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 email@example.com
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.
Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
Early life adversity (ELA) has been associated with inflammation and immunosenescence, as well as hyporeactivity of the HPA axis. Because the immune system and the HPA axis are tightly intertwined around the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), we examined peripheral GR functionality in the EpiPath cohort among participants who either had been exposed to ELA (separation from parents and/or institutionalization followed by adoption; n = 40) or had been reared by their biological parents (n = 72).
Expression of the strict GR target genes FKBP5 and GILZ as well as total and 1F and 1H GR transcripts were similar between groups. Furthermore, there were no differences in GR sensitivity, examined by the effects of dexamethasone on IL6 production in LPS-stimulated whole blood. Although we did not find differences in methylation at the GR 1F exon or promoter region, we identified a region of the GR 1H promoter (CpG 1-9) that showed lower methylation levels in ELA.
Our results suggest that peripheral GR signaling was unperturbed in our cohort and the observed immune phenotype does not appear to be secondary to an altered GR response to the perturbed HPA axis and glucocorticoid (GC) profile, although we are limited in our measures of GR activity and time points.
This article extends the research focusing on the early origins of psychopathology into the prenatal period, by exploring the association between maternal prenatal depression and offspring (fetal and infant) neurobehavior. The sample is recruited from a rural population in South India where women in the third trimester of pregnancy were assessed for depression and the heart rate responses of their fetuses to extrinsically applied vibroacoustic stimuli were studied. At 2 months postbirth, infant temperament and cortisol responsivity to immunization were assessed. The association between maternal prenatal depression and fetal responsivity to vibroacoustic stimulation, and infant responsivity to immunization, was U shaped with higher levels of responsivity noted in the offspring of mothers with very high and very low depression scores, and lower levels noted in the offspring of mothers with moderate depression scores. Maternal prenatal depression was not associated with infant temperament. The findings highlight the importance of environmental influences in the developmental origins of neurobehavior, suggesting that such differences, not evident at baseline, may emerge upon exposure to stressors. The study also emphasizes the need for further investigation in low- and middle-income contexts by providing preliminary evidence of the differing patterns of association observed between high- and low-income populations.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Sexual dimorphism is common in many extant animals, but it is difficult to demonstrate in fossil species. Working with material from the Late Cretaceous of the U.S. Coastal Plain, we herein analyze sexual dimorphism in ostracodes from the superfamily Cytheroidea, a group whose extant members have males that are relatively more elongate than females. We digitized outlines of more than 6000 individual ostracode valves or carapaces, extracted size (area) and shape (length-to-height ratio) information, and used finite mixture models to assess hypotheses of sexual dimorphism. Male and female clusters can be discerned in nearly all populations with sufficient data, resulting in estimates of size and shape dimorphism for 142 populations across 106 species; an additional nine samples are interpreted to consist only of females. Dimorphism patterns varied across taxa, especially for body size: males range from 30% larger to 20% smaller than females. Magnitudes of sexual dimorphism are generally stable within species across time and space; we can demonstrate substantial evolutionary changes in dimorphism in only one species, Haplocytheridea renfroensis. Several lines of evidence indicate that patterns of sexual dimorphism in these ostracodes reflect male investment in reproduction, suggesting that this study system has the potential to capture variation in sexual selection through the fossil record.
The thermomechanical processing of NiTi shape memory alloys usually involves several steps of hot and/or cold deformation. The present work presents the structural characterization of a Ni-rich NiTi alloy bar, produced by vacuum-induced melting and thermomechanical processing in laboratory scale, aiming at massive production in the future. This study focused on the first step of hot working at 800 °C during rotary forging. Microstructural characterization was performed using differential scanning calorimetry, high- and low-temperature X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a laboratory source and synchrotron XRD. Thus, it was possible to obtain the phase transformation characteristics of the material: the transformation temperatures and the transformation sequence. Proposed thermomechanical processing is intended for production of bars and wires that will be subsequently drawn to get thin wires, for different applications, including orthodontic arch wires.
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.
Several studies have shown that maternal low-protein (LP) diet induces detrimental effects in cardiovascular system and oxidative stress in male animals. Additional studies suggested that female has lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. However until present data, the possible effects of estradiol on the undernutrition during gestational and lactation periods are not discussed. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a maternal LP diet during gestational and lactation period on oxidative balance in the female rat hearts ventricles at two ages. Dams were fed with normal protein (NP) or a LP diet during the gestational and lactation period, and their female offspring were divided into age groups (22 or 122 days, corresponding to a low or high estrogen level) composing four experimental groups. Evaluating the nutritional effect showed an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers and decrease in enzymatic defense in LP-22D compared with NP-22D. In contrast, no changes were observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyls, but an increase in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in the LP-122D compared with NP-122D. The global oxy-score in the LP-22D group indicated a predominance of oxidative damage when compared with NP-22D, while in LP-122D group the global oxy-score was restored to NP-122D levels. Evaluating the estradiol effect, our data show a significant decrease in oxidative stress with increase in CAT and GST activity, associated with increase in intracellular thiols. Our data suggest that in situation with low levels of estradiol, hypoproteic diet during gestation and lactation period has detrimental effects on heart, however when estradiol levels raise, the detrimental effects induced are mitigated.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary lysine on performance, protein deposition and respiratory chain gene expression in male broilers. A total of 252 Cobb 500 broilers were distributed, in a completely randomized design, into four treatments with seven replicates of nine birds per experimental unit. Experimental treatments consisted of diets based on corn and soybean meal, with four levels of digestible lysine: 1.016%, 1.099%, 1.182% and 1.265%. The increase in the level of digestible lysine in the diet provided higher weight gains, feed efficiency and body protein deposition. Birds fed the lowest level of dietary lysine (1.016%) showed a lower expression of genes such as NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (ND1), cytochrome b (CYTB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COX I), II (COX II) and III (COX III), displaying the worst performance and body protein deposition. This demonstrates the relationship existing between the expression of the evaluated genes and the performance responses. In conclusion, results indicate that broilers fed diets with higher levels of digestible lysine have increased messenger RNA expression of some genes coded in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ND1, CYTB, COX I, COX II and COX III). It may be stated that diets with proper levels of digestible lysine, within the ‘ideal protein’ concept, promote the expression of genes, which increases the mitochondrial energy, thereby fostering body protein deposition and the performance of broilers in the starter phase.
Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is considered the most devastating pest of the olive tree worldwide. In an effort to develop management and biological control strategies against this pest, new molecular tools are urgently needed. In this study, we present the design of B. oleae-specific primers based on mitochondrial DNA sequences of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Two pairs of B. oleae-specific primers were successfully designed and named as SBo1-F/SBo1-R and SBo2-F/SBo1-R, being able to amplify 108 and 214 bp COI fragments, respectively. The specificity of designed primers was tested by amplifying DNA from phylogenetically related (i.e. Diptera order) and other non-pest insects living in olive groves from the Mediterranean region. When using these primers on a PCR-based diagnostic assay, B. oleae DNA was detected in the gut content of a soil-living insect, Pterostichus globosus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Carabidae). The detection of B. oleae DNA in the guts of arthropods was further optimized by adding bovine serum albumin enhancer to the PCR reaction, in order to get a fast, reproducible and sensitive tool for detecting B. oleae remains in the guts of soil-living arthropods. This molecular tool could be useful for understanding pest–predator relationships and establishing future biological control strategies for this pest.
This paper describes the diversity of rodent fauna in an area endemic for hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in Brazil, the population dynamics and the relationship of rodents with hantavirus in the Cerrado (savanna-like) biome. Additionally, an analysis is made of the partial S segment sequences of the hantaviruses obtained from serologically confirmed human HCPS cases and from rodent specimens. Rodents were collected during four campaigns. Human serum samples were collected from suspected cases of HCPS at hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais. The samples antibody-reactive by ELISA were processed by RT–PCR. The PCR product was amplified and sequenced. Hantavirus was detected only in Necromys lasiurus, the wild rodent species most prevalent in the Cerrado biome (min-max: 50–83·7%). All the six human serum samples were hantavirus seropositive and five showed amplified PCR products. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences showed the circulation of a single genotype, the Araraquara hantavirus. The environmental changes that have occurred in the Cerrado biome in recent decades have favoured N. lasiurus in interspecific competition of habitats, thus increasing the risk of contact between humans and rodent species infected with hantavirus. Our data corroborate the definition of N. lasiurus as the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome.
The goal of the present study was to characterize the growth of body parts and composition of the growing empty body to infer how these aspects relate to the long-term growth of goat wethers from dairy breeds. Animals were slaughtered at several ages from birth to maturity (≅900 days old). All body parts were weighed and sampled to determine chemical constituent dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, ash and specific energy. The monomolecular (Brody), Gompertz, and Richards models, a biphasic model formed by the combined Brody and Gompertz functions, and a simple linear model were fitted to the growth profiles with different variance functions and were all evaluated using likelihood-information criteria. The effect of breed (genotype) was accounted for in all models but the resulting models were not more likely than the models without the breed effect. Remarkable differences were observed regarding inflection points, growth rates and trends for all body parts and chemical constituents of the body. The biphasic model did not supplant the monomolecular, Gompertz, Richards or the linear model in terms of likelihood-information criteria. Therefore, body parts and chemical constituents of the empty body presented monomolecular, sigmoid and linear time-trends. The growth profiles of fat, protein and energy of the empty body did not scale isometrically with the empty body proper. In addition, the variance was heteroscedastic along the time scale and was better represented by both an exponential variance over time or by a power function of the mean.
To analyse the relationship between different heart rate variability indices, resting heart rate, and cardiovascular markers in adolescents.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with information from an ongoing cohort study. The sample was composed of 99 adolescents who complied with the following inclusion criteria: aged between 11 and 14 years; enrolled in a school unit of elementary education; absence of any known diseases; no drug consumption; and a formal consent signed by the parents or legal guardians. Weight, height, heart rate variability, lipid profile, inflammatory markers, blood pressure, resting heart rate, intima-media thickness, blood flow, and trunk fatness were measured. Partial correlation and linear regression (expressed by β and 95% confidence intervals [95%CI]) analyses were used to analyse the relationships between the variables.
In the linear regression analysis, even after adjustments for sex, age, trunk fatness, and somatic maturation, parasympathetic activity presented significant correlations with maximum carotid artery blood flow (β=−0.111 [95%CI=−0.216; −0.007]), systolic blood pressure (β=−0.319 [95%CI=−0.638; −0.001]), and resting heat rate (β=−0.005 [95%CI=−0.009; −0.002]).
Parasympathetic activity at rest is inversely related to maximum and minimum blood flow, triacylglycerol levels, and systolic blood pressure. These findings suggest that heart rate variability has the potential to discriminate pre-pubertal adolescents at increased risk.
This work reports a carbon-free, blue-enhanced a-Si:H n-i-p photodiode with an optimized protocrystalline p-layer. Although the used deposition conditions for the p-layer correspond to the microcrystalline regime, thin layers are mostly protocrystalline due to the amorphous underlying undoped layer. This conclusion is supported by Raman spectroscopy measurements. We have also found that the optical band gap of the p-layer can be varied by adjusting the rf power. By widening the band gap and tuning the impurity concentration in the p-layer, absorption and recombination losses at the p-i interface were reduced. The current-voltage, capacitance-voltage, and spectral-response characteristics of fabricated photodiodes are correlated with the doping level, optical band gap, and deposition conditions for p-layers. The optimized device exhibits a leakage current of about ∼80 pA/cm2 at 5 V reverse bias. The external quantum efficiency reaches a peak value of 92% at a wavelength of 510 nm, and, at shorter wavelengths, decreases down to 66%@400nm.
A worldwide innovative method to discriminate grapevine clones is presented. It is an alternative to ampelography, isozyme and DNA analysis. The spectra and their first and second derivatives of 201 bands in the visible and near-infrared wavelength range between 634 and 759 nm were used as inputs to a classifier created using partial least squares. The spectra were acquired in the laboratory for the adaxial side of the apical part of the main lobe of fully hydrated grapevine leaves. The classifier created allowed the separation of 100 leaves of the Cabernet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera L.) variety into four clones, namely CS 15, CS 169, CS 685 and CS R5, comprising 25 leaves each. The percentages of leaves correctly classified for these clones were 98·2, 99·2, 100 and 97·8%, respectively, when the classifier input was the second derivative of the normalized spectra. These percentages were determined by Monte-Carlo cross-validation. With the new method proposed, each leaf of a given variety can be classified in a few seconds according to its clone in an environmentally friendly way.
Maternal stress during pregnancy has pervasive effects on stress responsivity in children. This study is the first to test the hypothesis that maternal prenatal depression, as observed in South India, may be associated with how foetuses respond to a potentially stressful stimulus. We employed measures of foetal heart rate at baseline, during exposure to a vibroacoustic stimulus, and post-stimulation, to study patterns of response and recovery in 133 third trimester foetuses of depressed and non-depressed mothers. We show that the association between maternal depression and foetal stress responsivity is U-shaped with foetuses of mothers with high and low depression scores demonstrating elevated responses, and poorer recovery, than foetuses of mothers with moderate levels. The right amount of intra-uterine stimulation is important in conditioning foetuses towards optimal regulation of their stress response. Our results imply that, in certain environmental contexts, exposure to moderate amounts of intra-uterine stress may facilitate this process.
An extension of the well-known Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) to multi-robot applications has been recently proposed and denoted as Robotic Darwinian PSO (RDPSO), benefited from the dynamical partitioning of the whole population of robots. Although such strategy allows decreasing the amount of required information exchange among robots, a further analysis on the communication complexity of the RDPSO needs to be carried out so as to evaluate the scalability of the algorithm. Moreover, a further study on the most adequate multi-hop routing protocol should be conducted. Therefore, this paper starts by analyzing the architecture and characteristics of the RDPSO communication system, thus describing the dynamics of the communication data packet structure shared between teammates. Such procedure will be the first step to achieving a more scalable implementation of RDPSO by optimizing the communication procedure between robots. Second, an ad hoc on-demand distance vector reactive routing protocol is extended based on the RDPSO concepts, so as to reduce the communication overhead within swarms of robots. Experimental results with teams of 15 real robots and 60 simulated robots show that the proposed methodology significantly reduces the communication overhead, thus improving the scalability and applicability of the RDPSO algorithm.