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The first two decades of the twenty-first century saw the rapid rise of China in the global stage. During this period, China acquired valuable knowledge and expertise in International Economic Law (IEL), and expanded its trade and investments across the globe. The emergence of China has benefitted many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in terms of trade and investment; however, it is unclear whether IEL has contributed with the expansion of China's economic relations with LAC. This article aims to address this question by reviewing the strategies and mechanisms employed by China to promote trade, investment and development finance in the region. Its central argument is that China has opted to engage with LAC using an eclectic platform that combines hard law instruments and institutions as well as other soft law mechanisms.
Caracterizar las estrategias de movilidad de las sociedades cazadoras-recolectoras-pescadoras en ambientes insulares y litorales es fundamental para comprender la interacción humano-ambiental en el pasado. Las prospecciones en el noreste de la isla Diego Portales, en el mar interior de Última Esperanza (Magallanes, Chile), han permitido documentar ocho yacimientos arqueológicos formados por uno o varios conchales. Todos ellos se hallan ubicados en áreas de la costa al resguardo del viento dominante y con fácil acceso mediante embarcación. Los trabajos arqueológicos en dos de estos yacimientos (Bahía Easter 1 y 2) indican una estrategia de subsistencia similar durante el Holoceno tardío final, basada en el aprovechamiento de la biodiversidad de este ambiente de ecotono, con más de una docena de recursos marinos y terrestres consumidos. Entre éstas destaca en abundancia el huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), probablemente cazado en el litoral continental. Teniendo en cuenta las dinámicas de poblamiento y movilidad propuestas desde la etnografía o la arqueología para otras áreas del archipiélago fuego-patagónico, los resultados permiten discutir la reocupación sucesiva de puntos estratégicos de la isla, particularmente en primavera-verano, cuando la encrucijada de caminos y recursos que representa el mar interior de Última Esperanza presentaba alicientes significativos para las comunidades canoeras.
Pneumonia is a respiratory condition with complex etiology. Host genetic variation is thought to contribute to individual differences in susceptibility and symptom manifestation. Here, we analyze pneumonia data from the UK Biobank (14,780 cases and 439,096 controls) and FinnGen (9980 cases and 86,519 controls) and perform a genomewide association study meta-analysis. We use gene-based tests, colocalization, genetic correlation, latent causal variable (LCV) and polygenic prediction in an independent Australian sample (N = 5595) to draw insights into the etiology of pneumonia risk. We identify two independent loci on chromosome 15 (lead single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs2009746 and rs76474922) to be associated with pneumonia (p < 5e−8). Gene-based tests revealed 18 genes in chromosomes 15, 16 and 9, including IL127, PBX3, ApoB receptor (APOBR) and smoking related genes CHRNA3/5, statistically associated with pneumonia. We observed genetic correlations between pneumonia and cardiorespiratory, psychiatric and inflammatory related traits. LCV analysis suggests a strong genetic causal relationship with cardiovascular health phenotypes. Polygenic risk scores for pneumonia significantly predicted self-reported pneumonia in an independent sample, albeit with a small effect size (OR = 1.11 95% CI [1.04, 1.19], p < .05). Sensitivity analyses suggested the associations in chromosome 15 are mediated by smoking history, but the associations in chromosomes 16 and 9, and polygenic prediction were robust to adjustment for smoking. Altogether, our results highlight common genetic variants, genes and potential pathways that contribute to individual differences in susceptibility to pneumonia, and advance our understanding of the genetic factors underlying heterogeneity in respiratory medical outcomes.
The relevance of the episodic memory in the prediction of brain aging is well known. The Face Name Associative Memory Exam (FNAME) is a valued associative memory measure related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) biomarkers, such as amyloid-β deposition preclinical AD individuals. Previous validation of the Spanish version of the FNAME test (S-FNAME) provided normative data and psychometric characteristics. The study was limited to subjects attending a memory clinic and included a reduced sample with gender inequality distribution. The purpose of this study was to assess S-FNAME psychometric properties and provide normative data in a larger independent sample of cognitively healthy individuals.
S-FNAME was administered to 511 cognitively healthy volunteers (242 women, aged 41–65 years) participating in the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative cohort study.
Factor analysis supported construct validity revealing two underlying components: face-name and face-occupation and explaining 95.34% of the total variance, with satisfactory goodness of fit. Correlations between S-FNAME and Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test were statistically significant and confirmed its convergent validity. We also found weak correlations with non-memory tests supporting divergent validity. Women showed better scores, and S-FNAME was positively correlated with education and negatively with age. Finally, we generated normative data.
The S-FNAME test exhibits good psychometric properties, consistent with previous findings, resulting in a valid and reliable tool to assess episodic memory in cognitively healthy middle-aged adults. It is a promising test for the early detection of subtle memory dysfunction associated with abnormal brain aging.
Several neuroimaging studies have reported associations between brain white matter microstructure and chronotype. However, it is unclear whether those phenotypic relationships are causal or underlined by genetic factors. In the present study, we use genetic data to examine the genetic overlap and infer causal relationships between chronotype and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures. We identify 29 significant pairwise genetic correlations, of which 13 also show evidence for a causal association. Genetic correlations were identified between chronotype and brain-wide mean, axial and radial diffusivities. When exploring individual tracts, 10 genetic correlations were observed with mean diffusivity, 10 with axial diffusivity, 4 with radial diffusivity and 2 with mode of anisotropy. We found evidence for a possible causal association of eveningness with white matter microstructure measures in individual tracts including the posterior limb and the retrolenticular part of the internal capsule; the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum and the posterior, superior and anterior regions of the corona radiata. Our findings contribute to the understanding of how genes influence circadian preference and brain white matter and provide a new avenue for investigating the role of chronotype in health and disease.
Depression is highly prevalent and marked by a chronic and recurrent course. Despite being a major cause of disability worldwide, little is known regarding the determinants of its heterogeneous course. Machine learning techniques present an opportunity to develop tools to predict diagnosis and prognosis at an individual level.
We examined baseline (2008–2010) and follow-up (2012–2014) data of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), a large occupational cohort study. We implemented an elastic net regularization analysis with a 10-fold cross-validation procedure using socioeconomic and clinical factors as predictors to distinguish at follow-up: (1) depressed from non-depressed participants, (2) participants with incident depression from those who did not develop depression, and (3) participants with chronic (persistent or recurrent) depression from those without depression.
We assessed 15 105 and 13 922 participants at waves 1 and 2, respectively. The elastic net regularization model distinguished outcome levels in the test dataset with an area under the curve of 0.79 (95% CI 0.76–0.82), 0.71 (95% CI 0.66–0.77), 0.90 (95% CI 0.86–0.95) for analyses 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
Diagnosis and prognosis related to depression can be predicted at an individual subject level by integrating low-cost variables, such as demographic and clinical data. Future studies should assess longer follow-up periods and combine biological predictors, such as genetics and blood biomarkers, to build more accurate tools to predict depression course.
To document long-term prevalence trends and changes in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Current Major Depression (MD), Agoraphobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Panic Disorder, in two groups of people with different levels of exposure to a massive terrorist attack.
Cohort study. Two random samples of people exposed to a terrorist attack, the injured (n = 127) and community residents (n = 485) were followed and assessed, 2 and 18 months after the event.
Among the injured, 2 and 18 months after the attack, the prevalences were respectively, PTSD: 44.1% and 34%, MD: 31.5% and 23.7%, Agoraphobia: 23.8% and 20.7%, GAD: 13.4% and 12.4% and Panic Disorder: 9.4% and 11.3%. The corresponding figures among residents were PTSD: 12.3% and 3.5%, MD: 8.5% and 5.4%, Agoraphobia: 10.5% and 8.7%, GAD: 8.6%, and 8.2% and Panic Disorder 2.1% and 2.7%.
Two months after the event, the prevalence of mental disorders among both injured and residents was higher than expected levels at baseline conditions. Eighteen months after the event, psychopathological conditions did not change significantly among the injured but returned to the expected baseline rates among community residents.
The death rate due to suicide in elderly people is particularly high. As part of suicide selective prevention measures for at-risk populations, the WHO recommends training “gatekeepers”.
In order to assess the impact of gatekeeper training for members of staff, we carried out a controlled quasi-experimental study over the course of one year, comparing 12 nursing homes where at least 30% of the staff had undergone gatekeeper training with 12 nursing homes without trained staff. We collected data about the residents considered to be suicidal, their management further to being identified, as well as measures taken at nursing home level to prevent suicide.
The two nursing home groups did not present significantly different characteristics. In the nursing homes with trained staff, the staff were deemed to be better prepared to approach suicidal individuals. The detection of suicidal residents relied more on the whole staff and less on the psychologist alone when compared to nursing homes without trained staff. A significantly larger number of measures were taken to manage suicidal residents in the trained nursing homes. Suicidal residents were more frequently referred to the psychologist. Trained nursing homes put in place significantly more suicide prevention measures at an institutional level.
Having trained gatekeepers has an impact not only for the trained individuals but also for the whole institution where they work, both in terms of managing suicidal residents and routine suicide prevention measures.
Motor abnormalities (MAs) are the primary manifestations of schizophrenia. However, the extent to which MAs are related to alterations of subcortical structures remains understudied.
We aimed to investigate the associations of MAs and basal ganglia abnormalities in first-episode psychosis (FEP) and healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed on 48 right-handed FEP and 23 age-, gender-, handedness-, and educational attainment-matched controls, to obtain basal ganglia shape analysis, diffusion tensor imaging techniques (fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity), and relaxometry (R2*) to estimate iron load. A comprehensive motor battery was applied including the assessment of parkinsonism, catatonic signs, and neurological soft signs (NSS). A fully automated model-based segmentation algorithm on 1.5T MRI anatomical images and accurate corregistration of diffusion and T2* volumes and R2* was used.
FEP patients showed significant local atrophic changes in left globus pallidus nucleus regarding controls. Hypertrophic changes in left-side caudate were associated with higher scores in sensory integration, and in right accumbens with tremor subscale. FEP patients showed lower fractional anisotropy measures than controls but no significant differences regarding mean diffusivity and iron load of basal ganglia. However, iron load in left basal ganglia and right accumbens correlated significantly with higher extrapyramidal and motor coordination signs in FEP patients.
Taken together, iron load in left basal ganglia may have a role in the emergence of extrapyramidal signs and NSS of FEP patients and in consequence in the pathophysiology of psychosis.
Turbulent flow evolution and energy cascades are significantly different in two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) flows. Studies have investigated these differences in obstacle-free turbulent flows, but solid boundaries have an important impact on the cross-over from 3-D to 2-D turbulence dynamics. In this work, we investigate the span effect on the turbulence nature of flow past a circular cylinder at $Re=10\,000$. It is found that even for highly anisotropic geometries, 3-D small-scale structures detach from the walls. Additionally, the natural large-scale rotation of the Kármán vortices rapidly two-dimensionalise those structures if the span is 50 % of the diameter or less. We show this is linked to the span being shorter than the Mode B instability wavelength. The conflicting 3-D small-scale structures and 2-D Kármán vortices result in 2-D and 3-D turbulence dynamics which can coexist at certain locations of the wake depending on the domain geometric anisotropy.
A growing body of social science research has sought to conceptualize race as a multi-dimensional concept in which context, societal relations, and institutional dynamics are key components. Utilizing a specially-designed survey, we develop and use multiple measures of race (skin color, ascribed race, and discrimination experiences) to capture race as a “lived experience” and assess these measures’ impact on Latinos’ self-rated health status. We model these measures of race as lived experience to test the explanatory power of race, both independently and as an integrated scale, with categorical regression, scaling, and dimensional analyses. Our analyses show that our multiple measures of race have significant and negative effects on Latinos’ self-reported health. Skin color is a dominant factor that impacts self-reported health both directly and indirectly. We then advocate for the utilization of multiple measures of race, adding to those used in our analysis, and their application to research regarding inequities in other health and social outcomes. Our analysis provides important contributions to research across a wide range of health, illness, social, and political disparities for communities of color.
Since its inception in 1999, cognitive radio (CR) has been considered a promising means to use white space channels and thereby make more efficient usage of spectrum. To become the enabling technology for secondary access to TV white spaces (TVWS) requires facing several challenges in radio transceiver devices due to the continuous changes in both bandwidth and transmission frequency. As a consequence, CR requires configurable radio platforms. The development of software-defined radio (SDR) technology has made modern wireless transceivers more versatile, powerful, and portable by performing baseband processing.
As already mentioned in Chapter 1, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed in November 2008 the unlicensed use of the spectrum designated for TV broadcast . Two categories of device use were defined: fixed devices and personal portable devices. Focusing on the mobile (personal portable) devices, the available spectrum is on channels 21–51 (except 37 reserved for wireless microphones) corresponding to the UHF frequency band comprised of between 512 and 698 MHz. Therefore, excluding channel 37, and also 36 and 38 reserved as guard channels, there is the potential for up to 168 MHz of available spectrum whose availability is determined by the presence (or lack thereof) of primary users.
The introduction of cover crops in the intercrop period may provide a broad range of ecosystem services derived from the multiple functions they can perform, such as erosion control, recycling of nutrients or forage source. However, the achievement of these services in a particular agrosystem is not always required at the same time or to the same degree. Thus, species selection and definition of targeted objectives is critical when growing cover crops. The goal of the current work was to describe the traits that determine the suitability of five species (barley, rye, triticale, mustard and vetch) for cover cropping. A field trial was established during two seasons (October to April) in Madrid (central Spain). Ground cover and biomass were monitored at regular intervals during each growing season. A Gompertz model characterized ground cover until the decay observed after frosts, while biomass was fitted to Gompertz, logistic and linear-exponential equations. At the end of the experiment, carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and fibre (neutral detergent, acid and lignin) contents, and the N fixed by the legume were determined. The grasses reached the highest ground cover (83–99%) and biomass (1226–1928 g/m2) at the end of the experiment. With the highest C:N ratio (27–39) and dietary fibre (527–600 mg/g) and the lowest residue quality (~680 mg/g), grasses were suitable for erosion control, catch crop and fodder. The vetch presented the lowest N uptake (2·4 and 0·7 g N/m2) due to N fixation (9·8 and 1·6 g N/m2) and low biomass accumulation. The mustard presented high N uptake in the warm year and could act as a catch crop, but low fodder capability in both years. The thermal time before reaching 30% ground cover was a good indicator of early coverage species. Variable quantification allowed finding variability among the species and provided information for further decisions involving cover crop selection and management.
In this work we study the interfaces between the Mott insulator LaMnO3 (LMO) and the band insulator SrTiO3 (STO) in epitaxially grown superlattices with different thickness ratios and different transport and magnetic behaviors. Using atomic resolution electron energy-loss spectral imaging, we analyze simultaneously the structural and chemical properties of these interfaces. We find changes in the oxygen octahedral tilts within the LaMnO3 layers when the thickness ratio between the manganite and the titanate layers is varied. Superlattices with thick LMO and ultrathin STO layers present unexpected octahedral tilts in the STO, along with a small amount of oxygen vacancies. On the other hand, thick STO layers exhibit undistorted octahedra while the LMO layers present reduced O octahedral distortions near the interfaces. These findings are discussed in view of the transport and magnetic differences found in previous studies.
The aim of this work is to process by equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) a low carbon – triple-alloyed steel containing 0.2% C, 0.5% Cr, 0.6% Ni, 0.2% Mo and 0.8 Mo. The process is performed at room temperature for up to four passes using route Bc with an equivalent strain of ∼0.6 after a single pass. Structure evolution before and after deformation is studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) and mechanical properties are assessed by microhardness and tensile testing. A significant improvement of the mechanical properties is found with increasing number of ECAP passes. Micro-hardness increases from 216 HV for the initial sample to 302 HV after four passes and tensile strength increases to 1200 MPa compared with 430 MPa prior to ECAP. X-ray diffraction and SEM analysis show changes in the original ferritic-perlitic structure through ferrite grain refinement and the deformation of perlite. This nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy is used in manufacturing as gear material, and when it is hardened and formed through carburizing or boronizing it can be used to make hard-wearing machine parts. However, the ECAP process has not been used to harden this steel and to change its structure to obtain better mechanical performance.