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This work focuses on the functionalization of agave xylan-type hemicellulose functionalized with trimethoxysilylpropylmethacrylate and crosslinked with N-vinylcaprolactam to obtain a thermoresponsive material for potential applications in drug delivery. The hydrogels showed an interconnected and porous architecture with a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) close to poly(N-vinylcaprolactam)’s (PNVCL) LCST. These materials showed a good capacity to load ciprofloxacin (in the range 9.5 × 10−3–8.4 × 10−3 mg/mL), above the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC ≤ 0.004 × 10−3–0.5 × 10−3 mg/mL) for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The hybrid hydrogel inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Parasite composition can be affected by physiological and ecological changes during host ontogeny. Intertidal fish do not travel long distances and live in the same area throughout their lifetimes, meaning that parasite communities can differ across geographic ranges. The objective of this study was to analyse the parasite communities of three fish species (Hypsoblennius sordidus, Helcogrammoides cunninghami and Scartichthys viridis) collected from the Chilean coast. The composition of parasite species was compared among host ontogenetic stages (larvae, juveniles and mature fish) and geographic areas. A total of 184 larval, 252 juveniles and 217 mature individuals were collected in the northern area (c. 24°S), and 186 larval, 192 juveniles and 112 mature individuals from the central area (c. 33°S). Ectoparasites were most prevalent in fish from the central area, whereas endoparasites were most prevalent in the northern area. The parasite species richness varied significantly between geographical areas for H. sordidus and H. cunninghami, but the parasite composition varied significantly between geographical areas for all fish species analysed. Therefore, the geographical area was the most important factor determining the parasite composition of intertidal fish species. The absence of endoparasites in fish larvae and the increased infestation in juvenile and mature fish may be explained by the shift in habitat from the water column to intertidal pools where prey abundance and availability are higher. On the other hand, hydrographic barriers affecting prey distributions may also offer an explanation as to the differences in parasite composition.
Since 1945, the United States has played a significant role in the development and promotion of international human rights law while simultaneously distancing itself from the instruments and institutions that implement this body of law. The US often claims that it does not need to bind itself to international human rights treaties because its legal system is superior to that of other nations and provides its population more protection than international law – an attitude known as ‘American exceptionalism’. Out of the nine core human rights treaties negotiated in the last several decades under the auspices of the United Nations, the United States is a party to only three: the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (‘CERD’); the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ICCPR’); and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (‘CAT’).
To evaluate how avian influenza virus (AIV) circulates among the avifauna of the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, we surveyed 14 species of birds from Marion, Livingston and Gough islands. A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was carried out on the sera of 147 birds. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to detect the AIV genome from 113 oropharyngeal and 122 cloacal swabs from these birds. The overall seroprevalence to AIV infection was 4.8%, with the only positive results coming from brown skuas (Catharacta antarctica) (4 out of 18, 22%) and southern giant petrels (Macronectes giganteus) (3 out of 24, 13%). Avian influenza virus antibodies were detected in birds sampled from Marion and Gough islands, with a higher seroprevalence on Marion Island (P = 0.014) and a risk ratio of 11.29 (95% confidence interval: 1.40–91.28) compared to Gough Island. The AIV genome was not detected in any of the birds sampled. These results confirm that AIV strains are uncommon among Antarctic and sub-Antarctic predatory seabirds, but they may suggest that scavenging seabirds are the main avian reservoirs and spreaders of this virus in the Southern Ocean. Further studies are necessary to determine the precise role of these species in the epidemiology of AIV.
Latino-advanced cancer patients engage in advance care planning (ACP) at lower rates than non-Latino patients. The goal of the present study was to understand patients' and caregivers' preferred methods of communicating about ACP.
Patients and caregivers were interviewed about cultural, religious, and familial beliefs that influence engagement in ACP and preferences for ACP communication.
Findings highlighted that Latino patients respect doctors' medical advice, prefer the involvement of family members in ACP discussions with doctors, hold optimistic religious beliefs (e.g., belief in miracles) that hinder ACP discussions, and prefer culturally competent approaches, such as using their native language, for learning how to discuss end-of-life (EoL) care preferences.
Significance of results
Key cultural, religious, and familial beliefs and dynamics influence Latino engagement in ACP. Patients prefer a family-centered, physician informed approach to discussing ACP with consideration and incorporation of their religious medical beliefs about EoL care. Promising targets for improving the communication of and engagement in ACP include integrating cultural and religious beliefs in ACP discussions, providing information about ACP from the physician, involving family members in ACP discussions and decision-making, and giving instructions on how to engage in ACP discussions.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
Este artículo discute las evidencias de violencia perimortem y las relaciones espaciales de partes esqueletales recuperadas en la Estructura Funeraria 4 del sector I del sitio de Punta de la Peña 9 (Antofagasta de la Sierra, Catamarca, Argentina). Esta estructura, que contiene varios individuos correspondientes a la segunda mitad del primer milenio dC, presenta evidencias de haber sido reabierta en al menos dos eventos de inhumación, lo que produjo alteraciones de los patrones mortuorios y desarticulación de partes anatómicas. Estas reaperturas se relacionan con una dinámica particular de las prácticas de entierro en Antofagasta de la Sierra. Se trata del primer entierro secundario múltiple identificado para el área, el cual incluye a su vez los primeros casos de trauma intencional y muerte en condiciones violentas. Se inhumaron al menos siete individuos de ambos sexos y de distintos rangos de edad, cuatro de los cuales presentan lesiones perimortem en los cráneos, evidencia directa de situaciones de violencia interpersonal para los grupos agropastoriles de este período.
From simple averaging to more sophisticated registration and restoration strategies, such as super-resolution (SR), there exist different computational techniques that use a series of images of the same object to generate enhanced images where noise and other distortions have been reduced. In this work, we provide qualitative and quantitative measurements of this enhancement for high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. These images are compared in two ways, qualitatively through visual inspection in real and reciprocal space, and quantitatively, through the calculation of objective measurements, such as signal-to-noise ratio and atom column roundness. Results show that these techniques improve the quality of the images. In this paper, we use an SR methodology that allows us to take advantage of the information present in the image frames and to reliably facilitate the analysis of more difficult regions of interest in experimental images, such as surfaces and interfaces. By acquiring a series of cross-sectional experimental images of magnetite (Fe3O4) thin films (111), we have generated interpolated images using averaging and SR, and reconstructed the atomic structure of the very top surface layer that consists of a full monolayer of Fe, with topmost Fe atoms in tetrahedrally coordinated sites.
This paper addresses the chemical synthesis and characterization of a composite formed by Li2O-Al2O3-Al3Fe-Al3Fe5O12/PCL which were obtained by the process of reduction of ferric chloride (FeCl3) with lithium aluminum hydride (LiAlH4) in an open atmosphere. The goal of the development of this hybrid material was to perform a superparamagnetic material with several potential applications. The results of the characterizations by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and vibrating sample magnetometer showed a Li2O-Al2O3-Al3Fe-Al3Fe5O12 “desert rose stone”-like morphology 3D hierarchical powders formation when particles were sintered at 850 °C. Homogeneous nanometric particles after calcination at 1100 °C were observed. X-ray diffraction analysis were performed to determine their composition. Subsequently, the superparamagnetic powders were added by dispersion in a polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix, and then, were evaluated by SEM for the observation of their morphologies. The composite material presented a polymer network with an opened structure, a well dispersion of the oxides particles into the interstices with irregular topography and reliefs.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
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.
This work combines very detailed measurements from terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), ground-based interferometry radar (GB-SAR) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to diagnose current conditions and to analyse the recent evolution of the Monte Perdido Glacier in the Spanish Pyrenees from 2011 to 2017. Thus, this is currently one of the best monitored small glacier (<0.5 km2) worldwide. The evolution of the glacier surface was surveyed with a TLS evidencing an important decline of 6.1 ± 0.3 m on average, with ice losses mainly concentrated over 3 years (2012, 2015 and 2017). Ice loss is unevenly distributed throughout the study period, with 10–15 m thinning in some areas while unchanged areas in others. GB-SAR revealed that areas with higher ice losses are those that are currently with no or very low ice motion. In contrast, sectors located beneath the areas with less ice loss are those that still exhibit noticeable ice movement (average 2–4.5 cm d─1 in summer, and annual movement of 9.98 ma─1 from ablation stakes data). GPR informed that ice thickness was generally <30 m, though locally 30–50 m. Glacier thinning is still accelerating and will lead to extinction of the glacier over the next 50 years.
Allylamine (AA)-functionalized surfaces for cell adhesion and tissue engineering generated by plasma reactions present several disadvantages, such as amine degradation after 1 week of storage in air and difficulty in achieving a highly specific surface functionalization. In this work, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) films were functionalized with AA by γ irradiation to enhance adhesion and compatibility without changing intrinsic bulk properties, thus avoiding the disadvantages of plasma synthesis. Irradiation grafting was realized by a direct and pre-irradiation oxidation method. The effect of different parameters studied were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, and contact angle measurements.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
El objetivo de este trabajo es discutir la relevancia de la localidad arqueológica Laguna de los Pampas en el estudio de las ocupaciones humanas del Campo de Dunas del Centro Pampeano (subregión Pampa Húmeda) durante el Holoceno. Un hallazgo relevante lo constituyen tres huevos de ñandú enteros y semienterrados, con perforaciones que sugieren su utilización como contenedor de líquido. Si bien la laguna fue habitada a lo largo del todo el Holoceno, las dataciones radiocarbónicas del sector excavado ubican a las ocupaciones humanas en el Holoceno medio (entre ca. 7000 y 5800 aP). Para este lapso se determinó que la explotación faunística estuvo orientada al consumo del guanaco, pero con un fuerte complemento de otros taxones como ñandú, venado de las Pampas y especies de menor tamaño. Se registró una tecnología ósea estandarizada sobre huesos de guanaco. Las rocas proceden principalmente del sistema serrano de Tandilia, aunque se identifican materias primas de otras áreas como el oeste pampeano. Las similitudes en las estrategias de producción y usos de los instrumentos con otros sitios de la subregión Pampa Húmeda sugieren el empleo de una misma concepción tecnológica a escala regional durante el Holoceno medio y la interacción con grupos cazadores-recolectores que ocupaban los pastizales pampeanos.