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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic, characterised as a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders associated with high risk of CVD. Green banana biomass, which is composed of resistant starches (RS) and cannot be hydrolysed by amylases, delays gastric emptying and modulates insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to improve metabolic disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of consumption of RS from green banana biomass on body composition, fasting plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes on top of treatment. Middle-aged subjects (n 113) of both sexes with pre-diabetes (HbA1c: 5·7–6·4 %) or diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 6·5 %) were randomised to receive nutritional support plus green banana biomass (40 g) (RS: approximately 4·5 g, G1, n 62) or diet alone (G2, n 51) for 24 weeks. Body composition, biochemical analyses and dietary intake were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. In the experimental group (G1), consumption of RS was associated with reduction in HbA1c (P = 0·0001), fasting glucose (P = 0·021), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0·010), body weight (P = 0·002), BMI (P = 0·006), waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), fat mass percentage (P = 0·001) and increase in lean mass percentage (P = 0·011). In controls (G2), reductions were observed in waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), HbA1c (P = 0·002) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P = 0·020). In pre-diabetes or diabetes, non-significant differences were observed in the percentage reduction in HbA1c and fasting glucose in exploratory analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of bioactive starches is a good dietary strategy to improve metabolic control and body composition.
A 6–18 GHz high-power amplifier (HPA) design in GaN on SiC technology is presented. This power amplifier consists of a two-stage corporate amplifier with two and four transistors, respectively. It has been fabricated on UMS using their 0.25 µm gate length process, GH25. A study of the suitable attachment method and measurement on wafer and on jig are detailed. This HPA exhibits an averaged output power of 39.2 dBm with a mean gain of 11 dB in saturation and a 24.5% maximum power added efficiency in pulse mode operation with a duty cycle of 10% with a 25 µs pulse width.
The fraction of organic matter present affects the fragmentation behavior of sialoliths; thus, pretherapeutic information on the degree of mineralization is relevant for a correct selection of lithotripsy procedures. This work proposes a methodology for in vivo characterization of salivary calculi in the pretherapeutic context. Sialoliths were characterized in detail by X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) in combination with atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Correlative analysis of the same specimens was performed by in vivo and ex vivo helical computed tomography (HCT) and ex vivo μCT. The mineral matter in the sialoliths consisted essentially of apatite (89 vol%) and whitlockite (11 vol%) with average density of 1.8 g/cm3. In hydrated conditions, the mineral mass prevailed with 53 ± 13 wt%, whereas the organic matter, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3, occupied 65 ± 10% of the sialoliths’ volume. A quantitative relation between sialoliths mineral density and X-ray attenuation is proposed for both HCT and μCT.
Timneh Parrots Psittacus timneh are a threatened species endemic to the moist forests of West Africa. In 2016, they were categorised as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, due to suspected rapid population declines driven by habitat loss and heavy trapping for the pet trade. Systematic assessments of the status of populations are lacking for much of their range and addressing this knowledge shortfall has been identified as a priority action. We combined multiple research approaches to investigate the distribution, trends and threats to Timneh Parrots in Guinea Bissau, where the species is restricted to the islands of the Bijagós archipelago and Pecixe. Direct observational surveys were conducted along line transects on 19 islands. A total of 69 groups were observed on eight of these islands, with the majority (78%) seen on just two islands. Forty-two interviews were conducted with local community members on 24 islands. Interviewees reported the species to occur on 20 islands and that populations are generally perceived to have declined in recent decades. Based on these findings and existing data we conclude that Timneh Parrots occur on 22 of the 32 islands considered and estimate the national population in Guinea-Bissau to be in the order of several hundred individuals, with perhaps half of the parrots occurring on the islands of João Vieira and Meio. Investigations into the factors linked to inter-island variation in parrot densities indicate that densities are highest on the islands which are most remote from permanent human settlements. These findings suggest that human activities including habitat modification and trapping have been important in driving population declines in Guinea-Bissau. We consider the implications of these findings for the conservation of Timneh Parrots.
In this review, we explore the state-of-the-art of sand fly relationships with microbiota, viruses and Leishmania, with particular emphasis on the vector immune responses. Insect-borne diseases are a major public health problem in the world. Phlebotomine sand flies are proven vectors of several aetiological agents including viruses, bacteria and the trypanosomatid Leishmania, which are responsible for diseases such as viral encephalitis, bartonellosis and leishmaniasis, respectively. All metazoans in nature coexist intimately with a community of commensal microorganisms known as microbiota. The microbiota has a fundamental role in the induction, maturation and function of the host immune system, which can modulate host protection from pathogens and infectious diseases. We briefly review viruses of public health importance present in sand flies and revisit studies done on bacterial and fungal gut contents of these vectors. We bring this information into the context of sand fly development and immune responses. We highlight the immunity mechanisms that the insect utilizes to survive the potential threats involved in these interactions and discuss the recently discovered complex interactions among microbiota, sand fly, Leishmania and virus. Additionally, some of the alternative control strategies that could benefit from the current knowledge are considered.
A few studies examine the time evolution of delirium in long-term care (LTC) settings. In this work, we analyze the multivariate Delirium Index (DI) time evolution in LTC settings.
The multivariate DI was measured weekly for six months in seven LTC facilities, located in Montreal and Quebec City. Data were analyzed using a hidden Markov chain/latent class model (HMC/LC).
The analysis sample included 276 LTC residents. Four ordered latent classes were identified: fairly healthy (low “disorientation” and “memory impairment,” negligible other DI symptoms), moderately ill (low “inattention” and “disorientation,” medium “memory impairment”), clearly sick (low “disorganized thinking” and “altered level of consciousness,” medium “inattention,” “disorientation,” “memory impairment” and “hypoactivity”), and very sick (low “hypoactivity,” medium “altered level of consciousness,” high “inattention,” “disorganized thinking,” “disorientation” and “memory impairment”). Four course types were also identified: stable, improvement, worsening, and non-monotone. Class order was associated with increasing cognitive impairment, frequency of both prevalent/incident delirium and dementia, mortality rate, and decreasing performance in ADL.
Four ordered latent classes and four course types were found in LTC residents. These results are similar to those reported previously in acute care (AC); however, the proportion of very sick residents at enrolment was larger in LTC residents than in AC patients. In clinical settings, these findings could help identify participants with a chronic clinical disorder. Our HMC/LC approach may help understand coexistent disorders, e.g. delirium and dementia.
There are few reports of cryopreservation and injuries in Macrobrachium amazonicum embryos. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of cryoprotectants agents and cooling on stage VIII of this species. Fertilized eggs from ovigerous females were removed from the incubation chamber, then placed in 10 ml Falcon tubes with a cryoprotectant solution and saline-free calcium solution. Thus, the embryos underwent a cooling curve of 1°C per min until reaching 5°C, and then were stored for 2 h. The tubes containing the embryos were washed to remove the cryoprotectant, acclimated for 5 min and then transferred to 50 ml incubators. At the end of the 24-h period, living embryos from each tube were counted and tabulated. A pool of embryos was fixed with 4% formaldehyde and then subjected to histology using 3-mm thick sections and stained with haematoxylin/eosin. Another pool was used for biometric analysis in which length, width and volume were analyzed. The cryoprotectants agents used were: dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), methyl alcohol, ethylene glycol at 1, 5 and 10% and sucrose (0.5 M). Variance analysis was performed followed by Tukey's honest significant difference (HSD) test at 5% significance level. DMSO cryoprotectant affected embryo survival the least with rates of 71.8, 36.2 and 0% for concentrations of 1, 5 and 10%, respectively. Ethylene glycol caused 100% mortality at all the concentrations used. It was not possible to observe the interference of cooling and cryoprotectants on embryonic structures in this study.
Schistosomiasis and malnutrition are often overlapped in poor communities, resulting in disproportionately high mortality rates. Currently, fragmented data make it difficult to define the relationship between diet and schistosomiasis. Thus, we systematically review the preclinical evidence on the impact of diet in Schistosoma mansoni infection. From a structured search, we recovered 27 original articles. All studies used mice and most of them investigated hypoproteic (70.37%), hyperlipidic (22.22%) or vitamin-deficient (7.41%) diets. Diets based on carbohydrate, zinc or milk supplementation were investigated at a reduced frequency (3.70% each). Hypoproteic diets attenuated parasitic load and granulomatous inflammation, but also reduced host resistance to S. mansoni infection, determining higher mortality rates. By stimulating steatohepatitis, parasitic load and granulomatous inflammation, hyperlipidic diets increase organ damage and mortality in infected animals. Although a high-sugar diet and vitamin restriction potentiate and zinc supplementation attenuates S. mansoni infection, the current evidence for these diets remains inconclusive. Analysis of methodological quality indicated that the current evidence is at high risk of bias due to incomplete characterization of the experimental design, diet composition and treatment protocols. From the bias analysis, we report methodological limitations that should be considered to avoid systematic reproduction of inconsistent and poorly reproducible experimental designs.
Metamaterials offer the possibility to control and manipulate electromagnetic radiation. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials are the focus of this Element of the Metamaterials Series. The fundamentals of spoof surface plasmons are reviewed, and advances on plasmonic metamaterials based on spoof plasmons are presented. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials on a wide range of geometries are discussed: from planar platforms to waveguides and localized modes, including cylindrical structures, grooves, wedges, dominos or conformal surface plasmons in ultrathin platforms. The Element closes with a review of recent advances and applications such as Terahertz sensing or integrated devices and circuits.
Bòbila Madurell-Can Gambús is the most emblematic Neolithic cemetery in the northeastern Iberian peninsula, with a total of 179 documented pit burials. Artifacts made of exogenous raw materials, such as honey flint (southeastern France), jadeite, amphibolite, eclogite and nephrite (Alps and the Pyrenees), variscite (coast of northeastern Iberia), and even obsidian (Sardinia), have been found in the burials. The presence of these raw materials is not exclusive to this necropolis, but they have also been documented in many of the graves of this region during this period. The literature has singled out this funerary practice as the Pit Burials cultural horizon. However, until now the chronology of this funerary practice has not been fully defined, so it was difficult to explain the development of the chronology and the networks through which the materials reached northeast Iberia. New, unpublished radiocarbon (14C) dates of Bòbila Madurell-Can Gambús are presented, as well as the results of different statistical analyses and Bayesian modeling that specify its chronology. Through the contribution of new data on the chronology of Bòbila Madurell-Can Gambús new clues regarding the temporal dynamics of pit burials and the raw materials exchange networks associated with them are presented.
In this Research Communication we assessed factors affecting colostrum quality of dairy Lacaune ewes using the Brix-refractometer. Colostrum from 536 lambings from one commercial intensive dairy Lacaune farm were analysed for the following factors with potential influence in colostrum quality: (1) ewe parity (n = 84–132), (2) length of previous dry period (PDP) (n = 23–214), (3) age at first lambing (AFL) of primiparous ewes (n = 9–88), (4) lambing season (n = 192 or 344), and (5) year (2011–2013, n = 142–203). Parity significantly affected colostrum quality, with primiparous ewes showing the highest Brix refractometer values (22·6 ± 5·6%, P < 0·0001), though values were similar among multiparous ewes. PDP length also significantly affected colostrum quality: ewes with the shortest PDP showed the worst quality (16·8 ± 4·2%, P < 0·0001), with quality gradually rising with PDP length. Colostrum quality was significantly higher in 2011 (21·0 ± 5·2%) than in 2012 or 2013 (P < 0·0001); this likely reflects the several-fold greater proportion of animals with long PDP in 2011. In contrast, neither AFL nor lambing season significantly affected colostrum quality. These results suggest that parity and PDP length can substantially affect ovine colostrum quality of dairy ewes under intensive management conditions and they further show the usefulness of the Brix refractometer for providing a rough estimation of colostrum quality on-farm. However, further studies are needed to determine a validated cut-off Brix value for identifying good-quality colostra in ovine species.
Despite the higher proportion of foreclosures and home evictions executed in Spain, compared to other countries, and the known link between social exclusion and mental health problems, studies exploring this association in Spain remain scarce. This study investigated the link between the process of home eviction and the appearance of symptomatology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Two hundred and five people affected by the process of home eviction were assessed using a structured interview that included three validated assessment instruments for PTSD, perceived stress, anxiety and depression. Analysis involved comparison with the normative groups that formed the validation studies together with regression analysis to determine the major psychological and socio-demographic predictors of perceived stress. Of the participants, 95.1% reported that they were experiencing the process of home eviction with fear, helplessness, or horror. In PTSD symptomatology, they scored higher than the normative PTSD group in symptoms of avoidance (t = 5.01; p < .05), activation (t = 5.48; p < .01), and total score (t = 4.15; p < .05). Of this subgroup, 72.5% fulfilled the DSM-IV symptom criteria for PTSD. The major predictor of perceived stress was PTSD symptomatology (B = .09; p < .001). The process of home eviction in Spain is having an alarming impact on mental health of affected people calling for effective measures to provide psychological and social support.
Objectives: The reduction in cognitive decline depends on timely diagnosis. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze the current available information and communication technologies-based instruments for cognitive decline early screening and detection in terms of usability, validity, and reliability.
Methods: Electronic searches identified 1,785 articles of which thirty-four met the inclusion criteria and were grouped according to their main purpose into test batteries, measures of isolated tasks, behavioral measures, and diagnostic tools.
Results: Thirty one instruments were analyzed. Fifty-two percent were personal computer based, 26 percent tablet, 13 percent laptop, and 1 was mobile phone based. The most common input method was touchscreen (48 percent). The instruments were validated with a total of 4,307 participants: 2,146 were healthy older adults (M = 73.59; SD = 5.12), 1,104 had dementia (M = 74.65; SD = 3.98) and 1,057 mild cognitive impairment (M = 74.84; SD = 4.46). Only 6 percent were administered at home, 19 percent reported outcomes about usability, and 22 percent about understandability. The methodological quality of the studies was good, the weakest methodological area being usability. Most of the instruments obtained acceptable values of specificity and sensitivity.
Conclusions: It is necessary to create home delivered instruments and to include usability studies in their design. Involvement of people with cognitive decline in all phases of the development process is of great importance to obtain valuable and user-friendly products. It would be advisable for researchers to make an effort to provide cutoff points for their instruments.
Objectives: The methodological quality of an economic evaluation performed alongside a clinical trial can be underestimated if the paper does not report key methodological features. This study discusses methodological assessment issues on the example of a systematic review on cost-effectiveness of physiotherapy for knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: Six economic evaluation studies included in the systematic review and related clinical trials were assessed using the 10-question check-list by Drummond and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale.
Results: All economic evaluations were performed alongside a clinical trial but the studied interventions were too heterogeneous to be synthesized. Methodological quality of the economic evaluations reported in the papers was not free of drawbacks, and in some cases, it improved when information from the related clinical trial was taken into account.
Conclusions: Economic evaluation papers dedicate little space to methodological features of related clinical trials; therefore, the methodological quality can be underestimated if evaluated separately from the trials. Future economic evaluations should follow more strictly the recommendations about methodology and the authors should pay special attention to the quality of reporting.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence and spatial distribution of bovine cysticercosis in the state of Goiás, Brazil; to verify its association with epidemiological variables, and to establish the economical losses for beef farms. A set of 23 255 979 bovines from 246 municipalities were slaughtered from 2007 through 2014. The prevalence of bovine cysticercosis was 0·53% [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0·5295–0·5354]. The Central mesoregion showed a higher risk [odds ratio (OR) = 4·44; 95% CI 4·2936–4·5895] for detecting infected animals with cysticerci compared with those raised at North and Northeast mesoregion (OR = 1·02 and OR = 1·02). The microregion of Goiânia had a higher risk for bovine cysticercosis occurrence (OR = 11·05, 95% CI 10·6933–11·4099) compared with the microregion of São Miguel do Araguaia (OR = 1). None of the epidemiological variables evaluated in this study was significantly associated (P > 0·05) with bovine cysticercosis prevalence.
In conclusion, the prevalence of bovine cysticercosis in the state of Goiás, Brazil, was 0·53% and some mesoregions and microregions presented a higher risk for its occurrence. The economical losses due to its occurrence during the period ranged from US$9 260 728·57 to 11 313 816·67. These results highlighted the needs of adopting prophylactic measures and the development of political strategies in specific regions in order to control this zoonose and reduce the economical losses for beef production chain and the costs for public health.
Litterfall is one of the most important pathways through which nutrients are recycled in the terrestrial biosphere. In tropical soils, which are generally low in essential nutrients such as phosphorus and cations, the flux of nutrients through litterfall is particularly important to sustaining CO2-uptake capacity; however, questions remain over the role of altitude in altering litter nutrient cycling rates among tropical forest ecosystems. Here we examine litterfall, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fluxes through litterfall over an altitudinal gradient in the coastal Atlantic Forest located on the northern coast of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Litterfall was collected twice a month for 1 y (April 2007–March 2008) using 30 litter traps placed in four different forest types arrayed by altitude – coastal forest (sea level), lowland forest (50–200 m asl), submontane forest (300–500 m asl) and montane forest (1000 m asl). Litterfall mass-fluxes decreased with increasing altitude, from ~9 Mg ha−1 in lowland forests to 7 Mg ha−1 in higher-altitude ecosystems. Contribution of reproductive organs to litterfall was significantly greater in lower than in higher altitudes. Litterfall N and P fluxes were higher in the lowland forest vs. other forest types, pointing to strong altitudinal controls over nutrient cycling. Furthermore, nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) was lower and litter δ15N was higher in the lowland site providing additional evidence for lack of N constraints to productivity in lowland of the south-eastern Atlantic Forest.
Lithotripsy methods show relatively low efficiency in the fragmentation of sialoliths compared with the success rates achieved in the destruction of renal calculi. However, the information available on the mechanical behavior of sialoliths is limited and their apparently tougher response is not fully understood. This work evaluates the hardness and Young’s modulus of sialoliths at different scales and analyzes specific damage patterns induced in these calcified structures by ultrasonic vibrations, pneumoballistic impacts, shock waves, and laser ablation. A clear correlation between local mechanical properties and ultrastructure/chemistry has been established: sialoliths are composite materials consisting of hard and soft components of mineralized and organic nature, respectively. Ultrasonic and pneumoballistic reverberations damage preferentially highly mineralized regions, leaving relatively unaffected the surrounding organic matter. In contrast, shock waves leach the organic component and lead to erosion of the overall structure. Laser ablation destroys homogeneously the irradiated zones regardless of the mineralized/organic nature of the underlying ultrastructure; however, damage is less extensive than with mechanical methods. Overall, the present results show that composition and internal structure are key features behind sialoliths’ comminution behavior and that the organic matter contributes to reduce the therapeutic efficiency of lithotripsy methods.
The choice of incision is vital for procedures in the thoracic cavity. The main principle should always be adequate exposure in order to perform a safe and effective procedure without compromise. However, the trauma of entering the chest cavity is particularly severe with impact on pain, muscle performance and respiratory function. As with surgical access in any region of the body, surgeons have always tried to minimize the impact of this trauma in the thoracic wall. As a result, we have at our disposal a myriad of incisions to choose from when facing thoracic procedures, with their own indications and pitfalls. As a general rule, in order to decide our approach, we have to take into account the indication for surgery, the anatomical location of the pathology, the likelihood of encountering difficulties (such as previous surgeries or locally invasive tumours), the pre-operative assessment of the patient, the predicted extent of side effects and also the patient's views in term of cosmesis and recovery.
Common to all techniques are the basic principles: correct positioning of the patient on the operating table, anatomical landmarks to place the incision, correct tissue handling and haemostasis and gradual spread of ribs/sternum to minimize trauma. For the purpose of this chapter, we will divide the incisions into three main groups: open approaches in lateral decubitus position (muscle and non-muscle sparing), open approaches in supine position (sternotomy, anterior thoracotomy, clamshell and their variations) and minimally invasive approaches (VATS and hybrid). We will describe the techniques with points regarding their main indications and their potential pitfalls.
Open approaches in lateral decubitus
The majority of the chest wall approaches for thoracic surgery procedures are still performed in the lateral decubitus position. It is crucial that multiple pressure points are padded, with the dependent leg flexed with a pillow between the legs. Ideally, both arms should be flexed ‘in the prayer position’, although this can vary depending on the surgeon's preference. It is important to widen the intercostal spaces to be entered by hyperextending the chest cavity with a roll positioned under the dependent chest at the level of the tip of the scapula or by ‘breaking’ the operating table mechanism.