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Spatial models are increasingly being used to target the most suitable areas for biodiversity conservation. This study investigates how the spatial tool Marxan with Zones (MARZONE) can be used to support the design of cost-effective biodiversity conservation policy. New in this study is the spatial analysis of the costs and effectiveness of different agro-environmental measures (AEMs) for habitat and biodiversity conservation in the Montado ecosystem in Portugal. A distinction is made between the financial costs paid to participating landowners and farmers for adopting AEMs and the broader economic opportunity costs of the corresponding land-use changes. Habitat and species conservation targets are furthermore defined interactively with the local government agency responsible for the management of protected areas, while the costs of agro-forestry activities and alternative land uses are estimated in direct consultation with local landowners. MARZONE identifies the spatial distribution of priority areas for conservation and the associated costs, some of which overlap with existing protected areas. These results provide useful insights into the trade-offs between nature conservation and the opportunity costs of protecting ecologically vulnerable areas, helping to improve current and future conservation policy design.
Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
In recent years, mobile robots have become increasingly frequent in daily life applications, such as cleaning, surveillance, support for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as hazardous activities. However, a big challenge arises when the robotic system must perform a fully autonomous mission. The main problems of autonomous missions include path planning, localisation, and mapping. Thus, this research proposes a hybrid methodology for mobile robots on an autonomous mission involving an offline approach that uses the Direct-DRRT* algorithm and the artificial potential fields algorithm as the online planner. The experimental design covers three scenarios with an increasing degree of accuracy in respect of the real world. Additionally, an extensive evaluation of the proposed methodology is reported.
The trematodes from South American reptiles are poorly known, with only one life cycle completely characterized. We used molecular and morphological methods to characterize diplostomoid metacercariae found in 29 of 86 pointedbelly frogs, Leptodactylus podicipinus (Cope, 1862) collected in a marsh pond in Selvíria, in the central-west region of Brazil. The metacercariae were identified as Heterodiplostomum lanceolatum Dubois, 1936 (Proterodiplostomidae), a rarely reported species that matures in snakes. In phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences from 28S rDNA, H. lanceolatum fell within a polytomy with the proterodiplostomid Crocodilicola pseudostoma (molecular divergence of 4.1%) and other members of the superfamily Diplostomoidea. Our collections provide insights into the ecology of this parasite, in that infected frogs were smaller than uninfected frogs, and metacercariae were more numerous in the abdominal cavity and hindlimb muscles than in abdominal muscles, which suggests directions for future research on the transmission and pathology of this proterodiplostomid.
Hermaphroditism is thought to be an advantageous strategy common in marine molluscs that exhibit simultaneous, sequential or alternating hermaphroditism. Several species of patellid limpets have previously been shown to be protandrous hermaphrodites. The present study aimed to confirm whether this phenomenon occurs in Patella piperata. Transitional forms of simultaneous protandrous hermaphroditism were found in intermediate size classes of P. piperata, in Madeira (North-eastern Atlantic). Sequential hermaphroditism was confirmed after histological analysis. The overall sex-ratio was biased towards females but approached similar proportions in the larger size classes. Analysis of size at sex change showed that at a shell length of 36 mm 50% of the population probably have changed sex. The results reported confirm the occurrence of sequential hermaphroditism. These findings are of utmost importance to the understanding of the reproductive biology of this species with direct effect on management and conservation of this traditionally harvested limpet.
Childhood is considered an important period for the development of healthy eating behaviours. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of early life factors and sociodemographic characteristics, including early diet quality, on diet quality at 7 years. The sample includes 5013 children evaluated at the ages of 4 and 7 years from the Portuguese birth cohort Generation XXI with complete information on FFQ. A healthy eating index was developed at both ages to assess adherence to the WHO’s dietary recommendations, including eight food groups. Consumption quartiles were obtained for each group at 4 years and assigned a score between 1 and 4. A higher score represents a higher adherence to a better diet (range: 8 to 32). The associations between early life factors and sociodemographic characteristics and the score of the healthy eating index at 7 years were evaluated through linear regression models. The healthy eating index had an average score of 21⋅4 ± 3⋅53 (range: 12 to 32) at 4 years and 20⋅3 ± 3⋅36 (range: 11 to 31) at 7 years. After adjustment for confounders, a positive association was found between the healthy eating index at 4 and 7 years (β = 0⋅384, 95 % CI 0⋅356, 0⋅441). Maternal years of education (β = 0⋅094, 95 % CI 0⋅071, 0⋅116) and dietary score (β = 0⋅182, 95 % CI 0⋅155, 0⋅209) were positively associated with increasing dietary quality from 4 to 7 years. A healthier diet at preschool age, higher maternal education and a healthier diet increase the likelihood of maintaining a high healthy eating index score at school age.
The eastern North Atlantic (ENA) has many highly productive areas where several species of cetaceans have been recorded, with the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) being one of the most frequently sighted species. However, its spatial and temporal distribution in high seas is poorly known. The study presents the results from 5 years of cetacean monitoring in the ENA (2012–2016) aboard cargo ships that follow the routes from Continental Portugal to the Macaronesian archipelagos and north-west Africa. Common dolphin was the most frequently sighted cetacean with 192 occurrences registered on effort and an overall encounter rate of 0.36 sightings/100 nmi. The species was distributed in coastal and offshore waters, but absent from the Canaries and Cape Verde islands. Statistical ‘habitat’ models were developed to describe and explain the occurrence of sightings of the species: variables affecting detection of dolphins had a small impact and there were clear spatiotemporal distribution patterns, influenced to some degree by environmental variables. Predicted probability of occurrence was highest in coastal waters of continental Portugal and around the Azores. The models, combined with maps of distribution, were useful to identify important areas for the species, which could be the focus of future conservation efforts. Common dolphin presence was related to depth, distance to coast and seamounts, seabed slope, chlorophyll concentration, sea-surface temperature and sea level anomalies; the possible ecological significance of these relationships is explored.
The relationship between human rights and criminal justice has long been considered to be particularly intricate. On the one hand, human rights law may promote change in the criminal justice machinery at both the domestic and international levels. On the other hand, unsuitable national criminal law or wrongful application of the applicable criminal law and procedure provisions may interfere with treaty obligations undertaken by States in respect of human rights. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the existing bond between human rights and criminal justice be clearly defined in the context of the administration of criminal justice so that the objectives of both can be harmonised within the democratic state.
In this context, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has played an important role as human rights adjudicator in the field of criminal law. An analysis of the Strasbourg case law on criminal matters reveals that the Convention obligations undertaken by the States are twofold: on one hand, the protection of the individual against the overuse of criminal justice and, on the other hand, the use of criminal law for the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals and legal persons. The former Belgian Judge at the ECtHR, Francoise Tulkens, described these two aspects as the “the defensive role of human rights” and “the offensive role of human rights” in what she called “the paradoxical relationship between criminal law and human rights”.
This contribution aims at exploring the case law of the ECtHR in the light of the traditional “defensive role of human rights”, focusing on the overuse of criminal justice against the individual and, in particular, on the overuse of criminalisation and of imprisonment. In other words, this contribution will revisit some of the cases in which the Strasbourg Court has considered the criminalisation of an act and the recourse to imprisonment to be in breach of a Convention right.
OVERUSE OF CRIMINALISATION
A manifestation of the overuse of the criminal justice machinery can be first found at the legislative level. When considering the criminal approach to be adopted in relation to a specific conduct, the legislature should take into account that criminal law should only be used as a last resort when no other alternative to a criminal law measure exists.
We are revisiting the topic of travelling fronts for the food-limited (FL) model with spatio-temporal nonlocal reaction. These solutions are crucial for understanding the whole model dynamics. Firstly, we prove the existence of monotone wavefronts. In difference with all previous results formulated in terms of ‘sufficiently small parameters’, our existence theorem indicates a reasonably broad and explicit range of the model key parameters allowing the existence of monotone waves. Secondly, numerical simulations realized on the base of our analysis show appearance of non-oscillating and non-monotone travelling fronts in the FL model. These waves were never observed before. Finally, invoking a new approach developed recently by Solar et al., we prove the uniqueness (for a fixed propagation speed, up to translation) of each monotone front.
The Zika virus (ZIKV) infection outbreak in Brazil surged in late 2014, peaking in 2015. The most affected region was the northeast, but Rio de Janeiro was especially affected in poor, vulnerable, low-income communities with inadequate sanitation and water. Most cases of the ZIKV-related neurologic syndrome, microcephaly, were detected among newborns coming from this environment.
To identify risk perception and consequences of ZIKV infection for pregnant women in a vulnerable community in Rio de Janeiro.
Forty women who frequented a primary health care center (PHC) in a ZIKV-prone area of Rio de Janeiro were interviewed based on an open-ended questionnaire on ZIKV infection and risk. No censorship regarding age or other demographic characteristics was applied. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed according to analytical categories stemming from the literature and prior work. Preliminary analysis focused on risks for pregnant women and other groups.
Absolute number of responses reflect density of issues within all responses. Age range was 15-60 years. Several women identified microcephaly as a consequence of ZIKV infection for newborns, but many respondents did not cite any health problem associated with ZIKA in pregnancy. Although some cited pregnant women and children as most vulnerable, people living in or near insalubrious environments, such as the elderly, and those with low immunity were more cited. Information was mostly obtained from health professionals and television. Many confused origin and symptoms of ZIKV infection with other arbovirus infections.
This vulnerable group of women, who continuously attend a PHC in the area, have had community experience with the disease and its consequences, showed surprisingly little knowledge as to the risks of ZIKV infection for pregnant women. Results may indicate that the health system has still not achieved adequate risk communication for at-risk women for ZIKV infection in Rio de Janeiro.
In Brazil, poverty-stricken population groups were the most affected by Zika virus (ZIKV). Women and children are fragile links that need focused attention, especially in relation to health care.
To investigate vulnerable, at-risk women in relation to their awareness of the ZIKV infection knowledge about the disease.
With evidence-based risk communication literature and consequences of ZIKV infection, a data collection instrument with open-ended questions was developed. Women from a small municipality in west-central Brazil, most from a rural setting, were interviewed at primary health care centers in April 2018. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. A preliminary analysis ensued.
Forty women were interviewed. The average age was 42.3 (21-74 yrs) and 39 women had at least one child. The average number of people living in the same home was 3.8 (1-18) and 24 homes (60%) had one to four children. Fourteen women (54%) were beneficiaries of income supplementation programs. Two interviewees mentioned they had never heard of Zika and eight (20%) had no actual knowledge to convey. Other groups had some knowledge about ZIKV. Fifteen (37.5%) associated ZIKV with mosquito bites and another 15 with pregnancy or birth defects. Ten women (25%) mentioned dengue or chikungunya, but only 7 (17.5%) were aware of symptoms. Only eleven women (27.5%) declared public health workers as information sources.
Positive aspects of awareness and knowledge were the tentative relationship some women made between pregnancy risk and exposure to mosquitoes, and with dengue or chikungunya. However, given ample media coverage and the severity of the epidemic, it is noteworthy to point out that all aspects were mentioned by fewer than half of the women. Health workers were not represented as relevant sources of information. Future in-depth content analysis of interviews may reveal important issues for risk communication strategies for this population.
Pharmaceutical services for public health emergencies, such as the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic, are relevant for service effectiveness in the Brazilian health system. Pharmacists can act strategically in risk reduction. However, official guidelines do not consider pharmaceutical services when approaching health emergencies.
To identify and understand primary healthcare pharmacist interventions in risk reduction for the recent ZIKV epidemic in Brazil.
The study took place in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, in November 2017. A semi-structured questionnaire was developed, including general issues related to knowledge of Zika, risk communication, and the pharmacist's role in patient care for ZIKV disease. The instrument was pre-tested. Primary healthcare center (PHC) pharmacists were subsequently interviewed. Aspects related to knowledge, risk reduction measures, and role were categorized and analyzed. The project received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health.
Forty-two of the 48 PHC pharmacists in Campo Grande were interviewed. Risk reduction measures were cited by most interviewees. Among these strategies, 92% were collective measures, such as making information available for the population (30%) and for the health workers (8%), and vector control strategies (43%). Use of mosquito nets was the most cited individual risk-reduction strategy. Only one pharmacist cited risk for pregnant women and suggested birth control as a strategy. Another pharmacist pointed to ZIKV “treatment.” No interviewee mentioned measures related to preparedness of pharmaceutical services.
PHC pharmacists do not place themselves at the frontline of risk reduction for the ZIKV epidemic. In the face of potential hazards and consequences of this disease, action by pharmacists is deemed critical. This study highlights pharmacist's misconceptions and lack of focused knowledge, pointing to the need for training and capacity-building in order to increase quality of care and positive management of future epidemics.
Developed countries usually have the means to take action, but face the challenges of politicians debating whether or not climate change is a priority. The case of developing countries is different: because even though they might want to take action toward climate change, most of these countries lack the means to do it, which are mainly having effective institutional arrangements and regulation.
Carnival in the Federal State of Pernambuco in north-eastern Brazil is, from a musical point of view, one of the most varied and interesting traditional festivals in the whole of Latin America. Unlike the famous carnivals of Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Bahia) with their own repertoires of, respectively, sambas and blocos afro, the carnival of Pernambuco presents in addition to these repertoires almost the whole of the musical and dance spectrum of the North-east. Because numerous segments of the local communities are dramatised in the specific performance styles, the Pernambucan carnival opens up to the scholar an overview of contemporary culture in that region. On the other hand the historic is also highlighted in the performances of the carnival groups (agremiaçdões carnavalescas) through original dramatic reconstructions of, for example, the uprising against Dutch occupation in the eighteenth century, the flourishing sugar industry that was based on slavery during the colonial era, the folk reinterpretation of the Congo empire on Brazilian soil and the “belle époque” of Recife.
Parallel manipulators, especially those with outputs as one translation and two rotations (1T2R), are being increasingly studied. The kinematic chains of parallel manipulators share the loads and make the stiffness higher than the stiffness of serial manipulators with equivalent limbs. This high stiffness ensures a minimal deformation of the limbs, allowing a high positioning accuracy of the endeffector. Thus, it is very important to be able to measure the stiffness in parallel manipulators. In this work, we present a novel 1T2R multi-axial shaking table (MAST) for automobile pieces testing purposes—the 2PRU–1PRS parallel manipulator—and focus on the analysis of its stiffness all over the useful workspace. Analysis methods based on matrix structural method need to be validated for every parallel manipulator, and we present these steps along with a comparison between experimental and analytical methods.
This study investigated the effects of a maternal dyslipidaemic (DLP) diet on lipid metabolism, microbial counts in faeces and hepatic and intestinal morphology in rat offspring with respect to sex during different phases of life. Wistar rats (dams) were fed a control (CTL) or DLP during gestation and lactation. After weaning, CTL and DLP offspring were fed a standard diet. The effects of a maternal DLP on body composition, biochemical parameters, faecal microbiota and intestinal and hepatic histomorphometric characteristics in rat offspring were evaluated at 30 and 90 d of age. The DLP diet during gestation and lactation caused lower birth weight and a greater weight gain percentage at the end of the 90-d period in both male and female offspring. Female pups from DLP dams had higher liver fat levels compared with CTL (P≤0·001) at 90 d of age. Males from DLP dams had greater visceral fat weight and lower Lactobacillus spp. faecal counts at 90 d of age (P≤0·001) as well as lower faecal fat excretion (P≤0·05) and Bacteroides spp. faecal counts (P≤0·001) at 30 d of age when compared with pups from CTL dams. However, both dams and DLP pups showed damage to intestinal villi. A maternal DLP alters intestinal function and lipid metabolism in a sex-specific manner and is a potential predisposing factor for health complications in offspring from the juvenile period to the adult period.