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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Recently, the telecommunication market experiences an explosion in the subscribers of emergent high-debit services which require bandwidth that exceeds the one provided by actual copper based access networks . To cope with these demands and keep competitive, great efforts have been done to develop access networks based on optical technology, such as passive all-optical networks due to their intrinsic low cost . Sol-gel processing is suitable for the development of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials for the production of functional integrated optic (IO) devices in a cost effective way. Urea cross-linked OIH show acceptable transparency, mechanical flexibility and thermal stability [3-6]. The control over the refractive index is achieved by zirconium (IV) n-propoxide (ZPO) doping stabilized with methacrylic acid (MA) [3-5]. The combination in a single material of urea cross-linked OIH and ZPO allowed the preparation of UV written low losses planar waveguides  and low rugosity diffraction grating [4,5]. It has been demonstrated that MA acts not only as ZPO stabilizer but impacts directly on the photopolimerization properties as it contains a photopolymerizable group making the OIH easily UV patterned without photoinitiator . Moreover, it also impacts on the OHIs local structure as it forms a complex with ZPO, that originate ordered clusters dispersed within the OIH host [4,5]. Besides the potential of this OIH as IO components, the hybrid hosts are room-temperature efficient white light emitters lacking metal activator ions, presenting quantum yields as higher as 20 % . In this work, a series of OIH, so called di-ureasils, formed of a siliceous skeleton to which oligopolyether chains of different lengths are covalently grafted by means of urea bridges and modified by ZPO and MA will be prepared and characterized by X-ray and small angle X-ray diffractions, Raman, infrared, atomic force and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The use of the proposed OIH in the development of IO functionalities such as optical filters will be evaluated based on waveguide numerical simulation methods (beam propagation method). Waveguides will be written and characterized using the OIH aforementioned. The recording of a Bragg grating in the waveguides allow the implementation of a wavelength discrimination device with applications on optical filtering. The relevant properties of the devices, such as spectral rejection and insertion losses will be characterized.  S-J Park et al. Journal of Lightwave Tech. 22, 2004.  D.J. Shin et al., Journal of Lightwave Tech. 23, 2005.  C. Molina et al., J. Mater. Chem. 15, 3937, 2005.  R.A. Sá Ferreira et al., Proceedings of the International Conference on Telecomunications, 2006.  P.S. André et al. Proceedings ICTON, 1, We.C1.6, 223, 2006.  a) L.D. Carlos et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 11, 111, 2001; b) J. Chem. Phys. B. 108, 14924, 2004. Siemens SA and FCT (POCTI/CTM/59075/2004) is gratefully acknowledged.
This Article criticizes two trends on the Brazilian literature of communitarian law: A mental exercise that can only be termed as an “EU analogy” and a need to evoke the Congress of Panama of 1826 as the origin of Mercosur. As odd as it may seem, those trends are somewhat connected. Comparisons between the European Union and Mercosur abound in scholarly works, and they became so popular that a more simplified version of this comparison came into being. When explaining the current dilemma that Mercosur faces—or any other predicament as well—Brazilian scholars often tend to provide only one solution consisting in a vague reference to the supranational character of the European Union. This reference appears out of context and solves any problem. A trend so common as the EU analogy exemplifies that some Brazilian experts on communitarian law have also assumed an idealized version of our neighbors’ take on the Latin America integration. Apparently, Mercosur dates back to the Congress of Panama of 1826 and Simón Bolívar’s ideals on Latin American integration. The story faces several historical obstacles and yet has spread so rapidly that it has acquired the stature of a true myth. This work presents these two inclinations and contends that one relies on the other. Rather than providing an accurate explanation, as one would expect on a scientific text, they justify a certain concealed intent. This Article employs an inductive method of approach and relies on primary sources to explain the foundational myth so to prevent historical misconceptions.
Ground-dwelling ants are active foragers that may extend their foraging area into the vegetation, although the factors affecting their diversity in the suspended litter of understorey plants remain overlooked. To evaluate the influence of the distance between strata, litter biomass and plant size on the ant fauna, the litter ant assemblage of the suspended stratum was compared with the ground immediately below the understorey treelet Erythrochiton brasiliensis (Rutaceae) in an Atlantic Forest, south-eastern Brazil. We collected 1364 ants from 26 ant species. The suspended litter ant assemblage represented a subset of the ground-dwelling ants present in soil litter. The beta diversity results primarily from the high ant species turnover among individual suspended-litter samples, and among ground-litter samples, while species turnover among suspended-ground pairs is lower. Additionally, plant height was not important in determining the species turnover between strata. However, plant height positively correlated with ant species richness, probably because of the increased number of microhabitats. These results suggest that suspended litter in the forest understorey can provide the conditions for ground-dwelling ants to forage and nest, functioning as a vertical extension of resources and microhabitat conditions present in the ground litter.
This study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively analyse the molluscan assemblages associated with a Halodule wrightii seagrass bed in a rarely studied area within a conservation unit in north-eastern Brazil. Seasonal and spatial changes in several seagrass meadow characteristics, including sediment, were evaluated to explain temporal and spatial variations in the molluscs found there. The molluscan community differed in its structure among periods and meadows, as well as in the composition of its infaunal and epifaunal assemblages. The results of this study indicated that molluscs are affected by the particular characteristics of a seagrass meadow, especially by its location in the intertidal zone, more than by the area of the meadow. Molluscs were also affected by other characteristics of the seagrass meadow, such as above-ground biomass and shoot density. Changes in all molluscan assemblages were also mediated by differences among months and seasons in this region of the western equatorial Atlantic, but not by seasonal changes of the meadow. The studied meadow was found to be one of the densest in Brazil, which has considerable importance to its associated fauna.
The present study provides a comprehensive survey of the planktonic hydrozoan fauna from the Paranaguá Estuarine System (PES; southern Brazil, 25°S 48°W), a subtropical estuary considered a Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO. Extensive collections were performed throughout the estuary in five sampling campaigns during the summer and winter periods of 2012 and 2013 and summer of 2014, totalling 185 samples. About 49,000 organisms were analysed which together with the few previous records resulted in a total of 36 hydromedusae and three siphonophore species. We highlight the presence of Cnidostoma fallax in high abundance (>19,000 individuals captured; ~40% of all planktonic hydrozoans). The high abundance of this species throughout three consecutive summers suggests a change in the local assemblage structure, since previous reports in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s had shown Liriope tetraphylla recurrently as the dominant species which now ranks fourth. It is difficult to ascertain the causes of such changes due to the paucity of previous studies on Brazilian estuaries, but one possibility is that C. fallax has been recently introduced. In any case, the high dominance of this hydromedusa was not expected and this scenario would potentially cause changes in the local food web since C. fallax and L. tetraphylla are quite different morphologically and ecologically and thus probably play different trophic roles. Future studies are necessary to check the long-term permanency of C. fallax and to assess its biology and ecology and the impact of this assemblage change on the ecosystem.
We describe the larval developmental stages and life cycle of the dracunculid nematode Mexiconema cichlasomae in both the intermediate, Argulus yucatanus (Crustacea: Branchiura), and definitive hosts, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Perciformes: Cichlidae), from the Celestun tropical coastal lagoon, Yucatan, Mexico. The morphological analyses showed significant differences between the total length of L1 found in M. cichlasomae gravid female and L2–L3 in A. yucatanus. This result indicates that the M. cichlasomae larval development occurs in the intermediate host. We obtained sequences from the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal marker from larval stages of M. cichlasomae in A. yucatanus and adult nematodes in C. urophthalmus. Our morphological and molecular results support conspecificity between M. cichlasomae larvae in A. yucatanus and the adult stages in C. urophthalmus. We briefly discuss the phylogenetic position of M. cichlasomae among the Daniconematidae, and provide evidence of the monophyly of the daniconematids associated with branchiurid intermediate hosts. Based on the phylogenetic results, we support the transfer of the Mexiconema genus to the family Skrjabillanidae and do not support the lowering of family Daniconematidae to subfamily.
The aim of this study was to re-examine the chronic effect (>7 d) of fructose consumption on postprandial TAG, in adolescents and adults. The research was carried out in March 2017 and used different electronic databases, such as Medline® (Pubmed®), Embase® and Cochrane. The review considered clinical trials (parallel or crossed) that evaluated the effect of fructose consumption for a period longer than 7 d, in humans. Two investigators independently performed data extraction. The outcome was the absolute delta of TAG concentration in a 4-h postprandial period. The results were presented with delta mean difference between treatments with 95 % CI. The calculations were made based on random-effect models. Statistical heterogeneity of treatment effects between studies was assessed by Cochrane’s ‘Q Test’ and ‘I2’ inconsistency test. The meta-analysis of the twelve selected interventions (n 318) showed that fructose generated larger variation (δ) of TAG concentrations during the postprandial period, compared with other carbohydrates (mean difference: 8·02 (95 % CI 0·46, 15·58) mg/dl (0·09 (95 % CI 0·01, 0·18) mmol/l); I2: 74 %). High heterogeneity was generated almost exclusively by one study, and its withdrawal did not alter the result. We concluded that chronic consumption of fructose (>7 d) has a negative role on postprandial TAG in healthy adolescents and adults, as well as in overweight/obese individuals, but not in diabetics.
One of the Leishmania species known to be non-infective to humans is Leishmania (Mundinia) enriettii whose vertebrate host is the guinea pig Cavia porcellus. It is a good model for cutaneous leishmaniasis, chemotherapeutic and molecular studies. In the last years, an increased interest has emerged concerning the L. (Mundinia) subgenus after the finding of Leishmania (M.) macropodum in Australia and with the description of other new/putative species such as L. (M.) martiniquensis and ‘L. (M.) siamensis’. This review focused on histopathology, glycoconjugates and innate immunity. The presence of Leishmania RNA virus and shedding of extracellular vesicles by the parasite were also evaluated.
The care of patients with CHD remains a challenge in low- and middle-income countries. Their health systems have not been able to achieve consistently high performance in this field. The large volume of patients, manpower constraints, inconsistencies in the level and type of background training of the teams caring for this patient population, and the inadequate quality control systems are some of the barriers to achieving excellence of care. We describe three different international projects supporting the paediatric cardiac surgical and paediatric cardiac intensive care programmes in Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
This study analyzed the management of intestinal parasitic infections in the Family Health Strategy covering Brazilian urban slums.
The Family Health Strategy is the preferred strategy for providing public, community-based primary health care in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). Through this strategy, Family Health teams are responsible for the health of residents of a defined territory, including health promotion, health education and control of neglected tropical diseases such as intestinal parasitic infections.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices surveys were applied with Family Health team members (n=58) and patients (n=571) of an agglomeration of Brazilian urban slums in Rio de Janeiro.
The management of intestinal parasitic infections and health promotion were limited. Health education was not considered an essential aspect of team members’ work and did not include environmental or social determinants of health. Community health workers and urban slum residents presented similar knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding intestinal parasitic infections.
Multiple, competing demands promote prioritization of the aspects of care where curative, biomedical activities predominate over prevention and an integral approach to health. However, the complex processes involving the cycle of poverty and disease go beyond the biomedical, limiting the potential for health in urban slums. Implications include a need to better prepare health professionals for primary health care services through reflection on local concerns and the social determinants of health, highlighting the importance of territorialized care and permanent education.
The worldwide consumption of red wine, nuts and grapes has resulted in increased human exposure to resveratrol, which could affect reproductive function. However, the effect of resveratrol on in vitro culture of early-stage ovarian follicles has never been investigated. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effect of resveratrol on sheep secondary follicle morphology, growth, DNA fragmentation, intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH) and active mitochondria. Secondary follicles were isolated from the ovaries and cultured for 18 days in supplemented α-MEM+ (control medium) or in control medium containing resveratrol (2, 10 or 30 µM). The parameters analyzed were morphology, antrum formation, follicle diameter, DNA fragmentation, GSH levels and mitochondrial activity. After 18 days, all resveratrol groups significantly decreased the percentages of morphologically normal follicles compared with the control group (α-MEM+). Antrum formation was higher in both α-MEM+ and 2 µM resveratrol groups than in the 10 µM resveratrol group. In addition, 30 µM resveratrol increased the percentage of oocytes with DNA damage compared with the control. Oocytes from follicles treated with 10 or 30 µM resveratrol significantly decreased intracellular GSH levels compared with the 2 µM resveratrol group. Moreover, follicles in α-MEM+ (control) showed more active mitochondria than those in 10 or 30 µM resveratrol. In conclusion, ovine isolated secondary follicles are able to grow to the antral stage after in vitro culture in medium containing 2 µM resveratrol, maintaining the same rates of DNA damage, GSH levels and mitochondrial function as the control medium. However, the addition of 30 µM resveratrol increased DNA fragmentation and oxidative stress through decreasing mitochondrial activity.
Trypanosoma cruzi is exposed to oxidative stresses during its life cycle, and amongst the strategies employed by this parasite to deal with these situations sits a peculiar trypanothione-dependent antioxidant system. Remarkably, T. cruzi’s antioxidant repertoire does not include catalase. In an attempt to shed light on what are the reasons by which this parasite lacks this enzyme, a T. cruzi cell line stably expressing catalase showed an increased resistance to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) when compared with wild-type cells. Interestingly, preconditioning carried out with low concentrations of H2O2 led untransfected parasites to be as much resistant to this oxidant as cells expressing catalase, but did not induce the same level of increased resistance in the latter ones. Also, presence of catalase decreased trypanothione reductase and increased superoxide dismutase levels in T. cruzi, resulting in higher levels of residual H2O2 after challenge with this oxidant. Although expression of catalase contributed to elevated proliferation rates of T. cruzi in Rhodnius prolixus, it failed to induce a significant increase of parasite virulence in mice. Altogether, these results indicate that the absence of a gene encoding catalase in T. cruzi has played an important role in allowing this parasite to develop a shrill capacity to sense and overcome oxidative stress.
Cognitive interventions (either restorative or compensatory) developed for mild Alzheimer's Disease (AD) have been tested widely with cognitive measures, but less is known about how the effects of such interventions are generalizable to daily functioning. In the present study, we looked at affective state and perceived functionality and quality of life indicators, for three different cognitive rehabilitation programs.
Fifty-one AD patients in the mild stage of the disease were selected for the study and were randomly assigned to one of three cognitive training groups: (1) Memo+ (a paper and pencil memory training program); (2) SenseCam (wearable camera used as a passive external memory aid); (3) Written diary (a personal journal, used as control condition). All patients attended 11 sessions, twice a week, of 1-hour length. The three outcome indicators were examined with standardized instruments applied before the intervention, one week after and at six months follow-up.
After treatment, the SenseCam and Memo+ groups had significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to the Diary control condition. The same was found for measures of perceived functional capacity. No intervention effects were found for quality of life measures. The immediate effects of the interventions were not maintained at follow-up.
Our results suggest that two types of memory rehabilitation can improve depressive symptomology and instrumental activities of daily living, suggesting that these interventions can stimulate not only cognition but also well-being, at least in the short term.
The present study investigated the impact of a western diet during gestation and lactation on the anthropometry, serum biochemical, blood pressure and cardiovascular autonomic control on the offspring. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups according to their mother’s diet received: control group (C: 18% calories of lipids) and westernized group (W: 32% calories of lipids). After weaning both groups received standard diet. On the 60th day of life, blood samples were collected for the analysis of fasting glucose and lipidogram. Cardiovascular parameters were measured on the same period. Autonomic nervous system modulation was evaluated by spectrum analysis of heart rate (HR) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP). The W increased glycemia (123±2 v. 155±2 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein (15±1 v. 31±2 mg/dl), triglycerides (49±1 v. 85±2 mg/dl), total cholesterol (75±2 v. 86±2 mg/dl), and decreased high-density lipoprotein (50±4 v. 38±3 mg/dl), as well as increased body mass (209±4 v. 229±6 g) than C. Furthermore, the W showed higher SAP (130±4 v. 157±2 mmHg), HR (357±10 v. 428±14 bpm), sympathetic modulation to vessels (2.3±0.56 v. 6±0.84 mmHg2) and LF/HF ratio (0.15±0.01 v. 0.7±0.2) than C. These findings suggest that a western diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to overweight associated with autonomic misbalance and hypertension in adulthood.
To evaluate the distribution of asymptomatic infection by Leishmania infantum in a metropolis in Brazil with different relative risks (RRs) for disease and risk factors associated with the infection, an ecological study was conducted using a Bayesian approach to estimate the RR of human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL) based on cases between 2008 and 2011. The areas were categorized and selected according to disease incidence: low (area-1), medium (area-2) and high (area-3). Cross-sectional study enrolling 935 children was used to estimate the prevalence of infection by L. infantum. Volunteers from these three areas were tested for L. infantum infection by ELISA (rK39 and soluble antigens). Infection prevalence rates were estimated and compared with the RR of disease. Multilevel logistic regression model evaluated the relationship between infection and the analysed variables. The RR of HVL was distributed heterogeneously in the municipality. The infection prevalence rates were: 34·9% in area-1; 29·3% in area-2; and 33·6% in area-3, with no significant differences between these areas. The variables ‘Presence of backyards in the neighbourhood’ and ‘Younger children’ were associated with L. infantum infection. We conclude that infection by L. infantum affects a significant proportion of the infant population regardless of the RR of disease.