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Most humans can perceive the world, store information in the short- and the long-term, recover the relevant information when required, comprehend and produce language, orient themselves in known and unknown environments, make calculations of high and low levels of sophistication, and so forth. These cognitive actions must be coordinated and integrated in some way and “intelligence” is the psychological factor that takes the lead when humans pursue this goal. The manifestation of widespread individual differences in this factor is well documented in everyday life settings and has been addressed by scientific research from at least three complementary models: psychometric models, cognitive/information-processing models, and biological models.
Waterhyacinth is an aquatic invasive plant that is widespread in Puerto Rico where it negatively effects estuaries, freshwater wetlands, potable water reservoirs, and wildlife refuges. Specifically, the tropical estuary San Juan Bay Estuary (SJBE) has been impacted with the presence of waterhyacinth. Infestations have led to a reduction of water circulation in the system as well as facilitating the establishment of invasive fauna. Therefore, a field study was conducted in a cove between Laguna San Jose and Peninsula Cantera to assess the use of glyphosate and hand removal as a management tool for waterhyacinth control. Aquatic macroinvertebrates and water quality were also monitored as a measure of environmental impact due to management activities. Results indicated that two weeks after glyphosate application, waterhyacinth biomass was significantly reduced to 0.27 kg DW m−2 at the treated plot as compared to untreated plot that yielded 0.62 kg DW m−2. Fresh weight of waterhyacinth decreased more than 90% when hand removal was used as compared to glyphosate treatment. Dissolved oxygen and water pH were not significantly different between sites however, water salinity increased to 8-9 ppt at both plots caused by tidal activity. The order Hemiptera followed by Sarcoptiformes were common at the aquatic macroinvertebrate community. Macroinvertebrate species found associated with waterhyacinth and considered natural enemies were: Orthogalumna terebrantis, Neochetina eichhorniae, Niphograpta albiguttalis. The use of glyphosate to manage waterhyacinth at the Laguna San Jose was useful as a short-term control method and its efficacy may be enhanced over time with follow up applications in combination with hand removal.
Cross-sectional nutritional survey data collected in eight countries were used to estimate saturated fatty acid intakes. Our objective was to estimate the proportion of excessive saturated fatty acid intakes (>10 % of total energy intake) that could be avoided if ultra-processed food consumption was reduced to levels observed in the first quintile of each country. Secondary analysis was performed of 24 h dietary recall or food diary/record data collected by the most recently available nationally representative cross-sectional surveys carried out in Brazil (2008–9), Chile (2010), Colombia (2005), Mexico (2012), Australia (2011–12), the UK (2008–16), Canada (2015) and the US (2015–16). Population attributable fractions estimated the impact of reducing ultra-processed food consumption on excessive saturated fatty acid intakes (above 10 % of total energy intake) in each country. Significant relative reductions in the percentage of excessive saturated fatty acid intakes would be observed in all countries if ultra-processed food consumption was reduced to levels observed in the first quintile's consumption. The reductions in excessive intakes ranged from 10⋅0 % (95 % CI 6⋅2–13⋅6 %) in Canada to 35⋅0 % (95 % CI 28⋅7–48⋅0 %) in Mexico. In all eight studied countries, all presenting more than 30 % of intakes with excessive saturated fatty acids, lowering the dietary contribution of ultra-processed foods to attainable, context-specific levels was shown to be a potentially effective way to reduce the percentage of intakes with excessive saturated fatty acids, which may play an important role in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases.
Biomarkers (coming from host or parasite) to monitor Chagas disease (CD) progression as well as the therapeutic response in chronic CD are critically needed, since seronegativization, which may be considered the best indicator of therapeutic cure, takes several years to be observed in adults. Several molecules have been suggested as biomarkers for CD, however, they have to be validated. Taking advantage of mouse models of Trypanosoma cruzi infection, we investigated changes in the degradation profile of fibronectin in plasma. The degradation profile of fibronectin was different in the acute phase compared to the chronic phase of the infection. Fibronectin fragments of approximately 150, 100, 40 and 30 kDa were identified. Furthermore, those degradation profiles correlated with acute parasitaemia as well as with cardiac parasite burden and tissue damage during the infection. The usefulness of fibronectin degradation as a biomarker for therapeutic response following drug treatment and immunotherapeutic vaccination also was evaluated and a decreased fibronectin degradation profile was observed upon benznidazole or a vaccine candidate treatment.
Abstract: This chapter outlines the history and use of monitors in various contexts, beginning with the original conception of a court-appointed monitor and ending with the more recent development of the public relations and modern-day court-ordered monitor. It next discusses how the specific type of monitorship alters the duties and confidentiality expectations of the parties to the monitorship in both formal and informal ways. Next, it analyzes the sparse regulation of monitorships, suggesting that reputation may currently be the most effective limit on monitor overreach and capture. Finally, it ends by proposing two areas for scholarly focus going forward: (1) mechanisms for formally regulating monitors, and (2) empirical study of the overall effectiveness of monitorships.
Abstract: This chapter focuses on private firms’ compliance with norms concerning transnational bribery. It begins with an overview of the regulatory context and obstacles to effective enforcement of norms against transnational bribery. It then reviews how compliance is defined, how it ought to be defined, and obstacles to the achievement of optimal compliance. Finally, it ends by focusing on the next steps forward in this space: (1) greater information sharing from private firms to outsiders in order to better analyze and evaluate the current efficacy of compliance programs targeting anti-bribery, and (2) increased coordination between enforcement agencies at the national and international levels to better tackle transnational bribery.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has altered entire nations and their health systems. The greatest impact of the pandemic has been seen among vulnerable populations such as those with comorbidities like heart diseases, kidney failure, obesity or those with worst health determinants like unemployment and poverty. In the current study, we are proposing previous exposure to fine-grained volcanic ashes as a risk factor for developing COVID-19. Based on several previous studies it has been known since the mid-eight-tees of the last century that volcanic ash is most likely an accelerating factor to suffer from different types of cancer including lung or thyroid cancer. Our study postulates, that people who are most likely to be infected during a SARS-CoV-2 widespread wave will be those with comorbidities that are related to previous exposure to volcanic ashes. We have explored 8,703 satellite images from the last 21 years of available data from the NOAA database and correlated them with the data from the national institute of health statistics in Ecuador. Additionally, we provide more realistic numbers of fatalities due to the virus based on excess mortality data of 2020-2021, when compared to previous years. This study would be a very first of its kind combining social and spatial distribution of COVID-19 infections and volcanic ash distribution. The results and implications of our study will also help countries to identify such aforementioned vulnerable parts of the society, if the given geodynamic and volcanic settings are similar.
Bolivia has disseminated several improved technologies in the rice sector, but the average rice productivity in the country is far below the average trend in Latin America in recent years. Although the economic literature has highlighted the role of agricultural technology adoption in increasing agricultural productivity, gaps remain in understanding how rice growers are deciding to adopt and benefit from available improved rice technologies. Most previous adoption studies have evaluated the uptake of individual technologies without paying attention to the complementarities that alternative improved rice technologies may offer to farmers who face multiple marketing and production needs. This study uses data from a nationally representative sample of Bolivian rice growers to analyze farmers' joint decisions in adopting complementary agricultural technologies controlling for potential correlations across these decisions, as well as the extent of adoption of these practices. Evidence suggests that the decisions on multiple technology adoption are closely related, with common factors affecting both adoption and the extent of adoption. Furthermore, there is a need to better target resource-poor farmers, improve information-diffusion channels on agricultural practices, and better use existing farmers' organizations to enhance rice technology adoption.
Given the high prevalence of multiple non-communicable chronic diseases in Mexico, the aim of the present study was to assess the association between dietary patterns and sleep disorders in a national representative sample of 5076 Mexican adults (20–59 years) from the 2016 National Health and Nutrition Survey. Through a cross-sectional study, we used the Berlin sleep symptoms questionnaire to estimate the proportion of adults with insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and other related problems such as daytime symptoms and inadequate sleep duration. Dietary data were collected through a seven-day semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and dietary patterns were determined through cluster analysis. Associations between dietary patterns and sleep disorders were assessed by multivariate logistic regression models adjusted for age, sex, well-being, rural/urban area type, geographical region, tobacco use, physical activity level and energy intake. Three dietary patterns were identified: traditional (high in legumes and tortilla), industrialised (high in sugar-sweetened beverages, fast foods, and alcohol, coffee or tea) and mixed (high in meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables). Multivariate logistic regression showed that the industrialised pattern yielded higher odds for daytime symptoms (OR 1⋅49; 95 % CI 1⋅12, 1⋅99) and OSA (OR 1⋅63; 95 % CI 1⋅21, 2⋅19) compared with the traditional pattern. In conclusion, dietary patterns are associated with sleep disorders in Mexican adults. Further research is required to break the vicious cycle of poor-quality diet, sleep symptoms and health.
The economic hardship of dairy producers has worsened in the last decade because of increasing costs of production. A field survey with 51 dairy farmers was conducted to explore strategies to mitigate economic hardship. Factor and cluster analyses were conducted to characterize the farmers and their farms. Differences among groups regarding changes adopted to increase incomes, to reduce costs, and to pay bills were tested using Fisher’s exact test. Four factors explained 76.2% of the cumulative variance and four groups were identified: “stagnant farms” were in group 1, with the lowest daily income over concentrate feed cost (DIOCFC) and the least number of changes, “effectively management farms” were in group 2, with the highest DIOCFC and the highest number of income-increasing changes, the “cost reducing farms” were in group 3, with the smallest in size with a focus on cutting cost, and the “mixed strategy farms” were in group 4, with the largest herd size. Most prevalent income-increasing strategies included attempts to improve cow nutritional balance and milk composition, whereas the most prevalent cost-reducing strategies included reductions in input purchases of inputs (concentrates and fertilizers) and selected household expenses. Selling cows was a common strategy to generate cash in acute hardship situations. In conclusion, responses to economic hardship varied substantially among groups of farms, cost-reducing strategies were linked to lower cow productivity and lower technological levels, but income-increasing strategies were linked to higher cow productivity and higher DIOCFC. Our findings may contribute to the design of extension initiatives to promote useful strategies to help mitigate economic hardship on dairy farms.
Stromatolites are biogenic sedimentary structures formed by the interplay of biological (microbial composition) and environmental factors (local hydrodynamic conditions, clastic input and/or water chemistry). Well-preserved, three-dimensional (3D) fossil stromatolites are key to assessing the environmental factors controlling their growth and resulting morphology in space and time. Here, we report the detailed analysis of well-exposed, highly informative stromatolite build-ups from a single stratigraphic horizon within the Maastrichtian–Danian Yacoraite Formation (Argentina). This study focuses on the analysis of depositional processes driving intertidal to shallow subtidal stromatolites. Overall depositional architecture, external morphology and internal arrangement (mega, macro, meso and microstructures) of stromatolite build-ups were analysed and combined with 3D photogrammetric models, allowing us to decipher the links between stromatolite structure and tidal dynamics. Results suggest that external morphology and architecture of elongated and parallel clusters grew under the influence of run-off channels. The internal morphology exhibits columnar structures where the space between columns is interpreted as recharge or discharge channels. This work supports the theory that stromatolites can be used as a high-resolution tool in the assessment of water dynamics, and provides a new methodological approach and data for the dynamic reconstruction of intertidal stromatolite systems through the geological record.
Geographical indications (GIs) are valuable attributes that enhance the competitiveness of agri-food products, generate added value and revitalize rural environments. The aim of this work was to analyze the attributes spring fruit consumers associate with GIs when they decide to purchase these products. Moreover, the changes in these associations with the increasing distance between the region of production and the place of consumption were also evaluated. We specifically analyzed two GIs used for spring fruits: the protected geographical indication for Mountain Cherries from Alicante (Spain) and the protected designation of origin for Loquats from Callosa d'En Sarriá (Spain). Data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The results show the significant association in consumers' minds between the preference for GI fruit and the importance attributed to the place of production (origin). The association of different attributes with the GI fruit label is product dependent as the number of attributes associated in the case of cherries (origin, organic, color and variety) is higher than for loquats (origin and variety). Regarding the distance between the production area and the place of consumption, our findings suggest that the closer the consumer is to the GI area of influence, the more attributes they associate with these labels. In this regard, increasing the knowledge of the GI labels beyond their area of influence could boost the demand for these products as consumers would be aware of the different quality attributes concentrated in that label.
Obesity is characterized by excess adipose tissue and chronic inflammation and promotes extensive changes that can compromise skeletal muscles’ structural and functional integrity. Obesity can seriously impact the force transmission region between the muscle and the tendon, the myotendinous junction (MTJ). The present study aimed to investigate the plasticity of muscle fibers and MTJ regions in high-fat diet-induced obesity in rat tibialis anterior (TA) and soleus (SO) muscles. Wistar rats were divided into control and obese groups (induced by a high-fat diet). The samples of TA and SO muscles were prepared for histochemical and ultrastructural analysis (sarcomeres and MTJ projection). In the muscle fiber, similar adaptations were observed between the muscles of the smaller fiber (types I and IIa) in the obesity results. The MTJ region demonstrated different adaptations between the analyzed muscles. The TA–MTJ region has shorter ultrastructures, while in the SO–MTJ region, the ultrastructures were larger. We conclude that obesity induced by a high-fat diet promotes similar adaptation in the muscle fibers; however, in the MTJ region, the sarcoplasmatic projections and adjacent sarcomere demonstrate different adaptations according to distinct muscle phenotypes.
To investigate cross-linguistic interactions in bimodal bilingual production, behavioural and electrophysiological measures (ERPs) were recorded from 24 deaf bimodal bilinguals while naming pictures in Catalan Sign Language (LSC). Two tasks were employed, a picture-word interference and a picture-picture interference task. Cross-linguistic effects were explored via distractors that were either semantically related to the target picture, to the phonology/orthography of the Spanish name of the target picture, or were unrelated. No semantic effects were observed in sign latencies, but ERPs differed between semantically related and unrelated distractors. For the form-related manipulation, a facilitation effect was observed both behaviourally and at the ERP level. Importantly, these effects were not influenced by the type of distractor (word/picture) presented providing the first piece of evidence that deaf bimodal bilinguals are sensitive to oral language in sign production. Implications for models of cross-linguistic interactions in bimodal bilinguals are discussed.
Se presentan los resultados del recorrido de superficie realizado en la comunidad de Santo Domingo Tonaltepec en la Mixteca Alta de Oaxaca, en el que se identificaron y registraron 43 nuevos sitios arqueológicos datados a las fases Ramos (alrededor de los 300 aC hasta los 250 dC), Las Flores (aproximadamente 250-900 dC) y Natividad (aproximadamente 900-1521 dC). Estos nuevos sitios se contextualizan en el ámbito regional al relacionarlos con los sitios urbanos identificados para cada una de estas fases en los valles adyacentes de Coixtlahuaca, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan y Teposcolula. Basados en estos datos, consideramos que Tonaltepec se encontró relativamente aislado y fuera del control de los sitios urbanos tempranos durante Ramos; que se transformó en un asentamiento fronterizo entre las entidades políticas durante la fase Las Flores; y que aprovechó los beneficios de localizarse sobre la ruta de comunicación entre importantes reinos mixtecos durante Natividad. La localización de Tonaltepec, relativamente lejos de los principales valles, pero a la vez entre ellos, le otorgó ventajas que supo aprovechar a través de la historia de desarrollo político de la región.
The current study argues that population prevalence estimates for mental health disorders, or changes in mean scores over time, may not adequately reflect the heterogeneity in mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the population.
The COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC) Study is a longitudinal, nationally representative, online survey of UK adults. The current study analysed data from its first three waves of data collection: Wave 1 (March 2020, N = 2025), Wave 2 (April 2020, N = 1406) and Wave 3 (July 2020, N = 1166). Anxiety-depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety and Depression Scale (a composite measure of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7) and COVID-19-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with the International Trauma Questionnaire. Changes in mental health outcomes were modelled across the three waves. Latent class growth analysis was used to identify subgroups of individuals with different trajectories of change in anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Latent class membership was regressed on baseline characteristics.
Overall prevalence of anxiety-depression remained stable, while COVID-19 PTSD reduced between Waves 2 and 3. Heterogeneity in mental health response was found, and hypothesised classes reflecting (i) stability, (ii) improvement and (iii) deterioration in mental health were identified. Psychological factors were most likely to differentiate the improving, deteriorating and high-stable classes from the low-stable mental health trajectories.
A low-stable profile characterised by little-to-no psychological distress (‘resilient’ class) was the most common trajectory for both anxiety-depression and COVID-19 PTSD. Monitoring these trajectories is necessary moving forward, in particular for the ~30% of individuals with increasing anxiety-depression levels.
Inadequate nutrition during a critical period of development – as is the case during gestation and the first days of life, especially in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants, can impact on neurodevelopment and favour co-morbidities. In this study, we evaluate how neurodevelopment may be affected by intra-uterine growth (IUGR) restriction and by an inadequate intake of nutritional energy during the early neonatal period. A longitudinal cohort study was conducted to analyse the nutritional contributions received during the first week of life, among a population of 396 VLBW infants. Motor, cognitive, sensory and behavioural development was assessed at 14, 25, 33 and 50 months. The association between IUGR, postnatal energy restriction and neurodevelopment was examined using multivariate logistic regression techniques. Mild cognitive delay was observed in 35·6 % of neonates with IUGR and in 24 % of those with appropriate birth weight. IUGR is associated with behavioural disorder (OR 2·60; 95 % CI 1·25, 5·40) and delayed cognitive development (OR 2·64; 95 % CI 1·34, 5·20). Energy restriction during the first week of life is associated with visual deficiency (OR 2·96; 95 % CI 1·26, 6·84) and cerebral palsy (OR 3·05; CI 95 % 1·00, 9·54). In VLBW infants, IUGR is associated with behavioural disorder, while postnatal energy restriction is significantly associated with motor disorder, infantile cerebral palsy and sensory disorder.