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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.
In the frame of the COST ACTION ‘EMBOS’ (Development and implementation of a pan-European Marine Biodiversity Observatory System), coverage of intertidal macroalgae was estimated at a range of marine stations along the European coastline (Subarctic, Baltic, Atlantic, Mediterranean). Based on these data, we tested whether patterns in macroalgal diversity and distribution along European intertidal rocky shores could be explained by a set of meteo-oceanographic variables. The variables considered were salinity, sea surface temperature, photosynthetically active radiation, significant wave height and tidal range and were compiled from three different sources: remote sensing, reanalysis technique and in situ measurement. These variables were parameterized to represent average conditions (mean values), variability (standard deviation) and extreme events (minimum and maximum values). The results obtained in this study contribute to reinforce the EMBOS network approach and highlight the necessity of considering meteo-oceanographic variables in long-term assessments. The broad spatial distribution of pilot sites has allowed identification of latitudinal and longitudinal gradients manifested through species composition, diversity and dominance structure of intertidal macroalgae. These patterns follow a latitudinal gradient mainly explained by sea surface temperature, but also by photosynthetically active radiation, salinity and tidal range. Additionally, a longitudinal gradient was also detected and could be linked to wave height.
Few decision aids are available for patients with a serious illness who face many treatment and end-of-life decisions. We evaluated the Looking Ahead: Choices for Medical Care When You're Seriously Ill® patient decision aid (PtDA), one component of an early palliative care clinical trial.
Our participants included individuals with advanced cancer and their caregivers who had participated in the ENABLE (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends) early palliative care telehealth randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, and affiliated outreach clinics in rural New England. ENABLE included six weekly patient and three weekly family caregiver structured sessions. Participants watched the Looking Ahead PtDA prior to session 3, which covered content on decision making and advance care planning. Nurse coaches employed semistructured interviews to obtain feedback from consecutive patient and caregiver participants approximately one week after viewing the Looking Ahead PtDA program (booklet and DVD).
Between April 1, 2011, and October 31, 2012, 57 patients (mean age = 64), 42% of whom had lung and 23% gastrointestinal cancer, and 20 caregivers (mean age = 59), 80% of whom were spouses, completed the PtDA evaluation. Participants reported a high degree of satisfaction with the PtDA format, as well as with its length and clarity. They found the format of using patient interviews “validating.” The key themes were: (1) “the earlier the better” to view the PtDA; (2) feeling empowered, aware of different options, and an urgency to participate in advance care planning.
Significance of results:
The Looking Ahead PtDA was well received and helped patients with a serious illness realize the importance of prospective decision making in guiding their treatment pathways. We found that this PtDA can help seriously ill patients prior to the end of life to understand and discuss future healthcare decision making. However, systems to routinely provide PtDAs to seriously ill patients are yet not well developed.
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.
There is evidence for health benefits from ‘Palaeolithic’ diets; however, there are a few data on the acute effects of rationally designed Palaeolithic-type meals. In the present study, we used Palaeolithic diet principles to construct meals comprising readily available ingredients: fish and a variety of plants, selected to be rich in fibre and phyto-nutrients. We investigated the acute effects of two Palaeolithic-type meals (PAL 1 and PAL 2) and a reference meal based on WHO guidelines (REF), on blood glucose control, gut hormone responses and appetite regulation. Using a randomised cross-over trial design, healthy subjects were given three meals on separate occasions. PAL2 and REF were matched for energy, protein, fat and carbohydrates; PAL1 contained more protein and energy. Plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) and peptide YY (PYY) concentrations were measured over a period of 180 min. Satiation was assessed using electronic visual analogue scale (EVAS) scores. GLP-1 and PYY concentrations were significantly increased across 180 min for both PAL1 (P= 0·001 and P< 0·001) and PAL2 (P= 0·011 and P= 0·003) compared with the REF. Concomitant EVAS scores showed increased satiety. By contrast, GIP concentration was significantly suppressed. Positive incremental AUC over 120 min for glucose and insulin did not differ between the meals. Consumption of meals based on Palaeolithic diet principles resulted in significant increases in incretin and anorectic gut hormones and increased perceived satiety. Surprisingly, this was independent of the energy or protein content of the meal and therefore suggests potential benefits for reduced risk of obesity.
In this study the putative protective seroprevalence (PPS) of IgG antibodies to the 27-kDa and 15/17-kDa Cryptosporidium antigens in sera of healthy participants who were and were not exposed to Cryptosporidium oocysts via surface water-derived drinking water was compared. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding risk factors that have been shown to be associated with infection. The PPS was significantly greater (49−61%) in settlements where the drinking water originated from surface water, than in the control city where riverbank filtration was used (21% and 23%). Logistic regression analysis on the risk factors showed an association between bathing/swimming in outdoor pools and antibody responses to the 15/17-kDa antigen complex. Hence the elevated responses were most likely due to the use of contaminated water. Results indicate that waterborne Cryptosporidium infections occur more frequently than reported but may derive from multiple sources.
Mesoporous Fe3O4 nanoparticles coated with ZnO nanocrystals were successfully synthesized by a simple solution method at low temperature. The transmission electron microscopy analysis indicates that the mesoporous Fe3O4 nanoparticles are monodispersed with a mean diameter of 160 nm and the thickness of ZnO layer is 15 nm approximately. The porosity of the products was further substantiated by the nitrogen (N2) sorption measurement. The N2 adsorption-desorption isotherm curve can be identified as type IV, which is a characteristic of mesopores. Electromagnetic (EM) wave absorption properties of the as-prepared Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres-wax composites were investigated at a room temperature in the frequency range of 0.5∼18 GHz. Interestingly, the Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres exhibit an enhanced EM wave absorption due to the mesoporous structure. The multiple absorbing mechanisms result from the interface polarization induced by the special core/shell and mesoporous structures as well as dipole polarization of both Fe3O4 and ZnO. The results demonstrate that the Fe3O4@ZnO mesoporous spheres are attractive candidates for a new kind of EM wave absorption materials with wide absorption frequency band.
In order to study the oriented aggregation of BaTiO3nanocrystals in the ultrasound-assisted synthesis in an aqueous solution [F.Dang et al., Jpn.J.Appl.Phys. 48, 09KC02 (2009)], the electric dipole-dipole interaction model has been studied by numerical simulations. The results of the numerical simulations are consistent with the experimental ones if the electric dipole moment of a primary particle (a nanocrystal) of 5 nm in diameter is about 10 D =3.3 x 10-29 (C m). It suggests that a 5-10 nm BaTiO3 nanocrystal synthesized in an aqueous solution with ultrasound has spontaneous polarization.
We report on a new class of materials for laser printer toner applications. These materials were prepared from methacrysilane-in-water emulsions stabilized with colloidal silica particles. In this elegant system, the colloidal silica particles reside at the water/oil interface helping to emulsify the oil droplet, self-organizing into a raspberry-like morphology. The emulsion formation is followed by free-radical polymerization, hydrophobic treatment, and drying steps. This one pot synthesis in water affords a hydrophobic material with a particle size in the range of 80 to 300 nm. The particle size could be fine-tuned by changing the oil-to-silica mass ratio or by using colloidal silica particles of different sizes. Results of material characterization by solid-state NMR, electron microscopy, and particle size measurements methods will be presented. Examples of possible extensions of the synthesis towards materials with methacrylsilane partially substituted with other methacrylates will be provided. Application of the new material in toners will be described as will the comparison of its performance with the incumbent material - hydrophobic colloidal silica.
The meso-scale hexagonally packed order structures were obtained by solvent casting from the immiscible polymer blend solutions. The order structures were the result of phase separation occurred at the evaporation front during the solvent casting, the so-called dissipative system. The order domains were flat spheres or ellipses on the matrix surface depending on the combination of polymer blends and solvent, the diameter of spheres were tunable from 0.5 to 3 μm by the casting condition, such as the solvent used for mixing and the evaporation rate. Three blend systems, NBR/SBR, NBR/BR and PMMA/BR, formed two dimensional order structures with the domain size in μm-scale by solvent casting from those homogeneous solutions. The conditions to obtain the two dimensional meso-scale order structure were evaluated.
An experimental analysis of the morphology changes of hexagonally close packed polystyrene sphere monolayers induced by annealing in air is presented. The triangular interstices between each triple of spheres, which are frequently used as nanoscale mask openings in colloidal lithography, are observed to gradually shrink in size and change in shape upon annealing. Top view scanning electron microscopy images reveal that different stages are involved in the closure of monolayer interstices at annealing temperatures in the range between 110°C and 120°C. In the early stages shrinkage of the triangular interstices is dominated by material transport to and thus shortening of their corners, in the late stages interstice area reduction via displacement of the triangle edges becomes significant. At intermediate annealing times the rate of interstice area reduction displays a maximum before a stabilized state characterized by a rounded isosceles triangular shape forms.
Self–assembly of molecular building blocks provides an interesting route to produce well-defined chemical structures. Tailoring the functionalities on the building blocks and controlling the time of self-assembly could control the properties as well as the structure of the resultant patterns. Spontaneous self-assembly of biomolecules can generate bio-interfaces for myriad of potential applications. Here we report self-assembled patterning of human serum albumin (HSA) protein in to ring structures on a polyethylene glycol (PEG) modified gold surface. The structure of the self-assembled protein molecules and kinetics of structure formation entirely revolved around controlling the nucleation of the base layer. The formation of different sizes of ring patterns is attributed to growth conditions of the PEG islands for bio-conjugation. These assemblies might be beneficial in forming structurally ordered architectures of active proteins such as HSA or other globular proteins.
A novel process for the formation of pairs of opposing metallic nanotips within linear trenches on a silicon wafer is investigated in detail. The process is based on a spreading knife technique typically used in nanosphere lithography to generate monolayers of colloidal polystyrene beads. Here it is applied to initiate self-assembly of spheres in long linear trenches acting as a template for the sphere arrangement. The optimum blade velocity to deposit the spheres selectively and densely packed in the trench depends on the trench surface fraction and can be described by a modified Dimitrov model. It is demonstrated that the spheres can be used as a shadow mask to deposit metallic nanotips in a channel, which are electrically interconnected on each side of the trench, possibly enabling the control and manipulation of nanoobjects in the channel.
A facile and novel method of fabricating large-area-patterned monolayer of polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) nanoparticles was achieved using surface charge induced colloidal deposition. Chemical processes of amination and hydroxylation were used to make the silicon substrates positively and negatively charged, respectively, while the PTFE colloidal nanoparticles were anisotropic and negatively charged. After colloidal deposition, an ordered monolayer with microholes was formed on the amination surface, while an island-like monolayer was achieved on the hydroxylation surface. Both of the two kinds of monolayers were as large as 1.5 square centimeters. It is worth pointing out that these large-area-patterned monolayers were fabricated without any templates and the whole process only took several hours. The formation mechanism of the different structures can be generally attributed to the cooperation and competition of three-body, two-body and particle-wall interactions. It is believed that the interesting patterned monolayer formation mechanism, high production efficiency, good adaptability and quality will make this novel method attractive.
The interest for surface patterning presents a fast increasing in the last few years due to several factors ranging from miniaturization trends and sensor design to worries about the absorption of carcinogenic molecules on inhalable particles. Although the existence of a vast literature regarding the self-assembly and patterning of nanoparticles on different types of surfaces, it remains unclear the dynamics and main mechanisms behind the formation and maintenance of two-dimensional symmetric patterns of small molecules on top of surfaces. In this contribution, we report initial results on an investigation on the similarities between the well-known Abrikosov hexagonal lattices in superconductors, and the spontaneous formation of hexagonal patterns of some small polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on top of a graphitic surface. In order to attest our results, some experimental results from literature are compared to the obtained results.
Stichtite is a naturally occurring layered double hydroxide (LDH) with the ideal chemical formula Mg6Cr2CO3(OH)16.4H2O. It has received less attention in the literature than other LDHs and is often described as a rare mineral; however, abundant deposits of the mineral do exist. In this article we aim to review a number of significant publications concerning the mineral stichtite, including papers covering the discovery, geological origin, synthesis and characterizsation of stichtite. Characterization techniques reviewed include powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (IR), near infrared spectroscopy (NIR), Raman spectroscopy (Raman), thermogravimetry (TG) and electron microprobe analysis.
Antipsychotic drugs are increasingly used in children and adolescents to treat a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, little is known about the long-term effects of early life antipsychotic drug (APD) treatment. Most APDs are potent antagonists or partial agonists of dopamine (DA) D2 receptors; atypical APDs also have multiple serotonergic activities. DA and serotonin regulate many neurodevelopmental processes. Thus, early life APD treatment can, potentially, perturb these processes, causing long-term behavioural and neurobiological sequelae. We treated adolescent, male rats with olanzapine (Ola) on post-natal days 28–49, under dosing conditions that approximate those employed therapeutically in humans. As adults, they exhibited enhanced conditioned place preference for amphetamine, as compared to vehicle-treated rats. In the nucleus accumbens core, DA D1 receptor binding was reduced, D2 binding was increased and DA release evoked by electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area was reduced. Thus, adolescent Ola treatment enduringly alters a key behavioural response to rewarding stimuli and modifies DAergic neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens. The persistence of these changes suggests that even limited periods of early life Ola treatment may induce enduring changes in other reward-related behaviours and in behavioural and neurobiological responses to therapeutic and illicit psychotropic drugs. These results underscore the importance of improved understanding of the enduring sequelae of paediatric APD treatment as a basis for weighing the benefits and risks of adolescent APD therapy, especially prophylactic treatment in high-risk, asymptomatic patients.