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In this study, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) in powder and in thin film were successfully synthesized first time using an eco-friendly, simple and cost effective green synthesis method mediated by corn husk (Zea mays) extract as an effective chelating agent, and zinc nitrate hexahydrate as precursor. Diverse characterizations techniques such as High Resolution – Scanning Electron Microscopy (HR-SEM), Energy Dispersive X- rays Spectroscopy (EDS), X-Rays Diffraction (XRD), and UV – Vis – NIR spectroscopy as well as Photoluminescence (PL) were investigated to confirm ZnO NPs nature. For the ZnO NPs powder, highly crystalline ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) annealed at 500°C which are 48.635 nm in particles size were characterised by HR-SEM and XRD analysis. The structure morphology and the constituents of the resultant ZnO powder were investigated respectively by HR-SEM and EDS. UV – Visible spectroscopy analysis was investigated on the optical band gap of ZnO NPs, which was calculated to be 3.31 eV. This result indicates that ZnO NPs can be used in metal oxide semiconductor-based devices. For the ZnO NPs thin film, XRD patterns of hexagonal wurtzite structure with c/a ratio about of 1.60 and μ – parameter of 0.38 were obtained. PL measurements showed a broad emission band in the 380 – 800 nm range, centred at 481 nm. ZnO NPs thin film yielded relatively more intense photoluminescence spectra than the ZnO NPs powder. The intrinsic point defects and defect level transitions responsible for the broad emission are discussed.
Alterations of the gut microbiome have been associated with obesity and metabolic disorders. The gut microbiota can be influenced by the intake of dietary fibres with prebiotic properties, such as inulin-type fructans. The present study tested the hypothesis that obese individuals subjected for 12 weeks to an inulin-enriched v. inulin-poor diet have differential faecal fermentation patterns. The fermentation of cellulose and inulin hydrolysates of six different inulin-rich and inulin-poor vegetables of both groups was analysed in vitro on faecal inocula. The results showed that the microbiota from obese patients who received a fructan-rich diet for 3 weeks produces more gas and total SCFA compared with the microbiota taken from the same individuals before the treatment. Obese individuals fed with a low-fructan diet produce less gas and less SCFA compared with the treated group. The present study highlighted profound changes in microbiota fermentation capacity obtained by prebiotic intervention in obese individuals, which favours the production of specific bioactive metabolites.
To: (i) understand facilitators and barriers to healthy eating practices and physical activity in younger and older urban adolescent South African boys and girls; and (ii) understand how the views of caregivers interact with, and influence, adolescent behaviours.
Semi-structured focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in July 2018. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Seventy-five participants were stratified into eight FGD as follows: two for young boys and girls (10–12 years); two for older boys and girls (15–17 years); two for caregivers of young adolescents (boys and girls); and two for caregivers of older adolescents (boys and girls).
Unlike their caregivers, adolescents were not motivated to eat healthily and failed to appreciate the need to develop consistent patterns of both healthy eating and physical activity for their long-term health. Although adolescents gained independence with age, they commonly attributed unhealthy food choices to a lack of autonomy and, thereby, to the influence of their caregivers. Adolescents and caregivers perceived their engagement in physical activity according to distinct siloes of recreational and routine activity, respectively. Both similarities and differences in the drivers of healthy eating and physical activity exist in adolescents and caregivers, and should be targeted in future interventions.
Our study identified a complex paradigm of eating practices and physical activity in South African adolescents and their caregivers. We also highlighted the need for a new narrative in addressing the multifaceted and interrelated determinants of adolescent health within urban poor settings.
On August 14, 2017, a 6-kilometer mudslide occurred in Regent Area, Western Area District of Sierra Leone following a torrential downpour that lasted 3 days. More than 300 houses along River Juba were submerged; 1141 people were reported dead or missing and 5905 displaced. In response to the mudslide, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Sierra Leone moved swiftly to verify the emergency and constitute an incident management team to coordinate the response. Early contact was made with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and health sector partners. A Public Health Emergency Operations Center was set up to coordinate the response. Joint assessments, planning, and response among health sector partners ensured effectiveness and efficiency. Oral cholera vaccination was administered to high-risk populations to prevent a cholera outbreak. Surveillance for 4 waterborne diseases was enhanced through daily reporting from 9 health facilities serving the affected population. Performance standards from the WHO Emergency Response Framework were used to monitor the emergency response. An assessment of the country’s performance showed that the country’s response was well executed. To improve future response, we recommend enhanced district level preparedness, update of disaster response protocols, and pre-disaster mapping of health sector partners.
In its 1930 Convention on Forced Labour, the International Labour Organization defined ‘forced or compulsory labour’ as ‘all work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily’. Representatives at the Geneva Convention further clarified forced labour as a particular ‘practice of compulsory labour exacted by a state or by agencies of a state, other than as a punishment for a criminal offence or for the purpose of the military defence’. Colonial powers faced enormous pressure to sign up to the 1930 ILO Convention, and several states delayed ratifying it. Despite this general agreement on the abolition of forced labour, despite increased pressure from non-governmental humanitarian groups and despite efforts by colonial reformers – including Jules Marcel de Coppet, the Governor General of French West Africa (1936–38), and Henrique Galvão, inspector of the Portuguese colonies and former governor of Huila Province in southern Angola – forced labour in colonial Africa persisted in many regions through the period of decolonization and into the present. Forced labour in twentieth-century Africa was a widespread means of building and maintaining infrastructure, supporting the mining sector and developing and servicing the export-oriented agricultural sector in French, German, Belgian, Portuguese, Italian and Spanish colonies, and, to a lesser degree, in the British colonies, where public labour ordinances, compulsory labour ordinances and communal labour ordinances served similar goals. Decolonization did not, however, end forced labour. Several postcolonial states have continued this practice, often under thinly disguised forms of military recruitment.
This chapter examines the variety of practices of forced labour during the colonial period on the African continent and its persistence into the postcolonial period. It provides a framework for understanding the context in which Western colonial powers engaged in forced labour and describes the major forms of forced labour used by both the colonial powers and the newly independent African nations. Forced labour was part of a wider set of practices using coerced labour. This chapter focuses on forced labour as a practice of state mobilization of labour in Africa during the twentieth century. As Frederick Cooper reminds us, during ‘the five hundred years in which Europeans and Africans have known each other rather well, no element has been more central in their relationship than work’. Forced labour was a central part of that relationship.
The animal health and welfare status in European organic dairy production does not in all aspects meet the organic principles and consumers’ expectations and needs to be improved. To achieve this, tailored herd health planning, targeted to the specific situation of individual farms could be of use. The aim of this study was to apply herd health planning in a structured participatory approach, with impact matrix analysis, not previously used in this context, in European organic dairy farms and to assess changes in animal health and welfare. Herd health planning farm visits were conducted on 122 organic dairy farms in France, Germany and Sweden. The farmer, the herd veterinarian and/or an advisor took part in the farm discussions. The researcher served as facilitator. Baseline data on the animal health status of the individual farm, collected from national milk recording schemes, were presented as an input for the discussion. Thereafter a systematic impact matrix analysis was performed. This was to capture the complexity of individual farms with the aim to identify the farm-specific factors that could have a strong impact on animal health. The participants (i.e. farmer, veterinarian and advisor) jointly identified areas in need of improvement, taking the health status and the interconnected farm system components into account, and appropriate actions were jointly identified. The researcher took minutes during the discussions, and these were shared with the participants. No intervention was made by the researcher, and further actions were left with the participants. The number of actions per farm ranged from 0 to 22. The change in mortality, metabolic diseases, reproductive performance and udder health was assessed at two time points, and potential determinators of the change were evaluated with linear regression models. A significant association was seen between change in udder health, as measured by the somatic cell count, and country. At the first follow-up, a significant association was also found between change in the proportion of prolonged calving interval and the farmers’ desire to improve reproductive health as well as with an increase in herd size, but this was not seen at the second follow-up. The degree of implementation of the actions was good (median 67%, lower quartile 40%, upper quartile 83%). To conclude, the degree of implementation was quite high, improvement of animal health could not be linked to the herd health planning approach. However, the approach was highly appreciated by the participants and deserves further study.
The 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar was unprecedented in the African region, resulting in 2417 cases (498 confirmed, 793 probable and 1126 suspected) and 209 deaths by the end of the acute urban pneumonic phase of the outbreak. The Health Emergencies Programme of the WHO Regional Office for Africa together with the WHO Country Office and WHO Headquarters assisted the Ministry of Public Health of Madagascar in the rapid implementation of plague prevention and control measures while collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data to inform immediate interventions. We document the key findings of the evidence available to date and actions taken as a result. Based on the four goals of operational research – effective dissemination of results, peer-reviewed publication, changes to policy and practice and improvements in programme performance and health – we evaluate the use of evidence to inform response to the outbreak and describe lessons learned for future outbreak responses in the WHO African region. This article may not be reprinted or reused in any way in order to promote any commercial products or services.
The present study addresses the reaction zone structure and burning mechanism of unstable detonations. Experiments investigated mainly two-dimensional methane–oxygen cellular detonations in a thin channel geometry. The sufficiently high temporal resolution permitted the determination of the probability density function of the shock distribution, a power law with an exponent of
, and the burning rate of unreacted pockets from their edges – through surface turbulent flames with a speed approximately 3–7 times larger than the laminar one at the local conditions. Numerical simulations were performed using a novel large-eddy simulation method where the reactions due to both autoignition and turbulent transport were treated exactly at the subgrid scale in a reaction–diffusion formulation. The model is an extension of Kerstein and Menon’s linear eddy model for large-eddy simulation to treat flows with shock waves and rapid gas-dynamic transients. The two-dimensional simulations recovered well the amplification of the laminar flame speed due to the turbulence generated mainly by the shear layers originating from the triple points and subsequent Richtmyer–Meshkov instability associated with the internal pressure waves. The simulations clarified how the level of turbulence generated controlled the burning rate of the pockets, the hydrodynamic thickness of the wave, the cellular structure and its distribution. Three-dimensional simulations were found to be in general good agreement with the two-dimensional ones, in that the subgrid-scale model captured the ensuing turbulent burning once the scales associated with the cellular dynamics, where turbulent kinetic energy is injected, are well resolved.
Objectives: Huntington’s disease (HD) is a debilitating genetic disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and psychiatric abnormalities associated with neuropathological decline. HD pathology is the result of an extended chain of CAG (cytosine, adenine, guanine) trinucleotide repetitions in the HTT gene. Clinical diagnosis of HD requires the presence of an otherwise unexplained extrapyramidal movement disorder in a participant at risk for HD. Over the past 15 years, evidence has shown that cognitive, psychiatric, and subtle motor dysfunction is evident decades before traditional motor diagnosis. This study examines the relationships among subcortical brain volumes and measures of emerging disease phenotype in prodromal HD, before clinical diagnosis. Methods: The dataset includes 34 cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and functional variables and five subcortical brain volumes from 984 prodromal HD individuals enrolled in the PREDICT HD study. Using cluster analyses, seven distinct clusters encompassing cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and functional domains were identified. Individual cluster scores were then regressed against the subcortical brain volumetric measurements. Results: Accounting for site and genetic burden (the interaction of age and CAG repeat length) smaller caudate and putamen volumes were related to clusters reflecting motor symptom severity, cognitive control, and verbal learning. Conclusions: Variable reduction of the HD phenotype using cluster analysis revealed biologically related domains of HD and are suitable for future research with this population. Our cognitive control cluster scores show sensitivity to changes in basal ganglia both within and outside the striatum that may not be captured by examining only motor scores. (JINS, 2017, 23, 159–170)
Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj, an agrarian Early Bronze IV village in the northern Jordan Valley, Jordan, provides a series of 24 accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) seed dates spanning seven stratified phases of occupation. Bayesian analysis of these ages reveals that habitation at Tell Abu en-Ni‘aj began between 2600 and 2500 cal BC and ended just before 2000 cal BC. This sequence provides the longest radiocarbon record of occupation for an Early Bronze IV settlement in the southern Levant and pushes the beginning of the Levantine Early Bronze IV earlier than proposed previously. When integrated with 14C dates from an array of sites in the southern Levant, Egypt, and Lebanon, this evidence aligns with recent 14C-based chronologies calling for earlier ages for Early Bronze I–III, details Early Bronze IV chronology through the course of this period, and corroborates the date of the Early Bronze IV/Middle Bronze Age transition ~2000 cal BC.
Fracture-hosted porosity and quartz distribution along with crack-seal texture and fluid inclusion assemblage sequences in isolated, bridging quartz deposits show that open fractures can persist through protracted burial and uplift in foreland basins. Fractures oriented at a high angle to current maximum compressive stress remain open and were weak mechanical discontinuities for millions of years even at great depth. Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation sandstones in the basement-involved (Laramide) Table Rock anticline, eastern Greater Green River Basin, Wyoming sampled by two horizontal wells (cut parallel or nearly parallel to bedding and at a high angle to steeply dipping fractures) have 41.5 m of rock in four cores at depths of 4538–4547 m. Cores intersect older E-striking Set 1 fractures are abutted by or locally cross-cut by N-striking Set 2 fractures. Both sets contain quartz and porosity. Sequenced using quartz crack-seal cement texture maps, Set 1 fluid inclusion assemblage (FIA) trapping temperatures increase progressively from 140 to 165°C then decrease to c. 150°C, compatible with fracture opening over c. 15 Ma during rapid burial followed by uplift in Eocene–Oligocene time. Set 2 opened at c. 160°C, probably near maximum burial. After a period of quiescence, Set 2 reopened at c. 5 Ma at c. 140°C, on a cooling trajectory. Intermittent Set 2 movement could reflect local basement-involved fault movement, followed after a pause by further Set 2 reactivation in the modern stress field during uplift. Interpretations are sensitive to available burial/thermal histories, which have considerable uncertainty.
Recent developments in quantitative image analysis allow us to interrogate confocal microscopy images to answer biological questions. Clumped and layered cell nuclei and cytoplasm in confocal images challenges the ability to identify subcellular compartments. To date, there is no perfect image analysis method to identify cytoskeletal changes in confocal images. Here, we present a multidisciplinary study where an image analysis model was developed to allow quantitative measurements of changes in the cytoskeleton of cells with different maspin exposure. Maspin, a noninhibitory serpin influences cell migration, adhesion, invasion, proliferation, and apoptosis in ways that are consistent with its identification as a tumor metastasis suppressor. Using different cell types, we tested the hypothesis that reduction in cell migration by maspin would be reflected in the architecture of the actin cytoskeleton. A hybrid marker-controlled watershed segmentation technique was used to segment the nuclei, cytoplasm, and ruffling regions before measuring cytoskeletal changes. This was informed by immunohistochemical staining of cells transfected stably or transiently with maspin proteins, or with added bioactive peptides or protein. Image analysis results showed that the effects of maspin were mirrored by effects on cell architecture, in a way that could be described quantitatively.
This exploratory study aims to understand and improve the performance of Gambia Indigenous Livestock Multipliers’ Associations (GILMA – Fulladu and Saloum) as a way of enabling them to better respond to the challenges faced in fulfilling their institutional responsibilities. Using participatory institutional diagnosis, the GILMA members and experts were able to examine their associations and to stimulate collective reflection as a means of making the associations more efficient and effective. The findings of this diagnosis showed that functioning of both GILMAs was closely linked to the operations of their technical partners. This resulted to GILMAs which clearly lack defined vision and mission. Main issues to address include capacity development of GILMA's executive committee in terms of institutional management, group facilitation, participatory planning, effective strategies for partnership and ownership. Overall, this study developed pathways for revitalizing GILMAs into vibrant and self-sustaining indigenous ruminant livestock multipliers’ associations that can effectively carry out specific roles and responsibilities within the three-tier Open Nucleus Breeding Scheme of the International Trypanotolerance Centre.
Intakes of micronutrient-rich foods are low among Indian women of reproductive age. We investigated whether consumption of a food-based micronutrient-rich snack increased markers of blood micronutrient concentrations when compared with a control snack. Non-pregnant women (n 222) aged 14–35 years living in a Mumbai slum were randomised to receive a treatment snack (containing green leafy vegetables, dried fruit and whole milk powder), or a control snack containing foods of low micronutrient content such as wheat flour, potato and tapioca. The snacks were consumed under observation 6 d per week for 12 weeks, compliance was recorded, and blood was collected at 0 and 12 weeks. Food-frequency data were collected at both time points. Compliance (defined as the proportion of women who consumed ≥ 3 snacks/week) was >85 % in both groups. We assessed the effects of group allocation on 12-week nutrient concentrations using ANCOVA models with respective 0-week concentrations, BMI, compliance, standard of living, fruit and green leafy vegetable consumption and use of synthetic nutrients as covariates. The treatment snack significantly increased β-carotene concentrations (treatment effect: 47·1 nmol/l, 95 % CI 6·5, 87·7). There was no effect of group allocation on concentrations of ferritin, retinol, ascorbate, folate or vitamin B12. The present study shows that locally sourced foods can be made into acceptable snacks that may increase serum β-carotene concentrations among women of reproductive age. However, no increase in circulating concentrations of the other nutrients measured was observed.
There is evidence that subclinical vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is common in India. Vegetarianism is prevalent and therefore meat consumption is low. Our objective was to explore the contribution of B12-source foods and maternal B12 status during pregnancy to plasma B12 concentrations.
Maternal plasma B12 concentrations were measured during pregnancy. Children’s dietary intakes and plasma B12 concentrations were measured at age 9·5 years; B12 and total energy intakes were calculated using food composition databases. We used linear regression to examine associations between maternal B12 status and children’s intakes of B12 and B12-source foods, and children’s plasma B12 concentrations.
South Indian city of Mysore and surrounding rural areas.
Children from the Mysore Parthenon Birth Cohort (n 512, 47·1 % male).
Three per cent of children were B12 deficient (<150 pmol/l). A further 14 % had ‘marginal’ B12 concentrations (150–221 pmol/l). Children’s total daily B12 intake and consumption frequencies of meat and fish, and micronutrient-enriched beverages were positively associated with plasma B12 concentrations (P=0·006, P=0·01 and P=0·04, respectively, adjusted for socio-economic indicators and maternal B12 status). Maternal pregnancy plasma B12 was associated with children’s plasma B12 concentrations, independent of current B12 intakes (P<0·001). Milk and curd (yoghurt) intakes were unrelated to B12 status.
Meat and fish are important B12 sources in this population. Micronutrient-enriched beverages appear to be important sources in our cohort, but their high sugar content necessitates care in their recommendation. Improving maternal B12 status in pregnancy may improve Indian children’s status.