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This article emerged as the human species collectively have been experiencing the worst global pandemic in a century. With a long view of the ecological, economic, social, and political factors that promote the emergence and spread of infectious disease, archaeologists are well positioned to examine the antecedents of the present crisis. In this article, we bring together a variety of perspectives on the issues surrounding the emergence, spread, and effects of disease in both the Americas and Afro-Eurasian contexts. Recognizing that human populations most severely impacted by COVID-19 are typically descendants of marginalized groups, we investigate pre- and postcontact disease vectors among Indigenous and Black communities in North America, outlining the systemic impacts of diseases and the conditions that exacerbate their spread. We look at how material culture both reflects and changes as a result of social transformations brought about by disease, the insights that paleopathology provides about the ancient human condition, and the impacts of ancient globalization on the spread of disease worldwide. By understanding the differential effects of past epidemics on diverse communities and contributing to more equitable sociopolitical agendas, archaeology can play a key role in helping to pursue a more just future.
Although passive occupational exoskeletons alleviate worker physical stresses in demanding postures (e.g., overhead work), they are unsuitable in many other applications because of their lack of flexibility. Active exoskeletons that are able to dynamically adjust the delivered support are required. However, the automatic control of support provided by the exoskeleton is still a largely unsolved challenge in many applications, especially for upper limb occupational exoskeletons, where no practical and reliable approach exists. For this type of exoskeletons, a novel support control approach for lifting and carrying activities is presented here. As an initial step towards a full-fledged automatic support control (ASC), the present article focusses on the functionality of estimating the onset of user’s demand for support. In this way, intuitive behavior should be made possible. The combination of movement and muscle activation signals of the upper limbs is expected to enable high reliability, cost efficiency, and compatibility for use in industrial applications. The functionality consists of two parts: a preprocessing—the motion interpretation—and the support detection itself. Both parts were trained with different subjects, who had to move objects. The functionality was validated both in the cases of (A) an unknown subject performing known tasks and (B) a known subject performing unknown tasks. The functionality showed sound results as it achieved a high accuracy (
$$ 95\% $$
) in training. In addition, the first validation results showed that this functionality is useful for integration in an appropriately adapted ASC and can then enable comfortable working.
When people interact, aspects of their speech and language patterns often converge in interactions involving one or more languages. Most studies of speech convergence in conversations have examined monolingual interactions, whereas most studies of bilingual speech convergence have examined spoken responses to prompts. However, it is not uncommon in multilingual communities to converse in two languages, where each speaker primarily produces only one of the two languages. The present study examined complexity matching and lexical matching as two measures of speech convergence in conversations spoken in English, Spanish, or both languages. Complexity matching measured convergence in the hierarchical timing of speech, and lexical matching measured convergence in the frequency distributions of lemmas produced. Both types of matching were found equally in all three language conditions. Taken together, the results indicate that convergence is robust to monolingual and bilingual interactions because it stems from basic mechanisms of coordination and communication.
Southern Iceland is one of the main outlets of the Icelandic ice sheet and is subject to seismicity of both tectonic and volcanic origins along the South Iceland Seismic Zone (SISZ). A sedimentary complex spanning Marine Isotopic Stage 6 (MIS 6) to the present includes evidence of both activities. It includes a continuous sedimentary record since the Eemian interglacial period, controlled by a rapid deglaciation, followed by two marine glacioisostasy-forced transgressions, separated by a regression phase connected to an intra-MIS 5e glacial advance. This record has been constrained by tephrostratigraphy and dating. Analysis of this record has provided better insights into the interconnectedness of hydrology and volcanic and tectonic activity during deglaciations and glaciations. Low-intensity earthquakes recurrently affected the water-laid sedimentation during the early stages of unloading, accompanying rifting events, dyke injection, and fault reactivations. During full interglacial periods, earthquakes were significantly less frequent but of higher magnitude along the SISZ, due to stress accumulation, favored by low groundwater levels and more limited magma production. Occurrence of volcanism and seismicity in Iceland is commonly related to rifting events. Subglacial volcanic events seem moreover to have been related to stress unlocking related to limited or full unloading/deglaciation events. Major eruptions were mostly located at the melting margin of the ice sheet.
Physical activity (PA) may be therapeutic for people with severe mental illness (SMI) who generally have low PA and experience numerous life style-related medical complications. We conducted a meta-review of PA interventions and their impact on health outcomes for people with SMI, including schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder. We searched major electronic databases until January 2018 for systematic reviews with/without meta-analysis that investigated PA for any SMI. We rated the quality of studies with the AMSTAR tool, grading the quality of evidence, and identifying gaps, future research needs and clinical practice recommendations. For MDD, consistent evidence indicated that PA can improve depressive symptoms versus control conditions, with effects comparable to those of antidepressants and psychotherapy. PA can also improve cardiorespiratory fitness and quality of life in people with MDD, although the impact on physical health outcomes was limited. There were no differences in adverse events versus control conditions. For MDD, larger effect sizes were seen when PA was delivered at moderate-vigorous intensity and supervised by an exercise specialist. For schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, evidence indicates that aerobic PA can reduce psychiatric symptoms, improves cognition and various subdomains, cardiorespiratory fitness, whilst evidence for the impact on anthropometric measures was inconsistent. There was a paucity of studies investigating PA in bipolar disorder, precluding any definitive recommendations. No cost effectiveness analyses in any SMI condition were identified. We make multiple recommendations to fill existing research gaps and increase the use of PA in routine clinical care aimed at improving psychiatric and medical outcomes.
The pre-last glacial maximum paleolake sediments at Baumkirchen, western Austria, are well known in Alpine Quaternary stratigraphy as being the type locality of the Middle to Upper Würmian transition. Their location provides a rare opportunity to investigate the vegetation history of the interior of the Alps during the last glacial cycle. A recent renewed research effort involving new drilling revealed a 250-m-thick lacustrine sequence with an older, ca. Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 4 phase and a younger, mid- to late MIS 3 phase. Pollen analysis reveals generally poor preservation and very low pollen concentration due to very high sedimentation rates. On the basis of pollen percentages and influx rates, six pollen zones (PZ) were assigned. PZ1 and 2 correspond to the entire ca. MIS 4 section and are characterized by only scattered vegetation representing an extremely cold and dry climate. Two stadials and two interstadials were identified in the MIS 3 section. The interstadials are characterized by well-developed open vegetation with some stands of trees, with the upper PZ6 being better developed but still forest-free. On the basis of previous radiocarbon dating, this zone (PZ6) is correlated to Greenland Interstadial (GI) 7 and the lower interstadial (PZ4) tentatively to GI 8.
Supraglacial deposits are known for their influence on glacier ablation. The magnitude of this influence depends on the thickness and the type of the deposited material. The effects of thin layers of atmospheric black carbon and of thick moraine debris have been intensively studied. Studies related to regional-scale deposits of volcanic tephra with thicknesses varying between millimetres and metres and thus over several orders of magnitude are scarce. We present results of a field experiment in which we investigated the influence of supraglacial deposits of tephra from Grímsvötn volcano on bare-ice ablation at Svínafelsjökull, Iceland. We observed that the effective thickness at which ablation is maximized ranges from 1.0 to 2.0 mm. At ~10 mm a critical thickness is reached where sub-tephra ablation equals bare-ice ablation. We calibrated two empirical ablation models and a semi-physics-based ablation model that all account for varying tephra-layer thicknesses. A comparison of the three models indicates that for tephra deposits in the lower-millimetre scale the temperature/radiation-index model performs best, but that a semi-physics-based approach could be expected to yield superior results for tephra deposits of the order of decimetres.
Using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Level 1 radiance Swath Data (MOD02QKM) with a spatial resolution of 250 m, we derive snowlines during July–September 2001–12 for several mountain ranges distributed across the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Radiance bands 1 and 2 are projected to the study area and processed automatically. The discrimination between snow and ice is done using a k-mean cluster analysis and the snowlines are delineated based on a fixed percentile of the snow-cover altitude. The highest transient snowline altitude is then taken as a proxy for the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA). In the absence of measured glaciological, meteorological or hydrological data, our ELA time series enable better understanding of atmosphere-cryosphere couplings on the TP. Interannual ELA variability is linked to local and remote climate indices using a correlation analysis. Southerly flow and higher temperatures are linked with a higher ELA in most regions. Eastern and Trans-Himalayan sites show positive correlations between winter temperatures and ELA. As winter temperatures are substantially below zero, this suggests an enhancement of winter sublimation as opposed to a reduction in accumulation. It appears that large-scale atmospheric forcing has varying and sometimes opposite influences on the annual ELA in different regions on the TP.
We use numerical modelling of glacier mass balance combined with recent and past glacier extents to obtain information on Little Ice Age (LIA) climate in southeastern Tibet. We choose two glaciers that have been analysed in a previous study of equilibrium-line altitudes (ELA) and LIA glacier advances with remote-sensing approaches. We apply a physically based surface energy- and mass-balance model that is forced by dynamically downscaled global analysis data. The model is applied to two glacier stages mapped from satellite imagery, modern (1999) and LIA. Precipitation scaling factors (PSF) and air temperature offsets (ATO) are applied to reproduce recent ELA and glacier mass balance (MB) during the LIA. A sensitivity analysis is performed by applying seasonally varying gradients of precipitation and air temperature. The calculated glacier-wide MB estimate for the period 2000–12 is negative for both glaciers (–992±366 kgm–2 a–1 and –1053±258 kgm–2 a–1). Relating recent and LIA PSF/ATO sets suggests a LIA climate with ~8–25% increased precipitation and ~1–2.5°C lower mean air temperature than in the period 2000–12. The results only provide an order of magnitude because deviations in other input parameters are not considered.
Placebo responses raise significant challenges for the design of clinical trials. We report changes in agitation outcomes in the placebo arm of a recent trial of citalopram for agitation in Alzheimer's disease (CitAD).
In the CitAD study, all participants and caregivers received a psychosocial intervention and 92 were assigned to placebo for nine weeks. Outcomes included Neurobehavioral Rating Scale agitation subscale (NBRS-A), modified AD Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC), Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Agitation/Aggression domain (NPI A/A) and Total (NPI-Total) and ADLs. Continuous outcomes were analyzed with mixed-effects modeling and dichotomous outcomes with logistic regression.
Agitation outcomes improved over nine weeks: NBRS-A mean (SD) decreased from 7.8 (3.0) at baseline to 5.4 (3.2), CMAI from 28.7 (6.7) to 26.7 (7.4), NPI A/A from 8.0 (2.4) to 4.9 (3.8), and NPI-Total from 37.3 (17.7) to 28.4 (22.1). The proportion of CGI-C agitation responders ranged from 21 to 29% and was significantly different from zero. MMSE improved from 14.4 (6.9) to 15.7 (7.2) and ADLs similarly improved. Most of the improvement was observed by three weeks and was sustained through nine weeks. The major predictor of improvement in each agitation measure was a higher baseline score in that measure.
We observed significant placebo response which may be due to regression to the mean, response to a psychosocial intervention, natural course of symptoms, or nonspecific benefits of participation in a trial.
Most glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau are difficult to assess as they are located in remote regions at high altitude. This study focuses on the surface energy-balance (SEB) and mass-balance (MB) characteristics of Purogangri ice cap (PIC). A ‘COupled Snowpack and Ice surface energy and MAss balance model’ (COSIMA) is applied without observational data from the ground. The model is forced by a meteorological dataset from the High Asia Refined analysis. Model results for annual surface-elevation changes and MB agree well with the results of a previous remote-sensing estimate. Low surface velocities of 0.026 ± 0.012 m d−1 were measured by repeat-pass InSAR. This finding supports the validation of the steady-state COSIMA against satellite-derived surface changes. Overall MB of PIC for the period 2001–11 is nearly balanced (−44 kg m−2 a−1). Analysis of the model-derived SEB/MB components reveals that a significant amount of snowfall in spring is responsible for high surface albedo throughout the year. Thus, the average surface energy loss through net longwave radiation is larger than the energy gain through net shortwave radiation. The dry continental climate favours mass loss through sublimation, which accounts for 66% of the total mass loss.
A layered composite coating material with favorable properties for application as a transparent conductor is presented. It is composed of layers of three nanoscopic materials, namely zinc oxide nanoparticles, single wall nanotubes, and graphene oxide nanosheets. The electrically conducting layer consists of single wall nanotubes (SWNTs). The layer of zinc oxide nanoparticles acts as a primer. It increases the adhesion and the stability of the films against mechanical stresses. The top layer of graphene oxide enhances the conductivity of such coatings. Such three-layer composite coatings show better conductivity (without compromising transparency) and improved mechanical stability compared to pure SWNT films. The processes used in the preparation of such coatings are easily scalable.
Climate variables that control the annual cycle of the surface energy and mass balance on Zhadang glacier in the central Tibetan Plateau were examined over a 2 year period using a physically based energy-balance model forced by routine meteorological data. The modelled results agree with measured values of albedo, incoming longwave radiation, surface temperature and surface level of the glacier. For the whole observation period, the radiation component dominated (82%) the total surface energy heat fluxes. This was followed by turbulent sensible (10%) and latent heat (6%) fluxes. Subsurface heat flux represented a very minor proportion (2%) of the total heat flux. The sensitivity of specific mass balance was examined by perturbations of temperature (±1 K), relative humidity (±20%) and precipitation (±20%). The results indicate that the specific mass balance is more sensitive to changes in precipitation than to other variables. The main seasonal variations in the energy balance were in the two radiation components (net shortwave radiation and net longwave radiation) and these controlled whether surface melting occurred. A dramatic difference in summer mass balance between 2010 and 2011 indicates that the glacier surface mass balance was closely related to precipitation seasonality and form (proportion of snowfall and rainfall).
Vestfonna ice cap, northeastern Svalbard, is one of the largest ice bodies in the European Arctic, but little is known about the evolution of its mass balance. This study presents a reconstruction of the climatic mass balance of the ice cap for the period 1979/80-2010/11. The reconstruction is based on calculations using a mass-balance model that combines a surface-elevation-dependent accumulation scheme with a spatially distributed temperature-index ablation model that includes net shortwave radiation. Refreezing is included, based on the basic Pmax approach. The model accounts for cloud-cover effects and surface albedo variations that are calculated by a statistical albedo model. ERA-Interim derived air temperature, precipitation and total cloud-cover data are used as input. Results reveal a mean climatic mass-balance rate of +0.09 ± 0.15 m w.e. a–1 for the study period. Annual balances show a slight, insignificant trend towards less positive values over the study period. Refreezing is estimated to contribute about one-third to annual accumulation, and a significant positive trend in refreezing is present over the study period. The modelling results reveal a significant steepening of the climatic mass-balance gradient and indicate a lengthening of the characteristic 3 month ablation period in recent years.
Precipitation downscaling in mountainous regions with sparse station data is challenging, but needed to link global climate datasets with high-resolution glacier models. In this study, we apply a linear orographic precipitation model (OPM) to generate orographic precipitation fields for mass-balance studies at Gran Campo Nevado (GCN), Southern Patagonia. The OPM is driven by large-scale atmospheric input variables taken from the reanalysis data of the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research. The orographic precipitation fields are compared to precipitation fields assessed by a linear precipitation gradient, widely used in earlier mass-balance studies of GCN and elsewhere. Both downscaling methods are implemented into a degree-day model to analyze the sensitivity of mass-balance modeling to different precipitation inputs. Significant spatio-temporal differences are found, particularly in the summit region. The mass-balance modeling shows high sensitivity to the different precipitation distribution methods, leading to differences in the mass-balance gradients on the east side of GCN.
'Ain Ghazal is among the earliest large population centers known in the Middle East. A total of four major stratigraphic cultural units have been identified: 1) The oldest Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (MPPNB) unit (10.2 to 9.5 cal ka BP) clearly corresponds with the early Holocene maximum Dead Sea levels. 2) The second unit consists of Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (LPPNB) in situ walls and hearths. 3) In the subsequent PPNC (8.9 to 8.6 cal ka BP) the population density at the settlement drops dramatically, which corresponds with a significant drop in the Dead Sea level. 4) The 4th stratigraphic unit is characterized by the “Yarmoukian rubble layer”. Additionally, there is evidence for a previously unrecognized use of the site by Chalcolithic pastoralists. Sedimentological analyses reveal a constant increase in dust from a remote source during the entire human occupation period, which correlates well with the detectable drops in climatic humidity from the Dead Sea. As the major focus of this study, we can now rule out previous notions that the “Yarmoukian” rubble layer could have been produced by (catastrophic) slope-scale gravitational movements. To this point, it appears that the Neolithic mega-site was abandoned due to a climatic aridification.
Over the past two decades, Los Angeles County has implemented a Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT) to provide on-scene, advanced surgical care of injured patients as an element of the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Since 2008, the primary responsibility of the team has been to perform surgical procedures in the austere field setting when prolonged extrication is anticipated. Following the maxim of “life over limb,” the team is equipped to provide rapid amputation of an entrapped extremity as well as other procedures and medical care, such as anxiolytics and advanced pain control. This report describes the development and implementation of a local EMS system HERT.
Scott C, Putnam B, Bricker S, Schneider L, Raby S, Koenig W, Gausche-Hill M. The development and implementation of a Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT) for out-of-hospital surgical care. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(3):1-5.