To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The control of gastrointestinal nematodes among ruminants maintained in zoological parks remains difficult due to infective stages develop in the soil. For the purpose to improve the possibilities of the control of gastrointestinal nematodes (genera Trichostrongylus, Nematodirus, Chabertia and Haemonchus) affecting wild captive bovidae ruminants belonging to the subfamilies Antilopinae, Caprinae, Bovinae and Reduncinae, commercial pelleted feed enriched with a blend of 104–105 spores of both filamentous fungi Mucor circinelloides + Duddingtonia flagrans per kg meal was provided for a period of 3.5 years. All animals were dewormed at the beginning of the trial and also when exceeding a cut-off point of 300 eggs per gram of feces (EPG). The anthelmintic efficacy ranged between 96 and 100%. The need for repeating the administration of parasiticide treatment disappeared at the 24th month of study in the Antilopinae individuals, and at the 8th month in the Caprinae, Bovinae and Reduncinae. No side-effects were observed on the skin or in the digestive, respiratory or reproductive system. It was concluded that this strategy provides a sustainable tool for preventing the contamination of paddocks where captive ruminants are maintained, decreasing the risk of infection by gastrointestinal nematodes and consequently the need of frequent deworming.
Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
To compare cognitive function among frail and prefrail older adults.
Cross-sectional clinical study.
Fifty-one non-institutionalized older individuals participated in this study.
Cognitive functions were evaluated through Mini-Mental State Examination (Global Cognition), Digit Span Forward (short-term memory), Digit Span Backward (working memory), Verbal Fluency Test (semantic memory/executive function). Data were compared using parametric and non-parametric bivariate tests. Binary logistic regression was used to test a frailty prediction model. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.01 to compare groups. In the regression model, the p value was set to be ≤0.05.
Statistically significant differences were observed in global cognition, and short-term memory between frail and prefrail individuals (p ≤ 0.01). Global cognition explained 14–19% of frailty's model.
According to our findings, the evaluation of cognitive functions among older persons with frailty and prefrailty provides important complementary information to better manage frailty and its progression.
The worldwide population of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) encompasses seven subpopulations among the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It has experienced declines across parts of its distribution, with the subpopulation of the South-west Atlantic listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The main threats to this subpopulation include its interaction with fisheries, coastal development, pollution and climate change. In this study, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 52 leatherback turtles in Brazil and combined these with published data from other Atlantic Ocean rookeries. The haplotype diversities of the Atlantic population rookeries ranged from 0.112 to 0.533 and are not directly proportional to current rookery sizes. The Brazilian rookery, despite recording low nest numbers per year, had the second-highest haplotype diversity among all Atlantic rookeries (h = 0.532). A mixed-stock analysis revealed that the South American pelagic aggregate is primarily composed of individuals from West Africa (84%), with contributions from the North Atlantic rookeries (14%). Leatherback turtles appear to have a complex phylogeographic pattern, showing evidence of multiple colonization events and a lack of isolation by distance. Our novel dataset, based on DNA sequences of 695 base pairs, will provide baseline data needed to understand population dynamics in the region, building comprehensive population assessments to support and develop management strategies. Having both the only known regular rookery in the South-west Atlantic, and a mixed-origin foraging area for the species along its coast, Brazil has a key role in the conservation of the leatherback turtle.
Despite significant advances in therapies against Trypanosoma evansi, its effective elimination from the central nervous system (CNS) remains a difficult task. The incapacity of trypanocidal drugs to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administrations makes the brain the main refuge area for T. evansi. Nanotechnology is showing great potential to improve drug efficacy, such as nerolidol-loaded nanospheres (N-NS). Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether the treatment with N-NS was able to cross the BBB and to eliminate T. evansi from the CNS. High-performance liquid chromatography revealed that N-NS can cross the BBB of T. evansi-infected mice, while free nerolidol (F-N) neither the trypanocidal drug diminazene aceturate (D.A.) were not detected in the brain tissue. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that 100% of the animals treated with N-NS were negatives for T. evansi in the brain tissue, while all infected animals treated with F-N or D.A. were positives. Thus, we concluded that nanotechnology improves the therapeutic efficacy of nerolidol, and enables the transport of its active principle through the BBB. In summary, N-NS treatment can eliminate the parasite from the CNS, and possesses potential to treat infected animals.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nerolidol free (N-F) and nerolidol-loaded in nanospheres (N-NS) on the hepatic antioxidant/oxidant status of mice experimentally infected by Trypanosoma evansi. In the liver it was measured: reactive oxygen species (ROS), thiobarbituric reactive acid substances (TBARS) and non-protein thiols (NPSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and performed histopathological examination. In addition, seric levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured. Liver samples from mice infected by T. evansi showed increased (P < 0·05) ROS, TBARS, AST and ALT levels and SOD activity, and decreased NPSH levels and CAT activity (P < 0·05) compared with uninfected animals. N-NS treatment prevented (P < 0·05) ROS and TBARS increase, and increased NPSH levels, and ameliorate CAT and SOD activities on liver of infected mice. Moreover, N-NS treatment reduced (P < 0·05) AST and ALT levels, and prevented histopathological changes caused by the parasite. N-NS protected the liver from the oxidative stress caused by T. evansi, which might be due to its antioxidant properties. Nerolidol might be considered a promising therapeutic agent against oxidative stress, and nanotechnology is an encouraging approach to be explored.
Infertility is not only a medical condition and its impact in mental health is well established. Although most couples facing fertility problems and the demands of medical treatment are able to adjust, some of them may show psychological difficulties with clinical relevance, such as depression and anxiety. The Mindfulness Based Program for Infertility (MBPI) is a group intervention designed for infertile women and data from its efficacy study revealed impact in depressive symptoms reduction as well as in internal and external shame, entrapment and defeat. Based on the MBPI, a mindfulness app targeting infertile patients was developed – the MindfulSpot.
This study addresses the MindfulSpot development.
The MindfulSpot is a prototype mobile app, which seeks to offer the chance of practicing mindfulness in a comfortable and accessible way. This app covers informative audio and written texts. The audio contents correspond to mindfulness formal practices and suggestions for informal practice, making possible its use throughout different moments of the day. Beyond the practices mentioned above, users are invited to explore the informative menu, including information on the impact that infertility may have in several aspects of the patients’ lives.
The efficacy of the MindfulSpot is still under analysis and results are expected to be available soon.
The MindfulSpot was designed as a medium for training mindfulness skills and it includes useful information regarding specific aspects of the emotional impact of infertility. Additionally to its independent use, it may also be used as a support tool of the MBPI.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A micro heteregenous reprocessed fuel spiked with thorium in a PWR fuel element considering (TRU-Th) cycle was simulated using three different configurations and different fissile materials that varied from 6.0% to 7.0%. The reprocessed fuels were obtained using the ORIGEN 2.1 code from a burned PWR standard fuel (33,000 MWd/tHM burned), with 3.1% of initial enrichment, which was remained in the cooling pool for five years and then reprocessed using UREX+ technique. The keff and plutonium generation during the burnup were evaluated and compared with the standard fuel. This study was performed using the SCALE 6.0.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) supplemented with diphenyl diselenide and sodium selenite in experimental toxoplasmosis, on oxidant/antioxidant biomarkers and cytokine levels. Eighty-four BALB/c mice were divided in seven groups: group A (negative control), and groups B to G (infected). Blood and liver samples were collected on days 4 and 20 post infection (p.i.). Levels of thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive substances and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) were assessed in liver samples. Both biomarkers were significantly increased in infected groups on day 4 p.i., while they were reduced on day 20 p.i., compared with group A. Glutathione reductase (GR) activity significantly (P<0·01) increased on day 4 p.i., in group G, compared with group A. INF-γ was significantly increased (P<0·001) in both periods, day 4 (groups B, C, F and G) and 20 p.i. (groups C, F and G). IL-10 significantly reduced (P<0·001) on day 4 p.i. in group B; however, in the same period, it was increased (P<0·001) in groups C and G, compared with group A. On day 20 p.i., IL-10 increased (P<0·001) in groups F and G. Therefore, our results highlighted that these forms of selenium, associated with the chemotherapy, were able to reduce lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, providing a beneficial immunological balance between the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Once thought to be devoid of life, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is now known to be a dynamic reservoir of organic carbon and metabolically active microbial cells. At the ice-bed interface, subglacial lake and sedimentary environments support low diversity microbial populations, adapted to perennial cold, anoxia and lack of light. The dynamic exchange of water between these shallow environments conveys meltwaters and associated sediments into the coastal ocean. This, together with the release of iceberg-rafted debris to more distal coastal environments, could be important for sustaining primary productivity in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, via the release of associated nutrients and bioavailable iron. We estimate the magnitude and review the wider impacts of the potential export of nutrients (N, P, C, Si and bioavailable Fe) dissolved and associated with suspended sediments in Antarctic runoff and entombed in iceberg rafted debris. Located beneath subglacial lakes and the subglacial till complex are deep sedimentary basins up to 14 km thick, located largely around the Antarctic periphery. These sedimentary basins are largely hydrologically decoupled from shallower lake and till environments by the presence of highly consolidated sediments which limit the penetration of glacial meltwaters to depth. They provide extensive habitats for sustained microbial activity over Ma timescales, and are likely to be a focal point for the anaerobic cycling of organic carbon and other elements in the deep sub-surface. Organic carbon buried in these basins during ice sheet formation is thought to be microbially cycled to methane gas, and the methane largely stored as hydrate within sediments, stabilised by the high pressure/low temperature conditions. We conclude that the export of nutrients and biogenic gases from deep and shallow subglacial Antarctic environments designates Antarctica as a potentially important component of the Earth's carbon cycle, and highlight the importance of evaluating these potential impacts further via global and regional-scale biogeochemical modelling.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) has been one of the most studied materials in the last decades. Either as bulk material, epilayers or nanostructures, this direct wide band gap semiconductor is known to possess great potential for fundamental science and modern technology applications.
Recently, much attention has been given to directional solidified eutectic (DSE) materials for functional and structural applications. DSE materials take advantage from their microstructural features. Typically, DSE are dense homogeneous materials composed by fine microstructures without grain boundaries (GBs). Since impurities and defects typically concentrate at GBs, their deleterious effects on the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties can thus be minimized.
The production of a Tantalum solid electrolytic capacitor requires the impregnation of MnO2 by pyrolysis in one of the several manufacturing steps. It has been reported that niobium oxides are a good alternative, presenting potentially better dielectric properties and a better cost effectiveness. Thus, it is important to study the conditions and the effect of the MnO2 impregnation on niobium oxide in order to understand and optimize the parameters of this process. The morphology and microstructure of the anode is one of the most important aspects that interfere with the dielectric properties of the capacitor. In this work, it is presented a study of the morphology and microstructure of different niobium oxide anodes after electrochemical oxidation (NbO/Nb2O5 core-shell grain structure), and after MnO2 impregnation with different pyrolysis temperatures. This impregnation is made by dipping the anodes, with the NbO/Nb2O5 core-shell structure, in a slurry of Mn(NO3)2. Heating this slurry while the anode is dipped, will lead to a pyrolysis reaction where the liberation of NO2 occurs as a gas, and where the product MnO2 solidifies around the grains.
Cubic zinc gallate (c-ZnGa2O4) has attracted the attention of the scientific community due to its potential phosphor applications, namely in field emission displays (FEDs) and other electroluminescent devices. Among other advantages, this oxide matrix shows superior thermal and chemical stability when compared to ZnS based phosphors. Most of the above mentioned works comprise nanostructures, thin films or pressed pellets while scarce information is found on bulk c-ZnGa2O4 material. In particular, no records were found regarding c-ZnGa2O4 crystal growth by the laser floating zone (LFZ) technique. In this work, crystalline fibres of manganese doped (0.01 mol %) zinc gallate were produced via LFZ in order to investigate its applicability in efficient phosphors. The transition metal ions are suitable activators and show some advantages over the widely used rare earths, namely at environmental and economic levels.
The aim of this work was to gain insights into the muscle fibre phenotype and ultrastructure in blackspot seabream juveniles, a potential candidate for Portuguese aquaculture. Firstly, we used a panel of isoform-specific antibodies as well as histochemical staining for myosin ATPase and for SDH enzyme activity (a marker for mitochondrial content and oxidative metabolism) to identify myosin expression. Secondly, muscle fibre types were also identified by their fine structure where powerful approaches contributed to understand the muscle fibre phenotype of blackspot seabream juveniles. We observed that the main part of the musculature consisted of fast-white fibres, with a narrow strip of slow-red fibres situated superficially adjacent to the lateral line. A zone of intermediate-pink muscle fibres was inserted between those muscle domains (Fig.1).
From a biomaterials perspective, it is now understood that success in the osseointegration of a dental implant is conditioned by its “macro”, “micro” and “nano” scale features. Macro-scale roughness is necessary to improve primary stabilization in the post-surgical phase inducing a peri-implant thin fibrous layer. However, the more complex process in the true cell-material interaction is dependent on micro and nano scale phenomena. There is clear evidence that cell adhesion, proliferation, organization and phenotype are modulated at the micro-scale and that protein absorption is fundamentally a process conditioned at nano-scale.
Bone tissue engineering is a promising area that aims at developing implants capable of repairing and/ or substituting damaged or lost bone tissue. Ceramics are widely used for bone tissue engineering purposes and in this study, hydroxyapatite porous scaffolds were produced using the polymer replication method. With this method, it was possible to obtain scaffolds with specific demands adequate to tissue engineering purposes namely: macroporosity, microporosity and interconnected porosity. Polyurethane sponges were used as templates and impregnated with a ceramic slurry at different ratios being afterwards sintered following a specific thermal cycle. The characteristics of the hydroxyapatite porous scaffolds were investigated by using scanning electron microscopy and micro computer tomography (μ-CT). Human bone marrow cells (HBMC) were isolated and cultured on the scaffolds for 28 days and SEM was used as a tool to assess cell morphology and distribution.
The global decrease of vulture populations has been attributed to several factors, such as food availability, poisoning, human disturbance, or habitat suitability. We studied the effect of factors that vary both spatially and temporally on the nest site distribution of the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in northeast Portugal, and influence the population dynamics of these cliff-dwelling birds. Several demographic parameters were studied in the field, and the age structure of the population was determined. Additionally we investigated how food availability affected population fluctuations. The vulture population was most sensitive to juvenile mortality according to our model results. Our models showed that a decrease in the present food supply resulted in a decrease in vulture abundance and, moreover, negatively affected the spatial distribution of the species by decreasing the number of breeding pairs per colony. The total quantity of sheep and goat biomass, a greater distance to the nearest unpaved road, and the presence of Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus at the breeding colonies showed a significant positive relationship to the numbers of Griffon Vulture breeding pairs. It is recommended that the available food supply in the most important foraging areas should be monitored and protected. Furthermore, to manage the community of cliff breeding raptors adequately, future research should identify and protect the most suitable breeding areas for each species. Human disturbance should be kept to a minimum by protecting breeding areas, especially in an area like Riba-Côa where species such as the Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus and Griffon Vulture breed so close to each other.
The 70 kDa heat-shock protein (Hsp70) sequences are considered one of the most conserved proteins in all domains of life from Archaea to eukaryotes. Hammondia heydorni, H. hammondi, Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora hughesi and N. caninum (Hammondia-like organisms) are closely related tissue cyst-forming coccidians that belong to the subfamily Toxoplasmatinae. The phylogenetic reconstruction using cytoplasmic Hsp70 coding genes of Hammondia-like organisms revealed the genetic sequences of T. gondii, Neospora spp. and H. heydorni to possess similar levels of evolutionary distance. In addition, at least 2 distinct genetic groups could be recognized among the H. heydorni isolates. Such results are in agreement with those obtained with internal transcribed spacer-1 rDNA (ITS-1) sequences. In order to compare the nucleotide diversity among different taxonomic levels within Apicomplexa, Hsp70 coding sequences of the following apicomplexan organisms were included in this study: Cryptosporidium, Theileria, Babesia, Plasmodium and Cyclospora. Such analysis revealed the Hammondia-like organism to be the lowest divergent group when compared to other groups within the phylum Apicomplexa. In conclusion, the Hsp70 coding sequences proved to be a valuable genetic marker for phylogenetic reconstruction and may constitute a good candidate to be used with other genes for species phylogeny within this group of organisms.