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Benzimidazole derivatives such as albendazole (ABZ) and mebendazole are important molecules used in helminthic treatment. Neurocysticercosis is the main cause of acquired epilepsy throughout the world and is currently treated with ABZ. New molecules have been studied in order to aid in the treatment of this neglected tropical disease, among them RCB15 and RCB20. The aim of this study was to evaluate the metabolic impact of RCB15 and RCB20 on Taenia crassiceps cysticerci intracranially inoculated in Balb/c mice. Thirty days after the inoculation the mice were treated with 50 mg kg−1 of RCB15, RCB20, ABZ or NaCl 0.9%. The euthanasia and cysticerci removal were performed 24 h after the treatment. The cysticerci were analysed through high performance liquid chromatography. After the treatments, there was an impairment in the main energetic pathways such as glycolytic pathway, homolactic fermentation or in mitochondrion energy production detected through the decrease in pyruvate, lactate, oxaloacetate, malate and fumarate concentrations. This induced the parasite to resort to alternative energetic pathways such as proteins catabolism, propionate fermentation and fatty acids oxidation. Therefore, benzimidazole derivatives are a promising alternative to ABZ use as they also reach the brain tissue and induce a metabolic stress in the cysticerci.
The aim of this research communication was to identify chromosome regions and genes that could be related to milk yield (MY), milk fat (%F) and protein percentage (%P) in Brazilian buffalo cows using information from genotyped and non-genotyped animals. We used the 90 K Axiom® Buffalo Genotyping array. A repeatability model was used. An iterative process was performed to calculate the weights of markers as a function of the squared effects of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and allele frequencies. The 10 SNPs with the largest effects for MY, %F and %P were studied and they explained 7·48, 9·94 and 6·56% of the genetic variance, respectively. These regions harbor genes with biological functions that could be related to the traits analyzed. The identification of such regions and genes will contribute to a better understanding of their influence on milk production and milk quality traits of buffaloes.
This work used a multi-analytical approach to characterize two 19th century ambrotypes and was motivated by the lack of insight on these historical objects. Photographic imaging and optical microscopy (OM) were used to identify abrasions, cracks related to reticulation, tarnishing, and other aspects associated to production and degradation processes. With variable pressure scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) these processes were seen with great detail and further characterized. Elemental point analysis and elemental mapping showed that the photosensitive material used was silver iodide. Degradation compounds were found as silver and chlorine-containing compounds. In one of the items, the tarnishing area also contained redeposited silver in a ring-shape surrounding a nucleus rich in silver, copper, and sulfur, in addition to copper-based salts. EDS analyses also identified that the supports were common soda–lime–silica glasses, refined with arsenic; and showed that a pigment rich in iron was used in both items to hand color the cheeks, extended with aluminum silicates alone or mixed with barium sulfate. The μ-Raman study pointed out that a synthetic Mars pigment was employed. μ-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analyses identified collodion as the binder. Shellac was used as a protective varnish in one of the items and a gum was possibly employed on the other. Bitumen was used for the background in one ambrotype.
Direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid with a comonomer allows tailoring the properties of the product from the very first step. The viscous L-lactic acid co-oligomers with star-shaped architectures obtained were modified with three different acrylate monomers. Regardless the functionalization agent, UV curing was fast and all materials were cell compatible and promoted cell adhesion. The physical properties of the three star-shaped films exhibited a consistent trend as swelling capacity, hydrolytic instability, and gel content decreased simultaneously. A higher network density increased crosslinking degree and gel content among the films with an isocyanate group. The methacrylic end group functionalized material, lowest molecular weight, consistently exhibited the higher hydrolytic instability. Comparison of physical properties of these films with the corresponding linear materials reported previously confirmed the influence of precursor molecular architecture on the final material. The methodology developed herein is prone to scale-up and lead to the industrial production of new bioadhesives.
Anemia is a major problem, frequently resulting from iron deficiency (1). Guidelines recommend the administration of intravenous (IV) iron, leaving blood transfusions for critical patients due to the potential impact in length of stay (LOS) and mortality (2,3). We aimed to characterize IV iron sucrose utilization and health resource utilization in anemic patients.
This is a retrospective ongoing cohort study. Patient records from a general Portuguese Hospital with an administration of iron sucrose in 2014–2015 were reviewed. Adult anemic patients with at least one hemoglobin (Hb) evaluation before and after the administration of IV iron were included. Endpoints assessed were: Hb level (baseline, 4 and 8 weeks after), anemia correction rate at weeks 4 and 8, blood transfusions, length of stay (LOS), rate of readmissions (<30 days) and inpatient mortality. Statistical analysis included non-parametric and chi-square tests to assess differences between groups and a logistic regression model, using a 5 percent significance level.
Data was collected for 401 patients (63.1 percent female; mean age Standard Deviation, SD: 62.6 (21.7) years) and 431 IV iron sucrose administration episodes. Mean cumulative iron dose was 679.5 mg. Baseline Hb level was 84.5 g/l and increased to 94.3 g/l (week 4) and to 103.0 g/l (week 8). Blood transfusions were performed in 53.8 percent of the episodes. Overall 157 (36.4 percent) episodes had a >20 g/l increase in Hb level. Blood transfusions were associated with a higher proportion of Hb level increase >20 g/l (44.0 percent versus 27.9 percent, p<.001). The overall mean LOS was 15.3 days, although episodes with transfusions had a significantly longer duration (17.5 days versus 12.7 days; p<.001). Overall readmission rate was 25.8 percent, with a higher proportion in episodes with blood transfusions (29.3 percent versus 21.6 percent). A total of 36 patients (9.0 percent) died at the hospital before discharge. Transfusions performed during or after IV iron administration increased 3.1 times the risk of in-hospital death (95 percent Confidence Interval, CI: 1.3-7.0; p = .008), after adjusting for age and sex.
We observed a high rate of blood transfusions in this cohort treated with intravenous iron sucrose for anemia. Transfusions were associated with substantial burden of resource consumption and in-hospital mortality.
The aims of the present work were to test the effect of tamoxifen administered topically and the therapeutic efficacy of tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial combinations in an experimental model of cutaneous leishmaniasis. BALB/c mice infected with a luciferase expressing line of Leishmania amazonensis were treated with topical tamoxifen in two different formulations (ethanol or oil-free cream) as monotherapy or in co-administration with pentavalent antimonial. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by lesion size and parasite burden, quantified through luminescence, at the end of treatment and 4 weeks later. Topical tamoxifen, formulated in ethanol or as a cream, was shown to be effective. The interaction between tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was additive in vitro. Treatment with combined schemes containing tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was effective in reducing lesion size and parasite burden. Co-administration of tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was superior to monotherapy with antimonial.
Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite strongly related to reproductive problems in cattle. The neosporosis control is not well established and several fronts are under development, predominantly based on immune protection, immunomodulation and chemotherapy. The use of anti-malarial drugs as therapeutic sources has, in theory, considerable potential for any apicomplexan. Drugs such as methylene blue (MB) and pyrimethamine (Pyr) represent therapeutic options for malaria; thus, their use for neosporosis should be assessed. In this work, we tested the effects of MB and Pyr on N. caninum proliferation and clearance, using LacZ-tagged tachyzoites. The drugs inhibited at nanomolar dosages and its combination demonstrated an antagonistic interaction in proliferation assays, according to the Chou and Talalay method for drug combination index. However, the drug combination significantly improved the parasite in vitro clearance. The repositioning of well-established drugs opens a short-term strategy to obtain low-cost therapeutics approaches against neosporosis.
In a sample of underwritten seasoned equity offerings (SEOs), issuers with boards dominated by independent directors experience higher abnormal announcement returns than issuers with boards dominated by insiders. Firm size, transparency, and other governance characteristics do not explain the effect of board independence. The positive relation between board independence and SEO returns is more pronounced for firms with lower monitoring costs and more severe financial constraints. The evidence suggests that independent directors have a positive effect because of their role in controlling both shareholder–manager conflicts (monitoring the use of funds) and current–new shareholder conflicts (certification of the issue’s value).
We study the transmission of bank distress to nonfinancial firms from 34 countries during the 2007–2009 financial crisis using systemic and bank-specific shocks. We find that bank distress is associated with equity valuation losses and investment cuts to borrower firms with the strongest lending relationships with banks. The losses are not offset by borrowers’ access to public debt markets and are concentrated in firms with the greatest information asymmetry problems and weakest financial positions. Our findings suggest that public debt markets do not mitigate the effects of relationship bank distress during financial crises.
A number of systems based on synthetic molecules, among them cationic liposomes and poly(ethylene imine)-based polymers, have been proposed as delivery vehicles for nucleic acids. Some of these systems have even reached the market, ensuring efficient and transient transfection levels in a variety of cell types. However, toxicity issues have limited their application in vivo. In this context, chitosan, a biocompatible and biodegradable polysaccharide, has been proposed as a promising alternative for the delivery of nucleic acid-based molecules. Here we present an overview of the state of the art of chitosan-based vectors for nucleic acid delivery and the most recent data on the in vivo testing of the proposed systems. We additionally express our view on the barriers that might be hampering the translation of this knowledge into clinical practice and the challenges that need to be fulfilled for these promising vehicles to reach patients.
This paper covers a wide knowledge of physical and dynamical models useful for building flying robots and a new generation of flying platform developed in the similarity of flying animals. The goal of this work is to develop a simulation environment and dynamic control using the high-level calculation tool MatLab and the modeling, simulation, and analysis of dynamic systems tool Simulink. Once created the dynamic models to study, this work involves the study and understanding of the dynamic stability criteria to be adopted and their potential use in the control of flying models.
The present study was undertaken in order to analyse whether macrobenthic communities can or not be used in monitoring programmes of the environmental quality of fish ponds. Functional community analysis and biotic metrics were analysed aiming at the assessment of their effectiveness in discriminating potential impacts of fish production in these systems. The macrofaunal patterns in earthen fish ponds of the Ria Formosa lagoon showed to be influenced by the input of fish food during the production cycle and by changes in abiotic parameters caused by seasonality and fish production. Polychaetes were generally dominant considering the number of taxa and abundance. The trophic functional analysis of the benthic communities showed that the deposit-feeding functional group dominated in both areas of the ponds but within water entrance areas there was an increase of suspension-feeding, carnivory and herbivory feeding modes. The presence of less trophically mixed communities within feeding areas may be related to the relative high disturbance levels of these areas. From the biotic indicators that show a differential response to organic input in fish earthen ponds, the abundance of Capitella spp. as well as the diversity (Shannon–Wiener and Margalef species richness), evenness (Pielou) and AMBI indices seem to be the best indicators to be used in monitoring studies in similar systems. Managers should pay particular attention when Capitella spp. taxa are observed within the feeding areas. Nevertheless, manipulative experiments are needed in order to test the dominance levels of Capitella spp. and the values of those indices that are of concern.
This paper uses a volatility decomposition method to study the time-series behavior of equity volatility at the world, country, and local industry levels. Between 1974 and 2001, there is no noticeable long-term trend in any of the volatility measures. Then in the 1990s there is a sharp increase in local industry volatility compared to market and country volatility. Thus, correlations among local industries have declined. More assets are needed to achieve a given level of diversification, and there is more of a penalty for not being well diversified by industry. Local industry volatility leads the other volatility measures.
A study was initiated to identify trematode patterns in Cyathura from two key sites in the Mondego Estuary: a Zostera-bed and a sand flat. The two subpopulations of Cyathura differ, as the annual recruitment success is much higher and more regular on the sandflat than on the Zostera-bed.
Counting and sizing of trematode cysts inside the body of preserved Cyathura specimens enabled a description of trematode patterns in space and time. Further identification of trematodes was based on DNA studies of unpreserved cysts as well as on identification of parasites in co-occurring mud snails. Two trematode species dominated in Cyathura: Maritrema subdolum (cysts around 190 μm) and a hitherto unknown Levinseniella species (cysts around 340 μm), the latter being the most frequent one. Generally, the prevalence of both species peaked during winter months, when migratory water birds occur in the estuary. Cyathura from the Zostera bed harboured more infections per specimen than those from the sand flat. A much higher density of mud snails ≥52 mm (which can be host to microphallids) and a low abundance of Cyathura are thought to be the main reasons for this pattern. Field data did indicate a host size-dependent maximum number of cysts in Cyathura that could be a result of enhanced mortality at high cyst intensities. Furthermore, parasites were underrepresented among ovigerous Cyathura specimens, suggesting a negative impact on gametogenesis. As a consequence, microphallid trematodes may be a critical factor controlling recruitment strength in Cyathura, especially at the Zostera-site.
Studies concerning time perception lack a validated assessment tool
and a consensual “gold-standard” measure. Moreover, the
present evidence suggests modification of timing with aging. This study
aimed to develop and validate a neuropsychological tool to measure time
perception and to study temporal perception with aging. Eighty-six
healthy participants, aged 15–90 years old, were asked to
verbally estimate and produce empty intervals signaled by auditory
beeps, of 7-, 32-, and 58-s duration. Two tests were used as
“gold-standards”: estimation of the duration of time
necessary to draw a clock (“clock time”) and estimation of
the duration of neuropsychological evaluation (“global
time”). Results showed a correlation between estimation and
production (p < .01) and a correlation between estimation
or production and “global time” (p < .01). The
correlation between either estimation or production and age (p
< .01), suggested a faster “internal-clock” in the older
participants. However, this finding lost significance when controlled
for literacy. The results suggest that these tests are potentially a
useful tool to measure subjective perception of time. They also
corroborate the hypothesis of a change in subjective time perception
with aging. It was not possible to conclude if this effect was a
specific result of aging or biased by the interference of literacy.
(JINS, 2004, 10, 332–341.)
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