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Algorithms influence every facet of modern life: criminal justice, education, housing, entertainment, elections, social media, news feeds, work… the list goes on. Delegating important decisions to machines, however, gives rise to deep moral concerns about responsibility, transparency, freedom, fairness, and democracy. Algorithms and Autonomy connects these concerns to the core human value of autonomy in the contexts of algorithmic teacher evaluation, risk assessment in criminal sentencing, predictive policing, background checks, news feeds, ride-sharing platforms, social media, and election interference. Using these case studies, the authors provide a better understanding of machine fairness and algorithmic transparency. They explain why interventions in algorithmic systems are necessary to ensure that algorithms are not used to control citizens' participation in politics and undercut democracy. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
The Repugnant Conclusion is an implication of some approaches to population ethics. It states, in Derek Parfit's original formulation,
For any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equal, would be better, even though its members have lives that are barely worth living. (Parfit 1984: 388)
Hypleurochilus fissicornis is a resident species of the intertidal and subtidal zones of Mar del Plata, Argentina. The specific reproductive biology was studied by means of both microscopic and macroscopic analyses. A total of 212 males and 223 females were analysed. Specimens were dissected and their gonads and livers were removed. The gonadosomatic and hepatosomatic indexes and the condition factor were calculated on a monthly basis. Hypleurochilus fissicornis breeds in rocky intertidal areas, and exhibits low fecundity with benthic eggs and parental care. Size at first maturity (L50) was estimated at 53.66 and 55.83 mm total length for females and males, respectively. The spawning season takes place between December and April.
Although bovine embryo in vitro production (IVP) is a common assisted reproductive technology, critical points warrant further study, including sperm traits and oxidative status of sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our aim was to evaluate whether the lipid peroxidation index of commercial bull semen is influenced by sperm traits and oxidative status of sperm populations selected using Percoll® gradient. Semen straws from 48 batches from 14 Nelore bulls were thawed individually, analyzed for motility and subjected to Percoll selection. After Percoll, the lipid peroxidation index of the extender was evaluated, whereas selected sperm were analyzed for motility, acrosome and membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential, chromatin resistance and oxidative potential under IVF conditions. Batches were divided retrospectively in four groups according to lipid peroxidation index. Sperm from Group 4 with the lowest index of lipid peroxidation had, after Percoll selection, greater plasma membrane integrity (81.3%; P = 0.004), higher mitochondrial potential (81.1%; P = 0.009) and lower oxidative potential (135.3 ng thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS)/ml; P = 0.026) compared with Group 1 with highest lipid peroxidation index (74.3%, 73% and 213.1 ng TBARS/ml, respectively). Furthermore, we observed negative correlations for the lipid peroxidation index with motility, membrane integrity and mitochondrial potential, and positive correlations with oxidative potential. In conclusion, oxidative stress in semen straws, as determined using lipid peroxidation in the extender, is associated with sperm traits and their oxidative potential under IVF conditions. These results provided further insights regarding the importance of preventing oxidative stress during semen handling and cryopreservation, as this could affect sperm selected for IVF. Finally, Percoll selection did not completely remove sperm with oxidative markers.
Triploidization plays an important role in aquaculture and surrogate technologies. In this study, we induced triploidy in the matrinxã fish (Brycon amazonicus) using a heat-shock technique. Embryos at 2 min post fertilization (mpf) were heat shocked at 38°C, 40°C, or 42°C for 2 min. Untreated, intact embryos were used as a control. Survival rates during early development were monitored and ploidy status was confirmed using flow cytometry and nuclear diameter analysis of erythrocytes. The hatching rate reduced with heat-shock treatment, and heat-shock treatments at 42°C resulted in no hatching events. Optimal results were obtained at 40°C with 95% of larvae exhibiting triploidy. Therefore, we report that heat-shock treatments of embryos (2 mpf) at 40°C for 2 min is an effective way to induce triploid individuals in B. amazonicus.
We present data from direct numerical simulations of flow through channels containing large, longitudinal, surface-mounted, rectangular ribs at various spanwise spacings, which lead to secondary flows. It is shown that appropriate modifications to the classical log-law, predicated on a greater wetted surface area than in a plane channel, lead to a log-law-like region in the spanwise-averaged axial mean velocity profiles, even though local profiles may be very different. The secondary flows resulting from the presence of the ribs are examined and their effects discussed. Comparing our results with the literature we conclude that the sense of the secondary flows is largely independent of the particular rib spacing whether normalised by channel depth or rib width. The strength of the secondary flows, however, is shown to depend on the ratio of rib spacing to rib width and on Reynolds number. Topological features of the secondary flow structure are illustrated via a critical point analysis and shown to be characterised in all cases by a free stagnation point above the centre of the rib. Finally, we show that if the domain size is chosen as a ‘minimal channel’ size, rather than a size which allows adequate development of the usual outer layer flow structures, the secondary flows can be affected and this leads inevitably to differences in the near-rib flows so that for ribbed channels, unlike plain channels, it is unwise to use minimal domains to identify details of the near-wall flow.
Eating habits of lactating women can influence the nutrient composition of human milk, which in turn influences nutrient intake of breastfed infants. The aim of the present study was to identify food patterns and nutritional adequacy among lactating women in Europe. Data from a multicentre European longitudinal cohort (ATLAS study) were analysed to identify dietary patterns using cluster analysis. Dietary information from 180 lactating women was obtained using 3-d food diaries over the first 4 months of lactation. Four dietary patterns were identified: ‘vege-oils’, ‘fish-poultry’, ‘confectionery-salads’ and ‘mixed dishes’. Nutrition adequacy was not significantly different between clusters, but the ‘vege-oils’ cluster tended to yield the highest nutrition adequacy measured by Mean Adequacy Ratio. Compared with European dietary reference values (DRVs) for lactating women, women in all clusters had inadequate intakes of energy, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, potassium and linoleic acid. Adequate intake for fibre and α-linolenic acid was only achieved in the ‘vege-oils’ cluster. Overall, fat intake was above DRVs. The present study showed that various dietary patterns do not adequately supply all nutrients, indicating a need to promote overall healthy dietary habits for European lactating women.
Traditional housing markets have primarily ignored both the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) and the Middle of the Pyramid (MOP), as these groups are expelled out from commercial banking given they have insufficient money to formally build their homes, so they remain as vulnerable people. This housing shortage is of particular importance in developing countries where public intervention is not efficient to solve this social problem. In this chapter, and applied to the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) nations, we show how the public–private initiatives based on innovation can help to solve this shortage of quality housing. We conclude that managers located in LAC countries have an active role in identifying social needs to satisfy them by applying innovative processes focused on reducing poverty gaps in housing from private initiatives. These creative procedures allow social entrepreneurs to adopt flexible and adjustable models to the variety of needs emerged in the different segments of the low-income market, and we show it in various cases for some LAC countries.
The ability to recognize others’ emotions is a central aspect of socioemotional functioning. Emotion recognition impairments are well documented in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, but it is less understood whether they are also present in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Results on facial emotion recognition are mixed, and crucially, it remains unclear whether the potential impairments are specific to faces or extend across sensory modalities,
In the current study, 32 MCI patients and 33 cognitively intact controls completed a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and two forced-choice emotion recognition tasks, including visual and auditory stimuli. The emotion recognition tasks required participants to categorize emotions in facial expressions and in nonverbal vocalizations (e.g., laughter, crying) expressing neutrality, anger, disgust, fear, happiness, pleasure, surprise, or sadness.
MCI patients performed worse than controls for both facial expressions and vocalizations. The effect was large, similar across tasks and individual emotions, and it was not explained by sensory losses or affective symptomatology. Emotion recognition impairments were more pronounced among patients with lower global cognitive performance, but they did not correlate with the ability to perform activities of daily living.
These findings indicate that MCI is associated with emotion recognition difficulties and that such difficulties extend beyond vision, plausibly reflecting a failure at supramodal levels of emotional processing. This highlights the importance of considering emotion recognition abilities as part of standard neuropsychological testing in MCI, and as a target of interventions aimed at improving social cognition in these patients.
The objective of this study was to analyse the dynamics of spatial dispersion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Brazil by correlating them to socioeconomic indicators. This is an ecological study of COVID-19 cases and deaths between 26 February and 31 July 2020. All Brazilian counties were used as units of analysis. The incidence, mortality, Bayesian incidence and mortality rates, global and local Moran indices were calculated. A geographic weighted regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between incidence and mortality due to COVID-19 and socioeconomic indicators (independent variables). There were confirmed 2 662 485 cases of COVID-19 reported in Brazil from February to July 2020 with higher rates of incidence in the north and northeast. The Moran global index of incidence rate (0.50, P = 0.01) and mortality (0.45 with P = 0.01) indicate a positive spatial autocorrelation with high standards in the north, northeast and in the largest urban centres between cities in the southeast region. In the same period, there were 92 475 deaths from COVID-19, with higher mortality rates in the northern states of Brazil, mainly Amazonas, Pará and Amapá. The results show that there is a geospatial correlation of COVID-19 in large urban centres and regions with the lowest human development index in the country. In the geographic weighted regression, it was possible to identify that the percentage of people living in residences with density higher than 2 per dormitory, the municipality human development index (MHDI) and the social vulnerability index were the indicators that most contributed to explaining incidence, social development index and the municipality human development index contributed the most to the mortality model. We hope that the findings will contribute to reorienting public health responses to combat COVID-19 in Brazil, the new epicentre of the disease in South America, as well as in other countries that have similar epidemiological and health characteristics to those in Brazil.
To examine the association between family environment variables (parenting styles, family meal atmosphere), gender-based stereotypes and food intake in Latin American adolescents.
Structural equation modelling applied to cross-sectional data, 2017.
Urban and rural sites of San José, Costa Rica.
n 813; 13–18 years old.
Data suggest direct associations between gender-based stereotypes and intake of fruits and vegetables (FV) (β = 0·20, P < 0·05), unhealthy foods (fast food (FF)) (β = −0·24, P < 0·01) and ultra-processed foods (β = −0·15, P < 0·05) among urban girls; intake of legumes among rural girls (β = 0·16, P < 0·05) and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) among rural boys (β = 0·22, P < 0·05). Family meal atmosphere was associated with legume intake (β = 0·19, P <·05) among rural girls. Authoritative parenting style was associated with FV intake (β = 0·23, P < 0·05) among urban boys and FF intake (β = 0·17, P < 0·05) among urban girls. Authoritarian parenting style was associated with FV consumption (β = 0·19, P < 0·05) among rural boys, and with SSB and FF consumption (β = 0·21, P < 0·05; β = 0·14, P < 0·05, respectively) among urban girls.
Findings are the first to describe the complex family environment and gender-based stereotypes within the context of a Latin American country. They emphasise the need for culturally relevant measurements to characterise the sociocultural context in which parent–adolescent dyads socialise and influence food consumption.
Overweight is increasing in the adolescent population and became a public health problem in the world. This study aimed to identify the body adiposity indices (BAI) with the best capacity to predict excess fat tissue and propose cut-off points for them, according to sex and adolescence period. This is a cross-sectional study. We calculated BMI, conicity index (CI), BAI, body roundness index (BRI), waist:height ratio (WtHR) and waist:hip ratio. Predictive capacity and cut-off points of adiposity indices were established by ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curves. We determined AUC-ROC and CI, stratified by sex and adolescence period. The best index to identify excess body fat in 10-13-year-old female adolescents was the WtHR (AUC = 0·92), like the BAI in girls aged from 14 to 16 years old (AUC = 0·87) and 17 to 19 years old (AUC = 0·80). In male adolescents aged from 10 to 13 years old and 14 to 16 years old, the best index was the WtHR (AUC = 0·93 and AUC = 0·8, respectively), like the BAI in boys aged from 17 to 19 years old (AUC = 0·95). The use of indices with specific cut-off points for each period of adolescence and according to sex is important for the reliable diagnosis of excess body fat. It is advisable to use indices together to obtain a more accurate assessment. Thus, the WtHR and BAI are reproducible and reliable, with high sensitivity and specificity values, and can be used together with the BMI.
There are few studies on the impact of out-of-pocket mental health care expenditures and sociodemographic factors on the probability of Mexican households to incur catastrophic healthcare expenditures (CHE).
The goal of the present study was to estimate the incidence of CHE and its main determinants among the households of persons with mental disorders (MD) in Mexico.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted, including 387 households of persons with MD. The estimation of the CHE was obtained by the health expenditure distribution method. A Logistic Regression (LR) was used to identify the determinants of probability variation of CHE occurrence. Since we expected a proportion of CHE between 20% and 80%, we assume linearity in the probability function, therefore we additionally used an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model.
In our sample, the incidence of CHE was 34.8%. The two mental illnesses most frequently associated with CHE were schizophrenia and hyperactive disorder (35.5% and 32.6% of CHE cases, respectively). The regression coefficients showed that for each unit (US$53.77) increase in income, the probability of CHE was reduced by 8.6%, while for each unit increase in hospitalization or medication expenditures, the probability of CHE increased by 12.9% or 19%, respectively. For each additional household member, the probability of CHE increased by 3%, and households with a male patient had a 7% greater probability of CHE.
Household income, household size, hospitalization and medication expenses, and sex of the patient were significant predictors of CHE for households caring for a person with MD.
To assess trends in relative availability, sugar content and serve size of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic beverages available for sale in supermarkets from 2013 to 2019.
Repeat cross-sectional surveys. Data on single-serve beverages to be consumed in one sitting were obtained from an updated brand-specific food composition database. Trends in beverages availability and proportions with serve size ≤ 250 ml were assessed by χ2 tests. Sugar content trends were examined using linear regressions. The proportion of beverages exceeding the sugar threshold of the United Kingdom Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was assessed.
From 2013 to 2019, there was (i) an increase in the availability of sugar-free/low-sugar beverages (n 25 (8·4 %) to n 75 (19·1 %); P < 0·001) and craft sugar-sweetened soft drinks (n 11 (3·7 %) to n 36 (9·2 %); P < 0·001), and a decrease in availability of fruit/vegetable juices/drinks (n 94 (31·8 %) to n 75 (19·4 %); P < 0·001); (ii) small decreases in sugar content (mean g/100 ml) of sugar-sweetened soft drinks (3·03; 95 % CI 3·77, 2·29); fruit/vegetable juices/drinks (1·08; 95 % CI 2·14, 0·01) and energy drinks (0·98; 95 % CI 1·63, 0·32) and (iii) slight reduction in the proportion of beverages with serve size ≤ 250 ml (21·6 to 18·9 %; P < 0·001). In 2019, most beverages were sugar-sweetened or had naturally occurring sugars (79·1 %) and serve size > 250 ml (81·1 %) and most sugar-sweetened beverages exceeded the SDIL lower benchmark (72·9 %).
Most single-serve beverages available for sale in 2019 were sugary drinks with high sugar content and large serve sizes; therefore, changes made across the years were not meaningful for population’s health.
Pancreatic eurytrematosis (PE) is an under diagnosed and neglected parasitosis in goats and sheep in the Americas. Clinical and pathological features of PE are not well defined in small ruminants worldwide. Natural cases of PE in small ruminants were detected in the Federal District, Brazil. A survey of necropsy records, including epidemiological and clinicopathological data, in goats and sheep was conducted. Most cases of PE occurred during the rainy season in adult females, with an incidence of 12.9% in goats and 0.8% in sheep. Clinical signs varied from asymptomatic infections to anorexia, lethargy, weakness, marked weight loss and death in some goats. Overall, most cases of PE in goats and sheep were incidental necropsy findings with minor pancreatic lesions. Three goats, however, showed severe chronic pancreatitis, dilation of major pancreatic ducts with numerous trematodes present and marked abdominal fat necrosis. Morphological and molecular characterization of flukes detected Eurytrema coelomaticum. Our findings shed light on the prevalence of E. coelomaticum infections in small ruminants in the region and highlight the possibility of severe and lethal cases in goats. PE must be further investigated in small ruminant populations in relevant livestock production regions of the Americas.
Two hundred days after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Brazil, the epidemic has rapidly spread in metropolitan areas and advanced throughout the countryside. We followed the temporal epidemic pattern at São Paulo State, the most populous of the country, the first to have a confirmed case of COVID-19, and the one with the most significant number of cases until now. We analysed the number of new cases per day in each regional health department and calculated the effective reproduction number (Rt) over time. Social distance measures, along with improvement in testing and isolating positive cases, general population mask-wearing and standard health security protocols for essential and non-essential activities, were adopted and impacted on slowing down epidemic velocity but were insufficient to stop transmission.
Babies born small-for-gestational age (SGA) have an increased risk of mortality, morbidity and adverse functional consequences. Studies suggest that pre-pregnancy maternal diet may influence newborns’ size. This study aimed to determine whether maternal pre-pregnancy dietary patterns (DP) are associated with delivering SGA newborns in the ProcriAr Cohort Study, Sao Paulo-Brazil. Pre-pregnancy DP of 299 women were investigated using factor analysis with principal component’s estimation, based on intake reported on a validated 110-item FFQ. Newborns were classified as SGA if their weight and/or length, adjusted by gestational age and sex, were below the 10th percentile of the INTERGROWTH-21st standards. Multivariate Poisson regression modelling with robust error variance was performed to examine associations between the different DP (in quintiles) and SGA. In a model adjusted by maternal sociodemographic and health behaviours, women who scored in the highest quintile of the DP ‘Snacks, sandwiches, sweets and soft drinks’ (in relation to the women who scored in the lowest quintile) were significantly more likely to deliver SGA babies (relative risk 1·92; 95 % CI 1·08, 3·39). This study verified that women’s pre-pregnancy dietary behaviour characterised by an energy-dense nutrient-poor food intake was a risk factor for delivering SGA newborns. Investments in education and improved access to healthful food and nutritional information before pregnancy should be prioritised due to their potential positive impact on child health. However, further studies are warranted to identify specific metabolic pathways that may be underlying these associations.
To analyse the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescents with normal-weight obesity (NWO), as well as to investigate health behaviours related to the phenotype.
The study was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and the bibliographic search was carried out in the PubMed, Scielo and ScienceDirect databases.
School, university and population.
Adolescents between 10 and 19 years old.
A total of eight papers were included. Most studies have found a relationship between NWO and the presence of cardiometabolic risk factors, such as high waist circumference, unfavourable lipid and glycid profile. As for health behaviours, three of the eight studies included evaluated eating habits; however, the results were not conclusive. In addition, four studies analysed the practice of physical activity or physical fitness, which was lower in NWO.
The available evidence indicates that NWO is related to the early development of cardiometabolic changes, physical inactivity and less physical fitness in adolescents. The results also reveal the importance of early detection of the phenotype, as well as the need for further research on the associated factors to prevent future diseases. Registration (PROSPERO: CRD42020161204).
Pomegranate peel is an agro-industrial residue obtained after fruit processing with high total polyphenol (TP) content, making it an attractive by-product for its reuse. Pomegranate peel extract (PPE) and its bioactive compounds have shown positive effects on obesity models. Effects on favouring mitochondrial biogenesis and function have also been described. However, once phenolic compounds are extracted, their stability can be affected by diverse factors. Microencapsulation could improve PPE stability, allowing its incorporation into functional foods. Nevertheless, studies on the potential biological effects of PPE microparticles (MPPE) in obesity models are lacking. This study aims to evaluate the effect of MPPE on brown adipose tissue (BAT) mitochondrial structure and function and metabolic alterations related to obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). PPE was microencapsulated by spray drying using inulin (IN) as a wall material and physically–chemically characterised. Eight-week-old male C57BL/6J mice (n 40) were randomly distributed into five groups: control diet (CD), HFD, HFD + IN, HFD + PPE (50 mg/kg per d TP) and HFD + MPPE (50 mg/kg per d TP), for 14 weeks. A glucose tolerance test and indirect calorimetry were conducted. Blood and adipose tissue samples were obtained. MPPE supplementation prevented HFD-induced body weight gain (P < 0·001), fasting glycaemia (P = 0·007) and total cholesterol rise (P = 0·001). MPPE resulted in higher BAT mitochondrial complex IV activity (P = 0·03) and prevented HFD-induced mitochondrial cristae alteration (P = 0·02). In conclusion, MPPE prevented HFD-induced excessive body weight gain and associated metabolic disturbances, potentially by activating complex IV activity and preserving mitochondrial cristae structure in BAT in mice fed with a HFD.