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Where two species occupy the same habitat and similar niches, competition is likely to drive small-scale spatial niche separation or resource partitioning that may not be immediately apparent. A stable isotope approach was used to investigate potential trophic niche separation between co-existing rocky shore crabs in the North-West (NW) Arabian Gulf. Leptodius exaratus and Pilumnopeus convexus which occupy similar shore height on the same rocky intertidal habitats. We also investigated conspecific differences between males vs females and adults vs juveniles. δ15N results indicated that adults of both species occupy a high trophic level in the rocky shore community, suggesting similar functional roles and potential for competition for food resources, while significant differences in δ13C values indicated differences in dietary sources between the two species, and also changes in diet between juveniles and adults in both species. MixSIAR analysis of δ15N and δ13C data confirmed field observations that both species are generalist omnivores, with potential for direct competition including adult predation on juveniles, including conspecifics. Differentiation in isotopic niches (SIBER analysis) was mainly driven by the significant differences in δ13C values, suggesting that co-existence of the two crab species is at least in part mediated by trophic niche separation or dietary resource partitioning, with some (unquantified) potential for spatial resource partitioning at the microhabitat level.
Buffalo milk production has become of significant importance on the world scale, however, there are few studies involving biotechnological tools specifically for buffalo. To verify the effects caused by subclinical mastitis on the components of milk and to study the innate immune system in the udder of dairy buffaloes with subclinical mastitis, we evaluated the levels of expression of the lactoferrin (LTF), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and toll-like receptors 2 (TLR-2) and 4 (TLR-4) genes in buffaloes with and without subclinical mastitis. Milk samples were collected for the determination of milk components: somatic cell score (SCS), fat, protein, lactose, total solids and solids-not-fat (SNF), as well as for RNA extraction of milk cells, complementary DNA synthesis, and expression profile quantification by quantitative real-time PCR. For gene expression, the ΔΔCt was estimated using contrasts of the target genes expression adjusted for the expression of the housekeeping genes between both groups. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine the relationship between the genes studied and the milk components. Subclinical mastitis induced changes in the fat, lactose and SNF in milk of buffaloes, and the messenger RNA abundance was upregulated for TLR-2, TLR-4, TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8 genes in milk cells of buffaloes with subclinical mastitis, whereas the LTF gene was not differentially expressed. Results of linear regression analysis showed that TLR-2 gene expression most explains the variation in SCS, and the change in a unit of ΔCt of the TNF-α gene would result in a higher increase in SCS. The study of these immune function genes that are active in the mammary gland is important to characterize the action mechanism of the innate immunity that occurs in subclinical mastitis in dairy buffaloes and may aid the development of strategies to preserve the health of the udder.
RedETS, created in 2006, is the Spanish network of health technology assessment agencies. The objective of this work is to describe and assess the quality of the full economic evaluation reports on medical devices (FEEMD) carried out by RedETS.
The FEEMD were identified through the RedETS website publications database. Assessments about screening technologies were not included. The characteristics of FEEMD were analyzed using a formal RedETS HTA quality checklist. The characteristics extracted were analyzed through a descriptive univariate analysis.
Results : Twenty-six FEEMD were found. The publication years were distributed quite uniformly over time (approximately 2/year), although 7 were published in 2008 and 7 in 2013. Thirteen studies analyzed cost-utility, ten cost-effectiveness but not utility, and three both. The most frequent medical devices (MD) class analyzed were “In vitro diagnosis MD” (n = 8) and Class III products (8). The most frequent sources to analyze effectiveness were literature (22) and data collected through ad hoc studies (6). The main sources of unit costs were official public tariffs (14), manufacturers direct values (10) analytical accounting of one/more centers or regions (11) and DRGs (7). In relation to the modelling used, 14 evaluations performed Markov models and 7 decision trees. The perspective of 23 studies was that of the National Health System (NHS), and the rest corresponded to the perspective of a specific region (2) or social perspective (1). All studies analyzing time horizons greater than 1.5 years, except for 1, applied discount rates in the modelling. All studies included a sensitivity analysis.
The economic evaluations of MD published by the RedETS accomplish most of the quality checklist aspects and are therefore exhaustive. These FEEMD have been used in the framework of decision making for an efficient management of the NHS basic portfolio.
Bridging gaps between registry-holders, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) producers and users is one of the aims of the European Network for HTA (EUnetHTA) Joint Action 3. In this context, a post-launch evidence generation tool is being developed, including a quality standards tool for registries in HTA. The standards tool for registries in HTA will enable, among others, registry owners to consistently collect high quality registry data, and HTA agencies to use proper registry data collected by others as evidence for their assessments. The objective is to present the first draft version of the tool structure, which is going to be piloted during the forthcoming months.
A review and description of the currently available first version (November 2017) sections, items and criteria for HTA studies.
The tool is divided in three sections; “Methodological Information”, “Essential Standards” and “Additional Requirements”. The first section enables users to analyze not only the ability of the registry to answer to research questions but also to check the registry transparency. The second section encloses the essential elements of good practice and evidence quality (therefore all of them must be met before an HTA report can use the registry data). Finally, the third section includes elements of good practice and evidence quality useful to consider in planning and evaluating registries for specific purposes. Although suggestions are defined, the third section item requirements could depend on the individual HTA agency perspectives and needs.
There is a clear growing availability and requirement for real world data for health technology assessment. A piloted and robust registry standards tool for HTA can provide a relevant basis to improve both the evidence generation but also to make more trustful and excellent evaluations.
With an estimated < 50 adult individuals remaining, the Critically Endangered Balkan lynx Lynx lynx balcanicus is one of the rarest, most threatened and least-studied large carnivores. To identify priority conservation areas and actions for the subspecies, during 2006–2014 we conducted 1,374 questionnaire surveys throughout the potential range of the Balkan lynx to (1) evaluate human–lynx interactions and identify potential threats, and (2) determine the probability of site use in 207 grid cells through occupancy modelling. Human–lynx interactions were related mainly to poaching of lynx, and damage to livestock by lynx. Poaching was intense throughout the potential range of the subspecies, apparently having affected 50–100% of the total estimated extant population. Damage to livestock was recorded only in relation to sheep, mainly in the southern part of the lynx's potential range. Occupancy modelling indicated 108 grid cells with high probability of site use, which was affected mainly by increased terrain ruggedness and reduced forest cover. Based on the combined results of our study we identified five priority areas for conservation, as well as in situ habitat protection, community participation in the conservation of the subspecies, and the improvement and implementation of the existing legal framework as the priority conservation actions for the Balkan lynx.
The Comentario de la pintura y pintores antiguos (Commentary on Painting and Antique Painters) by the humanist Felipe de Guevara stands as the first art treatise of its type produced in Renaissance Spain. Critical studies underscore the reliance on ancient texts in spite of significant divergences from the sources. Philological studies of near-contemporary texts and a close reading of the author’s extant writings provide an alternative framework for understanding these transformations. Through the appropriation of ancient texts, Guevara calls for the practical overhauling of the Spanish artistic system. The text addresses the art of painting as having both transcendental and intrinsic values, focusing on its formative capabilities and virtue ethics as the most important for the former, and its role in the larger Spanish economy for the latter.
The phenomenon of Iron Age vitrified ramparts has become increasingly recognisable in the last twenty years in the Iberian Peninsula. After the first walls with vitrified stones were discovered in southern Portugal, there have been several findings scattered throughout western Iberia. A chronological sequence from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age can be established on the basis of the archaeological remains, with reference to different historical and functional conditions. This article reviews the data obtained from the various sites, in order to understand the context in which the stone structures became vitrified. Furthermore, we have analysed samples of stones and mud bricks that have been altered by fire from these sites, which has allowed us to explain the variability in the archaeological record in relation to different historical processes. With all these data, we aim to contribute to our knowledge of a phenomenon that is widespread in Iron Age Europe.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) remains an important pathogen of livestock more than 120 years after it was identified, with annual costs from production losses and vaccination estimated at €5.3–€17 billion (US$6.5–US$21 billion) in FMDV-endemic areas. Control and eradication are difficult because FMDV is highly contagious, genetically and antigenically diverse, infectious for a wide variety of species, able to establish subclinical carriers in ruminants, and widely geographically distributed. For early detection, sustained control, or eradication, sensitive and specific FMDV surveillance procedures compatible with high through-put testing platforms are required. At present, surveillance relies on the detection of FMDV-specific antibody or virus, most commonly in individual animal serum, vesicular fluid, or epithelial specimens. However, FMDV or antibody are also detectable in other body secretions and specimens, e.g., buccal and nasal secretions, respiratory exhalations (aerosols), mammary secretions, urine, feces, and environmental samples. These alternative specimens offer non-invasive diagnostic alternatives to individual animal sampling and the potential for more efficient, responsive, and cost-effective surveillance. Herein we review FMDV testing methods for contemporary and alternative diagnostic specimens and their application to FMDV surveillance in livestock (cattle, swine, sheep, and goats).
The current study aimed to assess Uruguayan consumers’ accounts of their own need to change their dietary patterns, their intended changes and the barriers related to doing so, and to compare the intentions and barriers with the recommendations of the national dietary guidelines.
An online survey with 2381 Uruguayan employed adults, aged between 18 and 65 years, 65 % females, was conducted. Participants had to answer two open-ended questions related to changes they could make in the foods they eat and/or the way in which they eat to improve the quality of their diet and the reasons why they had not implemented those changes yet. Content analysis using inductive coding by two researchers was used to analyse the responses.
Consumers mainly intended to change consumption of types of foods, particularly eating more fruits, vegetables and legumes and consuming less flour, but also intended to alter their eating patterns. Lack of time and the fact that healthy foods are perceived as being more expensive than unhealthy foods were major barriers to behaviour change. Some of the recommendations of the dietary guidelines, particularly those related to enjoying cooking and meals and engaging in it as a social activity, were not represented in consumer accounts.
Accompanying policies to the dietary guidelines need to underline the importance of changes in dietary patterns, including greater enjoyment and sharing food preparation and meals in the company with others, address misconceptions about flour, and provide concrete, consumer-derived recommendations on how to enact the guidelines.
This study consisted in the characterization of reproductive aspects such as oocytes morphology, temporal variation in size and frequency of oocytes and the reproductive cycle of the mussel Brachidontes rodriguezii. This species dominates the rocky intertidal coast of Buenos Aires province, Argentine and is a prey item of several exploited species; however, due to the introduction of piers and seawalls, as a consequence of anthropogenic activities, the species also inhabits sandy coasts. Mussels were collected from May 2011 to May 2013. Gonad tissue samples were processed according to standard histological procedures. Four gonadal development stages were described for males and females. According to the significant decrease in the frequency of mature oocytes, the spawning events were detected between February and May. However, some evacuation events were recorded in June–July. This study reports the first record of two modalities of hermaphrodites in this species; individuals with male and female gonads and individuals with both types of gametes within a gonad.
Warnings are a new directive front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling scheme that highlights products with high content of key nutrients. The design of warnings influences their ability to catch consumers’ attention and to clearly communicate their intended meaning, which are key determinants of their effectiveness. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the influence of design features of warnings as a FOP nutrition labelling scheme on perceived healthfulness and attentional capture.
Five studies with a total of 496 people were carried out. In the first study, the association of colour and perceived healthfulness was evaluated in an online survey in which participants had to rate their perceived healthfulness of eight colours. In the second study, the influence of colour, shape and textual information on perceived healthfulness was evaluated using choice-conjoint analysis. The third study focused on implicit associations between two design features (shape and colour) on perceived healthfulness. The fourth and fifth studies used visual search to evaluate the influence of colour, size and position of the warnings on attentional capture.
Perceived healthfulness was significantly influenced by shape, colour and textual information. Colour was the variable with the largest contribution to perceived healthfulness. Colour, size and position of the warnings on the labels affected attentional capture.
Results from the experiments provide recommendations for the design of warnings to identify products with unfavourable nutrient profile.
The main objective was to analyze relationships and predictive patterns between 3x2 classroom goal structures (CGS), and motivational regulations, dimensions of self-concept, and affectivity in the context of secondary education. A sample of 1,347 secondary school students (56.6% young men, 43.4% young women) from 10 different provinces of Spain agreed to participate (M age = 13.43, SD = 1.05). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated the self-approach CGS was the most adaptive within the spectrum of self-determination, followed by the task-approach CGS. The other-approach CGS had an ambivalent influence on motivation. Task-approach and self-approach CGS predicted academic self-concept (p < .01; p < .001, respectively; R2 = .134), and both along with other-approach CGS (negatively) predicted family self-concept (p < .05; p < .001; p < .01, respectively; R2 = .064). Physical self-concept was predicted by the task-approach and other-approach CGS’s (p < .05; p < .001, respectively; R2 = .078). Finally, positive affect was predicted by all three approach-oriented CGS’s (p < .001; R2 = .137), whereas negative affect was predicted by other-approach (positively) and self-approach (negatively) CGS (p < .001; p < .05, respectively; R2 = .028). These results expand the 3x2 achievement goal framework to include environmental factors, and reiterate that teachers should focus on raising levels of self- and task-based goals for students in their classes.
We have studied a sample of selected eclipsing binaries with accurate absolute dimensions in order to check the validity of available theories of tidal evolution in terms of synchronization and circularization time scales. The use of integrated values, using theoretical evolutionary tracks to compute the change with time of radius, luminosity and internal structure, provides a powerful tool for the prediction of observable parameters. Pseudo-synchronization at periastron is the best approximation to stellar rotation in eccentric systems. While most systems are found to show synchronized velocities, the presence of eccentric orbits shows that circularization process are still active during the main sequence stage.
Absolute dimensions of the close binary RX Her are derived based on a new set of photometric elements obtained with a modified version of EBOP code. The observed properties of both components are in good agreement with theoretical evolutionary models. However the predicted apsidal motion rate is not concordant with the observational evidences.
We present the first results of a continuous monitoring of Algol with IUE along 1.5 orbital period (4 1/3 days). A total of 32 high resolution spectra were obtained. Algol represents the final slow stage of mass transfer. The spectra show the presence of high ionization lines (NV, SiIV, CIV) due to the heating of the gas that impacts the accreting star. The depth of the primary eclipse is larger at shorter wavelengths and the shape of the continuum out of the eclipse is compatible with a B star, ruling out the presence of an extra light source at these wavelengths.
A selected sample of eclipsing binaries with well-defined apsidal motion rates and accurate absolute dimensions has been analysed and compared with most recent evolutionary models of the stellar internal structure. A reasonably good agreement has been achieved when models including convective-core overshooting, mass loss, and stellar rotation in the evolutionary code, are used. The systematic difference in log k2 reported by previous authors between observed and theoretically predicted values is no longer detected for stars with well-determined absolute dimensions, and a few anomalous cases can be easily explained in terms of the validity of the adopted assumptions.
Absolute dimensions and the distance modulus have been established for the early-type eclipsing binary HV 2226 in the SMC. Analyses of the new radial velocities reported here, and CCD light curves published by Jensen et al. (1988) yield component masses of 9.3 ± 0.7 and 5.6 ± 0.5 M⊙, respectively. The radii are 5.6 ± 0.2 and 5.3 ± 0.2 R⊙ with the secondary component filling its Roche lobe which implies that HV 2226 must have evolved through a case A mass-transfer process. A distance modulus of (mv – Mv)0 = 18m.6 ± 0m.3 is derived, marginally lower than the adopted mean of 18m.9 for the SMC. The position of HV 2226, however, indicates that it is in fact situated in the near side of the SMC. In the present case, the accuracy of this estimate is limited mainly by the uncertainties of ≈ 2000 K in the effective temperatures. We point out that distance moduli with uncertainties of ± 0m.15 can be achieved from accurate radial velocities, light curves and colour indices of eclipsing binaries; such systems in the SMC and LMC are therefore promising distance indicators and work on further selected candidates is in progress.
Our knowledge of the evolutionary processes taking place in interacting binary stars is based primarily in our understanding of the stellar structure and evolution of single stars. The determination of absolute dimensions in close doble-lined eclipsing binaries, with well-detached components, is the best empirical approach available into stellar structure.
Important physical parameters and processes can be studied in some detail within the framework of detached main-sequence binaries, e.g., initial chemical composition, the mixing-length ratio, the relevance of convective overshooting, interactions between matter and radiation in the stellar interior, the concentration of mass towards the center of the stars or the response of stellar envelopes to tidal influences by an external gravitational potential.
A combination of observational results from photometry and spectroscopy are used to obtain relevant stellar parameters: absolute dimensions, ages, chemical composition, apsidal motion rate, degree of synchronization and circularization, etc., and a comparison with theoretical models allow us to derive some information about the above mentioned physical mechanisms.