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In teleosts, vitellogenin (Vtg) is a phospholipoglycoprotein synthesized by the liver, released into the blood circulation and incorporated into the oocytes via endocytosis mediated by the Vtg receptor (VTGR) to form the yolk granules. The VTGR is crucial for oocyte growth in egg-laying animals but is also present in non-oviparous vertebrates, such as human. The VTGR belongs to the low-density lipoprotein receptor superfamily (LDLR) and is also named very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR). In this study, we identified and phylogenetically positioned the VTGR of a basal teleost, the European eel, Anguilla anguilla. We developed quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and investigated the tissue distribution of vtgr transcripts. We compared by qRT-PCR the ovarian expression levels of vtgr in juvenile yellow eels and pre-pubertal silver eels. We also analyzed the regulation of ovarian vtgr expression throughout vitellogenesis in experimentally matured eels. The Vtg plasma level was measured by homologous ELISA experimental maturation. Our in silico search and phylogenetical analysis revealed a single vtgr in the European eel, orthologous to other vertebrate vtgr. The qRT-PCR studies revealed that vtgr is mainly expressed in the ovary and also detected in various other tissues such as brain, pituitary, gill, fat, heart, and testis, suggesting some extra-ovarian functions of VTGR. We showed that vtgr is expressed in ovaries of juvenile yellow eels with no higher expression in pre-pubertal silver eels nor in experimentally matured eels. This suggests that vtgr transcription already occurs during early pre-vitellogenesis of immature eels and is not further activated in vitellogenic oocytes. European eel Vtg plasma level increased throughout experimental maturation in agreement with previous studies. Taken together, these results suggest that vtgr transcript levels may not be a limiting step for the uptake of Vtg by the oocyte in the European eel.
In recent decades, concern about rabbit welfare and sustainability has increased. The housing system is a very important factor for animal welfare. However, information about how different available housing types for female rabbits affect their health status is scarce, but this is an important factor for their welfare. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the health status of female rabbits in five common housing systems: three different single-housing systems with distinct available surfaces and heights; a single-housing system with a platform; a collective system. Female rabbits in the collective and platform cages had greater cortisol concentrations in hair than those in the single-housing system with no platform. Haptoglobin concentrations and kit mortality rates during lactation were greater for the collective-cage female rabbits. The collective group had more culled females and more lesions than in the other groups. The main reasons for culling in all the groups were reproduction problems and presence of abscesses, and the collective group of females was the most affected. In conclusion, it appears that keeping females together in collective systems negatively affects their health status and welfare, while single-housing systems imply lower kit mortality rates during lactation and cortisol concentrations, and fewer lesions in female rabbits.
The present work is aimed to study a comparison among synthesized graphene films, deposited on copper substrates and commercial graphene films; both decorated with Eu2O3 particles, with the purpose of promoting photoluminescence. The decoration procedure was achieved using the radio frequency sputtering (R.F. Sputtering) technique for the deposition of Eu2O3 on synthesized or commercial graphene films. The SEM obtained images, show differences in morphology when commercial and synthesized graphene films are compared. Our results indicate that the type of surface is the main factor that accounts for the europium oxide spatial distribution that ultimately leads to luminescence enhancing. The x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses, showed the trivalent oxidation state of europium and the atomic content of Europium for both; the commercial graphene film and synthesized one, where the first one presented the higher europium concentration. Analysis by Raman spectroscopy reveals that graphene films become disordered after the decoration is achieved. The main Raman bands of the commercial graphene films undergo a remarkable red shift, as a consequence of the presence of europium oxide It was observed that the interaction of Eu2O3 with the sp2 levels of graphene, improves the red photoluminescence of the samples grown on both, commercial and prepared graphene films.
Nanoparticles and nanopores of iron oxide were synthesized by electrochemical anodization, in an electrolytic medium of ammonium fluoride (NH4F), deionized water and ethylene glycol. After anodization, the Fe foils were annealed at 450 °C for 2 hours. Different anodization times and two concentrations of NH4F (0.1 M and 1.2 M) were evaluated, under static conditions at room temperature. Scanning Electron Microscopy showed nanopores (0.1 M) and nanoparticles (1.2 M). Eight vibration modes characteristic of α-Fe2O3 were found with Raman spectroscopy technique. Relationship between the modes Eu(LO) and 2Eu(LO) was found, therefore, their association with the disorder in the crystalline structure can be determined and it was also found that 2Eu(LO) intensity mode at a concentration of 1.2 M is larger than 0.1 M nanostructures, the FWHM of the A1g mode at 227 cm-1 corresponding to the Fe3+ ions and the Eg at 293 cm-1 mode caused by the O2- ions was also analyzed and founded that the crystalline structure of hematite can be determined by the A1g mode at 227 cm-1.
In this work, the anodization of grade 2 titanium was performed using a HCl-based electrolyte in order to obtain Titania nanostructures. Different glycerol concentrations were added to the HCl electrolyte to study the effect it has on the shape and density of the nanostructures, additionally, anodization time and voltage was also varied. The anodized samples were observed by SEM microscopy and studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Raman spectroscopy and XRD showed the formation of the anatase phase of the TiO2. By SEM it was possible to observe several changes in the shape of the structures, by adding glycerol ball-like structures were visible, anodization time did not change the shape of the nanostructures. However, the voltage variation showed a clear control on the shape of the structures, forming nanotubes at higher voltages. It was concluded that a better control of the shape and density of the nanostructures is achieved by adding glycerol, however, in order to overcome the resistance that the electrolyte brings, higher voltages are required.
The present research was aimed to study the degradation of 2-Chlorophenol through the use of bismuth molybdate (γ-Bi2MoO6) structures supported on graphene oxide (GO) which is intended to control the recombination of charge carriers. γ-Bi2MoO6/GO systems were doped with nitrogen via chemical reaction, to reduce their energy gap, improving their photocatalytic activity. Structural and physicochemical characterization of the resulting catalysts were performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Vis. The obtained compounds show good photo catalytic performance when using visible energy to degrade 2-Chlorophenol, obtaining 80% of degradation in 65 min.
On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, resulting in serious widespread impact across the island, including communication and power outages, water systems impairment, and damage to life-saving infrastructure. In collaboration with the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the Public Health Branch (PHB), operating under the Department of Health and Human Services Incident Response Coordination Team, was tasked with completing assessments of health-care facilities in Puerto Rico to determine infrastructure capabilities and post-hurricane capacity. Additionally, in response to significant data entry and presentation needs, the PHB leadership worked with the Puerto Rico Planning Board to develop and test a new app-based infrastructure capacity assessment tool. Assessments of hospitals were initiated September 28, 2017, and completed November 10, 2017 (n = 64 hospitals, 97%). Assessments of health-care centers were initiated on October 7, 2017, with 186 health-care centers (87%) assessed through November 18, 2017. All hospitals had working communications; however, 9% (n = 17) of health-care centers reported no communication capabilities. For the health-care centers, 114 (61%) reported they were operational but had sustainment needs. In conclusion, health-care facility assessments indicated structural damage issues and operational capacity decreases, while health-care centers reported loss of communication capabilities post-Hurricane Maria.
A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
In dairy goats, the kid rearing system can have critical importance in financial returns. Commonly used criteria for the choice of rearing system are not always clear due to the high number of factors involved. The aim of this study was to quantify all those factors to facilitate decision making. So, the effect of two different kid rearing systems, mixed rearing system (MRS) and artificial rearing system (ARS), on milk yield, milk composition and somatic cell count (SCC), milk yield loss at weaning for MRS, kid growth and costs of the different traits on the financial returns in Murciano-Granadina breed goats was studied. Twenty-four goats per group were used. In the MRS, goats reared only one kid, which had free access to goat milk 24 h a day and were weaned at week 6 of lactation, whereas kids in the ARS were separated from their mothers at kidding, colostrum and artificially reared. In both systems, dams were machine-milked once a day throughout lactation and the records took place weekly. Potential milk yield was estimated according to the oxytocin method up to week 12 of lactation, and was similar for both rearing systems, although a 12.3% drop in potential milk yield at weaning was observed for MRS. During the first 6 weeks of lactation, marketable milk was lower for dams in MRS compared to those in ARS (72.1 v. 113.0 l), but similar for the rest of the experiment (101.5 v. 99.4 l, respectively). Marketable milk composition and SCC throughout the 12 weeks of lactation were unaffected by the rearing system. Artificial rearing system entailed an increment in production cost of 22.2€ per kid compared to the rearing by MRS. A similar economic return per goat and kid was obtained from ARS and MRS in this experiment, although, due to one herd’s prolificacy of 1.8, the actual results would be 16.2€ per goat in favour of MRS. The real interest of this experiment may be the possibility of extrapolation to different flocks with diverse levels of milk production, prolificacy and prices and costs for incomes and outputs, to estimate the production system that increases returns. In conclusion, the results showed an increase in the cost of €22.2 per kid bred in the ARS, compared to the MRS, and a final return of 16.2€ per goat in favour of the mixed system.
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.
We present a scintillator-based detector able to measure the proton energy and the spatial distribution with a relatively simple design. It has been designed and built at the Spanish Center for Pulsed Lasers (CLPU) in Salamanca and tested in the proton accelerator at the Centro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM) in Madrid. The detector is capable of being set in the high repetition rate (HRR) mode and reproduces the performance of the radiochromic film detector. It represents a new class of online detectors for laser–plasma physics experiments in the newly emerging high power laser laboratories working at HRR.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
During vocalization, efference copy/corollary discharge mechanisms suppress the auditory cortical response to self-generated sounds. Previously, we found attenuated vocalization-related auditory cortical suppression in psychosis and a similar trend in the psychosis risk syndrome. Here, we report data from the final sample of early illness schizophrenia patients (ESZ), individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR), and healthy controls (HC).
Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded from ESZ (n = 84), CHR (n = 71), and HC (n = 103) participants during a vocalization paradigm. The N1 ERP component was elicited during production (Talk) and playback (Listen) of vocalization. Age effects on N1 suppression (Talk–Listen), Talk N1, and Listen N1 were compared across groups. N1 measures were adjusted for normal aging before testing for group differences.
Both ESZ and CHR groups showed reduced Talk–Listen N1 suppression relative to HC, but did not differ from each other. Listen N1 was reduced in ESZ, but not in CHR, relative to HC. Deficient Talk–Listen N1 suppression was associated with greater unusual thought content in CHR individuals. N1 suppression increased with age in HC (12–36 years), and while CHR individuals showed a similar age-related increase, no such relationship was evident in ESZ.
Putative efference copy/corollary discharge-mediated auditory cortical suppression during vocalization is deficient in ESZ and precedes psychosis onset, particularly in CHR individuals with greater unusual thought content. Furthermore, this suppression increases from adolescence through early adulthood, likely reflecting the effects of normal brain maturation. This maturation effect is disrupted in ESZ, presumably due to countervailing illness effects.
We determined the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis isolates to evaluate its potential impact on pertussis reemergence in a population of Mexico. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cases were included. Pertussis infection was confirmed by culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected B. pertussis isolates were further analysed; i.e. clonality was analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ptxP-ptxA, prn, fim2 and fim3 typing was performed by PCR and sequencing. Out of 11 864 analysed samples, 687 (5.8%) were positive for pertussis, with 244 (36%) confirmed by both culture and PCR whereas 115 (17%) were positive only by culture and 328 (48%) were positive only by PCR. One predominant clone (clone A, n = 62/113; 55%) and three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) were identified by PFGE. All 113 selected isolates had the allelic combination ptxP3-ptxA1. The predominant clone A and the three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) corresponded to the emerging genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1. In conclusion, the presence of an endemic clone and three predominant subtypes belonging to the genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1 were detected. This finding supports the global spread/expansion reported for these outbreaks associated genotypes.
Supplementation with copper (Cu) improves deer antler characteristics, but it could modify meat quality and increase its Cu content to levels potentially harmful for humans. Here, we studied the effects of Cu bolus supplementation by means on quality and composition of sternocephalicus (ST) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles (n=13 for each one) from yearling male red deer fed with a balanced diet. Each intraruminal bolus, containing 3.4 g of Cu, was administered orally in the treatment group to compare with the control group. Meat traits studied were pH at 24 h postmortem (pH24), colour, chemical composition, cholesterol content, fatty acid (FA) composition, amino acid (AA) profile and mineral content. In addition, the effect of Cu supplementation on mineral composition of liver and serum (at 0 and 90 days of treatment) was analysed. No interactions between Cu supplementation and muscle were observed for any trait. Supplementation with Cu increased the protein content of meat (P<0.01). However, Cu content of meat, liver and serum was not modified by supplementation. In fact, Cu content of meat (1.20 and 1.34 mg/kg for Cu supplemented and control deer, respectively) was much lower in both groups than 5 mg/kg of fresh weight allowed legally for food of animal origin. However, bolus of Cu tended to increase the meat content of zinc and significantly increased (P<0.05) the hepatic contents of sodium and lead. Muscles studied had different composition and characteristics. The RA muscle had significantly higher protein content (P<0.001), monounsaturated FA content (P<0.05) and essential/non-essential AA ratio (P<0.01) but lower pH24 (P<0.01) and polyunsaturated FA content (P=0.001) than the ST muscle. In addition, RA muscle had 14.4% less cholesterol (P=0.001) than ST muscle. Also, mineral profile differed between muscles with higher content of iron, significantly higher (P<0.001) content of zinc and lower content of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (P<0.05) for ST muscle compared with RA. Therefore, supplementation with Cu modified deer meat characteristics, but it did not increase its concentration to toxic levels, making it a safe practice from this perspective. Despite the lower content of polyunsaturated FA, quality was better for RA than for ST muscle based on its higher content of protein with more essential/non-essential AA ratio and lower pH24 and cholesterol content.
Early, conforming antibiotic treatment in elderly patients hospitalised for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a key factor in the prognosis and mortality. The objective was to examine whether empirical antibiotic treatment was conforming according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery guidelines in these patients. Multicentre study in patients aged ⩾65 years hospitalised due to CAP in the 2013–14 and 2014–15 influenza seasons. We collected socio-demographic information, comorbidities, influenza/pneumococcal vaccination history and antibiotics administered using a questionnaire and medical records. Bivariate analyses and multilevel logistic regression were made. In total, 1857 hospitalised patients were included, 82 of whom required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Treatment was conforming in 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 49.1–53.8%) of patients without ICU admission and was associated with absence of renal failure without haemodialysis (odds ratio (OR) 1.49, 95% CI 1.15–1.95) and no cognitive dysfunction (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.25–2.35), when the effect of the autonomous community was controlled for. In patients with ICU admission, treatment was conforming in 45.1% (95% CI 34.1–56.1%) of patients and was associated with the hospital visits in the last year (<3 vs. ⩾3, OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.03–7.12) and there was some evidence that this was associated with season. Although the reference guidelines are national, wide variability between autonomous communities was found. In patients hospitalised due to CAP, health services should guarantee the administration of antibiotics in a consensual manner that is conforming according to clinical practice guidelines.