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Although executive and other cognitive deficits have been found in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), whether these have brain functional correlates has been little studied. This study aimed to examine patterns of task-related activation and de-activation during the performance of a working memory task in patients with the disorder.
Sixty-seven DSM-IV BPD patients and 67 healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the n-back task. Linear models were used to obtain maps of within-group activations and areas of differential activation between the groups.
On corrected whole-brain analysis, there were no activation differences between the BPD patients and the healthy controls during the main 2-back v. baseline contrast, but reduced activation was seen in the precentral cortex bilaterally and the left inferior parietal cortex in the 2-back v. 1-back contrast. The patients showed failure of de-activation affecting the medial frontal cortex and the precuneus, plus in other areas. The changes did not appear to be attributable to previous history of depression, which was present in nearly half the sample.
In this study, there was some, though limited, evidence for lateral frontal hypoactivation in BPD during the performance of an executive task. BPD also appears to be associated with failure of de-activation in key regions of the default mode network.
The aim of this study was to identify good practice principles for health technology assessment (HTA) that are the most relevant and of highest priority for application in Latin America and to identify potential barriers to their implementation in the region.
HTA good practice principles proposed at the international level were identified and then explored during a deliberative process in a forum of assessors, funders, and product manufacturers.
Forty-two representatives from ten Latin American countries participated. Good practice principles proposed at the international level were considered valid and potentially relevant to Latin America. Five principles were identified as priority and with the greatest potential to be strengthened at this time: transparency in the production of HTA, involvement of relevant stakeholders in the HTA process, mechanisms to appeal decisions, clear priority-setting processes in HTA, and a clear link between HTA and decision making. The main challenge identified was to find a balance between the application of these principles and the available resources in a way that would not detract from the production of reports and adaptation to the needs of decision makers.
The main recommendation was to progress gradually in strengthening HTA and its link to decision making by developing appropriate processes for each country, without trying to impose, in the short-term, standards taken from examples at the international level without adequate adaptation of these to local contexts.
A major challenge in nanofabrication is the manipulation and exact placement of nano-objects on a specific template. Artificial DNA nanostructures such as DNA origami have garnered significant interest as templates for incorporating nanomaterials at precise sites while the structures are self-assembled. This work shows the usage of the DNA origami technique in the design and fabrication of nanostructures with the shapes of a circle and a triangle using the third part of the M13 virus genome, named mini-M13, as a scaffold. These DNA origami templates were modified to have DNA binding sites with a uniquely coded sequence. This method is used to attach 5 nm gold nanoparticles functionalized with the complementary DNA sequence. Two new metallic nanostructures with different nanoparticle arrays having minimum size but recognizable morphology are provided. The formation and dimensions of the nanostructures were verified using AFM and agarose gel electrophoresis.
The nutritive value of forage crops is related mainly to climatic conditions and stage of plant maturity, and its determination for any given crop is essential for optimum planning and animal feeding (Berardo et al., 1993; Deaville and Flinn, 2000). Worldwide the nutritive value of forages is often estimated by chemical or physical methods and is expressed as the concentration of chemical constituents in the plant tissue. There is little information in the literature about the use of NIRS to determine degradability in pastures with different conditions, season, different places (Wilman et al., 2000). The aim of the work to explore the use of NIRS as rapid tool for estimate DM and N degradability in forages.
Spring excess of temperate pastures are usually ensiled by Uruguayan farmers. The purpose of this work was to study changes in the ruminal N degradability during wilting and silage fermentation of farm forages in Uruguay.
Research suggests that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents have a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their heterosexual peers, but little is known about specific risk factors.
To assess sexual orientation as a risk factor for suicidal behaviours, and to identify other risk factors among LGB adolescents and young adults.
A systematic search was made of six databases up to June 2015, including a grey literature search. Population-based longitudinal studies considering non-clinical populations aged 12–26 years and assessing being LGB as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour compared with being heterosexual, or evaluating risk factors for suicidal behaviour within LGB populations, were included. Random effect models were used in meta-analysis.
Sexual orientation was significantly associated with suicide attempts in adolescents and youths (OR=2.26, 95% CI 1.60–3.20). Gay or bisexual men were more likely to report suicide attempts compared with heterosexual men (OR=2.21, 95% CI 1.21–4.04). Based on two studies, a non-significant positive association was found between depression and suicide attempts in LGB groups.
Sexual orientation is associated with a higher risk of suicide attempt in young people. Further research is needed to assess completed suicide, and specific risk factors affecting the LGB population.
Protected areas have been established historically in residual places where the potential for extractive uses is low, implying that places at risk are usually under-protected. Argentina is no exception, with few protected areas established in productive regions that are prone to conversion. Here, using reptiles as a study group and considering the most important human threats in north-western Argentina, we estimated priority conservation areas where we expect species to persist in the face of climate change and land conversion. Protected areas cover no more than 9% of the study region, but represent less than 15% of reptile distributions. There are great opportunities for improving the conservation status in the region by protecting only 8% more of north-western Argentina, with the level of species protection inside the protected area network increasing almost four-fold, reaching 43% of species distributions on average and 59% of the distributions of threatened reptiles. Fortunately, the highest diversity of reptiles in the region does not match the places targeted for agriculture expansion. Our findings suggest that future prioritization schemes should embrace other groups that are especially diverse in the Chaco ecoregion, which overlaps with our study area.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
We analysed the association between a monogenean (Udonella cf. caligorum Johnston 1835) and its copepod host (Caligus sp.) living on a wild population of Arius herzbergii Bloch, 1794 in a north-eastern coastal lagoon from Venezuela. This study characterized infestation levels and analysed the effects of monogeneans on the fecundity and hatching success of the copepod host, as well as damage to its egg capsules and genital complex. A total of 218 Caligus specimens were analysed (94 males, 110 females and 14 immature stages) in which a total of 1017 monogeneans were found. These included 311 mature stages and 706 egg capsules. Monogenean stages were found attached to the cephalothorax, abdomen, genital complex and egg capsules of the copepods. No significant differences were found in fecundity and egg hatching when infested and non-infested ovigerous females were compared. No damage was observed on egg capsules or genital areas of infested ovigerous females. Our results suggest that this association, at the level of prevalence and intensity observed, is closer to commensalism than parasitism. The importance of considering that the nature of interaction is dynamic and changing with environmental conditions and time scale is highlighted.
Investigating whether high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) types tend to become grouped in a particular way and whether factors are associated with such grouping is important for measuring the real impact of vaccination. In total, 219 women proving positive for HPV as detected by real-time PCR were included in the study. Each sample was analysed for detecting and quantifying six viral types and the hydroxymethylbilane synthase gene. Multiple correspondence analysis led to determining grouping patterns for six HR-HPV types and simultaneous association with multiple variables and whether viral load was related to the coexistence of other viral types. Two grouping profiles were identified: the first included HPV-16 and HPV-45 and the second profile was represented by HPV-31, HPV-33 and HPV-58. Variables such as origin, contraceptive method, births and pregnancies, educational level, healthcare affiliation regime, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and viral load were associated with these grouping profiles. Different socio-demographic characteristics were found when coinfection occurred by phylogenetically related HPV types and when coinfection was due to non-related types. Biological characteristics, the number of viral copies, temporality regarding acquiring infection and competition between viral types could influence the configuration of grouping patterns. Characteristics related to women and HPV, influence such interactions between coexisting HPV types reflecting the importance of their evaluation.
Studies of high redshift galaxies reveal compact sub-galactic regions of star formation, known as ‘clumps’. These ‘clumpy’ galaxies are useful for the study of galactic outskirts by enabling us to examine the radial progression of clumps over large time scales. We use the first deep high resolution NUV image from the Hubble Space Telescope covering intermediate redshifts to explore the implications this radial progression may have on galaxy evolution. From the analysis of 209 clumpy galaxies, we find that higher redshift clumps dominate the outer regions of galactic outskirts. This indicates that clumps may be migrating from the outskirts inward toward their galactic centers.
Clays are commonly used as liners in urban landfills. However, the reactive processes with landfill leachates, and in particular the role of accessory minerals is poorly known. The aim of this work is to evaluate the diffusion of a synthetic urban landfill leachate through compacted natural smectite-illitic clays containing carbonates and sulfates and to predict the functioning of the clay liner for different minor mineral proportions. The leachate, characterized by acidic pH conditions and high organic matter content, is a typical aqueous solution formed in the acetogenic phase of organic matter degradation in urban landfill areas. Medium-scale (11 cm) laboratory diffusion tests were performed over 77 days. Chloride diffusion coefficients, porosity changes, cation exchange constants and the sulfate reduction rate were quantitatively assessed by means of reactive transport modelling. The exchange capacity of the clays is responsible for NH4+ retention. However, the presence or absence of gypsum in the initial clay rock controls the functioning of the liner. Gypsum dissolution ensures a high sulfate concentration in the porewater and enhances the acetate consumption via sulfate reduction. Gypsum dissolution and the concomitant calcite precipitation do not significantly alter the porosity of the clay rock.
Two in vitro experiments were conducted to analyse the effects of replacing dietary barley grain with wastes of tomato and cucumber fruits and a 1 : 1 tomato : cucumber mixture on rumen fermentation characteristics and microbial abundance. The control (CON) substrate contained 250 g/kg of barley grain on a dry matter (DM) basis, and another 15 substrates were formulated by replacing 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 g of barley grain/kg with the same amount (DM basis) of tomato or cucumber fruits or 1 : 1 tomato : cucumber mixture. In Expt 1, all substrates were incubated in batch cultures with rumen micro-organisms from goats for 24 h. Increasing amounts of tomato, cucumber and the mixture of both fruits in the substrate increased final pH and gas production, without changes in final ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentrations, substrate degradability and total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production, indicating that there were no detrimental effects of any waste fruits on rumen fermentation. Therefore, in Expt 2 the substrates including 250 g of waste fruits (T250, C250 and M250 for tomato, cucumber and the mixture of both fruits, respectively) and the CON substrate were incubated in single-flow continuous-culture fermenters for 8 days. Total VFA production did not differ among substrates, but there were differences in VFA profile. Molar proportions of propionate, isobutyrate and isovalerate were lower and acetate : propionate ratio was greater for T250 compared with CON substrate. Fermentation of substrates containing cucumber (C250 and M250) resulted in lower proportions of acetate, isobutyrate and isovalerate and acetate : propionate ratio, but greater butyrate proportions than the CON substrate. Carbohydrate degradability and microbial N synthesis tended to be lower for substrates containing cucumber than for the CON substrate, but there were no differences between CON and T250 substrates. Abundance of total bacteria, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus flavefaciens, fungi, methanogenic archaea and protozoa were similar in fermenters fed T250 and CON substrates, but fermenters fed C250 and M250 substrates had lower abundances of R. flavefaciens, fungi and protozoa than those fed the CON substrate. Results indicated that tomato fruits could replace dietary barley grain up to 250 g/kg of substrate DM without noticeable effects on rumen fermentation and microbial populations, but the inclusion of cucumber fruits at 250 g/kg of substrate DM negatively affected some microbial populations as it tended to reduce microbial N synthesis and changed the VFA profile. More studies are needed to identify the dietary inclusion level of cucumber which produces no detrimental effects on rumen fermentation and microbial growth.
Aluminum lithium hydroxide carbonate hydrate, also known as Al/Li layered double hydroxide or Al-Li hydrotalcite-like compound [Al2Li(OH)6]2CO3•nH2O, was prepared by reaction of lithium carbonate with ammonium dawsonite [NH4Al(OH)2CO3]. The reaction of ammonium dawsonite with a lithium carbonate satured solution at different temperatures and lithium carbonate concentrations was studied. The obtained solids were characterized by differential thermal analysis (DTA), thermogravimetry (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By this method, crystalline Li/Al LDH [Al2Li(OH)6]2CO3·3H2O can be obtained at 60 °C and 4 h reaction time.
Aluminum lithium hydroxide carbonate hydrate, also known as Al-Li double hydroxide or Al-Li hydrotalcite-like compound [Al2Li(OH)6]2CO3•nH2O, was prepared from basic aluminum sulfate. This compound was prepared by precipitation in homogeneous solution of an aluminum bisulfite solution. A sodium aluminate aqueous solution was prepared by dissolving basic aluminum sulfate in 1M sodium hydroxide. The Al-Li double hydroxide was obtained after addition of lithium carbonate satured solution to the sodium aluminate solution, at 60 °C. The synthesized powder was characterized by thermal analysis (TG, DTG and DTA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By this method crystalline Li-Al hydrotalcite like compound with composition near to Al4Li2(OH)12CO3 •3H2O was obtained.
Diarrhoeal mortality rates in Mexican children dramatically declined during the 1980s and 1990s, concomitant with a temporal shift in peak deaths from summer to autumn–winter. The spatial dynamics of these patterns have not previously been studied. We first describe the seasonal features of paediatric diarrhoeal mortality in Mexico as a whole, then across individual states. While no geographical gradients in the magnitude of diarrhoeal mortality rates have been detected in recent years, we identified a distinct spatial pattern in the timing of peak mortality rate. In the 1980s the summer peak mortality was earliest around Mexico's capital and later in states to the southeast and northwest. Our results suggest that the direction and timing of those annual waves are related to the mean monthly precipitation and mean daily temperature. This pattern has disintegrated in recent years as the summer peak has diminished.
The discovery of a rare clear cell carcinoma of the vagina in young women gestationally exposed to the estrogen diethylstilbestrol (DES) lent empirical support to the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to xenoestrogens might cause cancer. This fact contradicted two well-accepted notions: (i) mammalian development was merely the unfolding of a genetic program and (ii) only mutagenic agents could cause cancer. The ecological developmental biology (eco–devo) movement revitalized the concept of developmental plasticity through the occurrence of polyphenisms whereby a single genotype produces diverse phenotypes which are determined by environmental cues. Based on the principles of eco–devo and the tissue organization field theory of carcinogenesis, we hypothesized that developmental exposure to xenoestrogens increased the propensity to develop mammary cancer during adulthood. Bisphenol-A (BPA), a ubiquitous xenoestrogen, was chosen as a model for environmental estrogen exposure. In mice, perinatal exposure to environmentally relevant BPA levels induced alterations of the mammary gland architecture which manifested during fetal morphogenesis and throughout life, including the development of pre-neoplastic lesions. In rats, gestational exposure to BPA induced pre-neoplastic lesions and carcinoma in situ that manifested in adulthood in the absence of any additional treatment. Emerging epidemiological data reveal an increased incidence of breast cancer in women exposed to DES during gestation. Hence, both animal experiments and epidemiological data strengthen the hypothesis that fetal exposure to xenoestrogens may be an underlying cause of the increased incidence of breast cancer observed over the past 50 years.