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Despite their legal protection status, protected areas (PAs) can benefit from priority ranks when ongoing threats to their biodiversity and habitats outpace the financial resources available for their conservation. It is essential to develop methods to prioritize PAs that are not computationally demanding in order to suit stakeholders in developing countries where technical and financial resources are limited. We used expert knowledge-derived biodiversity measures to generate individual and aggregate priority ranks of 98 mostly terrestrial PAs on Madagascar. The five variables used were state of knowledge (SoK), forest loss, forest loss acceleration, PA size and relative species diversity, estimated by using standardized residuals from negative binomial models of SoK regressed onto species diversity. We compared our aggregate ranks generated using unweighted averages and principal component analysis (PCA) applied to each individual variable with those generated via Markov chain (MC) and PageRank algorithms. SoK significantly affected the measure of species diversity and highlighted areas where more research effort was needed. The unweighted- and PCA-derived ranks were strongly correlated, as were the MC and PageRank ranks. However, the former two were weakly correlated with the latter two. We recommend using these methods simultaneously in order to provide decision-makers with the flexibility to prioritize those PAs in need of additional research and conservation efforts.
How do views about national identity shape support for multiculturalism? In this paper, we argue that individuals who view national ingroup belonging as “achievable” are more likely to support multiculturalism than individuals who view belonging as “ascriptive.” Using data from the 1995, 2003, and 2013 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) Nationality Identity survey waves across 35 advanced democracies, we find achievable national identities correspond with support for multicultural principles but not for programmatic aspects involving government intervention. Robust analyses reveal these patterns are specific to the content, rather than the strength, of one's national identity. Our findings underline the role of both national belonging and outgroup attitudes on building support for policies of inclusion—and therefore social solidarity—in diverse democracies.
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Excess gestational weight gain (GWG) in obese women is linked to adverse maternal outcomes and is particularly pervasive among African Americans, who have the highest obesity rates in the USA. A better understanding of culturally relevant attitudes and perceptions of GWG is needed to develop targeted interventions to prevent excess GWG among this group.
Using the constructs of Social Cognitive Theory, we explored attitudes and perceptions surrounding diet and exercise among low-income obese African-American pregnant women in Baltimore. We conducted twenty-one semi-structured in-depth interviews with pregnant adult women.
Participants were recruited from a referral clinic for obese pregnant women at a large urban hospital in Baltimore, MD, USA.
Twenty-one low-income African-American adult females in the first two trimesters of pregnancy with BMI > 30·0 kg/m2.
Lack of knowledge was not the main obstacle to healthy behaviours during pregnancy. Rather, food cravings and fatigue, an unhealthy physical food environment, limited self-efficacy for controlling excessive GWG, and a lack of adequate emotional and informational support impacted women’s agency. While digital technology was discussed as a vehicle to promote maintenance of a healthy weight in pregnancy, further research is needed to test how it can be used to empower women to engage in healthy behaviours during pregnancy.
Interventions to prevent excess GWG among African-American pregnant women should harness support from partners and family and must go beyond sharing of clinical knowledge to also include strategies that improve the food environment, diet quality and self-efficacy.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
Targeted screening for carbapenem-resistant organisms (CROs), including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs), remains limited; recent data suggest that existing policies miss many carriers.
Our objective was to measure the prevalence of CRO and CPO perirectal colonization at hospital unit admission and to use machine learning methods to predict probability of CRO and/or CPO carriage.
We performed an observational cohort study of all patients admitted to the medical intensive care unit (MICU) or solid organ transplant (SOT) unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. Admission perirectal swabs were screened for CROs and CPOs. More than 125 variables capturing preadmission clinical and demographic characteristics were collected from the electronic medical record (EMR) system. We developed models to predict colonization probabilities using decision tree learning.
Evaluating 2,878 admission swabs from 2,165 patients, we found that 7.5% and 1.3% of swabs were CRO and CPO positive, respectively. Organism and carbapenemase diversity among CPO isolates was high. Despite including many characteristics commonly associated with CRO/CPO carriage or infection, overall, decision tree models poorly predicted CRO and CPO colonization (C statistics, 0.57 and 0.58, respectively). In subgroup analyses, however, models did accurately identify patients with recent CRO-positive cultures who use proton-pump inhibitors as having a high likelihood of CRO colonization.
In this inpatient population, CRO carriage was infrequent but was higher than previously published estimates. Despite including many variables associated with CRO/CPO carriage, models poorly predicted colonization status, likely due to significant host and organism heterogeneity.
Timely identification of multidrug-resistant gram-negative infections remains an epidemiological challenge. Statistical models for predicting drug resistance can offer utility where rapid diagnostics are unavailable or resource-impractical. Logistic regression–derived risk scores are common in the healthcare epidemiology literature. Machine learning–derived decision trees are an alternative approach for developing decision support tools. Our group previously reported on a decision tree for predicting ESBL bloodstream infections. Our objective in the current study was to develop a risk score from the same ESBL dataset to compare these 2 methods and to offer general guiding principles for using each approach.
Using a dataset of 1,288 patients with Escherichia coli or Klebsiella spp bacteremia, we generated a risk score to predict the likelihood that a bacteremic patient was infected with an ESBL-producer. We evaluated discrimination (original and cross-validated models) using receiver operating characteristic curves and C statistics. We compared risk score and decision tree performance, and we reviewed their practical and methodological attributes.
In total, 194 patients (15%) were infected with ESBL-producing bacteremia. The clinical risk score included 14 variables, compared to the 5 decision-tree variables. The positive and negative predictive values of the risk score and decision tree were similar (>90%), but the C statistic of the risk score (0.87) was 10% higher.
A decision tree and risk score performed similarly for predicting ESBL infection. The decision tree was more user-friendly, with fewer variables for the end user, whereas the risk score offered higher discrimination and greater flexibility for adjusting sensitivity and specificity.
Perimenopausal disorders (PDs) are prevalent and importantly affect quality of life among middle-aged women. Yet, very little is known about the developmental origins of these disorders. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations of birth characteristics with PDs. This cohort study is based on archived birth records for birth weight and gestational age, and followed prospectively in Swedish inpatient and outpatient registers for 8 years (n=3212). The main outcomes were menopausal and climacteric states (e.g. flushing, sleeplessness), perimenopausal bleeding and other PDs (e.g. atrophic vaginitis). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) for three subtypes of PDs separately. During the follow-up, 218 women had PDs, among whom 125 had menopausal and climacteric states, 61 had perimenopausal bleeding and 58 had other PDs as first recorded disorder. Birth weight was linearly associated with incidence rate of menopausal and climacteric states [HR=1.66 per 1 kg increase, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.14–2.41]. Gestational age (rather than birth weight) was associated with incidence rate of other PDs (HR=0.87 per 1 week increase, 95% CI=0.79–0.95). Neither birth weight nor gestational age was associated with perimenopausal bleeding. Similar results were found after adjustment for other early-life and adult socio-demographic characteristics. This observational study provides, for the first time, evidence regarding the developmental origins of PDs. Future research is required to investigate the underlying causal mechanisms, which may shed further light on the etiology of this class of disorders.
Using samples collected for VRE surveillance, we evaluated unit admission prevalence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) perirectal colonization and whether CRE carriers (unknown to staff) were on contact precautions for other indications. CRE colonization at unit admission was infrequent (3.9%). Most CRE carriers were not on contact precautions, representing a reservoir for healthcare-associated CRE transmission.
Although animal models and correlational studies support a model of fetal programming as a mechanism in the transmission of risk for psychopathology from parents to children, the experimental studies that are required to empirically test the model with the human prenatal dyad are scarce. With a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature, we critically examined the evidence regarding the neurobiological and behavioral changes in infants as a function of randomized clinical trials to prevent or reduce maternal depression during pregnancy, treating randomized clinical trials as experiments testing the fetal programming model. Based on 25 articles that met inclusion criteria, we found support for interventions designed to change maternal prenatal mood being associated with changes in offspring functioning, but with a very small effect size. Effect sizes ranged broadly, and were higher for younger children. The findings enhance understanding of putative mechanisms in the transmission of risk from women's prenatal depression to infants’ vulnerabilities to, and early signs of, the development of psychopathology. We note limitations of the literature and suggest solutions to advance understanding of how preventing or treating depression in pregnant women might disrupt the transmission of risk to the infants.
This work aims at providing guidance through systematic experimental characterization for the design of 3D-printed scaffolds for potential orthopedic applications, focusing on fused deposition modeling with a composite of clinically available polycaprolactone (PCL) and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP). First, we studied the effect of the chemical composition (0–60% β-TCP/PCL) on the scaffold’s properties. We showed that surface roughness and contact angle were, respectively, proportional and inversely proportional to the amount of β-TCP and that degradation rate increased with the amount of ceramic. Biologically, the addition of β-TCP enhanced proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of C3H10. Second, we systematically investigated the effect of the composition and the porosity on the 3D-printed scaffold mechanical properties. Both an increasing amount of β-TCP and a decreasing porosity augmented the apparent Young’s modulus of the 3D-printed scaffolds. Third, as a proof of concept, a novel multimaterial biomimetic implant was designed and fabricated for potential disc replacement.
Diet manipulation and genetic selection are two important mitigation strategies for reducing enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminant livestock. The aim of this study was to assess whether the diurnal pattern of CH4 emissions from individual dairy cows changes over time when cows are fed on diets varying in forage composition. Emissions of CH4 from 36 cows were measured during milking in an automatic (robotic) milking station in three consecutive feeding periods, for a total of 84 days. In Periods 1 and 2, the 36 cows were fed a high-forage partial mixed ration (PMR) containing 75% forage, with either a high grass silage or high maize silage content. In Period 3, cows were fed a commercial PMR containing 69% forage. Cows were offered PMR ad libitum plus concentrates during milking and CH4 emitted by individual cows was sampled during 8662 milkings. A linear mixed model was used to assess differences among cows, feeding periods and time of day. Considerable variation was observed among cows in daily mean and diurnal patterns of CH4 emissions. On average, cows produced less CH4 when fed on the commercial PMR in feeding Period 3 than when the same cows were fed on high-forage diets in feeding Periods 1 and 2. The average diurnal pattern for CH4 emissions did not significantly change between feeding periods and as lactation progressed. Emissions of CH4 were positively associated with dry matter (DM) intake and forage DM intake. It is concluded that if the management of feed allocation remains constant then the diurnal pattern of CH4 emissions from dairy cows will not necessarily alter over time. A change in diet composition may bring about an increase or decrease in absolute emissions over a 24-h period without significantly changing the diurnal pattern unless management of feed allocation changes. These findings are important for CH4 monitoring techniques that involve taking measurements over short periods within a day rather than complete 24-h observations.
Associations between infants' frontal EEG asymmetry and temperamental negative affectivity (NA) across infants' first year of life and the potential moderating role of maternal prenatal depressive symptoms were examined prospectively in infants (n = 242) of mothers at elevated risk for perinatal depression. In predicting EEG, in the context of high prenatal depressive symptoms, infant NA and frontal EEG asymmetry were negatively associated at 3 months of age and positively associated by 12 months of age. By contrast, for low depression mothers, infant NA and EEG were not significantly associated at any age. Postnatal depressive symptoms did not add significantly to the models. Dose of infants' exposure to maternal depression mattered: infants exposed either pre- or postnatally shifted from a positive association at 3 months to a negative association at 12 months; those exposed both pre- and postnatally shifted from a negative association at 3 months to a positive association at 12 months. Prenatal relative to postnatal exposure did not matter for patterns of association between NA and EEG. The findings highlight the importance of exploring how vulnerabilities at two levels of analysis, behavioral and psychophysiological, co-occur over the course of infancy and in the context of mothers' depressive symptomatology.
This paper addresses the levels of psychological distress experienced at age 42 years by men and women born in 1958 and 1970. Comparing these cohorts born 12 years apart, we ask whether psychological distress has increased, and, if so, whether this increase can be explained by differences in their childhood conditions.
Data were utilized from two well-known population-based birth cohorts, the National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Study. Latent variable models and causal mediation methods were employed.
After establishing the measurement equivalence of psychological distress in the two cohorts we found that men and women born in 1970 reported higher levels of psychological distress compared with those born in 1958. These differences were more pronounced in men (b = 0.314, 95% confidence interval 0.252–0.375), with the magnitude of the effect being twice as strong compared with women (b = 0.147, 95% confidence interval 0.076–0.218). The effect of all hypothesized early-life mediators in explaining these differences was modest.
Our findings have implications for public health policy, indicating a higher average level of psychological distress among a cohort born in 1970 compared with a generation born 12 years earlier. Due to increases in life expectancy, more recently born cohorts are expected to live longer, which implies – if such differences persist – that they are likely to spend more years with mental health-related morbidity compared with earlier-born cohorts.
Evaluating an intervention’s theoretical basis can inform design modifications to produce more effective interventions. Hence the present study’s purpose was to determine if effects from a multicomponent lifestyle intervention were mediated by changes in the psychosocial constructs decisional balance, self-efficacy and social support.
Delta Body and Soul III, conducted from August 2011 to May 2012, was a 6-month, church-based, lifestyle intervention designed to improve diet quality and increase physical activity. Primary outcomes, diet quality and aerobic and strength/flexibility physical activity, as well as psychosocial constructs, were assessed via self-report, interviewer-administered surveys at baseline and post intervention. Mediation analyses were conducted using ordinary least squares (continuous outcomes) and maximum likelihood logistic (dichotomous outcomes) regression path analysis.
Churches (five intervention and three control) were recruited from four counties in the Lower Mississippi Delta region of the USA.
Based upon results from the multiple mediation models, there was no evidence that treatment (intervention v. control) indirectly influenced changes in diet quality or physical activity through its effects on decisional balance, self-efficacy and social support. However, there was evidence for direct effects of social support for exercise on physical activity and of self-efficacy for sugar-sweetened beverages on diet quality.
Results do not support the hypothesis that the psychosocial constructs decisional balance, self-efficacy and social support were the theoretical mechanisms by which the Delta Body and Soul III intervention influenced changes in diet quality and physical activity.
Suicide is a devastating public health problem and very few biological treatments have been found to be effective for quickly reducing the intensity of suicidal ideation (SI). We have previously shown that a single dose of ketamine, a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is associated with a rapid reduction in depressive symptom severity and SI in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ketamine in patients with mood and anxiety spectrum disorders who presented with clinically significant SI (n = 24). Patients received a single infusion of ketamine or midazolam (as an active placebo) in addition to standard of care. SI measured using the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI) 24 h post-treatment represented the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale – Suicidal Ideation (MADRS-SI) score at 24 h and additional measures beyond the 24-h time-point.
The intervention was well tolerated and no dropouts occurred during the primary 7-day assessment period. BSI score was not different between the treatment groups at 24 h (p = 0.32); however, a significant difference emerged at 48 h (p = 0.047). MADRS-SI score was lower in the ketamine group compared to midazolam group at 24 h (p = 0.05). The treatment effect was no longer significant at the end of the 7-day assessment period.
The current findings provide initial support for the safety and tolerability of ketamine as an intervention for SI in patients who are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior. Larger, well-powered studies are warranted.