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Consanguineous marriages potentially play an important role in the transmission of β-thalassaemia in many communities. This study aimed to determine the rate and socio-demographic associations of consanguineous marriages and to assess the influence on the prevalence of β-thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. Three marriage registrars from each district of Sri Lanka were randomly selected to prospectively collect data on all couples who registered their marriage during a 6-month period starting 1st July 2009. Separately, the parents of patients with β-thalassaemia were interviewed to identify consanguinity. A total of 5255 marriages were recorded from 22 districts. The average age at marriage was 27.3 (±6.1) years for males and 24.1 (±5.7) years for females. A majority (71%) of marriages were ‘love’ marriages, except in the Moor community where 84% were ‘arranged’ marriages. Overall, the national consanguinity rate was 7.4%. It was significantly higher among ethnic Tamils (22.4%) compared with Sinhalese (3.8%) and Moors (3.2%) (p < 0.001). Consanguinity rates were also higher in ‘arranged’ as opposed to ‘love’ marriages (11.7% vs 5.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with β-thalassaemia, the overall consanguinity rate was 14.5%; it was highest among Tamils (44%) and lowest among Sinhalese (12%). Parental consanguinity among patients with β-thalassaemia was double the national average. Although consanguinity is not the major factor in the transmission of the disease in the country, emphasis should be given to this significant practice when conducting β-thalassaemia prevention and awareness campaigns, especially in high-prevalence communities.
Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
The mechanisms involved in kidney disturbances during development, induced by vitamin D3 deficiency in female rats, that persist into adulthood were evaluated in this study. Female offspring from mothers fed normal (control group, n=8) or vitamin D-deficient (Vit.D-, n=10) diets were used. Three-month-old rats had their systolic blood pressure (SBP) measured and their blood and urine sampled to quantify vitamin D3 (Vit.D3), creatinine, Na+, Ca+2 and angiotensin II (ANGII) levels. The kidneys were then removed for nitric oxide (NO) quantification and immunohistochemical studies. Vit.D- pups showed higher SBP and plasma ANGII levels in adulthood (P<0.05) as well as decreased urine osmolality associated with increases in urinary volume (P<0.05). Decreased expression of JG12 (renal cortex and glomeruli) and synaptopodin (glomeruli) as well as reduced renal NO was also observed (P<0.05). These findings showed that renal disturbances in development in pups from Vit.D- mothers observed in adulthood may be related to the development of angiogenesis, NO and ANGII alterations.
A point-prevalence study of antimicrobial use among inpatients at 5 public hospitals in Sri Lanka revealed that 54.6% were receiving antimicrobials: 43.1% in medical wards, 68.0% in surgical wards, and 97.6% in intensive care wards. Amoxicillin-clavulanate was most commonly used for major indications. Among patients receiving antimicrobials, 31.0% received potentially inappropriate therapy.
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.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
Recent studies with Nile tilapia have shown divergent results regarding the possibility of selecting on morphometric measurements to promote indirect genetic gains in fillet yield (FY). The use of indirect selection for fillet traits is important as these traits are only measurable after harvesting. Random regression models are a powerful tool in association studies to identify the best time point to measure and select animals. Random regression models can also be applied in a multiple trait approach to analyze indirect response to selection, which would avoid the need to sacrifice candidate fish. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships between several body measurements, weight and fillet traits throughout the growth period and to evaluate the possibility of indirect selection for fillet traits in Nile tilapia. Data were collected from 2042 fish and was divided into two subsets. The first subset was used to estimate genetic parameters, including the permanent environmental effect for BW and body measurements (8758 records for each body measurement, as each fish was individually weighed and measured a maximum of six times). The second subset (2042 records for each trait) was used to estimate genetic correlations and heritabilities, which enabled the calculation of correlated response efficiencies between body measurements and the fillet traits. Heritability estimates across ages ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 for height, 0.02 to 0.48 for corrected length (CL), 0.05 to 0.68 for width, 0.08 to 0.57 for fillet weight (FW) and 0.12 to 0.42 for FY. All genetic correlation estimates between body measurements and FW were positive and strong (0.64 to 0.98). The estimates of genetic correlation between body measurements and FY were positive (except for CL at some ages), but weak to moderate (−0.08 to 0.68). These estimates resulted in strong and favorable correlated response efficiencies for FW and positive, but moderate for FY. These results indicate the possibility of achieving indirect genetic gains for FW and by selecting for morphometric traits, but low efficiency for FY when compared with direct selection.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
Patients with a deletion at chromosome 22q11.2 (22q11DS) have 30% lifetime risk of developing a psychosis. People fulfilling clinical criteria for ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis have 30% risk of developing a psychosis within 2 years. Both high-risk groups show white-matter (WM) abnormalities in microstructure and volume compared to healthy controls (HC), which have been related to psychotic symptoms. Comparisons of WM pathology between these two groups may specify WM markers related to genetic and clinical risk factors.
Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and WM volume with structural MRI, in 23 UHR patients, 21 22q11DS patients, and 33 HC.
Compared to UHR patients 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD in corpus callosum (CC), cortical fasciculi, and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), (2) higher FA in CC and ATR, and (3) lower occipital and superior temporal gyrus WM volume. Compared to HC, 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD throughout cortical fasciculi and (2) higher FA in ATR, CC and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Compared to HC, UHR patients had (1) higher mean MD, RD, and AD in CC, ATR and cortical fasciculi, (2) no differences in FA.
UHR and 22q11DS patients share a susceptibility for developing psychosis yet were characterized by distinct patterns of WM alterations relative to HC. While UHR patients were typified by signs suggestive of aberrant myelination, 22q11DS subjects showed signs suggestive of lower axonal integrity.
Human toxocarosis is a chronic tissue parasitosis most often caused by Toxocara canis. The seroprevalence can reach up to 50%, especially among children and adolescents. The anthelmintics used in the treatment have moderate efficacy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic activity of quinones and their derivatives against T. canis larvae and the cytotoxicity of the larvicidal compounds. The compounds were evaluated at 1 mg mL−1 concentration in microculture plates containing third stage larvae in an Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 environment, incubated at 37 °C in 5% CO2 tension for 48 h. Five naphthoxiranes were selected for the cytotoxicity analysis. The cell viability evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and lactate dehydrogenase assays using murine peritoneal macrophages isolated from C57BL/6 mice revealed that the naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) were less cytotoxic at a concentration of 0·05 mg mL−1. The efficacy of naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) was examined in murine toxocarosis also. The anthelmintic activity was examined by evaluating the number of larvae in the brain, carcass, liver, lungs, heart, kidneys and eyes. Compound (3) demonstrated anthelmintic activity similar to that of albendazole by decreasing the number of larvae in the organs of mice and thus could form the basis of the development of a new anthelmintic drug.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.
The first cause of death of dairy calves is often diarrhea which is mainly caused by pathogenic bacteria, which can result in excessive use of antibiotics. However, facing the increase concern by the industry and consumers, the use of antibiotics not only to control pathogens, but also to manipulate growth, has become a challenge. Alternative additives, such essential oils, have the potential to decrease antibiotic use, without reducing performance or increasing mortality of dairy calves. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of a commercial blend of essential oils, incorporated into the calf starter and/or milk replacer to monitor the effect on overall calf performance, fecal scores and rumen fermentation parameters. A total of 30 Holstein calves received 6 l/day of a liquid diet, consisting of a commercial milk replacer containing 20% CP : 15% fat (EE). Calves had free choice access to water and calf starter. Weaning occurred at week 8, and calves were followed until the 10th week of age. Calves were assigned to one of the three treatment groups in a randomized block design. Treatments: (1) control without essential oils supplementation (C); (2) essential oils blend in the milk replacer at 400 mg/kg (MR) and (3) essential oils blend in the milk replacer (200 mg/kg) and starter feed (200 mg/kg) (MRS). From the 2nd week, calves were weighed and body measurements were taken, while concentrate intake and fecal scores were monitored daily. Blood samples were drawn weekly for determination of glucose and β-hydroxybutyrate. Fecal samples were collected weekly and analyzed for lactic acid bacteria and Enterobacteria; and ruminal fluid for determination of pH, short chain fatty acids, ammonia-N and counts of amylolytic and cellulolytic bacteria, and protozoa. Performance, fecal scores and intestines microorganisms were not affected by the essential oils supplementation. Ruminal and blood parameters were also not affected, with the exception the rumen ammonia-N concentration, with higher values when essential oils were supplemented in a combination of milk replacer and starter feed. Most of the evaluated parameters were affected by age of calves, mainly as a response to the increase in concentrate intake as animals’ aged. Essential oils are promising substitutes for antibiotics. However, the dose and routes of administration deserve further studies, allowing a better animal performance and health to be achieved.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) supplemented with diphenyl diselenide and sodium selenite in experimental toxoplasmosis, on oxidant/antioxidant biomarkers and cytokine levels. Eighty-four BALB/c mice were divided in seven groups: group A (negative control), and groups B to G (infected). Blood and liver samples were collected on days 4 and 20 post infection (p.i.). Levels of thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive substances and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) were assessed in liver samples. Both biomarkers were significantly increased in infected groups on day 4 p.i., while they were reduced on day 20 p.i., compared with group A. Glutathione reductase (GR) activity significantly (P<0·01) increased on day 4 p.i., in group G, compared with group A. INF-γ was significantly increased (P<0·001) in both periods, day 4 (groups B, C, F and G) and 20 p.i. (groups C, F and G). IL-10 significantly reduced (P<0·001) on day 4 p.i. in group B; however, in the same period, it was increased (P<0·001) in groups C and G, compared with group A. On day 20 p.i., IL-10 increased (P<0·001) in groups F and G. Therefore, our results highlighted that these forms of selenium, associated with the chemotherapy, were able to reduce lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, providing a beneficial immunological balance between the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Selection of Quarter Horses for different purposes has led to the formation of lines, including racing and cutting horses. The objective of this study was to identify genomic regions divergently selected in racing line of Quarter Horses in relation to cutting line applying relative extended haplotype homozygosity (REHH) analysis, an extension of extended haplotype homozygosity (EHH) analysis, and the fixation index (FST) statistic. A total of 188 horses of both sexes, born between 1985 and 2009 and registered at the Brazilian Association of Quarter Horse Breeders, including 120 of the racing line and 68 of the cutting line, were genotyped using single nucleotide polymorphism arrays. On the basis of 27 genomic regions identified as selection signatures by REHH and FST statistics, functional annotations of genes were made in order to identify those that could have been important during formation of the racing line and that could be used subsequently for the development of selection tools. Genes involved in muscle growth (n=8), skeletal growth (n=10), muscle energy metabolism (n=15), cardiovascular system (n=14) and nervous system (n=23) were identified, including the FKTN, INSR, GYS1, CLCN1, MYLK, SYK, ANG, CNTFR and HTR2B.
This study investigated the effects of maternal separation on the feeding behavior of rats. A maternal separation model was used on postnatal day 1 (PND1), forming the following groups: in the maternal separation (MS) group, pups were separated from their mothers each day from PND1 to PND14, whereas in the control (C) group pups were kept with their mothers. Subgroups were formed to study the effects of light and darkness: control with dark and light exposure, female and male (CF and CM), and maternal separation with dark and light exposure, female and male (SDF, SDM, SLF and SLM). Female rats had higher caloric intake relative to body weight compared with male controls in the dark period only (CF=23.3±0.5 v. CM=18.2±0.7, P<0.001). Macronutrient feeding preferences were observed, with male rats exhibiting higher caloric intake from a protein diet as compared with female rats (CF=4.1±0.7, n=8 v. CM=7.0±0.5, n=8, P<0.05) and satiety development was not interrupted. Female rats had a higher adrenal weight as compared with male rats independently of experimental groups and exhibited a higher concentration of serum triglycerides (n=8, P<0.001). The study indicates possible phenotypic adjustments in the structure of feeding behavior promoted by maternal separation, especially in the dark cycle. The dissociation between the mother’s presence and milk intake probably induces adjustments in feeding behavior during adulthood.
Fixed-fixed beams are ubiquitous MEMS structures that are integral components for sensors and actuation mechanisms. However, residual stress inherent in surface micromachining can affect the mechanical behavior of fixed-fixed structures, and even can cause buckling. A self-tensioning support post design that utilizes the compressive residual stress of trapped sacrificial oxide to control the stress state passively and locally in a fixed-fixed beam is proposed and detailed. The thickness and length of the trapped oxide affects the amount of stress in the beam. With this design, compression can be reduced or even converted into tension. An analytical model and a 3D finite element model are presented. The analytical model shows relatively good agreement with a 3D finite element model, indicating that it can be used for design purposes. A series of fixed-fixed beams were fabricated to demonstrate that the tensioning support post causes a reduction in buckling amplitude, even pulling the beam into tension. Phase shifting interferometry deflection measurements were used to confirm the trends observed from the models. Controlling residual stress allows longer fixed-fixed beams to be fabricated without buckling, which can improve the performance range of sensors. This technique can also enable local stress control, which is important for sensors.
HERMES is a new high-resolution multi-object spectrograph on the Anglo Australian Telescope. The primary science driver for HERMES is the GALAH survey, GALactic Archaeology with HERMES. We are planning a spectroscopic survey of about a million stars, aimed at using chemical tagging techniques to reconstruct the star-forming aggregates that built up the disk, the bulge and halo of the Galaxy. This project will benefit greatly from the stellar distances and transverse motions from the Gaia mission.