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The framing of environmental conservation has been changing, mainly towards a reconciliation between human needs and nature conservation. A major challenge of biosphere reserves (BRs) is the integration of biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of local communities. Although these areas are large, they are often not large enough to contain the movements of wide-ranging species. We studied immature Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) movements to evaluate their habitat use in relation to protected areas (PAs). We particularly aimed to determine whether BRs significantly increase the protection of this wide-ranging species. We analysed the movement overlap of 26 GPS-tagged birds with the PAs of Patagonia, and we evaluated preferences for particular landscape categories with a use–availability design. Condors were mainly located in unprotected areas (56.4%), whereas 26.4% of locations were within International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) PAs and 17.2% of locations were in BRs (not including IUCN PAs). When compared to availability, birds preferred BRs over other areas, highlighting the importance of BRs in protecting species that forage in humanized areas. However, the lack of controls and management policies expose condors to several threats, such as poisoning and persecution, in both private lands and BRs. Implementing strict management practices for BRs will help to conserve wide-ranging scavengers that feed in humanized areas.
Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
Jurassic siliceous hot-spring (sinter) deposits from Argentine Patagonia were evaluated to determine the distribution and preservation quality of their entombed microbial fabrics. Detailed study showed that the Claudia palaeo-geothermal field hosts the best-preserved sinter apron in the Deseado Massif geological province, where we also found hot-spring silica–biotic interactions extending into hydrothermally influenced fluvial and lacustrine settings. Carbonaceous material was identified by petrography and Raman spectroscopy mapping; it is inter-laminated with silica across proximal vent to distal marsh facies. The ubiquitous presence of microbial biosignatures has application to studies of hydrothermal settings of early life on Earth and potentially Mars.
Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.
The use of cactus cladodes in animal feed is well-established in semi-arid areas. The cactus Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck cladodes (Nopalea) have high acceptability amongst dairy cows and are resistant to carmine cochineal insects (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell), a problem in semi-arid regions, but in regions of prolonged drought, it has lower productivity compared with the cactus Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw cladodes (Opuntia), which is also resistant to the insect. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake and content of digestible material of dry matter (DM) and its components, feeding behaviour, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, blood parameters, performance and milk composition of Holstein cows fed a control diet, containing either Nopalea or Opuntia associated with different concentrate levels (225, 275, 325 and 375 g/kg). Ten cows with an initial average milk production of 20 ± 2.1 kg/day were distributed into a double 5 × 5 Latin square design. Diets containing 775 g roughage/kg and 225 g concentrate/kg promoted similar responses to the analysed variables regardless of the cactus cladode used, except for digestibility of neutral detergent fibre. Diets containing higher proportions of concentrate (325 and 375 g/kg) promoted greater DM intake and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield. The diet containing Opuntia at 775:225 g/kg roughage:concentrate proportion is as effective as the control diet for Holstein cows producing 20 kg of milk/day. To promote greater milk production, higher proportions of concentrate should be added to diets using Opuntia.
Special needs patients often require specific dental treatments and modified restorative materials that reduce clinical discomfort. Starting from glass ionomer cements (GICs), some different fillers were added to improve their mechanical and clinical performances. The effect of nanohydroxyapatite, antibiotic, and mucosal defensive agent on the mechanical and thermal properties of GICs was investigated. Compressive tests, calorimetric analysis, and morphological investigation were conducted. The middle percentages of fillers increased the elastic modulus while the highest decreases are recorded for highest percentages. Filler and environment also influence the compressive strengths and toughness. The introduction of fillers led to a reduction of the enthalpy with a maximum decrease with the middle percentage. The morphological characterization showed a good dispersion of the fillers. The filler percentages should be selected with a compromise between the elastic modulus, the compressive strength, and the curing time. Obtaining new materials with good clinical and mechanical properties can represent an innovative aspect of this work with positive implication in clinical practice, mainly in uncollaborative patients in which the use of traditional protocols is problematic.
The Groningen field is the largest onshore gas field in Europe. Continuous production since 1963 has led to induced seismicity starting in the early 1990s. Production measures aimed at lowering the level of seismicity have been implemented since 2014. In this paper we start from an empirical relationship between the cumulative number of seismic events and cumulative gas production. We show that a better way to analyse the data is to relate the ratio of activity rate over production rate versus the cumulative production, such that the model parameters and their uncertainty can be determined. This also allows us to make predictions including the confidence intervals.
Using this model, we first performed regression analysis based on the larger seismic catalogue which includes all recorded events with a magnitude of 1.3 and larger, because we consider this value to be the magnitude of completeness since 1995. We have also performed regression analysis based on a smaller seismic catalogue consisting of all events with a magnitude of 1.5 and larger. This was done in order to be able to compare our forecast with forecasts performed by others. Our prediction for 2016, based on the seismic catalogue of all events with a magnitude of M≥1.5 (using only the events recorded before 2016), was 16±8 events. By the end of 2016, 13 such events had been recorded.
We discuss a number of factors which may influence the predictive power of the derived relationship and which require further study. For instance, we consider the delay between production and earthquakes which increases with decreasing reservoir pressure. In addition, the effect of seasonal fluctuation in Groningen production should be considered. Future work can be done to include these effects in the empirical model. We also investigated the challenges related to the applicability of the analysis to sub-regions of the Groningen field.
We have carried out and recently reported VLBA multi-epoch water maser observations toward Cepheus A with an angular and velocity resolution of 0.5 mas and 0.2 km s−1, respectively. Some of the masers detected previously with the VLA (observations made with angular and velocity resolutions of 80 mas and 1.3 km s−1, respectively) are resolved now into linear/arcuate coherent “microstructures”. These structures, while smaller than the VLA beam, are 6-200 times the size of the VLBA synthesized beam. The morphology and the observed proper motions found in these structures imply three different centers of star formation activity in a region of ⋍ 0.3 radius (⋍ 200 AU). The most remarkable result from these observations is the discovery of an arc of water masers which is perfectly fitted by a circle to one part in a thousand. This arc is expanding and suggests a spherical “puff” of ejected material ejected 33 years ago from a protostar located 600 mas south of the radio jet HW2. This spherical ejection represents a very strong challenge for theoretical studies of star formation.
The Deseado Massif hosts numerous Late Jurassic (150 Ma) fossil geothermal systems related to an extensive volcanic event developed in a diffuse extensional back-arc setting. Detailed mapping, petrography and mineralogical observations of El Macanudo outcrops verify that it represents a hot-spring-related travertine partially replaced by silica and delineated by six sedimentary facies. These are large concentric cones (F1), laminated vertical columnar structures (F2), porous layers (F3), shrubby and irregular lamination (F4), low-amplitude wavy bedding (F5) and mounds and breccias (F6). The Macanudo Norte Outcrop rocks constitute a silica-replaced travertine sequence, with development of large conical stromatolites in a deep pool or geothermally influenced shallow lacustrine environment, surrounded by a subaerial travertine apron terrace; whereas, the Macanudo Sur Outcrop is a subaerial travertine mound sequence. Structurally controlled vent areas occur in both northern (F1) and southern (F6) outcrops, mainly located along regional NNE- and ENE-trending faults. The other sedimentary units display a concentric distribution of travertine facies with respect to the interpreted vent areas. The El Macanudo palaeo-hot spring deposit is situated in an eroded Jurassic volcanic centre, and records a complex evolutionary-fluid history. The sediments archived three different Jurassic events, when large and long-lasting hydrothermal systems were active across the region. This relative temporal sequence was formed by: (1) travertine precipitation; (2) development of a silica cap, where early silicification was responsible for exceptional preservation of some stromatolitic fabrics; and (3) acid alteration, recorded by dissolution textures and clay formation, and caused by a palaeo-phreatic water-level drop.
Radiocarbon measurements of different lipid fractions and individual compounds, isolated from soil samples collected on 2 different agricultural long-term study sites, located in the rural area of Rotthalmünster (Germany) and in the city of Halle/Saale (Germany), were analyzed to obtain information about sources and the stability of soil organic matter (SOM). Different lipid compound classes were isolated by automated solvent extraction and subsequent medium-pressure liquid chromatography. Generally, 14C contents of lipid compound classes from topsoil samples of maize plots at Rotthalmünster are close to the modern atmospheric 14C content. Lower 14C values of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons isolated from neutral lipids suggest a contribution of old carbon to these fractions. In contrast, 14C values of bulk soil (52 pMC) as well as isolated lipid classes from Halle are highly depleted. This can be attributed to a significant contribution of fossil carbon at this site. Extremely low 14C contents of aromatic (7 pMC) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (19 pMC) reflect the admixture of fossil hydrocarbons at the Halle site. Individual phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA), which are used as a proxy for viable microbial biomass, were isolated by preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) from topsoils at Rotthalmünster and Halle. PLFA 14C values are close to atmospheric 14C values and, thus, indicate a clear microbial preference for relatively young SOM. At Rotthalmünster, the 14C concentration of short-chain unsaturated PLFAs is not significantly different from that of the atmosphere, while the saturated PLFAs show a contribution of sub-recent SOM extending over the last decades. At Halle, up to 14% fossil carbon is incorporated in PLFAs n-C17:0 and cy-C18:0, which suggests the use of fossil carbon by soil microorganisms. Moreover, it can be concluded that the 14C age of soil carbon is not indicative of its stability.
Next space missions will investigate the possibility of extinct or extant life on Mars. Studying the infrared spectral modifications, induced by thermal processing on different carbonate samples (recent shells and fossils of different ages), we developed a method able to discriminate biogenic carbonates from their abiogenic counterparts. The method has been successfully applied to microbialites, i.e. bio-induced carbonates deposits, and particularly to stromatolites, the laminated fabric of microbialites, some of which can be ascribed to among the oldest traces of biological activity known on Earth. These results are of valuable importance since such carbonates are linked to primitive living organisms that can be considered as good analogues for putative Martian life forms. Considering that the microstructures of biogenic carbonate are different from those of abiogenic origin, we investigated the micromorphology of shells, skeletal grains and microbialites at different scale with a scanning electron microscope. The results show that this line of research may provide an alternative and complementary approach to other techniques developed in the past by our group to distinguish biotic from abiotic carbonates. In this paper, we present some results that can be of valuable interest since they demonstrate the utility for a database of images concerning the structures and textures of relevant carbonate minerals. Such data may be useful for the analysis of Martian samples, coming from sample return missions or investigated by future in situ explorations, aimed to characterize the near-subsurface of Mars in search for past or present life.
This essay undertakes two tasks: first, to describe the differing mens rea requirements for accomplice liability of both Anglo-American common law and the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code; and second, to recommend how the mens rea requirements of both of these two sources of criminal law in America should be amended so as to satisfy the goals of clarity and consistency and so as to more closely conform the criminal law to the requirements of moral blameworthiness. Three "pure models" of the mens rea requirements for complicity are distinguished, based on the three theories of liability conventionally distinguished in the general part of Anglo-American criminal law. One of these, the vicarious responsibility model, is put aside initially because of both its descriptive inaccuracy and its normative undesirability. The analysis proceeds using the other two models: that of the mens rea requirements for principal liability for completed crimes, and that of the mens rea requirements for attempt liability. Both the common law and the Model Penal Code are seen as complicated admixtures of these two models, the common law being too narrow in the scope of its threatened liability and the Model Penal Code being both too broad and too opaque in its demands for accomplice liability. The normative recommendation of the paper is to adopt the model for the mens rea of complicity that treats it as a form of principal liability, recognizing that the overbreadth of liability resulting from adoption of that model would have to be redressed by adopting a "shopkeeper's privilege" as an affirmative defense separate from any mens rea requirement.
This essay considers complications introduced by the Trolley Problem to the discussion of whether and when harming some for the sake of helping others would be unjustified. It first examines Guido Pincione’s arguments for the conclusion that the permissibility of a bystander turning a runaway trolley from killing five people toward killing one other person instead may undermine one moral argument for political libertarianism and against redistributive taxation, namely that we may not harm some people in order to help others to a greater degree. It then considers both the bearing on Pincione’s argument of recent objections to the permissibility of turning the trolley, as well as the soundness of the objections. Finally, the essay considers the relevance of trolley cases for developing a theory of aggression, insofar as aggression is the unjustified use of force that is either foreseen or intended.
Arsenic-doped GaN films and GaNAs films have been synthesized by MOCVD. Samples were grown on sapphire, GaN-coated sapphire, and GaAs substrates. Composition, structure, and phase distribution were characterized by EPMA, SIMS, XRD, and TEM. The arsenic content increases demonstrably as the growth temperature descreases from 1030 to 700 °C. In the high temperature limit, high quality arsenic-doped GaN forms on GaN-coated sapphire. In the low temperature regime, nitrogen-rich GaNAs forms under some growth conditions, with a maximum arsenic mole fraction of 3%, and phase segregation in the form of GaAs precipitates occurs with an increase in arsine pressure. Preferential formation of the nitrogen-rich phase on GaN-coated sapphire suggests the presence of substrate-induced “composition pulling”.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of influenza virus co-infections in humans and changes in the genetic variability of A(H3N2) virus strains in southern Italy from 1999 to 2009. A partial sequence of the haemagglutinin (HA) gene by human influenza H3N2 strains identified in oropharyngeal swabs from patients with influenza-like illness was analysed by DNA sequencing and a phylogenetic analysis was performed. During the seasons 1999–2000, 2002–2003, 2004–2005 and 2008–2009, the influenza viruses circulating belonged to subtype H3N2. However, A(H1N1) subtype virus and B type were respectively prevalent during the 2000–2001, 2006–2007, 2007–2008 and 2001–2002, 2003–2004, 2005–2006 seasons. The HA sequences appeared to be closely related to the sequence of the influenza A vaccine strain. Only the 2002–2003 season was characterized by co-circulation of two viral lineages: A/New York/55/01(H3N2)-like virus of the previous season and A/Fujian/411/02(H3N2)-like virus, a new H3 variant. In this study, over the decade analysed, no significant change was seen in the sequences of the HA gene of H3 viruses isolated.
Introduction: The objective of this study was to investigate whether disaster exercises can be used as a proxy environment to evaluate potential research instruments designed to study the application of medical care management resources during a disaster.
Methods: During an 06 April 2005 Ministerial-level exercise in the Netherlands, three functional areas of patient contact were assessed: (1) Command and Control, through the application of an existing incident management system questionnaire; (2) patient flow and quality of patient distribution, through registration of data from prehospital casualty collection points, ambulances, and participating trauma centers (with inclusion of data in a flow chart); and (3) hospital coping capacity, through timed registration reports from participating trauma centers.
Results: The existing incident management system questionnaire used for evaluating Command and Control during a disaster exercise would benefit from minor adaptations and validation that could not be anticipated in the exercise planning stage. Patient flow and the quality of patient distribution could not be studied during the exercise because of inconsistencies among data, and lack of data from various collection points. Coping capacity was better measured by using 10-minute rather than one hour time intervals, but provided little information regarding bottlenecks in surge capacity.
Conclusion: Research instruments can be evaluated and improved when tested during a disaster exercise. Lack of data recovery hampers disaster research even in the artificial setting of a national disaster exercise. Providers at every level must be aware that proper data collection is essential to improve the quality of health care during a disaster, and that predisaster cooperation is crucial to validate patient outcomes. These problems must be addressed pre-exercise by stakeholders and decision-makers during planning, education, and training. If not, disaster exercises will not meet their full potential.
Twin studies suggest that global and regional brain volumes are highly heritable. However, estimates of heritability vary across development. Given that all twin studies are open to the potential criticism of non-generalizability due to differences in intrauterine environment between twins and singletons, these age effects may reflect the influence of perinatal environmental factors, which are unique to twins and which may be especially evident early in life. To address this question, we compared brain volumes and the relationship of brain volumes to gestational age in 136 singletons (67 male, 69 female) and 154 twins (75 male, 79 female; 82 DZ, 72 MZ) who had received high resolution MRI scans of the brain in the first month of life. Intracranial volume, total white matter, and ventricle volumes did not differ between twins and singletons. However, cerebrospinal fluid and frontal white matter volume was greater in twins compared to singletons. While gray matter volumes at MRI did not differ between groups, the slope of the relationship between total and cortical gray matter and gestational age at the MRI scan was steeper in MZ twins compared to DZ twins. Post-hoc analyses suggested that gray matter development is delayed in MZ twins in utero and that they experience ‘catch-up’ growth in the first month of life. These differences should be taken into account when interpreting and designing studies in the early postnatal period.