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In recent years, there has been an increasing number of studies addressing older people's political participation. Much of this literature, however, can be criticised for neglecting important aspects of seniors’ political participation, such as its dynamics across the lifecourse, its gendered nature and the influence of the particular socio-political contexts in which participation occurs. In this paper we bring together all these issues to explore the relation between lifecourse transitions and participation in political organisations in Spanish men and women. We conducted life-story interviews with 40 highly engaged older political activists regarding their lifetime story of political commitment, and identified eight different lifecourse transitions affecting their participation in political organisations. Three of these transitions were related to the work domain and five to the family domain. Most of them were clearly gender-dependent, affecting men's and women's engagement in political organisations in different ways and to different degrees. Our study expands on previous research on lifespan-related aspects of political participation by showing that considering biographical, gendered and historical aspects is key to understanding the relationships between life transitions and participation in political organisations across the lifecourse.
In this work we apply high-resolution X-ray diffractometry to the study of InGaAs/GaAs multiple quantum well structures on (001) and(lll)B GaAs substrates. The samples consisted of p-i-n diodes with a multiple quantum well embedded in the i-region and were simultaneously grown on (001) and (111)B substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. For the characterization we have used symmetric and asymmetric reflections at different azimuthal positions. The interpretation of the diffraction profiles has been possible thanks to our recently developed simulation model, which allows the calculation of any reflection regardless of the substrate orientation. X-ray results about composition and thickness are very similar in the samples simultaneously grown on both orientations as expected from our specific growth conditions. The information obtained from X-ray characterization is consistent with the results of photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements within the experimental uncertainty of the techniques. In (lll)B samples, X-ray diffractometry provides structural information which cannot be easily obtained from optical characterization techniques.
To analyse the Nutritional Knowledge Test (NKT) using Item Response Theory (ITR) analysis and to assess the construct validity of the Nutritional Knowledge Scale (NKTS) and its associations with adolescent food group consumption and nutritional biomarkers.
Multicentre investigation conducted in ten European cities.
Adolescents aged 12·5–17·5 years (n 3215) who completed over 75 % of the NKT.
Factor analysis indicated that the NKT can be analysed with a one-dimensional model. Eleven out of twenty-three items from the NKT presented adequate parameters and were selected to be included in the NKTS. Nutrition knowledge was positively associated with consumption of fruits, cereals, dairy products, pulses, meat and eggs, and fish, as well as with blood concentrations of vitamin C, β-carotene, n-3 fatty acids, holo-transcobalamin, cobalamin and folate; nutrition knowledge was negatively associated with intake of olives and avocado, alcohol and savoury snacks.
The NKTS assessed nutritional knowledge adequately and it is proposed as a new tool to investigate this subject in future studies.
The Asian chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus, is an invasive pest causing significant damage to chestnut trees (Castanea spp., Fagaceae). Originating from China, it has recently invaded a wide range of regions in Europe and North America. Understanding the population genetic structure of important invasive pests is very useful for improving the knowledge concerning routes of expansion and colonizing capacity. Despite its economic importance, limited attention has been given to D. kuriphilus origin and spread, or to its genetic structure. In this study, D. kuriphilus populations sampled in eight European countries were screened using both mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1; COI) and nuclear (internal transcribed spacer 2; ITS2) sequences, and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The molecular markers COI and ITS2 highlighted the presence of a single haplotype in all the studied populations. The recorded mitochondrial haplotype was identical to one of the most widespread haplotypes occurring in the native area (China). AFLP results indicated that D. kuriphilus individuals belong to two genetically distinct clusters without any further geographic clustering. These results suggest that D. kuriphilus populations in Europe could be the result of a single introduction of a Chinese founder population characterized by two genetically distinct lineages that subsequently spread rapidly across Europe. However, the possibility that populations originated from multiple introductions of the same Chinese mitochondrial haplotype cannot be excluded. The reported results provide useful information concerning this invasive species, potentially facilitating integrated pest management.
PUFA might modulate inflammatory responses involved in the development of severe dengue. We aimed to examine whether serum PUFA concentrations in patients diagnosed with dengue fever (DF) were related to the risk of progression to dengue haemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). A secondary aim was to assess correlations between fatty acids (FA) and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with DF. We conducted a prospective case–control study nested within a cohort of patients who were diagnosed with DF and followed during the acute episode. We compared the distribution of individual FA (% of total FA) at onset of fever between 109 cases who progressed to DHF/DSS and 235 DF non-progressing controls using unconditional logistic regression. We estimated correlations between baseline FA and cytokine concentrations and compared FA concentrations between the acute episode and >1 year post-convalescence in a subgroup. DHA was positively related to progression to DHF/DSS (multivariable adjusted OR (AOR) for DHA in quintile 5 v. 1=5·34, 95 % CI 2·03, 14·1; Ptrend=0·007). Dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) was inversely associated with progression (AOR for quintile 5 v. 1=0·30, 95 % CI 0·13, 0·69; Ptrend=0·007). Pentadecanoic acid concentrations were inversely related to DHF/DSS. Correlations of PUFA with cytokines at baseline were low. PUFA were lower during the acute episode than in a disease-free period. In conclusion, serum DHA in patients with DF predicts higher odds of progression to DHF/DSS whereas DGLA and pentadecanoic acid predict lower odds.
Identifying patients at increased risk of suicide remains a challenge today. It has been reported that 10% of patients committing a suicide attempt end up dying and that both the risk and the severity of clinical symptomatology increase with the number of attempts. Within the framework of selective and indicated prevention, it is essential to identify the group of patients with an increased risk of recurrence. The objective of this study is to identify factors predicting suicide attempt relapse to improve the decision making process in the therapeutic approach to suicidal behavior. The methodology employed was a longitudinal design aimed at identifying factors, in a binary logistic regression model (stepwise), predicting the repetition of suicidal behavior among a sample of 417 participants aged between 8 and 17 years old, at the six months follow-up. A statistically significant model χ2(3, N = 417) = 18.610; p < .001; Nagelkerke R2 = .096 including the following factors was obtained: current diagnosis of personality disorder/maladaptive personality OR = .806, p = .028, 95% CI [1.091, 4.595], personal history of self-injury OR = .728, p = .043, 95% CI [1.023, 4.192], and family history of psychopathological diagnosis OR = .925, p = .021, 95% CI [1.151, 5.530]. Considering these results, having a diagnosis of personality disorder or maladaptive personality traits, presence or history of self-harm and family history of psychopathology draws a predictive profile of autolytic attempt recurrence during the six months after the initial intervention at the emergency room.
Polymetallic quartz veins, with up to 1500 ppm indium, have been discovered recently in the Sarvlaxviken area within the 1.64 Ga anorogenic multiphase Wiborg rapakivi batholith and adjacent 1.90 Ga Svecofennian crust in SE Finland. Evidence from primary fluid inclusions in the Sarvlaxviken area provides new information on the hydrothermal transport and depositional processes of metals in anorogenic granites. Fluid inclusions with variable aqueous liquid and vapour proportions (5–90 vol.% vapour) occur in quartz, cassiterite and fluorite belonging to three generations of polymetallic quartz veins. Microthermometry indicates that the veins were deposited at temperatures that range from ~500°C down to <100°C and salinities from 0 to 16 eq. mass% NaCl. Fluid inclusion data show that the depositional conditions were similar regardless of vein generation. The interpreted depositional processes involve phase separation with a combination of condensation, cooling and boiling of an initially low-salinity (<3 eq. mass% NaCl) aqueous magmatic vapour phase enriched in CO2-F-Cl-S and metals. Fluid inclusions with low salinities dominate, but higher salinities are recorded in metal-rich parts of the veins. The turbulent fluid flow, with complex geometry and temperature-salinity patterns, may explain why sulfide and/or oxide opaque minerals occur irregularly, and are locally the dominating vein minerals, but disappear completely into barren parts of the quartz veins. All fluids are considered to have been generated by the F-rich Marviken granite (and related granite dykes), which show all geochemical criteria for an ore-fertile granite. The quartz veins investigated in the adjacent Svecofennian country rocks are considered to represent the very last stage of a fluid with similar characteristics to the fluid responsible for the ore formation in the Sarvlaxviken area, but that had cooled to <100°C.
The Morrón de Mateo bentonite deposit has been studied as a natural analogue of the thermal effect on the bentonite barrier of a geological radioactive waste repository. This deposit was intruded by a volcanic dome that induced hydrothermal activity affecting the smectite clay minerals close to the dome. Previous studies of proximal bentonites indicated that Al-montmorillonites were transformed into Fe-rich smectites with intermediate composition between beidellite and saponite through gradual steps formed by smectites increasingly rich in Mg and Fe. In order to confirm the suggested transformation and the Fe distribution into the smectites, infrared and Mössbauer spectroscopy studies were performed. Infrared spectra of samples away from the dome show typical bands for montmorillonite type with prevailing Al in octahedral positions, while proximal samples also show bands of Fe-rich smectites. Mössbauer data confirm that Fe present in the fine fraction of bentonites is fundamentally located in the smectites structure, mainly as octahedrally coordinated Fe(III). Proximal smectites have a considerably more distorted octahedral environment for Fe(III) which probably stemmed from a significant degree of substitution of Al by Fe(III). These results confirm that an alteration process occurred related to the volcanic intrusion which produced an increase in temperature and Fe-rich solutions responsible for the transformation of Al-montmorillonites.
Vitamin D could modulate pathways leading to dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). We examined the associations of serum total 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] and vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) concentrations in patients with uncomplicated dengue fever (DF) with risk of progression to DHF/DSS. In a case–control study nested in a cohort of DF patients who were followed during the acute episode in Bucaramanga, Colombia, we compared 25(OH)D and VDBP at onset of fever between 110 cases who progressed to DHF/DSS and 235 DF controls who did not progress. 25(OH)D concentrations were also compared between the acute sample and a sample collected >1 year post-convalescence in a subgroup. Compared with 25(OH)D ⩾75 nmol/l, adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) for progression were 0·44 (0·22–0·88) and 0·13 (0·02–1·05) for 50 to 75 nmol/l (vitamin D insufficiency) and <50 nmol/l (vitamin D deficiency), respectively (P, trend = 0·003). Mean 25(OH)D concentrations were much lower post-convalescence compared with the acute episode, regardless of case status. Compared with controls, mean VDBP was non-significantly lower in cases. We conclude that low serum 25(OH)D concentrations in DF patients predict decreased odds of progression to DHF/DSS.
In a rare life-threatening disease setting the number of patients in the trial is a high proportion of all patients with the condition (if not all of them). Further, this number is usually not enough to guarantee the required statistical power to detect a treatment effect of a meaningful size. In such a context, the idea of prioritizing patient benefit over hypothesis testing as the goal of the trial can lead to a trial design that produces useful information to guide treatment, even if it does not do so with the standard levels of statistical confidence. The idealized model to consider such an optimal design of a clinical trial is known as a classic multi-armed bandit problem with a finite patient horizon and a patient benefit objective function. Such a design maximizes patient benefit by balancing the learning and earning goals as data accumulates and given the patient horizon. On the other hand, optimally solving such a model has a very high computational cost (many times prohibitive) and more importantly, a cumbersome implementation, even for populations as small as a hundred patients. Several computationally feasible heuristic rules to address this problem have been proposed over the last 40 years in the literature. In this paper, we study a novel heuristic approach to solve it based on the reformulation of the problem as a Restless bandit problem and the derivation of its corresponding Whittle Index (WI) rule. Such rule was recently proposed in the context of a clinical trial in Villar, Bowden, and Wason . We perform extensive computational studies to compare through both exact value calculations and simulated values the performance of this rule, other index rules and simpler heuristics previously proposed in the literature. Our results suggest that for the two and three-armed case and a patient horizon less or equal than a hundred patients, all index rules are a priori practically identical in terms of the expected proportion of success attained when all arms start with a uniform prior. However, we find that a posteriori, for specific values of the parameters of interest, the index policies outperform the simpler rules in every instance and specially so in the case of many arms and a larger, though still relatively small, total number of patients with the diseases. The very good performance of bandit rules in terms of patient benefit (i.e., expected number of successes and mean number of patients allocated to the best arm, if it exists) makes them very appealing in context of the challenge posed by drug development and treatment for rare life-threatening diseases.
Cosmopolitan pests such as Brevicoryne brassicae, Lipaphis pseudobrassicae, and Myzus persicae (Aphididae) cause significant damage to Brassicaceae crops. Assessment of the important biotic and abiotic factors that regulate these pests is an essential step in the development of effective Integrated Pest Management programs for these aphids. This study evaluated the influence of leaf position, precipitation, temperature, and parasitism on populations of L. pseudobrassicae, M. persicae, and B. brassicae in collard greens fields in the Triângulo Mineiro region (Minas Gerais state), Brazil. Similar numbers of B. brassicae were found on all parts of the collard green plants, whereas M. persicae and L. pseudobrassicae were found in greatest numbers on the middle and lower parts of the plant. While temperature and precipitation were positively related to aphid population size, their effects were not accumulative, as indicated by a negative interaction term. Although Diaeretiella rapae was the main parasitoid of these aphids, hyperparasitism was dominant; the main hyperparasitoid species recovered from plant samples was Alloxysta fuscicornis. Parasitoids seem to have similar distributions on plants as their hosts. These results may help predict aphid outbreaks and gives clues for specific intra-plant locations when searching for and monitoring aphid populations.
There are a number of strategies employed by companies to limit price competition, including patenting. This article investigates patent licensing restrictions as a strategy to erode price competition, using mainly information gleaned from the 1960–1962 Kefauver Committee hearings. The article deals with the pharmaceutical industry, which is one of the few sectors in which patents are essential to the development and introduction of innovations. The current study adds to a body of literature that has yielded mixed results with respect to the role of patents in this industry. The main contribution of this research is that restrictive licensing clauses, specifically field-of-use restrictions, are found to be relevant in eroding price competition in the institutional market. However, in the retail ethical market, price competition was absent even when no field-of-use restrictions were included in licensing contracts, although product competition was relevant between patented drugs.
This research communication aimed to compare somatic cell count (SCC), the main marker of udder health status, in organic farms not using antibiotics (O, n = 6), organic farms using antibiotics (OA, n = 7) and conventional farms (CA, n = 5) using antibiotic treatments, all of them at pasture. SCC was statistically significantly higher in O (173780) compared to CA (93325) and OA (107152). Milk yield had a significant diluting effect on SCC and differences between groups increased with parities. Stratified analysis of SCC depending on lactation number and % of monthly SCC test with different linear scores (LS) indicated that there is no difference in udder health in the primiparous heifers from the three groups of farms, but it deteriorates in older cows because of chronic infections in O (possibly due to lack of antibiotic use). Our results suggest that the non-use of antibiotics had an effect in udder health leading to higher occurrence of clinical and subclinical mastitis. Therefore, preventive management practices for mastitis control are essential in organic farms.
The objective of this study was to apply a decision training programme, based on the use of video-feedback and questioning, in real game time, in order to improve decision-making in volleyball attack actions. A three-phase quasi-experimental design was implemented: Phase A (pre-test), Phase B (Intervention) and Phase C (Retention). The sample was made up of 8 female Under-16 volleyball players, who were divided into two groups: experimental group (n = 4) and control group (n = 4). The independent variable was the decision training program, which was applied for 11 weeks in a training context, more specifically in a 6x6 game situation. The player had to analyze the reasons and causes of the decision taken. The dependent variable was decision-making, which was assessed based on systematic observation, using the “Game Performance Assessment Instrument” (GPAI) (Oslin, Mitchell, & Griffin, 1998). Results showed that, after applying the decision training program, the experimental group showed a significantly higher average percentage of successful decisions than the control group F(1, 6) = 11.26; p = .015; η2p = .652; 95% CI [056, 360]. These results highlight the need to complement the training process with cognitive tools such as video-feedback and questioning in order to improve athletes’ decision-making.
The San Francisco Fire Department’s (SFFD; San Francisco, California USA) Homeless Outreach and Medical Emergency (HOME) Team is the United States’ first Emergency Medical Services (EMS)-based outreach effort using a specially trained paramedic to redirect frequent users of EMS to other types of services. The effectiveness of this program at reducing repeat use of emergency services during the first seven months of the team’s existence was examined.
A retrospective analysis of EMS use frequency and demographic characteristics of frequent users was conducted. Clients that used emergency services at least four times per month from March 2004 through May 2005 were contacted for intervention. Patterns for each frequent user before and after intervention were analyzed. Changes in EMS use during the 15-month study interval was the primary outcome measurement.
A total of 59 clients were included. The target population had a median age of 55.1 years and was 68% male. Additionally, 38.0% of the target population was homeless, 43.4% had no primary care, 88.9% had a substance abuse disorder at time of contact, and 83.0% had a history of psychiatric disorder. The HOME Team undertook 320 distinct contacts with 65 frequent users during the study period. The average EMS use prior to HOME Team contact was 18.72 responses per month (SD=19.40), and after the first contact with the HOME Team, use dropped to 8.61 (SD=10.84), P<.001.
Frequent users of EMS suffer from disproportionate comorbidities, particularly substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. This population responds well to the intervention of a specially trained paramedic as measured by EMS usage.
TangherliniN, VillarJ, BrownJ, RodriguezRM, YehC, FriedmanBT, WadaP. The HOME Team: Evaluating the Effect of an EMS-based Outreach Team to Decrease the Frequency of 911 Use Among High Utilizers of EMS. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(6):603–607.
In 2001, we carried out a series of polarimetric observations of the SMC Wolf-Rayet binary HD 5980 near secondary eclipse, in order to study the mass-outflow of the system. Our observations revealed the presence of intense density enhancements along the poles and equatorial plane, that fluctuate on a very short timescale.
Two 20-cm long columns of MX-80 bentonite compacted at a nominal dry density of 1.7 g/cm3 with a water content of 17% were tested in thermo-hydraulic (TH) cells with the aim of simulating the conditions of a sealing material in a nuclear waste repository. On top of the columns a hydration surface simulated the host rock supplying groundwater and at the bottom a heater simulated the waste canister. The tests comprised two phases: a heating phase and a ‘heating + hydration’ phase. The temperatures at the ends of the columns were set during the last phase to 30°C at the top and 140°C at the bottom, respectively. The thermo-hydraulic treatment resulted in major changes along the bentonite columns. These changes led to significant gradients along the column with respect to the physical state (water content, dry density) and geochemistry of the bentonite. Smectite dissolution processes occurred. As a result, colloids were probably produced, particularly in the more hydrated areas. In the warmest part of the columns precipitation of carbonates took place, caused by their solubility decrease with temperature and the evaporation. The increase in water content reduced the ionic strength of the pore water in the more hydrated areas where species such as gypsum were dissolved. The solubilized ions were transported towards the bottom of the columns; Na+, Ca+, Mg2+ and SO42− moved at a similar rate and K+ and Cl− moved farther. These solubilized ions precipitated in the form of salts farther away along the columns as the test was longer. The TH treatment implied the loss of exchangeable positions in the smectite, particularly towards the heater. The cation exchange complex was also modified.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
Lithopanspermia Theory has suggested that life was transferred among planets by meteorites and other rocky bodies. If the planet had an atmosphere, this transfer of life had to survive drastic temperature changes in a very short time in its entry or exit. Only organisms able to endure such a temperature range could colonize a planet from outer space. Many experiments are being carried out by NASA and European Space Agency to understand which organisms were able to survive and how. Among the suite of instruments designed for extraplanetary exploration, particularly for Mars surface exploration, a Raman spectrometer was selected with the main objective of looking for life signals. Among all attributes, Raman spectroscopy is able to identify organic and inorganic compounds, either pure or in admixture, without requiring sample manipulation. In this study, we used Raman spectroscopy to examine the lichen Squamarina lentigera biomarkers. We analyse spectral signature changes after sample heating under different experimental situations, such as (a) laser, (b) analysis accumulations over the same spot and (c) environmental temperature increase. Our goal is to evaluate the capability of Raman spectroscopy to identify unambiguously life markers even if heating has induced spectral changes, reflecting biomolecular transformations. Usnic acid, chlorophyll, carotene and calcium oxalates were identified by the Raman spectra. From our experiments, we have seen that usnic acid, carotene and calcium oxalates (the last two have been suggested to be good biomarkers) respond in a different way to environmental heating. Our main conclusion is that despite their abundance in nature or their inorganic composition the resistance to heat makes some molecules more suitable than others as biomarkers.