1,902 research outputs found

    Practice pointer: Using the new UK-WHO growth charts

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    The new UK growth charts for children aged 0-4 years (designed using data from the new WHO standards) describe the optimal pattern of growth for all children, rather than the prevailing pattern in the UK (as with previous charts). The new charts are suitable for all ethnic groups and set breast feeding as the norm. UK children match the new charts well for length and height, but after age 6 months fewer children will be below the 2nd centile for weight or show weight faltering, and more will be above the 98th centile. The new charts look different: they have a separate preterm section, no lines between 0 and 2 weeks, and the 50th percentile is no longer emphasised. The charts give clear instructions on gestational correction, and there is a new chart for infants born before 32 weeks’ gestation. The instructions advise on when and how to measure and when a measurement or growth pattern is outside the normal range. The charts include a “look-up” tool for determining the body mass index centile from height and weight centiles without calculation and aid for predicting adult height. The charts and supporting educational materials can be downloaded from www.growthcharts.rcpch.ac.u

    Function and central projections of gustatory receptor neurons on the antenna of the noctuid moth Spodoptera littoralis

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    Chemosensory information is crucial for most insects to feed and reproduce. Olfactory signals are mainly used at a distance, whereas gustatory stimuli play an important role when insects directly contact chemical substrates. In noctuid moths, although the antennae are the main olfactory organ, they also bear taste sensilla. These taste sensilla detect sugars and hence are involved in appetitive learning but could also play an important role in food evaluation by detecting salts and bitter substances. To investigate this, we measured the responses of individual taste sensilla on the antennae of Spodoptera littoralis to sugars and salts using tip recordings. We also traced the projections of their neuronal axons into the brain. In each sensillum, we found one or two neurons responding to sugars: one NaCl-responsive and one water-sensitive neuron. Responses of these neurons were dose-dependent and similar across different locations on the antenna. Responses were dependent on the sex for sucrose and on both sex and location for glucose and fructose. We did not observe a spatial map for the projections from specific regions of the antennae to the deutocerebrum or the tritocerebrum/suboesophageal ganglion complex. In accordance with physiological recordings, back-fills from individual sensilla revealed up to four axons, in most cases targeting different projection zones

    Disruption of marine habitats by artificial light at night from global coastal megacities

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    Half of globally significant megacities are situated near the coast, exposing urban marine ecosystems to multiple stressors such as waste-water discharge containing a host of organic and inorganic pollutants, air and noise pollution. In addition to these well recognized sources, artificial light at night (ALAN) pollution is inseparable from cities but poorly quantified in marine ecosystems to date. We have developed a time- and wavelength-resolving hydrological optical model that includes solar (daylight and twilight components), lunar and ALAN source terms and propagates these spectrally through a tidally varying water column using Beer’s Law. Our model shows that for 8 globally distributed cities surface ALAN dosages are up to a factor of 6 greater than moonlight, as ALAN intensities vary little throughout the night, over monthly or seasonal cycles. Moonlight only exceeds ALAN irradiances over the ±3-day period around full moon, and particularly during the brightest moons (mid-latitude winter, at zenith). Unlike the relatively stable surface ALAN, underwater ALAN varies spectrally and in magnitude throughout the night due to tidal cycles. The extent of ALAN in-water attenuation is location-specific, driven by the season, tidal range and cycle, and water clarity. This work highlights that marine ALAN ecosystem pollution is a particularly acute global change issue near some of the largest cities in the world

    Analytic models of plausible gravitational lens potentials

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    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modelled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sersic profile to describe the distribution of baryonic matter. Predicting all lensing effects requires knowledge of the total lens potential: in this work we give analytic forms for that of the above hybrid model. Emphasising that complex lens potentials can be constructed from simpler components in linear combination, we provide a recipe for attaining elliptical symmetry in either projected mass or lens potential. We also provide analytic formulae for the lens potentials of Sersic profiles for integer and half-integer index. We then present formulae describing the gravitational lensing effects due to smoothly-truncated universal density profiles in cold dark matter model. For our isolated haloes the density profile falls off as radius to the minus fifth or seventh power beyond the tidal radius, functional forms that allow all orders of lens potential derivatives to be calculated analytically, while ensuring a non-divergent total mass. We show how the observables predicted by this profile differ from that of the original infinite-mass NFW profile. Expressions for the gravitational flexion are highlighted. We show how decreasing the tidal radius allows stripped haloes to be modelled, providing a framework for a fuller investigation of dark matter substructure in galaxies and clusters. Finally we remark on the need for finite mass halo profiles when doing cosmological ray-tracing simulations, and the need for readily-calculable higher order derivatives of the lens potential when studying catastrophes in strong lenses.Comment: 24 pages, 10 figures, matches published versio


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    Contains reports on six research projects.U. S. Public Health Service (B-3055-4, B-3090-4, MH-06175-02)U. S. Air Force (AF49(638)-1313)U.S. Navy. Office of Naval Research (Nonr-1841(70)

    Ethiopian volcanic hazards: a changing research landscape

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    Collaborative research projects have a significant role in filling the knowledge gaps that are obstacles to the rigorous assessment of volcanic hazards in some locations. Research is essential to generate the evidence on which raising awareness of volcanic hazards, monitoring and early warning systems, risk reduction activities and efforts to increase resilience can be built. We report the current state of volcanic hazards research and practice in Ethiopia and on the collaborative process used in the Afar Rift Consortium project to promote awareness of volcanic hazards. Effective dissemination of findings to stakeholders and the integration of results into existing practice need leadership by in-country researchers, effective long-term collaboration with other researchers (e.g. international groups) and operational scientists, in addition to integration with existing programmes related to disaster risk reduction initiatives

    Multi-layered Ruthenium-modified Bond Coats for Thermal Barrier Coatings

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    Diffusional approaches for fabrication of multi-layered Ru-modified bond coats for thermal barrier coatings have been developed via low activity chemical vapor deposition and high activity pack aluminization. Both processes yield bond coats comprising two distinct B2 layers, based on NiAl and RuAl, however, the position of these layers relative to the bond coat surface is reversed when switching processes. The structural evolution of each coating at various stages of the fabrication process has been and subsequent cyclic oxidation is presented, and the relevant interdiffusion and phase equilibria issues in are discussed. Evaluation of the oxidation behavior of these Ru-modified bond coat structures reveals that each B2 interlayer arrangement leads to the formation of α-Al 2 O 3 TGO at 1100°C, but the durability of the TGO is somewhat different and in need of further improvement in both cases

    On the origin of M81 group extended dust emission

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    Galactic cirrus emission at far-infrared wavelengths affects many extragalactic observations. Separating this emission from that associated with extragalactic objects is both important and difficult. In this paper we discuss a particular case, the M81 group, and the identification of diffuse structures prominent in the infrared, but also detected at optical wavelengths. The origin of these structures has previously been controversial, ranging from them being the result of a past interaction between M81 and M82 or due to more local Galactic emission. We show that over an order of a few arcmin scales, the far-infrared (Herschel 250 mu m) emission correlates spatially very well with a particular narrow-velocity (2-3 km s(-1)) component of the Galactic HI. We find no evidence that any of the far-infrared emission associated with these features actually originates in the M81 group. Thus we infer that the associated diffuse optical emission must be due to galactic light-back scattered off dust in our galaxy. Ultraviolet observations pick out young stellar associations around M81, but no detectable far-infrared emission. We consider in detail one of the Galactic cirrus features, finding that the far-infrared HI relation breaks down below arcmin scales and that at smaller scales there can be quite large dust-temperature variation

    Red Queen Coevolution on Fitness Landscapes

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    Species do not merely evolve, they also coevolve with other organisms. Coevolution is a major force driving interacting species to continuously evolve ex- ploring their fitness landscapes. Coevolution involves the coupling of species fit- ness landscapes, linking species genetic changes with their inter-specific ecological interactions. Here we first introduce the Red Queen hypothesis of evolution com- menting on some theoretical aspects and empirical evidences. As an introduction to the fitness landscape concept, we review key issues on evolution on simple and rugged fitness landscapes. Then we present key modeling examples of coevolution on different fitness landscapes at different scales, from RNA viruses to complex ecosystems and macroevolution.Comment: 40 pages, 12 figures. To appear in "Recent Advances in the Theory and Application of Fitness Landscapes" (H. Richter and A. Engelbrecht, eds.). Springer Series in Emergence, Complexity, and Computation, 201
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