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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Gill histopathology is a valuable tool to evaluate ecosystems health, because the gill is a key site of waterborne pollutant uptake and the first target organ to their toxicity. Consequently, this makes it important in biomonitoring programs. This study aims to evaluate gill histopathological differences in Douro basin native fish species and determine possible associations with water quality and the ecological status classifications. Two native fish species (Pseudochondrostoma duriense and Luciobarbus bocagei) were sampled in four points of the Douro basin: two reference points, Ameixiosa (Paiva River) and Covelas (Bestança River), both classified with an excellent ecological status; and two disturbed points, Castro Daire (Paiva River) and Alvações do Corgo (Corgo River), categorized with a good and a moderate ecological status, respectively. Gill histopathological differences were qualitative and quantitatively analyzed. The histological analysis showed that, in all sampling locations, both species presented some degree of gill differences, such as epithelial lifting, lamellar fusion, and/or necrosis. The histopathological differences evaluation emphasized some variances in the responses between the two species. In nase, the filament and lamellar epithelium proliferation were the histopathological differences that better reflected the river ecological status classification, proving their usefulness in biomonitoring programs.
The value of the nosological distinction between non-affective and affective psychosis has frequently been challenged. We aimed to investigate the transdiagnostic dimensional structure and associated characteristics of psychopathology at First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Regardless of diagnostic categories, we expected that positive symptoms occurred more frequently in ethnic minority groups and in more densely populated environments, and that negative symptoms were associated with indices of neurodevelopmental impairment.
This study included 2182 FEP individuals recruited across six countries, as part of the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. Symptom ratings were analysed using multidimensional item response modelling in Mplus to estimate five theory-based models of psychosis. We used multiple regression models to examine demographic and context factors associated with symptom dimensions.
A bifactor model, composed of one general factor and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganization, manic and depressive symptoms, best-represented associations among ratings of psychotic symptoms. Positive symptoms were more common in ethnic minority groups. Urbanicity was associated with a higher score on the general factor. Men presented with more negative and less depressive symptoms than women. Early age-at-first-contact with psychiatric services was associated with higher scores on negative, disorganized, and manic symptom dimensions.
Our results suggest that the bifactor model of psychopathology holds across diagnostic categories of non-affective and affective psychosis at FEP, and demographic and context determinants map onto general and specific symptom dimensions. These findings have implications for tailoring symptom-specific treatments and inform research into the mood-psychosis spectrum.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
Recent open-label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression.
To test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Patients received a single dose of either ayahuasca or placebo. We assessed changes in depression severity with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale at baseline, and at 1 (D1), 2 (D2), and 7 (D7) days after dosing.
We observed significant antidepressant effects of ayahuasca when compared with placebo at all-time points. MADRS scores were significantly lower in the ayahuasca group compared with placebo at D1 and D2 (p = 0.04), and at D7 (p < 0.0001). Between-group effect sizes increased from D1 to D7 (D1: Cohen's d = 0.84; D2: Cohen's d = 0.84; D7: Cohen's d = 1.49). Response rates were high for both groups at D1 and D2, and significantly higher in the ayahuasca group at D7 (64% v. 27%; p = 0.04). Remission rate showed a trend toward significance at D7 (36% v. 7%, p = 0.054).
To our knowledge, this is the first controlled trial to test a psychedelic substance in treatment-resistant depression. Overall, this study brings new evidence supporting the safety and therapeutic value of ayahuasca, dosed within an appropriate setting, to help treat depression. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02914769).
We report here the discovery of a boulder pavement cropping out at the base of the Hobbs Glacier Formation (Miocene), on the northern sector of Seymour Island (Isla Marambio), West Antarctica, along the contact with the underlying La Meseta Formation (Eocene). The feature described has many points in common with boulder pavements developed in tidal-marine environments. The clasts of the pavement are mostly boulders and bear up to three sets of glacial striae on their bevelled truncated surfaces, but are not elongate parallel to them or bullet shaped. No diamictite body was identified associated with the boulder pavement. These features differ from those of boulder pavements described from terrestrially glaciated Cenozoic deposits and may indicate a shallow glaciomarine environment for the late Cenozoic of Seymour Island.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
The quality of dietary lipids in the maternal diet can programme the offspring to diseases in later life. We investigated whether the maternal intake of palm oil or interesterified fat, substitutes for trans-unsaturated fatty acids (FA), induces metabolic changes in the adult offspring. During pregnancy and lactation, C57BL/6 female mice received normolipidic diets containing partially hydrogenated vegetable fat rich in trans-unsaturated fatty acids (TG), palm oil (PG), interesterified fat (IG) or soyabean oil (CG). After weaning, male offspring from all groups received the control diet until day 110. Plasma glucose and TAG and liver FA profiles were ascertained. Liver mitochondrial function was accessed with high-resolution respirometry by measuring VO2, fluorimetry for detection of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production and mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake. The results showed that the IG offspring presented a 20 % increase in plasma glucose and both the IG and TG offspring presented a 2- and 1·9-fold increase in TAG, respectively, when compared with CG offspring. Liver MUFA and PUFA contents decreased in the TG and IG offspring when compared with CG offspring. Liver MUFA content also decreased in the PG offspring. These modifications in FA composition possibly affected liver mitochondrial function, as respiration was impaired in the TG offspring and H2O2 production was higher in the IG offspring. In addition, mitochondrial Ca2+ retention capacity was reduced by approximately 40 and 55 % in the TG and IG offspring, respectively. In conclusion, maternal consumption of trans-unsaturated and interesterified fat affected offspring health by compromising mitochondrial bioenergetics and lipid metabolism in the liver.
Four new Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) species and two new genera are described from Ecuador: Blabia albosetanew species (Lamiinae: Desmiphorini); Alloblabianew genus, type species, A. praecipuanew species (Lamiinae: Desmiphorini); Alicalnew genus, type species, A. tuberculatusnew species (Lamiinae: Calliini); and Piola schiffinew species (Lamiinae: Phacellini). The new species of Blabia Thomson, 1864 and Piola Marinoni, 1974, and Alical are included in modified published keys.
We demonstrate a compact tunable photonic modulator driven by surface acoustic waves (SAWs) in the low GHz frequency range. The device follows a well-known Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) structure with three output channels, built upon multi-mode interference (MMI) couplers. The light continuously switches paths between the central and the side channels, avoiding losses and granting a 180◦-dephasing synchronization between them. The modulator was monolithically fabricated on (Al,Ga)As, and can be used as a building block for more complex photonic functionalities. It can also be implemented in other material platforms such as Silicon or (In,Ga)P. Light modulated at multiples of the fundamental acoustic frequency can be accomplished by adjusting the applied acoustic power. An excellent agreement between theory and experiment is achieved.
Congenital pericardial absence is a rare cardiac defect. Although most patients are asymptomatic, recognising this condition is clinically important as it can cause serious complications. We report the case of an asymptomatic 33-year-old woman seeking medical attention due to a family history of sudden cardiac death. The investigation led us to the diagnosis of congenital absence of the pericardium. The role of imaging in the diagnosis of this rare cardiac malformation is briefly discussed.
We investigated whether there is an association between anxiety disorders
and mitral valve prolapse. We compared mitral valve prolapse prevalence in
individuals with panic disorder (n = 41), social anxiety
disorder (n = 89) and in healthy controls
(n = 102) in an attempt to overcome the biases of
previous studies. Our results show no associations between panic disorder or
social anxiety disorder and mitral valve prolapse, regardless of the
diagnostic criteria employed, and that the relationship between these
conditions seems not to be clinically relevant.
Results of further studies on phase equilibria in system CaO—ZrO2—TiO2 along the “pyrochlore” line ( Ca Zrx Ti3-x 07 ) are reported concerning the possible substitution of cerium for either calcium or zirconium in nominal “Ca Zr2 Ti 07”. The dominant tetragonal phase in this composition was identified as calzirtite. The structural role of zirconium and its tendency towards 7—coordination environments are discussed. Possible implications on high—level nuclear waste immobilizers like SYNROC are brieflyconsidered.
Amorphous films of Ge1-xTex (x=0.37, 0.51, 0.64) prepared by sputtering, by melt quenching or by ion irradiation were annealed up to 450°C. Different phase stability, i.e. crystallization temperature, was observed varying the amorphous status in stoichiometric and Te-rich alloys while no variation was obtained in the Ge-rich alloy. Laser and ion irradiated stoichiometric alloy exhibits lower stability with respect to the sputtered film while irradiated amorphous Te-rich samples are more stable than the as deposited amorphous sample. An enhancement of edge-sharing GeTe4 tetrahedra Raman signal at the expenses of Ge-rich tetrahedra signal occurs in the irradiated samples with respect to the as-deposited amorphous layers both in the stoichiometric and in the Te-rich alloy. The crystallization temperature decreases in GeTe since the system during irradiation is promoted to a state closer to the crystalline phase while in Te-rich alloy the stability increases with the density of Ge-Te bonds since this local rearrangement delays Te precipitation and the subsequent GeTe crystallization. Irradiation does not affect the stability of Ge rich alloy in which crystallization is limited by the Ge mobility and the induced local rearrangements is probably prevented by the low atomic diffusivity.
The reproductive cycles of four limpet species, Patella depressa, Patella ulyssiponensis, Patella vulgata and Patella rustica are described for several locations in northern and central Portugal. Patella depressa and P. ulyssiponensis displayed almost continual gonad activity, with two main spawning periods, September–January and March–June, and minor spawning events dispersed throughout the year. Patella vulgata and P. rustica exhibited highly synchronized reproductive cycles, with well-defined breeding and resting periods. Gonad development in P. vulgata started in September and spawning took place from November–December to March. In P. rustica development started in June and spawning occurred from September–October to December–January. Compared to the 1980s these results suggest that breeding periods are becoming longer in southern species and shorter in northern species.