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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.
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.
Elevated circulating cholesterol levels are a risk factor for CVD which is also associated with sub-optimal vascular function. There is emerging evidence that anthocyanins can cause beneficial cardio-protective effects by favourably modulating lipoprotein profiles. We compared the effects of blood orange juice which is rich in anthocyanins and blonde orange juice without anthocyanins on LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers of CVD risk, vascular function and glycaemia. In all, forty-one participants (aged 25–84 years) with a waist circumference >94 cm (men) and >80 cm (women) completed a randomised, open label, two-arm cross-over trial. For 28 d participants ingested (i) 500 ml blood orange juice providing 50 mg anthocyanins/d and (ii) 500 ml blonde orange juice without anthocyanins. There was a minimum 3-week washout period between treatments. LDL-cholesterol and other biomarkers associated with CVD risk and glycaemia were assessed at the start and end of each treatment period. No significant differences were observed in total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, TAG, glucose, fructosamine, nitric oxide, C-reactive protein, aortic systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure or carotid-femoral and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity after 28 d ingestion of blood orange juice compared with standard orange juice. The lack of effect on LDL-cholesterol may be due to the modest concentration of anthocyanins in the blood orange juice.
Genetic improvement, without control of inbreeding, can go to loss of genetic variability, reducing the potential for genetic gains in the domestic populations. The aim of this study was to analyze the population structure and the inbreeding depression in Campolina horses. Phenotype information from 43 465 individuals was analyzed, data provided by the Campolina Breeders Association. A pedigree file containing 107 951 horses was used to connected the phenotyped individuals. The inbreeding coefficient was performed by use of the diagonal of the relationship matrix and the genealogical parameters were computed using proper softwares. The effective population size was estimated based on the rate of inbreeding and census information, and the stratification of the population was verified by the average relationship coefficient between animals born in different regions of Brazil. The effects of inbreeding on morphological traits were made by the use of inbreeding coefficient as a covariate in the model of random regression. The inbreeding coefficient increased from 1990 on, impacting effective population size and, consequently, shrinking genetic variability. The paternal inbreeding was greater than maternal, which may be attributed to the preference for inbred animals in reproduction. The average genetic relationship coefficient of animals born in different states was lower than individuals born within the same state. The increase in the inbreeding coefficient was negatively associated with all studied traits, showing the importance to avoid genetic losses in the long term. Although results do not indicate a severe narrowing of the population until the present date, the average relationship coefficient shows signs of increase, which could cause a drastic reduction in genetic variability if inbred mating is not successfully controlled in the Campolina horse population.
The Morrón de Mateo bentonite deposit has been studied as a natural analogue of the thermal effect on the bentonite barrier of a geological radioactive waste repository. This deposit was intruded by a volcanic dome that induced hydrothermal activity affecting the smectite clay minerals close to the dome. Previous studies of proximal bentonites indicated that Al-montmorillonites were transformed into Fe-rich smectites with intermediate composition between beidellite and saponite through gradual steps formed by smectites increasingly rich in Mg and Fe. In order to confirm the suggested transformation and the Fe distribution into the smectites, infrared and Mössbauer spectroscopy studies were performed. Infrared spectra of samples away from the dome show typical bands for montmorillonite type with prevailing Al in octahedral positions, while proximal samples also show bands of Fe-rich smectites. Mössbauer data confirm that Fe present in the fine fraction of bentonites is fundamentally located in the smectites structure, mainly as octahedrally coordinated Fe(III). Proximal smectites have a considerably more distorted octahedral environment for Fe(III) which probably stemmed from a significant degree of substitution of Al by Fe(III). These results confirm that an alteration process occurred related to the volcanic intrusion which produced an increase in temperature and Fe-rich solutions responsible for the transformation of Al-montmorillonites.
Accelerated Molecular Dynamics (AMD) is a class of MD-based algorithms for the long-time scale simulation of atomistic systems that are characterized by rare-event transitions. Temperature-Accelerated Dynamics (TAD), a traditional AMD approach, hastens state-to-state transitions by performing MD at an elevated temperature. Recently, Speculatively-Parallel TAD (SpecTAD) was introduced, allowing the TAD procedure to exploit parallel computing systems by concurrently executing in a dynamically generated list of speculative future states. Although speculation can be very powerful, it is not always the most efficient use of parallel resources. Here, we compare the performance of speculative parallelism with a replica-based technique, similar to the Parallel Replica Dynamics method. A hybrid SpecTAD approach is also presented, in which each speculation process is further accelerated by a local set of replicas. Overall, this work motivates the use of hybrid parallelism whenever possible, as some combination of speculation and replication is typically most efficient.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
The excessive consumption of carbohydrates is related to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in infants and adults. The effect of combining maternal malnutrition and a high carbohydrate intake on the development of NAFLD in adulthood remains unknown. We therefore hypothesized that consumption of 5% sucrose by the offspring of dams fed a low-protein diet during pregnancy promotes liver fat accumulation and oxidative damage differently in females and males. To test this, 12-month-old female and male offspring of mothers fed a Control (C) or low-protein diet (Restricted, R) were provided with either tap water or 5% sucrose for a period of 10 weeks. Livers were excised to measure the fat content and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NTyr) immunostaining; serum samples were also obtained to measure the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA). Data were analyzed using a non-repeated measures three-way analysis of variance to determine significant differences (P<0.05) regarding to the interaction among maternal diet, sucrose consumption and sex. Results showed that the liver fat content of females from R mothers was higher than that of their male counterpart. Hepatic 3-NTyr immunostaining and serum MDA concentrations were not affected by the interaction involving maternal diet, sucrose consumption and sex. Otherwise, liver fat content was correlated with the hepatic 3-NTyr immunostaining and serum MDA concentrations only in females. Thus, sucrose intake in adulthood increases fat content in the female but not in the male rat offspring of dams fed with a low-protein diet during pregnancy. This research emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet during pregnancy and the influence of the diet on the adult offspring.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
Although the conventional in situ ruminal degradability method is a relevant tool to describe the nutritional value of ruminant feeds, its need for rumen-fistulated animals may impose a restriction on its use when considering animal welfare issues and cost. The aim of the present work was to develop a ruminal degradability technique which avoids using surgically prepared animals. The concept was to orally dose a series of porous bags containing the test feeds at different times before slaughter, when the bags would be removed from the rumen for degradation measurement. Bags, smaller than those used in the conventional nylon bag technique, were made from woven nylon fabric, following two shape designs (rectangular flat shape, tetrahedral shape) and were fitted with one of three types of device for preventing their regurgitation. These bags were used in two experiments with individually housed non-pregnant, non-lactating sheep, as host animals for the in situ ruminal incubation of forage substrates. The bags were closed at the top edge by machine stitching and wrapped in tissue paper before oral dosing. Standard times for ruminal incubation of substrates in all of the tests were 4, 8, 16, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h before slaughter. The purpose of the first experiment was to compare the effectiveness of the three anti-regurgitation device designs, constructed from nylon cable ties (‘Z-shaped’, ARD1; ‘double Z-shaped’, ARD2; ‘umbrella-shaped’, ARD3), and to observe whether viable degradation curves could be generated using grass hay as the substrate. In the second experiment, three other substrates (perennial ryegrass, red clover and barley straw) were compared using flat and tetrahedral bags fitted with type ARD1 anti-regurgitation devices. Non-linear mixed-effect regression models were used to fit asymptotic exponential curves of the percentage dry matter loss of the four substrates against time of incubation in the reticulorumen, and the effect of type of anti-regurgitation device and the shape of nylon bag. All three devices were highly successful at preventing regurgitation with 93% to 100% of dosed bags being recovered in the reticulorumen at slaughter. Ruminal degradation data obtained for tested forages were in accordance with those expected from the conventional degradability technique using fistulated animals, with no significant differences in the asymptotic values of degradation curves between bag shape or anti-regurgitation device. The results of this research demonstrate the potential for using a small bag technique with intact sheep to characterise the in situ ruminal degradability of roughages.
A Q fever outbreak was declared in February 2016 in a company that manufactures hoists and chains and therefore with no apparent occupational-associated risk. Coxiella burnetii infection was diagnosed by serology in eight of the 29 workers of the company; seven of them had fever or flu-like signs and five had pneumonia, one requiring hospitalisation. A further case of C. burnetii pneumonia was diagnosed in a local resident. Real-time PCR (RTi–PCR) showed a widespread distribution of C. burnetii DNA in dust samples collected from the plant facilities, thus confirming the exposure of workers to the infection inside the factory. Epidemiological investigations identified a goat flock with high C. burnetii seroprevalence and active shedding which was owned and managed by one of the workers of the company as possible source of infection. Genotyping by multispacer sequence typing (MST) and a 10-loci single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination using RTi–PCR identified the same genotype (MST18 and SNP type 8, respectively) in the farm and the factory. These results confirmed the link between the goat farm and the outbreak and allowed the identification of the source of infection. The circumstances and possible vehicles for the bacteria entering the factory are discussed.