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The Pueblo population of Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase (AD 800–1130) employed agricultural strategies and water-management systems to enhance food cultivation in this unpredictable environment. Scepticism concerning the timing and effectiveness of this system, however, remains common. Using optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments and LiDAR imaging, the authors located Bonito Phase canal features at the far west end of the canyon. Additional ED-XRF and strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses confirm the diversion of waters from multiple sources during Chaco’s occupation. The extent of this water-management system raises new questions about social organisation and the role of ritual in facilitating responses to environmental unpredictability.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
The current study investigated the coupling of groundwater and surface water nitrogen (N) dynamics over 3 years, and considered intensive agricultural land-management influences over this period where the risk of N loss to water was considered high. Groundwater N (as nitrate) was monitored monthly in different strata and zones in four hillslopes, two in each of two agricultural catchments of c. 10 km2, and stream water N flux was monitored sub-hourly in the catchment outlets. Field nutrient sources were connected to surface water via groundwater; the groundwater along hillslopes was seen to be influenced spatially and temporally by management, geology and weather as observed in the concentration variability of nitrate in groundwater. Based on spatio-temporal averages of nitrate-N concentration, groundwater status was considered good (at least below a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 11·3 mg/l). However, zones coincident with land-use change (ploughing and reseeding, typical of a management event in intensive landscapes), showed high spatio-temporal variability in nitrate-N concentration, exceeding the MAC temporarily, before recovering. This spatio-temporal variability highlighted the need for insight into these differences when interpreting groundwater quality data from a limited number of basin-scale sampling points and occasions. In both catchments the 3-year mean nitrate-N concentration in stream water was similar to the spatio-temporal mean concentration in groundwater. The magnitude and variability of loads, however, were more related to changes in annual runoff rather than changes in annual groundwater nitrate-N status. In one wet year, nitrate-N loads exceeded 48 kg/ha from an Arable catchment and 45 kg/ha from a grassland catchment (close to double the loss in a dry year).
Nitrification inhibitors are used in agriculture for the purpose of decreasing nitrogen (N) losses, by limiting the microbially mediated oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3−). Successful inhibition of nitrification has been shown in numerous studies, but the extent to which inhibitors affect other N transformations in soil is largely unknown. In the present study, cattle slurry was applied to microcosms of three different grassland soils, with or without the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD). A solution containing NH4+ and NO3−, labelled with 15N either on the NH4+ or the NO3− part, was mixed with the slurry before application. Gross N transformation rates were estimated using a 15N tracing model. In all three soils, DCD significantly inhibited gross autotrophic nitrification, by 79–90%. Gross mineralization of recalcitrant organic N increased significantly with DCD addition in two soils, whereas gross heterotrophic nitrification from the same pool decreased with DCD addition in two soils. Fungal to bacterial ratios were not significantly affected by DCD addition. Total gross mineralization and immobilization increased significantly across the three soils when DCD was used, which suggests that DCD can cause non-target effects on soil N mineralization–immobilization turnover.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
An analysis was undertaken to measure age-specific vaccine effectiveness (VE) of 2010/11 trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine (TIV) and monovalent 2009 pandemic influenza vaccine (PIV) administered in 2009/2010. The test-negative case-control study design was employed based on patients consulting primary care. Overall TIV effectiveness, adjusted for age and month, against confirmed influenza A(H1N1)pdm 2009 infection was 56% (95% CI 42–66); age-specific adjusted VE was 87% (95% CI 45–97) in <5-year-olds and 84% (95% CI 27–97) in 5- to 14-year-olds. Adjusted VE for PIV was only 28% (95% CI −6 to 51) overall and 72% (95% CI 15–91) in <5-year-olds. For confirmed influenza B infection, TIV effectiveness was 57% (95% CI 42–68) and in 5- to 14-year-olds 75% (95% CI 32–91). TIV provided moderate protection against the main circulating strains in 2010/2011, with higher protection in children. PIV administered during the previous season provided residual protection after 1 year, particularly in the <5 years age group.
The UK was one of few European countries to document a substantial wave of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in summer 2009. The First Few Hundred (FF100) project ran from April–June 2009 gathering information on early laboratory-confirmed cases across the UK. In total, 392 confirmed cases were followed up. Children were predominantly affected (median age 15 years, IQR 10–27). Symptoms were mild and similar to seasonal influenza, with the exception of diarrhoea, which was reported by 27%. Eleven per cent of all cases had an underlying medical condition, similar to the general population. The majority (92%) were treated with antiviral drugs with 12% reporting adverse effects, mainly nausea and other gastrointestinal complaints. Duration of illness was significantly shorter when antivirals were given within 48 h of onset (median 5 vs. 9 days, P=0·01). No patients died, although 14 were hospitalized, of whom three required mechanical ventilation. The FF100 identified key clinical and epidemiological characteristics of infection with this novel virus in near real-time.
The numbers and serotypes of Clostridium perfringens present in the faeces of three groups of hospital patients and young healthy laboratory workers were examined in studies lasting between 10 and 13 weeks.
In one hospital some long-stay geriatric patients carried relatively high numbers of C. perfringens (> 107/g) most of the time and it was not unusual in any one week for the majority of these patients to carry the same serotype(s). However, the numbers of C. perfringens in the faeces of young long-stay patients in the same hospital were in the range of 103–104/g and carriage of common serotypes was not observed. These results were similar to the findings with the young laboratory workers.
This investigation indicates that two of the laboratory criteria often used in the investigation of C. perfringens food poisoning, i.e. faecal counts of ≥ 105C. perfringens/g and patients carrying the same serological type need to be interpreted with caution with suspected outbreaks involving some groups of geriatric long-stay hospital patients.
Gyps vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent collapsed in the 1990s and continue to decline. Repeated population surveys showed that the rate of decline was so rapid that elevated mortality of adult birds must be a key demographic mechanism. Post mortem examination showed that the majority of dead vultures had visceral gout, due to kidney damage. The realisation that diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug potentially nephrotoxic to birds, had become a widely used veterinary medicine led to the identification of diclofenac poisoning as the cause of the decline. Surveys of diclofenac contamination of domestic ungulate carcasses, combined with vulture population modelling, show that the level of contamination is sufficient for it to be the sole cause of the decline. Testing on vultures of meloxicam, an alternative NSAID for livestock treatment, showed that it did not harm them at concentrations likely to be encountered by wild birds and would be a safe replacement for diclofenac. The manufacture of diclofenac for veterinary use has been banned, but its sale has not. Consequently, it may be some years before diclofenac is removed from the vultures' food supply. In the meantime, captive populations of three vulture species have been established to provide sources of birds for future reintroduction programmes.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
Data containing many variables are often collected in weed science research, but until recently few weed scientists have used multivariate statistical methods to examine such data. Multivariate analysis can be used for both descriptive and predictive modeling. This paper provides an intuitive geometric introduction to the more commonly used and relevant multivariate methods in weed science research, including ordination, discriminant analysis, and canonical analysis. These methods are illustrated using a simple artificial data set consisting of abundance measures of six weed species and two soil variables over 12 sample plots.
The family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) can be credited with two major landmarks in
botanical history: the first systematic monographic treatment of any plant group
(Morison, 1672), and the first international symposium dedicated to systematic
research on a plant family (Heywood, 1971). The 1970 symposium on the Biology
and Chemistry of the Umbelliferae held at the University of Reading, UK, resulted
from the large body of research interest in the family around the world at that time,
and helped to stimulate further work on the Apiaceae. It also provided a model for
similar symposia on major plant groups in the years to follow, including Asteraceae
(Heywood et al., 1977), Brassicaceae (Vaughan et al., 1976), Lamiaceae (Harley &
Reynolds, 1992), Solanaceae (Hawkes et al., 1979), and Fabaceae (Summerfield &
Bunting, 1980; Polhill & Raven, 1981). Growing interest in umbellifers soon resulted
in a second international symposium on the family held at the Centre Universitaire
de Perpignan, France, in 1977 (Cauwet-Marc & Carbonnier, 1982). Although a large
role of this second symposium was to review progress on a major co-operative
research programme focused mainly on the tribe Caucalideae, participants with other
interests were also involved, and wider developments in the systematics of the family
A fluorescent dye monochlorobimane (MCB) that binds glutathione
used as a tool for measuring the
concentration of GSH in skin and mechanically-transformed schistosomula.
specificity of MCB binding to GSH was
confirmed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid
chromatography (HPLC). The MCB
binding to GSH is an energy-dependent process since no labelling could
be seen at
low temperature. When 24-h-old
schistosomula were depleted of GSH by buthionine sulfoximine (a specific
of GSH synthesis) for 18 h, a
significant decrease (P<0·001) in fluorescence was observed.
treatment of the schistosomula after first labelling the
parasites with MCB did not greatly affect MCB binding to GSH. However,
24-h-old schistosomula were first
PZQ treated and afterwards labelled with MCB, the pattern of labelling
identical to that of those of the non-labelled
parasites. When 24-h-old schistosomula were first PZQ treated, washed and
labelled in the presence of 1 mM GSH, the
level of fluorescence was recovered. These results suggest that PZQ depletes
GSH from schistosomula, and may render
them susceptible to the host's immune system.
The study of phase transformations involves making assumptions about interfaces within a material in order to apply mathematical models. An example of this is the Gibbs classical theory of nucleation and growth which is based upon the assumption that the precipitate / matrix interface is sharp. Recent developments in atom probe microscopy have made it possible for the first time to characterize complex three-dimensional internal interfaces within materials to sub-nanometre accuracy. We have used the OPoSAP (Optical Position Sensitive Atom Probe) to characterize the precipitate / matrix interface in the dilute Cu-Co system which is a model alloy for the study of homogeneous nucleation and growth. Interface widths derived from radial composition profiles were measured to be 0.9 ± 0.2 nm in size. The effects of thermal energy, positioning inaccuracies, and statistical limitations on the measurement of interface widths are examined through the use of mathematical models and computer simulations. Similar widths are measured for precipitates in the coarsening regime which shows the interface velocity does not affect the interface width.