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Indicators are necessary to monitor national progress toward commitments made to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), but countries often struggle to mobilize quantitative indicators for many biodiversity targets. Assessing the extent to which countries are using measurable indicators from global and national sources by surveying 5th National Reports to the CBD, we found that nationally generated indicators were used 11 times more frequently than global indicators and only one-fifth of indicators matched those recommended by the CBD, suggesting that countries and indicator experts should work more closely to agree upon measurable, scalable, fit-for-purpose indicators for the next generation of CBD targets.
In the autumn of 1306 a group of twenty-two knights deserted the king's army in Scotland in order to pursue their martial interests elsewhere by participating in tournaments in France. Their impulsive behaviour can perhaps be understood, as, for all intents and purposes, the campaign for 1306 had come to an end and the aged king lay infirm at Lanercost, which he had only reached at Michaelmas. The Prince of Wales had himself departed Scotland in early autumn, travelling south in a leisurely fashion by way of Langley, Dover and Canterbury, and eventually spending Christmas with his two young halfbrothers at Northampton Castle. Nevertheless, despite the absence of the royal commanders and the lack of military activity, the dereliction of their duty by these knights would not be overlooked. Indeed, as if in anticipation of this very development, in the previous spring, on 6 April at Wolvesey, Edward I – himself an avid tournament knight in his youth4 – had issued a prohibition on tournaments, urging men instead to ‘prepare themselves to set out with the king for the parts of Scotland in as much strength as they can for the repression of the rebellion there’. This injunction was followed in the autumn by an order of 24 September to all the sheriffs in England further forbidding ‘tournaments, tiltings, jousts, or other deeds of arms, … until the king's war in Scotland be finished and until the king shall cause other ordinance to be made as to this’. The impetus for this further injunction, we are told, was that the king himself ‘understands that certain of his subjects make and propose to make tournaments … to the delay and hindrance of the king's affairs of Scotland’. Such individuals were to be considered ‘as his enemies and traitors and as hinderers of the expedition of his affairs’. Nonetheless, within three weeks of this supplementary order, the desertions had taken place.
When word of these desertions reached the king his reaction was both immediate and predictably severe. On 18 October 1306 orders went out to sheriffs across England to seize the lands and goods as well as the persons of the deserters.
The ‘Portus Project’ investigates the social and economic contexts of the maritime port of Imperial Rome. This article presents the results of analysis of plant, animal and human remains from the site, and evaluates their significance for the reconstruction of the diets and geographic origins of its inhabitants between the second and sixth centuries AD. Integrating this evidence with other material from the recent excavations, including ceramic data, the authors identify clear diachronic shifts in imported foods and diet that relate to the commercial and political changes following the breakdown of Roman control of the Mediterranean.
To measure the outcomes of laser treatment of cholesteatoma covering cochlear and vestibular fistulas.
Cholesteatoma matrix over the fistula was denatured; the power density was sufficient only to gradually heat, but not vaporise, the keratin-forming matrix. The denaturing speed was controlled so that the integrity of the fistula cover was maintained. The change in bone conduction threshold and the residual rate of cholesteatoma at the fistula were measured.
Thirty-six fistulas were assessed. There were seven cochlear fistulas. All were 5 mm or less in maximum length. For the entire group, the average change in bone conduction threshold was −0.3 dB. For cochlear fistulas, the average change in bone conduction was + 0.2 dB. The distribution of hearing results for the entire group was Gaussian; the apparent changes in hearing could be attributed to errors associated with testing. All patients underwent second-stage surgery. In all cases, the cholesteatoma was completely cleared from the fistula site. There were no facial palsies.
Laser denaturing of cholesteatoma matrix over fistulas measuring 5 mm or less of vestibular apparatus and the cochlea is effective at eliminating cholesteatoma, and is not associated with cochlear hearing loss or facial palsy.
Timneh Parrots Psittacus timneh are a threatened species endemic to the moist forests of West Africa. In 2016, they were categorised as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, due to suspected rapid population declines driven by habitat loss and heavy trapping for the pet trade. Systematic assessments of the status of populations are lacking for much of their range and addressing this knowledge shortfall has been identified as a priority action. We combined multiple research approaches to investigate the distribution, trends and threats to Timneh Parrots in Guinea Bissau, where the species is restricted to the islands of the Bijagós archipelago and Pecixe. Direct observational surveys were conducted along line transects on 19 islands. A total of 69 groups were observed on eight of these islands, with the majority (78%) seen on just two islands. Forty-two interviews were conducted with local community members on 24 islands. Interviewees reported the species to occur on 20 islands and that populations are generally perceived to have declined in recent decades. Based on these findings and existing data we conclude that Timneh Parrots occur on 22 of the 32 islands considered and estimate the national population in Guinea-Bissau to be in the order of several hundred individuals, with perhaps half of the parrots occurring on the islands of João Vieira and Meio. Investigations into the factors linked to inter-island variation in parrot densities indicate that densities are highest on the islands which are most remote from permanent human settlements. These findings suggest that human activities including habitat modification and trapping have been important in driving population declines in Guinea-Bissau. We consider the implications of these findings for the conservation of Timneh Parrots.
The exclusion of transnational human rights litigation from U.S. federal courts is, for most practical purposes, now complete. On April 24, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a 5–4 ruling in Jesner v. Arab Bank, deciding that foreign corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).
Short-term hunter-gatherer residential camps have been a central feature of human settlement patterns and social structure for most of human evolutionary history. Recent analyses of ethnohistoric hunter-gatherer data show that across different environments, the average size of hunter-gatherer bands is remarkably constant and that bands are commonly formed by a small number of coresident families. Using ethnoarchaeological data, we examine the relationship between the physical infrastructure of camps and their social organization. We compiled a dataset of 263 ethnoarchaeologically observed hunter-gatherer camps from 13 studies in the literature. We focus on both the scale of camps, or their average size, structure, and composition, and the dynamics that governed their variation. Using a combination of inferential statistics and linear models, we show that the physical infrastructure of camps, measured by the number of household features, reflects the internal social organization of hunter-gatherer bands. Using scaling analyses, we then show that the variation among individual camps is related to a predictable set of dynamics between camp area, infrastructure, the number of occupants, and residence time. Moreover, the scale and dynamics that set the statistical variance in camp sizes are similar across different environments and have important implications for reconstructing prehistoric hunter-gatherer social organization and behavior from the archaeological record.
The term ‘mood stabiliser’ is ill-defined and lacks clinical utility. We propose a framework to evaluate medications and effectively communicate their mood stabilising properties – their acute and prophylactic efficacy across the domains of mania and depression. The standardised framework provides a common definition to facilitate research and clinical practice.
Declaration of interest
The Treatment Algorithm Group (TAG) was supported logistically by Servier who provided financial assistance with travel and accommodation for those TAG members travelling interstate or overseas to attend the meeting in Sydney (held on 18 November 2017). None of the committee were paid to participate in this project and Servier have not had any input into the content, format or outputs from this project.
I. De Pater, University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California, USA,
D. P. Hamilton, University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA,
M. R. Showalter, SETI Institute Mountain View, California, USA,
H. B. Throop, Planetary Science Institute Tucson, Arizona, USA,
J. A. Burns, Cornell University Ithaca, New York, USA
Despite extensive clinical concern about rates of obesity in patients
with schizophrenia, there is little evidence of the extent of this
problem at a population level.
To estimate levels of obesity in a national population sample by
comparing patients with schizophrenia with matched controls.
We calculated levels of obesity for each patient with schizophrenia from
the national Primary Care Clinical Informatics Unit database (n=4658)
matched with age, gender and neighbourhood controls.
We demonstrated a significant increased obesity hazard for the
schizophrenia group using Cox regression analysis, with odds ratio (OR)
of 1.94 (95% CI 1.81–2.10) (under the assumption of missing body mass
index (BMI) indicating non-obesity) and OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.55–1.81) where
no assumptions were made for missing BMI data.
People with schizophrenia are at increased risk of being obese compared
with controls matched by age, gender and practice attended. Priority
should be given to research which aims to reduce weight and increase
activity in those with schizophrenia.
My current research looks at ways in which people and institutions are using technology to build the evidentiary record in international criminal litigation. In particular, I focus on the collection of, and reliance on, what I call user-generated evidence. This is footage that an ordinary citizen—the user—records on their smartphone, in an effort to achieve legal accountability.
We propose a 3D-printable soft, stretchable, and transparent hydrogel-elastomer device that is able to detect simulated ‘nerve’ signals. The signal is passed to a conductive hydrogel electrode through a non-contact method of capacitive coupling through polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). We demonstrate that the device is able to detect sinusoidal waveforms passed through a simulated ‘nerve’ made from conductive hydrogel over a range of frequencies (1 kHz – 1 MHz). Analysis of signal detection showed a correlation to the electrode contact area and a Vin/Vout of larger than 10%. This provides the framework for the future development of a soft, 3D-printable, capacitive coupling device that can be used as a cuff electrode for detecting peripheral nerve signals.
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
The volcanic mega event of the Minoan Santorini eruption constitutes a time anchor in the 2nd millennium BCE that is inherently independent of archaeology and political history. It was a geological event. Yet the dimension of time in geology is not different than in archaeology or human history. Why then does archaeological dating usually place the Minoan Santorini eruption in the 18th Dynasty around 1500 BCE, whilst radiocarbon dating of the volcanic event at Akrotiri (Thera) yielded a calibrated age of 1646–1603 cal BCE, a difference of more than a century? The crux of the problem lies apparently in the correlation between archaeological strata and political history. We present radiocarbon dates of Ashkelon Phases 10 and 11 in comparison to Tell el-Dabca and the Santorini eruption, based only on 14C dating. Tell el-Dabca Phase D/2 is slightly older than the volcanic event. But Phase D/1 or Phase C/2-3 could have witnessed the eruption. Ashkelon Phase 11 has similar radiocarbon dates as Tell el-Dabca Phases E/2, E/1 and D/3, all being significantly older than the Minoan eruption. It seems that the duration of Ashkelon Phase 10 includes the temporal occurrence of the Minoan Santorini eruption within the Second Intermediate Period.
The relic “the sack of Saint Francesco” has for the first time been investigated by scientific means. The sack is kept at the Franciscan Friary of Folloni near Montella in southern Italy. According to legend, the sack appeared on the doorstep of the Friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from St Francesco (St Francis of Assisi), who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel. We analyzed samples of the sack to obtain a radiocarbon (14C) date and to search for any remaining traces of bread. The 14C date yielded a calibrated age range of AD 1220–1295 (2σ), which places the textile in the right timeframe according to the legend. Chemical analysis by gas-chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS) revealed the presence of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3b-ol), a known biomarker of brewing, baking, or agriculture. In this paper we have further substantiated the validity of ergosterol as a biomarker for the past presence of bread. It appears that there is a fine correspondence between the Franciscan legend and the two most decisive scientific methods relevant for analyzing the sack. Although it is not proof, our analysis shows that the sack indeed could be authentic.
Terrestrial gastropods are problematical for radiocarbon (14C) measurement because they tend to incorporate carbon from ancient sources as a result of their dietary behavior. The 14C ecology of the pulmonate land snail, Helix melanostoma in Cyrenaica, northeastern Libya, was investigated as part of a wider study on the potential of using terrestrial mollusk shell for 14C dating of archaeological deposits. H. melanostoma was selected out of the species available in the region as it has the most predictable 14C ecology and also had a ubiquitous presence within the local archaeology. The ecological observations indicate that H. melanostoma has a very homogenous 14C ecology with consistent variations in F14C across sample sites controlled by availability of dietary vegetation. The majority of dated specimens from non-urbanized sample locations have only a small old-carbon effect, weighted mean of 476±48 14C yr, with between ~1% and 9% of dietary F14C from non-organic carbonate sources. Observed instabilities in the 14C ecology can all be attributed to the results of intense human activity not present before the Roman Period. Therefore, H. melanostoma and species with similar ecological behavior are suitable for 14C dating of archaeological and geological deposits with the use of a suitable offset.
This paper presents the results of the first broad-scale study of modern freshwater reservoir effects (FREs) in various regions of the Eurasian Steppe, associated with archaeological sites. The aim of this work was not only to demonstrate the widespread variability of modern FREs in the region, but also to draw the attention of specialists working in the area to the necessity of taking into account this important and still not fully understood factor involving radiocarbon dating of human and some faunal remains from archaeological sites. To identify modern FREs, modern fish of different species from 10 regions of Siberia and Kazakhstan have been subjected to accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis, and the results are compared with the existing data from previous research. Freshwater reservoir offsets have been detected in all analyzed regions, with the exception of Kharga Lake (Buryatia, Russia) and Kyzylkoi River (central Kazakhstan), varying not only between, but also within regions depending on fish species. The most significant offset in this study has been recorded for the Chuya River basin (Altai Mountains, 1097±40 14C yr), though not as high as observed in previous research for the Caspian lowlands (1477±52 and 1037±52 14C yr) and Upper Lena River basin (Lake Baikal area, 1981±30 14C yr). Both δ13C and δ15N values have been measured with the majority of samples reflecting C3 ecology of local reservoirs and δ15N depending on the diet of particular species, with predatory species such as pike, perch, and burbot demonstrating the highest δ15N. No general relationship has been observed between freshwater reservoir offsets and either δ13C or δ15N values of the samples.