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New tools from neuroscience allow design researchers to explore design neurocognition. By taking the advantage of EEG's temporal resolution we give up spatial resolution to focus on the performance of time-related design tasks. This paper presents results from an experiment using EEG to measure brain activation to study mechanical engineers and architects to compare their design neurocognition. In this study, we adopted and extended the tasks described in a previous fMRI study of design neurocognition reported in the literature. The block experiment consists of a sequence of 3 tasks: problem solving, basic design and open design using a physical interface. The block is preceded by a familiarizing pre-task using the physical interface and then extended to a fourth task using free-hand sketching. Brainwaves were collected from both mechanical engineers and architects. Results comparing 36 mechanical engineers and architects while designing were produced. These results indicate design cognition differences between the two domains in task-related power between the problem-solving task and the design tasks, in temporal resolution and transformed power.
The sponges may be the oldest group of Metazoa, with a long and successful evolutionary history. Despite their intermittent fossil record quality, the group has been considered reliable for paleoecological and paleobiogeographic analyses because they have inhabited various types of aquatic environments, forming a significant part of benthic communities. We have presented a detailed description of a new species from the genus Teganiella, Teganiella finksi new species, which expands the chronologic range and classifies the genus as endemic to the paleoequatorial regions of Laurentia associated with arid climate conditions linked to hypersaline periods. Combining the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental features of the Teganiella species, our findings also suggest a trend toward more closed-inlet conditions, which may be related to competition and/or specific habitat supplies, for example, heavy metals such as vanadium, zinc, and molybdenum.
Gill histopathology is a valuable tool to evaluate ecosystems health, because the gill is a key site of waterborne pollutant uptake and the first target organ to their toxicity. Consequently, this makes it important in biomonitoring programs. This study aims to evaluate gill histopathological differences in Douro basin native fish species and determine possible associations with water quality and the ecological status classifications. Two native fish species (Pseudochondrostoma duriense and Luciobarbus bocagei) were sampled in four points of the Douro basin: two reference points, Ameixiosa (Paiva River) and Covelas (Bestança River), both classified with an excellent ecological status; and two disturbed points, Castro Daire (Paiva River) and Alvações do Corgo (Corgo River), categorized with a good and a moderate ecological status, respectively. Gill histopathological differences were qualitative and quantitatively analyzed. The histological analysis showed that, in all sampling locations, both species presented some degree of gill differences, such as epithelial lifting, lamellar fusion, and/or necrosis. The histopathological differences evaluation emphasized some variances in the responses between the two species. In nase, the filament and lamellar epithelium proliferation were the histopathological differences that better reflected the river ecological status classification, proving their usefulness in biomonitoring programs.
The present study investigated the population dynamics of Hepatus pudibundus in the Cananéia region, in southern São Paulo state, Brazil, focusing on population structure, growth parameters, longevity, sex ratio, reproduction and recruitment juvenile period. Sampling was performed monthly at seven stations from July 2012 to June 2014, using a shrimp fishing boat. A total of 1650 specimens were collected: 551 males and 1099 females. The males were larger than females. Reproductive females were captured throughout the study period and juveniles were captured in most months. Both of these demographic categories were positively correlated with temperature. Growth parameters showed differences between sexes: CW∞ = 78.91 mm, k = 0.0066 day−1, t0 = 0.0965 for males and CW∞ = 69.71 mm, k = 0.0053 day−1, t0 = −0.2404 for females. Longevity was estimated at 1.91 and 2.40 years for males and females, respectively. The findings provide a greater understanding of the life cycle in this species. Additionally, since trawl nets are not selective, this study also provides information for better trawl fishery management, addressing not only the target shrimp but also the by-catch species.
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.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
Coastal ecosystems are highly complex and driven by multiple environmental factors. To date we lack scientific evidence for the relative contribution of natural and anthropogenic drivers for the majority of marine habitats in order to adequately assess the role of different stressors across the European seas. Such relationship can be investigated by analysing the correlation between environmental variables and biotic patterns in multivariate space and taking into account non-linearities. Within the framework of the EMBOS (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System) programme, hard bottom intertidal communities were sampled in a standardized way across European seas. Links between key natural and anthropogenic drivers and hard bottom communities were analysed using Boosted Regression Trees modelling. The study identified strong interregional variability and showed that patterns of hard bottom macroalgal and invertebrate communities were primarily a function of tidal regime, nutrient loading and water temperature (anomalies). The strength and shape of functional form relationships varied widely however among types of organisms (understorey algae composing mostly filamentous species, canopy-forming algae or sessile invertebrates) and aggregated community variables (cover or richness). Tidal regime significantly modulated the effect of nutrient load on the cover and richness of understorey algae and sessile invertebrates. In contrast, hydroclimate was more important for canopy algae and temperature anomalies and hydroclimate separately or interactively contributed to the observed patterns. The analyses also suggested that climate-induced shifts in weather patterns may result in the loss of algal richness and thereby in the loss of functional diversity in European hard bottom intertidal areas.
Within the COST action EMBOS (European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System) the degree and variation of the diversity and densities of soft-bottom communities from the lower intertidal or the shallow subtidal was measured at 28 marine sites along the European coastline (Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean) using jointly agreed and harmonized protocols, tools and indicators. The hypothesis tested was that the diversity for all taxonomic groups would decrease with increasing latitude. The EMBOS system delivered accurate and comparable data on the diversity and densities of the soft sediment macrozoobenthic community over a large-scale gradient along the European coastline. In contrast to general biogeographic theory, species diversity showed no linear relationship with latitude, yet a bell-shaped relation was found. The diversity and densities of benthos were mostly positively correlated with environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, mud and organic matter content in sediment, or wave height, and related with location characteristics such as system type (lagoons, estuaries, open coast) or stratum (intertidal, subtidal). For some relationships, a maximum (e.g. temperature from 15–20°C; mud content of sediment around 40%) or bimodal curve (e.g. salinity) was found. In lagoons the densities were twice higher than in other locations, and at open coasts the diversity was much lower than in other locations. We conclude that latitudinal trends and regional differences in diversity and densities are strongly influenced by, i.e. merely the result of, particular sets and ranges of environmental factors and location characteristics specific to certain areas, such as the Baltic, with typical salinity clines (favouring insects) and the Mediterranean, with higher temperatures (favouring crustaceans). Therefore, eventual trends with latitude are primarily indirect and so can be overcome by local variation of environmental factors.
Nutritional intervention for weight loss is one of the treatment options for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in patients with overweight or obesity. However, the effects of moderate energy restriction on OSA severity are not yet known. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of moderate energy restriction on OSA severity and CVD risk factors in obese patients with OSA. In this 16-week randomised clinical trial, twenty-one obese subjects aged 20–55 years and presenting an apnoea/hypopnoea index (AHI)≥5 events/h were randomised into two groups: the energy restriction group (ERG) and the control group (CG). The ERG was instructed to follow an energy-restricted diet −3347·2 kJ/d (−800 kcal/d) and the CG was advised not to change their food intake. At the beginning and at the end of the study, participants underwent evaluation of the following: OSA (Watch-PAT200®), nutritional parameters, blood pressure, sympathetic activity, inflammatory biomarkers, metabolic profile and endothelial function. The ERG (n 11), compared with the CG (n 10), had a significantly greater reduction in body weight (Cohen’s d=−1·19; P<0·001), in AHI (Cohen’s d=−0·95; P=0·04) and in plasma concentrations of adrenaline (Cohen’s d=−1·02; P=0·04) as well as a significantly greater increase in minimum O2 saturation (Cohen’s d=1·08; P=0·03). Although energy restriction was not associated with significant improvements in CVD risk factors, medium-to-large effect sizes were observed, suggesting that the statistically non-significant difference between groups may be due to the small sample size. This study suggests that in obese patients with OSA, moderate energy restriction is able to reduce the parameters of OSA severity and sympathetic activity.
The degree of development and operability of the indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) using Descriptor 1 (D1) Biological Diversity was assessed. To this end, an overview of the relevance and degree of operability of the underlying parameters across 20 European countries was compiled by analysing national directives, legislation, regulations, and publicly available reports. Marked differences were found between countries in the degree of ecological relevance as well as in the degree of implementation and operability of the parameters chosen to indicate biological diversity. The best scoring EU countries were France, Germany, Greece and Spain, while the worst scoring countries were Italy and Slovenia. No country achieved maximum scores for the implementation of MSFD D1. The non-EU countries Norway and Turkey score as highly as the top-scoring EU countries. On the positive side, the chosen parameters for D1 indicators were generally identified as being an ecologically relevant reflection of Biological Diversity. On the negative side however, less than half of the chosen parameters are currently operational. It appears that at a pan-European level, no consistent and harmonized approach currently exists for the description and assessment of marine biological diversity. The implementation of the MSFD Descriptor 1 for Europe as a whole can therefore at best be marked as moderately successful.
Congenital heart diseases are common in foetuses, with an incidence greater than six times that of chromosomal abnormalities; however, experts in cardiac anatomy have evaluated only the foetuses of pregnant women with increased risk for congenital heart disease. Over the years, it has become clear that congenital heart disease occur in foetuses of low-risk women. In the mid-1980s, a proposal to expand the assessment of cardiac anatomy was presented to obstetricians in order to improve prenatal screening. With the aim to systematise and improve the diagnosis of congenital heart disease in foetuses, the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology established an ultrasound heart examination guideline. In this review, we have described the important features of this guideline and discussed the applications of this tool in clinical practice.
We performed a literature search of the National Library of Medicine for publications released between 2000 and 2012; we used search terms pertinent to congenital heart disease, such as foetal echocardiography, foetal heart and cardiac screening examination.
The guidelines serve as a standard and help to systematise the screening for congenital heart diseases, but we think that some topics may be added to design the most appropriate screening method. However, we cannot expand the topics to be evaluated in this examination without good training of sonographers who undergo this screening.
Although the screening standardisation is a good tool to be used in day-to-day practice, the increment of aortic and ductal archs and colour Doppler to heart screening could be useful to detect further cardiac defects.
Propionibacteria derived from dairy products are relevant starter cultures for the production of Swiss and Emmental-type cheeses, and the monitoring of which is mandatory for proper quality control. This study aimed to evaluate an alternative procedure to enumerate propionibacteria, in order to develop a reliable and practical methodology to be employed by dairy industries. 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) inhibitory activity was tested against five reference strains (CIRM 09, 38, 39, 40 and 116); TTC at 0·0025% (w/v) was not inhibitory, with the exception of one strain (CIRM 116). Subsequently, the four TTC-resistant strains, three commercial starter cultures (PS-1, PB-I, and CHOO) and twelve Emmental-type cheese samples were subjected to propionibacteria enumeration using Lithium Glycerol (LG) agar, and Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count (AC) plates added to LG broth (anaerobic incubation at 30 °C for 7 d). Petrifilm™ AC added to LG broth presented high counts than LG agar (P<0·05) for only two reference strains (CIRM 39, and 40) and for all commercial starter cultures. Cheese sample counts obtained by both procedures did not show significant differences (P<0·05). Significant correlation indexes were observed between the counts recorded by both methods (P<0·05). These results demonstrate the reliability of Petrifilm™ AC plates added to LG broth in enumerating select Propionibacterium spp., despite some limitations observed for specific commercial starter cultures.
Chromatic polymorphisms in shells may be associated with adaptive characteristics in molluscs. Colouring among Hastula cinerea reveals different patterns in large aggregations of individuals. Although the impacts of temperature are considered critical in the intertidal region, selective effects associated with colouring in H. cinerea shells, in addition to possible physiological consequences, remain an open issue. In this context, H. cinerea is a viable evolutionary model for investigating selective processes related to chromatic polymorphism in shells given its abundance and biological characteristics. Individuals from the same population were classified into three groups according to shell colour: light, reddish and dark. They were then examined with regard to frequency of colour morphs and morphological patterns in each group. Reddish and light-coloured specimens were the most abundant, while those with dark coloration were less common and morphologically distinct from the first two colour morphs. Morphological differences in the anterior region of dark shells, which may be associated with movement ability and lower frequencies in these specimens, suggest possible selective effects on types that are less reflective to light in the intertidal zone.
The Cobden-Chevalier Treaty of 1860 is regarded as central turning point in nineteenth-century trade policy, inaugurating a free trade era in Western Europe. We reexamine this story and put it into global perspective with a new database covering more than 7,500 data points for 11 categories of manufactures in 41 countries and colonies around the world between 1846 and 1880. It reveals that bilateralism after 1860 reinforced a process already underway before. Nevertheless, we highlight that trade liberalization was a global phenomenon over most of our period, so that the prominent British case appears as typical rather than exceptional.
This contribution presents the first description of crinoids from western margin of Parnaíba Basin. It also presents their first description in the Pimenteira Formation (Devonian of the Parnaíba Basin, state of Tocantins, Brazil). The material is represented by hundreds of columnals, pluricolumnals, as well as isolated calyx plates. Columnal and pluricolumnal morphology allowed the identification of Laudonomphalus aff. L. tuberosus, and Exaesiodiscus dimerocrinosus n. sp. Based upon calyx plate morphology a new Rhodocrinitidae species was erected, Monstrocrinus incognitus n. sp. The genera Exaesiodiscus, Laudonomphalus, and Monstrocrinus were previously described from the Devonian of Amazonas Basin. Exaesiodiscus dimerocrinosus is also identified from the northwest margin of Paraná Basin. The Monstrocrinus occurrence is rare in the Middle Devonian, until now known in Germany, Spain, and Algeria Lower Devonian (upper Emsian) and only in northern Brazil in the Middle Devonian (Eifelian.) These facts provide valuable arguments for paleogeographic interpretations regarding the pattern of distribution of invertebrates in this region of Gondwana and suggest potential migration routes in northern Gondwana during the Devonian.