14,214 research outputs found

    Modelling the Relationship between Travel Behaviour and Social Disadvantage

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    The purpose of this paper is to model the travel behaviour of socially disadvantaged population segments in the United Kingdom (UK) using the data from the UK National Travel Survey 2002-2010. This was achieved by introducing additional socioeconomic variables into a standard national-level trip end model (TEM) and using purpose-based analysis of the travel behaviours of certain key socially disadvantaged groups. Specifically the paper aims to explore how far the economic and social disadvantages of these individuals can be used to explain the inequalities in their travel behaviours. The models demonstrated important differences in travel behaviours according to household income, presence of children in the household, possession of a driver’s license and belonging to a vulnerable population group, such as being disabled, non-white or having single parent household status. In the case of household income, there was a non-linear relationship with trip frequency and a linear one with distance travelled. The recent economic austerity measures that have been introduced in the UK and many other European countries have led to major cutbacks in public subsidies for socially necessary transport services, making results such as these increasingly important for transport policy decision-making. The results indicate that the inclusion of additional socioeconomic variables is useful for identifying significant differences in the trip patterns and distances travelled by low-income

    Immune phenotype of chronic liver disease

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    Immune disorders in chronic liver disease may reflect common host propensities or disease-specific factors. Our aim was to determine the principal bases for these expressions. Four hundred fifty-one patients with various chronic liver diseases were assessed prospectively for concurrent immune disorders. Individuals with immune diseases were more frequently women (73% vs 60%, P = 0.02) and they had HLA DR4 more often than counterparts with other HLA (46% vs 23%, P = 0.000008). The association between HLA DR4 and immune disease was apparent within individual liver diseases and within different categories of liver disease. Women with HLA DR4 had a higher frequency of immune disease than women without HLA DR4 (52% vs 22%, P < or = 0.000001), and they also had immune diseases more commonly than DR4-positive men (52% vs 31%, P = 0.03). DR4-positive men, however, had higher frequencies of immune disease than DR4-negative men, especially in the nonimmune types of liver disease (26% vs 4%, P = 0.002). We conclude that HLA DR4 and female gender constitute an immune phenotype that is an important basis for autoimmune expression in chronic liver disease

    Do topical repellents divert mosquitoes within a community? Health equity implications of topical repellents as a mosquito bite prevention tool.

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    OBJECTIVES: Repellents do not kill mosquitoes--they simply reduce human-vector contact. Thus it is possible that individuals who do not use repellents but dwell close to repellent users experience more bites than otherwise. The objective of this study was to measure if diversion occurs from households that use repellents to those that do not use repellents. METHODS: The study was performed in three Tanzanian villages using 15%-DEET and placebo lotions. All households were given LLINs. Three coverage scenarios were investigated: complete coverage (all households were given 15%-DEET), incomplete coverage (80% of households were given 15%-DEET and 20% placebo) and no coverage (all households were given placebo). A crossover study design was used and coverage scenarios were rotated weekly over a period of ten weeks. The placebo lotion was randomly allocated to households in the incomplete coverage scenario. The level of compliance was reported to be close to 100%. Mosquito densities were measured through aspiration of resting mosquitoes. Data were analysed using negative binomial regression models. FINDINGS: Repellent-users had consistently fewer mosquitoes in their dwellings. In villages where everybody had been given 15%-DEET, resting mosquito densities were fewer than half that of households in the no coverage scenario (Incidence Rate Ratio [IRR]=0.39 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.25-0.60); p<0.001). Placebo-users living in a village where 80% of the households used 15%-DEET were likely to have over four-times more mosquitoes (IRR=4.17; 95% CI: 3.08-5.65; p<0.001) resting in their dwellings in comparison to households in a village where nobody uses repellent. CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that high coverage of repellent use could significantly reduce man-vector contact but with incomplete coverage evidence suggests that mosquitoes are diverted from households that use repellent to those that do not. Therefore, if repellents are to be considered for vector control, strategies to maximise coverage are required

    mixtur: An R package for designing, analysing, and modelling continuous report visual short-term memory studies

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    Visual short-term memory (vSTM) is often measured via continuous-report tasks whereby participants are presented with stimuli that vary along a continuous dimension (e.g., colour) with the goal of memorising the stimulus features. At test, participants are probed to recall the feature value of one of the memoranda in a continuous manner (e.g., by clicking on a colour wheel). The angular deviation between the participant response and the true feature value provides an estimate of recall precision. Two prominent models of performance on such tasks are the two- and three-component mixture models (Bays et al., 2009; Zhang & Luck, 2008). Both models decompose participant responses into probabilistic mixtures of: (1) responses to the true target value based on a noisy memory representation; (2) random guessing when memory fails. In addition, the three-component model proposes (3) responses to a non-target feature value (i.e., binding errors). Here we report the development of mixtur, an open-source package written for the statistical programming language R that facilitates the fitting of the 2- and 3-component mixture models to continuous report data. We also conduct simulations to develop recommendations for researchers on trial numbers, set-sizes and memoranda similarity, as well as parameter recovery and model recovery. In the Discussion, we discuss how mixtur can be used to fit the slots and the slots-plus-averaging models, as well as how mixtur can be extended to fit explanatory models of visual short-term memory. It is our hope that mixtur will lower the barrier of entry for utilising mixture modelling

    Dimethylsulfide (DMS) production in polar oceans is resilient to ocean acidification

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    Emissions of dimethylsulfide (DMS) from the polar oceans play a key role in atmospheric processes and climate. Therefore, it is important we increase our understanding of how DMS production in these regions may respond to environmental change. The polar oceans are particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA). However, our understanding of the polar DMS response is limited to two studies conducted in Arctic waters, where in both cases DMS concentrations decreased with increasing acidity. Here, we report on our findings from seven summertime shipboard microcosm experiments undertaken in a variety of locations in the Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean. These experiments reveal no significant effects of short term OA on the net production of DMS by planktonic communities. This is in contrast to identical experiments from temperate NW European shelf waters where surface ocean communities responded to OA with significant increases in dissolved DMS concentrations. A meta-analysis of the findings from both temperate and polar waters (n=18 experiments) reveals clear regional differences in the DMS response to OA. We suggest that these regional differences in DMS response reflect the natural variability in carbonate chemistry to which the respective communities may already be adapted. Future temperate oceans could be more sensitive to OA resulting in a change in DMS emissions to the atmosphere, whilst perhaps surprisingly DMS emissions from the polar oceans may remain relatively unchanged. By demonstrating that DMS emissions from geographically distinct regions may vary in response to OA, our results may facilitate a better understanding of Earth's future climate. Our study suggests that the way in which processes that generate DMS respond to OA may be regionally distinct and this should be taken into account in predicting future DMS emissions and their influence on Earth's climate

    Biodiversity of Bear Seamount, New England Seamount chain: Results of exploratory trawling

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    Bear Seamount (39°55′N 67°30′W) is an extinct undersea volcano located inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone south of Georges Bank. The fauna associated with the seamount was little known until twenty trawl stations were made 2-7 December 2000, by the NOAA ship R/V Delaware II. The objective of the survey was to begin to document the biodiversity on and over the seamount, particularly of fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Representatives of most species were preserved as vouchers and for subsequent definitive identification. This report presents a description of the biodiversity. A total of at least 274 species were collected. Preliminary identifications indicate the capture of 115 fish species. Among these were a number of new fish records for the area or rare species, including Acromycter pertubator (Congridae), Diastobranchus capensis (Synaphobranchidae), Alepocephalus bairdii (Alepocephalidae), Mirognathus normani (Alepocephalidae), Bathygadus favosus (Bathygadidae), Nezumia longebarbata (Macrouridae), Gaidropsarus argentatus (Phycidae), Dibranchus tremendus (Ogcocephalidae) and Kali indica (Chiasmodontidae). Only two fish species of potential commercial importance were encountered: Coryphaenoides rupestris and Macrourus berglax. Cephalopods comprised 26 species from 15 families, including one new distributional record and several rarely-collected species. The crustacean fauna was diverse with at least 46 species. Totals for other invertebrate species are pending laboratory identification, but number at least 87 species from 10 Phyla. This includes a number of new distributional records and a new species of gorgonian

    The partition bundle of type A_{N-1} (2, 0) theory

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    Six-dimensional (2, 0) theory can be defined on a large class of six-manifolds endowed with some additional topological and geometric data (i.e. an orientation, a spin structure, a conformal structure, and an R-symmetry bundle with connection). We discuss the nature of the object that generalizes the partition function of a more conventional quantum theory. This object takes its values in a certain complex vector space, which fits together into the total space of a complex vector bundle (the `partition bundle') as the data on the six-manifold is varied in its infinite-dimensional parameter space. In this context, an important role is played by the middle-dimensional intermediate Jacobian of the six-manifold endowed with some additional data (i.e. a symplectic structure, a quadratic form, and a complex structure). We define a certain hermitian vector bundle over this finite-dimensional parameter space. The partition bundle is then given by the pullback of the latter bundle by the map from the parameter space related to the six-manifold to the parameter space related to the intermediate Jacobian.Comment: 15 pages. Minor changes, added reference

    Decreasing intensity of open-ocean convection in the Greenland and Iceland seas

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    The air–sea transfer of heat and fresh water plays a critical role in the global climate system. This is particularly true for the Greenland and Iceland seas, where these fluxes drive ocean convection that contributes to Denmark Strait overflow water, the densest component of the lower limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Here we show that the wintertime retreat of sea ice in the region, combined with different rates of warming for the atmosphere and sea surface of the Greenland and Iceland seas, has resulted in statistically significant reductions of approximately 20% in the magnitude of the winter air–sea heat fluxes since 1979. We also show that modes of climate variability other than the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) are required to fully characterize the regional air–sea interaction. Mixed-layer model simulations imply that further decreases in atmospheric forcing will exceed a threshold for the Greenland Sea whereby convection will become depth limited, reducing the ventilation of mid-depth waters in the Nordic seas. In the Iceland Sea, further reductions have the potential to decrease the supply of the densest overflow waters to the AMOC

    Characteristics of C-4 photosynthesis in stems and petioles of C-3 flowering plants

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    Most plants are known as C-3 plants because the first product of photosynthetic CO2 fixation is a three-carbon compound. C-4 plants, which use an alternative pathway in which the first product is a four-carbon compound, have evolved independently many times and are found in at least 18 families. In addition to differences in their biochemistry, photosynthetic organs of C-4 plants show alterations in their anatomy and ultrastructure. Little is known about whether the biochemical or anatomical characteristics of C-4 photosynthesis evolved first. Here we report that tobacco, a typical C-3 plant, shows characteristics of C-4 photosynthesis in cells of stems and petioles that surround the xylem and phloem, and that these cells are supplied with carbon for photosynthesis from the vascular system and not from stomata. These photosynthetic cells possess high activities of enzymes characteristic of C-4 photosynthesis, which allow the decarboxylation of four-carbon organic acids from the xylem and phloem, thus releasing CO2 for photosynthesis. These biochemical characteristics of C-4 photosynthesis in cells around the vascular bundles of stems of C-3 plants might explain why C-4 photosynthesis has evolved independently many times

    Use of a Semi-field System to Evaluate the Efficacy of Topical Repellents under user Conditions Provides a Disease Exposure free Technique Comparable with Field Data.

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    Before topical repellents can be employed as interventions against arthropod bites, their efficacy must be established. Currently, laboratory or field tests, using human volunteers, are the main methods used for assessing the efficacy of topical repellents. However, laboratory tests are not representative of real life conditions under which repellents are used and field-testing potentially exposes human volunteers to disease. There is, therefore, a need to develop methods to test efficacy of repellents under real life conditions while minimizing volunteer exposure to disease. A lotion-based, 15% N, N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) repellent and 15% DEET in ethanol were compared to a placebo lotion in a 200 sq m (10 m x 20 m) semi-field system (SFS) against laboratory-reared Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes and in full field settings against wild malaria vectors and nuisance-biting mosquitoes. The average percentage protection against biting mosquitoes over four hours in the SFS and field setting was determined. A Poisson regression model was then used to determine relative risk of being bitten when wearing either of these repellents compared to the placebo. Average percentage protection of the lotion-based 15% DEET repellent after four hours of mosquito collection was 82.13% (95% CI 75.94-88.82) in the semi-field experiments and 85.10% (95% CI 78.97-91.70) in the field experiments. Average percentage protection of 15% DEET in ethanol after four hours was 71.29% (CI 61.77-82.28) in the semi-field system and 88.24% (84.45-92.20) in the field. Semi-field evaluation results were comparable to full-field evaluations, indicating that such systems could be satisfactorily used in measuring efficacy of topically applied mosquito repellents, thereby avoiding risks of exposure to mosquito-borne pathogens, associated with field testing
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