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One of the most consumed pesticides in the world is glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide ROUNDUP®. Studies demonstrate that glyphosate can act as an endocrine disruptor and that exposure to this substance at critical periods in the developmental period may program the fetus to induce reproductive damage in adulthood. Our hypothesis is that maternal exposure to glyphosate during pregnancy and lactation in mice will affect the development of male reproductive organs, impairing male fertility during adult life. Female mice consumed 0.5% glyphosate-ROUNDUP® in their drinking water [glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) group] or filtered water [control (CTRL) group] from the fourth day of pregnancy until the end of the lactation period. Male F1 offspring were designated, according to their mother’s treatment, as CTRL-F1 and GBH-F1. Female mice that drank glyphosate displayed reduced body weight (BW) gain during gestation, but no alterations in litter size. Although GBH male F1 offspring did not exhibit modifications in BW, they demonstrated delayed testicular descent. Furthermore, at PND150, GBH-F1 mice presented a lower number of spermatozoa in the cauda epididymis and reduced epithelial height of the seminiferous epithelium. Notably, intratesticular testosterone concentrations were enhanced in GBH-F1 mice; we show that it is an effect associated with increased plasma and pituitary concentrations of luteinizing hormone. Therefore, data indicate that maternal exposure to glyphosate-ROUNDUP® during pregnancy and lactation may lead to decreased spermatogenesis and disruptions in hypothalamus–pituitary–testicular axis regulation in F1 offspring.
Many molluscs may be infected with angiostrongylid larvae. Following the histopathological diagnosis of abdominal angiostrongyliasis in a grape farmer from southern Brazil, molluscs in the area were investigated. During a nocturnal search, 245 specimens of slugs were collected and identified as the invasive Chinese slug Meghimatium pictum. Angiostrongylus costaricensis worms were recovered from mice that were experimentally infected with larvae obtained from 11 (4.5%) of the molluscs. This study presents the first report of M. pictum being identified as an intermediate host for A. costaricensis. Most of the slugs were collected from grape plants, which suggests that transmission may be associated with grape consumption.
Epidemiological studies have found coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, the aim of this randomised, cross-over single-blind study was to investigate the effects of regular coffee, regular coffee with sugar and decaffeinated coffee consumption on glucose metabolism and incretin hormones. Seventeen healthy men participated in five trials each, during which they consumed coffee (decaffeinated, regular (containing caffeine) or regular with sugar) or water (with or without sugar). After 1 h of each intervention, they received an oral glucose tolerance test with one intravenous dose of [1-13C]glucose. The Oral Dose Intravenous Label Experiment was applied and glucose and insulin levels were interpreted using a stable isotope two-compartment minimal model. A mixed-model procedure (PROC MIXED), with subject as random effect and time as repeated measure, was used to compare the effects of the beverages on glucose metabolism and incretin parameters (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)). Insulin sensitivity was higher with decaffeinated coffee than with water (P<0·05). Regular coffee with sugar did not significantly affect glucose, insulin, C-peptide and incretin hormones, compared with water with sugar. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, GLP-1 and GIP levels were not statistically different after regular and decaffeinated coffee compared with water. Our findings demonstrated that the consumption of decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity without changing incretin hormones levels. There was no short-term adverse effect on glucose homoeostasis, after an oral glucose challenge, attributable to the consumption of regular coffee with sugar.
Abdominal angiostrongyliasis (AA) is caused by Angiostrongylus costaricensis, which inhabits mesenteric arteries. There is no drug treatment for AA, and since intestinal infarction due to thrombi is one of the main complications of the disease, the use of anticoagulants may be a treatment option. Thus, we aimed to assess the effect of high doses of enoxaparin on the prevention of ischaemic intestinal lesions and on the survival of mice infected with A. costaricensis. Twenty-four mice were infected with L3 of A. costaricensis and divided equally into two groups: Group 1, control treated with placebo, and Group 2, treated daily with enoxaparin (2.5 mg/kg) for 50 days. All mice were subjected to necropsy and histological analysis. The results from gross and microscopic assessments showed no variation in the prevalence of lesions between the groups. An analysis was also performed among survivors and non-survivors, showing that animals that died often presented lesions, such as granulation tissue in the serosa, and intestinal infarction and adhesion. The mortality rate did not vary between the enoxaparin-treated and control groups. Thus, we showed that high doses of enoxaparin have no protective effect against AA, as the survival rates and lesions of mice did not vary between the treated and control groups. Considering that the use of prophylactic doses was also shown to be ineffective in a previous study, we do not recommend the use of enoxaparin for AA treatment.
The Estoria de Espanna and the General Estoria, written under the supervision of Alfonso X of Castile roughly between 1270 and 1284, are two of the major historiographical enterprises of the Middle Ages. With them, the so-called Learned King attempted to offer a comprehensive view of human history with a special focus on Iberia, in support of his claims to the imperial throne and supremacy over the other Hispanic kingdoms. As such, the ‘estorias’ occupy a place of honour at the core of the vast Alfonsine manuscript production, encyclopedic enough to grant the king a sort Solomonic aura that resonated far beyond the Hispanic realm. The luxurious codices he commissioned not only bore witness to the king's own life and ideals but also constituted an intellectual legacy that his heirs had to confront. In this regard, the durable trace left by the General Estoria and, most specifically, the Estoria de Espanna can be discerned in all subsequent attempts to write a history of the Iberian Peninsula until recent times. But the same ambition was also the cause of their relative failure, since neither of these projects was finished. As a consequence, these royal manuscripts’ present condition seems to turn them into ‘libros infinidos’, at a time ‘without ending’ and ‘of impossible finalization’, to use the term coined by the infante don Juan Manuel, Alfonso X's nephew.
The General Estoria and the Estoria de Espanna were composed roughly in parallel, as if they were two sides of the same historiographical effort. Thus, the former was conceived as a world chronicle encompassing all human knowledge from the Creation until the time of writing, including not only the biblical episodes of the Old Testament but also a detailed account of pagan history.
Several cognitive tools have been developed aiming to diagnose dementia. The cognitive battery Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination – Revised (ACE-R) has been used to detect cognitive impairment; however, there are few studies including samples with low education. The aim of the study was to provide ACE-R norms for seniors within a lower education, including illiterates. An additional aim was to examine the accuracy of the ACE-R to detect dementia and cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND).
Data originated from an epidemiological study conducted in the municipality of Tremembé, Brazil. The Brazilian version of ACE-R was applied as part of the cognitive assessment in all participants. Of the 630 participants, 385 were classified as cognitively normal (CN) and were included in the normative data set, 110 individuals were diagnosed with dementia, and 135 were classified as having CIND.
ACE-R norms were provided with the sample stratified into age and education bands. ACE-R total scores varied significantly according to age, education, and sex. To distinguish CN from dementia, a cut-off of 64 points was established (sensitivity 91%, specificity 76%) and to differentiate CN from CIND the best cut-off was 69 points (sensitivity 73%, specificity 65%). Cut-off scores varied according to the educational level.
This study offers normative and accuracy parameters for seniors with lower education and it should expand the use of the ACE-R for this population segment.
In 2005 we suggested a relation between the optimal locus of gas giant planet formation, prior to migration, and the metallicity of the host star, based on the core accretion model, and radial profiles of dust surface density and gas temperature. At that time, less than 200 extrasolar planets were known, limiting the scope of our analysis. Here, we take into account the expanded statistics allowed by new discoveries, in order to check the validity of some premises. We compare predictions with the present available data and results for different stellar mass ranges. We find that the zero age planetary orbit (ZAPO) hypothesis continues to hold after a two order of magnitude increase in discovered planets, as well as the prediction that planets around metal poor stars would have shorter orbits.
Among the solar proxies, κ1 Cet, stands out as potentially having a mass very close to solar and a young age. We report magnetic field measurements and planetary habitability consequences around this star, a proxy of the young Sun when life arose on Earth. Magnetic strength was determined from spectropolarimetric observations and we reconstruct the large-scale surface magnetic field to derive the magnetic environment, stellar winds, and particle flux permeating the interplanetary medium around κ1 Cet. Our results show a closer magnetosphere and mass-loss rate 50 times larger than the current solar wind mass-loss rate when Life arose on Earth, resulting in a larger interaction via space weather disturbances between the stellar wind and a hypothetical young-Earth analogue, potentially affecting the habitability. Interaction of the wind from the young Sun with the planetary ancient magnetic field may have affected the young Earth and its life conditions.
We derive Teff and [Fe/H] for a sample of 72 nearby M-dwarfs with Hipparcos parallaxes and δ < +30. Spectra, acquired at the Observatório do Pico dos Dias, Brazil, have R = 10,000 and S/N ≳ 100 for nearly all targets in the λλ8380-8880 range. Atmospheric parameters were derived from VJHK colors and a system of spectral line indices calibrated against sample stars with interferometric Teff and [Fe/H] from detailed analysis of FGK binary companions. A PCA method of calibration yields internal errors within 70 K and 0.1 dex for Teff and [Fe/H]. For 18 stars we present the first Teff or [Fe/H] derivation in the literature. We compute the star's luminosities, calculate the position of their habitable zones and estimate that, were all of they to harbour rocky planets inside their HZ, 15–20 of these would be detectable by the E-ELT Planetary Camera and Spectrograph.
What are the characteristics of pre-democratic elections? This article seeks to answer this question by analysing the Brazilian First Republic. Through an original assessment of formal complaints filed by defeated candidates in federal elections, we show that (1) political conflicts were intense and electoral fraud was a consequence of parties’ inability to monopolise the administrative machine in charge of conducting elections; (2) elections were organised by state-level parties, but voting practices were confined to local environments; and (3) voters were mobilised collectively, not individually. These three factors should be taken into account in future research on elections before democracy.
In this article we review research on English as a foreign language (EFL) teaching and learning published in Argentina between 2007 and 2013. This is the first review of a Latin American country in this series. Argentina has a century-long tradition of training EFL teachers but a comparatively shorter though fruitful history of foreign language (FL) research. The article examines 88 articles that appeared in locally published peer-reviewed conference proceedings, academic journals and one edited collection. The contributions cover a wide spectrum of topics that illustrates prominent research interests in the country, such as the role of imagination, emotion and affect in language comprehension and production, intercultural dimensions, FL teacher education and development, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), computer-assisted language learning (CALL), the teaching of English for academic or specific purposes, testing, assessment and evaluation, and materials design and course development. The review includes work by specialists whose research may not be known outside the boundaries of Argentina but who produce high-quality situated research that accounts for the specificity of the local educational setting.
We report Li abundances from the λ6707 line for 19 nearby dwarf and subgiant solar-type stars. The unevolved stars in this sample present high (> 2.00) Li abundances. We found a few cases of subgiant stars which present high Li content. The Sun seems to be part of a population of nearly unevolved stars which have depleted their Li to a high degree: all other metal-normal, near ZAMS stars in our sample show higher than solar Li content. There seems to be no correlation of the degree of Li depletion with mass, atmospheric parameters or state of evolution: as an example we found a star (HR1532) almost identical to the Sun in its state of evolution and atmospheric parameters, but with over ten times the solar Li abundance. We propose that different histories of angular momentum distribution at star birth, and/or post-birth angular momentum evolution, may account for these differences.
Embryological studies in fish species are useful to the understanding of their biology and systematics. The available biological data in Leiarius marmoratus are scarce and additional information about its reproductive biology is needed, mainly because this species has been commercially exploited and used in production of hybrid lineages. In order to evaluate the temporal–morphological embryonic modifications in L. marmoratus, samples of nearly 200 embryos were collected at random at different stages of development, starting from fecundation (time zero). Embryos were fixed in modified Karnovsk's solution and 2.5% glutaraldehyde, processed and analysed under optic and electron microscopy. The incubation period of L. marmoratus was equal to 14.42 h at a mean temperature of 28.3 ± 0.07°C. The following stages of embryonic development were established: zygote, cleavage, gastrula, organogenesis and hatching. These stages were divided into phases, as follows: cleavage – phases of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 cells and morula; gastrula – phases of 25, 50, 75 and 90% of epiboly and blastopore closure; and organogenesis – neurula, segmentation and pre-larval phases. The embryogenesis of L. marmoratus was typical of neotropical teleosteans, with peculiarities in species development.
Helminths use several strategies to evade and/or modify the host immune response, including suppression or inactivation of the host antigen-specific response. Several helminth immunomodulatory molecules have been identified. Our studies have focused on immunosuppression induced by the roundworm Ascaris suum and an A. suum-derived protein named protein 1 from A. suum (PAS-1). Here we assessed whether PAS-1 is an excretory/secretory (E/S) protein and whether it can suppress lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation. Larvae from infective eggs were cultured in unsupplemented Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium (DMEM) for 2 weeks. PAS-1 was then measured in the culture supernatants and in adult A. suum body fluid at different time points by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the monoclonal antibody MAIP-1. Secreted PAS-1 was detected in both larval culture supernatant and adult body fluid. It suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced leucocyte migration and pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and stimulated interleukin (IL)-10 secretion, indicating that larval and adult secreted PAS-1 suppresses inflammation in this model. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory activity of PAS-1 was abolished by treatment with MAIP-1, a PAS-1-specific monoclonal antibody, confirming the crucial role of PAS-1 in suppressing LPS-induced inflammation. These findings demonstrate that PAS-1 is an E/S protein with anti-inflammatory properties likely to be attributable to IL-10 production.
General Practitioners (GPs) from underdeveloped countries apply cognitive impairment (CI) assessment tools translated and adapted to cultural setting from other idioms, mainly English. As schooling in elderly from underdeveloped countries tends to be relatively heterogeneous, it is necessary to establish normative and cut-off scores for these CI instruments that are based on studies conducted locally. Some CI screening instruments frequently used by Brazilian specialists in dementia were analyzed to determine which could be most useful to GPs in their working sets.
Two hundred forty-eight patients aged 65 years or older that had been assisted by GPs in a tertiary hospital in Brazil were evaluated. Based on the MMSE and/or Short-IQCODE scores, 52 probable cases were identified on the basis of clinical data, performances on the neuropsychological tests and questionnaires (Functional Assessment Questionnaire/FAQ, Category Verbal Fluency/CVF, Clock Drawing Test/CDT) and blood tests and brain CT.
The combination of a functional questionnaire with a cognitive instrument had higher sensitivity and specificity than using the instruments alone. A FAQ cut-off of 3 in conjunction with a CDT cut-off of 6 proved optimal (93% sensitivity and 92.5% specificity). A higher specificity (93.5%) was attained using a combination of the FAQ (cut-off of 3) with the CVF (cut-off of 10).
For low schooling elderly, the combination of the FAQ and CVF represented a very simple method of increasing the chances of correct screening. For those with higher schooling, the combination of the FAQ and CDT was more suitable.
κ1 Cet (HD 20630, HIP 15457, d = 9.16 pc, V = 4.84) is a dwarf star approximately 30 light-years away in the equatorial constellation of Cetus. Among the solar proxies studied in the Sun in Time, κ1 Cet stands out as potentially having a mass very close to solar and a young age. On this study, we monitored the magnetic field and the chromospheric activity from the Ca II H & K lines of κ1 Cet. We used the technique of Least-Square-Deconvolution (LSD, Donati et al. 1997) by simultaneously extracting the information contained in all 8,000 photospheric lines of the echelogram (for a linelist matching an atmospheric model of spectral type K1). To reconstruct a reliable magnetic map and characterize the surface differential rotation of κ1 Cet we used 14 exposures spread over 2 months, in order to cover at least two rotational cycles (Prot ~9.2 days). The Least Square deconvolution (LSD) technique was applied to detect the Zeeman signature of the magnetic field in each of our 14 observations and to measure its longitudinal component. In order to reconstruct the magnetic field geometry of κ1 Cet, we applied the Zeeman Doppler Imaging (ZDI) inversion method. ZDI revealed a structure in the radial magnetic field consisting of a polar magnetic spot. On this study, we present the fisrt look results of a high-resolution spectropolarimetric campaign to characterize the activity and the magnetic fields of this young solar proxy.
Studies of electoral fraud tend to focus their analyses only on the pre-electoral or electoral phases. By examining the Brazilian First Republic (1889–1930), this article shifts the focus to a later phase, discussing a particular type of electoral fraud that has been little explored by the literature, namely, that perpetrated by the legislatures themselves during the process of giving final approval to election results. The Brazilian case is interesting because of a practice known as degola (‘beheading’) whereby electoral results were altered when Congress decided on which deputies to certify as duly elected. This has come to be seen as a widespread and standard practice in this period. However, this article shows that this final phase of rubber-stamping or overturning election results was important not because of the number of degolas, which was actually much lower than the literature would have us believe, but chiefly because of their strategic use during moments of political uncertainty. It argues that the congressional certification of electoral results was deployed as a key tool in ensuring the political stability of the Republican regime in the absence of an electoral court.
LACK (Leishmania analogue of the receptor kinase C) is a conserved protein in the protozoan of the genus Leishmania, which is associated with the immunopathogenesis and susceptibility of BALB/c mice to Leishmania major infection. We previously demonstrated that intranasal immunization with a plasmid DNA encoding the p36/LACK leishmanial antigen (pCI-neo-LACK) followed by challenge 7 days after a booster dose effectively protects BALB/c mice against both cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis. In the present study, the correlation between systemic mRNA expression after nasal DNA uptake, and the duration of protective immunity was addressed. LACK mRNA transcripts were detected in the spleen, brain, cervical lymph nodes and popliteal lymph nodes as early as 7 days, lasting 3 months after vaccination with pCI-neo-LACK. The kinetics of transcript expression correlated with enhanced cutaneous hypersensitivity against parasite antigens. Leishmania chagasi infection at 7 days or 3 months, but not 6 months after vaccination resulted in significantly lower parasite loads as compared with non-vaccinated controls. Protection also correlated with enhanced spleen cell responsiveness to parasite antigens leading to increased IFN- γ and IL-4 and decreased IL-10 production. Together, these data demonstrate that the protection conferred by the intranasal DNA vaccine lasts at least 3 months and is associated with expression of vaccine mRNA in peripheral organs.
Distributions of deep-sea fish, benthic invertebrates and the effects of deep-sea bottom trawling were studied based on data collected in 2005 from a joint collaboration survey undertaken between the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and a deep-sea trawler on the Hatton Bank (north-east Atlantic). A total of 163 valid bottom trawl hauls (600–1600 m) were analysed. The main trawlable grounds were located on the sedimentary seabed of the western flank of the bank (Hatton Drift). Grenadiers and smoothheads were predominant in the trawl catches (67% and 11.8% by weight respectively). Both species were abundant along the western flank. Deep-water sharks accounted for 7.4% of weight, and were abundant along the south-eastern slopes. Chimerids, lotids, morids and other deep-sea species were also taken as by-catch. Grenadiers and deep-water sharks dominated the discards. By-catches of cold-water corals were generally associated with the rocky outcrop and were more abundant at the top of the bank. Abundant by-catches of large sponges, characteristic of sponge-dominated biotopes, were taken from the eastern flank.