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Although both obesity and ageing are risk factors for cognitive impairment, there is no evidence in Chile on how obesity levels are associated with cognitive function. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the association between adiposity levels and cognitive impairment in older Chilean adults. This cross-sectional study includes 1384 participants, over 60 years of age, from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009–2010. Cognitive impairment was evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination. BMI and waist circumference (WC) were used as measures of adiposity. Compared with people with a normal BMI, the odds of cognitive impairment were higher in participants who were underweight (OR 4·44; 95 % CI 2·43, 6·45; P < 0·0001), overweight (OR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·06, 2·66; P = 0·031) and obese (OR 2·26; 95 % CI 1·31, 3·21; P = 0·003). The associations were robust after adjustment for confounding variables. Similar results were observed for WC. Low and high levels of adiposity are associated with an increased likelihood of cognitive impairment in older adults in Chile.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
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.
Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria parasitize pinniped pups in various locations worldwide. Four species have been described, two of which parasitize pinniped pups in the southern hemisphere: Uncinaria hamiltoni parasitizes Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis from the South American coast, and Uncinaria sanguinis parasitizes Neophoca cinerea from the Australian coast. However, their geographical ranges and host specificity are unknown. Uncinaria spp. are morphologically similar, but molecular analyses have allowed the recognition of new species in the genus Uncinaria. We used nuclear genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) rDNA) and a mitochondrial genetic marker (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)) to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships of Uncinaria spp. parasitizing A. australis and O. flavescens from South American coasts (Atlantic and Pacific coasts). We compared our sequences with published Uncinaria sequences. A Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) analysis was also used to delimit species, and principal component analysis was used to compare morphometry among Uncinaria specimens. Parasites were sampled from A. australis from Peru (12°S), southern Chile (42°S), and the Uruguayan coast, and from O. flavescens from northern Chile (24°S) and the Uruguayan coast. Morphometric differences were observed between Uncinaria specimens from both South American coasts and between Uncinaria specimens from A. australis in Peru and southern Chile. Phylogenetic and GMYC analyses suggest that south-eastern Pacific otariid species harbour U. hamiltoni and an undescribed putative species of Uncinaria. However, more samples from A. australis and O. flavescens are necessary to understand the phylogenetic patterns of Uncinaria spp. across the South Pacific.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Large efforts have been deployed in developing methods to estimate methane emissions from cattle. For large scale applications, accurate and inexpensive methane predictors are required. Within a livestock precision farming context, the objective of this work was to integrate real-time data on animal feeding behaviour with an in silico model for predicting the individual dynamic pattern of methane emission in cattle. The integration of real-time data with a mathematical model to predict variables that are not directly measured constitutes a software sensor. We developed a dynamic parsimonious grey-box model that uses as predictor variables either dry matter intake (DMI) or the intake time (IT). The model is described by ordinary differential equations.
Model building was supported by experimental data of methane emissions from respiration chambers. The data set comes from a study with finishing beef steers (cross-bred Charolais and purebred Luing finishing). Dry matter intake and IT were recorded using feed bins. For research purposes, in this work, our software sensor operated off-line. That is, the predictor variables (DMI, IT) were extracted from the recorded data (rather than from an on-line sensor). A total of 37 individual dynamic patterns of methane production were analyzed. Model performance was assessed by concordance analysis between the predicted methane output and the methane measured in respiration chambers. The model predictors DMI and IT performed similarly with a Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) of 0.78 on average. When predicting the daily methane production, the CCC was 0.99 for both DMI and IT predictors. Consequently, on the basis of concordance analysis, our model performs very well compared with reported literature results for methane proxies and predictive models. As IT measurements are easier to obtain than DMI measurements, this study suggests that a software sensor that integrates our in silico model with a real-time sensor providing accurate IT measurements is a viable solution for predicting methane output in a large scale context.
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.
Gnathostoma turgidum is a nematode parasite that exploits the stomach of Virginian opossums, Didelphis virginiana, in Latin America. The opossum is the definitive host of G. turgidum in the wild. Intrahepatic growth and maturation of the parasite, subsequent migration to the stomach and spontaneous expulsion are common. However, the histopathological lesions caused by G. turgidum are poorly described. A better understanding of the life cycle of this parasite and the pathological changes in natural host–parasite interactions could help to clarify the progression of human infections caused by Gnathostoma binucleatum. The aim of this work was to study morphological changes in the liver and stomach of D. virginiana during natural infection and adult worm expulsion. Three opossums naturally infected with G. turgidum were captured from an endemic area of gnathostomosis. Three uninfected opossums captured from a non-endemic area were used as controls. The opossums were sacrificed at different stages of infection (March, May and December), and a histopathological study of their livers and stomachs was conducted. Injuries in livers were observed by histopathology – areas of necrosis and collagen septa were identified. Parasites caused nodules with necrosis on the periphery of lesions, and collagen fibres were also observed in stomachs. Collagen septa may be caused by antigenic remains of the parasite. Further immunological studies are necessary to verify that stimulation is caused by these factors.
The purpose of this study was to develop a method for identifying newly diagnosed tuberculosis (TB) patients at risk for TB adverse events in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Surveillance data between 2006 and 2013 (8431 subjects) was used to develop risk scores based on predictive modelling. The final models revealed that TB patients failing their treatment regimen were more likely to have at most a primary school education, multi-drug resistance (MDR)-TB, and few to moderate bacilli on acid-fast bacilli smear. TB patients who died were more likely to be older males with MDR-TB, HIV, malnutrition, and reporting excessive alcohol use. Modified risk scores were developed with strong predictability for treatment failure and death (c-statistic 0·65 and 0·70, respectively), and moderate predictability for drug resistance (c-statistic 0·57). Among TB patients with diabetes, risk scores showed moderate predictability for death (c-statistic 0·68). Our findings suggest that in the clinical setting, the use of our risk scores for TB treatment failure or death will help identify these individuals for tailored management to prevent these adverse events. In contrast, the available variables in the TB surveillance dataset are not robust predictors of drug resistance, indicating the need for prompt testing at time of diagnosis.
We discuss the stellar and wind properties of 72 presumably single O-type giants, bright giants, and supergiants in the 30 Doradus region. This sample constitutes the largest and most homogeneous sample of such stars ever analyzed and offers the opportunity to test models describing their main-sequence evolution.
We obtained VLT/X-shooter spectra of twelve candidate young massive stars previously selected by Hanson et al. (1997) in the giant Hii region M17. An analysis of their spectra using FASTWIND models (Puls et al. 2005) shows that they span a mass range of 6 - 20 M⊙. We identify the presence of gaseous and dusty disks around six sources based on emission lines in the spectrum and infrared continuum excess.
We present a number of notable results from the VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey (VFTS), an ESO Large Program during which we obtained multi-epoch medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of a very large sample of over 800 massive stars in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This unprecedented data-set has enabled us to address some key questions regarding atmospheres and winds, as well as the evolution of (very) massive stars. Here we focus on O-type runaways, the width of the main sequence, and the mass-loss rates for (very) massive stars. We also provide indications for the presence of a top-heavy initial mass function (IMF) in 30 Dor.
The AMIGA project carries out a multiwavelength study of the largest catalogue of isolated galaxies from the Local Universe (CIG, Karachentseva 1973). Compared to any other sample —field galaxies included— and using highly strict isolation criteria (unperturbed for at least ~3 Gyr, Verdes-Montenegro et al. 2005), all the results show that these galaxies have the lowest values of the physical magnitudes expected to be enhanced by interactions. This strongly supports isolated galaxies as ideal laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. Despite CIG galaxies show the lowest HI integrated profile asymmetry level when compared to any other sample, some cases present up to 50% HI asymmetry (Espada et al. 2011b). We aim to shed light over the causes and sources of such asymmetries with our deep radiointerferometric and optical observations of CIG targets. Since major mergers are ruled out by the isolation criteria, in this work we are addressing whether minor mergers, internal processes or primordial gas accretion are responsible for such asymmetries.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a significant nosocomial pathogen often associated with extreme drug resistance (XDR). In Argentina, isolates of A. baumannii resistant to tetracyclines have accounted for more than 40% of drug-resistant isolates in some hospitals. We have previously reported the dispersion of the tet(B) resistance element associated with the ISCR2 transposase in epidemiologically unrelated A. baumannii isolates recovered from 1983 to 2011. This study extends this surveillance to 77 recent (2009–2013) XDR A. baumannii isolates with different levels of minocycline susceptibility. Isolates were examined by a pan-PCR assay, which showed six different amplification patterns, and specific PCRs were used for the confirmation of the the ΔISCR2-tet(B)-tet(R)-ISCR2 element. The tet(B) gene was present in 66 isolates and the ISCR2 element in 68 isolates; the tet(B) gene was associated with ISCR2 in all tet(B)-positive isolates. We conclude that this element is widespread in XDR A. baumannii isolates from Argentina and could be responsible for the emergence of tetracycline resistance in recent years.