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The 2019-2020 “Black Summer” bushfires in Australia focused the attention of the nation on the critical role that volunteer firefighters play in the response to such a disaster, spurring a national conversation about how to best support those on the frontline. The objective of this research was to explore the impact of the Black Summer bushfires on volunteer firefighter well-being and to investigate how to deliver effective well-being support.
An explorative qualitative design underpinned by a phenomenological approach was applied. Participant recruitment followed a multi-modal sampling strategy and data were collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews.
Qualitative data were collected from 58 participants aged from 23 to 61-years-of-age (average age of 46 years). All self-reported as volunteer firefighters who had responded to the Black Summer bushfires in Australia. Just over 80% of participants were male and the majority lived in the Australian states of New South Wales (65%) and Victoria (32%). All participants reported impact on their well-being, resulting from cumulative trauma exposure, responding to fires in local communities, intense work demands, minimal intervals between deployments, and disruption to primary employment. In regard to supporting well-being, four key themes emerged from data analysis: (1) Well-being support needs to be both proactive and reactive and empower local leaders to “reach in” while encouraging responders to “reach out;” (2) Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) should not be the only well-being support option available; (3) The sharing of lived experience is important; and (4) Support programs need to address self-stigmatization.
Participants in this research identified that effective well-being support needs to be both proactive and reactive and holistic in approach.
To characterize and compare severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)–specific immune responses in plasma and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from nursing home residents during and after natural infection.
SARS-CoV-2–infected nursing home residents.
A convenience sample of 14 SARS-CoV-2–infected nursing home residents, enrolled 4–13 days after real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction diagnosis, were followed for 42 days. After diagnosis, plasma SARS-CoV-2–specific pan-Immunoglobulin (Ig), IgG, IgA, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies were measured at 5 time points, and GCF SARS-CoV-2–specific IgG and IgA were measured at 4 time points.
All participants demonstrated immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among 12 phlebotomized participants, plasma was positive for pan-Ig and IgG in all 12 participants. Neutralizing antibodies were positive in 11 participants; IgM was positive in 10 participants, and IgA was positive in 9 participants. Among 14 participants with GCF specimens, GCF was positive for IgG in 13 participants and for IgA in 12 participants. Immunoglobulin responses in plasma and GCF had similar kinetics; median times to peak antibody response were similar across specimen types (4 weeks for IgG; 3 weeks for IgA). Participants with pan-Ig, IgG, and IgA detected in plasma and GCF IgG remained positive throughout this evaluation, 46–55 days after diagnosis. All participants were viral-culture negative by the first detection of antibodies.
Nursing home residents had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in plasma and GCF after infection. Kinetics of antibodies detected in GCF mirrored those from plasma. Noninvasive GCF may be useful for detecting and monitoring immunologic responses in populations unable or unwilling to be phlebotomized.
The ability for people to connect, learn, and communicate about science has been enhanced through the Internet, specifically through social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter are well-studied, while Instagram is understudied. This Element provides insight into using Instagram as a science education platform by pioneering a set of calculated metrics, using a paleontology-focused account as a case study. Framed by the theory of affinity spaces, the authors conducted year-long analyses of 455 posts and 139 stories that were created as part of an informal science learning project. They found that team activity updates and posts outside of their other categories perform better than their defined categories. For Instagram stories, the data show that fewer slides per story hold viewers' attention longer, and stories using the poll tool garnered the most interaction. This Element provides a baseline to assess the success of Instagram content for science communicators and natural science institutions.
We present the results of two 2.3 μm near-infrared (NIR) radial velocity (RV) surveys to detect exoplanets around 36 nearby and young M dwarfs. We use the CSHELL spectrograph (R ~ 46,000) at the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), combined with an isotopic methane absorption gas cell for common optical path relative wavelength calibration. We have developed a sophisticated RV forward modeling code that accounts for fringing and other instrumental artifacts present in the spectra. With a spectral grasp of only 5 nm, we are able to reach long-term radial velocity dispersions of ~20–30 m s−1 on our survey targets.
Low vitamin B12 status is common in older people; however, its public health significance in terms of neurological manifestations remains unclear. The present systematic review evaluated the association of vitamin B12 status with neurological function and clinically relevant neurological outcomes in adults aged 50+ years. A systematic search of nine bibliographic databases (up to March 2013) identified twelve published articles describing two longitudinal and ten cross-sectional analyses. The included study populations ranged in size (n 28–2287) and mean/median age (range 65–81 years). Studies reported various neurological outcomes: nerve function; clinically measured signs and symptoms of nerve function; self-reported neurological symptoms. Studies were assessed for risk of bias, and results were synthesised qualitatively. Among the general population groups of older people, one longitudinal study reported no association, and four of seven cross-sectional studies reported limited evidence of an association of vitamin B12 status with some, but not all, neurological outcomes. Among groups with clinical and/or biochemical evidence of low vitamin B12 status, one longitudinal study reported an association of vitamin B12 status with some, but not all, neurological outcomes and three cross-sectional analyses reported no association. Overall, there is limited evidence from observational studies to suggest an association of vitamin B12 status with neurological function in older people. The heterogeneity and quality of the evidence base preclude more definitive conclusions, and further high-quality research is needed to better inform understanding of public health significance in terms of neurological function of vitamin B12 status in older people.
The chest radiograph (CXR) is the most commonly ordered plain film in emergency medicine and has correspondingly broad indications. Patients who complain of chest pain have a broad differential diagnosis, and CXR is one of the first screening tests to be applied in chest pain complaints. CXR is useful to diagnose or identify primary cardiac and pulmonary pathology, abnormal pleural processes, thoracic aortic dilation, aspirated foreign bodies, and thoracic trauma. Pleural processes such as pleural thickening, pneumothorax, hemothorax, and pleural effusions are evident on CXR. CXR is the first radiologic screening test for thoracic aneurysm. Skeletal injuries, including rib, scapular, clavicular, shoulder, and sternal fractures and dislocations, can be seen on CXR. CXR identifies lung masses, pleural lesions, air-space disease, and hilar masses. However, the quality of these lesions is better delineated by CT. A consistent approach to the CXR improves detection of pathology.
The advent of transgenic mice has made the developing retinogeniculate
pathway a model system for targeting potential mechanisms that underlie
the refinement of sensory connections. However, a detailed
characterization of the form and function of this pathway is lacking. Here
we use a variety of anatomical and electrophysiological techniques to
delineate the structural and functional changes occurring in the lateral
geniculate nucleus (LGN) of dorsal thalamus of the C57/BL6 mouse.
During the first two postnatal weeks there is an age-related recession in
the amount of terminal space occupied by retinal axons arising from the
two eyes. During the first postnatal week, crossed and uncrossed axons
show substantial overlap throughout most of the LGN. Between the first and
second week retinal arbors show significant pruning, so that by the time
of natural eye opening (P12–14) segregation is complete and retinal
projections are organized into distinct eye-specific domains. During this
time of rapid anatomical rearrangement, LGN cells could be readily
distinguished using immunocytochemical markers that stain for NMDA
receptors, GABA receptors, L-type Ca2+ channels, and the
neurofilament protein SMI-32. Moreover, the membrane properties and
synaptic responses of developing LGN cells are remarkably stable and
resemble those of mature neurons. However, there are some notable
developmental changes in synaptic connectivity. At early ages, LGN cells
are binocularly responsive and receive input from as many as 11 different
retinal ganglion cells. Optic tract stimulation also evokes plateau-like
depolarizations that are mediated by the activation of L-type
Ca2+ channels. As retinal inputs from the two eyes segregate
into nonoverlapping territories, there is a loss of binocular
responsiveness, a decrease in retinal convergence, and a reduction in the
incidence of plateau potentials. These data serve as a working framework
for the assessment of phenotypes of genetically altered strains as well as
provide some insight as to the molecular mechanisms underlying the
refinement of retinogeniculate connections.
This review of ectodermal dyplasias (ED) presents the particular syndromes that might present to the otolaryngologist for management and discusses the ear, nose and throat manifestations of the condition.
The reproductive activity of a population of barnacle-dwelling littorinids at Peak Steel, on the north-east coast of England, was investigated. Variation in the number of mature males and females, expressed as a percentage of the whole population, showed a marked difference among the barnacle-dwelling littorinids. Littorina neglecta displayed a distinct seasonal component to its reproductive activity, with a peak in early summer. Littorina arcana B also displayed a distinct seasonal component, with a lull in the summer months. However, L. saxatilis B maintained its reproductive activity all year, but with an increase in output in the summer. The reproductive activity of both L. arcana B and L. saxatilis B follow similar patterns of reproductive activity as their typical non barnacle-dwelling forms, suggesting that these are true barnacle-dwelling ecotypes. The controversy surrounding the specific status of L. neglecta is also discussed.
The occurrence of developmental abnormalities in two ovoviviparous littorinids (Littorina neglecta and a barnacle-dwelling form of L. saxatilis) inhabiting the barnacle zone at Peak Steel, Ravenscar on the north-east coast of England was investigated. In general developmental abnormalities appeared to be a rare occurrence in both taxa. However, L. neglecta was found to have a significantly greater proportion of deformed embryos in their brood pouches than L. saxatilis B (Figure 1). A distinct seasonal variation in the number of developmental abnormalities was observed in L. neglecta, and it is suggested this is a result of broods developing outside of the main reproductive season being more prone to deformity.
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