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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Low density (LD) steels have shown particular characteristics in terms of mechanical properties and microstructure, since they have high strength, high ductility and density reduction up to 18%. On the other hand, the addition of microalloying elements such as Ti and B generate hardening by solid solution and precipitation, as well as grain refinement effect. LD steels generate nano-sized kappa phase precipitated from the austenite matrix, and these advanced steels can reach strength and elongation up to 780 MPa and 60%, respectively. The main objective of this research work is the metallographic, structural and mechanical characterization of a LD steel microalloyed with Ti/B in as-cast and -homogenized conditions. For this purpose a Fe-27Mn-7Al-1.2C (%wt) LD steel microalloyed with Ti/B was melted in a vacuum-induction furnace and cast in metallic mold. LD-Ti/B steel samples were homogenized at 1100 °C during 20, 50, 100, 150 and 200 minutes followed by water quenching. Metallographic, structural and mechanical characterization was carried out by optical (LOM) and scanning electron (SEM) microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and microhardness Vickers testing (HV10), respectively. In general, results showed a typical dendritic microstructure with average grain size of 1256 μm in the as-cast condition. On the other hand, the as-homogenized condition showed an austenitic equiaxial microstructure with average grain size from 164 to 940 μm. Austenite, ferrite and kappa phases were detected by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Also, second-phase particles such as AlN, TiC and MnS were detected by LOM and SEM-EDS analysis. LD steel microalloyed with Ti/B exhibited the highest microhardness Vickers value (235 HV10) in the as-cast condition, whilst in the as-homogenized condition microhardness gradually decreases from 223 to 198 HV10 as holding time increases.
Intracardiac rhabdomyomas can cause severe ventricular dysfunction and outflow tract obstruction.
A term newborn infant with antenatal diagnosis of giant left ventricle rhabdomyoma presented with cardiac failure and duct-dependent systemic circulation after birth. She was treated successfully with everolimus, showing decrease in tumour size and improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction.
Tumour regression rate was 0.32 cm2/day and improved to 0.80 cm2/day with the use of everolimus. Herein we report a newborn with inoperable giant left ventricular cardiac rhabdomyoma and significant regression of the tumour. To our knowledge, this is the largest left ventricular rhabdomyoma reported. A review of the literature was undertaken for comparison.
Everolimus has proven to be efficacious in size reduction of cardiac rhabdomyomas in cases when surgical resection is not possible.
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is an emergent worldwide public health problem. Historically, 84 countries have reported vector-borne ZIKV transmission, 61 of which report on-going transmission. It is a Flavivirus transmitted through arthropods belonging to the Aedes genus. Since 2015, ZIKV infections have increased dramatically; with 1.3 million people infected during 2015 in Brazil alone. This paper's objective is to highlight the conjectural epidemiological points of the virus’ dissemination. The digital archives Pubmed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane were searched for papers that assessed aspects of ZIKV transmission and epidemiology. The first isolation occurred in Uganda in 1947. Since then, important outbreaks were documented globally. Consequently, an emergent public health problem arose from a rapidly increasing incidence and its association with the development of neurological diseases such as microcephaly and Guillain–Barré syndrome. Key factors in the successful containment of outbreaks include surveillance of mosquitos in the neighbourhood, an early mosquito control treatment, an assertive information campaign, and the involvement of the local population and healthcare workers. As such, while ZIKV seems to be spreading globally in a similar manner to other arboviruses, such as Dengue and Chikungunya viruses, it can also be rapidly contained due to the pre-existing availability of necessary resources and regulatory tools as control measures. This review aims to provide a description of those characteristics of ZIKV infection that may be useful in the construction of effective outbreak control strategies.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
A Q fever outbreak was declared in February 2016 in a company that manufactures hoists and chains and therefore with no apparent occupational-associated risk. Coxiella burnetii infection was diagnosed by serology in eight of the 29 workers of the company; seven of them had fever or flu-like signs and five had pneumonia, one requiring hospitalisation. A further case of C. burnetii pneumonia was diagnosed in a local resident. Real-time PCR (RTi–PCR) showed a widespread distribution of C. burnetii DNA in dust samples collected from the plant facilities, thus confirming the exposure of workers to the infection inside the factory. Epidemiological investigations identified a goat flock with high C. burnetii seroprevalence and active shedding which was owned and managed by one of the workers of the company as possible source of infection. Genotyping by multispacer sequence typing (MST) and a 10-loci single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination using RTi–PCR identified the same genotype (MST18 and SNP type 8, respectively) in the farm and the factory. These results confirmed the link between the goat farm and the outbreak and allowed the identification of the source of infection. The circumstances and possible vehicles for the bacteria entering the factory are discussed.
To determine whether demographic characteristics or balance examination findings can predict the adherence of older people with instability to a vestibular rehabilitation programme.
A prospective case–control study was conducted of 120 patients aged 65 years or more (mean age, 77.3 ± 6.33 years). Two groups were classified according to patients’ adherence with the follow-up post-rehabilitation protocol. Analysed variables included: age, sex, body mass index, Timed Up and Go test findings, computerised dynamic posturography, Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores and Short Falls Efficacy Scale – International questionnaire results, number of falls, and type of vestibular rehabilitation.
Two groups were established: adherents (99 individuals) and non-adherents (21 individuals). There were differences between the groups regarding: sex (female-to-male ratio of 4.8:1 in adherents and 1.63:1 in non-adherents), age (higher in non-adherents) and voluntary movement posturographic test results (non-adherents had poorer scores).
The patients most likely to abandon a vestibular rehabilitation programme are very elderly males with low scores for centre of gravity balancing and limits of stability.
Tick-borne apicomplexan haemoparasites infect wild and domestic animals, but studies on their distribution among free-living animals are comparatively fewer. Tissues from 241 wild carnivores of eight Mustelidae, two Canidae, one Viverridae and one Felidae species were collected in Northern Spain, and analysed by real-time PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene and sequencing. Babesia vulpes (formerly known as Theileria annae) was the only piroplasm detected in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Badgers (Meles meles) were shown to harbour two novel Babesia sp. sequence types (A and B) that only shared 96.7% homology between them and were closely related (ca. 97–98%) to, but distinct from B. vulpes and other babesia from carnivores. Analysis of PCR-derived sequences also revealed the presence of Cystoisospora sp. and Hepatozoon sp. in badgers and showed that wild cats (Felis silvestris catus) were infected with Cytauxzoon sp. Forty-two per cent of the animals subjected to a detailed external examination were parasitized by ixodid ticks, being Ixodes hexagonus and Ixodes ricinus the most abundant species. This study provided novel data on the different haemoparasites that can infect European wild carnivores and showed that they can be hosts for a range of haemoparasites and pose a potential risk for transmission to domestic animals.
The main role of early nutritional programming in the current rise of obesity and associated diseases is well known. However, translational studies are mostly based in postnatal food excess and, thus, there is a paucity of information on the phenotype of individuals with prenatal deficiencies but adequate postnatal conditions. Thus, we assessed the effects of prenatal programming (comparing descendants from females fed with a diet fulfilling 100 or only 50% of their nutritional requirements for pregnancy) on gene expression, patterns of growth and fattening, metabolic status and puberty attainment of a swine model of obesity/leptin resistance with controlled postnatal nutrition and opportunity of exercise. Maternal restriction was related to changes in the relationships among gene expression of positive (insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2) and negative (myostatin) regulators of muscle growth, with negative correlations in gilts from restricted pregnancies and positive relationships in the control group. In spite of these differences, the patterns of growth and fattening and the metabolic features during juvenile growth were similar in control gilts and gilts from restricted pregnancies. Concomitantly, there was a lack of differences in the timing of puberty attainment. However, after reaching puberty and adulthood, females from restricted pregnancies were heavier and more corpulent than control gilts, though such increases in weight and size were not accompanied by increases in adiposity. In conclusion, in spite of changes in gene expression induced by developmental programming, the propensity for higher weight and adiposity of individuals exposed to prenatal malnutrition may be modulated by controlled food intake and opportunity of physical exercise during infant and juvenile development.
To improve understanding of how a rare endemic species of Centaurium adapts to a specialized ecological niche, we studied the germination ecology of the mountain spring specialist, C. somedanum, a perennial species restricted to an unusual habitat for this genus. We conducted laboratory experiments with fresh seeds collected from two populations for three consecutive years, to investigate: (1) the effect of temperature and light on germination; (2) the existence of seed dormancy; and (3) inter-population and inter-annual variation in germinability. Germination occurred only in the light and at relatively low temperatures (15–22°C) with no differences between constant and alternating regimes, and a significant decrease at high temperatures (25°C and 30°C). We found non-deep simple morphophysiological dormancy and variation in seed germinability depending on the year of seed collection. C. somedanum diverged from the common germination characteristics of the genus in: (1) its germination at lower temperatures, which contrasts with what is generally expected in wetland species but could be adaptive in the spring habitat; and (2) its morphophysiological dormancy, which we report here for the first time in the genus and which could be an adaptation to its mountain habitat.
The present work shows results on elemental distribution analyses in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films for solar cells performed by use of wavelength-dispersive and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) in a scanning electron microscope, EDX in a transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron, angle-dependent soft X-ray emission, secondary ion-mass (SIMS), time-of-flight SIMS, sputtered neutral mass, glow-discharge optical emission and glow-discharge mass, Auger electron, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, by use of scanning Auger electron microscopy, Raman depth profiling, and Raman mapping, as well as by use of elastic recoil detection analysis, grazing-incidence X-ray and electron backscatter diffraction, and grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence analysis. The Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films used for the present comparison were produced during the same identical deposition run and exhibit thicknesses of about 2 μm. The analysis techniques were compared with respect to their spatial and depth resolutions, measuring speeds, availabilities, and detection limits.
Several aspects of the biology of Xylotrechus arvicola (Olivier), an emerging grape pest, were studied under laboratory conditions. Four diets were tested to rear this species in the laboratory. Among them, only one made rearing from larva to adult possible. The highest mortality, in all cases, was recorded during the first days of larval development. Larvae were kept 45 days at 8°C to break diapause in order to reduce the normal field larval developmental time. The species' developmental time was similar between sexes, while pupal developmental time and weight were significantly greater for females than for males. As part of a complementary study, life table parameters of females obtained from the larvae reared on the artificial diet were compared to those of females emerged from field-infested grape root wood. Both laid the majority of eggs in the first two weeks after emergence, and they had a similar pre-laying period. Nevertheless, the females from the diet-reared larvae lived significantly longer, laid eggs over a longer period of time and showed higher fertility than those emerging from infested grape root, suggesting that diet fulfils larval nutritional needs. The species’ laboratory-reared population exhibited a low intrinsic growth rate value (rm=0.01) as a result of its long egg-to-adult developmental time and its high larval mortality.
Blue compact dwarf galaxies take up the low end of the distribution of metallicity as derived using collisional emission lines in ionized gaseous nebulae. In fact, the most metal poor objects in the Local Universe belong to this category. Nevertheless, the abundance discrepancy factor (ADF) found in some local HII regions whose metallicity have been derived by means of recombination lines and the offset claimed by some authors in relation to the predictions of some photoionization models question the real chemical status of these objects. In this contribution, we summarize the results of Pérez-Montero (2010, MNRAS, 404, 2037) and we show how tailor-made models of a subsample of HII galaxies with a good determination of the thermal inner structure can be used to shed some light on this issue, helping also to study their star formation history and the properties of their ionizing stellar clusters.
Polyurethanes are interesting materials that can be used in biomedical applications for regeneration of bone tissue. In this work the synthesis and characterization of porous polyurethanes to act as scaffold is performed by a thermally induced phase separation technique. The appropriate parameters are determined in order to obtain a porous well interconnected material. Characterization by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is made in order to determine the thermal stability of the material. Chemical characterization is made by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR). The morphology of the material is observed by a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and the mechanical properties are measured by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).