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We consider Stavskaya’s process, which is a two-state probabilistic cellular automaton defined on a one-dimensional lattice. The state of any vertex depends only on itself and on the state of its right-adjacent neighbour. This process was one of the first multicomponent systems with local interaction for which the existence of a kind of phase transition has been rigorously proved. However, the exact localisation of its critical value remains as an open problem. We provide a new lower bound for the critical value.
North African knapweed (Centaurea diluta Aiton) is an annual weed that is widespread in southern Spain and is of increasing concern in dryland cropping systems. Despite its expanding range in Spain, there is limited information on the emergence timing and pattern of this species, knowledge of which is critical for developing more timely and effective management strategies. Therefore, there is a need to develop simple and reliable models to predict the timing and emergence of this annual weed under dryland conditions. A multi-location field experiment was established across Spain in 2016 to 2017 to assess the emergence of C. diluta. At each of 11 locations, seeds were sown in the fall, and emergence was recorded. Overall emergence averaged 39% in the first year across all sites and 11% in the second year. In both years, the main emergence flush occurred at the beginning of the growing season. A three-parameter Weibull function best described seedling emergence of C. diluta. Emergence models were developed based on thermal time (TT) and hydrothermal time (HTT) and showed high predictability, as evidenced by root mean-square error prediction values of 10.8 and 10.7, respectively. Three cardinal points were established for TT and HHT at 0.5, 10, and 35 C for base, optimal, and ceiling temperatures, respectively, while base water potential was estimated at −0.5 MPa.
New forms of carbon-based materials have received great attention, and the developed materials have found many applications in nanotechnology. Interesting novel carbon structures include the carbon peapods, which are comprised of fullerenes encapsulated within carbon nanotubes. Peapod-like nanostructures have been successfully synthesized, and have been used in optical modulation devices, transistors, solar cells, and in other devices. However, the mechanical properties of these structures are not completely elucidated. In this work, we investigated, using fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, the deformation of carbon peapods under high-strain rate conditions, which are achieved by shooting the peapods at ultrasonic velocities against a rigid substrate. Our results show that carbon peapods experience large deformation at impact, and undergo multiple fracture pathways, depending primarily on the relative orientation between the peapod and the substrate, and the impact velocity. Observed outcomes include fullerene ejection, carbon nanotube fracture, fullerene, and nanotube coalescence, as well as the formation of amorphous carbon structures.
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disorder leading to the growth of hamartomas in multiple organs, including cardiac rhabdomyomas. Children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma require frequent admissions to intensive care units, have major complications, namely, arrhythmias, cardiac outflow tract obstruction and heart failure, affecting the quality of life and taking on high healthcare cost. Currently, there is no standard pharmacological treatment for this condition, and the management includes a conservative approach and supportive care. Everolimus has shown positive effects on subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, renal angiomyolipoma and refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. However, evidence supporting efficacy in symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma is limited to case reports. The ORACLE trial is the first randomised clinical trial assessing the efficacy of everolimus as a specific therapy for symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma.
ORACLE is a phase II, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre protocol trial. A total of 40 children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex will be randomised to receive oral everolimus or placebo for 3 months. The primary outcome is 50% or more reduction in the tumour size related to baseline. As secondary outcomes we include the presence of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, intracardiac obstruction, adverse events, progression of tumour reduction and effect on heart failure.
ORACLE protocol addresses a relevant unmet need in children with tuberous sclerosis complex and cardiac rhabdomyoma. The results of the trial will potentially support the first evidence-based therapy for this condition.
Aortic arch aneurysm or pseudoaneurysm is a rare complication early after coarctation repair in the neonatal period. We report the case of a newborn with a ventricular septal defect and aortic coarctation with a hypoplastic aortic arch that developed a large aortic arch pseudoaneurysm following a radically extended end-to-end coarctation repair. Successful surgical correction of the pseudoaneurysm was performed.
Sitophilus zeamais is a key pest of stored grains. Its control is made, usually, using synthetic insecticides, despite their negative impacts. Botanical insecticides with fumigant/repellent properties may offer an alternative solution. This work describes the effects of Anethum graveolens, Petroselinum crispum, Foeniculum vulgare and Cuminum cyminum essential oils (EOs) and (S)-carvone, cuminaldehyde, estragole and (+)-fenchone towards adults of S. zeamais. Acute toxicity was assessed by fumigation and topical application. Repellence was evaluated by an area preference bioassay and two-choice test, using maize grains. LC50 determined by fumigation ranged from 51.8 to 535.8 mg L−1 air, with (S)-carvone being the most active. LD50 values for topical applications varied from 23 to 128 µg per adult for (S)-carvone > cuminaldehyde > A. graveolens > C. cyminum > P. crispum. All EOs/standard compounds reduced significantly the percentage of insects attracted to maize grains (65–80%) in the two-choice repellence test, whereas in the area preference bioassay RD50 varied from 1.4 to 45.2 µg cm−2, with cuminaldehyde, (S)-carvone and estragole being strongly repellents. Petroselinum crispum EO and cuminaldehyde affected the nutritional parameters relative growth rate, efficiency conversion index of ingested food and antifeeding effect, displaying antinutritional effects toward S. zeamais. In addition, P. crispum and C. cyminum EOs, as well as cuminaldehyde, showed the highest acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity in vitro (IC50 = 185, 235 and 214.5 µg mL−1, respectively). EOs/standard compounds exhibited acute toxicity, and some treatments showed antinutritional effects towards S. zeamais. Therefore, the tested plant products might be good candidates to be considered to prevent damages caused by this pest.
Food insecurity (FI) is defined as uncertain access to healthy food in quantity and quality. We hypothesize that FI may be associated with greater health-care use and absenteeism because it may amplify the effect of diseases; also, FI may be associated with reduced health-care access because it reflects economic vulnerability. The present study estimates the association between FI and health-care use and access, and absenteeism.
Cross-sectional data collected in 2015–2016. Health-care use was measured as the number of consultations, taking any drug and having been hospitalized in the past year. Health-care access was measured by the suspension of medication and having fewer consultations due to financial constraints. Absenteeism was measured by the weeks of sickness leave. Binary variables were modelled as a function of FI using logistic regressions; continuous variables were modelled as a function of FI using negative binomial and zero-inflated negative binomial regressions. Covariates were included sequentially.
Non-institutionalized adults from the EpiDoc3 cohort (n 5648).
FI was significantly associated with health-care use before controlling for socio-economic conditions and quality of life. Moderate/severe FI was positively related to the suspension of medicines (adjusted OR = 4·68; 95 % CI 3·11, 6·82) and to having fewer consultations (adjusted OR = 3·98; 95 % CI 2·42, 6·37). FI and absenteeism were not significantly associated.
Our results support the hypothesis that FI reflects precariousness, which hinders access to health care. The greater use of health care among food-insecure people is explained by their worse quality of life and lower socio-economic condition, so that the specific role of poor nutrition is unclear.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The eastern North Atlantic (ENA) has many highly productive areas where several species of cetaceans have been recorded, with the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) being one of the most frequently sighted species. However, its spatial and temporal distribution in high seas is poorly known. The study presents the results from 5 years of cetacean monitoring in the ENA (2012–2016) aboard cargo ships that follow the routes from Continental Portugal to the Macaronesian archipelagos and north-west Africa. Common dolphin was the most frequently sighted cetacean with 192 occurrences registered on effort and an overall encounter rate of 0.36 sightings/100 nmi. The species was distributed in coastal and offshore waters, but absent from the Canaries and Cape Verde islands. Statistical ‘habitat’ models were developed to describe and explain the occurrence of sightings of the species: variables affecting detection of dolphins had a small impact and there were clear spatiotemporal distribution patterns, influenced to some degree by environmental variables. Predicted probability of occurrence was highest in coastal waters of continental Portugal and around the Azores. The models, combined with maps of distribution, were useful to identify important areas for the species, which could be the focus of future conservation efforts. Common dolphin presence was related to depth, distance to coast and seamounts, seabed slope, chlorophyll concentration, sea-surface temperature and sea level anomalies; the possible ecological significance of these relationships is explored.
Intake in sugar-rich diets can be limited either via rumen fill or excessive rumen fermentation and source of non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) in the diet can affect both factors. The aim of the current study was to quantify the effect of partially replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels in sugarcane-based diets on digestibility, rumen ecosystem and metabolism of Nellore steers. Six rumen-cannulated steers were assigned to a 6 × 6 Latin square, replicated in time, in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with two levels of concentrate (600 or 800 g concentrate/kg dry matter [DM]) and three NFC sources. Each steer within a period was considered an experimental unit. Feeding more concentrate increased total tract digestibility of organic matter and decreased fibre intake and passage rate. It also reduced rumen populations of Fibrobacter succinogenes and Streptococcus bovis and increased Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Substituting PCP for GM increased rumen pH, acetic acid and organic matter digestibility. Feeding PCP also reduced R. flavefaciens and R. amylophilus rumen populations. Substituting SRM for GM increased starch digestibility and rumen propionic acid, but decreased rumen ammonia concentration. Feeding SRM increased rumen populations of Megasphaera elsdenii with the high-concentrate diet but reduced Ruminococcus albus populations at both concentrate levels. In conclusion, partial replacement of GM by PCP decreased intake in sugar-rich diets, while increasing total tract neutral detergent fibre digestibility. Replacement of GM with SRM increases rumen fermentation and total tract digestibility of starch.
Replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize typically increases feed efficiency in maize-silage-based diets. However, little is known about optimal carbohydrate supplementation in sugarcane silage-based diets. The objective was to quantify the effect of partially replacing GM with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels (600 or 800 g/kg DM) in sugarcane-based diets on feeding behaviour, performance and blood parameters of finishing Nellore bulls. One hundred and eight young bulls were allocated to 36 pens in a randomized block design and fed for 84 d. Feeding 800 g/kg concentrate decreased time spending eating and ruminating, but improved G:F ratio, hot carcass weight and carcass dressing, compared to 600 g/kg concentrate. Bulls fed SRM and PCP diets with 600 g/kg concentrate had lower intake compared to GM. Both final weight and average daily gain decreased when bulls were fed PCP and SRM with 600 g/kg concentrate compared to GM diets, and when fed with PCP and 800 g/kg concentrate. Substituting PCP for GM decreased gain efficiency, carcass weight, rumination time and intake efficiency, indicating that the bulls consumed less feed per hour spent eating. Substituting SRM for GM increased backfat thickness and blood urea concentration. In conclusion, the replacement of GM with PCP reduces intake and enhances selection against large particles, decreasing rumination, performance and final carcass weight and dressing. Replacement of GM with SRM increases blood urea and fat deposition, with no impact on performance.
It is suggested that bovine enteroviruses (BEV) are involved in the aetiology of enteric infections, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders and infertility. In this study, bovine faecal samples collected in different Brazilian states were subjected to RNA extraction, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 5′-terminal portion of BEV. One hundred and three samples were tested with an overall positivity of 14.5%. Phylogenetic analysis clustered these BEV Brazilian samples into the Enterovirus F clade. Our results bring an important update of the virus presence in Brazil and contribute to a better understanding of the distribution and characterisation of BEV in cattle.
Knowing who eats what, understanding the various eating habits of different population groups, according to the geographical area, is critical to develop evidence-based policies for nutrition and food safety. The FAO/WHO Global Individual Food consumption data Tool (FAO/WHO GIFT) is a novel open-access online platform, hosted by FAO and supported by WHO, providing access to harmonised individual quantitative food consumption (IQFC) data, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). FAO/WHO GIFT is a growing repository, which will serve as the global FAO/WHO hub to disseminate IQFC microdata. Currently five datasets from LMIC are available for dissemination, and an additional fifty datasets will be made available by 2022. To facilitate the use of these data by policy makers, ready-to-use food-based indicators are provided for an overview of key data according to population segments and food groups. FAO/WHO GIFT also provides an inventory of existing IQFC data worldwide, which currently contains detailed information on 188 surveys conducted in seventy-two countries. In order for end-users to be able to aggregate the available data, all datasets are harmonised with the European Food Safety Authority's food classification and description system FoodEx2 (modified for global use). This harmonisation is aimed at enhancing the consistency and reliability of nutrient intake and dietary exposure assessments. FAO/WHO GIFT is developed in synergy with other global initiatives aimed at increasing the quality, availability and use of IQFC data in LMIC to enable evidence-based decision-making and policy development for better nutrition and food safety.
The aim of this study was to establish a functional freezing–thawing protocol for epididymal sperm of collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu L., 1758) by comparing different extenders. The epididymal sperm from 12 sexually mature males was recovered by retrograde flushing using Tris-based or coconut water-based (ACP®-116c) extenders. After initial evaluation, samples were diluted and frozen with the same extenders to which 20% egg yolk and 6% glycerol were added. After 2 weeks, thawing was performed at 37°C/60 s and sperm motility, vigour, morphology, functional membrane integrity, sperm viability, sperm plasma membrane integrity, and a computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) were assessed. In addition, to evaluate the survival of frozen–thawed sperm, a thermal resistance test (TRT) was executed. Samples preserved using Tris were in better condition compared with those preserved using ACP®, showing higher values for most assessments performed, including CASA and the TRT (P<0.05). After determining Tris to be the better of the two extenders, additional samples were thawed using different thawing rates (37°C/60 s, 55°C/7 s, 70°C/8 s). Sperm thawed at 37°C/60 s had the greatest preservation (P<0.05) of viability (54.1 ± 5.9%) and functional membrane integrity (43.2 ± 5.4%), and had higher values for various CASA parameters. In conclusion, we suggest the use of a Tris-based extender added to egg yolk and glycerol for the cryopreservation of epididymal sperm obtained from collared peccaries. In order to achieve better post-thawing sperm quality, we suggest that samples should be thawed at 37°C/60 s.
Goats have played a key role as source of nourishment for humans in their expansion all over the world in long land and sea trips. This has guaranteed a place for this species in the important and rapid episode of livestock expansion triggered by Columbus’ arrival in the Americas in the late 1400s. The aims of this study are to provide a comprehensive perspective on genetic diversity in American goat populations and to assess their origins and evolutionary trajectories. This was achieved by combining data from autosomal neutral genetic markers obtained in more than two thousand samples that encompass a wide range of Iberian, African and Creole goat breeds. In general, even though Creole populations differ clearly from each other, they lack a strong geographical pattern of differentiation, such that populations of different admixed ancestry share relatively close locations throughout the large geographical range included in this study. Important Iberian signatures were detected in most Creole populations studied, and many of them, particularly the Cuban Creole, also revealed an important contribution of African breeds. On the other hand, the Brazilian breeds showed a particular genetic structure and were clearly separated from the other Creole populations, with some influence from Cape Verde goats. These results provide a comprehensive characterisation of the present structure of goat genetic diversity, and a dissection of the Iberian and African influences that gave origin to different Creole caprine breeds, disentangling an important part of their evolutionary history. Creole breeds constitute an important reservoir of genetic diversity that justifies the development of appropriate management systems aimed at improving performance without loss of genomic diversity.
Recently, a new 2D carbon allotrope structure, named phagraphene (PG), was proposed. PG has a densely array of penta-hexa-hepta-graphene carbon rings. PG was shown to present low and anisotropic thermal conductivity and it is believed that this anisotropy should be also reflected in its mechanical properties. Although PG mechanical properties have been investigated, a detailed and comprehensive study is still lacking. In the present work we have carried out fully atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field, to investigate the mechanical properties and fracture patterns of PG membranes. The Young’s modulus values of the PG membranes were estimated from the stress-strain curves. Our results show that these curves present three distinct regimes: one regime where ripples dominate the structure and mechanical properties of the PG membranes; an elastic regime where the membranes exhibit fully planar configurations; and finally am inelastic regime where permanent deformations happened to the PG membrane up to the mechanical failure or fracture.
The study of the mechanical properties of nanostructured systems has gained importance in theoretical and experimental research in recent years. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the strongest nanomaterials found in nature, with Young’s Modulus (EY) in the order 1.25 TPa. One interesting question is about the possibility of generating new nanostructures with 1D symmetry and with similar and/or superior CNT properties. In this work, we present a study on the dynamical, structural, mechanical properties, fracture patterns and EY values for one class of these structures, the so-called pentagraphene nanotubes (PGNTs). These tubes are formed rolling up pentagraphene membranes (which are quasi-bidimensional structures formed by densely compacted pentagons of carbon atoms in sp3 and sp2 hybridized states) in the same form that CNTs are formed from rolling up graphene membranes. We carried out fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field. We have considered zigzag-like and armchair-like PGNTs of different diameters. Our results show that PGNTs present EY ∼ 800 GPa with distinct elastic behavior in relation to CNTs, mainly associated with mechanical failure, chirality dependent fracture patterns and extensive structural reconstructions.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.