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Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
Although there is evidence of a relationship between religion/ spirituality and mental health, it remains unclear how Brazilian psychiatrists deal with the religion/spirituality of their patients.
To explore whether Brazilian psychiatrists enquire about religion/spirituality in their practice and whether their own beliefs influence their work.
Four hundred and eighty-four Brazilian psychiatrists completed a cross-sectional survey on religion/spirituality and clinical practice.
Most psychiatrists had a religious affiliation (67.4%) but more than half of the 484 participants (55.5%) did not usually enquire about patients' religion/spirituality. The most common reasons for not assessing patients' religion/spirituality were ‘being afraid of exceeding the role of a doctor’ (30.2%) and ‘lack of training’ (22.3%).
Very religious/spiritual psychiatrists were the most likely to ask about their patients' religion/spirituality. Training in how to deal with a patient's religiosity might help psychiatrists to develop better patient rapport and may contribute to the patient's quicker recovery.
Extinctions have altered island ecosystems throughout the late Quaternary. Here, we review the main historic drivers of extinctions on islands, patterns in extinction chronologies between islands, and the potential for restoring ecosystems through reintroducing extirpated species. While some extinctions have been caused by climatic and environmental change, most have been caused by anthropogenic impacts. We propose a general model to describe patterns in these anthropogenic island extinctions. Hunting, habitat loss and the introduction of invasive predators accompanied prehistoric settlement and caused declines of endemic island species. Later settlement by European colonists brought further land development, a different suite of predators and new drivers, leading to more extinctions. Extinctions alter ecological networks, causing ripple effects for islands through the loss of ecosystem processes, functions and interactions between species. Reintroduction of extirpated species can help restore ecosystem function and processes, and can be guided by palaeoecology. However, reintroduction projects must also consider the cultural, social and economic needs of humans now inhabiting the islands and ensure resilience against future environmental and climate change.
Dental caries is the most common chronic infectious disease in childhood, caused by a complex interaction over time between acid-producing bacteria and fermentable carbohydrates (sugars and other carbohydrates from food and drink that can be fermented by bacteria), as well as many host factors including teeth condition and saliva (Fejerskov 2004; Fisher-Owens et al. 2007). Dental caries is characterised by the loss of mineral ions from the tooth (demineralisation), stimulated largely by the presence of bacteria and their by-products. Remineralisation occurs when partly dissolved crystals are induced to grow by the redepositing of minerals via saliva. The demineralisation of the tooth surface can be limited by the use of fluorides. Normally, a balance occurs between the demineralisation and remineralisation of the tooth surface (enamel). However, this balance is disturbed under some conditions, and the subsequent chronic demineralisation leads to the formation of holes or cavities in the tooth surface. In its early stages the damage can be reversed with the use of fluoride. Cavitation (a hole in the tooth) beyond the outer enamel covering of the tooth into the tissues can lead to a bacterial infection, which may cause considerable pain and require surgery or the removal of the tooth. Once the cavity has formed a filling is needed to restore the form and function of the tooth. Childhood caries is a serious public health problem in both developing and industrialised countries (Casamassimo et al. 2009).
At about the age of 5 or 6 years, children start losing their primary (deciduous/baby) teeth, which are replaced by their permanent teeth. Most children have lost all their primary teeth and have gained their permanent teeth (with the exception of wisdom teeth, which may erupt several years, or even decades, later) by the age of 12 years. Therefore, analyses of dental caries in adolescents only report the level of disease in permanent teeth. Younger children generally have a mixture of primary and permanent teeth, from ages 5 to 12 years. The convention is to report on these two sets of teeth separately.
Dental caries experience and other oral conditions were collected through oral epidemiological examinations. Didactic and clinical training for the examination teams was conducted. Frequent refresher sessions were also provided. Examinations were held in fixed or mobile dental clinics under standardised conditions.
The toxicity of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TIO2 NPs) and oxidative stress effects were studied in two freshwater fish species (Carassius auratus and Danio rerio) exposed for 21 days to different concentrations (0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100/mgL) of TiO2 NPs and to a control (tap water). Additional fish were transferred to clean water for 14 days to assess the ability to recover from exposure to TiO2 NPs. Activities of the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and lipid peroxidation (LPO) (malondialdheyde) were measured as indicators of oxidative stress. Histological and ultra-structural changes in livers from bothspecies of fish were evaluated by light and electron microscopy. Results show a general GST activity increase according to TiO2 NPs concentrations, which is in agreement with data from LPO. After 21 days, GST activities decreased possibly caused by suppression of GST synthesis as a result of severe stress. Histological and ultra-structural analysis of livers from exposed fish show degeneration of the hepatic tissue and alterations in hepatocytes such as glycogen depletion and an increase in lipofucsin lysosome-like granules. After a depuration period a partial recovery for biochemical markers and cells was observed. The results suggest that TiO2 promotes alterations in hepatic tissues compatible with oxidative stress.
The use of a laser annealing and chemical texturing process (dubbed the LaText process) on room-temperature sputtered ZnO:Al has been shown to generate unusually high haze properties, favorable for thin film silicon solar cells.This is due to the melting of the ZnO:Al layer by the XeCl laser, and the formation of crystalline domains onthe surface, for which the grains and grain boundaries are subsequently etched at different rates. The unusual surface morphology produced through this process can strongly impact the nature of the amorphous or microcrystalline silicon material deposited thereupon. In this paper, we report on results for amorphous silicon devices, for which the surface texture is seen to slightly impact thelight absorption in the material, but more interestingly, also the light-induced degradation of the cells.For co-deposited cells, devices deposited on surfaces with the characteristic "LaText" morphologyundergo a much lesser degradation. Furthermore, the decreased degree of degradation coincides with a notable shift in the Raman scattering peak. This provides a rapid diagnostic for testing multiple textures and deposition parameters.
The structure and dynamics of young stellar object (YSO) accretion shocks depend strongly on the local magnetic field strength and configuration, as well as on the radiative transfer effects responsible for the energy losses. We present the first 3D YSO shock simulations of the interior of the stream, assuming a uniform background magnetic field, a clumpy infalling gas, and an acoustic energy flux flowing at the base of the chromosphere. We study the dynamical evolution and the post-shock structure as a function of the plasma-beta (thermal pressure over magnetic pressure). We find that a strong magnetic field (~hundreds of Gauss) leads to the formation of fibrils in the shocked gas due to the plasma confinement within flux tubes. The corresponding emission is smooth and fully distinguishable from the case of a weak magnetic field (~tenths of Gauss) where the hot slab demonstrates chaotic motion and oscillates periodically.
We propose an implementation of the PCD technique to minority carrier effective lifetime assessment in crystalline silicon at 77K. We focus here on (n)-type, FZ, polished wafers passivated by a-Si:H deposited by PECVD at 200°C. The samples were immersed into liquid N2 contained in a beaker placed on a Sinton lifetime tester. Prior to be converted into lifetimes, data were corrected for the height shift induced by the beaker. One issue lied in obtaining the sum of carrier mobilities at 77K. From dark conductance measurements performed on the lifetime tester, we extracted an electron mobility of 1.1x104 cm².V-1.s-1 at 77K, the doping density being independently calculated in order to account for the freezing effect of dopants. This way, we could obtain lifetime curves with respect to the carrier density. Effective lifetimes obtained at 77K proved to be significantly lower than at RT and not to depend upon the doping of the a-Si:H layers. We were also able to experimentally verify the expected rise in the implied Voc, which, on symmetrically passivated wafers, went up from 0.72V at RT to 1.04V at 77K under 1 sun equivalent illumination.
In line with self-determination theory (SDT: Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002) the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness has been identified as an important predictor of behavior and optimal functioning in various contexts including exercise. The lack of a valid and reliable instrument to assess the extent to which these needs are fulfilled among Portuguese exercise participants limits the evaluation of causal links proposed by SDT in the Portuguese exercise context. The aim of the present study was to translate into Portuguese and validate the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (BPNES: Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006). Using data from 522 exercise participants the findings provided evidence of strong internal consistency of the translated BPNES subscales while confirmatory factor analysis supported a good fit of the correlated 3-factor model to the data. The present findings support the use of the translated into Portuguese BPNES to assess the extent of basic psychological need fulfilment among Portuguese exercise participants.
In this paper, threading dislocation densities in GaN and AlGaN epitaxial layers have been evaluated using two different X-ray analysis techniques; a Williamson Hall (WH) plot and reciprocal space mapping (RSM). GaN and AlGaN have crystalline growth composed of columnar structures that can be estimated by coherence length and angular misorientation measured by X-ray. A WH plot can provide information about coherence length and tilt angle from a linear fit to the linewidth of the triple axis rocking curve (000l) symmetric reflections. RSM is typically used to obtain this data, but it is more involved in technique. The two dominant components of threading dislocation densities (screw and edge types) in the GaN and AlGaN epitaxial layers were found to be similar by both techniques. The treading dislocation density correlates to the size of columnar structure as determined by coherence length, tilt angle, and twist angle. The effect of Al composition in AlGaN alloys on these dislocation densities was investigated and found to depend on strongly on the type of nucleation layer, GaN or AlN.
Low temperature (400°C) deposition of ferromagnetic Ni-Mn-Ga thin films is successfully performed via rf magnetron sputtering technique using co-deposition of two targets Ni50Mn50 and Ni50Ga50 on sapphire (0001) and Si (100) substrates. The films are in part amorphous with significant degree of crystallinity. The obtained crystallographic structure is shown to be substrate-dependent. Films on both substrates are ferromagnetic at room temperature (Curie temperature ∼ 332.5K) with well-defined hysteresis loops, low coercivity (∼ 100 Oe) and a saturation magnetization of ∼ 200 emu/cc. At low temperature (5 K), both films show increased magnetization value with wider hysteresis loops having higher coercivity and remanent magnetization. The process is therefore effective in achieving the appropriate thermodynamic conditions to deposit thin films of the Ni-Mn-Ga austenitic phase (highly magnetic at room temperature) at relatively low substrate temperature without the need for post-deposition annealing or further thermal treatment, which is prerequisite for the device fabrication.
In a plasma at rest, the electrostatic potential around a point charge obeys the well-known Debye shielding law. Modifications, for the ease of a flowing plasma, have been studied in the limiting cases of either long or short distances for subsonic and hypersonic velocities. Only recently this was extended to include all distances, restricted to a two-dimensional case. However, neither of these modifications includes the ionic motions. In this paper, we derive general expressions for the electrostatic potential which are valid for all distances and flow velocities in one-, two- and three-dimensional cases. This is done first with unperturbed ions, and then for the case where ionic motions, which are seen to be important for mesothermic flow velocities, are included. In both cases, the results are discussed and illustrated.
Genetic trends for body composition and blood plasma parameters of newborn piglets were estimated through the comparison of two groups of pigs (G77 and G98, respectively) produced by inseminating Large White (LW) sows with semen from LW boars born either in 1977 or in 1998. Random samples of 18 G77 and 19 G98 newborn piglets were used for whole carcass and tissue sampling. Plasma concentrations of glucose, albumin and IGF-1 were determined on 75 G77 and 90 G98 piglets from 18 litters. The G98 piglets had less carcass dry matter, protein and energy (P < 0.01) than their G77 counterparts. When expressed in g/kg birth weight, livers were lighter (P < 0.001) and contained less glycogen (P < 0.01) in G98 piglets, with no difference in the activity of the hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase between G98 and G77 piglets. Concentrations of protein, DNA, RNA in longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by selection. Plasma concentrations of glucose (P < 0.05) and IGF-1 (P < 0.01) were lower in G98 than in G77 piglets. On the whole, the results suggest that the improvement in lean growth rate and in sow prolificacy from 1977 to 1998 has resulted in a lower maturity of piglets at birth.
Traumatic memory is a key symptom in psychological trauma victims and may remain vivid for several years. Psychotherapy has shown that neither the psychopathological signs of trauma nor the expression of traumatic memories are static over time. However, few studies have investigated the neural substrates of psychotherapy-related symptom changes.
We studied 16 subthreshold post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) subjects by using a script-driven symptom provocation paradigm adapted for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) that was read aloud during traumatic memory retrieval both before and after exposure-based and cognitive restructuring therapy. Their neural activity levels were compared with a control group comprising 11 waiting-list subthreshold PTSD patients, who were age- and profile-matched with the psychotherapy group.
Significantly higher activity was observed in the parietal lobes, left hippocampus, thalamus and left prefrontal cortex during memory retrieval after psychotherapy. Positive correlations were found between activity changes in the left prefrontal cortex and left thalamus, and also between the left prefrontal cortex and left parietal lobe.
Neural mechanisms involved in subthreshold PTSD may share neural similarities with those underlying the fragmented and non-verbal nature of traumatic memories in full PTSD. Moreover, psychotherapy may influence the development of a narrative pattern overlaying the declarative memory neural substrates.
Associations between physical health and depression are consistent across cultures among adults up to 65 years of age. In later life, the impact of physical health on depression is much more substantial and may depend on sociocultural factors.
To examine cross-national differences in the association between physical health and depressive symptoms in elderly people across western Europe.
Fourteen community-based studies on depression in later life in nine western European countries contributed to a total study sample of 22 570 respondents aged 65 years and older. Measures were harmonised for depressive symptoms (EURO-D scale), functional limitations and chronic physical conditions.
In the majority of the participating samples, the association of depressive symptoms with functional disability was stronger than with chronic physical conditions. Associations were slightly more pronounced in the UK and Ireland.
The association between physical health and depressive symptoms in later life is consistent across western Europe.
The pilot operation of the nuclear power plant (NPP) Temelín first block was started up in 2001 and of the second block in 2002. Since 1990, the systematic attention has been paid to the monitoring of the hydrosphere reference level in the NPP Temelín vicinity. The Temelín NPP waste water influence has been monitored and assessed since 2001. The monitoring has been focused especially on the tritium, strontium-90 and caesium-137 concentration changes in water, river bottom sediments, fish, and in the water plants biomass. The observed half-lives indicate that the strontium-90 and caesium-137 releases fully interfere with the residual contamination after the nuclear weapons tests and the Chernobyl accident in the last century. Only the tritium concentrations in water samples, taken in the Vltava River downstream from the NPP Temelín waste water outflow, show a measurable influence.