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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Motivations for cannabis use may include coping with negative well-being. Life satisfaction, a hallmark of subjective well-being, could play a role in cannabis use among young adults. This study aims to assess whether life satisfaction (SWLS) at age 21 is associated with cannabis initiation and cessation between the ages of 21 and 25, and with cannabis use severity (CUDIT) at age 25. Data were drawn from a cohort of young Swiss males. Associations of life satisfaction with initiation, cessation, and severity were assessed with logistic and zero-truncated negative binomial regressions. Age, family income, education, alcohol, and tobacco use at age 21 were used as adjustment variables. From a sample of 4778 males, 1477 (30.9%) reported cannabis use at age 21, 456 (9.5%) initiated use between age 21 and 25, and 515 (10.8%) ceased by age 25. Mean (SD) SWLS was significantly higher among non-users at age 21: 27.22 (5.35) vs. 26.28 (5.80), p 〈 0.001. Negative associations between life satisfaction at age 21 and cannabis use initiation (OR = 0.98, p = 0.029) and severity at age 25 (IRR = 0.97, p 〈 0.001) were no more significant in adjusted analyses (OR = 0.98, p = 0.059 and IRR = 0.99, p = 0.090). Life satisfaction at age 21 was not associated with cannabis cessation (OR = 0.99, p = 0.296). Results suggest that the predictive value of life satisfaction in cannabis use is questionable and may be accounted for by other behaviors, such as tobacco and alcohol use.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-11-29
    Description: The importance of haploid and doubled haploid (DH) techniques for basic and applied research, as well as to improve the speed of genetic gain when applied in breeding programs, cannot be overstated. They have become routine tools in several major crop species, such as maize (Zea mays L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). DH techniques in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), an important forage species, have advanced to a sufficiently successful and promising stage to merit an exploration of what their further developments may bring. The exploitation of both in vitro and in vivo haploid and DH methods to (1) purge deleterious alleles from germplasm intended for breeding; (2) develop mapping populations for genetic and genomic studies; (3) simplify haplotype mapping; (4) fix transgenes and mutations for functional gene validation and molecular breeding; and (5) hybrid cultivar development are discussed. Even with the comparatively modest budgets of those active in forage crop improvement, haploid and DH techniques can be developed into powerful tools to achieve the acceleration of the speed of genetic gain needed to meet future agricultural demands.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4395
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition , Economics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-10-29
    Description: Agriculture, Vol. 7, Pages 90: Interactive Effects of N-, P- and K-Nutrition and Drought Stress on the Development of Maize Seedlings Agriculture doi: 10.3390/agriculture7110090 Authors: Christoph Studer Yuncai Hu Urs Schmidhalter Global climate change is likely to increase the risk of frequent drought. Maize, as the principal global cereal, is particularly impacted by drought. Nutrient supply may improve plant drought tolerance for better plant establishment during seedling growth stages. Thus, this study investigated the interactive effects of drought and the application of the nutrients N, P and K either individually or in combination. The maize seedlings were harvested between 12 and 20 days after sowing, and the leaf area, shoot fresh and dry weight and root dry weight were determined, and shoot water content and root/shoot dry weight ratio were calculated. Among the N, P and K fertilization treatments applied individually or in combination, the results showed that there was generally a positive effect of combined NPK and/or NP nutrient supply on shoot growth such as leaf area, shoot fresh and dry weight at day 20 after sowing under both well-watered and drought conditions compared with no nutrient supply. Compared with the effect of N and P nutrient supply, it seems that K was not limiting to plant growth due to the mineralogical characteristics of the illitic-chloritic silt loam used, which provided sufficient K, even though soil tests showed a low K nutrient status. Interestingly, the root/shoot ratio remained high and constant under drought regardless of NPK application, while it decreased with NPK applications in the well-watered treatment. This suggests that the higher root/shoot ratios with N, NP, PK and NPK under drought could be exploited as a strategy for stress tolerance in crop plants.
    Electronic ISSN: 2077-0472
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-02-21
    Description: Forage legumes have a relatively high biomass yield and crude protein content, but their grazed and harvested biomass lacks the high-energy carbohydrates required to meet the productivity potential of modern livestock breeds. Because of their low carbohydrate content, forage legume diets are typically supplemented with starch rich cereal grains or maize (Zea mays), leading to the disruption of local nutrient cycles. Although plant leaves were first reported to accumulate starch in a diurnal pattern over a century ago, leaf starch content has yet to be exploited as an agronomic trait in forage crops. Forage legumes such as red clover (Trifolium pratense) have the genetic potential to accumulate up to one third of their leaf dry mass as starch, but this starch is typically degraded at night to support nighttime growth and respiration. Even when diurnal accumulation is considered with regard to the time the crop is harvested, only limited gains are realized due to environmental effects and post-harvest losses from respiration. Here we present original data for starch metabolism in red clover and place it in the broader context of other forage legumes such as, white clover (T. repens), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). We review the application of recent advances in molecular breeding, plant biology, and crop phenotyping, to forage legumes to improve and exploit a potentially valuable trait for sustainable ruminant livestock production.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4395
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition , Economics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018
    Description: Research into comorbidity of alcohol and cannabis use disorders has resulted in inconsistent findings, especially among simultaneous users, who used alcohol and cannabis together on a single occasion. This study investigated the association of alcohol and cannabis use disorders among simultaneous users using a network perspective, which considers direct relationships between symptoms. We used a subset of simultaneous alcohol and cannabis users driven from the representative population-based sample of young Swiss men cohort study on substance use risk factors (C-SURF) (n = 1559 at baseline and n = 991 at follow-up). Self-reported symptoms of alcohol and cannabis use disorders were collected. Network analyses included network estimation, visualization, and community detection tests. Alcohol and cannabis use symptoms were separated in two distinct clusters, with few paths between them (eleven positive edges at baseline, three at follow-up). Withdrawal symptoms were likely to connect the two disorders at baseline, but not at follow-up. Alcohol and cannabis use disorders appeared as separate disorders among simultaneous users. Our findings mitigated previous findings on the detrimental association between alcohol and cannabis use. Future studies should incorporate network analyses as a means to study comorbidity in other community and clinical samples to confirm our preliminary findings.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Heating is responsible for a substantial share of global energy consumption and still relies strongly on fossil fuels. In order to reduce energy consumption for heating, subsidies for building renovations are a common policy measure in Europe. Policy makers often combine them with information and advice measures. Policy mixes of this kind have been acknowledged widely in the literature, but their effectiveness needs further empirical examination. Based on a survey of the recipients of renovation subsidies and on four focus groups, we examine the (cost) effectiveness of subsidies, as follows: The effectiveness of renovation subsidies was measured by the extent to which receiving subsidies contributed either to the decision to renovate at all, or to the decision to enhance the quality or scope of the renovation. Fifty percent of the recipients surveyed reported that the subsidies contributed to a more energy-efficient renovation than was initially intended. The other fifty percent must be considered as free riders. Multivariate analyses further show that homeowners who used advice services and attributed outstandingly positive characteristics to the policy implementer were more likely to spend subsidies to improve energy efficiency. The findings demonstrate the importance of applying a combination of financial and persuasive policy measures. Additionally, they illustrate the importance of non-financial and non-technical factors, such as the communication competencies of the implementer, when designing policy measures.
    Electronic ISSN: 2225-1154
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geosciences
    Published by MDPI
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-04-14
    Description: Agronomy, Vol. 8, Pages 47: Genetic Diversity of Diurnal Carbohydrate Accumulation in White Clover (Trifolium repens L.) Agronomy doi: 10.3390/agronomy8040047 Authors: Michael E. Ruckle Lucia Bernasconi Roland Kölliker Samuel C. Zeeman Bruno Studer White clover (Trifolium repens L.) is one of the most important legumes for fodder production in temperate climates, particularly in intensive pasture systems. Like many other forage legumes, it lacks the energy content to maximize productivity of modern ruminant livestock breeds. White clover produces water-soluble carbohydrates and starch in its leaves as a diurnal product of photosynthesis. However, little is known about the genetically encoded variability of diel changes in carbohydrate content. We assessed the amount of glucose, fructose, sucrose, and starch in the leaves of 185 plants of a genetically diverse white clover population. Water-soluble carbohydrates only provided on average 10.6% of dry weight (DW) of the total analyzed non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) content at the end of the day (ED), while starch supplied 89.4% of the NSC content. The top 5% of individuals accumulated over 25% of their DW as starch at ED. The leaf starch content at ED showed up to a threefold difference between genotypes, with a repeatability value of 0.95. Our experiments illustrate both the physical potential of white clover to serve as a competitive energy source to meet the demand of modern ruminant livestock production and the genetic potential to improve this trait by breeding.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4395
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition , Economics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Mobility represents a key sector to face climate change and pollution issues. In a broad context of initiatives aimed at making mobility as sustainable as possible, meaningful actions can be oriented to educate people and to encourage their choices towards greener habits. This paper presents an educational package for primary school children to make them aware of sustainable mobility. It is also intended to help stakeholders (researchers, teachers, educators) to increase the sensitivity of children for sustainable mobility. This should support children in adopting more sustainable behaviors. Thus, a detailed description of the educational package, intended as a formative stand-alone module, is provided. This is made up of a brief theoretical explanation and a series of transition educational games. The theoretical part is designed for a young audience and with references to their local context, to make it simple and understandable. The educational games want to make children experience the concepts explained, in a funny way. This educational package was performed three times, involving more than 300 children. The outcomes recorded after each use, with positive feedback from both students and teachers, led to its final configuration. The qualitative results of the three performed experiences are presented here. The educational package is going to be repeated and structured within a wider learning process designed by Politecnico di Milano for primary school children.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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