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In contrast to the USA, Europe has struggled to return to the growth path it was on prior to the financial crisis of 2007–11. Not only has the recovery been slow, it has also been variable with Europe's core countries recovering more quickly than those on the periphery. It is widely believed that the best way to address this slow recovery is through structural reform programmes whereby changes in government policy, regulatory frameworks, investment incentives and labour markets are used to encourage more efficient markets and higher economic growth. This book is the first to provide a critical assessment of these reforms, with a new theoretical framework, new data and new empirical methodologies. It includes several case studies of countries such as Greece, Portugal and France that introduced significant reforms, revealing that such programmes have very divergent, and not always positive, effects on economic growth, employment and income inequality.
The accurate estimation of protein requirements for beef cattle is a key factor in increasing livestock profitability and decreasing the environmental impacts of excessive N excretion due to mismatching between assumed requirements and diet formulation. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate and validate a new equation to predict the net protein requirements for growth (NPg) of Zebu beef cattle. For the development of the new approach, a database of 552 observations comprised of bulls, steers, and heifers of different genetic groups (Zebu, beef crossbreed, and dairy crossbreed) was assembled. The new approach was evaluated and compared to current models devised by the international nutrient requirements system committees (Agricultural Research Council, 1980; Beef Cattle Nutrient Requirements Model, 2016; BR-CORTE, 2016) to predict NPg. The model evaluation was performed through the model evaluation system (version 3.1.16) using an independent data set (n = 177 observations). An equation was considered the best estimator of NPg if the following conditions were met: (1) the intercept and slope of the regression between ordinary residues and/or predicted NPg values must have been equal to zero and one, respectively; and (2) the greatest concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and determination coefficient (R), and lowest mean squared error of prediction (MSEP) were attained. Based on the regression models of the observed v. predicted NPg of Zebu beef cattle, both the new approach and that of the ARC (1980) correctly estimated NPg, since the intercept and slope were not different (P > 0.05) from zero and one, respectively. Additionally, the new approach’s determination coefficient was the greatest and the closest to one. The fact that the new model achieved a higher CCC and lower MSEP than the existing models indicated its superior reproducibility and accuracy. The equations proposed by BR-CORTE (2016) and the BCNRM (2016) did not correctly estimate NPg in that the intercept and slope were different (P < 0.01) from zero and one, respectively. Thus, the equations proposed by the new approach and the ARC (1980) accurately and precisely estimated NPg and are recommended for Zebu cattle. Furthermore, the inclusion of equivalent empty BW (EQEBW) in the new approach improves the estimation of NPg. We suggest the use of the following equation to calculate NPg for Zebu beef cattle: NPg = 176.01 × EBG – 0.381 × EQEBW0.75 × EBG1.035 (R = 0.80 and CCC = 0.75); where NPg = net protein requirements for growth, EBG = empty body gain, and EQEBW = equivalent empty BW.
To study the influence of cognitive reserve (CR) on cognitive performance of individuals with subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) within a period of 36 months.
We used a general linear model repeated measures procedure to analyze the differences in performance between three assessments. We used a longitudinal structural equation modeling to analyze the relationship between CR and cognitive performance at baseline and at two follow-up assessments.
Participants with SCCs were recruited and assessed in primary care health centers.
A total of 212 participants older than 50 years with SCCs.
Cognitive reserve data were collected with an ad hoc questionnaire administered to the subjects in an interview. General cognitive performance (GCP), episodic memory (EM), and working memory (WM) have been evaluated. The Mini-Mental State Examination and the total score of Spanish version of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination evaluated the GCP. Episodic memory was assessed with the Spanish version of the California Verbal Learning. Working memory was evaluated by the counting span task and the listening span task.
The satisfactory fit of the proposed model confirmed the direct effects of CR on WM and GCP at baseline, as well as indirect effects on EM and WM at first and second follow-up. Indirect effects of CR on other cognitive constructs via WM were observed over time.
The proposed model is useful for measuring the influence of CR on cognitive performance over time. Cognitive response acquired throughout life may influence cognitive performance in old age and prevent cognitive deterioration, thus increasing processing resources via WM.
We compare the efficiency of mechanical or enzymatic methods, and their combination, for the isolation of ovarian preantral follicles (PFs) from collared peccaries. The ovaries from six females were subjected to the different methods investigated here. For the enzymatic method, ovary fragments were exposed to collagenase type IV in TCM-HEPES medium; the mechanical procedure was based on ovarian cortex dissociation by using a scalpel blade. The residual solution obtained after the mechanical isolation was subjected to the enzymatic procedure. The number of isolated PFs was quantified and classified as primordial, primary, or secondary; their viability was assessed using trypan blue dye assay. To confirm the results, PFs derived from the most efficient method were evaluated for integrity using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subjected to a 24 h in vitro culture for subsequent evaluation of viability by using fluorescent probes. A higher number of PFs (P < 0.05) was obtained from the enzymatic method (961.7 ± 132.9) in comparison with the mechanical method (434.3 ± 88.9), but no difference was observed between the two methods and their combination (743.2 ± 92.8). The trypan blue assay showed that the enzymatic method (98.7 ± 0.6%) provided the highest percentage of viable follicles (P < 0.05). Furthermore, SEM confirmed the ultrastructural integrity of the surface architecture of peccary PFs isolated by the enzymatic procedure; epifluorescence microscopy was used to confirm their viability (86.0%). In conclusion, we suggest that the enzymatic method investigated here is useful for the isolation of viable ovarian PFs from collared peccaries.
Individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) present prosodic impairments. They are also interested in musical activities. In typical development, a body of research has shown that the linguistic prosodic skills of musically trained individuals are enhanced. However, it is not known whether, in WS, musical training is also associated with enhanced prosodic performance, a question this study sought to answer. We compared the performance on linguistic prosodic tasks among seven musically trained and fourteen musically untrained individuals with WS, and typically developing peers. Among those with WS, musically trained participants outperformed their musically untrained counterparts on the perception of acoustic parameters involved in prosody, the understanding of questioning and declarative intonation, and the comprehension of prefinal contrastive stress. The results suggest that musical training facilitates prosodic performance in WS. Our findings also suggest common processing mechanisms for acoustic parameters involved in both prosody and music, and that positive music-to-language transfer effects could take place in WS. We discuss the implications of these results for intervention purposes.
Breast-feeding is the ideal nutrition for a newborn’s integral necessities. It seems crucial therefore to know its composition in order to provide suitable infant formula when required. Of these, polyamines (with lactation and the microbiota being its intestinal source) are involved in the development of gut epithelium and immunity. Safety concerns limit human intervention studies. Therefore, we studied the amounts of polyamines supplied by breast milk (varying among mothers) or infant formula feeding, up to day 30 postpartum, in the faeces of newborns. Independent samples (68) of breast milk from fifty-nine healthy Caucasian woman (day 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 15 and 30 postpartum) who had natural deliveries after week 38, same-day faeces of newborns when available (eighty-one from breast milk and fifty-five from infant formula fed) and six infant formulas were collected and the polyamine content was determined by HPLC. In breast milk, polyamines and isoamylamine (a primary amine), with inter-individual variations, increased over time (with a higher content of spermidine; no other amines were present). Overall, they were much higher than in infant formula. By the 2nd week after birth, polyamines, cadaverine and tyramine, but not isoamylamine, were higher in the faeces of those fed infant formula compared with those fed breast milk. Cadaverine and tyramine could be used to predict the feeding type used for newborns. The differences in the content may be related to distinct colonisation of amine-producing bacteria, which can be established by polyamines. Further studies are required to determine the clinical utility of these findings.
This research presents the mineralogical and chemical characterization and beneficiation study of two kaolin deposits from the Borborema Pegmatite Province, Brazil. Seven samples were collected and treated in two different beneficiation routes involving magnetic separation and chemical bleaching. The fractions obtained were studied by X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, particle-size analyses, electron paramagnetic resonance and determination of optical properties. The samples are composed mainly of subhedral kaolinite in the form of booklets, as well as muscovite, quartz, microcline and illite impurities. The kaolinite structural formulae indicated significant replacement of Si4+ by Al3+ in tetrahedral sites and low replacement of Fe3+ by Al3+ in the octahedral sites. The first 30 min of chemical bleaching improved significantly the optical properties of kaolin, indicating that the process is more efficient than magnetic separation.
The objective of this work is to set a corpus-driven methodology to quantify automatically diachronic language distance between chronological periods of several languages. We apply a perplexity-based measure to written text representing different historical periods of three languages: European English, European Portuguese, and European Spanish. For this purpose, we have built historical corpora for each period, which have been compiled from different open corpus sources containing texts as close as possible to its original spelling. The results of our experiments show that a diachronic language distance based on perplexity detects the linguistic evolution that had already been explained by the historians of the three languages. It is remarkable to underline that it is an unsupervised multilingual method which only needs a raw corpora organized by periods.
The maximisation of control power is considered for an aircraft with multiple control surfaces, with the force and moment coefficients specified by polynomials of the control surface deflections of degree two. The optimal deflections, which maximise and minimise any force or moment coefficient, are determined subject to constraints on the range of deflection of each control surface. The results are applied to a flying wing configuration to determine: (i/ii) the pitch trim, at the lowest drag for the fastest climb, and at the highest drag for the steepest descent; (iii) the maximum and minimum pitching moment; (iv) the maximum and minimum yaw control power and the fraction needed to compensate an outboard engine failure for several propulsion configurations; (v) the maximum and minimum rolling moment. The optimal use of all control surfaces has significant advantages over using just one, e.g. the range of drag modulation with pitch trim is much wider and the maximum and minimum available control moments larger.
Ternary Sn-Sb-S thin films with remarkable optical, electrical and structural properties were developed by chemical bath deposition. Tin and antimony chlorides and thioacetamide were used as tin, antimony, and sulfur ion sources, respectively, while tartaric acid was used as a complexing agent. XRD analysis of as-deposited films showed a combination of binary phases of SnS, Sn2S3, and Sb2S3, while after thermal treatment in nitrogen at 400 °C, the films became crystalline showing well-defined reflections of the ternary SnSb2S4. The heating also influenced the morphology, compactness, and thickness of the films. On the other hand, all the films showed an absorption coefficient higher than 104 cm-1, while the optical band gap of the as-deposited film decreased from 1.49 to 1.37 eV after heating at 400 °C. In addition, the photoconductivity of the films prior to heating was of 10-9 Ω-1 cm-1, while after that at 400 °C was of 10-7 Ω-1 cm-1. The evaluation of the ternary film in solar cells gave an open-circuit voltage Voc of 448 mV and short-circuit current density of Jsc of 2.4 mA/cm2.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Nematophagous fungi are used in the biological control of the parasitic helminths of animals and plants. The association of ovicidal and predator nematophagous fungi may present a complementary and increased action on the biological control of helminths. Joint growth compatibility and predation tests were carried out on infective larvae of nematode parasites of bovines with the nematophagous fungus ovicide Pochonia chlamydosporia and the nematophagous fungus predator Arthrobotrys cladodes. The tests of antagonism in direct confrontation, antibiosis and the effect of volatile metabolites between the isolates of P. chlamydosporia and A. cladodes indicated the viability of joint growth of these fungi. The association of the fungi P. chlamydosporia and A. cladodes presented a higher predatory capacity of infective larvae of the parasitic nematodes of bovines when compared to the predation of the fungi used alone. Therefore, under laboratory conditions, the fungi studied presented growth compatibility and the association of these increased the nematicidal activity against parasitic helminths of cattle.
Agents that block the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) improve glucoregulation in the metabolic syndrome disorder. We evaluated the effects of egg white hydrolysate (EWH), previously shown to modulate the protein abundance of RAS component in vivo, on glucose homeostasis in diet-induced insulin-resistant rats. Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks to induce insulin resistance. They were then randomly divided into four groups receiving HFD or HFD supplemented with different concentrations of EWH (1, 2 and 4 %) for another 6 weeks in the first trial. In the second trial, insulin-resistant rats were divided into two groups receiving only HFD or HFD+4 % EWH for 6 weeks. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Insulin signalling and protein abundance of RAS components, gluconeogenesis enzymes and PPARγ were evaluated in muscle, fat and liver. Adipocyte morphology and inflammatory markers were evaluated. In vivo administration of EWH increased insulin sensitivity, improved oral glucose tolerance (P < 0·0001) and reduced systemic inflammation (P < 0·05). EWH potentiated insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in muscle (P = 0·0341) and adipose tissue (P = 0·0276), but minimal differences in the protein abundance of tissue RAS components between the EWH and control groups were observed. EWH treatment also reduced adipocyte size (P = 0·0383) and increased PPARγ2 protein abundance (P = 0·0237). EWH treatment yielded positive effects on the inflammatory profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and adipocyte differentiation in HFD-induced insulin resistance rats. The involvement of local RAS activity requires further investigation.
Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
Advanced courses in Applied Crystallography for Nanosciences are not often delivered in Academia and, consequently, require the organization of events specifically tailored to PhD students, postdocs, and young researchers at the very beginning of their scientific careers.