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In this paper, a differential microfluidic sensor and comparator based on a pair of microstrip lines loaded with dumbbell-shaped defected ground structure resonators is applied to the characterization of electrolyte concentration in samples of horse urine. Since variations in the total electrolyte content in urine may be indicative of certain pathologies, the interest is to use the device as a comparator, in order to determine changes in the electrolyte concentration as compared to a reference level. To validate the approach, we have made differential measurements of a set of urine samples with different electrolyte concentrations (which have been previously obtained by means of electrochemical methods). The obtained results correlate with the nominal electrolyte concentrations of the samples, thereby pointing out the potential of the approach as a low-cost pre-screening method (or complementary diagnosis system) to detect potential pathologies or diseases in horses and other animals.
Low folate and vitamin B12 serum levels are associated with schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders.
Determinate folate and vitamin B12 serum levels in a sample of naive psychotic patients and in a sample of healthy population.
For 24 patients with a first psychotic episode serum folate an vitamin B12 were measured, and we take a sample of 30 person from healthy population adjust with age and gender for comparing both groups.
In the sample of psychotic patients 15 patients (62,5%)presents low levels of folate, and 2 (8,3%) vitamin B12 deficiency. In the group with low levels of folate the mean was 1,5 ng/ml, and in the group with low levels of vitamin B12 the mean was 155 pg/ml. In healthy sample, 9 persons presents low levels of folate and there weren’t any vitamin B12 deficiency in this group. We compared the mean of folate levels in both samples and there was a significance difference between them.
Important percentage of patients with a first psychotic episode presents a folate deficiency, in our area, with lower levels of this vitamin than in the healthy population, so maybe is a factor that influence in development of the disorder.
Previous work suggests that reaction time variability (RTV) in attentional tasks, as a measure of cognitive stability, is associated with degree of Val loading in COMT Val158Met genotype, and that this association may be relevant for the aetiology of schizophrenia. This study examined (i) to what degree RTV pertaining to tasks of varying cognitive complexity would be associated with increased risk for schizophrenia and (ii) to what degree this would be mediated by Val loading.
COMT genotyping was investigated in a sample of 23 patients with schizophrenia, 33 first-degree relatives, and 21 controls. All participants performed the Flanker continuous performance test.
Schizophrenia liability was associated with number of correct trials of the Flanker test, but not with RTV, and this association was not mediated by COMT Val158Met genotype. Similarly, Met loading was associated with number of correct trials and with RTV, but this was not mediated by schizophrenia liability.
Associations between COMT Val158Met genotype and RTV do not appear to reflect transmission of schizophrenia liability in families. Differential associations with Val and Met alleles across studies suggest indirect effects through gene–gene interactions or the influence of a functional polymorphism near COMT Val158Met.
Systematic reviews in mental health have become useful tools for health professionals in view of the massive amount and heterogeneous nature of biomedical information available today. In order to determine the risk of bias in the studies evaluated and to avoid bias in generalizing conclusions from the reviews it is therefore important to use a very strict methodology in systematic reviews. One bias which may affect the generalization of results is publication bias, which is determined by the nature and direction of the study results. To control or minimize this type of bias, the authors of systematic reviews undertake comprehensive searches of medical databases and expand on the findings, often undertaking searches of grey literature (material which is not formally published). This paper attempts to show the consequences (and risk) of generalizing the implications of grey literature in the control of publication bias, as was proposed in a recent systematic work. By repeating the analyses for the same outcome from three different systematic reviews that included both published and grey literature our results showed that confusion between grey literature and publication bias may affect the results of a concrete meta-analysis.
To assess antipsychotic medication in the treatment of schizophrenia, based on trial drop-out rates.
The studies included were randomised controlled trials that compared any of the four clinically best-established atypical antipsychotics (quetiapine, olanzapine, risperidone or clozapine) against either of two typical antipsychotics regarded as the gold standard (haloperidol or chlorpromazine).
Meta-analysis indicated less risk of all-cause patient withdrawal from atypical medication trials where dosage was flexible, in both the short, relative risk (RR) 0.70 (95% CI 0.64–0.76), P < 0.00001, and long term, RR 0.72 (0.65–0.80), P < 0.00001. Similar results were observed for withdrawal due to adverse events, RR: 0.54 (0.41–0.72), P < 0.0001. Nevertheless, the favourable effects of atypical medication disappeared in trials relying on fixed dosage.
We detected a significant positive effect in terms of the outcome of treatment discontinuation for atypical versus typical medication, though only where the use of flexible rather than fixed doses (closer to an experimental control situation) was possible.
We present a detailed overview of the cosmological surveys that we aim to carry out with Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA1) and the science that they will enable. We highlight three main surveys: a medium-deep continuum weak lensing and low-redshift spectroscopic HI galaxy survey over 5 000 deg2; a wide and deep continuum galaxy and HI intensity mapping (IM) survey over 20 000 deg2 from
$z = 0.35$
to 3; and a deep, high-redshift HI IM survey over 100 deg2 from
$z = 3$
to 6. Taken together, these surveys will achieve an array of important scientific goals: measuring the equation of state of dark energy out to
$z \sim 3$
with percent-level precision measurements of the cosmic expansion rate; constraining possible deviations from General Relativity on cosmological scales by measuring the growth rate of structure through multiple independent methods; mapping the structure of the Universe on the largest accessible scales, thus constraining fundamental properties such as isotropy, homogeneity, and non-Gaussianity; and measuring the HI density and bias out to
$z = 6$
. These surveys will also provide highly complementary clustering and weak lensing measurements that have independent systematic uncertainties to those of optical and near-infrared (NIR) surveys like Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST leading to a multitude of synergies that can improve constraints significantly beyond what optical or radio surveys can achieve on their own. This document, the 2018 Red Book, provides reference technical specifications, cosmological parameter forecasts, and an overview of relevant systematic effects for the three key surveys and will be regularly updated by the Cosmology Science Working Group in the run up to start of operations and the Key Science Programme of SKA1.
This study focuses on the dolphins populating the water between Gibraltar and Algeciras in the south Iberian Peninsula, an area subjected to pressure due to high human activity. The area is considered an important feeding and breeding ground for common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Due to the degree of residence of some specimens, and the large gap in knowledge about the evolution of wounds in D. delphis specimens with lacerations, this work sought to perform the following analyses: identify lacerated individuals; characterize sequences of ‘before – during – after’ with respect to the occurrence of lacerations; and associate the type of injury with its severity. This work will inform future studies by expanding a database on injured individuals and contribute to periodical monitoring of specimens that frequent these geographic areas. Between 2013 and 2017, we were able to track the healing process of five injured individuals of common dolphins from a whale-watching platform thanks to photo identification. The animals exhibited fresh external wounds from different sources. In the majority of individuals, the wound-healing processes lasted 3–21 weeks. The frequency with which sightings are made and knowledge about the local population will help track injured animals, follow their wound evolution, and document their survival rates. The documented injuries inflicted by human interactions described in this paper may include fishing interactions and propeller strikes, probably as a consequence of the high intensity of recreational fishing and whale-watching activities in the area.
The random encounter model, a method for estimating animal density using camera traps without the need for individual recognition, has been developed over the past decade. A key assumption of this model is that cameras are placed randomly in relation to animal movements, requiring that cameras are not set only at sites thought to have high animal traffic. The aim of this study was to define a correction factor that allows the random encounter model to be applied in photo-trapping surveys in which cameras are placed along tracks to maximize capture probability. Our hypothesis was that applying such a correction factor would compensate for the different rates at which lynxes use tracks and the surrounding area, and should thus improve the estimates obtained with the random encounter model. We tested this using data from a well-known Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus population. Firstly, we estimated Iberian lynx densities using a traditional camera-trapping design followed by spatially explicit capture–recapture analyses. We estimated the differential use rate for tracks vs the surrounding area using data from a lynx equipped with a GPS collar, and subsequently calculated the correction factor. As expected, the random encounter model overestimated densities by 378%. However, the application of the correction factor improved the estimate and reduced the error to 16%. Although there are limitations to the application of the correction factor, the corrected random encounter model shows potential for density estimation of species for which individual identification is not possible.
This study aims to develop an in vitro co-culture system of in situ goat preantral follicles with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC), evaluating the influence of these cells on follicular growth, rate of activation and morphologically normal follicles. Fragments of ovarian cortex were cultured for 1 or 7 days in the presence of BM-MSC (BM-MSC+) and absence of BM-MSC (BM-MSC−). Histological sections of the fragments were analysed and data were obtained regarding morphological classification, survival rate of morphologically normal follicles and rate of follicular activation. Culture medium on days 1 and 7 was also sampled for nitrite concentration and reduced glutathione activity. There was a reduction (P < 0.05) in the percentage of morphologically normal follicles in the BM-MSC+ compared with the fresh control only on the seventh day of culture. When comparing treatments, on the seventh day of culture, a higher rate of morphologically normal preantral follicles was observed in BM-MSC+ (P < 0.05). In both treatments, primordial and developing follicle rates were similar to the fresh control (P > 0.05). When comparing treatments with each other, as well as with the fresh control, no differences were observed in follicular diameter (P > 0.05) or nitrite concentration (P > 0.05). The concentration of reduced glutathione was lower on the seventh day of co-culture in both treatments (P < 0.05). In conclusion, co-culture had no influence on follicular or oocyte development. However, it was critical to maintain the survival of preantral follicles during 7 days of culture.
The molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) and indium tin oxide (ITO) interface were studied by atom probe tomography (APT). Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and grazing-incidence x-ray diffraction measurements were performed as complementary characterization. Results confirm that nanowires plated shape with the 〈110〉-orientation are aligned perpendicular to the ITO film with principal reflections at (002), (100), (101), (201), and Raman spectroscopy vibrational modes at E12g at 378 cm−1 and A1g at 407 cm−1 correspond to 2H-MoS2. APT reveals MoS+2, MoS+3 as predominant evaporated molecular ions on the sample, indicating no significant diffusion/segregation of Mo or S species within the ITO layer.
To assess the validity of self-reported height and weight by parents of 4-year-old children and subjective weight perception.
Descriptive cross-sectional study.
Paediatric population living in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
Children born in 2008–2009 examined at 47–59 months of age. Data were collected by paediatricians of the Madrid Primary Care Physicians Sentinel Network. Parents reported weight and height data. Prevalence of weight status categories was calculated using WHO and International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) reference criteria. Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) were estimated. The appraisal of their child’s weight perception and parental misperception were assessed.
For 2914 children, reported height was underestimated by −1·38 cm, weight by −0·25 kg and BMI was overestimated by +0·41 kg/m2 on average. The prevalence of obesity estimated with reported data was 2·7 times higher than that calculated with measured data (16·2 v. 6·0 %) according to WHO classification, and 3·6 times higher with IOTF classification. Sensitivity to identify obesity was 70·5 %, specificity was 87·3 % and PPV was 26·2 % (WHO classification). Half of the parents of pre-schoolers with obesity failed to identify their child’s weight status. Parental misperception among children classified as having overweight or obesity reached 93·0 and 58·8 %, respectively.
Parents underestimated children’s height and weight, leading to an overestimation of the prevalence of obesity. Small inaccuracies in reported measures have an important effect for the estimation of population prevalences. Parents’ report of child weight status is unreliable. Parental awareness and acknowledgement of child weight status should be improved.
Conventional tests with written information used for the evaluation of sign language (SL) comprehension introduce distortions due to the translation process. This fact affects the results and conclusions drawn and, for that reason, it is necessary to design and implement the same language interpreter-independent evaluation tools. Novel web technologies facilitate the design of web interfaces that support online, multiple-choice questionnaires, while exploiting the storage of tracking data as a source of information about user interaction. This paper proposes an online, multiple-choice sign language questionnaire based on an intuitive methodology. It helps users to complete tests and automatically generates accurate, statistical results using the information and data obtained in the process. The proposed system presents SL videos and enables user interaction, fulfilling the requirements that SL interpretation is not able to cover. The questionnaire feeds a remote database with the user answers and powers the automatic creation of data for analytics. Several metrics, including time elapsed, are used to assess the usability of the SL questionnaire, defining the goals of the predictive models. These predictions are based on machine learning models, with the demographic data of the user as features for estimating the usability of the system. This questionnaire reduces costs and time in terms of interpreter dedication, as well as widening the amount of data collected while employing user native language. The validity of this tool was demonstrated in two different use cases.
In cases of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs), triage represents a fundamental tool for the management of and assistance to the wounded, which helps discriminate not only the priority of attention, but also the priority of referral to the most suitable center.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of different prehospital triage systems based on physiological parameters (Shock Index [SI], Glasgow-Age-Pressure Score [GAP], Revised Trauma Score [RTS], and National Early Warning Score 2 [NEWS2]) to predict early mortality (within 48 hours) from the index event for use in MCIs.
This was a longitudinal prospective observational multi-center study on patients who were attended by Advanced Life Support (ALS) units and transferred to the emergency department (ED) of their reference hospital. Collected were: demographic, physiological, and clinical variables; main diagnosis; and data on early mortality. The main outcome variable was mortality from any cause within 48 hours.
From April 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019, a total of 1,288 patients were included in this study. Of these, 262 (20.3%) participants required assistance for trauma and injuries by external agents. Early mortality within the first 48 hours due to any cause affected 69 patients (5.4%). The system with the best predictive capacity was the NEWS2 with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.891 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94); a sensitivity of 79.7% (95% CI, 68.8-87.5); and a specificity of 84.5% (95% CI, 82.4-86.4) for a cut-off point of nine points, with a positive likelihood ratio of 5.14 (95% CI, 4.31-6.14) and a negative predictive value of 98.7% (95% CI, 97.8-99.2).
Prehospital scores of the NEWS2 are easy to obtain and represent a reliable test, which make it an ideal system to help in the initial assessment of high-risk patients, and to determine their level of triage effectively and efficiently. The Prehospital Emergency Medical System (PhEMS) should evaluate the inclusion of the NEWS2 as a triage system, which is especially useful for the second triage (evacuation priority).
The chapter addresses the role and content of Spanish constitutional identity. It first considers the stance of the Spanish Constitutional Court. In this regard, Spain joins the list of EU Member States whose constitutional courts do not accept the principle of primacy’s effectiveness in EU law vis-à-vis the Constitution. In order to contain the unlimited scope of that principle, the Constitutional Court has come up with an original and controversial distinction between the primacy of EU law and the supremacy of the Constitution. It also acknowledges that there is a core of the Constitution – its constitutional identity – that falls outside the scope of primacy. Its content lies in the respect for state sovereignty, for basic constitutional structures, and for the system of core values and principles in the Constitution, where fundamental rights acquire their own substantive nature. The chapter also examines the role of constitutional identity in the context of the Catalan secessionist movement. It considers that ensuring the state’s territorial integrity is an indispensable part of constitutional identity, whilst providing an obligation incumbent on the EU under Art. 4(2) TEU.
The Trondheim radiocarbon (14C) laboratory has evolved from a traditional radiocarbon decay counting laboratory to an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility primarily measuring 14C. This evolution required adjustments in sample preparation and data handling to match the capacity of the AMS system and reduction in sample sizes to about 1 mgC. We summarize here the steps involved in dating a sample at the National Laboratory for Age Determination in Trondheim, Norway. These include the structure of our sample database for information handling, sample cleaning procedures for different sample types, our reduction systems, both an automated EA-based system for regular use and a manual system for more challenging samples, and data evaluation. We will also briefly summarize the capabilities of our isotope-ratio mass spectrometer.
Human embryo studies have proposed the use of additional morphological evaluations related to the moment of the first cell divisions as relevant to embryo viability. Nevertheless, there are still not enough data available related to morphokinetic analysis and its relationship with lipid composition in embryos. Therefore, the aim of this study was to address the lipid profile of bovine embryos with different developmental kinetics: fast (four or more cells) and slow (two or three cells) at 40 h post-insemination (hpi), at three time points of in vitro culture (40, 112 and 186 hpi) and compare these to profiles of in vivo embryos. The lipid profiles of embryos were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, which mainly detected pools of membrane lipids such as phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin. In addition to their structural function, these lipid classes have an important role in cell signalling, particularly regarding events such as stress and pregnancy. Different patterns of lipids in the fast and slow groups were revealed in all the analyzed stages. Also, differences between in vitro embryos were more pronounced at 112 hpi, a critical moment due to embryonic genome activation. At the blastocyst stage, in vitro-produced embryos, despite the kinetics, had a closer lipid profile when compared with in vivo blastocysts. In conclusion, the kinetics of development had a greater effect on the membrane lipid profiles throughout the embryo culture, especially at the 8–16-cell stage. The in vitro environment affects lipid composition and may compromise cell signalling and function in blastocysts.
The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was once an abundant species in the Cabo Verde Islands. Since the 1960s though, and especially during the 1980–1990s, it consistently declined to near extinction. Evidence collected indicates a remnant population of about a dozen pairs or less, scattered through the desert rangelands of only three islands. Extensive enquiry work revealed that this likely resulted from the concomitant effects of the rise in unnatural mortality due to the formerly widespread and long-lasting use of dangerous pesticides and the (still on-going) poisoning of stray dogs and other nuisance animals, and a decrease in food resources associated with factors linked with development, such as urbanisation, rural abandonment and better sanitation. Avoiding imminent extinction calls for emergency action against current threats to the remaining vultures, such as poisoning and electrocution, but also potential causes of impaired fecundity such as hazardous pesticides and shortage of food resources.
To resolve an inconsistency around AD 1895 between radiocarbon (14C) measurements on oak from the British Isles and Douglas fir and Sitka spruce from the Pacific Northwest, USA, we measured the 14C content in single-year tree rings from a Scots pine tree (Pinus sylvestris L.), which grew in a remote location in Saltdal, northern Norway. The dataset covers the period AD 1864–1937 and its results are in agreement with measurements from the US Pacific coast around 1895. The most likely explanation for older ages in British oak in this period seems to be 14C depletion associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.
Sub-annual measurements, eight increments per year, of cellulose in a Scots pine tree growing in central Norway are presented as a proxy for tropospheric 14CO2 at biweekly to monthly resolution. The results are validated by comparison to direct atmospheric measurements in the years 1959–1965, and a new dataset is obtained for 1953–1958. In this period, our cellulose measurements deviate from the Bomb 13 NH1 calibration curve, which is derived from single-year measurements of tree rings. This is due to seasonal cycles in tropospheric radiocarbon (14C) concentrations, caused by the first series of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests.