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The Rufous-throated Dipper Cinclus schulzi is endemic to the Southern Yungas of north-western Argentina and southern Bolivia. The species is categorised as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List on the basis of small population size and restricted range. The purpose of our study was to determine the distribution of potentially suitable habitat for the Rufous-throated Dipper, estimate its population size, and assess potential distribution within strict protected areas, in north-western Argentina. We surveyed 44 rivers in the Southern Yungas of Argentina from 2010 to 2013 to determine dipper density (i.e. the number of individuals detected per km surveyed). The dipper’s potential distribution was assessed using a maximum entropy modeling approach based on 31 occurrence points and eight bioclimatic and two topographic variables as predictors. The species is dependent on mountain forest rivers, so the potential distribution was restricted to rivers. We estimated dipper population size by multiplying density by the potential distribution along rivers. Finally, we calculated the extent of suitable habitat contained within the boundaries of Argentina´s National Parks. Dipper density was 0.94 ± 1.55 individuals/km. We estimate that within north-west Argentina there are ~2,815 km of river that are potential habitat, with an area of occupancy of 141 km2 and a population size of 2,657 ± 4,355 dippers. However, of this river extent, less than 5% is within National Parks. Our results highlight the need to create new and to enlarge existing National Parks that protect the potentially suitable habitat of the species. Although more information is needed for Bolivia, the country-level area of occupancy and population size of the dipper found in Argentina provides strong evidence that the IUCN Red List classification of this species as ‘Vulnerable’ is warranted.
Bovine babesiosis is the most important protozoan disease transmitted by ticks. In Plasmodium falciparum, another Apicomplexa protozoan, the interaction of rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) with apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) has been described to have a key role in the invasion process. To date, RON2 has not been described in Babesia bigemina, the causal agent of bovine babesiosis in the Americas. In this work, we found a ron2 gene in the B. bigemina genome. RON2 encodes a protein that is 1351 amino acids long, has an identity of 64% (98% coverage) with RON2 of B. bovis and contains the CLAG domain, a conserved domain in Apicomplexa. B. bigemina ron2 is a single copy gene and it is transcribed and expressed in blood stages as determined by RT-PCR, Western blot, and confocal microscopy. Serum samples from B. bigemina-infected bovines were screened for the presence of RON2-specific antibodies, showing the recognition of conserved B-cell epitopes. Importantly, in vitro neutralization assays showed an inhibitory effect of RON2-specific antibodies on the red blood cell invasion by B. bigemina. Therefore, RON2 is a novel antigen in B. bigemina and contains conserved B-cell epitopes, which induce antibodies that inhibit merozoite invasion.
We examine liquidity transformation by funds of hedge funds (FoFs) by developing a new measure, illiquidity gap, that captures the mismatch between the liquidity of their portfolios and the liquidity available to their investors. We find that higher liquidity transformation is driven by FoFs’ incentives to attract more capital and earn higher compensation. Greater liquidity transformation is associated with higher exposure to investor runs and worse performance during crisis periods. Finally, FoFs mitigate the risks associated with liquidity transformation by maintaining higher cash buffers.
Funding for mental health services in England faces many challenges, including operating under financial constraints where it is not easy to demonstrate the link between activity and funding. Mental health services need to operate alongside and collaborate with acute physical hospital services, where there is a well-established system for paying for activity. The funding landscape is shifting at a rapid pace and we outline the distinctions between the three main options – block contracts, episodic payment and capitation. Classification of treatment episodes via clustering presents an opportunity to demonstrate activity and reward it within these payment approaches. We discuss the results of our research into how well the clustering system is performing against a number of fundamental criteria. We find that, according to these criteria, clusters are falling short of providing a sound basis for measuring and financing services. Nevertheless, we argue that clustering is the best available option and is essential for a more transparent funding approach for mental healthcare to demonstrate its claim on resources, and that clusters should therefore be a starting point for evolving a better funding system.
•Understand the different payment models currently being used and proposed in mental health services in England
•Understand the role of clustering in measuring mental health activity and providing a basis for funding
•Understand how a robust model of clustering can benefit the provision of mental health services
We assessed inter-seasonal dynamics of seed banks, dormancy and seed germination in three endemic Chihuahuan Desert succulent species, under simulated soil warming conditions. Hexagonal open top-chambers (OTCs) were used to increase soil temperature. Seeds of Echinocactus platyacanthus (Cactaceae), Yucca filifera and Agave striata (Asparagaceae) were collected and buried within and outside OTCs. During the course of one year, at the end of each season, seed batches were exhumed to test viability and germination. Soil temperature in OTCs was higher than in control plots. Yucca filifera seeds always had high germination independently of warming treatment and season. Agave striata seeds from OTCs had higher germination than those from control plots. Agave striata exhibited low germination in fresh seeds, but high germination in spring. Seeds from this species lost viability throughout the experimental timeframe, and had no viable seeds remaining in the soil. Echinocactus platyacanthus showed high germination in fresh seeds and displayed dormancy cycling, leading to high germination in spring, low germination in summer and autumn, and high germination in winter. Germination of this species was also higher in seeds from OTCs than those from control plots. Echinocactus platyacanthus formed soil seed banks and its cycle of inter-seasonal dormancy/germination could be an efficient physiological mechanism in a climate change scenario. Under global warming projections, our results suggest that future temperatures may still fall within the three studied species’ thermal germination range. However, higher germination for A. striata and E. platyacanthus at warmer temperatures may reduce the number of seeds retained in the seed bank, and this could be interpreted as limiting their ability to spread risk over time. This is the first experimental study projecting an increase in soil temperature to assess population traits of succulent plants under a climate change scenario for American deserts.
Migration was a key social process contributing to the creation of the ‘Chaco World’ between AD 800 and 1200. Dynamic social network analysis allows for evaluation of several migration scenarios, and demonstrates that Chaco’s earliest ninth-century networks show interaction with areas to the west and south, rather than migration to the Canyon from the Northern San Juan. By the late eleventh century, Chaco Canyon was tied strongly to the Middle and Northern San Juan, while a twelfth-century retraction of networks separated the Northern and Southern San Juan areas prior to regional depopulation. Understanding Chaco migration is important for comprehending both its uniqueness in U.S. Southwest archaeology and for comparison with other case studies worldwide.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs can optimize the management of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia by integrating information technology and microbiology laboratory resources. This study describes our experience implementing an intervention consisting of real-time feedback and the use of an electronic order set for the management of S. aureus bacteremia.
New therapeutic strategies have been established in chronic wound healing procedures, such as the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). There is currently still uncertainty about the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and real safety of PRP in promoting chronic wound healing and what specific types of chronic wounds can benefit most from its use.
We conducted a systematic review of available scientific literature on the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of PRP compared to placebo, standard care or alternative topical therapies for the treatment of chronic wounds in adults. Overall effect size was estimated through a meta-analysis. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a Markov model which simulates the costs and health outcomes of individuals for a 5-year horizon, from the perspective of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS) for the PRP versus standard treatment in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). We ran extensive sensitivity analyses, including a probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Sixteen RCTs and four observational studies were included for the effectiveness and safety meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the proportion of chronic wounds completely healed: 143 patients out of 334 (42.8 percent) were cured in the standard treatment arm and 251 patients out of 375 (66.9 percent) in the PRP arm, relative risk (RR) 1.68 (95% CI: 1.22–2.31). It was unclear whether there was a difference in the risk of infection (RR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.10–2.71) or adverse events (RR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.29–3.88) between PRP and standard care. Three studies were considered for the cost-effectiveness analysis. In the base case analysis, PRP led to higher QALYs and healthcare costs with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of EUR 41,767 (USD 48,323)/QALY.
PRP treatment is more expensive and more effective than standard treatment. The estimated ICER is above the acceptability threshold in Spain.
The study of emoticon use in text communication is in its early stages (Aragon, Feldman, Chen & Kroll, 2014), with even less known about how emoticons function in multilingual environments. We describe a preliminary longitudinal analysis of text communication in an online bilingual scientific work environment and demonstrate how patterns of emoticon use constitute a novel yet systematic nonverbal aspect of communication. Specifically, coordination over bilingual speakers entails reductions in emoticon diversity over time that are greater for those who communicate in their L2 than in their L1. An analogous but weaker pattern is evident for lexical diversity in L2 but not L1. We hypothesize that reductions in emoticon diversity in the L2 are likely to reflect social contributions to alignment rather than purely proficiency.
The shovelnose guitarfish (Pseudobatos productus) is the most abundant and economically important batoid in Gulf of California fisheries. Despite the importance of the guitarfish in the demersal ecosystem, its trophic relationships are poorly understood. Results from stomach content and stable isotope analysis indicate P. productus is a specialist predator that feeds on coastal benthic organisms, mainly crustaceans, followed by fishes and cephalopods in the Upper Gulf of California. Males and females did not differ in dietary composition and isotopic values. Pseudobatos productus displayed ontogenetic changes in the diet, with smaller, immature individuals having a more specialized diet and mature individuals becoming generalist predators. Size classes I (<570 mm) and II (>570 mm) fed almost exclusively on crustaceans (99.78% and 82.37 %IRI, respectively). Size class III (>832 mm) increased consumption of fishes (22.11 %IRI) and squid (6.54 %IRI). Ontogenetic diet shifts were strongly supported by the SIAR mixing model. Stomach content and stable isotope analyses classify P. productus as a second-order predator.
Air pollution in Mexico City, which has more than 22 million inhabitants, continues to be one of the main environmental issues. Aerosol samples (PM10) collected in Mexico City and the city of Cuernavaca (a clean reference site) have been characterized using different techniques. This multifaceted approach addresses the source apportionment of the carbonaceous matter in PM10, as well as the airborne elements and ions. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon analysis of total carbon, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and ion chromatography were performed on aerosols collected at three sites in Mexico City and one site in Cuernavaca, during 2 months of the cold-dry season (November–December) in 2012. New results obtained for Mexico City are compared with previous reports. Average levels of PM10 were higher in Mexico City sites (43.3–60.8 μg/m3) than in Cuernavaca (32.2 μg/m3). According to the material balance, PM10 collected in Mexico City had a lower contribution of crustal material (31.2–36.8%) than Cuernavaca (46.9%). Average contributions of particulate carbonaceous matter to PM10 were similar in both cities, but much higher contributions of mineral salts, trace elements, and ions were observed in Mexico City in comparison to Cuernavaca. Total organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) contents were higher in aerosols from Mexico City than those from Cuernavaca. The temporal variation results showed that within all locations studied the OC concentration was high compared to the EC. Results from a theoretical calculation of fossil carbon (FC) and biogenic carbon (BC) concentrations showed that FC and BC levels depend on the site: at Mexico City sites, FC was equal or higher than BC. At Cuernavaca, BC was always higher than FC.
We use a novel database to study the timeliness of hedge fund monthly performance disclosures. Managers engage in strategic timing: poor monthly returns are reported with delay, sometimes clustered with stronger subsequent performance, suggestive of “performance smoothing.” We posit that propensity to delay could reveal operational risk and/or poor managerial quality. Consistent with this, a portfolio strategy that buys (sells) funds with historically timely (untimely) reporting delivers 3% annual-style-adjusted returns. Investor flows are lower following reporting delays, although there are potential benefits to managers from delaying reporting when performance is sufficiently poor. We conclude that timely disclosure is an important consideration for hedge fund managers and investors.
We draw parallels between emoticons in textual communication and gesture in signed language with respect to the interdependence of codes by describing two contexts under which the behavior of emoticons in textual communication resembles that of gesture in speech. Generalizing from those findings, we propose that gesture is likely characterized by a nuanced interdependence with language whether signed, spoken or texted.
The objective of the present study was to assess the reproducibility of data-driven dietary patterns in different samples extracted from similar populations. Dietary patterns were extracted by applying principal component analyses to the dietary information collected from a sample of 3550 women recruited from seven screening centres belonging to the Spanish breast cancer (BC) screening network (Determinants of Mammographic Density in Spain (DDM-Spain) study). The resulting patterns were compared with three dietary patterns obtained from a previous Spanish case–control study on female BC (Epidemiological study of the Spanish group for breast cancer research (GEICAM: grupo Español de investigación en cáncer de mama)) using the dietary intake data of 973 healthy participants. The level of agreement between patterns was determined using both the congruence coefficient (CC) between the pattern loadings (considering patterns with a CC≥0·85 as fairly similar) and the linear correlation between patterns scores (considering as fairly similar those patterns with a statistically significant correlation). The conclusions reached with both methods were compared. This is the first study exploring the reproducibility of data-driven patterns from two studies and the first using the CC to determine pattern similarity. We were able to reproduce the EpiGEICAM Western pattern in the DDM-Spain sample (CC=0·90). However, the reproducibility of the Prudent (CC=0·76) and Mediterranean (CC=0·77) patterns was not as good. The linear correlation between pattern scores was statistically significant in all cases, highlighting its arbitrariness for determining pattern similarity. We conclude that the reproducibility of widely prevalent dietary patterns is better than the reproducibility of more population-specific patterns. More methodological studies are needed to establish an objective measurement and threshold to determine pattern similarity.