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In order to compare estimates by one assessment scale across various cultures/ethnic groups, an important aspect that needs to be demonstrated is that its construct across these groups is invariant when measured using a similar and simultaneous approach (i.e., demonstrated cross-cultural measurement invariance). One of the methods for evaluating measurement invariance is testing for differential item functioning (DIF), which assesses whether different groups respond differently to particular items. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) in societies with different socioeconomic, cultural, and religious backgrounds.
The study was organised by the International Child Mental Health Study Group. Self-reported data were collected from adolescents residing in 11 countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Indonesia, Montenegro, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania and Serbia. The multiple-indicators multiple-causes model was used to test the RCADS items for DIF across the countries.
Ten items exhibited DIF considering all cross-country comparisons. Only one or two items were flagged with DIF in the head-to-head comparisons, while there were three to five items flagged with DIF, when one country was compared with the others. Even with all cross-culturally non-invariant items removed from nine language versions tested, the original factor model representing six anxiety and depressive symptoms subscales was not significantly violated.
There is clear evidence that relatively small number of the RCADS items is non-invariant, especially when comparing two different cultural/ethnic groups, which indicates on its sound cross-cultural validity and suitability for cross-cultural comparisons in adolescent anxiety and depressive symptoms.
The histone chaperone SET/TAF-Iβ is implicated in processes of chromatin remodelling and gene expression regulation. It has been associated with the control of developmental processes, but little is known about its function in helminth parasites. In Mesocestoides corti, a partial cDNA sequence related to SET/TAF-Iβ was isolated in a screening for genes differentially expressed in larvae (tetrathyridia) and adult worms. Here, the full-length coding sequence of the M. corti SET/TAF-Iβ gene was analysed and the encoded protein (McSET/TAF) was compared with orthologous sequences, showing that McSET/TAF can be regarded as a SET/TAF-Iβ family member, with a typical nucleosome-assembly protein (NAP) domain and an acidic tail. The expression patterns of the McSET/TAF gene and protein were investigated during the strobilation process by RT-qPCR, using a set of five reference genes, and by immunoblot and immunofluorescence, using monospecific polyclonal antibodies. A gradual increase in McSET/TAF transcripts and McSET/TAF protein was observed upon development induction by trypsin, demonstrating McSET/TAF differential expression during strobilation. These results provided the first evidence for the involvement of a protein from the NAP family of epigenetic effectors in the regulation of cestode development.
This study aimed to evaluate in vitro and in vivo trypanocidal activity of free and nanoencapsulated curcumin against Trypanosoma evansi. In vitro efficacy of free curcumin (CURC) and curcumin-loaded in lipid-core nanocapsules (C-LNCs) was evaluated to verify their lethal effect on T. evansi. To perform the in vivo tests, T. evansi-infected animals were treated with CURC (10 and 100 mg kg−1, intraperitoneally [i.p.]) and C-LNCs (10 mg kg−1, i.p.) during 6 days, with the results showing that these treatments significantly attenuated the parasitaemia. Infected untreated rats showed protein peroxidation and an increase of nitrites/nitrates, whereas animals treated with curcumin showed a reduction on these variables. As a result, the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) differs between groups (P<0·05). Infected animals and treated with CURC exhibited a reduction in the levels of alanine aminotransferase and creatinine, when compared with the positive control group. The use of curcumin in vitro resulted in a better parasitaemia control, an antioxidant activity and a protective effect on liver and kidney functions of T. evansi-infected adult male Wistar rats.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) supplemented with diphenyl diselenide and sodium selenite in experimental toxoplasmosis, on oxidant/antioxidant biomarkers and cytokine levels. Eighty-four BALB/c mice were divided in seven groups: group A (negative control), and groups B to G (infected). Blood and liver samples were collected on days 4 and 20 post infection (p.i.). Levels of thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive substances and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) were assessed in liver samples. Both biomarkers were significantly increased in infected groups on day 4 p.i., while they were reduced on day 20 p.i., compared with group A. Glutathione reductase (GR) activity significantly (P<0·01) increased on day 4 p.i., in group G, compared with group A. INF-γ was significantly increased (P<0·001) in both periods, day 4 (groups B, C, F and G) and 20 p.i. (groups C, F and G). IL-10 significantly reduced (P<0·001) on day 4 p.i. in group B; however, in the same period, it was increased (P<0·001) in groups C and G, compared with group A. On day 20 p.i., IL-10 increased (P<0·001) in groups F and G. Therefore, our results highlighted that these forms of selenium, associated with the chemotherapy, were able to reduce lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, providing a beneficial immunological balance between the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) has been one of the most studied materials in the last decades. Either as bulk material, epilayers or nanostructures, this direct wide band gap semiconductor is known to possess great potential for fundamental science and modern technology applications.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Recently, the telecommunication market experiences an explosion in the subscribers of emergent high-debit services which require bandwidth that exceeds the one provided by actual copper based access networks . To cope with these demands and keep competitive, great efforts have been done to develop access networks based on optical technology, such as passive all-optical networks due to their intrinsic low cost . Sol-gel processing is suitable for the development of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials for the production of functional integrated optic (IO) devices in a cost effective way. Urea cross-linked OIH show acceptable transparency, mechanical flexibility and thermal stability [3-6]. The control over the refractive index is achieved by zirconium (IV) n-propoxide (ZPO) doping stabilized with methacrylic acid (MA) [3-5]. The combination in a single material of urea cross-linked OIH and ZPO allowed the preparation of UV written low losses planar waveguides  and low rugosity diffraction grating [4,5]. It has been demonstrated that MA acts not only as ZPO stabilizer but impacts directly on the photopolimerization properties as it contains a photopolymerizable group making the OIH easily UV patterned without photoinitiator . Moreover, it also impacts on the OHIs local structure as it forms a complex with ZPO, that originate ordered clusters dispersed within the OIH host [4,5]. Besides the potential of this OIH as IO components, the hybrid hosts are room-temperature efficient white light emitters lacking metal activator ions, presenting quantum yields as higher as 20 % . In this work, a series of OIH, so called di-ureasils, formed of a siliceous skeleton to which oligopolyether chains of different lengths are covalently grafted by means of urea bridges and modified by ZPO and MA will be prepared and characterized by X-ray and small angle X-ray diffractions, Raman, infrared, atomic force and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The use of the proposed OIH in the development of IO functionalities such as optical filters will be evaluated based on waveguide numerical simulation methods (beam propagation method). Waveguides will be written and characterized using the OIH aforementioned. The recording of a Bragg grating in the waveguides allow the implementation of a wavelength discrimination device with applications on optical filtering. The relevant properties of the devices, such as spectral rejection and insertion losses will be characterized.  S-J Park et al. Journal of Lightwave Tech. 22, 2004.  D.J. Shin et al., Journal of Lightwave Tech. 23, 2005.  C. Molina et al., J. Mater. Chem. 15, 3937, 2005.  R.A. Sá Ferreira et al., Proceedings of the International Conference on Telecomunications, 2006.  P.S. André et al. Proceedings ICTON, 1, We.C1.6, 223, 2006.  a) L.D. Carlos et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 11, 111, 2001; b) J. Chem. Phys. B. 108, 14924, 2004. Siemens SA and FCT (POCTI/CTM/59075/2004) is gratefully acknowledged.
The posibility of employing acid catalyzed fufuraldehyde resins as seletive adsorbents has arisen during a comprehensive study of physical-chemical adsorption properties of these materials. The morphology of these resins depend on the synthesis method. Scanning Electron Microscopic studies of these materials which were synthetized, in bulk (FH-M) and solution (FH-D), showed differences in surface density and particle size. Using mercury porosimeter techniques and BET adsorption methods, it was found different pore size distributions and a decrement in surface area when solvent was employed in the synthesis process. By thermogravimetric analysis it was found similar weight losses (6%) of water adsorption and a small differences in thermal stabilities.
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