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This study focuses on the dolphins populating the water between Gibraltar and Algeciras in the south Iberian Peninsula, an area subjected to pressure due to high human activity. The area is considered an important feeding and breeding ground for common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Due to the degree of residence of some specimens, and the large gap in knowledge about the evolution of wounds in D. delphis specimens with lacerations, this work sought to perform the following analyses: identify lacerated individuals; characterize sequences of ‘before – during – after’ with respect to the occurrence of lacerations; and associate the type of injury with its severity. This work will inform future studies by expanding a database on injured individuals and contribute to periodical monitoring of specimens that frequent these geographic areas. Between 2013 and 2017, we were able to track the healing process of five injured individuals of common dolphins from a whale-watching platform thanks to photo identification. The animals exhibited fresh external wounds from different sources. In the majority of individuals, the wound-healing processes lasted 3–21 weeks. The frequency with which sightings are made and knowledge about the local population will help track injured animals, follow their wound evolution, and document their survival rates. The documented injuries inflicted by human interactions described in this paper may include fishing interactions and propeller strikes, probably as a consequence of the high intensity of recreational fishing and whale-watching activities in the area.
Increased adiposity, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance are associated with increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases (CM). Such deleterious phenotypes have been shown to be associated with a low gene-richness microbiota that can partly be restored by a short-term dietary intervention (energy-restricted high-protein diet, low glycemic index, enrichment with fibers) in parallel to an improvement of CM profile. In this study, we aimed at increasing fiber intake in quantity and diversity through a two-month consumption of bread enriched with a mix of selected fibers and evaluated the impact of this dietary intervention on gut microbiota gene richness and CM risk profile in subjects at risk of developing CM.
Materials and methods
In a randomized double blind cross-over design, thirty-nine subjects with CM risk profile (18–70 years old, BMI: 25–35 kg/m2, waist circumference > 80 cm for women and > 96 cm for men, fiber intake < 20g/day, low fiber diversity) consumed daily for 8 weeks 150 g of standard bread vs. 150 g of bread enriched with a 7-selected fibers mix (5.55 g vs. 16.35 g of fiber respectively; 4-week washout). Gut microbiota and CM risk factors’ analyzes were conducted before and after intervention. Stool samples were analyzed by shotgun metagenomics; microbial genes and metagenomics species (MSP) profiles were generated by mapping reads on a reference genes catalog (1529 MSP).
The included dyslipidemic subjects with CM risk profile presented a lower microbiota gene richness compared to reference healthy cohorts. The two-month consumption of fiber-rich bread did not alter microbiota gene richness but modified microbiota composition with a significant decrease of Bacteroides vulgatus (q = 1.7e-4) and a significant increase of Parabacteroides distasonis (q = 2.8e-6), Fusicatenibacter saccharivorans (q = 5e-5) and Clostridiales (q = 3.8e-2). We observed in parallel a significant decrease in total cholesterol (- 0.26 mmol/L; - 5%; p = 0.021), LDL-cholesterol (- 0.2 mmol/L; - 6%, p = 0.0061) and an improvement of insulin sensibility estimated by HOMA index (3.23–2.54 mUI/L; - 21%; p = 0.0079).These effects were even significantly more pronounced for subjects presenting the higher waist circumference. Anthropometric parameters were not altered.
The enrichment of the diet with a mix of selected fibers for 2 months altered microbiota composition by modifying the relative abundance of specific gut bacterial species, in parallel to a significant improvement of cholesterol and insulin sensitivity parameters. Increasing the quantity and diversity of dietary fiber intake could be used as an efficient tool to favorably impact CM profile.
Birch-bark tar, used continuously in the territory of modern Europe from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Iron Age, is conspicuous by its absence in the archaeological record of the Roman period, suggesting its replacement by conifer-based products. The results of chemical analyses of residues on Roman hinges, however, now challenge this interpretation. The presence of birch-bark tar in most of the samples demonstrates the persistence of a long-established practice into the Roman period. Examined in relation to textual and environmental evidence, these results illuminate the transmission of technical knowledge and the development of long-distance trade networks associated with birch-bark tar.
The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was once an abundant species in the Cabo Verde Islands. Since the 1960s though, and especially during the 1980–1990s, it consistently declined to near extinction. Evidence collected indicates a remnant population of about a dozen pairs or less, scattered through the desert rangelands of only three islands. Extensive enquiry work revealed that this likely resulted from the concomitant effects of the rise in unnatural mortality due to the formerly widespread and long-lasting use of dangerous pesticides and the (still on-going) poisoning of stray dogs and other nuisance animals, and a decrease in food resources associated with factors linked with development, such as urbanisation, rural abandonment and better sanitation. Avoiding imminent extinction calls for emergency action against current threats to the remaining vultures, such as poisoning and electrocution, but also potential causes of impaired fecundity such as hazardous pesticides and shortage of food resources.
The design of government portfolios – that is, the distribution of competencies among government ministries and office holders – has been largely ignored in the study of executive and coalition politics. This article argues that portfolio design is a substantively and theoretically relevant phenomenon that has major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics. The authors use comparative data on portfolio design reforms in nine Western European countries since the 1970s to demonstrate how the design of government portfolios changes over time. Specifically, they show that portfolios are changed frequently (on average about once a year) and that such shifts are more likely after changes in the prime ministership or the party composition of the government. These findings suggest a political logic behind these reforms based on the preferences and power of political parties and politicians. They have major implications for the study of institutional design and coalition politics.
We performed a molecular and epidemiologic study of a healthcare-associated rhinovirus outbreak to better understand transmission in neonatal intensive care settings. Sequencing of the 7 outbreak strains revealed 4 distinct clades, indicating multiple sources. A single clade infected 3 patients in adjacent rooms, suggesting horizontal transmission. We observed 1 rhinovirus-associated death.
In the UK, 11.8% of expectant mothers undergo an elective caesarean section (ELCS) representing 92 000 births per annum. It is not known to what extent this procedure has an impact on mental well-being in the longer term.
To determine the prevalence and postpartum progression of anxiety and depression symptoms in women undergoing ELCS in Wales.
Prevalence of depression and anxiety were determined in women at University Hospital Wales (2015–16; n = 308) through completion of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS; ≥13) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; ≥40) questionnaires 1 day prior to ELCS, and three postpartum time points for 1 year. Maternal characteristics were determined from questionnaires and, where possible, confirmed from National Health Service maternity records.
Using these criteria the prevalence of reported depression symptoms was 14.3% (95% CI 10.9–18.3) 1 day prior to ELCS, 8.0% (95% CI 4.2–12.5) within 1 week, 8.7% (95% CI 4.2–13.8) at 10 weeks and 12.4% (95% CI 6.4–18.4) 1 year postpartum. Prevalence of reported anxiety symptoms was 27.3% (95% CI 22.5–32.4), 21.7% (95% CI 15.8–28.0), 25.3% (95% CI 18.5–32.7) and 35.1% (95% CI 26.3–44.2) at these same stages. Prenatal anxiety was not resolved after ELCS more than 1 year after delivery.
Women undergoing ELCS experience prolonged anxiety postpartum that merits focused clinical attention.
Socially responsible corporate governance (SRCG) is a product of the interaction of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. These two transnational business governance schemes have converged around the principles of accountability, sustainability, and due diligence. This article will examine to what extent SRCG can be useful in promoting worker protection. It will contend that, as a reflexive regulation, SRCG is normatively indeterminate and may easily be subject to regulatory capture by the traditional actors of corporate governance. This article will argue that these risks may be alleviated by the interaction of SRCG with transnational labour law (TLL). Transnational labour law increases SRCG’s responsiveness to the value of worker protection by offering labour more direct sources of participation to strengthen SRCG’s enforcement and alleviate risks of capture. Moreover, the principles of TLL weave a coherent and meaningful framework which can be used to assess the quality of the various corporate governance initiatives.
Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2; April 25, 2018) provides astrometric and photometric data for more than a billion stars - among them many AGB stars. As part of DR2 the light curves of several hundreds of thousand variable stars, including many long-period variable (LPV) candidates, are made available. The publication of the light curves and LPV-specific attributes in addition to the standard DR2 products offers a unique opportunity to study AGB stars. In this contribution, we present the first results for AGB stars based on the analysis of the Gaia data performed after their release. As an immediate result of the Gaia DR2 LPV database we introduce a new photometric index capable of efficiently distinguishing AGB stars of different masses and chemical properties.
We present the current status update of the Herschel Planetary Nebula Survey Plus project (HerPlaNS+) based on the original General Observer HerPlaNS survey program during the OT1 cycle and the follow-up exhaustive archival search of PN observations using the PACS and SPIRE instruments on-board the Herschel Space Observatory.
Several descriptive studies on the intake of polyphenols, mostly flavonoids, have been published, especially in Europe and the USA, but insufficient data are still available in Latin-American countries, where different types of foods are consumed and different dietary habits are observed. The goal of this cross-sectional study was to estimate dietary intakes of polyphenols, including grand total, total per classes and subclasses and individual compounds, and to identify their main food sources in Mexican women. The Mexican Teachers’ Cohort includes 115 315 female teachers, 25 years and older, from twelve states of Mexico, including urban and rural areas. Dietary data were collected in the period 2008–2011 using a validated FFQ, and individual polyphenol intake was estimated using food composition data from the Phenol-Explorer database. Median total polyphenol intake was the highest in Baja California (750 mg/d) and the lowest in Yucatan (536 mg/d). The main polyphenols consumed were phenolic acids (56·3–68·5 % total polyphenols), followed by flavonoids (28·8–40·9 %). Intake of other polyphenol subclasses (stilbenes, lignans and others) was insignificant. Coffee and fruits were the most important food sources of phenolic acids and flavonoids, respectively. Intake of a total of 287 different individual polyphenols could be estimated, of which forty-two were consumed in an amount ≥1 mg/d. The most largely consumed polyphenols were several caffeoylquinic acids (ranging from 20 and 460 mg/d), ferulic acid, hesperidin and proanthocyanidins. This study shows a large heterogeneity in intakes of individual polyphenols among Mexican women, but a moderate heterogeneity across Mexican states. Main food sources were also similar in the different states.
Management of new-onset diabetes is important to achieve metabolic stabilization, minimize acute complications, and to provide insulin therapy, diabetes education and psychological support. A health technology assessment (HTA) was conducted to determine if an outpatient setting could be effective and safe for new-onset diabetes in children, and how it can be implemented in our pediatric center.
A systematic search on initial management (outpatient versus in-hospital) of diabetes in children was performed in multiple databases and grey literature. Practice guidelines (CPGs), systematic reviews (SRs), randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomized comparative studies (NRCSs) published up to August 2017 were identified. Telephone interviews with key informants from two children's university teaching hospitals were performed to collect information on outpatient initial management models and issues related to their implementation. An interdisciplinary group of experts from our pediatric center collaborated in this project.
According to 5 CPGs, hospitalization would not be required for children without acute complications at time of diagnosis or after initial treatment of ketoacidosis if outpatient care facilities, resources, and education are available. Results from one SR and 7 NRCSs suggested that outpatient initial management is associated with good metabolic control (glycated hemoglobin) and is as safe as the inpatient care model, based on rate of hospital admissions, severe hypoglycemia, and ketoacidosis episode. However, few data regarding treatment adherence, knowledge acquisition, and emotional adaptation were identified. Outpatient education programs can be successfully provided on several consecutive or non-consecutive days after diagnosis as reported by two children's university teaching hospitals.
Although data on effectiveness and safety are scarce and of low-quality, outpatient management of newly diagnosed diabetes, uncomplicated or stabilized, is recommended in children. However, data on children and their families should be collected as part of the implementation evaluation in order to enhance its efficacy and the quality of the patients’ and families’ experiences.
New therapeutic strategies have been established in chronic wound healing procedures, such as the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). There is currently still uncertainty about the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and real safety of PRP in promoting chronic wound healing and what specific types of chronic wounds can benefit most from its use.
We conducted a systematic review of available scientific literature on the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of PRP compared to placebo, standard care or alternative topical therapies for the treatment of chronic wounds in adults. Overall effect size was estimated through a meta-analysis. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a Markov model which simulates the costs and health outcomes of individuals for a 5-year horizon, from the perspective of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS) for the PRP versus standard treatment in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). We ran extensive sensitivity analyses, including a probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Sixteen RCTs and four observational studies were included for the effectiveness and safety meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the proportion of chronic wounds completely healed: 143 patients out of 334 (42.8 percent) were cured in the standard treatment arm and 251 patients out of 375 (66.9 percent) in the PRP arm, relative risk (RR) 1.68 (95% CI: 1.22–2.31). It was unclear whether there was a difference in the risk of infection (RR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.10–2.71) or adverse events (RR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.29–3.88) between PRP and standard care. Three studies were considered for the cost-effectiveness analysis. In the base case analysis, PRP led to higher QALYs and healthcare costs with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of EUR 41,767 (USD 48,323)/QALY.
PRP treatment is more expensive and more effective than standard treatment. The estimated ICER is above the acceptability threshold in Spain.
The semiconductor industry has seen tremendous progress over the last few decades with continuous reduction in transistor size to improve device performance. Miniaturization of devices has led to changes in the dopants and dielectric layers incorporated. As the gradual shift from two-dimensional metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor to three-dimensional (3D) field-effect transistors (finFETs) occurred, it has become imperative to understand compositional variability with nanoscale spatial resolution. Compositional changes can affect device performance primarily through fluctuations in threshold voltage and channel current density. Traditional techniques such as scanning electron microscope and focused ion beam no longer provide the required resolution to probe the physical structure and chemical composition of individual fins. Hence advanced multimodal characterization approaches are required to better understand electronic devices. Herein, we report the study of 14 nm commercial finFETs using atom probe tomography (APT) and scanning transmission electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (STEM-EDS). Complimentary compositional maps were obtained using both techniques with analysis of the gate dielectrics and silicon fin. APT additionally provided 3D information and allowed analysis of the distribution of low atomic number dopant elements (e.g., boron), which are elusive when using STEM-EDS.