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There is no agreement regarding which solvent is more suitable to obtain sol–gel–derived titania (TiO2) samples with an enhanced photocatalytic behavior. Furthermore, the solvent effect on the preparation of TiO2-RGO (reduced graphene oxide) nanocomposites has not been published yet and could be an attractive experimental strategy to modulate structure and properties. On the basis of these observations, TiO2-RGO nanocomposites were fabricated in this study. It was evaluated for the influence of using either isopropyl (IsoprOH) or ethyl (EtOH) alcohol on the textural and photocatalytic properties of the prepared materials. The use of IsoprOH led to samples with smaller crystallite size, narrower apparent band gap, smaller isoelectric point, larger adsorption capacity, and higher photocatalytic activity. In addition, the incorporation of RGO into TiO2 greatly improved the adsorption capacity and photocatalytic activity of the latter. However, the optimal loading of RGO to prepare composites with enhanced photocatalytic activities was 1 wt%. This finding can be related to the stacking of RGO sheets when concentrations above 1 wt% are used, which could prevent UV light to reach the TiO2 particles and also decrease the photocatalytic capacity of the composites. Moreover, materials with RGO concentration above 1 wt% could exhibit a highly negatively charged surface, which may decrease the separation of the generated electron–hole pairs and lead to faster recombination rates of charge carriers.
Southern crabgrass [Digitaria ciliaris (Retz.) Koeler] is an annual grass weed that commonly infests turfgrass, roadsides, wastelands, and cropping systems throughout the southeastern United States. Two biotypes of D. ciliaris (R1 and R2) with known resistance to cyclohexanediones (DIMs) and aryloxyphenoxypropionates (FOPs) previously collected from sod production fields in Georgia were compared with a separate susceptible biotype (S) collected from Alabama for the responses to pinoxaden and to explore the possible mechanisms of resistance. Increasing rates of pinoxaden (0.1 to 23.5 kg ha−1) were evaluated for control of R1, R2, and S. The resistant biotypes, R1 and R2, were resistant to pinoxaden relative to S. The S biotype was completely controlled at rates of 11.8 and 23.5 kg ha−1, resulting in no aboveground biomass at 14 d after treatment. Pinoxaden rates at which tiller length and aboveground biomass would be reduced 50% (I50) and 90% (I90) for R1, R2, and S ranged from 7.2 to 13.2 kg ha−1, 6.9 to 8.6 kg ha−1, and 0.7 to 2.1 kg ha−1, respectively, for tiller length, and 7.7 to 10.2 kg ha−1, 7.2 to 7.9 kg ha−1, and 1.6 to 2.3 kg ha−1, respectively, for aboveground biomass. Prior selection pressure from DIM and FOP herbicides could result in the evolution of D. ciliaris cross-resistance to pinoxaden herbicides. Amplification of the carboxyl-transferase domain of the plastidic ACCase by standard PCR identified a point mutation resulting in an Ile-1781-Leu amino acid substitution only for the resistant biotype, R1. Further cloning of PCR product surrounding the 1781 region yielded two distinct ACCase gene sequences, Ile-1781 and Leu-1781. The amino acid substitution, Ile-1781-Leu in both resistant biotypes (R1 and R2), however, was revealed by next-generation sequencing of RNA using Illumina platform. A point mutation in the Ile-1781 codon leading to herbicide insensitivity in the ACCase enzyme has been previously reported in other grass species. Our research confirms that the Ile-1781-Leu substitution is present in pinoxaden-resistant D. ciliaris.
Considering a potential exercise-drug interaction, we investigated whether exercise training could improve the efficacy of specific antiparasitic chemotherapy in a rodent model of Chagas disease. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: sedentary and uninfected (CT); sedentary and infected (SI); sedentary, infected and treated (SIT); trained and infected (TI); trained, infected and treated (TIT). After 9-weeks running training, the animals were infected with T. cruzi and followed up for 4 weeks, receiving 100 mg kg−1 day−1 benznidazole. No evidence of myocarditis was observed in CT animals. TI animals exhibited reduced parasitemia, myocarditis, and reactive tissue damage compared to SI animals, in addition to increased IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, heart non-protein antioxidant (NPA) levels and glutathione-s transferase activity (P < 0.05). The CT, SIT and TIT groups presented similar reductions in parasitemia, cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MCP-1), inflammatory infiltrate, oxidative heart damage and antioxidant enzymes activity compared to SI and TI animals, as well as reduced heart microstructural remodeling (P < 0.05). By modulating heart inflammation and redox metabolism, exercise training exerts a protective effect against T. cruzi infection in rats. However, the antiparasitic and cardioprotective effects of benznidazole chemotherapy are more pronounced, determining similar endpoints in sedentary and trained T. cruzi-infected rats.
We propose the N-learning practical approach for teaching and learning behaviors in a multirobot system, which is performed through mandatory behavior acquisition based on interactions between the robots at execution time. The proposed methodology can be used to self-program the robots of a team by programming only a single robot with a set of codes that contain behaviors to be transferred and used by other robots as necessary. These codes are implemented in a modular fashion. An advantage of our approach is that when a team of robots is required to perform a specific mission, the set of behaviors required to accomplish that mission can be implemented only once in a single robot or in a distributed fashion. Then, these distributed behaviors are transferred to each of the other robots in the team according to their demand, without the need to reprogram them by hand since the robots in the team can share them autonomously. As an application example, a human critic can teach (or program) only one or a few robots, and these robots are thus able to exchange knowledge with the other team members since they have been preinstalled to run the N-learning system basics. Simulated and real robot experiments are performed to demonstrate the feasibility and validation of our approach.
Although leucocytes are targets of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) effector molecules and RAS-modulating drugs exert immunomodulatory effects, their impact on Trypanosoma cruzi infection remains poorly understood. By using the framework of a systematic review, we integrated the preclinical and clinical evidence to investigate the relevance of angiotensin-inhibiting drugs on T. cruzi infections. From a comprehensive and structured search in biomedical databases, only original studies were analysed. In preclinical and clinical studies, captopril, enalapril and losartan were RAS-modulating drugs used. The main in vitro findings indicated that these drugs increased parasite uptake per host cells, IL-12 expression by infected dendritic cells and IFN-γ by T lymphocytes, in addition to attenuating IL-10 and IL-17 production by CD8 + T cells. In animal models, reduced parasitaemia, tissue parasitism, leucocytes infiltration and mortality were often observed in T. cruzi-infected animals receiving RAS-modulating drugs. In patients with Chagas’ disease, these drugs exerted a controversial impact on cytokine and hormone levels, and a limited effect on cardiovascular function. Considering a detailed evaluation of reporting and methodological quality, the current preclinical and clinical evidence is at high risk of bias, and we hope that our critical analysis will be useful in mitigating the risk of bias in further studies.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon is increasing. Predictive models estimate that as a result of agricultural expansion 40% of these forests will be lost by 2050. As a consequence the habitat of forest-dwelling species such as the Endangered black-faced black spider monkey Ateles chamek is being lost, particularly along the arc of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We used species distribution modelling to (1) define the distribution of this spider monkey, using environmental predictors, (2) calculate the area of this distribution covered by the protected area network, and (3) calculate the expected loss of the species’ habitat under future scenarios of deforestation. We found that the species occupies only c. 28% of its extent of occurrence. Only 32% of the species’ area of occupancy is legally protected, and the modelling suggests that 31–40% of the species’ habitat will be lost by 2050. We highlight three unprotected regions with extensive forest cover that are predicted to become severely deforested by 2050 as priority regions for expanding the protected area network. We also propose landscape management and restoration in three human-modified regions. Our study provides an example of how species distribution modelling can be applied to assess threats to species and support decision makers in implementing conservation actions.
There have been few studies realized that evaluate the effects of adopting
different nutritional systems in more than one phase of cattle production on
carcass and meat characteristics. This study was realized to evaluate carcass
and meat characteristics from bulls submitted to different nutritional systems
during two production phases. The experiment was conducted at
Figueira’s farm during two production phases: I (cow–calf)
– 80 calves (99.6±2.72 days of age and
109.7±2.99 kg of BW) with their mothers were randomly assigned into
two supplemental diets: cow–calf mineral supplement
(n=40) or cow–calf creep-feeding
(n=40); II (stocker) – the same 80
calves (201.2±2.11 days of age and 190.2±3.37 kg of BW)
were redistributed into two production systems: stocker pasture
(n=40) or stocker feedlot (SF;
n=40). After, all 80 animals were kept on a pasture
system (III) for 290 days, and then finished in a feedlot system (IV) for more
33 days. Then, they were slaughtered at an average 764.2±3.06 days of
age and at 499.2±3.33 kg of final BW. After slaughter, the average
daily gain was calculated, and the carcass and meat characteristics were
measured. The statistical model design used was completely randomized in a
2×2 factorial arrangement (two treatment groups on
cow–calf phase and two treatment groups on stocker phase). The single
effects between the groups in each phase and the interactions between both
phases (cow–calf v. stocker) were analyzed. The
results were compared by Fisher’s test, using the R statistical
software. A cow–calf by stocker phases interaction occurred for
carcass conformation and fiber diameter. For single effects, the greatest
influences observed were in the stocker phase. The feedlot group was slaughtered
17 days earlier, with greater final BW (3.8%), hot carcass weight
(5.7%), average daily gain (6.9%), dressing percentage
(1.8%), carcass length (1.8%), carcass width
(1.5%), longissimus muscle area (4.8%)
and muscle depth (2.3%) than pasture group. The SF group also had
influence on fat color; showing higher L* and lower
b* values. These results reveal that bulls
reared in feedlot at the stocker phase have higher muscle development and that
the stocker phase has the greatest potential to influence carcass
characteristics and meat quality.
Phenotypic differentiation among fish populations may be used for management of distinct stocks and helps in conserving biodiversity. We compared morphometric and meristic characters of the anchovy Anchoa januaria from shallow semi-closed bays between the south-eastern (Tropical, 23°S) and southern (Subtropical, 25°S) Brazilian coast. We hypothesized that differences between habitats and environmental conditions result in morphological divergence between conspecific populations. Fish size did not differ significantly between the two areas. Significant differences in the meristic and morphological characters were detected for individuals between the two areas, with specimens from the Subtropical region having significant larger head height, pectoral fin length and eye diameter compared with those from the Tropical region. Conversely, specimens from the Tropical region had significantly larger maxillary length, mouth length and body height than those from the Subtropical region. The number of rays for the dorsal and pectoral fins were higher for the specimens from the Subtropical region, whereas for the anal fin was higher for individuals from the Tropical region. Different morphological groups between the two regions were depicted by principal component analysis and discriminant function analysis, which suggest that morphological divergence is occurring. Local environmental influences and the lack of genetic interchange are likely to be the causes of such divergence. This is facilitated by the low tolerance of this species to marine waters that prevents connectivity between these stocks/populations.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
This study evaluated the impact of maternal vaccination against rubella on the levels of specific rubella IgG (rIgG) in 198 newborn cord sera samples. Detailed maternal vaccination data were available. Specific rIgG was measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Most mothers (78.8%) had been vaccinated against rubella at least once in their lives. In 15 (7.6%) cord sera samples, the concentration of specific rIgG was below 11 IU/ml, which was classified as seronegative. Statistical analysis using multiple logistic regression (n = 198) showed that newborns of mothers born between 1986 and 1995, and those born to unvaccinated mothers, were more likely to be seronegative (odds ratio (ORs) 5.2 and 4.9, respectively, adjusted for sex and gestational age). For vaccinated mothers (n = 156), those born between 1986 and 1995 were more likely to have seronegative newborns (OR 11.5 adjusting for sex, gestational age and time since last vaccination). Mothers of the 15 (7.6%) seronegative newborns might have been susceptible to rubella during pregnancy. Checking the vaccination status therefore recommended.
Model predictive control (MPC) theory has gained attention with the recent increase in the processing power of computers that are now able to perform the needed calculations for this technique. This kind of control algorithms can achieve better results in trajectory tracking control of mobile robots than classical control approaches. In this paper, we present a review of recent developments in trajectory tracking control of mobile robot systems using model predictive control theory, especially when nonholonomicity is present. Furthermore, we point out the growth of the related research starting with the boom of mobile robotics in the 90s and discuss reported field applications of the described control problem. The objective of this paper is to provide a unified and accessible presentation, placing the classical model, problem formulations and approaches into a proper context and to become a starting point for researchers who are initiating their endeavors in linear/nonlinear MPC applied to nonholonomic mobile robots. Finally, this work aims to present a comprehensive review of the recent breakthroughs in the field, providing links to the most interesting and successful works, including our contributions to state-of-the-art.
By using an experimental model of dexamethasone-induced osteoporosis we investigated the effects of different therapeutic schemes combining sodium alendronate (SA) and simvastatin on bone mineral and protein composition, microstructural and mechanical remodeling. Wistar rats were randomized into eight groups: G1: non-osteoporotic; G2: osteoporotic; G3, G4, and G5: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively); G6, G7, and G8: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively)+simvastatin (0.4, 0.6, and 1 mg/kg, respectively). Osteoporosis was induced by dexamethasone (7 mg/kg, i.m.) once a week for 5 weeks. All treatments were administered for 8 weeks. Dexamethasone increased serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, calcium, phosphorus, and urea, especially in non-treated animals, which showed severe osteoporosis. Dexamethasone also induced bone microstructural fragility and reduced mechanical resistance, which were associated with a marked depletion in mineral mass, collagenous and non-collagenous protein levels in cortical and cancellous bone. Although SA has attenuated osteoporosis severity, the effectiveness of drug therapy was enhanced combining alendronate and simvastatin. The restoration in serum parameters, organic and inorganic bone mass, and mechanical behavior showed a dose-dependent effect that was potentially related to the complementary mechanisms by which each drug acts to induce bone anabolism, accelerating tissue repair.
The order Chiroptera is considered the second largest group of mammals in the world, hosting important zoonotic virus and bacteria. Bartonella and hemotropic mycoplasmas are bacteria that parasite different mammals’ species, including humans, causing different clinical manifestations. The present work aimed investigating the occurrence and assessing the phylogenetic positioning of Bartonella spp. and Mycoplasma spp. in neotropical bats sampled from Brazil. Between December 2015 and April 2016, 325 blood and/or tissues samples were collected from 162 bats comprising 19 different species sampled in five states of Brazil. Out of 322 bat samples collected, while 17 (5·28%) were positive to quantitative PCR for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene, 45 samples (13·97%) were positive to cPCR assays for hemoplasmas based on 16S rRNA gene. While seven sequences were obtained for Bartonella (nuoG) (n = 3), gltA (n = 2), rpoB (n = 1), ftsZ (n = 1), five 16S rRNA sequences were obtained for hemoplasmas. In the phylogenetic analysis, the Bartonella sequences clustered with Bartonella genotypes detected in bats sampled in Latin America countries. All five hemoplasmas sequences clustered together as a monophyletic group by Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses. The present work showed the first evidence of circulation of Bartonella spp. and hemoplasmas among bats in Brazil.
We compared the relevance of ibuprofen, vitamins C and E to control oxidative/nitrosative stress and heart disease in mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi. Swiss mice were randomized into five groups: control, uninfected; infected without treatment; and infected treated with vitamins C, E or ibuprofen. Animals were inoculated with 2000 trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi. After 20 days, infected mice presented reduced vitamin C and E tissue levels, high cytokines (interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin 10 and chemokine ligand 2), prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and nitric oxide (NO) cardiac production, intense myocarditis and reactive tissue damage, which was directly correlated with the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate and the degree of pathological cardiac remodelling. Vitamins C and E supplementation were irrelevant to counteract reactive tissue damage and myocarditis in infected animals. Conversely, ibuprofen reduced tissue levels of cytokines, PGF2α and NO, as well as lipid and protein oxidation, antioxidant enzyme activity and the cardiac damage, without interfering with heart parasitism. Our results do not support the applicability of vitamin C and E supplementation in the management of acute Chagas cardiomyopathy. By controlling the inflammatory infiltrate, anti-inflammatory-based therapy proved to be a more rational strategy than a direct antioxidant therapy in attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress and cardiac damage.
In Portugal, the recommended age for the second dose of MMR (MMR2) was changed from 10–13 years to 5–6 years for those born in 1994 and afterwards. This study aimed to assess if MMR schedule and time elapsed from the last dose are associated with the concentration of rubella and mumps IgG antibodies. Three Portuguese birth cohorts (convenience samples) were selected for this study (66, 59 and 41 participants born respectively in 1990–1993, 1994–1995 and 2001–2003). Geometric mean concentrations (GMC) for mumps IgG were respectively 36, 30 and 38 RU/ml (P = 0·236) and for rubella IgG were 18, 20 and 17 IU/ml (P = 0·641). For both specific antibodies, no differences were observed with time since MMR2. Receiving MMR2 at 5–6 or 10–13 years was not associated with concentration of both antibodies. The GMC of rubella IgG was lower in males (P = 0·029). Taking into account previous evidence and the logistics needed to change vaccination schedules, it seems reasonable that sustaining very high coverage with two doses of MMR is currently the most pragmatic way to control mumps and rubella rather than any changes to the schedule.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.) could play an important role as a feed source for ruminants in arid and semi-arid zones of the world owing to its high yield and drought tolerance. The current paper assessed the agronomic characteristics, ensilability, intake and digestibility of five Brazilian pearl millet cultivars (IPA Bulk1BF, BRS 1501, CMS-03, CMS-01 and BN-2) in a typical Brazilian northeastern semi-arid climate. Forage was harvested at the dough stage of grain maturity (growth stage 86 according to the BBCH scale) and ensiled under laboratory and farm conditions. Apparent digestibility of the silages was determined using 25 Santa Inês male lambs. The cultivars CMS-01, CMS-03 and BN-2 out-performed the others in terms of dry matter (DM) and digestible DM yield/ha. At DM partitioning among plant tissues, the cultivar IPA Bulk1BF had a greater DM associated with panicles and one of the greatest concentrations of organic matter, lactic acid and in vitro dry matter digestibility among the five cultivars. The cultivar BRS 1501 had greater butyric acid concentration as well as one of the highest pH values. Silage produced from BN-2 not only contained greater acetic acid concentration, but also showed one of the greatest total volatile fatty acid concentrations. There were no differences in feed intake and digestibility of nutrients and fibre fractions across all cultivars. Silage made from BN-2 resulted in greater urinary excretion of nitrogen than those produced from BRS 1501. Under the conditions of the present study, the results obtained for production of DM and digestible dry matter, and the ratio of plant fractions, indicates the possible use of these cultivars for silage production in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
Episodes of depression and anxiety (D&A) during the transition from late adolescence to adulthood, particularly when persistent, are predictive of long-term disorders and associated public health burden. Understanding risk factors at this time is important to guide intervention. The current objective was to investigate the associations between maternal symptoms of D&A with offspring symptoms during their transition to adulthood.
Data from a large population-based birth cohort study, in South Brazil, were used. Prospective associations between maternal D&A and offspring risk of these symptoms during the transition to adulthood (18/19, 24 and 30 years) were estimated.
Maternal D&A in adolescence was associated with offspring symptoms across the transition to adulthood, associations were consistently stronger for females than for males. Daughters whose mothers reported D&A were 4.6 times (95% confidence interval 2.71–7.84) as likely to report D&A at all three time-points, than daughters of symptom-free mothers.
Maternal D&A is associated with persistent D&A during the daughter's transition to adulthood. Intervention strategies should consider the mother's mental health.
To report a case of successful bone-anchored hearing aid implantation in an adult patient with type III osteogenesis imperfecta, which is commonly regarded as a contraindication to this procedure.
A 45-year-old man with type III osteogenesis imperfecta presented with mixed hearing loss. There was a mild sensorineural component in both ears, with an air–bone gap between 45 and 50 dB HL. He was implanted with a bone-anchored hearing aid. The audiological outcome was good, with no complications and good implant stability (as measured by resonance frequency analysis).
To our knowledge, this is the first recorded case of bone-anchored hearing aid implantation in a patient with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Although fertility rates are dependent on both sexes, this characteristic is most often associated with males. For example, the practice of spiking, in which males with undesirable characteristics are replaced with younger males, is often used to improve fertility rates. Dietary restrictions may offset genetic shortcomings to some extent, but nutritional deficiencies due to dietary restrictions may themselves reduce the efficiency of breeding systems. Thus, the challenge is to maintain rooster fertility even when they are receiving diets that meet the nutritional requirements for females. Subjective visual selection is often used for diagnosis of roosters as being unfit for reproduction, with those deemed as overweight or underweight, or those with too small a comb and/or too slightly pigmented, among other phenotypic parameters, being removed. Diagnosis of infertility may only be confirmed after sperm quality evaluation, with reliance on visual diagnosis often resulting in discarding of roosters suitable for reproduction but with unfavourable visual characters. This review aims to characterise reproductive management of roosters in Brazil, highlight aspects of their physiological and sperm quality parameters, and explore nutritional strategies that might contribute to extending their reproductive life.