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In coastal and island archaeology, carbonate mollusk shells are often among the most abundant materials available for radiocarbon (14C) dating. The marsh periwinkle (Littorina irrorata) is one of these such species, ubiquitously found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States in both modern and archaeological contexts. This paper presents a novel approach to dating estuarine mollusks where rather than attempting to characterize the size and variability of reservoir effects to “correct” shell carbonate dates, we describe a compound-specific approach that isolates conchiolin, the organic matter bound with the shell matrix of the L. irrorata. Conchiolin typically constitutes <5% of shell weight. In L. irrorata, it is derived from the snail’s terrestrial diet and is thus not strongly influenced by marine, hardwater, or other carbon reservoir effects. We compare the carbon isotopes (δ13C and Δ14C) of L. irrorata shell carbonate, conchiolin, and bulk soft tissue from six modern, live-collected specimens from Apalachicola Bay, Florida, with samples that represent possible sources of carbon within their environment including surface sediments, marsh plant tissues, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in water. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that samples obtained from wet chemical oxidation of L. irrorata conchiolin produces accurate 14C dates.
Analysis and understanding of the role of hydrogen in metals is a significant challenge for the future of materials science, and this is a clear objective of recent work in the atom probe tomography (APT) community. Isotopic marking by deuteration has often been proposed as the preferred route to enable quantification of hydrogen by APT. Zircaloy-4 was charged electrochemically with hydrogen and deuterium under the same conditions to form large hydrides and deuterides. Our results from a Zr hydride and a Zr deuteride highlight the challenges associated with accurate quantification of hydrogen and deuterium, in particular associated with the overlap of peaks at a low mass-to-charge ratio and of hydrogen/deuterium containing molecular ions. We discuss possible ways to ensure that appropriate information is extracted from APT analysis of hydrogen in zirconium alloy systems that are important for nuclear power applications.
Atom probe tomography (APT) is rising in influence across many parts of materials science and engineering thanks to its unique combination of highly sensitive composition measurement and three-dimensional microstructural characterization. In this invited article, we have selected a few recent applications that showcase the unique capacity of APT to measure the local composition at structural defects. Whether we consider dislocations, stacking faults, or grain boundary, the detailed compositional measurements tend to indicate specific partitioning behaviors for the different solutes in both complex engineering and model alloys we investigated.
Ruminant-based food production faces currently multiple challenges such as environmental emissions, climate change and accelerating food–feed–fuel competition for arable land. Therefore, more sustainable feed production is needed together with the exploitation of novel resources. In addition to numerous food industry (milling, sugar, starch, alcohol or plant oil) side streams already in use, new ones such as vegetable and fruit residues are explored, but their conservation is challenging and production often seasonal. In the temperate zones, lipid-rich camelina (Camelina sativa) expeller as an example of oilseed by-products has potential to enrich ruminant milk and meat fat with bioactive trans-11 18:1 and cis-9,trans-11 18:2 fatty acids and mitigate methane emissions. Regardless of the lower methionine content of alternative grain legume protein relative to soya bean meal (Glycine max), the lactation performance or the growth of ruminants fed faba beans (Vicia faba), peas (Pisum sativum) and lupins (Lupinus sp.) are comparable. Wood is the most abundant carbohydrate worldwide, but agroforestry approaches in ruminant nutrition are not common in the temperate areas. Untreated wood is poorly utilised by ruminants because of linkages between cellulose and lignin, but the utilisability can be improved by various processing methods. In the tropics, the leaves of fodder trees and shrubs (e.g. cassava (Manihot esculenta), Leucaena sp., Flemingia sp.) are good protein supplements for ruminants. A food–feed production system integrates the leaves and the by-products of on-farm food production to grass production in ruminant feeding. It can improve animal performance sustainably at smallholder farms. For larger-scale animal production, detoxified jatropha (Jatropha sp.) meal is a noteworthy alternative protein source. Globally, the advantages of single-cell protein (bacteria, yeast, fungi, microalgae) and aquatic biomass (seaweed, duckweed) over land crops are the independence of production from arable land and weather. The chemical composition of these feeds varies widely depending on the species and growth conditions. Microalgae have shown good potential both as lipid (e.g. Schizochytrium sp.) and protein supplements (e.g. Spirulina platensis) for ruminants. To conclude, various novel or underexploited feeds have potential to replace or supplement the traditional crops in ruminant rations. In the short-term, N-fixing grain legumes, oilseeds such as camelina and increased use of food and/or fuel industry by-products have the greatest potential to replace or supplement the traditional crops especially in the temperate zones. In the long-term, microalgae and duckweed of high-yield potential as well as wood industry by-products may become economically competitive feed options worldwide.
To understand how foraging decisions impact individual fitness of herbivores, nutritional ecologists must consider the complex in vivo dynamics of nutrient–nutrient interactions and nutrient–toxin interactions associated with foraging. Mathematical modeling has long been used to make foraging predictions (e.g. optimal foraging theory) but has largely been restricted to a single currency (e.g. energy) or using simple indices of nutrition (e.g. fecal nitrogen) without full consideration of physiologically based interactions among numerous co-ingested phytochemicals. Here, we describe a physiologically based model (PBM) that provides a mechanistic link between foraging decisions and demographic consequences. Including physiological mechanisms of absorption, digestion and metabolism of phytochemicals in PBMs allows us to estimate concentrations of ingested and interacting phytochemicals in the body. Estimated phytochemical concentrations more accurately link intake of phytochemicals to changes in individual fitness than measures of intake alone. Further, we illustrate how estimated physiological parameters can be integrated with the geometric framework of nutrition and into integral projection models and agent-based models to predict fitness and population responses of vertebrate herbivores to ingested phytochemicals. The PBMs will improve our ability to understand the foraging decisions of vertebrate herbivores and consequences of those decisions and may help identify key physiological mechanisms that underlie diet-based ecological adaptations.
The role of herbivorous livestock in supporting the sustainability of the farming systems in which they are found is complex and sometimes conflicting. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the integration of livestock into farming systems is important for sustainable agriculture as the recycling of nutrients for crop production through returns of animal manure is a central element of the dominant mixed crop-livestock systems. Sustainable agriculture has been widely advocated as the main practical pathway to address the challenge of meeting the food needs of the rapidly growing population in SSA while safeguarding the needs of future generations. The objective of this paper is to review the state of knowledge of the role of herbivores in sustainable intensification of key farming systems in SSA. The pathways to sustainable agriculture in SSA include intensification of production and livelihood diversification. Sustainable agricultural practices in SSA have focused on intensification practices which aim to increase the output : input ratio through increasing use of inputs, introduction of new inputs or use of existing inputs in a new way. Intensification of livestock production can occur through increased and improved fodder availability, genetic production gains, improved crop residue use and better nutrient recycling of manure. Livestock deliver many ‘goods’ in smallholder farming systems in SSA including improving food and nutrition security, increased recycling of organic matter and nutrients and the associated soil fertility amendments, adding value to crop residues by turning them into nutrient-rich foods, income generation and animal traction. Narratives on livestock ‘bads’ or negative environmental consequences have been largely shaped by the production conditions in the Global North but livestock production in SSA is a different story. In SSA, livestock are an integral component of mixed farming systems and they play key roles in supporting the livelihoods of much of the rural population. None-the-less, the environmental consequences of livestock production on the continent cannot be ignored. To enhance agricultural sustainability in SSA, the challenge is to optimize livestock’s role in the farming systems by maximizing livestock ‘goods’ while minimizing the ‘bads’. This can be through better integration of livestock into the farming systems, efficient nutrient management systems, and provision of necessary policy and institutional support.
This article documents the development of a community-based drug intervention for low- to mild-risk drug users who surrendered as part of the Philippine government's anti-drug campaign. It highlights the importance of developing evidence-informed drug recovery interventions that are appropriate to the Asian culture and to developing economies. Interviews and consultations with users and community stakeholders reveal the need for an intervention that would improve the drug recovery skills and life skills of users. Evidence-based interventions were adapted using McKleroy and colleagues’ (2006) Map of Adaptation Process (MAP) framework. The resulting intervention reflected the country's collectivist culture, relational values, propensity for indirect and non-verbal communication, and interdependent self-construal. The use of small groups, interactive and creative methodologies, and the incorporation of music and prayer also recognised the importance of these in the Philippine culture.
Studies on the ‘gut origin of sepsis’ have suggested that stressful insults, such as surgery, can affect intestinal permeability, leading to bacterial translocation. Symbiotics have been reported to be able to improve gut permeability and modulate the immunologic system, thereby decreasing postoperative complications. Therefore we aimed to evaluate the postoperative use of symbiotics in head and neck cancer surgical patients for intestinal function and permeability, as well as the postoperative outcomes. Patients were double-blind randomised into the symbiotic (n 18) or the control group (n 18). Samples were administered twice a day by nasoenteric tube, starting on the 1st postoperative day until the 5th to 7th day, and comprised 109 colony-forming units/ml each of Lactobacillus paracasei, L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis plus 6 g of fructo-oligosaccharides, or a placebo (6 g of maltodextrin). Intestinal function (day of first evacuation, total stool episodes, stool consistency, gastrointestinal tract symptoms and gut permeability by diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme) and postoperative complications (infectious and non-infectious) were assessed. Results of comparison of the pre- and postoperative periods showed that the groups were similar for all outcome variables. In all, twelve patients had complications in the symbiotic group v. nine in the control group (P>0·05), and the preoperative-postoperative DAO activity ranged from 28·5 (sd 15·4) to 32·7 (sd 11·0) ng/ml in the symbiotic group and 35·2 (sd 17·7) to 34·1 (sd 12·0) ng/ml in the control group (P>0·05). In conclusion, postoperative symbiotics did not impact on intestinal function and postoperative outcomes of head and neck surgical patients.
Over the past 30 years, the number of US doctoral anthropology graduates has increased by about 70%, but there has not been a corresponding increase in the availability of new faculty positions. Consequently, doctoral degree-holding archaeologists face more competition than ever before when applying for faculty positions. Here we examine where US and Canadian anthropological archaeology faculty originate and where they ultimately end up teaching. Using data derived from the 2014–2015 AnthroGuide, we rank doctoral programs whose graduates in archaeology have been most successful in the academic job market; identify long-term and ongoing trends in doctoral programs; and discuss gender division in academic archaeology in the US and Canada. We conclude that success in obtaining a faculty position upon graduation is predicated in large part on where one attends graduate school.
No previous research has investigated the neural correlates of vocabulary acquisition in second language learners of sign language. The present study investigated whether poor vocabulary knowledge engaged similar prefrontal lexico-semantic regions as seen in unimodal L2 learners. Behavioral improvements in vocabulary knowledge in a cohort of M2L2 learners were quantified. Results indicated that there is significant increase in vocabulary knowledge after one semester, but stabilized in the second semester. A longitudinal fMRI analysis was implemented for a subset of learners who were followed for the entire 10 months during initial sign language acquisition. The results indicated that learners who had poor sign vocabulary knowledge consistently showed greater activation in regions involved in motor simulation, salience, biological motion and spatial processing, and lexico-semantic retrieval. In conclusion, poor vocabulary knowledge requires greater engagement of modality-independent and modality-dependent regions, which could account for behavioral evidence of difficulty in visual phonology processing.
The Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) program was launched in 1997. Its goal is to build infrastructure to improve the well-being of older racial/ethnic minorities by identifying mechanisms to reduce health disparities.
Its primary objectives are to mentor faculty in research addressing the health of minority elders and to enhance the diversity of the workforce that conducts elder health research by prioritizing the mentorship of underrepresented diverse scholars.
Through 2015, 12 centers received RCMAR awards and provided pilot research funding and mentorship to 361 scholars, 70% of whom were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. A large majority (85%) of RCMAR scholars from longstanding centers continue in academic research. Another 5% address aging and other health disparities through nonacademic research and leadership roles in public health agencies.
Longitudinal, team-based mentoring, cross-center scholar engagement, and community involvement in scholar development are important contributors to RCMAR’s success.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected insects of the subfamily Phlebotominae. Current drug therapy shows high toxicity and severe adverse effects. Recently, two oligopeptidases (OPBs) were identified in Leishmania amazonensis, namely oligopeptidase B (OPB) and oligopeptidase B2 (OPB2). These OPBs could be ideal targets, since both enzymes are expressed in all parasite lifecycle and were not identified in human. This work aimed to identify possible dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis. The three-dimensional structures of both enzymes were built by comparative modelling and used to perform a virtual screening of ZINC database by DOCK Blaster server. It is the first time that OPB models from L. amazonensis are used to virtual screening approach. Four hundred compounds were identified as possible inhibitors to each enzyme. The top scored compounds were submitted to refinement by AutoDock program. The best results suggest that compounds interact with important residues, as Tyr490, Glu612 and Arg655 (OPB numbers). The identified compounds showed better results than antipain and drugs currently used against leishmaniasis when ADMET in silico were performed. These compounds could be explored in order to find dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis.
Understanding how language modality (i.e., signed vs. spoken) affects second language outcomes in hearing adults is important both theoretically and pedagogically, as it can determine the specificity of second language (L2) theory and inform how best to teach a language that uses a new modality. The present study investigated which cognitive-linguistic skills predict successful L2 sign language acquisition. A group (n = 25) of adult hearing L2 learners of American Sign Language underwent a cognitive-linguistic test battery before and after one semester of sign language instruction. A number of cognitive-linguistic measures of verbal memory, phonetic categorization skills, and vocabulary knowledge were examined to determine whether they predicted proficiency in a multiple linear regression analysis. Results indicated that English vocabulary knowledge and phonetic categorization skills predicted both vocabulary growth and self-rated proficiency at the end of one semester of instruction. Memory skills did not significantly predict either proficiency measures. These results highlight how linguistic skills in the first language (L1) directly predict L2 learning outcomes regardless of differences in L1 and L2 language modalities.
In the paper, Bifurcation analysis of the twist-Fréedericksz transition in a nematic liquid-crystal cell with pre-twist boundary conditions (2009 Eur. J. Appl. Math.20, 269–287) by da Costa et al. the twist-Fréedericksz transition in a nematic liquid-crystal one-dimensional cell of lenght L was studied, imposing an antisymmetric net twist Dirichlet condition at the cell boundaries. In the present paper, we extend that study to the more general case of net twist Dirichlet conditions without any kind of symmetry restrictions. We use phase-plane analysis tools and appropriately defined time maps to obtain the bifurcation diagrams of the model when L is the bifurcation parameter, and related these diagrams with the one in the antisymmetric situation. The stability of the bifurcating solutions is investigated by applying the method of Maginu (1978 J. Math. Anal. Appl.63, 224–243).
Enhancing the quality of beef meat is an important goal in terms of improving both the nutritional value for the consumer and the commercial value for producers. The aim of this work was to study the effects of different vegetable oil supplements on growth performance, carcass quality and meat quality in beef steers reared under intensive conditions. A total of 240 Blonde D’ Aquitaine steers (average BW=293.7±38.88 kg) were grouped into 24 batches (10 steers/batch) and were randomly assigned to one of the three dietary treatments (eight batches per treatment), each supplemented with either 4% hydrogenated palm oil (PALM) or fatty acids (FAs) from olive oil (OLI) or soybean oil (SOY). No differences in growth performance or carcass quality were observed. For the meat quality analysis, a steer was randomly selected from each batch and the 6th rib on the left half of the carcass was dissected. PALM meat had the highest percentage of 16:0 (P<0.05) and the lowest n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) ratio (P<0.05), OLI had the highest content of t11-18:1 (P<0.01) and c9,t11-18:2 (P<0.05) and SOY showed the lowest value of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (P<0.001), the highest percentage of PUFA (P<0.01) and a lower index of atherogenicity (P=0.07) than PALM. No significant differences in the sensory characteristics of the meat were noted. However, the results of the principal component analysis of meat characteristics enabled meat from those steers that consumed fatty acids from olive oil to be differentiated from that of steers that consumed soybean oil.
Vegetation affects feedbacks in Earth's hydrologic system, but is constrained by physiological adaptations. In extant ecosystems, the mechanisms controlling plant water used can be measured experimentally; for extinct plants in the recent geological past, water use can be inferred from nearest living relatives, assuming minimal evolutionary change. In deep time, where no close living relatives exist, fossil material provides the only information for inferring plant water use. However, mechanistic models for extinct plant water use must be built on first principles and tested on extant plants. Plants serve as a conduit for water movement from the soil to the atmosphere, constrained by tissue-level construction and gross architecture. No single feature, such as stomata or veins, encompasses enough of the complexity underpinning water-use physiology to serve as the basis of a model of functional water use in all (or perhaps any) extinct plants. Rather, a “functional whole plant” model must be used. To understand the interplay between plant and atmosphere, water use in relation to environmental conditions is investigated in an extinct plant, the seed fern Medullosa ((Division Pteridospermatophyta), by reviewing methods for reconstructing physiological variables such as leaf and stem hydraulic capacity, photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and albedo. Medullosans had the potential for extremely high photosynthetic and assimilation rates, water transport, stomatal conductance, and transpiration—rates comparable to later angiosperms. When these high growth and gas exchange rates of medullosans are combined with the unique atmospheric gas composition of the late Paleozoic atmosphere, complex vegetation-environmental feedbacks are expected despite their basal phylogenetic position relative to post-Paleozoic seed plants.