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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.
The present work aims to explore the tribological behavior of the laser texturing process with different patterns on a Co based alloy using a pulsed Nd: YAG laser. Different parameters such as peak power, speed and spot diameter of the laser were explored for the experimental setting. The microstructural analysis was performed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and nanoindentation tests. The influence of the different textured patterns of the tribological performance tested with a pin-on-disc tribometer under lubricated sliding condition was evaluated. The results showed that typical interdendritic structures in the as-cast CoCr alloy condition were refined due to the heat input and fast cooling rate during the laser treatment. The refined microstructure showed less volumetric loss resulting in a increment of wear resistance and a better tribological performance than as-cast alloy. The correlation among laser parameters, microstructural effect and their influence in wear resistance is discussed.
Objective: Parkinson’s disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) is a risk factor for progression to PD dementia (PDD) at a later stage of the disease. The consensus criteria of PD-MCI use a traditional test-by-test normative comparison. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a new multivariate statistical method provides a more sensitive tool for predicting dementia status at 3- and 5-year follow-ups. This method allows a formal evaluation of a patient’s profile of test scores given a large aggregated database with regression-based norms. Method: The cognitive test results of 123 newly diagnosed PD patients from a previously published longitudinal study were analyzed with three different methods. First, the PD-MCI criteria were applied in the traditional way. Second, the PD-MCI criteria were applied using the large aggregated normative database. Last, multivariate normative comparisons (MNCs) were made using the same aggregated normative database. The outcome variable was progression to dementia within 3 and 5 years. Results: The MNC was characterized by higher sensitivity and higher specificity in predicting progression to PDD at follow-up than the two PD-MCI criteria methods, although the difference in classification accuracy did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: We conclude that MNCs could allow for a more accurate prediction of PDD than the traditional PD-MCI criteria, because there are encouraging trends in both increased sensitivity and increased specificity. (JINS, 2019, 25, 678–687)
The new species Lenonchium zanjanense sp. n. is described from a natural habitat of Zanjan province, Iran, including line, light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy illustrations and a molecular (18S, 28S) study. It is characterized by its 3.50–4.51 mm long body, rounded lip region, continuous and 13.5–15.5 µm broad, odontostyle 21–24 µm long, neck 362–490 µm long, double guiding ring, pharyngeal expansion 190–285 µm long, female genital system didelphic–amphidelphic, uterus simple and 185–320 µm long or 3.4–5.9 times the corresponding body diameter, vulva nearly equatorial (V = 45–53), tail conical-elongated to filiform (90–165 µm, c = 23–43, c′ = 2.4–5.3) with three or four mucro-like projections at the tip, spicules 58–64 µm long and 16–21 contiguous ventromedian supplements ending at the level of the anterior end of the spicules. The taxonomy of the genus is updated, with an emended diagnosis, list of species, key to their identification and a compendium of their main morphometrics. Lenonchium asterocaudatum is regarded as identical and a junior synonym of L. denticaudatum. New insights into the phylogeny of the group are also provided, and the classification of Lenonchium within Nordiidae is seriously questioned.
Cystic echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus is a major zoonosis of public health significance in the Patagonian region of Argentina. This investigation sought to test the hypothesis that the persistence and dispersion of the parasite eggs can be explained by physical and meteorological parameters along with final host infection and behaviour. This observational study was carried out over a five-year period within an enclosure where two dogs harbouring a worm burden ranging from 100 to 1000 mature adult E. granulosus, as well as two uninfected dogs, had previously been kept for six months. Environmental canine faeces, topsoil, pond water, and sediment samples were examined to control for the presence of eggs and coproantigens of the parasite using microscope-based techniques and copro-ELISA plus copro-Western Blot tests. The parasite eggs were detected up to 41 months later in faeces from infected dogs, soil and sediment, and coproantigen tests remained positive for up to 70 months in faeces. Overall, parasite eggs were found within a maximum distance of 115 m from the contaminated dog faeces deposition site. Our findings indicate that under Patagonian environmental conditions, egg persistence and dispersion seem to be related to the worm burden and habits of the infected dog, to prevailing wind direction and to the existence of low bushes as well as natural bodies of water. The present study is the first to provide direct evidence of interaction between bioclimatic conditions and E. granulosus egg dispersion under Patagonian field conditions.
Background: Previous research suggests benefits of targeting beliefs about the unacceptability of emotions in treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Aims: The current study developed and tested an intervention focusing on beliefs and behaviours around emotional expression. Method: Four participants with IBS attended five group sessions using cognitive behavioural techniques focusing on beliefs about the unacceptability of expressing emotions. Bi-weekly questionnaires were completed and a group interview was conducted. This study used an AB design with four participants. Results: Averages indicate that participants showed decreases in beliefs about unacceptability of emotions and emotional suppression during the intervention, although this was not reflected in any of the individual trends in Beliefs about Emotions Scale scores and was significant in only one individual case for Courtauld Emotional Control Scale scores. Affective distress and quality of life improved during follow-up, with only one participant not improving with regard to distress. Qualitative data suggest that participants felt that the intervention was beneficial, referencing the value in sharing their emotions. Conclusions: This study suggests the potential for beliefs about emotions and emotional suppression to be addressed in cognitive behavioural interventions in IBS. That beliefs and behaviours improved before outcomes suggests they may be important processes to investigate in treatment for IBS.
We tested the hypothesis that high activity levels in infancy would predict self-regulatory problems and later symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a longitudinal study of British families (N = 321). Infants’ activity levels were assessed at 6 months, using 3 informants’ reports from the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ) and ActiGraphs during baseline, attention, and restraint tasks. At a mean of 33 months, the children were assessed on self-regulatory tasks; at a mean of 36 months, 3 informants reported symptoms of ADHD. At a mean of 7.0 years, the children were assessed on executive function tasks; 3 informants reported on the child's symptoms of ADHD; and diagnoses of disorder were obtained using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment. Informants’ reports of high activity levels at 6 months predicted ADHD symptoms in early childhood and diagnoses of ADHD with clinical impairment at age 7. The IBQ activity scale was also associated with the children's later performance on self-regulation tasks in early and middle childhood. Activity level in infancy reflects normal variation and is not a sign of psychopathology; however, these findings suggest that further study of the correlates of high activity level in infancy may help identify those children most at risk for disorder.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in general practice, and antibiotic resistance is often seen. Urine cultures are advised by the Dutch national UTI guideline for patients at high risk of UTI complications. Prudent use of antibiotics and taking into account national guidelines and urine culture results are important to combat antibiotic resistance in general practice.
To identify subgroups of UTI patients in which the use of urine cultures and antibiotic prescriptions deviates from the national guidelines.
We investigated associations of several characteristics with urine culture orders in patients with UTI in 2015 from seven Dutch general practices (n=1295). These included subgroups at risk for UTI complications, comorbidities, age and history of UTI recurrence. In addition, we assessed the level of adherence to the guideline for antibiotic prescriptions in subgroups at risks for UTI complications.
Urine cultures were ordered in 17% (n=221) of patients, more frequently in high-risk patients (32%) than in low-risk patients (7%), for UTI complications (OR=6.4; 95% CI 4.6–9.0). In low-risk patients, 91% received antibiotics that were recommended in the guideline. For high-risk patients this percentage ranged widely, and was particularly low in the risk groups with signs of tissue invasion (29–50%). Diagnostic and therapeutic adequacy can still be improved by increasing the adherence to the guideline in UTI patients at high risk for complications. This may contribute to containing antibiotic resistance in UTI by ordering urine cultures and use the results to adjust prescriptions to antibiotic susceptibility of the uropathogen.
Two-stage techniques Tilley & Terry (1963) for the estimation of digestibility have 3 main disadvantages for use in developing countries with limited laboratory facilities. Carbon dioxide is needed to saturate the buffers; a centrifuge is necessary to separate residues from solubilised materials; and the methods uses pepsin as a proteolytic agent. The aim of the present study was to eliminate these three requirements for the faecal liquor method ( Omed et al., 1989), by replacing bicarbonate with phosphate buffer (Marten & Barnes, 1980), pepsin with biological washing liquid, and centrifugation with sedimentation.
Origanum vulgare is a natural, less toxic, residue free feed supplement for poultry when compared to other synthetic ingredients. It contains key bioactive components, including as thymol and carvacrol. O. vulgare as a poultry feed supplement has had an antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, immunomodulatory and antiparasitic effect. The potential advantages of utilising oregano extracts, in poultry diets include improved feed intake and feed conversion, enhanced digestion, expanded productive performance, down-regulated disease incidence and economic losses. From the available literature, average inclusions of oregano essential oil up to 600 mg/kg in broiler diets increased body weight gain. Using 1% oregano oil in broiler diets improved feed conversion ratio and feed utilisation. Moreover, oregano can induce a marked improvement on the intestinal microbiota and ileal villus height of broilers when combine with attapulgite by ratio 15 mg/kg of oregano. Broilers fed 300 ppm oregano oil in their diet display higher IgG titres relative to those reared on control (without supplementation) diet. Including 240 mg oregano supplementation per kg diet appears to give an optimum level for protecting broiler chickens from C. perfringens infections. Bioactive components extracted from O. vulgare parts could be used in poultry diets levels of 10 to 30 g/kg. This review includes information on the use of O. vulgare and its derivatives in poultry nutrition. To maximise the overall productivity of poultry, oregano may be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics and drugs due to the absence of side effects and residues.
China has been the world's largest producer of eggs for the last 30 years. There have been considerable recent changes in the structure of the egg industry due to rapid economic growth, improved supply chains and favourable prices. Since 2012, revenue from poultry has increased by 8.7% on average. Annual growth rate of egg production has been approximately 0.6 million tonnes per year from 2000 to 2016 (FAO, 2017), and 2016 saw the total eggs produced reaching a peak of 31 million tonnes. Egg production in China continues to provide the population with a significant proportion of their intake of high quality dietary protein. Egg consumption is expected to continue to increase with the rise in the urban population. It is probable that the highest increase in demand for eggs will be for ‘out of home’ consumption and in processed food products. These levels of production are associated with the spread of intensive systems. The poultry sector is no longer dominated by hundreds of millions of smallholders keeping birds as a side-line activity and many small farmers have ceased production. Chinese consumers are becoming more focused on the quality and safety of eggs. Future developments in the egg production are expected to concentrate on quality, safety and traceability of eggs.
A number of methods can now be used to store the female germ plasm from farm species. New assisted reproductive techniques such as ultrasound guided oocyte pickup, followed by the in vitro maturation of oocytes together with cryopreservation enable the collection and storage of germinal vesicle or metaphase II secondary oocytes and more practically embryos after in vitro fertilisation. Following freezing using equilibration or vitrification protocols, oocytes and embryos can be stored at liquid nitrogen temperatures for as long as required. Despite much research interest, the efficiency of secondary oocyte freezing is low and the developmental potential of stored oocytes is directly affected by the local cellular and hormonal environment during maturation, fertilisation and extended culture in vitro. An alternative strategy which avoids many of the technical difficulties associated with mature oocyte freezing may be to cryopreserve primordial oocytes in situ within ovarian cortex. This approach has the added advantage that it may also provide a means of conserving the oocytes of rare species and it can be used to bank cells obtained from postmortem tissue samples or species for which IVF protocols may not have been fully optimised. Although the methodology is still in its infancy, when ovarian cryopreservation is combined with autografting, xenografting, or follicle culture, ovarian tissue freezing has the potential to restore or extend the fertility of domestic animals so maximising their genetic potential.
The illegal killing and taking of wild birds remains a major threat on a global scale. However, there are few quantitative data on the species affected and countries involved. We quantified the scale and scope of this issue in Northern and Central Europe and the Caucasus, using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge. The issue was reported to be widespread across the region and affects almost all countries/territories assessed. We estimated that 0.4–2.1 million birds per year may be killed/taken illegally in the region. The highest estimate of illegal killing in the region was for Azerbaijan (0.2-1.0 million birds per year). Out of the 20 worst locations identified, 13 were located in the Caucasus. Birds were reported to be illegally killed/taken primarily for sport and food in the Caucasus and for sport and predator/pest control in both Northern and Central Europe. All of the 28 countries assessed are parties to the Bern Convention and 19 are also European Union Member States. There are specific initiatives under both these policy instruments to tackle this threat, yet our data showed that illegal killing and taking is still occurring and is not restricted to Mediterranean European countries. Markedly increased effort is required to ensure that existing legislation is adequately implemented and complied with/enforced on the ground. Our study also highlighted the paucity of data on illegal killing and taking of birds in the region. It is a priority, identified by relevant initiatives under the Bern Convention and the European Union, to implement systematic monitoring of illegal killing and taking and to collate robust data, allowing stakeholders to set priorities, track trends and monitor the effectiveness of responses.
Wheat is vastly grown worldwide in order to feed a growing population and for use as ruminant feed. In developed countries where the value of wheat has increased, farmers are growing varieties which have a shorter, thicker stem to structurally support the high yielding characteristics. Straw produced from such varieties is highly lignified and is harder to digest by ruminants. Several techniques have been employed in attempt to improve the nutritional value and digestibility of wheat straw for ruminant feeding, but with no success; e.g. due to the impalpability of chemically-treated straw, and the expense (and often high labour input) involved in highly technical physical techniques. It has already been proven that the Pleurotus species of fungi can significantly degrade the lignin content of many lignified substances (Cohen et al, 2002). Pleurotus species can selectively degrade the lignin content of wheat straw, resulting in the cellulose and hemi-cellulose becoming more accessible, thus allowing the rumen micro-organisms to digest the substance successfully. It is also suggested that the addition of Manganese (Mn) can enhance the degradation of lignin (Hador & Kerem, 1995). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of three concentration levels of Manganese in addition to two strains of Pleurotus fungi (ostreatus 027 and eryngii DSM8264) in order to determine the best combination to achieve increased digestibility and lignin degradation of wheat straw.