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New guidelines for peanut allergy prevention in high-risk infants recommend introducing peanut during infancy but do not address breastfeeding or maternal peanut consumption. We assessed the independent and combined association of these factors with peanut sensitization in the general population CHILD birth cohort (N = 2759 mother–child dyads). Mothers reported peanut consumption during pregnancy, timing of first infant peanut consumption, and length of breastfeeding duration. Child peanut sensitization was determined by skin prick testing at 1, 3, and 5 years. Overall, 69% of mothers regularly consumed peanuts and 36% of infants were fed peanut in the first year (20% while breastfeeding and 16% after breastfeeding cessation). Infants who were introduced to peanut early (before 1 year) after breastfeeding cessation had a 66% reduced risk of sensitization at 5 years compared to those who were not (1.9% vs. 5.8% sensitization; aOR 0.34, 95% CI 0.14–0.68). This risk was further reduced if mothers introduced peanut early while breastfeeding and regularly consumed peanut themselves (0.3% sensitization; aOR 0.07, 0.01–0.25). In longitudinal analyses, these associations were driven by a higher odds of outgrowing early sensitization and a lower odds of late-onset sensitization. There was no apparent benefit (or harm) from maternal peanut consumption without breastfeeding. Taken together, these results suggest the combination of maternal peanut consumption and breastfeeding at the time of peanut introduction during infancy may help to decrease the risk of peanut sensitization. Mechanistic and clinical intervention studies are needed to confirm and understand this “triple exposure” hypothesis.
Analysis of the total surface energy γT and its three components as established by the van Oss-Chaudhury-Good Theory (vOCG) is conducted via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA). γT is correlated with the composition of the top monolayers (ML) obtained from High-Resolution Ion Beam Analysis (HR-IBA). Control of γT enables surface engineering for wafer bonding (Nano-BondingTM) and/or epitaxial growth. Native oxides on boron-doped p-Si(100) are found to average γT of 53 ± 1.4 mJ/m2) and are always hydrophilic. An HF in methanol or aqueous HF etch for 60 s always renders Si(100) hydrophobic. Its γT decreases by 20% to 44 ± 3 mJ/m2 in HF in methanol etch and by 10% to 48 ± 3 mJ/m2 in aqueous HF. On the contrary, GaAs(100) native oxides are found to always be hydrophobic. Tellurium n+-doped GaAs(100) yields an average of γT of 37 ± 2 mJ/m2, 96% of which is due to the Lifshitz-Van der Waals molecular interactions (γLW = 36 ± 1 mJ/m2). However, hydrophobic GaAs(100) can be made highly hydrophilic. After etching, γT increases by almost 50% to 66 ± 1.4 mJ/m2. 3LCAA shows that the γT increase is due to electron acceptor and donor interactions, while the Lifshitz-van der Waals energy γLW remains constant. IBA combining the 3.039 ± 0.01 MeV oxygen nuclear resonance with <111> channeling, shows that oxygen on Si(100) decreases by 10% after aqueous HF etching, from 13.3 ± 0.3 monolayers (ML) to 11.8 ± 0.4 ML 1 hour after etch.Te-doped GaAs(100) exhibits consistent oxygen coverage of 7.2 ± 1.4 ML, decreasing by 50% after etching to a highly hydrophilic surface with 3.6 ± 0.2 oxygen ML. IBA shows that etching does not modify the GaAs surface stoichiometry to within 1% . Combining 3LCAA with HR-IBA provides a quantitative metrology to measure how GaAs and Si surfaces can be altered to a different hydroaffinity and surface termination.
The effects of crystal orientation and doping on the surface energy, γT, of native oxides of Si(100) and Si(111) are measured via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA) to extract γT, while Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) is used to detect Oxygen. During 3LCAA, contact angles for three liquids are measured with photographs via the “Drop and Reflection Operative Program (DROP™). DROP™ removes subjectivity in image analysis, and yields reproducible contact angles within < ±1°. Unlike to the Sessile Drop Method, DROP can yield relative errors < 3% on sets of 20-30 drops. Native oxides on 5 x 1013 B/cm3 p- doped Si(100) wafers, as received in sealed, 25 wafer teflon boats continuously stored in Class 100/ISO 5 conditions at 24.5°C in 25% controlled humidity, are found to be hydrophilic. Their γT, 52.5 ± 1.5 mJ/m2, is reproducible between four boats from three sources, and 9% greater than γT of native oxides on n- doped Si(111), which averages 48.1 ± 1.6 mJ/m2 on four 4” Si(111) wafers. IBA combining 16O nuclear resonance with channeling detects 30% more oxygen on native oxides of Si(111) than Si(100). While γT should increase on thinner, more defective oxides, Lifshitz-Van der Waals interactions γLW on native oxides of Si(100) remain at 36 ± 0.4 mJ/m2, equal to γLW on Si(111), 36 ± 0.6 mJ/m2, since γLW arises from the same SiO2 molecules. Native oxides on 4.5 x 1018 B/cm3 p+ doped Si(100) yield a γT of 39 ± 1 mJ/m2, as they are thicker per IBA. In summary, 3LCAA and IBA can detect reproducibly and accurately, within a few %, changes in the surface energy of native oxides due to thickness and surface composition arising from doping or crystal structure, if conducted in well controlled clean room conditions for measurements and storage.
Both maternal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations during pregnancy and
placental amino acid transporter gene expression have been associated with
development of the offspring in terms of body composition and bone structure.
Several amino acid transporter genes have vitamin D response elements in their
promoters suggesting the possible linkage of these two mechanisms. We aimed to
establish whether maternal 25(OH)D and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) levels
relate to expression of placental amino acid transporters. RNA was extracted
from 102 placental samples collected in the Southampton Women's Survey,
and gene expression was analysed using quantitative real-time PCR. Gene
expression data were normalised to the geometric mean of three housekeeping
genes, and related to maternal factors and childhood body composition. Maternal
serum 25(OH)D and VDBP levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Maternal
25(OH)D and VDBP levels were positively associated with placental expression of
specific genes involved in amino acid transport. Maternal 25(OH)D and VDBP
concentrations were correlated with the expression of specific placental amino
acid transporters, and thus may be involved in the regulation of amino acid
transfer to the fetus. The positive correlation of VDBP levels and placental
transporter expression suggests that delivery of vitamin D to the placenta may
be important. This exploratory study identifies placental amino acid
transporters which may be altered in response to modifiable maternal factors and
provides a basis for further studies.
The Large Aperture GRBs Observatory is a continental-wide observatory devised to detect high energy (around 100 GeV) component of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs), by using the single particle technique in arrays of Water Cherenkov Detectors (WCDs) at high mountain sites of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela and Peru. Details of the instalation and operation of the detectors in Marcapomacocha in Peru at 4550 m.a.s.l. are given. The detector calibration method will also be shown.
We report an interesting property of carbon dots: they emit light under charge injection. We synthesized carbon dots in diameter about 20 nm using wet chemistry methods. The photoluminescence quantum efficiency of the carbon dots dissolved in water was about 11%. We observed strong electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) from the sample. This observation of ECL from carbon dots indicates that they could be a good candidate material for carbon-based electroluminescent devices.
Direct deposition of graphene from carbon sources on foreign substrates without the use of metal catalysts is shown to be an effective process with several advantages over other growth techniques. Carbon source molecular beam epitaxy (CMBE) in particular provides an additional control parameter in carbon flux and enables growth on substrates other than SiC, including oxidized Si and sapphire. CMBE using thermally evaporated C60 and a heated graphite filament on SiC is reported here. The graphene films were characterized by Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and Hall effect. Graphene films on Si-face SiC grown using the C60 source have Bernal-like stacking and n-type conduction while those grown using the graphite filament have turbostratic stacking and p-type conduction. The sheet concentration for both n- and p-type doping is linearly dependent on film thickness.
The Arecibo L-band Feed Array Zone of Avoidance Survey (ALFA ZOA) will map 1350-1800 deg2 at low Galactic latitude, providing HI spectra for galaxies in regions of the sky where our knowledge of local large scale structure remains incomplete, owing to obscuration from dust and high stellar confusion near the Galactic plane. Because of these effects, a substantial fraction of the galaxies detected in the survey will have no optical or infrared counterparts. However, near infrared follow up observations of ALFA ZOA sources found in regions of lowest obscuration could reveal whether some of these sources could be objects in which little or no star formation has taken place (“dark galaxies”). We present here the results of ALFA ZOA precursor observations on two patches of sky totaling 140 deg2 (near l = 40°, and l = 192°). We have measured HI parameters for detections from these observations, and cross-correlated with the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED). A significant fraction of the objects have never been detected at any wavelength. For those galaxies that have been previously detected, a significant fraction have no previously known redshift, and no previous HI detection.
Comparative and functional fungal genomics
S. E. Baker, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
C. F. Wend, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
D. Martinez, Genome Annotation and Analysis Joint Genome Institute Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos NM 87545 USA,
J. K. Magnuson, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
E. A. Panisko, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
Z. Dai, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
K. S. Bruno, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
K. K. Anderson, Decision & Sensor Analytics Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 906 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA,
M. E. Monroe, Biological Separations and Mass Spectrometry Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 3335 Q Avenue Richland WA 99352 USA,
D. S. Daly, Statistical Sciences Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 3180 George Washington Way Richland WA 99352 USA,
L. L. Lasure, Fungal Biotechnology Team MSIN: K2–12 Chemical and Biological Processes Development Group Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 902 Battelle Blvd. Richland WA 99352 USA
In order to decrease dependence on petroleum, the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) Office of the Biomass Program (OBP) is investing in research and development to enable its vision of the biorefinery. The biorefinery will decrease the use of petroleum through conversion of biomass such as crops or agricultural waste into fuels and products.
In 2004, the USDOE OBP asked researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to prepare a list of the top ten building-block chemicals that can be derived from simple sugars by biological and/or chemical means. The resulting list of twelve building-block chemicals and the accompanying report (www.eere.energy.gov/biomass/pdfs/35523.pdf) form an informational foundation on which future DOE and industry bioproducts research will be built (Table 1.1).
How do fungi fit into the biorefinery? Analysis of the ‘top ten’ study indicates that nine of the top twelve chemical building blocks are currently produced, or may potentially be produced, by fungal fermentation processes. However, a significant barrier to the use of bio-based products is the economic feasibility – fuels and products must be price-competitive with those derived from petroleum. An obvious way to decrease the costs of biobased products from fungi is to make fermentation strains more productive and processes more efficient. Traditional strain improvement programmes typically span a timescale measured in decades and process development done through the use of batch cultures is extremely labour intensive.
The provision of environmental enrichment for pigs is a legal requirement within the EU. However, there is debate as to what constitutes suitable enrichment in commercial environments where straw cannot be used. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of objects by pigs under UK commercial conditions, and the extent to which individual pigs used, or were prevented from using, the enrichment provided.
We tested the hypothesis that voltage-operated Ca2+ channels mediate an extracellular Ca2+ influx in muscle fibres from the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni and, along with Ca2+ mobilization from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, contribute to muscle contraction. Indeed, whole-cell voltage clamp revealed voltage-gated inward currents carried by divalent ions with a peak current elicited by steps to +20 mV (from a holding potential of −70 mV). Depolarization of the fibres by elevated extracellular K+ elicited contractions that were completely dependent on extracellular Ca2+ and inhibited by nicardipine (half inhibition at 4·1 μM). However these contractions were not very sensitive to other classical blockers of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, indicating that the schistosome muscle channels have an atypical pharmacology when compared to their mammalian counterparts. Futhermore, the contraction induced by 5 mM caffeine was inhibited after depletion of the sarcoplasmic reticulum either with thapsigargin (10 μM) or ryanodine (10 μM). These data suggest that voltage-operated Ca2+ channels do contribute to S. mansoni contraction as does the mobilization of stored Ca2+, despite the small volume of sarcoplasmic reticulum in schistosome smooth muscles.
The passive film stability of several Fe-based amorphous metal formulations have been found to be comparable to that of high-performance Ni-based alloys, and superior to that of stainless steels, based on electrochemical measurements of the passive film breakdown potential and general corrosion rates. Chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) provide corrosion resistance; boron (B) enables glass formation; and rare earths such as yttrium (Y) lower critical cooling rate (CCR). The high boron content of this particular amorphous metal also makes it an effective neutron absorber, and suitable for criticality control applications, as discussed in companion publications. Corrosion data for SAM2X5 (Fe49.7Cr17.7Mn1.9Mo7.4W1.6B15.2C3.8Si2.4) is discussed here.
The present study compared the performance and development of adverse behaviours of pigs with intact tails, when housed in a straw-bedded system or a part-slatted system enriched with a commercial device. The pigs had previously received different enrichment treatments (rooting box, liquid dispenser, straw bedding or none), either in the farrowing crate or with their lactating dam or post weaning. The pigs were mixed in groups at 10 weeks of age and from then on, every 2 weeks, behavioural observations were performed, focusing mainly on harmful social behaviour and enrichment use. The study showed that pigs with undocked tails can be at high risk of tail biting in part-slatted systems, whereas the straw bedding prevented the development of tail biting. The immediate effects of the environment seemed to exert a greater influence on the development of adverse behaviour than early life enrichment and adding a simple enrichment device could not compensate for the deficiencies in the barren environment of the part-slatted system. In order to prevent vice, functional design of environmental enrichment is required.
Providing environmental enrichment to farmed animals such as pigs is very important to safeguard their welfare. Current legislation specifies that all pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities. Straw has always been regarded as a functional form of enrichment for pigs, but can be difficult to use in slatted housing systems. Alternative enrichment objects might be acceptable substitutes, provided they are designed according to characteristics which pigs find important (Van de Weerd et al., 2003), as pigs may lose interest in simple devices. Most enrichment studies have focussed on immediate effects on behaviour, but it is also important to find out whether there are critical periods where providing enrichment will have effects later in life. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether early life enrichment had an effect on the behavioural development of pigs. To assess this, pigs were tested on an Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) at 10 weeks of age. The EPM is a well-validated anxiety model in rodents, which has more recently been used in pigs. It provides a way to separate fear of novelty (avoidance of open arms) and activity-related elements (entries into closed arms) (Anderson et al., 2000).
The development of adverse behaviour in group–housed growing/ finishing pigs with intact tails was studied in a straw–flow housing system and in a part–slatted system with a commercial enrichment object. Food intake, body weight and behaviour were monitored over the finishing period, with tail biting outbreaks defined as an occasion where three or more pigs within a group had freshly damaged tails and tail biting behaviour was ongoing. Data from the two systems were analysed to identify tail–biting outbreaks and behavioural changes over time. Levels of pig manipulation were higher in the part–slatted system. Over time, pigs in both systems showed reduced interest in the enrichment provided, but not in each other. Despite the presence of the enrichment device, tail biting occurred in all groups in the part–slatted system, but only 1/12 groups in the straw–flow system. The amount of time occupied by manipulation of the enrichment provided was very significantly higher for straw than for the commercial object. Better design of enrichment strategies is therefore needed and should be based on species–relevant requirements.
To assess the validity and repeatability of a simple index designed to rank participants according to their energy expenditure estimated by self-report, by comparison with objectively measured energy expenditure assessed by heart-rate monitoring with individual calibration.
Energy expenditure was assessed over one year by four separate episodes of 4-day heart-rate monitoring, a method previously validated against whole-body calorimetry and doubly labelled water. Cardio-respiratory fitness was assessed by four repeated measures of sub-maximum oxygen uptake. At the end of the 12-month period, participants completed a physical activity questionnaire that assessed past-year activity. A simple four-level physical activity index was derived by combining occupational physical activity together with time participating in cycling and other physical exercise (such as keep fit, aerobics, swimming and jogging).
One hundred and seventy-three randomly selected men and women aged 40 to 65 years.
The repeatability of the physical activity index was high (weighted kappa = 0.6, P < 0.0001). There were positive associations between the physical activity index from the questionnaire and the objective measures of the ratio of daytime energy expenditure to resting metabolic rate (P = 0.003) and cardio-respiratory fitness (P = 0.001). As an indirect test of validity, there was a positive association between the physical activity index and the ratio of energy intake, assessed by 7-day food diaries, to predicted basal metabolic rate.
The summary index of physical activity derived from the questions used in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study suggest it is useful for ranking participants in terms of their physical activity in large epidemiological studies. The index is simple and easy to comprehend, which may make it suitable for situations that require a concise, global index of activity.