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The giant gypsum crystals of Naica cave have fascinated scientists since their discovery in 2000. Human activity has changed the microclimate inside the cave, making scientists wonder about the potential environmental impact on the crystals. Over the last 9 years, we have studied approximately 70 samples. This paper reports on the detailed chemical–structural characterization of the impurities present at the surface of these crystals and the experimental simulations of their potential deterioration patterns. Selected samples were studied by petrography, optical and electronic microscopy, and laboratory X-ray diffraction. 2D grazing incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray μ-fluorescence, and X-ray μ-absorption near-edge structure were used to identify the impurities and their associated phases. These impurities were deposited during the latest stage of the gypsum crystal formation and have afterward evolved with the natural high humidity. The simulations of the behavior of the crystals in microclimatic chambers produced crystal dissolution by 1–4% weight fraction under high CO2 concentration and permanent fog, and gypsum phase dehydration under air and CO2 gaseous environment. Our work suggests that most surface impurities are of natural origin; the most significant anthropogenic damage on the crystals is the extraction of water from the caves.
The present 6 month follow-up study was conducted to investigate the possible influence of comorbid personality disorders on drug treatment, as well as associated psychopathology and HIV-related risk behaviors outcomes.
Subjects and methods
Data were collected initially from a consecutive sample of 74 patients with a diagnosis of opiate abuse or dependence, admitted for inpatient detoxification.
During intake, 80.9% of patients reported at least one HIV-related risk behavior in the previous 6 months. Not using condoms during sexual intercourse was the most common and the only risk behavior that showed a statistically significant reduction over the follow-up period. A total of 58.1% of subjects had at least one personality disorder (PD). Borderline PD was the most prevalent. However, antisocial PD was the only PD that influenced substance use outcomes. The presence of this diagnosis increased the chance of worse opiate use outcomes, but decreased likelihood of not using condoms. Patients with low obsessive–compulsive PD dimensional scores showed a significant increase in the number of risk behaviors. However, these influences were only seen at the 3-month follow-up assessment.
These results suggest that personality disorders need to be considered when planning effective interventions for opiate dependent individuals and when preparing and evaluating HIV risk-reduction interventions, particularly for the more severe substance dependent patients.
Schizophrenia (SKZ) is a disease characterized by positive and negative symptoms, thoughts and behaviour disorganization with a progressive socio-cognitive impairment1; deficits in facial emotion recognition (FER) represent one of the most serious problems linked to interpersonal problems2. In addition, these patients have often comorbid condition of alcohol and substances abuse3.
to compare the ability of FER in patients with SKZ using alcohol and/or substances (SKZ+SUD) compared to schizophrenics without SUD (SUD-SKZ).
we enrolled 53 subjects (M=40, F=13) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of SKZ (SCID I). The sample was divided according to alcohol and/or substance abuse (AUS and DUS) into two groups, compared for socio-demographic and clinic characteristics (PANSS and Bell model4). We analyzed the association between abuse condition and Ekman test performance.
SKZ+SUD (n=20; M=16, F=4) and SKZ-SUD (n=33; M=24, F=9) show a statistically significant age difference with a mean (SD) of 38.4 years (10.5) and 46.0 years (8.7) respectively (p=0.006). SKZ+SUD Ekman test score (mean=43.1, SD=6.9) was statistically higher (p=0.006) than SKZ-SUD (mean=34.6, SD=12.0). The different performance was more evident in comparison with poly-abusers (44.94±7.05 vs 12.04±34.6; p=0.002). We further noticed the role of disorganization as a mediator of the relationship between abuse and FER score (p=0.017): the proportion of the effect of abuse on Ekman test score was 48%.
In subjects with SKZ, FER seems to be less impaired in abusers than non-abusers. We also showed an important role of thoughts and behavioral disorganization as a mediator between SKZ+SUD and FER.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a selective, painless, brain stimulation technique that allows the electric stimulation of specific cortical regions. TDCS has been recently used as investigational intervention for major depression and treatment resistant depression (TRD) with encouraging results. The present study was aimed to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of tDCS in major depressives with poor response to pharmacological treatment. Twenty-three depressed patients, with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, were treated with augmentative tDCS for 5 days, two sessions per day in a blind-rater trial. The course of depressive symptoms was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA for HAM-D and MADRS total scores. A qualitative analysis on the basis of the HAM-D response was performed as well. Both analyses were conducted at three time-points: T0 (baseline), T1 (endpoint tDCS) and T2 (end of the first week of follow-up). All patients completed the trial without relevant side-effects. A significant reduction of HAM-D and MADRS total scores was observed during the study (P<0.0001). Treatment response (endpoint HAM-D reduction ≥50%) was obtained by four patients (17.4%) at T1 and by seven patients (30.4%) at T2 and remission (endpoint HAM-D<8) by three patients (13.0%) at T1 and by four subjects (17.4%) at T2. Present findings support the efficacy and good tolerability of tDCS in the acute treatment of patients with TRD with clinical benefit being progressive and extended to the first week of follow-up. Further sham-controlled trials with longer follow-up are needed to confirm present results.
Few questionnaires on the psychopathological onset and latency to treatment in psychiatric patients are currently available.
In this perspective we developed a brief questionnaire: the Psychopathological Onset Latency and Treatment Questionnaire (POLQ).
The questionnaire was administered to 265 patients with any psychiatric diagnosis. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS.
The sample showed the following demographic variables in terms of age (48 ± 15 years), occupation (17% unemployed) and familiarity (54%). Clinical variables included: age at onset (30.66 ± 15 years), age at first diagnosis (36 ± 19 years) and age at first drug treatment (35 ± 14 years). the most common symptoms at onset were related to the anxiety spectrum (41.2%), mood spectrum (24.5%) or both (25.3%). Stressful life-events in relation to onset occurred in 63% of patients (12.1% familiar issues, 11.3% work problems, bereavement or end of a relationship in 16.6%). Most frequent first diagnoses were major depressive episode (26.8%), manic/hypomanic/mixed episode (13.6%) and anxiety disorders (11.7%). Average latency to the first visit was 34 months. in the 76.2% of the sample, the first contact was with a psychiatrist, a psychologist in 15.8%; 78.1% were treated with drugs as a first treatment, 11.7% with psychotherapy, 7.2% with both. the average duration of first treatment was 23 months (4 weeks - 360 months) and reasons for discontinuation were: lack of efficacy (23.8%) or complete remission (21.9%).
POLQ resulted to be a useful and reliable instrument in the collection of information on the psychopatological onset and latency to treatment.
The start of Child and Adolescent attention to gender dysphoria is very recent. In our Unit, it has objectified a growing increase in such demand over recent years.
As a typical example would be a patient of 13 years following gender dysphoria begins to present school failure and behavior problems at home with emotional instability.
According to the recommendations of the Group Identity and Sexual Differentiation (GIDSEEN) after early detection is to guide parents towards a comprehensive treatment at a specialized interdisciplinary teams and a psychosocial approach to improve the quality of life, decrease mental comorbidity and gender dysphoria own. Having no such care in our community has been necessary to make a referral to another community to attend this demand.
Currently it is giving adequate attention to these cases, but except for referral to another community. However, as we are seeing progression care in our area in the future could be feasible. Therefore, we consider as a first step dysphoria quantify each case in our area.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Milk production intensification has led to several unwanted aspects, such as sustainability issues and environmental pollution. Among these, increased milk outputs that have been achieved over the last 70 years have led to several health and pathophysiological conditions in high yielding dairy animals, including metabolic diseases that were uncommon in the past. Increased occurrence of diverse metabolic diseases in cattle and other domestic animals is a key feature of domestication that not only affects the animals' health and productivity, but also may have important and adverse health impacts on human consumers through the elevated use of drugs and antibiotics. These aspects will influence economical and ethical aspects in the near future. Therefore, finding and establishing proper biomarkers for early detection of metabolic diseases is of great interest. In the present review, recent work on the discovery of fitness, stress and welfare biomarkers in dairy cows is presented, focusing in particular on possible biomarkers of energy balance and oxidative stress in plasma and milk, and biomarkers of production-related diseases and decreased fertility.
Increased animal productivity has reduced animal fitness, resulting in increased susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases, locomotion problems and subfertility. Future animal breeding strategies should focus on balancing high production levels with health status monitoring and improved welfare. Additionally, understanding how animals interact with their internal and external environment is essential for improving health, fitness, and welfare. In this context, the continuous validation of existing biomarkers and the discovery and field implementation of new biomarkers will enable us to understand the specific physiological process and regulatory mechanisms used by the organism to adapt to different environmental conditions. Thus, biomarkers may be used to monitor welfare and improve management and breeding strategies. In this article, we describe major achievements in the establishment of biomarkers in dairy cows and small ruminants. This review mainly focuses on the physiological biomarkers used to monitor animal responses to, and recovery from, environmental perturbations. We highlight future avenues for research in this field and present a timely positioning document to the scientific community.
Among children exposed to elevated maternal depression symptoms (MDS), recent studies have demonstrated reduced internalizing and externalizing problems for those who have attended formal childcare (i.e., center-based, family-based childcare). However, these studies did not consider whether childcare attendance is associated with benefits for the child only or also with reduced MDS. Using a four-wave longitudinal cross-lagged model, we evaluated whether formal childcare attendance was associated with MDS or child behavior problems and whether it moderated longitudinal associations between MDS and child behavior problems and between child behavior problems and MDS. The sample was drawn from a population-based cohort study and consisted of 908 biologically related mother–child dyads, followed from 5 months to 5 years. Attending formal childcare was not associated with MDS or child behavior problems but moderated the association between MDS at 3.5 years and child internalizing and externalizing problems at 5 years as well as between girls’ externalizing problems at 3.5 years and MDS at 5 years. No other moderation of formal childcare was found. Findings suggest that attending formal childcare reduces the risks of behavior problems in the context of MDS but also the risk of MDS in the context of girls’ externalizing problems.
Calcium homeostasis is crucial for the normal function of the organism. Parathyroid hormone, calcitriol and calcitonin play critical roles in the homeostatic regulation of calcium. Serotonin and prolactin have also been shown to be involved in the regulation of calcium homeostasis. In modern dairy cows, the endocrine pathways controlling calcium homeostasis during non-lactating and non-pregnant physiological states are unable to fully support the increased demand of calcium required for milk synthesis at the onset of lactation. This review describes different endocrine systems associated with the regulation of calcium homeostasis in mammalian species around parturition with special focus on dairy cows. Additionally, classic and novel strategies to reduce the incidence of hypocalcemia in parturient dairy cows are discussed.
The identification of young massive star clusters (YMCs) at high redshift is becoming a real fact. We present recent results from Hubble deep imaging and VLT/ MUSE - X-Shooter observations boosted by strong gravitational lensing. We report on two parsec-scale star-forming systems at z = 6.145 and 2.37 (>10 Gyrs of look back time) currently representing the best candidate high-z YMCs. All of this also implies that the search for globular cluster precursors has already begun.
We investigated the distribution of comorbidities among adult tuberculosis (TB) patients in Chiapas, the poorest Mexican state, with a high presence of indigenous population, and a corridor for migrants from Latin America. Secondary analysis on 5508 new adult TB patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 revealed that the most prevalent comorbidities were diabetes mellitus (DM; 19.1%) and undernutrition (14.4%). The prevalence of DM in these TB patients was significantly higher among middle aged (41–64 years) compared with older adults (⩾65 years) (38.6% vs. 23.2%; P < 0.0001). The prevalence of undernutrition was lower among those with DM, and higher in communities with high indigenous presence. Immigrants only comprised 2% of all TB cases, but were more likely to have unfavourable TB treatment outcomes (treatment failure, death and default) when compared with those born in Chiapas (29.5% vs. 11.1%; P < 0.05). Unfavourable TB outcomes were also more prevalent among the TB patients with undernutrition, HIV or older age, but not DM (P < 0.05). Our study in Chiapas illustrates the challenges of other regions worldwide where social (e.g. indigenous origin, poverty, migration) and host factors (DM, undernutrition, HIV, older age) are associated with TB. Further understanding of these critical factors will guide local policy makers and health providers to improve TB management.
During the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), feedback effects reduce the efficiency of star formation process in small halos or even fully quench it. The galaxy luminosity function (LF) may then turn over at the faint-end. We analyze the number counts of z > 5 galaxies observed in the fields of four Frontier Fields (FFs) clusters and obtain constraints on the LF faint-end: for the turn-over magnitude at z ∼ 6, MUVT ≳-13.3; for the circular velocity threshold of quenching star formation process, vc* ≲ 47 km s−1. We have not yet found significant evidence of the presence of feedback effects suppressing the star formation in small galaxies.
Oxytocin release, milking characteristics, and teat condition were investigated with reduced claw vacuum and pulsation settings compared to milking at regular settings with or without pre-stimulation. The reduced vacuum and pulsation settings during low milk flow are expected to protect the teat tissue before the occurrence of milk ejection at the start of milking, and at the end of milking during a potential overmilking period, i.e. at a milk flow <200 g/min. Seven cows were machine-milked either after a 60 s manual pre-stimulation, or without pre-stimulation and reduced vacuum and pulsation settings, or at full vacuum and normal pulsation during the start of milking. Plasma oxytocin (OT) concentration increased similarly in response to manual pre-stimulation and to both milking with reduced, or with full vacuum and pulsation settings, however delayed by 1 min if the cluster was attached without pre-stimulation. In all treatments OT concentrations remained elevated throughout milking. Milk flow curves were mostly non-bimodal at milkings after manual pre-stimulation and bimodal at milkings without pre-stimulation. The main milking time was shorter and average milk flow was higher during milking after pre-stimulation, but did not differ between treatments without pre-stimulation. Milk yields and peak flow rates were not affected by treatments. Either reduced or full vacuum settings were again applied during an intended overmilking from 200 to 100 g/min of milk flow towards the end of milk harvest. Pre-milking teat ultrasound cross sections were recorded one day before the experiment started. Post-milking ultrasound cross sections were performed at 15 min after each experimental milking. Teat wall thickness was increased after milking as compared to pre-milking but did not differ among treatments. In conclusion, OT release and milking performance are similar if milking is performed with pre-stimulation, or without pre-stimulation but reduced claw vacuum and b-phase during low milk flow.
Goat dairy products are an important source of animal protein in the tropics. During the dry season, pasture scarcity leads animals to lose up to 40% of their body weight, a condition known as Seasonal Weight Loss (SWL) that is one of the major constraints in ruminant production. Breeds with high tolerance to SWL are relevant to understand the physiological responses to pasture scarcity so they could be used in programs for animal breeding. In the Canary Islands there are two dairy goat breeds with different levels of tolerance to SWL: the Palmera, susceptible to SWL; and the Majorera, tolerant to SWL. Fat is one of the milk components most affected by environmental and physiological conditions. This study hypothesises that feed-restriction affects Majorera and Palmera breeds differently, leading to different fatty acid profiles in the mammary gland and milk. An interaction between breed and feed-restriction was observed in the mammary gland. Feed-restriction was associated with an increase in oleic acid and a decrease in palmitic acid percentage in the Palmera breed whereas no differences were observed in the Majorera breed. Palmitic and oleic acids together constituted around 60% of the total fatty acids identified, which suggests that Palmera breed is more susceptible to SWL. In milk, feed-restriction affected both breeds similarly. Regarding the interaction of the breed with the treatment, we also observed similar responses in both breeds, but this influence affects only around 2% of the total fatty acids. In general, Majorera breed is more tolerant to feed-restriction.
Colostrum and milk feeding are key factors for the newborn ruminant survival, affecting the future performance of the animal. Nowadays, there is an increasing interest in the potential of feeding newborn ruminants (mainly goat kids and lambs) with colostrum and milk from other more productive ruminant species (mainly cows). Although some studies regarding differences between colostrum and milk from these three species have been performed, herein we conduct for the first time a comparison using a proteomics 2-Dimensional Electrophoresis gel-based approach between these three ruminant species. In this study colostrum and milk samples from six Holstein cows, six Canarian sheep and six Majorera goats were used to determine the chemical composition, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M (IgM) concentrations and proteomics profiles. Results showed that in general sheep colostrum and milk contained higher fat, protein and lactose percentages compared to bovine and goat samples. Additionally, no differences in the IgG or IgM concentrations were found among any of the three studied species, with the exception of sheep colostrum that showed the highest IgM concentration. With reference to the proteomics-based approach, some high abundant proteins such as serum albumin precursor, beta-caseins or different immunoglobulins components were found in colostrum, milk or even both. Nevertheless, differences in other proteins with immune function such as serotransferrin or lactoperoxidase were detected. This study shows that despite the similar immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum and milk from the three studied species, differences in several immune components can be detected when these samples are studied using a proteomics approach. Finally, this study also provides a base for future investigation in colostrum and milk proteomics and metabolomics.
Objectives: Clinical neuroscience is increasingly turning to imaging the human brain for answers to a range of questions and challenges. To date, the majority of studies have focused on the neural basis of current psychiatric symptoms, which can facilitate the identification of neurobiological markers for diagnosis. However, the increasing availability and feasibility of using imaging modalities, such as diffusion imaging and resting-state fMRI, enable longitudinal mapping of brain development. This shift in the field is opening the possibility of identifying predictive markers of risk or prognosis, and also represents a critical missing element for efforts to promote personalized or individualized medicine in psychiatry (i.e., stratified psychiatry). Methods: The present work provides a selective review of potentially high-yield populations for longitudinal examination with MRI, based upon our understanding of risk from epidemiologic studies and initial MRI findings. Results: Our discussion is organized into three topic areas: (1) practical considerations for establishing temporal precedence in psychiatric research; (2) readiness of the field for conducting longitudinal MRI, particularly for neurodevelopmental questions; and (3) illustrations of high-yield populations and time windows for examination that can be used to rapidly generate meaningful and useful data. Particular emphasis is placed on the implementation of time-appropriate, developmentally informed longitudinal designs, capable of facilitating the identification of biomarkers predictive of risk and prognosis. Conclusions: Strategic longitudinal examination of the brain at-risk has the potential to bring the concepts of early intervention and prevention to psychiatry. (JINS, 2016, 22, 164–179)
Feed restriction, and seasonal weight loss (SWL), are major setbacks for animal production in the tropics and the Mediterranean. They may be solved through the use of autochthonous breeds particularly well adapted to SWL. It is therefore of major importance to determine markers of tolerance to feed restriction of putative use in animal selection. Two indigenous breeds from the Canary Islands, Palmera and Majorera, are commonly used by dairy goat farmers and, interestingly, have different phenotype characteristics albeit with a common ancestry. Indeed, Majorera is well adapted to feed restriction whereas the Palmera is susceptible to feed restriction. In addition, regardless of their importance in dairy production, there are only a limited number of reports relating to these breeds and, to the best of our knowledge, there is no description of their blood metabolite standard values under control conditions or as affected by feed restriction. In this study we analysed the blood metabolite profiles in Majorera and Palmera goats aiming to establish the differential responses to feed restriction between the two breeds and to characterise their metabolite standard values under control conditions. We observed significant differences in creatinine, urea, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), cholesterol, IGF-1 and T3 due to underfeeding. Furthermore, a PCA analysis, revealed that animals submitted to undernutrition could be distinguished from the control groups, with the formation of three separate clusters (Palmera individuals after 22 d of subnutrition (PE22); Majorera individuals after 22 d of subnutrition (ME22) and animals assigned to control conditions (MC0, MC22, PC0 and PC22)), highlighting different responses of the two breeds to undernutrition.