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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Mucositis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting from high doses of radio/chemotherapy treatment and may lead to interruption of antineoplasic therapy. Soluble fibres, like pectin, increase SCFA production, which play a role in gut homoeostasis and inflammation suppression. Due to the properties of pectin, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fibre (HF) diet on chemotherapy-induced mucositis in a murine model. C57/BL6 mice received control (AIN93M), HF, low/zero fibre (LF) diets for 10 d prior to mucositis challenging with irinotecan (75 mg/kg), or they were treated with acetate added to drinking water 5 d prior to and during the mucositis induction. Mice that received the HF diet showed decreased immune cells influx and improved histopathological parameters in the intestine, compared with mice that received the normal diet. Furthermore, the HF diet decreased intestinal permeability induced in the mucositis model when compared with the control group. This effect was not observed for acetate alone, which did not improve gut permeability. For instance, mice that received the LF diet had worsened gut permeability, compared with mice that received the normal diet and mucositis. The effects of the HF and LF diets were shown to modulate the intestinal microbiota, in which the LF diet increased the levels of Enterobacteriaceae, a group associated with gut inflammation, whereas the HF diet decreased this group and increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (SCFA producers) levels. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the importance of dietary fibre intake in the modulation of gut microbiota composition and homoeostasis maintenance during mucositis in this model.
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
Previous genetic studies on hair morphology focused on the overall morphology of the hair using data collected by self-report or researcher observation. Here, we present the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of a micro-level quantitative measure of hair curvature. We compare these results to GWAS results obtained using a macro-level classification of observable hair curvature performed in the same sample of twins and siblings of European descent. Observational data were collected by trained observers, while quantitative data were acquired using an Optical Fibre Diameter Analyser (OFDA). The GWAS for both the observational and quantitative measures of hair curvature resulted in genome-wide significant signals at chromosome 1q21.3 close to the trichohyalin (TCHH) gene, previously shown to harbor variants associated with straight hair morphology in Europeans. All genetic variants reaching genome-wide significance for both GWAS (quantitative measure lead single-nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] rs12130862, p = 9.5 × 10–09; observational measure lead SNP rs11803731, p = 2.1 × 10–17) were in moderate to very high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with each other (minimum r2 = .45), indicating they represent the same genetic locus. Conditional analyses confirmed the presence of only one signal associated with each measure at this locus. Results from the quantitative measures reconfirmed the accuracy of observational measures.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Prototyping is an essential activity in product development, but novice designers lack awareness and purpose when they prototype. To foster prototyping mindsets in novice designers, we introduce a prototyping support tool that structures prototyping activities. This paper outlines the Prototyping Planner's development, evolution, and evaluation by 125 novice designers. The majority of novice designers’ experienced that the Prototyping Planner helped them create purposeful prototypes and evaluate results from prototyping.
Symptomatic neurosyphilis in immunocompetent patients is nowadays a rare diagnosis. Yet, if not properly diagnosed and treated, consequences for the patient's health are severe. Known as “the great imitator”, its detection involves both a high degree of suspicion and adequate diagnostic tests. Psychiatric symptoms are often the presenting symptoms of this illness.
The authors report four cases of neurosyphilis with psychiatric symptoms (general paresis) in immunocompetent patients. all four patients were initially referred for observation by a psychiatrist in the emergency room. Special diagnostic features of each case and potential diagnostic pitfalls are highlighted.
To raise awareness to the importance of this rare but highly disabling disease.
Review of clinical records and complementary exams.
All patients were male, two Caucasian and two African Black, with ages ranging from 41–56 years old. Clinical presentations were quite distinct, showing the symptomatic heterogeneity of paretic neurosyphilis. Blood VDRL test was negative in one case, CSF VDRL was negative in another case. TPHA was always positive in blood and CSF. White cell count and protein quantification in the CSF remains important to confirm diagnosis.
Current prevalence of symptomatic neurosyphilis in Western Europe is unknown. Atypical cases presenting with heterogeneous psychiatric and neurologic symptoms, with no previous history of mental illness, should undergo blood VDRL testing, and specific blood treponemal testing should be considered in specific situations. A high index of clinical suspicion is needed. Confirmation of diagnosis is only possible through further CSF analysis.
There is robust evidence recommending electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in treating severe acute affective disorders. The clinical use of bitemporal electrode placement is still favoured to unilateral placement with just a relative disadvantage in cognitive side effects. Recently, bifrontal placement has gained popularity but there is still limited evidence on its relative benefits.
Compare bitemporal and bifrontal ECT efficacy in patients with pharmacologically resistant affective disorders, based on the number of acute phase treatments required to reach symptomatic remission.
Review of all patients' charts submitted to acute phase ECT, between June 2006 and June 2011. A total of 70 ECT treatment courses performed in a group of 67 patients met inclusion criteria. Thirty-eight of the total 70 courses received bitemporal ECT, and 32 received bifrontal ECT. A statistical analysis was performed. An attempt to use t-test was foiled due to breach of population variance homogeneity (p = 0,021). The non-parametric Mann-Whitney test was the alternative choice (M-W = 534;p = 0,377).
Bitemporal and bifrontal groups matched for age and sex. Bitemporal patients received on average five ECT treatments, while the average of bifrontal treatments to remission was six, but this difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).
Our results showed that bitemporal and bifrontal placements are equally effective. According to the largest randomised controlled trial conducted on ECT in depressive illness (Kellner et al,2010), bitemporal placement led to a faster rate of improvement. Additional studies and larger samples are required to understand if bifrontal placement's efficacy and cognitive advantages justify its popularity.
The co-occurrence of mania and delirium, named “delirious mania”, is an under-recognized entity not listed in major diagnostic classifications. Literature about this syndrome is still scarce and lacking evidence. Usually, reports of affective syndromes with delirium tend to be subdued in the manic descriptor
We report the case of a 44 year old female patient with a simultaneous affective episode and delirium.
To demonstrate the co-occurrence of depressive/mixed symptoms and delirium
Review of clinical records and complementary exams.
The patient was admitted after a three week long depressive syndrome with psychomotor agitation, followed by a week-long fluctuating pattern of delirious and mixed affective features. Shortly after admission the patient exhibited a stuporous state, with nocturnal agitation. A fluctuating pattern of symptoms ensued, with disorientation, disorganized behavior, cognitive impairment, anxiety and depressive features. the patient was put on mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines. She was discharged symptom-free two months later and re-admitted 4 weeks later due to recurrence of symptoms. Electroconvulsive treatment was applied,with quick remission of affective symptoms. Yet, it took another two months until discharge, due to persistent cognitive symptoms. Medical conditions were excluded.
This case shows the simultaneous occurrence of an affective syndrome alongside delirium. the strongest treatment response occurred with ECT. the presence of depressed mood highlights the fact that this syndrome can begin without clear-cut manic symptoms. We suggest that its name should be changed to Delirious Affective Disorder, which might help to avoid misdiagnosis. Persistent cognitive deficits raise some questions in this case.
Bipolar mixed states were systematically described for the first time by Emil Kraepelin. Since then, their high prevalence has been repeatedly recognized, but they still remain poorly understood. These patients appear to be extremely difficult to treat, many being refractory to pharmacological approaches. Clinical experience supports the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in mixed states, but there is little information on its effectiveness in scientific literature.
Report our experience in using acute phase ECT (aECT) in mixed states.
The authors reviewed the clinical records of all patients submitted to aECT between June 2006 and June 2011. The inclusion criteria were: a) presence of a mixed state according to Akiskal's criteria (Akiskal et al,2005); b) completed treatment course with aECT. The following variables were collected: demographic characteristics, previous response to pharmacotherapy, presence of psychotic symptoms, number of aECT sessions, referral to continuation or maintenance ECT (c/mECT), number of readmissions. Relation between the diagnostics and the number of ECT sessions was validated with Eta-coefficient. Comparison between these two groups was carried out with One-Way-ANOVA.
Eighteen patients met inclusion criteria and were resistant to pharmacotherapy. Eight patients had psychotic features. All patients but one showed a positive clinical response, as documented on CGI. The average number of ECT sessions was five, while the mean of ECT treatments in manic and depressive patients was seven and six respectively. Thirteen patients were scheduled for c/mECT.
Our results confirm the effectiveness of ECT in medication nonresponsive patients experiencing a mixed state.
The death rate due to suicide in elderly people is particularly high. As part of suicide selective prevention measures for at-risk populations, the WHO recommends training “gatekeepers”.
In order to assess the impact of gatekeeper training for members of staff, we carried out a controlled quasi-experimental study over the course of one year, comparing 12 nursing homes where at least 30% of the staff had undergone gatekeeper training with 12 nursing homes without trained staff. We collected data about the residents considered to be suicidal, their management further to being identified, as well as measures taken at nursing home level to prevent suicide.
The two nursing home groups did not present significantly different characteristics. In the nursing homes with trained staff, the staff were deemed to be better prepared to approach suicidal individuals. The detection of suicidal residents relied more on the whole staff and less on the psychologist alone when compared to nursing homes without trained staff. A significantly larger number of measures were taken to manage suicidal residents in the trained nursing homes. Suicidal residents were more frequently referred to the psychologist. Trained nursing homes put in place significantly more suicide prevention measures at an institutional level.
Having trained gatekeepers has an impact not only for the trained individuals but also for the whole institution where they work, both in terms of managing suicidal residents and routine suicide prevention measures.
Compulsive buying behavior (CBB) is receiving increasing consideration in both consumer and psychiatric-epidemiological research, yet empirical evidence on treatment interventions is scarce and mostly from small homogeneous clinical samples.
To estimate the short-term effectiveness of a standardized, individual cognitive behavioral therapy intervention (CBT) in a sample of n = 97 treatment-seeking patients diagnosed with CBB, and to identify the most relevant predictors of therapy outcome.
The intervention consisted of 12 individual CBT weekly sessions, lasting approximately 45 minutes each. Data on patients’ personality traits, psychopathology, sociodemographic factors, and compulsive buying behavior were used in our analysis.
The risk (cumulative incidence) of poor adherence to the CBT program was 27.8%. The presence of relapses during the CBT program was 47.4% and the dropout rate was 46.4%. Significant predictors of poor therapy adherence were being male, high levels of depression and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, low anxiety levels, high persistence, high harm avoidance and low self-transcendence.
Cognitive behavioral models show promise in treating CBB, however future interventions for CBB should be designed via a multidimensional approach in which patients’ sex, comorbid symptom levels and the personality-trait profiles play a central role.
Methanol poisoning is uncommon but potentially lethal. The way of poisoning is usually oral. However, in a small number of cases, inhalated methanol poisoning was described. Most of these occurred among patients suffering a disorder by use of this substance. This type of poisoning has an insidious presentation, that complicates its diagnosis. This poisoning may be lethal. It may produce a chronic and severe affectation of the central nervous system in those who survive to the poisoning. After diagnosis, it is compulsory to act quickly, and it often requires advanced vital support and hemodialysis.
Educate the Mental Health professionals about a type of disorder by consumption increasingly more frequent in some cities across Europe. This is a high fatality related poisoning that emergency and general psychiatrists should know as it is increasingly common in Europe.
We present the case of a 20-year-old patient, treated at the emergency department of our hospital in context of metanol inhalation. The patient regularly attended to our Dual Pathology outpatient unit due to a severe inhalant use disorder. Several stays at the intensive care unit had been recorded and he already presented with severe optic nerve affectation.
In recent years there has been an increase in inhalant abuse in Europe, which is still underestimated by our poor knowledge about its potential toxicity.
Inhalated methanol poisoning occurs with a typical presentation, and may appear after suicide trial or overdose. Mental health professional should become aware of its potential lethality to approach properly to these patients.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The increase of contact between natural and rural areas is prominent in Brazil, due to agricultural activities and concern with the environmental conservation. In this context, domestic animals, wild fauna and humans are exposed to mutual exchange of parasites, microorganisms and diseases. We studied tick parasitism of wild carnivores and domestic dogs, and the environmental of questing ticks, in extensive cattle ranch areas intermingled with natural vegetation, and in a natural reserve, both in a region of Cerrado biome, Midwestern Brazil. From 2008 to 2015, we inspected 119 wild carnivores from nine species, and collected six tick species (Amblyomma sculptum, Amblyomma ovale, Amblyomma dubitatum, Amblyomma tigrinum, Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus microplus). The most numerous and infested hosts were Cerdocyon thous, Lycalopex vetulus, Chrysocyon brachyurus, Puma concolor and Conepatus amazonicus. From 139 domestic dogs, we collected A. sculptum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and R. microplus. From vegetation, samplings resulted in A. sculptum, A. dubitatum, A. ovale, Amblyomma rotundatum and R. microplus, with dominance of A. sculptum. Domestics and wild animals presented high overlapping of infestations by A. sculptum, a generalist and anthropophilic tick species. This tick is the most important vector of the Brazilian spotted fever, a lethal human disease. This fact elicits attention and requires efforts to monitor the presence of pathogens vectored by ticks circulating in this type of agroecosystem, including in other regions of the Brazil, because the most of the natural vegetation remaining have been increasingly immersed in pastures and agricultural matrix.
Nihonium, Nh, is one of the newly synthesized elements. It has a high atomic number of 113, putting it in the same group as thallium, Tl. The properties of this element are largely unknown, and it is of interest to assess its (hypothetical) properties in the solid state. Elements in the same group of the periodic table as Nh are known to form binary and even tertiary compounds that have important semiconductor properties. This also makes studies on Nh attractive. We performed an ab initio computational study of its electronic structure adopting the local density and generalized gradient approximations for the exchange-correlation potential. The energy band diagrams, the total energies per volume of unit cells and density of states of Nh were compared to the known experimental and theoretical properties of elemental Tl , which lies in the same column above Nh in the periodic table. Within the limits of density-functional theory, it was found that solid Nh is expected to be a metal that is most stable in a hexagonal close packing structure.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.