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We studied the genetic diversity and the population structure of human isolates of Histoplasma capsulatum, the causative agent of histoplasmosis, using a randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) assay to identify associations with the geographic distribution of isolates from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina. The RAPD-PCR pattern analyses revealed the genetic diversity by estimating the percentage of polymorphic loci, effective number of alleles, Shannon's index and heterozygosity. Population structure was identified by the index of association (IA) test. Thirty-seven isolates were studied and clustered into three groups by the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Group I contained five subgroups based on geographic origin. The consistency of the UPGMA dendrogram was estimated by the cophenetic correlation coefficient (CCCr = 0.94, P = 0.001). Isolates from Mexico and Colombia presented higher genetic diversity than isolates from Argentina. Isolates from Guatemala grouped together with the reference strains from the United States of America and Panama. The IA values suggest the presence of a clonal population structure in the Argentinian H. capsulatum isolates and also validate the presence of recombining populations in the Colombian and Mexican isolates. These data contribute to the knowledge on the molecular epidemiology of histoplasmosis in Latin America.
To examine snacking patterns, food sources and nutrient profiles of snacks in low- and middle-income Chilean children and adolescents.
Cross-sectional. Dietary data were collected via 24 h food recalls. We determined the proportion of snackers, snacks per day and energy from top food and beverage groups consumed. We compared the nutrient profile (energy, sodium, total sugars and saturated fat) of snacks v. meals.
South-east region of Chile.
Children and adolescents from two cohorts: the Food Environment Chilean Cohort (n 958, 4–6 years old) and the Growth and Obesity Cohort Study (n 752, 12–14 years old).
With a mean of 2·30 (se 0·03) snacks consumed daily, 95·2 % of children and 89·9 % of adolescents reported at least one snacking event. Snacks contributed on average 1506 kJ/d (360 kcal/d) in snacking children and 2218 kJ/d (530 kcal/d) in snacking adolescents (29·0 and 27·4 % daily energy contribution, respectively). Grain-based desserts, salty snacks, other sweets and desserts, dairy foods and cereal-based foods contributed the most energy from snacks in the overall sample. For meals, cereal-based foods, dairy beverages, meat and meat substitutes, oils and fats, and fruits and vegetables were the top energy contributors.
Widespread snacking among Chilean youth provides over a quarter of their daily energy and includes foods generally considered high in energy, saturated fat, sodium and/or total sugars. Future research should explore whether snacking behaviours change as the result of Chile’s national regulations on food marketing, labelling and school environments.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus linked to mucosal and cutaneous carcinogenesis. More than 200 different HPV types exist. We carried out a transversal study to investigate the prevalence of HPV types in two regions of Mexico. A total of 724 genital and non-genital samples from women (F) and men (M) were studied; 241 (33%) from North-Eastern (NE) and 483 (66%) from South-Central (SC) Mexico. The overall prevalence was 87%. In genital lesions from females, the NE group showed a prevalence of HPV types 16 (37%), 6 (13%), 59 (6%), 11, 18 and 66 (5.4% each); and the SC group showed types 6 (17%), 16 (15%), 11 (14.5%), 18 (12%) and 53 (6%). In the genital lesions from males, NE group showed types 16 (38%), 6 (21%), 11 (13%) and 59 plus 31 (7.5%) and the SC group showed types 6 (25%), 11 (22%), 18 (17%) and 16 (11.5%). When the two regions were compared, a higher prevalence of low-risk HPV 6 and 11 was found in the SC region and of high-risk HPV 59, 31 and 66 (the latter can also be present in benign lesions) in the NE region. Our findings complement efforts to understand HPV demographics as a prerequisite to guide and assess the impact of preventive interventions.
Exposure to prenatal hypoxia in rats leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), decreases fetal cardiomyocyte proliferation and increases the risk to develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) later in life. The tumor necrosis factor-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) induces cardiomyocyte proliferation through activation of the fibroblast growth factor-inducible molecule 14 (Fn-14) receptor. The TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway becomes quiescent shortly after birth, however, it becomes upregulated with CVD; suggesting that it could be a link between the increased susceptibility to CVD in pregnancies complicated by hypoxia/IUGR. We hypothesized that offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia will exhibit reduced cardiomyocyte proliferation due to reduced Fn-14 expression and that the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway will be expressed in those adult offspring. We exposed pregnant Sprague Dawley rats to control (21% oxygen) or hypoxic (11% oxygen) conditions from gestational days 15 to 21. Ventricular cardiomyocytes were isolated from male and female, control and hypoxic offspring at postnatal day 1. Proliferation was assessed in the presence or absence of r-TWEAK (72 h, 100 ng/ml). Prenatal hypoxia was not associated with differences in Fn-14 protein expression in either male or female offspring. Cardiomyocytes from prenatal hypoxic male, but not female, offspring had decreased proliferation compared with controls. Addition of r-TWEAK increased cardiomyocyte proliferation in all offspring. In adult offspring of all groups, the TWEAK/Fn-14 pathway was not detectable. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was reduced in only male offspring exposed to prenatal hypoxia but this was not due to changes in the Fn-14 pathway. Studies addressing other pathways associated with CVD and prenatal hypoxia are needed.
The care of patients with CHD remains a challenge in low- and middle-income countries. Their health systems have not been able to achieve consistently high performance in this field. The large volume of patients, manpower constraints, inconsistencies in the level and type of background training of the teams caring for this patient population, and the inadequate quality control systems are some of the barriers to achieving excellence of care. We describe three different international projects supporting the paediatric cardiac surgical and paediatric cardiac intensive care programmes in Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
Core subset selection from collections hosted by seed banks, grow in importance as the number of accessions and genetic marker information rapidly increases. A data set of 20,526 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers characterizing 7986 Mexican creole wheat landraces, was used to test 11 methods for core subset selection, through optimization criteria containing average genetic distance and genetic diversity. Allele richness was used as an additional criterion to qualify the generated core subsets. Three replications with random samples of 1500 SNP loci, each comprising a maximum of 3000 alleles, were used to perform the method evaluations through four different objective functions. The LR greedy search (LR) and LR with random first pair (LRSemi) were consistently best across all assays for maximizing the objective functions, and they performed well even for criteria not included in those functions. The Tukey's HSD (honest significant difference) multiple comparisons grouped those methods together with the sequential forward selection (SFS) and SFS with random first pair (SFSSemi) strategies as the top set of approaches. All of them are simple heuristic maximization algorithms, and outperformed two more sophisticated optimization approaches: parallel mixed replica exchange and replica exchange Monte Carlo. For their efficiency to optimize the objective functions and computing speed, the LRSemi and SFSSemi methods demonstrated to be good alternatives for core subset selection from large collections of highly homozygous accessions characterized by many biallelic markers.
To evaluate the agreement between the current National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definition for ventriculitis and others found in the literature among patients with an external ventricular drain (EVD)
Retrospective cohort study from January 2009 to December 2014
Neurology and neurosurgery intensive care unit of a large tertiary-care center
Patients with an EVD were included. Patients with an infection prior to EVD placement or a permanent ventricular shunt were excluded.
We reviewed the charts of patients with positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cultures and/or abnormal CSF results while they had an EVD in place and applied various ventriculitis definitions.
We identified 48 patients with a total of 52 cases of ventriculitis (41 CSF culture-positive cases and 11 cases based on abnormal CSF test results) using the NHSN definition. The most common organisms causing ventriculitis were gram-positive commensals (79.2%); however, 45% showed growth of only 1 colony on 1 piece of media. Approximately 60% of the ventriculitis cases by the NHSN definition met the Honda criteria, approximately 56% met the Gozal criteria, and 23% met Citerio’s definition. Cases defined using Honda versus Gozal definitions had a moderate agreement (κ=0.528; P<.05) whereas comparisons of Honda versus Citerio definitions (κ=0.338; P<.05) and Citerio versus Gozal definitions (κ=0.384; P<.05) had only fair agreements.
The agreement between published ventriculostomy-associated infection (VAI) definitions in this cohort was moderate to fair. A VAI surveillance definition that better defines contaminants is needed for more homogenous application of surveillance definitions between institutions and better comparison of rates.
The role of the initial bacterial inoculates on the biocorrosion of API X52 pipeline steel coupons was evaluated by electrochemical noise technique. The experiments were performed under laboratory conditions using an aerobic bacteria identified as Achromobacter xylosoxidans. Inoculations in the interval strain of 1x104 – 1x108 CFU/ml were evaluated. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) analysis was carried out to evaluate the corrosive effects induced on the API X52 electrodes. The results show that all corroded surfaces show sites of localized corrosion, however, the density of de sites of localized corrosion have different grades depending of the initial inoculation used during the experiments. The maximum density sites of localized corrosion were obtained in the experiments with 1x105 CFU/ml. From inoculates of 1x106 CFU/ml the density sites of localized corrosion diminished constantly. The results show that with inoculates over 1x106 CFU/ml, the oxygen demand for the bacterial strain limits the presence of oxygen available into the metallic surface to maintain the corrosion reactions. The results were supported by the EDX analysis of the corrosion products formed on the metallic surfaces where the oxygen peaks diminished as the bacterial inoculation increases.
Dynamic mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP) and grafted polypropylene (PP-g-MA) composites reinforced with acetylated wheat straw fibers (WSF) is reported in this work. The materials were prepared with different fiber particle sizes (40, 80 and 140 U.S. mesh) and at different fiber contents (5, 10 and 15 wt.%). The PP and PP-g-MA composites, where anhydride maleic (MA) was used as coupling agent, were obtained using a twin-screw extruder; whereas an injection-molding machine molded the composite pellets into testing specimens. To observe the morphology of the composites, micrographs were taken with an optical microscope. The Dynamic mechanical properties were analyzed using a torsional rheometer. The morphological analysis showed a high porous structure somehow similar to foamed materials. The storage modulus (G′) increased by increasing the fiber content, and decreased with fiber particle sizes for the PP composites. Meanwhile, the use of the coupling agent additive promoted a modulus increase due to higher fiber-polymer interaction, from better adhesion and chemical bonds formation between the fibers-coupling agent-PP.
Exoplanetary transit observations were carried out for the first time with all the three telescopes at the San Pedro Mártir National Astronomical Observatory in Baja California, Mexico.
We present preliminary results on WASP-39 and WASP-43, two Hot Jupiters known for the presence of a highly-inflated radius. Using the defocused photometry technique, we observed these systems, achieving photometric precision of ± 3–5mmag peak-to-valley. The preliminary fit of their lightcurves shows physical and orbital parameters consistent with published results.
Cadmium sulfide (CdS) films were deposited onto glass substrates by chemical bath deposition (CBD) from a bath containing cadmium acetate, ammonium acetate, thiourea, and ammonium hydroxide. The CdS thin films were annealed in argon (neutral atmosphere) or hydrogen (reducing atmosphere) for 1 h at various temperatures (300, 350, 400, 450 and 500 °C). The changes in optical and electrical properties of annealed treated CdS thin films were analyzed. The results showed that, the band-gap and resistivity depend on the post-deposition annealing atmosphere and temperatures. Thus, it was found that these properties of the films, were found to be affected by various processes with opposite effects, some beneficial and others unfavorable. The energy gap and resistivity for different annealing atmospheres was seen to oscillate by thermal annealing. Recrystallization, oxidation, surface passivation, sublimation and materials evaporation were found the main factors of the heat-treatment process responsible for this oscillating behavior. Annealing over 400 °C was seen to degrade the optical and electrical properties of the film.
The micro- and nanostructured phase behavior of non-woven hybrid electrospun fibers of Polycaprolactone (PCL-f), Polycaprolactone/α-Alumina (PCL/AA) and Polycaprolactone/Hydroxyapatite (PCL/HA) were elucidated. Nanoparticles of Hydroxyapatite featured 7-20 nm while α-Alumina was 500 nm in average size. Analysis by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Small-Angle Light Scattering (SALS), Polarized Optical Microscopy (POM) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) enabled us to suggest a simple structural model for the series of hybrid fibers. PCL with a molecular weight of 70,000 g/mol was dissolved in chloroform. POM exhibited qualitative birefringent regions for all samples at the microscale level. Furthermore, polarized light distinguished between amorphous and micro-ordered structures along the fibers. On the other hand, SALS patterns suggested a needle-like morphology for all fibers. The influence of both, Hydroxyapatite and α-Alumina, was apparent in the SALS patterns of the PCL semicrystalline phase. Thermal analysis by DSC showed that the crystalline phase of PCL was disrupted by the presence of the inorganic nanoparticles. TEM micrographs showed that Hydroxyapatite and α-Alumina nanoparticles were embedded along the structure of PCL microfibers.
SXP 1062 is an exceptional case of a young neutron star in a wind-fed high-mass X-ray binary associated with a supernova remnant. A unique combination of measured spin period, its derivative, luminosity and young age makes this source a key probe for the physics of accretion and neutron star evolution. Theoretical models proposed to explain the properties of SXP 1062 shall be tested with new data.
Osteoarthritis is a very complex illness of the joints that affects cartilage and subcondral bone. At the last years, researching has been focused in the development and characterization of composite materials, evaluating their structural properties. Some o those composite materials are constituted by organic and inorganic compounds forming hybrids. These materials can improve their properties due to the interaction of reinforcement hard particles in the polymeric matrix. The interest on the composite biomaterials has been increased on the biomedical applications such as tissue regenerating based in synthetic polymers with biodegradable and biocompatible properties whose can be reinforced by calcium phosphates. In this sense, hydroxyapatite [Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2] is often used for biological implants due its mineral phase similitude with bone microstructure and tissue compatibility. Similarly, polylactic acid (PLA) is a used polymer for implant applications due physicochemical and biocompatibility properties, and short degradation time also. In order to obtain a composite that can be used as a regenerating material on the osteoarthritis problem, in this work a (90/10 wt.%) polylactic/hydroxyapatite hybrid composite was produced by chemical synthesis and characterized by X-ray diffraction, SEM, FT-IR and TGA/DSC techniques.
In order to increase the wettability and capillary forces of the filler metal between micro-cracking and micro-porous on the fracture surfaces of 304 stainless steels, methods of impregnation of Si and growth of Ni nanoparticles were used. These nanoparticles have a role inside the Transient Liquid Phase (TLP) and the substrate when using Brazing process. TLP can react with the nanoparticles previously deposited between micro-cracking and micro-porous and therefore promotes the nucleation and growth sites of phases and decreases the formation of eutectic structures. This method increases the effectiveness of metallic components reparation using Brazing process. Such effectiveness is indicated by an inspection of microstructural failure analysis, as a first stage, in the covered zone by the filler metal.
Carbon encapsulated magnetic Co nanoparticles have been synthesized by modified arc-discharge method. Both high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HREM) and powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) profiles reveal the presence of 8-15nm diameter crystallites coated with 1-3 carbon layers. Specially, HREM images indicate that the intimate and contiguous carbon fringe around those Co nanoparticles is good evidence for complete encapsulation by carbon shell layers. The encapsulated phases are identified as hcp (α)-Co, fcc (β)-Co and cobalt carbide (Co3C) nanocrystals by using x-ray diffraction, electron diffraction and energy dispersive x-ray analysis. However, some fcc (β)-Co particles with a significant fraction of stacking faults are observed by HREM and confirmed by means of numerical Fourier transform (FFT) of HREM lattice images. In particular, the carbon encapsulation formation and growth mechanism are also reviewed.
Optical microscopy and transmission electron microscopy show that most of the crystalline grains in Y1Ba2Cu3O7−x superconducting specimens have large number of twins. These bands of different image contrast have similar microdiffraction patterns. However the diffraction conditions are different and correspond to different tilts of the crystalline grains along one of the zone axis. HREM images of these twin boundaries indicate that the boundary area has appreciable dimensions and both matrix and twin crystals show the existence of a superstructure with double of the common periodicity obtained under  diffraction conditions.