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Modern lifestyle increases the prevalence of obesity and its co-morbidities in the young population. High-salt (HS) diets are associated with hypertension and cardiac remodelling. The present study evaluated the potential effects of cardiometabolic programming induced by HS intake during puberty in lean and obese rats. Additionally, we investigated whether HS could exacerbate the impairment of cardiovascular parameters in adult life due to postnatal early overnutrition (PO). At postnatal day 3 (PN3), twenty-four litters of Wistar rats were divided into two groups: normal litter (NL, nine pups/dam) and small litter (SL, three pups/dam) throughout the lactation period; weaning was at PN21. At PN30, the pups were subdivided into two more groups: NL plus HS (NLHS) and SL plus HS (SLHS). HS intake was from PN30 until PN60. Cardiovascular parameters were evaluated at PN120. SL rats became overweight at adulthood due to persistent hyperphagia; however, HS exposure during puberty reduced the weight gain and food intake of NLHS and SLHS. Both HS and obesity raised the blood pressure, impaired baro- and chemoreflex sensitivity and induced cardiac remodelling but no worsening was observed in the association of these factors, except a little reduction in the angiotensin type-2 receptor in the hearts from SLHS animals. Our results suggest that the response of newborn offspring to PO and juveniles to a HS diet leads to significant changes in cardiovascular parameters in adult rats. This damage may be accompanied by impairment of both angiotensin signalling and antioxidant defence in the heart.
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.
Determining the predictors of serum retinol at mid-pregnancy is relevant for planning interventions aimed at improving vitamin A status of pregnant women and their offspring. This prospective study assessed predictors of serum retinol at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy. We enrolled 442 pregnant women living in the urban area of Cruzeiro do Sul, Western Brazilian Amazon. Demographic, socio-economic, environmental and clinical characteristics as well as obstetric history, anthropometric, dietary and biochemical data, including serum retinol, were gathered between 16 and 20 gestational weeks. Serum retinol also measured at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy (approximately 28 gestational weeks) was the outcome of interest. Multiple linear regression models were used to evaluate associations with the outcome. Overall, the following variables explained serum retinol at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy in the adjusted model (R2 = 11·1 %): seasonality (winter season – November to April; β=0·134; 95 % CI 0·063, 0·206), weekly consumption of Amazonian fruits (β=0·087; 95 % CI 0·012, 0·162) and retinol concentrations between 16 and 20 gestational weeks (β=0·045; 95 % CI 0·016, 0·074) were positively associated, whereas having a smoker in the house was negatively associated (β=–0·087; 95 % CI: –0·166, –0·009). Consumption of pro-vitamin A-rich fruits by pregnant women should be encouraged. Passive smoking may play a role in decreasing vitamin A status as a proxy of smoking exposure during pregnancy.
Silicon carbide together with amorphous carbon are the main components of dust grains in the atmospheres of C-rich AGB stars. Small gaseous Si-C bearing molecules (such as SiC, SiCSi, and SiC2) are efficiently formed close to the stellar photosphere. They likely condense onto dust seeds owing to their highly refractory nature at the lower temperatures (i.e., below about 2500 K) in the dust growth zone which extends a few stellar radii from the photosphere. Beyond this region, the abundances of Si-C bearing molecules are expected to decrease until they are eventually reformed in the outer shells of the circumstellar envelope, owing to the interaction between the gas and the interstellar UV radiation field. Our goal is to understand the time-dependent chemical evolution of Si-C bond carriers probed by molecular spectral line emission in the circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216 at millimeter wavelengths.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) are pregnancy complications associated with morbidity in later life. Despite a growing body of evidence from current research on developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), little information is currently provided to parents on long-term metabolic, cardiovascular and neurologic consequences. As parents strongly rely on internet-based health-related information, we examined the quality of information on IUGR/FGR sequelae and DOHaD in webpages used by laypersons. Simulating non-clinicians experience, we entered the terms ‘IUGR consequences’ and ‘FGR consequences’ into Google and Yahoo search engines. The quality of the top search-hits was analyzed with regard to the certification through the Health On the Net Foundation (HON), currentness of cited references, while reliability of information and DOHaD-related consequences were assessed via the DISCERN Plus score (DPS). Overall the citation status was not up-to-date and only a few websites were HON-certified. The results of our analysis showed a dichotomy between the growing body of evidence regarding IUGR/FGR-related sequelae and lack of current guidelines, leaving parents without clear directions. Furthermore, detailed information on the concept of DOHaD is not provided. These findings emphasize the responsibility of the individual physician for providing advice on IUGR/FGR-related sequelae, monitoring and follow-up.
Early Archaic human skeletal remains found in a burial context in Lapa do
Santo in east-central Brazil provide a rare glimpse into the lives of
hunter-gatherer communities in South America, including their rituals for
dealing with the dead. These included the reduction of the body by means of
mutilation, defleshing, tooth removal, exposure to fire and possibly
cannibalism, followed by the secondary burial of the remains according to
strict rules. In a later period, pits were filled with disarticulated bones
of a single individual without signs of body manipulation, demonstrating
that the region was inhabited by dynamic groups in constant transformation
over a period of centuries.
Idiopathic intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a result of impaired placental nutrient supply. Newborns with IUGR exhibiting postnatal catch-up growth are of higher risk for cardiovascular and metabolic co-morbidities in adult life. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was recently shown to function as a placental nutrient sensor. Thus, we determined possible correlations of members of the placental mTOR signaling cascade with auxologic parameters of postnatal growth. The protein expression and activity of mTOR-pathway signaling components, Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase α, mTOR, p70S6kinase1 and insulin receptor substrate-1 were analysed via western blotting in IUGR v. matched appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) placentas. Moreover, mTOR was immunohistochemically stained in placental sections. Data from western blot analyses were correlated with retrospective auxological follow-up data at 1 year of age. We found significant catch-up growth in the 1st year of life in the IUGR group. MTOR and its activated form are immunohistochemically detected in multiple placental compartments. We identified correlations of placental mTOR-pathway signaling components to auxological data at birth and at 1 year of life in IUGR. Analysis of the protein expression and phosphorylation level of mTOR-pathway components in IUGR and AGA placentas postpartum, however, did not reveal pathognomonic changes. Our findings suggest that the level of activated mTOR correlates with early catch-up growth following IUGR. However, the complexity of signals converging at the mTOR nexus and its cellular distribution pattern seem to limit its potential as biomarker in this setting.
Epigenetic studies suggest that diseases that develop in adulthood are related to certain conditions to which the individual is exposed during the initial stages of life. Experimental evidence has demonstrated that offspring born to mothers maintained on high-Na diets during pregnancy have higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) in adulthood. Although these studies have demonstrated the importance of prenatal phases to hypertension development, no evidence regarding the role of high Na intake during postnatal phases in the development of this pathology has been reported. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of Na overload during childhood on induced water and Na intakes and on cardiovascular parameters in adulthood were evaluated. Experiments were carried out in two groups of 21-d-old rats: experimental group, maintained on hypertonic saline (0·3 m-NaCl) solution and food for 60 d, and control group, maintained on tap water and food. Later, both groups were given water and food for 15 d (recovery period). After the recovery period, chronic cannulation of the right femoral artery was performed in unanaesthetised rats to record baseline MAP and heart rate (HR). The experimental group was found to have increased basal MAP (98·6 (sem 2·6) v. 118·3 (sem 2·7) mmHg, P< 0·05) and HR (365·4 (sem 12·2) v. 398·2 (sem 7·5) beats per min, P< 0·05). There was a decrease in the baroreflex index in the experimental group when compared with that in the control group. A water and Na intake test was performed using furosemide. Na depletion was found to induce an increase in Na intake in both the control and experimental groups (12·1 (sem 0·6) ml and 7·8 (sem 1·1), respectively, P< 0·05); however, this increase was of lower magnitude in the experimental group. These results demonstrate that postnatal Na overload alters behavioural and cardiovascular regulation in adulthood.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
Reintroduction success depends in part on the release strategy used. Benefits are attributed to particular release strategies but few studies have tested these assumptions. We examined the effect of delayed release (a form of so-called soft release) on the survival of a threatened passerine, the New Zealand hihi Notiomystis cincta, for up to 7 months after translocation. Birds were captured at the source site and then held in captivity for disease screening. They were then taken to the release site, where 30 were released immediately and 28 were held for a further 2–4 days in an on-site aviary. Twenty-four birds were fitted with radio-transmitters. A 1,300 ha area around the release site was searched fortnightly, and survival was analysed using a multi-state model that accounted for the effect of transmitters on detection probability. Our results indicated that delayed release had a negative effect on long-term survival, but no effect was apparent in the first 6 weeks. Survival probability from 6 weeks to 7 months post-release was 0.77 ± SE 0.20 for immediate-release birds and 0.04 ± SE 0.06 for delayed-release birds. Our results suggest that there is a misconception about the benefits of delayed-release strategies during translocation of wild animals. Studies that have demonstrated a benefit of delayed release in other bird species used captive-bred individuals, and we suggest that wild individuals perceive captivity differently. We recommend that biological context is considered before delayed release is used in translocations.
We evaluated the effect of feeding dietary tannins from Lysiloma latisiliquum fresh forage on the saliva tannin-binding capacity of hair sheep lambs without previous exposure to tannin-rich (TR) fodder. Twenty-four hair sheep lambs (13.6±3.04 kg LW) were fed a tannin-free diet at the beginning of the experimental period (from day 10 to 13). On day 14, lambs were distributed into three groups (n=8): control group (CG), fed with the tannin-free diet (from D10 to D112); tannin short-term group (TST), fed the basal diet and 650 g of L. latisiliquum forage (from D14 to D55); tannin long-term group (TLT), fed the basal diet and 650 g of L. latisiliquum forage (from D14 to D112). Saliva samples were collected from the mouth of each lamb in the morning before feeding time on D10 and D14 (baseline period), on D49 and D56 (period 1) and on D97 and D112 (period 2). The tannin binding response of salivary protein (∆% turbidity) was determined with the haze development test (HDT) using either tannic acid or L. latisiliquum forage acetone extract. A turbidity protein index (TPI) was calculated as (∆% turbidity/[salivary protein (mg)]). Differences in HDT and TPI in the different groups were compared by repeated measures ANOVA using Proc Mixed. All groups had similar ∆% turbidity throughout the experiment (P>0.05). At baseline and period 1, the TPI of the different groups was similar (P>0.05). On period 2 the TLT group showed higher TPI compared with CG (P<0.05). Meanwhile, CG and TST showed similar salivary TPI. The saliva of hair sheep lambs consuming TR L. latisiliquum fresh fodder (TLT group) increased their TPI compared with control lambs not exposed to tannins.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time
phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to
address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small
space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that
uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than
slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB
position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for
the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast
response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide
unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard
candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in
early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched
UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.
The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The
SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by
means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a
17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and 4.3 arcsec resolution (full width half
maximum of the point spread function) The beam-steering mirror enables the SMT to access a
35 × 35degree region and point and settle within 1 sec. All mirrors were fabricated to
about 0.02 wavelengths RMS in wave front error (WFE) and 84.7% average reflectivity over
200 nm ~ 650 nm. The RC telescope was aligned to 0.05 wavelengths RMS in WFE (test
wavelength 632.8 nm). In this paper, the technical details of the RC telescope and slewing
mirror system assembly, integration, and testing are given shortly, and performance tests
of the full SMT optical system are reported.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.