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A comprehensive assessment of the effect of disturbances on tropical and subtropical forests is needed to better understand their impacts on forest structure and diversity. Although taxonomic and functional diversity measures have been successfully adopted in this context, phylogenetic diversity metrics are still poorly explored. We compared the phylogenetic structure of the seed rain and regenerating seedling community in patches of an old-growth Atlantic Forest remnant dominated or not by a ruderal bamboo species, Guadua tagoara. We sampled those patches before and after illegal harvesting of the palm Euterpe edulis thus assessing if the harvesting led to changes in the phylogenetic structure of the seed rain and the regenerating community in both patches. Bamboo-dominated patches showed a significantly higher presence of species in the seed rain that were more distantly related to each other in the phylogeny than expected by chance compared with patches without bamboos, but this difference disappeared after palm-heart harvesting. Contrary to what we expected, we did not find significant changes in the phylogenetic structure of seedlings before or after palm-heart harvesting. The phylogenetic structure at the tips of the phylogeny was random overall. The maintenance of a higher presence of far relatives in the phylogeny of the seedling community suggests, assuming trait conservatism, that despite bamboo dominance and palm-heart harvesting, functional diversity is being preserved at least in the early regenerating stages and in the time frame of the study. However, higher presence of pioneer taxa after palm-heart harvest indicates that this disturbance may lead old-growth areas to earlier successional stages.
Exercise during pregnancy has beneficial effects on maternal and offspring’s health in humans and mice. The underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This comparative study aimed to determine the long-term effects of an exercise program on metabolism, weight gain, body composition and changes in hormones [insulin, leptin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)]. Pregnant women (n=34) and mouse dams (n=44) were subjected to an exercise program compared with matched controls (period I). Follow-up in the offspring was performed over 6 months in humans, corresponding to postnatal day (P) 21 in mice (period II). Half of the mouse offspring was challenged with a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks between P70 and P112 (period III). In period I, exercise during pregnancy led to 6% lower fat content, 40% lower leptin levels and an increase of 50% BDNF levels in humans compared with controls, which was not observed in mice. After period II in humans and mice, offspring body weight did not differ from that of the controls. Further differences were observed in period III. Offspring of exercising mouse dams had significantly lower fat mass and leptin levels compared with controls. In addition, at P112, BDNF levels in offspring were significantly higher from exercising mothers while this effect was completely blunted by HFD feeding. In this study, we found comparable effects on maternal and offspring’s weight gain in humans and mice but different effects in insulin, leptin and BDNF. The long-term potential protective effects of exercise on biomarkers should be examined in human studies.
Shale gas exploration involving hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has been on South Africa’s energy agenda since 2010 as a potential alternative to coal. Internationally, the desirability of fracking has been under debate, due to increasing evidence of associated environmental and health risks. There is limited research related to the public’s knowledge and risk perceptions of fracking, and none whatsoever from South Africa. This cross-sectional study explored, through a household survey, knowledge of, health risk perceptions of, and information sources related to fracking of 102 Central Karoo residents. Our results indicated that 40% of the participants do not know what fracking is or the potential risks and benefits thereof. The media is participants’ main information source (59.8%), and only half of the participants trust their information sources. Those with more trust in their information sources perceived fracking as posing a greater risk. Those believing fracking poses a low risk were more likely to trust the government and oil and gas companies. More than half of the participants (52.9%) believe that fracking poses an extreme health risk, and 78% think that fracking will harm their health. Despite this, 45% of the participants indicated a willingness to work in the fracking industry. The most commonly listed reasons for why fracking would make Karoo residents sick included water pollution (47.4%) and air pollution (19.6%). This study found high levels of risk uncertainty related to fracking among Central Karoo residents.
Despite being a key location for paleoglaciological research in north-central Asia, with the largest number of modern and Pleistocene glaciers, and in the transition zone between the humid Russian Altai and dry Gobi Altai, little is known about the precise extent and timing of Holocene and late Pleistocene glaciations in western Mongolia. Here we present detailed information on the distribution of modern and late Holocene glaciers, and new results addressing the geomorphological differentiation and numerical dating (by optically stimulated luminescence, OSL) of Pleistocene glacial sequences in these areas. For the Mongolian Altai, geochronological results suggest large ice advances correlative to marine isotope stages (MIS) 4 and 2. This is in contrast to results from the Khangai mountains, central Mongolia, showing that significant ice advances additionally occurred during MIS3. During the Pleistocene, glacial equilibrium-line altitudes (ELAs) were ~500 to >1000m lower in the more humid portion of the Russian and western Mongolian Altai, compared to 300-600 m in the drier ranges of the eastern Mongolian Altai. Pleistocene ELAs in the Khangai mountains were depressed by 700-1000 m, suggesting more humid conditions at times of major glaciation than in the eastern Mongolian Altai. This paleo-ELA pattern reveals that the precipitation gradient from the drier to the more humid regions was more pronounced during glacial times than at present.
This study presents results from geomorphological mapping and cosmogenic radionuclide dating (10Be) of moraine sequences at Otgon Tenger (3905 m), the highest peak in the Khangai Mountains (central Mongolia). Our findings indicate that glaciers reached their last maximum extent between 40 and 35 ka during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Large ice advances also occurred during MIS-2 (at ~ 23 and 17–16 ka), but these advances did not exceed the limits reached during MIS-3. The results indicate that climatic conditions during MIS-3, characterized by a cool-wet climate with a greater-than-today input from winter precipitation, generated the most favorable setting for glaciation in the study region. Yet, glacial accumulation also responded positively to the far colder and drier conditions of MIS-2, and again during the last glacial–interglacial transition when precipitation levels increased. Viewed in context of other Pleistocene glacial records from High Asia, the pattern of glaciation in central Mongolia shares some features with records from southern Central Asia and NE-Tibet (i.e. ice maxima during interstadial wet phases), while other features of the Mongolian record (i.e. major ice expansion during the MIS-2 insolation minimum) are more in tune with glacier responses known from Siberia and western Central Asia.
Imprinted genes often affect body size-related traits such as weight. However, the association of imprinting with obesity, especially childhood obesity, has not been well studied. Mexican-American children have a high prevalence, approaching 50%, of obesity and/or overweight. In a pilot study of 75 Mexican-American children, we analyzed the relationships among obese/overweight status, methylation status and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) status at a CpG site in a differentially methylated region (DMR) of the imprinted H19/IGF2 locus. We observed a significant difference in SNP rs10732516 frequency between boys and girls among the overweight and obese children but not among the lean children. We also found that children with lower methylation of the polymorphic CpG site (CpG4) in the H19 DMR had higher birth weights than did children with higher methylation (P = 0.04). Our results suggest that CpG4 methylation status may be associated with childhood obesity in Mexican-American children in a sex-specific manner.
and state conditions for the function q such that (*) has infinitely many distinct pairs of (weak) solutions such that holds for all k ∈ ℕ. The main tools are results from critical point theory developed by A. Ambrosetti and P. H. Rabinowitz .
This communication gives a detailed characterization of some molybdate solid solutions and cerianite-type material which formed on the French borosilicate nuclear waste glass R7T7 upon corrosion in various saturated salt solutions at 110°C, 150 °C and 190 °C. The glass contained lanthanoid elements, such as neodymium, lanthanum, praseodymium, cerium and yttrium, but did not contain actinoid elements, except uranium and thorium. Various solid solutions containing lanthanoids (Ln) were found on the glass surface after corrosion, including powellite solid solutions and cerianite-type material. The secondary solid phases are characterized based on quantitative microchemical and structural analyses. These phases are expected to incorporate actinoids such as americium and curium in acid magnesiumcontaining salt solutions. The phases then constitute an additional barrier against migration of these radionuclides, which would otherwise be in the aqueous phase.
Hall experiments on a series of microcrystalline, microcrystalline-amorphous, amorphous and crystalline silicon samples with varying defect densities are presented and discussed. Normal Hall effect signatures on boron and phosphorus doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon are detected. We interpret these results to be due to a small volume fraction of nanocrystalline Si, which falls below the detection limits of Raman experiments. Hydrogenated amorphous silicon, prepared under conditions far away from microcrystalline growth, shows the known double sign anomaly, Sign reversals in c-Si, where the disorder is increased by Si implantation up to very high levels, could not be detected.
The phase separation behaviour and the dynamics of concentration fluctuations of binary liquid mixtures are strongly influenced by confinement effects. We have investigated this confinement effect for the binary system isobutyric acid iBA + D2O imbibed into a mesoporous silica glass (CPG-10). The dynamics of the mixture are studied in the one-phase region as well as in the phase-separated state by means of neutron spin echo spectroscopy (NSE). Moreover, the averaged structures of the liquid are explored by means of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) leading to a length scale 4 < ξ < 9 nm for the fluctuations. The associated effective diffusion coefficient Deff as obtained for NSE is found to decrease with temperature ny nearly one order of magnitude in the temperature range from 75°C to 25°C.
Gravity-induced collisions of two spherical drops covered with an insoluble surfactant at low Reynolds numbers are considered. Unlike in previous collision studies, the present work accounts for nonlinear coupling between the surfactant distribution and drop hydrodynamics by solving the full unsteady convective–diffusion equation for the surfactant transport. Our method includes high-order three-dimensional multipole expansions for hydrodynamics and a Galerkin-type approach for the surfactant transport with implicit marching. The efficiency of the algorithm allows for calculating thousands of trajectories to very close contact and determining the collision efficiency (related to the critical initial horizontal offset) by trial and error. The solution is valid for arbitrary surface Péclet (Pes) and Marangoni (Ma) numbers and sets limitations on approximations used in prior work for collision-efficiency calculations. Two limiting cases are observed: at small Pes or large Ma, the variation in surfactant coverage is small, and the results for the incompressible surfactant model are recovered, while for large Pes and small Ma, the collision efficiency approaches the clean-interface value. For moderate drop-size ratios (radius ratio k ≤ 0.5), the results generally fall between these limits. At larger size ratios, however, the collision efficiency may even exceed the geometrical Smoluchowski limit for both drops and bubbles. Moreover, with even moderate redistribution of the surfactant, equal-sized drops can move relative to one another and collide. These novel effects do not exist for clean drops or drops covered with an incompressible surfactant, and they are due to the nonlinear coupling between surfactant dynamics and flow. This surfactant-enhanced coalescence takes place, for example, in a physical system of air bubbles in water if the surfactant surface concentration is dilute (Γ ≈ 1×10−9 mol m−2, much smaller than the typical maximum-packing value of 10−5−10−6 mol m−2).
Overworking is one of the most frequent stressors. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of behavioural/psycho-educational group training in men who are chronically stressed from overworking.
Of 72 male subjects, 36 were randomly assigned to training for 8 weeks and another 36 formed the control group, which received a placebo intervention. Primary outcome measures were systolic blood pressure, salivary cortisol concentration upon awakening, and self-reported changes on the scales of the Trier Inventory for the Assessment of Chronic Stress (TICS), the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).
A significant reduction in mean values was observed in daily systolic blood pressure and salivary cortisol concentration on all the TICS and most of the STAXI and SF-36 scales.
Behavioural/psycho-educational group training appears to be effective in the treatment of men suffering from chronic stress due to overworking.
Eating disorders of all kinds are common and serious in adolescents and young women. Recent government policies have suggested that adolescent mental health strategies should be developed. They have also laid emphasis on early intervention, accessible local provision and have identified eating disorders as a priority. It is acknowledged that services at primary care level for adolescents with eating disorders are sporadic or nonexistent. It was considered that a service user perspective would be beneficial in contributing to assessing the needs of adolescents with eating disorders. The research project was established to identify the service provision used, if any, by adolescent sufferers of eating disorders and what, in their opinion, would have been desirable at that time. The research consisted of a semi-structured interview with a sample of recovered adult participants to establish their experiences of services they had received as adolescents. Additionally the participants were asked what further help they felt would have been beneficial and where that help would have been usefully situated. The main findings suggest that the majority of health professionals are ill informed and not acutely conscious of the needs of eating disordered adolescents. Only counsellors within the voluntary sector agency showed any real understanding and an ability to help constructively. It was concluded that there is a real lack of help at primary care level and that schools should play a wider role in educating adolescents in a positive belief in themselves and in the destructive nature of an eating disorder.