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A central and critical step in the molecular detection of soil-transmitted helminths from environmental sources is the extraction of DNA from the eggs. In this study, we investigated the yield of DNA extracted from known quantities (500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5) of Ascaris suum eggs, as well as directly from wastewater and sludge samples containing Ascaris spp. eggs, using six commercial DNA extraction kits. The amount of DNA extracted was quantified with NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values from quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay using CFX96 Touch™ real-time PCR equipment. The PowerLyzer Ultraclean Microbial DNA isolation kit and PowerSoil DNA isolation kit gave the highest yield of DNA based on the NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values. However, the qPCR results indicate that in some of the kits, PCR inhibitors may have been carried over to the PCR reaction. DNA extraction kits that incorporate a bead-beating step as well as other mechanical eggshell disruption steps were superior in extracting DNA from Ascaris spp. eggs. Additionally, for the accurate quantification of extracted DNA, the use of Ct values from qPCR and Qubit readings gives better results compared to the NanoDrop readings. For efficient downstream applications, the use of DNA extraction kits with superior inhibitor removal technology is essential, in addition to a high yield of DNA.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Depression frequently co-occurs with disorders of glucose and insulin homeostasis (DGIH) and obesity. Low-grade systemic inflammation and lifestyle factors in childhood may predispose to DGIH, obesity and depression. We aim to investigate the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations among DGIH, obesity and depression, and to examine the effect of demographics, lifestyle factors and antecedent low-grade inflammation on such associations in young people.
Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, we used regression analyses to examine: (1) cross-sectional and (2) longitudinal associations between measures of DGIH [insulin resistance (IR); impaired glucose tolerance] and body mass index (BMI) at ages 9 and 18 years, and depression (depressive symptoms and depressive episode) at age 18 years and (3) whether sociodemographics, lifestyle factors or inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6) at age 9 years] confounded any such associations.
We included 3208 participants. At age 18 years, IR and BMI were positively associated with depression. These associations may be explained by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. There were no longitudinal associations between DGIH/BMI and depression, and adjustment for IL-6 and C-reactive protein did not attenuate associations between IR/BMI and depression; however, the longitudinal analyses may have been underpowered.
Young people with depression show evidence of DGIH and raised BMI, which may be related to sociodemographic and lifestyle effects such as deprivation, smoking, ethnicity and gender. In future, studies with larger samples are required to confirm this. Preventative strategies for the poorer physical health outcomes associated with depression should focus on malleable lifestyle factors.
Causes of falls in older adults are common, multifactorial, and can lead to significant injury. This before-and-after study evaluated the benefits of a Fall Prevention Mobile Clinic (FPMC) in reducing the risk of falling in older adults in British Columbia, Canada. Four hundred seventy-six participants (average age of 83.6 years) enrolled in the study and were followed for 12 months after attending the FPMC. At 12-month follow-up, the mean percentage uptake of fall prevention recommendations was 48.8 per cent (SD = 25.7%), the Timed Up and Go mobility measure improved from a median of 19.04 seconds to 17.45 seconds and the number of participants falling decreased from 64.8 per cent (in the 12 months before attending the clinic) to 55.6 per cent (in the 12 months after attending the clinic) (p = .012). After attending the FPMC, participants acted on recommendations, improved mobility and decreased their risk of future falls.
The Best Practices in Social and Behavioral Research Course was developed to provide instruction on good clinical practice for social and behavioral trials. This study evaluated the new course.
Participants across 4 universities took the course (n=294) and were sent surveys following course completion and 2 months later. Outcomes included relevance, how engaging the course was, and working differently because of the course. Open-ended questions were posed to understand how work was impacted.
Participants rated the course as relevant and engaging (6.4 and 5.8/7 points) and reported working differently (4.7/7 points). Participants with less experience in social and behavioral trials were most likely to report working differently 2 months later.
The course was perceived as relevant and engaging. Participants described actions taken to improve rigor in implementing trials. Future studies with a larger sample and additional participating sites are recommended.
Rice has the lowest grain protein content (GPC) among cereals. Efforts have been made to improve GPC through the modified bulk-pedigree method of selection. A total of 1780 F8 recombinant lines were derived in the year 2013 from five different cross combinations involving two high-GPC landraces, namely ARC10075 and ARC10063, three high-yielding parents, namely Swarna, Naveen and IR64, and one parent, namely Sharbati, known for superior grain quality with high micronutrient content. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to facilitate high-throughput selection for GPC. Significant selection differential, response to selection and non-significant differences between the predicted and observed response to selection for GPC and protein yield indicated the effectiveness of this selection process. This resulted in lines with high GPC, protein yield and desirable levels of amylose content. Further, based on high mean and stability for GPC and protein yield over the environments in the wet seasons of 2013, 2014 and the dry season of 2014, 12 elite lines were identified. Higher accumulation of glutelin fraction and non-significant change in prolamin/glutelin ratio in the grain suggested safe guarding of the nutritional value of rice grain protein of most of these identified lines. Since rice is the staple food of millions, the output of breeding for high GPC could have a significant role in alleviating protein malnutrition, especially in the developing world.
The analysis of the Ca-K line spectra as a function of latitude and integrated over the visible disk obtained during the period of 1989–2011 at the Kodaikanal Solar Tower Telescope shows that the FWHM of the K1 distribution at different latitudes varies by negligible amount at about 60° latitude whereas it varies significantly at other latitudes. Findings, especially the fewer variations in mid-latitude belts as compared to polar regions and complex variation in the shift in the activity around 60° latitude belt, will have important implications on the modeling of solar dynamos. Further, we have generated a uniform set of digitized Ca-K line images by selecting images considering the intensity distribution of the images corrected for the instrumental vignetting for the data obtained at Kodaikanal during the 20th century. Then, we have determined the percentage of plage and network areas by using the intensity and area threshold values.
On 27 April 2015, Washington health authorities identified Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with dairy education school field trips held in a barn 20–24 April. Investigation objectives were to determine the magnitude of the outbreak, identify the source of infection, prevent secondary illness transmission and develop recommendations to prevent future outbreaks. Case-finding, hypothesis generating interviews, environmental site visits and a case–control study were conducted. Parents and children were interviewed regarding event activities. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. Environmental testing was conducted in the barn; isolates were compared to patient isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Sixty people were ill, 11 (18%) were hospitalised and six (10%) developed haemolytic uremic syndrome. Ill people ranged in age from <1 year to 47 years (median: 7), and 20 (33%) were female. Twenty-seven case-patients and 88 controls were enrolled in the case–control study. Among first-grade students, handwashing (i.e. soap and water, or hand sanitiser) before lunch was protective (adjusted OR 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.88, P = 0.04). Barn samples yielded E. coli O157:H7 with PFGE patterns indistinguishable from patient isolates. This investigation provided epidemiological, laboratory and environmental evidence for a large outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections from exposure to a contaminated barn. The investigation highlights the often overlooked risk of infection through exposure to animal environments as well as the importance of handwashing for disease prevention. Increased education and encouragement of infection prevention measures, such as handwashing, can prevent illness.
Extra-nasopharyngeal angiofibroma is a rare but distinct clinical entity, different from juvenile angiofibroma.
This clinical record elucidates the only case of extra-nasopharyngeal angiofibroma arising from the septum in a female child, who presented with epistaxis.
The histopathological diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemistry, and the case was managed surgically with no recurrence.
In a female paediatric patient presenting with epistaxis, extra-nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (of the inferior turbinate) is a rare albeit important differential diagnosis, as it challenges the hormonal theory of angiofibroma aetiopathogenesis.
The practical realization of energy-efficient computing vectors is imperative to address the break-down in the scaling of power consumption with transistor dimensions, which has led to substantial underutilized chip space. Memristive elements that encode information in multiple internal states and reflect the dynamical evolution of these states are a promising alternative. Herein we report the observation of pinched loop hysteretic type-II memristive behavior in single-crystalline nanowires of a versatile class of layered vanadium oxide bronzes with the composition δ-[M(H2O)4]0.25V2O5 (M = Co, Ni, Zn), the origin of which is thought to be the diffusion of protons in the interlayer regions.
Laboratory studies have been made on molecules of astrophysical interest such as AlO, CO, CrO, SiS, NH+ and OH. Vibrational and rotational constants have been determined more accurately in the various electronic states.
Plasmodium knowlesi has risen in importance as a zoonotic parasite that has been causing regular episodes of malaria throughout South East Asia. The P. knowlesi genome sequence generated in 2008 highlighted and confirmed many similarities and differences in Plasmodium species, including a global view of several multigene families, such as the large SICAvar multigene family encoding the variant antigens known as the schizont-infected cell agglutination proteins. However, repetitive DNA sequences are the bane of any genome project, and this and other Plasmodium genome projects have not been immune to the gaps, rearrangements and other pitfalls created by these genomic features. Today, long-read PacBio and chromatin conformation technologies are overcoming such obstacles. Here, based on the use of these technologies, we present a highly refined de novo P. knowlesi genome sequence of the Pk1(A+) clone. This sequence and annotation, referred to as the ‘MaHPIC Pk genome sequence’, includes manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family with 136 full-length members categorized as type I or II. This sequence provides a framework that will permit a better understanding of the SICAvar repertoire, selective pressures acting on this gene family and mechanisms of antigenic variation in this species and other pathogens.
Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.