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The history of maize in Central America and surrounding areas has implications for the slow transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture. The spread of early forms of domesticated maize from southern Mexico across Mesoamerica and into South America has been dated to about 8,700–6,500 years ago on the basis of a handful of studies relying primarily on the analysis of pollen, phytoliths, or starch grains. Recent genomic data from southern Belize have been used to identify Archaic period south-to-north population movements from lower Central America, suggesting this migration pattern as a mechanism that introduced genetically improved maize races from South America. Gradually, maize productivity increased to the point that it was suitable for use as a staple crop. Here we present a summary of paleoecological data that support the late and uneven entry of maize into the Maya area relative to other regions of Central America and identify the Pacific coastal margin as the probable route by which maize spread southward into Panama and South America. We consider some implications of the early appearance of maize for Late Archaic populations in these areas; for example, with respect to the establishment of sedentary village life.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
This work investigated the photophysical pathways for light absorption, charge generation, and charge separation in donor–acceptor nanoparticle blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and indene-C60-bisadduct. Optical modeling combined with steady-state and time-resolved optoelectronic characterization revealed that the nanoparticle blends experience a photocurrent limited to 60% of a bulk solution mixture. This discrepancy resulted from imperfect free charge generation inside the nanoparticles. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and chemically resolved X-ray mapping showed that enhanced miscibility of materials did improve the donor–acceptor blending at the center of the nanoparticles; however, a residual shell of almost pure donor still restricted energy generation from these nanoparticles.
Circular features made from mammoth bone are known from across Upper Palaeolithic Eastern Europe, and are widely identified as dwellings. The first systematic flotation programme of samples from a recently discovered feature at Kostenki 11 in Russia has yielded assemblages of charcoal, burnt bone and microlithic debitage. New radiocarbon dates provide the first coherent chronology for the site, revealing it to be one of the oldest such features on the Russian Plain. The authors discuss the implications for understanding the function of circular mammoth-bone features during the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum.
Uninsured patients are more likely than the general population to use tobacco and less likely to quit.
To determine if the mode of delivering the PHS Guidelines influenced the effectiveness of smoking cessation among patients in a safety net setting.
Six free clinics were randomly assigned to a training program delivered by an academic physician or community partner plus video support. A repeated cross-sectional survey of patients was conducted at three waves to assess effectiveness to promote quitting.
Tobacco use was triple the rate of the US population: 57.7% (Wave 1), 44.7% (Wave 2), and 48.9% (Wave 3). Patients were more likely to report receipt of at least one evidence-based strategy to promote quitting at Wave 2 (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI (1.18–4.58)). Patients treated in clinics trained by the community partner were significantly more likely to report receiving cessation assistance at Wave 2 (AOR 2.54, 95%CI 1.29–5.00) and the trend was similar, but not significant at Wave 3. Patients in the community partner-led arm were significantly less likely to report tobacco use at Wave 3 (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.35–0.99).
Implementation of the PHS Guidelines in free clinics demonstrates preliminary efficacy, with delivery by community partners offering greater scalability.
Archaeological survey and excavations in the mangrove-estuary zone south of Izapa have generated an understanding of how the environment and human exploitation patterns changed during the Archaic and Formative periods. Archaic-period archaeological remains are not present, but the sedimentary record shows that Archaic people were clearing the coastal-plain forest for agricultural purposes. This activity augmented delivery of sediments to the littoral zone, which expanded the mangrove forest and created a productive environment that could be colonized by Early Formative villagers by around 1600 cal b.c. Population growth during the Early Formative created conditions that favored emergence of specialized pyro-industries, especially salt production, by around 1000 cal b.c. Production intensity increased thereafter, especially during the Late Formative period, coincident with the apogee of Izapa. Salt production became more episodic during the Terminal Formative period, when interior populations were declining to a nadir after cal a.d. 250.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Geochemical and related studies have been made of near-surface sediments from the River Clyde estuary and adjoining areas, extending from Glasgow to the N, and W as far as the Holy Loch on the W coast of Scotland, UK. Multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar and shallow seismic data, taken with core information, indicate that a shallow layer of modern sediment, often less than a metre thick, rests on earlier glacial and post-glacial sediments. The offshore Quaternary history can be aligned with onshore sequences, with the recognition of buried drumlins, settlement of muds from quieter water, probably behind an ice dam, and later tidal delta deposits. The geochemistry of contaminants within the cores also indicates shallow contaminated sediments, often resting on pristine pre-industrial deposits at depths less than 1m. The distribution of different contaminants with depth in the sediment, such as Pb (and Pb isotopes), organics and radionuclides, allow chronologies of contamination from different sources to be suggested. Dating was also attempted using microfossils, radiocarbon and 210Pb, but with limited success. Some of the spatial distribution of contaminants in the surface sediments can be related to grain-size variations. Contaminants are highest, both in absolute terms and in enrichment relative to the natural background, in the urban and inner estuary and in the Holy Loch, reflecting the concentration of industrial activity.
Core MAN015 from Pacific coastal Guatemala contains sediments accumulated in a mangrove setting over the past 6500 yr. Chemical, pollen, and phytolith data, which indicate conditions of estuarine deposition and terrigenous inputs from adjacent dry land, document Holocene climate variability that parallels the Maya lowlands and other New World tropical locations. Human population history in this region may be driven partly by climate variation: sedentary human populations spread rapidly through the estuarine zone of the lower coast during a dry and variable 4th millennium B.P. Population growth and cultural florescence during a long, relatively moist period (2800–1200 B.P.) ended around 1200 B.P., a drying event that coincided with the Classic Maya collapse.
A phytolith record from Monte Oscuro, a crater lake located 10 m above sea level on the Pacific coastal plain of Panama, shows that during the Late Pleistocene the lake bed was dry and savanna-like vegetation expanded at the expense of tropical deciduous forest, the modern potential vegetation. A significant reduction of precipitation below current levels was almost certainly required to effect the changes observed. Core sediment characteristics indicate that permanent inundation of the Monte Oscuro basin with water occurred at about 10,500 14C yr B.P. Pollen and phytolith records show that deciduous tropical forest expanded into the lake’s watershed during the early Holocene. Significant burning of the vegetation and increases of weedy plants at ca. 7500 to 7000 14C yr B.P. indicate disturbance, which most likely resulted from early human occupation of the seasonal tropical forest near Monte Oscuro and the development of slash-and-burn methods of cultivation.
Linear programming and regional input-output models were applied to estimate the impacts of increased pumping costs for irrigated agriculture due to groundwater depletion principally caused by the expanding urban area of San Antonio, Texas. A biophysical simulator was used to estimate linear programming coefficients of crop yield by irrigation level and timing. The results indicate significant local (county) economic impacts from groundwater mining but insignificant regional impacts. A major improvement in irrigation efficiency would be required to offset the increased pumping costs and reduced water availability associated with increased lifts due to urban expansion.
1) To identify the strengths and challenges of governance structures in academic emergency medicine (EM), and 2) to make recommendations on principles and approaches that may guide improvements.
Over the course of 9 months, eight established EM leaders met by teleconference, reviewed the literature, and discussed their findings and experiences to arrive at recommendations on governance in academic units of EM. The results and recommendations were presented at the annual Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Symposium, where attendees provided feedback. The updated recommendations were subsequently distributed to the CAEP Academic Section for further input, and the final recommendations were decided by consensus.
The panel identified four governance areas of interest: 1) the elements of governance; 2) the relationships between emergency physicians and academic units of EM, and between the academic units of EM and faculty of medicine; 3) current status of governance in Canadian academic units of EM; and 4) essential elements of good governance. Six recommendations were developed around three themes, including 1) the importance of good governance; 2) the purposes of an academic unit of EM; and 3) essential elements for better governance for academic units of EM. Recommendations included identifying the importance of good governance, recognizing the need to adapt to the different models depending on the local environment; seeking full departmental status, provided it is mutually beneficial to EM and the faculty of medicine (and health authority); using a consultation service to learn from the experience of other academic units of EM; and establishing an annual forum for EM leaders.
Although governance of academic EM is complex, there are ways to iteratively improve the mission of academic units of EM: providing exceptional patient care through research and education. Although there is no one-size-fits-all guide, there are practical recommended steps for academic units of EM to consider.
In the present study, the effects of partial substitution of dietary protein by digestible starch on endogenous glucose production were evaluated in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax). The fractional contribution of dietary carbohydrates v. gluconeogenesis to blood glucose appearance and hepatic glycogen synthesis was quantified in two groups of seabass fed with a diet containing 30 % digestible starch (DS) or without a carbohydrate supplement as the control (CTRL). Measurements were performed by transferring the fish to a tank containing water enriched with 5 % 2H2O over the last six feeding days, and quantifying the incorporation of 2H into blood glucose and hepatic glycogen by 2H NMR. For CTRL fish, gluconeogenesis accounted for the majority of circulating glucose while for the DS fish, this contribution was significantly lower (CTRL 85 (sem 4) % v. DS 54 (sem 2) %; P< 0·001). Hepatic glycogen synthesis via gluconeogenesis (indirect pathway) was also significantly reduced in the DS fish, in both relative (CTRL 100 (sem 1) % v. DS 72 (sem 1) %; P< 0·001) and absolute terms (CTRL 28 (sem 1) v. DS 17 (sem 1) μmol/kg per h; P< 0·001). A major fraction of the dietary carbohydrates that contributed to blood glucose appearance (33 (sem 1) % of the total 47 (sem 2) %) had undergone exchange with hepatic glucose 6-phosphate. This indicated the simultaneous activity of hepatic glucokinase and glucose 6-phosphatase. In conclusion, supplementation of digestible starch resulted in a significant reduction of gluconeogenic contributions to systemic glucose appearance and hepatic glycogen synthesis.