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Basic Self disturbances (BSD), including changes of the 'pre-reflexive' sense of self and the loss first-person perspective, are characteristic of the schizophrenic spectrum disorders and highly prevalent in subjects at 'ultra high risk' for psychosis (UHR). The current literature indicates that cortical midline structures (CMS) may be implicated in the neurobiological substrates of the 'basic self' in healthy controls.
Neuroanatomical investigation of BSD in a UHR sample
To test the hypotheses :(i) UHR subjects have higher 'Examination of Anomalous Self Experience, EASE' scores as compared to controls, (ii) UHR subjects have neuroanatomical alterations as compared to controls in CMS, (iii) within UHR subjects, EASE scores are directly related to structural CMS alterations.
32 HR subjects (27 antipsychotics-naïve) and 17 healthy controls (HC) were assessed with the 57-items semi-structured EASE interview. Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) was conducted in the same subjects, with a-priori Region of Interests (ROIs) defined in the CMS (anterior/posterior cingulate and medial-prefrontal cortex).
Despite high variability in the HR group, the overall EASE score was higher (t-test >0.01, Cohen's d =2.91) in HR (mean=30.15, SD=16.46) as compared to HC group (mean=1.79, SD=2.83). UHR subjects had gray matter reduction in CMS as compared to HC (p>0.05 FWE-corrected). Across the whole sample, lower gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate was correlated with higher EASE scores (p>0.05).
This study provides preliminary evidence that gray matter reductions in the CMS are correlated with BSD in UHR people.
Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is thought to have an almost world-wide distribution, but few countries have conducted national serosurveys. We measured Q fever seroprevalence using residual sera from diagnostic laboratories across Australia. Individuals aged 1–79 years in 2012–2013 were sampled to be proportional to the population distribution by region, distance from metropolitan areas and gender. A 1/50 serum dilution was tested for the Phase II IgG antibody against C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence. We calculated crude seroprevalence estimates by age group and gender, as well as age standardised national and metropolitan/non-metropolitan seroprevalence estimates. Of 2785 sera, 99 tested positive. Age standardised seroprevalence was 5.6% (95% confidence interval (CI 4.5%–6.8%), and similar in metropolitan (5.5%; 95% CI 4.1%–6.9%) and non-metropolitan regions (6.0%; 95%CI 4.0%–8.0%). More males were seropositive (6.9%; 95% CI 5.2%–8.6%) than females (4.2%; 95% CI 2.9%–5.5%) with peak seroprevalence at 50–59 years (9.2%; 95% CI 5.2%–13.3%). Q fever seroprevalence for Australia was higher than expected (especially in metropolitan regions) and higher than estimates from the Netherlands (2.4%; pre-outbreak) and US (3.1%), but lower than for Northern Ireland (12.8%). Robust country-specific seroprevalence estimates, with detailed exposure data, are required to better understand who is at risk and the need for preventive measures.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
This paper reviews the efficacy of a community psychosocial arts program focused on building mental health capacity within post-Ebola Liberia. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the outcome effects of two groups using pre- and post-treatment data. We hypothesized that there would be a difference in symptoms pre- and post-treatment, and the longer program would yield more significant results.
There was a total of 870 child participants. Of 40 sites, 24 were selected for a 5-month treatment (TG1) while the remaining 16 sites received 3 months of treatment (TG2). Paired t tests and a mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse pre- and post-psychological stress symptoms (PSS) for samples from both groups.
Separately, treatment group 1 (TG1) and treatment group 2's (TG2) paired t test yielded significant results (p < 0.001) for the decrease of PSS. The mixed-model ANOVA found that there were significant differences in total pre- and post-test PSS and a significant difference in PSS means over time.
Results indicated that there was a statistically significant decrease in reported symptoms in both treatment groups pre- to post-intervention and a significant difference in total symptoms over time. However, the findings do not indicate that the longer programming was statistically different compared to the shorter programming. The study presented had gaps in data, largely due to limits in research during the crisis. However, this paper provides a unique case study for challenges that can be faced for project evaluation in emergency settings.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
International trade directly influences US presidential elections. We explore the electoral implications of the increasing tradability of services and the large US surplus in services trade. Our paper builds on prior work showing that job insecurity from import competition in manufacturing diminishes political support for incumbents. We construct novel measures of the tradability of an industry using establishment-level data covering nearly all US economic activity. We find increases in incumbent party vote shares in counties with large numbers of workers in high-skilled tradable services as well as goods, and decreases in counties with high employment in low-skilled manufacturing. Incumbent parties are particularly vulnerable to losing votes in swing states with many low-skilled manufacturing workers. In national-level models, we show for the first time that increasing imports (exports) are associated with decreasing (increasing) presidential incumbent vote shares. The national-level effects are large and politically consequential. We also find an Electoral College incentive to protect the manufacturing sector and to oppose trade agreements.
During May 2015, an increase in Salmonella Agona cases was reported from western Sydney, Australia. We examine the public health actions used to investigate and control this increase. A descriptive case-series investigation was conducted. Six outbreak cases were identified; all had consumed cooked tuna sushi rolls purchased within a western Sydney shopping complex. Onset of illness for outbreak cases occurred between 7 April and 24 May 2015. Salmonella was isolated from food samples collected from the implicated premise and a prohibition order issued. No further cases were identified following this action. Whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis was performed on isolates recovered during this investigation, with additional S. Agona isolates from sporadic-clinical cases and routine food sampling in New South Wales, January to July 2015. Clinical isolates of outbreak cases were indistinguishable from food isolates collected from the implicated sushi outlet. Five additional clinical isolates not originally considered to be linked to the outbreak were genomically similar to outbreak isolates, indicating the point-source contamination may have started before routine surveillance identified an increase. This investigation demonstrated the value of genomics-guided public health action, where near real-time WGS enhanced the resolution of the epidemiological investigation.
The completion of the Uhuru (Forman et al. 1978) and Ariel V (Cooke et al. 1978) surveys of the sky for X-ray emission has resulted in many proposed identifications with individual galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The X-ray positions are not usually accurate enough to enable a positive identification to be made of the X-ray sources with optical or radio objects, and hence the identification is often based on statistical arguments — viz., the unexpected occurrence of unusual galaxies, radio sources or clusters of galaxies within or near the X-ray error boxes. There is usually no significant information available on the angular size of the X-ray emitter but in two or three cases (e.g. Perseus cluster, Coma cluster and Virgo cluster) the angular resolution is good enough to identify a broad component with dimensions approaching those of the whole cluster. This extended X-ray emission has been ascribed to either inverse Compton scattering of the 3° microwave background by relativistic electrons in the intra-cluster medium or to thermal-bremsstrahlung emission by an optically thin plasma at - 10s K.
We apply insights from “new, new” trade theory to explain a puzzling decline in US firm antidumping (AD) filings in an era of persistent foreign currency undervaluations and increasing import competition. Firms exhibit heterogeneity both within and across industries regarding foreign direct investment (FDI). We propose that firms making vertical or resource-seeking investments abroad will be less likely to file AD petitions, and firms are likely to undertake vertical FDI in the context of currency undervaluation. Hence, we argue, the increasing vertical FDI of US firms makes trade disputes far less likely. We use firm-level data to examine the universe of US manufacturing firms and find that AD filers generally conduct no intrafirm trade with filed-against countries. We also find that persistent currency undervaluation is associated over time with increased vertical FDI and intrafirm trade by US multinational corporations (MNCs) in the undervaluing country. Among larger US MNCs, the likelihood of an AD filing is negatively associated with increases in intrafirm trade. In the context of currency undervaluation, we confirm the existing finding that undervaluation is associated with more AD filings. We also find, however, that high levels of intrafirm imports from countries with undervalued currencies significantly decrease the likelihood of AD filings. Our study highlights the centrality of firm heterogeneity in international trade and investment in understanding political mobilization over international economic policy.
This paper presents an integrated design and costing method for large stiffened panels for the purpose of investigating the influence and interaction of lay-up technology and production rate on manufacturing cost. A series of wing cover panels (≈586kg, 19·9m2) have been sized with realistic requirements considering manual and automated lay-up routes. The integrated method has enabled the quantification of component unit cost sensitivity to changes in annual production rate and employed equipment maximum deposition rate. Moreover the results demonstrate the interconnected relationship between lay-up process and panel design, and unit cost. The optimum unit cost solution when using automated lay-up is a combination of the minimum deposition rate and minimum number of lay-up machines to meet the required production rate. However, the location of the optimum unit cost, at the boundaries between the number of lay-up machines required, can make unit cost very sensitive to small changes in component design, production rate, and equipment maximum deposition rate.
We are developing a purely commensal survey experiment for fast (<5 s) transient radio sources. Short-timescale transients are associated with the most energetic and brightest single events in the Universe. Our objective is to cover the enormous volume of transients parameter space made available by ASKAP, with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and field of view. Fast timescale transients open new vistas on the physics of high brightness temperature emission, extreme states of matter and the physics of strong gravitational fields. In addition, the detection of extragalactic objects affords us an entirely new and extremely sensitive probe on the huge reservoir of baryons present in the IGM. We outline here our approach to the considerable challenge involved in detecting fast transients, particularly the development of hardware fast enough to dedisperse and search the ASKAP data stream at or near real-time rates. Through CRAFT, ASKAP will provide the testbed of many of the key technologies and survey modes proposed for high time resolution science with the SKA.
The Asian grass Miscanthus sinensis (Poaceae) is being considered for use as a bioenergy crop in the U.S. Corn Belt. Originally introduced to the United States for ornamental plantings, it escaped, forming invasive populations. The concern is that naturalized M. sinensis populations have evolved shade tolerance. We tested the hypothesis that seedlings from within the invasive U.S. range of M. sinensis would display traits associated with shade tolerance, namely increased area for light capture and phenotypic plasticity, compared with seedlings from the native Japanese populations. In a common garden experiment, seedlings of 80 half-sib maternal lines were grown from the native range (Japan) and 60 half-sib maternal lines from the invasive range (U.S.) under four light levels. Seedling leaf area, leaf size, growth, and biomass allocation were measured on the resulting seedlings after 12 wk. Seedlings from both regions responded strongly to the light gradient. High light conditions resulted in seedlings with greater leaf area, larger leaves, and a shift to greater belowground biomass investment, compared with shaded seedlings. Japanese seedlings produced more biomass and total leaf area than U.S. seedlings across all light levels. Generally, U.S. and Japanese seedlings allocated a similar amount of biomass to foliage and equal leaf area per leaf mass. Subtle differences in light response by region were observed for total leaf area, mass, growth, and leaf size. U.S. seedlings had slightly higher plasticity for total mass and leaf area but lower plasticity for measures of biomass allocation and leaf traits compared with Japanese seedlings. Our results do not provide general support for the hypothesis of increased M. sinensis shade tolerance within its introduced U.S. range compared with native Japanese populations.
Many perennial bioenergy grasses have the potential to escape cultivation and invade natural areas. We quantify dispersal, a key component in invasion, for two bioenergy candidates:Miscanthus sinensis and M. × giganteus. For each species, approximately 1 × 106 caryopses dispersed anemochorously from a point source into traps placed in annuli near the source (0.5 to 5 m; 1.6 to 16.4 ft) and in arcs (10 to 400 m) in the prevailing wind direction. For both species, most caryopses (95% for M. sinensis and 77% for M. × giganteus) were captured within 50 m of the source, but a small percentage (0.2 to 3%) were captured at 300 m and 400 m. Using a maximum-likelihood approach, we evaluated the degree of support in our empirical dispersal data for competing functions to describe seed-dispersal kernels. Fat-tailed functions (lognormal, Weibull, and gamma (Γ)) fit dispersal patterns best for both species overall, but because M. sinensis dispersal distances were significantly affected by wind speed, curves were also fit separately for dispersal distances in low, moderate, and high wind events. Wind speeds shifted the M. sinensis dispersal curve from a thin-tailed exponential function at low speeds to fat-tailed lognormal functions at moderate and high wind speeds. M. sinensis caryopses traveled farther in higher wind speeds (low, 30 m; moderate, 150 m; high, 400 m). Our results demonstrate the ability of Miscanthus caryopses to travel long distances and raise important implications for potential escape and invasion of fertile Miscanthus varieties from bioenergy cultivation.
Thermal spraying is emerging as the leading route for the deposition of protective coatings onto engineering components to improve operation under extreme conditions of temperature, wear or corrosion. Detailed microstructural assessment is a key element in improving coating performance, and this study demonstrates the application of microfocus X-ray techniques to the determination of elemental and structural variations in the coatings.