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Since the establishment of the first radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry facility in Latin America in 2009, the Radiocarbon Laboratory team of Universidade Federal Fluminense (LAC-UFF) has worked to improve sample preparation protocols and increase the range of environmental matrices to be analyzed. We now present the preliminary results for DIC sample preparation protocols. The first validation tests include background evaluation with pMC value (0.35 ± 0.04) using bicarbonate dissolved in water. We also analyzed surface seawater resulting in pMC value (101.38 ± 0.38) and a groundwater previously dated from LEMA AMS-Laboratory with pMC value (12.30 ± 0.15).
The present study aimed to assess the associations of the stages of Fe deficiency (Fe deficiency without anaemia (ID) and Fe-deficiency anaemia (IDA)) and anaemia with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Ecuadorian women. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 5894 women aged 20–59 years, based on data from the 2012 Ecuadorian National Health and Nutrition Survey. The sample was stratified by age. A χ2 test was used to assess the possible associations of ID, IDA and anaemia with MetS. The prevalence ratio (PR) for each stage of Fe deficiency and anaemia was estimated considering women without MetS as a reference. The total prevalence of MetS, ID, IDA and anaemia was 32⋅3 % (se 0⋅6), 6⋅2 % (se 0⋅3), 7⋅1 % (se 0⋅3) and 5⋅0 % (se 0⋅3), respectively. In women aged 20–29, 30–39 and 40–49 years, MetS was associated with a lower prevalence of ID (PR (95 % CI; P-value)): 0⋅17 (0⋅06, 0⋅46; P < 0⋅001), 0⋅69 (0⋅48, 0⋅99; P = 0⋅044) and 0⋅44 (0⋅29, 0⋅67; P < 0⋅001), respectively. In women aged 50–59 years, MetS was associated with IDA and anaemia (PR (95 % CI; P-value)): 0⋅12 (0⋅02, 0⋅96; P = 0⋅026) and 0⋅22 (0⋅07, 0⋅64; P = 0⋅002), respectively. In conclusion, Ecuadorian women of reproductive age with MetS have a lower prevalence of ID compared with those without MetS. Furthermore, the MetS and IDA coexist at the population level. These findings require an analysis from a dietary pattern approach, which could provide key elements for developing public policies that simultaneously address all forms of malnutrition.
A high prevalence of thyroid hypofunction has been found in bipolar patients. However, the samples used in previous studies included a high percentage of patients in treatment with lithium and carbamazepine. Since the use of these drugs may explain the high prevalence of thyroid disturbances found in bipolar patients, we designed the present study to assess thyroid function in a sample of bipolar patients who had not been treated previously with lithium or carbamazepine. Patients included in the sample met Research Diagnostic Criteria for bipolar affective disorder. Assessment included determination of serum levels for total tyroxine (T4), total triiodothyronine (T3), and thyrotropin both basally and in response to infusion of 500 mg of Protilerin. The rate of thyroid hypofunction in the total sample (9.2%) was considerably lower than that reported in other studies with bipolar patients undergoing lithium therapy. Five patients (9.2%) showed some thyroid hyperfuncion parameter. Our results do not show significant differences in thyroid function indices between long-term and short-term duration of illness, between outpatients and inpatients, between high and low number of episodes, and between rapid- and non-rapid-cycling cases. Comparison between bipolar I and bipolar II patients shows a statistically significant difference in the values of TSH levels, with the bipolar II group having a higher mean value. Our data suggest that thyroid dysfunction is not related to gender, duration of illness, number of episodes, or rapid-cycling course of illness. The higher TRH-stimulated TSH levels in the bipolar II group could be considered a differential biological feature.
This essay highlights the dynamic theology of nature and grace expressed within The Divine Narcissus by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651–95). Inspired by thinkers such as Augustine and Bernard of Clairvaux and, later in her life, an emphasis on the Immaculate Conception, she details an aesthetic relationship between grace and nature: human nature is created to reflect, in grace, the perfect beauty of the incarnate Son of God. Moreover, by securing positive roles for the contributions of women and for indigenous Mexican religious devotion, she highlights the way in which this dynamic between nature and grace recovers the authentic voice of the least in society—those whose voices have been unjustly suppressed by violent domination.
Transatlantic Studies is the outcome of a dual shift: a geographical displacement provoked by the geopolitical debunking of area studies and an epistemological rift produced by the new global regime of capitalist accumulation. In the US, the geographical shift in focus from continental regions to oceanic ranges was meant to salvage area studies from their virtual obsolescence while representing an opportunity for European academic circles to break the hegemony of a US-centered area studies agenda. The epistemological rift from hardcore, neopositivistic, and developmental social sciences to relativistic, postmodern, and postcolonial interculturalism was a response to the economically driven and globally experienced cultural turn. This combined shift, from which Transatlantic Studies emerged, translates profound geopolitical realignments, economic transformations, and epistemological quandaries that traverse and make up our global age. As an outcome of this global realignment and of Spain's freshly acquired international status, Hispanic Transatlantic Studies adopted this dual shift and adapted it to a renovated pan-Hispanism which involved the overlapping interests of Spanish capitalism and transnational corporations, so that the former was put to work in the service of the latter under the pretense of a shared cultural tradition, and Hispanic imperial nostalgia became an alibi for global transatlantic geopolitics. As José María Aznar wrote, “Spain is interested in obtaining a greater Atlantic projection […] That's why Spain has to develop a policy of ‘special relations’ with the Americas […] Our common history and culture is the best foundation for sharing markets and collaborating in the international arena” (1994: 170–71).
The crisis of area studies was met in Europe and the US by different strategies. While the Report on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences written by the Gulbenkian Commission (1996) recommended the opening of the social sciences to interdisciplinary research and the adoption of a global and systematic interpretation of contemporary events, the revision actually started in 1993 with the publication of The Black Atlantic by Paul Gilroy. The Ford and the Rockefeller foundations also promoted several projects to revitalize area studies, by redrawing them around maritime flows. The idea of the Atlantic as a geopolitical crucible, first envisioned as a domain of inquiry by European historians like Fernand Braudel and Pierre Chaunu, would eventually evolve from the study of regional formations to the study of oceanic flows of people, commodities, and cultures.
Researchers have sought to understand the effects of like-minded versus contrary news exposure on attitude polarization, which can be a threat to democracy. The online news environment offers opportunities for exposure to both types of news, albeit unequally. This study tests the effects of exposure to heterogeneous partisan news bundles (both like-minded and contrary news) on attitude polarization. Because media exposure can lead to bias, attitude polarization is tested as a direct and indirect effect via hostile media perceptions. Data in this study are from a between-subjects experimental design about the issue of assisted suicide. Results indicate that even though the effect of the partisan news bundle on hostile media perceptions is significant, both direct and indirect effects on attitude polarization are null.
Electroejaculation (EE) is stressful and probably painful; thus the administration of anaesthesia is recommended to decrease those negative effects. However, anaesthesia has a direct risk of provoking death, but sedation is less risky than anaesthesia. At the same time, α2-adrenergic agonists may improve semen quality. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the physiological and behavioural responses indicative of stress and possibly pain, and the semen quality in electroejaculated untreated, anaesthetised or sedated goat bucks. Semen was collected from eight bucks using three different procedures in all them (EE in untreated bucks, EE under sedation or EE under general anaesthesia). The number of vocalizations during EE and the behavioural pattern before and after procedures were recorded. Pain visual analogue scale (VAS) score was also determined during EE. Rectal temperature, heart rate, serum cortisol concentration, biochemical and haematological parameters were measured before and after each procedure, and sperm characteristics were determined. Bucks vocalised more often when untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.02). The pain VAS score was greater when bucks were untreated than sedated or anaesthetised (P<0.002). The rectal temperature, heart rate, total protein, albumin and haemoglobin concentrations were greater when bucks were untreated than anaesthetised or sedated (P<0.02). Serum cortisol increased after EE (P=0.0006), without differences between procedures. The frequency and duration of lying down after EE were greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.05), and were also greater when bucks were sedated than untreated (P<0.05). The number of times that the animal tried to stand up after EE was greater when bucks were anaesthetised than sedated or untreated (P<0.02). The sperm mass motility was greater when bucks were anaesthetised or sedated than when they were untreated (P=0.048). When animals were sedated, the ejaculate contained more spermatozoa with functional plasma membrane (P=0.03) and morphologically normal (P=0.05) than when they were untreated. In conclusion, general anaesthesia and sedation decreased the stress and probably the pain response provoked by EE and especially sedation improved the quality of the semen collected.
At birth, when immune responses are insufficient, there begins the development of the defence capability against pathogens. Leptin and adiponectin, adipokines that are present in breast milk, have been shown to play a role in the regulation of immune responses. We report here, for the first time, the influence of in vivo adipokine supplementation on the intestinal immune system in early life. Suckling Wistar rats were daily supplemented with leptin (0·7 μg/kg per d, n 36) or adiponectin (35 μg/kg per d, n 36) during the suckling period. The lymphocyte composition, proliferation and cytokine secretion from mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes (on days 14 and 21), as well as intestinal IgA and IgM concentration (day 21), were evaluated. At day 14, leptin supplementation significantly increased the TCRαβ+ cell proportion in mesenteric lymph nodes, in particular owing to an increase in the TCRαβ+ CD8+ cell population. Moreover, the leptin or adiponectin supplementation promoted the early development CD8+ cells, with adiponectin being the only adipokine capable of enhancing the lymphoproliferative ability at the end of the suckling period. Although leptin decreased intestinal IgA concentration, it had a trophic effect on the intestine in early life. Supplementation of both adipokines modulated the cytokine profile during (day 14) and at the end (day 21) of the suckling period. These results suggest that leptin and adiponectin during suckling play a role in the development of mucosal immunity in early life.
A diet containing 10 % cocoa, a rich source of polyphenols and fibre, is able to modify intestinal immune status as well as microbiota composition. The present study was aimed at investigating whether cocoa flavonoid content is uniquely responsible for these modulatory effects of cocoa, and to establish whether these effects depend on the rat strain. To this end, 3-week-old Wistar and Brown Norway rats were fed, for 4 weeks, either a standard diet or the following three isoenergetic diets containing increasing proportions of cocoa flavonoids from different sources: one with 0·2 % polyphenols (from conventional defatted cocoa), and two others with 0·4 and 0·8 % polyphenols (from non-fermented cocoa, very rich in polyphenols). Serum Ig concentrations, faecal IgA levels, microbiota composition and IgA-coating bacterial proportion were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the study. After the nutritional intervention, the composition of lymphocytes in Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes was evaluated. In some respects, the Wistar strain was more sensitive to the impact of the cocoa diets than the Brown Norway strain. After 4 weeks of dietary intervention, similar modulatory effects of the diets containing 0·2 and 0·8 % polyphenols on mucosal IgA levels and microbiota composition were found, although the 0·2 % diet, with a higher proportion of theobromine and fibre, had more impact, suggesting that polyphenols are not the only components involved in such effects.
Serrana de Teruel is an endangered cattle breed raised traditionally in the mountainous areas of Southern Aragon (Spain). With the aim of recovering the breed, a characterization was carried out to determine the morphology, husbandry and genetic values of the Serrana de Teruel breed. Individuals showed a medium to high degree of homogeneity and harmony, most of the animals being of straight profile, and eumetrical and sublongilineal individuals, although smaller in size than other phylogenetically proximate breeds. Biodiversity studies showed good diversity values despite the breed's low effective population size (240 individuals in 2010). These studies provided the basis for a sustainable programme of genetic conservation. In order to guarantee long-term maintenance, germplasm banks contain 6400 doses of semen and 74 embryos. Concurrently, the commercial viability of the breed was studied by means of an analysis of carcass and meat quality from three commercial categories – yearling, bull and steer (castrated at 9 months old) – with ages at slaughter of 12, 22 and 22 months and live weights of 470, 720 and 660 kg,, respectively. Good performances and high-quality products with no commercial constraints in the beef market were obtained. Finally, a prospective study for a new beef quality product labelled ‘Serrana de Teruel’ was performed, according to the opinions of experts. These studies provide the standard requirements for the alternative production of a labelled beef product that might create an incentive for the production of the Serrana de Teruel breed among other breeds, and thus favour the conservation of the breed in the medium term.
In this paper we analysed size and shape differences of body (mantle and fins) and inferior beak of the squid Illex argentinus from two Patagonian inner-shelf spawning groups. A new method was developed to reconstruct three-dimensional coordinates based on the 2-D projection of the beak on a plane. Shape of the beak did not vary between groups, sexes and maturity condition of individuals. Also, no beak shape changes were observed through the ontogeny. In contrast, as larger and heavier squids were considered in shape analysis, body widened near the fin insertion, and fin area increased. Our results suggest that shape adaptations of I. argentinus through the ontogeny reflect modifications to optimize swimming performance rather than to increase gamete holding capacity.
Montane tropical and subtropical rain forests are complex ecosystems, characterized by marked rainfall and temperature gradients with altitude, which in turn control the vegetation altitudinal zones (Hueck 1978). Montane forests are often referred to as cloud forests in recognition of the important influence of a dense and frequent cloud cover that conditions forest structure and functioning (Bautista-Cruz & del Castillo 2005, Holder 2004).
Effects of Praseodymium doping on the ferroelectric properties of Bi4Ti3O12 were investigated using dense ceramics from room temperature to 730 °C. DRX and XPS studies shows that the structure can accept only 10% of praseodymium without the precipitation of second phases. Thermoelectric analysis and ferroelectric hysteresis measurements were performed and show that the incorporation of praseodymium modified the transition temperature Tc and slightly the polarization values. The incorporation of praseodymium resulted in a variation in the permittivity and in the remanent polarization (2Pr). The polarization characteristics in the samples doping were different to Bi4Ti3O12.