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A new era in radio astronomy will begin with the upcoming large-scale surveys planned at the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). ASKAP started its Early Science programme in October 2017 and several target fields were observed during the array commissioning phase. The Scorpio field was the first observed in the Galactic Plane in Band 1 (792–1 032 MHz) using 15 commissioned antennas. The achieved sensitivity and large field of view already allow to discover new sources and survey thousands of existing ones with improved precision with respect to previous surveys. Data analysis is currently ongoing to deliver the first source catalogue. Given the increased scale of the data, source extraction and characterisation, even in this Early Science phase, have to be carried out in a mostly automated way. This process presents significant challenges due to the presence of extended objects and diffuse emission close to the Galactic Plane.
In this context, we have extended and optimised a novel source finding tool, named Caesar, to allow extraction of both compact and extended sources from radio maps. A number of developments have been done driven by the analysis of the Scorpio map and in view of the future ASKAP Galactic Plane survey. The main goals are the improvement of algorithm performances and scalability as well as of software maintainability and usability within the radio community. In this paper, we present the current status of Caesar and report a first systematic characterisation of its performance for both compact and extended sources using simulated maps. Future prospects are discussed in the light of the obtained results.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Introduction: Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of non-emergency community paramedicine (CP) home visit programs. In the absence of a recognized standard for CP assessment, current assessment practices in CP programs are unknown. Without knowing what community paramedics are assessing, it is difficult to ascertain what should be included in patient care plans, whether interventions are beneficial, or whether paramedics are meeting program objectives. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments used in CP programs in order to describe the state of current practice. Methods: We performed an environmental scan of all CP programs in Ontario, Canada, and employed content analysis to describe current assessment practices in CP home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy. Findings were compared at the domain and sub-domain of the ICF. Results: Of 54 paramedic services in Ontario, 43 responded to our request for information. Of 24 services with CP home visit programs, 18 provided their intake assessment forms for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Overall, most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF, including: Impairments of Body Functions, Impairments of Body Structures, Activity Limitation and Participation, and Environmental Factors. At the sub-domain level, only assessment of Impairments of the Functions of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory systems appeared in all assessments. Few CP home visit program assessments covered most ICF sub-domain categories and many items classified to specific categories were included in only a few assessments. Conclusion: CP home visit programs complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. The content of CP assessments varied across Ontario, which suggests that care planning and resources may not be consistent. Current work on practice guidelines and paramedic training can build from descriptions of assessment practices to improve quality of care and patient safety. By identifying what community paramedics assess, evaluation of the quality of CP home visit programs and their ability to meet program objectives can be improved and benchmarks in patient care can be established.
Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P<0.001). In contrast, animals fed high levels of cactus (>500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P<0.001) and similar ADG compared with those without cactus addition. The DMI was positively correlated with initial BW, final BW, concentrate and ADG, while it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion and ME of the diet. On other hand, ADG was positively correlated with DMI, initial and mean BW and concentrate, and it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion. The two developed equations had high accuracy (Cb of 0.95 for DMI and 0.94 for ADG) and the random error of MSEP was 99% for both equations. The precision of both equations was moderate, with R2 values of 0.53 and 0.50 and ρ values of 0.73 and 0.71 for DMI and ADG, respectively. In conclusion, the developed equation to predict DMI had moderate precision and high accuracy, nonetheless, it was more efficient than those reported in the literature. The proposed equations can be a useful alternative to estimate intake and performance of lambs fed cactus.
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.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
This study evaluated the effects of diet containing taro flour on hormone levels and the seminiferous tubules morphology of rats. After weaning, the male rats were divided into two groups (n=12 each): control group (CG) treated with control diet and taro group (TG), fed with 25% taro flour for 90 days. Food, caloric intake, mass and body length were evaluated at experiment end. Testis followed the standard histological processing. Immunostaining was performed using an anti-vimentin antibody to identify Sertoli cells. In histomorphometry, total diameter, total area, epithelial height, luminal height and luminal area were analyzed. The testosterone levels were performed using the radioimmunoassay method. Group TG presented (P<0.05): increase in mass, body length, testicular weight, histomorphometric parameters and hormonal levels. Food intake, calorie and Sertoli cells not presented statistical differences. The taro promoted increase in the testicles parameters and hormones.
Epidemiological studies have found coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, the aim of this randomised, cross-over single-blind study was to investigate the effects of regular coffee, regular coffee with sugar and decaffeinated coffee consumption on glucose metabolism and incretin hormones. Seventeen healthy men participated in five trials each, during which they consumed coffee (decaffeinated, regular (containing caffeine) or regular with sugar) or water (with or without sugar). After 1 h of each intervention, they received an oral glucose tolerance test with one intravenous dose of [1-13C]glucose. The Oral Dose Intravenous Label Experiment was applied and glucose and insulin levels were interpreted using a stable isotope two-compartment minimal model. A mixed-model procedure (PROC MIXED), with subject as random effect and time as repeated measure, was used to compare the effects of the beverages on glucose metabolism and incretin parameters (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)). Insulin sensitivity was higher with decaffeinated coffee than with water (P<0·05). Regular coffee with sugar did not significantly affect glucose, insulin, C-peptide and incretin hormones, compared with water with sugar. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, GLP-1 and GIP levels were not statistically different after regular and decaffeinated coffee compared with water. Our findings demonstrated that the consumption of decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity without changing incretin hormones levels. There was no short-term adverse effect on glucose homoeostasis, after an oral glucose challenge, attributable to the consumption of regular coffee with sugar.
This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) treatment default in a priority city for disease control in Brazil. A cohort of TB cases diagnosed from 2008 to 2009 was followed up from patients’ entry into three outpatient sites, in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais (Brazil), until the recording of the outcomes. Drug addiction, alcoholism and treatment site appeared to be independently associated with default. Current users of crack as the hardest drug (odds ratio (OR) 12·25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·04–49·26) were more likely to default than other hard drug users (OR 5·67, 95% CI 1·34–24·03), former users (OR 4·12, 95% CI 1·11–15·20) and those not known to use drugs (reference group). Consumers at high risk of alcoholism (OR 2·94, 95% CI 1·08–7·99) and those treated in an outpatient hospital unit (OR 8·22, 95% CI 2·79–24·21%) also were more likely to default. Our results establish that substance abuse was independently associated with default. National TB programmes might be more likely to achieve their control targets if they include interventions aimed at improving adherence and cure rates, by diagnosing and treating substance abuse concurrently with standard TB therapy.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
The objective of this study was to investigate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with birth weight, weight gain from birth to weaning and from weaning to yearling, yearling height and cow weight in Nelore cattle. Data from 5064 animals participating in the DeltaGen and PAINT breeding programs were used. The animals were genotyped with a panel of 777 962 SNPs (Illumina BovineHD BeadChip) and 412 993 SNPs remained after quality control analysis of the genomic data. A genome-wide association study was performed using a single-step methodology. The analyses were processed with the BLUPF90 family of programs. When applied to a genome-wide association studies, the single-step GBLUP methodology is an iterative process that estimates weights for the SNPs. The weights of SNPs were included in all analyses by iteratively applying the single-step GBLUP methodology and repeated twice so that the effect of the SNP and the effect of the animal were recalculated in order to increase the weight of SNPs with large effects and to reduce the weight of those with small effects. The genome-wide association results are reported based on the proportion of variance explained by windows of 50 adjacent SNPs. Considering the two iterations, only windows with an additive genetic variance >1.5% were presented in the results. Associations were observed with birth weight on BTA 14, with weight gain from birth to weaning on BTA 5 and 29, with weight gain from weaning to yearling on BTA 11, and with yearling height on BTA 8, showing the genes TMEM68 (transmembrane protein 8B) associated with birth weight and yearling height, XKR4 (XK, Kell blood group complex subunit-related family, member 4) associated with birth weight, NPR2 (natriuretic peptide receptor B) associated with yearling height, and REG3G (regenerating islet-derived 3-gamma) associated with weight gain from weaning to yearling. These genes play an important role in feed intake, weight gain and the regulation of skeletal growth.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
In the 1998-99 flight, BOOMERanG has produced maps of ∼4% of the sky at high Galactic latitudes, at frequencies of 90, 150, 240 and 410 GHz, with resolution ≳ 10'. The faint structure of the Cosmic Microwave Background at horizon and sub-horizon scales is evident in these maps. These maps compare well to the maps recently obtained at lower frequencies by the WMAP experiment. Here we compare the amplitude and morphology of the structures observed in the two sets of maps. We also outline the polarization sensitive version of BOOMERanG, which was flown early this year to measure the linear polarization of the microwave sky at 150, 240 and 350 GHz.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
The spiny rat (Proechimys guyannensis) is a neotropical rodent that is used in biomedical research, particularly research related to chronic resistance to epilepsy and infectious diseases. To our knowledge, there are few reports concerning the reproductive biology of this species. Therefore, besides providing basic biometric and morphometric data, in the present study we investigated testis function and spermatogenesis in adult spiny rats. The mean testis weight and gonadosomatic index obtained were 1.63 ± 0.2 g and 1.15 ± 0.1% respectively. Based on the development of the acrosomic system, 12 stages of the seminiferous epithelium cycle were characterized. Stages VI and VII presented the highest frequencies (~17–19%), whilst stages II to V showed the lowest frequencies (~2–4%). The most advanced germ cell types labelled at 1 h or 20 days after BrdU injections were respectively preleptotene/leptotene spermatocytes at stage VII and elongated spermatids at stage III. The mean duration of one cycle was 7.5 ± 0.01 days and the entire spermatogenic process lasted 33.7 ± 0.06 days (~4.5 cycles). The seminiferous tubules (ST) occupied ~96 ± 1% of the testis parenchyma, whereas Leydig cells comprised only 1.5 ± 0.4%. The number of Sertoli cells (SC) per testis gram and the SC efficiency (spermatids/SC) were respectively 78 × 106 ± 11 × 106 and 7.9 ± 1. The daily sperm production per testis gram (spermatogenic efficiency; daily sperm production (DSP)/g/testis) was 78 × 106 ± 8 × 106. To our knowledge, this spermatogenic efficiency is among the highest found for mammals investigated to date and is probably related to the very short duration of spermatogenesis and the very high ST percentage and SC number obtained for this species.