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There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a public health concern in Latin America. Epigenetic events, such as histone acetylation, affect DNA topology, replication and gene expression. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are involved in chromatin compaction and post-translational modifications of cytoplasmic proteins, such as tubulin. HDAC inhibitors, like trichostatin A (TSA), inhibit tumour cell proliferation and promotes ultrastructural modifications. In the present study, TSA effects on cell proliferation, viability, cell cycle and ultrastructure were evaluated, as well as on histone acetylation and tubulin expression of the T. cruzi epimastigote form. Protozoa proliferation and viability were reduced after treatment with TSA. Quantitative proteomic analyses revealed an increase in histone acetylation after 72 h of TSA treatment. Surprisingly, results obtained by different microscopy methodologies indicate that TSA does not affect chromatin compaction, but alters microtubule cytoskeleton dynamics and impair kDNA segregation, generating polynucleated cells with atypical morphology. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry assays indicated that treated cell microtubules were more intensely acetylated. Increases in tubulin acetylation may be directly related to the higher number of parasites in the G2/M phase after TSA treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that deacetylase inhibitors represent excellent tools for understanding trypanosomatid cell biology.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that was first identified in Brazil in 2014. It causes a febrile illness characterised by severe arthralgia and rash. Our group investigated a suspected CHIKV outbreak in Governador Valadares, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil and from 25 acute-phase patients, 10 had qRT-PCR positive sera samples and had E1 partial sequence amplified and Sanger sequenced. Samples were identified as East/Central/South African (ECSA) genotype by phylogenetic analysis and clustered with CHIKV sequences isolated in the neighbour state of Bahia. Our findings confirm previous predictions that ECSA genotype would spread through northeast and southeast of Brazil.
Although Aplysia depilans is a widely known European species and the type species of the genus, the distinctions that separate it from other related congeners are not entirely clear. Aimed at improving this scenario, a detailed morphological description is performed herein, showing some unprecedented and useful features. Based on our anatomical examination, this study has found the opaline gland to be dark in colour, as well as a metapodium with an indistinctly delimited pedal sucker, a crop divided into two equal chambers of similar volume by a circular muscle, gizzard plates arranged in groups, and a peculiar penial sheath structure. All of these characters appear to be significantly different from the other species, based on a review of the anatomical literature and several examined samples of ongoing studies. Our central objective is to provide new data on the anatomy of the type species of Aplysiidae; and, based on topological evidence, to propose a new terminology and possible homologies to some important characters, such as parapodia lobation, cephalic tentacles, crop, penial sheath, gizzard plates and visceral ganglion in anaspideans, for future phylogenetic analysis. The subgenus Subaplysia Medina, Collins & Walsh, 2005 is regarded as a junior synonym of subgenus Aplysia Linnaeus, 1767.
Antibiotics have been widely used in piglet diets to promote growth performance and reduce diarrhea incidence. However, the resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and the risk of residues of antibiotics in animal products induced a growing interest in the use of alternatives to in-feed antibiotics. Chito-oligosaccharide (COS), a natural alkaline polymer of glucosamine is currently being tested as a substitute for in-feed antibiotics. In weaned piglets, COS has positive effects on promoting growth, which may be related to its action on intestinal morphology, immune ability and beneficial microbiota. However, previous studies shown variable results with effective doses ranging from 30 mg/kg to 5 g/kg. Therefore, the goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that the use of COS can be an alternative to in-feed antibiotics by improve the intestinal morphology of piglets, using the jejunal explant model. The intestinal explants were exposed for 4 h to following treatments: control – only culture media and culture media with COS in doses of 0.025 mg/ml, 0.05 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/ml and 0.15 mg/ml. After the incubation period the explants were processed for histological and morphometrical analysis. The histological changes were evaluated using an adapted histological score based on the intensity and severity of lesions. Mild histological changes were observed in jejunal explants exposed to different treatments; however, no significant difference in the histological score, villi height, crypt depth or villus : crypt ratio were observed between the COS-groups and the control. In addition, goblet cells density in intestinal explants exposed to COS remained statistically similar to control group. Our results indicate that COS exposure in levels ranging from 0.025 to 0.15 mg/ml induced no effect on intestinal morphology of pig’s explants. The research will provide guidance on the low dosage of COS supplementation on weaning pigs.
Here we evaluated the effect of fermented milk supplemented with whey protein (approximately 80 % protein), probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB12) and pomegranate juice (Punica granatum L.) on the physical performance, intestinal motility and villi structure, inflammatory markers and intestinal microbiota of rats under high-intensity acute exercise. In all, twenty-four Wistar rats were separated into groups: control (Ctrl), supplemented (Supp), exercised (Exe) and exercised and supplemented (Exe+Supp). Rats in the Supp groups received fermented milk during 6 weeks by oral administration. At the end of the supplementation period, the Exe groups were submitted to high-intensity acute exercise on a treadmill. We found that intense acute exercise caused changes in the intestinal villi interspace, changes in the proportion of Lactobacillus species and an increase in Clostridium species, as well as a decrease in intestinal motility. Supplementation increased intestinal motility, and maintained the intestinal villi interspace and the natural microbiota proportions of the exercised rats. Physical performance was not improved by fermented milk supplementation. We conclude that the fermented milk containing whey protein, B. animalis (BB12) and pomegranate juice can re-establish intestinal microbiota and protect the animals from the undesirable effects of intense acute exercise.
This study systematised and synthesised the results of observational studies that were aimed at supporting the association between dietary patterns and cardiometabolic risk (CMR) factors among adolescents. Relevant scientific articles were searched in PUBMED, EMBASE, SCIENCE DIRECT, LILACS, WEB OF SCIENCE and SCOPUS. Observational studies that included the measurement of any CMR factor in healthy adolescents and dietary patterns were included. The search strategy retained nineteen articles for qualitative analysis. Among retained articles, the effects of dietary pattern on the means of BMI (n 18), waist circumference (WC) (n 9), systolic blood pressure (n 7), diastolic blood pressure (n 6), blood glucose (n 5) and lipid profile (n 5) were examined. Systematised evidence showed that an unhealthy dietary pattern appears to be associated with poor mean values of CMR factors among adolescents. However, evidence of a protective effect of healthier dietary patterns in this group remains unclear. Considering the number of studies with available information, a meta-analysis of anthropometric measures showed that dietary patterns characterised by the highest intake of unhealthy foods resulted in a higher mean BMI (0·57 kg/m²; 95 % CI 0·51, 0·63) and WC (0·57 cm; 95 % CI 0·47, 0·67) compared with low intake of unhealthy foods. Controversially, patterns characterised by a low intake of healthy foods were associated with a lower mean BMI (−0·41 kg/m²; 95 % CI −0·46,−0·36) and WC (−0·43 cm; 95 % CI −0·52,−0·33). An unhealthy dietary pattern may influence markers of CMR among adolescents, but considering the small number and limitations of the studies included, further studies are warranted to strengthen the evidence of this relation.
By using quasi-optical tools, it is possible to approximate microwave radiation to Gaussian beams, which enables the study of its propagation and coupling to different components. Hence, their usefulness for wireless power transfer and rapid system design. In this paper, a system composed of two reflectors is analyzed both theoretically and by discussing two cases where quasi-optical tools were applied. The near- and far-field regimes were considered and corresponding frequencies of operation, beam radius, and radius of curvature were computed.
The properties of the acoustic modes are sensitive to magnetic activity. The unprecedented long-term Kepler photometry, thus, allows stellar magnetic cycles to be studied through asteroseismology. We search for signatures of magnetic cycles in the seismic data of Kepler solar-type stars. We find evidence for periodic variations in the acoustic properties of about half of the 87 analysed stars. In these proceedings, we highlight the results obtained for two such stars, namely KIC 8006161 and KIC 5184732.
Eight new species of Pyrenulaceae are described as new to science from Brazil, Guyana and Puerto Rico. Pyrenula sanguineomeandrata Aptroot & Mercado Diaz (with a thallus with red, KOH+ purple pigmentation of lines or a reticulum, simple ascomata with vertical ostioles, a deep red inspersed, KOH+ orange hamathecium, and dark brown 3-septate ascospores 25–29×10–12 μm) and P. sanguineostiolata Aptroot & Mercado Diaz (with a thallus with deeply immersed simple ascomata with vertical ostioles, which are superficial and bright red, and 3-septate ascospores 25–28×9–12 μm) are described from submontane evergreen forests in Puerto Rico. Pyrenula biseptata Aptroot & M. Cáceres (with simple ascomata with vertical ostioles, an inspersed hamathecium and 2-septate ascospores 11–12×4·5–5·0 μm) and P. xanthinspersa Aptroot & M. Cáceres (with an ecorticate thallus containing lichexanthone, simple ascomata with vertical ostioles, not inspersed hamathecium and 3-septate ascospores 14–17×6·0–7·5 μm) are described from rainforest in Amazonian Brazil. Pyrenula subvariabilis Aptroot & Sipman (with fused ascomata with lateral ostioles and submuriform ascospores 17–20(–25)×6–9 μm) and Sulcopyrenula biseriata Aptroot & Sipman (with a thallus containing lichexanthone, simple ascomata with lateral ostioles and lozenge-shaped ascospores with 8 locules, (13–)15–17(–20)×8–10 (width)×6–7 (thickness) μm) are described from savannahs in Guyana. Special attention is paid to the genus Pyrgillus: two new species from the 3-septate core group of this small genus are described from Brazil, viz. P. aurantiacus Aptroot & M. Cáceres (with a corticate thallus containing lichexanthone, mazaedium with orange, KOH+ violet, UV+ red pruina and ascospores of 13–16×6·0–7·5 μm) and P. rufus Aptroot & M. Cáceres (with a corticate thallus containing lichexanthone, mazaedium with dark red, KOH+ orange, UV+ red pruina and ascospores of 15·0–17·5×5·0–6·5 μm). An updated key to the 3-septate species of Pyrgillus is provided.
This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of globalization's impact on the Brazilian legal profession. Employing original data from nine empirical studies, the book details how Brazil's need to restructure its economy and manage its global relationships contributed to the emergence of a new 'corporate legal sector' - a sector marked by increasingly large and sophisticated law firms and in-house legal departments. This corporate legal sector in turn helped to reshape other parts of the Brazilian legal profession, including legal education, pro bono practices, the regulation of legal services, and the state's legal capacity in international economic law. The book, the second in a series on Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies, will be of interest to academics, lawyers, and policymakers concerned with the role that a rapidly globalizing legal profession is playing in the development of key emerging economies, and how these countries are integrating into the global market for legal services.
Oxidative stress has been documented in chronic schizophrenia and in the first episode of psychosis, but there are very little data on oxidative stress prior to the disease onset.
This work aimed to compare serum levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in young individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) of developing psychosis with a comparison healthy control group (HC).
Thirteen UHR subjects and 29 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) were enrolled in this study. Clinical assessment included the Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental States (CAARMS), the Semi-Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I (SCID-I) or the Kiddie-SADS-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. Activities of SOD and GPx were measured in serum by the spectrophotometric method using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits.
After adjusting for age and years of education, there was a significant lower activity of SOD and lower GPX activity in the UHR group compared to the healthy control group (rate ratio [RR]=0.330, 95% CI 0.187; 0.584, p<0.001 and RR=0.509, 95% CI 0.323; 0.803, p=0.004, respectively). There were also positive correlations between GAF functioning scores and GPx and SOD activities.
Our results suggest that oxidative imbalances could be present prior to the onset of full-blown psychosis, including in at-risk stages. Future studies should replicate and expand these results.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.