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Agents that block the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) improve glucoregulation in the metabolic syndrome disorder. We evaluated the effects of egg white hydrolysate (EWH), previously shown to modulate the protein abundance of RAS component in vivo, on glucose homeostasis in diet-induced insulin-resistant rats. Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks to induce insulin resistance. They were then randomly divided into four groups receiving HFD or HFD supplemented with different concentrations of EWH (1, 2 and 4 %) for another 6 weeks in the first trial. In the second trial, insulin-resistant rats were divided into two groups receiving only HFD or HFD+4 % EWH for 6 weeks. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Insulin signalling and protein abundance of RAS components, gluconeogenesis enzymes and PPARγ were evaluated in muscle, fat and liver. Adipocyte morphology and inflammatory markers were evaluated. In vivo administration of EWH increased insulin sensitivity, improved oral glucose tolerance (P < 0·0001) and reduced systemic inflammation (P < 0·05). EWH potentiated insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in muscle (P = 0·0341) and adipose tissue (P = 0·0276), but minimal differences in the protein abundance of tissue RAS components between the EWH and control groups were observed. EWH treatment also reduced adipocyte size (P = 0·0383) and increased PPARγ2 protein abundance (P = 0·0237). EWH treatment yielded positive effects on the inflammatory profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and adipocyte differentiation in HFD-induced insulin resistance rats. The involvement of local RAS activity requires further investigation.
To date, there are no recent studies identifying the prevalence of parasites of human and veterinary importance in dogs and cats in Ireland. The interaction between pets and wildlife species in the environment is an important source of parasite exposure to canids and felines, and one likely to be heightened in the stray animal population. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of endoparasites in unowned dogs and cats in County Dublin, Ireland. Feces from stray dogs (n = 627) and cats (n = 289) entering a rehoming centre were collected immediately after defecation. The main parasitic agents detected were ascarids (15.52 and 30.26%), Cystoisospora (3.27 and 3.69%), Giardia spp. (6.02 and 1.84%) and lungworms (0.64 and 2.08%), in dogs and cats respectively. Animals younger than 3 months of age were more likely to be infected with ascarids (P < 0.001) and Cystoisospora spp. (P = 0.008 and P = 0.014) than older animals. All lungworms were morphologically identified and dogs were infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum (0.48%) and Crenosoma vulpis (0.16%) whereas cats were only infected with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (2.08%). This represents the first prevalence study of stray animals in Ireland. Data collected will inform the treatment and in addition, the future monitoring and control studies of parasite populations.
The union of the unique diamond properties with steel (most common substrate material) provides a new solution for machine parts under critical mechanical conditions and severe environmental. However, CVD diamond coating directly on steel comes with several issues. The fundamental reasons for the lack of adhesion are an iron catalytic effect, the high carbon solubility in iron and high mismatch in thermal expansion coefficient of diamond and steel. The use of interlayer may solve these issues acting as a diffusion barrier, for both iron and carbon, and match thermal expansion coefficients. Several articles describe the PVD deposition or electroplated interlayer. In the present study, the diamond film coated steel with an intermediate barrier deposited by laser cladding process. In this novel technique, laser irradiation melts the powder (preplaced) and the substrate surface to create the coating on a steel substrate. We used the SiC/Ti and SiC/Cu powder mixtures to create the intermediate barrier. Diamond film deposition was carried out in an HFCVD reactor (Hot Filament Chemical Vapor Deposition). The samples characterization included X-ray Diffraction (XRD); Field Emission Gun - Scanning Electron Microscopy (FEG-SEM) and Raman Scattering Spectroscopy (RSS). Results showed that laser incidence dissociated partially the SiC powder, forming FeSi, Cu3Si phases. Further, the composite layer assisted the high thermal stress relief in steel/diamond interface.
Chamarito lamb was recognized as a quality brand in Spain in April 2010 and this meat is highly appreciated in the local market, but little is known about how a short fattening period may affect final product quality. Twenty lambs, ten from the Ternasco category and ten from the suckling lamb category, were slaughtered and their carcass characteristics compared. All animals were weighed at birth, weaning and before slaughter, and average daily gain was calculated. Cold carcasses were weighed and bruising score, carcass conformation and carcass fatness were noted. The left back of each carcass was separated for dissection. The meat pH, cooking and thawing losses, texture, colour and fatty acid composition were measured on M. longissimus samples. Production traits and meat quality variables were analysed fitting a one-way model with the fixed effect of mean lamb age at harvest. The conformation and degree of fatness of Ternasco-type lambs was not significantly different from suckling lambs but the pH values 24.00 hours post-mortem in muscle (pHult) of the former was slightly higher. The fatty acid profile of suckling lambs was more suitable for a healthy human diet.
A set of computer programs has been developed to draw chemical-equilibrium diagrams. This new software is the Java-language equivalent to the Medusa/Hydra software (developed some time ago in Visual basic at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden). The main program, now named “Spana” calls Java programs based on the HaltaFall algorithm. The equilibrium constants that are needed for the calculations may be retrieved from a database included in the software package (“Database” program). This new software is intended for undergraduate students as well as researchers and professionals.
The “Spana” code can be easily applied to perform radionuclide speciation and solubility calculations of minerals, including solubility calculations relevant for the performance assessment of a nuclear waste repository. In order to handle ionic strength corrections in such calculations several approaches can be applied. The “Spana” code is able to perform calculations based on three models: the Davies equation; an approximation to the model by Helgeson et al. (HKF); and the Specific Ion-Interaction Theory (SIT). Default SIT-coefficients may be used, which widens the applicability of SIT significantly.
A comparison is made here among the different ionic strength approaches used by “Spana” (Davies, HKF, SIT) when modelling the chemistry of radionuclides and minerals of interest under the conditions of a geological repository for nuclear waste. For this purpose, amorphous hydrous Thorium(IV) oxide (ThO2(am)), Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) and Portlandite (Ca(OH)2) solubility at high ionic strengths have been modelled and compared to experimental data from the literature. Results show a good fitting between the calculated values and the experimental data especially for the SIT approach in a wide range of ionic strengths (0-4 M).
This study evaluates the behavior of the adherence layers - sawn flat iron boride formed on the surface of steels used in manufacturing industry in Mexico. In steels AISI 1018, AISI 8620 and AISI 316 was characterized this behavior, boriding thermochemical treatment with box technique, with a processing temperature of 1273 °K, with an exposure time of 8 hours. Furthermore the adherence is assessed by the Rockwell C hardness technique prescribed by the German standard VDI 3198 of traction, this impact test qualitatively determine the type of adherence formed three thermochemical steels treated by the technique of boriding. Moreover optical microscopy determines the type of film morphology FeB/ Fe2B of each of the materials exposed to a boriding, also shows the thicknesses of the phases generated in the surface type in all three steels boriding. Phase presence boride FeB/Fe2B was determined by X -ray diffraction (XRD). Technique for scanning electron microscopy (EDS) was evaluated qualitatively the presence of FeB/Fe2B of boronizing. Otherwise determines the hardness and elastic modulus by nanoindentation technique of the phases present in the three steels. Lastly, AISI 1018 and AISI 8620 are bounding scale H1 to H3, the AISI 316 steel has an adherence of H3 to H6 under German standard VDI 3198.
Intermolecular interaction potentials of the acrylamide dimer in 12 equilibrium configurations have been calculated using the second-order Møller-Plesset (MP2) perturbation theory. We have employed Pople’s medium size basis sets [up to 6-311++G(3df,2p)] and Dunning’s correlation consistent basis sets (up to aug-cc-pVTZ). We have also carried out density functional theory (DFT) type calculations and compared the results with those calculated with the MP2 theory.
A before-after prospective surveillance study to assess the impact of a multidimensional infection control approach for the reduction of catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) of hospital members of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) from 10 cities of the following 6 developing countries: Colombia, El Salvador, India, Mexico, Philippines, and Turkey.
We performed a prospective active surveillance to determine rates of CAUTI among 3,877 patients hospitalized in 10 PICUs for a total of 27,345 bed-days. The study was divided into a baseline period (phase 1) and an intervention period (phase 2). In phase 1, surveillance was performed without the implementation of the multidimensional approach. In phase 2, we implemented a multidimensional infection control approach that included outcome surveillance, process surveillance, feedback on CAUTI rates, feedback on performance, education, and a bundle of preventive measures. The rates of CAUTI obtained in phase 1 were compared with the rates obtained in phase 2, after interventions were implemented.
During the study period, we recorded 8,513 urinary catheter (UC) days, including 1,513 UC-days in phase 1 and 7,000 UC-days in phase 2. In phase 1, the CAUTI rate was 5.9 cases per 1,000 UC-days, and in phase 2, after implementing the multidimensional infection control approach for CAUTI prevention, the rate of CAUTI decreased to 2.6 cases per 1,000 UC-days (relative risk, 0.43 [95% confidence interval, 0.21–1.0]), indicating a rate reduction of 57%.
Our findings demonstrated that implementing a multidimensional infection control approach is associated with a significant reduction in the CAUTI rate of PICUs in developing countries.
Often, mechanical properties of wood plates are accurately approximated through orthotropic characterization. However, the numerical values may show considerable variations in the case of real wood plates immersed in fluctuant environmental conditions, especially if the relative humidity of air (RH) is changing. Problems arising from the natural variations in RH have been reported on making musical instruments. In this work, the influence of changing RH on the mechanical properties of a guitar’s top plate (clamped on its contour) has been measured. Vibratory responses of the plate were experimentally obtained, through forced vibration, while data were recorded for several RH values, without any alteration in the experimental set-up devices. The six lowest natural frequencies of the structure were extracted from peaks detected in the responses. Natural frequencies depend on mass distribution and mechanical properties of the structure. For the highest sensed RH (67 %), each natural frequency of the plate decreased at least in 11 Hz compared with reference values measured at the lowest sensed RH (53 %). To determine the connection between the shift in natural frequencies and the changes in the wood elastic and shear modulus, a finite element model of the plate was performed. It was useful calculating natural frequencies through simulated modal analyses. Elastic and shear modulus were handled to match simulated results with experimental natural frequencies recorded for a RH=53% level. These elastic moduli must be decreased around 10 % to obtain a similar frequency decrease in the experimental natural frequencies obtained under a RH=67% level. The experimental results show quantitative information on an interaction scarcely researched, that is, the modification on mechanical properties of wood plates induced by RH variations. Sensed changes due this wood-air interaction are responsible of a modification in the behavior of musical instruments, as guitars and violins.
Thin Zn0.98Mn0.02O films were grown by pulsed laser deposition on glass substrates under oxygen pressure. The structural properties were studied by X-ray diffraction and Raman techniques, while the conductivity was characterized by the Hall effect. The oxygen pressure during the growth seems to govern the structural and the electrical properties of the thin Zn0.98Mn0.02 films. In fact, the micron size grain and the resistivity of the Zn0.98Mn0.02O increase with the partial oxygen pressure. However, no evident effect was observed on the magnetic behavior. Electronic structure calculations were performed and magnetic moment carried by Mn atom was computed as well.
We believe the currently accepted indications for frontal osteoma surgery are inappropriate. We propose a new osteoma classification system, below, in order to standardise surgical decisions.
Osteomas were classified based on: relationship of tumour mass to sinus size; tumour proximity to the infundibulum, destruction of sinus walls, and complications. Forty-five osteoma cases were thus classified (1971–2007), 29 of which underwent surgery (64.44 per cent).
Three stages were thus derived: I, tumour/air fraction less than one-third, tumour distant from the infundibulum, no sinusitis, and no complications (18 patients (40 per cent)); II, tumour/air fraction one-third to one-half, no infundibular obstruction, no bone destruction, no sinusitis, and no complications (six (13.33 per cent)); and III, tumour/air fraction more than one-half, partial or total infundibular obstruction, sinusitis, bone destruction, and/or complications (21 (46.67 per cent)).
Study findings suggest the following surgical indications: stage I, no surgery required, implement monitoring protocol; stage II, implement monitoring protocol, surgery may be required depending on tumour severity and general patient condition; and stage III, surgery always required. This system provides a method of standardising osteoma surgical decisions.
Prediction of genetic values is a central problem in quantitative genetics. Over many decades, such predictions have been successfully accomplished using information on phenotypic records and family structure usually represented with a pedigree. Dense molecular markers are now available in the genome of humans, plants and animals, and this information can be used to enhance the prediction of genetic values. However, the incorporation of dense molecular marker data into models poses many statistical and computational challenges, such as how models can cope with the genetic complexity of multi-factorial traits and with the curse of dimensionality that arises when the number of markers exceeds the number of data points. Reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces regressions can be used to address some of these challenges. The methodology allows regressions on almost any type of prediction sets (covariates, graphs, strings, images, etc.) and has important computational advantages relative to many parametric approaches. Moreover, some parametric models appear as special cases. This article provides an overview of the methodology, a discussion of the problem of kernel choice with a focus on genetic applications, algorithms for kernel selection and an assessment of the proposed methods using a collection of 599 wheat lines evaluated for grain yield in four mega environments.
There is a lack of consistent evidence regarding associations of neurological soft signs (NSS) with illness-related variables in schizophrenia. This study examined NSS in first-episode psychotic patients with respect to their factor structure and associations with risk factors, pre-morbid characteristics, psychopathology and spontaneous extrapyramidal syndromes.
First-episode, drug-naive patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (n=177) were assessed for NSS using the Neurological Evaluation Scale, and its 26 constituting items were factor analysed. The identified neurological dimensions were then entered into hierarchical regression models as outcome dependent variables of a set of predictors including risk factors (familial loading for schizophrenia, obstetric complications), pre-morbid characteristics (neurodevelopmental delay, symptoms of attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder, pre-morbid functioning), psychopathological domains (reality distortion, disorganization, negative symptoms, mania, depression, catatonia) and spontaneous extrapyramidal syndromes (parkinsonism, dyskinesia, akathisia).
Five neurological domains were identified: sequencing, release signs, sensory integration, abnormal movements and coordination. Multivariate analyses showed independent associations (p<0.01) of sequencing with familial liability to schizophrenia, deterioration of pre-morbid adjustment and parkinsonism; release signs with obstetric complications, catatonic symptoms and parkinsonism; sensory integration with familial liability to schizophrenia; abnormal movements with familial liability to schizophrenia, obstetric complications, parkinsonism and dyskinesia; and coordination with neurodevelopmental delay. The empirically derived factors explained additional variance over and above that explained by subscale scores across the examined variables.
Familial liability to schizophrenia, obstetric complications, neurodevelopmental delay, deterioration in pre-morbid functioning and observable motor disorders appear to contribute independently to domains of neurological dysfunction. The findings support a neurodevelopmental model of NSS in schizophrenia.
In this paper a comparative study of the hydration process in a very early age, first 20 hours, between a conventional cement paste and its equivalent with a replacement of fly ash of about 7.9%, is done. The study was undertaken through semiadibatic calorimetry, electrical impedance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. It shows that using electrical impedance spectroscopy we can determine the state of crystallization of the material with and without additions, thereby determining the time at which the different processes are started in the hydration
Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders is highly prevalent and notably influences functional outcomes.
To characterise the cognitive effectiveness of second-generation antipsychotic drugs.
One hundred consecutive and previously unmedicated patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorders were admitted. Seventy-seven completed baseline, 1-month and 6-month psychopathological and neuropsychological assessments. Patients were randomised to risperidone or olanzapine treatment. Four final treatment allocation groups were defined since patients continued treatment in their normal setting: risperidone, olanzapine, mixed and no-antipsychotic groups.
There were no differences in cognitive effectiveness between the four treatment groups. Reliable change index methods demonstrated that nearly a half of patients showed an improvement in Global Cognitive Score at the 6-month assessment. Improvement on the neuropsychological tests ranged from 17 to 54%.
A strong predictor of cognitive response was poor performance on baseline neuropsychological tests; response was moderately influenced by a low premorbid scholastic performance and IQ.
Cognitive improvement related to second-generation antipsychotic drugs appeared within the first 4 weeks of treatment and persisted at 6 months irrespective of treatment group. Greater cognitive dysfunction at baseline and lower premorbid cognitive background predicted cognitive improvement in our sample.
The present work details, to our knowledge, the first examination of the influence of blue-light radiation on the optical properties of organic luminescent films in attempting to develop an indicator dosimeter for phototherapy of neonatal jaundice. Jaundice is the most common problem encountered in newborns due to immature functioning in the liver. The operating principle of the device is based on the optical response of poly[2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-p-phenylene (MEH-PPV) and tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato) aluminum (Alq3) materials dispersed in polystyrene (PS) matrix (denoted as PS/MEH-PPV/Alq3). It is observed a blue-shift on the photoluminescence of PS/MEH-PPV/Alq3 system from red to orange-yellow, and then to green as function of the blue-light radiation exposure time. The result is attributed to the spectral overlap between emission of Alq3 and absorption of MEH-PPV. The optical response of PS/MEH-PPV/Alq3 to radiation was investigated to design a low-cost (< US$ 0.05) “smart” sensor to represent easily the radiation dosage normally used in blue-light phototherapy. The basic idea behind this concept considers the sensor as a traffic light device, where red represents underdose and green the prescription dose or overdose, while orange-yellow suggests that radiation therapy is an ongoing process. This personal real-time radiation dosimeter appears here as a key requirement for successful development of innovations in effective management of the radiation dose planning before treatment of neonatal where control of dose absorption of infants is extremely important.
Eight taxa of marine invertebrates, including two new bivalve species, are described from the Low Head Member of the Polonez Cove Formation (latest early Oligocene) cropping out in the Vauréal Peak area, King George Island, West Antarctica. The fossil assemblage includes representatives of Brachiopoda (genera Neothyris sp. and Liothyrella sp.), Bivalvia (Adamussium auristriatum sp. nov., ?Adamussium cf. A. alanbeui Jonkers, and Limatula (Antarctolima) ferraziana sp. nov.), Bryozoa, Polychaeta (serpulid tubes) and Echinodermata. Specimens occur in debris flows deposits of the Low Head Member, as part of a fan delta setting in a high energy, shallow marine environment. Liothyrella sp., Adamussium auristriatum sp. nov. and Limatula ferraziana sp. nov. are among the oldest records for these genera in King George Island. In spite of their restrict number and diversification, bivalves and brachiopods from this study display an overall dispersal pattern that roughly fits in the clockwise circulation of marine currents around Antarctica accomplished in two steps. The first followed the opening of the Tasmanian Gateway at the Eocene/Oligocene boundary, along the eastern margin of Antarctica, and the second took place in post-Palaeogene time, following the Drake Passage opening between Antarctic Peninsula and South America, along the western margin of Antarctica.
Circulating antibodies in chagasic patients interact with myocardial β adrenergic and muscarinic cholinergic receptors, triggering intracellular signals that alter cardiac function along the course of the disease. However, until now, experimental data in models of chronically infected chagasic mice linking the effects on myocardial β adrenergic and muscarinic receptors to cardiopulmonary dysfunction is lacking. Thus, we studied C57BL/6 mice 8 months after intraperitoneal injection of 100 trypomastigote forms of the Colombian strain of T. cruzi. Uninfected mice, matched in age, were used as controls. Histopathological analyses (inflammation and fibrosis) and radio-ligand binding assays for estimation of muscarinic and adrenergic receptor density were performed in myocardium tissue samples. When compared to controls, infected mice had electrical conduction disturbances, diastolic dysfunction, lower O2 consumption and anaerobic threshold. In addition, hearts of chronic chagasic mice had intense inflammation and fibrosis, and decreased β adrenergic and increased muscarinic receptor densities than normal controls. Our data suggest that chronic T. cruzi infection causes alterations in cardiac receptor density and fibrosis deposition which can be associated with cardiac conduction abnormalities, diastolic dysfunction and lower exercise capacity, associating for the first time all these functional and histopathological alterations in chagasic mice.