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Obesity is an epidemic associated with many diseases. The nutraceutical Zingiber officinale (ZO) is a potential treatment for obesity; however, the molecular effects are unknown. Swiss male mice were fed a high-fat diet (59 % energy from fat) for 16 weeks to generate a diet-induced obesity (DIO) model and then divided into the following groups: standard diet + vehicle; standard diet + ZO; DIO + vehicle and DIO + ZO. Those in the ZO groups were supplemented with 400 mg/kg per d of ZO extract (oral administration) for 35 d. The animals were euthanised, and blood, quadriceps, epididymal fat pad and hepatic tissue were collected. DIO induced insulin resistance, proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress and DNA damage in different tissues. Treatment with ZO improved insulin sensitivity as well as decreased serum TAG, without changes in body weight or adiposity index. TNF-α and IL-1β levels were lower in the liver and quadriceps in the DIO + ZO group compared with the DIO group. ZO treatment reduced the reactive species and oxidative damage to proteins, lipids and DNA in blood and liver in obese animals. The endogenous antioxidant activity was higher in the quadriceps of DIO + ZO. These results in the rat model of DIO may indicate ZO as an adjuvant on obesity treatment.
This study aimed to assess the validity of a portable anthropometer against the gold standard among 2-year-old infants from the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort.
Birth cohort study.
A fixed Harpenden® infant anthropometer was considered as the gold standard for measuring infant length due to its greater precision and stability. The portable SANNY® (model ES2000) anthropometer was the instrument to be validated. The acceptable mean difference in length between the anthropometers was 0·5 cm. In order to compare length estimates, the interviewers carried out two length measures for each of the anthropometers (fixed and portable) and for each child. The mean of the two lengths was calculated for each anthropometer, and their difference was calculated.
A subsample of 252 24-month-old members of the 2015 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study.
Children’s mean age was 23·5 months. According to Bland–Altman plot, there were no differences in overall lengths between the portable and the fixed anthropometers, or in lengths according to sex. There was a high overall concordance between the length estimates of the fixed and portable anthropometers (ρ = 0·94; 95 % CI 0·92, 0·95).
The portable anthropometer proved to be accurate to measure the length of 24-month-old infants, being applicable to studies using the same standardised protocol used in the present study.
This article assesses the nutritional status of Indigenous women from 14 to 49 years of age in Brazil.
Sample size was calculated for each region considering a prevalence of 50 % for all disease outcomes, a relative error of 5 % and a CI of 95 %. In the initial data analysis, the prevalence of excess weight and obesity was calculated according to independent variables. Multivariate multilevel hierarchical analyses were conducted based on a theoretical model of two ranked blocks.
The 2010 Indigenous population in Brazil was 896 000, with approximately 300 Indigenous ethnic groups, making Brazil one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the Americas and the world.
Of the total target sample of 6722 women evaluated by the National Survey, thirty did not participate, 939 were not eligible for analyses due to pregnancy or unknown pregnancy status, and thirty-nine were excluded due to missing anthropometric data.
The evaluation of nutritional status was completed for 5714 non-pregnant women (99·3 % of eligible participants for this outcome). High prevalence rates were encountered for both excess weight (46·2 %) and obesity (15·8 %) among the sampled women. In the multivariate analyses, higher socioeconomic indicators, market-integrated living conditions and less reliance on local food production, as well as increased age and parity were associated with excess weight and obesity.
Results point to distinct patterns of associations between socioeconomic indicators and the occurrence of excess weight and obesity among Indigenous women, which have potentially significant implications from a public policy perspective for Indigenous peoples in Brazil.
The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.
Steep slope vineyards are a complex scenario for the development of ground robots. Planning a safe robot trajectory is one of the biggest challenges in this scenario, characterized by irregular surfaces and strong slopes (more than 35°). Moving the robot through a pile of stones, spots with high slope or/and with wrong robot yaw may result in an abrupt fall of the robot, damaging the equipment and centenary vines, and sometimes imposing injuries to humans. This paper presents a novel approach for path planning aware of center of mass of the robot for application in sloppy terrains. Agricultural robotic path planning (AgRobPP) is a framework that considers the A* algorithm by expanding inner functions to deal with three main inputs: multi-layer occupation grid map, altitude map and robot’s center of mass. This multi-layer grid map is updated by obstacles taking into account the terrain slope and maximum robot posture. AgRobPP is also extended with algorithms for local trajectory replanning during the execution of a trajectory that is blocked by the presence of an obstacle, always assuring the safety of the re-planned path. AgRobPP has a novel PointCloud translator algorithm called PointCloud to grid map and digital elevation model (PC2GD), which extracts the occupation grid map and digital elevation model from a PointCloud. This can be used in AgRobPP core algorithms and farm management intelligent systems as well. AgRobPP algorithms demonstrate a great performance with the real data acquired from AgRob V16, a robotic platform developed for autonomous navigation in steep slope vineyards.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate beliefs, attitudes and reproductive behaviours in relation to consanguinity in a population living in the backlands of north-eastern Brazil. Data were collected by face-to-face interview from 147 high school students aged 13–20 years and from 532 elderly individuals aged 60 years and over from Brejo dos Santos in the state of Paraíba in 2017. The frequency of consanguineous marriage was found to have increased over the generations, being 15.9% in the parents of the elderly participants, 17.1% in the elderly participants themselves and 20.5% in their descendants. Although 258 (50.9%) of the elderly interviewees opposed consanguineous union, 341 (65.3%) would approve of the marriage of their children with relatives. Both the young (n=108 or 78.3%) and elderly (n=398 or 80.4%) interviewees believed that consanguineous marriages were no more durable than non-consanguineous marriages (p=0.578). Additionally, 408 (82.4%) of the elderly individuals and 108 (80.6%) of the students recognized that spouses in consanguineous unions experience conflicts, just like other couples do (p=0.625). In both groups, the majority of the participants did not believe that consanguinity increased the risk of having children with disabilities. The regression of the two continuous variables ‘age’ and ‘positive attitudes score’ showed a significant correlation, suggesting that younger individuals are more susceptible to the influence of cultural factors contributing to consanguinity, such as the opinions of their parents and grandparents. The belief that consanguineous unions are more durable showed a significant difference between elderly individuals in consanguineous and non-consanguineous unions (p=0.001); the former were 2.42 more likely to believe that marriages between relatives contributes to marriage durability.
The expansion of sugarcane crop to regions with lower water supply in Brazil has increased the importance of correct estimation of crop water requirements. Currently, the irrigation management is generally done using the crop coefficient (Kc) based on the FAO 56 bulletin. Kc is used to determine the potential water demand of the crop for a given period of time and is considered constant for each crop stage. However, some recent studies have shown that Kc can be significantly variable under different evapotranspiration (ETo) rates. This paper aimed to analyse sugarcane water consumption at different scales: plant (sap flow measurements by energy balance method); canopy (Bowen ratio energy balance method); and plant–atmosphere coupling (infrared gas analyser) to reduce the uncertainties on the irrigation practices. Measurements were taken at two experimental sites, where a modern Brazilian cultivar CTC 12 was grown under drip irrigation and an old main Brazilian cultivar (RB867515) was grown under sprinkler irrigation by a central pivot. The mean crop evapotranspiration (ETc) values by the Bowen ratio energy balance method were 2.92 and 3.68 mm d−1 for RB867515 and CTC 12, respectively, resulting in a mean Kc of 0.99 at the full vegetative growth stage. Kc values were dependent on ETo and varied between 0.2 and 1.7 for both cultivars. This occurred in a crop coupled to the atmosphere (Ω = 0.37) and was the same found in other coupled crops such as coffee and citrus. In conclusion, the sugarcane Kc for southeast Brazil presented temporal variability due to coupling conditions according to reference evapotranspiration, and this should be considered in irrigation management.
Human-centered approaches to eliciting requirements for medical equipment selection are recognized as improving healthcare outcomes, safety, and end-user satisfaction. Nevertheless, there are many challenges to conducting rigorous investigations to identify requirements that satisfy different hospital services and types of end users (e.g., patients, healthcare professionals, and clinical engineers). By establishing a systematic method for selecting medical recliners, this study provides detailed technical characteristics and user requirements associated with several hospital areas, as well as a comparison between two end users (health professionals and patients) and their different perceptions of usability.
First, clinical engineers and senior nurses from seven hospital services identified and rated the technical characteristics of medical recliners. Ratings were then used to stratify all services in well-defined similar groups using hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering algorithms. Next, users of hospital recliners (60 patients and 56 healthcare providers) from each group were interviewed to identify their requirements for an ideal medical recliner. Finally, analyses of variance were performed to identify consensus decisions from users across the different hospital contexts as to which technical characteristics were the most relevant.
The contribution of senior nurses and clinical engineers led to the identification of 41 technical characteristics. The analysis of 116 participant interviews identified 95 different requirements, extracted from 1,052 user suggestions. Correspondence analysis of the most important requirements, combined for each of the three stratified service groups, indicated that two-thirds of all user requirements (14 out of 20) were fulfilled by five out of 32 quantitative technical characteristics, regardless of context.
Human-centered methods can identify similarities between health technology characteristics and decrease the complexity associated with selecting technologies, while simultaneously fulfilling the requirements of multiple users and hospital departments.
Education has received increased attention within the humanitarian sector. In conflict-affected contexts, access to education may be hampered by attacks against and the military use of educational facilities as well as attacks and threats of attacks against students, teachers and other education-related persons. Affected populations may also find themselves unable to access education, for example due to displacement.
This article looks into the different sets of humanitarian responses aimed at (1) ensuring the protection of educational facilities and related persons, mostly through advocacy efforts centred on weapons bearers, and (2) (re-)establishing education services where they are not present or are no longer functioning, mostly through programmes directed at affected populations. It then argues that, in contrast with dominant practices, the protection of education can also be ensured through programmatic responses with meaningful participation of affected communities, and examines the example of the Safer Schools programme in Ukraine.