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Darwin's frogs Rhinoderma darwinii and Rhinoderma rufum are the only known species of amphibians in which males brood their offspring in their vocal sacs. We propose these frogs as flagship species for the conservation of the Austral temperate forests of Chile and Argentina. This recommendation forms part of the vision of the Binational Conservation Strategy for Darwin's Frogs, which was launched in 2018. The strategy is a conservation initiative led by the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, which in 2017 convened 30 governmental, non-profit and private organizations from Chile, Argentina and elsewhere. Darwin's frogs are iconic examples of the global amphibian conservation crisis: R. rufum is categorized as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) on the IUCN Red List, and R. darwinii as Endangered. Here we articulate the conservation planning process that led to the development of the conservation strategy for these species and present its main findings and recommendations. Using an evidence-based approach, the Binational Conservation Strategy for Darwin's Frogs contains a comprehensive status review of Rhinoderma spp., including critical threat analyses, and proposes 39 prioritized conservation actions. Its goal is that by 2028, key information gaps on Rhinoderma spp. will be filled, the main threats to these species will be reduced, and financial, legal and societal support will have been achieved. The strategy is a multi-disciplinary, transnational endeavour aimed at ensuring the long-term viability of these unique frogs and their particular habitat.
Healthy lifestyle habits are the cornerstone in the management of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Nevertheless, dietary studies on FH-affected populations are scarce. The present study analyses dietary habits, adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern and physical activity in an adult population with FH and compares them with their non-affected relatives.
Data came from SAFEHEART, a nationwide study in Spain.
Individuals (n 3714) aged ≥18 years with a genetic diagnosis of FH (n2736) and their non-affected relatives (n 978). Food consumption was evaluated using a validated FFQ.
Total energy intake was lower in FH patients v. non-affected relatives (P<0·005). Percentage of energy from fats was also lower in the FH population (35 % in men, 36 % in women) v. those non-affected (38 % in both sexes, P<0·005), due to the lower consumption of saturated fats (12·1 % in FH patients, 13·2 % in non-affected, P<0·005). Consumption of sugars was lower in FH patients v. non-affected relatives (P<0·05). Consumption of vegetables, fish and skimmed milk was higher in the FH population (P<0·005). Patients with FH showed greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet pattern v. non-affected relatives (P<0·005). Active smoking was lower and moderate physical activity was higher in people with FH, especially women (P<0·005).
Adult patients with FH report healthier lifestyles than their non-affected family members. They eat a healthier diet, perform more physical activity and smoke less. However, this patient group’s consumption of saturated fats and sugars still exceeds guidelines.
Knowledge of a species’ potential distribution and the suitability of available habitat are fundamental for effective conservation planning and management. However, the quality of information on the distribution of species and their required habitats is highly variable in terms of accuracy and availability across taxa and regions, particularly in tropical landscapes where accessibility is especially challenging. Species distribution models (SDMs) provide predictive tools for addressing gaps for poorly surveyed species, but they rarely consider biases in geographical distribution of records and their consequences. We applied SDMs and variation partitioning analyses to investigate the relative importance of habitat characteristics, human accessibility, and their joint effects in the global distribution of the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw Ara glaucogularis, a species endemic to the Amazonian flooded savannas of Bolivia. The probability of occurrence was skewed towards more accessible areas, mostly secondary roads. Variability in observed occurrence patterns was mostly accounted for by the pure effect of habitat characteristics (76.2%), indicating that bias in the geographical distribution of occurrences does not invalidate species-habitat relationships derived from niche models. However, observed spatial covariation between land-use at a landscape scale and accessibility (joint contribution: 22.3%) may confound the independent role of land-use in the species distribution. New surveys should prioritise collecting data in more remote (less accessible) areas better distributed with respect to land-use composition at a landscape scale. Our results encourage wider application of partitioning methods to quantify the extent of sampling bias in datasets used in habitat modelling for a better understanding of species-habitat relationships, and add insights into the potential distribution of our study species and opportunities for its conservation.
Polyurethane-based bioadhesive was synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil (chemically modified and unmodified) and hexamethylene diisocyanate with chitosan addition as a bioactive filler. The objective was to evaluate the effect of type of polyols with the incorporation of low-concentrations of chitosan on the mechanical and biological properties of the polymer to obtain suitable materials in the design of biomaterials. The results showed that increasing physical crosslinking increased the mechanical and adhesive properties. An in vitro cytotoxic test of polyurethanes showed cellular viability. The biocompatibility of the polyurethanes favors the adhesion of L929 cells at 6, 24, and 48 h. The polyurethanes showed bacterial inhibition depending on the polyol and percentage of chitosan. The antibacterial effect of the polyurethanes for Escherichia coli decreased 60–90% after 24 h. The mechanical and adhesive properties together with biological response in this research suggested these polyurethanes as external application tissue bioadhesives.
The optical and structural properties of co-doped HfO2 thin films with rare earth trivalent ions prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis technique, are reported. An arrangement of multi-layer (Si-SiO2-HfO2:Eu3+-HfO2:Tb3+-HfO2:Tm3+-SiO2) were deposited on silicon substrates at temperatures from 400 to 550°C, using acetyl acetonates as precursory reagents. A refractive index value of 2.1 was determined by spectral ellipsometry. The surface morphology was obtained by AFM measurements. For 50 to 550 nm thickness films, an average roughness value of ∼56.8 Å was obtained for different substrate temperatures and grown deposition times. EDS measurements showed the presence of hafnium, and rare earths dopants as elemental composition. XPS measurements demonstrated that hafnium and rare earths oxidation species are formed at hafnium dioxide thin films. Photoluminescence emission spectra of multi-layer structures present characteristic emission peaks associated with Tb+3, Eu3+, and Tm3+ dopants. The results presented above motivate us to consider that these multilayer structures could be appropriate to be used as a rare earth host to improve optical emission.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
Rotation is a key parameter in the evolution of massive stars, affecting their evolution, chemical yields, ionizing photon budget, and final fate. We determined the projected rotational velocity, υe sin i, of ~330 O-type objects, i.e. ~210 spectroscopic single stars and ~110 primaries in binary systems, in the Tarantula nebula or 30 Doradus (30 Dor) region. The observations were taken using VLT/FLAMES and constitute the largest homogeneous dataset of multi-epoch spectroscopy of O-type stars currently available. The most distinctive feature of the υe sin i distributions of the presumed-single stars and primaries in 30 Dor is a low-velocity peak at around 100 km s−1. Stellar winds are not expected to have spun-down the bulk of the stars significantly since their arrival on the main sequence and therefore the peak in the single star sample is likely to represent the outcome of the formation process. Whereas the spin distribution of presumed-single stars shows a well developed tail of stars rotating more rapidly than 300 km s−1, the sample of primaries does not feature such a high-velocity tail. The tail of the presumed-single star distribution is attributed for the most part – and could potentially be completely due – to spun-up binary products that appear as single stars or that have merged. This would be consistent with the lack of such post-interaction products in the binary sample, that is expected to be dominated by pre-interaction systems. The peak in this distribution is broader and is shifted toward somewhat higher spin rates compared to the distribution of presumed-single stars. Systems displaying large radial velocity variations, typical for short period systems, appear mostly responsible for these differences.
The catalytic activity of disordered binary alloy metal surfaces is investigated for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) by generating free energy diagrams and performing calculations on d-band centers of alloys. The disorder was simulated using virtual crystal approximation; then, based on periodic, self-consistent density functional theory (DFT) methods, we calculated adsorption energies of reaction intermediates. Alternative pathway for ORR mechanism, involving proton/electron transfer to adsorbed oxygen and hydroxyl, is considered. The methodology was applied to (111) surface of PdxCu1-x disordered binary alloys, with different values of x concentration. This study found that at the ORR equilibrium potential of 1.23 V, the reactivity of all surfaces is shown to be limited by the rate of OH removal from the surface. Among the surfaces studied, the surface of Pd0.80Cu0.20 shows the highest reactivity and is more active than other non-Pt alloys. These results are in excellent agreement with earlier experimental and theoretical work.
A wide variety of materials are currently used as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for concrete, including natural materials and byproducts from various industries. Historically, natural SCMs, mostly derived from volcanic deposits, were common in concrete. In recent years, the dominant SCMs have been industrial by-products such as fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS), and silica fume. There is currently a resurgence of research into historic and natural SCMs, as well as other alternative SCMs for many reasons. The primary benefits of SCM use in improvement of long-term mechanical performance, durability, and sustainability are widely accepted, so local demand for these materials can exceed supply. This paper describes some of the SCMs that are attracting attention in the global research community and the properties and characteristics of these materials that affect their performance. Special attention is paid to the importance and demands of material characterization. Many SCMs do not necessarily lend themselves to characterization methods used in standardized test methods, which sometimes fail to describe the properties that are most important in predicting reactivity.
Living specimens of the amphi-Atlantic asteroid Hacelia superba have been collected in different areas of Gazul mud volcano in the Gulf of Cadiz, south-western Iberian Peninsula, at depths of 380–487 m. This starfish displayed low abundances (~1 ind. 2000 m−2) in beam trawl catches on the mud vulcano and adjacent soft bottoms. The absence of previous records in this area could be due to a low sampling effort on bathyal hard bottoms of the Gulf of Cadiz, especially those of dormant mud volcanoes, as well as a possible misidentification as Hacelia attenuata that also occurs in the area but is restricted to infralittoral and circalitoral bottoms.
The occurrence of a living population of the giant deep-sea oyster Neopycnodonte zibrowii is reported on the slopes of Hespérides Mud Volcano Complex in the Gulf of Cádiz, south-western Iberian Peninsula, in 720 m depth. A noteworthy circumstance of this new record is its situation on a sea bottom which was suitable for the operation of a rock dredge and does not apparently feature abrupt cliffs or rocky overhangs as in previous reports on the species.
Introduction: While both blunted and enhanced cortisol suppression following a dexamethasone suppression test (DST) are described in eating disorders, some evidence suggests that enhanced cortisol suppression might be associated with the presence of trauma history. The objective of this study is to investigate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to a modified DST in eating disorders and its relationship with childhood trauma.
Methods: Fifty-two patients with eating disorders were studied with a 0.25 mg DST and with measures of childhood trauma.
Conclusion: Patients with bulimia symptoms had significantly greater cortisol suppression than controls and restrictive anorexia patients (F=8.2, P<.05). Cortisol suppression was significantly correlated with intensity of childhood traumatic events (F=0.32, P<.05). Hypersensitive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to DST in eating disorders may be related with a history of childhood trauma and suggests some biological similarities with posttraumatic syndromes that should be further explored.
Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis sensitivity was investigated in 32 non-medicated patients with borderline personality disorder without comorbid post-traumatic syndromes and in 18 normal individuals using a modified dexamethasone suppression test (0.25 mg). Enhanced cortisol suppression was found in the patients v. controls (P < 0.05) and the percentage of participant's with non-suppression was smaller in the patient (34%) than in the control group (89%) (P < 0.01). Baseline cortisol levels in the patients were also lower than in the controls (P < 0.05). The 0.25 mg dexamethasone suppression test reveals increased feedback inhibition of the HPA in borderline personality disorder.
Deception Island (South Shetlands, Antarctica) is one of the most active volcanoes in Antarctica, having erupted recently in 1967, 1969 and 1970, damaging scientific stations on the island. It is also seismically very active. The island has attracted the attention of many researchers as it constitutes an undisturbed natural laboratory to study seismo-volcanic events and how they affect landscape modelling and evolution. One of the most remarkable geological and geomorphological features on Deception Island is the linearity of its easternmost coastal landform, the origin of which remains unknown. Some answers, based on presence of strike-slip fault or on the ice cap and beach geomorphological dynamics, have been reported in the literature. Our new work provides several indications of the existence of a dip-slip submarine fault, parallel to the coast (NNW–SSE), which suggests a tectonic origin for this morphological feature. Uplifted marine terraces, incision of a fluvial network over the ice cap, normal faulting parallel to the coast in the north and south rock heads bounding the beach and sharp shelf-break with rather constant slope, constitute some of this evidence. Terrace uplift and fluvial channel incision decreasing southward from Macaroni Point, indicates possible tilt movement across this inferred fault plane.
This study reports the population responses of the lizard Psammodromus algirus to forest fragmentation by comparing its distribution in two contrasting situations of habitat conservation: a well connected mosaic landscape (forest patches larger than 2000 ha and/or connected by corridors that prevent their isolation), and an archipelago of forest remnants embedded within a matrix of cereal fields. The frequency of occurrence of P. algirus was larger in the unfragmented habitats (14 out of 19 censused plots) than in the fragments (two out of of 21 wood-lots). Vegetation structure was a good predictor of lizard occurrence under conditions of no fragmentation, but not in the fragments, where high plant cover seemed a necessary, but insufficient, condition for the survival of lizard populations, and where remnant size was the only variable that differed significantly between wood-lots with and without lizards. Historical fragmentation of the habitat is also crucial for understanding the current distribution of lizards, as shown by their absence from a large forest that was highly fragmented in the past but which has been regenerating for decades. It is hypothesized that the combined effects of fragmentation and predation in small remnants have led to the extinction of P. algirus in fragments smaller than c. 90 ha, recolonization being prevented by the very limited dispersal abilities of these forest lizards.
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