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We consider a two-player zero-sum stochastic differential game with a random planning horizon and diffusive state variable dynamics. The random planning horizon is a function of a non-negative continuous random variable, which is assumed to be independent of the Brownian motion driving the state variable dynamics. We study this game using a combination of dynamic programming and viscosity solution techniques. Under some mild assumptions, we prove that the value of the game exists and is the unique viscosity solution of a certain nonlinear partial differential equation of Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman–Isaacs type.
Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Eating behaviours in childhood are considered as risk factors for eating disorder behaviours and diagnoses in adolescence. However, few longitudinal studies have examined this association.
We investigated associations between childhood eating behaviours during the first ten years of life and eating disorder behaviours (binge eating, purging, fasting and excessive exercise) and diagnoses (anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, purging disorder and bulimia nervosa) at 16 years.
Data on 4760 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were included. Longitudinal trajectories of parent-rated childhood eating behaviours (8 time points, 1.3–9 years) were derived by latent class growth analyses. Eating disorder diagnoses were derived from self-reported, parent-reported and objectively measured anthropometric data at age 16 years. We estimated associations between childhood eating behaviours and eating disorder behaviours and diagnoses, using multivariable logistic regression models.
Childhood overeating was associated with increased risk of adolescent binge eating (risk difference, 7%; 95% CI 2 to 12) and binge eating disorder (risk difference, 1%; 95% CI 0.2 to 3). Persistent undereating was associated with higher anorexia nervosa risk in adolescent girls only (risk difference, 6%; 95% CI, 0 to 12). Persistent fussy eating was associated with greater anorexia nervosa risk (risk difference, 2%; 95% CI 0 to 4).
Our results suggest continuities of eating behaviours into eating disorders from early life to adolescence. It remains to be determined whether childhood eating behaviours are an early manifestation of a specific phenotype or whether the mechanisms underlying this continuity are more complex. Findings have the potential to inform preventative strategies for eating disorders.
Declaration of interest
C.M.B. reports conflict of interest with Shire (grant recipient, Scientific Advisory Board member) and Pearson and Walker (author, royalty recipient). All other authors have indicated they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The purpose of this note is to prove the following. Suppose
is a semiprime unity ring having an idempotent element
$e\neq 0,~e\neq 1$
) which satisfies mild conditions. It is shown that every additive generalized Jordan derivation on
is a generalized derivation.
Cancer diagnosis affects patients, their families, and their caregivers in particular. This study focused on the validation of the CareGiver Oncology Quality of Life (CarGOQoL) questionnaire in Portuguese caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma, from the caregiver's point of view.
This was a cross-sectional study with 146 caregivers of patients with multiple myeloma from outpatient medical oncology and clinical hematology consultations from five hospitals in north and central Portugal. Participants were assessed on quality of life (QoL), psychological morbidity and social support.
The Portuguese version maintains 17 of the original 29 items version, maintaining general coherence and a dimensional structure that is clinically interpretable. Reliability findings indicated good internal consistency for the total scale (0.86) and respective subscales (0.75 to 0.88), which is in agreement with the alpha values from the previous CarGOQoL validation study for the corresponding subscales (0.74 to 0.89) and total scale (0.90).
Significance of results
The CarGOQoL is a reliable and valid tool for clinical trials and intervention programs to assess QoL in caregivers of myeloma patients. Future studies should validate the adapted version in caregivers of other types of cancer patients including other chronic diseases.
Reduced plasma vitamin D (VD) levels may contribute to excessive white adipose tissue, insulin resistance (IR) and dyslipidaemia. We evaluated the effect of chronic oral VD supplementation on adiposity and insulin secretion in monosodium glutamate (MSG)-treated rats. During their first 5 d of life, male neonate rats received subcutaneous injections of MSG (4 g/kg), while the control (CON) group received saline solution. After weaning, groups were randomly distributed into VD supplemented (12 µg/kg; three times/week) and non-supplemented (NS) rats, forming four experimental groups (n 15 rats/group): CON-NS, CON-VD, MSG-NS and MSG-VD. At 76 d of life, rats were submitted to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 2 g/kg), and at 86 d, obesity, IR and plasma metabolic parameters were evaluated. Pancreatic islets were isolated for glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), cholinergic insulinotropic response and muscarinic 3 receptor (M3R), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein kinase A (PKA) expressions. Pancreas was submitted to histological analyses. VD supplementation decreased hyperinsulinaemia (86 %), hypertriacylglycerolaemia (50 %) and restored insulin sensibility (89 %) in MSG-VD rats, without modifying adiposity, OGTT or GIIS, compared with the MSG-NS group. The cholinergic action was reduced (57 %) in islets from MSG-VD rats, without any change in M3R, PKA or PKC expression. In conclusion, chronic oral VD supplementation of MSG-obese rats was able to prevent hyperinsulinaemia and IR, improving triacylglycerolaemia without modifying adiposity. A reduced cholinergic pancreatic effect, in response to VD, could be involved in the normalisation of plasma insulin levels, an event that appears to be independent of M3R and its downstream pathways.
We assessed self-reported drives for alcohol use and their impact on clinical features of alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients. Our prediction was that, in contrast to “affectively” (reward or fear) driven drinking, “habitual” drinking would be associated with worse clinical features in relation to alcohol use and higher occurrence of associated psychiatric symptoms.
Fifty-eight Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) alcohol abuse patients were assessed with a comprehensive battery of reward- and fear-based behavioral tendencies. An 18-item self-report instrument (the Habit, Reward and Fear Scale; HRFS) was employed to quantify affective (fear or reward) and non-affective (habitual) motivations for alcohol use. To characterize clinical and demographic measures associated with habit, reward, and fear, we conducted a partial least squares analysis.
Habitual alcohol use was significantly associated with the severity of alcohol dependence reflected across a range of domains and with lower number of detoxifications across multiple settings. In contrast, reward-driven alcohol use was associated with a single domain of alcohol dependence, reward-related behavioral tendencies, and lower number of detoxifications.
These results seem to be consistent with a shift from goal-directed to habit-driven alcohol use with severity and progression of addiction, complementing preclinical work and informing biological models of addiction. Both reward-related and habit-driven alcohol use were associated with lower number of detoxifications, perhaps stemming from more benign course for the reward-related and lack of treatment engagement for the habit-related alcohol abuse group. Future work should further explore the role of habit in this and other addictive disorders, and in obsessive-compulsive related disorders.
To assess the short- and long-term effectiveness of a lottery incentive intervention to promote the purchase of healthy products in school cafeterias.
A quasi-experiment in which students’ purchases in intervention schools were analysed in a pre–post analysis and also compared with a control school in a difference-in-differences model. A hierarchical linear model assessed the mean number of promoted healthy products purchased daily per participant before (twenty-six weekdays), during (nine weekdays) and after (twenty-eight weekdays) the intervention period. Sex, age and prior purchasing behaviour served as covariates.
Convenience sample of school cafeterias using a debit-card payment method that allowed for the assessment of students’ purchasing behaviour.
Students who used the pre-paid card to buy snacks at the school cafeteria. A total of 352 students (208 in intervention schools and 144 in control school) were included in the final analyses.
The incentives programme significantly increased the purchase of promoted healthy products during (v. before) the intervention period in intervention schools (P<0·001), especially among younger children (P=0·036). Among the students who purchased the promoted healthier products during the intervention, there was an increase in total number of purchased products (healthy non-promoted, but also of less healthy products). Sex and past consumption behaviour did not influence the response to incentives in the short term. On average, no long-term effect was observed.
Long-term and negative spillover effects must be taken into consideration for a complete understanding of the effects of incentives on healthier eating.
The use of cactus cladodes in animal feed is well-established in semi-arid areas. The cactus Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck cladodes (Nopalea) have high acceptability amongst dairy cows and are resistant to carmine cochineal insects (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell), a problem in semi-arid regions, but in regions of prolonged drought, it has lower productivity compared with the cactus Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw cladodes (Opuntia), which is also resistant to the insect. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake and content of digestible material of dry matter (DM) and its components, feeding behaviour, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, blood parameters, performance and milk composition of Holstein cows fed a control diet, containing either Nopalea or Opuntia associated with different concentrate levels (225, 275, 325 and 375 g/kg). Ten cows with an initial average milk production of 20 ± 2.1 kg/day were distributed into a double 5 × 5 Latin square design. Diets containing 775 g roughage/kg and 225 g concentrate/kg promoted similar responses to the analysed variables regardless of the cactus cladode used, except for digestibility of neutral detergent fibre. Diets containing higher proportions of concentrate (325 and 375 g/kg) promoted greater DM intake and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield. The diet containing Opuntia at 775:225 g/kg roughage:concentrate proportion is as effective as the control diet for Holstein cows producing 20 kg of milk/day. To promote greater milk production, higher proportions of concentrate should be added to diets using Opuntia.
Excitable temperament disrupts physiological events required for reproductive development in cattle, but no research has investigated the impacts of temperament on growth and puberty attainment in Bos indicus females. Hence, this experiment evaluated the effects of temperament on growth, plasma cortisol concentrations and puberty attainment in B. indicus heifers. A total of 170 Nelore heifers, weaned 4 months before the beginning of this experiment (days 0 to 91), were managed in two groups of 82 and 88 heifers each (mean ± SE; initial BW=238±2 kg, initial age=369±1 days across groups). Heifer temperament was evaluated via exit velocity on day 0. Individual exit score was calculated within each group by dividing exit velocity into quintiles and assigning heifers with a score from 1 to 5 (1=slowest; 5=fastest heifer). Heifers were classified according to exit score as adequate (ADQ, n=96; exit score⩽3) or excitable temperament (EXC, n=74; exit score>3). Heifer BW, body condition score (BCS) and blood samples were obtained on days 0, 31, 60 and 91. Heifer exit velocity and score were recorded again on days 31, 60 and 91. Ovarian transrectal ultrasonography was performed on days 0 and 10, 31 and 41, 60 and 70, 81 and 91 for puberty evaluation. Heifer was declared pubertal at the first 10-day interval in which a corpus luteum was detected. Exit velocity and exit score obtained on day 0 were correlated (r⩾0.64, P<0.01) with evaluations on days 31, 60 and 91. During the experiment, ADQ had greater (P<0.01) mean BCS and BW gain, and less (P<0.01) mean plasma cortisol concentration compared with EXC heifers. Temperament × time interactions were detected (P<0.01) for exit velocity and exit score, which were always greater (P<0.01) in EXC v. ADQ heifers. A temperament × time interaction was also detected (P=0.03) for puberty attainment, which was delayed in EXC v. ADQ heifers. At the end of the experiment, a greater (P<0.01) proportion of ADQ were pubertal compared with EXC heifers. In summary, B. indicus heifers classified as EXC had reduced growth, increased plasma cortisol concentrations and hindered puberty attainment compared to ADQ heifers. Moreover, exit velocity may serve as temperament selection criteria to optimize development of B. indicus replacement heifers.
This study examined the differences and the predictive role of clinical variables, illness representations, anxiety, and depression symptoms, on self-reported foot care adherence, in patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and assessed no longer than a year after the diagnosis (T1) and four months later (T2).
The high rate of diabetes worldwide is one of the major public health challenges. Foot care is the behavior least performed by patients although regular foot care could prevent complications such as diabetic foot and amputation. Psychosocial processes such as illness representations and distress symptoms may contribute to explain adherence to foot self-care behaviors.
This is a longitudinal study with two assessment moments. The sample included 271 patients, who answered the Revised Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities, Brief-Illness Perception Questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Patients reported better foot care adherence at T2. Having a higher duration of T2DM and the perception of more consequences of diabetes were associated with better self-reported foot care adherence, at T1. At T2, the predictors were lower levels of HbA1c, better self-reported foot care adherence at T1, higher comprehension about T2DM, as well as fewer depressive symptoms. Interventions to promote adherence to foot care should have in consideration these variables. The results of the present study may help health professionals in designing interventions that early detect depressive symptoms and address illness beliefs, in order to promote foot self-care behaviors reducing the incidence of future complications.
Keto analogues and amino acids (KAAA) supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations in athletes undergoing high-intensity exercise under both ketogenic and thermoneutral conditions. This study evaluated the acute effects of KAAA supplementation on ammonia metabolism during extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a ketogenic diet. In all, eighty male Fischer rats at 90 d of age were divided into eight groups, and some were trained using a swimming endurance protocol. A ketogenic diet supplemented with keto analogues was administered for 10 d. Administration of the ketogenic diet ended 3 d before the exhaustion test (extenuating endurance exercise). A ketogenic diet plus KAAA supplementation and extenuating endurance exercise (trained ketogenic diet supplemented with KAAA (TKKa)) increased blood ammonia concentrations by approximately 50 % compared with the control diet (trained control diet supplemented with KAAA (TCKa)) and similar training (effect size=1·33; statistical power=0·50). The KAAA supplementation reduced blood urea concentrations by 4 and 18 % in the control and ketogenic diet groups, respectively, compared with the groups fed the same diets without supplementation. The trained groups had 60 % lower blood urate concentrations after TCKa treatment than after TKKa treatment. Our results suggest that KAAA supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations after extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a balanced diet but not in rats fed a ketogenic diet.
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a powerful tool for macromolecular to near-atomic resolution structure determination in the biological sciences. The specimen is maintained in a near-native environment within a thin film of vitreous ice and imaged in a transmission electron microscope. The images can then be processed by a number of computational methods to produce three-dimensional information. Recent advances in sample preparation, imaging, and data processing have led to tremendous growth in the field of cryo-EM by providing higher resolution structures and the ability to investigate macromolecules within the context of the cell. Here, we review developments in sample preparation methods and substrates, detectors, phase plates, and cryo-correlative light and electron microscopy that have contributed to this expansion. We also have included specific biological applications.
Habitat modification may facilitate the emergence of novel pathogens, and the expansion of agricultural frontiers make domestic animals important sources of pathogen spillover to wild animals. We demonstrate for the first time that Plasmodium juxtanucleare, a widespread parasite from domestic chickens, naturally infects free-living passerines. We sampled 68 wild birds within and at the border of conservation units in central Brazil composed by Cerrado, a highly threatened biome. Seven out of 10 passerines captured in the limits of a protected area with a small farm were infected by P. juxtanucleare as was confirmed by sequencing a fragment of the parasite's cytochrome b. Blood smears from these positive passerines presented trophozoites, meronts and gametocytes compatible with P. juxtanucleare, meaning these birds are competent hosts for this parasite. After these intriguing results, we sampled 30 backyard chickens managed at the area where P. juxtanucleare-infected passerines were captured, revealing one chicken infected by the same parasite lineage. We sequenced the almost complete mitochondrial genome from all positive passerines, revealing that Brazilian and Asian parasites are closely related. P. juxtanucleare can be lethal to non-domestic hosts under captive and rehabilitation conditions, suggesting that this novel spillover may pose a real threat to wild birds.
The aim of this review is to compare the performance of different reproductive programs using natural service, estrus synchronization treatment before natural service (timed natural breeding (TNB)), artificial insemination (AI) following estrus detection and timed artificial insemination (TAI) in beef herds. It is well known that after parturition the beef cow undergoes a period of anestrous, when they do not exhibit estrus, eliminating the opportunity to become pregnant in the early postpartum by natural mating or by AI after detection of estrus. Hormonal stimulation is already a consistent and well-proven strategy used to overcome postpartum anestrus in beef herds. Basically, hormones that normally are produced during the estrous cycle of the cow can be administered in physiological doses to induce cyclicity and to precisely synchronize follicular growth, estrus and ovulation. Furthermore, two options of mating may be used after hormonal stimulation: natural service (i.e. utilization of bull service after synchronization, referred to as TNB) and TAI. These strategies improve the reproductive efficiency of the herds compared with natural service without estrus induction or synchronization. After the first synchronized service, the most common strategy adopted to get non-pregnant cows pregnant soon is the introduction of clean-up bulls until the end of the breeding season. However, methods to resynchronize non-pregnant cows after the first service are already well established and offer a potential tool to reduce the time for subsequent inseminations. Thus, the use of these technologies enable to eliminate the use of bulls by using resynchronization programs (i.e. two, three or four sequential TAI procedures). The dissemination of efficient reproductive procedures, such as TNB, TAI and Resynch programs, either isolated or in combination, enables the production of a greater quantity (obtaining increased pregnancy rates early in the breeding season) and quality (maximization of the use of AI with superior genetic sires) of beef calves. These technologies can contribute to improve the production efficiency, and consequently, improve livestock profitability.
An experiment was carried out to evaluate the use of alkanes for estimating diet composition of goats and sheep offered three different dietary treatments. Twelve animals as two groups of 4 crossbred goats (G1, 24 kg live weight; G2, 22 kg) and 4 crossbred sheep (S, 26 kg live weight), were housed in metabolism pens. Animals were offered daily a total of 1 kg DM/100 kg live weight. G1 received 70% ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and 30% gorse (Ulex gallii), G2 received 70% ryegrass and 30% heather (Erica sp.) and S group ate 100% ryegrass. Diet composition was estimated from the alkane concentrations (using all alkanes from C23 to C36 or only odd-chain alkanes C27, C29, C31 and C33) in diet and faeces (with or without correction for incomplete faecal recoveries) using least-squares procedures.
Dietary treatment and animal species significantly affected alkane faecal recoveries, except for C24 and C36. When applying the faecal recovery corrections, there were no significant differences between measured proportions of dietary components and those estimated using all alkanes or odd-chain alkanes. In contrast, the proportions calculated without faecal recovery correction differed significantly (P<0.05) from the actual proportions and over-estimated the amount in the diet of those plant components with higher concentrations of long-chain alkanes (Erica sp. and Lolium perenne). The results indicate that alkanes are useful markers to estimate diet composition, however, it was observed that animal species and diet composition influenced the faecal recovery of alkanes. This suggests that the use of the alkane methodology for estimating the diet selection of grazing animals should be preceded by a calculation of the actual alkane faecal recoveries for each experimental condition.