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Exposure investigations are labor intensive and vulnerable to recall bias. We developed an algorithm to identify healthcare personnel (HCP) interactions from the electronic health record (EHR), and we evaluated its accuracy against conventional exposure investigations. The EHR algorithm identified every known transmission and used ranking to produce a manageable contact list.
Severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmissions among healthcare workers and hospitalized patients are challenging to confirm. Investigation of infected persons often reveals multiple potential risk factors for viral acquisition. We combined exposure investigation with genomic analysis confirming 2 hospital-based clusters. Prolonged close contact with unmasked, unrecognized infectious, individuals was a common risk.
We analyzed the impact of a 7-day recurring asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 testing protocol for all patients hospitalized at a large academic center. Overall, 40 new cases were identified, and 1 of 3 occurred after 14 days of hospitalization. Recurring testing can identify unrecognized infections, especially during periods of elevated community transmission.
We present new results on the Galactic bar/bulge transverse velocity structure using Gaia and the VISTA Variables in Via Lactea (VVV) survey. Gaia is complemented in high extinction regions by the multi-epoch infrared VVV observations for which derived relative proper motions can be tied to Gaia’s absolute frame. We extract kinematic maps (both 2D and 3D) of the Galactic bar/bulge, from which we measure the pattern speed of the bar using a novel technique. We focus on the evidence of an X-shaped bulge from the kinematic maps.
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body condition, to examine whether changes in food type and availability have influenced the Bewick’s Swan’s use of their main wintering site in the UK, the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens. Maximum number of Bewick’s Swans rose from 620 in winter 1958/59 to a high of 7,491 in winter 2004/05, before falling to 1,073 birds in winter 2013/14. Between winters 1958/59 and 2014/15 the Ouse Washes supported between 0.5 and 37.9 % of the total population wintering in north-west Europe (mean ± 95 % CI = 18.1 ± 2.4 %). Swans fed on agricultural crops, shifting from post-harvest remains of root crops (e.g. sugar beet and potatoes) in November and December to winter-sown cereals (e.g. wheat) in January and February. Inter-annual variation in the area cultivated for these crops did not result in changes in the peak numbers of swans occurring on the Ouse Washes. Behavioural and body condition data indicated that food supplies on the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens remain adequate to allow the birds to gain and maintain good body condition throughout winter with no increase in foraging effort. Our findings suggest that the recent decline in numbers of Bewick’s Swans at this internationally important site was not linked to inadequate food resources.
Eating frequency may be important in the development of overweight and obesity and other cardiometabolic risk factors; however, the evidence is inconsistent. The aim of the present study was to examine the associations between the number of eating occasions and cardiometabolic risk factors in a national population-based sample of young adults. A cohort of 1273 men and 1502 women, aged 26–36 years, completed a meal pattern chart to record when they had eaten during the previous day (in hourly intervals). The total number of eating occasions was calculated. Diet quality was assessed, waist circumference was measured and a fasting blood sample was taken. Dietary intake was compared with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. The associations between the number of eating occasions and cardiometabolic risk factors were calculated using linear regression. Analyses were adjusted for age, education and physical activity. Most men ate three to five times per d and most women ate four to six times. The proportion of participants meeting dietary recommendations increased with the number of eating occasions. For men, an additional eating occasion was associated with reductions in mean values for waist circumference ( − 0·75 cm), fasting glucose ( − 0·02 mmol/l), fasting insulin ( − 0·34 mU/l; 2·04 pmol/l), TAG ( − 0·03 mmol/l), total cholesterol ( − 0·08 mmol/l) and LDL-cholesterol ( − 0·06 mmol/l). Adjustment for waist circumference attenuated the results. Significant trends were not observed for women. In conclusion, a higher number of eating occasions were associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk factors in men. Many associations were mediated by waist circumference.
The potential for the phylogeographical analysis of cereal landraces to determine the initial patterns of agricultural spread through Europe is discussed in relation to two of the first cereals to be domesticated, emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). Extant landraces available from germplasm collections have a patchy distribution, largely being confined to regions of rugged upland topography, and the phylogeographical patterns observed may be due to ‘overstamping’ by more recent crop movements. Phylogeographical studies of non-viable historical landrace material held in herbarium and old seed collections and found in historical buildings have the potential to fill in the gaps in time and space. We explore the importance of precise geographical provenance and the limitations of this in extant and historical material. Additionally, we consider the effect of various chemicals and the preservation of DNA in the historical material.
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