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Xenarthra is an endemic South American lineage of mammals, probably the sister clade of the other placental mammals. The oldest records of Xenarthra are from the latest Paleocene, although its current diversity is much lower than that recorded in some intervals of the Cenozoic Era. A new Neogene Xenarthra (Pilosa and Cingulata) assemblage from two localities of the Argentine Eastern Puna (Calahoyo and Casira) is described. The newly recorded taxa—Cingulata, Dasypodidae, Eutatini: Stenotatus sp. indet. and Eutatini indet., Euphractini: Macrochorobates scalabrinii (Moreno and Mercerat, 1891), and Tardigrada, Mylodontinae: cf. Simomylodon sp. indet. and Simomylodon cf. S. uccasamamensis Saint-André et al., 2010—and those already published from Calahoyo—Cingulata: Macrochorobates chapadmalensis (Ameghino, 1908), Eosclerocalyptus sp. indet., and Tardigrada, Megatheriidae: Pyramiodontherium bergi (Moreno and Mercerat, 1891)—suggest a middle–late Miocene age for the fossil-bearing levels. In Calahoyo, the presence of Stenotatus sp. indet., in addition to some rodents currently under study in the lower levels, suggest a closer similarity with the palaeofauna of Cerdas (southern Bolivia), probably involving the last part of the Miocene Climatic Optimum. The Xenarthra recorded in the middle and upper levels of Calahoyo and Casira suggest a late Miocene–Pliocene age. A comparative analysis between Calahoyo and Casira highlights the absence of Cingulata in the latter and a high diversity in the former. This situation probably indicates different paleoenvironmental conditions. Finally, we present the first certain record of the genus Simomylodon Saint-André et al., 2010 in Argentina, which includes the oldest record of dermal ossicles for sloths in South America.
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.
To search the international literature (any language) for publications reporting outcomes of tracheostomy performed to treat obstructive sleep apnoea in children.
Data sources included: Google Scholar, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, Scopus, and PubMed/Medline. Four authors searched systematically through to 20 January 2018.
A total of 597 studies were screened; 64 were downloaded and 11 met criteria. A total of 196 patients underwent tracheostomy (mean age, 4.2 years; range, newborn to 18 years); 40 had detailed qualitative data and 6 had detailed quantitative data. Apnoea/hypopnoea index showed a 97 per cent reduction (n = 2) and apnoea index showed a 98 per cent reduction (n = 3). Lowest oxygen saturation showed a 34 oxygen saturation point improvement (n = 3). Several patients demonstrated significant improvement in breathing. All identified patients were syndromic, had significant co-morbidities or had severe obstructive sleep apnoea.
Based on reports of children who have undergone a tracheostomy, for whom there are pre- and post-operative data, tracheostomy appears to be a successful treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. However, additional research is recommended given the small number of patients in the literature.
Collaborative care can support the treatment of depression in people with long-term conditions, but long-term benefits and costs are unknown.
To explore the long-term (24-month) effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of collaborative care in people with mental-physical multimorbidity.
A cluster randomised trial compared collaborative care (integrated physical and mental healthcare) with usual care for depression alongside diabetes and/or coronary heart disease. Depression symptoms were measured by the symptom checklist-depression scale (SCL-D13). The economic evaluation was from the perspective of the English National Health Service.
191 participants were allocated to collaborative care and 196 to usual care. At 24 months, the mean SCL-D13 score was 0.27 (95% CI, −0.48 to −0.06) lower in the collaborative care group alongside a gain of 0.14 (95% CI, 0.06-0.21) quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The cost per QALY gained was £13 069.
In the long term, collaborative care reduces depression and is potentially cost-effective at internationally accepted willingness-to-pay thresholds.
Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in linking specific forms of early life stress (ELS) to specific neurobiological markers, including alterations in the morphology of stress-sensitive brain regions. We used a person-centered, multi-informant approach to investigate the associations of specific constellations of ELS with hippocampal and amygdala volume in a community sample of 211 9- to 13-year-old early adolescents. Further, we compared this approach to a cumulative risk model of ELS, in which ELS was quantified by the total number of stressors reported. Using latent class analysis, we identified three classes of ELS (labeled typical/low, family instability, and direct victimization) that were distinguished by experiences of family instability and victimization. Adolescents in the direct victimization class had significantly smaller hippocampal volume than did adolescents in the typical/low class; ELS classes were not significantly associated with amygdala volume. The cumulative risk model of ELS had a poorer fit than did the person-centered model; moreover, cumulative ELS was not significantly associated with hippocampal or amygdala volume. Our results underscore the utility of taking a person-centered approach to identify alterations in stress-sensitive brain regions based on constellations of ELS, and suggest victimization is specifically associated with hippocampal hypotrophy observed in early adolescence.
The continuous interest in the synthesis and properties study of materials has permitted the development of semiconductor oxides. Zinc oxide (ZnO) with hexagonal wurzite structure is a wide band gap n-type semiconductor and interesting material over a wide range. Chemically sprayed aluminium-doped zinc oxide thin films (ZnO:Al) were deposited on soda-lime glass substrates starting from zinc pentanedionate and aluminium pentanedionate. The influence of both the dopant concentration in the starting solution and the substrate temperature on the composition, morphology, and transport properties of the ZnO:Al thin films were studied. The structure of all the ZnO:Al thin films was polycrystalline, and variation in the preferential growth with the aluminium content in the solution was observed: from an initial (002) growth in films with low Al content, switching to a predominance of (101) planes for heavily dopant regime. The crystallite size was found to decrease with doping concentration and range from 33 to 20 nm. First-order Raman scattering from ZnO:Al, all having the wurtzite structure . The assignments of the E2 mode in ZnO:Al differ from previous investigations. The film composition and the dopant concentration were determined by Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES); these results showed that the films are almost stoichiometric ZnO. The optimum deposition conditions leading to conductive and transparent ZnO:Al thin films were also found. In this way a resistivity of 0.03 Ω-cm with a (002) preferential growth, were obtained in optimized ZnO:Al thin films.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and psychosis share deficits in social cognition. The insular region has been associated with awareness of self and reality, which may be basic for proper social interactions.
Total and regional insular volume and thickness measurements were obtained from a sample of 30 children and adolescents with ASD, 29 with early onset first-episode psychosis (FEP), and 26 healthy controls (HC). Total, regional, and voxel-level volume and thickness measurements were compared between groups (with correction for multiple comparisons), and the relationship between these measurements and symptom severity was explored.
Compared with HC, a shared volume deficit was observed for the right (but not the left) anterior insula (ASD: p = 0.007, FEP: p = 0.032), and for the bilateral posterior insula: (left, ASD: p = 0.011, FEP: p = 0.033; right, ASD: p = 0.004, FEP: p = 0.028). A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) conjunction analysis showed that ASD and FEP patients shared a gray matter volume and thickness deficit in the left posterior insula. Within patients, right anterior (r = −0.28, p = 0.041) and left posterior (r = −0.29, p = 0.030) insular volumes negatively correlated with the severity of insight deficits, and left posterior insular volume negatively correlated with the severity of ‘autistic-like’ symptoms (r = −0.30, p = 0.028).
The shared reduced volume and thickness in the anterior and posterior regions of the insula in ASD and FEP provides the first tentative evidence that these conditions share structural pathology that may be linked to shared symptomatology.
To search for studies on tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning used as isolated treatments for obstructive sleep apnoea in children with Pierre Robin sequence.
A systematic literature search of PubMed/Medline and three additional databases, from inception through to 8 July 2016, was performed by two authors.
Seven studies with 90 patients (59 tongue–lip adhesion and 31 tongue repositioning patients) met the inclusion criteria. Tongue–lip adhesion reduced the mean (± standard deviation) apnoea/hypopnoea index from 30.8 ± 22.3 to 15.4 ± 18.9 events per hour (50 per cent reduction). The apnoea/hypopnoea index mean difference for tongue–lip adhesion was −15.28 events per hour (95 per cent confidence interval = −30.70 to 0.15; p = 0.05). Tongue–lip adhesion improved the lowest oxygen saturation from 75.8 ± 6.8 to 84.4 ± 7.3 per cent. Tongue repositioning reduced the apnoea/hypopnoea index from 46.5 to 17.4 events per hour (62.6 per cent reduction). Tongue repositioning improved the mean oxygen saturation from 90.8 ± 1.2 to 95.0 ± 0.5 per cent.
Tongue–lip adhesion and tongue repositioning can improve apnoea/hypopnoea index and oxygenation parameters in children with Pierre Robin sequence and obstructive sleep apnoea.
To systematically search for studies reporting outcomes for adenoidectomy alone as a treatment for paediatric obstructive sleep apnoea and use the data to perform a meta-analysis.
Nine databases, including PubMed and Medline, were systematically searched through to 1 April 2016. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement was followed.
A total of 1032 articles were screened and 126 full texts were reviewed. Three paediatric studies (47 patients) reported outcomes. Overall, apnoea–hypopnoea index values decreased from 18.1 ± 16.8 to 3.1 ± 5.5 events per hour (28 patients). Random-effects modelling demonstrated a mean difference of −14.43 events per hour (I2 = 23 per cent (low inconsistency)). The apnoea–hypopnoea index standardised mean difference was −1.14 (large magnitude of effect). The largest reduction in apnoea–hypopnoea index was observed in children aged less than 12 months (reduction of 56.6−94.9 per cent). Lowest oxygen saturation values improved from 80.0 ± 9.5 to 85.5 ± 6.0 per cent (13 children).
Adenoidectomy alone has improved obstructive sleep apnoea in children, especially in those aged less than 12 months; however, given the low number of studies, isolated adenoidectomy remains an area for additional research.
The existence of multiple subclasses of type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) has been the subject of great debate in the last decade. In this work, we show how machine learning tools facilitate identification of subtypes of SNe Ia. Using Deep Learning for dimensionality reduction, we were capable of performing such identification in a parameter space of significantly lower dimension than its principal component analysis counterpart. This is evidence that the progenitor system and the explosion mechanism can be described with a small number of initial physical parameters. All tools used here are publicly available in the Python package DRACULA (Dimensionality Reduction And Clustering for Unsupervised Learning in Astronomy) and can be found within COINtoolbox (https://github.com/COINtoolbox/DRACULA).
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
The present study aimed to investigate the effects of adding xylanase enzyme (XY) to a basal diet containing 300 g maize stover and 700 g concentrate/kg dry matter (DM) on feed intake, ruminal fermentation, total tract and ruminal digestibility, as well as some blood parameters. Four male Rambouillet sheep (39 ± 1·8 kg body weight), with permanent rumen and duodenum cannulae were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Sheep were fed a basal diet without xylanase addition (control, XY0), or with the addition of xylanase at 1 (XY1), 3 (XY3) or 6 (XY6) μl/g of diet DM for 84 days, with four 21-day experimental periods. Feed intake, digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters were determined on days 16–21 in each experimental period, and the apparent ruminal neutral detergent fibre (NDF) digestibility was determined on days 16 and 17. Treatments XY1 and XY3 increased feed intake, whereas digestibility was increased with XY6. Ruminal NDF digestibility increased when sheep were fed diets treated with xylanase. Ruminal pH, ammonia-N and acetic acid increased with xylanase treated diets. Propionic acid concentration increased with diet XY1 at 3 h post-feeding, but after 9 h post-feeding its concentration decreased in the rumen of sheep fed xylanase treated diets. Xylanase had no effect on blood urea, phosphorus and triglycerides. Addition of xylanase at 6 µl/g DM in a diet containing 300 g maize stover and 700 g concentrate/kg DM and fed to Rambouillet sheep improved feed digestibility and ruminal fermentation without affecting blood parameters.
Primiparous ewes (n=32) were assigned to dietary treatments in a 2×2 factorial arrangement to determine effects of nutrient restriction and melatonin supplementation on maternal and fetal pancreatic weight, digestive enzyme activity, concentration of insulin-containing clusters and plasma insulin concentrations. Treatments consisted of nutrient intake with 60% (RES) or 100% (ADQ) of requirements and melatonin supplementation at 0 (CON) or 5 mg/day (MEL). Treatments began on day 50 of gestation and continued until day 130. On day 130, blood was collected under general anesthesia from the uterine artery, uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein for plasma insulin analysis. Ewes were then euthanized and the pancreas removed from the ewe and fetus, trimmed of mesentery and fat, weighed and snap-frozen until enzyme analysis. In addition, samples of pancreatic tissue were fixed in 10% formalin solution for histological examination including quantitative characterization of size and distribution of insulin-containing cell clusters. Nutrient restriction decreased (P⩽0.001) maternal pancreatic mass (g) and α-amylase activity (U/g, kU/pancreas, U/kg BW). Ewes supplemented with melatonin had increased pancreatic mass (P=0.03) and α-amylase content (kU/pancreas and U/kg BW). Melatonin supplementation decreased (P=0.002) maternal pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (relative to section of tissue), and size of the largest insulin-containing cell cluster (P=0.04). Nutrient restriction decreased pancreatic insulin-positive tissue area (P=0.03) and percent of large (32 001 to 512 000 µm2) and giant (⩾512 001 µm2) insulin-containing cell clusters (P=0.04) in the fetus. Insulin concentrations in plasma from the uterine vein, umbilical artery and umbilical vein were greater (P⩽0.01) in animals receiving 100% requirements. When comparing ewes to fetuses, ewes had a greater percentage of medium insulin-containing cell clusters (2001 to 32 000 µm2) while fetuses had more (P<0.001) pancreatic insulin-positive area (relative to section of tissue) and a greater percent of small, large and giant insulin-containing cell clusters (P⩽0.02). Larger insulin-containing clusters were observed in fetuses (P<0.001) compared with ewes. In summary, the maternal pancreas responded to nutrient restriction by decreasing pancreatic weight and activity of digestive enzymes while melatonin supplementation increased α-amylase content. Nutrient restriction decreased the number of pancreatic insulin-containing clusters in fetuses while melatonin supplementation did not influence insulin concentration. This indicated using melatonin as a therapeutic agent to mitigate reduced pancreatic function in the fetus due to maternal nutrient restriction may not be beneficial.
Crime prevention is a major goal of law-enforcement agencies. Often, these agencies have limited resources and officers available for patrolling and responding to calls. However, patrolling and police visibility can influence individuals to not perform criminal acts. Therefore, it is necessary for the police to optimize their patrolling strategies to deter the most crime. Previous studies have created agent-based models to simulate criminal and police agents interacting in a city, indicating a “cops on the dots” strategy as a viable method to mitigate large amounts of crime. Unfortunately, police departments cannot allocate all of the patrolling officers to seek out these hotspots, particularly since they are not immediately known. In large cities, it is often necessary to keep a few officers in different areas of the city, frequently divided up into beats. Officers need to respond to calls, possibly not of a criminal nature. Therefore, we modify models for policing to account for these factors. Through testing the policing strategies for various hotspot types and number of police agents, we found that the methods that performed the best varied greatly according to these factors.