To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
In recent years, mobile robots have become increasingly frequent in daily life applications, such as cleaning, surveillance, support for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as hazardous activities. However, a big challenge arises when the robotic system must perform a fully autonomous mission. The main problems of autonomous missions include path planning, localisation, and mapping. Thus, this research proposes a hybrid methodology for mobile robots on an autonomous mission involving an offline approach that uses the Direct-DRRT* algorithm and the artificial potential fields algorithm as the online planner. The experimental design covers three scenarios with an increasing degree of accuracy in respect of the real world. Additionally, an extensive evaluation of the proposed methodology is reported.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis a hereditary, multi-systemic and life-threatening disease resulting in neuropathy and cardiomyopathy. In the APOLLO study, patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting hepatic TTR production resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL compared to placebo and was generally well tolerated. Methods: APOLLO, a Phase 3 study of patisiran vs. placebo (NCT01960348) prespecified a cardiac subpopulation (n=126 of 225 total) that included patients with baseline left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥ 13mm and no medical history of aortic valve disease or hypertension. Cardiac measures included structure and function by electrocardiography, changes in NT-proBNP and 10-MWT gait speed. Results: At 18 months, patisiran treatment resulted in a mean reduction in LV wall thickness of 1 mm (p=0.017) compared to baseline, which was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in LV end diastolic volume (+8.31 mL, p=0.036), global longitudinal strain (-1.37%, p=0.015) and NT-proBNP (55% reduction, p=7.7 x 10-8) (Figure 1). Gait speed was also improved relative to placebo (+0.35 m/sec, p=7.4 x 10-9). Rate of death or hospitalization was lower with patisiran. mNIS+7 results in the cardiac subpopulation will also be presented. Conclusions: These data suggest patisiran has the potential to halt or reverse cardiac manifestations of hATTR amyloidosis.
Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis is a multi-systemic, heterogenous, life-threatening disease. Patisiran resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL at 18-months compared to placebo, and was generally well-tolerated in the Phase 3 APOLLO study. Methods: Multi-center, OLE study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of long-term patisiran dosing for ≤ 5 years in hATTR amyloidosis patients with polyneuropathy who have completed the APOLLO study (NCT02510261). Endpoints include safety, tolerability and long-term efficacy of patisiran. Measures of clinical benefit are the same endpoints used in APOLLO including changes in mNIS+7 composite neuropathy impairment score and QoL (Norfolk QoL-DN) Results: As of December 2017, 184 of 186 (99%) patients who completed APOLLO and 25 patients from the Ph 2 OLE study enrolled in the Global OLE study. Baseline data for 211(APOLLO/placebo, n=49; APOLLO/patisiran, n=137 and patisiran Ph 2 OLE, n=25) patients included: median age 61 years (26-84); 74% males; 46% V30M. Interim safety data and 12-month efficacy results will be presented. Conclusions: The global OLE study includes a diverse population of hATTR amyloidosis patients. Interim data will include the long-term safety and maintenance of effect in patients continuing on patisiran, as well as the impact of treatment with patisiran on patients previously treated with placebo.
The fraction of organic matter present affects the fragmentation behavior of sialoliths; thus, pretherapeutic information on the degree of mineralization is relevant for a correct selection of lithotripsy procedures. This work proposes a methodology for in vivo characterization of salivary calculi in the pretherapeutic context. Sialoliths were characterized in detail by X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) in combination with atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Correlative analysis of the same specimens was performed by in vivo and ex vivo helical computed tomography (HCT) and ex vivo μCT. The mineral matter in the sialoliths consisted essentially of apatite (89 vol%) and whitlockite (11 vol%) with average density of 1.8 g/cm3. In hydrated conditions, the mineral mass prevailed with 53 ± 13 wt%, whereas the organic matter, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3, occupied 65 ± 10% of the sialoliths’ volume. A quantitative relation between sialoliths mineral density and X-ray attenuation is proposed for both HCT and μCT.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
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.
Leprosy still represents a serious health problem in a number of countries, including Brazil. Although leprosy has been associated with poverty for a long time, it is still difficult to accurately define this relationship. Here, we evaluated in an endemic municipality the progress from 1995 to 2015 of epidemiological indicators to establish if there were any strong associations between social indicators and the occurrence of leprosy. An ecological study was conducted using the SINAN database (Brazilian leprosy-national notifiable diseases information system) in combination with georeferencing of leprosy cases. The georeferencing used the ArcGis programme and occurrence of cases was evaluated in relation to the Health Vulnerability Index (HVI), an indicator that categorises socio-economic and sanitation factors. The data identified a marked decrease in the overall prevalence of leprosy, a reduction in the new case-detection rate and a reduction in the number of cases with grade 2 disabilities (albeit with transient peaks in 2007 and 2015). Logistic regression analysis showed association of detection rates with elevated HVI. Thus, while the epidemiological indicators point to the elimination of leprosy, there is evidence of hidden cases and an association between higher rates of leprosy detection and greater social vulnerability remain.
Reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission is still a public health priority. The development of effective control strategies relies on the quantification of the effects of prophylactic and therapeutic measures in disease incidence. Although several assays can be used to estimate HIV incidence, these estimates are limited by the poor performance of these assays in distinguishing recent from long-standing infections. To address such limitation, we have developed an assay to titrate p24-specific IgG3 antibodies as a marker of recent infection. The assay is based on a recombinant p24 protein capable to detect total IgG antibodies in sera using a liquid micro array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, the assay was optimised to detect and titrate anti-p24 IgG3 responses in a panel of sequential specimens from seroconverters over 24 months. The kinetics of p24-specific IgG3 titres revealed a transient peak in the 4 to 5-month period after seroconversion. It was followed by a sharp decline, allowing infections with less than 6 months to be distinguished from older ones. The developed assay exhibited a mean duration of recent infection of 144 days and a false-recent rate of ca. 14%. Our findings show that HIV-1 p24-specific IgG3 titres can be used as a tool to evaluate HIV incidence in serosurveys and to monitor the efficacy of vaccines and other transmission control strategies.
Recent open-label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression.
To test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Patients received a single dose of either ayahuasca or placebo. We assessed changes in depression severity with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale at baseline, and at 1 (D1), 2 (D2), and 7 (D7) days after dosing.
We observed significant antidepressant effects of ayahuasca when compared with placebo at all-time points. MADRS scores were significantly lower in the ayahuasca group compared with placebo at D1 and D2 (p = 0.04), and at D7 (p < 0.0001). Between-group effect sizes increased from D1 to D7 (D1: Cohen's d = 0.84; D2: Cohen's d = 0.84; D7: Cohen's d = 1.49). Response rates were high for both groups at D1 and D2, and significantly higher in the ayahuasca group at D7 (64% v. 27%; p = 0.04). Remission rate showed a trend toward significance at D7 (36% v. 7%, p = 0.054).
To our knowledge, this is the first controlled trial to test a psychedelic substance in treatment-resistant depression. Overall, this study brings new evidence supporting the safety and therapeutic value of ayahuasca, dosed within an appropriate setting, to help treat depression. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02914769).
Monosodium l-glutamate (MSG)-induced obesity is a useful model for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) studies. However, there is limited data on its initiation and progression. Thus, this study aimed to characterize the onset of metabolic and histopathological features of NAFLD and its progression to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in this model. To perform this study, Swiss mice pups were neonatally injected with MSG (4 g/kg/day, s.c.) or equiosmolar saline and followed up to 60, 120 or 180 days old. At each age, blood, liver, as well as periepididymal and retroperitoneal fat pads were collected for morphometric, biochemical and histological analyses, the later according to NAFLD activity score. MSG mice presented hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity at all ages, but peripheral insulin-resistance was verified only in 120- and 180-day-old mice. Hepatic total fat and triglycerides content were higher in MSG mice at all ages. Accordingly, histopathological analysis showed that 60-day-old MSG mice had microvesicular steatosis with occasional ballooning, which evolved into NASH from 120 days old. Retroperitoneal fat accumulation was the only variable to independently correlate with NAFLD activity total score upon multivariate analysis (R2=71.45%). There were no differences in IL-6 and TNF-α serum levels among groups. Overall, this study shows that NAFLD is a precocious outcome in MSG-obese mice, whereas the period comprised between 60 and 120 days old seems to be a crucial metabolic window for comprehending pathophysiological events involved in NAFLD-to-NASH progression in this model.
The objective of this study was to validate an electronic system for monitoring individual feeding and drinking behaviour and intake developed for young cattle housed in group. A total of 35 Holstein–Gyr crossbred heifers (BW: 180±52 kg; age: 121.5±32.5 days), fitted with an ear tag containing a unique passive transponder, were distributed in three groups of 12, 12 and 11 animals per period and had free access to 12 electronic feed bins and two electronic water bins (Intergado® Ltd). The dimensions of feed and water bins, as well as the sensors position were appropriate for young cattle. The system documented the visit frequency and duration, as well as the feed and water intakes, by recording the animal’s identification tag, bin number, initial and final times of visits and the difference of feed/water weight at the start and end of each bin visit. Feed bins were monitored using time-lapse video recording over 4 days and the water bins were monitored over 6 days. For each feed bin, two feeding events were monitored using manual weighings with an external scale immediately before and after the animal’s visit and the difference between them was assumed as feed intake (n=24 observations). For the water bins, 60 manual weighings were made. Video and manual weighing data were regressed on the electronic feeding and drinking behaviour and intake data to evaluate the system’s precision and accuracy. The system showed high specificity (98.98% and 98.56% for the feed and water bins, respectively) and sensitivity (99.25% and 98.74%, respectively) for identifying an animal’s presence or absence. Duration of feed and water bin visits as well as feed and water consumption per visit estimated by the system were highly correlated and precise compared with the observed video and manual weighing data (r2=0.917, 0.963, 0.973 and 0.986, respectively). It was concluded that Intergado® system is a useful tool for monitoring feeding and drinking behaviour as well as water and feed intakes in young cattle housed in groups.
American tegumentary leishmaniasis is caused by different species of Leishmania. This protozoan employs several mechanisms to subvert the microbicidal activity of macrophages and, given the limited efficacy of current therapies, the development of alternative treatments is essential. Animal venoms are known to exhibit a variety of pharmacological activities, including antiparasitic effects. Crotoxin (CTX) is the main component of Crotalus durissus terrificus venom, and it has several biological effects. Nevertheless, there is no report of CTX activity during macrophage – Leishmania interactions. Thus, the main objective of this study was to evaluate whether CTX has a role in macrophage M1 polarization during Leishmania infection murine macrophages, Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes and L. amazonensis-infected macrophages were challenged with CTX. MTT [3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrasodium bromide] toxicity assays were performed on murine macrophages, and no damage was observed in these cells. Promastigotes, however, were affected by treatment with CTX (IC50 = 22·86 µg mL−1) as were intracellular amastigotes. Macrophages treated with CTX also demonstrated increased reactive oxygen species production. After they were infected with Leishmania, macrophages exhibited an increase in nitric oxide production that converged into an M1 activation profile, as suggested by their elevated production of the cytokines interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α and changes in their morphology. CTX was able to reverse the L. amazonensis-mediated inhibition of macrophage immune responses and is capable of polarizing macrophages to the M1 profile, which is associated with a better prognosis for cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment.
The present study aims to assess the effects of pig’s genotype (lean v. fatty) and dietary protein level (control v. reduced) on intramuscular fat (IMF) content, fatty acid composition and fibre profile of psoas major, a representative red muscle in pig’s carcass scarcely studied relative to white longissimus lumborum. The experiment was conducted on 40 intact male pigs (20 Alentejana purebred and 20 Large White×Landrace×Pietrain crossbred) from 60 to 93 kg of live weight. Pigs were divided and allocated to four dietary groups: control protein diet equilibrated for lysine (17.5% of CP and 0.7% of lysine) and reduced protein diet (RPD) not equilibrated for lysine (13.1% of crude protein and 0.4% of lysine) within a 2×2 factorial arrangement (two genotypes and two diets). Alentejana purebred had higher IMF content (15.7%) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (8.9%), whereas crossbred pigs had higher PM weight (46.3%) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (20.1%). The genotype also affected colour with higher lightness (15.1%) and yellowness (33.8%) and lower redness (9.9%) scores in crossbred pigs. In line with this, fatty pigs displayed more oxidative fibres (29.5%), whilst lean pigs had more glycolytic (54.4%). Relative to fatty acids, RPD increased MUFA (5.2%) and SFA (3.2%) but decreased PUFA (14.8%). Ultimately, RPD increased IMF content (15.7%) in the red muscle under study, with no impact on glycolytic to oxidative fibre type transformation.
This study was aimed to investigate associations between birth weight and multiple adiposity indicators in youth, and to examine potential mediating effects by biological maturation. This was a school-based study involving 981 Brazilian adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years. Birth weight was reported retrospectively by mothers. Maturation was estimated by age of peak height velocity. Adiposity indicators included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and percent body fat estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Multilevel mediation analyses were performed using the Sobel test, adjusted for chronological age, gestational age, cardiorespiratory fitness and socio-economic status. Except for body fat in girls, biological maturation partly or fully mediated (P<0.05) positive relationships between birth weight with all other obesity indicators in both sexes with their respective values of indirect effects with 95% confidence intervals: BMI [boys: 0.44 (0.06–0.82); girls: 0.38 (0.13–0.64)], waist circumference [boys: 1.14 (0.22–2.05); girls: 0.87 (0.26–1.48)] and body fat [boys: 0.60 (0.13–1.07)]. To conclude, birth weight is associated with elevated obesity risk in adolescence and biological maturation seems to at least partly mediate this relationship.
The present research brings psychometric evidences for the Unidimensional Relationship Closeness Scale (URCS), aiming at verifying its adequacy for use in the Brazilian context. Participants were 468 university students with mean age of 21.2 years. They completed a survey composed by the URCS, the Basic Values Survey (BSV), and demographic questions. Through Exploratory (Eigenvalue = 6.61) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFI = .937, TLI = .923), the results showed that the same one-factor structure from the original version of the scale was found. These results were also invariant across gender and relationship status (∆SRMR < .03), and presented evidences of internal consistence (α = .94), temporal stability (ICC = .903, p < .001), and convergent validity (rmale = .32, rfemale = .25, p < .001). In conclusion, this measure has shown to be psychometrically adequate for use in Brazil.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Zika virus infection was declared a public health emergency of international concern in February 2016 in response to the outbreak in Brazil and its suspected link with congenital anomalies. In this study, we use notification data and disease natural history parameters to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) of Zika in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We also obtain estimates of R0 of dengue from time series of dengue cases in the outbreaks registered in 2002 and 2012 in the city, when DENV-3 and DENV-4 serotypes, respectively, had just emerged. Our estimates of the basic reproduction number for Zika in Rio de Janeiro based on surveillance notifications (R0 = 2·33, 95% CI: 1·97–2·97) were higher than those obtained for dengue in the city (year 2002: R0 = 1·70 [1·50–2·02]; year 2012: R0 = 1·25 [1·18–1·36]). Given the role of Aedes aegypti as vector of both the Zika and dengue viruses, we also derive R0 of Zika as a function of both dengue reproduction number and entomological and epidemiological parameters for dengue and Zika. Using the dengue outbreaks from previous years allowed us to estimate the potential R0 of Zika. Our estimates were closely in agreement with our first Zika's R0 estimation from notification data. Hence, these results validate deriving the potential risk of Zika transmission in areas with recurring dengue outbreaks. Whether transmission routes other than vector-based can sustain a Zika epidemic still deserves attention, but our results suggest that the Zika outbreak in Rio de Janeiro emerged due to population susceptibility and ubiquitous presence of Ae. aegypti.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of silicon application and administration of the phytohormone gibberellic acid on resistance of the corn plants to the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, and their vegetative characteristics. We evaluated larval and pupal duration, survival and biomass, and adult longevity, malformation and fecundity of S. frugiperda after feeding on plant matter treated with silicon and/or gibberellic acid. The feeding preference of FAW first-instar larvae, the total leaf area consumed by the insects, and the vegetative parameters of corn plants were also evaluated. No significant differences were observed in the measured parameters of larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda in response to silicon or gibberellic acid. In adult stage insects, the number of eggs per female was significantly reduced in insects derived from larvae fed plants treated with silicon or gibberellic acid. In a non-preference test, 48 h after release, caterpillars preferred control untreated plants and consumed less matter from plants that had received hormonal treatment (gibberellic acid). Gibberellic acid also altered the vegetative characteristics of plants, by increasing their height, shoot fresh and dry mass, and silicon content. We conclude that gibberellic acid can alter the vegetative characteristics and silicon uptake of corn plants, leading to a reduction in their consumption by S. frugiperda larvae and a decrease in female insect oviposition.