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Deaf people communicate naturally using visual-spatial languages, called sign languages (SL). Although SLs are recognized as a language in many countries, the problems faced by Deaf people for accessing information remain. As a result, they have difficulties exercising their citizenship and access information in SLs, which usually leads to linguistic and knowledge acquisition delays. Some scientific works have been developed to address these problems related to the machine translation of spoken languages to sign languages. However, the existing machine translation platforms have some limitations, especially in syntactic and lexical nature. Thus, this work aims to develop a mechanism for machine translation to Libras, the Brazilian Sign Language, with syntactic-semantic adequacy. It consists of an automatic translation component for Libras based on syntactic-semantic translation rules and a formal syntactic-semantic rule description language. As proof of concept of the proposed approach, we created a specific grammar for Libras translation exploring these aspects and integrating these elements into VLibras Suite, a service for machine translation of digital content in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) to Libras. We performed several tests using this modified version of VLibras to measure the level of comprehension of the output generated by the new translator mechanism. In the computational experiments, as well as in the actual tests with Deaf and hearing users, the proposed approach was able to improve the results of the current VLibras version.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics and chemical composition of cochineal nopal cactus silage additives with urea or Lactobacillus buchneri (LB), as well as the association of both additives in four storage times (7, 15, 60 and 120 days) and during aerobic stability, with evaluations at 0, 48 and 96 h. Four silages were used: no additive, addition of 2% urea, addition of LB and addition of 2% urea and LB. The study was divided into two experiments: the first experiment evaluated the silages at different storage times, and the second experiment evaluated the silages during the aerobic stability test. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized in a factorial scheme (4 × 4 and 4 × 3) with three replicates per treatment. After the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria predominated in all treatments. The concentration of lactic acid increased significantly from 60 days of ensiling. The concentration of acetic acid varied significantly between the storage times only for the silages treated with urea and LB alone. The silage treated with urea maintained a constant pH value up to 120 days of storage. During the 96 h aerobic stability test, no breaking in the stability of silages was observed. The exclusive or associated use of urea and LB promotes improvement in the fermentative characteristics of cochineal nopal cactus silage, without major alterations in the chemical composition or interfering with the aerobic stability of the silages.
It was aimed to simultaneously study standardized ileal digestible (SID) tryptophan (Trp) and lysine (Lys) for gilts. A digestibility assay was previously conducted to determine the SID amino acid in the basal diet (low levels of SID Trp and Lys). Sixty-four gilts (15.04 ± 1.44 kg) were allotted to 16 diets in a 4 × 4 factorial arrangement (1.55, 1.85, 2.15 and 2.45 g/kg SID Trp and 9.72, 11.12, 12.52 and 13.92 g/kg SID Lys) with four replicates per treatment. Performance, longissimus muscle (LM), backfat thickness (BF) and blood variables were evaluated. An interaction was observed for G:F, and by response surface model, the optimum Trp level was achieved at 2.15 g/kg (0.159 g/MJ of ME). A quadratic effect of Trp was observed on body weight (BW) and average daily gain (ADG); the daily feed intake increased linearly as Trp increased. The optimum Trp levels of 2.25 and 2.24 g/kg were estimated for BW and ADG, respectively. The BF increased with increasing levels of Trp. There was a quadratic and linear effect of Trp and Lys, respectively, on the LM, in which the optimum Trp level was determined as 2.05 g/kg in the diet. Plasma urea nitrogen decreased as Trp and Lys levels increased. Using estimates provided by response surface, maximized G:F ratio was obtained at 2.15 g SID Trp/kg of diet and at least 13.92 g SID Lys/kg of diet is necessary to optimize the G:F for 15–30 kg gilts, providing a Trp:Lys ratio of 15.4:100.
We evaluated the differences between the supplementation of urea in rumen and/or abomasum on forage digestion, N metabolism and urea kinetics in cattle fed a low-quality tropical forage. Five Nellore heifers were fitted with rumen and abomasum fistulas and assigned to a Latin square design. The treatments were control, continuous infusion of urea in the abomasum (AC), continuous infusion of urea in the rumen, a pulse dose of urea in the rumen every 12 h (PR) and a combination of PR and AC. The control exhibited the lowest (P < 0·10) faecal and urinary N losses, which were, overall, increased by supplementation. The highest urinary N losses (P < 0·10) were observed when urea was either totally or partially supplied as a ruminal pulse dose. The rumen N balance was negative for the control and when urea was totally supplied in the abomasum. The greatest microbial N production (P < 0·10) was obtained when urea was partially or totally supplied in the abomasum. Urea supplementation increased (P < 0·10) the amount of urea recycled to the gastrointestinal tract and the amount of urea-N returned to the ornithine cycle. The greatest (P < 0·10) amounts of urea-N used for anabolism were observed when urea was totally and continuously infused in the abomasum. The continuous abomasal infusion also resulted in the highest (P < 0·10) assimilation of microbial N from recycling. The continuous releasing of urea throughout day either in the rumen or abomasum is able to improve N accretion in the animal body, despite mechanism responsible for that being different.
Chronically stressed adult male Balb C mice were submitted to the tail suspension test. Chronic immobilization stress (6 h/d for 14 consecutive days) induced a significant reduction in immobility time when compared to non-stressed controls. Pretreatment with LY 53857, a serotonin 5HT2 antagonist, and IPS 339, a selective beta-2 adrenoceptor blocker, reversed immobility time to the levels of non-stressed controls. Chronic administration of corticosterone (100 mg/kg for 7 d) did not modify immobility time as compared to saline treated controls. It is suggested that both serotonergic and adrenergic pathways in the brain may participate in the stress-induced changes occurring in the tail suspension test response and that corticosterone does not appear to play a role in this process.
The current study aimed to select the strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from forage cactus plants and silage and assess their effects on silage fermentation and aerobic stability. Forty wild isolates from plant and cactus silage, classified as LAB, were evaluated for metabolite production and identified by 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. These wild isolates were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Weissella cibaria, Weissella confusa and Weissella paramesenteroides and the LAB populations differed among the silage. The use of microbial inoculants did not influence gas or effluent losses in forage cactus silage. The silage inoculated with the microbial strain GP15 showed the highest number of LAB populations. The amounts of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and ammonia nitrogen differed among the silage. The silage inoculated with the GP1 strain presented the highest WSC. Populations of enterobacteria and yeasts and moulds were below the minimum detection limit (<2.0 log cfu/g silage) in all the silage studied. The predominant action of inoculants was to maximize dry matter recovery of the silage, which could be the criterion adopted to select the strains of LAB for use as inoculants in Opuntia silage.
Consideration of ethical, legal, and social issues plus patient values (ELSI+) in health technology assessment (HTA) is challenging because of a lack of conceptual clarity and the multi-disciplinary nature of ELSI+. We used concept mapping to identify key concepts and inter-relationships in the ELSI+ domain and provide a conceptual framework for consideration of ELSI+ in HTA.
We conducted a scoping review (Medline and EMBASE, 2000–2016) to identify ELSI+ issues in the HTA literature. Items from the scoping review and an expert brainstorming session were consolidated into eighty ELSI+-related statements, which were entered into Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software. Participants (N = 38; 36 percent worked as researchers, 21 percent as academics; 42 percent self-identified as HTA experts) sorted the statements into thematic groups, and rated them on importance in making decisions about adopting technologies in Canada, from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). We used Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software to create and analyze concept maps with four to sixteen clusters.
Our final ELSI+ map consisted of five clusters, with each cluster representing a different concept and the statements within each cluster representing the same concept. Based on the concepts, we named these clusters: patient preferences/experiences, patient quality of life/function, patient burden/harm, fairness, and organizational. The highest mean importance ratings were for the statements in the patient burden/harm (3.82) and organizational (3.92) clusters.
This study suggests an alternative approach to ELSI+, based on conceptual coherence rather than academic disciplines. This will provide a foundation for incorporating ELSI+ into HTA.
The VISCACHA (VIsible Soar photometry of star Clusters in tApii and Coxi HuguA†) Survey is an ongoing project based on deep and spatially resolved photometric observations of Magellanic Cloud star clusters, collected using the SOuthern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope together with the SOAR Adaptive Module Imager. So far we have used >300h of telescope time to observe ∼150 star clusters, mostly with low mass (M < 104M⊙) on the outskirts of the LMC and SMC. With this high-quality data set, we homogeneously determine physical properties using deep colour-magnitude diagrams (ages, metallicities, reddening, distances, mass, luminosity and mass functions) and structural parameters (radial density profiles, sizes) for these clusters which are used as a proxy to investigate the interplay between the Magellanic Clouds and their evolution. We present the VISCACHA survey and its initial results, based on our first two papers. The project’s long term goals and expected legacy to the community are also addressed.
Graded exercises tests are performed in adult populations; nonetheless, the use of this type of assessment is greatly understudied in overweight and obese adolescents.
To investigate heart rate autonomic responses to submaximal aerobic exercise in obese and overweight adolescents.
We recruited 40 adolescents divided into two groups: (1) overweight group comprising 10 boys and 10 girls between Z-score +1 and +2 and (2) obese group comprising 10 boys and 10 girls above Z-score >+2. Heart rate variability was analysed before (T1) and after exercise (T2–T4) on treadmill at a slope of 0%, with 70% of the maximal estimated heart rate (220 – age) for 20 minutes.
Heart rate in the overweight group was: 93.2±10.52 bpm versus 120.8±13.49 bpm versus 94.6±11.65 bpm versus 93.0±9.23 bpm, and in the obese group was: 92.0±15.41 bpm versus 117.6±16.31 bpm versus 92.1±12.9 bpm versus 91.8±14.33 bpm. High frequency in the overweight group was: 640±633.1 ms2 versus 84±174.66 ms2 versus 603.5±655.31 ms2 versus 762.6±807.21 ms2, and in the obese group was: 628.4±779.81 ms2 versus 65.4±119.34 ms2 versus 506.2±482.70 ms2 versus 677.9±939.05 ms2; and root mean square of successive differences in the overweight group was: 37.9±18.81 ms versus 10.9±8.41 ms versus 32.8±24.07 ms versus 36.7±21.86 ms, and in the obese group was: 38.7±23.17 ms versus 11.5±8.62 ms versus 32.3±16.74 ms versus 37.3±24.21 ms. These values significantly changed during exercise compared with resting values in overweight and obese groups. Moreover, we also reported no significant difference of resting parasympathetic control of heart rate between obese and overweight adolescents.
There was no significant difference of autonomic responses elicited by submaximal aerobic exercise between overweight and obese adolescents.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
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).
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
The trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) causes milk fat depression by downregulating expression of genes and transcription factors involved in lipogenesis and it has been proposed that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) can be inhibited by trans-10, cis-12 CLA. The PPARγ is a nuclear receptor activated by natural or synthetic ligands and promotes expression of lipogenic genes and its effect on mammary lipogenesis and the interaction with trans-10, cis-12 CLA in lactating ewes was evaluated using thiazolidinedione (TZD), a chemical PPARγ agonist. A total of 24 lactating ewes were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments for 7 days: (1) Control (5 ml/day of saline solution); (2) TZD (4 mg/kg of BW/day in 5 ml of saline solution); (3) CLA (27 g/day with 29.9% of trans-10, cis-12); (4) TZD+CLA. Compared with Control, milk fat content was not changed by TZD, but was decreased 22.3% and 20.5% by CLA and TZD+CLA treatments. In the mammary gland, TZD increased PPARγ gene expression by 174.8% and 207.8% compared with Control and TZD+CLA treatments, respectively. Conjugated linoleic acid reduced sterol regulatory element-binding transcription protein 1 (SREBP1) gene expression 89.2% and 75.3% compared with Control and TZD+CLA, respectively, demonstrating that TZD fails to overcome CLA inhibition of SREBP1 signaling. In adipose tissue, the expression of SREBP1 and stearoyl CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) genes were increased by the TZD+CLA treatment, compared with the other treatments. Conjugated linoleic acid decreased milk fat concentration and expression of lipogenic genes, while TZD had no effect on milk fat concentration, expression of lipogenic enzymes or regulators in the mammary gland and failed to overcome the inhibition of these by CLA. Therefore, CLA inhibition of milk fat synthesis was independent of the PPARγ pathway in lactating dairy ewes.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can induce deleterious changes in the modulatory ability of the vascular endothelium, contributing to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the long term. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has suggested the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular health and repair. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of IUGR on vascular reactivity and EPCs derived from the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed an ad libitum diet (control group) or 50% of the ad libitum diet (restricted group) throughout gestation. We determined vascular reactivity, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression by evaluating the thoracic aorta of adult male offspring from both groups (aged: 19–20 weeks). Moreover, the amount, functional capacity, and senescence of EPCs were assessed in vitro. Our results indicated that IUGR reduced vasodilation via acetylcholine in aorta rings, decreased NO levels, and increased eNOS phosphorylation at Thr495. The amount of EPCs was similar between both groups; however, IUGR decreased the functional capacity of EPCs from the PB and BM. Furthermore, the senescence process was accelerated in BM-derived EPCs from IUGR rats. In summary, our findings demonstrated the deleterious changes in EPCs from IUGR rats, such as reduced EPC function and accelerated senescence in vitro. These findings may contribute towards elucidating the possible mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction induced by fetal programming.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
It has been demonstrated that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can program increase cardiometabolic risk. There are also evidences of the correlation between IUGR with low-grade inflammation and, thus can contribute to development of several cardiometabolic comorbidities. Therefore, we investigated the influence of IUGR on circulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)/Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and TNF-α expression in adult offspring. Considering that the aerobic training has anti-inflammatory actions, we also investigated whether aerobic training would improve these inflammatory factors. Pregnant Wistar rats received ad libitum or 50% of ad libitum diet throughout gestation. At 8 weeks of age, male offspring from both groups were randomly assigned to control, trained control, restricted and trained restricted. Aerobic training protocol was performed on a treadmill and after that, we evaluated circulating mtDNA, cardiac protein expression of TLR9, plasma and cardiac TNF-α levels, and left ventricle (LV) mass. We found that IUGR promoted an increase in the circulating mtDNA, TLR9 expression and plasma TNF-α levels. Further, our results revealed that aerobic training can restore mtDNA/TLR9 content and plasma levels of TNF-α among restricted rats. The cardiac TNF-α content and LV mass were not influenced either by IUGR or aerobic training. In conclusion, IUGR can program mtDNA/TLR9 content, which may lead to high levels of TNF-α. However, aerobic training was able to normalize these alterations. These findings evidenced that the association of IUGR and aerobic training seems to exert an important interaction effect regarding pro-inflammatory condition and, aerobic training may be used as a strategy to reduce deleterious adaptations in IUGR offspring.