To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
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.
Nanoparticles and nanopores of iron oxide were synthesized by electrochemical anodization, in an electrolytic medium of ammonium fluoride (NH4F), deionized water and ethylene glycol. After anodization, the Fe foils were annealed at 450 °C for 2 hours. Different anodization times and two concentrations of NH4F (0.1 M and 1.2 M) were evaluated, under static conditions at room temperature. Scanning Electron Microscopy showed nanopores (0.1 M) and nanoparticles (1.2 M). Eight vibration modes characteristic of α-Fe2O3 were found with Raman spectroscopy technique. Relationship between the modes Eu(LO) and 2Eu(LO) was found, therefore, their association with the disorder in the crystalline structure can be determined and it was also found that 2Eu(LO) intensity mode at a concentration of 1.2 M is larger than 0.1 M nanostructures, the FWHM of the A1g mode at 227 cm-1 corresponding to the Fe3+ ions and the Eg at 293 cm-1 mode caused by the O2- ions was also analyzed and founded that the crystalline structure of hematite can be determined by the A1g mode at 227 cm-1.
In this work, the anodization of grade 2 titanium was performed using a HCl-based electrolyte in order to obtain Titania nanostructures. Different glycerol concentrations were added to the HCl electrolyte to study the effect it has on the shape and density of the nanostructures, additionally, anodization time and voltage was also varied. The anodized samples were observed by SEM microscopy and studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Raman spectroscopy and XRD showed the formation of the anatase phase of the TiO2. By SEM it was possible to observe several changes in the shape of the structures, by adding glycerol ball-like structures were visible, anodization time did not change the shape of the nanostructures. However, the voltage variation showed a clear control on the shape of the structures, forming nanotubes at higher voltages. It was concluded that a better control of the shape and density of the nanostructures is achieved by adding glycerol, however, in order to overcome the resistance that the electrolyte brings, higher voltages are required.
Different nanostructures such as: CuOH nanorods, CuO nanosheets and Cu2O nanograins were obtained by anodization approach at room temperature during times from 10 to 40 minutes. By scanning electron microscopy technique, it was found that Cu2O nanograins were formed at 10 minutes, CuO nanosheets vertically oriented on nanograins were observed at 20 and 30 minutes, and from 20 minutes CuOH nanorods with low vertical orientation on nanosheets were formed, coexisting the three types of nanostructures at the same system. In samples without thermal treatment were observed that Raman spectra of nanograins have a typical signal at 218 cm-1 associated to Cu2O, Raman spectra of nanosheets have signals at 287 and 630 cm-1 associated to CuO and Raman spectra of nanorods, it was observed that Raman spectrum is dominated by an intense signal associated to CuOH located around 488cm-1. In addition, after 3 hours of thermal treatment at 300 °C, the morphology was conserved, and the hydrogen-related compound decreased. Raman spectra of nanorods only presented a signal at 287 cm-1 associated to CuO whereas in nanosheets three peaks at 150, 218, 304 cm-1 associated to the Cu2O were observed.
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.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
To investigate whether adherence to the adapted Mediterranean Diet Score for Adolescents (MDS_A) and the adapted Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for Adolescents (KIDMED_A) is associated with better food/nutrient intakes and nutritional biomarkers.
The Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study is a cross-sectional study aiming to obtain comparable data on a variety of nutritional and health-related parameters in European adolescents aged 12·5–17·5 years.
Nine European countries.
European adolescents (n 2330) recruited to the HELENA study. Dietary intake was obtained with 24 h dietary recalls, an FFQ and a Food Choices and Preferences questionnaire. MDS_A was calculated as a categorical variable using cut-offs (MDS_A), as a continuous variable (zMDS_A) and with energy adjustments (zEnMDS_A). The KIDMED_A score was also calculated.
Multilevel linear regression analysis showed positive associations for zMDS_A and KIDMED_A with serum levels of vitamin D, vitamin C, plasma folate, holo-transcobalamin, β-carotene and n-3 fatty acids, while negative associations were observed with trans-fatty acid serum levels. For categorical indices, blood biomarkers showed few significant results. zMDS_A and KIDMED_A showed positive associations with vegetables and fruits intake, and negative associations with energy-dense and low-nutritious foods. zMDS_A and KIDMED_A were positively associated with all macronutrients, vitamins and minerals (all P < 0·0001), except with monosaccharides and PUFA for KIDMED_A and cholesterol for both indices (P < 0·05).
zMDS_A and KIDMED_A have shown the strongest associations with the dietary indicators and biomarkers that have been associated with the Mediterranean diet before, and are therefore considered the most appropriate and valid Mediterranean diet scores for European adolescents.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
The increasingly frequent involvement of companies’ line managers in human resource (HR) activities leads us to investigate the strategic value that these managers grant HR. This research focusses on the line managers’ perception of the strategic importance of HR, versus the perception of HR managers themselves, as a relevant factor in line managers’ own involvement within the execution of HR-related tasks. If line managers do not perceive the relevance and strategic importance of HR and its key role in the company’s strategy and performance, it is difficult to guarantee the managers’ commitment and effectiveness in HR management implementation. Based on interviews with HR development and line managers in 100 Spanish firms, we verified discrepancies in HR versus line managers’ perceptions, confirming that the assessment given by the line managers is slightly lower and, in turn, providing us with references to draw useful conclusions for a successful implementation of HR practices.
Field identification of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and advanced hospital notification decreases first-medical-contact-to-balloon (FMC2B) time. A recent study in this system found that electrocardiogram (ECG) transmission following a STEMI alert was frequently unsuccessful.
Instituting weekly test ECG transmissions from paramedic units to the hospital would increase successful transmission of ECGs and decrease FMC2B and door-to-balloon (D2B) times.
This was a natural experiment of consecutive patients with field-identified STEMI transported to a single percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)-capable hospital in a regional STEMI system before and after implementation of scheduled test ECG transmissions. In November 2014, paramedic units began weekly test transmissions. The mobile intensive care nurse (MICN) confirmed the transmission, or if not received, contacted the paramedic unit and the department’s nurse educator to identify and resolve the problem. Per system-wide protocol, paramedics transmit all ECGs with interpretation of STEMI. Receiving hospitals submit patient data to a single registry as part of ongoing system quality improvement. The frequency of successful ECG transmission and time to intervention (FMC2B and D2B times) in the 18 months following implementation was compared to the 10 months prior. Post-implementation, the time the ECG transmission was received was also collected to determine the transmission gap time (time from ECG acquisition to ECG transmission received) and the advanced notification time (time from ECG transmission received to patient arrival).
There were 388 patients with field ECG interpretations of STEMI, 131 pre-intervention and 257 post-intervention. The frequency of successful transmission post-intervention was 73% compared to 64% prior; risk difference (RD)=9%; 95% CI, 1-18%. In the post-intervention period, the median FMC2B time was 79 minutes (inter-quartile range [IQR]=68-102) versus 86 minutes (IQR=71-108) pre-intervention (P=.3) and the median D2B time was 59 minutes (IQR=44-74) versus 60 minutes (IQR=53-88) pre-intervention (P=.2). The median transmission gap was three minutes (IQR=1-8) and median advanced notification time was 16 minutes (IQR=10-25).
Implementation of weekly test ECG transmissions was associated with improvement in successful real-time transmissions from field to hospital, which provided a median advanced notification time of 16 minutes, but no decrease in FMC2B or D2B times.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Composites from carbon nanotubes and polymers have been synthesized and studied. The composites were obtained joining carbon nanotubes with polymethyl methacrylate, nylon-6 and polystyrene. The materials were observed through scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the carbon nanotubes dispersion in the polymeric matrices. FTIR and Raman spectroscopies were used to analyze the interactions among functionalized and non-functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes and polymers, demonstrating affinity and peculiar spectra behaviors for each composite with different carbon nanotubes loads.
PA6 and PMMA polymers with different MWCNTs addition (5, 7 and 9 wt %) were synthetized through casting solution, resulting in improvement properties in contrast to pristine polymers. SEM images showed the MWCNTs embedded into polymeric matrices. D, G and G´ bands of MWCNTs were confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and functional groups observed in both nanocomposites by FTIR demonstrated a strong interaction. A significant increasing in electrical conductivity and microhardness was observed in all the nanocomposites. Major microhardness values were obtained in MWCNTs/PA6 (50 HV) however the MWCNTs/PMMA nanocomposites showed the highest electrical conductivity value (6.4×10-4 S/cm).
Immune-inflammatory processes have been implicated in schizophrenia (SCH), but their specificity is not clear.
To identify potential differential intra-/intercellular biochemical pathways controlling immune-inflammatory response and their oxidative-nitrosative impact on SCH patients, compared with bipolar disorder (BD) patients and healthy controls (HC).
Cross-sectional, naturalistic study of a cohort of SCH patients (n=123) and their controls [BD (n=102) and HC (n=80)].
ANCOVA (or Quade test) controlling for age and gender when comparing the three groups, and controlling for age, gender, length of illness, cigarettes per day, and body mass index (BMI) when comparing SCH and BD.
Pro-inflammatory biomarkers: Expression of COX-1 was statistically higher in SCH and BD than HC (P<0.0001; P<0.0001); NFκB and PGE2 were statistically higher in SCH compared with BD (P=0.001; P<0.0001) and HC (P=0.003; P<0.0001); NLRP3 was higher in BD than HC (P=0.005); and CPR showed a gradient among the three groups. Anti-inflammatory biomarkers: BD patients had lower PPARγ and higher 15d-PGJ2 levels than SCH (P=0.005; P=0.008) and HC (P=0.001; P=0.001). Differences between SCH and BD: previous markers of SCH (NFκB and PGE2) and BD (PPARγ and 15d-PGJ2) remained statistically significant and, interestingly, iNOS and COX-2 (pro-inflammatory biomarkers) levels were statistically higher in SCH than BD (P=0.019; P=0.040).
This study suggests a specific immune-inflammatory biomarker pattern for established SCH (NFκB, PGE2, iNOS, and COX-2) that differentiates it from BD and HC. In future, their pharmacological modulation may constitute a promising therapeutic target.
The main limitation for determining feed efficiency of freely grazing ruminants is measurement of daily individual feed intake. This paper describes an investigation that assessed a method for estimating intake of forage based on changes in BW of ewes. A total of 24 dry and non-pregnant Romane ewes (12 hoggets, HOG; mean±SD 51.8±2.8 kg BW; body condition score (BCS) 2.6±0.2; and 12 adults, ADU; 60.4±8.5 kg BW; BCS 2.7±0.8) were selected for the study and moved from their rangeland system to a confined pen with controlled conditions and equipped with individual automatic feeders. The experiment lasted for 28 days (21 days adaptation and 7 days feed intake measurement). Ewes were fed hay and trained to use the electronic feeders (one feeding station per ewe) in which actual daily intake (Hintake24) was measured. The pens were designed to maximize movement of trained ewes through an automated Walk-over-Weighing device, by using water and mineral salts as attractants. Total individual intake of hay measured in the automatic feeder at each meal (Hintake) was compared with indirect estimates of feed intake determined using differences in the BW of the ewes (∆BW) before and 1 h following morning and afternoon feeding at fixed times. The BW, BCS, Hintake, Hintake24, as well as plasma non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose and insulin profiles were determined. The BW was higher in ADU v. HOG but BCS was not affected by parity. The Hintake24 was affected by day of experiment as a consequence of reduced availability and intake of water on one day. Plasma glucose, NEFA and insulin were not affected by parity or day of experiment. The HIntake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in the morning in HOG, whereas Hintake was and ∆BW tended to be higher in ADU at the afternoon meal. Irrespective of parity or feeding time, there was very strong correlation (r2=0.93) between Hintake and ∆BW. This relationship confirms that our indirect method of estimating individual forage intake was reliable within the strictly controlled conditions of the present experiment. The method appears suitable for use in short-term intensive group feeding situations, and has potential to be further developed for longer-term forage intake studies, with a view to developing a method for freely grazing ruminants.
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.
Asymptomatic colonisation of the gastrointestinal tract by carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae is an important reservoir for transmission, which may precede infection. This retrospective observational case–control study was designed to identify risk factors for developing clinical infection with OXA-48-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in rectal carriers during hospitalisation. Case patients (n = 76) had carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae (CPKP) infection and positive rectal culture for CPKP. Control patients (n = 174) were those with rectal colonisation with CPKP but without CPKP infection. Multivariate analysis identified the presence of a central venous catheter (OR 4·38; 95% CI 2·27–8·42; P = 0·008), the number of transfers between hospital units (OR 1·27; 95% CI (1·06–1·52); P < 0·001) and time at risk (OR 1·02 95% CI 1·01–1·03; P = 0·01) as independent risk factors for CPKP infection in rectal carriers. Awareness of these risk factors may help to identify patients at higher risk of developing CPKP infection.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.