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We report evolution of the surface and wetting behavior of Barium fluoride (BaF2) thin films under the effect of swift heavy ion (SHI) irradiation at different fluences. The analogy of this study may be used may be used for the development of dust resistant fabric technology for rural area. The ion irradiation has been performed at normal incidence on the films with Au ions having 100 MeV energy. Further, the wettability of irradiated surfaces is studied through contact angle of water droplet. The value of contact angle of droplet changes with irradiation, it increases from 111° to 123° with the increase in fluence from 5×1011 to 1×1013 ions/cm2. The mechanism of wettability of BaF2 is explained on the basis of increase in contact area of water droplet with surface. SHI irradiation deposits a huge amount of energy in materials due to extreme electronic excitation and it causes a large increase in the temperature of material around the ion track. Ion beam irradiation leads to the large ejection of atoms from the surface which is one of the major factors in increasing the roughness of the surface and thus for the change in contact angle.
A field experiment was conducted to study the long-term effects of nutrient management practices on micronutrient concentrations in soil and their uptake by crops under a long-term rice–wheat cropping system. The treatments comprised different combinations of N, P, K, Zn and farm yard manure (FYM), used as nutrient management practices. After 25 years of continuous cropping, the higher grain yields and uptake of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were obtained when FYM was applied along with mineral sources of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK) when compared to mineral sources of NPK alone. The residual effect of FYM, applied to rice, on the yield of subsequent wheat was significant. The application of mineral NPK with FYM recorded higher diethylene triamine penta acetic acid extracted (DTPA)-Fe, Mn and Cu concentrations in the soil compared to any other treatment. The plots with Zn application showed higher DTPA-Zn concentration in the soil compared to any other treatments. The available Fe, Mn and Cu in the soil were higher than their critical limits and the soil was low in Zn where inorganic fertilizers were applied alone (without Zn). Integrated application of mineral NPK and FYM to the rice crop and mineral NPK to wheat was found to be the best nutrient management practice in producing higher yields of rice and wheat and improve long-term soil micronutrient concentrations.
National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) data have shown that nearly half of all malaria deaths in India occur in tribal-dominated areas. The present study took a qualitative approach to understanding community perceptions and practices related to malarial infection and anti-malarial programmes. Twelve focus group discussions and 26 in-depth interviews of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) were conducted in nine villages in the district of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra state in India in June 2016. A total of 161 village residents (94 males and 67 females) participated in the focus group discussions and 26 health workers participated in the in-depth interviews. Data were analysed using the content analysis approach. The findings revealed widespread misconceptions about malaria among village residents, and low use of preventive measures and anti-malarial services. Ignorance and treatment by unqualified traditional healers delay effective treatment seeking. Furthermore, failure to maintain drug compliance adds to the gravity of the problem. The study identified the social and behavioural factors affecting treatment uptake and use of treatment facilities in the study area. These should help the development of the behavioural change communication arm of any control strategy for malaria through improving community participation, so improving preventive practices and optimizing utilization of anti-malarial services.
Dementia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality without pharmacologic prevention or cure. Mounting evidence suggests that adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern may slow cognitive decline, and is important to characterise in at-risk cohorts. Thus, we determined the reliability and validity of the Mediterranean Diet and Culinary Index (MediCul), a new tool, among community-dwelling individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A total of sixty-eight participants (66 % female) aged 75·9 (sd 6·6) years, from the Study of Mental and Resistance Training study MCI cohort, completed the fifty-item MediCul at two time points, followed by a 3-d food record (FR). MediCul test–retest reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC), Bland–Altman plots and κ agreement within seventeen dietary element categories. Validity was assessed against the FR using the Bland–Altman method and nutrient trends across MediCul score tertiles. The mean MediCul score was 54·6/100·0, with few participants reaching thresholds for key Mediterranean foods. MediCul had very good test–retest reliability (ICC=0·93, 95 % CI 0·884, 0·954, P<0·0001) with fair-to-almost-perfect agreement for classifying elements within the same category. Validity was moderate with no systematic bias between methods of measurement, according to the regression coefficient (y=−2·30+0·17x) (95 % CI −0·027, 0·358; P=0·091). MediCul over-estimated the mean FR score by 6 %, with limits of agreement being under- and over-estimated by 11 and 23 %, respectively. Nutrient trends were significantly associated with increased MediCul scoring, consistent with a Mediterranean pattern. MediCul provides reliable and moderately valid information about Mediterranean diet adherence among older individuals with MCI, with potential application in future studies assessing relationships between diet and cognitive function.
Rice has the lowest grain protein content (GPC) among cereals. Efforts have been made to improve GPC through the modified bulk-pedigree method of selection. A total of 1780 F8 recombinant lines were derived in the year 2013 from five different cross combinations involving two high-GPC landraces, namely ARC10075 and ARC10063, three high-yielding parents, namely Swarna, Naveen and IR64, and one parent, namely Sharbati, known for superior grain quality with high micronutrient content. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to facilitate high-throughput selection for GPC. Significant selection differential, response to selection and non-significant differences between the predicted and observed response to selection for GPC and protein yield indicated the effectiveness of this selection process. This resulted in lines with high GPC, protein yield and desirable levels of amylose content. Further, based on high mean and stability for GPC and protein yield over the environments in the wet seasons of 2013, 2014 and the dry season of 2014, 12 elite lines were identified. Higher accumulation of glutelin fraction and non-significant change in prolamin/glutelin ratio in the grain suggested safe guarding of the nutritional value of rice grain protein of most of these identified lines. Since rice is the staple food of millions, the output of breeding for high GPC could have a significant role in alleviating protein malnutrition, especially in the developing world.
Sorghum is a multipurpose crop where all parts of the plant are used for human food, animal food, fuel and fabrication. In comparison to other cereal crops it requires little water and it is tolerant to poor soils and adverse climatic conditions. It is one of the most widely grown crops in India particularly in semi-arid and rain-fed regions where the potential for crop and livestock production is limited by the availability of water. During the kharif season (July to October), it occupies about 10 million ha of land and produces a large quantity of stover which is given to farm livestock. The rabi season crop (November to February) occupies about 6 million ha of land and is mainly dependent upon residual moisture in the soil and provides both grain and forage. The economic value of sorghum stover as fodder sometimes exceeds that of the grain because seasonal shortage of food is an acute problem during the dry season. Much effort has been expended on improving sorghum varieties (Burton, 1973; Gupta et al., 1976; Dongi and Paroda, 1978), mostly directed towards increasing the yield. Pederson et al. (1982) compared the quality and agronomic traits of 49 forage sorghum hybrids and suggested that the most rapid way to improve the quality of forage sorghum would be to improve its in vitro dry-matter (DM) digestibility. There are several new strains of sorghum which have been improved in terms of agronomic characters but there is little information on the nutritional quality of their stovers. Therefore the objective of this study was to evaluate the stovers of several new sorghum strains in terms of chemical composition, in sacco DM disappearance (DMD) and their silage quality.
We have studied, the relationship between monthly variations of average counting rates of cosmic ray intensity (CRI) at Moscow super neutron monitoring station with mid cut-off rigidities (~2.42 GV), and the solar radio flux at 10.7cm (F10.7) and sunspot number (SSN) during the solar cycles 22 − 24. The F10.7cm (2800 MHz) and SSN is an excellent indicator of solar activity for the study period. We have investigated the patterns of long-term and mid-term periodicities of SSN and F10.7, using Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) technique. We have observed the time-lag between ascending phase of CRI with F10.7cm and SSN during solar cycles 22 − 24.
Bovine calf scours reported to be caused by multiple aetiologies resulting in heavy mortality in unweaned calves and huge economic loss to the dairy farmers. Among these, cryptosporidiosis is an emerging waterborne zoonoses and one of the important causes of neonatal calf diarrhoea. Poor immune response coupled with primary cryptosporidial infections predispose neonatal calves to multiple secondary infections resulting in their deaths. In the present study, faecal samples from 100 diarrhoeic calves randomly picked up out of 17 outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea in periurban Ludhiana, Punjab in Northern India were subjected to conventional (microscopy, modified Zeihl–Neelsen (mZN) staining) and immunological and molecular techniques (faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR) for detection of primary Cryptosporidium parvum infection as well as other frequently reported concurrent pathogens, viz. rotavirus and coronavirus, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria spp. The faecal antigen capture ELISA and PCR revealed 35% prevalence of C. parvum in contrast to 25% by mZN staining with a relatively higher prevalence (66·7%) in younger (8–14-day-old) calves. The detection rate of the other enteropathogens associated with C. parvum was 45·71% for C. perfringens followed by Salmonella spp (40·0%), rotavirus (36·0%), coronavirus (16·0%), E. coli (12·0%) and Eimeria spp (4·0%) The sensitivity for detection of C. parvum by ELISA and mZN staining in comparison to PCR was 97·14% and 72·72%, respectively. An important finding of the study was that C. parvum alone was found in only 10% of the diarrhoeic faecal samples, whereas, majority of the samples (90%) showed mixed infections ranging from a combination of two to five agents. This is the first documentary proof of C. parvum and associated pathogens responsible for severe periurban outbreaks of bovine calf diarrhoea culminating in heavy mortality from Northern India.
Plasmodium knowlesi has risen in importance as a zoonotic parasite that has been causing regular episodes of malaria throughout South East Asia. The P. knowlesi genome sequence generated in 2008 highlighted and confirmed many similarities and differences in Plasmodium species, including a global view of several multigene families, such as the large SICAvar multigene family encoding the variant antigens known as the schizont-infected cell agglutination proteins. However, repetitive DNA sequences are the bane of any genome project, and this and other Plasmodium genome projects have not been immune to the gaps, rearrangements and other pitfalls created by these genomic features. Today, long-read PacBio and chromatin conformation technologies are overcoming such obstacles. Here, based on the use of these technologies, we present a highly refined de novo P. knowlesi genome sequence of the Pk1(A+) clone. This sequence and annotation, referred to as the ‘MaHPIC Pk genome sequence’, includes manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family with 136 full-length members categorized as type I or II. This sequence provides a framework that will permit a better understanding of the SICAvar repertoire, selective pressures acting on this gene family and mechanisms of antigenic variation in this species and other pathogens.
Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.
Background: The surgical risk factors and neuro-imaging characteristics associated with cerebellar mutism (CM) remain unclear and require further investigation. We aimed to examine surgical and MRI findings associated with CM in children following posterior fossa tumor resection. Methods: Using our data registry, we retrospectively collected data from pediatric patients who acquired CM and were matched based on age and pathology type with patients not acquiring CM after posterior fossa surgery. The strength of association between surgical and MRI variables and CM were examined using odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: A total of 22 patients were included. Medulloblastoma was the most common pathology among CM patients (91%). Tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle (OR, 6; 95% CI, 0.7-276), calcification/hemosiderin deposition (OR 7; 95% CI 0.9-315.5), and post-operative peri-ventricular ischemia on MRI (OR, 5; 95% CI, 0.5-236.5) were found to have the highest association with CM. Conclusions: Our results may suggest that tumor attachment to the floor of the fourth ventricle, pathological calcification, and post-operative ischemia are relatively more prevalent in patients with CM. Collectively, our work calls for a larger multi-institutional study of CM patients to further investigate the determinants and management of CM to potentially minimize its development and predict onset.
Adverse psychosocial working environments characterized by job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms among employees, but evidence on clinically diagnosed depression is scarce. We examined job strain as a risk factor for clinical depression.
We identified published cohort studies from a systematic literature search in PubMed and PsycNET and obtained 14 cohort studies with unpublished individual-level data from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium. Summary estimates of the association were obtained using random-effects models. Individual-level data analyses were based on a pre-published study protocol.
We included six published studies with a total of 27 461 individuals and 914 incident cases of clinical depression. From unpublished datasets we included 120 221 individuals and 982 first episodes of hospital-treated clinical depression. Job strain was associated with an increased risk of clinical depression in both published [relative risk (RR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47–2.13] and unpublished datasets (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.55). Further individual participant analyses showed a similar association across sociodemographic subgroups and after excluding individuals with baseline somatic disease. The association was unchanged when excluding individuals with baseline depressive symptoms (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.94–1.65), but attenuated on adjustment for a continuous depressive symptoms score (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.81–1.32).
Job strain may precipitate clinical depression among employees. Future intervention studies should test whether job strain is a modifiable risk factor for depression.
The RNAse III endonuclease DICER is a key regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and is frequently down-regulated in a variety of malignancies. We characterized the role of Dicer in glioblastoma (GB), specifically demonstrating its effects on the ability of glioma stem-like cells to form tumors in a mouse model of GB. DICER silencing in glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) reduced their stem cell characteristics, while tumors arising from these cells were more aggressive, larger in volume, and displayed a higher proliferation index and lineage differentiation. The resulting tumors, however, were more sensitive to radiation treatment. Our results demonstrate that DICER affects the tumorigenic potential of GSCs, providing a platform for analysis of specific relevant miRNAs and development of potentially novel therapies against GB.
Brain tumours represent the leading cause of childhood cancer mortality, of which medulloblastoma (MB) is the most frequent malignant pediatric brain tumour. Current molecular Nsubgroups of MB recognize distinct disease entities of which activated Wnt signaling (monosomy 6, exon 3 mutations in CTNNB1, and Wnt gene signature) is associated with a distinct subgroup and the best overall outcome. In contrast, only non-Wnt MBs are characterized by metastatic disease, increased rate of recurrence, and poor overall survivorship. Given the excellent clinical outcome in patients with Wnt-driven MB, we aimed to convert treatment-resistant MB subgroups into an ostensibly benign tumour through selective targeting by small molecule Wnt agonists (Wnt3A), GSK3 inhibitors (CHIR99021), and transgenic lines containing a stabilized beta-catenin mutant. Activated Wnt signaling resulted in decreased in vitro self-renewal and promoted differentiation within primary human MB stem cells. The clinical relevance of these findings were demonstrated with an in vivo survival advantage in mice containing orthotopic injections of cells containing a stabilized beta-catenin mutant representative of constitutively active Wnt signaling. Xenografts generated from Wnt-activated tumours were much smaller in size, maintained a much lower rate of proliferation, and reduction in key MB stem cell self-renewal genes (Bmi1, Sox2, Msi1, FoxG1). Our work establishes activated Wnt signaling as a novel treatment paradigm in childhood MB, while providing evidence for the context-specific tumour suppressive function of the canonical Wnt pathway.
Brain Metastases (BM) represent a leading cause of cancer mortality. While metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, their functional characterization has been limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the stages of metastasis. This work describes the isolation of a unique subset of metastatic stem-like cells from primary human patient samples of BM, termed brain metastasis initiating cells (BMICs). Utilizing these BMICs we have established a novel patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model of BM that recapitulates the entire metastatic cascade, from primary tumor initiation to micro-metastasis and macro-metastasis formation in the brain. We then comprehensively interrogated human BM to identify genetic regulators of BMICs using in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens, and validated hits using both our novel PDX model as well as primary clinical BM specimens. We identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as novel BMIC regulators, where in our model SPOCK1 regulated BMIC self-renewal and tumor initiation, and TWIST2 specifically regulated cell migration from lung to brain. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens was used to establish that SPOCK1 and TWIST2 were only expressed in patients who ultimately developed BM, thus establishing both clinical and functional utility for these gene products. This work offers the first comprehensive preclinical model of human brain metastasis for further characterization of therapeutic targets, identification of predictive biomarkers, and subsequent prophylactic treatment of patients most likely to develop BM. By blocking this process, metastatic lung cancer would effectively become a localized, more manageable disease.
We describe a study of the E–W-trending South Wagad Fault (SWF) complex at the eastern part of the Kachchh Rift Basin (KRB) in Western India. This basin was filled during Late Cretaceous time, and is presently undergoing tectonic inversion. During the late stage of the inversion cycle, all the principal rift faults were reactivated as transpressional strike-slip faults. The SWF complex shows wrench geometry of an anastomosing en échelon fault, where contractional and extensional segments and offsets alternate along the Principal Deformation Zone (PDZ). Geometric analysis of different segments of the SWF shows that several conjugate faults, which are a combination of R synthetic and R’ antithetic, propagate at a short distance along the PDZ and interact, generating significant fault slip partitioning. Surface morphology of the fault zone revealed three deformation zones: a 500 m to 1 km wide single fault zone; a 5–6 km wide double fault zone; and a c. 500 m wide diffuse fault zone. The single fault zone is represented by a higher stress accumulation which is located close to the epicentre of the 2001 Bhuj earthquake of Mw 7.7. The double fault zone represents moderate stress at releasing bends bounded by two fault branches. The diffuse fault zone represents a low-stress zone where several fault branches join together. Our findings are well corroborated with the available geological and seismological data.
The present paper investigates the propagation of Love-type waves in an initially stressed heterogeneous fibre-reinforced layer with corrugated boundary surfaces, lying over a viscoelastic half-space under hydrostatic state of stress. The dispersion relation is obtained in closed form and found to be in well-agreement with the classical Love wave equation. The substantial effect of reinforcement, position and undulation parameters (i.e. corrugation), heterogeneity, horizontal initial stress and hydrostatic state of stress are discussed briefly. It is established through comparative study that reinforced layer supports more to phase velocity of Love-type wave as compare to reinforced free layer.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
Fast photometric observations of a nova-like variable KR Aurigae and the intermediate polar BG CMi (3A0729+103) were made in the B and U bands during 1984–89 to study pulsations in them. The light curves of KR Aur show large amplitude quasi-periodic pulsations with periods in the range 500–800s which can be ascribed to inhomogeneities in the accretion disc. The light curves of the X-ray emitting intermediate polar BG CMi show variable amplitude pulsations with 913s period. From the times of maxima of the pulsations obtained from observations over the period 1984–1989, the pulsation period is derived to be 0.010572966 ± 8 days and the spin-up rate to be (−5.7 ± 0.5) × 10−11 ss−1. The spin-up rate is consistent with the pulsating source being a white dwarf and not a neutron star.