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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.
“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.
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.
The research reported in this Research Communication evaluates the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of Licor de Oro (or Gold Liqueur; LO), a traditional alcoholic beverage produced in Chiloé island, Chile, which is made by mixing milk acidified with lemon juice and alcohol at a ratio of 1.0:1.0, along with sugar and other spices. The mixture is stored for a couple of weeks and then filtered to obtain a product with a yellowish-transparent appearance, sweetness and acidic taste, milky and alcoholic notes. The lack of information regarding LO processing, mainly in the amount of acid added to the mixture, leads to products of highly variable quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of milk acidification on the physicochemical and sensory properties of LO. Raw milk was acidified using citric acid to six different pH values: 6.7 (control), 6.0, 5.3, 4.6, 3.9 and 3.2. These milk treatments were then used to make LO. A decrease of milk pH led to LO with higher levels of sensorial and titratable acidity. LO obtained at pH 6.7 and 6.0 had higher levels of total protein than other treatments, leading to excessive turbidity. In contrast, treatments made at pH ≤5.3 had a typical transparent appearance of LO. These results suggest that a minimum level of milk acidification is required to obtain LO with desired appearance and composition.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Supplementation with copper (Cu) improves deer antler characteristics, but it could modify meat quality and increase its Cu content to levels potentially harmful for humans. Here, we studied the effects of Cu bolus supplementation by means on quality and composition of sternocephalicus (ST) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles (n=13 for each one) from yearling male red deer fed with a balanced diet. Each intraruminal bolus, containing 3.4 g of Cu, was administered orally in the treatment group to compare with the control group. Meat traits studied were pH at 24 h postmortem (pH24), colour, chemical composition, cholesterol content, fatty acid (FA) composition, amino acid (AA) profile and mineral content. In addition, the effect of Cu supplementation on mineral composition of liver and serum (at 0 and 90 days of treatment) was analysed. No interactions between Cu supplementation and muscle were observed for any trait. Supplementation with Cu increased the protein content of meat (P<0.01). However, Cu content of meat, liver and serum was not modified by supplementation. In fact, Cu content of meat (1.20 and 1.34 mg/kg for Cu supplemented and control deer, respectively) was much lower in both groups than 5 mg/kg of fresh weight allowed legally for food of animal origin. However, bolus of Cu tended to increase the meat content of zinc and significantly increased (P<0.05) the hepatic contents of sodium and lead. Muscles studied had different composition and characteristics. The RA muscle had significantly higher protein content (P<0.001), monounsaturated FA content (P<0.05) and essential/non-essential AA ratio (P<0.01) but lower pH24 (P<0.01) and polyunsaturated FA content (P=0.001) than the ST muscle. In addition, RA muscle had 14.4% less cholesterol (P=0.001) than ST muscle. Also, mineral profile differed between muscles with higher content of iron, significantly higher (P<0.001) content of zinc and lower content of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (P<0.05) for ST muscle compared with RA. Therefore, supplementation with Cu modified deer meat characteristics, but it did not increase its concentration to toxic levels, making it a safe practice from this perspective. Despite the lower content of polyunsaturated FA, quality was better for RA than for ST muscle based on its higher content of protein with more essential/non-essential AA ratio and lower pH24 and cholesterol content.
Early, conforming antibiotic treatment in elderly patients hospitalised for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a key factor in the prognosis and mortality. The objective was to examine whether empirical antibiotic treatment was conforming according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery guidelines in these patients. Multicentre study in patients aged ⩾65 years hospitalised due to CAP in the 2013–14 and 2014–15 influenza seasons. We collected socio-demographic information, comorbidities, influenza/pneumococcal vaccination history and antibiotics administered using a questionnaire and medical records. Bivariate analyses and multilevel logistic regression were made. In total, 1857 hospitalised patients were included, 82 of whom required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Treatment was conforming in 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 49.1–53.8%) of patients without ICU admission and was associated with absence of renal failure without haemodialysis (odds ratio (OR) 1.49, 95% CI 1.15–1.95) and no cognitive dysfunction (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.25–2.35), when the effect of the autonomous community was controlled for. In patients with ICU admission, treatment was conforming in 45.1% (95% CI 34.1–56.1%) of patients and was associated with the hospital visits in the last year (<3 vs. ⩾3, OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.03–7.12) and there was some evidence that this was associated with season. Although the reference guidelines are national, wide variability between autonomous communities was found. In patients hospitalised due to CAP, health services should guarantee the administration of antibiotics in a consensual manner that is conforming according to clinical practice guidelines.
In the southern Gulf of Mexico, the spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) is the second most frequently caught batoid in small-scale fisheries off Campeche. Ecological aspects of this ray are unknown in this region, hampering the understanding of the relationship between its distribution and prey availability in the fishing area. In order to study the feeding habits of this batoid and characterize its potential prey in the study area, stomachs and intestines of 154 specimens (68 females and 86 males) were analysed. The results indicated that A. narinari near Campeche is a specialist and selective predator that feeds mainly on gastropods (92.7% IRI), with no significant differences in the diet found between sexes, size groups, or between stomach and intestine contents. In addition, the results indicated that the most important prey species in the diet were among the most common benthic species in three of the four sampling transects positioned in or adjacent to fishing areas for rays. These most important prey species were Strombus pugilis (53.33% IRI) and Americoliva reticularis (25.6% IRI). Other prey species included Lobatus costatus (5.6% IRI) and Petrochirus diogenes (3.6% IRI). This study suggests that this widely distributed ray species feeds in Campeche's coastal waters and that the study of its potential prey increases the understanding of ecological aspects of the species, which emphasizes the added importance of monitoring fishery impacts on prey species (e.g. the conch fishery off Campeche) to help support integrated assessment and management of fisheries.
Sorghum panicle residue (SPR), a by-product of Sorghum vulgare, obtained in the manufacture of brooms and wisks, has potential as a partial substitute for grain in growing-finishing diets for feedlot lambs. Accordingly, 48 Pelibuey×Katahdin lambs (initial weight=16.2±4.3 kg) were used in an 84-d growth-performance trial to evaluate its comparative feeding value. Lambs were blocked by weight and assigned within weight groupings to 12 pens (4 lambs per pen). The SPR was finely ground before it was incorporated into the diet. The basal diet contained 60% whole grain sorghum (WGS; DM basis). Dietary treatments consisted in the replacement of WGS with 0, 50, or 100% SPR. Replacement of WGS with SPR decreased (linear effect, P=0.04) average daily gain (ADG), and tended to increase (linear effect, P=0.06) dry matter intake (DMI). Replacement of WGS with SPR decreased (linear effect, P<0.01) gain efficiency (ADG : DMI), and observed dietary net energy (NE), as well as hot carcass weight, dressing percentage, kidney–pelvic–heart fat, and back fat thickness (linear effect, P⩽.05) Other carcass characteristics and wholesale cuts as a percentage of cold carcass weight were not affected by dietary treatments. It is concluded that SPR is a palatable feed ingredient for inclusion in finishing diets for feedlot lambs. The comparative NE values for SPR are 1.50 and 0.91 Mcal/kg for maintenance and gain, respectively, 75% the NE value of WGS. These NE values reflect the greater fiber content of SPR. To the extent that dietary energy density limits energy intake (and hence daily weight gain), appropriate constraints on level of SPR incorporation is warranted.
Elevated circulating cholesterol levels are a risk factor for CVD which is also associated with sub-optimal vascular function. There is emerging evidence that anthocyanins can cause beneficial cardio-protective effects by favourably modulating lipoprotein profiles. We compared the effects of blood orange juice which is rich in anthocyanins and blonde orange juice without anthocyanins on LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers of CVD risk, vascular function and glycaemia. In all, forty-one participants (aged 25–84 years) with a waist circumference >94 cm (men) and >80 cm (women) completed a randomised, open label, two-arm cross-over trial. For 28 d participants ingested (i) 500 ml blood orange juice providing 50 mg anthocyanins/d and (ii) 500 ml blonde orange juice without anthocyanins. There was a minimum 3-week washout period between treatments. LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers associated with CVD risk and glycaemia were assessed at the start and end of each treatment period. No significant differences were observed in total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, TAG, glucose, fructosamine, nitric oxide, C-reactive protein, aortic systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure or carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity after 28 d ingestion of blood orange juice compared with standard orange juice. The lack of effect on LDL-cholesterol may be due to the modest concentration of anthocyanins in the blood orange juice.
Genetic improvement, without control of inbreeding, can go to loss of genetic variability, reducing the potential for genetic gains in the domestic populations. The aim of this study was to analyze the population structure and the inbreeding depression in Campolina horses. Phenotype information from 43 465 individuals was analyzed, data provided by the Campolina Breeders Association. A pedigree file containing 107 951 horses was used to connected the phenotyped individuals. The inbreeding coefficient was performed by use of the diagonal of the relationship matrix and the genealogical parameters were computed using proper softwares. The effective population size was estimated based on the rate of inbreeding and census information, and the stratification of the population was verified by the average relationship coefficient between animals born in different regions of Brazil. The effects of inbreeding on morphological traits were made by the use of inbreeding coefficient as a covariate in the model of random regression. The inbreeding coefficient increased from 1990 on, impacting effective population size and, consequently, shrinking genetic variability. The paternal inbreeding was greater than maternal, which may be attributed to the preference for inbred animals in reproduction. The average genetic relationship coefficient of animals born in different states was lower than individuals born within the same state. The increase in the inbreeding coefficient was negatively associated with all studied traits, showing the importance to avoid genetic losses in the long term. Although results do not indicate a severe narrowing of the population until the present date, the average relationship coefficient shows signs of increase, which could cause a drastic reduction in genetic variability if inbred mating is not successfully controlled in the Campolina horse population.
The Morrón de Mateo bentonite deposit has been studied as a natural analogue of the thermal effect on the bentonite barrier of a geological radioactive waste repository. This deposit was intruded by a volcanic dome that induced hydrothermal activity affecting the smectite clay minerals close to the dome. Previous studies of proximal bentonites indicated that Al-montmorillonites were transformed into Fe-rich smectites with intermediate composition between beidellite and saponite through gradual steps formed by smectites increasingly rich in Mg and Fe. In order to confirm the suggested transformation and the Fe distribution into the smectites, infrared and Mössbauer spectroscopy studies were performed. Infrared spectra of samples away from the dome show typical bands for montmorillonite type with prevailing Al in octahedral positions, while proximal samples also show bands of Fe-rich smectites. Mössbauer data confirm that Fe present in the fine fraction of bentonites is fundamentally located in the smectites structure, mainly as octahedrally coordinated Fe(III). Proximal smectites have a considerably more distorted octahedral environment for Fe(III) which probably stemmed from a significant degree of substitution of Al by Fe(III). These results confirm that an alteration process occurred related to the volcanic intrusion which produced an increase in temperature and Fe-rich solutions responsible for the transformation of Al-montmorillonites.
Accelerated Molecular Dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based algorithms for the long-time scale simulation of atomistic systems that are characterized by rare-event transitions. Temperature-Accelerated Dynamics (TAD), a traditional AMD approach, hastens state-to-state transitions by performing MD at an elevated temperature. Recently, Speculatively-Parallel TAD (SpecTAD) was introduced, allowing the TAD procedure to exploit parallel computing systems by concurrently executing in a dynamically generated list of speculative future states. Although speculation can be very powerful, it is not always the most efficient use of parallel resources. Here, we compare the performance of speculative parallelism with a replica-based technique, similar to the Parallel Replica Dynamics method. A hybrid SpecTAD approach is also presented, in which each speculation process is further accelerated by a local set of replicas. Overall, this work motivates the use of hybrid parallelism whenever possible, as some combination of speculation and replication is typically most efficient.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
The long-term effects of the April 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union extend far beyond that nation's borders. To be sure, radioactive materials spewed into the atmosphere at Chernobyl covered a wide swath across Europe and provoked a strong reaction from neighboring states. More important and potentially more long-lasting, Chernobyl caused the world to undertake a fundamental rethinking of its position on nuclear power and to consider whether the benefits continued to outweigh the risks.
In countries as different, in energy resources, economic circumstances, and political systems, as Austria, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States, public opinion has been a powerful force behind the reconsideration of decisions already taken to build new nuclear power plants or to place in commission plants which are close to completion. Even in Eastern Europe, pressure from environmentalists has compelled governments to address publicly — albeit superficially — the benefits and risks of nuclear power.
Faced with limited opportunities for their primary-product exports, many developing countries have sought new strategies to develop manufactured products for export. Often lacking the necessary infrastructure for industrialization but possessing abundant labor resources, some developing economies have attempted to attract investment through assembly operations that promote domestic employment, exports, and local development.
While the Latin American economies have been undergoing profound economic reforms in a political context marked by multiparty democracy and free elections, the Cuban government has adamantly rejected meaningful change. During the second half of the 1980s, as the majority of countries in the Western Hemisphere liberalized their economies and rolled back government intervention, Cuba moved in the opposite direction. Since mid-1993 and while in the depths of severe economic crisis, the Cuban government has taken some tentative steps towards liberalizing the economy, but has remained firm on the single-party character of the regime.