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The Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
Survival and infectivity of trypanosomatids rely on cell-surface and secreted glycoconjugates, many of which contain a variable number of galactose residues. Incorporation of galactose to proteins and lipids occurs along the secretory pathway from UDP-galactose (UDP-Gal). Before being used in glycosylation reactions, however, this activated sugar donor must first be transported across the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi membranes by a specific nucleotide sugar transporter (NST). In this study, we identified an UDP-Gal transporter (named TcNST2 and encoded by the TcCLB.504085.60 gene) from Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. TcNST2 was identified by heterologous expression of selected putative nucleotide sugar transporters in a mutant Chinese Hamster Ovary cell line. TcNST2 mRNA levels were detected in all T. cruzi life-cycle forms, with an increase in expression in axenic amastigotes. Confocal microscope analysis indicated that the transporter is specifically localized to the Golgi apparatus. A three-dimensional model of TcNST2 suggested an overall structural conservation as compared with members of the metabolite transporter superfamily and also suggested specific features that could be related to its activity. The identification of this transporter is an important step toward a better understanding of glycoconjugate biosynthesis and the role NSTs play in this process in trypanosomatids.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.
To identify risk behaviour patterns for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the Brazilian population and to investigate associated socio-economic and demographic factors.
Factor analysis was used to identify patterns considering the following risk behaviours: consumption of soft drinks/artificial juice, sweet foods, red meat with apparent fat, chicken skin; inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables; alcohol abuse; smoking; absence of physical activity during leisure time; and time spent watching television. The χ2 test was used to compare ratios. All analyses accounted for weighting factors and the study’s complex sampling design effect. The socio-economic and demographic variables evaluated were gender, age, schooling level and macro region of residence.
National Health Survey, a household survey with national representation, conducted in 2013 in Brazil.
Individuals (n 60202) aged 18 years or over.
Four risk behaviour patterns were identified: ‘Physical inactivity in leisure time and Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables’, ‘Saturated fat’, ‘Alcohol and Smoking’ and ‘Sedentary behaviour and Sugar’, explaining 52·01 % of the total variance. Overall, greater adherence to ‘Saturated fat’ and ‘Alcohol and Smoking’ patterns was observed among men and those with lower education level. The ‘Sedentary behaviour and Sugar’ and ‘Physical inactivity in leisure time and Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables’ patterns had greater adherence among younger individuals, and the first was associated with higher education whereas the second with less education among individuals residing in the North and Northeast regions.
Risk behaviour patterns for NCD were heterogeneous, reflecting the socio-economic and demographic differences in Brazil.
This qualitative study explores the experiences of older adults participating in a creative visual arts program at a residential care facility in Victoria, British Columbia. A narrative inquiry approach was used to conduct face-to-face interviews with 10 residents and three program staff in addition to the systematic observations of program activities and an arts exhibit. The findings reveal the program fostered a sense of community among participants and enhanced their sense of self-worth as artists. A public art exhibition at a community centre underlined the value of residents’ artwork and gave meaning and purpose to their involvement in the program. Findings show the importance of arts programs in fostering creativity in later life and illustrate how people living in institutions can experience multiple dimensions of the self through artistic forms of expression. This study highlights the need to increase access to arts programs for individuals living in residential care.
In this study, we sought to evaluate the influence of cigarette smoke and pH cycling on the chemical composition and surface/cross-sectional enamel microhardness. A total of 40 dental blocks obtained from bovine incisors were divided into four groups (n=10): no treatment (control); exposure to cigarette smoke (CS); exposure to pH cycling (PC); and exposure to cigarette smoke and pH cycling (CS-PC). The samples were analyzed by synchrotron radiation micro X-ray fluorescence, bench mode X-ray fluorescence, as well as surface microhardness (SMH) and cross-sectional microhardness (CSMH) testing. The SMH results were submitted to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test. The CSMH results were evaluated using split-plot ANOVA and Tukey’s test. A high amount of Cd and Pb and traces of Ni and As were observed in enamel and dentin after exposure to cigarette smoke (CS and CS-PC). The SMH and CSMH of CS were statistically higher when compared with the control. The PC and CS-PC showed lower SMH and CSMH. We conclude that exposure to cigarette smoke promoted heavy metal deposition in enamel/dentin. In addition, it increased the enamel microhardness but did not promote a protective effect on the in vitro development of caries. The clinical significance of this work is that there is significant bioaccumulation of heavy metals from cigarette smoke on the surface and in the enamel and dentin.
Sugarcane is an important forage source for dairy cows in tropical countries. However, it provides limited digestible fiber and energy intake, and fat supplementation can be a way to increase energy density and decrease dietary, non-fiber carbohydrates concentrations. We aimed to evaluate the performance, digestion and metabolism of dairy cows in early lactation fed different concentrations of soybean oil (SBO) in sugarcane-based diets. Fourteen primiparous (545±17.2 kg of BW) and eight multiparous (629±26.7 kg BW) Holstein dairy cows were used according to a randomized block design. After calving, diets were randomly assigned to cows within the two parity groups. Diets were formulated with increasing concentrations of SBO (g/kg dry matter (DM)): control (0), low (LSBO; 15.7), medium (MSBO; 44.3) and high (HSBO; 73.4). The study was performed from calving until 84 days in milk, divided into three periods of 28 days each. Dry matter intake (DMI) was affected quadratically in response to SBO addition with the greatest and lowest values of 19.0 and 16.0 kg/day for LSBO and HSBO diets, respectively. The digestibility of potentially digestible NDF was quadratically affected by SBO with the greatest value of 623 g/kg for LSBO diet. Both milk and energy-corrected milk (ECM) production were quadratically affected by SBO inclusion, with greatest ECM values of 27.9 and 27.3 for LSBO and MSBO, respectively. Soybean oil inclusion linearly decreased milk fat concentration by 13.2% from control to HSBO. The CLA t10,c12-18:2 was observed in milk fat only for MSBO and HSBO diets. Soybean oil inclusion did not affect plasma glucose or serum concentrations of total proteins, globulins, albumin, urea nitrogen, beta-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids or insulin. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein increased with SBO supplementation. Soybean oil inclusion in sugarcane-based diets for early lactation dairy cows from 15.7 to 44.3 g/kg DM can improve energy intake and performance; however, at 44.3 g/kg DM milk fat concentration and ECM decreased. Soybean oil inclusion at 73.4 g/kg DM adversely affected energy intake, fiber digestion and performance of early lactation dairy cows and is not recommended.
Mullets inhabit a wide range of habitats from tropical to temperate regions and play a critical role in their ecosystems. This commercially important fish group constitutes a significant source of food in several geographic regions, and the production of some species for consumption is an increasing trend. About 64 myxosporean species have been reported in mullets, some of which are cryptic, as is the case of Myxobolus exiguus, and M. muelleri. This paper provides, for the first time, a detailed and critical revision of the data available for myxobolids reported in mullets, determining the species that have bona fide mugiliform fish hosts, in accordance with the original species descriptions, the available molecular data and the currently accepted taxonomic and phylogenetic criteria. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian inference and maximum-likelihood methodologies suggest that the evolutionary history of myxobolids with bona fide mugiliform fish hosts reflects that of its vertebrate hosts, while reinforcing known evolutionary factors and old systematic issues of the clade of myxobolids. A comprehensive morphological, ultrastructural and molecular redescription is also provided for the cryptic species M. exiguus, from infections in the visceral peritoneum of the thinlip-grey mullet Chelon ramada in the River Minho, Portugal.
The present review will present the recent published results and discuss the main effects of nutrients, mainly fatty acids, on the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism. In this sense, the review focuses in two phases: prenatal life and finishing phase, showing how nutrients can modulate gene expression affecting marbling and fatty acid profile in meat from ruminants. Adiposity in ruminants starts to be affected by nutrients during prenatal life when maternal nutrition affects the differentiation and proliferation of adipose cells enhancing the marbling potential. Therefore, several fetal programming studies were carried out in the last two decades in order to better understand how nutrients affect long-term expression of genes involved in adipogenesis and lipogenesis. In addition, during the finishing phase, marbling becomes largely dependent on starch digestion and glucose metabolism, being important to create alternatives to increase these metabolic processes, and modulates gene expression. Different lipid sources and their fatty acids may also influence the expression of genes responsible to encode enzymes involved in fat tissue deposition, influencing meat quality. In conclusion, the knowledge shows that gene expression is a metabolic factor affecting marbling and fatty acid profile in ruminant meat and diets and their nutrients have direct effect on how these genes are expressed.
Animal evidence has suggested that maternal emotional and nutritional stress during pregnancy is associated with behavioral outcomes in offspring. The nature of the stresses applied may differ, but it is often assumed that the mother’s hippocampus–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HHPA) axis response releases higher levels of glucocorticoid hormones. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is in a pivotal position to regulate the HHPA axis and the stress response, and it has been implicated in anxiety behavior. In the current study, to search whether BNST structural changes and neurochemical alterations are associated with anxiety-related behavior in adult gestational protein-restricted offspring relative to an age-matched normal protein diet (NP) rats, we conduct behavioral tests and, BNST dendritic tree analysis by Sholl analysis, associated to immunoblotting–protein quantification [11β-HSD2, GR, MR, AT1R, 5HT1A and 5HT2A, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRH) and CRH1]. Dams were maintained either on isocaloric standard rodent chow [with NP content, 17% casein or low protein content (LP), 6% casein] chow throughout their entire pregnancy. Here, in rats subjected to gestational protein restriction, we found: (a) a significant reduction in dendritic length and impoverished dendritic arborization in BNST neurons; (b) an elevated plasmatic corticosterone levels; and (c) associated with enhanced anxiety-like behavior when compared with age-matched NP offspring. Moreover, altered protein (11β-HSD2, GR, MR and type 1 CRH receptors) expressions may underlie the increase in anxiety-like behavior in LP offspring. This work represents the first demonstration that BNST developmental plasticity by maternal protein restriction, resulting in fine structural changes and neurochemical alterations that are associated with modified behavioral states.
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.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
Nitrate (NO3−) is an ergogenic nutritional supplement that is widely used to improve physical performance. However, the effectiveness of NO3− supplementation has not been systematically investigated in individuals with different physical fitness levels. The present study analysed whether different fitness levels (non-athletes v. athletes or classification of performance levels), duration of the test used to measure performance (short v. long duration) and the test protocol (time trials v. open-ended tests v. graded-exercise tests) influence the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted and reported according to the guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. A systematic search of electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus and ProQuest, was performed in August 2017. On the basis of the search and inclusion criteria, fifty-four and fifty-three placebo-controlled studies evaluating the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance in humans were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, respectively. NO3− supplementation was ergogenic in non-athletes (mean effect size (ES) 0·25; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·38), particularly in evaluations of performance using long-duration open-ended tests (ES 0·47; 95 % CI 0·23, 0·71). In contrast, NO3− supplementation did not enhance the performance of athletes (ES 0·04; 95 % CI −0·05, 0·15). After objectively classifying the participants into different performance levels, the frequency of trials showing ergogenic effects in individuals classified at lower levels was higher than that in individuals classified at higher levels. Thus, the present study indicates that dietary NO3− supplementation improves physical performance in non-athletes, particularly during long-duration open-ended tests.
Phosphorus and calcium deficiency in horses represents an important factor responsible for the low equine production in Brazil. The basic mechanisms of P and Ca metabolism differ substantially among species. Regulation of P and Ca metabolism is less well understood in horses than in others species. With the use of the isotopic dilution technique is possible to evaluate the metabolism for this mineral. The aim of the present experiment was to study the effect of different Ca levels in the diet on P and Ca metabolism in horses.
There is an increased demand for raw materials that can be used as substrate for bio-ethanol production. The resultant by-products will have an important role in animal nutrition as possible feeds. Most of these potential feeds are high in cell walls with high lignin contents, limiting its nutritive value. The development and use of alternative enzyme methodologies can increase the availability of structural carbohydrates. Enzymes with the potential to break down cell walls, including lignin, are available in aerobic white-rot fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate two white-rot cultivation procedures in wheat straw in order to determine if any differences were obtained between the ligninolytic enzyme concentrations. In addition, the susceptibility of the residual carbohydrates to hydrolysis with a commercially available cellulase was also evaluated.
In this study, a Leishmania hypothetical protein, LiHyS, was evaluated regarding its antigenicity, immunogenicity and protective efficacy against visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Regarding antigenicity, immunoblottings and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using human and canine sera showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the recombinant protein (rLiHyS) in the diagnosis of VL. When evaluating the immunogenicity of LiHyS, which is possibly located in the parasite's flagellar pocket, proliferative assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy subjects or VL patients showed a high proliferative index in both individuals, when compared to the results obtained using rA2 or unstimulated cultures. Later, rLiHyS/saponin was inoculated in BALB/c mice, which were then challenged with Leishmania infantum promastigotes. The vaccine induced an interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-12 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production, which was maintained after infection and which was associated with high nitrite and IgG2a antibody levels, as well as low IL-4 and IL-10 production. Significant reductions in the parasite load in liver, spleen, bone marrow and draining lymph nodes were found in these animals. In this context, the present study shows that the rLiHyS has the capacity to be evaluated as a diagnostic marker or vaccine candidate against VL.
In the recent years it has been generally accepted that seismic parameters add an important observational constraint for the study of stellar populations and galaxy evolution. Padova-Trieste (PARSEC) evolutionary tracks are widely used to characterise stellar objects and stellar populations. Stellar models at the base of these studies suffer from uncertainties and, more important, degeneracy among different input parameters: stellar mass, chemical composition, central chemical mixing, age, etc. Adding seismic properties to the classic parameters for stars at different evolutionary states, from the H main-sequence to the asymptotic giant branch, is a powerful tool to calibrate physical processes in stellar models, and hence to improve our interpretation of Galactic and extra-Galactic observations.