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Paragonimiasis, human lung fluke disease, is a foodborne anthropozoonosis caused by the trematodes assigned to Paragonimus and is regarded by the World Health Organization as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). The life cycle of this medically important parasite centres on a complex freshwater biological community that includes two intermediate hosts: a mollusc and a decapod, usually a brachyuran. Although there is a perception that the biology, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Paragonimus is well understood, in reality, this is not the case, especially in Africa. Much remains unknown concerning the life-cycle of the parasite, its transmission, the current epidemiology of the disease, diagnosis and the effectiveness of treatment. Furthermore, cases of paragonimiasis may be misdiagnosed as resistant tuberculosis (TB) because of the similar pulmonary symptoms and no remission after anti TB therapy. The endemic foci of human paragonimiasis in Africa have been reported mainly in the forest zones of Upper Guinea (Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast) and Lower Guinea (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon). Despite the perceived medical importance of paragonimiasis, relatively little attention has been paid to this NTD since its discovery in Africa in the 1960s. This review focuses on the current understanding of the life cycle and transmission of Paragonimus in Africa, discusses its diagnosis and public health importance and highlights many outstanding gaps in the knowledge that still exist for this NTD.
Oldowan sites in primary geological context are rare in the archaeological record. Here we describe the depositional environment of Oldowan occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya, based on field descriptions and granulometric analysis. Excavations have recovered a large Oldowan artefact sample as well as the oldest substantial sample of archaeological fauna. The deposits at Kanjera South consist of 30 m of fluvial, colluvial and lacustrine sediments. Magneto- and biostratigraphy indicate the Kanjera South Member of the Kanjera Formation was deposited during 2.3–1.92 Ma, with 2.0 Ma being a likely age for the archaeological occurrences. Oldowan artefacts and associated fauna were deposited in the colluvial and alluvial silts and sands of beds KS1–3, in the margins of a lake basin. Field descriptions and granulometric analysis of the sediment fine fraction indicate that sediments from within the main archaeological horizon were emplaced as a combination of tractional and hyperconcentrated flows with limited evidence of debris-flow deposition. This style of deposition is unlikely to significantly erode or disturb the underlying surface, and therefore promotes preservation of surface archaeological accumulations. Hominins were repeatedly attracted to the site locale, and rapid sedimentation, minimal bone weathering and an absence of bone or artefact rounding further indicate that fossils and artefacts were quickly buried.
Isotopic composition of leaf carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) is determined by biotic and abiotic factors. In order to determine the influence of leaf habit and site on leaf δ13C and δ15N in the understorey of two Atlantic forests in Brazil that differ in annual precipitation (1200 and 1900 mm), we measured these isotopes in the shaded understorey of 38 tropical tree species (20 in the 1200-mm site and 18 in the 1900-mm site). Mean site values for δ15N were significantly lower at the 1200-mm site (−1.4‰) compared with the 1900-mm site (+3.0‰), and δ13C was significantly greater in the 1200-mm site (−30.4‰) than in the 1900-mm site (−31.6‰). Leaf C concentration was greater and leaf N concentration was lower at 1200-mm than at 1900-mm. Leaf δ15N was negatively correlated with δ13C across the two sites. Leaf δ13C and δ15N of evergreen and deciduous species were not significantly different within a site. No significant phylogenetic signal for any traits among the study species was found. Overall, site differences were the main factor distinguishing traits among species, suggesting strong functional convergence to local climate and soils within each site for individuals in the shaded understorey.
Part of Robert T. Leiper's (1881–1969) lasting legacy in medical helminthology is grounded on his pioneering work on schistosomiasis (Bilharzia). Having undertaken many expeditions to the tropics, his fascination with parasite life cycles typically allowed him to devise simple preventive measures that curtailed transmission. Building on his formative work with others in Africa and Asia, and again in Egypt in 1915, he elucidated the life cycles of African schistosomes. His mandate, then commissioned by the British War Office, was to prevent and break transmission of this disease in British troops. This he did by raising standing orders based on simple water hygiene measures. Whilst feasible in military camp settings, today their routine implementation is sadly out of reach for millions of Africans living in poverty. Whilst we celebrate the centenary of Leiper's research we draw attention to some of his lesser known colleagues, then focus on schistosomiasis in Uganda discussing why expanded access to treatment with praziquantel is needed now. Looking to WHO 2020 targets for neglected tropical diseases, we introduce COUNTDOWN, an implementation research consortium funded by DFID, UK, which fosters the scale-up of interventions and confirm the current relevance of Leiper's original research.
The subject of this symposium, Multi-Wavelength Sky Surveys naturally invokes a discussion of methods of astronomical object identification and classification: Given a set of objects detected at a certain waveband, how does one integrate the new sources with previous data? The ALADIN system (Paillou et al. 1994) of the CDS is a software package designed to tackle this problem: It provides simultaneous access to digitized sky photographs, catalogs and databases to facilitate direct, visual comparison of user data with previously classified data, as well as automatic source extraction and calibration tools.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset disease characterized by the selective degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord resulting in progressive paralysis and death. Current diagnosis of ALS is based on clinical assessment of related symptoms, which appear only late in the disease course after degeneration of a significant number of motor neurons. As a result, the identification and development of disease-modifying therapies is difficult, making ALS an incurable disease. Novel strategies for early diagnosis of ALS, to monitor disease progression and to assess response to existing and future treatments are urgently needed.
Many neurological disorders, including ALS, are accompanied by skin changes that often precede the onset of neurological symptoms. We have developed a unique ALS tissue-engineered skin model (ALS-TES), derived from the cells of ALS patients, in order to study the earliest stages of ALS-related skin pathology. For each participant, two skin biopsies were collected using a 6-mm diameter punch biopsy. Tissue-engineered skin was then generated from isolated keratinocytes and fibroblasts, and examined by routine histochemistry and immunohistochemistry, as well as by confocal microscopy. The ALS-TES model presents a number of striking features including altered epidermal differentiation, abnormal dermo-epidermal junction, delamination, keratinocyte infiltration, collagen disorganization and cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions, which are not seen in skin models derived from healthy subjects. The same abnormal skin model changes were detected skin models derived from the cells of pre- symptomatic C9orf72-linked ALS patients carrying the GGGGCC DNA repeat expansion. Consequently, our ALS-TES skin model could represent a renewable source of human tissue to better understand the physiopathological mechanisms underlying this disease, including cytoplasmic TDP43 accumulation, and lead to better tools for early diagnosis and disease monitoring.
New results (compositional data and reflectance values) are reported for some rare sulfides enriched in K, Tl and Pb, which are related to djerfisherite, thalfenisite, bartonite, a “Cl-bearing bartonite”, or chlorbartonite, and also for shadlunite, from the Noril'sk and Salmagorsky complexes, Russia. Our observations and comparisons with relevant data in the literature imply that: (1) bartonite is probably a S-dominant (or Cl-free) analogue of djerfisherite; and a “Cl-bearing bartonite” and chlorbartonite are probably compositional variants of the djerfisherite–bartonite series. (2) The most probable formulae of bartonite and djerfisherite are (K,Me2+)6(Fe,Cu,Ni)25–xS26(S,Cl) and (K,Me2+)6(Fe,Cu,Ni)25–xS26(Cl,S), where 0 ≤ x ≤ 5, respectively. (3) Two independent substitution mechanisms probably operate in the natural series. A coupled substitution [Me2+ + S2– ↔ K+ + Cl–] is reflected by an observed deficit in K, accompanied by the incorporation of Me2+(Pb, Fe, or Ni) in the K site. Another mechanism is inferred to be [2Fe3+ + 〈 ↔ 3Fe2+], which assumes the existence of vacancy-type defects at the Me site. Thus, the second mechanism could possibly control the existing variations of Σ(Fe, Cu, Ni) in the range of ∼21 to 25 a.p.f.u., documented in djerfisherite- and bartonite-type minerals. The minerals analysed from Noril'sk, which are free of Cl and related to bartonite and to a Tl-dominant analogue of bartonite (unnamed species), probably crystallized from microvolumes of late fluid rich in K and Tl, under conditions of relatively low oxygen fugacity in the environment. Uniform contentss of Fe and Cu, observed in coexisting phases of normal (Cl-bearing) djerfisherite and bartonite (or Cl-free analogue of djerfisherite) at Salmagorsky imply that they reached equilibrium with regard to the distribution of these elements during crystallization. These phases probably formed as a result of fluctuations in the ratios of sulfur and chlorine fugacity in a fluid at a postmagmatic hydrothermal stage.
Raman spectroscopy is used to study the effect of the built-in biaxial stress on the E2 and A1 (LO) q = 0 phonon modes of wurtzite GaN layers deposited by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy on (0001) sapphire substrate. By means of phonon frequency shifts, the biaxial pressure coefficients of the mode frequencies are determined and used to calculate the corresponding deformation potentials. Stress calibration has been performed using reflectance data.
Long wavelength optical phonons of AlxGa1−xN solid solutions have been identified in the whole compositional range by Raman spectroscopy. The frequencies of A1 and E1 polar phonons increase continuously with x from one-member crystal to the other. A generalization of the dielectric model of Hon and Faust is used to treat the coupling of the longitudinal optic (LO) mode. This approach accounts for the observed frequencies and confirms the so-called one-mode behaviour of polar LO phonons. Moreover,a signature of the coupling of a discrete mode (tentatively associated to silent q=0 B1 mode) with an unidentified continuum has been obtained.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
During the peel of a ductile material from a rigid substrate, a number of instabilities can arise in the shape and motion of the peel front. For instance, void formation, viscous fingering, and fibril formation and bifurcation can modulate the local rate of detachment between the two materials. These fluctuations affect the rate of energy dissipation and depend directly on the micromechanics of the detachment zone. Exploiting the consequences of contact charging between dissimilar materials, we have developed sensitive methods for detecting fluctuations during interfacial failure. We have also developed a sensitive probe of ductile deformation in reactive metals and use these measurements to probe energy dissipation during interfacial failure. We present examples of chaotic behavior and discuss the relation between these results with our current understanding of energy dissipation during interfacial crack growth.