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Interchangeable effects of temperature, moisture content and oxygen on seed longevity have been mostly examined to estimate seed viability during long-term dry storage, whereas few experiments have studied seed viability under near-natural conditions to evaluate seed persistence in the soil. To this end, we artificially aged seeds of Ranunculus baudotii, a hydrophyte widely distributed in temporary ponds constituting an abundant soil seed bank. Seeds were exposed to controlled ageing at three different relative humidities (RH) under both aerobic and anoxic conditions. Their viability, water content, membrane damage, oxidative stress and anti-oxidant enzymatic defence activity were evaluated. Seed survival was longer at higher relative humidity (97% RH), and lowest at a relative humidity (90% RH) simulating moist but not waterlogged soils. Anoxic conditions showed a protective role on viability at lower moisture contents (70% RH). Seed viability was negatively associated with hydrogen peroxide content and correlated with anti-oxidant enzyme activities, but not with membrane damage. Altogether, these results suggest negative roles for moist soils and anoxia in determining seed persistence in the field, but at higher moisture contents the negative effects of anaerobia diminished. The anti-oxidant system activation, even under unfavourable conditions, might recover seeds once all protective processes can operate, pointing out the plasticity of mechanisms involved in seed loss viability.
Light conditions provide important information about the best time and place for seedling establishment. Photoinhibition of seed germination (PISG), defined as the partial or complete suppression of germination under white light, has been interpreted as a physiological adaptation to avoid germination at or near the soil surface. This review is the first report of an all-inclusive, fully quantitative analysis of PISG in seed plants. Pertinent data available from the published literature for 301 taxa from 59 families and 27 orders were assessed. The association of PISG with several plant and seed traits allowed us to consider the adaptive significance of PISG in relation to plant life histories and the natural environments. As no gymnosperm has been found to be truly photoinhibited, it seems that PISG is apomorphic to flowering plants (especially monocots). Seeds of most taxa with PISG have a dark colour and intermediate mass, mostly in the range 1 to 27 mg. PISG is absent from humid tropical regions and from cold climates, but it is strongly associated with open, disturbed and dry habitats. An intriguing implication of PISG is the formation of a soil-surface seed bank. Taken together, these results clearly indicate that PISG is a physiological adaptation to avoid germination on the soil surface, where conditions are not suitable for seedling establishment. PISG is probably much more frequent in seed plants than previously thought. Thus, laboratory experiments should be conducted under well-characterized light and dark conditions.
In the field of political theory, few authors have spurred intellectual tirades and triggered collective fantasy as much as the sixteenth-century Florentine Secretary Niccoló Machiavelli. Despite all controversies, in the discipline of International Relations (IR) Machiavelli and his The Prince have been almost exclusively associated with classical realism. This largely unchallenged association contributed to the edification of the myth of The Prince as the ruthless symbol of raison d’état, carrying transcendental lessons about the nature of politics and a set of prescriptions on how helmsmen should behave to seize, maintain, and reinforce their power. The realist hijacking of Machiavelli is at the core of the foundation of classical realism as an IR theory and its location at the very epicentre of IR as a discipline. This appropriation has, in turn, obscured alternative myths of The Prince, which depart from Machiavelli’s reflections on the Principati nuovi to read The Prince as a radical manifesto for political change. The opening of the semantic space in the field of IR – spurred by the so-called interpretive turn – offers an opportunity to break this monochromatic reading. This article delves into two competing myths of The Prince: the classical realist myth and Gramsci’s ‘progressive’ one to demonstrate its contested nature.
The coordinates x and y of the pole related to mean pole of the epoch in the period 1900–1962 for the ILS station were calculated utilising the method proposed by Orlov (1955). The values of the latitudes are those reduced in the homogeneous system of Carnera-Cecchini by Proverbio et al. (1969). The values of the amplitudes and periods of the polar motion were calculated. The comparison of the data seems to confirm a correlation between the amplitudes and periods of Chandler motion, that is the validity of the time-variable model suggested by Melchior (1949) and other authors.
An analysis on the secular motion of the pole has been carried out utilising the latitude observations of the ILS stations reduced to the ØII(i) system (Proverbio et al., 1969).
The existence of long periodic terms in the polar motion as found out by Markowitz (1960) was confirmed.
The secular displacement of the polar motion calculated abstracting from long period terms results 0″.00294 for year along the meridian 65°.6 W.
A probable drift of continental blocks with average Northward rate of 1–2 cm/year for Eurasia and 1 cm/year for North America has been suggested. The possible drift emphasized for Japan is on the contrary of 1 cm/year southwards.
Exploring cultural differences may improve understanding about the social processes underlying the stigmatisation of people with mental illness.
To compare public beliefs and attitudes about schizophrenia in Central Europe and North Africa.
Representative national population surveys conducted in Germany (2011) and in Tunisia (2012), using the same interview mode (face to face) and the same fully structured interview.
In Tunisia, respondents showed a stronger tendency to hold the person with schizophrenia responsible for the condition. At the same time they expressed more prosocial reactions and less fear than their German counterparts. In Germany, the desire for social distance was greater for more distant relationships, whereas in Tunisia this was the case for close, family-related relationships.
Stigma differs between Tunisia and Germany more in form than in magnitude. It manifests particularly in those social roles which ‘matter most’ to people within a given culture.
Multifunction radars based on active phased arrays are well known and widely studied systems. The concepts of bistatic architecture, conformal array and digital beam forming (DBF) are combined in this paper to define a novel multifunction radar for point defense. The conical shape of the antenna overcomes the significant limitations in the azimuth coverage of 360° of fixed-faces phased arrays due to the beam scanning up to 45°. The usage of separate transmit/receive arrays and the DBF technique adds the operational flexibility and the possibility of multiple simultaneous functions, with an optimal time-energy resources exploitation. After a short description of its technological demonstrator, some significant design trade-off, and operating aspects of the proposed architecture, called d-Radar, are described, showing the main differences with respect to the classical, four faces, and phased-array multifunction radar architecture. It is described how the operating modes can be made more and more similar to a “staring” or “ubiquitous” radar permitting an instantaneous detection and location of short-range, low-elevation targets for sea and ground operations. Finally, some remarks about the resources management and scheduling are shown with the results from a case of study.
Results of observations made with the Danjon astrolabe at Merate Observatory in the period from 1970 through 1976 were analyzed. The observational program and methods have been discussed previously (Buffoni et al., 1975a, b). The observational accuracy of the observations was compared with that of the Paris and San Fernando instruments. No substantial difference was found.
Knowledge of processes responsible for seed dormancy can improve our understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of reproductive systems. We examined the influence of the breeding system on primary seed dormancy in Hypericum elodes, an Atlantic–European softwater pools specialist plant that exhibits a mixed mating strategy (the ability to both self- and cross-pollinate) to set seeds. Seeds were obtained through hand pollination treatments performed in a natural population during three consecutive years. Primary dormancy of seeds recovered from each pollination treatment was measured by analysing the seed germination response at dispersal and after various periods of cold stratification. While all collected seeds exhibited physiological dormancy, the degree of primary dormancy was associated with the pollination treatments. Weak and rapid loss of primary dormancy characterized seeds recovered from self-pollinated flowers, while stronger dormancy was found in seeds obtained from cross-pollination. The association between pollination treatments and primary dormancy indicated that the mating system should be considered as a source of variation for dormancy degree, proportional to self- and cross-pollinations (selfing rate) within populations of this species. These results suggest that by shedding seeds with various degrees of dormancy, plants may distribute their offspring across time by means of polymorphism in germination response. We conclude that seed germination alone is not an appropriate fitness measure for inbreeding depression estimates, unless dormancy is removed.
We present a novel logic family alternative to classic CMOS logic and its experimental demonstration for digital application of organic electronics. The proposed logic family is a modified version of the complementary pass-transistor logic (mCPL), which allows use of a stronger transistor (in our case the p-FET) to provide more of the current required to switch the capacitance in the device. We report the integration and characterization of this new class of gates and compare them with the equivalent CMOS structures. The characterization of inverters shows improved tolerance to process variation, up to 2.5× better delay, and 1.7× smaller area for the mCPL devices. Comparison of NOR and NAND gates shows 1.8× and 4.1× reduced gate delay. A 3× reduced energy consumption per operation is also simulated. The improved performance of the mCPL design makes it an alternative architecture for logic application of organic electronics.
Glebionis coronaria (L.) Cass. ex Spach is a common Mediterranean weed producing distinctive central and peripheral dormant cypselae with a hard fruit coat, which was previously hypothesized to impose physical dormancy. Analysis of water uptake in cypselae and in naked seeds showed that it preferentially takes place at the basal end of the fruit; however, seeds within an intact pericarp do not fully imbibe when compared with naked seeds. Germination was not significantly different between the two heteromorphs, and afterripening or cold stratification did not increase germination, while warm stratification at 35/20°C, as revealed by logistic regression, resulted in a significant improvement. However, loss of viability was also rapid at these high temperatures. Central and peripheral cypselae generally showed very low germination. In both heteromorphs, faster and higher germination (60–70%) was reached only after extensive scarification of pericarp tissue, and full germination was observed only after complete removal of pericarp tissue. Although the pericarp significantly reduced water uptake, no palisade layer(s) of macrosclereids could be observed. Xylem-vessel elements were found running through the basal end of the pericarp and forming the main point of water entry. We reject the hypothesis that G. coronaria cypselae have physical dormancy. Instead, water uptake and germination are impeded by: (1) directed water uptake, mainly through a pericarp-spanning channel-like structure; and (2) mechanical constraint on embryo growth exerted by the hard pericarp. The channel-like structure forms the principal system for controlling seed germination.
The Mediterranean islands support a rich diversity of flora, with a high percentage of endemic species. We used the IUCN categories and criteria to assess the conservation status of 16 endemic plant taxa (species and subspecies) of the Tuscan Archipelago, based on data collected during field surveys over 4 years. Our data were sufficient to use criteria B, C and D in our assessment. We used criterion B in the assessment of all 16 taxa, criterion C for four taxa, criterion D for 11 taxa and criteria B, C and D for three taxa, Centaurea gymnocarpa, Limonium doriae and Silene capraria. According to our results L. doriae, Romulea insularis and S. capraria are categorized as Critically Endangered and therefore require immediate conservation measures; eight taxa are categorized as Endangered, two as Vulnerable and three as Near Threatened. Compared to earlier assessments, eight species are recategorized with a higher degree of threat, two species are recategorized with a lower degree of threat, five are unchanged, and one species is assessed for the first time. Based on the IUCN categorization our results show that all the endemic species of the Tuscan Archipelago are directly and/or indirectly threatened by human activities, such as tourism and agriculture, and invasive species of plants and animals. The Tuscan Archipelago National Park is responsible for the conservation of all endemic species in the area.
Genomic prediction utilizes single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data to predict animal genetic merit. It has the advantage of potentially capturing the effects of the majority of loci that contribute to genetic variation in a trait, even when the effects of the individual loci are very small. To implement genomic prediction, marker effects are estimated with a training set, including individuals with marker genotypes and trait phenotypes; subsequently, genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) for any genotyped individual in the population can be calculated using the estimated marker effects. In this study, we aimed to: (i) evaluate the potential of genomic prediction to predict GEBV for nematode resistance traits and BW in sheep, within and across populations; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of these predictions through within-population cross-validation; and (iii) explore the impact of population structure on the accuracy of prediction. Four data sets comprising 752 lambs from a Scottish Blackface population, 2371 from a Sarda×Lacaune backcross population, 1000 from a Martinik Black-Belly×Romane backcross population and 64 from a British Texel population were used in this study. Traits available for the analysis were faecal egg count for Nematodirus and Strongyles and BW at different ages or as average effect, depending on the population. Moreover, immunoglobulin A was also available for the Scottish Blackface population. Results show that GEBV had moderate to good within-population predictive accuracy, whereas across-population predictions had accuracies close to zero. This can be explained by our finding that in most cases the accuracy estimates were mostly because of additive genetic relatedness between animals, rather than linkage disequilibrium between SNP and quantitative trait loci. Therefore, our results suggest that genomic prediction for nematode resistance and BW may be of value in closely related animals, but that with the current SNP chip genomic predictions are unlikely to work across breeds.
Antidepressants are currently the treatment of choice for major depressive disorder (MDD). Nevertheless, a high percentage of patients do not respond to a first-line antidepressant drug, and combination treatments and augmentation strategies increase the risk of side effects. Moreover, a significant proportion of patients are treatment-resistant. In the last 30 years, a number of studies have sought to establish whether exercise could be regarded as an alternative to antidepressants, but so far no specific analysis has examined the efficacy of exercise as an adjunctive treatment in combination with antidepressants. We carried out a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of exercise as an adjunctive treatment with antidepressants on depression.
A search of relevant papers was carried out in PubMed/Medline, Google Scholar, and Scopus with the following keywords: “exercise,” “physical activity,” “physical fitness,” “depressive disorder,” “depression,” “depressive symptoms,” “add-on,” “augmentation,” “adjunction,” and “combined therapy.” Twenty-two full-text articles were retrieved by the search. Among the 13 papers that fulfilled our inclusion criteria, we found methodological weaknesses in the majority. However, the included studies showed a strong effectiveness of exercise combined with antidepressants.
Further analyses and higher quality studies are needed; nevertheless, as we have focused on a particular intervention (exercise in adjunction to antidepressants) that better reflects clinical practice, we can hypothesize that this strategy could be appropriately and safely translated into real-world practice.
An overview about the German cluster project Cool Silicon aiming at increasing the energy efficiency for semiconductors, communications, sensors and software is presented. Examples for achievements are: 1000 times reduced gate leakage in transistors using high-fc (HKMG) materials compared to conventional poly-gate (SiON) devices at the same technology node; 700 V transistors integrated in standard 0.35 μm CMOS; solar cell efficiencies above 19% at < 200 W/m2 irradiation; 0.99 power factor, 87% efficiency and 0.088 distortion factor for dc supplies; 1 ns synchronization resolution via Ethernet; database accelerators allowing 85% energy savings for servers; adaptive software yielding energy reduction of 73% for e-Commerce applications; processors and corresponding data links with 40% and 70% energy savings, respectively, by adaption of clock frequency and supply voltage in less than 20 ns; clock generator chip with tunable frequency from 83-666 MHz and 0.62-1.6 mW dc power; 90 Gb/s on-chip link over 6 mm and efficiency of 174 fJ/mm; dynamic biasing system doubling efficiency in power amplifiers; 60 GHz BiCMOS frontends with dc power to bandwidth ratio of 0.17 mW/MHz; driver assistance systems reducing energy consumption by 10% in cars
During the last two decades, the change from custodial care provided by large institutions to community-focused services made considerable progress in Germany. However, nothing is known about how this is reflected in the public's acceptance of community psychiatry services.
The study is based on data from two population surveys among German citizens aged 18 years and over, living in the ‘old’ German States. The first was conducted in 1990 (n = 3067), the second in 2011 (n = 2416). With the help of identical questions, respondents’ attitudes towards psychiatric units at general hospitals and group homes for mentally ill people were assessed.
While the proportion of the public that explicitly welcomed establishing psychiatric units at general hospitals and opening group homes for mentally ill people decreased, the proportion of those who reacted with indifference increased. The proportion of the German population that explicitly rejected the implementation of these services remained unchanged.
While community psychiatry services expanded considerably over the last few years, the public's attitude towards them has not changed substantially.
Intake of dairy fat has long been considered as a risk factor for CVD. Pasture and dietary lipid supplementation have been reported to be reliable strategies in ruminant nutrition, in order to increase the content of α-linolenic acid (ALA), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vaccenic acid (VA), and decrease SFA in milk fat. In the present study, we aimed at verifying whether consumption of a sheep cheese, naturally enriched in ALA, CLA and VA, would modify the plasma lipid and endocannabinoid profiles in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. A total of forty-two adult volunteers (nineteen males and twenty-three females) with diagnosed mildly hypercholesterolaemia (total cholesterol 5·68–7·49 mmol/l) were randomly assigned to eat 90 g/d of a control or enriched cheese for 3 weeks, with a cross-over after 3 weeks of washout. Plasma lipids, endocannabinoids, adipokines and inflammatory markers were measured. The intake of enriched cheese significantly increased the plasma concentrations of CLA, VA, the n-3 fatty acids ALA and EPA, and more remarkably decreased that of the endocannabinoid anandamide. LDL-cholesterol decreased significantly (7 %). No changes were detected in the levels of inflammatory markers; however, a significant correlation was found between the plasma levels of anandamide and leptin. The control cheese modified none of the parameters measured. The results obtained do not support the view that intake of dairy fat is detrimental to hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Indeed, they show that a naturally enriched cheese possesses beneficial properties, since it ameliorates the plasma lipid profile, and more remarkably reduces endocannabinoid biosynthesis.