7,433 research outputs found

    Liquid State Anomalies for the Stell-Hemmer Core-Softened Potential

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    We study the Stell-Hemmer potential using both analytic (exact 1d1d and approximate 2d2d) solutions and numerical 2d2d simulations. We observe in the liquid phase an anomalous decrease in specific volume and isothermal compressibility upon heating, and an anomalous increase in the diffusion coefficient with pressure. We relate the anomalies to the existence of two different local structures in the liquid phase. Our results are consistent with the possibility of a low temperature/high pressure liquid-liquid phase transition.Comment: 4 pages in one gzipped ps file including 11 figures; One RevTex and 11 gzipped eps figure

    Using coupled micropillar compression and micro-Laue diffraction to investigate deformation mechanisms in a complex metallic alloy Al13Co4

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    In this investigation, we have used in-situ micro-Laue diffraction combined with micropillar compression of focused ion beam milled Al13Co4 complex metallic alloy to study the evolution of deformation in Al13Co4. Streaking of the Laue spots showed that the onset of plastic flow occured at stresses as low as 0.8 GPa, although macroscopic yield only becomes apparent at 2 GPa. The measured misorientations, obtained from peak splitting, enabled the geometrically necessary dislocation density to be estimated as 1.1 x 1013 m-2

    Top secret training data? External training loads of a cup winning English Super League rugby league team

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    This study quantified the field-based external training loads of professional rugby league players using global positioning systems technology across a playing season. Eleven professional rugby league players were monitored during all field-based training activities during the 2014 Super League season. Training sessions undertaken in preseason (n = 211 observations), early (n = 194 observations), middle (n = 171 observations) and late (n = 206 observations) phases of the in-season were averaged for each player and used in the analyses. Large reductions in external training loads between preseason and in-season periods were observed. Within season, a decrease in intensity (relative distance, absolute and relative total-HSR) with a limited change in training duration was observed. These data provide a useful reference for coaches working with similar cohorts, while future research should quantify the adequacy of the training loads reported, considering impact on performance and injury

    First results from the Very Small Array -- I. Observational methods

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    The Very Small Array (VSA) is a synthesis telescope designed to image faint structures in the cosmic microwave background on degree and sub-degree angular scales. The VSA has key differences from other CMB interferometers with the result that different systematic errors are expected. We have tested the operation of the VSA with a variety of blank-field and calibrator observations and cross-checked its calibration scale against independent measurements. We find that systematic effects can be suppressed below the thermal noise level in long observations; the overall calibration accuracy of the flux density scale is 3.5 percent and is limited by the external absolute calibration scale.Comment: 9 pages, 10 figures, MNRAS in press (Minor revisions

    The neutral gas extent of galaxies as derived from weak intervening CaII absorbers

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    (Abridged) We present a systematic study of weak intervening CaII absorbers at low redshift (z<0.5), based on the analysis of archival high resolution (R>45,000) optical spectra of 304 quasars and active galactic nuclei observed with VLT/UVES. Along a total redshift path of Dz~100 we detected 23 intervening CaII absorbers in both the CaII H & K lines, with rest frame equivalent widths W_r,3934=15-799 mA and column densities log N(CaII)=11.25-13.04. We obtain a bias corrected number density of weak intervening CaII absorbers of dN/dz=0.117+-0.044 at z=0.35 for absorbers with log N(CaII)>11.65. This is ~2.6 times the value obtained for damped Lyman alpha absorbers (DLAs) at low redshift. From ionization modeling we conclude that intervening CaII absorption with log N(CaII)>11.5 arises in optically thick neutral gas in DLAs, sub-DLAs and Lyman limit systems (LLS) at HI column densities of log N(HI)>17.4. The relatively large cross section of these absorbers together with the frequent detection of CaII absorption in high velocity clouds (HVCs) in the halo of the Milky Way suggests that a considerable fraction of the intervening CaII systems trace dusty neutral gas structures in the halos and circumgalactic environment of galaxies (i.e., they are HVC analogs). Considering all galaxies with luminosities L>0.05L* we calculate that the characteristic radial extent of (partly) neutral gas clouds with log N(HI)>17.4 around low-redshift galaxies is R_HVC ~ 55 kpc.Comment: 20 pages, 15 figures; A&A, in press; this revision contains several changes that improve clarity of presentation reflecting the suggestions made by the refere

    Live birth rate is associated with oocyte yield and number of biopsied and suitable blastocysts to transfer in preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) cycles for monogenic disorders and chromosomal structural rearrangements

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    OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether live birth (LB) is associated with oocyte yield and number of biopsied and suitable blastocyst to transfer following preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) for monogenic disorders (PGT-M) and chromosomal structural rearrangements (PGT-SR). STUDY DESIGN: All couples underwent controlled ovarian stimulation, blastocyst biopsy, vitrification and transfer of suitable embryo(s) in a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle. RESULTS: Of 175 couples who underwent PGT treatment, 249 oocytes retrievals were carried out and 230 FET were subsequently undertaken. 122/230 (53%, 95% CI 47–59) FET resulted in a LB and 16/230 (7%, 95% CI 4–11) have resulted in ongoing pregnancies. 21/230 (9%, 95% CI 6–14) FET resulted in miscarriage and 69/230 (30%, 95% CI 24–36) concluded with failed implantation. Two (1%, 95% CI 0–3) transfers underwent termination for congenital malformation, with no evidence of misdiagnosis by prenatal testing. The relationship between number of oocytes retrieved and number of blastocysts biopsied and suitable embryos to transfer were significant (p = 0.00; Incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.05; 95% 1.04–1.06; p = 0.00; IRR 1.04; 95%, 1.03–1.06), respectively. The number of oocytes collected (p = 0.007; OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.01–1.10), the number of blastocysts biopsied (p = 0.001; OR 1.14; 95% 95% CI 1.06–1.23) and the number of suitable embryos to transfer (p = 0.00; OR 1.38; 95% CI 1.17–1.64) were all significantly associated with the odds of achieving a LB. There is a 14% and 38% increased chance of a LB per additional blastocyst biopsied and suitable embryo to transfer, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: PGT-M and PGT-SR outcomes are significantly associated with egg yield, number of blastocysts to biopsy and suitable embryos to transfer

    Fertility treatment and cancers—the eternal conundrum: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    STUDY QUESTION: Does fertility treatment (FT) significantly increase the incidence of breast, ovarian, endometrial or cervical cancer? SUMMARY ANSWER: Overall, FT does not significantly increase the incidence of breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer and may even reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Infertility affects more than 14% of couples. Infertility and nulliparity are established risk factors for endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer, yet the association with FT is more contentious. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: A literature search was carried out using Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline and Google Scholar up to December 2019. Peer-reviewed studies stating cancer incidence (breast, ovarian, endometrial or cervical) in FT and no-FT groups were identified. Out of 128 studies identified, 29 retrospective studies fulfilled the criteria and were included (n = 21 070 337). PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: In the final meta-analysis, 29 studies were included: breast (n = 19), ovarian (n = 19), endometrial (n = 15) and cervical (n = 13), 17 studies involved multiple cancer types and so were included in each individual cancer meta-analysis. Primary outcome of interest was cancer incidence (breast, ovarian, endometrial and cervical) in FT and no-FT groups. Secondary outcome was cancer incidence according to specific fertility drug exposure. Odds ratio (OR) and random effects model were used to demonstrate treatment effect and calculate pooled treatment effect, respectively. A meta-regression and eight sub-group analyses were performed to assess the impact of the following variables, maternal age, infertility, study size, outliers and specific FT sub-types, on cancer incidence. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Cervical cancer incidence was significantly lower in the FT group compared with the no-FT group: OR 0.68 (95% CI 0.46-0.99). The incidences of breast (OR 0.86; 95% CI 0.73-1.01) and endometrial (OR 1.28; 95% CI 0.92-1.79) cancers were not found to be significantly different between the FT and no-FT groups. Whilst overall ovarian cancer incidence was not significantly different between the FT and no-FT groups (OR 1.19; 95% CI 0.98-1.46), separate analysis of borderline ovarian tumours (BOT) revealed a significant association (OR 1.69; 95% CI 1.27-2.25). In further sub-group analyses, ovarian cancer incidence was shown to be significantly higher in the IVF (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.03-1.69) and clomiphene citrate (CC) treatment group (OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.10-1.77), respectively when compared with the no-FT group. Conversely, the incidences of breast (OR 0.75; 95% CI 0.61-0.92) and cervical cancer (OR 0.58; 95% CI 0.38-0.89) were significantly lower in the IVF treatment sub-group compared to the no-FT group. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: The large, varied dataset spanning a wide study period introduced significant clinical heterogeneity. Thus, results have to be interpreted with an element of caution. Exclusion of non-English citations, unpublished work and abstracts, in order to ensure data accuracy and reliability was maintained, may have introduced a degree of selection bias. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The results for breast, ovarian, endometrial and cervical cancer are reassuring, in line with previously published meta-analyses for individual cancers but the association between IVF and CC treatment and an increase in ovarian cancer incidence requires additional work to understand the potential mechanism driving this association. In particular, focusing on (i) discriminating specific treatments effects from an inherent risk of malignancy; (ii) differential risk profiles among specific patient sub-groups (refractory treatment and obesity); and (iii) understanding the impact of FT outcomes on cancer incidence. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This study did not receive any funding. The authors have no financial, personal, intellectual and professional conflicts of interest to declare. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42019153404

    Racism, anti-racist practice and social work: articulating the teaching and learning experiences of Black social workers

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    In the mid 1990s a Black practice teacher programme was established in Manchester and Merseyside with the primary aim to increase the number of Black practice teachers in social work organisations, and in turn provide a supportive and encouraging learning environment for Black student social workers whilst on placement. In the north‐west of England research has been undertaken, to establish the quality of the practice teaching and student learning taking place with Black practice teachers and students. This paper is an exploration of the ideas generated within the placement process that particularly focused on the discourse of racism and ant‐racist practice. Black students and practice teachers explain their understanding of racism and anti‐racist practice within social work. From the research, the paper will critique some of the ideas concerning anti‐racism. In particular, it will question whether anti‐racist social work practice needs to be re‐evaluated in the light of a context with new migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. It will concluded, by arguing that whilst the terms anti‐racism, Black and Minority Ethnic have resonance as a form of political strategic essentialism, it is important to develop more positive representations in the future

    Melarsoprol cyclodextrin inclusion complexes as promising oral candidates for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis

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    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), or sleeping sickness, results from infection with the protozoan parasites &lt;i&gt;Trypanosoma brucei&lt;/i&gt; (&lt;i&gt;T.b.&lt;/i&gt;) &lt;i&gt;gambiense&lt;/i&gt; or &lt;i&gt;T.b.rhodesiense&lt;/i&gt; and is invariably fatal if untreated. There are 60 million people at risk from the disease throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The infection progresses from the haemolymphatic stage where parasites invade the blood, lymphatics and peripheral organs, to the late encephalitic stage where they enter the central nervous system (CNS) to cause serious neurological disease. The trivalent arsenical drug melarsoprol (Arsobal) is the only currently available treatment for CNS-stage &lt;i&gt;T.b.rhodesiense&lt;/i&gt; infection. However, it must be administered intravenously due to the presence of propylene glycol solvent and is associated with numerous adverse reactions. A severe post-treatment reactive encephalopathy occurs in about 10% of treated patients, half of whom die. Thus melarsoprol kills 5% of all patients receiving it. Cyclodextrins have been used to improve the solubility and reduce the toxicity of a wide variety of drugs. We therefore investigated two melarsoprol cyclodextrin inclusion complexes; melarsoprol hydroxypropyl-&#846;-cyclodextrin and melarsoprol randomly-methylated-&#946;-cyclodextrin. We found that these compounds retain trypanocidal properties &lt;i&gt;in vitro&lt;/i&gt; and cure CNS-stage murine infections when delivered orally, once per day for 7-days, at a dosage of 0.05 mmol/kg. No overt signs of toxicity were detected. Parasite load within the brain was rapidly reduced following treatment onset and magnetic resonance imaging showed restoration of normal blood-brain barrier integrity on completion of chemotherapy. These findings strongly suggest that complexed melarsoprol could be employed as an oral treatment for CNS-stage HAT, delivering considerable improvements over current parenteral chemotherapy
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