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Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome that represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. Several nutraceuticals have shown interesting clinical results in HF prevention as well as in the treatment of the early stages of the disease, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapy. The aim of the present expert opinion position paper is to summarise the available clinical evidence on the role of phytochemicals in HF prevention and/or treatment that might be considered in those patients not treated optimally as well as in those with low therapy adherence. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendation of particular HF treatment options were weighed up and graded according to predefined scales. A systematic search strategy was developed to identify trials in PubMed (January 1970 to June 2019). The terms ‘nutraceuticals’, ‘dietary supplements’, ‘herbal drug’ and ‘heart failure’ or ‘left verntricular dysfunction’ were used in the literature search. The experts discussed and agreed on the recommendation levels. Available clinical trials reported that the intake of some nutraceuticals (hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, l-carnitine, d-ribose, carnosine, vitamin D, probiotics, n-3 PUFA and beet nitrates) might be associated with improvements in self-perceived quality of life and/or functional parameters such as left ventricular ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output in HF patients, with minimal or no side effects. Those benefits tended to be greater in earlier HF stages. Available clinical evidence supports the usefulness of supplementation with some nutraceuticals to improve HF management in addition to evidence-based pharmacological therapy.
Throughout its range in Latin America, the jaguar Panthera onca is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and by conflict as a result of coexistence with people. This Near Threatened species is a top predator, and is often illegally hunted. Understanding people's attitudes and perceptions and the factors that could influence them is crucial for the conservation of this species. In this study we assess how knowledge, attitudes and perceptions among people in northern Argentina regarding jaguars vary depending on their level of education, age and occupation. We interviewed 810 people living in and around 10 protected areas in northern Argentina. Positive perceptions and attitudes towards the jaguar were associated with economic benefits that people may receive from the species’ presence, such as income from tourism. Unexpectedly, higher levels of formal education were not associated with more positive attitudes and perceptions. Negative attitudes and perceptions towards the species were determined by fear; people see jaguars as a threat to their lives. This study shows that the socio-economic factors that affect the level of tolerance towards jaguars are not related only to economic losses. Our findings provide information for the design, implementation and evaluation of jaguar conservation projects in Argentina.
The aim of this study is to: (1) examine the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Satisfaction with Life scale (SWLS) on a representative sample of the Chilean population (N = 1,500); (2) test the factorial invariance of the SWLS across gender and employment status (henceforth status); and (3) provide normative data of the SWLS for Chile. Results suggest that the Spanish version of the SWLS is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring global life satisfaction in Chile and for comparison across gender and status. Confirmatory factor analysis shows support, across all groups, for a modified single-factor structure of the SWLS that allows error terms of items 1 and 2 to correlate (GFI > .98; RMSEA < .08). Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranges between .68 and .84 for different groups, with an average value of .80 for the total sample. The SWLS scores converge with an alternative single-item measure of life satisfaction (r = .63, p < .001) and with measures of conceptually related constructs. The factorial structure of the scale is invariant with respect to gender and status (CFI > .99; RMSEA < .06). Metric invariance holds for gender (ΔCFI = 0; RMSEA = .051) and status (Δχ2 = 23.93, nonsignificant; ∆CFI = 0; RMSEA = .045). Scalar invariance holds for gender and some status combinations; partial scalar invariance holds for the rest. Mean levels of life satisfaction can be compared across gender and status, albeit cautiously for status combinations for which scalar invariance does not hold.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
Equipment wear is caused by the disintegration of material due to the contact between the machines components and the ore, resulting in stress to the surface of the material. Wear causes loss of efficiency, vibration, misalignment and, in severe cases, cracks that may lead to fracture and damage to the equipment. In mining, wear is caused by operational problems in which generate high costs. Some researchers studied white cast iron alloys with high chromium and the addition of niobium for wear plates manufacturing and therefore, plates to protect structural parts of the equipment have been developed. This study presents the characterization of the microstructure of two alloys of white cast iron with high chromium containing 3.8 wt.% C and 27.1 wt.% Cr and the addition of 0.9 wt.% Nb (alloy 1) and 1.6 wt.% Nb (alloy 2), respectively. Samples of the two alloys were subjected to metallographic tests, microhardness and abrasion type rubber wheel tests, according to the ASTM: G65-91 standard. Complexes carbides have been identified in both alloys. The results of microhardness and wear resistance tests were correlated and identified the effect of niobium addition. The findings suggest that the addition of niobium in these alloys contributes to the formation of NbC and increase of Cr in the matrix; consequently increase in the hardenability of the material. The wear resistance of alloy 2 was 47.95% higher than alloy 1 in abrasion type rubber wheel tests. It demonstrates that the increase of niobium in the alloy has contributed to improve wear resistance due to the substantial change in the microstructure and distribution of NbC carbides.
Legged robots have the potential to navigate in more challenging terrains than wheeled robots. Unfortunately, their control is more demanding, because they have to deal with the common tasks of mapping and path planning as well as more specific issues of legged locomotion, like balancing and foothold planning. In this paper, we present the integration and the development of a stabilized vision system on the fully torque-controlled hydraulically actuated quadruped robot (HyQ). The active head added onto the robot is composed of a fast pan and tilt unit (PTU) and a high-resolution wide angle stereo camera. The PTU enables camera gaze shifting to a specific area in the environment (both to extend and refine the map) or to track an object while navigating. Moreover, as the quadruped locomotion induces strong regular vibrations, impacts or slippages on rough terrain, we took advantage of the PTU to mechanically compensate for the robot's motions. In this paper, we demonstrate the influence of legged locomotion on the quality of the visual data stream by providing a detailed study of HyQ's motions, which are compared against a rough terrain wheeled robot of the same size. Our proposed Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)-based controller allows us to decouple the camera from the robot motions. We show through experiments that, by stabilizing the image feedback, we can improve the onboard vision-based processes of tracking and mapping. In particular, during the outdoor tests on the quadruped robot, the use of our camera stabilization system improved the accuracy on the 3D maps by 25%, with a decrease of 50% of mapping failures.
In the present work, the interactions between forsterite-91 with distilled water and forsterite-91 with artificial seawater were studied at two pHs (2.0 and 8.0) using different techniques. A large increase in pH was observed for samples incubated at an initially acidic pH (2.0) due to the dissolution of forsterite-91 in distilled water and artificial seawater. Thus, in acidic hydrothermal vents, an increase in the amount of hydrocarbons and magnetite should be expected due to the release of Fe(II). The pHPZC decreased and the pHIEP increased when forsterite-91 was treated with distilled water and artificial seawater. The ions from the artificial seawater had an effect on zeta potential. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images and X-ray diffractograms showed halite in the samples of forsterite-91 mixed with artificial seawater. The presence of halite or adsorption of ions on the surface of forsterite-91 could affect the synthesis of magnetite and hydrocarbons in hydrothermal vents, due to a decrease in the dissolution rates of forsterite-91. The dissolution of forsterite-91 yields low concentrations of Fe(III) and Mn(II) as detected by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Microanalysis of forsterite-91 showed a higher amount of Mn, with an oxidation that was likely not +II, as Mn in supernatant solutions was only detected by EPR spectroscopy after mixing with artificial seawater at pH 2.0. As Fe(III) and Mn(II) are catalyst constituents of magnetite and manganese oxide, respectively, their presence is important for synthesis in hydrothermal vents. Etch pits were observed only in the forsterite-91 sample mixed with distilled water at pH 8.0. Na, Cl, S, Ca and K were detected in the samples mixed with artificial seawater by SEM–EDS. Si, Mg, Fe and Al were detected in almost all supernatant samples due to forsterite-91 dissolution. Cr was not dissolved in the experiments, thus Cr in the mineral could serve as an effective catalyst for Fischer Tropsch Types (FTT) reactions in hydrothermal vent systems. X-ray diffractograms of the original forsterite-91 also showed peaks arising from zeolites and clinochlore. After the samples were treated with artificial seawater, X-ray diffractograms showed the dissolution of zeolite. Experiments should be performed in the natural environment to verify the potential for zeolites to act as a catalyst in hydrothermal vents.
The solar cells employed in low to medium (50 to 200 suns) concentration photovoltaic (CPV) are usually mono-crystalline silicon. Laser Groove Buried Contacts (LGBC) are preferred to screen printing in these cells due to the high currents generated in the system. In this paper, we report on the use of Coherence Correlation Interferometry (CCI) to accurately measure the width and depth of the laser-ablated grooves. In addition, the technique is also used to measure the surface roughness at the bottom of the trenches, since this can determine the success of the subsequent plating process, and at the top surface to optimize the debris control and obtain clean surfaces and well-shaped groove edges. The laser ablation process was also optimized to obtain the groove aspect ratio and surface quality required. Process parameters to be controlled include laser power, pulse energy, stage speed and focal length. The CCI technique is capable of providing all the groove and surface metrology required for this process optimization.
The occurrence of the merluccid Macruronus novaezelandiae from tropical waters off Bahia, eastern Brazil, is reported for the first time due to the capture of an adult of 712.3 mm standard length in May 2008, from a depth of 400 m. Until then no specimen had been reported north of 32°29′S on the South American Atlantic coast. This new record extends the species' range to about 2500 km northwards along the Brazilian coastline and is the first ever from tropical waters in the world. A comparison of the morphometric characters is provided.
Four new species of Thraulodes Ulmer (Ephemeroptera: Leptophlebiidae), Thraulodes amanda sp. n., Thraulodes pelicanus sp. n., Thraulodes xavantinensis sp. n. and Thraulodes sinuosus sp. n are described based on imagos. A new synonymy (Thraulodes lepidus [Ulmer]=Thraulodes cryptodrilus Nieto & Domínguez) is proposed and the distribution of Thraulodes schlingeri is expanded based on a new record from western Brazil.
We assessed the importance of potential sources of mortality for the Vulnerable southern pudu Pudu puda in southern Chile using the clinical records of wildlife rehabilitation centres, necropsies of animals found in the field and a review of the diet of potential predators. To assess whether the identified mortality sources operate in nominally protected areas, we conducted a camera-trap survey in two areas to determine the presence of pudus and their potential predators. Predation by domestic dogs Canis lupus familiaris and car collisions were the commonest causes of pudu admissions to rehabilitation centres (35 of 44) and of deaths of animals encountered opportunistically in the field (seven of 14). Field data suggest that poaching could also be an important threat to pudus. Pudus were detected in both areas surveyed, accounting for 15.6% of mammal detections. Dogs accounted for 47.8% of all detections of potential predator species, followed by pumas Puma concolor (17.4%), guignas Leopardus guigna (17.4%) and chilla foxes Lycalopex griseus (17.4%). The literature survey implicated only pumas as important pudu predators among native carnivores. Our data suggest that, aside from forest loss, dogs, road kills and probably poaching are important concerns for pudu conservation. Our frequent detections of free-ranging dogs associated with roads within nominally protected areas suggest that long-term efforts to conserve pudu will require not only the protection of remnant native forest but also substantive environmental education to modify dog management near protected areas.
Both psychodynamic group therapy (PGT) and clonazepam are used as treatment strategies in reducing symptoms of generalized social anxiety disorder (GSAD). However, many individuals remain symptomatic after treatment with PGT or clonazepam.
Fifty-eight adult outpatients with a diagnosis of GSAD according to DSM-IV were randomized to 12 weeks PGT plus clonazepam or clonazepam. The Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) Scale was the primary efficacy measure. Secondary efficacy measures included the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) total score, the World Health Organization Instrument to Assess Quality of Life—Brief (WHOQOL-Bref) Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI).
CGI-I data from 57 patients (intent-to-treat population) showed that patients who received PGT plus clonazepam presented significantly greater improvement than those who received clonazepam (P = 0.033). There were no significant differences between the two groups in the secondary efficacy measures.
Our study suggests that the combination of PGT with clonazepam may be a promising strategy for the treatment of GSAD, regarding gains in the global functioning. However the present study failed to detect more specific changes in social anxiety symptomatology between the two groups.
We report the occurrence of a lone humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) calf inside Baía de Todos os Santos, north-eastern Brazil, encountered swimming near the shore at a busy beach of the city of Salvador. The calf was monitored for over six hours during which time it was photographed performing an unusual behaviour, interpreted by the authors as a sign of stress and disorientation. One week later, a dead humpback whale calf was found 14 km north-east, on the island of Itaparica. Due to the similar size and the oceanographic currents of the area, we considered it to be the same animal. Finally, we discuss considerations to improve conditions for the rescue of cetaceans in the future.
A thin epitaxial single crystal CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposited) diamond detector has been used in order to monitor the X-ray pulses coming out from a standard, portable, medical X-ray apparatus. The current pulses have been acquired and digitized in order to obtain the pulse shape, timing and dose. The obtained data were successfully compared with standard X-ray monitors like air ionization chambers and silicon detector arrays. The results strongly suggest a possible use of CVD epitaxial diamond in the field of X-ray diagnostics for energies up to 120 keV and doses up to 125 mGy and for X-ray pulse timing from 0.1 s or below and 2 s or more.
The growth of the Ficopomatus enigmaticus reefs was measured throughout a coastal lagoon at different temporal and spatial scales (over 24 years, annually and monthly throughout the coastal lagoon). The results show that reef cover increased in the last 24 years, and many neighbouring reefs have coalesced into large platforms. Growth rate varies spatially and temporally. Small reefs grow faster than large ones. Ficopomatus enigmaticus polychaetes living in higher salinity areas show a lower biomass than those living in brackish water areas, and the same pattern was observed for the inter-ring distance measured on the tubes. The results also show that important environmental variables, including salinity, nutrient availability and environmental energy (measured as current speed and depth) may be the most important factors affecting the growth and spread of the reefs.
Sedimentological, malacological, and pollen analyses from 14C-dated alluvial sections from the Luján River provide a detailed record of environmental changes during the Holocene in the northeastern Pampas of Argentina. From 11,200 to 9000 14C yr B.P., both sedimentary and biological components suggest that the depositional environment was eutrophic, alkaline, and freshwater to brackish shallow water bodies without significant water circulation. During this time, bioclastic sedimentation was dominant and the shallow water bodies reached maximum development as the climate became more humid, suggesting an increase in precipitation. Short-term fluctuations in climate during the last stage of this interval may have been sufficient to initiate changes in the water bodies, as reduction of the volume alternated with periods of flooding. The beginning of the evolution of shallow swamps in the wide floodplain or huge wetlands was contemporaneous with a sea level lower than the present one. From 9000 and 7000 14C yr B.P., mesotrophic, alkaline, brackish, probably anoxic swamps existed. Between 7000 and 3000 14C yr B.P., anoxic calcareous swamps were formed, with subaerial exposure and development of the Puesto Berrondo Soil (3500–2900 14C yr B.P.). A trend to a reduction of water bodies is recorded from 9000 to ca. 3000 14C yr B.P., with a significant reduction after ca. 7000 14C yr B.P. A shift to subhumid–dry climate after 7000 14C yr B.P. appears to be the main cause. During this time, an additional external forcing toward higher groundwater levels was caused by Holocene marine transgression causing changes in the water bodies levels. The climate became drier during the late Holocene (ca. 3000 yr B.P.), when clastic sedimentation increased, under subhumid–dry conditions. Flood events increased in frequency during this time. From ca. A.D. 1790 to present, the pollen record reflects widespread disturbance of the vegetation during the European settlement.
We report the observation of strongly anisotropic scattering of laser light at oblique incidence on (100)-oriented porous silicon layers. We performed angle-resolved light scattering measurements and three concentric rings were observed. Modeling porous silicon by means of nanometric columnar air pores and an effective anisotropic uniaxial dielectric constant explains the observed phenomenon, and besides, the observation of the angle aperture of these rings allows a direct measurement of relative birefringence. We finally study the changes of optical anisotropy after different modifications of the structure.