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This work reports by the first time a method to control the geometry of Ga2O3 films nanocrystallites at 350 °C. The formation of controlled shaped nano-crystallites of γ-Ga2O3 from amorphous Ga2O3 films grown by RF-Sputtering at room temperature driven by nano-layers of group IB metals (Cu, Ag or Au) is studied. The reported results can be explained by the role of subsurface metal nano-layers and the non-equilibrium nature of the sputtering processes. To study the effects on the surface structure and their optical properties arrays of amorphous-Ga2O3/IB-metal/amorphous-Ga2O3 were annealed in dry N2 atmosphere at 350 °C by 50, 100 and 150 min. The experimental results can be explained by the evolution of the amorphous character of the films amorphous films towards the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 phase driven by the metal nano-layer seed nature. As the annealing time was increased the transition from amorphous-Ga2O3 to the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 phase was detected by X-ray diffraction analysis. The transition to the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 is demonstrated by the formation of octahedral, triangle and ball shape nanocrystallites with sizes of ∼5 to 50 nm according to FE-SEM analysis. The influence of the metal nano-layer is clearly seen by the shift of the plasmon frequency resonance produced by the Ga2O3/IB-metal/Ga2O3 arrays in the region from 400 to 600 nm caused by the modification of the interface Ga2O3/IB-metal produced by the applied annealing stages.
We determined the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis isolates to evaluate its potential impact on pertussis reemergence in a population of Mexico. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cases were included. Pertussis infection was confirmed by culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected B. pertussis isolates were further analysed; i.e. clonality was analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ptxP-ptxA, prn, fim2 and fim3 typing was performed by PCR and sequencing. Out of 11 864 analysed samples, 687 (5.8%) were positive for pertussis, with 244 (36%) confirmed by both culture and PCR whereas 115 (17%) were positive only by culture and 328 (48%) were positive only by PCR. One predominant clone (clone A, n = 62/113; 55%) and three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) were identified by PFGE. All 113 selected isolates had the allelic combination ptxP3-ptxA1. The predominant clone A and the three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) corresponded to the emerging genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1. In conclusion, the presence of an endemic clone and three predominant subtypes belonging to the genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1 were detected. This finding supports the global spread/expansion reported for these outbreaks associated genotypes.
A study on locally available composts in Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland was conducted to investigate the potential of these non-chemical based tools to increase soil health in orchards afflicted by apple replant disease (ARD). A total of 26 different composts (six to seven per country) were chosen for the study. Composts were divided into ten types according to the waste materials used as substrates in the composting process. Growth reduction is the main symptom associated with replant disease; therefore compost performance was evaluated based on the growth responses of apple rootstock plantlets in compost-amended soils in pots. These greenhouse trials were performed in one research station per country, located in an intensive apple-growing area, and soil was taken from an apple orchard affected by replanting disease. Plant growth response was measured as shoot elongation at the end of each greenhouse trial, and results showed increases in growth compared with the respective controls of 2–26% in 20 out of 26 composts evaluated. The heterogeneous nature of the composts most likely attributed to the finding that similar compost types originating from the different countries had varying effects on plant growth. Overall, no significant changes in chemical and biological properties were observed in amended soils as compared with non-amended controls. The high soil resilience was in part expected given the good organic matter content in the original soils (>2%). The bacterial communities of the composts were investigated using the COMPOCHIP microarray, and analyses showed that differences in plant growth response were mainly attributed to the microbial changes introduced into the soil through composts rather than to changes in soil chemical and biological parameters. However, the bacterial communities of composts appeared to be more influenced by geographical origin than by compost type. The results have shown that soil amendment with composts generated from locally produced wastes have the potential to reduce the effects of ARD, although the effects appear to be both compost and soil specific.
The in vitro larvicidal and in vivo anthelmintic effects of Oxalis tetraphylla hydroalcoholic extract (HE), against Haemonchus contortus in experimentally infected lambs, were assessed. We used a microtitration plate method, comprising the following two stages. Stage 1: 20 μl of water containing 200 sheathed H. contortus infective larvae (ShHcl) were deposited in every well of three series; then, the series 2 and 3 wells were treated with 80 μl 1% ivermectin and O. tetraphylla HE at 20 mg/ml, respectively. Stage 2: the same procedure was performed replacing the ShHcl with exsheathed larvae (ExShHcl). Evaluations were performed after 24 and 48 h. The total numbers of dead and live larvae were counted. A second experiment evaluated the reduction in nematode egg populations in the faeces of lambs treated orally with the O. tetraphylla HE. The 27 lambs used were divided into Groups 1, 2 and 3 (n = 9), which were administered water (positive control), levamisole 1 m (7.5 mg/kg body weight (BW), as a unique dose) and O. tetraphylla HE (20 mg/kg BW), respectively. The plant HE was administered daily for 8 days. The in vitro assay showed 80.9% and 86.5% larval mortality of ShHcl after 24 and 48 h, respectively, while the corresponding mortality values for ExShHcl were 97 and 99%, respectively. The in vivo assay showed variability in the eggs/gram of faeces (epg) values; however, at the end of the trial, the average reduction in the epg values of the O. tetraphylla HE group was 45.6% (P < 0.05). Oxalis tetraphylla HE contains compounds that belong to the flavonol group with anthelmintic activity.
The fragmentation of jaguar Panthera onca populations as a result of habitat loss is considered to be one of the main challenges for the conservation of the species. Corridors have been proposed as a means of maintaining connectivity and the long-term viability of jaguar populations. The corridor that connects the jaguar conservation units of Calakmul and Laguna de Terminos in Mexico has been considered to be a link for the movement of individuals between these units but its functionality had yet to be verified. During 2012–2014 we divided the corridor into four sections, where we used camera traps to verify the corridor's functionality. We obtained 106 photographs of jaguars, proving the presence of jaguars (including resident jaguars and females) in three of the corridor sections. We did not record any individuals in more than one section of the corridor. The presence of several resident jaguars and females throughout the corridor suggests that portions of the corridor should be incorporated into the Calakmul and Laguna de Terminos jaguar conservation units. Nevertheless, to confirm that the corridor is fully functional it is necessary to obtain evidence of movement of jaguars among the various sections of the corridor. Our results suggest that the area should be included in regional conservation strategies.
It has been previously shown that Lactobacillus plantarum CRL 2130 is able to produce riboflavin in soyamilk. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficiency of this riboflavin-bio-enriched soyamilk to revert and/or prevent the nutritional deficiency of riboflavin using different animal models. When used to supplement the diets of previously depleted animals, it was shown that the growth, riboflavin status and morphology of the small intestines reverted to normal parameters and were similar to animals supplemented with commercial riboflavin. In the prevention model, the same tendency was observed, where animals that received soyamilk fermented with L. plantarum CRL 2130 did not show signs of riboflavin deficiency. This new bio-fortified soya-based product could be used as part of normal diets to provide a more natural alternative to mandatory fortification with riboflavin for the prevention of its deficiency.
Subsistence hunting can change the demographic structure of wild mammal populations, increasing the proportion of young animals, inducing females to reproduce early and increasing litter sizes. We examined the relationship between hunting pressure and age structure in the Vulnerable white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari, analysing the distribution of age classes at seven sites in the region Terra do Meio in the Brazilian Amazon. These sites differ in the number of human inhabitants and hence were subject to differing hunting pressures. We completed semi-structured interviews with local people to assess the importance of hunting and of the white-lipped peccary as food. We also estimated the age of hunted white-lipped peccaries by assessing tooth eruption and tooth wear in skulls of hunted individuals. Our results indicated that the white-lipped peccary was the most frequently hunted terrestrial animal in the region. Fishing, followed by hunting, provided the main sources of animal protein. Our data suggest there is no relationship between age structure and hunting at the study sites. The social structure and mobility of white-lipped peccaries seem to minimize the effects of hunting on age structure. Our results, similar to previous studies, show that the age structure of the white-lipped peccary is robust to hunting impacts. Other factors may have stronger effects on age structure than subsistence hunting. We suggest that deforestation may explain the prevalence of older individuals in peccary populations to the north of our study sites.
Enhancing healthy fatty acids (FAs) in ewe milk fat and suckling lamb tissues is an important objective in terms of improving the nutritional value of these foods for the consumer. The present study examined the effects of feeding-protected lipid supplements rich in unsaturated FAs on the lipid composition of ewe milk, and subsequently in the muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissues of lambs suckling such milk. Thirty-six pregnant Churra ewes with their new-born lambs were assigned to one of three experimental diets (forage/concentrate ratio 50 : 50), each supplemented with either 3% Ca soap FAs of palm (Control), olive (OLI) or fish (FO) oil. The lambs were nourished exclusively by suckling for the whole experimental period. When the lambs reached 11 kg BW, they were slaughtered and samples were taken from the Longissimus dorsi and subcutaneous fat depots. Although milk production was not affected by lipid supplementation, the FO diet decreased fat content (P<0.001), whereas the OLI milk FA profile resembled that of the Control diet. In contrast, although FO drastically diminished the contents of stearic and oleic acids (P<0.001), all the saturated even-numbered carbon FAs from 6:0 to 14:0 increased (P<0.05). FO also produced the highest levels of c9,t11-18:2 (2.21%) and n-3 FAs, 20:5 n-3 (0.58%), 22:5 n-3 (0.48%) and 22:6 n-3 (0.40%). The high levels of trans-11 18:1 (7.10%) obtained from the FO diet would suggest that Ca soaps only confer partial protection in the rumen. In contrast, the lack of significant differences in trans-10 18:1 levels (P>0.05) and other trans-FAs between Control and FO treatments would indicate that FO treatment does not alter rumen biohydrogenation pathways under the assayed conditions. Changes in dam milk FA composition induced differences in the FA profiles of meat and fat depots of lambs, preferentially incorporated polyunsaturated FAs into the muscle rather than storing them in the adipose tissue. In the intramuscular fat of the FO treatment, all the n-3 FAs reached their highest concentrations: 0.97 (18:3 n-3), 2.72 (20:5 n-3), 2.21 (22:5 n-3) and 1.53% (22:6 n-3). In addition, not only did FO intramuscular fat have the most cis-9, trans-11 18:2 (1.66%) and trans-11 18:1 (3.75%), but also the lowest n-6/n-3 ratio (1.80) and saturated FA content were not affected. Therefore, FO exhibited the best FA profile from a nutritional point of view.
The phase composition and the microstructure of multilayer ceramics synthesized by directed laser treatment of ternary powder mixtures of Al2O3–TiO2–Y2O3 have been studied. It is established that at R = 2.34 (where R is TiO2/Y2O3 in mol %) the main phases observed are Y2Ti2O7, α-Al2O3 and a little amount of β-Al2TiO5. The content of the formed phases is determined by the composition of the initial mixtures. The texture of the surface and the microstructure of the formed ceramics depend on the α-Al2O3 and Y2Ti2O7 content. Increasing the content of alumina in the initial mixtures, the surface of the ceramics is saturated by α-Al2O3 crystallites. When a multi-layer synthesis is realized, the Y2Ti2O7 phase is concentrated at the boundary between the two adjacent layers (top and bottom). In the underlying layer, the growth of the corundum crystallites is prolonged due to the additional heating.
The current study was conducted to determine the effect of different α-tocopherol (vitamin E) inclusion levels on trans(t)-18:1 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) profiles in subcutaneous and intramuscular fat of steers fed a barley-based diet. Fifty-six feedlot steers were offered a barley-based finisher diet (73% steam rolled barley, 22% barley silage and 5% supplement as-fed basis) with four levels of supplementary dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (340, 690, 1040 or 1740 IU/steer per day) for 120 days. Adding vitamin E to the diet had little effect on the overall fatty acid composition of intramuscular fat. The proportion of individual and total t,t- and cis(c),t-CLA, n-3 fatty acids, total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids to PUFA ratio in subcutaneous fat were not influenced (P > 0.05) by dietary vitamin E supplementation. Increasing levels of vitamin E led to linear reductions in t6-/t7-/t8-18:1 and t10-18:1 (P < 0.05), and linear increase in t11-/t10-18:1 ratio (P < 0.05) in subcutaneous fat. The content of 20:3n-6 and total n-6 in subcutaneous fat decreased (P < 0.05) linearly with increasing amounts of vitamin E. The subcutaneous fat n-6:n-3 ratio showed a quadratic (P < 0.05) response to vitamin E. In conclusion, although vitamin E supplementation has some potential to reduce t10-18:1 formation and increase t11-/t10-18:1 ratio in subcutaneous fat of cattle fed barley-based diets, the changes in the present study were limited and may not have been sufficient to impact on human health.
This study aims to investigate the relative contribution of ante- and post-mortem factors to the final quality of beef. In all, 112 steers (four breed-crosses) were arranged in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experimental including production system, growth implant and β-adrenergic agonist strategies. Carcasses were suspended by the Achilles tendon or the aitch bone and meat was aged for 2/6/13/21/27 days (longissimus muscle) or 2/27 days (semimembranosus muscle). Meat quality traits related to beef texture were measured. Statistical analyses were developed including ante- and post-mortem factors and their relative contribution to the variability observed for each measured trait was calculated. The main factor responsible for the variability in sarcomere length was the suspension method (91.1%), which also influenced drip-loss (44.3%). Increasing the percentage of British breeds increased (P < 0.05) the intramuscular fat content in longissimus muscle, but only when implants were not used. Thus, the breed-cross, implant strategy and their interaction were responsible for >58% of the variability in this trait. The variability in instrumental and sensory tenderness was mainly affected by post-mortem factors (carcass suspension, ageing time and their interaction), explaining generally ∼70% of the variability in these traits. Breed-cross was the second most important effect (∼15%) when carcass suspension was not considered in the model, but still ageing time was responsible for a much larger proportion of the variability in tenderness (>45%). In conclusion, post-mortem handling of the carcasses may be much more effective in controlling beef tenderness than pre-mortem strategies.
In this work we alternate breaking-symmetry-substrates (BSS) and non-breaking-symmetry-substrates (NBSS) such as SiC and SiO2,following the Silver-Mean (MSMGS) and Period-Doubling (MPDGS) sequences. We implement the Transfer Matrix technique to calculate the transmittance and the linear-regime conductance as a function of the most relevant parameters of the multilayered graphene structures: energy and angle of incidence, widths of BSS and NBSS regions and the generation of the quasi-regular sequence. We analyze the main difference of the transmission and conductance properties between MSMGS and MPDGS.
To evaluate meat quality of beef with different α-tocopherol tissue levels, 55 feedlot steers were fed a barley-based finisher diet with four vitamin E supplementation levels (0, 350, 700 and 1400 IU dl-α-tocopheryl acetate/animal per day) for 120 days. Although the increase in oxidation levels overtime was much smaller (P < 0.001) in the high-medium and high groups, α-tocopherol tissue levels did not affect (P > 0.05) pH, proximate analysis, drip and cooking losses, and shear force of steaks. No effect of α-tocopherol tissue levels was found in retail evaluation of steaks after a short ageing time of 6 days, but with 21 days of ageing, a delay in formation of metmyoglobin (P = 0.008) was observed in steaks with higher tissue levels of α-tocopherol. Similar results were found for ground beef (25% fat) prepared from 6-day aged meat. Thus, higher α-tocopherol tissue levels protect ground beef and long-aged steaks from discolouration and lipid oxidation.
The rTSSA-II (recombinant Trypomastigote Small Surface II) antigen was evaluated by ELISA to detect anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies in sera from naturally infected dogs and humans. For this evaluation ELISA-rTSSA-II was standardized and groups were classified according to the results obtained through xenodiagnosis, ELISA and PCR. Sensitivity (Se), Specificity (Sp), Kappa index (KI) and area under curve (AUC) were determined. The Se was determined by using 14 sera from dogs infected with T. cruzi VI (TcVI) whereas Sp was determined by using 95 non-chagasic sera by xenodiagnosis, ELISA-Homogenate and PCR. The performance of ELISA-rTSSA-II in dog sera was high (AUC=0·93 and KI=0·91). The Se was 92·85% (1 false negative) and Sp was 100%. Two sera from dogs infected with TcI and 1 with TcIII were negative. For patients infected with T. cruzi, reactivity was 87·8% (36/41), there was only 1 indeterminate, and Sp was 100%. Fifty-four sera from non-chagasic and 68 sera from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis did not react with rTSS-II. ELISA-rTSSA-II showed a high performance when studying sera from naturally infected dogs and it also presented 100% Sp. This assay could be an important tool to carry out sero-epidemiological surveys on the prevalence of T. cruzi circulating lineages in the region.
To assess the impact of the Continuity-of-Care Program (CCP; a clinical case management model) on hospital use of persons with schizophrenia in three Community Mental Health Services in Madrid (Spain).
Using data provided by the Psychiatric Case Register, we analyzed the use of hospitalization in 250 individuals before and after the date of inclusion in this program.
During the first year after launching the program, there was a 40–69% reduction in the number of admissions, length of each hospital stay, proportion of admitted patients, total number of days in-hospital, proportion of patients visiting the emergency room, and emergency room visits. This drop was maintained over the subsequent 3 years of program functioning.
These results encourage the development and implementation of such programs, even though more studies evaluating the effectiveness of these programs for other endpoints are needed.
Plant KRP proteins are cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase subunit (Cdk) inhibitors that share a limited homology with mammalian p27Kip1 proteins. Several KRPs have been reported in maize (Zea mays L.), of which Zeama;KRP1 was studied during maize germination. Expression of the Zeama;KRP1 gene did not vary during the 24 h germination period. A homologous antibody raised against the 13 kDa carboxy end of the Zeama;KRP1 polypeptide, a sequence containing the cyclin/Cdk inhibitory domain, indicated the existence of a 22 kDa protein in maize embryonic axes, the amount of which also remained unchanged during germination. Neither abscisic acid nor cytokinins modified the amount of protein. The purified Zeama;KRP1 polypeptide inhibited the kinase activity associated with Zeama;PCNA and Zeama;CycD2;1, and also the kinase activity in p13Suc1-pulled-down complexes. However, there were differences in the inhibition pattern during germination. Whereas kinase activity in proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) or CycD2;1 immunoprecipitates was strongly inhibited mainly during early germination, that in p13Suc1-pulled-down complexes was mainly inhibited at late times, suggesting that each protein complex is composed of different cyclins and/or Cdks.
Individuals belonging to five families, 12 genera, and 19 different species of bats from dengue endemic areas in the Gulf and Pacific coasts of Mexico were examined by ELISA, RT–PCR, and for the presence of dengue virus (DV) NS1 protein. Nine individuals from four species were seropositive by ELISA: three insectivorous, Myotis nigricans (four positives/12 examined), Pteronotus parnellii (3/19), and Natalus stramineus (1/4), and one frugivorous Artibeus jamaicensis (1/35) (12·86% seroprevalence in positive species). DV serotype 2 was detected by RT–PCR in four samples from three species (all from the Gulf coast – rainy season): two frugivorous, A. jamaicensis (2/9), and Carollia brevicauda (1/2), and one insectivorous, M. nigricans (1/11). The latter was simultaneously positive for NS1 protein. DV RT–PCR positive animals were all antibody seronegative. M. nigricans showed positive individuals for all three tests. This is the first evidence suggesting the presence of DV in bats from Mexico.
Thin polycrystalline ZnO films were grown on silicon substrates by dc reactive magnetron sputtering using zinc oxide targets. The quality of the ZnO layers was assessed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy, Raman scattering, and photoluminescence measurements. The XRD studies and Raman studies revealed that the ZnO films crystallize in the wurtzite structure. Room temperature photoluminescence spectra consisted of a narrow near-band-edge ultraviolet band and a broad defect-related green band with peak positions at 380 and 516 nm, respectively. The main goal of the work was to define the growth conditions to prepare zinc oxide films with adequate properties to be used in electroluminescent devices. The films exhibited the best surface appearance with a 40:1 argon/oxygen flow rate, a total pressure of 1.5×10−3 mbar, and a substrate temperature of 230 °C. The structural and luminescence properties improved noticeably with the thermal annealing processes at 800 °C for 1 h.