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Different countries, especially Brazil, that have faced recurrent dengue epidemics for decades and chikungunya epidemics since 2014, have had to restructure their health services to combat a triple epidemic of arboviruses – Zika, dengue and Chikungunya – transmitted by the same vector, mainly Aedes aegypti, in 2015–2016. Several efforts have been made to better understand these three arboviruses. Spatial analysis plays an important role in the knowledge of disease dynamics. The knowledge of the patterns of spatial diffusion of these three arboviruses during an epidemic can contribute to the planning of surveillance actions and control of these diseases. This study aimed to identify the spatial diffusion processes of these viruses in the context of the triple epidemic in 2015–2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two study designs were used: cross-sectional and ecological. Sequential Kernel maps, nearest-neighbour ratios calculated cumulatively over time, Moran global autocorrelation correlograms, and local autocorrelation changes over time were used to identify spatial diffusion patterns. The results suggested an expansion diffusion pattern for the three arboviruses during 2015–2016 in Rio de Janeiro. These findings can be considered for more effective control measures and for new studies on the dynamics of these three arboviruses.
To evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the modified Evans blue dye test compared to the fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing to detect aspiration in tracheostomised patients.
This observational accuracy study included 17 patients hospitalised for respiratory complications, subjected to prolonged intubation, and for this reason, tracheostomised.
Mean patient age was 60.2 ± 21.0 years. Aspiration was identified in 10 patients when assessed by fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing; of these, 1 had aspiration when evaluated by modified Evans blue dye test. The dye test had a sensitivity of 10.0 per cent and specificity of 100.0 per cent for detecting aspiration. Fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing revealed no statistically significant associations between aspiration presence and: speech and language therapy duration, intubation time, or tracheostomy plus mechanical ventilation duration.
The modified Evans blue dye test is simple and inexpensive, and does not require prior knowledge in endoscopy; it may be used as an initial screening test in all tracheostomised patients for evaluating aspiration. However, fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing should be used for a more comprehensive diagnosis of tracheostomy patients, especially for those at high risk for aspiration.
GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
Primary seed dispersal of many rain-forest seeds occurs through defecation by mammals. Dung beetles are attracted to the defecations and through their dung-processing behaviour these insects change the initial pattern of seed deposition. Final seed deposition patterns, i.e. where and how seeds are deposited after dung beetle activity has taken place, may strongly depend on seed size. In this study we addressed the following question: Do different sizes of seeds have different deposition patterns following dung beetle processing? We conducted a field experiment in lowland Amazonian rain forest in Brazil using 200-g dung-piles containing seed mimics of three sizes: 3.5, 8.6 and 15.5 mm long. Seed deposition condition after dung beetle activity was dependent on seed size. Small seeds were more often buried in beetle tunnels, while medium and large seeds more often remained on the soil surface, either clean or still covered by dung. A low proportion of seeds of all sizes remained on the soil surface covered by loose soil excavated by dung beetles. We speculate that the latter deposition pattern, though not very frequent, might be highly favourable for both seed survival and seedling establishment.
This study assessed the incidence and risk factors for dengue virus (DENV) infection among children in a prospective birth cohort conducted in the city of Recife, a hyperendemic dengue area in Northeast Brazil. Healthy pregnant women (n = 415) residing in Recife who agreed to have their children followed were enrolled. Children were followed during their first 24 months of age (May/2011–June/2014), before the 2015 Zika virus outbreak. DENV infection was detected by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and/or serology (anti-DENV IgM/IgG). The incidence rates per 1000 person-years (py) and its association with risk factors by age bands (0–12, >12–30 months) were estimated through Poisson regression models. Forty-nine dengue infections were detected; none progressed to severe forms. The incidence rates were 107·6/1000py (95% CI 76·8–150·6) and 93·3/1000py (95% CI 56·1–154·4) in the first and second years of age, respectively. Male children (risk ratios (RR) = 2·33; 95% CI 1·09–4·98) and those born to DENV-naïve mothers (RR = 2·42; 95% CI 1·01–5·80) were at greater risk of infection in the first year of age. In the second year, children born to Caucasian/Asian descent skin colour mothers had a threefold higher risk of infection (RR = 3·34; 95% CI: 1·08–10·33). These data show the high exposure of children to DENV infection in our setting and highlight the role of biological factors in this population's susceptibility to infection.
The Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) is composed by four ground cosmic ray detectors distributed around the Earth: Nagoya (Japan), Hobart (Australia), Sao Martinho da Serra (Brazil) and Kuwait city (Kuwait). The network has operated since March 2006. It has been upgraded a few times, increasing its detection area. Each detector is sensitive to muons produced by the interactions of ~50 GeV Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) with the Earth′s atmosphere. At these energies, GCR are known to be affected by interplanetary disturbances in the vicinity of the earth. Of special interest are the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their driven shocks because they are known to be the main origins of geomagnetic storms. It has been observed that these ICMEs produce changes in the cosmic ray gradient, which can be measured by GMDN observations. In terms of applications for space weather, some attempts have been made to use GMDN for forecasting ICME arrival at the earth with lead times of the order of few hours. Scientific space weather studies benefit the most from the GMDN network. As an example, studies have been able to determine ICME orientation at the earth using cosmic ray gradient. Such determinations are of crucial importance for southward interplanetary magnetic field estimates, as well as ICME rotation.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
It is well known that the cosmic ray intensity observed at the Earth's surface presents an 11 and 22-yr variations associated with the solar activity cycle. However, the observation and analysis of this modulation through ground muon detectors datahave been difficult due to the temperature effect. Furthermore, instrumental changes or temporary problems may difficult the analysis of these variations. In this work, we analyze the cosmic ray intensity observed since October 1970 until December 2012 by the Nagoya muon detector. We show the results obtained after analyzing all discontinuities and gaps present in this data and removing changes not related to natural phenomena. We also show the results found using the mass weighted method for eliminate the influence of atmospheric temperature changes on muon intensity observed at ground. As a preliminary result of our analyses, we show the solar cycle modulation in the muon intensity observed for more than 40 years.
A mycelial formulation in sodium alginate pellets of the nematophagous fungus Monacrosporium thaumasium (isolate NF34A) was assessed in the biological control of beef cattle trichostrongyles in tropical Brazil. Two groups of ten male Nellore calves aged 6 months, a fungus-treated group and a control group, were fed on a pasture of Brachiaria decumbens naturally infected with larvae of cattle trichostrongyles. The fungus-treated group received doses of sodium alginate mycelial pellets orally (1 g pellets (0.2 g fungus)/10 kg live weight) twice a week for 12 months. At the end of the study there was a signiﬁcant reduction (P< 0.01) in the number of eggs per gram of faeces and coprocultures of the fungus-treated group – 47.8% and 50.2%, respectively – in relation to the control group. There was a 47.3% reduction in herbage samples, collected up to 0–20 cm from faecal pats, between the fungus-treated and control groups, and a 58% reduction when the sampling distance was 20–40 cm from faecal pats (P< 0.01). The treatment with sodium alginate pellets containing the nematode-trapping fungus M. thaumasium reduced trichostrongyles in tropical south-eastern Brazil and could be an effective tool for the biological control of this parasitic nematode in beef cattle. However, in such a tropical climate with low rainfall the fungal viability can be reduced.
Recent data suggest trait-like neurocognitive impairments in bipolar disorder (BPD), with deficits about 1 s.d. below average, less severe than deficits noted in schizophrenia. The frequency of significant impairment in BPD is approximately 60%, with 40% of patients characterized as cognitively spared. This contrasts with a more homogeneous presentation in schizophrenia. It is not understood why some BPD patients develop deficits while others do not.
A total of 136 patients with BPD completed the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery and data were entered into hierarchical cluster analyses to: (1) determine the optimal number of clusters (subgroups) that fit the sample; and (2) assign subjects to a specific cluster based on individual profiles. We then compared subgroups on several clinical factors and real-world community functioning.
Three distinct neurocognitive subgroups were found: (1) an intact group with performance comparable with healthy controls on all domains but with superior social cognition; (2) a selective impairment group with moderate deficits on processing speed, attention, verbal learning and social cognition and normal functioning in other domains; and (3) a global impairment group with severe deficits across all cognitive domains comparable with deficits in schizophrenia.
These results suggest the presence of multiple cognitive subgroups in BPD with unique profiles and begin to address the relationships between these subgroups, several clinical factors and functional outcome. Next steps will include using these data to help guide future efforts to target these disabling symptoms with treatment.
Experimental criminology is an important area of research and scholarship and is closely linked with the evidence-based movement in social policy. Its profile has been elevated in recent years with any number of new scholarly and policy-oriented developments, methodological advancements, and a rapidly expanding body of experimental studies. Experimental methods have deep roots in criminology and the social and behavioral sciences more generally. These can be found in the study of criminal activities, development and testing of criminological theories, and evaluations of programs and policies to reduce crime. Experiments take place in varied field settings as well as in laboratories and are a rich source of scientific knowledge that has helped to advance the field of criminology and public policy. This book sets out to recapture the full breadth of experimental criminology and report on new and innovative contributions that it is making to basic scientific knowledge and more effective public policy.
The idea for this book originated with an international workshop that was organized and hosted by the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR). Held in Amsterdam on May 9–10, 2011, the NSCR workshop brought together leading scholars and experimentalists from North America and Europe to report on and debate new findings and methodological developments in experimental criminology. Papers were commissioned from the authors and presented at the workshop. Each presentation was followed by a detailed critique from an assigned discussant and discussion among participants. After the workshop, authors submitted revised versions of their papers. Finally, we commenced two rounds of reviewing and editing, and papers were accepted for inclusion in the volume.
Experimental criminology is a part of a larger and increasingly expanding evidence-based movement in social policy. The evidence-based movement first began in medicine and has, more recently, been embraced by the social sciences. Evidence-based social policy advocates – in areas such as education, poverty reduction, and crime prevention – are dedicated to increasing the use of scientific evidence in the implementation of government programs so critical social problems can be addressed without wasting scarce taxpayer funds. Experimental criminologists, and organizations such as the Academy of Experimental Criminology and the Campbell Collaboration’s Crime and Justice Group, have been leading advocates for the advancement of evidence-based crime control policy in general and the use of randomized experiments in crime and justice research in particular.
Experimental criminology has, for the most part, moved past the first wave of criticism that questioned the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in crime and justice evaluations. Two key concerns were that (1) it was not ethical to randomize treatments, interventions, or programs in crime and justice; and (2) randomized experiments could not be implemented in the real world (Clarke and Cornish 1972; Esbensen 1991; Erez 1986; Geis 1967). As Weisburd (2010) recently argued, the growth of criminological experiments in a broad range of real-world settings that have been carried out in an ethical manner demonstrates that these concerns are, in most cases, based in folklore rather than facts. However, as the influence of randomized experiments in crime and justice has grown in recent years, a second wave of criticism has been increasingly articulated by criminologists concerned by the field’s experimental turn. These critiques share a common concern that experimental criminology blindly advocates the superiority of RCTs over quasi-experiments and observational studies.
Experimenting with crime and social programs has a rich tradition. Some notable developments include the “lost letter” experiments of the 1970s (Farrington 1979) and the experimenting society concept advanced by Donald Campbell and others during the 1960s and 1970s (see Campbell 1969, 1979). Researchers used the lost letter experiments, which involved leaving cash in an apparently lost letter on the street, and other similar techniques to examine public dishonesty and minor deviance. The experimenting society concept is rooted in the large-scale social programs of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and the need to identify valid and rigorous methods of evaluation. It has generated profound interest in the use of experiments to test the impact of criminological interventions.
Present-day experimental criminology very much has its roots in these developments (Sherman 2010). At its heart are the methods of experimentation introduced in science in the seventeenth century. The defining feature of an experiment is control of the independent variable. An experiment is designed to test a causal hypothesis about the effect of variations in one variable on variations in another. A hypothesis cannot be tested experimentally unless it can be expressed in these terms. The methodological adequacy of any test of a causal hypothesis can be assessed on four major criteria (Campbell and Stanley 1966; Cook and Campbell 1979; Shadish, Cook, and Campbell 2002). Statistical conclusion validity refers to whether the two variables of interest truly are related. Internal validity refers to whether a change in one variable did produce a change in another. Construct validity refers to the theoretical constructs that underlie the measured variables; and external validity refers to how far the results can be generalized to different persons, settings, and times.
Experimental criminology is a part of a larger and increasingly expanding scientific research and evidence-based movement in social policy. The essays in this volume report on new and innovative contributions that experimental criminology is making to basic scientific knowledge and public policy. Contributors explore cutting-edge experimental and quasi-experimental methods and their application to important and topical issues in criminology and criminal justice, including neurological predictors of violence, peer influence on delinquency, routine activities and capable guardianship, early childhood prevention programs, hot spots policing, and correctional treatment for juvenile and adult offenders. It is the first book to examine the full scope of experimental criminology, from experimental tests - in the field and in the laboratory - of criminological theories and concepts to experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations of crime prevention and criminal justice interventions.