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The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
It is known that pigs can acquire flavour preferences by brief social interactions with conspecifics that previously consumed a flavoured solid feed. However, there is no information about whether a flavoured solution could support flavour preferences through social transmission. Ninety-six pigs (49 days old) were housed in 12 pens (8 pigs/pen). Four animals per pen were randomly selected to act as observers and four as demonstrators. Demonstrator animals were temporarily moved to an empty pen where a protein solution was offered (porcine digestive peptides (PDPs), 4% weight/volume) with the addition of 0.075% aniseed (six pens) or garlic (six pens) powdered artificial flavours for 30 min. Afterwards, demonstrators were returned to interact with observer animals for 30 min. A choice test (30 min) between aniseed and garlic PDP was performed for each observer group after the interaction. Observers showed a higher intake of solutions previously consumed by their demonstrator conspecifics (648 v. 468 ml; SEM 61.36, P < 0.05). As with flavoured solid feeds, protein solutions containing artificial flavours can create preferences in pigs for those flavours through social transmission from conspecifics.
Due to the growing interest in the role of dietary patterns (DPs) on chronic diseases, we assessed the association between a posteriori identified DPs in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project – a prospective cohort study in a Mediterranean country – and breast cancer (BC) risk.
DPs were ascertained through a principal component analysis based on 31 predefined food groups. BC cases were initially identified through self-report or, if deceased, from death certificates or by notification by the next kin. Women reporting BC were asked to provide a copy of their medical report and diagnoses for confirmation purposes. We fitted Cox regression models to assess the association between adherence to the identified DPs and BC risk.
Spanish university graduates.
We included 10 713 young and middle-aged – mainly premenopausal – women.
After a median follow-up of 10·3 years, we identified 100 confirmed and 168 probable incident BC cases. We described two major DPs: ‘Western dietary pattern’ (WDP) and ‘Mediterranean dietary pattern’ (MDP). A higher adherence to a WDP was associated with an increased risk of overall BC (multivariable-adjusted HR for confirmed BC Q4 v. Q1 1·70; 95 % CI 0·93, 3·12; P for trend = 0·045). Contrarily, adherence to a MDP was inversely associated with premenopausal BC (multivariable-adjusted HR Q4 v. Q1 0·33; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·91). No significant associations were observed for postmenopausal BC.
Whereas a higher adherence to the WDP may increase the risk of BC, a higher adherence to the MDP may decrease the risk of premenopausal BC.
In recent decades, concern about rabbit welfare and sustainability has increased. The housing system is a very important factor for animal welfare. However, information about how different available housing types for female rabbits affect their health status is scarce, but this is an important factor for their welfare. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the health status of female rabbits in five common housing systems: three different single-housing systems with distinct available surfaces and heights; a single-housing system with a platform; a collective system. Female rabbits in the collective and platform cages had greater cortisol concentrations in hair than those in the single-housing system with no platform. Haptoglobin concentrations and kit mortality rates during lactation were greater for the collective-cage female rabbits. The collective group had more culled females and more lesions than in the other groups. The main reasons for culling in all the groups were reproduction problems and presence of abscesses, and the collective group of females was the most affected. In conclusion, it appears that keeping females together in collective systems negatively affects their health status and welfare, while single-housing systems imply lower kit mortality rates during lactation and cortisol concentrations, and fewer lesions in female rabbits.
Highly critical application domains, like medicine and aerospace, require the use of strict design, implementation, and validation techniques. Functional languages have been used in these domains to develop synchronous dataflow programming languages for reactive systems. Causal stream functions and functional reactive programming (FRP) capture the essence of those languages in a way that is both elegant and robust. To guarantee that critical systems can operate under high stress over long periods of time, these applications require clear specifications of possible faults and hazards, and how they are being handled. Modeling failure is straightforward in functional languages, and many functional reactive abstractions incorporate support for failure or termination. However, handling unknown types of faults, and incorporating fault tolerance into FRP, requires a different construction and remains an open problem. This work demonstrates how to extend an existing functional reactive framework with fault tolerance features. At value level, we tag faulty signals with reliability and probability information and use random testing to inject faults and validate system properties encoded in temporal logic. At type level, we tag components with the kinds of faults they may exhibit and use type-level programming to obtain compile-time guarantees of key aspects of fault tolerance. Our approach is powerful enough to be used in systems with realistic complexity, and flexible enough to be used to guide system analysis and design, validate system properties in the presence of faults, perform runtime monitoring, and study the effects of different fault tolerance mechanisms.
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
The aim of this study was to describe individuals seeking care for injury at a major emergency department (ED) in southern Puerto Rico in the months after Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017.
After informed consent, we used a modified version of the Natural Disaster Morbidity Surveillance Form to determine why patients were visiting the ED during October 16, 2017–March 28, 2018. We analyzed visits where injury was reported as the primary reason for visit and whether it was hurricane-related.
Among 5 116 patients, 573 (11%) reported injury as the primary reason for a visit. Of these, 10% were hurricane-related visits. The most common types of injuries were abrasions, lacerations, and cuts (43% of all injury visits and 50% of hurricane-related visits). The most common mechanisms of injury were falls, slips, trips (268, 47%), and being hit by/or against an object (88, 15%). Most injury visits occurred during the first 3 months after the hurricane.
Surveillance after Hurricane Maria identified injury as the reason for a visit for about 1 in 10 patients visiting the ED, providing evidence on the patterns of injuries in the months following a hurricane. Public health and emergency providers can use this information to anticipate health care needs after a disaster.
A high degree of vigilance and appropriate diagnostic methods are required to detect Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). We studied the effectiveness of a multimodal training program for improving CDI surveillance and prevention. Between 2011 and 2016, this program was made available to healthcare staff of acute care hospitals in Catalonia. The program included an online course, two face-to-face workshops and dissemination of recommendations on prevention and diagnosis. Adherence to the recommendations was evaluated through surveys administered to the infection control teams at the 38 participating hospitals. The incidence of CDI increased from 2.20 cases/10 000 patient-days in 2011 to 3.41 in 2016 (P < 0.001). The number of hospitals that applied an optimal diagnostic algorithm rose from 32.0% to 71.1% (P = 0.002). Hospitals that applied an optimal diagnostic algorithm reported a higher overall incidence of CDI (3.62 vs. 1.92, P < 0.001), and hospitals that were more active in searching for cases reported higher rates of hospital-acquired CDI (1.76 vs. 0.84, P < 0.001). The results suggest that the application of a multimodal training strategy was associated with a significant rise in the reporting of CDI, as well as with an increase in the application of the optimal diagnostic algorithm.
“Uncertain futures” refers to a set of policy problems that possess some combination of the following characteristics: (i) they potentially cause irreversible changes; (ii) they are widespread, so that policy responses may make sense only on a global scale; (iii) network effects are difficult to understand and may amplify (or moderate) consequences; (iv) time horizons are long; and (v) the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes is unknown or even unknowable. These characteristics tend to make uncertain futures intractable to market solutions because property rights are not clearly defined and essential information is unavailable. These same factors also pose challenges for benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and other traditional decision analysis tools. The diverse policy decisions confronting decision-makers today demand “dynamic BCA,” analytic frameworks that incorporate uncertainties and trade-offs across policy areas, recognizing that: perceptions of risks can be uninformed, misinformed, or inaccurate; risk characterization can suffer from ambiguity; and experts’ tendency to focus on one risk at a time may blind policymakers to important trade-offs. Dynamic BCA – which recognizes trade-offs, anticipates the need to learn from experience, and encourages learning – is essential for lowering the likelihoods and mitigating the consequences of uncertain futures while encouraging economic growth, reducing fragility, and increasing resilience.
On 16 March 2018, a nursing home notified a possible acute gastroenteritis outbreak that affected 11 people. Descriptive and case–control studies and analysis of clinical and environmental samples were carried out to determine the characteristics of the outbreak, its aetiology, the transmission mechanism and the causal food. The extent of the outbreak in and outside the nursing home was determined and the staff factors influencing propagation were studied by multivariate analysis. A turkey dinner on March 14 was associated with the outbreak (OR 4.22, 95% CI 1.11–16.01). Norovirus genogroups I and II were identified in stool samples. The attack rates in residents, staff and household contacts of staff were 23.49%, 46.22% and 22.87%, respectively. Care assistants and cleaning staff were the staff most frequently affected. Cohabitation with an affected care assistant was the most important factor in the occurrence of cases in the home (adjusted OR 6.37, 95% CI 1.13–36.02). Our results show that staff in close contact with residents and their household contacts had a higher risk of infection during the norovirus outbreak.
Here, different tissue surfaces of tomato root were characterized employing atomic force microscopy on day 7 and day 21 of growth through Young's modulus and plasticity index. These parameters provide quantitative information regarding the mechanical behavior of the tomato root under fresh conditions in different locations of the cross-section of root [cell surface of the epidermis, parenchyma (Pa), and vascular bundles (Vb)]. The results show that the mechanical parameters depend on the indented region, tissue type, and growth time. Thereby, the stiffness increases in the cell surface of epidermal tissue with increasing growth time (from 9.19 ± 0.68 to 13.90 ± 1.68 MPa) and the cell surface of Pa tissue displays the opposite behavior (from 1.74 ± 0.49 to 0.48 ± 0.55); the stiffness of cell surfaces of Vb tissue changes from 10.60 ± 0.58 to 6.37 ± 0.53 MPa, all cases showed a statistical difference (p < 0.05). Viscoelastic behavior dominates the mechanical forces in the tomato root. The current study is a contribution to a better understanding of the cell mechanics behavior of different tomato root tissues during growth.
Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is a temperament type that predicts social withdrawal in childhood and anxiety disorders later in life. However, not all BI children develop anxiety. Attention bias (AB) may enhance the vulnerability for anxiety in BI children, and interfere with their development of effective emotion regulation. In order to fully probe attention patterns, we used traditional measures of reaction time (RT), stationary eye-tracking, and recently emerging mobile eye-tracking measures of attention in a sample of 5- to 7-year-olds characterized as BI (N = 23) or non-BI (N = 58) using parent reports. There were no BI-related differences in RT or stationary eye-tracking indices of AB in a dot-probe task. However, findings in a subsample from whom eye-tracking data were collected during a live social interaction indicated that BI children (N = 12) directed fewer gaze shifts to the stranger than non-BI children (N = 25). Moreover, the frequency of gazes toward the stranger was positively associated with stationary AB only in BI, but not in non-BI, children. Hence, BI was characterized by a consistent pattern of attention across stationary and ambulatory measures. We demonstrate the utility of mobile eye-tracking as an effective tool to extend the assessment of attention and regulation to social interactive contexts.
The VISCACHA (VIsible Soar photometry of star Clusters in tApii and Coxi HuguA†) Survey is an ongoing project based on deep and spatially resolved photometric observations of Magellanic Cloud star clusters, collected using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope together with the SOAR Adaptive Module Imager. So far we have used >300h of telescope time to observe ∼150 star clusters, mostly with low mass (M < 104M⊙) on the outskirts of the LMC and SMC. With this high-quality data set, we homogeneously determine physical properties using deep colour-magnitude diagrams (ages, metallicities, reddening, distances, mass, luminosity and mass functions) and structural parameters (radial density profiles, sizes) for these clusters which are used as a proxy to investigate the interplay between the Magellanic Clouds and their evolution. We present the VISCACHA survey and its initial results, based on our first two papers. The project’s long term goals and expected legacy to the community are also addressed.
Milk is an important protein source in human diets, providing around 32 g protein/l (for bovine milk, which constitutes some 85% of global consumption). The most abundant milk proteins are α-lactalbumin, β-lactoglobulin, αs-casein, β-casein, and κ-casein. Besides their nutritional value, milk proteins play a crucial role in the processing properties of milk, such as solubility, water bonding, heat stability, renneting and foaming, among others. In addition, and most importantly for this review, these proteins are the main source of bioactive components in milk. Due to the wide range of proposed beneficial effects on human health, milk proteins are considered as potential ingredients for the production of health-promoting functional foods. However, most of the evidence for bioactive effects comes from in vitro studies, and there is a need for further research to fully evaluate the true potential of milk-derived bioactive factors. Animal genetics and animal nutrition play an important role in the relative proportions of milk proteins and could be used to manipulate the concentration of specific bioactive peptides in milk from ruminants. Unfortunately, only a few studies in the literature have focused on changes in milk bioactive peptides associated to animal genetics and animal nutrition. The knowledge described in the present review may set the basis for further research and for the development of new dairy products with healthy and beneficial properties for humans.
We investigated the distribution of comorbidities among adult tuberculosis (TB) patients in Chiapas, the poorest Mexican state, with a high presence of indigenous population, and a corridor for migrants from Latin America. Secondary analysis on 5508 new adult TB patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 revealed that the most prevalent comorbidities were diabetes mellitus (DM; 19.1%) and undernutrition (14.4%). The prevalence of DM in these TB patients was significantly higher among middle aged (41–64 years) compared with older adults (⩾65 years) (38.6% vs. 23.2%; P < 0.0001). The prevalence of undernutrition was lower among those with DM, and higher in communities with high indigenous presence. Immigrants only comprised 2% of all TB cases, but were more likely to have unfavourable TB treatment outcomes (treatment failure, death and default) when compared with those born in Chiapas (29.5% vs. 11.1%; P < 0.05). Unfavourable TB outcomes were also more prevalent among the TB patients with undernutrition, HIV or older age, but not DM (P < 0.05). Our study in Chiapas illustrates the challenges of other regions worldwide where social (e.g. indigenous origin, poverty, migration) and host factors (DM, undernutrition, HIV, older age) are associated with TB. Further understanding of these critical factors will guide local policy makers and health providers to improve TB management.
The present work is aimed to study a comparison among synthesized graphene films, deposited on copper substrates and commercial graphene films; both decorated with Eu2O3 particles, with the purpose of promoting photoluminescence. The decoration procedure was achieved using the radio frequency sputtering (R.F. Sputtering) technique for the deposition of Eu2O3 on synthesized or commercial graphene films. The SEM obtained images, show differences in morphology when commercial and synthesized graphene films are compared. Our results indicate that the type of surface is the main factor that accounts for the europium oxide spatial distribution that ultimately leads to luminescence enhancing. The x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses, showed the trivalent oxidation state of europium and the atomic content of Europium for both; the commercial graphene film and synthesized one, where the first one presented the higher europium concentration. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy reveals that graphene films become disordered after the decoration is achieved. The main Raman bands of the commercial graphene films undergo a remarkable red shift, as a consequence of the presence of europium oxide It was observed that the interaction of Eu2O3 with the sp2 levels of graphene, improves the red photoluminescence of the samples grown on both, commercial and prepared graphene films.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.