109,248 research outputs found

    El Tratado de Niza: entre la consolidaci贸n de la Uni贸n Europea de Maastricht y el debate sobre el futuro de Europa

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    30 p谩ginasLas principales reformas introducidas en el Tratado de Niza incluyen las cooperaciones reforzadas, cuestiones institucionales y la ampliaci贸n del uso de mayor铆as calificadas. El sistema de cooperaciones reforzadas, introducido en el Tratado de Amsterdam, fue fortalecido en Niza y permitir谩 una integraci贸n m谩s r谩pida y profunda. La reforma institucional toc贸 el n煤mero de votos asignados en el Consejo Europeo, y la distribuci贸n de asientos en el Parlamento Europeo y en la comisi贸n. En cuanto a la Corte de Justicia, varias de sus caracter铆sticas podr谩n ser reformadas con el voto un谩nime del consejo en lugar de requerirse una Conferencia Intergubernamental. Ha habido cambios en la distribuci贸n de las competencias entre el Tribunal de Primera Instancia y la Corte de Justicia. Esta 煤ltima ser谩 integrada por un juez por cada Estado miembro, y trabajar谩 preferentemente en salas, y no en pleno como en el pasado.S

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

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    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95鈥塊Da and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications

    Blackstar theory : the last works of David Bowie

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    Blackstar Theory dives deep into Bowie's ambitious last works: the surprise 鈥榗omeback鈥 project The Next Day (2013), the off-Broadway musical Lazarus (2015) and the album that preceded the artist鈥檚 death in 2016 by two days, 鈽 (pronounced Blackstar). The book explores the swirl of themes that orbit these projects from a starting point in musical analysis and features new interviews with key collaborators from the period: producer Tony Visconti, graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook, musical director Henry Hey, saxophonist Donny McCaslin and assistant sound engineer Erin Tonkon. Together, these works tackle the biggest of ideas: identity, creativity, chaos, transience and immortality. Their themes entangle realities and fictions across space and time; a catalogue of sound, vision, music and myth spanning more than 50 years is subjected to the cut-up; we get to the end only to find signposts directing us back to the very start. They enact a process of individuation for the Bowie meta-persona and invite us to consider what happens when a star dies. In our universe, dying stars do not disappear - they transform into new stellar objects, remnants and gravitational forces. The radical potential of the Blackstar is demonstrated in the rock star supernova that creates a singularity resulting in cultural iconicity. It is how a man approaching his own death can create art that illuminates the immortal potential of all matter in the known universe

    The challenges of equestrian arena surfaces: the unprecedented use of a raised platform at the 2012 Olympic Games

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    The design of equestrian arenas can be challenged by time constraints and specific restrictions at a venue but are nonetheless a critical element to the success and sustainability of equestrian sport. The equestrian arenas for the 2012 Olympic Games were an example of a temporary arena constructed on a raised platform and supported by struts, a design unprecedented for equestrian activities. This study assessed the developmental stages of the Olympic surfaces from 2011 to the actual event in 2012 and aimed to confirm that accelerations and forces experienced by horses were comparable to those on solid ground. Assessment took place at i) the Olympic test-event; ii) a developmental mock-up arena and iii) the Olympic venue in 2012. A Clegg impact hammer measured peak vertical deceleration and an Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester quantified peak load and peak loading rate. General Linear Models using the arena's structural features as explanatory variables highlighted surface heterogeneity. Peak vertical deceleration (P < .0001) and peak load (P < .0001) were significantly higher and peak loading rate was significantly lower (P < .0001) following iterative testing and modifications to the arena. Data were comparable with surfaces on solid ground by the final testing at the 2012 Olympic Games. Findings highlighted the importance of testing surfaces throughout their development and demonstrated the impact that surface composition, time elapsed since installation, water management, and type of construction have on surface functional properties, with relevance to future temporary arena initiative

    Paradoxes in the Management of Timebanks in the UK鈥檚 Voluntary Sector: Discursive Bricolage and its Limits

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    This paper contributes to our understanding of volunteer management by charting some important challenges associated with the governance of one of the UK鈥檚 largest timebanking networks. While timebanking is often treated as a form of volunteering, many timebank advocates are keen to distinguish it sharply from traditional volunteering. We suggest that this tension generates a fundamental 鈥榩erformance paradox鈥 in the management of timebanks in the voluntary sector. We draw on political discourse theory to characterise and evaluate associated challenges, suggesting that, when viewed against a host of context-specific organisational and policy pressures, the progressive potential of timebanking cannot be realised as a distinct community economy without adequate support. Instead of taking up a position alongside more traditional forms of volunteering, timebanking is more likely to be subsumed by them

    Interpersonal dynamics of women in midlife living with involuntary childlessness

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    Becoming a parent creates a new phase in adult development where the creation of a family brings new meanings and relational dimensions to one鈥檚 life. For people who are involuntarily childless, however, the absence of children can have a multifaceted impact on their everyday lives. Although extensive studies concerning childlessness have been conducted, past work has tended to have a clinical focus on women's infertility and fertility treatments and much less attention has been paid to how involuntarily childless people live beyond the phase of trying for a child while contemporaries pursue their lives with children. This study explores the experience of 11 White, heterosexual British women in midlife living with involuntary childlessness. To gain experiential insights, semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcripts analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Analysis reveals two interrelated key patterns exemplifying intrapersonal and interpersonal features. This paper focuses on the latter. The findings bring to light not only layers of complex relational issues caused by being involuntarily childless, but also different ways of reconstructing meaning in relational reconnections that impacted positively on developing generativity. The paper presents the dynamics unique to each woman and offers micro-level understandings helpful for health professionals, family therapists, life coaches, and researchers looking into childlessness and midlife/adult development

    The Idiosyncrasy of Involuntary Musical Imagery Repetition (IMIR) Experiences: The Role of Tempo and Lyrics

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    Involuntary musical imagery repetition (IMIR), colloquially known as 鈥渆arworms,鈥 is a form of musical imagery that arises involuntarily and repeatedly in the mind. A growing number of studies, based on retrospective reports, suggest that IMIR experiences are associated with certain musical features, such as fast tempo and the presence of lyrics, and with individual differences in music training and engagement. However, research to date has not directly assessed the effect of such musical features on IMIR and findings about individual differences in music training and engagement are mixed. Using a cross-sectional design (Study 1, n = 263), we examined IMIR content in terms of tempo (fast, slow) and presence of lyrics (instrumental, vocal), and IMIR characteristics (frequency, duration of episode and section) in relation to 1) the musical content (tempo and lyrics) individuals most commonly expose themselves to (music-listening habits), and 2) music training and engagement. We also used an experimental design (Study 2, n = 80) to test the effects of tempo (fast or slow) and the presence of lyrics (instrumental or vocal) on IMIR retrieval and duration. Results from Study 1 showed that the content of music that individuals are typically exposed to with regard to tempo and lyrics predicted and resembled their IMIR content, and that music engagement, but not music training, predicted IMIR frequency. Music training was, however, shown to predict the duration of IMIR episodes. In the experiment (Study 2), tempo did not predict IMIR retrieval, but the presence of lyrics influenced IMIR duration. Taken together, our findings suggest that IMIR is an idiosyncratic experience primed by the music-listening habits and music engagement of the individual
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