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Previous research has revealed surprising cross-national differences in the gender composition of information and communication technology (ICT) fields. In 2001, for example, women’s representation in ICT degree programs was weakest in the world’s most affluent and reputably gender-progressive societies (Charles and Bradley, 2006). Historical trends in the ICT sectors of affluent democracies seem, moreover, to have gone in the direction of more, not less, gender segregation. Despite dramatic increases in female labor force participation and university attendance, US women’s share of bachelor’s degrees in computer science decreased from 28% to 18% between 2000 and 2015 (NSF, 2018, appendix 2-21), with similar declines documented in Europe for the 1990s (Schinzel, 2002).
Autonomous exploration requires the use of movable platforms that carry a payload of instruments with a certain level of autonomy and communication with the operators. This is particularly challenging in subsurface environments, which may be more dangerous for human access and where communication with the surface is limited. Subsurface robotic exploration, which has been to date very limited, is interesting not only for science but also for cost-effective industrial exploitation of resources and safety assessments in mines. Furthermore, it has a direct application to exploration of extra-terrestrial subsurface environments of astrobiological and geological significance such as caves, lava tubes, impact or volcanic craters and subglacial conduits, for deriving in-situ mineralogical resources and establishing preliminary settlements. However, the technological solutions are generally tailor-made and are therefore considered as costly, fragile and environment-specific, further hindering their extensive and effective applications. To demonstrate the advantages of rover exploration for a broad-community, we have developed KORE (KOmpact Rover for Exploration); a low-cost, re-usable, rover multi-purpose platform. The rover platform has been developed as a technological demonstration for extra-terrestrial subsurface exploration and terrestrial mining operations pertaining to geomorphological mapping, environmental monitoring, gas leak detections and search and rescue operations in case of an accident. The present paper, the first part of a series of two, focuses on describing the development of a robust rover platform to perform dedicated geomorphological, astrobiological and mining tasks. KORE was further tested in the Mine Analogue Research 6 (MINAR6) campaign during September 2018 in the Boulby mine (UK), the second deepest potash mine in Europe at a subsurface depth of 1.1 km, the results of which will be presented in the second paper of this series. KORE is a large, semi-autonomous rover weighing 160 kg with L × W × H dimensions 1.2 m × 0.8 m × 1 m and a payload carrying capacity of 100 kg using 800 W traction power that can power to a maximum speed of 8.4 km h−1. The rover can be easily dismantled in three parts facilitating its transportation to any chosen site of exploration. Presently, the main scientific payloads on KORE are: (1) a three-dimensional mapping camera, (2) a methane detection system, (3) an environmental station capable of monitoring temperature, relative humidity, pressure and gases such as NO2, SO2, H2S, formaldehyde, CO, CO2, O3, O2, volatile organic compounds and particulates and (4) a robotic arm. Moreover, the design of the rover allows for integration of more sensors as per the scientific requirements in future expeditions. At the MINAR6 campaign, the technical readiness of KORE was demonstrated during 6 days of scientific research in the mine, with a total of 22 h of operation.
A total of eight ileal and caecal cannulated Yorkshire barrows were used to determine the interactions of dietary fibre (DF) and lipid types on apparent digestibility of DM and fatty acids (FA) and FA flows in gastrointestinal segments. Pigs were offered four diets that contained either pectin or cellulose with or without beef tallow or maize oil in two Youden square designs (n 6). Each period lasted 15 d. Faeces, ileal and caecal contents were collected to determine apparent ileal digestibility (AID), apparent caecal digestibility and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dietary components. The interactions between DF and lipid types influenced (P <0·05) the digestibility of DM and FA flows. The addition of maize oil decreased (P <0·05) AID of DM in pectin diets, and the addition of beef tallow depressed (P <0·001) ATTD of DM in cellulose diets. Dietary supplementation with beef tallow decreased (P <0·05) the AID of FA in pectin-containing diets but had no effects in cellulose-containing diets. Dietary supplementation with beef tallow increased (P <0·05) AID of SFA and PUFA and the flow of ileal oleic, vaccenic, linolenic and eicosadienoic acids and reduced the flow of faecal lauric, docosatetraenoic and docosapentaenoic acids in pectin- and cellulose-containing diets. In conclusion, the interaction between DF type and lipid saturation modulates digestibility of DM and lipids and FA flows but differs for soluble and insoluble fibre sources, SFA and unsaturated fatty acids and varies in different gastrointestinal segments.
Certain factors such as age and gender seem to affect the risk of developing post-concussion syndrome (PCS). We assessed the interactions between age, gender, concussion history and mechanism of injury in PCS patients so that a better understanding could guide the development of targeted prevention strategies.
Demographic data including age, gender, concussion mechanism of injury and concussion history were collected from (1) a prospective study evaluating PCS biomarkers and (2) a retrospective chart review of PCS patients. A total of 437 PCS patients who were assessed at the Canadian Concussion Centre or Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, ON, were included.
Overall, there were more men with PCS; however, a greater percentage of women had PCS after a single concussion. The results showed that age, gender and concussion history are conditionally dependent on the mechanism of injury, and independent of one another. The relative frequency of having PCS was greater in the following instances: (1) being a woman and having had concussion from a fall or motor vehicle collision (MVC), (2) being older and having had concussion from a fall or MVC or (3) having a single concussion with cause being MVC or fall.
In patients with PCS, age and gender interact with the mechanism of injury to influence the risk of concussion. Targeted prevention strategies may be essential to prevent injuries leading to PCS.
To evaluate whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as a molecular typing tool for MRSA outbreak investigation.
Investigation of MRSA colonization/infection in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over 3 years (2014–2017).
Single-center level IV NICU.
NICU infants and healthcare workers (HCWs).
Infants were screened for MRSA using a swab of the anterior nares, axilla, and groin, initially by targeted (ring) screening, and later by universal weekly screening. Clinical cultures were collected as indicated. HCWs were screened once using swabs of the anterior nares. MRSA isolates were typed using WGS with core-genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Colonized and infected infants and HCWs were decolonized. Control strategies included reinforcement of hand hygiene, use of contact precautions, cohorting, enhanced environmental cleaning, and remodeling of the NICU.
We identified 64 MRSA-positive infants: 53 (83%) by screening and 11 (17%) by clinical cultures. Of 85 screened HCWs, 5 (6%) were MRSA positive. WGS of MRSA isolates identified 2 large clusters (WGS groups 1 and 2), 1 small cluster (WGS group 3), and 8 unrelated isolates. PFGE failed to distinguish WGS group 2 and 3 isolates. WGS groups 1 and 2 were codistributed over time. HCW MRSA isolates were primarily in WGS group 1. New infant MRSA cases declined after implementation of the control interventions.
We identified 2 contemporaneous MRSA outbreaks alongside sporadic cases in a NICU. WGS was used to determine strain relatedness at a higher resolution than PFGE and was useful in guiding efforts to control MRSA transmission.
The deep subsurface of other planetary bodies is of special interest for robotic and human exploration. The subsurface provides access to planetary interior processes, thus yielding insights into planetary formation and evolution. On Mars, the subsurface might harbour the most habitable conditions. In the context of human exploration, the subsurface can provide refugia for habitation from extreme surface conditions. We describe the fifth Mine Analogue Research (MINAR 5) programme at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine, UK in collaboration with Spaceward Bound NASA and the Kalam Centre, India, to test instruments and methods for the robotic and human exploration of deep environments on the Moon and Mars. The geological context in Permian evaporites provides an analogue to evaporitic materials on other planetary bodies such as Mars. A wide range of sample acquisition instruments (NASA drills, Small Planetary Impulse Tool (SPLIT) robotic hammer, universal sampling bags), analytical instruments (Raman spectroscopy, Close-Up Imager, Minion DNA sequencing technology, methane stable isotope analysis, biomolecule and metabolic life detection instruments) and environmental monitoring equipment (passive air particle sampler, particle detectors and environmental monitoring equipment) was deployed in an integrated campaign. Investigations included studying the geochemical signatures of chloride and sulphate evaporitic minerals, testing methods for life detection and planetary protection around human-tended operations, and investigations on the radiation environment of the deep subsurface. The MINAR analogue activity occurs in an active mine, showing how the development of space exploration technology can be used to contribute to addressing immediate Earth-based challenges. During the campaign, in collaboration with European Space Agency (ESA), MINAR was used for astronaut familiarization with future exploration tools and techniques. The campaign was used to develop primary and secondary school and primary to secondary transition curriculum materials on-site during the campaign which was focused on a classroom extra vehicular activity simulation.
This is a case report of a 45-year-old man who reported complete amnesia during the very first kilometer of a 10-km run. He was wearing a heart rate monitor (HRM). The interrogation of his HRM watch showed 200 bpm tachycardia beginning in the first kilometer and increasing up to 220 bpm during the last kilometer. The patient was asked to wear a Holter-monitor (Holter Research Laboratory; Helena, Montana USA) electrocardiogram (ECG) while practicing a training session. This examination allowed for the diagnosis of an adrenergic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) with an impressive auriculo-ventricular conduction over 260 bpm. This case highlights that non-medical devices, such as connected watches, can be helpful to diagnose arrhythmias.
ThabouillotO, BostanciK, BouvierF, DumitrescuN, StéfuriacM, PauleP, RocheNC. Syncope During Competitive Events: Interrogating Heart Rate Monitor Watches May Be Useful!Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):691–693
The polychaete Gallardoneris iberica was described in soft-bottom benthic habitats from the Atlantic Iberian Peninsula coasts in 2012. Since then, successive studies have found this species in Spain, Italy and Croatia. The present study is the first to report G. iberica for Greece and Cyprus (42 new records) confirming its wide geographic distribution on southern European coasts. Taxonomic accounts and ecological preferences based on a large survey and review of available literature are being presented. The species was frequently found in habitats characterized by infralittoral muddy sands with variable organic matter and ‘Moderate’ ecological quality status; nevertheless it was also recorded in coarser and finer sediments, circalittoral mixed sediments, phytal substrates and undisturbed sites. Its relative abundance per sample was always lower than 2%. A review of the available ecological and geographic data of the other Gallardoneris species and a worldwide taxonomic key to Gallardoneris species are provided.
Ten ice-sheet models are used to study sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to prescribed changes of surface mass balance, sub-ice-shelf melting and basal sliding. Results exhibit a large range in projected contributions to sea-level change. In most cases, the ice volume above flotation lost is linearly dependent on the strength of the forcing. Combinations of forcings can be closely approximated by linearly summing the contributions from single forcing experiments, suggesting that nonlinear feedbacks are modest. Our models indicate that Greenland is more sensitive than Antarctica to likely atmospheric changes in temperature and precipitation, while Antarctica is more sensitive to increased ice-shelf basal melting. An experiment approximating the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s RCP8.5 scenario produces additional first-century contributions to sea level of 22.3 and 8.1 cm from Greenland and Antarctica, respectively, with a range among models of 62 and 14 cm, respectively. By 200 years, projections increase to 53.2 and 26.7 cm, respectively, with ranges of 79 and 43 cm. Linear interpolation of the sensitivity results closely approximates these projections, revealing the relative contributions of the individual forcings on the combined volume change and suggesting that total ice-sheet response to complicated forcings over 200 years can be linearized.
The youngest low-mass protostars are known to be chemically rich, accreting matter most vigorously, and producing the most powerful outflows. Molecules are unique tracers of these phenomena. We use ALMA to study several outflow sources in the Serpens Main region. The most luminous source, Ser-SMM1, shows the richest chemical composition, but some complex molecules are also present in S68N. No emission from complex organics is detected toward Ser-emb 8N, which is the least luminous in the sample. We discuss whether these differences reflect an evolutionary effect or whether they are due to different physical structures. We also analyze the outflow structure from these young protostars by comparing emission of CO and SiO. EHV molecular jets originating from SMM1-a,b and Ser-emb 8N contrast with no such activity from S68N, which on the other hand presents a complex outflow structure.
In the frame of the COST ACTION ‘EMBOS’ (Development and implementation of a pan-European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System), coverage of intertidal macroalgae was estimated at a range of marine stations along the European coastline (Subarctic, Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean). Based on these data, we tested whether patterns in macroalgal diversity and distribution along European intertidal rocky shores could be explained by a set of meteo-oceanographic variables. The variables considered were salinity, sea surface temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, significant wave height and tidal range and were compiled from three different sources: remote sensing, reanalysis technique and in situ measurement. These variables were parameterized to represent average conditions (mean values), variability (standard deviation) and extreme events (minimum and maximum values). The results obtained in this study contribute to reinforce the EMBOS network approach and highlight the necessity of considering meteo-oceanographic variables in long-term assessments. The broad spatial distribution of pilot sites has allowed identification of latitudinal and longitudinal gradients manifested through species composition, diversity and dominance structure of intertidal macroalgae. These patterns follow a latitudinal gradient mainly explained by sea surface temperature, but also by photosynthetically active radiation, salinity and tidal range. Additionally, a longitudinal gradient was also detected and could be linked to wave height.
Examining how variability in population abundance and distribution is allotted among different spatial scales can inform of processes that are likely to generate that variability. Results of studies dealing with scale issues in marine benthic communities suggest that variability is concentrated at small spatial scales (from tens of centimetres to few metres) and that spatial patterns of variation are consistent across ecosystems characterized by contrasting physical and biotic conditions, but this has not been formally tested. Here we quantified the variability in the distribution of intertidal rocky shore communities at a range of spatial scales, from tens of centimetres to thousands of kilometres, both in the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and tested whether the observed patterns differed between the two basins. We focused on canopy-forming macroalgae and associated understorey assemblages in the low intertidal, and on the distribution of Patella limpets at mid intertidal levels. Our results highlight that patterns of spatial variation, at each scale investigated, were consistent between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, suggesting that similar ecological processes operate in these regions. In contrast with former studies, variability in canopy cover, species richness and limpet abundance was equally distributed among spatial scales, possibly reflecting the fingerprint of multiple processes. Variability in community structure of low intertidal assemblages, instead, peaked at the largest scale, suggesting that oceanographic processes and climatic gradients may be important. We conclude that formal comparisons of variability across scales nested in contrasting systems are needed, before any generalization on patterns and processes can be made.
Coastal ecosystems are highly complex and driven by multiple environmental factors. To date we lack scientific evidence for the relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic drivers for the majority of marine habitats in order to adequately assess the role of different stressors across the European seas. Such relationship can be investigated by analysing the correlation between environmental variables and biotic patterns in multivariate space and taking into account non-linearities. Within the framework of the EMBOS (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System) programme, hard bottom intertidal communities were sampled in a standardized way across European seas. Links between key natural and anthropogenic drivers and hard bottom communities were analysed using Boosted Regression Trees modelling. The study identified strong interregional variability and showed that patterns of hard bottom macroalgal and invertebrate communities were primarily a function of tidal regime, nutrient loading and water temperature (anomalies). The strength and shape of functional form relationships varied widely however among types of organisms (understorey algae composing mostly filamentous species, canopy-forming algae or sessile invertebrates) and aggregated community variables (cover or richness). Tidal regime significantly modulated the effect of nutrient load on the cover and richness of understorey algae and sessile invertebrates. In contrast, hydroclimate was more important for canopy algae and temperature anomalies and hydroclimate separately or interactively contributed to the observed patterns. The analyses also suggested that climate-induced shifts in weather patterns may result in the loss of algal richness and thereby in the loss of functional diversity in European hard bottom intertidal areas.
Within the COST action EMBOS (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System) the degree and variation of the diversity and densities of soft-bottom communities from the lower intertidal or the shallow subtidal was measured at 28 marine sites along the European coastline (Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean) using jointly agreed and harmonized protocols, tools and indicators. The hypothesis tested was that the diversity for all taxonomic groups would decrease with increasing latitude. The EMBOS system delivered accurate and comparable data on the diversity and densities of the soft sediment macrozoobenthic community over a large-scale gradient along the European coastline. In contrast to general biogeographic theory, species diversity showed no linear relationship with latitude, yet a bell-shaped relation was found. The diversity and densities of benthos were mostly positively correlated with environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, mud and organic matter content in sediment, or wave height, and related with location characteristics such as system type (lagoons, estuaries, open coast) or stratum (intertidal, subtidal). For some relationships, a maximum (e.g. temperature from 15–20°C; mud content of sediment around 40%) or bimodal curve (e.g. salinity) was found. In lagoons the densities were twice higher than in other locations, and at open coasts the diversity was much lower than in other locations. We conclude that latitudinal trends and regional differences in diversity and densities are strongly influenced by, i.e. merely the result of, particular sets and ranges of environmental factors and location characteristics specific to certain areas, such as the Baltic, with typical salinity clines (favouring insects) and the Mediterranean, with higher temperatures (favouring crustaceans). Therefore, eventual trends with latitude are primarily indirect and so can be overcome by local variation of environmental factors.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.