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Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
Keto analogues and amino acids (KAAA) supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations in athletes undergoing high-intensity exercise under both ketogenic and thermoneutral conditions. This study evaluated the acute effects of KAAA supplementation on ammonia metabolism during extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a ketogenic diet. In all, eighty male Fischer rats at 90 d of age were divided into eight groups, and some were trained using a swimming endurance protocol. A ketogenic diet supplemented with keto analogues was administered for 10 d. Administration of the ketogenic diet ended 3 d before the exhaustion test (extenuating endurance exercise). A ketogenic diet plus KAAA supplementation and extenuating endurance exercise (trained ketogenic diet supplemented with KAAA (TKKa)) increased blood ammonia concentrations by approximately 50 % compared with the control diet (trained control diet supplemented with KAAA (TCKa)) and similar training (effect size=1·33; statistical power=0·50). The KAAA supplementation reduced blood urea concentrations by 4 and 18 % in the control and ketogenic diet groups, respectively, compared with the groups fed the same diets without supplementation. The trained groups had 60 % lower blood urate concentrations after TCKa treatment than after TKKa treatment. Our results suggest that KAAA supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations after extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a balanced diet but not in rats fed a ketogenic diet.
This study aimed to explore effects of adjunctive treatment with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) on markers of inflammation and neurogenesis in bipolar depression.
This is a secondary analysis of a placebo-controlled randomised trial. Serum samples were collected at baseline, week 8, and week 32 of the open-label and maintenance phases of the clinical trial to determine changes in interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) following adjunctive NAC treatment, and to explore mediation and moderator effects of the listed markers.
Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukins (IL) -6, 8, or 10 were not significantly changed during the course of the trial or specifically in the open-label and maintenance phases. There were no mediation or moderation effects of the biological factors on the clinical parameters.
The results suggest that these particular biological parameters may not be directly involved in the therapeutic mechanism of action of adjunctive NAC in bipolar depression.
Pertussis epidemics have displayed substantial spatial heterogeneity in countries with high socioeconomic conditions and high vaccine coverage. This study aims to investigate the relationship between pertussis risk and socio-environmental factors on the spatio-temporal variation underlying pertussis infection. We obtained daily case numbers of pertussis notifications from Queensland Health, Australia by postal area, for the period January 2006 to December 2012. A Bayesian spatio-temporal model was used to quantify the relationship between monthly pertussis incidence and socio-environmental factors. The socio-environmental factors included monthly mean minimum temperature (MIT), monthly mean vapour pressure (VAP), Queensland school calendar pattern (SCP), and socioeconomic index for area (SEIFA). An increase in pertussis incidence was observed from 2006 to 2010 and a slight decrease from 2011 to 2012. Spatial analyses showed pertussis incidence across Queensland postal area to be low and more spatially homogeneous during 2006–2008; incidence was higher and more spatially heterogeneous after 2009. The results also showed that the average decrease in monthly pertussis incidence was 3·1% [95% credible interval (CrI) 1·3–4·8] for each 1 °C increase in monthly MIT, while average increase in monthly pertussis incidences were 6·2% (95% CrI 0·4–12·4) and 2% (95% CrI 1–3) for SCP periods and for each 10-unit increase in SEIFA, respectively. This study demonstrated that pertussis transmission is significantly associated with MIT, SEIFA, and SCP. Mapping derived from this work highlights the potential for future investigation and areas for focusing future control strategies.
We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 466 underweight and 446 normal-weight children aged 6–24 months living in the urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh to determine the association between vitamin D and other micronutrient status with upper respiratory tract infection (URI) and acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI). Incidence rate ratios of URI and ALRI were estimated using multivariable generalized estimating equations. Our results indicate that underweight children with insufficient and deficient vitamin D status were associated with 20% and 23–25% reduced risk of URI, respectively, compared to children with sufficient status. Underweight children, those with serum retinol deficiency were at 1·8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·4–2·4] times higher risk of ALRI than those with retinol sufficiency. In normal-weight children there were no significant differences between different vitamin D status and the incidence of URI and ALRI. However, normal-weight children with zinc insufficiency and those that were serum retinol deficient had 1·2 (95% CI 1·0–1·5) times higher risk of URI and 1·9 (95% CI 1·4–2·6) times higher risk of ALRI, respectively. Thus, our results should encourage efforts to increase the intake of retinol-enriched food or supplementation in this population. However, the mechanisms through which vitamin D exerts beneficial effects on the incidence of childhood respiratory tract infection still needs further research.
Starlight polarization provides insight into the physical mechanisms in and around the source as well as its geometry, whether or not the source is resolved. In this talk we will review mechanisms that polarize light in stellar envelopes. The observations and modeling can be used to probe the physics of the circumstellar environment as well as its relation to the ambient interstellar environment.
The course of bipolar disorder progressively worsens in some patients. Although responses to pharmacotherapy appear to diminish with greater chronicity, less is known about whether patients' prior courses of illness are related to responses to psychotherapy.
Embedded in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) was a randomized controlled trial of psychotherapy for bipolar depression comparing the efficacy of intensive psychotherapy with collaborative care (a three-session psycho-educational intervention). We assessed whether the number of previous mood episodes, age of illness onset, and illness duration predicted or moderated the likelihood of recovery and time until recovery from a depressive episode in patients in the two treatments.
Independently of treatment condition, participants with one to nine prior depressive episodes were more likely to recover and had faster time to recovery than those with 20 or more prior depressive episodes. Participants with fewer than 20 prior manic episodes had faster time to recovery than those with 20 or more episodes. Longer illness duration predicted a longer time to recovery. Participants were more likely to recover in intensive psychotherapy than collaborative care if they had 10–20 prior episodes of depression [number needed to treat (NNT) = 2.0], but equally likely to respond to psychotherapy and collaborative care if they had one to nine (NNT = 32.0) or >20 (NNT = 9.0) depressive episodes.
Number of previous mood episodes and illness duration are associated with the likelihood and speed of recovery among bipolar patients receiving psychosocial treatments for depression.
To evaluate the association between weight gain in the first two years of life and the occurrence of wheezing, asthma, serum IgE, skin reactivity and pulmonary function.
The metropolitan region of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
The association was studied between 1997 and 2005 in 669 children up to 11 years of age. Data were collected on asthma and risk factors, both current factors and those present in the first years of life. Weight gain was considered fast when the Z-score was >0·67. Poisson regression was used in the multivariate statistical analysis.
Wheezing was reported in 25·6 % of the children. Weight gain was considered fast (Z-score >0·67) in 29·6 % of the children and slow (Z-score <−0·67) in 13·9 %. Children in the slow weight gain group had 36 % fewer symptoms of asthma (prevalence ratio = 0·65; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·99).
Slower weight gain in the early years of life may constitute a protective factor against symptoms of asthma. The relevance of this finding for public health is not yet certain, since it is known that children with slow and fast weight gain may be more likely to develop adverse health consequences related to both these situations.
Due to an increasing demand for natural products to control coccidiosis in broilers, we investigated the effects of supplementing a combination of ethanolic extracts of Artemisia annua and Curcuma longa in drinking water. Three different dosages of this herbal mixture were compared with a negative control (uninfected), a positive control (infected and untreated), chemical coccidiostats (nicarbazin+narazin and, later, salinomycin), vaccination, and a product based on oregano. Differences in performance (weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion rate), mortality, gross intestinal lesions and oocyst excretion were investigated. Broilers given chemical coccidiostats performed better than all other groups. Broilers given the two highest dosages of the herbal mixture had intermediate lesion scores caused by Eimeria acervulina, which was higher than in broilers given coccidiostats, but less than in broilers given vaccination, oregano and in negative controls. There was a trend for lower mortality (P = 0·08) in the later stage of the growing period (23–43 days) in broilers given the highest dosage of herbal mixture compared with broilers given chemical coccidiostats. In conclusion, the delivery strategy of the herbal extracts is easy to implement at farm level, but further studies on dose levels and modes of action are needed.
This study was conducted to investigate the physiological response of sugarcane genotypes to drought and its consequence for stalk yield. Sugarcane genotypes IACSP94-2094, IACSP96-2042 and SP87-365 were subjected to water deficit during the initial growth phase by withholding water. Resistance and sensitivity patterns were defined by the impact of drought on the stalk yield and content of soluble solids in the stalk juice. IACSP94-2094 and SP87-365 were considered drought-resistant genotypes, as the stalk dry matter production and yield of soluble solids were not reduced by the water deficit. Although drought caused reductions in leaf gas exchange in all the genotypes, IACSP96-2042 was most affected when considering the cumulative reduction in photosynthesis throughout the experimental period. This photosynthetic impairment of IACSP96-2042 was related to both non-stomatal and stomatal limitations, whereas photosynthesis in SP87-365 and IACSP94-2094 were only stomatally limited under drought. In general, a reduced photosynthetic sensitivity to water deficit was an important physiological trait for dry matter production in sugarcane plants, and the concentrations of soluble carbohydrates, sucrose, starch and proline in the leaves did not reveal consistent differences between the patterns of resistance and sensitivity. Even though IACSP96-2042 was severely affected by water shortage, this genotype presented a similar stalk yield under drought and the highest stalk yield under well-watered conditions when compared to the other genotypes. This response to variable water conditions is interesting for regions with seasonal drought, whereas the pattern of drought resistance is more appropriate for regions in which drought occurs for long periods during the crop season. Our findings are also discussed from the point of view that increases in sugarcane yield and sustainable agriculture may be reached by choosing the best genotype for each specific environmental condition.
To evaluate the association between overweight and the occurrence of asthma and atopy in a cohort of children of 4–12 years of age living in the city of Salvador in 2005.
Cross-sectional study nested in a cohort.
The metropolitan region of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
The study included 1129 children of 4–12 years age who presented complete information on the variables used here. Skin tests for allergy, spirometry, faecal parasitology, serum IgE and anthropometric surveys were conducted. Poisson's multivariate regression was adopted.
Wheezing was found in 29·1% and asthma in 22·8% of children, both conditions being more common in those under 6 years of age and 34% more common in overweight children (prevalence ratio (PR) = 1·34; 95% CI 1·07, 1·67) following adjustment. The ratio between forced expiratory volume in 1s and forced vital capacity was associated with overweight (PR = 1·35; 95% CI 1·11, 1·61). No statistically significant association was found between overweight and allergen-specific IgE or with wheezing.
These results are in agreement with the hypothesis that overweight is associated with asthma and pulmonary function, even following adjustment for intervening variables known to be associated with the pathogeny of asthma.
Desmapsamma anchorata has been recorded overgrowing Tubastraea coccinea and Tubastraea tagusensis on two sites at Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The records of D. anchorata overgrowing and killing T. coccinea and T. tagusensis showed that this native sponge could be an important competitor for the invasive corals.
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a recent technique that allows
evaluation of features in biological systems that could not be
previously observed by other instruments. Red Blood Cells (RBC) have
been extensively studied because of their relatively simple membrane
structure, convenience of preparation and scanning . As an ancillary
way of confirming diagnoses, AFM has mostly been used to determine shape
and size of RBCs, which are important indicators of some blood diseases
or disordered erythropoiesis . In Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
hematopoiesis is inefficacious with consequent anemia that may evolve to
acute leukemia. Genomic alterations lead to structural defects in the
biomolecular network that forms the erythrocyte membrane. The
deformation capability of the cells and their lifetime in circulation
are diminished . AFM allows us to observe in a controlled way the
response of these membrane molecular networks under physical and
chemical stimuli in many different physiological conditions, such as in
air and liquids . Using this technique, many new characteristics have
been found in erythrocyte membranes that are still of undetermined
significance [3,4]. The aim of our work is to compare membrane
morphology of two groups of blood donors, that is, healthy subjects and
patients with MDS. The images yielded by AFM confirm the structure of
the erythrocytes and reveal interesting submicron features on the cell,
suggesting a way to distinguish between RBCs from healthy donors and
RBCs from patients with MDS.
We have recently used the PISCO and VATPOL Polarimeters at the MPI (Chile) and CASLEO (Argentina) 2.2 m telescopes to monitor over several weeks the brightest WR+O systems fainter than 9th magnitude in the Galaxy (V filter) and LMC/SMC (GaAs tube without filter). Each data point is accurate to ~ 0.02% in polarization P.
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