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The complex geographical scenario of Mexico allowed the cultural diversification and development of multiple cultures such as Tolteca, Teotihuacan, Mexica, and Maya, among others. Despite this rich cultural heritage, radiometric dating of Mexican cultural samples with radiocarbon (14C) began only in the 1980s and with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in 2013. Analysis of 14C with AMS is the most widely used technique to date archaeological objects and cultural heritage. Since 2013, the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (LEMA) facility of the Institute of Physics at UNAM (IF-UNAM) has supported archaeological research in Mexico, but also investigation in other areas such as geology, physics, chemistry, and environmental sciences through the analysis of 14C, 10Be, 26Al, 129I, and Pu. The absolute dating with 14C continues to be the core of LEMA’s work, where different geographical scenarios of the country and climatic conditions present very diverse analytical challenges. This work presents a basic description of the AMS system of the LEMA laboratory and describes some applications that are currently being developed.
The Mayan Codex of Mexico (MCM), the only Mayan codex found in the 20th century, was unveiled in 1971 during the Ancient Maya Calligraphy exhibition at Club Grolier. The codex comprises 10 pages of bark paper in accordion format, coated with a layer of plaster on both sides. It illustrates the synodic cycles of Venus, with its four phases. Since its discovery, the MCM has been subject to controversy and discussions about its authenticity. In 2016, a group of specialists led by Baltazar Brito chief of the National Library of Anthropology and History, carried out an exhaustive study of the codex with the purpose of determining its temporality and authenticity. In this work, the pre-Columbian authenticity of the codex is verified by the radiocarbon (14C) technique using AMS. Two cleaning procedures were contrasted: the standard acid-base-acid (ABA) protocol and a second one with Soxhlet plus ABA. Results obtained when samples were prepared following ABA protocol only, placed the age of the bark paper between 991 and 1147 cal AD. The second cleaning method with Soxhlet plus ABA, resulted in younger ages, between 1159 and 1261 cal AD. However, we consider that when Sohxlet is used as part of the cleaning protocol, organic contaminants are reduced to a minimum, and 14C dates are more reliable. These results indicate that the vegetal support of the MCM belongs to Postclassical Mayan period and place it as the oldest known manuscript of America found to date.
Agroforestry systems can play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change given their capacity to increase tree diversity and to store more carbon than conventional farming. This study aims at assessing carbon stocks and the use of shade trees in different coffee growing systems in the Northeast Peruvian Amazon. Carbon stocks in trees were estimated by field-based measurements and allometric equations. Carbon stocks in dead wood, litter and soil (upper 60 cm) were determined using field sampling and laboratory analysis. The diversity analysis drew on the Shannon–Weiner diversity index, and focus groups were used to obtain information about the local use of shade trees. The total carbon stock in the polyculture-shaded coffee system was 189 t C/ha, while the Inga-shaded and unshaded systems totalled 146 and 113 t C/ha, respectively. The soil compartment contributed the largest carbon stock in the coffee growing systems and contained 67, 82 and 96% of the total carbon stock in the polyculture-shaded, Inga-shaded and unshaded coffee systems, respectively. The Shannon–Weiner index and tree species richness values were highest for the polyculture-shaded coffee system, with a total of 18 tree species identified as important sources of fodder, food, wood, firewood and medicine. Therefore, coffee agroforestry systems play a significant role in carbon storage, while promoting conservation of useful trees in agricultural landscapes in the Peruvian Amazon.
This work examines the impact of the inverse chirp z-transform (ICZT) for frequency-to-time-domain conversion during image reconstruction of a pre-clinical radar-based breast microwave imaging system operating over 1–8 GHz. Two anthropomorphic breast phantoms were scanned with this system, and the delay-multiply-and-sum beamformer was used to reconstruct images of the phantoms, after using either the ICZT or the inverse discrete Fourier transform (IDFT) for frequency-to-time domain conversion. The contrast, localization error, and presence of artifacts in the reconstructions were compared. The use of the IDFT resulted in prominent ring artifacts that were not present when using the ICZT, and the use of the ICZT resulted in higher contrast between the tumor and clutter responses. In one of the phantoms, the tumor response was only visible in reconstructions that used the ICZT. The use of the ICZT evaluated with a time-step size of 11 ps resulted in the reduction of prominent artifacts present when using the IDFT and the successful identification of the tumor response in the reconstructed images.
We compared the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention with usual care to treat postnatal depression among low-income mothers in primary care clinics in Santiago, Chile.
Randomised controlled trial. Two hundred and thirty mothers with major depression attending primary care clinics were randomly allocated to either a multi-component intervention or usual care. The multi-component intervention involved a psychoeducational group, systematic monitoring and treatment compliance support, and pharmacotherapy if needed. Data were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. The main outcome measure was the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 3 and 6 months post randomisation.
Approximately 90% of randomised women completed assessments. There was a marked difference in all outcome measures at 3 months, in favour of the multi-component intervention. However, these differences between groups decreased after 3 months. In our primary analysis, the adjusted difference in mean EPDS between the two groups at 3 months was -4.5, 95% C.I. -6.3 to -2.7, p<0.001. There was a sharp decline in the proportion of women on antidepressants after 3 months in both groups.
This intervention considerably improved the outcome of depressed low-income mothers compared to usual care for the first 3 months. However, some of these clinical gains were not maintained thereafter, most likely because a large proportion stopped taking medication. Further refinements to this intervention are needed to ensure treatment compliance after the acute phase.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
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.
Air pollution in Mexico City, which has more than 22 million inhabitants, continues to be one of the main environmental issues. Aerosol samples (PM10) collected in Mexico City and the city of Cuernavaca (a clean reference site) have been characterized using different techniques. This multifaceted approach addresses the source apportionment of the carbonaceous matter in PM10, as well as the airborne elements and ions. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon analysis of total carbon, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and ion chromatography were performed on aerosols collected at three sites in Mexico City and one site in Cuernavaca, during 2 months of the cold-dry season (November–December) in 2012. New results obtained for Mexico City are compared with previous reports. Average levels of PM10 were higher in Mexico City sites (43.3–60.8 μg/m3) than in Cuernavaca (32.2 μg/m3). According to the material balance, PM10 collected in Mexico City had a lower contribution of crustal material (31.2–36.8%) than Cuernavaca (46.9%). Average contributions of particulate carbonaceous matter to PM10 were similar in both cities, but much higher contributions of mineral salts, trace elements, and ions were observed in Mexico City in comparison to Cuernavaca. Total organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) contents were higher in aerosols from Mexico City than those from Cuernavaca. The temporal variation results showed that within all locations studied the OC concentration was high compared to the EC. Results from a theoretical calculation of fossil carbon (FC) and biogenic carbon (BC) concentrations showed that FC and BC levels depend on the site: at Mexico City sites, FC was equal or higher than BC. At Cuernavaca, BC was always higher than FC.
In 2003, flooding occurred in the Ciudadela (Citadel) of Teotihuacan and saltpeter began to damage the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. Work done to solve this problem led to one of the most important archaeological discoveries made in this site in recent years: an intact tunnel sealed for more than a thousand years. The project created to study the tunnel was named Tlalocan or Path to the Underworld. More than 60,000 objects have been recovered after years of exploration and removing huge amounts of soil and stones. This paper presents the first results of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating performed on some of those materials recovered from the tunnel. With these findings, in combination with the archaeological data, based on stratigraphy and ceramic typology, a chronology of several events is proposed concerning the construction phases and ceremonial use, as well as partial and definitive closures of the tunnel. Every closure was accompanied by a deliberate and structured deposition of offerings and ritual refuse along the tunnel. The range of ages that covers the Bayesian calibration of samples collected along the tunnel is around 115 yr, from AD 125 to 240. Material collected at the surface of the chamber located at the end of the tunnel and under the pyramid gave ages in the interval between AD 400 and 534. All samples analyzed fall within the interval of time that covers the period of occupation of Teotihuacan.
This chapter reviews evidence concerning the vital role that temporal dynamics can have in the ecology of trees and other long-lived species in the assembly and maintenance of natural communities. The research synthesised here was stimulated by a desire to determine the action of temporal dynamics in nature, and its implications for the nature of competition, community structure and assembly on multiple scales and across a range of climatic conditions. For the most part, the results discussed concern tropical forests, but we think they provide strong support for a more general view that can be applied across biomes. Finally, we ask if there may be a potential role for temporal dynamics in speciation, in light of what we have learned from the tropical trees.
A field programme begun in the late ’90s in the tropical dry forest of México was consciously designed to study the coexistence of closely related species in a very speciose community, but the role of temporal dynamics had not been suspected and its finding was serendipitous. With centuries-long lifespans, decades-long juvenile stages and low population turnover rates, trees are problematic candidates for demographic analyses, either observational or experimental. Unless instant death is involved, the particular hurdle with trees, as with any long-lived organism, is directly connecting any specific response in the early life of the individual with the long-term individual persistence or character of the standing population. However, trees differ from many long-lived organisms in carrying their history in their structure at both the individual and population levels. Thus, a tree population itself documents individual success over the history of the population (Parker et al. 1997, Cole et al. 2011). The distribution of a population with regard to physical conditions, size and age structure and relative to other woody species all contain information on the ecology and interactions of species (e.g. Veblen 1989, 1992, Villalba and Veblen 1998, Kelly et al. 2001) and it was the age structure of populations that revealed the action of temporal dynamics at Chamela Biological Station.
Data about breeding populations of birds in the Antarctica are rare and fragmented. Thus, information about the status of the breeding populations of Antarctic birds is crucial given the current scenario of climate change, which is particularly acute in Antarctica. This paper presents new information about the populations of the Antarctic tern Sterna vittata, the kelp gull Larus dominicanus, the southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus, the Antarctic skua Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi, the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica and the gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua on Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands). We used line transects counts to estimate both densities and numbers of nests of the different species. We estimate that there are 398.96 birds km-2 of southern giant petrels (2793 individuals), 62.4 birds km-2 of Antarctic tern (3746 individuals) and 269.1 birds km-2 of kelp gull (1884 individuals). Furthermore, we found 15 nests of Antarctic skua in 25 km2, from which we can estimate that 60–91 birds must breed on Byers Peninsula. We also censused two colonies of gentoo penguins (3000 and 1200 pairs) and 50 pairs of chinstrap. Compared to previous estimates, gentoo penguins seem to have increased whereas chinstrap penguin have decreased. Finally, the populations of Antarctic tern, southern giant petrel and kelp gull have stabilized or slightly increased.