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Transforming towards global sustainability requires a dramatic acceleration of social change. Hence, there is growing interest in finding ‘positive tipping points’ at which small interventions can trigger self-reinforcing feedbacks that accelerate systemic change. Examples have recently been seen in power generation and personal transport, but how can we identify positive tipping points that have yet to occur? We synthesise theory and examples to provide initial guidelines for creating enabling conditions, sensing when a system can be positively tipped, who can trigger it, and how they can trigger it. All of us can play a part in triggering positive tipping points.
Recent work on positive tipping points towards sustainability has focused on social-technological systems and the agency of policymakers to tip change, whilst earlier work identified social-ecological positive feedbacks triggered by diverse actors. We bring these together to consider positive tipping points across social-technological-ecological systems and the potential for multiple actors and interventions to trigger them. Established theory and examples provide several generic mechanisms for triggering tipping points. From these we identify specific enabling conditions, reinforcing feedbacks, actors and interventions that can contribute to triggering positive tipping points in the adoption of sustainable behaviours and technologies. Actions that can create enabling conditions for positive tipping include targeting smaller populations, altering social network structure, providing relevant information, reducing price, improving performance, desirability and accessibility, and coordinating complementary technologies. Actions that can trigger positive tipping include social, technological and ecological innovations, policy interventions, public investment, private investment, broadcasting public information, and behavioural nudges. Positive tipping points can help counter widespread feelings of disempowerment in the face of global challenges and help unlock ‘paralysis by complexity’. A key research agenda is to consider how different agents and interventions can most effectively work together to create system-wide positive tipping points whilst ensuring a just transformation.
Social media summary
We identify key actors and actions that can enable and trigger positive tipping points towards global sustainability.
Otitis media (OM) is a common reason for children to be prescribed antibiotics and undergo surgery but a thorough understanding of disease mechanisms is lacking. We evaluate the evidence of a dysregulated immune response in the pathogenesis of OM.
A comprehensive systematic review of the literature using search terms [otitis media OR glue ear OR AOM OR OME] OR [middle ear AND (infection OR inflammation)] which were run through Medline and Embase via Ovid, including both human and animal studies. In total, 82 955 studies underwent automated filtering followed by manual screening. One hundred studies were included in the review.
Most studies were based on in vitro or animal work. Abnormalities in pathogen detection pathways, such as Toll-like receptors, have confirmed roles in OM. The aetiology of OM, its chronic subgroups (chronic OM, persistent OM with effusion) and recurrent acute OM is complex; however, inflammatory signalling mechanisms are frequently implicated. Host epithelium likely plays a crucial role, but the characterisation of human middle ear tissue lags behind that of other anatomical subsites.
Translational research for OM presently falls far behind its clinical importance. This has likely hindered the development of new diagnostic and treatment modalities. Further work is urgently required; particularly to disentangle the respective immune pathologies in the clinically observed phenotypes and thereby work towards more personalised treatments.
Systemic venous hypertension and low cardiac output are believed to be important mediators of liver injury after the Fontan procedure. Pulmonary vasodilators have the potential to improve such haemodynamics. The aim of this study was to assess the acute effects of exercise on liver stiffness and venous pressures and to assess the impact of inhaled Treprostinil on this response.
In this prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, 14 patients with a Fontan circulation were randomised to inhalation of placebo and Treprostinil. Incremental and constant work rate exercise tests were performed to assess the effect of Treprostinil on exercise tolerance. Venous pressures were measured throughout and liver stiffness at rest and immediately after peak exercise.
Mean age was 27.8 ± 7.9 years and 66% were females. Exercise acutely increased liver stiffness by 30% (mean shear wave speed: 2.38 ± 0.71 versus 2.89 ± 0.51 ms, p = 0.02). Peripheral venous pressures increased acutely during both incremental (12.1 ± 2.4 versus 22.6 ± 8.0 mmHg, p < 0.001) and constant work rate exercise (12.5 ± 2.5 versus 23.4 ± 5.2 mmHg, p < 0.001). Overall, Treprostinil failed to attenuate exercise-induced increases in liver stiffness. Compared with placebo, Treprostinil did not significantly impact venous pressure responses, VO2peak, nor exercise endurance times.
Peripheral venous pressure increased acutely during exercise by an average of 88% above baseline and was not altered by administration of inhaled Treprostinil. Liver stiffness measured immediately post-exercise increased acutely by an average of 30%, with no attenuation following Treprostinil inhalation.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Mastoiditis is an otological emergency, and cross-sectional imaging has a role in the diagnosis of complications and surgical planning. Advances in imaging technology are becoming increasingly sophisticated and, by the same token, the ability to accurately interpret findings is essential.
This paper reviews common and rare complications of mastoiditis using case-led examples. A radiologist-derived systematic checklist is proposed, to assist the ENT surgeon with interpreting cross-sectional imaging in emergency mastoiditis cases when the opinion of a head and neck radiologist may be difficult to obtain.
A 16-point checklist (the ‘mastoid 16’) was used on a case-led basis to review the radiological features of both common and rare complications of mastoiditis; this is complemented with imaging examples.
Acute mastoiditis has a range of serious complications that may be amenable to treatment, once diagnosed using appropriate imaging. The proposed checklist provides a systematic approach to identifying complications of mastoiditis.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Li[Lix/3Mn2x/3M1−x]O2 (M = Ni, Mn, Co) (HE-NMC) materials, which can be expressed as a combination of trigonal LiTMO2 (TM = transition metal) and monoclinic Li2MnO3 phases, are of great interest as high capacity cathodes for lithium-ion batteries. However, structural stability prevents their commercial adoption. To address this, Si doping was applied, resulting in improved stability. Raman and differential capacity analyses suggest that silicon doping improves the structural stability during electrochemical cycling. Furthermore, the doped material exhibits a 10% higher capacity relative to the control. The superior capacity likely results from the increased lattice parameters as determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the lower resistance during the first cycle found by impedance and direct current resistance (DCR) measurements. Density functional theory (DFT) predictions suggest that the observed lattice expansion is an indication of increased oxygen vacancy concentration and may be due to the Si doping.
A transannular patch is often used in the contemporary surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot. This can lead to significant pulmonary insufficiency and increased right ventricular volumes and ultimately pulmonary valve replacement. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing is used to assess exercise capacity in tetralogy of Fallot patients before pulmonary valve replacement. There is only few published literatures on how lung function affects functional capacity in tetralogy of Fallot patients repaired with a transannular patch.
A retrospective chart review was done from 2015 to 2017 on patients with tetralogy of Fallot who underwent maximal effort cardiopulmonary exercise testing with cycle ergometry and with concurrent pulmonary function testing. Tetralogy of Fallot patients repaired with a transannular patch without pulmonary valve replacement were compared with age, gender, and size-matched normal controls.
In the tetralogy of Fallot group, 24 out of 57 patients underwent primary repair with a transannular patch. When compared to the normal controls, they demonstrated abnormal predicted forced expiratory volume in one second (79 ± 23.1% versus 90.7 ± 14.1%, p<0.05), predicted maximal voluntary ventilation (74 ± 18% versus 90.5 ± 16.2%, p<0.05) while having low-normal predicted forced vital capacity (80.5 ± 17.2% versus 90.2 ± 12.4%, p<0.05) and normal breathing reserve percentage (50.3 ± 11.3% versus 47.5 ± 17.3%, p = 0.52). Cardiopulmonary exercise testing abnormalities included significantly lower percent predicted oxygen consumption (63.2 ± 12.2% versus 87 ± 12.1%, p<0.05), maximal heart rate (171.8 ± 18.9 versus 184.6 ± 13.6, p<0.05), and percent predicted maximum workload (61.7 ± 15.9% versus 88.3 ± 21.5%, p<0.05).
Tetralogy of Fallot patients repaired with a transannular patch can have abnormal pulmonary function testing with poor exercise capacity in addition to chronotropic incompetence and impaired muscular power.
Ceramic clays are characterized by a method that stems from the IL/MA procedure proposed by Keeling (1958a, b) but which is more rapid to perform and more basic in concept. By thermogravimetric methods an estimate is made of both OH water and interlayer plus physically adsorbed water. These are plotted against each other in a manner similar to the IL/MA plot. The composition of the clay can be characterized uniquely on such a diagram by estimating either the quartz or the free silica contents of a sample, its silt, and < 2μ fraction, and plotting for each on a 100% clay basis their OH water, and interlayer and physically adsorbed water. Simple methods are given for assessing these factors. The determination of interlayer water content could form the basis of a method of plant control of clay composition in a way similar to that proposed by Keeling using moisture adsorption determinations.
Analysing temporal patterns in foodborne illness is important to designing and implementing effective food safety measures. The reported incidence of illness due to Salmonella in the USA. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites has exhibited no declining trend since 1996; however, there have been significant annual trends among principal Salmonella serotypes, which may exhibit complex seasonal patterns. Data from the original FoodNet sites and penalised cubic B-spline regression are used to estimate temporal patterns in the reported incidence of illness for the top three Salmonella serotypes during 1996–2014. Our results include 95% confidence bands around the estimated annual and monthly curves for each serotype. The results show that Salmonella serotype Typhimurium exhibits a statistically significant declining annual trend and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by peaks in late summer and early winter. Serotype Enteritidis exhibits a significant annual trend with a higher incidence in later years and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer. Serotype Newport exhibits no significant annual trend with significant seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Soil incorporated into the tuber zone of purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.) at 1 to 9 kg/ha, O,O-diisopropyl phosphorodithioate S-ester with N-(2-mercaptoethyl)benzenesulfonamide (bensulide) inhibited the growth of roots on plants developing from these tubers. The inhibitory effect was temporary and occurred only when bensulide was in intimate contact with the tubers and developing plants. When tubers were removed from bensulide-treated soil, washed, and replanted in untreated soil, root growth was normal. The production of shoots from tubers planted in bensulide-treated soil apparently was not affected, but shoot-growth was retarded when root growth was suppressed. When bensulide was incorporated into the upper 5-cm layer of soil, the shoots of nutsedge plants developing from tubers located below this layer grew through the treated soil with no adverse effect; the roots of these plants developed from basal bulbs below the layer of treated soil and were normal. Leaching bensulide-treated soil with 37.6 hectare-cm of water did not move enough bensulide into the soil to cause inhibitory growth effects on purple nutsedge.
As determined by bioassay of segmented soil columns, a,a,a-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropyl-p-toluidine (trifluralin), N-butyl-N-ethyl-a,a,a-trifluoro-2,6-dinitro-p-toluidine (benefin), and 4-(methylsulfonyl)-2,6-dinitro-N,N-dipropylaniline (nitralin) varied in their leachability in a clay loam soil, even though their water solubility is the same. Nitralin was by far the more easily leached, benefin was least leached, and trifluralin slightly more so than benefin. Four A-in or more of water readily leached nitralin deep enough into the soil in amounts great enough to adversely affect the root growth of sensitive crop plants. Trifluralin and benefin were leached into the soil in relatively minute amounts, and these amounts were not great enough to affect root growth of sensitive crop plants when at least 0.5-in of untreated soil separated the seed from the layer of soil in which the herbicides had been mixed. The apparent breakdown product of nitralin present in moist soil was leached as readily as nitralin.
The postemergence herbicide ethofumesate and the plant growth regulator paclobutrazol were evaluated for annual bluegrass control in creeping bentgrass turf managed as golf fairways. Both products were applied under several different timing regimes relative to the time of the year. Paclobutrazol treatments provided significantly greater annual bluegrass control than ethofumesate. There were no differences between rates of paclobutrazol (0.28 and 0.14 kg ai/ha) when applied from spring through summer. Annual bluegrass control after spring and summer applications of paclobutrazol was 85% or more. Clipping weight data indicated that paclobutrazol suppressed growth in annual bluegrass longer than in creeping bentgrass. It was concluded that prolonged suppression of annual bluegrass by paclobutrazol resulted in creeping bentgrass dominance and subsequent annual bluegrass control. Additionally, applications of ethofumesate in autumn–winter, followed by paclobutrazol applied in spring–summer, provided significant control of annual bluegrass in 1 yr of the study.
Incorrect pacemaker lead placement into the systemic ventricle is a complication that has rarely been described in patients with D-transposition status after atrial baffle palliation. We present a case of ventricular lead misplacement in the systemic right ventricle of a patient with D-transposition of the great arteries after Mustard procedure. This case demonstrates the challenges with proper imaging of lead placement in patients with atrial baffles and long-term management of a lead in the systemic ventricle.
The use of diffusion weighted imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient mapping in the diagnosis of cerebral fat embolism is shown here to demonstrate infarcts secondary to fat emboli more intensely than T2 weighted sequences 24 hours after the onset of symptoms. Embolic foci are hypointense on apparent diffusion coefficient mapping consistent with cytotoxic edema associated with cell death and restricted water diffusion. This technique increases the sensitivity for detecting cerebral fat embolism and offers a potentially important tool in its diagnosis.