uncertainty, in part because there is little constructive guidance or tools available to help. This paper outlines six Uncertainty Principles to manage uncertainty.
Face up to uncertainty
Deconstruct the problem
Don’t be fooled (un/intentional biases)
Models can be helpful, but also dangerous
Think about adaptability and resilience
Bring people with you
These were arrived at following extensive discussions and literature reviews over a 5-year period. While this is an important topic for actuaries, the intended audience is any decision maker or advisor in any sector (public or private).
Concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy is the standard treatment for locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal cancer. Cetuximab can be used in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, the randomised studies that led to approval for its use in this setting excluded nasopharyngeal cancer. In the context of limited data for the use of cetuximab in nasopharyngeal cancer in the medical literature, this review aimed to summarise the current evidence for its use in both primary and recurrent or metastatic disease.
A literature search was performed using the keywords ‘nasopharyngeal neoplasm’, ‘cetuximab’ and ‘Erbitux’.
Twenty studies were included. There were no randomised phase III trials, but there were nine phase II trials. The use of cetuximab in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma has been tested in various settings, including in combination with induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemoradiotherapy, and in the palliative setting.
There is no evidence of benefit from the addition of cetuximab to standard management protocols, and there is some evidence of increased toxicity. There is more promise for its use in metastatic or locally recurrent settings. This review draws together the existing evidence and could provide a focus for future studies.
Evidence from the literature shows that clinicians’ knowledge of rules and legislation surrounding driving can often be poor. A closed-loop audit was conducted to gauge the level of driving advice given to patients with dizziness.
The clinical notes of 100 patients referred to the vertigo clinic at a tertiary referral centre were retrospectively searched for evidence of driving advice. Education sessions were undertaken and a patient information leaflet was developed before a second cycle of the audit.
Results and conclusion
The proportion of patients having documented evidence of receiving driving advice increased from 6.3 per cent to 10.4 per cent. It is therefore clear that, despite this improvement, a significant proportion of patients’ notes did not contain documentation about driving. This is likely because of many reasons, including individual interpretation by clinicians. This paper provides a reminder of the rules, and discusses their interpretation and implementation in an increasingly medicolegal environment.
To verify the previously untested assumption that eating more salad enhances vegetable intake and determine if salad consumption is in fact associated with higher vegetable intake and greater adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations.
Individuals were classified as salad reporters or non-reporters based upon whether they consumed a salad composed primarily of raw vegetables on the intake day. Regression analyses were applied to calculate adjusted estimates of food group intakes and assess the likelihood of meeting Healthy US-Style Food Pattern recommendations by salad reporting status.
Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2011–2014 in What We Eat in America, the dietary intake component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
US adults (n 9678) aged ≥20 years (excluding pregnant and lactating women).
On the intake day, 23 % of adults ate salad. The proportion of individuals reporting salad varied by sex, age, race, income, education and smoking status (P<0·001). Compared with non-reporters, salad reporters consumed significantly larger quantities of vegetables (total, dark green, red/orange and other), which translated into a two- to threefold greater likelihood of meeting recommendations for these food groups. More modest associations were observed between salad consumption and differences in intake and likelihood of meeting recommendations for protein foods (total and seafood), oils and refined grains.
Study results confirm the DGA message that incorporating more salads in the diet is one effective strategy (among others, such as eating more cooked vegetables) to augment vegetable consumption and adherence to dietary recommendations concerning vegetables.
We studied the timing of occurrence of 1676 sporadic, community-acquired cases of Legionnaires' disease in England and Wales between 1993 and 2008, in relation to temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, windspeed and ultraviolet light using a fixed-stratum case-crossover approach. The analysis was conducted using conditional logistic regression, with consideration of appropriate lag periods. There was evidence of an association between the risk of Legionnaires' disease and temperature with an apparently long time lag of 1–9 weeks [odds of disease at 95th vs. 75th centiles: 3·91, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·06–7·40], and with rainfall at short time lags (of 2–10 days) (odds of disease at 75th vs. 50th centiles: 1·78, 95% CI 1·50–2·13). There was some evidence that the risk of disease in relation to high temperatures was greater at high relative humidities. A higher risk of Legionnaires' disease may be indicated by preceding periods of warmer wetter weather.
This article represents a systematic effort to answer the question, What are archaeology’s most important scientific challenges? Starting with a crowd-sourced query directed broadly to the professional community of archaeologists, the authors augmented, prioritized, and refined the responses during a two-day workshop focused specifically on this question. The resulting 25 “grand challenges” focus on dynamic cultural processes and the operation of coupled human and natural systems. We organize these challenges into five topics: (1) emergence, communities, and complexity; (2) resilience, persistence, transformation, and collapse; (3) movement, mobility, and migration; (4) cognition, behavior, and identity; and (5) human-environment interactions. A discussion and a brief list of references accompany each question. An important goal in identifying these challenges is to inform decisions on infrastructure investments for archaeology. Our premise is that the highest priority investments should enable us to address the most important questions. Addressing many of these challenges will require both sophisticated modeling and large-scale synthetic research that are only now becoming possible. Although new archaeological fieldwork will be essential, the greatest pay off will derive from investments that provide sophisticated research access to the explosion in systematically collected archaeological data that has occurred over the last several decades.
Despite the high prevalence of postnatal depression (PND), few women seek help. Internet interventions may overcome many of the barriers to PND treatment use. We report a phase II evaluation of a 12-session, modular, guided Internet behavioural activation (BA) treatment modified to address postnatal-specific concerns [Netmums Helping With Depression (NetmumsHWD)].
To assess feasibility, we measured recruitment and attrition to the trial and examined telephone session support and treatment adherence. We investigated sociodemographic and psychological predictors of treatment adherence. Effectiveness outcomes were estimated with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Work and Social Adjustment Scale, Postnatal Bonding Questionnaire, and Social Provisions Scale.
A total of 249 women were recruited via a UK parenting site, Netmums.com. A total of 83 women meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder were randomized to NetmumsHWD (n = 41) or treatment-as-usual (TAU; n = 42). Of the 83 women, 71 (86%) completed the EPDS at post-treatment, and 71% (59/83) at the 6-month follow-up. Women completed an average of eight out of 12 telephone support sessions and five out of 12 modules. Working women and those with less support completed fewer modules. There was a large effect size favouring women who received NetmumsHWD on depression, work and social impairment, and anxiety scores at post-treatment compared with women in the TAU group, and a large effect size on depression at 6 months post-treatment. There were small effect sizes for postnatal bonding and perceived social support.
A supported, modular, Internet BA programme can be feasibly delivered to postpartum women, offering promise to improve depression, anxiety and functioning.
We describe epidemiological trends in Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed wild badger (Meles meles) population. Data were derived from the capture, clinical sampling and serological testing of 1803 badgers over 9945 capture events spanning 24 years. Incidence and prevalence increased over time, exhibiting no simple relationship with host density. Potential explanations are presented for a marked increase in the frequency of positive serological test results. Transmission rates (R0) estimated from empirical data were consistent with modelled estimates and robust to changes in test sensitivity and the spatial extent of the population at risk. The risk of a positive culture or serological test result increased with badger age, and varied seasonally. Evidence consistent with progressive disease was found in cubs. This study demonstrates the value of long-term data and the repeated application of imperfect diagnostic tests as indices of infection to reveal epidemiological trends in M. bovis infection in badgers.
The Magellanic System represents one of the best places to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. Photometric surveys of various depths, areas and wavelengths have had a significant impact on our understanding of the system; however, a complete picture is still lacking. VMC (the VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic System) will provide new data to derive the spatially resolved star formation history and to construct a three-dimensional map of the system. These data combined with those from other ongoing and planned surveys will give us an absolutely unique view of the system opening up the doors to truly new science!
To provide updated estimates of drinking water intake (total, tap, plain bottled) for groups aged ≥1 year in the USA and to determine whether intakes collected in 2005–2006 using the Automated Multiple-Pass Method for the 24 h recall differ from intakes collected in 2003–2004 via post-recall food-frequency type questions.
Cross-sectional, observational study.
What We Eat in America (WWEIA), the dietary intake component of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Individuals aged ≥1 year in 2003–2004 (n 8249) and 2005–2006 (n 8437) with one complete 24 h recall.
The estimate for the percentage of individuals who reported total drinking water in 2005–2006 was significantly (P < 0·0000) smaller (76·9 %) than that for 2003–2004 (87·1 %), attributable to a lower percentage reporting tap water (54·1 % in 2005–2006 v. 67·0 % in 2003–2004; P = 0·0001). Estimates of mean tap water intake differed between the survey cycles for men aged ≥71 years.
Survey variables must be examined before combining or comparing data from multiple WWEIA/NHANES release cycles. For at least some age/gender groups, drinking water intake data from NHANES cycles prior to 2005–2006 should not be considered comparable to more recent data.
The Mississippian Strathclyde Group of the Midland Valley of Scotland yields some of the earliest non-marine ostracods. The succession records shallow marine, deltaic, estuarine, lagoonal, lacustrine, fluvial and swamp environments representing a series of staging-posts between fully marine and limnetic settings. Macrofossils and ostracods are assigned to marine, marginal marine, brackish and freshwater environments based on their faunal assemblage patterns. Key brackish to freshwater ostracods are Geisina arcuata, Paraparchites circularis n. sp., Shemonaella ornata n. sp. and Silenites sp. A, associated with the bivalves Anthraconaia, Carbonicola, Cardiopteridium, Curvirimula, Naiadites, the microconchid ‘Spirorbis’, Spinicaudata and fish. Many Platycopina and Paraparchiticopina ostracods are interpreted as euryhaline, which corresponds with their occurrence in marine to coastal plain water bodies, and supports the ‘estuary effect’ hypothesis of non-marine colonization. The success of non-marine colonization by ostracods was dependent on the intrinsic adaptations of ostracod species to lower salinities, such as new reproductive strategies and the timing of extrinsic mechanisms to drive non-marine colonization, such as sea-level change. The genus Carbonita is the oldest and most common freshwater ostracod, and went on to dominate freshwater environments in the Late Palaeozoic.
Different types of biological adhesion can be categorized according to the
length scales, structures, and materials involved. The setal adhesion system
of the gekkonid lizards occupies a hierarchy of scales from the toes (~ 1
cm) to the terminal spatular pads on the setal branches (~ 100 nm). This
unique combination of scale and foot-hair morphology allow the animal
robust, controllable, and near-universal adhesion via van der Waals
attraction, but it is also apparent that the mechanical behavior of the
β-keratin plays an important role in an animal’s climbing ability.
Experimental results show a four-fold increase in the viscoelastic loss
tangent of β-keratin, alongside a substantial increase in adhesion of setal
arrays, over a range of relative humidity from 10 to 80%. A model of
single-spatular deformation predicts that the elastic energy stored in the
setal branches, energy which is not completely recovered on detachment, is
strongly influenced by these properties changes. The enhanced dissipation
characteristics of the system explain the effects of environmental humidity
on the clinging ability of geckos.
In this study we have established a new approach to more accurately map
acoustic wave speed (which is a measure of stiffness) within soft biological
tissues at micrometer length scales using scanning acoustic microscopy. By
using thin (5 μm thick) histological sections of human skin and porcine
cartilage, this method exploits the phase information preserved in the
interference between acoustic waves reflected from the substrate surface as
well as internal reflections from the acoustic lens. A stack of images were
taken with the focus point of acoustic lens positioned at or above the
substrate surface, and processed pixel by pixel using custom software
developed with LABVIEW and IMAQ (National Instruments) to extract phase
information. Scanning parameters, such as acoustic wave frequency and gate
position were optimized to get reasonable phase and lateral resolution. The
contribution from substrate inclination or uneven scanning surface was
removed prior to further processing. The wave attenuation was also obtained
from these images.