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Considering a potential exercise-drug interaction, we investigated whether exercise training could improve the efficacy of specific antiparasitic chemotherapy in a rodent model of Chagas disease. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: sedentary and uninfected (CT); sedentary and infected (SI); sedentary, infected and treated (SIT); trained and infected (TI); trained, infected and treated (TIT). After 9-weeks running training, the animals were infected with T. cruzi and followed up for 4 weeks, receiving 100 mg kg−1 day−1 benznidazole. No evidence of myocarditis was observed in CT animals. TI animals exhibited reduced parasitemia, myocarditis, and reactive tissue damage compared to SI animals, in addition to increased IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, heart non-protein antioxidant (NPA) levels and glutathione-s transferase activity (P < 0.05). The CT, SIT and TIT groups presented similar reductions in parasitemia, cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MCP-1), inflammatory infiltrate, oxidative heart damage and antioxidant enzymes activity compared to SI and TI animals, as well as reduced heart microstructural remodeling (P < 0.05). By modulating heart inflammation and redox metabolism, exercise training exerts a protective effect against T. cruzi infection in rats. However, the antiparasitic and cardioprotective effects of benznidazole chemotherapy are more pronounced, determining similar endpoints in sedentary and trained T. cruzi-infected rats.
Meteorological and even human-made disasters are increasing every year in frequency and magnitude. The passage of a disaster affects a society without distinction, but groups with social vulnerability (low socioeconomic status, chronic medical, or psychological conditions, limited access to resources) face the most significant impact. As a result, psychological and behavioral symptoms (eg, depression and anxiety) can ensue, making the immediate response of mental health services crucial. Secondary data from a database of a temporary healthcare unit were analyzed. A total of 54 records were reviewed to collect information; univariate and bivariate analyses were done. The purpose of this article is to present our experience regarding the incorporation of a mental health services model, with its respective benefits and challenges, into a temporary healthcare unit, after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Nematodes of the genus Physaloptera are globally distributed and more than 100 species are known. Their life cycle involves insects, including beetles, cockroaches and crickets, as intermediate hosts. This study describes a new species of Physaloptera and reports molecular phylogenetic analyses to determine its relationships within the family Physalopteridae. Physaloptera amazonica n. sp. is described from the stomach of the caviomorph rodent Proechimys gardneri collected in the Amazon rainforest in the state of Acre, Brazil. The species is characterized by the male having the first and second pair of sessile papillae asymmetrically placed, lacking a median papilla-like protuberance between the third pairs of sessile papillae, differentiated by size and shape of the spicules, while females have four uterine branches. For both nuclear 18S rRNA and MT-CO1 gene-based phylogenies, we recovered Turgida sequences forming a clade nested within Physaloptera, thus making Physaloptera paraphyletic to the exclusion of Turgida, suggesting that the latter may have evolved from the former monodelphic ancestral state to a derived polydelphic state, or that some species of Physaloptera may belong to different genera. Relationships between most taxa within Physaloptera were poorly resolved in our phylogenies, producing multifurcations or a star phylogeny. The star-like pattern may be attributed to evolutionary processes where past simultaneous species diversification events took place. Physaloptera amazonica n. sp. formed an independent lineage, separately from the other species of Physaloptera, thus supporting the status of a new species. However, all molecular data suggested a closer relationship with other Neotropical species. In conclusion, we added a new species to this already largely diverse genus Physaloptera, bringing new insights to its phylogenetic relationships. Further analyses, adding more species and markers, should provide a better understanding of the evolutionary history of physalopterids.
Mental health issues, often manifested as behavioural difficulties, in children are estimated to be high in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) settings. There is a paucity of definitive data due to a lack of well-validated tools to use across settings. This review aims to provide evidence on what tools are used and which have been adapted and validated in LMIC settings.
We performed a systematic review to identify tools used to assess or screen externalising behaviour problems in children and adolescents in LMIC and assess their cultural adaptations. We searched for studies measuring externalising behaviour in children from 0 to 19 years published up to September 2018. Articles were assessed to identify tools used and analysed using the Ecological Validity Framework.
We identified 82 articles from over 50 LMICs who had studied externalising behaviour in children. Twenty-seven tools were identified, with a predominance of studies using tools from the USA and Europe. Most studies did not describe an adaptation and evaluation process, with only one study following recommended criteria. New tools were identified which both screen and assess externalising behaviour which have not yet been utilised across settings.
Although tools from the USA and Europe are often utilised to screen and assess for externalising behaviour problems in children in LMICs, the conceptual frameworks behind the use of these tools in other cultural contexts are not always carefully examined. In order to have valid data across cultures, we should aim to adapt and validate tools before use. Provision of processes to validate tools across LMIC settings would be beneficial.
A low cost robotic-assisted prototype for finger and hand rehabilitation of people affected by a stroke is presented. The system was developed by a team of undergraduate students led by a Design lecturer in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Unit of the Peñablanca Public Hospital in Chile.
The system consists of a flexion sensor equipped glove, a hand exoskeleton and an Arduino control unit. The patient wears the glove in his healthy hand. When s/he performs movements with the healthy hand, the sensors register the flexion of the fingers and send this information to the servo motors installed in an exoskeleton attached to the affected hand. In this way, the affected hand reproduces the movement of the healthy hand. The system uses a combination of the mirror therapy (the patient sees his/her affected hand moving in the same way that the healthy hand does) and passive exercising (as the exoskeleton produces the movement of the hand affected by the stroke). The combination of two types of therapy in a single low cost system makes the present work unique. In the near future, the developed prototype will be used to validate the effectiveness of the new proposed robotic therapy.
The main aim of this study was to confirm the relationship between executive performance and salivary alpha-amylase (SAA) activity in a sample of 64 healthy children (39 boys), and compare it to the association of SAA output and salivary flow rate (SFR). Executive functioning was assessed via fluency, trail-making, rings and inhibition tasks from the Batería de Evaluación Neuropsicológica de la Función Ejecutiva en Niños [Battery of Neuropsychological Assessment for Executive Function in Children] (ENFEN), merged into an ENFEN total score. SAA activity, output, and SFR were measured at baseline, one minute before, and one minute after the end of a neuropsychological testing session. Our results confirmed a direct, linear and significant association between SAA activity and executive functioning, r(64) = .351, p < .05, and extended it to SAA output, r(64) =.431, p < .05. The mean level of SAA output was the best predictor of executive functioning (β = .431, p < .05) and explained 18.2 % of the variance in ENFEN total score. In sum, and compared to SAA activity, measuring SAA output may be a more precise and indirect marker to assess executive functioning in children.
Short-term feeding studies have highlighted a phenomenon in Ca regulation that raises concerns around Ca absorption in dogs that may make an impact on commercial diets near to the maximum recommended level. A recent study to determine responses in dogs fed one of two diets differing in dietary Ca over 40 weeks found no evidence to suggest a concern across a range of biological parameters hypothesised to be affected by Ca. Unforeseen consequences of dietary Ca could have occurred and metabolic profiling was deemed a suitable data-driven approach to identify effects of dietary Ca. The objectives were to compare the fasted plasma metabolome (sampled at 8-week intervals over 40 weeks) of dogs fed one of two diets, near to the minimum and maximum recommended levels of dietary Ca. Comparisons with the control diet were also investigated across the postprandial time course (1–4 h) following acute (1 d) and long-term (24 weeks) feeding of the test diet. Comparing fasted plasma samples at each time point, no significant effect (adjusted P < 0·05) of diet on metabolites was observed. In the postprandial state, only phosphate was consistently different between diets and was explained by additional dietary P to maintain Ca:P. Metabolic profiling analysis supports the view that the dietary Ca upper limit is safe. Additionally, the canine plasma metabolome was characterised, providing insights into the stability of individual profiles across 40 weeks, the response to consumption of a nutritionally complete meal over a 4 h postprandial time course and different kinetic categories of postprandial absorption.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
This work presents the synthesis of selenium-based nanoparticles via microwave-assisted heating and their subsequent characterization using UV-vis Spectroscopy (UV-Vis), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), techniques. Ongoing research includes the study of the nanoparticles capacity to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS).
The problem of determining the threshold of motion of a sediment particle resting on the bed of an open channel has historically been dominated by an approach based on the time–space-averaged bed shear stress (i.e. Shields criterion). Recently, experimental studies have promoted an alternative approach to predict the dislodgement threshold, which is based on the impulse of the flow-induced force. Nonetheless, theoretical analyses accompanying these studies result in complex expressions that fail to provide a direct estimate of said impulse threshold. We employ the work–energy principle to derive a prediction of the fundamental impulse threshold that the destabilising hydrodynamic force must overcome in order to achieve full particle dislodgement. For the bed configuration studied, which is composed of spheres, the proposed expression depends on the mobile particle’s size and mass, and shows excellent agreement with experimental observations previously published. The derivation presented in this paper may thus represent a robust theoretical framework that aids in the reinterpretation of existing data, as well as in the design of future experiments aimed at analysing the importance of hydrodynamic impulse as a criterion for prediction of particle dislodgement.
The aim of this study was to assess the associations of intake of different types of meat with semen parameters and reproductive hormones in healthy young men. This cross-sectional study included 206 men, 18–23 years, from Southern Spain. All men completed a validated FFQ, underwent a physical examination, and provided blood and semen samples. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the associations between meat intake with semen quality parameters and reproductive hormones. Total meat intake was unrelated to semen quality or reproductive hormone levels. When subgroups of meat were separately considered, however, shellfish intake was positively related to progressive motility. The adjusted percentages of progressively motile spermatozoa for men in increasing quartiles of shellfish intake were 45·2, 42·0, 49·4 and 53·2 % with a significant linear trend across quartiles (Ptrend≤0·001). In contrast, men who consumed organ meats had significantly lower progressive sperm motility (51·5 v. 42·8 %; P = 0·001) and higher luteinising hormone levels (4·0 v. 4·6 IU/l; P = 0·03) compared with men who did not consume organ meats. Intake of shellfish and organ meats was low in this population, however. Given the scarcity of data on the relation between specific types of meat with semen quality and reproductive hormone levels, additional research is needed to confirm or refute these findings.
By using electrochemical tests, small signal variations were study by digital signal processing techniques. Electrochemical noise and electrochemical polarization curves were very useful to obtained electrochemical behavior of alloys, but the low signal levels of measurements obtained showed that some of the information was not likely to be measured and, therefore, not being able to identify. Graphene oxides (GO) samples were prepared by ball milling procedure adding Lithium. SIGVIEW software was used for Digital Signal studies. Comparing, the signals obtained by electrochemical techniques and the research by computational tools; it was possible to find out a behavior path of samples. Display devices made by graphene were observed to provide new information about the structure of samples and how nanotechnology area can be improved. The current investigation aimed at maintaining electrochemical stability, since different deformations, as twisting and bending are quite relevant in portable electronics devices.
Greases are essential in the electrical industry for the purpose of minimizing wear and coefficient of friction (COF) between the components of circuit breakers. Nowadays some researchers have explored the addition of nanoparticles to enhance their tribological properties. In this study, tribological tests were performed on different greases employed for the electrical industry. CuO and ZnO nanoparticles were homogeneously dispersed into the greases, varying their concentration (0.01 wt.%, 0.05 wt.%, and 0.10 wt.%). A four-ball tribotest, according to ASTM D-2266, and a ball-on-disk tribotest, according to ASTM G-99, were performed in order to analyze the wear scar diameter (WSD), COF, wear mass loss and worn area. The worn materials were characterized with an optical 3D profilometer measurement system. Anti-wear properties were enhanced up to 29.30% for the lithium complex grease (LG) with no nanoparticles added, in comparison with the aluminum complex grease (AG), providing a much better tribological performance; in the ball-on-disk tribotests, a 72.80% and a 15.74% reduction in the mass loss and COF were achieved, respectively. The addition of nanoparticles was found to provide improvements of 5.31% in WSD for the AG grease and 34.49% in COF for the LG grease. A pilot test was performed following the security test UL489, achieving a reduction of 45.17% in the worn area achieved by LG grease compared to AG grease.