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In South-western Atlantic waters, individuals of the southern right whale (SRW) Eubalaena australis spend part of the year (the austral winter and spring) in northern inshore waters where they breed and then migrate to southern feeding grounds during the summer. Mar del Plata (MDP) is located between two main reproductive areas (Península Valdés-Argentina and Santa Catarina-Brazil). The purpose of the present study is to report the presence of SRWs on their journey off the coast of MDP based on sighting records during the past half century. We carried out whale observations through systematic weekly coastal marine mammal surveys in different points of the MDP area from 1966 to 2016. The first SRW sighting was recorded in 1970; since then, sighting frequency has gradually increased, reaching a peak of 28 sightings (N = 63 whales) in 2016. These are unique long-term sighting records of SRWs in Argentina and the first on their journey off the shores of Buenos Aires province. We expect that these results will help local authorities to regulate tourism and other activities in the area and thereby contribute to the conservation of the species.
Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterise the association between plasma concentrations of thirty-five polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis, the OR and 95 % CI of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/l) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In a multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per standard deviation) was associated with 29 (95 % CI 50, 1) % lower odds of elevated hsCRP. In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·58, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·63, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·87), ferulic acid (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·44, 0·96) and caffeic acid (OR 0·69, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR 0·67, 95 % CI 0·48, 0·93). The present study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.
Reef encrusting calcifiers (non-scleractinian species) constitute assemblages that participate in the carbon cycle at coral reefs. Despite their apparent secondary role in building the reef framework, they contribute to the reef consolidation binding sediments and inducing larval recruitment from other epilithic invertebrates. The contribution of encrusting calcifiers on reef accretion was examined by the assessment of their rate of carbonate deposition on four different simulated reef microhabitats using calcification accretion units (CAUs) during 12 months at Playa Las Gatas and Islote Zacatoso, two coral communities from the coast of the Mexican Pacific. Encrusting calcifiers from Playa Las Gatas, the most impacted site, showed a rate of carbonate deposition (mean ± SD) four times higher than at Islote Zacatoso (10.02 ± 3.22 g CaCO3 m−2 d−1vs 2.48 ± 1.01 g CaCO3 m−2 d−1). Overall, the rate of carbonate deposition on surfaces protected from sedimentation and light was up to 1.8 times higher than on exposed ones (11.40 ± 4.35 g CaCO3 m−2 d−1vs 6.18 ± 3.13 g CaCO3 m−2 d−1). Carbonate deposition by calcareous algae was higher on the well-lit exposed surfaces while filter-feeding invertebrates showed the major contribution on the shaded cryptic surfaces. Although rate of carbonate deposition by encrusting calcifiers seems to be lower than hermatypic corals, it seems to be relevant on coral reefs affected by anthropogenic impacts where coral calcification is low. Under global demise of coral reefs by environmental degradation and climate change, encrusting calcifiers may become relevant for the process of carbonate deposition.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
We investigate the slat narrowband peak noise generating mechanism. Unsteady flow data were generated by a lattice-Boltzmann-based commercial code for four configurations, accounting for variations of the airfoil angle of attack and slat overlap. Comparison with experimental results indicates that the aspects of the flow field relevant for the generation of the narrowband peaks were accurately captured. Frequency-domain proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) is applied to identify dominant large-scale structures in the frequency range dominated by the peaks. The combined use of the two POD metrics, namely, the turbulent kinetic energy in the turbulent flow region and the acoustic pressure in the far field, demonstrated that the structures most correlated with the noise resemble spanwise coherent Kelvin–Helmholtz vortices which dominate the slat cove only at the frequency of the narrowband peaks. Time evolution of the structures educed using the acoustic pressure correlation provides detailed evidence of the hydrodynamic and acoustic steps of a Rossiter-like feedback mechanism between the slat cusp and trailing edge. The combined analysis of results for the different slat configurations provides an explanation for the effect of the slat configuration on the amplitude of the narrowband peaks observed in previous studies, particularly the influence of the main-element suction peak.
Prototypes have the potential to provoke discussion and to encourage stakeholders to play an active role during design engagements in the front-end phases of a design process. However, detailed descriptions of stakeholder engagement strategies in front-end design are lacking. The aim of this research study was to understand how design practitioners prepare and manage stakeholders for engagements involving prototypes in the front-end phases of a medical device design process. Design practitioners at companies developing mechanical and electromechanical medical devices for use in low- and middle-income countries were interviewed following a semi-structured interview guide. Interview transcripts were analysed, and inductive codes were developed. The findings suggest that design practitioners manage the group composition of stakeholders, review the project and prototype(s) with stakeholders at the start of the engagement, and show the progress of prototypes to stakeholders over multiple engagements. These strategies shed light on the importance of handling interpersonal relationships during stakeholder engagement with prototypes.
We studied the genetic diversity and the population structure of human isolates of Histoplasma capsulatum, the causative agent of histoplasmosis, using a randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) assay to identify associations with the geographic distribution of isolates from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina. The RAPD-PCR pattern analyses revealed the genetic diversity by estimating the percentage of polymorphic loci, effective number of alleles, Shannon's index and heterozygosity. Population structure was identified by the index of association (IA) test. Thirty-seven isolates were studied and clustered into three groups by the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Group I contained five subgroups based on geographic origin. The consistency of the UPGMA dendrogram was estimated by the cophenetic correlation coefficient (CCCr = 0.94, P = 0.001). Isolates from Mexico and Colombia presented higher genetic diversity than isolates from Argentina. Isolates from Guatemala grouped together with the reference strains from the United States of America and Panama. The IA values suggest the presence of a clonal population structure in the Argentinian H. capsulatum isolates and also validate the presence of recombining populations in the Colombian and Mexican isolates. These data contribute to the knowledge on the molecular epidemiology of histoplasmosis in Latin America.
Advancements in computer technology have enabled three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction, data-stitching, and manipulation of 3D data obtained on X-ray imaging systems such as micro-computed tomography (μ-CT). Likewise, intuitive evaluation of these 3D datasets can be enhanced by recent advances in virtual reality (VR) hardware and software. Additionally, the generation, viewing, and manipulation of 3D X-ray diffraction datasets, such as pole figures employed for texture analysis, can also benefit from these advanced visualization techniques. We present newly-developed protocols for porting 3D data (as TIFF-stacks) into a Unity gaming software platform so that data may be toured, manipulated, and evaluated within a more-intuitive VR environment through the use of game-like controls and 3D headsets. We demonstrate this capability by rendering μ-CT data of a polymer dogbone test bar at various stages of in situ mechanical strain. An additional experiment is presented showing 3D XRD data collected on an aluminum test block with vias. These 3D XRD data for texture analysis (χ, ϕ, 2θ dimensions) enables the viewer to visually inspect 3D pole figures and detect the presence or absence of in-plane residual macrostrain. These two examples serve to illustrate the benefits of this new methodology for multidimensional analysis.
Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
An iron catalyst supported on the modified Tamazert kaolin has been prepared and tested in catalytic wet peroxide oxidation using phenol and 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) as target compounds (100 mg/L initial concentration). Kaolin is not usually employed as a catalytic support due to its low developed porous structure, but its textural properties may be improved upon calcination and acid and basic treatment. The catalyst was characterized by N2 adsorption–desorption and chemical analysis by total-reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The catalytic tests were carried out in a batch reactor with a stoichiometric amount of H2O2. The catalytic efficiency was studied within the temperature range of 25–55°C at an initial pH of 3.3 and 1 g/L catalyst. Complete phenol and 4-CP removal was achieved with no significant differences in phenol and 4-CP conversions within the temperature range tested. Meanwhile, total organic carbon (TOC) reduction was greatly favoured by increasing the temperature, which may be partially attributed to a probable contribution of a homogeneous reaction associated with iron leaching. However, this effect might be of limited significance because the highest concentrations of iron in the liquid phase were below 4.5 and 8.5 mg/L in the experiments with phenol and 4-CP, respectively. At 55°C, TOC was reduced by ~70% after 4 h reaction time, with the remaining by-products corresponding almost completely to low-molecular-weight carboxylic acids of very low ecotoxicity.
The incorporation of triturated tire particles as an aggregate in the concrete mixture is one of the ways to take advantage of this Waste Rubber (WR) in order to improve concrete properties, such as mechanical behavior. In this research we evaluated mechanical behavior of concrete specimens prepared with different amounts WR, which partially substituted the fine aggregate, under an indirect tensile test. In contrast with other’s researcher’s findings, our results show that the specimens with 5% WR present the highest value of indirect tensile strength (TP) of 4.36 MPa. Polynomial relationships between TP and compression strength (f´c), where Tp ranges from 0.1f´c to 0.2f´c. Specimens with the 0, 5 and 10% WR content show two types of failure: normal tension and tiple-cleft failure, described in the norm ASTM 1144-89. Nevertheless, specimens with 15 and 20% WR show a new failure not described in the norm, which is thought to be occurring due to the high amount of WR used.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major problem as they are the leading cause of death and represent a substantial economic cost. The ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Hypothesis’ proposes that adverse stimuli at different life stages can increase the predisposition to these diseases. In fact, adverse in utero programming is a major origin of these diseases due to the high malleability of embryonic development. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of the scientific literature on in utero programming and NCDs highlighting potential medical strategies to prevent these diseases based upon this programming. We fully address the concept and mechanisms involved in this programming (anatomical disruptions, epigenetic modifications and microbiota alterations). We also examine the negative role of in utero programming on the increased predisposition of NCDs in the offspring, which introduces the passive medical approach that consists of avoiding adverse stimuli including an unhealthy diet and environmental chemicals. Finally, we extensively discuss active medical approaches that target the causes of NCDs and have the potential to significantly and rapidly reduce the incidence of NCDs. These approaches can be classified as direct in utero programming modifications and personalized lifestyle pregnancy programs; they could potentially provide transgenerational NCDs protection. Active strategies against NCDs constitute a promising tool for the reduction in NCDs.
From a physiological-behavioral perspective, it has been shown that fish with a higher density of black eumelanin spots are more dominant, less sensitive to stress, have higher feed intake, better feed efficiency and therefore are larger in size. Thus, we hypothesized that genetic (co)variation between skin pigmentation patterns and growth exists and it is advantageous in rainbow trout. The objective of this study was to determine the genetic relationships between skin pigmentation patterns and BW in a breeding population of rainbow trout. We performed a genetic analysis of pigmentation traits including dorsal color (DC), lateral band (LB) intensity, amount of spotting above (SA) and below (SB) the lateral line, and BW at harvest (HW). Variance components were estimated using a multi-trait linear animal model fitted by restricted maximum likelihood. Estimated heritabilities were 0.08±0.02, 0.17±0.03, 0.44±0.04, 0.17±0.04 and 0.23±0.04 for DC, LB, SA, SB and HW, respectively. Genetic correlations between HW and skin color traits were 0.42±0.13, 0.32±0.14 and 0.25±0.11 for LB, SA and SB, respectively. These results indicate positive, but low to moderate genetic relationships between the amount of spotting and BW in rainbow trout. Thus, higher levels of spotting are genetically associated with better growth performance in this population.