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Perceptions of social-contextual food environments and associated factors that influence food purchases are understudied in American Indian (AI) communities. The purpose of the present study was to: (i) understand the perceived local food environment; (ii) investigate social-contextual factors that influence family food-purchasing choices; and (iii) identify diet intervention strategies.
This qualitative study consisted of focus groups with primary household shoppers and key-informant interviews with food retailers, local government food assistance programme directors and a dietitian. An inductive, constant comparison approach was used to identify major themes.
A large AI reservation community in the north-central USA.
Four focus groups (n 31) and seven key-informant interviews were conducted in February and May 2016.
Perceptions of both the higher cost of healthy foods and limited access to these foods influenced the types of foods participants purchased. Dependence on government assistance programmes and the timing of benefits also contributed to the types of foods purchased. Participants described purchasing foods based on the dietary needs and preferences of their children. Suggestions for improving the purchase and consumption of healthy foods included: culturally relevant and family-centred cooking classes and workshops focused on monthly food budgeting. Participants also emphasized the importance of involving the entire community in healthy eating initiatives.
Cost and access were the major perceived barriers to healthy eating in this large rural AI community. Recommended interventions included: (i) family-friendly and culturally relevant cooking classes; (ii) healthy food-budgeting skills training; and (iii) approaches that engage the entire community.
Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes) are taxonomically and ecologically diverse, with a wide range of social complexity, nesting preferences, floral associations, and biogeographic restrictions. A Canadian bee checklist, greatly assisted by the gene-assisted approach of DNA barcoding, is nearing completion. Previous evaluation of bee diversity in Canada, assisted by DNA barcoding, was restricted to Nova Scotia, which contains about 25% of the bee species in the country. Here, we summarise efforts to date to build a comprehensive DNA barcode library supporting bee taxonomic studies in Canada, consisting of more than 12 500 barcode-compliant sequences yielding 811 distinct barcode index numbers (BINs). This appears to represent ~95% of the 856 bee species presently recorded from Canada, but comparison with known morphological species in each genus shows that some genera are still under-sampled or may contain cryptic taxa, with much taxonomic work still to be done on bees in Canada. This is particularly true within the taxonomically difficult genera Andrena Fabricius (Andrenidae), Hylaeus Fabricius (Colletidae), Melissodes Latreille (Apidae), Nomada Scopoli (Apidae), Osmia Panzer (Megachilidae), and Sphecodes Latreille (Halictidae). DNA analysis will likely be a key asset in resolving bee taxonomic issues in Canada in the future, and to date has even assisted studies of well-known bee taxa. Here we present summaries of our results, and discuss the use of DNA barcoding to assist future taxonomic work, faunal lists, and ecological studies.
In everyday life it is often required to integrate multisensory input to successfully conduct response inhibition (RI) and thus major executive control processes. Both RI and multisensory processes have been suggested to be altered in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is, however, unclear which neurophysiological processes relate to changes in RI in ASD and in how far these processes are affected by possible multisensory integration deficits in ASD.
Combining high-density EEG recordings with source localization analyses, we examined a group of adolescent ASD patients (n = 20) and healthy controls (n = 20) using a novel RI task.
Compared to controls, RI processes are generally compromised in adolescent ASD. This aggravation of RI processes is modulated by the content of multisensory information. The neurophysiological data suggest that deficits in ASD emerge in attentional selection and resource allocation processes related to occipito-parietal and middle frontal regions. Most importantly, conflict monitoring subprocesses during RI were specifically modulated by content of multisensory information in the superior frontal gyrus.
RI processes are overstrained in adolescent ASD, especially when conflicting multisensory information has to be integrated to perform RI. It seems that the content of multisensory input is important to consider in ASD and its effects on cognitive control processes.
Bivalve death assemblages from subtidal environments within the tropical Bocas del Toro embayment of Caribbean Panama permit a test of the extent to which levels of damage are determined by the intrinsic nature of shell supply (proportion of epifaunal species, thick shells, calcitic shells, low-organic microstructures), as opposed to the extrinsic postmortem environment that shells experience. Only damage to interior surfaces of shells was used, to ensure that damage was unambiguously postmortem in origin. We find that facies-level differences in patterns of damage (the rank order importance of postmortem encrustation, boring, edge-rounding, fine-scale surface degradation) are overwhelmingly controlled by environmental conditions: in each environment, all subsets of the death assemblage present the same damage profile. The composition of shell supply affects only the intensity of the taphonomic signature (i.e., percentage of shells affected) only in environments containing hard substrata (patch reefs, Halimeda gravelly sand, mud among patch reefs). In these environments, epifauna, whether aragonitic or calcitic and whether thin or thick, exhibit significantly higher damage than co-occurring infauna, probably due to the initial period of seafloor exposure they typically experience after death. Thick shells (>0.5 mm), regardless of life habit or mineralogy, are damaged more frequently than thin shells, probably because of selective colonization by fouling organisms. Calcitic shells show no consistently greater frequency of damage than aragonitic shells high-organic microstructures yield mixed patterns. Taphofacies surveys in such depositional systems could thus be confidently based on any subset of the fauna, including diagenetically residual assemblages of calcitic shells and thick-shelled molds. Further tests are needed to determine whether the higher levels of damage observed on some subsets of shells are a consequence of greater time-averaging (thus lower temporal resolution), greater exposure time, preferential attack (potential bias in relative abundance), or some combination of these. Paleobiologically, however, the implication is that ecological subsets of bivalve assemblages are not isotaphonomic, either in tangible damage or in probable bias, within hard-substrate environments, although they may be within soft-sediment environments. In actualistic studies, targeting broad classes of taxa for comparison across environments maximizes our ability to extrapolate taphonomic guidelines into the fossil record, where life habits, skeletal types shallow subtidal habitats have dramatically different patterns of abundance and deployment.
Contrary to the geological stereotype of pure-carbonate reef platforms, approximately 50% of shallow shelf area in the Tropics is accumulating siliciclastic and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sediments. Taphonomic characterization of these settings is thus essential for assessing variation among major facies types within the Tropics, as well as for eventual comparison with higher-latitude settings. Our grab samples and dredge samples of bivalve death assemblages from nine stations in five subtidal habitats in a large marine embayment of Caribbean Panama (Bocas del Toro) provide the first actualistic information on the taphonomic condition of shells in Recent tropical siliciclastic sediments. Focusing on unambiguous damage to bivalve shell interiors, we found that the quality of shell preservation in fine-grained siliciclastics is superb: commonly «10% of specimens are affected by encrustation, boring, edge-rounding fine-scale surface alteration via dissolution, microbioerosion maceration. Pure-carbonate and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate environments containing hard substrata (patch reefs, Halimeda gravelly sand, mud among patch reefs) contain higher numbers of more severely damaged shells (generally >25%) and also higher diversities of fossilizable encrusters and borers. Disarticulation and fragmentation are pervasive across all environments and are probably related to predation rather than to postmortem processes. As in other shallow subtidal study areas, the taxonomic compositions of death assemblages have not been homogenized by postmortem transport but show high spatial fidelity to the distribution of living species. Assemblages from the five sedimentary environments have distinct taphonomic signatures, but the strongest differences are between the two fine-grained, exclusively soft-sediment siliciclastic environments on the one hand and the three environments containing hard substrata on the other. Experimental tests for rates and agents of damage, still in progress, indicate that the most critical environmental variables are exhumation cycles and burial rate. Bivalve death assemblages from Bocas del Toro demonstrate that damage levels in tropical fine-grained siliciclastic environments are much lower than in closely associated reefs and algal sands suggest a less filtered record of biological information.
Aerobic exercise training has been shown to attenuate cognitive decline and reduce brain atrophy with advancing age. The extent to which resistance exercise training improves cognition and prevents brain atrophy is less known, and few studies include long-term follow-up cognitive and neuroimaging assessments. We report data from a randomized controlled trial of 155 older women, who engaged in 52 weeks of resistance training (either once- or twice-weekly) or balance-and-toning (twice-weekly). Executive functioning and memory were assessed at baseline, 1-year follow-up (i.e., immediately post-intervention), and 2-year follow-up. A subset underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging scans at those time points. At 2-year follow-up, both frequencies of resistance training promoted executive function compared to balance-and-toning (standardized difference [d]=.31–.48). Additionally, twice-weekly resistance training promoted memory (d=.45), reduced cortical white matter atrophy (d=.45), and increased peak muscle power (d=.27) at 2-year follow-up relative to balance-and-toning. These effects were independent of one another. These findings suggest resistance training may have a long-term impact on cognition and white matter volume in older women. (JINS, 2015, 21, 745–756)
Mathematical and computational neuroscience have contributed to the brain sciences by the
study of the dynamics of individual neurons and more recently the study of the dynamics of
electrophysiological networks. Often these studies treat individual neurons as points or
the nodes in networks and the biochemistry of the brain appears, if at all, as some
intermediate variables by which the neurons communicate with each other. In fact, many
neurons change brain function not by communicating in one-to-one fashion with other
neurons, but instead by projecting changes in biochemistry over long distances. This
biochemical network is of crucial importance for brain function and it influences and is
influenced by the more traditional electrophysiological networks. Understanding how
biochemical networks interact with electrophysiological networks to produce brain function
both in health and disease poses new challenges for mathematical neuroscience.
Objective: There are limited data on the outcomes of children receiving delayed (≥7 days) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cardiac surgery. The primary aim of this project is to identify the aetiology and outcomes of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in children receiving delayed (≥7 days) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cardiac surgery. Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective review of all children ≤18 years supported with delayed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after cardiac surgery between the period January, 2001 and March, 2012 at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, United States of America, and Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia. The data collected in our study included patient demographic information, diagnoses, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation indication, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support details, medical and surgical history, laboratory, microbiological, and radiographic data, information on organ dysfunction, complications, and patient outcomes. The outcome variables evaluated in this report included: survival to hospital discharge and current survival with emphasis on neurological, renal, pulmonary, and other end-organ function. Results: During the study period, 423 patients undergoing cardiac surgery were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at two institutions, with a survival of 232 patients (55%). Of these, 371 patients received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation <7 days after cardiac surgery, with a survival of 205 (55%) patients, and 52 patients received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ≥7 days after cardiac surgery, with a survival of 27 (52%) patients. The median duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation run for the study cohort was 5 days (interquartile range: 3, 10). In all, 14 patients (25%) received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation during active cardiopulmonary resuscitation with chest compressions. There were 24 patients (44%) who received dialysis while being on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. There were eight patients (15%) who had positive blood cultures and four patients (7%) who had positive urine cultures while being on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. There were nine patients (16%) who had bleeding complications associated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. There were 10 patients (18%) who had cerebrovascular thromboembolic events associated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Of these, 19 patients are still alive with significant comorbidities. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that mortality outcomes are comparable among children receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ≥7 days and <7 days after cardiac surgery. The proportion of patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ≥7 days is small and the aetiology diverse.
In the lead-up to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, several next-generation radio telescopes and upgrades are already being built around the world. These include APERTIF (The Netherlands), ASKAP (Australia), e-MERLIN (UK), VLA (USA), e-EVN (based in Europe), LOFAR (The Netherlands), MeerKAT (South Africa), and the Murchison Widefield Array. Each of these new instruments has different strengths, and coordination of surveys between them can help maximise the science from each of them. A radio continuum survey is being planned on each of them with the primary science objective of understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, and the cosmological parameters and large-scale structures which drive it. In pursuit of this objective, the different teams are developing a variety of new techniques, and refining existing ones. To achieve these exciting scientific goals, many technical challenges must be addressed by the survey instruments. Given the limited resources of the global radio-astronomical community, it is essential that we pool our skills and knowledge. We do not have sufficient resources to enjoy the luxury of re-inventing wheels. We face significant challenges in calibration, imaging, source extraction and measurement, classification and cross-identification, redshift determination, stacking, and data-intensive research. As these instruments extend the observational parameters, we will face further unexpected challenges in calibration, imaging, and interpretation. If we are to realise the full scientific potential of these expensive instruments, it is essential that we devote enough resources and careful study to understanding the instrumental effects and how they will affect the data. We have established an SKA Radio Continuum Survey working group, whose prime role is to maximise science from these instruments by ensuring we share resources and expertise across the projects. Here we describe these projects, their science goals, and the technical challenges which are being addressed to maximise the science return.
Protecting communications networks against attacks where the aim is to steal information, disrupt order, or harm critical infrastructure can require the collection and analysis of staggering amounts of data. The ability to detect and respond to threats quickly is a paramount concern across sectors, and especially for critical government, utility, and financial networks. Yet detecting emerging or incipient threats in immense volumes of network traffic requires new computational and analytic approaches. Network security increasingly requires cooperation between human analysts able to spot suspicious events through means such as data visualization and automated systems that process streaming network data in near real-time to triage events so that human analysts are best able to focus their work.
This chapter presents a pair of network traffic analysis tools coupled to a computational architecture that enables the high-throughput, real-time visual analysis of network activity. The streaming data pipeline towhich these tools are connected is designed to be easily extensible, allowing newtools to subscribe to data and add their own in-stream analytics. The visual analysis tools themselves – Correlation Layers for Information Query and Exploration (CLIQUE) and Traffic Circle – provide complementary views of network activity designed to support the timely discovery of potential threats in volumes of network data that exceed what is traditionally visualized. CLIQUE uses a behavioral modeling approach that learns the expected activity of actors (such as IP addresses or users) and collections of actors on a network, and compares current activity to this learned model to detect behavior-based anomalies.
Titanium and its alloys have been employed in bone plates/screws, and these
are often designed to be removed after recovery. Bone is known to bond to
the surface of Ti alloys. This can lead to re-fracture of newly repaired
bone during operations to remove the implants, however bone does not bond to
Zr-based alloys. The inhibition of bone conduction on the surface of
Zr-based alloys is thought to be due to the presence of a thin layer of
zirconia (ZrO2) on the surface. The purpose of the present study
was to synthesize bioinert films, including ZrO2 on pure Ti
surfaces. In vitro apatite (HAp) formation and in
vivo bone conduction in the tibiae of rats on the films were
Commercial purity Ti was chemically treated with aqueous
H2O2/HNO3 at 353 K for 20 min. The disks
were hydrothermally treated with aqueous
(citric acid) in an autoclave at 453 K for 12 h. Simulated body fluid (SBF)
immersion test and implantation into tibiae of rats were carried out.
In the hydrothermal treatment with aqueous ZrOCl2/NH3,
the surface product was anatase-type TiO2. On the other hand,
when citric acid was added the surface of Ti was covered homogeneously with
a TiO2–ZrO2 composite film though the amount of
ZrO2 was very small. HAp began to form on the non-modified Ti
and TiO2 surfaces after 6 days and 4 days immersion in Hank’s
solution, respectively. On the surfaces of TiO2–ZrO2,
the presence of precipitates was confirmed after 6-8 days. The HAp formation
was suppressed on the surfaces of TiO2–ZrO2.The
present TiO2-ZrO2 surface also showed significantly
lower bone-implant contact ratio in cortical bone compared with
The ability of Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) to image insulating and/or moist specimens without the need for the removal of volatile components or the application of a conductive coating has significantly increased the potential range of experiments and observations that can be performed at the high resolution of electron microscopy. Such a technological advance has particularly important implications for the study of soft matter, complex fluids and biological specimens . Thus an important field of research to which ESEM can be applied is the study of materials for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering. The bioactivity of these materials is dependent upon such factors as phase composition, chemical composition, surface activity, crystallinity and microstructure. Using ESEM it is possible to obtain surface-sensitive, specimen-dependent secondary electron images (in the absence of specimen coating), yielding potentially new perspectives on microstructure to complement information derived from other techniques. We have used ESEM to study the apposition of bone on hydroxyapatite-based biomedical materials, from both in vitro and in vivo investigations.
Silicon-29 NMR spectroscopy has been widely applied to characterize the development of molecular complexity of silicon alkoxide sols. In the present study, the progression of molecular complexity of partially hydro-lyzed/condensed tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) sols with increasing H2O/TEOS ratio is demonstrated by the study of a carefully prepared set of solutions. Intriguing trends in the 29si NMR spectra of increasingly hydro-lyzed sols are discussed. In an set of samples, TEOS is replaced in part by tetraethoxytitane, Ti(OEt)4 (TEOT). The effects on the 29Si NMR spectrum due to the presence of TEOT are presented and interpreted in terms of changes in the distribution of siloxane monomers and oligomers in solution. Preliminary data on the stability of these solutions with time are reported.
Apatite-wollastonite (A-W)/high-density polyethylene composite (AWPEX) materials have been designed to match the mechanical strength of human cortical bone and to provide favorable bioactivity, with potential use in many orthopaedic applications. To better understand AWPEX properties, the effects of surface finish and ceramic filler size and content on osteoblast-like cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation were examined. Glass ceramic content was tested at 30 and 50 vol% and median particle size at 4.5 and 7.7 μm. Samples were prepared as 10 × 10 × 1 mm3 tiles with polished or roughened surfaces, sterilized by gamma irradiation (2.5 Mrad), and characterized by SEM, surface energy, and surface profilometry. Saos-2 human osteoblastlike cells were cultured on each surface at an initial concentration of 4500 cells/cm2 in McCoy's medium and incubated at 37C in a humidified atmosphere with 5% CO2 for 1, 3, or 7 days. At each time point, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were measured to assess cell number and osteoblast differentiation. Significant differences were found at 7 days, confirmed by ANOVA post-hoc testing using Bonferroni's correction. Overall, increased exposure of the A-W phase in AWPEX through surface polishing, higher volume fraction, and/or larger particle size, was found to lead to an improved cell response.
HAPEXTM (40 vol% hydroxyapatite in a high-density polyethylene matrix) and AWPEX (40 vol% apatite-wollastonite glass ceramic in a high density polyethylene matrix) are composites designed to provide bioactivity and to match the mechanical properties of human cortical bone. HAPEXTM has had clinical success in middle ear and orbital implants, and there is great potential for further orthopaedic applications of these materials. However, more detailed in vitro investigations must be performed to better understand the biological interactions of the composites and so the bioactivity of each material was assessed in this study. Specifically, the effects of controlled surface topography and ceramic filler composition on apatite layer formation in acellular simulated body fluid (SBF) with ion concentration similar to those of human blood plasma were examined. Samples were prepared as 1 cm × 1 cm × 1 mm tiles with polished, roughened, or parallel-grooved surface finishes, and were incubated in 20 ml of SBF at 36.5 °C for 1, 3, 7, or 14 days. The formation of a biologically active apatite layer on the composite surface after immersion was demonstrated by thin-film x-ray diffraction (TF-XRD), environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) imaging and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) analysis. Variations in sample weight and solution pH over the period of incubation were also recorded. Significant differences were found between the two materials tested, with greater bioactivity in AWPEX than HAPEXTM overall. Results also indicate that within each material the surface topography is highly important, with rougher samples correlated to earlier apatite formation.