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The eastern North Atlantic (ENA) has many highly productive areas where several species of cetaceans have been recorded, with the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) being one of the most frequently sighted species. However, its spatial and temporal distribution in high seas is poorly known. The study presents the results from 5 years of cetacean monitoring in the ENA (2012–2016) aboard cargo ships that follow the routes from Continental Portugal to the Macaronesian archipelagos and north-west Africa. Common dolphin was the most frequently sighted cetacean with 192 occurrences registered on effort and an overall encounter rate of 0.36 sightings/100 nmi. The species was distributed in coastal and offshore waters, but absent from the Canaries and Cape Verde islands. Statistical ‘habitat’ models were developed to describe and explain the occurrence of sightings of the species: variables affecting detection of dolphins had a small impact and there were clear spatiotemporal distribution patterns, influenced to some degree by environmental variables. Predicted probability of occurrence was highest in coastal waters of continental Portugal and around the Azores. The models, combined with maps of distribution, were useful to identify important areas for the species, which could be the focus of future conservation efforts. Common dolphin presence was related to depth, distance to coast and seamounts, seabed slope, chlorophyll concentration, sea-surface temperature and sea level anomalies; the possible ecological significance of these relationships is explored.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a multifactorial syndrome with significant interactions between genetic and environmental factors. This study specifically investigates the association between family history of alcohol problems (FHAP) and family history of depression (FHD), and how these relate to different clusters of depressive symptoms.
Correlations between FHAP and FHD and different clusters of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were studied. We sampled 333 employees from a general hospital who had been receiving a psychiatric consultation between 2005 and 2012. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models were conducted to explore these correlations.
There was a significant positive correlation between FHAP and BDI affective score. This result remained significant even after the adjustment for other variables considered as important factors for MDD, such as gender, age, marital status, education, ethnic group and FHD. More specifically, FHAP was correlated with dissatisfaction and episodes of crying among the affective symptoms. FHAP showed no statistical difference in any of the other clusters score or in the BDI total score. Moreover, as expected, we found a correlation between FHD and BDI total score and Somatic and Cognitive clusters.
FHAP should be routinely investigated in individuals presenting with depressive symptoms. This is especially important in cases presenting with dissatisfaction and episodes of crying in patients who do not endorse criteria for MDD. Due to study limitations, the findings require replication by neurobiological, epidemiological and clinical studies.
In this work we have conducted a study on the radiative and spectroscopic properties of the radiative precursor and the post-shock region from experiments with radiative shocks in xenon performed at the Orion laser facility. The study is based on post-processing of radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the experiment. In particular, we have analyzed the thermodynamic regime of the plasma, the charge state distributions, the monochromatic opacities and emissivities, and the specific intensities for plasma conditions of both regions. The study of the intensities is a useful tool to estimate ranges of electron temperatures present in the xenon plasma in these experiments and the analysis performed of the microscopic properties commented above helps to better understand the intensity spectra. Finally, a theoretical analysis of the possibility of the onset of isobaric thermal instabilities in the post-shock has been made, concluding that the instabilities obtained in the radiative-hydrodynamic simulations could be thermal ones due to strong radiative cooling.
We discuss the cross-correlation analysis of single pulses in the emission of PSR 0329+54 observed simultaneously at 102.5 and 1700 MHz. We have found that the observed correlations between the two frequencies are consistent with the model in which the subpulses in single pulses correspond to plasma excitations flowing from the neutron-star surface along dipolar magnetic field lines. The peaks of strongly correlated subpulses at the two frequencies correspond to the same field line at two different emission radii. We have found that the core (central) and the conal (outer) components of the pulse profile of PSR 0329+54 originate at the same distance from the neutron star.
Oral anti-diabetic drugs (OADs) have been associated with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). We aimed to validate the recording of CAP in the Spanish Database for Pharmacoepidemiological Research in Primary Care (BIFAP) for the future evaluation of OAD–CAP association. The incidence rate (IR/1000 person-years) of CAP in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was also determined. In total, 2966 pneumonia records (2040 listed as diagnosis and 926 as identified from comments added by physicians) were identified from 76 009 patients with T2DM after the first OAD in 2002–2013. Data around the CAP date were reviewed: 1803 (60·9%) were classified as ‘probable CAP’ (confirmed by X-ray/laboratory, referral letters or CAP lung site); 589 (19·8%) as ‘no-case’ (486 had other illness, 78 previous CAP, 25 cancer); and 574 (19·4%) as ‘possible CAP’ (441 without confirmatory information, 133 with uncertain diagnosis or uncertain diagnosis date). In total, 74·2% and 31·4% of pneumonia records in the diagnosis and comments, respectively, were ‘probable cases’ (IR: 6·04), which increased to 90·5% and 42·9%, respectively, when the 441 ‘possible cases’ without confirmatory information were included (IR: 7·52). In summary, diagnosis had a high positive predictive value, and adding cases automatically detected from comments decreased that value significantly.
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
The improvement in porcine embryo preservation and non-surgical embryo transfer (ET) procedures achieved in recent years represents essential progress for the practical use of ET in the pig industry. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of parity, weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI) and season on reproductive and embryonic parameters at day 6 after insemination of donor sows superovulated after weaning. The selection of donor sows was based on their reproductive history, body condition and parity. The effects of parity at weaning (2 to 3, 4 to 5 or 6 to 7 litters), season (fall, winter and spring), and WEI (estrus within 3 to 4 days), and their interactions on the number of corpus luteum, cysts in sows with cysts, number and quality of viable and transferable embryos, embryo developmental stage and recovery and fertilization rates were evaluated using linear mixed effects models. The analyses showed a lack of significant effects of parity, season, WEI or their interactions on any of the reproductive and embryonic parameters examined. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that fertilization rates and numbers of viable and transferable embryos collected at day 6 of the cycle from superovulated donor sows are not affected by their parity, regardless of the time of the year (from fall to spring) and WEI (3 or 4 days).
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.
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.
The discrepancy between abundances computed using optical recombination lines (ORLs) and collisionally excited lines (CELs) is a major, unresolved problem with significant implications for the determination of chemical abundances throughout the Universe. In planetary nebulae (PNe), the most common explanation for the discrepancy is that two different gas phases coexist: a hot component with standard metallicity, and a much colder plasma enhanced in heavy elements. This dual nature is not predicted by mass loss theories, and direct observational support for it is still weak. In this work, we present our recent findings that demonstrate that the largest abundance discrepancies are associated with close binary central stars. OSIRIS-GTC tunable filter imaging of the faint O ii ORLs and MUSE-VLT deep 2D spectrophotometry confirm that O ii ORL emission is more centrally concentrated than that of [Oiii] CELs and, therefore, that the abundance discrepancy may be closely linked to binary evolution.
“Salvaging an astrometric treasure” is an european effort to retrieve the astrometric and photometric information contained in the early Carte du Ciel plates. Five institutes from three european countries are involved. The project was supported by the European Community.
The AMIGA project carries out a multiwavelength study of the largest catalogue of isolated galaxies from the Local Universe (CIG, Karachentseva 1973). Compared to any other sample —field galaxies included— and using highly strict isolation criteria (unperturbed for at least ~3 Gyr, Verdes-Montenegro et al. 2005), all the results show that these galaxies have the lowest values of the physical magnitudes expected to be enhanced by interactions. This strongly supports isolated galaxies as ideal laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. Despite CIG galaxies show the lowest HI integrated profile asymmetry level when compared to any other sample, some cases present up to 50% HI asymmetry (Espada et al. 2011b). We aim to shed light over the causes and sources of such asymmetries with our deep radiointerferometric and optical observations of CIG targets. Since major mergers are ruled out by the isolation criteria, in this work we are addressing whether minor mergers, internal processes or primordial gas accretion are responsible for such asymmetries.
Understanding stellar birth requires observations of the clouds in which they form. These clouds are dense and self-gravitating, and in all existing observations, they are molecular with H2 the dominant species and CO the best available. When the abundances of carbon and oxygen are low compared to hydrogen, and the opacity from dust is also low, as in primeval galaxies and local dwarf irregular galaxies CO forms slowly and is easily destroyed, so it cannot accumulate inside dense clouds. Then we lose our ability to trace the gas in regions of star formation and we lose critical information on the temperatures, densities, and velocities of the material that collapses. I will report on high resolution observations with ALMA of CO clouds in the local group dwarf irregular galaxy WLM, which has a metallicity that is 13% of the solar value and 50% lower than the previous CO detection threshold and the properties derived of very small dense CO clouds mapped..
Disk galaxies in cosmological numerical simulations grow by accreting gas from the cosmic web. This gas reaches the external disk, and then spirals in dragged along by tidal forces and/or disk instabilities. The importance of gas infall is as clear from numerical simulations as it is obscure to observations. Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies seem to be the best example we have of the gas accretion process at work. They have large off-center starbursts which show significant metallicity drop compared with the host galaxy. This observation is naturally explained as a gas accretion event caught in the act. We present preliminary results of the kinematical properties of the metal poor starbursts in XMPs, which suggest that the starbursts are kinematically decoupled entities within the host galaxy.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
Accretion of metal-poor gas via cold accretion flows has been recently proposed as a means to trigger/sustain star formation in extremely metal-poor dwarf galaxies (XMPs), a scenario in agreement with theoretical predictions. We report on the tentative detection of CaII absorption used to trace the conditions of the gas clouds in the halo of the XMP UGCA 20.
We present the largest homogeneous survey of redshift > 4.4 damped Lyα systems (DLAs) using the spectra of 163 quasars that comprise the Giant Gemini GMOS (GGG) survey. With this survey we make the most precise high-redshift measurement of the cosmological mass density of neutral hydrogen, ΩHI. After correcting for systematic effects using a combination of mock and higher-resolution spectra, we find ΩHI= 0.98+0.20-0.18 × 10−3 at 〈z〉 = 4.9, assuming a 20% contribution from lower column density systems below the DLA threshold. By comparing to literature measurements at lower redshifts, we show that ΩHI can be described by the functional form ΩHI(z) ∝ (1 + z)0.4. This gradual decrease from z = 5 to 0 suggests that in the galaxies which dominate the cosmic star formation rate, Hi is a transitory gas phase fuelling star formation which must be continually replenished by more highly-ionized gas from the intergalactic medium, and from recycled galactic winds.
We present the results of a multi-wavelength investigation of the dwarf galaxy populations in three interacting galaxy groups: NGC 871/6/7, NGC 3166/9, NGC 4725/47. Using degree-scale Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope Hi mosaics and deep optical photometry from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, we measured the Hi and stellar properties of the gas-rich low-mass group members to classify each one as a classical dwarf galaxy, a short-lived tidal knot or a tidal dwarf galaxy (TDG). Our observations detect several dwarf irregulars and various tidal knots. We identify four potentially long-lived tidal objects in the three groups, implying that TDGs are not readily produced. The tidal objects examined in this small survey also appear to have a wider variety of properties than TDGs formed in current simulations.
We present an autonomous visual landmark recognition and pose estimation algorithm designed for use in navigation of spacecraft around small asteroids. Landmarks are selected as generic points on the asteroid surface that produce strong Harris corners in an image under a wide range in viewing and illumination conditions; no particular type of morphological feature is required. The set of landmarks is triangulated to obtain a tightly fitting mesh representing an optimal low resolution model of the natural asteroid shape, which is used onboard to determine the visibility of each landmark and enables the algorithm to work with highly concave bodies. The shape model is also used to estimate the centre of brightness of the asteroid and eliminate large translation errors prior to the main landmark recognition stage. The algorithm works by refining an initial estimate of the spacecraft position and orientation. Tests with real and synthetic images show good performance under realistic noise conditions. Using simulated images, the median landmark recognition error is 2m, and the error on the spacecraft position in the asteroid body frame is reduced from 45m to 21m at a range of 2km from the surface. With real images the translation error at 8km to the surface increases from 107m to 119m, due mainly to the larger range and lack of sensitivity to translations along the camera boresight. The median number of landmarks detected in the simulated and real images is 59 and 44 respectively. This algorithm was partly developed and tested during industrial studies for the European Space Agency’s Marco Polo-R asteroid sample return mission.
A gas-filled cylindrical liner z-pinch configuration has been used to drive convergent radiative shock waves into different gases at velocities of 20–50 km s−1. On application of the 1.4 MA, 240 ns rise-time current pulse produced by the Magpie generator at Imperial College London, a series of cylindrically convergent shock waves are sequentially launched into the gas-fill from the inner wall of the liner. This occurs without any bulk motion of the liner wall itself. The timing and trajectories of the shocks are used as a diagnostic tool for understanding the response of the liner z-pinch wall to a large pulsed current. This analysis provides useful data on the liner resistivity, and a means to test equation of state (EOS) and material strength models within MHD simulation codes. In addition to providing information on liner response, the convergent shocks are interesting to study in their own right. The shocks are strong enough for radiation transport to influence the shock wave structure. In particular, we see evidence for both radiative preheating of material ahead of the shockwaves and radiative cooling instabilities in the shocked gas. Some preliminary results from initial gas-filled liner experiments with an applied axial magnetic field are also discussed.