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Much of the existing accounts assume that investment treaties affect national governance. However, how exactly this happens has been subject to little analysis. Conventional accounts presume that these treaties improve national governance, leading to good governance and the rule of law for all. Critical accounts charge that investment treaties unduly empower foreign investors and cause a regulatory chill. On both accounts, investment treaties are expected to empower and constrain. Comparing extended case studies of Argentina, the Czech Republic, India and Mexico, this book shows how investment treaties influence national governance ideologically, institutionally, and socially. We show how the overarching role of IIAs in national governance – to cultivate constraining discipline in public administration – is realised and who gets empowered and marginalised in the process. The book's findings will serve in the debates about alternative ways of economic governance and help explain the investment treaty regime's significant resistance to change.
We study the impact of changing the existing terminology to describe the rules governing Social Security retirement benefits. We provided respondents from a nationally representative online panel with information pertinent to the decision of when to claim Social Security retirement benefits. The content of the information treatments was identical for all respondents, but some were randomly given an alternative set of terms to refer to the key claiming ages (the experimental treatment group), while others were given the current terms (the control group). Despite the minimal nature of the change, there were significant differences in outcomes. Those in the treatment group spent less time reading the information, but their understanding of the Social Security program improved more than the control group. In addition, the treatment delayed retirement claiming intentions by an average of about two and a half months and increased the recommended claiming age to vignette characters by a similar magnitude. The effects were particularly strong for those with low levels of financial literacy. The relative gains in knowledge persisted several months after the treatment.
Invasive species control management involves a large amount of plant material. The present work evaluated the allelopathic potential of the invasive species Ulex europaeus L. (Fabaceae) or ‘Gorse’ and its possible use as a bioherbicide, taking advantage of the extracted plant material after control measures, particularly needed in invaded areas. Specifically, we investigated the efficacy of dried plant material from U. europaeus in the control of the adventitious plants, Lolium multiflorum Lam. and Lolium rigidum Gaud., using the Avena sativa L. crop as a case study. We only used vegetative plant parts because it is essential to avoid the dispersion of U. europaeus with its use, especially in invaded areas. A greenhouse pot experiment was conducted, using activated carbon (AC). The target species (L. multiflorum, L. rigidum and A. sativa) were subjected to a mixture of organic substrate with U. europaeus mulch applied pre-emergence and a subsequent application of aqueous extracts from the mulch. Emergence, height and biomass of the target species were determined. After 2 months, we also tested a possible legacy effect of the substrate on the germination of the target species. We noticed a negative effect of U. europaeus mulch on the emergence of L. rigidum, which can be attributable to the allelopathic compounds released from U. europaeus mulch because the effect was non-significant in presence of AC. Conversely, no effect on L. multiflorum or A. sativa was produced by mulch treatments. Nevertheless, the combination of U. europaeus mulch and its extracts demonstrated a phytotoxic effect on the biomass of the crop species A. sativa, and a fertilizing effect on the weeds L. multiflorum and L. rigidum, which is why this use is discouraged. With our results we cannot recommend the use of U. europaeus as a bioherbicide in oat crops, but this study emphasizes the capability of U. europaeus to structure plant communities through the chemic- and bio-properties of its tissues that modifies the soil environment.
While consonant acquisition clearly requires mastery of different articulatory configurations (segments), sub-segmental features and suprasegmental contexts influence both order of acquisition and mismatch (error) patterns (Bérubé, Bernhardt, Stemberger & Ciocca, 2020). Constraints-based nonlinear phonology provides a comprehensive framework for investigating the impact of sub- and suprasegmental impacts on acquisition (Bernhardt & Stemberger, 1998). The current study adopted such a framework in order to investigate these questions for Granada Spanish. Single-word samples of monolingual preschoolers in Granada (29 typically developing; 30 with protracted phonological development) were transcribed by native Spanish speakers in consultation with an international team. Beta regression analyses showed significant effects of age, developmental group, and word structure variables (word length, stress, position of consonants and syllables within the word); salience, markedness and/or frequency across the phonological hierarchy accounted for many patterns. The study further demonstrates the impacts of sub- and suprasegmental constraints of the phonological system on consonant acquisition.
Mexico possesses a large diversity of amphibians partly due to its complex topography and transitional position between the Nearctic and Neotropical biogeographical regions. However, its helminth parasite fauna has been relatively poorly studied. Specimens of the Vaillant's frog, Lithobates vaillanti (Brocchi) were sampled in the tropical rain forest of Nahá, in the Chiapas Highlands, and examined for parasites. Two trematode species were collected from their hosts; morphologically, specimens were allocated to the genera Langeronia Caballero and Bravo-Hollis, 1949 and Haematoloechus Looss, 1899, respectively. Individuals were sequenced for two molecular markers (the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase gene, and the ribosomal gene 28S), and processed for morphological analyses, including scanning electron microscopy. The new evidence was not enough to accomplish the identification at species level of Langeronia sp. due to the lack of sequence data from the type localities of Langeronia parva Christian, 1970 and Langeronia macrocirra Caballero and Bravo-Hollis, 1949. Likewise, the newly generated data were useful to properly identify the adult specimens of lung flukes as Haematoloechus complexus Seely, 1906.
Methoprene, a juvenile hormone analog, is used to accelerate sexual maturation in males of species of economic importance in support to the sterile insect technique (SIT). In the SIT, mass-reared sterile males are released into the field and need to survive until they reach sexual maturation, find a wild female, mate with her and then induce female sexual refractoriness, so she will not remate with a wild counterpart. The use of methoprene shortens the time between release and copulation. However, in South American fruit flies, Anastrepha fraterculus, the ability of methoprene-treated males to inhibit female remating has been shown to be lower than wild males, when methoprene was applied by pupal immersion or topical application. Here we evaluated the possibility of incorporating methoprene into the male diet at different doses and the ability of those males to inhibit female remating, as well as the effect of methoprene on male reproductive organ size, due to the possible correlation between male accessory gland size and their content, and the role of male accessory gland proteins in female inhibition. We found that A. fraterculus males fed with methoprene in the adult protein diet at doses as high as 1% were less likely to inhibit female remating, however, at all other lower doses males had the same ability as untreated males to inhibit female remating. Males fed with methoprene had bigger male accessory glands and testes compared to methoprene-deprived males. We demonstrate that the incorporation of methoprene in adult male diets is possible in this species and potentially useful as a post-teneral, pre-release supplement at doses as low as 0.01%. Even at higher doses, the percentage of females remating after 48 h from the first copulation is sufficiently low in this species so as not compromise the efficiency of the SIT.
Learning a new language is an important goal that many individuals find difficult to achieve, particularly during adulthood. Several factors have related this variability to different extrinsic (learning condition, difficulty of the materials) and intrinsic (cognitive abilities) factors, but the interaction between them is barely known. In two experiments, participants learned English grammar rules in intentional (Experiment 1) or explicit (Experiment 2), and incidental learning-contexts. Overall, results of this study indicated that intentional-explicit conditions benefitted rule-learning, as compared to incidental conditions. This benefit was mainly present when participants were learning an easy-rule; explicit and incidental learning did not differ in the case of participants learning a difficult rule (Experiment 2). Moreover, individual differences in executive functioning predicted successful learning in interaction with difficulty. When learning an easy-rule, proactive control facilitated intentional learning. In contrast, when participants were learning a complex-rule, incidental learning was enhanced by lower involvement of proactive control.
The aim of this study was to determine whether or not oestrus induction on the day of weaning would reduce the distress experienced by ewes upon separation from lambs. For this, 43 ewes, their eight week-old lambs and six mature rams were used. Prior to weaning, 21 of these ewes were induced to display oestrus on the day of mother-young separation (treated group [T]) while the remaining 22 untreated ewes served as controls (C). T and C ewes were housed together. Blood samples were collected on the day of weaning (prior to mother-young separation and 24 hours later) and then nine days later, for plasma progesterone (P4) and cortisol determination. Lambs were separated from their dams by a wire fence at weaning in full view of each other. Three rams were tethered to posts with 3 m plastic chains in the ewes' pen. T and C groups were simultaneously tested in identical test pens. C ewes showed a greater increase in serum cortisol concentration after separation from lambs (47.64 ± 4.26 n mol l–1) than T ewes (28.79 ± 6.29 n mol l–1). T ewes exhibited fewer vocalisations ewe–1h–1 and fewer vocalisations at 6, 12 and 18 h post separation than C ewes. On the day of weaning, more T ewes were seen to be situated away from lambs and in close proximity to the males, compared to the C group. Thus, more T than C ewes were mounted (14 as opposed to 3) and these received a greater number of mounts (1.02 ± 0.23 per hour, as opposed to 0.11 ± 0.06). It was concluded that by inducing ewes into oestrus at weaning it is possible to reduce the signs of separation distress.
This study conceptually replicated Huensch and Tracy-Ventura’s (2017) analysis of the relationship between L1 and L2 utterance fluency with adult L1-English learners of Spanish. Data from 88 participants were analyzed to explore the proportion of the variance in L2 fluency measures that can be attributed to the corresponding L1 measures, and the relative weights of L1 fluency and L2 proficiency as predictors of L2 fluency. This study applied the same fluency and proficiency constructs and operationalizations as the original study, but differed in task type and learners’ L2 proficiency. Results were most similar for speed and repair frequency, and for silent pause duration. Findings concerning silent and filled pause frequency differed. Combined, the studies show that some L1-L2 fluency relationships are relatively stable across proficiency levels, task type, and learning context.
Anne Hattori was in attendance when Tongan scholar Epeli Hau‘ofa delivered a speech that would become his profound and seminal essay, ‘Our Sea of Islands’. Attending the conference with other Pacific Island graduate students, she recalls that it shook them from their insularity and sense of smallness. It reminded them of their historic interconnectedness, fluidity, and dynamism. Yet she also understood that Pacific Islanders, in general, have a strongly centred sense of place. They are grounded in their individual villages and specific islands. This is most clearly demonstrated in the Micronesian navigational concept of etak, the navigational practice of positioning one’s home island as the reference point from which all other movement is located, thus requiring you to know your precise point of origin before undertaking any voyage. Read metaphorically, etak engrains in Islanders the consciousness that they must know their homeland well before moving forward in a reliable and safe manner.
Cardiac myxoma is a relatively rare tumour, usually solitary, that occurs primarily in the left atrium of adults, but comprises only 30% of cardiac tumours in children. We recently treated a 12-year-old girl with multiple recurrent myxomas in three cardiac chambers(following surgical resection 3 years earlier). Genomic analysis showed the PKAR1A mutation typical for Carney complex
Pacific. Peaceful. Placid. Pacifying. Magellan named our Ocean in 1519 because of the calm waters he encountered, then unaware of its life-threatening typhoons and hurricanes, tsunamis and tidal waves, undertows and rip currents. Those of us who make the Pacific our home know it to be an ocean of vivid contrasts, an ocean whose spirits and power one never takes lightly, regardless of how ‘pacific’ the waters might appear. These conflicting understandings of the ocean have likewise informed our lives as Pacific peoples for centuries as these contrary understandings of the ocean are indeed mirrored more broadly in our daily realities. The world at large may think of Pacific Islanders as beach-going, hula-dancing, laughter-filled peoples for whom there is not a care in the world, yet that superficial stereotype works mainly to feed the self-interests of those swimming in the warm waters of tourism, colonialism, and militarism. The reality is infinitely more complex, not only today in the face of global warming, overfishing, and oceanic pollution, but also in the past when Islanders faced the daunting challenges of their eras. Coping and thriving in the face of natural disasters, diseases, and invasions of all sorts are stories not new to Oceania. In this placid Pacific, we live a life of contrasts. Always have.