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Population growth and rising incomes have led to increasing global demand for meat products. Meeting this demand without converting remaining natural ecosystems or further degrading ecosystems is one of the largest global sustainability challenges. A critical step to overcoming this challenge is to increase the productivity of livestock grazing systems, which occupy the largest land area of any type of agriculture globally. Integrated crop−livestock systems (iCL), which re-couple crop and livestock production at the farm scale, have been considered a promising strategy to tackle this challenge by restoring degraded pasturelands and providing supplemental nutrition to livestock. However, few studies have analyzed the economic viability of such systems, especially in Brazil, an important player in global food systems. This paper presents an economic analysis of iCL in Mato Grosso, Brazil, the largest grain and beef producer in the country, which spans the ecologically diverse Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal biomes. We compare the economic performance of an integrated soybean/corn and beef cattle system to a continuous crop (soybean/corn) system and a continuous livestock (beef cattle) production system from 2005 to 2012. We use empirical case study data to characterize a ‘typical’ farm for each production system within the study region. We find that the integrated crop−livestock system has a higher annual net present value (NPV) per hectare (ha) than continuous cropping or livestock under a range of discount rates. However, under a scenario of substantially higher crop prices, the continuous cropping outperforms iCL. While iCL is not feasible in all regions of the Amazon and Cerrado, our results indicate that in places where the biophysical and market conditions are suitable for production, it could be a highly profitable way to intensify cattle production and potentially spare land for other uses, including conservation. Nevertheless, additional credit and technical support may be needed to overcome high upfront costs and informational barriers to increase iCL areas as a sustainable development strategy for agriculture in the Amazon and Cerrado regions.
Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
“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.
For over a decade a transdiagnostic clinical staging framework for youth with anxiety, mood and psychotic disorders (linked with measurement of multidimensional outcomes), has been utilised in over 8,000 young people presenting to the enhanced primary (headspace) and secondary care clinics of the Brain and Mind Centre of the University of Sydney. This framework has been evaluated alongside a broad range of other clinical, neurobiological, neuropsychological, brain imaging, circadian, metabolic, longitudinal cohort and controlled intervention studies. This has led to specific tests of its concurrent, discriminant and predictive validity. These extensive data provide strong preliminary evidence that: i) varying stages of illness are associated with predicted differences in a range of independent and objectively measured neuropsychological and other biomarkers (both cross-sectionally and longitudinally); and, ii) that earlier stages of illness progress at variable rates to later and more severe or persistent disorders. Importantly, approximately 15-20% of those young people classed as stage 1b or ‘attenuated’ syndromes at presentation progress to more severe or persistent disorders. Consequently, this cohort should be the focus of active secondary prevention trials. In clinical practice, we are moving to combine the staging framework with likely pathophysiological paths (e.g. neurodevelopmental-psychotic, anxiety-depression, circadian-bipolar) to underpin enhanced treatment selection.
We investigate the slat narrowband peak noise generating mechanism. Unsteady flow data were generated by a lattice-Boltzmann-based commercial code for four configurations, accounting for variations of the airfoil angle of attack and slat overlap. Comparison with experimental results indicates that the aspects of the flow field relevant for the generation of the narrowband peaks were accurately captured. Frequency-domain proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is applied to identify dominant large-scale structures in the frequency range dominated by the peaks. The combined use of the two POD metrics, namely, the turbulent kinetic energy in the turbulent flow region and the acoustic pressure in the far field, demonstrated that the structures most correlated with the noise resemble spanwise coherent Kelvin–Helmholtz vortices which dominate the slat cove only at the frequency of the narrowband peaks. Time evolution of the structures educed using the acoustic pressure correlation provides detailed evidence of the hydrodynamic and acoustic steps of a Rossiter-like feedback mechanism between the slat cusp and trailing edge. The combined analysis of results for the different slat configurations provides an explanation for the effect of the slat configuration on the amplitude of the narrowband peaks observed in previous studies, particularly the influence of the main-element suction peak.
These are tumultuous times for policing in America. Deadly use of force by the police in large and small cities across the United States has led to protests, riots, and heated debates. Public criticism of policing, however, goes well beyond use of deadly force.
The Rio Branco is a river with unique biogeographic and ecological features, threatened by the Brazilian Government’s plan to build a major hydroelectric dam and associated hydroway along its course. The river crosses one of Amazonia’s largest rainfall gradients and a major geomorphological boundary along a savanna/forest ecotone, marked by the Bem Querer rapids. Above the rapids, the upper Rio Branco runs through the Boa Vista sedimentary formation and crosses the crystalline rocks of the Guiana Shield, and its margins are flanked by gallery forests. Downriver, it runs through a low-lying sedimentary basin, with Amazonian floodplain forests along its margins. Here, we present the results of ∼ 15 years of ornithological research on the Branco and its major tributaries, providing baseline data and evaluating potential threats to the riverine avifauna. Our surveys included opportunistic observations and standardized surveys along the entire length of the river in 16 systematically distributed localities. We catalogued 439 bird species, 87% of which are documented by physical evidence (specimens, recordings, photographs). Forty-six percent are restricted to single habitats, suggesting a high degree of habitat specialisation. A third of the species are widely distributed along the river, whereas 45% are restricted to either the upper or the lower Rio Branco, including 40 and 30 Indicator Species, respectively. Twenty-five species are threatened at global or national levels, including two ‘Critically Endangered’, nine ‘Vulnerable’, and 14 ‘Near Threatened’. We present a list of 50 bird species that are candidates for monitoring studies. Threats to the avifauna from dam construction include permanent flooding above the dam, eliminating gallery forests, river islands, and sandy beaches, and the disruption of the flood pulse along the river, affecting river island and floodplain forest specialists, many of which are globally threatened with extinction. If built, the Bem Querer dam will wipe out the ecotone region and affect dramatically the river’s avifauna.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
In this cohort of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp hospital-onset bacteremia, isolated fluoroquinolone resistance had a larger relative impact on mortality than other phenotypic resistance patterns. This finding may support stewardship efforts targeting unnecessary fluoroquinolone use and increased attention from infection prevention and control departments.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
The growing availability of mobile technologies has contributed to an increase in mobile-assisted language learning in which learners can autonomously study a second language (L2) anytime or anywhere (e.g. Kukulska-Hulme, Lee & Norris, 2017; Reinders & Benson, 2017). Research investigating the effectiveness of such study for L2 learning, however, has been limited, especially regarding large-scale commercial L2 learning apps, such as Duolingo. Although one commissioned research study found favorable language learning outcomes (Vesselinov & Grego, 2012), limited independent research has reported issues related to learner persistence, motivation, and program efficacy (Lord, 2015; Nielson, 2011). The current study investigates the semester-long learning experiences and results of nine participants learning Turkish on Duolingo. The participants showed improvement on L2 measures at the end of the study, and results indicate a positive, moderate correlation between the amount of time spent on Duolingo and learning gains. In terms of perceptions of their experiences, the participants generally viewed Duolingo’s flexibility and gamification aspects positively; however, variability in motivation to study and frustration with instructional materials were also expressed.
Background: Although exposure-based therapy is a well-established, effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), some practitioners report reluctance to implement it due to concerns that it may exacerbate symptoms of PTSD and commonly comorbid disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD).
Aim: This study compared the exacerbation of psychological symptoms among participants with comorbid PTSD and SUD who received either SUD treatment alone or SUD treatment integrated with exposure therapy for PTSD.
Method: Participants (N = 71) were treatment-seeking, military Veterans with comorbid PTSD and SUD who were randomized to 12 individual sessions of either (1) an integrated, exposure-based treatment (Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders using Prolonged Exposure; COPE); or (2) a non-exposure-based, SUD-only treatment (Relapse Prevention; RP). We examined between-group differences in the frequency of statistically reliable exacerbations of PTSD, SUD and depression symptoms experienced during treatment.
Results: At each of the 12 sessions, symptom exacerbation was minimal and generally equally likely in either treatment group. However, an analysis of treatment completers suggests that RP participants experienced slightly more exacerbations of PTSD symptoms during the course of treatment.
Conclusions: This study is the first to investigate symptom exacerbation throughout trauma-focused exposure therapy for individuals with comorbid PTSD and SUD. Results add to a growing literature which suggests that trauma-focused, exposure-based therapy does not increase the risk of symptom exacerbation relative to non-exposure-based therapy.
Ferrierite is the name for a series of zeolite-group of minerals which includes three species with the same ferrierite framework (FER) crystal structure but different extra-framework cations. Recent studies have shown that ferrierite can exhibit a fibrous-asbestiform crystal habit and may possess the same properties as carcinogenic fibrous erionite. Characterisation of the ferrierite in and around a mine location will be helpful in assessing the potential for toxic outcomes of exposure in the mine and any local population.
The zeolite-rich tuff deposit of Lovelock, Nevada, USA is the largest occurrence of diagenetic ferrierite-Mg. A previous survey reported that ferrierite hosted in these rocks displays a fibrous morphology. However, these observations concerned a limited number of samples and until now there has been little evidence of widespread occurrence of fibrous ferrierite in the Lovelock deposit.
The main goal of this study was to perform a mineralogical and morphometric characterisation of the tuff deposit at Lovelock and evaluate the distribution of fibrous ferrierite in the outcrop. For this purpose, a multi-analytical approach including powder X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission microscopies, micro-Raman spectroscopy, thermal analyses, and surface-area determination was applied.
The results prove fibrous ferrierite is widespread and intermixed with mordenite and orthoclase, although there are variations in the spatial distribution in the bedrock. The crystal habit of the ferrierite ranges from prismatic to asbestiform (elongated, thin and slightly flexible) and fibres are aggregated in bundles. According to the WHO counting criteria, most of the ferrierite fibres can be classified as breathable. While waiting for confirmatory in vitro and in vivo tests to assess the actual toxicity/pathogenicity potential of this mineral fibre, it is recommended to adopt a precautionary approach for mining operations in this area to reduce the risk of exposure.
Intrinsic γ-Copper (I) Chloride is an ionic I-VII compound semiconductor material with relatively low conductivity. To fabricate an efficient electroluminescent device based on CuCl nanocrystals (NC) the conductivity of the CuCl NC film should be relatively high. In order to improve the conductivity of CuCl films, nanocrystals were embedded in a highly conductive polymer (Polyaniline) and deposited on glass substrates via the spin-coating method. The deposited films were heated at 140°C for durations between 1 and 12 hours in vacuo. The room temperature UV-Vis absorption spectra for all CuCl films showed both Z1,2 and Z3 excitonic absorption features and the absorption intensity increased as the anneal time increased. Room temperature photoluminescence (PL) measurements of the hybrid films reveal very intense Z3 excitonic emission. Room temperature X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the preferential growth of CuCl nanocrystals whose average size is ≈40 nm in the <111> orientation. Resistivity measurements were carried out using a four-point probe system, which confirmed that the resistivity of the composite film was ≈500 Ω/cm. This is an improvement when compared to the vacuum evaporated CuCl thin films.
Three new tephras have been identified in Southeast Alaska. An 8-cm-thick black basaltic tephra with nine discrete normally graded beds is present in cores from a lake on Baker Island. The estimated age of the tephra is 13,492 ± 237 cal yr BP. Although similar in age to the MEd tephra from the adjacent Mt. Edgecumbe volcanic field, this tephra is geochemically distinct. Black basaltic tephras recovered from two additional sites in Southeast Alaska, Heceta Island and the Gulf of Esquibel, are also geochemically distinct from the MEd tephra. The age of the tephra from Heceta Island is 14,609 ± 343 cal yr BP. Whereas the tephras recovered from Baker Island/Heceta Island/Gulf of Esquibel are geochemically distinct from each other, similarities in the ages of these tephras and the MEd tephra suggest a shared eruptive trigger, possibly crustal unloading caused by retreat of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. The submerged Addington volcanic field on the continental shelf, which may have been subaerially exposed during the late Pleistocene, is a possible source for the Southeast Alaska tephras.
Childhood adversity is associated with poor mental and physical health outcomes across the life span. Alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis are considered a key mechanism underlying these associations, although findings have been mixed. These inconsistencies suggest that other aspects of stress processing may underlie variations in this these associations, and that differences in adversity type, sex, and age may be relevant. The current study investigated the relationship between childhood adversity, stress perception, and morning cortisol, and examined whether differences in adversity type (generalized vs. threat and deprivation), sex, and age had distinct effects on these associations. Salivary cortisol samples, daily hassle stress ratings, and retrospective measures of childhood adversity were collected from a large sample of youth at risk for serious mental illness including psychoses (n = 605, mean age = 19.3). Results indicated that childhood adversity was associated with increased stress perception, which subsequently predicted higher morning cortisol levels; however, these associations were specific to threat exposures in females. These findings highlight the role of stress perception in stress vulnerability following childhood adversity and highlight potential sex differences in the impact of threat exposures.