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Fluorescence techniques have been widely used by scientists to reveal valuable information from biological samples, but in food science, small progress is known due to the complexity of the samples. In this study, two different biological samples, garlic skin (GS) and agave fibers (AF), were used to evaluate the techniques of confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, to obtain valuable information on the fiber size of the samples. A compositional characterization with calcofluor white in CLSM was achieved, but a superficial characterization of the samples with TIRF was made, evidencing fiber sizes of 398.67 ± 48.47 nm and 677.38 ± 76.88 nm for GS and AF, respectively. This work reveals that only an untreated sample can be used with the two techniques in the same microscope. In addition, it is possible to characterize the sample only using a spatial field of research and which valuable information about the structure of the material is found. This work provides the opportunity to use advanced fluorescence techniques for elucidation of structures shortly before studied with these techniques.
Brucellosis remains one of the main zoonoses worldwide. Epidemiological data on human brucellosis in Spain are scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the epidemiological characteristics of inpatient brucellosis in Spain between 1997 and 2015. A retrospective longitudinal descriptive study was performed. Data were requested from the Health Information Institute of the Ministry of Health and Equality, which provided us with the Minimum Basic Data Set of patients admitted to the National Health System. We also obtained data published in the System of Obligatory Notifiable Diseases. A total of 5598 cases were registered. The period incidence rate was 0.67 (95% CI 0.65–0.68) cases per 100 000 person-years. We observed a progressive decrease in the number of cases and annual incidence rates. A total of 3187 cases (56.9%) came from urban areas. The group most at risk comprised men around the fifth decade of life. The average (±s.d.) hospital stay was 12.6 days (±13.1). The overall lethality rate of the cohort was 1.5%. The number of inpatients diagnosed with brucellosis decreased exponentially. The group of patients with the highest risk of brucellosis in our study was males under 45 years of age and of urban origin. The lethality rate has reduced to minimum values. It is probable that hospital discharge records could be a good database for the epidemiological analysis of the hospital management of brucellosis and offer a better information collection system than the notifiable diseases system (EDO in Spanish).
We adopt an EASI model to estimate demand for omega-3, organic, cage-free, and conventional eggs in the United States. Our empirical framework accounts for demand inter-dependencies among these egg types, while allowing for unrestricted Engel curves, unobserved consumer heterogeneity, and a broader product and geographic coverage. We further address endogeneity of prices and expenditures and left-censoring induced by disaggregate data. Our results indicate that the demand for organic and cage-free eggs is price-elastic, while the demand for omega-3 and conventional eggs is price-inelastic. Additionally, we establish strong substitutability relationships between the eggs. Finally, we measure consumer welfare consequences of rising domestic egg prices brought by Japan’s egg import tariff reductions.
Triploidization plays an important role in aquaculture and surrogate technologies. In this study, we induced triploidy in the matrinxã fish (Brycon amazonicus) using a heat-shock technique. Embryos at 2 min post fertilization (mpf) were heat shocked at 38°C, 40°C, or 42°C for 2 min. Untreated, intact embryos were used as a control. Survival rates during early development were monitored and ploidy status was confirmed using flow cytometry and nuclear diameter analysis of erythrocytes. The hatching rate reduced with heat-shock treatment, and heat-shock treatments at 42°C resulted in no hatching events. Optimal results were obtained at 40°C with 95% of larvae exhibiting triploidy. Therefore, we report that heat-shock treatments of embryos (2 mpf) at 40°C for 2 min is an effective way to induce triploid individuals in B. amazonicus.
Little is known about the heritable behavioural traits of attacks by large carnivores on people. During the last 30 years attacks by brown bears Ursus arctos on people in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain have been disproportionately concentrated in the eastern subpopulation. Excluding factors such as the existence of a single unusually bold bear, a higher human population density, particular human activities promoting encounters, or clear habitat differences in the area of this subpopulation, we propose that a plausible explanation for the unbalanced geographical attack pattern is that this subpopulation, separated a century earlier from the western subpopulation, may harbour a higher proportion of bolder bears. In the absence of genetic analyses this explanation remains speculative, but supports the hypothesis that genetic variation on the shy–bold continuum may influence attacks of large carnivores on people.
Old age constitutes a vulnerable stage for developing gambling-related problems. The aims of the study were to identify patterns of gambling habits in elderly participants from the general population, and to assess socio-demographic and clinical variables related to the severity of the gambling behaviours. The sample included N = 361 participants aged in the 50–90 years range. A broad assessment included socio-demographic variables, gambling profile and psychopathological state. The percentage of participants who reported an absence of gambling activities was 35.5 per cent, while 46.0 per cent reported only non-strategic gambling, 2.2 per cent only strategic gambling and 16.3 per cent both non-strategic plus strategic gambling. Gambling form with highest prevalence was lotteries (60.4%), followed by pools (13.9%) and bingo (11.9%). The prevalence of gambling disorder was 1.4 per cent, and 8.0 per cent of participants were at a problematic gambling level. Onset of gambling activities was younger for men, and male participants also reached a higher mean for the bets per gambling-episode and the number of total gambling activities. Risk factors for gambling severity in the sample were not being born in Spain and a higher number of cumulative lifetime life events, and gambling severity was associated with a higher prevalence of tobacco and alcohol abuse and with worse psychopathological state. Results are particularly useful for the development of reliable screening tools and for the design of effective prevention programmes.
A cumulative environmental exposure score for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia [ES-SCZ]) may provide potential utility for risk stratification and outcome prediction. Here, we investigated whether ES-SCZ was associated with functioning in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, unaffected siblings, and healthy controls.
This cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,261 patients, 1,282 unaffected siblings, and 1,525 healthy controls. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale was used to assess functioning. ES-SCZ was calculated based on our previously validated method. The association between ES-SCZ and the GAF dimensions (symptom and disability) was analyzed by applying regression models in each group (patients, siblings, and controls). Additional models included polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ) as a covariate.
ES-SCZ was associated with the GAF dimensions in patients (symptom: B = −1.53, p-value = 0.001; disability: B = −1.44, p-value = 0.001), siblings (symptom: B = −3.07, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −2.52, p-value < 0.001), and healthy controls (symptom: B = −1.50, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −1.31, p-value < 0.001). The results remained the same after adjusting for PRS-SCZ. The degree of associations of ES-SCZ with both symptom and disability dimensions were higher in unaffected siblings than in patients and controls. By analyzing an independent dataset (the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis study), we replicated the results observed in the patient group.
Our findings suggest that ES-SCZ shows promise for enhancing risk prediction and stratification in research practice. From a clinical perspective, ES-SCZ may aid in efforts of clinical characterization, operationalizing transdiagnostic clinical staging models, and personalizing clinical management.
The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii exposure in dogs and cats from Bangkok, Thailand. Blood samples from 318 dogs and 321 cats were tested for T. gondii antibodies by modified agglutination test (cut-off 1:25). Additionally, 18 dogs and 20 cats were longitudinally sampled for T. gondii antibodies during the same study period, between June and July 2019. The overall seroprevalence in dogs and cats was 7.9% (25/318; 95% CI 4.9–10.8%) and 18.7% (95% CI 14.4–23.0%), respectively. For dogs, risk factors identified were being a mixed-breed animal and living totally outdoors, while increasing age was shown to be a risk factor for cats. Seroconversion was not detected and titres from positive animals remained constant over longitudinal study. The present study indicates that there is a prominent presence of T. gondii in urban and peri-urban areas of Bangkok, suggesting that outdoor dogs and cats should be considered as a possible risk factor for humans.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) not fulfilling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case definition underwent severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) screening. Risk of exposure, adherence to personal protective equipment (PPE), and symptoms were assessed. In total, 2,000 HCWs were screened: 5.5% were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There were no differences in PPE use between SARS-CoV-2–positive and –negative HCWs (adherence, >90%). Nursing and kitchen staff were independently associated with positive SARS-CoV-2 results.
During each Heinrich stadial (HS), temperatures in southern Europe typically dropped several degrees during several hundred to few thousand years. We have developed a one-dimensional thermal conduction model that transfers the typical surface temperature anomaly of a HS to a series of hypothetical underlying caves. The results show that with increasing depth, the thermal anomaly is attenuated, the lag time increases, and the signal structure experiences larger modifications. The model suggests that in most cases, it is not acceptable to assume a synchronous thermal variability and similar average temperature values between the surface atmosphere and the cave interior at millennial timescales. We also simulated the thermal impact of the modeled HS on speleothem δ18O records. The outputs of most model scenarios suggest that temperature changes associated with the HS produce δ18O anomalies capable of contributing significantly or even decisively to the speleothem isotope variability. Therefore, despite controls other than temperature often being considered more important when interpreting Pleistocene speleothem δ18O records in temperate climates, this research suggests that temperature is expected to be one of the major controls of δ18O values in most cave sites outside the tropics and should be included as a significant parameter affecting Pleistocene speleothem δ18O records.
The relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD), physical activity (PA), sedentary behaviour and physical fitness levels has been analysed in several studies; however, there is mixed evidence among youth. Thus, this study aimed to meta-analyse the associations between adherence to the MD, PA, sedentary behaviour and physical fitness among children and adolescents. Three databases were systematically searched, including cross-sectional and prospective designs with a sample of healthy youth aged 3–18 years. Random effects inverse-variance model with the Hartung–Knapp–Sidik–Jonkman adjustment was used to estimate the pooled effect size (correlation coefficient (r)). Thirty-nine studies were included in the meta-analysis, yielding a total of 565 421 youth (mean age, 12·4 years). Overall, the MD had a weak-to-moderate positive relationship with PA (r 0·14; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·17), cardiorespiratory fitness (r 0·22; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·31) and muscular fitness (r 0·11; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·18), and a small-to-moderate negative relationship with sedentary behaviour (r –0·15; 95 % CI –0·20, –0·10) and speed–agility (r –0·06; 95 % CI –0·12, –0·01). There was a high level of heterogeneity in all of the models (I2 ≥ 75 %). Overall, results did not remain significant after controlling for sex and age (children or adolescents) except for PA. Improving dietary habits towards those of the MD could be associated with higher physical fitness and PA in youth, lower sedentary behaviours and better health in general.
The northern bald ibis Geronticus eremita was once widespread throughout the Middle East, northern Africa, and southern and central Europe. Habitat destruction, persecution and the impacts of pesticides have led to its disappearance from most of its former range. It disappeared from central Europe > 400 years ago, but has persisted as a relict and slowly growing breeding population in Morocco, where c. 700 wild birds of all ages remain. In Algeria, the last confirmed breeding was in 1984; in Turkey the fully wild population disappeared in 1989, but a population remains in semi-wild conditions. In Syria a small population was rediscovered in 2002, only to subsequently decline to functional extinction. Restoration programmes have been initiated independently in several locations, with over 300 free-flying birds resulting from reintroduction projects in Austria, Germany, Spain and Turkey, to restore both sedentary and fully migratory populations. Maintaining current efforts in Morocco remains a high conservation priority.
Older subjects are susceptible to develop gambling problems, and researchers have attempted to assess the mechanisms underlying the gambling profile in later life. The objective of this study was to identify the main stressful life events (SLE) across the lifespan which have discriminative capacity for detecting the presence of gambling disorder (GD) in older adults. Data from two independent samples of individuals aged 50+ were analysed: N = 47 patients seeking treatment at a Pathological Gambling Outpatient Unit and N = 361 participants recruited from the general population. Sexual problems (p < 0.001), exposure to domestic violent behaviour (p < 0.001), severe financial problems (p = 0.002), alcohol or drug-related problems (p = 0.004) and extramarital sex (p < 0.001) were related to a higher risk of GD, while getting married (p = 0.005), moving to a new home (p = 0.003) and moving to a new city (p = 0.006) decreased the likelihood of disordered gambling. The accumulated number of SLE was not a predictor of the presence of GD (p = 0.732), but patients who met clinical criteria for GD reported higher concurrence of SLE in time than control individuals (p < 0.001). Empirical research highlights the need to include older age groups in evidence-based policies for gambling prevention, because these individuals are at high risk of onset and/or progression of behavioural addiction-related problems such as GD. The results of this study may be useful for developing reliable screening/diagnostic tools and for planning effective early intervention programmes aimed to reduce the harm related to the onset and evolution of problem gambling in older adults.
There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.