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Adolescents have been largely neglected from tuberculosis control efforts. In low- to medium burden settings much of the tuberculosis burden in this age group occurs from school outbreaks. We report on a large tuberculosis outbreak in adolescents from a boarding high school in Jiangsu Province, China. From March to June 2018, a tuberculosis outbreak occurred in a boarding high school. We conducted an outbreak investigation involving clinical diagnostic tests and molecular analysis to determine the outbreak origin. Cases were detected through symptom screening, tuberculin skin testing (TST), chest radiography, sputum smear, solid sputum culture and GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping and spoligotyping methods were performed on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) isolates to identify the outbreak origin. A total of 845 students and 131 teachers/staff attended a TST screening for tuberculosis infection. The prevalence of elevated tuberculin reactions at ≥5, ≥10 and ≥15 mm was 12.19% (119/976), 6.35% (62/976) and 3.28% (32/976), respectively. Radiographic abnormalities were present in 5.73% (56 of 976) individuals, 40 students and 16 teachers/staff. Of these, 12 students were diagnosed with confirmed tuberculosis. In total, 14 students (two index cases and 12 confirmed cases) were diagnosed and reported in the tuberculosis outbreak, an attack rate of 1.7% (14/847) among students (two index cases and 845 screened students). Results from MIRU-VNTR typing and spoligotyping analyses demonstrated that three M. tuberculosis strains belong to the Beijing family with corresponding MIRU-VNTR alleles. This school-based tuberculosis outbreak among adolescents demonstrates that transmission among individuals in this age group is common and must be prioritised. It suggests that identifying and timely diagnosis of smear-positive cases, especially in the early phase of outbreaks, is the key to preventing further spread among close contacts.
In this work, a poly-Si0.35Ge0.65 microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)- based actuator was designed and fabricated using a CMOS compatible standard process to specifically strain a bi-layered (2L) MoS2 flake and measure its electrical properties. Experimental results of the MEMS-TMDC device show an increase of conductivity up to three orders of magnitude by means of vertical actuation using the substrate as the body terminal. A force balance model of the MEMS-TMDC was used to determine the amount of strain induced in the MoS2 flake. Strains as high as 3.3% is reported using the model fitted to the experimental data.
Consumers’ demand of leaner meat products is a challenge. Although betaine and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have the potential to decrease porcine adipose tissue, their mode of action is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to determine the lipolytic effect of betaine and CLA in the adipose tissue of Iberian pigs. Adipose tissue explants from five pigs (38 kg BW) were prepared from dorsal subcutaneous adipose tissue samples and cultivated for 2 h (acute experiments) or 72 h (chronic experiments). Treatments included 100 µM linoleic acid (control), 100 µM trans-10, cis-12 CLA, 100 µM linoleic acid + 1 mM betaine and 100 µM trans-10, cis-12 CLA + 1 mM betaine (CLABET). To examine the ability of betaine or CLA to inhibit insulin’s suppression of isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis, test medium was amended with 1 µM isoproterenol ±10 nM insulin. Media glycerol was measured at the end of the incubations. Acute lipolysis (2 h) was increased by CLA and CLABET (85% to 121%; P < 0.05) under basal conditions. When lipolysis was stimulated with isoproterenol (1090%), acute exposure to betaine tended to increase (13%; P = 0.071), while CLA and CLABET increased (14% to 18%; P < 0.05) isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis compared with control. When insulin was added to isoproterenol-stimulated explants, lipolytic rate was decreased by 50% (P < 0.001). However, supplementation of betaine to the insulin + isoproterenol-containing medium tended to increase (P = 0.07), while CLABET increased (45%; P < 0.05) lipolysis, partly counteracting insulin inhibition. When culture was extended for 72 h, CLA decreased lipolysis under basal conditions (18%; P < 0.05) with no effect of betaine and CLABET (P > 0.10). When lipolysis was stimulated by isoproterenol (125% increase in rate compared with basal), CLA and CLABET decreased glycerol release (27%; P < 0.001) compared with control (isoproterenol alone). When insulin was added to isoproterenol-stimulated explants, isoproterenol stimulation of lipolysis was completely blunted and neither betaine nor CLA altered the inhibitory effect of insulin on lipolysis. Isoproterenol, and especially isoproterenol + insulin, stimulated leptin secretion compared with basal conditions (68% and 464%, respectively; P < 0.001), with no effect of CLA or betaine (P > 0.10). CLA decreased leptin release (25%; P < 0.001) when insulin was present in the media, partially inhibiting insulin stimulation of leptin release. In conclusion, betaine and CLA produced a biphasic response regarding lipolysis so that glycerol release was increased in acute conditions, while CLA decreased glycerol release and betaine had no effect in chronic conditions. Furthermore, CLA and CLABET indirectly increased lipolysis by reducing insulin-mediated inhibition of lipolysis during acute conditions.
The Latino population in the United States is rapidly growing and faces profound health disparities; however, engagement of Latinos in biomedical research remains low. Our community-based participatory research partnership has recruited 2083 Spanish-speaking Latinos into 21 studies over 15 years. We sought to identify and describe the strategies we have used to successfully recruit and retain Spanish-speaking Latinos in research.
We abstracted and analyzed data from archived study notes, progress reports, team meeting minutes, and in-depth interviews conducted annually from community-based participatory research partnership members. We used a nominal group process to refine and prioritize strategies.
Overall, 13 recruitment strategies and 12 retention strategies emerged. These strategies relied on the creativity and perseverance of the study team and partners.
It is essential that we develop and disseminate effective recruitment and retention strategies that engage Latinos in biomedical research to reduce health disparities and promote health equity.
Pathological worry is a hallmark feature of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), associated with dysfunctional emotional processing. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involved in the regulation of such processes, but the link between vmPFC emotional responses and pathological v. adaptive worry has not yet been examined.
To study the association between worry and vmPFC activity evoked by the processing of learned safety and threat signals.
In total, 27 unmedicated patients with GAD and 56 healthy controls (HC) underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Compared to HC, the GAD group demonstrated reduced vmPFC activation to safety signals and no safety–threat processing differentiation. This response was positively correlated with worry severity in GAD, whereas the same variables showed a negative and weak correlation in HC.
Poor vmPFC safety–threat differentiation might characterise GAD, and its distinctive association with GAD worries suggests a neural-based qualitative difference between healthy and pathological worries.
In this study, we report the characterization of a 304L stainless steel cylindrical projectile produced by additive manufacturing. The projectile was compressively deformed using a Taylor Anvil Gas Gun, leading to a huge strain gradient along the axis of the deformed cylinder. Spatially resolved neutron diffraction measurements on the HIgh Pressure Preferred Orientation time-of-flight diffractometer (HIPPO) and Spectrometer for Materials Research at Temperature and Stress diffractometer (SMARTS) beamlines at the Los Alamos Neutron Science CEnter (LANSCE) with Rietveld and single-peak analysis were used to quantitatively evaluate the volume fractions of the α, γ, and ε phases as well as residual strain and texture. The texture of the γ phase is consistent with uniaxial compression, while the α texture can be explained by the Kurdjumov–Sachs relationship from the γ texture after deformation. This indicates that the material first deformed in the γ phase and subsequently transformed at larger strains. The ε phase was only found in volumes close to the undeformed material with a texture connected to the γ texture by the Shoji–Nishiyama orientation relationship. This allows us to conclude that the ε phase occurs as an intermediate phase at lower strain, and is superseded by the α phase when strain increases further. We found a proportionality between the root-mean-squared microstrain of the γ phase, dominated by the dislocation density, with the α volume fraction, consistent with strain-induced martensite α formation. Knowledge of the sample volume with the ε phase from the neutron diffraction analysis allowed us to identify the ε phase by electron back scatter diffraction analysis, complementing the neutron diffraction analysis with characterization on the grain level.
Goats have played a key role as source of nourishment for humans in their expansion all over the world in long land and sea trips. This has guaranteed a place for this species in the important and rapid episode of livestock expansion triggered by Columbus’ arrival in the Americas in the late 1400s. The aims of this study are to provide a comprehensive perspective on genetic diversity in American goat populations and to assess their origins and evolutionary trajectories. This was achieved by combining data from autosomal neutral genetic markers obtained in more than two thousand samples that encompass a wide range of Iberian, African and Creole goat breeds. In general, even though Creole populations differ clearly from each other, they lack a strong geographical pattern of differentiation, such that populations of different admixed ancestry share relatively close locations throughout the large geographical range included in this study. Important Iberian signatures were detected in most Creole populations studied, and many of them, particularly the Cuban Creole, also revealed an important contribution of African breeds. On the other hand, the Brazilian breeds showed a particular genetic structure and were clearly separated from the other Creole populations, with some influence from Cape Verde goats. These results provide a comprehensive characterisation of the present structure of goat genetic diversity, and a dissection of the Iberian and African influences that gave origin to different Creole caprine breeds, disentangling an important part of their evolutionary history. Creole breeds constitute an important reservoir of genetic diversity that justifies the development of appropriate management systems aimed at improving performance without loss of genomic diversity.
Collagen associated with bone samples is frequently used for radiocarbon (14C) dating of bones recovered from archaeological sites. However, submersion and exposure to moisture favors the degradation of collagen, which leads to difficulty in reliably dating bones from tropical, humid, or previously submerged archaeological sites. In this paper, we characterized the preservation state of a series of bones, through parameters such as %C, %N, C/N ratio, and collagen recovery. We performed 14C analyses of three collagen fractions obtained through the pretreatment steps (total, ultrafiltered, and insoluble collagen) in order to link the preservation state and the reproducibility of 14C values obtained from the three fractions. Collagen ultrafiltration resulted in a decrease of C/N ratio, although collagen yield was reduced. When two or three collagen fractions were obtained, ages were reproducible and consistent with expected values, according to archaeological or hydrogeological criteria. The pretreatment steps were monitored by infrared spectroscopy in order to analyze the collagen fractions at the molecular level. The presence of collagen in the total and insoluble fractions was confirmed. Since many of the Mexican samples had poor ultrafiltered collagen yield (<3%) or nonexistent yield, our results show that if additional contextual information is carefully considered, the remnant collagen in the total and insoluble fraction can be dated, especially from sites where no other datable fraction exists.
Air pollution in Mexico City, which has more than 22 million inhabitants, continues to be one of the main environmental issues. Aerosol samples (PM10) collected in Mexico City and the city of Cuernavaca (a clean reference site) have been characterized using different techniques. This multifaceted approach addresses the source apportionment of the carbonaceous matter in PM10, as well as the airborne elements and ions. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon analysis of total carbon, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and ion chromatography were performed on aerosols collected at three sites in Mexico City and one site in Cuernavaca, during 2 months of the cold-dry season (November–December) in 2012. New results obtained for Mexico City are compared with previous reports. Average levels of PM10 were higher in Mexico City sites (43.3–60.8 μg/m3) than in Cuernavaca (32.2 μg/m3). According to the material balance, PM10 collected in Mexico City had a lower contribution of crustal material (31.2–36.8%) than Cuernavaca (46.9%). Average contributions of particulate carbonaceous matter to PM10 were similar in both cities, but much higher contributions of mineral salts, trace elements, and ions were observed in Mexico City in comparison to Cuernavaca. Total organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) contents were higher in aerosols from Mexico City than those from Cuernavaca. The temporal variation results showed that within all locations studied the OC concentration was high compared to the EC. Results from a theoretical calculation of fossil carbon (FC) and biogenic carbon (BC) concentrations showed that FC and BC levels depend on the site: at Mexico City sites, FC was equal or higher than BC. At Cuernavaca, BC was always higher than FC.
Studies aimed to assess up to what extent farming and transport previous to slaughtering might affect physiology and meat quality in young goat kids are needed, with the ultimate purpose of promoting practices that minimize stress in these animals. In this regard the effects of on-farm management and transport duration on some physiological responses and meat quality parameters in goat kids were assessed. Two farms representing ‘high’ and ‘low’ welfare-friendly management practices were selected. In total, 32 suckling kids were withdrawn from each farm, transported by road for 2 or 6 h, and then slaughtered. Blood samples were collected both on-farm and in the slaughterhouse, and biochemistry, cell counts and haematocrit were determined. After slaughtering, carcass quality parameters were measured. Longissimus dorsi muscle was dissected and pH, colour parameters, water holding capacity and shear force were measured throughout 8-day ageing period. Results indicate that, regardless its duration, transport caused significant effects on some blood parameters suggesting stress in live animals, like glucose, cortisol or creatine kinase. Despite the marked stress status in animals, this condition was not decisively reflected on L. dorsi quality parameters, but some effects were observed regarding fat cover in carcasses and colour parameters. The results suggest that postmortem changes throughout ageing were more decisive in terms of meat quality than stressful management either on-farm or during transport.
The effect of heavy metal in fish has been the focus of extensive research for many years. However, the combined effect of heavy metals and nanomaterials is still a new subject that needs to be studied. The aim of this study was to examine histopathologic alterations in the gills of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to determine possible effects of lead (Pb), carbon nanotubes, and Pb+carbon nanotubes on their histological integrity, and if this biological system can be used as a tool for evaluating water quality in monitoring programs. For this, tilapia were exposed to Pb, carbon nanotubes and Pb+carbon nanotubes for 4 days. The main alterations observed were epithelial structure, hyperplasia and displacement of epithelial cells, and alterations of the structure and occurrence of aneurysms in the secondary lamella. The most severe alterations were related to the Pb+carbon nanotubes. We conclude that the oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes enhanced the acute lead toxicity in Nile tilapias. This work draws attention to the implications of carbon nanomaterials released in the aquatic environment and their interaction with classical pollutants.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
In forensic sciences, radiocarbon found in modern human nails and hair is evaluated to determine the year of death. However, 14C analyses presented herein of fingernails and hair from the same infant demonstrated 14C values of hair that were lower than would be expected (e.g. depleted relative to the fingernails by at least 10‰). These results prompted a series of 14C measurements on infant hair strands, fingernails, and infant shampoo, which suggested the presence of C contamination due to cosmetic products. To further evaluate these discrepancies, several hair strands and fingernail samples from multiple donors were collected, pretreated by several approaches, and measured using isotopic analysis (δ13C, δ15N, and C/N as well as 14C accelerator mass spectrometry). SEM images of the surface of chemically pretreated hair strands were also taken to inspect the performance of the chemical pretreatments applied. Our 14C and stable isotope results show that modern human hair is likely contaminated with fossil-fuel-derived carbon, which is found in most hair care products. Currently, the various chemical pretreatments available in the literature and presented herein show that it is not possible to completely remove foreign carbon contaminates. Thus, the human 14C and δ13C values between keratinous tissues (fingernails and hair) arc not in agreement. From these observations, it becomes apparent that isotopic interpretations using human hair should be used with extreme caution and additional work is needed for its use in forensic and dietary research.