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Electrochemical reduction of CO2 to formic acid is a good strategy to address both environmental and energy issues. However, some drawbacks including low activity, selectivity, and stability of electrocatalysts must be overcome. We propose a method for tailoring Bi2O2CO3-coated carbon fiber electrodes with higher selectivity and stability for electrochemical CO2 reduction to formic acid. We evaluated the effect of Bi2O2CO3 and Nafion contents on the electrocatalysts performance for CO2 reduction reaction (CO2RR). All electrodes produced only HCOO− in the liquid phase with a maximum faradaic efficiency (FE) of 69%. The electrocatalysts were stable under 24 h of continuous CO2RR operation. The FE increased with the increasing electrolyte concentration and cation radius size, which indicates that the anion stabilization in solution is critical for adequate formate generation. The CO2RR mechanism was proposed with basis on the literature. The structural carbonate of Bi2O2CO3 acts as an intermediate species in the formate production from CO2.
Cephalopods are important prey in the diet of top predators, such as marine mammals and seabirds. However, detailed information on their trophic relationships in the Patagonian marine ecosystem is scarce, including those cephalopod species with commercial interest. The aims of this study were to evaluate the composition of the cephalopod component in the diet of Otaria byronia and determine the habitat use and trophic levels of their main cephalopod prey by measuring the stable isotopic signature of cephalopod beaks. Between May 2005 and February 2009, fresh faecal samples were collected from two sea lions rookeries in San Matias Gulf. Cephalopods occurred in 39.4% of the 1112 samples collected during the whole period of study. The dominant prey species was Octopus tehuelchus, which occurred in 45.8% of scats containing cephalopod remains, and represented 58.7% in terms of numerical abundance and 52.0% in mass of cephalopods consumed. The second species most consumed was the myopsid Doryteuthis gahi. The significant higher δ15N values of O. tehuelchus beaks in comparison with those of D. gahi showed that these two species have different trophic levels while occupying similar habitat (δ13C values) in neritic waters of the Patagonian shelf.
Depression is a common, serious, but under-recognised problem in multiple sclerosis (MS). The primary objective of this study was to assess whether a rapid visual analogue screening tool for depression could operate as a quick and reliable screening method for depression, in patients with MS.
Patients attending a regional MS outpatient clinic completed the Emotional Thermometer 7 tool (ET7), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale – Depression Subscale (HADS-D) and the Major Depression Inventory (MDI) to establish a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition (DSM-IV) diagnosis of Major Depression. Full ET7, briefer subset ET4 version and depression and distress thermometers alone were compared with HADS-D and MDI. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were calculated to compare the performance of all the screening tools.
In total, 190 patients were included. ET4 performed well as a ‘rule-out’ screening step (sensitivity 0.91, specificity 0.72, NPV 0.98, PPV 0.32). ET4 performance was comparable to HADS-D (sensitivity 0.96, specificity 0.77, NPV 0.99, PPV 0.37) without need for clinician scoring. The briefer ET4 performed as well as the full ET7.
ET are quick, sensitive and useful screening tools for depression in this MS population, to be complemented by further questioning or more detailed psychiatric assessment where indicated. Given that ET4 and ET7 perform equally well, we recommend the use of ET4 as it is briefer. It has the potential to be widely implemented across busy neurology clinics to assist in depression screening in this under diagnosed group.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Neoechinorhynchus is one of the most speciose genera of acanthocephalans, with approximately 116 described species. A recent study, aimed at establishing the genetic diversity of Neoechinorhynchus in Middle American freshwater fishes, validated nine species molecularly and morphologically and revealed the existence of 10 putative candidate species. Neoechinorhynchus golvani, a parasite commonly found in cichlids throughout Middle America with an allegedly large intraspecific morphological variability, was found to represent a species complex; species delimitation methods uncovered three additional genetic lineages. Here, we re-analyse the morphological and molecular data for N. golvani species complex infecting cichlids in that geographical area. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted particularly for the length of apical, middle and posterior hooks of the species/lineages of Neoechinorhynchus in cichlids, revealing morphological variation in the length of apical hooks for Lineage 8, although no morphological distinction was observed for Lineages 9 and 10. A new concatenated phylogenetic analysis of one mitochondrial and two ribosomal DNA genes was used to further corroborate the species delimitation among lineages; Neoechinorhynchus Lineage 8 was found to be morphologically and genetically distinct from its sister taxa, N. golvani and other two undescribed genetic lineages, and is formally described as a new species. Neoechinorhynchus costarricense n. sp. is described from the intestines of eight species of cichlids in Costa Rica. The new species is distinguished from the other species/lineages of Neoechinorhynchus in cichlids mainly by the size of the apical hooks of the proboscis.
The family Clinostomidae Lühe, 1901 contains 29 species allocated to seven genera, of which Clinostomum Leidy, 1856 is the most diverse, with c. 14 valid species. The diversity of Clinostomum has been assessed, combining morphological and molecular data. The genetic library for species in this genus has increased steadily, although there is little or no information for the other genera included in the family. Molecular phylogenetic relationships among the genera of clinostomids have not been assessed, and their classification is still based on morphological traits. The monotypic Ithyoclinostomum was described from a fish-eating bird in Brazil, and its metacercariae have been found in several locations in South America, parasitizing erythrinid freshwater fishes. We collected unusually large metacercariae from the body cavity of cichlids in several locations across Middle America. These metacercariae exhibited some resemblance to Ithyoclinostomum, although several differences prevent their inclusion in Ithyoclinostomum dimorphum, casting doubt on their taxonomic identification. The main objective of this paper was to characterize the metacercariae collected in cichlids using both morphology and molecular data from three molecular markers, and to assess the molecular phylogenetic relationships among the genera of Clinostomidae to establish the position of the newly generated sequences. We took a conservative position and tentatively placed the metacercariae as belonging to Ithyoclinostomum.
The clinical and pathologic characterisation of two fatal cases of tick-borne rickettsiosis in rural (El Valle) and urban (City of Panama) Panama are described. Clinical and autopsy findings were non-specific, but the molecular analysis was used to identify Rickettsia rickettsii in both cases. No ticks were collected in El Valle, while in the urban case, R. rickettsii was detected in Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l., representing the first molecular finding in this tick in Panama and Central America.
Members of the genus Uvulifer are distributed worldwide and infect aquatic snails and freshwater fishes as first and second intermediate hosts, respectively, and fish-eating birds (kingfishers) as definitive hosts. Metacercariae of Uvulifer spp. were collected from the fins and skin of 20 species of freshwater fishes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the adults were recovered from the intestine of kingfishers in four localities of Mexico. The genetic divergence among 76 samples (64 metacercariae and 12 adults) was estimated by sequencing the 28S and 5.8S nuclear genes, as well as the internal transcribed spacers ITS1 and ITS2, and one mitochondrial gene (cox1). Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses inferred with each dataset showed a high genetic diversity within the genus Uvulifer across Middle America, revealing the existence of four genetic lineages that exhibit some level of host specificity to their second intermediate hosts. The metacercariae of lineage 1 were associated with characids and cyprinids in central and northern Mexico. Metacercariae of lineages 2 and 3 were associated with cichlids distributed widely across Middle America. The lack of adults of these lineages in kingfishers, in lineages 2 and 3, or the fact that just a few adult specimens were recovered, as in lineage 1, prevented a formal description of these species. The metacercariae of lineage 4 were found in poeciliids, across a distribution range comprising Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and the adult was found in the green kingfisher in Mexico. The number of specimens sampled for lineage 4, for both gravid adults and metacercariae, allowed us to describe a new species, Uvulifer spinatus n. sp. We describe the new species herein and we discuss briefly the genetic diversity in Uvulifer spp. and the importance of using DNA sequences to properly characterize parasite diversity.
Members of the genus Drepanocephalus are endoparasites of fish-eating birds of the families Phalacrocoracidae and Sulidae distributed across the Americas. Currently, Drepanocephalus contains three species, i.e. D. spathans (type species), D. olivaceus and D. auritus. Two additional species, D. parvicephalus and D. mexicanus were transferred to the genus Petasiger. In the current study, available DNA sequences of D. spathans, D. auritus and Drepanocephalus sp., were aligned with newly generated sequences of D. spathans and Petasiger mexicanus. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with three nuclear (LSU, SSU and ITS1, 5.8S, ITS2) and two mitochondrial (cox1, nad1) molecular markers showed that the sequences of D. spathans and D. auritus are nested together in a single clade with very low genetic divergence, with Petasiger mexicanus as its sister species. Additionally, P. mexicanus was not a close relative of other members of the genus Petasiger, showing that P. mexicanus actually belongs to the genus Drepanocephalus, suggesting the need to re-allocate Petasiger mexicanus back into the genus Drepanocephalus, as D. mexicanus. Morphological observations of the newly sampled individuals of D. spathans showed that the position of the testes is variable and testes might be contiguous or widely separated, which is one of the main diagnostic traits for D. auritus. Our results suggest that D. auritus might be considered a synonym of D. spathans and, as a result, the latter represents a species with a wide geographic range across the Americas, parasitizing both the Neotropical and the double-crested cormorant in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, USA and Canada.
We examine the extent to which adult helminths of freshwater fishes have been part of
the Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI), by integrating information in published
studies and new data from Panama with fish biogeography and Earth history of Middle
America. The review illustrates the following: (1) the helminth fauna south of the
Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, and especially south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec,
shows strong Neotropical affinities; (2) host–parasite associations follow principles
of the ‘biogeographic core fauna’ in which host-lineage specificity is pronounced;
(3) phylogenetic analysis of the widespread freshwater trematode family
Allocreadiidae reveals a complex history of host-shifting and co-diversification
involving mainly cyprinodontiforms and characids; (4) allocreadiids, monogeneans and
spiruridan nematodes of Middle American cyprinodontiforms may provide clues to the
evolutionary history of their hosts; and (5) phylogenetic analyses of cryptogonimid
trematodes may reveal whether or how cichlids interacted with marine or
brackish-water environments during their colonization history. The review shows that
‘interchange’ is limited and asymmetrical, but simple narratives of northward
isthmian dispersal will likely prove inadequate to explain the historical
biogeography of many host–parasite associations in tropical Middle America,
particularly those involving poeciliids. Finally, our study highlights the urgent
need for targeted survey work across Middle America, focused sampling in river
drainages of Colombia and Venezuela, and deeper strategic sampling in other parts of
South America, in order to develop and test robust hypotheses about fish–parasite
associations in Middle America.
Tylodelphys aztecae n. sp. (Digenea: Diplostomidae) is described from adult specimens obtained from the intestine of the pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and the metacercariae found in the body cavity of freshwater fishes of the families Goodeidae and Cyprinidae in eight localities across central and northern Mexico. The new species is mainly distinguished from the other four described species of Tylodelphys from the Americas (T. adulta, T. americana, T. elongata and T. brevis) by having a forebody slightly concave, a larger ventral sucker, two larger pseudosuckers and by having between 2 and 7 eggs in the uterus. Partial DNA sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1), and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1+5.8S+ ITS2) of the ribosomal DNA, were generated for both developmental stages and compared with available sequences in GenBank of other congeners. The genetic divergence estimated among Tylodelphys aztecae n. sp. and other congeneric species varied from 12 to 15% for cox1, and from 3 to 11% for ITS. In contrast, the genetic divergence among metacercariae and adults of the new species was very low, ranging between 0 and 1% for cox1 and between 0 and 0.3% for ITS. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with both molecular markers using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference placed the adults and their metacercariae in a single clade, confirming that both stages are conspecific. The morphological evidence and the genetic divergence, in combination with the reciprocal monophyly in both phylogenetic trees, support the hypothesis that the diplostomids found in the intestines of the pied-billed grebe bird and the body cavity from goodeid and cyprinid fishes in central and northern Mexico represent a new species.
The diplostomid genus Austrodiplostomum currently contains two species, i.e. A. mordax and A. ostrowskiae. Adults of these species inhabit the intestine of cormorants of the genus Nannopterum, whereas larval forms (metacercariae) are found in the eyes (vitreous humor) of freshwater fishes. Records of both species have been established across a wide geographic range in the Americas. Diplostomid adults and metacercariae were collected from a wide geographical range that spans from south-eastern Mexico, southwards to Central and South America. Even though the diplostomid has been largely reported in Mexico as Diplostomum (Austrodiplostomum) compactum, our specimens were identified morphologically as A. ostrowskiae. Sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase (cox 1) were obtained for 86 individuals, including 15 adults recovered from the intestine of Nannopterum brasilianus, in five localities, and 71 metacercariae from the eyes of ten fish species, in 13 localities. Sequences were used to evaluate the genetic diversity, and to test conspecificity of these specimens with the available sequence of A. ostrowskiae. Sequences were aligned with another 12 taxa representing five genera of Diplostomatidae, forming a dataset of 104 taxa with 478 nucleotides. The genetic divergence estimated among the 86 sequenced individuals, and that of A. ostrowskiae from the double-crested cormorant, Nannopterum auritus, in the USA, was very low, ranging from 0 to 0.8%. The maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian consensus trees showed that all sequences nested within a monophyletic lineage, with strong bootstrap and Bayesian posterior probability support values (100/1.0). In conclusion, a link between the metacercariae in fish and the adults in cormorants was established, indicating also that a single species is found in the distribution range comprising southern USA, southwards to Venezuela. Previous records of this species, particularly from Mexico, need to be corrected.
To compare the efficacy and tolerability of the subcutaneous administration of N alpha methyl histamine versus oral propranolol in the treatment of migraine prophylaxis.
N alpha methyl histamine has a selective affinity for H3 receptors and could constitute a new therapeutic drug in migraine prophylaxis.
Sixty patients with migraine were selected and enrolled in a 12-week double-blind controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous administration of N-alpha methyl histamine (1 to 3 ug twice a week ) n=30, compared to administration of 120 mg/day of oral propranolol n=30. the variables were: headache intensity, frequency of attacks, duration of migraine attacks and analgesic intake.
fifty five patients completed the study. the data collected during the 4th week of treatment revealed that N alpha methyl histamine and propranolol caused a significantly (p<0.01) greater reduction between the basal values and final values of every variable studied.
Both N alpha methyl histamine and propranolol are similarly effective in reducing or eliminating the headache in migraine prophylaxis. low doses of N-alpha methyl histamine injected subcutaneously may represent a novel and effective therapeutic alternative in migraine patients and may lay the clinical and pharmacological groundwork for the use of H3 receptor agonist in migraine prophylaxis.
It has been found that the hybrid materials are a compatible matrix for numerous organic compounds, such as organic dyes, laser dyes, and compounds that exhibit photo-chromic behavior and many more The epoxy-silica system seems to be an excellent matrix for organic dyes and a hybrid material suitable for to be used as coating on glass substrates with good adhesion properties. This work presents a systematic study of the effects of the different amount of using rhodamine 6G as dye on the structure and properties of epoxy–silica hybrids coatings synthesized by the sol-gel process. We have taken advantage on the high solubility of organic dyes in a hybrid organic–inorganic epoxy resin–silica (epoxy–SiO2) matrix to obtain homogeneous, hard and high optical quality red color films on glass substrates. The effects of the content of rhodamine 6 G on the optical and thermal properties of epoxy-silica hybrid films were also examined. Epoxy resin DER 332 cured with an amine (4,4 diamino diphenyl methane) was used as organic component and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) was used as precursor of the inorganic component. The results showed that at a concentration of rhodamine 0.05% coatings retain adhesion properties similar to coatings without colorant and the coatings are uniform and free of defects. These coatings have the potential to be used as filters and ornamental coatings.
The first fossil avian feather from Antarctica is reported here, from the early to middle Eocene Fossil Hill Formation at Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica. Characteristics such as its form, asymmetry of vanes, closed-pennaceous vanes with barbules and a deep ventral groove indicate that the feather was used for flight. The site from which the feather was collected is known to yield a variety of well-preserved trace fossils, palaeobotanical and palaeoenvironmental remains, suggesting a shorebird ecotype for the owner of this feather, certainly belonging to a Neornithes. The continental position, preservation as an external mould and type of feather makes this specimen a novel and an exceedingly rare record.
Accretion of minor satellites has been postulated as the most likely mechanism to explain the significant size evolution of massive galaxies over cosmic time. A direct way of probing this scenario is to measure the frequency of satellites around massive galaxies at different redshifts. Here we present our study of satellites around massive galaxies (Mstar ~ 1011 M⊙) up to z ~ 2. We find (Fig. 1) that the fraction of massive galaxies with satellites down to 1:10 mass ratio is ~15% (~30% down to 1:100), not varying with redshift (Mármol-Queraltó et al., (2012)). We also find that our satellites are younger than their central galaxies at low z (Mármol-Queraltó et al., 2013). Then, if minor merging is acting to form massive galaxies, their ourtskirts should be younger than their cores. The challenge to find this age gradient in nearby massive galaxies is opened.