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Sarcopenia, a skeletal muscle disorder that is characterised by loss of muscle strength and mass, is common in older populations and associated with poorer health outcomes. Although the individual and economic costs of sarcopenia are widely recognised, current understanding of its pathophysiology is incomplete, limiting efforts to translate research evidence into effective preventive and treatment strategies. While nutrition is a key field of sarcopenia research, the role of differences in habitual diets, and the effectiveness of dietary change as a prevention or treatment strategy, is uncertain. There is a growing evidence base that links low micronutrient intakes to sarcopenia risk and/or its components (low muscle strength and mass, impaired physical performance), although there remain many gaps in understanding. There is some consistency in findings across studies highlighting potential roles for antioxidant nutrients, B vitamins and magnesium; however, the evidence is largely observational and from cross-sectional studies, often describing associations with different muscle outcomes. As low intakes of some micronutrients are common in older populations, there is a need for new research, particularly from well-characterised prospective cohorts, to improve the understanding of their role and importance in the aetiology of sarcopenia and to generate the evidence needed to inform dietary guidelines to promote muscle health.
Measurements of elastic wave velocities enable non-destructive estimation of the mechanical properties, elastic moduli and density of snow and firn. The variation of elastic moduli with porosity in dry snow and firn is modeled using a differential effective medium scheme modified to account for the critical porosity above which the bulk and shear moduli of the ice frame vanish. A comparison of predicted and measured elastic moduli indicates that the shear modulus of ice in snow is lower than that computed from single crystal elastic stiffnesses of ice. This may indicate that the bonds between snow particles are more deformable under shear than under compression. A partial alignment of ice crystals also may contribute. Good agreement between elastic stiffnesses of the ice frame obtained from elastic wave velocity measurements and the predictions of the theory is observed. The approach is simple and compact, and does not require the use of empirical fits to the data. Owing to its simplicity, this model may prove useful in a variety of potential applications such as construction on snow, interpretation of seismic measurements to monitor and locate avalanches and estimation of density within compacting snow deposited on glaciers and ice sheets.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe and unprecedented impact on the health and wellbeing of people around the world. In a matter of weeks (and sometimes days), longestablished ways of doing, being, becoming and belonging have been forced to rapidly transform to adapt to new community standards. While similar disruptions have occurred previously in the context of local events (such as war or natural disaster), they have never occurred on a global scale before.
Our health and wellbeing is directly impacted upon by participation in the activities of daily living that bring meaning to our lives (Wilcock, 2006). This inter-relationship is the primary focus of the health profession of occupational therapy, which is a long-established part of health services around the world (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2012a). Occupations are the daily activities that people do, either individually or with others, to occupy their time and bring meaning or purpose to life (World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 2012b). The term ‘occupational being’ refers to an identity which emerges from interaction between the four dimensions of occupation – doing, being, becoming and belonging (Hitch and Pepin, 2020). Occupational beings may be individuals, groups or populations.
A study to follow the pandemic experiences of people living in Western Melbourne is currently underway in Australia. The aim of the mixed-methods study is to describe how community members experience occupational being over a six-month period, including changes over time. This chapter will reflect on the opportunities and challenges we have experienced while designing and performing research during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history … it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. (Rumsfeld, 2002)
All research during the COVID-19 pandemic is being conducted in a complex and rapidly evolving context, which has a lot of ‘unknown unknowns’. Our knowledge of the virus remains in its infancy, and there is significant variation in the way governments and health systems are supporting public health across jurisdictions.
Major advances in biology and ecology have sharpened our understanding of what the goals of biodiversity conservation might be, but less progress has been made on how to achieve conservation in the complex, multi-sectoral world of human affairs. The failure to deliver conservation outcomes is especially severe in the rapidly changing landscapes of tropical low-income countries. We describe five techniques we have used to complement and strengthen long-term attempts to achieve conservation outcomes in the landscapes and seascapes of such regions; these are complex social-ecological systems shaped by interactions between biological, ecological and physical features mediated by the actions of people. Conservation outcomes occur as a result of human decisions and the governance arrangements that guide change. However, much conservation science in these countries is not rooted in a deep understanding of how these social-ecological systems work and what really determines the behaviour of the people whose decisions shape the future of landscapes. We describe five scientific practices that we have found to be effective in building relationships with actors in landscapes and influencing their behaviour in ways that reconcile conservation and development. We have used open-ended inductive enquiry, theories of change, simulation models, network analysis and multi-criteria analysis. These techniques are all widely known and well tested, but seldom figure in externally funded conservation projects. We have used these techniques to complement and strengthen existing interventions of international conservation agencies. These five techniques have proven effective in achieving deeper understanding of context, engagement with all stakeholders, negotiation of shared goals and continuous learning and adaptation.
The Kehicap (Symposiachrus boanensis) or Black-chinned monarch is a bird species whose entire world population of 100–200 individuals survives in a few tiny patches of forest on the remote Indonesian Island of Buano in the Moluccas. The main threat to the Kehicap is fuelwood gathering by a relatively small population of local people. The habitat of the Kehicap is a protected forest (Hutan Lindung), and local people are violating the law when they harvest fuelwood. The future of the Kehicap is a classic example of a wicked problem. There is a direct conflict between measures to protect the species and the livelihoods of local people. There are huge and irreconcilable differences in their understanding of what the problem is – or even of whether there is a problem. Policies to counter forest loss and degradation have fallen short in achieving these goals. Devolution of forest management to local communities offers promise but also challenges. Wicked problems cannot all be solved one at a time – they will cease to exist when mature and effective institutions emerge to regulate the activities of a prosperous and well-educated population.
The regionalization of the Canadian party system is a topic that has occupied Canadian scholars for decades. While there have undoubtedly been periods of significant regionalization (for example, the 1990s) and while these periods have been well documented, there has been very little systematic study of regionalization/nationalization in the Canadian party system. We address this gap by exploring nationalization of the Canadian party system from 1867 to 2015. To do so, we apply two measures. First, we consider how nationalized party competition is by exploring the extent to which parties compete in districts across the entire country. Second, we compliment this approach by applying the Gini coefficient to vote shares, revealing the extent to which Canadian parties have (un)even electoral support from province to province. In doing so, we explore not only the system as a whole but individual parties as well.
SDG 15 requires the maintenance of life on land and endorses priorities already established through international conventions and agreements. The scale, and complexity, of tropical forest loss and biodiversity decline versus the limited resources for conservation and forestry pose many challenges. The main innovation of SDG 15 is that decision makers will see this goal as one to integrate with other SDGs; the risk is that short-term priorities and a ‘business as usual’ approach will undermine this. We examine these opportunities and challenges, the factors that impinge upon them and how they may play out over the next decade. There will be trade-offs between SDG 15 and other SDGs resulting from competition for land, but there are also synergies and opportunities that require recognition. We encourage conservation and development professionals to engage with those responsible for all the Agenda 2030 targets to ensure that SDG 15 is a priority in all SDG related processes.
Wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) is a problematic and economically damaging dicotyledonous weed infesting crops in many regions of the world. Resistance to the auxinic herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba is widespread in Western Australian R. raphanistrum populations, with the resistance mechanism appearing to involve alterations in the physiological response to synthetic auxins and in plant defense. This study aimed to determine whether these alterations cause inhibition in plant growth or reproduction that could potentially be exploited to manage 2,4-D–resistant populations in cropping areas. Therefore, the morphology and seed production of resistant and susceptible populations were compared in an outdoor pot study, with plants grown in the presence and absence of competition by wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The susceptible and resistant R. raphanistrum populations were equally suppressed by wheat competition, with plant growth and seed production being decreased by approximately 50%. Although resistant populations produced less vegetative biomass than susceptible populations, there was no negative association between resistance and seed production. Therefore, it is unlikely that any nonherbicidal management practices will be more efficacious on 2,4-D–resistant than 2,4-D–susceptible R. raphanistrum populations.
In Anglo-Saxon and Viking literature swords form part of a hero's identity. In addition to being weapons, they represent a material agent for the individual's actions, a physical expression of identity. In this article we bring together the evidence from literature and archaeology concerning Anglo-Saxon and Viking-age swords and argue that these strands of evidence converge on the construction of mortuary identities and particular personhoods. The placement of the sword in funerary contexts is important. Swords were not just objects; they were worn close to the body, intermingling with the physical person. This is reflected in the mortuary context where they were displayed within an emotive aesthetic. Typically, swords were embraced, placed next to the head and shoulders, more like a companion than an object. However, there are exceptions: graves like Birka 581 and Prittlewell show sword locations that contrast with the normal placement, locations which would have jarred with an observer's experience, suggesting unconventional or nuanced identities. By drawing on literary evidence, we aim to use the words of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings to illuminate the significance of swords in mortuary contexts and their wider cultural associations.
Myxozoans are widespread and common endoparasites of fish with complex life cycles, infecting vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. There are two classes: Myxosporea and Malacosporea. To date about 2500 myxosporean species have been described. By comparison, there are only five described malacosporean species. Malacosporean development in the invertebrate hosts (freshwater bryozoans) has been relatively well studied but is poorly known in fish hosts. Our aim was to investigate the presence and development of malacosporeans infecting a diversity of fish from Brazil, Europe and the USA. We examined kidney from 256 fish belonging variously to the Salmonidae, Cyprinidae, Nemacheilidae, Esocidae, Percidae, Polyodontidae, Serrasalmidae, Cichlidae and Pimelodidae. Malacosporean infections were detected and identified by polymerase chain reaction and small subunit ribosomal DNA sequencing, and the presence of sporogonic stages was evaluated by ultrastructural examination. We found five malacosporean infections in populations of seven European fish species (brown trout, rainbow trout, white fish, dace, roach, gudgeon and stone loach). Ultrastructural analyses revealed sporogonic stages in kidney tubules of three fish species (brown trout, roach and stone loach), providing evidence that fish belonging to at least three families are true hosts. These results expand the range of fish hosts exploited by malacosporeans to complete their life cycle.
Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) of the North-east Atlantic are protected at designated European Marine Sites (Special Areas of Conservation, SACs) typically during their reproductive periods and in the UK at Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). As a mobile marine species, grey seals spend other parts of their annual life cycle in non-designated habitat. There is limited information on individual grey seal movements in south-west England. Citizen science photo identification (PID) revealed the movements of 477 grey seals at a regional scale (54 haul-outs up to 230 km apart) for over a decade. Reconstructed movements showed considerable individual variability. Four SACs were linked to up to 18 non-designated sites and two SSSIs in Cornwall were linked to a maximum of 41 non-designated sites. Observations support the value of existing SSSIs at both the well-connected West and North Cornwall sites. Thirteen Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were visited by grey seals from four SACs and two SSSIs in Cornwall. As a mobile species, grey seals could be included in English MPA management plans. The application of functional linkage from SACs and SSSIs, informed by the movements evidenced in this research, could aid management efforts. This analysis reveals grey seal movements occur across a complex network of interconnected designated and non-designated sites that need to be managed holistically for this species for which the UK has a special responsibility.
Measured elastic stiffnesses of ice polycrystals decrease with increasing temperature due to a decrease in grain boundary stiffness with increasing temperature. In this paper, we represent grain boundaries as imperfectly bonded interfaces, across which traction is continuous, but displacement may be discontinuous. We express the additional compliance due to grain boundaries in terms of a second-rank and a fourth-rank tensor, which quantify the effect on elastic wave velocities of the orientation distribution as well as the normal and shear compliances of the grain boundaries. Measurement of the elastic stiffnesses allows determination of the components of these tensors. Application of the method to resonant ultrasound spectroscopy measurements made on ice polycrystals enables determination of the ratio BN/BS of the normal to shear compliance of the grain boundaries, which are found to be more compliant in shear than in compression. The ratio BN/BS is small at low temperatures, but increases as temperature increases, implying that the normal compliance increases relative to the shear compliance as temperature increases.
Introduction: Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are becoming increasingly popular. However, little is known regarding their patterns of use in patients with established CVD.
Aims: We aimed to assess the perceptions and patterns of use of e-cigarettes in patients presenting to a vascular clinic.
Methods: We performed a qualitative study to identify perceptions and beliefs about e-cigarettes. Semi-structured interviews of consecutive patients consenting to participate were performed over five-months. Individuals were recruited from a vascular surgery outpatient clinic. Initial interviews were based on a questionnaire. Further structured interviews were conducted with patients currently using e-cigarettes, which were transcribed and analysed to assess perceptions and patterns of use.
Results/Findings: Four overarching themes emerged: attraction to e-cigarettes as a harm reduction/smoking cessation strategy; uncertainty regarding the risks of e-cigarettes; use of various types of smoking cessation strategies; dual use and often complete relapse to tobacco products.
Conclusions: Patients with established CVD view e-cigarettes as a means of smoking cessation; however, many relapse to tobacco products or use both simultaneously. Further research is necessary regarding the role of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation in this high-risk group.
The aim of this study was to explore the role and activities of the school nursing service in sexual health within a large inner London borough.
School nurses (SNs) are specialist community public health nurses working with the school age population to promote their health and well-being and therefore are arguably in a prime position to promote the sexual health of children and young people. This is particularly pertinent in inner city boroughs where the rates of sexually transmitted infections and under-18 conceptions are a significant problem.
Following a review of the literature, a mixed methods study was undertaken which included an audit of documentary data to identify the referrals received in relation to sexual health and also included questionnaire surveys of school staff and SNs on their views of the role of the SN in sexual health.
SNs and school staff identified that SNs have a role in sexual health, which was reflected in the referrals received during the audit of documentary data. There appeared to be inconsistencies across the service and evidence suggested that the school nursing service may be underutilised in comparison to the number of students who require sexual health support. The current service appears to be predominantly reactive, particularly for males and those less than 12 years old. However, both SNs and school staff would like to see a more preventative approach; including greater sexual health promotion, condom distribution and school health clinics.
To explore influences on diet in a group of community-dwelling older adults in the UK.
Data were collected through focus group discussions with older people; discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and transcripts analysed thematically.
Participants were sampled purposively from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, focusing on those whose diets had been assessed at two time points: 1998–2001 and 2011.
Ninety-two adults participated (47 % women; 74–83 years) and eleven focus groups were held. A number of age-related factors were identified that were linked to food choices, including lifelong food experiences, retirement, bereavement and medical conditions, as well as environmental factors (such as transport). There appeared to be variability in how individuals responded to these influences, indicating that other underlying factors may mediate the effects of age-related factors on diet. Discussions about ‘keeping going’, being motivated to ‘not give up’, not wanting to be perceived as ‘old’, as well as examples of resilience and coping strategies, suggest the importance of mediating psychological factors. In addition, discussion about social activities and isolation, community spirit and loneliness, indicated the importance of social engagement as an influence on diet.
Interventions to promote healthier diets in older age should take account of underlying psychological and social factors that influence diet, which may mediate the effects of age-related factors.
The Schistosoma mansoni cercarial elastase (SmCE) has previously been shown to be poorly immunogenic in mice. However, a minority of mice were able to produce antibodies against SmCE after multiple immunizations with crude preparations containing the enzyme. These mice were partially protected against challenge infections of S. mansoni. In the present study, we show that in contrast to the poor immunogenicity of the enzymatically active native form of SmCE derived from a crude preparation (cercarial transformation fluid), immunization of CBA/Ca mice with two enzymatically inactive forms, namely purified native SmCE or a recombinant SmCE fused to recombinant Schistosoma japonicum glutathione S-transferase (rSmCE-SjGST), after adsorption onto aluminum hydroxide adjuvant, induced specific anti-SmCE immunoglobulin G (IgG) in all mice within 2 weeks of the second immunization. The IgG antibody response to rSmCE-SjGST was mainly of the IgG1 subclass. These results suggest that inactive forms of the antigen could be used to obtain the optimum immunogenic effects as a vaccine candidate against schistosomiasis. Mice immunized with the rSmCE-SjGST on alum had smaller mean worm burdens and lower tissue egg counts when compared with adjuvant alone- and recombinant SjGST-injected controls. The native SmCE was antigenically cross-reactive with homologous enzymes of Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma margrebowiei.
The sociosexual world of the premodern Middle East has been studied through a variety of sources ranging from legal documents to shadow theater. Most such sources are either prescriptive or transgressive: they uphold or subvert a normative framework, telling us more about the framework itself than about how it was inhabited by subjects in everyday life. This study introduces the Tıfli stories as a descriptive source that transcends the prescriptive–transgressive dichotomy. An Ottoman-Turkish genre of prose fiction produced at least from the 18th to the 20th century, the Tıfli stories were a protorealist form of “pulp fiction.” Where most sources sought to stabilize specific sociosexual roles, the Tıfli stories explored the ambiguities inherent in these roles. This study employs the Tıfli stories to interrogate understandings of the Ottoman sociosexual world that rely strongly on normative sources and to stage an approximation of how norms were negotiated in practice.