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To date, there has been no published textbook which takes into account changing sociolinguistic dynamics that have influenced South African society. Multilingualism and Intercultural Communication breaks new ground in this arena. The scope of this book ranges from macro-sociolinguistic questions pertaining to language policies and their implementation (or non-implementation) to micro-sociolinguistic observations of actual language-use in verbal interaction, mainly in multilingual contexts of Higher Education (HE). There is a gradual move for the study of language and culture to be taught in the context of (professional) disciplines in which they would be used, for example, Journalism and African languages, Education and African languages, etc. The book caters for this growing market. Because of its multilingual nature, it caters to English and Afrikaans language speakers, as well as the Sotho and Nguni language groups – the largest languages in South Africa [and also increasingly used in the context of South African Higher Education]. It brings together various inter-linked disciplines such as Sociolinguistics and Applied Language Studies, Media Studies and Journalism, History and Education, Social and Natural Sciences, Law, Human Language Technology, Music, Intercultural Communication and Literary Studies. The unique cross-cutting disciplinary features of the book will make it a must-have for twenty-first century South African students and scholars and those interested in applied language issues.
Several infections have been linked to telomere shortening and in some cases these associations have varied by sex. We assessed the association between seropositivity to four persistent pathogens (cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus-1, Helicobacter pylori, Chlamydia pneumoniae), and total pathogen burden on leukocyte telomere length in a diverse US sample. Data came from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based cohort study. We utilized cross-sectional survey data, and biological samples from participants tested for pathogens and telomere length (N = 163). Linear regression was used to examine the association between seropositivity for individual pathogens as well as total pathogen burden and telomere length, adjusting for various confounders. CMV seropositivity and increased total pathogen burden level were significantly associated with shorter telomere length among females (β = −0·1204 (standard error (s.e.) 0·06), P = 0·044) and (β = −0·1057 (s.e. = 0·05), P = 0·033), respectively. There was no statistically significant association among males. Our findings suggest that prevention or treatment of persistent pathogens, in particular CMV, may play an important role in reducing telomere shortening over the life course among women. Future research is needed to confirm these novel findings in larger longitudinal samples.
Case studies show that some energetic particle flux enhancements up to MeV/nuc. observed at 1 AU cannot be treated as a consequence of particle acceleration at shocks or during flares. Atypical energetic particle events (AEPEs) are often detected during crossings of magnetic cavities formed by strong current sheets of various origins in the solar wind. Such cavities confine small-scale magnetic islands (SMIs) produced by magnetic reconnection. SMIs, in turn, trap and re-accelerate energetic particles according to predictions based on the theory of Zank et al. describing stochastic particle energization in the supersonic solar wind via numerous dynamically interacting SMIs. AEPEs possess energies that overlap SEP events and can be an important component in understanding space weather.
To examine the child outcomes at 18-months post-birth of a population cohort of women with antenatal depressed mood, half of whom were randomly chosen to receive perinatal home visits from community health workers during pregnancy.
Pregnant women in 24 neighbourhoods (98% participation) were randomised by neighbourhood to: (1) standard clinic care (SC; 12 neighbourhoods; n = 594) or (2) the Philani Intervention Program, a home visiting intervention plus standard care (12 neighbourhoods; n = 644). The physical and cognitive outcomes of children of mothers with antenatally depressed mood (Edinburg Perinatal Depression Scale >13) in the intervention condition were compared at 18-months post-birth to children of mothers without depressed mood in pregnancy in both conditions.
More than a third of mothers had heightened levels of antenatal depressed mood (35%), similar across conditions. Antenatal depressed mood was significantly associated with being a mother living with HIV, using alcohol and food insecurity. At 18-months, the overall cognitive and motor scale scores on the Bayley Scales of Development were similar. However, 10.3% fewer children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood in the intervention condition had cognitive scores on the Bayley Scales that were less than 85 (i.e., s.d. = 2 lower than normal) compared with children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood in the SC condition. Intervention children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood were also significantly less likely to be undernourished (Weight-for-Age Z-scores < −2).
Cognitive development and child growth among children born to mothers with antenatal depressed mood can be improved by mentor mother home visitors, probably resulting from better parenting and care received early in life.
In practice cattle may be slaughtered at different combinations of age and weight. As each of these factors could affect meat quality traits, the present work aimed to identify which combination can be expected to increase overall meat quality of m. rectus abdominis of Charolais heifers. Totally, 40 heifers were slaughtered either at 26±1 or at 36±1 months of age. Young heifers were sampled at two different carcass weights (349±12 and 394±8 kg). Old heifers were also sampled at two different carcass weights (397±6 and 451±9 kg). The m. rectus abdominis was excised 24 h postmortem to determine metabolic enzyme activities, myosin heavy-chain isoform proportions, lipid contents, collagen content and collagen solubility. Shear force measurements were evaluated on raw and broiled meat after 14 days of ageing. Meat quality traits scored between 0 and 10 by sensory analysis. Increasing slaughter age from 26 to 36 months had no impact on either raw/broiled shear force (0.31⩽P⩽0.47) and/or meat quality traits (0.62⩽P⩽0.91) or on physicochemical properties of heifer’s meat samples. Increasing carcass weight for a similar slaughter age of 26 months had also impact neither on meat quality traits (0.52⩽P⩽0.91) nor on muscular properties. On the contrary, increasing carcass weight for a similar slaughter age of 36 months had induced a decrease of muscular shear force (raw muscle; P=0.009) and a concomitant decrease of total collagen content (P=0.03). Nevertheless, no significant impact on meat quality traits was revealed by the sensorial panel (0.13⩽P⩽0.49). Metabolic enzyme activities (0.13⩽P⩽0.86) and myosin heavy-chain proportions (0.13⩽P⩽0.96) were not significantly impacted by slaughter age and carcass weight. Thus, the impact of increasing carcass weight and/or slaughter age in young Charolais heifers has a limited impact on meat quality traits and associated muscular characteristics. Modulating heifer’s cycles (age and/or carcass weight in the studied range) appears to be a way to answer to the numerous marketing chains, without penalising meat quality traits.
Research to understand and manage ecosystems to supply services has recently spurred a functional view of their biodiversity. In particular, approaches based on functional traits rather than species diversity are increasingly used to reflect interactions between organisms and their environment. These approaches bring a functional perspective to the study of community structure responses to disturbances and resources, and of their effects on ecosystem functioning and services. From an academic perspective, we propose a conceptual framework based on species functional traits to better infer how grassland management practices (fertilization, defoliation regime) along with abiotic factors influence plant, animal and microbial community composition and a range of services in grassland ecosystems. The core of the framework relies on combinations of plant functional traits and associated microbial features that specifically respond to environmental and management factors and influence ecosystem services. To overcome stakeholders’ difficulty in applying the concept of functional traits, we propose an operational approach implying the mapping of plant communities distributed into five plant functional types (PFTs). The approach was used for fields in grassland-based livestock farms from two French grassland networks. We evaluated its ability to predict a range of services including forage provision and non-market services according to environmental and management drivers. PFT-based plant community composition predicted forage services reasonably well but responded weakly to environmental gradients. To cope with the observed limitations of current predictive approaches, we suggest including soil microbial functional types and adaptive management rather than using a prescriptive scheme.