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To estimate the consumption of ultra-processed foods and determine its association with dietary quality among middle-aged Japanese adults.
Cross-sectional study using data from the Saitama Prefecture Health and Nutrition Survey 2011. Dietary intake was assessed using one- or two-day dietary records. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors were obtained via self-administered questionnaire. Food items were classified according to the NOVA system into four groups: unprocessed or minimally processed foods; processed culinary ingredients; processed foods; and ultra-processed foods. The dietary share of each NOVA food group and their subgroups was calculated in relation to total energy intake, and the average dietary content of key nutrients was determined across tertiles of the dietary energy share of ultra-processed foods (low, middle and high intake).
Saitama Prefecture in Japan.
Community-dwelling adults aged 30–59 years (256 men, 361 women).
Consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods and ultra-processed foods contributed 44·9 (se 0·8) %, 5·5 (se 0·2) %, 11·3 (se 0·4) % and 38·2 (se 0·9) % of total daily energy intake, respectively. A positive and statistically significant linear trend was found between the dietary share of ultra-processed foods (tertiles) and the dietary content of total and saturated fat, while an inverse relationship was observed for protein, vitamin K, vitamin B6, dietary fibre, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Our findings show that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with decreased dietary quality among Japanese adults.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
The ability of “comfort-food” (CF) diet to revert long-term effects of early-life stress (ELS) is less well known. The objective of this study was to verify if the chronic exposure to CF diet in animals submitted to ELS could relief the stress response at behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neurobiochemical levels, via differences in glucocorticoid receptors expression in brain areas involved in the stress response. From the second day of life, litters of Wistar rats and their mothers were submitted to the reduced nesting material protocol (ELS). In adult life, ELS and a control group were exposed chronically to two diet schemes: standard rat chow only or both “CF” diet, containing fat (34%) and sugar (20%) and a diet similar to the standard diet. Anxiety-like behavior, neuroendocrine response stress, leptin, GR, SOCS-3, pSTAT3, and the abdominal fat were evaluated. The anxiety-like behavior results showed that ELS group when exposed to comfort food were not different from the others groups. Chronic exposure to CF diet induced an anxiety-like behavior in the control group. Groups chronically exposed to CF diet had lower levels of corticosterone over time independent of the neonatal group. The ELS group exposed to the “CF” diet had higher levels of hippocampal GR, lower levels of hypothalamic SOCS-3 and greater accumulation of abdominal fat. Chronic CF diet consumption is able to reduce corticosterone levels independent of the neonatal history, but is associated with anxiety-like behavior in animals without previous history of trauma. Metabolic disturbances like increased adiposity and altered SOCS-3 seem to be a result of multiple insults (neonatal trauma followed by chronic CF diet). We highlight that the Control-chow and ELS-chow data were previously published, and are included in this study for comparative analysis.
This study aimed to determine the cutoff and the specificity and sensitivity of the Emotion Thermometers (ET) in a Portuguese sample of cancer patients.
A total of 147 patients (mean age = 49.2; SD = 12.6) completed the ET, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Subjective Experiences of Illness Suffering Inventory. Data were collected in a cancer support institution and in a major hospital in the North of Portugal.
The optimal cutoff for the Anxiety Thermometer was 5v6 (until 5 and 6 or more), which identified 74% of the BSI-anxiety cases and 70% of noncases. The Depression Thermometer cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 85% of BSI-depression cases and 82% of noncases. Cutoff for the Anger Thermometer was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 83% of BSI-hostility cases and 73% of noncases; for the Distress Thermometer, the optimal cutoff was 4v5 (until 4 and 5 or more), which identified 84% of the suffering cases and 73% of noncases. Finally, for the Help Thermometer, it was 3v4 (until 3 and 4 or more), which helped to identify 93% of the suffering cases and 64% of noncases.
Significance of results
Results supported the Portuguese version of the ET as an important screening tool for identifying the emotional distress in cancer patients.
Levamisole (Lms) is an anthelminthic drug with immunomodulatory activity. Chagas disease (CD) is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and there is very low access to the drugs available, benznidazole (Bz) and nifurtimox, both far from ideal. In a drug-repurposing strategy to test potential activity as antiparasitic and immunomodulatory agent for CD, Lms was assayed on acute T. cruzi murine infection, alone and in co-administration with Bz. During protocol standardization, 100 and 10 mpk of Bz given for five consecutive days resulted in parasitaemia suppression and 100% animal survival only with the highest dose. Flow cytometry showed that both optimal (100 mpk) and suboptimal (10 mpk) doses of Bz equally decreased the plasma levels of cytokines commonly elevated in this acute infection model. Lms alone (10–0.5 mpk) did not decrease parasitaemia nor mortality rates. Co-administration was investigated using the suboptimal dose of Bz and different doses of Lms. While Bz 10 mpk did not alter parasitaemia, the combo partially reduced it but only slightly promoted animal survival. This effect could be related to Th1-response modulation since interleukin-6 and interferon-γ were higher after treatment with the combo.
Obtention of titanium (Ti)- and titanium dioxide (TiO2)–based nanocomposites is of great interest for biological nanomaterial applications, including for dental implants. Their mechanical properties can be improved by use of hydroxyapatite (HA) and chitosan through their biological anchorage with osseointegration and antibacterial activity. Electrochemical methods were chosen to obtain these composites in a quick and controllable way. In this work, electrochemical synthesis in one (alternated potential) or two steps (alternated or constant potential) was successfully applied. The single step (SS) obtained TiO2 + HA sample had different optical properties, as shown using ultraviolet–visible spectrometry, and the HA phase formation was proved using Raman spectroscopy. Thereby, SS_TiO2 + HA increased the corrosion resistance of titanium in artificial saliva medium, as shown by linear polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results. When using chitosan, the samples showed two corrosion interfaces, indicating its dissolution in human medium. These results indicate that the samples are excellent materials for dental implants.
For more than four decades after the introduction of cv. Italia (Vitis vinifera L.) in Brazil, several somatic mutations in the genome of cv. Italia and its somatic mutants gave rise to phenotypes which generated at least five new cultivars of fine table grapes. Since no molecular marker proved to be effective in discriminating cv. Italia (V. vinifera L.) and its coloured mutants (Rubi, Benitaka, Brasil, Black Star), primers for the long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences were developed to analyse Inter Retrotransposon Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) and Retrotransposon-Microsatellite Amplified Polymorphism (REMAP), and investigate how the coloured cultivars derived from clonal propagations of somatic mutations are genetically structured. Primers for LTR sequences of IRAP and REMAP markers were edited from grape sequence databases available at a GenBank. Twenty-four primers, denominated DKS001–DKS024, were edited. Three hundred and forty-nine DNA segments were amplified by individual DKS primers and DKS/ISSR (Inter Simple Sequence Repeats) primer combinations, at an average of 13.96 amplicons per primer pair. High genetic divergence between the five cultivars was inferred from polymorphism in retrotransposons IRAP and REMAP. The analysis of polymorphism of IRAP and REMAP retrotransposons was crucial to show that clonal propagation of somatic mutations may lead towards the formation of genetically divergent cultivars by the formation of genetically structured vineyards and show the mixture of genomes within each cultivar.
The food processing industry highlights the daily generation of large amounts of eggshell solid residue. In this way, this residue becomes a non renewable raw material to be reused as an additive in red ceramics, in order to reduce the volume of disposal to the environment and improve the physical properties of the product. The objective of this work was to evaluate the forming moisture, linear shrinkage of drying and shrinkage of drying burning of ceramic test pieces (CS’s) with formulations with 2% and 3% of white eggshell residue (ER) incorporated in clay. The clay and ER were collected in the city of Pelotas-RS. The ER sample was analyzed by X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). After pressing, natural and artificial drying was carried out and the CS’s were burned. These were evaluated through normative parameters C-020/95, C-021/95 and C-026/95. The values obtained for the forming moisture were between 5.82 and 8.78%, for the linear shrinkage of drying between 0.10 and 0.43% and, for the linear contraction burning between -0.29 and 0.08%. The results showed that the addition of ER to the ceramic mass helped in the reduction of the forming moisture and the linear shrinkage of the ceramic test pieces.
The purpose of this article is to provide a comparative analysis of the transnational legal processes that Brazil and Argentina underwent to address money laundering. The article discusses the interaction between the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) norms and a number of changes both countries have experienced in the last decade. The comparison focuses on the three central pillars of the anti-money laundering order (AMLO): criminalization, administrative obligations imposed on the financial sectors, and the creation of a financial intelligence unit. Building from the analytical framework developed by Shaffer (2011), the evidence gathered in this study illustrates different dimensions of state change and highlights the main challenges to assess the effectiveness (output legitimacy) of transnational legal orders empirically.
Debates over whether transnational and international legal institutions are fair, effective, or legitimate responses to corruption of local public officials have an important empirical dimension. We use case studies to examine whether foreign legal institutions serve as fair, effective, and legitimate complements to local anticorruption institutions. We refer to this set of claims as the “institutional complementarity theory.” The first case study centers on proceedings concerning bribes paid by subsidiaries of Siemens AG, a German company, to obtain and retain a contract to provide national identity cards for the Argentine government. The second case study examines events stemming from overbilling in the construction of a courthouse in Brazil. Analysis of these cases suggests that the institutional complementary theory is credible. At the same time, the findings suggest that local institutions have greater potential, and foreign institutions have more limited potential, than the theory assumes.
To compare the accuracy of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in tracking mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
A Systematic review of the PubMed, Bireme, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo databases was conducted. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria and staring with 1,629 articles, 34 articles were selected. The quality of the selected research was evaluated through the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool (QUADAS-2).
More than 80% of the articles showed MoCA to be superior to MMSE in discriminating between individuals with mild cognitive impairment and no cognitive impairment. The area under the curve varied from 0.71 to 0.99 for MoCA, and 0.43 to 0.94 for MMSE, when evaluating the ability to discriminate MCI in the cognitively healthy elderly individuals, and 0.87 to 0.99 and 0.67 to 0.99, respectively, when evaluating the detection of AD. The AUC mean value for MoCA was significantly larger compared to the MMSE in discriminating MCI from control [0.883 (CI 95% 0.855-0.912) vs MMSE 0.780 (CI 95% 0.740-0.820) p < 0.001].
The screening tool MoCA is superior to MMSE in the identification of MCI, and both tests were found to be accurate in the detection of AD.
Co–Cr alloys, more specifically L605, have superior mechanical properties and high-corrosion resistance, making them suitable materials for cardiovascular application. However, metallic materials for biomedical applications require finely tuned surface properties to improve the material behavior in a physiological environment. Oxygen plasma immersion ion implantation was performed on an L605 alloy, after an electropolishing pre-treatment. The oxidized layer was found to be rich in Co and O, it did not show any trace of Cr, and resulted in nanostructured. The corrosion properties were profoundly changed. Endothelial cells showed high viability after 7 days of contact with some modified surfaces.
The source of starch may interfere with glycaemic control in dogs, but few studies have evaluated these aspects in diabetic dogs. This study compared the effects of two isonutrient diets with different starch sources, peas and barley (PB) v. maize (Mi), on diabetic dogs. The Mi diet was processed in order to generate a lower starch gelatinisation index. In all, fifteen adult diabetic dogs without other conditions were included. The animals were fed two dry extruded rations with moderate levels of fat and starch and high levels of protein and fibre using a random, double-blind cross-over design. Glycaemic curves over 48 h were developed via continuous glucose monitoring after 60 d on each diet and with the same neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin dosage. The following were compared: fasting, mean, maximum and minimum blood glucose, maximum and minimum glycaemia difference, glycaemic increment, area under the glycaemic curve, area under the glycaemic increment curve and serum fructosamine concentration. Paired t tests or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare the amount of food and nutrients ingested and the dietary effects on glycaemic variables between the diets. Dogs fed the PB diet presented a lower average mean interstitial glucose (P=0·01), longer mean hypoglycaemic time (P<0·01), shorter mean hyperglycaemic time (P<0·01) and smaller difference between maximum and minimum blood glucose levels (P=0·03). Thus, the processing applied to the Mi diet was not sufficient to achieve the same effects of PB on glycaemic control in diabetic dogs.
Statoliths are nonskeletal calcified structures included in most invertebrates’ gravireceptors. They have been identified and characterized in several gastropod and cephalopod molluscs and have proved to be very useful for age estimation, growth studies, and connectivity analysis, among other applications. Beyond the scarce available records on their occurrence in Class Bivalvia, statoliths are yet to be documented in the grooved carpet shell, Ruditapes decussatus, a species of high ecological and commercial value. An easy method for the extraction and processing of R. decussatus statoliths is described herein. The statolith growth was followed from the initial shell length (SL) of 2.5–3.5 mm (seed commercial size T1.5) for a period of 6 months in a nursery facility located in the Ria de Aveiro (an estuarine system in NW Portugal). The relationship between statolith diameter (StD) and SL follows the function StD=14.305 SL0.254 (N=173; r=0.855, p<0.001). All statoliths observed showed similar morphostructure and general chemistry: hard, translucent spheres of crystalline calcium oxalate (whewellite), with a central nucleus delimited by a growth check of 6.7±1.0 µm in diameter, possibly as a result of growth arrest during metamorphosis, a metamorphic ring, as described for their gastropod counterparts. Subsequent studies should validate this and will involve a search for the occurrence of additional checks that may potentially be present in older specimens and if they are, would open a new range of most promising applications for bivalve statoliths.
There are a number of studies describing the gross range of morpho-anatomical variability in epiphytic Tillandsia species, but the interspecific variation in seed traits remain largely unexplored, although these play an important role in determining dispersal and establishment success. In order to evaluate interspecific variation in seed morphology, anatomy and germination, we sampled six Tillandsia species from the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, distributed along a precipitation gradient. We studied morpho-anatomical traits (seed length, seed mass, ratio of coma to seed, ratio of embryo to endosperm), seed terminal velocity in still air, and performed histochemical analyses and germination trials under controlled conditions. Tillandsia recurvata differs from the other five species in the structure of the plumose coma; it was the only species lacking an endosperm and showed distinct seedling development. Among the species, bigger seeds were related to longer comas, and had higher germinability. Overall, seed terminal velocity was invariably slow, compared with reports of other anemochorous species, suggesting a high dispersal potential. Taxonomical and ecological implications of our results are discussed.