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Free-ranging grey wolves (Canis lupus), which are presently recolonizing Italy, can be parasitized by a diversity of helminths, but have rarely been subject to studies of their parasites. Therefore, this study aims to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths of road-killed grey wolves from the Piedmont region of Italy. Forty-two wolves were collected and examined for the presence of helminths. We recorded 12 helminth species: nine Nematoda and three Cestoda. The nematodes were: Ancylostoma caninum (7.1%), Capillaria sp. (2.4%), Molineus sp. (2.4%), Pterygodermatites affinis (11.9%), Physaloptera sibirica (9.5%), Toxocara canis (9.5%), Toxascaris leonina (2.4%) and Uncinaria stenocephala (26.2%); the cestodes were: Dipylidium caninum (4.8%), Mesocestoides sp. (4.8%) and Taenia multiceps (76.2%). Physaloptera sibirica had the highest mean intensity and T. multiceps had the highest prevalence. Based on age and sex, no differences in the intensity or prevalence of helminth species were found among the hosts. Molineus sp. was recorded for the first time in wolves from the Palearctic region; P. affinis and P. sibirica are respectively reported for the first time in wolves from Europe and Italy.
Piglets can often suffer impaired antioxidant status and poor immune response during post-weaning, especially when chronic inflammation takes place, leading to lower growth rates than expected. Oral administration of dietary antioxidant compounds during this period could be a feasible way to balance oxidation processes and increase health and growth performance. The aim of the trial was to study the effects of an antioxidant feed supplement (melon pulp concentrate) that contains high concentration of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) on inflammation, antioxidant status and growth performance of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenged weaned piglets. In total, 48 weaned piglets were individually allocated to four experimental groups in a 2×2 factorial design for 29 days. Two different dietary treatments were adopted: (a) control (CTR), fed a basal diet, (b) treatment (MPC), fed the basal diet plus 30 g/ton of melon pulp concentrate. On days 19, 21, 23 and 25 half of the animals within CTR and MPC groups were subjected to a challenge with intramuscular injections of an increasing dosage of LPS from Escherichia coli (serotype 0.55:B5) (+) or were injected with an equal amount of PBS solution (−). Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the trial and under the challenge period for interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor α, haptoglobin, plasma SOD activity, total antioxidant capacity, reactive oxygen species, red blood cells and plasma resistance to haemolysis, and 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2’-deoxyguanosine. Growth performance was evaluated weekly. A positive effect of melon pulp concentrate was evidenced on total antioxidant capacity, half-haemolysis time of red blood cells, average daily gain (ADG) and feed intake, while LPS challenge increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and haptoglobin serum concentrations, with a reduced feed intake and gain : feed (G : F). The obtained results show that oral SOD supplementation with melon pulp concentrate ameliorates the total antioxidant capacity and the half-haemolysis time in red blood cell of post-weaning piglets, with positive results on growing performance.
The aim of this review is to focus the attention on the nutrition ecology of the heavy metals and on the major criticisms related to the heavy metals content in animal feeds, manure, soil and animal-origin products. Heavy metals are metallic elements that have a high density that have progressively accumulated in the food chain with negative effects for human health. Some metals are essential (Fe, I, Co, Zn, Cu, Mn, Mo, Se) to maintain various physiological functions and are usually added as nutritional additives in animal feed. Other metals (As, Cd, F, Pb, Hg) have no established biological functions and are considered as contaminants/undesirable substances. The European Union adopted several measures in order to control their presence in the environment, as a result of human activities such as: farming, industry or food processing and storage contamination. The control of the animal input could be an effective strategy to reduce human health risks related to the consumption of animal-origin products and the environmental pollution by manure. Different management of raw materials and feed, animal species as well as different legal limits can influence the spread of heavy metals. To set up effective strategies against heavy metals the complex interrelationships in rural processes, the widely variability of farming practices, the soil and climatic conditions must be considered. Innovative and sustainable approaches have discussed for the heavy metal nutrition ecology to control the environmental pollution from livestock-related activities.
The increased use of the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) to investigate cognitive dysfunctions in schizophrenia fostered interest in its sensitivity in the context of family studies. As various measures of the same cognitive domains may have different power to distinguish between unaffected relatives of patients and controls, the relative sensitivity of MCCB tests for relative–control differences has to be established. We compared MCCB scores of 852 outpatients with schizophrenia (SCZ) with those of 342 unaffected relatives (REL) and a normative Italian sample of 774 healthy subjects (HCS). We examined familial aggregation of cognitive impairment by investigating within-family prediction of MCCB scores based on probands’ scores.
Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze group differences in adjusted MCCB scores. Weighted least-squares analysis was used to investigate whether probands’ MCCB scores predicted REL neurocognitive performance.
SCZ were significantly impaired on all MCCB domains. REL had intermediate scores between SCZ and HCS, showing a similar pattern of impairment, except for social cognition. Proband's scores significantly predicted REL MCCB scores on all domains except for visual learning.
In a large sample of stable patients with schizophrenia, living in the community, and in their unaffected relatives, MCCB demonstrated sensitivity to cognitive deficits in both groups. Our findings of significant within-family prediction of MCCB scores might reflect disease-related genetic or environmental factors.
A long term multifrequency campaign on the T Tauri star RU Lupi has been carried out in the X-Ray, UV optical and IR spectral regions with ASTRON and IUE satellites and ESO 1.5 m+IDS, 1.4 m CAT, 0.5 m UBVRI and 1 m IR telescopes, respectively.
We present two flare-like events occurred on April 17, 1984 and June 30, 1986. The first one was detected only in the UV, clue to lack the of simultaneous observations in other spectral regions. The second one was observed in UV, optical and IR regions showing a maximum roughly in the U band A comparison of the whole energy distribution of this event with that of a quiescent state observed on June 27 shows a flux enhancement of (89 ± 2)%. A detailed analysis of UV continuum and lines, namely N V, C I, CII, CIV, Si II and Si IV, shows that ihe surfaces fluxes of RU Lupi are always larger than those observed on typical flare stars and on the Sun by a factor of roughly 2 and 3 orders of magnitude, respectively. This fact allows us to conclude that RU Lupi activity cannot be explained even invoking a complete coverage by solar-like plages. On the contrary a patchy distribution of the emitting regions could explain the observed behaviour of this active star.
A strong diffuse C IV (5801-12 A) emission has been discovered in Berkeley 87 cluster near to the WR (WO) star ST3 (Barlow and Hummer, 1982) using the Loiano 152 cm telescope equipped with a Boiler and Chivens 26767 spectrograph and a CCD RCA camera. The diffuse emission seems to interest all the core of the cluster Berkeley 87. In fact it is present around many cluster members sited near to the center.
RY Scuti (HD 169515) is a massive 9thmag eclipsing binary (Porb = 11.12d) surrounded by a peculiar nebula. High resolution spectroscopic observations in Hα, He I (λ5876), [N II] (λλ6548, 6584), [A III] (λ7136) and [S III] (λλ9069, 9532) are presented. All emission lines show a complex profile with two main structures: a sharp and strong red component and a very broad fainter complex blue one in which at least three sub-components can be detected. We have analysed these profiles in order to derive information on the velocity field in the nebula. Permitted and forbidden lines show the same velocity field indicating a common line forming region. The presence of a multi-structured blue component in all profiles gives evidence that velocity gradients are present within the nebula. Systemic corrected expansion velocities of + 30 and −45,−30,−9 Km/s are found for the red and the three blue components respectively. Weaker emission structures, reflecting the same asymmetries of the strong emissions, are observed close to the permitted lines at larger velocities (Vb = −189 Km/s and Vr = 158 K m/s). The observed velocity field indicates an asymmetric mass outflow from the system very likely through the second Lagrange point rather than via stellar wind. The system should loose mass during the mass exchange phase. Using the masses (M1 = 39M⊙, M2 = 49M⊙) and radii (R1 = 37R⊙, R2 = 41R⊙) of the two components (Milano et al., 1981), and locating RY Scuti in the [log R, log M] diagram for early type contact binaries from Leung and Schneider (1979), we find that this system has just evolved-off the Terminal Age Main Sequence. Moreover, placing RY Scuti in the [log P, log M1/M2] diagram for O+O and WR+OB binaries of Massey (1981) we find that it is in an evolutionary phase just preceeding a WR+OB stage.
New oral treatments are needed for all forms of leishmaniasis. Here, the improved oral efficacy of quercetin (Qc) and its penta-acetylated derivative (PQc) was evaluated in cutaneous leishmaniasis after encapsulation in lipid-core nanocapsules (LNCs) of poly(ε-caprolactone). Leishmania amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice were given 51 daily oral doses of free drugs (16 mg kg−1) or LNC-loaded drugs (0·4 mg kg−1). While treatment with free Qc reduced the lesion sizes and parasite loads by 38 and 71%, respectively, LNC-Qc produced 64 and 91% reduction, respectively. The antileishmanial efficacy of PQc was similar but not as potently improved by encapsulation as Qc. None of the treatments increased aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase or creatinine serum levels. These findings indicate that when encapsulated in LNC, Qc and, to a lesser extent, PQc can safely produce an enhanced antileishmanial effect even at a 40-fold lower dose, with implications for the development of a new oral drug for cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
An electrophoretic process is proposed to deposit electrochemically-preformed Au or Pd NPs, with controlled size, directly on MWCNTs-based chemiresistors to improve the detection of aromatic pollutants, compared to pristine ones.
The sensing properties of pristine and functionalized MWCNTs were evaluated at an operating temperature of 40°C towards various concentrations of one aromatic pollutant, belonging to the dangerous BTEX class of compounds, m-Xylene. The sensing performance was related to the metal used in the functionalization process. Metal-doped MWCNTs sensors exhibited a very high gas sensitivity to m-Xylene even at low (80 ppb) concentration at low operating temperature (40°C), good reversibility and repeatability, with the sensing properties controlled by the type of deposited metal catalyst.
The results indicate that Metal-modified MWCNT-based chemiresistive gas sensors has good potential in practical applications, due to its remarkable performance, low power consumption, and facile synthesized methods.
It has largely been accepted that pre-participation screening for student athletes is necessary, but there is still no consensus on the most effective and efficient ways to accomplish this. Most clinical strategies are based on retrospective case series. By applying the European Society of Cardiology and Seattle criteria, electrocardiography appears to afford the lowest false-positive rate for identifying potentially dangerous cardiac abnormalities in athletes. Prospective, randomised trials may help determine the most effective primary prevention. Normative data for age, gender, and ethnicity for screening tools need to be formulated to further reduce false-positive results. Targeted advanced screening aimed at the highest risk groups may be the most beneficial and cost-effective application of primary prevention.
The study aimed to subtype patients with schizophrenia on the basis of social cognition (SC), and to identify cut-offs that best discriminate among subtypes in 809 out-patients recruited in the context of the Italian Network for Research on Psychoses.
A two-step cluster analysis of The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT), the Facial Emotion Identification Test and Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test scores was performed. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to identify the cut-offs of variables that best discriminated among clusters.
We identified three clusters, characterized by unimpaired (42%), impaired (50.4%) and very impaired (7.5%) SC. Three theory-of-mind domains were more important for the cluster definition as compared with emotion perception and emotional intelligence. Patients more able to understand simple sarcasm (⩾14 for TASIT-SS) were very likely to belong to the unimpaired SC cluster. Compared with patients in the impaired SC cluster, those in the very impaired SC cluster performed significantly worse in lie scenes (TASIT-LI <10), but not in simple sarcasm. Moreover, functioning, neurocognition, disorganization and SC had a linear relationship across the three clusters, while positive symptoms were significantly lower in patients with unimpaired SC as compared with patients with impaired and very impaired SC. On the other hand, negative symptoms were highest in patients with impaired levels of SC.
If replicated, the identification of such subtypes in clinical practice may help in tailoring rehabilitation efforts to the person's strengths to gain more benefit to the person.
With increased emphasis on encouraging students to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), there is a general concern that society is losing the benefits associated with liberal arts education. One possible approach to achieving the benefits of higher paying STEM degrees along with the social benefits of liberal arts training is to encourage double majoring among college students. Double majoring is common at about 20% of college graduates, yet most double majors are in related areas that provide limited educational diversity. We examine private and social benefits of double majoring using data from the 2010 National Survey of College Graduates. The strongest positive relations associated with combining a liberal arts major with a business or STEM major are on research and development activities and on job match. In addition, we find that students who double major in business and STEM earn a premium over those single majors. However, combining a liberal arts major with STEM or business fields does not increase earnings, indicating little private earnings incentive for students to combine STEM or business majors with liberal arts.
We present a preliminary report on simultaneous optical and infrared observations on a sample of Herbig Ae/Be stars carried out at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla-Chile in March 1984 and in March-April 1985. In this paper Z CMa, V380 Ori, R Mon and HD53367 are analyzed A strong variability in both energy distribution and Ha line profile is detected in Z CMa, while for HD53367 only He I and Ha profile's variations are revealed; V380 Ori and R Mon show non significant variability.
We present preliminary results concerning the O4If+ star HD 15570. Of-type supergiants are believed to represent an evolved evolutionary stage of very high mass stars (Minit > 40 M⊙). Their low numbers and extreme peculiarity make each of these objects worth of continuous monitoring. HD 15570 dominates the very young open cluster IC 1805 and is thought to have had an initial mass ≥ 100 M⊙. Low-, intermediate- and high-resolution spectra were collected at the Loiano and San Pedro Mártir telescopes since 1992. The comparison of our high- and low-resolution spectra shows clear variability of a number of spectral features. It is worth noticing, that the variation of Hα seems to follow a repeated secular trend, increasing its equivalent width from ~ 3Å to more than 8 Å in a few years. At the same time, its profile is varying, from a shape quite similar to the theoretical one corresponding to the Klein & Castor (1978) model C, to a much more developed P-Cygni profile, with a deep blue absorption wing. The possibility of instrumental effects is ruled out by the remarkable constancy of the nearby diffuse interstellar band at 6613 Å and of the He ii 6683 Å absorption. The Hβ profile variability is evident from the comparison of the 1996 and 1998 high-resolution spectra. The emission component, which is clearly visible at all epochs, is absent in the 1996 spectrum when the line appears in pure absorption. No relevant line-profile variation seems to be present in the He ii and N iii lines contributing to the ‘feature f’, that looks remarkably constant, as well as Hγ, while their equivalent widths seem to show a modest amount of random variability.
Matching theory studies how agents and/or objects from different sets can be matched with each other while taking agents’ preferences into account. The theory originated in 1962 with a celebrated paper by David Gale and Lloyd Shapley (1962), in which they proposed the Stable Marriage Algorithm as a solution to the problem of two-sided matching. Since then, this theory has been successfully applied to many real-world problems such as matching students to universities, doctors to hospitals, kidney transplant patients to donors, and tenants to houses. This chapter will focus on algorithmic as well as strategic issues of matching theory.
Many large-scale centralized allocation processes can be modelled by matching problems where agents have preferences over one another. For example, in China, over 10 million students apply for admission to higher education annually through a centralized process. The inputs to the matching scheme include the students’ preferences over universities, and vice versa, and the capacities of each university. The task is to construct a matching that is in some sense optimal with respect to these inputs.
Economists have long understood the problems with decentralized matching markets, which can suffer from such undesirable properties as unravelling, congestion and exploding offers (see Roth and Xing, 1994, for details). For centralized markets, constructing allocations by hand for large problem instances is clearly infeasible. Thus centralized mechanisms are required for automating the allocation process.
Given the large number of agents typically involved, the computational efficiency of a mechanism's underlying algorithm is of paramount importance. Thus we seek polynomial-time algorithms for the underlying matching problems. Equally important are considerations of strategy: an agent (or a coalition of agents) may manipulate their input to the matching scheme (e.g., by misrepresenting their true preferences or underreporting their capacity) in order to try to improve their outcome. A desirable property of a mechanism is strategyproofness, which ensures that it is in the best interests of an agent to behave truthfully.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.