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The Late Triassic fauna of the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (LSF) from the Elgin area, Scotland, has been pivotal in expanding our understanding of Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. Frustratingly, due to their odd preservation, interpretations of the Elgin Triassic specimens have relied on destructive moulding techniques, which only provide incomplete, and potentially distorted, information. Here, we show that micro-computed tomography (μCT) could revitalise the study of this important assemblage. We describe a long-neglected specimen that was originally identified as a pseudosuchian archosaur, Ornithosuchus woodwardi. μCT scans revealed dozens of bones belonging to at least two taxa: a small-bodied pseudosuchian and a specimen of the procolophonid Leptopleuron lacertinum. The pseudosuchian skeleton possesses a combination of characters that are unique to the clade Erpetosuchidae. As a basis for investigating the phylogenetic relationships of this new specimen, we reviewed the anatomy, taxonomy and systematics of other erpetosuchid specimens from the LSF (all previously referred to Erpetosuchus). Unfortunately, due to the differing representation of the skeleton in the available Erpetosuchus specimens, we cannot determine whether the erpetosuchid specimen we describe here belongs to Erpetosuchus granti (to which we show it is closely related) or if it represents a distinct new taxon. Nevertheless, our results shed light on rarely preserved details of erpetosuchid anatomy. Finally, the unanticipated new information extracted from both previously studied and neglected specimens suggests that fossil remains may be much more widely distributed in the Elgin quarries than previously recognised, and that the richness of the LSF might have been underestimated.
Evidence from previous small trials has suggested the effectiveness of early social communication interventions for autism.
The Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT) investigated the efficacy of such an intervention in the largest psychosocial autism trial to date.
To provide a stringent test of a pre-school communication intervention for autism.
152 children with core autism aged 2 years - 4 years 11 months in a 3 site 2 arm single (assessor) blinded randomised controlled trial of the parent-mediated communication-focused intervention added to treatment as usual (TAU) against TAU alone. Primary outcome; severity of autism symptoms (modified social communication algorithm from Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, ADOS-G). Secondary outcomes; blinded measures of parent-child interaction, child language, and adaptation in school.
At 13 month endpoint the treatment resulted in strong improvement in parental synchronous response to child (adjusted between-group effect size 1.22 (95% CI 0.85, 1.59) and child initiations with parent (ES 0.41 (0.08, 0.74) but small effect on autism symptomatology (ADOS-G, ES -0.24 (95% CI -0.59, 0.11) ns). Parents (not blind to allocation) reported strong treatment effects on child language and social adaptation but effects on blinded research assessed language and school adaptation were small.
Addition of the PACT intervention showed clear benefit in improving parent-child dyadic social communication but no substantive benefit over TAU in modifying objectively rated autism symptoms. This attenuation on generalisation from ‘proximal’ intervention effects to wider symptom change in other contexts remains a significant challenge for autism treatment and measurement methodology.
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.
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.
Consumption of certain berries appears to slow postprandial glucose absorption, attributable to polyphenols, which may benefit exercise and cognition, reduce appetite and/or oxidative stress. This randomised, crossover, placebo-controlled study determined whether polyphenol-rich fruits added to carbohydrate-based foods produce a dose-dependent moderation of postprandial glycaemic, glucoregulatory hormone, appetite and ex vivo oxidative stress responses. Twenty participants (eighteen males/two females; 24 (sd 5) years; BMI: 27 (sd 3) kg/m2) consumed one of five cereal bars (approximately 88 % carbohydrate) containing no fruit ingredients (reference), freeze-dried black raspberries (10 or 20 % total weight; LOW-Rasp and HIGH-Rasp, respectively) and cranberry extract (0·5 or 1 % total weight; LOW-Cran and HIGH-Cran), on trials separated by ≥5 d. Postprandial peak/nadir from baseline (Δmax) and incremental postprandial AUC over 60 and 180 min for glucose and other biochemistries were measured to examine the dose-dependent effects. Glucose AUC0–180 min trended towards being higher (43 %) after HIGH-Rasp v. LOW-Rasp (P=0·06), with no glucose differences between the raspberry and reference bars. Relative to reference, HIGH-Rasp resulted in a 17 % lower Δmax insulin, 3 % lower C-peptide (AUC0–60 min and 3 % lower glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (AUC0–180 min) P<0·05. No treatment effects were observed for the cranberry bars regarding glucose and glucoregulatory hormones, nor were there any treatment effects for either berry type regarding ex vivo oxidation, appetite-mediating hormones or appetite. Fortification with freeze-dried black raspberries (approximately 25 g, containing 1·2 g of polyphenols) seems to slightly improve the glucoregulatory hormone and glycaemic responses to a high-carbohydrate food item in young adults but did not affect appetite or oxidative stress responses at doses or with methods studied herein.
Solvency II is currently one of the most sophisticated insurance regulatory regimes in the world. It is built around the principles of market consistency and embedding strong risk management and governance within insurance companies. For business with long-term guarantees, the original basis produced outcomes that were unacceptable to the member states. The original design was amended through Omnibus II. The working party has looked back at the outcome of the final regulation and comments on how well Solvency II has fared, principally from a UK perspective, relative to its initial goals of improved consumer protection, harmonisation, effective risk management and financial stability. We review Pillar 1’s market consistent valuation (including the risk margin and transitional measures) as well as the capital requirements (including internal models). We look at the impact this has on asset and liability management, pro-cyclicality and product design. We look at Pillars 2 and 3 in respect of the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment, liquidity and disclosure. Finally, we stand back and look at harmonisation and the implications of Brexit. In summary we conclude that Solvency II represents a huge improvement over Solvency I although it has not fully achieved the goals it aspired to. There are acknowledged shortfalls and imperfections where adjustments to Solvency II are likely. There remain other concerns around pro-cyclicality, and the appropriateness of market consistency is still open to criticism. It is hoped that the paper and the discussion that goes with it provide an insight into where Solvency II has taken European Insurance regulation and the directions in which it could evolve.
No existing models of alcohol prevention concurrently adopt universal and selective approaches. This study aims to evaluate the first combined universal and selective approach to alcohol prevention.
A total of 26 Australian schools with 2190 students (mean age: 13.3 years) were randomized to receive: universal prevention (Climate Schools); selective prevention (Preventure); combined prevention (Climate Schools and Preventure; CAP); or health education as usual (control). Primary outcomes were alcohol use, binge drinking and alcohol-related harms at 6, 12 and 24 months.
Climate, Preventure and CAP students demonstrated significantly lower growth in their likelihood to drink and binge drink, relative to controls over 24 months. Preventure students displayed significantly lower growth in their likelihood to experience alcohol harms, relative to controls. While adolescents in both the CAP and Climate groups demonstrated slower growth in drinking compared with adolescents in the control group over the 2-year study period, CAP adolescents demonstrated faster growth in drinking compared with Climate adolescents.
Findings support universal, selective and combined approaches to alcohol prevention. Particularly novel are the findings of no advantage of the combined approach over universal or selective prevention alone.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
Hendra virus (HeV) was first described in 1994 in an outbreak of acute and highly lethal disease in horses and humans in Australia. Equine cases continue to be diagnosed periodically, yet the predisposing factors for infection remain unclear. We undertook an analysis of equine submissions tested for HeV by the Queensland government veterinary reference laboratory over a 20-year period to identify and investigate any patterns. We found a marked increase in testing from July 2008, primarily reflecting a broadening of the HeV clinical case definition. Peaks in submissions for testing, and visitations to the Government HeV website, were associated with reported equine incidents. Significantly differing between-year HeV detection rates in north and south Queensland suggest a fundamental difference in risk exposure between the two regions. The statistical association between HeV detection and stockhorse type may suggest that husbandry is a more important risk determinant than breed per se. The detection of HeV in horses with neither neurological nor respiratory signs poses a risk management challenge for attending veterinarians and laboratory staff, reinforcing animal health authority recommendations that appropriate risk management strategies be employed for all sick horses, and by anyone handling sick horses or associated biological samples.
Most empirical studies into the covariance structure of psychopathology have been confined to adults. This work is not developmentally informed as the meaning, age-of-onset, persistence and expression of disorders differ across the lifespan. This study investigates the underlying structure of adolescent psychopathology and associations between the psychopathological dimensions and sex and personality risk profiles for substance misuse and mental health problems.
This study analyzed data from 2175 adolescents aged 13.3 years. Five dimensional models were tested using confirmatory factor analysis and the external validity was examined using a multiple-indicators multiple-causes model.
A modified bifactor model, with three correlated specific factors (internalizing, externalizing, thought disorder) and one general psychopathology factor, provided the best fit to the data. Females reported higher mean levels of internalizing, and males reported higher mean levels of externalizing. No significant sex differences emerged in liability to thought disorder or general psychopathology. Liability to internalizing, externalizing, thought disorder and general psychopathology was characterized by a number of differences in personality profiles.
This study is the first to identify a bifactor model including a specific thought disorder factor. The findings highlight the utility of transdiagnostic treatment approaches and the importance of restructuring psychopathology in an empirically based manner.
Citizen science monitoring programmes are making increasingly important contributions to wildlife conservation, often at spatial and temporal scales unachievable by individual or teams of researchers. They are particularly valuable in estimating population trends and management impacts, and thus informing effective conservation decisions for declining species. The quality and potential biases of citizen science data are of concern, however, and appropriate experimental design and analysis are needed to ensure that the maximum scientific value is extracted. We investigated these issues in a citizen science survey of the Endangered Carnaby's black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris. Since 2010, citizen scientists have conducted synchronized annual counts of Carnaby's black-cockatoo at roost sites to estimate the population trend. Survey effort was substantial, with c. 150 sites surveyed by > 260 volunteers each year. Relatively few sites were occupied, however, and only 42 (16%) of the 265 sites surveyed in total accounted for 95% of all observations. Many sites were empty and survey effort was often inconsistent. Taking these issues into account, analysis showed a statistically significant decline in roost occupancy rate and a non-significant decline in the mean size of roosting flocks, with an estimated overall trend of 14% decline per annum in the number of roosting birds. We highlight three important issues for citizen science monitoring programmes: the need to maintain regular surveys of sample sites to avoid patchy data, use an appropriate model that accounts for variable survey effort, high frequency of zero counts, and sampling site turnover, and incorporate information on site characteristics to help explain variation.
Background: Unexplained significant variation may suggest a quality care problem in a health care system. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of variance in spine surgery Saskatchewan and determine possible causes. Methods: Provincial billing records for new spine surgery consultations from May 2011 through October 2012 were correlated with subsequent lumbar surgery. Two tertiary centers (TC1 and TC2) were compared with reference to the Health Region of origin of the patient. Wait times for surgery and utilization of spine pathway clinics was analyzed. Results: TC1 had significantly higher rates of spine fusion and lumbar spine surgery. The percentage of new referrals that went to surgery was 14.0% in TC1 and 11.8% in TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Population-based calculation of the rate of new referrals was 1581/482387 = 0.33% for TC1 vs. 970/601739 = 0.16% for TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Utilization of the spine pathway clinic was lower and wait times for surgery were longer in TC1. Conclusions: Causes of regional variation are unknown and likely multifactorial. In Saskatchewan, the most striking variance was that the rate of primary care referrals for lower back conditions in regions served by TC1 was double that for TC2. This could potentially be reduced through more regionally consistent utilization of the spine pathway.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Specific roles of individual CDPKs vary, but in general they mediate essential biological functions necessary for parasite survival. A comparative analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella and Babesia bovis calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) together with those of Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii was performed by screening against 333 bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs). Structural modelling and experimental data revealed that residues other than the gatekeeper influence compound–protein interactions resulting in distinct sensitivity profiles. We subsequently defined potential amino-acid structural influences within the ATP-binding cavity for each orthologue necessary for consideration in the development of broad-spectrum apicomplexan CDPK inhibitors. Although the BKI library was developed for specific inhibition of glycine gatekeeper CDPKs combined with low inhibition of threonine gatekeeper human SRC kinase, some library compounds exhibit activity against serine- or threonine-containing CDPKs. Divergent BKI sensitivity of CDPK homologues could be explained on the basis of differences in the size and orientation of the hydrophobic pocket and specific variation at other amino-acid positions within the ATP-binding cavity. In particular, BbCDPK4 and PfCDPK1 are sensitive to a larger fraction of compounds than EtCDPK1 despite the presence of a threonine gatekeeper in all three CDPKs.