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The IntCal family of radiocarbon (14C) calibration curves is based on research spanning more than three decades. The IntCal group have collated the 14C and calendar age data (mostly derived from primary publications with other types of data and meta-data) and, since 2010, made them available for other sorts of analysis through an open-access database. This has ensured transparency in terms of the data used in the construction of the ratified calibration curves. As the IntCal database expands, work is underway to facilitate best practice for new data submissions, make more of the associated metadata available in a structured form, and help those wishing to process the data with programming languages such as R, Python, and MATLAB. The data and metadata are complex because of the range of different types of archives. A restructured interface, based on the “IntChron” open-access data model, includes tools which allow the data to be plotted and compared without the need for export. The intention is to include complementary information which can be used alongside the main 14C series to provide new insights into the global carbon cycle, as well as facilitating access to the data for other research applications. Overall, this work aims to streamline the generation of new calibration curves.
Several diagnostic tests are often adopted into diagnostic pathways for specific indications without strong evidence to support their use. In this context, real-world prospective cohort studies in combination with decision modelling can generate evidence to support decision-making. The Early Detection of neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration (EDNA) study was a prospective cohort designed to assess the diagnostic accuracy and cost-effectiveness of several diagnostic monitoring tests used in routine practice for the detection of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in the second eye of patients being treated for unilateral disease.
Five-hundred and fifty-two participants with newly diagnosed unilateral nAMD were monitored for up to 3 years in 24 UK eye clinics. The diagnostic monitoring performance of five index tests was compared: self-reported change in visual function, Amsler test, clinic measured change in visual acuity, fundus assessment by clinical examination or colour photography, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). The reference standard was fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA). A patient-level state transition model was used to simulate the onset of nAMD in the second eye, and assess the impact of different tests on the timing of detection and treatment, and associated costs and quality adjusted life years (QALYs) over a 25-year time-horizon.
One hundred and forty-five (26.3%) patients developed active nAMD in the study eye, of whom 120 had an FFA at detection. SD-OCT had the highest sensitivity (91.7 percent (95% CI: 85.2-95.6) and provided high specificity (87.8% (95% CI: 83.8-90.9)). It generated more QALYs and lower health and personal social care costs compared to all other monitoring tests. The combination of SD-OCT with fundus-examination provided a marginal increase in sensitivity over OCT alone, but the associated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios was >GBP 100,000 per QALY.
The efficiency of diagnostic pathways for nAMD may be improved by using SD-OCT alone to monitor the second eye of people being treated for unilateral disease. Prospective cohort studies embedded into routine practice offer value for informing decisions surrounding the use of technologies already in routine use.
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.
The Last Glacial–Interglacial Transition (LGIT; 15,000–11,000 cal BP) was characterized by complex spatiotemporal patterns of climate change, with numerous studies requiring accurate chronological control to decipher leads from lags in global paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental, and archaeological records. However, close scrutiny of the few available tree-ring chronologies and radiocarbon-dated sequences composing the IntCal13 14C calibration curve indicates significant weakness in 14C calibration across key periods of the LGIT. Here, we present a decadally resolved atmospheric 14C record derived from New Zealand kauri spanning the Lateglacial from ~13,100–11,365 cal BP. Two floating kauri 14C time series, curve-matched to IntCal13, serve as a 14C backbone through the Younger Dryas. The floating Northern Hemisphere (NH) 14C data sets derived from the YD-B and Central European Lateglacial Master tree-ring series are matched against the new kauri data, forming a robust NH 14C time series to ~14,200 cal BP. Our results show that IntCal13 is questionable from ~12,200–11,900 cal BP and the ~10,400 BP 14C plateau is approximately 5 decades too short. The new kauri record and repositioned NH pine 14C series offer a refinement of the international 14C calibration curves IntCal13 and SHCal13, providing increased confidence in the correlation of global paleorecords.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
Wc describe here the New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) Younger Dryas (YD) research project, which aims to undertake Δ14C analysis of ∼140 decadal floating wood samples spanning the time interval ∼13.1–11.7 kyr cal BP. We report 14C intercomparison measurements being undertaken by the carbon dating laboratories at University of Waikato (Wk), University of California at Irvine (UCI), and University of Oxford (OxA). The Wk, UCI, and OxA laboratories show very good agreement with an interlaboratory comparison of 12 successive decadal kauri samples (average offsets from consensus values of –7 to +4 14C yr). A University of Waikato/University of Heidelberg (HD) intercomparison involving measurement of the YD-age Swiss larch tree Ollon505, shows a HD/Wk offset of ∼10–20 14C yr (HD younger), and strong evidence that the positioning of the Ollon505 series is incorrect, with a recommendation that the 14C analyses be removed from the IntCal calibration database.
High-quality data from appropriate archives are needed for the continuing improvement of radiocarbon calibration curves. We discuss here the basic assumptions behind 14C dating that necessitate calibration and the relative strengths and weaknesses of archives from which calibration data are obtained. We also highlight the procedures, problems, and uncertainties involved in determining atmospheric and surface ocean 14C/12C in these archives, including a discussion of the various methods used to derive an independent absolute timescale and uncertainty. The types of data required for the current IntCal database and calibration curve model are tabulated with examples.
This paper looks at the reasons why a UK life insurance company would wish to consider expanding into an overseas market, the factors it ought to bear in mind when deciding upon which country or countries to enter and the entry routes open to a company wishing to expand overseas.
By way of examples of overseas life insurance markets, the paper provides a detailed description of the German and Indian life insurance markets.
The IntCal04 and Marine04 radiocarbon calibration curves have been updated from 12 cal kBP (cal kBP is here defined as thousands of calibrated years before AD 1950), and extended to 50 cal kBP, utilizing newly available data sets that meet the IntCal Working Group criteria for pristine corals and other carbonates and for quantification of uncertainty in both the 14C and calendar timescales as established in 2002. No change was made to the curves from 0–12 cal kBP. The curves were constructed using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) implementation of the random walk model used for IntCal04 and Marine04. The new curves were ratified at the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference in June 2009 and are available in the Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org.
Reattribution is frequently taught to general practitioners (GPs) as a structured consultation that provides a psychological explanation for medically unexplained symptoms.
To determine if practice-based training of GPs in reattribution changes doctor–patient communication, thereby improving outcomes in patients with medically unexplained symptoms of 3 months' duration.
Cluster randomised controlled trial in 16 practices, 74 GPs and 141 patients with medically unexplained symptoms of 6 hours of reattribution training v. treatment as usual.
With training, the proportion of consultations mostly consistent with reattribution increased (31 v. 2%, P=0.002). Training was associated with decreased quality of life (health thermometer difference −0.9, 95% CI −1.6 to −0.1; P=0.027) with no other effects on patient outcome or health contacts.
Practice-based training in reattribution changed doctor–patient communication without improving outcome of patients with medically unexplained symptoms.
In our first editorial note, published in ELL 1.1 in 1997, we said:
There has until now been no one journal which covers the range that ELL is intended to cover, a ‘natural class’ of research interests which deserves to be treated in one place, and at the highest level. English Language and Linguistics exists to promote knowledge and inquiry in the interlocking fields of its title. We hope that ELL will prove so useful that authors will come to regard it as their first choice for submission, while readers turn to it readily because they know it is bound to contain work of value and interest.
Who is this book written for? There are already so many books on the history of English, both large and small, that another one might at first sight seem otiose, redundant and unnecessary. But one of the beauties of the language is its ability to show continuous change and flexibility while in some sense remaining the same. And if that is true of the language, it is also true of the study of the language, whether undertaken for strictly academic purposes or not. This book is pitched at senior undergraduates in the main, though we trust that the general reader will also find in it much that is enlightening and enjoyable. Our justification for this work, then, is that knowledge of the history of English is a part of our common culture which needs – and repays – constant renewal.
But there is more to it than that. There are indeed many good existing accounts, including, in particular, Barbara Strang's first-class A History of English (1970). In the thirty-five years since its publication, the language has continued to change, and scholarship has advanced along several different paths. Most obviously, the advent of computerised material has enabled us to analyse and hence understand much material which was previously impractical for the individual scholar to assimilate. Secondly, the (very different) Chomskyan and Labovian revolutions in linguistics, both in their infancy in 1970, have had repercussions in many domains relevant to this book.