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Our Palaeolithic ancestors did not make good representations of themselves on the rocky surfaces of caves and barring certain exceptions – such as the case of La Marche (found on small slabs of stone or plaquettes) or the Cueva de Ambrosio – the few known examples can only be referred to as anthropomorphs. As such, only hand stencils give us a real picture of the people who came before us. Hand stencils and imprints provide us with a large amount of information that allows us to approach not only their physical appearance but also to infer less tangible details, such as the preferential use of one hand over the other (i.e., handedness). Both new and/or mature technologies as well as digital processing of images, computers with the ability to process very high resolution images, and a more extensive knowledge of the Palaeolithic figures all help us to analyse thoroughly the hands in El Castillo cave. The interdisciplinary study presented here contributes many novel developments based on real data, representing a major step forward in knowledge about our predecessors.
Avian species often take advantage of human-made structures, such as perching on power poles, although this can lead to negative effects for both birds and infrastructure. It has been demonstrated that anchor-type pylons, with strain insulators, are amongst the most dangerous of these structures. Our goal was to develop a methodological approach to evaluate the ways in which raptors perch on the six most commonly used strain insulator configurations in Spain, and to build a risk index that can be used to prioritise them. To study the ways raptors perch, we worked with six wildlife rescue centres in central Spain for almost a year assessing these six strain insulator configurations in 83 perch trials with 176 raptors in ample flying pens. We analysed 475 complete survey days, with an approximate number of 258,960 analysed pictures, including 6,766 perchings on strain insulators. We assessed the influential factors for these 6,766 perchings and developed a novel approach to prioritise strain insulator configurations that can be used anywhere. Our results suggest that longer insulator strains (i.e. PECA-1000 and Caon-C3670) are the safest, according to our prioritization criteria, although these results require further assessment in the field. Managers and conservationists should take into account these results to improve management and conservation actions.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
A new specimen of a theropod dinosaur found in the Upper Jurassic (Freixial Formation, late Tithonian) of the Lusitanian Basin is described. It corresponds to a single individual and includes a sequence of articulated caudal vertebrae, an almost complete right pes, and other fragments of the appendicular skeleton. The specimen includes the most complete pes of a theropod dinosaur currently known in the Lusitanian Basin and represents one of the youngest skeletal records of theropod dinosaurs currently known in the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.
A systematic analysis of this specimen is performed and it shows a combination of characters that allows us to interpret it as belonging to an allosauroid taxon. Within this clade, the material from Cambelas shares a few features with some carcharodontosaurids, including the presence of a lateral lamina extending along the anterior end of the centrum in the caudal vertebra and of a low vertical crest on the lateral surface of the femoral lesser trochanter. The set of remains described here shares some unusual features with another specimen previously described in the Portuguese fossil record, which also presents some synapomorphies of Carcharodontosauria. However, no autapomorphy or exclusive character combination can be recognized in the specimen here described in order to describe it as a new form. The presence of this specimen suggests a greater diversity in the allosauroid theropod fauna from the Late Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin than currently known and probably expands the temporal record of Carcharodontosauria up to upper Tithonian of south-western Europe.
The ability to interface electronic materials with the peripheral nervous system is required for stimulation and monitoring of neural signals. Thus, the design and engineering of robust neural interfaces that maintain material-tissue contact in the presence of material or tissue micromotion offer the potential to conduct novel measurements and develop future therapies that require chronic interface with the peripheral nervous system. However, such remains an open challenge given the constraints of existing materials sets and manufacturing approaches for design and fabrication of neural interfaces. Here, we investigated the potential to leverage a rapid prototyping approach for the design and fabrication of nerve cuffs that contain supporting features to mechanically stabilize the interaction between cuff electrodes and peripheral nerve. A hybrid 3D printing and robotic-embedding (i.e., pick-and-place) system was used to design and fabricate silicone nerve cuffs (800 µm diameter) containing conforming platinum (Pt) electrodes. We demonstrate that the electrical impedance of the cuff electrodes can be reduced by deposition of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on cuff electrodes via a post-processing electropolymerization technique. The computer-aided design and manufacturing approach was also used to design and integrate supporting features to the cuff that mechanically stabilize the interface between the cuff electrodes and the peripheral nerve. Both ‘self-locking’ and suture-assisted locking mechanisms are demonstrated based on the principle of making geometric alterations to the cuff opening via 3D printing. Ultimately, this work shows 3D printing offers considerable opportunity to integrate supporting features, and potentially even novel electronic materials, into nerve cuffs that can support the design and engineering of next generation neural interfaces.
With 30 threatened species (14 categorized as Critically Endangered and 16 as Endangered, sensu IUCN), Coccothrinax (c. 54 species) is the flagship palm genus for conservation in the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Hotspot. Coccothrinax has its centre of taxonomic diversity in these islands, with c. 51 endemic species. We present a conservation framework for the 14 Critically Endangered species, found in Cuba, Haiti or the Dominican Republic. Only two species (C. jimenezii, C. montana) occur in more than one country (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Immediate threats include oil drilling and nickel mining, intrusion of saline water into soil, urban and agricultural development, low population recruitment, uncontrolled fires, interspecific hybridization, and unsustainable ethnobotanical practices. Coccothrinax bermudezii, C. borhidiana, C. crinita ssp. crinita, C. leonis and C. spissa are not conserved in protected areas. Coccothrinax bermudezii, C. jimenezii, C. leonis and C. nipensis are not part of ex situ collections. Based on results from a conservation project targeting C. jimenezii, we recommend international cooperation between the three range states to implement integrative conservation management plans, plant exploration initiatives, taxonomic revisions, outreach, and fundraising. The ultimate aim of this review is to provide baseline information that will develop conservation synergy among relevant parties working on Coccothrinax conservation in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Such collaborations could also benefit through partnerships with botanists working in other countries.
Adolescence represents an important period for the development of executive functions, which are a set of important cognitive processes including attentional control. However, very little is known regarding the associations of nutrition with components of executive functions in adolescence. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate associations of dietary patterns and macronutrient composition with attention capacity in European adolescents. This cross-sectional study included 384 (165 boys and 219 girls) adolescents, aged 12·5–17·5 years, from five European countries in the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study. Attention capacity was examined using the d2 Test of Attention. Dietary intake was assessed through two non-consecutive 24 h recalls using a computer-based self-administered tool. Three dietary patterns (diet quality index, ideal diet score and Mediterranean diet score) and macronutrient/fibre intakes were calculated. Linear regression analysis was conducted adjusting for age, sex, BMI, maternal education, family affluence scale, study centre and energy intake (only for Mediterranean diet score). In these adjusted regression analyses, higher diet quality index for adolescents and ideal diet score were associated with a higher attention capacity (standardised β=0·16, P=0·002 and β=0·15, P=0·005, respectively). Conversely, Mediterranean diet score or macronutrient/fibre intake were not associated with attention capacity (P>0·05). Our results suggest that healthier dietary patterns, as indicated by higher diet quality index and ideal diet score, were associated with attention capacity in adolescence. Intervention studies investigating a causal relationship between diet quality and attention are warranted.
A few studies have recently reported that higher cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with higher volumes of subcortical brain structures in children. It is, however, unknown how different fitness measures relate to shapes of subcortical brain nuclei. We aimed to examine the association of the main health-related physical fitness components with shapes of subcortical brain structures in a sample of forty-four Spanish children aged 9·7 (sd 0·2) years from the NUtraceuticals for a HEALthier life project. Cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength and speed agility were assessed using valid and reliable tests (ALPHA-fitness test battery). Shape of the subcortical brain structures was assessed by MRI, and its relationship with fitness was examined after controlling for a set of potential confounders using a partial correlation permutation approach. Our results showed that all physical fitness components studied were significantly related to the shapes of subcortical brain nuclei. These associations were both positive and negative, indicating that a higher level of fitness in childhood is related to both expansions and contractions in certain regions of the accumbens, amygdala, caudate, hippocampus, pallidum, putamen and thalamus. Cardiorespiratory fitness was mainly associated with expansions, whereas handgrip was mostly associated with contractions in the structures studied. Future randomised-controlled trials will confirm or contrast our findings, demonstrating whether changes in fitness modify the shapes of brain structures and the extent to which those changes influence cognitive function.
Prospective studies assessing the association between fibre intake or fibre-rich food consumption and the risk of CVD have often been limited by baseline assessment of diet. Thus far, no study has used yearly repeated measurements of dietary changes during follow-up. Moreover, previous studies included healthy and selected participants who did not represent subjects at high cardiovascular risk. We used yearly repeated measurements of diet to investigate the association between fibre intake and CVD in a Mediterranean cohort of elderly adults at high cardiovascular risk. We followed-up 7216 men (55–80 years) and women (60–80 years) initially free of CVD for up to 7 years in the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea study (registered as ISRCTN35739639). A 137-item validated FFQ was repeated yearly to assess diet. The primary end point, confirmed by a blinded ad hoc Event Adjudication Committee, was a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke. Time-dependent Cox’s regression models were used to estimate the risk of CVD according to baseline dietary exposures and to their yearly updated changes. We found a significant inverse association for fibre (Pfor trend=0·020) and fruits (Pfor trend=0·024) in age-sex adjusted models, but the statistical significance was lost in fully adjusted models. However, we found a significant inverse association with CVD incidence for the sum of fruit and vegetable consumption. Participants who consumed in total nine or more servings/d of fruits plus vegetables had a hazard ratio 0·60 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·96) of CVD in comparison with those consuming <5 servings/d.
According to the reports of Z.E. Horvath et al  and Liu Yun-quan et al , carbon nanotubes can be synthesized by spray pyrolysis from different carbon sources (n-pentane, n-hexane, n-heptane, cyclohexane, toluene and acrylonitrile) and several metallocene catalysts (ferrocene, cobaltocene and nickelocene). This paper describes two different existing methods for growth of carbon nanotubes and the influence of applied parameters (oven temperature, synthesis time, catalyst concentration, carrier gas flow and solution flow) on the CNT's morphology. Also, a possible influence of number of carbons in carbon sources and structures of their compounds (linear or aromatic) on properties of formed carbon nanotubes. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy were applied for characterization of obtained materials.
Coahuilite, a new variety of amber is described from the Late Cretaceous Olmos Formation (ca. 73 Ma.), Coahuila, north of México. This amber is totally distinct chemically and stratigraphically from the Miocene Chiapas amber (ca. 23-13 Ma.), Southern México, which according to mineral nomenclature is currently known as Simojovelite var. nov. Additionally, an emended description of Bacalite is proposed, based on the physicochemical analysis and geological record of a fossil resin recently recovery from the Late Cretaceous El Gallo Formation (ca. 73 Ma.), Baja California, northwestern México. The results are supported by characterization of such ambers using synchrotron-based Infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy.
The way in which identity is understood in contemporary society is the result of the application of a double perspective composed of figures which do not simply add up but instead present us with a set of tensions: a reflection on the crisis in the forms of media discourse as the principal locus of present-day identity, and the urgent need to construct experiential discourses that can suture the deficit of legitimation in the anonymous discourses which address us […]. Narratives of identity come up against the fact that they are constructions in which there is not merely some mechanical actuation of codes but also a production of meaning. This is why there can be no question of extolling situations of marginality or exoticism as reservoirs of such narratives, but rather of analysing the extent to which the very brokenness of classic models of identity itself generates new narratives, in which modes of integration and rebellion are negotiated.
(Marinas 1995: 75–78)
The return of identity and the exhaustion of storytelling
Breaking with the sterile cycle that leads from the affirmation of identity as an immutable essence to its negation in the supposed inevitability of homogenization, contemporary thought proposes identity as a construction which emerges through narration. This new way of thinking about identity aims to account both for the changes which traverse mono-identities and the emergence of multiculturalities which exceed ethnic, racial and national categories.
In this chapter I address the meaning and representativity of the term ‘Cuban popular culture’ through two rather different test-cases, the first of which is the film Aventuras de Juan Quinquín (1967) by the Cuban film director Julio García-Espinosa (b. 1926), and the second the religious social phenomenon of santería. In each case I ask the question of the extent to which the energy of popular culture is co-opted into a new (revolutionary) value-system or whether, ultimately, it escapes that hermeneutic net. It is legitimate to argue that García-Espinosa's films as much as santería as we nowadays understand the phenomenon came into being as a result of the Cuban Revolution. The experience of a revolution in Cuba in 1959 was as decisive for its generation as the French Revolution had been for European intellectuals in the 1790s. As Hobsbawm puts it: ‘It was now known that social revolution was possible; that nationals existed as something independent of states, peoples as something independent of their rulers, and even that the poor existed as something independent of the ruling classes’ (1962: 91). Hobsbawm's last point about the ‘poor’ existing ‘as something independent of the ruling classes’ is particularly relevant to the Cuban context. Hugh Thomas provides a sense of Fidel Castro's particular personal impact among the popular sectors of Cuban society soon after the Revolution:
A month after Batista's flight, Castro had established a personal hold over the Cuban masses such as no Latin American leader had ever had. […] Castro appeared so often on the television screen (the State Department was already beginning to curse the salesmen of those 400,000 sets) that he resembled less a De Gaulle or a Kennedy (others who used television to effect) than a kind of permanent confessor or a resident revolutionary medicine man. (1971: 1193)
It is the ‘inter’ – the cutting edge of translation and negotiation, the in-between space – that carries the burden of the meaning of culture. It makes it possible to begin envisaging national, anti-nationalist histories of the ‘people’ [, … to] elude the politics of polarity and emerge as the others of our selves.
(Bhabha 1994: 38–9)
It should not be enough to oppose to the elitism of those positions most critical of mass culture, simply their symmetrical inversion under the figure of a neo-populism seduced by the charms of industrial culture.
(Sarlo 2001: 55)
‘Popular culture’ has always represented a fulcrum within social, cultural and anthropological discourses in Latin America. It has often been imagined as inhabiting interstitial and heterogeneous spaces that have represented a challenge to the dominant cultural paradigms of the ‘lettered city’ since at least Colonial times, and has repeatedly been mapped on to political, economic and even libidinal boundaries – between the country and the city, between the folk and the street, between the ‘masses’ and elite national/political structures. Yet since at least the turn of the millennium, concepts of the ‘folk’, the ‘mass', the ‘people’ and the ‘multitude’ have exploded in the face of new cultural and informational technologies, with cinematic, televisual, narrative, musical and cybernetic manifestations of popular culture at the forefront of social processes which mediate between the national and the global in a see-sawing climate of technocratic neoliberal economic ideology, financial crises marked by new and intensified social problems, boom and bust cycles in commodities and resource-extraction, and the rise of demagogic, mediatic neo-populisms.
In this chapter I would like to reflect on the ways in which the Magdalena river has figured both in the imaginary production of a Colombian national-popular body, and in its dissolution, and at key moments in Colombian history from the mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. I do so not to reclaim the river and its landscape, in a Romantic vein, as the wellspring of some authentic national ‘spirit’. Instead I am more interested in how instances of the articulation of such a thing occur in both real and imagined spaces where the nation's integrity is most questionable and the porosity of its borders most conspicuous.
As the principal route for the traffic of people, ideas and capital between colonial times and the early twentieth century, the Magdalena was for a long time central to the construction of the nation. Even today, as flows of global capital and information have displaced the organic motif of the river as an index of historical time and of the nation's temporal unfolding (see Appadurai 1996; Castells 2000), the Magdalena retains an affectively loaded presence in works of Colombian art and literature. Thus, in texts such as Fernando Vallejo's El río del tiempo (1998), where nature's collapse mirrors the entropy of Colombian public life, or films such as Bolívar soy yo (Jorge Alí Triana 2002), where history dissolves into the two dimensionality of the spectacle, the Magdalena continues to perform a labour of figuration, albeit of the nation's destiny as pipedream or curse.
This chapter discusses the work of internationally acclaimed, influential mixed-and multimedia artists who may be situated between the introduction in the 1990s in Cuba of the policy that granted artists the right to receive payment in convertible currency as well as to promote their work abroad freely, the introduction of a parallel currency for foreign visitors and investors (peso cubano convertible) and the ironic taking stock of the effects that such liberalization and commerce had on visual art practice referenced by the exhibition Cubanos convertibles in 2008. Its reflections play on the slippage between ‘convertible’ currency and convertible vehicles in relation to the value assigned to convertibility in aesthetic and cultural paradigms. These artists' deconstructivist strategies have sought to critique globalization while dismantling the complicitous ‘impurities’ and incongruities of their own productivity, seen through the distorting mirror of frustrated consumerism at home and the voracity of the free market paragons abroad that promote and consume their wares. The twisted skein of the analysis aims to discuss an interestingly impersonal (although archival) reflexive trend in contemporary art that, fibred by notions of social responsibility, participatory spectatorship and dissent, has explored the notion of ‘recycling’ as broadly inclusive of material disjecta with attendant ideas of ingestion and reconversion. Pieces have been predicated on the shift of emphasis from the phenomenology of ‘beholding’ to the involvement of the public as recipient, correspondent, interlocutor or user, with attention focused on the body of the observer and on experience.
At the beginning of his seminal social history of the Revolution, Alan Knight describes Mexico on the eve of the outbreak of the civil war:
Mexico of 1910 was, borrowing Lesley Simpson's phrase, ‘many Mexicos’, less a nation than a geographical expression, a mosaic of regions and communities, introverted and jealous, ethnically and physically fragmented, and lacking common national sentiments; these sentiments came after the Revolution and were […] its offspring rather than its parents. (Knight 1986: vol. 1, 2; emphasis added)
The formation of national sentiments has become a key theme in the burgeoning critical literature devoted to the politics of popular culture in the post-revolutionary period. Commentators have analysed how, in the aftermath of the profound upheavals of a war in which peasants, workers and the middle classes made, albeit uneasy, common cause, they came to unite under the rubric of shared symbols, icons and discourses experienced as national (Vaughan and Lewis 2006). Culture, particularly those forms and practices designated as popular –folk artisanship and music, and mass media forms, such as the radio and cinema – participated in the transformation of Mexico from ‘a regionally, culturally fragmented country into a modern nation-state with an inclusive and compelling national identity’ (López 2010: 2). Far from being a top-down process, the cultural-political construct that emerged in this period ‘was shaped, resisted, and ultimately negotiated by a multitude of actors and interests, and lo mexicano came to serve counterhegemonic impulses as well as regime projects’ (Joseph et al. 2001: 8).