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Hypertension prevalence is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like South Africa, and migration and its concomitant urbanization are often considered to be associated with this rise. However, relatively little is known about the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and internal migration – a highly prevalent population process in LMICs. This study employed data for a group of 194 adult men and women from an original pilot dataset drawn from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System in north-east South Africa conducted in 2012. Migrants in the sample were identified, tracked and interviewed. The relationship between BP and migration distance and the number of months an individual spent away from his/her home village was estimated using robust OLS regression, controlling for a series of socioeconomic, health and behavioural characteristics. It was found that migrants who moved a longer distance and for longer durations had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures compared with shorter-term migrants and those who remained nearby or in their home village. These associations remained robust and statistically significant when adjusting for measures of socioeconomic conditions, as well as body mass index and the number of meals consumed per day. Migration, both in terms of distance and time away, explained significant variation in the blood pressure of migrants in this typical South African context. The findings suggest the need for further studies of the nutritional and psycho-social factors associated with geographic mobility that may be important to understand rising hypertension levels in LMICs.
The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of the most commonly cited factors that may have influenced infants’ gut microbiota profiles at one year of age: mode of delivery, breastfeeding duration and antibiotic exposure. Barcoded V3/V4 amplicons of bacterial 16S-rRNA gene were prepared from the stool samples of 52 healthy 1-year-old Australian children and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Following the quality checks, the data were processed using the Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology pipeline and analysed using the Calypso package for microbiome data analysis. The stool microbiota profiles of children still breastfed were significantly different from that of children weaned earlier (P<0.05), independent of the age of solid food introduction. Among children still breastfed, Veillonella spp. abundance was higher. Children no longer breastfed possessed a more ‘mature’ microbiota, with notable increases of Firmicutes. The microbiota profiles of the children could not be differentiated by delivery mode or antibiotic exposure. Further analysis based on children’s feeding patterns found children who were breastfed alongside solid food had significantly different microbiota profiles compared to that of children who were receiving both breastmilk and formula milk alongside solid food. This study provided evidence that breastfeeding continues to influence gut microbial community even at late infancy when these children are also consuming table foods. At this age, any impacts from mode of delivery or antibiotic exposure did not appear to be discernible imprints on the microbial community profiles of these healthy children.
Human fascioliasis is a worldwide, pathogenic food-borne trematodiasis. Impressive clinical pictures comprising puzzling polymorphisms, manifestation multifocality, disease evolution changes, sequelae and mortality, have been reported in patients presenting with neurological, meningeal, neuropsychic and ocular disorders caused at distance by flukes infecting the liver. Proteomic and mass spectrometry analyses of the Fasciola hepatica excretome/secretome identified numerous, several new, plasminogen-binding proteins enhancing plasmin generation. This may underlie blood-brain barrier leakage whether by many simultaneously migrating, small-sized juvenile flukes in the acute phase, or by breakage of encapsulating formations triggered by single worm tracks in the chronic phase. Blood-brain barrier leakages may subsequently occur due to a fibrinolytic system-dependent mechanism involving plasmin-dependent generation of the proinflammatory peptide bradykinin and activation of bradykinin B2 receptors, after different plasminogen-binding protein agglomeration waves. Interactions between diverse parasitic situations and non-imbalancing fibrinolysis system alterations are for the first time proposed that explain the complexity, heterogeneity and timely variations of neurological disorders. Additionally, inflammation and dilation of blood vessels may be due to contact system–dependent generation bradykinin. This baseline allows for search of indicators to detect neurological risk in fascioliasis patients and experimental work on antifibrinolytic treatments or B2 receptor antagonists for preventing blood-brain barrier leakage.
Fe is an essential nutrient for many bacteria, and Fe supplementation has been reported to affect the composition of the gut microbiota in both Fe-deficient and Fe-replete individuals outside pregnancy. This study examined whether the dose of Fe in pregnancy multivitamin supplements affects the overall composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women in early pregnancy. Women participating in the SPRING study with a faecal sample obtained at 16 weeks’ gestation were included in this substudy. For each subject, the brand of multivitamin used was recorded. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and analysed with the QIIME software suite. Dietary intake of Fe was assessed using a FFQ at 16 weeks’ gestation. Women were grouped as receiving low (<60 mg/d, n 94) or high (≥60 mg/d; n 65) Fe supplementation. The median supplementary Fe intake in the low group was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 5–10) v. 60 (IQR 60–60) mg/d in the high group (P<0·001). Dietary Fe intake did not differ between the groups (10·0 (IQR 7·4–13·3) v. 9·8 (IQR 8·2–13·2) mg/d). Fe supplementation did not significantly affect the composition of the faecal microbiome at any taxonomic level. Network analysis showed that the gut microbiota in the low Fe supplementation group had a higher predominance of SCFA producers. Pregnancy multivitamin Fe content has a minor effect on the overall composition of the gut microbiota of overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks’ gestation.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Immunocastration (ImC) has been proposed as an animal welfare-friendly alternative to reduce sexual and aggressive behavior and to increase carcass fat deposition with positive effects on meat quality. The β-adrenergic agonists (β-AA) are known as repartitioning agents that acts increasing lean tissue deposition. The combined use of these technologies can positively affect meat quality and increase retail cuts yield. Thus, this research was conducted to evaluate the combined effects of ImC and β-AA (zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) and ractopamine hydrochloride (RH)) on retail cuts, bones, and fat trim of feedlot finished Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle. No interaction was observed between sexual condition and diet for any trait. The ImC decreased cold carcass, hindquarter (HQ), forequarter (FQ) and combined brisket, short ribs and flank (BSF) weights. The ImC also showed smaller weights of retail cuts and bones on the HQ and on the FQ than non-castrated (NoC). Fat trim weights did not differ from ImC and NoC. The most of subprimal cuts were heavier in NoC than in ImC. Feeding β-AA did not affect cold carcass weight; however, animals fed ZH had higher weights of HQ and retail cuts in HQ when compared with RH and control (CO) group, with no differences between RH and CO for both traits. The weights of FQ, BSF, retail cuts in FQ, as well as bones and fat trimmings were not affected by β-AA. In summary, ImC decreases carcass and retail cut weights, whereas ZH supplementation leads to an improvement in carcass lean tissue and retail cuts.
Polyurethane-based bioadhesive was synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil (chemically modified and unmodified) and hexamethylene diisocyanate with chitosan addition as a bioactive filler. The objective was to evaluate the effect of type of polyols with the incorporation of low-concentrations of chitosan on the mechanical and biological properties of the polymer to obtain suitable materials in the design of biomaterials. The results showed that increasing physical crosslinking increased the mechanical and adhesive properties. An in vitro cytotoxic test of polyurethanes showed cellular viability. The biocompatibility of the polyurethanes favors the adhesion of L929 cells at 6, 24, and 48 h. The polyurethanes showed bacterial inhibition depending on the polyol and percentage of chitosan. The antibacterial effect of the polyurethanes for Escherichia coli decreased 60–90% after 24 h. The mechanical and adhesive properties together with biological response in this research suggested these polyurethanes as external application tissue bioadhesives.
We present polarimetric observations of the 4 ground-state transitions of OH, toward a sample of maser-emitting planetary nebulae (PNe) using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This sample includes confirmed OH-emitting PNe, confirmed and candidate H2O-maser-emitting PNe. Polarimetric observations provide information related to the magnetic field of these sources. Maser-emitting PNe are very young PNe and magnetic fields are a key ingredient in the early evolution and shaping process of PNe. Our preliminary results suggest that magnetic field strengths may change very rapidly in young PNe.
Since dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis is a vector-borne disease, its distribution depends on environmental conditions as well as demographic factors and the management of pets by humans. In the province of Salamanca (west-central Spain) the disease has been known for many years, appearing in an area with extensive irrigated crops along the Tormes river. Because recent demographic changes have occurred in this area, the present study has been carried out with the aim of monitoring the distribution and prevalence of the disease in the canine population of this area. For that purpose, 191 dogs were analysed through antigen and microfilaria tests and geo-referenced in a map. The overall prevalence was 5.8%, although the disease was only present in dogs from municipalities with irrigated crops in which the prevalence was 16.7%. These results indicate that D. immitis continues to be present in the province of Salamanca, and that it is associated with the presence of irrigation, but with a clear decrease in the prevalence. Causes of the decrease in prevalence, as well as the potential zoonotic risk, are discussed.
β-Adrenergic agonists (β-AA) are non-hormonal growth promoters which promote muscle hypertrophy in supplemented animals. The effects of two β-AA in combination with the immunocastration technique on the performance and carcass traits were evaluated using 96 feedlot Nellore males in a randomized complete block design with two sex conditions (immunocastrated (IC) v. non-castrated (NC)) and three treatments: CON (no β-agonists added), RH (300 mg of ractopamine hydrochloride/day, for 33 days) or ZH (80 mg of zilpaterol·hydrochloride animal/day for 30 days, removed 3 days for required withdrawal period). The trial was carried for 100 days where in the first 70 days animals did not receive β-AA (phase 1) and during the last 30 days they were treated with β-AA (phase 2). The performance and ultrasound measurements of longissimus muscle area (LMA), backfat thickness (BFT) and rump fat thickness (RFT) were evaluated in both phases. No sex condition v. treatment interactions were observed for any trait. The NC animals had higher average daily gain (ADG) and final BW than the IC animals, but they did not differ in dry matter intake (DMI) and feed efficiency (gain to feed). The NC animals showed greater LMA (P=0.0001) and hot carcass weight (P=0.0006), and smaller BFT (P=0.0007), RFT (P=0.0039) and percentage of kidney, pelvic and heart fat (P<0.0001) when compared with IC animals. The animals fed ZH showed greater ADG (P=0.0002), G : F (P<0.0001) and dressing per cent (P=0.0136) than those fed RH and CON diets. No differences in BW and DMI were observed. A interaction between treatment and time on feed was observed for LMA and BFT, in which the animals fed ZH diet showed greater LMA (P<0.01) and lower BFT (P<0.01) at 100 days than the animals fed RH and CON diets, whereas RH and CON diets did not differ. Immunocastration decreases muscle development and increases carcass finishing. In contrast, β-AA increases muscle and decreases fat deposition. The ZH has a higher action on the muscle metabolism than animals fed RH diet. However, RH diet achieves a better balance because it has an intermediary performance between non-supplemented and ZH animals and does not decrease the carcass fat.
Supernova (SN) 1987A has provided a unique opportunity to study how SN ejecta evolve in 30 years time scale. We report our ALMA spectral observations of SN 1987A, taken in 2014, 2015 and 2016, with detections of CO, 28SiO, HCO+ and SO, with weaker lines of 29SiO.
We find a dip in the SiO line profiles, suggesting that the ejecta morphology is likely elongated. The difference of the CO and SiO line profiles is consistent with hydrodynamic simulations, which show that Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities causes mixing of gas, with heavier elements much more disturbed, making more elongated structure.
Using 28SiO and its isotopologues, Si isotope ratios were estimated for the first time in SN 1987A. The estimated ratios appear to be consistent with theoretical predictions of inefficient formation of neutron rich atoms at lower metallicity, such as observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud (about half a solar metallicity).
The deduced large HCO+ mass and small SiS mass, which are inconsistent to the predictions of chemical model, might be explained by some mixing of elements immediately after the explosion. The mixing might have made some hydrogen from the envelope to sink into carbon and oxygen-rich zone during early days after the explosion, enabling the formation of a substantial mass of HCO+. Oxygen atoms may penetrate into silicon and sulphur zone, suppressing formation of SiS.
Our ALMA observations open up a new window to investigate chemistry, dynamics and explosive-nucleosynthesis in supernovae.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
The phenotypic activity of two 5-nitroindazolinones, i.e. 2-benzyl-1-propyl (22) and 2-benzyl-1-butyl (24) derivatives, previously proposed as anti-Trypanosoma cruzi prototypes, was presently assayed on bloodstream trypomastigotes (BT) of the moderately drug-resistant Y strain. Further exploration of putative targets and cellular mechanisms involved in their activity was also carried out. Therefore, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution respirometry and flow cytometry procedures were performed on BT treated for up to 24 h with the respective EC50 value of each derivative. Results demonstrated that although 22 and 24 were not as active as benznidazole in this in vitro assay on BT, both compounds triggered important damages in T. cruzi that lead to the parasite death. Ultrastructural alterations included shedding events, detachment of plasma membrane and nuclear envelope, loss of mitochondrial integrity, besides the occurrence of a large number of intracellular vesicles and profiles of endoplasmic reticulum surrounding cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondrion. Moreover, both derivatives affected mitochondrion leading to this organelle dysfunction, as reflected by the inhibition in oxygen consumption and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Altogether, the findings exposed in the present study propose autophagic processes and mitochondrial machinery as part of the mode of action of both 5-nitroindazolinones 22 and 24 on T. cruzi trypomastigotes.
A novel reduced-order model for time-varying nonlinear flows arising from a resolvent decomposition based on the time-mean flow is proposed. The inputs required for the model are the mean-flow field and a small set of velocity time-series data obtained at isolated measurement points, which are used to fix relevant frequencies, amplitudes and phases of a limited number of resolvent modes that, together with the mean flow, constitute the reduced-order model. The technique is applied to derive a model for the unsteady three-dimensional flow in a lid-driven cavity at a Reynolds number of 1200 that is based on the two-dimensional mean flow, three resolvent modes selected at the most active spanwise wavenumber, and either one or two velocity probe signals. The least-squares full-field error of the reconstructed velocity obtained using the model and two point velocity probes is of the order of 5 % of the lid velocity, and the dynamical behaviour of the reconstructed flow is qualitatively similar to that of the complete flow.
The effect of streamwise-varying steady transpiration on turbulent pipe flow is examined using direct numerical simulation at fixed friction Reynolds number
. The streamwise momentum equation reveals three physical mechanisms caused by transpiration acting in the flow: modification of Reynolds shear stress, steady streaming and generation of non-zero mean streamwise gradients. The influence of these mechanisms has been examined by means of a parameter sweep involving transpiration amplitude and wavelength. The observed trends have permitted identification of wall transpiration configurations able to reduce or increase the overall flow rate
, respectively. Energetics associated with these modifications are presented. A novel resolvent formulation has been developed to investigate the dynamics of pipe flows with a constant cross-section but with time-mean spatial periodicity induced by changes in boundary conditions. This formulation, based on a triple decomposition, paves the way for understanding turbulence in such flows using only the mean velocity profile. Resolvent analysis based on the time-mean flow and dynamic mode decomposition based on simulation data snapshots have both been used to obtain a description of the reorganization of the flow structures caused by the transpiration. We show that the pipe flows dynamics are dominated by a critical-layer mechanism and the waviness induced in the flow structures plays a role on the streamwise momentum balance by generating additional terms.