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Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
We evaluated the effects of cattle manure and inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in maize plants growing in a semiarid area of Brazilian north-east in 2012 and 2013. Three isolates of AMF (Acaulospora longula URM-FMA 07 and URM-FMA 03, Claroideoglomus etunicatum UNIVASF 06A) were used, with or without the application of cattle manure, during two growing cycles. In the first year, significant effects of inoculation were detected for straw yield only when the manure was applied. In the second year, there was an interaction between fertilisation and inoculation for plant height and grain yield, with the highest values in the fertilised treatments. Inoculation with A. longula demonstrated that mycorrhizal inoculation in field-grown plants could be an alternative management for improving plant growth and grain yield, reducing the use of cattle manure. The AMF sporulation and mycorrhizal colonisation were improved after inoculation, and A. longula URM-FMA 07 increased sporulation by more than 15 times while inoculation with C. etunicatum increased sporulation by more than 3 times. The mycorrhizal inoculation is a management practice that can be useful for recovering or maintaining AMF infective propagules in soil, showing potential to be used in large-scale field conditions in Brazilian semiarid. Although mycorrhisation presents high agricultural relevance due to benefits promoted to the soil and plants, the knowledge about the factors influencing the interactions among microorganisms, soil and plants need to be broadened aiming to achieve successful crop management in semiarid regions.
The increase of sheep meat competitiveness in international markets can be attributed to the rise of the quantity and the improvement of the quality of the edible portion of sheep carcasses. Usually, carcass yield is established after the slaughter of the animals. Yet, when carcass yield is determined in vivo, it can be both a costly and subjective method. This study proposes models for predicting the physical characteristics of lamb carcass using bioimpedance analysis (BIA) in live animals. Thirty-one Texel × Ile de France crossbreed ram lambs were slaughtered at 20, 26, 32 or 38 kg of BW. Before the slaughter, values of resistance (Rs) and reactance (Xc) were collected using a single-frequency BIA equipment (Model RJL Quantum II Bioelectrical Body Composition Analyzer). Then, BIA main variables such as body bioelectrical volume (V), phase angle (PA), resistive density (RsD) and reactive density (XcD) were calculated. After slaughter, cold carcass weight (CCW), cold carcass yield (CCY), subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT), soft tissue weight (STW) and soft tissue yield (STY) were also measured. Multiple regression analyses were carried out using the physical characteristics as dependent variables and the bioimpedance values as independent variables. Predictive performance of the models was assessed using leave-one-out cross-validation. The prediction model of CCW was obtained using the V, PA and RsD (R2 = 0.97), STW through the V, RsD and XcD (R2 = 0.97), CCY by Rs, Z and XcD (R2 = 0.69), STY by V and XcD (R2 = 0.67), and SFT only for XcD (R2 = 0.84). The results indicated that BIA has the potential to predict carcass characteristics of lambs at different body masses.
The influence of the concentration of carbon black nanoparticles on the mechanical behavior of a structural adhesive was studied to evaluate and understand the stiffness, strength, and deformation behavior of a reinforced epoxy adhesive. Two carbon black nanoparticles with different dielectric properties and sizes (Monarch® 120 and Vulcan® XC72R) were studied. A bi-component structural epoxy adhesive was selected. Specimens with different concentrations of carbon black were manufactured (0, 5, 10, and 20% on volume of resin) for each type of nanoparticle. The specimens were cured in a hydraulic hot-plates press machine. The mechanical behavior of the adhesives was found not to vary significantly as a function of carbon black nanoparticles amount. A scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed to evaluate the fracture surface. The fracture surfaces of specimens were correlated with the mechanical response obtained through tensile tests.
This work explores the combination of µ-Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) for the study of the glazes in 15th–16th century Hispano-Moresque architectural tiles. These are high lead glazes that can be tin-opacified or transparent, and present five colors: tin-white, cobalt-blue, copper-green, iron-amber, and manganese-brown. They are generally homogenous and mineral inclusions are mostly concentrated in the glaze-ceramic interface. Through SEM-EDS, these inclusions were observed and chemically analyzed, whereas µ-Raman allowed their identification on a molecular level. K-feldspars, wollastonite and diopside were the most common compounds, as well as cassiterite agglomerates that render the glaze opaque. Malayaite was identified in green glazes, and andradite and magnesioferrite in amber glazes. Co–Ni–ferrites were identified in blue glazes, as well as Ni–Fe–olivines. Manganese-brown is the color where most compounds were identified: bustamite, jacobsite, hausmannite, braunite, and kentrolite. Through the µ-Raman analysis of different areas in large inclusions previously observed by SEM, it was possible to identify intermediate phases that illustrate the reaction process that occurs between the color-conferring compounds and the surrounding lead glaze. Furthermore, the obtained results allowed inference of the raw materials and firing temperatures used on the manufacture of these tiles.
The use of forage legumes has been proposed as a means of generating sustainable grazing environments. Their limited use, particularly in tropical pastures, is partially due to the limited knowledge regarding the efficiency of utilization by animals. The present study characterized the sward structure, nutritive value and ingestive behaviour of dairy heifers in pastures of peanut cv. Belmonte under continuous stocking management. Treatments corresponded to sward heights of 5, 10, 15 and 20 cm, according to a randomized complete block design, with four replications. The following response variables were evaluated: vertical distribution of the morphological components within the sward, forage mass, nutritive value (simulated grazing), bite rate (BR), bite mass (BM) and short-term herbage intake rate (STIR). The top half of the sward height was mainly composed of leaves and the bottom half mainly of stolon and dead material regardless of management height. Greater values of neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre were recorded during autumn, while higher values of in-vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility (0·85) occurred during spring regardless of management height for the grazed stratum. In relation to treatments, greater values of crude protein were recorded on swards managed at 5 cm (0·27) and 10 cm (0·26). Bite rate, BM and STIR varied with sward height, but not with a season of the year. The STIR followed a broken line response to sward height, with increasing values up to 13·1 cm (106 g DM/kg body weight). Sward structure played an important role in determining the STIR. To maximize the STIR of dairy heifers under continuous stocking management, swards should be managed at heights of not <13·1 cm.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient in livestock production, involved in most metabolic processes in the body, and with an impact on bone development and growth. Diet supplementation with P can improve productivity, but at excess levels the P utilization can be low, and the high P excretion will lead to environmental pollution (Tamminga, 2003). P supplementation also adds substantially to the cost of feed. Using the isotopic dilution technique (Vitti et al., 2000), we have studied the effect of different P levels in diet on P absorption and excretion in Brazilian sheep, and identified the level at which true P absorption saturates.
In Northeast of Portugal sheep is reared under extensive systems. These systems frequently involve expressive body composition changes due to the storing and mobilization of body reserves, mainly fat. Body condition score (BCS) is the most common way to assess these reserves and the nutritional status of ewes. However due to the subjective nature of BCS, their quality has been questioned and other alternatives has been studied. For cattle there are some studies that use the real time ultrasonography (RTU) to evaluate the BCS (Schwager-Suter et al., 2000; Broring et al., 2003), but this approach was not tested in ewes. Therefore the aim of the present study was to establish a relationship between the BCS and ultrasound subcutaneous fat (SF) and Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle (LM) measurements.
Salivary molecules, as glycine-rich proteins (GRPs), are essential to tick attachment and feeding on the host and are suggested to be involved in the host's immune system evasion, therefore representing natural candidates in the search for protective vaccine antigens. This work shows the molecular characterization of a GRP from Rhipicephalus microplus (RmGRP). The cDNA and putative amino acid sequences were analysed, as well as the transcription level in tick tissues/developmental stages, showing the highest levels of gene expression in 1-day-old larvae and salivary glands of fully engorged females. RmGRP gene silencing resulted in a lower hatching rate of larvae from treated females. In addition, recombinant RmGRP (rRmGRP) was recognized by sera from naturally and experimentally infested bovines, displaying considerable differences among the individuals tested. rRmGRP was recognized by anti-saliva and anti-salivary glands sera, while anti-rRmGRP serum recognized RmGRP in saliva and salivary glands, indicating its secretion into the host. The data collected indicate that RmGRP may present roles other than in the tick–host relationship, especially in embryo development. In addition, the high expression in adult females, antigenicity and presence of shared characteristics with other tick protective GRPs turns RmGRP a potential candidate to compose an anti-tick vaccine cocktail.
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.
Plants’ ability to rebuild their tiller population is affected by weather changes and management strategies. The hypothesis of the present study was that frequency and severity of defoliation alter Mulato grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis × Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu) sward development, and the proportion of aerial and basal tillers, interfering with sward stability. The objective was to evaluate aerial, basal and total tiller population density and changes in tillering dynamics. Treatments corresponded to strategies of rotational grazing characterized by combinations between two pre-grazing (95% and maximum canopy light interception during regrowth; LI95% and LIMax) and two post-grazing conditions (15 and 20 cm stubble height). The experimental period comprised four seasons of the year: summer 2008 (February–March 2008); autumn–early spring (April to mid-November 2008); late spring (mid-November–December 2008); and summer 2009 (January–March 2009). Density of aerial tillers decreased from summer 2008 to late spring. Tiller death decreased from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Aerial and total tiller death increased from late spring to summer 2009, mainly for the LI95% treatment. No differences were observed in the tiller population stability index of aerial tillers for LI treatments or post-grazing heights. The balance between tiller appearance and death for basal tillers remained relatively stable from summer 2008 to late spring. For aerial tillers the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring for both LI treatments. For total tiller population, the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Results indicated a strong seasonal effect on Mulato grass tillering and growth. Tillering dynamics were affected primarily by grazing frequency, which changed the relative importance of basal and aerial tillers. The results suggested that basal tillering was the predominant perennation pathway.
Several studies have shown that maternal low-protein (LP) diet induces detrimental effects in cardiovascular system and oxidative stress in male animals. Additional studies suggested that female has lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. However until present data, the possible effects of estradiol on the undernutrition during gestational and lactation periods are not discussed. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a maternal LP diet during gestational and lactation period on oxidative balance in the female rat hearts ventricles at two ages. Dams were fed with normal protein (NP) or a LP diet during the gestational and lactation period, and their female offspring were divided into age groups (22 or 122 days, corresponding to a low or high estrogen level) composing four experimental groups. Evaluating the nutritional effect showed an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers and decrease in enzymatic defense in LP-22D compared with NP-22D. In contrast, no changes were observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyls, but an increase in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in the LP-122D compared with NP-122D. The global oxy-score in the LP-22D group indicated a predominance of oxidative damage when compared with NP-22D, while in LP-122D group the global oxy-score was restored to NP-122D levels. Evaluating the estradiol effect, our data show a significant decrease in oxidative stress with increase in CAT and GST activity, associated with increase in intracellular thiols. Our data suggest that in situation with low levels of estradiol, hypoproteic diet during gestation and lactation period has detrimental effects on heart, however when estradiol levels raise, the detrimental effects induced are mitigated.
The effect of heavy metal in fish has been the focus of extensive research for many years. However, the combined effect of heavy metals and nanomaterials is still a new subject that needs to be studied. The aim of this study was to examine histopathologic alterations in the gills of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to determine possible effects of lead (Pb), carbon nanotubes, and Pb+carbon nanotubes on their histological integrity, and if this biological system can be used as a tool for evaluating water quality in monitoring programs. For this, tilapia were exposed to Pb, carbon nanotubes and Pb+carbon nanotubes for 4 days. The main alterations observed were epithelial structure, hyperplasia and displacement of epithelial cells, and alterations of the structure and occurrence of aneurysms in the secondary lamella. The most severe alterations were related to the Pb+carbon nanotubes. We conclude that the oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes enhanced the acute lead toxicity in Nile tilapias. This work draws attention to the implications of carbon nanomaterials released in the aquatic environment and their interaction with classical pollutants.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The phenotypic activity of two 5-nitroindazolinones, i.e. 2-benzyl-1-propyl (22) and 2-benzyl-1-butyl (24) derivatives, previously proposed as anti-Trypanosoma cruzi prototypes, was presently assayed on bloodstream trypomastigotes (BT) of the moderately drug-resistant Y strain. Further exploration of putative targets and cellular mechanisms involved in their activity was also carried out. Therefore, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution respirometry and flow cytometry procedures were performed on BT treated for up to 24 h with the respective EC50 value of each derivative. Results demonstrated that although 22 and 24 were not as active as benznidazole in this in vitro assay on BT, both compounds triggered important damages in T. cruzi that lead to the parasite death. Ultrastructural alterations included shedding events, detachment of plasma membrane and nuclear envelope, loss of mitochondrial integrity, besides the occurrence of a large number of intracellular vesicles and profiles of endoplasmic reticulum surrounding cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondrion. Moreover, both derivatives affected mitochondrion leading to this organelle dysfunction, as reflected by the inhibition in oxygen consumption and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Altogether, the findings exposed in the present study propose autophagic processes and mitochondrial machinery as part of the mode of action of both 5-nitroindazolinones 22 and 24 on T. cruzi trypomastigotes.
Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) is a common and important disease of calves. Without effective vaccines, antibiotic therapy is often implemented to minimize the impact of IBK. This review updates a previously published systematic review regarding comparative efficacy for antibiotic treatments of IBK. Available years of Centre for Biosciences and Agriculture International and MEDLINE databases were searched, including non-English results. Also searched were the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and World Buiatrics Congress conference proceedings from 1996 to 2016, reviews since 2013, reference lists from relevant trials, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration New Animal Drug Application summaries. Eligible studies assessed antibiotic treatment of naturally-occurring IBK in calves randomly allocated to group at the individual level. Outcomes of interest were clinical score, healing time, unhealed ulcer risk, and ulcer surface area. A mixed-effects model comparing active drug with placebo was employed for all outcomes. Heterogeneity was assessed visually and using Cochran's Q-test. Thirteen trials assessing nine treatments were included. Compared with placebo, most antibiotic treatments were effective. There was evidence that the treatment effect differed by day of outcome measurement. Visually, the largest differences were observed 7–14 days post-treatment. These results indicate improved IBK healing with many antibiotics and suggest the need for randomized trials comparing different antibiotic treatments.
The enzymatic activities of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase are important to regulate the concentration of adenine nucleotides, known molecules involved in many physiological functions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the activity of NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase in serum and liver tissue of rats infected by Fasciola hepatica. Rats were divided into two groups: uninfected control and infected. NTPDase activity for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and ADP substrates in the liver was higher compared with the control group at 15 days post-infection (PI), while seric activity was lower. In addition, seric and hepatic samples did not show changes for 5′nucleotidase activity at this time. On the other hand, either NTPDase or 5′nucleotidase activities in liver homogenate and serum were higher at 87 days PI. Early in the infection, low NTPDase activity maintains an increase of ATP in the bloodstream in order to activate host immune response, while in hepatic tissue it decreases extracellular ATP to maintain a low inflammatory response in the tissue. As stated, higher NTPDase and 5′nucleotidase activities 87 days after infection in serum and tissue, probably results on an increased concentration of adenosine molecule which stimulates a Th2 immune response. Thus, it is possible to conclude that F. hepatica infections lead to different levels of nucleotide degradation when considering the two stages of infection studied, which influences the inflammatory and pathological processes developed by the purinergic system.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.