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Trichomonas vaginalis induces cellular damage to the host cells (cytotoxicity) through the proteolytic activity of multiple proteinases of the cysteine type (CPs). Some CPs are modulated by environmental factors such as iron, zinc, polyamines, etc. Thus, the goal of this study was to assess the effect of glucose on T. vaginalis cytotoxicity, proteolytic activity and the particular role of TvCP2 (TVAG_057000) during cellular damage. Cytotoxicity assays showed that glucose-restriction (GR) promotes the highest HeLa cell monolayers destruction (~95%) by trichomonads compared to those grown under high glucose (~44%) condition. Zymography and Western blot using different primary antibodies showed that GR increased the proteolytic activity, amount and secretion of certain CPs, including TvCP2. We further characterized the effect of glucose on TvCP2. TvCP2 increases in GR, localized in vesicles close to the plasma membrane and on the surface of T. vaginalis. Furthermore, pretreatment of GR-trichomonads with an anti-TvCP2r polyclonal antibody specifically reduced the levels of cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction to HeLa cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, our data show that GR, as a nutritional stress condition, promotes trichomonal cytotoxicity to the host cells, increases trichomonad proteolytic activity and amount of CPs, such as TvCP2 involved in cellular damage.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
The identification of new genetic variants underlying psychosis is crucial to improve its molecular diagnosis and to determine the disease etiology, which is necessary to develop new therapeutic targets.
To identify novel rare genetic variants associated to mental disorders, using whole exome sequencing (WES).
Two families with high prevalence of mental disease were genotyped using WES. The first family has 5 members affected, the mother with a bipolar disorder, three sons, two with schizophrenia and one with schizoaffective disorder, and a cousin with major depression and psychotic symptoms. The second family is constituted by 38 members affected by major mental diseases in three generations. Key affected members of each family were genotyped by WES. Shared rare variants, with allelic frequencies below 0.5% in general population, were identified among the affected members of the family. The segregation of those variants was confirmed by Sanger sequencing.
In family 1, thirty-seven genetic variants related to neurodevelopment were identified. Two of those variants in the genes TRIP12 and RNF25 segregated with psychosis. In family 2, seven rare genetic variants contained in genes related to neurodevelopment were identified. A mutation in the gene ARHGAP19 segregated with psychosis.
Three new genes have been found to be associated with psychosis. TRIP12 and RNF25 encode two E3-ubiquitin ligases which modulate the Wnt pathway, mutations in which lead to neurodevelopmental defects. ARHGAP19 encodes a GTPase which regulates the RhoA protein, involved in the regulation of the cytoskeleton.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Controlled irrigation during the dry period associated with adequate nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) fertilization led to the accumulation of biochemical compounds in coffee beans considered as positive precursors of beverage quality. Adult plants of coffee (Coffea arabica ‘Rubi’) were cultivated using different water regimes (WR) and fertilization conditions under the dry climate of the Brazilian Cerrado. Coffee-bean physical characteristics were evaluated as well as biochemical composition by near-infrared analysis. The K treatment mostly affected bean biochemistry, lipid and chlorogenic acid (CGA) contents, which increased with increasing amounts of fertilizer. Caffeine contents increased with higher amounts of N, but no significant effects of P treatment on bean biochemical composition were observed. Sucrose and total lipid contents always appeared higher in beans of non-irrigated plants than those beans from plants grown with continuous irrigation. In contrast, caffeine and CGA contents were higher in beans of irrigated as compared with non-irrigated plants. For the first time, the current results showed that controlled management of irrigation during the dry period associated with reasonable NPK fertilization led to the accumulation of biochemical compounds in coffee beans considered as positive precursors of beverage quality.
Avian predators may represent an important selective pressure favouring the evolution of aposematic colouration in millipedes that present chemical defences. However, the role of their warning colouration in predator avoidance remains poorly explored under field conditions, especially in Neotropical forests. Thus, to evaluate the hypothesis of the predator avoidance, we conducted a factorial experiment utilizing artificial replicas of millipedes constructed from plasticine and placed in the natural habitat of Odontopeltis aleijadinho (Polydesmida, Chelodesmidae), an Atlantic Forest endemic aposematic millipede. We assessed patterns of attack to aposematic and non-aposematic replicas applied with repugnant fluid extracted from living millipedes and two control treatments, distributed as a total of 300 replicas exposed for 48 h on the forest floor. The average percentage of replicas attacked was nearly 10-fold higher on those non-aposematic control replicas (13.3% ± 3.3%) than on aposematic replicas (1.3% ± 0.9%). In 24 replicas attacked by avian predators, no effect of millipede repugnant fluid was found, but the effect of colouration pattern was statistically significant. Our data support the hypothesis that a warning colouration pattern involving yellow spots symmetrically distributed along the millipede body can mediate avian predator avoidance.
The luminescence of Tb-doped a-SiC:H thin films with different Tb concentrations under sub-bandgap photon excitation was investigated. Two independent processes were identified. The annealing induced activation of the Tb3+ and the inhibition of host-mediated non-radiative recombination paths. The integrated emission intensity is described by a rate equation model, considering these two. In this study, the luminescence enhancement with increasing annealing temperature is shown. The optimal Tb concentration and annealing temperature for the highest Tb-related light emission intensity is determined. Finally, a parameter proportional to the number of optically active ions is found through the aforementioned model.
A brooding Octopus vulgaris female was monitored for 128 days in her natural habitat. The main reproductive events and embryonic development in relation to the temperature inside the spawning den, which was recorded by long-battery-life mini-data loggers, are described in the wild. The den temperature ranged from 12.9 to 19.3°C. The total number of egg strings was 160, and the total number of eggs spawned ranged between 139,040 and 241,760 (mean 190,400). The brooding period, the egg laying interval and the duration of the hatching course lasted 128, 35 and 43 days, respectively. Both egg laying and hatching were intermittent processes. The time taken for embryonic development was variable (85–128 d) and depended on the laying date, temperature and position of the string in the egg cluster and the position of the egg in the egg string. The first hatching observed occurred after a progressive and gradual increase of the temperature from 14.9 to 19.3°C. The 280 min of video recordings taken by scuba divers showed that several times, this female opened and closed a small window in the obstructions of the den entrance to facilitate a way out for the hatchling batches.
The aim of our article was to review the current literature on the effects of metabolic (re) programming on childhood obesity. PubMed/MEDLINE was the data source used to track the studies. Descriptors applied: children obesity, epigenetic, metabolic programming, exercise and nutrition. The focus was to analyze and discuss the international findings on the theme. The gathering of the papers was performed between June and August 2014. The search of articles with the descriptors used found 33.054 studies. In all, 5.709 studies were selected by crossing chosen keywords. Among these, after careful reading of the titles, 712 papers were considered potential as references. After applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, 50 studies were selected from 132 eligible abstracts. Most studies linked the development and treatment of obesity from epigenetically stimulated metabolic programming during the early stages of pregnancy and life. This review provides theoretical basis to the understanding that the programmed development of childhood obesity may be linked to early exposure to environmental factors, such as (nutrition and regular practice of exercise) and stimulus can epigenetically alter the modulation of the obesogenic metabolic behavior during pregnancy and the developmental stages of children and/or postpone the pathophysiologic disease stage to adulthood.
A number of recent reports emphasize the risk of zoonotic diseases and the high degree of prevalence of asymptomatic animals infected with Leptospira interrogans. This report sought to assess the prevalence of antibodies to certain serovars of L. interrogans, and to describe the association between seropositivity and risk factors associated with within-flock transmission in a mountainous region of Mexico. Overall seroprevalence to L. interrogans was 54·5% (95% confidence interval 48·3–60·7); the most frequent serovar was Icterohaemorrhagiae. The accumulation of placentas and fetuses at a site close to lambing paddocks can play a significant role as a risk factor for within-flock transmission of L. interrogans in transhumant farming systems in the municipality of Xalatlaco. The high prevalence of L. interrogans antibodies supports the hypothesis that natural foci of this zoonosis are present in sheep flocks in this area. These findings emphasize the need for planning and implementation of control programmes for ovine leptospirosis in Mexico and elsewhere.
Many changes in the socioeconomic scenario led to the emergence of different models of career guidance, among which the protean career stands out. This model works with the prospect of a career that is self-directed and aligned with personal values, with important propositions for both professionals and students entering the work market. In the Brazilian scenario, however, there is a lack of appropriate measures to evaluate protean aspects among college students without work experience. Thus, the present study aimed at adapting and validating the attitudes towards the Protean Career Scale to this population. The sample consisted of 902 students aging from 18 to 30 years old (M = 22.52; SD = 6.53) attending 34 different undergraduate courses. Exploratory and confirmatory analysis attested the two-dimensional nature of the scale structure. The reliability indexes were satisfactory: over .65. The correlation between the protean models and factors such as personality, values, and locus of control provided adequate evidence of the measure’s predictive validity (p < .05).
This work presents the electrochemical behavior of Ag/AgCl electrodes (chloride sensors) in cement paste environment, monitored over a period of 180 days via open circuit potential (OCP) readings and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The EIS response indicates modification of the sensors’ morphology, in particular alteration of the AgCl layers, as a result of continuous chloride penetration into the bulk matrix towards the vicinity of the sensor/cement paste interface. A gradual shift to more cathodic OCP values and stabilization at approximately -1mVSCE to 2mVSCE was observed at the end of the test, reflecting chloride content of 820mM to 930mM in the pore solution surrounding the sensors, which differs 5-10% from the chloride concentration in the external solution. The water soluble chloride content in the cement pate, as destructively measured wet chemically by Volhard method and photometry, was in the range of 1100mM - 1300mM i.e. about 30-50% more than the chloride concentration in the external solution. This difference of maximum 50% in the recorded chloride levels is attributed to the fact that the sensors “read” the average amount of free chloride at the interface sensor/cement paste, while the destructively measured water soluble chloride reflects the average free (with possible contribution of physically bound chloride) in the total volume of analyzed cement paste. It can be concluded that for the conditions of this experiment, more reliable free chloride content is measured via the sensors’ readings. Hence, if chloride thresholds for corrosion initiation are to be determined, the sensors’ readings will be more representative and accurate if compared to destructive water soluble chloride determination.
Length–weight relationships, sex-ratio, maturity patterns, size at first maturity, reproductive outputs, fecundity and spawning period of horned octopus Eledone cirrhosa in north-west Iberian coast are presented for the first time. Samples were collected between February 2009 and July 2011 in four fishing ports along the north-west Iberian coast: Burela in north Galician waters (NGW), Ribeira or Bueu in western Galician waters (WGW), and Aveiro in western Portuguese waters (WPW). A total of 4127 individuals (1042 males, 3079 females and six undetermined) were sampled. Individuals ranged from 45 to 191 mm dorsal mantle length (ML) and 15–1159 g body weight (BW). The overall sex-ratio was biased towards females, accounting for 74.71% of whole sample. Main spawning season of this species in north-western Iberian waters extends from May to June. Size at first maturity (ML50%) of males was 108.9 mm in NGW, 99.25 mm in WGW, and 91.4 mm in WPW, whereas ML50% for females were 134.5 mm, 121.4 mm and 100.8 mm, respectively. Potential fecundity was 2452.88 ± 36.4 oocytes per ovary (N = 697). Mean oocyte length was 3.89 ± 0.025 mm (N = 697). The average number of fully developed spermatophores in mature males was 86.55 ± 1.9 (N = 223) with a mean length of 44.97 ± 0.29 mm (N = 224). Potential fecundity in females was significantly (P < 0.05) correlated with ML and BW. Results obtained suggest that energy for gonad growth comes from the diet rather than endogenous reserves.
The presence of the non-indigenous species, the black-pygmy mussel Limnoperna securis, was surveyed for the first time in the Rias of Pontevedra and Arousa, areas adjacent to the first location (Ria of Vigo) of this potential invader in Atlantic waters. Molecular identification of the mussels was conducted by polymerase chain reaction amplification and sequencing of nuclear and mitochondrial genes. This paper describes for the first time the species in the Ria of Pontevedra, confirming that this invader was absent in an intense shellfish farming area of the Ria of Arousa (Galicia, north-western Spain). Field sampling revealed that relatively high concentrations of this mytilid bivalve have colonized some localities of the inner part of the Ria of Pontevedra located in brackish waters. A comparison between population densities, size and substrate preference of L. securis in the Rias of Pontevedra and Vigo was conducted. Dispersion capacity of L. securis is discussed based on molecular detection of larval stages in the stomach contents of the copepod Centropages typicus coupled with physical oceanography of the southern Galician Rias. The invasive role of L. securis is also discussed in the context of the bissus secretion and attachment strength, ecological tolerance of the species, and the recent finding of settlements of this species on numerous colonies of the economically important blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis.
A simple derivation of sub-bandgap exponential tails and fundamental absorption equations ruling the optical absorption of amorphous semiconductors are presented following the frozen phonon model. We use the Kubo-Greenwood formula to describe the average transition rate for the optical absorption process. Asymptotic analysis leads to the commonly observed exponential tail as well as the Tauc expression for the fundamental absorption. We test our theoretical results with experimental absorption coefficients of amorphous Si:H, SiC:H, AlN and SiN. The validity of the Urbach focus concept is evaluated.
We present a systematic study of photo- and cathodoluminescence measurements in the visible of Terbium doped SiC:H and AlN thin films. The Terbium atomic concentrations vary from 0.9 to 10% for the SiC:H and from 0.8 to 6% for the AlN samples. For both materials the increase of the emission intensity with concentration and the subsequent quenching effect can be seen. The optimal concentration for the highest light emission is found. Photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy addresses the enhancement light emission mechanisms of the principal emission electronic transition of Terbium at ∼542 nm.
The use of skinfold thickness measurements to evaluate the distribution of subcutaneous adipose tissue and to predict body fat has recognised advantages. However, the different types of skinfold calliper available present limitations that make them unattractive and perhaps less used in daily practice. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the accuracy and functionality of a new digital skinfold system, the Liposoft 2008+Adipsmeter V0 (LA), for measuring skinfold thickness and determining body fat proportion (%BF). Skinfold thickness measurements made by the LA were compared with those obtained with a Harpenden (H) calliper from two samples of adults (n 45) and older adults (n 56) in a university-based cross-sectional study. A comparison was also conducted between estimated %BF from skinfolds and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bland and Altman plots show that skinfolds measured by the LA and H calliper are in high agreement, with a mean difference of 0·3 (95 % CI − 3·1, 3·4) mm. In regard to the %BF estimated from LA and H skinfolds measurement, the LA produced a similar approximation to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry %BF, with a mean difference of 0·2 (95 % CI − 0·8, 1·2) %, compared with %BF obtained with the H calliper. The LA system is an accurate instrumentation and represents an innovation in the evaluation of skinfold thickness and body composition based on anthropometric measurement.
A female with the two tentacles bifurcated was found within a sample of 54 specimens of Moroteuthis ingens collected by a Spanish trawler fishing in the South Atlantic around the Falklands Islands during the austral spring of 2004. This is the first case of double tentacle bifurcation reported for this oegopsid squid and also for cephalopods. In spite of the lack of normal tentacles, the specimen does not show signs of malnutrition. Potential causes for this anomaly, implications to the feeding behaviour of the animal and the regeneration process are discussed.
Many observers have noted that the sea is full of loud sounds, both ongoing and episodic. Among the many sources of natural ambient noise are wave action, physical processes such as undersea earthquakes, and biological activities of shrimps, fish, dolphins and whales. Despite interest by acoustics experts, sound production by cephalopods has been reported only twice, both involving squid. The ‘faint poppings’ produced were thought to result from fluttering of the thin external lips of the squid's funnel while water is being expelled through it. Otherwise, no information is available on cephalopod sounds. Here we present a noise produced by a stressed common octopus. The event was filmed and recorded in the wild. The hypothesis we offer to explain how this sound was produced is cavitation, which has been documented in several biological systems. In our case, the water expelled through the funnel may have created a jet with a velocity so high that the turbulent pressure dropped locally below the vapour pressure of the water. Seawater contains gas microbubbles, which will grow in size when they are entrained in the region of low pressure. Subsequently, the bubbles collapse violently when pressure rises again. The sound produced by the octopus is like a gunshot, and distinct lights observed at the same time contradict the existence of a simple pressure wave and point to the possible presence of gas-bubbles, which would change the light intensity by reflection and refraction of the sunlight. This behaviour seems to be a defensive strategy to escape from vibration-sensitive predators.