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The purpose of this study was to assess fetal cardiac function in normal fetuses (control group) compared to those who are exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus using different echocardiographic measurements, and to explore the application of left atrial shortening fraction in determination of fetal diastolic function with gestational diabetes mellitus.
A total of 50 women with gestational diabetes and 50 women with a healthy pregnancy were included in the study. Fetal echocardiography was performed and structural as well as functional fetal cardiac parameters were measured. Data were compared between with or without fetal myocardial hypertrophy and the control group.
In the study group, out of 50 fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers, 18 had myocardial hypertrophy and 32 had normal septal thickness. Gestational age at time of examination did not differ significantly between the control and gestational diabetes group (p = 0.55). Mitral E/A ratio was lower in gestational diabetes group as compared to the control (p < 0.001). Isovolumetric relaxation and contraction times and myocardial performance index were greater in fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers (p < 0.001). In fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers with myocardial hypertrophy, left atrial shortening fraction was lower as compared to those without myocardial hypertrophy and those of the control group (p < 0.001).
The results of this study suggest that fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers have altered cardiac function even in the absence of septal hypertrophy, and that left atrial shortening fraction can be used as a reliable alternate parameter in the assessment of fetal diastolic function.
Residual right ventricular outflow obstruction during Tetralogy of Fallot repair necessitates peri-operative revision often requiring trans-annular patch with its negative sequels. Bidirectional Glenn shunt in this setting reduces trans-pulmonary gradient to avoid revision.
Bidirectional Glenn shunt was added during Tetralogy repair in patients with significant residual obstruction. A total of 53 patients between January, 2011 and June, 2018 were included. Final follow-up was conducted in July, 2018.
Mean age at operation was 5.63±3.1 years. Right to left ventricular pressure ratio reduced significantly (0.91±0.09 versus 0.68±0.05; p<0.001) after bidirectional Glenn, avoiding revision in all cases. Glenn pressures at ICU admission decreased significantly by the time of ICU discharge (16.7±3.02 versus 13.5±2.19; p<0.001). Pleural drainage ≥ 7 days was seen in 14 (26.4%) patients. No side effects related to bidirectional Glenn-like facial swelling or veno-venous collaterals were noted. Mortality was 3.7%. Discharge echocardiography showed a mean trans-pulmonary gradient of 32.11±5.62 mmHg that decreased significantly to 25.64±5 (p<0.001) at the time of follow-up. Pulmonary insufficiency was none to mild in 45 (88.2%) and moderate in 6 (11.8%). Mean follow-up was 36.12±25.15 months (range 0.5–90). There was no interim intervention or death. At follow-up, all the patients were in NYHA functional class 1 with no increase in severity of pulmonary insufficiency.
Supplementary bidirectional Glenn shunt significantly reduced residual right ventricular outflow obstruction during Tetralogy of Fallot repair avoiding revision with satisfactory early and mid-term results.
Endophytic bacteria have evolved to survive within plant leaf tissue while potentially providing benefits to their host. This relationship makes them uniquely applicable as agricultural biocontrol agents, sources of natural chemicals/products, plant growth promoters and mediators of phytoremediation. Foliar bacterial endophytes colonise leaf tissue through vertical transmission (i.e. through seed or pollen) or horizontal transmission (i.e. colonisation through environmental contact of the roots, wounds, stomatal infiltration, insect vectors, and airborne dispersal). The taxonomic diversity of foliar endophytes spans at least seven bacterial classes and they occupy hosts from all taxanomic groups of plants tested. Bacterial leaf endophytes can promote plant health by stimulating and producing plant hormones for growth and preventing pathogenic infection. Plant-pathogenic bacteria can be found residing within leaf tissue asymptomatically raising questions about the relationship between endophyte–host specificity. Similarly, human pathogenic enterobacteria not usually associated with plants have been found to persist as endophytes. Bioactive secondary metabolites produced by these endophytes have been broadly applicable as antifungals, antibiotics, and other compounds used for agricultural and human health. Endophyte research carries unique challenges that require novel and adaptive strategies for separation of plant and bacterial DNA. This chapter will focus on bacteria isolated from within plant leaf tissue with a focus on transmission, diversity, function and challenges associated bacterial leaf endophyte research.
Characterizing the properties and the evolution of the first stars and galaxies is a challenging task for traditional galaxy surveys since they are sensitivity limited and can only detect the brightest light sources. Three-dimensional intensity mapping (IM) of transition lines can be a valuable alternative to study the high redshift Universe given that this technique avoids sensitivity limitation problems by measuring the overall emission of a line, with a low resolution, without resolving its sources. While 21cm line IM surveys probe neutral hydrogen gas and can, therefore, be used to probe the state of the IGM and the evolution of the ionization field during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). IM surveys of other lines, such as CO, CII, Ly-alpha or H-alpha, can be used to probe the galaxies which emitted most of the ionizing radiation responsible for the EoR. These lines will trace the different ISM gas phases, the excitation state of this gas, its metallicity, etc. This study addresses IM of multiple transition lines and how it can be used to probe the EoR and to constrain the redshift evolution of galaxy properties.
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing corn with an increasing concentration of high-purity glycerol (>99%) on growth performance, economical efficiency, blood constituents and nutrient digestibility of growing lambs. In experiment one, 24 male lambs (initial BW=33.6±6.0 kg; age=6.75±0.75 months) were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental treatments containing 0%, 5% or 10% glycerol to replace corn in concentrate. In experiment two, nine lambs (initial BW=44.7±2.2 kg, age=8.84±0.32 months) were used in a digestion trial with three treatments (three lambs per treatment) with glycerol replacing corn at 0%, 5% or 10% in the concentrate. Total dry matter (DM) intake decreased quadratically (P=0.003) with increasing concentration of glycerol in the diet. Lambs fed glycerol diets had greater average daily gain (P=0.005) and better feed efficiency (P=0.002) compared with the control. Feed costs were also reduced with glycerol inclusion. Glycerol supplementation did not affect serum concentrations of total protein, albumin, globulin, total lipid, cholesterol and glucose concentrations. Glycerol supplementation had no effect (P>0.05) on organic matter and CP digestion, but improved DM (P=0.0003), crude fiber (P=0.10), ether extract (P=0.0002) and nitrogen-free extract (P=0.05) digestion. In conclusion, glycerol can replace corn up to 10% of DM in the diets of growing lambs.
This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of increasing levels of glycerol in the diet on milk yield and composition, diet digestibility and some blood metabolites of dairy buffaloes in early lactation. A total of 24 buffaloes were blocked by average milk yield, parity and BW and then randomly assigned to three treatments: control without glycerol (CON); low glycerol (LG): control plus glycerol at 150 ml/day per buffalo; and high glycerol (HG): control plus glycerol at 300 ml/day per buffalo. The experimental period lasted for 60 days. Feeding LG and HG decreased (P<0.0001) dry matter intake compared with the CON. Buffaloes supplemented with LG and HG produced more milk (P<0.01) and had a greater (P<0.0001) yield of fat-corrected milk (3.5%) than those buffaloes fed control treatment. Glycerol-supplemented buffaloes showed a positive energy status indicated by reduced concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids and β-hydroxybutyrate. Feeding LG and HG tended to increase (P⩽0.10) concentrations of milk fat, and serum total protein and globulin and significantly decreased (P⩽0.05) milk urea nitrogen and somatic cells counts (SCCs) compared to the CON group. Inclusion of LG and HG had no effect on organic matter and non-fiber carbohydrate digestion, but improved dry matter (P=0.02), CP (P=0.09), ether extract (P=0.03), NDF (P=0.07) and ADF (P=0.03) digestion.
National borders are synthetic constructs that may be defined by some geographic features such as rivers or mountain ranges, but essentially remain figments of political expediency. However, social systems evolve around them to provide a unique context for learning the interface between society and ecology. This chapter provides a concise historiography of the development of an initiative in the western Balkans that sought to harness such learning opportunities “between the lines” through experiential field education. The challenges and criticism faced by the progenitors of this initiative are considered in the post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation landscape of the Balkans. Conflict transformation requires empowerment of agents of change, and this is a core component of the experiential peace-building process, especially in terms of helping participants understand the shared meaning of their experience. Such empowerment is often the goal of small-scale peace-building initiatives that target people with influence in divided communities, so that they will be able to apply what they have learned in their home constituencies. This is often done through joint cooperative initiatives or projects that allow a transformed group of people from each side of the divide to have a platform to reach out and extend their transformation to others in their communities. In our understanding, this approach to peace building rests on four criteria: (1) the responsibility and judgment of being empowered; (2) the conscious use of symbolism and ritual to create meaningful images, metaphors and experiences; (3) the transference of individual transformation back into the community; and (4) the reframing of community relationships so as to counter prevailing stereotypes and to inspire a positive notion of the “other” through a real-world example. The Balkans Peace Park Project (B3P) sought to use such a framework to further its goals of peace education and also to foster a better appreciation of the social ecology of this complex border landscape.
The Birth of the Balkans Peace Park Project (B3P)
The story starts with a flash of inspiration from one intrepid woman following her wanderlust in the footsteps of a famous British explorer, Edith Durham, who trekked by horseback through the Dinaric Alps at the turn of the century — before communism lowered its Iron Curtain of isolationism and paranoia.
Could you describe how and why you became professionally involved in peacebuilding work?
Growing up in Pakistan, I was acutely aware of constant conflict with our neighbouring countries – particularly India. The persistent stress of border clashes and the inertia on both sides to politically resolve their post-colonial tensions led me to focus on novel ways to resolve the territorial disputes in the region and beyond. Much of my research on conflicts between mining companies and communities (such as the ongoing struggles against strip-coal mining in Appalachia) has straddled the negotiating space between industries and communities. This stems from my experiences of working for a major multinational corporation (General Electric) during a time of intense environmental conflict between the company and the community in New York, where they had a legacy of chemical contamination of the Hudson River. Trained as a chemist in my undergraduate degree, I was fascinated by the complexity of products that GE manufactured and the elements which went into their manufacturing but also which ended up in ecological systems where the company operated. From that experience, I embarked on an academic career which built upon the paradigm of ‘industrial ecology’, which considers modern technological activity as an inextricable part of the ecosystem. I have thus always thought of peacebuilding at multiple scales: between companies and communities, between science and society and between nation-states.
Your work in peacebuilding is most closely associated with conflict resolution in situations where the natural environment is under threat. This book explores how cultural heritage can advance peacebuilding efforts. What do you see as the parallels between natural heritage and cultural heritage in this regard? What do you see as the biggest differences?
Most human societies have some cultural connectivity with natural systems. Natural heritage anchors cultures to particular places and is often grounded in community survival. Cultures are dynamic and are not inherently positive by any means. There is considerable negativity in many cultures that makes them exclusive and not conducive to peacebuilding. This has been the case with many cultures that are dominated by particular literalist adherence to ancient religious scriptures. Religions can also change but are more inertial. I have found this to be the case within the Islamic tradition which I have grown up with.
Mechanical properties of the metals and their alloys are influenced by the material grain size at microscale. In the present study, the Johnson-Cook (JC) material model is modified to incorporate the effect of material's grain size along with the plasticity coupled damage model. 2D finite element (FE) simulations of turning process of an aerospace grade aluminium alloy 2024 (AA2024) were performed with different grain sizes using a commercial FE software, ABAQUS/Explicit. FE simulation results were compared with the published experimental data on turning process of AA2024. The proposed modified JC material model successfully simulated the increase in cutting force as a function of grain size refinement.
The performance culture of the health service means that the psychological
well-being of staff is becoming paramount in maintaining the workforce and
in sustaining psychological health and morale. A Charter for Psychological
Staff Wellbeing and Resilience is introduced that puts the onus on us and on
employers to make the necessary adjustments to their workplace cultures and
encourage professionals – us – to break through the barrier of stigma.
The dominance of fossil fuel economies in the Middle East with large Muslim majority populations has led to a recurring question about the role Islamic ethics might play in galvanizing action on climate change. However, the perceived clash of economic values versus environmental norms in Islam deserves more careful examination. This brief article considers the advent of the “Islamic Declaration on Climate Change” which was promulgated in 2015 and considers the tangible steps Muslim government leaders and civil society have taken on this matter. The tangible steps that are being considered with an action plan are discussed in the light of earlier environmental movements within Islam. A brief discussion of environmental norms within Islamic scriptures is also provided to give theological context to this narrative. The establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in the UAE as a treaty-based organization with United Nations affiliations is also considered. The environment can play an important peace-building role in the region as exemplified by organizations such as Eco-peace in Palestine, Israel, and Jordan. Based on the analysis of these developments, it is likely that Muslim countries will continue to play a more proactive role in addressing climate change than they are often given credit for in popular discourse.
The Soweto Student Uprising of 1976 was a decisive moment in the struggle against apartheid. It marked the expansion of political activism to a new generation of young activists, but beyond that it inscribed the role that young people of subsequent generations could play in their country’s future. Since that momentous time students have held a special place in the collective imaginary of South African history. Drawing on research and writing by leading scholars and prominent activists, Students Must Rise takes Soweto ’76 as its pivot point, but looks at student and youth activism in South Africa more broadly by considering what happened before and beyond the Soweto moment. Early chapters assess the impact of the anti-pass campaigns of the 1950s, of political ideologies like black consciousness as well as of religion and culture in fostering political consciousness and organisation among youth and students in townships and rural areas. Later chapters explore the wide-reaching impact of June 16th itself for student organisation over the next two decades across the country. Two final chapters consider contemporary student-based political movements, including #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall, and historically root these in the long and rich tradition of student activism in South Africa. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1976 June 16th uprisings. This book rethinks the conventional narrative of youth and student activism in South Africa by placing that most famous of moments – the 1976 students’ uprising in Soweto – in a deeper historical and geographic context.