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Systems engineering and design thinking have been widely seen as distinctly different processes, systems engineering being more data-driven and analytical, and design thinking being more human- centred and creative. We use the term ‘design thinking’ to encompass the plurality of human-centered design processes that seek to unpack the core values behind design decisions. With the increased awareness that both systems engineering and design thinking need each other, the effects of a possibly persisting distinction on engineers’ attitudes toward these two processes are not well understood. In this paper, we describe the development and validation of a scale for measuring individual attitudes about systems engineering and design thinking. Thematic analysis of engineering and design literature is used to derive a Likert scale reflecting these attitudes. We use exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to test and confirm this two-factor thematic representation, resulting in a 9-item Systems Engineering and Design Thinking Scale measure of attitudes.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
The clinical and pathologic characterisation of two fatal cases of tick-borne rickettsiosis in rural (El Valle) and urban (City of Panama) Panama are described. Clinical and autopsy findings were non-specific, but the molecular analysis was used to identify Rickettsia rickettsii in both cases. No ticks were collected in El Valle, while in the urban case, R. rickettsii was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l., representing the first molecular finding in this tick in Panama and Central America.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
Cannabis use has been linked to impairments in neuropsychological functioning across a large and continually expanding body of research. Yet insight into underlying causal relations remains limited due to the historically cross-sectional nature of studies in this area. Recently, however, studies have begun to use more informative design strategies to delineate these associations. The aim of this article is to provide a critical evaluation and review of research that uses longitudinal designs to examine the link between cannabis use and neuropsychological functioning. In summarizing the primary findings across these studies, this review suggests that cannabis use leads to neuropsychological decline. However, across most studies, these associations were modest, were present only for the group with the heaviest cannabis use, and were often attenuated (or no longer significant) after controlling for potential confounding variables. Future studies with neuropsychological data before and after initiation of cannabis use, along with careful measurement and control of “shared risk factors” between cannabis use and poorer neuropsychological outcomes, are needed to better understand who, and under what conditions, is most vulnerable to cannabis-associated neuropsychological decline. (JINS, 2017, 23, 893–902)
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Slaughter is a crucial step in the meat production chain that could induce psychological stress on each animal, resulting in a physiological response that can differ among individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between an animal’s emotional state, the subsequent psychological stress at slaughter and the cellular damage as an effect. In all, 36 entire male pigs were reared at an experimental farm and a cognitive bias test was used to classify them into positive bias (PB) or negative bias (NB) groups depending on their decision-making capabilities. Half of the animals, slaughtered in the same batch, were used for a complete study of biomarkers of stress, including brain neurotransmitters and some muscle biomarkers of oxidative stress. After slaughter, specific brain areas were excised and the levels of catecholamines (noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA)) and indoleamines (5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid and serotonin (5HT)) were analyzed. In addition, muscle proteasome activity (20S), antioxidant defence (total antioxidant activity (TAA)), oxidative damage (lipid peroxidation (LPO)) and autophagy biomarkers (Beclin-1, microtubule-associated protein I light chain 3 (LC3-I) and LC3-II) were monitored during early postmortem maturation (0 to 24 h). Compared with PB animals, NB pigs were more susceptible to stress, showing higher 5HT levels (P<0.01) in the hippocampus and lower DA (P<0.001) in the pre-frontal cortex. Furthermore, NB pigs had more intense proteolytic processes and triggered primary muscle cell survival mechanisms immediately after slaughter (0 h postmortem), thus showing higher TAA (P<0.001) and earlier proteasome activity (P<0.001) and autophagy (Beclin-1, P<0.05; LC3-II/LC3-I, P<0.001) than PB pigs, in order to counteract the induced increase in oxidative stress, that was significantly higher in the muscle of NB pigs at 0 h postmortem (LPO, P<0.001). Our study is the first to demonstrate that pig’s cognitive bias influences the animal’s susceptibility to stress and has important effects on the postmortem muscle metabolism, particularly on the cell antioxidant defences and the autophagy onset. These results expand the current knowledge regarding biomarkers of animal welfare and highlight the potential use of biomarkers of the proteasome, the autophagy (Beclin-1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and the muscle antioxidant defence (TAA, LPO) for detection of peri-slaughter stress.
The Ring Diagram analysis is a technique designed to infer the presence of horizontal velocity flows under the solar surface by the analysis of the power spectra of solar oscillations in three dimensions: the two components of the horizontal wave number and temporal frequency (Hill, 1988 and Patrón et al., 1995). This procedure is applied as a local analysis technique, performed for a region of the Sun of several heliographic degrees (typically around 15×15 degrees square). As the Sun is rotating, we must track a chosen region as long as it is present at the visible part of the solar disk, and we can continue the tracking after several solar rotations. The comparison of the estimated flow fields obtained at different times can give some ideas about the temporal variations of the flows.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
Designers faced with the task of developing a new product model of a brand must balance several considerations. The design must be novel and express attributes important to the customers, while also recognizable as a representative of the brand. This balancing is left to the intuition of the designers, who must anticipate how customers will perceive the new design. Oftentimes, the design freedom used to meet a product attribute can compromise the recognition of the product as a member of the brand. In this paper, an experiment is conducted for measuring changes in ten styling attributes common to both design freedom and brand recognition for automotive designs from four brands, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, and Lexus, using customer responses to two- and three-dimensional vehicle designs created and presented interactively through a crowdsourced web application. Results show that while brand recognition is highly dependent on the manufacturer, two brands have strong negative relationship between design freedom and brand recognition, suggesting that these two manufacturers face a significant challenge when evolving their respective brand styling. This study is a first effort toward quantifying and predicting tradeoffs between design freedom and brand recognition, contributing to existing efforts that augment human intuition during strategic design decisions.
Agroecology uses ecological processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to develop productive and resilient livestock and crop production systems. In this context, breeding innovations are necessary to obtain animals that are both productive and adapted to a broad range of local contexts and diversity of systems. Breeding strategies to promote agroecological systems are similar for different animal species. However, current practices differ regarding the breeding of ruminants, pigs and poultry. Ruminant breeding is still an open system where farmers continue to choose their own breeds and strategies. Conversely, pig and poultry breeding is more or less the exclusive domain of international breeding companies which supply farmers with hybrid animals. Innovations in breeding strategies must therefore be adapted to the different species. In developed countries, reorienting current breeding programmes seems to be more effective than developing programmes dedicated to agroecological systems that will struggle to be really effective because of the small size of the populations currently concerned by such systems. Particular attention needs to be paid to determining the respective usefulness of cross-breeding v. straight breeding strategies of well-adapted local breeds. While cross-breeding may offer some immediate benefits in terms of improving certain traits that enable the animals to adapt well to local environmental conditions, it may be difficult to sustain these benefits in the longer term and could also induce an important loss of genetic diversity if the initial pure-bred populations are no longer produced. As well as supporting the value of within-breed diversity, we must preserve between-breed diversity in order to maintain numerous options for adaptation to a variety of production environments and contexts. This may involve specific public policies to maintain and characterize local breeds (in terms of both phenotypes and genotypes), which could be used more effectively if they benefited from the scientific and technical resources currently available for more common breeds. Last but not least, public policies need to enable improved information concerning the genetic resources and breeding tools available for the agroecological management of livestock production systems, and facilitate its assimilation by farmers and farm technicians.
Omicron Andromedae is a multiple system of at least four stars: a B ↔Be star (component A), a spectroscopic binary (components B1–B2) and a close companion (component a). According to several studies (see Hill et al. 1988, 1989):
-the distance between A and the B1–B2 system decreased from 0.39″ in 1975 to 0.25″ in 1987 (McAlister and Hartkopf 1988)
-the few previous speckle measurements of component a have shown the possibility of a 3.7 years orbit around A, according to the 1975 to 1984 observations (mean distance 0.05″). The calculations with this 3.7 yr orbit lead to the prediction of a maximum distance of 0.77″ at 1992.738, i.e. at the end of september 1992, with a North-South orientation.
The unprecedented combination of spatial resolution and stability achieved by the Solar Oscillations Investigation/Michelson Doppler Imager on SOHO has opened up new opportunities for the analysis of solar surface oscillations of high spatial frequencies. In this regime the oscillations are essentially plane waves, amenable to the techniques of ring-diagram analysis of their three-dimensional power spectra. This approach holds the promise of measuring fluid motions and possibly magnetic fields in spatially-resolved structures within the uppermost levels of the convective envelope, a region unresolved by the global modes. Atmospheric g-modes trapped above the photosphere may also be detectable. We review the first results of plane-wave analysis of various types of SOI data and comparisons with the analyses of comparable ground-based datasets.
Agroecology uses natural processes and local resources rather than chemical inputs to ensure production while limiting the environmental footprint of livestock and crop production systems. Selecting to achieve a maximization of target production criteria has long proved detrimental to fitness traits. However, since the 1990s, developments in animal breeding have also focussed on animal robustness by balancing production and functional traits within overall breeding goals. We discuss here how an agroecological perspective should further shift breeding goals towards functional traits rather than production traits. Breeding for robustness aims to promote individual adaptive capacities by considering diverse selection criteria which include reproduction, animal health and welfare, and adaptation to rough feed resources, a warm climate or fluctuating environmental conditions. It requires the consideration of genotype×environment interactions in the prediction of breeding values. Animal performance must be evaluated in low-input systems in order to select those animals that are adapted to limiting conditions, including feed and water availability, climate variations and diseases. Finally, we argue that there is no single agroecological animal type, but animals with a variety of profiles that can meet the expectations of agroecology. The standardization of both animals and breeding conditions indeed appears contradictory to the agroecological paradigm that calls for an adaptation of animals to local opportunities and constraints in weakly artificialized systems tied to their physical environment.
Pb0.88Ln0.08TiO3 ferroelectric system, where Ln = La, Sm, Eu, and Dy, has been characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction experiments. Softening of the lowest transverse optical phonon mode E (1TO) was evaluated as a function of the rare earths’ ionic radius suggesting partial occupation of lanthanide ions at the A and B sites of the perovskite structure. Using Rietveld refinements, it has been established a higher incorporation of Ln3+ ions into the A sites of the perovskite structure than that of the B sites for the studied ceramics. The occupation at B sites increases slightly with the decreases of the ionic radii of the lanthanides.
The longhorn beetle Cerambyx welensii is an emerging pest involved in oak decline episodes, whose damage is increasingly reported in dehesa open woodlands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of C. welensii is a crucial goal due to its new pest status. In this study, we assess the reproductive traits of both sexes in the laboratory (25°C and 60% relative humidity ). In females, body length was 44.9 ± 0.9 mm (mean ± SE), fecundity 132 ± 12 eggs, fertility 70 ± 1 %, longevity 70 ± 3 days, preoviposition period 2 ± 0.2 days, oviposition period 44 ± 3 days and postoviposition period 19 ± 3 days. Fecundity was positively correlated with female size, longevity and oviposition period. Daily fecundity was 3.0 ± 0.2 eggs/day and showed a fluctuating synovigenic pattern with a slight decreasing trend over time. Egg length was 4.24 ± 0.01 mm and egg volume 8.14 ± 0.04 mm3. Egg size was correlated with female size but the relative size of eggs was larger in smaller females. Incubation time was 13.9 ± 0.1 days and hatching did not depend on egg size. Neonate size was positively correlated with egg length. Females were polyandrous (more than 20 lifetime matings) but multiple mating did not increase fecundity, fertility or longevity. In males, body length was 43.7 ± 0.6 mm and longevity 52 ± 3 days. Unlike with females, longevity was positively correlated with male size. Males were polygynous (up to 30 lifetime matings) but mating history did not affect male longevity. Rather to the contrary, long-lived males mated more times because they had more mating chances. Lastly, C. welensii reproductive traits were compared with those other Cerambycidae species and discussed from an adaptive perspective. Our data will be useful to improve management of C. welensii in order to prevent or mitigate its impact in dehesa woodlands and other oak forests.
The objective of this work was to study the postmortem evolution of potential biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and oxidative stress (total antioxidant activity, TAA; superoxide dismutase activity, SOD and catalase activity, CAT) in the Longissimus dorsi muscle of entire male ((Large White×Landrace)×Duroc) pigs subjected to different management treatments that may promote stress, such as mixing unfamiliar animals at the farm and/or during transport and lairage before slaughter. During the rearing period at the farm, five animals were never mixed after the initial formation of the experimental groups (unmixed group at the farm, UF), whereas 10 animals were subjected to a common routine of being mixed with unfamiliar animals (mixed group at the farm, MF). Furthermore, two different treatments were used during the transport and lairage before slaughter: 10 pigs were not mixed (unmixed group during transport and lairage, UTL), whereas five pigs were mixed with unfamiliar animals on the lorry and during lairage (mixed group during transport and lairage, MTL). These mixing treatments were then combined into three pre-slaughter treatments – namely, UF-UTL, MF-UTL and MF-MTL. The results show that MF-UTL and MF-MTL increased significantly the muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD and CAT) at short postmortem times (4 and 8 h; P<0.001), followed by an earlier depletion of the antioxidant activity at 24 h postmortem (P<0.05). We also found that mixing unfamiliar animals, both at the farm and during transport and lairage, triggers postmortem muscle autophagy, which showed an earlier activation (higher expression of Beclin 1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio at 4 h postmortem followed by a decreasing pattern of this ratio along first 24 h postmortem) in the muscle tissues of animals from the MF-UTL and MF-MTL groups, as an adaptive strategy of the muscle cells for counteracting induced stress. From these results, we propose that monitoring the evolution of the main biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD, CAT) in the muscle tissue within the first 24 h postmortem may help the detection of animal stress and its potential effect on the postmortem muscle metabolism.
The near-infrared absorption line Fe I 15648 Å, which has a Landé g-factor of 3, shows a particularly large Zeeman splitting. We regularly take full-disk polarization maps of the Sun in the Fe I 15648 Å line (as well as the He I 10830 Å line) with an infrared spectropolarimeter installed at the Solar Flare Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). It is known that weak, mostly horizontal magnetic fields are ubiquitously distributed in the quiet regions of the Sun, while the strong magnetic fields are concentrated in active regions and network boundaries. The weak horizontal field has not been sufficiently investigated due to the difficulty of such observations. The polarization maps in Fe I 15648 Å show the magnetic field strength at each pixel, regardless of the filling factor, so we can easily isolate the weak horizontal field signals from strong magnetic field ones using the Stokes V profiles of the Fe I 15648 Å line. Here we present instrumental aspects and observational results of solar near-infrared full-disk polarimetry. We highlight the weak horizontal field inferred from Fe I 15648 Å.