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The indications for expanded endoscopic transnasal approaches continue to increase, with more complex skull base defects needing to be repaired. This study reviews the management of large anterior skull base defects with opening of the sellar diaphragm.
A prospective analysis of endonasal endoscopic surgery carried out at Son Espases University Hospital between January 2013 and December 2018 was performed. The analysis included only the cases with a significative intra-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak. In all cases, reconstruction was performed by combining the gasket seal technique with a pedicled mucosal endonasal flap.
Twenty-eight patients were included. The mucoperiosteal nasoseptal flap, the lateral wall flap and the middle turbinate flap were used in 13, 8 and 7 patients, respectively, combined with the gasket seal technique. One case of post-operative cerebrospinal fluid leak was observed (3.57 per cent).
The combination of a gasket seal with an endonasal mucosal flap is an excellent technique for repairing large anterior skull base defects.
This communication assesses the use of a portable near infrared (NIR) instrument to measure quantitative (fatty acid profile) properties and qualitative (‘Premium’ and ‘Non-premium’) categories of individual Iberian pork carcasses at the slaughterhouse. Acorn-fed Iberian pigs have more unsaturated fats than pigs fed conventional compound feed. Recent advances in miniaturisation have led to a number of handheld NIR devices being developed, allowing processing decisions to be made earlier, significantly reducing time and costs. The most common methods used for assessing quality and authenticity of Iberian hams are analysis of the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat using gas chromatography and DNA analysis. In this study, NIR calibrations for fatty acids and classification as premium or non-premium ham, based on carcass fat measured in situ, were developed using a portable NIR spectrometer. The accuracy of the quantitative equations was evaluated through the standard error of cross validation or standard error of prediction of 0.84 for palmitic acid (C16:0), 0.94 for stearic acid (C18:0), 1.47 for oleic acid (C18:1) and 0.58 for linoleic acid (C18:2). Qualitative calibrations provided acceptable results, with up to 98% of samples (n = 234) correctly classified with probabilities ⩾0.9. Results indicated a portable NIR instrument has the potential to be used to measure quality and authenticity of Iberian pork carcasses.
The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
Genetic improvement, without control of inbreeding, can go to loss of genetic variability, reducing the potential for genetic gains in the domestic populations. The aim of this study was to analyze the population structure and the inbreeding depression in Campolina horses. Phenotype information from 43 465 individuals was analyzed, data provided by the Campolina Breeders Association. A pedigree file containing 107 951 horses was used to connected the phenotyped individuals. The inbreeding coefficient was performed by use of the diagonal of the relationship matrix and the genealogical parameters were computed using proper softwares. The effective population size was estimated based on the rate of inbreeding and census information, and the stratification of the population was verified by the average relationship coefficient between animals born in different regions of Brazil. The effects of inbreeding on morphological traits were made by the use of inbreeding coefficient as a covariate in the model of random regression. The inbreeding coefficient increased from 1990 on, impacting effective population size and, consequently, shrinking genetic variability. The paternal inbreeding was greater than maternal, which may be attributed to the preference for inbred animals in reproduction. The average genetic relationship coefficient of animals born in different states was lower than individuals born within the same state. The increase in the inbreeding coefficient was negatively associated with all studied traits, showing the importance to avoid genetic losses in the long term. Although results do not indicate a severe narrowing of the population until the present date, the average relationship coefficient shows signs of increase, which could cause a drastic reduction in genetic variability if inbred mating is not successfully controlled in the Campolina horse population.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last ~ 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 < z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z ~ 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
Measurements of current rates of core-collapse supernovæ (CCSNe) suffer from significant uncertainties, probably due to the large fraction of CCSNe that explode in crowded regions which have bright background emission and significant dust extinction. Conventional optical (seeing-limited) SN surveys generally fail to detect them, but including them is crucial to the accurate determination of CCSN rates. Project SUNBIRD aims to tighten the present constraints on the fraction of CCSNe that are missed by conventional SN surveys. We are monitoring more than 25 dusty luminous infrared galaxies that are actively star-forming, for evidence of dust-obscured CCSNe, in an effort to characterise the population of CCSNes exploding in those nuclear regions of dusty LIRGs. We observe in the near-infrared, which is less affected by dust extinction compared to the optical; we are using Gemini South and Keck, and we make use of state-of-the-art laser guide-star adaptive optics instruments to achieve a spatial resolution <0’.1, which is sufficient to resolve close to the galactic nucleus.
During the project’s first year we discovered three CCSNe and one candidate one, with nuclear offsets as small as 200 pc, as cited in the poster. Aggregating the new discoveries with the CCSNe found in previous programmes employing AO, we compared the distribution of nuclear offsets of AO CCSN discoveries with all other documented CCSNe discovered in LIRGs. The poster showed that our method is singularly effective at uncovering CCSNe in the nuclear regions of LIRGs, and that while optical surveys dominate SNe discoveries far from a galaxy’s centre, near infra-red AO observations are needed to probe the regions within 1 kpc of the nucleus.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
Bimetallic nanoparticles are of special interest for their potential applications to fuel cells, among the bimetallic systems, AuPd bimetallic nanoparticles have received great interest as they can be widely used as effective catalysts for various electrochemical reactions. Monodisperse AgPd alloy nanoparticles were synthesized by polyol method using silver nitrate and potassium tetrachloropalladate(II) in ethylene glycol as the reducing agent at 160 °C. Structural, compositional and electrochemical characterizations of synthesized bimetallic nanoparticles were investigated. High-angle annular dark field scanning/transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) images and parallel beam X-ray diffraction (XRD) of the bimetallic nanoparticles were obtained. XRD and the contrast of the HAADF-STEM images show that the bimetallic nanoparticles have an alloy structure. Cyclic voltammetry was carried out in order to confirm the electrochemical responses of the AgPd/C electrocatalysts for methanol oxidation. Thanks to the narrow size distribution of the AgPd alloy bimetallic nanoparticles (9.15 nm) the supported AgPd/C electrocatalysts have high catalytic activity toward methanol electro-oxidation.
Inbreeding has been associated with the impairment of reproductive performance in many cattle breeds. Although the usage of reproductive biotechnologies has been increasing in bovine populations, not much attention has been given to the impact of inbreeding over cow’s performance on artificial reproduction. The objective of this study was to estimate the impact of inbreeding on in vitro embryo production in a Guzerá breed population. The inbreeding coefficient (F), calculated as half of the co-ancestry of the individual’s parents, was used as an estimate of inbreeding. The inbreeding coefficients of the donor, sire (used on in vitro fertilization) and of the embryos were included, separately, in the proposed models either as classificatory or continuous variables (linear and quadratic effects). The percentage of non-inbred individuals (or embryos) and mean F of donors, embryos and sires were 29.38%; 35.76%; 42.86% and 1.98±2.68; 1.32±3.13; 2.08±2.79, respectively. Two different models were considered, one for oocyte production traits and other for embryo production traits. The increase of F of the donor significantly (P<0.05) impaired the number of viable oocytes (NOV), number of grade I oocytes (NGI) and number of cleaved embryos (NCLV). Moreover, the donor’s F influenced the percentage of grade I oocytes (PGI), percentage of viable embryos (PEMB) and percentage of cleaved embryos that turned into embryos (PCXE). No significant (P>0.05) effects were observed for the sire (father of the embryos) inbreeding coefficient over the traits analysed. Embryo’s F influenced (P<0.05) the number of viable embryos (NEMB), percentage of viable embryos (PEMB) and percentage of cleaved embryos that turn into embryos (PCXE). Results suggested that an increase in the inbreeding coefficient might impair the embryos ability to survive through challenges imposed by the in vitro environment. Submitting highly inbred Guzerá female donors to in vitro embryo production may, in the long-term, have negative implications on the number of embryos obtained per cow and increase the relative costs of the improvement programmes based on this technology. High levels of inbreeding should be avoided when selecting Guzerá female donors and planning in vitro fertilization mating.
Four models for in vitro embryo production traits in Guzerá cattle were compared: Gaussian (untransformed variable – LIN and transformed in logarithmic scale – LOG), Poisson (POI) and zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP). Data consisted of 5716 ovum pick-up and in vitro fertilization records performed in 1205 cows from distinct regions of Brazil. Analyzed count traits were the number of viable oocytes (NOV), number of grade I oocytes (NGI), number of degenerated oocytes (NDG), number of cleaved embryos (NCLV) and number of viable produced embryos (NEMB). Heritability varied from 0.17 (LIN) to 0.25 (POI) for NOV; 0.08 (LOG) to 0.18 (ZIP) for NGI; 0.12 (LIN) to 0.20 (POI) for NDG; 0.13 (LIN) to 0.19 (POI) for NCLV; 0.10 (LIN) to 0.20 (POI) for NEMB depending on the considered model. The estimated repeatability varied from 0.53 (LOG) to 0.63 (POI) for NOV; 0.22 (LOG) to 0.39 (ZIP) for NGI; 0.29 (LIN) to 0.42 (ZIP) for NDG; 0.42 (LIN) to 0.59 (POI) for NCLV; 0.36 (LIN) to 0.51 (POI) for NEMB. The goodness of fit, measured by deviance information criterion and mean squared residuals, suggested superiority of POI and ZIP over Gaussian models. Estimated breeding values (EBV) obtained by different models were highly correlated, varying from 0.92 for NOV (between LIN-POI) and 0.99 for NGI (between POI-ZIP). The number of coincident animals on the 10% top EBV showed lower similarities. We recommend POI and ZIP models as the most adequate for genetic analysis of in vitro embryo production traits in Guzerá cattle.
Investigating whether high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) types tend to become grouped in a particular way and whether factors are associated with such grouping is important for measuring the real impact of vaccination. In total, 219 women proving positive for HPV as detected by real-time PCR were included in the study. Each sample was analysed for detecting and quantifying six viral types and the hydroxymethylbilane synthase gene. Multiple correspondence analysis led to determining grouping patterns for six HR-HPV types and simultaneous association with multiple variables and whether viral load was related to the coexistence of other viral types. Two grouping profiles were identified: the first included HPV-16 and HPV-45 and the second profile was represented by HPV-31, HPV-33 and HPV-58. Variables such as origin, contraceptive method, births and pregnancies, educational level, healthcare affiliation regime, atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and viral load were associated with these grouping profiles. Different socio-demographic characteristics were found when coinfection occurred by phylogenetically related HPV types and when coinfection was due to non-related types. Biological characteristics, the number of viral copies, temporality regarding acquiring infection and competition between viral types could influence the configuration of grouping patterns. Characteristics related to women and HPV, influence such interactions between coexisting HPV types reflecting the importance of their evaluation.
Background: We evaluated the effects of stents on carotid plaque and the arterial wall using carotid ultrasound in carotid stenting patients Methods: From a carotid stent database, 30 consecutive patients were selected. All had Doppler ultrasound performed pre and post-stenting. The diameters of the lumen at the level of stenotic plaque pre and post stenting, the dorsal and ventral plaque thickness, and of the outer arterial wall diameter were measured. Plaque thickness was measured at the level of maximal stenosis.Non parametric tests were used to determine whether the stent effect and luminal enlargement were based on wall remodeling or on total arterial expansion. Results: Patient was followed for an average of 22 months. 18 patients were male, average age 70 years. 87% were symptomatic ipsilateral to the side of stenosis. The luminal diameter increased post stenting in the region of severe stenosis. Plaque thickness, both ventrally, as well as dorsally decreased post stenting, with no significant difference between the ventral and dorsal plaque effects. The measured lumen in the stent increased over time post-stenting. Conclusions: Self-expanding nitinol stents alter the baseline ventral and dorsal plaque to a significant degree, and do not significantly affect the native arterial wall and the overall arterial diameter.
This paper presents results obtained with the Jodrell Bank - IAC two-element 33 GHz interferometer, located at the Teide Observatory on Tenerife, which is designed to measure the level of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) fluctuations on angular scales of 1° and 2°. The result from a maximum likelihood analysis of observations taken at Dec +41° of δTl = 63+7-6μK at l = 208 ± 18 is comparable with those of Boomerang and Maxima. The contribution of possible foreground contaminants are considered.