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The Order Suberitida is defined as a group of marine sponges without an obvious cortex, a skeleton devoid of microscleres, and with a deletion of a small loop of 15 base pairs in the secondary structure of the 28S rDNA as a molecular synapomorphy. Suberitida comprises three families and 26 genera distributed worldwide, but mostly in temperate and polar waters. Twenty species were reported along the entire Brazilian coast, and although the north-eastern coast of Brazil seems to harbour a rich sponge fauna, our current knowledge is concentrated along the south-eastern Atlantic coast. A survey was implemented along the northern coast of Brazil, and the collection allowed the identification of six species belonging to the Order Suberitida. Two of them are considered new to science: Suberites purpura sp. nov., Hymeniacidon upaonassu sp. nov., and four, Halichondria (Halichondria) marianae Santos, Nascimento & Pinheiro, 2018, Halichondria (H.) melanadocia de Laubenfels, 1936, Suberites aurantiacus (Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864), and Terpios fugax Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1864, are re-described. Taxonomic comparisons are made for Tropical Western Atlantic species and type species of the four genera. Finally, an identification key for the Western Atlantic Suberites species is provided.
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.
In teleosts, vitellogenin (Vtg) is a phospholipoglycoprotein synthesized by the liver, released into the blood circulation and incorporated into the oocytes via endocytosis mediated by the Vtg receptor (VTGR) to form the yolk granules. The VTGR is crucial for oocyte growth in egg-laying animals but is also present in non-oviparous vertebrates, such as human. The VTGR belongs to the low-density lipoprotein receptor superfamily (LDLR) and is also named very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR). In this study, we identified and phylogenetically positioned the VTGR of a basal teleost, the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. We developed quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and investigated the tissue distribution of vtgr transcripts. We compared by qRT-PCR the ovarian expression levels of vtgr in juvenile yellow eels and pre-pubertal silver eels. We also analyzed the regulation of ovarian vtgr expression throughout vitellogenesis in experimentally matured eels. The Vtg plasma level was measured by homologous ELISA experimental maturation. Our in silico search and phylogenetical analysis revealed a single vtgr in the European eel, orthologous to other vertebrate vtgr. The qRT-PCR studies revealed that vtgr is mainly expressed in the ovary and also detected in various other tissues such as brain, pituitary, gill, fat, heart, and testis, suggesting some extra-ovarian functions of VTGR. We showed that vtgr is expressed in ovaries of juvenile yellow eels with no higher expression in pre-pubertal silver eels nor in experimentally matured eels. This suggests that vtgr transcription already occurs during early pre-vitellogenesis of immature eels and is not further activated in vitellogenic oocytes. European eel Vtg plasma level increased throughout experimental maturation in agreement with previous studies. Taken together, these results suggest that vtgr transcript levels may not be a limiting step for the uptake of Vtg by the oocyte in the European eel.
Food environments may be contributing to the rapid increase in obesity occurring in most Latin American (LA) countries. The present study reviews literature from LA that (i) describes the food environment and policies targeting the food environment (FEP); and (ii) analytic studies that investigate associations between the FEP and dietary behaviours, overweight/obesity and obesity related chronic diseases. We focus on six dimensions of the FEP: food retail, provision, labelling, marketing, price and composition.
Systematic literature review. Three databases (Web of Science, SciELO, LILACS) were searched, from 1 January 1999 up to July 2017. Two authors independently selected the studies. A narrative synthesis was used to summarize, integrate and interpret findings.
Studies conducted in LA countries.
The search yielded 2695 articles of which eighty-four met inclusion criteria.
Most studies were descriptive and came from Brazil (61 %), followed by Mexico (18 %) and Guatemala (6 %). Studies were focused primarily on retail/provision (n 27), marketing (n 16) and labelling (n 15). Consistent associations between availability of fruit and vegetable markets and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables were found in cross-sectional studies. Health claims in food packaging were prevalent and mostly misleading. There was widespread use of marketing strategies for unhealthy foods aimed at children. Food prices were lower for processed relative to fresh foods. Some studies documented high sodium in industrially processed foods.
Gaps in knowledge remain regarding policy evaluations, longitudinal food retail studies, impacts of food price on diet and effects of digital marketing on diet/health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Understanding the peculiar properties of Ultra Diffuse Galaxies (UDGs) via spectroscopic analysis is a challenging task that is now becoming feasible. The advent of 10m-class telescopes and high sensitivity instruments is enabling the gathering of high quality spectra even for the faintest systems. In addition, advances in the modelling of stellar populations, stellar libraries, and full-spectral fitting codes are allowing the recovery of the stellar content shaping those spectra with unprecedented reliability. In this contribution we report on the extensive tests we have carried out using the inversion code STECKMAP. The similarities between the Star Formation Histories (SFH) recovered from STECKMAP (applied to high-quality spectra) and deep Colour-Magnitude diagrams fitting (resolved stars) in two Local Group dwarf galaxies (LMC and LeoA) are remarkable, demonstrating the impressive performance of STECKMAP. We exploit the capabilities of STECKMAP and perform one of the most complete and reliable characterisations of the stellar component of UDGs to date using deep spectroscopic data. We measure radial and rotation velocities, SFHs and mean population parameters, such as ages and metallicities, for a sample of five UDG candidates in the Coma cluster. From the radial velocities, we confirm the Coma membership of these galaxies. We find that their rotation properties, if detected at all, are compatible with dwarf-like galaxies. The SFHs of the UDG are dominated by old (∼ 7 Gyr), metal-poor ([M/H] ∼ -1.1) and alpha-enhanced ([Mg/Fe]∼ 0.4) populations followed by a smooth or episodic decline which halted ∼ 2 Gyr ago, possibly a sign of cluster-induced quenching. We find no obvious correlation between individual SFH shapes and any UDG morphological properties. The recovered stellar properties for UDGs are similar to those found for DDO 44, a local UDG analogue resolved into stars. We conclude that the UDGs in our sample are extended dwarfs whose properties are likely the outcome of both internal processes, such as bursty SFHs and/or high-spin haloes, as well as environmental effects within the Coma cluster.