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Large dams are emerging drivers of landscape-scale habitat fragmentation, causing extensive flooding and transforming hilltops into islands. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs; the process to assess and account for impacts of development) do not explicitly consider reservoir islands in calculations of habitat impacted by dam construction. Reservoir islands maintain relict biological communities from the previously continuous habitat. Relict communities are subject to an extinction debt whereby species are lost over time. We demonstrate how estimating the ‘conservation value’ of islands (CV; the proportion of relict continuous habitat [forest] species on islands) using relict species–area relationships (RSARs), can be used in an area-of-impact correction tool to account for insular habitats in EIAs. We used data from eight taxonomic groups within the Balbina Hydroelectric Reservoir (BHR) archipelago in Brazilian Amazonia. We found ca. 72,000 ha of insular habitat had reduced CV, equating to 60% of aggregate island area, and that an additional 24% of the ca. 300,000 ha BHR water surface area should be included in area assessments for impacted terrestrial habitat. Where reservoir island creation is unavoidable, using RSARs to assess the CV of islands enables more accurate and dynamic assessment of the ecological impacts of dam construction.
This study presents two years of characterization of a warm temperate rhodolith bed in order to analyse how certain environmental changes influence the community ecology. The biomass of rhodoliths and associated species were analysed during this period and in situ experiments were conducted to evaluate the primary production, calcification and respiration of the dominant species of rhodoliths and epiphytes. The highest total biomass of rhodoliths occurred during austral winter. Lithothamnion crispatum was the most abundant rhodolith species in austral summer. Epiphytic macroalgae occurred only in January 2015, with Padina gymnospora being the most abundant. Considering associated fauna, the biomass of Mollusca increased from February 2015 to February 2016. Population densities of key reef fish species inside and around the rhodolith beds showed significant variations in time. The densities of grouper (carnivores/piscivores) increased in time, especially from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, grunts (macroinvertebrate feeders) had a modest decrease over time (from 2014 to 2016). Other parameters such as primary production and calcification of L. crispatum were higher under enhanced irradiance, yet decreased in the presence of P. gymnospora. Community structure and physiological responses can be explained by the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors, which are driven by environmental changes over time. Biomass changes can indicate that herbivores play a role in limiting the growth of epiphytes, and this is beneficial to the rhodoliths because it decreases competition for environmental resources with fleshy algae.
Chronically stressed adult male Balb C mice were submitted to the tail suspension test. Chronic immobilization stress (6 h/d for 14 consecutive days) induced a significant reduction in immobility time when compared to non-stressed controls. Pretreatment with LY 53857, a serotonin 5HT2 antagonist, and IPS 339, a selective beta-2 adrenoceptor blocker, reversed immobility time to the levels of non-stressed controls. Chronic administration of corticosterone (100 mg/kg for 7 d) did not modify immobility time as compared to saline treated controls. It is suggested that both serotonergic and adrenergic pathways in the brain may participate in the stress-induced changes occurring in the tail suspension test response and that corticosterone does not appear to play a role in this process.
Despite a putative role for estrogen in depression, studies on the association between depression and estrogen receptor (ER) polymorphisms are surprisingly lacking.
To determine the association between ER polymorphisms and late-life depression in 6809 men and women and to investigate factors which could modify this association.
Community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and older were recruited in France as part of the Three City Study. Depression was assessed using the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, according to DSM-IV criteria. The association between five polymorphisms of the ER-α and ER-β with depression was determined using multi-adjusted logistic regression models.
Men with the AA genotype of the ER-β rs4986938 polymorphism had an increased risk of depression, while in women, carriers of the A allele for the ER-β rs1256049 had an increased risk. Subsequent analysis indicated that the increased risk in women occurred only in those not using hormone treatment. In women the CC and GG genotypes of the ER-α PvuII and XbaI, respectively were associated with a decreased risk of depression. A significant interaction between the ER-α PvuII and ER-β rs4986938 polymorphisms suggests they may act together to modify the depression risk.
Sex-specific associations between ER polymorphisms and depression have been identified, with HT appearing to be beneficial for genetically vulnerable women. These findings of distinct genetic susceptibility to late-life depression may be important for designing novel hormone-based therapies that would have optimal effectiveness in sub-groups of depressed women and men.
Less invasive protocols are necessary to study energy expenditure (EE) of cats living in homes for expressing their normal living conditions. The present study compared sampling times and the use of saliva, urine and blood to measure 2H and 18O to apply the doubly labelled water method. In the first study, four cats were used to evaluate the enrichment (2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 h) and elimination (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 d) of 2H and 18O (subcutaneously injected). The maximum enrichment was after 5 h (R2 0·82) of injection, with an Ln linear elimination of both isotopes (P < 0·001; R2 0·99). The results of EE were similar, regardless of the sampling time used (P = 0·999). In the second study, seven male cats and seven female cats were used. Before and after isotope injection (5 h, 7 d, 10 d and 14 d), blood, saliva and urine were collected. Isotope enrichment was lower in urine (P < 0·05) and at the similar level in blood and saliva. Isotope elimination was similar for all fluids (P < 0·473). The EE calculated with blood and saliva was similar but higher for urine (P = 0·015). According to Bland–Altman statistics, blood and saliva presented low bias and high correlation (P < 0·001), but this was not observed for urine (P = 0·096). Higher EE was observed for male cats (384 (se 39) kJ/kg0·67 per d) than for female cats (337 (se 34) kJ/kg0·67 per d; P < 0·05). The sampling time for the method is flexible, and saliva can be used as a substitute for blood.
Data preservation, reuse, and synthesis are important goals in contemporary archaeological research that have been addressed by the recent collaboration of the Eastern Archaic Faunal Working Group (EAFWG). We used the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) to preserve 60 significant legacy faunal databases from 23 Archaic period archaeological sites located in several contiguous subregions of the interior North American Eastern Woodlands. In order to resolve the problem of synthesizing non-standardized databases, we used the ontology and integration tools available in tDAR to explore comparability and combine datasets so that our research questions about aquatic resource use during the Archaic could be addressed at multiple scales. The challenges of making digital databases accessible for reuse, including the addition of metadata, and of linking disparate data in queryable datasets are significant but worth the effort. Our experience provides one example of how collaborative research may productively resolve problems in making legacy data accessible and usable for synthetic archaeological research.
Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
In pig husbandry, pregnant females are often exposed to stressful conditions, and their outcomes on maternal and offspring health have not been well evaluated. The present study aimed at testing whether improving the welfare of gestating sows could be associated with a better maternal health during gestation, changes in the composition of lacteal secretions and improvement in piglet survival. Two contrasted group-housing systems for gestating sows were used, that is, a French conventional system on slatted floor (C, 49 sows) and an enriched system using larger pens on deep straw (E, 57 sows). On the 105th days of gestation (DG105), sows were transferred into identical farrowing crates on slatted floor. Saliva was collected from all sows on DG35, DG105 and DG107. Blood samples were collected on DG105 from all sows and on the 1st day of lactation (DL1) from a subset of them (C, n=18; E, n=19). Colostrum and milk samples were collected from this subset of sows at farrowing (DL0) and DL4. Saliva concentration of cortisol was greater in C than in E sows at DG35 and DG105, and dropped to concentrations comparable to E sows after transfer into farrowing crates (DG107). On DG105, plasma concentrations of haptoglobin, immunoglobulins G (IgG) and A (IgA), blood lymphocyte counts and plasma antioxidant potential did not differ between groups (P > 0.10), whereas blood granulocyte count, and plasma hydroperoxide concentration were lower in E than in C sows (P < 0.05). Concentrations of IgG and IgA in colostrum and milk did not differ between the two groups. The number of cells did not differ in colostrum but was greater in milk from E than C sows (P < 0.05). Pre-weaning mortality rates were lower in E than C piglets (16.7% v. 25.8%, P < 0.001), and especially between 12 and 72 h postpartum (P < 0.001). Plasma concentration of IgG was similar in E and C piglets on DL4. In conclusion, differences in salivary cortisol, blood granulocyte count and oxidative stress markers between groups suggested improved welfare and reduced immune solicitation during late gestation in sows of the E compared with the C system. However, the better survival observed for neonates in the E environment could not be explained by variations in colostrum composition.
Sow environment during gestation can generate maternal stress which could alter foetal development. The effects of two group-housing systems for gestating sows on piglet morphological and physiological traits at birth were investigated. During gestation, sows were reared in a conventional system on a slatted floor (C, 18 sows), demonstrated as being stressful for sows or in an enriched system in larger pens and on deep straw bedding (E, 19 sows). On gestation day 105, sows were transferred into identical individual farrowing crates on a slatted floor. Farrowing was supervised to allow sampling from piglets at birth. In each litter, one male piglet of average birth weight was euthanized immediately after birth to study organ development and tissue traits. Blood samples were collected from 6 or 7 piglets per litter at birth and 2 piglets per litter at 4 days of lactation (DL4). At birth, mean piglet BW did not differ between groups (P > 0.10); however, the percentage of light (<1.2 kg) and heavy (⩾2 kg) piglets was greater and lower, respectively, in C than in E litters (P < 0.01). Plasma concentrations of cortisol, IGF-I, T4, T3, lactate, NEFA, fructose and albumin did not differ (P > 0.10) between C and E piglets, but the insulin to glucose ratio was greater (P = 0.02) in C than in E piglets. Compared with E piglets, C piglets had a lighter gut at birth (P = 0.01) and their glycogen content in longissimus muscle was lower (P < 0.01). In this muscle, messenger RNA levels of PAX7, a marker of satellite cells and of PPARGC1A, a transcriptional coactivator involved in mitochondriogenesis and mitochondrial energy metabolism, were greater (P < 0.05), whereas the expression level of PRDX6, a gene playing a role in antioxidant pathway, was lower (P = 0.03) in C than in E piglets. Other studied genes involved in myogenesis did not differ between C and E piglets. No system effect was observed on target genes in liver and subcutaneous adipose tissue. On DL4, C piglets exhibited a lower plasma antioxidant capacity than E piglets (P = 0.002). In conclusion, exposure of sows to a stressful environment during gestation had mild negative effects on the maturity of piglets at birth.
There have been few studies realized that evaluate the effects of adopting
different nutritional systems in more than one phase of cattle production on
carcass and meat characteristics. This study was realized to evaluate carcass
and meat characteristics from bulls submitted to different nutritional systems
during two production phases. The experiment was conducted at
Figueira’s farm during two production phases: I (cow–calf)
– 80 calves (99.6±2.72 days of age and
109.7±2.99 kg of BW) with their mothers were randomly assigned into
two supplemental diets: cow–calf mineral supplement
(n=40) or cow–calf creep-feeding
(n=40); II (stocker) – the same 80
calves (201.2±2.11 days of age and 190.2±3.37 kg of BW)
were redistributed into two production systems: stocker pasture
(n=40) or stocker feedlot (SF;
n=40). After, all 80 animals were kept on a pasture
system (III) for 290 days, and then finished in a feedlot system (IV) for more
33 days. Then, they were slaughtered at an average 764.2±3.06 days of
age and at 499.2±3.33 kg of final BW. After slaughter, the average
daily gain was calculated, and the carcass and meat characteristics were
measured. The statistical model design used was completely randomized in a
2×2 factorial arrangement (two treatment groups on
cow–calf phase and two treatment groups on stocker phase). The single
effects between the groups in each phase and the interactions between both
phases (cow–calf v. stocker) were analyzed. The
results were compared by Fisher’s test, using the R statistical
software. A cow–calf by stocker phases interaction occurred for
carcass conformation and fiber diameter. For single effects, the greatest
influences observed were in the stocker phase. The feedlot group was slaughtered
17 days earlier, with greater final BW (3.8%), hot carcass weight
(5.7%), average daily gain (6.9%), dressing percentage
(1.8%), carcass length (1.8%), carcass width
(1.5%), longissimus muscle area (4.8%)
and muscle depth (2.3%) than pasture group. The SF group also had
influence on fat color; showing higher L* and lower
b* values. These results reveal that bulls
reared in feedlot at the stocker phase have higher muscle development and that
the stocker phase has the greatest potential to influence carcass
characteristics and meat quality.
In this study, we isolate and analyse a new set of microsatellite loci for Cattleya walkeriana. Twenty-two primer pairs were screened for C. walkeriana (n = 32) and assessed for their transferability to Cattleya loddigesii (n = 12) and Cattleya nobilior (n = 06). All loci amplified for C. walkeriana; however, for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior, four and five primers, respectively, did not present amplification. The polymorphic loci presented between 2 and 13 alleles per locus for both C. walkeriana and C. loddigesii, with respective averages of 5.1 and 4.2. For C. nobilior, we found between two and five alleles per locus, with an average of 2.6. For C. walkeriana, observed heterozygosity varied from 0.100 to 0.966, whereas expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.097 to 0.900. The observed and expected heterozygosity for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior were also estimated. We found no significant linkage disequilibrium between any pair of loci, and evidence of null alleles at four loci (Cw16, Cw24, Cw30 and Cw31) for C. walkeriana. The combined power to exclude the first parent and combined non-exclusion probability of identity were 0.999 and 2.3 × 10−20, respectively. These new loci can be used in studies of germplasm resources, and assessments of genotypic and genetic diversity and population structure, thus improving the accuracy of such analyses and their applicability in the conservation and protection of these endangered species.
Strong winds from massive stars are a topic of interest to a wide range of astrophysical fields. In High-Mass X-ray Binaries the presence of an accreting compact object on the one side allows to infer wind parameters from studies of the varying properties of the emitted X-rays; but on the other side the accretor’s gravity and ionizing radiation can strongly influence the wind flow. Based on a collaborative effort of astronomers both from the stellar wind and the X-ray community, this presentation attempts to review our current state of knowledge and indicate avenues for future progress.
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 XXII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, organized by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), focuses on the new advances and challenges that asteroseismology provides in the domains of stellar structure, dynamics, and evolution. Every year the Winter School welcomes around 60 Ph.D. students and young postdocs and provides a unique opportunity for them to broaden their knowledge in a key field of astronomy.
When oscillations of the Sun were first discovered, a new era of science began. The observed frequencies could be used to probe deep into the stellar interior, the only measurements that could possibly pierce the stellar surface. Today, “helioseismology” has been responsible for some of our deepest understanding of the Sun: we know the radial and longitudinal rotation profile of the interior, we have measured the depth of the outer convection zone, and it has helped solve the so-called neutrino problem when the observations and theory predicted a much hotter central temperature than the observed neutrinos predicted. Today, these seismic observations are not only available in much higher quality, but they are also available for hundreds of other stars. In the last few years, many space missions (CoRoT and Kepler) have produced these data of exquisite quality, and for the first time we are in a position to study the Sun in the context of other stars, measure the fundamental parameters of single field stars to within 2 percent, learn about diffusion processes and the effects of rotation on the stellar structure, and test opacities and equations of state in extreme conditions.