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Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
The present work aims to explore the tribological behavior of the laser texturing process with different patterns on a Co based alloy using a pulsed Nd: YAG laser. Different parameters such as peak power, speed and spot diameter of the laser were explored for the experimental setting. The microstructural analysis was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nanoindentation tests. The influence of the different textured patterns of the tribological performance tested with a pin-on-disc tribometer under lubricated sliding condition was evaluated. The results showed that typical interdendritic structures in the as-cast CoCr alloy condition were refined due to the heat input and fast cooling rate during the laser treatment. The refined microstructure showed less volumetric loss resulting in a increment of wear resistance and a better tribological performance than as-cast alloy. The correlation among laser parameters, microstructural effect and their influence in wear resistance is discussed.
Ovulation is considered an inflammatory, cytokine-mediated event. Cytokines, which are recognized as growth factors with immunoregulatory properties, are involved in many cellular processes at the ovarian level. In this sense, cytokines affect fertility and are involved in the development of different ovarian disorders such as bovine cystic ovarian disease (COD). Because it has been previously demonstrated that ovarian cells represent both sources and targets of cytokines, the aim of this study was to examine the expression of several cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-4 and IL-8, in ovarian follicular structures from cows with spontaneous COD. The protein expression of these cytokines was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, IL-1β, IL-4 and IL-8 concentrations in follicular fluid (FF) and serum were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In granulosa and theca cells, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-1RA and IL-4 expression levels were higher in cystic follicles than in the control dominant follicles. The serum and FF concentrations of IL-1β and IL-4 showed no differences between groups, whereas IL-8 concentration was detected only in FF of cysts from cows with COD. The FF and serum concentrations of IL-1β and IL-8 showed no significant differences, whereas IL-4 concentration was higher in FF than in serum in both the control and COD groups. These results evidenced an altered expression of cytokines in ovaries of cows with COD that could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.
To characterize the association of longitudinal changes in maternal anthropometric measures with neonatal anthropometry and to assess to what extent late-gestational changes in maternal anthropometry are associated with neonatal body composition.
In a prospective cohort of pregnant women, maternal anthropometry was measured at six study visits across pregnancy and after birth, neonates were measured and fat and lean mass calculated. We estimated maternal anthropometric trajectories and separately assessed rate of change in the second (15–28 weeks) and third trimester (28–39 weeks) in relation to neonatal anthropometry. We investigated the extent to which tertiles of third-trimester maternal anthropometry change were associated with neonatal outcomes.
Women were recruited from twelve US sites (2009–2013).
Non-obese women with singleton pregnancies (n 2334).
A higher rate of increase in gestational weight gain was associated with larger-birth-weight infants with greater lean and fat mass. In contrast, higher rates of increase in maternal anthropometry measures were not associated with infant birth weight but were associated with decreased neonatal lean mass. In the third trimester, women in the tertile of lowest change in triceps skinfold (−0·57 to −0·06 mm per week) had neonates with 35·8 g more lean mass than neonates of mothers in the middle tertile of rate of change (−0·05 to 0·06 mm per week).
The rate of change in third-trimester maternal anthropometry measures may be related to neonatal lean and fat mass yet have a negligible impact on infant birth weight, indicating that neonatal anthropometry may provide additional information over birth weight alone.
Tapeworms of the family Gryporhynchidae are endoparasites of fish-eating birds distributed worldwide. Currently the family contains 16 genera classified on the basis of the morphology of the rostellar apparatus, rostellar hooks and strobilar anatomy. However, the phylogenetic relationships among the genera are still unknown. In this study, sequences of the near complete 18S (SSU) and 28S (LSU) from rDNA of 13 species of gryporhynchids (adult specimens) representing eight genera (Cyclustera, Dendrouterina, Glossocercus, Gryporhynchidae gen. sp., Neovalipora, Paradilepis, Parvitaenia, Valipora) and one species of metacestode from fish (Neovalipora) were generated. Additionally, sequences of metacestodes of the genera Amirthalingamia, Neogryporhynchus, Paradilepis, Parvitaenia and Valipora from Africa recently added to the GenBank database were analysed. Phylogenetic relationships were inferred using maximum-likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference of each (SSU and LSU) dataset. The phylogenetic analyses indicated that the family Gryporhynchidae is a well-supported monophyletic group within the Cyclophyllidea. The trees inferred with SSU and LSU datasets had similar topologies and suggested that the genera Glossocercus (two species sequenced) and Paradilepis (four spp.) are monophyletic. In contrast, Dendrouterina, Parvitaenia and Valipora are paraphyletic, suggesting that the species composition of these genera should be critically reviewed. Interestingly, species of the genera that use the same groups of definitive hosts such as herons (Ardeidae), cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) and ibis (Threskiornithidae) are together in the phylogenetic tree, even though they differ markedly from each other in some morphological characters, especially shape and size of rostellar hooks.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
A novel method to perform small-scale laboratory experiments that reproduce concrete–bentonite and concrete–groundwater interactions has been developed. Such interfaces will prevail in engineered barrier systems used for isolation of nuclear waste. With the goal of optimizing the experimental method, this work has analysed the geochemical interaction of distilled water, low-pH cement mortar and FEBEX-bentonite for 75 days. Limited but evident reactivity between the materials was observed, mainly decalcification in cement mortar, carbonation at the interface with bentonite and Mg enrichment in bentonite. These results are consistent with the state-of-the-art literature and were used to validate this small-scale pilot laboratory experiment to establish the basis for further studies comparing the behaviour of different buffer and cement materials.
The ability to interface electronic materials with the peripheral nervous system is required for stimulation and monitoring of neural signals. Thus, the design and engineering of robust neural interfaces that maintain material-tissue contact in the presence of material or tissue micromotion offer the potential to conduct novel measurements and develop future therapies that require chronic interface with the peripheral nervous system. However, such remains an open challenge given the constraints of existing materials sets and manufacturing approaches for design and fabrication of neural interfaces. Here, we investigated the potential to leverage a rapid prototyping approach for the design and fabrication of nerve cuffs that contain supporting features to mechanically stabilize the interaction between cuff electrodes and peripheral nerve. A hybrid 3D printing and robotic-embedding (i.e., pick-and-place) system was used to design and fabricate silicone nerve cuffs (800 µm diameter) containing conforming platinum (Pt) electrodes. We demonstrate that the electrical impedance of the cuff electrodes can be reduced by deposition of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on cuff electrodes via a post-processing electropolymerization technique. The computer-aided design and manufacturing approach was also used to design and integrate supporting features to the cuff that mechanically stabilize the interface between the cuff electrodes and the peripheral nerve. Both ‘self-locking’ and suture-assisted locking mechanisms are demonstrated based on the principle of making geometric alterations to the cuff opening via 3D printing. Ultimately, this work shows 3D printing offers considerable opportunity to integrate supporting features, and potentially even novel electronic materials, into nerve cuffs that can support the design and engineering of next generation neural interfaces.
The objective of this work was to determine the rumen degradation characteristics over the growing season of maize stover in two contrasting zones in the central highlands of Mexico. Twenty four maize plots were selected, three harvest periods P1, P2, and P3 were established in order to evaluate degradation characteristics at different development stages, for ‘criollo’ maize varieties of three grain colours (white, yellow and black) representing different cultivation practices given their different growing cycles. In vitro gas production (GP) incubations were carried out, and cumulative gas volumes were fitted to the Krishnamoorthy, Soller, Steingass and Menke (1991) model. The results indicate that more research is needed to evaluate why maize degradability and fermentation characteristics as exemplified by this work are not greatly affected by time.
Despite the higher proportion of foreclosures and home evictions executed in Spain, compared to other countries, and the known link between social exclusion and mental health problems, studies exploring this association in Spain remain scarce. This study investigated the link between the process of home eviction and the appearance of symptomatology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Two hundred and five people affected by the process of home eviction were assessed using a structured interview that included three validated assessment instruments for PTSD, perceived stress, anxiety and depression. Analysis involved comparison with the normative groups that formed the validation studies together with regression analysis to determine the major psychological and socio-demographic predictors of perceived stress. Of the participants, 95.1% reported that they were experiencing the process of home eviction with fear, helplessness, or horror. In PTSD symptomatology, they scored higher than the normative PTSD group in symptoms of avoidance (t = 5.01; p < .05), activation (t = 5.48; p < .01), and total score (t = 4.15; p < .05). Of this subgroup, 72.5% fulfilled the DSM-IV symptom criteria for PTSD. The major predictor of perceived stress was PTSD symptomatology (B = .09; p < .001). The process of home eviction in Spain is having an alarming impact on mental health of affected people calling for effective measures to provide psychological and social support.
With 30 threatened species (14 categorized as Critically Endangered and 16 as Endangered, sensu IUCN), Coccothrinax (c. 54 species) is the flagship palm genus for conservation in the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Hotspot. Coccothrinax has its centre of taxonomic diversity in these islands, with c. 51 endemic species. We present a conservation framework for the 14 Critically Endangered species, found in Cuba, Haiti or the Dominican Republic. Only two species (C. jimenezii, C. montana) occur in more than one country (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Immediate threats include oil drilling and nickel mining, intrusion of saline water into soil, urban and agricultural development, low population recruitment, uncontrolled fires, interspecific hybridization, and unsustainable ethnobotanical practices. Coccothrinax bermudezii, C. borhidiana, C. crinita ssp. crinita, C. leonis and C. spissa are not conserved in protected areas. Coccothrinax bermudezii, C. jimenezii, C. leonis and C. nipensis are not part of ex situ collections. Based on results from a conservation project targeting C. jimenezii, we recommend international cooperation between the three range states to implement integrative conservation management plans, plant exploration initiatives, taxonomic revisions, outreach, and fundraising. The ultimate aim of this review is to provide baseline information that will develop conservation synergy among relevant parties working on Coccothrinax conservation in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Such collaborations could also benefit through partnerships with botanists working in other countries.
This paper introduces GLINTS, a graphical tool for exploring variant narrowing computations in Maude. The most recent version of Maude, version 2.7.1, provides quite sophisticated unification features, including order-sorted equational unification for convergent theories modulo axioms such as associativity, commutativity, and identity. This novel equational unification relies on built-in generation of the set of variants of a term t, i.e., the canonical form of tσ for a computed substitution σ. Variant generation relies on a novel narrowing strategy called folding variant narrowing that opens up new applications in formal reasoning, theorem proving, testing, protocol analysis, and model checking, especially when the theory satisfies the finite variant property, i.e., there is a finite number of most general variants for every term in the theory. However, variant narrowing computations can be extremely involved and are simply presented in text format by Maude, often being too heavy to be debugged or even understood. The GLINTS system provides support for (i) determining whether a given theory satisfies the finite variant property, (ii) thoroughly exploring variant narrowing computations, (iii) automatic checking of node embedding and closedness modulo axioms, and (iv) querying and inspecting selected parts of the variant trees.
A global array of 20 radio observatories was used to measure the three-dimensional position and velocity of the two meteorological balloons that were injected into the equatorial region of the Venus atmosphere by the VEGA spacecraft.
The protein kinase R (PKR, also called EIF2AK2) is an interferon-inducible double-stranded RNA protein kinase with multiple effects on cells that plays an active part in the cellular response to numerous types of stress. PKR has been extensively studied and documented for its relevance as an antiviral agent and a cell growth regulator. Recently, the role of PKR related to metabolism, inflammatory processes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases has gained interest. In this review, we summarise and discuss the involvement of PKR in several cancer signalling pathways and the dual role that this kinase plays in cancer disease. We emphasise the importance of PKR as a molecular target for both conventional chemotherapeutics and emerging treatments based on novel drugs, and its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target for several pathologies. Finally, we discuss the impact that the recent knowledge regarding PKR involvement in metabolism has in our understanding of the complex processes of cancer and metabolism pathologies, highlighting the translational research establishing the clinical and therapeutic potential of this pleiotropic kinase.
Numerous recent studies of lichenized fungi have uncovered hidden genetic diversity within a single phenotypic entity (so-called ‘cryptic species’). Here we report the opposite situation with vastly different morphologies apparently deriving from the same genotype. Endocena is a monotypic genus known only from southern South America. The single reported species, the terricolous E. informis, is morphologically variable; the type and other collections from the west coast of Chile being subfruticose, whereas specimens from further south and east are almost crustose in form. A sorediate terricolous lichen that is frequent on the Falkland Islands was confirmed by phylogenetic analysis of ITS rDNA and mtSSU rDNA sequences as being congeneric with E. informis and, surprisingly, both taxa were recovered as congeneric with the recently described genus and species Chirleja buckii, which is morphologically distinct from both E. informis and the sorediate taxon. Consequently, the genus Chirleja is included in the synonymy of Endocena and the new combination Endocena buckii is proposed. Because E. informis and the sorediate specimens have a similar thallus structure that differs radically from that of E. buckii, the name E. informis var. falklandica is proposed for the sorediate taxon. Poorly developed, incipient apothecia are also described from both varieties of E. informis, the first time that these have been reported for Endocena. We also report two lichenicolous fungi from E. informis var. informis, which are the first reports of lichenicolous fungi occurring on this genus.
Investments have been made to alter the food environment of neighbourhoods that have a disproportionate number of unhealthy food venues. Corner store conversions are one strategy to increase access to fruits and vegetables (F&V). Although the literature shows modest success, the effectiveness of these interventions remains equivocal. The present paper reports on the evaluation of Proyecto MercadoFRESCO, a corner store conversion intervention in two Latino communities.
A repeated cross-sectional design was employed. Data were stratified by intervention arm and bivariate tests assessed changes over time. Logistic and multiple regression models with intervention arm, time and the interaction of intervention and time were conducted. Supplementary analyses account for clustering of patrons within stores and staggering of store conversions.
Three stores were converted and five stores served as comparisons in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, California, USA.
Store patrons were interviewed before (n550) and after (n407) the intervention.
Relative to patrons of comparison stores, patrons of intervention stores demonstrated more favourable perceptions of corner stores and increased purchasing of F&V during that store visit. Changes were not detected in store patronage, percentage of weekly dollars spent on food for F&V or daily consumption of F&V.
Consistent with some extant food environment literature, findings demonstrate limited effects. Investments should be made in multilevel, comprehensive interventions that target a variety retail food outlets rather than focusing on corner stores exclusively. Complementary policies limiting the availability, affordability and marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods should also be pursued.
The appropriate supply of nutrients in pregnant cows has been associated with the optimal development of foetal tissues, performance of their progeny and their meat quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate supplementation effects of grazing cows in different stages of gestation on skeletal muscle development and performance of the progeny. Thereby, 27 Nellore cows were divided into three groups (n=9 for each group) and their progeny as follows: UNS, unsupplemented during gestation; MID, supplemented from 30 to 180 days of gestation; LATE, supplemented from 181 to 281 days of gestation. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the matrices was the following: ground corn (26.25%), wheat bran (26.25%) and soya bean meal (47.5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 30% CP. Supplemented matrices received 150 kg of supplement (1 and 1.5 kg/day for cows in the MID and LATE groups, respectively). After birth, a biopsy was performed to obtain samples of skeletal muscle tissue from calves to determine number and size of muscle fibres and for messenger RNA (mRNA) expression analysis. The percentage composition of the supplement provided for the progeny was the following: ground corn grain (30%), wheat bran (30%), soya bean meal (35%) and molasses (5%). The supplement was formulated to contain 25% CP and offered in an amount of 6 g/kg BW. Performance of the progeny was monitored throughout the suckling period. Means were submitted to ANOVA and regression, and UNS, MID and LATE periods of supplementation were compared. Differences were considered at P<0.10. Birth weight, average daily gain and weaning weight of the offspring did not differ among treatments (P>0.10). Similarly, no differences were observed between calves for nutrient intake (P>0.10). However, greater subcutaneous fat thickness (P=0.006) was observed in the calves of LATE group. The ribeye area (P=0.077) was greater in calves born from supplemented compared with UNS cows. The supplementation of pregnant cows did not affect the muscle fibre size of their progeny (P=0.208). On the other hand, calves born from dams supplemented at mid-gestation had greater muscle fibre number (P=0.093) compared with calves from UNS group. Greater mRNA expression of peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor α (P=0.073) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (P=0.003) was observed in the calves born from MID cows. Although strategic supplementation did not affect the BW of offspring, it did cause changes in carcass traits, number of myofibres, and mRNA expression of a muscle hypertrophy and lipid oxidation markers in skeletal muscle of the offspring.