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A highly interdisciplinary overview of the wide spectrum of current international research and professional practice in intercultural communication, this is a key reference book for students, lecturers and professionals alike. Key examples of contrastive, interactive, imagological and interlingual approaches are discussed, as well as the impact of cultural, economic and socio-political power hierarchies in cultural encounters, essential for contemporary research in critical intercultural communication and postcolonial studies. The Handbook also explores the spectrum of professional applications of that research, from intercultural teaching and training to the management of culturally mixed groups, facilitating use by professionals in related fields. Theories are introduced systematically using ordinary language explanations and examples, providing an engaging approach to readers new to the field. Students and researchers in a wide variety of disciplines, from cultural studies to linguistics, will appreciate this clear yet in-depth approach to an ever-evolving contemporary field.
Belgium regulates research on human embryos, including germline modification, mainly through the 2003 Law regarding Research on Embryos In Vitro and the 2007 Law regarding Medically Assisted Reproduction and the Disposition of Embryos and Gametes. It allows the creation of embryos for research when the research goal cannot be reached by research on supernumerary embryos. The lawmaker only recognizes a gradual difference between embryos created for reproduction and later used for research and embryos specifically created for research purposes. The general rule in research is that no research can be performed for eugenic goals, i.e., selection or improvement of non-pathological characteristics of the human species. Everything that is not prohibited by the law is allowed. The conclusion, supported by the parliamentary debate, is that germline genome editing is permitted for corrective purposes (meaning elimination or correction of genetic diseases), if approval of the local ethics committee and the Federal Commission on scientific research on embryos in vitro is obtained.
In this chapter, we will discuss the ethics of consent for fetal therapy. The latter term refers to a very broad field, ranging from open surgery to pharmacotherapy, from experimental procedures to accepted treatment, and from interventions aimed at saving fetuses from in utero or perinatal death to treatments with a rationale of improving long-term health outcomes. Because the fetus can only be treated via the body of the pregnant woman, fetal therapy is always a form of ‘maternal-fetal medicine’ and cannot be performed without her informed consent (or that of her representative). However, what makes informed consent for fetal therapy special is that, unlike in other medical contexts, the consenting (or non-consenting) person not only decides for herself, but also for the fetus who may or may not survive and/or for the future child who may or may not benefit. As a consequence, consent for fetal therapy is inevitably asked and given in the context of ideas about the responsibility of the pregnant woman as an expectant mother, a responsibility that, rightly or wrongly, is either assumed by her from within or ascribed to her from without.
We build a two-country New-Keynesian DSGE model of a Currency Union to study the effects of fiscal policy coordination, by evaluating the stabilization properties and welfare implications of different fiscal policy scenarios. Our main findings are that a government spending rule which targets the net exports gap rather than the domestic output gap produces more stable dynamics and that consolidating government budget constraints across countries with symmetric tax rate movements provides greater stabilization. A key role is played by the trade elasticity which determines the impact of the terms of trade on net exports. In fact, when goods are complements, the stabilization properties of coordinating fiscal policies are no longer supported. These findings point out to possible policy prescriptions for the Euro Area: to coordinate fiscal policies by reducing international demand imbalances, either by stabilizing trade flows across countries or by creating some form of Fiscal Union or both.
In comparative studies, causal evaluations attempt to improve our understanding of the effectiveness of structural reforms by counterfactually inspecting post-treatment effects. Yet, even if comparative scholars find similar treatment and comparison units, the interpretation of the post-treatment trajectory is difficult as short-term estimates can be subject to strategic timing of reform implementation, while long-term effects are likely affected by further interventions. To illustrate these difficulties we apply the generalized synthetic control method to evaluate the introduction of a British national minimum wage. We find a short-term decreasing effect on youth unemployment that turns into an increasing effect over time. This suggests the presence of an upward biased selection effect from strategic timing. We also inspect two post-treatment interventions and find that they differ in their general and country-specific implications for the long-term trajectory.
We study rotating homogeneous turbulent convection forced by a mean vertical temperature gradient by means of direct numerical simulations in the Boussinesq approximation in a rotating frame. In the absence of rotation, our results are in agreement with the ‘ultimate regime of thermal convection’ for the scaling of the Nusselt and Reynolds numbers versus Rayleigh and Prandtl numbers. Rotation is found to increase both
with a maximum enhancement for intermediate values of the Rossby numbers, qualitatively similar, but with stronger intensity, to what is observed in Rayleigh–Bénard rotating convection. Our results are interpreted in terms of a quasi-bidimensionalization of the flow with the formation of columnar structures displaying strong correlation between the temperature and the vertical velocity fields.
Bystanders can improve the outcome in emergencies by activating the “chain of survival.” Gaza’s (Palestine) population has little, if any, access to training in Basic Life Support (BLS) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The goal was to recruit local medical students to be life-saving first aid instructors, and have them train 3,000 laypeople in BLS and CPR.
One hundred and seventeen medical students from Al Azhar University-Gaza (Gaza City, Palestine) were trained as BLS and CPR instructors. Twelve training hours were delivered in practical BLS and CPR skills, plus four in communication and didactical skills, to enable training of laypeople. Students answered a questionnaire exploring demographics, prior training experience, expectations, and motivation to join the training. Teaching material were developed after the European Resuscitation Council (ERC; Niel, Belgium) guidelines and similar training at The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway).
A total of 117 medical students (52.1% female; 47.9% male), from third through sixth year, completed training, and all were in their early twenties. Ninety-five (81.2%) agreed to answer the questionnaire. Of those, five students lost family members during Israeli military operations. Eighty-two (70.1%) never had hands-on first aid training. Seventy-six (80.0%) hoped the training would improve their community’s response to emergencies. With 58 training sessions completed, 1,312 laypeople (596 males; 716 females) were trained: 5.52 lay trainees per student instructor. The majority (n = 1,012; 77.1%) were school students aged 13–20 years.
It is feasible to recruit local medical students for practical BLS and CPR trainings targeting laypeople in communities under stress. The training impact on local resilience and patients’ outcomes need further studies.
The framing of environmental conservation has been changing, mainly towards a reconciliation between human needs and nature conservation. A major challenge of biosphere reserves (BRs) is the integration of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of local communities. Although these areas are large, they are often not large enough to contain the movements of wide-ranging species. We studied immature Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) movements to evaluate their habitat use in relation to protected areas (PAs). We particularly aimed to determine whether BRs significantly increase the protection of this wide-ranging species. We analysed the movement overlap of 26 GPS-tagged birds with the PAs of Patagonia, and we evaluated preferences for particular landscape categories with a use–availability design. Condors were mainly located in unprotected areas (56.4%), whereas 26.4% of locations were within International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) PAs and 17.2% of locations were in BRs (not including IUCN PAs). When compared to availability, birds preferred BRs over other areas, highlighting the importance of BRs in protecting species that forage in humanized areas. However, the lack of controls and management policies expose condors to several threats, such as poisoning and persecution, in both private lands and BRs. Implementing strict management practices for BRs will help to conserve wide-ranging scavengers that feed in humanized areas.
Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
This article presents the first survey of the full range of diplomatic interactions between the Mughal Empire and the English and Dutch East India Companies (EIC and VOC) in the period 1608–1717. It proposes a typology of the six different modes of diplomacy practised by the EIC and VOC as a means to understand better the distinct nature of corporate diplomacy. Moving its focus beyond exceptional embassies, this article demonstrates that by far the most common forms of Company diplomatic activity consisted of low-profile petitioning at the imperial centre and ongoing political interactions with provincial and local power-holders. It draws on c. fifty distinct episodes to chart how Dutch and English diplomatic repertoires in South Asia took shape in response to local demands and conventions. Both Companies petitioned Mughal emperors in much the same way as Indian subjects did, and both relied on Mughal patrons to do so. Cast in the role of supplicants seeking imperial favour and protection, Company envoys presented themselves as obliging participants in the ceremonial performance of an asymmetrical relationship. By tying commercial privileges to expectations of submission and service, the imperial government proceeded to incorporate these foreign actors into a domestic political framework.
Jurassic siliceous hot-spring (sinter) deposits from Argentine Patagonia were evaluated to determine the distribution and preservation quality of their entombed microbial fabrics. Detailed study showed that the Claudia palaeo-geothermal field hosts the best-preserved sinter apron in the Deseado Massif geological province, where we also found hot-spring silica–biotic interactions extending into hydrothermally influenced fluvial and lacustrine settings. Carbonaceous material was identified by petrography and Raman spectroscopy mapping; it is inter-laminated with silica across proximal vent to distal marsh facies. The ubiquitous presence of microbial biosignatures has application to studies of hydrothermal settings of early life on Earth and potentially Mars.
Research into the development of stem cell-derived (SCD) gametes in humans, otherwise known as in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), is largely motivated by reproductive aims. Especially, the goal of establishing genetic parenthood by means of SCD-gametes is considered an important aim. However, like other applications in the field of assisted reproduction, this technology evokes worries about the possibility of creating so-called ‘designer babies.’ In this paper, we investigate various ways in which SCD-gametes could be used to create such preference-matched offspring, and what this would mean for the acceptability of IVG, if it is premised that it is morally problematic to ‘design’ offspring. We argue that IVG might facilitate the creation of preference-matched offspring, but conclude that this should not undermine the moral acceptability of IVG altogether—even if one concedes the premise that creating ‘designer babies’ is morally problematic. In the light of this, we also point at a possible inconsistency for a position that condemns the creation of ‘designer offspring,’ while accepting the various endeavors to have genetically related offspring.
Additive manufacturing (AM) opens new possibilities for innovative product designs. However, due to a lack of knowledge and restrained creativity because of design fixations, design engineers do not take advantage of AM's design freedom. Especially multi-material AM provides new opportunities for functional integration that hardly considered in ideation. To overcome barriers in the development of solution ideas and utilizing such new design potentials, new design methods and tools are needed. Therefore, in this contribution, a methodological approach for a function-oriented provision of solution principles specific to material extrusion is presented. A tool is developed to facilitate effective guidance in developing solution ideas and to foster a realistic concretization by providing a combination of opportunistic and restrictive AM knowledge. Besides general levers of AM, process-specific design opportunities support the design engineers in exploiting AM's potentials, especially those who are not familiar with Design for AM. Finally, the applicability of the methodological approach is evaluated in an academic study by means of redesigning a hand prosthesis with a grab function.
Weedy rice (Oryza spp.) is considered one of the main weeds in cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) around the world, having a great impact on both yield and quality of crop rice. Recent studies have characterized the range of morphological and genetic diversity in weedy rice from different locations and have revealed that there is often great morphological diversity within growing regions. No systematic attempt to characterize phenotypic diversity of weedy rice in Colombia, where this group of weeds greatly affects rice production, has yet been carried out. This study seeks (1) to establish the range of variation in various morphological characters for weedy rice collected in the five production zones of Colombia and to compare these with commercial varieties and landraces sown in the country, (2) to determine the association between weedy rice morphotypes and rice production areas in the country, and (3) to assess whether any association exists between morphology and recently discovered genetic groupings for weedy rice in Colombia. Based on a sampling of rice production areas in Colombia and evaluation of 27 phenotypic traits, a two-step cluster analysis identified four morphological groups for weedy rice in Colombia. These groupings had some limited association with geography and the genetic ancestries of weedy rice. Clustering showed that awn and apiculus color and awn length and presence are the most important predictors in defining morphological groupings. Understanding and classifying the morphological diversity may be helpful in understanding weedy rice origins, evolution, and potential management practices.
Bessel-beam launchers are promising and established technologies for focusing applications at microwaves. Their use in time-domain leads to the definition of a new class of devices, namely, the X-wave launchers. In this work, we discuss the focusing features of such devices with a specific interest at millimeter waves. The spatial resolutions of such systems are described under a rigorous mathematical framework to derive novel operating conditions for designing X-wave launchers. These criteria might be particularly appealing for specific millimeter-wave applications. In particular, it is shown that an electrically large aperture is not strictly required, as it seemed from previous works. However, the use of an electrically small aperture would demand a considerably wideband capability. The various discussions presented here provide useful information for the design of X-wave launchers. This aspect is finally shown with reference to the practical design of two different X-wave launchers.
Trade, in its most commonly used sense of commercial activity, or ‘the buying and selling of goods and commodities’ (Oxford English Dictionary (OED)), has been one of the principal drivers of human mobility in world history. While the same may be less obvious today, trade before the arrival of virtual market places was inextricably linked with travel. It is appropriate, therefore, that when the word passed from Middle Dutch into English, the meaning of ‘trade’ was closely related to that of ‘path’, ‘course’ and ‘track’, notions invoking movement which indicated a way of living as well as a physical trail (OED). Although the term developed via denoting occupation towards its current commercial uses, ‘trade’ long retained connotations of travel and mobility, such as when Daniel Defoe (1725, II, 205) referred to an imaginary circumnavigation as ‘this New Scheme of a Trade round the World’.
While the interconnectedness of the world we inhabit, tied together by myriad trade relations, owes much to the commercial expeditions undertaken by travelling Europeans in the early modern period (1400–1800), few would still agree with Adam Smith (1776, II, 235) that ‘[t] he discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind’. Recent studies of maritime and continental commerce have documented the very substantial degree of inter-regional linkages and exchanges forged through trade and travel since ancient times. Indeed, the peregrinations of seafaring merchants and overland traders connected and shaped societies as distant and different from each other as those of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus valley, or Han China and imperial Rome (Curtin 1984; Bernstein 2008; McLaughlin 2010; Paine 2013).
The principal medieval addition to this Afro-Eurasian trading zone consisted of the trans-Saharan routes which for the first time connected North Africa firmly to Sub-Saharan African markets. At the southern terminus of these desert passages, cities such as Timbuktu grew into prominence as trading centres connecting the trans-Saharan trade with trans-Sudanic routes (Smith 2009, 138). Such commercial circuits provided the logistical backdrop for the journeys of many renowned late medieval travellers, if not their main purpose for setting out.
Coffee consumption is inversely associated with the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). A gap in the literature still exists concerning the intestinal mechanisms that are involved in the protective effect of coffee consumption towards NAFLD. In this study, twenty-four C57BL/6J mice were divided into three groups each receiving a standard diet, a high-fat diet (HFD) or an HFD plus decaffeinated coffee (HFD+COFFEE) for 12 weeks. Coffee supplementation reduced HFD-induced liver macrovesicular steatosis (P < 0·01) and serum cholesterol (P < 0·001), alanine aminotransferase and glucose (P < 0·05). Accordingly, liver PPAR- α (P < 0·05) and acyl-CoA oxidase-1 (P < 0·05) as well as duodenal ATP-binding cassette (ABC) subfamily A1 (ABCA1) and subfamily G1 (ABCG1) (P < 0·05) mRNA expressions increased with coffee consumption. Compared with HFD animals, HFD+COFFEE mice had more undigested lipids in the caecal content and higher free fatty acid receptor-1 mRNA expression in the duodenum and colon. Furthermore, they showed an up-regulation of duodenal and colonic zonulin-1 (P < 0·05), duodenal claudin (P < 0·05) and duodenal peptide YY (P < 0·05) mRNA as well as a higher abundance of Alcaligenaceae in the faeces (P < 0·05). HFD+COFFEE mice had an energy intake comparable with HFD-fed mice but starting from the eighth intervention week they gained significantly less weight over time. Data altogether showed that coffee supplementation prevented HFD-induced NAFLD in mice by reducing hepatic fat deposition and metabolic derangement through modification of pathways underpinning liver fat oxidation, intestinal cholesterol efflux, energy metabolism and gut permeability. The hepatic and metabolic benefits induced by coffee were accompanied by changes in the gut microbiota.
Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.