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A 6–18 GHz high-power amplifier (HPA) design in GaN on SiC technology is presented. This power amplifier consists of a two-stage corporate amplifier with two and four transistors, respectively. It has been fabricated on UMS using their 0.25 µm gate length process, GH25. A study of the suitable attachment method and measurement on wafer and on jig are detailed. This HPA exhibits an averaged output power of 39.2 dBm with a mean gain of 11 dB in saturation and a 24.5% maximum power added efficiency in pulse mode operation with a duty cycle of 10% with a 25 µs pulse width.
Earlier activities on health technology assessment (HTA) started in Spain around 1984, with the creation of a National Advisory Board on HTA, and the development of national and regional HTA organizations in the early 1990s. In 2012, the Spanish Health Ministry established the Spanish Network for Health Technology Assessment of the National Health System (RedETS); funded at national level and including all public HTA organizations at national and regional levels. RedETSis focused on the assessment of nondrug health technologies to inform the revision (approval and funding or disinvestment) of the Benefit Portfolio of the Spanish NHS. In parallel with European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA), RedETS has been setting-up and sharing common procedures and methodological guidelines to ensure effective cooperation and mutual recognition of the scientific and technical production in HTA. The output of RedETS is fifty to sixty annual reports, including the production of full HTA reports, Clinical Practice Guidelines, methodological guidance reports, relative effectiveness assessments, tools to support shared decision making between patients and healthcare professionals, and monitoring studies. The HTA assessments requested by the Regional Health Authorities are the biggest component of the annual RedETS working plan. These assessment needs are identified according to a yearly process and prioritized by a Commission composed of representatives from all Spanish regions with the aid of the PRITEC tool. The objectives of this study are to report and update the normative and organizational state of HTA in Spain; describing noteworthy advances witnessed over the past 10 years, as well as discussing existing challenges.
The predominantly carbonate nature of the mountains near the coast of Málaga and Marbella (Costa del Sol, southern Spain) and the presence of springs have favored the formation of travertine buildups during the Quaternary. The geomorphic characteristics of the slopes and the location of the springs have determined the development of three types of travertine growths: (1) spring travertines, located preferentially on the south mountainside, where the slope is steepest; (2) pool-dam-cascade travertines, which form along the north and east edges, far from the carbonate relief and with a gentler slope; and (3) river-valley travertines, formed in the courses of the springs of any sector. Field observations combined with new amino acid racemization (AAR) dating of Helicidae gastropods show that most of the travertine formations are polyphasic and that their development was interrupted by stages of erosion and incision. Five stages of travertine development are evident, most of which are related to warm, moist episodes corresponding to marine oxygen isotope stages (MIS) 7, 5, 3, and 1, although local travertine growth also occurred during MIS 6 and during the transition from MIS 3 to 2.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
The study of the paradigmatic traits of teenage slang has shown that a sense of togetherness is predominant (Eble, 1996; Allen, 1998; Mattiello, 2005, 2008; Smith, 2011). This cohesive linguistic device is not consciously intended to exclude unwished members from conversations or common understanding, but the idea of relying on a preserved sense of solidarity and acceptance is a human urge, especially among teenagers or young adults (cf. Mattiello, 2005: 13). These features are a necessary starting point to understand that the colloquial nature or social restriction of these words and phrases are precisely aimed to ‘establish or reinforce social identity within a group or with a trend or fashion in society at large’ (Eble, 1996: 11).
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of early stages in schizophrenia. However, the extent to which antipsychotic (AP) have a deleterious effect on cognitive performance remains under debate. We aim to investigate whether anticholinergic loadings and dose of AP drugs in first episode of psychosis (FEP) in advanced phase of remission are associated with cognitive impairment and the differences between premorbid intellectual quotient (IQ) subgroups.
Two hundred and sixty-six patients participated. The primary outcomes were cognitive dimensions, dopaminergic/anticholinergic load of AP [in chlorpromazine equivalents (Eq-CPZ) and the Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS), respectively].
Impairments in processing speed, verbal memory and global cognition were significantly associated with high Eq-CPZ and verbal impairment with high ARS score. Moreover, this effect was higher in the low IQ subgroup.
Clinicians should be aware of the potential cognitive impairment associated with AP in advanced remission FEP, particularly in lower premorbid IQ patients.
The Padua Inventory (PI) of obsessions and compulsions is one of the most usually applied tests to assess obsessive-compulsive symptomatology in research contexts as well as for clinical and screening purposes. A reliability generalization meta-analysis was accomplished to estimate the average reliability of the PI scores and to search for characteristics of the samples and studies that can explain the variability among reliability estimates. An exhaustive literature search enabled us to select 39 studies (53 independent samples) that reported alpha and/or test-retest coefficients with the data at hand for the PI total score and subscales. An excellent average coefficient alpha was found for the PI total score (M = .935; 95%CI = .922–.949) and for Impaired Mental Control subscale (M = .911; 95%CI = .897–.924), being good for Contamination (M = .861; 95%CI = .841–.882) and Checking (M = .880; 95%CI = .856–.903), and fair for Urges and Worries (M = .783; 95%CI = .745–.822). The average test-retest reliability for PI total score was also satisfactory (M = .835; 95%CI = .782–.877). Moderator analyses showed larger coefficients alpha for larger standard deviation of the PI total scores (p = .0005; R2 = .46), for adapted versions of the test (p = .002; R2 = .32), and for samples composed of clinical participants (p = .066; R2 = .10). The practical implications of these results are discussed as well as the need for researchers to report reliability estimates with the data at hand.
In 1966, after more than 700 years, the irrigation community in Mula (Spain) switched from auctions to quotas to allocate water from its river. This change happened in the absence of either political or technological change. Quotas were more efficient, but required that farmers own water property rights. I develop a model in which poor farmers cannot credibly commit to purchase water rights. I show that empirical evidence on savings and prices is consistent with this interpretation. A temporary increase in output prices in the 1950s and better financial institutions allowed farmers to accumulate savings and solve the commitment problem.
“There is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through, than to initiate a new order of things.”
Objective: To longitudinally analyze the course of cognitive dimensions in schizophrenic women over a period of 31 years. Method: Accidental sampling. Developmental longitudinal design. Diagnosis according to the ICD-10. Thirty institutionalized women were evaluated using the WAIS on three separate occasions (in 1981, 1997, and 2012). The data were analyzed using a repeated measures split-plot method. Results: Patients scored one to two standard deviations below the average on the WAIS. At all three evaluation times, they scored consistently, significantly worse on Performance IQ scales than on Verbal IQ in the following sequence: Processing Speed (PS) < Perceptual Organization (PO) < Working Memory (WM) < Verbal Comprehension (VC). Longitudinally, there was a significant, linear average trend that was stable between the first and second assessments, with a significant drop in scores at the third evaluation on Performance IQ (η2 = .586) and Verbal IQ scales (η2 = .299). The same trend was observed in PS (η2 = .655) and WM (η2 = .438), while PO decreased across the three evaluations (η2 = .509) and no difference in VC was found (η2 = .126). Conclusion: Patients with schizophrenia presented with a low cognitive level. Longitudinally, they had a stable, differential profile of WAIS factors until late life, when performance dropped significantly.
Emotional states, attitudes and intentions are often conveyed by modulations in the tone of voice. Impaired recognition of emotions from a tone of voice (receptive prosody) has been described as characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the ability to express non-verbal information in speech (expressive prosody) has been understudied. This paper describes a useful technique for quantifying the degree of expressive prosody deficits in schizophrenia, using a semi-automatic method, and evaluates this method’s ability to discriminate between patient and control groups. Forty-five medicated patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were matched with thirty-five healthy comparison subjects. Production of expressive prosodic speech was analyzed using variation in fundamental frequency (F0) measures on an emotionally neutral reading task. Results revealed that patients with schizophrenia exhibited significantly more pauses (p < .001), were slower (p < .001), and showed less pitch variability in speech (p < .05) and fewer variations in syllable timing (p < .001) than control subjects. These features have been associated with «flat» speech prosody. Signal processing algorithms applied to speech were shown to be capable of discriminating between patients and controls with an accuracy of 93.8%. These speech parameters may have a diagnostic and prognosis value and therefore could be used as a dependent measure in clinical trials.
Tin oxide is of great interest due to their potential technological applications, such as: gas sensors, energy conversion, catalysts and others. Appropriate doping can further enhance the conductivity of the SnO2 material with little loss of transparency. Isolated tin iron oxide fibers (Sn1-xFexO2-δ) with x (molar %) = 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 were prepared by the electrospinning technique. Anhydrous SnCl4, FeCl3·6H2O, different alcohols, chloroform and a polymer (PEO) were used as precursor materials. Appropriate mixture of these reagents defines the deposition solution. The samples were deposited on glass substrates and annealed at 500o C. The fibers are characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), impedance spectroscopy and temperature dependence current-voltage measurements. The fibers with diameters between 2 to 12 microns were used for sensorial purpose. Thus, water vapor sensor responses were also measured and the experimental results are tested using the Freundlich isotherms model.
Hidden hunger occurs in the presence of an otherwise nutritionally or energetically appropriate diet that is deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Guatemala has the highest rate of child malnutrition in Latin America and the prevalence of hidden hunger is high. The aim of this study was to determine the Mn, Se and Cr dietary intakes in Guatemalan institutionalised children (4–14 years), a population group at high risk of mineral deficiency. For this purpose, the contents of Mn, Se and Cr were analysed in a duplicate diet (for 7 consecutive days) by electrothermal atomisation-atomic absorption spectrophotometry following acid digestion. Mn, Se and Cr intakes from the duplicate diets were in the range of 1·3–2·31 mg/d, 58·7–69·6 µg/d and 6·32–27·57 µg/d, respectively. Mn and Cr values were below current recommended daily intakes. A cereal- and legumes-based diet is habitually consumed by this population. Local vegetables, fruits and nutritional supplements are included daily, but the consumption of fish, meat, eggs and dairy products is very infrequent or negligible. Mean daily energy intake from the 7-d diet was 8418·2 kJ (2012 kcal), with a macronutrient energy distribution of carbohydrates 69·4 %, proteins 12·3 % and fats 18·3 %. Correlations between Mn, Se and Cr intakes and energy and other nutrient intakes were also evaluated. The present findings will help establish new nutritional strategies for this and similar population groups.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
There is little information on the population status of the ocelot Leopardus pardalis in Mexico. In the Sierra Abra-Tanchipa Biosphere Reserve, in San Luis Potosí, ocelots are affected by habitat loss and fragmentation as a result of increased agricultural development. We used photographic identification in camera-trapping capture–recapture surveys to determine population abundance and density during the dry season and subsequent early and late humid seasons during April 2011–March 2012. We recorded 80 photographs of 15 individuals (10 males, one female, and four of undetermined sex) in 7,786 camera-days. Abundance was estimated using a closed capture heterogeneity model, yielding an estimated population of 9 ± SE 3 in the dry season and 21 ± SE 8 and 15 ± SE 5 during the subsequent early and late humid seasons, respectively. Spatially explicit density estimates were 0.04 and 0.03–0.18 individuals per km2 for the dry and humid seasons, respectively, and were similar (P > 0.612) among seasons. Peaks in ocelot activity occurred during 20.00–04.00. We conclude that the ocelots of the Sierra Abra-Tanchipa Reserve have a low population density and may face geographical and biological isolation as a result of habitat conversion. Continued monitoring and improved understanding of the movements and habitat preferences of ocelots are necessary to ensure their continued persistence, and connectivity between this population and others in north-east Mexico.
The benefits of iodine supplements during pregnancy remain controversial in areas with a mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of improving iodine intakes, with iodised salt (IS) or iodine supplements, in pregnant Spanish women. A total of 131 pregnant women in their first trimester were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) IS in cooking and at the table, (2) 200 μg potassium iodide (KI)/d or (3) 300 μg KI/d. No differences were found in thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free triiodothyronine (FT3) or thyroid volume (TV) between the three groups. Regardless of the group in which women were included, those who had been taking IS for at least 1 year before becoming pregnant had a significantly lower TV in the third trimester (P= 0·01) and a significantly higher urinary iodine in the first (173·7 (sd 81·8) v. 113·8 (sd 79·6) μg/l, P= 0·001) and third trimesters (206·3 (sd 91·2) v. 160·4 (sd 87·7) μg/l, P= 0·03). Also, no differences were seen in TSH, FT4 or FT3. Children's neurological development was not significantly associated with the consumption of IS for at least 1 year before becoming pregnant and no differences were found according to the treatment group. In conclusion, in pregnant women with insufficient iodine intake, the intake of IS before becoming pregnant was associated with a better maternal thyroid function. The form of iodide intake was not associated with maternal thyroid function or children's neurological development.