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Studies of the American public demonstrate that partisans often diverge not only on questions of opinion but also on matters of fact. However, little is known about partisan divergence in factual beliefs among the government officials who make real policy decisions, or how it compares to belief polarization among the public. This letter describes the first systematic comparison of factual belief polarization between the public and government officials, which we conducted using a paired survey approach. The results indicate that political elites are consistently more accurately informed than the public across a wide range of politically contentious facts. However, this increase in accuracy does not translate into reduced factual belief polarization. These findings demonstrate that a more informed political elite does not necessarily mitigate partisan factual disagreement in policy making.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Unit cohesion may protect service member mental health by mitigating effects of combat exposure; however, questions remain about the origins of potential stress-buffering effects. We examined buffering effects associated with two forms of unit cohesion (peer-oriented horizontal cohesion and subordinate-leader vertical cohesion) defined as either individual-level or aggregated unit-level variables.
Longitudinal survey data from US Army soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 were analyzed using mixed-effects regression. Models evaluated individual- and unit-level interaction effects of combat exposure and cohesion during deployment on symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and suicidal ideation reported at 3 months post-deployment (model n's = 6684 to 6826). Given the small effective sample size (k = 89), the significance of unit-level interactions was evaluated at a 90% confidence level.
At the individual-level, buffering effects of horizontal cohesion were found for PTSD symptoms [B = −0.11, 95% CI (−0.18 to −0.04), p < 0.01] and depressive symptoms [B = −0.06, 95% CI (−0.10 to −0.01), p < 0.05]; while a buffering effect of vertical cohesion was observed for PTSD symptoms only [B = −0.03, 95% CI (−0.06 to −0.0001), p < 0.05]. At the unit-level, buffering effects of horizontal (but not vertical) cohesion were observed for PTSD symptoms [B = −0.91, 90% CI (−1.70 to −0.11), p = 0.06], depressive symptoms [B = −0.83, 90% CI (−1.24 to −0.41), p < 0.01], and suicidal ideation [B = −0.32, 90% CI (−0.62 to −0.01), p = 0.08].
Policies and interventions that enhance horizontal cohesion may protect combat-exposed units against post-deployment mental health problems. Efforts to support individual soldiers who report low levels of horizontal or vertical cohesion may also yield mental health benefits.
This study explores the interplay of maternal depressive symptoms and use of antidepressant medication during gestation on the intranatal development of the infant limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary axis (LHPA). Infant neurologic markers at two weeks of age are also examined. Patterns of infant sleep within these groups are also explored.
In the study, pregnant women were screened for depressive symptoms using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and their symptom severity was assessed longitudinally with the Beck Depression Inventory. Women were divided into 6 risk groups: low/stable, intermediate, and high/increasing depression based upon longitudinal symptom severity and medication use. The infant neuroendocrine system was examined using cord blood ACTH and cortisol. These infants were examined at 2 weeks of age using Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS).
Infants born to women of the high/increasing depression group had significant elevations in cord blood ACTH at birth. On NNNS examination at two weeks, these infants were more hypotonic and less attentive. They habituated to stimuli more quickly and had fewer visual signs and higher skin reactivity. Infants born to women using antidepressants had further elevations in cord blood ACTH, and were found to be more tremulous and excitable during NNNS examination. Infants born to women with higher depression severity demonstrating aberrations in their early sleep patterns and sleep entrainment.
Maternal depression risk and antidepressant use may construe a different developmental pathway for development of the infant neuroendocrine axis which may impact early neonatal neurologic development.
Interactions between the pharmaceutical industry (PI) and psychiatrists have been under scrutiny recently, though there is little empirical evidence on the nature of the relationship and its intensity at psychiatry trainee level. We therefore studied the level of PI interactions and the underlying beliefs and attitudes in a large sample of European psychiatric trainees.
One thousand four hundred and forty-four psychiatric trainees in 20 European countries were assessed cross-sectionally, with a 62-item questionnaire.
The total number of PI interactions in the preceding two months varied between countries, with least interactions in The Netherlands (M (Mean) = 0.92, SD = 1.44, range = 0–12) and most in Portugal (M = 19.06, SD = 17.44, range = 0–100). Trainees were more likely to believe that PI interactions have no impact on their own prescribing behaviour than that of other physicians (M = 3.30, SD = 1.26 vs. M = 2.39, SD = 1.06 on a 5-point Likert scale: 1 “completely disagree” to 5 “completely agree”). Assigning an educational role to the pharmaceutical industry was associated with more interactions and higher gift value (IRR (incidence rate ratio) = 1.21, 95%CI = 1.12–1.30 and OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.02–1.37).
There are frequent interactions between European psychiatric trainees and the PI, with significant variation between countries. We identified several factors affecting this interaction, including attribution of an educational role to the PI. Creating alternative educational opportunities and specific training dedicated to PI interactions may therefore help to reduce the impact of the PI on psychiatric training.
The influence of pharmaceutical industry (PI) on clinical practice and research in psychiatry has been considered a serious problem. Strict rules and guidelines were developed to regulate the interactions between doctors and PI. However, there is an ongoing debate whether these were thoroughly implemented in practice and internalized by physicians. The objective of our study was to assess the attitudes and behaviors of trainees in psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry toward PI across Europe. Methodologically, a validated questionnaire with additional items was administered to1444 trainees in 20 European countries. The minimum response rate was set at 60%. We found a high variation across countries in number of interactions between trainees and PI representatives; Portugal and Turkey had the highest number of interactions. The majority (59.76%) agreed that interactions with PI representatives have an impact on physicians’ prescribing behavior; whereas only 29.26% and 19.79% agreed interactions with PI representatives and gifts from PI have impact on their own prescribing behavior, respectively. Most of the gifts were considered appropriate by the majority, except tickets to vacation spot and social dinner at a restaurant. Of the sample, 70.76% think they have not been given sufficient training regarding how to interact with PI representatives. Only less than 20% indicated they have guidelines at institutional or national level. In conclusion, there is substantial interaction between trainees and PI across countries. The majority feel inadequately trained regarding professional interaction with PI, and believes they are immune to the influence of PI.
Dietary patterns describe the combination of foods and beverages in a diet and the frequency of habitual consumption. Better understanding of childhood dietary patterns and antenatal influences could inform intervention strategies to prevent childhood obesity. We derived empirical dietary patterns in 1142 children (average age 6·0 (sd 0·2) years) in New Zealand, whose mothers had participated in the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) cohort study and explored associations with measures of body composition. Participants (Children of SCOPE) had their diet assessed by FFQ, and dietary patterns were extracted using factor analysis. Three distinct dietary patterns were identified: ‘Healthy’, ‘Traditional’ and ‘Junk’. Associations between dietary patterns and measures of childhood body composition (waist, hip, arm circumferences, BMI, bioelectrical impedance analysis-derived body fat % and sum of skinfold thicknesses (SST)) were assessed by linear regression, with adjustment for maternal influences. Children who had higher ‘Junk’ dietary pattern scores had 0·24 (sd 0·08; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·13) cm greater arm and 0·44 (sd 0·05; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·10) cm greater hip circumferences and 1·13 (sd 0·07; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·12) cm greater SST and were more likely to be obese (OR 1·74; 95 % CI 1·07, 2·82); those with higher ‘Healthy’ pattern scores were less likely to be obese (OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·39, 1·00). In a large mother–child cohort, a dietary pattern characterised by high-sugar and -fat foods was associated with greater adiposity and obesity risk in children aged 6 years, while a ‘Healthy’ dietary pattern offered some protection against obesity. Targeting unhealthy dietary patterns could inform public health strategies to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity.
The role of meat in the diet has come under scrutiny recently due to an increased public emphasis on providing healthy diets from sustainable food systems and due to health concerns relating to the consumption of red and processed meat. The present review aimed to summarise dietary guidelines relating to meat, actual meat intakes and the contribution of meat to energy and nutrient intakes of children, teenagers and adults in Europe. The available literature has shown that food-based dietary guidelines for most countries recommend consuming lean meat in moderation and many recommend limiting red and processed meat consumption. Mean intakes of total meat in Europe range from 40 to 160 g/d in children and teenagers and from 75 to 233 g/d in adults. Meat contributes to important nutrients such as protein, PUFA, B vitamins, vitamin D and essential minerals such as Fe and Zn; however, processed meat contributes to significant proportions of saturated fat and Na across population groups. While few data are available on diaggregated intakes of red and processed meat, where data are available, mean intakes in adults are higher than the upper limits recommended by the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (70 g/d) and the World Cancer Research Fund (500 g/week). While there are no recommendations for red and processed meat consumption in children and teenagers, intakes currently range from 30 to 76 g/d. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of the role of meat in the European diet which may be of use to stakeholders including researchers, policy makers and the agri-food sector.
Insurance industry practitioners have deep knowledge of their industry, but there is a lack of a simple-to-understand, practical blueprint on applying distributed ledger technology solutions, including blockchain. This paper provides a practical guide for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on blockchain, including an education piece to provide an understanding of the technology. Examples of real-world applications and use cases in insurance are provided to illustrate the capability of the technology. The current risks and challenges in adopting the technology are also considered. Finally, a checklist of issues to consider in adopting a blockchain solution for insurance business problems is provided.
Introduction: Intranasal ketamine (INK) has an emerging role for procedural sedation (PSA) in children in the emergency department (ED). While INK is less invasive and requires fewer personnel than IV ketamine, widespread adoption in the paediatric ED would require strong nursing acceptance. To inform INK implementation strategies, we explored nursing perspectives surrounding INK, including perceived barriers to its adoption. Methods: Nurses in the paediatric ED of London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario were recruited by email. Two, one-hour, in-person focus groups were conducted on January 26 and February 2, 2018 using a semi-structured interview format. Transcription was performed by a professional medical transcription service and analyzed using an inductive qualitative approach involving code words corresponding to recurring topics. Thematic analysis was used to group similar codes into themes. The analytic process was managed using the NVivo 11 software package. Results: Results: Eight nurses participated. All nurses were female and had a mean of 8.9 (range: 2.5 - 26) years of pediatric emergency nursing experience. Seven nurses had experience monitoring and administering INK to children for PSA. Five themes emerged: 1) attributes of INK, 2) INK effects on patients and families, 3) INK effects on health care providers, 4) INK effects on the ED environment, and 5) uncertainty regarding INK's effectiveness, predictability, and fit into institutional sedation protocols. Subthemes included 1) perceptions that INK produced a relatively shallower, slower-onset, and/or less titratable sedation, 2) the importance of patient cooperation (i.e. INK may be preferred by providers for older patients undergoing relatively painful or long procedures), 3) belief that INK was an effective anxiolytic and sedative with the potential to improve nursing resource utilization, and 4) belief that physician resistance to change and lack of personal familiarity were barriers to adoption. Conclusion: Conclusions: We identified clinical advantages to using INK in children, the importance of selecting appropriate patients, and barriers to widespread INK adoption. Importantly, our findings highlighted uncertainty about INK's effectiveness and incorporation into sedation protocols. Our findings will inform future knowledge translation strategies when implementing INK in the clinical setting.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterised by recurring crises, hospitalisations, self-harm, suicide attempts, addictions, episodes of depression, anxiety and aggression and lost productivity. The objective of this study is to determine the use of direct health care resources by persons with BPD in Ireland and the corresponding costs.
This prevalence-based micro-costing study was undertaken on a sample of 196 individuals with BPD attending publicly funded mental health services in Ireland. All health care costs were assessed using a resource utilisation questionnaire completed by mental health practitioners. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis, using a Monte Carlo simulation, was performed to examine uncertainty.
Total direct healthcare cost per individual was €10 844 annually (ranging from 5228 to 20 609). Based on a prevalence of 1% and an adult population (18–65 years) of 2.87 million, we derived that there were 28 725 individuals with BPD in Ireland. Total yearly cost of illness was calculated to be up to €311.5 million.
There is a dearth of data on health care resource use and costs of community mental health services in Ireland. The absence of this data is a considerable constraint to research and decision-making in the area of community mental health services. This paper contributes to the limited literature on resource use and costs in community mental health services in Ireland. The absence of productivity loss data (e.g. absenteeism and presenteeism), non-health care costs (e.g. addiction treatment), and indirect costs (e.g. informal care) from study participants is a limitation of this study.
Immature fruit fly stages of the family Tephritidae are commonly intercepted on breadfruit from Pacific countries at the New Zealand border but are unable to be identified to the species level using morphological characters. Subsequent molecular identification showed that they belong to Bactrocera xanthodes, which is part of a species complex that includes Bactrocera paraxanthodes, Bactrocera neoxanthodes and an undescribed species. To establish a more reliable molecular identification system for B. xanthodes, a reference database of DNA barcode sequences for the 5’-fragment of COI gene region was constructed for B. xanthodes from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. To better understand the species complex, B. neoxanthodes from Vanuatu and B. paraxanthodes from New Caledonia were also barcoded. Using the results of this analysis, real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for the detection of B. xanthodes complex and for the three individual species of the complex were developed and validated. The assay showed high specificity for the target species, with no cross-reaction observed for closely related organisms. Each of the real-time PCR assays is sensitive, detecting the target sequences at concentrations as low as ten copies µl−1 and can be used as either singleplex or multiplex formats. This real-time PCR assay for B. xanthodes has been successfully applied at the borders in New Zealand, leading to the rapid identification of intercepted Tephritidae eggs and larvae. The developed assays will be useful biosecurity tools for rapid detection of species in the B. xanthodes complex worldwide.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
Simulation is used in many aspects of medical training but less so for echocardiography instruction in paediatric cardiology. We report our experience with the introduction of simulator-based echocardiography training at Weill Cornell Medicine for paediatric cardiology fellows of the New York–Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medicine. Knowledge of CHD and echocardiographic performance improved following simulation-based training. Simulator training in echocardiography can be an effective addition to standard training for paediatric cardiology trainees.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
It now appears almost certain that the precursor of SN 1987a was the brighter of the components of Sk-69 202, a blue supergiant, with a precursor mass of perhaps 12-16 solar masses. Prior to the explosion the precursor had a core mass of order six solar masses, and 0.1 to 0.2 solar masses of residual hydrogen envelope. The compact nature of this star can account for many of the odd features of the subsequent light curve and spectral evolution.
An analysis of the light curve and colour evolution shows four distinct epochs, which probably relate to the initial expansion of the fireball and the escape of shock-deposited thermal energy, the hydrogen-rich layers becoming optically thin, the exposure of the helium core, and the increasing transparency of the helium core.
The supernova appeared to be at its maximum on May 10, but is dimmer than a normal Type II because its light is apparently derived from recombinations and the radioactive decay of 56Ni to 56Co to 56Fe rather than by the thermal energy deposited by the passage of the shock.
Endophthalmitis is a vision-threatening inflammation of the inner eye fluids and tissues. Infectious endophthalmitis results from either exogenous or endogenous entry of microbes into the eye. In reported clinical series, exogenous endophthalmitis is much more common than endogenous (or metastatic) endophthalmitis. By far, the most common cause of exogenous infection is intraocular procedures. Until recently, cataract surgery was the most frequently performed type of intraocular procedure, accounting for the greatest number of exogenous endophthalmitis cases. Intravitreal injection has now surpassed cataract surgery as the most frequently performed intraocular procedure and consequently is a significant contributor to the total number of exogenous endophthalmitis cases reported. Exogenous endophthalmitis can also occur after other types of intraocular surgery, including secondary lens implantation, glaucoma filtering surgery, vitrectomy surgery, and corneal transplantation. Organisms may also enter the eye during penetrating trauma, intraocular injection of medication, and contiguous spread into the eye from an infected corneal ulcer. Gram-positive bacteria are the most common cause of exogenous endophthalmitis.
Postoperative endophthalmitis cases from the University of Miami (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute) over an 8-year period (2002 to 2009) demonstrated the incidence of nosocomial endophthalmitis after cataract surgery to be 0.025%. Endophthalmitis occurs after open-globe injuries in 3% to 30% of patients depending on the nature of the injury. The rate of development of Candida endogenous endophthalmitis in patients with documented candidemia has been reported to range from 2.8% to 45%.