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The Murcia Twin Registry (MTR) is the only population-based registry in Spain. Created in 2006, the registry has been growing more than a decade to become one of the references for twin research in the Mediterranean region. The MTR database currently comprises 3545 adult participants born between 1940 and 1977. It also holds a recently launched satellite registry of university students (N = 204). Along five waves of data collection, the registry has gathered questionnaire and anthropometric data, as well as biological samples. The MTR keeps its main research focus on health and health-related behaviors from a public health perspective. This includes lifestyle, health promotion, quality of life or environmental conditions. Future short-term development points to the expansion of the biobank and the continuation of the collection of longitudinal data.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) from diethyl ether, butanol, hexane and ethyl acetate. A quartz tube with a stainless steel tube catalyst core with 0.019 m diameter and 0.6 m large formed the reactor. To avoid combustion, argon was used as the carrier gas. Time process ranged 30 to 60 min. The range of CNTs synthesis temperature was 680-850 °C for different precursors. Scanning Electron Microscopy micrographs have demonstrated tangled CNTs growth in all samples, thus presenting difficult length measurement. The CNTs diameters from diethyl ether are 45-200 nm, butanol diameter range from 55-230 nm, hexane diameter range is 50-130 nm and ethyl acetate range from 100 to 300 nm. Carbon content for all samples was higher than 93 %, CNTs from butanol showed carbon concentration up to 99%. FTIR, Raman and X-Ray Spectroscopies spectra for all samples demonstrated the characteristics signals present in carbon nanotubes. This research proposes a simple, effective and innovative method to synthesize CNTs by CVD on iron stainless steel catalyst in combination with diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, butanol and hexane as precursors by applying the principles of green chemistry, sustainability and its ease to be scaled.
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be the most effective preventive strategy to reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups. Despite healthcare personnel (HCP) being considered part of such high-risk groups, their vaccination coverage is low in Europe. In January 2012, we distributed an 18-question survey regarding influenza vaccination to HCP at Gregorio Marañon Paediatric Hospital, in Madrid, Spain. After we documented that only ~30% of HCP were vaccinated an educational programme was implemented in October 2012 before the next influenza season. In January 2013, the same survey delivered again to all HCP documented a significant increase in vaccination rates (from 30% to 40%, P = 0·007) mainly among physicians and for patients' protection. In summary we found that a simple and inexpensive educational programme significantly improved the uptake of influenza vaccination in HCP in our centre. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remained low, and broader and updated campaigns are needed to overcome perception barriers.
Functional remediation is a novel intervention with demonstrated efficacy at improving functional outcome in euthymic bipolar patients. However, in a previous trial no significant changes in neurocognitive measures were detected. The objective of the present analysis was to test the efficacy of this therapy in the enhancement of neuropsychological functions in a subgroup of neurocognitively impaired bipolar patients.
A total of 188 out of 239 DSM-IV euthymic bipolar patients performing below two standard deviations from the mean of normative data in any neurocognitive test were included in this subanalysis. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to assess the impact of the treatment arms [functional remediation, psychoeducation, or treatment as usual (TAU)] on participants’ neurocognitive and functional outcomes in the subgroup of neurocognitively impaired patients.
Patients receiving functional remediation (n = 56) showed an improvement on delayed free recall when compared with the TAU (n = 63) and psychoeducation (n = 69) groups as shown by the group × time interaction at 6-month follow-up [F2,158 = 3.37, degrees of freedom (df) = 2, p = 0.037]. However, Tukey post-hoc analyses revealed that functional remediation was only superior when compared with TAU (p = 0.04), but not with psychoeducation (p = 0.10). Finally, the patients in the functional remediation group also benefited from the treatment in terms of functional outcome (F2,158 = 4.26, df = 2, p = 0.016).
Functional remediation is effective at improving verbal memory and psychosocial functioning in a sample of neurocognitively impaired bipolar patients at 6-month follow-up. Neurocognitive enhancement may be one of the active ingredients of this novel intervention, and, specifically, verbal memory appears to be the most sensitive function that improves with functional remediation.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
Polarimetry is routinely used to characterise the surfaces of bodies in our solar system. In the near future, polarisation measurements of the starlight reflected by exoplanets will become a common and powerful tool to constrain the atmospheres and the surface properties of other worlds.
If extra-terrestial life has similar signatures as the life we know, then astronomical observations of planet Earth represent a benchmark to eventually probe bio-signatures also on other planets. In fact, linear polarisation spectra of Earthshine (the sunlight that has been first reflected by Earth and then reflected back to Earth by the Moon), allow us to detect the presence of oxygen, ozone, and water in the atmosphere of our planet. Surface properties such as fractional contributions of clouds and ocean, as well as vegetation can be inferred. Ultimately, Earthshine observations provide strong observational constraints on model predictions for Earth-like exoplanets.
In this contribution, we review the most recent observations of Earthshine by polarimetry. We highlight some advances in the interpretation and modelling of whole Earth polarisation, which will be of paramount importance to interpret possible bio-signatures of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars in the future.
Linear broadband polarimetry is used to characterize the objects of our solar system, and has also been proposed as a diagnostic tool for the atmospheres of exo-solar planets. Homochirality characterizes life as we know it and induces circular polarization in the diffuse reflectance spectra of biotic material. Hence it has been suggested that circular polarimetry may be used as a remote sensing tool for the search of extra-terrestrial life. With this motivation in mind we have decided to explore the potential of both linear and circular spectropolarimetry as a diagnostic tool for remote sensing of biotic material. We have used the calibration unit of the EFOSC2 instrument of the La Silla Observatory to obtain low resolution, but high signal to noise circular and linear spectropolarimetric measurements of a number of inorganic and organic materials. We then compare our “laboratory data” with spectropolarimetric observations of atmosphere-less bodies of our solar system and of Earthshine obtained with instruments very similar to that one used for our laboratory samples. We conclude that linear polarization measurements are more suitable than circular polarization measurements for the characterization of planetary surfaces and atmospheres, and for the search of extra-terrestrial life.
An extremely weak circularly-polarized signature was recently detected in the spectral lines of the Am star Sirius A. With a prominent positive lobe, the shape of the phase-averaged Stokes V line profile is atypical of stellar Zeeman signatures, casting doubts on its magnetic origin. We report here on ultra-deep spectropolarimetric observations of two more bright Am stars: β Uma and θ Leo. Stokes V line signatures are detected in both objects, with a shape and amplitude similar to the one observed on Sirius A. We demonstrate that the amplitude of the Stokes V line profiles depend on various line parameters (Landé factor, wavelength, depth) as expected from a Zeeman signature, confirming that extremely weak magnetic fields are likely present in a large fraction of Am stars. We suggest that the strong asymmetry of the polarized signatures, systematically observed so far in Am stars and never reported in strongly magnetic Ap stars, bears unique information about the structure and dynamics of the thin surface convective shell of Am stars.
The surfaces of the atmosphere-less objects of our solar system are traditionally probed via reflectance measurements and/or broadband linear polarimetry. Little attention has been paid so far to the wavelength dependence of the linear polarization of the scattered light. We decided to explore the potential of spectropolarimetry as a remote sensing tool for asteroids in addition to the more traditional reflectance measurements, and we carried out a spectropolarimetric survey of asteroids – to our best knolwedge, the first of its kind. We observed a sample of asteroids of different albedo and taxonomic classes, as well as a few regions at the limb of the Moon. We show that objects exhibiting similar reflectance spectra may display totally different polarization spectra, and we suggest that both intensity and polarization spectra should be used for asteroid classification. We also found that in some cases the Umov law is violated, that is, in contrast to what is expected from simple physical considerations, the fraction of linear polarization and the reflectance spectra may be correlated positively. We conclude that future modelling attempts of the surface structure of asteroids should be aimed at explaining both reflectance and polarization spectra.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), formerly Advanced Technology Solar Telescope when it begins operation in 2019 will be by a significant margin Earth's largest solar research telescope. Science priorities dictate an initial suite of instruments that includes four spectro-polarimeters. Accurate polarization calibration of the individual instruments and of the telescope optics shared by those instruments is of critical importance. The telescope and instruments have been examined end-to-end for sources of polarization calibration error, allowable contributions from each of the sources quantified, and techniques identified for calibrating each of the contributors. Efficient use of telescope observing time leads to a requirement of sharing polarization calibrations of common path telescope components among the spectro-polarimeters and for those calibrations to be repeated only as often as dictated by degradation of optical coatings and instrument reconfigurations. As a consequence the polarization calibration of the DKIST is a facility function that requires facility wide techniques.
Magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere provide the energy for most varieties of solar activity, including high-energy electromagnetic radiation, solar energetic particles, flares, and coronal mass ejections, as well as powering the solar wind. Despite the fundamental role of magnetic fields in solar and heliospheric physics, there exist only very limited measurements of the field above the base of the corona. What is needed are direct measurements of not only the strength and orientation of the magnetic field but also the signatures of wave motions in order to better understand coronal structure, solar activity, and the role of MHD waves in heating and accelerating the solar wind. Fortunately, the remote sensing instrumentation used to make magnetic field measurements is also well suited to measure the Doppler signature of waves in the solar structures. We present here a mission concept for the Waves And Magnetism In the Solar Atmosphere (WAMIS) experiment which is proposed for a NASA long-duration balloon flight.
There are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, hence one can consider the case of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU from the star would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for about 8 Gyr. Polarisation due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 102 (104) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a powerful tool to detect close-in planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow one to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, even providing a first characterisation. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue. Preliminary habitability study show also that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on Earth-like planets orbiting CWDs and that the DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, hence white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life from the perspective of UV irradiation.
The increasing use of polymeric reinforcements in concrete structures requires either the development of a new design theory or the adaptation of current designs considering the engineering properties of this type of materials. In this work a method for calculating the deflections of reinforced concrete elements is proposed, which can be used in predicting the flexural behavior of longitudinally reinforced concrete with PET strips in amounts up to 1%. The model theory assumes that concrete has a tensile load capacity different to zero, characterized by a uniaxial tensile stress-strain diagram. A series of tests were conducted to corroborate the validity of the suggested method, showing that the theory also correctly predicts the creep deformation post-cracking. The deflection results of reinforced concrete with recycled PET strips are presented. The tests are carried out by a simple beam with center-point loading, using three different amounts of reinforcement and comparing the experimental results with the theoretical results of the proposed model.
Weekly data from 7 years (2004–2010) of primary-care counts of acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) and local weather readings were used to adjust a multivariate time-series vector error correction model with covariates (VECMX). Weather variables were included through a partial least squares index that consisted of weekly minimum temperature (coefficient = − 0·26), weekly median of relative humidity (coefficient = 0·22) and weekly accumulated rainfall (coefficient = 0·5). The VECMX long-term test reported significance for trend (0·01, P = 0·00) and weather index (1·69, P = 0·00). Short-term relationship was influenced by seasonality. The model accounted for 76% of the variability in the series (adj. R2 = 0·76), and the co-integration diagnostics confirmed its appropriateness. The procedure is easily reproducible by researchers in all climates, can be used to identify relevant weather fluctuations affecting the incidence of ARIs, and could help clarify the influence of contact rates on the spread of these diseases.