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Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic, characterised as a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders associated with high risk of CVD. Green banana biomass, which is composed of resistant starches (RS) and cannot be hydrolysed by amylases, delays gastric emptying and modulates insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to improve metabolic disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of consumption of RS from green banana biomass on body composition, fasting plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes on top of treatment. Middle-aged subjects (n 113) of both sexes with pre-diabetes (HbA1c: 5·7–6·4 %) or diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 6·5 %) were randomised to receive nutritional support plus green banana biomass (40 g) (RS: approximately 4·5 g, G1, n 62) or diet alone (G2, n 51) for 24 weeks. Body composition, biochemical analyses and dietary intake were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. In the experimental group (G1), consumption of RS was associated with reduction in HbA1c (P = 0·0001), fasting glucose (P = 0·021), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0·010), body weight (P = 0·002), BMI (P = 0·006), waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), fat mass percentage (P = 0·001) and increase in lean mass percentage (P = 0·011). In controls (G2), reductions were observed in waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), HbA1c (P = 0·002) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P = 0·020). In pre-diabetes or diabetes, non-significant differences were observed in the percentage reduction in HbA1c and fasting glucose in exploratory analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of bioactive starches is a good dietary strategy to improve metabolic control and body composition.
Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P<0.001). In contrast, animals fed high levels of cactus (>500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P<0.001) and similar ADG compared with those without cactus addition. The DMI was positively correlated with initial BW, final BW, concentrate and ADG, while it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion and ME of the diet. On other hand, ADG was positively correlated with DMI, initial and mean BW and concentrate, and it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion. The two developed equations had high accuracy (Cb of 0.95 for DMI and 0.94 for ADG) and the random error of MSEP was 99% for both equations. The precision of both equations was moderate, with R2 values of 0.53 and 0.50 and ρ values of 0.73 and 0.71 for DMI and ADG, respectively. In conclusion, the developed equation to predict DMI had moderate precision and high accuracy, nonetheless, it was more efficient than those reported in the literature. The proposed equations can be a useful alternative to estimate intake and performance of lambs fed cactus.
Parasite distribution patterns in lotic catchments are driven by the combined influences of unidirectional water flow and the mobility of the most mobile host. However, the importance of such drivers in catchments dominated by lentic habitats are poorly understood. We examined parasite populations of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus from a series of linear-connected lakes in northern Norway to assess the generality of lotic-derived catchment-scale parasite assemblage patterns. Our results demonstrated that the abundance of most parasite taxa increased from the upper to lower catchment. Allogenic taxa (piscivorous birds as final host) were present throughout the entire catchment, whereas their autogenic counterparts (charr as final hosts) demonstrated restricted distributions, thus supporting the theory that the mobility of the most mobile host determines taxa-specific parasite distribution patterns. Overall, catchment-wide parasite abundance and distribution patterns in this lentic-dominated system were in accordance with those reported for lotic systems. Additionally, our study highlighted that upper catchment regions may be inadequate reservoirs to facilitate recolonization of parasite communities in the event of downstream environmental perturbations.
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.
Leishmaniases is a tropical disease caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania for which the current treatment is expensive, besides increasing reports of parasite resistance. This study investigated the anti-Leishmania amazonensis activity of the essential oil from Aloysia gratissima (AgEO) and guaiol, the major sesquiterpene constituent in the oil. Our results showed that AgEO killed promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes at an IC50 of 25 and 0·16 µg mL−1, respectively, while guaiol killed amastigotes at an IC50 of 0·01 µg mL−1. Both AgEO and guaiol were safe for macrophages up to 100 µg mL−1, as evaluated by the dehydrogenase activity, membrane integrity and phagocytic capacity. AgEO and guaiol did not induce nitrite oxide (NO) in resting macrophages and inhibited the production of NO in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages. The ultrastructural analysis suggested that AgEO and guaiol act directly on parasites, affecting promastigotes kinetoplast, mitochondrial matrix and plasma membrane. Together, these results pointed out that AgEO and guaiol could be promising candidates to develop anti-Leishmania drugs.
Located at the northwestern part of the Amazon basin, Rio Negro is the largest black-water river in the world and is one of the poorest studied regions of the Amazon lowlands. In the middle-upper part of the Rio Negro were retrieved sediment cores form Lake Acarabixi, which were analyzed using pollen, spores, charcoal, and geochemistry. The aim of this study was to detect the influences from humans and river dynamics on the vegetation history in the region. Two main periods of vegetation and river dynamics were detected. From 10,840 to 8240 cal yr BP, the river had a direct influence into the lake. The lake had a regional input of charcoal particles, which reflected the effect of the dry Holocene period in the basin. Furthermore, highland taxa such as Hedyosmum and Myrsine were found at that time along with igapó forest species that are characteristic to tolerate extended flooding like Eschweilera, Macrolobium, Myrtaceae, Swartzia, and Astrocaryum. During the late Holocene (1600 to 650 cal yr BP), more lacustrine phases were observed. There were no drastic changes in vegetation but the presence of pioneer species like Vismia and Cecropia, along with the signal of fires, which pointed to human disturbances.
Education interventions that stimulate complementary feeding practices can improve the nutritional status of children and may protect against future chronic diseases. We assessed the long-term effectiveness of dietary intervention during the 1st year of life on insulin resistance levels, and investigated the relationship between insulin resistance and weight changes over time. A randomised field trial was conducted among 500 mothers who gave birth to full-term infants between October 2001 and June 2002 in a low-income area in São Leopoldo, Brazil. Mother–child pairs were randomly assigned to intervention (n 200) and control groups (n 300), and the mothers in the intervention group received dietary counselling on breast-feeding and complementary feeding of their children during the 1st year of life. Fieldworkers blinded to assignment assessed socio-demographic, dietary and anthropometric data during follow-up at ages 1, 4 and 8 years. Blood tests were performed in 305 children aged 8 years to measure fasting serum glucose and insulin concentrations and the homoeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). At the age of 8 years, the intervention group showed no changes in glucose and insulin concentrations or HOMA-IR values (change 0·07; 95 % CI −0·06, 0·21 for girls; and change −0·07; 95 % CI −0·19, 0·04 for boys) compared with study controls. Insulin resistance was highly correlated, however, with increases in BMI between birth and 8 years of age. Although this dietary intervention had no impact on glucose profile at age 8 years, our findings suggest that BMI changes in early childhood can serve as an effective marker of insulin resistance.
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.
There is an increasing interest in improving neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis through the search of new and alternative antigenic sources, as those obtained from heterologous antigens. The aim of this study was to obtain potential biomarkers for NCC diagnosis after gel filtration chromatography [gel filtration fraction (GFF)] from the total saline extract (SE) from Taenia saginata metacestodes, followed by protein identification and application in immunodiagnostic. SE and GFF proteic profiles were characterized in gel electrophoresis, and diagnostic performance was verified by testing 160 serum samples through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting. Sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp) and other diagnostic parameters were calculated. Polypeptides of interest in the diagnosis of human NCC present at GFF were analysed by mass spectrometry (MS) and B-cell epitopes were predicted. GFF had the best diagnostic parameters: Se 93·3%; Sp 93%; AUC 0·990; LR+ = 13·42 and LR− = 0·07, and proved to be useful reacting with serum samples in immunoblotting. Proteic profile ranged from 64 to 68 kDa and enolase and calcium binding protein calreticulin precursor were identified after MS. The enolase and calcium-binding protein calreticulin precursor showed 18 and 10 predicted B-cell epitopes, respectively. In conclusion we identified important markers in the GFF with high efficiency to diagnose NCC.
In the 1998-99 flight, BOOMERanG has produced maps of ∼4% of the sky at high Galactic latitudes, at frequencies of 90, 150, 240 and 410 GHz, with resolution ≳ 10'. The faint structure of the Cosmic Microwave Background at horizon and sub-horizon scales is evident in these maps. These maps compare well to the maps recently obtained at lower frequencies by the WMAP experiment. Here we compare the amplitude and morphology of the structures observed in the two sets of maps. We also outline the polarization sensitive version of BOOMERanG, which was flown early this year to measure the linear polarization of the microwave sky at 150, 240 and 350 GHz.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
Since the date of the 1935 Paris meeting two total eclipses have been successfully observed. Throughout the long path crossing Siberia and Japan the weather on June 19, 1936 on the whole about lived up to predictions. On account of widely scattered clouds neighbouring expeditions had quite different luck with the weather. In contrast, the June 8, 1937 eclipse was seen throughout the whole track under universally clear skies, which is all the more surprising for the reason that eclipse expeditions to the tropics usually fare badly with the weather. Stewart and Stokley in a ship at sea were able to observe the eclipse with a measured duration of 7 min. 6 sec., the longest period of totality in 1200 years.
The reporting period has shown that Space has become a firmly established domain in observational Astrophysics, also in the low energy astrophysics area. The launching of new spacecraft is always an important addition to the capabilities of the Astronomers, but the availability of space observatories is strongly affected by the fact that they disappear as their subsystems become damaged or, for other reasons, become inoperable. The relatively short life of astronomical space facilities has generated new dynamic in the life cycle of observational tools for the astronomer, rather different from that for ground facilities. Launch failures or the final in-orbit functionality verification can also very strongly affect the availability of observational capabilities in space astrophysics. The only spacecraft designed without this built-in life time restriction, is the Hubble Space Telescope, which can be serviced by the Space Shuttle.
PKS 1934–638 is an archetypal GPS source, peaking at 1.4 GHz and exhibits almost no flux density variability. VLBI images at frequencies of .843, 2.3, 4.8, & 8.4 were made with the southern hemisphere VLBI array and they reveal that the source is a 42 mas compact double. There is no detectable change in separation over the last 20 years, yielding an upper limit of ~ 0.03c ± 0.2c on any expansion velocity. The spectral shapes of the two components are remarkably similar, despite indications of finer structure on longer baselines. Magnetic field calculations indicate fields of a few mGauss and the results are consistent with equipartition.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the carcass and meat characteristics of eight muscles from bulls with distinct growth paths. A total of 40 Alentejana male calves were allocated to two distinct feeding regimes. In the continuous growth (CG) system, the animals were fed concentrates plus hay and were slaughtered at 18 months of age. On the other hand, in the discontinuous growth (DG) system, the animals were fed hay until 15 months of age; the cattle were then fed the same diet provided to the CG group from 15 to 24 months of age. The DG reduced hot carcass weight, fatness and dressing %, but the proportions of fat, bone and muscle tissues in the leg were not affected. In contrast, there was a positive impact of compensatory growth on supraspinatus, triceps brachii, semitendinosus, biceps femoris muscle tenderness, overcoming the negative effects of age at slaughter. The reasons for such improvement in meat tenderness were not related to intra-muscular fat content or myofibrillar protein degradation values. An association between tenderness and muscle collagen properties was not established. The results indicate that the compensatory growth has a muscle-dependent effect.
Rickettsia rickettsii infection is being increasingly recognized as an important cause of fatal acute illness in Brazil, where this tick-borne disease is designated Brazilian spotted fever (BSF). In this study we report five fatal cases of BSF in employees of an animal shelter in an urban area in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil after a natural disaster on 11 January 2011. Four of the cases occurred from 27 January to 11 April 2011, while the fifth fatal case was identified in April 2012. Three cases were confirmed by molecular analysis and two by epidemiological linkage. An investigation of BSF was performed in the animal shelter, and blood samples were collected from 115 employees and 117 randomly selected dogs. The presence of high levels (1024–4096) of antibodies against spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in three (2·6%) employees and 114 (97·5%) dogs. These findings emphasize the need to consider BSF as a possible cause of undifferentiated febrile illness, especially dengue and leptospirosis, in patients occupationally exposed to dogs heavily infested by ticks, mainly working at kennels and animal shelters that have inadequate space for the animals housed and frequently providing an environment conducive to exposure to pathogens such as R. rickettsii.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.