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A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
The degradation of organic molecules in an aqueous medium using heterogeneous photocatalysis depends on the chemical composition and concentration of the organic compound, the crystalline and morphological nature of the photocatalyst, the pH of the dye dilution, and the reaction temperature. Since photocatalytic degradation is a process that occurs on the surface of the catalytic material, it is desirable to induce maximum adsorption of the organic compound. One strategy to achieve this is to functionalize the surface of the catalyst to retain the molecule of interest. In this work, we studied the interaction of acid orange 7 (AO7) with commercial TiO2-anatase powder catalyst, and with a catalyst synthesized in house using titanium tetrachloride and ethanolamine (TiO2-et). Our results indicate that there is no adsorption of the AO7 dye on the TiO2-et particles. The infrared spectrum of the TiO2-et particles is presented.
Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius into Colombia is a novel introduction of a megaherbivore onto a new continent, and raises questions about the future dynamics of the socio-ecological system into which it has been introduced. Here we synthesize current knowledge about the Colombian hippopotamus population, review the literature on the species to predict potential ecological and socio-economic effects of this introduction, and make recommendations for future study. Hippopotamuses can have high population growth rates (7–11%) and, on the current trajectory, we predict there could be 400–800 individuals in Colombia by 2050. The hippopotamus is an ecosystem engineer that can have profound effects on terrestrial and aquatic environments and could therefore affect the native biodiversity of the Magdalena River basin. Hippopotamuses are also aggressive and may pose a threat to the many inhabitants of the region who rely upon the Magdalena River for their livelihoods, although the species could provide economic benefits through tourism. Further research is needed to quantify the current and future size and distribution of this hippopotamus population and to predict the likely ecological, social and economic effects. This knowledge must be balanced with consideration of social and cultural concerns to develop appropriate management strategies for this novel introduction.
Different nanostructures such as: CuOH nanorods, CuO nanosheets and Cu2O nanograins were obtained by anodization approach at room temperature during times from 10 to 40 minutes. By scanning electron microscopy technique, it was found that Cu2O nanograins were formed at 10 minutes, CuO nanosheets vertically oriented on nanograins were observed at 20 and 30 minutes, and from 20 minutes CuOH nanorods with low vertical orientation on nanosheets were formed, coexisting the three types of nanostructures at the same system. In samples without thermal treatment were observed that Raman spectra of nanograins have a typical signal at 218 cm-1 associated to Cu2O, Raman spectra of nanosheets have signals at 287 and 630 cm-1 associated to CuO and Raman spectra of nanorods, it was observed that Raman spectrum is dominated by an intense signal associated to CuOH located around 488cm-1. In addition, after 3 hours of thermal treatment at 300 °C, the morphology was conserved, and the hydrogen-related compound decreased. Raman spectra of nanorods only presented a signal at 287 cm-1 associated to CuO whereas in nanosheets three peaks at 150, 218, 304 cm-1 associated to the Cu2O were observed.
The Bay of Málaga is located in a high biodiversity and productivity area that harbours a wide variety of commercial species exploited by different fishing fleets. Benthic and demersal fauna from circalittoral soft bottoms have been studied using a benthic dredge (BD) (8 sampling stations) and an otter trawl (OT) (8 sampling stations on a seasonal basis). Some sediment and water column variables, as well as the trawling activity, have also been studied and used for analysing their linkage with the fauna. A total of 287 species have been found in these bottoms and fish, molluscs and crustaceans represented the most diverse and abundant faunistic groups. A new record of the decapod Hippolyte leptometrae for Spanish waters is also included in this study. Some multivariate analyses using BD samples indicated the presence of three assemblages, but these seem to represent different facies of a single benthic community due to the absence of acute sediment changes and significant differences in the fauna. OT samples only displayed differences related to seasons but not to sediment types or depth. These seasonal differences seem to be linked to biological and ecological features of both dominant and/or commercial species. Mud and organic matter contents (%OM) in sediment, as well as the temperature, were the main variables linked to the spatial distribution of the benthic community identified with BD, whereas medium and coarse sand as well as gravel contents were the main variables linked to the changes of the epibenthic and demersal assemblage resulting from OT samples. The information of this study is of importance for improving the knowledge on the biodiversity of circalittoral soft bottoms of the Mediterranean and Alboran Sea as well as for the potential creation of a Marine Fisheries Reserve in the Bay of Málaga.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
All livestock animal species harbour complex microbial communities throughout their digestive tract that support vital biochemical processes, thus sustaining health and productivity. In part as a consequence of the strong and ancient alliance between the host and its associated microbes, the gut microbiota is also closely related to productivity traits such as feed efficiency. This phenomenon can help researchers and producers develop new and more effective microbiome-based interventions using probiotics, also known as direct-fed microbials (DFMs), in Animal Science. Here, we focus on one type of such beneficial microorganisms, the yeast Saccharomyces. Saccharomyces is one of the most widely used microorganisms as a DFM in livestock operations. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with different species, strains and doses of Saccharomyces (mostly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on gut microbial ecology, health, nutrition and productivity traits of several livestock species. However, the possible existence of Saccharomyces which are indigenous to the animals’ digestive tract has received little attention and has never been the subject of a review. We for the first time provide a comprehensive review, with the objective of shedding light into the possible existence of indigenous Saccharomyces of the digestive tract of livestock. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a nomadic yeast able to survive in a broad range of environments including soil, grass and silages. Therefore, it is very likely that cattle and other animals have been in direct contact with this and other types of Saccharomyces throughout their entire existence. However, to date, the majority of animal scientists seem to agree that the presence of Saccharomyces in any section of the gut only reflects dietary contamination; in other words, these are foreign organisms that are only transiently present in the gut. Importantly, this belief (i.e. that Saccharomyces come solely from the diet) is often not well grounded and does not necessarily hold for all the many other groups of microbes in the gut. In addition to summarizing the current body of literature involving Saccharomyces in the digestive tract, we discuss whether the beneficial effects associated with the consumption of Saccharomyces may be related to its foreign origin, though this concept may not necessarily satisfy the theories that have been proposed to explain probiotic efficacy in vivo. This novel review may prove useful for biomedical scientists and others wishing to improve health and productivity using Saccharomyces and other beneficial microorganisms.
The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a vector-borne disease. The parasite molecules involved in vector interaction have been little investigated. Metallopeptidases and gp63 molecules have been implicated in parasite adhesion of several trypanosomatids to the insect midgut. Although gp63 homologues are highly expanded in the T. cruzi genome, and are implicated in parasite–mammalian host interaction, its role in the insect vector has never been explored. Here, we showed that divalent metal chelators or anti-Tcgp63-I antibodies impaired T. cruzi adhesion to Rhodnius prolixus midgut. Parasites isolated after insect colonization presented a drastic enhancement in the expression of Tcgp63-I. These data highlight, for the first time, that Tcgp63-I and Zn-dependent enzymes contribute to the interaction of T. cruzi with the insect vector.
Resilience is the ability of an animal to return soon to its initial productivity after facing diverse environmental challenges. This trait is directly related to animal welfare and it plays a key role in fluctuations of livestock productivity. A divergent selection experiment for environmental variance of litter size has been performed successfully in rabbits over ten generations. The objective of this study was to analyse resilience indicators of stress and disease in the divergent lines of this experiment. The high line showed a lower survival rate at birth than the low line (−4.1%). After correcting by litter size, the difference was −3.2%. Involuntary culling rate was higher in the high than in the low line (+12.4%). Before vaccination against viral haemorrhagic disease or myxomatosis, concentration of lymphocytes, C-reactive protein (CRP), complement C3, serum bilirubin, triglycerides and cholesterol were higher in the high line than in the low line (difference between lines +4.5%, +5.6 µg/ml, +4.6 mg/ml, +7.9 mmol/l, +0.3 mmol/l and +0.4 mmol/l). Immunological and biochemical responses to the two vaccines were similar. After vaccination, the percentage of lymphocytes and CRP concentration were higher in the low line than in the high one (difference between lines +4.0% and +13.1 µg/ml). The low line also showed a higher increment in bilirubin and triglycerides than the high line (+14.2 v. +8.7 mmol/l for bilirubin and +0.11 v. +0.01 mmol/l for triglycerides); these results would agree with the protective role of bilirubin and triglycerides against the larger inflammatory response found in this line. In relation to stress, the high line had higher basal concentration of cortisol than the low line (+0.2ng/ml); the difference between lines increased more than threefold after the injection of ACTH 1 to 24, the increase being greater in the high line (+0.9 ng/ml) than in the low line (+0.4 ng/ml). Selection for divergent environmental variability of litter size leads to dams with different culling rate for reproductive causes and different kits’ neonatal survival. These associations suggest that the observed fitness differences are related to differences in the inflammatory response and the corticotrope response to stress, which are two important components of physiological adaptation to environmental aggressions.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Allylamine (AA)-functionalized surfaces for cell adhesion and tissue engineering generated by plasma reactions present several disadvantages, such as amine degradation after 1 week of storage in air and difficulty in achieving a highly specific surface functionalization. In this work, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) films were functionalized with AA by γ irradiation to enhance adhesion and compatibility without changing intrinsic bulk properties, thus avoiding the disadvantages of plasma synthesis. Irradiation grafting was realized by a direct and pre-irradiation oxidation method. The effect of different parameters studied were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, and contact angle measurements.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
The study of the mechanisms of radiocarbon (14C) release from different types of radioactive waste in final disposal conditions (organic, inorganic species, liquid, or gaseous phase) is an important aspect for the definition of waste acceptance criteria in a repository. The goal of this work is to determine the behavior of activated stainless steel, under standard leaching tests performed at El Cabril laboratory, with the aim of determining the retention capacity of the activated stainless steel, and therefore to assess the treatment and the potential additional barriers necessary for the fulfillment of waste acceptance criteria relevant to the El Cabril surface repository, Spain.
A divergent selection experiment on litter size variability (high and low lines) was performed in rabbits over seven generations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlated responses to selection in body condition and fat reserves mobilisation. Litter size variability was estimated as phenotypic variance of litter size within female after correcting for the year-season and the parity-lactation status effects. A total of 226 females were used in this study, of which 158 females were used to measure body condition and energy mobilisation. Body condition was measured as BW and perirenal fat thickness. Females were stimulated with the adrenergic isoproterenol. Mobilisation capacity of fat reserves was measured by the lipolytic potential, defined as the increment in non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels from basal concentration until adrenergic stimulation at mating, delivery and 10 days after delivery of the second reproductive cycle. Females were classified as survivor or non-survivor when they were culled for sanitary reasons or died before the third kindling. Data were analysed using Bayesian methodology. Survivor females presented higher BW than the non-survivor females at delivery (238 g, P=1.00) and 10 days after delivery (276 g, P=1.00). They also showed higher perirenal fat thickness at 10 days after delivery (0.62 mm, P=1.00). At delivery, basal NEFA levels was lower in survivor than non-survivor females (−0.18 mmol/l, P=1.00), but their lipolytic potential (∆NEFA) was higher (0.08 mmol/l, P=0.94). Body weight was similar between lines in survivor females. Perirenal fat thickness was lower in the high line than in the low line at delivery (−0.23 mm, P=0.90) and 10 days after delivery (−0.28 mm, P=0.92). The high line exhibited higher NEFA (0.10 mmol/l, P=0.93) and lower ∆NEFA (−0.08 mmol/l, P=0.92) than the low line at delivery. The low line showed a favourable correlated response to selection on body condition and fat reserves mobilisation. In conclusion, the low line selected for litter size variability seems to adapt better to adverse conditions, as it has a greater capacity to mobilise energy reserves at delivery than the high line. Females that adequately manage their body reserves and perform energy mobilisation correctly have a lower risk of dying or being culled.
Supplementation with copper (Cu) improves deer antler characteristics, but it could modify meat quality and increase its Cu content to levels potentially harmful for humans. Here, we studied the effects of Cu bolus supplementation by means on quality and composition of sternocephalicus (ST) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles (n=13 for each one) from yearling male red deer fed with a balanced diet. Each intraruminal bolus, containing 3.4 g of Cu, was administered orally in the treatment group to compare with the control group. Meat traits studied were pH at 24 h postmortem (pH24), colour, chemical composition, cholesterol content, fatty acid (FA) composition, amino acid (AA) profile and mineral content. In addition, the effect of Cu supplementation on mineral composition of liver and serum (at 0 and 90 days of treatment) was analysed. No interactions between Cu supplementation and muscle were observed for any trait. Supplementation with Cu increased the protein content of meat (P<0.01). However, Cu content of meat, liver and serum was not modified by supplementation. In fact, Cu content of meat (1.20 and 1.34 mg/kg for Cu supplemented and control deer, respectively) was much lower in both groups than 5 mg/kg of fresh weight allowed legally for food of animal origin. However, bolus of Cu tended to increase the meat content of zinc and significantly increased (P<0.05) the hepatic contents of sodium and lead. Muscles studied had different composition and characteristics. The RA muscle had significantly higher protein content (P<0.001), monounsaturated FA content (P<0.05) and essential/non-essential AA ratio (P<0.01) but lower pH24 (P<0.01) and polyunsaturated FA content (P=0.001) than the ST muscle. In addition, RA muscle had 14.4% less cholesterol (P=0.001) than ST muscle. Also, mineral profile differed between muscles with higher content of iron, significantly higher (P<0.001) content of zinc and lower content of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (P<0.05) for ST muscle compared with RA. Therefore, supplementation with Cu modified deer meat characteristics, but it did not increase its concentration to toxic levels, making it a safe practice from this perspective. Despite the lower content of polyunsaturated FA, quality was better for RA than for ST muscle based on its higher content of protein with more essential/non-essential AA ratio and lower pH24 and cholesterol content.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.