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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.
Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools used to develop continuous predictions of species occurrence. ‘Integrated SDMs’ (ISDMs) are an elaboration of this approach with potential advantages that allow for the dual use of opportunistically collected presence-only data and site-occupancy data from planned surveys. These models also account for survey bias and imperfect detection through the use of a hierarchical modelling framework that separately estimates the species–environment response and detection process. This is particularly helpful for conservation applications and predictions for rare species, where data are often limited and prediction errors may have significant management consequences. Despite this potential importance, ISDMs remain largely untested under a variety of scenarios. We performed an exploration of key modelling decisions and assumptions on an ISDM using the endangered Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) as a test species. We found that site area had the strongest effect on the magnitude of population estimates and underlying intensity surface and was driven by estimates of model intercepts. Selecting a site area that accounted for the individual movements of the species within an average home range led to population estimates that coincided with expert estimates. ISDMs that do not account for the individual movements of species will likely lead to less accurate estimates of species intensity (number of individuals per unit area) and thus overall population estimates. This bias could be severe and highly detrimental to conservation actions if uninformed ISDMs are used to estimate global populations of threatened and data-deficient species, particularly those that lack natural history and movement information. However, the ISDM was consistently the most accurate model compared to other approaches, which demonstrates the importance of this new modelling framework and the ability to combine opportunistic data with systematic survey data. Thus, we recommend researchers use ISDMs with conservative movement information when estimating population sizes of rare and data-deficient species. ISDMs could be improved by using a similar parameterization to spatial capture–recapture models that explicitly incorporate animal movement as a model parameter, which would further remove the need for spatial subsampling prior to implementation.
Obtention of titanium (Ti)- and titanium dioxide (TiO2)–based nanocomposites is of great interest for biological nanomaterial applications, including for dental implants. Their mechanical properties can be improved by use of hydroxyapatite (HA) and chitosan through their biological anchorage with osseointegration and antibacterial activity. Electrochemical methods were chosen to obtain these composites in a quick and controllable way. In this work, electrochemical synthesis in one (alternated potential) or two steps (alternated or constant potential) was successfully applied. The single step (SS) obtained TiO2 + HA sample had different optical properties, as shown using ultraviolet–visible spectrometry, and the HA phase formation was proved using Raman spectroscopy. Thereby, SS_TiO2 + HA increased the corrosion resistance of titanium in artificial saliva medium, as shown by linear polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results. When using chitosan, the samples showed two corrosion interfaces, indicating its dissolution in human medium. These results indicate that the samples are excellent materials for dental implants.
The aim of this study was to develop and to assess a specific Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) framework to evaluate new drugs in an hospital pharmacy and therapeutics committee (P&TC) setting.
A pilot criteria framework was developed based on the EVIDEM (Evidence and Value: Impact on DEcisionMaking) framework, together with other relevant criteria, and assessed by a group of P&TC's members. The weighting of included criteria was done using a 5-point weighting technique. Two drugs were chosen by evaluation: an orphan-drug for Gaucher disease, and a nonorphan drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Evidence matrices were developed, and value contribution of each drug was evaluated by P&TC's members. An agreed final framework was obtained through a discussion between the P&TC's members.
After criteria assessment, the pilot framework included eight quantitative criteria: “disease severity,” “unmet needs,” “comparative efficacy/effectiveness,” “comparative safety/tolerability,” “comparative patient-reported outcomes,” “comparative cost consequences-cost of treatment,” “comparative cost consequences-other medical costs,” and “quality of evidence”; and one contextual criterion: “opportunity costs and affordability.” The most valued criteria were: “comparative safety/tolerability,” “disease severity,” and “comparative efficacy/effectiveness.” When assessing the drugs most valued characteristics of the MCDA were the possibility that all team may contribute to drug assessment by means of scoring the matrices and the discussion to reach a consensus in drug positioning and value decision making.
The reflective MCDA would integrate quantitative and qualitative criteria relevant for a P&TC setting, allowing reflective discussions based on the criteria weighting score.
Hafnium diselenide (HfSe2) has a high theoretical carrier mobility but is among the most reactive transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Herein, we have investigated the air stability of 2H polytype HfSe2 single-crystal thin films by spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Raman spectroscopy measurements in conjunction with atomic force microscopy reveal the formation of selenium-rich blisters on the surface of the crystals upon air exposure. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicates that 2H-HfSe2 undergoes a spontaneous phase change to 1T-HfSe2. These results offer Raman spectroscopy as a fast, convenient, non-destructive technique to reliably monitor the surface degradation of TMDs and present an opportunity for further study of phase changes in this material.
Social cognition tasks, such as identification of emotions, can contribute to the diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders. The wide use of Facial Emotion Recognition Test (FERT) is hampered by the absence of normative dataset and by the limited understanding of how demographic factors such as age, education, gender, and cultural background may influence the performance on the test.
We analyzed the influence of these variables in the performance in the FERT from the short version of the Social and Emotional Assessment. This task is composed by 35 pictures with 7 different emotions presented 5 times each. Cognitively healthy Brazilian participants (n = 203; 109 females and 94 males) underwent the FERT. We compared the performance of participants across gender, age, and educational subgroups. We also compared the performance of Brazilians with a group of French subjects (n = 60) matched for gender, age, and educational level.
There was no gender difference regarding the performance on total score and in each emotion subscore in the Brazilian sample. We found a significant effect of aging and schooling on the performance on the FERT, with younger and more educated subjects having higher scores. Brazilian and French participants did not differ in the FERT and its subscores. Normative data for employing the FERT in Brazilian population is presented.
Data here provided may contribute to the interpretation of the results of FERT in different cultural contexts and highlight the common bias that should be corrected in the future tasks to be developed.
Four new malformations observed in blue shark embryos in the western coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico are reported in this study. The embryos of blue shark samples were obtained on board the industrial fishing boat ‘Damasta’; the organisms were frozen and transferred to CIBNOR Fish Ecology Laboratory where the corresponding measurements were taken and malformations observed. The first malformation was the presence of one nostril in two female embryos that showed short and crushed snouts. The second one was observed in a female with two jaws and the middle portion of the column trunk in screw-shape. The third one was an embryo with dicephaly, two separate vertebral columns, two first dorsal fin pairs, absence of the second dorsal fin, five pelvic fins and two joint caudal fins. The fourth malformation observed was an embryo with incomplete development and undifferentiated sex. Malformations are still a mystery and also an object of study because they affect different organisms, not only sharks but also fish. It is highly relevant to know the causes and perform further studies to understand if the origin is either genetic or anthropogenic.
The low-profile foreign policy of the Fernando Collor de Mello government remained faithful to the major outlines which had guided Brazilian diplomacy for the last thirty years. In fact, during the 1990-91 period, the administration reaffirmed — in both actions and words —its commitment to such basic principles of Brazilian policy as national sovereignty, socio-economic development, international cooperation, multilateralism, universalism, and devotion to peace.
In addition the government continued to pursue the twin goals of technological progress and regional integration, both tenets of Brazilian foreign policy since the 1950s which continued to rank high on the executive agenda in 1990-91.
In fact, some of the above-named principles had become so established as national articles of faith that they were incorporated into the Federal Constitution of October 1988.
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.
The role of canopy gaps in tropical dry forest (TDF) dynamics remains unclear. Here, 75 canopy gaps, mostly formed by the fall of Bursera spp. and Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum individuals, are described, and their potential consequences for forest regeneration are analysed in a Mexican TDF. In 50 randomly selected gaps, understorey vegetation was sampled with a paired design (inside and outside gaps) and by distinguishing two plant height categories. In total, 1940 plants were recorded (63% in gaps and 37% in non-gap plots). Community attributes (density, community cover, taxonomic richness and Shannon diversity) were significantly higher for both height categories in gap plots. Conversely, neither an NMDS ordination nor a multinomial classification of 187 species by habitat affinities revealed floristic segregation between gaps and non-gaps; almost all species were classified as habitat generalists, with only a few opportunistic forbs (but no single tree species) being classified as gap specialists. The most important effects of gap formation are significant increases in plant abundance and species richness, but not a different species composition. Against earlier views that gap-phase dynamics is inconsequential for TDF dynamics, these results suggest a more active, albeit modest, role of treefall gaps in TDF, through promoting an abundant establishment.
Background: Polymorphisms in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and in the plasminogen activator inhibitor -1 (PAI-1) genes have been implicated in stroke pathogenesis but results are still controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the possible contribution of Glu298Asp in the eNOS and 4G/5G in the PAI-1polymorphisms with ischemic stroke in a young Mexican population. Materials and Methods: In a case-control study, conducted between January 2006 and June 2010, 204 patients ≤45 years of age with ischemic stroke and 204 controls matched by age and gender, were recruited. The Glu298Asp and 4G/5G polymorphisms were determined in all participants by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Results: There was a significant difference in the Glu298Asp genotype distribution (P=0.001) and allele frequency between the two groups (P=0.001). The 4G/5G genotype distribution (P=0.40) and the allele frequency was similar between groups; (P=0.13). There were independent factors for ischemic stroke: Asp carriage (GluAsp+AspAsp) (P=0.02); smoking (P=0.01); hypertension (P=0.03), and familial history of atherothrombotic disease (P=0.04). Conclusions: The Asp allele from the Gu298Asp gene represents an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke in a young Mexican population. In contrast, the 4G/5G was not associated with an increased risk for this disease in the same group of patients, as previously has been demonstrated in other populations.