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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The use of cactus cladodes in animal feed is well-established in semi-arid areas. The cactus Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck cladodes (Nopalea) have high acceptability amongst dairy cows and are resistant to carmine cochineal insects (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell), a problem in semi-arid regions, but in regions of prolonged drought, it has lower productivity compared with the cactus Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw cladodes (Opuntia), which is also resistant to the insect. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake and content of digestible material of dry matter (DM) and its components, feeding behaviour, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, blood parameters, performance and milk composition of Holstein cows fed a control diet, containing either Nopalea or Opuntia associated with different concentrate levels (225, 275, 325 and 375 g/kg). Ten cows with an initial average milk production of 20 ± 2.1 kg/day were distributed into a double 5 × 5 Latin square design. Diets containing 775 g roughage/kg and 225 g concentrate/kg promoted similar responses to the analysed variables regardless of the cactus cladode used, except for digestibility of neutral detergent fibre. Diets containing higher proportions of concentrate (325 and 375 g/kg) promoted greater DM intake and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield. The diet containing Opuntia at 775:225 g/kg roughage:concentrate proportion is as effective as the control diet for Holstein cows producing 20 kg of milk/day. To promote greater milk production, higher proportions of concentrate should be added to diets using Opuntia.
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.
The aim of this review is to compare the performance of different reproductive programs using natural service, estrus synchronization treatment before natural service (timed natural breeding (TNB)), artificial insemination (AI) following estrus detection and timed artificial insemination (TAI) in beef herds. It is well known that after parturition the beef cow undergoes a period of anestrous, when they do not exhibit estrus, eliminating the opportunity to become pregnant in the early postpartum by natural mating or by AI after detection of estrus. Hormonal stimulation is already a consistent and well-proven strategy used to overcome postpartum anestrus in beef herds. Basically, hormones that normally are produced during the estrous cycle of the cow can be administered in physiological doses to induce cyclicity and to precisely synchronize follicular growth, estrus and ovulation. Furthermore, two options of mating may be used after hormonal stimulation: natural service (i.e. utilization of bull service after synchronization, referred to as TNB) and TAI. These strategies improve the reproductive efficiency of the herds compared with natural service without estrus induction or synchronization. After the first synchronized service, the most common strategy adopted to get non-pregnant cows pregnant soon is the introduction of clean-up bulls until the end of the breeding season. However, methods to resynchronize non-pregnant cows after the first service are already well established and offer a potential tool to reduce the time for subsequent inseminations. Thus, the use of these technologies enable to eliminate the use of bulls by using resynchronization programs (i.e. two, three or four sequential TAI procedures). The dissemination of efficient reproductive procedures, such as TNB, TAI and Resynch programs, either isolated or in combination, enables the production of a greater quantity (obtaining increased pregnancy rates early in the breeding season) and quality (maximization of the use of AI with superior genetic sires) of beef calves. These technologies can contribute to improve the production efficiency, and consequently, improve livestock profitability.
Although a national programme for control of visceral leishmaniosis (VL) is being run in Brazil, the disease continues to spread. This programme is essentially based on culling infected dogs from endemic regions. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop other control measures against VL to deter its advance. Here, a subunit vaccine, a recombinant vaccine, an insecticide-impregnated collar and the associations between these measures were evaluated for reducing the incidence of Leishmania infection in dogs. This was through a cohort study conducted in an endemic region of Brazil, considering the incidence and time of total exposure over a period of 1 year. The incidence of VL was estimated by means of serological and molecular diagnostic tests, 180 and 360 days after the application of the control measures. The estimates of the effectiveness (EF) were not significant in any cohort. The EF of the subunit vaccine, the recombinant vaccine and the collar were 26.4%, 32.8% and 57.7% and the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval for EF were 63.7%, 67.9% and 82.5%, respectively. In conclusion, under the conditions of this study, none of the immunogens for VL control was sufficiently effective to protect dogs against infection. On the other hand, use of collars impregnated with insecticide seems to constitute a method with better prognosis, corroborating other studies in this field.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
The visceralizing potential of apparently dermotropic Leishmania donovani in Sri Lanka (L. donovani-SL) was investigated through long-term follow-up of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) patients and in vivo and in vitro experimental infection models. CL patients (n = 250) treated effectively with intra-lesional antimony therapy were followed-up six monthly for 4 years. There was no clinical evidence of visceralization of infection (VL) during this period. Infection of BALB/c mice with L. donovani-SL (test) through intra-dermal route led to the development of cutaneous lesions at the site of inoculation with no signs of systemic dissemination, in contrast to the observations made in animals similarly infected with a visceralizing strain of L. donovani-1S (control). Cytokine (IL-10, IFN-γ) release patterns of splenocytes and lymph node cell cultures derived from mice primed with experimental infections (with either test or control parasites) revealed significantly high IFN-γ response associated with test mice with CL, while prominent IL-10 levels were observed in association with control mice with VL. Furthermore, diminished infection efficiency, intracellular growth and survival of L. donovani-SL parasites compared with L. donovani-1S were evident through in vitro macrophage infection experiments. These studies confirm, for the first time, the essential dermotropic nature of L. donovani-SL suggesting natural attenuation of virulence of local parasite strains.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the energy restriction of gestation of adult ewes from day 45 to day 115 on lamb live performance parameters, carcass and meat traits. In experiment I, dietary energy was restricted at 70% of the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements, after which ewes were re-fed ad libitum until lambing. In experiment II, dietary energy was restricted at 60% of the ME requirements, and ewes were re-fed to ME requirements until lambing. All ewes grazed together from the end of the restriction periods to weaning. Lambs were weaned and lot fed until slaughter. Feed intake, weight gain and feed efficiency were recorded, and body fat thickness and ribeye area (REA) were measured in the longissimus thoracis muscle. After slaughter, carcass weight and yield, fat depth, carcass and leg length, and frenched rack and leg weights and yields were determined. Muscle fiber type composition, Warner-Bratzler shear force, pH and color were determined in the longissimus lumborum muscle. In experiment I, energy restriction followed by ad libitum feeding affected lamb birth weight (P<0.05); however, no effects (P>0.05) were observed on later BW, REA, BF or carcass traits. Lambs born to non-restricted-fed ewes had higher (P<0.05) weight and yield of the frenched rack cut and their meat tended (P=0.11) to be tender compared with that of lambs from restricted ewes. The percentage of oxidative muscle fibers was lower for lambs born to non-restricted ewes (P<0.05); however, no effects of ewe treatment were observed on other muscle fiber types. For experiment II, energy restriction followed by ME requirements feeding, affected (P<0.01) pre-weaning live weight gain, weaning and final weights. Lambs from restricted ewes had higher (P<0.05) feed intake as % of leg weight and a trend to be less efficient (P=0.16) than lambs from unrestricted dams. Ribeye area and BF were not influenced by treatment. Treatment significantly affected slaughter weight, but had no effects on carcass yield and traits or on meat traits. The results obtained in both experiments indicate submitting ewes to energy restriction during gestation affects the performance of their progeny but the final outcome would depend on the ewe’s re-feeding level during late gestation and the capacity of the offspring to compensate the in utero restriction after birth.
Euthanasia of infected dogs is one of the measures adopted in Brazil to control visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in endemic areas. To detect infected dogs, animals are screened with the rapid test DPP® Visceral Canine Leishmaniasis for detection of antibodies against K26/K39 fusion antigens of amastigotes (DPP). DPP-positives are confirmed with an immunoenzymatic assay probing soluble antigens of promastigotes (ELISA), while DPP-negatives are considered free of infection. Here, 975 dogs from an endemic region were surveyed by using DPP, ELISA and real-time PCR (qPCR) for the diagnosis of VL. When DPP-negative dogs were tested by qPCR applied in blood and lymph node aspirates, 174/887 (19·6%) were positive in at least one sample. In a second sampling using 115 cases, the DPP-negative dogs were tested by qPCR in blood, lymph node and conjunctival swab samples, and 36/79 (45·6%) were positive in at least one sample. Low-to-moderate pairwise agreement was observed between all possible pair of tests. In conclusion, the official diagnosis of VL in dogs in Brazilian endemic areas failed to accuse an expressive number of infected animals and the impact of the low accuracy of serological tests in the success of euthanasia-based measure for VL control need to be assessed.
Zoonotic diseases are a significant health threat for humans and animals. To better understand the epidemiology, etiology, and pathology of infectious agents affecting humans and animals combined approaches are needed. Here we describe an epidemiological investigation conducted by physicians and veterinarians after a reported case of psittacosis. Upon admission suffering from respiratory distress syndrome in a hospital and with a history of bird contact, a female patient was serologically diagnosed with psittacosis. After the case notification, veterinarians were able to investigate the source of infection by detecting Chlamydia psittaci in her pet cockatiel. The bird was hospitalized and successfully treated. In addition, the establishment where the pet bird was purchased was traced and through molecular techniques other birds intended to be sold as pets tested positive for C. psittaci. As a result, sanitary measures were applied and the establishment then was closed down. The birds intended for the pet commerce were treated and retested with negative molecular results for C. psittaci, thus avoiding disease propagation. Reliable data about zoonotic diseases can only be generated through the application of multidisciplinary approaches which take into account the epidemiological factors and interactions of humans, animals and their environments as an integrated system.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
Poor sleep quality is highly prevalent in patients with low back pain (LBP) and is associated with high levels of pain, psychological distress, and physical disability. Studies have reported a bidirectional relationship between sleep problems and intensity of LBP. Accordingly, effective management of LBP should address sleep quality. In addition, genetics has been found to significantly affect the prevalence of both LBP and insomnia. Our study aims to establish the feasibility of a trial exploring the efficacy of a web-based sleep quality intervention in people with LBP, with the genetic influences being controlled for. 30 twins (15 complete pairs) with subacute or chronic LBP (>6 weeks) will be recruited from the Australian Twin Registry. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the two groups with each twin within a pair receiving either an interactive web-based sleep intervention based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles (intervention) or a web-based education program (control) for 6 weeks. The feasibility of the trial will be investigated with regard to recruitment rate, feasibility of data collection and outcome measure completion, contamination of intervention, acceptability and experience of intervention, and sample size requirement for the full trial. Patient outcomes will be collected electronically at baseline, immediately post-treatment, and at 3-months’ follow-up post-randomization. This trial employs a robust design that will effectively control for the influence of genetics on treatment effect. Additionally, this study addresses sleep quality, a significant but under-explored issue in LBP. Results will inform the design and implementation of the definitive trial.
Wheat is an important crop in the highlands of Northern Ethiopia and climate change is expected to be a major threat to wheat productivity. However, the potential impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield has not been documented for this region. Wheat field experiments were carried out during the 2011–2013 cropping seasons in Northern Ethiopia to: (1) calibrate and evaluate Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM)-wheat model for exploring the impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield; (2) explore the response of wheat cultivar/s to possible change in climate and carbon dioxide (CO2) under optimal and sub-optimal fertilizer application and (3) assess the impact of climate change and adaptation practices on wheat yield based on integration of surveyed field data with climate simulations using multi-global climate models (GCMs; for short- and mid-term periods) for the Hintalo-Wajrat areas of Northern Ethiopia. The treatments were two levels of fertilizer (optimal and zero fertilization); treatments were replicated three times and arranged in a randomized complete block design. All required information for model calibration and evaluation were gathered from experimental studies. In addition, a household survey was conducted in 2012 in Northern Ethiopia. Following model calibration and performance testing, response of wheat to various nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates, planting date, temperature and combinations of other climate variables and CO2 were assessed. Crop simulations were conducted with future climate scenarios using 20 different GCMs and compared with a baseline. In addition, simulations were carried out using climate data from five different GCM with and without climate change adaptation practices. The simulated yield showed clear responses to changes in temperature, N fertilizer and CO2. Regardless of choice of cultivar, increasing temperatures alone (by up to 5 °C compared with the baseline) resulted in reduced yield while the addition of other factors (optimal fertilizer with elevated CO2) resulted in increased yield. Considering optimal fertilizer (64 kg/ha N) as an adaptation practice, wheat yield in the short-term (2010–2039) and mid-term (2040–2069) may increase at least by 40%, compared with sub-optimal N levels. Assuming CO2 and present wheat management is unchanged, simulation results based on 20 GCMs showed that median wheat yields will reduce by 10% in the short term and by 11% in the mid-term relative to the baseline data, whereas under changed CO2 with present management, wheat yield will increase slightly, by up to 8% in the short term and by up to 11% in the mid-term period, respectively. Wheat yield will substantially increase, by more than 100%, when simulated based on combined use of optimal planting date and fertilizer applications. Increased temperature in future scenarios will cause yield to decline, whereas CO2 is expected to have positive impacts on wheat yield.
We show how estimates of parameters characterizing inflation-based theories of structure formation localized over the past year when large scale structure (LSS) information from galaxy and cluster surveys was combined with the rapidly developing cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, especially from the recent Boomerang and Maxima balloon experiments. All current CMB data plus a relatively weak prior probability on the Hubble constant, age and LSS points to little mean curvature (Ωtot = 1.08±0.06) and nearly scale invariant initial fluctuations (ns = 1.03±0.08), both predictions of (non-baroque) inflation theory. We emphasize the role that degeneracy among parameters in the Lpk = 212 ± 7 position of the (first acoustic) peak plays in defining the Ωtot range upon marginalization over other variables. Though the CDM density is in the expected range (Ωcdmh2 = 0.17 ± 0.02), the baryon density Ωbh2 = 0.030 ± 0.005 is somewhat above the independent 0.019 ± 0.002 nucleosynthesis estimates. CMB+LSS gives independent evidence for dark energy (ΩΛ = 0.66 ± 0.06) at the same level as from supernova (SN1) observations, with a phenomenological quintessence equation of state limited by SN1+CMB+LSS to wQ < −0.7 cf. the wQ=−1 cosmological constant case.
BOOMERanG has recently resolved structures on the last scattering surface at redshift ˜ 1100 with high signal to noise ratio. We review the technical advances which made this possible, and we focus on the current results for maps and power spectra, with special attention to the determination of the total mass-energy density in the Universe and of other cosmological parameters.
This paper describes the diversity of rodent fauna in an area endemic for hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in Brazil, the population dynamics and the relationship of rodents with hantavirus in the Cerrado (savanna-like) biome. Additionally, an analysis is made of the partial S segment sequences of the hantaviruses obtained from serologically confirmed human HCPS cases and from rodent specimens. Rodents were collected during four campaigns. Human serum samples were collected from suspected cases of HCPS at hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais. The samples antibody-reactive by ELISA were processed by RT–PCR. The PCR product was amplified and sequenced. Hantavirus was detected only in Necromys lasiurus, the wild rodent species most prevalent in the Cerrado biome (min-max: 50–83·7%). All the six human serum samples were hantavirus seropositive and five showed amplified PCR products. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences showed the circulation of a single genotype, the Araraquara hantavirus. The environmental changes that have occurred in the Cerrado biome in recent decades have favoured N. lasiurus in interspecific competition of habitats, thus increasing the risk of contact between humans and rodent species infected with hantavirus. Our data corroborate the definition of N. lasiurus as the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome.
The aim of this study was analyzed if the flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body composition in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, part of the pups was evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control (C60) was fed with control diet. EW was divided in control (EWC60); flaxseed flour (EWFF60); flaxseed oil (EWFO60) diets until 60 days. Body mass, length and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were determined. EW21 (v. C21) and EWC60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) mass, length and body composition. EWFO60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) body mass and length, body and trunk lean mass, bone mineral density and content and bone area. Flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to recovery of body composition after early weaning.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.
The split-operator technique for wave packet propagation in quantum systems is expanded here to the case of propagatingwave functions describing Schrödinger particles, namely, charge carriers in semiconductor nanostructures within the effective mass approximation, in the presence of Zeeman effect, as well as of Rashba and Dresselhaus spin-orbit interactions. We also demonstrate that simple modifications to the expanded technique allow us to calculate the time evolution of wave packets describing Dirac particles, which are relevant for the study of transport properties in graphene.