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Natural capital

Oliver Sheehan, Joseph Watts, Russell D Gray, Quentin D Atkinson
One of the defining trends of the Holocene has been the emergence of complex societies. Two essential features of complex societies are intensive resource use and sociopolitical hierarchy. Although it is widely agreed that these two phenomena are associated cross-culturally and have both contributed to the rise of complex societies, the causality underlying their relationship has been the subject of longstanding debate. Materialist theories of cultural evolution tend to view resource intensification as driving the development of hierarchy, but the reverse order of causation has also been advocated, along with a range of intermediate views...
March 19, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Majdi Ashour
BACKGROUND: People living in the Gaza Strip have experienced a protracted political conflict and extreme socioeconomic adversity since 1948. Economic conditions have deteriorated markedly since the onset of the Palestinian Intifada in 1987 and have been exacerbated by the economic siege after 2006. The health system in the Gaza Strip has faced additional challenges. The aim of this study was to assess how Palestinian households in the Gaza Strip experienced health care services during this period of political turmoil, socioeconomic adversity, and challenges to health services...
February 21, 2018: Lancet
Lars Borchardt, Mirian Elizabeth Casco, Joaquin Silvestre-Albero
Methane hydrate inheres the great potential to be a nature-inspired alternative for chemical energy storage, since it allows to store large amounts of methane in a dense solid phase. The embedment of methane hydrate in the confined environment of porous materials can be capitalized for potential applications as its physico-chemical properties such as the formation kinetics or pressure and temperature stability are significantly changed as compared to the bulk system. We review this topic from a materials scientific perspective by considering porous carbons, silica, clays, zeolites, and polymers as host structure for methane hydrate formation...
March 14, 2018: Chemphyschem: a European Journal of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry
Tomas Strandin, Simon A Babayan, Kristian M Forbes
While urban expansion increasingly encroaches on natural habitats, many wildlife species capitalize on anthropogenic food resources, which have the potential to both positively and negatively influence their responses to infection. Here we examine how food availability and key nutrients have been reported to shape innate and adaptive immunity in wildlife by drawing from field-based studies, as well as captive and food restriction studies with wildlife species. Examples of food provisioning and key nutrients enhancing immune function were seen across the three study type distinctions, as were cases of trace metals and pharmaceuticals impairing the immunity of wildlife species...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Kai Fang, Qifeng Zhang, Huajun Yu, Yutao Wang, Liang Dong, Lei Shi
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are limited in their ability to measure progress towards environmental sustainability especially at the city level. The aim of this paper is to provide insights into an integrated assessment of urban sustainability, with emphasis on the significance of the maintenance of natural capital stocks. The use of water and land as critical natural capital in Guiyang, a southeast city in China was investigated by bringing together the ecological footprint (EF), water footprint (WF) and corresponding capacity indicators into an improved three-dimensional (i3D) model...
March 9, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Guosong Hong, Robert D Viveros, Theodore J Zwang, Xiao Yang, Charles M Lieber
Electrophysiology tools have contributed substantially to understanding brain function, yet the capabilities of conventional electrophysiology probes have remained limited in key ways due to large structural and mechanical mismatches with respect to neural tissue. In this Perspective, we discuss how the general goal of probe design in biochemistry - that the probe or label has a minimal impact on the properties and function of the system being studied - can be realized by minimizing structural, mechanical and topological differences between neural probes and brain tissue, thus leading to a new paradigm of tissue-like mesh electronics...
March 12, 2018: Biochemistry
Elspeth Ready
Social institutions that facilitate sharing and redistribution may help mitigate the impact of resource shocks. In the North American Arctic, traditional food sharing may direct food to those who need it and provide a form of natural insurance against temporal variability in hunting returns within households. Here, network properties that facilitate resource flow (network size, quality, and density) are examined in a country food sharing network comprising 109 Inuit households from a village in Nunavik (Canada), using regressions to investigate the relationships between these network measures and household socioeconomic attributes...
2018: PloS One
Zenat Z Hossain, Israt Farhana, Suhella M Tulsiani, Anowara Begum, Peter K M Jensen
Fish have been considered natural reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae , the deadly diarrheal pathogen. However, little is known about the role of fish in the transmission of V. cholerae from the Bay of Bengal to the households of rural and urban Bangladesh. This study analyzes the incidence and pathogenic potential of V. cholerae in Hilsha ( Tenualosa ilisha ), a commonly caught and consumed fish that exhibits a life cycle in both freshwater and marine environments in Bangladesh. During the period from October 2014 to October 2015, samples from the gills, recta, intestines, and scale swabs of a total of 48 fish were analyzed...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, Aurelio Cortese, Toshinori Chiba, J D Knotts, Mitsuo Kawato, Hakwan Lau
Can "hardwired" physiological fear responses (e.g., for spiders and snakes) be reprogramed unconsciously in the human brain? Currently, exposure therapy is among the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders, but this intervention is subjectively aversive to patients, causing many to drop out of treatment prematurely. Here we introduce a method to bypass the subjective unpleasantness in conscious exposure, by directly pairing monetary reward with unconscious occurrences of decoded representations of naturally feared animals in the brain...
March 6, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Mesay A Tegegne
The literature on immigrant health has by and large focused on the relationship between acculturation (often measured by a shift in language use) and health outcomes, paying less attention to network processes and the implications of interethnic integration for long-term health. This study frames English-language use among immigrants in the United States as a reflection of bridging social capital that is indicative of social network diversity. Using longitudinal data on self-rated health and the incidence of chronic conditions from the New Immigrant Survey (2003, 2007), I examine the contemporaneous and longitudinal associations between interethnic social capital and health...
February 1, 2018: Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Benjamin Geffroy, Bastien Sadoul, Amine Bouchareb, Sylvain Prigent, Jean-Paul Bourdineaud, Maria Gonzalez-Rey, Rosana N Morais, Maritana Mela, Lucélia Nobre Carvalho, Eduardo Bessa
Nature-based tourism is gaining extensive popularity, increasing the intensity and frequency of human-wildlife contacts. As a consequence, behavioral and physiological alterations were observed in most exposed animals. However, while the majority of these studies investigated the effects of punctual exposure to tourists, the consequences of constant exposition to humans in the wild remains overlooked. This is an important gap considering the exponential interest for recreational outdoor activities. To infer long-term effects of intensive tourism, we capitalized on Odontostilbe pequira , a short-lived sedentary Tetra fish who spends its life close to humans, on which it feeds on dead skin...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Tyler O Gagne, K David Hyrenbach, Molly E Hagemann, Kyle S Van Houtan
Pelagic ecosystems are dynamic ocean regions whose immense natural capital is affected by climate change, pollution, and commercial fisheries. Trophic level-based indicators derived from fishery catch data may reveal the food web status of these systems, but the utility of these metrics has been debated because of targeting bias in fisheries catch. We analyze a unique, fishery-independent data set of North Pacific seabird tissues to inform ecosystem trends over 13 decades (1890s to 2010s). Trophic position declined broadly in five of eight species sampled, indicating a long-term shift from higher-trophic level to lower-trophic level prey...
February 2018: Science Advances
Wolfgang Lehmann, Holly Trower
Although Canadian universities have made internationalization a strategic priority, only few Canadian students currently participate in any international study opportunities. Drawing on interviews with Canadian students who were about to spend some of their undergraduate education abroad as exchange students, or had recently returned from a study exchange, we argue that despite the importance of relatively high costs associated with international study experiences, cultural factors play a more important role in enabling the decision to study abroad...
February 2018: Canadian Review of Sociology, Revue Canadienne de Sociologie
Maria Cuenca Cambronero, Luisa Orsini
Long-term studies enable the identification of eco-evolutionary processes that occur over extended time periods. In addition, they provide key empirical data that may be used in predictive modelling to forecast evolutionary responses of natural ecosystems to future environmental changes. However, excluding a few exceptional cases, long-term studies are scarce because of logistic difficulties associated with accessing temporal samples. Temporal dynamics are frequently studied in the laboratory or in controlled mesocosm experiments with exceptional studies that reconstruct the evolution of natural populations in the wild...
January 19, 2018: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Stergios Tampekis, Fani Samara, Stavros Sakellariou, Athanassios Sfougaris, Olga Christopoulou
The sustainable forest management can be achieved only through environmentally sound and economically efficient and feasible forest road networks and transportation systems that can potentially improve the multi-functional use of forest resources. However, road network planning and construction suggest long-term finance that require a capital investment (cash outflow), which would be equal to the value of the total revenue flow (cash inflow) over the whole lifecycle project. This paper emphasizes in an eco-efficient and economical optimum evaluation method for the forest road networks in the mountainous forest of Metsovo, Greece...
February 12, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Hiroyuki Hikichi, Toru Tsuboya, Jun Aida, Yusuke Matsuyama, Katsunori Kondo, S V Subramanian, Ichiro Kawachi
Background: We examined prospectively whether social capital mitigates the adverse effects of natural disaster on cognitive decline. Methods: The baseline for our study was established seven months before the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in a survey of older community-dwelling adults who lived 80 kilometers west of the epicenter (59.0% response rate). Approximately two and a half years after the disaster, the follow-up survey gathered information about personal experiences of disaster as well as incidence of cognitive disability (82...
June 2017: Lancet. Planetary Health
Katherine E Marusak, Julia R Krug, Yaying Feng, Yangxiaolu Cao, Lingchong You, Stefan Zauscher
The emerging field of biofabrication capitalizes on nature's ability to create materials with a wide range of well-defined physical and electronic properties. Particularly, there is a current push to utilize programmed, self-organization of living cells for material fabrication. However, much research is still necessary at the interface of synthetic biology and materials engineering to make biofabrication a viable technique to develop functional devices. Here, the authors exploit the ability of Escherichia coli to contribute to material fabrication by designing and optimizing growth platforms to direct inorganic nanoparticle (NP) synthesis, specifically cadmium sulfide (CdS) NPs, onto porous polycarbonate membranes...
February 9, 2018: Biointerphases
Changhong Su, Huifang Liu, Shuai Wang
Soil provides various indispensable ecosystem services for human society. Soil's complex structure and property makes the soil ecological processes complicated and brings about tough challenges for soil ecosystem services study. Most of the current frameworks on soil services focus exclusively on services per se, neglecting the links and underlying ecological mechanisms. This article put forward a framework on soil services by stressing the underlying soil mechanisms and processes, which includes: 1) analyzing soil natural capital stock based on soil structure and property, 2) disentangling the underlying complex links and soil processes, 3) soil services valuation based on field investigation and spatial explicit models, and 4) enacting soil management strategy based on soil services and their driving factors...
January 29, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Ryan L Sriver, Robert J Lempert, Per Wikman-Svahn, Klaus Keller
Many institutions worldwide are considering how to include uncertainty about future changes in sea-levels and storm surges into their investment decisions regarding large capital infrastructures. Here we examine how to characterize deeply uncertain climate change projections to support such decisions using Robust Decision Making analysis. We address questions regarding how to confront the potential for future changes in low probability but large impact flooding events due to changes in sea-levels and storm surges...
2018: PloS One
María E Girón, Vanessa Padrón, María I Ramos, Elda E Sánchez, Belsy Guerrero, Alberto García, Néstor L Uzcátegui, Luis F Navarrete, Alexis Rodríguez-Acosta
Bothrops venezuelensis snake venoms, from five localities in the North-Central Venezuelan regions, showed biochemical and haemostatic differences. In this study, bioactivities of B. venezuelensis venoms from different regions (Aragua state; Waraira Repano (Capital District); Baruta, La Boyera and Lagunetica (Miranda state) were compared using both natural and synthetic substrates. The protein contents of these venoms were Lagunetica 89%, La Boyera 79%, Baruta 71%, Waraira Repano 68% and Aragua 64%. Toxic activities effects were: Intraperitoneal LD50s: Aragua-14 mg/kg; Waraira Repano-6...
January 30, 2018: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
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