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Functional ecology is the branch of ecology that focuses on various functions that species play in the community or ecosystem in which they occur. This accessible guide offers the main concepts and tools in trait-based ecology, and their tricks, covering different trophic levels and organism types. It is designed for students, researchers and practitioners who wish to get a handy synthesis of existing concepts, tools and trends in trait-based ecology, and wish to apply it to their own field of interest. Where relevant, exercises specifically designed to be run in R are included, along with accompanying on-line resources including solutions for exercises and R functions, and updates reflecting current developments in this fast-changing field. Based on more than a decade of teaching experience, the authors developed and improved the way theoretical aspects and analytical tools of trait-based ecology are introduced and explained to readers.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, holding that religious schools cannot be excluded from a state program of financial aid to private schools, is another incremental step in the Court's long-running project to reform the constitutional law of financial aid to religious institutions. There was nothing surprising about the decision, and it changed little; it was the inevitable next link in a long chain of decisions. To those observers still attached to the most expansive rhetoric of no-aid separationism, it is the world turned upside down. But the Court has been steadily marching away from that rhetoric for thirty-five years now. The more recent decisions, including Espinoza, do a far better job than no-aid separationism of separating the religious choices and commitments of the American people from the coercive power of the government. And that is the separation that is and should be the ultimate concern of the Religion Clauses—to minimize the government's interference with or influence on religion, and to leave each American free to exercise or reject religion in his or her own way, neither encouraged by the government nor discouraged or penalized by the government.
Norway is interested in implementing remote patient monitoring (RPM) within primary health services. This systematic review will first identify the types of RPM that are of interest to Norwegian health authorities, then synthesize the effects of RPM on clinical health and health service utilization outcomes among adults with chronic diseases.
We will perform systematic literature searches in multiple databases, using RPM-related searches, such as telemedicine, telemonitoring, and eHealth. Based on what research exists, the review will be selected from a cascading menu of review types. Methodological quality will be assessed through appropriate checklists, while the quality of the evidence will be assessed through Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation.
This flexible protocol specifies the production of different possible types of reviews of RPM. It is anticipated that the results of the review will inform the development of effective RPM programs to the most appropriate chronic disease groups.
The co-occurrence of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic creates complex dilemmas for protecting populations from these intersecting threats. Climate change is likely contributing to stronger, wetter, slower-moving, and more dangerous hurricanes. Climate-driven hazards underscore the imperative for timely warning, evacuation, and sheltering of storm-threatened populations – proven life-saving protective measures that gather evacuees together inside durable, enclosed spaces when a hurricane approaches. Meanwhile, the rapid acquisition of scientific knowledge regarding how COVID-19 spreads has guided mass anti-contagion strategies, including lockdowns, sheltering at home, physical distancing, donning personal protective equipment, conscientious handwashing, and hygiene practices. These life-saving strategies, credited with preventing millions of COVID-19 cases, separate and move people apart. Enforcement coupled with fear of contracting COVID-19 have motivated high levels of adherence to these stringent regulations. How will populations react when warned to shelter from an oncoming Atlantic hurricane while COVID-19 is actively circulating in the community? Emergency managers, health care providers, and public health preparedness professionals must create viable solutions to confront these potential scenarios: elevated rates of hurricane-related injury and mortality among persons who refuse to evacuate due to fear of COVID-19, and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases among hurricane evacuees who shelter together.
We examined associations of urine iodide excretion, proxy for iodine intake, with child development and growth.
This is a secondary analysis of a 1:1 cluster-randomised trial with a 6-month nutrition/stimulation/hygiene education intervention among mothers of children aged 6–8 months to improve child development and growth. Development was assessed using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development–III (BSID-III) and Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), whereas anthropometry was used to assess growth. Urine iodide concentration (UIC) and urine iodide/creatinine ratio (ICR) were measured.
The current study was conducted in southern Uganda.
We randomly selected 155 children from the 511 enrolled into the original trial and analysed data when they were aged 20–24 and 36 months.
Median UIC for both study groups at 20–24 and 36 months were similar (P > 0·05) and within the normal range of 100–199 µg/l (0·79–1·60 µmol/l), whereas the intervention group had significantly higher ICR at 20–24 months. The BSID-III cognitive score was positively associated (P = 0·028) with ICR at 20–24 months in the intervention group. The ASQ gross motor score was negatively associated (P = 0·020) with ICR at 20–24 months among the controls. ICR was not significantly associated with anthropometry in the two study groups at either time-point.
Following the intervention, a positive association was noted between ICR and child’s cognitive score at 20–24 months, whereas no positive association with ICR and growth was detected. Iodine sufficiency may be important for child’s cognitive development in this setting.
Generalization of conditioned-fear, a core feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been the focus of several recent neuroimaging studies. A striking outcome of these studies is the frequency with which neural correlates of generalization fall within hubs of well-established functional networks including salience (SN), central executive (CEN), and default networks (DN). Neural substrates of generalization found to date may thus reflect traces of large-scale brain networks that form more expansive neural representations of generalization. The present study includes the first network-based analysis of generalization and PTSD-related abnormalities therein.
fMRI responses in established intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) representing SN, CEN, and DN were assessed during a generalized conditioned-fear task in male combat veterans (N = 58) with wide-ranging PTSD symptom severity. The task included five rings of graded size. Extreme sizes served as conditioned danger-cues (CS+: paired with shock) and safety-cues (CS−), and the three intermediate sizes served as generalization stimuli (GSs) forming a continuum-of-size between CS+ and CS–. Generalization-gradients were assessed as behavioral and ICN response slopes from CS+, through GSs, to CS–. Increasing PTSD symptomatology was predicted to relate to less-steep slopes indicative of stronger generalization.
SN, CEN, and DN responses fell along generalization-gradients with levels of generalization within and between SN and CEN scaling with PTSD symptom severity.
Neural substrates of generalized conditioned-fear include large-scale networks that adhere to the functional organization of the brain. Current findings implicate levels of generalization in SN and CEN as promising neural markers of PTSD.
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia, and specifically amotivation/apathy, have been correlated with impaired general functioning. Its neurobiological basis are thought to rely on an aberrant reward system. To study the association of reward deficits and negative symptoms, 25 schizophrenia patients and 35 controls underwent a new reward behavioral task. Briefly, patients had to choose a level of effort (1 to 3), each one corresponding to a progressively increasing number of required button presses and 3 different probabilities to win an economic reward. We compared the chosen effort between groups and correlated this output with the score of the Brief negative symptoms scale in the group of patients. Patients chose less effort than controls but without reaching significance level (mean patients effort: 2.49 vs controls: 2.76, P = 0.064). A negative correlation was found between BNSS score and effort chosen for the maximum reward corrected by sex (t: −0.021, P = 0.045). When the group of patients was split according to negative symptoms score, patients with more negative symptoms (BNSSS score > 23) chose significantly less effort than patients with less negative symptoms and controls (Fig. 1). Our reward task correlates well with negative symptoms. Thus, it could offer a behavioral measure of negative symptoms. It could be a good instrument to study the neurobiological basis of negative symptoms using functional techniques.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Surface melt on the coastal Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) determines the viability of its ice shelves and the stability of the grounded ice sheet, but very few in situ melt rate estimates exist to date. Here we present a benchmark dataset of in situ surface melt rates and energy balance from nine sites in the eastern Antarctic Peninsula (AP) and coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML), East Antarctica, seven of which are located on AIS ice shelves. Meteorological time series from eight automatic and one staffed weather station (Neumayer), ranging in length from 15 months to almost 24 years, serve as input for an energy-balance model to obtain consistent surface melt rates and energy-balance results. We find that surface melt rates exhibit large temporal, spatial and process variability. Intermittent summer melt in coastal DML is primarily driven by absorption of shortwave radiation, while non-summer melt events in the eastern AP occur during föhn events that force a large downward directed turbulent flux of sensible heat. We use the in situ surface melt rate dataset to evaluate melt rates from the regional atmospheric climate model RACMO2 and validate a melt product from the QuikSCAT satellite.
There is world-wide increasing interest in the consumption of unprocessed, natural food commodities including fresh (unpasteurised) milk and milk products. Consumers are actively seeking out raw milk, partly due to health reasons, but also for taste, freshness, closeness to the producer and to support local agriculture. The need for high levels of hygiene and safety in farms producing raw milk for direct consumption has long been recognised and has led to federal and industry-initiated systems for safe raw milk production. Raw milk producers in North America and Europe have demonstrated that raw milk, intended for direct consumption, can be produced safe and hygienic. The aim of this paper is to describe practices that have been developed for safe raw milk production. The German Vorzugsmilch is a federally regulated programme for legal raw milk production that was established already in the 1930s to provide raw milk with high hygienic standards controlled for zoonotic diseases to consumers. The Raw Milk Institute is a non-profit organisation established in California that has developed a voluntary safe raw milk programme in North America. RAWMI has developed a risk analysis and management system for raw milk dairy farmers to assist farmers in making individually tailored solutions for various production systems. In British Colombia, Canada, small herd share farms have employed good manufacturing practices, a risk management approach and performed monthly samples for pathogens and indicator bacteria to demonstrate safety and consistency. The major components of the raw milk systems applied, and the results of regular milk microbial indicator bacteria are presented. For the German system, the results from standard monthly pathogen tests are compared to zoonotic pathogen tests from other milk sources. The overall results indicate that raw milk can be produced with a high level of hygiene and safety in various systems.
This closing chapter summarizes the book’s themes. By gathering religious, secular moral, legal, and sociopolitical perspectives in one place, the book aims to be a resource so lawyers, policy activists, and policymakers in patent debates might better understand what religious perspectives have to offer, and so religious thinkers and leaders might better understand biotech patents and thus have more to offer. Three themes emerge from the balance of the chapters. First, patents on life call for evaluation under criteria of morality and social justice. Second, religious thought can contribute to–not dominate, but contribute to–such moral and social evaluation. Finally, however, for religious thought to contribute effectively, it must be better informed and sophisticated than it has been, about both patent law and biotechnology.