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The COVID-19 outbreak could be considered as an uncontrollable stressful life event. Lockdown measures have provoked a disruption of daily life with a great impact over older adults´ health and well-being. Nevertheless, eudaimonic well‐being plays a protective role in confronting adverse circumstances, such as the COVID-19 situation. This study aims to assess the association between age and psychological well-being (personal growth and purpose in life). Young-old (60-70 years) and Old-old (71 to 80 years) community-dwelling Spaniards (N = 878) completed a survey and reported on their sociodemographic characteristics and their levels of health, COVID-19 stress-related, appraisal and personal resources. Old-old did not evidence poorer psychological well-being than young-old. Age has only a negative impact on personal growth. The results also suggest that the nature of the COVID-19 impact (except for the loss of a loved one) may not be as relevant for the older adults’ well-being as their appraisals and personal resources for managing COVID-related problems. In addition, these results suggest that some sociodemographic and health-related variables have an impact on older adults’ well-being. Thus, perceived-health, family functioning, resilience, gratitude and acceptance had significant associations with both personal growth and purpose in life. Efforts to address older adults’ psychological well-being focusing on older adults’ personal resources should be considered.
One hypothesis proposed to underlie formal thought disorder (FTD), the incoherent speech is seen in some patients with schizophrenia, is that it reflects impairment in frontal/executive function. While this proposal has received support in neuropsychological studies, it has been relatively little tested using functional imaging. This study aimed to examine brain activations associated with FTD, and its two main factor-analytically derived subsyndromes, during the performance of a working memory task.
Seventy patients with schizophrenia showing a full range of FTD scores and 70 matched healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the 2-back version of the n-back task. Whole-brain corrected, voxel-based correlations with FTD scores were examined in the patient group.
During 2-back performance the patients showed clusters of significant inverse correlation with FTD scores in the inferior frontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally, the left temporal cortex and subcortically in the basal ganglia and thalamus. Further analysis revealed that these correlations reflected an association only with ‘alogia’ (poverty of speech, poverty of content of speech and perseveration) and not with the ‘fluent disorganization’ component of FTD.
This study provides functional imaging support for the view that FTD in schizophrenia may involve impaired executive/frontal function. However, the relationship appears to be exclusively with alogia and not with the variables contributing to fluent disorganization.
We study the contact line dynamics of a viscous droplet deposited at the centre of a substrate subject to an axial thermal gradient. The temperature of the substrate decreases with distance from the centre, so the Marangoni stress induced at the liquid–air interface displaces the liquid radially outward. The flow experiences two stages. In the first stage, the droplet evolves towards an axially symmetric ring whose radius increases with time as
. Using the lubrication approximation, we perform numerical simulations that confirm this law for the motion of the front and show that the maximum thickness of the profile decreases as
. We explain the evolution law of the contact line by balancing Marangoni and viscous stresses. In the second stage, the contact line becomes unstable and develops smooth corrugations whose amplitude increases with time and that eventually become long fingers. The temporal evolution of the Fourier spectra of the contour shows a shift of the most unstable mode from smaller to larger azimuthal wavenumbers.
It is known that the level of dietary protein modulates the enzymatic activity of the digestive tract of fish; however, its effect at the molecular level on these enzymes and the hormones regulating appetite has not been well characterised. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of CP on the activity of proteases and the expression of genes related to the ingestion and protein digestion of juveniles of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), as well as the effects on performance, protein retention and body composition of tilapia. A total of 240 juveniles (29.32 ± 5.19 g) were used, distributed across 20 tanks of 100 l in a closed recirculation system. The fish were fed to apparent satiety for 42 days using four isoenergetic diets with different CP levels (24%, 30%, 36% and 42%). The results indicate that fish fed the 30% CP diet exhibited a higher growth performance compared to those on the 42% CP diet (P < 0.05). Feed intake in fish fed 24% and 30% CP diets was significantly higher than that in fish fed 36% and 42% CP diets (P < 0.05). A significant elevation of protein retention was observed in fish fed with 24% and 30% CP diets. Fish fed with 24% CP exhibited a significant increase in lipid deposition in the whole body. The diet with 42% CP was associated with the highest expression of pepsinogen and the lowest activity of acid protease (P < 0.05). The expression of hepatopancreatic trypsinogen increased as CP levels in the diet increased (P < 0.05) up to 36%, whereas trypsin activity showed a significant reduction with 42% CP (P < 0.05). The diet with 42% CP was associated with the lowest intestinal chymotrypsinogen expression and the lowest chymotrypsin activity (P < 0.05). α-amylase expression decreased with increasing (P < 0.05) CP levels up to 36%. No significant differences were observed in the expression of procarboxypeptidase, lipase or leptin among all the groups (P > 0.05). In addition, the diet with 42% CP resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in the expression of ghrelin and insulin and an increase (P < 0.05) in the expression of cholecystokinin and peptide yy. It is concluded that variation in dietary protein promoted changes in the metabolism of the red tilapia, which was reflected in proteolytic activity and expression of digestion and appetite-regulating genes.
Between 2001 and 2017, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh conducted training and research in Belize built around an annual two-week field course, part of the Edinburgh M.Sc. programme in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants, focused on tropical plant identification, botanical-collecting and tropical fieldwork skills. This long-term collaboration in one country has led to additional benefits, most notably capacity building, acquisition of new country records, completion of M.Sc. thesis projects and publication of the findings in journal articles, and continued cooperation. Detailed summaries are provided for the specimens collected by students during the field course or return visits to Belize for M.Sc. thesis projects. Additionally, 15 species not recorded in the national checklist for Belize are reported. The information in this paper highlights the benefits of collaborations between institutions and countries for periods greater than the typical funding cycles of three to five years.
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disorder leading to the growth of hamartomas in multiple organs, including cardiac rhabdomyomas. Children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma require frequent admissions to intensive care units, have major complications, namely, arrhythmias, cardiac outflow tract obstruction and heart failure, affecting the quality of life and taking on high healthcare cost. Currently, there is no standard pharmacological treatment for this condition, and the management includes a conservative approach and supportive care. Everolimus has shown positive effects on subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, renal angiomyolipoma and refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. However, evidence supporting efficacy in symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma is limited to case reports. The ORACLE trial is the first randomised clinical trial assessing the efficacy of everolimus as a specific therapy for symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma.
ORACLE is a phase II, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre protocol trial. A total of 40 children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex will be randomised to receive oral everolimus or placebo for 3 months. The primary outcome is 50% or more reduction in the tumour size related to baseline. As secondary outcomes we include the presence of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, intracardiac obstruction, adverse events, progression of tumour reduction and effect on heart failure.
ORACLE protocol addresses a relevant unmet need in children with tuberous sclerosis complex and cardiac rhabdomyoma. The results of the trial will potentially support the first evidence-based therapy for this condition.
Species of Anisakis typically infect the stomach of cetaceans worldwide, often causing ulcerative lesions that may compromise the host's health. These nematodes also cause anisakiasis or allergic reactions in humans. To assess the risks of this emerging zoonosis, data on long-term changes in Anisakis infections in cetaceans are necessary. Here, we compare the prevalence and severity of ulcerative lesions caused by Anisakis spp. in five cetacean species stranded along the north-west Spanish coast in 2017–2018 with published data from 1991–1996. Open ulcers were found in 32/43 short-beaked common dolphins, Delphinus delphis; 3/5 striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba; 1/7 bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus; and 1/3 harbour porpoises, Phocoena phocoena meridionalis; a single individual of long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, was found uninfected. In common dolphins, the mean abundance of open ulcers per host was 1.1 (95% confidence interval: 0.8–1.3), with a maximum diameter (mean ± standard deviation) of 25.4 ± 16.9 mm. Stomachs with scars or extensive fibrosis putatively associated with Anisakis were detected in 14 and five animals, respectively. A molecular analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase II gene using 18 worms from three cetacean species revealed single or mixed infections of Anisakis simplex sensu stricto and Anisakis pegreffii. Compared with the period 1991–1996, we found a strong increase of prevalence, abundance and extension of ulcerative lesions in most cetacean species. Anisakis populations could have increased in the study area over the last decades, although we cannot rule out that a higher environmental stress has also boosted the pathological effects of these parasites.
The second and final year of the Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme, where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in-class’ time is limited to 4 weeks a year, and the programme spans 2 years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion. Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just finished its second and final year. Six Learning Teaching Training activities have been held at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University, the University of Salamanca and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. The last of these institutes hosted two 2-week-long Intensive Programmes, while the activities at the other four universities were each 5 days in length. In addition, a ‘Multiplier Event’ was held at the University of Ioannina, which will be briefly described. In this second year, the work has concentrated on training in both experimental diagnostics and simulation techniques appropriate to the study of plasma physics, high power laser matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail, and some metrics relating to the activities carried out will be presented. In particular, this paper will focus on the overall assessment of the programme.
Larval stages of pentastomids were collected from different organs of small mammals from the Peruvian Amazon. These parasitized mammals included: a western Amazonian oryzomys (Hylaeamys perenensis), an elegant oryzomys (Euryoryzomys nitidus), a lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), two kinkajous (Potos flavus), two silvery woolly monkeys (Lagothrix poeppigii) and a brown-mantled tamarin (Leontocebus fuscicollis). Pentastomids were found in the mesentery and parenchyma of the liver and lungs of these animals. All pentastomids were morphologically identified as nymphs of Porocephalus spp. Only the nymphs collected from select animals (the western Amazonian oryzomys, the elegant oryzomys and the brown-mantled tamarin) were analysed molecularly. Molecular analysis was performed amplifying the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene from select nymphs collected from the western Amazonian oryzomys, the elegant oryzomys and the brown-mantled tamarin. The nucleotide sequences exhibited 95.8–97.7% similarity between them. Also, these sequences showed an identity of 95.8–97.9% to Porocephalus crotali (GenBank accession numbers MG559647–MG559655). Molecular analysis indicated the presence of at least two Porocephalus species. These findings represent the first record of Porocephalus in these mammals, thus adding new intermediate hosts for this pentastomid genus. This work represents the first molecular data of Porocephalus in a Neotropical climate.
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.
The present research was aimed to study the degradation of 2-Chlorophenol through the use of bismuth molybdate (γ-Bi2MoO6) structures supported on graphene oxide (GO) which is intended to control the recombination of charge carriers. γ-Bi2MoO6/GO systems were doped with nitrogen via chemical reaction, to reduce their energy gap, improving their photocatalytic activity. Structural and physicochemical characterization of the resulting catalysts were performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Vis. The obtained compounds show good photo catalytic performance when using visible energy to degrade 2-Chlorophenol, obtaining 80% of degradation in 65 min.
The research has shown the interesting contributions of shearing in mid-gestation on the performance of lambs from birth to weaning. Other studies have reported that shearing at early pregnancy influences the development of the placenta and lamb live weight at birth. However, there was a lack of information on the effect of early-prepartum shearing on the behavior of the offspring from weaning onward. This study evaluated the effect of shearing ewes at 50 days of gestation on the growth, reproductive behavior and response to a gastrointestinal parasite challenge in the female offspring from weaning to 18 months old. Fifty-seven Polwarth female lambs were used, 22 being singles and 35 twins born to ewes either shorn at 50 days of pregnancy (PS, n = 23) or shorn at 62 days postpartum (U, control, n = 34) resulting in four subgroups: single lambs born to PS ewes (n = 8), born to U ewes (n = 14), twin lambs born to PS ewes (n = 15) or born to U ewes (n = 20). All progeny were managed together under improved pasture with a minimum forage allowance of 6% live weight on dry basis. Body weight, body condition score and fecal eggs count were recorded every 14 days from weaning to 18 months of age. Concentrations of progesterone were measured weekly (from 4 to 10 months of age and from 14 to 18 months of age) to establish the onset of puberty. Ovulation rate at an induced and a natural heat (545 ± 1.0 and 562 ± 1.0 day old) was recorded. Prepartum shearing did not affect the age at puberty or the ovulation rate of female offspring, but those born as singles were more precocious ( P = 0.03) and heavier ( P = 0.02) at puberty than twin born lambs. Both the average value of parasite egg count ( P = 0.0 7) and the Famacha index ( P = 0.02) for the entire study period were lower in lambs born to prepartum shorn ewes than those born to postpartum shorn ewes. In conclusion, shearing at 50 days of gestation did not affect the growth or the reproductive behavior of female offspring. However, female lambs born from ewe shorn during gestation showed a better response to the parasitic challenge, and further research is required to confirm this.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
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.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
Host-specific interactions can maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in parasites that attack multiple host species. Host diversity, in turn, may promote parasite diversity by selection for genetic divergence or plastic responses to host type. The parasitic weed purple witchweed [Striga hermonthica (Delile) Benth.] causes devastating crop losses in sub-Saharan Africa and is capable of infesting a wide range of grass hosts. Despite some evidence for host adaptation and host-by-Striga genotype interactions, little is known about intraspecific Striga genomic diversity. Here we present a study of transcriptomic diversity in populations of S. hermonthica growing on different hosts (maize [Zea mays L.] vs. grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]). We examined gene expression variation and differences in allelic frequency in expressed genes of aboveground tissues from populations in western Nigeria parasitizing each host. Despite low levels of host-based genome-wide differentiation, we identified a set of parasite transcripts specifically associated with each host. Parasite genes in several different functional categories implicated as important in host–parasite interactions differed in expression level and allele on different hosts, including genes involved in nutrient transport, defense and pathogenesis, and plant hormone response. Overall, we provide a set of candidate transcripts that demonstrate host-specific interactions in vegetative tissues of the emerged parasite S. hermonthica. Our study shows how signals of host-specific processes can be detected aboveground, expanding the focus of host–parasite interactions beyond the haustorial connection.
Oilseed rape seed yield has increased in the last 40 years in most countries, but this yield gain has not been accompanied by greater yield stability. The current study aimed to quantify the genotype by environment (G × E) interaction on oilseed rape yield, identify genotypes with broad adaptability and the main environmental drivers related to seed yield. A weighted two-stage mixed-model analysis was applied to official multi-environment trials of nine spring genotypes (G), in three locations (L) during 6 years (Y) on central and southern Argentine Pampas under rainfed conditions. Best linear unbiased prediction of seed yield ranged from 0.37 to 3.73 kg/ha. Fixed effect L × Y was highly significant and G variability was estimated as 130 kg/ha of standard deviation. Contrasting genotypes were identified by Shukla's stability index and two of those showed the best yield performance in the wettest year. Factor analysis explained 0.75 of total variation and discriminated genotypes with broad and specific adaptability, as well as combined environments according to the similarities in seed yield of the evaluated genotypes. Environmental loadings of Factor 2 were linearly associated with cumulative rainfall in the post-flowering period (up to 230 mm). It is concluded that (i) a significant G × L × Y interaction underlies the high variability of seed yield, (ii) two genotypes (G6 and G7) with high yield stability were identified, and (iii) G × E effects are associated with post-flowering rainfall.