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The number of transnational corporations—including parent companies and subsidiaries—has exploded over the last forty years, which has led to a correlating rise of corporate violations of international human rights and environmental laws, either directly or in conjunction with government security forces, local police, state-run businesses, or other businesses. In this work, Gwynne Skinner details the harms of business-related human rights violations on local communities and describes the barriers, both functional and institutional, that victims face in seeking remedies. She concludes by offering solutions to these barriers, with a focus on measures designed to improve judicial remedies, which are the heart of international human rights law but often fail to deliver justice to victims. This work should be read by anyone concerned with the role of corporations in our increasingly globalized society.
Radiocarbon (14C) can be used to build absolute chronologies and reconstruct ocean ventilation over the last 40 ka. Sample size requirements have restricted 14C measurements in marine cores with low foraminifer content, impeding 14C-based studies focused on abrupt climate events. Recent developments have demonstrated that small-sized foraminifer samples can now be dated using a gas introduction system at the cost of a small decrease in precision. We explore the potential of gas measurements on benthic and planktonic foraminifers from core SU90-08 (43°03′1″N, 30°02′5″W, 3080 m). Gas measurements are accurate, reproducible within 2σ uncertainty and comparable to graphite measurements. Both techniques yield negative 14C benthic-planktonic (B-P) age-offsets after Heinrich event 1. We argue that negative B-P ages result from bioturbation and changes in foraminifer abundances, with the chance of negative B-P especially increased when the 14C age gradient between the deep and surface waters is decreased. Small-sized 14C measurements seem to capture the variance of the foraminifera age distribution, revealing the active mixing in those archives. Sediment deposition and mixing effects possibly pose a greater obstacle for past 14C-based dating and ocean ventilation reconstructions than the measurement precision itself, particularly in relatively low sedimentation rate settings.
While child poverty is a significant risk factor for poor mental health, the developmental pathways involved with these associations are poorly understood. To advance knowledge about these important linkages, the present study examined the developmental sequelae of childhood exposure to poverty in a multiyear longitudinal study. Here, we focused on exposure to poverty, neurobiological circuitry connected to emotion dysregulation, later exposure to stressful life events, and symptoms of psychopathology. We grounded our work in a biopsychosocial perspective, with a specific interest in “stress sensitization” and emotion dysregulation. Motivated by past work, we first tested whether exposure to poverty was related to changes in the resting-state coupling between two brain structures centrally involved with emotion processing and regulation (the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; vmPFC). As predicted, we found lower household income at age 10 was related to lower resting-state coupling between these areas at age 15. We then tested if variations in amygdala–vmPFC connectivity interacted with more contemporaneous stressors to predict challenges with mental health at age 16. In line with past reports showing risk for poor mental health is greatest in those exposed to early and then later, more contemporaneous stress, we predicted and found that lower vmPFC–amygdala coupling in the context of greater contemporaneous stress was related to higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. We believe these important interactions between neurobiology and life history are an additional vantage point for understanding risk and resiliency, and suggest avenues for prediction of psychopathology related to early life challenge.
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is one of the most commonly reported disease- and treatment-related side effects that impede quality of life. This systematic review and meta-analysis describes the effects of nutrition therapy on CRF and quality of life in people with cancer and cancer survivors. Studies were identified from four electronic databases until September 2017. Eligibility criteria included randomised trials in cancer patients and survivors; any structured dietary intervention describing quantities, proportions, varieties and frequencies of food groups or energy and macronutrient consumption targets; and measures of CRF and quality of life. Standardised mean differences (SMD) were pooled using random-effects models. The American Dietetic Association’s Evidence Analysis Library Quality Checklist for Primary Research was used to evaluate the methodological quality and risk of bias. A total of sixteen papers, of fifteen interventions, were included, comprising 1290 participants. Nutrition therapy offered no definitive effect on CRF (SMD 0·18 (95 % CI –0·02, 0·39)) or quality of life (SMD 0·07 (95 % CI –0·10, 0·24)). Preliminary evidence indicates plant-based dietary pattern nutrition therapy may benefit CRF (SMD 0·62 (95 % CI 0·10, 1·15)). Interventions using the patient-generated subjective global assessment tool and prescribing hypermetabolic energy and protein requirements may improve quality of life. However, the heterogeneity seen in study design, nutrition therapies, quality-of-life measures and cancer types impede definitive dietary recommendations to improve quality of life for cancer patients. There is insufficient evidence to determine the optimal nutrition care plan to improve CRF and/or quality of life in cancer patients and survivors.
Incorporation of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) in polymer matrix has been used to enhance and control dissolution and release of drugs, for targeted drug delivery, as antimicrobial agents, localized heat sources, and for unique optoelectronic applications. Gold NPs in particular exhibit a plasmonic response that has been utilized for photothermal energy conversion. Because plasmonic nanoparticles typically exhibit a plasmon resonance frequency similar to the visible light spectrum, they present as good candidates for direct photothermal conversion with enhanced solar thermal efficiency in these wavelengths. In our work, we have incorporated ∼3-nm-diameter colloidal gold (Auc) NPs into electrospun polyethylene glycol (PEG) fibers to utilize the nanoparticle plasmonic response for localized heating and melting of the polymer to release medical treatment. Auc and Auc in PEG (PEG+Auc) both exhibited a minimum reflectivity at 522 nm or approximately green wavelengths of light under ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. PEG+Auc ES fibers revealed a blue shift in minimum reflectivity at 504 nm. UV-Vis spectra were used to calculate the theoretical efficiency enhancement of PEG+Auc versus PEG alone, finding an approximate increase of 10 % under broad spectrum white light interrogation, and ∼14 % when illuminated with green light. Auc enhanced polymers were ES directly onto resistance temperature detectors and interrogated with green laser light so that temperature change could be recorded. Results showed a maximum increase of 8.9 °C. To further understand how gold nanomaterials effect the complex optical properties of our materials, spectroscopic ellipsometry was used. Using spectroscopic ellipsometry and modeling with CompleteEASE® software, the complex optical constants of our materials were determined. The complex optical constant n (index of refraction) provided us with optical density properties related to light wavelength divided by velocity, and k (extinction coefficient) was used to show the absorptive properties of the materials.
Supercapacitors have the potential to complement or replace batteries in many current and emerging applications. As inexpensive and environmentally benign capacitive materials, manganese oxides are promising electrode materials. Nanostructured oxides have high energy storage capacities owing to their increased surface-area-to-volume ratios as compared to bulk materials. By electrospinning precursor-containing polymer fibers and subsequently calcining, nanostructured MnOx fibers can be prepared with relative ease. Controlling calcination pressure and time provides a route for variable capacitance via modifying surface roughness and oxide phase. At moderate pressures and short calcination times, mixed-phase Mn2O3/Mn3O4 fibers with high surface roughness exhibit enhanced electrochemical specific capacitance.
Melt electrospinning is a facile fabrication technique that can be utilized in the creation of microfibers without the use of solvent and with good control over feature placement. The available thermal energy of the melt electrospinning technique is often only utilized in the formation of the polymer melt but can also be used to thermodynamically drive chemical reactions. In this study, hybrid perovskite microcrystallites are synthesized in the polymer melt and electrospun to form composite microfibers. Unique hybrid perovskite microstructures were studied, elucidating mechanisms of formation at work in the polymer melt.
Smartphones are increasingly used to access clinical decision support, and many medical applications provide antimicrobial prescribing guidance. However, these applications do not account for local antibiotic resistance patterns and formularies. We implemented an institution-specific antimicrobial stewardship smartphone application and studied patterns of use over a 1-year period.
Invasive rodents detrimentally affect native bird species on many islands worldwide, and rodent eradication is a useful tool to safeguard endemic and threatened species. However, especially on tropical islands, rodent eradications can fail for various reasons, and it is unclear whether the temporary reduction of a rodent population during an unsuccessful eradication operation has beneficial effects on native birds. Here we examine the response of four endemic land bird species on subtropical Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island Group, South Pacific Ocean, following an unsuccessful rodent eradication in 2011. We conducted point counts at 25 sampling locations in 14 survey periods between 2011 and 2015, and modelled the abundance trends of all species using binomial mixture models accounting for observer and environmental variation in detection probability. Henderson Reed Warbler Acrocephalus taiti more than doubled in abundance (2015 population estimate: 7,194-28,776), and Henderson Fruit Dove Ptilinopus insularis increased slightly between 2011 and 2015 (2015 population estimate: 4,476–10,072), while we detected no change in abundance of the Henderson Lorikeet Vini stepheni (2015 population estimate: 554–3014). Henderson Crake Zapornia atra increased to pre-eradication levels following anticipated mortality during the operation (2015 population estimate: 4,960–20,783). A temporary reduction of rat predation pressure and rat competition for fruit may have benefitted the reed warbler and the fruit dove, respectively. However, a long drought may have naturally suppressed bird populations prior to the rat eradication operation in 2011, potentially confounding the effects of temporary rat reduction and natural recovery. We therefore cannot unequivocally ascribe the population recovery to the temporary reduction of the rat population. We encourage robust monitoring of island biodiversity both before and after any management operation to better understand responses of endemic species to failed or successful operations.
Bacterial cultures exposed to iron-doped apatite nanoparticles (IDANPs) prior to the introduction of antagonistic viruses experience up to 2.3 times the bacterial destruction observed in control cultures. Maximum antibacterial activity of these bacteria-specific viruses, or phage, occurs after bacterial cultures have been exposed to IDANPs for 1 hr prior to phage introduction, demonstrating that IDANP-assisted phage therapy would not be straight forward, but would instead require controlled time release of IDANPs and phage. These findings motivated the design of an electrospun nanofiber mesh treatment delivery system that allows burst release of IDANPs, followed by slow, consistent release of phage for treatment of topical bacterial infections. IDANPs resemble hydroxyapatite, a biocompatible mineral analogous to the inorganic constituent of mammalian bone, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for many biomedical purposes. The composite nanofiber mesh was designed for IDANP-assisted phage therapy treatment of topical wounds and consists of a superficial, rapid release layer of polyethylene oxide (PEO) fibers doped with IDANPs, followed by inner, coaxial polycaprolactone / polyethylene glycol (PCL/PEG) blended polymer fiber layer for slower phage delivery. Our investigations have established that IDANP-doped PEO fibers are effective vehicles for dissemination of IDANPs for bacterial exposure and resultant increased bacterial death by phage. In this work, slower delivery of the phage behind IDANPs was accomplished using coaxial, electrospun fibers composed of PCL/PEG polymer blend.
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) have been previously compounded with hydrophobic polymers in order to improve the resilience of HOIPs in humid environments. In this study HOIP particles were synthesized and dispersed into a polymer solution. The weight loading of the HOIP phase in the composite was increased until an abrupt change in the electrical conduction was observed indicating a percolation threshold was approached. Additionally, the CH3NH3PbI3/ polystyrene composite media was characterized to assess morphology and the effect it has on the observed electrical properties.
Composite nanostructured foams consisting of a metallic shell deposited on a polymeric core were formed by plating copper via electroless deposition on electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats. The final structure consisted of 1000-nm scale PCL fibers coated with 100s of nm of copper, leading to final core-shell thicknesses on the order of 1000-3000 nm. The resulting open cell, core-shell foams had relative densities between 4 and 15 %. By controlling the composition of the adjuncts in the plating bath, particularly the composition of formaldehyde, the relative thickness of copper coating as the fiber diameter could be controlled. As-spun PCL mats had a nominal compressive modulus on the order of 0.1 MPa; adding a uniform metallic shell increased the modulus up to 2 MPa for sub-10 % relative density foams. A computational materials science analysis using density functional theory was used to explore the effects pre-treatment with Pd may have on the density of nuclei formed during electroless plating.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and prevention, at least 2 million people in the United States become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of those infections. One alternative to traditional antibiotics is bacteriophage (phage) therapy. Phage therapy utilizes bacteria-specific viruses to infect and kill bacteria cells. The specificity of these viruses is beneficial in that phage used for therapeutic purposes do not harm the human microbiota, nor do phage infect eukaryotic cells. It has been discovered that iron-doped apatite nanoparticles (IDANPs) significantly enhance phage killing of bacteria cells. The biocompatibility of apatite, coupled with its effectiveness as an adjuvant to enhance an alternative antibiotic therapy, makes it of interest for medical applications. Previously, researchers have encased phage in a microfluidic channel in coaxially electrospun fibers, allowing phage to remain viable after several weeks storage at 4 °C. Here, we have constructed a polymer fiber layer using electrospinning (ES) for delivery of IDANP adjuvants to compliment phage treatment delivery fibers. The IDANP delivery layer constructed is composed of polyethylene oxide (PEO) doped with the nanoparticles. When compared to media-only and IDANP-only controls, results show IDANPs delivered through a PEO fiber mesh remain effective at enhancement of phage infectivity.
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
A new radiocarbon preparation facility was set up in 2010 at the Godwin Laboratory for Palaeoclimate Research, at the University of Cambridge. Samples are graphitized via hydrogen reduction on an iron powder catalyst before being sent to the Chrono Centre, Belfast, or the Australian National University for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analysis. The experimental setup and procedure have recently been developed to investigate the potential for running small samples of foraminiferal carbonate. By analyzing background values of samples ranging from 0.04 to 0.6 mg C along with similar sized secondary standards, the setup and experimental procedures were optimized for small samples. “Background” modern 14C contamination has been minimized through careful selection of iron powder, and graphitization has been optimized through the use of “small volume” reactors, allowing samples containing as little as 0.08 mg C to be graphitized and accurately dated. Graphitization efficiency/fractionation is found not to be the main limitation on the analysis of samples smaller than 0.07 mg C, which rather depends primarily on AMS ion beam optics, suggesting further improvements in small sample analysis might yet be achieved with our methodology.
A new organometallic halide perovskite (OHP) synthesis method, whereby a polymer melt is used to thermodynamically drive the reaction that forms OHP crystallites, is demonstrated. The synthesis method allows for the facile encapsulation of moisture-sensitive OHP without the loss of simplicity during fabrication, which makes OHP materials so attractive for the photovoltaic industry. Degradation of OHP crystallites embedded in a polystyrene matrix was studied using UV-Vis absorbance over a period of several days. The OHP crystallites degrade as a result of the reversible nature of the reaction that forms the crystallites. After the reversion to precursors (PbI2 and CH3NH3I) the CH3NH3I irreversibly degrades  allowing the degradation to be tracked via optical interrogation. Additionally, surface morphology and elemental analysis of fabricated samples was carried out using SEM/EDS techniques.
This study advances understanding of predictors of child abuse and neglect at multiple levels of influence. Mothers, fathers, and children (N = 1,418 families, M age of children = 8.29 years) were interviewed annually in three waves in 13 cultural groups in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Multilevel models were estimated to examine predictors of (a) within-family differences across the three time points, (b) between-family within-culture differences, and (c) between-cultural group differences in mothers' and fathers' reports of corporal punishment and children's reports of their parents' neglect. These analyses addressed to what extent mothers' and fathers' use of corporal punishment and children's perceptions of their parents' neglect were predicted by parents' belief in the necessity of using corporal punishment, parents' perception of the normativeness of corporal punishment in their community, parents' progressive parenting attitudes, parents' endorsement of aggression, parents' education, children's externalizing problems, and children's internalizing problems at each of the three levels. Individual-level predictors (especially child externalizing behaviors) as well as cultural-level predictors (especially normativeness of corporal punishment in the community) predicted corporal punishment and neglect. Findings are framed in an international context that considers how abuse and neglect are defined by the global community and how countries have attempted to prevent abuse and neglect.