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The paper is related to an adaptive satellite communication system for data transmission from small, low cost, low Earth orbit satellites. Tests run in a set-up consisting of a number of software-defined radio (SDR) modules operating as a satellite, a ground station, and a satellite channel simulator, have shown that by changing modulation scheme and code rate one can obtain increase of amount of data which can be downloaded from a satellite during a single pass over a ground station approximately by a factor of 2. To determine data rates obtainable in an SDR system using a common personal computer as a digital signal processing device, execution times of particular processing steps involved in the reception process were measured.
A power MOSFET-based push–pull configuration nanosecond-pulse generator has been designed, constructed, and characterized to permeabilize cells for biological and medical applications. The generator can deliver pulses with durations ranging from 80 ns up to 1 µs and pulse amplitudes up to 1.4 kV. The unit has been tested for in vitro experiments on a medulloblastoma cell line. Following the exposure of cells to 100, 200, and 300 ns electric field pulses, permeabilization tests were carried out, and viability tests were conducted to verify the performance of the generator. The maximum temperature rise of the biological load was also calculated based on Joule heating energy conservation and experimental validation. Our results indicate that the developed device has good capabilities to achieve well-controlled electro-manipulation in vitro.
Novel designs of a circularly polarized 2 × 2 and 4 × 4 slot array antennas (CPSAAs) are proposed. Sequential phase feed network composed of a section of 270° and four strips is utilized to feed the array structures. Array elements are simple linearly polarized wide slot antennas (WSAs) composed of simple radiating patches with truncation on four corners and slotted ground plane on substrate backside. Each WSA operates over the UWB frequency band of 3.1–10.6 GHz. When the WSAs are arranged in the form of 2 × 2 and 4 × 4 CPSAAs, frequency bands of 3–13.1 and 1.4–12.3 GHz are covered, respectively. More importantly, CP is generated at 4.5–8 and 4.6–8.8 GHz for 2 × 2 and 4 × 4 CPSAAs, respectively. This is while; the WSAs are linearly polarized elements. Higher gain values and wider bandwidths are obtained with respect to single WSA. Design process and performance analysis of the single and array antennas are discussed through the paper.
The design of mixed-technology quasi-reflectionless planar bandpass filters (BPFs), bandstop filters (BSFs), and multi-band filters is reported. The proposed quasi-reflectionless filter architectures comprise a main filtering section that determines the power transmission response (bandpass, bandstop, or multi-band type) of the overall circuit network and auxiliary sections that absorb the reflected radio-frequency (RF) signal energy. By loading the input and output ports of the main filtering section with auxiliary filtering sections that exhibit a complementary transfer function with regard to the main one, a symmetric quasi-reflectionless behavior can be obtained at both accesses of the overall filter. The operating principles of the proposed filter concept are shown through synthesized first-order BPF and BSF designs. Selectivity-increase techniques are also described. They are based on: (i) cascading in-series multiple first-order stages and (ii) increasing the order of the filtering sections. Moreover, the RF design of quasi-reflectionless multi-band BPFs and BSFs is discussed. A hybrid integration scheme in which microstrip-type and lumped-elements are effectively combined within the filter volume is investigated for size miniaturization purposes. For experimental validation purposes, two quasi-reflectionless BPF prototypes (one- and two-stage architectures) centered at 2 GHz and a second-order BSF prototype centered at 1 GHz were designed, manufactured, and measured.
The crustacean fauna of the Insect Bed (late Eocene), Isle of Wight is reviewed. The fauna comprises the branchiopod Branchipodites vectensis Woodward, 1879, ostracod Potamocypris brodiei Jones and Sherborn, 1889, and isopod Eosphaeroma margarum (Desmarest, 1822). In addition a new clam shrimp (Crustacea: Diplostraca: Spinicaudata) is described and named Paraleptestheria mitchelli sp. nov. This is the first record of the genus outside China and the first ‘conchostracan' to be described from the European Cenozoic.
Concentrates-fed lamb meat is often associated with an unfavourable lipid profile (high levels of saturated and/or n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids; SFA and PUFA). For this reason, Spanish sheep producers from Mediterranean areas are turning to traditional grazing by ewes to obtain healthier lamb meat. The objective of this research was to determine the effects of maternal grazing on the fatty acid (FA) composition of weaned lamb meat. The ewes (Segureña breed) were allocated to two different rearing systems during pregnancy (5 months) and lactation (45 days): (i) feeding indoors on barley grain and lucerne pellets; (ii) grazing on cereal stubble, fallow land and seasonal pastures consisting of Mediterranean shrubs, herbs and trees. Two groups of 20 autumn and spring lambs were sampled. The lambs were weaned at 13.1±0.9 kg and 45.0±4.1 days age and fed on grain-based concentrates until they reached 24.8±2.1 kg live weight (light lambs slaughtered at 98.3±3.6 days of age). The FA content was determined in the intramuscular loin fat by gas chromatography using a flame ionization detector. The ewe diet did not affect the levels of the main lamb FAs (C18:1c+t, C16:0 and C18:2c), and so did not provide any additional reduction in fat saturation. Saturated fatty acids represented around 40% of total FAs determined in the meat. Ewe grazing acted as an n-3 PUFA-promoting diet, providing a lamb meat with a lower n-6/n-3 ratio. Spring lamb meat had higher proportions of n-3 PUFA (C18:3n-3, C20:5, C22:5 and C22:6) and conjugated linoleic acid (C18:2c9t11+c11t9) to the detriment of the n-6 PUFAs (C20:4, C20:2 and C22:4), while autumn lamb meat also had higher levels of C18:3n-3 and C18:3n-6, and lower level of C20:4, which points to little seasonal differences. The n-6/n-3 ratio achieved by ewe grazing fell from 8.2 to 4.1 (Spring) and from 7.6 to 5.5 (Autumn), values which are close to those recommended in human diet for good cardiovascular health. These n-6/n-3 reductions were associated with lower levels of total PUFA and C20:4n-6. Our research concluded that grazing on stubble and Mediterranean shrubland by ewes, a sustainable rearing practice involving local agro resources, contributed to obtaining weaned lamb meat with a more favourable lipid profile and so can be recommended to sheep farmers.
A far-infrared observatory such as the SPace Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics, with its unprecedented spectroscopic sensitivity, would unveil the role of feedback in galaxy evolution during the last ~10 Gyr of the Universe (z = 1.5–2), through the use of far- and mid-infrared molecular and ionic fine structure lines that trace outflowing and infalling gas. Outflowing gas is identified in the far-infrared through P-Cygni line shapes and absorption blueshifted wings in molecular lines with high dipolar moments, and through emission line wings of fine-structure lines of ionised gas. We quantify the detectability of galaxy-scale massive molecular and ionised outflows as a function of redshift in AGN-dominated, starburst-dominated, and main-sequence galaxies, explore the detectability of metal-rich inflows in the local Universe, and describe the most significant synergies with other current and future observatories that will measure feedback in galaxies via complementary tracers at other wavelengths.
Suckling lamb meat is traditionally produced in Mediterranean Europe. Breed can affect the quality of the lamb carcass and meat. This study is aimed at comparing the carcass and meat quality between suckling lambs from a local and a non-native dairy breed, Churra and Assaf. Churra is included in the Spanish Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) ‘Lechazo de Castilla y León’, whereas Assaf is not. However, Assaf breeders have requested the inclusion of the breed in the PGI. Carcasses and meat from 16 male lambs (eight Churra and eight Assaf) were used in this study. The lambs were all raised under an intensive rearing system and fed on a milk substitute to minimise maternal influence. The carcasses were evaluated for conformation, fatness, joint and leg tissue proportions and the meat was analysed for composition (i.e. proximate composition, iron, haematin, fatty acids and volatiles) and technological quality traits (i.e. texture, water holding capacity, colour and lipid stability). Churra carcasses were larger than Assaf carcasses. However, the proportions of commercial joints and main tissues did not differ between breeds. Cavity and intermuscular leg fat, but not total leg fat, were higher in Churra carcasses. Churra meat showed a higher proportion of n-6 fatty acids, higher redness and better colour stability during aerobic storage. In contrast, Assaf lamb was more resistant to lipid oxidation after cooking. This is a preliminary study to measure the influence of breed on a wide range of quality characteristics in Churra and Assaf suckling lamb carcass and meat. It may be of relevance for breeders, consumers and food policy makers, setting the basis for future studies that include larger commercial populations.
Rusitec fermenters are in vitro systems widely used to study ruminal fermentation, but little is known about the microbial populations establishing in them. This study was designed to assess the time evolution of microbial populations in fermenters fed medium- (MC; 50% alfalfa hay : concentrate) and high-concentrate diets (HC; 15 : 85 barley straw : concentrate). Samples from solid (SOL) and liquid (LIQ) content of fermenters were taken immediately before feeding on days 3, 8 and 14 of incubation for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis analyses. In SOL, total bacterial DNA concentration and relative abundance of Ruminococcus flavefaciens remained unchanged over the incubation period, but protozoal DNA concentration and abundance of Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococcus albus and fungi decreased and abundance of methanogenic archaea increased. In LIQ, total bacterial DNA concentration increased with time, whereas concentration of protozoal DNA and abundance of methanogens and fungi decreased. Diet×time interactions were observed for bacterial and protozoal DNA and relative abundance of F. succinogenes and R. albus in SOL, as well as for protozoal DNA in LIQ. Bacterial diversity in SOL increased with time, but no changes were observed in LIQ. The incubated diet influenced all microbial populations, with the exception of total bacteria and fungi abundance in LIQ. Bacterial diversity was higher in MC-fed than in HC-fed fermenters in SOL, but no differences were detected in LIQ. Values of pH, daily production of volatile fatty acids and CH4 and isobutyrate proportions remained stable over the incubation period, but other fermentation parameters varied with time. The relationships among microbial populations and fermentation parameters were in well agreement with those previously reported in in vivo studies. Using 15N as a microbial marker or quantifying total microbial DNA for estimating microbial protein synthesis offered similar results for diets comparison, but both methods presented contrasting results for microbial growth in SOL and LIQ phases. The study showed that fermentation parameters remained fairly stable over the commonly used sampling period (days 8 to 14), but shifts in microbial populations were detected. Moreover, microbial populations differed markedly from those in the inocula, which indicates the difficulty of directly transposing results on microbial populations developed in Rusitec fermenters to in vivo conditions.
The intensity of annual Spanish influenza activity is currently estimated from historical data of the Spanish Influenza Sentinel Surveillance System (SISSS) using qualitative indicators from the European Influenza Surveillance Network. However, these indicators are subjective, based on qualitative comparison with historical data of influenza-like illness rates. This pilot study assesses the implementation of Moving Epidemic Method (MEM) intensity levels during the 2014–2015 influenza season within the 17 sentinel networks covered by SISSS, comparing them to historically reported indicators. Intensity levels reported and those obtained with MEM at the epidemic peak of the influenza wave, and at national and regional levels did not show statistical difference (P = 0·74, Wilcoxon signed-rank test), suggesting that the implementation of MEM would have limited disrupting effects on the dynamic of notification within the surveillance system. MEM allows objective influenza surveillance monitoring and standardization of criteria for comparing the intensity of influenza epidemics in regions in Spain. Following this pilot study, MEM has been adopted to harmonize the reporting of intensity levels of influenza activity in Spain, starting in the 2015–2016 season.
There is growing recognition of the importance of both functioning and quality of life (QoL) outcomes in the treatment of depressive disorders, but the meta-analytic evidence is scarce. The objective of this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was to determine the absolute and relative effects of psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and their combination on functioning and QoL in patients with depression.
One hundred and fifty-three outcome trials involving 29 879 participants with depressive disorders were identified through database searches in Pubmed, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.
Compared to control conditions, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy yielded small to moderate effect sizes for functioning and QoL, ranging from g = 0.31 to g = 0.43. When compared directly, initial analysis yielded no evidence that one of them was superior. After adjusting for publication bias, psychotherapy was more efficacious than pharmacotherapy (g = 0.21) for QoL. The combination of psychotherapy and medication performed significantly better for both outcomes compared to each treatment alone yielding small effect sizes (g = 0.32 to g = 0.39). Both interventions improved depression symptom severity more than functioning and QoL.
Despite the small number of comparative trials for some of the analyses, this study reveals that combined treatment is superior, but psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy alone are also efficacious for improving functioning and QoL. The overall relatively modest effects suggest that future tailoring of therapies could be warranted to better meet the needs of individuals with functioning and QoL problems.
Molluscs are subjected to intense harvesting in many areas around the world. Conservation measures have been developed to preserve populations of an overexploited gastropod species, the abalone Haliotis tuberculata coccinea. This species was surveyed in subtidal localities throughout coastal Tenerife, Canary Islands over the last two decades (1994–2014). A clear indicator of non-recovery was observed in the decrease of mean size throughout the last two decades, even after the inclusion of this species in the Regional Catalogue of Endangered Species. The mean size of abalones decreased from 33.5 mm (1994) to 28–29 mm (2002 and 2014), corresponding to sub-adult individuals. The structure of size classes was typical of an overexploited species, with reduced occurrence of large individuals (>50 mm). Several factors might explain this pattern such as illegal harvesting, proliferation of featureless benthos and a decrease of suitable habitats for colonization and settlement. Complementary conservation actions are urgently needed to preserve this species in the area studied.
Few randomised clinical trials have examined the efficacy of an
intervention aimed at improving psychosocial functioning in bipolar
To examine changes in psychosocial functioning in a group that has been
enrolled in a functional remediation programme 1 year after baseline.
This was a multicentre, randomised, rater-masked clinical trial comparing
three patient groups: functional remediation, psychoeducation and
treatment as usual over 1-year follow-up. The primary outcome was change
in psychosocial functioning measured by means of the Functioning
Assessment Short Test (FAST). Group×time effects for overall psychosocial
functioning were examined using repeated-measures ANOVA (trial
There was a significant group×time interaction for overall psychosocial
functioning, favouring patients in the functional remediation group
(F = 3.071, d.f. = 2, P =
Improvement in psychosocial functioning is maintained after 1-year
follow-up in patients with bipolar disorder receiving functional
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.
The effect of sex, source of saturated fat (lard v. palm oil) and glycerol inclusion in the fattening diet on composition and fatty acid positional distribution in the triglyceride molecule was studied in pigs from 78 to 110 kg BW. Average daily gain and carcass characteristics, including ham and loin weight, were not affected by dietary treatment but sex affected backfat depth (P<0.01). A significant interaction between sex and glycerol inclusion was observed; dietary glycerol increased lean content in gilts but not in barrows (P<0.05 for the interaction). Individual and total saturated fatty acid (SFA) concentrations were greater in barrows than in gilts. In contrast, the concentration of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and of C18:2n-6, C18:3n-3, C20:3n-9 and C20:4n-6 in the intramuscular fat (IMF) was higher (P<0.05) in gilts than in barrows. Sex did not affect total monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) concentration in the IMF. The proportion of SFA in the subcutaneous fat (SF) was higher in barrows than in gilts (P<0.001). Within the individual SFA, sex affected only the concentrations of C14:0 and C16:0 (P<0.001). Dietary fat did not affect total SFA or PUFA concentrations of the IMF but the subcutaneous total MUFA concentration tended to be higher (P=0.079) in pigs fed lard than in pigs fed palm oil. Dietary glycerol increased total MUFA and C18:1n-9 concentration in the IMF and increased total MUFA and decreased C18:2n-6, C18:3n-3 and total PUFA concentrations in the SF. The data indicate that altering the fatty acid composition of the triglyceride molecule at the 2-position, by dietary intervention during the fattening phase, is very limited.
Observations of red giants in the Bulge globular cluster NGC 6273 with the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System (M2FS) mounted on the Nasmuth-East port of the Magellan-Clay 6.5-m telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory reveal a spread in metallicity. Members have been confirmed with radial velocity. NGC 6273 has at least two populations separated by 0.2-0.3 dex in [Fe/H]. The sodium and aluminum abundances are correlated while the magnesium and aluminum abundances are anti-correlated. The cluster also shows a rise in the abundance of the s-process element lanthanum with [Fe/H] similar to other massive clusters. The cluster contains a possible third population depleted in most elements by 0.3 dex.
The objective of the current study was to assess how closely batch cultures (BC) of rumen microorganisms can mimic the dietary differences in fermentation characteristics found in the rumen, and to analyse changes in bacterial diversity over the in vitro incubation period. Four ruminally and duodenally cannulated sheep were fed four diets having forage : concentrate ratios (FCR) of 70 : 30 or 30 : 70, with either alfalfa hay or grass hay as forage. Rumen fluid from each sheep was used to inoculate BC containing the same diet fed to the donor sheep, and the main rumen fermentation parameters were determined after 24 h of incubation. There were differences between BC and sheep in the magnitude of most measured parameters, but BC detected differences among diets due to forage type similar to those found in sheep. In contrast, BC did not reproduce the dietary differences due to FCR found in sheep for pH, degradability of neutral detergent fibre and total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations. There were differences between systems in the magnitude of most determined parameters and BC showed higher pH values and NH3–N concentrations, but lower fibre degradability and VFA and lactate concentrations compared with sheep. There were significant relationships between in vivo and in vitro values for molar proportions of acetate, propionate and butyrate, and the acetate : propionate ratio. The automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) of 16S ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid showed that FCR had no effect on bacterial diversity either in the sheep rumen fluid used as inoculum (IN) or in BC samples. In contrast, bacterial diversity was greater with alfalfa hay diets than those with grass hay in the IN, but was unaffected by forage type in the BC. Similarity index between the bacterial communities in the inocula and those in the BC ranged from 67·2 to 74·7%, and was unaffected by diet characteristics. Bacterial diversity was lower in BC than in the inocula with 14 peaks out of a total of 181 detected in the ARISA electropherograms never appearing in BC samples, which suggests that incubation conditions in the BC may have caused a selection of some bacterial strains. However, each BC sample showed the highest similarity index with its corresponding rumen IN, which highlights the importance of using rumen fluid from donors fed a diet similar to that being incubated in BC when conducting in vitro experiments.
The effects of inclusion in the diet of different sources of soya bean meal (SBM) on growth performance, total tract apparent digestibility (TTAD) and apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of major dietary components and mucosal ileum morphology were studied in Iberian pigs weaned at 30 days of age. From 30 to 51 days of age (phase I), there was a control diet based on regular soya bean meal (R-SBM; 44% CP) of Argentina (ARG) origin and five extra diets in which a high-protein soya bean meal (HP-SBM; 49% CP) of the USA or ARG origin, either ground (990 μm) or micronized (60 μm), or a soya protein concentrate (SPC; 65% CP) substituted the R-SBM. From 51 to 61 days of age (phase II), all pigs were fed a common commercial diet in mash form. The following pre-planned orthogonal contrasts were conducted: (1) R-SBM v. all the other diets, (2) SPC v. all the HP-SBM diets, (3) micronized HP-SBM v. ground HP-SBM, (4) HP-SBM of ARG origin v. HP-SBM of US origin and (5) interaction between source and the degree of grinding of the HP-SBM. Dietary treatment did not affect growth performance of the pigs at any age but from 30 to 51 days of age, post weaning diarrhoea (PWD) was higher (P<0.001) and the TTAD and AID of all nutrients were lower for pigs fed the R-SBM diet than for pigs fed the HP-SBM or the SPC diets. However, no differences between the HP-SBM and the SPC containing diets were detected for any trait. The TTAD of organic matter (P=0.07) and gross energy (GE) (P=0.05) tended to be higher for the micronized HP-SBM than for the ground HP-SBM and that of GE was higher (P<0.05) for US meal than for the ARG meal. Pigs fed R-SBM had lower villus height (P<0.01) than pigs fed HP-SBM or SPC but no differences in ileal mucosal morphology were detected between SPC and HP-SBM containing diets. It is concluded that feeding the HP-SBM or SPC-reduced PWD and improved nutrient digestibility and ileal morphology as compared with feeding the R-SBM, but had no effect on pig performance. The inclusion in the diet of added value soya products (micronized SBM or SPC) in substitution of the R-SBM increased the TTAD of all nutrients and reduced PWD but had no advantage in terms of growth performance over the use of ground HP-SBM.