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Ficus deltoidea var. deltoidea Jack (FD) is a well-known plant used in Malay folklore medicine to lower blood glucose in diabetic patients. For further research of the antihyperglycemic mechanisms, the protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B)-inhibitory effect of FD was analysed both in vitro and in vivo. To optimise a method for FD extraction, water, 50, 70, 80, 90 and 95 % ethanol extracts were prepared and determined for their total phenolic and triterpene contents, and PTP1B-inhibition capacity. Among the tested extracts, 70 % ethanol FD extract showed a significant PTP1B inhibition (92·0 % inhibition at 200 µg/ml) and high phenolic and triterpene contents. A bioassay-guided fractionation of the 70 % ethanol extract led to the isolation of a new triterpene (3β,11β-dihydroxyolean-12-en-23-oic acid; F3) along with six known compounds. In vivo, 4 weeks’ administration of 70 % ethanol FD extract (125, 250 and 500 mg/kg/d) to streptozotocin–nicotinamide-induced type 2 diabetic rats reversed the abnormal changes of blood glucose, insulin, total Hb, GLUT2, lipid profile, and oxidative stress in liver and pancreas. Moreover, FD reduced the mRNA expression of the key gluconeogenic enzymes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose 6-phosphatase) and restored insulin receptor and GLUT2 encoding gene (Slc2a2) expression. In addition, FD significantly down-regulated the hepatic PTP1B gene expression. These results revealed that FD could potentially improve insulin sensitivity, suppress hepatic glucose output and enhance glucose uptake in type 2 diabetes mellitus through down-regulation of PTP1B. Together, our findings give scientific evidence for the traditional use of FD as an antidiabetic agent.
Schistosomiasis represents a public health problem and praziquantel is the only drug used for treatment of all forms of the disease. Thus, the development of new anti-schistosomal agents is of utmost importance to increase the effectiveness, reduce side effects and delay the emergence of resistance. The present study was conducted to report the therapeutic efficacy of PPQ-8, a new synthetic quinoline-based compound against Schistosoma mansoni. Mice were treated with PPQ-8 at day 49 post infection using two treatment regimens (20 and 40 mg/kg). Significant reductions were recorded in hepatic (62.9% and 83.6%) and intestinal tissue egg load (57.4% and 73.5%), granuloma count (75.4% and 89.1%) and diameter (26.2% and 47.3%), in response to the drug regimens, respectively. In addition, both treatment regimens induced significant decrease in liver (23.3% and 32.8%) and spleen (37.5% and 45.3%) indices. Also, there were significant reductions in mature ova, total worm and female count, which were more prominent with the higher dose. The reduction in the level of nitric oxide in the liver by both therapeutic regimens to 22.5% and 47.2% indicates the anti-oxidant activity of PPQ-8. Bright field microscopic examination of worms recovered from infected and PPQ-8-treated mice showed nearly empty intestinal caeca with no observable changes in the tegument. Our findings hold promise for the development of a novel anti-schistosomal drug using PPQ-8, but further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to elucidate the possible mechanism/s of action and to study the effect of PPQ-8 on other human schistosomes.
Three-dimensional printing is a revolutionary technology that is disrupting the status quo in surgery. It has been rapidly adopted by otolaryngology as a tool in surgical simulation for high-risk, low-frequency procedures. This systematic review comprehensively evaluates the contemporary usage of three-dimensional printed otolaryngology simulators.
A systematic review of the literature was performed with narrative synthesis.
Twenty-two articles were identified for inclusion, describing models that span a range of surgical tasks (temporal bone dissection, airway procedures, functional endoscopic sinus surgery and endoscopic ear surgery). Thirty-six per cent of articles assessed construct validity (objective measures); the other 64 per cent only assessed face and content validity (subjective measures). Most studies demonstrated positive feedback and high confidence in the models’ value as additions to the curriculum.
Whilst further studies supported with objective metrics are merited, the role of three-dimensional printed otolaryngology simulators is poised to expand in surgical training given the enthusiastic reception from trainees and experts alike.
The archaeological site of Saruq al-Hadid, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, presents a long sequence of persistent temporary human occupation on the northern edge of the Rub’ al-Khali desert. The site is located in active dune fields, and evidence for human activity is stratified within a deep sequence of natural dune deposits that reflect complex taphonomic processes of deposition, erosion and reworking. This study presents the results of a program of radiocarbon (14C) and thermoluminescence dating on deposits from Saruq al-Hadid, allied with studies of material remains, which are amalgamated with the results of earlier absolute dating studies provide a robust chronology for the use of the site from the Bronze Age to the Islamic period. The results of the dating program allow the various expressions of human activity at the site—ranging from subsistence activities such as hunting and herding, to multi-community ritual activities and large scale metallurgical extraction—to be better situated chronologically, and thus in relation to current debates regarding the development of late prehistoric and early historic societies in southeastern Arabia.
Agricultural practices are likely to lower nitrogen (N) fertilization inputs for economic and ecological limitation reasons. The objective of the current study was to assess genotypic variation in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and related parameters of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) as well as the relative grain yield performance under sandy soil conditions. A sub-set of 16 spring wheat genotypes was studied over 2 years at five N levels (0, 70, 140, 210 and 280 kg N/ha). Results indicated significant differences among genotypes and N levels for grain yield and yield components as well as NUE. Genotypes with high NUE exhibited higher plant biomass, grain and straw N concentration and grain yield than those with medium and low NUE. Utilization efficiency (grain-NUtE) was more important than uptake efficiency (total NUpE) in association with grain yield. Nitrogen supply was found to have a substantial effect on genotype; Line 6052 as well as Shandawel 1, Gemmiza 10, Gemmiza 12, Line 6078 and Line 6083 showed higher net assimilation rate, more productive tillers, increased number of spikes per unit area and grains per spike, extensive N concentration in grain and straw, heavier grains, higher biological yield and consequently maximized grain yield. The relative importance of NUE-associated parameters such as nitrogen agronomic efficiency, nitrogen physiological efficiency and apparent nitrogen recovery as potential targets in breeding programmes for increased NUE genotypes is also mentioned.
The role of tachoclines, the thin shear layers that separate solid body from differential rotation in the interior of late-type stars, in stellar dynamos is still controversial. In this work we discuss their relevance in view of recent results from global dynamo simulations performed with the EULAG-MHD code. The models have solar-like stratification and different rotation rates (i.e., different Rossby number). Three arguments supporting the key role of tachoclines are presented: the solar dynamo cycle period, the origin of torsional oscillations and the scaling law of stellar magnetic fields as function of the Rossby number. This scaling shows a regime where the field strength increases with the rotation and a saturated regime for fast rotating stars. These properties are better reproduced by models that consider the convection zone and a fraction of the radiative core, naturally developing a tachocline, than by those that consider only the convection zone.
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a simple, powerful state-of-the-art gene amplification technique used for the rapid diagnosis and early detection of microbial diseases. Many LAMP assays have been developed and validated for important epizootic diseases of livestock. We review the LAMP assays that have been developed for the detection of 18 viruses deemed notifiable of ruminants, swine and poultry by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). LAMP provides a fast (the assay often takes less than an hour), low cost, highly sensitive, highly specific and less laborious alternative to detect infectious disease agents. The LAMP procedure can be completed under isothermal conditions so thermocyclers are not needed. The ease of use of the LAMP assay allows adaptability to field conditions and works well in developing countries with resource-limited laboratories. However, this technology is still underutilized in the field of veterinary diagnostics despite its huge capabilities.
By conducting a case-control study in two university hospitals, we explored the association between modifiable risk behaviours and diarrhoea. Children aged <5 years attending outpatient clinics for diarrhoea were matched by age and sex with controls. Data were collected on family demographics, socioeconomic indicators, and risk behaviour practices. Two rectal swabs and a stool specimen were collected from cases and controls. Samples were cultured for bacterial pathogens using standard techniques and tested by ELISA to detect rotavirus and Cryptosporidium spp. Four hundred cases and controls were enrolled between 2007 and 2009. The strongest independent risk factors for diarrhoea were: presence of another household member with diarrhoea [matched odds ratio (mOR) 4·9, 95% CI 2·8–8·4] in the week preceding the survey, introduction to a new kind of food (mOR 3, 95% CI 1·7–5·4), and the child being cared for outside home (mOR 2·6, 95% CI 1·3–5·2). While these risk factors are not identifiable, in some age groups more easily modifiable risk factors were identified including: having no soap for handwashing (mOR 6·3, 95% CI 1·2–33·9) for children aged 7–12 months, and pacifier use (mOR 1·9, 95% CI 1·0–3·5) in children aged 0–6 months. In total, the findings of this study suggest that community-based interventions to improve practices related to sanitation and hygiene, handwashing and food could be utilized to reduce the burden of diarrhoea in Egyptian children aged <5 years.
Strain characteristics of 51 Shigella sonnei isolates obtained from children seeking medical care (MC) and 48 isolates recovered during a prospective diarrhoea birth cohort (BC) study were compared. Biochemical characterization and antibiotic susceptibility testing determined that all S. sonnei isolates were biotype g and multidrug-resistant. Plasmid profiling identified 15 closely related patterns and XbaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis confirmed the high degree of genetic similarity between isolates. All S. sonnei isolates harboured ipaH and class II integrase genes and 84·3 and 80% of the MC and BC isolates, respectively carried the sen gene. Neither the class I integrase nor the set gene was detected. Our results indicate that S. sonnei isolates associated with severe diarrhoea were indistinguishable from those associated with mild diarrhoea. Additional genetic tests with greater discrimination might offer an opportunity to determine genetic differences within the globally disseminating biotype g clone.
The risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is known to begin before birth and the impact of the intrauterine environment on subsequent adult health is currently being investigated from many quarters. Following our studies demonstrating the impact of hypoxia in utero and consequent intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) on the rat cardiovascular system, we hypothesized that changes extend throughout the vasculature and alter function of the renal artery. In addition, we hypothesized that hypoxia induces renal senescence as a potential mediator of altered vascular function. We demonstrated that IUGR females had decreased responses to the adrenergic agonist phenylephrine (PE; pEC50 6.50 ± 0.05 control v. 6.17 ± 0.09 IUGR, P < 0.05) and the endothelium-dependent vasodilator methylcholine (MCh; Emax 89.8 ± 7.0% control v. 41.0 ± 6.5% IUGR, P < 0.001). In IUGR females, this was characterised by increased basal nitric oxide (NO) modulation of vasoconstriction (PE pEC50 6.17 ± 0.09 IUGR v. 6.42 ± 0.08 in the presence of the NO synthase inhibitor N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME; P < 0.01) but decreased activated NO modulation (no change in MCh responses in the presence of l-NAME), respectively. In contrast, IUGR males had no changes in PE or MCh responses but demonstrated increased basal NO (PE pEC50 6.29 ± 0.06 IUGR v. 6.42 ± 0.12 plus l-NAME, P < 0.01) and activated NO (Emax 37.8 ± 9.4% control v. −0.8 ± 13.0% plus l-NAME, P < 0.05) modulation. No significant changes were found in gross kidney morphology, proteinuria or markers of cellular senescence in either sex. In summary, renal vascular function was altered by hypoxia in utero in a sex-dependent manner but was unlikely to be mediated by premature renal senescence.
We establish a q-Titchmarsh-Weyl theory for singular q-Sturm-Liouville problems. We define q-limit-point and q-limit circle singularities, and we give sufficient conditions which guarantee that the singular point is in a limit-point case. The resolvent is constructed in terms of Green’s function of the problem. We derive the eigenfunction expansion in its series form. A detailed worked example involving Jackson q-Bessel functions is given. This example leads to the completeness of a wide class of q-cylindrical functions.
Diversity within Shigella dysenteriae (n=40) and Shigella boydii (n=30) isolates from children living in Egypt aged <5 years was investigated. Shigella-associated diarrhoea occurred mainly in summer months and in children aged <3 years, it commonly presented with vomiting and fever. Serotypes 7 (30%), 2 (28%), and 3 (23%) accounted for most of S. dysenteriae isolates; 50% of S. boydii isolates were serotype 2. S. dysenteriae and S. boydii isolates were often resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline (42%, 17%, respectively), although resistance varied among serotypes. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis separated the isolates into distinct clusters correlating with species and serotype. Genetic differences in trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and β-lactam-encoding resistance genes were also evident. S. dysenteriae and S. boydii are genetically diverse pathogens in Egypt; the high level of multidrug resistance associated with both pathogens and resistance to the most available inexpensive antibiotics underlines the importance of continuing surveillance.
This paper concerns a nonlinear doubly degenerate reaction–diffusion equation which appears in a bacterial growth model and is also of considerable mathematical interest. A travelling wave analysis for the equation is carried out. In particular, the qualitative behaviour of both sharp and smooth travelling wave solutions is analysed. This travelling wave behaviour is also verified by some numerical computations for a special case.
Thin Films of Azo Dye (1-Phenylazo-2-Naphthol) have been prepared by
thermal evaporation technique onto quartz substrates held at about 300 K
during the deposition process with different thicknesses range 625–880 nm. X-ray diffraction and the differential thermal analysis showed that the
Azo Dye sample is crystalline nature and thermal stable in temperature range
from room temperature to 100
C. The optical constants (the refractive
index n, the absorption index k and the absorption coefficient α)
were calculated for Azo Dye (1-Phenylazo-2-Naphthol) thin films by using
spectrophotometer measurements of the transmittance and reflectance at
normal incidence in the spectral range 400–2200 nm. The obtained values
of both n and k were found to be independent of the film thicknesses. The
refractive index has anomalous behavior in the wavelength range 400–1000 nm besides a high energy transition at 2.385 eV. The optical parameters (the
dispersion energy Ed, the oscillation energy Eo, the room
temperature optical dielectric constant
, the lattice
, the high frequency dielectric
and the ratio of carrier concentration
to the effective mass
) were calculated. The allowed optical transition
responsible for optical absorption was found to be direct transition with
optical energy gap of 1.5 eV for Azo Dye sample. The band tail obeys
Urbach's empirical relation.
We investigate the zeros of q-Bessel functions of the second and third types as well as those of the associated finite q-Hankel transforms. We derive asymptotic relations of the zeros of the q-Bessel functions by comparison with zeros of the theta function. The asymptotics of q-Bessel functions are also given. Zeros of finite q-Hankel transforms of q-summable functions are shown to be real and simple except for a finite number of possible non real zeros. Sufficient conditions are given to guarantee that all zeros are real. We give some applications concerning zeros of combinations of q-Bessel functions.