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In this research communication we propose a new approach by portable digital microscopy with a 200× objective to improve the visualization of microparticles of pasteurized milk submitted to the alcohol test. Not only did the method reduce the subjectivity of the readings, but also generated high resolution images of the microparticles, which allows the creation of a specific image pattern for each type of final product. In comparison to a control pasteurized milk treatment, the results confirmed the effect and the specificity of added salts (sodium citrate, disodium phosphate or their combination) on the stability of the milk to the alcohol test. Finally, the mixture of stabilizing salts of citrate/phosphate provided the highest degree of stability to pasteurized milk among the treatments studied.
This work aimed to investigate the effects of early progeny exposure to methylglyoxal (MG), programming for metabolic dysfunction and diabetes-like complications later in life. At delivery (PN1), the animals were separated into two groups: control group (CO), treated with saline, and MG group, treated with MG (20 mg/kg of BW; i.p.) during the first 2 weeks of the lactation period. In vivo experiments and tissue collection were done at PN90. Early MG exposure decreased body weight, adipose tissue, liver and kidney weight at adulthood. On the other hand, MG group showed increased relative food intake, blood fructosamine, blood insulin and HOMA-IR, which is correlated with insulin resistance. Besides, MG-treated animals presented dyslipidaemia, increased oxidative stress and inflammation. Likewise, MG group showed steatosis and perivascular fibrosis in the liver, pancreatic islet hypertrophy, increased glomerular area and pericapsular fibrosis, but reduced capsular space. This study shows that early postnatal exposure to MG induces oxidative stress, inflammation and fibrosis markers in pancreas, liver and kidney, which are related to metabolic dysfunction features. Thus, nutritional disruptors during lactation period may be an important risk factor for metabolic alterations at adulthood.
Although twins often participate in medical research, few clinical trials are conducted entirely in twin populations. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate the substantial benefits and address the key challenges of conducting clinical trials in twin populations, or ‘twin-only trials’. We consider the unique design, analysis, recruitment and ethical issues that arise in such trials. In particular, we describe the different approaches available for randomizing twin pairs, highlight the similarity or correlation that exists between outcomes of twins, and discuss the impact of this correlation on sample size calculations and statistical analysis methods for estimating treatment effects. We also consider the role of both monozygotic and dizygotic twins for studying variation in outcomes, the factors that may affect recruitment of twins, and the ethics of conducting trials entirely in twin populations. The advantages and disadvantages of conducting twin-only trials are also discussed. Finally, we recommend that twin-only trials should be considered more often.
The Hippo pathway is involved in the proliferation of intrafollicular cells and in early embryonic development, mainly because effectors of this pathway are key transcription regulators of genes such as CTGF and CYR61, which are involved in cell proliferation. Recent studies by our group found that fibroblast growth factor 18 (FGF18) is present in the fallopian tube during early embryonic development, leading to the hypothesis that FGF18 may have a role during embryonic development. Therefore, the aim of the following study was to determine whether FGF18 modulates the expression of Hippo pathway target genes, CTGF and CYR61, during oocyte maturation and early embryonic development. Three experiments were carried out, with in vitro maturation (IVM) of cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) and embryo culture. In experiment one, FGF18 (100 ng/ml) induced an increase (P < 0.05) in CTGF gene expression at 12 h post-exposure. In experiment two, FGF18 (100 ng/ml) induced a reduction (P < 0.05) in CTGF expression at 3 h post-exposure. In the third experiment, day 7 embryos exposed to FGF18 during oocyte IVM expressed greater CTGF mRNA abundance, whereas FGF18 exposure during embryo in vitro embryo culture did not alter CTGF expression in comparison with untreated controls. The preliminary data presented here show that FGF18 modulates CTGF expression in critical periods of oocyte nuclear maturation, cumulus expansion and early embryonic development in cattle.
Exercise counteracts obesity effects, but information on how early-life obesity may affect long-term adaptation to exercise is lacking. This study investigates the impact of early-life postnatal overfeeding (PO) on animals’ adaptation to exercise. Only male Wistar rats were used. On postnatal day (PN) 30, rats from control (NL-9 pups) or PO (SL-3 pups) litters were separated into four groups: NL-sedentary (NL-Se), NL-exercised (NL-Ex), SL-sedentary (SL-Se), and SL-exercised (SL-Ex). Exercised groups performed moderate-intensity exercise, running on a treadmill, from PN30 to PN90. Further experiments were carried out between PN90 and PN92. PO promoted obesity in SL versus NL rats (P < 0.05). Exercise reduced body weight (P < 0.001), body fat (P < 0.01), and improved glucose homeostasis in SL-Ex versus SL-Se. SL-Ex presented lower VO2max (P < 0.01) and higher post-exercise LDH (P < 0.05) compared to NL-Ex rats. Although moderate exercise counteracted obesity in SL rats, early-life overnutrition restricts fitness gains in adulthood, indicating that early obesity may impair animals’ adaptation to exercise.
We investigated ecological patterns of richness and abundance of Anastrepha fruit flies, based on a long-term series with a dataset from 1998 to 2010, subdivided into four subseries describing pest management through the systems approach (integration of different measures, at least two of which act independently, with cumulative effects), and its impact on abundance and diversity of fruit flies. Richness and abundance were influenced by time and distance but to different extents. Spatio-temporal analysis taking into account the implementation of the systems approach revealed clear effects of the pest management on fruit fly richness and abundance. However, abundance was affected by the systems approach three years before richness was. Abundance and richness also showed different relationships with time and distance between orchards and forest. The Gompertz model, used to describe the relationship between area and species richness, was the function that showed the best fit to the data. The richness-partitioning analysis, which decomposes beta diversity, indicated different distributions of richness values and predictions for additive partitioning that were directly associated with the implementation of the systems approach. The spectral analysis projected different trends for peaks, indicating that the systems approach is able to delay the time for new population peaks of fruit flies.
Triploidization plays an important role in aquaculture and surrogate technologies. In this study, we induced triploidy in the matrinxã fish (Brycon amazonicus) using a heat-shock technique. Embryos at 2 min post fertilization (mpf) were heat shocked at 38°C, 40°C, or 42°C for 2 min. Untreated, intact embryos were used as a control. Survival rates during early development were monitored and ploidy status was confirmed using flow cytometry and nuclear diameter analysis of erythrocytes. The hatching rate reduced with heat-shock treatment, and heat-shock treatments at 42°C resulted in no hatching events. Optimal results were obtained at 40°C with 95% of larvae exhibiting triploidy. Therefore, we report that heat-shock treatments of embryos (2 mpf) at 40°C for 2 min is an effective way to induce triploid individuals in B. amazonicus.
Ryegrass (Lolium spp.) is a troublesome weed in major wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production regions in the United States. High diversity and adaptive potential are known to contribute to its success as a weed species and also create difficulties in correct species identification in fields. The objective of this research was to characterize diversity for 16 different morphological traits among 56 Lolium populations collected from wheat production fields across the Texas Blackland Prairies region and identify Lolium species based on taxonomic characteristics. Populations were highly diverse (both at inter- and intrapopulation levels) for the traits studied, and a taxonomic comparison with USDA-GRIN reference samples revealed that all the populations were variants of Italian ryegrass [Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot] with a few offtypes of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) or probable hybrids between the two species. Hierarchical clustering grouped the populations into six clusters based on their similarities for the morphological traits investigated. Principal component analysis showed that the variability for yield traits greatly contributed to the total diversity. Pre-flowering plant height (stage 10 on Feekes scale) was positively correlated with tiller count, shoot biomass, and spike count, but not with total seed count per plant, whereas plant height at maturity (stage 11.3 to 11.4 on Feekes scale) was highly correlated with total seeds per plant. Further, basal node color was positively correlated with plant growth habit, regrowth rate, and leaf color. Leaf blade width was positively correlated with survival to pinoxaden and multiple herbicides, whereas, spike count was negatively correlated with survival to mesosulfuron. The high levels of intra- as well as interpopulation variability documented in this study indicate the potential of this species to rapidly adapt to herbicides and emphasize the need for implementing diverse management tactics, including the integration of harvest weed seed control.
Breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day. The habit of skipping this meal in adolescence tends to remain until adulthood and has been associated with cardiometabolic risk factors. The present study estimated the prevalence of skipping breakfast and its association with cardiometabolic risk factors. This is a cross-sectional study with data from the Study of Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents (ERICA), with a nationally representative sample of 36 956 Brazilian adolescents, aged 12–17 years, enrolled in public and private schools. The outcomes were excess body weight (BMI), central obesity (waist circumference and waist:height ratio), lipid profile (total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and TAG) and glycidic profile (fasting glycaemia, fasting insulin and glycated Hb). The association between skipping breakfast and each outcome was estimated using multiple Poisson regression models (prevalence ratio (PR) and 95 % CI). Prevalence of skipping breakfast was 68·7 % and, after adjustments, it was associated with excess body weight (PR = 1·30; 95 % CI 1·18, 1·43), central obesity both by waist circumference (PR = 1·27; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·61) and by waist:height ratio (PR = 1·32; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·54) and high fasting glucose levels (PR = 1·54; 95 % CI 1·09, 2·18), fasting insulin (PR = 1·64; 95 % CI 1·21, 2·22), glycated Hb (PR = 1·16; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·31) and total cholesterol (PR = 1·14; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·27). Skipping breakfast was associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescence. In this context, the school environment is an ideal space to promote healthy eating habits, favouring the implementation of food and nutrition education activities to make adolescents aware of the importance of consuming breakfast daily.
It has been speculated that some drugs can be used against SARS-CoV-2. As for antiretrovirals, the follow-up of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak may help to understand the potential protective effect of PrEP against SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to identify associations between oral PrEP use and COVID-19-related symptoms self-reporting. Phone call interviews or digital investigation (through WhatsApp® or e-mail) about oral PrEP regular use, social distancing, exposure to suspected or confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related symptoms. Among 108 individuals, the majority were cisgender, white and gay men. Although most of the individuals engaged in social distancing (68.52%), they kept on taking PrEP (75.93%). Few people have had contact with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (12.04%), but some had COVID-19-related symptoms the month before the interview (27.78%) including rhinorrheoa (56.67%), cough (53.33%), asthaenia (50.00%) and headache (43.33%). Also, oral PrEP was associated with lower self-reporting COVID-19-symptoms (OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.07–0.96, P = 0.04; h = 0.92) even after controlling confounders as social distancing, age, body-mass index and morbidities . In our sample, the regular use of oral PrEP was associated with lower self-reporting of COVID-19-related symptoms during the outbreak in São Paulo, Brazil.
The aim of this study was to evaluate different post-shock temperatures for tetraploid induction in the yellowtail tetra Astyanax altiparanae. Newly fertilized eggs were divided into four groups, three were submitted to heat shock (40°C for 2 min) at 24 min post-fertilization (mpf) and another group remained without shock (control). Groups submitted to temperature shock were further separated at the following temperatures: 22°C, 26°C and 28°C. Survival among embryonic development was counted and at hatching the ploidy was analyzed by flow cytometry. The results showed that the post-shock temperature affects the parameters analyzed and, therefore, must be considered for optimization of the production of tetraploid in A. altiparanae. Those data are innovative and could be used in future studies of basic biology in this species.
The supplementation of nitrogen can be increased by the use of nitrogen-fixing, diazotrophic bacteria such as Azospirillum brasilense. These bacteria can act to promote plant growth in various plant species, including corn (Zea mays L.). However, there is a need to understand the behavior of these bacteria in different agricultural systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect on the growth and yield of corn inoculated with A. brasilense, and to identify the type of farming system which benefited most from the use of A. brasilense-based inoculants. The experiment conducted over two corn crop seasons was arranged in a 6 × 2 factorial scheme, consisting of six farming systems and the presence or absence of inoculation with the bacteria A. brasilense. The farming systems were derived from a long-term experiment with different fertilization systems that has been conducted since 1984. Among these systems, there were three conventional systems (CNT1: conventional no-till without fertilizer; CNT2: conventional no-till with 150 kg ha−1 of mineral fertilizer + 50 kg ha−1 of urea; CNT3: conventional no-till with 300 kg ha−1 of mineral fertilizer + 100 kg ha−1 of urea), and three organic systems (ONT1: organic no-till with 40 m3 ha−1 of organic compost; ONT2: organic no-till with 20 m3 ha−1 of organic compost; ONT3: organic no-till with 40 m3 ha−1 of organic compost and intercropped with Canavalia ensiformis). Although the Azospirillum population in the soil before planting was the same for all six systems, the count in the rhizospheric soil was higher in the organic systems, and there was no increase in that count due to inoculation. In this study, the only difference observed was within the CNT1 system, between the inoculated (CNT1-I) and uninoculated (CNT1-NI) treatments. In this system, inoculation resulted in an increase in plant height, in addition to higher concentrations of foliar N and P, and a higher plant survival rate, which culminated in higher yield. Corn inoculated with A. brasilense in the CNT1-I treatment showed a significant increase in yield—2839 kg ha−1 higher than that recorded for CNT1-NI. This study shows that, in the conventional low input treatment CNT1-I, inoculation with A. brasilense resulted in an increase in corn growth and yield.
Catheter-drawn blood sampling is an efficient method of diagnosing catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) in neonates; it has greater sensitivity and accuracy than methods using catheter-tip cultures. No association was detected between catheter-drawn blood sampling and the occurrence of adverse events with central venous catheters.
Twins Research Australia (TRA) is a community of twins and researchers working on health research to benefit everyone, including twins. TRA leads multidisciplinary research through the application of twin and family study designs, with the aim of sustaining long-term twin research that, both now and in the future, gives back to the community. This article summarizes TRA’s recent achievements and future directions, including new methodologies addressing causation, linkage to health, economic and educational administrative datasets and to geospatial data to provide insight into health and disease. We also explain how TRA’s knowledge translation and exchange activities are key to communicating the impact of twin studies to twins and the wider community. Building researcher capability, providing registry resources and partnering with all key stakeholders, particularly the participants, are important for how TRA is advancing twin research to improve health outcomes for society. TRA provides researchers with open access to its vibrant volunteer membership of twins, higher order multiples (multiples) and families who are willing to consider participation in research. Established four decades ago, this resource facilitates and supports research across multiple stages and a breadth of health domains.
We consider partially hyperbolic attractors for non-singular endomorphisms admitting an invariant stable bundle and a positively invariant cone field with non-uniform cone expansion at a positive Lebesgue measure set of points. We prove volume lemmas for both Lebesgue measure on the topological basin of the attractor and the SRB measure supported on the attractor. As a consequence, under a mild assumption we prove exponential large-deviation bounds for the convergence of Birkhoff averages associated to continuous observables with respect to the SRB measure.
We estimated the incidence of first-episode psychosis over a 3-year period in a Brazilian catchment area comprising the region's main city, Ribeirão Preto (1 425 306 persons-years at risk), and 25 other municipalities with a total of 1 646 556 persons-years at risk. The incidence rates were estimated and adjusted by gender and age, using the direct standardisation method to the world population as reference. The incidence of psychosis was higher in the younger groups, men, and among Black and minority ethnic Brazilians. Psychosis incidence was lower in Ribeirão Preto (16.69/100 000 person-years at risk; 95% CI 15.68–17.70) compared with the average incidence in the remaining municipalities (21.25/100 000 person-years at risk; 95% CI 20.20–22.31), which have lower population density, suggesting a distinct role for urbanicity in the incidence of first-episode psychosis in low- and middle-income countries.