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This paper examines genetic erosion in rice landraces thriving in traditional smallholder agricultural systems in the Sarangani uplands, Philippines. In these marginal areas, the crop is closely interwoven with tribal culture and is vital in ensuring food security among upland households. Field visits unveiled high varietal diversity for upland rice and a rich tapestry of indigenous knowledge associated with its cultivation and use. Study results, however, revealed the tapering of the crop's genetic base due to farmers' changing priorities, pest infestation, weakening seed supply systems, shift to cash crops, natural calamities, environmental degradation, government programmes and peace and order problems. Consequently, these pressures undermined traditional agricultural systems in Sarangani upland communities causing food and water scarcity, hunger and suffering on a catastrophic scale. Interdisciplinary strategies aimed at simultaneously averting further varietal losses and environmental degradation while improving human well-being are therefore warranted. Furthermore, making traditional rice farming a lucrative endeavour will induce the younger generation to remain in the uplands and choose farming as a profession. This way, biocultural restoration of agriculture will be attained and the continued presence of the tribal groups in the Sarangani uplands will be ensured for a very long time.
The second and final year of the Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme, where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in-class’ time is limited to 4 weeks a year, and the programme spans 2 years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion. Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just finished its second and final year. Six Learning Teaching Training activities have been held at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University, the University of Salamanca and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. The last of these institutes hosted two 2-week-long Intensive Programmes, while the activities at the other four universities were each 5 days in length. In addition, a ‘Multiplier Event’ was held at the University of Ioannina, which will be briefly described. In this second year, the work has concentrated on training in both experimental diagnostics and simulation techniques appropriate to the study of plasma physics, high power laser matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail, and some metrics relating to the activities carried out will be presented. In particular, this paper will focus on the overall assessment of the programme.
The maternal brain undergoes adaptations to sensitive caregiving that are critical for infant well-being. We investigated structural alterations associated with neglectful caregiving and their effects on mother–child interactive behavior. High-resolution 3D volumetric images were obtained on 25 neglectful (NM) and 23 non-neglectful control (CM) mothers. Using voxel-based morphometry, we compared differences in gray and white matter (GM and WM, respectively) volume. Mothers completed an empathy scale and participated with their children in a play task (Emotional Availability Scale, EA). Neglectful mothers showed smaller GM volume in the right insula, anterior/middle cingulate (ACC/MCC), and right inferior frontal gyrus and less WM volume in bilateral frontal regions than did CM. A greater GM volume was observed in the right fusiform and cerebellum in NM than in CM. Regression analyses showed a negative effect of greater fusiform GM volume and a positive effect of greater right frontal WM volume on EA. Mediation analyses showed the role of emotional empathy in the positive effect of the insula and right inferior frontal gyrus and in the negative effect of the cerebellum on EA. Neglectful mothering involves alterations in emotional empathy-related areas and in frontal areas associated with poor mother–child interactive bonding, indicating how critical these areas are for sensitive caregiving.
This research communication addresses the hypothesis that in dual-purpose goats, exposure to 1 h of extra-light given from 16 to 17 h after dawn (pulse of light) in winter stimulates milk yield. One group of goats was maintained under natural short photoperiod (natural day; ND (n = 7)). Another group of lactating females was submitted to an artificial long-day photoperiod consisting of 16 h light and 8 h darkness (long days; LD (n = 7)). A third group of females received one single hour of extra-light 16 h after the fixed dawn (pulse of light; PL (n = 6)). Goats from LD and PL yielded 30% more milk than goats from ND. Mean percentages of fat, protein and lactose contents in milk did not differ between the 3 groups at any stage of lactation, but these components in grams/day were higher in goats from PL than in the others two groups within the first 45 d of lactation. In conclusion, dual-purpose lactating goats that started their lactation during natural short days, the daily exposition to a 1-h pulse of light is sufficient to stimulate milk yield compared to females maintained under natural short photoperiod.
Multiform glioblastoma (MG) represents 70% of all gliomas, with half of patients older than 65 years with median survival of 12–18 months, hypofractionation seeks to reduce the intensity and duration of treatment without impacting on survival rates. The objective was to determine the global survival and recurrence-free survival of adults over 70 years old with MG treated with hypofractionated radiotherapy and standard scheme. The review of patients older than 70 years treated with radiotherapy from 2013 to 2016 was performed.
Twenty-four patients were analysed, with a median follow-up of 239 days, and there is no difference in overall survival 12·3 versus 10·5 months (p = 0·55) and recurrence-free survival 8·3 versus 3·4 months (p = 0·48) between both schemes, conventional versus hypofractioanted, respectively.
The results in this study show that hypofractionated scheme could be comparable in overall survival and recurrence-free survival to conventional fractionation, but a longer patients’ trial should be done.
Ceramic–metal composites are an important group of materials that have gained interest recently because of their peculiar properties. There have been numerous studies on the reinforcement of alumina through the incorporation of various ductile metals in it. However, these studies have been limited to determining the effect of the addition of metals on the mechanical properties of ceramics, without determining the effect of these metal additions on other physical properties of the resulting composite. In this way, in agreement with the obtained results, we have that because of the conductive nature of metals, there is a considerable decrease in the electrical resistivity of alumina, mainly when copper is added to it. However, in terms of optical performance, alumina matrix composites showed significant changes in absorbance in the visible spectra. The addition of iron, titanium, and yttrium enhanced the absorbance of alumina, whereas manganese addition significantly decreased the optical absorption.
Venezuela has plunged into a humanitarian, economic, and health crisis of extraordinary proportions. This complex situation is derived from dismantling of structures at the institutional, legal, political, social, and economic level affecting the life and wellbeing of the entire population.
This study aims to assess the impact of Venezuela’s healthcare crisis on vector-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases and the spillover to neighboring countries.
Since October 2014, there is a paucity of official epidemiological information in Venezuela. An active search of published and unpublished data was performed. Venezuela and Latin America data were sourced from PAHO Malaria Surveillance and from Observatorio Venezolano de la Salud. Brazil and Colombian data were accessed via their respective Ministries of Health.
Economic and political mismanagement have precipitated a general collapse of Venezuela’s health system with hyperinflation rates above 45,000%, people impoverishment, and long-term shortages of essential medicines and medical supplies. In this context, the rapid resurgence of previously well-controlled diseases, such as vaccine-preventable (measles, diphtheria) and arthropod-borne (malaria, dengue) diseases has turned them into epidemics of unprecedented magnitudes. Between 2000-2015 Venezuela witnessed a 365% increase in malaria cases followed by a 68% increase (319,765 cases) in late 2017. The latest figures have surpassed 600,000 malaria cases with a prediction to reach 1 million by the end of 2018. Measles and diphtheria have recently re-emerged after a progressive interruption of the national immunization program, with vulnerable indigenous population being particularly affected. In response to Venezuela’s rapidly decaying situation, a massive population exodus is ongoing towards neighboring countries causing a spillover of diseases.
Action to halt the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases within Venezuela is a matter of urgency for the country and the region. Global and hemispheric health authorities should urge the Venezuelan government to allow establishing a humanitarian channel to bring relief.
The VISCACHA (VIsible Soar photometry of star Clusters in tApii and Coxi HuguA†) Survey is an ongoing project based on deep and spatially resolved photometric observations of Magellanic Cloud star clusters, collected using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope together with the SOAR Adaptive Module Imager. So far we have used >300h of telescope time to observe ∼150 star clusters, mostly with low mass (M < 104M⊙) on the outskirts of the LMC and SMC. With this high-quality data set, we homogeneously determine physical properties using deep colour-magnitude diagrams (ages, metallicities, reddening, distances, mass, luminosity and mass functions) and structural parameters (radial density profiles, sizes) for these clusters which are used as a proxy to investigate the interplay between the Magellanic Clouds and their evolution. We present the VISCACHA survey and its initial results, based on our first two papers. The project’s long term goals and expected legacy to the community are also addressed.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
The aim of this research was to study the learning process using an objective and computerized task. The performance of 466 schoolchildren aged between 6 and 11 in a category learning task, the Category Learning Test (CLT), was examined. The results showed evidence of category learning throughout the trials for the whole sample, F(7, 469) = 29.979, p <.001. In addition, categorization performance improved with age, H(2) = 48.475, p <.001. However, there were old children that struggled with the task and young children that performed very well. The ability to learn the categories was related to the children’s behavior when trying to solve the task: the response speed (r = –.217, p <.01) and the organization index (r = .247, p <.01). Nevertheless, performance in the task and academic marks were not related. We discuss the impact of these findings on the promotion and improvement of learning in schools: an intervention to promote slowness and organization might help some children to learn.
Since ancient times, lubricants have been used to reduce friction and wear problems of mechanical systems. However, nowadays, there is a constant effort to improve their performance through additives so that they can accomplish properly in this modern world. In that sense, in this study, it was proposed the use of Poly(ε-Caprolactone) (PCL) as a biodegradable additive in Castor oil. The effect that this additive has on the tribological properties of AISI 4140 steel/Al2O3 tribosystem was analyzed. For this purpose, PCL was dissolved in Castor oil at 65 °C for 15 minutes. Later, once the lubricant formulations got into room temperature, friction tests were conducted with a ball-on-disk configuration. Several experiments were systematically carried out in order to study the factors that could influence the performance of the tribological system, for instance: additive concentration, velocity, temperature, and wear track radius. The kinetic friction coefficient was used to analyze the results as an output variable. The parameters in which the best friction behavior was observed were employed again to compare the efficiency of the polymeric additive by profoundly analyzing and comparing the wear response of the system. The PCL additive showed great results by decreasing friction up to 30% compared to the neat Castor oil. Nevertheless, as the opposite effect, this additive increased the steel wear to almost half an order of magnitude. Given the above, this investigation showed that, with further studies, Poly(ε-Caprolactone) could be used as an additive in vegetable oil-based lubricants for the improvement of friction performance.
Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2), synthesized by the sonochemical technique, were mixed with different amounts of graphene oxide (GO), obtained by the improved method of Hummer, in order to modify their bandwidth. The TiO2/OG compounds were characterized using different techniques: X-ray Diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy. TiO2 bandgap decreased, with GO incorporation, from 3.2 to 2.72 eV when GO was present at 20 weigh percentage (TiO2/GO-20%). Photodegradation experiments of methylene blue (MB) were performed with the materials to verify their photocatalytic activity. At 40 minutes, the pure TiO2 degraded 48% of MB, whereas the compound TiO2/GO-20% degraded 88%, showing a good incorporation of both compounds and the improvement of TiO2 photocatalitic properties.
Even though AA 7075 is an aluminum alloy with high mechanical properties, it is not often applied in manufacturing. This is so, because it is considered as very difficult to produce defect free welded joints. This is so, because this alloy has a tendency to hot cracking. The metallurgical problems that appear during welding of AA 7075 have not been fully solved but they have been reduced by applying alloys such as: 4043 and 5356 as filler metals. However, in literature there is little information about the metallurgical effects of these types of filler metals applied in arc welded joints of AA7075. This is especially true for Tungsten Inert gas welding. Therefore, this work is focused in comparing the microstructure and Vickers microhardness in weldments of AA 7075 with ER4043, ER5356 and AA7075 as filler metals. Besides, a set of welded joints with the three different filler metals were quenched after welding in order to modify the final microstructure. The results were evaluated by microstructural analysis focused on the Heat Affected Zone and Vickers microhardness and they were compared among them.
People with epilepsy (PWE) are less physically active compared with the general population. Explanations include prejudice, overprotection, unawareness, stigma, fear of seizure induction and lack of knowledge of health professionals. At present, there is no consensus on the role of exercise in epilepsy. This paper reviews the current evidence surrounding the risks and benefits associated with physical activity (PA) in this group of patients. In the last decade, several publications indicate significant benefits in physiological and psychological health parameters, including mood and cognition, physical conditioning, social interaction, quality of life, as well as potential prevention of seizure presentation. Moreover, experimental studies suggest that PA provides mechanisms of neuronal protection, related to biochemical and structural changes including release of β-endorphins and steroids, which may exert an inhibitory effect on the occurrence of abnormal electrical activity. Epileptic discharges can decrease or disappear during exercise, which may translate into reduced seizure recurrence. In some patients, exercise may precipitate seizures. Available evidence suggests that PA should be encouraged in PWE in order to promote wellbeing and quality of life. There is a need for prospective randomized controlled studies that provide stronger clinical evidence before definitive recommendations can be made.
To translate, culturally adapt, and psychometrically evaluate the Spanish version of the “Scale for End-of Life Caregiving Appraisal” (SEOLCAS).
Observational cross-sectional study. Convenience sample of 201 informal end-of-life caregivers recruited in a southern Spanish hospital. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed through its internal consistency (Cronbach's α) and temporal stability (Pearson's correlation coefficient [r] between test-retest). The content validity index of the items and the scale was calculated. Criterion validity was explored through performing a linear regression analysis to evaluate the SEOLCAS’ predictive validity. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine its construct validity.
The SEOLCAS’ reliability was very high (Cronbach's α = 0.92). Its content validity was excellent (all items’ content validity index = 0.8–1; scale's validity index = 0.88). Evidence of the SEOLCAS’ criterion validity showed that the participants’ scores on the SEOLCAS explained approximately 79.3% of the between-subject variation of their results on the Zarit Burden Interview. Exploratory factor analysis provided evidence of the SEOLCAS’ construct validity. This analysis revealed that two factors (“internal contingencies” and “external contingencies”) explained 53.77% of the total variance found and reflected the stoic Hispanic attitude toward adversity.
Significance of results
The Spanish version of the SEOLCAS has shown to be an easily applicable, valid, reliable, and culturally appropriate tool to measure the impact of end-of-life care provision on Hispanic informal caregivers. This tool offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to easily explore Hispanic informal end-of-life caregivers’ experiences and discover the type of support they may need (instrumental or emotional) even when there are communicational and organizational constraints.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.
Museums are organizations that need to maintain relationships with several stakeholders in order to achieve their economic and social objectives. In this context, the current paper explores the effect of an organization’s bonding social capital and a manager’s social capital on the organization’s ability to build external relationships, in other words, bridging social capital. Results from the study indicate that the structure of internal social capital (cohesion and diversity) and the manager’s role as a bridging tie facilitate relations with stakeholders and other museum networks. Moreover, collective social capital (bonding and bridging) has a direct impact on innovative proposals, on the museum’s image and on incomes, all of which entail key management implications.