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New tools from neuroscience allow design researchers to explore design neurocognition. By taking the advantage of EEG's temporal resolution we give up spatial resolution to focus on the performance of time-related design tasks. This paper presents results from an experiment using EEG to measure brain activation to study mechanical engineers and architects to compare their design neurocognition. In this study, we adopted and extended the tasks described in a previous fMRI study of design neurocognition reported in the literature. The block experiment consists of a sequence of 3 tasks: problem solving, basic design and open design using a physical interface. The block is preceded by a familiarizing pre-task using the physical interface and then extended to a fourth task using free-hand sketching. Brainwaves were collected from both mechanical engineers and architects. Results comparing 36 mechanical engineers and architects while designing were produced. These results indicate design cognition differences between the two domains in task-related power between the problem-solving task and the design tasks, in temporal resolution and transformed power.
It is suggested that bovine enteroviruses (BEV) are involved in the aetiology of enteric infections, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders and infertility. In this study, bovine faecal samples collected in different Brazilian states were subjected to RNA extraction, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 5′-terminal portion of BEV. One hundred and three samples were tested with an overall positivity of 14.5%. Phylogenetic analysis clustered these BEV Brazilian samples into the Enterovirus F clade. Our results bring an important update of the virus presence in Brazil and contribute to a better understanding of the distribution and characterisation of BEV in cattle.
The sponges may be the oldest group of Metazoa, with a long and successful evolutionary history. Despite their intermittent fossil record quality, the group has been considered reliable for paleoecological and paleobiogeographic analyses because they have inhabited various types of aquatic environments, forming a significant part of benthic communities. We have presented a detailed description of a new species from the genus Teganiella, Teganiella finksi new species, which expands the chronologic range and classifies the genus as endemic to the paleoequatorial regions of Laurentia associated with arid climate conditions linked to hypersaline periods. Combining the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental features of the Teganiella species, our findings also suggest a trend toward more closed-inlet conditions, which may be related to competition and/or specific habitat supplies, for example, heavy metals such as vanadium, zinc, and molybdenum.
Hepatocytes constitute the majority of hepatic cells, and play a key role in controlling systemic innate immunity, via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and by synthesizing complement and acute phase proteins. Leishmania infantum, a protozoan parasite that causes human and canine leishmaniasis, infects liver by establishing inside the Kupffer cells. The current study proposes the elucidation of the immune response generated by dog hepatocytes when exposed to L. infantum. Additionally, the impact of adding leishmanicidal compound, meglumine antimoniate (MgA), to parasite-exposed hepatocytes was also addressed. L. infantum presents a high tropism to hepatocytes, establishing strong membrane interactions. The possibility of L. infantum internalization by hepatocytes was raised, but not confirmed. Hepatocytes were able to recognize parasite presence, inducing PRRs [nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)1, NOD2 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)2] gene expression and generating a mix pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine response. Reduction of cytochrome P 450s enzyme activity was also observed concomitant with the inflammatory response. Addition of MgA increased NOD2, TLR4 and interleukin 10 gene expression, indicating an immunomodulatory role for MgA. Hepatocytes seem to have a major role in coordinating liver's innate immune response against L. infantum infection, activating inflammatory mechanisms, but always balancing the inflammatory response in order to avoid cell damage.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether dietary reduction and sex class affect nutrient intake, digestibility, purine derivative (PD) excretion and heat tolerance coefficient in lambs. Thirty-five hair lambs (14.5 ± 0.89 kg initial body weight (BW), 2 months old) were used in a completely randomized study with a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, three sex classes (11 intact males, 12 castrated males and 12 females) and three levels of feeding (ad libitum, 300 and 600 g/kg/dry matter (DM) feed restriction) for 120 days. Intact and castrated males showed higher intakes of DM and neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) than females. At 300 g/kg/DM feed restriction, NDFap digestibility was lower in intact males than in other classes; however, no differences were found between classes when subjected to ad libitum feeding or 600 g/kg/DM. The basal endogenous nitrogen and endogenous urinary losses were highest in intact males. Allantoin, uric acid and PD excretion, as well as PD absorption and microbial protein production were lowest in the animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. Microbial protein synthesis (MPS) was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The lowest temperatures were observed in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The heat tolerance coefficient was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. In conclusion, feed restriction reduced the time spent on feeding and rumination but increased the digestibility of DM. The restriction level of 600 g/kg/DM maximized MPS and infrared thermography indicated an elevated heat tolerance coefficient.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are increasingly taking advantage of active materials, allowing to provide specific clues to the cells. In particular, the use of electroactive polymers that deliver an electrical signal to the cells upon mechanical solicitation, open new scientific and technological opportunities, as they in fact mimic signals and effects that occur in living tissues, allowing the development of suitable microenvironments for tissue regeneration. Thus, a novel overall strategy for bone and muscle tissue engineering was developed based on the fact that these cells type are subjected to mechano-electrical stimuli in their in vivo microenvironment and that piezo- and magnetoelectric polymers, used as scaffolds, are suitable for delivering those cues. The processing and functional characterizations of piezoelectric and magnetoelectric polymers based on poly(vinylindene fluoride) and poly-L-lactic acid in a variety of shapes, from microspheres to electrospun mats and three dimensional scaffolds, are shown as well as their performance in the development of novel bone and muscle tissue engineering.
ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae and particularly Escherichia coli ST131 isolates producing CTX-M enzymes are commonly found colonizing the intestine of nursing home (NH) residents, but ST131 subclonal structure has been scarcely explored in this vulnerable population. Our goal was to perform a pilot study to assess the faecal carriage rate and epidemiological features of ESBL- and/or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E and CPE, respectively) among NH residents. For this purpose, faecal samples from residents at 4 different NHs in the North of Portugal (representing 9·5% of the residents’ population, July 2014) were screened for ESBL-E and/or CPE by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Clonal structure and plasmid typing of ESBL-producing E. coli (ESBL-Ec) was performed by PCR and sequencing. Four ESBL-Ec isolates (2 CTX-M-15/2 CTX-M-14) were found in 20% of the samples, all belonging to the pandemic clonal lineage B2-ST131-O25b:H4. Two different clades were identified, the C2/H30-Rx-virotype C producing CTX-M-15 and an atypical B/H22-like-virotype D5 (producing CTX-M-14 and fluoroquinolone-resistant), firstly described in Portugal. This pilot study highlights the role of NH residents as a source of different ST131 clades, besides emphasizing the importance of E. coli B2-ST131 subtyping in different clinical settings, and understanding the transmission dynamics of the different variants.
Sexual dimorphism is common in many extant animals, but it is difficult to demonstrate in fossil species. Working with material from the Late Cretaceous of the U.S. Coastal Plain, we herein analyze sexual dimorphism in ostracodes from the superfamily Cytheroidea, a group whose extant members have males that are relatively more elongate than females. We digitized outlines of more than 6000 individual ostracode valves or carapaces, extracted size (area) and shape (length-to-height ratio) information, and used finite mixture models to assess hypotheses of sexual dimorphism. Male and female clusters can be discerned in nearly all populations with sufficient data, resulting in estimates of size and shape dimorphism for 142 populations across 106 species; an additional nine samples are interpreted to consist only of females. Dimorphism patterns varied across taxa, especially for body size: males range from 30% larger to 20% smaller than females. Magnitudes of sexual dimorphism are generally stable within species across time and space; we can demonstrate substantial evolutionary changes in dimorphism in only one species, Haplocytheridea renfroensis. Several lines of evidence indicate that patterns of sexual dimorphism in these ostracodes reflect male investment in reproduction, suggesting that this study system has the potential to capture variation in sexual selection through the fossil record.
We present a detailed study of the warmers phase in a starburst as a scenario for AGN (Terlevich & Melnick 1985). A numerical code (“ET”) was developed to compute the time evolution of the total spectrum of an ionizing cluster. ET is based in Maeder & Meynet (1988) and Maeder (1990) tracks and in model atmospheres. The ionizing spectra were input into the photoionization code Aangaba (Gruenwald & Viegas 1991) to calculate the nebular emission for a grid of models covering different densities, ionization parameters, metallicities and cluster ages. The emission line spectrum go through an “active phase” beginning at ≍ 3 Myrs, which lasts for about 3 Myrs, when the population of warmers disapears. Metallicities between 1/2 and 2 Z⊙ are necessary to generate AGN line ratios. The lower limmit is due to the fact that fewer warmers occur in metal poor regions (due to the smaller mass loss rates) and even if some do occur the line ratios would resemble an HII galaxy rather than a Seyfert 2 or a LINER. The upper limmit is set by strong line cooling of the emission nebula. The chemical pollution of the gas by the processed stellar winds from the very massive stars produce straightforwardly a N overabundance as that observed in many AGN. In Figure 1a and b, we show the process of heavy element enrichment as a function of time parametrized by γ—a quantity which measures the mass ejected by stars relative to the mass of gas surrounding the stellar association (see Cid Fernandes et al. 1991). The chemical yields were taken from Maeder (1990) models.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can induce deleterious changes in the modulatory ability of the vascular endothelium, contributing to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the long term. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has suggested the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular health and repair. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of IUGR on vascular reactivity and EPCs derived from the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed an ad libitum diet (control group) or 50% of the ad libitum diet (restricted group) throughout gestation. We determined vascular reactivity, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression by evaluating the thoracic aorta of adult male offspring from both groups (aged: 19–20 weeks). Moreover, the amount, functional capacity, and senescence of EPCs were assessed in vitro. Our results indicated that IUGR reduced vasodilation via acetylcholine in aorta rings, decreased NO levels, and increased eNOS phosphorylation at Thr495. The amount of EPCs was similar between both groups; however, IUGR decreased the functional capacity of EPCs from the PB and BM. Furthermore, the senescence process was accelerated in BM-derived EPCs from IUGR rats. In summary, our findings demonstrated the deleterious changes in EPCs from IUGR rats, such as reduced EPC function and accelerated senescence in vitro. These findings may contribute towards elucidating the possible mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction induced by fetal programming.
The thermomechanical processing of NiTi shape memory alloys usually involves several steps of hot and/or cold deformation. The present work presents the structural characterization of a Ni-rich NiTi alloy bar, produced by vacuum-induced melting and thermomechanical processing in laboratory scale, aiming at massive production in the future. This study focused on the first step of hot working at 800 °C during rotary forging. Microstructural characterization was performed using differential scanning calorimetry, high- and low-temperature X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a laboratory source and synchrotron XRD. Thus, it was possible to obtain the phase transformation characteristics of the material: the transformation temperatures and the transformation sequence. Proposed thermomechanical processing is intended for production of bars and wires that will be subsequently drawn to get thin wires, for different applications, including orthodontic arch wires.
This study was aimed to investigate associations between birth weight and multiple adiposity indicators in youth, and to examine potential mediating effects by biological maturation. This was a school-based study involving 981 Brazilian adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years. Birth weight was reported retrospectively by mothers. Maturation was estimated by age of peak height velocity. Adiposity indicators included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and percent body fat estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Multilevel mediation analyses were performed using the Sobel test, adjusted for chronological age, gestational age, cardiorespiratory fitness and socio-economic status. Except for body fat in girls, biological maturation partly or fully mediated (P<0.05) positive relationships between birth weight with all other obesity indicators in both sexes with their respective values of indirect effects with 95% confidence intervals: BMI [boys: 0.44 (0.06–0.82); girls: 0.38 (0.13–0.64)], waist circumference [boys: 1.14 (0.22–2.05); girls: 0.87 (0.26–1.48)] and body fat [boys: 0.60 (0.13–1.07)]. To conclude, birth weight is associated with elevated obesity risk in adolescence and biological maturation seems to at least partly mediate this relationship.
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.
Previous investigations suggested that elevated cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can indicate non-healthy states. However, the potential association between cfDNA seminal plasma levels and fertility sperm parameters has not yet been determined. Therefore, the present study evaluated the association between seminal cfDNA levels and sperm fertility criteria to determine the use of seminal cfDNA quantification. An in vivo protocol quantified cfDNA levels of semen samples obtained from 163 male patients using fluorescent PicoGreen dye staining. To confirm if semen cfDNA quantification is realistic, an in vitro complementary test was performed using three or four semen samples. The fresh sperm samples were exposed to paraquat that generates high levels of superoxide anion causing oxidative stress and cell mortality. The results showed significant association between dsDNA levels and several sperm fertility parameters, such as low viability and alterations of motility and morphology. The in vitro analysis confirmed the association between dsDNA levels and sperm viability. Together, these results suggest that dsDNA levels could be an important biomarker to test sperm fertility.
This study investigated the relationships between methane (CH4) emission and fatty acids, volatile metabolites (V) and non-volatile metabolites (NV) in milk of dairy cows. Data from an experiment with 32 multiparous dairy cows and four diets were used. All diets had a roughage : concentrate ratio of 80 : 20 based on dry matter (DM). Roughage consisted of either 1000 g/kg DM grass silage (GS), 1000 g/kg DM maize silage (MS), or a mixture of both silages (667 g/kg DM GS and 333 g/kg DM MS; 333 g/kg DM GS and 677 g/kg DM MS). Methane emission was measured in climate respiration chambers and expressed as production (g/day), yield (g/kg dry matter intake; DMI) and intensity (g/kg fat- and protein-corrected milk; FPCM). Milk was sampled during the same days and analysed for fatty acids by gas chromatography, for V by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and for NV by nuclear magnetic resonance. Several models were obtained using a stepwise selection of (1) milk fatty acids (MFA), V or NV alone, and (2) the combination of MFA, V and NV, based on the minimum Akaike’s information criterion statistic. Dry matter intake was 16.8±1.23 kg/day, FPCM yield was 25.0±3.14 kg/day, CH4 production was 406±37.0 g/day, CH4 yield was 24.1±1.87 g/kg DMI and CH4 intensity was 16.4±1.91 g/kg FPCM. The observed CH4 emissions were compared with the CH4 emissions predicted by the obtained models, based on concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) analysis. The best models with MFA alone predicted CH4 production, yield and intensity with a CCC of 0.80, 0.71 and 0.69, respectively. The best models combining the three types of metabolites included MFA and NV for CH4 production and CH4 yield, whereas for CH4 intensity MFA, NV and V were all included. These models predicted CH4 production, yield and intensity better with a higher CCC of 0.92, 0.78 and 0.93, respectively, and with increased accuracy (Cb) and precision (r). The results indicate that MFA alone have moderate to good potential to estimate CH4 emission, and furthermore that including V (CH4 intensity only) and NV increases the CH4 emission prediction potential. This holds particularly for the prediction model for CH4 intensity.
The present study investigates the twinning rates in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, during the years 2003–2014. The data were drawn from the Brazilian Health Department database of Sistema de Informações de Nascidos Vivos de São Paulo—SINASC (Live Births Information System of São Paulo). In general, more information is available on the incidence of twinning in developed countries than in developing ones. A total of 24,589 twin deliveries and 736 multiple deliveries were registered in 140 hospitals of São Paulo out of a total of 2,056,016 deliveries during the studied time period. The overall average rates of singleton, twin, and multiple births per 1,000 maternities (‰) were 987.43, 11.96 (dizygotic (DZ) rate was 7.15 and monozygotic (MZ) 4.42), and 0.36, respectively. We further regressed maternal age and historical time period on percentage of singleton, twin, and multiple birth rates. Our results indicated that maternal age strongly positively predicted twin and multiple birth rates, and negatively predicted singleton birth rates. The historical time period also positively, although weakly, predicted twin birth rates, and had no effect on singleton or multiple birth rates. Further, after applying Weinberg's differential method, we computed regressions separately for the estimated frequencies of DZ and MZ twin rates. DZ twinning was strongly positively predicted by maternal age and, to a smaller degree, by time period, while MZ twinning increased marginally only with higher maternal age. Factors such as increasing body mass index or air pollution can lead to the slight historical increase in DZ twinning rates. Importantly, consistent with previous cross-cultural and historical research, our results support the existence of an age-dependent physiological mechanism that leads to a strong increase in twinning and multiple births, but not singleton births, among mothers of higher age categories. From the ultimate perspective, twinning and multiple births in later age can lead to higher individual reproductive success near the end of the reproductive career of the mother.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary lysine on performance, protein deposition and respiratory chain gene expression in male broilers. A total of 252 Cobb 500 broilers were distributed, in a completely randomized design, into four treatments with seven replicates of nine birds per experimental unit. Experimental treatments consisted of diets based on corn and soybean meal, with four levels of digestible lysine: 1.016%, 1.099%, 1.182% and 1.265%. The increase in the level of digestible lysine in the diet provided higher weight gains, feed efficiency and body protein deposition. Birds fed the lowest level of dietary lysine (1.016%) showed a lower expression of genes such as NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (ND1), cytochrome b (CYTB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COX I), II (COX II) and III (COX III), displaying the worst performance and body protein deposition. This demonstrates the relationship existing between the expression of the evaluated genes and the performance responses. In conclusion, results indicate that broilers fed diets with higher levels of digestible lysine have increased messenger RNA expression of some genes coded in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ND1, CYTB, COX I, COX II and COX III). It may be stated that diets with proper levels of digestible lysine, within the ‘ideal protein’ concept, promote the expression of genes, which increases the mitochondrial energy, thereby fostering body protein deposition and the performance of broilers in the starter phase.
To date no comprehensive evaluation has appraised the likelihood of bias or the strength of the evidence of peripheral biomarkers for bipolar disorder (BD). Here we performed an umbrella review of meta-analyses of peripheral non-genetic biomarkers for BD.
The Pubmed/Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases were searched up to May 2015. Two independent authors conducted searches, examined references for eligibility, and extracted data. Meta-analyses in any language examining peripheral non-genetic biomarkers in participants with BD (across different mood states) compared to unaffected controls were included.
Six references, which examined 13 biomarkers across 20 meta-analyses (5474 BD cases and 4823 healthy controls) met inclusion criteria. Evidence for excess of significance bias (i.e. bias favoring publication of ‘positive’ nominally significant results) was observed in 11 meta-analyses. Heterogeneity was high for (I2 ⩾ 50%) 16 meta-analyses. Only two biomarkers met criteria for suggestive evidence namely the soluble IL-2 receptor and morning cortisol. The median power of included studies, using the effect size of the largest dataset as the plausible true effect size of each meta-analysis, was 15.3%.
Our findings suggest that there is an excess of statistically significant results in the literature of peripheral biomarkers for BD. Selective publication of ‘positive’ results and selective reporting of outcomes are possible mechanisms.