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Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
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.
First 405 GHz and 212 GHz solar flare observations were obtained during short campaigns while the new solar submillimeter-wave telescope (SST) was still undergoing adjustments at the CASLEO El Leoncito observatory in the Argentina Andes. We show here preliminary results for a large X1.1 class X-ray event occurred on 2000 March 22, which exhibited a small submm-w continuum response to the slow (minutes) bulk flare emission, and numerous subsecond spikes (100-300 ms), the brightest spikes reaching about 180 and 50 s.f.u. at 405 and 212 GHz, respectively.
Gamma-ray burst host galaxies are deficient in molecular gas, and show anomalous metal-poor regions close to GRB positions. Using recent Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) Hi observations we show that they have substantial atomic gas reservoirs. This suggests that star formation in these galaxies may be fuelled by recent inflow of metal-poor atomic gas. While this process is debated, it can happen in low-metallicity gas near the onset of star formation because gas cooling (necessary for star formation) is faster than the Hi-to-H2 conversion.
Epigenetic studies suggest that diseases that develop in adulthood are related to certain conditions to which the individual is exposed during the initial stages of life. Experimental evidence has demonstrated that offspring born to mothers maintained on high-Na diets during pregnancy have higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) in adulthood. Although these studies have demonstrated the importance of prenatal phases to hypertension development, no evidence regarding the role of high Na intake during postnatal phases in the development of this pathology has been reported. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of Na overload during childhood on induced water and Na intakes and on cardiovascular parameters in adulthood were evaluated. Experiments were carried out in two groups of 21-d-old rats: experimental group, maintained on hypertonic saline (0·3 m-NaCl) solution and food for 60 d, and control group, maintained on tap water and food. Later, both groups were given water and food for 15 d (recovery period). After the recovery period, chronic cannulation of the right femoral artery was performed in unanaesthetised rats to record baseline MAP and heart rate (HR). The experimental group was found to have increased basal MAP (98·6 (sem 2·6) v. 118·3 (sem 2·7) mmHg, P< 0·05) and HR (365·4 (sem 12·2) v. 398·2 (sem 7·5) beats per min, P< 0·05). There was a decrease in the baroreflex index in the experimental group when compared with that in the control group. A water and Na intake test was performed using furosemide. Na depletion was found to induce an increase in Na intake in both the control and experimental groups (12·1 (sem 0·6) ml and 7·8 (sem 1·1), respectively, P< 0·05); however, this increase was of lower magnitude in the experimental group. These results demonstrate that postnatal Na overload alters behavioural and cardiovascular regulation in adulthood.
Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is an important technology to analyse gene expression levels during plant development or in response to different treatments. An important requirement to measure gene expression levels accurately is a properly validated set of reference genes. In this context, we analysed the potential use of 17 candidate reference genes across a diverse set of samples, including several tissues, different stages and environmental conditions, encompassing seed germination and seedling growth in Ricinus communis L. These genes were tested by RT-qPCR and ranked according to the stability of their expression using two different approaches: GeNorm and NormFinder. GeNorm and Normfinder indicated that ACT, POB and PP2AA1 comprise the optimal combination for normalization of gene expression data in inter-tissue (heterogeneous sample panel) studies. We also describe the optimal combination of reference genes for a subset of root, endosperm and cotyledon samples. In general, the most stable genes suggested by GeNorm are very consistent with those indicated by NormFinder, which highlights the strength of the selection of reference genes in our study. We also validated the selected reference genes by normalizing the expression levels of three target genes involved in energy metabolism with the reference genes suggested by GeNorm and NormFinder. The approach used in this study to identify stably expressed genes, and thus potential reference genes, was applied successfully for R. communis and it provides important guidelines for RT-qPCR studies in seeds and seedlings for other species (especially in those cases where extensive microarray data are not available).
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
This study investigated the effects of maternal separation on the feeding behavior of rats. A maternal separation model was used on postnatal day 1 (PND1), forming the following groups: in the maternal separation (MS) group, pups were separated from their mothers each day from PND1 to PND14, whereas in the control (C) group pups were kept with their mothers. Subgroups were formed to study the effects of light and darkness: control with dark and light exposure, female and male (CF and CM), and maternal separation with dark and light exposure, female and male (SDF, SDM, SLF and SLM). Female rats had higher caloric intake relative to body weight compared with male controls in the dark period only (CF=23.3±0.5 v. CM=18.2±0.7, P<0.001). Macronutrient feeding preferences were observed, with male rats exhibiting higher caloric intake from a protein diet as compared with female rats (CF=4.1±0.7, n=8 v. CM=7.0±0.5, n=8, P<0.05) and satiety development was not interrupted. Female rats had a higher adrenal weight as compared with male rats independently of experimental groups and exhibited a higher concentration of serum triglycerides (n=8, P<0.001). The study indicates possible phenotypic adjustments in the structure of feeding behavior promoted by maternal separation, especially in the dark cycle. The dissociation between the mother’s presence and milk intake probably induces adjustments in feeding behavior during adulthood.
This study was conducted to elucidate the effect of different freezing extenders on two lines selected for hyperprolificacy and longevity (H and LP, respectively). In extender A, dimethyl sulphoxide (Me2SO) and sucrose were used as cryoprotectants. In extenders B and C, the sucrose was replaced by 20% egg yolk, and in extender C the Me2SO was substituted by acetamide. Semen was packaged in 0.25 ml plastic straws and cooled at 5°C for 45 min, and then was frozen in liquid nitrogen vapour for 10 min before being plunged into the liquid nitrogen. Thawing was carried out by immersing the straws in a water bath at 50°C for 10 s. Frozen-thawed semen characteristics and reproductive parameters were affected by freezing. Extender C showed significantly lower post-thawing quality traits than any of the three extenders. Acrosome integrity was significantly improved when Me2SO was used as cryoprotectant. Sucrose replacement by 20% egg yolk had no effect on acrosome integrity but provided significantly lower sperm motility and viability. Freezing extender affected fertility rate, total born, number of implantation sites and gestational losses, obtaining better results when extender A was used. The acrosomal integrity after frozen-thawed process showed a significant correlation with fertility at 12th day and also at birth, indicating that an increase in acrosomal integrity leads to an increase in both fertilities (12th day and at birth). A positive correlation between motility of semen and implantation sites was found. The post-thawing quality traits of semen were not affected by the genetic line, although LP line showed higher total born and lower foetal and gestational losses. The findings of this study suggest that freezing extender composition has a significant effect on the success of rabbit sperm for preservation, and when Me2SO was used as permeable cryoprotectant sucrose provided better protection compared with egg yolk and improved reproductive traits, and, on the other hand, the male genotypes used in the present study had no effect on frozen-thawed sperm parameters but negatively affected some of the reproductive parameters.
Here we analyze the outcomes of unlimited access to a low-energy (LE) diet in dams and their offspring. At 3 weeks’ gestation, pregnant Wistar rats were divided into two groups: (1) the control group received a normoenergetic diet; and (2) the experimental group received the LE diet. In dams, lactation outcomes, food intake, body weight, plasma IGF-1, prealbumin, transferrin and retinol-binding protein levels were evaluated; in offspring, biometric and biochemical parameters and food intake were evaluated. No differences were observed during pregnancy. However, after lactation, dams that received the LE diet demonstrated significant reductions in body weight (P<0.05), plasma IGF-1 (P=0.01), prealbumin and visceral fat (P<0.001). Pups born to dams that received the LE diet demonstrated reduced body length and weight at weaning (P<0.001) and were lighter than the control animals at the end of the experimental period. Pups also demonstrated reduced plasma, low-density lipoprotein (P=0.04), triglycerides (P=0.002) and glucose levels (P<0.05), and differences were noted in visceral fat. These results indicate that feeding dams with LE diet during the reproductive period induces acute malnutrition and impairs the growth and development of offspring, as well as certain metabolic parameters.
The Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System (BOOTES), is a global robotic
observatory network, which started in 1998 with Spanish leadership devoted to study
optical emissions from gamma ray bursts (GRBs) that occur in the Universe. We present shot
history and current status of BOOTES network. The Network philosophy, science and some
details of 117 GRBs followed-up are discussed.
Since 1997, and following our detection of the first mm afterglow, we have followed-up 70
GRBs, mainly with the IRAMś Plateau de Bure Interferometer, what can be considered as the
IRAM Legacy GRB Sample. 66 events were observed at 3 mm, with 19 of them being detected
(with another 3 having marginal detections). 32 GRBs were followed up at 1 mm, with 6 of
them being detected. Redshifts for the GRB afterglows lie in the range z = 0.03–8.3, with
measured flux densities (at 3 mm) varying between 0.25 and 60 mJy (but usually <1.5
mJy) with first observations taking place around 1–2 days after the GRB. Forward shock
emission expleains the observations with the exception of one particular case (GRB 090423
at z = 8.2) for which reverse shock emission is required.
We summarize the results of our programs started in 2009 with the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio
Canarias (GTC) telescope. Since then its instruments have been subject of a continuous
upgrade, making the GTC a competitive telescope for the GRB field. So far (Dec. 2012) the
GTC have followed up 25 GRBs, measuring 10 redshifts, and discovering two SNe associated
to GRBs. The new generation of instruments foreseen for the coming years will contribute
substantially to enhance the knowledge of these puzzling explosions.
Chagas' disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, represents a serious health problem in Latin America, and the available chemotherapy, which is based on 2 nitro-derivatives, is not satisfactory. In folk medicine, natural products including naphthoquinones have been employed for the treatment of different parasitic diseases. In the pursuit of alternative drugs for Chagas' disease, we investigated the mechanism of action of the triazolic naphthoquinone (TN; 2,2-dimethyl-3-(4-phenyl-1H-1,2,3-triazol-1-yl)-2,3-dihydronaphtho[1,2-b]furan-4,5-dione), which is the most active compound against T. cruzi trypomastigotes among a series of naphthofuranquinones. TN was active against the 3 parasite forms producing a dose-dependent inhibitory effect. In epimastigotes, TN induced reservosome disruption, flagellar blebbing, Golgi disorganization, the presence of cytosolic concentric membrane structures and abnormal multiflagellar parasites. The treatment also led to the appearance of well-developed endoplasmic reticulum profiles surrounding organelles that associated with an increase in monodansylcadaverine labelling, suggesting autophagy as part of the TN mechanism of action. Interestingly, no ultrastructural damage was detected in the mitochondria of naphthoquinone-treated epimastigotes. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated an impairment of mitosis, an increase in ROS production and the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential. TN could be a good starting point in the investigation of a chemotherapeutic approach for the treatment of Chagas' disease.
The defect structure of GaAsP layer grown by Atomic Layer Molecular Beam Epitaxy on (001) GaAs substrate has been studied by Transmission Electron Microscopy. The phosphorous content and the epilayer thickness have been changed below 25% and 1μm respectively. Three kinds of defect structure have been found: a) α-δ fringes at the interface for coherent epilayer, b) Misfit dislocation for thin epilayers and c) Multiple cracks normal to the interface and parallel to one <110> direction for thick epilayers.
We explore the non-standard mixing history of five solar twins to determine as precisely as possible their mass and age. For this, we computed a grid of evolutionary models with non-standard mixing at given metallicities with the Toulouse-Geneva code for a range of stellar masses. We choose the evolutionary model that best fit the low lithium abundances observed in the solar twins. Our best model for each solar twin provides a mass and age solution constrained by their Li content and Teff determination. Li depletion due to the additional mixing in solar-twins is strongly mass dependent. An accurate lithium abundance measurement connected with non-standard models provides a more precise information about the age and mass better than that determined only by classical methods.