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There are more than 30 distinct types of mammalian retinal ganglion cells, each sensitive to different features of the visual environment. In rabbit retina, they can be grouped into four classes according to their morphology and stratification of their dendrites in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). The goal of this study was to describe the synaptic inputs to one type of Class IV ganglion cell, the third member of the sparsely branched Class IV cells (SB3). One cell of this type was partially reconstructed in a retinal connectome developed using automated transmission electron microscopy (ATEM). It had slender, relatively straight dendrites that ramify in the sublamina a of the IPL. The dendrites of the SB3 cell were always postsynaptic in the IPL, supporting its identity as a ganglion cell. It received 29% of its input from bipolar cells, a value in the middle of the range for rabbit retinal ganglion cells studied previously. The SB3 cell typically received only one synapse per bipolar cell from multiple types of presumed OFF bipolar cells; reciprocal synapses from amacrine cells at the dyad synapses were infrequent. In a few instances, the bipolar cells presynaptic to the SB3 ganglion cell also provided input to an amacrine cell presynaptic to the ganglion cell. There was apparently no crossover inhibition from narrow-field ON amacrine cells. Most of the amacrine cell inputs were from axons and dendrites of GABAergic amacrine cells, likely providing inhibitory input from outside the classical receptive field.
To analyze the impact of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) Multidimensional Approach (IMA) and the INICC Surveillance Online System (ISOS) on central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates in 14 intensive care units (ICUs) in Argentina from January 2014 to April 2017.
This prospective, pre–post surveillance study of 3,940 ICU patients was conducted in 11 hospitals in 5 cities in Argentina. During our baseline evaluation, we performed outcome and process surveillance of CLABSI applying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Health Safety Network (CDC/NHSN) definitions. During the intervention, we implemented the IMA through ISOS: (1) a bundle of infection prevention practice interventions, (2) education, (3) outcome surveillance, (4) process surveillance, (5) feedback on CLABSI rates and consequences, and (6) performance feedback of process surveillance. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed using a logistic regression model to estimate the effect of the intervention on the CLABSI rate.
During the baseline period, 5,118 CL days and 49 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 9.6 CLABSIs per 1,000 central-line (CL) days. During the intervention, 15,659 CL days and 68 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 4.1 CLABSIs per 1,000 CL days. The CLABSI rate was reduced by 57% (incidence density rate: 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.34–0.6; P<.001).
Implementing IMA through ISOS was associated with a significant reduction in the CLABSI rate in ICUs in Argentina.
TNF-α is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is involved in type 1 diabetes (T1D) pathogenesis. The TNFa gene is subject of epigenetic regulation in which folate and homocysteine are important molecules because they participate in the methionine cycle where the most important methyl group donor (S-adenosylmethionine) is formed. We investigated whether TNFa gene promoter methylation status in T1D patients was related to blood folate, homocysteine and TNF-α in a transversal case–control study. We studied T1D patients (n 25, mean=13·7 years) and healthy control subjects (n 25, mean=31·1 years), without T1D and/or other autoimmune diseases or direct family history of these diseases. A blood sample was obtained for determination of serum folate, plasma homocysteine and TNF-α concentrations. Whole blood was used for the extraction of DNA to determine the percentage of methylation by real-time PCR and melting-curve analysis. Results are expressed as means and standard deviations for parametric variables and as median (interquartile range) for non-parametric variables. T1D patients showed a higher TNFa gene promoter methylation (39·2 (sd 19·5) %) when compared with control subjects (25·4 (sd 13·7) %) (P=0·008). TNFa gene promoter methylation was positively associated only with homocysteine levels in T1D patients (r 0·55, P=0·007), but not in control subjects (r −0·122, P=0·872). To our knowledge, this is the first work that reports the methylation status of the TNFa gene promoter and its relationship with homocysteine metabolism in Chilean T1D patients without disease complications.
Blazar OJ 287 is one of the best observed extragalactic objects. It's historical light curve goes back to 1890′s. Based on the historical behaviour Sillanpää et al. (1988) showed that OJ 287 displays large periodic outbursts, with a period of 11.7 years. We have monitored OJ 287 intensively for two years, during the OJ-94 project. This project was created for monitoring OJ 287 during its predicted new outburst in 1994. In the data archive we have over 7000 observations on OJ 287, in the radio, infrared and optical bands. This data archive contains the best ever obtained light curves for any extragalactic object. The optical light curve shows continuous variability down to time scales of tens of minutes. The variability observed in OJ 287 can be broken down to (at least) four different categories:
The degree of development and operability of the indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) using Descriptor 1 (D1) Biological Diversity was assessed. To this end, an overview of the relevance and degree of operability of the underlying parameters across 20 European countries was compiled by analysing national directives, legislation, regulations, and publicly available reports. Marked differences were found between countries in the degree of ecological relevance as well as in the degree of implementation and operability of the parameters chosen to indicate biological diversity. The best scoring EU countries were France, Germany, Greece and Spain, while the worst scoring countries were Italy and Slovenia. No country achieved maximum scores for the implementation of MSFD D1. The non-EU countries Norway and Turkey score as highly as the top-scoring EU countries. On the positive side, the chosen parameters for D1 indicators were generally identified as being an ecologically relevant reflection of Biological Diversity. On the negative side however, less than half of the chosen parameters are currently operational. It appears that at a pan-European level, no consistent and harmonized approach currently exists for the description and assessment of marine biological diversity. The implementation of the MSFD Descriptor 1 for Europe as a whole can therefore at best be marked as moderately successful.
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal abnormality, with an incidence of one case in every 650 live births. It is strongly associated with heart disease, which constitutes the main cause of mortality during the first 2 years of life in this population. Most of the cardiac abnormalities in patients with Down syndrome can be suspected by analysing the surface 12-lead ECG. The purpose of this systematic review was to analyse all available published material on surface ECG and cardiac rhythm and conduction abnormalities in patients with Down syndrome to facilitate the search to the clinical cardiologist and paediatrician.
Although white-matter abnormalities have been reported in middle-aged patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), few data are available on treatment-resistant MDD and the influence of relevant variables related to clinical burden of illness is far from being well established.
The present study examined white-matter microstructure in a sample of 52 patients with MDD in different stages (treatment-resistant/chronic MDD, n = 18; remitted-recurrent MDD, n = 15; first-episode MDD, n = 19) and 17 healthy controls, using diffusion tensor imaging with a tract-based spatial statistics approach. Groups were comparable in age and gender distribution, and results were corrected for familywise error (FWE) rate.
Widespread significant reductions of fractional anisotropy (FA) – including the cingulum, corpus callosum, superior and inferior longitudinal fascicule – were evident in treatment-resistant/chronic MDD compared with first-episode MDD and controls (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected). Decreased FA was observed within the ventromedial prefrontal region in treatment-resistant/chronic MDD even when compared with the remitted-recurrent MDD group (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected). Longer duration of illness (β = –0.49, p = 0.04) and higher depression severity (at a trend level: β = –0.26, p = 0.06) predicted lower FA in linear multiple regression analysis at the whole-brain level. The number of previous episodes and severity of symptoms were significant predictors when focused on the ventromedial prefrontal area (β = −0.28, p = 0.04; and β = −0.29, p = 0.03, respectively). Medication effects were controlled for in the analyses and results remained unaltered.
Our findings support the notion that disruptions of white-matter microstructure, particularly in fronto-limbic networks, are associated with resistance to treatment and higher current and past burden of depression.
Findings of brain structural changes in major depressive disorder are still inconsistent, partly because some crucial clinical variables have not been taken into account.
To investigate the effect of major depressive disorder on grey matter volumes.
Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare 66 patients with depression at different illness stages (22 each with first-episode, remitted-recurrent and treatment resistant/chronic depression) with 32 healthy controls. Brain volumes were correlated with clinical variables.
Voxel-based morphometry showed a significant group effect in right superior frontal gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus and left cingulate gyrus (P<0.05, family wise error-corrected). Patients whose condition was treatment resistant/chronic exhibited the smallest volumes in frontotemporal areas. Longer illness duration was negatively correlated with decreases in right medial frontal cortex and left insula.
Frontotemporolimbic areas are smaller in the patients with severe depression and are associated with duration of illness, but not with medication patterns, suggesting negative effects of long-lasting major depressive disorder on grey matter.
Pteridium caudatum is a fern that frequently invades burnt areas in the Yucatán Peninsula and other neotropical sites. While post-fire regeneration of this fern apparently occurs mainly by vegetative means, little is known about the role of its spores in post-fire regeneration and in colonization of newly invaded fields. Central to these questions is whether bracken fern spores maintain their viability after fires. Here we experimentally evaluate the effect of fire-induced temperatures on Pteridium caudatum spore germination. We used 1200-cm3 blocks containing a constant fuel load of 47.4 g of litter, in which we placed spores at three different depths. The blocks were then ignited, and temperatures at each depth were monitored at 1-min intervals for 2 h. One day after the experimental fires, spores were dug out and cultured at 25 °C and 12-h light/dark cycles. Soil temperatures decreased significantly in relation to depth during fires. Spores on the surface were severely affected by fire, while those buried at 1 and 3 cm showed 77% germination. Germination in unburned controls was 86%. Our results suggest that during fires, Pteridium caudatum spores buried a few centimetres below the surface have a high percentage of viability, which could explain the rapid establishment of this species in burnt fields.
To evaluate the feasibility of diet mediterranisation, in a food-at-work context, and its consequence on metabolic syndrome in a mid-age unselected healthy male population group.
One-year longitudinal intervention study. Physical exercise was not modified.
All workers of the Santiago division of ‘Maestranza Diesel’, a metal-mechanic company servicing the mining industry, were invited to participate.
Initially, 145 workers of a total of 171, of average age 39 years, accepted to participate (sixteen women and 129 men). A subgroup of ninety-six men fully completed the controls programmed for the intervention study. Losses from the original group correspond to missing one control (sixteen), leaving the company (eleven) or blood sampling discomfort (six). The women and sixteen male workers, hired post study initiation, did participate but were excluded from this 12-month analysis.
Diet mediterranisation was successful, reflected in the daily food consumption at the canteen and the evolution of the Mediterranean diet score (MDS) from 4·8 ± 1·4 to 7·4 ± 1·5 (limits 0–14). Some metabolic syndrome components showed statistically significant improvement and also statistically significant correlation with the MDS: waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. After 12 months, the reversion rate for metabolic syndrome was 48 % (12/23) with an incidence rate of 4·1 % for new cases (3/73). In total, metabolic syndrome decreased from 24·0 % to 15·6 % (23/96 to 15/96) (P = 0·029).
Diet mediterranisation is feasible in a food-at-work intervention, affecting lunch consumption at the workers canteen and overall consumption evaluated with MDS, together with a significant reduction in metabolic syndrome.
Several authors have studied the dependence of galaxy properties on environment in order to understand which mechanisms operate in the galaxy evolution. Recently, some of them have proposed that intermediate densities could be sites where local environment influences the transition of galaxies onto the red-sequence, as opposed to mechanisms that operate on cluster scales. Based on the evidence that interacting and merging systems are frequent at intermediate densities, we use the SDSS-DR4 data to analyse the role of close galaxy interactions as an environmental process which could contribute to lead evolutionary transformations. We explore the properties of galaxy pairs at different local and global density environments, comparing them with those of isolate galaxies in an unbiased control sample (CS).
There is a high incidence of scoliosis in patients who have undergone cardiothoracic surgery for correction of congenital cardiac disease, this risk being 10 times higher than in the general population.
Materials and methods
So as to analyse the surgical and postoperative complications, we designed a retrospective study to include every child who underwent spinal orthopaedic surgery, and who had previously undergone cardiothoracic surgery because of a congenital cardiac malformation. We excluded those patients who had syndromes associated with the development of scoliosis.
We identified 18 patients with surgically treated congenital cardiac disease who had undergone surgery for scoliosis over a period of 7 years. This group came from a total number of 87 patients undergoing spinal fusion over the same period. Of those with congenitally malformed hearts, 61% had acyanotic lesions, with ventricular septal defect being the most frequent single lesion, present in 40%. All the patients needed blood transfusions during the surgery, with aprotinin used in 73% to reduce the bleeding, and inotropes needed for 4 children. During the immediate postoperative period, 1 patient died in the first 24 hours, while 7 (39%) had different complications, pneumonia in 4, pleural effusions in 2, and rhabdomyolysis in the other, as opposed to a rate of complications of 27% in patients without heart disease.
The surgical and postoperative complications in these patients depend on the specific cardiac lesion. A multidisciplinary team with experience in the treatment of congenitally malformed hearts is essential for appropriate management of these patients.
Obesity is considered a major public health issue in most developed countries nowadays. This paper provides an overview of current population data available in Spain and the approach to develop preventive strategies in the country.
Review of population data available is based on individually measured weight and height as well as determinants. On this basis, the approach used in the country to develop preventive strategies is discussed.
According to the DORICA study, the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30 kg m−2) is 15.5% in Spanish adults aged 25–60 years (13.2% in men and 17.5% in women). Obesity rates are higher among women aged 45 years and older, low social class, living in semi-urban places. Population estimates for the prevalence of obesity in Spanish children and young people based on the enKid study are 13.9% for the whole group. In this study, overweight and obesity is related to absence of breastfeeding, low consumption of fruit and vegetables, high consumption of cakes, buns, softdrinks and butchery products, low physical activity levels and a positive association with time spent watching TV.
In 2005, the Spanish Ministry of Health jointly with the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition launched the multifaceted NAOS strategy for nutrition, physical activity and the prevention of obesity. The important role of the family and the school setting as well as the responsibility of the Health Administration and Pediatric Care in the prevention of obesity is highlighted in the document. The need for environmental actions is recognised. The PERSEO programme, a multicomponent school-based intervention project is part of the strategy currently in place.
Obesity is a public health issue in Spain. A national multifaceted strategy was launched to counteract the problem. Environmental and policy actions are a priority. Young children and their families are among the main target groups.
Lianas are woody climbing plants that begin their life cycles as seedlings rooted in the ground, but eventually rely on other plants for physical support in order to reach the top of the forest canopy (Holbrook & Putz 1996, Putz & Holbrook 1991). Lianas can negatively affect plants they climb by competing with them for common resources such as light, water and nutrients, and by causing them direct physical damage (Dillenburg et al. 1995, Pérez-Salicrup & Barker 2000, Stevens 1987, Whigham 1984). Yet, there is little documentation about the size at which liana individuals of different species begin to climb on other plants in nature. This information is important because the size at which a liana begins to climb on other plants will determine when lianas potentially start physically affecting their supporting plants. Furthermore, although the growth of liana seedlings might be determined by light (Sanches & Válio 2002), the availability of support will also largely influence the rate of growth of liana stems (Peñalosa 1982, 1983, 1985). Thus, information about the size at which liana species find support in the forest understorey will be useful in understanding future growth of liana individuals.
Crenate broomrape is a major constraint for legume production in Mediterranean and East Asian countries. Resistance to this parasitic weed is scarce in many legumes but is common in chickpea germ plasm. A detailed in vitro study has shown that resistance in chickpea is the result of the combination of at least two mechanisms. First, and most importantly, the two chickpea lines studied have been identified with low rates of stimulant production. Once germination is induced by exogenous applications of the synthetic germination stimulant GR24, thus overcoming the primary resistance mechanism in these lines, a second resistance mechanism is apparent. This is evidenced by a darkening of host cell tissue in contact with the broomrape radicle, leading to failure of establishment, which was frequently observed in the chickpea accessions. Anatomical studies have shown that this apparently “hypersensitive” response does not correspond with the death of host cells in contact with the parasite cells but corresponds to blocking and death of the penetration structures of the parasite.
We evaluated the possibilities of exploitation of several mycoparasitic fungi in the biocontrol of cucurbit powdery mildew (Sphaerotheca fusca) in melon greenhouses. To simplify the screening, an in vitro biological control test on detached leaves of melon has been used and a detailed microscopic analysis of the interactions between mycoparasites and S. fusca conducted. In this context, the effect of mycoparasitic fungi on the formation of infection structures of S. fusca such as haustoria, conidia and conidiospores has been quantified. On the basis of the microscopic data, effect of mycoparasites on severity and incidence of cucurbit powdery mildew has been discussed. Our results show that, under controlled environmental conditions, Acremonium alternatum, Ampelomyces quisqualis and especially Lecanicillium lecanii, when applied in early stages of infection, were able to significantly reduce cucurbit powdery mildew symptoms and S. fusca development on melon leaves. These results indicate that these mycoparasites are promising candidates for the biocontrol of cucurbit powdery mildew in melon greenhouses.
In this work, the synthesis of CeO2–10 mol% Y2O3 powders by a nitrate–glycine gel-combustion route was investigated. Special attention was given to the influence of the glycine/metal ratio and calcination temperature on powder morphology. In contrast to the usual reported behavior, the best powder properties (crystallite size, 4.5–7 nm; specific surface area; 25–40 m2/g) were obtained for slow combustion processes with glycine/metal ratios of 1.5–2, whereas energetic reactions resulted in large crystallite and particle sizes. Furthermore, it was found that the crystallite size increases considerably even at moderate calcination temperatures (350–550 °C), showing the high reactivity of these nanopowders.
Luminosity Functions and Continuum Energy Distributions
J.A. de Diego, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna (Tenerife), Spain,
E. Pérez, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna (Tenerife), Spain,
M.R. Kidger, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna (Tenerife), Spain,
L.O. Takalo, Turku University Observatory, SF-21500 Piikkiö, Finland
We present spectropolarimetric observations of the quasars 3C273, CTA102 and 3C345. A synchrotron origin is the most likely explanation for the polarization of 3C273. The quasar CTA102 may have strongly polarized FeII lines and, along with 3C345, some minima in the polarization are alongside the red wing of the MgII and CIII] lines.
An often debated problem is that of the variability and polarization of the emission lines in AGNs. Despite the work done on Seyfert-2 and radio galaxies (e.g., McLean et al. 1983; Antonucci & Miller 1985; Antonucci 1992; Jackson in this meeting) and on quasars (Goodrich & Miller 1988), which demonstrates that the lines are usually polarized, the lack of appropriate instruments has severely limited the number of research groups dedicated to this important task.
The aims of our observations were, first, to get a spectropolarimetric sample of quasars. The objects are chosen for a) their brightness, brighter than 17 mag, b) their polarization, larger than 3%, and c) their known variability. Besides these, some other objects, like 3C273, of which polarization has never been reported to be larger than 2.5%, were also included in the sample. The second aim is to see if the emission lines are polarized and search for possible variability. Comparing lines and their continuum polarization and variability we should find new and powerful parameters for studying the actual models for quasars and for the origin of their polarized radiation.
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